Dragon Age Origins New Level Guide
This illustrated guide for the Dragon Age Origins game steps through the processes in order to create a ready to go Room using the Toolset.
How to create and lightmap a Level for use in an Area
File > New > Level > Room Level
IMPORTANT - Create a player start. Click flag icon next to lightmapping icons > click anywhere on ground.
IMPORTANT - Click on "New Area" in top-left list > Object Inspector in bottom-right > Layout Name > anything under 8 characters no spaces or strange characters.
IMPORTANT - Right-click in 3D view and select Insert > New Room.
Building your room
Click Models (blue box) in the Palette in the top-right. These folders contain everything such as floor tiles/walls etc to build your rooms.
Use DATool to browse through these quickly to find the floors/walls you want. Enable Grid Snap with the magnet icon to make sure they line up.
The "prp" folder contains things like beds/barrels to clutter your Level.
If you get "Cannot spawn models into the selected parent object" when trying to place a model then you don't have "New Room" selected.
Adding lights to the room
Right-click on "New Room" in top-left list> Insert > New Light
Move it up off the floor a little. In Object Inspector > "Color Intensity" 2 or more > Light Type - "Point - Static (lc)" > Choose any bright color.
Right-click on "New Room" in top-left list> Insert > New Light (or copy & paste your first light then move it out the way)
In the Object Inspector > Light Type - "Ambient - Baked" (this light stops your shadows being pitch black). Choose a dark blue colour and keep the Color Intensity under 2/3.
I'm not sure what the mix of Baked/Static light is supposed to be. If you just put a Baked + Ambient it complains about not having Static, but if you put a Static + Ambient it seems to work fine, but the wiki says Static is the most expensive.
Rendering lightmaps (getting the shadows)
Press the Render Lightmaps icon (you need ActivePython 2.5 installed to default location). When it's done click the "Display Lightmaps On/Off" icon in the top-left to refresh the results. Uncheck the "View Models Fully Lit" icon in the lop-left. You should see shadows being cast from the Static light.
Lightmap-atlas messages might appear the first time you render. That seems normal.
Sometimes re-rendering the lightmaps messes them up badly when Display Lightmaps On/Off is on. It doesn't seem to use the latest lightmaps. Try pressing Display Lightmaps On/Off a few times to update it. If they're still messed up sometimes one of these fixes it (don't know which) - unloading/reloading your Area or Level/changing your Area's layout property/posting your Level to Local.
Press the Do All Local Posts icon to the right of the lightmapping icons. It will export the name you typed into the "New Area" "Layout Name". If there's a complaint about walkable/player start then delete your old start then place a new one on a flat area.
Save your .lvl file. It's not used by the game and the name/location doesn't matter. Only the exported/posted files are used.
Using this in an Area
File > New > Area > Any Name
In the Object Inspector > Area Layout you should get a "..." box (make sure it's Checked Out) > click then select your "Layout Name" which should now be there.
Now you have a pretty lightmapped level inside an area, hopefully.
.lvl editing view
Area Editor view with exported .lvl as it's Area Layout
Please remember to comment, it helps to encourage modders with their work.
- Posts: 1054
- Location: England
- Uploads: 17
- Kudos: 18
- Motherboard: Gigabyte EP41
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo
- GPU: Nvidia 9800 GTX PCI
- RAM: 2048 RAM DDR 2