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ajmiam

Level 31

"Creepy Crawly"

A level I made primarily for the "whaaaaaaaaat?" factor.  It looks ridiculous at first glance, and then you realize the monsters are circling invisible walls and it's just a small maze.  Even if I'd wanted to make it much bigger, I couldn't have, since you can only have 127 moving monsters in a level in MS mode, and the level currently contains 112.

Level 32

"Goin' For a Walk"

This is basically the obligatory walker level of the set, made at JB's request late in the set's production because I didn't have (m)any walkers levels yet.  (I can't recall if I made this before or after Level 73.)  That's about all there is to it.  I definitely like the other walker level in the set more.

Level 33

"Corresponding"

A puzzle where, as the hint says, you have to figure out which block corresponds with each water space, and there's only one correct set of pairings.  I think it turned out decently but wish it were a little harder.  (For a few of the blocks, it's very obvious that they can only go in a particular place, which significantly narrows down the rest.)

Level 34

"Pursued By Shadows"

There are plenty of monster-dodging levels where you can lure the monsters to their deaths, but not so many where you can send them away only temporarily...hence, this level!  All the teleports in the play area are only enterable from the left or top to ensure that no Teeth will unexpectedly pop out of them at you, and the two Teeth trapped in the top-left corner of the level ensure that you can't use the teleports yourself to escape.  This is one of my favorite levels from this decade.

In an old version (released in the 33-level preview) I had an opening at (11, 13) instead of (10, 14), which caused Teeth to repeatedly move left along row 12 and drop into the spiral, meaning you'd have to lure them alllllll the way around again and again until the coast was clear.  Ugh.  I'm so glad I changed that for the 63-level preview and the final version.

As far as the title goes, JB insisted that I use proper titling conventions and make the "By" lowercase, but I thought the title would stand out more if the "By" was capital, so I overruled him. :P  I'm not sure where I originally heard the phrase, or if I just made it up.  It is a book title and a card in a collectible card game, but I hadn't heard of either of them until I did a Google search just a few minutes ago.

Level 35

"The Incredibly Safe Maze"

Another really silly "whaaaaaaaat?" level, and another way to use invisible walls without a ton of guesswork.  There are monsters, but the maze is safe, so they must be held back by invisible walls...hence you can watch them to find your way through the maze!  The name might have been inspired by the (very friendly and safe) "Incredibly Deadly Viper" from Book 2 of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Hmm, maybe I should have called this "The Incredibly Deadly Maze".  :P

Level 36

"Infernal Cell"

A throwback to the four "Cell" levels from Po100T, but instead of force floors between each cell, the monster flows act as 1-way passages within some of the cells.  The gliders and water in the top-right are just there to give the level a bit of visual variety.  The center of the level could be though of as one big cell, but if you treat the socket and exit as walls, it's 4 cells arranged in a 2x2 pattern, which gives the level 36 cells as its level number would suggest.

Level 37

"Tanks, Toggles, Traps"

This was one of the very last levels I designed for this set, kind of as a hole-filler.  The puzzles were designed mostly by playing with different configurations of tanks and toggle walls and seeing how they could be manipulated, and I'm pretty pleased with how the first couple turned out.  However, I couldn't think of too many ways to make them more complicated, so I called it quits after a very easy 3rd puzzle and a 4th puzzle that's very similar to the first 2.  The wall pattern has an interesting aesthetic, where I intentionally made the outer walls a mostly continuous path with no squares, crosses, or diagonal-only connections, and only a single "T"-shape.  Also, unlike most levels, the title took me a little while to decide after I'd finished building it; in the end I went with simple alliteration.

Level 38

"Patterns"

"Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge" inspired me to make this dodging-themed level, as that game had plenty of neat-looking patterns of enemies to dodge--stuff a bit more intricate than "back and forth in a straight line" or "around and around in a rectangle".  For instance, in the video below, look at the section with the oncoming enemies after the slide down the curvy vine, and compare that to the fireball-cloning section in the top-left of Patterns.  It's a little different (3 paths vs 2) but both sections have zigzagging oncoming monsters to dodge.  Anyway, that was one of the concepts I started with...the other was the idea for the bug-and-paramecia section in the bottom-center which I didn't actually know was solvable until I built and tried it.  ("Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy" from CCLP4 has a similar looking section, which may be coincidence, since I didn't play it before designing this level.) 

I knew some rooms would be harder than others, with the bottom-left and bottom-center probably being the hardest, which is why I let you visit the rooms in any order and skip up to 12 chips (just enough to skip those two rooms, or certain other combinations of rooms).  It's possible the level is harder than I intended, even with the ability to skip chips.

"Patterns" may not be all that popular, but it's one of my personal favorite levels from the set.  I ended up liking the northeast enough to build Level 44, which is fully dedicated to the concept of avoiding monster "snakes" in mazes.

Level 39

"Block Unpuzzle"

(CCLP4 Level 62)

First of all, let me say that I'm super happily surprised by how popular this level is!  It was my highest-voted level in CCLP4.  Anyway, my first idea was a reverse sokoban where all the trap buttons are initially held down and you need to UNcover all of them.  But then I thought it would be more interesting if you had to do both parts--the covering and then the uncovering.  The placement of the blocks and buttons was pretty much arbitrary.  All I did was make sure there were no 2x2 squares of blocks (for obvious reasons) and no 2x2 squares of buttons (since then you'd be unable to move those blocks for Phase 2) and that I didn't surround all 8 squares next to the center thieves with the same type of tile (block or button).  I ended up with this setup, tested it, and found it to be possible and moderately challenging, so I kept it.  It was a little bit trickier to design the mechanism that would enforce the two phases of the puzzles.  I was working on something involving a column of traps, a column of bombs, and spamming cloned fireballs horizontally after the first phase, but then realized that constantly-flipping-tanks and traps would be a simpler, more elegant solution.

Level 40

"Pneumatic Diversity Vents"

(CCLP4 Level 63)

This level is based on the concept of force-floor-and-ice slides that take you from one section to another.  It's named and inspired by a feature in Portal 2 shown in the video below.  (It was originally intended to show up in test chambers, but in the final game only appears once, as a means of travel about midway through the game.)  I like the block puzzle at the beginning, because it's the first instance I can think of where you have to get 2 blocks out of your way by "storing" them in a single space (fill in water, then pack down the dirt and put another block on that space).

I think this is the best-placed of the secret hints.  It plays off the CCLP3 trope of "don't pick up any items right away because you might need them to deflect monsters".  I definitely didn't want to have this level be cooked if you picked up those chips because that would be pretty mean when the previous levels in this set don't require you to be so paranoid about taking items.  However, the fact that you don't have to be paranoid to solve the level, but do in order to get the secret hint, makes the secret hint a lot less obvious than if you had to be paranoid to do both!  Plus, once you do figure out the secret hint, it's nice that you don't have to redo the whole level...just enough to reach it.

