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Thegide
01-30-2009, 09:54 PM
Thegide presents....
A Thegide and NinjaMicWZ production....

Shadow Moses: Site B

Plot: "Following the events of MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, data analysis of GW's wreckage identifies another top secret project in the works on Shadow Moses Island. Snake returns to the Alaskan wasteland to infiltrate the research facility known only as 'Site B' in an attempt to seek out and destroy a new nuclear weapon threat"


Genre: Shooter/Platformer/Tactical Espionage Action (haha...)

Features:
- Intense paintinator action... whether it be enemies or puzzles, your trigger finger will be tested
- Story driven gameplay in an original MGS concept like you've never seen
- Stealth or Run 'N' Gun action, the choice is yours!
- 100% custom MGS-style content including gekko, electrified hallways, deadly laser grids, gurlokovich soldiers, innovative sentries, heavy artillery, security cams, and an all new Metal Gear megaboss that will blow your mind!
- Outdoor/indoor environments
- Single player and multiplayer minigames for a bit of fun to take the pressure off your mission at hand
- A totally sweet cardboard box

Screenshots (from development):

Electrified hallway puzzle:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3306/3239223775_ccd8fbe374.jpg

Gekko!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3440/3239223429_e818e0fed8.jpg

Multiplayer area:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3492/3239224947_bcf5ff4a5b.jpg


Added 2/20/09:

Shielded sentries:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3534/3294884069_c4fbc9f46a.jpg

Platforming section:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3462/3294884347_90fb72863e.jpg

Boss fight.... you'll have to see it to believe it!:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3424/3295708508_11253344e6.jpg

RockSauron
01-30-2009, 10:07 PM
looking good. can't really say much more then that, but... yeah. Coming along good from the looks of it.

DRT99
01-31-2009, 12:36 AM
Looks... AMAZING!
I need to play it.

I don't know if you're accepting suggestions for the level, but....
It looks like you're using the gekko as platforms, right?
Well, IF you want to make it a bit more challenging+realistic, why not use sprung bolts?
So when the player jumps on them, they kinda 'recoil' from the landing.

Voltiare
01-31-2009, 12:51 AM
Wow, looks pretty sweet so far. It looks very Shadow Mosesy from the screen shots.

Zorez
01-31-2009, 12:59 AM
Looks very good!! Cannot wait to try, thanks for the sneek peek.:)

Thegide
01-31-2009, 02:03 AM
Looks... AMAZING!
I need to play it.

I don't know if you're accepting suggestions for the level, but....
It looks like you're using the gekko as platforms, right?
Well, IF you want to make it a bit more challenging+realistic, why not use sprung bolts?
So when the player jumps on them, they kinda 'recoil' from the landing.

And what if I told you they were more than just platforms already :D

...moo.

BasketSnake
02-02-2009, 03:16 PM
Metal GEAR?!! It's capable of launching a nuclear weapon from any place on the face of the earth....if it fell into the wrong hands.....

DRT99
02-02-2009, 03:37 PM
And what if I told you they were more than just platforms already :D

...moo.

ok then, Just that I saw the platform to the right, and no visible forms of Motion or power on them, with the electricity underneath, so I thought you'd just have to jump on gekko to get past the area.
Obviously I've done something wrong! Don't know what to jump on anymore lol!

Thegide
02-02-2009, 04:15 PM
See, therein lies their beauty.

They LOOK like they do nothing. In fact, this assumption is scripted into the story. I won't ruin the surprise, but let's just say you're in for a bit of a surprise :)

Ninja is putting his flair to pimp up the boss right now. I haven't seen what he's been working on, I only sent him a partially functional skeleton. I do know that this is going to be spectacular!

I went ahead and put in the old MGS1 disc last night and got a few more ideas to finish the level off, as well as some styling ideas. As you can tell from the screencaps, I haven't done much with the level visually yet, and won't until the basic gameplay is secured. But for those of you that have played "The Idol of Palancthar," I think you know what kind of visual treat you're in for.

A few ideas are being tossed around now to make dwarf gekko, though due to their small size and relatively complex nature, I'm not sure if they will make it into the build.

I never expected to put so many hours into this one, but I finally got my creator's trophy on the weekend, and now the desire for quantity over quality is subsided. I don't care if this takes 200 hours, it's going to have to meet ridiculously high expectations ^^

CCubbage
02-03-2009, 04:47 PM
Aww geez. Never got to get in there and help play test with you the other night... need to do that sometime.

Looks awesome.

DRT99
02-03-2009, 11:07 PM
AUGH!
Now mewants to know what gekkos Do!

Thegide
02-19-2009, 03:06 PM
Big updates...

After two months working on this on and off, I'm almost done. Some major progress in the last week has allowed me to finish off the level pathing and start detailing. Most of the lighting is done, and short of some work on the boss room, a few things to breakproof, sound fx, and some difficulty balancing, this thing is ready to roll out in beta form.

Ninja and I have put together a mind-blowing mech boss for you guys. Easily a week alone was spent in its design. If you're not impressed by it, I'll eat my Sixaxis...

I'm running about 3 bars shy of a maxed thermo even with extensive detailing already in place. I can count over 25 enemies & sentries through the pathing, so you'll have no trouble keeping your trigger finger happy. The gameplay is at your discretion - you can run n' gun and reap the rewards of bonus points from defeating enemies (at greater risk), or you can stealth your way through.

There are a couple of minigames to enjoy along the way, both 1-player and 2-player. You'll have to go hunting for secrets to gain access to one of them though.

Several platforming sections keep the gameplay fresh, though many still incorporate paintinator use.

I'll try to add some more pictures today, though I don't want to spoil all the fun.

