akeen - a Keen1-3 level editor

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KeenRush
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akeen - a Keen1-3 level editor

Post by KeenRush » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:41

Today I decided to release akeen, a level editor I more or less completed in 2012 or 2013 and have used to make more than 50 levels so I know it works. Try it out. In my opinion it works pretty nicely, and it shouldn't take long for one to get accustomed to it.

akeen has some neat features. Those liking the old KeenEdit might like this one, this is purely a keyboard-only editor. :freud Some notable features are:
- scroll enough to one direction and the level wraps; go right enough and you appear at left (pageup, pagedown, shift+pageup, shift+pagedown makes moving faster) :O
- if you're outside level space you can increase level dimensions with insert key and remove rows/cols with q+del combination :dopekeen
- bridges are easy to make with 'i' and 'o' keys 8)
- the level border is automatically created when level is saved (and it can't be modified in this level editor), and when loading a level all the border data is discared (in case you've modified the border in another level editor) :pumpkeen

You can see a screenshot here: http://keenrush.shikadi.net/akeenshot.png

And download the tool here:
http://keenrush.shikadi.net/akeen.zip

:goth The program could have used some final polishing and better documenting but this is as far as it gets right now...
My newest mod - Planet Of Agony: https://pckf.com/viewtopic.php?t=4165 | codename H.Y.E.N.A.

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MoffD
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Post by MoffD » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:49

Looks good! I'm not making anything in 1-3 so I'm not going to use it right now but I'm glad to see another Keen tool out ;)
mortimermcmirestinks wrote: Now I wish MoffD wasn't allergic to me.
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Roobar
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Post by Roobar » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:53

stdout

Can't load your fucl tileset for some fucl reason: Couldn't open 1TIL0000.bmp

Cool story bro. :lol

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Post by Fleexy » Sat Jun 13, 2015 0:31

Neat! Good to have several options for editors. Even though I am very much a mouse user, there definitely should be a keyboard-based Keen editor.

Before I get into my experience with it, let me make it clear that this is a very superficial and probably unfair assessment that I'm about to make. I'm not currently working on a Vorticons project, so I didn't really give it a serious use. Also, I'm very used to Mindbelt and GUIs in general; keyboard-only is not my thing.

Things I like:
  • It is fast. Program startup, level loading, and tile changes all happen instantly.
  • It works on modern computers. I'm running 64-bit Windows 8.1, and it worked. Relatedly, it's portable and small.
  • The font is a nice touch. Definitely a Keen editor!
  • It's really neat that there are hotkeys to blank a tile or sprite - those are common operations that are made non-first-class by other editors.
  • It actually worked: modified a level; didn't crash, corrupt anything, or otherwise make me sad.
Nitpicks:
  • The text in the title bar is the very generic "SDL_app." The program displays as a generic application in the taskbar.
  • Better error messages would be a nice but nonessential thing. (I was kind of hoping it would let me browse for the tileset.) "1TIL0000.BMP does not exist here" would be a better message when that file doesn't in fact exist.
  • It would be kind of cool (but not necessary at all) if "unknown"/numeric sprites were resolved to and displayed as an offset or the switch's target position.
  • I was hoping that passing a level filename as a command line argument (dragging it onto the EXE in Explorer) would open the level, but it doesn't.
Things I wasn't a fan of:
  • The whole hiding-and-wiping-the-borders thing would be a problem when wrapping bridges around or other such shenanigans.
  • It's probably just that I haven't used the editor enough yet, but I couldn't remember the keys at all. (I'm sure this gets better with experience.)
  • The window is very small on my 1920x1080 monitors. Setting the zoom multiplier to 5 is perfect horizontally, but overfills vertically. I would definitely be a fan of a resizable window so I can see more of the level at once.
Mindbelt features that I immediately found myself missing:
  • The "hot bar" has several tile bays set aside for easy switching to with the 1 through 5 keys. I would also be happy with an Abiathar-style mini-palette shaped like and accessed with the numeric keypad.
  • It's kind of disconcerting to not see the currently selected tile or sprite; I frequently sit back to think about my level's design and then forget what I'm placing.
  • Copy and paste make the construction of common multiblock structures (e.g. exit door, decorative vignettes) so much easier.
Definitely a nice editor, certainly worthwhile for people who prefer the keyboard. And as you say, you've already successfully used it to make your own levels, so congratulations! :)

I'll be sure to try any future versions. I would also be a huge fan of an extension API to build upon it and add new features, though I understand this is probably difficult in C.

Happy modding to us all!

Fleexy

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Post by KeenRush » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:49

Thanks everyone who has tried it (anyone but you three?). :)

And thanks for all the feedback, Fleex. As said, this level editor was pretty much made for my own use (and I know it throughoutly), so it doesn't look all that good (I could have added one simple line to change that "SDL_app" title, but I didn't bother), and might not be all that easy for other to use. However, once one gets used to it the keys will become easy to remember and one comes to love the borderless approach (and easy resizing) -- or I did, anyway.

And yeah, I'm glad to see it even works on other computers than mine. :yorp As for that zoom, it was supposed to work, but I've never tested it with anything but value 2 except in the early stages of building. :o The problem is most likely that I've at some parts of the code forgotten to multiply a value with the zoom variable.

Anyway, good suggestions there (copy+paste is something that I missed too), but I don't think I'll ever touch this editor again, it's dead. But I do have another K1-3 level editor under construction, and it will be mouse-only, oddly enough -- and another piece of in-house software... 8)
My newest mod - Planet Of Agony: https://pckf.com/viewtopic.php?t=4165 | codename H.Y.E.N.A.

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