 

ajmiam

Level 21

"TNT"

Just an idea I had for a block-extracting level themed around using explosives (and drills...or something...whatever the keys represent...) to break apart a giant boulder.  I meant for there to be just enough blocks, but it turned out that you could save an extra one if you were really careful near the start, which is fine by me since it doesn't change too much.  Also, I just couldn't resist hiding the exit under a block with the theme of the level being what it was.  

The level was originally named "Dynamite" (after both the concept and the Taio Cruz song) in the 33-level preview I released, but then another level by that name got into CCLP1 so at JB's suggestion, I renamed this before the final release to avoid confusion.

Level 22

"Stress Reliever"

This is a really silly level...just an excuse to murder a bunch of walkers and blobs.  The title can be thought of as a double meaning, in that you're relieving stress on your part by getting rid of those troublesome monsters, and relieving the stress on the walls of the packed-to-the-brim rooms containing those monsters.  The chaotic ending is there to at least add some challenge...you might want to use the blocks to prepare an exit path for the monsters before you start freeing them.

Level 23

"Invisible Plumbing"

This is, in my opinion, a pretty neat idea for a blue wall maze--you have environmental clues that tell you where you can walk, rather than having to oof on every wall.  In this case, you can see where each path turns and ends, as though you could see the joints and caps on a twisted nest of pipes but not the pipes themselves.  (I may have been thinking about the game "Pipe Dream" from the Windows Entertainment Pack as I built this.)  I kept the time limit low so that you would most likely have to use the visual clues to finish the level, rather than just pushing blindly on everything.

Level 24

"Cross-Hatching"

The idea was to use crossing monster paths to create a sort of maze, including paths that you can only travel through in one direction and some squares that you cannot travel through at all (as they are occupied every 2 moves).  The name comes from the back of a box of colored pencils, where it was shown as the name of a coloring technique:

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Level 25

"Freeway"

A very short dodging level inspired and named by a game called "Freeway" for the Atari 2600, which I have on a 30-game compilation disc for the PlayStation 1.  In that game, you have a limited amount of time to guide a chicken across a 10-lane freeway as many times as possible to score points.  So basically it's Frogger except that the river is replaced with more road.  I deliberately kept it simple and only focused on dodging, unlike my Frogger-inspired "Froggy!" from Pit of 100 Tiles.  I made this before the level named "Frogger" by Wes Powers got into CCLP1, so the similarity with that level is entirely coincidental!

Level 26

"Plinko"

This is named after the Price is Right game where contestants drop disks into a board with several layers of dividers on the way down, each of which deflects the disk left or right, until it lands in the bottom and they win a prize depending on where.  So for this level, you need to guide some Teeth down a series of passages, making them turn left or right to fall onto trap buttons.  It's not all that difficult, and the only mildly clever bit is getting the far-left or far-right traps open, where you need to either put yourself in harm's way on the trap button OR stand in the trap while luring the Teeth to release that trap.  Originally this was going to be later in the set, and the time limit was low to make it a mild time-crunch level, but I moved it earlier in the released version (and bumped up the time limit in a later update).

I realized after making this level that, unlike the game of Plinko, this level isn't very random, so I decided to make another Plinko-themed level, which became Level 73.

Level 27

"Serpentslayer"

This was probably inspired by the ending of "Mud and Water" from CCLP3, where you have to use a Teeth to disrupt circling bugs and reach the exit.  Here I just put that aspect of the level a little more into focus; you have to collect all the chips in order to recruit the "serpentslayer" (a Teeth) to disrupt the "snake" of paramecia guarding the green keys and the exit.  The random force floors and ice corners inside the exit square were just supposed to look pretty, like a treasure horde of emeralds and a big diamond or something...not sure if that really came across.  Oh, and the blue wall maze in the bottom is a mirror image of the passages to the right of it...wonder how many people caught that!

Level 28

"Build-a-Bridge Workshop 2.0"

One of my goals while making this set was to revisit older concepts in a more advanced way...and one way to do that was to tighten up forgiving causal levels into actual puzzles with much less room for error.  Even though the original "Build-a-Bridge Workshop" had a lot of blocks and was very open-ended, the concept lent itself well to making a strict puzzle with just enough blocks to complete.  Admittedly, this is a strange sequel because the aesthetics are so different (grid vs mess), but the core concept of using blocks and flippers to build bridges, so that you can pick up all the chips after losing the flippers, is still there.

Level 29

"Hit the Brakes!!"

It's extremely rare to have to slow down on force floors, so I made a level about it.  Of course, you can't stay in place while holding backwards on a force floor in Lynx on a straightaway, so I put a bend at the end of every path.  Unfortunately that may have made the timing trickier to visually gauge.  This level is short both because it's a pseudo "action level" and there were only so many ways I could think of at the time to use the concept.  

The title comes from a scene in Star Fox 64 where you switch a train onto the wrong track, careening into a factory and causing a glorious explosion:

 

Level 30

"One-Push Sokobans"

This is a concept I decided to try to build on a whim as a nod to "One Block Sokoban" from CCLP2.  The concept is just as it sounds--each puzzle is solved by pushing a single block a single time.  It's definitely not a difficult level (with a concept like this, it hardly could be), but I tried to make the rooms distinct and unusual enough to make for an interesting experience, and I think it turned out pretty well! 

I deliberately set up the northwest ice checkerboard so that you can look around and see which way to push the block before making a decision.  The concept in the southeast room might remind you of "Excuse Me", but I actually made this level before "Excuse Me"!  (This was one of my first 33, while Excuse Me was created somewhere in the 34th-63rd range.)

 

So that's it for the 20s!  In my opinion this decade has a couple nice concepts but is a bit of a lull in the set, with the decades before and after being more interesting.

ajmiam

Level 11

"Bodyguards"

(CCLP4 Level 22?!?!)

The idea was to make a level where thieves are helpful sometimes and harmful other times.  That's about it.  I guess some of the monsters are kind of interesting to dodge, like maybe the bugs near the top-left, since this somehow got into CCLP4.  And it's not like we were reaching deep down to fill a slot--this was just a few places outside of the Top 149 in voting!  It's an OK level, but it's messy and all over the place and I didn't really do much planning while designing this and I think I had much better levels that could've gotten in instead.

Level 12

"Halving"

I had a few ideas for a maze whose walls change scale as you travel through it, and this is one I ended up building.  The first part is a little bit inspired by a custom level called "Two by Two" which is like Chip's Challenge meets World 4 (Giant Land) from Super Mario Bros. 3.  It's most evident with the squares of 4 chips.  

