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Started by Black Gas, February 07, 2007, 04:25:23 pm

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Black Gas

Just some ideas to improve ease of use:

1. Right click menu includes copy/paste device (in addition to the shortcut keys)

2. Ability to Unpack Macros (instead of having to copy/paste from inside, then delete to get rid if it)

3. Popout, resizable preview window (on double click) -- Its a bit of a hassle to have to switch to the 2d/3d view, then click on the device list, to see what effects my changes are having.  Also would be   nice to move it around, like over the device layout.  Nice to be able to make this poppedout window 'always on top' as well.

4. A way to Organize Device List -- sort by order, alphabetical, etc.  It seems arbitrary at this point and can't be changed.  Perhaps color coded as well, to make it easier to quickly find what you want on the list.

5. Input device should either be red like output, or its own color.  They would be easier to spot on a busy device pane.

6. A Simple integrated Heightmap Painter (basically darken, lighten, blur, sharpen, to adjust elevation in specific areas on the fly).  Save the hassle of having to go to photoshop, etc.

7. Customizable Landscape colors

8,9,10. A Mac version :)

Just for fun:
Audio file Input/Output capability (i wonder what a heightmap of paraguay sounds like?  Or a few notes of beethoven's 9th looks like? )  Might be a fun plugin if even possible.

Black Gas

February 08, 2007, 09:37:13 am #1 Last Edit: February 09, 2007, 12:18:57 pm by Black Gas
Oh, here's a biggie: manual control of map position/resizing -- i.e. being able to grab the map and move around, rather than have to use offset coordinates to zoom into a particular area when increasing scale.


For the last one, maybe I misunderstood but it seems you've speaking of a feature that already exists. Try Explorer mode, the button with a Planet icon ;)


Some of the stuff you want will be possible with the next version of World Machine. Such as the painting tool - take a look at the dev blog: http://www.world-machine.com/blog/

I created a macro for sharpening by the way: http://nikita.tac-design.net/worldmachine/downloads/sharpen.rar

As for the macro unpacking - I don't know why you would want to do this? To make your network look more complicatded? ;)
"Every time you read or write beyond the end of an array, somewhere a fairy dies."
Richard Buckland

Black Gas

I don't mean explorer mode, I mean the 'world size' preference, where you can adjust both resolution and scale the map using "global terrain location control".  Currently, it seems like the only way to focus on the specific area of the map you want to use is to use the <>^ etc. offset keys, or enter in coordinates -- the ability to drag the map to the right position would be alot easier.

As for macros--
What if I make a wrong macro, or need to edit it drastically?

For macros, unless I'm missing something, it takes one step to make one, but several to go back if you make a mistake.
As an example, say you make a macro out of several items and leave out one of the devices you want accidentaly.  Currently, one has to go into the macro, select all the devices, cut them, exit to the outside world, paste them, select and delete the macro, reconnect the devices, then reselect all the desired devices and make macro again.  Thats a lot of steps to correct a forseeable, minor error. Alternately, one could simply select both the macro and the left out device and make a macro out of these, but then you have a macro within a macro when they would preferably be in a single one for simplicities sake.
Alternately, including an unwanted device in a macro (such as as a chooser or splitter) presents similar issue, with perhaps even more steps to rectify it.

Three other suggestions -- 1.) some way to lock the bigger 3d (not explorer) view to a device as well.
                                  2.) a keyboard shortcut for "build to current device"
                                   3.) a way to build without having to close a device's edit pane.  Currently one has to close the pane, click on build, then reopen it to make further changes.


You can also edit devices inside a macro. ;)
"Every time you read or write beyond the end of an array, somewhere a fairy dies."
Richard Buckland

Black Gas

yeah, i know :)

But in my example, i'd still have to copy/paste in and out of the macro (or create the missing device from scratch inside it), and connect everything up, when being able to unpack the macro, select what I need, and repack it would be more intuitive and save a significant amount of steps/time.

In anycase, I think the change i'd like to see most is better organization for the devices list (i'd also like to see some indication on the list of whether a device is connected to anything or not, such as graying the text out, etc.)


So you want an undo-function for macro-creation :)
"Every time you read or write beyond the end of an array, somewhere a fairy dies."
Richard Buckland

Black Gas

February 08, 2007, 06:21:50 pm #8 Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 07:48:41 pm by Black Gas
It would be useful when one has to do alot of of changes to their project -- tonight, for example, I had to totally change the way mountains were being generated on my map, and everything was in macros (about 10 different ones) -- i wanted to be able to see everything at once, and had to reconnect several elements to other ones.  It took quite a while to take everything apart and set it up the way it was originally.

Thanks for the link to the dev blog, looks like there's some cool stuff coming up.... 


In Explorer mode, you can click on the "Set" button, then click once on the map to specify the map location. You can also drag a square on the map to specify both the location and the World Size...

Black Gas

Ah, cool.  I admit I don't use explorer very often as its slow on my mac even at low quality, but that's my problem.
Thanks for the tip.


I think better than a macro "unpack" function (although I think this could sometimes be useful) would be to simply make macros more like a collapsible group. Or rather, to add group collapsing, and then make macros a special type of group. Then you can dynamically collapse/uncollapse, drag a device in and out of the macro, etc. This might present problems with the in/out ports of a macro, but hopefully solvable. The issue with pack/unpack is worse - theoretically you lose all your in/out ports, all your customized parameter settings, etc. if you "unpack" (otherwise where would that info be kept?). I think the collapse/uncollapse is better - it maintains the value for decreasing clutter of a macro but also allows easier/faster editing. In fact this might do away with the whole "internal network" thing, or at least minimize the need to use it. Might be fairly complicated to implement this though.

- Oshyan

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