Welcome to the NAO comic DIY page. This page contains a powerful interactive editor to help you write comics.
The following document attempts to explain the controls present on this page in the order in which they appear.
THE EDIT PANE
At the upper left of the editor is the edit pane, where you'll do most of the work of writing the comic.
The currently selected panel is displayed here. Above the pane you'll see the panel number,
and a pair of buttons you can use to select the previous or next comic panel.
To the right of the edit pane is a monochrome text-edit pane where you can edit the panel contents directly as a text field,
by typing characters, as opposed to "drawing" with the mouse.
Beneath the panes is a text box in which you can enter the caption for the current panel.
Editing the comic is as simple as clicking in the edit pane. As you hover your mouse over the pane,
you'll notice a red cursor following your mouse pointer, highlighting the map tile that will be affected.
When you click on this tile, it will be replaced with the current contents of the "drawing pen".
The drawing pen is simply a glyph comprised of character and color that can be placed on the map.
You can see the symbol that the pen is currently set to in a display beneath the text box;
by default it's set to "." (period).
By holding the 'ctrl' key while clicking, you can instead fill a tile
with an alternate pen — by default " "
(a blank space — solid rock or an unseen area) — handy for an erase function,
but you can use it for any purpose you wish. To switch the normal and alternate pens, press the 'x' key.
To edit the panel's caption text, click in the text box below the edit pane and type. There is no limit
to the amount of text you can enter; the panel layout will adjust to accomodate it. HTML is allowed,
including links and images. Unusual characters can be pasted in or alt-coded.
When you're done editing, click anywhere outside the text box to update the editor;
you can then scroll down to the preview pane (below) to see the effects of your changes.
The will insert the current pen character
into the panel's caption text box.
Beneath the edit pane are a series of buttons that you can use to perform operations on the comic panel,
change the drawing pen, or select the input mode.
This section allows you to change the effect of clicking on the edit pane.
- Draw mode: This is the default mode, in which clicking on a map tile replaces it
with the current contents of the drawing pen. To switch to this mode, click the button
or press the 'd' key.
- Color picker: This mode allows you to set the pen to a symbol already present on the map.
To use it, press the 'c' key or click the button,
then click anywhere in the map window. The pen will change to the symbol in that tile,
and you will be returned to draw mode. You can also press 'z' key while hovering the mouse over
the map pane to instantly get the symbol under cursor into the current pen.
- Flood fill: This mode allows you to replace a continuous region of the panel (all one symbol) with
another symbol (the drawing pen). To use it, press the 'f' key or click the button.
As you hover the mouse over the edit pane, the region that will be filled will be highlighted in red. Click on the panel to fill it.
- Line drawing: This mode allows you to create a line of a particular symbol. To use it, press the 'g' key or
click the button. As you hover the mouse over the edit pane,
the tiles that will be filled will be highlighted in red; the line will start at the last tile edited
and end at the tile you click on. To change the line's starting position, hover the mouse over the new starting
position and press the 's' key. (This will work in any input mode.)
- Rectangle drawing: This mode allows you to create an unfilled rectangle of a particular symbol;
the tiles within the rectangle will be unchanged. To use it, click the button;
you can also use the 'v' key to cycle between draw, unfilled rectangle, and filled rectangle modes.
As you hover the mouse over the edit pane, the tiles that will be filled will be highlighted in red;
the rectangle will have one corner at the last tile edited, and the opposite corner at the tile you click on.
To change the anchored corner, hover the mouse over the new corner position and press the 's' key.
(This will work in any input mode.)
- Filled rectangle drawing: This mode is identical to unfilled rectangle drawing,
except the tiles within the rectangle will be filled with the chosen character as well.
To use it, click the button or cycle to it with the 'v' key.
- Room rectangle drawing: This mode is similar to rectangle drawing, but it uses
| for vertical and
- for horizontal parts
of the rectangle. To use it, click the button.
This section allows you to perform operations on the panel as a whole.
- : This places a random (believable) NetHack map in the chosen panel.
Hovering over this will reveal several buttons, which allows you to define what kind of map to generate:
: This removes all color tags from the panel; every tile becomes gray.
: This fills the entire panel with the contents of the drawing pen.
: Randomly chooses one of the available generators.
: A room in the Dungeons.
: A field with no vision obstacles, possibly with a building on it.
: Mostly walkable field, with some interesting terrain feature in the middle.
: Like Splatterfield, but reversed terrains.
: As if a drunk dwarf dug in the walls.
