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level starters | advanced features | extra

Level Starters
(taken from (E-mail author Lara Severi)

~Creating Rooms~

First, get into the 2D view by clicking the 2D MAP button. Click the SELECT ROOM button and scroll down to the first empty room, select it and hit OKAY. This will make a new room the default size of 18x18 squares by 20 clicks high. It fills the entire grid (remember, the gray squares don't count as real estate!).

Naming your Room
Click in the ROOM TEXT WINDOW below the PLAN VIEW grid; and name your room something identifiable. (You don't HAVE to name the rooms, but it makes it easier to find specific rooms in more complex levels.) Use the Backspace button to get rid of the existing text, then type your room name. You must hit ENTER for the name to "stick."

Moving your Room
You probably noticed the large red square that appears in the upper left corner of the EDITOR WINDOW. All new rooms appear in this location. Right click and drag your room into the desired space.

Sizing your Room
Go back to the PLAN VIEW grid if you want to reduce your new room to a more manageable size. Right click in the light blue area of the grid and drag a selection of squares (the selection will have a red outline). Now hit the BOUND ROOM button located in the ROOM EDIT buttons below the grid. Your room will now be a smaller, more realistically sized room (judging on how much you bounded the room).

Ceiling & Floor +-
Go to the PLAN VIEW grid and click one of the light blue squares. Notice that the corresponding square on the model (in the EDITOR WINDOW) is now highlighted in red, both on the floor and on the ceiling. When a square is red, it is ready for "action."

NOTE: You can select a square from the model, but if you
accidentally click on it twice, a white arrow will appear in the
middle of the square. To get rid of the arrows, right click once.

To manipulate the squares you have selected, use the CEILING and FLOOR buttons from the ROOM EDIT BUTTONS just below the grid. Try clicking on the "+" or "-" buttons to raise or lower the floor and ceiling accordingly. (One right click = 4 single clicks)

CAUTION: The ROOM button raises and lowers the elevation
of the entire room. You'll use this feature when you begin
stacking rooms.

Get in the habit of occasionally checking the elevation (ceiling and floor height) of the room you are working in. Look in the INFO BOX below the EDITOR WINDOW for the numbers.

~Block Measurements~

Good Things Come In Small Packages…

When creating a level you will have to give some thought to making your rooms a realistic elevation for Lara's height. Stand up now and look up at the ceiling; it is not 7 miles away is it! I'd say the best height for a room is 7 to 8 clicks. Also if you make your rooms taller then 8 clicks your textures will stretch and your efforts of realism will be shattered. 

REMEMBER - Lara = 3 clicks tall
Always make ceiling 8 clicks or smaller.

Block measurements

Stand, jump & grab / running jump

For this jump Lara needs two blocks bearing an elevation of 4 clicks each. In between those blocks there has to be a gap of two floor squares. Also when Lara is stood on the jumping blocks make sure you can jump up without touching the ceiling. If Lara can't get enough elevation when trying to reach the other block, she will most probably bang her head off the target or land on the floor instead. To get that elevation whilst sticking to the 'real room' rules (above), you will have to STACK ROOMS (See main menu).

Run, jump and grab

This type of jump has the same set up as above except there is a gap of three floor squares between the two jumping blocks.

Shimmying and Crawling Spaces

To create a shimmying space minus the ceiling or raise the floor till there is only a gap of one click. To create a crawling space minus the ceiling or raise the floor till there is only a gap of two clicks. Make the gap any larger and Lara will be able to stand.

Sliding & Slopes

Click a blue square anywhere in your room with the left button on your mouse. Notice how arrows appear on the squares. When these arrows are displayed press the floor + and - buttons to create a slope or sliding slope. One to two clicks is a none slid able slope, anything higher and Lara will switch into her sliding animation. Be careful when creating sliding slopes (see troubleshooting - illegal slopes) and watch your texture divides (see texturing section).

