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Updating Dangle Dash: a micro case study, part 1

Dangle Dash is an incredibly fun hockey game experience available for iOS and Android.

Dangle Dash has been developed on Buildbox 3 and published by Sebastian Barrotta / Astrohound Studios.

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Goal

Sebastian wanted to update Dangle Dash by replacing the old Campaign mode with a new Career mode with way more levels (50+) and features and at the same time expand the in-game shops.
He was finding it difficult to update the game with the system he had in place for level creation/advancement and the rigid custom solution he was using for in-game shops, that’s when he asked for my help to implement more efficient and easier-to-use solutions.
In this article, I’ll discuss the analysis and the approach used to replace the level creation system, the shopping system has been discussed in Part 2.

Analysis

The game featured a campaign mode where the player can advance level by level and at the end of each level play a shooting stage against a goalkeeper. The campaign mode had 8 levels + 8 shooting stages + 1 additional endless world.
It was built using the default levels creation scheme commonly used in Buildbox games: one world for each game level and several UIs linking them, resulting in an entangled mess of 40+ linked worlds and UIs, something commonly seen in complex Buildbox games.
Adding 50+ new levels would’ve resulted in about 300 nodes, something difficult to build, time-consuming, and pretty much impossible to maintain; a different approach was required.

Mindmap of the Campaign mode.

Solution

The solution was to implement the Levels Builder System I’ve developed into Dangle Dash; the Levels Builder is a custom add-on for Buildbox, designed to replace the level selection system in Buildbox, it improves it in many ways and simplifies and speeds up the game creation process allowing the creation of any number of levels by combining the scenes (level sections) found inside the world.

A screenshot from the Levels Builder System DEMO.
A clip from the Levels Builder System DEMO.
Attributes of the Levels Builder.

Main features of the Levels Builder System

  • simplifies and speeds up level creation in Buildbox.
  • allows to specify sections to be used for each level as well as random intervals.
  • creates any number of levels from a single world.
  • each level can use any number of sections.
  • can create and manage up to 200 levels, this can be expanded to any number upon request.
  • saves and restores level progression between different sessions.
  • supports multiple worlds, each one with its own Levels Builder.
  • supports a level-picking UI with one button for each level; buttons are unlocked upon level completion; UI and buttons are fully customizable.

Levels Builder System Attributes

  • Level Selection attribute to easily set if level selection has to be Ordered or Randomized.
  • Quantity attribute to set how many levels are available.
  • Endless attribute to define if the game will be endless or not; can be set to
    • No
    • Yes, restart from first level
    • Yes, with random levels.

Conclusion

With the Levels Builder System it became possible for Sebastian to create 60+ game levels with just two worlds and a few UIs. He managed to quickly convert his game to make use of the Levels Builder System and can now easily add or edit game levels in a matter of a few seconds.

Contact me for more information on the Levels Builder System for Buildbox.

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