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View Full Version : Shallow Springs by amazingflyingpoo **Spotlighted**



amazingflyingpoo
03-04-2010, 04:06 PM
Shallow Springsamazingflyingpoo
http://i609.photobucket.com/albums/tt179/amazingflyingpoo/ShallowSprings4.jpgOn a beautiful summer day, you and your wife head out to go camping in Shallow Springs. In the evening you both walk into town for supplies, and then return to camp and fall asleep. You wake up in the night to find that your wife is gone...
After a few months of work, I've finally finished my third PSP level and published it. In this level, you play as a man who's wife has gone missing in the night on a camping trip. As you investigate, you are pulled deep into a dark secret which is held by the residents of the town of Shallow Springs.

I've heard a few complaints about the standard intro's which seem to be all the rage these days, so I decided to go with something a bit different for this level. Instead of having scrolling text or images, I decided to actually have the player control the introduction. As they move around, the camera will fix on certain frames, and text boxes appear in the corners, sort of like you are reading the frames of a comic book (or, at least that was the goal).

I would go into more detail on the level, but I really don't want to give anything away.

One other thing I want to mention is that there is lag in this level. Since there is no penalty for death (like in "Lost at Sea"), I am hoping that the lag will not be an issue.

Lastly, I want to give a HUGE thank you to Jeffcu28 and Taffey for giving me some incredibly useful feedback which has gone a long way to making this level a lot more playable!

Thanks for playing!

Fastbro
03-04-2010, 04:29 PM
A... new... AmazingFlyingPoo... level? *Faints*

EDIT: Sorry Poo, but I think I've found a glitch in your level... I was half way through the cave puzzle when I decided to see what was over to the right. But I walked into the end of the level! You may want to check it. I'll give it another go later, this levels amazing from what I've played!

gareth
03-04-2010, 05:01 PM
i gotta check this out

amazingflyingpoo
03-04-2010, 05:56 PM
Well done Fastbro, you found the... uh... secret ending...

Actually, no you didn't. That walkway is blocked off, and I went and checked it and it was blocked like it was supposed to be, and from what I can tell, the wall blocking it is blocking the entire walkway, but when I tried jumping over it, I was able to get past it. When I tested the level, I always tried walking through it, I never tried jumping, so that's why I missed it. Either way, it wasn't a very easy thing to do to jump over it, because you had to jump at just the right spot and be running toward it. Mad props to you for figuring it out. Were you hell-bent on getting through, or were you just lucky? Either way, I am soooo thankful that you found this right after I published instead of a week after I published!

Anyway, I went in and fixed the issue! Woo-hoo, I already got to republish once!

Thanks :)

VelcroJonze
03-04-2010, 06:09 PM
EDIT: Sorry Poo, but I think I've found a glitch in your level... I was half way through the cave puzzle when I decided to see what was over to the right. But I walked into the end of the level!

I did the same thing, I thought there might be never ending bubble emiter at the end and I could rack up the high score. :cool:

I'm at the block puzzle part now......

The church is beautiful by the way!

amazingflyingpoo
03-04-2010, 06:23 PM
Yeah, I do love never ending bubble emitters! If only I had thought to put that in the level instead of a story, man, what was I thinking!

Fastbro
03-04-2010, 07:06 PM
Well done Fastbro, you found the... uh... secret ending...

Actually, no you didn't. That walkway is blocked off, and I went and checked it and it was blocked like it was supposed to be, and from what I can tell, the wall blocking it is blocking the entire walkway, but when I tried jumping over it, I was able to get past it. When I tested the level, I always tried walking through it, I never tried jumping, so that's why I missed it. Either way, it wasn't a very easy thing to do to jump over it, because you had to jump at just the right spot and be running toward it. Mad props to you for figuring it out. Were you hell-bent on getting through, or were you just lucky? Either way, I am soooo thankful that you found this right after I published instead of a week after I published!

Anyway, I went in and fixed the issue! Woo-hoo, I already got to republish once!

Thanks :)

Your welcome, I guess I was just lucky...


Yeah, I do love never ending bubble emitters! If only I had thought to put that in the level instead of a story, man, what was I thinking!
I know! If you got rid of the intro you could've put in some scorpians! (spelling intended!)

Arrestor
03-04-2010, 07:50 PM
Hi Poo!
I was very excited when i saw that you made a new level. So my expectations were very high. In some parts you really impressed me but there were other things that i was slightly disappointed about. But lets just start.

Things i liked:
The Story behind this level was brilliant! I think you thought of something more complex than in lost at sea here. The story is presented very (very, very) well throughout the level (again)! I like how you sometimes showed IT to the player.
The visuals are amazing, too. When i saw the church i just shouted "wow" and just looked at it for a minute (too bad that there is nothing happening in there).
IT looks absolutly fantastic, too! Really good job! I also like the style of the town and the opening scene.
The Puzzle was just great! When i realized what i had to do i just said something like "No Way!" and my girlfriend looked at me as if she wanted to say "Be quiet weirdo! I am trying to watch some TV here!".
Every element of the level worked really well and i had no problem with activating anything or finding my way. I also had no problems with the platforming or the puzzle.

Things i didnt like that much:
Of course the lag. I know there is probably nothing you can do about it but i dont think this one is a "ah ok it laggs but it doesnt bother me lag" its more of a "oh no everything is moving so slow and i need so much time for playing lag".
The next thing is that this is not my favorite kind of pacing. Ok there is some platforming, a puzzle and IT at the end but the main part of the level is backtracking from left to right and back. And i think my negative opinion about this is also affected by the lag issue. It just takes so much time to walk from one place to another and also the puzzle suffers from this. And this is so sad! Its a shame that there is that lag!
One minor thing is about the townspeople. I think it would have been really nice if some of them would chase sackboy around or try to catch him or just get in his way.

So afterall i think this is a masterpiece anyway! (of course i gave it 5 stars and a heart.) But i think you now know what my problems were (in case you understood everything i was trying to say). And i think you are one of the Creators that appreciate this kind of feedback more than stars/hearts.
So i just hope you dont hate me now :D and that my experiences helped you in any manner.

VelcroJonze
03-04-2010, 08:07 PM
Brilliant level Poo. The story was amazing (as all your stories), and the atmosphere, platforming, and puzzles were sweet. And the church was one of the prettiest things I've ever seen on lbp psp. I loved how the buildings opened up so you could see the interior like you used to do with the ps3.I always liked that.

The only thing that bugged me was the lag and the lack of that never ending bubble emitter. :cool:

I've noticed this lag on one of the levels I'm making, and the thermo is barely a quarter full. Just curious, how much thermo did you use on this level?

Five stars and a heart of course!:)

MattAstr
03-04-2010, 08:20 PM
Ah, I left my PSP in the car! :(

I'll give my feedback as soon as I find it.

Voltergeist
03-04-2010, 09:54 PM
Uh, I kinda broke the cave puzzle. I hit the block the wrong way and now it's kinda screwy, the glass circle detached itself.
Horrible picture below.

http://i583.photobucket.com/albums/ss280/Blue-Bullet-Bill/100_0419.jpg

But this level was awesome so far. Detailed review tomorrow.

Spark151
03-04-2010, 09:59 PM
Dang, You already know I'm giving you a five star and a heart.
Although, I tell you what I think about it after I play it.

Edit:
My Review:
The level was going on very smooth. (not really because the lag)
The lag didn't bother me at all, in fact I was more distracted on your creation then the lag.
I was amazed how you used those "Bird Tracks" Stickers as trees, that caught my eye as soon as I played the level.
(Really, a hand came out of my psp and grabbed my eye and took it)
I was enjoying the level as I kept walking.

I was impressed how you created such a great dialog and those speech bubbles that appear (using emitters?)
As I kept playing the level, I thought it was a regular, and awesome creation. Until that church stole my eye.
Now that is such an original, who would have thought of such a brilliant idea.
You made it seem as if it were 3D. Very complex too!
I was thinking, how can this level get any better?

Then I continued and played your puzzle.
That actually took my attention and I was wondering how that worked out.
I took my time looking at it wondering how you made it. (Doesn't matter)
Another great puzzle created!

Now The boss came, That took my attention again and I THOUGHT IT WAS AWESOME!
It was yet, another amazing IDEA! :)
I'm guessing you had trouble creating it and working it out?
If not, then You're great at creating stuff.
I enjoyed the boss.

I honestly did not have any downs on this besides the backtracking.
Other than that,

A Heart for the level, and 5 stars :star::star::star::star::star:
Great work, and we will meet again next time! :)

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 03:03 AM
Wow, thanks so much for all of the feedback! Let me get right down to business:

@Arrestor


The next thing is that this is not my favorite kind of pacing. Ok there is some platforming, a puzzle and IT at the end but the main part of the level is backtracking from left to right and back. And i think my negative opinion about this is also affected by the lag issue. It just takes so much time to walk from one place to another and also the puzzle suffers from this. And this is so sad! Its a shame that there is that lag!

Sorry that you disliked the backtracking. That is just the style of this sort of level (like Now and Then). I know that the lag makes it even worse for people who hate backtracking. All I can do is say sorry since it is meant to be there (I mean the backtracking, not the lag), and that some people enjoy this style of level.


One minor thing is about the townspeople. I think it would have been really nice if some of them would chase sackboy around or try to catch him or just get in his way.

This is a really good idea Arrestor. I'm not sure if I could pull off a chase scene and make it look good, but having the townspeople stop you would be fun! There is actually a part in the level where if you get a key and then head to a door before talking to someone, a guy at the door will say something like "I see you have the key, but you didn't talk to ... so I can't let you use the key". So he sort of blocks you :-)

@VelcroJonze:


I've noticed this lag on one of the levels I'm making, and the thermo is barely a quarter full. Just curious, how much thermo did you use on this level?


I completely maxed out the thermo. I couldn't even place a square of material out or connect a wire. In fact, I realized that I wanted a piece of material out somewhere, so I had to scavenge a piece from my tech. I thought that it was pretty funny just how desperate I got.
I don't think that thermo really plays a role in lag, but instead it depends on things like tech (switches and wires), excess details, moving objects, and maybe stickers.

Things like tech and moving parts can cause the whole level to slow down, while excess details will usually just cause the part of the level where the details are to slow down. I hope that that helps :)

@famouscustard:


My only critisisms would be the lag; perhaps it was slightly too long?

Too long huh? Yeah, I can certainly see where you are coming from, because it would be basically impossible to finish this on a short bus/train ride. I guess that this style of level isn't really meant for very short bursts of play. Sorry if it felt too long to you.

@BlueBulletBill:


Uh, I kinda broke the cave puzzle. I hit the block the wrong way and now it's kinda screwy, the glass circle detached itself.

Man, I am sooo sorry about that. I realized that there might be a chance for that puzzle to break, but I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't. I spent over 10 hours working on that puzzle (it was really hard to get it to work as well as it does... or even work at all without breaking quickly). I had to change all kinds of things from my original design, and I also spent many hours just tweaking the crap out of pistons and then testing and tweaking and then... All I can say is that I am sorry. I promise that I did everything that I could to make it work, but the game is just WAAAAAY too buggy when it comes to pistons as well as hit detection, so I guess that every once and a while the game will just break itself. Hopefully you can forgive the issue and try it again some other time. Sorry.

