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  1. #1

    Default LORD OF THE RINGS : “The Bearer - Part I: Incipit” - SPOTLIGHTED -

    Hi everybody,

    It is now time for me to reveal to the members of this forum my last project and levels.

    OVERALL PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
    The whole project is called “The Bearer” and is a series of levels constructed under the theme of The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. In this series, it is useless to search challenge in the firsts levels, since the difficulty and gameplay challenge will be increased progressively level after level, as Sackboy Frodo get closer to the end of his hard journey, in the Mordor…
    Then, the first two levels are contemplative and their purpose is to give stars in the eyes (and not cramps in fingers). The “Part I” level is the only one that is unlocked for everybody and you will find the Key for the “Part II” in it. And the key for Part III, will be placed in the Part II level…until the last level. I actually don’t know how many level will be necessary to complete the Frodo’s journey…. Initially I was projecting 4 levels for “The Bearer”, but since the Part I and Part II are complete, I think it will probably needs at least 8 levels…

    Let’s me now present you the First level of the series:

    Level: “The Bearer – Part I : Incipit”
    Creator: Takelow
    Location: New Zealand
    Type: Contemplative level (TEASER) / Tribute to “The Lord of the Rings”
    Difficulty: *
    (*: not challenging! …*****: Very hard!)
    Gift: Custom items , KEY for “The Bearer – Part II: The Ring”
    Multiplayer
    : The level support multiplayer (no multiplayer gameplay section per se however), but was designed for ONE PLAYER.

    EDIT: The Part II had been temporarily unlocked. It will be until further notice.

    OVERALL LEVEL DESCRIPTION:
    When I first had the idea of a series of levels concerning LOTR (I must admit that it is my wife fault… She asked me to look again the Peter Jackson’s movies during Xmas holidays… just when I was thinking : What will be my next project??? ).
    Altought the idea was very incitative for me, I was wondering if I would be able to construct something visually interesting. LOTR movies are strong references for a lot of people, and their visual value is awesome and extraordinary! Hard references! So I opened an empty moon place and start some test for environments and overall artistic orientation, with one thing in mind: Is this reminding of LOTR for the player? After several hours of test, I started to like what I have done and decided to transfom this “test level” in an “introductive level”.
    This is how “The Berear - Part I : Incipit” was born…
    So, I polished the level and guided my constructions to give at this level a function of Teaser (as movies teaser). Its purpose is only to immerse the player in the LOTR universe of my levels slowly, giving him just little touch of what he could wait for the next levels in term of visual references. It is really a teaser. It’s second purpose of course is to give you the key for the Part II…
    In term of storyline, you will start the level in a strange library and quickly meet an unconventional Book. Actually, the One Book… It will propose you to take a rapid overview of what have been written on it. So enter the Book world and open your eyes…

    VIDEO Review:

    Thanks to Aeroblue for taking the time to record this review

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELDm0A5Ph0I"]YouTube - LBP Level Review: "The Bearer: Part 1 - Incipit"[/ame]


    PICTURES:















    Now, if you want TO KNOW AND SEE MORE about PART II and III take a look here:
    The Bearer - Part II : The Ring
    The Bearer - Part III : The Fellowship"

    Finally I would like to gratefully thank OCK here for its critical help in playtesting this level and for these very useful advices It is the second time you do such a thing for me : Thank you a lot!
    Last edited by Takelow; 06-23-2009 at 08:12 PM.

  2. #2

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    Wohoo!! Finally a LOTR level ^^"

    Gonna try them out tommorow! Need to sleep. >,<

  3. #3
    I can see the ending! Kog's Avatar
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    Probably your best work so far.

    Pros:
    +The Lighting, omgygosh, the lighting... how can such beauty be put to words...
    +The story was awesome, even though it was copied from LotR.
    +The detail was great! I especially loved the books.
    +Gameplay was good, it was fun to do, and not just a story.
    +The letters that you used to spell everything with looked amazing!

    Cons:
    -Some switches were visible. (Ya, that's right, only ONE con!)

    That was an amazing, detailed, epic level. One of my all time favourites. I'm excited to see the next level (Which I'll get to right now and get some feedback for that.)

    AMAZING job! 5 stars, and hearted!
    My newest level: Sycophant (1Player)
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  4. Thanks!


