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View Full Version : Jack McSetback & the Spiky Stone of Doom (Spotlighted, X-Played and IGN'd)



Wyth
01-16-2009, 08:07 AM
Level: Jack McSetback & the Spiky Stone of Doom
PSN: Wyth
Location: North-west of India (first page of best rated ATM, might be an easier way to search)
F4F limit: 3

Jack McSetback is an aspiring adventurer, roaming the world for treasure and adventure. He arrives near a Sackistanian temple in his rocket balloon and boldly enters. The Golden Idol he heard of was easily reached yet getting out will prove more of a hassle.

I'd like to showcase my level here even though it's been played quite a bit (more than I ever dared to dream), I've not had much critical feedback. I'm working on the sequel and I'd like to learn from mistakes I made. So BE CRITICAL I can handle it :).

I'd rather not spend too much time on playing/reviewing other peoples levels, most of my time will go into work on the sequel. Creating takes a lot of time (I'm quite hard on myself about quality standards) and I have a lot of real life around too. I'll F4F the first three to ask, and I might do more if I feel like it :P. Any feedback though is appreciated and you'll help the sequel with it ;).

I'ts a platforming/adventure level with a bit of story, it has a simple 2 player part and is fully suitable to four player coop.

Let's hear it!

UPDATE: It seems that I've been spotlighted by X-play. Link: http://g4tv.com/xplay/videos/36377/XPlay_Recommends_LittleBigPlanet_Levels.html. Its a feature of 2.5 minutes and it has a bit of a teaser from my level, along with 2 other levels. The comments are nearly a copy of my description of the level.

UPDATE 2: Spotlighted, see it over in the spotlight thread for the full stuff.

UPDATE 3: Spotlighted by IGN at http://ps3.ign.com/articles/954/954711p1.html

I really love it that people and companies are finding my level and it's recognised in all it's greatness ;)

Senrir
01-16-2009, 08:15 AM
Hmm okies Ima try this out ^^"

... just need to east something first :P

Edit: Alright just ate and played your level ^^"

Everything was on right spot! The music, the atmosphere, the obstacles and platforming were all about one concept :D and that is great!

The 2x area was really well done/timed ^^" ... tried to get through by one sackboy and I didnt come through xD

The details were also fantastic! And I think that everything is custom-built am I right?

The traps and the obstacles were fun ... but a little too easy for me ... dunno why ... but you dont have to change the difficulty ... so it could serve a wider public :D!

Oh and cant wait for the sequel ^^"

Risen
01-16-2009, 04:17 PM
I played this a while back... it's great! The biggest issue I found (which I noted in a comment) was that your multiplayer section was possible with just one person. You might have changed it since then. I wouldn't mind playing it again with a more critical eye.

talmasca
01-16-2009, 04:57 PM
wow!! im breathless that was great

defininte 5 stars hearted you also

no problems on this level, and i look forward to more

try my levels ( part 1 and part 2 )

silent hill 2 REBORN

ps i love the way everything feels like ancient mechanics, eg the rock falling to launch u higher, genious! :)

Wyth
01-19-2009, 06:27 AM
Thanks for the comments, you guys indeed reminded me to shove the switch for the two player part a bit more to thte left. I don't know for the life of me how you do it with one person but well...

Everything is indeed custom made, so will the sequel be, although it is giving me a really big headache.

No more points of critique? Don't be shy, even the smallest things can help me.

I'll check it out Talmasca, saw your levels around here on the forums and meant to try them.

Teebonesy
01-19-2009, 07:58 AM
I played this yesterday I think, and really, really enjoyed it. It was polished as hell, and I don't recall getting hung up or stuck on anything. There were some great little mechanics I haven't seen before, too.

What can I say? I'd be a bit harder on you, but all I remember was having a pleasant experience all the way through. I'll try and give it another look later on and get back to you with some real ideas! But I have no doubt that the new level is in fine hands.

