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NinjaMicWZ
12-27-2008, 03:44 AM
After a couple weeks of headaches, and a month or so of ideas - just in time for the paint ball slurry, I give you a hardcore tribute to the classic platforming shooters of old. In the vein of Metal Slug, Contra, and Gunstar Heroes where you are simply a man on a mission.

I offer you -

- FOUR over-the-top boss battles: a helicopter bomber on a rope bridge, a radioactive flying piranha, an advanced cybernetic AI cyborg, and a souped up military transporter
- FULL paintinator functionality
- THE most hardcore tank ever seen in LBP... the Neo Metal Slug equipped with a fully functional gatling gun that fires paint tipped shells
- and don't forget to shoot out the LIGHTS... you are a mercenary after all

I am now offering the Neo Metal Slug as a prize to anyone who can equal or surpass my score by the end of Feburary, this year of 2009.

I swear it is 100% possible. I currently have 6,100 points and the #1 place. I sent one to RiceMonkey for beating my old score, and proceeded to ace the level and maximize all the point combo chains. There is still two point bubbles I could have maximized for a better combo, and slipped up. It can be done.

OCK
12-27-2008, 12:47 PM
I am really looking forward to this one man, I am a big Metal Slug fan. I will give it a go as soon as the servers are back to normal.

*EDIT*

Okay so I played this twice today just to make sure any feedback I give you is on point. Due to the relatively short length of the level I will just write what I liked in one big paragraph and the have the usual suggestions. Here we go:

I have to start by talking about the visuals, they are insane! This level was inspired by Metal Slug and the opening sequence is right on the money. The bridges, the helicopter, the lighting, just wow. Judged as a single set piece this opening sequence is one of the top 3 I have ever seen in LBP. Really amazing work. I love the use of the new Metal Gear music tracks and I especially liked how you added "victory" music after defeating each boss, very nice touch. I love all the little details like being able to shoot out the lights. The bosses are all well done and the designs are pretty cool. This is the first level of quality that makes use of the Paintinator and for that reason alone the level is worth playing. But of course my favorite part is the tank. You say: THE most hardcore tank ever seen in LBP". Well, I agree lol. The design of this vehicle is simply incredible. It is a destructive beast that is a joy to behold. I don't even want to think about how long it took you to make it but let me assure you that all the hard work was worth it. I wish the level was longer but I appreciate the thermo limitations.

Suggestions:

- It seems a bit to easy to get taken out by a missile at the starting point, even while behind the cover of the flapping door. You may want to do some tweaking here.

- I noticed that you have pieces of all the bosses that remain after they are destroyed. Was this intentional? In the case of the helicopter it actually looks really cool but with the other bosses it does not seem right imo.

- This leads me to the one real problem I found which is at the end of the level. The first time I played and encountered the truck I shot it a bunch of times and it did not seem like I was doing any damage. So I flew to the top of the cannon with the jetpack, jumped on the roof of the truck, jumped down and ran to the scoreboard. I am pretty sure this was not your intention. I also ended up dying here by touching an electrified part of the tank and it respawned me where you first get the tank. A new tank respawned but the old tank was still there blocking my way. I suggest putting a checkpoint on the tank itself, right between the 2 grab switches. The second time I played I blew up the truck but some of the leftover debris was blocking my way and the tank could not traverse it so I was again forced to continue on foot.

- Make all your switches invisible. Come on, your not new to this level creation thing lol.


All-in-all this was an amazing level that everyone needs to check out. 5 stars and hearted. This is the third level from you that I have hearted and I have also hearted you as a creator :) Really amazing work and I am surprised no one else has responded here yet, I can only assume it is because there are no pics so try to get some up ASAP. But trust me everyone, forget about the pics and just go play this, you won't regret it. Great work once again Ninja!

NinjaMicWZ
12-27-2008, 04:35 PM
I only made the aqueduct/bomb switch visible so people could figure it out, and the life meters are visible to look like life meters... you really think I should make them invisible?

The debris left behind is intentional...

edit: I made the first missile emitter stationary, so that the doorway's not so unpredictable...

The truck now only drops a piece of glass, headlights, and it's exhaust... I changed the tires to dissolve so they poof with the truck. lol I had the life meter for the truck on invisible for some reason.

