This is a brief rundown on how to operate the Level Editor, including the keyboard shortcuts and so forth, and a very basic description of what they do. The editor isn't that complex, and I am a firm believer that learning how to design stuff for any game is 90% about learning through practice and 10% documentation.Before you begin!
- Use F1 to switch between play mode and design mode.
- Create a folder entitled Levels in your root Super Meat Boy folder. This is where levels will be saved; without it, you can't save anything.
- Use Ctrl-S to save and Ctrl-L to load. SAVE OFTEN.
- You'll need a two-button mouse and a scroll wheel (or equivalent).
- Do not use low (or ultralow) detail modes because various objects will not function. To see the effects that you use, you'll need to go with the graphically intense settings.New levels
There is no keyboard command to create a new level. You have to click NEW.
- Levels can be resized with F10. F10 is also where you set the level name.Camera controls
W, A, S, and D pan the camera.
Q and E are zoom controls.
- This is for maneuvering in the level editor, not for setting up the camera during play.Placing Meat Boy
Press B to move the spawn point to where the cursor is.Layers
1-8 control layers. 1 is the top layer, 8 is the bottom, including the background.
- Tiles can only be placed on layers 2, 4, and 6.
- F2 will allow you to change the color and brightness of the selected layer.
- Meat Boy (or whatever character) is on layer 4.
- Hazards only interact with Meat Boy on layers 1-5. Put sawblades on layer 5.Tile mode
T will switch to tile mode. The mouse wheel will scroll through the list. Left mouse will lay tiles, right mouse will delete them.
- Ctrl or Tab + mouse wheel will rotate the tile.
- Space + mouse wheel will mirror the tile.
- Shift + mouse wheel will transform the tile from full-square to half-square, full-triangle, or half-triangle.
- Shift + drag will allow you to select multiple tiles, which can be copied and pasted with ctrl-C and ctrl-V or deleted en masse by hitting delete.
- Reminder: tiles can only be placed on layers 2, 4, and 6. If any other layer is selected it will be placed on 4.
- Breaking tiles, locks, conveyor belts, and switch blocks are also tiles.Objects mode
H will switch to object mode. (H = hazard.) Use the mouse wheel to scroll through the list. Left mouse will place them. Right mouse does nothing. Objects can be placed on any layer, but only will interact with Meat Boy in layers 1-5.
- Ctrl + mouse wheel will resize the object.
- Shift + mouse wheel will shift the object into the foreground or background. It will appear to resize the hazard, but it does not. Do not use shift to resize the object.
You will get a parallax effect when you pan the camera.
- Space + mouse wheel will rotate the object.
- Tab + mouse wheel will mirror the object.
- Shift + left click will allow you to select an object. Shift + drag will let you select multiple. Selected items can be changed into new objects with the mouse wheel, but placed items cannot be transformed, resized, etc.
- Arrows with a selected item will move it around.
- F8 with a selected item will open the item parameter menu, which will give you specific parameters depending on the object. The F8 Guide
is more specific on how to modify certain items. It's slightly out of date (it was made for Devmode rather than the Level Editor) but the information is still generally accurate.
- G with a selected item will go to waypoint mode. From here, you can place waypoints for the item, as well as rotate and resize it from waypoint to waypoint. Use the mouse wheel with a selected waypoint to change the time. Note that waypoint times are cumulative. Waypointed items will start back at the beginning, so you'll usually want to put a waypoint at the end of an item's route on top of its starting point.
- Holding ; (semicolon) will show hitboxes, but you have to go to and from play mode to see it usually.
- Holding ` (grave accent) will snap to the grid.Prop mode
Z will switch to prop mode. Prop controls are the same as object controls. "Props" are static decorative items. Meat Boy does not interact with props.Animated prop mode
Y will switch to animated prop mode. These controls are the same as the previous object controls.Lights mode
L will switch to lights mode. Lights can be placed with the left mouse and selected with the right mouse. Be careful, this mode is glitchy as shit currently.
- F6 with a selected light will enter the light coloring mode. Values are from 0-255, but most lights look fine from 0-40 for each color.
- Mouse wheel will resize the light.Animal mode
N will switch to animals mode. Left mouse to place one, right mouse to select one, mouse wheel scrolls. Animals cannot be resized, rotated, etc.
- F8 will bring up the animal parameter menu.Camera mode
C will bring up the camera mode. This camera is for the size of the actual level and zoom depth in-game.
Manipulating the level editor camera is done with QWEASD. Left mouse will place a camera node. Right mouse will select a camera node.
- F5 with a selected camera node will open the camera node menu.
- Shift + drag will create a bounding box for the camera instead of using nodes.
- Multiple camera nodes can be used like waypoints to create a "scrolling level."
- Using a camera node instead of a bounding box will give you a different "inbounds area" depending on the player's resolution; bounding boxes generally work better.
- When changing the zoom mode for a bounding box, the spawn point serves as the camera "node."
- Default zoom size is -500. A lower number (like -600) is zoomed out more, and a higher number is zoomed in.
- When you zoom out, make sure you make the bounding box SMALLER than the area you actually want the player to see. The bounding box only matches to the inbounds area with a zoom of -500.Parallax mode
X will switch to parallax mode. This gives you a decorative item of infinite horizontal length which is typically placed on layer 7. Controls are the same as object controls. This is generally where you want to use the SHIFT key to move it further into the foreground or background. You can then stack the same parallax item multiple times on top of itself.