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CYMBOL
11-18-2011, 06:01 PM
Hello all! Finally going to release this. I consider this my 2nd LBP2 level (Jumper being the first) - yeah, those other level badges were side projects or, simply a good reason to run away from the task of making a real level. :p

Explorers was actually my first LBP2, but after completing nearly half, I decided it was not good enough and moved on to Jumper. Explorers has sat on my moon staring at me for some time and I'm glad to finally be able to put it out. The thermo made me cut tons of stuff I had planned - but hopefully you guys can appreciate what made it in.

I'm going into surgery right after I publish, but if anyone plays and reviews (good or bad), I'll check it out on my phone in the hospital.

Thanks to everyone for all the support. This level gave me a lot of issues - but people were always near by being encouraging.

Hope you guys find something to enjoy as you explore, The Explorers. :)

Some Pics:

The beginning of the level.
http://inlinethumb35.webshots.com/46114/2395343870104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2395343870104171976rkvkkR)

The Light Falls
http://inlinethumb51.webshots.com/49970/2947931120104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2947931120104171976YjYBXH)

Bug Canyon (Just find a way across - and be QUIET)
http://inlinethumb34.webshots.com/47393/2384743750104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2384743750104171976sQUjEN)

Don't rush through, take your time and look around.
http://inlinethumb43.webshots.com/46570/2478543880104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2478543880104171976oDhiyz)

Firebugs.
http://inlinethumb02.webshots.com/49281/2042428270104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2042428270104171976HQosIp)

Since this is your first time being an Explorer, a handler has been assigned to help you along. His ship is a unique, oscillating sphere.
http://inlinethumb46.webshots.com/47085/2798408300104171976S500x500Q85.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2798408300104171976aHwXKe)


Take care everyone - catch you around. <3
http://lbp.me/v/7vsrzq

Rpg Maker
11-18-2011, 06:26 PM
Queued, havent played one of you levels since Jumper, which I liked, so im sure I will get a kick out of this, the visuals and gameplay look promising :)

piggabling
11-18-2011, 10:04 PM
Appears to be great. I peeked at the project thread, and I really liked the look and your goal. I'll definitely play through it tonight!

biorogue
11-19-2011, 12:37 AM
got it queued and hope everything goes well with surgery.

dalekcaan5675
11-19-2011, 01:45 AM
Wow, this looks really good! I'll definitely give it a play when I have some spare time :D

CYMBOL
11-19-2011, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the well wishes.

I was up til 5 in the morning the night before fixing some of the last glitches. There was s couple of things I would have liked to fine tune, but the level was very unstable. I haven't read any reviews talking about glitches, so, that is encouraging.

I am in the hospital now, and may be for a few more days. May even have another surgery before its all over. :(

So, feel free to leave a review and give me something to read. List the good and the bad, and maybe some things you'd like to see in the next one.

Take care everyone, I'll be back soon. :)

Lady_Luck__777
11-19-2011, 03:30 PM
Already have the queued and it will be the first I play when I get on.
btw Rick has been in the level an hour exploring and loves it. :)

Valeview
11-19-2011, 03:43 PM
Yay! You Published It! :D

Lady_Luck__777
11-19-2011, 04:39 PM
I'm pming you with something we found that effects scores.

I really enjoyed this level.
The visuals are stunning. I loved the bird. :)
Great sticker work on it and the other creatures.
You could spend hours enjoying the scenery and exploring.
It has areas of challenges that are fun and at other times make you fuss.
I'll be playing it again (and probably again) til my skills are sharp enough to get all the energy cells. (And that could take some time..lol)
Fantastic job!

piggabling
11-19-2011, 07:20 PM
Great work! The environment was incredible and was just a great level. Everything you aimed for seemed accomplished. I have nothing else to say... :P

biorogue
11-20-2011, 05:22 AM
wow! I loved it! Great environment and gameplay. Just astonishing. I love the variety of game play in this and the mood does invoke a feeling of exploring another world. Outstanding job.

