View Full Version : Elbee23 pulls apart "A Horror Level V1.5" by HERO489 (Stix489)

12-12-2008, 02:54 PM
Here we go with another Elbee23's reviews of alevel. When I say "review", I try and pull apart a level and make as many helpful comments and suggestions as I can.

The official section in the showcase area for this level is here (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4669&page=2). I've linked to page 2 where Stix talks about the new update.

Please note that I reviewed V1.5, not the original version of this level, as requested.

It was hard to get into the atmosphere when your going slow and examining every single part. But it does some interesting things with lighting and has some decent platforming in it.

Anyway, on to the suggestions. As always, they are in spoiler text in case you have not played the level yourself and want to experience it freshly. :)

Let's see... the spot lights at the very, very start, they activate when you pick up the first prize bubble. It's likely a sensor switch in that area, but it seems odd that it looks like you are being highlighted just for getting some points, but then not the others. I'd consider removing the spotlight element or have it focus more on the button itself rather than the player.

If you do fall down into the pit at the start (yeah, I know you should not, but let's say you did) you can see some spike lying on top of each other on the right hand side that look odd. I'd delete those extra spikes if possible.

If you go up to the first step, and then jump left, it's possible to fall through a small gap and, well, be stuck with no where to go and nothing to do. It seems there is still a gap somewhere that's not visible but is still there.

The button at the start is not actually stuck down. Although it's not intuative what I tried to do, I was able to gently push it along, and off the edge without it firing. You should really stick it down. :o

The button itself I am guessing is on/off for what I suspect is a motor switch for the serpent. It might be better to make it a wobble bolt if that's what it is and set it to directional instead. I was able to quickly step on and off the button, which made the serpent half move. If you change the set up it should avoid this. Directional should still trigger what I'm guessing is dissolve holding the sponge swing up.

The small lines of fire were not glued down. They could be bumped without killing the player, and that could just get ugly potentially. Gluing those bits down should fix it.

The electric bits just after the disolve help monster... they did not make much sense play wise, if you hear me out. If you die, you respawn on the furthest back layer. The natural response is to jump up... and straight into the elctricity. You need to layer change to avoid them, which is not natural. The next electric bit, you need to layer change again to avoid death. The later ones are not like this, so you might want to revise this section in view of what layer the player is on. Turning them to fire could be a quick fix as fire will make you jump away if you accidently touch them, rather than killing you outright like electricity.

In the same area, with the first electric step, there is a spring I can see... but I saw no reason for the spring. You might want to consider removing it.

At the spinning block thing surrounded by fire... again transition changes were necessary. You can jump on the dark matter, but it's pretty easy to fall off that and die. There is the spinning step thing, but if you die the check point puts you on the layer of the dark matter rather than the spinning section. If you change the dark matter to a thin layer, make it smaller and decrease the size of the motor bolt, and move the whole thing to the back layer, the same as where the checkpoint is, it should look and play a lot better. :)

When I first went through the bit I described above, I accidently triggered the speech bubble for the man that gets yanked. But when I actually made it across, he got yanked before I could read what he said. You might want to review the sensor placing for both the magic mouth and the system that makes him get taken away.

There was a long section of the level after the lights going off that was empty. It just seemed odd. After that there were some explosives and a snake dropped down. I did not fully understand why the snake was there. You might want to put an invisible magic mouth soon after the light segment so people are thinking of that before being surprised by the snake, and maybe explain the situation more.

When the snake did blow up, it had something still stuck to it's head, which looked like a piece of disolve. It looked odd and you may want to review that.

There is a sound speaker visible after the snake explosion. I beleive it's an enviromental wind one. You should make it invisible so as not to break the mood. :(

There is an area with point bubbles on a ledge just after this, where the spinning rocket thing is. I could not get on the edge no matter how hard I tried, it was too high up. Was I suppose to use the spinning thing, or did I miss something?

Speaking of the spinning thing, it kept going all the way to the end of the level. A wall high enough to stop it just on the level it is should help prevent this if it's not suppose to. It may need to be a high wall as it can build up a fair bit of speed.

I could see the serpent boss go red before the camera moved by walking very slowly. You might want to review the sensor range again. It was a bit odd that effect.

I was actually able to completely avoid the serpent by jumping on it's head then jumping down. I then layer changed to get all the point bubbles one gets from killing it. The magic mouths still talked like I had killed it though, and the whole thing seemed odd.

You could fill the section will disolve material, put a magnetic switch on it set to inverted and have the switch connected to the dissolve material. Put a key on the serpent that matches the magnetic switch. Set the switch on inverted. You may need to pause the game to get the system to work it all out. Have the switch sensor range large enough to always detect the key on the serpent. Then turn the disolve material into deadly gas.

This should stop the player just jumping down and missing the boss, and the gas should disappear once the boss dies.

That's all theoretical that bit. It should work, at least in my head. :o

When I did kill the serpent though, a small set of spikes fell down among the point bubbles. I'm guessing that was one it's teeth sets, most likely the lower ones. If you glue it to the monster, it should disolve with the rest of it.

You can go past the "hall of the forgotten ones" without using the light cube. I don't think that's what you intended. Maybe have a door at the start and end which will only open with a magnetic key hidden on the block to subtely suggest the player to do so.

The score board itself was floating a few centimeters above the ground, which looked very odd. Is it stuck down to the floor properly?

Finally, I'd put a wall or extend the background a bit just after the scoreboard. You can keep walking a little bit to the right and see blue sky, which spoils the background look.

Overall, I'd consider changing the music. The one you have evokes in me a sense of wonder and discovery, and does not really "feel" like horror music. Maybe the wilderness music might work better, but have a think about changing it perhaps.

You might also want to consider rockets hidden about the place with the boost set to zero. This should make atmospheric smoke which should help emersion.

So... that's about all I could think of. I hope it helps!

12-13-2008, 12:09 AM
I haven't read it all yet, but you don't know how many times I've glued all those things down >_<

I shall keep reading now :p

EDIT: Alright, I finished it! That was a great break down, and I'm not ashamed to admit that my level was no where near perfect!

Again, all those objects that you mentioned were not glued right, trust me, I've glued them over and over again, and when I publish, they just break loose :/ It's irritating, so I just left them as is for that version.

That spring you mentioned DID have point. If you look close there's a light attached to the tip, which inevitably helps you out when it comes to overcoming the obstacles on the stairs.

As for the snake, I shall try and put more meaning to it later on. Of course, the story in this version is but an early draft, so anything story wise that doesn't make sense will indeed make sense in later versions ;)

You said you jumped over the "mini-boss" with ease, that I haven't looked into yet. It's a good point! I can just add spikes to the creature's back or something in order to stop the player from successfully jumping over it. It's much simpler and easier to do than your plan :p

The light cube was there to allow you to read what was on the wall. The player has the chance to finish the level without reading it, it really is up to them. I just thought it was a little something that would add to the atmosphere.

The spinning wheel was there to just add some life to the level, although it clearly ruins it after it escapes the darkness and you can see what it really is. I'll need to look into that.

Great "review" man, much appreciated!