Jonathan Blow has confirmed that the recently released PC edition of his time-bending platformer Braid contains a level editor, thus opening the door for user-created maps, and easing the suffering of those bummed about Blow's refusal to do a sequel.
Documentation for the editor will be posted "after I get a new version [of the game] out in a few days that fixes the problems some people are having, and when more people have played/finished the game," Blow wrote in a forum post noticed by Destructoid.
Along with the documentation, he plans to release a tool "that lets you take Photoshop files and import them into the game, if you want to put new graphics in your levels."
The editor is accessible by launching the game with the "-editor" parameter, and then pressing F11. The "-universe universe_name" command line then dictates the location where the custom level will be saved.
To get started, download this file:
And unpack it into your Braid folder. So in the same folder where braid.exe lives, you should now have a folder called “universes”. Inside that there should be one subfolder, “sample”.
Now you can run Braid with the following command-line option:
When the game starts up, everything should look normal, because this sample universe doesn’t replace the starting world, and anything you don’t replace will get pulled from the regular game assets. You’ll start at the beginning of the game, though, because universes have their own save files.
If you walk into the world 2 story screen, instead of what you would normally, you ought to see a very minimal place with one monster in it. This is because world0-2.entities has been overridden by the version in this sample universe. You may also notice that when Tim jumps, he can leap forward very quickly. This is because his jump speed has been changed in the file Mod.variables.
There are only two doors in this new world0-2.entities, because the doors in these story-worlds just off the main hub are generated in order to match the levels present in the game, and the file level_config now says that there are only 2 levels in world 2.If you collect world 2 puzzle pieces, you’ll notice that they actually look like the world 4 puzzle… this is because I overloaded puzzle2.pi_set with the world 4 version. You could put any image in the puzzles, but you need Photoshop and an extra tool to generate the puzzle pieces; I will talk later about how to do this.
The people inside the new 0-2.entities are from rpgobj.pi_set (also drawn by David Hellman). You can see everything in rpgobj if you go into the editor (by pressing F11), go to a New Universe, press Add Piece Config, and type “rpgobj” into the box. From there you can copy and paste these objects into a level.
Now, if you try to change any levels and save out the results, you’ll notice that next time you play the game, the changes don’t take effect. This is because Braid is not actually reading from the loose files during gameplay. As an efficiency measure, for normal play, Braid files are bundled up into non-compressed .zip files (the same way package.zip and package0.zip are, if you look in your standard Braid file tree). To package up your levels for end-users, you similarly put them into an uncompressed zip file. This is what universes/sample/package.zip is.