Twilight Golf Level Creation

August 14th, 2009| Posted by slembcke
Categories: Development | Tags: , , ,

As we are just a small two man operation, we are trying to do things as simply as possible. We don’t have a level editor so much as we have Photoshop, a text editor, and a little bit of helper code.

Editing a new level.

We start out with a basic grid image that we lay the level out on and place all the widgets that we want. This is all scripted in the code, and we are able to add each widget with only a line of code or two. Adding new widgets is pretty easy too as we just have to define what the physics acts like (mass, shapes, joints), and then attach sprites, lights and shadows to the physics objects.

One handy feature that we made was to let the running game help us edit itself. All the mouse clicks get recorded to the log in a format that we can just copy back into the code to define the collision edges. This saves hours of tedious typing of the coordinates by hand, and it only took a couple minutes to write.

Once all the widgets and collision outlines are defined. We pull a screenshot into Photoshop and add textures. We even found a nifty way to automate compressing the Photoshop files directly into format the game uses the game without needing to export or resave them by hand. Play with some layers in Photoshop, save normally, and run the game again to pull in the latest graphics changes.

Here is the level background image without any of the lighting or sprites. It’s pretty bland, but the lights and shadows will help add a lot of depth and character to it.

Level background before lighting.

Lastly, we add a few more lights around the edges of the scene to brighten up the foreground give it some contrast from the background. See how much better it looks with shadows.

Final level screenshot.

This level is still looking a little bland, but there is always time to polish up the game some more before we release!

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