LDtk The Level Designer Toolkit

LDtk, or Level Designer Toolkit, is an open source MIT licensed Haxe based 2D level editor from the creator of Dead Cells. If it looks familiar that is because we recently covered it when it was known as LEd. In just a few short months though, LDtk has come a long way, including community ports to Linux and MacOS. With the 0.5 release (the re-brand version number), tons of new features were added to LDtk including:

  • Tiles flipping: in Tile Layers, you can mirror tiles before painting them by pressing X or Y (or Z). This also works from group of tiles.
  • Tiles stacking: you can now optionaly stack multiple tiles in a single cell of a Tile layer, reducing the need for multiple layers. For example, you could paint a brick wall, then enable stack mode (T), and add details like cracks or vines over the same wall. Be careful though: erasing of stacked elements can be tricky, so you should use a mix of multiple layers and stacking to get the best results.
  • New editing options barGrid lockingSingle layer mode and Empty space selection moved to a new more streamlined button bar.
  • File association: project files now use the extension *.ldtk instead of *.json. Therefore, on Windows, double-clicking such files will open the app accordingly. If you prefer the .json extension, you can force it in each project settings (but will lose benefit of the file association).
  • Auto-layer rule preview: when you move your mouse over a rule, you will now see which cells in the current layer are affected, making their testing MUCH easier.
  • Tiled (TMX) export: this optional export now generates proper standard tile layers. However, to support LDtk stacked tiles feature (see above), multiple Tiled layers might be generated per single LDtk layer. Also, IntGrid layers are now properly exported to Tiled (as standard tile layers, with an auto-generated tileset image).
  • New color picker: it supports copy/paste, manual hex value editing and a much better UI (thanks to simple-color-picker).
  • Flood-fill fixes: if you hold SHIFT while clicking in a Tile layer, it will flood-fill the area using currently selected tiles (randomly, or by stamping group of tiles, depending on the current mode).
  • Flood-fill erasing: just use SHIFT+Right click to erase a whole contiguous area.
  • The layer Rule editor now overlaps left panel and allows level editing while being open (makes rule testing much easier). Press Escape to close it.
  • In Tile layers, you can press L to load a saved tileset selection (using S key)
  • Renamed the Level panel to World (for the 0.6.x future update).
  • It’s now possible to change the tileset or even the source layer of an Auto-Layer without loosing your rules.
  • Auto-layer baking: turn a complex Auto-Layer into a standard Tile layer (think of it as the flatten feature in Photoshop). Be careful, it’s a one-way operation.
  • Unified “Show/hide grid” and “Grid locking” options. You can now just press G to toggle grid (which also implies “grid locking” in supported layer types).
  • All options (such as “Grid on/off”, or “Compact panel mode”) are now saved to a JSON file in your app folder, in userSettings/.
  • Help window is now a side panel.
  • Opaque tiles are detected in tilesets for use in various optimizations (mostly related to the new tile stacking feature).
  • Fixed a crash when deleting IntGrid layer while an AutoLayer uses it as source.
  • Added some colors to UI buttons
  • New exit button icon.

You can learn more about LDtk releases here, including an even newer 0.5.1 beta release. As mentioned earlier the project is open source with the code released under the MIT license and available on GitHub. You can learn more about LDtk here with downloads available on Itch.io. You can learn more about LDtk and see it in action in the video below.

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