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Old 19-06-17, 20:53   #1
tombraiderfrea
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Default TRNG - Tombraiderfreak's Train Level Tutorial

[This is the text version of a word document that can be downloaded here: Tombraiderfreak's Train Level Tutorial
It comes with all the files necessary to take a look at the map and setups yourself and experiment fully. A nice beginners pack for anyone looking to build a train level.]

[I Apologize for some of the gaps where images should be. ]

ALL I ASK is that you don't re-distribute these or claim for it to be your work, because it took some time to write this tutorial and make the level accompanying it, in fact I opted to use a scrapped version of a level I am currently re-making. This is solely for tutorial purposes. Thank you.

TRLE / TRNG – Train Levels (Tutorial)
Written by: Tombraiderfreak
Hello, everyone.
So, I am aware that there already is a tutorial that exists for train levels, and it is easy to follow, but I just felt that there could be a lot more in-depth explanation about building different levels within and outside of the train cars that wasn’t really covered. This will be a very detailed tutorial for even beginners to be able to follow. Included with this tutorial (posted on tombraiderforums), I will be including a full WAD, TGA, PRJ, Script, Sounds, Audio files from my level Stow Away for reference. Unfortunately, I will be scrapping this level and rebuilding it with revamped gameplay, so I will just use this tutorial to release it as well as a small release on trle.net. So, I hope the project included will be helpful when learning about the iconic Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Train Level.
(Note)This Tutorial uses TRNG Scripts. TRNG is recommended.
-Tombraiderfreak

Table of Contents
1) Basic, Required & Some Optional Scripts
2) Getting Started
- Room Placement (Recommended Setup)
- Floor/Ceiling Heights (Recommended Setup)
- Connecting Doors (Recommended Setup)
3) Room Design and Gameplay
- Splitting Rooms for Added Levels Within Train Cars
- Different Entrances to Different Train Cars
4) Triggers not activated by Lara
- Flyby Cameras
- Switch Triggers
5) Enemy Placement
- Baddy 1 & Baddy 2
- SAS
- Dog
- Enemy Jeep
6) Special Design Ideas & Tips
- Gates Around Exposed Train Cars
- Overhanging Train Car Roofs / Columns
7) Finishing the Level
- End by Flyby Trigger (Most Common Use)

Basic, Required & Some Optional Scripts
When designing a train level, there is a lot of thought that can go into the overall level design. There have been some fantastic train levels within the TRLE community over the years that all take different styles of gameplay and sceneries.
However, simply making the room geometry and texturing the floor with the rail textures is not enough to make your train level functional.
To get your TRLE to recognize the level as a train level… You MUST enter these basic scripts into your script file.
Train= ENABLED (Makes the Level Editor Recognize the Train Level)
Horizon= ENABLED(Activates the Horizon Item within the WAD)
UVRotate= 11(Gives the TRLE a UV Rotate Value to Reference)
Some Optional scripts that can also be included are as follows:
Fog= 188,152,84(Fog Color that works with the included Horizon)
FogRange= 8,15(Tells the TRLE when to start rendering fog effects)
LevelFarView= 128(Dictates how far Lara can see within the level)
Customize= CUST_FIX_WATER_FOG_BUG,ENABLED
[Note: I set the Level Far View to the max that the Level Editor will allow in combination with the fog to prevent visual glitches.]
(The Fix Water Fog Bug Script will fix any graphical issues involving water [which usually isn’t used in a train level anyway] and objects that use transparent textures.)
Never be afraid to play around with some of the values in some of these scripts. Get creative when making your train level. Make it as unique as you feel like attempting. These are just the scripts I used within my level, “Stow Away” before I decided to scrap and rebuild the level with revamped gameplay.

In the next section of the tutorial, we will discuss room placement and how to properly get the UV Rotating textures to work properly within the Level Editor.

Getting Started
Room Placement:
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Before any actual building can begin, let’s make sure the textures will animate within the game to give the illusion of movement.
When you first open the Level Editor and load up the WAD and TGA file, click the animation ranges button.

