This week I’ve been quite busy finding proper tools for making levels. I got recommended to get 3D World Studio by Leadwerks. In one sentence: 3D World Studio is a professional and inexpensive world and level building tool. I tried the software and skyped the Leadwerks support and got some very friendly & helpful answers. I also liked the way there’s couple video tutorials available: those were most helpful and easy to check & learn.
I’m still *learning* how to use the tools and I’m bit clumsy with how to move and scale objects. Maybe it’s that me but for some reason the user interface does not feel 100% polished. Don’t get me wrong: you can do amazing stuff with the tool like like paint textures into terrains, add noise and smooth, light them, split, export and everything, but my first impression is that the user interface is not suited for me. There is a demo version available, and I recommend checking it and try moving, creating and scaling objects to get a feeling how it suits you. I remember I had big problems with getting used to LOTR: Battle For Middle Earth’s right click when in other games left click was used. After playing the game for while right click felt natural. I suppose this can be the case with 3D World Studio as well.
That being said, I bought the $80 version (digital download) – there is also a $120 version that contains lots of textures, models and other stuff to build a level. The reason I didn’t buy the expanded version is that most of those models are Half-life/Unreal Tournament/Industry/Sci-fi stylish – which don’t fit in my games projects. Notice: “most of them”, there’s also plenty of stuff like trees and plant sprites that can be used in other type of games. Check out the screenies at their website to judge yourself.
I have used the tool only for some hours so I cannot give a rating for the tool. At the moment I think there’s need for some improvement in user interface & usability while most of the technical features are done very well. I really recommend checking the big list of features. There you can find lots of important info about whether to get the software or not.
I’ll give a final judgement in the future, but meanwhile: if you are struggling with how to do levels for your game or consider getting a world/level builder, then check out 3D World Studio.