How to Obtain a Custom Background for Your Gamestar Mechanic Game

Adding a custom background to your Gamestar Mechanic game is liberating — you can use absolutely anything you want (as long as it’s appropriate for all ages). However, you have a nearly infinite selection of backgrounds, which can be intimidating.

The Gamestar Mechanic image database

The Pics4Learning website provides Gamestar Mechanic with a custom background search engine that’s easy, free, and safe to use: No inappropriate images are available, and you can use images freely as long as you don’t try to directly gain money from them. Open your toolbox, and then follow these steps to search for an image and import it into your game:

  1. Click the Settings button for the level.

    The Level Settings dialog box opens.

  2. Under Background, click the Choose a Custom Background button.

  3. Choose Add New Background→Search for an Image.

  4. In the Search box, enter a search term and press Enter to find a set of custom backgrounds.

    The Pics4Learning database contains fewer images than other options. Be sure to use simple search terms, such as floor or cave or sky, to find lots of results.

  5. Select the background you want to use and then click Choose to add it to your background library.

  6. Click Choose again to add the selected background to your game.

Google and other universal search engines

Internet search engines give you access to every online image available. However, to use an image as a custom background in Gamestar Mechanic, you need to ensure that it is either labeled with a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain. You can do that by searching specifically for images with those usage rights.

If you’re searching with Google, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google’s Advanced Image Search.

    The Advanced Image Search page appears.

  2. Enter your search terms in the boxes at the top of the page.

  3. From the SafeSearch drop-down list, select the Filter Explicit Results option to filter out any terms that are too explicit.

  4. In the Usage Rights drop-down list at the bottom of the page, select the Free to Use Share or Modify option.

  5. Click the Advanced Search button.

    The search returns a huge selection of images.

  6. If you find an image you want to use, save it to your computer.

    image0.jpg

Creative Commons lets image owners grant options for use without your having to contact them directly. But you need to look at the Creative Commons license for each image: Some let you use them only if you’re not creating images that make money; some let you use them as long as you give credit; others let you use them but not modify them in any way.