Our working directory
Before we begin, we want to thank you for reaching the last video of the basic tutorial series! If you have understood all the concepts that we have been explaining throughout these entries, you are prepared to design the plan of your level.
Once you have seen the practical part of our editor, and if you have never used GameMaker Studio development software, you will most likely ask yourself … And now, how do I give life to my environment? How do I make magic happen? May my characters come alive …
Well, we have prepared a very special library for our editor, and many of the functions used for its operation will be reusable for the user. We will soon publish a page where the available list of assets will be displayed.
Apart from the aforementioned, we will create the second series of tutorials to work with objects and implement logic to our content. Take your fear off if you are a new GameMaker user, understanding the language and learning to write a few lines of code will not cost you more than two days. In addition, the more complex formulas are solved in the editor, a walking user will only need mathematical notions of E.G.B to create his video game.
If you do not know GameMaker and would like to start familiarizing yourself with the engine, we leave you this link that takes you to its website. You can download the trial version, and having a user community based on that system, it will be very easy to find tutorials in several languages on the YouTube platform.
What our program does is to meet the need to use the editor that comes standard with GameMaker, adding special features that makes it a more interactive editor. This attributes a great ability to edit and operate in real time. You will not need to compile your game every time you make a modification to your levels. This translates to a high increase in your workflow.
1.0 – Exploring our content
What we will do in this tutorial is to review the article we already read in the entry level management, but we will go deeper into certain aspects.
In the DarkSpine folder of our working directory we find a sub-folder called “Levels”. In this directory we can store the folders that make up our video game. But they can also be used to create different projects, depending on whether we are going to use our tool.
Following the hierarchy that you see in the image, if we enter the “Default” folder we will see the levels saved in the default folder of our editor …
The levels have a JSON format, an extension widely used to send data on the Internet due to its small size.
Thanks to the editor, we will be able to store the data of hundreds or thousands of levels in an orderly way and making our game easy to distribute.
The folder indicated in the image below is the one that under no circumstances should we use for our project, but must exist for the proper functioning of the system.
1.2 – Creating a new directory
From Windows, we go to our working directory and look for the DarkSpine / Levels / folder, just create a folder in this location. Then just call it from our editor …
We have not yet added a function to create a level folder from our editor, but it is a tool that will be in the final version of DarkSpine.
In the case that concerns us in the image, we call our folder “World2”.
From this moment we can call it from the editor …
This is the first thing you will see when loading a new folder, the level menu disappears. At that time we are invited to make a quick save with the QUICK SAVE button on our main panel. This happens because our folder does not have any data files that inform our panel that there are levels.
By pressing QUICK SAVE for the first time, we generate a list where our first level is saved. From this moment on we can act normally using the functions described in previous paragraphs.
1.3 – Levels and interface
Suppose that in a folder we want to have levels of a different game category, changing folders is a good way to have our project sorted.
Access to a level is almost instantaneous in most cases if it is an indie game.
But if we decide to make large worlds, the loading time will depend on the magnitude of it. Our storage unit (in terms of hardware) also influences read access.
We have already done a stress test loading a world with 1000 objects with logic assignments. And our charging time is about 1 second in edit mode. While in the final test, without the intervention of our editor, the load has been carried out in a few tenths of a second.
In a folder we will be able to visualize up to 150 containers stored on a 1080 monitor. Depending on the panoramic and resolution of our screen this figure increases.
If we needed a greater number of levels it would be enough to create another folder in our editor.
The levels can be sorted to taste, just press the RIGHT CLICK of our mouse and drag our container in the position we want.
We strongly recommend that you view the video located at the beginning of this article to get a clear idea of this section.
The video tutorials provided on the YouTube channel support subtitle contributions from users. This means that any user can contribute to add subtitles with the editor and the new contribution program of YouTube subscribers.
The series of basic tutorials comes to an end. In future articles we will go into the second chapter of our adventure. Specifically the series of intermediate level videos.
Until then … We send you our best regards and see you next tutorial!