v0.14.0 (May 4 2024)#

Level screenshots and thumbnails:

  • Level files will begin to take thumbnail screenshots of themselves and store them as PNG images embedded with the level data, and are displayed on the Story Mode level select screen.
    • A thumbnail is saved the first time your level is saved, and can be viewed and re-computed in the Level->Level Properties window of the editor.
    • Tip: for bounded levels when you want to screenshot the bottom edge, try setting the page type to Unbounded to get a good screenshot and then set it back to Bounded before saving the level.
  • In the editor, a new Level->Take Screenshot menu item is available which will save just your editor viewport as a PNG image to your screenshots folder.
  • In the editor, the Level->Giant Screenshot feature has been improved.
    • It now will show a confirmation modal, warning that it may take a while to screenshot a very large level.
    • While the giant screenshot is processing, a progress bar modal will block interaction with the game so that you don't accidentally modify the level while the screenshot is generating.

Updates to the JavaScript API for doodad scripts:

  • setTimeout() and setInterval() will now be more deterministic and reliable to time your doodad scripts with, as they are now based on the game's tick speed. At the target average of 60 FPS, 1000 millisecond timers will fire in 60 game ticks every time.
  • The Self API now exposes more functions on the underlying Actor object that points to the current doodad. See the guidebook for full details.
    • Self.Doodad() *Doodad
    • Self.GetBoundingRect() Rect
    • Self.HasGravity() bool
    • Self.IsFrozen() bool
    • Self.IsMobile() bool
    • Self.LayerCount() int
    • Self.ListItems() []string
    • Self.SetGrounded(bool)
    • Self.SetWet(bool)
    • Self.Velocity() Point
  • Self.GetVelocity() is now deprecated and will be an alias to Self.Velocity.

Some minor changes:

  • Tweaked the player movement physics and adjusted doodads accordingly.
    • The player is given a lower gravity while they are jumping into the air than the standard (faster) gravity when they are falling. This results in a smoother jump animation instead of the player launching quickly from the ground in order to overcome the constant (fast) gravity.
    • Coyote time where the player can still jump a few frames late when they walk off a cliff and jump late.
    • Improved character speed when walking up slopes, they will now travel horizontally at their regular speed instead of being slowed down by level collision every step of the way.
  • Sound effects are now preferred to be in OGG format over MP3 as it is more reliable to compile the game cross-platform without the dependency on mpg123.
  • Fix a bug where level chunks on the far right and bottom edge of the screen would flicker out of existence while the level scrolls.
  • When JavaScript exceptions are caught in doodad scripts, the error message will now include the Go and JavaScript stack traces to help with debugging.
  • The game window maximizes on startup to fill the screen.
  • Fixed a few places where the old "Load Level" menu was being called instead of the fancy new one with the listbox.
  • Fixed a touch screen detection bug that was causing the mouse cursor to hide on Macbooks when using their touchpad.
  • Fixed how touch screen mode is activated. The game's mouse cursor will disappear on touch and reappear when your last finger leaves the screen, and then a mouse movement is detected.
  • Add a --touch command line flag to the game binary, which forces touch screen mode to always be on (which hides the mouse cursor), in case of touch screen detection errors or annoyances.

Some code cleanup and architecture changes:

  • Create a clean build process for FOSS versions of the game, which won't include any license registration code or proprietary features reserved for first-party releases of the game.
  • Dust off the WebAssembly build of the game: thanks to browser innovations performance is very good! But many UI elements fail to draw properly and it is not very usable yet.

v0.13.2 (Dec 2 2023)#

This release brings some new features and optimization for the game's file formats to improve performance and memory usage.

Some new features:

  • Doodads can be non-square! You can now set a rectangular canvas size for your doodads. Many of the game's built-in doodads that used to be off-center before (doors, creatures) because their sprites were not squares now have correct rectangular shapes.
  • A Cheats Menu has been added which enables you to enter many of the game's cheat codes by clicking on buttons instead. Enable it through the "Experimental" tab of the Settings, and the cheats menu can be opened from the Help menu bar during gameplay.
  • The game now supports Signed Levels and levelpacks which will enable the free version of the game to play levels that have embedded doodads in them. The idea is that the base game in the future may come with levelpacks that use custom doodads (to tell a specific story) and these doodads may be so specific and niche that they will ride with the levelpack instead of be built-in to the game. To allow the free version of the game to play these levels, the levelpacks will be signed. It also makes it possible for promotional levelpacks or "free DLC" to be shipped separately and allow free versions of the game to play them with their attached custom doodads.

Other miscellaneous changes:

  • The default Author name on your new drawings will prefer to use your license registration name (if the game is registered) before falling back on your operating system's $USER name like before.
  • In the level editor, you can now use the Pan Tool to access the actor properties of doodads you've dropped into your level. Similar to the Actor Tool, when you mouse-over an actor on your level it will highlight in a grey box and a gear icon in the corner can be clicked to access its properties. Making the properties available for the Pan Tool can help with touchscreen devices, where it is difficult to touch the properties button without accidentally dragging the actor elsewhere on your level as might happen with the Actor Tool!
  • Fix a bug wherein the gold "perfect run" icon next to the level timer would sometimes not appear, especially after you had been cheating before - if you restart the level with no cheats active the gold icon should now always appear.
  • New cheat code: tesla will send a power signal to ALL actors on the current level in play mode - opening all electric doors and trapdoors. May cause fun chaos during gameplay. Probably not very useful.
  • Start distributing AppImage releases for GNU/Linux (64-bit and 32-bit)

Some technical changes related to file format optimization:

  • Palettes are now limited to 256 colors so that a palette index can fit into a uint8 on disk.
  • Chunks in your level and doodad files are now encoded in a binary format instead of JSON for a reduction in file size. The current (and only) chunk implementation (the MapAccessor) encodes to a binary format involving trios of varints (X, Y position + a Uvarint for palette index).
  • Chunk sizes in levels/doodads is now a uint8 type, meaning the maximum chunk size is 255x255 pixels. The game's default has always been 128x128 but now there is a limit. This takes a step towards optimizing the game's file formats: large world coordinates (64-bit) are mapped to a chunk coordinate, and if each chunk only needs to worry about the 255 pixels in its territory, space can be saved in memory without chunks needing to theoretically support 64-bit sizes of pixels!

v0.13.1 (Oct 10 2022)#

This release brings a handful of minor new features to the game.