  5. #4

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    I have been waiting for this for a long time and I am happy you finished and published it. I played it earlier today, here are my thoughts:

    Your description of this being contemplative and like a movie teaser was spot on. It often did feel like I was playing a movie trailer and I mean that in a very good way. I don't remember playing a level in LBP that conveyed a similar feeling so thank you for that.

    I am a big LoTR fan having read the books and of course watched the movies and I really loved all the references that acted as a "preview" of things to come. The elven forest, Rohan, the mines, it is all here and everything has a style that is your own but still true to the movies/books. Great job!

    I have written this once before but I will do so again: you are a Master of Lighting! There is no other creator that I know of who has perfected the use of lighting quite the way you have. My favorite parts with this level in particular was the use of blue spotlights in the mines (simply stunning) and the lighting used for the Elven section (it was so bright, beautiful and magical that it was almost too much for my eyes lol) but really the whole level has amazing lighting that impresses throughout.

    Love the logo, love the logo, love the logo. What more can I say?

    The books you made at the very beginning, especially the open story-book, were fantastic and perfectly constructed. Your custom creations always bring a smile to my face.

    The part near the beginning where you are pulling the ring from the pond was ingenious and so true to the LoTR story. I also love the water bubble effect you created here, very impressive.

    I enjoyed the ending the "Eye" was perfect. I loved your use of logos again here

    Suggestions:

    - There are prox switches at the beginning and at the very end that are visible.

    - At the section where you use the jetpack to pull the ring from he pond it is possible to fly all the way up (outside) and see the construction of the room. Shortening the chain length will solve this problem.

    - Color your checkpoints

    - At the section that says "Nine men....)" it is possible o bypass the electric rings by walking in the background and maybe this was not your intention.

    Really amazing work once again. 5 stars and hearted! I will play part II this evening and get back to you with my thoughts then.
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  6. Thanks!


  7. #5

    Talking

    Gotta say, Takelow - you are an absolute MASTER at visuals. I'm a big LOTR fan, and I absolutely loved this. It may have been designed as simply an introduction with a little gameplay, but I enjoyed every minute.

    My list of issues locked EXACTLY like the previous post, so I kind of wish I had read it first....

    The only thing I can add is the magic mouth near the end looked a little out-of-place among your other work. I would personally rather see a statue face or something there. But that is an extremely small request (I wasn't even sure whether to mention it, but there it is...)

    Great work!

    Now over to the part II which I played at the same time...
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  8. Thanks!


  9. #6
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'Cog"
    Probably your best work so far.
    Pros:
    +The Lighting, omgygosh, the lighting... how can such beauty be put to words...
    +The story was awesome, even though it was copied from LotR.
    +The detail was great! I especially loved the books.
    +Gameplay was good, it was fun to do, and not just a story.
    +The letters that you used to spell everything with looked amazing!
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Cog
    Cons:
    -Some switches were visible. (Ya, that's right, only ONE con!)
    I will fix this soon

    Quote Originally Posted by Cog
    That was an amazing, detailed, epic level. One of my all time favourites. I'm excited to see the next level (Which I'll get to right now and get some feedback for that.)
    AMAZING job! 5 stars, and hearted!
    WOW, i didn't expected such reaction, but i must admit that i love that! Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by OCK
    I am a big LoTR fan having read the books and of course watched the movies and I really loved all the references that acted as a "preview" of things to come. The elven forest, Rohan, the mines, it is all here and everything has a style that is your own but still true to the movies/books. Great job!
    What you wrote here OCK is very important for me. It was actually my main challenge as a creator... Make something coherent, with correct visual reference. Thank you OCK

    Quote Originally Posted by OCK
    Suggestions:

    - At the section where you use the jetpack to pull the ring from he pond it is possible to fly all the way up (outside) and see the construction of the room. Shortening the chain length will solve this problem.
    Yes, we ever talk about this point in private. I tried to increase the lenght of this jetpack and didn't see that it allows player to see the construction of the room. I will shortened it in the next update, the second jetpack being sufficiant to bring the ring out.

    Quote Originally Posted by OCK
    - Color your checkpoints
    Oh... It is done in the Part II and... i forgot in the Part I...

    Quote Originally Posted by OCK
    - At the section that says "Nine men....)" it is possible o bypass the electric rings by walking in the background and maybe this was not your intention.
    Lol... you touch one of my personnal answer in this level...I don't know if i block the second and third plane to increase the challenge here (which is not really the purpose), or if i must consider the "shower" of rings as pure visual experience. I will think about this...

