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View Full Version : Yes, use F4F The House of 1000 Skulls (remastered for LBP 2)



xiSiCx
01-17-2012, 07:31 PM
Hello everyone! I have remastered my level "The House of 1000 Skulls" so that it takes advantage of all the great additions LBP 2 brings to the creation table.

There are some changes to the layout, look, and logic which really brings my vision for this level to life in a way I could not accomplish in LBP 1. The LBP 1 version was fun and liked by many (including a very favorable review by The AmazingFlyingPoo), but the additions MM have included in LBP 2 have really raised the bar for this level in particular.

There is also a sub-level called "The 6 Rooms of Sacrifice" present at the end of "The House of 1000 Skulls", but whether or not you play it, depends on your choice in the Trophy Room. (There are 6 Trophies hidden throughout "The House of 1000 Skulls"that will be displayed in the Trophy Room if they are found)

For those who did not get a chance to check out "The House of 1000 Skulls" the first time around, I urge you to give it a shot, you won't be disappointed. For those that did check it out the first time around, I also urge you to give it a shot. You will be pleased to see that all the changes make for an even better experience than the LBP 1 version.

Thanks in advance for playing my level and I am always open to some Feedback 4 Feedback!

http://lbp.me/v/pefjx3
http://id.lbp.me/img/ft/f9d8a05c5ffdd0e3a798c3c0e21d9629e4159090.jpg

http://ib.lbp.me/img/ft/b7bd6feff437cf68215ef76ce6313e142b95262f.jpg

http://ia.lbp.me/img/ft/2ca35c7a45cdcb6fa92dcc2ed535a8d321c79ca9.jpg

http://i4.lbp.me/img/ft/aa466e6b3a5354d4b2df3ae3d1e6a5ede3f85344.jpg

biorogue
01-17-2012, 08:06 PM
cool, got it queued

amazingflyingpoo
01-17-2012, 08:16 PM
WOW! Not only is it my old friend xiSiCx, but it is also a post about your house of 1000 skulls level. I remember reviewing that one years and years ago :-) Nice to see you still active!

xiSiCx
01-17-2012, 08:28 PM
Hey Poo! Good to see you as well! I had a baby boy so I took about a year and a half off from LBP, but now I am starting to get more time to Play, Create, Share! Now that I am done with the 3+ month remastering process for this level, I am gonna take a break from creating, but I will be playing and reviewing a lot more. There are so many great levels out there now that I get so inspired when I just spend a night of discovering new levels and ideas. I look forward to seeing what you have come up with during my hiatus!

xiSiCx
01-18-2012, 07:43 PM
Well it's been over 24 hours since I posted and I have yet to get any new plays. So... I have added some pictures to my LBP.me profile to hopefully entice players to give it a chance.

Again, I am open to feedback 4 feedback.

Thanks again!

Yomikibagami
01-19-2012, 08:03 AM
I queued it last night and played it after I got back from working this afternoon. I liked it. The house was a little confusing at first running all over, but once I got the hang of it I found my way to the trophy room. I thought it was a fun level, and then I chose wrong in the trophy room. I was so glad I had. The 6 Rooms of Sacrifice was awesome. It was twisted and I loved solving the puzzle only to die. I hope you make more levels like that one. I totally recommend it to those who like horror. Oh, you should make a Saw type level, that's what it kind of reminded me of.

Mr_Fusion
01-19-2012, 08:18 AM
I got completely lost to be honest, and I think fairly early on. I opened the well door and the skull room and that was about it. I couldn't progress and wandered up and down the stairs.

The double circle to exit a cut scene was a little strange, and I felt that the music actually took away from the dark claustrophobic theme. I like what you are trying to get across, just didn't like the navigation.

Some sort of map would be useful maybe. All in all good stuff, and welcome back, although we have not met before :D

xiSiCx
01-19-2012, 02:54 PM
Thanks for playing my level guys!

@Yomikibagami - I'm glad you were able to make it through the level. That was my main focus for re-mastering this level. I wanted to make it so that more people could finish it without it being overly easy. I added "The 6 Rooms of Sacrifice" because some thought it was too sadistic too just have your sackboy get stuck in the attic to only have to exit back to your pod or replay. So I decided that "The 6 Rooms of Sacrifice" would be a good reward for picking the wrong path. I appreciate the feedback and I will be sure to repay the favor. Thanks again!

@ Mr. Fusion - I am bummed and sort of happy at the same time knowing that you were unable to finish it. Like I said to Yomikibagami, I wanted more people to finish this level and because of that I am slightly bummed that you were unable to finish. On the other hand, I still want it to be challenging so the fact that you were unable to finish, means that there is still a challenging edge to it. My reasoning for the double circle tap to exit cutscenes is due to the fact that Magic Mouths do not allow cut/pan/fade options in it's movie camera. Also some of the cutscenes point at a clue along with some text. I wanted people to be able to revisit the text for those clues without having to go through the cutscene camera every time. I just wanted the cutscene cameras to be activated once while the text for those cutscenes could be activated as many times as the player would like. I know it is not ideal, but it was the only way I could figure out how to pull off what I was trying to do.