@Spark151:

Thanks so much for the step by step feedback :D


I was amazed how you used those "Bird Tracks" Stickers as trees, that caught my eye as soon as I played the level.

I'm so glad that they caught your attention. I was SUPER excited about how well those worked to make a forest background!


I was impressed how you created such a great dialog and those speech bubbles that appear (using emitters?)


The only speech that is emitted is when you are stealing the key from behind the counter. I emitted that in case the player failed, I wanted the dialog to appear again when they tried a second time instead of just a triangle popping up. The rest of the dialog is just magic mouths on the wall which are triggered by the tech in the background of the level.


Now The boss came, That took my attention again and I THOUGHT IT WAS AWESOME!
It was yet, another amazing IDEA!
I'm guessing you had trouble creating it and working it out?
If not, then You're great at creating stuff.
I enjoyed the boss.

Yeah, that boss was a doozy to build. I know that a lot of people will play it and not even think about it, but having a multistage attack where you are breaking down the defenses took a lot of thought, and then it was hard to just make sure that everything worked without breaking the tech or the boss itself. All the tech for the boss is what pushed the level past its limit and caused it to start lagging.


Thank you sooo much to everyone who has taken the time to play the level, and thanks even more to those of you have gone the extra mile and left feedback :-D I really appreciate it!

jeffcu28
03-05-2010, 03:07 AM
Hey amazingly amazingflyingpoo,

"You're doing great Honey." - Jessica :D

That puts a smile in my face. Having had the honor to play an earlier version of this level, I truly appreciate the tiniest of details you finely-tuned to make the bone-tingling level it became. I know I was being particularly picky, and I honestly felt guilty about it. After playing this final version though, I really don't regret it any longer because you took those suggestions and perfected this level to your best abilities.

Now creating a horror thriller on the PSP is a gutsy move because of the lack of lighting effects, but you lived up to your name with this one: amazing. The use of bird tracks as trees succeeded in creating anxiety with the pointy edges, and the dark tone of the woods complimented the spooky, isolated feeling of the level. I also loved the transition into the faded colors scene. I like the illusion of the colorless void "ripping" the reality of dark, heavy colors. It was a genius use of contrast, and I like how the stark white environment was just as effective in creating this anxious isolation like the woods. I also really liked the flash scenes with the claw. The beginning one gave me goosebumps and set the tone for the level quite well. The one in the hotel room was also creepily awesome, and when it retracts and everything goes back to "normal"...that was impressive in execution and gave this nightmarish feeling about it.

You also outdid yourself with the intro. Having played your previous two levels, I was kind of expecting moments where you just sit and listen to the story. I never had any problem with this to begin with, but the way you used emitted text in this level kept the narration fresh and made it seem more lively and dynamic, yet still have this classic amazingflyingpoo story-telling goodness to it.

The gameplay was as thrillingly fresh as your intro. I was afraid people wouldn't get the puzzle, but I guess that's not a problem after all. I'm glad you didn't change it because it truly is a technical wonder and also very satisfying to solve. I also liked the "race" minigame with the restaurant owner. What a clever way to incorporate the scenery into the story gameplay! Your originality in these play elements warrants a heavy set instructions, and I know I gave you a hard time about the narrative breaking with these blocks of text that read like manuals. And that's why I really liked Jessica's quote! The story definitely seemed a lot more intact this time around. ;)

My favorite part of the level, and I know this might sound weird, was actually the peel-away of building walls to reveal their interiors. And like others have mentioned, the church reveal was absolutely breathtaking. While I was viewing the exterior of the church, I thought, "Wow! Poo outdid himself with the architectural design...and ooh...look at the stained glass! Genius!" And then I entered the door, and bam! The entire visual field transformed in a matter of milliseconds. I gasped the first time I saw the church interior. You created convincing depth with the vanishing point and the layering of the church pews, and the stained glass work was divine once again. The candle-lit chandeliers also gave no excuse for those complaining about the lighting situation on the PSP! You completely fooled me with this scene. This is something I would see on a top-notch level on the PS3, and the thought of it appearing on the PSP completely blows my mind...

I'm very impressed with the changes you've made, and the level now gives a surreal and holistic experience. You never fail to showcase mechanical sophistication in your levels, and my mouth waters to find out your secrets! I'm jealous and I'm going after you :grr:.

5:star:s and a pulsating level heart...and I hearted you already.

Going in and out of the church,
jeffcu28

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 03:49 AM
Wow, thanks for that amazing feedback Jeff :D I wish I could express to you just how much I appreciated your help with the level. Your critiques went a long way to helping the level out. Little details like the way the wife talks to you in more of a personal way helped to push the experience!


I know I was being particularly picky, and I honestly felt guilty about it. After playing this final version though, I really don't regret it any longer because you took those suggestions and perfected this level to your best abilities.

As I have already told you, you shouldn't feel bad at all. Your advice was exactly what I needed, and I can certainly take constructive criticism, and it is much less painful when it is given before a level is officially published!


The beginning one gave me goosebumps and set the tone for the level quite well. The one in the hotel room was also creepily awesome, and when it retracts and everything goes back to "normal"...that was impressive in execution and gave this nightmarish feeling about it.

I'm glad that you mentioned the hands, because no one else has actually even talked about the hand in the hotel room, and I was really happy with how that turned out :p I originally was going to make it so the shelf fell and just laid there on the floor, and the whole that the arm came through would have poisonous gas to keep you from getting back there, but then I tried pulling the bookcase back so that the room would return to normal, giving a sort of "Did that just happen" feel to the level (same with the eyeball thing at the start which is replaced with a boulder *thanks to Taffey for the boulder idea*).


You also outdid yourself with the intro. Having played your previous two levels, I was kind of expecting moments where you just sit and listen to the story. I never had any problem with this to begin with, but the way you used emitted text in this level kept the narration fresh and made it seem more lively and dynamic, yet still have this classic amazingflyingpoo story-telling goodness to it.

Oddly enough, the intro was the whole reason the level was ever even built. My original idea was to have those text boxes follow you through the whole level so that they sort of showed your thoughts, but then once I started building it, the thermo began showing me that it was not going to let me use enough letter stickers to get anywhere close to making a level like that. I ended up just using the idea for the intro instead of the whole level, and then working my way on from there.


I was afraid people wouldn't get the puzzle, but I guess that's not a problem after all. I'm glad you didn't change it because it truly is a technical wonder and also very satisfying to solve.

I still think that you were right to think that some people will not get the puzzle. I have a feeling that the awesome forum community is made up of the more resilient. hard-core LBP'ers, and I am sure that there are plenty of casual players out there who will give up. Hopefully they also won't rate the level too low, but like I said, I really wanted to keep the puzzle and just deal with the consequences.


I also liked the "race" minigame with the restaurant owner. What a clever way to incorporate the scenery into the story gameplay! Your originality in these play elements warrants a heavy set instructions, and I know I gave you a hard time about the narrative breaking with these blocks of text that read like manuals.

I actually spent a day just trying to figure out if I really wanted to do the race thing. Originally the restaurant owner just walked around the restaurant, but then I just happened to be standing on the patio and he popped his head out the idea came into my mind to do the race. My only problem is that I had to be very descriptive to make sure the player knew what to do, because there was a specific order of things you had to do (just like the boss fight). I eventually decided to stick with it because the idea felt fresh, and I figured that people could put up with a bit of instruction :D I'm sure there will be haters, but there will always be haters, right? :)


My favorite part of the level, and I know this might sound weird, was actually the peel-away of building walls to reveal their interiors.

I'm really happy to hear that you liked the mechanic of the houses, and your description of the first time you saw the church made me smile :D I am thrilled to hear that people liked the church so much, because a lot of time went into making it look good since I wanted there to be a huge extreme between the way the white town looked and the way the church looked.

Thanks so much for the detailed feedback, for all of your help, and for playing the level Jeff!

TheNerd
03-05-2010, 07:29 AM
Haha awesome I'll check it out later. Another amazing level by amazingflyingpoo

Arrestor
03-05-2010, 08:33 AM
Hi again. I dont hate Backtracking in general (I also have some backtracking in "Trapped Transition"). But for me it was just a little bit too much of it :D.

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 08:57 AM
Hi again. I dont hate Backtracking in general (I also have some backtracking in "Trapped Transition"). But for me it was just a little bit too much of it :D.

The enjoyment of backtracking is a personal preference, and it all depends on the individual (it's not wrong or right to include it), so I don't really want to touch on the topic too much more :) I included it on purpose because I am a huge fan of adventure games (i.e.: Zelda, Kingdom Hearts), and I tried to catch the spirit of adventure with a town where you actually walk around and interact with characters multiple times while progressing a story.

You are an awesome creator and a great friend, Arrestor, and I'm glad that you let me know about your thoughts on the topic! Thanks so much for the feedback!

SalieriAAX
03-05-2010, 09:54 AM
Hi Poo, and congratulations on making such an epic level. The story was absolutely fantastic, really drawing you in and I would say definitely your best story so far. I also really liked the way you did the intro with the emitted text boxes, that was really dynamic. I assume you had been influenced by games like Silent Hill and I thought you captured the suspense and atmosphere of that sort of game really well, though there were a couple of points where I think the strange visions were spelled out a bit too clearly. For example, the bit where you get back to camp and there's the strange eye thing darting about - I frankly would have preferred not to have the explanation of "I saw some truly hideous" or whatever it was.

The town and townsfolk were really excellent - loved the bit with the restaurant patio - although I am a little upset because I had planned to do a similar wall-reveal trick in a future level, but now I won't be the first (sad face). Having said that, it's not the level I'm working on at the moment so I doubt I would ever have got around to doing it.

I can appreciate the criticisms about the occasionally over-instructive text, and obviously it would have been amazing if these weren't necessary. However, as a matter of judgement, I think if it came down to you simplifying the gameplay to lose the text or keeping those interesting mechanics along with the text, you made the right call, it's part of what makes this level stand out as so ingenious and new.

It is a real shame about the lag, unfortunately, because it is kind of ever-present and is constantly adding a tiny hint of frustration throughout the level. Admittedly it's not really extreme lag, but I did find it a bit distracting nonetheless, which is especially unfortunate given that the level is otherwise so immersive. I actually scrapped a level that was about 80% complete because I couldn't resolve a lag issue, it bothers me that much, but then at least the slow pacing of this level makes the lag less intrusive from a gameplay perspective - the only time it actually hindered my ability to play the level was jumping up the roof-rubble in the final sequence.

I won't mention all of the bits that I thought were technically marvellous, because there were a lot of them, but you've clearly made it very clear that in terms of complex logic etc. you are way ahead of the game, which makes your levels totally unlike anything that anyone else is creating.

