View Full Version : Yes, use F4F Curses! by SalieriAAX

04-18-2010, 02:59 PM
http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac207/tross13/Curses/20100417-111038.jpg"Summoned to a cursed castle by an arcane ritual, you are charged with attending to the citadel's miserable, disaffected inhabitants."

Explore a castle populated by a cast of quirky characters including an eccentric alchemist, a depressed philosopher and a dismembered engineer, all struggling to cope with an unfortunate affliction.
Hi folks, it's been a while since I published a level and I decided to take this one in a different direction from my usual style. It's inspired by old-school adventure games, so be warned: if you don't like backtracking, you probably won't like it.

I won't ramble on for too long about it, but please check it out if you have the time. Here are a few screenshots to give you a taster:






Thanks in advance. You will notice I had the annoying issue of the game automatically putting spaces around punctuation marks in some of my speech bubbles, I've done my best to minimise this but, as you will see, some of them just refused to be fixed. If you are posting feedback and want me to reply with some for your level, please do let me know which level you want feedback on. Cheers.

Finally, many thanks to Taffey and jeffcu28 for testing the level a few times for me, and for providing me with some invaluable feedback, and also to Taffey again for taking the photographs.


04-18-2010, 03:10 PM
Well! Look what's waiting for me first thing when I roll out of bed this morning. I've really been looking forward to playing the final version of this.

Now the big question: Coffee or Curses! first? Hmm, I think Curses! ;)

04-18-2010, 03:15 PM
This looks amazing! I can't wait to give it a go!

04-18-2010, 03:22 PM
This looks amazing! I can't wait to give it a go!

Oh please don't get too excited, you'll only set yourself up for some kind of horrible disappointment or something. I'll admit, however, that the screenshots do actually look pretty ace - nice one Taffey.

04-18-2010, 03:44 PM
I was about to head to bed (LOL, I guess we do live on opposite sides of the world Taffey ;)), but I booted my PSP up when I saw this. You already know that I am a huge fan of your levels, so I was very excited to give this a try!

(Now I Play the Level)

Wow is this level good. I'm assuming that you would realize that this is the kind of level that I like :)

The art style is incredible! I mean, it is absolutely fantastic. But let's be honest, who would expect much less from Salieri, the best character designer on LBP PSP! But not only did the characters look awesome, but the entire castle looked incredible as well! I mean, this level looks outstanding! You did a great job of requiring the player to backtrack so that you could put a lot of details without worrying about needing as much thermo. I'm sure there will be complaints about backtracking if you get enough feedback from all of the forums, but it doesn't matter because this level is perfect for a story level.

So, being as it is a story level, let's talk about the story! This is so funny! I loved everything. It's nothing like the story levels that I have worked on which have been very serious. This one is basically joke after joke, but it all feeds into an overall story that I actually felt myself caring about. And events from the past have effects on things now (SPOILER: the bat).

The gameplay was a perfect balance of challenges and chatting. There was a tiny bit of platforming, but nothing that was noteworthy (but that's how I would prefer it in a story level). The challenges that were here were great. I wouldn't really consider them puzzles, because the goal was completely obvious, and there was nothing to figure out. This is probably a good thing, because you won't run into the issue of players getting irritated that they cannot figure out the solution.

I would say that the only thing that I could possibly see ANYONE complaining about is that there were a few times that I didn't know where to go. The good news is that the castle is relatively small, so it didn't take much wandering to figure it out. When making story levels, I sort of assume the player is brainless and that if you don't tell them exactly what to do next then they may end up running into a wall for 2 minutes, quiting, and giving 1 star (I say this because of my experience testing story levels in multiplayer on PS3). Really, I hope that people wouldn't do this, because it certainly doesn't take much time to figure anything out in this level. I actually enjoyed figuring out where I had to go.

So, my overall thought is that this is an incredible story level that I am very happy that I had the opportunity of playing! Keep up the awesome work Salieri!