Level 13

"Journey to the Center of the Earth"

One level I made way back in Levelset 1.ccl was called "Perish Twice" (name taken from a book I saw in my parents' room, which had a poem by Robert Frost on the back about fire and ice).  The level had...fire and ice.  Specifically, you had to avoid sliding into the fire, but you could see it ahead of time.  Then, eventually, you'd get fire boots and not have to worry about it.  Anyway, I made an ice maze with a similar concept here, but used water instead of fire.  It's fairly simple to avoid dying; on a floor tile, you can always see the ends of all of its paths that lead to water, and any paths whose ends you can't see lead to safe ground.  There's only one exception to that rule, which is the floor at (23, 17) having an up path that leads to water at (28, 18), but there the level layout ensures you will see the deadly path before you get to the floor tile it originates from.  (Hence the wording of the hint.)  I'm pretty pleased with how the ice maze portion turned out.  The rest (some thicker water to represent ocean, dirt to represent crust, fire to represent the mantle/outer core, and gravel/chips to represent the inner core of the Earth) was added at the last minute to take up the remaining space and give it a more unique aesthetic.  All that led to a title that makes the level sound much more epic than it really is.  :P

Level 14

"Cross Back"

(CCLP4 Level 15!)

I came up with third room first--a block puzzle that must be solved in two directions and requires you to set up the second trip during your first.  (I remember that the idea came to me when I was waiting for my college piano class to start, for some reason--no idea why.)  Then I built the rest of the level around that concept of crossing back through rooms.  I'm happy with how the first room turned out; there are two distinct solutions, one of which leaves a recessed wall unused.  The middle room turned out a little simpler than I'd hoped...it's inspired by a section of Jeffrey's level "Guiding Light" where you have to clone lines of tanks (that cannot be reversed) to direct a fireball.  The title is a small callback to Cross Over from Po100T.

Level 15

"Elemental Park"

(CCLP1 Level 128!)

There have been plenty of elemental-themed mazes, but not a lot of 4-part overlapping mazes, so I built one.  I definitely like how I was able to make the path of each element mostly contiguous, which sets it apart from something like Triple Maze, while still creating an interesting maze.  Fun fact:  The original version of this level, which I released in my 13-level preview set for CCLP1 consideration, had some chips on the edges of the level, so J.B. edited the level for CCLP1 to move the chips inward and prevent the player from touching the border.  The change was so smooth that I didn't notice until he pointed it out later...so I decided to include the CCLP1 version in the final version of To100T.

Level 16

"Parallel Problems"

A very simple level that I originally built in Levelset 1.ccl, long long ago.  The concept is the exact same; only some minor details like the frequency of the fireball cloning and the number of columns changed, and those only because I lost the original level.

Level 17

"Excuse Me"

(CCLP4 Level 64!)

This level was inspired by two things:  1) the section in Think Tank where you have to use blocks to force intermittently-flipping tanks down onto brown buttons; and 2) the section in Choose Your Own Adventure from Po100T where you have to use a block to force an intermittently-flipping tank into a bomb.  I thought, what if I made a whole level about that, and made the tank flipping constant to make the theme stand out more?  It turned out pretty well, as it got into CCLP4.  I'm not sure how fair the lower-right section is with the block-pushing based on what you can see, but at least I gave you an extra block.

There is a room you can access once you get all the chips that consists of a small maze of flipping tanks, but there's nothing essential to get there.  I just included it as an alternate way from the trap room to the exit room.

Level 18

"The Road Not Taken"

The level title and concept are based on a poem by Robert Frost.  In 5th grade, we had to read and write about poetry, including some by Frost, and his name and some of his poems have always stuck in my head.  (My most vivid memory of that class is the teacher praising me for what I'd written about "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" when it was pretty much just repeating her comments about the poem.)  In any case, the poem is about a speaker deciding between taking a well-worn path through the woods or a more grassy, overgrown path that fewer people have taken.  Regardless of the poem's metaphorical meaning, the level treats it pretty literally--at each fork you can choose between a monster-dodging challenge with no fake blue walls (the well-worn, popular path) or a blue wall maze (the overgrown, unpopular path).  The hint also references the poem (using the phrase "the road less traveled by" and the word "divergence" for "fork").

The dodge required to get past the gliders (where you have to sidestep just as the glider makes a turn below you) is unusual...but not any more strict than dodging a single glider in a 2x2 space.

Level 19

"GULP"

Another extremely simple level from my Levelset 1.ccl days, basically Hunt condensed.  (The old version was also named "GULP"--at that point I randomly capitalized some titles but not others; for example, the Levelset 1 version of Culprit was "CULPRIT".)  At least in this version I made the chip path a coherent shape (a spiral) whereas in the original version, the path zigged and zagged all over the place.  Not a spectacular level by any means, but I'm happy I had some easy and short ones to spread throughout the set.

Level 20

"Salmon"

This is the reverse Rat Race, which I'd been looking forward to building ever since I made Rat Race way back in Levelset 1.  I just made it much more puzzle-y, since "hide in niches and go against the flow" isn't all that exciting for too long as a pure dodging concept, but there are lots of different ways to create said niches.  It would have been Level 23 to match Rat Race, but since I put a secret hint, it had to be a multiple of 10, and 20 was the closest it could be (and also a good place in terms of difficulty).  In retrospect, I like the normal ending with the tank puzzle enough that maybe I shouldn't have let you skip it when you find the secret hint...but on the other hand, aren't you glad you don't have to go all the way up the stream again after reading it?

ajmiam

Hello, everyone, and thanks for taking some time to read the commentary for my second levelset, The Other 100 Tiles! (To100T for short.) I had fun reminiscing and typing up the history of Pit of 100 Tiles, and am looking forward to doing the same here.

Set History & Design Philosophy

 

 

As before, let's start with some history of the set itself. Note that some more history, including definitions of "Levelset 1" and "Tiles 200", can be found in my Po100T developer's commentary. But to review: in the days between the release of CCLP3 and the start of the CCLP1 process, before I had formally joined CCZone, I began building many of my CC ideas into a levelset. I originally intended the levelset to be 200 levels and act as two halves of a whole, with a beginner half and an advanced half. The difficulty curve would reset at Level 101, the start of the advanced half, but ramp up faster, eventually reaching heights far beyond the hardest levels of the beginner half. Further, the advanced half would contain a few harder versions of levels in the beginner half. Some levels that appeared in Po100T were originally intended to appear in the advanced half of the set, such as I Wanna Be the Bit Buster, which would have been Level 131 to match the "Totally Unfair" decade message.