First, there are a couple of new Pixel Attributes available in the level editor:

  • Semi-Solid: pixels with this attribute only behave as "solid" when walked on from above. The player can jump through the bottom of a Semi-Solid and land on top, and gradual slopes can be walked up and down as well, but a steep slope or a wall can be simply passed through as though it were just decoration.
  • Slippery: the player's acceleration and friction are reduced when walking on a slippery floor. In the future, players and other mobile doodads may slide down slippery slopes automatically as well (not yet implemented).
  • These attributes are available in the Level Editor by clicking the "Edit" button on your Palette (or the "Tools -> Edit Palette" menu). The Palette Editor now has small icon images for the various attributes to make room for the expanded arsenal of options.

Doodad/Actor Runtime Options have been added:

  • In the Doodad Editor's "Doodad Properties" window, see the new "Options" tab.
  • Doodad Options allow a map creator to customize certain properties about your doodad, on a per-instance basis (instances of doodads are called "actors" when placed in your level).
  • In the Level Editor when the Actor Tool is selected, mousing over a doodad on your level will show a new gear icon in the corner. Clicking the icon will open the Actor Properties window, where you may toggle some of the doodad options (if a doodad has any options available).
  • Options can be of type boolean, string, or integer and have a custom name and a default value at the doodad level. In the Level Editor, the map creator can set values for the available options which the doodad script can read using the Self.GetOption() method.
  • Several of the game's built-in doodads have options you can play with, which are documented below.

New and updated doodads:

  • "Look At Me" is a new Technical doodad that will draw the camera's attention to it when it receives a power signal from a linked button. For example, if a button would open an Electric Door far across the level, you can also place a "Look At Me" near the door and link the button to both doodads. When the button is pressed, the camera will scroll to the "Look At Me" and the player can see that the door has opened.
  • Anvils will now attract the camera's attention while they are falling.

Several of the game's built-in doodads have new Actor Runtime Options you can configure in your custom levels:

  • Warp Doors: "locked (exit only)" will make it so the player can not enter the warp door - they will get a message on-screen that it is locked, similar to how warp doors behave when they aren't linked to another door. If it is linked to another door, the player may still exit from the 'locked' door - essentially creating a one-way warp, without needing to rely on the orange/blue state doors. The "Invisible Warp Door" technical doodad also supports this option.
  • Electric Door & Electric Trapdoor: check the "opened" option and these doors will be opened by default when the level gameplay begins. A switch may still toggle the doors closed, or if the doors receive and then lose a power signal they will close as normal.
  • Colored Doors & Small Key Door: you may mark the doors as "unlocked" at the start of your level, and they won't require a key to open.
  • Colored Keys & Small Key: you may mark the keys as "has gravity" and they will be subject to the force of gravity and be considered a "mobile" doodad that may activate buttons or trapdoors that they fall onto.
  • Gemstones: these items already had gravity by default, and now they have a "has gravity" option you may disable if you'd prefer gemstones not to be subject to gravity (and make them behave the way keys used to).
  • Gemstome Totems: for cosmetic purposes you may toggle the "has gemstone" option and the totem will already have its stone inserted at level start. These gemstones will NOT emit a power signal or interact normally with linked totems - they should be configured this way only for the cosmetic appearance, e.g., to have one totem filled and some others empty; only the empty totems should be linked together and to a door that would open when they are all filled.
  • Fire Region: you may pick a custom "name" for this doodad (default is "fire") to make it better behave as normal fire pixels do: "Watch out for (name)!"

Improvements in support of custom content:

  • Add a JavaScript "Exception Catcher" window in-game. If your doodad scripts encounter a scripting error, a red window will pop up showing the text of the exception with buttons to copy the full text to your clipboard (in case it doesn't all fit on-screen) and to suppress any further exceptions for the rest of your game session (in case a broken doodad is spamming you with error messages). Cheat codes can invoke the Exception Catcher for testing: throw <message> to show custom text, throw2 to test a "long" message and throw3 to throw a realistic message.
  • Calling console.log() and similar from doodad scripts will now prefix the log message with the doodad's filename and level ID.

There are new JavaScript API methods available to doodad scripts:

  • Self.CameraFollowMe() will attract the game's camera viewport to center on your doodad, taking the camera's focus away from the player character. The camera will return to the player if they enter a directional input.
  • Self.Options() returns a string array of all of the options available on the current doodad.
  • Self.GetOption(name) returns the configured value for a given option.

Some improvements to the doodad command-line tool:

  • doodad show will print the Options on a .doodad file and, when showing a .level file with the --actors option, will list any Options configured on a level's actors where they differ from the doodad's defaults.
  • doodad edit-doodad adds a --option parameter to define an option on a doodad programmatically. The syntax is like --option name=type=default for example --option unlocked=bool=true or --option unlocked=bool; the default value is optional if you want it to be the "zero value" (false, zero, or empty string).

Minor fixes and improvements:

  • Add a "Wait" modal with a progress bar. Not used yet but may be useful for long operations like Giant Screenshot or level saving to block input to the game while it's busy doing something. Can be tested using the cheat code "test wait screen"
  • Detect the presence of a touchscreen device and automatically disable on-screen touch hints during gameplay if not on a touch screen.
  • Mobile Linux: mark the Sketchy Maze launcher as supporting the mobile form-factor for the Phosh desktop shell especially.
  • Fix the Crusher doodad sometimes not falling until it hits the ground and stopping early on slower computers.
  • Small tweaks to player physics - acceleration increased from 0.025 to 0.04 pixels per tick.

v0.13.0 (May 7 2022)#

This is a major update that brings deep architectural changes and a lot of new content to the game.

Swimming physics have been added:

  • The water pixels finally do something besides turn the character blue: swimming physics have finally been hooked up!
  • While the player is touching water pixels (and is colored blue), your gravity and jump speed are reduced, but you can "jump" infinite times in order to swim higher in the water. Hold the jump button to climb slowly, spam it to climb quickly.
  • The Azulians understand how to swim, too, though left to their own devices they will sink to the bottom of a body of water. They'll swim (jump) up if you're detected and above them. The Blue Azulian has the shortest vertical aggro radius, so it's not a very good swimmer but the White Azulian can traverse water with ease and track you from a greater distance.

