Re: Editor GUI design

Mike Ruete (ruetem@lafvax.lafayette.edu)
Fri, 07 Jun 1996 10:57:21 -0500 (EST)

Date: Fri, 07 Jun 1996 10:57:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Mike Ruete <ruetem@lafvax.lafayette.edu>
Subject: Re: Editor GUI design
To: quake-dev@gamers.org

On Thu, 6 Jun 1996, Chris Carollo wrote:

> > -4 Views, three of them axial, one free
>
> In Quest, I'm including four primary look directions (+X, +Y, -X,
> -Y), and also the ability to look in the +Z and -Z directions (in
> reference to primary look direction). All vertex/edge/brush editing
> is done perpenticularly to the camera direction. This way, the
> user cannot change the "depth" of any entity, which is fairly
> intuative.

Perhaps you should consider the ability to change the camera
direction to be perpendicular to, or coplanar with any surface of the
level. In most cad programs, this is a very useful ability. I'd also
suggest adding the ability to "grab" a face of a brush and move it "in
and out" along it's normal. This would be most useful for six-sided
polyhedra, but could have it's uses elsewhere.

I've done a reasonable amount of CAD work, and I find multiple
views to be extremely helpful. When I edit, I usually have an isometric
view, a left side view, a front view, and a top view. I edit in the
left, front, and top, but I often use the isometric for getting a feel
for what I'm building, and also for selecting edges and faces that would
otherwise be overlapped and hard to select in axial views. If I were
making an editor, I'd code my wire-frame renderer to work in its own
separate window. This way spawning another view and switching the
"primary" one would be a lot easier.

> The downside is that designing very complex brushes (no faces
> pependicular to any of the view directions) can be a real pain.
> I'm thinking of adding a "edit-the-current-brush-only" mode where
> the camera can be rotated freely around the brush. My guess is that
> the vast majority of brushes will _not_ be complex, and this will
> not be a major problem, and I won't have to bother coding this. ;)

That's not really a valid assumption, though. Speaking as a
member of TeamTNT (creators of TNT: Evilution and ICARUS: Alien
Vangaurd), I can assure you that what people, especially talented level
authors, look forward to most about Quake level editing is the ability to
make wacky, non-orthogonal walls/cielings/whatever. If we wanted to do
more mostly orthogonal stuff, we'd just keep editing DOOM. I think
non-axial views and the ability to (relatively) easily create *very*
complex brushes is vital.

-Mike Ruete