NinjaMicWZ
02-19-2009, 08:08 PM
I finally got to play through what you have added in the last couple days, Gide... it looks amazing. A beautiful level, despite it's cold, metallic and geometric layout and design - trust me guys, this level is a work of mechanical art and when you see the boss we designed, your mind will be absolutely blown. Nothing else that anyone has published is even remotely close to it... of course, I do have some tricks up the old sleeve for future projects as always ;)

Thegide
02-19-2009, 09:20 PM
I finally got to play through what you have added in the last couple days, Gide... it looks amazing. A beautiful level, despite it's cold, metallic and geometric layout and design - trust me guys, this level is a work of mechanical art and when you see the boss we designed, your mind will be absolutely blown. Nothing else that anyone has published is even remotely close to it... of course, I do have some tricks up the old sleeve for future projects as always ;)

Thanks Ninja. I'm glad your connection was finally able to hold up long enough to get through it. I'm still not done playing with the layout of the final sections, but I won't disappoint.

It was really unnerving to try to build something so geometric as you say. I felt very constricted at first trying something like this and as you've seen, its taken a long time for me to figure out how to work with this type of environment. This is definitely a first time for me, and it's easy to second guess myself when I see levels like the "from siberia with love" series.


Right now the big question on my mind is how FUN is it? I tend to become so involved in my designs that I get desensitized to my own work and I find it hard to be objective. On the visual appeal side of things, no problem, but in terms of gameplay, I never really get "wowed" by my own stuff. I suppose this is because I spend so much time seeing it slowly develop as a creation it never gets to hit me all at once.

Now's the time for last-minute input... improvements, additions, criticisms, you name it. Brutal honesty on what's great and what sucks. I've got a laundry list of small fixes and such that need to be done, but I want to make sure that as far as entertainment goes, we're right on the money.

Anyways, you have my total gratitude for all the help and you know who to ask if you ever are looking for some help in return! Thanks man!

Sack-Jake
02-19-2009, 10:01 PM
Looks pretty schweet!

Did you get the Gekkos to move? I'm working on that right now, using the same kind of technology as the guy that made the really good walking REX. So far, I've gotten nowhere due to the length of the legs.

NinjaMicWZ
02-19-2009, 11:47 PM
Funny you should mention the "really good REX" - I showed celteen (the guy who created it) the Metal Gear I made before sending it to TheGide to improve on, and his reaction was "Jesus Christ!"

Thegide
02-22-2009, 08:15 AM
Closed beta is up. I need a couple of people for playtesters. PM or PSN me if you're interested in helping out.

New pics added 2/20, they're on the front page.

graygoose
02-22-2009, 09:20 PM
my feedback man...

this level is absolutely beautiful. its difficulty is challenging and its my kind of level...and thats a bad thing.... and im dead serious!

i compare this level's current difficulty, is on par to my Metal Gear Karas' "previous Difficulty"... and im telling you now your level even with its well designed aesthetic environtment... your going to get alot of complaints because its hard, i can already see your tags the same as mine when it got its first 200+ plays frustrating and tricky.

thats why my level is at its current state, having a big brilliant tag, you'll also see complaints and such in it... and it took me awhile to finally change my mind and make it easier... i even have a SUPER EASY MODE Continuation even now.. lol!

now here are my suggestions... and im telling you these will come up eventually if you dont fix em.

take all of your checkpoints and turn them into double life ones. also the laser beams that you have to go through, i used up 2 lives there and i could already tell many people losing all of their lives in it. widen them up a bit.

the rotating platforms that you have to shoot are quite challenging... slow em a bit.

your search lights are a little too fast.

after getting the electrified floors fixed--- the stairs up leads you to a big room wih a search light, but the stairs can cause you to change planes to where you get put all the way in the back where the search light is, which may cause you to be seen... and die.

youre talking tool seems off in some of your text bubbles, they fade before i get to see them.

end of suggestions...

your pluses....

like i said your level looks really good every component youve added fits.. i see you've used your elevator and your tweakable laser, nicely done man.

your METAL GEAR ZERO is stunning and towering, its also multi-staged as mine... i know youve had people help you with this but its brilliant work man.. i recommend this to skilled action gamers..

but at its current difficulty... youll end up getting complaints from novice to casual platformers.

goodluck buddy!:)

graygoose
02-22-2009, 09:23 PM
oh btw i know its closed beta, but i hearted anyway since i like the challenge.

Zommy
02-22-2009, 09:39 PM
wow looks greeat but i wanna know who the boss is lol i have a rough guess...

Thegide
02-22-2009, 09:59 PM
Really appreciate your notes goose, thanks.

I'm well aware that it's currently bloody difficult, and this is something I'm meaning to address as people tell me what they found too hard and what is just right.

The key to playing this one is patience, and that's not something I can expect from many players. The laser beams are a prime example. Perhaps I too will consider making an easy version of this level.

Point taken on the searchlights. Especially those in the beginning of the level...as it stands the beginning section is one of the more difficult areas, and that's called bad balancing.



after getting the electrified floors fixed--- the stairs up leads you to a big room wih a search light, but the stairs can cause you to change planes to where you get put all the way in the back where the search light is, which may cause you to be seen... and die.


Yes, there are two plane-changing glitches I still need to work out. This one, and there's another one at the shielded sentries after the fold-out bridge. The one you mentioned is particularly problematic because it can occasionally cause you to miss the cutscene that flashes up to the power box in the supply room. Edit: these should both be fixed now.

Some other issues from my own notes (Since, I'll be crossreferencing this thread, I may as well make some reminders for myself)

- the main elevator is sometimes not there. i think this is because the handle can be shot during the sequence with the ceiling sentries, but due to camera angles, i'm not sure. I've added a small fix which disables the elevator controls until the player reaches the elevator, but a particularly stupid person could still purposely send the elevator away forever.

- 2 player area now modified for better controls, but this is untested. also, there are no rewards for beating this minigame yet.

- the falling platform in the gekko room screws up your jumping afterwards

- the plane-shifting floor at the boss fight needs some work so that it's not much of a threat


wow looks greeat but i wanna know who the boss is lol i have a rough guess...

Did you see the pic on the first page? It's a totally original boss, not one you've ever seen before.

Zommy
02-22-2009, 10:02 PM
i wanna try it out lol how can i try it out?

Thegide
02-22-2009, 10:03 PM
I can send you a key for now.

I don't plan on keeping this locked for much longer. Just until I think most of the playability issues are addressed and it won't be receiving bad tags for high difficulty.

