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SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 04:36 PM
Dead Space: New Arrivals (LBPC co-create contest entry)steve_big_guns
Co-created by monkeysboys and steve_big_guns for the lbpc co-create contest.

Investigate the communicatrions blackout on the the deep space mining ship USG Ishimura.
The level is based on the first chapter of Dead Space. If you`ve played the game then you will see the effort we both put into it to create something thats visually accurate yet still fun to play as a side scrolling platformer.

We both put a lot of effort into this, spending around 5 weeks to build and test. It was enjoyable merging our styles and techniques together to create something thats visually cohesive.

I hope Dead Space fans and players who have never tried it enjoy it alike :p.

Thegide
02-03-2010, 04:53 PM
This looks great, Steve. Just from these tiny screenshots I'd say you really nailed the environment of the Ishimura. I was a big fan of the game, I'll be sure to give this one a go.

Just out of curiosity, do you have to dismember the necromorphs with the paintgun or just shoot them outright?

SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 05:12 PM
Thanks a lot we tried our best to capture the look and atmosphere of the Ishimura. I actually avoided any confrontation that would require you to kill the necromorphs. It would have been to easy and not very enjoyable just to shoot and kill them. Also it kills the atmosphere we were trying to achive. The gameplays more focused on fun platforming elements.

Luos_83
02-03-2010, 05:35 PM
No shooting at all actually.. or at least no shooting at monsters.
But.. since I am a HUGE fan of "Dead Space"
Let me get to the point.

Cons:

first of all, where are the other crew members (like kendra).
because you really missed the point there.
why would you want to use the crew their (almost identical) way of speaking..
if they are not in the same room/not created at all.
Halfway trough the level I got really bothered by this.
Are they ghosts all of a sudden.. are they inside my (or sack's) head?

Please dont call the paintinator a plasma cutter, its not.

Not only is the experience linear.. your level is.
its only "walk towards the right and be done with it".
There is almost no difficulty, its the basic "here is a switch, it opens a door".
I am stating this because that was THE issue people complained about in my first Sack level.

Feels like an actual port of "Dead Space" minus being scary and minus the main characters.
It actually lacks of creativity though, its basically a visual port of the actual game.

Normally I would say it felt like mommy was there holding my hand..
But this level was so easy I kinda felt like the whole family was there to witness my first steps.
(especially because of the timed hints.. using them for a simple crate-pusing thing...)

Pro's:

Timed hints are always nice, but even using them for a simple crate pushing thing..
Might be overdoing it..

The monster didnt look bad at all.

Visually it looks like the early UT3 levels,
As an old Unreal-engine-related enviroment artist I can dig this style,
Mucho grande efford has been put into this.
The style is almost identical to the "Original" dead space game, Kudo's for that.
I have not seen many levels with such strong sci-fi industrial feel.

The slowdown is nice, not original though as ive seen it being used a lot better in other lbp levels.
And though the "puzzle" with the tram being stuck on the rail is done nice..
I thought it would have been cooler if you had to shoot the right piston, activate it,
run back to other side and activate this piston to grab the tram.
.

Design: max of 3 points
Design: the authors should really think about the design of their level-layout more,
its flat and boring.
0.5 points.


Gameplay: max of 3 points.
Almost nothing, jumping three gaps, pulling 5 or so switches and two "slow-down" elements that are quite easy.
1.5 points. (Edit: added 0.5 for the stuck tram part)

Audio/visual: max of 3 points.
3 points, nuff said.

Originality: max of 1 point.
Not original at all, feels like a direct port.. but looses its intensity due this being lbp.
The Prev. created "Dead space" level that got 100's of thousands of plays.. was an original take on "Dead Space" while this is just a mere copy.. forgetting to implement/blend lbp into it.
no points.

That said,
Very mucho grande Kudo's for the visuals, *bows head*
but please.. work on your gameplay and design.

5.0 points devide by two.
2.5 stars.

three stars because the visuals rocked.

on a sidenote:
nm :)

fijski8
02-03-2010, 05:53 PM
on a sidenote:
I do have the feeling this was not created for the contest,
As I have played it almost a month ago, nothing stating about the contest.


I know for sure this was created for the contest. I have tested it since it started. Steve always had the contest in mind. So you are totaly wrong there.

On another note: He only released this last week. So how did you play it a month ago?

Anyways, 5 stars for sure! You and Monkey kick booty as a team! I origanaly wanted to team up with monkey, but was too lazy... and you beat me to the punch! Great work Steve and Monkey!

A MUST PLAY for any LBP fan or Dead Space fan.

Luos_83
02-03-2010, 06:13 PM
Yea, you can discard that.
that was part of a private convo.

I actually send the person(s) in question half the review lol.
I had to hurry due to dinner being ready.

that was related to the LBL fairytale contest,
but yea.. the comment totally can fit in my prev. post..
so sorry for that.

SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 06:26 PM
The characters couldnt be included due to the thermometer limit. I wanted to include the maintenace bay but would need another 3 bars of thermo to create the detail needed. The timed hints werre necessary as I tested it with around 50 friends that have had the game for a long time and they all had problems figuring out what to do at certain areas. I made the tram removal part accurate initially but no one could understand what to do. Even with descriptive text explaining, they would just make their way back to the left side of the room before giving up. Even as it is people still have problems with it.

