View Full Version : LBL#4-A Dark Fate for LittleBigLand

08-17-2009, 01:23 PM
LBL#4-A Dark Fate for LittleBigLandamazingflyingpoo
Hidy Ho Sackfriends!

I have finally published LBL#4-A Dark Fate for LittleBigLand. Like the previous 3 installments, this one is a Platforming/Adventure hybrid. While previous levels have included little bits of platforming, this one actually has a few significant platforming areas to go with the puzzle solving and story segments that are expected in this series. The story in this level is also different than what most might have expected, so I look forward to hearing some feedback.
Here are some pictures from the level:






08-17-2009, 01:37 PM
(>0.0)> WOOSSSHHHH!!!!! to PS3......

08-17-2009, 01:48 PM
OMG OMG OMG OMG *Goes screaming and goes to play*

08-17-2009, 02:32 PM
Im confused .... D: i thought i was agenst the darkness?
Anyway other then that brillliant! i cant wait for LBP#5 i'll play the whole series again some day :)

08-17-2009, 03:11 PM
@Adam: The different levels take place from different people's perspectives. The first level was one guy, the second and third level were a different guy, and the fourth level is yet another guy. Does that help? :D

08-17-2009, 06:03 PM
@Adam: The different levels take place from different people's perspectives. The first level was one guy, the second and third level were a different guy, and the fourth level is yet another guy. Does that help? :D

I thought they where some sailer guy :O

Mr.Confuzzler :(

Anyway when you continue this you can add me if you want xD.

08-17-2009, 06:52 PM
Yes! Playing this right now, here are some thoughts as I go through the level.

+I love the idea of being "The Darkness"! I don't know how you come up with these stories.
-I think the bridge out of the west and east wings should be more "bridge-y" lol, it's very plain right now. Something like this (http://www.johnharveyphoto.com/Japan/TokyoStart/CastleBridgeScenicLg.jpg) with like railings and stuff.

The level was great! I loved being the darkness (does that make me a bad person :( ? lol), it was really cool. I gave it 5 stars and hearted it. Just one thing, keys don't work for me, when I get them they don't unlock the levels so even though I collected all the stickers I won't be able to look at the journal :( .

08-17-2009, 07:14 PM
@brnxblze: Thanks so much for giving it a play. The link you sent me is forbidden (???LOL???). Anyway, sorry the bridge seemed empty to you. Oddly enough, I was intentionally going for the empty long walkway look (like ICO or the castle from Fable II). I can see how it would look unappealing though :(

As for the key issue, I have been getting messages about it all day, which is really depressing for me since it takes a while to make those add-on levels. The odd part is that a lot of people are getting in. 54 have played it now, which means about 1/3 have gone on to try it and succeeded. I am going to republish LBL: The Memoirs right now and try to place a new key in LBL#4 and see if that fixes it. Thanks so much for the feedback :D

08-17-2009, 07:34 PM
@brnxblze: Thanks so much for giving it a play. The link you sent me is forbidden (???LOL???). Anyway, sorry the bridge seemed empty to you. Oddly enough, I was intentionally going for the empty long walkway look (like ICO or the castle from Fable II). I can see how it would look unappealing though :(

As for the key issue, I have been getting messages about it all day, which is really depressing for me since it takes a while to make those add-on levels. The odd part is that a lot of people are getting in. 54 have played it now, which means about 1/3 have gone on to try it and succeeded. I am going to republish LBL: The Memoirs right now and try to place a new key in LBL#4 and see if that fixes it. Thanks so much for the feedback :D

Don't worry about the bridge, it's just a very minor nitpick :) . About the Memoirs level, I don't think it's a problem with the key I think it just has something to do with some profile issue. It's REALLY annoying, I can never get into locked levels anymore. Oh well, maybe someone on my friends list will be nice enough to take me in there.

08-18-2009, 10:05 PM
I could play this last night and have a bit of feedback for the level.

The story takes a very skilled twist with the protagonist and broadens the depth of the story being created. I think you've done a very good job with the story arc and thematic elements and this is a strength of this level.

