This guide is supposed to be a modern guide to the level editor as of now, I hope this is helpful.
Guide to Level Editor
Basic Tools, and What They Do
One of the things I see with newer level editors is that they may not use their tools, when I was new it took me forever to find out how useful the tools were and how much easier they made scaling and rotation as well as positioning and selection
Tool 1, the Draggy Boi
The drag tool is good for dragging things out, it is the default tool and it is good at dragging things into the general position of where you want them to allow the 2nd tool to position them precisely
Tool 2, The Positioning Arrow Tool
Tool 2 is also incredibly useful, it is used for making precise movements and is affected by rotation, pressing 2 or clicking the white box to the right of the drag tool (which is the default tool) selects it, and when you select an object you can click and drag on of the 3 arrows that it causes to appear, these move it in the direction that the arrow is dragged in, useful for precise movement
Tool 3, Rotation Tool
The rotation tool can be used to rotate things move quickly, and it cares about positioning unlike inputting direct rotation angles into the rotation boxes, be careful using it in the animation system unless you use a technique I will explain later, the rotation tool allows you to rotate things to your liking without playing around endlessly with rotation values
Tool 4, The Scaling Tool
The scaling tool is similar to the positioning tool in the way it looks, you click and drag arrows to scale things in the direction selected, useful for scaling and works flawlessly with the animation system.
Sections, and How They Work
What sections do
Sections are useful for making something cease to exist until you want it to be a thing, this gives them a variety of uses, like simulating logic gates, crude animation (Shoutout to hollowedcommander with the whole business boss thing) and more basic uses like primitive doors or lag reduction.
Some More Basic Uses
for basic uses it can be used to make enemies not appear until you hit a trigger, allowing for cheesy surprise attacks, I don’t see many other basic uses of sections beyond things like these, maybe something else like walking into a trigger and making a door disappear, but there are just a lot of great uses that take some technical know-how that I will help grant you.
In Bigger Levels
In bigger levels sections are extremely important for reducing lag, having a massive facility with lots of enemies is good and all but if you have microsoft power point frame rate there isn’t much point to it’s existence.
Advanced manipulations of sections often result in cool mechanical systems, such as a AND gate with triggers, (this requires a dummy enemy and 2 sections with 1 wall attached to each) which allows for multiple “Enemies dead” triggers to have to go off to open a door or something like that for more advanced levels, and sections work well with the animation system’s… insanity of potential use cases.
What does each folder contain?
Basic Assets contains well…. basic assets, like platforms, ramps, tiles and some other more basic things, but these assets are extremely important as they are much easier to place and interact with and they all are compatible with pretty much every system, and can be scaled without much issue.
Simple Shapes contains a lot of shapes, these are very difficult to use based on my experience, but don’t let that deter you, as there are not many round or hexagon-like assets outside of here and due to their geometric nature they are highly flexible for statue making and animation.
Commentators contains commentator stuff, like the emperor and commentators as placeable assets, along with TV’s and the cameras which display their views onto said TV’s, I don’t often use the commentators themselves but I sure do use the “Level Preview Camera” And “Commentator Camera” a lot, as they are useful in focusing on a specific point of interest in a level or showing off a key feature in the upgrade room before the player enters, they are also useful for displaying things onto TV’s, which I exploited into making a working FNAF camera system with sections, to allow multiple cameras to exist.
Decorations, these are some decorations, they are pretty specific but they can be useful for different things, like how a fire_pit can be used as a rocket thruster or the oblisk and pillars can be used as statue arms and legs, and the banner is useful for making a level feel more arena-like if it is heavily modified to not take place in the arena.
The AI trigger is here as well, this trigger is extremely important for basic level making, as it has a variety of settings useful for triggering enemies and generally anything from animations to sections.
Hazards, Enemies, well all the enemies are here, but the hazards folder contains all the hazards, which includes the jump pads and the conveyor belt, they are useful in preventing players from going certain places and acting as kick targets, they can also be combined with the animation system or sections (except for the spike trap and saw blade) to make boss attacks lethal.
Horizon. This folder contains a bunch of clouds and the hyperspace cone and capsule, the hyperspace stuff is useful for setting a spacey mood and the clouds are good for atmosphere, but I don’t use this folder often.
Lights. Contains all the lights in the game, good for emphasizing specific spots, and generally making everything seem more cool and immersive.
