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View Full Version : Yes, use F4F Contrast - A Single Player Puzzle/Platformer (Spotlighted)



Ali_Star
03-29-2013, 05:23 PM
http://i5.lbp.me/img/bl/2f59c0db2baf40e8d31d8bad7add7f77129c6851.png

http://lbp.me/v/de8yfj

Hello everyone. It's been a long time since I released a level, but my next masterpiece is finally ready. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:


CONTRAST

Contrast is a puzzle platformer designed to make your head spin, and your mind melt. It's based on (well.... more like a shameless rip-off :p) the internet flash game 'Shift'.

The idea is simple -get from the entrance door to the exit door. Getting to the exit door, however, is not always so simple.

Features include:

- A wonderful main menu


http://i8.lbp.me/img/ft/658357ea8647761c577eb54c7dad42cc59890bf0.jpg

- A level select


http://i8.lbp.me/img/ft/d78108c9f8ec2cf897394b7db836737bb5aba939.jpg

Since the level is quite long, I included the option to save your progress and come back to where you left off at a later date.

- An in-game menu


http://ic.lbp.me/img/ft/76c39239fb31bafc8e3fff2616cb03ede3d18837.jpg

- And some ACTUAL GAMEPLAY (who knew?)


http://i5.lbp.me/img/ft/5051eb63e0a1561cfbfd992926743728b0a4bf05.jpg

http://id.lbp.me/img/ft/d2d1bb7ae843867bea8cc4baa9ba09bf8d9d8862.jpg

http://ib.lbp.me/img/ft/1cbf301782a6dc396e5f4fd1413888b5944d291f.jpg

The level also features music from some of your favourite creators, and also by myself (sorry).

Feedback is always appreciated, and of course I will give some in return if needed. Please report any bugs to me, and most importantly, I hope you enjoy the level. It took me a very long time to make, so it's great to finally get it out there. I hope that players do play it right through to the end, there are some nice gameplay twists in the later levels and I'd like everyone to experience it all.
http://lbp.me/v/de8yfj

biorogue
03-29-2013, 07:05 PM
in the queue she goes.

cradle2grave
03-29-2013, 07:54 PM
Wow, it looks amazing. I've got it queued up :D

thespacemonkey187
03-30-2013, 08:01 AM
This gets a thumbs up from me! I will put this in my silhouette Hub, as soon as i can find the room. lol. Great work :)

craigmond
03-30-2013, 11:18 AM
I've played it and all I can say is, the pictures don't do it enough justice.

The gameplay was really terrific, and as you further progress you have to use your mind a lot more to work out how to reach the end of the level, which gives it a brilliant challenging aspect which many levels now-a-days, are missing. The sheer amount of work that has gone into the level is amazing, the amount of logic that must have been used I can't imagine, mainly because I don't do logic myself, but I'd imagine even for those who use it, it's a tremendous amount. The Sackbot works pretty seamlessly as well, the controls work very well and are easy to remember, my only problem with the sackbot is that, at times it can be a tad over-senstive but it really isn't that major a problem.

The level design and overall look of the level was very creative and well done. Even through the more challenging levels, where there is more going on, the design remains slick and good to look at. The different 'buttons' are designed well and it's easy to remember what each one does. The start menu is great too, but the level select tab is one of my favorite parts of this level. It allows you, during the game, to save and exit the level. This means that when you go to level select, after placing your level sticker on the area at the start. You can start again from where you left off.

So overall I'd have to say this level is superb. I don't normally play levels anymore, however this one leaves me asking why. So to sum up, a great effort which really pays off. Well done :D

avundcv
03-30-2013, 12:30 PM
I did the mistake and tried to play it with a mate :)
Be sure I'll come back as single player :)

H-O-S-M-A-R
03-30-2013, 01:58 PM
Got into queue

dolphins-r-lame
03-30-2013, 08:02 PM
Looks great! Played shift on my phone and really liked it. Queued!!!

Ali_Star
03-31-2013, 12:44 PM
Wow, it looks amazing. I've got it queued up :D


This gets a thumbs up from me! I will put this in my silhouette Hub, as soon as i can find the room. lol. Great work :)

Cheers chaps, let me know your opinions. Do you have any levels you want me to play?