Mr_Fusion
11-20-2011, 08:00 AM
Amazing level and amazing effects to boot. Your decoration skills are, again, amazing. I felt that the bounce pads shot out a tad further than I would have thought, but it all works once I adjusted to the launch distance.

I didn't get many energy cells, but I thought it was great that they were named also...

The organic nature of the level did make it a tad tricky to navigate but it also adds an actual element of exploring so it works really well.

CYMBOL
11-20-2011, 01:14 PM
Thanks everyone.

I have been informed about the exploit, and as soon as I get home (Mon or Tues)?, I'll take care of it. Sounds like a piece of the logic isn't getting destroyed at the end of the process like it should.

As far as naming the locations Cells, that was actually a random question by Lightmare that brought that about.

He's been a buddy since LBP1, but this was the first level I wasn't really showing to my friends as much. But in his pod I said I wanted the player to have a display to take a picture of. After all, if they are going to spend 30 min+ looking around, they deserve something to show. Lightmare asked if I was going to name them like they did in Limbo. I had never played it, but he gave me the general idea. And, as something extra to be creative with, I couldn't pass it up. So, thanks to Lightmare for pushing me towards that idea.

It's also fun to see when people upload a picture of the ones the found. And I can see exactly what they missed. And its so fun because I can see how close they were to it. How, in some cases it was even in view, but they just kept on going.

I wish it had done a bit better, but it hit Cool Pages and got over a thousand plays and some very kind reviews. So, I'm quite happy with how it was received. (Always a good chance people would find it frustrating or boring and quit.


I sent a message to MM, asking them to consider Explorers for MMPICK status, but have no idea if I'm doing it right, haha. Oh well.

Thanks again for the support, (its been a rough few days), hope to be back home in a few days. :)

OmegaSlayer
11-20-2011, 02:13 PM
A W E S O M E !!!
I feel this is on par with AlleyCat series!
So, get well soon and give us the rest :p
Best of wishes!

shropshirelass
11-20-2011, 05:14 PM
I can't tell you how much I loved playing your level last night. I was utterly enthralled for the best part of an hour. The environments are just breathtaking - every decoration perfectly placed - the lighting is lovely and your creatures are fantastically detailed. Then there are all the extra little touches like the animation when you find an energy cell, the occasional eerie bird call and the secret counter that pops up at a touch.

The balance of the gameplay was just right for me - exploration and treasure hunting for the most part but with a dash of platforming thrown in to break it up. You even managed to pack in an engaging background story. I very much enjoyed the dialogue in the level. It never got boring or too heavy-handed and that's harder to pull off than you'd think.

I'm sure this is one of those levels I'll come back to again and again just for the pleasure of playing it.

I do so hope you don't end up needing a second operation and very best wishes for a speedy recovery! :)

CYMBOL
11-21-2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks to Rick and Shropshirelass, and anyone else who spent so much time in the level.

It was scary undertaking a level like this, cause I'm basically asking people to go places in the level they normally wouldn't go, so it was my challenge to make it feel open, yet contained. Wouldn't do if everyone kept falling out of the level. So, I beta tested a lot, trying to make sure no one would escape the level, while allowing them to venture around. Luckily, it seems to have been accomplished.

By the way, not sure if anyone picked up the hint - the energy cells were ordered so that the counter would display which of the ten you found.

So, if you found 1 and then you find 3, then you have a hint that 2 was somewhere in between those locations. Also note, there are no cheap finds. There is not one wall that happens to be grabbable when the rest are not, or some invisible steps. All cells are easily accessible, and one on the vicinity are within view. I've seen from a lot of peoples Cell Finding pics, that many of them simply walked right past them, or, chose to go one direction instead of another. I'm sure if any of you go back, and you find those missing cells, you'll slap yourself in the forehead when you do. :p

I should be getting out of the hospital tonight or tomorrow, then I'll be at home for 2 weeks with an IV. (Yeah, it got pretty serious). So, looks like I may have some LBP time coming up. :)

Thanks again for all the support, both for the level and for me personally. Hope to be back online soon. Catch you guys soon.

