Prologue and Chapter One: Mines and Mollusks
The Negativitron has been defeated, and our sack hero is living it up in the Discotheques of Sackville. But a secret from Craft World's past threatens the very fabric of life for sack folk everywhere.
This cinematic prologue sets the scene for what lies ahead. A mysterious woman, a deadly affliction, and political intrigue thrust our hero into a new adventure!
As our champion leaves Sackville for the Minsitry of Textile Affairs, he is sent on an inadvertent detour into the Royal Thread Mines. Runaway minecarts are only the beginning of your worries as you head into the depths of Craft World.
The first chapter of the adventure is a straight-up platformer. The centerpiece is a jumping minecart challenge that I hope is exciting but not too frustrating. An epic boss battle with one of Craft World's more disgusting creations caps off the level.
I hope to use the basic story premise I have set up here to delve into some of the more interesting possibilities with LBP2. I've been tinkering with some ideas for a scrolling shooter level and may even launch into the depths of space, with a decidedly steampunkish flavour.
Hope you enjoy!
I can likely manage four or five of the first F4F requests.
An idyllic waterfall
Deep in the mines
Vile Snail Lord
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Threnody for an Enchanted Seamstress (Series)
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- Jan 2011
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Ooo first rating being a dislike, that's never good. I'll go check this out now, doesn't look bad at all form the pictures :P
Do you mind looking at my level while I go play yours? http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/sho...ory-Isn-t-Over
And the feedback is in!
- I'm not quite sure where that dislike came from, I found the movie to be a nice, solid, if a little short introduction to the series. It's a shame you didn't have/use a mic though, it would have improved it a lot.
- The story was very LBP, I liked the idea of sacks spontaneously exploding, it made me laugh until I checked myself and realised it was horrifying.
- As for the level after it, it involved some great parts, the mine cart and the wheel with ledges on (you know what I mean, you jump to make it spin and all that). However I had a big problem with the boss, I literally had no idea what I was going and ended up throwing the stuff over the boss (in an attempt to hit the back of it)) and it must have got stuck somewhere because after that the emitter stopped emitting anything so I had to give up. So give some more direction there, highlight weakspots etc, and it'll be a really good level overall (:
Thanks for the feedback. I'll play your level tonight or tomorrow and get back to you. Looks fun.
As for the boss, all you have to do is throw the salt shaker at the head. You'll see purple cracks appear in the shell if you get a hit. I'll have to think about how to make it more apparent--I don't want to just have a big sign that says "Hit him in the head."
I'll look into why the emitter stopped giving you new shakers. Sounds like I don't have it set to destroy the ones already emitted. I didn't think you could even throw the thing over the boss, since he's so big . . .
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This is so good. The movie was really well done. The level is short, but a lot of fun. I'm having a heck of a time trying to ace it. If that pump car doesn't get me, the bounce pads do. Last time my PS3 locked on the boss. *sigh* Cannot wait to see where the story goes.
 The GF found a bug. If you try to self-destruct right away, the cart doesn't respawn... Now, how many people try to self-destruct the second they get into the cart, I don't know, but maybe a pull chain like the salt shaker would prevent that one person from frowning - Yo.
Last edited by Kanada Ten; 03-21-2011 at 04:41 AM.Couchsack
Wow, Kanada! You played it eight times. That's impressive. I'm happy you like it so much. I was despairing at how few plays I've gotten, but if the few people who do play it really love it, then I think that makes it worth it for me.
Let me know if you get the Ace. It'll be tricky because of the boss' death cinematic. I always watch in the background as the boss's head explodes because usually there's something slowly floating toward my player that kills him. I suppose I could get rid of the depth-of-field effect and keep the controller active, but I wanted the focus to be on the boss' death and not on dodging that one last projectile. Maybe I'll put a timer on it or something so that the movie doesn't trigger for a few seconds, just to let the player get out of the way of any last attack... If I do that, I'll give out the boss or something as a groovy Ace prize.
The cart respawns via a player sensor down the track a bit so that you don't see the new one pop out. Having a pull chain or some other switch isn't a bad idea, though I'd want to put in some sort of object so that the cart doesn't just appear out of thin air, and I'm totally out of thermo. Instead, for those who like to blow up their cart immediately, I think I'll change it to a timer that starts once you activate the controllinator. (I can see the temptation—you're told the controls and you might want to check out how they work right away, even at the cost of a death.) I guess I'd have to push the checkpoint back so nobody can jump down onto the track and block the emitter...
P.S. My PS3 has locked up on my level twice now, and more than a few times elsewhere. I'm finding LBP2 suddenly to be pretty glitchy that way. I've had the sound cut out tons of times and that crunked-out bug where everything turns into the yellow exclamation point happened once. I hope some of this clears up in the next patch.