 

In any case, that didn't happen. By the time I had nearly 100 levels done, the community finalized the decision to begin making CCLP1, and the level submission deadline was fast approaching. Further, I had gotten some good feedback on the level "Clog" which made me excited to release more levels to the CCZone community and get more feedback. Also, I was running low on ideas. So I decided to bundle 100 levels into a levelset--Pit of 100 Tiles--and make a new levelset to hold the remaining 100. That became The Other 100 Tiles.

 

(The name doesn't reference anything directly, and I didn't come up with it immediately, but it's inspired by Super Paper Mario. In that game, there's an easy Pit of 100 Trials in Flipside, and a much harder one in Flopside. Po100T was the first pit--the easy one--and now it's time for the other pit--the hard one.)

 

Also, it's worth noting that a few of the levels ARE re-creations of levels from Levelset 1 or Tiles 200, but not as many as in Po100T. In addition, many of the levels were ideas I got during Po100T's construction, but didn't actually build then. So it contains old and new ideas alike.

 

 

This levelset was a long process to build, partly because it happened over the course of my college years, where I didn't always have a lot of free time. I managed to build 14 levels before the CCLP1 submission cutoff and submitted 13 of them (I left out Swapgates because I didn't think it was good enough) on June 29, 2012--just one day before the submission deadline! I continued making levels before and after CCLP1's release, releasing preview sets containing 33 levels on May 1, 2013, and 63 levels on September 6, 2014. I released the complete 100-level finished product on April 14, 2015, which was coincidentally just a few days before my graduation from college!

 

As I was working on the set, Michael Warner (a former Skype friend I sadly broke off with about a year ago) kept asking me if I'd made any new levels, as he was eager to play them. The instant feedback definitely helped me out and kept me motivated, so I am forever thankful to him for that! A few other Chipsters were interested in testing my created levels as well, so I formed a test group on Skype consisting of Michael, J.B. Lewis, Tyler Sontag, Ryan J, and Josh Lee. I'm extremely grateful for you guys--you kept a lot of busts and mistakes out of the released product through your efforts, and it was fun to hear your thoughts and opinions!

 

Design Philosophy & Outcome

 

When making Po100T, I tried to capture what I thought were the best elements of CCLP3 design (creative puzzles and action concepts) while avoiding the ones I don't like (mainly guesswork and extreme difficulty). Trevor Hedges' Let's Play of CCLP3 also guided me. With To100T, I decided to "throw away the filter" a little bit and experiment with some unusual ideas, tougher dodging and puzzles, and advanced techniques like nails and partial posts. (I wasn't assuming the player was a beginner any more, so I could expect them to know those techniques.) Also, I allowed a tiny bit of guesswork to creep in--but not much, and only in a couple of levels that are built to minimize the frustration it causes. And finally, I would worry less about whether an idea was "good enough" or not for inclusion in the set until I had actually finished building it.

 

I think "throwing out the filter" was a good thing. Compared to Po100T, this set contains more levels that I consider "below par" in terms of quality, but also more that I'm really proud of. Experiments fail sometimes, so I don't see the "below par" levels as personal failures by any means. I do think they may drag down certain stretches of the set, unfortunately, but I'll get to that later.

 

Focusing on advanced levels made it difficult to order the levels, as not a lot seemed fitting for the introductory 10 levels of the set. But I think I managed to come up with a fairly good ordering. It's not perfect--I think there are a few stretches of too many long levels in a row--but I think the difficulty curve is smoother than Po100T's, which had a few spikes early on (like #32 Combinations and #38 Keyrithmetic).

 

 

 

Now, on to the levels themselves!

 

Level 1

"A (Slightly) More Complicated Maze"

 

 

After designing "A (Mostly) Simple Maze" for my 200-level set, before I cut it down to 100 levels, I planned for a level with this title to go in the #101 slot as a parallel and a difficulty reset. It would require all items to exit--not just one--and contain some simple dodging and puzzles. Since To100T is basically the second half of the set that never was, this had to go in the Level 1 slot.

 

And yet, it wasn't the first To100T level I designed! In fact, it wouldn't appear until the 63-level preview set! I think I just wanted to design my more interesting ideas first.

 

 

 

Level 2

"Gravity Falls"

 

 

I know this level name is the name of a TV show, but I didn't choose the name for that reason, I chose it because it fits the level concept. In fact, while I knew the show existed when I chose the name, I had never (and still have never) seen a single episode of it.

 

Anyway, it's inspired by the aesthetic of creeks and multi-tiered waterfalls, which I've always found beautiful in real life. I also enjoy parts in video games where you have to travel with a current through branching paths of water. This was designed around the midpoint of the set's construction, and wasn't originally intended to be Level 2, but I put it there because it was fairly easy.

 

 

 

Level 3

"Mortarfied"

 

 

This is meant to be a callback to Brickwalled from Po100T, except with the walls and floor reversed. (Therefore, you're not moving through the bricks--you're moving through the mortar.) I like the aesthetic of this level, but the gameplay is nothing spectacular, just a chip-collecting maze with some dodging. It was pretty simple, so into the beginning of the set it went.

 

 

 

Level 4

"Pluto"

(CCLP1 Level 87!)

 

 

This was the second level I designed for this set, and one of the original 13 submitted for CCLP1. It was made in the honor of the dwarf planet Pluto, which lost its full planetary status in 2006 after several decades of being considered the 9th planet in our solar system. Anyway, since Pluto is a cold and icy spherical object, the center of this level is a round but irregular ice patch to slide across. The gliders around the outside are meant to represent spaceships.

 

The original version of this level submitted for CCLP1 had a couple more water tiles to fill in, but the staff removed them to shorten the block-cloning section. I copied the change into To100T before releasing the full set.

 

 

 

Level 5

"Hammered Into Place"

 

 

Since this was an advanced set, I didn't think I should put many tutorials in it. Late in the process of building the set, however, I realized I'd designed a lot of levels that involve nails, and nails weren't really explained in Po100T, so a new player might not know about them. Therefore, I designed this level specifically to explain nails and show off several varieties. I'm happy with how it worked out. It also has the effect of reminding advanced players to look out for places where nails can be used, which is very much intended.

 

 

 

Level 6

"Tool Shed"

 

 

The concept is partly inspired by Combinations from Po100T, and the name is inspired by Tool Box from CCLP3. When I originally thought of this idea, I thought of making a strictly ordered puzzle: every section would include every element, but there'd be a section that requires only 1 tool to get the chip and red key, another that requires the first tool plus a new tool, and so on until a section that requires every tool. In addition, the blue and green buttons were going to be unlockable "tools" in the shed. However, I simplified things because the original concept was going to be tight on space and I needed more easy levels.