I figured out why the metal slug is on double when it respawns - I triggered it in create mode so it's not counted as an emitted object, which means it doesn't disappear like it should. Kinda like infinite checkpoints... I went ahead and did the checkpoint on the tank like I had before - I don't even remember why I took it off.

You know I always edit habitually. Anyway, thanks as always for the feedback. I do take everybody's points into account.

OCK
12-27-2008, 11:00 PM
you really think I should make them invisible?

The life bars are cool, I was referring to a couple of proximity switches I saw visible. It's good to know you are doing some tweaking though and I hope more people check this out. Try to get some pics up if you can.

NinjaMicWZ
12-28-2008, 01:37 AM
No camera, or I would. I have an eyetoy, but have no idea how to capture screens during play. I wish I could just use the photo tool from the game, since it gives crystal clear in game shots.

I look at it like underground music though - promotion doesn't indicate quality, and it'll find it's niche even without all the flashy vids and pics.

Takelow
12-28-2008, 10:39 PM
Hi NinjaMicWZ,

I followed OCK (good) advices and played your level today. I really enjoyed it, its atmosphere and all the custom content you put in. Your engines are incredibly well done: the helicopter is beautiful and the last engine just jaw-drapping.
I also loved a lot the aquatic aspect you ave to one part of the level. It is strong in a visual and aural points of view.

My only suggestion have ever been developped by OCK. Duting the first engines fight, i didn't see that i was damaging the other engine by pushing the left sponge. I thought i was doing something wrong and was a little bit confused. It is however a minor issue, as i rapidly understand what happened and could continue my travel.

Finally, a very good work. Five stars and hearted ;)

BassDeluxe
12-29-2008, 02:05 AM
Wow, that was a great level. The look and feel of it was great. I did find some problems, though, most of which stemmed from me having 2 players. During the third boss, My sister died before reaching it, she kept respawning slightly off camera and then dying again. This also caused an additional glitch with that boss. Every time she spawned, all of the boss' movements would stop. He would keep firing if he was before she spawned though. That was the only real problem I encountered though.

I also want to add that the tank at the end was amazing. I especially like how you had it firing paintballs - it worked great.

NinjaMicWZ
12-29-2008, 02:54 AM
I think I know which one you mean... the AI Brain right? I like the way the dead player can get right back into battle without interruption, but it's difficult to get back over while the arm is firing. I'm gonna try setting that proxy switch to require all, that way it doesn't shoot unless all players are present. That might cause a cheap way to kill the boss though, by having one player stand back by the checkpoint while the lead player attacks a defenseless boss. Hmm... I'll try and mess around with it and see what I can come up with.

Glad you guys had fun though... I wish I could have put more in that level, like non-boss enemies and more platforming. The metal slug took up 25% of the thermometer by itself, and the first bridge area took another 25%. Everything else just barely crams in to the remaining 50. I think it came out alot like a Treasure game though (they made Guardian Heroes, Mischief Makers, Silhouette Mirage, Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Heady, Bangai-O, Radiant Silvergun, Alien Soldier, Ikuraga etc) where it's just boss after boss after boss, so I'm still happy with it. I'm gonna eventually try and a do a much more balanced follow up.

thekillermiller
01-02-2009, 08:28 PM
I'll check this out tonight!

killer

Check out my level "SACK and the BEANSTALK!" by thekillermiller

whatisnarwhal
01-04-2009, 04:06 AM
The level was pretty enjoyable, I liked the tank thing at the end, lots of small details [well, not small..] but the tread seemed to be broken. The car at the end shouldn't have debris.
Should make the helicopter attack you a little more.

NinjaMicWZ
01-04-2009, 07:05 PM
I agree. I originally made the chopper much more adversarial, but then I realized I didn't want people quitting out of frustration. It was hard enough for people just to get out of the guardtower... all the bosses are really easy if you exploit their weakness or find the sweet spot, but they all can be taken down from multiple points and some in different sequences.

The only debris the truck leaves is headlights, spikes and the rocket that flies off into the wall which is used for exhaust... and the frame on the foreground that disappears. I can't make those dissolve without using a brain set up, which would result in an easy one shot kill, or an attack zone so small that the player would never be able to hit the brain after breaking away it's shell unless he stopped in an exact spot every time. This way, you can still blast away all you want from anywhere in range of the gun and still destroy it.

