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mindphaser74
04-08-2009, 06:39 PM
BELOW THE ROOT - Chapter 2 : Along the Roots
(chapter 1 was Spotlighted!)
PSN = mindphaser74

Chapter 2 is up and ready for all to play. Here are some pics!

http://s601.photobucket.com/albums/tt99/mindphaser74/LBP%20BTR%202/?albumview=slideshow (still have an ancient camera though so pics could be better)

Here are pics of Chapter 1 for those who missed it:

http://s601.photobucket.com/albums/tt99/mindphaser74/LBP%20BTR%201/?albumview=slideshow

You are continuing the quest to save Green-Sky (treetop village home) from the destruction of the forest and your treetop civilization. You've now left Green-Sky after not finding any answers to the problem there. The village's mayor has told you to travel to Temple Grund to seek the wisdom of the monks to determine the next course of action, but the path to Temple Grund is a long and diffucult one. The dark forest floor is riddled with various dangers and secrets. Can you survive long enough to see Chapter 3?

I will list the features:

1. More platformer than RPG (unlike Ch 1)
2. All new enemies and a big boss, the Maggot Queen! (and her babies)
3. Reward system that has 35 secrets that unlock a point bubble extravaganza near the level's end.
4. Much more linear gameplay than Chapter 1 but with lots of secret hiding places.
5. Point bubbles generously distributed throughout level
6. Gnome Village (has some RPG elements here)
7. Fly the Peacock/Woodpecker though the treetops
8. Sonic the Hedgehog - like plungers
9. Small pinball type mini-game
10. Lots of swings and vines
11. Discover the "Wand of Befal"
12. Fun gameplay and playtested extensively
13. Gorgeous visuals, great sound and mixed music
14. Another LONG level that used up every last space of therm

So I hope you all like it. I had to build this level from scratch twice (my little kid deleted the first attempt just minutes before I was to publish it). That's why it took over 3 weeks for chapter 2. I will get to work now on the prologue for this series before moving on to chapter 3.

Have fun with chapter 2 :)

CCubbage
04-09-2009, 01:30 PM
LOVED the first one - I'm putting this on my playlist for tonight!

Morgana25
04-09-2009, 06:27 PM
Looks beautiful - It's on my list too! Congrats on getting it rebuilt so fast!

mindphaser74
04-09-2009, 07:31 PM
thanks guys, I hope it works smoothly for you. Some guy on another LBP forum I frequent (don't worry, not near as good a site as this one) said that he and another guy tried playing it 2 player, but that it was too sluggish to play and that they quit after 1/2 a minute? As far as I know, this 1st minute lagg is common with multiplayers on a level and you just need to wait it out. Is this the case? Does anyone know?

CCubbage
04-09-2009, 07:36 PM
I don't review levels multiplayer unless it's a multi-player-only level. It's really unfair to judge a level based on the possibility that the issue has nothing to do with the creator. I've definately had serious lag sometimes in multiplayer.

Morgana25
04-09-2009, 07:37 PM
I know when I'm in multiplayer there is always a few seconds of lag when we all drop in a level. It usually smooths out after a few seconds but it all depends on the players connections. Most of my online friends have decent connection speed but when I'm playing with a friend from New Zealand the lag is awful.

Do you have a lot of lighting or moving parts at the start of the level? That can really crank up the lag on a level. If so it might help minimize the frustration from players if you tone down the very beginning - but I wouldn't change it if it's not being reported from a ton of players on your level.

mindphaser74
04-09-2009, 08:49 PM
I don't review levels multiplayer unless it's a multi-player-only level. It's really unfair to judge a level based on the possibility that the issue has nothing to do with the creator. I've definately had serious lag sometimes in multiplayer.

Thanks, I've had some bad lagg too, usually when hooking up with players from the other side of the globe.


I know when I'm in multiplayer there is always a few seconds of lag when we all drop in a level. It usually smooths out after a few seconds but it all depends on the players connections. Most of my online friends have decent connection speed but when I'm playing with a friend from New Zealand the lag is awful.

Do you have a lot of lighting or moving parts at the start of the level? That can really crank up the lag on a level. If so it might help minimize the frustration from players if you tone down the very beginning - but I wouldn't change it if it's not being reported from a ton of players on your level.

I have some lights and a couple of moving enemies (caterpillar has 5 sets of legs). Other than that though, I don't think there's too much happening at the level start. 1 player plays smooth as butter and I haven't tried 2 player on this level yet. The guy I mentioned earlier who mentioned the lagg probably was just having connectivity issues with his server and the other guy's server.

smasher
04-10-2009, 01:33 AM
I've played the first level, and I loved it. I thought I'd give this a go. Here's the deal. I've made two efforts to play this, but both times it broke on me making it impossible to finish.
the first time it was at the part where you get shot up, and it curves around like a pinball
machine, and you have to grab all the shells to make the floor disappear. Well I grabbed all the shells and nothing happened. I fooled around a little bit and couldn't do anything so I restarted. I'm guessing maybe somehow one got destroyed before I could grab it?
On my second run I passed the part I just mentioned no prob. When I got to the part just after the village, I made it up to talk to the little knome dude. I went back down, and I was working my way back up the vines. I bumped the smallest one to the right somehow it must have got caught on something and broke. I don't know, but I didn't have the patience to try again. I'll for sure try again tomorrow. So far what I've seen It's a good continuation of the first. It doesn't seem to be quite as rpg oriented as the first, but then again I haven't finished it yet. So far good though.

