The Costello builder is designed to be very easy to use. It lets you make your own area and quests which other players can then enjoy on Costello. To make an area you must make the places players can go to and all the things inside these places. Places in Costello are called 'rooms' even though of course they may be actually forests or streets in a town. You can also make weapons, armour, containers, monsters and characters etc. Each builder page has help buttons that you can click to help you understand what to do.

Getting started
To log on to the builder you must use a name and password created with the Costello Report System. Use the same name and password as you used in the report system but be sure to enter your name in lower case (for example, adrian cohen not Adrian Cohen). Click the login button to go to the builder login window.

Creating a project
If you are working in a group, only one group member should create a project. The other group members should ask your teacher to add their names to the project. To create a project click 'Create a project' and then enter the project name. You can then return to the main builder page and click your project name to start making rooms. For help on making rooms and other objects click the help links on the builder pages.

What can you make?

Here is a table showing the types of objects you can make.

Armor Any type of clothing or protective covering for your body. This includes shoes, gloves and hats.
Door Doors are used to stop a player being able to go in a certain direction. They must usually open the door or unlock it with the correct key.
Monster A monster is any animal or character that is not used in a quest. Monsters can be human and can talk, but they cannot hear what a player says and they cannot reply to a player.
Shield A shield is used to stop someone hitting you in a battle.
Comestible Any type of food or drink. You can also make food and drink that give magic powers or that is poison.
Item Anything that can only be used in a quest or can be sold in a shop to get some money. Treasure and quest items will usually be 'items'.
Npc An npc is a 'non-playing character'. This can be an animal or human that talks and can answer questions or reply to things the player says. You can make quests using npc characters.
Shop A shop is a special type of room. You can add items that the shop sells. Be careful to also add an npc who is the shopkeeper, or the shop won't work. Of course you must make the items that you want your shop to sell. If your shop sells food then it becomes a restaurant!
Container A container is anything that can have other things inside it. This could be a bag or a box but it could also be other things. For example you could make a tree that has something hidden inside it.
Key A key is used to unlock a door. You must be careful to match the key code (special words) in the key and the door.
Room This is the most basic and important type of object. A room is any place in the Costello World. It can be a room inside a building but it can also be a path through a forest, a beach or any other type of place that you want to make.
Weapon Weapons are anything that can be equipped and used to do damage in battle.

Making a room
At first maybe you should make a room. To make a room you click on the 'Create Room' option on the project main page. You then enter the information about your room. You must enter the information with green text. The other information is optional. You can get help about every option by clicking the help link next to it.

The most important information is the 'Place Description' and the 'Item Descriptions'. Here is an example of the these parts of a room from the Costello Hospital:

Here you can see spaces to enter Place Description, Short Description and Item Descriptions. You can see that the Place Description is where you enter the main text that people will see when they enter this place in the Costello World. The Short Description is a one or two word summary of the type of place this is.

The item descriptions are so that people can look at things that you talk about in the Place Description. So, for example in this Hospital Entrance there is an automatic door. People may want to look at the door so you need to write English that they will see. You also need to make English for 'door', 'automatic door' and 'wide automatic door' because the computer does not automatically understand that these are the same thing. Similarly since there are plants here you need to write descriptions for 'plant' and 'plants' because the computer cannot automatically see this difference. To make the item description you enter the item name ('plant') on the left side and then the English for the item ('The plants create a relaxing atmosphere.') on the right side. Then you click the blue 'down' arrow(). To edit an item description you made click it and then click the blue 'up' arrow().

However, if you make an item and put it in the contents of the room (for example if the plant is something that the player can take away from this place), then you do not need to make an item description for it. In fact you should not mention it in the Place Description because if someone takes the plant it will not be in the room anymore. So, you need to make a difference between things that are just part of the room description and things that are really in the room. Only things that are part of the room description should be written here, not real items.

Below is an example of how you enter directions and put real items in the room:

Here you can see that two directions have been entered so that you can go north to the 'blue_room' and east to 'tower1'. If you want to be able to go to a room you must make the room first so you may need to leave room exits empty until you finish making the rooms and then add them later. In this example you can also see that there is 1 book in this room. I made the book first and so it appears in the pull-down menu for room contents. I then just choose the number of books I want in the room and click the 'down' arrow. This book will then be placed in the room and a player can take it.

Saving your room
When you have finished entering all the information click 'Save Object' at the top or bottom of the page. You can then click 'Edit Object Page' to check for any errors or 'Project Main Page'. If you choose the first option the builder will check your room to see if there are any errors. Errors will be shown in red text. If there are no errors you can click Save Object again and then go back to the main project page to start making your next room, or a monster or other object. If there are errors read the message that tells you about the error and change your information. Check the help for that option if you are not sure.

Making Other Objects
You can make monsters and other objects and put them in your rooms. You can also make weapons, armour and treasure. However if you want to make a monster and give it a weapon you must first make the weapon before you can give it to the monster. Remember you can always edit your rooms and other objects to change them.

Generating your project
When you have finished some rooms and you want to test them you can click 'Generate Project Code' (near the bottom of the main project page) to make the rooms for your project on Costello. You can then enter Costello using a builder character to test your rooms. See below for help with making a builder character.

Making a builder character in Costello
To test your builder rooms you need to make a builder character. You can do this on the Costello Start Menu. Choose Other Options->Create A New Character. Enter your new character's name and then choose 'Back to Start Menu' then choose the option to enter the game as your new character. On the Character Creation Menu choose option '3' Builder Character. Then set your gender and 'Begin Building Costello'. You can then use the 'warp' command (see below) to go to your rooms.

Using the Warp command
When you enter Costello as builder character you can use the 'warp' command to go to rooms in your project. You can also go to rooms in other projects so that you can visit rooms made by your friends.

If you type just 'warp' you will see a list of projects.

If you type 'warp <project_name>' you will see a list of rooms for that project.

If you type 'warp <project_name> <room_name>' you will move to the room.

For example, if I type 'warp White_Tower' I will see a list of rooms for the White Tower project. You must type the project name and the room names exactly as they are shown. 'White_Tower' is not the same as 'white_tower' or 'white tower'. It must be the same as in the list of projects. To go to the 'blue_room' in the White_Tower project I must enter:

warp White_Tower blue_room

If you see an error then it probably means that you didn't edit your room to check for errors before you generated the code. Please go back to the builder and edit your room again and look for any red error messages.

Good Areas and Bad Areas

A good area has:
1. Many rooms to go to (20 rooms is a small area, 40 rooms is a medium area and 80 rooms is a big area). An interesting map (not just a square).

2. Interesting rooms (not all the same descriptions). Things to look at in the rooms.

3. Interesting characters and monsters.

4. Things to do (quests) and things to find.

A bad area has:
1. Few rooms and a boring map.
2. All the same descriptions. Nothing for the player to look at.
3. Few characters and monsters that aren't interesting.
4. Nothing to do.