Oftenly Discussions: The Leaky Faucet Effect

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Ya know, it's clear that I'm about to write an interesting blog post when I come up with the title before I have any idea what the post is going to be about.

Right, so I'm betting you're wondering what the leaky faucet effect is (cause I sure am!).

The Leaky Faucet Effect

You're playing a level. Points, points, points. You're doing awesome! You've almost surpassed the top score, it's a good level, the sky is clear, there's an apple pie in your lap.

But then the level glitches. You fall through a hole and die.

Frustration takes you, you rush through the next section, dying multiple times. You don't get the top score.
But hey - you did well and it was a fun level despite the glitch.

You've just found out your faucet has a leak. Argghhh. Annoyances are annoying.
You patch up the leak yourself.

You head to the next level. It turns out to be the next thing to an H4H level. Grrrrrr...
Back to your pod to find a different level.

The next day you come back and it's leaking again. You're gonna have to do something about it later. You can't be bothered now, though.

Next level's awesome. You're playing with another happy gadder. It's one of Kipmonlin's many excellent recommendations (Thanks Kip! ). You're about to finish it when your game freezes when the other guy's internet cuts out as another person is joining. You go on LBPC and post the glitch, very frustrated.

You get home again and take a closer look. After a proper diagnostic of the faucet, you get the proper tools from your hobby workroom and do a cleaner job of fixing the tap.
That ends up failing to, when you soon find out it's leaking again. You call the plumber.

You get the only response you could have hoped to get: hopefully MM will fix the glitch soon. It's not a common glitch, and they've been doing an awesome job serving the community's needs so to be fair they aren't really at fault at all. But man, this is really peeving you now. *RAGE!!!!!!!*

The plumber comes in, takes a look at the leaky faucet.

--AGGHHHH!!! GIANT ANT IN MY ROOM!!! *Traps under cup*--

er... sorry. Right, back to the Leaky Faucet Effect.

The plumber comes in, takes a look at the leaky faucet. He thinks he knows what the problem is but isn't qualified for what it would take. He refers you to another guy. Grr...

Urgh. Not satisfied, you go back to playing another level. It's another fun one with lots of springy platforms and fantastic visuals. Heck yes!
*Crack* a springy platform breaks. Glitch in the level. You can't complete the level, rate it 1 star, and walk away.

Later that night you go up to get ready for a good night's sleep. You walk into the bathroom, and the tap's busted. It's dripping water, and when you turn it on it sprays everywhere.
The new plumber comes the next day, and fixes it to the point that it only drips a tiny bit. That's as good as was possible at that point - the damage had already been left for too long. But it still drips. It stillll drips.
You badmouth the faucet brand to everyone you know.

So. You aren't one of those people who rates a perfectly good level with some small, correctable mistakes in them 1 star just because you're frustrated.
So what does this (kinda lame ) analogy have to do with anything?

The lesson to be learned here is to not be the one who contributes to the leaky faucet effect. No matter how silly it is for that person to have rated your level 1 star for no good reason, make sure your level can't break. Make sure it's a quality faucet, that won't leak, even from the most strenuous tear and wear.
Strive to make your level perfect.

It can never happen that you please everyone with your level, and you should never feel guilty if you don't. But remember, if your goal is to make that amazing 5 star level, it's got to be glitchless.
Get constructive feedback from fellow LBPC members before advertising elsewhere. Have a beta group test it before you publish it unlocked. Get some friends together to run through it trying to cause as much havoc as you can.

I'm not saying I expect every level to be perfect. I'm not saying everyone can make their level perfect.

But if you're really intent on making that 5 star level (see: Jackofcourse, Wexfordian ), always strive for creating a quality experience so that you don't end up with a leaky faucet on your hands. Cause it's that one glitch that will bring down your rating, and the player's experience, the most.

Updated 09-14-2009 at 02:39 AM by hilightnotes



  1. Burnvictim42's Avatar
    Indeed. Um... interesting analogy, but i like the message

    My first (pre lbpc) levels were a bit of a flop. I posted them in the showcase, and EVERYTHING broke. Now, i'm sure to have people playtest everything they can think of, because its a sure way to prevent bugs. I once playtested for AjnKnox when he was making his Attack of the Borg levels, and found a huuuuuge bug, in that you could get stuck in the walls of the ship if you jumped. He didn't find that before because there wasn't a reason he would, knowing where everything was and all. Point of the story: Levels break, its your job to try and get as many people to break them as possible (and then fix what breaks) before the masses get to it. Noone likes a leaky faucet... err... broken level.
  2. Powershifter's Avatar
    I really like your blogs ... just had to say it

    To the point - this is great advice. I always had one person other than myself test out my levels before I published them, but even one person isn't enough. To really de-bug your level, you need multiple people (on multiple PS3's) looking for anything that wasn't intended (glitch).
  3. ARD's Avatar
    BUT, I saw apple pie...that brings back some lols.

    ALSO what's a faucet?
  4. hilightnotes's Avatar
    Thanks powershifter!

    @Ard - what's a faucet? Really?
  5. Burnvictim42's Avatar

    oh wait... thats a Fawcet

    This is what you're looking for:
  6. Powershifter's Avatar
    lol! Plumbing 101
  7. ARD's Avatar
    Like a tap?
  8. Burnvictim42's Avatar
    Yes. Is this another of those british/american (and i guess canadian ) things? Like Boot/trunk?
  9. hilightnotes's Avatar
    Lol to be honest, I usually call it a tap, but I thought the 'proper' word for it was faucet