mindphaser74
04-10-2009, 02:07 AM
I've played the first level, and I loved it. I thought I'd give this a go. Here's the deal. I've made two efforts to play this, but both times it broke on me making it impossible to finish.
the first time it was at the part where you get shot up, and it curves around like a pinball
machine, and you have to grab all the shells to make the floor disappear. Well I grabbed all the shells and nothing happened. I fooled around a little bit and couldn't do anything so I restarted. I'm guessing maybe somehow one got destroyed before I could grab it?
On my second run I passed the part I just mentioned no prob. When I got to the part just after the village, I made it up to talk to the little knome dude. I went back down, and I was working my way back up the vines. I bumped the smallest one to the right somehow it must have got caught on something and broke. I don't know, but I didn't have the patience to try again. I'll for sure try again tomorrow. So far what I've seen It's a good continuation of the first. It doesn't seem to be quite as rpg oriented as the first, but then again I haven't finished it yet. So far good though.

Thanks for the heads up on these issues. I've run through the pinball area about a dozen times and never had a shell break, at the moment I'm not sure if I should try to do anything about that or if I do, what could be done. Have to think about that one. Maybe stiff rods instead of the string? I'll play through the level another 1/2 dozen times and see if it happens and how it happens.

Thinking back about the vine setup above the village, I think I can see now how that can happen and should be an easy fix. I think you probably hit a dissolve tree-branch that comes to a point at the bottom. If I curve that point and the edge to the right, that should do the trick.

Aside from my son deleting the original Chapter 2 just minutes before I was going to publish it, I had all kinds of other problems with making this level. It was a sophisticated build and took forever to get any kind of polish. I'm glad to see that there are still only a couple of hiccups to fix. Thanks again smasher.:)

PS the series Prologue should be ready to play in 5-10 days. Will probably be very light on RPG and platforming but heavy on visuals and atmosphere.

Morgana25
04-10-2009, 06:38 AM
Just finished it and it's amazing! It's got a lot in common stylistically with the first one which is cool because it's part of the series, but it's different enough in a lot of ways not to feel like you're playing the first one again.

Brilliant idea with the shells - keeps you looking for new nooks and crannies to explore!

Hard platforming on the branches that drop and some of the swings are a challenge but nothing that left me feeling like it wasn't my fault for missing something.

Maggot Queen is spectacular and icky all at the same time. lol I wasn't quite sure how to proceed after riding the lift up to the branch above her but figured I'd throw the eggs/rocks? down and since they made the right sound I knew I was on the right track. Bird is beautifully designed but the ride to the left is LONG. It didn't totally bother me but it broke the flow and a lot of players might find it boring. I don't know how tight your set up is up there but could you have multiple birds you needed to switch between, or something simpler to break up the straight line. I know you've got the bubbles and the trees breaking it up visually but there's not much to actually do to break up the line.

Brilliant idea with the wand and i love that it's purple (nothing else in the level is so it really stands out.) My only problem with the wand is that the purple end must point to the right to get the roots cut. It's a minor thing but I needed to flip it a few times to get it to work. I get why you'd set it up that way but it could be a little frustrating to some players.

Also loved how the Maggot Queen was "dealt with." Really creative.

5 stars and hearted of course - it's brilliant - doubly so because of the rebuild. Nice work and well done! Thanks for sharing it. :)

mindphaser74
04-10-2009, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the advice Morgana, I will use it where I can.


Just finished it and it's amazing! It's got a lot in common stylistically with the first one which is cool because it's part of the series, but it's different enough in a lot of ways not to feel like you're playing the first one again.

Brilliant idea with the shells - keeps you looking for new nooks and crannies to explore!

Hard platforming on the branches that drop and some of the swings are a challenge but nothing that left me feeling like it wasn't my fault for missing something.

Maggot Queen is spectacular and icky all at the same time. lol I wasn't quite sure how to proceed after riding the lift up to the branch above her but figured I'd throw the eggs/rocks? down and since they made the right sound I knew I was on the right track. Bird is beautifully designed but the ride to the left is LONG. It didn't totally bother me but it broke the flow and a lot of players might find it boring. I don't know how tight your set up is up there but could you have multiple birds you needed to switch between, or something simpler to break up the straight line. I know you've got the bubbles and the trees breaking it up visually but there's not much to actually do to break up the line.

I agree that the ride is a bit long, I probably should have used 1 less tree to give me more therm space to do stuff with that ride. As it is, there might be enough therm space to add something extra up there, I will try. But to add multiple birds would require much more therm space than I have left. So I'll have to think about this. I originally intended for the player to be able to get off the bird at each tree and do some platforming, but again the therm space got in the way so I had to have the bird used primarily to get you from one side of the level to the other.

Just had a good idea though... I could SPEED up the bird's flight by adjusting the incline it travels along. That would shorten the trip! Or I could make the wheel use a motor bolt.


Brilliant idea with the wand and i love that it's purple (nothing else in the level is so it really stands out.) My only problem with the wand is that the purple end must point to the right to get the roots cut. It's a minor thing but I needed to flip it a few times to get it to work. I get why you'd set it up that way but it could be a little frustrating to some players.

Yeah if I increased the radius so that you could cut the branches with the handle, that wouldn't make much sense. I chose logic over functionality for this one.


Also loved how the Maggot Queen was "dealt with." Really creative.