Got into queue

Thanks, will make sure to play your level too, though I'm not really a fan of Megaman.... played a bit on my friend's SNES about 15 years ago, that's it. :D


Looks great! Played shift on my phone and really liked it. Queued!!!

Cheers. I actually played it first on the PC a few years ago. There's actually a level creator within the game, and I had created about 7 or 8 levels or so, a couple of which I've put in my LBP level (levels 21 and 22).
I actually had the idea to create this level about a year and a half ago, using a holo character. This was before they brought out the Muppets DLC with the attracto tweaker. This obviously helped a lot!

Anyway, if you do like my level please spread the word :). I'm not expecting a massive amount of plays, but I'd at least like an amount to make the last year's creation time worth it. :(
I don't even think anyone's completed it yet... but hopefully some people will come back to finish the rest of the level off and don't just forget about it when they're only half done.

BTW, if you do play the Endurance mode and manage to get 25,000 points (this is quite tough), I chuck in a couple of nifty prizes. ;)

Kalawishis
03-31-2013, 11:09 PM
YOU
YOY

Queued.

LeLotusBleu
04-01-2013, 06:19 PM
It's a black & white design platform puzzle, with special command L1 to switch from black to white & R1 to grab bubble item to unlock paths.
There's also the arrows which change the angle of view & play of the player

There's 30 levels with a save system based on sticker from the menu (pressing square), that way you can stop & come back from last progression ^^.

More you'll progress more complex & difficult it'll get.

Btw there's also on the last levels (i didn't finish all 30 levels yet , i must be at 27 or 28 currently), some genuine different gameplay idea but i won't spam you to let you the surprise, i'm talking about the serie of levels, toward the end, which are based on the same one (people who played Contrast will understand).

Ungreth
04-01-2013, 10:26 PM
First off, the presentation here is immaculate, very professional. Could be a PS3 mini. The retro visual style takes me back to the days when I loaded up my games on cassette and had to listen to a cacophony of screeching "nee-naw" noises before I could play them. The gameplay was innovative, well designed, and you clearly put a lot of thought into the challenge of each room. Your logics were technically proficient to say the least, and no bugs that I could spot.

Now...I have really crummy internet so whatever level I play on LBP there's always some lag. In this level I didn't get much of it, but there was just enough to make the precision jumping over spike pits feel like a nightmare from hell. Not your fault of course, but it did hinder my enjoyment of the level. The sections I got the most enjoyment out of were the puzzle-centric ones with fewer death hazards, like the spiral maze (and the level after it) where you had to switch between the positive and negative, turning the level upside down. A great mechanic there which really distinguished the level.

Eventually though dying on spikes for the millionth time because of my laggy internet caused me to quit, but you got my yay and heart anyhow. Great fusion of retro style and novel game mechanics.

Ali_Star
04-02-2013, 08:53 AM
Btw there's also on the last levels (i didn't finish all 30 levels yet , i must be at 27 or 28 currently), some genuine different gameplay idea but i won't spam you to let you the surprise, i'm talking about the serie of levels, toward the end, which are based on the same one (people who played Contrast will understand).

Thanks for your comments. There are some more surprises towards the end too. :D


Eventually though dying on spikes for the millionth time because of my laggy internet caused me to quit, but you got my yay and heart anyhow. Great fusion of retro style and novel game mechanics.

Normally, I'd recommend to people to play through all the stages, however some of the later stages might result in more lag for you. Although it doesn't look like it when you play, there's quite a lot of logic/objects involved in each stage, so my fear was that it would result in problems for slower connections.

Thanks for your review, much appreciated. :)

LeLotusBleu
04-02-2013, 10:30 AM
Unfortunately i'm stuck on lvl 28, and it's not too much my thing (maybe same thing half short would be ok for me ...) coz it's more technical playing than puzzle like most of the others, so it's a bit frustrating so near the end :(

Will retry it in with better mood =^.^=

bonner123
04-02-2013, 03:17 PM
I will check this out, it looks really cool. I never played Shift, could you explain what it is?

peoriaspitfire
04-02-2013, 09:00 PM
This looks great and is in my queue. Since I'm old, these graphics still look great to me! ;)

I love that you made a "save sytem" here. Great idea!

