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View Full Version : Cosmic Pinball (No Sackball Clone) by Maboe84 (Arrestor) *Spotlighted*



Arrestor
02-07-2010, 09:44 PM
Hi together!

I proudly announce that my new level has just been published! And yes its a pinball set in a Space Theme!
I tested it very often and i really hope everything works as its meant to be. This level was alot of work so i hope you all like it.
So get used to it and show me some highscores!

YouTube Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HATbBURy2e0) (Thanks JKThree!!!)

As usual see some crappy pictures below :D

(Of course check out my other levels too)

Greetings!

Fastbro
02-07-2010, 10:00 PM
Now exiting create mode to try new level!

jeffcu28
02-08-2010, 02:04 AM
Hey Arrestor,

I must admit that on first impression, before even playing the level, I was afraid this level wouldn't be original and interesting enough on account of the "overused" pinball gameplay and space theme. But of course, I was wrong. Your interpretation of outer space twinkled with your edgy style of vibrant color schemes and adorably amorphous characters. I felt every area was visually catered to without looking messy with too much stickers. The beginning was absolutely astronomical with the asteroid belt! I also loved how you presented the instructions with the text. Having to eavesdrop on the xenophobic conversations of extraterrestrials was a fresh, funny, and interesting perspective, and it simultaneously gave those characters more depth. As for the pinball area itself, I loved the sounds that livened the interaction between the ball and the gameplay area. Every hit was that much more satisfying...

But because the premise of this level primarily relies on the pinball mechanism, I shall pick on it a little bit more. Although the controls are functional, I felt they weren't as intuitive as I would have liked. The joy of pinball, I feel, is the cyclical process of vigilantly watching a spontaneous ball, anticipating its trajectory, and then acting accordingly to prevent losing the ball and aiming to a desired area for the next cycle. The acting part sort of relies on quick reflexes, and therefore, needs tapping mechanisms that can respond as quickly as one decides which side to hit on impulse. On real pinball games, this is resolved with simple buttons on each side that one can simply press in a rapid, albeit calculated, move.

I only bring this up because I feel your control scheme took a bit getting used to, and even after surpassing the learning curve, it didn't allow me to respond as spontaneously as I would have liked. Rather than merely "pushing a button" you had to move the analog stick to the direction you want, and then pressing "R." Not only does this require two moves, but sometimes my mind wants to press "L" when I want to flip the left pin. Thus, it doesn't give the player the spontaneous and impulsive control at the heart of a genuine pinball arcade game....

Nonetheless, this was an amazing feat, and I applaud your execution. In many ways, I think this is technically more commendable than Super Sackball that seemed to cop out from representing the true spirit of a pinball game. That's not to say that it wasn't good, but by making sackboy/girl the ball, it reverses the essence of the game by making the trajectory very predictable--as the player controls it--and it takes the fun out of anticipating where the ball goes and reacting to it accordingly. Your level captures that good 'ol original pinball fun with a comically cosmical theme to enhance the experience. I don't know about you, but that's a solid 5:star:s and a level heart from me. (Of course, I hearted you already!)

NOT pressing R,
jeffcu28

P.S. Aren't I a good soothsayer? I ask if you're cooking up a new level, and bam! here comes one...;)

amazingflyingpoo
02-08-2010, 11:45 AM
Hidy Ho Arrestor! I got a chance to check out your level and here I am with some feedback.

This is a pinball level through and through. I have played at least one other level with the word "pinball" in the name, but it really had little to do with pinball. In this one, you literally control flippers which shoot a ball into the playing field. This is the real deal.

I had an awesome time with the level, and except for one hiccup, everything worked as perfectly relatively well. I had a blast playing the level, and I played it multiple times, which is pretty unusual for me. The bumpers worked very well, and all the little bells and whistles in the level were just perfect! It was just a fantastic representation of pinball on LBP PSP.

I had one game killer that took place on my first play through. I was on my last ball, my score was at 5,110 (which is WAY higher than the highest score now), and the ball was bouncing around in the top bumpers in the left hand corner. I got super unlucky and the ball manage to bounce up into the top right area where the ball launches into play. I just got stuck up there, and man was it a sad time for me. My score was so high and there was nothing I could do :( I played it a bunch more times, and I was not able to reproduce this issue (or my high score). If you republish, maybe you can emit something so the ball can't go in backwards.

Other than that, the only issue is the controls. I'm not really sure if there is a way that you could fix them. I have ideas of ways, but I don't know how well they would work. Did you try placing a red button above the player, so that they could either jump to press the button or press R to grab, and these would each control a flipper? It may not work in practice at all, it is just an idea, because having to move back and forth can be a bit irritating (mainly after you just lost the high score :p).

Awesome level Arrestor, I'm really impressed!

Domik12
02-08-2010, 02:32 PM
Arrestor, hi there! I tried your level and find that it looks wonderful. Great job with stickers and corner tool and very good main idea. I got big fun while play on it. One comments only for controls. It work fine, but it is not easy to quick react actions. But anyway - level done very good and here are my 5 stars and heart for it!