Hint: There is a vent you can crawl through in the room with the Quarantine Unit

Thanks again guys for playing my level and thanks for the feedback, I will be sure to repay the favor!

Mr_Fusion
01-20-2012, 08:15 AM
hmmm... I'd have to look again now with an understanding of what you want to happen.

However, if you haven't yet watched LBP2-Torials 16: Movie Cameras and Cutscenes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4UaPCFkfTM), check it out. I dare say it will help you out. It's pretty much what I started with wen making my level.

CCubbage
01-20-2012, 09:52 PM
Ok, I played this and took a few notes :).

First of all, I enjoyed the atmosphere and many of the puzzles were well done. I was able to make it through the entire level - nothing seriously broke.

There are a number of feedback notes:

1. When first entering the level, a read and cleared the magic mouth by pressing the o button.... but the screen was still closed up as if a cut scene was still happening. I sat for a bit, not realizing if I pressed o again it would clear the cut scene and let me continue. This was bothersome. And every cut scene camera throughout did the same thing. I've never seen this before... not sure what the settings are that are causing it.

2. At the part where you need to grab the vent, I kept accidentally grabbing the light. Maybe a material tweaker on the light to prevent it from being grabbed?

3. When it says the vent leads down.... I didn't at first realize this meant to jump forward. So I kept running back out of the vent again. It may be a good idea to somehow allow the player to see themselves at this part so they can see they need to jump forward, or just do it for them so they fall.

4. Little thing... message says grab the red button... but it looks orange... :D

5. Many of the switches throughout are the yellow two-way switches. It would be far cooler to replace them with a switch you grab attached to a toggle switch. It's a bit odd when you need to get the switch back up again.

6. The part where it says "there's a HOLE in the wall"... but it isn't pointing up to the ledge above, so I had no idea there was a hole in the darkness that I couldn't see. This was almost a game-breaker for me, but I knew I was missing something, so I persevered.

7. Part where you open the ladder latch and go up to pull a switch and get a key card... it was a bit fiddly to get back down again and grab the key card.

8. In room where you pull out material to pull key card below it - the key card got stuck vertically while trying to pull it through below. After a bit I managed to get it unstuck, but it seems a bit tight.

9. This was actually my biggest gripe - although I knew what the final code was for the ending, it was SO STINKIN' HARD to get the correct numbers into the correct slots. Maybe instead enter a code with a dial or something. It took me darned near 10 minutes to get three numbers into the right place!

General thoughts:

My general feeling is this looks like a fairly decent level from a couple years ago, but there have been so many advances in LBP2 that it feels dated. It wouldn't take too much to update it, though. I would suggest using a grabbable sticker panel for the key card, so you can make a key card that LOOKS like a key card. And invent your own switches that look more appropriate than the yellow 2 way switches.

If you want to get fancy, you could use the newer tools to have the player automatically climb the steps instead of "jumping" up the steps.

All-in-all, though it was a nice level.

xiSiCx
01-20-2012, 11:40 PM
Thank you for your feedback!

I will add the material tweaker to that light so that it can't be accidentally grabbed anymore and I will put stickers on those elevator buttons so that they are more red instead of orange. I definitely need to do something about the camera issue because that seems to be a common complaint. I might have to make some sacrifices to what I want to make it more pleasurable. I just wanted the camera to be activated once and the text to be able to be activated infinitely for each cutscene. Unfortunately the double tap of "O" to exit is an unwanted side effect to making it that way.

I think that you made that part with the code harder for yourself than it needed to be. First of all never "walk" on the machine, it's too slippery. All you have to do is use the grabinators that are in the room and walk in front of the machine with the number you pick. Then you will notice there are two platforms/flat areas that are positioned in between the slots for the numbers on the machine. Simply jump onto one of those platforms and let go of (don't throw) the number. It will slide right into place.

The reason for using the switches is strictly based on looks. I feel the look of those switches is perfect for the look of the level, plus they do the function needed with out any extra logic such as toggle switches.

The part with the stairway hatch has a hole by the switch that makes it easy to go back down, you must have missed that.

All in all I know I have some improvements to make and I will address what I can. All of your suggestions are good and will definitely consider them but there are some things I am willing to live with. My first line of business is to do something about the cutscene camera's because that seems to be the biggest gripe.

Thanks again for taking the time to play my level and leave such detailed feedback. It's appreciated more than you know.

CCubbage
01-21-2012, 12:03 AM
I just wanted the camera to be activated once and the text to be able to be activated infinitely for each cutscene. Unfortunately the double tap of "O" to exit is an unwanted side effect to making it that way.

