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Getting Full Use Of The Editor (By Chris Marks)

Most articles in the Building section of this site will focus on room ideas, puzzle creation processes, monster placement, and the like. However, the creation process itself is sometimes less than exciting. In this light, here are some tricks and tips for using the Hold Editor to its utmost efficiency.

Before we begin, dungeons in Deadly Rooms of Death are most frequently called "holds." As such, when you see the word hold as a noun, this is what it means. Now, this article is going to assume that you have used the editor before, and know your way around the Main Build Screen and the Room Editor. What follows are some tricks and tactics for making your editing quicker and easier.

Creating Playtest Versions

Sometimes your hold will have secrets you don't want to have revealed until the player finds them. Giving these secrets away in the test version of your hold would be less than smart. An easy way around this is to create a copy of your hold, rename it to something appropriate, and then delete the secret rooms from that version of the hold entirely. You may then distribute this test version freely, without fear of having your secrets exposed.

Copying Rooms and Levels

When you select a room from the Build Screen, it will be outlined in pale blue. Pressing Ctrl-C or Ctrl-X will copy the selected room to the clipboard. You can later select a different room, on any level of any hold, and press Ctrl-V to paste the copied room to the new location.

You can also copy entire levels in exactly the same way, by selecting the level instead of the room. You cannot paste a level on top of another level; the pasted level will appear at the bottom of the level listing as if you had merely created a new level.

Using this knowledge, you can also keep a secret by hiding it in a different hold you don't show anyone, and then copying it to the final version when it's time for release. This also means that when you come up with a great idea for a room, but don't have anywhere to put it yet, you can store it in your dummy-hold until you have a place for it. I always keep a hold called "Rooms for Future Use" handy.

Two things of note regarding copying. First, copying the entrance to a level will not copy Beethro's position, as you can only have one entrance for each level. Secondly, the clipboard can hold both a room and a level at once, so you don't need to worry about losing the contents of your room clipboard when selecting a level to copy.

Deleting Rooms

For holds and levels, there is a Delete button. There is no such button for dropping a room, but you can still do it. Simply select the room so the blue outline is around it, and press the Delete button on your keyboard. This does not work in the Room Editor, only in the Main Build Screen, and you may not delete an entrance.

Moving the Entrance

If you want to change the location of the entrance for any reason, whether to delete the current entrance or just because you designed a different room to serve the purpose, you can do it. Placing Beethro in any room other than the entrance will label the room you\\'re currently editing as the entrance. All other room locations will rename themselves accordingly.

Copying Within A Room

Sometimes you design part of your room, but discover it's in the wrong place. If this happens, you can actually copy the entire region from one part of the room to the other. Press Ctrl-C, and while holding this down, click and drag the mouse over the area you wish to copy. The area you've selected will highlight as you move the mouse. Release Ctrl-C, and you're ready to go.

Now you've copied it to the clipboard, but you still need to place it. Click in the top-left corner of where you want to put your copied area, and it will appear. If you want to place it a second time, pressing Ctrl-V will activate the clipboard as the selected item, and you may again click in the top-left corner of your destination. Beethro cannot be copied, and pasting over other dungeon elements replaces them with whatever is in the copied area, even if it is blank space.

There are some things to note when using this functionality:

First, the area you're copying resamples before you paste it. This means that if a previous paste overlapped with the area you copied from, the overlap will be included in the selection.

Secondly, you cannot paste a portion of one room in to a different room; the room section copy/paste only functions within the same room. If you attempt to copy it to a different room, the editor will treat it as a full room copy, and if you proceed then you will lose the contents of the room you are copying in to.

Finally, some items have behaviours attached to them. The results of copying these items vary based on what the item is. If you copy a scroll, its contents will also be copied. If you copy an orb, its bindings will be copied. If you copy a yellow door, however, it will not retain the bindings of the original yellow door. The editor treats a copied yellow door as a new section of yellow door, and so the existing placement rules for a yellow door will be followed, including the effects of placing it next to another segment of yellow door: orb bindings are shared, and open/closed state is linked to the new piece of door. Also, when copying an exit, the copy will point to (end hold) regardless of the destination of the original stairs, and will need to be reset to point where you want them to.

Deleting Serpents

Serpents are monsters, but they are not slayable by Beethro's sword. Beethro also cannot pass through a Serpent. The editor realizes this, and provides additional editing behaviour when dealing with Serpents. Since the Serpent's long body is an obstacle, it exists on both the Monster layer and the Object layer. Hence, if you place a blank Object square on a Serpent's body (not head), you may delete the Serpent.

Placing Large Amounts of Items

When you click and drag to place room items to cover an area, you sometimes overlap with other items on the same layer. For instance, trying to place a wall on a pit. These areas of overlap show as errors while the mouse button is down. If you release the mouse button, the overlaps will be unaffected, while the other areas will have your item added to it. This makes it very easy to fill an irregular open space with one selection.

This technique also works on the Monster layer, with an added effect. If you try to place a Roach on top of a Wraithwing, you will not be able to do it as this is an error. However, if you try to place a Wraithwing facing one direction on top of a Wraithwing any other direction, you will succeed. This lets you change the direction your monsters face without having to delete and re-add them. This is especially useful when placing Evil Eyes, and the same functionality exists for Force Arrows.

These are the things I know that make my hold creation process faster and less tedious than it might otherwise be. I hope they will help you with your holds as much as they help me.