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  1. #1
    Abtastical Spudmuffin Kato's Avatar
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    Default Dark Earth: Don't Let Them In



    Don't Let Them In
    https://lbp.me/v/qxvrg9f



    DLTI is a free-roaming exploration level where your goal is to collect notes, assemble devices, and battle evil spirits. It is strictly one-player only due to some issues with the water and the sackpocket.



    You have the forest, and then you have the bunker which will serve as your base of operations. The bunker is a relatively safe place. As long as the lights are on, and the sounds are off, you can rest there safely. However, supernatural events will conspire against you come nightfall, and it may end up being safer wandering outside.




    As I mentioned it's free roaming. So by all means, explore to your heart's content, and encounter the unique spooks. However, if you so desire, the scoreboard is always open and always available to you. So you can leave the level at any time if it becomes too scary, or you have places to be.




    There is however, an actual ending you can get that will stop all paranormal events in the forest, bring about dawn, and defeat the evil San-Shi in their lair in the roots of the Black Tree. Set aside some time, collect every note, assemble every device, and you'll get a pretty cool ending!!




    This is my first LBP3 level, and a more 'serious' horror level like Close Your Eyes, but with creepier creatures. So arm yourself with a flashlight, and take on the San-Shi. If you dare!

    Super Happy to see LBPC back!!!

    https://lbp.me/v/qxvrg9f
    Last edited by Kato; 10-01-2015 at 01:06 PM.


  2. #2

    Default

    looks great...got it in the queue


    My real name is James....when I picked my username Adamwest1900 oh so many years ago I didn't realise it was the name everyone would see!!

    Why Adamwest..........he's BATMAN.

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  4. #3
    Abtastical Spudmuffin Kato's Avatar
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    Default

    Awesome! Let me know if I can do F4F!
    I don't just review, I make levels too!

    LBP.ME KatoRegama

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  6. #4

    Default

    Your visuals skills have really improved since Crystal Crisis. This is queued.
    And the world...is electricity! And there's a lot inside of you! And there's a lot inside of me!

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  8. #5

    Default

    Double post, I know, but I completed the level (fully, I might add), and now I have the pleasure of reviewing something by you!


    Proof of full completion.

    I'll start with the good. Overall, I really enjoyed your level. The atmospheric buildup when you're making your way to the bunker for the first time is quite well done. As I've said, your visual skills are much better than they once were, and that works quite well here. The forest looks very nice, and the bunker looks quite menacing, at least when you first get in and there's red light everywhere.

    I also liked the system of notes that you used, which I think was a very good way of telling the story. The way you only selectively give notes to the player as time goes on in the level is good for building suspense and keeping up the creepy mood. The use of notes for scattering machine parts was also a good way to manage the building of machines. Finally, I quite enjoyed the sticker panel art for the monsters, especially the last one before you "beat" the level.

    And now for the bad. And oh boy, it's a doozy. Why, oh why did you map turning on your flashlight to the R1 button? Many times I've been chased by that ghost that is repelled by light, only to spot a battery or machine part. Now, do I grab the part, turning off my flashlight and risking certain death, or do I skip over it and try to wait it out? This situation isn't helped by the fact that sometimes you deequip your flashlight upon grabbing something, meaning that often I have to make the conscious choice to die in order to get a valuable item.

    Furthermore, the game imposes no real consequence for dying. If you die, you either respawn at the forest checkpoint, or inside the bunker. Either way, there's no real detriment. At most, you're inconvenienced. I'd suggest you give the player a limited amount of lives, but that brings up two more problems:

    One, there are too many ghosts. I don't know if it's an error or an intentional fact, but I have been attacked by three ghosts, all at the same time, which pretty much creates an impossible situation. This isn't helped by the fact that you introduce ghosts too early. The big ghost, the one that's undeterrable, was introduced before I even read the note describing it, in fact, when I read the research log for it, there was no suspense buildup since I'd already been killed by the thing like five times, which just goes to show again that there's too many ghosts - not too many types of ghosts, but simply too many for the player to deal with. The ghosts should be used much more sparingly, to both avoid desensitization and make the game easier.

    Two, the game becomes nigh impossible without a flashlight. It's literally pitch black. Once you respawn at the forest checkpoint with no battery you can count on dying in water an unholy amount of times. Why you put a checkpoint so near to treacherous water jumps is beyond me, but if you were trying to kill me a lot, it worked. Even when I made it past the jumps, on the way back to the bunker with no flashlight the light-repelled ghost easily killed me, sending me back to do the water jumps all over again. Only when batteries spawned near me did I manage to make it back to the bunker. Really, you should have some sort of safe space to put your checkpoint, where ghosts don't come and you don't have to worry about water.

    Going from the topic of limited lives to something new, I should say that the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. Once you enter the tree, yeah you get a great show, but you really don't have to do anything challenging. It would be great if you had to face the final ghost in a boss fight, but he just destroyed himself. The whole level had been building up to this moment, with the whole "endgame" gun and what have you, but its only practical purpose was to set cloth circles on fire.