Multiplayer, only useful for LBS maps, as all the LBS assets are in there, but none of it actually works in singleplayer, but the multiplayer spawn point can be a cool decoration sometimes.
Statues, it contains all the statues in the game, useful for making cool centers of levels or making intimidating castles or temples by putting statues outside the doors of said buildings.
Story_Chapter4, a mess of very appealing assets that haven’t been divided among the other categories, includes some other mini folders that I will discuss seperately from this one, it includes 3 groups of assets Dark, Light, and Fancy, Dark and Light get their own doors and walls segments and dark gets 2 pillars, there are also some floors that have cool neon patterns along with a bunch of other assorted assets.
Computers, it contains all the terminals and terminal contents, these terminals are useful as stand-in computers and are used commonly in more complex story driven levels as well… computers! they can also make good environmental additions as well because some of them are really big.
HumanFleet, contains all the human fleet ships, good for spacey levels or simulated space battle using the animation system, the Human_Missile asset is commonly used as a stand in nuke or boss attack.
Story Assets, another mess of assorted assets, but includes important animation tools like the cinematic camera, PlayerAnimator, PlaySound, PlayMusic, PlaySpeechSequence and WorldShaker (Known as worldimpactCharectersPusher) also contains a bunch of chapter 3 assets like glass windows and chairs dem c h a i r s.
TransportTubes, it contains all the transport tube sections, along with some fake robot models that can be animated to be transported inside them, useful for the nonliving robot models I mentioned above to create feelings of being among a robot transportation vessel or for factory mimicry.
Triggers, contains every trigger except the AITrigger, including the multiplayer triggers useful in LBS maps, but more importantly it contains the animated trigger, one of the most important assets in animation system usage.
Twitch, contains the 2 twitch spawn locations, allows you to direct twitch spawns where you want them to go as to not break your level.
VFX, contains various VFX, including 2 explosion ones which can be used to simulate a boss’s defeat, or have something just detonate.
These are folders added via modding, most of these are unstable and have crash bugs or softhiding and restrictions associated with them, use them sparingly if you can.
Story Mode: 99% of this folder is unstable cutscene and metagame assets, the armorstation and playerdummy are the only assets in this folder you should be using, the player dummy is a sword3 that costs 200 coins and has a player skin they also have a archer voice, not much else can be said about them, and the armor station is the armor bot from chapter 3, he can cause a crash if you repair with armor he provided, so don’t use it too much.
SpaceCombat: This folder contains two assets, an enemy battlecruiser and the space combat activator, both assets are unable to be published and are HIGHLY unstable, do not use them! Until the developers deem them to be worthy to exist in workshop levels which will most likely be at a good midpoint in chapter 5’s development.
Battlecruiser enemy: this enemy will fire lasers and missiles at the player, they cannot damage the player in any way and right now they ignore all solid objects and are a big meaty middle finger to the laws of physics, however you can make them allies but there will be a camera glitch upon starting the level that you will need to use photomode to escape, armor and don’t move until player do not work on them, in the future once they are more refined their use will probably be ambient space battles, you could ally up some battlecruisers and have them fight each other above the level for coolness and if you really want to up the ante you can use the space combat activator to join the battle in the sky and kill them yourself.
Besides these two folders there are also folders like settings which just contain the animation, section and arena settings menus and add nothing to the level itself, there are also some other assets that are added to other folders like analysisbot in enemy spawns, the only thing he does is annoy because he originally was the destructible analysis bot and fleetanalysisbot mobility test, and if you cut a fleetboi torso you can see analysisbot’s suit after chopping away one layer in all 4 of them, the developers have said he may get upgraded to a boss at some point for chapter 5, but that is a maybe as chapter 5 currently has no actual structure yet, space combat is still being fine tuned and bug fixed.
The Animation System
What is the animation system?
The animation system is a revolutionary addition to the level editor that functions like…. an animation timeline, this system was heavily inspired by the animation system built into unity with it’s layout and design.
What can it do?
The animation system can move, rotate, scale and execute specific calls that are on objects like the AnimatedTrigger, this doesn’t seem like much but all that power allows crazy things like bossfights, even more depth and less analog solutions to problems, like timers, AND gates, and more
Well how do I use it?