Maybe play a bit more with the LBP2 tools. There are better ways of doing this. You now have much greater control. For instance, one way of handling it would be to activate a camera with a magic mouth on a sequencer when you walk into an area, so that a caption displays at the bottom instead of even having a magic mouth appear.

xiSiCx
01-22-2012, 06:06 PM
Alright I have taken the feedback givin' and changed some things to hopefully improve this level. Here's a bit of a run down on some of the changes:

First and foremost I scrapped the entire way I was doing the cutscene camera's with text. No longer is the player required to double tap "O" to exit the cutscene. The cutscenes are now subtitled and are timed. I try to give enough time for the player to read the text so I don't think it is that big of a problem. The clues I want people to be able to revisit have just been replaced with magic mouths. Overall the changes to these cutscenes do make the experience better in my opinion so I am very thankful for the feedback on this.

Second, I changed the name of my Keycards to just keys. Some people stated they did not think that they looked like cards so now they are just keys.

Third, I put a material tweaker on the light that was grabbable in the quarantine unit room and made it not grabbable. This way the player will no longer grab the light instead of the grate covering the vent.

Last, I did take out some text I felt was a little unnecessary. This might make it a little more difficult for some, but not by much. The text I took out wasn't really that helpful anyway.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to play this level and was kind enough to leave me some good feedback. Without this feedback, my level would be a lot more worse. A special thank you to CCubagge and Mr. Fusion for the extremely detailed feedback and for pointing me in the direction that would help me fix the double tap "O" issue. I appreciate it guys!

I hope people who have played this will be willing to give it another go to see if the improvements do indeed make the experience better and I also hope that people who have not played this will give it a shot and see how the wonderful feedback I have received from LBPCentral has shaped it. Hope you guys enjoy!

Again, I am open to Feedback 4 Feedback!

xiSiCx
01-24-2012, 06:07 AM
Hmm... After almost a week, I was hoping to have more than 9 plays on this. I know this level deserves more plays than that.

Mr_Fusion
01-24-2012, 07:54 PM
True, i think it is worth more than that and hope others check it out.

There is a fair chunk of the LBP2 world that may avoid a stage if it has stars next to it though.

CCubbage
01-24-2012, 08:25 PM
I'll queue it up and run through it again tonight. As mentioned, it's a really nice story and has a nice progression. Getting plays obviously requires a catalyst, such as building new levels, getting spotlights, creating a hub with multiple levels.... We're all in the same boat. :D

futureboy
01-24-2012, 09:14 PM
queued it! Will play asap.

Nejimelliko
01-25-2012, 01:14 AM
Very well done level. It felt like old Resident Evil games with all these puzzles, keys and atmosphere. The only thing I didn't like is music. I understand that it fits the level, but listening to one track for about 30 minutes is a bit boring. Also, very good visuals.
I missed platinum and gold trophies. If I get all, I'll be able to play that sub-level?

xiSiCx
01-25-2012, 02:37 AM
Very well done level. It felt like old Resident Evil games with all these puzzles, keys and atmosphere. The only thing I didn't like is music. I understand that it fits the level, but listening to one track for about 30 minutes is a bit boring. Also, very good visuals.
I missed platinum and gold trophies. If I get all, I'll be able to play that sub-level?

First of all, Thanks for taking the time to play my level and leaving feedback. It is greatly appreciated!

As for the sub-level, the only way to play it is to take the "wrong" path at the end. If you take the "wrong" path, then you cannot access the scoreboard but you can access the sub-level and If you take the "right" path, you will only have access to the scoreboard.

Thanks again for your feedback and I hope you try it again not only to find the trophies but to play the sub-level.
HINT: Look for the glowing light from the trophies.

fruitmanlolli
01-25-2012, 05:03 AM
Hello there!

First I want to thank you for taking some time to review and play my level and now I will leave my thoughts on yours!

Well, the gameplay was really quite awesome! :p I was entertained the whole time and I thought the puzzles were nice. The way the level is set out must have been some kind of nightmare to create and organize but it payed off!

The visuals considering it was mostly made in LBP1 were also pretty good, not really any blank areas and the little details with stickers were sweet!

All in all I think this level was great to play and it got a :) from me!

futureboy
01-25-2012, 09:27 AM
I'm probably not the best person to pass comment on this, as I'm not big on what I call 'traditional' levels.
Playabilty, layout and visuals good, but I got stuck just after the x-ray room (trying to jump up from the metal platform that rises up...tried for about ten minutes and then gave up, sorry. I don't know how much more there was, but I did get taken in, I did want to escape. Some tricksd in there I want to know how you did, like "how do you get an image in the middle of a level entrance/respawn point"?

xiSiCx
01-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Thanks you guys for playing my level and leaving some feedback! I really appreciate it.

@fruitmanlolli - I am glad you were able to make it through the level and I am also glad you enjoyed it. You are right, this was a nightmare to put together and I am hoping more people play it because of that. Thanks again and I look forward to checking out more of your levels!

