View Full Version : Heart of Gold, Part 1 of the Epic Series, Spotlighted!

01-11-2009, 05:28 AM
Hey guys, I just published my new level Heart of Gold. It is part one of a series that follows a gold hunter and his crew in an epic adventure. Many questions are asked in this introduction and they will all be answered in parts 2 & 3. I am sure it is my best work yet and it has now become my second level featured in the Community Spotlight on these forums.

I actually forgot to mention this earlier but it is inspired by Uncharted Drake's Fortune but it is pretty different.

As of noon on jan 12th I have: made the boss more reliable, added hints that will appear after 1 min 20 seconds during the boss fight, you will be told how to defeat him after 2 min 30 seconds. I removed the sound on the dead body, I made the sounds function properly in the gun fight, I tweaked the test of agility and I fixed the stuff Quozl mentioned (I think) well enjoy and continue to mention problems!

I am sure there are some glitches I did not encounter so please send me some PMs or whatever with any problems.

Go Play IT!

I fixed the major glitches in the level it now functions properly, enjoy!

Very much so a single-player experience.

All F4Fs have been filled, I will leave the feedback tomorrow (porabably)
but any feedback will still be appreciated.

I thought I would throw my coins into the pot of aesthetically pleasing levels this time and I think I have done a pretty good job and plan on improving it even further. It has a ton of awesome dialog and of course platforming. I have incorporated many gameplay styles into this introduction to the story including puzzles, platforming, paintinator gun fights and even riddles. I spent about 50 hours on this level but I have completely filled my thermometer. (I worked much faster this time through)

I would like to thank all the people who left feedback not only for the first version but upon request they were even willing to refine it for the later versions. Very nice of them to go the extra mile and I will certainly do the same with my feedback for there levels.

Here is a video recorded by a fellow at lbpforum.net diaolog is skipped so for the story you will probably have to go play it.


Please don't judge the level by this crappy screenshot and trust me when I say it's good, and looks way better than that.




I will fix any glitches that still stand in order of importance, got a little busy though but I believe I made it fully playable and only a handful of more minor problems remain.

01-11-2009, 06:05 AM
Hey, I played your level, and its really very fun, except i couldnt make it past the part in your screenshot. the cloud of gas kept killing me. i shot the rocket, blew the guy up, but i couldnt go any further. is there some special way to do it?

Some notes on where i got so far though...

make the bottom of the jeep have some metal on it, to make it flip over again, in case people roll it. also, work a bit on the camera when you are on the ground at that portion where i died, you cant see where you are when you are underneath all those rocks. other than that, really good job with the puzzles and openings. lots of fun while it lasted.

01-11-2009, 09:04 AM
Edit for the fix ^_^

Hey i played your level, and I'm glad i did.
First of all, i have to say that i'm incredibly impressed by the look of the level.
Now for some feedback:

1) in the beginning there's a car with a hook... I've really got NO idea what i had to do with it, and the camera angle didn't really help, it was actually more of annoying :/ (do you even have to do somthing with the truck?)

2) Then the chase with the car.... It was sooo amazing. Man that looked cool :D Especially that you used different layers and that the car was drivning next to you. wow!

3) Then the test if you are worthy to pass, or something. It's pretty cool actually ^_^ (yes, all i'm saying it's cool) And It just felt fresh, because i never saw anything like this before.

4) Agility test:
The beginning with the fire blocks 'n stuff wasn't that hard and then i got at the crushers. You can easily skip a certain part there: You can stand on top of the 3rd crusher and then jump to the next checkpoint. This way is way more easier than the real one. then the part after the checkpoint is really cool. I like those flipping platforms. but then after that you can easily fall of and you have to start all over again. Unless you do suicide ofcourse to get to the previous checkpoint.

5) Strengt test:
Although you had to things that had a lot to do with strenght, it's almost like an intelligence test actually :/
BUT i really enjoyed that part :)

6)Then the puzzle wich was really cool.
It was simple but, really fun. Then i saw the badguys coming
And i really liked how those guys looked.. man that was awesome. And the sentences they said, where just really cool.