Thanks, she was the first REAL big boss I've made and I thought she creeped me out. My heart always revs up a little whenever I approached the Queen


5 stars and hearted of course - it's brilliant - doubly so because of the rebuild. Nice work and well done! Thanks for sharing it. :)

I will look to polish a little more. Another thing that I should do is slow down the elevator in the bird-tree, so that you don't have to use it multiple times to get all the score bubbles you've unlocked. I might not have the chance to do these today but by tomorrow at the latest for sure.

And my next level release might not be for another 20 days or so because I decided last night that I will release 2 levels at once. Because one of the levels I am currently making is just a title/prologue level to introduce the series, I plan on making a BONUS level to go along with it, probably something similar to the Grand Hall in chapter 1. This will not have story to it and will require a key (which I will place in chapter 2) to play. The Prologue won`t require a key but probably won`t have any story either. Then chapter 3 will be subtitled Temple Grund and will make use of the Spirit Bell from the original 1984 game.

Thanks again everyone, please let me know if there are any other problems with this level you find or hear about. I myself will be level-PLAYING soon, as soon as I have the final polish applied to Chapter 2.:)

smasher
04-10-2009, 06:58 PM
well... I've tried the level again today, and I got stuck twice at the pinball part. I know I grabbed all of the shells both times, it even made the little sound effect so I know none were destroyed. Believe me I know how this game can be. I've sat there yanking my hair out many times because something will work fine 10 even 20 times, and then all of a sudden it will mess up for some reason or another. If your interested I have a solution for you. All you have to do is place a magnetic key switch on the wall. Crank the radius up there, and set it to inverted. Now hookvel it to the floor. Now place a key on each of the shells, and voila it should work. I think this is a fool proof way of doing this because
if you grab a shell the key will disappear with it, or if a shell somehow gets destroyed the key will also disappear. Either way once all the keys are gone the switch triggers, and the floor will disappear. let me know if you get this fixed, because I really want to play this level.
key will disappear.

Morgana25
04-10-2009, 07:00 PM
I didn't have any problems with that section? Strange.

Wanted to say I think speeding up the bird might be a good solution if you're stuck with a maxed thermo.

And yea - maggot queen....eeeeewwwwww!!!! lol

mindphaser74
04-10-2009, 07:18 PM
well... I've tried the level again today, and I got stuck twice at the pinball part. I know I grabbed all of the shells both times, it even made the little sound effect so I know none were destroyed. Believe me I know how this game can be. I've sat there yanking my hair out many times because something will work fine 10 even 20 times, and then all of a sudden it will mess up for some reason or another. If your interested I have a solution for you. All you have to do is place a magnetic key switch on the wall. Crank the radius up there, and set it to inverted. Now hookvel it to the floor. Now place a key on each of the shells, and voila it should work. I think this is a fool proof way of doing this because
if you grab a shell the key will disappear with it, or if a shell somehow gets destroyed the key will also disappear. Either way once all the keys are gone the switch triggers, and the floor will disappear. let me know if you get this fixed, because I really want to play this level.
key will disappear.

I like that solution smasher, I see no reason why it won't work. I think I have some free time now to make these fixes, I'll report back here to this thread when they are ready. PS your solution will allow me to remove the multi-switch sitting on the tree out of site and will free up precious millimeters on my therm, thanks.

smasher
04-11-2009, 01:43 AM
I like that solution smasher, I see no reason why it won't work. I think I have some free time now to make these fixes, I'll report back here to this thread when they are ready. PS your solution will allow me to remove the multi-switch sitting on the tree out of site and will free up precious millimeters on my therm, thanks.

any time. I look forward to finishing it.

mindphaser74
04-11-2009, 02:14 AM
any time. I look forward to finishing it.

I was 5-10 minutes from publishing again when my wife decided her show was on TV :grr: But I fixed everything, your solution worked perfect. The bird flight is MUCH better now (thanks to Morgana for bringing that to my attention); quicker and some touches of atmosphere added (almost doubled the level's pistons and emitters by touching this section up somehow). There is now a gnome by the bird's nest who explains what to do there. I added more directional arrows that dissolve out or emit into the level. I adjusted the branch setup above the gnome village so that the branches can never tangle. I slowed the big tree-elevator down to allow more time to grab all the points on the first run.
I didn't increase the radius on the Wand though because I want players to have to "point" it at the obstacles for its effect to work.

I may add flowers around the tree bases and roots IF it looks good. So if I can get on the game again tonight I should be able to publish by 9-10 Pacific Time. If not then early tomorrow morning. :)

mindphaser74
04-11-2009, 05:34 PM
OK the edits are all done and the level is even better. All the added stuff hardley touched the therm meter :)

dobi6
04-11-2009, 06:20 PM
I thought you had so many cool things about your level... - Stylistically, I loved the lighting, misty feeling and everything... And I was enjoying it a ton... Until I got to the village... I really found that part a big slow down compared to the rest of the level.

After a time, I didn't bother going on... As it was a bit too much of a challenge for me to want to try to find all the gnomes... Guess I am not that good about RPG games.

mindphaser74
04-11-2009, 09:49 PM
thanks for giving it a try dobi :)

smasher
04-11-2009, 09:53 PM
Ok. I finally got to finish it. Generally, I really liked it. It is a good continuation of the first level. From the looks of it that's what you were going for. I love rpg's so I kind of liked the first level better, but on the other hand I love platformers too. This level is a little of both.
I gave it 5 stars and a heart. I really liked what you did with the little camp fires. I really liked what you did with the whole atmosphere, and the boss was pretty cool. I only have one gripe. I would like to have seen it be a little more rpg oriented, but all around I still thought it was a great job.