@futureboy - I will be the first to admit that this level is not for everyone. This level takes patience and in some ways plays more like entire game than a level.Not sure exactly where you got stuck. Not sure if its the metal thing in the first room of the X-Ray facilities or if it's just past that on the balcony. If it's in the X-Ray room, then you need to grab the flickering light to reach the hole in the wall. If it's on the balcony, you just need to pull the switch and then use the wood panels to make it up to the platform. The sticker trick was easy. Just get a sticker that is somewhat symmetrical and place one on each side. It takes a bit to line up just right but it's not too hard. Thanks again for taking the time to play my level!

Tellous
01-26-2012, 07:00 AM
When catering to the "LBP" audience it's important to remember aesthetics as well as impressive logic. The house needs to say goodbye to the simplicity of LBP 1 and jump into the new complex real estate that is LBP 2.

Notes:
This level is unnecessarily hard. This is the second time I review a level today stating that there needs to be more visual aid. (Ex. a crack on the wall in the beginning showing that you can jump over the half wall. Some arrows towards the freakin' vent and/or something that points out that it can be pulled.) Pretty much more stickers like the 3 skull puzzle.

The yellow switches are easy to understand but making your own switch is more impressive. Or, if you can't let go of the switch at least throw some color on it.

A jetpack?! :/ With a chain?!?!

"There's a hole on the cealing. It's far but I think I can jump up there"

Body ID! Ha I was totally paying attention. A calculator would have been way easier...Wait, that grabinator was there the whole time? :mad:

I enjoyed going back into previous rooms. :p

Final statement. I really dislike those "keys". Maybe use that SIM card decoration on a sticker panel. Also, I suggest a little HUD that shows if you have the key and be able to just walk through the door.



If you need help with anything, I'm down fo' whateva'. :D Send me an invite.

F4F in my sig.

xiSiCx
01-26-2012, 04:38 PM
Thanks for playing my level Tellous! I will be sure to check out yours and leave feedback.

This level was originally an LBP 1 level so it's naturally a bit simpler than what can be done on LBP 2, but with that said I do believe it stands well on it's own even in LBP 2. It's a house that I wanted to be to scale with Sackboy's size so real estate will naturally be smaller whether I made it in 1 or 2.

It's funny that you say it is "unnecessarily hard" because my real good friend Mnniska played it and gave me some feedback. And in his feedback he said that he felt like I was holding the player's hand too much and the level was too easy. He said that this level is for people who are patient, like solving problems and exploring. I believe what Mnniska said when he said that this level is for a certain type of player and I shouldn't change it so that it is easier for those who are not patient. Bottom line is that the majority of LBP players want something that they can mindlessly run through in a couple minutes with little to no challenge so that they can move onto the next level... well this level is not for those type and I think I will listen to Mnniska and keep the difficulty right where it is.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the switches (you are the second person to mention that they don't like them) I really like the way they look. Plain and simple and they fit the mood of the level. Yellow is my favorite color so naturally I'm gonna leave them yellow. And I need 2-way switches so I think they are a perfect fit. Sorry to disappoint the switch haters, but they are not going any where... they are too perfect for what I need.

Yes a jetpack with a chain! It works perfect for the part, it looks cool as all hell and it was a feature from the LBP 1 version so I wanted to keep it the same.

The hole in the wall is another one of those difficulty things Mnniska was talking about. I have a movie camera that points to the hole in the wall, I have text stating there is a hole in the wall during the movie camera, I have a light in the hole that lights up for a clue, and I have a grabbable flickering light (the only grabbable flickering light in the level) right next to the ledge needed to reach the hole so I think that if you can't figure it out from all those clues, then you probably don't fit the type of person that this level is aimed at. This is one of the areas Mnniska specified as holding the players hand too much.

Again, if you could not find the grabbinator in that tiny room, then you are not being patient enough because it really is not that hard to find, heck it isn't even hidden.

As far as the Key's go, I like something that the player has to physically grab and carry, plus this was a feature in the LBP 1 version so again I wanted to upgrade my level not completely redo it. Plus in some cases, the Key is part of the puzzle so I don't want to nerf it too much.

Overall, to be successful at this level, you must first explore and assess each room, try and figure out what needs to be done, come up with an execution plan and then try it out. So many people rush into the rooms expecting to know exactly what to do the instant they get there and when they don't, they thinks it's broke or just give up and quit. I implore you to be patient, take your time to think things through and try not to play frantically, it's just not that type of level. This level plays more like a game than a level so don't expect to complete it in a couple minutes. This thing takes a little time to think through and complete.

Thanks again for the feedback and I will be sure to play your F4F level and leave some feedback as well. Maybe we could get together and create some stuff sometime, and maybe see what we can come up with.

Tellous
01-27-2012, 05:09 AM
Hm... I guess when I went in I was thinking you were looking for feedback that would get you more plays. But hey if it satisfies the creator.

