Level Editors

With the exception of "server finders," level editors are the most common Quake-related program. It seems that there is news of at least one or two new revisions to established level editors every week, and the introduction of new programs is also commonplace. All programs perform a similar function: they allow a user to design and construct a level. Many provide the user with a way of viewing the creation, with textures and lighting, before the level is completed.


Worldcraft logo by Whaleboy

Worldcraft is one of the most successful and popular level editing tools. The program was publicly developed by Ben Morris, the author of the Doom Construction Kit. Beta versions were available for free during the development. The full version of Worldcraft was released on December 3, 1996, and is now available for $34.95. Some of the features of this outstanding editor include:

Worldcraft uses a simple technique to create complex maps. Using Worldcraft's "block" tool, you shape a 3D box using three orthographic views. When you're done, you tell Worldcraft what you want to create in the box:

After an object is created, it can be used as a "cutting tool" to carve areas out of existing objects. For example, you could create a big block and carve out rooms in the block to create a level. The Quake-specific version of Worldcraft works with convex objects -- concave object support can be easily enabled with the source package.

BSP is an amazing level editor created by Yahn Bernier. Steve Thoms is the webmaster of BSP.Com, the unofficial BSP headquarters. He states that BSP

"has basically everything that every other editor has and some more. BSP has had vertex manipulation for a long time, it has a feature called a clipping plane, which allows you to place a plane and dissect/carve a brush at any angle, and it's raw brush manipulation is really the best that exists right now (WYSIWYG drawing for brushes, you can drag faces, vertices, and apply textures to faces separately).

It has all the standards that every other editor has as well (3D textured preview, the ability to save/load prefabs, carving, easy texture alignment, etc.).

Other notable editing packages include Qoole and ED3D. Qoole, which stands for Quake Object Oriented Level Editor, is an ongoing project. ED3D includes support for Open GL and allows for a virtual walk-through using Open GL. However, Trey Harrison, the author of ED3D has accepted a job with crack.com, so the further development of ED3D is questionable.

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