If you don't like long introductions and want to get right to the download, here you go!
Chip's Challenge historians might be interested to know that before Ruben Spaans created his fabulous MapMaker program (see Cool Tools), these maps were painstakingly handcrafted by copying screen prints (ALT+Print Screen) into the very basic Paint program that came with Windows 95. This endeavor required catlike reflexes to capture screen shots while Chip whipped along ice paths or force floors and it needed extraordinary patience (sometimes hours per level) to patch together enough screen shots to get a complete 64X64 square game grid. Once the base map was complete, a winning route could be charted using various colored lines and occasional written instructions. As often happened to adventurers charting new territories, heroic Chip died many times as as the Chipsters charted his course through unknown lands to provide a path for those who came after.
Nothing could be a better introduction to this great little DOS utility than the words of the programmer, Ruben Spaans, himself:
The reason why I made it was that it took a long time to capture the screens from Chip's Challenge and the level editor in order to make base maps, when everything could be done by an automatic routine. This program just does this, is impossible to customize, and is only useful by a dozen people in the world...
Well, even if there are only a few dozen people in the world that find this utilty useful, they find it very useful indeed! Here are some of the things it does:
If you're one of that dozen or so people in the world who would find the MapMaker useful, here's how to use it. The following directions will walk any aprehensive Windows95 user through the process of actually running and using this DOS program.
MapMake runs in DOS, so if you want to use the program, you're going to have to learn how get into and out of DOS on your computer.
NOTE: If your DOS screen shows up as full sized, instead of inside a window, you can switch it to a window by pressing ALT+ENTER.
If you want the details of what is happening and more options on making maps, see the "Program Parameters" section which follows this one.
C:\WINDOWS>CD C:\MAPMAKERYour screen will show:
C:\mapmaker>NOTE: On reading over this page for accuracy, Ruben pointed out that if you install the MapMaker on some directory other than C:, you will also have to change the directory. He is absolutely correct, of course, but my personal opinion is that if you have gone and done a thing like that, you don't need directions as basic as these. For the sake of competeness, however: first type the letter of the directory where you installed the MapMaker (such as F:), then type your "cd" (change directory) instruction as above. Use the correct directory instead of C:, of course.
C:\mapmaker>MAPMAKER C 25 LVL025.BMPThe program will do its work, and display the following message:
MapMaker v2.1 for Chip'sChallenge by Ruben Spaans of Megastyle Productions in 1998 (F) Freeware. NB! This utility requires MAPMAKER.BMP. Done! C:\mapmaker>
C:\mapmaker>MAPMAKER C 25 SOL025.BMP -S430Again, the program will do its work for a bit, and create a new map for you, all ready for your solution to be added.
Doesn't that sound impressive! (Well, it does to me. I don't normally use words like "program parameters," but Ruben's help file makes things easy to understand.) Most of this section is taken directly from the help file, with a few added comments by me.
For those among us who like things really official, the syntax is as follows:
MAPMAKER file_containing_chips_levels level_number out_file.bmp [-Sseconds_left_in_solution] [-C] [-H] [-N] [-P] [-F] [-T]Square brackets "" around a parameter (switch) mean it's optional.
And, here are the details:
|-C||Optional. Turns off the showing of objects underneath dirt blocks (like the chips and fire underneath the blocks on level 4). These hidden things are shown as default.|
|-H||Optional. Turns off the revealing of invisible and blue walls. They are revealed as default. Level 6 contains examples of all 4 types of these walls.|
|-N||Optional. Turns off the automatic displaying of the correct level title and password. Useful if you are mapping custom made levels.|
|-P||Optional. Turns off generation of pink ball routes (default is on).|
|-F||Optional. Turns off generation of fireball routes (default is on).|
|-T||Optional. Will force the program to generate enemy routes through traps (enemy paths stop at traps as default).|
NOTE: The enemy route generation is not perfect. It doesn't at all support thin panel walls. Teleports aren't supported. Some strange routes may occur due to different circumstances. So, after generating a map, always check if the enemy routes are correct. Remember you can turn them off if they are totally wrong.
This program is freeware, but it's always nice to say "thanks" to the people who do lots of work and then share the results. At one time, this page contained an email address for Ruben so grateful fans could write and thank him, however times have changed, and most people don't want their addresses unprotected on the internet anymore, plus after 12 years, I doubt it still works, however Ruben does have a home page, which is here: www.stubbscroll.com or here: www.pvv.org/~spaans/ (they both go to the same place).