HellYeah1982
04-02-2013, 09:52 PM
i love this kind of games, queued!!!!

RickRock_777
04-03-2013, 02:20 AM
I played this for the first time last night. I enjoyed how the puzzles increase in difficulty as you move along. I also checked all the controls and I do have a question about the "Retry" option when using the "O" button. I depressed this a few times, expecting to be taken back to the entry door of the puzzle I was in, but all that happened was an audible tone. Can you please tell me what the Retry button is supposed to do?

I enjoyed the level and the concept, especially the moving between the black and white zones to progress. The little Sackie pointer you used for the menu was humorous and a nice detail. I do have some reservations regarding your Intro, but it is more a personal preference item. I do plan to return and complete all the puzzles, so I can experience the gameplay in the later puzzles. Keep them coming. :)

L-I-M-I
04-03-2013, 02:25 AM
This was a great level, in regards to ungreth and lag. I don't think it is lag that causes the mis jumps but when running at full speed, it fails to jump when near the edge. This can be problematic for jumps that required near max jump distance.

Overall this was amazing Great Job, got my sticker ready to go when I continue :D

Ali_Star
04-03-2013, 08:29 AM
I will check this out, it looks really cool. I never played Shift, could you explain what it is?

It's flash game available online. There's also a Playstation Mini version.


I played this for the first time last night. I enjoyed how the puzzles increase in difficulty as you move along. I also checked all the controls and I do have a question about the "Retry" option when using the "O" button. I depressed this a few times, expecting to be taken back to the entry door of the puzzle I was in, but all that happened was an audible tone. Can you please tell me what the Retry button is supposed to do?


Yeah.... now that you've said that I've realised I didn't explain it very well in the level. You actually have to hold the button for (I think) 3 seconds. I can add a bit more description to the tutorial and the controls screen in the menu. Thanks for pointing that out.


This was a great level, in regards to ungreth and lag. I don't think it is lag that causes the mis jumps but when running at full speed, it fails to jump when near the edge. This can be problematic for jumps that required near max jump distance.

Overall this was amazing Great Job, got my sticker ready to go when I continue :D

With regards to the jumping, I seem to remember (was a long time ago :p) I had to put a fix in for the sackbot controls for the jumping because at one point I discovered that he could double-jump. I didn't want that happening. You can do late jumps though.

Another point to make regarding the movement of the sackbot (which HellYeah pointed out in an ingame review), in the game 'Shift' the character moves at a constant pace, so I made the decision to do it this way in my version. I suppose if I get a few more complaints about it, I can look into changing it.

Bonner made the comment about the shifting not working when close to the corner, again this is a necessary evil. The platforms for the white/black layers shift between each other via in/out movers between the back and middle layers. I had a problem near the beginning where shifting at a corner sometimes caused the sackbot to be pushed out of the level (into the front layer) by the object moving from the back to the middle, so I had to put in logic to stop that from happening.

EDIT: I've added a little more description in the controls screen for the Reset button. Also, for those who found the controls to be a bit too floaty, I'd recommend using the d-pad.

Kalawishis
04-04-2013, 11:12 PM
I played this just now. It's amazing!

I can only say what others have said.
I thought the logic, visuals, menus, and music were great. I thought the bot was annoying, and the fact that you slipped in controls without us noticing was too. But that's small potatoes. Great level, well worth the wait.

julesyjules
04-04-2013, 11:47 PM
Yes, a really great level, but the bots movement felt 'off' to me, almost like lag, but not quite. I dont think I would have noticed were it not for the precise jumps you've got going on here, and edging up to a ledge killed me a few times because the bot seemed to not move , and then move in an increment, rather than a smooth motion. WIll be replaying though. I got a savecode, but my community objects were off, doh. : /

peoriaspitfire
04-05-2013, 06:07 AM
I think everyone hit on the key yeahs and concerns here. I really enjoyed it until I got to a level with a few big jumps and small ledges and kept dying over and over. Wish I could recall which one for you. I took a picture, but I forgot to upload it. Overall, i think you have something great here and if you tweaked the bot or jumps just a bit it's a home run. One other small thing was that it felt like there were two intros and it probably only needed one. Maybe I'm crazy. :)

I'll stop back to give it and another go soon and check out your other stuff too.