    Quote Originally Posted by OCK
    Really amazing work once again. 5 stars and hearted! I will play part II this evening and get back to you with my thoughts then.
    Thank you a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Ccubbage
    Gotta say, Takelow - you are an absolute MASTER at visuals. I'm a big LOTR fan, and I absolutely loved this. It may have been designed as simply an introduction with a little gameplay, but I enjoyed every minute.
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Ccubbage
    My list of issues locked EXACTLY like the previous post, so I kind of wish I had read it first....
    So, my answers will be exactly the same that above

    Quote Originally Posted by Ccubbage
    The only thing I can add is the magic mouth near the end looked a little out-of-place among your other work. I would personally rather see a statue face or something there. But that is an extremely small request (I wasn't even sure whether to mention it, but there it is...)
    You absolutely right. But my answer is in one word: Thermometer!
    I will see what i can do here with stickers (you know how custom elements take high % of thermo).

    Now over to the part II which I played at the same time...
    I saw your critical feedbacks and answered in th thread

  10. #7

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    intro part 1 was awesome very profesional looking, like a game of its own

    grammer errors on level description and on titles '' takelow present'' should b ''takelow presents'' sorry bout the nitpicking but u have potential and it looks more professional with good spelling

    visible magic mouths and switches btw

    part 2:

    this level is excellent, (liked the mountain bit, challenging but fun) fix these and it will be excellententer ( i new word i just made to describe ur level lol )

    first lever on top of house was annoying to reach, i had to topple a tree.
    gandalf grammer mistakes.
    a lot of things need gluing, ( fireplace for one ).
    lever on chandeliar kinda hard to find n i dont understand y its there of all places.
    ****!! im playing the level as i write this and the ring just broke in the elevator that sam rides on

    im sure the level continues 2 be awesome bt i couldnt b bothered 2 continue again

    my level
    silent hill 2 REBORN ( parts 1 and 2 )

    rip into it, i want my levels 2 be great

  11. Thanks!


  12. #8
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Hi talmasca,

    First of all, thank you for the feedbacks and the kind words. I'm really happy that you found my level "very professional".

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    grammer errors on level description and on titles '' takelow present'' should b ''takelow presents'' sorry bout the nitpicking but u have potential and it looks more professional with good spelling
    OMG! What a shame to do gammer error in such a title screen, even if the english is not my maternal language (actually i'm french)
    I made an update of the level and correct the "Present" in "Presents". Thank you for this .
    Concerning grammar and spelling errors, i must take more time to detect them and correct them (i mean, for this i must take a look to my scolar english book...). Btw, if you detected errors on specific words, please, tell me (as talmasca done with the present"s"), it will be very useful for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    visible magic mouths and switches btw
    I fix some of them in the update of this morning. Thank you. I didn't find the time to replay the entire level yet. But i will do it as soon as possible to verify that there is no visible switch remaining.

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    part 2:
    I think you didn't see it, but I have open a specific thread for "The Bearer - Part II : The Ring". It will be very more easy for me if comments about this one will be post in the specific thread. Thank you by advance


    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    first lever on top of house was annoying to reach, i had to topple a tree.
    Actually there is TWO very easy ways to reach this lever WITHOUT topple the tree (i didn't give you the answer here as it is a part of the level "secrets" to find). Actually, i must glue this tree because what you have done is not the way it must do.


    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    gandalf grammer mistakes.
    Same answer that above

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    a lot of things need gluing, ( fireplace for one ).
    I will see that, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    lever on chandeliar kinda hard to find n i dont understand y its there of all places.
    I said that the level was a ** challenge. Not a 0* challenge
    There is things you must found by observation of the level. I don't like to give the player all the solutions of my levels...they must explore a little bit to progress... It is a personnal choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    ****!! im playing the level as i write this and the ring just broke in the elevator that sam rides on
    Oh, to bad!
    Actually, i agree that if the ring is on the border left of the elevator, there is some chance that it been destroyed when the elevator go up. In an update i made this morning, i changed the material of the elevator, i made a trench in the right border of the elevator (in order to block the ring) and i changed the Sam dialog. It is not the best modifications that could be do here, but it is the best i found for the timle i disposed this morning.
    I will update this more deeply tonight

    Quote Originally Posted by talmasca
    my level
    silent hill 2 REBORN ( parts 1 and 2 )

    rip into it, i want my levels 2 be great
    Be sure i will play and comments your levels.
    EDIT: it is done. Your levels are great. I will write my comments soon in your thread
    Last edited by Takelow; 01-18-2009 at 10:59 PM.

