TTP Map Tutorial: Sigils & Chapters

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In this part of the tutorial we will

  • add a sigil to the puzzle area,
  • create chapters, and
  • create the global list of tetromino instances.

Adding and Shaping a Sigil

Screenshot of default Tetromino.

TTP Tutorial TetrominoDefault.png
To add a sigil do the following:
1. Switch to the EntityList panel.
2. Drag a 'Tetromino' from the EntityList to the viewport.
3. Switch to the Entity panel.
4. Set 'Item Params' with resource control to
Content/Talos/Databases/Items/TetrominoItemParams.ep.

The last step changed the Tetromino editor model to a pink S shaped Tetromino model which is the default setting.

With the resource file in place, the shape and color of the sigil depend on its name. The name must consist of a combination of two letters, which define the potential use and appearance of the sigil, followed by a number. For the first two letters you can choose any of the following letters:

1. Letter: Unlock Type with Example HUD Displays
D → Door (green) Hud Door.png Hud A.png Hud B.png Hud C.png
E → Alternate Ending (grey) Hud 6.png
M → Mechanic (ochre) Hud Rod.png Hud Cube.png Hud Fan.png Hud Time.png Hud Shield.png
N → Nexus (red) Hud 1.png Hud 2.png Hud 3.png Hud 4.png Hud 5.png
* → Secret (star) Hud Star.png
2. Letter: Tetromino Shape
I Tetromino I.png
J Tetromino J.png
L Tetromino L.png
O Tetromino O.png
S Tetromino S.png
T Tetromino T.png
Z Tetromino Z.png
* Star

The number in the end serves to distinguish Tetrominos with the same unlock type and Tetromino shape.

For this tutorial, let's choose an O Tetromino because then we can build an arranger that requires purely that sigil. As unlock type I choose door. So the Tetromino name must be

  • D (for door),
  • O (for square shaped tetromino), and
  • 1 (this can be any number as long as it is exclusive for all DO combinations).

Set the Tetromino name to DO1 and the Tetromino changes to an O shaped model.

Coloring a Sigil

Screenshot of final Tetromino.

The color of the sigil has not turned green even though we assigned the unlock type door. That is due to the fact that we have not set a particular parameter of the world, namely the 'Tetromino palette':

1. Press ~ (QUERTZ: ^) to cancel any selection.
2. Press N to open the world entity list. World info entity is automatically highlighted.
3. Press ↵ Enter to select World info.
4. Toggle the Entity panel if necessary.
5. For the property 'World params', open the dropdown menu and choose 'New' → 'CTalosWorldParams'.
6. Expand 'World params'.
7. For the property 'Episode params', open resource control and select 'New' → 'CTalosEpisodeParams'.
8. Set 'Tetromino palette' with resource control to
Content/Talos/Databases/TetrominoPalette.rsc.
9. Save your world and the Tetromino should turn green.

Ok, we finally have the tetromino that we want.

Adding Chapters

Screenshot of Chapter info.

Whenever you are playing The Talos Principle, you are always in a distinct chapter of the game. When you start a new game, the first chapter is started. The current chapter is then changed through actions of the player as defined in the world file.

Note that the current chapter is saved globally for the entire campaign which is why you can interrupt a game and continue it later from the same chapter. Furthermore, the engine can use chapter information to execute particular actions. For instance, when you enter a puzzle area in the standard campaign, the puzzle name, the required mechanics, and the available tetromino appear on the HUD. This display is caused by chapters ... and we also want that for our little tutorial map:

1. Add a 'Chapter info' from the EntityList panel to the world.
2. Position it inside the puzzle area close to the entrance (0, 0, 16).
3. Name it 'P_01' in the Entity panel. Note that this is not the name of the puzzle itself. We will set that later.

This Chapter info is supposed to indicate the puzzle area chapter. Now we need another chapter for the area outside the puzzle area:

1. Add a 'Chapter info' from the EntityList panel to the world.
2. Position it outside the puzzle area close to the entrance (0, 0, 26).
3. Name it 'Main' in the Entity panel.