Zommy
02-22-2009, 10:25 PM
you can send keys?
i didnt know that and thanks the level looks to awesome to have to wait!

and oh it looks kinda like a metal gear rex without the big rail gun type thing well its deffinitely a mech thats for sure

Thegide
02-22-2009, 11:02 PM
Yes you can send keys. All you have to do is place one in a level and capture it, then you can send it to people on your friends list.


To receive a key, you download it from "LBP messages" which dumps it in your community items. From there, you have to place it in a level in create mode, then switch to play mode to pick it up.

Sack-Jake
02-23-2009, 02:27 AM
I'd love to try it out, I've really been looking forward to the outcome of this level.

Could you send me a key?

I can look at it tomorrow.

Zommy
02-23-2009, 09:40 PM
ok now i know how to send keys i just have to go play the level when i get a key xD

Thegide
02-23-2009, 10:33 PM
I've decided to scrap the key mailing and put them freely accessible with passcode.

Instead play the level "Thegide's Beta Keys". The passcode is 6482.

Zommy
02-23-2009, 10:41 PM
yey i gots a keys!

Thegide
02-23-2009, 11:25 PM
Ok, addressed a few more bugs. I've tried a fix for what goose mentioned about some of the text bubbles not appearing. The three to look out for:

- the bubble that pans to the upper path of the guardhouse at the beginning of the level
- the bubble that pans to the folding bridge after turning on both switches
- the bubble that pans to the power conduit in the supply room after reaching the locked door adjacent to the gekko area.

EDIT: ok, i've tried all the solutions i can think of. it seems to be caused by not dismissing other text bubbles before triggering these ones. if you stop and read the bubbles when they first come up, there seems to be no issues. the game seems to only ignore triggering mouths that are placed far away when there are several other messages in the queue. if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Furthermore, I've added some dialogue post-boss. I realize there are still issues with the plane shifting platforms during the boss fight, so don't worry about those yet. I've upgraded the checkpoint at the lasers to a double, and added another double checkpoint at the boss fight.

EDIT: plane shifting issues are addressed. i worked some fancy magic with mag key radii so that there is some overlap in the timing of the platforms, which means you should have no trouble changing planes unless you're really slow, in which case, by all means die ;)

Sack-Jake
02-24-2009, 10:06 PM
I played your level last night, and I loved it! The only thing I can complain about is a few of the speech bubbles. Some of them came up to fast and vanished before I could read instructions. The final boss was epic. I can tell a ton of work went into this.

Thegide
02-25-2009, 02:22 AM
Thanks SackJake. Yes, there are a couple of speech bugs that there is no apparent workaround for yet. If you could point out specifically which areas you noticed this in that would help.

From what I can tell, the speech bubbles disappear when the magic mouths are triggered by switch, but are physically far apart. Given that I use magic mouths to trigger cutscenes, this is a giant pain in my butt, because I have no way to control whether a speech bubble will last long enough.

Since a few people have pointed this out, I'll have to poll some other creators for solutions. Triggering remote mouths is an incredibly cool way to control story flow, but its buggy by game design, not my hands... and that sucks!

graygoose
02-25-2009, 09:21 AM
ill be referring to the text bubbles that disappear when in queue:

if theres just no way to get that text to stay there when its in a queue, theres 2 options i can suggest to you...

1. reword your sentences and make that come first in your queue. for example once triggered you first pan out to the one thats off screen, then say... what you just saw was something..something.

2. you can set another proximity switch after the first set, this would then pan out to your cut scene and the reader can then take all the time he/she wants to to read it.

hope that helps.

just curious tho, has anyone finished your level yet besides me?

Thegide
02-25-2009, 03:40 PM
The problem with #1 is that the exact same thing happens. If you pan out first... then the bubbles close to you disappear. There is no way to retain bubbles in the same queue if they are far apart.

#2 is a better solution, but also not immune, because if the player does not dismiss bubbles from the first switch before activating the second switch, the bubbles become queued, and the same song and dance all over.

The best solution I can think of is to place the remote bubbles under the control of their own switch, and locate this switch away from areas where other bubbles are likely to be triggered. This way the player will have *likely* cleared the queue. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any guaranteed foolproof solution. In my description I will probably tell users to read messages right away.

I've reworded some stuff, and regrouped some of the bubbles to make it work a bit better, at least for the critical text bubbles.

The fixed areas include: a) start sequence where it pans to the upper path; b) AA-gun 2x multiplayer area; c) gekko room door. I can't do anything about the pan to the bridge once it's moving again, but this is not a critical text bubble, so I will probably leave it as is. The text preceding it is short, so it should be triggered by most people.

I also fixed the censored text after the boss fight. The naughty word in question was "happened". I've changed it to "happening" which hopefully isn't censored.

Elbee23
02-26-2009, 06:25 PM
I haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread or playtest the level, but as requested this thread has been moved to the Level Showcase forums. From what little I have seen it does look very promising though. ;)

Thegide
02-26-2009, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the move Elbee.

Ok guys, it's unlocked. Go play the hell out of this level! This will be the first level I offer F4F on, and will do so for up to 10 levels.

Thanks for looking and enjoy! I'll try to have a video soon.

CCubbage
02-27-2009, 02:31 PM
OK - I did a solo of this level this morning.

You know, I've told people several times "Don't do a level similar to MGS unless you can truly do it justice. MM has done it well already". So, because this level uses the MGS materials and mechanics, it's hard not to draw comparisons.

However, I can safely say that I actually enjoyed this level MORE than the MM levels. For me, this is absolutely "the" definitive MGS game for LittleBigPlanet.

Honestly, this level was absolutely amazing. Every single part was (imo) perfectly constructed. The puzzles made absolute sense, you managed to get the "stealth" element of MGS down perfectly - once again better than MM in many cases.

One of the details I enjoyed about the way you handled the stealth - in MM's levels I always felt it was obvious with the search lights. With this level, I felt like I had to really pay attention when walking into an area. I didn't have a visual "screaming" an obvious "watch out for the search lights" at me.

