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(LBPC9) Petal Gear


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#1
Liquid_Blood_

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Hi everyone!

I've finally released my level for LBPC9, Petal Gear. (lbp.me/v/fxksce) You guys have been very understanding, putting up with my nervousness all through production, and I very much hope you enjoy the finished product. I've tried my best to deliver a complete experience. It's challenging platforming through intricate devices, wrapped in an atmospheric story, both tragic and humourous. Here's part of the description:

"Challenge your skills inside the graveyard's secret machine, whose intricate innards are all powered mechanically by a single wobble bolt! Featuring kick-butt music by Buddydestruction & me." "[Difficulty: Medium - HARD]"

I still have a couple of days to republish before the deadline, so I'd greatly appreciate any additional feedback I can use to improve it.


Pictures of course:

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Thanks, and enjoy! :)


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#2
Schnuckelche

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Oh wow. This looks like a winner for the contest they have over there ;) As always, I've got it in my Que.
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#3
Ghostseeker

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Looks fantastic! got it in my queue.
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#4
Idgo

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Queued! :D This does indeedly look absolutely epic.
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#5
xerorogue

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looks great! can't wait to see it!
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#6
the sexy sack man

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Got it listed dude ;) i will tell you what i think about it later whilst i enjoy watching the amazing work :D
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#7
Karpethead (Shade_seeker)

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Darn it, I had no idea it was for a competition and that you had a deadline, I assume it's now beyond the deadline? Sorry mate, I was gonna retest it again last night but forgot! Best of luck!
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#8
Liquid_Blood_

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Darn it, I had no idea it was for a competition and that you had a deadline, I assume it's now beyond the deadline? Sorry mate, I was gonna retest it again last night but forgot! Best of luck!

Haha! Yep, I believe I mentioned that in the first message I sent you with the key. It's okay, because you did get me to completely redesign one part a few times, and I'm much happier with the result. Remember that first difficult platform you have to hang and swing from as it moves back and forth? I replaced the swinging pendulum with a set of hanging stationary sponges. This was more stable, but not more enjoyable. So I again changed it to a wheel. At first I was trying all this stuff with springs and stoppers to get that wheel to always swing in the same direction, and eventually I realized it wouldn't be too hard for the player to just swing themselves. So I used a regular bolt on it instead, which I tightened a bit to give players more control. I'm pretty sure this solution is not only the simplest, but easiest and most fun as well! So, you helped with that. ;)

#9
avundcv

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Excellent platform level!
It's very very challenging. To be honest, it was to difficulty for me to finish it. But remember: I'm old -> my reflexes are poor :D
However: the obstacles are build with high crativity, the atmosphere ist great and it gives a lot of fun to the player!

It's a challenging, well made platformer with professional obstacles!
Yay and heart :)
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#10
the sexy sack man

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This level was really really enjoyable, i loved playing it, it really got me frustrated at times, however that really worked in your favour I believe, because it gave me a reason to carry on playing the level, from hardly playing LBP anymore, but I tell you what, when you complete one of the obstacles you feel incredible! I enjoyed the idea, it was a original story, I liked making water balloons, cause thats appeals to a more immature side of LBP'ers :)
I am going to have to re-play this level at some point, I need to figure out what that 2nd ending is, if its the last thing I ever do on LBP even though I may spend hours pulling my hair out trying to achieve it! ;) (please answer one question- does it involve that 'character' who we save at the end of the normal ending?-
the scenery was nice in the level, but to be honest, you could of had just a normal blank screen behind the level with the amount of hard game play, i dont think it honestly would make a difference cause you as a player are so indulged with getting through the level you sometimes dont pay much attention as you would a calmer level :)

I loved the fire balls and how they chained into... cool balls? xD they made the laugh the cool ones, they looked hurt :')

but great level, deserves more plays and hearts, and should win the contest i think :P
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#11
Liquid_Blood_

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@avundcv

Thank you for your kind words! Sorry to hear about your aging reflexes, as I'd say my primary intended audience is people looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush. :) I especially appreciate the compliment about the atmosphere, as I've considered that one of my weak points. "Profressional obstacles" hehe. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I certainly like the sound of it! :D

@the sexy sack man:

Thanks sexy! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear you feeling satisfied after fighting with those obstacles. All my levels are kinda like that, where I want players to feel even more awesome about themselves and the wild stunts they're pulling off, the better they get through practice. I know many people don't have the patience for that kind of thing, so it thrills me to hear when someone does.

Hehe, I could never think of a good name for those flaming rocks. 'Cool balls', ha!! Yep, they are both injured, shocked at being wet, and humiliated at the end.

For the longest time while I was working on it, I actually did have a plain black background during the meat of gameplay. However, I also wanted players to feel like they are getting to know the inside of this mountain, as well as progressing through distinct 'personalities' of it. So at some point, I spent a couple days just working on selling that with some simple visual tweaks that players' imaginations could take off from. I am encouraged to hear you think the gameplay could stand on its own. However, I also have somewhat of a chip on my shoulder regarding visuals, because it's something that's usually not as fun for me to work on as gameplay, and something I often get complaints about. >:-( My stuff just feels so much messier to me that what I see being MM Picked, but I think if I tried to be as structured as that stuff, I wouldn't have near as much fun creating.

