Sign in to follow this  
Adam West

Unity open level creator for the masses

Recommended Posts

Hey There,

I was thinking about rounding up a few programmers to make a community to ultimately create a new open-source,cross platform level editor and creator, aimed at achieving AAA standard techniques. Also to create a new level format which indie gamers can use which supports all new features:

what i am thinking of for features:[list]
[*]Lightmap calculation and generation
[*]lua event scripting inside the level format, to try and make the format as portable and very easy to implement
[*]AI pathfinding painting tools
[*]simple model editing
[*]geometry instancing
[*]model importing
[*]texture painting
[*]shader boxes. now what this is is a simply placed cube with an are etc which then prompts a user to attach a material or shader to it (glsl,hlsl) which then implements that shader to to that box. (it would be very useful for water, custom lighting etc.)
[*]overall shader support
[*]any other useful features the people of gamedev can think of!
[/list]
with the level format i was thinking of a package base where the hierachy would look like
[CODE]
/
config.txt //where all the linking of objects would occur
/mesh // all of the mesh objects
/textures // all of the textures as .png or any other format
/lightmaps
/events //for all the lua scripts used
/paths // for the ai pathfinding co-ordinates
/shaders // for all the glsl/hlsl shader used

[/CODE]

the config file would link the shaders,textures,paths,scripts and lightmaps to the meshes. the possibilites are endless.

due to this project being open source, any developer can modify it and recompile it to be used as their level editor specific to their game.
if you are interested in taking part, please email me at aburton.live@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Ashaman73' timestamp='1340177494' post='4950867']
[url="http://www.blender.org/"]Blender ?[/url]
[/quote]

nope im pretty sure blender can't do instancing, pathfinding, painting etc and export that to a file, may i remind you an sdk will be developed with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Adam West' timestamp='1340179894' post='4950881']
nope im pretty sure blender can't do instancing, pathfinding, painting etc and export that to a file, may i remind you an sdk will be developed with it.
[/quote]

Which will actually make it more an "engine" than an "editor"... and, at that point, you'll go against Unity, UDK, CryEngine and all the rest.
The point is that the feature you are quoting as added value over blender have to be implemented in the engine, usually an editor is tightly coupled with the engine it is producing content for..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='kunos' timestamp='1340181957' post='4950884']
[quote name='Adam West' timestamp='1340179894' post='4950881']
nope im pretty sure blender can't do instancing, pathfinding, painting etc and export that to a file, may i remind you an sdk will be developed with it.
[/quote]

Which will actually make it more an "engine" than an "editor"... and, at that point, you'll go against Unity, UDK, CryEngine and all the rest.
The point is that the feature you are quoting as added value over blender have to be implemented in the engine, usually an editor is tightly coupled with the engine it is producing content for..
[/quote]

am i going crazy here.... it could be implemented into an engine, sure but its not!

exporting these things as vectors and matrixes for the sdk inside the engine wrapped by the developer is what im aiming for. its not an engine, its an extended scene file....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think they are saying that some of the features you mention are too specific for engines. And maybe the format you are trying to invent that has everything will take too much effort to incorporate in an existing engine, so it makes your format harder to work with than an already existing engine editor, or a more general editor, like Blender.

I guess....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your “level editor” does too much.
[quote name='Adam West' timestamp='1340174156' post='4950859'][list]
[*]Lightmap calculation and generation [b]Should be done by a secondary tool.[/b]
[*]lua event scripting inside the level format, to try and make the format as portable and very easy to implement [b]Should not be done at all.[/b]
[*]AI pathfinding painting tools [b]Should be done by the level editor.[/b]
[*]simple model editing [b]Should be done by a model editor.[/b]
[*]geometry instancing [b]Should be an automatic feature of any engine—this has nothing to do with editing levels.[/b]
[*]model importing [b]Should be done by the level editor.[/b]
[*]texture painting [b]Could be done by the level editor.[/b]
[*]shader boxes. now what this is is a simply placed cube with an are etc which then prompts a user to attach a material or shader to it (glsl,hlsl) which then implements that shader to to that box. (it would be very useful for water, custom lighting etc.) [b]Should be done by the level editor.[/b]
[*]overall shader support [b][b]Should not be done at all[/b].[/b]
[/list][/quote]
Firstly, you have to properly divide features into the appropriate modules. A level editor has a specific role to fill, then there are tool chains with converters, etc., and then there is the final engine that loads the final level file.

