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VVVVVV => VVVVVV Levels => Topic started by: Gemini000 on July 31, 2011, 06:46:07 PM

Title: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on July 31, 2011, 06:46:07 PM
Hello, everyone! For those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Kris Asick, though I generally go around the net as Gemini. I am the person behind the shareware game company Pixelmusement and host of the web show Ancient DOS Games, now 54 episodes strong!

But, I'm not here to plug that stuff. I happen to find VVVVVV to be a very fun game and I felt a good way to show my appreciation to the devs for making such an easy to use editor (even if it still has a few kinks to work out) would be to create a small, but satisfying adventure, dubbed: Reactor Disaster!

The story is that one day, Captain Viridian and his crew were cruising along while Dr. Violet was performing some subspace communications tests. All of a sudden, everyone found themselves scattered throughout this strange space station! The captain begins investigating only to quickly find a reactor that's destabilizing and needs to be shut down ASAP!

So not only do you have to rescue your crew, but you have to deal with the reactor too, and seeing as I scripted the heck out of this map, expect some surprises along the way!

As for the difficulty, it's not incredibly difficult, but it's not easy either. Many of the challenges have unusual, simple solutions, and while this is not a long adventure by any means I hope it satisfies and that the story and jokes presented are true to the VVVVVV universe!

And in case that wasn't enough: There's TWO endings!  ; D

Click this link to download the map and try it for yourself: http://www.pixelships.com/files/vvvvvv_reactor_disaster.zip (http://www.pixelships.com/files/vvvvvv_reactor_disaster.zip)

And here's some screenshots!

(VVVVVV Developers and Map Makers: I have some technical notes on my editing experience below the screenshots.)

(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_1.png)(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_2.png)(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_3.png)(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_4.png)(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_5.png)(http://www.pixelships.com/screens/vvvvvv_reactor_6.png)

Technical Notes:

1. Ending any script line with a ":" character causes everything past to be chopped off into its own script. o_O

2. It would be nice if other characters could speak. You could accomplish this by having a crew(lines,name) command. If that particular crew member is on-screen, the message box would be focussed around them, otherwise it would be centre-screen.

3. It would also be nice if you had faceleft and faceright commands for the sake of story telling.

4. destroy(warptokens) and destroy(gravitylines) is nice, but I was also hoping for destroy(enemies) and destroy(scriptboxes).

5. If you place warp lines and change the room's warping mode, the warp lines stay.

6. I found that many crashes could be avoided simply by saving before testing scripting changes/additions.

7. If a script has ANY dialogue in it at all, even if ifflag() commands or such prevent the dialogue from being reached, the game still goes into dialogue mode. I found the workaround presently was to have a script at the beginning that sets a bunch of flags on, then I can check the state of those flags in one script without dialogue that jumps to scripts with dialogue when appropriate. I also made my flag-setting script self-aware with its own flag so that it only ever sets them once per play.

8. You should make silentsad and silenthappy commands that change Viridian's mood without sound cues.

9. You should also be allowed to change the mood of crew members that are in the area, commands such as crewsad and crewhappy. Maybe give them silent variations too.

10. One last technical note. Since the version update, my full-screen framerate has died... badly... yet running in a nearly full-screen window shows no speed issues... except that I can't move the window without it jumping past the bottom of the screen. o_O
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Thatguy on July 31, 2011, 06:51:58 PM
I got a 404 Error. :victoria:
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Ice on July 31, 2011, 06:52:52 PM
Yeah, file not found.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on July 31, 2011, 06:55:11 PM
Fixed. Stupid website file manager put the file in the wrong folder. x_x;
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Thatguy on July 31, 2011, 07:22:43 PM
I haven't even finished the level, and I like it! Reminds me of the main game, you did a pretty good job!
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: angelkurisu on July 31, 2011, 08:27:18 PM
I think I'm the only person who thought the difficulty level of VVVVVV was just right! 

Excellent use of storytelling + scripting though, very innovative level.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: TheoX on July 31, 2011, 08:46:08 PM
I haven't even finished the level, and I like it! Reminds me of the main game, you did a pretty good job!