 

It's intended for there to be multiple correct orders in which to unlock the tools, and for the ice skates to always be the tool you shouldn't unlock.

 

 

 

Level 7

"Encased in Carbonite"

 

 

The name and concept are a reference to Star Wars, as in one of the films, a certain character gets immobilized in a block of material called carbonite. Like Monster Swapper from Po100T, this level consists of two corresponding "worlds" that you travel between by teleport, where the worlds have the same layout but with one feature changed. In this case, there's one world where monsters move as normal, and another where they're immobilized by gravel (representing the carbonite).

 

I had the idea for this level way back in Po100T design, but didn't actually build it until fairly late in To100T design! I was originally going to use the concept in two ways:

1) A looping monster stream that's too dense to enter while it's moving, requiring you to pass between them when they're stopped (for example: the bugs guarding the green key);

2) A looping monster stream with walls on both sides of it most of the way through, such that you can only follow it when it's moving (this didn't make it into the actual level). Think something like this:

 

Bo1mRCX.jpg

 

Instead of Idea #2, I simply placed some of the balls and fireballs so that they'd permanently block certain chips while still and allow access while moving.

 

Anyway, I'm very pleasantly surprised with the amount of positive feedback this has gotten considering how simple it is to solve!

 

Also, Jeffrey made an optimization video about it, which I really enjoyed watching:

Note that I did not consciously pick to make nearly all the ball cycles [8] long--it just happened that way.

 

 

 

Level 8

"Boomerangs"

 

 

I've been fascinated by boomerangs in video games for a while, so I made a level about them, represented by the groups of balls and the cloned groups of fireballs. My original idea didn't involve crisscrossing the paths like in the beginning area here, but it's more interesting than simple bouncing back and forth.

 

 

 

Level 9

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

(CCLP1 Level 123!)

 

 

I think when I came up with secret hints, which I describe in the next level's commentary, I decided that they would go in every 10th slot from 10 to 40, and the "action" levels (remember those from Po100T?) would go in the level slots ending in 9. I ended up not making action levels a consistent thing in this set, but I still put this one (which requires you to move fast to grab chips before a hungry caterpillar of paramecia catches up to you and eats you) in slot 9. Yes, this level is one of the few whose placements I decided on very early into the set.

 

The level's shape is meant to resemble the stereotypical cartoon drawing of a tree where the leaves are at the end of branches in a "cloud" shape instead of a bunch of individual leaf shapes. But there are two areas so it's a rather awkward looking tree. Kind of makes it look like the "cut" tree from Pokemon, now that I think about it. The level is, of course, named after the children's book.

 

 

 

Level 10

"Swapgates"

 

 

This is actually the first level I designed from scratch for To100T (not counting lost levels from Levelset 1 or Tiles 200 that I eventually re-created for To100T). It's meant to be a CC representation of where a chute splits into two chutes, and a gate swaps back and forth so that out of all the objects entering the chute, every other one gets sent into one of the chutes and the ones between them get sent into the other chute. You may have seen this concept if you played with plastic marble track tower sets as a kid, or in the pie machine in Chicken Run, or in the door transportation track in Monsters, Inc.

 

The reason there are green buttons only on one side of the "gates" is so that you can't just spam clone fireballs and hit all the bombs; you have to control the gates yourself a bit.

 

Also, this level is the one that inspired the secret hint idea. It was for a really silly reason, though: I had a lot of leftover space when building the force floor tracks to/from the upper section, so I put a bunch of them down randomly and realized I could make a force-floor-stepping challenge to reach some sort of reward. A chip didn't seem right since it would clash with the theme of the level if it were required. So I made it a hint instead. (Yes, it still has nothing to do with the rest of the level.) I could just give away a password in the hint, but skipping levels instead of playing them didn't seem like a reward, so I added a clue as well. I'll say more about the clues when I comment on Level 50....

 

All that said, this level isn't super fun to play in my opinion, so I didn't submit it for CCLP1. But I left it in this set since it's a unique concept.

 

 

ajmiam

Level 91

"Pipe Maze"

The atmosphere and name of this level is meant to evoke an underground pipe maze from the Super Mario Bros. series, and I'm quite pleased with how it turns out. There are a few places where you have to push a block and not follow it, but I always allow the player to look ahead and see that. The hint is meant to remind you that there's a water tile at the end of the slide leading out of the southmost section; I probably could have worded it better.

 

I didn't notice until much later that you can't actually see the water at (10, 9) before you step into that slide, but I'm sure 99% of players pushed the block ahead anyway. At least if I had to accidentally leave an unforeseeable deathtrap in a level, I put it right near the beginning!

 

Level 92

"Square Dancing"

(CCLP1 Level 18!)

I was getting close to the end of the set. I needed another level. I didn't have many blob levels. And so I constructed this level in approximately 2 minutes. At least for a blob level, it's not really stressful or frustrating, so I think it's fine for CCLP1. I wouldn't be surprised if this level had the shortest design time out of all CCLP1 levels.

 

The name is a reference to Blobdance from CC1.

 

Level 93

"Progress Ball"

The name is a pun on "progress bar", which I later found out was also a custom level title. As this is a late level in the set, it includes a bit more trickiness than usual, such as the fact that you have to enter the glider/fireball room through a recessed wall the first time and through the force floors the second time, as well as the fact that stepping on the button at (30, 26) will get you stuck unless the ball is in the proper position. Of course, these details are probably still pretty easy to figure out for experienced players. Another one I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and though it might've had a chance at CCLP1.

 

You can pretty easily run through the big line of tanks in the southwest without using the blocks to block any of them off. Didn't feel like changing it since it's not really an important part of the level.

 

I added the force floor at (19, 1) in an update. My reasoning for that was that if someone had astronomically unlucky timing, they could step on the (30, 26) toggle button while the ball was on the (18, 1) toggle wall and get it stuck on the left of that wall. But oh wait, if that wall's closed, then the ones next to the button are open, so no cook. Silly unnecessary fix :P (just realized that now)

 

Level 94

"Bridges for Bugs"

You know what the set really lacked, I thought? A long block-pushing level. Why did I think that? No idea, especially when Level 86 is already kind of the same thing. But as far as block-pushing levels go, at least this one is somewhat interesting since you're building paths for a bug and not just for Chip. It could also have been a lot worse; note that I limited it to about 1/3 of the map.

 

This level introduces reuses (from Level 30) a mechanism I call "double cloning". Note that the clone button doesn't directly clone a bug; instead, it clones a ball which clones a bug and promptly dies. This way, the ball acts as the bug's controller boss and forces it to exit the clone machine to the north in MS, no matter what any previously cloned bug might be doing.

