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View Full Version : Lost Under Glass (pics) - Spotlighted!!



dobi6
02-18-2009, 04:05 PM
Ok, my level "Lost Under Glass" is up. I have been Tweeking it for a while, and I am now ready to have you all unleash all that great constructive criticism...

The short of it...
You find that you have taken a wrong turn in someone's level. You don't know happened, but you are trapped in some cold dark place.

It is a medium length platformer. I left the paintinator home on this one :)

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k138/scottvphoto/LUG01.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k138/scottvphoto/LUG02.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k138/scottvphoto/LUG03.jpg

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k138/scottvphoto/LUG04.jpg

mrsupercomputer
02-19-2009, 04:58 PM
Hey, I just gave this a quick play through. Here are some thoughts:

Highlights:
- Platforming Elements - I enjoyed many of your platforming elements. The circular sponges with an electrified outer circle was pretty cool as were the sponges on pistons that would swing over the electrified surface.
- Visuals - Your level had a very unique dreamlike "glow" to it.
-The rotating sequence at the end was very cool!

Suggestions:
- Story - I understand that you are supposed to be confused and wondering where you are, but was there a resolution? I don't recall finding out what was going on, did I miss a speech bubble that explained it or is it never explained?
- Visuals - While I enjoyed the dream like look, I did have some trouble seeing obstacles at times. Specifically the electrified glass. There were times where I felt I was clear to jump, but would die or couldn't quite see the boundary of the electrified portion. This happen mostly at the beginning though and once I was adjusted to it, I didn't have much of a problem.
- I noticed a visible emitter early in the level, right before the piston with the sponge that swings you. I think it was the only one I saw, so I thought you might have meant for it to be hidden.

Overall, a pretty fun and challenging level. Nice.

dobi6
02-19-2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.... I will work on explaining the story a bit more, as well as help people figure out how to see the electrified glass better. You are right, once you get used to it, it is fine. It is just a little difficult at first. I used a lot of double spawn points to help people with this.

The rotating "boss" area was insane to build. Aside from the actual switch areas, making the thing rotate the 4 times exactly when I wanted them too and stop exactly when I wanted, and still be available to was a crazy build. I should post a picture of the darn thing. It took dozens of pistons, mag switches, modified start-stop switches (so they would only start-stop once)...

I never want to have to build something like that again :)

I will work on your feedback and shoot you a message about it... Thanks!

dobi6
02-20-2009, 09:05 PM
Ok, Thanks to MrSuperComputer's advice, I made a bunch of tweeks to my level, it is now ready for more people's opinions.

Matt 82
02-20-2009, 10:24 PM
I thought it was excellent. Only suggestion would be to make the ending more of a big deal. It just sort of happens. That minor complaint aside, it`s a wonderful level.

dobi6
02-20-2009, 11:23 PM
Any thoughts you have on how to make it a bigger deal? short of moving or altering it physically?

Because of all the moving parts, it isn't moving anywhere.

Looking for thoughts?

I was thinking about putting some mouths around for the completion of each of the final switches.

Matt 82
02-21-2009, 12:32 AM
Yeah just have a couple of cutscenes that zoom in on the lever that gets you out or something.

Maybe as you flick the other two switches you see something happening off to the side. Anything really. Some smoke clearing to reveal the way home or something?

dobi6
02-21-2009, 03:57 PM
Ok... I tweeked the ending a fair amount... Made it a bit easier, and added a bunch of cutscene moments.

TJapan
02-22-2009, 01:23 AM
Hey man, just played it, great job with the dreamlike feel to the place. it was challenging but not impossible. you had some nice obstacles, and well done lighting.

that end area, with the rotation... very well done. You know it has been well done when people don't realize how difficult it was to do. when everything works flawlessly, the mechanics in the background are invisible to us. really well done on that, and the area flowed quite well with the rest of the level, since you had so many rotating circles.

