Torchlight II spills its GUTS with free game editor tools
Runic Games has made their in-house development tool for Torchlight II, codenamed GUTS, available for the public to download and use, free of charge. The studio announced the GUTS launch via their website yesterday, along with news of new tilesets, monsters, and other game content that will launch with the latest update.
The news may at first seem like an April Fool's Day prank – the headcrab from Valve's Half-Life series is the newest pet for players to obtain, GUTS doesn't actually stand for anything, and the post was made live on April 1 – but this is a legitimate update to the colorful action RPG from Runic, and the team has even offered some pre-cooked Q&A to help players understand what they'll be getting in the update.
Greg Brown, tools engineer for Torchlight II, said, “GUTS is the new version of our content editor we used to create all the content for Torchlight II. We use it to make most things in the game - Levels, skills, classes, monsters, items, spawn classes, balance curves, UI, etc. Pretty much the only things we don't use it for are model, animation, 2D art/texture, and music/sound creation.”
Brown did express some concerns, however. GUTS is not meant to be extended beyond Torchlight II, and he makes that clear. “I do worry at times that some people will be let down when they realize GUTSisn't a 'Runic Games General Game Development Kit,'” Brown wrote. “GUTS is very much a Torchlight IIcontent development tool. You can do lots of neat things as long as you want to make them for Torchlight II or a Torchlight II-like game.”
Not much for modding? Runic has created a wiki central hub for all things GUTS-related, including step-by-step tutorials with images for creating assets in-game and how Runic laid out its levels. If you ever wanted to get a peek behind the curtain to see how Torchlight II was made and functions, this is far more than just popping the hood on a car and taking a look – this is popping the hood and having the car manufacturer point out every component, as well as how they fit together and make the thing run.
You can download and start using GUTS in one of two ways: If you use Steam, click on Library, and then on Tools, and finally, double-click on “Torchlight II GUTS.” To run the editor in the future, follow the same steps. If you run Torchlight II sans-Steam, the process is even easier, because it's automatically patched into the game; simply locate the “Launch GUTS” link underneath the play button, and you're off.
“I hope people keep doing what they've already been doing,” Brown wrote. “I love seeing people work as a community to learn, teach, and create mods together. We're releasing our tools and we engineered our game this way because we enjoy giving people a fun platform for creativity and insight into the, uh, guts of the game. (Get it? Guts?!) I spent many hours in high school creating many terrible levels with the the Duke Nukem 3D Build engine and it makes me happy to be able to pass that experience on to others.”