Owlchemy Labs had previously announced that with the upcoming v1.5 Snuggle Truck update players on all platforms would have access to the user-generated levels, but that the in-game level editor would be exclusive to the Mac/PC and iPad versions of the game. The team originally just didn’t see a way that they could successfully bring the functionality (in any sort of useable manner) to the iPhone’s small screen. But BRING IT they did! Regarding porting the level editor to the iPhone, Owlchemy’s Chief Scientist, Alex Schwartz, said it was a “BEAR to get working *and* usable on such a small screen”. Through persistence and a lot of hard work, the guys at Owlchemy Labs have come up with a brilliantly intuitive and easy to use level editor that fits right in the palm of your hand.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-release build of the game’s v1.5 update, and was literally able to make my very first level complete with fuzzies, and medal times in just a few minutes. Let me run you through the basics…
You start by selecting your level style from one of the game’s three backdrops: Desert, Underground or Forest. From there you are presented with a very short track consisting of just the truck on the left-hand side of the screen and the zoo gate on the right. On the top of the screen is a small scrolling bar topped with four or five tabs labeled Ground, Ceiling (Underground level style only), Decoration, Obstacle, and Special.
The Ground (and Ceiling) tab consists of of various segments of the track that you will immediately recognize from Snuggle Truck’s official levels. From bumps to dips to rolling hills, there is any kind of surface you could possibly want. Simply drag one of the segments onto the main screen and you will see a dotted lines appear where the segment can be placed. When the dotted line turns green, release your finger and the track will instantly get longer with the new segment of track inserted exactly where you placed it. If you want to stretch out a deep curve a bit to make it a little less steep, simply select that segment and drag the arrow. Removing segments is just as easy, just select and tap the ‘X’.
The Decoration tab gives you access to trees, cacti, danger signs and more to help spruce up your level. You use the same dragging motion to place them on your level and you can pinch to zoom in/out for more detailed placement. All of these objects are easily re-sizable and rotatable with just a few taps and/or pinches. Next up are the Obstacles which puts your favorite (or rather not so favorite) time wasters like barrels, TNT, crates, rocks and more right at your fingertips for some devious level-making fun. These too are completely scalable and can be rotated to suit your particular needs. Finally, you can offer a bit of good will to those who will be playing your level by visiting the Special tab which allows you to add rocket boost power ups, cargo net pickups and a fuzzies launch site.
While you are building your level, you have the ability to test it at any time. When you press the Test Level button you are instantly transported into your level where you can play through it an see what kind of times you can muster. Really, I experienced no load times, there was nothing to compile, your new level is ready to play any time you want to. Finally when you are ready to Submit your level to be played by all the other Snuggle (and Smuggle) Truck players worldwide you simply hit the submission button. Here you will be asked to give the level a name, a description and you must decide the Bronze Medal time, Silver Medal Time, Gold Medal Time and the Speed Run Time. Then you submit the level and its ready for other players to play and rate.
As a player, accessing all this new user-created content is simple, with buttons off the main menu to jump you directly to your levels and those by the rest of Snuggle Truck community. The latter of which can be sorted by newest levels, top rated, those that you’ve played before, or you can search for levels by level name or author name.
Just one of the many changes coming in the v1.5 update (so big it encapsulates updates 1.3 and 1.4 as well), the addition of the level-editor to the iPhone/iPod Touch release of Snuggle Truck is HUGE NEWS, because it means that EVERY Snuggle Truck game owner is now a potential source for new levels. The content you got for the low purchase price of $1.99 for the iPhone and $2.99 for the iPad will grow exponentially with this update. Due to be submitted to Apple in about a week, the update should be in players hands shortly afterwards.