7) And then those shooting guys, wich you had to shoot with the paintinator. Wow, i didn't find any problems here... But this part was really cool too :)

8) Now i came at the boss (it was a boss, right?) The look of that place was absolutely awesome (the sreenshot) First i took out the lower gunner guy, then both guys died, and then i thought: wow that was short :confused: I thought there where some other guys still coming.
But considering Your level is going to be continued, it doesn't really matter.

The gas wall was also very anoying. You couldn't even see it >_<

It was absolutely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

01-11-2009, 11:08 AM
EDIT for 2.0 fix

The writing here is superb, and these guys really feel like characters. They're a little blocky and simplistic, but they're detailed and different enough to feel like individuals.

I really like the look of the foliage here, and the calm of the start. Sets the level up for a great adventure. The arrow is there, but I was playing with somebody and they just fiddled with the crane, until I went left. I would skew that camera angle by the arrow just a little more... or maybe have 'em tell you to head west (as long as it fits naturally or logically with the dialogue).

The jeep looks really kind of boxy and dull... but this chase scene is really fun. The bumpy road, and the RC-like handling really makes this short section a blast... the terrain is done very well here. If there's thermo room, you should set the water fall to an emitter that drops small panes of glass rapidly, and a life span where the disappear off screen.. that'd give it a real lively look.

I like the way the character communicates back for more potential dialogue spots, and conveys his own thoughts ("WHOAAAA") but none of it feels intrusive on the play. Great stuff.

The "test" to get in is awesome...

Wow... the action really kicks into gear here, at an amazing pace. This really felt like a movie. I felt part of a crew... a stiffler in Rundown, bad indiana jones kinda guy just getting thrown into a big mess of traps coming from every angle. Kinda like Uncharted. That was very well done.

I'm at the moving pillar section, I skipped up top just fine, and hit the grab winchs, got up top... fell down and instead of dying, I landed on the previous checkpoint and activated it :/ I'd rather just hit some gas and die, then spawn at the right checkpoint.

I don't know if you threw in some gas there or not, but we didn't fall this time, so igt didn't matter.

Platforming in the test of agility is top notch, and I love how this whole section really keeps you on your toes.

At the strength part now. I'm loving the "themes" of these trials... feels just right, and is adding lots of variety. Great design on this... totally unique arrangement.

The friend I was playing with, who's an idiot, kept trying to pull the 3rd wheel to the left again, but I noticed that the wheels were respawning when he fell off and I had to get back up. Perfect fix.

Ok... best sticker puzzle ever. Easy as hell, but still, awesome. The kids are gonna love that. Did you capture those with the eyetoy? Nice.

Nice twist... that guy looks like a real jerk. Good use of the sticker for his face lol

This play through, my friend was in a rush, so we didn't engage in any dialogue with him, and just jumped up and ran past the coffer. That's really cool that it has a non-linear change in the replay through the anticipation of events. That's something you would see in a full game. Great design.

Man... every sentence is cool. I love this stuff.

This shootout is perfectly cinematic, and every time you change the music in the level it's at the exact right moment to just the right song. Something is making it hard for me to shoot the two guys perched behind and on top of this thing. The paintballs won't even come out. I had to go behind them to shoot them. OMG they drop paintinators like an FPS... that's an awesome touch to go with the description of your weapon. Pure genius...

This boss battle's awesome... feels like an old school arcade boss, like Bad Dudes or Guerilla War or something. Went smoothely this time, managed to stay out of range and hit the rocket into his face, which I figured I should have done the first time - very creative.

Nice closer... I can't wait for more adventures with this cast. For once in LBP I really feel like a character with a personality, instead of just me in a sack doing whatever. Excellent level in so many ways and does almost everything right. Extremely innovative, and stylish, every step of the way. Some things could use a bit more detail and nuance, but even without, it accomplishes what it needs to. 5 stars and hearted, another classic.

01-11-2009, 12:35 PM
First off I would like to thank Ninja for writing such entertaining and spot-on commentary lol. I played this earlier today and here are my thoughts:

I really like your characters too. Why? Because they have character. These guys felt like they were real individuals and I can't recall ever playing a level where the characters felt so "real". Great job on this man.

