Abuse level editing tutorial

Version 0.1, byy Craig Redinger (

NOTE: Please keep in mind that this is the first release, so it isn't very in depth and there may be errors, but this should get you started.

This tutorial is intended to get you farmiliar with the abuse editor, which can be extremely confusing at first. This tutorial will not explain every object in detail or tell you how to use them. I'll help you with the basics, after that you'll have to experiment with the objects yourself. This tutorial will not explain how to make new monsters, objects, or tiles. It will help you to figure out the editor and save yourself a lot of time. Enough of that, let's get down to business.

NOTE: If I want you to press a key I'll put it in brackets. Like this <m>. If I want you to press shift and a key, the letter will be capitalized, like this <M>.

First, print this out so you can read it while you use the editor. Next, if you have the abuse.doc file, print it out, it has a list of keyboard commands and explanations of how the objects work, among other things.

Now, start abuse in edit mode, like this:

abuse -edit

Abuse will load and start in edit mode. By default it loads the trainer level. At the bottom of the screen is a menu bar, go into the edit menu and select "mouse scrolling" to turn the scrolling on. Next go in the same menu and pick "add new palette." Palettes act as custom collections of tiles, and put tiles where you can find them easily, without searching through the foreground window. set the size as 5 high and 5 wide, enter a name for your palette, and press OK. A new window should appear. Now put the tiles you will be using for your level into this pallete window, you can do this 2 ways. The first way is to pick tiles you want to use off the screen with the <`> key (it's in the upper left hand corner of the keyboard). Then move the mouse cursor into the palette window you made and press the RIGHT mouse button to place it in the pallete. The other way to do this: open the foreground window by pressing <f>. Then place your mouse over the window and press <F> 4 or 5 times to make the window wider. When you find a tile you like select it with the LEFT mouse button, and place it in the pallete window with the RIGHT mouse button. When you are done with a window you can close it by clicking on the button in the upper left hand corner. Go into the file menu and select "save palettes" you must do this whenever you make a new palette. To open a palette press <p>. This will open then palette picker window, you should see the name of the palette you made. Now that you have made your own palette, you can use it like you would the foreground window, left click on a tile to select it, and left click on the game screen to place the selected tile.

You are now ready to start your level. Go into the file menu and pick "New level." When you created your palette you should have included the brown blocking tile that is normally used where ever there are no walls or rooms. Select this tile. Move your mouse pointer onto the game screen and press <t> to flood fill the map with this tile.

Hey, why's everything so dark?

That's due to the lighting effects in abuse press <L> to open the layers window. Press the "light" button to turn the lighting off. Now, using your palette, place tiles to make a simple room, any size, but make sure it is closed on all four sides. OK, this would be a good time to explain the tiles. Some foreground tiles act as walls, and some act as background. The ones that act as walls have bounding boxes. Open the layers window <L> and press the bounds button to see the bounding boxes, your screen should be filled with gray boxes. Find a tile that does not block the player, place the cursor inside the room you made and press <t> this should fill that room with the tile you selected. Place the cursor in the room and press <j> this will move the player to the position of the mouse. Press <tab> to enter play mode, you should be able to run around in the room you made. Press <tab> to get out of play mode. Now make open one end of your room and make a hallway, and make other rooms and passages in the same manner. It's hard at first but you'll get the hang of it.

Now, lets add some objects. Let's make a door that opens when the player comes near it. Press <o> to open the objects window, to jump through the list, place the pointer in the window and press shift and the letter you want to jump to at the same time. Select the object SWITCH_DOOR, a door will appear, you can move it around the screen with the mouse and place it by left clicking. Hold down <Ctrl> while moving the object, this will align the door with the tile grid, holding down <Alt> would align the object in the middle of the grid. The door is 3 tiles high so it should be placed in a 3 tile high opening. To make to door open and close you will need to make a sensor, place it anywhere for now. Move the mouse over the word "off" the sensor and press <A> to acess it's AI. You'll want the sensor to be wider so set the on x distance to 100 and the off x distance to 150. Click the check-mark box to close the window, the sensor should now be wider. You now need to link the two objects together. Links are sensitive to direction, you must link from the object that is affected by a change to an object that changes ( I know this is very confusing). For example link from the door to the sensor because the sensor is changed from off to on when the player enters it, and as a result, the door opens. To make a link place the mouse pointer over the door , now hold down <Ctrl> and move the mouse over the word off on the sensor and release <Ctrl>. There should now be a gray line between the two, and it should turn yellow when the mouse is over the door.

