Sketchy Maze


Sketchy Maze is a drawing-based maze game.

The game is themed around hand-drawn, side-scrolling platformer type mazes. You can draw your own levels using freehand and basic drawing tools, color in some fire or water, and drag in pre-made "Doodads" like buttons, keys and doors to add some interaction to your level.

This is a very early pre-release version of the game. Expect bugs and slowness but get a general gist of what the game is about.

This alpha release of the game comes with some example levels built-in for playing or editing and a handful of built-in Doodads.

See the Guidebook included with this game for good user-facing documentation or online at


(Eventually), the high-level, user-facing features for the game are:

  • Draw your own levels freehand and then play them like a 2D platformer game.
  • In Adventure Mode you can play through a series of official example levels that ship with the game.
  • In Edit Mode you can draw a map freehand-style and lay down physical geometry, and mark which lines are solid or which ones behave like fire.
  • Drag and drop Doodads like buttons, doors and keys into your level and link them together so that buttons open doors and levers activate devices.
  • In Play Mode you can play your level as a 2D platformer game where you collect keys, watch out for enemies, and solve puzzles to get to the exit.
  • Easily Share your custom maps with friends.


(Eventually) all these features will support custom content in the game:

  • Users can create Custom Doodads to extend the game with a scripting language like JavaScript. The sprites and animations are edited in-game in Edit Mode, but the scripting is done in your text editor.
  • In Edit Mode you can drag custom doodads into your maps.
  • To Share your maps, you can choose to bundle the custom doodads inside your map file itself, so that other players can play the map without needing to install the doodads separately.
  • If you receive a map with custom doodads, you can install the doodads into your copy of the game and use them in your own maps.


Global Keybindings:

  Close the developer console if open, without running any commands.
  Exit the program otherwise.

  Open and close the developer console, and run commands while the
  console is open.

  Toggle the Debug Overlay.

  Toggle debug collision hitboxes.

In Play Mode:

Cursor Keys
  Move the player around.
"E" Key
  Edit the map you're currently playing if you came from Edit Mode.

In Edit Mode:

Cursor Keys
  Scroll the view of the map around.
"P" Key
  Playtest the current map you're working on.
"F" Key
  Switch to the Pencil (Freehand) Tool
"L" Key
  Switch to the Line Tool
"R" Key
  Switch to the Rectangle Tool

Built-In Doodads

A brief introduction to the built-in doodads available so far:

  • Characters
    • Blue Azulian: this is used as the player character for now. If dragged into a level, it doesn't do anything but is affected by gravity.
    • Red Azulian: an example mobile mob for now. It walks back and forth, changing directions only when it comes across an obstacle and can't proceed any further.
  • Doors and Keys
    • Colored Doors: these act like solid barriers until the player or another doodad collects the matching colored key.
    • Colored Keys: these are collectable items that allow the player or another doodad to open the door of matching color. Note that inventories are doodad-specific, so other mobs besides the player can steal a key before the player gets it! (For now)
    • Electric Door: this mechanical door stays closed and only opens when it receives a power signal from a linked button.
    • Trapdoor: this door allows one-way access, but once it's closed behind you, you can't pass through it from that side!
  • Buttons
    • Button: while pressed by a player or other doodad, the button emits a power signal to any doodad it is linked to. Link a button to an electric door, and the door will open while the button is pressed and close when the button is released.
    • Sticky Button: this button will stay pressed once activated and will not release unless it receives a power signal from another linked doodad. For example, one Button that links to a Sticky Button will release the sticky button if pressed.
  • Switches
    • Switch: when touched by the player or other doodad, the switch will toggle its state from "OFF" to "ON" or vice versa. Link it to an Electric Door to open/close the door. Link switches to each other as well as to a door, and all switches will stay in sync with their ON/OFF state when any switch is pressed.
  • Crumbly Floor
    • This rocky floor will break and fall away after being stepped on.
  • Two State Blocks
    • Blue and orange blocks that will toggle between solid and pass-thru whenever the corresponding ON/OFF block is hit.
  • Start and Exit Flags
    • The "Go" flag lets you pick a spawn point for the player character.
    • The "Exit" flag marks the level goal.

Developer Console

Press Enter at any time to open the developer console. The console provides commands and advanced functionality, and is also where cheat codes can be entered.

