I’ve made a full video of me creating a level:
As I said in the description of the video, I think creating a delivery is quite an interesting problem. You can’t really plan for it, or if you do (which involves some pretty complicated transformations being done inside your head), you absolutely cannot deviate from the plan.
That’s because placing any body that has any influence on gravity anywhere on the map instantly changes the path the ship will take. Sometimes by quite a lot.
I’ve run into that problem a fair bit while doing the levels. I get a nice setup going for the “start” of a delivery, but then I want to add some more dynamism to the “end” of it, so I place down a body and boom! The nice start is completely changed and I have to rearrange everything to account for the gravitational effects of the new body.
So the my level creation process has become much more about experimentation and iteration. Place down a body, check how the pathing is going to end up, place down another, check how that effects the pathing, and so on, moving things into different positions and just watching the effect it has. More often than not, I simply put the bodies I want to be in the final delivery anywhere and then start moving them around until I find an obscure path that requires a lot of interactions and doesn’t have many (or any) “direct” solutions, and then I simply move the target planet there.
Simple but effective.
There’s definitely a flow state involved as well. The geometry of the prediction lines combined with the slow nature of creation leads to a pretty zen-like state and I can easily get lost for an hour or so just tweaking a single level. It’s quite fun, but as launch approaches, it’s becoming more stressful. I’m really down to the wire right now, hahaha.
Anyway, that’s all, I just thought it was an interesting process to share. And in the interest of ABP: Make sure to wishlist the game on Steam!