The whole chase sequence was incredible and unlike anything else I have ever seen in LBP. It now ranks as one of my all-time favorite moments in this game. Yes the jeep looks rather basic and a paint job wouldn't hurt but the whole sequence was so entertaining that I did not care all that much.

Love the dialogue and the story driving the whole level, well done.

The test to get in is ingenious. Once again, unlike anything else I have ever seen before. The level continues to delight me :)

Loved the trials, strength was my favorite. Using all of my might to push that sponge attached to the piston was especially fun. The sticker puzzle, wow. Very cool although I new the answer within 0.9 seconds I love the riddle and the thought behind it, amazing.

The whole gun fight sequence was bananas. Seriously man, I can't believe how many cool and original ideas you put into this thing. I especially like how you made "dead" versions of the bade guys, nice touch.

Very cool boss, could not pass the gas (seems like everyone else has had the same problem, fix asap).

The overall polish was second to none. Checkpoints are colored, material selection works, writing is consistently strong throughout. This is the total package.


- Fix the boss.

- There is a visible sound emitter on one of the bad guys. This same bad guy respawned another "dead" version of himself when I moved the first one. Tweak the emitter here.

That's it man. The level was incredible and I am frustrated I could not finish it but I know you will be fixing it soon and I will be playing again. In the meantime here is 5 stars and a heart for you. Keep up the great work!

01-11-2009, 01:28 PM
Thanks for trying it guys, I will make sure to fix those glitches later today. Lol OCK I totally forgot about the sound switch on the corpse. Well I will fix that too.

01-11-2009, 03:06 PM
As requested im editing this post now the bugs have been fixed

Looking even more polished now, everything I said before still stands - Addictive gameplay, great challenges and a good use of music

I got to see the cinematic type thing after the riddle this time (didn't show last time for some reason) - and I never knew Col. sanders was such an evil git

I'm now bumping my rating up to 5 stars as well (now I can finish it)

Few more bugs though:
- the man who sits on the triangle in the shooting section still has a speaker on him
- When I pushed his corpse (I wasn't stealing anything I swear) another spawned, I repeated this a couple of times, it seems you can spawn infinite bodies by pushing the old one out of the way
- theres a visible magic mouth by where you stand in the boss battle
- the rocker launcher kept firing even after the man was dead

thats it I think, thats the problem with bugs....you never get them all

and if people are reading this, try this level - I know I just mentioned a pile of bugs, but I dont have the hours to list this levels good points

PS - I just remembered, on the test of strength section theres a bit of speech that goes "-" I assume thats to show the boulder, you can put a camera on the boulder and use avmag switch/key setup to do a similar thing, but without the pointless text

01-11-2009, 05:41 PM
Oh my gosh, I read some of the glitches here. My bad guys I never saw those glitches in my hours of testing. Expect it to be fixed within the hour.

01-11-2009, 05:45 PM
Um, that tree is incredible. I will check it out, but I really want to unlock that tree. Can you send it to me?

01-11-2009, 06:45 PM
Um, that tree is incredible. I will check it out, but I really want to unlock that tree. Can you send it to me?


Also, fixed the glitch with the boss. Fixed the spawn problem with the villain scene. Made it so you can no longer trigger the villain scene without completing the riddle.

01-12-2009, 12:54 AM
Okay, I just want to say Hex, that you are one of the best creators in LBP. I loved Timmy's Dream, loved City Conundrum, and loved Heart of Gold. I need to see what level you unlock from Timmy's Dream, though. I don't seem to have unlocked that.

Here's what I thought of Heart of Gold:

What I Liked:
Very cinematic. I wish I had the patience and the IQ necessary for making a level as cinematic as you can. The beginning with the jeep was great, I mean, it was just really cool. The whole level reminded me of Uncharted a lot. The Test of Agility was really great, you really had to pay attention to accomplish it. The level was challenging, which made it better. Most people (like me) can't learn how to make a level challenging without making it frustrating. I just want to tell you, Hex, that your levels always manage to make LBP feel like a different game. All of your levels have always been able to set themselves apart from every other level. Making the enemies drop paintinators when they die was very clever, and I liked how when I shot a guy, I could see his corpse on the ground. That'd be even cooler if it happened to EVERYONE though.