I think you missed the point on the level design as its trying to maintain the layout of the Ishimura. The gameplay was designed around the layout of the games areas rather than incorporating the design around the gameplay. I could have just taken the easy way out and ignored the games layout and design but it wouldnt be a level I would want to play or even have enough pride in it to publish.

I feel your review system is flawed as difficulty and originality is irrelevant. I was trying to match the levels difficulty and design to the game as closely as possible to create something that has never been done acurately in lbp to give fans of the game or people who have never experienced it before a true representation. Thanks for taking you time to review it but I dont think 2 stars rounded up to 3 because of the visuals is a fair and honest score. A review should be based on an overall impression the level left on you and not the accumulated score of its sub-components.

monkeysboys
02-03-2010, 06:45 PM
We were a great team it was an honor to work with steve_big_guns.

SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 06:53 PM
Thanks Jessy :). It was an honor working with someone as talented, creative and such a nice person to be around as you too.

Jrange378
02-03-2010, 07:16 PM
How could anybody rate this 3 stars XD I laugh at you.

This level is incredible from start to end with my favorite parts being the start on the kellion and the tram at the end. The visuals were spot on, as soon as you enter this level you recognise the visual style is synonomous with dead space. I cant say anything bad about it other than things you cant control such as running out of room with thermo which restricted what you could do in some areas. Definately 5 stars man.

SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 07:48 PM
Thanks a lot Jrange. It was difficult to fit everything I wanted into the level. At the momement its only posible to add a singe square block of material. I could optimise how the logic is mounted to the darkmatter by having all the logic in one area mounted to a single piece of dark matter instead of around 6 spread around the level close to where they are used. This would be pointless though as what could I add with 5 blocks of material lol.

Jrange378
02-03-2010, 08:42 PM
Well theres a thread in the help section that has a ton of ways to reduce thermo, i would suggest looking there. You might find something that kills the thermo you didnt even know about, its pretty detailed.

ferrrch
02-03-2010, 09:10 PM
5 stars as i told you is awesome so amazing vsuals that i think u will win the competition maybe along with fijski he is also very good but this 5 stars for game-play too and a heart

cthulhu82
02-03-2010, 09:39 PM
love DS and the graphics on this look great, I shall check this out later and let you know what I think

TheAdipose
02-03-2010, 09:40 PM
Hiya Steve and Monkey

I havent played deadspace so my experience here is purely as a LBP'er.
I thought your cutscenes were excellent. the gas and lighting effects were really nice in the opening montage and I LOVED the way you destroyed the whole ship afterwards. (bet you didnt want to trip that accidently in create!)

I thought the level was atmospheric and on the whole the puzzles felt like a natural part of the environment you created. I wondered if the level could have been a bit darker on occaision. My main comparision here is 'littledeadspace' which had a similar look but their darker environment created a scarier feel.

I've seen these kind of puzzles before, but you integrated them nicely with the level so it didnt feel unoriginal. I liked the way you had to keep backtracking with on the paintinator/lowering platforms puzzles. (btw I did get stuck here at one point - I fell towards the right hand side and got stuck between the floor and electricity - I could actually walk under the right hand side.)

there was possibly a grammar mistake at one point. I think it said 'arounds' instead of around. ...but you had a lot of speech bubbles so I may have made a mistake.
The scenery where you first see the creatures was great - I liked the room at the back and the way it was lit. The sound effects worked well. The creature itself seemed to move in a weird way. While I watched from the safety of the back room, it seemed to kind of wobble forward :) The claws slicing through the lift were a lot better.

You kept my attention right to the end, and you left a tantalising teaser to what happens next. I was very grateful the level didnt turn into a paintinator shoot fest. The combination of scary atmosphere and puzzlers is a winner.

My biggest and possibly most important suggestion to you would be to remove a lot of the hints. I like to be challenged in a level, but you essentially took a lot of the challenge out by TELLING me what to do. I know younger players need the hints... and I know you'd probably lose 5 stars if you took them out... but I'm older, and I like to work things out myself. My suggestion would be to make the hints optional so that younger players can activate them if necessary.

Other than that... well done.. nice level.
(and steve.. thanks for the costumes level too, I had a lot of fun looking at all the stuff in there)

Adi

Shris
02-03-2010, 10:36 PM
Oh no :O

Lol, didn't think you doing this. You already know what I think, but I'll do a review for ya :). It was a bit of a let down with no characters, but because of thermo issues I understand. The intro is amazing, visuals are spot on, and I think the level itself had just the right length. The use of hints in all areas I believe was a good idea as not all people may figure it out, esspecially with younger and newer players. Though I only actually saw one hint due to falling repeatedly :( I can't be sure, as Adi said, if you basically tell them what to do. If that is true though, I would be a little less direct. You guys did a good job with the staisis (I think that's what it's called?), the use with the tram puzzle was nice. Also liked the ending leading to the tram, just like the game. Though a little lacking in detail in comparison with the rest of the level, I'd assume you were just using your last bit of thermo. Overall I had a fun time playing the level and definitely earned a 5 stars from me, good jod guys.

Incinerator22
02-03-2010, 11:11 PM
Two of my favorite things. Dead space and a steve_big_guns level. XD.

Expect feedback soon! :D

SteveBigGuns
02-03-2010, 11:40 PM
@ ferrrch. Thanks we hope we have a chance with this.

@ cthulhu8. Thanks. I hope you enjoy it.

