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raygor

Ideas for Level Editor

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Greetings, We're discussing the creation of a new level editor at our company and I'm wondering what experiences people have had with the various existing and available editors. I want to convince the higherups to either use/modify one of the better existing ones, or at least base many of the characteristics/interface on one that is good and popular (which would help when we hire new LDs). So...what is your favorite level editor, and why? Thanks for the help! Ray

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UnrealEd is the best level editor on the face of the earth. :)

Key reasons (for me) include:
- STABILITY
- WYSIWYG
- FAST COMPILE/BUILD TIMES (more of an engine thing, I guess)- Configurable panel layout, orthographic + perspective views
- Camera control in all views is consistent and easy to use, no keyboard input required
- Additional tools (package editors and such) open in seperate windows which can be placed on a second monitor


And of course there's a ton of people out there with experience in UnrealEd, and thanks to the Make Something Unreal contests, a lot of these people have worked on professional-quality stuff already, even if they have no prior "real" industry experience.

-Josh

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Hi,

I personally like the Neverwinter Nights editor... apart from the scripting (cos I ain't a programmer). It would have been good to be able to script NPC's movements/actions/speech without having to code it all.
There was a wide variety of terrain to 'brush' onto the area and the objects in the editor were were all placeable and if needed useable. Things could be placed wherever you desired and each thing could be designed by the, well, the designer.

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I have used a few editors in my day, unreal editor, staredit (starcraft) and worldEdit (warcraft3) and 3dmax. I would try to take something from each editor, though primarally basing it off worldEdit (as its my favorite).

Where you have:
Layers- terrain, camera, region, units, items, doodads, lights, pathing, etc
Modules - trigger manager, sound manager, import manager, unit/item/ability/doodad/destructable manager(s), etc

->Allow for indoor/outdoor enviroments, with multiple floors
->Allow for multiple viewports showing at the same time (top view, side view, etc)...

Essentially what you are trying to create is a very powerful and robust editor, making sure to keep it is as intuative and user friendly as possible.

EDIT:
I have used unreal editor, and I spit on it. xD

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I've used a couple of different level editors some for rts games and others for fps. I found that generally they where more or less all the same. The better ones were the ones that gave me the most control of the content creation. There is nothing more annoying then finding my creativity limited because the editor is overly helpful and doesn't allow for the fine detail manipulation you some times need.

Also one thing I've yet to see and think is sorely missed is an editor with a script debugger. There is nothing more annoying then trying to figure out why a script doesn't work correctly based entirely on screen activity,

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Guest Anonymous Poster
One thing I can't stress enough is to have an overlay that shows the "bonds" of the level, or where the player/npcs can and cannot go. Failure to do this increases playtesting time by a lot. The Heroes III editor had such a feature, and it was a real time-saver. Neverwinter Nights did not, and that got really annoying at times.

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The current company makes 3rd person action games, so the editor would be along those lines.

At my last company (also 3rd action games, go figure) we modeled the interface on 3DMax so that most people (and especially artists using it to do cut scenes) would have a leg up with understanding it. It also allowed for changes to be viewed pretty much instantaneously, something this current companies editor lacks in spades.

Having been a producer/designer for most of my career (now trying to concentrate on design), I've only dabbled in editors, and was mainly hoping to see if there was a good editor to base ours on...unrealed or worldcraft probably being the best contendors.

I should have been more specific...what are the best editors for making a 3D world for 3rd person action games....if any.

Thanks!

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The Warcraft III editor is very user friendly, but still powerful. One thing that is good with it is that you can script in it (JASS) and you can use the normal GUI system. Other than that the NWN editor and UnrealEd, as mentioned before, are also very good, but I don't have much experience with them so I can't say very mcuh about them. Good luck with your level editor!

- Cerasti

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Then you're on the right track... UnrealEd and Hammer/Worldcraft are the most popular/best I've found in that arena. Personally I like Hammer a bit more, but probably because I've used it a bit more. Both are excellent.

But the best advice I can give is to focus the editor on the actual game, rather than basing it on something else... make sure the most important features of your game are accounted for before anything else (such as alot of scripting, or shader/material properties, etc), and model your editor around those.

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