Great challenging level! Wish I would have had more patience so it wouldn't have been frustrating. May want to be careful with the anatomically correct bodies, doesn't play too well with those... Ugh... Kids... And... Blah... Parents.

xiSiCx
01-27-2012, 06:10 AM
Hm... I guess when I went in I was thinking you were looking for feedback that would get you more plays. But hey if it satisfies the creator.

Great challenging level! Wish I would have had more patience so it wouldn't have been frustrating. May want to be careful with the anatomically correct bodies, doesn't play too well with those... Ugh... Kids... And... Blah... Parents.

Well I guess I am looking for plays, but I think I am looking for feedback more. This level, since it's conception on LBP 1 has over 1700 plays and numerous people have givin feedback. This level has been greatly shaped by the feedback that I have received here at LBPC, LBL, LBW and LBN as well as LBP itself. With that said, not all feedback is used because I do have some ideas that I'm stuck on and I'm not breaking from. I'm open to some and I'm stubborn on others... Just the way I am.

I come from a time when video games were really simple and challenging. There was no help, you pretty much had to figure things out on your own. No guides, internets, no fancy graphics so sometimes you couldn't tell what you were looking at let alone what to do. It sounds silly, but there was something special about that feeling. Something more personal. It was just you vs the game. Very isolated. Games like the original Metroid on the NES gave you that feeling. That feeling is pretty much a thing of the past in gaming these days and so I just want to bring a little of that feeling back. I know it's not really what people want out of their gaming experience these days, so I guess really, I'm just looking for those few who do appreciate that feeling of being alone and isolated. Stuck with little to no direction as to where to go or what to do next.

You might ask why someone would appreciate the feeling of isolation and being alone with no help?... Because with that feeling, comes great reward!

As for the 3 bodies, I am a kid and a parent and I have no problems with them. Please don't take it too seriously. They are not done in bad taste and are content not uncommon for "Horror" based entertainment. I'm not out to offend anyone or make any enemies, but if my views of artistic expression do happen to offend you, then I am truly sorry and want you to know, that is not my intention at all.

Thank you for your feedback Tellous! Just because I may or may not use your feedback does not make it bad feedback. As an artist I appreciate all feedback and yours was as good as any. Thanks again!

Tellous
01-27-2012, 08:23 AM
I wasn't offended by the bodies. I just didn't want the level to be taken down if some little brat reports it.

CCubbage
01-28-2012, 08:09 PM
Went back and checked this out again. I felt the changes made this much more polished. Using the caption instead of magic mouths kept the immersion. Happy fac and a heart. :)

xiSiCx
01-29-2012, 06:21 AM
Sweet, I'm glad you liked the changes. The suggestions you and others made, definitely improved the experience in my eyes and I was hoping others would feel the same. I appreciate the feedback and the help that everyone has provided. I'm not sure if this level has what it takes to make it in the spotlight, but I will be utilizing the feedback and advice that I have absorbed so far in my next level series (which will be epic) to hopefully make the spotlight.

Thanks again to everyone for their feedback, this is truly a very valuable resource!

hellfire
02-01-2012, 06:12 AM
Ok, feedback time! Sorry if it's jumbled, I'm on my phone...

Well, where to start-

The good:
Nice visual style
Lighting

The problem:

I was extremely, extremely frustrated with this level. I tried my hardest to finish it, I really did. The first time I played it through, I got to the skull box room, and jokingly dropped one between the two tables, not knowing that they were a key of sorts. It got stuck down there and I had to restart.

The second time, I finally figured out what to do, and that they needed to be put on proper tables. Then followed 20 hours of backtracking and retracing steps to go to other doors that kept opening up. That was frustrating in itself, but I sucked it up, until I got to that room with the little blocks with numbers on them.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to get those on the slots? It's **** near impossible mate! I tried for 20 minutes, and when I finally got the little blue light to turn on on all of the slots, nothing happened. At all... :/

So I had to quit. I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do.

This highlights the major, major problem with your level. I understand making players think for themselves at certain parts, but to consistently give the player no direction at all is a sure way to infuriate them. Its just no fun after you start raging at little numbered blocks.

You NEED to put advice or direction in this game, that triggers where everyone will find it, not just after they've climbed up a box to find there's a jetpack up there...
And the keys, oh the keys. They are just awful, having to lug them around. And why would you put one on the same plane as the tables? You forced me to jetpack it halfway, and STOP, because you didn't make the chain longer, go and find the second jetpack, go back to the halfway, and try and get it past the boxes again, just to reach simple door. That was very close to making me quit right there.

Don't get me wrong, it is an interesting level in it's own right, and it's visual style is unique, but the absolute refusal to help the player in any way, and some very poor game mechanics make this more of a rage-fest than true enjoyment.

My advice to you is this:
-please include directions in your level
-rework the number cubes so they don't slide all to hell when you bump them
-directions
-directions
-directions

If you had directions, my review would be almost overwhelmingly positive, as I would have been able to focus on the level, instead of the headache of what I was supposed to do. Please don't take this the wrong way, it is meant to help your level become the best it can be!