Ok, we've got two chapters: one for the main area and one for the puzzle area.

Switching Chapters

Now, we need to tell the engine when to start what chapter. For the main chapter that is simple. The first chapter of a world is set in the World info:

1. Press ~ (QUERTZ: ^) to cancel any selection.
2. Press N to open the world entity list. World info entity is automatically highlighted.
3. Press ↵ Enter to select the World info.
4. Toggle the Entity panel if necessary.
5. Click LMB.png in the line 'First chapter' at the top of the property list to highlight it.
6. Hold Ctrl+Alt and click LMB.png on the Chapter info outside the puzzle area ('Main').

That's it. If you start a simulation now with T you will be spawned in the location of the 'Main' Chapter info because chapter Main is started. So how is the chapter switched in-game? Simply by adding and adjusting a 'Plasma barrier':

1. Add a 'Plasma barier' from the EntityList panel to the world.
2. Switch to the Entity panel if necessary.
3. Set 'Params' with resource control to
Content/Talos/Databases/Tools/PlasmaBarrier.ep.
4. To fit the barrier into the entrance set 'Stretch' to
x = 3,
y = 7.
5. Position the Plasma barrier with the drag/align tool inside the entrance of the puzzle area.
6. Click LMB.png in the line 'Front chapter to start' to highlight it.
7. Hold Ctrl+Alt and click LMB.png on the Chapter info inside the puzzle area ('P_01') to assign it as the front chapter of the barrier.
6. Click LMB.png in the line 'Back chapter to start' to highlight it.
7. Hold Ctrl+Alt and click LMB.png on the Chapter info outside the puzzle area ('Main') to assign it as the back chapter of the barrier.

Now, every time the player passes through the Plasma barrier in the direction, that the arrow of the editor model points to, the front chapter is started. The other way around the back chapter is started.

Sigil Information

We have the Tetromino and the chapters but the HUD still does not display anything when we enter the puzzle area. To that end we need to create a global list of tetromino instances. As the name indicates, such list holds parameters for all Tetrominos in all worlds that belong to a campaign. Among other things it allows us to assign Tetrominos to puzzles:

1. Select the World info (see above).
2. Switch to the Entity panel if necessary.
3. Expand 'World params'.
4. Expand 'Episode params'.
5. In the line 'Tetromino instances' create a new 'Tetromino instances' resource with resource control.
6. Expand 'Tetromino instances'.
7. In the line 'Tetromino instances [0]' click LMB.png on the yellow plus sign to create a new tetromino instance.
8. Expand 'Tetromino instances [1]'.
9. Enter the following values:
  • Instance name: The name of the Tetromino you want to instance. Set this to what our Tetromino is called: 'DO1'.
  • Needed mechanics (TFCRAS): Defines the mechanics that are displayed on direction signs and when starting a chapter with an assigned tetromino (explanation in a moment). Set this to 'TFCR'.
  • Level: The name of the world this Tetromino is contained in. Enter the name you saved your map under without the '.wld' suffix.
  • Puzzle: The name of the chapter this Tetromino is assigned to. Set this to what the chapter is called: 'P_01'.
  • Puzzle title.Identifier: Used for multi-language support. Set this to 'notrans' for no translation.
  • Puzzle title.String: Defines the name that is displayed when starting a chapter with an assigned Tetromino. Set this to 'King Tut'.
10. In the line 'Tetromino instances' use the resource control to save the global list of tetromino instances.
  • Suggested folder: where you save the .wld-file.
  • Suggested name: TetrominoInstances.xml.

And there you have it: when you pass the puzzle barrier, i.e. change the chapter to P_01, the parameters we just set are displayed. Note that the display features all required mechanics: connector, cube, fan, and time switch. That is because of the 'Needed mechanics' parameter:

  • T → Time (switch)
  • F → Fan
  • C → Cube
  • R → Rod (connector)
  • S → Shield

The A stands for Axe and is a remnant of Croteam's original idea to include it as a puzzle element. It does not display in-game.


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