by XaeroX on Jan 1st, 2015
Greetings to ModDB community!
Our team worked hard in 2014, and today we are proud to release an updated Jackhammer 1.1, both for Windows and Linux. Now it also supports 64-bit architectures and, finally, id Tech 3 (Quake III) engine based games. The support of Quake, Quake II and Half-Life was also improved. Linux version of Jackhammer is fully compatible with the official Linux version of Steam Half-Life. Just set things up, make a map and play it under your lovely operating system!
What is Jackhammer?
is a brand new level editor for games with a quake-style BSP architecture. The aim is to develop a convenient cross-platform tool capable of incorporating the best features of existing editors, such as Valve Hammer Editor, Q3Radiant and others. Despite Quake and Half-Life having been released a long time ago, the large community have arisen around, still developing mods and games on their bases. However the existing editors suffer from fundamental disadvantages their users are well familiar with. Jackhammer does aspire to be the universal level design tool for classic games. But not only the classics! The editor shall become a key development tool for the Volatile3D II engine
, that is why its second name is Volatile Development Kit
We present you the latest public alpha - version 1.1.500
. Despite not all the ideas being implemented and not all the functions being completely error-free, you are already able to download almost fully functional version of the editor, install and evaluate Jackhammer in action. Please don't forget that alpha may contain some issues. We are interested in a vast testing of the editor and grateful in advance for your comments and suggestions! In addition, you can provide Jackhammer with financial support, donating funds
for the further development.
Jackhammer currently supports the following games/engines:
- Half-Life (GoldSource)
- Quake (Quake engine)
- Quake II (id Tech 2)
- Quake III (id Tech 3)
Here is a list of the new editor version's features. The list of new abilities is far from being complete, therefore don't hesitate to look through the habitual menus and dialogs thoroughly!
- Large memory addressing support: 64-bit version on the editor overcomes the 2 Gb memory limit. Now you can store more history items and undo more recent actions.
- Realtime Texture Effects: transparency, texture animation and scrolling support promotes a higher grade of perception of a level under development. Now one can estimate translucency of windows not only in a game, but also in the editor. You will be able to see your Quake III shader scripts almost the same as in the game! Along with that, special rendermodes of textures in Half-Life models are supported.
- Embedded Shader Editor: now the creation process of shaders for Quake III and other games based on its engine becomes delightful. You can not only preview effect changes in real time, but also utilize such convenient features, as automatic source code formatting, syntax highlighting and keyword auto-completion.
- Curved surfaces: the editor supports curved surfaces (patches) used in games based on Quake III engine, and also contains instruments making work with them easier: rotating around a control point, randomizing control points, and other.
- Path Tool: a new instrument considerably facilitates the process of creating paths for trains, mosters and other objects. You can copy and paste paths in a map, join and split them, invert and convert to linked set of entities.
- UV-Lock: the new feature emulates 3D model editor functionality where texture coordinates are bound to vertices. Although such emulation is not completely possible, the editor sometimes allows to achieve previously almost impossible ways to texture faces, e.g. skewing a texture along with a brush side.
- Autosave: you can setup autosave function to protect your project from editor crashes or own design errors.
- Lots of improvements: the new version contains lots of bugfixes and improvements in comparison with the previous release! The editor became much more stable and functional!
And more new features that were present in the editor from the very beginning:
- Cross-Platform Editing: the editor is being developed on a cross-platform Qt framework and is available both for Windows and Linux users. We do our best to provide the same level of comfort to Linux users, revealing them finally a convenient level editor!
- Extensibility: the editor supports plugins to extend its abilities. Plugins can be very versatile: from new brush primitives, texture and model formats to new game configurations with their own import and export formats. Plugins can share the functionality with each-other: so that WAD3 texture format used by Half-Life can be easily "plugged" into Quake and used along with its "native" WAD2 format, certainly with compilers that also support it.
- Game Formats Support: because of flexible plugin system the editor supports many formats of game resources and correctly displays them. They are models of different formats(Quake MDL, Half-Life MDL, Quake2 MD2, Quake3 MDL and ASE), sprites (Quake SPR, Half-Life SPR, Quake2 SP2), map sources (MAP, RMF). There is an ability of import and export in RMF format preserving most of its specific features (object colors, grouping, visgroups), so that Jackhammer can be used along with VHE.
- Color Schemes: the editor's look-and-feel can be easily customized using the color schemes, both predefined and user-created. Almost all colors in viewports are customizable - from a background color to a color of Vertex Tool bullet's frame. Besides a general color of the application's window can be altered. In addition one can define his own presets in a configuration file.
- Large Map Support: the editor enables working with levels of large size, up to 262144 x 262144 units, now it is simply set up in the Preferences. Now one can easily crate levels for mods with a support of large outdoors.
- Multiple VisGroups per Object: hence an object can exist in several visgroups. In Jackhammer, VisGroups are never created automatically upon hiding a level fragment: hide/show mechanism doesn't rely on grouping anymore. However VisGroups allow to hide certain logical groups of objects along with color coding, in other words, act as a regulation tool.
- Textures Bound to Game Configurations: one more important innovation is texture binding to game configurations instead of a global texture list. This feature allows, for example, address different WAD files in different mods and work with them independently.
- Loading Resources on Demand: to speed things up, the editor precaches the resources on startup. However within a considerable amount of game configurations this process may take a long time. To deal with this issue, there is an option to precache only the resources needed in the immediate work. Working with a Half-Life level, the editor precaches only models and textures for this game, saving system's memory. Upon loading a Quake level, Jackhammer will add its resources to the load.
- Additional Instruments: along with Worldcraft/Valve Hammer Editor instruments one got used to, the editor supports some specific features: either original or adopted from Radiant's ideology. For example, there are such new functions, as brush merging, scaling texture lock, validity restrictions in Vertex Manipulation mode, model rendition in 2D viewports (including the translation/rotation preview), scaling models with Alt key pressed. On a new level creation, the editor prompts for a basic room, which is very convenient for validation of a game configuration or, perhaps, testing specific entities.
- Extended FGD Format: the file format describing game entities was extended for the specific needs of Jackhammer. For example, the new format enables displaying angles of entities using arrows, rendition of light sources as octahedrons, and introduces a help system for entities and their parameters. You can extend your own FGD per existing samples (e.g., halflife.fgd distributed with the editor).
- Miscellaneous: the editor supports precise selection of models in 3D viewport, loading and rendition of portal files (*.prt), assigning a random yaw to entities, multiple texture fitting, texture replacement with scaling, context menus for entity creation and many other pleasant little things, and there is no good to enumerate them all. Just install the editor and look at your own!
Currently we are developing Jackhammer in close interaction with a new version of Volatile3D II Engine
. In the next major release one can also expect general feature updates, such as customizable keyboard shortcuts, embedded BrushScript system, and others. We also plan to add support for other games and engines.
If you are developing a game and need a special plugin for Jackhammer to be developed, don't hesitate to contact me
via ICQ or ModDB private messaging system.
Jackhammer is not based upon any existing level design software; it uses neither any proprietary code nor results of decompiling and/or reverse engineering of the proprietary software; reconstruction of design and functionality of Valve Hammer Editor is intent because many modders got used to the familiar look and feel.
Please visit the official website
for more information, F.A.Q., articles and manuals.
Feel free to join our ModDB group
to recieve minor news and updates.
There are also plans to add Jackhammer to Greenlight
, so don't forget to watch my Greenlight Workshop
! If you support other our projects, this will be also very nice.
Our team is pleased to see you amongst the Jackhammer users!