A Modder’s Diary – Episode I: The Terrain Page 3

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Where Do You Want To Go Today?

Let me preface my comments with the fact that I have a fully completed campaign, with a terrain, a planeset, and ground objects all set to go. I’m writing this article series a step at a time with a brand new terrain that hasn’t been released yet, and that critical first step off the bridge is where we’ll begin.

One of the nice things is the commonality the series shares. What works in one title, most of the time, will (theoretically) work in another because of the common game engine. This simplifies a lot of your tasks because a lot of the stuff you may want to use is already out there, someone’s already thought of it.

Is it stealing? Apparently not to some, if you talk to the people who design this stuff. The Virgil to my Dante, walking me through the scenic tour of Terrain Designing Hell (at what circle do you find the Terrain Types?) is a man by the name of Kevin “The Wrench” Stein, a well-known member at CombatACE. Most, if not all, of the wisdom I’ve gained about designing a terrain for a Third Wire game, I’ve gotten through him.

The first step is deciding where the hell you want to go. History is replete with the use of aircraft in combat, so you’re limited only by your imagination. Sometimes not even then.

]First it looks like this…

First it looks like this…

The first tools you will become familiar with are the Terrain Editor (available at www.thirdwire.com) and the CAT Extractor Tool. Both of these will help you get into the main game files and take out the files you’ll need.

Then this…

Then this…

Let me begin by saying that working with the Terrain Editor is a bit like dealing with your wife after coming home drunk or buying computer upgrades without telling her. It shuts down at the slightest provocation and won’t tell you why.

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