To answer your question regarding the 2nd ending (after collecting all 8 Petal Gear Fragments), it does resolve the Groundskeeper Child's story in a different way. I think the biggest clue to it lies in what the Corpse says, before exploding into oblivion. XD I don't know if people are getting as involved with these characters as I was when writing for them, but hopefully you find it satisfactory, and well worth the effort. If you are truly stumped on collecting some of the fragments, I am not beyond giving out hints! :)
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#12
Eat_My_Shirts

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This level is difficult. Veeeery difficult. But challenging and fun! I love the smiling fireballs, they are very handsome looking. :D You should have an Mm pick, you're an awesome creator!!

#13
Liquid_Blood_

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This level is difficult. Veeeery difficult. But challenging and fun! I love the smiling fireballs, they are very handsome looking. :D You should have an Mm pick, you're an awesome creator!!


Thank you Mr. Shirts! If you didn't make it to the end, is there a specific moment you think needs some adjusting?

"Handsome"?? Hehe, that's not necessarily something I was going for with them, but hey, I'll take it, hehe!

I appreciate you saying so, but I honestly doubt it will be MMPicked. I believe it's much too ..jagged and organic for their tastes. They usually seem to go more for things that are bright and colourful with a predictable structure. Not that I wouldn't like to be proven wrong of course! :D
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#14
HaggardCricket

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For some reason, I did not chuck my controller at my cat when I played this level. Maybe it's 'cuz I had some training from the pro. ;)

Anyway, I really enjoyed this challenging level! The gameplay was great and the story is interesting! But I have to say the visuals are only decent. Don't get me wrong, though. The gameplay really makes up for it, in my opinion! And I'll possibly be back for a replay! :D
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#15
Liquid_Blood_

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But I have to say the visuals are only decent. Don't get me wrong, though. The gameplay really makes up for it, in my opinion!

Hehe, have you played it since the one time testing with me? In those last couple days before the deadline, I added dynamic lights, decorations, plants, snow, stickers, did more with the extra layers glitch, & got more specific with my use of materials. The biggest obstacle to visuals was all the complex mechanisms going on. Just about everything affects everything constantly, and I was getting complexity warnings and glitching. So, I could only have fun with the visuals in places where gameplay was extremely scarce. Otherwise I had to be super careful.

I also had to make absolutely sure that players were never confused where to go or what to do, so giving them an all-around smooth experience was a factor in the visual design as well.

Anyway, yeah give it another shot sometime, and if you're still not satisfied, well WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!?!!!!! :P :D

#16
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Yes, I played after you published and the "window closed". :P



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#17
PyroTrooper91

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Looks worth the try, got it queued! :D
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#18
THe EGG

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This is the kind of level that makes me sit up straight, grit my teeth and make me NEED to beat. Yep, it's challenging and i loved it. Not enough solid levels around these days. Well done.

Its not just hard though. the obstacles are creative, varied and well designed to be doable if try (and keep trying!). Loved the momentum grabs and all the cool mechanisms.

There was only one bit that made me rage - the bit where you have to try and get the (6th/7th?) petal gear fragment right at the hear of the machine. you have to grab onto the 4 cicles of red sponge which spin, and in tunr are moving back and forth. Man, i must have died about 50 times. Just felt you needed to get lucky with the momentum rather than be skill. Probably a trick to it ;) Still, its to get a bonus so it can be hard!

Like the way you return to the start towards the end but i did think it was a bit funny to have that chasm there initially. all made sense in the end!

Oh sorry, two bits made be rage. The red gauge that fills up the balloons. its sooo stiff, i tried for ages to turn it and couldn;t work out which whay/what to do. I think in the end i was being stupid and you just had to grab the handle? not very intuitive but i was just glad to fill the balloons. great bit this - seeing the ballooons go up.

The visuals could do with a polish for sure but i read what you said about what you find enjoyable to create - thats the main thing. I am picky about the look of my levels (as rachi_t will attest) but i like making stuff look cool and comic booky so i dont mind doing the boring stuff.

Think i lost the deal with the story - especially at the end i was like - who? I must have been concentrating on the gameplay :)

I think to deliver a platformer this tricky and creative takes some serious skill. With rare exception, i knew what to do and where to go and enjoyed the challenge!

Great stuff liquid, this is a gameplay heavy, tricky, but doable and imaginative level, thanks!
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#19
Liquid_Blood_

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EGG, thank you so much for your review. I've been feeling a little blue today, because I think Se-mi's Like Clockwork level is overshadowing my efforts. (Although I am a big fan of his!) So it makes me feel a little better to know that people are still engaging with everything I designed here.

My preferred method of getting the fragment you mentioned is to grab the bottom-right red sponge, swing and hold to the left in the middle of its upward rotation, and then swing hard to the right and let go as it reaches its apex. This way, you fling yourself straight up to snag the fragment, and can fall safely back down without dying.

And yes, you are meant to grab the handle of that water-balloon valve, haha! I'm so sorry if you were trying to nudge it around by pouncing on it or something! It's rather easy otherwise.

Not sure what more I could do visually, without cluttering things up. My feeling was that because the gameplay is intense/complex in places, everything must be very clear to the player. I also wanted to ensure there was no lag or glitching whatsoever. Heh, I guess those parts in the graveyard and overlooking the village from the sky taxi aren't nearly as breathtaking as I thought when building them. Ah well..

As for the story, it's all about the Groundskeeper child, how and why he used his years in the graveyard to build that machine inside the mountain. His scattered journal pages reveal this in chronological order. Collecting all the fragments brings more bittersweet closure to the story, besides awarding you a major point bonus for your efforts! :)

#20
Idgo

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Hey! I have a tip for you, because I "accidently" slapped the guy on the airship to his untimely death. By placing a material tweaker on the sackbot's circuit board, and making it ungrabbable, it also becomes unslappable! Just a small thing that is very helpful :)

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