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jackofcourse
01-08-2010, 12:18 AM
Scorching Scamper by Jackofcourse

This level is pretty much what Little Platformer would have been if I had done it properly and not just threw it together in the beta :)

It's very 'my style' both in visuals and gameplay. Hope you enjoy! :)

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n195/jackofcourse/1-3.jpg http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n195/jackofcourse/2-3.jpg
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n195/jackofcourse/3-3.jpg http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n195/jackofcourse/4-3.jpg

amazingflyingpoo
01-08-2010, 12:57 AM
Excellent level Jack! There did seem to be a bit of your magic missing from your first 2 PSP levels, bit this one caught the magic 100%! I didn't experience a single issue with the level. It's beautiful and fun to play. As will always be the case with a level that looks this good on PSP, it is a tad bit short, but seeing as this is a handheld game, I think that is absolutely fine.

I'm very happy to see a AAA level like this from you on PSP, and I will hope to see more in the future :D

Keep up the great work!

jackofcourse
01-08-2010, 01:31 AM
Thanks a lot poo! :)

Yeah as I've said quite a few times my first level was made in the beta over a couple of nights and was just thrown together really, so that definitely wasn't anything special.

I experienced a lot of problems with my second level and had to cut it short in order to get it into a publishable state too! While towards the end of this one I still had problems, they were no where near as bad and I had a bit more freedom to do what I wanted with it.

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

jeffcu28
01-08-2010, 06:12 AM
It's very 'my style' both in visuals and gameplay.


Hey jackofcourse,

You're one of only a handful of creators who can rightfully say that. You have such a distinct signature style of design that makes your levels a staple in the community, and I very much look up to your design principles when I create.

One thing I really like about your levels is that they neither require stories nor have an explicit theme. Yes, you did create a woodsy environment, but that didn't exactly translate to lumberjacks or mining. There's also no concept of a beginning, middle, or end to signify a story. In this way your levels are so minimalist: You see where you need to go, the obstacles blocking it, and the switches you need to activate in order to reach it. And you can magically fit that all into one screen. You don't exactly know what those switches do, and activating them is the fun part. Most creators can produce beautiful static visuals, but the beauty of your levels comes from the movement of elements in the environment: it's such a visual treat. Now that's original!

Like you said, this level was an elaboration of your beta level, and I could definitely see the bones of Little Platformer underneath the muscles of this baby. In a way, I feel like this is the child of your first two levels. You successfully merged the aesthetics of your first level with the technical intricacies of the second. This makes this level that much more greater than your other two! This was my personal favorite. I didn't have any problems with the length at all--I thought it was perfect. I know you mentioned how you wanted to keep your levels short and leave players with the feeling of wanting more, but I felt your first two didn't give me the complete satisfaction that this level gave.

Overall, this level was so characteristically jackofcourse, with mesmerizing moving visuals and interestingly minimalistic yet complex gameplay. I didn't find any signs of bugs gnawing the level, just solid enjoyment from start to finish. So if Little Platformer and Clambering Crawlway both got 5 stars, and they conceived this level, does that mean this is 10 stars? I think so! And 3 hearts too!

Pushing a jackofcourse button and awaiting magic,
jeffcu28

jackofcourse
01-08-2010, 06:40 AM
Thanks so much for your review.

Pretty much everything you've said is incredibly insightful and sums my creating up. I understand what you mean about this level being more satisfying. In both visuals and gameplay Little Platformer was very basic due to it being a beta level. I had to finish Clambering Crawlway early due to the bugs that I were experiencing so that meant it wasn't quite how I wanted it or how it would have been if I had my own way.

Luckily with this level that wasn't the case and it allowed me to finish it how I wanted, so in a way, I'd probably class this as my first full level.

Picking up on their being no real theme is something I was discussing with someone earlier. It actually made it incredibly hard to name the level because there's no specifics that would usually go in a title! :)

Thanks again. Always great to hear what you think :)

fry9182
01-08-2010, 07:14 AM
Hi jackofcourse.

that was the most finest platforming level i have played in while.
I liked the way how you manage to build something so easy to play and same time fun and creative :) and there is absolutely no flaws. One i can think of is that it´s a bit short level. In Visual side it´s simple yet charming. It proofs that you don´t need alot graphical elements to create something stunning.