It could not have headlights, spikes, or exhaust fumes but it wouldn't look as good that way. The Metal Slug can roll right over those anyway.

Occasionally the gun will remain, if you destroy the body first, but the MS will just push it forward without a problem every time.

Also, the Metal Slug doesn't have tread... it had tread in an early design, but all the other moving parts and the gatling gun combined with tread resulted in a terrible drop in frame rate. It could have either been a boring tank with tread, or an awesome tank with no tread.

Thanks for the feedback though... maybe I'll make the next one more difficult.

Chazprime
01-04-2009, 08:25 PM
I played it as well, and I really enjoyed it. One of the only niggling things I can really say that you might want to try would be tracking the player more with the camera at the fish boss, the transitions were a little abrupt and I kept getting the offscreen alert when I would dive for cover. And yeah, it is a little weird that the bosses remain behind...especially the last one before you get in the tank.

Overall, very well done though.

hiyo38
01-10-2009, 04:21 PM
WOW great lev i just love the the way you use the paintainator with the boses the lighting perfect the bosses great .the only suggestion i got for you
is the fish boss could be bumped up on the diffculty level and one thing i like to know is how you got the paint in the A.I machine and it going so fast to.:)

ps3&me
01-12-2009, 05:52 PM
I'll check this out tonight!

killer

Check out my level "SACK and the BEANSTALK!" by thekillermiller
Congrats for being featured on the LittleBigPlanet Level-Lovers Anonymous at ign.com.. I should try your level out sometime with all that praise... anyways.
I haven't played LBP in a couple of weeks because I have been busy, but playing Metal Slug Solid reminds me how fun the game can be. The boss fights were amazing, one of the best levels I've played so far.

NinjaMicWZ
01-13-2009, 01:32 AM
I'm glad you guys liked this level... I was afraid that it would flop just because no one knows what Metal Slug is anymore lol

I just got the paintball for the tank shells by pausing in create mode, shooting the paintinator and capturing the paintball. You can do many things with it -

Try these levels to see -

weapon possibilities - Automatic Paintball Rifle DEMO
effect possibilities - False Idols 0: Lost In Limbo
gameplay possibilities - Fountain of Youth

They all use the captured paintball in entirely different ways and each one is a never-before-seen technique.

Creative
01-13-2009, 11:56 AM
I'm glad you guys liked this level... I was afraid that it would flop just because no one knows what Metal Slug is anymore lol


You kidding? Almost everyone knows what it is... There are endless remakes of it on game websites. Anyway, back on topic.

I posted this on your profile but I'll leave it here aswell... I liked the level, it really felt like Metal Slug. You used the Paintinator in the level really well, unlike a majority of people...

The level wasn't too difficult, but it wasn't sit-back-and-relax easy aswell, so good work on balancing that. One negative is that the level is really short though, but you packed a lot into it. Overall, I liked the level. 4 stars and hearted! It's sad that hardly anyone has commented in this thread; but keep up the good work! :)

*edit* By the way, the reason you missed out on the one star is because of the length ^_^

Shiwayari
01-16-2009, 08:48 PM
Finally got some time to return feedback.
Just played through this level. Short, but awesome. Especially the design really surprised me. Even though it looked a bit chaotic here and there, I didn't care at all, because it really fit into the theme. Loved the shoot-the-lights-out gimmick. The design of the bosses and that "tank" at the end was also awesome. Also loved the breaking "doors" that left parts on the floor after shot down. And the water phase .. I think I could praise every little piece of design here xD
Gameplay wise, it was a nice use of the paintinator, but I found the level was way too easy. Aside from the electro-piranha, none of the bosses even hit me once, because they all shot everywhere but not where I was. They had a lot of potential and I thought they were over too quick. I also agree with making the switches invisible, though it might confuse some players. I even think you should try turning all or most of the paint switches invisible and play through a couple of times to see if its not totally unobvious what to do. I think it might make the players look at the level a little closer and remove a little of the quick-over feeling (hope that made sense).
Oh and the sound and music was also very well done.
Didn't find anything to get stuck at, but I thought a reverse-direction grabswitch on the tank would have been nice, because it's hard to hit that car if you get too close and can't get back. And I noticed you get electrified by flying against one of the tank parts with the jetpack.

