Launch the Editor (editor.exe). When it opens you will see an empty black screen and lots of buttons.
To load a mission, choose File, then Open and browse for the mission file that you want to edit and click Open. If this is your first time using the Level Editor, choose "mission_example1" (in the Mods\mymod\Editor\Save folder if you have to browse for it). Loading the mission takes a while, depending on your CPU power. After loading, you should see editor controls on the left and some terrain on the right side, and a fully accessible category menu at the top.
"mission_example1" is an example mission that is fully playable and has some nice features, like enemies, spawned enemies and keycard access. More on those later.
If you want to create a totally new mission, you should load "mission_template", which is an empty mission with the required features - namely the default (first) respawn position, map layer and mission complete trigger.
You can choose whichever mission for your first editing tests. We might suggest you start with the empty template, so you can easily notice that what you are doing in the editor is also happening in the mission when you play it. The example mission probably gives you good tips on many features, such as how to create nice looking buildings with the building blocks.
If the editor crashes when you try to load a mission, there's probably something wrong with the \Data structure. Double-check that Data1.fbz can be found in the Shadowgrounds folder.
Ok, so now you've got something in front of you. The very first thing you should do, is to get familiar with the camera. Use the right mouse button
to rotate and adjust the camera view. Simply move the mouse cursor over the terrain, and then keep the right mouse button pressed down and move the mouse to any direction.
Now let's move around. Use the W, A, S, D
keys to move. To speed up, press down the shift
key and move again. You can zoom in and out with +
Note that the controls above are the same for all the Editor modes (Terrain, Scene, etc). You should be familiar with the basics now. Let's move on.
You have noticed the six buttons at the top of the Editor. These will become very familiar to you. Here is a short explanation of what they do.
lets you modify the terrain, set different ground textures and edit terrain heights (create mountains or canyons etc).
gives you control over some general aspects, like fog, and also features a bunch of Editor-related settings, such as camera options, rendering options, sun and ambient light option etc.
features tools that allow you to insert and edit various objects such as building blocks, fences, boxes, walls, outdoor environment and much more. This will become very familiar because you will spend most of your mission editing time with Objects.
is used for inserting buildings. When you begin working on your mod, you don't need to pay much attention to this possibility. It is possible to add buildings from the original Shadowgrounds, but it is rather advanced and not recommended for novice users.
is very important in bringing your mission to life. All of the aliens and human characters are here, and you can set them guard paths etc.
is the final step in making your mission look polished. Shadowgrounds has nice lighting options and all of these are available to you.