  13. #9

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    Played both and ****.... they are good.
    Ok seriously, beautiful design and just great use of lights...
    I'm kinda short for words now.
    I'll come back a give u my full opinion on the stage.

  14. #10
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Thank you Blizzard, I'm anxious to know more about your opinion
    BTW, i made a minor update yesterday (i removed some invisible switch and fixed some issues in the start area section).

    Any new comments and suggests would be really appreciated
    Last edited by Takelow; 01-19-2009 at 06:21 AM.

  15. #11

    Default

    Sweet level, dude. Very slick.

    Everyone has already said everything I would say, but keep up the good work and I'm glad somebody talented is doing the LOTR the right way.
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  16. #12
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    I'm glad somebody talented is doing the LOTR the right way.
    Thank you for these kind words
    I really appreciate it

  17. #13
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    You have some very nice set design and custom objects in this level, Takelow... I love the books and the quills, the dwarven temple, and the elven shrine. I've been meaning to do a lifesize tabletop level involving books as one of the background pieces and you beat me to it

    I like how you were able to find a way to summarize the whole story, and really do an homage to it... you made a short, fun level designed for fan service, which I like. I wish more of the environment was as detailed as my favorite pieces, but I know how the thermometer is - if you want more than 4 rooms you have to foresake some detail (which I hate doing too :/)

    I'm about to play part 2, but this is another pretty original approach to level design from you, as always.

  18. Thanks!


  19. #14
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Hi NinjaMicWZ,

    I am happy that you loved my level!

    I wish more of the environment was as detailed as my favorite pieces, but I know how the thermometer is - if you want more than 4 rooms you have to foresake some detail (which I hate doing too :/)
    It is a choice here. What about my next levels of the series if i give you all, at the first level? lol
    As stated in the description of the level, i just would like give you slight touches in this level. I didn't represent The shire in part I. But if i had do such things, it would not be with the same level of details that in The Part II. If it was the case, there were no surprise anymore once you played this one.
    So, yes, here you trully have "slight touches" of what you can expect for the next

    Nevertheless, you was right, my thermometers is 99% full (the panels with text take a big % of it) for part I as well as for part II

  20. #15
    Junior Sackperson Neverynnal's Avatar
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    Default

    Loved it Takelow. I meant to comment on this when the level was still fresh in the brain, but alas I took too long. Anyway:

    Your custom creations are amazing. The books, the pens, the title, the everything. This is to be expected from you of course haha

    Telling the story about the distribution of the rings to the dwarves/elves/humans was epic. Especially liked how you integrated platforming into those parts and then proceeded to show a human/dwarvish and elvish environment after each. Just awesome, awesome planning! And then afterwards I got tingles when you fall and come upon the words "THE ONE RING" or something along those lines. Totally epic.

    Great work man, I'd have more to say but things aren't so fresh at the moment. 5 stars/hearted
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  22. #16
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverynnal
    Telling the story about the distribution of the rings to the dwarves/elves/humans was epic. Especially liked how you integrated platforming into those parts and then proceeded to show a human/dwarvish and elvish environment after each. Just awesome, awesome planning! And then afterwards I got tingles when you fall and come upon the words "THE ONE RING" or something along those lines. Totally epic.
    Great work man, I'd have more to say but things aren't so fresh at the moment. 5 stars/hearted
    Thank you a lot. I would like this level to be epic. It was, for me, the best way to promote the whole series.
    So i am happy with your comments

  23. #17

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    Incredible, the storytelling mixed with great aesthetics really makes this one stand out. Your approach is the PERFECT way to bring Lord of the Rings to LBP. It all starts on a bookshelf. It's just pitch perfect. and don't think I didn't love and appreciate the little piece of Howard Shore's theme music beneath the lake! Incredible.

    A few suggestions/issues:

    At the title "Incipit", I wasn't sure where to go - to the right looked a bit steep so I tried left. There was a small round boulder, which I was able to push, and then promptly fell through the level all the way to the ground below. Whoopsies!

    One or two more checkpoints would be nice, particularly in the dwarf area.

    I had BIG troubles with the elf region. The glass platforms were hell on me for whatever reason, and I wasn't sure where to go so I kept trying to get to the very top. grabbed the sticker, kept falling, kept climbing, kept sliding and falling some more. eventually I noticed the branch and figured it out. I wouldn't have minded if it weren't for the glass though. Never a big fan of glass platforms in ol' LBP.

