nGENE Tech engine comes with WYSIWYG editor. This way it is much easier to create game levels. Basic levels, including visual design and physics, can be created in several minutes.
After you run nGENE Tech Toolset you will see screen similar to the following one:
Layout in nGENE Tech Toolset is inspired by some of the programming IDEs. All of the elements can be moved, resized and so on. After you made changes to the layout use: Windows -> Save layout to make your changes be applied in the future.
The default layout can be divided into several sections:
- toolbar at the top - it contains the most frequently used commands like saving/opening a map, deleting objects or inserting the most important scene nodes
- scene explorer - scene explorer presents a scene graph in a form of an expandable tree. If you select any object it will be made an active node and all of its public properties will be visible in the properties dialog
- material library - shows all of the materials from given library (to load additional library right click in and select Load library). After right clicking selected material it can be either applied to the selected node (if it is object material) or to whole scene (if it is a post-processing material).
- map viewer - presents currently edited map. It looks exactly as it will look loaded to the nGENE engine
- properties dialog - shows properties of the currently selected object (node, material etc.)
Useful shortcuts and keyboard commands
- use arrows to move camera on the map
- use 'q' and 'w' to rotate camera
- hold left mouse button and move mouse to move nodes
- hold 'left shift' and left mouse button and move mouse to scale nodes
- hold 'left alt' and left mouse button and move mouse to rotate nodes
You can limit movement, scaling and rotation to specified axes by checking/unchecking any of the 'X', 'Y', 'Z' buttons on the toolbar (when checked axis is active). Or you can use:
- "ALT + SHIFT + X" to toggle X axis
- "ALT + SHIFT + Y" to toggle Y axis
- "ALT + SHIFT + X" to toggle Z axis
To insert elements to the scene you have two choices either via Insert menu or toolbar at the top of the editor window. The first option offers several more nodes than a toolbar as I strived to avoid having toolbar with too many buttons. Before adding a node you should choose its parent, so navigate to the Scene Explorer window and select this parent (at first you have only Camera and Scene Root node - for the first node it is often a good idea to add it as a child of Scene Root node… unless you want to move it with Camera).
Also note that some of the nodes can be added to parents of specific type only (for instance volumetric light have to be linked to light node). You will be noted if you try to bind them to invalid node type.
After adding a node it would appear in the map preview area. If you cannot see it, probably you moved a camera and so it's pointing in the opposite direction. Select "Map View" tab by pressing directly on the tab and move camera as specified in the previous section.
When any of the nodes is selected you can change its properties using properties dialog. Select a node in the scene explorer window and its properties will be displayed in the window on the right of the screen.
Creating a simple map from scratch
Watch this short video tutorial to get basic understanding of nGENE Tech Toolset features and abilities: