The first beta release of the map editor is now available. Download from here: knights_map_editor_001.zip. This is a Windows only release currently. There are also not any proper instructions yet, but this blog post (and the previous one) will give you the basics of how to use the editor.
There is also a new release of Knights. You will need to install this before you can use the map editor, as the older versions of Knights are not compatible with the editor.
To use the editor, first download and unzip it. Then run knights_editor.exe.
Before you can start using the editor properly, you have to tell it where Knights is installed. To do this go to File -> Settings and fill in the “knights_data directory” and “Knights exe location” fields. These will usually be set to “C:\Program Files\Knights\knights_data” and “C:\Program Files\Knights\Knights.exe”, unless you have installed Knights to a different location. The program saves these settings so you only have to do this once.
You are now ready to start editing. To load the standard Knights rooms file, go to File -> Open and open the file “knights_rooms.txt” in your knights_data directory. (It is a good idea to make a backup copy of this file first, in case you break anything.) The standard Knights dungeon “segments” will appear on the left hand side of the window. Double click any one to open it for editing.
To place tiles you can click one of the tiles at the bottom of the window and then use the mouse to “paint” this tile onto the map area. You can use either the left or right mouse button to paint (i.e. you can have two different tiles selected at once, one on the left and one on the right button). You can also ctrl-click any tile on the map to select that tile (this may be faster than going down to the palette at the bottom all the time).
In the tile palette you will notice certain tiles have letters attached. The “P” indicates a “live” pentagram (the other pentagram tile without a “P” represents a “dead” pentagram that has no effect when stepped on). The “G” and “N” represent the gnome book and the Necronomicon respectively. “S” indicates the special pentagram, used for destroy book with wand quests (as opposed to a normal pentagram). “L” indicates doors which are “permanently locked” and can only be opened by means of a switch.
By clicking “Switches” you can cause actions to be triggered when a knight walks onto a certain tile or presses a switch. Double click the map to place a switch, or right-click to remove an existing switch. The switch actions have to be entered using a special scripting language which will be the subject of a future blog post.
By clicking “Rooms” you can set the locations of the individual map rooms which make up the segment, or view the existing rooms. Note that the actual dungeon rooms extend one square further in all directions than what is visible in the map editor (so that the rooms overlap by one square in the game itself). To place rooms, drag out a rectangle while holding the left mouse button. The right mouse button is used to delete existing rooms. Note that all rooms must be set properly before the segment can be used — if this is not done properly, the game is likely to crash.
On the File menu you have the usual New, Open, Save options. I recommend saving your work regularly since this is still beta quality software and it could crash at any time
The map editor has Undo and Redo features, available on the Edit menu (or by pressing Ctrl+Z or Ctrl+Y).
On the Segment menu you can add and delete segments to/from the current file. Each segment can be given a name (by editing the box on the right-hand side of the main window); this is not used in the game but is useful for keeping track of segments in the map editor. The segment “category” can also be set; this should be left blank for most segments, but can be set to “gnome_room”, “liche_tomb”, “guarded_exit” or “special_pentagram” for the special mission types. (See the segments at the bottom of the standard knights_rooms.txt file — the ones with names beginning “Z” — for examples of these.)
Last, but not least, there is also a feature where you can test your creations in the actual game. To do this, double click the segment you want to test, then go to Segment -> Test. Assuming you set your Knights exe location correctly, this will start a copy of Knights and put you into your chosen segment. After you’ve finished testing you can either close the Knights window or press ESC – Q to quit in the usual way.
If anyone does give this a try, please send me feedback – both as to any bugs you may find (I’m sure there are plenty) and also any suggested new features or improvements. Also, if anyone wants to send me dungeon rooms they have made, then I would be happy to put them into a future version of Knights!