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printz

Do 3D shooter level editors exist that are as easy as the ones for Doom?

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I wonder if someone has made an editor for Quake or similar games, that instead of requiring you to draw the solid brushes one-by-one, you draw the rooms like on paper (or like in Doom's editors), and it automatically generates the walls for you, possibly according to some prefab model. And you can grow or shrink those rooms as you see fit.

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Not really, you could try UnrealEd 3.0, but that is still 3D editing. I wish that there were easier editors too, I would love to make a UT 2004 map easily. The future might hold some surprises though.

Trenchbroom is one to try.

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Trenchboom looks promising because its interface is similar to Google Sketchup, which is incredibly intuitive and allows for even the most inexperienced users to very quickly generate compelling geometry.

Whenever I think of modern map making, I think of this 10 minute demonstration of Unreal Engine 4's editor. Just watching it is enough to induce a panic attack, as there's all these lighting, weather, scripting, physics, textural and object properties to keep track of, the specifics of which are represented by weaving, branching menus. In all honesty, it looks to be efficient and organized, but it spits in the face of people like us who relate more to the symbolic/abstract/minimalism aesthetics of old school mapping.

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You could draw large box (or whatever shape) brushes and then use hollow or carve them with another brush. Then some manual editing to get the rooms/etc connected to each other.

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Carnevil said:

WrackEd is pretty much Hammer/Doom Builder.




You have to licence that engine to other people man. Think about all of the cool games that could come out of it.

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Mapping for Marathon is very similar, but comes with additional limitations (all sectors having to be convex being one), and I'm not sure you can really do it on Windows.

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printz said:

I wonder if someone has made an editor for Quake or similar games, that instead of requiring you to draw the solid brushes one-by-one, you draw the rooms like on paper (or like in Doom's editors), and it automatically generates the walls for you, possibly according to some prefab model. And you can grow or shrink those rooms as you see fit.

This sounds...absolutely dreadful. You're losing any advantage that true 3D geometry gives you. Hammer and Radiant are both very easy; I personally found laying out a level in true 3D using Worldcraft/Hammer far more intuitive than dealing with sector heights and upper/lower textures in Doom.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

This sounds...absolutely dreadful. You're losing any advantage that true 3D geometry gives you. Hammer and Radiant are both very easy; I personally found laying out a level in true 3D using Worldcraft/Hammer far more intuitive than dealing with sector heights and upper/lower textures in Doom.

Yeah but detailing is still a bitch, and it's also harder to change existing architecture, right?

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printz said:

Yeah but detailing is still a bitch, and it's also harder to change existing architecture, right?


To an extent, yes. But I would personally take those cons any day over the extreme limits of a 2.5D engine. All those engines have their uses, but I personally get a ton of enjoyment out of detailing worlds. Engines like id Tech 4, UE3, or to use a more recent example, Cryengine 3, allow a ton of creative freedom that you could never enjoy with a sector-based engine.

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The map editors for Wolfenstein 3-D are the easiest ever. It feels like playing with Lego blocks on a monitor.
Also, the official editor which was bundled with Duke Nukem 3D was way easier to use than the editors for DOOM, because at that time we were living in the pre-DoomBuilder era.

So I began my map learning with Duke3D. But I didn't release anything that I've built for that game, though, because I was only learning and not experienced enough at that time. I didn't want to embarrass myself.
But afterwards, when I finally got the hang of DEU for DOOM, I started gaining experience and releasing things, even though that editor was harder to use.

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printz said:

Yeah but detailing is still a bitch, and it's also harder to change existing architecture, right?

I wouldn't say so. Brushes can be split, resized, and have individual vertices manipulated just like lines in Doom. One place that's much easier is laying detail over existing geometry. Say you have a detailed floor with height variation and want to do some laticework on the ceiling: This is an absolute nightmare in Doom, it's really only easy in Doom Builder 2 since it will split linedefs for you, no other editor (to my knowledge) does that. In Quake, you just block out your lattice on the ceiling, that floor doesn't matter.

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Building in 3D is definitely more intuitive. My mom could look at it and see how it works. What DooM mappers are really complaining about is the decreased efficiency of the tools. 2.5D engines are harder to learn, but since you don't have to keep switching views in the tools you can map very quickly when you know what you're doing.

Perhaps tools like Hammer have improved, but doing things like carving brushes with the automated tool used to be a disaster for anything that wasn't rectangular. The editor would pick geometry that was frighteningly inefficient. Sometimes it would stop the map from compiling. Solution: sit there and build brushes yourself.

