Desktop versions of gemHEX come with the level editor used in designing the game, for those of you out there who feel like having a go at a couple yourself.

It’s fairly straightforward as far as these things go, but it does have one or two quirks that might catch you off-guard, so I put together a quick n’ dirty guide to help you along a little.

To begin editing, select “Edit Mode” from the options menu, disregarding the warning because hey, there’s levels to be made. In edit mode scores won’t be saved, the timer won’t tick down and completing a set loops you back to the start of it. Crucially, there’s also now a “stop/play” button (situated above the “goal” diagram) that’ll let you switch between editing the stages and playtesting them on the fly. Pressing this button will also bring up the full suite of editing tools, as seen below…


The Main Interface

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The main trick to remember when editing levels is that you need to “set” a pattern before it’s stored, otherwise moving to the next/previous level or restarting will reset it to the original version. Remember that saving the level only saves the “set” versions of each stage. It’s a little fiddly, but the system allows you to design, test and edit levels rapidly once you get the hang of it.

Clicking save will dump a file to the game’s working directory containing that set of 40 stages, and will give you a popup message listing the filename and directory in question. Level packs are generally in the form “levelsx.mine”.


Playing other level packs

To add a level pack to your game, simply throw it in your game’s working directory (or the program directory) with the name amended to one more than the last pack you have. For example, the beta version ends with levels2.mine, so rename the new file to levels3.mine and you’ll be able to play all three sets. You can of course just overwrite the originals if you prefer.

Currently the game supports up to 8 packs loaded at a time, although that can be easily expanded when the need arises. If there’s enough demand, I may also implement an in-game browser  that can download and install user-submitted packs on the fly.

Anyway, that should be enough to get started. if you have any further questions or issues, or want to submit a level pack to be featured on the site, drop me a line at or look me up at twitter and let me know.