New levels:

  • The Jungle (First Quest) - a direct sequel to the Boat level, it's a jungle and Mayan themed platformer featuring many of the new doodads such as snakes, gemstones, and crushers.
  • Gems & Totems (Tutorial, Lesson 4) - a tutorial level about the new Gem and Totem doodads.
  • Swimming (Tutorial, Lesson 5) - a tutorial level to learn how "water pixels" work with some moderately safe platforming puzzles included.
  • Night Sky (Azulian Tag) - a moderately difficult Azulian Tag level with relatively few enemies but plenty of tricky platforming.
  • Some of the existing levels have had minor updates to take advantage of newer game features, such as the water being re-done for the Castle level.

New doodads:

  • Blue Bird: a blue version of the Bird which flies in a sine wave pattern about its original altitude, and has a larger search range to dive at the player character.
  • Snake: a green snake that sits coiled up and always faces the player. If you get nearby and try and jump over, the Snake will jump up and hope to catch you.
  • Crusher: a block-headed enemy with an iron helmet which tries to drop on you from above. Its helmet makes a safe platform to ride back up like an elevator.
  • Gems and Totems: four collectible gems (in different colors and shapes) that slot into Totems of a matching shape. Totems can link together to require multiple gemstones before they'll emit a power signal to other linked doodads.

New File Formats:

  • Levels and Doodads have a new file format based on ZIP files, like levelpacks.
  • It massively improves loading screen times and helps the game keep a substantially lighter memory footprint (up to 85% less memory used, like 1.5 GB -> 200 MB on Azulian Tag - Forest).
  • Your old levels and doodads still work! The next time you save them, they will be converted to the new file format automatically.
  • The doodad tool can also upgrade your levels by running: doodad edit-level --touch <filename>.level

Other new content to use in your levels:

  • New wallpapers: Dotted paper (dark), Parchment paper (red, blue, green, and yellow).
  • New palette: Neon Bright, all bright colors to pair with a dark level wallpaper.
  • New brush pattern: Bubbles. The default "water" color of all the game's palettes will now use the Bubbles pattern by default.

New cheat codes:

  • super azulian: play as the Red Azulian.
  • hyper azulian: play as the White Azulian.
  • bluebird: play as the Blue Bird.
  • warp whistle: automatically win the current level, with a snarky cheater message in the victory dialog. It will mark the level as Completed but not reward a high score.
  • $ d.SetPlayerCharacter("anything.doodad") - set your character to any doodad you want, besides the ones that have dedicated cheat codes. The ".doodad" suffix is optional. Some to try out are "key-blue", "anvil", or "box". If you are playing as a key, a mob might be able to collect you! This will softlock the level, but another call to d.SetPlayerCharacter() will fix it! Use the pinocchio cheat or restart the game to return to the default character (boy.doodad)

Updates to the JavaScript API for doodads:

  • Self.IsWet() bool can test if your actor is currently in water.

Other changes this release:

  • Editor: fancy mouse cursors gives some visual feedback about what tool is active in the editor, with a Pencil and a Flood Fill cursor when those tools are selected.
  • Editor: your Palette buttons will now show their pattern with their color as the button face, rather than just the color.
  • Editor: Auto-save is run on a background thread so that, for large levels, it doesn't momentarily freeze the editor on save when it runs.
  • Editor: Fix the Link Tool forgetting connections when you pick up and drop one of the linked doodads.
  • Link Tool: if you click a doodad and don't want to link it to another, click the first doodad again to de-select it (or change tools).
  • Editor: your last scroll position on a level is saved with it, so the editor will be where you left it when you reopen your drawing.
  • Doodad tool: doodad edit-level --resize <int> can re-encode a level file using a different chunk size (the default has been 128). Experimental! Very large or small chunk sizes can lead to different performance characteristics in game!
  • Fixed the bug where characters' white eyes were showing as transparent.

v0.12.1 (April 16 2022)#

This update focuses on memory and performance improvements for the game. Some larger levels such as "Azulian Tag - Forest" could run out of memory on 32-bit systems. To improve on memory usage, the game more aggressively frees SDL2 textures when no longer needed and it doesn't try to keep the whole level's chunks ready in memory (as rendered images) -- only the chunks near the window viewport are loaded, and chunks that leave the viewport are freed to reclaim memory. Improvements are still a work in progress.

New fields are added to the F3 debug overlay to peek at its performance:

  • "Textures:" shows the count of SDL2 textures currently loaded in memory. Some textures, such as toolbar buttons and the loadscreen wallpaper, lazy load and persist in memory. Most level and doodad textures should free when the level exits.
  • "Sys/Heap:" shows current memory utilization in terms of MiB taken from the OS and MiB of active heap memory, respectively.
  • "Threads:" counts the number of goroutines currently active. In gameplay, each actor monitors its PubSub queue on a goroutine and these should clean up when the level exits.
  • "Chunks:" shows the count of level chunks inside and outside the loading viewport.

Some other changes and bug fixes in this release include:

  • Fixed the bug where the player was able to "climb" vertical walls to their right.
  • When entering a cheat code that changes the default player character during gameplay, you immediately become that character.

v0.12.0 (March 27 2022)#

This update adds several new features to gameplay and the Level Editor.

A Game Rules feature has been added to the Level Editor which allows customizing certain gameplay features while that level is being played. These settings are available in the Level Properties window of the editor:

  • The Difficulty rule can modify the behavior of enemy doodads when the level is played. Choose between Peaceful, Normal, or Hard.
    • On Peaceful, Azulians and Birds don't attack the player, acting like pre-0.11.0 versions that ignored the player character.
    • On Hard difficulty, Azulians have an infinite aggro radius (they'll immediately hunt the player from any distance on level start) and they are hostile to all player creatures.
  • Survival Mode changes the definition of "high score" for levels where the player is very likely to die at least once.
    • The silver high score (respawned at checkpoint) will be for the longest time survived on the level rather than the fastest time to complete it.
    • The gold high score (got to an Exit Flag without dying once) is still rewarded to the fastest time completing the level.