The movie reminds me of Coraline, in a really good way; and it was done well enough to interest my GF who totally lost interest in LBP after story mode...
Don't let the word Threnody intimidate you, people! Give this level a go.Couchsack
I really enjoyed playing these two levels this evening. The movie was excellent - the opening sequence with the needle and the holo material was beautifully done and the whole thing had lots of atmosphere. I laughed at Sack living it up in the disco and like JonnysToyRobot I started by laughing at the spontaneously exploding Sacks and then swiftly stopped - the horror!
The first chapter level had some really cool bits of gameplay in it. The rotating platforms and the minecart ride were particularly good. Your boss, the snail lord, looked suitably vile and was no pushover to beat. Using salt to dispatch him was very fitting - a neat touch.
I found the bouncepad section a little frustrating - partly my lack of skills but also in part because I kept automatically assuming that when the light turned green it was safe to jump on the pad. In fact in most cases, there was a delay of a couple of seconds before the pad emerged. I got suckered into jumping too soon surprisingly often - it must be conditioning. That or the lateness of the hour. Anyway, you might want to think about adjusting the timing of the green lights for anyone else who plays on autopilot like me!
These levels definitely had a charm and quirkiness about them that I found very appealing. There's something both dark and at the same funny about them. They deserve so many more plays than they currently have.
Two yays and two hearts from me and I do hope you continue the series.
Last edited by shropshirelass; 03-25-2011 at 02:46 AM.
I played this yesterday because it was at the top of the Recent Activity list with a favorable review from shropshirelass. Saw there was also a movie afterwards, I'll have to go back and watch that tonight.
I got a laugh out of the inconveniently placed mine cart, I'm also using a cart to temporarily block part of my new level! Have you been playing Dragon Age 2 by any chance? We also chose the same music!
Things really improve dramatically with this level once you get underground. The buildings/trees above ground looked a little too simplistic where as the underground section is more realistic/interesting and nicely detailed. The mine cart was a lot of fun, I liked the non-intrusive way you presented the instructions, this was definitely my favorite part. The 4 bladed "wheel" used to traverse the gap was also a cool obstacle.
I agree about the green lights with the bounce pads, they threw me off a little as well and the glow obscures when the actual pad moves into play. The delay would work better with a red light notifying you that they were going to retract...
The boss fight looked and played great. I don't recall seeing any indication of health for the boss...but then I also didn't realize I was throwing salt, it was very late?!? This would be a nice addition if it's not there already.
I look forward to seeing more from you.
Thanks for the compliments and input, shropshirelass and fullofwin. I was trying to help the player with the lights on the bouncepad section. It lights green for half a second, then the platform comes out. The light goes dark just before the platform is about to retract. It was supposed to be like, "Hey, it's about to come out, get ready!" I'll think about how to change it up, especially if the glow makes it tricky to see the platforms move... That part is supposed to be a little tougher--a sort of Megaman type disappearing block challenge as a shout out to the hardcore crowd--but I don't want it to be frustrating for the wrong reasons. Maybe I'll just have it turn green when the things come out and red when they retract.
The boss does have a health indicator of sorts. I contemplated having an HUD of some sort, but ultimately decided against it. Instead, the shell gets a number of purple cracks with each hit. It's off in the bottom left corner of the screen, however, so it's easy to miss, especially when you're dodging stuff on the opposite side of the room. I wanted to have goo splatter out of the boss as he was progressively weakened, but I couldn't get it to look quite right. I might revisit that idea, or perhaps reduce the number of hits needed to defeat him, if it's one of those situations where you're like, "Geez, how many hits do I need to land?"
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
Hey, I just queued your level. I should be able to get in a review for it some time soon, such as maybe tonight. Could you also look at my level? It's a coproject that I did with a couple of other creators. http://lbp.me/v/y4n7x0
The F4F thread: http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/sho...g-Piece-Part-1http://lbp.me/v/y4n7x0
"A time where treachery knows no bounds, have you heard of it? If you have not, then I will tell you about it..."
The first in a series of levels that I am cocreating with other creators (such as robmacd94 and xxblindwolfxx). Anybody who is willing to assist us in the development of this, message me or either of those two!
This is pretty friggin' amazing, and it's pretty...pretty too! How did you make that waterfall anyway? And the slime that pushes you through the tunnel really seemed like slime (it's probably glass?). The level starts out strong and it just gets better and better. I loved the whole snail mine sequence. I personally didn't find the boss fight confusing at all, although I died over and over from the snails that guard the boss, but I probably just wasn't being patient enough. I hope you can find the motivation to keep making great stuff like this despite the disappointing play count.