@ TheAdipose. Thanks for the detailed review. I kept the lighting maybe a little brighter than game so the stickers and other details would be more apparent. Only by around one notch though as its not as dark as in little dead space. Im glad you felt the puzzles felt a natural part of the environment. We actually created the rooms accuratelt before I thought about ways to incorperate gameplay into them with having to completely alter the layout. I also didnt want it to turn into a paintinator shoot fest. Although the game is mainly a 3d person shooter I wanted to focus on the puzzles and atmosphere to capture the feel of dead space with out all the monotonous paintinator gameplay.im not sure about have the option to turn off hints as im sure people will do so and get stuck then rate low. Im glad you liked my costumes too.

@ shris. Characters would have been great but they would have took far too much thermo to incorporate without sacrificing environment details.I see what you mean by being less direct with the hints. They were at first until I tested the level with friends. I dont think they were helping as they still looked puzzled on what to do. It would have been a nice touch to have the waiting area for thew tram at the end, but as you said we used all the thermo.

cthulhu82
02-04-2010, 03:20 AM
well I just played it on my second psn account and visually it is very impressive, the levels are extremely detailed and really capture the feel of Dead Space a lot more than any other DS inspired LBP level I have seen thus far yet not once did I ever feel distracted by any of the backgorund as I have done in other peoples levels, this was a nice balance of awesome graphics without them being overbearing.

The opening scene was dramatic and again really captured the feel of DS, I especially loved seeing through the cockpit window and even tho I knew the stuff was on pistons or something it really felt like I was watching stuff float through space which again was one of the best examples of this effect that I have seen up to know.

Now the gameplay, what there actually was of it was nicely paced with the right amount of tension set by the Necromorph chase in the beginning, this would no doubt make players expect more attacks so they will try to be cautious while going through, it is this sense of being on edge that again lets this level capture the feel of it being Dead Space. Unfortunately there was very little actual gameplay and what puzzles were there to solve I figured them out straight away without even yaking any notice of the hints and in fact the whole level ended just as I was really starting to enjoy myself.

I know that a lot (if not most) of the thermo was no doubt took up by graphics butthe problem is that while it made it look nice it shortened the experience of the game and shortened my enjoyment of it.

so 5 / 5 for graphics
4 /5 for gameplay (it was good but too short)

as for the lack of characters, didn't bother me in the slightest. I just assumed they were chatting to you over that intercom thing as they do in the real DS game.

Oh and I see no problem with calling a paintinator a plasma cutter because again it fits in with the DS theme, and besides people make a shape out of cardboard and call it a fish (or whatever) and nobody seems to mind that.

Overall I would have to rate it 4 stars (4.5 if it was allowed) because it looked AWESOME but it was too short

TheFirstAvenger
02-04-2010, 03:20 AM
I remember playing this the day you first published and was really impressed, it is definitely your best level. I haven't played the game, but this level had a lot of similarities to Darknessbear's level, only this one looked a lot better. The structure of the entire level was pretty simple as was the gameplay but I can't resist levels that look great, and this was one of them. I did find the level to be pretty short though, I didn't mind that there weren't many monsters as I thought you put enough in. I gave it 5 Stars but was hesitant to heart because I know if the level dropped down to 4 Stars you'd probably republish it entirely.

SteveBigGuns
02-04-2010, 04:02 AM
Thanks guys:). I feel this may be my best too. I found my others were far easier to create as the funky visuals opened up many possibilities for gameplay ideas unlike the realistic approach used in dead space. It is shorter than I wouls like, but I wouldnt sacrifice the level of detail for an extra area as thats what makes it stand out from the other levels. Im really happy that we managed to get the main objectives of chapter 1 into the level with the amount of detail we wanted.

Luos_83
02-04-2010, 11:35 AM
The characters couldnt be included due to the thermometer limit.

Then your design was flawed.
Full thermo is no excuse to exclude stuff that might be important for the overall experience.



I made the tram removal part accurate initially but no one could understand what to do. Even with descriptive text explaining, they would just make their way back to the left side of the room before giving up. Even as it is people still have problems with it.O_o really.. wow.. No wonder games nowadays are way to easy if they cant even solve something done in the original game.





I think you missed the point on the level design as its trying to maintain the layout of the Ishimura. The gameplay was designed around the layout of the games areas rather than incorporating the design around the gameplay. I could have just taken the easy way out and ignored the games layout and design but it wouldnt be a level I would want to play or even have enough pride in it to publish.Well I guess you missed the point on the level design, as this is not Dead Space, But LBP.
you cannot intergrate a fully 3d world into a 2d-3 layered world.
therefore adjustments should be made into the original floorplan, instead of just let the little Sackboy walk towards the right.



I feel your review system is flawed as difficulty and originality is irrelevant. Imho.. you are wrong.
If something is too easy for the "real gamer" they will probably quit the game,
same if it is too hard.
Originality is important, Else ICO, shadow of the colossus, Okami, LittleBigPlanet, Bayonetta etc(and many more) wouldnt be as interesting as they are now.
Go to your local museum and ask a curator or even better ask an artist if "Originality" is irrelevant.