An update to the Level Editor's toolbar:

  • New Text Tool to easily paste messages onto your level, selecting from the game's built-in fonts.
  • New Pan Tool to be able to scroll the level safely by dragging with your mouse or finger.
  • New Flood Tool (or paint bucket tool) can be used to replace contiguous areas of your level from one color to another.
  • The toolbar buttons are smaller and rearranged. On medium-size screens or larger, the toolbar buttons are drawn side-by-side in two columns. On narrower screens with less real estate, it will use a single column when it fits better.

New levels:

  • An Azulian Tag levelpack has been added featuring two levels so far of the Azulian Tag game mode.

New doodads:

  • A technical doodad for Reset Level Timer resets the timer to zero, one time, when touched by the player. If the doodad receives a power signal from a linked doodad, it can reset the level timer again if the player touches it once more.

Updates to the JavaScript API for custom doodads:

  • New global integer Level.Difficulty is available to doodad scripts to query the difficulty setting of the current level:
    • Peaceful (-1): Level.Difficulty < 0
    • Normal (0): Level.Difficulty == 0
    • Hard (1): Level.Difficulty > 1
  • New function Level.ResetTimer() resets the in-game timer to zero.

New cheat codes:

  • test load screen tests the loading screen UI for a few seconds.
  • master key allows playing locked Story Mode levels without unlocking them first by completing the earlier levels.

Other changes:

  • Several screens were re-worked to be responsive to mobile screen sizes, including the Settings window, loading screen, and the level editor.
  • Fixed a bug where making the app window bigger during a loading screen caused the Editor to not adapt to the larger window.
  • Don't show the _autosave.doodad in the Doodad Dropper.
  • The Azulians have had their jump heights buffed slightly.
  • Birds no longer register as solid when colliding with other birds (or more generally, characters unaffected by gravity).

Bugs fixed:

  • When modifying your Palette to rename a color or add an additional color, it wasn't possible to draw with that new color without fully exiting and reloading the editor - this is now resolved.
  • The palette editor will try and prevent the user from giving the same name to different colors.

v0.11.0 (Feb 21 2022)#

New features:

  • Game Controller support has been added! The game can now be played with an Xbox style controller, including Nintendo Pro Controllers. The game supports an "X Style" and "N Style" button layout, the latter of which swaps the A/B and the X/Y buttons so gameplay controls match the button labels in your controller.
  • The JavaScript Engine for doodad scripts has been switched from to which helps "modernize" the experience of writing doodads. Goja supports many common ES6 features already, such as:
    • Arrow functions
    • let and const keywords
    • Promises
    • for-of loops
  • The JavaScript API has been expanded with new functions and many of the built-in Creatures have gotten an A.I. update.
  • For full versions of the game, the Publish Level function is now more streamlined to just a checkbox for automatically bundling your doodads next time you save the level.

New levels:

  • The Zoo: part of the Tutorial levelpack, it shows off all of the game's built-in doodads and features a character selection room to play as different creatures.
  • Shapeshifter: a new level on the First Quest where you switch controls between the Boy, Azulian and the Bird in order to clear the level.

Some of the built-in doodads have updates to their A.I. and creatures are becoming more dangerous:

  • The Bird now searches for the player diagonally in front of it for about 240px or so. If spotted it will dive toward you and it is dangerous when diving! When playing as the bird, the dive sprite is used when flying diagonally downwards. The player-controlled bird can kill mobile doodads by diving into them.
  • The Azulians will start to follow the player when you get close and they are dangerous when they touch you -- but not if you're the Thief. The red Azulian has a wider search radius, higher jump and faster speed than the blue Azulian.
  • A new White Azulian has been added to the game. It is even faster than the Red Azulian! And it can jump higher, too!
  • The Checkpoint Flag can now re-assign the player character when activated! Just link a doodad to the Checkpoint Flag like you do the Start Flag. When the player reaches the checkpoint, their character sprite is replaced with the linked doodad!
  • The Anvil is invulnerable -- if the player character is the Anvil it can not die by fire or hostile enemies, and Anvils can not destroy other Anvils.
  • The Box is also made invulnerable so it can't be destroyed by a player-controlled Anvil or Bird.

New functions are available on the JavaScript API for doodads:

  • Actors.At(Point) []*Actor: returns actors intersecting a point
  • Actors.FindPlayer() *Actor: returns the nearest player character
  • Actors.New(filename string): create a new actor (NOT TESTED YET!)
  • Self.Grounded() bool: query the grounded status of current actor
  • Actors.SetPlayerCharacter(filename string): replace the nearest player character with the named doodad, e.g. "boy.doodad"
  • Self.Invulnerable() bool and Self.SetInvulnerable(bool): set a doodad is invulnerable, especially for the player character, e.g. if playing as the Anvil you can't be defeated by mobs or fire.

New cheat codes:

  • god mode: toggle invincibility. When on, fire pixels and hostile mobs can't make you fail the level.
  • megaton weight: play as the Anvil by default on levels that don't specify a player character otherwise.

Other changes:

  • When respawning from a checkpoint, the player is granted 3 seconds of invulnerability; so if hostile mobs are spawn camping the player, you don't get soft-locked!
  • The draw order of actors on a level is now deterministic: the most recently added actor will always draw on top when overlapping another, and the player actor is always on top.
  • JavaScript exceptions raised in doodad scripts will be logged to the console instead of crashing the game. In the future these will be caught and presented nicely in an in-game popup window.
  • When playing as the Bird, the flying animation now loops while the player is staying still rather than pausing.
  • The "Level" menu in Play Mode has options to restart the level or retry from last checkpoint, in case a player got softlocked.
  • When the game checks if there's an update available via it will send a user agent header like: "Sketchy Maze v0.10.2 on linux/amd64" sending only static data about the version and OS.

v0.10.1 (Jan 9 2022)#

New features:

  • High scores and level progression: when playing levels out of a Level Pack, the game will save your progress and high scores on each level you play. See details on how scoring works so far, below.
  • Auto-save for the Editor. Automatically saves your drawing every 5 minutes. Look for e.g. the _autosave.level to recover your drawing if the game crashed or exited wrongly!
  • Color picker UI: when asked to choose a color (e.g. for your level palette) a UI window makes picking a color easy! You can still manually enter a hexadecimal color value but this is no longer required!