04-18-2010, 03:48 PM
This isn't the PS3 boards.
Oh wait, never mind, I didn't know a psp level can look so GOOD! :p
(Yes that's a compliment)

Anyways, I'll give you feedback soon! :)

04-18-2010, 04:22 PM
amazingflyingpoo: Thanks a lot for giving me so much feedback, you're a star. I'm glad the 'puzzle-like' sections had the desired effect. You're quite right that these weren't intended as real puzzles, I referred to them to myself as 'gameplay sequences', I basically wanted to create some activity for the player that made some sense within its own environment and that didn't require much explanation (because there is already LOADS of text).

I hear what you're saying with regards to working out where to go. This was actually even more baffling before BETA, not because I'd really imagined the player would be able to find their way around perfectly, but because I felt too much direction of the players actions interrupted the flow of the text. I realise that it could be clearer, but then I don't really expect this level to be much of a crowd-pleaser, I sort of made it for myself and based on my own love of old point-and-click adventures. Essentially, yes, I found it very difficult finding a balance between willfully risking unpopularity 'for the sake of my art' and creating a user-firendly, pick-up-and-play experience which is really what LBP should be about, I suppose, and I'm glad you think it's not too confusing.

Thanks again, and I loved Destiny!

04-18-2010, 04:47 PM
Okay, Time for your feedback! :)

I just wanted to say, I never seen sticker work look so cartoonish. These characters are very, I mean very well put.
I never seen a level made so alive (Even though the characters are dead)
I have a question that I hope you can answer. Where and how did you come up with this level idea?
Who would've thought of creating a level like this. You would, that's who.
I will say once more, your characters are VERY GOOD!!! This is no joke. You made me jealous.
I've never seen characters looked so detailed and stuff. My favorite character is the skeleton knight. (Sorry, I don't remember names)

Now, the thing I enjoyed about this level is the usage of your materials.
You created many awesome rooms with certain type of mood to it.
Like the lab, good use of materials, The crypt is good as well. Now, my favorite room is the hall with the skleleton knight.
I just have to say once more, Your sticker work is GOOD! I'm very impressed.
You made the level with a powerful scene to them. You made the little things special too.
Such as that mural on the wall. Well made and picturesque.

I was honestly distracted with the design. I enjoyed the play through.
Your gameplay and puzzles were fun too. My favorite is the puzzle with the where you have to gain electricity.
Fun and different. I never experienced something like that.
I just want to say, this is nothing like your levels.
Once I saw this, I thought it was a platformer type, but it end up being an Role Playing type of level.

Your mechanics are good. I liked the end when you find Binky.
I didn't know what was Binky, but then I found out as I found it.
Your fog made the level come alive to. I liked how you created the lab using the fog.
I enjoyed every little detail of the level.There was no problem through my gameplay, except one.
You know at the end when you go to the crypt. I accidently fell in the gas and the speech bubble popped up as I fell.
I died and spawned far away. So I didn't mind, I just went back there to reread the speech.
Although, another speech bubble appeared near that joker skeleton. I missed the speech bubble and I activated another speech bubble. Causing the old speech bubble to spoil my fun. I don't really mind.
Maybe a checkpoint ought to fix it? If not, it's okay.

That's all I have to say.
I hearted this level. and gave you five stars. :star::star::star::star::star:
I don't have any more to say, but keep up the good work.

Until we me again

04-18-2010, 05:15 PM
Oy. Another RPG type level? Where's a new platformer when you need it... oh well, I'll get to feedbacking this soon.

04-18-2010, 06:47 PM
Spark151: I'm so glad you enjoyed the level, and in particular that you were so complimentary of the visual style. Regarding how I thought this level up: it started when I got a chance to play Dragon Age: Origin on PSP at my brother's place and that reminded me how much I love seriously detailed fantasy rpg and adventure games. I'm not sure when I decided to use undead characters, but after I decided to I very quickly turned to World of Warcraft's Forsaken race for inspiration, since a properly realistic look would obviously have been totally impossible. I created the characters before I developed the story, too, and the story just kind of grew out of the environment.