EvilWuun
11-21-2011, 05:12 PM
Howdy Cymbol! I'm writing by way of apology for not having reviewed your level like I said I would. My PS3 decided it doesn't read discs anymore, so I'm a bit cut-off from the wonderful world of LBP :(. I should be able to scrounge together the bacon for a new rig soon, but until then I'm out of commission. Sorry about that, didn't want you thinking I was another of a few thousand players that says they'll review a level and then never does ;p.

Speaking of out of commission, sounds like you're getting back on your feet! Congrats, getting out of the Hospital is a great return to freedom; what put you in, if you don't mind me asking? Feel free to PM me if it was something private, or tell me to smeg-off altogether, no offense would be taken. :)

Rpg Maker
11-21-2011, 11:27 PM
I am always supportive in my reviews on LittleBigPlanet, but here are my full impressions. This review will be added to my archive once I start my review section (sorry for typos if any)

Explorers Review
"A Good Start to a Promising Level Series"

Gameplay:
First of all, I am very glad that the exploration isnt forced--even if its sort of contradicting its name. The main arc of the game has you traversing beautiful locations in search of Cell..things. Most of these require a bit of thought to find them and obtain. Like the Metroid series, the level is less linear than it looks. Certain parts use the Creatinator, which can spawn bounce pads among all other things. This to me was a bit disappointing as it reminded me of Jumper , but it was fun nonetheless. While most of the platforming was decent and at times very creative, I never got the sense of danger I felt the level could have used. Most of the intense parts were limited to cutscenes, and the stage as a whole is great, but the gameplay doesnt reach the level of" awe" it could have had otherwise. In the end its another pretty platformer, with a ton of exploration.
8/10
Graphics:
You can take one look at the game and find out how pretty it is. Unlike most levels, the level matches the backround, making it look like it was made by the developers themselves. In short, the games graphics is its greatest strength. The camera is responsive to whats going around, and moves actively. And the visual style is very unified, complete with a bit of the sticker pack in some areas( I think thats sticker panel). Also, there was not lag anywhere in the level, so its surprising how much was able to fit, and the game maintains a high quality of visuals throughout--especially the end was very well done.
9/10
Story:
It doesnt need to be pages of script to be interesting, though I do believe a solid foundation adds the experience. For the most part the story is interesting enough to engage the players on their break from exploration, even if it contains some missed opportunities for interesting gameplay segments. In the end, it does make you wonder what will happen next.
7/10
Sound:
The soundtrack matches the tone of the game perfectly. Really expands upon the thought of exploration, even if its a bit forgettable.
8/10
Replay Value:
Some of the Cell things are tough to obtain, I may even have to go back for some when I get the time.
8/10

Overall 8.5
"Great"
Nothing differentiates the gameplay from your average platformer, as it contains some missed opportunities that could have made some great segments and make it really stand out. However, it is a solid platformer with a ton of exploration, and the graphics are top-notch and contains challenge that can make the most ardent of platforming experts scratching their heads. If you love platforming or exploring in general, then look no further. The author has a lot to be proud of, and I expect the sequel to blow my mind away; Its setting up for something great. :)

CYMBOL
11-23-2011, 04:58 PM
Howdy Cymbol! I'm writing by way of apology for not having reviewed your level like I said I would. My PS3 decided it doesn't read discs anymore, so I'm a bit cut-off from the wonderful world of LBP :(. I should be able to scrounge together the bacon for a new rig soon, but until then I'm out of commission. Sorry about that, didn't want you thinking I was another of a few thousand players that says they'll review a level and then never does ;p.

