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Editing Keen

A couple of years ago, what is described here would be unthinkable. We had KMO, which allowed us to make our own Keen 1 levels, but thanks to the efforts of Keen-editing pioneers, it is now possible to make complete remakes (MODs) of the first three Keens, and edit Keen 4, 5 and 6 levels.

Editing Keen 1-3 levels

There are three editors for Keen 1-3 levels (published in order of creation):

KeenEDIT for DOS by Jeremy Haubold
This used to be the only level editor for Keens 2 and 3, and for world maps. It is written in QBASIC and the user interface is somewhat tricky to learn. This editor is now rendered obsolete by KMO 2.0 and KeenWright.
KMO 2.0 by Geoff Sims
KMO was the first level editor with a Windows GUI. Originally, it could only edit Keen 1 levels, but version 2.0 handles both world maps and regular levels for all three Vorticons games. The only con with this editor is that the save routine is somewhat buggy.
KeenWright by Andrew Durdin
This is a very powerful and easy-to-use editor for all Vorticons games. It handles world maps and regular levels.

Editing graphics and built-in texts

In order to make a totally new Keen game (MOD), you will need to edit the tiles, sprites and built-in texts in order to customise them to your game's plot. The program of choice for doing this is ModKeen, written by Keen expert Andrew Durdin, which will allow you to modify all graphics, as well as the story, endgame and help texts. Good luck!

Editing Keen 4, 5 or 6 levels

Editing Keen 4, 5 and 6 levels is a slightly more complicated task since there is no ready-made editing program. However, Andrew Durdin's TED package makes it as simple as possible. PLEASE NOTE: This package will only work with version 1.4 of Keen 4-6.

Here's how to use it:

The first thing to do is to download the package: http://www.fileplanet.com/dl.aspx?/classicgaming/cc314/tededit.zip. It contains everything you need to start making your own custom levels right away. Installing the utilities is a simple process:

  1. Unzip tededit.zip into a new folder; C:\TED is a good choice.
  2. Copy the Goodbye, Galaxy! or Aliens Ate My Baby-Sitter files into the same directory. You will need all the ck4, ck5, and ck6 files, and the exes.
  3. Decompress the exe files. You can either do this from a command line, or double-click the Unlzexe shortcut and enter the names of the Keen exes.
  4. Copy all files with the CK4 extension into your TED5 directory.
  5. Run tedsetup. This will process all the Keen exes, and set up TED to edit all of them.
And that's it: TED is now ready for use!

For instructions, read this excerpt from the first Commander Keen Newsletter, written by Andrew Durdin.


Thank you all!

I've made a level pack or a MOD, now what?

Spread the word! Send an e-mail to Flaose and we'll have your project featured here on CC314.

Existing levels
Existing MODs