Team Request Looking for level editiors! - Huge Open World Top-Down RPG - [GMS 1.4 only]

jobjorgos

Member
Empire of the Wicked
a magical challenging indie top-down RPG in a huge online open world where you have to dismantle the Empire of the Wicked by:
leveling up, completing quests, training skills, slaying bosses and collecting items/equipment.

Platform: PC - Steam (early acces right now)
Additional platforms might be added in a later stage.

Controls: Mouse/Keyboard, Gamepad

Website: https://empireofthewicked.com/

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1308280/Empire_of_the_Wicked/


Looking for level editiors!

Right now the game is still BETA:

Almost all final items, equipment, NPCs, boss encounters, quests, achievements, bagdes are now available. You can level up and raise most skills. The live day/night cycle and live train arrive/departure functions are working correctly, all other online functions are not implemented yet. Several entrances in the world are hermetically sealed with 'work in progress' barriers to prevent the player moving to unfinshed zones. Currently there is a very high demand on extra zones, because the past 4 years I have been mainly only worked on completing the core. The foundation is finaly done and players can experience a full playable prototype now. It is now just a matter of extending the zones, items, NPCs and all that kind of things.

Objective is to extend the current world with new zones!
-You do this by using the level editior project.gmz below.
-Roughly 350+ more zones are needed for the game to complete. You don't have to make all of them by your self of course. I try doing this together with the help from you and a few other helpers.


REQUIREMENTS:
-Having a valid GameMaker Studio 1.4 license
-Having some GameMaker Studio 1.4 knowledge and experience.
-It will help alot if you have experience in creating top-down / 2.5D / fake 3D games in GameMaker
-Having a good feeling of how creative, nice and proper zones are created in a huge open world role playing game. Good examples I like are:

ADA action RPG, Hyper Light Drifter, Paper Mario N64, Runescape, Shalnor Legends, Stardew Valley, Titan Souls, World of Warcraft, Zelda a link to the past, Zelda ocarina of time 2D

Click on this link (187MB) to direct download the Level Editior.gmz file (GameMaker Studio 1.4 required)

-For security, simplicity and test speed, most of the source code and resources have been removed with just the basics left, good enough to playtest the new zones.
-You have MOD (moderator) acces with certain special tools that can be used for play-testing and maintaining purposes. These special tools allow you to teleport, fly, unlock camera, adjust levels, change combat stats and much more. While running the game you see a overview of all funtions


Creating New Zones:
I must admit creating new zones can be very laborious facing various difficulties. Also using tilesheets and manually adding collisions can be very time intensive. Over time you will probly become more used to the workstyle. It is though, but after some good finetuning and effort the zones become exactly as they should be, and then it starts to become fun to do. And you do not necessary have to perfectionize the zones. If you prefer in doing just some parts of the zones only, or if you have any other opinions or ideas then I am certainly open for that!

If you want to get more ideas download zone_inspiration.zip (1.02GB) which contains very inspiring images categorized for every in-game continents (Nathar, Gohu Ganada, Eskomar etc.)

Click on this Youtube video to see how it is done making a basic new zone in Empire of the Wicked
I will add more tutorial videos here soon!


What to do step-by-step:
  1. download the "Level Editior.gmz" file and open it in the desired directory. A new project folder will be created, the downloaded extracted .gmz file is not longer needed and can be deleted.
  2. open the game with "GameMaker Studio 1.4", wait till all sprites are loaded and run the game for the first time (first time running the game will take a bit longer).
  3. once all those preparations are done you can start making your new zone. You will see serveral SKIP_ folders in the project. To make creating new zones not too complicated, just skip all _SKIP folders.
  4. in "rooms" you will see a file named "rm_empty_template". Every time when you want to start making a new zone, dublicate this template! Name the new room to your desire and open it.
  5. now go to the "backgrounds" tab and somewhere below you see a background selected named bg_titlescreen. Change it between Grass/Sand/Stone/Snow/Sea.
  6. now go to the "settings" tab and fill in the desired room size which has to be between 1024x768 and 4096x4096.
  7. now go to the "tiles" tab and create all kind of stuff like roads, hills, lakes etc. Use positive and negativ depth layers in the right way creating the 3D effect. If you want to make a hill that is accesable for the player to get on. It will be the eaziest to make those hills northern of the zones. You can look at finshed zones how this trick is done. In some zones it became a kind of complicated too.
  8. now go to the "objects" tab and start creating the interior of the zone. Select solid_objects -> solid_decoration_objects for example to find things like trees, bushes etc. Search through all availble objects to see what there is, just skip all the objects contained in _SKIP folders. You can also add objects like NPCs, obstacles and buildings. You can always see already finished rooms for inspiration.
  9. now go to the "objects" tab and go to common_objects -> zone_teleports and place up to max 13 teleports. Link the teleport objects with those in other rooms by adding properties in alarm[0].
  10. now go to the "objects" tab and go to common_objects and use obj_solid_hor_90 / obj_solid_vert_90 to place an invisible wall where needed (at the hill for example). This is a bit though to do.
  11. if you have more expierence of the fake 3D effects, you can start using common_objects -> SKIP_depth_objects -> obj_fall_hor / obj_virtual_zer for making it possible to get on top of northern hills (rm_kontilla_west is a good example).
  12. now go to Scripts and set the data for your new room:
  • use scr_zone_locations to set the new zone on the map
  • use scr_zone_names to set the name of the new zone
  • use scr_ambiance_exceptions ONLY if you made a zone inside a cave/dungeon/house
  • use scr_set_fixed_room_light ONLY if you made a zone in a cave/dungeon
Whenever you made some new zones, simply send these .room files attached in a mail to: admin@empireofthewicked.com so I can review if they are good to be implemented in the main game project.
If I acctually gonna use any of your made zones, I will reward you! Please do not only provide rooms of 1024x768 but try to make rooms of all various sizes between 1024x768 and 4096x4096.