Ali_Star
04-05-2013, 11:03 AM
I played this just now. It's amazing!

I can only say what others have said.
I thought the logic, visuals, menus, and music were great. I thought the bot was annoying, and the fact that you slipped in controls without us noticing was too. But that's small potatoes. Great level, well worth the wait.

The hints for that level mention the addition to the controls. And if you went through the tutorial, I said I reserve the right to change/add to the controls at any time.

Cruel? Perhaps.... but I tried to do as little hand holding as possible. :p



Yes, a really great level, but the bots movement felt 'off' to me, almost like lag, but not quite. I dont think I would have noticed were it not for the precise jumps you've got going on here, and edging up to a ledge killed me a few times because the bot seemed to not move , and then move in an increment, rather than a smooth motion. WIll be replaying though. I got a savecode, but my community objects were off, doh. : /

I can send you the sticker for the level you were up to, if you want?


I think everyone hit on the key yeahs and concerns here. I really enjoyed it until I got to a level with a few big jumps and small ledges and kept dying over and over. Wish I could recall which one for you. I took a picture, but I forgot to upload it. Overall, i think you have something great here and if you tweaked the bot or jumps just a bit it's a home run. One other small thing was that it felt like there were two intros and it probably only needed one. Maybe I'm crazy. :)

I'll stop back to give it and another go soon and check out your other stuff too.

With regards to the movement, has anyone tried using the d-pad? Some may find it easier, especially when trying to move in smaller increments. I would like to change the controls, but it may be a bit difficult. I tried to match the speed of the character in the flash game, as well as jump height/length. To do this, I've set sackbot walking speed to 30%. The left/right directions activate tags. These activate positional sequencers with batteries at 90%. As such, it makes the sackbots move at constant velocity. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve this, and make the movement speed increase gradually please do let me know.

I'm sorry for causing frustration with the controls, was obviously not my intention, but everything is as it is for a reason.

I'll add a message to the controls mentioning that the d-pad may be preferable. But honestly, I've never had any issues with the left stick.... but maybe that's because I've done a shed load of testing and have just gotten used to it. :D

EDIT: @peoriaspitfire - what did you mean by 2 intros? Did you mean where it displays the title? If so, then the 2nd one (after the level link) is just to give the logic a chance to calculate scores (to determine if a level has been selected or you're in Endurance mode), which it'll do after ever level link.

pickled-punk
04-05-2013, 11:21 AM
Just played the first 17 stages. Loved it. Interesting puzzles with a very nice presentation. Bit of an Escher-thing. (I don't know the original game you've mentioned, so the idea seemed really original to me.)
The puzzles are just challenging enough, without becoming frustrating.
Jayed & hearted.
I will be back to try out the remaining stages.

peoriaspitfire
04-05-2013, 03:18 PM
With regards to the movement, has anyone tried using the d-pad? Some may find it easier, especially when trying to move in smaller increments. I would like to change the controls, but it may be a bit difficult. I tried to match the speed of the character in the flash game, as well as jump height/length. To do this, I've set sackbot walking speed to 30%. The left/right directions activate tags. These activate positional sequencers with batteries at 90%. As such, it makes the sackbots move at constant velocity. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve this, and make the movement speed increase gradually please do let me know.

I'm sorry for causing frustration with the controls, was obviously not my intention, but everything is as it is for a reason.

I'll add a message to the controls mentioning that the d-pad may be preferable. But honestly, I've never had any issues with the left stick.... but maybe that's because I've done a shed load of testing and have just gotten used to it. :D

EDIT: @peoriaspitfire - what did you mean by 2 intros? Did you mean where it displays the title? If so, then the 2nd one (after the level link) is just to give the logic a chance to calculate scores (to determine if a level has been selected or you're in Endurance mode), which it'll do after ever level link.