Scoring system:

  • The high score on a level is based on how quickly you complete it. A timer is shown in-game and there are two possible high scores for each level in a pack:
    • Perfect Time (gold): if you complete the level without dying and restarting at a checkpoint.
    • Best Time (silver): if you had used a checkpoint.
  • The gold/silver icon is displayed next to the timer in-game; it starts gold and drops to silver if you die and restart from checkpoint. It gives you a preview of which high score you'll be competing with.
  • If cheat codes are used, the user is not eligible for a high score but may still mark the level "completed."
  • Level Packs may have some of their later levels locked by default, with only one or a few available immediately. Completing a level will unlock the next level until they have all been unlocked.

New and changed doodads:

  • Invisible Warp Door: a technical doodad to create an invisible Warp Door (press Space/'Use' key to activate).
  • All Warp Doors now require the player to be grounded before they can be opened, or else under the effects of antigravity. You shouldn't be able to open Warp Doors while falling or jumping off the ground at them.

Revised levels:

  • Desert-2of2.level uses a new work-around for the unfortunate glitch of sometimes getting stuck on two boxes, instead of a cheat code being necessary to resolve.
  • Revised difficulty on Tutorial 2 and Tutorial 3.

Miscellaneous changes:

  • Title Screen: picks a random level from a few options, in the future it will pick random user levels too.
  • Play Mode gets a menu bar like the Editor for easier navigation to other game features.
  • New dev shell command: titlescreen <level name> to load the Title Screen with the named level as its background, can be used to load user levels now.
  • For the doodads JavaScript API: time.Since() is now available (from the Go standard library)
  • Fix a cosmetic bug where doodads scrolling off the top or left edges of the level were being drawn incorrectly.
  • Fix the Editor's status bar where it shows your cursor position relative to the level and absolute to the app window to show the correct values of each (they were reversed before).
  • The developer shell now has a chatbot in it powered by RiveScript.

v0.10.0 (Dec 30 2021)#

New features and changes:

  • Level Packs: you can group a set of levels into a sequential adventure. The game's built-in levels have been migrated into Level Packs and users can create their own, too!
  • Crosshair Option: in the level editor you can have a crosshair drawn at your cursor position, which may help align things while making a level. Find the option in the game's Settings window.
  • Smaller Palette Colors: the color buttons in the Level Editor are smaller and fit two to a row. This allows for more colors but may be difficult for touch controls.
  • Doodad AI updates: the Bird records its original altitude and will attempt to fly back there when it can, so in case it slid up or down a ramp it will correct its height when it comes back the other way.
  • The "New Level" and "New Doodad" functions on the main menu are consolidated into a window together that can create either, bringing a proper UI to creating a doodad.
  • Added a setting to hide touch control hints from Play Mode.
  • The title screen is more adaptive to mobile. If the window height isn't tall enough to show the menu, it switches to a 'landscape mode' layout.
  • Adds a custom icon to the application window.

A few notes about level packs:

  • A levelpack is basically a zip file containing levels and custom doodads. Note: the game does not yet handle the doodads folder of a levelpack at all.
  • The doodad command-line tool can create .levelpack files. See doodad levelpack create --help. This is the easiest way to generate the index.json file.
  • In the future, a .levelpack will be able to hold custom doodads on behalf of the levels it contains, de-duplicating files and saving on space. Currently, the levels inside your levelpack should embed their own custom doodads each.
  • Free (shareware) editions of the game can create and play custom level packs that use only the game's built-in doodads. Free versions of the game can't play levels with embedded custom doodads. You can always copy custom .doodad files into your profile directory though!

Bugs fixed:

  • Undo/Redo now works again for the Doodad Editor.
  • Fix crash when opening the Doodad Editor (v0.9.0 regression).
  • The Play Level/Edit Drawing window is more responsive to small screens and will draw fewer columns of filenames.
  • Alert and Confirm popup modals always re-center themselves, especially to adapt to the user switching from Portrait to Landscape orientation on mobile.

v0.9.0 (Oct 9, 2021)#

New features:

  • Touch controls: the game is now fully playable on small touchscreen devices! For gameplay, touch the middle of the screen to "use" objects and touch anywhere around that to move the player character in that direction. In the level editor, swipe with two fingers to pan and scroll the viewport.
  • Proper platforming physics: the player character "jumps" by setting a velocity and letting gravity take care of the rest, rather than the old timer-based flat jump speed approach. Most levels play about the same but the jump reach is slightly different than before!
  • Giant Screenshot: in the Level Editor you can take a "Giant Screenshot" of your entire level as it appears in the editor as a large PNG image in your game's screenshots folder. This is found in the "Level" menu in the editor.
  • Picture-in-Picture Viewport: in the Level Editor you can open another viewport window into your level. This window can be resized, moved around, and can look at a different part of your level from your main editor window. Mouse over the viewport and your arrow keys scroll it instead of the main window.
  • "Playtest from here": if you click and drag from the "Play (P)" button of the level editor, you can drop your player character anywhere you want on your level, and play from there instead of the Start Flag.
  • Middle-click to pan the level: holding the middle click button and dragging your mouse cursor will scroll the level in the editor and on the title screen. This can be faster than the arrow keys to scroll quickly!
  • Zoom in/out support has come out of "experimental" status. It's still a little finicky but workable!
  • Bounded level limits are now configurable in the Level Properties window, to set the scroll constraints for Bounded level types.

Some new "technical" doodads are added to the game. These doodads are generally invisible during gameplay and have various effects which can be useful to set up your level the right way:

  • Goal Region: a 128x128 region that acts as an Exit Flag and will win the level if touched by the player.
  • Checkpoint Region: a 128x128 invisible checkpoint flag that sets the player's spawn point.
  • Fire Region: a 128x128 region that triggers the level fail condition, behaving like fire pixels.
  • Power Source: a 64x64 invisible source of power. Link it to doodads like the Electric Door and it will emit a power(true) signal on level start, causing the door to "begin" in an opened state.
  • Stall Player (250ms): when the player touches this doodad, control freezes for 250ms, one time. If this doodad receives power from a linked button or switch, it will reset the trap, and stall the player once more should they contact it again.

The Doodad Dropper window has a dedicated category for these technical doodads.

