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> CAD/Mapping software?
Matrix Monkey
post Jan 20 2004, 02:47 PM
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For use in my game starting in the Welcome to the Shadows forum, I'm looking for a CAD/map drawing program to whip up a few quick schematics/floor plans.

Can anyone point me to any useful stuff? Preferably nothing with too steep of a learning curve, I'd like to be able to get started with it right away.
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Ancient History
post Jan 20 2004, 02:53 PM
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AutoCAD2000 or AutoCADLite. Enough like a paint program for amateurs, enough of a technical program to satisfy students.
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Matrix Monkey
post Jan 20 2004, 02:58 PM
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Yarrt. No trials available to non-UCAS residents :P
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Kagetenshi
post Jan 20 2004, 02:59 PM
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I personally like Vectorworks. A bit more complex than AutoCAD, but with more of an architectural emphasis and a large library of sample objects.

~J
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Talia Invierno
post Jan 20 2004, 04:58 PM
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I'm also perpetually looking for floorplan share- and freeware. (For some reason I've never really liked AutoCad in this context: I find it simultaneously too complex and too simplistic for what I envision.)

Thanks in advance :)
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gknoy
post Jan 20 2004, 11:45 PM
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Regarding floorplans .... You might try taking a more unorthodox route. Why not try game editors?

Starcraft has a map editor that lets you use an industrial-ish tileset, and is really more of a paint program than a CAD program. Still, it could be GREAT for sketching out things on the fly.

Dungeon Siege has an editor -- props to anyone that can do ANYTHING in it, as I could not. ;) WAY too detail-oriented.

There might be a map editor for the X-Com games (danged if I know, but if there were, that might be my toy of choice - they have great mundane urban settings. :)) With some cheats (or simply going nuts with selling laser rifles ;)) you could also jsut usethe in-game base editor, or something ... but that's really kinda limited.

I'd love a tile-based editor where I could basically say, "board room here, hallway here, bathrooms here ... research lab and secure containment area over here ...". Ideally, I'd write it my damn self, but I'm too lazy...

I think there's a level editor available for some of the newer games, too -- I think Unreal engine base ones especially... I don't know a thing about these, but you might consider them. They're probably quite capable as a CAD thing, and yet also help you to design areas that are intended to be traversed by groups of humans.

You could also simply sketch it on a piece of paper, and then scan it. :-) Heck, Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop could do in a pinch. (Though a vector art tool would be more useful, I suspect.)

[edit]
There DOES appear to be an X-Com map editor! yay!

DaiShiva's editor:
http://www.daishiva.com/programs.shtml and
http://www.daishiva.com/programs2.shtml
(The first page is just a reminder that you need the .NET framework. Ack, thppbt! But, still, hooray for hte editor's existence ;))

Examples of maps can be found on the xcomufo forums:
http://www.xcomufo.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3294

I might take the time to fool around with this sometime later today and try to make some facility-ish things. Xcom has some nice warehouses, bunches of boxes (a staple of every game), doors that open and close, heck, they even have gas stations (that can explode)! The maps seem to be largely tile-based (so that the in-game random map generator can build believable things), but I bet you could put together a pretty kickass facility anyways.

Oh, X-Com, I love you so ... now if only the combat used Shadowrun mechanics, I'd be in heaven! (well, not really ... but I do wish it were so :))
[/edit]


[edit=2]
Apparently, you need to actually have a copy of XCOM:UFO Defense or one of the related games to run this editor. *kicks wall* So much for playing wih this at work. Good news is, Xcom is about $10, and is a kickass game in its own right (albeit the very epitome of old-school).
[/edit]


This post has been edited by gknoy: Jan 21 2004, 01:34 AM
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Xirces
post Jan 21 2004, 09:53 AM
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The original XCOM:UFO Defense (or UFO: Enemy Unknown depending) was one of the greatest games ever. I was under the impression that it was available as abandonware (which whilst having no particular legal status is pretty safe). There are certainly a number of (non-warez) sites that have it available for download openly. Of course getting an old DOS program to run on a modern OS can be somewhat difficult and the Windows version is not as easily available (supplied with the XCOM Gold CD, IIRC)...

Still rocks though and I was playing it a couple of nights ago...
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tete
post Jan 21 2004, 09:11 PM
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I always liked unrealED... for 3d maps or just a spreadsheet with really small cells for a 2d. i believe unrealED version 2 or before is free (not positive on that though) as long as you dont make a profit with it and you can use maya PLE and the gimp with it if you want to go nuts. As for spreadsheets openoffice.org is free and works good enough for me.
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gknoy
post Jan 21 2004, 09:39 PM
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@Xircom: That's why I have a dedicated Win98 box ;)

@tete: Spreadsheet, that's Very cleverl. I like that, hehe... though, kinda hard to do layers and stuff. I might have to look into UnrealED -- I bet I'd suck at it though, gven my past 3DSMAX experiences. ;)

I've gotten the XCom editor working as far as displaying stuff ... but I'm having some trouble with actually making changes - which is the whole objective. :( But, the battleship tilesets can probably work pretty well for the inside of a facility.

Bleh. This kind of thing screams for a custom editor, lol. But I should be less lazy and look at UnrealEd.
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