The first time I posted a level, it got shot down with a resounding no, and a bucket load of constructive criticism. But I reworked it
I truly hope you will do the same, as it has so much potential, but as it sits right now, it's just not cutting it for me. :(

I've read all the comments here so far, I know you said you want people to think, but remember you made this level, what seems challenging to get for you, may be downright impossible for others.

xiSiCx
02-01-2012, 05:25 PM
Thank you hellfire for taking the time to play my level and for leaving very detailed feedback. I appreciate it!

I am sorry you did not enjoy the level that much and I appreciate your honesty about what you didn't like. I like all feedback and definitely want to hear what people like or don't like about my levels. That is what helps me get better and again, I appreciate it!

As for the 3 colored skull boxes, I'm not sure how you got it stuck, because you are supposed to drop them in between the tables. That puzzle is kind of like the "chicken, wolf, grain with 1 boat" riddle. It is designed so that if a Skull Box is on one of the tables, you can't get another one past it, therefore you must drop them in between the tables so that the others can be moved. The length of the tethered jetpacks are specifically the length that they are so that the player can only move 2 skull boxes with one jetpack. I know some people get frustrated with the jetpack's chain length, but that is part of the puzzle. A longer chain also causes issues when a player is able to ride the elevator or go back up the vent with the jetpack on. I know it's not ideal, but it was a 2009 designed puzzle so I'm just gonna blame it on that! LOL!

As for the Body ID # room, it is actually a really easy room so I definitely need to do something there to make it easier for the player to understand how it is to be used. I get a lot of complaints about this and you are right, it's easy for me but hard for others. Thing is if I were to show you once, how to use that machine, you would see really how easy it is. First there is a grabbinator in the room that you'll need. Once you have the grabbinator, then get in the middle layer without jumping onto the back layer, walk in front of what number you want, then just jump and you will automatically be pushed to the back layer and on top of the number you have picked. Grab the number with the grabbinator and then without moving, return to the middle layer. Walk with the number in hand to the front of the ID# machine. You will see 2 flat spots or platforms on top of the machine that are in between the slots for the numbers. Be sure to stand in front of one of those flat spots and face which ever slot you intend to put the number in and then simply jump up to be automatically pushed to the back layer and you will be standing on one of those flat spots. Then just let go (don't throw) the number and it will slide right into place without you ever having to "walk" on the machine. Just repeat this technique with the rest of the numbers.

When it comes to the numbers or correct code, the machine lights up when you have the right numbers on it, but will only release the key if they are in the right order. The Body ID numbers can be found on 3 bodies that are present throughout the house before reaching this room. Each body has a number attached to it and the correct order is the order in which the bodies are found.

Maybe I need to do a movie cutscene with a sackbot using the machine properly so that people don't get confused and see how easy it is to use.

I understand what you mean about direction and I often get frustrated with levels that have no direction as well. Usually I get frustrated with linear platforming levels that have no direction, but I am a little more understanding with lack of direction in open world puzzle levels. I did think about direction when updating this and have actually added a lot of direction. (you would really hate the LBP 1 version if you think this one lacks direction... LOL) I tried to add some clues to give a little more direction in this one, like the clue inside the vent or the clue for the hole in the wall. I even made some clues with magic mouths that can be read over and over again instead of letting the player see it just once. I also added glowing lights coming from where the trophies are so they had a bit of a clue as to where they are located. I tried to make the movie cameras show the player some clues for a sense of direction. With that said, I just don't want to give everything away. I want the player to feel a real sense of accomplishment and reward when they have figured out what they were supposed to do.

Like I said before, Mnnska tested this for me when I was updating it and he said he felt like I was holding the players hand too much and that I am taking all the fun out of it by pretty much telling the player what to do and making it too easy. I have not changed any of the clues since then and just told him that I was gonna leave it that way so people would be able to finish it. Then the community tells me it's too hard to figure out, LOL, go figure! Too easy for Mnniska and too hard for the community! LOL! Another thing that makes me scratch my head is that the much MUCH harder and not so polished LBP 1 version has 1751 plays with 87 hearts, and the much easier and updated LBP 2 version has only 41 plays and 6 hearts and I have done WAY more to promote the LBP 2 version.

I really really REALLY appreciate your feedback and I will try to make some improvements based on what you and others have suggested, but I am not sure how many changes can be made because my thermo is completely maxed out and it will blow up if I even add one little sticker.

I am sorry if this level is frustrating, but that is kind of what I was going for. I am a professional video game tester and I have tested this thing over and over and over some more and I can assure you that it all works, it's just hard. This level might be hard, but it's mentally hard not physically hard. Levels like Mnnska's "Mission ImPAWssible!" are much harder and much more frustrating than this level, but they are hard and frustrating because they are physically hard not mentally hard. If you are familiar with games like Resident Evil or Metroid, then you should have a pretty good idea of how to play this level.

