Editor getting started

From Frozenbyte Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Shadwen Editor Tutorial Main Page
-> Next tutorial (Static Objects)


Welcome to the Shadwen Editor Tutorial! This section covers the very basics of using the Editor by teaching the Editor's basic controls, features and keyboard shortcuts.

  • Level path in Shadwen Public Editor: data\mission\editor_tutorial\01_getting_started
    • When you have opened the correct level all you need to do is to press F5 to start playing.
    • Alternatively click the Play Play icon 01.png button

These tutorial levels will teach you how to build your own levels for Shadwen, as well as give you insight on good level design principles.
These tutorials assume the player already has knowledge of the controls and basic features of Shadwen. If you have not yet played the game itself, we recommend you to try the first few game levels before continuing these tutorials.

These tutorials teach you how to use the editor and make levels for Shadwen - but they don't teach you how to play Shadwen. If you haven't played the game yet, it's recommended that you try at least the first few levels of the game, which explain the game's core features and controls.

All Shadwen levels can be played through this editor, but if you're not yet comfortable with using the editor, it's recommended to launch up the actual game and play from there. When playing through the editor, there are some things to complicate the experience - such as level order, processing resources to ensure the levels work correctly, etc.

Controlling Camera

When you play any Shadwen level in the editor, you'll notice that your mouse movement isn't affecting the game's camera, which will quickly get cumbersome. To fix this, click your mouse wheel to active the mouse-controlled camera. Clicking the mouse wheel again will resume the previous mode, allowing you to control your mouse without affecting the game's camera.

"Save scene?" Prompt

You may run into this prompt even if you haven't made changes to the level, so don't worry even if you see this. You can always click the "remember my answer" if you don't want to run into this window constantly.

When entering a level with F5, the editor will ask if you want to Save the scene. The editor is a bit hasty with this one, even if you have done no changes to the level. This is set to happen every time you enter a level by default.
You can save the answer you give by checking "Remember my answer" from the bottom left corner and then selecting an answer. This will make the editor remember your answer to this question, so it will not pop up every time after this.
If you want to remove the saved answer or change it so the editor does not ask the question every time, you can change these from the Tools menu in the Toolbar. Tools -> Options -> Basic is the place where you can switch things up. It also has many other settings you can customize to your liking.

Editor View and Game View

Shadwen levels may be edited in the editor view and tested in the game view afterwards.
There are a few different ways to change between these to views. They all function differently in where you end up

Here you can see where the buttons are in the Toolbar

Switching from the game view to the editor view:

  • Shift + F5 (or the Stop button Stopgame.png in the Toolbar) takes you to the spot in the editor view where you were just before you switched to the game view.
  • Pause button Pause.png switches to the editor view while staying in the position you are currently in the game view. Note that there is no keyboard shortcut for this option!

Switching from the editor view to the game view:

  • F5 or the Start button F5.png will start you from the very start of the level every time. Use this option to return to the game only when you want to start the level from the starting point.
  • Ctrl + F5 or the Start from Position button Startfromposition.png will spawn the character in the spot where your camera is looking at the moment in the editor view. Note that you need to be precise when using this option, since you have no indication where the exact location of the spawn is. The easiest way to use this is to go very close to the spot you want to spawn in, and turn the camera so it looks into the ground.

How to change between views

Navigating in the Editor View

To navigate around the 3D view in the editor view, use the WASD keys on your keyboard.
Hold down the right mouse button to pan or tilt the view.
Hold down the mouse wheel to move up and down in 2D.
Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in or out.
Hold down SHIFT to move faster.


"When in the game view, you can warp forward using F5 and upwards with F6.
Note that fall damage still applies. If you make Shadwen land from too high up the fall damage will kill Shadwen and you will have to rewind the time to continue.
However, you can always reset the fall distance and avoid the fall damage by wallsliding (for example)."

If you want to make movement quicker without using the warps, you can change the the game speed for faster movement. This can be changed from Game -> Game Speed in the Toolbar. Note that this also carries over to the editor view, so this can be used to speed up WASD movement too.

Customizing the Editor View

"You can customize your editor view to suit your own needs.
You can find all kinds of useful windows and tools in the View menu. You can then move those around to fit your preferences and desktop layout.
If you drag a window to any edge of the editor, you'll see a prompt that can attach the views to those points.
You can also place several windows on the same spot, or next to each other, or drag some windows to a second monitor, if you happen to have one."

"You can open the Type Tree with (CTRL+F3) and Object Properties with (CTRL+P). These will be some of your most commonly used windows, and you'll want easy access to them at all times.
You can go over some of the other windows as well, and add them yo your layout as you find them useful. Some of the more useful ones include Error List, Scene Instances (Ctrl+F2), Resources (Ctrl+F4), References List, and so on."

Note that the game screen size gets smaller as you add more windows to the editors sides. The smaller game windows might affect some things, such as texts not working properly. If you have the possibility to use more than one monitor, it's recommended to take advantage of that - but the editor can be used with only one monitor as well.


