View Full Version : F4F-From Siberia With Love Pt.3: Skills Of SAM, Parts 1+2 spotlighted - pics included

03-04-2009, 09:00 PM
From Siberia With Love Pt.3: Skills Of SAM by GruntosUK

After a complete rebuild due to the level failed to load error, and around a month and half, I've finally finished part 3.

After being chased and stalked by the chopper, 0013 finally reaches the SAM site and his chance for revenge. After learning of another step in Dr. Cloth's plan, he must defeat an old russian guard, and make his way to Dr. Cloth's base.

The chopper fight is split into two different battles, one with the paintinator, the other using an AA gun. After this, there is a small miniboss before a short journey gets 13 to his destination. I've also finally been able to make a change in the materials I use, and think this level is a great buildup to finale, coming soon. :-)

Here are some pics...






Part 1 can be found here

Part 2 can be found here

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy.


03-04-2009, 09:04 PM
Awesome. I thought I was done playing LBP today, but I guess not.

03-05-2009, 05:16 AM
I'll try to remember to play it, I liked the other parts :)

03-06-2009, 12:30 PM
I played this earlier today, here are some thoughts:

Well you really kniw how to kick things off! Any level that begins with a boss battle is great in my books lol (I know you are following your story-arc but still). The details on the chopper is first rate, probably the best chopper I have seen in LBP (and I have seen a few). I thought the idea of making extra lives optional and the decision actually having an effect on something was ingenious, really really great idea man. The battle was fun and if I have any complaints it's that I wish the chopper was more animated. However, I am sure you are working with a full thermo and simply could not fit any more in.

I really liked the paintinator implementation and thought you managed to use it in a few creative ways. My favorite part in this regards was aligning the three valves into the right position, very cool.

Your architecture is true to the series and highly polished as always. The one big difference that I really enjoyed was the "verticality" of this level. The story says that you are moving up the mountain and I thought you really nailed that feeling, good job. Your use of LED's was superb and there is a general complexity to these levels which I really appreciate.

I enjoyed all the bosses although I did not find any of them too challenging (I know difficulty is extremely relative though). I liked the moving elements in the last boss and firing at the chopper with the rockets was really fun.

I enjoy levels with a story and your tale is moving along nicely. It is not the deepest story in the world but I am sure that was not your intention and what you have really serves it's purpose.

I loved the monorail section, probably may favorite part of the level. I particularly liked your use of foreground decoration near the end and how you implemented blue VR.


- After destroying the chopper with the rockets I was a bit uncertain of what to do becuase the elevator did not activate. I ended up backtracking through the whole level and finally went back to the cannon, fiddled around with it and somehow turned on the elevator. Did I miss something in the speech bubbles? A bit more direction would not hurt.

- I think coloring your checkpoints could add to the overall polish.

Overall a truly wonderful level that earned 5 stars and a heart! I look forward to the conclusion but I am really interested in what else you can do with a different story/theme/atmosphere. I think you are a very talented creator and I would love to see what else you can come up with :)

03-06-2009, 12:49 PM
After destroying the chopper with the rockets I was a bit uncertain of what to do becuase the elevator did not activate. I ended up backtracking through the whole level and finally went back to the cannon, fiddled around with it and somehow turned on the elevator. Did I miss something in the speech bubbles? A bit more direction would not hurt.

I dont know what the problem is there, the blades to helecopter have a magnetic key on them that triggers when they fall off the helecopter, I'll try widening the trigger radius. Although after many many playthroughs it has'nt happened to me yet. I'll take a look

Thanks for your comments OCK, much appreciated, I want to move on to something different also, one more level to go :)

03-06-2009, 02:19 PM
I actually played through all 3 of these in one shot this morning. Fantastic! I had played the first one a while ago but I think I lost the key when I had to restore my game save at some point....

I only had 1 thought as I was playing this morning (and it fits exactly what OCK says) - it seemed odd at the beginning that the chopper boss wasn't moving at all. The only improvement I could think of was to have it slowly move up and down to give it a little life.

5 stars and hearted! Great series!

03-06-2009, 02:32 PM
I tried to make the chopper move but the rockets flew off course allowing the player to avoid the explosion at times. They could also shoot the rockets at points destroying the cloth it's made out of stopping the attacks and stopping it flying away.

I tried a few of ways of doing it but none seemed to work.

03-06-2009, 02:51 PM
Heh.... not even a tiny tiny tiny bit, just to give it kind of a hovering effect?

No problem. In the scope of the entire level it's probably minor anyway.