What I didn't Like:

In the Jeep section, the jeep isn't stickered camouflage, which I think it should, especially since the MGS4 expansion pack came with a camouflage sticker. I got a little frustrated at the very last part of the Test of Agility, when you have to grab that thing attached to the stiff piston, which raises you up to two platforms with a safe top and the bottom is on fire. I found myself falling, and having to basically redo the whole Test of Agility a billion times until I got that right.

Overall, this Heart of Gold was a fantastic level, I can't wait 'til the 2nd and 3rd parts. 5 stars and hearted.

01-12-2009, 01:53 AM
Nice level, got stuck on the boss battle like a lot of people have said :X

and the Test of Agility was irritating as Id keep falling to the bottom..

also, Im wondering, how did you get such nice, clear screen shots of your level? :l capture card?

01-12-2009, 02:14 AM
Nice level, got stuck on the boss battle like a lot of people have said :X

and the Test of Agility was irritating as Id keep falling to the bottom..

also, Im wondering, how did you get such nice, clear screen shots of your level? :l capture card?

Dagonit, I could have sworn I fixed the boss. When did you play it? I am going to tweak the Agility Test to reduce irritation.

And LBP has a new export picture feature. I took the screens in game, exported it to the HDD and put it on an SD card.

Thanks for all the tips awesomemans all of it made since.
Which level would you like me to look at of yours?

01-12-2009, 02:25 AM
Dagonit, I could have sworn I fixed the boss. When did you play it? I am going to tweak the Agility Test to reduce irritation.

And LBP has a new export picture feature. I took the screens in game, exported it to the HDD and put it on an SD card.

Thanks for all the tips awesomemans all of it made since.
Which level would you like me to look at of yours?

Right before my post I played.

01-12-2009, 03:58 AM
Dagonit, I could have sworn I fixed the boss. When did you play it? I am going to tweak the Agility Test to reduce irritation.

And LBP has a new export picture feature. I took the screens in game, exported it to the HDD and put it on an SD card.

Thanks for all the tips awesomemans all of it made since.
Which level would you like me to look at of yours?

PANDAmonium! Duh! :p

01-12-2009, 04:50 AM
Ok I am playing this currently and have found two bugs so far,

The first is if you walk towards the waterfall at the beginning and jump down to the lowest level and walk right you can jump up on the ledge and then right off the level.

The second is when you come to the first door after falling down the mine, I went into the little box that disappears into the floor and while in the floor I jumped up and down, now the door has opened but the little box will not move back up so I can get out so I am having to restart the level.

EDIT: Also more times that not the jeep is flipping over so I have to restart again.

Cheers QuozL

01-12-2009, 05:30 AM
The second is when you come to the first door after falling down the mine, I went into the little box that disappears into the floor and while in the floor I jumped up and down, now the door has opened but the little box will not move back up so I can get out so I am having to restart the level.

Wich means you're unworthy to pass :D


01-12-2009, 02:26 PM
Alright I will be sure to play pandamonium and I am going through to fix some of the mentioned things on Heart of Gold. It should be working much better shortly. You actually don't have to restart the level for the jeep, just use Try Again in the popit.

01-12-2009, 06:10 PM
Right, now that that's out of the way lol
Really enjoyed this level, especially the "worthiness test", very nice idea, rather than just opening a door.
The agility, strength and wisdom tests were also a nice idea, just difficult enough to warrent enough tries without being ridiculously so.
The gun fight was also very well though out, using the three planes as though you were using cover. I think it's been mentioned before as well, but the charecters were nicely used, and the story leaves enough questions for me to want to play the next level.
Only things that bothered me with the level was the jeep, which, again has been mentioned before, keeps flipping over, but, it was only a minor fly in the awesome ointment. Well done, looking forward to the next level!
Overall: 5 stars and hearted

01-12-2009, 08:17 PM
The best story driven level I've played so far, great job.

I loved a lot of stuff but the 2 that stand out in my mind were the waterfall, simple but effective and something I have not seen before, and little closet you have to stand in before the agility part. I'm not sure what purpose it did for the level but I liked the idea of hiding someones sackperson from them, a lot of funny things you can do with it.

