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Newo_Namekaw
01-26-2010, 08:16 PM
Search for this level and you will not be disappointed. This is a big obstacle course that makes you feel good whenever you reach the next checkpoint. A hard, yet fun, level in which you can train to become the ultimate sackperson.
Unfortunately, this level was made before I discovered the corner edit tool , but despite this, it is a level I am really proud of.

jackofcourse
01-27-2010, 12:14 PM
This is a lot of fun.

There's no doubt that it is ultra basic, but in terms of the fundamentals of LBP (fun!), it is without doubt a success. There's nothing in the level that I haven't been seen before, and it is all pretty much basic gameplay and basic ideas, but everything has been thought about and tweaked until it is just right.

The obvious downside to this level being visuals and general atmosphere. It's undeniably a first level, but when you take the level for what it is, then it is a pretty fun experience.

In terms of layout, planning and a flow it is quite impressive. The idea of going back on yourself and having to do redo the obstacles is something which I have toyed with for a very long time but just never got around to it. I said I would only do it if I could find a way to make the obstacles feel and play totally differently just because you were coming from the other side of them.

I think this could possibly be the only flaw I found with the gameplay, because it is all very symmetrical and organised...it does just feel like you're doing the same obstacles over again. There's also a slight confusion over what you're actually supposed to do when you turn back on yourself. When you go up and over the top and then drop back down on the same checkpoint, I was a bit confused as to where I was supposed to go. Knowing what I had just got through, I felt a little reluctant to go back across all the obstacles when I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to. An indication that you are indeed meant to go back that way would be very useful. Something as simple as emitting a little arrow in the background would work, (attached to a proximity switch that is placed where you drop down on to the checkpoint so you can't miss it).

Although the idea of totally backtracking and doing the same route is cool and I am a fan of it, I think it probably takes a little of the satisfaction away from having got through all the obstacles. I think a motive or reason for doing so could help, just so it doesn't feel a bit pointless. (OMG Jack asking for a story...what's going on?!).

Actually no, ignore that last paragraph it's totally wrong...If I had made this level and someone said that to me, I'd be wtf'ing at it. This level isn't about the visuals or story or anything else...it's just about platforming fun. So it would be wrong to criticise this level for that. (The reason I haven't just deleted it totally being that it is still a valid point and something to considered on other levels...just not this one! :))

Anyway! Yeah, great effort for a first level, you have a good grasp of what makes good gameplay and how to make a level flow. The way you enabled the obstacles to be tackled from both sides, and the slight alteration of the path to get you to the scoreboard were also well planned.

I think in terms of improving as a creator the most obvious being try and do more with the visuals (will be a lot easier now you know about that corner editor! ;))
The other big thing being use of layers! Using them effectively is imperative to getting the most out of your level and can be used for both visuals, and gameplay! Anyway this is turning into my creating guide here so I will stop :)

Great work for your first level, showing some good potential! :)

Actually, I think my creating guide may be some use to you. Link: http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?20588-Guide-and-Tips-to-Creating-on-PSP
Hope you find it helpful if you do find time to read it!

Domik12
01-27-2010, 01:26 PM
Newo_Namekaw, thanks for great level. You did almost ideal platform level. All devices done very good and general idea is perfect. Yes -there is not much in visuals, but it not necessarily for this kind of levels. So - it was much fun to play on your level.
This place is wonderful:
http://my-lbp.narod.ru/LBP/central/p2.jpg

And only one small comments:

in place, that on picture below, imho, better to do additional chekpoint to smoother gameplay.

http://my-lbp.narod.ru/LBP/central/p1.jpg

Anyway - thanks for great level. My 5 stars and heart!

Arrestor
01-27-2010, 01:41 PM
Hi!
My first thought was: Oh no corner editing... this really cant be good. But the look fits the purpose of this level (even if some areas would need some polishing :D)
Besides that its a real challenge! I needed many tries to jump over the last of the green, electrified obstacles (hope you know what i mean). And when i had to get back that way the level broke for me. I grabbed that yellow sponge got at the platform above and the sponge stayed there. After that i died and when i got back to the place where i needed the sponge i couldnt reach it because it was still on the platform. I think a checkpoint up there would really help!

