How to Edit Levels in Your Gamestar Mechanic Game

You can access the level settings on Gamestar Mechanic by clicking the Settings button on the left sidebar of the toolbox. You see a dialog box with a number of useful options.

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Here’s a description of the options in this dialog box:

  • Level Name: This is the name of the level, which players see onscreen when the level begins. The default name is LEVEL 1 for the first level, followed by LEVEL 2, and so on. It’s often a good idea to change the name of every level in your game, to show that you’ve added sufficient detail.

  • Level Intro Message: This message is displayed to players who start the level. The default message is

    Welcome to <level name>

    though you can change it to include hints, advice, or encouragement — or even pieces of the storyline.

  • Level Win Message: This message is displayed whenever a player successfully completes a level. You should change the default message — Way to go! That level was no match for you. — so that you convey originality.

  • Perspective: This setting is the current perspective of the level. You can choose from two options to change the perspective: Top-Down and Platformer. The default setting is Top-Down, so remember to change it if you need to.

  • Gravity: This option appears only if you’ve selected Platformer in the Perspective section. By moving the slider to any value from 1 to 6, you can change the gravity of the game and, consequently, the height and speed at which sprites jump and fall. A higher number indicates higher gravity, making sprites jump lower and fall faster.

    As you move the gravity slider from 1 to 6, you allow sprites to rise 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, or 1 blocks, respectively, with a single jump.

  • Scrolling: This option is useful in levels that have expansive landscapes or challenges. You can choose from two options: Single Screen and Multiple Screen. Selecting Multiple Screen allows for levels with larger dimensions, making the levels bigger than what is shown in the toolbox grid and allowing the avatar to scroll through them.

  • Wrap Around: This option, when set to On, lets the avatar walk off the side of the screen and reappear on the other side. This option appears only in single screen games.

  • Level Width / Level Height: These sliders let you change the size of a level, allowing you to scroll around the level in the toolbox and access more space for the level. The level size is measured in screens, and each screen is 12 blocks tall and 16 blocks wide. You can view the exact size in the toolbox.

    By adjusting the sliders, you can make a level as large as ten screens wide and ten screens high.

    Never use more space than you need. The camera through which the player sees your game always follows the avatar until it hits the edge of the level; if the level is too large, players will easily notice.

    If you’re unsure how much space you need, start building in the upper-left corner of the grid. If you decide to shrink your level, the screens are removed from the bottom and right sides.

  • Edge Bounding: You select from these four options to change the behaviors of the edges of the level. A bounded edge of the level prevents all sprites from passing through it, and an unbounded edge lets sprites walk right out of the level. The Edge Bounding options allow you to bound all edges, no edges, vertical edges, or horizontal edges.

    It’s usually best to bound all four edges so that avatars can’t get lost off-screen; however, unbounded levels have their own virtues: Enemies can be given the ability to leave the level if required, and platformer games cause avatars to be destroyed if they fall off the bottom of the screen.

    Enemies are destroyed if they walk off-screen.

  • Background: This setting contains two options: No Background or Choose a Quest Background. Clicking the Choose a Quest Background option opens a new menu that displays all the backgrounds you’ve earned. Click a background and then the Choose option to set the background for your level, or click Cancel to return.

    If you completed the Custom Backgrounds Challenge, a third option appears: Choose a Custom Background. This option allows you to build your own collection of backgrounds.

  • Background Style: This setting has no effect unless you’re making a multiple screen game, or you have a custom background. All quest backgrounds are the size of a single screen, but sometimes the background size doesn’t match the level size. These are your Background Style options:

    • Fill stretches the background to completely fill the level, without stretching one dimension more than another. Though this method is often preferable, it can crop part of the image off the edge of the level.

    • Stretch stretches the background to the exact dimensions of the level; if a level is wider than it is tall, or vice versa, the background is warped accordingly.

    • Tile doesn’t change the background, but instead repeats it until it fills the level.

  • Background Scrolling: This option, which has no effect unless you’re making a multiple screen game, determines how fast the background moves when the camera scrolls through the level. A slow-moving background causes the background to seem far away from the player, giving a feeling of vastness; a fast-moving background is more close-up and apparent to the player. Moving the slider to the right increases the speed of the background.

  • Music: This setting allows you to set the music that plays along with your level. It contains options for every soundtrack you’ve unlocked, plus one labeled No Music. Typically, players won’t mind a game with music as long as your use of music is consistent.

Your game can have as many levels as you want.