Creative
01-19-2009, 10:43 AM
Hm... is this the level with the stones dropping down and stuff? (not very specific, I know)

Wyth
01-20-2009, 06:07 AM
Hm... is this the level with the stones dropping down and stuff? (not very specific, I know)

Hahah, yeah I think you have the right level in front of you yes :). Lot of stone-dropping and sackboy-spiking going on in this level.

Wyth
01-23-2009, 09:59 AM
I've slightly adapted the 2x part so that it can no longer be done solo.

Creative
01-23-2009, 10:04 AM
Oh, this level is amazing! I thought it was this one... Just to clarify: the stones dropping had magnetic keys attatched to them, right? Because to calculate the weight and adapt them to suit each situation would be crazy... Really good level though. I think the fact it's on "Highest Rated" backs up my opinion ;)

I can't wait for the sequel!

Wyth
01-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Oh, this level is amazing! I thought it was this one... Just to clarify: the stones dropping had magnetic keys attatched to them, right? Because to calculate the weight and adapt them to suit each situation would be crazy... Really good level though. I think the fact it's on "Highest Rated" backs up my opinion ;)

I can't wait for the sequel!

Thanks!

Ahahahaha I can assure you that not a single stone has a magnetic switch attached to them to fake the weight. To adapt them to each situation I had a different solution. The stones of the elevator and the flip-flop platforms are emitted and I tweaked the linear speed to fine tune its power. As you can see, there are no motor/wobble bolts or pistons used in these traps they are truly stone-powered. The Elevator has a complicated see-saw construction that got me quite a headache ;).

The swinging stone that drops down the draw bridge is also pure physics, the bridge is just finely balanced so that a minor bump makes it shift its balance and fall down.

The stones near the up-down platforms above the fire pit are purely decorative, the movement from them are wobble bolts attached to the circular suspension things.

The titular spiky stone of doom has a magnetic switch on it, yet that is only used to make the bridge collapse at the end.

Creating all these mechanics was very fun and challenging, yet my stone-driven inspiration has run out and Jack McSetback II won't have this sort of thing, it will have other cool mechanics though.

If my level hits 100,000 plays I'll republish it copyable and you all will be able to see how I did stuff.

Creative
01-23-2009, 12:41 PM
Awesome... :eek:

Risen
01-23-2009, 02:47 PM
At the beginning when you have to escape the trap, my first instinct was to run back from where I came in. I got stuck there and had to 'try again' because I ran the "wrong" way. It was sort of frustrating. Maybe the spiky ceiling could extend all the way to the door and kill you instead of trap you there?

Know that this is an extremely minor thing, but you did ask for that sort of criticism... I hope to give it another play soon and let you know what else I see.

Voltiare
01-23-2009, 10:35 PM
I played this and I thought it was pretty flippin sweet. I liked the physics puzzles and death defying traps. It made me feel like a regular Indiana Jones.

Nukemgreen
01-24-2009, 06:16 PM
This level, was, in a word, AMAZING.
Rock mechanics were beautiful, and the music suited the level pretty well. The chase scene was frikkin' INSANE. 5 stars and a creator heart. Can't wait for the sequel!



F4F: Long Road Home series

Wyth
01-26-2009, 06:22 AM
At the beginning when you have to escape the trap, my first instinct was to run back from where I came in. I got stuck there and had to 'try again' because I ran the "wrong" way. It was sort of frustrating. Maybe the spiky ceiling could extend all the way to the door and kill you instead of trap you there?

Know that this is an extremely minor thing, but you did ask for that sort of criticism... I hope to give it another play soon and let you know what else I see.

Yeah I see your point, I know this as a minor issue. You did not have to retry though, you can run into the spikes, which will kill you and make you respawn on a place so you can finish the level.