 

Level 95

"Chomping Swarm"

Remember Jumping Swarm and Slimy Swarm? This is like those, but with Teeth. I made a version of this in Levelset 1 that didn't quite work because if Chip was too far left, the Teeth wouldn't enter the force slide. I fixed that issue by designing it so that the entire playing field is several spaces right of the cloner, except for the path from the socket to the exit since the Teeth cloner is moot at that point. Also, the use of traps instead of walls to help keep back the swarm is kind of neat, I suppose. Using traps this way is a coincidentally similar concept to "The Grass is Greener on the Other Side", a Josh Lee level in CCLP1.

 

Level 96

"Chip Away"

The title is a pun I was surprised never got into an official set. The concept is based on the part of "Oh-Ho!" from CCLP3 where you have to clear some dirt and make a ball's bounce cycle longer, letting you sneak in behind it. In this case, you have to "chip away" at the dirt, locked doors, or chips to increase the bounce cycles and get the rewards at the ends. I think the level had some neat ideas, such as the multiple uses for the ball at (1, 22), but the core concept dragged at times. The chip line right before the chip socket didn't need to be that long.

 

The hint is meant to get you past a couple of tricky decisions with your keys. You have to unlock the blue door at (3, 17) before the one at (13, 13), and at the end of the level, you have to unlock the yellow door at (17, 2) (which you can reach earlier, though it's farther from the yellow key) before the one at (6, 2), though in that case you can clearly see which choice is correct. I'm not sure the hint wording is quite as clear as it could have been.

 

This level saw a couple of updates. First, I added force floors between the toggle walls in the bug line because I was having trouble with the bugs getting turned around in Lynx. Second, I changed the ball at (14, 18) into a fireball and added a water tile at (7, 17) so you could drown it and not get surprised by it when you're coming back through the (20, 17) force floor.

 

Level 97

"Guardians"

In Levelset 1, I made an extremely generic dodging level called "Guardians" that just consisted of concentric squares of monster paths, separated by full-tile walls, with chips in between the paths. Something like this:

 

3PZAuE6.jpg

 

Well, I wanted to make it more interesting this time, so I compressed the old "Guardians", so there was no longer safe space between the paths, and put it in the middle, with four unique dodging challenges around the outside. I decided to have the monsters in those four areas be released when you grab the keys because that reminded me of the trope in various other video games or movies where a character grabs treasure in an ancient temple or something, and some monsters/spirits/golems come to life and start chasing him or her....

 

The first three dodging rooms look trickier than they are; in each of them, there's a spot in the middle where you can stand and the monsters won't get to you before you have a clear path to the exit (in the walkers' case, this is usually true). The Teeth room surprised me by being harder than I expected, but it's still doable.

 

Depending on how you unlock the locks in the middle, you can make a swastika, but if you do that, you have no one to blame but yourself! :P

 

Level 98

"Rube Goldberg"

Whoo, boy. This is one of the hardest--if not the hardest--levels in the set. Tricky because you need to think ahead and keep track of what parity toggle walls and tanks will be in as things happen....

 

It includes a couple of concepts inspired by CCLP3. First of all, the level idea as a whole, where you need to set up an elaborate path for a monster to go through while Chip is stuck in a trap, is totally inspired by You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks. Also, the key section in the west was inspired by Vulcan. Of course, a massive difference between this level and Old Frog is that in Old Frog, you have to make a lot of decisions that could cook the level before you can see the whole thing. In this level, I let the player see nearly all of it, enough that they can make the correct decisions without guesswork. For example, I even let you walk through the fireball/trap mechanism in the east yourself so you can see what will happen to the glider there. In an update, I added chips and chip sockets to the level, forcing you to explore the northeast before you start unlocking doors in the west. This way, you can see what positions the toggle walls and tanks are in, and therefore know how many times to hit each button. As a bit of trickiness, the only solution for the key section (as far as I know) involves making the glider pass over 1 green button...and 3 blue buttons.

 

One annoying thing about the level is that once you clone a glider and hop into the trap, you have to wait quite a while to see if it releases you or not. To alleviate this, I tried to add some sound cues to the level that would play as the glider went through. The string of balls exploding bombs in the northwest is unmistakable to the ear when it happens. Also, in the same update where I added the chips, I added a toggle wall in front of the fireball cloner so it would shut off (and shut up) a short while after it had done its thing.

 

Level 99

"I Wanna Be the Bit Buster"

This level takes everything the set is about--friendly, intuitive, fair design--and throws it all out the window for one level of sheer evil fun on the part of the designer. It's only fitting for a level named after I Wanna Be the Guy, a game infamous for its extreme difficulty and traps that are unfair, creative, and made to do the opposite of everything the player expects. This was incredibly amusing to design, and apparently some players thought the traps were amusing to fall for, too, since a few people gave the level positive reviews. (And some gave it negative reviews, as I expected.) Just how many traps are there in this level? I'll count them below. Please don't look in there until you've tried the level for yourself!

 

 

 

The ones marked with "Foreseeable" can be checked for if you're really careful.

  1. Sliding any direction but up at the start leads to a watery grave.
  2. Sliding up immediately as the level starts will kill you. You need to wait for the ball to get out of the way.
  3. (Foreseeable) Trying to get a chip behind the recessed walls on either side of the suction boots will get you stuck due to a hidden wall. You can check for this by stepping on the recessed wall that's not below the chip and trying to step up.
  4. Out of the 5 blocks in the X, the 4 on the edges have fire. :fireblock: This is the same pattern of fire as in Leave No Stone Unturned. (Remember that level?) Also, the reason for the walls, and the solid blue wall under the center block, is to prevent block slapping in Lynx.
  5. You can only fill in one water space here. If you don't pick the one with the thief, you'll get stuck with the suction boots on a force slide later on and won't be able to outrun cloned balls.
  6. Once you pass through the recessed wall, if you make a right, you'll run into a hidden wall and then get flattened by a long line of pink balls.
  7. Similarly, going for either red key will get you flattened by that same line of pink balls. There aren't even any red doors in the level :P
  8. (Foreseeable) You can enter the teleport by going left, or up. Go left, and you teleport into a bomb. This can be seen in advance from (19, 30).
  9. (Anti-foreseeable) After escaping the stream of cloned balls, you can choose to go onto a force floor slide above you or to your right. You can see that the one to your right leads to water; however, that's a trick. Taking the up slide results in drowning; taking the right slide is safe as a Teeth will clone a block to fill the water in before you reach it.
  10. After hitting the blue button and heading into the blue wall section, failing to clear out the blue walls and extricate the cloned block in time will leave you stuck when the next block clones.
  11. (Foreseeable) The balls guarding the chip to the right of the blue wall section are bouncing off hidden walls, so they may rebound onto you unexpectedly if you're not careful. You can observe their bouncing from the blue wall section, though.
  12. In the line of block cloners creating blocks on the ice, the second-to-last button is connected to the cloner one row down instead of the cloner on the same row. If you're running full speed and don't stop, the cloned block will hit you.
  13. (Foreseeable) After you get the ice skates and come through the thief, there are 3 blocks in a row and an X of ice spaces above them. If you push the left or center block up, it will rebound off an invisible wall and kill you. Can be checked for by trying to step onto those spaces yourself.
  14. If you run towards the exit and don't stop after hitting the toggle button, then the toggle door next to the exit will close, trapping you as a glider swoops in to end you. You instead have to stay behind on the toggle button or the recessed wall until the glider goes back up, at which point the exit opens for real. This final trap (killing the player just before--or in some cases, just after--the level goal) is called a "Kaizo Trap" after the stage "Special Stage 2" from Kaizo Mario World. Look up ProtonJon's Let's Play of that level for more details, but be warned that the language is very family unfriendly.