For the record, I have no problem with backtracking, and I thought that was done very well in your level. The one thing that I do find a bit infuriating about backtracking is when things become usable in apparently arbitrary fashion when the story dicatates that you need them. I suppose I'm basically talking about the flower, when I first saw that flower, I thought "aha, that looks like it can be picked" but I tried and couldn't. I then found I later got sent back to pick it could do so only because I was now 'supposed to'. You probably had your thermo absolutely maxed out, but as I personal thing I think it would perhaps have worked better if, had the player tried to pick it when they first encountered it, they got a message saying something as simple as "this flower is just coming into bloom, I shouldn't pick it yet".

There's so much that can be said about this level, but I have to go and buy some furniture polish. It is brilliant, though!

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 10:14 AM
Man, it's been so long since I published a level that I had almost forgotten what an amazing LBP PSP community we have here at LBPC! Thank you so much for the in-depth feedback salieri!

So, let me jump right into a reply:


loved the bit with the restaurant patio

I'm so glad that you liked this, because I was really really really close to not including it into the level, and even after I had included it, I almost changed it back to the way it had been. In retrospect, I am very glad I left it the way it is, because it actually makes the characters seem a tiny bit dynamic (key word is "tiny").


I can appreciate the criticisms about the occasionally over-instructive text, and obviously it would have been amazing if these weren't necessary. However, as a matter of judgement, I think if it came down to you simplifying the gameplay to lose the text or keeping those interesting mechanics along with the text, you made the right call, it's part of what makes this level stand out as so ingenious and new.

Wow, I appreciate this paragraph more than just about anything that I have heard about the level. When it comes to the puzzle, the boss, the restaurant key part, etc... it becomes obvious that there are a lot of intricate things that the player needs to do, and without a detailed explanation, there was just no way that I could expect the player to actually spend the time to figure it out. I decided to go with it and just include the explanation, and it is because I wanted to try new things (just like you said :)). I'm glad you saw it that way, and I understand why other people might not. When Jeff was testing the level, we had a nice chat about this topic, so I was all ready for people to be unhappy with the all the explaining that I did *thanks Jeff*.


I won't mention all of the bits that I thought were technically marvellous, because there were a lot of them, but you've clearly made it very clear that in terms of complex logic etc. you are way ahead of the game, which makes your levels totally unlike anything that anyone else is creating.

Wow, thanks!


For the record, I have no problem with backtracking, and I thought that was done very well in your level. The one thing that I do find a bit infuriating about backtracking is when things become usable in apparently arbitrary fashion when the story dicatates that you need them. I suppose I'm basically talking about the flower, when I first saw that flower, I thought "aha, that looks like it can be picked" but I tried and couldn't. I then found I later got sent back to pick it could do so only because I was now 'supposed to'. You probably had your thermo absolutely maxed out, but as I personal thing I think it would perhaps have worked better if, had the player tried to pick it when they first encountered it, they got a message saying something as simple as "this flower is just coming into bloom, I shouldn't pick it yet".

Man, I love the fact that you brought this up! I can't really say much to defend myself other than the fact that the thermo was way maxed out, and it isn't really my style to have random text coming up and telling you something about the level. So, if I can't defend myself, then why do I like the fact you said anything? Well, it meant that you were paying attention to the story :D And that is always a good thing.
Actually, I'm not sure what I could have said in the text to explain why you couldn't pick it, and if I could emit it, it wouldn't make sense why flower just suddenly appears. In my opinion, there wasn't really a winning situation. The way I look at it, it didn't make sense for sackboy to pick it earlier in the level. I mean, your wife is missing, reality is crumbling around you, so why the heck are you picking flowers :-P I guess that it just seemed realistic that he wouldn't be picking it.
Sorry you had an issue, but I'm hoping that it was nothing too major for you :)


There's so much that can be said about this level, but I have to go and buy some furniture polish. It is brilliant, though!

Seriously???!!! I spend 2 months on the level, and you quit giving feedback for FURNITURE POLISH!!! What kind of friend are you???!!!
LOL, just kidding :D That was some awesome feedback, and I really appreciate it!

Domik12
03-05-2010, 11:02 AM
Hi Poo. Thanks for new amazing level. As always you create wonderful world with interesting story, good characters and incomparable environments. During all time on your level I just seat with open mouth while looking on these fantastic things, that you created with materials, corner tool and stickers. WOW!!! My great respect for so many cool things that I can not list it. :) Backtracking on your level madded with such good reason and so fine connected to story that player just accept it with good filling. Puzzles madded very interesting. Cave puzzle not too difficult, but it made impression of big job, that you done while created it. I surprised how fine you did it. Church madded also very great, its pseudo 3D view - excellent idea and work. Final battle and boos - I just can't imagine, how big and difficult job you did while creating it. This sequence for defeating - very cool idea. Design of all level and characters are great, final boss is amazing! And the way for story representing - in the beginning and during all level - I loved it. Thanks again for excellent level. Before it my favourite level on psp was STAR WARS: TIE in the Sky by salieri, but after this day - your level just kicked it off and it is on the top of my rating. (salieri, please don't kill me for this words :) ) And of course - I give 5:star: and heart for your level! My great respect for you as level creator and as story creator separately.

SalieriAAX
03-05-2010, 11:08 AM
Y'know, I really should proof-read before I submit anything. Occasionally my posts read like English isn't my first language.

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 11:31 AM
Domik, wow, thanks for all of the incredibly kind things that you said. I am very happy to hear that you liked the level so much!


Puzzles madded very interesting. Cave puzzle not too difficult, but it made impression of big job, that you done while created it. I surprised how fine you did it.

Woo-hoo! I am excited to hear that you liked the puzzle. It's a relief to hear that the people on LBPC seem to be capable of finishing it without annoyance!


Final battle and boos - I just can't imagine, how big and difficult job you did while creating it. This sequence for defeating - very cool idea.

The boss battle was something else that I was very worried about. I wasn't sure how the player would react to it, but it's great to hear that things seem to make sense and you enjoyed it!


Thank you so much for playing the level and for taking the time to write all of that feedback! :)

LittleBigLearner
03-05-2010, 12:37 PM
Hi AmazingFlyingPoo,
When I saw the new thread I thought I'd check it out, so I clicked on it. Then I saw "By AmazingFlyingPoo"... Hooray! I'm looking forward to playing your level, just a soon as I fix my problem.
Trying as much as possible to fix my PSP,
LittleBigLearner.

Any Help? (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?23287-My-PSP-keeps-shutting-down)

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 12:45 PM
Sorry LittleBigLearner, I saw you post a few days ago, but I have no idea how you can fix it. I have heard from a few of my friends that the 2.03 patch fixed their issues, but that seems to not be the case for you :( I know that there are a few very vocal people who are experiencing the very same issue even after the 2.03 patch, so at least you know that you are not alone. I wish that there was more that I could do...

Didn't you mention trying to download it from PSN? Did you every do that?

LittleBigLearner
03-05-2010, 01:01 PM
Yes, I am planning on purchasing the game from PSN, hoping that will solve my problem, if it doesn't, I will buy a new PSP. Or take advantage of my extended warranty for it. I really hope I can get back to LBP soon, because there are so many new levels out there. Yours being one of them! Plus, I get to complete and publish my new level (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?22888-My-New-Series-Garden-of-Four-Seasons)!

PaddyJ
03-05-2010, 02:09 PM
WOW. great level, great graphics, THE best boss I've seen on LBPSP(including story).

Improve:

1. decorate your sackboy characters more, it's quite easy. Just use stickers to make clothes for them.

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 02:39 PM
WOW. great level, great graphics, THE best boss I've seen on LBPSP(including story).

Improve:

1. decorate your sackboy characters more, it's quite easy. Just use stickers to make clothes for them.

Thanks for the feedback PaddyJ :) I'm glad to hear that you liked the level!

As for those characters... well, I'm going to feed you an excuse here, and it is 100% the truth, but there is a little extra info* I want to toss in as well.

First the excuse:

I'm not really sure how stickers work on PSP when it comes to their affect on thermo (heck, I'm not sure how a lot of things work when it comes to thermo!). Let me explain... It appears that stickers take almost no thermo on LBP PS3, and even on the PSP it sort of seems that way at first, but I get the feeling that as stickers go out, the amount of thermo that they require increases almost exponentially (yup, I did it, I just went and tossed an exponential at you.... does that mean I win?). I hadn't really noticed this in my previous levels, because I guess that I didn't go as wild with stickers, but in Shallow Springs, after doing the woods in the background with all of the trees as well as all the intro signs with their many many letter stickers, it seemed that whenever I added a sticker, the thermo took a visible spike.

Yeah, I know that the word visible isn't all that specific, but it hopefully gets my point across. I mean, if a SINGLE sticker can cause the thermo to actually permanently move! That's a significant issue even if the movement is ever so insignificant when you are already dealing with a level that might be maxing out.

Anyway, like I was saying, by the time I was done with the intro and the woods, I was noticing that I was having serious issues, and I had to make the conscious decision to be very very careful with my sticker choices. By the time I was finishing the level, I was actually going through and deleting as many stickers as I could stand to get rid of because of thermo issues and the effect that stickers were having on it. I even did hit a point where I could place out Switches, materials, and all that jazz, but I could not place stickers because of the thermo that they were sucking out of my level!

I had the priest as a stickered character in his robe, and I kept that since it only required a red and a black sticker, but except for that it was very hard to come up with anything that didn't look just silly without using a lot of stickers.

So, perhaps this sticker issue was just some issue with my level, or maybe it happens to every level when a lot of stickers go out... I really don't know, but I'm sure that there was an issue with Shallow Springs that was hampering me from using enough stickers to make the characters look more interesting without making them just look stupid (because of the limitations on the number of stickers that I could use).

Wow, did you expect me to actually say that entire essay as a reply to your sentence? I sure didn't when I read your comment :-P

Anyway, thanks for the kind words and also for the advice on improving future levels!


* - I also just happen to absolutely suck at decorating characters

PaddyJ
03-05-2010, 02:53 PM
big long excuse ;D It's actually not that hard. You can get away with about 3 stickers for say a shirt and jeans(blue for jeans, a colour/detailed sticker for shirt(you can position it cleverly so that it looks like the shirt has sleeves) and that sticker with the 3 metal holes on it for buttons. I will try this right now so you can't prove me wrong :D You can get away from not decorating this time tho if it actually overloads the level

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 03:10 PM
I will try this right now so you can't prove me wrong :D You can get away from not decorating this time tho if it actually overloads the level

Phew.... your going to let me get away with it... man that was close...

I have already begun thinking about my next level, and I will try to make character design one of my first priorities since it would be much more important in the scenario of the level (and I also don't plan on using hundreds of bird track stamps for trees :-P ). Thanks so much for the advice PaddyJ :) I really appreciate it!

Voltergeist
03-05-2010, 08:44 PM
Mmkay. First off, let me say this was a huge leap over your first two PSP levels. It was a great idea, and very involving.
However, I like to list things that could have been done better, so here goes. In other words, everything I don't mention was done great, so don't think I hated your level.

(In no particular order.)

1. More Atmosphere.
In a game that (I pray only for the time being) has no lighting effects, there is one way to make it horrifying. Sounds! I can think of about 1 BILLION places that using that foreboding sound effect would have sent chills down my spine. That monster also could have benefited from some sound mixes, like Taffey's ewok, only a frighting noise. I might suggest an animal's roar synced with a metallic noise for a really invigorating SFx. The hotel scene also would had probably made me jump if it was accompanied by a startling noise. This is definitely my biggest issue with this level.