03-06-2009, 03:35 PM
Played trough this, and i LOVED it! At first i was sad, thinking it was just a boss.. But you still had awesome gameplay elements, and ofcourse, SECRETS! On my first run trough, i acquired the #2 score. I found all Intels, and i missed 1 Black Box part... Also, i shot all the 4 recon drones :D I love your series man.. You're insane :D

03-07-2009, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the comments.

I'm still accepting F4F, and rather bored at the moment so I'll get straight onto it

03-07-2009, 03:45 PM
I would love feedback on some major changes I did on Splat II if you get a chance.

03-07-2009, 03:48 PM

I flippin loved the first ones, so I'm all over this. I hope you did more unique things like the heating of the pipes from the first one, as I loved that part. Anything where it looks like I'm affecting the environment is great. Plus it's time to destroy that **** chopper :p

I'll be giving this a look as soon as I can! (at work, atm)

03-07-2009, 07:14 PM
Sorry I couldn't playtest for you! Ohh well... I got my PS3 back a couple days ago, so if you need playtesting for your next level I'll be glad. Will play this level, and your second, now!

03-08-2009, 04:28 AM
I'll play the first two before playing this one. Thanks for the feedback!:p

03-08-2009, 11:03 AM
I wanted to play through parts 1 to 3 one after the other, but I had to give up on part 2 because there was a part where I simply couldn't progress no matter what I did. I'll PM you with the details, because I really enjoyed the rest of part 2 and all the other parts as well, and I'm also the type who loves going after secrets, so these type of levels are my kind of stuff. :)

Anyway, here are my thoughts on part 3:

- I'm very happy that you stick to the same visual style you established in the first part, it gives the series a distinctive look and sets it apart from other wilderness type levels.
- Some parts looked fantastic, I think the small glimpse of Cloth's lair that we got there is enough by itself for me to keep checking Level Showcase every day in hopes of a part 4... It's one of the most brilliantly designed "base" type architectures I've seen.
- The secrets are very cleverly hidden, contrary to part 1 (where I got all the secrets the first time through the level), I only got 3 out of 5 in part 3, which will surely make me replay the level soon! ;)
- The chopper looks awesome (as always), and the first battle with it was pretty fun as well.
- As with parts 1 and 2, the feature I enjoyed the most (and the one that gives the level most of its originality, IMO) is the ability to choose multiple paths. Some of the best games I played were ones with a lot of multiple paths, so I'm bound to love any LBP level which lets the players pick their route.
- Oh, almost forgot: brilliant use of humour coupled with Bond movie references!
- One of the two things that kind of broke the immersion for me was the typos and lack of punctuation in speech bubbles. There's "to" instead of "too", "girlfreind" instead of "girlfriend", the protagonist is referred to as both "0013" and "13", some chat bubbles are inexplicably terse even though there has to be space to add more words. I normally wouldn't remark upon these issues individually, but I enjoyed the series so much that even the slightest lack of attention to detail is easily noticable and detracts from the near-perfect experience :)
- I thought that the second chopper fight was very anti-climactic... I mean come on, one shot and that's it? I was expecting something twice as tough as the "weaken" part. It was still fun, but you could do so much more with it (if you have therm space left, that is... but I'd even consider rearranging stuff to add more action there).

Anyway, great series, can't wait for part 4! =)

03-09-2009, 09:49 AM
Well done on getting spotlighted! :)

03-10-2009, 10:55 AM
It seems to have done the trick, 60 plays on Sunday when I checked, 703 this morning :D

03-10-2009, 11:22 AM
It seems to have done the trick, 60 plays on Sunday when I checked, 703 this morning :D

You think it's a good idea to delete and republish a level?

03-10-2009, 11:29 AM
As before, level design is nice. Now, i couldn't follow the story somehow.

Let's talk about glitches in the level:

The chopper's nose can be defeated by standing at the extreme left side incline in the room. Just stand there shoot away, you'll never get hurt unless you don't destroy the two wing guns first.

At the monorail, i accidentally jumped out while trying to shoot the second drone. I got stuck at a structure immediately after the second drone. From there, I can go to the bottom of the level.

Thanks for the feedback on my level, btw! All the glitches i found is already fixed. If you want to try again, it would be lovely.:)

03-10-2009, 12:37 PM
I can't help it, I simply love this series, and part three is no exception. This one is a bit different from the previous two though in that it feels a bit spacier with the arrangement of sections not as dense as in parts 1 and 2. I like the "airy" feel this imparts, but at the same time the level feels more like a collection of cool ideas than a coherent whole.

And cool ideas there are lots of - in real life I'd seriously question the design of a black box that not only gets ejected before the heli is destroyed, but also splits into five parts. Still, it serves well as a collectible, looks good, and like the story or the rocket-propelled mine cart, it's just fun - who needs realism when humour beats it any day.

