CShop Vs. Quill3d (Recommendations?)

Community Forums/Developer Stations/CShop Vs. Quill3d (Recommendations?)

Batman(Posted 2003) [#1]
CShop Vs. Quill3d (Recommendations?)

I'm in the process of designing a Jagged Alliance/X-Com style game. I was originally looking at simply using terrains and building blocks (walls, doors, windows, etc.) to design sectors which worked fairly well until I found the surface count became too high and slowed the game down to a crawl.

So I was looking at some of the Screen Shots from CShop and Quill3D and it appears they both have the capability to design exteriors as well as interiors. I downloaded the demos to both and they seem to be rather straight forward to use (in my simple tests).

My question is... considering the type of game I am looking at, ("God" View Camera), would one of these utilities suit my needs? And, are there any preferences out there?

This is what the game looks like so far with my current method of handling the sectors...

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#2]

That is not a simple question to answer, I have both and enjoy using both.

Quill is a modeller, a level builder, and it has great lightmapping and exports to .x and b3d (which is all you need really!).

CShop is a level builder with great lightmapping, (you wouldn't use CShop to build a character), and exports to B3d.

B3D is great because it keeps references to the lightmaps and the textures in one entity.

Both - as you say - are easy to use, the faster to use but with less features is CShop (it has also proved a little unstable in version 3.2 - soon to be sorted though in 3.5?).

Quill has many more features and useful bits and pieces (which make it ideal for model making over CShop), you can 'roam' a level in full screen and the output is closer to what you see in Blitz. The current version of CShop has to have it's lightmaps brightened and contrast adjusted in a paint programme to make it WYSIWYG. CShop textures are 'floating' - if you move an entity the texture reference stays in place and you have less control over placement.

CShop has an SDK which is downloadable and if you model in 3DMax there's an exporter from max to .CSM the CShop prefab format.

If you are going to make an FPS game later and only need to make levels from scratch the CShop would be the best choice as it 'fits' right into Singularity Engine, which is turning out to be a fantastic piece of software (Blitz source code is available and being updated regularly).

Quill needs the CD in place at all times you want to boot it up. CShop requires only a codeword to be entered once.

I reckon Quill is possibly your best bet with what information you have given above. But CShop is a real close second runner. There are forums for both products for posting questions which is also useful.

Hope some of this helps!


JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#3]
You also have BSP Factory, but it's not a map editor, but a convertor from BSP to B3D. This allows you to use Quark or any other BSP-capable map editor and use BSP Factory to export the map to Blitz3D format.

The first update (1.1) should be available for the end of this month. You can see its progress in the forum: http://www.binary-people.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=60

For More info follow the link in my signature.

Shambler(Posted 2003) [#4]
I was interested in and bought both CShop and Quill3D purely for level designing.

There are good and bad points about both, but once Josh has updated CShop to v3.5 most of the CShop problems I had will be sorted.

The lightmapping in CShop is far superior to Quill3D, it handles arbitrary geometry flawlessly whereas Quill3D produces lightmapping errors if a shadow falls across the edge of a primitive.

Quill3D exports to .b3d well, but badly to .x format.

CShop exports to .b3d but exports the caulk invisible faces I don't want exported but it exports to .x format well.

CShop comes with an importer for Blitz to import cshop format .csm files, I may well end up using this anyway.

I would wait until CShopv3.5 update is out then decide what to go for.

The verdict is still open =)

Binary_Moon(Posted 2003) [#5]
CShop exports to .b3d but exports the caulk invisible faces I don't want exported but it exports to .x format well

Sabatha released an app that removes the caulked faces from a cshop mesh. Also if you use Joshes csm loader then the caulked faces don't get created.

Batman(Posted 2003) [#6]
Thanks for the feedback thus far guys...

Quill3D seems like it can do it all, but that "CD" requirement is very discouraging. First, it would mean I have to wait to receive the "Boxed" version before I could even use it because there is no "Download Purchase" option... Secondly, I use an automated backup utility that backs up to my CD Burner every hour... This would mean I needed an alternate solution for that. (Damn... why to developers insist on using this type of security? Ooops, I guess that's an entirely different debate.)

CShop sounds like it might be the winner by default. Are there any other Level Designers I'm missing? Jedive spoke of BSP Factory, are any of the BSP Editor's any good? (I thought there were laws preventing using BSP Formats in your games?)