New methods available to the Doodad JavaScript API:

  • Self.Hide() and Self.Show() to turn invisible and back.
  • Self.GetVelocity() that returns a Vector of the actor's current speed.
  • New broadcast message type: broadcast:ready (no arguments). Subscribe to this to know the gameplay is ready and you can safely publish messages to your linked doodads or whatever, which could've ended up in deadlocks if done too early!
  • New constants are exposed for Go time.Duration values: time.Hour, time.Minute, time.Second, time.Millisecond and time.Microsecond can be multiplied with a number to get a duration.

Some slight UI polish:

  • The Doodad Dropper window of the level editor now shows a slotted background where there are any empty doodad slots on the current page.
  • Your scroll position is remembered when you playtest the level; so coming back to the editor, your viewport into the level as where you left it!
  • New keybinds are added to the Level & Doodad Editor:
    • Backspace to close the current popup UI modal
    • Shift+Backspace to close all popup UI modals
    • v to open a new Viewport window
  • Some flashed messages are orange instead of blue to denote an 'error' status. The colors of the fonts are softened a bit.
  • New cheat code: show all actors to make all invisible actors shown during Play Mode. You would be able to see all the technical doodads this way!
  • New command for the doodad CLI tool: doodad edit-level --remove-actor to remove actors by name or UUID from a level file.

v0.8.1 (September 12, 2021)#

New features:

  • Enable Experimental Features UI: in the game's Settings window there is a tab to enable experimental features. It is equivalent to running the game with the --experimental option but the setting in-game is persistent across runs of the game.
  • Zoom In/Out: the Zoom feature mostly works but has a couple small bugs. The + and - keys on your number bar (-=) will zoom in or out in the Editor. Press 1 to reset zoom to 100% and press 0 to scroll the level back to origin. These controls are also available in the "View" menu of the editor.
  • Replace Palette: with experimental features on it is possible to select a different palette for your already-created level. This will replace colors on your palette until the template palette has been filled in, and pixels already drawn on your level will update too.

Other changes:

  • The title screen buttons are more colorful.
  • This release begins to target 32-bit Windows and Linux among its builds.

v0.8.0 (September 4, 2021)#

This release brings some new features, new doodads, and new levels.

New features:

  • Checkpoints for gameplay will ease the pain of dying to fire pixels or Anvils by teleporting you back to the checkpoint instead of resetting the whole level.
  • The Doodad Properties window while editing a doodad grants access to many features which were previously only available via the doodad tool, such as:
    • Edit metadata like the Title and Author of your doodad
    • Set the default hitbox of your doodad.
    • Attach, open, and delete the JavaScript for your doodad
    • Manage tags (key/value store) on your doodads: how you can communicate settings to the JavaScript which can receive the tags via Self.GetTag("name")
  • Some Generic Doodad Scripts are built in. Using only the in-game tools, it is possible to create custom doodads which have some basic in-game logic and you don't need to write any code. The generic scripts include:
    • Generic Solid: the hitbox is solid
    • Generic Fire: its hitbox harms the player
    • Generic Anvil: harmless, deadly when falling
    • Generic Collectible Item: it goes in your inventory
  • All Characters are Playable! Use the Link Tool to connect your Start Flag with another doodad on your level, and you will play as that doodad when the level starts. The Creature doodads are all intended to be fully functional; playing as buttons and doors leads to strange results.

New doodads have been added:

  • The Anvil is a heavy metal object which is affected by gravity. It is harmless to collision, but if the anvil is in freefall, it will destroy every mobile doodad that it touches, and is deadly to the player character.
  • The Electric Trapdoor is a trapdoor that opens and closes when powered by a button or switch. It is a horizontal version of the Electric Door.
  • The Thief is a new character which will steal items from the player or other mobile doodads. The Thief is able to pick up items and unlock doors and he walks back and forth like the Azulians.
  • The Blue Azulian is now selectable from the Doodads menu. It behaves like the Red Azulian but moves at half the speed. The Azulians can pick up items and open doors.
  • The Checkpoint Flag will remember the player's spot in the level. Dying to fire pixels or Anvils no longer forces a restart of the level - you can resume from your last checkpoint, or the Start Flag by default.

New levels have been added:

  • Castle.level: introduces the new Thief character. Castle-themed level showing off various new doodads.
  • Thief 1.level: a level where you play as the Thief! You need to steal Small Keys from dozens of Azulians and even steal items back from another Thief who has already stolen some of the keys.

Some doodads have changed behavior:

  • The Bird can no longer pick up items, unless controlled by the player character.
  • The Anvil and Box will reset to their original locations if they receive a power signal from a linked button or switch.

The user interface has been improved:

  • Tabbed windows! The Doodad Dropper window of the level editor and the Settings window use new, tabbed interfaces.
  • Doodad Categories: the Doodad Dropper's tabs are divided into a few major categories.
    1. Objects: Anvil, Box, Crumbly Floor, and Flags
    2. Doors: Doors, Trapdoors, and Keys
    3. Gizmos: Buttons, Switches, Electric Doors, etc.
    4. Creatures: Bird, Azulians, Thief
    5. All: a classic view paging over all doodads (and doodads not fitting any of the above categories).

New functions are available in the JavaScript API for custom doodads:

  • FailLevel(message string): global function that kills the player with a custom death message.
  • SetCheckpoint(Point): set the player respawn location
  • Self.MoveTo(Point(x, y int))
  • Self.IsPlayer() bool
  • Self.SetInventory(bool): turn on or off inventory. Keys and other items will now only give themselves to mobile doodads which have inventory.
  • Self.HasInventory() bool
  • Self.AddItem(filename string, quantity int) - zero quantity for permanent items like the colored keys.
  • Self.RemoveItem(filename string, quantity int)
  • Self.HasItem(filename string)
  • Self.Inventory() map[string]int
  • Self.Hitbox() - also see Self.Hitbox.IsEmpty()

The Events.OnLeave() callback now receives a CollideEvent argument, like OnCollide, instead of the useless actor ID string. Notable properties on the CollideEvent will be the .Actor which is leaving and Settled=true.