For a starter project I recommend something simple, like just making a robot talk and sectioning some enemies in with an animated trigger, as all that insanity I listed for “What can it do?” is very advanced in most cases, and a simple “robo boi talks before enemies come at you” is a very flexible level design that I used for “A Break In The Bow1’s House”, and it is quite effective, so maybe try a room (with whatever dramatic flair you want) have a robot talk (make sure they are protected from arrows and other stuff) have them speak, and open doors, section in enemies do whatever just deliver enemies to the player, eventually have the enemy attack the player at some point.
What about more advanced projects?
Try something different from the normal clone drone formula, for example a boss fight or stealth level, these both take a lot of animation skill but they can be extremely cool and entertaining, I will explain how to structure a boss fight (but there are more ways of doing this, so don’t think this is THE way to do a boss fight) start with the boss itself, as their appearance is going to mostly dictate what attacks they have, then move onto the way phases shift, usually it is done with a death trigger but a projectile detecting trigger can work, or just have one phase on loop for something more simple, as you don’t need hollowedcommander level technique to make a fun level, though it does add a lot to the cool factor. Then move onto the attacks, these usually take the most animated skill and use lots of sections and objects, if you decide on something like “the boss shoots lasers out of their eyes” then you won’t need much sectioning and animation complexity, if it is something like “The Boss fires a swarm of missiles at you” then you will need to individually section the deadly part of it and the missile if you want a pattern similar to hollowedcommander’s “Warfare Tron”. Lastly, a death animation, This isn’t really required but it makes everything cooler and much more satisfiying to watch a boss d i e after it attacks you relentlessly, you can pretty much do anything with this.
Umm you didn’t answer my question I don’t know how to actually work the animation system.
Well, you open the animation system by clicking it’s button, then you click the paper with a + sign to make a new animation, clicking the gear lets you see the settings, these allow you to tell an animation to loop, only play once and what triggers start and stop the animations, the animation timeline itself is where the magic happens, moving, scaling, rotating and adding “animated method calls” will make a keyframe (the little tan diamonds) if you click on different times you can have those keyframes occur later.
How do I make a robo boi talk?
Well you open the animation system make an animation (read the above section to know how) click a robot then type in their speech box, which will appear due to there being an animation existing, these keyframes will cast a yellow box which is an approximation of when the speech will end, it is off by a few seconds occasionally depending on the voice, so merge keyframes a little bit with eachother in the case of voices like the archer, sword bot and jetpack bot.
Arena and Light settings can be very influential and can set the atmosphere for a level if used accordingly, but arena settings lose purpose when you do something outside the arena or you cover up the arena walls.
Arena Settings: Highlight and LightEmissions settings
These control the color and intensity of the lights near the crowd, experiment with different colors and intensities to suit the mood you want to create, can also be turned off for a more ominous feel.
Arena Settings: Color and Audience settings
These settings control things like outside arena banners, floor color, if the audience exists, and how complex the arena is, these settings are usually set to the least laggy settings which basically delete as many of them as possible, but if you want to use the arena for structure and consistency you can use these pretty effectively.
Light Settings: Directional Light And Shadows
Directional Light is the light that is always shining, setting it’s color to black or it’s intensity to zero will remove it, good for night levels, but don’t set the intensity too high unless you want to go blind.
Shadows, I don’t mess with these often unless it gets too laggy, then I set “Directional Shadow” to 0 instead of the normal 0.63.
Fog is useful for simulating darkness or gas, and can set the mood of a level, I usually set the start distance to -600 to put it into play, then the closer the end distance is to the start distance the more intense the fog gets, not always useful for levels.
Enemy settings are very important but don’t have massive impact on level mechanics, they however greatly influence the difficulty of your level greatly.
Armor is good in certain cases on enemies you want to hype up as bosses, as it can save them from danger, I would not recommend it otherwise, as numbers are key in this game and having two of an enemy is usually better than one armored enemy, could be good for difficulty padding if you have a few weaker enemies or if you physically can’t stuff any more enemies into your level and need to raise the tier.
Enabling this setting allows enemies to be rotated, useful for cutscenes and pointing archers and jetpack bots in the right direction for maximum effect, doesn’t have much use otherwise.
Don’t Move until Player
This setting makes an enemy stand still and wait for an enemy to get close before beginning normal combat patterns, useful for bow5s as their high target speed combined with not jumping into hazards or putting themselves into direct danger by confronting you is removed by making them stand still, also useful for things like deflecty sword bois if you want them to stand in place and make shooting something more difficult, or having jetpack bots pointed at the player but waiting until kill distances to charge.
