Q: WHAT EDITING TOOLS WILL BE INCLUDED WITH THE RELEASE OF TOMB RAIDER CHRONICLES?
Since the original Tomb Raider game was released back in 1996, the development
tools have been altered & updated for each installment of the series,
including Chronicles. With the Tomb Raider Level Editor tools (the same
editor used to create the levels featured in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation),
you will basically be able to create your own stand alone levels. Neither
Lara's model nor the objects and baddies that you place in the level will
be able to be modified, but you will be able to create your own environments,
including the textures you place in them. A tutorial level and documentation
cover the basics (making rooms, connecting rooms, lighting, placing pick-ups
and objects, etc.), with subsequent chapters covering more advanced skills
and concepts. In addition to the tutorial level, 6 different levels from
TR:TLR are available for 'inspiration' and 'reverse engineering.' Users
can open these projects in the editor to study how things were put together.
They can also use the objects, enemies, textures, etc. in their own levels.
If the editor is well received and people crave more, we hope to make
additional level sets available for download.
Q: HOW DOES THE EDITOR WORK?
The Tomb Editor is designed to work with a basic "building block" proportioned to Lara and her movements. Texture "tiles," equal in scale to these basic "building blocks," are applied to the modeled rooms comprising each level. Lights, objects,
enemies and sounds are placed within the model to create the worlds for Lara's adventures!
Building Rooms - Levels are built by connecting a series of rooms comprised of walls and "building blocks." The floors and ceilings of these rooms are sectioned into squares. The "building blocks" are created when you raise a square up from the
floor or lower one down from the ceiling. Four mouse clicks up or down equals the width of these square sections and creates a perfect cube. (Remember all those "blocks" Lara pushed and pulled around?) Building blocks can range in height from
one click all the way up (or down) to however far you are willing to push the limits! But bear in mind Lara is only 3 clicks tall and certain texture limitations must be considered in order to create a believable world!
The building blocks are not limited to cubes or columns with flat tops. Corners of the surfaces can be pulled up or down to create angled slopes and "organic" surfaces - great for creating rocky caves or sand dunes.
Applying Textures - Textures are applied to the surfaces of the blocks to further define the block shapes and ultimately define Lara's environments. Each level has a specific texture file that must be loaded in order to apply the textures. A texture file is
comprised of many 64x64 pixel "texture tiles" Ideally, textures are placed on square block surfaces since textures will stretch or compress to fit the space defined by the size of the building blocks. Overly stretched or compressed textures don't look
their best so to allow for this, all the vertical surfaces can be broken into smaller segments.
Applying Lighting Effects - Every room has an RGB ambient light capability ranging from zero to 100% white light, with every color in between. Lights, spotlights, effect lights, sunlight and shadows add drama and help to create a real world ambience.
Placing Objects - What would Lara's world be without objects to pick up or enemies to fight? Each project has a specific file, or WAD file, that must be loaded before the placement of objects or baddies is possible. WAD files include the specific
objects, from ammo to animated water fountains, and at least three or four baddies per level. Animations take up a lot of memory, so forget about that room with 1000 scorpions! This is the time to employ your design skills and discover new meaning
to the term "game balance"!
Q: ARE THERE LIMITS TO HOW BIG A ROOM CAN BE?
There are no 'set in stone' limits but you'll find that after approximately 20 blocks you begin to encounter texture drop-out during gameplay. Through the use of clever modeling & lighting effects you can often create rooms/areas that appear much
larger than they really area. There are also ways to connect rooms with horizon/sky effects to create the outdoor areas. All of these techniques are described in the documentation.
Q: CAN WE USE ENEMIES/ITEMS/WEAPONS FROM PAST TOMB RAIDER GAMES WITH THIS EDITOR?
As mentioned earlier, this version of the editor was used to create the levels featured in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. Since the original Tomb Raider game was released back in 1996, the development tools have been altered & updated for each
installment of the series and each Tomb Raider game involves a number of specific programming tasks specifically for that particular installment, so it's not possible to use items/enemies/maps from the older (or newer) games in this version of the
Q: WILL THE VEHICLES FROM TR:THE LAST REVELATION BE AVAILABLE?
The motorcycle is available in the City of the Dead level object set, but the jeep that was used in several of the levels is not available at this time. Programmers are looking into whether or not these could be made available for download sometime in
the future. Stay tuned…..
Q: CAN WE USE TEXTURES OTHER THAN THOSE FOUND IN TOMB RAIDER: THE LAST REVELATION?
Yes! We also include a number of different texture sets on the CD from some of the past Tomb Raider games and instructions on how to create/use your own textures when building levels.
Q: CAN WE CHANGE LARA'S OUTFITS?
Since the version of the TR Editor being provided is from Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, the only outfit Lara will have is her famous torquoise top and shorts. Lara's outfits from the previous TR games were designed for the old Lara model and
can't be used on the current in-game Lara.
Q: WHAT ARE THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS?
Similar to the PC requirements for Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation plus you will need a monitor capable of 1024x768 display (16bit color) and 300 MB of uncompressed hard disc space. Some hardware drivers might need to be updated and you
must use Direct X 7 (included on the disc).
Virtual Lara ~ Official Tomb Raider Fansite Circa 2020
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