Creating Worlds

By now, if you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I made a game for the iPhone called Terrella that we released a couple weeks back. And you also know this was my first real attempt to make a game. I learned a bunch of stuff creating Terrella and one of the first things I learned was that designing and testing levels was going to take forever if I had to rebuild the app every time I made a change. The solution was to create a “world description” file and add support for opening these files from within the app itself. So I’d work on a level, save it to Dropbox, open it in Terrella, play test, repeat.

This functionality is still in the game. This means you could create your own levels if you knew the format of the world description files. It just so happens that you can find that information in this repo on github. User created levels are not in any way a first class feature of the app at this point. They are completely experimental and just a possible direction I left open to myself for future development. To make it really easy I’d need to make a level editor available (the one I made for myself is an embarrassment and also contains some features that I can’t make public), and I’d probably need to add some sort of level validation to the app. And maybe some central location where people can submit their levels and a way to rate them? That could be cool.

Whether or not I push forward with a level editor and work to make user levels a first class feature is dependent on time and interest. I’m pretty low on the former, especially given the response to the game so far. We’ll see what happens. If you have any thoughts, please let me know.