2. Transform!
Why couldn't you have made the environment come back after defeating the boss? All it would have taken is linking the eye's grab switch to several white thin desolves.

3. Use environments! Not just for show!
Like everyone else here, I was stunned by the church (another great place for foreboding sfx). Artisticly, this was the best part of the level. So why did NOTHING happen here? I would have been amazed if the boss battle was in the church. It's nice as it is, but I would have preferred a reason to stay in there longer.

4. Better ending.
The level, all the way through, was wonderful. So why finish it off with 'Hai I'm alive an conveniently I'm at teh exit!' Endings seem to be a problem for many creators, but the plot cliff was horrid for such an epic level. Please, please, please work on this the most! A good ending can just about erase everything wrong.

Like I said, you can assume I liked everything else about the level (less work for me usually if I just say what I don't like).
:star:x5 + <3

tominater12
03-05-2010, 08:46 PM
I felt this to be the weakest of your 3 levels myself. The best points of this was your level design and plot. Now the things I felt underwhelming (not bad by any means just worse than your other 2) was your gameplay and ending. I felt that unlike your other 2 the lag in this one was almost gameplay breaking how long it took to do anything or how many times it took me to jump on some ledge. The ending I also felt was a little forced especially with "IT" and how that went about and ended. I did really like the level and it is also miles better than most of the stuff on the moon just not quite as good as your other 2. 5 stars and a heart is what i gave it.

amazingflyingpoo
03-05-2010, 10:38 PM
Hidy Ho tominator andBlueBulletBill! Thanks so much for checking my level out and taking the time to leave feedback:


@BlueBulletBill:

Thanks for the consructive criticism! Though it is never as fun to hear things that you don't like, it is always more helpful, and either way you took a lot of time to write it, so thank you soo much! And also thanks for playing the level for a second time even though you had issues on your first!


Mmkay. First off, let me say this was a huge leap over your first two PSP levels. It was a great idea, and very involving.

Thank you so much :) I've very happy to hear that you feel that way!


1. More Atmosphere.
In a game that (I pray only for the time being) has no lighting effects, there is one way to make it horrifying. Sounds! I can think of about 1 BILLION places that using that foreboding sound effect would have sent chills down my spine. That monster also could have benefited from some sound mixes, like Taffey's ewok, only a frighting noise. I might suggest an animal's roar synced with a metallic noise for a really invigorating SFx. The hotel scene also would had probably made me jump if it was accompanied by a startling noise. This is definitely my biggest issue with this level.

Man, I really wish that you could have been in my head as I was building and finishing up this level. I wanted to put more sound objects out sooo badly. In fact, I had to republish the level, and when I went back into create, so some reason a tiny sliver of thermo had been freed up (it was 100% maxed when I saved before), so I tried placing a sound object, and IT LET ME! I literally threw a little party, and I used that sound object so that the boss screams when you finish it off.

If I had the choice, the level would be filled to the brim with sound objects. When I was finishing it up, I ended up deleting at least 3 of them just because I was so desperate to gain thermo back, but they weren't major ones. I only say this to show that I really had no thermo at all to spare on them. I absolutely love to use them because they are so easy to use and add so much to the level, but you only have so much thermo to play with :(
As for the foreboding sound, I fear that that is actually a bit overused, and that is why I went with the static instead. In all honesty, I like the foreboding more, but at least on the PS3, it seems to be used in just about half the levels on there.


2. Transform!
Why couldn't you have made the environment come back after defeating the boss? All it would have taken is linking the eye's grab switch to several white thin desolves.

LOL, you make it sound so easy! Well, first of all, there is the issue with thermo. To emit something that large would certainly cause the thermo to take a giant hit. Sure, I could have easily made the original white backgrounds disappear, but it would have looked silly if I didn't replace them with black ones, and that means emitting a GIANT piece of material.

There are 2 other major issues with this for my level as well. First of all, as I have already mentioned a few posts back, I was struggling a lot with sticker issues. It may sound unrealistic, but for some reason, every single sticker was taking up a significant amount of thermo (my guess is that it was because the start of my level used so much thermo, or I was just experiencing a glitch). If I had a giant wall of disappearing material, I would have had to use a lot of stickers to cover it all, and that would have cost me a lot of thermo.

The second reason is that I am confident that I could not emit a wall in place of the one that disappears and make it match up even reasonably well. In concept it sounds simple enough, but have you actually tried emitting two objects that are flush against eachother? It is almost impossible. And in this case you have all the jagged edges! I just can't imagine that it would be possible to emit a wall in the old one's place unless you have some trick that I don't know about. But either way, the thermo wouldn't allow it for the two reasons I mentioned above. (BTW, this was something that I really wanted to do, I just gave up as soon as I realized how impossible it would be).


3. Use environments! Not just for show!
Like everyone else here, I was stunned by the church (another great place for foreboding sfx). Artisticly, this was the best part of the level. So why did NOTHING happen here? I would have been amazed if the boss battle was in the church. It's nice as it is, but I would have preferred a reason to stay in there longer.

Yeah, I don't really have all that much to defend myself with on this other than thermo and technicality. I had planned what I wanted with the boss fight all along, and I know that the church played a central role in the level and that you would be running through it multiple times, so I just wanted it to look nice. I think that the boss fight wouldn't have gone over nearly as well in the church as it does above it, but I could certainly be wrong. However, with all the details in the church, I imagine that there could have been even more slowdown issues with the boss battle than there already are with the level, and that is just plain scary :-P

I agree 100% that it would have been awesome to have something go on in the church, and if there was a lot more thermo, I'm sure I would have at least put someone to talk to in there. As it was, I needed someone by the elevator, so that is where I put my only church character.


4. Better ending.
The level, all the way through, was wonderful. So why finish it off with 'Hai I'm alive an conveniently I'm at teh exit!' Endings seem to be a problem for many creators, but the plot cliff was horrid for such an epic level. Please, please, please work on this the most! A good ending can just about erase everything wrong.

Wow, I am very happy you let me know that you didn't like the ending. In Now and Then, when you reach the end and get your son the level just ends. I was very happy with how Shallow Springs had a little bit at the end where you have to go find your wife and escape. I mean, there was only so much I could do since I was scraping the level for thermo at that point, but even if I hadn't been, I was decently pleased with what I came up with, so I am surprised to hear that you were so displeased.

Obviously, if I could, I would have had the player able to run around and talk to all the characters and hear about how the town is better, but that just wasn't possible. I was very happy that I could squeeze a text bubble out for the guy behind the rock, one for the wife, and also make the priest disappear (I was so low on thermo, that I had a hard time clearing up enough just to have the game allow me make a wire from the eye of the monster to the priest!).

Alrighty, thank you so much for you great suggestions, especially the one about the ending since I didn't even realize that there was a problem :)


@tominater12::

My first response when I read your message was "I guess you can't win them all...", because the post right before yours had said that Shallow Springs was their favorite level and you said that it was your least favorite, but then after reading your message a few times I realized that you weren't exactly unhappy with the level, you just liked the other ones more :)


The best points of this was your level design and plot.

I'm glad that you did like some things about the level :)


I felt that unlike your other 2 the lag in this one was almost gameplay breaking how long it took to do anything or how many times it took me to jump on some ledge. The ending I also felt was a little forced especially with "IT" and how that went about and ended.

Yeah, it is very sad that the level was plagued by lag. I was hoping that because of the style of the level, people may not have been as irritated by the lag, and I have heard a lot of people who said they didn't mind it since the level wouldn't have been possible without the lag, but I still understand (and expected) that some people are just not going to be able to get past the lag. I'm very sorry that it was so irritating for you!

I just gave a long reply about the ending in my response to the message right above yours, so I am not going to repeat it, but I am glad that you also brought this issue up, since I was unaware that anyone was even unhappy with it (and oddly enough, I thought that the ending was good considering what I was able to do with almost no thermo).

Thank you so much for taking the time to play the level and leave feedback tominater!

Arrestor
03-06-2010, 05:06 PM
I have to say i really liked the end. The player gets there with a few hints from the wife and when you get there its over. the goal of the level is to find your wife. If you find her you are ready, dang!

Lleonard Pler
03-06-2010, 11:55 PM
I've just completed "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" and guess what do I find when coming back to the LBP world... A SH-inspired masterpiece by one of my favourite creators!

Let me start by saying that the first thing I loved about your level is that you didn't name it "Silent Hill" or something like this. By playing "Shallow Springs", one can sense which game series inspired it, but it's also a great level on its own.

As always with your levels, this is an unique experience. There is no other level like this in all LBP PSP. It's moody, dark, and mature. Slow-paced but always interesting.

For me, the highlights of the level were:

-The first cave, with the tentacles popping up and that distortion noise. Sinister!
-The woods. Spooky, you are as lost as the character.
-The main chamber of the church. Incredible work of perspective.
-The Puzzle. Genius!
-The Boss. My favourite LBP PSP boss ever.

I know that you enjoy constructive criticism, so here we go with the few things that I didn't like.

-The characters. I didn't like how all of them (except your wife and the priest) looked pretty much the same, and rather boring. Everything else in the level is so perfectly crafted, that these uninteresting characters were awkward. Or maybe it was intentional, as the town was colourless, the characters should look grey and lifeless too. No big deal, anyway.

-Too much backtracking. I understand why there's backtracking and I know it was the only way of designing this level. But it felt too dull in the end. Maybe some alternate routes would have helped, opening as you progress through town along with new obstacles (or even monsters). Thus, everytime you backtrack, there's something new to make it exciting. It felt really boring after the boss: I wasn't sure which cave I had to search at, so I went to the first one (because of the tentacles, I guess)... only to find out that I had to travel back to the opposite side of the level.

-The music. Don't get me wrong. It was really fitting: dark, moody and odd, just like the level. But this tune also gets very annoying after a few minutes (and I know because I used it in my Harp of Seasons level). And given the amounts of backtracking, the player must spend A LOT of time listening to the same song. I confess I had a bit of a headache by the time the music changed before the boss.

-The main chamber of the church. For me, it was disappointing that one of the visual hightlights of the level in the end resulted nothing but an empty room. No platforms, no puzzles, no secrets, nothing. A wasted place. (At first, I thought the boss battle would take place there and was looking forward to it, but i was wrong!)

Despite these "flaws", every one must play this level. Another story-telling masterpiece from amazingflyingpoo, with a moody setting, a clever puzzle and the best boss battle ever. What else could anyone possibly want?

amazingflyingpoo
03-07-2010, 05:35 AM
Thanks so much for the feedback Lleonard! It is always wonderful to hear from you about my levels, because you are one of my favorite creators!


I've just completed "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" and guess what do I find when coming back to the LBP world... A SH-inspired masterpiece by one of my favourite creators!

Let me start by saying that the first thing I loved about your level is that you didn't name it "Silent Hill" or something like this. By playing "Shallow Springs", one can sense which game series inspired it, but it's also a great level on its own.

