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Bloodshedder

Building the New Evolution

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CodeImp is busy working on a new version of his map editor, Doom Builder 2. But he can't do it all alone. Read on for an explanation all about it from him, in his own words.

Why Doom Builder 2?

There are a few reasons why I am making Doom Builder 2 and why I call it that (skipping all minor version numbers). First of all, Doom Builder 1.* is way too old for any further maintenance. It also was written in an old language which most people have abandoned. There are new ideas, new features and new compatability requirements that simply do not fit in the old program without a rewrite of more than half of the code. Doom Builder 2 is a complete redesign and rewrite from scratch, 100% written in C# (yes, the .NET platform, welcome to 2008 folks).

What will be new in Doom Builder 2?

  • First of all, there are a lot of things redesigned to better fit the needs of the mappers. For example: You can now configure nodebuilder settings and testing settings per game configuration, so that when you switch game configuration to edit some other map, the relevant settings will change along with your choice.
  • Next we have Unicode support. This means that Doom Builder will work on non-westen cultures (such as China, for example) without the need of an English Windows installation or weird tricks.
  • Then I will make sure it will be Windows Vista compatible. Actually I need some people willing to test extensively on Windows Vista. More about that below.
  • Textures and flats and other resources can now be loaded from any number of different sources. Doom Builder 2 will support reading resources from WAD files, Directories, PK3 files and Directories with a PK3 directory structure.
  • Instant and nodebuilder-less 3D mode! Recent tests have proven a new great, fast method to render the 3D mode without the need of a BSP tree or any nodebuilder. This new technique also allows for geometry changes in 3D mode.
  • Plugins that allow developers to make their own editing modes, including 3D mode extensions (slopes, 3D floors).
  • On top of the great new features, there are little enhancements as well, such as full 32-bit anti-aliased 2D mode rendering, full PNG, BMP and GIF support and a more professional GUI look.

When will you have all this?

Not any time soon. Sorry to disappoint you now, but it will take at least several more months before I can make a public beta version. I just want most of it done so you don't get a half unfinished product. Hopefully I have something worthy this summer (July)!

What do you still need?

I can fulfill the promises above on my own, but there are a many other things that other people do a lot better than me, so join me and with our combined strength we will rule the galaxy as father and ... ok, back on topic.
  • Web designer, a serious good one. The site at doombuilder.com is the remains of my old website, and I want a fancy and spiffy website completely dedicated to both Doom Builder 1 and 2 (yes, I will keep DB1 online no less than it currently is, just in case you don't like DB2). If you would like to help me with this, please show me some of your previous work as web designer!
  • Alpha and Beta testers. Right now I need people from non-western cultures and Windows Vista users to try and see if Doom Builder 2 runs properly. Serious application testing (Beta testing) will be done in several months, but at the current point that is a bit useless.
  • Icon. Yes I need an icon for Doom Builder 2 and I don't think I still want that gargoyle head. I want something new, good looking, in all resolutions from 48x48 down to 16x16 in both 32-bits and 256 colors. This is simple: you make some, you e-mail them to me, and I pick the winner. No crying.
Also, I need some serious documentation, like the Doom Builder 1 manual, but for Doom Builder 2. I am trying to contact John Anderson, but he vanished, his e-mail address turned invalid and his phone number is disconnected. If anyone has a clue where he is or how I can contact him, please let me know! And if you are in contact with him, please let him know I am looking for him! Thanks.

Suggestions and comments are welcome (but please don't take it personally if I do not answer to all of them) If you want to help out on any of the above, please don't post in this topic, just email me. That way I can read and reply easier.

You can start throwing rocks at me ... now! Oh, and here are some screenshots.

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So will it finally run on Linux 'native' (in quotes, because .NET apps don't even run on Windows natively), via Mono?

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MikeRS said:

So will it finally run on Linux 'native' (in quotes, because .NET apps don't even run on Windows natively), via Mono?

That's what I was about to ask. What .NET version are you targeting, and are you using any pinvoke calls?

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No that is impossible, because DirectX cannot run on Linux. Also, I chose to use the Windows.Forms lib for the GUI because it is professional and familiar, this also is not working in Linux (Mono has a very crap implementation but I don't blame them) Please don't start any "But you can use X" or "X is better" flaming, I have considered using alternatives, but this is my decision and I'm not changing this.

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Have you considered OpenGL at all...? It works on both Windows and Linux.

Also, I don't really see how using that particular UI makes it look "professional and familiar". It's just copying Office 2003, which is completely inconsistent with other Windows applications, that's not very professional in my book.

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Are you going to fix that bug that occurs in DB1 that causes it to start lagging seemingly exponentially when the nodes are built once you get past a certain number of sidedefs/sectors (IIRC it is not a problem with the nodebuilder, but with DB1)?

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Dr. Zin said:

Are you going to fix that bug that occurs in DB1 that causes it to start lagging seemingly exponentially when the nodes are built once you get past a certain number of sidedefs/sectors (IIRC it is not a problem with the nodebuilder, but with DB1)?