Commands supported:

  Exit to the game's title screen.

  Show the "New Level" screen to start editing a new map.

save [filename]
  Save the current map in Edit Mode. The filename is required
  if the map has not been saved yet.

edit [filename]
  Open a map or doodad in Edit Mode.

play [filename]
  Open a map in Play Mode.

echo <text>
  Flash a message to the console.

alert <text>
  Test an alert box modal with a custom message.

  Clear the console output history.

  Close the developer console.

boolProp <property> <true/false>
  Toggle certain boolean settings in the game. Most of these
  are debugging related. `boolProp list` shows the available

eval <expression>
$ <expression>
  Execute a line of JavaScript code in the console. Several
  of the game's core data types are available here; `d` is
  the master game struct; d.Scene is the pointer to the
  current scene. d.Scene.UI.Canvas may point to the level edit
  canvas in Editor Mode. Object.keys() can enumerate public
  functions and variables.

  Enters an interactive JavaScript shell, where the console
  stays open and pre-fills a $ prompt for subsequent commands.

The JavaScript console is a feature for advanced users and was used while developing the game. Cool things you can do with it may be documented elsewhere.

Cheat Codes

The following cheats can be entered into the developer console.

Play Mode:

  • import antigravity
    • This disables the effects of gravity for the player character. Arrow keys can freely move the player in any direction.
  • ghost mode
    • This disables collision detection for the player character so that you can pass through walls and solid doodads. Combine with antigravity or else you'll fall to the bottom of the map!
  • give all keys
    • Adds all four colored keys to the player's inventory.
  • drop all items
    • Clears the player's inventory of all items.


  • unleash the beast
    • Removes the 60 FPS frame rate lock, allowing the game to run as quickly as your hardware permits.
  • don't edit and drive
    • Allows editing the level while you're playing it: you can click and drag new pixels with the freehand pencil tool.
  • scroll scroll scroll your boat
    • Enables Editor Mode scrolling (with the arrow keys) while playing a level. The player character must always remain on screen though so you can't scroll too far away.

Unsupported shell commands (here be dragons):

  • reload: reloads the current 'scene' within the game engine, using the existing scene's data. If playing a level this will start the level over. If editing a level this will reload the editor, but your recent unsaved changes should be left intact.
  • guitest: loads the GUI Test scene within the game. This was where I was testing UI widgets early on; not well maintained; the close command can get you out of it.

Environment Variables

To enable certain debug features or customize some aspects of the game, run it with environment variables like the following:

# Draw a semi-transparent yellow background over all level chunks

# Set a window size for the application
# (equivalent to: doodle --window 1024x768)
$ DOODLE_W=1024 DOODLE_H=768 ./doodle

# Turn on lots of fun debug features.

Supported variables include:

  • DOODLE_W and DOODLE_H set the width and height of the application window. Equivalent to the --window command-line option.
  • D_SCROLL_SPEED (int): tune the canvas scrolling speed. Default might be around 8 or so.
  • D_DOODAD_SIZE (int): default size for newly created doodads
  • D_SHELL_BG (color): set the background color of the developer console
  • D_SHELL_FG (color): text color for the developer console
  • D_SHELL_PC (color): color for the shell prompt text
  • D_SHELL_LN (int): set the number of lines of output history the console will show. This dictates how 'tall' it rises from the bottom of the screen. Large values will cover the entire screen with console whenever the shell is open.
  • D_SHELL_FS (int): set the font size for the developer shell. Default is about 16. This also affects the size of "flashed" text that appears at the bottom of the screen.
  • DEBUG_CHUNK_COLOR (color): set a background color over each chunk of drawing (level or doodad). A solid color will completely block out the wallpaper; semitransparent is best.
  • DEBUG_CANVAS_BORDER (color): the game will draw an insert colored border around every "Canvas" widget (drawing) on the screen. The level itself is a Canvas and every individual Doodad or actor in the level is its own Canvas.
  • DEBUG_CANVAS_LABEL (bool): draws a text label over every Canvas widget on the screen, showing its name or Actor ID and some properties, such as Level Position (LP) and World Position (WP) of actors within a level. LP is their placement in the level file and WP is their actual position now (in case it moves).


Copyright (C) 2021 Noah Petherbridge. All rights reserved.