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[Roughly 15 Fresh] 038 - Complications


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#1
waffle_king23

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Alright, back for another installment over here

 

This week we're taking a look at

 

Toast Overdose - Happy_Chappy
Gradia 2: The Forgotten Islands - faceofgame
Garden Realm! - ola2020
Sackbots Don't Swim - Major_Maximus
Beautiful Forest - CodemanPSX

 

It's a weird run of levels this go around, and one of them really rubbed me the wrong way (maybe that's more on me, than on the level, i don't know). Still, give them a look and see what you think.

 

Behind the curtain stuff: So, i really ended up liking this hub more than it probably deserved. The only problem is, it's referencing a level that no longer exists, which kind of leaves it as an in-joke that only the maybe 14people who played it will get. i probably should have gone with something different, but sometimes when you get an idea, you just have to run with it.

So, in the interest of illumination, a bit of (real-world) backstory. The last level i made in LBP1 was (quite similar to Castle of Forgotten Toys we looked at in LBsP - 017) a kid's playroom. There were different "worlds" arranged on a series of tables; a city with cars, and a simple logic puzzle; a castle tower with disappearing blocks you had to climb Mega Man-style, that kind of thing. The final boss of the level was the chap we see in today's episode. Anyways, for reasons i can't remember now, i took the level down. It wasn't a particularly bad level (nor, mind you, was it particularly good). Maybe i was thinking of updating it in LBP2, and never got around to it. For whatever reason, since i never backed it up externally, it disappeared when my PS3 went to the clearing at the end of the trail. Our hub's ruler looks the same, and is roughly as goofy; though now he's got elbows, so that's a step up.

 

Side stuff, but i think we may have our team for the LBP1 plat, i'm going to send a few messages around and see if i can't get folks on the same time-table, but i'm thinking tomorrow or the day after, depending on how everyone's schedules look. Related to LBP1, i just finished up the Story mode again yesterday, and started up LBP2. It feels like sackthing is a lot floatier in the first game, and everything looks almost shockingly sharp. The only way i can think to put it is LBP2 and 3 look like games, 1 looks like something recorded with a particularly nice video camera. It's fairly disconcerting.

 

So...i guess that's the that, this go around. i hope all of you are well, and, as always, appreciate all the support. Have a great day now!


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時計仕掛けの子の丸々太った磁器の顔に表情は無いが、転がりながら、口がカチッと開閉して、腕が上下に動い た。
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#2
xerorogue

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Alright! time to get to queueing! Thanks man for another great episode. 


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#3
LittleBlackadder

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lol! I honestly laughed when the level ended after the prompt about "2 minutes to yay the level" in "Toast Overdose" :p:

 

I'm not sure if "Gradia2: The forgotten islands" is really a homage to "Laputa: Castle in the Sky", it sort of sets up expectations that their might be some sort of visual similarities to the movie or even using the Laputa music which some people have created in LBP sequencers. ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Melbourne has a Ghibli Festival showing all of Studio Ghibili' movies beginning soon. I think the English language version of Laputa is better than the Japanese one as it has a few extra funny lines thrown into it and it also has the voices of Cloris Leachman and Mark Hamill. :D

 

Perhaps ola2020 should have included a few LBP3 features instead of just republishing "Garden Realm" or it could have just remained on their earth as the original LBP2 level.

 

I played "Sackbots Don't Swim" but not for very long. It had "rage quit" written all over it for me. ;)

 

There was a time when *Beautiful (insert word)* (Platformer) [JPN] was a thing and there were quite a lot of them out there and it looks as if CodemanPSX was making fun of it but as you said, "it's not funny enough to sell the joke". :Worried:

 

You may have had a mixture or yellow, orange and red levels but the green circle definitely goes to you for your set, characters, movement and dialogue (and the changes in music). :D

Terrific episode Mr.23. It shows that you don't need to have outstanding levels to made a great episode but a well designed format with entertaining and informative commentary, honest reviews  and some recommendations for creators to improve levels.