This level carries on the split presentation with two primary chapters being presented but it feels closer in spirit to #1 and #2 in terms of presentation, length and gameplay.

A lot of the level's focus is in teaching the player about the new situation as well as to introduce what is likely to be the two pivotal characters in the over-arching storyline, ViolentOne and the ShadowKing. (I don't remember the dark king's name exactly.)

This first half of the has some good platforming segments and a lot of tracking and back-tracking between different floors of the castle and I liken to the introductory phase of most standard RPGs or games in general.

The player is introduced to the character, walked through the basics of gameplay, given a sandbox to play in to learn and hone their skills before being sent out on the story proper.

One of the things I longed for after completing this level was that I didn't get to spend as much time on what felt like the actual story game play versus the introductory game play.

Hearkening to #3 three where the introductory sequence taking place on the boat seems to only occupy about 30 - 40 percent of the level whereas #4 seems to be a bit over 50 percent. Which is to say that I think I spent more time playing in the castle with training wheels on than I did in Valley world unlocking the secret weapon.

This is a testament to the character and story you are telling that players are reluctant to leave them when completed.

I like the set-up to the final interaction with the ChosenOne but feel that the encounter was very brief and abrupt. Compared to the long conversation trees present with ViolentOne the six or so mouths of text weren't as satisfying.

This isn't that the situation is poorly executed but more that the story and plot twists are so interesting that I was looking for more than the morsels I was given.

Considering that this is the plot revelation/device that the story turns on for the final act(s), I think it wasn't given the support it needed to tent-pole the story until the time when the next level comes out. (Yes, I do know what you have said about the future of the series. I'm an optimist in nearly all things and feel that the story will yet be told in one form or another.)

I did notice a few things while playing that Iíd like to bring up.

--In the East Wing gas puzzle I swung out initially to test the bounds of the puzzle and the camera moved such that it was looking down to the left toward the switch and grab ball. (It may have been pointing that way initially, I do not recall.) With the camera at this angle the grab ball and the switch handle were nearly overlapping and it was a bit hard to grab the ball as the character kept latching on the switch handle.

--Great rotating platforms. They worked smoothly and gave a bit of a wrinkle to the standard platforming elements often used. Iím glad to see that you also maintain the end position until the player gets off or give a delay before returning to the start position. This is often a weakness in a creatorís implementation of this type of moving platform.

--From either the East or West Wing return elevators the player can stand on the edge of the elevator and jump just as it arrives at the top. A bit of maneuvering and they can land on top of the elevator shaft awning. I donít know why players would do this, but they can. From this I see that the East Wing awning doesnít actually connect to the right wall. What is up with this funny business?

--The forced perspective waterfall/river in the Valley world is very well done. You have shown skill in this type of artwork and this is another great piece.

--I died very easily the first time I walked into Alpís basement. The covering stone veneer didnít slide out of the way quickly enough or soon enough and I was dead by the gas before I really saw what I was getting into. I should have probably entered more slowly but I thought Iíd raise this.

--Very well done throwback mechanic used in Alpís basement. The action was going a bit fast and I didnít get to enjoy the effect unil I sorted out what was going on but it was very well done.

--Iím glad to see your one-shot tutorial elevator show up in this level. Yay, cookie for me.

--The checkpoint in the discotheque looking floor of Alpís bar behind the bar didnít really activate for me. If I walked past it the thing never lit up. I had to practically jump into the bar to get it to light up.

--I activated the elevator to go up to the secret weapon, got the cut-scene and upon seeing it descended I moved on in the level. Later on when I had both keys I came back to this spot and the elevator platform wasnít there. I repeatedly grabbed the call button, tapping R1, holding R1 and I only get the metallic clang SFX. After about four or five minutes of waiting I decided to quit the level and try later but the elevator suddenly descended and I was saved.

--While I was waiting for the elevator to descend I poked around a bit and found that the player can jump into the first bomb puzzle room on the right by jumping up in the crawl space left by the exploded bombs. Not much to see inside and from the depression in the floor I can see out of the level.

I like the puzzles in this level, they work out well as youíve implemented them. They seem to be of the timing and hunt and find variety and were fun to play through.

