Articles & Editorials: Engineering With World Builder

Is it time to start engineering with World Builder yet?

I’m sure we’ve all had a look at World Builder and for those who haven’t probably don’t even know that World Builder is sitting in their Generals folder. For those who are daring will try to play around with World Builder, for those who aren’t are the first to click on exit and return to the game itself (perfectly normal). The reason for this you may ask, well the answer is simply that World Builder (as most of us have noticed) has a slightly larger learning curve than the previous CnC editors created by Mathius Wagner. This means, at the current time there is not as many map makers making the jump from the original CnC games to start creating maps for Generals.

Initial_Screen_s

Sure there are probably around 700 maps currently released for Generals, though how many of them would you classify as good or well thought out maps? That’s why we need to encourage famous map makers from past CnC games to make the jump. Only a small amount of tutorials have been released regarding the features and creation of a map in World Builder which could partially add to the reason for people not knowing how to use the editor. Unreal Ed The most comprehensive tutorial released so far has been the RVMECH (one of the creators of the officially released maps) tutorial. Along side that has been the release of the official World Builder manual. Which doesn’t give as much process instructions, rather, what things are and how things work.

Moving right on to the actual World Builder itself the first thing you may notice when you start using it, it runs quite sluggish on even the high end computers. This is simply because of the move to full 3D editing; a good example of a true 3D editor would be the Unreal Tournament 2003’s ‘Unreal Ed’.

UnrealED_s

On the initial confirmation about the World Builder, people started asking many questions about its abilities. Such as being able to import user made textures into a map. This feature hasn’t been put into the World Builder, which is a very smart move because if you can remember another one of the questions, was ‘how big will the map files be?’, this question was easily answered when even some of the most detailed maps first released which were 500×500 only reached a max of 500kb. This small file size has made the 56k dial-up people breathe a sigh of relief. As possible map sizes could have been from 500kb to 3mb and above if users could have created custom sounds and textures. We have seen and tried what World Builder v0.8 has to offer us, when will the next version be released because I’m sure many people want to be able to use some of the features disabled in the current version such as the Mold Mesh Options which allow you to create precise hill and mountain shapes.

Mesh_Mold_Options_s

Along with all the normal options in World Builder, there are things that map creators never touch, such as AI Scripts and Scripts in general. To integrate scripts into the game now, all it takes is a couple clicks of the mouse, unlike previous editors. An added bonus to CnC Generals is that it is the first game in the CnC series to be able to display user made intros and text without having to edit deep dug in files, rather adding a file to your map. The possibilities are endless with the World Builder and expect improved maps and improved missions to be released within the next couple of months because of the high interest of people now wanting to contribute to the Generals scene. Get used to World Builder because chances are that its going to be the editor for future rumoured games such as Red Alert 3 and Tiberian Twilight because apparently they are meant to be using the same game engine as Generals.

Well one can hope that in future version of World Builder that we will be able to import our own textures and buildings to create a much newer environment for people to play in, sure it will make the map file sizes bigger but it is worth it when you see just how detailed Generals maps can really be. For all the people that are struggling with World Builder, just be patient for better tutorials to come and a while you wait try to be brave with the editor and try something you haven’t yet tried. Many people say that we haven’t seen the true power of the World Builder, but I know that we will.

Till next time…

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