Now, Put the mouse over the word off on the sensor and press <space bar>. You should now be able to move the sensor around, place it with the door in the middle of it so half of it is on each side of the door. It is important to note that the players feet must be in the sensor to activate it. Enter play mode and try your door, you should be able to walk back and forth through it, and it should close when you are far enough away from it.

Make some ants, pick ANT_ROOF from the object window. You can change the type of weapon the ant has by holding the mouse over it and pressing a number from 0 to 7. If you want to modify the health of the ant press <A> to bring up it's AI screen, when you are done press the check mark box. You can either link an ant to some kind of sensor or switch and it will activate when the switch is activated, or you can just place it on the roof and it will activate when the player walks below it.

You'll want some weapons in your level so make some ammo. Scroll through the object list and find what you want. If you aren't sure what's what just try some out until you find what you want. Ammo always has the word "icon" in the object name, I think.

I made some objects I don't want, how do I delete them?

Hold the cursor over the object and press <d>.

How can I make objects faster?

Use the <.> key to make the last object you selected from the object list. To copy an object and it's AI settings, place the mouse over it and press <C>.

I want this object to face the other way.

Hold the mouse over it and press <x>.

This object is drawn above/below other objects.

Hold the mouse over the object and use the < key and the > key.

How do I use background tiles?

You make them in the same manner as foreground, but remember the the foreground must be transparent to see background. You'll want to turn off the foreground in the layers menu when you draw the background.

Once you've finished your level, you can add some lighting effects and view changes. press <m> to toggle into map mode, you can press it again to go back. To go to a certain part of the map put the mouse cursor there then press <j> then <m>. While in map mode press <a> to bring up the tool bar. You'll need to define areas, whenever a player enters an area, the lighting can change and the view offset can change. The player doesn't have to stay in an area for these to remain in effect, the will not change until the player enters another area. To make an area select the box on the tool bar by moving the mouse over it, you don't have to click, so make sure the tool you want stays selected. Click the mouse wherever you want the upper left corner of an area to be. Now pick the arrow tool. Click the upper left corner of an area to move it, the lower right to resize it. Double click a corner to acess th AI screen, from here you can change the offset and ambient lighting. Once you're finished pick the paint brush on the tool bar to go back into draw mode and close the window. Press <m> to leave the map.

Now make some lights, press <l> then pick the light you want, resize it with the arrow keys while moving it.

Make sure you have a START_POSITION item where you want the level to begin, and the two NEXT_LEVEL items where you want it to end. The top must link to the bottom and the bottom must link to the top, two seperate links are required. Also, you can change the AI of both to designate what level to go to next.

Before you upload your level you'll need to make a cache profile, this is explained in abuse.doc.

Hey wait a minute, how do I use _ object?

To use other objects experiment with them, if you are stuck, check abuse.doc it describes them all.

I read abuse.doc and I still can't figure out the turrets.

Heres a hint, 0 degrees is pointing to the right, the degrees go around counter clockwise, as in a cartesian coordinate system. The gun interprets the ending angle as being counterclocwise of the start angle.

A few hints and tips:

  1. Save <S> often, VERY often. The editor is subject to frequent lock-ups, and I have lost countless hours of work because of this.
  2. Save before you enter play mode and reload <R> when you are done.
  3. Don't crowd the passageways together. Space them out so the player can't see a place he can't get into from where he is.
  4. Level editing takes practice. Your first levels will probably suck. Upload them and let others help you improve them.
  5. If you need to know how to do something check abuse.doc , I know it's technical and dry but it's a very good source of info.

You use this tutorial at your own risk, I take no responsibility for any damages, blah blah blah. This tutorial is property of Craig Redinger. Abuse is the property of Crack Dot Com.

Last modified 13 years ago Last modified on 04/19/2011 01:32:01 PM