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#4
waffle_king23

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Thanks so much Addy! It means a lot to hear that from you, yeah. i've been trying to work more music into the episode, and it seems to have clicked this time around.

 

Got a reply back from Bruce_Lee1947 for Pink Space last episode, it runs here.

 

Here's a short explanation for the switch thingie ... it's a puzzle (which i should've made clear ) you have to find the perfect switch signal combination to get out of the top down movement. .. great review! Most of these issues are due to my approach (i explained this in a comment in lbp) .. i have now changed my approach ,polishing the level in sections and focusing on things i'm good at to prevent the thermometer from taking away my ability to polish levels

 

Which is a nice thing to see. It's always good to know that my feedback is reaching folks, and also to get a peek into their creative process.

 

Behind the curtain stuff: So...i'm in the midst of a weeklong vacation, and as expected, it's made me incredibly lazy. Just wrapped up episode 39 this morning (just this moment it finished exporting, to be precise); should've been done three days ago, so i'm going have to get cracking to keep on my usual schedule. i haven't put up any LBsP either, which is pretty unforgivable. There'll be one today, though not a particularly happy one. Just as soon as i get my thoughts in order.

 

As always, thanks for everything, and have a great day!


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時計仕掛けの子の丸々太った磁器の顔に表情は無いが、転がりながら、口がカチッと開閉して、腕が上下に動い た。
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Watch me butcher monsters and the Japanese Language!
Community Levels first impressions - Roughly 15 Fresh!

#5
katanagirl1

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Nice hub level this time, with some well-crafted enemies!  They have a real LBP story-level feel to them!

 

Toast Overdose - looks nice and has some more complicated gameplay, but seemed to me (hard to see since I'm watching and not playing) that the flow wasn't smooth and required a lot of fiddling to get through.

 

Gradia 2 - a floating island level with ladders was a strange combination, I'm not sure it works for me.  Good points about tweakers for grabbable materials and a checkpoint after the race.

 

Sackbots Don't Swim - does this level have points?  I don't see a score when you play.  I like the idea but feel like the gameplay being constrained to what appears to be only one layer limits it.  You are right about the falling platforms, you don't get a chance to land quickly and then jump, so you pretty much have to avoid them completely.

 

Beautiful Forest was a nice-looking level, but was fairly basic as far as design and gameplay.  I've seen a lot of great Japanese levels, but they blow this one out of the water.  Many Japanese levels do get picked for Team Picks, but the ones I've seen definitely deserved it.

 

It looks like the law of averages is starting to swing around the other way - up to this point you've found mostly great levels, but now...not so much.

 

Still, it was fun to watch!

:)


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#6
waffle_king23

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Thanks KG! i had a lot of fun making the hub this go around. Actually setting it up for the Intro/Outro was...less fun. Seven speaking roles makes for a lot of screwing around with sequencers. As for The Law of Averages...i think yes and no? Had we had the Orange Diamond from the start, we'd probably have had a general downward shift in grades. To be honest, i'm kind of happy to slap something with the Diamond, one, because it's a closer approximation of quality; two, because a lot of the levels are salvageable with some changes.

 

You points on the levels are solid, and they stuck in mind while i was playing through again this morning.

 

Beep beep boop, it's the Tuesday Takeaway!

 

Toast Overdose - Happy_Chappy

i had a good enough time with this one. It's still over-short, and it could play to the theme more strongly; but it's fun, and the environment is solidly presented (if kind of, to make a joke, factory-standard). One thing i noticed this go around, you can see the end half of the level from the first Checkpoint, which is something i always like (we see a really solid example of this with Chronos's Voltaic Ruination). So, i got the idea maybe we could sequence break right through to the end (which is always funny). Well, you can get over to the right, but you'll be in the wrong layer, so it's right to the floor with you. However, if you play around down there with the Boost Boots, you can trigger the lighting change. So, now, if you pop yourself, you can play the level in the dark from the beginning, and the lighted materials and objects look pretty cool.

