Post tutorial RSS Editor quickstart guide

Learn how to make basic mapthemes with the editor on a whim!

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

In this guide I'll provide a step-by-step explanation on how your work in the editor can make it into the game.
If you're confused about the terminology, please refer to the Glossary part of this thread, or post any questions you may have in either thread.

This guide is not fully complete yet, it will later be extended with screenshots taken directly from the editor to make things easier to understand. A map prefab guide will also be appended at one point.

Getting ready

  • Download the level editor and place it anywhere convenient. Make sure it has a clean space for making its own "Themes" directory so it doesn't conflict with anything.

Creating your first maptheme

  1. Start the level editor. You will be presented with a maptheme already loaded for you titled "New Theme". You will likely want to rename your theme to something unique so when you save it, it doesn't overwrite any other maptheme.
  2. To rename your maptheme, click on the main (root) folder icon in the top list on the right. Just below the list, the folder's name will appear in a text box, and the rename button becomes enabled.
  3. Adding files and folders is a great way to organize the contents of your maptheme. By default, you have a single folder with a single file inside, these are not to be deleted or moved, as they are crucial to your maptheme's integrity. You may prefer to keep all your assets in one file, but it's usually a good idea to create more to categorize if you plan on having more than a handful of prefabs.
  4. To create a room prefab, select one of your theme files in the top right list. Now look to the lower right list, it will display all prefabs contained within the file. For now, the list should be empty, but let's make a room prefab now. Enter a name into the text box just below the list and click the New button, then Room. You should now see a default 8x8 sized empty room.
  5. A quick look on the bottom left reveals the Room view settings panel. These settings are mostly only there for convenience, you can ignore it for now, or experiment with it as you follow the guide
  6. Setting up the room's properties is done on the panel on the top left.
    • The Repositioning keys will move all tiles of the room in that direction, it's mostly useful for the early stages of sketching up the room's design so it's nicely contained in the smallest possible region. Leaving empty rows or columns of tiles on either end of the room is detrimental to the level generation process!
    • The Type combo box defines the role of the room. For a maptheme to be successful at generating random levels, you'll need at least one entry, one exit, and probably at least a few filler rooms. I'll try to explain how to make each room as we go on, so pick any of the three mentioned for now.
    • The last two components, the "Flipping combo box" and the Rotatable checkbox next to it define the ways the level generator can transform this room in order to fit it during level generation. Unless you've got a specific design in mind, it's a good idea to allow as much transformation as possible. Of course if the room is symmetrical, it doesn't make a difference.
  7. Drawing the room schematics is the next step we'll examine throughly. First, we'll familiarise with the different edit modes listed on the bottom center of your screen, each mode represented in a tab. The third tab is only visible when editing a map prefab, we'll get to it much later.
    • The Tiles edit mode is for laying down the building blocks of the room.

      Let's start by picking the basic wall block named "Metal", and draw a rectangle of it on all outer tiles. It's important to surround each room with walls like this, because the game might crash from things that get out of bounds.

      Next, we'll want to place room exits to specify where rooms can be connected to eachother. Room exit tiles specify direction, so there's four types, and they have to point outwards to work properly. Adjacent exit tiles will act as a single room exit. It's usually a good idea to have the same shape of exits throughout your entire maptheme, because the level generator can only connect rooms with the same shape of exit.
      The number of grouped room exits defines how many rooms may end up being connected to this one. Any room exit the level generator doesn't connect up will end up being simple walls, so it's okay to replace some of your metal wall tiles with exit tiles pointing outward.
      For entry and filler rooms, it's advised to have at least two or more groups of exit tiles, it can heavily influence the shape your map will be laid out during generation. Rooms with a single exit will be dead ends and might fail the map generation, so it's advised to only include on terminal rooms such as an exit room.

      Now we need to fill the tiles in the center to act as ground. Motherboard tiles are most commonly picked for this purpose and come in a few shapes. The name of these tiles all begin with "MB". A quick way to do this is to pick the random variant (with a question mark), and hold CTRL over the void tiles in the center, then left click to fill the area.
      For an entry room, you'll need at least one player spawn tile! Likewise for an exit room, place a level exit tile somewhere.

    • The Spawns edit mode is used to specify ingame entities to spawn in your room. You have two ways to spawn entities: A generic spawn, or via a spawn group. Spawn groups can be set up by clicking the Edit button in the spawns panel or the spawns button on the top right of the editor window. Generic spawns will always spawn the same type of entity with a 100% spawn chance, while spawn groups will pick one from a list of specified entities. It can also be given the chance to spawn nothing.

      For now it's okay to use generic spawns. To do so, type an entity name in the Entity ID field under the spawns edit panel. If the field is disabled, try clicking the "Generic" option in the list below it.
      To place a spawn, simply click any tile on your room. To remove a spawn, clear the Entity ID field and click on spawns you want removed. To find out about the entity names, check the rightmost list on the spawn group edit window.

  8. Wrappping up
    Once you have several room prefabs, at least one entry and exit room, your maptheme is ready for use. On the top right of the editor window is a save and load button to save and later re-open your previous work.

    To get the game to load your maptheme, you'll need to place it in a resource pack. Creating a resource pack is as simple as making a new folder in your game's Data folder (locations specified in glossary article), next create a Themes folder inside your resource pack folder, and finally copy your completed theme folder in from inside your editor's Themes folder. If the game is already running while you do this, you'll need to restart the game.

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