Post news RSS DevBlog 24 - Level and Campaign Mod Editor

In order to promote mod creation, I have made the level editor completely usable by end users! Here's how I did it.

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A level editor that can be used to make mods.

I've strived to make tools that can be used to add mods to the game, and build the game through those tools.
This update brings the level editor.
You edit the level with a free form WASD camera.
You can create, save, and load level JSON files to persist them on the disk.

The first thing you might want to do when creating a level is set up the local star systems.
You can add numerous stars to create some interesting levels.
I prefer to just have a single star, but I made a few levels with 2 or more.

sa vid24 editing stars


After you have set up your stars, next you should set up your planets.
Again, you can create multiple planets and arrange their location and distance away.
You can tweak the stars so that they light the planets in interesting ways.
The stars provide directional lighting and light a planet as it would in actual space.

sa vid24 editing planets


After you have set up your planets, you will likely still have a lot of negative space -- in space.
You can make that more interesting by adding nebulae, which are essentially giant space clouds.
You can configure the colors, size, shape, to create really interesting spacescapes.
I advise sticking to color schemes to ensure your levels will be pleasing to the eye.

sa vid24 creating nebula


You can further diversify your level by adding avoidance spheres, which are things like asteroids.
This creating objects to interact with in your level.
But larger ones will have some performance cost, so it is generally advisable to keep them small.

With that you will have a solid look for level, but it still lacks some functionality.
You can create carriers in your level, which will be the objectives to complete the level.
Once you have placed fighter carrier ships into space, you should set up the team spawning locations.
This just requires that you fly the where you would like the player to start from, look in the direction they should be facing, and press a button.
When you load into the level on the team specified, the camera will match what the level camera was when you pressed the button.

You can quickly test a level straight from the level editor.
But be warned, testing a level requires saving it -- so don't test it before you are happy with the current configuration, as a previous one will be overwritten.

Campaigns string together multiple levels.
Campaigns define a sequence of levels that can be completed to unlock further levels.
You can test the main menu's campaign layout in the level editor itself.

That is about all for this update.
With these tools players should be able to use custom models and make any large space battle they would like to play, if they can find/create the models.

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