what's most important
All topics are covered in detail within the editor, if you can’t wait and don’t want to read all this gibberish, go create and click the question mark if things go haywire.

To add all kinds of stuff to your level, you need to invoke the edit menu, either by hitting the spacebar or by clicking the ‘edit’ button on the red depth-slider in the isometric preview area.

New objects will be inserted at the current ‘z-depth’, your current position within the level, which is defined and can be altered by dragging the big red slider or by tapping the arrow-keys repeatedly.

All levels are limited to a length of 25.000 units, which approximately equals about 1 minute playing time.

Don’t press the ‘escape’ button, Flash doesn’t like that and you will need to close the window and start all over again.

There’s no ‘undo’, please think before clicking.

fundamentals - the p3d “engine”

It’s only Flash MX, not a real 3d engine, no polygons and no hardware acceleration, that’s why a few restrictions apply.
First of all, there’s a lot of scaling, zooming and colourizing happening within the game itself, that’s why hardware requirements are relatively high (about 1GHz) and the resolution is quite low (400x300 pixels).
The editing environment does require a minimum resolution of 1024x768 and don’t expect the preview window to run at lightspeed, performance of the regular game will be a lot better.

For the Flash-technology-interested-geeks out there:
It’s basically plenty of bitmaps flying in your face and being scaled a ‘lot’ (remember those 8bit racing games a decade ago?), that’s why the levels themselves need to be quite linear (actually the x-curvature is predefined and can not be changed), resulting in a somewhat restricted freedom of movement (you don’t want to see the ugly edges, do you?).

It goes without saying that the overall performance does heavily depend on the number of visible objects and the viewing distance, so, if it’s slow, use less objects and particle emitters.

workspace and navigation
Everything is windowed and mouse-driven, none of the windows and dialogues can be scaled, though, but dragging them around is fun too.

the isometric view

Probably the most important area, placing, moving and deleting entities, scrolling around and triggering parametric effects, everything is done here. The big red slider defines your current position within the level and all new elements appear exactly at this point in ‘depth’. Keep in mind, that there can only be one element per coordinate, if you keep hearing annoying beeps you’re probably trying to make elements overlap, dragging the slider or tapping the ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrow keys will bring alleviation.

A window of lesser importance, if you don’t hear beeps, just don’t pay attention to it. Whenever something doesn’t seem to work, the message window is probably desperately trying to catch your attention, to tell you what’s wrong.

well, loading and saving your level, what else did you expect?
If things turn out not quite like you imagined, you can perform a ‘reset’, clearing the level and returning it to the initial state or load one of our sample files.
Creation of levels is limited to one level per visitor, if you change your mind, all you can do is start over.

height profile
Here’s where you may ‘terraform’ your project, drawing hills and cliffs with your mouse, simply hold the left mouse-button and drag away.
The second purpose of this panel is navigating within the level on a larger scale by dragging the red depth-slider, while the orange bar indicates the area that’s currently visible in the isometric view.
Most objects should be placed on the floor, for your editing convenience there’s the ‘align’ button, which adjusts the y-position of already placed entities, according to the profile you’ve drawn.

Clicking a tile lets you change the ‘floor’ of your level, changing it from mud too gooey slime and vice versa.
The chosen texture will be used from wherever you clicked until the end of the level, so the most convenient approach is, to first draw the height map and then assigning textures to define the soil area after area.

Pretty simple, this changes the background picture, even amidst the level. Best used in conjunction with a temporal heavy fog.

Most elements defined as ‘object’ are both immobile and indestructible, most are rocks in various sizes.
Some fragile rocks can be shattered – intended to be the weak spot in a massive barrier, for example.
The ‘crater’ or ‘lava pool’ element is quite important, since here’s the spot to microwave your cargo. These should not be placed in abundance, simply because that would make the game ridiculously easy.
Furthermore you’ll find some buildings, flying saucers (grounded ones), wisps of dry vegetation and so on.
Most ‘objects’ are supposed to be scenery and/or obstacles.

Basically, characters are the nasties you can wreak havoc upon. All of them come in different sizes and with embedded animation and behaviours, just drop them anywhere and you’re all set.
Depending on your level of aggression, place as many as you wish, keeping in mind that the games performance can suffer tremendously, but around 25 visible elements should work fine on most systems.

‘Sweep’ does randomly scatter a definable amount of selected elements within the given area, combining them into groups where appropriate, which can be moved and edited at will.
‘Sweeping’ is best used to scatter smaller entities like grass and such all over the place or to place a bunch of nasties all at once.

The ‘generator’ lets you specify a random amount of objects which are plugged into the game at runtime, thus you can neither see nor edit them within the interface.
‘Generating’ is recommended for smaller entities only, because with exaggerated values it does have the potential to severely clutter your screen.
Due to the random nature of this function, it’s an excellent tool to build unpredictable levels with unforeseen encounters.
A tiny yellow label will appear in the isometric view, indicating the spot where the effect starts.

This initializes your level, setting the backdrop picture and defining the initial atmosphere (fogging).

Lets you vary the atmosphere, by changing colour and range of the fog. All values will be smoothly interpolated between two occurrences of ‘fog_fx’.
A tiny yellow label will appear in the isometric view, indicating the spot where the effect starts.

Creates clouds of small entities which appear and move randomly. Sandstorms, meteors and annoying swarms of insects may be triggered with these, adding life and atmosphere to your creation.
Please use with caution, too many particles will slow down the game quite a bit.
A tiny yellow label will appear in the isometric view, indicating the spot where the effect starts.

Just what it sounds like: make the screen shake and tremble for a given time. Best used sparsely in conjunction with dramatic incidents like a meteor storm for instance.
A tiny yellow label will appear in the isometric view, indicating the spot where the effect starts.

Adding even more atmosphere, by letting you choose between a variety of environmental sounds.
A tiny yellow label will appear in the isometric view, indicating the spot where the effect starts.