It would be best that the ceiling kills you but that's quite a bit of work to edit in it... I might think on emitting some fire there or something. Thanks for the comment :)

mostevilmilo
01-26-2009, 06:36 AM
I played this and is now one of my favorite levels. Loved everything from the story, to the ingenious traps and platforming puzzles, to the beautiful lighting and the incredible design :) I've always been a fan of the Indiana Jones-type premise, and this is the first LBP level I played that really captured that feel. The sense of danger, adventure, mystery, and a vast forgotten world just waiting to be explored was present all throughout the level.

5 stars, and a heart! :)

Wyth
01-26-2009, 09:12 AM
I get so many comments on the Indy feel, it's funny I did have it as inspiration but I didn't exactly build it to capture the feel.

My next level doesn't have the Indiana vibe going (I don't think so anyway) so I'm afraid if people aren't let down by that. I also don't have the traps (not like that anyway). I'm doing quite different things next time around. Regardless of that, would you like to see more Indiana style levels or would you want to see whatever I can come up with?

Nukemgreen
01-26-2009, 01:52 PM
I personally would love to see whatever you come up with. Chances are you'll come up with something even more awesome next time!

mostevilmilo
01-27-2009, 02:15 AM
Hey man, don't let what you think we expect from you dictate what you create next! You're the creator, you decide what to make! :)

We loved Jack McSetback because it was a great level, NOT because it had an Indy-feel, traps, etc. And if you create another great level, I'm sure people will like it too, whatever its theme or "feel". :)

Wyth
01-27-2009, 06:33 AM
Hehe, that mentality is great. I'll try to live up to it, until now I'm quite satisfied with what I'm making next.

Wyth
01-29-2009, 09:02 AM
I've updated the OP with a link and some text about my featuring on X-play.

Nukemgreen
01-29-2009, 01:37 PM
Grats on the X-play feature! That just goes to show how awesome this level is! Ooh, ever notice how at least 2 (human body and Jack mcSetback) of the levels were LBPC levels?

Wyth
02-02-2009, 01:38 PM
Grats on the X-play feature! That just goes to show how awesome this level is! Ooh, ever notice how at least 2 (human body and Jack mcSetback) of the levels were LBPC levels?

Thanks, It does seem however that no-one who sees the feature goes and play my level. I've not seen an increase in plays since then.

(Jack McSetback II building has now moved on to the grand finale)

NinjaMicWZ
02-05-2009, 12:17 PM
Ah, man... I played this a couple weeks ago with Voltiare, I just didn't know what it was and couldn't find it later to heart it. You know this level's awesome, man. The mechanics of everything are amazing, the aesthetics are pretty good, and the platforming is just plain FUN.

What impressed me most is how things are activated by chain reactions and styled in a way much like what would be the technology of an ancient people booby trapping their sacred grounds. That's one step closer to the full realization of a realistic and researched design, and something I haven't seen another level come close to in terms of conceptual planning. What it lacks in story and dialogue (something that I don't think levels always need and should never just be "tacked on" as an afterthought), it makes up for ten fold in play value.

You're doing great, and deservedly so. I meant to heart this a long time ago. What more can I say other than keep up the good work?

Wyth
02-05-2009, 12:49 PM
Thanks :). I didn't add much dialog, just a bit too keep you going because I think I'm not a great storyteller. I'm not sure if you think the level would benefit from more story/dialog.. could you elaborate?

As per realism and research: I didn't do any research or real planning to the concepts of the traps. I just thought: an ancient civ. didn't have pistons so how can I make this work without using winches/pistons or how to hide them from view. Mostly I really made it work without pistons because it's most fun that way :).

I does have it's limitations though so I'm a bit more loose on using those things in my next level, I still adhore to a certain style though. If it isn't a factory, I wont make platforms move around on pistons for no reason, that would illustrate my creation philosophy.

NinjaMicWZ
02-05-2009, 01:24 PM
Yeah, I didn't think that there was any research behind it, just that you put thought into it exactly how you said - native peoples in an ancient era would have done it this way. I like that design philosophy, alot.

