Level Editor Early Preview


The past couple weeks I've been hard at work implementing the new Level Editor for Guts and Glory, and I'm happy to say it's coming along great!  While there is still much work to do, I wanted to give you guys a quick update on the progress so far.  Check out the video above for a timelapse preview of the level editor in action.

The goal here is to make building levels as easy and fast as possible, while providing for lots of flexibility and power to create anything you want.  The Level Editor is really the heart and soul of this project, so a lot of attention will be dedicated to developing it further over time.

Quickly set a checkpoint to save or not.  This creates respawn points.

Currently, it has the following features:

  • Terrain creation, editing and painting.  Make mountains, hills and valleys with ease--or just a bumpy motocross track.  Create plateaus, smooth the terrain, and paint grasses, dirt, mud, etc.
  • Assorted building blocks to create any architecture you want.
  • Assorted physics blocks to create all sorts of interesting physics sandbox scenarios. Even put them to "sleep" so they don't activate until you touch them.
  • Textures that change dynamically to object sizes (like Little Big Planet) so everything looks good no matter how big or small you make them.
  • Easy color changes
  • Lots of Hazards and Special Items you can drag and drop into levels with ease, then tweak settings.  For a good example of this, see the MegaFan in the video above.
  • Easy Waypoint management.  Drag and drop waypoints onto any surface and easily mark if they are saving checkpoints or just regular waypoints.
  • Fast test plays and editing.  Jump into the track with the push of a button, play test it, then back to the editor just as easily to finish.

Next up I will be adding dynamic Materials, similar to Little Big Planet.  This means you can turn basic blocks into bricks, metal, foam, ice, etc. and it will behave like that material should.  I also plan on doing the same for the terrain, so dusty trails, mud, ice, etc. behave like they should.  This should round out the basics of the level editor and make it ready for the Beta.

The Challenges

Adding a level editor to Guts and Glory was harder than I anticipated.  As I built the game, I tried to plan ahead and structure everything with this in mind, but it's impossible to predict how everything will work ahead of time.  I won't bore you with the nerdy details, but basically several parts of the game "broke" as I started to integrate the editor.  This set me back a few days, but all is well now!

What's Next?

There are a few things I need to finish before the Level Editor is ready for the Beta:

  • Add a "complexity limit" bar, so levels don't get so large they crash lower end computers
  • Finish the file management system
  • Finish the user interface and some minor bug fixes
  • Update the Timer to record user made level times

I'm hoping to knock those out over the next couple days or so.  Then I will do a stripped-down build of the game and start learning how to upload it to Steam, integrate it with the Workshop, etc.  My goal is to have the basic Level Editor fully functioning in time for the Beta, so players can start building and sharing levels right away!

Before the Beta is ready I will also need to select which "official" tracks stay in the game, polish them up, and finish the main level selection menus so they are map-centric instead of one giant list.  I also have some more work to do to get Larry fully ready to play, and really want to add the control customization as soon as possible.  Fingers crossed that I can get all this done before the Beta starts next month, but so far it looks like things are right on track!