I’ll play it again and take some better mental notes for you regarding the intro and setup. Don’t sweat the controls too much, because it is going to be near impossible to please everyone. You are absolutely right that when you play your own level a trillion times during build and testing that every single movement becomes second nature to you. When someone else tries it for the first or second time, they are almost always going to be light years behind your skill at your level. I really liked this a lot and a you got a smile and heart from me. I would love to take a peek at the logic behind this one day as I think it would be really cool to see.

I almost forgot... I had to replay the level the first time I played, because when I got to the menu to select my controls it stopped functioning. It worked like a charm on the next go. I did read that note where you pointed out the fact that you reserved right to change controls and such and that made me laugh at loud. It would be funny to completely rearrange them or randomize them for even more rage! I’m Kidding! One more thing, I absolutely loved the intro with the typing text and your save system! Well done!

Ali_Star
04-05-2013, 04:35 PM
I’ll play it again and take some better mental notes for you regarding the intro and setup. Don’t sweat the controls too much, because it is going to be near impossible to please everyone. You are absolutely right that when you play your own level a trillion times during build and testing that every single movement becomes second nature to you. When someone else tries it for the first or second time, they are almost always going to be light years behind your skill at your level. I really liked this a lot and a you got a smile and heart from me. I would love to take a peek at the logic behind this one day as I think it would be really cool to see.


If you manage to get 25,000 points in endurance mode, you can get a dummy level and controls as a prize. :)
You actually get the level at 20,000 points and controls at 25,000 points. Admittedly this is quite tough, I might lower the totals.



I almost forgot... I had to replay the level the first time I played, because when I got to the menu to select my controls it stopped functioning. It worked like a charm on the next go.


What do you mean by "stopped functioning"? Not really sure why that would happen, but if you have any more info (including what level you were on - a description will do) I might be able to look into it.



I did read that note where you pointed out the fact that you reserved right to change controls and such and that made me laugh at loud. It would be funny to completely rearrange them or randomize them for even more rage! I’m Kidding! One more thing, I absolutely loved the intro with the typing text and your save system! Well done!

*Expression turns to shifty, concludes with maniacal laugh*. I'll say no more. ;)

peoriaspitfire
04-05-2013, 06:22 PM
What do you mean by "stopped functioning"? Not really sure why that would happen, but if you have any more info (including what level you were on - a description will do) I might be able to look into it.

It stopped working at the screen where you select the mode... it has the sackboy on the side that you control that goes up and down to select endurance, etc... It's one of your screenshots in your promo.

Ali_Star
04-05-2013, 11:07 PM
It stopped working at the screen where you select the mode... it has the sackboy on the side that you control that goes up and down to select endurance, etc... It's one of your screenshots in your promo.

Hmmm.... odd. I've obviously tested this a gazillion times and have never had a problem. Did it just freeze? Not load? Although this is the only mention of any problem, ideally I'd like there to be zero bugs!

Thanks to everyone for playing my level, by the way. Seem to have some good comments and ratings by some genuinely good creators which is very pleasing indeed. Just only wish I had enough people playing my level to justify the effort that has gone into playing it. We're talking about a years worth of work here. For < 90 plays it's not worth it in the slightest. Next time I'll just make an attractive, but boring platformer with little LBP-gameplay innovation. That's bound to get me noticed.

Turkeyntz
04-08-2013, 08:50 PM
This is fantastic right from the start. The menus are very well made ( although a suggestion I would make is when you switch between menus use the fade option rather than pan so you don't see your other menus along the way )

I really like the difficulty progression as well, especially the "evolving" controls. The first time I used shift my mind was totally blown, and just continued on from there. With every passing level you seem to learn something new, which feels very rewarding (something most LBP games lack in)

The option to continue your progress is great, adds great replay value (obviously lol)

I hope to continue my progress soon and see if this game will make my brain explode XD

I would rate this 5/5 stars and recommend for Mm pick for great visuals, wonderful progression, sweet menus and delightful tunes.