Youíve captured a bit of the emotion that the victims feel/felt as they were being abducted/killed and this made me feel badly as I wiped out the city. This isnít the easy murder with no emotional consequence that is packaged in many video games today but a more impactful experience. Iíd like to think that the negatively portrayed experience of stealing the hope of innocent people and then killing them is a reflection of the inner turmoil and despair of the protagonist. (Based on the protagonistís unique situation.)

Thank you for the fun time I had playing this level I look forward to seeing how this level and story grows from here.


08-18-2009, 11:44 PM
If you're having that much trouble with the key to the memoirs, why not unlock the level. After all, the player can't see anything of it until they've collected all the pages in your level.

Anyway, this was a great level. The story came to a brilliant twist which reminded me why I've enjoyed LBL so much thus far. Putting the player in the role of the enemy worked great, especially learning about and using the powers of destruction and the darkness.
On the subject of the dark king. You managed to convey his evil and diabolical nature in the memoirs well, but he seemed a bit plain in LBL#4. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but anyway I think he wasn't too evil since he just appeared as a dark minion in a crown and robe. Maybe if he were bigger and had red glowing eyes or horns, but I digress.
The level had a good balance of plot and gameplay throughout. It had more of the dark themes of the first 2 LBLs matched with the great gameplay of LBL 3. The level also managed the good amount of playtime found in the previous levels which is great.

All in all this has been, in my opinion, the highlight of the LittleBigLand series so far, maintaining the playtime and plot the series is popular for. I enjoyed this part greatly and am anticipating #5. Great work! :star::star::star::star::star:

08-19-2009, 12:04 AM
Thanks so much for the great feedback Trindall and Persona3 :D

@Trindall: I'm going to try to add a message in with the elevator to warn the player that it takes a while to come down since it has a long way to go. I really wish I could make it get down there sooner after grabbing the switch, but if I did it would move way to fast and look sort of silly :(

@Persona: I can certainly see what you mean about the King of Darkness. I always planned to have him be a cutout with a crown like he is, but that doesn't mean he won't change into something better in the future, after all, he is the king of darkness :D

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate feedback!

08-21-2009, 12:30 AM
Hi Poo

Gotta say, this level is incredible. I absolutely love the details in it, the platforming, the puzzles and the story is incredible.
I'm not going to spoil it for those who havent played it through yet but boy the ending was incredible!!! :D

This has to be the best of the LBL series and would be fantastic to see a Finale sometime ;)

Great work on this awesome level, thank you for bringing us another of the best levels that the LBP community has seen :)

08-21-2009, 02:37 AM
Why, oh why does the ps3 have to be upstairs????

08-21-2009, 02:55 AM
Have you ever thought about putting The Temples background onto these levels? the level looks so plain without any background. Putting a background would do miracles for this level, there really isn't any detail in it but by putting one it would make the materials you used look alot better, just a thought :)

08-21-2009, 03:27 AM
@LLBP: Thanks so much for the compliments :D I really appreciate the kind words and I'm glad that you enjoyed the level :D

@Endless: On one of my previous levels... actually, I think it was LBL#1, I had tried using a template like that. It really doesn't do much for the level because my LBL levels are very vertical, so I start building from the very top of the level for the start, and usually end up at nearly the bottom by the end of the level. This means that the 1st third to half of the level would have no template scenery anyway, and the final bit would have template scenery because you are low enough to see it (then again, I may be wrong about the temple template not reaching to the top of the level, but from my experience with templates, they just get foggy long before you get anywhere near the top).
I'm not so sure I'd be very happy with template scenery anyway though, because I try to have everything to scale as well as I can (sometimes I do a very bad job :( ), and the templates always have everything in the background being HUGE as if sackboy is a small creature.
It would be something I might want to consider in the future if I can make a level that is lower to the ground though, and I really appreciate the thought and feedback. :D

Thanks so much to everyone who has tried out my level :D

08-21-2009, 07:16 AM
I know I commented via PSN but just thought I'd jot down that I enjoyed this level (as well as the previous ones) and think that your story telling ability is fantastic. This one is really dark (thematically) and I found myself feeling really bad for both the antagonist and all the other people I had to "deal" with.