Arrestor
02-08-2010, 02:57 PM
Hey thanks for the Feedback Jeffcu, Poo and Domik!
I really made the controls as good as i could. I had some different ideas for it. I tried 2 buttons on each side of sackboy so the player only had to move to the left or the right to activate the flippers, but they were to indirect. Besides that i had to find a way to shoot the ball. Plus i wanted the player to be able to activate every flipper on its own (i saw some levels where you had to shoot both flippers at the same time).
With this solution you have to press 2 buttons yes, but its as direct as i could get it and i think this is very important for a pinball. Of course this doesnt allow the player to operate the flippers at the same time... (or one shortly after the other). I would be really interested in other mechanisms you could think of. Especially giving every flipper an own button, but i didnt know how... Its really not that easy i think (at least for me). I already had to use a glitch to get it to work (Sackboy falls through the grabbable ceiling of a cage where the controls are placed in... is this understandable??? Maybe i should make a picture of the mechanism..)

@Poo: I am really sorry that you lost your highscore cause the ball got stuck! I didnt notice this problem and i tested very often...

I had the idea to make a pinball just for the fun of it. And i have to say i learned very (very!) much in the process of building it. I had to think of so many different mechanisms that are needed for a pinball. It was the first time i had to deal with a serious amount of magnetic keys/switches and emitters. I think this level let me grow as a creator and i really had fun making it. I think it would be a good training for everyone to make a pinball level :D. I know there already are much pinballs out there (even if maybe 70-80% are super sackball copies). But i think i made a good pinball in "Arrestor-style". And i think i will not make another Pinball until i have a better idea for the controls. I have my idea for the next level but didnt built or plan anything yet. But if it works it could be great!
Wow now i really wrote much stuff about my thoughts and ideas... i am just happy right now with the achievements of "Dream or Reality?" and i am relxed when it comes to new levels...

So thanks and greetings!

amazingflyingpoo
02-08-2010, 03:19 PM
Alrighty, I am hardcore about mechanics so I just spent a few minutes rigging up my own little system to see if I could make the controls better, and I think I may have gotten something, but I am not sure since I can't really implement it into a game (I was going to test it in more detail, but I was lucky enough to have the game crash and lost everything before I could test it more). I had a platform above sackboy with a red bottun on it, and sackboy was standing on a platform of sponge with a grab switch on it. The platform with the button was so low that it actually made sackboy bend over (so he could not stand up straight), this way, when you press "x", he will jump, but he will immediately hit the ground again and you can jump again. I had the whole thing hooked up to flippers, and it was working well (I had the jump one perfect, and I was tweaking some settings on the grab one) and then it crashed. I wanted to have a ball and actually try flipping it around to see if it worked, but since it crashed, I figured I would check with you and see if you are actually going to take anything I say to heart.

I know that it could be a lot of work to change the mechanic like this, but if you are interested, I would be willing to build the entire mechanic so that you can see how sackboy could fall into place, and all of the mechanics you have in place would still work, but you could have "x" for one flipper, and "R" for the other. I have absolutely no problem if you don't want me to and would prefer not to mess with it (and maybe once I test it more I will decide that it won't work as well, but it is at least looked promising when I tested it), but I wanted to give you the offer. I'd publish the a level with my working mechanic in it while we are both online and you could load it, and then I would delete it.

Just let me know what you think :D

Arrestor
02-08-2010, 03:23 PM
You mean via ahp? I dont own a PS3

amazingflyingpoo
02-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Nope, I don't have a PS3 either. I would just publish it like a normal level, you could download it, and then I would delete it before a bunch of people could 1 star it (not that it matters anyway :) ). I'd make it copyable so that you could fly around in it and see exactly what I did. If that sounds interesting, I could probably rig it up for you and publish it in about 20 to 30 minutes if you will still be on then.

Fastbro
02-08-2010, 04:08 PM
Very nice level. Theres a lot of pinball levels out there, but this one is the best. First of all the beginning was amazing. The aliens looked perfect and the asteroid belt as wonderfully done.

When I got into the actual game I found out how well it worked. And it was satisfying to get a highscore. Though on my third try I faced a similar problem to that of Poo. My ball got stuck on the side. This did allow me to get an unlimited highscore. Though I couldn't complete the level anyway.

All in all, this level gets a strong :star::star::star::star::star: from me.

Arrestor
02-08-2010, 04:39 PM
Ah ok!
I really appreciate your work and your offer. But i worry that the time you would have to invest is too much and it wont work at the end... i just dont really know. Maybe i just wait for some more feedback.
But thanks Poo and maybe we will work that out later!

Fastbro
02-08-2010, 06:33 PM
My ball got stuck again in a different place. I decided to take a photo to help you out.
http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k294/thedoctorwho/DSCN0168-2.jpg
(Its a bit blurry I know!)

Arrestor
02-08-2010, 07:15 PM
Hmm not good, not good... never happened to me. Are you guys sure your PSPs arent smaller then mine? :D

JKthree
02-09-2010, 06:10 PM
Oh boy idk if its the patch thats causing this or not (finally got around to playing this)

But every time on the last ball when it launches it gets stuck at the top of the launcher.

