Back in 2007 Nicklas Nygren released Knytt Stories, a solid platformer with a simple level editor. In 2012, Tim McDowell has released Knytt Stories + (KS+), an updated version of the original. Over the last 5 years many many user made levels have been released, and though terrific games have been and are still being made, there were many features level designers wished for. KS+ gives designers the power to make the games they want while maintaining the fun and simplicity of the original.
Custom Graphics: While the original KS allowed use of original tiles, backdrops, and simple animated images; there were many graphics that were unchangeable. In KS+ nearly every graphic can be replaced with your own images. Firstly, the playable character can be replaced with a sprite sheet of your own making, and this graphic can be switched during game play. Secondly, by pairing sprite sheets with standard game objects, like enemies or non-playable characters, you can give behaviors to your graphics. Thirdly, special objects like power-ups can be replaced including their icons in the inventory.
Maps: What Metroid-vania style game would be complete without a map? Apparently KS was, but now it is more complete with a map system in KS+.
Custom Sounds: As in the original, music and ambiance can be customized, but now you can have custom sound effects. Before you could choose between 4 sound effects when a special object know as a “Shift” was triggered. Now you can add any sound you want, but please observe copyright laws.
Collectables: This is a new feature which expands upon the original game mechanics. In the original game the player can only avoid enemies and other dangers, so the game play is about navigating the level safely. This coupled with the power-up mechanism lends itself to explorative Metroid-vania style gaming. The addition of collectibles strengthens this nature, ensuring not only that KS+ will appeal to the same audience but also that new twists on level designs can be created for years to come. There are 3 kinds of collectibles and each has it’s own method of expanding design options. Golden creatures are golden versions of normal creatures. Golden doors will block the player’s path until the player has collected a certain number of golden creatures. Coins are coins. They can be used for commerce. Artifacts come in 7 varieties, and can alter the appearance of a location based on how many of a kind have been found.
Improved Menus: The menus looked great in the original, and that hasn’t changed here. Unfortunately, as one’s library of levels grows it becomes increasingly cumbersome to find a level in it. This has been remedied with buttons that filter levels according to recent activity, and a search function. You can also open a level directly from the installation dialogue.
Much Much More: Want pixel perfect scaling? You’ve got it. Want custom keyboard controls? It’s in there. There are way more new features in KS+ than you could possibly be interested in reading about. It’s better just to download it and find out for yourself.
What’s in the Download
This download includes the game executable and image files necessary for level editing. There are template images and instructions for making sprite sheets and using the new features. You will also find 2 knytt.bin files which are levels you can install that demonstrate the new features available in game. Most importantly there is a readme.txt. Please read this file.