Speaking of out of commission, sounds like you're getting back on your feet! Congrats, getting out of the Hospital is a great return to freedom; what put you in, if you don't mind me asking? Feel free to PM me if it was something private, or tell me to smeg-off altogether, no offense would be taken. :)

Thanks, very considerate of you to stop by and leave an explanation. Bummer about your PS3. No fun. :(
Got home from the hospital last night. Basically, I went in for a common knee surgery, but when they went in, they found a fracture. So, they fixed it. But, after they closed it up, there was some internal bleeding that continued. Swelling and infections got bad, I got sick and couldn't move my leg, at all. So, they did a second surgery to clean it, and now I am at home with home care nurses who will give me IV treatments for two weeks, and physical therapists will help me to work to be able to bend my knee again.

So, it was/is pretty bad. :( But its nice to be back home. :)





I am always supportive in my reviews on LittleBigPlanet, but here are my full impressions. This review will be added to my archive once I start my review section (sorry for typos if any)

Explorers Review
"A Good Start to a Promising Level Series"

Gameplay:
First of all, I am very glad that the exploration isnt forced--even if its sort of contradicting its name. The main arc of the game has you traversing beautiful locations in search of Cell..things. Most of these require a bit of thought to find them and obtain. Like the Metroid series, the level is less linear than it looks. Certain parts use the Creatinator, which can spawn bounce pads among all other things. This to me was a bit disappointing as it reminded me of Jumper , but it was fun nonetheless. While most of the platforming was decent and at times very creative, I never got the sense of danger I felt the level could have used. Most of the intense parts were limited to cutscenes, and the stage as a whole is great, but the gameplay doesnt reach the level of" awe" it could have had otherwise. In the end its another pretty platformer, with a ton of exploration.
8/10
Graphics:
You can take one look at the game and find out how pretty it is. Unlike most levels, the level matches the backround, making it look like it was made by the developers themselves. In short, the games graphics is its greatest strength. The camera is responsive to whats going around, and moves actively. And the visual style is very unified, complete with a bit of the sticker pack in some areas( I think thats sticker panel). Also, there was not lag anywhere in the level, so its surprising how much was able to fit, and the game maintains a high quality of visuals throughout--especially the end was very well done.
9/10
Story:
It doesnt need to be pages of script to be interesting, though I do believe a solid foundation adds the experience. For the most part the story is interesting enough to engage the players on their break from exploration, even if it contains some missed opportunities for interesting gameplay segments. In the end, it does make you wonder what will happen next.
7/10
Sound:
The soundtrack matches the tone of the game perfectly. Really expands upon the thought of exploration, even if its a bit forgettable.
8/10
Replay Value:
Some of the Cell things are tough to obtain, I may even have to go back for some when I get the time.
8/10

Overall 8.5
"Great"
Nothing differentiates the gameplay from your average platformer, as it contains some missed opportunities that could have made some great segments and make it really stand out. However, it is a solid platformer with a ton of exploration, and the graphics are top-notch and contains challenge that can make the most ardent of platforming experts scratching their heads. If you love platforming or exploring in general, then look no further. The author has a lot to be proud of, and I expect the sequel to blow my mind away; Its setting up for something great. :)

Thanks for such a thoughtful and comprehensive review.

I don't think the music is "forgettable", but it does blend so well into the background that it doesn't call attention to itself. I love it!

Anyway, I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. I said much of the same things in my project thread.

The thermo made me take tons out. The level had tons of different power ups, (the Jumpinators were the most basic ones), there are many creatures and power ups already made, and sadly, I had to keep reducing it til almost everything was taken out.

So, your right, the level is only scratching the surface of what comes next.

Thanks again for really putting the time into your feedback. Very appreciatived. :)

JakePutz
11-23-2011, 05:17 PM
Holy cow, your level looks AMAZING from those photos! I can't wait to play it, I think it will be the first level I play when I get my new PS3. I hope you recover from your surgery as soon as possible.

JustinArt
11-23-2011, 11:01 PM
This is one of your greatest levels ever!

