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Tips for using 3DS max 2011 as a level editor

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So writing a level editor is really complicated of course...

I hear of people doing things like using 3DS max to make unreal levels and things like that.

I am a programmer so I plan on using the 3DS max SDK to make an exporter for the level file so my game engine can read it in.

I just got started with 3DS max like a month ago and I'm very pressed for time since this is for my final project due soon and I just need answers ASAP.

So I'm making a level and applying textures. I've done some editing for games like Quake and Doom 3 and Halflife. In those games it's possible to set materials on each face of a polygon. Well to be specific, the texture and texture settings like offset, scaling, all that.

In 3DS Max I found how to apply textures with the materials editor and it's all nice and great. But it applies it to the whole object. I'd love to go in and set the texture for each face.

Also soon I will write the export plugin with Visual Studio C++ and haven't even started looking at it yet. In my exporter I'd like to have info on the verteces, triangles, and all that other stuff that 3D model formats have. I also want to have texture info per face so I can have my engine display the level and also know what texture to apply to each triangle.

Another great thing to do is to place objects that will appear in the level with 3DS max itself and have my exporter plugin save info on all of that. I'm not even sure that's possible. These objects wouldn't be part of the level geometry. They'd be things like Player start locations and ammo on the ground...

Any tips on how to do this so I have an idea on what I'm doing when I start on this tonight?

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If you want to assign a different texture to a face, right click on the object and select Convert To -> Convert To Editable Poly

Using the panel on the right, go into Polygon mode (the red square).

Select the faces to which you want to apply the textures (hold CTRL and left click to select multiple faces).

Go to the material editor. Select the texture you want to apply. Click on Assign Material to Selection (3rd button below the preview spheres).

That should get you started!

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