I love to see more of your creatings. Keep up good work :)

Arrestor
01-08-2010, 10:29 AM
I will now write down my thoughts while playing: (contains spoilers)


The Beginning: You are a genius. A technical and effective/good looking start!
Nice mechanics on the way to the first checkpoint.
Beautiful way to the next checkpoint with a well thought obstacle
The sounds of the different switches fit perfectly. They sound kind of satisfying... while hearing this i notice all the other sounds off the moving objects... brilliant!
after the button behind the glass it goes on that way. Really nice ideas and mechanics!
I could go on like this...
The idea to make the lava passable (is this the right word?) in this way is just Wow!

Afterall i dont think the level is too short. There is much to do in this one and its very complex.
You really did a great job with this one and its one of the best i played.
Always looking forward to your levels!

Greetings!

Arrestor

robotiod
01-08-2010, 01:06 PM
I'm going to check this out when i can i cant wait. I loved your other levels on PSP eve if you didn't think they were your best work.

Gilgamesh
01-08-2010, 02:14 PM
This is a great level.

The first thing that struck me was the pacing. There's always something to do and you're never left wondering where to go next. The challenges were intuitive and I didn't run into any bugs on my playthrough, it was flawless. The visuals were interesting, but they don't detract from the platforming elements at all.

A very original and fun level overall.

:star::star::star::star::star: and ♥'ed.

Coxy224
01-08-2010, 06:35 PM
Another very strong level here from you Jack. I could see that this one was very close to LittlePlaformer, but I really enjoyed the improved length (nearly perfect length for PSP) and even more epic platforming.

You could tell it was your work just from the crazy edges and everything having a slightly wonky touch to it.

Anyway, really fun level, excellent platforming, 5 stars and a heart :D

jackofcourse
01-08-2010, 06:59 PM
Afterall i dont think the level is too short. There is much to do in this one and its very complex.
You really did a great job with this one and its one of the best i played.
Always looking forward to your levels!
Arrestor

Thanks for playing and being so in depth with which parts you liked best! :) Always nice to know which parts are appreciated more after putting so much time into it.


This is a great level.

The first thing that struck me was the pacing. There's always something to do and you're never left wondering where to go next. The challenges were intuitive...

This pretty much sums up what I try to do when creating so it's nice to know I achieved it. I just try to make levels that are fun, none frustrating, and that everyone can both complete, and enjoy, regardless of ability. Part of making this possible is keeping the player on the move and even though the challenges are pretty straight forward, trying to make them original and innovative enough to keep the player interested.


Another very strong level here from you Jack. I could see that this one was very close to LittlePlaformer, but I really enjoyed the improved length (nearly perfect length for PSP) and even more epic platforming.

You could tell it was your work just from the crazy edges and everything having a slightly wonky touch to it.
:D

Thanks for playing :) Yeah as I said this one is definitely 'my style' and I'm glad you liked the length. This is pretty much the length I will be looking for all my psp levels to be.

Fastbro
01-08-2010, 07:19 PM
Wow, just wow. The has to be my favorite level so far. It runs so smoothly and theres no glitches or mistakes. This level is the reason that they put a create mode in LBP!

wizball-23
01-09-2010, 12:05 AM
This level plays so smoothly and tightly, it’s incredible. The platforming equivalent of a swiss watch. It feels like it’s been playtested and tweaked and timed to the nth degree, as if you spent hours shaving millimetres off of platforms until the whole thing was working “just so”.

It actually doesn’t feel very “LittleBigPlanet”! I somehow expect an LBP level to be just a bit ramshackle, a bit charmingly clunky; to have that “homemade” feel. You can see this quality not just in the community-made levels, but also in the story levels created by Sony Cambridge. Let me put it like this: the archetypal LBP level feels like it might have been put together by Doc Brown from Back To The Future. "Scorching Scamper", on the other hand, feels like it could have been designed by Steve Jobs.

I suppose it still feels “homemade” — just homemade by someone who seems to be totally obsessed with getting every tiniest little detail as close to perfection as possible. The LBP equivalent of this guy’s pizza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz91GfoZ-Zs).

Once I'd finished the level, I immediately chose “replay”, and then again, until I had aced it. I think that’s the first time I’ve done that. It was a pleasure to play, every time.

One moment wasn’t quite as butter-smooth as the rest of the level. It was while overcoming the very first obstacle: I hit the switch on the left-hand side to rotate the big double-platform; ran across to the right-hand side; jumped into the nook with the second switch and hit the switch so that the platform rotated again and the chain dropped; jumped down, out of the nook; leaped for the chain—and at that point the dodgy layer AI stuck me back inside the nook. I know, this is a ridiculously minor thing to bring up. Really, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to mention it if it wasn’t for the fact that every single other part of the level seemed to have been constructed with an almost uncanny sense of the player’s likely movements. Also, I’m guessing that this is precisely the kind of niggling detail that you get obsessed about.

