J.A.C.K. Level Editor
J.A.C.K. (formerly known as Jackhammer) is a brand new level editor for games with a quake-style BSP architecture. The title stands for “Just another creation kit”, but actually it’s not just another level editor! The aim is to develop a convenient cross-platform tool capable of incorporating the best features of existing editors, such as Valve Hammer Editor, Q3Radiant and others. Despite Quake and Half-Life having been released a long time ago, the large community have arisen around, still developing mods and games on their bases. However the existing editors suffer from fundamental disadvantages their users are well familiar with. J.A.C.K. does aspire to be the universal level design tool for classic games. But not only the classics! We’re also planning Source engine and even UDK support. The editor shall become a key development tool for the Volatile engine, that is why its second name is Volatile Development Kit. And the last but not the least, J.A.C.K. has finally passed Greenlight and is now available in Steam Store!
- Half-Life (including mods and Gunman Chronicles);
- Quake (including mods and some Quake-based games, e.g. Hexen II);
- Quake II (including mods);
- Quake III (including mods and idTech3 based games, e.g. Tremulous).
Version 1.1.1212 (Steam) highlights
- Automatic Configuration: creation of game configurations in the editor in a couple of clicks.
- SteamCloud Service: cloud storage for maps, ability to synchronize with local files.
- Automatic Update: keep your editor up-to-date with all the recent features and bugfixes!
- Steam Fun: achievements, stats and trading cards.
- Help File: detailed reference manual in English.
Version 1.1.1064 highlights
- Hexen II Support: now the editor supports Hexen II, the game based on Quake engine. There are compilers, FGD file and palette in the install package. Game configuration of the editor is identical to Quake’s.
- VMF Format: now one can import and export maps in VMF format; this is a Source engine format. Although the support is still in beta mode, and not all the features are supported (e.g. the editor can’t process Displacements), you can use the feature to transfer your projects between VHE4 and J.A.C.K., and also to include other utilities to the development pipeline (e.g. HammUEr – an UE4 plugin).
- User Cameras: now it is possible to place, move and delete user cameras, like in VHE. There is also an ability to load and save such cameras to JMF, RMF and VMF formats.
- Triangulation: a special command enables triangulation of non-planar faces that frequently arise during vertex manipulation. This helps to get rid of many “Invalid Solid Structure” errors, and to facilitate creation of curved columns and other complex geometry using vertex rotation tool. Simply triangulate your complex stuff after you’re done. This command, along with others, is added to a new context menu in Vertex Manipulation mode.
- Incremental Save: a new version saving command automatically adds version number to the file name. Such behaviour is familiar to 3DSMax users; it enables easy creation of checkpoints during prolonged project development.
- Improved Entity Report: now hidden entities in “Include Hidden Objects” mode are marked in italic; also there are Hide and Unhide buttons added, to hide and show selected entities. Besides the dialog remembers last parameters entered, even between sessions.
- Advanced Patch Texturing: Naturalize and Set patch texturing functions now account not only for scale, but also for shift and 90-fold rotation (i.e. 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees). Along with that, Set function now performs in “naturalized” mode, i.e. taking into account segment lengths. These features greatly facilitate texturing of curves in Quake 3.
- Other Useful Stuff: tabs in Texture Browser, ability to hide triggers and unknown entities, ability to “lock” texture axes in Scale Vertices operation during vertex manipulation, display of selection center in status bar, tear-off mode for submenus, support for deformVertexes autosprite and autosprite2 in Quake 3 shaders, and many more.
- Lots of Improvements: the new version traditionally contains lots of bugfixes and improvements in comparison with the previous release. The editor became much more stable and functional.
The latest Steam version of J.A.C.K. is 1.1.1212, released December 16, 2016. Changelog is available here. The latest FREE version of J.A.C.K. is 1.1.1064, released July 20, 2016. Changelog is available here.