What would a Stonehearth Qubicle Editor look like?

There has been talk about Minddesk releasing a Stonehearth edition of Qubicle and this has got me thinking about what a Stonehearth Qubicle Editor would look like both from a technical point of view and in terms of user features.

The user features that I think would be awesome would be, rather than just being able to edit voxels, being able to start by importing a base model to start with. Thus the editor would have a built in library of the voxels that currently exist in the game. I think 90% of the voxels I would want to create would be a variation of something that already exists. It would also make it easier to keep creations “on model” by this I mean in keeping with the Stonehearth look and style. It would also be great to be able to import other people’s creations into the library.

I am assuming that if one creates a model that there is an associated animation file that goes with it. It would be great if the editor incorporated this so you could view your model performing each of the basic animations and edit them.

It would also be good if the editor understood scale. There seems to be an element in the Stonehearth style that dictates that the ‘cube resolution’ drops as the creature gets bigger. For example the smallest cube in the big Cthulhu titan in the trailer is much bigger than the smallest block in a human.

This would actually be kind of fun to write. Does anyone have any thoughts on what other features would be useful in such an editor?

I like the idea of having the game objects embedded into the editor. I’m not sure about other people, but I’ve started out all my models so far by taking the basic male or female and modifying it from there. It would also give everyone a better idea of how to scale objects, such as how high a table should be or how wide a door is, etc.

I also think the cube resolution could be a pretty easy setting to have. Something in the menu that would allow you to set a voxel as ‘x’ pixels wide and such.

My main concern at this point really is having the qubicle export to something that would allow us to model and animate. On that note, I wonder if there is a animation software that is also free or has a basic version like qubicle. If there is, I think it would be nice if the qubicle export would be a file type that is compatible with the free animation program.

I wonder if you could integrate simple animation tools with the editor. Tom said in a post about Qubicle, “Our animations are stored in simple text files in a very straight-forward file format. It should be very easy for someone familiar with an open-source tool like Blender to write a script that exports Stonehearth animations”. For simple stuff or to do minor modifications to the animation of an existing model you could do it in the editor. For more complex stuff you could do it in Blender/Max so yes any SQE would need to be able to export to those. I wonder what sort of rigging would be needed?

I’m sure the custom Qubicle Editor would have to be tied to the game via library. I imagine the limitations would be what you would be allowed to export things as. I’m sure they will have some sort of code to avoid users from exporting for personal use as opposed to the game at the behest of Minddesk as they have quite a bit to lose if the copies are identical to the standard Qubicle package. I beleive they said they code in LUA but I’m not sure whether that would involve the text files mentioned. I’m afraid programming is a bit over my head for the time being, however I feel that may need to change as the game nears. It’s far too compelling to be able to make mods for this game to refuse to learn. Maybe you would know the answers with the little information I have provided.