View Full Version : The Strangleroot Garden.

10-11-2012, 07:27 PM
The Strangleroot Garden



Okay folks, this has been my big project for the last 2 and a bit weeks now.

You appear in the Strangleroot Garden, a place of legend where people get in, but nobody ever leaves...

The Strangleroot Garden is a platformer, however it is non-linear. There's several different areas you can explore, and the order you explore them in can be in either the place of your choosing, or the order in which you discover them. To complete the game, you must "learn the secrets of the Strangleroot Garden" by exploring all of the major places within the world.

You are not alone in the garden, you'll meet several NPCs in your journey who will be happy to talk to you, gossip about one another, tell their life stories and even hint at places you need to see to escape the Strangleroot Garden.

It's taken me a while to make this level, and honestly the main reason I stopped was because there wasn't a whole lot of room left in the vita's level editor to add more places to it.

This level was part of an experiment. I wanted to test what sort of non-linear world I could make, and how interactive I could make the characters I placed within without overheating the thermometer, I was delighted with the result even though I believe I've barely hit the tip of the iceberg with this particular level.

Here's some screenshots of the level:


If this sort of level proves popular I plan on making a new eddition, where the interactions of the NPC's can change dependant on certain events, as well as expanding on the way the "free roam" is set up. So please give it a go and let me know what you think!

10-11-2012, 07:36 PM
This looks awesome, I'm sure to play this tonight! :D

10-12-2012, 09:17 PM
Wow, what can I say. This is really REALLY well done. I ran into a glitch and some issues but I'll pm those to you.

10-12-2012, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the bug reports, I'll get a fix onto them immediately. One of them was me putting a fix into terrain incorrectly, the other typos were a result of me typing drunk :P The Sprites were originally going to be called Wisps, but I repeatedly typed it wrong :P (in england a sprite is a sort of pixie, so it's not entirely inacurrate.)

I'll put in a fix over the weekend :)

10-13-2012, 07:13 PM
I tried to finish your level, but I think I encountered a glitch where the grabbable piece by the Castle did not come down far enough. Either that or I just missed something.

Great level up until that point though, although those spinning fire wheels underground were darn near impossible to pass (along with the fact that I fell to the level floor twice trying to pass by the first one). It almost felt like Dark Souls, actually. Loved it, and hopefully I'll come back and finish it after the update.

Edit: I forgot to mention the outstanding dialouge. Great work with that as well, really set the mood perfectly.

10-14-2012, 09:36 AM
It's awesome of you to say that, I was trying to make a Dark Souls-esque environment as a matter of fact! (hence the changes in world type, non-linear levels, the ways that the end of area brought you back to different partrs of the world, the slightly depressive NPCs, and the way to tell the story of the world by interacting with them. Oh! and Strangleroot Garden is pretty much the Darkroot Basin :P )

as for the grabbable piece in the castle:

If you go into the mountains there's a sort of "sky altar" up there that takes you to another puzzle area, you need to beat that area for the grabbable piece to drop, and also to reach it you need to activate the bounce pad in the mushroom by discovering the mushroom cave inside of the chasm by the burned part of the forest.

EDIT: from the review you left on the level, it sounds to me like you didnt' discover the 4th area which activates the bounceable mushroom, that'll be why you couldn't reach it :)

EDIT/UPDATE: all reported glitches should now be fixed.

10-14-2012, 10:41 PM
Dang it. Knew I must have missed something. Well, back to Strangleroot Garden I go...

And glad to find another fellow Dark Souls fan!

10-15-2012, 03:03 AM
Dark Souls is a great analogy. Really cool non-linear level. I really liked this one!!!

Question: how full was your thermometer? This was all done on one screen right?

10-15-2012, 03:41 PM
I actually really liked this level, the ideas in it were really awesome, and I loved the 4 different sections idea, really neatly implemented. It's also pretty awesome how the type of gameplay in the area (e.g. mushroom pads) are what gets activated on the way out :) The visuals were pretty nice and the added dialogue was cool.

Couple of problems, for me it just seemed a bit too open and free, so it was easy to get lost/ go over areas again with a lack of direction. Also it was just so huge that it felt all I was doing was running for a lot of it :p

But overall I did love this level and as a creator I can't wait for more! A big :D for Strangleroot!

10-15-2012, 10:03 PM
Dark Souls is a great analogy. Really cool non-linear level. I really liked this one!!!

Question: how full was your thermometer? This was all done on one screen right?

I was being very careful to optimize everything as I went along, so every non-moving piece is a static object, and almost all of the moving pieces are connected to player sensors before they'll activate. Likewise, the water is hooked up to a player sensor too, and leaves the area as soon as you leave the water temple.

However, by the time the level was done I had less than 2 thirds of the thermometer full :D And yes, this was all done on the one level, however I don't think my next level that goes down this route will be, since I've been experimenting with memorizers, and I've got some big ideas about how they could be used to change npc interaction across different areas.

10-15-2012, 10:24 PM
It did run like it was optimised to the max. Frame rate was smooth. I've had the thermometer just over half and the frame rate was taking a hit so it doesn't directly link to frame rate. Could be more file-size orientated. BTW did you have periodic crashes when you excited your creation or went into play mode? I started to get them rather regularly.

10-16-2012, 12:47 AM
I did for a while, but then i added the player sensors to my moving parts. I think the problem was the game trying to load too many moving pieces at once.