If the chain was hanging a little further off the platform edge, would I have instinctively moved closer to the edge before leaping, and thus avoided the dodgy layer AI’s push into the nook? But I suspect you’ve already considered all this and there’s a very sensible reason why the chain has to fall where it does.

Okay, that was my feeble attempt at suggesting an improvement. Enough of that.

Jackofcourse, thank you for creating this excellent level! :)

jackofcourse
01-09-2010, 03:36 AM
This level plays so smoothly and tightly, it’s incredible. The platforming equivalent of a swiss watch. It feels like it’s been playtested and tweaked and timed to the nth degree, as if you spent hours shaving millimetres off of platforms until the whole thing was working “just so”.

It actually doesn’t feel very “LittleBigPlanet”! I somehow expect an LBP level to be just a bit ramshackle, a bit charmingly clunky; to have that “homemade” feel. You can see this quality not just in the community-made levels, but also in the story levels created by Sony Cambridge. Let me put it like this: the archetypal LBP level feels like it might have been put together by Doc Brown from Back To The Future. "Scorching Scamper", on the other hand, feels like it could have been designed by Steve Jobs.

I suppose it still feels “homemade” — just homemade by someone who seems to be totally obsessed with getting every tiniest little detail as close to perfection as possible. The LBP equivalent of this guy’s pizza (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz91GfoZ-Zs).

Once I'd finished the level, I immediately chose “replay”, and then again, until I had aced it. I think that’s the first time I’ve done that. It was a pleasure to play, every time.

One moment wasn’t quite as butter-smooth as the rest of the level. It was while overcoming the very first obstacle: I hit the switch on the left-hand side to rotate the big double-platform; ran across to the right-hand side; jumped into the nook with the second switch and hit the switch so that the platform rotated again and the chain dropped; jumped down, out of the nook; leaped for the chain—and at that point the dodgy layer AI stuck me back inside the nook. I know, this is a ridiculously minor thing to bring up. Really, it wouldn’t even have occurred to me to mention it if it wasn’t for the fact that every single other part of the level seemed to have been constructed with an almost uncanny sense of the player’s likely movements. Also, I’m guessing that this is precisely the kind of niggling detail that you get obsessed about.

If the chain was hanging a little further off the platform edge, would I have instinctively moved closer to the edge before leaping, and thus avoided the dodgy layer AI’s push into the nook? But I suspect you’ve already considered all this and there’s a very sensible reason why the chain has to fall where it does.

Okay, that was my feeble attempt at suggesting an improvement. Enough of that.

Jackofcourse, thank you for creating this excellent level! :)

Thanks for the fantastic review! :)

Glad you enjoyed it. I know what you mean about the layer switching on that one part. I had done it myself and pushed the sponge out as much as I could as a result. (I can't move it any further or it gets knocked by the spinning platform in the middle :)

Please you enjoyed it as much as you did!

Taffey
01-09-2010, 08:19 AM
Yeah, I hated it.

I've got a bridge for sale too. Interested?

I will now sum up my non-sarcastic review in three letters: YES. That is what I exclaimed when I saw you had published a level. It's also what I said when I loaded it up and was treated with the visuals. I probably said "yes!" out loud several times while playing the level because I got some odd looks from my wife.

You've got a real knack for the gameplay element in this game. All the different permutations of obstacles you were able to come up with really blow my mind. They're all so new and original, and yet intuitive and enjoyable to figure out. As a player, you just know what to do when playing this level, thanks to the excellent pacing and overall construction of the level. It's really a treat to play.

An often-overlooked aspect of action-heavy levels is the camera work. You nailed it as always, but I think you did particularly good here. It's not an easy task to fit everything on screen you want the player to see and manage to draw their attention the right direction. It's easy to end up with seriously wonky camera angles if you're not careful, but this really flowed beautifully. Transitions between angles are extraordinarily difficult to get right, but again you've got it down.

Saying that the "usual" jackofcourse elements are in place here would be like saying I won my "usual" lotto jackpot this morning. Yes, it has a very familiar look and feel but it's spot-on brilliant and totally original to the last pixel. jeffcu28 said it best when he mentioned that your levels are minimalist when it comes to story, theme, and motivation. I tend to handcuff myself to carrying through a story, so it's very refreshing to see and play a work of art like this one.

