Welcome to Crayta. Crayta is both a platform for playing online games, and the perfect environment to quickly realise your own creative visions. It’s easy to start creating games in Crayta, and the best way to make games is to spend time making levels in Crayta’s CREATE mode. However, if you want a little more direction, some tips to speed up your process and to add some custom interactivity to your games then this series of tutorials will help you on your way.
Ready to take game development to the next level? Then read on!
How To Use These Guides
These guides are designed to help a complete beginner game developer get to grips with Crayta as a game engine. They start with an introduction to the Basic Editor mode, and eventually move up to the Advanced Editor mode.
It is recommended that you follow the tutorials in order, as the later guides will assume you have some understanding of the skills that are introduced in the first ones.
That said, they are written in a way that should be relatively straightforward to follow. You can also come back to previous tutorials, and use them as a dip-in reference, should you need to.
Tech Tips are comments which have a bit more technical depth. They might include additional techniques, a more thorough explanation of code or some theory that explains why we are suggesting this method. You don’t have to read them, but they are there to help you further understand game development in Crayta.
These tutorials are here to guide you towards best practice as much as possible, but they are only a guide! The Creative Control boxes are prompts to remind you to stay creative, and have fun. They highlight opportunities to deviate from the tutorial whilst still being able to follow along to the end.
This Tutorial Will Cover
- Navigating the basic editor
- The Crayta level design tools and adding and removing Entities including:
- Previewing your game
The Crayta Editor
To celebrate your arrival to Crayta’s CREATE Mode, and to grasp some of the fundamental aspects of Crayta’s game design features, you are going to build a house! To get started you need to enter CREATE Mode.
Press START and switch tabs to CREATE.
This is the CREATE menu. There are different ways you can choose to start building. You can either:
- use a pre-filled template and edit it to suit what you want to make, or
- use an empty game, which has only the Player, the ground, and the sky
For now, select Empty Games then STARTER: EMPTY GAME. You will be prompted to enter a name and choose an image that suits your new creation. Name your game (I’ve called mine Underwood).
Press APPLY AND CONTINUE. Now choose an image.
Finally press CREATE AND ENTER to complete the setup of your first game and start the creative process.
The Game World
Welcome to your blank canvas. This is the starting point for all the great games you’ve experienced in Crayta, and it’s your opportunity to let your imagination free, tell stories and craft memorable experiences.
The Crayta Library
Press Y on controller or L on keyboard to open the Library.
Crayta has a huge Library of ready-made Entities you can use to create and decorate your game world. The term Entity is used to refer to any Sound, Mesh, Voxel, Effect or Template in the Crayta Library.
You can navigate the Library using the D-Pad or a mouse to move the highlight cursor, and use the triggers L2 and R2 or simply select the heading with the mouse cursor to switch tabs. Pressing Y or selecting the cross icon will close the Library.
To add an Entity to our game, you need add it to the Hotbar at the bottom of the screen.
Voxels are the physical building blocks of Crayta. A group of Voxels is called a Voxel Mesh. You can make just about any physical object with Voxels such as bridges, skyscrapers or oceans. Building with Voxels is like sculpting your landscape by adding and removing blocks.
Open the Library and navigate to the Voxels tab. Highlight a Voxel texture that would make a suitable structural material (or cheese, if you fancy) and add it to your Hotbar by pressing A if you’re on controller.
You should see it appears in your Hotbar at the bottom of the screen and the library window closes.
Why stick to one material? You can add any voxel onto any other voxel. Try adding flavour to your creations by using a variety of materials and block sizes.
To place a voxel, press R2 or left-click on the mouse. To erase a voxel, press L2 or middle-click on the mouse.
Time to start building. For the house walls, we will use the default 1x1x1 voxel size. You can change your voxel size by pressing the D-Pad Up on the controller or T on keyboard. This will loop through the available sizes you can work with in basic mode. If you have changed the size, then keep toggling until you see Add/Remove Voxels (1x1x1)
Using your selected voxel, build four walls for your house. You can speed up the process by selecting the Toggle Voxel Tool until it shows Extrude. If you highlight a voxel with the Extrude option enabled you should be able to push and pull the shape of the voxels.
The house can be as big or small as you like; but Remember to leave a space for a door, that is 6 x 10 in size.
Tech Tip: Oops!
If you make a mistake, you can use Left D-Pad on controller or Ctrl+Z on keyboard to UNDO the last action. If you want to REDO it, press Right D-Pad or Ctrl+Y on keyboard
To add voxels above a certain height, it helps to be able to look at your house from above. Double-tap A on controller or space on keyboard to enter Drone mode. You are now controlling your flying Drone, and you can move towards the direction your crosshair is pointing with the left analog stick.
