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All About Gizmos

Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 By ScottTykoski In The Video Game Machine Dev Journals

One of the most powerful tools in the Video Game Machine is the GIZMO tool. With Gizmos, you can bring your levels to life in unique and interactive ways.

The Basics
While the main building block of your level is the 'block' (no surprise there), gizmos will take those blocks and do interesting things to them.

Simply select the Gizmo tool on the left hand side of the Level Editor (the Gear Button) to show the list of available options.

Most gizmos can also have a 'Target'. When a gizmo is activated, its target will also be activated. This is useful for making switches that cause things to happen in your level.

Set a target by rolling over the gizmo, pressing the [T] key, then clicking on the target location.

Starting Location
Use this to place the starting location of the player in this level. If there are multiple locations, the game will simply use the first one it finds.

Finish Line
Place these at the end of a level. The current stage will end and the next one will be loaded.

Hidden Area
Placing these onto a section of blocks will turn them into a "Hidden Area", meaning the player will be able to walk into those tiles to find hidden loot (and possibly enemies).

Hidden Area tiles may look like they're blocked, but you can run right through them!
Old-school games were known for their awesome secrets - we highly recommend placing these in every level.


Pushable Tile
Place this on a block to make it 'pushable'. When the player presses against it for 1 second, it will move in the direction pushed.

If targeting: The targeted gizmo will be activated when the block is pushed.


Doors will teleport the player to a target location. If the Doorway gizmo doesn't have a target, then nothing will happen when the player steps on it.

Weapon Trigger
Trigger gizmos are just switches, where activating them will simply trigger another gizmo.

The Weapon Trigger gizmo will activate when hit by a weapon. By default it will activate with any attack, but you can also specify what type of attack is required (Sword, Dagger, Fire Attack, Explosion, etc).

If targeting: The targeted gizmo will be activated when this gizmo is attacked.


Trigger Area
When the player steps into a Trigger Area, they will activate whatever gizmo the area is targeting.

If targeting: The targeted gizmo will be activated when this gizmo stepped into by the player.

Trigger Link
If a 'Trigger Link' gizmo is targeted and activated, all linked gizmos (touching the chain of linked gizmos) will be activated as well.


Movement Group
The Movement Group gizmo is a powerful tool that lets you move large chunks of your level around. Simple place Movement Group gizmos on tiles you want to group together, then set a Target Destination for the group with the [T] key.

If targeting: The target tile is the destination for this movement group. When a movement group is activated, it'll move to it's target location.


Swappable Tile
Swappable Tiles can swap from one type of tile to another. This is useful for spawning ladders in Sidescrollers or opening Pathways in Adventures. Place it on a tile, then press [E] to edit the gizmo and specify what type type it should swap to.

By default, the tile will be destroyed.

Alpha 1 Note: Currently, Swappable Tiles only activate it they're actually ON a tile. A future update will allow these to be placed in empty spaces and activate as expected.


Flying Enemy Pt. (Sidescroller Only)
Spawns a flying enemy at this location. If the enemy is killed, will respawn the enemy in 4 seconds. Useful for Pit-Jumping challenges.


Gateway Gizmo (Adventure Only)
Links two levels together via the side of a room. When you exit a room by the set direction, you will teleport to the linked Gateway exit.

Press the [E] key over the Gateway gizmos to link them together.

By linking levels together with the Gateway Gizmo, you can create one, large, interconnected world.


The power of the gizmo system is that these simple systems can be connected in interesting ways, giving you an infinite number of options to make your creation truly you own.

What clever gizmo combos have you come up with?  

Let us know in the comments...and happy building!