I tried to do the same thing in my False Idols II level... I once had The Hand of God working without a visible piston, by mounting it to a moving piece up above the play area... but after accidentally saving over the file with a broken copy a long time ago I could never get it to work that way again and had to just go with a visible piston attached to the back... which I hated. Why would a divine power have a stick on the end? I finally got it to attach to an invisible dark matter piece in the right range to be set to 0 and not shatter to pieces.

Wyth
02-05-2009, 01:52 PM
Yeah, I didn't think that there was any research behind it, just that you put thought into it exactly how you said - native peoples in an ancient era would have done it this way. I like that design philosophy, alot.

I tried to do the same thing in my False Idols II level... I once had The Hand of God working without a visible piston, by mounting it to a moving piece up above the play area... but after accidentally saving over the file with a broken copy a long time ago I could never get it to work that way again and had to just go with a visible piston attached to the back... which I hate. Why would a divine power have a stick on the end?

Ahaha, I see a ridiculous story line bein born right here :). I'll play your level after I've finished the Killzone demo tonight and check it out. You could stick a cloud to the hand to hide the piston, or use the thin layer in between thing.

frizby
02-05-2009, 10:02 PM
I played this one quite a bit ago and hearted it. I'm pretty sure it's my favorite community level I've played to date.

I especially appreciated the complex mechanics, and I was ashamed that I would have taken shortcuts in almost all of them. I immediately used two of your prizes in my own level just because I thought they were great.

Wyth
02-06-2009, 08:57 AM
I played this one quite a bit ago and hearted it. I'm pretty sure it's my favorite community level I've played to date.

I especially appreciated the complex mechanics, and I was ashamed that I would have taken shortcuts in almost all of them. I immediately used two of your prizes in my own level just because I thought they were great.

Thanks. May I ask which prizes you used?

P.s. does no-one have any points of critique that I can use to better this and/or my next level?

frizby
02-06-2009, 11:37 AM
OK, one small thing that I struggled with...which you may have done purposefully:

I'd consider putting a small lip at entrance at the top of the long lifts. It was aggrevating to fall to the bottom...especially in two player.

I used the closing door (slightly modified) and the springing spikes on an early Indiana Jones level I was working on...added them in after it was published and thought you captured the Indy vibe MUCH better than I did. The level is rough by your standards, but if you want to check it out, it's called Sackboy Jones.

Also, if you're a LOST fan, you might like Little LOST. It's a bit more indicative of where I'm at in terms of figuring out the tools.

PSN name is same as username: frizby

Wyth
02-09-2009, 12:43 PM
Ah, the lift section. That piece gave me more headache than I had ever anticipated. Not mucht to do about it, a lip would bump into the platform knoking it about and all that. I would be able to fix it but that would be too much of a rebuilt at this moment. Thanks for pointing that out as annoying though, I'll make sure not to make such a lift again :D.

Cool that you used the door and the pop-up thing :). I'm wondering if I'll ever randomly encounter something I made.

Snake8035
02-09-2009, 04:12 PM
Amazing work Wyth, This is my joint number 1 level on LittleBigPlanet, I never get tired of replaying it, it stays fun, and it truly deserves to be sitting on the highest rated page. Great level design, great custom traps and obstacles, and looks beautiful. I eagerly await the sequel and hope it lives up to the first one :) Keep up the good work.

Inspectigater
02-13-2009, 05:48 PM
Alright Wyth. The first thing I have to say is that I am just dying to play Jack McSetback II. Why? Because last night I played the original and it was absolutely splendid! I mean really, it was great! I've said it before, but I'll reinstate here. I usually play LBP with my wife, so almost any level I play, I play from a 2+ player perspective. There are a lot of levels out there that simply do NOT play nice with more than one player, and this is not one of those levels. The whole level was a blast. I played it with 4 people, and we loved it! So, here's some feedback.

