Greetings to ModDB community!
Today we release a beta version of our editor, Jackhammer 1.1.700, both for Windows and Linux. Although there are not so many features introduced, we did our best to improve stability and functionality of the editor, along with polishing game support. Lots of flaws were corrected, so if you experienced critical problems with older versions, don't hesitate to install this one!
What is Jackhammer?
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 beta - version 1.1.700. 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 beta may still 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)
- Gunman Chronicles (GoldSource)
- Quake (Quake engine)
- Quake II (id Tech 2)
- Quake III (id Tech 3)
Here is a list of highlights of the new editor version's. The list of new abilities is far from being complete, therefore don't hesitate to look through the habitual menus and dialogs thoroughly!
- Archive Support: Jackhammer can load models and sprites from game archives (PAK, PK3). This is useful if you open other's map which uses models, and your game resources are not unpacked.
- Compiling in Editor: now it is much more convenient to compile maps in the editor, because the compile process doesn't block it. You can continue editing the map while the long compilation takes place. You can also terminate it at any time simply by closing the Process Window.
- Improved Decal Rendition: you can preview Half-Life decals (colors and transparency) in the 3D-View just the same as in the game.
- New Texture Application Modes: "NULL to Selected" (applying NULL or caulk texture to selection), "NULL to Unselected" (same as the previous mode, but texture is applied to the other brush faces; handy fast removal of backfaces), "Apply (texture + values + axes)" (copying texture axes information, simplifying texture application to complex objects and landscapes, especially when combined with "Align to View" mode).
- Automatic Selection in 3D: you can select multiple objects by pressing mouse button in 3D-View and then dragging a cursor. This mode is convenient for quick selection of lots of nearby objects (e.g. landscape brushes), when clicking can become annoying.
- Model View: you can specify an external model viewer (e.g. HLMV) and open any model simply by a context menu command. Also it is now possible to reload a model from disk without restarting the editor.
- Update Check: the editor can automatically check for new version available and notify you, so you can immediately download and install the update.
- Lots of improvements: the new version traditionally contains lots of bugfixes and improvements in comparison with the previous release. The editor became much more stable and functional, and now it is a beta. You can read the detailed changelog here.
And more new features that were also present in the previous versions of the editor:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Autosave: you can setup autosave function to protect your project from editor crashes or own design errors.
- 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!
Jackhammer In Action!
Nowadays Jackhammer is quite widely used to create maps for different games, especially for those based on GoldSource engine. We'd love to promote some projects that extensively use our editor.
RustWorld - Gunman Chronicles mod
Your spaceship takes meteor damage and falls to the Ferrin Moon. The moon is unstable, constantly bombarded by asteroids and slowly falls to the planet below. You managed to survive the crash landing, but now you have to find a way to escape as soon as possible. If you remember this good old game, and have one installed, don't hesitate to download and play the only singleplayer mod for it, created in Jackhammer by H-3D.
Headcrab Frenzy! - Half-Life mod
Headcrab Frenzy is a dynamic action Half-Life mod which allows you to quench a desire to destroy these little bouncy critters to your heart's content, hold records and try your hand at cooperative gameplay, competing in public statistics. Two game modes, a bunch of maps, several headcrab types and gradually increasing "frenzy" scale which can be periodically vent - that's the crux of the mod. Mod version 1.5 is being prepared to Steam release, and two new maps were created in Jackhammer by Skaarj for your pleasure.
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.
Complete changelog of version 1.1.700 can be found here. 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.
If you're already using the editor for your mod or game, let us know, and we'll probably feature you in the next release news!
Thanks XaeroX for the update, i see you have added the resize windows in the middle of the 4 views, it's little laggy but it's work fine, thanks for your hard work put in this cool software, now it's really better than worldcraft.
Thank you for using Jackhammer!
What's new in this version?
I've described it in details above.
Still no Prefab Support I see?
Well, prefabs kills the creativity ;) I made a lot of new objects by myself because there is no prefabs support, and well I'm treating this as a blessing cause my maps are more unique now :D
Sadly the Quake MDL and MD2 textures are still messed up in the editor :/
EDIT: also the 3d view is now extremly laggy when moving with the keyboard..
I think i need to roll back to the older version.
Did you set a correct palette for these textures? I don't have any problems with Q1/Q2 out-of-the-box. The only reason can be palette issue.
3D-view can be laggy because of "Energy saving mode". Please tell me what FPS do you get? Press O to display it.
Does your mess look like this?
yes, but sometimes they also show up with no texture.
Also since my engine is abit modified some MD2 uses TGA textures. MDLs are always messed up.
1) What Quake version do you use?
2) Could you please give me a couple of MDLs that are always messed up?
3) Are we talking about original id software's, unmodified models and engines?
cant edit post anymore:
Heres a pic of the bug:
Map is Halfllife, but designed for my modified Quake engine which uses HLBSP maps and Quake MDL and MD2 models.
You must not mix Half-Life and Quake formats!
"Map format" is actually a plugin used. Although the editor can load resources using other plugins (however it prefers those defined within the map format plugin), it doesn't apply palettes simply because HL plugin doesn't support them! You'll see that "Palette" option in settings is disabled (grayed).
However there is a trick. First, create a game config with "Quake" map format. Then specify a palette. Don't add WADs. Then switch back to HL format. You'll see palette is still specified, although textbox became grayed. Then add your WADs and stuff.
ahh thx, i will try it :D
Works, thanks :D
Very usefull now (especially for my Quake mdl mapprops) :D
Nice to hear that. :)
Been using gtk radiant so long I cant remember when I started. Q3 mapping maybe?
I think I'll give this a try - the model display looks cool. radiant can do that somewhat, but not with mdl format.
I'm hoping it understands entities.def though - I looked at fgd once - cant say I'm a fan. At least an import feature... I have a huge entity file.
Unfortunately only FGD definitions are supported. But you can try def2fgd converter. It's not my project, but the project of one of JH testers: Bitbucket.org
If you are a Radiant user, you can also give a try to visual Shader Editor. JH also can display most of Q3 shader effects in 3D view.
It's now the best editor for GoldSrc! There is a lot of features I've been asking for! Smooth frame rate, fast NULL texture applying, colored decals and removed blue edges from transparent textures! This is really something! Thank you for your hard work, I'm sure that Jackhammer can replace VHE completely- it's stable, highly improved, more efficient, more lucid, without needless features. It just have everything you need (and was missing in VHE) and even more!
Thank you for the kind words! ^^
Hey guys, will you ever support OS X? Since it's a "cross-platform" editor and it supports Linux… ;) Looking forward to the day when I can run it natively on OS X!
I would love to add MacOS X, and whatever, support. But.. in our country, this is very, very, very unpopular OS. We use Windows and Linux, and I personally know nobody who uses OS X. I'm scared that OS X support will be a waste of time. :(
Ahh interesting, that's a good point. OS X is a lot more popular in North America but I guess there's only a small audience that would want to make maps on OS X since most of your supported games are for Windows anyways... Too bad though since Jackhammer looks great!
Thank you! But I have to say that most of supported games are actually cross-platform: Quake, Quake2, Quake3 and Half-Life all have native Linux versions. And they should also have Mac versions, according to their public source codes. However I have now idea how popular Mac versions are.
gordon in info_player_start?
Also, as add HD models?
I don't understand your questions, sorry.
sorry i speak spanish