Other miscellaneous changes:

  • The Link Tool can now un-link two doodads by clicking on them again.
  • Actor UUIDs in your levels will now be Type 1 UUIDs (time-based) instead of random. This will ensure each newly added doodad gets a larger ID than the previous one, so in cases of draw order conflicts or that sort of thing, the winner can be picked deterministically (most recently added renders on top).
  • A death barrier will prevent Boy from falling forever on unbounded maps should he somehow fall off the level. The death barrier is a Y value 1,000 pixels below the lowest pixel on your map.
  • Mobile doodads no longer "moonwalk" when they change directions.
  • A new color is added to all default palettes: "hint" (pink) for writing hint notes.
  • A maximum scroll speed on the "follow the player character" logic makes for cooler animations when the character teleports around.
  • Levels and Doodads are now sorted on the Open menu.

v0.7.2 (July 19 2021)#

This release brings some new features and some new content.

New features:

  • Loading screens have been added. In previous versions, 'chunks' of a level were rendered on-demand as they first scrolled onto the screen, but busy new chunks would cause gameplay to stutter. The loading screen is able to pre-render the entire level up front to ensure gameplay is smooth(er).
  • Compression for Levels and Doodads: levels and doodads are now compressed with Gzip for an average 88% smaller file size on disk. The example level, "Tutorial 2.level" shrank from 2.2 MB to 414 KB with compression. The game can still read old (uncompressed) files, but will compress them on save.

Some new content:

  • New Levels: two desert-themed levels were added. One has you platforming and climbing the outside of a pyramid; the next is inside the pyramid and has puzzles involving movable boxes.
  • New Doodad: Box is a pushable crate that is affected by gravity. It is taller than Boy and can be used to gain some extra height and reach higher platforms.
  • New Palette: To the "Colored Pencil" palette was added a new default color: Sandstone (solid).
  • New Pattern: Perlin Noise was added as one of the available brush patterns. Sandstone uses this pattern by default.

Some miscellaneous changes:

  • Slowly scroll in editor: holding down the Shift key while scrolling the level editor will scroll your drawing very slowly.
  • 'Doodads' Hotkey: in the Level Editor, the Q key will open the Doodads window instead of the D key, as the D key is now part of WASD for scrolling the drawing.

v0.7.1 (July 11 2021)#

Fixes a bug on the Windows version:

  • Built-in wallpapers other than the default Notebook were failing to load in the Windows release of v0.7.0

v0.7.0 (June 20 2021)#

This is the first release of the game where the "free version" drifts meaningfully away from the "full version". Free versions of the game will show the label "(shareware)" next to the game version numbers and will not support embedding doodads inside of level files -- for creating them or playing them. Check the website for how you can register the full version of the game.

This release brings several improvements to the game:

  • Brush Patterns for your level palette. Instead of your colors drawing on as plain, solid pixels, a color swatch can sample with a Pattern to create a textured appearance when plotted on your level. Several patterns are built in including Noise, Marker, Ink, and others. The idea is that your brush strokes can look as though they were drawn in pencil graphite or similar.
  • Title Screen: the demo level shown on the title screen will leisurely scroll around the page. The arrow keys may still manually scroll the level any direction.
  • Attach Doodads to Level Files: this is the first release that supports truly portable custom levels! By attaching your custom doodads with your custom level file, it will "just play" on someone else's computer, and they don't need to copy all your custom doodads for it to work! But, free versions of the game will not get to enjoy this feature.
  • Settings UI: a "Settings" button on the home screen (or the Edit->Settings menu in the editor) will open a settings window. Check it out!
  • Horizontal Toolbars option: if enabled in the Settings window, the toolbar and palette in the Editor will be horizontal instead of vertical, along the top and bottom of the screen. This may be better optimized for smartphone-sized screens like the Pinephone. If the program is started with -w mobile the first time, it will use horizontal toolbars by default.

Some small bits of polish in the game's user interface:

  • Some buttons are more colorful! The "Ok" button in alert boxes is blue and pressing Enter will select the blue button.
  • When opening a drawing to play or edit, a blue Browse... button is added so you can more easily find downloaded custom levels and play them.
  • In the Level Editor, the "Level -> Attached Files" menu will let you see and manage files attached to your level, such as its custom wallpaper image or any custom doodads that were published with the level.
  • The keyboard shortcut to open the developer console is now the tilde/grave key (`) instead of Enter.

Bugs fixed:

  • The WASD keys to move the player character (as an alternative to the arrow keys) now works more reliably. Previously, they were affected by key-repeat so Boy would do a quick hop followed by a longer one when pressing W to jump. Also, his animation would not update correctly when moving via the WASD keys. Both bugs are fixed in this release.
  • Shortcut keys advertised in the menu, such as Ctrl-N and Ctrl-S, now actually work.

v0.6.0-alpha (June 6 2021)#

This release brings less jank and some new features.

The new features:

  • Choice of Default Palette for New Levels: when creating a new level, a "Palette:" option appears which allows you to set the default colors to start your level with. The options include:
    • Default: the classic default 4 colors (black, grey, red, blue).
    • Colored Pencil: a set with more earthy tones for outdoorsy levels (grass, dirt, stone, fire, water)
    • Blueprint: the classic Blueprint wallpaper theme, a bright version of Default for dark level backgrounds.
  • Custom Wallpapers: unhappy with the default, paper-themed level background images? You can now use your own! They attach to your level data for easy transport when sharing your level with others.
  • More Wallpapers: a couple of new default wallpapers are added: Graph paper and Dotted paper. They are both on light white paper and offer a light alternative to Blueprint.

Some bugs fixed:

  • Collision fixes: you should be able to walk up gentle slopes to the left without jumping, as easily as you could to the right.
  • Debugging: the F4 key to show collision hitboxes around all doodads in Play Mode now functions again, and draws boxes around all doodads, not just the player character.
  • Hitboxes are tighter: a doodad's declared hitbox size (from their JavaScript) is used when a doodad collides against level geometry or other doodads. Meaning: Boy, who has a narrow body but a square sprite size, now collides closer with objects on his right side.
  • Physics are tweaked: Boy now moves and accelerates slightly faster.

v0.5.0-alpha (Mar 31 2021)#

Project: Doodle is renamed to Sketchy Maze in this release.

