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A Modder's Guide Part 3: Using TileInfo
Author: Joseph BurkeDate: November 30th, 2002
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To make any use of this article you'll need to have read the previous article about modkeen and tileinfo, that was in last months October issue.

Open tileinfo and load the default tiles from Keen1, and import the information of these tiles. We'll now talk about how to set the behavior of these tiles.

Block Behavior
This is pretty self-explanatory but I'll explain a little. Select the behavior you want the block to have from the drop down menu. Then push in any of the buttons around the tile's picture to set what sides it'll be impassible from. (By selecting the behavior of the tile you made it impassible from the top already.)

General Behavior
There's a limit to the general behavior, you can only set one, so you can't have Keen collect a point and it give him a message too. Another limit is that not everything in this menu can be used in Keen1 or will work correctly with it. The Ankh from Keen3 or the light switches from Keen2 are good examples. The light switch will work but the Vorticons wont stop jumping -- drat! Then the Ankh, (I think) causes the game to crash, ouch!

The first thing on the selection is "kills," so if you want your tile to harm (putting it lightly) Keen, use this. Only two other selections are of use to us right now, the "Masked" and "Foreground". Selecting the "foreground" will make the tile appear in front of Keen, this is used for some pillars in the last level of Keen one. However if you want part of this foreground translucent or see through like then use "masked".

Masked Tiles
A masked tile is like the one in this picture:

The left side of the image is well -- the image, and the right the masking information. In the right image the color black is use to represent what areas of the left image you want to be in the foreground, and the color white represents what areas will be part of the background. So if Keen were to walk into this tile (as he does in Keen3) he would appear to stand behind the tree branch and in front of the blue sky.

To use masked in tileinfo only give the masked setting to the left image, and leave the right one with no settings whatsoever.

You can apply an additional affect with masked tiles by using colors other than black or white. I can't tell you exactly how this works, but if you have time to experiment it could yielded an interesting effect and liven up your MOD a bit.

Animation Frames
You can only have two or four frames in an animation, and there's no way to change the rate at which these frames pass. Supposedly each frame of an animation has to have the same blocking behavior and general behavior, never tried anything else but that's what Andrew said. (Andrew made this program.) A limit of animations is that they can't be masked, so Keen can't stand behind a swaying tree branch. Though you can set it to foreground, just remember each frame must have the same properties.

Lets put our new abilities to the test, (stop sweating) go ahead and take away the harming attribute of the flames in Keen1. Then save these attributes, and name the file "bob".

Okay so now you've save the file, but how do you use it?

Well we'll need two things, "ck#patch.exe" to import the new tile information and a "bat" file to execute this process. We use the "bat" file so we don't waist time typing in something like "ck1patch.exe bob.pat" every time we want to test the new tile attributes.

You already have the patching utility; it's located in the "" file you downloaded last time. It's location is:\\ck#patch.exe

Copy the file "ck1patch.exe" and put it into a folder with a copy of Keen1, make sure that the "keen1.exe" in the folder is the decompressed one. You could probably use the same folder that you used last time with ModKeen, since it had all the Keen1 files and a decompressed "keen1.exe". Place a copy of the two files called bob into this folder too.

The next thing on our list is to make a file with the "*.bat" extension. To do this open a Command Prompt window, and exit out of any directories you're in; if you don't remember how this is done type, "cd\". (You need to know this stuff!)

Now type "edit" this should take you to a blue screen. Then we type in what we need the "bat" file to do. We need it to run the patch program, which works by typing in it's name and the name of the file it should run. So go ahead and type, "ck1patch.exe bob.pat". Now you need to save this line of text, you can use you mouse to select the "file" option from the menu and then the "save as". Now type what you want to name this file, I picked "mars-bob.bat". Press enter or return to save. Then from the file menu select exit. (Alternatively this can also be accomplished by renaming a text with the bat extension. Aren't I wicked!)

Copy the bat file you just created into your Keen1 folder, but don't run it. A little change needs to be made in the "bob.pat" file first. You can do this in notepad, so open the file and you'll see some text. What we're interested in is this text:

%version 1.1
%patchfile 0x131F8 bob.tli

%version 1.31
%patchfile 0x130F8 bob.tli

The two sections are for two different version of Keen1. We need to delete the one that we don't have, else this pat file wont work!

There are two ways to find out what version of Keen1 you have. If your computers really slow than you can read what version you have when the program loads, this isn't likely. So I suggest opening it up in notepad and doing a search for the word "version". Once this is done delete the appropriate text.

Run the "mars-bob.bat" and go to a level with fire, then proudly walk through and declare yourself the fire god of Mars.

Next month we'll finish up these articles. By discuss the ending screens for Keen1-3, more limitations of Keen1 tiles, and how to design tiles.

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