BUILD was in its day a lot easier to use than most DooM editors. The frustrating part was the engine was buggy and used 10,000 weird hacks to do different crazy things. Learning to make cool maps and remembering all the trickery involved took a lot of practice.

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Hammer is fairly easy to use. I learned to use it long before I learned how to use any Doom editor (but also before DB even existed, so pretty much every Doom editor at that time was obtuse anyway--at least WADAuthor was).

I never could wrap my head around UnrealEd. I can't figure out the backwards way of carving out an infinitely solid space vs. building solids in a vacuum.

I'd still also like to try out that new Quake editor that seems like building stuff in Google SketchUp. It looks SUPER easy to figure out.

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Nomad said:

Hammer is fairly easy to use. I learned to use it long before I learned how to use any Doom editor (but also before DB even existed, so pretty much every Doom editor at that time was obtuse anyway--at least WADAuthor was).

I never could wrap my head around UnrealEd. I can't figure out the backwards way of carving out an infinitely solid space vs. building solids in a vacuum.

I'd still also like to try out that new Quake editor that seems like building stuff in Google SketchUp. It looks SUPER easy to figure out.


Its also annoying to use in its current form. Well, or at least in the form that it was at release (I haven't used it much since then).

The reason is that being only able to edit your level in a full 3D view can make a lot of things much more difficult and time consuming then it has to be. Also, there is no CGS Substract function which is a very useful tool to have.

I personally tried out TrenchBroom, but quickly decided to wait and see how the editor develops before using it more.

Even though the author plans on making the editor a "mainly 3D view editor", he should at least consider adding some kind of a 2D view.

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Can anyone provide any insight as to what mapping with the Build Engine is like?

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Aliotroph? said:

Perhaps tools like Hammer have improved, but doing things like carving brushes with the automated tool used to be a disaster for anything that wasn't rectangular. The editor would pick geometry that was frighteningly inefficient. Sometimes it would stop the map from compiling. Solution: sit there and build brushes yourself.

Valve's official developer page even says not to use the carve tool. That said, I've personally never found much use for the tool anyway. I guess it could potentially be useful for rounded things, but I've always used a cylinder made hollow and a little vertex manipulation for those.

If anything, Hammer's gotten worse. I don't remember it ever being as crash prone as it is now in the HL1 days and all of the Source engine additions feel really tacked on compared to the simplicity of the original tools. It still doesn't have any sort of lighting preview, either, and its performance seems a lot lower than it used to be.

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I can't believe no one has mentioned Cube or Sauerbraten (cube 2) yet. Both have built-in level editors (you can run around the map and then jump straight into editing mode and edit the map in-game) and both - especially Cube 2 - are extremely intuitive. In Cube 2 all you need to do is point at a surface and use the mouse wheel to add or remove blocks, and you can shape the blocks as well to make the levels appear less square and cubic. The fact that it's all in-game allows people to edit a map together on an online server, which is pretty cool. Personally I have found it far more intuitive than either Doom or Quake mapping.

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Cube 2 is intuitive, but for me it was always a little too simple to efficiently use. Everything has to be "sculpted," meaning you can't move around geometry you have created, and even trying to copy/paste it is a nightmare. And then there's the texture alignment; it's like working with Doom's floors but having that same limitation on walls as well.

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I tried Cube 1 and 2, and they seemed neat in theory. But there's just something about the monster and weapon designs that didn't quite appeal to me. It never clicked liked Doom's or Quake's assets did. I didn't want to make levels for that 'world.'

Also, I'm so hopelessly hooked on GZ Doom Builder that anything that isn't near identical to it seems weird and unintuitive. It's like switching OSes - just doesn't feel right.

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GoatLord said:

Can anyone provide any insight as to what mapping with the Build Engine is like?

It's almost like mapping with a Quake-engine editor, due to the optional 3D camera to which you could switch at any moment to float around your construction zone.
The only real difference is that, instead of manipulating volume-filled "brushes" on a grid, you are manipulating sets of flat lines on a grid in the same fashion that you manipulate them in a DOOM-engine editor.
Also, whenever there is a line which is shared by more than 1 sector then it is displayed in a red colour rather than a standard white color.
Also, instead of tagging sectors for special effects, you get to tag sprites for special effects.
That's pretty much the synopsis of the experience.

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