Author Topic: Dimension 333333 by Sendy  (Read 12825 times)

Sendy

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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
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 02:50:05 PM by Sendy »

PJBottomz

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 09:49:46 PM »
HOLY SHIT SENDY. When you said it was difficult, you weren't fucking joking.

I actually quit on "Phase Issues" because it was too damn difficult! :'( But trust me, this level is good. Don't worry about that.

Video Review coming soon...

Terry

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 03:58:14 AM »
Ok, had a quick look! Liking it so far, but found a pretty major bug - I was able to leave the green zone without rescuing Vertigris! :verdigris:

Sendy

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 06:29:47 AM »
Thanks Terry... That might be a problem with  :victoria: as well, but I should be able to fix that easily enough.

Thanks for playing, PJ. Sorry about the difficulty - The green area was supposed to be the easiest level (I typically die no more than 10 times), but that was just my guess. You may have more luck checking the other levels out. B.T.W. it's cool that you're 14 and into this kind of game! I'm 32 and grew up with retro platformers when they were cutting edge  :D. Back then, games did NOT fuck around!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 07:41:08 AM by Sendy »

CHz

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 09:24:35 PM »
All in all, a pretty fun and very challenging level. If you'd like some final stats from someone on their first play: 1:53:49, 793 deaths (100%).

I swear half of those deaths came in You're On Your Own Now. That room seriously seemed harder than the rest of the level put together: the first two corners around the stationary enemies were a pain, getting in and out of the conveyer pit hurt a lot, and in the next room you have to have quick reflexes to make it to the checkpoint. I'm curious if anyone else had the same perception of that room as I did. (I died there more than on the You Always Hurt the One You Love sequence.)

In Hang Tough, the fact that the moving platform bounces back on the right side before hitting the wall killed me. There's no way to know its path ahead of time, especially since it does bounce off a wall on the left side, so I was waiting for it to cross the vertical gravity line and come back before I landed on it. Turned out it never does that, so I ended up holding back for too long and eating spikes. :[

I was mostly okay with the checkpoint stinginess. I'm not going to demand that every level be exactly like the original game, because that would be boring. My problem with the checkpoint placement is that it felt uneven. It was weird playing an easy room like Piggy in the Middle, which has three checkpoints, and playing a sequence like Tool Assisted Run Double Barrelled Style Over Substance Squared Sudden Epiphanies, which is four unrelated challenges without a checkpoint.

Going through multiple rooms without checkpoints is easier to stomach when the rooms seem logically like parts of the same whole. Two examples from the Red Zone: the sequences starting at Possible Mode Unlocked and Cruise Control. Cruise Control's three rooms are some good tension: "will I make it through this spike gauntlet?" Whereas with Possible Mode Unlocked, it just seemed unnecessary that after such a difficult room, you have to mill around outside for a little bit, including getting past one room with enemies, before you can save. It's kind of an abstract and subjective complaint, but that's also sort of what I mean by unevenness.

So those are my design complaints. I put the summary that I liked this level at the very beginning because I really did! Loved the relatively complex hub, and the individual rooms were neato. This is also probably the best looking custom level I've played so far. The use of level elements like conveyer belts to liven up areas of walls was great. More people should experiment with this.

A couple of minor polish issues: the second room in the Blue Zone is missing a name, and I noticed some lines of dialogue with blank lines at the end. I believe they were in the terminal before the Green Zone, the first terminal in the room beyond the heart, and the ending sequence.

Sendy

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 08:08:33 AM »
CHz - thanks for playing (and beating) my level. It's made my day to hear that someone 100%ed it, and your constructive criticism is very useful!

Quote
I swear half of those deaths came in You're On Your Own Now. That room seriously seemed harder than the rest of the level put together: the first two corners around the stationary enemies were a pain, getting in and out of the conveyer pit hurt a lot, and in the next room you have to have quick reflexes to make it to the checkpoint. I'm curious if anyone else had the same perception of that room as I did. (I died there more than on the You Always Hurt the One You Love sequence.)

