distractionware forums

VVVVVV => VVVVVV Levels => Topic started by: Terry on July 27, 2011, 04:16:35 AM

Title: How to get a level featured
Post by: Terry on July 27, 2011, 04:16:35 AM
From time to time, I'm hoping to feature particular levels that people have made by posting it on my blog and on twitter! I thought it would be a good idea to provide a few guidelines, and maybe talk about what I'm looking for in a featured level:

(http://distractionware.com/blog/img/2011/07july/goodidea.png)

:viridian: DO: Try something different.

I'm very likely to feature a level if it does something I haven't seen in a VVVVVV level before. Experiment with scripting! Try to build levels around unusual ideas!

:viridian: DO: Make it polished.

This is mostly just a matter of making sure there are no gaps you can fall through or glitches, and that you've tested things thoroughly to make sure sure everything feels nice in the game.

(http://distractionware.com/blog/img/2011/07july/badidea.png)

:victoria: DON'T: Make it too hard.

The easiest thing to do in VVVVVV is make a hard level, and while they can be fun, I do think they're one of the less interesting things you can make. (I'm unlikely to feature a level that's basically just a super expanded version of Veni Vidi Vici, for example.)

:victoria: DON'T: Exploit glitches.

The VVVVVV editor plugs directly into VVVVVV, warts and all! Which means that if you use the editor for a while, you're bound to run into some glitches as a result of the way things were implemented in VVVVVV. For example! If you place two horizontal gravity lines so that they intersect each other in the same line, you'll go through them. The problem with working this into a level, though, is that at some point in the future, it might get fixed in a patch. Which would mean your level wouldn't work any more!

:victoria: DON'T: Ask me to feature your level.

I figure it's probably a good idea to establish this as a guideline, just so I don't get swamped with requests, heh. I don't want to feature too many levels, just the ones I think do something really special and different - if I don't feature your level, it's nothing personal!
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: TheoX on August 01, 2011, 03:44:14 PM
I'm just curious, how many levels have you featured so far?  I remember seeing "Seasons" on your blog - did you have any more?

EDIT: also I love the Animaniacs reference.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: QualityJeverage on August 01, 2011, 04:14:09 PM
Going by Blog and Twitter, only Seasons has been featured thus far. Deservedly so :viridian:
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Arkatox on August 03, 2011, 08:20:18 PM
Since you are obviously too lazy to check the main website, which I check every day before I even come to the forums, here are the levels that have been featured so far:
http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/07/featured-vvvvvv-level-seasons-by-michael-brough/
http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-%E2%80%9Cvertex-vortex%E2%80%9D-by-matt-thorson/
http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-%E2%80%9Cthe-tower-of-power%E2%80%9D-by-randomnine/

Lol, have a nice day. :D
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: TheoX on August 03, 2011, 08:51:50 PM
>.<

Well originally I didn't know if he was going to put all levels featured on his blog or just tweet about them, but I understand it all now.  Thanks for putting links though, maybe we can make a topic with all the featured levels links. ;)
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Arkatox on August 03, 2011, 10:16:13 PM
I just realized how "I'm-making-fun-of-you" the :D smiley looks.

I didn't mean to be an idiot, if I appeared that way. I just meant to be a little sarcastic. :)
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Terry on August 04, 2011, 04:41:44 AM
maybe we can make a topic with all the featured levels links. ;)

That's a good idea; I'll do that later on.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Psychopath on August 04, 2011, 05:15:10 AM
maybe we can make a topic with all the featured levels links. ;)

That's a good idea; I'll do that later on.