What? I'm supposed to mention a bad thing? Um.... ok.... Oh! It took me 10 seconds of head scratching before I figured out the 3x puzzle, but that's because I was having a dunce moment. Brilliant puzzle, brilliant gameplay, brilliantly executed. But you didn't make it 110% dunce proof! So there! :p

Just for fun, I will wrap this up with some future suggested names for your levels. I like your naming convention and had a few ideas, none of which I will ever be able to use:

Freezing Frolic
Running Ruins
Jolting Jaunt
Spiky Spillway
Blustering Bustle
Rambling Ramshackle
Rusting Runabout
Jogging Jollies (umm... no perhaps not this one)
Galaxy Gallop
Bounding Bounce
Slippery Slink

Please don't feel obliged to use any of those, because of course they are all very silly.

In case it wasn't already obvious, I loved the Dickens out of this level, it gets 5 stars and a heart. You already have a creator heart... No soup for you!

robotiod
01-09-2010, 08:38 AM
This was a brilliant level and one of the best i have played, you had perfect timing throughout the entire level and you used a good bit of logic as well. (Don't know how you did it its way to glitchy for me to do anything i want)

I even got confused at one point which i think is the brilliance of your puzzles, where it says X3 i thought oh i need three players, I stood there for a couple of second and realized you cant do multiplayer on the psp :P

The best psp level by you yet http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/1/star2.pnghttp://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/1/star2.pnghttp://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/1/star2.pnghttp://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/1/star2.pnghttp://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/1/star2.png

KQuinn94Z
01-09-2010, 04:39 PM
I loved it.
A mini level that would fit well as a section of a level of yours on the ps3! Awesomez! good job man.

jackofcourse
01-09-2010, 06:11 PM
Thank a lot Taffey! :)

I'm really glad you appreciate it!


Saying that the "usual" jackofcourse elements are in place here would be like saying I won my "usual" lotto jackpot this morning.

I really like this! On numerous occasions with my ps3 levels I've had people say 'well it's kind of like your old one' in a negative way...

To these people:
Firstly, it isn't really, it's might have the same 'art style' and 'gameplay style' but it's not the same. The 'theme' is new, the gameplay elements and mechanics are all fresh and unseen so it's only the same in the way that Mm's all have that 'homemade patchwork' feel about them.
Secondly, you said you loved my last level! Why are you moaning!? :)

Anyway, digressed (with raged) slightly there :)

hahaha I love how a few are getting confused with the 3x part. A few may have noticed that I used a similar gameplay mechanic in 'Pretty Simple'. I will take some of responsibility for it not being very clear and people thinking that it could indicate they need 3 players in that one...

But the PSP is a 1 player game...use your noggin' :P haha!

EDIT: Oh and I'm ridiculously envious of your level naming skills! It would take me a month to come up with that many. I demand you edit them out of your post so no one can steal them...they're now miiiiiine! haha :)

Lleonard Pler
01-09-2010, 06:52 PM
This is your best PSP level so far, which means a lot because the previous ones were already great. But the puzzles of "Scorching Scamper" are very original, well-thought and perfectly planned.

The now infamous "x3" puzzle had me a minute thinking what I was supposed to do. 'Did they add multiplayer while I was out?', was my first thought. And then, when I realized what I had to do, I was jealous (once again) of your talent. This is a very clever puzzle: using simple tools in an innovative way.

The puzzle with buttons behind the crystal was very interesting too. And as usual, I wondered how you come with so many good ideas, and how you manage to craft them flawlessly. Everything works fine and how it's supposed to, everything feels solid and in place. This is something that all your levels (PSP and PS3) share: immaculate mechanics.

Congratulations once more for teaching us how to make perfect levels. 5 stars and hearted.

Domik12
01-11-2010, 03:53 PM
jackofcourse, you did very good level. You used many contractions, that I previously saw in community level on PS3 (you new level for psp have many similar details with yours Tribal Ruins level for PS3, isn't it?). And you very good used it on your level. All level is made in one design, my respect for you for this! And all mechanisms are situated in it's own places all very logical and easy to find a way further. Thanks again for such great level! 5 stars!

fabioisonfire
01-14-2010, 01:29 AM
This is by far one of the most impressive (and incredibly well made) levels I've seen in my time with the game. I can't say enough about how much I love the construction of this. It must have taken some real time, and I can appreciate that. I gave you 5 stars, and I hearted it. Kudos.

Rogar
01-15-2010, 03:58 PM
One i can think of is that it´s a bit short level.

I think you misspelled 'leaves you wanting for more'. ;)

Can't think of anything to add, it's perfect. Loved it! :)

jackofcourse
01-15-2010, 09:54 PM
Thanks a lot everyone who's commented. I'm glad you all approve as this is probably my first psp level where I've got to do what I actually wanted! :)

Hopefully there shall be more!