First of all, WorldMaker is not part of the next-gen scenery tools. WorldMaker is slowly going away, as functionality in WorldMaker is either moved directly into X-Plane for "live" use (navaid editing) or into the scenery toolset.
The new scenery tools will be a single distribution for all tools. In other words, instead of a download for each tool, you will download one archive that contains all of our tools and support files. They will live together in a single "install" folder.
The distribution will not be based on our installer - more likely they will just be a zip file. The scenery tools total size should be small enough that there is no need to do incremental installs. There is no need to put customized files in the scenery tools folder _ever_, so simply replacing it should be a non-issue.
The scenery tools will be completely separate from X-Plane itself and will have their own release schedule and versioning. The scenery tools contain no x-plane code and will also be available in source.
Some undecided issues:
- What to call the main visual editor. The working name has been "WED" (WorldEditor) but that's so similar to WorldMaker that I fear total confusion. I am open to naming suggestions.
- Whether to make a distribution or each platform or simply put all the EXEs for all the platforms in one download. I don't think code size will be so huge as to prevent this.
- Whether to allow the scenery tools to be installed in any folder or to require them to go in /Program Files (Windows), /Applications (Mac) or /usr/local/bin (Linux).
In other words, for users who want a UI, you will be able to do model->OBJ conversions, ENV->DSF Overlay conversions, OBJ->OBJ conversions, and DSF<->TXT conversions in a single application. This "swiss army knife" GUI application will be extensible and will be our "master converter".
So the new scenery tools should include:
- Many command-line tools for low level operation.
- A swiss army knife GUI converter tool.
- A visual scenery editor (WED).
- The AC3D OBJ export plugin.
Please do not email me to ask about release dates; now that X-Plane 850 is final, I am working on scenery tools today. I will post more info as I have it.