I'm not sure how the two things you mentioned took up 25% of the thermo. Even though the tank uses a lot of shapes, I think it shouldn't fill up that much. I can't see how the bridge takes up 25% at all. Maybe you should take a look at these again and see if you can simplify them somehow.

Maybe not for this level, but for future ones, keep in mind that you keep things thermometer-light depending on how long something is visible or how important it is for the level. Of course, every little piece of material makes a difference in design, even if you don't really notice it; but it can be annoying if you over-design everything and the thermo is at 100% very fast.
But I have to admit again that the design was awesome nevertheless, I wish I could do it that well.

NinjaMicWZ
01-31-2009, 05:15 PM
I spent the last couple days refining this level a little... there's a bit more polish and interactivity, a few visual and design differences, the two mid-bosses are a bit more of a challenge, more prizes and points and a new high score is possible thanks to some secrets, some precise combo strings, and a bonus for people with a bright idea.

I am now offering the Neo Metal Slug as a prize to anyone who can equal or surpass my score by the end of Feburary, this year of 2009.

EDIT: I swear, it is 100% possible. I currently have 6,100 points and the #1 place. I sent one to RiceMonkey for beating my old score, and proceeded to ace the level and maximize all the point combo chains. There is still two point bubbles I could have maximized for a better combo, and slipped up. It can be done.

RangerZero
02-03-2009, 03:28 PM
I have played your level yesterday evening and I left feedback in the comments.

My favorite one definetely Metal Slug. It's extremely well decorated (on the verge of having too much slowdown) and your rooms are well thought out.

Your tank is my favorite user tank as of now. I'm including the one that has been featured by MM themselves. Yours is cooler looking...

As for the cons, I felt that the level is just a bit too straighforward. Hard to describe my feeling but I lacked some exploration excitation, I didn't have the feeling of finding secrets or discovering secret gameplay twists.

I would also suggest to always focus on gameplay before graphics. Your level here is splendid visually but it's at the very limits of good FPS. It's not really a con since it's perfectly playable but I meant to share with you that I prefer a level to be more streamlined looking but with more gameplay intricacies than a straightforward level but extremely decorated.

Anyhow, I gave this 4 stars and I hearted it because it's really good. I had honest fun playing it.

.

NinjaMicWZ
02-03-2009, 03:51 PM
Thanks, man. I wasn't really sure where I was going with the level after I'd built the bridge area and dropped the tank into the level to see what kind of therm I would have, and I knew I had to leave a long stretch for the tank to get at least a little driving time.

Knowing the tricks I know now, I would have definitely gone with some artificial extensions in the base interior like a long elevator section or two to flesh it out a little more, but even still... I have ALOT of trouble surpressing my attention to detail and realism, and probably would have ended up with an elevator section that's nicely detailed and then left no room for what I have in there now.

It does have the benefit of feeling like a horizontal boss rush ala Treasure games such as Alien Soldier and Gunstar Heroes, and if you look at the average level length in a game like Metal Slug or Contra it feels about right. Metal Slug especially often won't let you get further than 50 feet without an area transition to allow the level of detail to be maintained.

btw... did you try shooting the lights, and did you find all the prizes? I tried to cram as much interactivity and player involvement into the areas as I could. I'm still thinking about Shiwayari's suggestion of hiding all the visible paint switches to make players spend a little more time exploring, but I've seen players have NO clue what's going on as is.

For the sequel that I will eventually get to someday, I'll definitely plan it better, and try to get more balance. If you've got a buddy around, give SEMINAL GEMINI a try, by me and Neverynnal. It's got his knack for huge epic levels, platforming variety, and story... and my knack for details, mechanical designs and monster boss battles rolled into one. It's definitely a more satisfying experience IMO and covers the whole spectrum.

RangerZero
02-03-2009, 05:25 PM
Sweet. Will do (ok my "will do" list is freaking huge lol).

About the paint switch, it might be good to leave some visible. One secret I thought was hidden perfectly (required observation but wasn't obvious) is the one in the corner of your boss room (the fish). The prize there is actually your boss if I remember right. Anyhow, I loved that one and if it was invisible I prolly wouldn't have found it.

.

Thegide
02-03-2009, 06:23 PM
I guess I'd better get cracking. I was nowhere near your score last time I played!