I was trying to match the levels difficulty and design to the game as closely as possible to create something that has never been done acurately in lbp to give fans of the game or people who have never experienced it before a true representation. Thanks for taking you time to review it but I dont think 2 stars rounded up to 3 because of the visuals is a fair and honest score. A review should be based on an overall impression the level left on you and not the accumulated score of its sub-components.Just because something looks really good, doesnt mean it will be good as a whole package.
And my proffesional opinion is that the level is lacking on all aspects besides audio and visuals.
Maybe you did not get me right, this IS my overall impression.
Ignore the star score and look at my score,
there is room for improvement in gameplay and design.
And gameplay will always be more important than visual design in my book.
(preferable having them blend into a seamingless result)

If my boss asked me to test one of the levels, and this would be it, I would have said exactly the same.
The difference is, He would be glad that I pointed this out so he can do adjustments and hopefully get more sales out of it.

CCubbage
02-04-2010, 12:40 PM
Played this the other day - very cool! From a visuals standpoint this may be your best level... I gave it 5 stars and a heart. From a gameplay perspective, I didn't think it was your best - I can think of at least 3 other levels that gameplay-wise I enjoyed far more and have much greater replay value.

However, I am impressed with the different directions you're able to go in, so the gameplay thing isn't as much a critisism as it is an observation. I usually enjoy a level for what it IS, not for what it isn't.


O_o really.. wow.. No wonder games nowadays are way to easy if they cant even solve something done in the original game.
Exactly. Many times it's necessary to reduce things down to the lowest common denominator with LBP - many of the players are kids and casual gamers (thus... Bomb drop and survival level popularity). So, most people who will play it have never played the original. A simple puzzle in LBP could be the kiss of death, unfortunately (although I personally choose death over popularity... but thats just me)
:D

SteveBigGuns
02-04-2010, 07:05 PM
@ Luos_Desruc. Characters would be a nice extra but in no way worth sacrificing environment detail. Realistic carboard characters never look great anyway. The amount of edges used too create them would mean simplifying the detail on the architecture to a degree where the level would loose the feel of dead space

I dont see how originality should effect what rating you give a level if its intended to be an accurate recreation of the game. Thats like rating a music level down due to no gameplay. Its intended to be enjoyed for what it is and not what it isnt, as CCubage stated.

Challenging difficulty isnt imperative for it to be enjoyable. The first chapter of dead space is very easy but still fun to play due to the atmosphere, effects and cinematics. Ive always enjoyed easy levels in lbp with similar qualities such as the scifi world series.

A level is more than the sum of its parts. Using a scale of your overall impression is a more accurate summation. Such as 1=terrible 2=poor 3=average (meh) 4=good 5=excellent.

@ CCubage. Thanks a lot!. im glad you liked the level. I agree that creating with all skill levels in mind is something an author has to do in lbp if they want their level to be as sucessful as possible. Anything thats too difficult for the player will usually result in a poor rating and negative tag.

Incinerator22
02-05-2010, 11:44 PM
I'm not too happy with it...

It's just like star cruiser and the rest of candyk's levels. No gameplay :(.
Since when is hacking an elevator supposed to be moving a box and pulling a lever?

I think you could have also done better with the dialouge. You need to add major puncuation revisions too...

But it might just be the most detailed level I've ever played, and the beginning was the best intro I've ever seen.

SteveBigGuns
02-06-2010, 12:52 PM
I'm not too happy with it...

It's just like star cruiser and the rest of candyk's levels. No gameplay :(.
Since when is hacking an elevator supposed to be moving a box and pulling a lever?

I think you could have also done better with the dialouge. You need to add major puncuation revisions too...

But it might just be the most detailed level I've ever played, and the beginning was the best intro I've ever seen.

Im happy you liked the intro and level of detail in the level. Recreating the intro was one of the most enjyable things ive done in the game.

The primary focus of the level was to recreate the atmosphere, design and story of the game as accurately as possible. This had an influence on the amount and type of gameplay added to each section. I tried adding more involved gameplay, but in doing so I had to alter the environment more than I liked. The door hacking part in the game involves pressing a button while isaac performs the hacking procedure automatically. I kept it simple so it felt like the game, used the natural environmet and didnt require changing the layout so it became inacurate. I didnt want it to become like the metal gear solid dlc levels. While they were fun, it didnt feel like the game. I could have choosen to do something like this, but I like to try new things. Also ive had the game since november 2008 and need to find more more diverse ways of creating, otherwise I will loose interest quickly.

AbstractFlesh
02-06-2010, 01:02 PM
It was visually outstanding and the little platform ideas really put the icing on the cake.

Great job!

:star::star::star::star::star: and one big heart for you =)

jackofcourse
02-06-2010, 04:05 PM
Just played it and I think the feedback that has been given so far as been quite interesting. Steve, you mentioned something about rating a level on what is there and not what isn't, and that is something that I have tried to get across many many times. In order to give feedback on a level objectively, you must put your personal preferences to one side and consider what the creator was trying to achieve.

As you have mentioned here, you were attempting to recreate the start of Dead Space. Therefore I think you both did a great job (granted, I haven't played Dead Space, but I get the idea of what is supposed to feel like).

I know a few people picked up on the dialogue and how you give a way a bit too much at times. Anyone who knows my levels will understand that I don't have anything against catering for the masses, as that is exactly what I try and do. But I do believe that catering for them in certain ways will detract from a level and I believe there are a few parts in this where that occurs.

I have a general rule that if I would have to have a magic mouth explaining what to do for the general community, then it isn't simple enough to be in my level. Here at times I think you have crossed this a little. You wanted to have it complex enough to stick to the story and how you personally wanted it laid out, but then you also want it to be accepted by the masses and in order to do this you've had to spell some things out to everyone. There's certain parts where it has just watered down the level a bit and detracts from the whole experience. It's more of an issue with a level like this because it is all about atmosphere and immersion, and having something pop up and tell you exactly what to do takes you out of this little bubble you have clearly put so much effort in to creating.