Secondly, you need to understand that adding a feature does not necessarily mean adding usefulness.
You have added so many features it is actually useless.
[list=1]
[*]It is useless to anyone not using HLSL or GLSL. What about me? I am using LSSL. What about Cg users? A level editor can’t serve the needs of many engines with this kind of constraint.
[*]It is useless to anyone not using LUA. Why would you add this to a level editor? It doesn’t make sense.
[*]Editing models? That means your editor apparently has information on the model format, which is just another constraint for anyone wanting to use it. Plus, why would anyone desire such a feature in a level editor anyway? It won’t be better than just using a tool dedicated to editing models.
[*]Shader support period makes it totally useless. Same reason as #3 in that a level editor would never do a better job than a material editor, but also because of #1.
[/list]
For an example of what a level editor [b]should[/b] do, see [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_Hammer_Editor"]Valve Hammer Editor[/url]. It is a generic way to sculpt buildings and terrain and the data is saved to a very generic text format. A snippet:

[CODE]

world
{
"id" "250"
"mapversion" "2"
"classname" "worldspawn"
"skyname" "sky_wasteland02"
"sounds" "1"
"MaxRange" "32768"
"fogcolor" "255 255 255"
"fogcolor2" "255 255 255"
"fogdir" "1 0 0"
"fogstart" "500.0"
"fogend" "2000.0"
"maxpropscreenwidth" "-1"
solid
{
"id" "260"
side
{
"id" "208"
"plane" "(-320 -560 0) (320 -560 0) (320 544 0)"
"material" "DEV/DEV_MEASUREGENERIC01B"
"uaxis" "[1 0 0 0] 0.25"
"vaxis" "[0 -1 0 0] 0.25"
"rotation" "0"
"lightmapscale" "16"
"smoothing_groups" "0"
}
side
{
"id" "207"
"plane" "(-320 544 0) (-320 544 16) (-320 -560 16)"
"material" "DEV/DEV_MEASUREGENERIC01B"
"uaxis" "[0 0 1 -64] 0.25"
"vaxis" "[0 -1 0 0] 0.25"
"rotation" "0"
"lightmapscale" "16"
"smoothing_groups" "0"
}[/CODE]
Now [b]this[/b] is actually useful. Any engine can then write converters to load this data etc., which is what I am currently doing with my engine, and will probably do again for my company’s engine (which also does not use LUA and also has a proprietary shader system).

If you want lightmaps, make a [i]separate[/i] tool for that.

There are very good reasons for this organization.[list=1]
[*]It allows the editor to be useful. This means it can serve the needs of many game engines across many games. This means it has to be as flexible as possible and [b]not[/b] have some kind of shader system or LUA scripting.
[*]It prevents it from getting obsolete (as fast). You can update your lightmap tool or any other individual tool chain tool when they are in need, instead of the whole package. If all the tools are rolled into one, the whole thing becomes obsolete instead of just one small feature/tool.
[/list]

You are overly ambitious, and for no reason. Show some restraint so you can make something actually useful.


L. Spiro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Announcements

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      628401
    • Total Posts
      2982457
  • Similar Content

    • By JM-KinematicSoup
      Unity has put up an official release of EditorXR (formerly EditorVR). 
      https://labs.unity.com/article/editorxr-and-scenefusion-update
      If you haven't tried it lately, you should. This release is actually very good,
       
    • By JM-KinematicSoup
      Hello everyone,
      I'm looking for some input. We created a tool called Scene Fusion to enable real-time collaboration while doing gamedev in Unity. In effect, it will replicate any scene changes one person performs for everyone else connected to the session. It works well, and we as well as our customers using it notice a drastic speedup getting work done, especially when building large complex levels.
      One limitation we have is that we can't support every single plugin and asset out there, so what we opted to do is provide an API that allows game developers to do that work as required.
      My question is: How many if you out there actually end up having to modify an external plugin/tool in order to get it to work with your project?
    • By toadvine
      I'd like to start building a 2D game, very small, just pixel art. I know python/javascript/tiny bit of HTML and I've started learning C++. I'm a long way from starting officially, I've just been making mini-projects to practice & drawing up concept art/gameplay storyboards. I'm just wondering if I'm off with the C++ for the game's programming, or if I should know certain things before starting.
      The game would be very small, I just want to get started trying out some actual work before college.
      Some other info: I'm working by myself on this, and going into game design/programming next year for college. I'm a high school student with a few years of experience just working by myself making small projects, drawing up stuff, so I really don't know much and I'd appreciate any tips.
      Thanks a bunch!
    • By Daerst