I would have liked to see someone watching you as you tried to escape. maybe little eyes that pop out here and there behind you as you run. something to kinda put a face to the voice, or some character to it.

*very minor* you misspelled switch on the second to last speech bubble.

as for making the ending have more impact... perhaps have some lights attached to those switches which blink and rotate a different color. if you have the MGS pack, the vr spawn sound (i think that's the one) attached to them would make them sound like they are powering something up...

dobi6
02-22-2009, 03:42 PM
Thanks TJapan:

I will get right on the fixes for that :)

And I am anxious to play your Capybara level :) - I saw that before and have wanted to try it. :)

dobi6
02-22-2009, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I made some tweeks so I think it is finally feeling close to done.

I will definitely play and give feedback to anyone who plays my levels!!!
And if you give me some, and I don't give feedback, then make sure to call me on it!
Because I want to play your levels.

dobi6
02-23-2009, 06:49 PM
Made some more tweeks.

Thanks everyone for the hearts and plays and stars.

DarkDedede
02-23-2009, 07:10 PM
I think you spelled "presence" incorrectly.

dobi6
02-23-2009, 08:01 PM
Thanks... I will look into it.

Certainly not the first thing I screwed up on it.

danege364
02-23-2009, 08:16 PM
okay just played it and i really enjoyed a nice challenging level. The was some nice affect going on and it really made me feel like shouldnt be there. Everything worked lovely, i especially enjoyed the end bit and appreciate the amount of time and effort that must of taken. Really nice.

Thing i would say is sometimes i was unclear on what to do/where to go (just past the 1st rotaing circle thing, took me while to figure out you had to step begind the electric thing). And maybe a change of music in the huge rotating thing to make you feel more under pressure or something that more kind of 'action' music and maybe a success jingle at the end although i did love the flashing lights and the way it did end.:cool:

4/5 stars

dobi6
02-23-2009, 10:01 PM
Thanks Danege:

Do you have a suggestion on how to make it clear how to get past the temple area? I thought about putting an up arrow, but thought that would just confuse people...

Maybe I need to make a forshortened arrow for people (or that might just confuse them more.

Seems that you figured out that part, so maybe I should just leave that alone.

I will look into some new music for the end machine, as well as a success jingle.

Thanks for the feedback. I must have tweeked a dozen times already, so any new ideas just makes it better :)

I will hit up your levels tomorrow. - I believe I played a couple of them though - I know I played the Christmas Level.

Morgana25
02-28-2009, 05:03 AM
Just played it and had to rush to the computer to post....

I love this level..... no seriously I did.

The lighting is exceptional in my opinion. It's dark in some spots but it's evident that those areas are to add to the difficulty of play. Beautiful spotlight areas and the subtle glow of the electricity on the double circle obstacles was great. I dismissed the glow at first ad just a lighting trick and got zapped. Made me very aware of the subtle glowing nature of the traps to avoid. Speaking of the circle in circle traps. I've seen similar obstacles on other levels but yours are timed so great and look even better that they really do stand out in my mind.

I like that you furthered the story with the cutscenes but they weren't every 30 seconds. Nice balance of story and flow.

The final maze/portal/puzzle/trap area is simply genius. After it turned twice I actually said "BRAINS" to the TV. It's not only technically impressive (I can barely string a few mag switches together) it's really fun to make your way through it. I like the variation in the traps too. Nicely done.

The ending was pretty abrupt but I didn't think it was a bad thing. According to the story the scoreboard acts as the portal to take you back to the pod. I'm not sure if I'd have any recommendations to change what you have going on at the end.

I did get stuck in one spot after the jump area where you ride the sponge down to the left, then jump on the horizontal one to the right... I got stuck on the right hand side of the sponge and couldn't jump out. (minor)

Overall a real gem of a level in my book. 5 stars and a no strings attached heart. You earned it!

Thanks for sharing it with the community. :)

dobi6
02-28-2009, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the compliments!!!!

