WED is the editor for creating the virtual worlds, also called levels, of your game. It also serves as the 'control center' where levels, models, and scripts will be linked together to the final game. WED can generate BSP tree based game levels in ".WMP" format for the Gamestudio engines, and imports levels saved in Qooles ".QLE", Quake ".MAP" or Worldcraft ".MAP" formats. WED features the object oriented level editing methodology, as well as an intuitive user interface that allows you to create 3D game levels effortlessly without prior 3D editing experience. Both beginners and advanced level designers will find WED to be an indispensable tool for creating professional looking 3D game levels quickly and easily.
You can create your textures with the paint program of your choice and then put them together in folders or WAD files. Within a map, further maps can be placed, as well as other objects like Models, Sprites or Terrain. The game engine requires the level in a final WMB format. This format, which contains some precalculated data - like the BSP Tree and the Shadow Mapping - is compiled from the WMP file and textures when you click onto the Build button.
This manual is just a reference. For learning how to work with WED, please download the Game Design Tutorial from the download page.
There are three primary elements in a 3D level: blocks, terrain, and entities. The former is simply a solid, nonanimated textured object in any shape. In a 3D level, the world is made of solid blocks, or objects consisting of blocks. To make a simple cubic room, one would need 6 blocks to enclose off an empty area; 1 block for the ceiling, 1 block for the floor, and 4 blocks for the surrounding walls. Terrain is used for outdoor landscapes. Entities are used for the moveable or variable parts of the virtual world.
How impressive the level will look depends on the lighting. Lighting can make or break a game. Lights and shadows are an important feature of Gamestudio and a very powerful tool you have at your disposal. But don't use lighting as a way to hide a poorly designed level. Good lighting cannot save a bad level, but bad lighting can destroy a good level. Gamestudio can achieve the same graphics quality as the newest commercial game engines; however, your levels will look amateurish if you don't light them correctly!
WED considers everything as an object. An object can be either an entity, a block, or a group of other objects. This simple concept results in the powerful feature of multi-layered grouping. Grouping allows you to build structures such as a staircase, an arch, a bridge or a chair out of simple blocks. Grouping also lets you to make complex rooms and level sections quickly out of those structures. Imagine a level made out of 'rooms', which are made from simpler structures, which themselves are made from other smaller objects or blocks.
The Object Oriented editing methodology hides unnecessary information from the user. With it, you can construct a level based on logical objects instead of thousands of blocks and vertices. The methodology also introduces modularity and portability. The user can build independent sections of a level without worrying about the rest of the map, thus the user is able to compile libraries of reusable, complex objects. It removes the extra work required to remake similar structures in different maps. It also opens the possibility of using third party supplied structure and object libraries.
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