View Full Version : Custom Level Help - First Attempt

18th Jul 2008, 15:02
Hi guys, i just started using this on monday and im almost on the verge of giving up.
When i try and load my levels it never works - and when it does guns appear as med-packs, and medpacks appear as the scion :(

So here iv got my project file. What do i do with it? I'v obviously done something wrong.
And i was trying to make water but all the tutorials iv read are a bit unclear. If anyone could link me to one?

Thank very,very,very,very,very Much :D

18th Jul 2008, 15:31
Hi Elfenheimer, welcome to the forum.

I'd say stick to using the "Tut1" project that comes with TRLE for the time being. When you first open TRLE, you'll be presented with a blank level, load in your texture & object sets and away you go. When you need to save, simply overwrite the "Tut1.prj" in the Maps folder. You shouldn't have any problems with converting the level or playing it.

As for water rooms, you need to designate a room as being full of water by clicking on the "W" button beneath the Plan View window and changing its numerical value to "2".

18th Jul 2008, 19:10
Thanks Spong,
Il stick to that for the time being, but if im wanting to keep a level i made do i just keep the project file for later use?
Also when i go on to play levels for some odd reason half the levels have disappeared, its hard to explain but theres usually say 14 or so levels, but now theres about six, i was thinking of re-installing but i was wondering if it was just something iv done
Also i was wondering how long it would take to become 'adept' so to speak, at TRLE.
Thanks so,so much :)

18th Jul 2008, 20:18
The levels that come with TRLE are only there to give you examples of how Core "went about it" with Last Revelation. You're not actually supposed to play them as such (like you say, most of each level isn't there anyway and the rest are just missing altogether). They're more of a reference in that you can open each of them in Room Edit and explore how the parts that are there were constructed. In fact, you can open them, mess about with them, then recompile and play the result ;)

With regards to making your own level sets (several levels that tie together to make a game), that's beyond my ability at the minute so I can't relly offer any advice. It involves editing the script files and other things that can seriously mess up the Level Editor if you get it wrong. But there's plenty of other way more competent editors on this board that will no doubt be able to tell you what to do.

If you check the sticky threads at the top of the Level Editor board, there should be a few bits & bobs in there to help you out.

18th Jul 2008, 22:33
If you just started with the editor on Monday my advice would be to read the manual and use it to build the tutorial level. That will take you about 3 months and will teach you the basics, there are no shortcuts to learning the level editor. :)

19th Jul 2008, 06:27
Ok, thanks very much.
Is http://www.skribblerz.com/tuts/trleintro.htm That the official manual?

I cant wait to get started, thanks very much guys.

19th Jul 2008, 06:55
Yes that's it buit you might already have the official manual in pdf format located in a folder named manual inside the level editor folder. :)

19th Jul 2008, 07:26
Hi, yes, working through the manual and building a tutorial level will save you a lot of heartache and frustration. Make sure you take on board each point before moving on. If you wish to release a level, here is the most important key you will ever learn - make frequent backups.

I'll put it another way, if you don't keep backups, the chances are you won't release a level. They always mess up somewhere along the road and if you don't know what you're doing, you can damage a project irretrievably and lose all your work.

Important files to back up are, of course, your map (prj file), but also your WAD, your texture set, audio tracks, scripts and your samples folder.

Your Map

The prj file in your maps folder contains all your work. I save a new copy after every work session. I usually have well over 100 saves for every level. During Jungle Ruins I had over 300 saves for every level. Sometimes I even save a new copy after just an hour's work if I've been working on something complex and finally get it working. It can be wise to get into the habit of saving every half an hour.

Save frequently.

Your WAD

There is a tendency for folks to add and delete stuff from their WADs without thought and then wonder why their levels mess up and don't work. Think of your WAD in terms of an eggshell rather than a stainless steel cage and treat them with respect. WADs are extremely delicate and need gentle handling. I always build my WADs and try to have everything in it that I need BEFORE I start building.

Once I have a WAD built, I then test it in a practice map. I test all the puzzle items, doors, pickups, baddies and animating objects. If there are sound issues, I fix them now, again, BEFORE I start building.

Once I have my WAD built, guess what? Yes, I make up a backup and save it onto an external drive. During building I will make the odd change here and there to the WAD, yes, but I have my back up and then test my changes thoroughly. If the WAD is fine, I then make a second backup and save it.