The land mines were a FANTASTIC idea also.

Hidden treasures? Gives a lot of replay value - folks, there are a LOT of hidden things in this game. Don't just run through. Explore a little.

Now - my 2 favorite areas in the level:

1. Walking into the area with the army of robots standing on the floor - VERY cool looking and the surprise when attempting to get over the last one was priceless. One of those little "my heart skipped a beat" moments (by the way, we had jumped past this so quickly when I was play testing it with you I actually forgot it was going to happen - bonus!)
2. End end boss is GORGEOUS (nice job, Ninja!). Man, I wish I could build a machine like that! And once again, perfect execution - it wasn't too hard. You could figure it out if you watched what the boss was doing for a few moments instead of just running and gunning in (which, by the way, is another thing that kept with the theme of MGS).

What are the CONS I found? I may be missing something, but I sat there playing with my notepad at my side and I just couldn't find anything wrong.

Fantastic job - 5 stars and hearted!

DRT99
02-28-2009, 12:17 AM
Many creators have tried to create levels that are original, and fun to play, while still keeping variety, some of them have failed. Thegide is definitely not a failure.
Once in a while, A level comes along that is so good, It deserves a new word to describe how good it is; it isn't technically possible to describe it's awesomeness using the vocabulary of common mortals. This is one of those levels.
I have no idea where I left my four pages of pros, so Let me start of with a new word to describe the overall level:

-INCREDULOSPECTACULARPLAYTHISLEVELNOW. That doesn't even do it justice, but my brain hurts after seeing how amazing this level is.

PROS:
-Great looking.... errr.... everything in the level looks amazing, I'll just leave it at that.
-Variety- He's done an amazing job with this.
-Gekkos!- No, seriously. This level contains the most Incredibly amazing trio of gekkos I've ever seen.
-Puzzles- There are some minor puzzles included as a necessity to continue, and the insane puzzles are reserved for bonus content.
-Exploration-Mostly just for bonus material, but theres ALOT. You need a good eye if you want the #1 spot on scoreboard. Seriously, level 2 keycard had me looking for it for AGES.
-Cardboard box- Play the level. Seriously. I can tell this thing took more time to make than anything else in the level. It is by far better than the boss.
-I've run out of PROs-But I feel this level deserves soooo much more. I'm serious, I'm not doing it any justice, you need to see for yourselves.


CONs:
-Nonexistant- <-- Means they don't exist.



I made myself feel bad, honestly. I'm not doing the level justice. Play it yourselves, and see what a marvel Thegide has made.
And, ofcourse, 5/5+Heart.

On a side note, It was a joy to beta test the level for you, Thegide. (no need for F4F)

NinjaMicWZ
02-28-2009, 12:24 AM
I played through the final edition, finally with Vanemiera today, TheGide... I also published my original version of the boss by itself in a beta junkyard with some of my other unused stuff lol... never gonna use it, so I figured why not?

Anyway, man... the final playthrough, hassle free with everything in place, and with a 2nd player... the level feels so epic and complete. It's long and involving, but only as long as you make it and every step is full of variety to accompany it's mechanical precision and aesthetic polish the entire way. I also found the box this time... best box I ever did see, I reckon lol

The boss... I am so happy with what you did with her. Like I told you before, it's like you pimped my ride... if only we could make these babies walk, they'd conquer LBP and crush all other bosses under their feet. I don't think anybody else I could have worked with would have been able to handle the machine, let alone disassemble it, rebuild it as something new, and retool it to do what it finally was able to do.

DRT99
02-28-2009, 07:26 PM
That box is honestly beyond my creative ability, It's seriously amazing. It must have taken up half the therm, seriously. It may seem like the box is being over-hyped, it isn't. Honestly, The box is the highlight of all of LBP.

NinjaMicWZ
02-28-2009, 07:55 PM
9sNOZLt-IOk

The thing about the box in your level... is that it's just there. It's fan service, an easter egg... just there to be found, and completely unrelated to the main goal of the level. That's a key element of the MGS series that none of these MGS levels seem to grasp or be able to incorporate.

Thegide
02-28-2009, 08:29 PM
Oh that clip is classic!

And yes, you're absolutely right. It's simply there for the sake of putting a smile on someone's face when they finally see it. It doesn't matter that you can't use it for sneaking, it's there because the box is a staple of the MGS series, just like the codec ringtone and red exclamation points (which I was able to sneak in at the last minute at the camera zone).

I boldy called the level "the definitive MGS experience" because it was the experience I worked so hard to recreate. Like you said, the series is all about indulgences and distractions to keep the mood light hearted among the constrasting plot.

If the thermo limitations were non-existant, there is so much more I would still do in a heartbeat. And while I could make a sequel, the story doesn't really ask for one. I'm really happy with the end product, even if I did hit creators' block a hundred times in the process, and I certainly feel like I did the DLC justice hehe.

My only hope now is that I'm able to get some promotion behind this. The downside of so much time and effort is that MGS levels are no longer the "cool new thing", but I hope fans pick up on it anyways.

OCK
03-01-2009, 07:56 AM
I played this the other night, here are some thoughts:

I was immediatley discombobulated by your use of layers (in a good way). You have all these walls, fences, air vents etc that has the player weaving in and out of the different planes and I appreciated that many of these had hidden point bubbles. All of these also made sense in the context of the Metal Gear "experience" and there were plenty of opportunities to put my stealth skills to good use.

There was a fantastic overall polish to everything. Your material selection was perfect and true to the MGS pack MM put out. However, you managed to take these materials and use them in ways MM has not. The overall look of the level is industrial and although I would never classify that as "beautiful" it does look amazing and has it's own appeal.

There were a lot of cool details that made the level stand out. Your folding platforms were different, your key stickers were great (I wonder if anyone else noticed they are in the shape of Sony's memory stick lol) and the area with all those stacked boxes was brilliant. It can tell that each box was meticulously placed and the overall presentation is really specail. Oh, and the giant Foxhound logo? Classic.

