Make sure your build is at or higher than the latest build posted below. If it's lower, verify the game contents to force an update. It's also important to remember that the sandbox depot is not updated regularly. This depot is only used for confined testing. If you were working with me on one of these confined tests, please remember to opt out of the sandbox depot so you're always receiving the most up-to-date build of the game.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Build: 1033118

Play Game
A pretty significant update was just released which adds in the ability to play levels from the main menu. This change adds two new options under the "Play Game" menu, the primary focus of which was the "Player Crafted" option in this update.

The "Player Crafted" panel opens up with two main categories. Packages and Individuals. The menus are virtually identical, however with the obvious distinction that one displays packages and the other displays individual levels.

Playing Packages
This update focuses a lot on the overall polish and menu systems getting to and from the main menu and into the game without having to use the editor. The reason this is so important is because I expect this to be the main point of entry for the majority of people since I don't anticipate the majority of people will be making levels themselves and will likely not spend much if any time in the editor.

However up until now, levels have only ever been playable on a one-off basis. Make, download, and play an individual level. The previous update introduced a new packaging system which allows for you to take multiple levels you've made and put them into a single package which you can play without having to manually load in and play each level.

Build 1033188 now gives the game the ability to play these packages, as well as giving some good insight on how the campaign of the game is expected to play out.

From the Package category in the Player Crafted panel, you'll be brought to a list of all the packages currently available on your computer, with the option to filter the list between Personal packages and Workshop packages. At any time, you can visit the Steam Workshop via the icon in the upper right corner and the packages will be available after the download finishes and you refresh the list.

Game UI Changes
The new UI system has been adapted pretty much everywhere in the game at this point, however as the game continues to be developed, it's constantly being tweaked, adjusted, and above all, polished. Any major changes shown in the next few screenshots that aren't specific to packages, are a result of these updates and won't be described in detail as they're still very much subject to change.

When you begin playing a package, you'll be shown the package name along with the current level within that package at the lower left corner.

At any time while playing a package, you'll be able to pause the game and click "Level Select" to instantly jump to any other level in the package. An icon represents the level you're currently on and a preview of whatever level is selected shows up to the right.

When completing a level in a package, unlike completing an individual level, you'll be shown the Package Progress panel which will display all the levels in the package along with a checkmark representing whether or not you've completed them.

From this panel, you can press Enter to instantly jump to the next level in the package, represented in the preview to the right, or you can manually click any level in the list to play that level instead.

It's important to remember however that if you get to the last level of the package before completing all the levels in the package, you will not complete the package. Pressing Enter will take you back to the main menu and all progress will be lost. You'll need to manually select the levels you didn't complete in order to actually get credit for completing the package.

After completing all the levels in the package, regardless of the order they were completed, you'll receive this message letting you know the package was completed.

As of right now, there's no stat recording what packages you've completed, however this is definitely something I've got planned in some way, shape or form.

This is a major milestone for the game as it becomes less driven on the editor and more centralized around how it will play as a game from a player-exclusive point of view, rather than a creator. This progress is also a major stepping stone for setting the foundation of how the campaign mode will work, allowing for official levels to finally be created for the game.

To anyone not subscribed to my Youtube channel or following the official Facebook page for Diamond, a video was just recently uploaded that shows off the current process of creating a level from scratch. The entire video was recorded and uncut, albeit sped up, including unfortunate accidents and glitches that still need to be ironed out. However it works as a great way to visually demonstrate the progress being made on the game.

You can watch the video here: Diamond - Level Design