I'm very happy that you understood the Silent Hill references. I am a huge fan of survival horror levels, and Silent Hill is by far my favorite series in the genre (Silent Hill 2 is one of my favorite games :) ), so I made sure to include things like the static and touches like that which I absolutely love about the series (plus, as I mentioned before, sounds like the "foreboding" sound effect are ridiculously overused, so it was my intention to have something was a bit different). But even though I wanted it to have a touch of Silent Hill to is, I certainly didn't want the level to just feel like another Silent Hill level, because there were LOTS of those on PS3, and most were not good at all. I hope that it had enough of a unique feel that it didn't seem too much like a silent hill game. The only thing that I intentionally took from Silent Hill was the static (and probably subconsciously the part about the car being on the other side of the bridge, since Silent Hill usually refers to the car at the start of the games).


As always with your levels, this is an unique experience. There is no other level like this in all LBP PSP. It's moody, dark, and mature. Slow-paced but always interesting.

There is nothing that I would prefer to have my levels called than unique, so I am very happy that you thought that about it :)


-The first cave, with the tentacles popping up and that distortion noise. Sinister!

I'm that you liked that part. When I got to the point that I was building the tentacles coming out of the ground, I wasn't sure if I was even going to build the level, I was just feeling the waters to see if it seemed like a level that I could make, but after I had finished the tentacles and saw how interesting it all seemed, I was sold on the idea, and that's when I decided to put my all into the level :D You are the first person who said that that part stood out to them, and I am glad that it did :)


-The Puzzle. Genius!

As I've already said, I am relieved every time that I hear that someone liked the puzzle. I was very worried that people would have a hard time figuring it out.


-The characters. I didn't like how all of them (except your wife and the priest) looked pretty much the same, and rather boring. Everything else in the level is so perfectly crafted, that these uninteresting characters were awkward. Or maybe it was intentional, as the town was colourless, the characters should look grey and lifeless too. No big deal, anyway.

A few posts back I gave a looooong explanation about the characters, however, eventhough I have an excuse for this level, it doesn't mean I had an excuse for my previous 2 before it. I will make a serious push to improve my character design for my next level. If I struggle with it, perhaps I will contact Taffey and Salieri for some pointers :D


-Too much backtracking. I understand why there's backtracking and I know it was the only way of designing this level. But it felt too dull in the end. Maybe some alternate routes would have helped, opening as you progress through town along with new obstacles (or even monsters). Thus, everytime you backtrack, there's something new to make it exciting. It felt really boring after the boss: I wasn't sure which cave I had to search at, so I went to the first one (because of the tentacles, I guess)... only to find out that I had to travel back to the opposite side of the level.

If thermo would have allowed it, I would have certainly had not "anomalies" where the monster shows and arm or tentacle when the player backtracked, but the thermo was just too full. I am so sorry about the cave confusion... that is really too bad.


-The music. Don't get me wrong. It was really fitting: dark, moody and odd, just like the level. But this tune also gets very annoying after a few minutes (and I know because I used it in my Harp of Seasons level). And given the amounts of backtracking, the player must spend A LOT of time listening to the same song. I confess I had a bit of a headache by the time the music changed before the boss.

This I agree with 100%. I actually am glad I picked the song that I did, but I think that any song gets really old after you have listened to it for the amount of time that this level will make most players to finish. I considered changing it when you entered the town, but nothing really seemed to fit at all. Though it may not seem like it in this level, I take the music super seriously. For every level, I (and usually my wife) sit and listed to every single track to see if it will fit anywhere in the level, and we categorize where it will fit, and then we go back and look at all the songs for a category and listen to them again to pick our favorite. However, for this level, it just wasn't working. Nothing but the song that I picked seemed to fit the moody feel of the level. Everything else seemed to pull you out of the experience. I am very sorry that it bothered you, and I completely understand your complaint, but the music selection just doesn't cater to this style of level :(


-The main chamber of the church. For me, it was disappointing that one of the visual hightlights of the level in the end resulted nothing but an empty room. No platforms, no puzzles, no secrets, nothing. A wasted place. (At first, I thought the boss battle would take place there and was looking forward to it, but i was wrong!)

LOL, I can't believe how many times I have heard people say that they loved the church and that it was "waisted space". I knew all along that the boss fight was going to be on top of the church, and I also built the church as the central part of the level, so I hoped that it would be something that looked cool to people since not only is it the centerpiece, but it is also an area that you run through a few times. It's odd, because I think that I have almost brought criticism on myself by putting so much time into making it look good. If it had looked mediocre, I highly doubt that anyone would have complained. Next time I put a lot of time into making something look good, I will make sure to use that area for something more than a set piece :)


Despite these "flaws", every one must play this level. Another story-telling masterpiece from amazingflyingpoo, with a moody setting, a clever puzzle and the best boss battle ever. What else could anyone possibly want?

Thanks for closing with some positive thoughts. It's always painful for me when someone closes their comment with all the negatives and then says goodbye. I am very glad that you enjoyed the level, and thank you so much for taking the time to let me know what you thought of it, it is much appreciated!

jeffcu28
03-07-2010, 05:41 AM
Hey Poo,

Congratulations for making it to the Spotlighted levels! This level was spookingly awesome in more ways than one. Hope you have more ideas in store for us...

Rooting for ya',
jeffcu28

amazingflyingpoo
03-07-2010, 07:41 AM
Thanks so much for the heads up Jeff! Keep up the amazing work with the spotlight :D I am so happy that it features PSP levels now!!!

Fastbro
03-07-2010, 04:12 PM
Congrats on the spotlight poo! You deserve it!

VelcroJonze
03-07-2010, 10:57 PM
Way to go on the spotlight Poo!! :)

amazingflyingpoo
03-08-2010, 05:29 AM
Congrats on the spotlight poo! You deserve it!


Way to go on the spotlight Poo!!

Thanks a lot for the congrats guys! I was so happy to see my level on the spotlight :)

Xenon
03-08-2010, 06:05 AM
AFP, here are some thoughts on your level

Graphics - You created a three dimensional world with the limited depth of PSP LBP, great job. The pews in the church made me stop and wonder how you did them. The boss creature looks crazy good with the fog effects. The one thing consistent with all your levels is your ability to make the standard sacks work as characters. In fact it made it creepier, kinda like kids in horror flicks. The only thing that bugged me was the round boulder that dropped from the sky to continue in the beginning. It was so geometric compared to everything else.

Design - Since the level was so story driven the overall simple design worked well for a small town. The puzzle was good. I did not get the tree area and why grabbing the brown cloth caused those things come out. The sound got stuck on the first root a couple times. I didn’t think the church was wasted because it help sell me on being in a town.

Game-play - This was more of an interactive story than a game for me. So I would say this is its weakest element. I would love to see you mix more game-play elements in your stories like you did with your 2nd level which is my favorite. The restaurant owner thing was cool. But the ending gameplay element was weakened for me due to the wife constantly telling me what to do. I get enough of that in real life = P I think I would have enjoyed killing the monster more if I would have been able to figure something out on my own.

Story – You are a good story teller and have the ability suck people in early with very limited amount of text. So I was drawn in and kept interested throughout. I think the ending was a little weird mainly because of the wife’s dialog after the boss was killed. It just came off as way too technical. Oh… Utopia is a town without women, huh? Don’t let the Ms find out about that… =)


Overall I really enjoyed your level and it kept me interested till the end which is a big feat since I’m more into the game-play aspect of LBP. Its easily a top tier level, just in case this came off as too critical. I look forward to your next one. I would just like to see you add more in terms of playability.

Taffey
03-08-2010, 07:30 AM
Boy do I feel late to the party! Of course I got to get a pre-publish sneak peek of this masterpiece, so I'm really just late with my feedback. ;) Now that my way-too-busy week is wrapping up, I can finally post up my thoughts about this latest level of yours.

Before I even get started though, let me just point out how difficult it was for me personally to put Shallow Springs in perspective. The first thing I want to do is start comparing this level to "Now and Then" or "Lost at Sea" and point out its weaknesses. I want to say how this bit here isn't as good as something else you made or that piece there was cooler the first time you did it, but that isn't fair. You're such an excellent creator that it's really easy to take things for granted. Take your contextual speech bubbles for example. They just work. If you forget to complete a quest or get an item, someone from the town will tell you. The same characters say one thing at the beginning of the level, something different later, and something different yet again later on. 90% of the people who play this won't give it a second thought and probably won't even recognize it as something special, but holy heck man - it's incredible! The fact you could pull off that logic on a PSP is particularly amazing, and it really lends to the "it just feels right" factor that I blabber on and on about so much. And how about the story? It would be so easy to accept it as "just another awesome poo level" and start poking holes in it. Well hang on a second, the story is excellent! There are just so few levels out there with this kind of great original writing it's a real treat to play one.

There are loads of "little things" throughout this level that actually aren't little at all, but they really help the gameplay flow. The sliding building fronts, the emitted text panels, the backtracking mini-quest gameplay, the Easter eggs... The list goes on and on. There's really just too much to mention, and I can't even begin to comment on the crazy logic you have running behind the scenes. The big thing for me however, is that this level is wonderfully creepy. Without lighting effects and the ability to dial up total darkness, it's very hard to create jump-out-of-your-skin scariness, but there are some nice little "startle moments" that make the hair on your neck stand up or give you a quick case of goosebumps. This is really an achievement on the PSP and if nothing else, I congratulate you for that!

I really liked what you did throughout from a gameplay perspective. The "growing vines" platforming puzzle is brilliant and well implemented - I love how it pushes bits of the ground out of the way as the vines break through the floor and walls, and the resulting layer-changing platforming bit is great. And the church... Just, wow. The 3D vanishing point illusion is so convincing I really had a hard time telling where the back of the level was. You disguised the back edge in the rows of pews very cleverly. I've noticed a lot of people commenting on how they were disappointed that nothing happened in this space. I don't think it was a problem at all - not every space has to have a purpose does it? Besides, a bit of red herring goes a long way for an adventure/mystery story like this one. My favorite part of the level, aside from the jaw-droppingly epic boss, was the block sliding puzzle. Really well made, very fun to use and work out, and very satisfying to finally solve.

As with all levels I truly admire, I could just go on and on about Shallow Springs. Before I write a complete novel, however, I should talk a bit about things to improve. There have been a lot of suggestions from a lot of people so far, and it's really great to see so much feedback. Instead of trying to come up with something new, I'll just touch on a couple of points already made. The first thing I want to address is your characters. I don't feel that their relative visual simplicity is a detriment to the level in any way, mostly because they each have a pretty well defined personality. As I said in my beta feedback, a good cocktail isn't all about the glass. The characters are really just there to drive the story, and for that purpose they are perfect. Would I want prettier and more complex characters? Perhaps. Would I want to sacrifice any of the level or the story to do it? No way. In create mode it all comes down to a series of choices and compromises, and I think you made all the right decisions. Another point I want to touch on are the comments that the level is a little flat or empty, and that the backtracking accentuates this. In some regards I agree. This level is largely about the visuals and story, and that's what you used to fill the spaces so I'm fine with it. It would have been nice, however, to have a little something to hop over here and there to provide a little more "texture" to the running back and forth. Backtracking to get the flower was fine because of the platforming you built into that section, and the layer changing in the church is also good. The town itself is a little flat and could use a minor obstacle here or there, but that's a minor point. My last point is regarding the lag. It seems that most people have my same opinion on it: the lag is a minor annoyance but there isn't much you can do about it. It would be nice if it wasn't there, but I'll gladly put up with it for the sake of that awesome boss fight.