: Gnomish Mines-style.
: A Maze.
(the glyph for solid rock or an unseen region — blank space.)
: This fills the entire panel with
- ." (period)
with " " (blank space) by default, for instance.
: This replaces all symbols matching the contents of the drawing pen with those matching
the contents of the alternate pen — replacing ": This places five glyphs matching the contents of the drawing pen randomly on the map.
Useful for adding random monsters.
: Hovering over this will reveal four buttons: ,
, and . Those buttons
will shift the contents of the current pane to the direction, wrapping contents around the border, so no information is lost.
: Hovering over this will reveal 6 buttons: ,
, , ,
and . Those buttons will move all symbols that match the current
pen like monsters trying to reach the designated place. The ctrl-pen is considered as the floor-symbol,
and the "monsters" will walk on those only. Does not consider symbol color, only the character.
This is overlaid on the panel; if you don't clear it first, it can result in some strange effects.
: This creates a maze layout using the current contents of the drawing pen
- ') bordering floor tiles
('.') with wall tiles
'|') — use with
the 'maze' button to create a wallified maze.
: This automatically replaces all empty tiles
(': This replaces the contents of the current panel with a tombstone image
suitable for the 'game over' screen, including Dudley's name — all it lacks is his killer's.
: This copies the contents of the current panel (but not its caption text)
into a temporary buffer, for use with the 'paste' button.
: This pastes the contents of the temporary buffer into the current panel,
allowing you to replicate panels.
Note that the resulting panel's size is that of the copied panel.
: This adds a new panel to the comic, copying the current panel's contents
to fill it (including caption text). Note that it does not copy into the same buffer as the copy command — you
can't paste what you just added.
: This deletes the current panel from the comic. The previous panel becomes the new current panel.
: This will undo most changes done to the panel, including resizing. Does not undo
changes to the panel text. Each panel has a separate undo stack.
The next few sections control the contents of the drawing pen.
The first line is mostly devoted to saved pens. By default eleven symbols are saved here for quick access —
the floor tile, solid rock, walls, closed and open doors, corridor, human, cat, and dog (. |-+|-#@fd respectively).
Clicking one one of these will place it in the drawing pen for immediate use; the first ten can also be selected by
use of the number keys. To change the alternate pen, hold 'ctrl' while clicking. Hovering the mouse over one of
the saved pens will show a dialog allowing you to move it around in the list, remove it, or change its access key.
(Note that moving a pen resets its access key to the default — its own default, not the one for its current position.)
Click the 'save' button to save the current drawing pen for quick access.
The saved pens are stored in a cookie, and will persist across multiple editing sessions.
The one button on that line that has nothing to do with saved pens is 'random'.
This button will place a random glyph in the drawing pen — not necessarily one that has any meaning in NetHack.
The next line is devoted to colors. Here you will see the character currently in the drawing pen,
repeated in every color the editor supports. Click on one of these to change the color appropriately.
(The alternate pen cannot be changed with this control.) You can also click the "no color" button to
remove the color tag from the current character (it will become gray),
or the "random" button to have the drawing color selected at random when you draw on the panel.
The next line shows all the characters the editor recognizes, in the currently selected color.
Click on one of these to place it in the drawing pen; or ctrl-click to place it in the alternate pen.
(Note that you *can* use characters not listed here in the comic, but you must edit the code directly to do so.)
TABLE OF SYMBOLS
This section takes the guesswork out of finding the correct character and color combination
for a particular monster, object, or dungeon feature. You can select the appropriate entity
from the drop-down box; or you can hover the mouse over a given symbol in the chart to see
what thing(s) it could represent, and then (ctrl-)click on it to place it in the (alternate) drawing pen.
You can also click on the button to place a random, valid monster glyph in the drawing pen;
the monster will be identified in the drop-down box.
Using the checkboxes, you can choose if you wish to see NetHack and/or Angband specific symbols.
This section, too, can be shown or hidden with a check box labeled "Strip data".
Here you can enter various parameters for the comic strip as a whole.
- Author: This box sets the author name that will be displayed in the upper right corner of the comic.
There is no limit on the name length, although a very long name will cause the comic to stretch horizontally.
Spaces are allowed; line breaks are not, unless you use the <br> tag. HTML is allowed, including links and images;
the author name is bold by default, but this can be overridden with </b>. When you're done,
press enter or click anywhere outside the box to update the editor,
then scroll down to the preview pane to see the effects of your changes.