      SWARMED is a Zombie-themed RPG / RTS currently in development using Unity 3D. We love Dwarf Fortress (though we have no illusions that SWARMED will reach the same level of complexity), roguelikes, old-school point & click RPGs and real-time strategy games. We aim to cross genre-borders here and there and give some twists to the old Martinis every gamer has been drinking since the 1980s, metaphorically.
      Single player, 3D graphics and adjustable top-down camera - old-school RPG / RTS feeling Take control of a core group of survivors after the outbreak Encounter Zombies that are a real threat, no machine-gun massacre. Don't get swarmed! Build a safe zone anywhere with a highly flexible build system: campsite, lighthouse, school, or fence a whole village Grant asylum to other survivors that you meet and make them a part of your community Achieve sustainability in your safe zone and go on supply runs with your survivors
      Development
      The core team of recently founded indie studio Three Eyed Games currently consists of one writer, two artists and two programmers, based in Germany. We are in our mid-20s with professional experience in developing interactive 3D applications with Unity.
      SWARMED will feature both a 'free-play mode' and a campaign with mid-sized maps that leads the player through a story while explaining the gameplay and introducing him / her to the survivors: a core group a few 'hero' characters the player starts with (each one a detailed character with backstory, hopes and dreams), and more 'heroes' (total not more than 20, probably less) that the player can meet on the journey. In addition, randomly generated NPCs (less detailed and not directly controllable, similar to the way Dwarf Fortress handles its dwarves) can join your safe zone – if you let them.
      We plan to release a few 'Origin' prototypes that showcase individual gameplay systems and meanwhile give a gentle introduction to the characters you will meet in the game. Origin I, showcasing the build system and many fundamental elements like character controls and interactions, is finished and will be released soon. Next up, we're working on the dialog system to be presented in Origin II. Get in touch and we will provide more details and a playable version.
      We want you!
      We seriously think you should join the fun! We are looking for:
      Level Designers / Environment Artists, preferably with experience in Unity and procedural asset creation. Design and build maps with interesting visuals and proper pacing. 3D Artists. Our shacks, items and the dead guys' faces could use some plastic surgery. Can you do that? Writers. We have a bunch of characters to detail and a story to write ahead of us. Game Designers. We have a rough game design sketched out that needs improvement and completion. We need a balanced combat system, trees for constructions, workshops and character skills etc. PR & Community Managers, preferably with web development experience. We want to build a community around the game, and we need you to plan and manage this (with the help of the rest of the team, of course). 2D Artists / UX Designers, preferably with Unity UI experience. Our menus still look pretty dull, and we don't like that. We also need concept art for characters and iconic game moments to define their look and feel. Coders. If you know your way around Unity and C#, there are lots of challenging things to be done. You will work closely together with the two programmers already on the team to get going quickly. Please drop me a message or contact info@three-eyed-games.com
    • By sveta_itseez3D
      itSeez3D, a leading developer of mobile 3d scanning software, announced today a new SDK for its automatic 3D avatar generation technology, Avatar SDK for Unity. The Avatar SDK for Unity is a robust plug-n-play toolset which enables developers and creatives to integrate realistic user-generated 3D avatars into their Unity-based applications. SDK users can allow players to create their own avatars in the application or integrate the SDK into their own production processes for character design and animation.
      “Virtual avatars have recently become increasingly popular, especially in sports games and social VR apps. With the advance of VR and AR, the demand to get humans into the digital world is only increasing”, said Victor Erukhimov, itSeez3D CEO. “Our new Avatar SDK for Unity makes it super-easy to bring the avatar technology into any Unity-based game or VR/AR experience. With the Avatar SDK for Unity now every developer can bring face scanning technology into their games and allow players to create their own personalized in-game avatars, making the gameplay much more exciting and immersive.”
      Key features of the Avatar SDK for Unity:
      Automatic generation of a color 3D face model from a single selfie photo in 5-10 seconds (!). Works best with selfies, but can be used with any portrait photo.
      Shape and texture of the head model are unique for each person, synthesized with a deep learning algorithm crafted by computer vision experts
      Head models support runtime blendshape facial animations (45 different expressions)
      Generated 3D heads include eyes, mouth, and teeth
      Algorithms synthesize 3D meshes in mid-poly resolution, ~12k vertices, and ~24k triangles
      Six predefined hairstyles with hair-recoloring feature (many more available on request)
      Avatar generation API can be used in design-time and in run-time, which means you can allow users to create their own avatars in your game
      Cloud version is cross-platform, and offline version currently works on PCs with 64-bit Windows (support for more platforms is coming soon)
      Well-documented samples showcasing the functionality.
       
      Availability
      The Avatar SDK for Unity is offered in two modes - “Cloud” and “Offline”. The “Cloud” version is available at http://avatarsdk.com/ and the “Offline” version is available by request at support@itseez3d.com.
      ###
      About itSeez3D
      At itSeez3D, we are working on the computer vision technology that turns mobile devices into powerful 3D scanners. itSeez3D has developed the world's first mobile 3D scanning application that allows to create high-resolution photorealistic 3D models of people's' faces, bodies and objects. The application is available for iOS and Windows OS mobile devices powered with 3D cameras. In 2016 the company introduced Avatar SDK that creates a realistic 3D model of a face from a single selfie photo. To learn more about itSeez3D scanning software and 3D avatar creation technology, please visit www.itseez3d.com and www.avatarsdk.com.

      View full story
  • Popular Now