I've managed to write far more than I set out to write, but I still feel like I've only scratched the surface. You did an incredibly good job on yet another epic and totally original level, and you have created probably the best boss seen on any PSP level yet. Congrats on the Spotlight, and do I even need to say I gave this 5 stars and a heart? :)

Keep up the awesome work and I can't wait for your next creation! :)

amazingflyingpoo
03-08-2010, 11:39 AM
Wow, thanks for all the feedback Taffey and Xenon! I was so excited to see so much when I logged on :)

@Xenon:


Graphics - You created a three dimensional world with the limited depth of PSP LBP, great job. The pews in the church made me stop and wonder how you did them. The boss creature looks crazy good with the fog effects. The one thing consistent with all your levels is your ability to make the standard sacks work as characters. In fact it made it creepier, kinda like kids in horror flicks. The only thing that bugged me was the round boulder that dropped from the sky to continue in the beginning. It was so geometric compared to everything else.

I'm glad that the look of the level stood out for you :D I actually hadn't even considered that the sack cut-outs worked well with the level theme until it was mentioned in a reply, but I'm glad that it did. I actually used them because of my very maxed out thermo, but it's nice to know that some people even thought that they fit (and I understand why some people don't feel that way, so please don't think that this is me saying "I am right, HA! The people that didn't like it are dumb!!!").

As for the rock, that was the very last thing that I added before my initial publishing. I wanted it to be roughly the same shape and size as the eye that it replaces. The idea was that suddenly the eye disappears and is replaced by a rock, so sackboy would be wondering if there was ever an eye there at all (sort of like the hand in the hotel room. Sure, it isn't perfect, but that explains the roundness. I agree, it would probably be better if it was not so perfectly round, but it is sadly a bit late for republishing now. I'm happy you brought it up though, because I should be more careful not to emit perfectly shaped objects. I never have perfectly shaped objects in the level because I want to corner edit them to avoid the drifting bug, but I am not always as careful as I should be about visible emitted objects I guess. Thanks for catching that :)


I did not get the tree area and why grabbing the brown cloth caused those things come out.

Yeah... I do have an issue with trying to make things somewhat realistic, and then adding in LBP mechanics that don't make sense. I didn't even really think about how the whole grabbing thing didn't make sense in the story (as to why it makes the roots come out). This is a good thing to mention, because it's something that I need to keep my eye on in future levels.


I didn’t think the church was wasted because it help sell me on being in a town.

That is very nice to hear :-)


This was more of an interactive story than a game for me. So I would say this is its weakest element. I would love to see you mix more game-play elements in your stories like you did with your 2nd level which is my favorite.

Thanks for giving me your opinion on this. I meant for this level to be more of an interactive story where the interactivity builds up more and more until you reach the end with the puzzle and the boss fight. I am sorry that it is not your type of level, but thanks for playing it all the way through anyway :)


But the ending gameplay element was weakened for me due to the wife constantly telling me what to do. I get enough of that in real life = P I think I would have enjoyed killing the monster more if I would have been able to figure something out on my own.

This is a point that I have hit on many times in replies so far, because it seems that some people appreciate the instructions, and some people weren't too fond of it. I still want to give a bit of a reply to you anyway though, because I keep thinking about it, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like I really needed to explain like I did.

The major reason is that people will give up very quickly if something gets confusing. I used to be very very VERY irritated by this, and I thought that the majority of the LBP community were just casual players or idiots who weren't willing to put time into a level. Recently I have played a few levels that were very good, and I invested maybe 20 or 30 minutes into them and I still ended up giving up because I got so confused as to what to do. I guessed that it was finishable, so why did I give up after all that time spent?

Well, I think it is for the same reason that most people do, they may not even think about it though. Not only are they frustrated, but they also have no way of knowing for sure that the level works correctly! I mean, why should they believe that the reason that they are stuck is not because my logic is somehow flawed? Sure, the boss is no harder than bosses from games like Zelda, and beating Zelda bosses is so much fun, but what if you didn't know if there actually was a way to beat the Zelda boss, and you were stuck on it?

So, this is the predicament I ran into, and I just didn't want people dealing with that irritation. I agree 100% that I would much rather have to figure out how to beat a boss, but I just didn't want a significant number of people giving up because they couldn't figure out to ring the bell or to press "R" to send the fire back at the monster.


Oh… Utopia is a town without women, huh? Don’t let the Ms find out about that… =)

This is hilarious. I had to read it to my wife because she heard me laugh out loud when I read it...


Overall I really enjoyed your level and it kept me interested till the end which is a big feat since I’m more into the game-play aspect of LBP. Its easily a top tier level, just in case this came off as too critical. I look forward to your next one. I would just like to see you add more in terms of playability.

That was excellent feedback, and you handled your criticism in the perfect manner! Instead of just saying that you liked the level and then hammering me with criticism, you talked about the good as well as the bad, so I always had something to smile about even when I was reading something critical :) I am sorry that you don't like this style of level as much as Lost at Sea, and perhaps I will make my next level more in the style you prefer :)


@Taffey:

I owe you so much thanks for being a huge encouragement to me throughout the process of finalizing this level as well as the post-processing (feedback and such). But, I don't think that anyone else wants to hear the mushy stuff, so I'll just jump right into your feedback :-)


it's really easy to take things for granted. Take your contextual speech bubbles for example. They just work. If you forget to complete a quest or get an item, someone from the town will tell you. The same characters say one thing at the beginning of the level, something different later, and something different yet again later on. 90% of the people who play this won't give it a second thought and probably won't even recognize it as something special, but holy heck man - it's incredible! The fact you could pull off that logic on a PSP is particularly amazing, and it really lends to the "it just feels right" factor that I blabber on and on about so much.

I feel bad even quoting this since you are giving so much praise. I really am happy that you notice the changing dialog still. The logic behind the scenes takes a lot of thermo, and an incredible amount of time to set up correctly, so it is nice to know that someone did stop and think about what must have gone into it :)


The big thing for me however, is that this level is wonderfully creepy. Without lighting effects and the ability to dial up total darkness, it's very hard to create jump-out-of-your-skin scariness, but there are some nice little "startle moments" that make the hair on your neck stand up or give you a quick case of goosebumps.

I am so happy that you found it creepy. It is sort of hard to know if what I'm making is actually creepy since I'm making it, so it's nice to know that it actually worked liked I had hoped :)


In create mode it all comes down to a series of choices and compromises

THIS IS EXCELLENT TAFFEY!!!! Yes, I meant to capitalize that, because I am so excited about what you wrote. I have sort of been beating around the bush with this comment, but I never had exactly the right words to say, and here they are!

I think that a person needs to actually use up ALL of their thermo and still have need to add more level to make to understand what a creator must go through. Sure, it's easy to sit back and say that you would add this or that, but do have any idea what would have to be cut out of the level to do that??? Every once and a while I will go through my downloaded levels and look at how much space they take up. I think that 320 to 356 is the max size (oddly enough, Lost at Sea and Now and Then are the only 2 levels that I have seen with the 356 marking, Shallow Springs was completely maxed and it only reached 320), and I take that to mean that the levels thermo was probably maxed out if the level says its size is 320.

When I look at levels, almost none of them are actually up to 320, so I assume this to mean that most authors finish their levels before they use up all the thermo, meaning that no compromises actually need to be made. I wish that everyone could experience having spent months on a level, and then having to make big decisions about cutting stuff out that they spent a lot of time on. It is not easy, and it really burns when you have a bunch of people telling you that your level isn't good because it is missing features that you wanted in the level anyway.

So yes, creating is all about a series of choices and compromises, and I am so glad that you put it that way, because I will always remember that quote! (it was almost worth making the level just so I could hear that :) )


The town itself is a little flat and could use a minor obstacle here or there, but that's a minor point.

I can certainly see where you are coming from with this, and an obstacle or two might really help to make the backtracking not feel like backtracking. I actually try to keep the obstacles out because I don't want players to be annoyed with them when they are backtracking... Maybe in the next level that I have backtracking (a hypothetical situation) I will try to add obstacles and see how it turns out :) Thanks for the idea!


Thanks again for all of the feedback!

trianglepigsquar
03-09-2010, 05:31 PM
Great level! I found that it was verry long-walking got a bit dull occationly. White town made it very spooky. The lag, whilst unintentional seemed to add to the atmousphere! So much text-Really good to see a level with a really complex and interesting storyline! 5 stars and a heart for the chills sent up my spine(or mabie im just cold!)!

Taffey
03-09-2010, 05:47 PM
I owe you so much thanks for being a huge encouragement to me throughout the process of finalizing this level as well as the post-processing (feedback and such). But, I don't think that anyone else wants to hear the mushy stuff, so I'll just jump right into your feedback :-)Anytime! Us creator types have to watch out for one another. ;)




I am so happy that you found it creepy. It is sort of hard to know if what I'm making is actually creepy since I'm making it, so it's nice to know that it actually worked liked I had hoped :)Creepy is very hard to pull off properly, even on the PS3 - doubly so on the PSP. You nailed it though!




I think that a person needs to actually use up ALL of their thermo and still have need to add more level to make to understand what a creator must go through.Exactly. It's hard to understand what creating is really all about until you've spent at least an entire day (or week!) lovingly creating a game element, only to later throw it in a burlap sack and drown it in the river. Decisions like that can be really difficult sometimes.




I think that 320 to 356 is the max size (oddly enough, Lost at Sea and Now and Then are the only 2 levels that I have seen with the 356 marking, Shallow Springs was completely maxed and it only reached 320), and I take that to mean that the levels thermo was probably maxed out if the level says its size is 320.Interesting! I never noticed that. I'll have to go take a look at some of community levels and compare file sizes.




Thanks again for all of the feedback!You're absolutely welcome! So, when is afp PSP creation #4 coming out? ;)

amazingflyingpoo
03-10-2010, 05:08 AM
Great level! I found that it was verry long-walking got a bit dull occationly. White town made it very spooky. The lag, whilst unintentional seemed to add to the atmousphere! So much text-Really good to see a level with a really complex and interesting storyline! 5 stars and a heart for the chills sent up my spine(or mabie im just cold!)!

Thank you so much for the feedback trianglepigsquar! I'm glad to hear that you got a spooky vibe from the level, and I'm really happy to hear that you liked it :-)

Thanks so much for taking the time to play the level and to leave some feedback!

spok22
03-10-2010, 06:45 AM
Hey dude. I tried out your level and it went great! First, the good things. I found your story simply outstanding. I love games with a good story and i was not dissapointed with the story of Shallow springs. In addition to that, i found many of your ideas very innovative. I really loved the way that you did your buildings so THAT when you went inside then the cover lifted off revealing the inside. (If you dont mind, i may have to steal this awesome idea. :b Haha.) Another thing i loved about your level was the atmosphere. The quality of your atmosphere is definitely something i am looking to emulate in my level and something i hope to continue to emulate in all of my future levels. Another good thing was how you did your characters. The characters all seemed mysterious in their own ways and they all came off as having their own distinct personalities.

