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06 Jul 2017 04:11 - 13 Jul 2018 21:27 #1 by Three
PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics was created by Three
Welcome to PlatinumQuest! Since you've played it a bunch already, you must have a multitude of ideas for levels you want to create. Look no further than here, a basic look at the changes to how you make a Marble Blast level.


Creating your Mission



Previously, in Marble Blast Platinum, you'd need to copy an example mission manually in order to start creating. In PlatinumQuest, it's much simpler. While on the level select screen, hit the Menu button, and then select Editor. A window will pop up allowing you to not only edit existing custom missions, but also create new ones.

Hit "Create New" to bring this dialogue up, where you can configure basic aspects of your level -- such as name, description, author, gamemodes, etc. You can even import your QuArK or Constructor interior from this menu -- just type "<YOURINTERIORNAMEHERE>.dif" in the "Interior filename" field. Simply hit "Accept" to load your new level and begin using the level editor as normal.


Level Editor Improvements



To start off, the bottom bar is one of the most important new additions to the editor, as it contains useful features no matter what you intend to do. When you have nothing selected, you can change the level's current skybox ("Change Skybox"), or, perhaps, open an ultra-detailed menu that allows you to fine-tune and tweak every technical aspect of your level you could possibly want ("Edit Mission Info").


With most objects selected, you'll be shown four options: "Translate" and "Rotate" allow you to move an object to an exact point in space, relative to where it currently is or not, and "Drop to Ground" will lower the selected object until it is resting on an interior. Lastly, "Parenting Config" is an advanced option that will allow you to connect one object to another so when the parent moves, the parented object does too.

More options may be shown depending on the object selected; objects such as start pads, signs, and fading platforms will show a "Skin Selector" option where you can select the desired appearance from a list, and path nodes will show a "Edit Path Node" function which will allow you to tweak it to perfection.


A few more miscellaneous things you can use while editing:

  • From the File menu, you can reload your mission to reset moving platforms and other sensitive objects without exiting the level.
  • You can press F to focus on the currently selected object, in case it's tricky to find or something.
  • Press F5 to access the Replay Editor, where you can add previous replays into your level, so, perhaps your marble could "race" another. Experiment!
  • Press F6 to open the Particle Editor, where you can create your own custom particle emitters from an extremely wide variety of settings.

  • Applying the Final Touches

    Wow, you finished your level! How do you pretty it up for display on the new level select screen!?

    First, you'll need a camera path. While in freecam mode (Alt+C or select from Camera menu at top) simply press M to drop a CameraPath node at the camera's current position and rotation. These nodes will automatically connect to each other, however, if you'd like the path to loop, you'll need to set the "Next Node Name" of the last node to "CameraPath1".

    After your path is set up, adjust the "Time to Next" for each node to create a smooth, coherent path. If you want a cut to another "scene" of the campath, set its Time to Next to 00:00.001. Make sure your path isn't too jerky or fast, as it could throw off some players and it will generally be very unpleasant to watch.

    To save an image to be used as a preview while it loads, all you have to do is select File -> Get Preview Picture while in the editor. This will take a 1280x720 image of your level from the position of the first CameraPath marker and save it in the same folder as your .mis file.
    When you're ready to make your level's icon for the menu, press Ctrl+P to take a screenshot of the level, and then navigate to it in your PlatinumQuest/platinum/data/screenshots directory. Open it up in your favorite image editing software, and then crop a portion of it and resize it to 96x70 pixels. Save it in the same spot your .mis is saved with the same name, and you're good. In order to update the level icon and level preview, you need to restart PlatinumQuest.


    That's pretty much it for the basic aspects and improvements of the editor in PlatinumQuest. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a reply to this thread.

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    Last edit: 13 Jul 2018 21:27 by Three. Reason: .prev amendment
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    10 Jul 2017 15:57 #2 by Three
    Replied by Three on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    I might want to add, when you add your interiors from Constructor to the game, they should go into platinum/data/interiors_pq/custom. This allows them to use PQ textures and shaders without needing to make a bunch essentially custom.

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    10 Jul 2017 17:07 #3 by Evoker
    Replied by Evoker on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    Ah ok that sounds good. Does this mean that even if we use standard PQ textures from the game, putting them in that directory will means it will make sure all the textures show up in-game and there are no greyed out faces?

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    10 Jul 2017 17:32 #4 by Three
    Replied by Three on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    Yes, if you put an interior with PQ textures in platinum/data/interiors instead (like you did in MBP) then it'll be broken and have missing textures.

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    10 Jul 2017 23:57 #5 by Evoker
    Replied by Evoker on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    Right, great, thanks. May I ask how to add water into levels? That might be good to explain here.

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    11 Jul 2017 02:12 #6 by Three
    Replied by Three on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    To add the water trigger, just create a trigger as you normally would for an OOB or HelpText trigger, but choose "WaterPhysicsTrigger" instead. The actual water effect can be found in the Shapes menu somewhere, it's called "WaterCylinder_slow" or something like that. Just place it on top of your WaterPhysicsTrigger and you're good.

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    17 Aug 2017 15:41 - 18 Aug 2017 01:42 #7 by Technostar
    Replied by Technostar on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    When you first select a level from the menu, you may notice that you see a preview image instead of the camera path. This is a separate image from the thumbnail you see in the level select menu, and if it's not included, you will just see a question mark.


    To get the preview to show up properly and quickly, you must save your image as <Level Name>.prev.dds. However, many image editors do not include the ability to export to a .dds file by default, so you will probably have to download a plugin. I use GIMP as my image editor (It's free!), so I use this plugin to save files as .dds. Simply place the .prev.dds file in the same folder as your mission and you're good to go!

    However, if you're too lazy to go to that trouble. you can just save as .prev.png or .prev.jpg. DDS just makes the image load faster. Thank you HiGuy for pointing this out.

    System.out.println("Hello");
    Last edit: 18 Aug 2017 01:42 by Technostar. Reason: Added info on .png and .jpg extensions
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    17 Aug 2017 20:20 #8 by HiGuy
    Replied by HiGuy on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    Note you don't have to use DDS, you can use PNG or JPG. We just used DDS in PQ to cut down on load time.

    PQ in a nutshell
    function clientcmd12dothepq() {
        commandToClient(LocalClientConnection, '34onthedancefloor');
    }
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    18 Aug 2017 01:40 - 18 Aug 2017 01:43 #9 by Technostar
    Replied by Technostar on topic PlatinumQuest Level Editor Basics
    Oh, that's convenient! I assumed it needed a .dds image and didn't bother to test PNGs or JPGs.

    System.out.println("Hello");
    Last edit: 18 Aug 2017 01:43 by Technostar.

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