Level Design: The general temple theme of this level was very nice. Not only did it look fantastic with reoccurring theme's (like the crescents) but the lighting was fantastic. The lighting truly immersed you into the level. It was bright, but not overly bright. It really captured the feeling that you were in a temple lit by torches or something. The traps were very well designed and made our little sackboys panic and run away!! And, not only were they well designed, there were a lot of them! It's not uncommon to find one or two neat traps in a level like this, but that's typically all you get. One trademark cool trap, and the rest of the level is meh. Yours just kept them coming. Every time you finished one it was mere moments until you found yourself in another creative scene. If you weren't in a trap you were in a very well decorated section between them.

Level Execution: As far as level playability goes, I'd have to say it was very good. Not excellent, but very good. The only reason I say that is because of the speech bubble zones. While I ran away from the trap in the beginning, I got through the door on the right and then the speech bubble popped up, effectively cutting off the control of the players, leaving 2 players stuck behind the door (yet safe from the trap). This forced them to run into the hazard so they could spawn on the opposite side of the door. Speech bubble zones are very typical of this, so it's certainly forgivable, it's just sad when they cause your players to be killed in a situation they otherwise wouldn't have been.
The level played beautifully for multiplayer. The part where you get shot upwards via a falling stone was very well done. The ledge wasn't so high that the players became separated (a very common occurrence), and the platforms were big enough for all players to easily fit on, without creating a tight blob of sackpeople. There were also other places where instead of hanging just one sponge, you hung three, making it much easier for multiple people to get across.
I found very few places where you got stuck somewhere that you shouldn't have been... in fact I can't even remember one. So great job on that part.

Overall: No question in my mind, 5 stars and a biiiig ol' heart. This level was fantastic from start to finish. The only real downfall was that it was too short... and that has nothing to do with content of the level, but everything to do with the fact that you become so engrossed in playing this level that time just flies by. Awesome visuals, awesome gameplay, very multi-friendly. This is one of those levels that people aspire to make. Well done Wyth, you deserve it.

Wyth
02-18-2009, 10:55 AM
Just bumping this because I'm chosen by IGN in their newest level lovers anonymous: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/954/954711p1.html.

Also: my new level is up, most would have seen it by now but anyway. It's in my sig and has it's own thread around here.

CCubbage
02-18-2009, 10:45 PM
Hey, congrats on the IGN page! I was all excited... I was thinkin', like, "you know, just not enough people have played the first Jack McSetback game. I WISH to goodness this game would get more attention". Then, my prayers were answered!

I think the only thing left for this level to aspire to is for sudden world peace to ensue - as a result of everyone playing this level so much there's no time for blowing other people up!

(for real, now - Media Molecule should just package this game with LittleBigPlanet - I think people playing this game is what's been taking down their servers)

iiiijujube
02-19-2009, 12:02 AM
Played this one a while back, beautiful tone and story.

Wyth
02-19-2009, 06:24 AM
Hey, congrats on the IGN page! I was all excited... I was thinkin', like, "you know, just not enough people have played the first Jack McSetback game. I WISH to goodness this game would get more attention". Then, my prayers were answered!

I think the only thing left for this level to aspire to is for sudden world peace to ensue - as a result of everyone playing this level so much there's no time for blowing other people up!

(for real, now - Media Molecule should just package this game with LittleBigPlanet - I think people playing this game is what's been taking down their servers)

Ahahaha, don't overdo it, I might develop an ego ;). My goal is indeed to get featured by MM, although they tend to go for less known levels. Might get a chance with the sequal though. I DO have an interview with a PR company working for Sony tonight... I'll let you guys know how it went :).

mostevilmilo
02-19-2009, 01:45 PM
Wow! Congratz!! You deserve it. XD

xkappax
02-21-2009, 01:16 PM
I just wanted to pop in here to tell you that I really enjoyed the mechanics of this level. I am a fan of nontraditional things, and you did some really neat things that were out of the ordinary. Great job!