~Creating Doors~


To create a door make two rooms and place them next to each other. Select a room and then in the editor window box select a selection of grey squares and press the black 'door' button. Your two rooms will now be joined. To see them joined press the 'Draw Doors' button. NOTE - Pressing this button when your level has more then 100 rooms will cause the editor to crash.


Select a door in the editor window box (it should say door to room ...' and be highlighted with a green line). With this selected simply press the delete key. This action will leave your texture divides in a mess, but they can fixed by selecting the offending wall square and pressing the W button.

~Stacking Rooms~


Make sure that the floor and ceiling squares are flat. Use flatten floor or flatten ceiling. Rotate the room and look for any squares that may be too high or too low.

The lower room should have the same ceiling height as the higher room's floor height. In the plan view, use the Room + and - buttons to raise or lower the entire room. At the bottom of the main window, click the 2D map button. Align the high room over the lower room. In the plan view, right click and select the entire floor of the higher room (not the grey walls). Click the black door button. You should now see a black door.


To create a ledge in the higher room of your stacked rooms, delete the door, then raise the floor squares that you want to be the ledge. Recreate the door and Walla! Your very own stacked room with a ledge.

~Basic Texturing Guide~


To place textures in your room:

1) Click onto the menu 'Texture'
2) Press 'Load TGA'
3) Select a TGA file and press open.

(Textures are located in the 'Extra Textures' and 'Maps' folders in the TRLE root directory)


Wallpaper Effect

The wallpaper effect is when you apply the same texture so much that it just doesn't look real and looks more like a boring wallpaper you might buy in a shop. To avoid this apply textures carefully, develop your own style and be creative!

Transparent and Double Sided

The Transparent and Double Sided buttons are located near the Editor window Buttons and are used when creating water surfaces or glass effects (see opacities).

Texture Divides

A texture divide can be created by selecting a wall square and pressing Q and A to raise or lower the wall panel (not the elevation!).

Stretching Textures

To avoid stretching textures make your room a max height of 8 clicks and use texture divides.

Animation Ranges & Texture Sounds

The Animation Ranges and Texture Sounds buttons can be found at the bottom of the Texture panel. Highlight a texture, select your request and press ok!

~Basic Objects Guide~

Placing Objects
1. Using the arrows on either side of the OBJECT PANEL, you can scroll through object previews. Rotate object previews by clicking on the object with the right button on your mouse.
2. Choose an object you like the look of, now click on the text box above the preview of the object. A list will appear. Find the desired object, highlight it's name, and press Okay.
3. Now go to the EDITOR WINDOW PANEL and turn off the 2D MAP and FACE EDIT buttons. If FACE EDIT is left on it will either rotate or place a different texture on the square you touch when you click to place your object.
4. Click the PLACE OBJECT button located on the OBJECT PANEL. Then, in the EDITOR WINDOW, click on a blue square in your room where you want to place the object and it will appear.

Moving and Deleting Objects
Objects can be moved around a room exactly the same way as lights. If you want to delete an object, making sure it is selected, use the delete key.

Rotating Objects
In addition to moving an object up and down or from square to square, you can rotate it by 45 degree increments. Objects that are by default placed on the edge of a square (like the torch object), when rotated will go from one edge of the square to the next edge.

Lighting Objects
An Object has its own light settings and is only partially affected by local light sources.
Sometimes it is necessary to adjust these settings in order to create the illusion that an object is being affected by the local light.
On the OBJECT PANEL find the RGB settings with the words "Object Tint" above. Click the RGB values to adjust - they jump by 8 with each click. If you have used a strongly colored light or your room is quite dark, you might want to match the object's settings with those of the light. (If the room is dark and you don't adjust the object's lighting, your object will look like it is glowing in the dark.)

NOTE: There is a limit to the number of objects you can place
in a level! The total is around
245, which is 10 less than the
total number in the information box below the Editor Window.
The reason for this is you must leave at least 10 animating slots
free for in-game animations.