 

Gradia 2: The Forgotten Islands - faceofgame

Yeah, the level select page says it was inspired by Laputa, and it...doesn't really work. The environment is too static for starters. Miyazaki is nuts for incidental movement, fiddly details, and selling environments and settings (it's one of the reasons there's so much eating in his movies). The gameplay is fairly basic, as well, and the grab-able platforms can really screw things up. That was what was knocking my Boost Boots off, it seems. Whenever i got caught grabbing a platform, they'd disappear (which is the opposite problem we had with Bottom of the Beast, from Doomymood; though i have the feeling it wasn't intended this time).

 

Garden Realm! - ola2020

So, as i mentioned in passing in LBsP - 018, i've been playing lots of LBP2 recently. Just wrapped up the Story Mode, and now i'm looping though Acing the levels (there aren't all that many for me to get, and the Negativitron's Ace is out of the way). It's touching to see that the levels are still getting played, and consistently so. Sure, only double digits for players, but i'm glad there're some legs on the game still. It is, purely from a game perspective, so much better than LBP3. Now, on the other hand, not having Tweakable materials, or the Dephysicalize tool...yeah, i know you can use Grav-tweakers, but still...those are such good tools to have right at hand. i guess what i'm saying is, there's not an awful to say about Garden Realm!, it is a level that exists, and it's not actively unfun. The spotlights are way too bright, though.

 

Sackbots Don't Swim - Major_Maximus

i don't think i consciously noticed the lack of point bubbles my first time through, but once KG pointed it out, it was kind of hard to miss.  Amusingly, that was something that really stood out in a few levels in next week's show, so maybe my brain was doing background processing. This one's another precision challenger, and though not the hardest we've seen, it can get a bit frustrating. Having those platforms up just a touch longer would have cut into that (though, maybe it would've been a bit too easy?). It's got LBP2 written all over it, as well, though i think Major_Maximus uses more than the three base layers towards the end of the level.

 

Beautiful Forest [JPN] - CodemanPSX

There's not really a lot to go with here. It's still a joke level, and the joke is stale and flat; and that just leaves you with a level that feels grindingly long (even though, in clock-time, it really isn't). The funny thing here is Codeman shows some flashes of decent level design and presentation skill (far more, in fact, than he does in his other levels). Some of the effects are nice enough, and the drop into the background section at the end was kind of cool (and i really should've PiP'ed it). i think he could've made something pretty good if he'd set himself to it, instead of making this bitter-feeling thing.

 

So that's the that. Not a great set of levels, by any means; but fun enough in the main. i can see where a little polish here and there would make a lot of difference.

 

Behind the curtain stuff: So, i think i'm going to start recording levels before i record the hub from now on. i've had to do that on a few occasions, and it's not something i really like. However, if it'll prevent something coming up like we dealt with in the last LBsP, that'll be worth it i suppose. i've got the hub for episode 40 basically done, just cameras and dialogue to do (granted, i'm cheating a bit with this one, but it's something i've had in the back of my mind to do for a bit now). My wife's back in town, but she'll be working the next few days, so it should be not too difficult to get back on my regular schedule. i swear, long stretches of time off, without some plan filling them really does my sense of time in. i don't necessarily want to go back to work, but it does give a shape to life.

 

It's pretty weird to think, but once we wrap up Episode 40, we'll be in the back 1/4th of the season. Time for me to start putting serious thought into what comes next.

 

As always, thanks for the support and feedback folks! Y'all have a great day!


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時計仕掛けの子の丸々太った磁器の顔に表情は無いが、転がりながら、口がカチッと開閉して、腕が上下に動い た。
ージョン・タインズ、作家

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Watch me butcher monsters and the Japanese Language!
Community Levels first impressions - Roughly 15 Fresh!




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