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Making Basic Scenery with the RCT 2 Object Editor

Author/Contributors: Junya Boy & Buhdewsy

Introduction:

This tutorial will help you to create and customize basic scenery objects for RCT2. You will need Dr. J's RCT2 Object Editor to do so, as well as an image editing program. You will also need an image to work with, it will need to be an image with all four sides provided (or two sides if the image can be flipped to create 4 images). All images files must be in BMP. File format, no other images types are supported. This tutorial will not cover; creating an image, the use of any 3D editing programs, and/or importing image files from other games.

 
Tip:
Your image file must always be a BMP.File and the maximum size of an image the editor can handle before resizing is 132 pixels high and 64 wide.

Getting Started:

As stated, you must find an image you can use first. We have provided this test image for you to create an awning for architectural purposes. (Notice there is only two views, SE and NE) First we will open the image in any image editing program. Since the image is already angled we don't have to change it. If the image had not been on an angle but flattened, either set it to (45, 30) or adjust it to a 45 degree angle. Also if you are using another image, follow the same steps.

 
Tip:
Remember SE should be the front view so that in the game the front will show in the Menu. From there you will follow around rotating the image counter-clockwise so SW is the flip of SE.

Creating the Positions

1. Open Dr. J's RCT2 Object Editor also open the image in your image editing program, (I find Paint works just fine with pre-made images) then use the squared selection tool to trim around the top piece of the image. Try to get close to the awning but not close enough to cut any of it off. This will give you the SE position in the Object Editor. Copy this portion (SE) of the image and paste it into the corresponding position in the object maker.

2. Don't worry about lining the piece in position at this point. Wait until you have all four views to do so. Since the SE position is open in Paint, go to the Image tab and select Flip/Rotate. This will allow you to create the opposing view (SW) without obtaining a separate image. Select the bullet to flip the image horizontally. The image should still be highlighted. Copy this position (SW) of the image and paste it into the corresponding position in the object editor.

3. Now it is time to make the back views. Again, using the squared selection tool to trim the bottom of the image now and try to get close but not close enough to cut it off. This is the NE view. Notice how it is darker; this will cause a shaded affect in the game. Copy this portion (NE) of the image and paste it into the corresponding position in the object maker.

4. There is one more view remaining. It is the NW position. To obtain this view you must flip the image of the NE position. Again, you do this by going to the Images tab and selecting Flip/Rotate. Select the bullet to flip the image horizontally. The image should still be highlighted. Copy this position (NW) of the image and paste it into the corresponding position in the object maker.

The Object Editor should look like this:

Tip:
Don't worry to much about the black background of you image. Dr. J's RCT2 Object Editor sees true black (#000000) as transparent as does RCT2.

Aligning the Positions

Now that you have all four views, it is time to align the images so that they appear in specified points of a tile. This is a very important step to make sure your scenery lines up perfectly with the other scenery in the game. First you need to select what size tile your object will be occupying. This object will fill the whole tile so select "Full Tile". Next you will need to select the option at the top of the Object Creator called "Base and Top Outline". Once you have selected it, it will show a flickering tile outline of the base of your object. Adjust the position of each image using the up, down, left, and right arrows below each of the objects view windows. What you want to do is imagine the bottom flashing square is where the grid tile in the game would be and align your object to where it should be in that tile. Since we are working with a basically square object this should be easy to see how it should line up. Once you have the base of all four images aligned you will need to set the clearance. With the "Base and Top Outline" still selected use the up arrow next the clearance box to raise the top flashing square up till it is in alignment with the top of your object. On this particular object it should be set at 4.

Make sure that you position the image on the tile so that it appears the same through all views (I.E. - If position SE is aligned along the back, make sure the back of each image is the one aligned along the tile).

Setting the Properties

There are various properties that need to be set including the price, cursor type, options to rotate, stack, no supports, and flat land only just to name a few. We will cover these properties and briefly explain why and what there are used for.

This object has a different view for all four positions so you'll want to select it to be rotatable. If this object looked the same from all four sides like maybe a tree would, you wouldn't want it to be rotatable.

This object won't need to be placed on the ground so the flat land only option is not necessary. You might use this option for things like flowers or fountains.

This object will not be on the ground most of the time and we don't want those ugly supports so check no supports, this will block out the automatically generated paintable supports option that happens when you raise it off the ground.

This object will most likely be placed above ground so check stackable. Although you may not want to stack it on top of itself you will want to be able to raise it off the ground and/or stack it on other objects.

"No Walls" this option is mostly used when creating true roof pieces. It causes the object to not be surrounded by the walls when placed directly on top of them. It won't affect this objects main purpose, but someone may want to use this piece as a roof so go ahead and select this option.

Adjust the price to the most reasonable price, this is the price it will cost the user to build the object. Now set the refund price as well, this price is how much it will cost to remove the object once it has been built. Be realistic, if it's a tree it should be a negative because it cost to cut it down and it can't be used again. If it's something like an awning in this case you wouldn't throw it away so it would just be the cost of taking it down. But you can pretty much set it to what ever you want.