When my levels are nearing completion I will not add new objects to my WAD under any circumstances unless it is absolutely necessary, for example, if a bug is found with an object during beta testing. At this crucial stage it is madness to mess around with your WAD so don't do it. If your eggshell breaks, which they do, regularly, and you don't have backups, your only recourse will be to rebuild a new WAD from scratch and if your map is just about finished and is stuffed full of puzzles, baddies and triggers, you could easily mess up your map and not be able to fix it even though you have a save.

So always back up your WAD and keep it safe.

Texture Sets

Probably doesn't need saying, but texture sets are important things to save backups of. If you change a texture, make a new backup. If you have a fully textured map and you lose your texture set (which can happen) how are you going to remember where every texture goes in the texture set so it will slot back into your map? You won't and you will probably have to retexture your level again. So keep backups.

Audio Tracks

Not so important as it's easy to replace them but still a good idea to save them.

The Samples Folder

When you build a new WAD you will probably add custom sounds to the Samples folder. If you add other objects and their sounds, your Samples folder quickly becomes very different to the original. If you then delete objects and add new ones, all the old sounds from the objects you've deleted remain in your Samples folder. This can cause problems, particularly if the new objects you're adding use the original sounds you've already replaced. So keep backups.


Always keep backups of working Scripts. Everytime you make changes that work, make a fresh backup.

This is all very useful if you lose your harddrive or buy a new machine. Let's say you lose your harddrive or buy a new machine. You install the Level Editor and you have all your files saved. You simply add your WAD files to the graphics/WADs folder, stick your map and texture set in the maps folder, replace the Samples folder, put your Audio tracks in the Audio folder, open the map, direct the Editor to the texture set and WAD, save, output your WAD, convert your scripts and everything will work just as before. If you don't have backups, you will have nightmares getting your level working again.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make backups and keep them safe.

20th Jul 2008, 11:09
Thanks very much GeorgeMaciver, iv took that on board and saved everything frequently.
So i'v started building my tutorial level, i'v just textured and i think its good, id like some opinions. http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t29/Guitar-god-elf/TRLE.jpg?t=1216554632

Also in the bottom left corner you can see the lighting panel is half covered, iv pulled down the menu panel, but still its covered, how do i sort it?

20th Jul 2008, 17:25
Not bad for a first attempt try rotating some of the floor textures so it won't look like wallpaper. :)

To see the lighting panel press both the ALT and ENTER keys at the same time. Press them again when you finish with the editor and want to return to the screen in your pic.

20th Jul 2008, 17:30
I remember that room from the tutorial (brings back memories). But following that was/is absolutely invaluable. I still have a hard copy of the tutorial that I use for reference.

As for your Taskbar obscuring part of your lighting controls and the colour palette, press ALT+ENTER and TRLE will run in full-screen (the way it's meant to).

By the way, you might be interested in getting the Next Generation Level Editor update once you've finished the tutorial and you're ready to "go it alone".

I'll show you a pic of the updated/improved GUI in NGLE:


You can see straight away by comparing that pic to yours that there are a good few differences. But there's far more changes laying beneath the surface too, not to mention that NGLE is more stable than TRLE.

20th Jul 2008, 18:22
Thanks guys, Thats helped now iv got my lighting sorted, iv just done the door triggers, and managed to put the doors in so they open towards you when you try to get through them haha :lol: just some rotating to sort out i think?

Also with the floor tiles, sort of how should i rotate them, like i know you right-click but like how many and what rotations and such, if im making any sense:confused:

And i was looking at NGLE before i started but thought id go this first, i was gonna ask about it but it just looks like LE with more options, probably worth getting after.


20th Jul 2008, 18:47
Also with the floor tiles, sort of how should i rotate them, like i know you right-click but like how many and what rotations and such, if im making any sense:confused:

Just right click on random textures to break up the regular pattern a bit. :)

20th Jul 2008, 23:37
Also with the floor tiles, sort of how should i rotate them...

If you're talking about rotating textures, select your texture and apply it to a square. If you right-click on the applied texture it will rotate clockwise 90 degrees (the 4th right-click will be one full rotation). If you hold CTRL when you apply a texture to a square, or if you hold CTRL when you left-click on an applied texture, it will flip the texture over (mirror it).

Applying textures to split squares (triangles) means you have to start paying attention to the green triangle on the texture you select, that represents which part of the texture will be applied to a split square. You can change the orientation of the green triangle in the texture window by left-clicking in one of the 4 corners of the texture you want (therefore changing which "part" of the texture will be applied). If you place a triangular texture on to a split square and it appears distorted, just right-click it to rotate it until it fits and looks normal.