I just think it's a shame that you've compromised getting the level 'just right' in order to try and keep 5 stars. As I said, I myself make levels for everyone, but I have that in mind right from day one, and they are catered for right from the start, so such compromises are never an issue. You've taken on a subject matter here that is maybe a bit too complex for the masses, created an atmosphere that is absolutely spot on, and then watered it all down for the sake of the rating.

To give you an idea of the parts I mean:

At the start when you have put [GO LEFT] at the end of the dialogue. The player will probably try and go right...and they can't...so where are they going to try next? To pull the player out of the experience for something so small seems a shame.

The next part I thought was strange was that you explain to the player that the cogs are grabbable, even though in order to get to this part you already have had to grab the cogs...(when the creature is chasing you). Seemed a little pointless unless I'm missing something?

The other one being when you explain that you have to 'shoot this back layer'. There's a massive paintinator switch on what you have to shoot...if no one gets the message from that then I'm surprised if they can hold a controller! :)

Overall, the level of detail and atmosphere from the level is fantastic, and I'm not going to comment on the 'lack of gameplay' or anything like that because I fully understand that is not what this level is about. I just feel that you have compromised getting the level 'just right' in order to keep a 5 star rating. Seems like a shame that it has had to be watered down like this to me.

I think it comes down to what you want as a creator, personally, I would prefer 10 people on here saying 'yep, it was perfect', and the level having 4 stars in game. Than them saying 'it was good, but this part wasn't quite right' and the level having 5 stars in game.

jwwphotos
02-06-2010, 04:30 PM
Hey Steve!

Very cool level indeed. I loved the intro and the architecture and stickering was inspiring as well as awesome.

I have to echo what CCubbage said in that while this was one of your most mind blowing visual levels to date, the game play wasn't quite as fun and wish there were a bit more platforming bits. What was there, was still quite cool though. However, in truly looking at what you were trying to achieve I think you did an incredible job. Wow.. You did some things with stickers and detail that I had not thought of. The floor!! duh!! I had a face palm moment when I saw those, including the thought of perspective. Very cool !! Nice touches indeed! ;)

I also have to touch on a bit of what Jack said, I think the extra hints were unnecessary though I won't admonish you for making it a bit easier for younger players. I am getting quite a few non completed plays in my level currently so I definitely can understand where you are coming form. Then again as CCubbage so eloquently put's it:

"A simple puzzle in LBP could be the kiss of death, unfortunately (although I personally choose death over popularity... but thats just me)"

..and seems to be me as well. ;) LOL!!

5 stars and a heart. ...the visuals and atmosphere alone sold me.


ps and thanks so much for the kind words on my new level. :)

SteveBigGuns
02-06-2010, 04:59 PM
@ jackofcourse. I can see your point about directing the player a lot . These things were only included after testing over and over with various friends. I almost always turn my controller off to see how they play the level. You would be supprised to see just how many people would go right, plain shift down, go right, then do it all over again before giving up on using the door and messaging "what do I do". These were people who have had the game for over 6 months.

Using the cogs twice was an idea I had to clue the player in that they could be grabbed. The player will instinctively grab them at the chase. I expected them to realise that they could be grabbed at the section after. During testing that didnt happen though. Same with the back layer hint. I became very frustrated that no one would move to the back layer. I moved the panel and paint gun to the back layer at first, but this had no effect. Next I added the backlayer text hint. Even with these people tried to shoot it in the front layer before moving across to the left side of the area and then giving up on what to do. I had to add a flashing spotlight where the player should stand and shoot to activate the arm mechanism. My first idea for the tram removable was far more challenging. You had to grab the panel, then the paint gun, shoot the arm, and get to the centre to activate the renmoval in a time period of about 8 seconds (first arm had to be activated prior). This was just never going to work as it just too complicated for the player to understand.

Im glad you understand why gameplay wasnt the main focus. Not every level needs to be packed with it. The recently very popular and successful titanic level had very little, but made up for it with its ship design and story. Its actually one of my favourite levels to date.

I do feel that I made a lot of compromises to appel to the masses. I tested this level far more than any other I have created as I wanted everyone to be able to finish it without them spending minutes trying to understand what to do and possible giving up and quitting. Im sure people are getting worse at games as I tested a friends level out before starting mine and thought I was doing terrible only to hear them comment that I was doing far better than anyone who previously tested. I feel that if im going to publish a level it may as well appeal to the masses as I can always put out a harder version later for anyone who doesnt want the hints or simplified game play.

@ jwwphotos. Im pleased you appreciated the work me and monkeysboys put into the visual design. We worked very well together, keeping to only one style, rather than trying to merge two styles and it looking disjointed. The tram removal section definitly could have been the kiss of death if I went with my initial ideas. Even if a player feels that everthing theyve played so
far is amazing, it only takes one thing for them to lose this feeling, potentialy becoming angered and hate it.

jackofcourse
02-06-2010, 05:20 PM
Using the cogs twice was an idea I had to clue the player in that they could be grabbed. The player will instinctively grab them at the chase. I expected them to realise that they could be grabbed at the section after. During testing that didnt happen though. Same with the back layer hint. I became very frustrated that no one would move to the back layer. I moved the panel and paint gun to the back layer at first, but this had no effect. Next I added the backlayer text hint. Even with these people tried to shoot it in the front layer before moving across to the left side of the area and then giving up on what to do. I had to add a flashing spotlight where the player should stand and shoot to activate the arm mechanism. My first idea for the tram removable was far more challenging. You had to grab the panel, then the paint gun, shoot the arm, and get to the centre to activate the renmoval in a time period of about 8 seconds (first arm had to be activated prior). This was just never going to work as it just too complicated for the player to understand.