EDIT:


Just only wish I had enough people playing my level to justify the effort that has gone into playing it. We're talking about a years worth of work here. For < 90 plays it's not worth it in the slightest. Next time I'll just make an attractive, but boring platformer with little LBP-gameplay innovation. That's bound to get me noticed.

Sadly I know the feeling all to well.. You can pour a ton of time and effort into something and only a handful of people ever experience it, when bomb survivals and lousy "mortal kombat" levels get 10000+ plays in no time flat.. I suppose if we made those kinds of levels people may stumble across our other games lol

Ali_Star
04-09-2013, 08:26 AM
This is fantastic right from the start. The menus are very well made ( although a suggestion I would make is when you switch between menus use the fade option rather than pan so you don't see your other menus along the way )

I really like the difficulty progression as well, especially the "evolving" controls. The first time I used shift my mind was totally blown, and just continued on from there. With every passing level you seem to learn something new, which feels very rewarding (something most LBP games lack in)

The option to continue your progress is great, adds great replay value (obviously lol)

I hope to continue my progress soon and see if this game will make my brain explode XD

I would rate this 5/5 stars and recommend for Mm pick for great visuals, wonderful progression, sweet menus and delightful tunes.


Thanks :D.

I would be delighted if you could continue your progress. Out of all the people who've played it so far, only a VERY small % have actually gotten through to the latter stages. That's where my best levels are, people! Do iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! :p

I guess that's the problem with my level though, most LBP gamers haven't got the time to play really long levels, due to the fact that there are 100s of other levels to play.

EDIT:




Sadly I know the feeling all to well.. You can pour a ton of time and effort into something and only a handful of people ever experience it, when bomb survivals and lousy "mortal kombat" levels get 10000+ plays in no time flat.. I suppose if we made those kinds of levels people may stumble across our other games lol

Indeed. You'll have to excuse my mini rant though. It was ever-so-slighly alcohol induced. :p

dolphins-r-lame
04-10-2013, 06:18 AM
Ok! So first off i have to say i love this level! The game shift has been one of my favorite apps for a long time, its challenging and addicting. Your spin off of it is pretty top notch! Everything from the intro to the end was really smooth (although there needs to be music during the tut) and that worked so well! It is literally a felony that this level was so under played 2 weeks ago, but now i see it got in lbn picks, congrats! 10/10!

PS: i played this level a while back sorry if i criticized smthn u fixed!

Ali_Star
04-10-2013, 08:15 AM
Ok! So first off i have to say i love this level! The game shift has been one of my favorite apps for a long time, its challenging and addicting. Your spin off of it is pretty top notch! Everything from the intro to the end was really smooth (although there needs to be music during the tut) and that worked so well! It is literally a felony that this level was so under played 2 weeks ago, but now i see it got in lbn picks, congrats! 10/10!

PS: i played this level a while back sorry if i criticized smthn u fixed!

Thanks. :D

I'm quite happy for the tutorial to remain music-less at the moment. The quiet before the storm. ;)

What I am finding annoying is that, even though I'm getting a lot more plays, quite a lot of people are just playing the menu.... then not even bothering playing 1 stage (the first stage starts after a level link)..... yet no bugs have been reported. Strange.

FreeAim
04-14-2013, 03:57 PM
What I am finding annoying is that, even though I'm getting a lot more plays, quite a lot of people are just playing the menu.... then not even bothering playing 1 stage (the first stage starts after a level link)..... yet no bugs have been reported. Strange.

It looks like you need some constructive criticism! I was not going to play this at first, but now I just have to. No offence to you, I just don't like very long levels/games in general. I will play this and give the best feedback I can.

Ali_Star
04-14-2013, 06:52 PM
It looks like you need some constructive criticism! I was not going to play this at first, but now I just have to. No offence to you, I just don't like very long levels/games in general. I will play this and give the best feedback I can.

My point was that a lot of people seem to be playing it..... then giving up at the main menu, before they even start any actual gameplay. There are some very odd players out there, that's for sure. :p

I look forward to one of your lengthy reviews. :D

FreeAim
04-15-2013, 06:29 PM
Oh, it looks like you have seen some of my earlier reviews then? Well, I can happily tell you that this is my longest review to date. But oh boy, was this a difficult level to review...

