Sketchy Maze

"a drawing-based maze game."

v0.13.2 Released

It’s been a bit over a year since the last release of Sketchy Maze, but I’ve been slowly working on it in between other distractions of life and work getting in the way. 😅

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!

See the Downloads page to try it out!

Copyright © 2024 Noah Petherbridge.