In my newest level Experiment 101, you wake up in a dark chamber, unaware of what is going on. You hear a voice, and next thing the lights come on and you realise you are a essentially a lab rat. Now you must try to escape from Experiment 101!
Thanks in advance for playing, and if you have time, feedback would be much appreciated. Have fun!
New and updated! Improved based on feedback, and now longer and with more puzzles!
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Thread: Experiment 101
Last edited by Venom; 06-27-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: added LBP.me link
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sweet! adding to the queueFollow me on the twitterz @bioswoop
Alright, I have played this level, and here's my review. (Please note that in my reviews I review it while playing it, and that my main goal is to find what, in my own opinion, could be tweaked, removed, or replaced. So if there are a lot of criticisms, that doesn't mean I don't like your level, but I will try to compliment on the good things )
Seems pretty good starting off, but when you're in that green tube at the start, I think the black space-y material with white lights up top could be removed/replaced. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like a number of materials that don't seem to fit together the best. Although I do like the mix of blue wires and the grey metal. Anyway though, level design in Chamber 1 is good, pretty simple but the design still works. Not too sure about all the purple eyes. I mean, it's a neat idea, but could be executed better imo instead of randomly placing them all around the level.
That seemed to be a big problem in Chamber 2. In fact, I've got a few irks with that chamber, no offence. The design was alright, but could've used another material to fit in. Also, while the green/red lights were a little nifty, I think a sound should be added for the one that changes, basically add some sort of futuristic sound each time it changes, but something quick and effective, nothing too annoying if that's alright. I also wasn't a big fan of the note, in fact, I usually am not a fan of seeing notes in platformers. In my opinion, notes work best in create mode, or tech demos. But because this was not a tech demo, I felt that it detracted from the overall mood, plus it left me confused.
See, this big yellow note was actually in the way of the shift you had to take to travel upwards, but it also had some pretty confusing text. It said "Go back to the shift" so, because I've only been in one shift, my natural instinct was to go back to the red shift that looks like a table hockey puck, but nothing happened. I mean, since the elevator was there the whole time, I'm not sure if any text was really necessary there, it simply ended up making things worse. So if I were you, I'd get rid of the note a.s.a.p. If you do find that the text is necessary, make sure it doesn't interrupt you like a movie cutscene or a text bubble, since the text would tell you something you'd already know. So, instead of using, notes, cutscenes, or text bubbles, the best solution here would be to implement a less confusing message, via subtitles. It doesn't interrupt the player, yet it gets the word out, and it does so effectively.
I did like how you had chat between secondary characters that weren't around in subtitles, as it would've been annoying, especially since none of the text wasn't needed to solve any sort of puzzle, yet it worked in setting up the mood. the third Chamber is....interesting, to say the least. It's turned into a construction/volcano room, but I think it can get fixing. It's good to see no creepy eyes up here. By the time I've reached the third chamber, I've made the shocking realization that I am a buffoon, and the "eyes" are really the icams, considering they aren't up here, and the lab people mentioned that. Well, now that I'm aware, and good job pointing that out throughout the level, (sorry I hadn't caught on) I still think there could've been something better suited. Perhaps actual cameras attached to the wall, with those eyes on them somehow. I believe it has the ability to fit, it just isn't working imo right now.
Anyway though, back to chamber 3, no eyes, which makes things a bit better, but I feel by the time I've gotten here, it's completely removed itself from the first chamber. Now I'm not saying switching themes is a bad thing, it's just that if you're going to do it, it takes a lot of effort. The materials of lava, brown metal and what seems to be grey colored cardboard simply don't fit well, specifically what appears to be grey colored cardboard. Perhaps replace it with a metal? I was kind of fond of how you did the transportation system, to work with the environment, so that's a plus. Maybe have a sound as well when you're near the debris as they fall into the lava gas below?
As you're walking up the steps, you see a golden material, a brown golden material, a black background material and a cage material. Obviously, too many materials, even if some are pretty thin. I feel the environments, specifically after Chamber 1, could use some polishing, but also, maybe make the chambers longer, idk, Chambers 2, 3, and the escape all felt really short, and it's like the use of the creatinator at the beginning was just sort of....forgotten. I will admit though, I did really enjoy how it ended, props on that, it was real interesting, although maybe a couple of sounds could've been thrown in, like asSpoiler - Spoiler Alertthe tube changes direction, and when the tube is inserted, before dropping you onto the scoreboard
Overall, pretty good job, although I think it could using some sprucing up, but that's just me maybe.
