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Unity Level Editor

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Hi, We are in need of a small level/object editor for a game. Required features are: * Modelling the actual world * Dividing the world into regions * Connect regions with portals * Placement of portals * Placement of particle systems in the world * Placement of lights As we currently see it, we thought about two options: 1. Write a plugin for 3dsmax/Maya/Blender to do this. Unfortunately we have experience with neither of those. Which one would be suited best? (has better SDK, a stronger development community) 2. Write a small program on our own that loads a model that was previously saved using 3dsmax/Maya/Blender, and then only support our game specific stuff. Like placing portals, regions etc.. Could anyone comment on the options? Is there anything else we should consider? Thanks in advance for your time.

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1. I don't know about blender, but I did plugin for Max and Maya. I must say Maya is way much more organized than Max. Max's SDK is just spaghetti.

2. If you get someone who's good with exporting and knows Max or Maya's API, you can save a lot of time, since you're not developing tools to make what those software do. That said, I find it's always nice to be able to add and tweak a few things in your software.

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K1nG Gr4H4m: Thanks a lot for your reply! =]

If other gamedev member are also willing to share experience in this topic it would be great ;)

Cheers!

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I dont recommend that you use 3ds max as your editor. It's super powerful for creating geometry but it's going to be limiting with all your custom stuff. You'll resort to using all kind of flags on the object, which is alright but can be confusing and tedious.

Just write your own editor. Make it a generic enough framework that it'll edit all of your game content, as in, there's no point i rewriting your document file/save code and undo stack for both your level editor and particle editor and animation event editor and script editor, etc.

Just roll it all into one pluggable framework.

As far as creating simple primitives and orienting objects, it shouldn't take long to achieve a level of polish on par with 3dsmax. Moving individual vertices how ever is going to be a far shot.

Just my 0.02, i've considerd using 3ds max but utimately always shy away.

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Quote:
Original post by bzroom
I dont recommend that you use 3ds max as your editor. It's super powerful for creating geometry but it's going to be limiting with all your custom stuff. You'll resort to using all kind of flags on the object, which is alright but can be confusing and tedious.

Just write your own editor. Make it a generic enough framework that it'll edit all of your game content, as in, there's no point i rewriting your document file/save code and undo stack for both your level editor and particle editor and animation event editor and script editor, etc.

I'd leave out the 'just'. It's going to be a time investment, that's probably not worth it if it's only going to be used for one project. Especially if you're not experienced with this kind of stuff, you'll likely spend too much time on an editor. That can be alleviated by reusing code from the game itself, but still. It's not 'just' writing an editor, and especially not if you want to polish it. Besides, artists are often used to 3DS Max...

I've worked on a project a while ago that used the Panda 3D engine, where the artists worked with 3DS Max, along with a Panda plugin for the file-format and some custom flags and trickery to tell my code where to place game objects. It was a bit of a hassle sometimes, but after some 'tutoring' it worked well enough. I certainly wouldn't have had time to write an editor - I barely had enough time to get a reasonable game demo up and running. Yeah, deadlines. ;)

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