Problems I found:
1) I stopped the jeep to get 3 points from overhead, the points were just before the hole so the jeep didnt get up to speed to make it over, end up flipped over. Might wanna move either the points or the hole so people dont keep doing that.

2) The end of the agility test... I was fine with mistiming the flipper shelf part and doing that little circle of under the stompers then up the wench-ball over and over again but when I get to the top to find a confussing graphic of fire coming through glass that makes me jump off (the wrong way the first time, missed the jump te 2nd time) and go back way before the flippers made me want to leave the level...

3) Boss, even with the hint to shot the rockets out of his hand I thought I was suppose to get the rocket to blow up on the guy who was shooting the rockets. Took me a couple hundred bullets before luck deflected the rocket the to the proper place.

Even with those little fustrations it was a sure 5/5 + <3 level.

Great job man

F4F level: Sack-plunk (http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7347)

01-12-2009, 08:48 PM
Played and rated 5 stars. I tried to heart it, but it wasn't letting me. It would make the sound effect, but I wouldn't see it on the level. I'll try later I guess.

I thought that everything was well done, but I do have a few suggestions.

1) Never leave the foreground empty. I've learned this as I have been creating. If you leave the foreground empty, people are bound to jump off the level and land in whatever gas you have there to keep people from falling off the level. If you shift the level forward, this problem goes away as you can't jump off the level from the background.

So if you want to start your level with a two block depth, use the front and middle planes and leave the back one for special situations.

2) Add more depth in some places. I saw some parts where you just have a floor and ceiling that is three blocks deep with no variation. It works, but it is bland and boring. Add some rocks or something of different thicknesses and shapes to make the level come to life.

3) Try to block the player's view from seeing outside your level. You know what I mean? If I am playing a level, I shouldn't see the edges of what you have built. Either use more material to fix it or manipulate the camera zones to prevent it from showing.

This isn't that big of a deal since most people don't pay attention to stuff like this, but it is just another level of polish.

01-12-2009, 09:14 PM
I was just showin' this lev to someone, and there's a part at the beginning by the crane, when the camera zooms out for 2 players, you can see the dark matter with the wobble bolt undernearth the ground. You could just put a cover over made out of the same rock material.

I like how you connected the platform at the test of agility, that part wasn't really the prob, it was more falling from the right side by the swinging pads that made you repeat the bottom half.

I have to give you more compliments on the death animation, with the gun and the blood.

01-13-2009, 11:05 AM
Alright thanks for the extensive feedback guys, I am going to go fix what I can right now.

Edit: Oops, I really thought I fixed that already. I also fixed the jeep just now (I believe fixed the test of agility) and made some other tweaks, my Thermometer is completely full, I can't add another block.

01-13-2009, 11:33 AM
REALLY, a fantastic level to be sure, with very few caveats. i love the test of worthiness, although i wold have added in lights and an aura of goodness, of some sort to make you feel warm fuzzies. but thats just me. only found 1 bug this time, minus the jeep which is way too lightweight, (and the wheels arent attached by the center btw)

the only real "bug" i found is that, if you try to just jump onto the thing that is over your "treasure" you can skip that whold cutscene with the old guy, making a confusing speech bubble appear a few seconds later of "my men are all over the place!" i was like "what?"

totally fixed the problem with the gas, and i got to finish the level. im excited for the next installment, you got 4 stars and a heart from me for this one. really great stuff here.

01-14-2009, 09:08 AM
Ok, I fixed that problem with the cut scene. I honestly don't think anyone is going to have to many more problems with the level. Although certain things they might do differently. I have 0 thermometer left. I drop a block and its full. I can still do my best to change it, but mostly suggestions for part 2 is what I need. Anyway, please check out the level if you haven't!