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Have queued and will give it a good seeing to later on.Let me take you to the start of an epic journey with mind bending ideas but till then ask yourselves, Who is the Final Fanboy? Now with prizes if you watch the teaser for The Final Fanboy Part 2 Attack of the Art Guy
Sounds quite interesting I'm adding it to my queue !
Thanks for the highly detailed report and taking time to play my level . Appreciate the feedback.
I agree with the label - I wasn't happy about adding it - but added it as when testing it with a friend, she didn't realise that she had to move back into the lift; I didn't realise that caused more confusion! I'll rectify that straight away!
To defend some of your comments, I changed the scenery to give it a feel that you've gone behind where you're supposed to go; in a similar way that was done in the Portal games. But I do see what you mean and I'll see what I can do.
One last thing I also agree that it may be a little short, but any attempts to make it longer felt like I was "dragging" the level out too much :L So I tried to add more of a story aspect to make it more interesting. Very glad you liked the ending + there are sound effects in most of the places you suggested but they are obviously too quiet :L.
Anyway, I really do appreciate every play and especially this very detailed report.
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Really like the opening and the eyes give it a very creepy feel, like you are being watched maybe lol. The first chamber had a great feel to it with the floatiness of the projectiles which was complimented very well by the music. The trash compactor sections was quite a let down as the scenery starts to look pretty bland, I'm guessing this is because of the clean cut Portal look you are going for but maybe introducing some new lighting or changing the camera might rectify this. The locking mechanism was really ingenious and looked very slick. The wall of colour section after it looks good but might try changing the material used as it detracts from the lighting effect produced. The journey taken when inside the green tube was striking as it introduced different scenery into the level and I really liked the ending.
On the whole this level has some really good ideas but is let down in its execution and lack of puzzle rooms. The atheistic starts out engaging but quickly becomes pretty bland but the dialogue and sound effects are brilliant. Try adding some decoration, different camera angles and change in lighting to fix the bland problem and add a couple of more chambers (maybe with level links) to have one amazing level.
Let me take you to the start of an epic journey with mind bending ideas but till then ask yourselves, Who is the Final Fanboy? Now with prizes if you watch the teaser for The Final Fanboy Part 2 Attack of the Art Guy
Last edited by Dragonvarsity; 06-12-2012 at 06:25 PM.
Please excuse me for the double post/bump, but Venom messaged me close to a week ago that the level had been updated, so I replayed it and here's some thoughts about this update, taking my original review in mind. Sorry it took this long to get a review out for the update, I can be pretty good at procrastinating sometimes.
WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT LIKE TO BE SPOILED ON COOL PUZZLES, DON'T READ THIS REVIEW.
Just like before, the beginning section is great. I can't remember if it was like this before, but I loved hearing the people in the background say to turn the iCams on, and how suddenly all the different eyes spread around just opened, it was a little creepy in a good way, and I got used to the iCams more on this second playthrough. It's cool to see some of the people in the background talk between eachother, but sometimes one will say something in a text bubble and will be quickly interrupted by another in subtitle form before you can read it all, like at the end of Chamber 3 for example, that can be annoying as I for one wanted to be able to see what they had to say. The different sounds like for the circles switching from green to red are good, and the use of nano-technology kind of materials are great, just like before, and I forgot to say this in my original review, but I did enjoy the progression of the creatinator with the different challenges. Moving onward, I can see the second chamber has been re-done some. I kinda feel like another material or two could be thrown in though, but I do like the golden shape behind the lift. I'm also glad to see that the note is now out of the way, making it so much easier to find where to go next. By the way, I think some might like it better if you make it clear that the floor in the second chamber starts out electrified. Simply making the electricity visible would be fine, I just know that in some cases, misleading things such as that can make things frustrating for certain players.
The little warnings from Sackling 14 are a nice addition by the way, and it was interesting to see you take out Chamber 3. The elevator ride up was great, I really loved the look of the re-designed chamber as you passed by it. Seriously, nice job on that Venom, it looks awesome. I like how Chamber 4 retains a similar look to Chamber 1 by the way, and the way you've expanded upon these colors is really cool. Instead of just red circles being not grabbable, and green circles being grabbable, you've added new things into the mix, such as the blue and yellow layer gates, which helps retain the theme, yet keeps things fresh. I was also puzzled by the first challenge of Chamber 3. I mean, I kept pressing R1, and moving right, which kept focusing in very briefly and then going back, and the green circle disappeared. I just assumed it was a glitch, but upon further examination, I noticed that was not the case, and figured out the puzzle after a while, thanks to the little gap. It's your level, and entirely up to you, but if I were you, I might have some sort of obscure hint to throw in, because otherwise, this little gap could simply be taken as a design error, but maybe that's just me. I still think the puzzle is an interesting one.
