In addition to the hundreds of official boardsets included in the base game and board packs, DX-Ball 2: 20th Anniversary Edition also includes all of the tools you need to make custom boardsets that you can play yourself and share with the community.
The board editor is the tool used for creating new boardsets to play. The editor is a separate program from the game that can be launched from inside Steam or by running "Launch Editor.bat" from your game folder.
The editor consists of two separate windows: one for tools and one for drawing the boards. The first step for creating a custom boardset is to select a brick and background set. You can do this by clicking the 'Select' buttons in the tool windows. For beginners it's recommended to use the graphics that come with the original game which can be found in the 'Boards/Board Pack 1' sub-folder inside the game folder. Brick and background files have an 'img' file extension and can be created/edited with the 'Image Assembler' tool also included with the game.
Once you have a brick file selected, all of the available bricks should appear as a palette in the bottom portion of the main window. To draw your board, simply left-click on the brick you want to draw with and then left-click on the board.
You can also assign different tools to the right mouse button or change the behaviour of the left-button by holding down the Alt, Ctrl or Shift keys.
To create more boards in your set, use the tool window to set the total boards to something greater than 1 and use the arrow keys to change the current board.
When you're done with your boardset, you can save it as a bdz file in the DX-Ball 2 subfolder inside your Windows Documents folder (see here for help with folders). When you next load the game, the new board set should appear in your Board Select screen with a small computer icon next to it to indicate that it is local custom content (make sure Community Content is enabled on the menu screen).
Image Assembler is a custom tool used by DX-Ball 2 to group multiple brick or background images into a single file. You can open Image Assembler either through the the Tools menu in the board editor, or you can run the executable directly from the Tools folder where your game is installed.
Image Assembler can load most standard image types including PNGs, JPGs and TGAs. The order of files within an ImageSet can be changed using the 'Up' and 'Down' buttons. The order of the images is important since DX-Ball 2 only references bricks and backgrounds by their position in the ImageSet. This means that if you re-order the images it will affect all boardsets that use that file. For this reason, when you save a boardset it saves a version number of the brick file and the game will produce an error message if you try to load boardset with an altered brick file.
By default, images added to an imageset are given the same name as their source file; however, you can also assign them a custom name using the box below the main list. This is important for brick files since the game uses these image names to differentiate special bricks from regular ones. The special brick types are:
|Hidden||Hidden bricks are invisible until their are hit or zapped.|
|Invin||Invincible bricks cannot be broken by regular balls.|
|AlmostInvin||Almost invincible bricks will turn into the next invincible in the list after being hit with the ball.|
|Explo||Label multiple bricks in a row with the 'Explo' tag to define the frames of an explosive brick. Add custom extensions after the keyword to differentiate different explosive sets e.g. ExploA, ExploA, ExploA, ExploB, ExploB, ExploB|
|Zapped||When you collect a Zap powerup in-game, all invincible and almost invincible bricks are converted to the next Zapped brick in the list.|
|Multi||Label multiple bricks in a row with the 'Multi' tag to define the stages of a multi-hit brick. Add custom extensions after the keyword to differentiate different brick sets e.g. MultiA, MultiA, MultiA, MultiB, MultiB, MultiB|
Images within an imageset can be any size and multiple images can be different sizes. For brick files, all images should be 48x24 pixels. If the game tries to load a brick file with a different size, it will automatically resize it to 48x24;
The workshop helper is a custom tool that can be used to upload a mod to the Steam Workshop so it can be shared with the community. To use this tool you must be logged into Steam. You can open the Workshop Helper from the Tools menu in the board editor or by using the 'Launch Workshop.bat' file in the game's folder.
To upload a mod, click 'Select' and choose the subfolder inside your Documents where your content is located (see Mod Folders. for more info). Select a name, description and preview file for the mod and then hit 'Upload' to transfer the mod to Steam. If successful, the tool will create a 'steamid.txt' file in the folder that will identify the new mod and allow you to make changes.
Successfully loaded mods can also be edited from within Steam. Mods are private by default and you must set them to be visible to the public before other players can download them.
Texturizer is a procedural image creation tool that was used to create most of the bricks and backgrounds for the original game.
Texturizer was written by Seumas McNally prior to his work on DX-Ball 2; however, the tool was never publicly released and is still officially a beta version. You can download Texurizer as a zip along with the project files for the DX-Ball 2 bricks and backgrounds from our public download page.
All custom content should go inside the 'Longbow Digital Arts/DX-Ball 2 - 20th Anniversary Edition' subfolder inside your Windows 'Documents' folder. This folder will be automatically created the first time you run the game.
It is recommended that you create your own subfolders inside the DX-Ball 2 folder to organize your mods. DX-Ball 2 will use the folder as the Board Pack name on the Board Select screen. For example, if you put your file 'MyBoards.bdz' in the folder 'YourUserNameHere/Documents/Longbow Digital Arts/DX-Ball 2 - 20th Anniversary Edition/My Board Pack', the new set will appear in game in the 'My Board Pack'. It will also have a small computer icon to indicate it's local custom content.