For the bad.
I didnt find anything that i thought was bad but i do have some suggestions on stuff you can maybe add to your level. First off, the final boss was waaaaaaayyyy too easy. There was no challenge at all and i was kind of dissapointed that it was such an easy ending . My suggestion, is that you maybe give your boss more moves to attack the player, or something similar to that. It just seemed too simple and too easy. Secondly, i thought your story was great but other than the story, what other incentitive do you have to play? I suggest maybe making some hidden places that the player is not required to find but maybe can look for. You could put little tidbits of story in here that contribute to the whole story or flesh out the background of the town more or something. I think that this would definitely provide some replay value. Other than that i was very pleasantly surprised with how your level turned out. I gave your level 5 stars and i look forward to seeing what kind of changes you make based off of feedback in this level and your future levels. :)

amazingflyingpoo
03-10-2010, 07:04 AM
Thanks for the detailed feedback Spok :-)


I found your story simply outstanding. I love games with a good story and i was not dissapointed with the story of Shallow springs.

I'm really glad that you liked the story since it was one of the main draws of the level :) Like you said later on, the level may have been a tad bid short on gameplay, but I hoped to make up for it in story and scenery.


I really loved the way that you did your buildings so THAT when you went inside then the cover lifted off revealing the inside. (If you dont mind, i may have to steal this awesome idea. :b Haha.)

Go right ahead :) But be prepared to pay royalties!!!! Just kidding :) There's nothing stopping anyone from copying the idea, so I'm just glad that someone I know would want to use it :-)


Another good thing was how you did your characters. The characters all seemed mysterious in their own ways and they all came off as having their own distinct personalities.

I try very hard to give the characters their own personality, but it is somewhat hard to do on the PSP since I only have a limited amount of thermo and I can't give the characters a bunch of dialog because of this. If you ever get a chance to play my PS3 levels (my LBL series), you will see that when I had more thermo, I gave each character a lot more dialog (especially in the later levels of the series), and this really helped each character to have a very defined personality. It's too bad that the PSP limits this aspect.


First off, the final boss was waaaaaaayyyy too easy. There was no challenge at all and i was kind of dissapointed that it was such an easy ending . My suggestion, is that you maybe give your boss more moves to attack the player, or something similar to that. It just seemed too simple and too easy.

Yeah... I've gone on and on about this earlier in this thread. I intentionally made him easy, because I didn't want the player to become furious with some irritating cheap kill, and that was the only real way to make it difficult in a confined area like the bell tower.

As for extra attacks... you must have magical powers when it comes to PSP, because HOLY CRAP it was hard to make the boss with the attacks it has. I have made some complicated things in the past, but that boss blows them all out of the water. I would be more than happy to go into detail as to why that boss was difficult to make, but I doubt that you actually want to hear that. Just try to imagine making the boss do what it does, and having multiple stages, and you may begin to understand how difficult it is to make something like that.

Just for the record, I am not irritated by the fact that you said that about the boss. I am actually smiling :-) I just had to stand up for myself because the boss is sooo complex as it is. I don't even want to imagine what tossing extra attacks into the mix would be like :-)


I suggest maybe making some hidden places that the player is not required to find but maybe can look for. You could put little tidbits of story in here that contribute to the whole story or flesh out the background of the town more or something. I think that this would definitely provide some replay value.

Do you have a PS3? If so, I officially demand that you go play my LBL series :-) I actually use almost this exact concept, but it is applied in a different way since I had more freedom on the PS3. On PS3 you can make your own stickers, and you can also lock levels, so I would hide 10 custom stickers in each level, and at the end of the level there was a key to an additional level. The additional level would have 10 sticker switches, one for each secret sticker, and the sticker switches would unlock story as well as detailed scenes depicting what led up to the events of the level. These additional levels were accepted amazingly well, so I know that this concept works well (maybe even better than you thought :) )

Anyway, I would have obviously loved to add stuff like this into the level, but I just couldn't. For one, the thermo was maxed out, and that was really the main reason, but secondly, I didn't really have a means of doing so that I liked. I don't want some disembodied voice in a corner that tells a story (I wasn't very happy that I had to have the wife disembodied, but that's the way it went. At least I was able to explain why she was that way).

This is an excellent idea, but one that I just haven't been able to use. Maybe I can figure out a way to apply it in a future level, but before I do that I need to think of a way to do it in an artistic way instead of forcing it in a way that doesn't make much sense.


Other than that i was very pleasantly surprised with how your level turned out. I gave your level 5 stars and i look forward to seeing what kind of changes you make based off of feedback in this level and your future levels.

I'm really glad that you liked it, and thanks sooo much for writing so much feedback. I know I wrote a lot in reply, but that doesn't mean that I am unhappy with what you said! You did a great job mixing constructive criticism with compliments :-)

Thanks so much!

spok22
03-10-2010, 07:31 AM
no problem man. Glad you found my feedback somewhat entertaining lol and dont worry the first thing i will do as soon as i save up enuf money for the ps3 and lbp is download your levels. :b

himoks
03-10-2010, 08:49 PM
Really good level and great story. 5 stars and a heart

amazingflyingpoo
03-11-2010, 03:59 AM
Really good level and great story. 5 stars and a heart

Thanks so much himoks :) I'm very happy to hear that you liked it!

rOckalOvEer x73
03-11-2010, 06:24 AM
Hi Poo!:p
Ill try to be honest. I realy enjoyed your previous levels, but this is too much different. I think that every creator has his own style, for example, Jackofcourse create really complex puzzles and his levels are amazing, and I think that you are the creator who knows how to tell a good story.
Now and Then is one of my favourite levels, but in this one, things were different.
Shallow Springs has a good storyline, but a its a little stereotypical, I mean, "One man who is looking for his wife in a strange place". I think this was not your best idea.
Also, the level is too lineal "go from part a to part b", and although some of your previous levels use this system, here it doesnt feel as enjoyable as the other ones.
But the level has things that I really enjoyed, like the amazing puzzle to get the key, its really wonderful, and the minigame to cheat the man on the restaurant was fun.:p
I know that you are one of the best creators on LBP, and this Feedback is not for annoy you, youre awesome and Im sure that your next level will become great.:D
I gave you :star::star::star::star: and you get my creator heart since Now and Then.

amazingflyingpoo
03-11-2010, 08:06 AM
Hidy Ho r0ckalOvEer! Thank you for your honest feedback, and I am sorry that the story of Shallow Springs didn't intrigue you as much as previous levels.

Let's jump right into your comments :-)


Jackofcourse create really complex puzzles

This has absolutely nothing to do with my level, but I just had to reply to it anyway. So, you think that Jack makes complex puzzles? I've never actually seen anything that Jack has made that seemed complex, and I can't really think of a part in his level that I would call a puzzle...(he has simple challenges like pulling a switch, but nothing I'd consider a puzzle)... I consider Jack someone who knows how to make a platforming level fun. There are super simple challenges (and he intentionally keeps his challenges simple), awesome scenery, and just plain fun platforming. He's an incredible author, but in all honesty, he is one of the last people I would think of when I think of complex puzzles.

I don't say any of this to make you seem silly, and I certainly don't say it to put Jack down, because he is one of the very best authors on PSP and PS3. I only say it because I really wonder what you consider complex.

Anyway, this has gone way way way off topic :-) You just got me very curious when you made that statement.


Shallow Springs has a good storyline, but a its a little stereotypical, I mean, "One man who is looking for his wife in a strange place". I think this was not your best idea.

Hmmmm... I can see how you would think that at the beginning of the level (and when you read the description of the level), but after playing the level, I am a little surprised that you felt that way. I was pretty happy with how unique the story turned out to be. I also felt that the story was much more fleshed out than either Now and Then or Lost at Sea.

In Now and Then, you have a very unique back story, but once you get into the level, there isn't all that much story, you are just figuring out how to manipulate your surroundings through time travel in order to save your son.

In Lost at Sea, the back story is pretty simple, and there isn't much story to go with it. The catch for this level is that you are manipulating the ending based on how far you get.

In Shallow Springs, I feel that the overall story is revealed as you play, and once you get the full picture as to what is going on (why is your wife missing, what is going on with the colors, and why did this even begin happening to the town at all?), the story is much deeper than anything I have told before, and I would also like to think that it is unique.

It's sort of silly for me to say all of this, because what really matters is what you thought of it, and obviously you didn't get much of a kick out of the story, but I just wanted to stand up for the level a bit since I put a lot of thought into the story and tried to make the overall story very unique even though the basis (i.e.: intro) was not as unique as Now and Then.


But the level has things that I really enjoyed, like the amazing puzzle to get the key, its really wonderful, and the minigame to cheat the man on the restaurant was fun.

I'm glad that there were parts that stood out to you as fun :)

Thanks again for the honest feedback. Though I may not understand why you felt the way you did about certain aspects of the level, I still appreciate that you took the time to play the level and also took the time to leave such detailed feedback.

SalieriAAX
03-11-2010, 08:50 AM
Jackofcourse create really complex puzzles and his levels are amazing

I'm inclined to agree with poo on this. Jack's levels are amazing, but I don't think I've experienced anything in his levels that could be considered a complex puzzle.

It's just a technicality.

himoks
03-11-2010, 11:16 AM
your levels are amazing in little big planet ps3 too! i have hearted your all levels,begouse they are so good

amazingflyingpoo
03-11-2010, 11:47 AM
your levels are amazing in little big planet ps3 too! i have hearted your all levels,begouse they are so good

Woo-hoo! Thanks soooooo much for checking out my PS3 levels :-) I'm always excited when I hear that someone gave those a play because I haven't had a PS3 for about 6 months now and it's nice to hear that someone is still checking out the levels. It's even more exciting since you liked them :)

Thanks so much for checking out shallow springs and for checking out my PS3 levels as well!!!

himoks
03-11-2010, 01:23 PM
I got littlebigplanet psp in the first day when it came in the shops, later i saw your level "Now and Then" i was like: OMG!!!!! i have to play this!

