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Quick Plug: UML Pad

By Kyle Wilson
Sunday, December 22, 2002

I've been doing a lot of writing lately, but it's all been for work.  We're in research phase following the success of MechAssault, and I've been planning and designing features for our next title.

I've been doing my writing in Word, but there are times when a picture is worth a thousand words (or Words), so I went looking for UML tools.  Everything I found -- Visual Paradigm, CodeModeler -- didn't do quite what I wanted, and usually did much more than I wanted.  All I wanted was the UML equivalent of Notepad, a tool that I could use to sketch diagrams quickly and save them as images to import into word.  I figured the obvious title for such a tool would be UMLPad, so I Googled for that, and found, well, UML Pad.

It's almost perfect.  Undo/redo functionality would be nice.  It would be nice if it added "hops" where one line crosses another, and better support for creating offshoots from existing lines so you could more neatly connect one parent to multiple children.

But it makes good UML without a baroque interface to navigate through.  It saves images Word can import.  And it's completely free.

Good tool.

I'm Kyle Wilson.  I've worked in the game industry since I got out of grad school in 1997.  Any opinions expressed herein are in no way representative of those of my employers.