The constuction of the Gekko's was spot-on and the last one boosting me up was a cool and unexpected surprise. The boss was simply incredible and in terms of attack patterns and moving parts probably the most complex I have ever seen.

This was an amazing piece of work that I have 5 stars and a heart! I wish I could offer suggestion but I encountered no problems and everything was perfect as far as I am concerned. Check out my lvl 218 if you get a chance and I look forward to your next project.

frizby
03-01-2009, 02:57 PM
First, an amazing level. Five stars and hearted and hearted creator.

I'm not a huge MGS fan. I loved the first one, but the whole idea of stealth gameplay just lost its appeal for me. thankfully, this level didn't rely on it too much.

Pros:

Loved the final boss. It was pretty easy to keep my distance and pick at it, but it was **** fun to just watch. Wow. Great job ninja.

Polish and depth throughout was remarkable. I'm not usually a huge fan of having to play between depths in LBP as it's not a strength of the game engine...but it's executed nicely here.

I had a lot of fun with the exploration.

Landmines get a thumbs up.

Detail on the gekkos was terrific.

The bridge was a terrific looking design.

Suggestions:

I got a little aggrevated once in the storage room with the angled box. I kept slipping down it and getting stuck under it. I'd consider just setting it flat on the floor, as the angle doesn't seem to add anything to the gameplay...or at least not enough to be worth the minor irritation.

It wasn't always clear what I was supposed to do. The jump into the vent was a bit of a leap of faith in that I didn't see the opening, and there were a few times that I'd activate a switch and wasn't sure what it did. The time where you jump behind the glass was one example. :confused:

In the place where you get the level one pass...suggest you make that a double life checkpoint. I'm a pretty decent platformer, and I struggled a bit getting back.

Thegide
03-01-2009, 07:44 PM
@OCK

I'm so glad you enjoyed this! 218 has been on my list to check out, I'll try to get to it tonight and leave you some feedback

@frizby

Yeah that angled box hasn't been sitting well with me either. I've worked on it once already, but I wanted to preserve some chord of disorder in the room. I'll see what I can do.

Regarding the electrified floor, when you shoot the switch, the camera pans to the glass where you can see the floor panel extending. I've noticed, however, this is dark and hard to see, so the eye doesn't tend to pick it up. I'm constrained by thin layers on either side, so I can't stick an LED light on the extending panel, however perhaps I can stick a very small fairy light in there to make it pop out a bit more.

I agree with you on the vent opening as well... the light is a little flat here.

These are all small improvements that I will address sooner rather than later. Good eye and thanks for picking them out. On a side note, I will probably also try to add some rooms behind the electrified floor so it looks like a research wing and not just a hallway.

DRT99
03-02-2009, 12:50 AM
The Hallway problem, thats simple, just add another box there, and the players see it is moving, and the attention is drawn to the floor.
Just another way boxes make everyones life better.

Boogaloo
03-03-2009, 04:14 PM
Hey Gide,

I'd actually played your level several times before you did the feedback on mine! I had a little page stuffed with notes for me to type out already.

I thought your level was kind of, well, okay.

Nah - just kidding. It rocks!!! I had seen your comments in another thread concerning whether or not people could match Mm's levels for length and quality (I've actually played many levels that I think either match or exceed the quality of the story levels), and I give you credit for being humble enough not to say "pfft - take a look at mine".

So I'll say it for you. Take a look at his. No hyperbole. You've gone head to head with Mm's level design team and beaten them by some margin. If it had been a boxing match the ref would have stopped it.

If someone asks me for an example of a level that's better than Mm's efforts, Shadow Moses: Site B will be at the top of a long and illustrious list. I'm not overstating it, Mm's levels seem almost tame in comparison (and I really enjoyed the DLC).

The quality of the level exists on so many, er, levels. There is the 'homage' aspect of the design - and anybody that's played MGS will have a wry smile on their face while playing this, it's seamless. Not just in look but in tone and atmosphere too. Pitch perfect. There were several stages of the level where I actually laughed out loud to myself because the homage had been so lovingly and accurately created.

But the level design stands on it's own - MGS or not. The build quality is virtually peerless, rock solid, and each stage of the level is crafted with ingenuity and flair. The transition areas between each section are seamless, and the variety of play between the sections give the level a really epic feel. The platforms are inventive and well placed - no irritating or awkward bits, just satisfying challenges.

There are also some breathtaking 'reveal' moments - most notably the room with the decommissioned Gekkos. It had a really eerie and tense atmosphere (I was half-expecting them to wake up). I jumped when I got to the last one, lol.

All of the platforms and devices worked smoothly and looked supreme. The guns with the shields were better than Mm's turrets - beautifully executed, and the platform with the rotating turrets was a nice change of play from the previous sections, again perfectly executed in terms of design and mechanics, and was challenging and satisfying to play. Almost worthy of a little challenge level of its own.

I was bewildered at how you'd managed to pack all of that detail in! Do you even have a therm? And that was before I got to the boss! (!!!) I'm running out of superlatives here - and my vocabulary is vast. Awesome (have I used that one yet?). I was blown away. A perfect ending to an epic level. The altering difficulty of the boss as you progress against it is perfect.

I gave it one star and tagged it 'lousy'.

Nah - got you again - 5 stars and hearted.

There was a tiny glitch on my first playthrough - when I was turning the valve to operate the bridge, the camera shot away to a couple of levels above to a speech bubble, which disappeared immediately and the camera shot back down to where I was again. It only lasted a split second or so. I think it was telling me that I'd managed to open the bridge or something.

Anyway it only happened the first time.

CCubbage
03-03-2009, 06:41 PM
The "speech bubble" glitch happens when your internet loses connectivity. It's an issue that can happen in ANY level. If a switch fires a speech bubble, and the internet loses and regains connectivity the speech bubble ends up firing again... Just throwing it out there so Thegide doesn't go nuts trying to find it...

NinjaMicWZ
03-03-2009, 07:41 PM
I think he means the speech bubble closed too fast to read. If you roll the wheel past the activation point it will cancel out the speech bubble and the camera change, and immediately switch back to you... it won't display again, or allow you to press the triangle button once realigned because of the other "press triangle" speech bubble in the room that tells you about the steam valve.

