Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

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entropicdecay
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Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by entropicdecay »

Not entirely sure whether to ask this here or on the Keen:Modding forum, but...

I've been kinda reluctant to make much attempt at Galaxy modding or levelpack-making because my initial experiences when I've tried a little bit in the past involved running into a lot of issues I didn't understand. It seems like there are somewhat more complex pitfalls compared to Vorticons that can result in the game having memory issues, or other problems, on a level and puking.

Does anyone know a good introductory Galaxy modding guide that can help avoid some of said pitfalls? Is it partly a matter of there being better/easier to use level editors now?

Also, I'm curious about the source modding (?) thing that some have apparently used, I don't know where I'd get started looking into that...
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Dave216
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by Dave216 »

I am not as experienced as some of the modding veterans here, but Ceilick's Galaxy modding tutorial is the best way to go. It covers the essentials and advanced stuff too. I've encountered a lot of memory and crashing issues once I started making my mods, but errors are well documented on the KeenWiki. There are also solutions provided if you encounter any. The biggest hassle is setting up your modding station, but once you get in the groove, everything else is automatic.

That being said, I know next to nothing about source modding, and a tutorial on source modding is under construction.
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entropicdecay
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by entropicdecay »

Dave216 wrote: Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:20 Ceilick's Galaxy modding tutorial is the best way to go
Thank you, I'll give it a look.

Edit: I'm curious about the technical aspects (though I don't know if I'd be knowledgeable enough to fully understand them) that seem to make it more frequent to run into memory issues with Galaxy editing compared to Vorticons also.
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by troublesomekeen »

Ceilick's Galaxy modding tutorial was my introduction. I first tried to mod GameBoy Advance games but this Commander Keen business was much more simple. I wouldn't worry about the complexity at all. The only complex thing about Galaxy modding is making each level look nice.
It can seem overwhelming but you gotta start out small. I mean super small. My first change to the game was switching out Keen's sprite colors. And what a thrill it was to see them changed! And as soon as I learned the sprite's dimensions had to be in multiples of 8, it was off to the races! importing the slightly altered graphics with every tiny change... erasing the megarocket from the bwb megarocket level... adding an extra giant slug statue in another level... seeing what other types of stone houses I can make without altering the tileset...
You know. All that small good stuff when first starting out. None of this isn't going to crash the game (but if it does, there's only a few things it could be this early on in the process). Nobody ever came out the womb building Pavarotti's Palace or Mozart's Mansion. And if you know a thing or two about modding Vorticons, you're further along than you think. :cheers

(also browse my youtube channel for sparks, inspiration, tutorials, outdated info, and gists)
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Dave216
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by Dave216 »

I'd be happy to help if you run into trouble, though as TsK said, you most likely won't if you keep it nice and simple.
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by Quillax »

I, too, wholeheartedly recommended Ceilick's Galaxy modding tutorial as well. It's a huge life-saver and really helped me understand Galaxy modding, although the tutorial has really changed since then (e.g. uGrab is now the graphics tool featured instead of ModKeen). (If you want to know what version of the tutorial I followed back then, it's definitely before Nisaba heavily revamped it -- something like this: https://keenwiki.shikadi.net/w/index.ph ... ldid=28864)

I remember back when I first started Galaxy modding, I ran into plenty of errors, to a point where it kinda put me off of modding those games. Ceilick's tutorial does a good job at noting a lot of the common errors as seen in the "General Level Editing Issues" section. Also, with Fleexy's Abiathar, you can use the Level Inspector tool to check for any potential errors without having to turn on the game, which is amazing!

As for why Galaxy modding is more likely to run into issues than Vorticons modding, I think the easiest answer is that Galaxy is simply more advanced. There are more enemies, more tiles, and bigger sprites. To keep itself from getting overwhelmed, Galaxy only loads whatever is used in the current level. Vorticons, on the other hand, loads everything into memory. That's why it's possible to use every single enemy in just one Vorticons level, but not in Galaxy.

If you ever have any problems, we'll be happy to help! :)
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by entropicdecay »

Quillax wrote: Sat Sep 16, 2023 5:21As for why Galaxy modding is more likely to run into issues than Vorticons modding, I think the easiest answer is that Galaxy is simply more advanced. There are more enemies, more tiles, and bigger sprites. To keep itself from getting overwhelmed, Galaxy only loads whatever is used in the current level. Vorticons, on the other hand, loads everything into memory. That's why it's possible to use every single enemy in just one Vorticons level, but not in Galaxy.
Ah that makes sense.
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Re: Good introductory guide for Galaxy modding?

Post by Ceilick »

Just wanted to mention that I'm available on Discord to assist anyone with modding issues, and genuinely appreciate them being brought up to me so that I can update the tutorial. I find that even I refer back to the tutorial frequently when modding in recent years, so I may not have an answer to questions immediately, but usually the facts and processes come back to me.
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