I think there's a certain point where you have to think 'well if they can't work that out, then it's their problem and I'm not compromising anymore'. And I think the cog and paintinator part in this level scream that to me. I can half understand people might struggle with working out to go left but the others are glaringly obvious.

You've just had to swing across two cogs literally two seconds before, if the player needs to be told immediately after that that the cogs are grabbable then there is something is wrong. Same with the paintinator, this isn't something small that is likely to be missed, the switch is huge. If the player isn't aware that they need to be on the right layer then again, something is wrong, as it is built into a lot levels. I do think there's a point where a line has to be drawn or it'll get to the stage where creators will be spelling out that that pit of fire there has to be jumped over.

If all the players really did have as much trouble as you are saying though, then the only explanation is that the design is flawed. If that many people are struggling that you have to tell them exactly what to do and they can't work it out themselves, then that is a problem with the level itself.

Now, I'm not saying that is the issue, as for me it was absolutely fine. But it can only be one or the other.


I do feel that I made a lot of compromises to appel to the masses. I tested this level far more than any other I have created as I wanted everyone to be able to finish it without them spending minutes trying to understand what to do and possible giving up and quitting.

I don't think that wanting people to finish the level without spending minutes in the same area is the issue. As that's the exact same thing I try and avoid with every level. I think it is the way that you did it that is the issue. If you want to make a simple level, then it should be simple from the start, whereas this is a 'complex' level, that has been made simple by spelling everything out to the player, and as a result, I think has spoilt the experience a little.

I guess I'd just like to see your talent without it being held back. It seems that your too worried about ratings to just put out exactly what you want (and deserve) to.

SteveBigGuns
02-06-2010, 05:48 PM
The fire pit commenmt made me remember how many times in a level ive seen people jump into gas, electrified material, and fire befre looking for hidden passages in the area. I think the design works, its just a lot people have gotten to the point where they want the level to almost play itself and the author has to make things very obvious or they will just give up and move on to one of the many other levels available. Game developers dont have this problem as people will try to figure it out due to the cost of purchasing the game and not having a vast selection of others to play like in lbp.

jackofcourse
02-06-2010, 05:54 PM
The fire pit commenmt made me remember how many times in a level ive seen people jump into gas, electrified material, and fire befre looking for hidden passages in the area. I think the design works, its just a lot people have gotten to the point where they want the level to almost play itself and the author has to make things very obvious or they will just give up and move on to one of the many other levels available. Game developers dont have this problem as people will try to figure it out due to the cost of purchasing the game and not having a vast selection of others to play like in lbp.

Definitely agree with that.

By no means am I saying that the design is actually flawed, as I said, it was more fine for me. I guess I'm just less willing to compromise. I think in general if people do keep pandering to this demographic, it isn't ever going to get better either. But that's a whole other issue entirely! To summarise, I think you managed to accomplish exactly what you set out to, and as a creator, you can't do anymore than that, so congrats! :)

KQuinn94Z
02-06-2010, 05:55 PM
That's very true. I never thought of it that way.

Ok, now my bit on this level: Be prepared...

It's great. 5 and <3

CCubbage
02-06-2010, 05:56 PM
Game developers dont have this problem as people will try to figure it out due to the cost of purchasing the game and not having a vast selection of others to play like in lbp.

I was just thinking about this myself recently.... the "short attention span" nature of the casual and young players makes creators treat the players like idiots.... and many times, they are....
:D

Now, if we could choose genre and difficulties and target specific audiences....

I degress.....

Joey
02-06-2010, 05:58 PM
hmmm i forgot to play this lvl.. but i will ASAP, im a huge fan of dead space so yeah i have to play it :blush:

jwwphotos
02-06-2010, 06:31 PM
Now, if we could choose genre and difficulties and target specific audiences....
I degress.....

This... and so freaking much of this it isn't even funny. I have been wishing for this for about a year now. ;)

poms
02-06-2010, 08:42 PM
Hi SBG!
Thanks for letting me beta test the level before publishing. As I already told you, the level is outstanding.
I agree with some of the comments I've read here about game play, too many hints... etc. But CCubbage's post explains it perfectly. I never saw such a visuals and atmosphere before, and gameplay not being the best I've seen I'd say it's still OK.
You got tons of awesome minigames that provide great fun gameplay, and of course I know this time this wasn't the objective.
I haven't played the original game, and I'm not a fan of Darknessbear's level, but your level made me feel like watching a terror-interactive-film :D:D
Not many times we'll see levels like this being released.
Great job!

PS "Game developers dont have this problem as people will try to figure it out due to the cost of purchasing the game and not having a vast selection of others to play like in lbp.
Totally agree with that. I recommend you all to play your own levels online and watch people what they do... You'll probably loose your nerves :D:D

dajdaj03
02-07-2010, 02:26 AM
Ok I never played Dead Space, and usually those kind of games and those kind of LBP levels are not my cup of tea...