Interesting... I don't find it the hardest, but I've had a LOT of practice maneuvering on conveyor belts in tight spaces. I'm considering making the pit wider, if nothing else. And I may give the player more time to react at the checkpoint on the next screen by adding an
extra platform.

About the You Always Hurt part... I was wondering if I made that too easy, actually... I chipped away at the spike walls a fair bit in here and Inversion Plane Crash... Hopefully other players will report their experiences and give me some guidance on this issue.

Quote
In Hang Tough, the fact that the moving platform bounces back on the right side before hitting the wall killed me. There's no way to know its path ahead of time, especially since it does bounce off a wall on the left side, so I was waiting for it to cross the vertical gravity line and come back before I landed on it. Turned out it never does that, so I ended up holding back for too long and eating spikes. :[

Fair point... I'll experiment with making this part more intuitive.

Quote
I was mostly okay with the checkpoint stinginess. I'm not going to demand that every level be exactly like the original game, because that would be boring. My problem with the checkpoint placement is that it felt uneven. It was weird playing an easy room like Piggy in the Middle, which has three checkpoints, and playing a sequence like Tool Assisted Run Double Barrelled Style Over Substance Squared Sudden Epiphanies, which is four unrelated challenges without a checkpoint.

I'm glad this at least partially worked out. For me, having a checkpoint at every challenge just doesn't raise the stakes enough to ever get really exciting. Instead of a 'no death' mode (which I don't stand a chance in hell at), I really wish the original VVVVVV campaign had a 'checkpoint thinning' option which roughly doubles or triples the distance between them. (Are you reading this, Terry? Just an idea :) )

Piggy in the Middle probably has too many checkpoints. The green area is supposed to be mega easy, so I put them in to be sure. The gap between the enemies also used to be tighter, so I could probably take all but the main checkpoint out.

The lack of checkpoints after Tool Assisted Run is mainly to make the trinket below You MUST Remember This more of a risk. I also felt that these rooms pass very quickly one you've got a routine for beating them. I may reconsider, though...

Quote
Going through multiple rooms without checkpoints is easier to stomach when the rooms seem logically like parts of the same whole. Two examples from the Red Zone: the sequences starting at Possible Mode Unlocked and Cruise Control. Cruise Control's three rooms are some good tension: "will I make it through this spike gauntlet?" Whereas with Possible Mode Unlocked, it just seemed unnecessary that after such a difficult room, you have to mill around outside for a little bit, including getting past one room with enemies, before you can save. It's kind of an abstract and subjective complaint, but that's also sort of what I mean by unevenness.

Originally there was a checkpoint right after Possible Mode Unlocked, in the side tunnel, but I figured... make them sweat, as the static enemies in the tunnel (which are supposed to resemble fans in ventilation shafts), are very easy to avoid... I see your point, though.

Quote
So those are my design complaints. I put the summary that I liked this level at the very beginning because I really did! Loved the relatively complex hub, and the individual rooms were neato. This is also probably the best looking custom level I've played so far. The use of level elements like conveyer belts to liven up areas of walls was great. More people should experiment with this.

Great! For me, the thing with retro platformers, is that atmosphere is everything. I liked the challenge of working with the first draft of the level editor, because it's aesthetically very limited, and forced me to be creative to make all 120 rooms memorable and visually stimulating.

Quote
A couple of minor polish issues: the second room in the Blue Zone is missing a name, and I noticed some lines of dialogue with blank lines at the end. I believe they were in the terminal before the Green Zone, the first terminal in the room beyond the heart, and the ending sequence.

Yes, silly mistakes. The former is because I need to delete the room name, to examine the bottom line of the level, and of course, I forgot to put the name back in. It's supposed to be called Deathstars and Cubbyholes.

Thanks again for a very helpful review!

PJBottomz

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 08:32:53 AM »
Thanks for playing, PJ. Sorry about the difficulty - The green area was supposed to be the easiest level (I typically die no more than 10 times), but that was just my guess. You may have more luck checking the other levels out. B.T.W. it's cool that you're 14 and into this kind of game! I'm 32 and grew up with retro platformers when they were cutting edge  :D. Back then, games did NOT fuck around!

