Using Maplet & Decorator

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Using Maplet & Decorator

Mike V(Posted 2005) [#1]
Hello all...

I have a question or two...

I decided to give Maplet a whirl and I have to say that, after using it for a bit and getting my head around how it works (didn't take that long), I really like it! It has a style of creating geometry pretty much identical to UnrealEd, changing "Add" and "Subtract" for "Fill" and "Carve" (or whatever Maplet's terms are). I should add the Unreal Editor is my favorite level design editor of all the engines/editors I've ever tried (practically all of them - no joke.. I'm a 3D engine/editor junkie :-).

The interface does have its bizarre quirks. Navigating the camera can become rather odd after a bit.. I find I have to reset it after a while or it starts spinning out of control if I try to rotate the view even a little, etc... But the editing part is very intuitive and the results are immediately apparent.

The one major downfall to it that I find is its limited texture editing capabilities. It's pretty much mandatory that you go in with another program after to re-texture certain surfaces that were inadverdently affected during creation, etc. So.. I looked into that and found "Decorator" here on the Blitz site.

This leads me to my questions, first about Decorator:

1. Does decorator allow you to rotate, scale or pan a texture on the surface, or are you only able to re-paint a different texture to it? To be truly useful, I think those functions are mandatory.. What if I want to decorate a surface with a certain texture but then need to scale it vertically to fit right, etc.. Does Decorator allow for this? I would try it myself but I'm on a PC right now that can't run Maplet... or probably Decorator for that matter.

Can Maplet be used to create any sort of exterior structures, *and* interior? Like, a buiding I could put on a landscape with an actual interior people can walk into.. or would they have to be separate models?

If Decorator isn't the program to do this.. are there any alternatives out there than can?

And as a final question, does anyone have any shots of work they've done using Maplet? I have no doubt of what *can* be done with it with enough time and creativity but aside from the demo map that ships with it, I haven't seen anything else. Does anyone even really use it?


*(Posted 2005) [#2]
I too would like to see Maplet brought upto date, its a brilliant editor if only it had a few more primatives like upside down ramps and maybe spheres.

Also I agree it would benefit from more 'texture' manipulation functions then it would be perfect :)

Mike V(Posted 2005) [#3]
...and vertex manipulation! Though I know it works off of CSG and not polygonal geometry in the "traditional" sense... it is still do-able. UEd has a vertex editing mode.. *extremely* handy.

Though I think I read somewhere that Maplet isn't being developed anymore.. I think it's even released for free now. 'least I'm about 90% sure that's the case.

Shame if that's the case. The designers/developers of that were on to something really great with that editor.

I'd always wondered when someone else would pick up on the brilliance of working with simple subtracted/added volumes to create world geometry. Unreal level design is soo much faster and easier to work with because of that.. at least the laying out of base level geometry.

Instead of dealing with 6 separate "brushes" to create a simple room, as with Quake-style editors, you do it in 1 or 2 simple steps. Then, with the "quake method", there's the ever-present risk of two brushes not connecting by like, 1 unit, and throwing off all the Vis calculations, confusing the engine as to what's inside the level versus outside, hurting frame-rate, etc. Even if your level geometry is perfectly lined up during construction, if the accuracy is a little off during compilation, it can actually create leaks. It's just an arduous and messy process.. I never liked using Quake-style editors (Worldcraft, QuARK, etc).

By their nature a "subtracted" or "carved" volume as created in Maplet/UnrealEd is air-tight... never a problem of leaks (unless an outside surface is flagged as transparent or something like that - but that's user error)

In any case.. great concept, nice approach to leveling.. using the grid as a guide to make sure things are lining up right... be great to see what it could grow into with continued development.

TeraBit(Posted 2005) [#4]
Decorator can rotate textures and scale them. The keys to do this are on the numeric keypad. Look at the ReadMe file for the key controls to do this.

Mike V(Posted 2005) [#5]
Excellent.. Thanks for that, Lee..
I haven't actually tried it yet, as I said, but it's cool to know you can :-)


jfk EO-11110(Posted 2005) [#6]
One little problem of decorator is: you cannot assign the same texture twice. so when you clicked the Triangle or zone etc. and then want to alter rotation or scale etc. you need to assign an other texture first, then assign the original texture with the wanted attributes. Tho it's not a big deal.

TeraBit(Posted 2005) [#7]
That was deliberate. If you didn't stop it applying the same thing multiple times the frame rate would drop seriously low while your finger is on the key.

Once you apply the texture, there is no way of knowing what rotation it was at when you did, so it doesn't know if the rotation changes.

I could probably find a workaround on it, but I'm hoping to do a new 'DecoratorMAX' when the BlitzMax 3D Module is released, so it doesn't seem worth it at the moment.

John Blackledge(Posted 2005) [#8]
Lee, please don't wait for BMax. Just do it!

Snarkbait(Posted 2005) [#9]
I find maplet almost useless. It crashes all the time, you can't select objects once created and adjust them. I am not a huge fan of the subtractive method of map building, i.e. the unreal method, much prefer the quake/hl methods.

Here is what maplet really needs:

- more stability
- built support for texture placement
- the ability to seperate the faces of cubes and put different textures on each side
- the ability to set a base grid size for the texture placement
- model placement
- selection and editing of added elements
- a more traditional 4-pane 2d+3d view system(top, bottom, side, 3d)

Aoneweb(Posted 2005) [#10]
I would like to see rotate and scale, this would help big time.