Thanks, zabel. I'm glad you liked it. The waterfalls at the beginning of the level use emitters that spout a bunch of extra big water drops. (The river is also made out of big water drops, which have movers that push them up and down.) The slime is just a hunk of Strawberry Jam material (and a slimy sound effect to complete the...er...effect).
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Man, I feel like I'm really getting in on ground level of something huge here. This is easily one of the greatest pieces of original user-generated story content I've seen in all of LBP. The premise is so creative, it really pulled me in. Threnody, as an alternate prequel for the LBP storyline, is a story I could see myself telling friends about in person. I think the seamstress is an awesome character, and I felt so bad for the sackpeople when I started seeing what was happening to them! The platforming is really well done and the presentation is fabulous. I want to get into the details of what's so beautiful about everything, but I'd be here for hours. The issues are very minor, but I'll get into that. Thank you for incorporating clever humor and a vocabulary in the text/dialogue. It is so refreshing to see big words LOL OMG AM IRITE? Suffice to say, I'm really excited to play more of what you're making.
I thought the camera work around the earthquake and explosion could use a little more attention. Maybe just a bit of polish: timing tweaks, shake adjustment, sequencing in more sound effects, whatever it takes to make it feel a little more visceral. When I came to the mine, there was something large and dark flashing, it took up a lot of the screen. I know there's water flowing nearby, so thought it might be a visual glitch related to that, or perhaps one of the yellow lights on the ceiling blinking.
When I got to the mine cart, I was a bit confused because it took me a second to notice that there was a controlinator in the mine cart. Mine carts in LBP are just typically so low-tech (just grab and hold a direction), I expected the cart's jump to somehow work by just grabbing the side of the cart. I would suggest mentioning the controlinator in the text of the magic mouth speech bubble above it. Also I've been playing Joe Danger lately, so a part of me wants to be able to rotate the cart while it's in mid-air. Evidently roll-overs are an issue already though, haha. It felt a little stiff while jumping as a result, but maybe that's for the best? Overall the mine cart sequence was really good.
The level was also a bit short, and alone as it stands, I would recommend fleshing it out length-wise if your thermometer allows. I wouldn't doubt one bit though if it was already overheating due to the intricacy and density of the level on a decorative level. I just wanted to spend more time in this little world of yours. In the grand scheme of things, level 1 being short in terms of minutes may benefit Threnody in the long run if this does end up being a 6 episodes or whatever it is you have planned. I would rather play six short levels that look like this than three long levels that are bland and without such intricacy.
Edit: Not sure if you're still looking to do F4Fs, but if you're into psychological thrillers you might enjoy my Memento film tribute level.
Last edited by discokrakken; 03-27-2011 at 05:25 AM.
Thanks for the extensive feedback, discokrakken. (Love the username, by the way--I see this big tentacled thing with platform heels and mondo flares doing its best John Travolta impression...) I just queued your level and hope to get to it in the next couple of days.
I'm happy you like the story. It mostly came together from the image I had of sackpeople exploding in a cloud of stuffing and grew from there.
The earthquake part hasn't sat just right with me, either. It was one of the my very first goes at the sequencer and movie camera tools, and I think I stretched too far with the series of tilting zooms. It was supposed to be a little cheezy, like a B-movie sort of thing, but I admit it doesn't quite work. I had some trouble with the sound effects because anything MM has given for rumbling is quite low volume-wise, and gets drowned out by music and other sound effects. I'll try turning off the sound positioning, and maybe fool around with some of the cinematic music.
Is the "large dark thing" you saw sort of roundish? It's a water-wheel. It shouldn't be flashing, but there is, as you mention, the flickering light near the minecart... I'll check that visual again--it could chalk up to the difference in our TVs, but I could probably use a bit of extra lighting there.
I went through a number of ideas with the minecart. At one point I was toying with using rotation to let the player try to "match" the angles of the track. I was, as you suggest, having trouble with rollovers, so I went with a gyroscope instead, and limited the controls to jump only, à la Donkey Kong (which, incidentally, I was playing obsessively just prior to LBP2's release). I don't want to fool around with the minecart, though, so I'll most likely leave it as is. As for signalling the controllinator, I might put up an arrow or something and maybe switch to "automatically enter" so all the player has to do is jump down into the cart.
As for length, I personally prefer to play a level that is short and to the point, that uses a number of good ideas but doesn't overstay its welcome. Same for games in general, for me. I'd rather spend five minutes in a level that leaves me wanting more than ten or fifteen minutes of a level that lost its appeal for me half way through. That said, I did want it to be a little longer, but the thermo is maxed to the point where another couple of point bubbles makes the emitters stop working. It's the stupid waterfalls and the falling leaves at the very beginning. They heat up the level in a major way. In any event, the next in the series is about 75% done and should be a bit more meaty.