New Features:

  • New Tutorial Levels: the bundled levels demonstrate the built-in doodads and how they interact and shows off several game features.
  • Level Editor: you can now set the Title and Author of the level you're editing by using the Level->Page Settings window.
  • The Inventory HUD in Play Mode now shows a small number indicator for items which have quantity, such as the Small Key. Colored Keys do not have quantity and don't show a number: those are permanent collectibles.
  • Fire Pixels: when the player character dies by touching a "Fire" pixel during gameplay, the death message uses the name of the color instead of calling it "fire." For example, if you name a color "spikes" and give it the Fire attribute, it will say "Watch out for spikes!" if the player dies by touching it.
  • New cheat code: give all keys gives all four colored keys and 99x Small Keys to the player character. The drop all items cheat clears your inventory.

New Doodads:

  • Warp Doors allow the player character to fast travel to another location on the map. Drag two Warp Doors into your level and use the Link Tool to connect them together. Doors without an exit link will be "locked" and don't open.
  • Small Key Doors are locked doors which consume the Small Keys when unlocked, unlike the colored doors where the key is multi-use. The player character can hold many small keys at once and only unlock as many doors as he has keys.

Updated Doodads:

  • Several doodads were increased in size to better match the player character: Colored Locked Doors, Trapdoors, the Crumbly Floor and Electric Door, and the blue and orange Boolean State Blocks.
  • Colored Doors now have a visual locked vs. unlocked state: while locked, a golden padlock hangs from the door, which goes away after it's been unlocked.
  • Switches now interact differently with Electric Doors: the door will always toggle its current state regardless of the 'power' setting of the Switch.
  • Buttons which are linked to a Sticky Button will press and stay down if the linked Sticky Button is pressed. Or in other words, the Sticky Button makes all linked Buttons act sticky too and stay pressed while the Sticky Button is pressed. If the Sticky Button is released later (e.g. by receiving power from a Switch) it releases its linked Buttons as well.

v0.4.0-alpha (Nov 21 2020)#

This update brings improvements to the editor; you can now fully draw all the graphics for a custom doodad using the in-app tools!

A key difference between a Level and a Doodad is that doodads have Layers where they keep multiple frames of animation or state. The editor tool now supports working with these extra layers.

Other new features:

  • The Guidebook has been updated with tons of good info and screenshots of the game's features. Press F1 in-game to open the guidebook, or check it online at
  • Layer Selection Window for Doodads: when you're editing a Doodad drawing, a "Lyr." button is added to the toolbar to access the Layers window.
  • Global UI popup modals: when you're about to close a level with unsaved changes, you get an Ok/Cancel prompt confirming if you want to do that. Hitting the Escape key will ask you before just exiting the program. Alert boxes are supported too, and an alert command added to the developer console.

v0.3.0-alpha (Sept 19 2020)#

This update introduces the player character to the game. He doesn't have a name; the game just refers to him as Boy.

His sprite size is bigger (33x54) than the 32x32 size of the placeholder player character from before. So, the three example levels shipped with previous versions of Project: Doodle no longer work. This release comes with two replacement levels which are better decorated, anyway.

Other new features:

  • Palette Editor: you can add and modify the colors on your level palette! Pick any colors you want, give a name to each swatch, and mark whether they behave as Solid, Water or Fire. Without any of these properties, colors are decorational-only by default.
  • Doodad Window: when selecting the Actor or Link Tools in the editor, the Doodads window pops up. Doodads can be dragged from this window onto your level, instead of the Palette toolbar turning into a Doodad palette.
  • The Palette toolbar on the Editor is now thinner and only shows colors. Mouse-over tooltips show the name and properties of each swatch.
  • Added a --window option to the Doodle program to set the default window size. Options can be a resolution (e.g. 1024x768) or a special keyword "desktop", "mobile", "landscape" or "maximized"
  • Default size is desktop: 1024x768
  • Mobile and landscape mimic a smartphone at 375x812 resolution.

v0.2.0-alpha (June 7 2020)#

This release brings Sound Effects and Menus to the game.

New features:

  • Added some User Documentation to ship with the game which teaches you how to create your own custom Doodads and program them with JavaScript. More documentation to come with time.
  • Sound effects! Several doodads have a first pass at sound effects using some free sounds I found online. More doodads still need sounds and the existing sounds are by no means final. Buttons, switches, doors and keys have sound effects so far.
  • The game now has a Menu Bar with pull-down menus in the Editor Mode instead of just a top panel with New/Save/Open buttons.

v0.1.0-alpha (Apr 13 2020)#

New doodads:

  • Start Flag: drag this into your level to set where the player character will spawn. There should only be one per level.
  • Crumbly Floor: a rocky floor that breaks and falls away after a couple seconds when the player (or other mobile doodad) walks onto it.
  • State Blocks: blue and orange blocks that toggle between solid and passable when the corresponding ON/OFF button is touched.

New features:

  • An inventory overlay now appears in Play Mode when the player character picks up one of the colored keys.
  • While editing a level, you can click the new "Options" button in the top menu to open the level settings window (like the one you see when creating a new level): to change the wallpaper image or the page type.

Other changes:

  • Added better platforming physics to the player character: acceleration and friction when walking.
  • The colored Locked Door doodads have been re-designed to be shown in a side-view perspective and have an open and closed state in either direction.
  • Tooltips added to various buttons in the Editor to show names of doodads and functions of various buttons.

v0.0.10-alpha (July 18 2019)#

New features:

  • Added the Eraser Tool and support for brush sizes. Now you can clean up your mistakes and draw shapes with thicker lines!
  • Added the Ellipse Tool for drawing elliptical shapes.
  • Added a third example to the game's built-in levels.

Bug fixes:

  • The Undo command now restores the original color of a pixel instead of just deleting it. Only works for thin lines so far.
  • Improved collision detection algorithm to prevent players from clipping through a solid doodad, regardless of speed. This change is invisible this build, but opens the door to improvements in the 2D platforming physics and making the player character move and fall faster.
  • Fix mobile non-player doodads from sometimes being able to clip through a solid doodad. For example, a Red Azulian could sometimes walk through a locked door without interacting with it.
  • Sometimes hitting Undo would leave a broken "chunk" in your level, if the Undo operation deleted all pixels in that chunk. The broken chunk would show as a solid black square (non-solid) in the level. This has been fixed: empty chunks are now culled when the last pixel is deleted and existing level files will be repaired on next save.

v0.0.9-alpha (July 9 2019)#

First alpha release.