AwayBuilder as a level editor ?

Software: Other

SuperSam, Sr. Member
Posted: 17 May 2013 03:25 PM   Total Posts: 102

Hi !

First of all, congrats on making up this tool! Away3D’s ecosystem is getting richer month after month. smile

I have a little question. Can this tool be used as a level editor ? Maybe not now, but in a future version ?

It is rather tough to find 3D level editors. Often times you have to build your own, which takes time and so is costly. Publicly available ones are usually tied to one engine (i.e. not Away3D :p) and are not flexible, because they work for specific types of games only, instead of just using the core rendering engine to layout assets, terrain, sounds and enable custom game-dependent properties on the side.

Plus, they’re not open source, so can’t be tweaked to add custom features to take advantage of specific game functionalities.

AwayBuilder sounds like an awesome opportunity to make the ultimate 3D level editor. No ?

You guys describe it as “a designer interface for accessing the visual stack in Away3D”, which sounds almost like a level editor, so it left me wondering. Though to be one, it would need to support terrain generation and editing among other things, but maybe that’s on the todo…
If not, is there any other such tool planned ?

PS: Terrain generation based on Phyre Engine’s technique would be awesome in AwayBuilder. Every single point listed in the “Goals” section is exactly what I’m looking for! smile


80prozent, Sr. Member
Posted: 18 May 2013 12:04 AM   Total Posts: 430   [ # 1 ]

Hi Sam

The AwayBuilder is meant as a tool to access all stuff that is available in the away3d library without using code.

It provides a way to arrange sceneObjects, apply materials, lights and shadows, and transfer all this data into away3d in a single file.
Since you already can define user-properties for objects, i think even in its very early stae, it can be used as a level-editor for away3d-games.

Of course stuff like a decent terrain-generator would be nice to have, but it would have to make it into the Away3d-library first, befor it makes any sense to include it into AwayBuilder. unless you are planning on baking the terrain into a mesh, befor export. But there are lots of terrain-generators that can produces terrainmeshes that can be imported into Awaybuilder.

I think AwayBuilder should have some more features dedicated to level-editing, but i also think there still is some other stuff to do, before that will become a priority. (Animations….Particles…..)





sorry…i hope my actionscript is better than my english…


SuperSam, Sr. Member
Posted: 18 May 2013 03:04 PM   Total Posts: 102   [ # 2 ]

Ok thanks for your insight smile

It’s true that AWD 2.1 can store a bunch of custom properties, and it’s pretty cool that a whole scene can be saved as is.

For level editing though, it would probably be good to save things differently. Individual models should be able to be loaded as separate files so they can be reused in any level for instance.

A feature such as “export level” or something that would allow saving a hierarchy of files instead of just one file seems kind of more appropriate for “real” level editing, I think.

Do you know if there’s a public roadmap for AwayBuilder somewhere ?


80prozent, Sr. Member
Posted: 18 May 2013 04:46 PM   Total Posts: 430   [ # 3 ]

Hi Sam

I totally agree about the export-settings.
Atm you would have to “save as” and modify each level-awd as a sepperate AwayBuilder-Scenes.

Atm the AwayBuilder-exporter has no option to exlude anything from export.

What you propose is to have a list of Levels in Awaybuilder, and every object can be assigned to one or multiple Levels ?
Than on export, you would like the exporter to split the scene into different AWD-Files for each Level ?

The problem with that is, that in AWD, there is no way to reference objects that are not in the same awd-file. So if a light is exported in level01.awd, but used in level02 too, when loading level02.awd, there is no way to know, which objects should have the light applied and wich not.
So making this work in a generic way (so you can use it for all kinds of game-level-structures) will not be that easy…

But thinking about it, it would be very cool to have this.
We could even have a functionallity build in the Level-awds, that would allow to delete objects that are no longer needed when importing a new file.


sorry…i hope my actionscript is better than my english…


SuperSam, Sr. Member
Posted: 18 May 2013 06:49 PM   Total Posts: 102   [ # 4 ]

I propose nothing in particular, I assume the Away team know their stuff better than I do, but if AwayBuilder was to become a level editor and I was one of its developers, I would look into how the best level editors are doing it. Phyre engine’s level editor comes to mind, but there are others.

There are unfitting ones, too. UDK seems too specific in the type of games it permits to create and Unity sounds too massive and “in control” of games it produces, like Flash Pro used to be before AS3. IMO Phyre level editor and similar tools are better sources of inspiration.

Now that I think about it, AwayBuilder is possibly not meant to be a level editor (today, at least), because exporting one large file that describes an entire scene sounds more fitting to smaller projects and prototypes than to bigger games.

Any insight from the team would be welcome. Would I really have to make my own level editor if I was to use Away3D for a bigger game ?

Thanks ! And of course prototyping is always crazy useful, I’m not dismissing the value of AwayBuilder. smile


Rob Bateman, Administrator
Posted: 21 May 2013 11:26 PM   Total Posts: 120   [ # 5 ]

We are already considering the option of having “referenced” objects in an awd file that link to other external assets and awds for precisely this use case, and will most likely make room for it in the format straight away in anticipation of the addition of such a feature in Away Builder at a later date.

Sadly, we can’t promis this in AB for version 1, as we have to draw the line on implemented features. But its definitely a consideration for the next update!

Interesting your link to the Phyre level editor. Will definitely check it out


SuperSam, Sr. Member
Posted: 28 May 2013 07:51 PM   Total Posts: 102   [ # 6 ]

So the future of AwayBuilder is indeed to move towards becoming a full fledged level editor ?

That’s great, although it will probably be too late for me I would guess. But if AWD’s related feature is ready soon that’s pretty good news.

Will it be in the full release of AWD 2.1 ? (that is, the next one)

As for Phyre, I can provide you with a copy of the engine and the level editor if you want to take a closer look and actually play with it and see how it’s made.
Otherwise, since the link I posted earlier is pretty specific and concerns terrain, here is some more general stuff concerning the Phyre level editor. It is less technical but may be useful.

However it is from 2011 whereas the link in first post is from 2008. To get the 2008 version of the “more general stuff” PDF, it’s here.

Finally, do you have an advice as to what to do until AwayBuilder is more advanced ? I will soon need a real level editor and I’ll be targeting Stage3D, quite possibly through Away3D. Is there a product that can cut it available right now ?

If not I’ll have to have a skilled developer build a level editor from scratch. How long would you think it would take ? Not sure how realistic this is for an indie company.


Radiosatch2000, Newbie
Posted: 25 June 2015 08:10 PM   Total Posts: 6   [ # 7 ]

If you are looking for a terrain editor built on Away3D, you may want to look into SandCastle. More info here:



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