Texturing takes years and years and years and years and years and years and years and years and years...but there's something strangely therapeutic about it :nut:

20th Jul 2008, 23:52
Texturing takes years and years and years and years and years and years and years and years and years...but there's something strangely therapeutic about it :nut:

After totally and completely retexturing 12 Imprisoned Sprits levels from scratch, 7 Flashback levels from scratch, The Cave and 2 levels so far of Jungle Ruins, I can relate to that :lol:

23rd Jul 2008, 11:14
Ok thanks guys iv mixed up the floor textures and rotaed to make it look more real.
And im on to the water room.
Iv ran into a couple of problems -
1. In the next picture you can see that i have outlined the section that the tutorial said i would create a ledge when i stacked my rooms, and it hasnt :( i was wondering how to sort this? Iv tried selecting the section where it should be in the room below and lowering the ceiling but it didnt work.

2. Here i ran into another problem as i had textured all the walls already, and in the plan view you can see i created a door at the top of the hallway. I played the level and the texture shows, but i can still walk through it. I was wondering how to get rid of the texture?

23rd Jul 2008, 15:34

Delete the door between stack rooms 2 and 3, then in room 3 lower the section of the ceiling which you want to form the ledge, then join stack 2 and stack 3 again. :)

Question 2

In the left side of the editor window click on the black portal until it has a green border as shown in this screenshot, then press the toggle opacity 2 button.


23rd Jul 2008, 17:08
You don't need to delete the portals/doors between stacked rooms to create those ledges bedazzled :scratch:

To add ledges that are just above or just below a horizontal portal, simply select the area of squares you want in the Plan View widow, then click on the blue "Floor" button beneath. This will create a floor or ceiling on any horizontal portals that you are free to manipulate as you wish.

23rd Jul 2008, 18:59
That tip of Spong's is also excellent for placing lights, sunbulbs, cameras and other objects on a portal. Once you've placed your 'thing' and move on (as long as you don't raise or lower the tile) it disappears leaving the object where you placed it.

24th Jul 2008, 07:27
That's something new I've learned. :)

24th Jul 2008, 19:53
Right thanks guys, those two tips worked fine and its sorted.
Iv textured the stacked rooms and added the climbing walls and textured them.
But i got to output wad and it says i have an 'invalid door in room 56, x 1, 7x (something else(im doing this off my memory:nut: ) and i was wondering how im supposed to know which room is room 56 (or whatever number it was)?

Also when i start my own custom projects i was wondering how id go about getting all the items and textures i want into one folder, and also hosting them online, getting help when stuck etc. :)

Thanks so much GeorgeMaciver, Spong and bedazzled.:thumbsup:

24th Jul 2008, 20:28
I'm not entirely sure how to go about locating the problem door in TRLE because I haven't used it in so long. I've no doubt George or bedazzled have a better idea.

The best thing I can suggest is that you go through each room and check their elevations to make sure the connecting floors and ceilings tally. It might have something to do with the door at the top of the rolling ball slope that you textured by accident. But you said you'd remedied that.

If I remember rightly, the tutorial makes you name all the rooms as you create them so you won't be able to locate it from the reference LevelConvert gave you. I never name my rooms, I prefer working with the default "RoomXX" names that the level editor allocates each new room. But maybe you could try going through your room list (click on "Select Room" beneath the Plan View window) and count down 56 rooms. but I don't recall there being that many rooms in the tutorial level.

But on the question of your own future projects, you'll have to look at getting extra applications for creating your own object lists and creating your own textures.

If you want resources, Skribblerz (http://www.skribblerz.com/index.html) is damn good. Just check out the Tutorials, Tools, Recourses & Objects links on the left of the main page.
Another good site is the TRSearch (http://trsearch.org/), that place is entirely devoted to Level Editor resources.

On the subject of eventually uploading your own levels, I've never once uploaded any of my levels and haven't the first clue how to go about it. The most popular place for downloading custom levels seems to be TRLE.net (http://trle.net/). There's a link on the main page to submit levels, I imagine all you need to know is in there somewhere.

24th Jul 2008, 21:29
You can find the room numbers by hitting the Select button.

This error message pops up now and again, though thankfully very rarely. It occurs when you mess up a door portal, usually by raising a corner tile of say the roof below up into the room above, which damages the portal. This, I think, can create two portals within the same portal and then the error message pops up.

Fix is simple - delete all the door portals, check floor and ceiling heights to make sure they're okay (or horizontal heights between rooms if joining horizontally) and rejoin the rooms.

Floor heights of adjoining rooms must be the same for doors joined horizontally and floor and ceiling heights must match for vertical portals.