From the animation range menu, select the textures you’d like to be in the animation range. In this ¬case, the textures for the train tracks. Setup the animation range so it reads similarly to the screenshot below, and then click apply to confirm the animation range. ¬¬ ¬
(We set the UV Rotate to “Default Value in Script”, so the engine will recognize within the script that we have the rotate set to 11 and will act accordingly.)

Unfortunately, setting the animation range for the tracks is not enough to make things work properly, and most builders have the misconception that they must texture the railings themselves. However, this is not the case.
Instead, we simply place the textures in a dummy room. Once we set up the animation range properly, simply make a small (3x3) room in the Editor and name it “Animated Textures” and place the rail and dirt textures that are a part of the
six- texture animation range in here using the “Face Edit” button and texturing one square with each texture. Then you can leave the rest untextured or texture it with the black “Horizon” texture from the color palette located at the bottom of the Level Editor Window.


Once you have this placeholder room made, move it to an isolated corner of your project so you’ll know not to mess with it while you’re working on the rest of your project. To get the rail textures and the hills to show up and move like in TR4, all you must do is texture the walls and floors of your rooms that will act as the outside with the Black “Horizon” Texture from the color palette below. (View Images Below for Reference)

Ok, now let’s get the basic layout of our train started. Below is an image describing the measurements and floor/ceiling heights of each room to properly connect them.






(These values are simply what I used when making “Stow Away”, you can make the middle car as high or short as you’d like. And the ceiling of the top room doesn’t have to be near as high as I make it. Just adjust the upper and lower rooms accordingly so they can line up and door portals can be made between them.)
Besides the vertical measurements, we also must be concerned with the size of the rooms in general so the train is not too large, and to make sure that Lara can’t run and jump into the hills which just looks plain silly.
For rooms that are supposed to act as the train, the recommended size of a room is (3x8), which is the size of rooms I’ve used in this project (except for gaps between train cars which are simply (3x3) rooms between the main/bigger rooms (See the Project Map included to better see what I mean).
We also must worry about the sides of the train. These rooms should be about (4x8) in size, just one click bigger than the central rooms so Lara can’t jump and bump her head on the hills that are rolling by. ¬ (See the Project Map included to get a better idea of these room sizes and placements, as well as how the door portals connect them all.)
Now, once you have started building some of your beginning rooms, we want to make sure the rail textures show properly. To achieve this, we must make sure the entirety of our project map is in the center of the 2D map space in the Level Editor.
The project included with this tutorial already has the entire map in the center of the Level Editor 2D map, but I would also recommend trying to start your own map and trying to figure out how to get the area perfectly centered for yourself, as well.
Once all the basic rooms are connected and we have an idea of where the center of the 2D map is, we can really get started on designing!

Room Design & Gameplay
When attempting to design gameplay within a train level, things can get a little repetitive and tiring. So, the best thing to do is be innovative. Don’t feel like you must be limited to running straight across a train through all the cars or passed all the enemies by taking the roof. Instead, you can add varying levels to the gameplay.
The hardest part of building gameplay is the amount of space we can work with. We only have three blocks on the inside of the train cars so a lot comes to imagination and willingness to adapt to the small space available.
One good gameplay element, that I have yet to include, but will be included in the final, remade version is splitting a room further in half and using ventilation systems to get around some of the rooms in a certain car. This can also be used to simulate luggage racks and other shelving. It all depends on the overall theme you’re going for.
Another gameplay idea is to add different entrances to each train car. It can get a little boring when a player is just running straight through a train.
Add some different types of entrances… Doors, Trap Doors, etc. to the train cars and only make them accessible at certain times of the level so that the player may or may not have to backtrack to experience the entirety of the train.
Have a play through of the included level file to see what I mean about gameplay. It is possible to utilize the space and still have varying levels of gameplay from upper to lower cars within the level.
One more thing I will comment about regarding train levels is the big complaint that people tend to have and that is “Paper Thin Walls”.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I’m not a fan of paper thin walls within a TRLE level either, but in the case of a train level, I believe it is acceptable. Besides, if you do things right, you won’t even be able to tell in most situations and if it doesn’t cause any gameplay killing glitches, there isn’t really any harm done.

