Chip's Challenge Creator, commonly known as CCCreator, is a level editor developed by The Architect. It is the only editor that can create both CC1 and CC2 levels, and the only one currently being actively developed.
When Chip's Challenge 2 was released in 2015, a built-in level editor was included as DLC. However, this official editor faced criticism for being hard to use and lacking several features commonly available for CC1 editors. While Chuck Sommerville released a simple script, dat2c2g, to convert DAT files into CC2 levelsets, several people experienced issues getting it to run. The Architect therefore decided to create his own editor to address these issues.
The project was publicly announced on CCZone in November 2016. In August 2017, private beta testing of CCCreator to find bugs began. The first public beta release took place on January 2, 2018. In order to make sure people are always using the latest public beta version, previous beta versions are set to expire and become unusable a few months after release, displaying a message instructing the user to update to the latest version. This practice will be discontinued in the future with the first full-feature release, version 1.0.
|Version||Release date||Expiration date|
|0.1.0||January 2, 2018||December 31, 2018|
|0.2.0||March 14, 2018||December 31, 2018|
|0.3.0||April 2, 2018||December 31, 2018|
|0.3.1||June 18, 2018||December 31, 2018|
|0.4.0||December 21, 2018||May 1, 2019|
|0.5.0||March 7, 2019||September 1, 2019|
CCCreator is written in the Java programming language and distributed in a JAR file; therefore, it can run on any system that supports Java 8 or later, including Windows, MacOS, Linux and even Haiku.
CCCreator, by default, saves levelsets in the Chip's Challenge Series (.ccs) file format using the Chip's Challenge Unified Data Model (CCUDM), developed by The Architect to store levelset data in a version-independent way. Such files can store all levelset-related information, including not only the levels, but also CCX and C2G data. Data can be imported to a CCS file; for example, adding CCX data or additional levels from other files. CCS files can then be exported into a variety of other formats, including DAT for MSCC and Tile World, as well as C2G and C2M for Chip's Challenge 2.
As of version 0.5.0, CCCreator can export levels into several image formats: BMP, GIF, PNG and JPEG. CCCreator also has its own level image format, similar to the level BMPs created by the ingame CC2 editor, but with a few notable differences. In the CC2 editor's BMPs, info about a level is displayed in the following order: title, file name, designer, time limit, level map. In CCCreator's image exports, info is displayed like this: title, designer, time limit, level map, hint text (if applicable).
There are several ways to place tiles: Draw, Pencil (straight line), Box (filled rectangle) and Path Maker (draws a path of ice, force floors, railroad tracks, etc.) CCCreator does not currently have the CC2 editor's "select" tool, which allows you to select an area and place it around the map as if you were using the normal draw tool; however, CCCreator also has some of its own exclusive features for placing tiles. These include the Fill' tool, which fills an area with the specified tile, as well as the Flood tool, which fills an entire level with one tile.
Additionally, the tile selection menu separates the tiles by type: Basic, Obstacles, Doors, Items, Blocks, Creatures, Miscellaneous, Logic, and Non-standard, as well as an All elements option. A future version is planned to give users the ability to create their own tile palettes.
Placing a tile on the ground or "terrain" layer normally erases everything above it, similar to the CC2 official editor. Holding the Ctrl key while clicking will suppress this behavior. To place an "invalid" tile on the bottom or "buried" layer, the Shift key should be used instead. The Inspect Element tool, exclusive to CCCreator, also makes it possible to examine all elements on a single tile, modify each one's properties, and remove some of them without removing the others.
CCCreator can also display metagraphics, making it easy to see linked teleports and buttons, as well as logic circuits, a time bomb's explosion area, the in-game play area (in both 9x9 and 10x10 sizes), a gray button's control area, and monster paths. These can be disabled individually if the user doesn't want them.
In the built-in editor for CC2, having multiple hints requires editing a level's "Comments" field and starting each new hint with [HINT], and there is no way to implement C2G scripting like adding music or text between levels unless you use a text editor and manually edit the C2G file. CCCreator has menu options to make it significantly easier to add multiple hints in CC2 levels, and perform basic CCX or C2G scripting.
CCCreator's undo and redo buttons are more global than those found in CCEdit or CCDesign; if the user makes a change in level 1, then selects level 2 and hits Ctrl+Z, the change the user made in level 1 can still be undone even while viewing another level. Additionally, in CCEdit, deletion of a level is a process that cannot be undone (unless the set is not saved before it is closed); but in CCCreator, this is not the case.
CCCreator is still under active development, and therefore there are several features not present yet. The Architect is currently working on a way to check a level's ruleset compatibility. CCCreator also lacks playtesting capabilities - currently levels must be exported before they can be tested.