VISUALS:
The level has a really good cinematics with humorous moments and suspenseful surprises. The details of this level is magnificent. It has really cool creatures, awesome use of the cave background, and excellent lighting. The end of this level has a very interesting camera zoom.

SOUND:
The custom musics are epic. Whoever created them did a great job creating those masterpieces.

GAMEPLAY:
The use of the grappling hook at the beginning and the creatinator near the end is really fun. It also has great use of bounce pads. I only found three secrets, but because of this level's really high replay value, I'll be back to find the other secrets.

OVERALL:
A really epic level with so much fun and visuals. A yay, heart, and positive review.

julesyjules
11-23-2011, 11:19 PM
Well you said you wanted to do something extra-visual and you really did a great job, its all so gorgeous and....bendy.

Really enjoyed it, I like a change of pace from the norm, and this is great for that. Personally, I'd say the music was one of the best things, the transitions and selections were perfect. I've played it 3 times, I haven't got anywhere near all the cells, but it's definitely one to come back to. You were concerned about taking stuff out, but as a player it felt complete and satisfying, so whatever you did with it, it worked. My only criticism would be the layering was sometimes a bit unclear as to what you could land in/on and what you couldn't, but in this case I don't think it's a such a biggie due to the relaxed and exploratory nature of the level (and in one way it's a compliment as to how well you blended the fore and back).

Glad you finally got it out there and looking forward to playing Pt 2.

siege299792
11-24-2011, 05:28 PM
This level is amazing !!!

I played your Level yesterday.
And I kan only say: that is one of the best Level I've erver play !!!

The art design is beathtaking.
It was the most beautivul Level i ever see !!!

Great Work !!!!

pickled-punk
11-25-2011, 07:32 AM
Played this a few days ago and absolutely loved it. Breathtaking original visuals. Organic shapes, great lighting, eerie insectoid critters. This level just oozes atmosphere and mood. Nice backstory, entertaining & diverse gameplay. I have only found four of the secrets so far, so I'll be back.
Really liked the cliffhanger. Hurry up with part 2 (well, take the time you need, actually, and make it just as good as part 1).

CYMBOL
11-25-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks to everyone. The positive reviews have been very encouraging. I tend to think everything I make is going to be hated. Too long, too boring, too hard, too strange.

So thanks.

Quick update, the score exploit has been fixed. I considered republishing, but think I may just leave it and take it ss a lesson learned. Neither I, nor any of my beta testers found this. But, its fixed now. Thanks to everyone who sent a PM. Unfortunately, I was away the first few days, and wasn't around to fix it right away.

Catch you guys around. :)

CYMBOL
01-05-2012, 03:10 AM
Alright, for anyone who hasn't played, but wanted to take a look - this person contacted me via PSN PM and told me they reiewed my level for their YouTube page and if I didn't want it up to simply tell them and they'd take it down.

I checked it out and had great fun watching him go through the level.

If you haven't played the level, it obviously spoils quite a bit. If you simply have no interest in playing the level, but wanted to see what it was about - here you go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGttrlQG43Q

Arastoph
01-10-2012, 10:33 PM
Just thought i would stop by and say that you are without a doubt the one creator i aspire to be like! your level designs are superb and it is obvious just how much time you spend creating! it was an utter delight playing this level and it is one of the best levels i have played since i first got lbp2 on its release date. The developers of this game should hire you! lol
you deserve all the praise you can get you really do.

CYMBOL
01-18-2012, 10:14 PM
Cool! Noticed The Explorers was Trending number one just now.

On my Facebook, I saw their new Level of the Day, and it was Explorers!

Pretty neat. :)

fullofwin
01-19-2012, 12:37 PM
I was very impressed with just how well you managed to integrate the play area with the background in this level. Definitely one of the most beautiful levels I have seen. The sense of scale is just perfect too. The game play is nicely varied with the different fantastical critters in each area so the level was also a blast to play. I think the manufacturers of the Jump-a-tron probably get a lot of lawsuits from next of kin however. :)