When I use 1 of your created rooms, you will get:
-Website/game level editior credit and this in-game founders badge:
icon
(lifetime)

When I use 10 of your created rooms, you will get:
-Vote ticket for content polls (lifetime)
-First on reserving 10 in-game nicknames

When I use 20 of your created rooms, you will get:
-this super exclusive cosmetic founder armor set (tradable)


When I use 30 of your created rooms, you will get:
-MOD (moderator) acces in the full game (lifetime)
-Your own unique cosmetic armor set that you can design all by yourself (not tradable)

When I use 80 of your created rooms, you will get:
-First on reserving another 50 in-game nicknames
-The first €1000,- the game receives from sales/pledges! Note that around 20% of your €1000,- will go to goverment taxes, and that there is always a risk that the game may not gather all the money and that you can possible only receive an amount less than €1000,- afterall. The game is also on Kickstarter, but too bad so far I got only €231,00 of the €2000,00 goal from pledges. If it fails I will start an alternative donation system on the website of the game hoping to receive some money to support the level editiors. Otherwise You have to wait for the money that may gets generated from sales when the game is done.


Place a reply below If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or just wanna let me know that you are willing to try this out!
I will keep improving this post by time and also add more youtube tutorials later on.
I'm on this mega project for 4 years already and I really try everything within my power to complete this and let this be one of the best games ever.
Your support will really help alot!




This exclusive cosmetic founder armor set is only obtainable by those who delivered 10+ valid zones
or those who pledged a 200€ donation before the full game launch!
So in the final game there will be only a very few of these items,
making them super rare and might
also super valuable.

 
Last edited:

Japster

Member
I'm not offering to create levels, but just observing with a view to trying to help out!:-

I notice from your video that there doesn't seem to be any auto-tiling functionality in the editor? - you seem to be having to select each corner, transition part, etc, and place? - This is going to make level creation waaaaay more long-winded for whoever does it, at what seems to be a maximum of $10 per level (and possibly/probably less?) - I'm wondering if this will affect interest / help offers?

I'm just trying to help, but I really think adding some time-saving functionality to your level editor may work wonders in terms of interested parties? - I mean, you're honest about it being laborious, which I applaud you on, but a simple bit of logic that once you've placed your basic paths and blocks using simply FULL path or FULL grass texture tiles, etc, you could have a button to run a routine at any point, to just quickly go through your (roughly) tiled map, amending tiles based on what's neighbouring them, to do the laborious bits (ie. auto-tiling), would make that editor a LOT faster to use imho?

If you've followed Wang etc tile-set conventions, there are probably even examples online, of the logic required to select any given tile's value based on the neighbouring tile values?

I think @Nocturne even has an auto-tile asset on the marketplace, although I'm unsure if it supports GMS 1.4 - worth a try, as it's a cheap, quick bolt-in if it does!


EDIT: I'm assuming that you can even have multiple calls to this, or multiple terrain type smoothing - i.e. if a transition to combinations of sand/grass/water/cliff textures, etc...

PLUS, if the autotile routine is fast enough, you may not even need to save out final maps in the editor, but instead create a basic map of terrain 'squares', then just load and auto-tile them at runtime! - just a thought! ...but I can see the appeal of creating a WYSIWYG level in the editor.... :)
 
Last edited:

jobjorgos

Member
I notice from your video that there doesn't seem to be any auto-tiling functionality in the editor?
That is true! too bad I don't have an auto tile system for making the levels in my game.
Your suggestion with auto-tile extension was very interesting. I did some research and checked out some extensions and blogs, but afterall I find out that an auto-tile system will mostly only work for 2D games, and not 2.5D games like these. I also checked out all @Nocturne extensions and they are very nice. A downside is that I have to use objects instead of tiles which increase the memory used while running the game. Also is it more for simple 2D games. The auto-tile extension @Nocturne have made for GameMaker 2 is acctually much more interesting since the auto-tiling can be done in live-time while editing the room! Too bad also a cons for that is that I have to intrigrate my 4 year long GameMaker 1.4 project into GameMaker 2 which will cost not only incredible much time in changing to new functions, intigration, debugging, but I'm also not used at all to the complete new user interface GameMaker 2 has.
Afterall I decided just to keep this laborious WYSIWYG style of level editing to complete my game. Atleast thanks alot for the usefull info and helping me think ahead with my project!
 