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 12:15 AM
Ok. I finally got to finish it. Generally, I really liked it. It is a good continuation of the first level. From the looks of it that's what you were going for. I love rpg's so I kind of liked the first level better, but on the other hand I love platformers too. This level is a little of both.
I gave it 5 stars and a heart. I really liked what you did with the little camp fires. I really liked what you did with the whole atmosphere, and the boss was pretty cool. I only have one gripe. I would like to have seen it be a little more rpg oriented, but all around I still thought it was a great job.

Thanks smasher, and for all the help I will (and was going to do this anyways) try to add more RPG stuff in future BTR levels, after all, it IS a tribute to a game that was an RPG at its core. But BTR circa 1984 did have a few longer streches that were more platformer type of areas.

I trust that there were no more "glitches" on this latest run-though you did?

smasher
04-12-2009, 03:43 AM
Thanks smasher, and for all the help I will (and was going to do this anyways) try to add more RPG stuff in future BTR levels, after all, it IS a tribute to a game that was an RPG at its core. But BTR circa 1984 did have a few longer streches that were more platformer type of areas.

I trust that there were no more "glitches" on this latest run-though you did?

no real glitches, but i forgot to mention that the elevator took an eternity to start moving. I was jumping and grabbing all over the place for literally a minute,and I was just about to restart when it started.
You might want to check into it. other than that it went very smoothly.

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 04:01 AM
eee that isn't good. I did adjust the timing but forgot to run it before locking it into a stopped position. I'll have to fix this Sunday though. Thanks you're an awesome proofer :)

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 04:57 PM
ok the elevator is fixed and I think the level is polished enough now that I can move on. I did add the flowers to the tree bases and thought they looked good enough to leave there. I hope others try this level because after a week now only 2 people have finished it :( It is at 4 stars though after 24 plays, that's something to smile about :)

However, I simply cannot understand why other really terrible levels have thousands and thousands of plays and hearts. Is there some secret giant club of LBP people out there that only play each others levels or something? Or is this just a sign of the way society is? I am already a regular on a couple of LBP sites (thinking this would help) and have been for quite some time. How many bloody forums do I need to be a regular with?:mad:

But for those who've helped with this level and Chapter 1, a huge THANK-YOU. This IS the best site for LBP IMO. :cool:

CarlsenJeppe
04-12-2009, 09:04 PM
I just played the first chapter.. It was okay, but maybe a bit too slow. When I got to the fetch quest, where I had to gather three items, I quit. The level was too long to keep my attention.

It was well build, and I did not notice any glitches. A few minor notes:

- You used some very small geometry parts, and sack boys do not like to climb on such much. The typical example is your small stair steps. The auto plane selection also got in the way a few times.

- Some of the items I had to fetch were a bit difficult to drag along. I especially remember the elixir to get stuck in the geometry.

I may play chapter two, some other day.

If you feel like it, play and give feedback on my level "Save Die Reload!", psn "CarlsenJeppe". Thread: http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9714

DanC
04-12-2009, 09:14 PM
Hey mindphaser74,

I'm going to try out this level & record both chapters for you. ;)

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 10:44 PM
Hey mindphaser74,

I'm going to try out this level & record both chapters for you. ;)

Hey thanks trickster! From what I hear you are good with a camera :)

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 10:52 PM
I just played the first chapter.. It was okay, but maybe a bit too slow. When I got to the fetch quest, where I had to gather three items, I quit. The level was too long to keep my attention.


Thanks for pointing out all the flaws Carlsen. As for it being too long IMO what difference does it make if I use the full therm space on one level rather than partial therm space on 3 levels? Isn't there a limit to how many levels we can publish? Yeah I'll check out your level.

CarlsenJeppe
04-12-2009, 11:03 PM
The problem with long levels is that you cannot save mid-level.. So if you have to quit early, or you end up dying, you have to restart the entire level, which you propably wont do unless the level was really great. But it is just my opinion..

mindphaser74
04-12-2009, 11:44 PM
The problem with long levels is that you cannot save mid-level.. So if you have to quit early, or you end up dying, you have to restart the entire level, which you propably wont do unless the level was really great. But it is just my opinion..

That is true Carlsen, I didn't consider that. Maybe I should warn people in the level titles about the length? I'll give it some thought.

smasher
04-13-2009, 09:46 PM
ok the elevator is fixed and I think the level is polished enough now that I can move on. I did add the flowers to the tree bases and thought they looked good enough to leave there. I hope others try this level because after a week now only 2 people have finished it :( It is at 4 stars though after 24 plays, that's something to smile about :)

However, I simply cannot understand why other really terrible levels have thousands and thousands of plays and hearts. Is there some secret giant club of LBP people out there that only play each others levels or something? Or is this just a sign of the way society is? I am already a regular on a couple of LBP sites (thinking this would help) and have been for quite some time. How many bloody forums do I need to be a regular with?:mad:

But for those who've helped with this level and Chapter 1, a huge THANK-YOU. This IS the best site for LBP IMO. :cool:


your level is unique. In the fact that it's rpg oriented, especially the first one.
You'll probably never get tons of plays on theses levels, because rpg's just aren't embraced by the mainstream. but... these levels are still great. Don't sell yourself short. Just remember that there's still people out there that will love this kind of level. If you enjoy building them just keep right on making them. One thing I think we've all found out is how hard it is to get your level played. So just be like me, and keep trudging on. maybe someday we'll get some plays.