25th Jul 2008, 08:20
Elfenheimer, look at the second screenshot in your 6th post (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=779322&postcount=16) in this thread.

you said that Lara can walk through it, but it shows a wall.
now...unless you actually pressed the toggle opacity button there accidentally (which I doubt you did), it displays a classical case of an illegal portal (door)

bedazzled's answer of pressing toggle opacity may have appeared to solve the problem, but it wouldn't have fixed the illegal door

I would focus on your "hallupx" room, to see if the ceiling of that room is at the same position as the ceiling of the next room!

26th Jul 2008, 17:44
Thanks guys, iv sorted that out now, textures all of the stacked rooms to a better quality, and changed the outfit :)
Now im modelling the curving hall.
But i was attempting to start my own project, using skills iv already learnt, and gradually finishing my tutorial level.
Im fine with making textures with Tbuilder, thats easy as pie.
But wadmerger seems a bit.....tempermental.
Like i start to add the outfit that works fine when i added it to the tutorial wad, and it just comes out as the original outfit. Then i add the other things i want, save it. Load it back up and all the items from the tutorial wad appear in it again???:eek:

26th Jul 2008, 22:21
In winroomedit when you output wad, you MUST give it the same name as the wad. The converter uses the same name for the level and objects.

27th Jul 2008, 10:37
Ok guys i did what you said and i can add my objects to my level, and i played one of my levels, (but the door type came out differently :s is it because i linked it to the angkor wad to allow me to play the level?)
and now when i go to edit my project it asks me to load my wad, i load it, the program stops and doesnt do anything :(

Also iv moved to try NGLE, maybe it was a bad choice.:mad2:

27th Jul 2008, 10:56
The move to the NGLE was the right choice it's more stable than the original room editor. :)

27th Jul 2008, 11:09
:) Thats Reassuring.

But i wish wads were more like texture sets, where they can be done in 5 minutes or so, really easy to use, and work regardless.
Yet wads take forever, never work when they are done and iv started 5 projects in a hour because when i save a project, and go back to load it the wad doesnt work :mad2:

27th Jul 2008, 15:52
I'm afraid the only easy thing about wads is how easily they break :lol:

27th Jul 2008, 19:50
So they are notorious for breaking then?:p

28th Jul 2008, 00:37
If winroomedit comes up with an error and asks you to load the wad again, it may be because the path to the wad has a space in it. This will cause problems. You may be able to get around it by setting Win98 compatibility.

28th Jul 2008, 06:03
I've written a tutorial in pdf format covering setting up your own project from scratch, it covers using both the original level editor and the new TRNG and NG Scripter. The download includes the tutorial and also a basic wad to which you can add the objects you want.


28th Jul 2008, 06:57
If winroomedit comes up with an error and asks you to load the wad again, it may be because the path to the wad has a space in it. This will cause problems. You may be able to get around it by setting Win98 compatibility.

That may be the problem:o
Now i look like an idiot :(

Thanks so much bedazzled, iv just downloaded it, gonna start reading it straight away:D

28th Jul 2008, 07:03
That may be the problem:o
Now i look like an idiot :(

We've all done it ourselves. :D

28th Jul 2008, 20:18
Okay, iv started making my own project :)
I think its decent, just my texturing is APPALLING, i just cant seem to get my choice of textures correct, im fine with the applying the textures, just i cant pick any good ones.

This is an underground prison, i thought it would be a good level to make as it could provide lots of atmosphere mixed with a decent storyline and a good few puzzles. :)

Here's some screen shots -

Here's where you start the level -

Here's where you arrive at and ascend, this leads onto a corridor, which leads into a big room -

Where this cell is, iv destroyed the part of the gate which can be destroyed and more cells will be contained in this big room, full of corpses and skeletons, building atmosphere. One of these cells will have an underwater tunnel leading to it containing a key out of the big room. -

If anyone could tell me what to improve, and how to improve my texturing :)
Or possibly just to help me with anything, like advice with the level or storyline.
Also when i get better with the editor i plan on remaking it, and possibly making my own objects to get a bigger variety of dungeon objects (that's in the very far future though :p )

Also one more big thanks to everybody who's helped me not give up :D

28th Jul 2008, 23:51
Tips on texturing and lighting? Sure, here you go! :D Not up to Crystals standards by any means, but it should get you started.



