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Volume: New Video Showcases Built-in Level Editor

26 16
Volume: New Video Showcases Built-in Level Editor
16 Author Replies

The pressure is on: we’re wrapping up Volume for launch on PS4 and PS Vita in late summer. An official launch date announcement is coming at E3 (shhh, secrets!), but I wanted to show readers here at PlayStation.Blog Volume’s level editor. It’s a huge experiment for me as an independent creator, and for all of us as a small team.

Volume gives players the ability to build and share levels, utilising all the props found in the game. Yes, all of them. Every gadget, gizmo, enemy type, environmental trap, wall design and colour palette can be used for your own creations. It’s a big part of the game that I hope players will get into.

We’ve tried to make the process and tools simple. Easily create a level. Upload it to our server. And bask in the glory and praise of peers with a highly rated map!

Top-rated maps will bubble up in our online community list. It will be easy to select a specific level and hop right in. Or you can create a customisable playlist made from a mix of player-created and campaign levels.

Although we spent a lot of time making the game’s levels, players can actually go through the entire campaign using their own – or other people’s – creations. Want to hear the story in Volume again but use different maps? Done! Andy Serkis is very good as the game’s villain, so why not listen to him again while playing Volume using the best maps the community have managed to make!

We’re excited to see what you make with the level editor tools. We made 100 levels using this editor, so we can’t wait to see the first 1,000 you make. Hopefully, with your help, we can pump up the Volume! ;)

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26 Comments

16 Author Replies

  • Oh man, this looks great! Good work, I’m definitely looking forward to this. I haven’t seen a level editor that looks this fun since the Timesplitters series. I can see myself investing many long hours in to this.

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      ahhhhh, as a dude who spent way too long in the Timesplitters 2 editor, I am incredibly pleased with this comment. Thanks!

  • Sony, when are you going to fix the Vitas that you broke with the 3.5 firmware update?

  • Where is Driveclub PS+ Edition?

  • Vengeance1138

    Keep it on topic people! Anything not about Volume, has no place here!

    On topic: Game looks incredible and will check it out for sure! Keep up the great work.

  • FeLiPe_MachiN3

    my vita stop charging after 3.5 firmware update… Sony fix this!! :@@@@@

  • Pretty cool level editor. Good to see more Create, Play, Share games keep coming to PS4.

  • Ricen-Beans

    Been waiting a long time to “hear” more on this one. Can’t wait for a Vita release! Loved Thomas was Alone and I’m actually excited for the story in this one as well.

    One question: will there be a Platinum trophy??

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      I’d like there to be! If you see anyone from Sony, put a good word in for me, yeah?

  • Robbie_G_lrish

    I was just thinking about this game the other day. It’s looking pretty sweet. Is there a way to bump up how many “squares/panels” you can lay down at a time to build levels even faster?

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      right now, no.. but it’s certainly a thing we’re thinking about doing should the editor prove popular

  • GaMeR_bOi_83

    @ nunber 3 DRIVECLUB is NEW for $20 at GameStop. Stop being cheap and at #5 I haven’t read or heard about update 3.5 causing any problems for Vita’s.

  • GaMeR_bOi_83

    Game looks interesting. Going to be honest, I have to play at last a demo before I make a decision about a purchase.

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      we’re not sure about plans for demos, but hopefully there’ll be a fair number of reviews and LPs for you to base a decision on.. fingers crossed we can impress you!

  • Game looks cool, can’t wait for late summer to jump in.

    Question: in the editor, are you able to make the AI a bit more intelligent? It seemed odd that the AI lost you in the shadows so easily in your example.

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      directly? No. For us, it was about building a logical lego set.. so while enemies don’t have ‘smartness’ sliders, they can make use of environment / allies.. if there.

      Example: I could have placed another guard and an alarm in that map, if I had, the AI would be smart enough to use the alarm to call in reinforcements.. Intelligence through player item placement.

  • Corn-Pillow

    Will the level editor take advantage of touch controls on the vita?

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      we’re just looking into this.. my guess is no (because of scale).. but it’s something we’re looking into it.

  • whereymyconary

    Can we build text into it as well, or just a map editor as of now?

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      yup, you can place text. As long as the text is.. ahem.. appropriate.. I’m hoping folks tell cool stories.

  • Looks good, I will be getting this

  • ResistanceGTA

    Day 1 purchase without a doubt. Loved Thomas was Alone, and Mike has one of the most interesting Twitters to follow in my opinion. Keep up the amazing work.

  • SHARINGAN_JP

    Another delayed vita.

  • Can you make levels that jump into another level you made? Is that what the playlist was for?

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      Right now, no.. but that’s a really cool idea. //Adds to hopeful post release list

  • GaMeR_bOi_83

    Well if there won’t be a demo Shareplay is also a option.

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      absolutely.. and your mates will likely have unlocked more cool levels.

  • HussamFelimban

    Game looks great. Will definitely get it. I LOVED Thomas Was Alone. One question, though: Will the Vita version be compatible with PSTV? Please say yes.

  • Very excited for this game. I have been since I saw your presentation at Rezzed 2013!

    I do have a technical question about the editor. How much of it uses the Unity editor and how much was your own work? I’m just getting started with using Unity myself and I’m curious about how easy/difficult it was for you to provide an editor with your game.

    Also, was the editor the first thing you set out to build before any levels were created, or did it come later?

    • Mike Bithell
      Mike Bithell

      oops. accidentally commented rather than replying, see below :)

      (computers are hard)

  • Mike Bithell
    Mike Bithell
    Mike Bithell

    So, like any game made in an engine, our stuff sits on top of that engine. To answer your question, boringly technically, Volume is one unity scene file. The maps players create are our own bespoke file format, which we build on the fly, and are not Unity specific. It’s certainly been a big job to get them made, which is why level editors are still pretty rare.

    As for when we made it, the answer is that the game and editor have been made in tandem. The one leads the other. Our maps don’t exist outside of the game, so the only way to play a volume map was to make a volume map builder! It’s also helped us make great tools.. you learn a lot about how good an editor is by using it to create 100 levels!

    Good luck with your game! Editors are very tricky though, which is why Thomas Was Alone doesn’t have one.

  • So when will the Vita version get cancelled or delayed?

  • I hope there will be a good level selector. With thousands of user generated levels, there are sure to be a ton of garbage. There needs to be a good way for the diamonds to shine in the rough.

  • Although it may not keep with the gameplay’a POV, adding a way to place Cameras would be FANTASTIC. That way the creator could not only add text but display waypoints etc and just make some really cool cinematics. I love Photo Mode as much as the next guy but I’m a video editor. I make Game Trailers and if Rockstar would have allowed Console players to use the Film Editor In GTA5 I already know I would be cranking out some amazing work. So if it’s something attainable in Volume I would love to see it!

  • That looks incredible! Waiting till someone makes the inevitable MGS ‘remake’ :)

  • This looks AWESOME!!!!

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