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Topics - Sendy

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1
VVVVVV Help / Just a word of worning when designing
« on: March 25, 2015, 04:08:23 PM »
I was designing a puzzle screen. Everything was going fine. Had some moving platforms. Put a platform bounding box down. Then I put some platforms outside the box, thinking they would move freely. They didn't, they whizzed into the box uncontrollably. From that point on, the room was corrupt, and every time I hit a crumbling platform and respawned, invisible walls would appear in the room.

Using the VVVVVV tool to copy the room to a different coordinate seemed to fix it. YMMMV. I was getting this result on both the Make and Play and the Steam versions. If I were forced to guess, I'd say the moving platform somehow corrupted something in the room data that you can't normally edit.

2
VVVVVV Levels / 333333 - the screenshot map - here it is!
« on: March 22, 2015, 09:54:04 AM »
Here it is, a screenshot map of my level 333333. You might want to download it to get a proper zoomed look at it. And also, if you haven't finished my level, SPOILERS. So scroll down if you want to see it. Now I'm experimenting with a next level. Maybe something more simple and whimsical.





 :)





 ;)











 :D











 ;D











 8)










 :)





 ;)








 :D







 ;D







 >:(








 :(







 :o






 8)






 ???





 ::)




 :P




 :-[



  :-X







 :-\







 :-*







 :'(







 :vermillion:






3
VVVVVV Levels / Dimension 333333 version hell, and a possible sequel
« on: March 17, 2015, 09:39:44 PM »
Hey, Sendy here, back with renewed interest in VVVVVV. I'd like to ask a couple of questions to VVVVVV players, if they don't mind.

Firstly, could people say whether the HD version of my easy mode 333333 level made it into the latest version of VVVVVV? I'm getting conflicting information and am a bit confused, but I'm really hoping it made it into the latest PC version because I put a lot of effort into it. I believe the version at Terry's blog is out of date and has the old graphics. I can't seem to find a way to download the latest version (2.2 is it?) though I DO have the Make and Play version.

Secondly, is there any kind of centralized website/list of V6 levels? Because some people are wanting to play the HD version of my hard mode 333333, and I believe it's buried somewhere in the forums. I don't know if anyone remembers Knytt Stories but that had a level hub site which was highly useful, and might be even more so now that anyone can make levels!

Thirdly, would there be any interest in a final bugfix version of both HD versions of 333333 (easy and hard)? Because a bug crept in which causes the music to go silent when you rescue one of the crewmates, and there's an unintended exploit in the easy mode version due to an added checkpoint defeating a (rather evil) timing puzzle. If I were to get that sorted would Terry or someone else be interested in hosting them or including them in the Make and Play version?

Fourthly, if I made a sequel, with similar ideas but a smoother difficulty curve, or perhaps even a completely different style of level (but equally as large), would anyone be interested in it? In essence what I'm asking is, would it get played?  :D These things take quite a bit of commitment.

Thanks in advance for any input :)

4
Well, it's me again. I'm back  :D. Been a bit distracted with family stuff but now I want to sort this out since I was really pleased with the new version of 333333 that I made with the advanced editor!

A fair few people have expressed interest in this version so here it is! This is the version that made it onto the console but not the PC.

How is it different than the normal file? It uses Direct Mode extensively to create a more interesting 8-bit world, and some aspects of the gameplay have changed slightly based on feedback I got on the original version.

For some reason, when I load this file into the latest version of VVVVVV's level editor, all the Direct Mode stuff is gone and/or turned into spikes!
Thankfully, it functions normally in-game!

I also have a hi-fi version of the Difficult-mode game - exactly the same but harder, but for some reason I'm having trouble finding it and verifying what file it is, what with different VVVVVV versions and several files strewn everywhere on my HD. I'll get back to this thread when I've found this, since I've had a couple of requests asking for this.

Oh, you can also skip the first terminal dialog now by jumping straight into the gravity beam (it will disappear and allow you to pass).

Sendy

5
VVVVVV Levels / D. 3x6 - Easy Mode - HD remix download
« on: November 10, 2011, 07:04:49 AM »
Teh linx: http://www.sendspace.com/file/dj0dls That should work for now.

EDIT: The doanload link is above the 'Share' button. I always think it's disgusting design work to try and fool people into clicking adverts. Capitalism gone awry!

Weyalp, here's my Easy Mode revamp. New graphics, scripts, transitions and aesthetic details available from the latest patch really bring out the atmosphere, I think. I tried not to overdo it - the game has a kind of monochrome bent in the first place, so most of the stuff I added was in neutral colours (grey, white, etc) or otherwise subtle.

I MAY transfer this look to the Hard Mode version at some stage, but that will be a bit of a tedious project. Probably I'll do this by basing it on the Easy Mode, and copying the spikes and enemies from Hard Mode that got deleted. Part of me likes the idea of the contrast of new and old aesthetics between them. Working in the limited monochrome palette really gave a certain flavour.

Maybe some people will prefer the older graphics?

Beyond surface details, I also tweaked a couple of parts to be easier, or to fit with their surroundings more. I also changed some of the dialogue, and other details, just because in hindsight I thought it would be better that way.

