8th July 2013
Hey, did you know that in Joe Danger’s Sandbox and Joe Danger 2’s Movie Maker you can make levels that you can play and share with others?
We designed them to be super-easy to use – just hit a button and you’ll flip between playing and editing, so you can easily playtest as you go along. Actually, we used these very editors to make the levels that ship with both games, so you have the same power as us at your fingertips!
With the PC versions of both games now out on Steam, we thought we’d present a guide to these modes, which works just as well for the console versions, too.
Select Sandbox or Movie Maker from the main menu. In JD2 there are special tutorial levels to get you started, but feel free to jump straight into an empty level to learn through playing around! Also in JD2, select an environment and the vehicle Joe will be riding.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll find Joe set up and ready to ride in an empty level. To jump into Edit mode, hit the Y button if you’re using a gamepad or Enter if you’re using mouse/keyboard on a PC!
NB If you’re playing on PC with a gamepad and use A to select the editing mode, you’ll disable mouse/keyboard control. If you’d prefer to use mouse/keyboard, press Enter and you’ll use Sandbox mode that way instead.
Making a level
Once you enter edit mode, you’ll notice the camera move to view the level from the side. If you’re using a mouse/keyboard, you can move around the level by holding the right mouse button and dragging. With gamepad, use left stick.
To place an object hit X on gamepad, or click on the spanner icon to bring up the object selection screen. Select with A/mouse button. With gamepad, you can use the left and right triggers and bumpers to orientate many objects so they look the way you want them. Use the right stick to shift between lanes, and click in on the right stick to zoom the view in and out.
With mouse/keyboard, click the icons around the object to adjust its orientation, and use your mouse wheel to switch between lanes.
The key to making a good level is deciding what kind of gameplay you want it to offer!
Want to make a mad dash? Put a Coin Dash object in with some boost pads, and some lane switchers to make players have to dodge and weave their way through the course.
A precision run filled with danger? Use bounce pads to send players flying, and make them land on narrow hovering ledges. Liberally sprinkle with buzzsaws and spikes to bring tears to their eyes.
A hunt for stars? Hide stars under objects and high above, so players have to explore the level fully to win.
Or you can mix and match! The beauty of JD’s editing modes is that you can build anything you want with a varied selection of tools. Experiment, then play it, tweak and play it again to make sure it’s fun (and finishable).
The game automatically puts an finish line in a little way after the last objects you’ve placed, so you don’t need to worry about making sure that’s there, and if you want you can move the start line back to make more space.
Tips and tricks
‘Soft move’ (left stick + right move / shift + middle mouse) is essential to making a good level and is fantastic for precision placement or decoration.
After making a level a great way to give it an edge is to put some time into decorating it using props such as barrels, cones or buses. This will make your level beautiful or even funny and can help the player know where to go. For example, when placing a lane switch, fill the opposite lane with something like a trapped robot to give a reason why Joe had to swerve!
Use ministars and other collectibles to lead the player through your level. If you want them to boost off of a ramp, lead the player down to a target or if you want them to get a bit too close to that shark tank for comfort, collectibles are the answer.
When selecting props in order to move or delete them, it can sometimes be hard to get the one you want. Use left stick or middle mouse to scroll through objects and grab the one you want more easily.
Take note of how high Joe’s bike can jump, and how far he can jump. Put items just out of reach, unless you’re boosting, to add extra challenge. To start you off, Joe’s double jump is just high enough to get him over a hurdle with a bomb under it.
Use square blocks as platforms to create an extra height plane and add an exciting dimension to levels.
If you run out of space for props in a scene in JD2, don’t forget you can put them into the next scene. The game will automatically stitch them together when you play the level!
Ever play the career and think, “Hmmm, what if that target was on the side of that bus surrounded by spikes…?” Make it so!
Play your level over and over to make it perfect!
One of our favourite JD1 levels has to be Insert Disk 2. It contains loads of cruel ideas for how to make a great challenge – examine it to see how flexible the Joe Danger toolset is!
Finally, and most importantly, have fun!