Saturday 8 June 2019

New Level Pit UI

Here's what I'm working on at the moment. As previously mentioned, I'm dropping the CEF library for UI and moving to NanoVG, so this is also a good time to redesign the UI for the Pit.

Goals for the new UI:

  • Show pictures of the levels!
    • The level files are pretty small, so these are all rendered locally. It just downloads each file and renders out a screenshot.
  • Pictures for users. I'm using GeoIP flags at the moment, because I don't really want to deal with custom avatars, and I like the international flavour it gives.
    • I hope people are cool with the flags. If it said what city you connected from, that'd probably have to be opt-in for privacy's sake... but I feel like countries will be OK. I'm sure I'll hear about it if people disagree.
  • Better discoverability of levels. The old UI only showed about 12 new levels, and you couldn't scroll or anything.
  • Full keyboard, mouse & gamepad support.
  • Full international text input support. CEF did this well. Might be harder without it, but I think it's important.


  1. waouw it looks so great !!!
    i agree, the flags are cool!

    i can't wait anymore...

  2. Hi guys !

    pending the next monstrous update, i've just published a new level !!!

    Difficulty: 6.5/10

    have fun ;P

    PS: Rob, Do you know, approximately, when the next update will be released?

    1. I'm really bad at deadlines, so I try not to impose them on myself. I know it's nice to have a specific date to look forward to, but if I promise you a release date what will happen is:

      - I'll stress out about releasing the update on time
      - When the date arrives, I'll feel I have to release the update, even if it's half-baked
      - Maybe I just miss the date and disappoint everyone

      Even if you want an estimate rather than a commitment, that's tricky too because the way I work when I'm working on my own stuff is that basically I let my brain work on whatever it wants to work on. Sometimes that's Blackshift and sometimes it's not — and it's almost impossible for me to predict.

      But, although I'm declining to give a timeframe, which must be a little frustrating, what I can do is run through what needs to get done before the update can be released:

      1. New UI needs to be usable. Right now it's looking pretty good everywhere except the level pit, which is still missing a bunch of features.

      2. I need to replace the FMOD audio library with something else. Either I misread the license or they've changed it since I signed, but the current FMOD license has requirements that I'm not prepared to fulfil, so I can't release the game with FMOD.

      3. Secret Feature needs some work.

      OK, I'm bored of the secrecy around Secret Feature. What it is, is I've replaced the level select menu with an overworld map. It's like Mario World :)

  3. oh yeah i understand perfectly... you are totally right !

    your mariolike overworld map in the select level menu is a wonderful idea!!!

    ok, now, we just need to learn to be patient... ;D

  4. new level, today ! 10 Août 2019 !

    bravo to NYNM who has already won it ! ;P

    and sorry for my "manager"... i said "difficulty: 6.5" i think it's at least 7.5 or 8 ! XD

  5. today again, a new level!!! 11 Août 2019 !


  6. Oh Burri !

    your Sheppard is simply GENIUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. hey guys, it's that time of the year...! 2 new levels from yours truly, enjoy:-)

  8. Oops... i did it again!
    thanx NYNM, it's so good to come back in the game !!!

    me too, i'm gonna try to build again!!! i'm just a little bit stuck in Mario kart Tour... But my true love is BLACKSHIFT !!!

    i hope the next update will come very soon!

    i saw the game on steam should be released in 2019... is it true?

    1. It's looking unlikely, to be honest! But I am working on it.

      As a wise man once said: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is bad forever.”

      Thanks for your patience, and for sticking around here and continuing to play. It'll be worth the wait!

  9. hey my friends!

    i built "The Real Mills." long time ago... it was a fixed version of "Mills."

    But i had not won it because i wanted it to be a non-published level, like an hidden level... ;P

    today, i saw this level had about 200 plays!!! So, it means somebody found it !!!

    So i decided to publish it... But i did not remember very well; so it has been quite hard. Thus, it will be even more difficult for you !!!

    Good luck !

  10. I guess a fair share of those pre-publish plays were mine... I still haven't solved it, and I'm stuck in the 4th area. I feel I'm at least 3 bullets short:-).

  11. which area are you talking about?

    this one : ?

    or this one : ?

  12. the first one! the second one looks really plentiful:-). Help me get there!

  13. or at least a smallish hint... i only have the one bullet in that area right? the little pink bastard, is he my assistance in getting out of there?

  14. hey, the second image - don't i recognise that one from another of your levels? the bottom right and the top left/right look really familiar??!

  15. yes ! Both of the pink and blue bastards will help you!

    you need to drive the blue ship to activate the yellow/black switchers. And to do that, the pink eye will be very helpfull !
    (i will give you bigger hints if you need)

    Yes , the second image is the 5th and main part of this level. "The Real Mills" is just a fixed version of "Mills" ;P

  16. can't wait to get home and give it a go!

  17. A BIG BIG BRAVO to burri who solved "The Real Mills."

    Congrats Burri !

  18. thanx Rob for your 2 Levels !!! Very smart and fun !!!

    1. Cheers! And well done for breaking both of them 😂

      I can only imagine how many Mills-exploits there are in the campaign levels...

  19. Yeah my friends !

    To tide you over untill the next BIG update, i publish a new level !!!

    "Rollers of Death"

    i tried to build a tractable level. Hard, but not too much. i dunno... tell me if i succeeded !

    Have a good time !


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