    So that's my review. Overall, I still enjoyed your level even with its faults, and I hope you continue Dark Earth.

    No F4F needed.
    Last edited by Kalawishis; 07-29-2015 at 07:50 PM.
    And the world...is electricity! And there's a lot inside of you! And there's a lot inside of me!


  9. #6
    Abtastical Spudmuffin Kato's Avatar
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    Default

    Thank you so much for the review! Good to see some fixin's I can make.

    - I'll see about mapping the powerups to L1 so you can keep them up. Did you know that each power-up can kill a different creature type? If you get too close to "Hello" with your flashlight up, he'll vanish. "Who's There" will vanish if you hit her with the noisemaker. And "Goodbye" vanishes when you hit him with the flamethrower, as do the others. Just a spare tidbit!

    - Ironically, the creatures used to take MUCH longer to spawn, and did not appear very often. I got bored waiting for some action, so I bumped up their appearances. At present they can appear in one of 8 locations each, as quickly as 15 seconds apart, or as long as 1 min. 30 seconds apart. I can lengthen the time I suppose, but maybe not to how it was at first. Originally I could get all the way to the end before "Goodbye" ever showed up.

    - Originally I only had double-life checkpoints, but I changed them to infinite to make the level more accessible. I've had someone else mention this too, so I'm considering it.

    - I found the same problem with the forest checkpoint, and it's completely by mistake. At one time I accidentally copy/pasted the river water a few notches upwards which erased half of the safe spots. Either way, it would be better to move it to the top of the falls close to where you start the level. Checkpoints are monster-safe though! As soon as you get within range, all monsters instantly vanish and cannot appear.

    - Originally going under the tree would have sent you to a level-link where you'd fight the three worms mentioned in the red notes, and afterwards, you'd be sent back to the forest. I even designed the bosses and their arena. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge on how to use the memorizer, so I had no way of letting the player go back to the original level. I decided against finishing the boss fight because of this, but if you think it'd be a better payoff, I'll look into it.

    - Also now that I know how to get a working kill-tweaker I can open up the level for multiple players.
    I don't just review, I make levels too!

    LBP.ME KatoRegama

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  11. #7

    Default

    Oh this looks awesome! I queued it up! ^^


    Check out my youtube channel! I post LittleBigPlanet Content =3 --> SakuraLBP

    Have a great day!

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  13. #8
    German Community Moderator avundcv's Avatar
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    Default

    Very well done!

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  15. #9
    Abtastical Spudmuffin Kato's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm going to be working on a small (not really small) update to DLTI this weekend. Sackpocket items were an okay idea, but after playing it X amount of times and considering the context of the level, they make things too difficult. So I'm going to change that system to something more akin to what I have in The Haunted.

    - L1 will toggle the flashlight no matter where you are, or what you are doing, and it will STAY ON until you turn it off.
    - L2 will trigger your Sonic Device, but it will be a single pulse. that also activates a temporary sound tag. So if you "miss" you may die.

    A few more "Open Text" signs from the start will be added/removed.

    "Collect notes to advance the story."
    "Use the Flashlight to temporarily defeat some enemies."
    "Use the Sonic Pulse to temporarily defeat some enemies."
    "Notes emit their own light source while active that temporarily protects you from some enemies. You may read at relative leisure."

    Some other changes:
    - I'm going to make the forest darker. There are a few "illumination zones" here and there to give the woods some color. I don't like them. They're distracting. So no more of that. No more torches. Just inky blackness.
    - I'm going to add a Sound-Vox panel to add some atmospheric noises to the woods.
    - I'm going to change the flashlight color to a blue-ish tint, and increase the range of the lighted area. This will not affect enemy AI.
    - I'm going to add a night sky to the background. There aren't many spaces you can see it anyway, but.... still.
    - The ending is getting an overhaul. I need a break from the awful Dynamic Thermometer, so I'm going to go ahead and give this level a proper boss fight.
    I don't just review, I make levels too!

    LBP.ME KatoRegama

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  17. #10
    LBPCentral Spotlight CrewHome Energy Reactor Mr_Fusion's Avatar
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    Default

    I like the changes to the sack pocket. I still find the sack pocket a little fiddly to use. Switching between items takes me out of the gam a bit too much. So having the flashlight on L1 was nice.

    I sort of missed the explanation on the sonic power up and then got killed by something while trying to work out how to kill it.

    But the visuals and atmosphere were great, the detail in the rooms was also quite nice.

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  19. #11
    Abtastical Spudmuffin Kato's Avatar
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    Default

    Link has been updated. This is now a standalone level.

    Also the scoreboard is now only available when you complete the level.

    https://lbp.me/v/qxvrg9f
    I don't just review, I make levels too!

    LBP.ME KatoRegama

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