I’ve spent the last few days tinkering around with a new toy, one which I might put to use in ROTH. From Empower Games (http://www.empowergames.com), it’s a beta-level software called “EasyBuilder3D”, and basically what it does is generate old Zelda-style levels. It uses a set of simple prefab models to quickly snap together a large section of, with each prefab textured on all sides with your choice of a wide variety of built in textures – or your own ones.
The programmer has been working on a remake of the old Zelda map as a demonstration of what the software can do:
It’s pretty cool. Looking at it, you can see how making dungeons, for instance, would be a snap – literally!
What *I’ve* done is found a path to get those models into Torque.
Originally created for use in Realmcrafter and other B3D apps, EasyBuilder only exports to .b3d format and a special datapoint format I haven’t quite figured out yet. A .X export is coming, and possibly, thanks to my suggestions, a DIF export as well. In the meantime, however, I have had moderate success using Deled as a converter.
Deled is a nice modeling package – really one of the best two for modeling DIFs, IMHO (3DWS being the other one). It’s noteworthy because it attempts to break normal ‘polysoup’ meshes into DIF-legal brushes. In the case of EasyBuilder models, it’s actually pretty easy, since all the chunks they are made of are DIF-legal to begin with, so all the software has to do is break them back up into their original components. In fact, the EB->Deled->DIF trials I did were exporting with half or less as many brushes as there were chunks in the original EB model, so it works pretty efficiently.
Simply download and install Deled Lite (free). Download and install the B3D import/export plugin. Download the trial DIF exporter – it’s limited to 25 brush exports – or pay the $15 for the full exporter. I already had Deled Pro and the full exporter, so I was ready to roll.
Make your model in EasyBuilder, export as B3D. Import to Deled. Ecport as DIF. Simple as that! Now, right now there is a texture issue on the DIF export – EB merges all textures used into a single texture map, which doesn’t work for DIFs. So while I am getting good exports into Torque, they have no textures. The program’s creator said he’s going to patch EasyBuilder to let you toggle that, however – so you’ll be able to export with each texture still as a separate file, at which point I should have perfect exports.
I’m really happy with the first looks at this tool. I think it’ll create some nice looking adventure areas, with a very stylized appearance, very rapidly. Even more promising is that Empower Games is looking into a full DIF export native in their program.
I’ll get some screenshots up once I have some textured models in Torque to show!