~Creating a Playable Version~


If you are finished your level or if you have just created a certain feature and you would like to check it out in game, to see if it is what you intended it to be / look like, you will have to create a playable version.
To do this make sure the 'Lara' object is in your level (If Lara is not in your level, it will not work). Save your project ('file' 'save'). Then press on the 'output wad' button under the 'file' menu. Choose the wad you are using (if are using city. Was you will output your level over the city. Tom etc). Then press save and click yes when a dialog box asks you if you want to overwrite. Then press quit under the file menu.


Go to start / program files / core design / trle / tools / level converter. Under 'edit script' press 'add' choose your wad and press open, then select 'Build All.' The programme will now build your level. Wait until the "Build All Complete" sign shows and then close the converter. Now run the Tomb Raider 4 programme and play your level!

~Interactive Elements~


Highlight a selection of ceiling squares and press the peach 'Monkey' button on the Editor Window buttons to assign a monkey swing surface. Texture the surface with an appropriate grabbing texture (to give guidance to the player). If you are assigning a monkey swing in a series of stacked rooms, assign the monkey surface to the ceiling of all the rooms (in the same pattern).     


Select a wall square or column and press the four green 'Climb' buttons to assign a climbing wall. Observe the editor window to see where you are assigning the surface. NOTE - You will also need to assign the climbing feature to the floor square by the wall Lara is going to climb.


A rope is a null mesh object. Place the 'Rope' object in your room, then select the rope, and select a square where you want the rope to be triggered and press the pink trigger button, (near the 'Monkey' and 'Climb' buttons). NOTE - Do not trigger the rope in front of Lara's eyes, trigger it preferably round the corner.


A pole is an object and it requires no trigger. Just simply place the 'Pole' object in your room.



Click on the large Lighting button at the top of the lighting window to see your room with lighting effects. The Lighting button will be dark when you are in the lighting mode.


There are three buttons for ambient lighting. The red, green and blue values all start out at 128, 128, 128. Right click on the + or - buttons to change values by 16, or left click + or - buttons to change values by 1. To make a room darker, decrease the red, green, and blue values to the same amount. For example, 0, 0, 0 would be a totally dark room. A room with ambience set at 48,48,48 would be quite dark. To change colors, use different values of red, green and blue. You may want to use a graphic artist program to find RGB (red, green, blue) color values. A room with 128, 0, 0 would be red.


Make sure that you are in the DOS mode, so that you can see the entire lighting panel. Make sure the big lighting button is black. Drag a light into your room to a floor square.
Right click on the light to select it. It should turn red. Use CTL and arrows to move your light around. Use the W and S keys to raise or lower the light. Change the lighting color, change colour values in the lighting panel (RGB). Very similar to setting up the ambient lighting.
Change the lighting brightness, use the intensity button. O = no light, 1 = full light.
Click on the Show Light Meshes under the main window to see the fall on/off effects of the light (how far the light will shine). Fall off represents how big the light is. Fall off is the sharpness of the light. Change these values with the In and Out buttons in the lighting panel. See manual, page 15 for more.


Shadows are great for hiding crawlspaces and more. Very similar to lights. Change the intensity values -1 to 0. A value of 0 has no effect. A value of -1 is pitch black.


This only effects one square. The default value of intensity is 0 which means it has no effect. Increase the intensity to see a difference.


Only one sun per room. Required if you are using sky graphics. You can modify the sun's intensity (0 to 1).


Placed and works like the light bulb, except this light covers a smaller amount of space.


Right click to select the light. Then hit the delete key.


With the lighting button on, use the Copy and Paste buttons in the lighting panel.

~Audio & Sound~

Audio Tracks

Available audio tracks can be found in the Audio folder of your trle Root directory. After you have selected the track you want (you need the number of the track), do the following to set the trigger:

1. Select the square you wish to be the trigger for the music clip and
click on the pink Trigger button.
2. Click in the text box next to the trigger button to bring up the "Set
Trigger Type" window.
3. Click in the window next to "Trigger" and choose "CD" from the list
and click "OK"
4. In the window next to "CD" type the number of the audio track.
and press enter. Finally press "OK" to close the trigger box.

