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What do you use to make 3D levels in your games?

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Hey, just wondering what other people use to make 3D maps for their games, since I'm trying to find something to use for my own game. Do you use a 3D modeller to make maps for your games? If so then how do you add things like doors and windows? Doors are moveable parts, so how would you specify this in a 3D modeller? And windows are semi-transparent and destructable, so how could this be done in a 3D modeller? Or do you use a 3D map-making program like Valve Hammer Editor or QuArK (the editor for quake and other games' maps).

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Okay, maybe this is completely a newbish question because maybe I just don't know enough about modelling programs but... how do you add the door to your map? If you just add the door model in your map, how will your game engine recognize it as a door and not just something static like walls... Do you specify coordinates for the door outside of your map model or do you add some sort of marker in your map model that will allow the engine to recognize where to place the door?

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Well sorry, its not a newbish question actually at all, its my fault. Our team makes our map in 3DSMax, then we export it and import it into a "world editor." My point was, we design the levels, such as buildings and terrain and that kind of thing in 3DSMax, then we put them all into position using a world editor. We are using the C4 engine ( http://terathon.com/c4engine/ ), but you could make an app like that yourself by just placing meshes in a "scene" and then exporting the data into some format.

In answer to your door question, the engine/editor we use allows for "controllers" to be attached to geometry or model files. This effectively turns the object into whatever type of entity you want it to be, a door, a character, a tank, etc. You just code the controller and it will do whatever you want. So you code a controller to tell the geometry, that when it receives an open message (which is sent by the character players controller) then it interpolates between open/closed position over time.

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I think I'll make a map editor for my game similar to the one in The Sims, where you have pieces to work with (wall sections, doors, furniture, etc.) that you place on a grid. Also you'll have 'prefabs' like houses made from several pieces (the walls, doors, windows, and furniture that makes up the house), so you can just place it wherever you need without having to remake it each time from the individual pieces... One exception from the editor in The Sims is that you will be able to edit your map on all levels (so you can have houses with several levels, instead of the single-level houses like in The Sims).

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