The Level Editor

The level editor screen is fairly plain to start with. You'll find yourself looking down on a grey grid with X and Z axis on the far side. The main menu is in the top right corner, and some general info is in the bottom right.

At the bottom of the Main Menu is a very important button. The Save button. Every time you do something you intend to keep, click the save button. Do it regularly. If you change something you don't like, and can't undo it, you might have ruined your whole level, and if you haven't saved it, you have no way of getting it back. The editor won't ask you if you want to save before you exit, so its very important to remember to do it yourself. You have been warned.

There are 3 things listed in the bottom-right corner: Triangles, Mission and Map.
Triangles is the number of Triangles used to make your level. The higher this is, the more system resources your level will need. The largest maps in Darwinia have around 46000 triangles. Try and keep this in mind when create your levels.
Mission is the mission file associated with your map. This is automatically created when you created the level. I'll cover this in more detail later on.
Map is the file that will store most of the info about your level. All of the landscape details will be saved into this file.
You don't need to worry too much about these right now, but it might be useful to know later on.

Lets create an island. To do this, click the 'Edit Land Tiles' button in the Main Edit window in the Top Right corner. A new window titled Landscape will appear in the bottom left corner of your screen.

There are quite a few things in the Landscape window:

Re-generates the whole landscape. You might find that sometimes you will change something but the changes won't appear on screen. Click generate to refresh the screen and update everything.

New Tile
This creates a new Landscape tile (Island) where the crosshair is currently pointed on the grid. I'll cover this shortly.

New Flatten Area
This creates a perfectly flat Island. It will also flatten any other land that overlaps it too.

Scale Down
This scales the entire level downwards, making all the land in your level smaller, including the level itself.

Scale up
Just like scale down, except it makes everything bigger. You probably won't use these 2 very often.

Outside Height
This changes the height of the baselevel of your map. By default, it is set to -10, which places everything under water. By setting it to a value greater than 0, the entire map becomes filled with land. I would advise against this, however, as doing so will make your entire level a square, which will look completely unnatural, and you will be able to see underneath the level too. I suggest leaving it at its default value.

Cell Size
You will have noticed when playing Darwinia that the landscape is made up of squares. Changing the cell size will change the size of the squares which make up the landscape. The default is 12, and you should really leave it at this. Setting it too low will severely degrade the performance of your level (although it will look super-cool). On the other hand, setting it too high will make your level look clunky and horrible. Changing the landscape detail in the game options changes this value.

World Size X
This will change the size of your level along the X axis. It is best to make this the size you will need before you start placing land tiles, as increasing it later on might make it bigger in the wrong direction, and you will then have to move everything into a new position.

World Size Z
Changes the size of your level along the Z axis, otherwise it works the same as World Size X.

World Size X and Z should always be set to the same value. If they aren't, you will find that the generated water doesn't quite fit to your islands properly in game.

Move Buildings
Set to either 0 or 1, when set to one, buildings will move along with the landtiles when you move them around. If set to 0, the buildings will remain in their location, even if this puts them in the middle of the water.

To create an Island, point the crosshair someone on the grid, and click the New Tile button.