Whilst in Drone mode hold A on controller or space on keyboard to elevate your character until you can see the top of your walls (you can hold RS on controller or C on keyboard to descend). Open the library, select a roof material (such as Tile Slate, or cheese again I guess…) and add it to your Hotbar. The best way to build a roof is to build it up in “steps” on the back and front of the house. With that in mind; proceed to build a roof onto your house.
To leave Drone mode, double-tap jump again.
To add windows you will need to remove some of the blocks in the walls of your house. Hold L2 or the middle-click the mouse whilst facing the wall and your Voxel tool turns into a Voxel eraser. Remove an area in your wall that measures 6 voxels wide by 6 voxels high.
Once you are happy with your creation preview the game by pressing and holding the menu button on controller or pressing F5 on keyboard. Try entering your house and test that it works the way you want it to. To return to the editor, repeat the same step you used to enter the preview. Make any adjustments to your house and then continue to the next step.
Tech Tip: Preview
At the moment, Previewing your game doesn’t change much. In the future, you will use Preview to start your game logic.
Make sure to test your game regularly. Testing your game gives you the chance to experience how your game feels, as well as how it looks. Game feel is essential to making a great experience for your players.
Adding A Door
Select an empty slot in your Hotbar then open your Library and then navigate to the Meshes tab.
A Mesh is a premade 3d model.
Highlight a door Mesh and add it to your empty Hotbar slot.
Look at where you want to position your door and place it.
Next, follow the same process you used for your door to find a window Mesh in the Library and add some windows to the window openings you created in your house walls.
If you need to remove a Mesh is the same as removing Voxels. Look at the Mesh you want to erase and delete it. Don’t forget you can also Undo and Redo by pressing Left and Right on the controller D-Pad or Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y on keyboard.
Look at your door and press X on controller or E on keyboard to bring up the Entity Editor. The Entity Editor shows some of the Properties of the Mesh, such as it’s position, whether it’s visible, and whether collisions are enabled for this Mesh. Uncheck the collisionEnabled checkbox on your door, to allow you character to walk into the house unhindered. Preview your game to test that it works.
Open the Library look for Foliage (Grass) and add the Grass (short) Voxel to your Hotbar.
With the Grass (short) Voxel selected, use the Toggle Voxel Tool option until the tool type states “FILL”.
Look at the floor and press R2 on controller or left-click with the mouse to turn all the floor Voxels to grass.
Lights, Sounds And Effects
In addition to physical objects, the Crayta library also has some lighting, sounds and particle effects you can add to your world. Your house might be a bit dark inside. Open the Library and change to the Primitives tab. Use the cursor to select a Light. Use the same technique as the voxels and meshes to place the light inside your house.
You can edit the Properties of the Light in the same way that you turned off collisionEnabled on your door. Select an empty Hotbar slot – this changes the tool to Select. Look at your Light and select the Edit Light option.
You can change many aspects of the lighting in your building. Try making some mood lighting for your house by changing the Light colour under the color Property.
Press B on controller or select the cross icon with your mouse to close the Entity Editor.
Create a chimney with Voxels by switching to one of your building materials (Use the bumpers to change Hotbar slot) and add a single 4×4 Voxel onto the roof of the house.
Open the Library and change to the Effects tab. Use the cursor to select Smoke Chimney. Place the Smoke Chimney Effect on the chimney to add that warm, cosy feeling.
You can add Sounds in the same way. Take a look at the Sounds tab in the Library, and find some appropriate background music for your home.
Previewing Your Creation
Once you are happy with your creation Preview the game, as a reminder you can do this by holding menu button on controller or selecting F5 on Keyboard.
When you Preview your game you can’t edit it and instead can explore the world you have created just as your Players would if they played your game. You can see the effects of this by looking at your chimney. Notice that the Effect icon has disappeared, and all you can see now is the smoke.
Try entering your house and test that it works the way you want it to. To return to the editor, repeat the step you used to enter the preview. Make any adjustments to your house and then continue to the next step.
Over To You
Congratulations. You have now mastered the basics of the Crayta level editor. In this tutorial we:
- Investigated the Crayta Library
- Built things out of Voxels
- Added Meshes, Lights and Effects
- Edited the Properties of a Mesh Entity
- Previewed your game
It’s now over to you. Continue to add to the world you have started creating. Some things to try are:
- Dig a trench around your house using the Voxel eraser
- Add water Voxels to your trench to make it into a moat
- Use a bridge Mesh, or Voxels , to create a bridge over the moat to your front door
- Decorate the inside of your house with furniture and artefacts from the Meshes Library
- Add Sounds by placing them in your scene the same way you added Meshes, Effects and Voxels
Next Up: Basic Tutorials
Now go and create entire worlds for Players to experience using the tools you have just learned. OR! Maybe you want to make something more exciting and varied? Well, you are in luck! You can build on your understanding of game design, scripting and level design in the step-by-step Basic Tutorials, which will guide you through some of the more detailed aspects of creating games in Crayta.
The choice, as they say, is yours!