Triggers Not Activated by Lara
The issue with train levels is, again, the limited amount of space we have available to build. This includes room for placing triggers. Sometimes the best way to trigger an event is by having a short flyby to trigger something. This is done within the intro and ending flyby of my “Stow Away” Project. For a better understanding of what I’m about to explain, feel free to reference the Project file included.
Flyby cameras on their own can trigger “Heavy Triggers” when the 14 button is selected within their OCB Menu. However, they will not trigger unless the trigger is on the lowest point of the level beneath the camera.
[Example: In the intro flyby when I trigger the Helicopter Item, the trigger is in the room below the room the camera is in.]
Similarly, you can also use switches to open doors or trapdoors. You can either place the switches right next to the doors or on the side of a train car. I use a setup like this to receive a secret within the level.
For some reason, in the setup I am using, it’s hard to tell if the trigger should be in the lowest room, but just in case I have triggers both in the same room as the switch and the room under the switch.
[Feel free to reference the project file included and change it around to test different, possible setups and gameplay]

Enemy Placement
Another tricky aspect about gameplay in a train level, and one I’ve still yet to fully get down, is enemy placement. Have too few enemies and the level can seem to easy. But, have too many enemies and the level can become tedious, repetitive, and in some cases, too challenging. There is an art, in general, when it comes to enemy placement, but a good method I’ve found is to have some enemies going to one part of the train, and then trigger some trigger triggerers [See the script for reference on how I have the Item Groups set up] using Item Groups to enable the triggering of more enemies as Lara is forced to backtrack across the train, again.
The enemies I used in this level include the BADDY 1 and BADDY 2 enemies, the SAS, and the DOG.
Here are some useful ways to use them and trigger them, including OCBs to make them react differently than just appearing and attacking poor Lara.

BADDY 1

BADDY 2

SAS

DOG

If you are planning on using the dog within your train level. I would recommend using it indoors or use box squares creatively so there’s no way they can die right when they spawn by falling off the train. I had many issues with this when starting to place them in the map. For some reason, some instances worked and others didn’t. I suppose it’s all a matter of trial and error and finding which scenarios will work and which won’t.
Enemy Jeep
I didn’t end up using the Enemy Jeep within my level, but I figured I would include it here in the setup. I am referencing a very nicely written tutorial that was written by Adngel (translated by Pemon).
When you place the BADDY 2 Item, you don’t have to adjust his height in the Level Editor. The engine will automatically place him on top of the jeep once the Jeep, Baddy, and AI Item (All with the Same OCB) are triggered.

Special Design Ideas & Tips
Within the project included, you can see that, on certain train cars, there are metal gates around them to block off Lara from accessing certain areas before I want here to be able to.
To do this, I simply placed DOOR_TYPE5 & DOOR_TYPE6 (included in the WAD) items around the rooms. To achieve this effect, I placed the doors on the outer rooms, not on the room that is the train car, because some door items tend to have awkward collision that can block Lara from progressing, so it is best to place and turn them to face a direction that Lara will not be accessing regularly. [View the Project file included for reference.]
Another aspect I like to use, sometimes, is an overhanging train car roof. Achieving this effect is easy. Just raise the floor of the upper room that you wish to have the overhanging top in so that it is no longer 13 (matching up with the ceiling of the room below), and when you create the door portal, the Level Editor will recognize that the floor doesn’t match and the overhang will stay. Then all you must do is make use of textures or items to make it look like something is holding the roof up. [See the included project for reference.]

Finishing the Level
You can finish the level in many ways, but the most common method is by utilizing a flyby camera. To see how to activate the finish trigger with a “Heavy Trigger”, look back at the “Triggers Not Activated by Lara” section. The same rules apply when setting a finish trigger. The camera you wish to trigger it must have “14” pressed in the OCB, and the trigger must be on the floor in the lowest room underneath the camera.

Thank you for taking the time to read and experience this tutorial and the level file included. I hope this tutorial gives you the basics needed to start working on your Train Level. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on tombraiderforums. com (PM: tombraiderfrea)
Good luck building, and Happy Raiding!
-Tombraiderfreak
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