In all honesty, I have never played another level with the same amount of content in it. I played this for solid TWO. HOURS. And I am still not finished. I was not ready for that... However, if a level/game is as long as this, it needs to be well enough executed to hold the momentum the whole time. This game really does that, but it is not perfect. Not even close, but it is an engaging level and worth every second put into it.

Now, the first things first. I don't like simple visuals personally, so it's difficult for me to review them on how pleasing they are to eyes. Here I have to review the visuals based on how well they are executed, so this might get a bit technical at one point. The best thing about the visual style is the sackboy you play with, believe it or not. It's not that it just looks really really good with the lighting, the moment you flip into the black area the sackboy turns white. I loved that effect, visually and execution wise. The simple enough style doesn't allow much creativity, however, but here every bit is made with extreme care. So good job on pulling out monotomic but awesome visuals here. It creates a great contrast into its complex gameplay, heh.

Now, audio-wise this level is pure awesome. The sound effects are always there when they need to be, but they were never overused. The music-tracks were very good too. However there is a missed opportunity here that would have really added to the level, and is the reason I can't rate the audio here a full 10/10. Why are we not allowed to swap music tracks from the options menu? It's hours long, for crying out loud! It needs to have fun stuff in it so it doesn't get repetitive and the custom music tracks would have really added to gameplay as well!

Now, the gameplay is the most important thing here, as it is what you are going to do for hours if you choose to take this level on. How is it? Well, it's good, but it's also a mixed bag. The way you introduce the different mechanics is brilliant and they all feel relevant. It's quite difficult to pull off, but you did it like a champ here. There were some creative puzzles here, that on their own I would not hesitate to call the best things I have played since the Lamb & Wolf by Ungreth. Some of them also feel like jigsaw puzzles. Really good jigsaw puzzles.

However, there is a flipside to this, offering some of the most... I don't even know the adjective. Some of these puzzles/stages feel very untested and some are just a pain to play. These are the ones that concentrate more on platforming. While the second stage was playable (no competition to some of the puzzles to come later on) some of these just felt terrible to play, including one of the early game stages (I don't know, stage 5 or 6?) with you having to make VERY long leaps. It just felt out of place and uninspired and was the worst stage among with the one where you grab the ceiling and swing to the other side VERY SLOWLY. If they made the level by themselves, I would give them 2/10, they were just terrible! The best puzzle was the one where you change the locations of the three pieces. That's a very good example of what I call PERFECT gameplay right there.

However, this level is worth playing just to see the creative puzzles to come later. I was stuck at that "Name of the game" stage, because I couldn't make the jump over the spikes that (I think) were required to reach the numeral "2." Really annoying. I saved the game there if you are going to tell me how that puzzle works. Oh, that reminds me, on a side note, the hints were completely useless here. Really, maybe just make it so that an arrow appears pointing at the thing you should aim for at the moment you press the triangle or something, if you feel like the hints are necessary.

However, this level is engaging, it has some of the best gameplay I have played in a long while and some of the very worst also, but it shouldn't distract enough to keep this level from being great. Also, I have not cursed at a game this much since... I don't know, Kinect?


Visuals: 8/10
Audio: 9/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Conclusion: 8/10 Awesome!

It is a great concept for a great game you have here, but the unnecessary platforming really distracted from the experience. If you disagree with anything I said here or feel like I was unjust and a point or two, please, feel free to comment on that. Also know, that these are only what I feel need fixing and there are certainly people who love the platforming parts of the level as well. :)

-FreeAim

Ali_Star
04-15-2013, 08:29 PM
Crikey! Where to start.... tell you what, instead of quoting your whole response, I'm just gonna go paragraph by paragraph.

1) Yeah... that's the reason why I included the save game feature. Wasn't an afterthought, I'd planned it from the start. It takes me (bear in mind how much I've actually played the level during testing etc) about 45mins to complete!

2) My lack of skill in aesthetic design didn't hamper my ability to make this level visually appealing thanks to the simple look of the game. I had toyed with using different colours every now and then, but decided against it.