Agreed.  I don't have time tonight to keep playing this but I'm looking forward to it.  This level is really nice, its story and level design aspects are the kind of thing I'm trying to accomplish in the level I'm currently designing.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Terry on August 01, 2011, 08:39:57 AM
Just checked it out! :viridian:

It's a very strong level. Liked it a lot! Had a few issues with difficulty though - I think this is probably harder than you think it is, mostly due to a scarcity of checkpoints (which leads to a lot of repetition) and frequency of cruel death traps (where you can't see what's going to kill you until it does). I also felt a bit confused about where I was supposed to be going; often doing hard trinket challenges because I thought it was where I was supposed to go!

I'd recommend getting someone else to play it fresh while you watch, if you can arrange that.

Liked the scripting! Like you've noticed, there's a lot if can't do right now and it's very buggy, so I'm glad you were able to get something out of it :)
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on August 01, 2011, 10:30:37 AM
Quote from: Terry
Had a few issues with difficulty though - I think this is probably harder than you think it is
Well, considering I was playing through the main game a little earlier today and beat Veni Vidi Vici in five tries... much to my own surprise since my last attempt took 30 tries... I'm gonna agree with you on that one. ^_^;

There's a few things to tweak still, so I guess we can consider this a "first release". I tried to take some unusual circumstances into account, such as rescuing Vitellary before Violet, which results in a half-different cutscene, though one thing I missed was if you skip the very first terminal, find all the trinkets, shut down the reactor, then activate said terminal, not that it breaks the game it just results in out of order stuff.

I know where all the difficult spots are so I could probably tweak them a little, and even did so during my initial testing. The Ninja Dancer field (yes, that's an AT4W reference) was originally smaller, the missing platform section had even more spikes, and the timing on the "Timing is Everything" room was even trickier.

Also, playing through again, I noticed a flaw in the "Jaws V" section that prevents getting through the hole on the right unless you move a pixel or two left during your leap due to acceleration factors. Definitely need to tweak that.

I'll see if I can find some time during the week to fix all these minor flaws, hopefully by the time it goes live on my website on Saturday. Thanks for the advice, Terry! :viridian:

Oh! One BIG suggestion for the editor: Add the ability to copy rooms from one room to another! (Press a shift+key combination, then use the arrow keys to choose the room to copy to or just hit space/enter/esc in the same room to abort.) This would've reduced the mapping time of the "Last Chance" section of my level considerably. (Since I had to basically make the same room 8 times in a row.)
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on August 01, 2011, 02:22:20 PM
OK, I did find some time today to go through and make some changes. I left a couple parts as difficult as they originally were (such as "Threading The Needles" since it's the last real challenge in the entire level) but many parts, most notably parts that were only 2 tiles wide, have been slightly altered and the result is much more fun!

"Timing is Everything" has been changed dramatically so that it's still a timing puzzle, but easier. I also added a terminal on "Inversion Theory" to indicate how to get somewhere. "Something's Missing..." is now also missing a measily two spikes that made that entire room more difficult than it needed to be. I also removed a few enemies, again to increase fun and decrease difficulty without making the parts they're in too easy.

I also fixed up some of the scripts. For instance, you can no longer break the scripting order by ignoring the terminal at the start and in fact, trigger different dialogue now if you do. I threw in some new checkpoints too.

Lastly, I added three new rooms to the final part of the game and made one of the endings look a little better. :viridian:

The download link is still the same: http://www.pixelships.com/files/vvvvvv_reactor_disaster.zip

But I did change the map filename itself, so if you already installed the first release you can keep playing it and have an intact save, while the new one will also appear. You can tell them apart because the new one has (v1.1) in its description.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: damatman on August 10, 2011, 09:05:21 PM
I'd hate to think it is me being derpy but I cannot unlock the good ending. Either I'm doing something very wrong or there is something broken in the script. Here is what I have been doing:

Going down 5 times in 1st hole.
Up twice in 2nd hole.
Down once in 3rd hole.
Down 4 times in 4th hole.
Up 7 times in 5th hole.
Going right so screen loops round.
Jumping in warp token.


Regardless I really enjoyed your map despite it being quite a challenge! :)
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: xTwoTails on August 10, 2011, 11:29:40 PM
Gosh, that was a very enjoyable Level!
It could also be a continuation to the Main Game or a Side-Story.