I will try the level again now

Ok i got it.
Its really a hard one. I can imagine that many players will be frustrated by this. Especially at the jump i described.

But i really look forward to the levels where you actually use the corner editing tool. This one looks not that bad already. (Maybe you can use the thin layers some more)
So i gave it 4 stars and hope i will see something from you soon.

Edit: Am i the only one who made it to the end? #1 for me! Come and beat me!

Domik12
01-27-2010, 02:02 PM
Edit: Am i the only one who made it to the end? #1 for me! Come and beat me!

I finished it too, but your result is better. Maybe because I stopped many time to take a pictures. By the way - the place with electric blocks was not difficult for me - I did it at second try.

Barzano
01-27-2010, 03:49 PM
Nice one. Simple but effective and great for speed runs ^^

now its #1 for me :P

Arrestor
01-27-2010, 04:41 PM
**** thats a good score! Improved mine but didnt get yours...

Taffey
01-27-2010, 06:02 PM
I'm impressed! Honestly, I thought this was going to be terrible when I first started playing it because of the blocky construction, but it's quite an achievement.

Before I really get started, let me just say that this is not my kind of level. I strongly dislike mega-hard challenges, but I'll do my best to be objective anyway. :) Everything is very well made and it's clear you did a lot of testing to make sure all the challenges actually work. There's a good variety of all types of platforming, from dodging to hopping to swinging to puzzles and everything in between. It's a good, long level as well, and having the player double back is genius. I thought that aspect of your level was really well executed and quite effectively doubles its length. As jackofcourse mentioned, some arrows here and there would be nice, especially on your trip back, but it was obvious enough to me that I needed to keep heading to the left once I started going that way. There's a lot of replay value here for trying to beat your and others' top scores. You already mentioned that you didn't discover the corner editor until later, but I actually like how you carried the blocky look throughout the level. It made everything feel like an old Atari 2600 game, especially the winch lift through the gas blocks. My favorite part by far was your elastic colored key puzzle thing - brilliant!

My first and most significant complaint is that this level is incredibly frustrating. Again, this is just not my thing so I'm sure plenty of other people will disagree with me. Most of your challenges were tuned fairly well, but there were a couple others that were so annoyingly hard they stood out for me as problem areas. Some of my most hated game mechanics are here: platforming on rotating round things, platforming over glass (tilted even!), and jumping over electrified blocks. There I was, getting fried over and over and over again while listening to Glokenpop loop in the background, and I realized that I was staring my own personal hell in the face. Ok, so that's probably a bit harsh, but those sections did seem to be overly punishing, even for fans of hardcore platforming. The rotating wheels seemed to be just slightly too fast for me and perhaps spaced too far apart. The glass platforming wasn't too bad, but the tilted platforms were quite tricky. The electrified blocks..... Argh. You have exactly 1 pixel of clearance that you must achieve with perfection on some of those jumps, and I can see many players quitting the level at that point as their PSPs go flying out of a window.

Ok, so I'm doing a lot of griping about things I have said are personal preference, so take all that with a grain of salt. You do have a fun experience here, but I'm afraid your ratings will suffer because of the difficulty - always a risk when publishing this type of level. The only legitimate gripe I have is the same sponge lift that Arrestor mentioned - it gets stuck on the ledge above and will break the level if you die before you get to the next checkpoint. You can either add a sloped section to the ledge so that the sponge will roll off and fall back down, or you can put a thin layer of material (glass would be a good choice) in the middle layer that will prevent the sponge from swinging over the ledge too far. The player will still be able to land in front of or behind the thin material but the sponge simply won't get stuck any more.

This is a really excellent level, especially considering it is your first effort! I am very interested in seeing what you publish next. Great work here - I gave this 4 stars. :)

jackofcourse
01-27-2010, 07:29 PM
Interesting, I didn't find it that difficult at all. Only part I could see being frustrating is the electrified 3 block long jump, but even that I managed to get past on the second attempt I think.

Personally I don't think the difficulty is an issue, mainly because that is what these levels are all about. If there's no challenge there's nothing to it. Running along and jumping over really easy jumps isn't much fun when there's nothing great to look at or nothing else going on etc. This level is all about the challenge and platforming, so I think the slight ramp in difficulty compared to your standard level is necessary.