01-21-2009, 03:07 AM
Played this again and I was able to finish it. It's great that you are listening to all the feedback and making changes. Once again, amazing level and I hope you have started on the sequel :)

01-22-2009, 12:32 AM
Played this again and I was able to finish it. It's great that you are listening to all the feedback and making changes. Once again, amazing level and I hope you have started on the sequel :)

Thanks for playing it again. I finally got all the bugs out which is quite a relief. As for part 2, I am working on another project for the competition over at lbpforum. After that I will probably take a poll or something to decide which one to make a sequel to first. Anyway I am not really doing F4F anymore but if you leave a comment on Heart of Gold I will certainly check out any of your levels.

01-26-2009, 07:39 AM
I had fun playing this level. :) Here's my review.

The good stuff:
- The jeep chase and the gunfights were real fun. It was like playing a scene from an adventure movie.
- Loved the temple. The first two trials were real fun, challenging, and unique. The third was cool too, though it was quite an easy riddle.
- Cool and interesting story!
- Fast-paced and action-packed level that is never unexciting. :)

Areas that need improvement:
- The interior of the temple was a little bare at times. Try decorating the walls with pre-made objects or using different materials in some places.
- The design of the "goon" characters might need a little improvement.

Good job on this level. :) I'll be waiting for the next installment in this series!

01-26-2009, 08:49 PM
Heart of Gold was just that, pure gold man. Loved the level and your "goon deaths" are definitely the highlight of the level for me. Plus your dialogue is outstanding bar a few spelling errors (but I'm a nut on that kind of stuff so :p) 5 stars/hearted and I can't wait for the sequel man. It played extremely smoothly by the way, and it would seem all bugs have been addressed. Bravo in keeping up with the joneses bud.

01-26-2009, 10:00 PM
Can you post feedback in my F4F thread?

Here goes (playing as I go)

I see the characters are custom made. I think the guy with the black top looks alright, the other is ugly... Maybe make them smaller?

The checkpoints look really cool.

The jeep was too light.

The gunfight part looked a little tacky, maybe add some special effects (emit red shapes with BOOM on them or something...)

Put some gas at the bottom of the ditch, as if you fall in you sit on the stones and don't die.

More textures (embeding) would be nice in the back/foreground

A lil' too much dialogue, breaks up the flow. Use Camera angles instead to hint things =)

I was stuck when being tested for worthiness, forced suicide.

The platforming is very good. Maybe use grid when making it however, like when the blocks come down, the third is a little messy.

I like the platforms that fall away.

Whoops! posted too early

The Test of strength wasn't as good however. I liked the big wheel that you must rotate to jump on it though!

The old man looks good, the others are ugly though...

The running out of ammo is cool, as is the ruins.

The boss guy with the rocket was cool, but the rocket was a lil hard to hit, and sometimes shooting it only knocked it off course, instead of destroying it.

Also, the rockets continued to fire, even after killing him...

Maybe it was a little short. I also stress the importants of remaking the bad guys, only the old guy looked cool...

01-26-2009, 10:17 PM
looks fun ill be sure to try it out because it does sound great fun lol.
also if people seem to have a intrest into this thread it must be good

01-28-2009, 05:01 PM
Thanks and be sure to post back here with feedback!

01-28-2009, 07:22 PM
I played it, and it was great. The decorations are perfect, the material used for the ruins was great, and everything fit. I assume the Cyclops is intended to be the guardian of the "Heart of Gold" or whatever the treasure is. I loved the way you did those stickers. The Paintinator segments weren't forced, unlike other levels that are really crappy with the Paintinator. The way to kill the miniboss was awesome, and something different.

One thing, though. One, when I was being tested or whatever to see if I was worthy to go into the actual test rooms, it wouldn't go back up. Of course, I had to Try Again. That's not a big issue unless there is an Ace gift.

I have a question. If the bad guys needed your help to get there, why were some of them ahead of you?

01-28-2009, 08:16 PM
Gah I seemed to have double posted while I was trying to edit it. Can an admin please delete this one?

01-28-2009, 08:17 PM
I have a question. If the bad guys needed your help to get there, why were some of them ahead of you?

It is a different entrance that can only be opened if the riddle is completed, the section is open to the elements thats why there is some rubble in there but the treasure room, cant be accessed unless the riddle is completed if that makes sense. I will say I didn't make that obvious by any means and good eye for plot holes seeing as how no one else actually noticed. Thanks for the feedback.