That final section switch was insanely difficult for me. I am like you, and am not very technically minded when it comes to designing swiches. Aside from the double set of modified start-stop switches that I had to figure out how to do - so that it would only turn the amount I wanted it to turn and no more, and not mess up the other turns, The actual movement switch took me days and days to build (and rebuild a couple of times)....

While people can't see it... I am really proud of that :)

I should copy it and make it a reward for the level.

Thanks for the compliments.

I wish my levels were as interesting as yours design-wise. I think your level is way more clever thematically.

Boogaloo
02-28-2009, 10:45 PM
Hey Dobi,

I liked the look of your level - but I couldn't get very far!!! I got to the bit with the pillars and the electrical hazards shooting upwards (this is right at the start). I jumped on each pillar until I game to a grabbable thing that came down - which I jumped and grabbed onto - and then another grabbable thing popped out on a piston at a diagonal angle from below with a grab switch on it. I dropped down and grabbed it and nothing happened - I was just stuck there, it didn't move. I let go and hit the electrified floor, and on my second try I jumped on the pillars again, grabbed the hanging ball, and tried to swing myself to another area - but couldn't. I ended up using all my lives trying to get somewhere using either the hanging ball, or the ball on the piston. Have I missed something?

dobi6
02-28-2009, 10:57 PM
That is weird... I had that happen once to me... Then I went back into create mode, and it worked fine... So I did nothing, then I played it again twice, and it worked fine both times.

All I can say is you might just try it again. I know it does work. I don't know what sort of glitch is going on...

You did the right thing.

If you could do me a favor and try again. You should be even able to biff, and die there, and it will go back up to that position and still work again.

Too weird... I am sorry, and will look into it.

Thanks.

Boogaloo
02-28-2009, 11:04 PM
Okay - I played it again (and got #5 on the scoreboard), and the mechanism worked this time! It must have been a random glitch.

It was a good, punchy start with the floor falling through and the slide to the bouncy bit - and a good switch to the platforming style of the pillars afterwards. The mechanisms (the second time through!) all worked smoothly and the economic styling of the obstacles gave the level as a whole a slick unified look.

I really liked the simple design, and the electric hazard theme worked very nicely. I had to get used to looking at the electrified glass at the start, but after a while it was fine.

I thought the puzzles were tricky, but well timed and balanced - I intend to go back to try and ace it - and the build is solid with nice architectural elements.

The last section was a satisfying finish to a well conceived and cleverly executed level.

The only niggle I had was with the glitch that happened the first time I played, and a visible sound object at the very beginning.

Great work, Dobi!

EDIT: I played it through again immediately, lol - probably while you were answering my post....

dobi6
02-28-2009, 11:24 PM
Where is the visible sound thingy?

I just played it too, and had the glitch... So I tweeked it a little (not there though) and added two more secret item bubbles (there are 4 now, and 3 more if you beat it)....

So then I re-published it... And it worked.

Thanks for the feedback :)

I am going to work on tackling another level by you :)

ApellesJr
03-01-2009, 06:38 AM
Just gave it a try.

The beginning is cool. I like the uncertainty of what is going on, but when it bounces you up, it really is impossible to see the electric block there. I died 3 times before I even noticed it was there. I ended up getting past it but with no lives to spare. If I had died and I wasn't planning on reviewing the level I probably would have just moved on to another level. Just a friendly suggestion. Maybe take the ice off the hill right before it so you aren't sliding towards the seemingly invisible block there.

After that though I'm really impressed. Fun and challenging! I always enjoy a challenging level as long as it's not impossible or relying highly on luck.

One little typo near the end where you say "This i it" Not a big deal, just pointing it out.

Great job altogether! The ending was a very clever use of switches.

4/5 stars, would be 5 in my opinion if you fixed the look and feel of the beginning.

Boogaloo
03-01-2009, 02:58 PM
Where is the visible sound thingy?

It was right at the start - when the face on the wall is talking to you, you can see it to the right hand side.

