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Messages - Sendy

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VVVVVV Levels / 333333 - the screenshot map - here it is!
« on: March 22, 2015, 04:54:04 pm »
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.























Glad the scene is still at least somewhat active. I got sick of vvvvvv after playing it for about a year when it came out, but after a few years' absence, it's still as fresh as ever in my opinion.

My only real gripe at the moment is the paltry amount of enemy sprites available, and that you can't alter enemy movement speed and stuff like that. I mean, you've got the coin, the blob, the heart, the broken heart, the glitch, the ice cube, the spinning blades, the bubble, and... I think that's it. MOAR!

VVVVVV Help / Re: Direct Mode?
« on: March 21, 2015, 09:26:50 pm »
There are also a few extra gameplay tiles - one-way movement tiles (which can also prevent you from flipping when standing on them), and a single pink block which dissolves when you stand on it. There are also blocks that look solid but are pass-through-able. Can we say "secret passages"?  8)

There are also a lot of unused graphics. I used some of them to make clouds of smog in the HD version of 333333, and some of the green staticy blocks are perfect for making foliage.

I didn't find Hard Mode particularly hard myself. And to be honest the main vvvvvv game doesn't seem hard to me. Some of us are just way too good at platformers  :D

My solution, should I make a next level, will be to have rescuing the crewmates at average difficulty, but then continuing on to get the trinkets will mean passing the harder challenges, so the levels will be twice as long and the themes will continue but with the brutal stuff in the 2nd half... and with regular warp exits where you can "cry uncle" and get back to the main mission at any time. It's really hard to provide something for everyone, and making easy and hard versions of a game can be a real pain when bugfixing and patching starts to come into play... speaking from experience  :(

VVVVVV Levels / Re: [II], the sequel to [\]
« on: March 21, 2015, 07:45:09 pm »
Ah, ok. I tried to go someplace else, and the game killed me (the rainbow death block). I suppose I have to leave the temple place and explore into the overworld. Good fun so far, though.

Thanks crazya02. Will bear that in mind.

ShinyWolf, yes, hello! I'm back, but I fear I may have missed the party :victoria:

Suprised there aren't more people making levels, though I'm aware there's only so much you can do...

VVVVVV Levels / Re: [II], the sequel to [\]
« on: March 20, 2015, 11:39:32 pm »
I've no idea how you get through Dimensional Projector (I think that's the name). Three gravity lines directly over spikes. Am I supposed to glitch through or something? Or have I missed a scripting trigger?

VVVVVV Levels / Re: VVVVVV Level Editor Tutorial - Part 3: Scripting
« on: March 20, 2015, 08:57:25 pm »
To use Direct Mode, just press F10, hold down CTRL and use the cursor keys to select the tile you want to use. Make sure you're in editing mode 1 (platforms) - even if you want to add background tiles. The best thing to do is get the screen looking as close as you want it before going into Direct Mode, because once you do that, you'll have to make every change on your own, and turning off DM, to the best of my memory, will destroy your changes.

VVVVVV Levels / Re: How to get a level featured
« on: March 19, 2015, 11:33:20 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.

Thanks for the welcome :)

Yeah, The Final Barrier checkpoint ruined my Evil Plans for that screen. Oh well. All in all, quite pleased with the level, considering I was rushing, and the level editor it's-self was still maturing/being developed.

What I'm thinking of is either a retelling of 333333 - with a bigger map, more gradual learning curves, with the hardest challenges (hard mode type stuff) being at the end of each zone as trinket gauntlets, with an option to quit at any time so that if a player gets out of their depth, they can warp out.

For example, in the Red Zone, the first room (don't cross the beams) kinda teaches you that if you jump into a vertical bounce beam and keep moving, it's kinda like a regular jump. This knowledge is useful in rooms like Reflexive Prison, which some people had huge amounts of problems with. With more rooms, I could have developed that mechanic more graudually over time. The movement puzzles such as "advanced flipmatics", were also a bit sudden and overwhelming for players, and "one last push" seems to be almost unilaterally hated  :D

It's funny, but it's taken about 5 or 6 years for people let's playing my level to filter through into Youtube, and it's really quite fascinating seeing people react to it in real-time.

The other idea, instead of simply remaking 333333 with better design, was to do an actual story sequel. Perhaps maybe the knowledge gained from the crew collecting the trinkets has fallen into the wrong hands and the V-sters have to go into the lair and reclaim them. The problem with this idea is I don't find vvvvvv's scripting system very good for telling intricate stories, and I feel my strong point is just making levels that are fun to explore and solve, and that look nice. I've seen some of you guys doing really impressive things with scripts, but it all sounds a bit version-sensitive and kinda dangerous to be honest. So I'll probably go down the "retold" route.

I also want to get some mileage out of those one-way floors and the dissolving block in Direct Mode. Are these safe to use in levels? I remember Terry saying don't use too many of the crumble tiles because they could cause an overflow or something, anyone know if this is a per-screen limitation or a map-wide one?

Anyway, I'm glad the HD version got into a PC version, even if it is the easy version. In all honesty the easy version is probably the better game. The puzzles are the same but just a bit less annoying. Thanks for letting me know ZeNewDragon! All I have at the moment is an old version of vvvvvv and the Make and Play version, and it's hard to tell which levels come with each install, because they all seem to share level pools with eachother.

Anyway, that's enough from me.. If anyone has any suggestions, advice or tips, feel free to lay them on me!

Another thing, since I'm a chiptune musician, would it be possible to add my own music to my new levels? Or maybe even graphics?

VVVVVV Levels / Dimension 333333 version hell, and a possible sequel
« on: March 18, 2015, 04:39:44 am »
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 :)

Finished green and blue. Halfway through red (right after an unexpected detour)...Applied Flipmatics...Sendy, you are a horrible person.  :violet:

Yeah, that's one of the hardest parts of the game, especially if you're playing the hard mode. It helps to plan a strategy in advance. Probably.

Ok I'm testing the hard mode. I've found a couple of tiny tiling errors which I'll have fixed very soon.

Another thing I've noticed is that when you rescue Victoria in the Blue Zone, you don't get a congratulations message, and the music goes off completely, forcing you to do the whole return trip in silence :S

I'll try and get this fixed ASAP, but I really can't see what might be causing it...

Ok, this is the hard version of the update! For hardcore platform freaks only!  :vermillion:

Please note: I'm going to be playing through this today. As far as I know it's 100% finished but the last time I tested it was quite a few months ago.

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