 

 

 

The hint for this level says "EASY" in all caps because, well, I figured some people might not like this level, so "EASY" is the password for the next level!

 

Level 100

"Boss Battle"

Even though this is the last level, I designed it pretty early...around 12th or 15th. It was supposed to be the midway point of Tiles 200 back when that was a thing, but I figured it also served fine as a finale for this set. The password is EASY because I think this level really is easy--much easier than #99 and miles easier than the previous action level (Water Slide). Fine by me; I generally dislike boss battles in video games, so the easier, the better.

 

This is based on danmaku (bullet dodging) games. Since Chip can't really kill things in this game (other than by directing them into water or bombs), the "story" is that you're trying to infiltrate and sabotage a spaceship, so you have to dodge a barrage from its guns (which are shooting monsters at you) and press buttons to turn them off, then go inside, dodge the crew members, and bridge to the exit (simultaneously clogging its engine coolant tank and dooming it to overheat and break down). I intentionally made the patterns of the balls and the tanks pretty easy to discern and dodge. The fireballs are a bit trickier, as they're cloned randomly by blobs. The inside should be relatively simple.

 

I'm slightly disappointed because when I built this level in Tiles 200, the spaceship actually looked vaguely spaceship-shaped. But that version was lost to the bit bucket along with the rest of that set. Try as I might, I couldn't pull off the same look here. At least the gameplay turned out the same.

 

Conclusion

What do I think of this levelset as a whole? I was quite pleased with the levels in terms of how fun they are to play, and I was especially happy to see the generally positive feedback from most of you who played the set! I'm also incredibly proud of getting 26 levels from this set into CCLP1 (and possibly some into CCLP4). One thing that I think of as a shortcoming of the set is that most of the levels are very easy to medium in terms of difficulty, and the difficulty curve is pretty flat until the last 15 or so. It's possible that, as the designer, the levels seem easier to me than they do to others. Still, there aren't any I would consider a challenge on the level of CCLP3 Level 100 or onward. (I've learned to appreciate difficult levels like the ones in late CCLP3 after playing them, though I didn't much like them initially.) Part of the reason for this is that I find it hard to design levels that are extremely difficult while also making them fair (giving the player all the information they need to solve them). I would try my hand at making a few more difficult levels in the sequel set, The Other 100 Tiles. I also think I tended to "play it safe" with the design in this set, not really toying with the player's expectations very much (level 99 nonwithstanding). Again, I would aim to change that a bit in To100T.

 

Thank you to everyone who viewed my commentary! I hope it was at least a little interesting and taught you things you might not have known about my thinking and level design processes. I'll be starting the Developer's Commentary for To100T soon. Have a happy holiday season, everyone! :)

ajmiam

Level 81

"Follow the Leader"

This is inspired by Socialist Action from CC1, which includes a line of bugs marching around a bank of invisible walls. I'd also seen similar concepts in a few custom sets, where you had to join a line of monsters that are walking a path through a maze of invisible walls. Follow them exactly, or you'll fall behind and get run over. My one complaint with many of those levels was that the monsters tended to be placed unreasonably close together, so one or two mistakes was all it took to die. Thus, I made sure to spread the monsters out here, and include plenty of chips that act as safe spots where you can wait for a monster to pass if it's getting too close to you.

 

Originally there were no visible-by-default walls in the starting area, but I added them to make for a more gentle introduction. Also, in the set's first update after release, I added a bit to the hint explaining how to beat the fireball-cloning section.

 

I think the level may have been slightly too large and didn't necessarily need to fill the whole map. The top-right section seems like the most redundant part.

 

Level 82

"Automatic (Caution) Doors"

(CCLP1 Level 140!!)

YES! This level. I had the idea for this concept for a while as I was building Po100T, but didn't know how exactly I would execute it. I kind of improvised it, but nevertheless I'm extremely pleased by the result. It was fun for me--the designer--to play, and also for a lot of other people judging by the reviews of my set. :D Anyway, I started off making the beginning room--requiring a little dodging in order to reach the doors from the button--and then thought of a few ways to make paths from a button to a set of doors, such that the paths are completely walkable but are too long for you to make it in time unless you find a shortcut. These paths include the twisty floor path through the water west of the start, the path around the blue lock east of the start, and the path parallel to the water-guarded ice slide north of the start. I then built the level in pretty much the order you solve it, but not necessarily decidng how things would be unlocked until later (like the green doors or the aforementioned water path). I believe a lot of the enjoyability of this level comes from seeing these inaccessible paths, the suspense and uncertainty in how to unlock them, and the realization upon acquiring the proper tools to do so. Also, it's relatively safe to explore and try things without cooking the level. (The fireball stream in the northeast is a potential exception to this, though you can see from a safe space that their path passes through the fire before you head past the point of no return.)

 

One unusual aspect of this level is the chip placement. All the chips and the chip socket are contained in the first 1/3 of the level or so. The reason for this was to encourage the player to explore the starting area and see all the places they'd be able to get to later, and what they'd need to get to those places. I did something similar for a later level (#98 Rube Goldberg).

 

The means of exit (opening a seemingly-useless red door to lure an unseen Teeth into hitting a red button for you) was an accidental innovation. In a test run, I'd just solved the Teeth section and headed back to the starting area, only for the Teeth to trigger the doors, something I didn't realize would happen. I decided that could be made into an intended level mechanic. It's not something the player will likely think of; it's more that they'll just try unlocking that door and it'll happen. In the more confusing original version of the level, the final locked door led to the sprialing exit path instead, and the player had to step into a pointless-looking alcove to lure the Teeth south and trigger the toggling.