Dexiro
04-13-2009, 10:11 PM
i didn't have much luck with the first chapter. I kept feeling that it was buggy and stuff wasn't working (i was probably just doing it wrong)

this one's amazing though, i'm completly immersed at the moment xD

i love exploring and finding all the secrets

mindphaser74
04-13-2009, 10:51 PM
i didn't have much luck with the first chapter. I kept feeling that it was buggy and stuff wasn't working (i was probably just doing it wrong)

I don't kow what to say other than chapter 1 and 2 should be completely bug-free now as far as I know



this one's amazing though, i'm completly immersed at the moment xD

i love exploring and finding all the secrets

Thank you. Chapter 2 definately was much more Platformer than RPG. I like both levels but for different reasons in some cases. Chapter 1 was relaxing, cute, slow, and compact. Chapter 2 is the opposite of these (though there is still some cuteness). After I did chapter 1 there were tonnes of things I wanted to do with LBP levels. But I felt the need to not let go of the series I started. I reminded myself that the original 1984 Below the Root had a good deal of platforming; so that's why I changed it up for chapter 2.
As I work on the prologue level now, I am stuck wondering what route to take for chapter 3. We know it will take place mostly in a temple-like setting, but should I go RPG, Platformer, or even maybe more of a Puzzle level? Or a combination? Doing a hybrid level might cause me to lose some fans.
So I'll bang my head against the wall until I decide I guess. I may base the play after what my more friendly responsers have liked. ;)

Thanks Dexiro, I hope you enjoy it all the way through :)

mindphaser74
04-13-2009, 10:57 PM
your level is unique. In the fact that it's rpg oriented, especially the first one.
You'll probably never get tons of plays on theses levels, because rpg's just aren't embraced by the mainstream. but... these levels are still great. Don't sell yourself short. Just remember that there's still people out there that will love this kind of level. If you enjoy building them just keep right on making them. One thing I think we've all found out is how hard it is to get your level played. So just be like me, and keep trudging on. maybe someday we'll get some plays.

thanks for the encouragement smasher. It's a little dissappointing that there were so few plays but its not a big deal. I enjoy making them and chatting on the forums, it keeps me out of trouble :)

And I think your attitude is a great one to have and I've noticed a lot of other decent people around this site, so I'm sticking around for now.:cool:

CCubbage
04-14-2009, 02:41 PM
I played this last night and really enjoyed it. I can appreciate creating new experiences for LBP levels, even though they may not be the most popular genre.

I only have a few suggestions, but they are relatively minor:

1. When killing the worm, I would make the radius on the magnetic switches a bit bigger so the sections die a little easier. Not knowing what the points on the worm were, it was a bit difficult. But, I managed.

2. After you talk to all the townsfolk, I heard the complete sound but had a hard time figuring out what to do next. I was actually getting REALLY irritated during this part, but the irritation turned to total joy when I found the lamp that pulled me up (before that I was jumping back and forth on touchy rooftops - I could SEE the arrow on the upper right so I thought that's the direction I had to go).

All in all a fantastic level. Loved the "hunting" aspect, the platforming, and bird ride, and the killing of the worm. Great job! I gave it 5 stars and a heart.

mindphaser74
04-14-2009, 06:16 PM
I played this last night and really enjoyed it. I can appreciate creating new experiences for LBP levels, even though they may not be the most popular genre.

I only have a few suggestions, but they are relatively minor:

1. When killing the worm, I would make the radius on the magnetic switches a bit bigger so the sections die a little easier. Not knowing what the points on the worm were, it was a bit difficult. But, I managed.

Ok i'll increase the radius on the worm sections, easy enough.



2. After you talk to all the townsfolk, I heard the complete sound but had a hard time figuring out what to do next. I was actually getting REALLY irritated during this part, but the irritation turned to total joy when I found the lamp that pulled me up (before that I was jumping back and forth on touchy rooftops - I could SEE the arrow on the upper right so I thought that's the direction I had to go).

After a couple of problems here from a few people, I think I will change it and instead of NEEDING to talk to every gnome in the village, I will just have the gnomes all hint at the need for the player to go Above the Rooftops, that way the challange isn't to find all the gnomes, it would instead be to find a way up the rooftops and beyond.
This was an area I didn't see as being too difficult originally, but then again, nobody knows a level like it's own creator. So I will simplify and hopefully make it less frustrating.



All in all a fantastic level. Loved the "hunting" aspect, the platforming, and bird ride, and the killing of the worm. Great job! I gave it 5 stars and a heart.

Thanks for the good advice CCubbage, thanks for playing too. :)

CCubbage
04-14-2009, 06:24 PM
One thing that occurs to me in the village. I didn't necessarily dislike finding all the townsfolk, and I didn't get confused that I was supposed to go above the rooftops. It was more that EVERYTHING could be climbed, and each way appeared to go up to the rooftops, so a lot of the issue is directing the player to the proper place to go.

Maybe the puzzle could be to find a SPECIFIC gnome and maybe after you talk to him you could do a cut scene camera to the resulting lamp.

Just a thought.

mindphaser74
04-14-2009, 06:32 PM
One thing that occurs to me in the village. I didn't necessarily dislike finding all the townsfolk, and I didn't get confused that I was supposed to go above the rooftops. It was more that EVERYTHING could be climbed, and each way appeared to go up to the rooftops, so a lot of the issue is directing the player to the proper place to go.

Maybe the puzzle could be to find a SPECIFIC gnome and maybe after you talk to him you could do a cut scene camera to the resulting lamp.

Just a thought.