"All objects in a level are placed on a LAYER.
Layers work quite like what you might have seen in graphics editors: you can work on objects in one layer without messing up other layers while at it.
Also, objects placed on layers are only visible when you have the layer they are on active, unless they're set to be visible in-game. All these visibility settings can be modified.
You can switch layers from the Toolbar above, or with the hotkeys ALT-0 through Alt-9. All the layers are name-coded to make recognition easier.
Most objects are automatically placed on the correct layer."

In this situation objects will be placed to the layer 3 (Art).

"When editing objects in the editor, by default you can only edit the objects that are in the same layer you have active.
You can see which layer is active in the Toolbar, the one that is active will be highlighted blue.
Working on each layer separately can get a bit tedious, so we have ways to work with multiple layers at the same time.
The first one is to select more than one layer to be active. This is done by clicking on the layers you want while holding down SHIFT. You should see more than one layer get highlighted.
With this you can work on multiple layers at the same time, yet leave some layers alone so you don't mess up anything on them. You can only do this while in the editor view."

To remove this selection, just double-click on the layer you want to leave active, the rest will be de-selected. Note that if you have multiple layers selected with the shift way, objects will be placed on the layer that has the full square highlighted. Some objects are placed to their own layers though. For example CollisionHelpers will always go to to the collision layer (Col/1).

"The other option is to allow editing on layers that are not active. This is done by going to Selection -> Selection filer locking and unchecking "Allow selection on active layer only". You will get a warning message telling you that this might not be the best idea. Just click Ok.
Note that working with multiple layers is a double-edged sword. While you can edit multiple things at the same time, you also run the risk of messing up thing you didn't want to edit. So be careful!"

You can change the layer here

Another thing you want to remember is that if you ever plan to share your levels, avoid using the local layer - the layer is there for you to be able to easily test things locally. If you plan to share a level with changes made to the local layer, these changes can't be shared to other users, leading to missing elements and have your level essentially left incomplete. Thankfully, most objects will be automatically placed into their respective layers when you place them into the level while having local layer active but inconsistencies are known to happen so be careful.

A good way to avoid placing things into the local layer is to double check if you have anything on the local layer when you finish up. Select the local layer, and ONLY the local layer, and then highlight the entire level. To do this hold down Ctrl and drag the mouse to select the area. If the local layer is empty, you should not select anything inside the level. If you do select something, you'll know it is placed in the local layer. A quick fix is to select the properties window (Ctrl+p) and change the Layer you see inside the properties.

Video to showcase layer selection

Don't worry if you don't understand what the layers exactly contain, their name is already pretty descriptive of their supposed content and they purely exist to make navigating and selecting the right objects easily, as having something on a "wrong" layer doesn't break anything (except for local layer, as discussed above, and nosave layer).

Prefab layer(0)

All prefabs go here, including all kinds of different premade collections of objects and entities such as walls, constructions, light systems, PlayerBoxCollectorAreas and GossipHelperEntities. Prefabs itself contain objects and entities from other layers but you're only able to see the signs decipting prefabs.

Collision layer(1)

CollisionHelpers are located here.

Art layer(3)

Art objects go here. They can usually be distinguished from their name endig to .fbxmodel.

Lights layer(4)

LightEntities are located here.

Fog layer(5)

Fog objects are located here.

Prop layer(6)

Prop objects are located here.

Events layer(7)

Event related entities such as 0_door_lever_with_important_place_hideout_ObjectEntity, SyncedTimerEntity, PlayerBoxCollectorArea and some other triggers are located here.

AI layer(8)

AI related objects and entities such as guards, PatrolHelperEntities, PatrolPointPathHelperEntities, hiding spots, NavigationMeshAreaEntity and AIMissionExitHelperEntity are located here.

Items layer(9)

Item objects and entities go here.


Audio entities go here.


Occlusion boxes go here.


The NoSave layer is a special layer that is never saved, useful for only strictly temporary editing.

Local layer

The changes you make on this layer will be saved locally only. Mostly concerns only adding new objects to the scene.

Processing Tools and Options

To ensure everything is working correctly, it's recommended to press the processing icons in the Toolbar when first opening a level. px116
These process resources Process resources icon.png, model instancing Process model instancing icon.png, occlusion culling Process occlusion culling icon.png and particle resources Process particle resources.png. The last one builds navigation mesh Build navigation mesh icon.png.
The most commonly used ones are the process resources button Process resources icon.png and build navigation mesh Build navigation mesh icon.png.
This should be done in the editor view. Note that processing will take some time, especially with large levels, and you can't use the editor while processing.
No need to worry if these technical terms don't make any sense - in the beginning, you get by just just "remember to click the processing icons when loading a level". You can look for more detailed explanations in the Editor Glossary."

"You can also take a look at Tools -> Options at any time!
You'll find lots of customization options there. Take a look when you feel like it!"

Opening a Level

"By opening the Maps List from the File Menu, you're easily able to jump to the next level.
It's recommended to complete the tutorial levels in the numbered order, making 02_Static_Objects the next tutorial level.
This way you can make sure you haven't missed any critical information before moving on.
However, you can complete the tutorials in any order you wish, or skip the ones that you aren't interested in.
The levels are numbered for your convenience.
Note that in order to open another level you need to be in the editor view."

Shadwen Editor Tutorial Main Page
-> Next tutorial (Static Objects)