Sorry to hear about that issue you had with dying after the penultimate speech bubble. Luckily the level's not been up long so I'll try to fix this so it doesn't happen to anyone else. Cheers for the heads up.

Would you believe I still haven't actually played Solid Journey? So I will definitely play that as soon as I can and give you some F4F, very remiss of me not to have done so already.


04-18-2010, 07:01 PM
This level was really a treat to beta test, and I'm very excited indeed to see it in the flesh. Er, published I suppose I should say. ;)

You already know most of my thoughts on this, so I won't go into too much detail. It is worth noting that, as Bram Stoker might have written had he owned a PSP, that this is pure and total awesomeness.

Your character design is second to none in the whole of the world of LBP PSP, period. I am as green with envy about that as a vial of life elixir. The rest of this level is a real treat for the eyes as well, with adorable little skulls hanging here and there, nameless oozing stuff dripping from the ceiling, and period-accurate tapestries throughout. The charm continues with humor from start to finish, especially in the tasks at hand. My favorite by far has to be fetching the, ehm, stone - you got an audible laugh out of me for that. The light platforming and gameplay suits the nature of the level perfectly, and I really enjoyed what you did with ending.

There just really isn't anything bad I have to say about this level, but couldn't you have made it a little longer? (Kidding.... Natch. Please don't throw any Worcestershire sauce at me.)

5 stars and a heart easily!

I don't really expect this level to be much of a crowd-pleaserWell in that case you have failed miserably. ;)

04-18-2010, 08:55 PM
Taffey: HA! Yeah, if only I could have been bothered to make it longer, huh? Lazy old me...

The ending was difficult for me, I neither had enough thermo nor a real desire to create anything more dramatic. I know quite a few people prefer to see a level go out with a bit more of a bang, but I don't think it would have worked here, since the conclusion is that it's the small things that matter etc. etc.

Spark151: I've put in a checkpoint at the end of the crypt and slightly changed the way Malchior's final speech bubble is triggered, so hopefully people won't have too many problems if they experience what you did, and won't be forced to miss any text if they do. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention.


04-18-2010, 10:22 PM
Would you believe I still haven't actually played Solid Journey? So I will definitely play that as soon as I can and give you some F4F, very remiss of me not to have done so already.


Wow, that's suprising to hear.
Look at the good side, you should be playing the fully updated level.
So you shouldn't have errors at all. :)

04-19-2010, 02:31 AM
Hey Salieri!! :)

Wow, I was so surprised to find out you made an rpg level and I was so excited on playing it because your screen shots looked incredible. I was not disappointed. This was a beautiful level, I love the hyper detailed environments you created, I stopped several times during my play through just to admire the scenery. Truly impressive!! Your character designs as always were top notch, and tight mechanics that had me wondering many times how you did that. The puzzle where you have to guild the piece through the maze was very cool and original. The story was great too.

Your talents have no boundaries my friend. I already knew you were one of, if not the best contraption and machine maker in lbp and this shows your abilities in great new directions. :cool:

Five stars and a heart of course. :D

04-19-2010, 04:50 AM
Visuals: Outstanding! Your castle is gorgeous!! truly inspiring in fact. Gave me ideas for sackula's castle which im working on atm

Gameplay: Awesome!! backtracking is no problem and i didnt have to walk for ages

Sound: Great choice of music and sound effects. really really mood setting

Story: Proffessionaly laid out, excellently executed. really loved it

Other: character design srsly blew me away!! stickers were very creatively placed(yes i dissected your skeletons)

Easily my favourite level. Ever.

04-19-2010, 06:30 AM
Hey salieri! Awesoooome level u have here. I'll return with feedbck later lol. Srry

The Forgotten
04-19-2010, 08:41 AM
You've outdone yourself again salieri! This has to be one of the greatest looking levels in the history of LBP! I love your characters, they were so small, yet contained loads of detail! The crypt was one of the best looking parts of the castle, it's a shame that it wasn't bigger. Thwe attention and detail you put into the design of the objects and rooms show your skills as one of the the best creators on the psp! I did feel the story was a bit odd but it just added to the overall appeal of the level! I can't write anymore cause i've run out of adjectives to describe how brilliant this level is!
:star::star::star::star::star: and a Heart!