I really hate those glitches that happen for no reason! I've had a couple of them - I ended up just remaking the pistons (or whatever device) and it seems to work.

Laharlsama07
03-01-2009, 03:15 PM
Isnt glass nifty? one of my favorite materials. good stage overall! I woulda liked to have seen more patterns to jetpack through though

dobi6
03-01-2009, 04:10 PM
Just gave it a try.

The beginning is cool. I like the uncertainty of what is going on, but when it bounces you up, it really is impossible to see the electric block there. I died 3 times before I even noticed it was there. I ended up getting past it but with no lives to spare. If I had died and I wasn't planning on reviewing the level I probably would have just moved on to another level. Just a friendly suggestion. Maybe take the ice off the hill right before it so you aren't sliding towards the seemingly invisible block there.


Thanks!!!

I never really thought about the glass being such a pain... I think I will try keeping the glass, but not have the glass in front so you can see it better. Would that be a good compromise you think?

And thanks for the typo note.

dobi6
03-01-2009, 04:14 PM
Isnt glass nifty? one of my favorite materials. good stage overall! I woulda liked to have seen more patterns to jetpack through though

Yeah... I totally agree. I tried to stick to my drawn plan though...

Boogaloo
03-01-2009, 09:20 PM
I tried to stick to my drawn plan though...

It's interesting that you draw it out. I hadn't really considered doing that until recently. I'm going to do it for my next level.

dobi6
03-01-2009, 09:41 PM
Yeah... I made a level once on the fly (my very first) which I took down quickly, as it was crappy.

And one of the things that LBPCentral has is that help section, and it talks in a thread about putting things down on paper.

It helps a ton.

I always deviate from it... But it helps me to visualize flow, so that I can try to keep it all consistent.

Tkdmaat
03-04-2009, 06:53 AM
Just played the level the other day.

Wonderful lighting and the music was nice, not to obtrusive but it set a good tone. The 'traps' were very nice, not to elaborate, but simple ways of using relatively common items. I particularly liked the theme of glass/electic within the subterain enviroment.

My only cons for the level would be that it felt a tad bit repetitive, with the same basic challenges just varried slightly. However, this is not to big an issue, due to the uniqueness of said challenges.

Of particular note, I love the final contraption with the three switches. A very nice addition/final challenge to the level.

The story line was not of my particular taste, but it was nothing bad. Slightly too much dialogue... but that is a personal choice so nothing against the level for that.

I did feel it was a tad short, although that can work to your favor. Level people wanting a bit more, rather than saturating them.

Overall: 5/5 and hearted.

Looking forward to seeing some more levels you create.

dobi6
03-04-2009, 03:23 PM
Tkdmaat:

Sounds like you are more into the straight up challenge levels (especially after playing your level several times).

Thanks for the feedback on the slight repeditiveness of some of my puzzles... I was sort of worried it might be that way a little, but I was trying to keep more to a theme... An experiment of sorts.

Anyway, I have more to talk about your level, so I am going to do that now.

CCubbage
03-05-2009, 03:00 AM
Hey, I finally got a chance to play this tonight. Guess what? I have absolutely NO cons to this game.

Was it repetitive? Sure. Should it be? Probably. It seems to me the nature of this level IS kind of an arcade puzzle. Using the same elements a number of times seemed right.

Anyway, I blew though it (not a true gamer.... hah!) with a single death. Every piece was layed out well. Loved the rotating areas. I didn't feel it was frustrating at all.

Once again, beautiful job!

Snowspot
03-05-2009, 09:39 AM
Really great level, I loved how difficult it was. It was really a challenge but it each obstacle was so well done. The level has a perfect flow. The only problems I see are with the story and it's ending.

I think the story should start in someone else's level, it would have much more of an impact that way. The ending needs to change IMO, maybe you can do something with dissolvable material? The ending could be really cool but as it is you just go in the middle of the rotating room and that's it. How is the main character escaping from "this place" by going there?