I got everything the first time and I should feel proud of that XD
I died sooo many times at the Ninja Dancer tho... that was probably the most difficult room with over 100 deaths XD

-- I give you 100% on this <3


EDIT: After you done what the Instructions say at the Terminal. What I did was Go back by jumping off the walls and then down the Warp. That worked for me.
What's the sad ending? Tho I can imagine what the Ending could be...
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: damatman on August 11, 2011, 07:44:26 AM
The sad ending just has you floating endlessly in space. You have to kill yourself or quit.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: FlamingBanana on August 11, 2011, 11:13:15 AM
Darn it, damatman. Now you've spoiled it for me.  :'(

Very good level. Very well scripted. I definietly agree with all your demands suggestions as to what should be added to the scripting commands. I also agreed with Terry on the review, but then again, trinkets are fun to get.

All in all a very fun level. I give it a 8/10, or a 4/5, or a 2/2.5, or a 1/1.25 .
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on August 11, 2011, 03:48:15 PM
Glad everyone's enjoying the level! :viridian:

I actually finally got a page on my website dedicated to this level: http://www.pixelships.com/misc_vvvvvv.html

(BTW: I know it's supposed to be "Ninja Style Dancer" not "Ninja Dancer"... I'll fix that the next time I update the level, which will be the next time the in-game scripting is updated.)

damatman: You probably are doing something derpy, like losing count or going down/up the holes an extra time each, though it could also be that something glitched.

To test to see if something's glitched or not, try this: Open the level in the editor and create a scriptbox you absolutely must run through in the "Ray of Hope" room and link it to the script "init_flags". Then, test the level from the "<message error>" room, go through to the room with the holes, and see if the pattern works. If it does then yeah, something glitched in your game somehow. If it doesn't then... I have no idea. *shrugs*

The "init_flags" script is coded to never work more than once, so if you accidentally save the level with the scriptbox still in there don't worry about it.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: TheoX on August 11, 2011, 03:57:06 PM
I actually finally got a page on my website dedicated to this level: http://www.pixelships.com/misc_vvvvvv.html

Pixelmusement is your website?  I used to be addicted to Pixelships Retro for a while.

I need to finish this level!  I forgot to!
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: stormi on August 13, 2011, 01:02:33 PM
I enjoyed this level very much, having discovered it directly in the second, easier, version.

Here are 2 glitches I think I found :
- you can enter the generator without rescueing the crewmates (except the professor who is in the way). Then when you reach the last one, you're stuck and can't really win. Yes, I did it on purpose :)
- I'm not sure, but I think that the counters for the 5 down, 2 up, etc. sequence is not reinitialized when you die (via the R key). Thus you can't win even with the good sequence afterwards (I tried it many times, and had to restart the game from the beginning to get the good ending). In fact, I think that when someone enters the first hole after having done anything else, the sequence should be reinitialized. I would thus forgive you when you lose count and have to start again. Alternatively, we could be allowed to go out by the left, which would reinitialize the counters.

Best regards

Samuel Verschelde
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on August 13, 2011, 02:02:57 PM
- you can enter the generator without rescueing the crewmates (except the professor who is in the way). Then when you reach the last one, you're stuck and can't really win. Yes, I did it on purpose :)
AFAIK, there's presently no 100%-accurate way to determine if you've rescued someone through scripting. I will definitely add a way of checking this once and if the commands to do so are added to the scripting system.

- I'm not sure, but I think that the counters for the 5 down, 2 up, etc. sequence is not reinitialized when you die (via the R key). Thus you can't win even with the good sequence afterwards (I tried it many times, and had to restart the game from the beginning to get the good ending). In fact, I think that when someone enters the first hole after having done anything else, the sequence should be reinitialized. I would thus forgive you when you lose count and have to start again. Alternatively, we could be allowed to go out by the left, which would reinitialize the counters.
That's intentional. The world is glitching out and unstable so you need to follow the pattern exactly. If you mess it up or interrupt it in any way, it's not going to work and you will make Victoria sad. :victoria:

That said, I didn't know about the R key... Next time I update the level I'm going to make it so that if you use the R key during that final sequence you immediately get the bad ending! :violet:
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: damatman on August 14, 2011, 12:33:11 AM
AFAIK, there's presently no 100%-accurate way to determine if you've rescued someone through scripting. I will definitely add a way of checking this once and if the commands to do so are added to the scripting system.

You could put a script around the crew member with a flag in it? then surround that with checkpoints so you have to checkpoint before you die. That would make it about 99% accurate I suppose :P
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: BillyTheBanana on September 04, 2011, 09:46:25 PM
Holy crap, this level was so much fun! My favorite of all the customs I've played so far. My only request is to change the ending so that if you get the bad ending you can kill yourself with R and then do it right (I tried that, but it just got the bad ending again).