04-19-2010, 08:55 AM
Oh my goodness I hadn't realized you published a new one! Must find it! I'll be back with feedback when I can!

Edit: Okay, so I started playing this level, and immediately had to come back to the forum to make a few comments as I played- this is absolutely amazing!

The introduction is awesome, and the irony is that I was wearing the Dracula getup from ali's level Sackula, so that coincidence really helped dive right into the experience. :)

This level is simply gorgeous! The characters are incredible- deranged and undead, but somehow still lovable. Incredibly well corner edited and stickered! The poster you have hanging- I'm sure you know the one- made of the perfect stickers shrunk and twisted to create an amazing scene. Just gorgeous! The whole level, every room! Incredible XD

I love the dialogue and the little quests! Very humorous and even insightful at times :D I lol'd several times, you got some pretty good jokes in here :)

Some great mini-puzzles, too, well placed and well executed, not to mention as gorgeous as everything else in the level!

Oh man. Just finished, I was completely enthralled the whole time! I don't know what else I can say, just totally wicked, from beginning to end. Thanks for making another great level, salieri! You're an inspiration :) 5:star: + <3

04-19-2010, 11:00 AM
Hi, salieri!
I just right now tried your new level and still seat with dropped jaw. You created fantastic story, that looked and played as some good fairy tale and reminds me old school quest games as Monkey Island, Day of tentacle Disc World. WOW! Your created very beautiful environments with many cool details and very well done characters. You are real master of corner editor and stickers placement. I had much fun during gameplay and many times just stood and looked at some level's details. There is so many interesting things, that I can not understand how you put all of them in one level!
I hadn't any trouble with story and quests, everything clear form texts!

Thank you for great level with such many wonderful things again!

I gave you 5 stars and heart of course!

And I will look for something new from you!

04-19-2010, 12:56 PM
Cool, Ive finaly got home from france (been stranded because of a stupid icelandic volcano-mabie space for another level...) and had a quick sleep. Checked the levels and there is this.

AWESOME! loved the look and feel of the level.

My favorite things- sliding benches, the puzzles, all the characters.

Improvements- longer, more brilliant characters(mabie an extremely unhelpfull one that send you in the wrong direction)

P.S. make a sequel- mabie a rabid bat hint...(just an idea- sure you could think of better). Thanks for the awesome level!

04-19-2010, 01:01 PM
Amazing level!!!! 5 stars and heart.

04-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Hi, salieri!
I just right now tried your new level and still seat with dropped jaw. You created fantastic story, that looked and played as some good fairy tale and reminds me old school quest games as Monkey Island, Day of tentacle Disc World. WOW!

I am really delighted that you've compared it to those games, I loved every single one you mentioned and, while it is of course totally impossible to produce anything approaching their depth and complexity in LBP, I did want to capture something of the spirit of those old 2d adventures.

Thanks! It's nice to know people appreciate the little details. I made that picture when I was about half way through and didn't know what to do next. Had I saved it for the end I never would have bothered with it because I'm sure it takes up loads of thermo, but after I'd made it I just couldn't bare to part with it. It's very encouraging to read how both you and Domik took in so many of the little details, I wasn't sure whether many people would appreciate the sacrificing of length in order to make a really detailed environment, but it looks like perhaps it paid off. ^_^

Another thanks! I'm almost glad you think the story was odd. I suppose it is a little off-kilter and it's kind of an anti-adventure, that starts of as what seems like a quest and turns into a low-key domestic drama with skeletons. But I do see what you're saying, there's only really half a plot and sometimes it seems to disappear altogether. I would really like to be able to write a grander, more appealing adventure but I think I'm just too cynical.