Sound Files

To add a sound file to your level (e.g. water loop, wind) Click on the effects menu and press the sound option. You will be presented with a list of small sound files. Choose one (by clicking on it) and press Okay. Then click a square in your room (where you want the sound to be) and a little speaker will appear. NOTE - Sound files require NO trigger to work.

~Creating Water~

To create water, stack two rooms (one for the ledge room and one for the pool room).

In the water room press the 'W' button and set the value to '2', this means when Lara hits the water she will go into her swimming animation.

In the ledge room highlight the pit to the poolroom and press the 'Toggle Opacity 2' button located near the editor window buttons. The pit squares should now be red. Press the face edit button. Now turn on the Transparent and Double Sided buttons. This means when Lara is underneath the water she will be able to see through to the room above (ledge room).
Find the eight water textures in the texture panel and apply them randomly to the toggled area. Press the Animation Ranges button and highlight the water textures you used - then press 'OK'. Now your water should move up and down in game.

For a finishing touch set the light ambience in the pool room to Red - 40 Green - 40 blue - 80, this will give your pool a nice clean blue look. In the ledge room press the 'R' button and set the reflective value ('3' is the best).


To create shallow water (ankle height) raise the floor in the poolroom till the elevation is only one click high. To create wading water (waist height) raise the floor in the poolroom till the elevation is only two clicks high.


Generally, straight forward triggers are used, hence the default setting of "trigger". The following are options that provide ways of setting up a variety of special and sequenced events. Here are some basic things to keep in mind when setting "special" triggers:
w Special triggers such as pad, switch, key, antitrigger and antipad cannot be stacked (no more than one of these types per square). one of these triggers overrides all other triggers.
w Basically any trigger with a timer set cannot be placed on the same block as another
trigger with a different timer.
w If any of the trigger fields are set to anything other than the default "TRIGGER", they too cannot be overlapped.
w If you set a trigger to "HEAVY", all triggers on that block are also set to HEAVY even though their fields are still set as normal.

PAD - A pad trigger must be walked or stood upon to activate. Lara can jump over a square with a pad trigger and it will not be activated…check room 69 in Coastal Ruins for good use of pad triggers. In order to place two pad triggers on the same square (since special triggers can't be overlapped), a regular trigger is placed with the pad trigger.
SWITCH - When a switch is used to open a door, the trigger must be set for on the same square for the switch and the door, and the switch trigger designated as such. Often additional triggers are stacked on switch triggers because they will not activate until the switch is "flipped". This is a good way to illicit an event in response to an action - i.e. the switch is "flipped" and you get a camera view, a flip map, a baddy….Check Catacombs, room 13; Karnak, room 69 and Tomb of Seth, room 55.
KEY - Any type of puzzle or key hole requires a trigger with this designation in order for its correlative action to occur; such as a door opening as a result of Lara using a key from her inventory, an animated effect after inserting a puzzle piece into a receptacle, and so on. This is another opportunity for stacking triggers and setting up other events as mentioned above. Check Karnak, room 56 and Coastal Ruins, rooms 140 and 129.
PICKUP - Makes the action of picking up an object such as a medi pack or ammo become a trigger for an event like a rolling ball. Check Karnak, room 88; Cleopatra's Palaces, rooms 128,149 and 159 and Tomb of Seth, room 3.
HEAVY - Heavy triggers are activated by anything but Lara such as an enemy, guide, push able object or shatter object. Once a heavy trigger is placed on a square, all other triggers become heavy and will not be activated by Lara. Check City of the Dead, room 144; Catacombs rooms 183,41,50 and Tomb of Seth, rooms 109 and 30.
ANTIPAD - Turns off whatever was activated by a pad trigger. (see antitrigger)
COMBAT - Not currently used.
DUMMY - Bridges and raising floors…any placed object Lara walks across must have a "dummy" trigger set beneath it to prevent her from actually falling through the "opening". A good example of the dummy trigger is room 58 in Tomb of Seth, used with the sand trap.
ANTITRIGGER - Turns off whatever was activated by a corresponding trigger. It cannot be used on timed doors. Since one of these triggers overrides all other triggers, use it to your advantage. If two antitriggers are needed on the same square, use one antitrigger and one normal trigger - the normal trigger automatically becomes an antitrigger, thus creating two antitriggers…a neat way of getting around the "no two special triggers on one square" rule.
HEAVY SWITCH - A switch designated to be activated by someone/thing other than Lara.
HEAVY ANTITRIGGER - Deactivates a heavy trigger.
MONKEY - A trigger that only becomes active when Lara is Monkey Swinging - nice if you want a different camera or a trap only to be triggered when Lara is "swinging." Check Catacombs room 27.