Sorry to bump an old thread, but this level deserves to be played by more people.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: ieatatsonic on September 07, 2011, 05:34:28 PM
I'm stuck at the part after faulty crusher. What am I supposed to do?
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Buttons on September 11, 2011, 05:15:26 PM
I absolutely loved most of the level, but the ending was super mean. If you have the warp token on the left side of the screen like that, people like me are gonna jump into it right away just to see what it does. So much of this level's design is about taking leaps of faith and sometimes (okay, okay: often) ending up with a grizzly death, but that only works because the game won't send you back very far when you're unlucky. To subvert that at the very end and require players to start over? Not cool man.

Awesome challenges throughout (I'm one of the people who did the compactor puzzle the hard way), but it was sad not to be able to finish it.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: art begotti on September 13, 2011, 09:09:26 PM
Holy wow, I just finished this level for the first time (I think I couldn't find a trinket when I first started playing it and forgot to return to it before). I got both endings... and you don't know the chill that went down my spine when I got the bad ending first. I'm happy I made a relatively recent save so it didn't take long to get back and find the good ending, but that first ending absolutely took me by surprise.

Very good level altogether! I thought the level of the challenges was just right (though I'm somewhat of a masochist), and the plot and dialogue were well written. I'd definitely recommend this level to others to play!
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: art begotti on September 20, 2011, 10:21:17 AM
I just realized that what I played before was version 1, not version 1.1. I went through the latter version, and... I guess I'm disappointed by the dip in difficulty. Again, I am somewhat of a masochist, but I was surprised to see some of the extra checkpoints and removed spikes that I enjoyed conquering the first time around. I did like the extra couple of rooms inside the reactor though, so I can't decide which version I liked better. Are you saving copies of all versions you've made? Perhaps it's worth considering keeping a "easy" level and a "hard" level for people who like one end of the spectrum over the other.
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: Gemini000 on September 23, 2011, 02:10:40 AM
I'm stuck at the part after faulty crusher. What am I supposed to do?
After the message from your communicator, just follow the professor's advice: Run straight left and don't let go!

Funny thing: I was trying this level out with Flip Mode engaged and the solution to the Faulty Crushing System doesn't work. I'm reluctant to fix it in case I have to fix it yet again once the next VVVVVV version comes out. >_>;


I absolutely loved most of the level, but the ending was super mean. If you have the warp token on the left side of the screen like that, people like me are gonna jump into it right away just to see what it does. So much of this level's design is about taking leaps of faith and sometimes (okay, okay: often) ending up with a grizzly death, but that only works because the game won't send you back very far when you're unlucky. To subvert that at the very end and require players to start over? Not cool man.
When I made the level, I wasn't aware there was a key you could press to reset yourself. As a result, I expected people would save after the final message about how to survive the final puzzle and I wanted it to feel very intense in that, if you screw up even slightly, the universe is over.


I just realized that what I played before was version 1, not version 1.1. I went through the latter version, and... I guess I'm disappointed by the dip in difficulty. Again, I am somewhat of a masochist, but I was surprised to see some of the extra checkpoints and removed spikes that I enjoyed conquering the first time around. I did like the extra couple of rooms inside the reactor though, so I can't decide which version I liked better. Are you saving copies of all versions you've made? Perhaps it's worth considering keeping a "easy" level and a "hard" level for people who like one end of the spectrum over the other.
I do indeed still have both the original and v1.1. I reduced the difficulty after comments from Terry and also to get around some pixel-precision issues that required moving less-precisely to survive, as absolutely perfect timing actually resulted in death, and I also fixed a few bugs and added some scripts. (For example: Right at the very start in v1.1, if you ignore the first terminal you get a different cutscene!) I don't intend to update the level again until the next version of VVVVVV comes out.

...and I'm hoping that sooner or later VVVVVV will offer a hardware acceleration option and a smooth 60 FPS just like old retro games. ;)
Title: Re: "Reactor Disaster" - A Fully Scripted VVVVVV Adventure!
Post by: oposdeo on January 19, 2012, 12:21:56 AM
that part at the end NOT COOL i just felt like going into that warp portal and BAM gotta start the whole map over. YA COULD AT LEAST HAVE ADDED A "please save your game" MESSAGE SOMEWHERE IN THERE. or at least have added a warp token back to the terminal. that really pissed me off. now i'll never see the ending :P on a higher note. the scripting was excelent and the level design was smooth and clever :D 4/5