Blender Map Editor Project (a few questions)

Hi guys. I have a few questions with a common goal. The only way to get my idea across is to fully explain it, but if you would just like to focus on my questions instead of skimming the entire post, the questions are written in bold.

I am creating a template to be used like a temporary map editor within Blender for our players to use to build maps for our game we are creating. They have zero knowledge of Blender, let alone any modeling software whatsoever. I’d like to avoid having to teach them it as well, since nobody seems too motivated to learn some modeling software just to build some maps. The ‘editor’ will be grid-style with place-able pieces (meshes I pre-build) they can move around the map. For most of this my plan is to use a combination of RoboTask (macro program) and Blender. Players will simply hit hotkeys instead of using the more-complex Blender commands (For example: ‘R’ to rotate 45 degrees at a time instead of ‘R, Z, 45, Enter’, and arrowkeys for pre-determined space movement). This has worked well so far, except moving pieces on a grid 1 space at a time can be time-consuming, so I have included the option for them to snap pieces to the grid itself to save time. However, I would like to do something similar in order to snap pieces to each other, and therein lies my goal.

I would like for players to be able to ‘snap’ pieces (meshes I pre-build) to each other properly. These meshes will always fit snugly into the grid below due to the fact that I can set their point-of-origin to wherever I like using ‘center-cursor’. The meshes can be fairly complex at times, and when they are snapped to each other, there are many verts and faces that can be snapped to, making it very hit-or-miss when snapping pieces to other pieces. I’d like to snap pieces together evenly instead of going by all verts/edges/faces for snapping, and from this dilemma spawns my question spree:

I was wondering if it is possible to see more than one Draw-type at once? My goal is to have both ‘Bounding Box’ and ‘Textured’ meshes on screen at the same time, and if possible, have the bounding box determine the snapping. This way, I can have some nice even snapping with objects fitting together nicely instead of going by verts/faces/edges. If the bounding box can be hidden also, that would be ideal.

Is it possible to designate which verts/faces on an object are used for snapping and which ones are not? This would instantly solve my problem because then I could actually ignore any verts/faces that would un-align my pieces.


Is there a way to rule out individual meshes from being snapped to, basically ignore them? This would also work. Instead of snapping to the verts/faces on any meshes, I could simply build a X,Y,Z grid of vertices hidden on layer 2, then have meshes snap to them instead of other meshes.

I doubt this, but is there any way (suspectedly through transform properties?) that I could limit the X,Y,Z locations on a map an object can be placed at? I would need multiple locations to be possible. This would create intervals at which pieces could be placed and eliminate snapping altogether.

Similar to 4, is there a way to move meshes a set amount of distance at a time on each axis? For example, a minimum of 0.5 whether moving on X, Y, or Z, no more, no less? This would also create the interval movement I am looking for.

If anyone else knows a different way to achieve what I am trying to do, I would be very grateful. As you can tell, I’ve thought this over for a while. I’ve found a few alternate ways that do work but they are inefficient and I’d like to improve on them. On top of this, I have zero knowledge of scripting, so I’m afraid that’s out of the question (unless anyone is willing to try themselves). I do realize that there are other ways to do this, but I need this within Blender for now because the Editor is still very subjectable to template tweaks and construction.

Thanks for your time guys.

If you want to use Bounding box for snapping just use bounding box display. And use Snap to Grid function; just move object around with G key, and when ready for fine snapping use Shift + S / Snap to Grid, that will snap the object to nearest grid intersection, then you can Control + drag the widget method to put it where you want accurately.

For this method to work you need to set the grid to some standard size. Then build all object such that bounding box fit grid increment precisely. And finally when arraigning objects, work from Ortho view.

Thanks, but this will not be for me to use. It will be for the players, who have no knowledge of Blender, so toggling back in forth between bounding box and textured mesh is not a route I’d like to take, which is why I specifically need both drawtypes at once, and the bounding box to be the dominant snap if possible. The rest of what you said is pretty much my plan though.

Ok, apparently I just now noticed that you can hit F7 and go to the ‘draw’ tab and the ‘draw extra’ buttons allow me to show bounding boxes AND meshes at the same time. This is good. Also, I can snap using the bounding box, this is great. However the major drawback is that I can STILL snap with the mesh itself, which is bad. Does anyone know the answer to my 2nd or 3rd question? That would be awesome.