The level was amazing!

rOckalOvEer x73
03-12-2010, 07:49 AM
Totally agree, I must give you an apology because of some bad comments, I think because of your reply that you bothered a bit and that never was my intention, after all, youre amazingflyingpoo!!!:p.
Really, really sorry.:blush:.
Your storyline is very nice, but what I wanted to say in my previous post is that in your previous levels you can feel like you are beeing part of the story and of course, you can change it.
Ill try to be more explicit to not cause more problems.:p
In Now and Then, the storyline is taking you through the time and that gives you the sensation of beeing part of the things that happen in the level, because you are thinking what year you have to visit to keep going on the main story.
In Lost at Sea, you give me again the sensation of beeing part of the game, because depending of my skill I see a different story. I mean, something like causes and consequences.
But the thing that I didnt like in this level is that here is too much different, I mean, here when I played the level I felt like if you were just telling me a static story, something that I can not change, I mean, like if I were just reading a book. I hope to be clear, in my previous post I told you that youre a creator who knows how to tell us a good story, and now I think that "tell" was not the best word to describe what I wanted to say. Youre a great creator who know how to make us part of the story;). Your story is good? yeah, but I said stereotypical because of the way to telling us that story, not the story itself.
I hope I have arranged misunderstandings:p, I dont want you to think that I gave you my feedback just for disturb.
Ohhh!! And about that Jackofcourse comment, that was my error too :blush:. The true is that Im learning to speak english and at that moment I never thought in a better word than puzzle, but now thanks for correct me and thanks to salieri for give me the correct word "technicality". Im an embarrassed sack:blush:.
See you soon Poo!:p

amazingflyingpoo
03-12-2010, 11:22 AM
@r0ckal0vEer:

Hidy Ho! I'm very sorry that I came across as bothered by you. I tried to be very careful not to come across as unhappy with you, and then I had my wife read it to make sure that I didn't sound upset, but it sounds like it still seemed like I was upset. Anyway, I really appreciate that you would send a kind message like this.

I appreciate feedback soooo much, because I completely understand that there is no reason that you should take the time to write a lot of feedback except to be nice!

Anyway, I probably seemed super defensive because of all of the feedback I have been getting. I really don't mind constructive criticism, and I appreciate it because it can help me improve my levels, but the things I have been hearing for Shallow Springs have just been too much.

I have had criticism on the intro, on the eyeball thing that turns into a rock at the start, on the black tentacles that come out at the hole in the ground, on the flower in the hole, on the white background in the town, on the way the townspeople look, on the church, on the dialog, on the puzzle, on the backtracking, on the boss, and even on the endings. Basically, the last thing I had left was that no one had complained about the story, and then you said the story was pretty ho-hum....

That sort of left me with nothing. I just spent 2 months working on this level, and there really isn't a single thing that people haven't complained about. It has really made me wonder why I am making levels... In the past, the feedback has always helped me see what it is that people like about my levels (and what could be fixed), but this time, all the info I have gotten just left me wondering why anyone would even bother to play my levels, because everything I did in it seemed to bother at least one person.

If I had rushed the level, then I would understand these issues, but I took my time with it, and I was really happy with it when I published, so that just leaves me all the more confused.

And then, to top that off, the level is doing excellent right now, which goes against all the feedback that I am hearing??? What is going on?

Anyway, that explains a bit as to why my responses were so long, and why they may have been a bit more passionate than usual :-) Your written English is so good that I would have NEVER thought for even a moment that it is not your native language! After your detailed description of what you meant (about why you liked Lost at Sea and Now and Then), I can much better understand your point. I guess that I was hoping that the color scheme, as well as some of the surprises in the level (and the boss) would pull you into the experience, but it just must have not worked as well for you.

Like I said, I really, really, REALLY appreciate the honest feedback you gave, and I'm sorry if I came across as a bit bothered. I admit that I was bothered, but it wasn't really your fault :-)

Thanks so much!

Arrestor
03-12-2010, 01:42 PM
Even if there would be a person who didnt like the story, this would not mean your level is bad or that you arent a great creator. Nobody likes everything. There will always be criticism. Remember Poo: Yor are creating on such ahigh level and have a huge fanbase, when we give you feedback most of the things we say a small improvements that could be made (at least in my opinion). I dont think theres a level with which everyone is perfectly happy. If you make it easy someone will say he likes it hard levels and of course this works the other way round (just an example). Besides that the number of plays and hearts will tell you the truth!

Dont worry! You are one of the best creators in LBP PSP and your levels hit the right spot!

amazingflyingpoo
03-12-2010, 02:30 PM
Thanks a lot Arrestor :) I'm certainly not trying to get people to tell me that they like my levels, I was just trying to explain why I have these 5 paragraph responses to people's feedback :-P And I also wanted people to understand that I am not unhappy with them for what that are saying, I just want to stand up for my poor level because it is taking a bit of a beating on this forum. I really appreciate the kind words, and I know that every single one of you has my back :-)

Phalaina
03-16-2010, 11:58 AM
Hi ^^! You must have heard this a million times already, but I think your level had a really cool story. It was short... but then again I guess it had to be short with that thermometer in create mode and all... but exciting and spooky. And the fact that there was a great boss in the end was awesome.

The level design really added to the scary atmosphere. Especially those scenes in the forest with all the strange things popping out and disappearing and the broken bridge and other creepy little details. The church was very well constructed. I liked everything about it: the interior especially and the rooftop and bell tower as well. Cool that though everything in the town was colorless, the church looked very vibrant in the center of it all. Actually, at first I didn't understand that the town had lost its colors (for some reason, I thought it was snowing... which was silly of me ^^), but when I did, I thought it was a very cool idea. Not only did it look unique but it also added to the story. And as I said earlier, the story was already very good.

I really enjoyed the part where you have to steal the key from the waiter. That must have been really challenging to make. It might have been cool if Don said something should you fail, or try to tell you off for stealing it. But it works just fine as is. The speech bubbles got a little bit cluttered and it would be nice if you could make the really old ones go away. Though that isn't such a bad thing at all. I already mentioned that the boss was great. The way it moved and attacked must have been so hard to do and it was just amazing how you could reflect fire back at it!

Im just learning how to use create mode so my feedback probably doesnt count much. Still, I think its a really great level and, seeing as its among the highest rated, Im sure a lot of the more experienced players would agree. Its satisfying but at the same time leaves you wanting to find out more about the setting and characters.

amazingflyingpoo
03-16-2010, 01:28 PM
Hidy Ho Phalaina! I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you in the LBP community so I want to say "Hi" before I even start replying :)

Your feedback was incredibly kind, but it was also very detailed and well thought out. I am certain that everyone at LBP Central is going to LOVE having you around!


Actually, at first I didn't understand that the town had lost its colors (for some reason, I thought it was snowing... which was silly of me ^^), but when I did, I thought it was a very cool idea.

I laughed out loud when I read this :) Sorry that it looked like the town was covered in snow. I had originally planned to have a bit of text pop up as you walked through the woods which mentioned how reality itself appeared to be ripping apart as the colors faded from the world around you, but I didn't have enough thermo to emit a sign that had all the stickers necessary to say that, so I just hoped that the player would be able to figure it out.


I really enjoyed the part where you have to steal the key from the waiter. That must have been really challenging to make. It might have been cool if Don said something should you fail, or try to tell you off for stealing it. But it works just fine as is.

This is an EXCELLENT point, and actually something that I wanted to implement. I hadn't planned on having him say something if you did it correctly, but I did want him to say something if you failed. I then got worried that the player would be confused as to what to do next if they failed, so instead, I just tried to make it so he moved slow enough that it would be very difficult to fail unless you just didn't try. I probably still should have dialog there, because there will certainly be people who don't get there quick enough, but the thermo is just too maxed out for even a magic mouth :(


The speech bubbles got a little bit cluttered and it would be nice if you could make the really old ones go away.

This is another great point! If you play my first level, Now and Then, you will see that I tried to make the old text bubbles go away, but to do that it takes a bit of thermo (the switch I use to make the text go away requires a bit more material than the one that doesn't go away), and I had planned on Shallow Springs being a bigger, more detailed level, so I decided to just have the text bubbles stay so that the level could have other things. Perhaps it wasn't the best choice on my end, but oh well :-)


Thanks so much for the awesome feedback! I will be sending you a friends request as soon as I post this reply :)

memorex
03-16-2010, 10:39 PM
Hi amazingflyingpoo
You are one of my favorite creators since now and then, all your levels are amazing, this one is incredible like the others but my favorite of yours is Lost at sea, because I prefer more action, but this level is great, The visual effects are amazing, is the best stuff of the level for me, and I loved the final boss, although I spent very long time here because I had not seen the dialogue that said that I had defeated the boss but was my mistake

I gave you 5 stars and heart :)

Lilman1101
03-17-2010, 07:48 AM
aw man! i loved your level poo and you even inspired me to make my own levels and then i hear that people are dissing it?!? :grr::grr::grr::grr::grr::grr::grr::grr::grr::grr: :grr::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: this is easily the best level i have ever played and i would just like to say that there is absolutely nothing that i would change about it:)

amazingflyingpoo
03-17-2010, 01:51 PM
@memorex:


my favorite of yours is Lost at sea, because I prefer more action

It's funny, because I have been hearing the majority of people who have played my levels say that Lost at Sea is their favorite, but Lost at Sea has performed the worst of all of my levels (including Shallow Springs). I aimed Shallow Springs more toward being like a Now and Then level since Lost at Sea didn't perform as well :-P Anyway, it's good to know that my forum buddies really liked Lost at Sea :)


I loved the final boss, although I spent very long time here because I had not seen the dialogue that said that I had defeated the boss but was my mistake

LOL, sorry that that happened to you. So, did you just keep ringing the bell and tossing fireballs at the monster and wonder to yourself, "What the heck was amazingflyingpoo thinking making me do this 10 times in a row???!!!". I'm glad you eventually figured it out. How did you eventually decide to grab the eye?

Thanks so much for checking out the level memorex! I really appreciate the feedback :)


@lilman:

It's awesome to have you on the site lilman! I'm so glad that you followed up on my info about LBPC and decided to find your way over here. I really think that you will love it here!


i loved your level poo and you even inspired me to make my own levels and then i hear that people are dissing it?!?

I'm so glad that you liked the level so much and that it inspired you! That is the greatest compliment that I could ever here for a level (that someone was inspired by it). As for people dissing it, don't worry about it :) Everyone is just helping me out, and I really do appreciate it. I was just getting a bit down because of all of the constructive criticism, but as I will always say, constructive criticism will always help more than praise will, it's just nice to have praise sprinkled here and there in the criticism :) The members of the PSP side of this forum are awesome people who have been ridiculously supportive :-)

Once again, I want to say that it is awesome to have you here, and I look forward to talking with you all the time! I would check your level out right now (the one you made a thread about), but I will be away from my PSP for the next 3 days, so it will have to wait until after that.

memorex
03-17-2010, 07:50 PM
LOL, sorry that that happened to you. So, did you just keep ringing the bell and tossing fireballs at the monster and wonder to yourself, "What the heck was amazingflyingpoo thinking making me do this 10 times in a row???!!!". I'm glad you eventually figured it out. How did you eventually decide to grab the eye?

Yes just when, I was thinking "What the heck was amazingflyingpoo thinking making me do this 20 times in a row?" :p
I decide to check the previous windows :idea:

amazingflyingpoo
03-18-2010, 02:35 AM
Yes just when, I was thinking "What the heck was amazingflyingpoo thinking making me do this 20 times in a row?"
I decide to check the previous windows

Wow, that really sucks, but it is really funny (20 times! You must have really been wondering about my sanity)! :-) I'm sorry that the confusion happened. I am glad that you figured it out though, because it would have been a lot of work to play through the whole level again just to find out that you had technically already beat the boss.