The memoir idea is great too. I like getting all the backstory and details.

Funny thing is my 13 year old friend really got into these a few weeks ago and couldn't stop playing them. I think you've found a story line that appeals to younger players in many ways so congrats on that. :)

08-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the Feedback Morgana :D

I can't take much credit for the "Memoir" idea, because my wife came up with that concept when we were making LBL#2 and we were trying to figure out how to add more story without forcing people to see it.

As for your 13 year old friend, that is interesting. I'm a bit surprised by how many youngsters seem to like my levels. I'm not sure what I am doing to attract them to the levels (I kinda thought that older gamers would like them since I try to make them have an old school RPG/Adventure feel with the key-->dungeon-->talk-->key-->dungeon mechanic), but I'm always thrilled to have anyone like my levels :D

08-22-2009, 06:24 PM
This series is awesome. There seem to be very few levels with as much in-depth storyline as yours. This one, just like the rest of the LittleBigLand series, even beafs levels on the Highest Rated page, including The Bunker, and even the LittleDeadSpace series. I can't believe that only the diary-type levels of yours on on that page. 5 stars and a heart. I would've gone into more detail, but I'm doing this on my PS3, and my hands are sore.

08-22-2009, 06:51 PM
at first when playing it I was like "Wtf is this crap!?" Then as I progressed the level became more intriguing, and I was like "I'm kinda liking this". The point where I became instantaneously hooked was on that gas puzzle in the east wing I think. I finished thinking "God,... what a quality level." Then I saw this thread on here and was surprised to see that the creator of such an astounding level comes to these forums.

08-22-2009, 07:12 PM
These are some of my favorite levels on Little Big Planet, I really enjoyed the story and gameplay - however the level seemed somewhat bare in comparison to LBL3. Anyway, I voted 5/5 stars and hearted. Great level.

08-22-2009, 08:55 PM
Just played this.... I really enjoyed it. Although by the end of the level.... I felt a bit dirty (doing the kinds evil deeds....)

Great play mechanics, great story. Nice thermo usage in using simple graphics to enhance the size of the level. I got stuck at one point in the elevator to the right of the town - I sent it down and jumped.... no prob, though - my 7-year-old steered me in the right direction.

08-24-2009, 05:05 AM
I know, I know - only 6 days late...

Played it and loved it. Once I got to the second half, the castle seemed like an entirely different level! I really enjoyed the scare/kill system you have got in place. The little details were fantastic, and everything made logical sense (except for the one con I had with the level... more to come). I never had any problems figuring out where to go or what to do, which was a major plus in a level that had a lot of backtracking, etc. Excellent placement of that window as well, lol. It was perfect for jumping through as a shortcut. The visuals were pretty solid considering how long and varying the level actually was. Now, on to the only problem I has with the level:

Those little little mini-games to get the keys seemed very out of place in what otherwise was a fantastic level. It was a conscious decision on your part, so I'm not suggesting a change or anything, I just thought I'd share my opinion. It's not that they weren't functional, I just would have preferred something related to everything else that was going. I don't really have any suggestions, per se, but I hope you understand where I'm coming from. I've played only one of your other levels from this series (which I remember enjoying just as much, maybe even more), and I remember the same type of mini-games embedded in there, so it's possibly a staple to your levels. I 'unno. I'll probably play through the others tomorrow...

Sorry for the wall of text. It was a really good level. Thank you for sharing. I gave it 5 stars.

(P.S. nice lightning effect, as well as the portal effect)

08-25-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks so much for all of the awesome feedback guys :D

@Drakon 136: Wow, that was one incredible compliment you gave. Thanks so much for the kind words, they are much appreciated!

