SKALD: Against the Black Priory Video Blog – Level Editor

Scape-IT, together with their publishers over at Raw Fury bring us a video blog for Scape-IT’s upcoming retro-RPG Skald: Against the Black Priory. The video starts with a quick status update before introducing us to the game’s level editor and its inner workings. Check it out:

And if you’re not really big on watching videos, there’s also a text transcript:

Hi folks! Fiona here to bring you the first of many Developer Video Blogs from Skald developer Anders Lauridsen!

You can watch the video in full below and I’ve also included some excerpts and screenshots in this post going over the biggest points in the video.

So let’s begin, Skald Video Blog 1: Say “hi” to the Skald Editor!

Hey RPG fans, welcome to the first Skald video devlog. My name is Anders Lauridsen. I am the developer for Skald: The Black Priory, which is an upcoming indie RPG. The game is kinda an old school retro style RPG similar to games like Ultima 5 and The Magic Candle series. It’s slated for release later in 2022 and will be published by Swedish game publisher Raw Fury.

So the last couple of weeks has been busy. All of February has been busy, but unfortunately, I’ve been down for the last week with COVID, which sucks. I lost a week of work, and I hate that but fortunately, I feel much better now, and I’m back on the horse, which is good as there’s a lot to do.

In terms of development, the last month–probably the last three weeks if you subtract the week with COVID, I’ve been working on the level editor for Skald. I’ve had many iterations of it already but the way it used to be didn’t really work the way I wanted it to, so I remade it from scratch. That might sound excessive, but a level editor is a tool that you use a lot as a game developer so having a good tool is extremely important. Basically, what made me reconsider the tool I was currently using; first of all it wasn’t really a good tool, but it worked for me as I was the only one using it, but then I saw tiled, which is an open-source free level editor tool that you can use to make games that look pretty much like Skald.

It’s a fantastic tool and I was really impressed by it. I decided I could use tiled or make my own tool that emulates tiled and the functionality of that tool. So to make sure that I had a tool that I could control 100%, I didn’t really want a third party in this project in any way, even though it’s open-source, I opted to make my own tool, my own version of tiled. That’s what I’ve been working on for the past 3 weeks, and it’s been going really good.

So what I’d thought I’d do is just spend a couple of minutes playing around with the tool and showing it to you guys so you can see what it looks like today. Both because it’s nice for me to show off the work I’ve done but also the tool is something we’ll release to the public at some point in the project. We might release an alpha version either to the public or the community before launch so you guys can play around with it a little bit and we will definitely be releasing it at some form post-launch, maybe at DLC or part of a DLC package; we’ll just have to see but modding and having the community be able to create their own content for Skald has always been a pretty big pillar for the project for me even though it’s not my first priority. My first priority is to make a good single player experience out of the box. but it’s also pretty low effort for me to just give you the tools that I used to make the game and nothing would make me happier to see you guys use it down the line so, so I think it’s well worth the effort to spend a little bit of time working on stuff like the level editor.

Okay, so let’s do a short tour of the editor. If you’re familiar with tiled, then basically, this is what this is; it’s tabbed based so you can have different maps up at the same time, and you can swap between them. This is the main draw area, and you can obviously of course, zoom in and pan around, just as you would expect. But you couldn’t zoom in on my old editor, so you couldn’t zoom out and edit large areas at once, so this is already hugely helpful.

So let’s just say we want to draw some wall down here, we’ll just do it like that, easy peasy lemon squeezy. Let’s zoom in a little bit. What we can also do is we can use the draw random function, which allows you to select multiple tiles and select one of them at random. It’s great for letting you visual variation like so. You could also use another super handy tool called draw pattern, which allows you to select several tiles and draw them all at once. So, for instance, here we draw this arch, select these tiles, press the button and it comes on screen. So pretty easy, nothing revolutionary but hugely, very functional, and it works the way I need it to.

You can basically also add any object that’s in the game using this editor. Let’s say why not add a cat, a couple of cats? We could add a dog as well and just hope they don’t kill each other; you get the idea.

The maps in Skald are also layered on top of each other inside the game so usually, if you see a building like this, the ground floor is drawn on one map, and the upper floor is drawn on another map, and this is also supported in the game.

So let’s say we wanted more dogs-oh crap, I put a wall in there instead- let’s just leave it for now. See if we can put a dog in, there we go, now we can have the dog pee on the wall, which is super nice.

I think you all get the gist; it’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s hugely helpful for me, and it’s really, really fast to make content in. I’m super happy with it so far, and I can’t wait to just continue using and developing it and polishing all the rough edges so it can be easy for you to use and make content with.

So, with that being said I don’t think there’s much more for me to say today besides have a fantastic day, stay safe and healthy and keep following the project on or on twitter (or our Discord).

Have a good one everyone, bye bye!


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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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