But wow, I loved the visuals and the atmosphere in this one!
It's rare to see such good, detailled and polished visuals and scenery! Really great work here!

The gameplay was very good, sure not very hard or complex, but that's not what I'm looking for...

I just spend a good time playing it and really enjoyed what I saw!

Well done! ;)

Bombw87
02-07-2010, 04:52 PM
hey man luv the level thought the intro was genius. never played dead space but the intro reminded me of a part in the star trek movie!

had to laugh at that guys review tho on the first page, he wrote the biggest review iv ever seen so long saying whats wrong lol! shows how jealousy can drive u a bit over the top lol x

youtube1
02-07-2010, 05:45 PM
Hello Monkeysboys and Stevebigguns,
Loved the level it has so much detail and it's so...so AWESOME!! Words cannot describe how much I love this level. But I was wondering, are you two going to team up once again to make a sequel or dare I say....a series of Dead Space levels?

Zwollie
02-07-2010, 06:05 PM
You know, after playing that one famous LBP dead space level (you know the one) and now yours I decided to finally unwrap the game this morning and put it in my dusty xbox360 (darn you LBP!!)

I have to say I appreciate the amount of detail even more, the intro especially is very true to the original and the mood, atmosphere and puzzles are spot on.

Very nice work gentlemen and congratulations on the spotlight!!

julesyjules
02-07-2010, 09:32 PM
Awesome visuals and atmosphere in this, amazing work guys!

Gameplay-wise, i'll be honest, i'm personally not a fan of the handholding at every juncture style, for me it kinda defeats any sense of accomplishment come the scoreboard. I've read your replies in the thread Steve, so i get why you felt you needed to shepherd the player to some degree so fair play, but i still reckon the level would play out way better if the player had to engage their brain with the mechanics just a wee bit. You had a fantastic rating when i played through so I'm obviously in the minority with this view.

Its a tough one to give constructive feedback on, because the things I would criticize are there deliberately for a reason. Anyhow, know that i thought the aesthetics, fx and all that jazz were fantastic.

Voodeedoo
02-07-2010, 10:31 PM
Two words: This level is epic.

I love the part where you play the level. It was too scary though :[ At one point, where the level ends, well, thats my only con, I think.

Anyways I rated it 5, tagged it orgasmic, and spam commented. It was that good.

SteveBigGuns
02-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Im really happy that people who have never experienced the game are enjoying the level so much. The level has obvious similarities to the very popular dead space level as its recreating the same chapter of the game and therefore may be compared to it. I think our take on it is different enough that it feels fresh and unique.


Hello Monkeysboys and Stevebigguns,
.I was wondering, are you two going to team up once again to make a sequel or dare I say....a series of Dead Space levels?
Im not sure. I never really plan on anything. We picked dead space as I wanted to create a space level and monkeysboys likes to create levels based on games.


You know, after playing that one famous LBP dead space level (you know the one) and now yours I decided to finally unwrap the game this morning and put it in my dusty xbox360 (darn you LBP!!)

I have to say I appreciate the amount of detail even more, the intro especially is very true to the original and the mood, atmosphere and puzzles are spot on.

Im glad you noticed how similar the qualities of the level are to the game. I played the first chapter around 4 times in combonation with both uf us watching youtube walthroughs to make sure it feels as much like the game as we could manage.

AJnKnox
02-08-2010, 02:17 PM
Hi ya Steve!

This is the first time I have had the pleasure to play one of your levels and I have to say I was BLOWN AWAY!

The visuals you two created were just outstanding! I haven't played as many levels as I should because I am always in create mode churning away at my own grind stone :)

BUT if you do something in space your going to get MY attention! LOL

I, like many others...never played Dead Space, but didn't need to, to enjoy your take on it. I am friends with Luos but disagree with his view of your level. I think the detail in this and the opening segment are jaw dropping and are well deserving of your 5 star rating!

I guess I moved through the level quick enough that I received very few messages/hints...which I am glad for! I also don't like to be told to 'wipe my bum' (lol) every 30 seconds but due to my pace, avoided that! (Yea!)

I did think the platforming was very beginner kind of stuff (which is a put off to me) but the truth is I was still so impressed with the intro that all that was such an after thought!

There isn't much more I can add to the accolades all the others have bestowed upon you (and rightfully so!) so I will simply say I will be playing your work more often!

Congrats on the well deserved SPOTLIGHT. (Boy am I in good company!)

5 stars, Hearted, and a Brilliant tag...and if I haven't yet I will heart you as an author!

:grr:

RoseScythe
02-08-2010, 11:27 PM
After hearing so much about this level I thought it was about time I experienced it for myself. The visuals were stunning, full marks here. The opening sequence was phenomenal.

Although the level is fairly linear, I doubt the gameplay could be done any better in LBP without making it a full-blown platformer, which is obviously not what you'd want to do with a level of this type. I liked how you used brief glimpses of the creatures crawling into the vents or reaching into the elevator and not just showing them outright. It's incredibly hard to create believably creepy enemies in LBP, so featuring face to face encounters would just cheapen the outstanding visuals and feel.

I don't know Luos_Desruc, nor am I familiar with his levels but the way he picked this level apart and critiqued on the most trivial features in his review just reeks of jealousy. Overall, a top level deserving of it's praise. Kudos.

