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Volcano

Suggestions for Map Editor (Object placement)?

34 posts in this topic

A topic came up recently in a thread: that there are too many map objects in SB now, and that it is painful to scroll through the long list to place objects. I suggested that the community could start a thread with suggestions on what they would like to see... as usual, that went no where.

So.......... I am started the thread.

For those people in the community that make maps, what suggestion(s) do you have for a better way to select map objects. Specifically, I am referring to the "Object" button, where you then select an object from the scrolling preview window.

There are internal ideas on how this can be improved of course, but suggestions from map makers are always valued.

Edited by Volcano

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Are houses matched to themes?..... Would you see a wooden red barn in the desert?

Just asking.

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And something along the lines of a right click drop down menu like we have for tanks,PC,Trucks with an option to place 1,5 or 10 at a time.

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Have a palette that could be created at the beginning.

You select the most used objects for your map in a handy selection queue.

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..... Would you see a wooden red barn in the desert?

Would you place a red barn in the desert? Just askin.

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Create a plant paint brush that can have variable species ratios per stroke.

such as........

10% spruce

30% Elm

60% Oak

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Are houses matched to themes?..... Would you see a wooden red barn in the desert?

Do you advocate a limitation to what houses can actually be selected?

I don't think that this is a good idea. There may be valid cases when a map maker would want such an odd mix. I can't think of an example, but that doesn't mean anything.

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Also, lets keep in mind that buildings are just models -- the exact texture applied to it depends on the theme. You can have a red barn show up as a desert color stone building if there was such a texture for it placed in the desert folder. Actually, I believe someone in the German community created a mod like this, making all the buildings look like desert buildings if the map had a desert theme. Also, at least one of those new middle eastern buildings does show up differently on a woodland themed map (the larger apartment building).

But yes, the object list in the Map Editor already shows the texture matching the theme being used. There is an issue if you change the theme -- it will not show the new textures on the objects until you go to 3D view (where it then loads the textures for the theme). This is done to save on loading time.

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maybe the use of the mousewheel would be ab bit easier than clicking through the objects.

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A topic came up recently in a thread: that there are too many map objects in SB now, and that it is painful to scroll through the long list to place objects. I suggested that the community could start a thread with suggestions on what they would like to see... as usual, that went no where.

So.......... I am started the thread.

For those people in the community that make maps, what suggestion(s) do you have for a better way to select map objects. Specifically, I am referring to the "Object" button, where you then select an object from the scrolling preview window.

There are internal ideas on how this can be improved of course, but suggestions from map makers are always valued.

I would say make it where you could pick the part of the map as if you were selecting it for a mission and then edit the buildings and stuff like that. I have to write down the grid that is on a mission that I have already created and then go find the grids on the map editor. Would be alot easier I think but other than that it is pretty easy to use the tools to make missions and edit maps in steelbeasts.

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I agree with the palette or RPG character inventory style than the current list style to select objects- like a grid where each object is represented in a square in the grid. Each square operates like a button, for example, the user clicks on a square with say a type of barn, that same barn will be pegged to each mouse click, so you don't need to open the object palette again to select the object unless a different object is desired.

Pro: all objects are immediately seen on the palette at once, this makes it easier to memorize and index where objects selected over and over again are in the palette, rather than scrolling down to it in a list format.

Con: over time, as objects are added to the Steel Beasts library, the palette may become too large to graphically display on the screen than is practical. Again, to borrow RPG concepts, a paging system could be used so as more objects are available in Steel Beasts, the next bank of available objects are selected by turning the page.

If the current list format is necessary, perhaps a hybrid of the two- the palette could for example hold the last ten most frequently used objects or objects selected by the user from the list.

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Thanks for the info so far.

BTW, I know there is no shortage of ideas to improve the Map Editor in general, or any other aspect of SB for that matter, I just want to make sure that we stay on topic: the Object list. :)

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A pop up window with all the Objects presented on a sequence of pages, say 20 objects per page.

Kind of like the "More" button with the Smilies over there ----->

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I wanted to start this up actually, but the initiative got lost after the first couple of beers and laying on the beach on holiday. But. The most "basic" things that I could think of as very usefull improvements would be:

- Being able to select, move, delete multiple objects, through Point + Click for "accuracy" and through Drag-box (I hope thats the right term) for efficiency.