Hey, it was good, just really, REALLY difficult.

Anyway, I didn't know that it was surprising for 14 year olds to be into older games. I love games that are really old, because there are less controls, harder challenges, and more fun!  :viridian: And this game is pretty good and similar to that, with a modern twist!

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 04:29:13 PM »
Interesting... I don't find it the hardest, but I've had a LOT of practice maneuvering on conveyor belts in tight spaces. I'm considering making the pit wider, if nothing else. And I may give the player more time to react at the checkpoint on the next screen by adding an
extra platform.

About the You Always Hurt part... I was wondering if I made that too easy, actually... I chipped away at the spike walls a fair bit in here and Inversion Plane Crash... Hopefully other players will report their experiences and give me some guidance on this issue.
You Always Hurt the One You Love was definitely difficult, don't get me wrong. I did die a bunch there, and I think it fits in with the very challenging final area well enough without needing to be made harder. I just picked it as an example because it seemed like it was supposed to be more difficult, but didn't end up being for me. I'd say I'm weak when it comes to finely-tuned conveyer movements, so it could just be me.

Sendy

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 08:10:54 AM »
Thanks for clarifying!

I have to admit, I was hoping more people would bite this thread, as I really did pour my soul into this level  :victoria:

I know, nobody *asked* me to make it, but I usually see a level editor as an open invitation  :vermillion:

I think I have enough info from Terry, PJ and CHz to put out the finished hard version, and I'm fairly confident I can guess which changes should go into making the easy version  :viridian:

Terry

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 09:25:31 AM »
Oh, you're making an easy version? Good to know! I tried playing it a bit more, but it really is VERY hard. :(

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 11:25:56 AM »
Hi Sendy,

I enjoyed the level a lot, thanks!  It is definitely brutally hard, especially the final area.  I mostly enjoyed the difficulty - the final area was rough, and verged on overly frustrating, though it was satisfying as I got to each checkpoint.

After finishing the level, I've gone back through, but can only seem to account for 19 of the 20 trinkets.  A question (in white, since it is spoilerish):

One of the terminals seemed to reference lover's leap.  I thought that this would open up at some point, and that the last trinket would be there. Or that after hitting the "heroism check" terminal it would then open up.  But if I do that and go back to lover's leap, it is still blocked.  Do you need all 20 trinkets to get past there?  Any thought  on where the last trinket I am missing might be?   

Thanks again!  Your work on the level definitely shows.


Sendy

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2011, 12:42:23 PM »
Terry - yes, the level is designed such that it can be made easier with some simple changes... I.e. more checkpoints, elimination of certain spikes and enemies...

Sfemet - it's hard to say because it's a bit sneaky, but hard to hint at without just giving it away. Here's a hint:

Have you found the "cryptic hint" on the terminal outside the Red Zone entrance? The 'treasure' it mentions is the trinket you're looking for.

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2011, 12:54:48 PM »
Sendy,

I did find the cryptic hint, but thought the "sea of chaos" was lover's leap.  But maybe I was wrong about that since if I hop over there I am blocked - I'll have to keep looking.

Thanks.

Sendy

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2011, 01:02:49 PM »
I think I'll make the hint a little bit more specific... If anyone's stuck, here's a hint that should solve the problem.

SPOILER:

There's a hidden trigger somewhere in "Lover's Leap". You don't have to suicide to get it, just explore around.

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Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2011, 01:22:04 PM »
Thanks!

I loved the storage facility!  I thought I'd tried everything but must have missed that spot.  I guess "curiosity" should have clued me in, but "reckless" had me going in the wrong direction - I was thinking of the prize for the reckless trinket from the original game.  I kind of liked the idea of the heroism checkpoint also removing the lines in lover's leap (somewhat logical, maybe, since the checkpoint does remove gravity lines), and then killing yourself to get back to the purple area and backtracking a room or two to lover's leap.