If there was a way to make the wheel stop once activated, it would prevent that from happening... there was a few times where I'd activate it, then accidentally pass the activation point and be rolling it for a good 5 minutes before finally landing on the activation point again. Sometimes I'd keep passing it up too, and for some reason, turning it back the other way just a notch wouldn't realign it to the point that I only passed by a millimeter or two.

You could maybe throw it on a motor bolt, and make an invisible width layer of sponge around the wheel (so that it still has it's cog-like apperance) with a grab switch on it. Attach the grab switch to a piston that moves up a dissolve piece with a mag key on it, and activates the wheel, then when the wheel turns into the right spot, the same key that activates the speech bubble dissolves the piece with the key on it and freezes it in place. That might work.

Thegide
03-03-2009, 08:03 PM
I'm aware of the problem. It's a switch type issue. The switch on the valve is on/off... and as soon as it goes off the bubble disappears. This could be fixed by converting the output to 1-shot before it goes to the mouth.

I have a bajillion relays in this level... I'm sure I can rework the wiring off of one of them for this area to fix this.

Oh and the 2player area is bugged slightly. I found out last night its possible to survive the bomb onslaught if you fail. Not sure if this had anything to do with the fact we were lagged to hell while playing, but nevertheless, will require some work. Anyone else manage to survive a fail condition?

tameturtle
03-04-2009, 09:50 AM
Yes, we survived the bombs going off in the 2x area yesterday. However, our connection was perfectly playable, nearly lag-free as usual. Further remarks on this section (my apologies if some have been brought up already):

we managed to end up with a one-barreled turret and most of the boxes at their bottom position. By firing single shots nearly straight up in order to hit the boxes when the shots drop back downwards, it was possible to clear the rest. The handling of the aiming three-way was a bit awkward for this task. :)
I don't think you should be prevented from walking away from the 2x if you feel like it, whether you failed and didn't get killed by the bombs, just lost your interest or whatever.
you can trigger the bombs by shooting them with the paintinator before starting the 2x.

I do actually like the possibility of removing the bomb threat prior to playing, as well as that of clearing the area despite "failing". Cleverness and patience should be rewarded after all.

At the first tower, it would help a lot if you could see the searchlights and turrets, especially the first time through. I like the way you made the two semi-secret entrances here, but hiding the bottom one behind a crate and making the tunnel it leads to long enough to actually walk past the exit when you're inside can lead to immense frustration when you simply want to get out. (This possibly is only a major problem when with a multi-player party because of camera issues.)

The handling of the shoot-to-rotate platforms is a bit rough, both the big ones leading to the "1" key and the small ones leading to the switch deactivating the electro floor. It's actually hard to see which side of the small ones is up once they are covered in paint, too. With nothing indicating they are about to rotate back, things can get a bit frustrating here.

The rotatable valve in the basement is a bit awkward-handling too, but it's not a major problem.

The moving laser section is a very nice idea but gameplay suffers a bit from the sucky control of layer switching - this is mostly MM's fault though. I'd space the lasers further apart in order not to punish the player for MM's shortcomings. (On a side note, I am of the opinion that the fire effect would fit a laser hasard better than gas.)

Jumping the gekkos is nice (that room is inspired) but the opening in the air duct is nearly invisible. The first time entering it was a leap of faith for me - I only saw the opening the second time through when I knew it to be there. (I'd probably try darkening the inside of the duct slightly to enhance visibility and realism a bit as well.)

When fighting the boss I think you should be able to recover gracefully if you fail to notice the platform you're standing on is going down, instead of being killed by the gas below. Alternatively, a more direct hint that you are moving on to the next section of the battle and that the platform is going down would do.

On the bright side (finally! :D) this is easily and by a very fair margin the best MGS-themed level I have seen. The difficulty may be a bit spiky here and there but there's no doubt the gameplay is very solid and dependable. The boss behaviour is predictable enough not to feel unfair - that's a very, very rare trait among LBP community levels.

My favourite feature is the passage traveled to obtain the "2" key, and after that all the other secrets big and small that you have put throughout the level. I love these details.

"Must play", no doubt.

Thegide
03-04-2009, 05:02 PM
That's a lot of critique, Turtle, and appreciated definitely.

Some of these issues I definitely do want to address in the next update. Particularly, spacing of the lasers and fixing the 2-player area are at the top of the priority list. The lasers are particularly punishing for those that suffer from any lag. The valve switch is an easy fix... this will be converted into a p-switch so that you can't shut it off once it's fired. Lasers have been spread to their maximum possible distance and slowed down a touch. The valve switch is now foolproof.

At this point, I'm at the mercy of the thermometer and a lot of logic programming would be required to address some of your concerns. Logic requires moving parts, and that's precisely what I'm cramped for accommodating. However some are already on my to-do list and are easy fixes.

I've noticed the glitch for the bottom hidden passage. I think what's happened here is the thin layer has shifted partially obscuring the passage exit. When fixed, you should be able to run directly out without having to change layers manually. FIXED

A few people have mentioned the air duct entrance being hard to see. It seems the last lighting fixes have done nothing to help out here. I've added some dark stickers to the inside of the duct. Does this help it stand out more?

The rotating platforms are on 7- and 8-second timers, respectively. You have a point in that there could be a warning about their return motion. Regarding orientation, one only has to shoot the platform to see if it turns or not. I might try to address your concerns here, but to be honest, this seems like an extremely minor issue and will ultimately depend on how many more hours I'm willing to log in create mode for this level. I've converted the electric layers to glass... does this help with visibility?

Regarding the boss platforms. I'm at a total loss on how to do this any better. Forcing the player to shift layers is required for the fight to remain as intended (and not letting players cheap out and dodge projectiles simply by switching layers). I've slowed the platforms down and overlapped their timing so that there is ample time to switch, but I can't do much else. In an ideal environment, proximity switches could be assigned only to activate on particular layers, and then I could wait for the player to change, but until that happens, the system has to be automated.