- Being able to select and COPY objects - multiple ones as well

- Introduce Building blocks - by this I mean preset layout of Buildings bundled toghether (say 6-8 buildings / objects per box) - makes creating larger urban areas easier

- Object list - needs to be separated into different segments for easier use

- Lamp poles and objects should align automatically to the roads facing with the proper degree

- Some sort of a basic 3D wire-frame view (you wouldnt have to wait that long as with the current proper 3D view - i think)

If you don't mind I would like to post some screenshots here later on from other map editors that I have used and found usefull.

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I like the way you can easily move objects in BI's Arma map and 3D environments.

The video below is from VBS2 (also by BI). Watch from 5:00 and you can see how easy it is to manipulate objects. Although its worth watching the entire video to be honest as there are some great features shown. I especially like the lighting, maybe in SB Pro PE one day. ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxDmHDe_jg

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I should point out that the scope of this thread is rather narrow - specifically, how to deal with a larger number of objects in the library. Obviously there is an unlimited demand for other feature improvements (some of which are already solved or are in the process of being fixed with SB Mapper Pro, which is a separate product).

There is very little time left to do anything else prior to code freeze at the start of the beta test phase in about six weeks from now.

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I like the idea Captain_Colossus mentioned above. Expecially if the "palette" was in it's own window that could be moved around the screen and made smaller or larger as required.

I don't think it would be necessary for all the objects to be displayed in 3D as they currently are, just a 2D image should be sufficient. However, not knowing which option would be easier to implement, I'll leave that up to the 20lb brains to figure out. ;)

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Can we clarify something?

[(We Can't? Oh, well.....B*****ks to you anyway. :biggrin: ) or (We Can? Cool!!) ]:smile:

Are we talking about the way the Objects are presented for selection in the Map Editor?

Or the way they are Placed on the Map?

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Can we clarify something?

Are we talking about the way the Objects are presented for selection in the Map Editor?

Or the way they are Placed on the Map?

The former. But feel free to state your ideas here about anything else. I didn't want to stifle the freedom to express yourself. I just felt the need to point out that anything that goes beyond the way how we're presenting the object library in the map editor's map view will NOT get implemented in time for the coming upgrade. Just so that there are no misunderstandings about what you can realistically expect to get done.

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How about slide out tabs around the screen, mouse over and say a 2 by 6 grid of objects is shown with objects in turn grouped on tabs or pages with a method to scroll through. Groups like small buildings, large building, roads, posts and fences, bridges and walls...ect

Like this you gain screen space and are not limited by the number of objects that can be shown. You could also move a lot of the other menus and setting from the map editor in to smiler tabs with all the settings laid out. Think 3ds Max or Photoshop style. just an idea.

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IMO we need several user-definable palettes where he can then drag items into those palettes as he sees fit. So one player would create a palette "multi-story buildings" and then select the corresponding buildings and drags them over. Another player might want to sort things by create a palette "all things green", or "round things".

As long as users can define a practically unlimited number of their own palettes and as long as the settings are persistent, that should settle things.

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The possibility to either or and:

1) be able to draw electric lines/lamp poles like roads (it would automatically add a pole every X meters and align them accordingly)

2) be able to add electric lines/lamp poles on existing roads by for example checking a box "lamp poles" or "electrical line" and that would add the requested models on the side of the road X meters apart, on the requested side of the road (or middle if highway?)...

This way these objects would become useable and less time consuming to add... currently I don't use them because it takes too long to make them look OK.

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The possibility to either or and:

1) be able to draw electric lines/lamp poles like roads (it would automatically add a pole every X meters and align them accordingly)

2) be able to add electric lines/lamp poles on existing roads by for example checking a box "lamp poles" or "electrical line" and that would add the requested models on the side of the road X meters apart, on the requested side of the road (or middle if highway?)...

This way these objects would become useable and less time consuming to add... currently I don't use them because it takes too long to make them look OK.

Hedgerows And Shallow/Deep Ditches, placed in this manner would also be agreeable.

(For the Ditches, I suggest modifying the terrain like a vehicle emplacement (as opposed to a wadi), I.E. a long, narrow/wide shallow/deep trench.)

The Tactical options these features could add to Infantry vs Tanks would be significant.

Just ideas for future upgrades.

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