Catseyez
02-09-2010, 09:35 AM
Hi Steve

Anyone who has played Dead Space will realise how *******in awesome your work was on this level. Absolute perfection in geometry, detail etc. You guys really nailed it and anyone with any common sense can see what you wanted to achieve. Sometimes we just like to create levels to push ourselves in certain creative directions and to prove to ourselves it can be done.

I thought the gameplay was perfectly adequate and provides a great springboard for future episodes.

Great work 5 stars and author heart from me!

Oh yeah try out my Under Siege - 1 player only level - not as polished as yours but being a macho kind of guy ( your pic - lol) you may like to pretend to be Steven Sackgal!

Thegide
02-09-2010, 06:18 PM
So I finally managed to play through this guy. Indeed the pictures don't do the level justice. I could regurgitate the sentiments of just about everyone else here, but I'll keep it short and just say yep I agree with them.

What I found particularly fascinating was the level of detail that was placed in each room. I'd swear on my grave that you guys had still images of parts of the level you were recreating. If not, I'm even more impressed. Looking at the textures of the walls and such, it was clear that you knew exactly what the inside of a ship was supposed to look like. Where everyone else would have probably made some lame generic spacey pattern, yours was laid in something that looked purposeful - it wasn't pattern-based.

I'm actually eager to hear your response to this. If you didn't use reference screenshots from the ishimura itself, where did you find concept art to work from. And if the decor is straight out of your collective brains, I'll have to can all work on Cosmonauts because I'm not worthy. I'm particularly interested as I'm trying to figure out how to capture the same kind of authentic space feel for indoor areas of a spaceport, minus a notch or two of detail to accommodate a longer level.

Did you use an eyetoy for some of the stickers or are were they all shrunken screenshots?

Regardless, it's a mind boggling amount of work you guys put into this.

SteveBigGuns
02-09-2010, 08:27 PM
The visuals were stunning, full marks here. The opening sequence was phenomenal.
Although the level is fairly linear, I doubt the gameplay could be done any better in LBP without making it a full-blown platformer, which is obviously not what you'd want to do with a level of this type. I liked how you used brief glimpses of the creatures crawling into the vents or reaching into the elevator and not just showing them outright. It's incredibly hard to create believably creepy enemies in LBP, so featuring face to face encounters would just cheapen the outstanding visuals and feel.

The choice of how much gameplay was tricky. If it had too much it would loose the atmosphere and become just another space platformer as you said. On the other hand I didnt want it to be boring for players looking for gameplay. Avoiding encounters was something we decided on when begining the level. I you your given a means to kill them, then they become less of a threat which takes away from the atmosphere we were trying to create.


Hi Steve

Anyone who has played Dead Space will realise how *******in awesome your work was on this level. Absolute perfection in geometry, detail etc. You guys really nailed it and anyone with any common sense can see what you wanted to achieve. Sometimes we just like to create levels to push ourselves in certain creative directions and to prove to ourselves it can be done.

I thought the gameplay was perfectly adequate and provides a great springboard for future episodes.

Oh yeah try out my Under Siege - 1 player only level - not as polished as yours but being a macho kind of guy ( your pic - lol) you may like to pretend to be Steven Sackgal!

Pushing myself in a new direction was the main attraction towards creating this level. People are always asking for mario ps3 2 or digitized reality 2, but I just cant get motivated to create something thats so similar to what I have done before.

Ill try your level out later when im on lbp :p.



So I finally managed to play through this guy. Indeed the pictures don't do the level justice. I could regurgitate the sentiments of just about everyone else here, but I'll keep it short and just say yep I agree with them.

What I found particularly fascinating was the level of detail that was placed in each room. I'd swear on my grave that you guys had still images of parts of the level you were recreating. If not, I'm even more impressed. Looking at the textures of the walls and such, it was clear that you knew exactly what the inside of a ship was supposed to look like. Where everyone else would have probably made some lame generic spacey pattern, yours was laid in something that looked purposeful - it wasn't pattern-based.

I'm actually eager to hear your response to this. If you didn't use reference screenshots from the ishimura itself, where did you find concept art to work from. And if the decor is straight out of your collective brains, I'll have to can all work on Cosmonauts because I'm not worthy. I'm particularly interested as I'm trying to figure out how to capture the same kind of authentic space feel for indoor areas of a spaceport, minus a notch or two of detail to accommodate a longer level.

Did you use an eyetoy for some of the stickers or are were they all shrunken screenshots?

Regardless, it's a mind boggling amount of work you guys put into this.

All the custom stickers were created in the level editor. To get the decor as similar to dead space as possible we used youtube videos as well as playing through the chapter a few times. Obviously the level of detail couldnt be fitting in to the thermometer limit, as well as somethings just not being possible. We maintained the same colour schemes and design style as the game, but used out own ideas on shading and design on a lot of things so that it looked very similar.

Thanks for you kind comments guys. Myself and monkeysboys really appreciate it :)

DrunkenFist_Lee
02-10-2010, 12:36 PM
This level's visuals are fantastic! Good work & no complaints. :)

theCooper
02-13-2010, 01:01 PM
This level makes me smiling because there arent many levels like this. It looks not really like a littlebigplanet level - absolutely not! Its so detailed and every time when i play a level which contains things ive never seen before i know its probably a SBG-LEVEL.
Your ability to create really awesome levels is amazing. Thats the reason why your levels deserve 5 stars and a heart from every user every time.

The special effects makes this level looking like a "Hollywood-Level" or something like this XD
Keepit up... Awesome stuff.