OCK
02-05-2009, 01:20 PM
Played this again earlier tonight and man you have been busy lol.

This is now a daylight level and it looks great. I loved the night assault thing but this is equally as good. Did you add those hidden point bubbles on the spotlights or were they always there? In any case, nice touch:)

The fish boss is now rocking the tiger print, very nice. You also went bananas with the plasma balls it emits and it is definitely more challenging (and that's a good thing!). Paintinator activated door is new and I like it. Were the LED's always flashing in the aquaduct? It looks fantastic.

**** man, you went berserk with the lighting on the second boss lol. Small typo, he says BASE instead of BASES. I love the changes you made here as well.

Ah yes, your "tank". To this day this is still the most impressive vehicle I have seen in LBP. I see you added a plasma attack to the truck. I know it cannot harm the player but it really just adds to the already amazing visuals.

I wish I could heart the lvl twice. Here is another 5 star rating, that is what this level deserves and those 3 stars are really irritating me. If anyone has not played this yet then check it out, you will not be disappointed.

NinjaMicWZ
02-05-2009, 01:36 PM
The typo is actually intentional... watch this video to see why -

qItugh-fFgg

It's just another homage to classic gaming culture.

Another reference is at the end when the driver says "c'mon, boy!" - that's the same line the Jesse Ventura look-a-like with the gatling gun yells at you during a few of the boss battles in Metal Slug. I was going to make him say "See you in heeeeellll!" when he died too, but figured I'd get moderated.

OCK
02-05-2009, 01:40 PM
LMAO, that is too funny. Look man, I know we are both old-school but how in the world do you remember/keep track of this stuff? Anyway, great EasterEgg in that case although 99% of the people won't get it.

Nukemgreen
02-05-2009, 10:16 PM
I'm on a library computer so I can't see it, but I'm guessing that was the All your Base video?

Boogaloo
02-24-2009, 03:12 PM
Very cool level - and I think I'm giving my age away when I say that I laughed out loud at "All Your Base Are Belong To Us"
*goes misty eyed for the good ol' days when we expected less but appreciated more*

The visuals are amazing, and the opening sequence with the helicopter (the build quality of which was first-rate) was loud, unpredictable and packed with detail - It actually looked like a war scene from a movie. I did get killed twice before getting out of that door at the start though, and I kept slipping through the planks of the bridge - but there's not much you can do about that, it's the nature of that kind of bridge in this game - but the look outweighs the practical concern, lol.

The changes of pace between the boss sections and the exploratory/platform bits kept the interest level high, and the visual changes as you move through the level give a real sense of progression through a landscape - as opposed to just going right to left within a limited space.

The bosses are satisfying to put down and the tank was solidly built and fun to drive and shoot. I loved the rail-gun - it took me a while to figure out that holding down the trigger fired automatically - but when I did it was even more fun. I'd be interested to know how you did the belt for the gun, but I imagine it's a trade secret!

The mechanisms all worked very well too, cleanly put together with smooth motions.

Re the visible paint switches - I'd definitely leave them as they are, it's not just a matter of making the level harder or easier to complete, it would change the pace of the level, and it's definitely a high-octane, run 'n gun level (as it's tributary title would suggest).

How this level has only managed to garner three stars is bewildering (and irritating), but I threw five more into the bag, and will do so again as I attempt to win the tank... (I don't fancy my chances much).

Great level - and I intend to get through your prolific back-catalogue.

Pitcard
03-04-2009, 03:46 PM
I really gotta play this, Metal Slug 3 is probably the most epic game I can think of. Had the best bosses.

zPlayer
03-14-2009, 04:31 PM
i think i'll be looking for your lvl!:idea:

Silverleon
03-14-2009, 05:03 PM
LMAO, that is too funny. Look man, I know we are both old-school but how in the world do you remember/keep track of this stuff? Anyway, great EasterEgg in that case although 99% of the people won't get it.

Actually i'm surprised someone didn't know about it, contrary to what you believe, that mistranslation is very well known, just look at the many remakes of it have veen done and the views in all of them.:)

Boogaloo
03-14-2009, 07:32 PM
I was playing Mobwars on Facebook, and there's someone called "All Your Mobs Are Belong To Us".

It made me laugh.

Thegide
03-15-2009, 12:42 AM
So, did anyone manage to top your high score Ninja?