All the issues I've found have already been addressed by others in this thread, and some you've already fixed. That said, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the amount of magic mouths, especially those with active cutscene cams. I realise you need many of them for telling the story and it's fun if you follow it, but I'd love to have an "expert" mode that disables all of them so you can enjoy the gameplay without interruptions. (Same goes for parts one and two btw.)

Speaking of which, I think that the multiple cutscene cams that arrest you as you approach the chopper the first time are very unfortunately placed and timed. It's true there is no immediate danger since you're in a safe spot while the magic mouths are active, but the aggressive sound of the plasma gun really makes you want to return to the gameplay as soon as possible since you don't know that you're actually perfectly safe where you're standing. As a result, I think most if not all players will simply click away the speech bubbles without reading them. (I know I did the first time.)

Having the most intense fight at the beginning is an interesting choice. I think that in the total succession of parts one through four it may work out well but looking at this level alone I think it's slightly problematic because of the already mentioned anticlimax - the tension really builds up immediately and never returns to that level afterwards. The rest of the level is quite good entertainment though so it's not a major issue, and the well-executed change of architecture as you finally make it to Dr Cloth's HQ serves well to give a feeling of satisfaction. (That said, an intense boss fight as you enter the complex might help to restore tension balance of the level. As it is, it's really a bit of a cliffhanger, and that's okay too - just give us part four already! :D)

Once again, a very enjoyable experience. Thanks for the fun!

03-10-2009, 03:30 PM
Just wanted to say a quick congratulations! I saw this level was doing well on cool pages last night. The level deserves it - I hope the whole series gets a good run.

03-10-2009, 04:48 PM
I expected to have a lot of comments to say when I started, but really, after having played all 3 of your levels in a row... All I can say is that I love them.

The only thing, on level 2, I did hate the part of the little platforms with the stone coming down on them which were separated by electricity.

I probably wouldn't have minded them, except the difficulty I thought was ramped way up on just this one section, which made the flow seem wrong.

hearted them :)

03-12-2009, 07:41 PM
Don't be expecting something hugely long. I'm not good and doing long things like that. I played through all the parts and loved them all. With the part on the helicopter were you supposed to shoot the middle turret first? I was able to destroy the two side turrets at first. The visual quality was really really good although some places weren't that well instructed you would eventuall find it. The part where you had to move the light around half a turn was hard. Were you supposed to use a paintainator? We (me and my bro) jumped on top of them and ran a long them. It could have been a bit more obvious (unless I'm stupid). I liked the part here it said :'Dr Cloths favourite NUMBER. He is one OF THE most viscous BEASTs.' I didn't realise there was LEDs to help you until I had it done. The level was outstanding! 5*'s and a heart. It's just that good. :D

03-16-2009, 11:53 AM
With the part on the helicopter were you supposed to shoot the middle turret first? I was able to destroy the two side turrets at first.

I know about this, I don't want to upset the apple cart by changing things now though unfortunatly. The chopper is wired to god knows how many different switches and triggers and gates, the wiring is a tangle and I don't know what goes where. I have learned to keep things in order now and add a magic mouth to the switch so I can see what i does and where it goes.

The visual quality was really really good although some places weren't that well instructed you would eventuall find it.

I get people saying they did'nt know where to go in places and others saying I held thier hand to much.

The part where you had to move the light around half a turn was hard. Were you supposed to use a paintainator? We (me and my bro) jumped on top of them and ran a long them.

Yeah you use the paintinator, although you can run on them as well (which incidentally might lead you to other things :)

Thanks for comments, apologies for taking so long to reply :)

03-29-2009, 09:46 PM
OK part 3...

You really know how to lay out a level, love how it all fits in together.
I does get a bit confusing at times but it isn't as bad in this one as it was in part 2.

I loved the idea of extra lives vs hidden stuff!
your puzzles are as usual, superb! I love how usually one switch actives many things even if they aren't directly involved in the game play.
(Part 3 of my series puzzles are modeled after your style of interactivity)
Cute communication after Choppers death. (Very easy though felt strange)
The first half circle (sentry I think) I was a bit confused at what I was supposed to shoot...died/restarted...got back started shooting finally heard the sound that means I hit something right!

OK probably my only true criticism: As I said before I love a good story except when it interferes with game play...well when you find one of the goodies the bubbles drop to fast. I dont get finished with the speech bubble when they come down an in an effort to get a good score I try to chain them...but your speech bubbles not letting me move so I feel I need to rush through it and miss the true feeling of the story.

The elevator ride with the drones nice touch!

Overall: Loved it. Not as hard for me as 2 and not as confusing either :)
Thought the chopper should have been harder...sentrys where trickier.

I gave it 4 stars a Heart and a tricky tag