Ultimately, this level is not an easy one, and I do expect it to retain it's Tricky tag. I'm ok with that, so long as the difficulty is fair and not cheap. In a sense, I feel this reflects the difficulty of MGS1.

Thank you for your thorough review. I will certainly try to fix some of these issues. I know I can't make a level that's perfect for everyone, but every bit of input helps.

DRT99
03-04-2009, 07:12 PM
Extremely minor thing, and I don't know if you intended for this to be so hard, but....
The platforms you have to jump on to get the '2' key are incredulously small. and the first jump is even harder due to the small platform AND the layer changing.
If anything, this part was what made me angriest when playing your level, the other parts I thought "Darn! Oh well, Just an excuse to play the level again and see all his amazing work again."
I say add another cardboard box, they make everything better.

Rogar
03-04-2009, 07:43 PM
Wow, great work! I kept looking for a tag to top brilliant (maybe they should add perfect). This is definitely one of the best levels out there!

I think you balanced the difficulty quite nicely now. I had a lot of trouble with the lasers, but luckily there's more checkpoints further back that I could use. I am not great at this platforming thing, but I just had to hang in there to see the rest. :)

Edit: Oh, by the way, how come there's two of these, with the same version info?

Thegide
03-05-2009, 01:35 AM
Extremely minor thing, and I don't know if you intended for this to be so hard, but....
The platforms you have to jump on to get the '2' key are incredulously small. and the first jump is even harder due to the small platform AND the layer changing.
If anything, this part was what made me angriest when playing your level, the other parts I thought "Darn! Oh well, Just an excuse to play the level again and see all his amazing work again."
I say add another cardboard box, they make everything better.

This is precisely how I felt in "Endurance Dojo" in the part right after the Sensei lifts you up into the sky. These jumps were maddening especially because they got progressively narrower, down to almost a pinpoint width. In contrast, mine are football fields in comparison.

However, if Mm can get away with it in the story levels, I can get away with it here, especially since it's an uber secret optional prize.

ALSO:

Latest update is now up. Various minor issues have been addressed (see edits in previous posts in red)

tameturtle
03-05-2009, 09:25 AM
We played it again yesterday (3x this time), unfortunately prior to your fixes so I can't comment on those.

We've run into two more issues though, one in the room with the small shoot-to-rotate platforms. When I walked into the room, instead of going past the railing and down the stairs, the game had my sackboy change to the back layer and walk on the electrified floor. It is entirely possible that I pointed the stick slightly up instead of straight to the right. Still, I was surprised at how easily this fatal accident could happen.

The other issue: when only part of the party makes it past the turret to the room filled with crates and toggles the switch, the cutscene camera showing the result of the switching sweeps past the active checkpoint at the top of the stairs. Those who got killed by the turret then jump out of the checkpoint, and in our case the camera stayed with them, making those at the switch die the off-screen death. (This happened twice, both times the same behaviour. A checkpoint placed right at the switch in the crate room should fix it for good - it would also allow the complete party to further explore the room.)

Other than that, still tremendous fun to play the third time through. Thanks!

Thegide
03-06-2009, 01:06 PM
Fixes have been made to the 2-player area. The time limit to destroy the boxes has increased to 75 seconds from 60, which should make it a bit easier.

The AA gun is now disabled until the minigame starts, so it's impossible to get a head start on destroying the crates now.

Floor-level bombs have been repositioned to [hopefully] fix the glitch where you can survive the detonation sequence.

- Music still does not revert to the original score when failing the minigame.... this will be in the next update.

Killian
03-07-2009, 11:42 AM
Amazing level! Why people would give it a low rating causing you to republish is beyond me. 5 stars and a heart. Can't leave in-depth feedback now as I'm on PS3.

tameturtle
03-07-2009, 12:04 PM
One more thing: despite finding the cardboard box, the speech bubble at the scoreboard was still acting as if we hadn't. Perhaps you might want to deactivate it or swap its contents for a different text.

Thegide
03-08-2009, 05:35 PM
This level has been spotlighted for round 9! Thanks for all your extremely helpful feedback and most importantly, for playing this hard work of mine!

dkjestrup
03-08-2009, 07:59 PM
I liked this level a lot. If anything, the supply part was a little bit weird. The boxes were laid out a bit strange.

For the part where you shoot the mines, why don't you create an invisible rubber box around them (see NinjaMcWiz and his "hit boxes") that is a bit bigger than the mine, so they are easier to shoot. I just find the paintinater a bit hard to aim. Thermo allowing, of course.

I really liked the boss, although, I thought it may be nicer if it were made of gecko material or something, rather than VR. I dunno. It played really well. The only thing I'd say, would be entirely up to you, and thermo allowing, to create one more stage. Maybe it shoots plasma that you have to jump over, to get to it, and then climb it and press a button.

Nevermind that if the thermo is filled, but I was left wanting more. It was pretty spectacular.

Overall, I really liked the level. I got one gameover on the way through, but because I already had the sticker it wasn't that bad, as I could get back easily.

The part where there is two turrets, and you have to destroy them to get the elevator to come down, I think some more direction telling them what to do may be nice.

DRT99
03-08-2009, 09:01 PM
I actually found the part with the turrets and the keycards + such to be well laid-out. It encourages exploration. the ONLY problem I found with the level one key card was that if you didn't get it, you had to go back through the lasers, and I don't remember if there was a checkpoint after them.

Thegide
03-09-2009, 12:42 AM
For the part where you shoot the mines, why don't you create an invisible rubber box around them

I really liked the boss, although, I thought it may be nicer if it were made of gecko material or something, rather than VR. I dunno. It played really well. The only thing I'd say, would be entirely up to you, and thermo allowing, to create one more stage. Maybe it shoots plasma that you have to jump over, to get to it, and then climb it and press a button.

Nevermind that if the thermo is filled, but I was left wanting more. It was pretty spectacular.

Overall, I really liked the level. I got one gameover on the way through, but because I already had the sticker it wasn't that bad, as I could get back easily.

The part where there is two turrets, and you have to destroy them to get the elevator to come down, I think some more direction telling them what to do may be nice.

