New Map Editor Wishlist & Discussion

I want to hear your thoughts on what would make your life easier making maps. What are the things that hammer does well and what could be improved?

This wouldn’t be for the source engine and would be used for making maps for a Garrys mod type of game.

Things that I can think of:

  • Multiplayer editing
  • Boolean operations for carving out holes

I can’t think of much more than that so that’s why I need to hear suggestions from map creators.

Needs a live 3D editor like most other game engines now provide.

The map editor would be running in game and not an external application so I think we got that covered.

Yes, truly the greatest feature of hammer

Allow importing of assets from an intermediary format as ‘world’ geometry (if you make that distinction), so that even if the toolset is lacking, we have other options.

As for toolset, look at Source 2’s hammer for inspiration, it really is Hammer but improved in virtually every single way.

[editline]1st February 2017[/editline]

Specifically the fact that instead of just being a ‘lego’ type editor such as Unreal, Unity, or CryEngine, you can straight up pop into vertex editing mode and start creating complex polygonal geo.

I’m not really a mapper but being to be able to jump in and edit maps without causing a headache could mean more people get into mapping.

Because hammer is a shitshow for those who understand nothing about it

I value streamlined workflow highly, and this video goes over that fairly well.

Really the only reason the carve tool is so bad is because it turns a brush into even smaller, off-grid brushes. If it just left it as a single brush and just modified the brush mesh vertices it would be fine.
Like how this brush editor in Unity does it:

Also, @ OP, check out SabreCSG for a good brush-based level editor in Unity that does good additive and subtractive level editing.

Quick, and efficient tools, akin to Unreal. I’ve got a friend, loves mapping, but spends hours placing individual trees in his map cause there is literally no other way to place multiple trees down in an area.

Also, an eye-friendly dark gray color scheme would be nice.

Real time lighting in 3D view

What engine will this game run in?

-Better terrain making/generating.

  • An easier way to glue maps together

  • A better way to carve stuff

Above all else, a stable editor.

I’ve been using Hammer since it was called Worldcraft and before it ever supported even Half-Life (was originally a paid Quake editor way back in 1997.) One thing that has always been consistent that it will crash without errors to the desktop randomly, resulting in work loss.

Even after getting anal with CTRL + S after every operation, some crashes can corrupt the map source file and result in total data loss or hours of work being undone if multiple backups are kept.

Another major issue is brush corruption, which became a problem with the Source version of Hammer.

Valve eliminated the CSG compile process (which converts vertex data to planes) and instead the VMF map format itself stores brushes as plane data. The problem with this is Valve didn’t use enough decimal precision to store planes, so if you make certain types of brushes with acute or obtuse face angles, the brush will become corrupted.

Since the VMF format calculates backwards (it makes brush verticies from planes), corrupt brushes end up creating several vertex points where there should only be one. Here are a few examples:

Notice in the top right viewport, all of the vertex clusterfuck. This was actually a single point when created, but after a save and reload of the map, the lack of precision caused the creation of many dozens of points all around the same area. You can see the resulting corruption as cracks in the brush junctions on the top left viewport where the yellow nodraw texture is visible.


Here’s another corrupt brush caused by using too acute of an angle. I think this single vertex became 9-12 vertexes. Each erroneous vertex can attach itself to a different face, multiple faces or no faces, resulting in bizarre effects. Like you can peel the corner of a brush apart by selecting different vertexes in the 3D view and moving them around. In the 2D views, all of the verticies are treated as one and will move around together.

Hammer’s error check feature won’t find this problem unless the verticies are too far apart from each other, but even if they’re not, these corrupt brushes can cause serious problems. The biggest issue is these brushes can cause clipping issues where the player can become stuck on a malformed clipping plane. It can also cause visleaves to be malformed, which cause visibility issues (like leaves not rendering properly from certain other leaves, resulting in null areas in-game.)

If you could do something like Source 2, I would be so incredibly happy.

You can make stuff in the editor, then select parts and convert those to a static mesh. And vice versa. It’s is absolutely amazing for detailing and planning out your maps.

Also Will the game have lightmaps, fully realtime, or a hybrid? Having the option to choose would be great.

Since it’s not for the source engine, will it have the same workflow/design as hammer? Is it a sorta modified hammer with better functionalities for the ‘next major’ gmod update, or something else entirely? Will it have the same workflow for texturing/use brushes, or more like modeling/uvmaps? If it’s going to be some sort of buffs for hammer, then I’d say the displacement editor I think is already pretty powerful and can achieve a lot, maybe some enhancements/alleviation like being able to paint more than two textures on one displacement?

pretty interested in some more about this, but kinda unsure of what it is exactly, like some development-in-game-minigame like sandbox? or something to make .bsps, or will the ‘next gmod thing’ even use .bsp?

Here’s a long shot + more of a wishlist sort of thing.

Deferred Lighting / Global Illumination

Built in revision control.

So that’s what causes the annoying vertex fusing lol.

You porting UT assault maps now mate?

There have been some suggestions on Hammer improvements over at TF2Maps. One desire stood out to me: plugin support.

Why has no one mentioned parallex corrected cubemaps yet?