29th Jul 2008, 07:15
Thanks George :thumbsup:
I was wondering what you thought of it upto now, as im going to go and work on it and would like points to improve :)

30th Jul 2008, 11:53
Hi guys,
Iv just began making a flyby which will zoom in on the dungeon inside the big room, iv placed the sequence, iv linked a trigger to it, set up the ocb and numbers for all the cameras, and on the trigger iv hit the oneshot setting.
When i place the trigger, the sequence works fine, but when it finishes it starts over again, i thought this only happened if you havnt pressed the oneshot button, but i have :confused:

Any help would be much appreciated, and also thanks to George for a fantastic tutorial, just annoying mine didnt work :(

30th Jul 2008, 17:53
Sounds like you've got the flyby sequence set to loop in its OCB. Check to see if OCB 2 is selected. If it is, unselect it.

The oneshot button means the sequence will only be triggered once.

30th Jul 2008, 18:45
Well iv checked and none of them have ocb 2 selected, iv took screen shots of the first and last in the sequence and also how the trigger is set up.




Thanks guys, iv just made a few adjustments, just going to check them now.

30th Jul 2008, 19:10
There will be a brand new updated dll for the TRNG available in about 30 minutes. This is an important update which fixes a number of bugs. So try updating with this latest trng.dll ( and let me know if it works. If it doesn't we'll figure it out. I have flybys working fine so it's probably something simple. And thanks for the comments about the tutorials :thumbsup:

*edit* Here is a piccie of one of my flyby trigger setups. By the way, the oneshot now goes on the switch or whatever it is that triggers the flyby, not on the flyby camera itself, so it's probably that :)

30th Jul 2008, 19:18
Ok Cheers, which site will this be available on, or will there be a topic on here?

This first builds really annoying me now, because iv being using spiders in my dungeon and also some rusty lattice objects, but the spiders go straight through them, so i cant get the underground passage with the trapped spiders, so iv binned the spiders, and possibly the lattice as there more dodgy than the metal fences in tomb raider 1, with the gaps in the middle..

Also no problem, its really helpful having all these tutorials when your getting started.
Especially when its like your being taught by one of the 'best in the business', i Hope i can be even 10% as good as you are at making levels and id be happy :)
The imprisoned spirits was excellent, and i keep meaning to start jungle ruins, il get round to it eventually. :p

*edit* The difference i can see between mine and yours is where it says Object to trigger, mine doesn't come up with anything, not even in the drop down menu, yet it starts the sequence but still keeps looping :(
Il check the one shot thing. :)

30th Jul 2008, 19:22
Hi E, being called the best in the business is rather humbling, but it's not true mate. Whenever I play Legend or Anniversary I'm put well and truly in my place. I wonder if it's too late to go to school to learn how to work with the new editors?

Just change the oneshot trigger to whatever triggers the flyby and it should work. I'll post a link to the update when it's available :)

Oh, and don't play Jungle Ruins! I'm currently doing an NG remake of all three games and packaging them into one massive adventure. It will be worth the wait.

30th Jul 2008, 19:30
Ok :p Any idea when they'll be ready?

Also i didn't think anniversary stuck to what made a tomb raider truly great, which was the suspense and atmosphere, they brightened it up too much too show off they're modelling skills. :rolleyes:

Il give that a try :)

*Edit* No Luck :( I must be doing something wrong...
Here's what i do, i select the first camera in the sequence highlight the area for the trigger select the options, change to flyby hit one shot, and then click the pink button.

Am i doing it wrong there?

30th Jul 2008, 20:01
They're ready and you can find more info here :)


The oneshot doesn't go on the flyby trigger anymore. What is triggering the camera?

30th Jul 2008, 20:06
Its just a simple trigger so that when you cross the entrance of the room it starts the camera sequence.

30th Jul 2008, 20:13
Then the one shot goes on the flyby trigger right enough. Here is a trigger from one of my working flybys which is triggered the same way:

Have you the right camera in the Object to Trigger box? :)

30th Jul 2008, 20:17
:eek: It worked!

I think it was actually the update.
Id kept meaning to get the previous ones but kept forgetting.
Because before in the object to trigger box nothing came up, but now all the cameras do.

:D Thanks for all the help George Your the Greatest!

30th Jul 2008, 20:30
Yep, it was the update! Glad it's working now :thumbsup: :D

31st Jul 2008, 07:58
So glad iv got that now :D

Iv hit a bit of an idea block though, iv got this dungeon room, underground dungeon, and water passage, but no idea what to do with it.
I was looking at the baptism of fire project and i cant believe how good them projects are for first builders!

Heres some of my screenshots -

Above starting water part -

Inside dungeon room -

Underground Dungeon -