Arrestor
02-10-2010, 07:22 AM
I begin to hate this update...
I think i will republish this level. But of course i first need a solution for the problem. This may take a while cause i am busy these days...

Arrestor
02-10-2010, 12:51 PM
I fixed and republished this level. I hope everything works fine now! (for me it did)

Btw: On my test-play i reached a nice Score. Come and beat it!

Lleonard Pler
02-10-2010, 10:31 PM
Wow! I'm not a fan of minigames, but your pinball is really fun and innovative. Congratulations. The space-theme is perfectly crafted, too.

Taffey
02-14-2010, 07:23 PM
Wow, I'm really behind on playing levels in the showcase here... I guess now that I've crawled out from the rock I was under while creating my new level, I can catch up. I'm glad I picked this as one of my first to play!

Over the last couple years, I have come to realize that I love pinball. It sounds so boring, but there I would sit playing the silly Windows pinball game for hours. I recently bought Zen Pinball for the PS3 and it's very good, but my favorite (becauase of the gameplay) is Pinball Heroes for the PSP - definitely check that out if you haven't already. Cheap and super fun!

Speaking of cheap and fun, that's exactly what your level is. ;) Of course, you get a big thumbs up from me for the funny space theme - exactly my kind of level. Your introduction of the instructions was very good, and the visuals are amazing. Detailed, cartoony, fun, colorful... Everything that a LBP level should be. When you get down to the playing field, the visuals only get better. I love how you used planets as bumpers - brilliant! All of your logic works flawlessly, all of the bumpers and other interactive objects react exactly as you'd expect. I can tell you playtested this for a long, long time. This really is a complete package and is very fun an intuitive to play. I also should comment on your excellent use of unique visual effects. I recognized the wavy line thing from Dream or Reality, and I love your "light-up" arrows! Simple, brilliant, and very well executed. It looks very convincing and I'm sure a lot of people will be scratching their heads trying to figure out how you did that. :)

I see that the main complaints about your level here are that the controls aren't very intuitive and/or are hard to use quickly. I used an almost identical mechanic in my PS3 Offworld Colony level to control a gun turret. L+R1 = aim, R+R1 = shoot. That type of thing is very difficult to get right, and to be honest I thought you did a great job with it. I might just be used to the mechanic because I've built it before, but I had no problems at all controlling the flippers and timing my shots. I like amazingflyingpoo's idea a lot though - I never even considered that something like that would work. It sounds very promising and I bet it works quite well. I don't personally think it's worth rebuilding this level to implement that mechanic, but it might be worth trying out if/when you make a new pinball level (please do!).

I didn't really have any problems with this level. It's too bad you had to republish, but so far it seems to be popular and is being rated well. I know that I will be keeping this level on my PSP for a long time and going for that top score. Actually no, that's not correct. I'm never taking this off of my PSP - it's too excellent to ever delete. 5 stars and a heart!

Arrestor
02-15-2010, 09:15 AM
Of course, you get a big thumbs up from me for the funny space theme - exactly my kind of level.

Hehe i knew you would like that :D


This really is a complete package and is very fun an intuitive to play.

I am really relieved that finally someone says its intuitive! I knew it is complicated at first but didnt expect it to be such a big problem to many of the players. I learned from this! (Actually my girlfriend has tested it and she did great after a short time. She usually doesnt play any PSP games ever! So i thought it would be ok...)


I like amazingflyingpoo's idea a lot though - I never even considered that something like that would work. It sounds very promising and I bet it works quite well.

Yes! Poo shared some stuff with me and it worked great! Unfortunatly it was right at the time when the strawberry cheesecake update came out. So we both had other stuff to do i think. Besides that the mechanism didnt survive the update...


...when you make a new pinball level (please do!).

I dont really know. I learned much while building this and it really was fun. But i think i have to wait until i maybe have some new ideas or soulutions for mechanics. I dont plan to build a new pinball but you never know...

Thanks for your feedback Taffey! I am really glad that you liked it so much!

Vehicle-maker
02-16-2010, 08:35 PM
LOVE IT! it took me a little bit to figure out howto shoot the ball, but once i did, i had a blast!
:star::star::star::star::star: and a heart

Taffey
02-21-2010, 01:04 AM
Well, are you going to bump this thread or not? ;)

Congrats on the Spotlight!

Arrestor
02-21-2010, 08:59 AM
I waited for you to bump it! And Thanks!

Arrestor
03-04-2010, 03:05 PM
Added a Youtube Video to the first post (Thanks Jk!!!)

Roddy
03-07-2010, 04:01 AM
Wow, I just played this level (finally) and I am amazed at how wonderfully you've recreated the pinball experience. Your flipper controls are excellent and the way the ball interacts with the obstacles within the table is just brilliant. Excellent work!

:star::star::star::star::star: and a heart from me.

Arrestor
03-07-2010, 08:43 AM
Wow i am really glad you liked the controls and all the rest! thanks!

himoks
03-11-2010, 11:51 AM
best pinball level in little big planet psp! 5 stars and heart