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CHRONICLES LEVEL EDITOR REVIEW
Copyright 2000 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ September 8th 2000 ]

Changing the angle on Chronicles for a moment, we follow the progress of the level editor, being produced by Core Design for shipping with PC versions of Chronicles. Key attributes in creating levels, according to Core, are patience and basic computing skills, as well as a degree of creativity. Initially, a 3 dimensional room is created at structure level, then textures, object placement and enemies are then integrated into the broth on squares, which act as triggers in the game, like climbing textures or monkey bars.

Lara's control codes and animations are already programmed to interact with whatever type of tomb you create.... For example, if you create a long drop into a water room, she will go into her swimming animations when she hits the water. For enemies, you can select the type of enemy artificial intelligence and set trigger points in the room to trigger the enemy. The editor (menus/buttons) will be in English, but the manual will be translated into different languages. The manual will have a basic tutorial and an advanced tutorial. 4 different level sets from Tomb Raider - Last Revelation, possibly more level sets at a future date. You cannot modify the textures/model of Lara.

Two tutorial levels will be included with the documentation, the first showing the user basic overviews of creating rooms and placing objects, while the second demonstrating more advanced concepts. Four level scenarios from Tomb Raider The Last Revelation will also be included as projects, allowing the user to dissect and learn how the environments were formed. Objects and textures from the TLR levels can then be imported into the users own level designs. The basic challenge of manipulating environments comes quickly, although the application of texture and more details increase the learning time for the editor. Tweaking can take just a few short minutes, or more in depth creativity might take weeks. Basic use of the editor should come pretty quickly for most. Core says that you wouldn't need to be a programmer to use the software.

Creating a room involves sowing together squares, then actions and objects are placed on the squares and properties are adjusted allowed the trigger events to unfold when playing your levels. Lara's control codes and animations are already programmed to interact with whatever type of tomb you create....For example, if you create a long drop into a water room, she will go into her swimming animations when she hits the water. If the dimensions of blocks have not been set correctly, then Lara will not jump on to them, illuminating the fun box approach of throwing as much into a room as possible without much thought.

Enemies, although needing no independent character build, will have behaviours associated with them, allowing different moods to interact within different environments. Some enemies can, after attacking Lara, then sweep the area looking for objects or move and behave to a different portion of the level. Favourite characters from earlier versions of the game, i.e. Tomb Raider, TR2, 3 or the GOLD levels will not be automatically available for use with the Chronicles editor, although Core's attention to development may allow future integration a possibility.

Although the user will not be able to create specific FMV's, camera angles and the way Lara is tracked can be modified in the third person and environmental perspectives. Attention to detail has also been carefully integrated, with texture tiles 64x64 pixels, TGA format in 24bit color. Users then lay them out four or eight across. A total of 128 textures per level (you can use all of the texture more than once). You can also use parts of a texture tile in increments of 16x16 pixels.

The Tomb Raider Chronicles Editor ships only with PC versions of the game. The official Chronicles Demo is expected very soon, although the first appearance of the editor will not come until December when the game ships.

Copyright (c) 2000 - 2019 Tomb Raider Chronicles
Copyright (c) 1996 - 2019 Square Enix Ltd.
Lara Croft and Tomb Raider are trademarks of Square Enix Ltd.
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