Still waiting for someone to LP this on youtube :P *throws down gauntlet*

Enjoy!

6
VVVVVV / Ok. How exactly do you change text colour in the new patch?
« on: November 05, 2011, 09:18:11 PM »
I've looked everywhere and can't find anything on it.  :victoria:

7
VVVVVV / One way walls
« on: November 02, 2011, 11:04:52 AM »
Anyone else found the one way walls in direct mode? They kinda look like yellow girders, but they only let you through in one direction each. These will come in handy for making puzzles even more of a headache  :D

If you see this Terry, were these ever destined to be part of the game? Did you find they didn't add much to it? They might make an interesting gimmick.

8
VVVVVV / Patch
« on: October 29, 2011, 04:10:01 PM »
Awesome.

Direct mode. Winning!
Level maps. Winning!
Better performance. Winning!
Fixed gravbeam alignment with spikes! Winning!

Now do I get back into level making now, or wait for the even cooler update? Hmmm....  :vermillion:

9
I've tried Game Maker, and to be honest, I found it difficult to make a simple flick-screen game without stretching my programming skills (which are very limited) - mostly because it seems to default to scrolling level-based stages and circumventing this was quite a difficult task for a beginner...

Basically I'm looking to make my first game, and the kind of games I'm interested in have very simple game logic, and the whole experience of the game depends on the map design, art, music, etc, which are all my strong points (unlike programming, which I'm really bad at... yep so bad I'm pointing it out a second time in parenthesis!).

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

10
I'm hoping others will use this thread to talk about level design in the context of VVVVVV in general... Whether it be aesthetics, routing/overall map planning, scripting, psychology, difficulty curve, etc...

Here are some general strategies I tend to employ when trying to make levels look nice. Take them with a pinch of salt because they're just a look at how my design process works. I'm not a professional, haven't studied game design, and am running entirely on absorbed wisdom and instinct.

SYMMETRY

Most people think of symmetry as building the room such that one half is a mirror image, or perhaps something fancy like rotational symmetry. This does produce very striking screens but isn't a good overall gambit to use in every room, unless you're using it as a design gimmick. But I tend to think in terms of smaller, more local symmetries.

For example, suppose you have a region of screens which use little tunnels to give access to larger chambers where the action takes place. Keeping these tunnels in a 'house style', by giving them all the same proportions (for example, 3x3 or 2x3 are good choices to accommodate  :viridian: ). Keeping this pattern going as much as you can, and deviating only when GAMEPLAY would benefit from it, gives the space a much more 'designed' and unified feeling. Now the tunnel is not just something for the player to pass through (functional), but it has a visual identity which creates in the imagination all sorts of subtle connotations which add richness to the player's experience.

Suppose I had decorated all my tunnels with backing, and wanted to add a little window for detail. I'd consider the following: Placing the windows at every intersection. Placing the windows exactly halfway between every intersection (and yes, I'd COUNT tiles, not do it by eye!). Placing the windows every x tiles. Etc... What this boils down to is that human brains like patterns, and if it sees them, it feels it's in a space created by other human brains. If you break a pattern in a certain place, it should be for a reason - i.e. to aid gameplay, to punctuate the space, to draw attention to an area, because of a limitation of the graphics engine (i.e. avoiding tile errors), etc... Creating the same embelishments and visual themes over a series of screens groups them together into a 'graphical style' and gives them unity. This is vital for creating the sense of different areas on a larger map, especially when graphics changes are limited (perfect example here, look at the map for Hero Core... it's composed out of black and white blocks, yet has areas with distinct visual identities).

Another way to look at symmetry is in terms of small areas of a larger screen. Instead of making the symmetry apply to the whole room, you might balance things, so for example, the spike in each platform is in the middle, or that there are the same number of columns of space between each platform or formation... Instead of using the middle as a basis for visual accent, using an approximation of the 'golden section' also works beautifully.

Something else related to symmetry is alignment. I saw one user VVVVVV screen which consisted of two horizontal hallways. One had vertical enemies in it, the other had bunches of 2 spikes evenly spaced out... But because the guardians in one hall and the spikes over them in the other hall were ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE aligned, it looked sloppy to me. Here was a perfect opportunity to create a pleasing visual pattern, and it was neglected, chipping the presentation. Had the enemies and spikes coincided in the same columns of the screen, more of a subtle narrative would be created for the player, because we're noticing the correspondence between the spikes and the enemies... Roughly speaking it's saying something like "first it was spikes... this time it's enemies". It's very subtle, but it's there!

DISORDER

I'm not suggesting every level needs to be a regimented, perfectly measured affair, with everything all lined up and in the middle of it's context, because that would look just contrived if overdone. Generally, if you want an area to look man-made, you err more to the side of symmetry, and if you want to create a cave or other natural phenomenon (such as a caved-in building), then creating jagged walls and throwing caution to the wind will be a good tactic. It's only really by playing with these two visual forces that you can really create a story or journey in a level, because when you get a good balance between both sides of the equation, they feed off of and compliment each-other, playing with the expectations of the player.