Thanks for the ideas and glad you enjoyed playing!

For clarification, it's the switch above the shielded turrets that needs to be activated to get them to come down. There is a bit of reason why I don't hold hands in this level. As DRT99 said, you have to explore, and that is part of the fun.

Regarding the boss, I'm afraid the thermo won't let me do much else with the boss. It was incredibly painstaking to program the boss as is, I'm afraid to mess with it at this point! I'm quite happy with the visuals of the boss as well. FYI Gekko skin material is terrible for shaping & small objects. The upper half of the boss is made of gekko-metal-stickered cardboard.

Technically, the mines are "hit box" style. Hitting any part of the mine will cause it to explode. Easiest way to hit the mines is to jump while shooting, it's really not that hard.


I actually found the part with the turrets and the keycards + such to be well laid-out. It encourages exploration. the ONLY problem I found with the level one key card was that if you didn't get it, you had to go back through the lasers, and I don't remember if there was a checkpoint after them.

Yes, there is a checkpoint after them! This checkpoint covers your butt through the electric hallway room.

dkjestrup
03-09-2009, 04:19 AM
Oh, the boss was 100% up to you, I havent got MGS pack so I wouldn't know.

As for the keycard, your choice. Just that I thought I'd be smart and leave the second one, what could I miss right? Then I was like where to now? If I were you, put a text box after the lasers telling you to go back if you havent?

I'll play through again now. I really liked the level of difficulty. Btw, the gecko things were a wee bit awkward to platform on. They looked great though!

EDIT: btw, good job on the snow!

DOUBLE EDIT: Nevermind about the mines, they aren't as hard as I thought they were.

I like shooting the switch, kinda like parts of Zelda

That turret part with 2 turrets? When you move to the front plane by the checkpoint, the hole in the ground pushes you to the back plane. I've died a lot with this. Could you make it flat?

I'm trying for a high score.

Nice elevator ;)

I fell through one of the bridges!

Very Clever key card 2. Never found it, cunningly placed!

Very good how it ends up right outside the door that needs it.

That will help my score! :)

Whew, almost gameover

If I hadn't died, I reckon I would've had a great score :(

Love the part with the spinning turrets

Oh Noes! I got a game over!!!

If you respawn by the soldier at the entrance, you have no paintinator, so you are forced to grab him to the floor. Is this intended?

Died on same part. Giving up

I rated 5/5 and hearted it and you! Great level, and it seemed really long.

wexfordian
03-09-2009, 09:48 AM
Well done on getting spotlighted man! :)

Rogar
03-09-2009, 11:34 AM
Technically, the mines are "hit box" style. Hitting any part of the mine will cause it to explode. Easiest way to hit the mines is to jump while shooting, it's really not that hard.

Oh, you can shoot them? And there I was, trying to jump over them without dying. I did manage it once... :blush:

uzman
03-09-2009, 01:24 PM
That's quite a long level. I i didn't finish it. I got killed by the broken catwalk above the offline gekkos.

+ Visual details are at large here. Never seen a level so detailed.
+ Hydraulic bridges and "spy lasers" are very impressive innovations.
+ Snow effect is awesome.
+ Wooden boxes were used efficiently.
+ Rotating platforms were fun.
+ The rotating gear at the Generator Room somehow reminded me of Fur Fighters...

- Somehow, i always run out of lives. You might wanna replace it with double checkpoints.
- I accidentally shot the elevator switch and it left me and never returned.
- I (think I) finished the x2 by myself (bubbles dropped) using the paintinator.

It's very well-made. It definitely deserved to be Spotlighted. Again, the details were too awesome. I wish i finished it though.

I give it :p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p:p out of 10.

can you review my level?

Thegide
03-12-2009, 01:33 PM
Hey Uzman,

I did my best to make the level as foolproof as possible. Turns out that's really really hard to do in a level like this with so much tech.

The elevator is offline until you enter it for the first time. This is why you're unable to shoot the handle and lose the elevator while fighting the ceiling sentries. You're the first person to point out that if you're sly and hang on to your paintgun, you can lose the elevator on the lower floor if you try.

Regarding the 2x area. I had never even thought about using the paintinator to cheat the 2x area! I'll have to go back and see how I can revise that. You can't start the minigame without 2 players (the AA gun is offline), but you're absolutely right in that you can steal the paintgun from the generator room. Shhh... I don't think many people will figure this out.

I've added another checkpoint by the gekkos. I'm well aware this is a tough level, but then again, so is MGS1. In so many ways I've tried to create a nostalgic experience aside from purely visuals.

Thanks for checking it out. Hope you will take the time and replay it at some point... the end boss is quite a sight. I'll F4F you on your level as well.

DRT99
03-13-2009, 01:14 AM
I don't find this level at all difficult. Ofcourse, that may be because I've played it minimum 25 times when beta testing and afterwards, just for the fun of it. But for some reason, I STILL can't complete 'the floor is hot lava'......

Thegide
03-13-2009, 01:36 AM
The 2x area is STILL bugged. I'm going to scream. For whatever reason it's emitting prize bubbles onto the bombs which cause them to plode.

This makes absolutely no sense at all; I've ensured they emit into a different layer. Perhaps I have somehow managed to duplicate the emitter... and theres a 2nd one active. arg.

dkjestrup
03-13-2009, 05:18 AM
I didn't realise it was a 2 player area lol! I just assumed it was a bonus area!

NinjaMicWZ
03-13-2009, 11:44 AM
The 2x area is STILL bugged. I'm going to scream. For whatever reason it's emitting prize bubbles onto the bombs which cause them to plode.

This makes absolutely no sense at all; I've ensured they emit into a different layer. Perhaps I have somehow managed to duplicate the emitter... and theres a 2nd one active. arg.

Change the bombs to switched timer bombs instead of contact bombs.

Thegide
03-13-2009, 02:16 PM
Turns out the emitter was emitting into the wrong layer. I must have had changes that didnt get saved at one point. Also found out why the boxes down drop all the way. 2 bugs fixed here, still more no doubt.