Well, I guess here goes…
This is an article explaining how to design and make your own JJ1 level.
J1CS [Jazz1 Creation Station—available for download on this site] is a very useful tool to use for this project, as you can open existing JJ1 levels and create new ones. It can be tricky to figure out, but once learned it is very fun.
Another useful perk is the ability to custom-design your own events [a thing I wish JJ2 had], which can be fun. Although I have not yet fully mastered this facet, it provides many countless ideas for levels.
To start your project, first decide what JJ1 set you wish to use. No, I have no clue how to make custom sets. You can find that out. Each JJ1 set can only be used by opening an existing level. The first and foremost rule of thumb is to ALWAYS back up the original level you open, because when you hit “new level” and select an existing level it will overwrite the level you choose [I.E. If you want a Diamondus level, and thus hit New Level and select the Diamondus level, it will be written over.]. Each level has a different sequential number in its filename [Diamondus=000, Tubelectric=001, Medivo=002, etc.]. A complete list is at the end. Always open the level you select [open it specifically with the “open level” tool, to make sure it’s the one you want to write over] first to make sure it’s the right one. The level will be wiped clean when you open it up with the New Level option. Now you have a blank level with a usable tileset.
The tile placement is easy to figure out. It’s just like JJ2. Events, on the other hand, are a bit different. Right-click on the tile [or hit “E”], and you should see a “select event” option. There will be a list of possible events, most of which are pretty simple to figure out. There is only one layer in JJ1, as opposed to 8 in JJ2. The foreground material can be activated by using the “Foreground W/Trans|Foreground W/O Trans” key towards the bottom of the list. To alter properties of certain events, go up to the toolbar, and select the “Properties+Events” [shortcut “F5”] option. There you can change them. To give an event the bg of whatever it’s on [I.E. a baddie in a cave, etc.], click the “use background” box.
Okay, so you can place events and tiles, but what else is there? Surely it’s not that easy, it it? Not quite. To Change basic level properties, go to the “Properties+Level Properties” menu. The “Use sun” option determines whether or not there is a sun [or moon] in the background. The background option is to change the type of BG. I haven’t really taken the time to mess around with this too much, but there are a few options there. Most of the rest is pretty easy to figure out. Most of the rest of the process is basic and simple to ascertain.
There are a few of these. The ones I’ve found are
“ctrl+S” saves the level.
“ctrl+Z” is the ever-present undo key.
“E” is the event key.
“F5” is the event properties key.
008=Mega Air Base
014=Dreempipes (My favorite planet, =)
017=Twin Mega Battleships
024-029=Nothing [Don’t ask why, I don’t know…]
Curiously both JJ1 Holiday Hare games had levels with the same file-number. Again, don’t ask why.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.