That IS the solution CCubage! Thanks for doing my thinking for me :hero: That solution works perfect and I will do that. I can't believe I didn't think of a cutscene camera here. I do use them elsewhere. But yeah you've helped me avoid a headache thinking of a solution to that problem. I'll appy the changes today sometime hopefully but maybe not until tomorrow, still figuring out my schedule for today. :)

mindphaser74
04-15-2009, 04:39 PM
The FINAL (fingers crossed) edits for Chapter 2 are finally done. The Gnome village is completely user friendly now with the ability to ascend to the area above the village immediately upon entering the village. The rest of the village is now simply for asthetics and score bubbles. It is extremely self-explanatory now what to do there, but if people still chose to not talk to the gnomes, it is ok because speed-light arrows now clearly show you the path. This should help non-english speaking players on the level too.

I've also increased the radius on the maggot queen's body parts so that you shouldn't have to jump to take her out with the wand.

The therm. bar is officially maxed now with less than the final section of it still clear. So I think I'll be surprised (and worried) if there are any more errors. Thanks again all.

PS the prologue level is coming along great but will not have the original 1984 music because I can't replicate it with custom job. I tried but the piano music object seems to be missing certain notes on its slider. The rest of the prologue is looking good but will be published not on its own but along with chapter 3. :)

GruntosUK
04-16-2009, 12:20 PM
Hey Mindphaser, just had a play of your level (I played but never completed the first one), I'm typing the comments as I play.

+ I liked the look of the level when it first loaded up, its got a nice spooky feel.
+ Secrets, I always like secrets :)
+ Good original enemies.
+ Good platforming sections
+ Plenty of point bubbles to encourage exploration
+ I must have explored every inch of every section looking for points and shells, excellent design.
+ The level has a very relaxing feel to it, the visuals, laid back pace and music all make it a fantastic play.
+ Great pinball machine.
+ Just how many secrets have you hidden? They are literally loads hidden everywhere.
+ Liked the gnome villiage, looked cool

- Mag switches visible on the breaking tree branches, they took away from the look of the level
- I found the branches fustrating, it took me ages to get to the top :)
- I missed the speech bubble, the one after getting across the bridge after I had pulled the switch, it appeared and dissapeared straight away. Hope it was'nt important :(
- The maggot boss just destory me, i could work out a pattern to the falling grubs and to me they seemed completely random. My blood was boiling by the end I died. Its a very long level to track back through, you definetly need more lives here.

I completely lost my patience and temper at the maggot boss. I am going to replay the level, but for now, I'm going to go and smoke a cig :D ;)

No really, it was an awesome level that I loved. It was designed great, had some good secrets and kept me intrested right through. The visuals were top notch to.

**** and hearted, the maggot boss is keeping you off 5 till I defeat it

My F4F is in my sig

N

mindphaser74
04-16-2009, 04:25 PM
Hey Mindphaser, just had a play of your level (I played but never completed the first one), I'm typing the comments as I play.

+ I liked the look of the level when it first loaded up, its got a nice spooky feel.
+ Secrets, I always like secrets :)
+ Good original enemies.
+ Good platforming sections
+ Plenty of point bubbles to encourage exploration
+ I must have explored every inch of every section looking for points and shells, excellent design.
+ The level has a very relaxing feel to it, the visuals, laid back pace and music all make it a fantastic play.
+ Great pinball machine.
+ Just how many secrets have you hidden? They are literally loads hidden everywhere.
+ Liked the gnome villiage, looked cool

- Mag switches visible on the breaking tree branches, they took away from the look of the level
- I found the branches fustrating, it took me ages to get to the top :)
- I missed the speech bubble, the one after getting across the bridge after I had pulled the switch, it appeared and dissapeared straight away. Hope it was'nt important :(
- The maggot boss just destory me, i could work out a pattern to the falling grubs and to me they seemed completely random. My blood was boiling by the end I died. Its a very long level to track back through, you definetly need more lives here.

I completely lost my patience and temper at the maggot boss. I am going to replay the level, but for now, I'm going to go and smoke a cig :D ;)

No really, it was an awesome level that I loved. It was designed great, had some good secrets and kept me intrested right through. The visuals were top notch to.

**** and hearted, the maggot boss is keeping you off 5 till I defeat it

My F4F is in my sig

N

Hi GrantosUK, thanks for playing.

To start off, the Maggot Queen is hard, no doubt. Here's the deal though... I've got past the maggot babies on my first try a couple of times through the level. However, I did have a couple of plays where I lost about 4 or 5 lives here. There are 2 double-life checkpoints here (16 lives) 16-5 = 11 right? To me that's pleanty.

If you are looking for a pattern to the emitted babies, there is one, but because the emitters are mounted on the Queen herself and the queen is in a wobble motion, the babies APPEAR to have no pattern. I wouldn't look for a pattern here, there is one but is too hard to detect.

One thing that might help you here is the fact that there are 2 layers running in behind the queen. Only 4 babies fall on one layer, the other 4 babies on the other layer (so you only have to dodge 4 in one crossing). Careful observation will confirm this.

Thanks for spotting the visable mag switch, as there are dozens in the level I guess I'm not surprised I missed one.

The text you missed used the old camera-location technique (I think set to one-shot), maybe this should be set to on/off? The text tells you that the way through to the gnome village is now open.

As for the breaking branches, I have no problems with these. It is a logical and not very hard race up the braches. Not sure why you struggled here. Once you realize that the branches are breaking behind you, the idea that it is a race should be self apparent. I will not adjust this unless more people have problems. You were the first one I've heard of who struggled here.

Maybe seeing the rest of the level might help to improve that 4 to a 5?