~Cameras - fly by, target, basic & fixed~

Flyby Camera

Flyby cameras are found under the pull down menu "Effects".
Flyby cameras are used to create "mini movies" in game; when a sequence of fly by cameras are placed together and coded correctly the screen display will decrease in size and the cameras will circulate from one to the next till the sequence is complete. 
Place a sequence of flyby cameras in a room and select the first camera in the sequence. To adjust the direction the camera is pointing click on the camera, hold down the ALT key and use the cursor keys. (For large steps, hold down shift and ALT)

Pressing 'O' will bring up a menu with the following options on it:

Seq 0 Sequence number e.g. if you have 4 fly by sequences in a level, the first one will be seq 0, the second seq 1 etc. 
Num 0 Camera number increments up from the first camera in each sequence E.g. the first camera in a sequence will be num 0, the second num 1, etc.
Timer 0 Similar to the standard camera timer (has special features on some flyby camera modes).
Speed 1 The initial speed that the camera sequence moves at. 1 is the slowest, 2 is average and all numbers after 2 move at a more brisk paste.   
Roll 0 Used to rotate the camera for barrel roll effects, A + number is given to rotate the cam clockwise, A - number is given to rotate anti-clockwise.
FOV 80 Alters the field of view for each camera in the sequence.

There are also a number of new code-bits to give the flyby's different modes: the most
commonly used have been underlined…

0 = Snap to start of sequence from Lara cam
1 = Not used
2 = Loop for infinity
3 = Track Lara cam
4 = Target Lara's last position before camera trigger
5 = Target Lara's current moving position
6 = Snap back to Lara at end of sequence
7 = Cut-Cam, Jumps to a specified camera in the same sequence
(Timer = cam number to jump to)
8 = Hold camera (timer = 30 X Number of seconds)
9 = Disable look key break out.
10 = Disable Lara control
11 = Enable Lara control
12 = Not used
13 = Not used
14 = Activate heavy trigger
15 = Not used

Basic & Fixed Cameras

Basic & fixed cameras work and are controlled the same way except if the draw weapons or look key is pressed while Lara is stood on a trigger zone for a basic camera, the camera will not 'work'. However, fixed cameras, no matter what button is pressed, while Lara is stood in the trigger zone, the triggered cam position will occur. Both Basic ('camera') and fixed cameras can be found in the 'Effects' menu. Once one of these cameras have been placed in a room, simply select the camera, select a collection of squares and press the trigger button. You can move basic or fixed cameras by selecting the camera you want to move and pressing the 'q' and 'a' buttons. If you bring up the 'trigger type' menu for the camera you can also specify how long you want the camera to operate, before cutting back to the standard 'Lara cam'.       

Camera Target

Use the camera target for pointing a camera (basic or fixed) at something other than Lara. A Camera Target null mesh (from the object's menu) is placed where you want the camera to point and both are triggered to the same square. The Camera Target null mesh trigger is then assigned the "target" option so the camera will know to point at it instead of Lara. Example levels are full of camera targets…use "find object" to locate the Camera Target null mesh.