Think of it this way, a level like "Mission ImPAWssible!" makes you throw your controller and curse, and a level like "The House of 1000 Skulls" makes you drop your controller and think!

I know this level is not everybody's cup of tea, but I do appreciate everyone who has givin' it a go and left feedback whether you liked it or not! Thank you all!

hellfire
02-01-2012, 06:50 PM
Well, ok, but just to let you know you I broke the skull puzzle, I dropped the red box sideways between the tables and jumped on it, making it lodged forever between them. Might want to make the boxes just a bit smaller so you have a chance of getting it back out.

Also, it's easy when the numbers are all in the slots, but take the grabinator and throw them all into one huge pile on the side of the room. Then you'll have the situation I was in. It impossible to get the correct number without knocking others away. :(

Maybe just try reworking those small bits?

xiSiCx
02-01-2012, 07:36 PM
Well, ok, but just to let you know you I broke the skull puzzle, I dropped the red box sideways between the tables and jumped on it, making it lodged forever between them. Might want to make the boxes just a bit smaller so you have a chance of getting it back out.

Also, it's easy when the numbers are all in the slots, but take the grabinator and throw them all into one huge pile on the side of the room. Then you'll have the situation I was in. It impossible to get the correct number without knocking others away. :(

Maybe just try reworking those small bits?

I will see what I can do and I'll be back with an update! Thanks again!

UPDATE:
Ok hellfire, I took some of your feedback and made some changes based on it.

First and foremost, you were right, you can break the skull puzzle the way you mentioned. I had it so that you could respawn new ones by pulling the lever downstairs again, but my emitters were apparently set to 1. Anyway, that isn't a good way to solve that issue so I just made them smaller like you suggested and it works fine now. I even tested to see if they could fit under the tables on their sides, but they can't. This does have a side affect and that is to sacrifice the "wolf, chicken, grain" part of the puzzle because you can now carry the skull boxes over another one if it's on the table. Not a big one, but a sacrifice non the less. In the end I do think it is a worthy trade off and I feel it makes the experience more enjoyable.

Second, I "think" I made the ID room a little more understandable without having to do a sackbot cutscene. I say "think" because it seems obvious to me, but others might struggle like you stated before. With that said I do believe that my fix will help a little with this room. Essentially I just put a glass enclosure over the entire machine and only left openings where the 2 platforms are. This will at least eliminate most cases of the player accidentally getting on the slippery machine or accidentally throwing numbers on the machine. The player will have to actually carry the number "into" the machine if it wants to place it in a slot. Also, the machine makes a sound when the proper number is in the correct spot. So once you have determined the 3 correct numbers (either by finding the bodies or finding out which ones light up the machine) the sound will help determine the correct order. This was not an update, but a feature I forgot to mention in my earlier post.

Last, I was getting complaints about the length of the movie camera that is triggered in the Skull Shrine Courtyard. Well since that camera is your only look at the trophy room before actually going there, I wanted people to look as long as they wanted so I made it a "hold infinitely" camera, but I made it skippable so that the player could determine the duration of the camera. So from the complaints I am guessing that people did not assume to check if it was skippable and let it sit for a very long time, hence the rage over how incredibly long the camera was. So I decided to eliminate that confusion and just make the length 5 seconds like the rest of the movie cameras in the level.

Thanks again for all the feedback and I hope some of you play it again and see if the changes make the experience better for you.

DreJ1212
02-02-2012, 04:07 AM
Just played through the level.

As a few people have said, the body ID room took WAY too long at the end. I do have plenty of patience though, so I ended up finishing the level. Everything I have to say about that puzzle has already been said. I really liked the whole free roam exploration with plenty of rooms theme you had going on. The visuals were pretty nice, and puzzles were pretty fun. Great level overall, just didn't like the puzzle at the end. I probably would have enjoyed this even more if I played it in lbp1 though.

Mnniska
02-04-2012, 06:27 PM
I haven't been able to play the LBP2 verision of this level just yet, however I remember playing it in LBP1 a few years ago and it was a rather enjoyable experience back then. The level houses a good deal of tricky puzzles, the design is also well thought out and more then one time you will need to backtrack or find a alternative path in order to advance. To this comes a nice creepy atmosphere and even a few trophies thrown in for even more replay value!

As said, I haven't played it in LBP2 yet but from what I remember this is a solid puzzle level that dares to think outside the box set up by a community that want to run, press a button, avoid a shark and finish their average level in five minutes. Play it!

xiSiCx
02-06-2012, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the kind words Mnniska!

Deurklink1
02-06-2012, 06:35 PM
I didn't really like it.. After i couldn't figure out what to do in the x-ray room i quit. But it's more because i'm a pretty lazy gamer. I'm the kind of player who needs obvious directions ;) Hope other people enjoy it!