After finishing that challenge, I move up and find out that you decide to throw in a similar challenge, with a gap and grappler by your side. Playing a second challenge with the same type of gameplay, I truly begin to realize how great this is. The way you plop down the grappler through the gap, and then it focuses on the green thing, I've never seen anything like this before. You have no view on Sackboy, and you still control him naturally, moving the green goo ball around with your hook. Gameplay starts out balanced, yet it wobbles just a little, as it should, forcing you to be extra careful. The main complaint I have here is the dang sliding part. You have no view on Sackboy, so you have no idea as when he moves over, he's sliding, which automatically rams the goo ball into electricity without giving you a chance. So no slants please, or at least make the design of the tight corners the goo ball passes through match the design, but even then....idk.
Not that it's impossible, because it is possible, if you go very very slowly. So I guess you could ask, were you not going very very slowly? I was going slow, I just didn't think about the slant at first since there wasn't a focus on Sackboy, and I couldn't see it at the moment. If you insist on keeping the slant though, I'd at least have some sort of warning message to slow down at a turtle's pace, due to the slant approaching, since all you see is the goo ball and the end of your grappler. But yeah, the rest of the challenge I did do. It was a little frustrating at first, but with lots of patience, it can be completed....twice.
I see you didn't completely abandon the incinerator room concept though. So yeah, that's back. I think the way you just go in the tube and it flies off could've been done a little differently. I'm probably just being a little nitpick-y here, but maybe instead of the player just walking right into the tube, despite Sackling 14's warning, maybe make it a trap. Let them get up and move right, but part of the floor collapses, and then you fall into a locked tube. That way I don't have to feel as big of an idiot, walking right into their tube-y trap, even though I do make it past that part.
the designs of the room after falling to an orange gas-ey doom are nicely done I gotta say, and it's cool to see the creatinator back. It's great how you brought this back in, re-using original elements of the level. The transitioning is a lot more polished than in the original level, and I liked how the lights turned on and the thin door slid downward, revealing the final switch to activate the incinerator room's lift. As you get out of the incinerator room, things get dark, and some on-and-off lights appear. I'm not one for putting LED's right in the wall, but they actually look kinda cool in the dark, on those golden-trimmed walls, giving off some sort of...egyptian vibe? I don't know, but I love how they extend and retract the shining radius, it makes things even cooler. More chatting continues in subtitles, and I loved how those two background people were talking, and, while I'm not usually one for Cake is a lie references, you did a great job throwing in that little comment from the people, and then Sackling 14. It also fits because of how you said it's partially inspired by Portal and Portal 2.
The uses of lighting don't stop with the red lights though. The use of white lights flashing down, as you prepare your escape are a nice addition. I also think the hallways for the escape look even cooler in this darkened atmosphere, and the rainbow colored area's great too. Having the cookies near the end was pretty funny, and I'm glad you didn't change up the ending, it was really neat, and still is now.
I gotta say, you've made a lot of great improvements upon your level. The chambers are now longer, and the transitioning is so much more polished. Chamber 2 could use a little polishing maybe, but besides that, each and every chamber looks great, while before, in version 1, things got sloppy after Chamber 1 in my opinion, no offence. You've utilized certain game elements and expanded upon them, such as using the Creatinator in not just Chamber 1, but also the Incinerator, and you expanded upon the colored, technical bits, adding in different colored gates, blocking or letting you pass through the layers. Zooming in on the goo ball as you moved it along was a fantastic gameplay concept you added in by the way.
You really stepped things up for version 2, and I can't wait to see what you do next Venom.
So glad you liked it and again, thanks for the suggestions.
My main problem was trying to get the visuals right, so very pleased you liked them. The grapple puzzles took a bit of work to get the logic to work, so I kinda forgot to hint to people what to do; especially as they are a little unconventional I'll try to fix that and the slant problem you mentioned (I wasn't sure whether to leave that in or not so at least I now have my answer there!)
For the record the first chamber is identical, except I took out a few of the iCams and added sound effects to the puzzles. The ending is totally untouched... I've had no complaints and only praise for that section, so I didn't want to risk ruining it!
Again, thanks for taking time to play/review it, I really appreciate it. I'll improve in those places you mentioned, but I think I'll take a break from LBP after that Now all it needs is more plays! :L