Editing a building that already exists in Avlis
For any housing projects, start by setting up a module with the haks in the correct order. The instructions below will guide you through the process. If you are beginning a new house from scratch, you can set up a module using parts I and II. If you are editing an existing building, you will need to first obtain an .erf file of the existing building.
I. Creating a basic module.
1. Open nwtoolset in your NWN folder. (You can also choose the Toolset button when you open basic NWN.)
2. Go to file -> new.
3. Choose next on the first screen.
4. Give the module a title/name. Choose next.
5. Choose the button 'area wizard.'
6. Make an area. This is a placeholder area, so what option you pick for tileset and name do not matter. The module is not valid without an area... hit next when you're done with this screen.
7. You can just leave area size at defaults and choose next.
8. On the Finish screen, choose Finish.
9. Hit next.
10. Hit finish again.
You now have a basic module to work with. The next step is to make it a module that will accept areas with avlis content. So, we're going to let the module know what content and what order we want it in...
II. Make it Avlis-Content-Compatible
1. Go to edit -> module properties.
2. Click the 'Custom Content' tab on the pop up window. You'll see a drop down box list below the white window. That's where you want to start choosing haks. Each time you select one, a button called 'add' will appear to the right of it. Each time you add a hak, it will appear in the white window area.
You want to add the haks so they show this order in the white window box:
3. Once the haks are included in the right order, you should click the drop down box next to the words 'custom tlk file' and choose copaptlk_4_9.tlk.
4. Once you'e done all that, choose OK, and a little pop up screen will appear warning you that you're about to change the content for the mod. You're okay with this, so pick Yes.
5. If everything was in the right order, you should be able to choose done once it's done checking for conflicts... it might take a while, you're adding a lot of custom content!
Your module is now ready to take in that erf you have.
III. Importing your erf
If editing an existing building, you will first need to obtain the .erf file of the old house. An .erf is a package of resources, like the areas of a house, creatures, or items, that can be imported into a module.
1. Go to file -> import.
2. Choose the erf you have.
3. Click OK.
That will get the erf into the module so you can open the area and work with the toolset.
IV. How to Save
A module needs a start location to be valid. So in order to save, we have to make a start point. I recommend this be inside the building you're working with for now, so you can test...
1. Open up your area. You can do this by right clicking the area's name under 'Areas' on the left-hand side of the module and choosing View Area.
2. On the far right hand side near the top there's a little icon that looks like a blue circle with a red arrow. If you hover the mouse over it, you get the following helpful information: "Paint Start Location." Click the icon.
3. In the center of the toolset is the area you've just opened in bird's eye view. Click somewhere in the area you've opened that isn't blackness. Like on the floor. A start location will appear. (This is where your PC will start every time you open this module.)
4. NOW you can finally save! Go to File -> Save.
If you need to you can repaint where this start location goes by following steps 1-3 and clicking where you want the new location to be. The old location will disappear when you do.
Quick Toolset Help
There are plenty of tutorials on area building available throughout the web. Included here is a brief explanation of a few key features.
A. Lighting toggle
I highlight these buttons in case all you can see is a vaguely colored fog. These swap between being able to see lighting in the toolset. If you can't see anything, or if all you see is fog, try making sure these are off - click on them so there's no box around each one. (like seen in my image.)
This button is used to change the basic tiles in an area, allowing you to create roads, forests, streams, doorways, and rooms. Each tileset has its own unique options.
1. Click on the button Paint Terrain, labeled B in the above diagram. (It looks like a little cliff.) Depending on what tileset you chose when creating the new area, you will have a variety of different options in the menu below. Tilesets will have an option called 'Terrain' which contain the base types of terrain for the tileset. The other options tend to be specific tiles, such as a pool, which can be placed within the room you create.
2. Choose the terrain you want from the menu, click on it, and left-click in the area on the overhead map for where you want that terrain or tile to go.
A few useful tools tend to be the same in each tileset, found in the white box below the Paint Terrain button.
Eraser: This option will delete specific parts of the terrain and replace them with a generic tile. The Eraser can delete specific pieces like streams, doorways, houses, walls, and pre-made rooms such as 'bedroom.'
Raise/Lower (available in outdoor tilesets only): If there's enough empty space to do so, this option will raise the terrain (with a left click) to add cliffs or hills, or lower an already raised area (with the right-click.)
Wall (for indoor tilesets only): This useful tile will erase a piece of the room to create an unusued black space.
Doorway (indoor tilesets only): This will create a doorway in a wall.
Options for the basic terrain types will vary by tileset to tileset, but options like 'Forest', 'Floor', 'Grass', and so on will usually paint down a generic room or area.
Other Options: Every tileset also has some pre-made tiles with features in them. In tilesets these are often classified by the type of basic terrain they can modify (for example, anything under the 'Grass' menu option will probably work on an area you have painted with grass.) If these can be placed down where you're trying to put them, the outlines of the tile when you hover it over the map will be green. If they won't fit or cannot be placed where you intend, they will show a red outline.
Useful tips: Rotating: You can rotate specific tiles before placing them down with the right-click button.
Eraser: If you use the eraser tool on generic terrain, the tile you have chosen will cycle through the available options for that sort of tile. For example, if you use the eraser tool on an area painted as forest, then each time you click you will get different tree formations.
Copy-paste: While in the terrain mode, you can select a tile you like by left-clicking, copy it, and paste it elsewhere within the map.
These are objects which can be moved around with the mouse within the house, like an NPC or a chest. While you're moving them about, you won't be able to click on the terrain.
The ones you're most likely to use, at least as far as housing or changing the look of a place is concerned, are the 'door' options - found with the icon that looks like a door - and the 'placable' options - found with the object that looks like a table. Toggling between Standard and Custom, buttons right below them, will give you different options.
To put these in a scene, pick what you want from the list on the right, click on it, and click where you want it. Doors can only be placed in doorways and will refuse to rotate or budge. Objects can be placed almost anywhere, and can be rotated with those red rotate icons below the bird's eye view of your area.
Very, very simple changes:
To edit the appearance, locked qualities, etc of a piece, you can right click on the object which is already placed into your area, and choose 'properties.'
Appearance Type: This will change the look of the object. Avlis has a lot of custom content hidden here! There are far more options in here than there are in the menus.
To delete an object, you can right click it and choose delete.
To change how high the object is (perhaps you want it on the table?) You can right click on it, choose adjust location, and alter the Z value...the higher the value the higher the object. I mention this because the moment you click on an object, it will default to sitting on the floor, even if you wanted it up high. It may be easier, however, to click on the object, choose edit->cut, and choose edit-> paste right onto the table.
If your clicking is only selecting terrain instead of objects... you can fix that by clicking on the table icon. (There are a dozen other ways to do this too, but this is my lazy and simple solution.)