Sackpapoi
02-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Boop. Got it queued :). I'll get the results to you in a jiffy.
This is F4F right? Well, if it is, then here's my request to you. http://lbp.me/v/9mxt5y

xiSiCx
02-07-2012, 03:37 AM
Thanks guys for the feedback! I will be sure to get some feedback on your levels as soon as I get off work!

Sackpapoi
02-08-2012, 09:08 PM
I liked it! It was puzzling and difficult, but not too much to render it unenjoyable. I liked the way the stage connected to various areas, and that shortcuts appeared rather than having to go around. The scenery was great, even if I didn't play the LBP1 version, I can tell it was re-mastered in some way. The thing I liked most about it was the gameplay. It was a nice puzzler that kept me going around the stage and finding things. It also required some memory, which is always a nice twist. The way you had to solve the puzzles to progress was especially challenging, but again, not too challenging so that it's not fun.
The only problems I really had with this were the switches and some slight annoyances. The majority of the puzzles required you to pull some switch somewhere, and that got a bit old. However, getting to the switch was the challenge, and that prevented it from becoming too repetitive. The cameras were no problem, except for when it said "KEY" every time you got a key. Also, some areas have pits that you don't see until you nearly fall into them (due to the camera), but that was really only a problem once or twice. Like at the lift part, where the checkpoint is above the lift. I didn't see the pit, and fell in. I didn't activate the checkpoint, so I popped and respawned on the other end of the level. Finally, at the very end of the level, I didn't know you had to choose your path. I jumped, and then I was suddenly trapped in the wrong path. It was a bit hard to see. Either that, or I was just being dumb.
Other than those little problems, it was great. It was the first good puzzler I've played in a while. The atmosphere was cool, but it could be a biiiit darker. It was really original and creative, I can really see that it took time. It was organized and had nice flow. Good job :).

xiSiCx
02-10-2012, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the kind words Sackpapoi, I am glad you liked it! I appreciate your feedback!

grayspence
02-11-2012, 01:02 AM
I played it a few days ago, and I loved it. LBP1 levels that have been redone in LBP2 still have that "Feeling" That I can't put my finger on. The puzzles were great and the Very creepy atmosphere made the visuals look good, even if they were dated.
However, some parts got rocky, such as the well area. I needed to pop myself untill the checkpoint ran out of lives because I kept falling out of the bucket when I needed to get down the well again. I looked for a bit but I couldnt find an alternate way to get up. Sorry if I missed it!

Another thing! I was able to shove the crate that gets lifted by the winch to access the little room on the right away and get into the room prematurely by jumping on the block and running up against the wall. Might want to ammend that with an invisible piston to keep things from moving!
Overall a fantastic level that I regret letting slip under my radar. Gave it a Yay! :D Great work!

biorogue
02-11-2012, 09:29 PM
you're not going to believe it. I finally got to revisit it and I finished it! I love it. Leave it alone. I love the LBP1ness of it and dragging the keys to open doors is great. I loved the design of the level, the puzzles were good and having to backtrack everywhere was great. I only have 2 problems with it. The well section. I too fell down here, several times in fact, and think this area needs either a switch to make stairs slide out something so that I don't have to "pop" myself. The last puzzle with the body identifier. That dang slippery surface had me frustrated. I'd get one or two boxes in place and then myself sliding everywhere would knock them out of spot. Other than that, great level and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

xiSiCx
02-12-2012, 06:21 AM
Thanks Grayspence and biorogue for taking the time to play my level and I am really glad you guys enjoyed it!

I'm at work so I will have to check when I get home, but I think that the last time I edited the level I forgot to raise the water level back up before I republished it. The well area is supposed to have water in it filled up to the where the bucket sits. If that is the case, my fault guys!

Thanks again for the feedback, it is much appreciated and very helpful! I will try to work out the kinks.

UPDATE: Yep, I must have forgot to raise the water back up before republishing it last time. I usually have the water level set at 10 and it was at 6. Thanks for the heads up!

xiSiCx
03-15-2012, 05:38 PM
Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you guys know that I have added a new special "Uranium Skull Trophy" that can only be obtained if you find all the other "Skull Trophies" throughout the House. I hope this adds a little more replay value or at least just another cool collectible. Enjoy!

xiSiCx
10-12-2012, 02:54 AM
It is almost Halloween and I love to get into the "Horror" mood around this time of year and I am sure I am not the only one!! ;) ... Anyway, I just wanted to take a break from my "MEGA LBP PROJECT" (almost a year in the making so far) and remind the community of my previously published horror level "The House of 1000 Skulls".

If any one is looking for a level that has a creepy atmosphere and makes you feel utterly alone, then "The House of 1000 Skulls" is just what you are looking for! Soooooo...... Turn out the lights and give this level a try... if you think that you can handle it!!!

xiSiCx
10-31-2012, 05:05 PM
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!! I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!!!

secondenvy
02-16-2013, 05:43 AM
Cool level!