Anyway, this is the most fun I've had in a user-made level in a long time. The visuals and the gameplay were perfect and great job on that last room.

5 Stars, hearted.

sny
03-05-2009, 06:53 PM
Just went through it twice in a row, and I liked the difficulty level a lot! Definitely one of the more challenging levels out there, which is great. Some suggestions:

- The rotating wheel puzzles (where the electric outer shell is rotating in one direction, and the inner part where Sackboy is to stand is rotating in the other) worked like a charm when they are vertical, but I'd round the edges of the electric part a bit, cause this way the angle and height of the jump has to be very well timed in order to not get electrocuted.
- This was just a minor annoyance, but at the part where you have to drop down from a spinning wheel trap and grab a felt ball before going into the next wheel, there should be some visual cue letting you know you should grab... perhaps add some light near (or in!) the ball the player needs to grab? It was way too dark to notice a grab switch while focusing on the spinning wheel trap.
- On my first play through I actually got electrocuted at the first grabbable pad (the vertical one following three felt balls hanging from winches) because I grabbed too high, and ended up hitting the outer wall of the semi-circle the pad rotates around in. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but since the pad didn't return to its original position, I had nothing to grab when I climbed up there again! You should make moving/rotating pads come back for the player in case they die on them. :)
- The level had a bit too many speech bubbles for my taste (but that's probably just me... :) ). I'd suggest removing the ones that reflect Sackboy's own feelings... use the level to extract emotions from the player, don't impose them on them by telling them what Sackboy thinks. ;)
- The felt ball attached to the piston at the end of the early cave jumping part (the one that drags you into the tunnel with three circular glass windows) can cause Sackboy to become stuck if the ball is grabbed from the right side - as was the case on my first play-through. Try changing the length of the piston so that no matter which side you grab the ball from, you can drop down freely after being pulled into the tunnel.

Oh, one more thing, I especially liked the portal machine at the end, very well executed puzzle!

dobi6
03-05-2009, 07:33 PM
Thanks:

I will look into fixing those things.

The speech bubbles got added a while back because a lot of people were complaining about not enough story...

I am looking forward to playing your Tower of Hope level... I saw it on here yesterday!

wexfordian
03-09-2009, 09:44 AM
Congrats on getting spotlighted :)

mostevilmilo
03-10-2009, 01:29 PM
Wow, you have really improved! And it's cool how you're still making games that are true to your style: Absolutely difficult, but way fun!

The good stuff:
- Great level design! This level has some of the most ingenious traps and obstacles I've seen in LBP.
- This level was very challenging, but extremely satisfying. Overcoming every trap felt like a major accomplishment.
- Loved the transformation in the environment every time I pressed a switch. Especially the last part, with the giant rotating cylinder thing. That was cool.
- Visually beautiful! Loved your use of lights and shadows.


No major complaints here. I loved this level. :) Very well done!

If you have time, please try my Little Big Tower of Babel level. :) Thanks!

v0rtex
04-02-2009, 06:37 AM
Hey Dobi... I looked for this level and couldn't find it. :confused::(

tjb0607
04-03-2009, 03:50 AM
Hey Dobi... I looked for this level and couldn't find it. :confused::(

try searching for his PSN

v0rtex
04-03-2009, 04:38 AM
I had his PSN and played his other two levels. This one was nowhere to be found.

dobi6
04-03-2009, 06:33 AM
I hope they didn't yank it :( - that would suck bad.

There is nothing offensive in there... I can't even log onto the network now :(

Have to try again tomorrow.
Does anyone know what their protocol is if they do yank something? What might cause it? and how they do it? and do they let you know?

dobi6
04-03-2009, 07:01 AM
It is there... I was able to get on the network finally, and saw that it was there :)

v0rtex
04-04-2009, 01:01 AM
Huh... I don't get it... But very sorry to freak you out if I did. :blush:

I will look again tonight.