Now choose a cursor. Use which ever cursor best suits the object you are creating. I would use the arrow or the house for this object.

Choosing a "Sub Type" this is pretty self explanatory for this object. This object would be a "simple" object. Most objects will fall into this category. The other types are for more advance scenery objects and we may cover those in a future tutorial.

Naming your object is a very important step and an often overlooked one. Select the description option next to the outline options. Enter the name in for your object; you must enter it in for every language even if they are all in English. If you do not enter it in for every language people using different language versions of the game will not be able to see its name listed amongst their other scenery objects. Let's just call it "Awning".

Saving the Object

Now we need to save the object we just created. Select the blue disc icon to save your object. It will ask that you enter a name for your file, It should be something you'll remember and under eight characters long. Let's use "myawnin".

The First Test

Now that you have it saved, let's test it out before we go any further. Load your copy of RCT2. Once you have your game running, go to the red tool box icon and select the "Scenario Editor". The first window that opens up will be the "Object Selection" window. In the upper right you will see a button marked "Advanced" select it. Now more tabs on the left should have appeared, select the second from the left (with a few trees on it). This will show you a whole list of scenery. Look for your object under the name you gave it (Awning). Once you have found it, select it for use by placing a check next to it. Now advance to the next step of the editor and close the little pop up window, we don't need that for our testing. Open the scenery option and select the red question mark, your object should be shown here. Now play around with it, use it like you would in the game. Does it sit squarely in the tiles? Do all four sides look correct? Can you place it on top of other object and if so does it sit squarely on them? Are there any spots where the color looks wrong or can you see through them like they have holes? Check all these things and make note of anything you find wrong. Quit the game and return to the "Object Editor". Open back up the object by selecting the file icon and selecting your file. Now is the time to fix anything you may have found wrong with your object.

Color Mapping

Now we have our awning it's all tested and ready to go, but wait, we want it color changeable. There are two options at the bottom of the program, Map 1 and Map 2. If you are only making the red portion of the awning colorable, check the map one option. If you are making both stripes colorable, check both Map 1 and Map 2. Checking these open up tools to color the image green or pink. In the game these portions will have the ability to change colors. Let's make it be multi-color changeable. By selecting the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of view SW a window will appear to the right of the editor with a larger copy of the image in it. Now select the green paint brush to paint all the stripes (or whatever you other objects may have) you want to be the same color in the game (Map1). You can do all the painting on the larger images to the right and it will show up on the smaller version. After you have that complete select the pink paint brush (Map2) and paint the remaining stripes. Now do the same process on the three other views. Now that you have all four views color mapped it should look like the picture below and you should save your work once again by selecting the blue disc icon.

The Object Editor should look like this:

The Second Test

Now go test it again. Does it look good? Is it still working right? Did you mess anything up while you were color mapping it? How's your paint job? Now is the time to fix anything you may need to.

The Final Test

Once you are satisfied with your scenery object you should build a very small park including your scenery item (Remember when making a park with custom items to check Export Plug-Ins under the options tab) this is just for testing don't get to fancy. Once you have your little park built ask a friend if you could send it to them for testing. What you are doing by this is making sure it works properly as an imported file. Also your friend might see an error that you may have missed while testing. If your friend does find an error have him report to you what the problem was and then delete the file from his computer. Once you have corrected any problems and had your friend retest it, your ready to use it or sharing it with friends. It may sound like a lot of testing, but when you make something and share it, it becomes a direct reflection of you. So if you make an object and it hasn't been tested enough when someone else downloads it or opens a park that uses your faulty object and it causes an error in their game, who do you think they will blame? You that's who and next time they won't want to download anything from you.

Enjoy Scenery Making!


Final Tips:

Only use BMP. Files of less than 132 x 64 pixels

When painting or color mapping don't forget you have three different paint brush sizes you can use.

Remember when making a park with custom items to check Export Plug-Ins under the options tab. And include a read me file listing the file names of the user created objects.

Enter the name in for your object; you must enter it in for every language even if they are all in English.

Don't worry to much about the black ground of you image. Dr. J's RCT2 Object Editor sees true black (#000000) as transparent as does RCT2.

Remember SE should be the front view so that in the game the front will show in the Menu. From there you will follow around rotating the image counter-clockwise so SW is the flip of SE.

The file name of your object should be something you'll remember and under eight characters long.

If you do release an object to the public and find an error later, make sure your updated file has a new name. And include the first files name in a read me file so people who wish to upgrade can locate the old file and delete it if the choose to. If you do not change the file name it could case saved games to be lost or worse.

Save, save, save, this editor has no "un-do" option so if you mess something up you must fix it or start from scratch.

Test, test, test. We can't stress this enough. Don't put out objects that you haven't test and are proud to have you name attached to.

 

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