Doom Builder 2 is a complete redesign and rewrite from scratch

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  • Plugins that allow developers to make their own editing modes, including 3D mode extensions (slopes, 3D floors).
  • On top of the great new features, there are little enhancements as well, such as full 32-bit anti-aliased 2D mode rendering, full PNG, BMP and GIF support and a more professional GUI look.

I love you CodeImp

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doom builder was awesome in its day
but its just fallen into such disrepair now

im really looking forward to DB2, im already impressed by those few screenshots

my project is on hold until this time, im holding my breathe :)

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I'll be able to help out by testing on non-Western Windows systems (not that it makes too much of a difference, but I can test on Windows XP in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Korean, and at the very least the Simplified Chinese Windows Vista).

If John Anderson is unavailable for some reason, I'll probably be able to help out with the docs as well.

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I would say something here about how stupid that "welcome to 2008, folks" argument is, but I'll let someone else do it.

Otherwise. I'll install this on my Virtual Machine when it comes out so not all is lost.

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I tried Doom Builder for the first time a few days ago and I gotta say that is a very professional program, it is easy to setup and start mapping and the 3D mode worked pretty well (not flawlessly though) on my old 3d card. It has that "It Just Works" quality which I strive for in my own programs.

I would be seriously interested in helping you out, except that I'm a Free Software / Linux guy at heart and the technology you are using for DB2 restricts it to the Win32 platform (I don't think Mono can seriously be considered, as it's always playing catchup to Microsoft's implementation).

So I'll merely wish you luck on the rewrite.

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Xtife said:

doom builder was awesome in its day
but its just fallen into such disrepair now


I'm sorry, did I miss the patches that gradually took out features, broke functions, introduce bugs and added bloatware?

It is still the same as it was 'in its day' and still remains a good functional editor now. [/overthetop]

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Looks promising.

First of all, there are a lot of things redesigned to better fit the needs of the mappers. For example: You can now configure nodebuilder settings and testing settings per game configuration, so that when you switch game configuration to edit some other map, the relevant settings will change along with your choice.

CodeImp, one thing you might want to consider when working on these things; when choosing a plain Doom format, by default make 3D mode display textures like in Doom and in Chocolate Doom as much as possible. Various wads lately have some texture alignment issues and tutti frutti glitches because there's a difference here (I think 3D mode is behaving more like Boom in most cases).

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It's funny that MBF (an old DOS port) completely fixed the tutti frutti effect long ago, while IF I'M NOT WRONG ZDoom still has it at irregular-tall (!= powers of 2) textures.

Would you consider adding native Eternity ExtraData support, so esselfortium and the developper(s) of Mordeth and Millennium Doom would gain pace?

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Build it with 3d in mind, and there's a chance u might start a trend among source port authors to make implementing true 3d a standard, which it should be by now anyway.

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printz said:

It's funny that MBF (an old DOS port) completely fixed the tutti frutti effect long ago, while IF I'M NOT WRONG ZDoom still has it at irregular-tall (!= powers of 2) textures.


At least it doesn't produce tutti frutti! ;)

Yeah, I know. But the drawing function was never rewritten to handle non-power-of-2 texture sizes. If it bothers you and you want it changed you can always make a feature request.

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myk said:

Looks promising.

CodeImp, one thing you might want to consider when working on these things; when choosing a plain Doom format, by default make 3D mode display textures like in Doom and in Chocolate Doom as much as possible. Various wads lately have some texture alignment issues and tutti frutti glitches because there's a difference here (I think 3D mode is behaving more like Boom in most cases).

Sure I will use Chocolate Doom for comparision then, but I can't really simulate the tutti frutti effect (and I don't really want to either) because it is a very specific glitch related to Doom's software rendering (3D rendering doesn't have this sort of problems)

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CodeImp said:
but I can't really simulate the tutti frutti effect (and I don't really want to either)

Yeah, that's fine; it could apply what's used for missing textures over 1-sided lines in the portions that would produce it. Perhaps likewise in any areas that will produce the medusa effect (i.e. multi-patch textures on a 2-sided linedef).

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myk said:

in the portions that would produce it {the TFE}.

Just know that in classic Doom the TFE appears only within the 128 range of the short texture. Regardless, the new designers should know themselves better, because they can read the faqs in idgames/docs or somewhere there. They can read them by opening them with DOS edit ("edit" from RUN or the command-line) and saving them, after slightly modifying them, or saving them as. They'll gain the proper text format.

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printz said:
Regardless, the new designers should know themselves better, because they can read the faqs in idgames/docs or somewhere there.

Ideally, but as experience tells, if the editing tool isn't helping, it's just more likely there will be a mistake or a glitch. The idea of 3D mode is to be able to see more or less what the game will show while you're editing.

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myk said:

Ideally, but as experience tells, if the editing tool isn't helping, it's just more likely there will be a mistake or a glitch. The idea of 3D mode is to be able to see more or less what the game will show while you're editing.

True, but it can never be a 100% accurate simulation, so you always still have to test your map in the engine you designed it for anyway.

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