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A Modder's Guide Part 4: Ending Screen and Misc
Author: Joseph BurkeDate: December 31st, 2002
Views: 2747Rating:

This month we'll be covering ending screens, animation and art, and limitations of MODs this month. You need to have read the previous articles to make use of this one, you'll find them at our website however it's under construction, so their not availed right now.

You'll need to download a program made by Andrew Durdin to edit the ending screens, you'll find it here:

End Screens
Open a command prompt window and navigate your way to the end screen program. Now run the program, it'll display some text that tells you how to import and export the end screen image.

For exporting the image you'd type,

fin2bmp -b output.bmp

and importing,

fin2bmp -f input.bmp

The "-b" or "-f" tell it whether your importing or exporting.

If your exporting you'd next type the name of the file that your exporting from, and replace the "#" with the episode number. Then you'd type the location of the outputted image and it's name, so you could say, "1\output.bmp" or "endscreen\ending.bmp". (The directory you exporting to must already exist!)

If you importing you'd first type the location of the image your importing and it's name. Then you'd type the name of the "" file you want it in. (The imported image can be no bigger or smaller than the original.)

Okay lets quickly test our new skills and export and import a new image for Keen1's ending screen. Copy the "finale.ck1" file into the end screen programs folder and create a directory named "1". We're going to export our image into that directory.

Then type in this text and hit enter/return,

fin2bmp –b finale.ck1 1\endscreen.bmp

the bmp should be in the folder titled one. Open the folder and edit image anyway you like then save it.

Now type in this text to import the new image,

fin2bmp –f 1\endscreen.bmp finale.ck1

copy the updated file into a folder containing Keen1 and test the new ending screen. You'll notice after testing that the exported end screen doesn't have the image of light in Keen's room being turn on. This is found when you use the program modkeen, just sift through the images exported by it and edit that one.

Limitations and Tips
Please note there are probably other limitations and advantages that you'll run into but finding them is part of the fun.

In Keen1 you can change the location of the four items Keen must collect in the images file, but when the game displays these items it looks for them at their default locations so it'll display a floor tile if that's what you have there.

In Keen1 the rope you shoot in the end to kill the Vorticon commander is a default tile and the rock tiles that fall are default too.

In Keen1 done tiles displayed when you complete a level are default.

In a previous article we discussed making a "bat" file to execute several commands at once. You can also use them manually export and import stuff from modkeen and the end screen program.

In Keen1 there is two background tiles, the second background tile is tile 276, you can use tileinfo to locate it. (I'm pretty sure it's the lower left tile of the pogo sign.) Any items or points you want to use the second background tile must be located below it.

Drawing Tiles and Animation
I'm not going to teach you how to draw or animate anything but show you how I do it and maybe that'll help you a little bit.

We'll use this image as our first reference for drawing,

The first thing I like to do is come up with an idea of what to draw. After coming up with this idea I'll sketch it on paper or the computer. (Sketching things can also help you come up with ideas.) I always try to capture the emotion I want in the image in the sketch and leave the detail for later. For this image I wanted to draw a base on a mountain, so in part "a" you see the sketch. The next thing I needed to do was create some mountains that looked 3d but kept the feel of the sketch; it was pretty hard to translate that exact feel into 3d but it's seen in part "b". In part "c" I color the image and add some stuff to it, one might be tempted to call the image done at this point but it could still use a bit more depth. So in part "d" I do detailed coloring to add extra depth. Part "e" is just the background applied.

The next image is:

I've already come up with the idea when I start drawing, I just have to figure out how to draw it. The idea is to have a several snake heads covered in flames continually reaching to the sky biting, it's to be a replacement of the flames in Keen1.

In part one I try to draw a concept of the snake, I'm disappointed by it, but it's just a sketch and can be improved later. Part two is a concept for the flames and color usage. The third part is part two applied to an object, I think it looks like a hand. In part "4" I decide to simplify the snake head and draw a sketch of it sideways since it's easer for me. Then in part "5" and "6" I animate it. Since I want more than one snake head I spilt the head up in part "7". Eight through eleven is these being colored. Now in part twelve I combine the two pictures, it looks very bad so I decide one is enough. In part "13" I add some more detail and finish. The final product wasn't very satisfactory to me as an animator since I'm not one, but I'm learning from it just the same.

Well I've bored you enough with these articles, so goodbye, and may you fair well at making MODs.

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