World Builder

Introduction

Overview

Quickstart

About

Explorer

Overview

Random

Series

Thumbnails

Toolbar

World View

Overview

Options

Display

Toolbar

Menu

File

Colors Editor

Overview

Using the Editor

Appendices

About 'planet'

Known Issues and Bugs

Quickstart

To get the best use from this Quickstart, don't make any changes to the default settings before you begin following this guide. To reset World Builder completely, close it and restart it.

Ready?

Ok. When World Builder starts up, it will display the Explorer Window, one of its unique features. It will be empty, but in the left-hand side-bar you should see that 'Random' is selected, and set to 12. These are suitable defaults to start playing with the program.

Click the 'Start' button at the bottom of the empty Explorer Window. After a short pause (which should be no more than a couple of seconds), the Explorer Window will start to fill with thumb-nail views of worlds. It will generate 12 in all, and then stop.

If something goes wrong, or if you accidentally set the number of worlds to something ludicrously high, just click the button again (it will have changed to a 'Stop' button) and the Explorer will stop generating more worlds. The ones it has already generated will still be there.

You should end up with something like this (your worlds will be different, of course, as they are randomly generated):

If you don't see any worlds which look promising, click the 'Start' button again, to generate another 12 worlds. Note that when you do so, the Explorer will delete the existing set of worlds first. If you want to keep the existing set, simply untick the 'Clear existing worlds' check-box which you will see above the 'Start' button.

If you want to delete all the worlds from the Explorer, click the 'Clear' button.

When you see a world that looks promising, click on it to select it, then click the 'Copy to World' button. World Builder will immediately flip to the World View page, and generate a larger picture of your selected world.

You can do this more quickly by simply double-clicking on a thumb-nail world.

Just before you go on, click the Explorer tab to briefly switch back to Explorer view, and you will see that all the thumb-nail worlds are still there. If having seen your world at a larger size you decide it isn't right, you can just go back and select another one, or generate a new set to select from.

Click on the World tab to return to the larger view. On the left-hand side, in the side-bar, are two panels, one labelled Options, the other labelled Display. Click the small 'up' button at the right-hand end of the title bar of the Options panel. This will roll up the Options panel, leaving more room for the Display panel. For information on the Options panel, see the Options page.

Your window should now look something like this:

As you see, there are a number of options you can play with. For now, let's just look at a few of them. Click the 'Black borders' check box. Note that nothing happens (apart from a tick appearing in the box)! This is because none of the options will take effect until you click the 'Generate' button at the bottom of the display window. Click the 'Generate' button now. It will take a couple of seconds to recreate the map, which should then look more like this:

Try out the other options. For more details on what they all do, check the Options page. Expecially try some of the different projections available in the Projections drop-down list (definitely try the Globe one).

For now, let's look at one last thing on the Display panel: the Colors file, which you will see at the bottom of the panel. Click on the little folder button beside the name of the file, and in the dialog that appears, select the 'tropical.rgb' file and click Ok. The name of this file should now appear at the bottom of the Display panel, but once again nothing else will happen until you click the 'Generate' button again. Click it now, and the world map will be recreated, using a different set of colors.

There are several predefined colors files, and there is also a facility to let you create and edit your own ones. See the Colors files section for more information.

Well, we've nearly finished this quick tour round the World Builder. Just a few things left. On the File menu (and the toolbar buttons) you will find options to save and load the settings for the current world, and to save the current picture.

Finally, click the 'down' arrow on the Options panel to unroll it again. You will notice an extremely large number, with a dice button next to it. The large number is the 'seed' for the current world -- think of this as the world's ID. You can change this number by hand if you want (as an experiment, try changing it by a few thousand, click 'Generate', and see what happens).

If you click the dice button, a completely new, random seed will be entered, and the world map will be automatically recreated using this new number. This is the one occasion when you don't have to click the 'Generate' button.

And that's it. There are other features hidden in World Builder, which you can find out about in the rest of this help file.

Happy building!