Way ahead of you:

Quote
2.0 Launch:
July 26 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/07/vvvvvv-version-2-0-launches-in-the-new-humble-indie-bundle/)

·Pyramid of Doom (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=328) by Robson
·Vertiginous Viridian (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=336.0) by Jonathan Whiting
·Dual Challenge (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=323.0) by Magnus Pålsson*
·A New Dimension (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=324.0) by Magnus Pålsson*
·Variation Venture by Craig Forrester
·Line Wrap (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=326.0) by Roger Svanlund
·Roadtrip to the Moon (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=325.0) by Roger Svanlund
·Golden Spiral (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=327.0) by Roger Svanlund
·Variety Show (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=355.0) by Whirligig
·VVVV 4k by Notch

July 30 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/07/featured-vvvvvv-level-seasons-by-michael-brough/)

·Seasons (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=349.0) by Michael Brough Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/seasons.zip)

August 2 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-%e2%80%9cvertex-vortex%e2%80%9d-by-matt-thorson/)

·Vertex Vortex by Matt Thorson Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/vertexvortex.zip)

August 3 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-%e2%80%9cthe-tower-of-power%e2%80%9d-by-randomnine/)

·The Tower of Power (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=447.0) by Randomnine Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/towerofpower.zip)

August 4 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-vvvvvvideogames-by-rob-fearon/)

·Vvvvvvideogames by Rob Fearon Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/v6videogames.zip)

August 9 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-soul-searching-by-martze/)

·Soul Searching (v1.2) (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=480.0) by Martze Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/soulsearching.zip)

August 12 Blog post (http://distractionware.com/blog/2011/08/featured-vvvvvv-level-palace-of-peril-by-blublu/)

·Palace of Peril (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=462.0) by Blublu Download (http://thelettervsixtim.es/levels/palaceofperil.zip)

*Stages marked with an asterisk have been updated since their initial release and must be redownloaded in order to have the most recent version.

Feel free to copy the formatting if you like.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Arkatox on August 04, 2011, 01:29:11 PM
There was also a new one today.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Vimol on August 07, 2011, 08:24:01 AM
Just an idea here, but why don't we also do a people's choice ballot too? 

At the end of each week, people take the time to actually vote for a favorite from the last week, and we claim it the week's people choice.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Sendy on August 18, 2011, 05:26:04 AM
I intend to make a thread about my favourite levels soon - I encourage others to do the same! Perhaps we could have a level recommendation thread where people review their favourites?
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Damn It AL to Hell on September 18, 2011, 04:57:01 PM
Eh, I did the 1 and 2 on the don't list. :vermillion:
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Chillius on January 19, 2013, 01:34:31 PM
                    8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      888888    8888    88
      888888    8888    88
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      888888            88
      88888888        8888
        8888888888888888 
            88888888     
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      8888  88888888  8888
      8888  88888888  8888
          888888888888   
          8888    8888   
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 

Bump:i i'm bad at making these levels :(
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Dav999 on January 19, 2013, 02:00:42 PM
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      888888    8888    88
      888888    8888    88
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      888888            88
      88888888        8888
        8888888888888888 
            88888888     
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      8888  88888888  8888
      8888  88888888  8888
          888888888888   
          8888    8888   
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 


Fixed!
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Hilbert on January 19, 2013, 04:17:59 PM
It's not really a bump if it's pinned ::)
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Chillius on February 27, 2013, 09:24:27 AM
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      888888    8888    88
      888888    8888    88
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      888888            88
      88888888        8888
        8888888888888888 
            88888888     
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      8888  88888888  8888
      8888  88888888  8888
          888888888888   
          8888    8888   
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 


Fixed!
lol.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: allison on February 28, 2013, 03:08:19 PM
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      888888    8888    88
      888888    8888    88
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      888888            88
      88888888        8888
        8888888888888888 
            88888888     
        8888888888888888 
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      88888888888888888888
      8888  88888888  8888
      8888  88888888  8888
          888888888888   
          8888    8888   
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 
        888888    888888 


Fixed!
lol.
What an interesting and relevant addition to the topic!
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Dav999 on February 28, 2013, 10:18:13 PM
lol.
What an interesting and relevant addition to the topic!

Indeed. :verdigris:
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: N on March 01, 2013, 04:09:18 PM
lol.
What an interesting and relevant addition to the topic!