Another form of creative disorder is deliberately and cunningly disobeying symmetry to good effect. For example, you might have a room which is mostly full of wall, but with a tiny room in the top right-hand corner. Provided it's displayed in a way that makes it's intent clear, this sort of symmetry breaking is pleasing because it breaks monotony, and creates a unique experience. With the right room name it may even be vaguely amusing... And of course, the composition of the tiny off-center room would have to be considered in it's own right.

Another example is rooms that are perfectly symmetrical apart from controlled changes made to one side. A good example being that the spikes are in different places on one side. This kind of device creates visual interest (the brain enjoys looking for patterns and breaks in them), and provides a way to structure the gameplay (the spikes being in a different place may force the player to take a longer route, make things harder/easier, or change some other variable of gameplay).

CONCLUSION, WITH HACKNEYED MAXIM

As they say, rules are there to be broken, but, as the old cliche continues - you need to know them fairly well in order to break them effectively!

11
Edit by Terry: Added links to your previous threads. Also, added some screens to this post!

Edit by Sendy: NEW VERSIONS UPLOADED! See the bottom of the post for changelog!

Previous Thread 1: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
Previous Thread 2: Pics of my unfinished WIP level





I tried to modify my original post, but it wasn't having it  ::)

Changes in this edition:

* Added a warning if you attempt to leave the Green Zone without rescuing  :verdigris:

* Changed the flags so that the 'rescue flag' is set when you touch a crewmate, as opposed to merely talking to them.

* Some minor aesthetic fixes

* Some minor difficulty balancing issues

* Added Easy Mode - based off of Hard Mode, but with every room edited to be somewhat easier.

Two different zip files... Hope it works this time :)

This is the final version for now. I will update if:

* A major bug is found

* Terry adds stuff to the editor that could benefit this level

EDIT:


New version uploaded... Changes:

* Fixed a bug where you could get stuck inside  :verdigris:'s room if you died in mid-teleport
* Fixed the whole Sea of Chaos riddle fiasco, and added a visual cue to both modes.
* Removed mention of the deleted 'bouncing triangle' in Easy Mode
* Shaved a couple of spikes, most notably, in the Easy Mode version of You're On Your Own Now
* Added a terminal with a few shouts out to those who playtested/left feedback
* A couple of other tiny changes

Please let me know what you think, especially of the Easy Mode!

Sendy

EDIT: I'm going to have to attatch each version to a seperate post! It's too big...

Here's the EASY mode!

12
VVVVVV / Analogue graphics mode
« on: August 14, 2011, 08:35:11 AM »
Ahahahaha! Best. Thing. Ever.

Honestly, I thought Analogue was an option to use an Analogue joystick or something, but last night I activated it just out of curiosity, and I love it  :)

13
VVVVVV / A minor graphical niggle that's driving me insane
« on: August 14, 2011, 08:22:34 AM »
I can't help but notice that vertical inversion planes don't quite line up properly with spikes in user levels, but do in the main game.  :o

Please fix this in the upcoming patch, Terry! It's triggering OCD attacks daily here  :D :victoria: :vermillion: :victoria: :violet: :D

14
VVVVVV Levels / Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« on: August 12, 2011, 08:10:40 PM »
EDIT: IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR MY LEVEL, GO HERE FOR THE LATEST VERSION. SORRY FOR ALL THE THREADS  :o

http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=529.0

I've been working feverishly on this since I got the email notification about the editor. It started off as a 5x5 level, but for some reason, it just kept growing as I kept getting ideas for it.

A few things to note:

1) It's probably going to be quite difficult for most people. Some of the arrangements require you to think as well as have fairly good reflexes. That said, I've done a lot of playtesting and tweaking, generally making things easier than they were before, such as increasing the safe gap between a spikey tunnel, or thinning enemies. If the game is uncomfortably hard for you, please wait until I release the easy version, which will have more checkpoints, and possibly other changes.

2) This is a huge project, and it formed in an ad-hoc way. I believe everything is watertight, but I may have missed something. I'd appreciate bug reports, or reports of screens which you thought were unreasonably hard.

3) This won't be the final version. No doubt I'll add a couple of enhancements with the next patch, such as coloured text. Things may also be changed if, for example, nobody beats a certain part! Constructive criticism is hoped for... You are my beta testers! ;)

4) Have fun!

5) If you make it to the last level, god help you  :D

Sendy

EDIT: Changelog!

* Fixed a really obvious thing I overlooked. Please re-download if you downloaded before this edit! Herp a derp

15
VVVVVV / V getting stuck in moving platforms
« on: August 07, 2011, 01:50:22 PM »
Hi... I have a room layout such as this:



In this room you can enter from the left and hold right, and each lift will transfer you smoothly up a step. It's a fun little mechanic and was inspired by the moving stairs in fun houses.

It functioned perfectly in testing, and stood up to all my stress tests, but after about half an hour, V started getting stuck into the platform as soon as he/she touched it, every time. Notice the spikes preventing any kind of bugs involving a platform pushing you into a wall. The platform and V would stick into eachother, each causing the other to become frozen.

I'm hoping this may be fixed in a patch as some stage, because I really want to run with this idea, but I thought I'd point it out, anyway.

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