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A Modder's Guide Part 1: Create Levels with KeenEdit
Author: Joseph BurkeDate: September 30th, 2002
Views: 3809Rating:


Introduction

What does it take to make a Keen MOD? A lot of little things, and in this article and other to follow you'll be shown exactly how to make one. The separate articles to come will each cover different aspects of Keen1-3 MOD making.

Since levels are one of the more enjoyable parts of MOD making we'll talk about that first. You'll learn how to create custom tiles and edit other parts of the game later on.

Article One - Create Levels with KeenEdit

The first thing you need to do is get a copy of a level editor, I suggest KeenEdit/KeenWright since it's more compatible to our uses and it's what this article is about. Download this editor here,

http://spatang.com/dl.php?a=keenwright&b=apps

You will have to unzip the "old_src.zip" file inside the ZIP to get the DOS version of KeenEdit.

Once KeenEdit is unzipped go to your Keen1 folder and copy the first level, it's named "level01.ck1", to the editor's folder. Now run the program, a menu will appear; here's the definition of the ones you may not understand.

Level statistics (shows the number of foes, points, and hazards ect. in a level)
Change Tileset (if your making a keen2 or 3 MOD change the tileset with this)

Select "new level" from the menu and press "Enter/Return". Now you'll be asked how wide and tall you want the level, you can't make it any bigger than 170x170, for now just pick the defaults.

After the level dimensions are picked you'll enter the editing screen. There'll be a menu at the bottom, across the top of the menu are tiles. You can scroll through these tiles with the "+" and "-" keys. The selected tile has a blue square around it, to use the tile press "Spacebar". Pressing "T" brings up a big tiles box, use the "Z", "X", and "C" keys to select any three tiles. Select the three top tiles for the red tileset, press the "EXE" key to escape.

There's a grid to use while making a level, just press "G" to turn it on or off.

You've probably noticed that there's two default tiles around the level, these wont appear in the final level and your not supposed to use them. Use the arrow keys to scroll to the bottom of the screen, to the plain tile just above the two default edge tiles. Then pressing, "Z", "X", or "C" place the red walking tiles across the bottom of the screen. That was time consuming wasn't it? There's a little shortcut, though it will not always save you, use the plus or minus key to select a tile, choose one different than the red one. Then go where the red walkway you made earlier began and press the "L" key, (the pointer should look like an "L" now) and scroll to the end of the red walkway and press "Enter/Return". A new tile, the one you just selected now replaces the old one. You can use the line ability to draw lines in any direction, just pick the starting point with the "L" and end point with "Enter/Return".

Above I talked about placing tiles and drawing lines with tiles, but what if you want to quickly replace the tile going across the bottom of the screen. To do that you'll need to use the "Flood-Fill" command, go to any place on the row of tiles you've made and select another tile with the plus and minus keys. Now press the "F" key to fill the similar tiles that are touching with the new tile.

One other command exists to help you place tiles, the "Rectangle" command. Press "R" to start the rectangle and "Enter/Return" to end it. When you press "R" you start the rectangle in that spot, then head up however many spaces you want it to be tall and over the number of spaces you want it wide.

Okay so now you know how to place tiles, so we'll move on to sprites. The most important sprite is Keen, to place Keen press the "K" key. Put Keen sprite in the lower left corner of the screen, Keen is two tiles tall so place him two tiles above the floor you made. To select a different sprite (such as a foe) press the "S" key, once selected press "Enter/Return" to choose that sprite. You place a selected sprite by pressing "A". Later on you might make a mistake and want to remove a sprite, to do this turn on "Cap locks" and press "A", or press "Shift+A".

When placing an ice cannon you need to draw the cannon from the tiles on the tiles menu first, then place the sprite using the sprites menu.

To place an exit door, open the tile menu again and select the tile 159, the tile number is registered in the lower left corner of the menu. Keen has to just walk into this tile to exit. Put this tile on the right side of the screen; you can draw the rest of the door in if you want.

Other things in a Keen level include points, doors, hazards (fire, water), and items; these exist as tiles and are found in the tile menu.

To save your level exit to the main menu by pressing the escape key, then select "Save level". If you don't want to save over the level you opened press, "Save Level As", to save to wherever you want.

Now select "Quite" from the menu and copy your new level back to your Keen1 folder. Run the game and test the level.

We're not done yet though, copy the level named "level80.ck1" to the KeenEdit folder and open it using KeenEdit. This is the map level, and you need to learn how to place links to levels in it.

Scroll down to where Keen starts his adventure in Keen1. You'll see yellow squares around the first level, Keen's ship, and where Keen begins. Press the "M" key to change the yellow squares into something more useful, they'll turn into numbers and sprites.

To learn how to link to levels, lets start by making another ship for Keen. (You'll find the tiles for the ship in the tiles menu.) Draw Keen's ship somewhere between level one and the first ship. Then press "S" for the sprite menu, and go down till custom is selected enter the number "20". Now place it using the "A" key over the ship, you can place it again but it's just the "20" that brings up the menu in the game.

You can delete these links the same way you delete sprites, and you'll even find you have a bit of flexibility when making links. One area of lenience is, you can link to the first level with just one Yorp, but the done tile is the smaller one; so experimenting is required.

Well that was the last thing needed for making levels with KeenEdit.


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