Indeed. :verdigris:
Yeah.

Also, DAV ALMOST HAS 1500 POSTS OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Dav999 on March 01, 2013, 04:33:03 PM
Also, DAV ALMOST HAS 1500 POSTS OH MY GOD OH MY GOD

Yeah, I'm not sure how I got so many posts here. But that's off topic.

The :viridian: made of 8s didn't add anything relevant to the topic, and quoting all of it and saying "lol." neither. So uh... :-\

What was the latest featured level? :P
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: blue626 on March 01, 2013, 04:49:42 PM
What was the latest featured level? :P

Deja Verdigris, featured in middle November 2011 (although made in September). Nobody had more great ideas since then...
(why off-topic* posts in an old thread? :-X)

*Still with the glow...
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: FIQ on March 01, 2013, 05:47:50 PM
What was the latest featured level? :P

Deja Verdigris, featured in middle November 2011 (although made in September). Nobody had more great ideas since then...
(why off-topic* posts in an old thread? :-X)

*Still with the glow...
I got the impression that Terry intended to feature Dimension Funland, but for some reason didn't.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Chyulix on July 28, 2013, 07:53:09 AM
yet another bump. cats remind me of the ocean.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: allison on July 28, 2013, 08:12:03 AM
yet another bump. cats remind me of the ocean.

(http://tolp.net16.net/forum/Smileys/dw/facepalm.gif)
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Chyulix on July 28, 2013, 09:38:06 AM
yet another bump. cats remind me of the ocean.

(http://tolp.net16.net/forum/Smileys/dw/facepalm.gif)
:D
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: allison on July 29, 2013, 07:35:59 AM
Seriously though- I can understand why Terry doesn't want to update VVVVVV: He's working on other projects. But why won't he feature anything? Many really cool levels have been released after Deja Verdegris, but right now the only audience for levels is the same small crowd. tOLP forums has only 29 members, and only 11 of them are very active.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Lord Ghetsis on July 29, 2013, 09:31:11 AM
tOLP forums has only 29 members, and only 11 of them are very active.
Was one of them me?
Back on-topic: How about a user features a level?
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Chillius on July 29, 2013, 01:26:24 PM
(http://www.rocketryforum.com/images/smilies/facepalm.gif)
I think getting your level featured is like 333333
1:Good level design
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: allison on July 30, 2013, 08:11:15 AM
tOLP forums has only 29 members, and only 11 of them are very active.
Was one of them me?

Yes. I defined "very active" as "having more than 100 posts".

Back on-topic: How about a user features a level?

That's a good idea. On tOLP there could be a board where the best levels are rounded up and then we vote using a poll...
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: N on July 31, 2013, 10:18:13 AM
On tOLP there could be a board where the best levels are rounded up and then we vote using a poll...
Yes, we should do that!

If only I actually worked on my level...
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Ruby Rose on February 02, 2015, 07:43:40 AM
so confused
i'm trying to make level from easy to hard and that looks like...
i'm editing a hard map
that was a bad idea  :victoria:
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: SJMistery on February 07, 2015, 04:45:46 AM
this does not belong here...
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: Sendy on March 19, 2015, 04:33:20 PM
I just want to add some input from my experience with level design in general. I'm not a professional level designer, I'm just someone that makes levels with tools that I find on the Internet out of a passion for platform and 2D games. I feel a lot of levels fall by the wayside for a few reasons and if you've not grown up practicing level design, they can be easy mistakes to make.

1) Firstly, graphics and atmosphere. The internal graphics of vvvvvv don't have a huge amount of assets, but still, an endless amount of good looking screens are possible. When carving out caverns, even if the shape is arbitrary because it's just a linker screen, there's a certain feng-shui that can make even a dull, challengeless corridor pleasing to navigate through. Think about tiling and avoid tiling issues by using direct mode. Try and give your environments a little bit of history, like some paths which look like they were once passages but have since caved in, structures which would have been symmetrical but have eroded away. Use stuck spites or coloured blocks to make features like machinery, water, fog, etc... A good balance between symmetry and asymmetry is a handy thing to learn, because screens that are mostly symmetrical but with a few breaks in the symmetry tend to be memorable to the mind.