The author name defaults to "Unknown" if you're not logged in; otherwise it will default to
your login name.
- Footnote: If you want to display a footnote under the comic, you can enter it in this box.
There is no limit on the length of the footnote, although a long one will cause the comic to stretch horizontally.
HTML is allowed, including links and images;
again, line breaks can be accomplished with the <br> tag.
When you're done, press enter or click anywhere outside the box to update the editor,
then scroll down to the preview pane to see the effects of your changes.
- Strip panel size: This allows you to control the dimensions of the panels.
The dimensions are expressed as (width, height), in map tiles, and default to 20 tiles wide by 9 tiles high.
To resize a panel, select the panel, then click the change button; enter the new dimensions in the boxes,
and then click OK (or cancel to discard the changes).
You can check the "Resize all panels" box to apply the new dimensions to the entire comic,
including any panels subsequently added.
Shrinking the panel will simply truncate any part of the map that doesn't fit; the editor will warn you whenever you do so.
- Strip width: This allows you to control the number of panels per row.
To change this, click "change", enter a number in the box, and then click "OK";
or click "cancel" to discard the changes. The default setting, 'automatic',
causes the editor to choose dimensions such that there are an equal number of panels on each row (no blank spaces).
Setting this to '0' returns it to 'automatic'.
Attempting to set it to a number higher than the number of panels in the strip,
or something that is not a number, results in no change.
This section can be shown or hidden with the "preview" check box.
You can use this section to see how the changes you make affect your comic's layout and appearance —
it shows the comic as it would appear were it to be published in its current form.
Every panel is displayed with its caption text, in the size and configuration you've chosen,
with the author's name and the footnote, if any.
The panels are updated as changes are made (although the text boxes aren't updated until you've clicked out of them).
The current comic panel is highlighted in a light green box;
you can select another panel from the preview pane simply by clicking on it.
Clicking the "popup preview" check box will cause a preview to pop up in a separate window,
allowing you to look at it without the clutter of the editor; leaving this box checked will
cause a preview window to pop up every time a change to the comic is made.
This section can be shown or hidden with the "Code" check box.
It shows the raw, parseable code from which the comic is generated.
If you want to edit the code directly (perhaps to perform a function that the editor does not support),
click the 'code edit' check box, then click in the code box and make your changes.
When you're done, click the button to commit your changes and update the editor to reflect them.
(If you uncheck the "code edit" box without clicking "parse", it will discard and revert all the changes you've made.)
When you're finished editing the comic strip, you can press the button to
download the comic code to your computer, or you can press the button to
submit the strip directly for publication. If you have logged in, you will see text that says so,
otherwise you will need to input your username and password into the fields next to the submit-button.
The submitted strip will show up after the admins have approved it.
Best of luck in your efforts!
The default keys can be changed in the configuration window. The pen quick keys override the other key bindings.
- mouseclick on the edit panel while ctrl is pressed uses the other pen.
- x swaps pen and ctrlpen.
- e toggles a pen selection popup on or off.
- d changes to normal drawing mode. Equal to clicking on .
- c toggles on "colorpicker", allowing you to pick a symbol from the editing panel.
Equal to clicking on .
- z similar to "colorpicker", but picks the symbol immediately from under the cursor.
- f toggles drawing mode to floodfill. Equal to clicking on .
- g toggles drawing mode to lines. Equal to clicking on .
- v toggles between rectangles, filled rectangles and normal drawing mode.
Equal to clicking on or .
- s saves the current cursor position as the other end position for lines and rectangles.
- m saves the current cursor position as the position of panel "cursor",
which will show up as an underline for that one position.
- By default, numbers select one of the saved pens.
selects the previous panel in the comic strip.
selects the next panel in the comic strip.
inserts the current pen symbol into the panel's caption text box.
randomly generates the current edit panel image.
makes the edit panel black and white.
fills the edit panel with current pen.
fills the edit panel with solid rock (or unseen) glyph.
- . and .
adds walls between replaces all pen-symbols with ctrl-pen symbols in the edit panel.
uses pen, puts down 5 randomly placed symbols on the edit panel.
puts a large gravestone into the edit panel.
copies current edit panel into temp buffer.
overwrites the current edit panel from temp buffer.
adds a panel to the comic by copying current one.
deletes the current panel from the comic.
adds current pen to the end of saved pens list.
randomly chooses the character and color of the pen.
Dudley D-I-Y by paxed. Last update on 2011.09.20.
Thanks to Antheridium for writing this doc.