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What do YOU want to see in the User's Manual?

Started by Stephen, June 07, 2005, 06:45:50 pm

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Stephen

WM 1.0 code is about 99% complete. Most work lately has been going into the user's manual, which is unanticipatedly turning into quite a difficult undertaking.

With that in mind, the biggest and most useful section of the Manual will likely be the Tutorials section, which covers basic "How Do I..?" type questions in a linear, tutorial-style manner to help you learn how to do things. The other parts of the manual will be more reference-material in style.

What kinds of things would you like to see in the manual?

Example Tutorial questions already written:

"How do I save a Terrain?"
"How do I import a Terrain?"
"How do I apply an effect only to a certain area?"
"How do I use a macro?"

I'm listening to any suggestions on a basic, essentials-level. Although "How do I create cool Stepped Mesas" is a good tutorial, its probably better off left for later to ensure that 1.0 can come out this century. ;)
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


Anonymous

PICUTURES!!!!  Like and explanation of what each slider or button does in each machine along with PICTURES from a reference terrain that shows the effects of changing the values of each slider.

tj.odonoghue

Ways to determine , in a general way, how to proceed in making types of terrains.

e.g. HOWTO make a range of mountain borderered by foothils and a sharp escarpment due to a hig displacement thrust fault.  What about the same with a reverse thrust?

e.g Weathered sedimentary hills with a highly weather-resistant core, which leaves rounded low hills with sharp, steep craggy cliffs

i.e. best practice for converting common geological forms into a terrain with world machine. Illustrations from a geology text book would be a good base.

Terraforma

JavaJones

Sounds good Tim, but that's a pretty tall order! :D The world is filled with so many different geological forms, even *general types*, it would be difficult to create tutorials on them all. And if not all, then which do you choose? Only the ones you have just now specifically mentioned? I certainly presume you meant those only as example. But it does propose a fairly gargantuan task. And I think Stephen's last sentence somewhat speaks to your request in that, while those things would make good tutorials, they are specific enough, and there are enough possible subjects to write on, that to properly cover them all would make 1.0 release take far too long.

Just my 2 cents though. :)

- Oshyan

Planetscape

Hey Remnant, maybe you can let us experiment first and than let us make suggestions for this doc since I don't know what are all the possible elements for making a landscape  :D
Imagination is a handy companion which can bring originality and stupidity...

X-PaX

I would like to learn more about the use of maps.

For example:
What is a Flow Map, what is a Wear Map, what is a Deposition Map?
When shall we use them?
CU

ysvry

i want to know what all the options in the devises are for .
"does something and does something else" isnt much help.

ysvry

Quote from: JavaJonesSounds good Tim, but that's a pretty tall order! :D The world is filled with so many different geological forms, even *general types*, it would be difficult to create tutorials on them all. And if not all, then which do you choose? Only the ones you have just now specifically mentioned? I certainly presume you meant those only as example. But it does propose a fairly gargantuan task. And I think Stephen's last sentence somewhat speaks to your request in that, while those things would make good tutorials, they are specific enough, and there are enough possible subjects to write on, that to properly cover them all would make 1.0 release take far too long.

Just my 2 cents though. :)

- Oshyan


well oshy just choose the ones that enlighten the mechanics of wm then. its a good ideer to use real world landscapes as basis for tuts on the use of sepcific devices. like the canyon tut is a good start, but alot of the working of wm arent covered as yet so some extra how to tuts might make starting wm easier.

Fil

Quote from: ysvryi want to know what all the options in the devises are for .
"does something and does something else" isnt much help.

Such complement to the user manual (the Device Reference) is still in the finishing phase. I am helping with that effort but have not had much time to dedicate to it in the past 2 weeks. At the time of my last contribution, it had much of the information in, but it still needed some reviewing, with a few important devices missing.
Don't despair, hang in there, it's comming!
Fil.

Shaba1

Ok I can see that version 1.0 is out and finalized. I have very 0.99 on my machine and I have had some version of World Machines on every machine I have used for the last two years.

I really like the intereface. Having gone to college at and engineering school( though I did not get and engineering degree) The flow chart style of world machines interface just appeals to me. Much more then terregen's window/dialog box style.

BUT this is the one reason that I never registered World Machines. No clearly written help or documentation or tutorials. Terragen has serveral nicely written ( I mean from a total new computer landscapers perspective) tutorials and if you HAVE to even the included docs con be used to teach yourself the program to a fair level.

I am NOT talking about things I have seen for World Machines that say "Do this. Move that slider. Check this radio button" But do not tell you what those instruction will do to the terrain. Or what each control or value does. This type of "tutorial" Is what I normally run across on the net. I feel they make the new user more confused and frustrated then when he started.

So to sum up I will download and try out 1.O but if the docs/help/tutorials are on the same level as they have been I will be keeping my $$.
[edit]

Please do not misunderstand what I have said. I think world machines in a GREAT program I would gladly pay $40 for it. But I get frustrated with programs that do not lead you step by step thru the usage process. Or that do not explain what thier controls do. Let me say " A picture is worth a thousand words" My favorite program is blender //www.blender3d.org But after using it for 4 years I STILL feel like a newbie. Not becasue its not a good program but because the top blenderheads do not know how to write/explain.

Anonymous

I think you need to explain more on macros.  The bank selector thingy doesn't make sence to me :?:

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