Atmosphere comes from making your level feel like an adventure, a series of locations that flow onto eachother rather than a bunch of screens strung together (you might notice, most of the Featured Levels have done this to some extent). Add some stuff that doesn't benefit the gameplay, but gets the imagination working. Think environmental... Then you can create something that is more than just a video game level, but something that suggests an actual place you're exploring, which just happens to have game-like challenges in it. A classic trick in flickscreen platformer design is to tuck a passageway out of the way, running through a few screens where you can't get to it. This is called a "promised land" and subconsciously gets the player really wondering how and when they'll be able to get there. Avoid giant rectangles that break up the screen in an awkward way, and other ugly things. Just look at the level design for the original vvvvvv - the layouts just invite the eye and the player's avatar to explore them.

2) Difficulty. I don't mean to bang on about my own work, but I learned a lot when I had to make the easy mode version of d.333333. Because the original version, while reasonably possible to me and a few other expert twitch platformers, was just putting up barriers to most players. When I made the entire level easier I stripped out enemies, I made windows of opportunity wider, I added parts of walls that were spikeless, so the player could brush against them and use them to help get aligned for tougher moves in mid flight. I believe I managed to take pretty much every puzzle and make it more fun for the average person, while still retaining the core essence of what each obstacle and puzzle was imparting on the player. THAT is your job as a level designer. So I learned something important: There is fun difficulty and not so fun difficulty. The prototypical example of unfun difficulty is trying to line up into a 2-block hole in spikes in freefall whilst dodging an enemy. Sure, if you achieve it, you might feel good because you showed skill. Or you might just feel you were brute forcing the solution until the Timing Gods allowed you to pass via a random dose of good luck. You want the player to have to think about what they need to do, but not feel like they should rely on luck and endless repetition to finally get it down.

3) Tiling errors. Ok, some levels are uniformly scruffy/glitchy and have a kinda cool look to them, but if you're going for something immersive, NO FLOATING SPIKES unless you can make it look like they're stuck to a background panel. No platforms with only half of the outline intact. Direct mode is a thing now, you have total freedom to make spikes and wall borders look good, make creative joinery work between walls, creative flourishes, etc.

To be honest I see a lot of levels breaking these rules and there are plenty of good levels that could be great levels with a bit more care and attention.
Title: Re: How to get a level featured
Post by: FIQ on April 13, 2015, 01:58:58 AM
Regarding difficulty, a very important point is to stay far away from needing key tapping to go through a challenge/puzzle/whatever (I know I've done this myself, it makes it annoying rather than fun), because VVVVVV controls are very prone to not giving the same results to minor key inputs (one time you hardly move at all, another time you move 2 "blocks" forward).

Also, make the level too easy for you (not ridiculously easy, but more like a cakewalk) -- by nature of being the author, you will have an easier time with it, and thus something that appears easy for you can be very hard for someone else.

The 1st point Sendy makes is something I see very rarely (333333 might in fact be the best example of it imo), but it might also be the trickiest part to master, and I can say that while I can personally (mostly) adhere to 2, and only do 3 very rarely (I try to check everything and ensure that no stray tiles/similar show up), I have a very hard time adhering to 1.

EDIT: to clarify, this was general advice, and not pointed towards Sendy or anyone else.
Title: Re: TERRIBLE IDEA
Post by: shiny k on January 16, 2017, 02:17:54 PM
:violet:  NEVER Make a troll room (I Mean full of enemies and spikes)
 :violet: NEVER Make a room extremely hard without checkpoints
 :violet: NEVER Include bad words on the level
he isnt featuring levels anymore can we like lock this topic

and all of those are terrible guidelines