The Shareware Review People

3D MapEditor

Type of Program: Game Map Editor
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/98/2000
Authors Name: Cordier Frédéric
Version: 2.30
Price: $9.50
Installed Size: 6MB


When you want to design 3D games, at one time or another you will also need a good Editor to create Levels, Worlds or Maps in. Creating Levels and Maps for your 3D game is only half the fun but you also want an Editor that is easy to use and still be able to get the job done. Enter 3D MapEditor.

3D MapEditor is a really nice tool that helps in the creation of 3D worlds for games (most notably for use in Dark Basic). With this program you can create 3D Spheres, Cubes and Boxes, as well as use it for creating/adding Light sources (up to 256) plus you can set its Ambient sources to your Worlds just about any way you want! Now, of course when you add primitives such as a Cube you can move it, resize it and scale it. If that’s not enough you could always add DirectX Objects that you’ve created in other programs. When you think you have the World just the way you like why not add some 3D Sound to it? Adding walls, corridors, Lights, Sound or DirectX Objects with 3D MapEditor is not a problem. Go ahead and create that next great World for others to traverse in.

Here’s how 3D MapEditor works (as in a simple demonstration): start by adding a Plain for your walls, add some texture to those walls, scale or stretch the texture to your liking, add some Objects (.X format) and if you wish, continue to create a World all your own for placement into your 3D game. You can place Fog elements using 3D MapEditor, water zones, sound zones and a host of other entities and if you are using Dark Basic (other than the Pro version), then 3D MapEditor can create all the source code needed to be placed right inside your code!

What I really enjoyed about 3D MapEditor was the ability for collision detection within any World I created, not to mention a host of other great features! Once your World is created you can "Fly" around or "Walk" (Action Mode), around it to see just how well it would look in your actual 3D game!

PROS: A very low cost way to create Worlds, is fairly easy to work with and gives you a multitude of options for creating Worlds unique to your game designs in an almost point and click fashion. It is an added aid for Dark Basic users giving them a complete wrapper for Levels and Worlds that are easy to insert within the compiler.

CONS: Tested on a Windows 2000 machine at times it felt sluggish and would crash when trying to adjust some Properties of Objects and/or entities. To be fair, the author is rapidly working on these fixes and you should be able to look for greater things coming for 3D MapEditor.

Bottom line: the Pros out weigh the Cons and although 3D MapEditor is a work in progress at this time, it is still very much usable and the author is improving it even as this review is being written. Soon it will be compatible with Dark Basic Pro and most bugs should be worked out. Even though this program is geared for Dark Basic users (that’s a perk for Dark Basic owners), if you have other programs that need or can use Maps than by all means go ahead and see if 3D MapEditor doesn’t help you in creating some great looking Maps!

User Friendly
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Robert Hall
Purchases can be made online from their Web site.

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