PS I've read great things about your levels GrantosUK and am in level-PLAY mode this week so I will hang out on your levels for a while. If I can only review 1, do you want a review, and, which level should I review (I'll play them all if they're fun)

Edit : I guess you'ld like this one reviewed ---> From Siberia With Love Pt.5: WovenEye and Warheads ??

ok all fixed now !!!!! Thanks again

DanC
04-16-2009, 05:04 PM
I have a quick question mindphaser. How many external switch systems did you use and what were they? I'm interested. =D

mindphaser74
04-16-2009, 05:44 PM
I have a quick question mindphaser. How many external switch systems did you use and what were they? I'm interested. =D

Hey trickster, how's it going?

On top of every tree there are 1-3 perma switches hidden out of site (simply uses 2 or more cubes; top cube is heavy material and 1 or more dissolve cubes are under it. Key on the heavy cube, key switch at top of tree under dissolve cubes.

The shells just used a grab switch to dissolve the shell and dissolve the covers over the woodpecker holes hidding the point bubbles.

The shells in the pinball area uses key switch (inverted) to unlock the exit to the next area.

The lights are simply sensor switches set to speed.

In general I've used alot of perma-switches. If you'ld like to examine the level more closely I could make it copyable and editable for you?

GruntosUK
04-16-2009, 05:48 PM
I loved the level, don't get me wrong, I just did'nt see the extra checkpoint and got frustrated. I will get back to playing the level the next couple of days and hopefully your advice will help me past it. It was a great level, I've played a few today and yours was definetly the standout one. I just see red at games, many broken pads over the years are testament to my terrible and quick temper :)

I suggest starting with Part 1 of my levels, the story works itself through the whole set and reaches the climax in part 5. But if you hav'nt got the time then 5 will be fine. Don't worry about immediate feedback, I just want people to enjoy the levels really ;)

DanC
04-16-2009, 05:51 PM
Hey trickster, how's it going?

On top of every tree there are 1-3 perma switches hidden out of site (simply uses 2 or more cubes; top cube is heavy material and 1 or more dissolve cubes are under it. Key on the heavy cube, key switch at top of tree under dissolve cubes.

The shells just used a grab switch to dissolve the shell and dissolve the covers over the woodpecker holes hidding the point bubbles.

The shells in the pinball area uses key switch (inverted) to unlock the exit to the next area.

The lights are simply sensor switches set to speed.

In general I've used alot of perma-switches. If you'ld like to examine the level more closely I could make it copyable and editable for you?

That would be really great! I love seeing levels in edit mode. :P
I've sent you a PM.

mindphaser74
04-16-2009, 06:01 PM
I loved the level, don't get me wrong, I just did'nt see the extra checkpoint and got frustrated. I will get back to playing the level the next couple of days and hopefully your advice will help me past it. It was a great level, I've played a few today and yours was definetly the standout one. I just see red at games, many broken pads over the years are testament to my terrible and quick temper :)

I suggest starting with Part 1 of my levels, the story works itself through the whole set and reaches the climax in part 5. But if you hav'nt got the time then 5 will be fine. Don't worry about immediate feedback, I just want people to enjoy the levels really ;)

Well if you've done a episodic series then I'll definately start at part 1, I love episodic. :)

And thanks again (yes I have the thank-you dissease)

PS I've fixed the couple of things you found I guess I actually had 7 switches (on all 7 branches) that were visible. All fixed now though.

GruntosUK
04-18-2009, 02:17 PM
I just finished the level Mindphaser, managed the maggot queen first attempt this time :D

You've got a mag key visible on the squishing hazard straight after her. I loved the wand section and the backtracking through the areas with it.

After finishing the level, definetly 5 stars, I already hearted it :)

mindphaser74
04-18-2009, 04:04 PM
I just finished the level Mindphaser, managed the maggot queen first attempt this time :D

You've got a mag key visible on the squishing hazard straight after her. I loved the wand section and the backtracking through the areas with it.

After finishing the level, definetly 5 stars, I already hearted it :)

Thanks Grantos, fixing the mag key should be the last of the polish (I hope) as the Prelude Level is about 1/2 way. This prelude level was going to be simpler, but I just can't stop adding to it so it should be pretty good too (wait till people see the switch I created to handle the lights and sound on the hand-crafted title... VERY inventive. Basically it is a switch system that uses the inclined plain principle with rolling keys). Expect it ready for playtesting in about a week. Though I still want to spend a day playing the levels of my responders first, before I get too far into the prelude. :)

Zwollie
04-20-2009, 07:16 AM
Congratulations on the spotlight!!

Noroibito
06-07-2009, 02:28 AM
I gotta say that this level was superb. Very good in a lot of ways. My only gripe was that the wand broke and I couldn't grab the stick, so I pushed the stick part of it all the way. Maybe you could make the magnetic switches connected to the roots a little bigger? All in all I really like the level. Can't wait to play the remade version.

mindphaser74
06-07-2009, 03:59 AM
I gotta say that this level was superb. Very good in a lot of ways. My only gripe was that the wand broke and I couldn't grab the stick, so I pushed the stick part of it all the way. Maybe you could make the magnetic switches connected to the roots a little bigger? All in all I really like the level. Can't wait to play the remade version.

Thanks yet again. I'll up the radius of the switches in the remake. Another thing I really can't wait to do a better job with in this level is the tree with all the points you unlock from grabbing the shells. The series of holes stuffed with bubbles was a bad idea for using an elevator with IMO. The elevator has to maintain a slow speed to collect them all and even then you can get stuck off of the elevator. I have a MUCH better idea that I want to implement here.
This will also free up therm for maybe a few new things to add.

