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Messages - Sendy

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VVVVVV / A minor graphical niggle that's driving me insane
« on: August 14, 2011, 03:22:34 pm »
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

VVVVVV Levels / Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« on: August 14, 2011, 03:08:33 pm »
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!

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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!

VVVVVV Levels / Re: "Golden Spiral" by Rox
« on: August 14, 2011, 02:50:16 am »
Finally beat this! Some parts made me  >:( , so job done I recon ;)

Trinkets: 1 of 2 (guess which one, lol)
Deaths: 735
Time Taken: 45:55

Hardest room for me was Feel the Rhythm, also. It felt like I was being asked to perfectly time about 5 or 6 moves, with 0.1% margin for error. In particular, the spikes at the very right side, and the ones on the right side of the top right cube, really generated some rage  :D What else made it annoying was that I knew I could do it, but it took the lion's share of my 735 deaths to get it just right.

Good stuff!

« on: August 13, 2011, 02:34:06 pm »
Wait.... Is changeplayercolour used in the main game at all? I only ever remember playing as  :viridian:

Maybe it's used in the cutscenes where it shows the lost crew stumbling around the world?

You know what would be amazing? If in custom levels, if you're playing as  :verdigris: , you jump instead of flip.

VVVVVV Levels / Re: Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« on: August 13, 2011, 01:29:47 pm »
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!

VVVVVV Levels / Dimension 333333 by Sendy
« on: August 13, 2011, 03:10:40 am »

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


EDIT: Changelog!

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

VVVVVV Levels / Re: Pics of my unfinished WIP level
« on: August 13, 2011, 01:11:40 am »
Thanks :) I hate cutoff tiles as well, though I don't blame people who use them, because it's a real challenge to plan around them.

Ok, my test run went perfectly. Playing time 1:15, death count 331. A typical run in vanilla vvvvvv results in 50 minutes and just over 100 deaths.

It's designed to be challenging but fun, to me... I'd say I was very good at platformers, though, so some may dislike some of my design choices. Some layouts require you to think about how to get past, and there isn't always a checkpoint after each challenge (this seems to result in no tension and the ability to 'brute force' each obstacle). So some people may hate it  :vermillion:

A good ballpark comparison is the difficulty of Jumper 2, but a bit easier. That's how I percieve it, anyway.

VVVVVV Levels / Re: Pics of my unfinished WIP level
« on: August 12, 2011, 11:09:44 pm »
OH MY GOD!  :-*

After almost an entire day of intensive script work, I'm ready for my final playtest/playthrough of the game.

It's called: Dimension 333333 (for reasons obvious to anyone who has used the editor :) )

I have:

* 20 x 6 = 120 Screens

* Six levels and one overworld, with flexible playing order

* Normal ending for collecting  :victoria: :vermillion: :vitellary: :verdigris: and  :violet:

* Good ending for collecting all trinkets, and unlocking the secret of Dimension 333333

* A liberal sprinkling of humerous, tongue-in-cheek dialogue.

* A fair but difficult challenge with some interesting new ideas (easy mode will be released after feedback from public playtesting)

* Error messages from old computers ;)

I'm expecting to release the first version tomorrow!

VVVVVV Levels / Re: "Rescuing Violet" by Stalefish
« on: August 12, 2011, 10:13:51 pm »
OMG... The update is coming SOON! Not merely soon, but SOON in capitals  :vermillion: . I'm excited.

Also, Stalefish, thanks for the explanation. I hope you eventually release more levels. I'd love to see a mid to long level from you.

VVVVVV Levels / Re: "Rescuing Violet" by Stalefish
« on: August 12, 2011, 08:38:40 pm »

Using this, I was able to create colored text boxes for all the crew. There's a easy to memorize color list:

I tried that but it didn't work... I must have missed a hash or something. Anyway, I think I'll wait until this is supported properly before I go through my level dialogue and add colour.

But this begs the question, how the hell did Stalefish work out this rather obscure workaround?  :vitellary:

VVVVVV Levels / Re: "Rescuing Violet" by Stalefish
« on: August 12, 2011, 05:48:03 pm »
Pretty good level. I found it very easy, and a bit short, but it was very professional, and I liked the text.

Congrats on getting the coloured text working... I'd love a tutorial, if you can. It looks like you're using a certain
method to trick the text command into working, but I've tried to copy it and failed miserably  :victoria:

VVVVVV / Re: Level Editor Bugs and Requests
« on: August 12, 2011, 03:43:44 pm »
Here's a really cool glitch  :D

Place a conveyor in the top left square of a room, and our Captain  :viridian: is completely invulnerable to VVVVVV's whilst in that same room.


VVVVVV Levels / Re: Pics of my unfinished WIP level
« on: August 10, 2011, 03:07:44 pm »
Polish is something that I can find very distracting if it isn't there. For me, if a level is polished, it adds to the immersion, it's like I'm in a real place. A lo-fi, blocky 2D place, but a place nonetheless. So my approach to level design is that I try to make something that isn't just functional from a gameplay perspective, but has visual and structual landmarks that make it interesting to explore and look at. That's the plan, anyway :)

I will spend 3 hours tweaking a linker room that the player could pass through in 2 seconds, or I'd destroy and rebuild a whole room just to make something line up with something else, to make a more unified visual result. I find the most attractive rooms are either symmetrical, or, more commonly, have some semblance of symmetry (not just reflection in the middle of the level, but local symmetries to a room), which is broken here and there. There's something about the near miss which the mind finds appealing (hence the obsession with detuned synth leads!).

Anyway, I hope this level will be enjoyed. I'm a bit worried that some may find it obnoxiously hard. If they do, I hope they at least find it fair! I'll be releasing an easy-mode version shortly afterwards, with all the feedback from people who find it too hard implemented, so that everybody gets a crack at enjoying the whole level.

Thanks again for the interest :)

VVVVVV / Re: Level Editor Bugs and Requests
« on: August 10, 2011, 12:28:13 am »
Continuing PJ's list with my own thoughts, the things I yearned for were:

1) Being able to choose the direction of certain tiles, such as spikes and wall surfaces, without the editor deciding for me. (Perhaps two modes, one where the editor decides as it does now, and one where multiple clicks rotate objects)

2) Being able to change the colour of the spikes. Seriously. Given that the spikes are THE focal element in the game, it'd be nice to be able to colour co-ordinate them with screen designs. Related to this, it would also be sweet to choose a different colour for the enemies, conveyors, etc, to make colourful rooms.

3) Being able to mix tilesets, as VVVVVV does in several places. There are some really cool looking graphic styles you can get with this.

4) Being able to place backing and spike on the same tile :)

5) Being able to choose enemy and platform speeds, and possibly giving each enemy it's own bounding square? That might be making things a little too complex, but it's how Jet Set Willy and it's modern editors work ;)

That's my lot... 10 more rooms and my big level will be done  :vermillion:

VVVVVV / Re: Level Editor Bugs and Requests
« on: August 09, 2011, 08:34:18 pm »
Because I was confused in my other thread and I'm not sure if my final conclusion was clear or not, I'll bring this up here:

Combining horizontal and vertical moving platforms can cause a problem where V will sink into the top of the vertical platform.


Has anyone effectively combined them both in one screen?

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