    In Mordor, I fell from the giant ring winch, and it just really seemed to take a while to get a second chance to go back. For a minute I thought I was screwed, and the thing wasn't going to take off again, but eventually a did. Maybe just tighten that up a bit for klutzes like me who fall to their dooms? (MOUNT dooms... baaah...)

    I'm off to play Part 2 right away because I loved this level so much.
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  24. Thanks!


  25. #18
    FFXIV addict... Takelow's Avatar
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    Hi Teebonesy,

    First of all, thank you a lot four your great feedbacks, i appreciate it a lot

    At the title "Incipit", I wasn't sure where to go - to the right looked a bit steep so I tried left. There was a small round boulder, which I was able to push, and then promptly fell through the level all the way to the ground below. Whoopsies!
    Oh, i must forgot to glue it. I will for the next update.

    One or two more checkpoints would be nice, particularly in the dwarf area.
    I thought this level was not challenging. But i think i can add a checkpoint .

    I had BIG troubles with the elf region. The glass platforms were hell on me for whatever reason, and I wasn't sure where to go so I kept trying to get to the very top. grabbed the sticker, kept falling, kept climbing, kept sliding and falling some more. eventually I noticed the branch and figured it out. I wouldn't have minded if it weren't for the glass though. Never a big fan of glass platforms in ol' LBP.
    I see. Actually, i found the glass was looking very well with the visual and created this gameplay section. However, during playtesting, i observed that the climbing was difficult with this. In order to keep the glass visual but ameliorate gameplay, i added invisible black matter thin layers on some of the inferior glass plateform (until the branch). The upper part is a kind of secret area giving the player a custom gift. So i decided to keep the glass (and then, a little bit of challenge for this optional way) here.
    I think i will add element to show more the branch (perhaps a single well oriented spotlight would be sufficiant)

    In Mordor, I fell from the giant ring winch, and it just really seemed to take a while to get a second chance to go back. For a minute I thought I was screwed, and the thing wasn't going to take off again, but eventually a did. Maybe just tighten that up a bit for klutzes like me who fall to their dooms? (MOUNT dooms... baaah...)
    Lol...
    You fall, you pay

    I'm off to play Part 2 right away because I loved this level so much.
    Thank you a lot
    I will respond in the thread later.

    Btw, i played your The Movies level once again today. Comparing with the first time, it seems to me that the level was GREATLY improved (in term of lenght, but also with two more movies...)... Am i dreaming?
    I will replay it the next couple of days with a pen in the hand in order to give you detailed feedback

  26. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takelow View Post
    Btw, i played your The Movies level once again today. Comparing with the first time, it seems to me that the level was GREATLY improved (in term of lenght, but also with two more movies...)... Am i dreaming?
    I will replay it the next couple of days with a pen in the hand in order to give you detailed feedback
    Hmm... I think you must have been dreaming! It's always had 3 movies, but I have added a ton to the level visually (mostly to the trolley ride) over my updates and tweaks.

    For the dwarf section, you're absolutely right, it's not a difficult area, but if you do happen to die by fluke (for me, i was trying to take a photo - it's usually when I try to take photos that I die), you wind up at a checkpoint that's much farther back then you expect. My rule of thumb is to put a checkpoint right before every major obstacle. This definitely makes things a bit easier on the player, but the way I look at it is, checkpoints don't actually affect the difficulty of the obstacles at all, they merely reduce the frustration of having to repeat areas. But it's true that I'm not very good at this game anyway. There are some great levels out there that I've never been able to finish. Aye yi yi.
    Six Teeby Levels

    A Very Sony Christmas.........The Movies.........Fear and the Phantom Town
    .........City on the Sea.........The Legend of the Deep One .........The Electric Banana Peeler Factory

  27. #20

    Default

    Hey,
    I LOVED your level.
    It was brilliant how you changed them from the films, (as in, it started in a libary/book shelf).
    Everything was beautiful, everything from the books to the writing. The story was captivating (even if it was Lord of the Rings :L).

    I am a MASSIVE lord of the rings fan, and you certainly done it justice.

    5/5 *
    Hearted Level
    Hearted You
    Last edited by FatalScene; 01-21-2009 at 06:04 PM. Reason: spelling

  28. Thanks!


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