Also all the speech badly needs cutscenes. Those will be a couple of the major changes.

TTYL Noro :D

dcf
06-08-2009, 01:35 AM
I really enjoyed this level. There was backtracking but it was done in a really good way as you opened up new areas. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed looking for the shells and grabbing hidden score bubbles. I gave the level 5 stars, great and hearted it.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4301

These roots are really good. They look great and I was able to navigate them without feeling like I was fighting with the automatic plane shifting. Well done!

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4302

Good use of a green arrow. Having just played the first level I was on the look out for these spring flower beds. The green arrow was much appreciated though!

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4303

You completely faked me out here. Then this showed up:

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4307

Awesome bird!

After the bird sequence I got the wand. I had the want flip on me a couple times, but I was able to right it without too much trouble.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4304

The boss in this level looked really neat! I definitely liked that you had to go past it before getting the wand.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4304

I ended up breaking a mid section before the head, which looked really strange. It also caused it to be impossible to get under the guy. Instead I went over him and dropped down through the hole to get back to the want so I could finish him off.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4305

A bunch of the pieces stayed behind once the boss was finished. Using protected brains instead of dissolve can give a cleaner appearance.

***************

In addition, I thought the individual enemies were really good. The catepillars with the electricity at the ends and the multiple sections were some of the best enemies I've seen in any level.

Great job!

mindphaser74
06-08-2009, 02:34 AM
I really enjoyed this level. There was backtracking but it was done in a really good way as you opened up new areas. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed looking for the shells and grabbing hidden score bubbles. I gave the level 5 stars, great and hearted it.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4301

These roots are really good. They look great and I was able to navigate them without feeling like I was fighting with the automatic plane shifting. Well done!

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4302

Good use of a green arrow. Having just played the first level I was on the look out for these spring flower beds. The green arrow was much appreciated though!

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4303

You completely faked me out here. Then this showed up:

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4307

Awesome bird!

After the bird sequence I got the wand. I had the want flip on me a couple times, but I was able to right it without too much trouble.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4304

The boss in this level looked really neat! I definitely liked that you had to go past it before getting the wand.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4304

I ended up breaking a mid section before the head, which looked really strange. It also caused it to be impossible to get under the guy. Instead I went over him and dropped down through the hole to get back to the want so I could finish him off.

http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=477&pictureid=4305

A bunch of the pieces stayed behind once the boss was finished. Using protected brains instead of dissolve can give a cleaner appearance.

***************

In addition, I thought the individual enemies were really good. The catepillars with the electricity at the ends and the multiple sections were some of the best enemies I've seen in any level.

Great job!

Thanks for the nice words on this one dcf. This was actually the only one left that I had intended on polishing (other than ch 3) :)

How does the unprotected brain work exactly, I've never tried it. How could I apply it to the Maggot Queen? :confused:

You spent alot of time reviewing my levels today and I thank you yet again. You helped me and made me feel like I am improving as a creater, very important stuff IMO. TTYL :D

dcf
06-08-2009, 03:01 AM
Thanks for the nice words on this one dcf. This was actually the only one left that I had intended on polishing (other than ch 3) :)

I'll be curious to see what improvements you end up making as I already think the level is excellent!


How does the unprotected brain work exactly, I've never tried it. How could I apply it to the Maggot Queen? :confused:

You can attach 1 switches to the base of protected brains. This kills the creature the same as if someone had jumped on the brain. Using it for the Maggot Queen will be a very difficult application because you have pieces disappearing at different times. This means the Queen would actually need to be a few separate creatures, so that each piece can be killed separately. Alternatively, you could just place an inverted mag switch nearby, and place a mag key on all the dissolve pieces that make up the queen. Connect the switch to a hidden, unprotected brain on the queen and when all the pieces are destroyed, the brain gets popped, cleaning up the mess.

The real trick with these is to use them the same as brains. If you attach the creature to the level, the level vanishes when they are popped, so you need to be careful. However, this is how most paintinator creatures are made so it is doable if one is careful. Play around with it a little bit in a blank level and see if you like the technique.


You spent alot of time reviewing my levels today and I thank you yet again. You helped me and made me feel like I am improving as a creater, very important stuff IMO. TTYL :D

You're welcome! Helpful is what I'm aiming for!!!! Thank you for making awesome levels for me to play ;)

mindphaser74
06-08-2009, 03:21 AM
^^^^

dcf I actually had no idea you could hook a switch up to a brain. If I knew this before I definately would have experimented.

As for the improvements 1 major one will be the reward-point elevator. It is too slow and you can jump in a hole and the elevator will leave you behind. Because the elevator is so slow you have to wait a long time to get back on. But if I speed the elevator up you miss collecting the points. So this is one thing I've just recently started thinking about improving.

Also I hardly had any cutscenes. These days I have a cutscene and/or perma-switch combo on all my mouths. And I need to add CY stuff to it still. Plus other changes I'll think of between now and then.

And I've never mentioned this to anyone before but there are 150 points in the left and right root of each tree which can only be accessed by using the wand to enter the tree. 1 or 2 roots don't have the points, but most do. And I'm not talking about the ones under the roots, they are IN the roots and the holes they are tucked into are almost impossible to notice because it is so dark. One tree has the light hit the secret hole and is the only hint you get. But that hint doesn't tell you that it's in every tree!

Anyways it was about time I gave out that secret to my fans. See you around dcf. :)