3) Again, something I had thought about, but to keep the thermo down I limited the music in each sub level.

4) I'm glad you like the puzzles, I put a lot of effort into the design, and really pushed my creative juices for some of the latter stages especially. I just kept coming up with new ideas and had to implement them. Most of the stuff I wanted to go in, did go in. I did want to have moving platforms, but it was just impossible to do, logically.

5) Now this is the part that I REALLY have to refute. A LOT of testing went into this level, A LOT. Admittedly some of the earlier stages are quite plain, but a) I wanted to ease the player into it, and b) I didn't want to create level after level of complex puzzle, I wanted to vary it as much as I could. I probably could've made the 2nd stage easier.... perhaps I could go back and make some of those jumps more do-able, but I needed to introduce the jumping mechanics and prepare the player for later stages. I quite like the swinging level. Again it's a bit of a change (nothing in the "real life" flash version like that), and I quite like the fact that when you flip the level around, your sack is actually swinging upside-down. One of those "I wonder if this would work" ideas I had during creation. Which was the one with "very long leaps" you mentioned?

6) Yeah, the jump over the spikes there is tough. Very tough in fact. The trick is to wait until the sackbot dips slightly off the edge. Same with the jump across the gap to where the no. 2 is. What do you mean by "the moment you press triangle"? I did want to include added hints here (as per other levels), but the fact that the sub titles already take up the text option, and you can't have both subs and speech bubbles at the same time, it just looked a bit messy when you pressed the hint button.

7) Well... I really can't see how you can think it has some of the worst gameplay you've every seen. Uninspired early stages? Perhaps. Frustrating? Definitely! It was frustrating at times to create too! I really respect your honesty though, and the time you've put in to play my level. Very much appreciated. I'm glad I made you curse, it's supposed to be a challenge. I didn't put over a year into making this level for people to just doddle through it with ease. :p

Food for thought for me, at least. I'm not gonna make any wholesale changes based on what you've said, but will go back to make stage 2 a tad more friendly. Even I find some of those jumps difficult at times. Like I said, I wanted to make this level challenging, which I did.... probably went a little far at times, but sod it. It is what it is and I'm massively proud of what I created.

FreeAim
04-16-2013, 05:41 AM
While I can't say that the obstacles here were uninspired, the only ones I actually hated were the ones that really requiredof long jumps or ceiling-swinging (in my opinion the worst and most unimaginative gameplay this game has to offer). However, I can look past that because some of the stages are absolutely perfect that actually mess with your head in a cool way.

The one with very long leaps was either 5 or 6, where you first have to go get the ball from the right, then jump back over the spikes to left, drop down, go to the flipside and then make the enormous leap over the two pieces of spikes.

Also know that 8/10 is not just very good, but it's, as I said, awesome. What I would concentrate more on are the individually rated aspects. I would prefer a level with 10/10 gameplay and 6/10 visuals over one with 6/10 gameplay and 10/10 visuals any day. If I say I will return to play a level, that is a very positive sign. I don't do that very often.

You may actually have an extra point for the execution of the save-system. That's pure brilliance and very much required.

Also, I may have exaggerated a bit when I said the worst I have seen in a while. I don't give lower score than 3/10 to any parts of gameplay that actually don't feel broken and annoying. However, these two stages I talk about are just painful to me, in a bad way. Difficulty is always good, but I don't think this is how it should be created into a level. My controller's pretty ****ty as it is, see, and I don't want to break it further by smashing buttons to make long jumps or to stay on the ceiling.


As I said, however, these are only my opinions and I know I can't expect people to fix something just because I say so. I am glad however, that you are taking my advice into account when fixing things here. That's the best feedback a... person who gives feedback can get.

-FreeAim

Edit: I'd like to add that having to press the same button multiple times in a row with the controller makes my hand hurt. So there's another reason.

Ali_Star
04-16-2013, 08:33 AM
Perhaps I could put in a few extra hints to help with the long jumps, but I don't want to be making any changes to the levels that involve shifting because they take a LOT of work.... which is another one of the reasons I didn't include more of the complex puzzles and tried to break it up with easier levels like the swinging one.