@Frankysteinmark: I had a blast reading this post. It was hilarious to hear how you perception of the level changed as you played it. I'm assuming that you had not played my series previously? Either way, I'm glad to hear that you liked it, and thanks for pushing through it even though the start didn't seem that great to you :D

@LOl_LOl-: Sorry it felt bare to you. The kill/destroy mechanic requires a ridiculous amount of thermo (each kill takes at least 1 emitter, a mag switch, a mag switch key, a grab switch, a proximity switch, and a piston), and the dialouge system has always been thermo heavy, so it is a small miracle that the level was even possible to finish. If I could go back into the project again, I would probably not have even tried it, because it doesn't seem possible. Somehow it worked out, but the scenery did take a big hit.
I'm happy to hear you liked it still, and thanks for not rating it badly just because the level took a bit of a hit in the scenery department :D

@CCubbage: The intention was to make the player feel guilty for what they were doing. I had originally had a reward system built in for killing and destroying, but the thermo was not capable of handling such a thing. I've actually had people post comments saying the level was great but they reprimand me for making such a dark level. I guess I just thought it would be good to show things from the perspective of the darkness, and that certainly shouldn't be a happy story. I think it is good that you felt bad for what you did.
Sorry about the elevator issue. I didn't even realize that someone could get stuck there, but I read your message to my wife, and we figured out what happened. So you send the elevator down, and then jumped on top of it? Bummer, well, I don't think it is worth making a major fix for that, but it always sucks if the player can get stuck. Sorry about that :( I'm glad your7 year old could help. :D

@comphermc: Thanks for the awesome post! This was almost a mini-review, good stuff! Anyway, I can completely see where you are coming from with the challenges/puzzles in the town. In LBL#1 and #2 I tried to explain them a bit more than I did in #3 and #4 I guess. The idea was that the keys were locked in caves behind puzzles which were meant to protect them. Sure, this really doesn't make all that much sense, but it is meant to be like a mini-Zelda dungeon, or something from Indiana Jones, where the prize is behind a series of traps and you must get it. I guess I could have maybe come up with something more natural, but I think that just about anything would have felt a bit out of place. Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks so much for the great feedback guys! I am very happy with how the level performed, and I am very grateful for every single one of you who played the level :)

08-25-2009, 08:54 PM
I'm sorry im late, but I finally got to play it totally through this day, and I was very happy with beeing one of the testers ^^ Thanks Poo

This is one awesome level, it really stands out, and it is so unique, filled with lots of creative ideas, and it makes it so fun and entertaining. The story is so thoughtful, and I know you spended a lot time stickering letters, but it was all worth it. Now, The Memoirs is the most rated level, ever, at the moment. How cool is that? It's not many people that can say that!

In my opinion, theese levels got something for everyone. It may take a bit more time with theese, than other levels, but it's so worth it. I haven't seen anything like this before. I remember how much you talked about the elevator, and it really is amazing. And guys, think of how many switches you gotta use for the speech system? I've seen it myself, and it got all laggy when I flyed around!

I think everyone should at least give it a go, and they shouldn't just speed through it. Poo made all the talk so you could read it not just go through it! And reading isn't that boring, if it's interesting enough (which it SO is), it's not boring at all.

5 stars, because it got so much of different things, that is awesome, and because it's unique and thoughtful, and in the end interesting and fun.
A heart too, of course, and the same (5 stars and a heart) for The Memoir. The heart because I feel like I can play it again and again!
Great job Poo,you truly did an amazing job. :D

08-29-2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the awesome feedback Mug, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it even after I had you test it over and over :D

08-29-2009, 08:52 PM
OMG i played this level a while ago, it was AMAZING i LOVE the LBL series!!! Why must your levels be cream filled with awesomeness D:

08-31-2009, 09:22 PM
Wow, thanks for the awesome feedback! I think that the comment about my levels being "cream filled with awesomeness" is about the coolest thing I have ever heard someone say about my levels. You made my day! Thanks so much for the awesome post, and for taking the time to play my levels :D

02-21-2010, 10:50 AM
Good Job amazingflyinpoo! LBL 5 is coming on August right or if you work a lot of days? My goal is to play LBP unti l all my 20 spaces are finished and platinum trophy is mine!

02-23-2010, 04:42 AM
Wow, thanks for resurrecting this thread LittleBigMonster :D I am happy to hear that you enjoyed my LBL series, and I hope to get to work on LBL#5 once I move back to America in August.