Taffey
01-27-2010, 08:19 PM
If there's no challenge there's nothing to it. Running along and jumping over really easy jumps isn't much fun when there's nothing great to look at or nothing else going on etc. This level is all about the challenge and platforming, so I think the slight ramp in difficulty compared to your standard level is necessary.I definitely agree with that. For whatever reason, I had a lot of trouble completing this level.

The rest of the level flowed nicely but the parts I mentioned stuck out for me as a ramp up in difficulty. Take for example the electrified jetpack maze: Only half the walls are electrified, which means you can zip through it fairly quickly if you're careful, but the 3-block jump (following a string of other tight hops) was brutal for me. As I mentioned in another post, however, I'm having a coordination-challenged morning for some odd reason. :)

Newo_Namekaw
01-28-2010, 04:25 PM
Thanks for all the reviews and praise for the level, I really didn't expect it to be that popular. I will try and improve the level. This includes making it more obvious that you have to go back, make that three-block-electric-jump (or the terrifying, almost impossible jump of doom) just a little shorter and make it so the sponge grab bit in the electric block jumps on the way back can come back down again. I will also make the music change for the bit you have to go back for those who find Glokenpop repeating over and over. And for the tilted glass jumps, I will make them a little less tilted, so it is still hard but not too hard. Thanks for playing the level!

Taffey
01-28-2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks for making those changes! I will definitely play this again when you are done with your updates.

The improvement and revision process is one of the most important steps in creating, and it's great that you're willing to make adjustments. :)

Newo_Namekaw
01-28-2010, 05:08 PM
I immediately began work on retuning the level after reading these reviews only half an hour ago and, already, I am done! I am pleased to say that I have fixed the grabbable sponge that won't come down again with a bit of slightly slanted ice and just about everything else.
P.S. You may hate me for this, but that bit that some seemed to love (the elastic key thingamajig) was taken off of one of the PS3 LBP story levels. I can't remember which one it exactly was, but it was one of "The Wedding" ones. Only instead of elastic coloured keys, it was skulls on elastic that you had to place back on the skeleton bodies below.

Newo_Namekaw
01-28-2010, 05:28 PM
Oh dear. On replaying the level, I have noticed a large problem that was there before but only happened rarely. Whenever you start the race, it immediately finishes. Fortunately, I have fixed it already and the level is now (hopefully) complete!

Lleonard Pler
01-30-2010, 09:50 PM
I've just played your level. It's quite difficult to make a level like this (based on running against the clock making it through tons of obstacles) which is enjoyable and not frustrating. But you managed to make a fun ride. The variety of challenges and minipuzzles keeps the player interested, there's never place for boredom because there's always something new ahead. I even liked backtracking everything, it was fun despite you were repeating the same obstacles again. My only complain is about checkpoints: sometimes they were placed too apart, and sometimes too close. But I know it can't have been easy to place them because of the backtracking and the slightly different routes. Also, I tend to dislike levels which don't use the corner editor tool... and the Glokenpop song it's been overused by now, it's annoying. But both things, blocky visuals and the song, really worked on your level. I also liked the minimalistic use of stickers.

amazingflyingpoo
02-05-2010, 08:30 AM
Wow, this level is so much fun. I think that if I watched a video of it, I would probably not think to highly of it since the visuals aren't very pleasing, but man, once you actually play it for yourself, it is a GREAT time. I actually played it all the way through twice since it was so much fun the first time (got 5th place the first time and 3rd place the second time).

I think that you did an excellent job making it so that play has to undo some of the stuff that they did in order to back-track through the level, and I really liked the fact that you can see the other track in the level while you are going one way. I also loved the colored puzzle :) It was much like the normal colored puzzle that is soooo overused, but you managed to put a small twist on it, which was nice.

I had one small issue. At the very top right end of the level, you have to swing from a lower ledge to a higher one (from right to left). The sponge you swing on is situated so low that it is super irritating to swing without running into the ledge. It is very irritating when you are trying to speed run and you are doing well and then get stuck there since it doesn't feel as much like a player issue as a level issue.

My only other issue is that the visuals are very very basic. In all honesty, the level is good enough that I can't complain much, but it would probably be good to focus on visuals a bit more in your next level :)

Awesome work!