Simple, makes their AI completely and utterly dormant until a trigger that was checked on the list goes off, very useful for traditional level making, I usually use it to force enemies to be inactive forever in cutscene oriented challenges.
The enemies that inhabit your level are the bread and butter of the base difficulty of your level, unless you build something unique like a boss fight or a completely different gamemode.
How To Kill Players (without BS)
The ultimate goal of your level is to be fun, but killing the player is needed to do so, the most fair way of doing this is to use enemies, stress is what brings about a player’s demise, MK5s are very effective at this and spooky enemy positioning and selection along with some combos will produce a MK5-like effect, stress is your friend, jetpack bots behind the back, limited visibility and hidden enemy locations are effective kill strategies until your enemies are gathered into the suffering ball, expensive enemies yes are more effective but numbers are king in this game, however take into account the kinds of upgrades you are going to have each tier, by silver you will usually have block arrows, so try to position bow bots behind the player or use kick bots and spooders to make sure they work, and they will usually have jetpack by diamond or titanium, so use bots that are death to rush or are faster and scarier than player jetpacks, MK3-4 spear bots are effective anti-rush and jetpack2s, bjetpacks, kickbots of any kind are effective rushers, obviously the bow5 and sword5 are best at these tasks but they are really expensive, and it only takes 2 sword5s to fill a gold level, which is insane so use MK5s sparingly despite their effectiveness unless you are aiming for a level that is dedicated to low numbers to increase twitch mode compatibility.
How to deal with allies summoned by twitch modes
Twitch mode allies are highly varied and can come from anywhere, and there are a few enemies which are good at killing other AI, bow3s are very effective anti-hammer, low level, and non deflecting boss bots, however they will struggle against bosses alone, so ensure you send a few if you intend to beat allies, the solution to deflectors is the hammer3 or hammer2 for budget situations, and the best solution to bow bots is sword3s or if you are on a tight budget spear2s, however you still need to have anti player bots, which is where balancing gets difficult with just enemies, traps are highly effective anti ally systems, common allies are sword and boss robots, use twitch spawn targets and spawn them in trap heavy areas to help with the hordes.
How to assist spawned enemies
This is quite similar to how to manage allies, however it gets magnitudes more complex and you need to think tactically and creatively to get the greatest use of twitch enemies, as there is no way to sort allies and enemies with twitch spawn areas and twitch spawn points (for some reason) put stationary archers in tactical positions (twitch spawn points have an option for stationary archers), like guard towers and atop forts, stuff like that, hammers, bow bots, and spear bots are common enemy summons raptors are uncommon as a whole and I have seen equal ally and enemy usage so put them in a no-mans land with some mild hazards in close vicinity to hammer and bow enemies on your difficulty layouts to ensure the allied ones are instantly hardcountered and destroyed.
Effective Ambient Effects To Boost Enemy Effectiveness
Darkness is a key one, but if it is too intense or if it is there at all some streamers and or normal users may not like it, so tread lightly when using it, simple level design is a sad, but needed sacrifice for enemies to perform well, make sure not to use jumppads in a way that they can’t (they aim for the closest jumppad if they cannot reach you from heights directly). They will all walk at the same pace in a beeline directly for the pad, so make pads difficult to camp, put them below small holes in the floor that bots can just barely fit through make sure there is a little uneven cut towards where the jumppad takes you, as after enemies use the pad they will continue their normal attack patterns, so they will endlessly move forward. These techniques will make it marginally more difficult to camp these areas, make sure that traps are not too deeply embedded into the ground, or are in the direct path of enemies to common areas players will enter, just think about how you exploit the AI to your advantage on the level and try to make that not happen without risks of their own life like standing in saw tracks in the standard story levels. If you want to stop players from camping in certain areas and making robots hug walls you can have jumppads that lead to the top of whatever area they are camping on, as the robots will go for these pads and can reach them, forcing them out of these regions. If you want kick bots to perform better and as a result induce more stress and fear into players try to put hazards near high places with many jumppad attack vectors or distractions like stationary dangerous bots, or animated hazards like bosses to make them more fear inducing and effective.
Disclaimer: you do not have to use these tactics, these can be supplemental difficulty boosts if you feel your level is too easy.
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