Binary_Moon(Posted 2003) [#7]
AFAIK Jedives BSP Factory takes a bsp and turns it into a b3d file with a lightmap. The idea being that it doesn't need a bsp license. The thing is you need to be able to make a bsp to start with. It's not an editor itself.

Personally Cartography Shop is the best option. However Quill is good and is getting better all the time. The cd thing is rather off putting though.

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#8]
As a parting shot...

CShop will have you up and running very quickly, and you will be able to make things rapidly. It will be a free upgrade to 3.5 but not to 4.0 afaik.

You will have to brighten up the lightmaps to get wysiwyg.

I love CShop, but I am biased. :)



JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#9]
AFAIK Jedives BSP Factory takes a bsp and turns it into a b3d file with a lightmap. The idea being that it doesn't need a bsp license.
You still need to pay the license of the tools you use, but the great thing is that if you use Quark to create your map and ZHLT to compile the BSP file, you don't need any license!!!

Oh! And BSP Factory is by far the cheapest of the three, only $15.

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#10]
Yeah but Quark is a bit of a bitch to set up and then learn how to use properly - unlike CShop or Quill, you'd be up and running in no more than 10 minutes.

I think I had my first map pictures on the web in 20 mins when CShop was first realeased.

I personally couldn't do that with Quark or similar.

Sorry Jedive, I would love to use BSP's and BSP Factory but building them in the first place is a pain.


ford escort(Posted 2003) [#11]
there is also qoole, it's discontinued software but still available here: http://qoole.gamedesign.net/, and i was able to make levels for halflife quick with it.despites of the bug he had, the source code is available too...
i definitively liked this tool for making levels.

JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#12]
Someone in the spanish community is writing a tutorial to configure Quark to work with BSP Factory. I'll translate it to english as soon as it's released.

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#13]
sound great Jedive. I would like to try your BSP Factory and use it in B3d. I remember when we all first saw the BSP demo, we were gob smacked at the speed and quality of the demo.


JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#14]
1.1 version is due to be out for the end of this month. It has much more options than the previous version, and more texture flags to export (cubemaps, fullbright textures -they do not have lightmap-, specular highlights, etc), together with a new native Win32 gui and more control over the map and its entities :)

Ricky Smith(Posted 2003) [#15]
Quill3d bakes all entity/static mesh info into the .b3d file itself - no messing with custom file formats !
Quill3d has a superb portalling system which is baked into the .b3d file on export too. Its supremely easy to use.
Along with the level builder you get a whole suite of modelling tools and UVunwrapper.

rsbrowndog(Posted 2003) [#16]
I have nothing to add to the discussion in this thread, but I had to say that the pic Batman posted looks awesome!

I'll be keeping an eye on this one!



JaviCervera(Posted 2003) [#17]
Quill3d bakes all entity/static mesh info into the .b3d file itself - no messing with custom file formats !
BSP Factory also bakes all the entities in the .b3d file, and a .bb file is provided to access those entities and all their propierties. You can put ammo, enemies, spawn points, and whatever you need in the map, and access them in your game.

JoshK(Posted 2003) [#18]
Baking entities? Why don't you just say it stores the properties in the entity name?

Zo Zo Zee Zar(Posted 2003) [#19]
Why dont you say it draws shadows on stuff rather than lightmaps?

Both products are very good - try em out and see what you prefer.

JoshK(Posted 2003) [#20]
Good one.

Batman(Posted 2003) [#21]
Hello again, sorry to revive this thread after this period, but I have one more question regarding these products.

I tried to search around the product pages but seem to be missing the answer I'm looking for... does either of these products allow "importing" of other models? (.3DS, .B3D, etc...)

I want to create a "Terrian" model to start with and import it into one of these programs to begin designing buildings and such... I just can't find anywhere where it explains the supported model formats (I know CShop has an "Import" Menu feature but it is disabled in the demo)

Thanks again everyone for your feedback...

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#22]
You can import .x and b3d into Quill.

You can only load .csm stuff into CShop afaik. There may be an import plugin somewhere, but I haven't seen it.


Batman(Posted 2003) [#23]
Importing .B3Ds is excellent... do you (or anyone) know if there are any additional customs costs for shipping to the US? (noticed the warning on the Quill product)....

IPete2(Posted 2003) [#24]
Sorry, I don't know.

It should state so on the Idigicon web site if that's where you've seen it for sale.