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Building an interior area:

1. To start building a new interior area, select File > New > Area, and choose interior.

2. Select the ‘Tiles’ tab (bottom right) to bring up a list of tilesets that you can build your area from. In some cases you can mix and match, though this is not always possible. Let’s use the ‘caves’ tileset.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic1.JPG


3. In the top right there is a little pin. If you click this it will keep this panel ‘pinned’ out. If you also have the properties window showing on the right hand of the screen, you can use the same pin to ‘store it’ on the right side to make more space (as shown). You can do the same to all of the panels on the left, giving yourself more building area.

4. Go to the View > Options menu, and either turn off your autosave, or set it to a longer duration. Autosave occasionally causes issues, so you will want to manually back up your module from time to time using the ‘save as’option. If you do not, you will regret it later. Really.

5. Making interior areas works quite differently from exteriors (or indeed from NWN1 unless you have a plug-in). You need to select tiles and fit them together like a jigsaw. You will see in front of you a grid, and you place down tiles on this. To get the hang of it, select any tile from the menu and place it down on the grid. If you find clicking on a tile doesn’t seem to work when you try to place it, look at the menu bar at the top and select ‘Tiles’.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic2.JPG 6. Each tile in the menu has a little graphic icon that shows you where the walls are (blue lines) and the door openings are (red bars). You will find a large selection of tiles in the toolset, but it will soon become clear you are missing some variations. You can rotate a tile by selecting it, then using Ctrl + a left or right cursor key to rotate it BEFORE you place it. (you can do it after you place it, but it’s very labourious – select the tile, right click it, then use left and right arrows).

7. Some of the tiles also have variations (the right hand column next to the icon). This means that you can get the same layout with a different look. To do this, select the tile as before, place your mouse over the position on the grid so you can see the tile, and before you place it, use the up or down cursor keys to cycle through the variations to see which you want before placing it.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic3.JPG 8. You’ll soon find you need to move around the map. To do this, hold down the Ctrl key and using the left mouse button, drag the grid in the direction you want to go. You can rotate the grid by holding down your mouse wheel/middle button and moving the mouse.

9. Now build up your area by fitting the pieces together. If you want to join your tiles to tiles from another tileset, you can do this easily by picking another tileset and painting that down. Not all tilesets match well though – it is better to place two tiles containing doors backing onto each other to get a meaningful changeover. Make sure they match height – some tilesets (like the Shadow Fortress) have a different base height.

10. There are larger tile groupings called meta-tiles, that add some variation. For the caves for example there are some premade diagonal sections. To access these, click on the Meta-tile tab at the top of the right-hand panel. Here you will find a list of meta-tiles set out as the tiles were. They don’t have very meaningful names, nor icons, so the best way to look at them is to select one and run your mouse over the grid to see what it looks like. You can manipulate the meta-tiles in the same way as you did with the tiles.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic4.JPG

11. If you wish to de-select a tile, press the escape key.

12. If you wish to delete a tile, select a tile on the map (use escape if you have a tile ‘stuck’ to your mouse pointer). Then press the delete key.

13. Before you start dressing your area, you might now want to take a break to set up some of its properties. To do this, reveal the area tab on the left of your screen by mousing over it, and right click on your area in the list, then select properties (new window).

14. You will be presented with a pretty lengthy list, most of which is self explanatory. Let’s leave Day/Night stages for now – that’s where you do your lighting settings for each time of day and is best covered in the exterior tutorial when I expand it. Since we’re indoors, we’ll likely only be using one lighting setting, the default one. You will likely want to come back and do this last, when you have completed your area, because at the moment, you want to be able to see properly. You can change the time of day you are viewing in the main window from the Day/Night menu on the top toolbar.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic5.JPG 15. For my caves area, I am going to set everything in the Environment section to false – it is a never changing environment, where the sun or moon do not pierce.

16. Underneath ‘General’ you will see a lot of important properties. Here, set underground, natural and interior to TRUE, as we are building some natural caves. I also gave the area a name – this is the name that will appear in game for the player. Notice that on the left in the area panel, the area has not renamed itself. If you want to change the name you see in the toolset, you must right click on the area in that panel, and select rename.

17. Also underneath General is the Tag – every area MUST have a unique tag. It doesn’t matter what system you use, as long as it’s one that you won’t get confused on.

18. I won’t get into detail on the rest of the properties as most of them are self-explanatory, but here you also set whether you can rest, what ambient sound you want playing in the area, and what scripted events will fire (we’re not covering scripting here).

19. Now you are most likely to start pacing doors, objects, sounds and lighting in your areas. This can be done from the blueprints panel. This is the tab at the bottom right next to ‘Tiles’ you selected earlier.

20. Let’s place a few doors first. Select Doors from the options at the top of the blueprints panel, and then pick a door and place it in a doorframe. Most doors have two facings, and you can change them around by moving your mouse over the door frame, and only clicking it when you have the door the way round that you want it. Be careful, it is quite possible to place multiple doors in the same doorframe (which is nuts, but there you go!).

21. To open the door properties, you can right click on it (again, escape deselects any object on your mouse pointer). Here you are faced with multiple options that you can edit. Let’s concentrate on a few of the important ones.

http://www.dladventures.com/gallery/public/tutorials/Tut3Pic6.JPG

· Tinting: Most doors can’t be tinted, but secret doors can and should be tinted to match the tints you used for the tiles. (Secret doors aren’t very secret though, as the Z key will reveal them) · Static: whether your door is static (part of the scenery), · Locked: Set whether the door is locked. If so, set whether it uses a key, what is the key’s name and have the key removed. Most doors should really have keys somewhere, which you need to create, unless they are plot essential methods of blocking progress, in which case, make sure you set them to: · Plot: TRUE if you do not want this door accidentally/deliberately destroyed. · Faction: Hostile. Really. Don’t change it unless you want weird bugs where creatures go hostile on you. · Linked to/Linked object type: If this door is a transition, place the TAG of the target door in the ‘Linked to’ field, and select ‘linked to door’. Don’t forget the target door needs to be set up to transition back to this door. · Difficulty Class: Self explanatory – set here how hard it is to do each action listed. · Tag: Give the door a unique TAG if it will be doing anything more than just opening and closing (transitions, scripts attached etc), · Localised name: Give the door a name if desired. · Classification: Tells you where to find it int eh blueprints menus. You can change this for your own blueprints to put them somewhere else. Use the | delimiter to set submenus: “01_INTERIOR_DOORS | Mydoors” would place it in a new menu subtree called Mydoors within the standard interior doors section of the palette.

22 All the rest of the properties are self explanatory (except scripts, which we won’t cover here).

23 For more on objects and lighting, see the appropriate tutorials.

If you would like to vote on this tutorial (which would be appreciated), or pick up a Word version of the tutorial, go to the Vault here: Click Here - link likely active as of 27th November, 2006


Special Thanks to Ben Wynniatt-Husey (B G P Hughes), from DLA for permission to copy this tutorial to this location.

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