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Guide to making a nice and fun Commander Keen level
Author: The Shifted OneDate: May 7th, 2005
Views: 2393Rating: 6


Something I hear alot among level and mod makers is the lack of inspiration and ideas.
Well heres some hint and some things to keep you going

Frist off, this is the keen 1 section, other sections will come later.
I will give a small explanation of what A fun level mostly contains.

~ Plenty points to get
~ At least 1 door that you must open
~ Teddybears hidden in dangerous places
~ Unnececary places to go trough, that are just for fun and points (and to keep a player searching for, example, A key)
~ Maze-like structures

Those are the basics.
Very inportant it is to know NOT to add to many sprites (enemies).
With to many the game tends to run upon an error and act really strange.
I havent found out the exact number, it seems to depend on the strenght of your PC (thus, DosBox )

Next thing on my list is how to handle enemies and other sprites.

~ Use the butler robot in point where you need to focus on other things (so they can really be annoying)
~ Yorps can be placed everywhere to add some fun
~ Gargs are most in there place on large pieces of ground, for a suprise attack.
~ Use the shooting robot to gaurd spaces, but make sure theres headroom to jump.
~ Vorticons should be, at all means, locked away, that they will not stray the level, unless meant to
~ Ice cannons can be used to border something off, or make annoying walkways.

Those are more basics.
Now Im gonna give you some things that generally do nice in a level.
Use them at your will.

~ Large structers created by the multiform platforms (the red ones)
~ Nice secret places, that you can easely see, but not find.
~ Using alot of different colors, or just keeping it to 1
~ Changing between narrow places and large open spaces.
~ Nice climbing places to set you searching.
~ 1 way jump structures (Making a scructure where you can only move up using 1 ways, you can make these complicated )
~ Many spilts so the player has many things to explore, instead of just 1 path.
~ Make A ice cannon launcher (like the one you used to reach the secret level in 1)
~ Sealing off a part of the level untill a player finds something (pogo, ammo or simply keys)
~ Front layer tubes, so players dont know whats behind it (or whats NOT behind it )
~ Fake, unreachable exit to fool people (dont overdo it...)
~ Jumping buildigs, obstructed by butler robots (to add something annoying)
~ Cracked blocks can add some serius fun aslong as they are used correct (rember you can walk trough em aswell, only not jump)

Those are a few to keep you going.
Inportant it is, to never stop dreaming fun things up.
This mostly contains structures that you have to seek true, certain areas with a so-called "Theme".

Heres some things that you SHOULDNT do.

~ Put unreachable points in your level
~ Make countless annoying and hard jumps (a few is good, dont overdo it)
~ Mess up the background (and make the level look ugly)
~ Connect tiles that dont connect (and making it ugly too )
~ Make everything a basic runtrough, only obstructed by enemies.(Ive seen enough of those now, really)
~ Make keen colide with the level borders (duh)
~ Create huge waiting situations by adding to many robots (regardless its type)

Those are the basic DONT's.

This should get you going on creating a nice level now wouldnt it?
If you still lack inspiration for new ideas to your level, look around you for ideas.

Few examples.

~ Try to recreate your desk in a 2d world of blocks (yes containing all that mess )
~ Create a level with the same outlay as your house, only 2d
~ Recreate your hamstercage (I did that, its fun, A shame theres no treadmills in keen )
~ Look at your stacked books, these can make nice structures.

With that, good luck

~ SIDE NOTE

No, there are no levels of me to download here, that is, yet, mabey I upload them later.

Also, my excuse for typo's or bad english.
Report them to me in a PM and if I can edit, I will edit them. (dont overdo it, or be ignored :P)

Hope thise guide helpes you

Greetingz
~ The Shifted One


Comments
posted by: Extra Vaganza
on 04.14.05
Well I geuss you cant edit :P

You can post comments with other things I geuss, cause some more crap would be nice, since im usually out of ideas. 
posted by: xtraverse
on 04.27.05
You can edit, check your control panel. 
posted by: The Shifted One
on 05.07.05
Alright then, il see to it :) 

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