Japster

Member
@jobjorgos - No worries! - I'm a little confused though - isn't 2.5D just 'skewed' 2D? - ie. your baseplane / ground level might be able to be a target for auto-tiling?

Basically, as long as it boils down to it being a grid of *some* sort, with X and Y axis', then for now you can run a simple script to 'walk' the tile layer(s), simply checking the surrounding tiles, and changing them based on your current tiles?

I can't stress how much easier it would be to get help, when all your helpers have to do is THIS!:-


(The 2nd example is actually showing (with a simplified tileset to make it visually easier to see - REAL-TIME Auto-tiling / Bitmasking... :)

This page has a wonderful, easy tutorial on it from Sonny Bone, plus FREE *GameMaker* source code (all 27 lines of it!) 😲?:-

Tutorial!

Source code, demo, and example tiles!


...Still not convinced? - How about knowing that if you implement it, you can even have dynamically-alterable levels, in REAL-TIME? - You can allow destroyable areas, NO special code required. Just run the auto-tile routine on a PORTION of the level immediately surrounding the player - it'll be instant! - You can have it where the player(s) could remove or even add terrain, bridges, trees even! (You could have tiles that spawn trees even, at the start of the game, maybe that would work, then trying to chop any down simply removes that tile, and the corresponding tree object, etc...

Best of luck with whichever way you end up going with this, but honestly, for the (hopefully) small investment in time to implement it, it would I feel be worth it!.... :)

I'll shush now.... :D
 
Last edited:

jobjorgos

Member
isn't 2.5D just 'skewed' 2D?
Yeah, and because in 2.5D some tiles hovers over other tiles I use different depths, I'm not sure if those auto-tiles works with just 1 layer or also with multiple layers, I will probly find out very soon.

...Still not convinced? - How about knowing that if you implement it, you can even have dynamically-alterable levels, in REAL-TIME?
Acctually I must admit that your idea is acctually pretty good and worth in the long-run, espially when I looked at the new GameMaker 2.3 Features.
GameMaker 2.3 beta seems to intrigrate GameMaker 1.4 projects almost perfectly and alot better than GameMaker 2 did!
I gonna wait until GameMaker 2.3 is out and if the intrigrating goes well enough I will continue on this road and also use those efficient auto-tile and live-time functions, making creating new levels alot more easy.

Thanks for your help!
 

Japster

Member
Excellent stuff! - That's really great news about 2.3's 1.4 projects importing/integration... :D

As for tiles above for 2.5D, if it's just obstacles - i.e. still a basic tile layer, skewed to create vertical 'props', I'm pretty sure that you could process that layer (say, if chopping down a tree etc) and blank the tile on both that and the actual groundplain tile layer, i.e - just use some logic to 'blank' that 'prop's' tile, so I really think you have a few ways around it.... :)

Yeah, when I saw on that demo that real-time terrain/tiles auto-tiling and removal/manipulation was possible (as per @Nocturne 's asset too!), it really gets the mind thinking! - So many possibilities, so little coding required, comparatively!... :D

I wish you the best with it! - Glad to help, and will watch with interest! :D
 

Dark Jester

Member
Too bad its GM 1.4 . I have 2.0. Just made the avatar. Thats what your game will look like. I like that your game is well rounded, has all the stuff I don't want to do done. I, would give you world and artwork, for changing the story & game name. Need find someone who wants to do that.
 

jobjorgos

Member
Too bad its GM 1.4 . I have 2.0. Just made the avatar. Thats what your game will look like. I like that your game is well rounded, has all the stuff I don't want to do done. I, would give you world and artwork, for changing the story & game name. Need find someone who wants to do that.
I'm always openminded for cool new ideas and will consider them if they are better than how the game is now!
At the moment I'm first working on getting all the online functions done in the game which will take about 1 more week from now. Then I will intrigrate my 1.4 project into 2.3 and get an auto-tile extension so making new zones/levels will be alot easyer and faster. If that is done (hopefully within few weeks) I will place that new 2.3 project here and will start searching for a teammate or level designer to finish the game.
 

Dark Jester

Member
We should talk. Is there a chat platform we can go on. Quick pointer, first decide if want it in GM2.0. (GM2.3 beta). Same thing just sequences added, some other things. IF YOU WANT THAT, do your conversion of the game first. Don't write new code for online play in GM1.4. Save yourself time. I would like to talk.
 
Top