Really good to hear all of your positive points, and I don't like to seem like one of those creators who refuses to take criticism, but in the case of length, I literally couldn't make the level any longer without cutting out a load of stuff that was already there. I would have loved to have extended the storyline somewhat but the thermo can be a real killjoy, and so it is as long as it could be.

I have an idea for a level some way down the line that will use a much simpler, stylised cartoon style that will allow me to squeeze in more plot, but in this instance I was aiming for detail, and it took priority over length. Also, there is a definite limit to my artistic and imaginative abilities and I'm really not sure if I ever could have come up with any more characters for this setting.

04-21-2010, 04:39 AM
HI salieri!!

I really enjoyed playing your level, its simply one of the best RPG levels that I’ve played, the story is really entertaining, and the details for everywhere WOW!!! Just amazing!!! Easily I gave you 5 stars and a heart, and a heart as creator BTW your other levels are great too!!

04-21-2010, 03:22 PM
I now want to make a sort of magicy lvl but feel it would be sort of copying - have to make a weird and waky story then...

04-21-2010, 09:47 PM
Memorex: Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed it (and my other levels).

Trianglepigsquar: Don't worry about it - I hardly hold the copyright for fantasy settings, nor do I even imagine that there is anything genuinely original in "Curses!", I'd love to see more 'magicy' levels.

04-22-2010, 03:21 AM
Hi! I played your level and it's completely great :D! I really like your characters. Not only do they look really cool, but they seem very interesting too ^^. I really can't leave proper feedback right now but I'll be sure to whenever I'm free again ^^. Anyway, I gave you five stars and a heart :D.

04-24-2010, 02:31 AM
Cool looks like I'll play this later.

05-01-2010, 09:45 AM
Hey Salieri. I tried this level. It was awesome. Nice design and story. Travelling around the castle felt great, and the dialogue was great. I liked the look of your characters. They were amazing. Especially the fool. You've a great job with the speech riddles, an example is: isn't there's a fool enough to try it? Fun. : ) I can't find anything you could improve.

Wouldn't you try my The Gardens PSP, or my Find the Four Eggs, in my creations.

05-01-2010, 01:47 PM
I played this a while back,it was awesome. The characters would have to be my favorite part, they were very, very detailed. The beginning was pretty neat too, and I absolutely loved your unique style. I was a fan of RPG styled levels ever since I played one of amazingflyingpoo's levels, so that was another reason why I liked the level. Overall, this is a reallyartistic level that anyone should give a play. Keep up the great work.

I rated it :star::star::star::star::star: and gave it a heart. :)

05-01-2010, 02:15 PM
in one of the screen shots you have bright green horrible gas? how did you get it that bright? or is it that gas glitch where you change the material?

05-02-2010, 05:24 AM
Hey salieri,

Sorry I never had a chance to leave a feedback of your level since the beta, but I just wanted to stop by to let you know that I played the final version, and I was very pleased of the changes you made. Replaying the level still left me in awe since I would have never expected you to make a level such as this...and to execute it as well as you did. I thought you were married to vehicle-based levels, but now I know you have other mistresses ;).

The detail of this level was breathtaking, and your dialogue was well-written and entertaining. I still believe you have some of the best character designs on the PSP community moon. Congratulations on making such a phenomenal level and for the Spotlight. Magnificent job, and I look forward to your future levels!

Under a spell,

05-02-2010, 05:38 AM
I just noticed this morning that Curses! is on page 1 of 'highest rated'... and now a Spotlight. Congrats salieri! :D

05-07-2010, 04:40 PM
Hi all, I'd just like to say thanks for all the feedback that I haven't responded to yet, and to apologise for all the return feedback I haven't got around to giving. I hope to get it all sorted and balance my books by the end of the week.

05-07-2010, 11:03 PM
Aha, just got to play through this level last night. Great scenery, great characters, and I loved the humor. Really reminded me of the great adventure games of old (Monkey Island for instance). Loved it. :D

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: and heart. :)