 

The exit path is a bit awkward, as the buttons will occasionally clone a ball when the previous one hasn't died yet, stopping the doors for a second or so. Oh well, it's a minor annoyance and not life-threatening.

 

EDIT: Oh, I suppose I should explain the title. It's based on those yellow-and-black signs you often see on automatic doors in the real world, e.g. at your local supermarket if it has them. Like this:

 

RQh5YHr.jpg

 

Level 83

"Chip Compactor"

Another where I thought of the core concept (a ball is controlling tanks and you have to unlock doors to increase the time between switches) before the actual layout. The chip at the beginning is tough to snatch right away, but it's possible, and you can always come back later if it's too hard for you. After that, the only really tricky part of this level is the top-left, especially in Lynx, but there are more blocks than you need. I do kind of like the atmosphere of the giant crusher you have to run through to exit once the tank cycle has been extended to its maximum length.

 

In the title, I mean "Chip" in both senses of the word :P

 

Level 84

"Tangled Web"

This level is based on the "path tracing puzzle" you often see in children's activity books, where there are a bunch of criscrossing overlapping lines and you have to determine which line leads from the start to the goal, sort of like this:

 

osLaOvg.jpg

 

In this case, since you don't have full view of the map normally, I had to add a couple of vantage points on the ice at the start of the level so you could see the full paths, and therefore know which starting point leads to which obstacle. You can always go back to those vantage points as you're solving the level. When making the paths, I of course had to be careful that the ice corners for one path wouldn't get in the way of another, but that wasn't too difficult.

 

Level 85

"Disappearing Mazes"

This level is super easy! What's it doing in the #85 slot? It's meant to be a relaxing level to give the player some relief after the challenges they've just been through, as well as before the upcoming one. See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BreatherLevel. The whole concept of the level (including, naturally, the last room with all the sockets) is inspired by being able to eat through all the chip sockets in Strange Maze from CC1 once you get all the chips.

 

Level 86

"Laser Refraction"

Oh dear. This level is probably the hardest in the entire set, even harder than #98 and arguably #99. The concept, inspired by the Thermal Discouragement Beams and Discouragement Redirection Cubes from Portal 2, is about pushing blocks to deflect "lasers" (streams of fireballs spaced 1 apart) into bombs, allowing you to get red keys. The problem is that once a block is in the path of a laser, you can't move it out unless you succeed at a "50/50 timing" challenge, which I HATE. So why's the level in the set? Because if you think through your moves VERY carefully, you can solve the level without ever having to extract a block from a laser stream. I know because I managed it once. Once.

 

This is notable for being one of the only untimed levels in this set that doesn't involve luck, just because it's THAT complicated. I believe the time it took me to solve this without any 50/50 timing is comparable to my casual first-time solve of On the Rocks.

 

Level 87

"(Ir)reversible"

(CCLP1 Level 134!)

Just as the title and hint suggests, it's all about choosing two paths, one of which lets you go back after getting the chip and one that doesn't. I think the decision I like the most is the block-sliding section (the 2nd decision point in the level). Note that at the tank part, it turns it's possible to take the "wrong" path first and still get back (the right side), but it requires good timing.

 

One funny-looking mechanic is the pair of teleporters you see at (29, 20) and (31, 20). Each one leads to the other, as Rockdet discovered to his surprise and amusement when he played this level for the first time. So why are they there? It's because it's actually very tricky to make "one-way" teleporters in this game. Just putting a force floor before or after a teleport doesn't do the trick since backwards force floor boosting exists in MS. So, having the teleport pair there ensures that the other horizontal teleports in the level send the player on a one-way trip to that pair. I would go on to reuse the concept in Level 82 of To100T (but vertical this time!)....

 

Level 88

"Outwit"

A very bare-bones :teeth: dodging challenge. Well, 4 challenges. Actually fairly difficult for this set. There isn't much rhyme or reason to the thin wall placements; I just tried to make sure there'd be plenty of obstacles to get the Teeth stuck on. The teleports are there for easy movement around the level--as well as making sure the Teeth can't trap you in the gravel strip between the two rooms on the left or the two rooms on the right. The border with the thin walls and walkers are just decoration, both a homage to Level 88 from CC1 (Spirals) and a way of saying, "Aren't you glad you don't have to deal with this?"

 

Level 89

"Memory Test"

I just wanted to make a level with long paths of many chips. The recessed walls add a way to fail, and the monsters on traps, as the hint says, are just there to make it easier to tell where you are. In the first release, the level didn't have the monsters, and therefore looked very bland. I added them in the set's first update after its initial release.

 

Level 90

"Water Slide"

This is the penultimate action level, and it pulls precisely zero punches. It is, like "Three Strikes You're Out!", inspired by the Joyride series from CCLP2.

 

This level is way harder than the norm for this set, but on the plus side, it's short, and there is a shortcut that you can use to skip a lot of it. I think the way I handled the 90-degree "curves" in the slide (each lane before the curve leads to the corresponding lane after the curve) may have been a mistake. It makes it very awkward to tell where you're going to end up, especially right when you get out of the shortcut. The "Joyride" system (where all 3 lanes before the curve lead into the near lane after the curve) is probably easier to grasp when you're zipping along at 10 tiles per second. As you might imagine, I died a couple dozen times before clearing this for the first time, and even nowadays I don't generally solve it on my first try.

 

The space in the title is there to distinguish it from CCLP3's "Waterslide" (a Pieguy level that's easier than one of my levels, who'd imagine!)

ajmiam

Level 71

"1.5D"

The inspiration for this level was a very strange indie film called Flatland that I watched in a math class once. It's about shapes that are living in a 2D plane when all of a sudden one of them is introduced to the 3rd dimension. Anyway, the film involves a depiction of one-dimensional space not as a straight line, but as a spiral, so that's why this level is shaped the way it is. The level's named "1.5D" because there are a few places where you can leave the "one-dimensional" spiral, but not many. And if you squint and blur the 1 and period together, it kind of looks like "LSD" which is fitting for such a strange level! (This wasn't intentional.)

 

I knew from the start that I wanted you to eventually lead a monster (here, the glider) through the entire spiral, so in addition to collecting items, you clear out obstacles (most noticeably, the tank). "You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks" is what inspired the whole "lead a monster through the entire level" gimmick for me, though there's a more complcated usage of that to come later.

 

The fireball in the beginning is a bit of a nasty trap; it's just there to force you to feel the limitations of the "1D" space.

The tanks you can't reach are there so you have a visual aid for timing the blue button press in Lynx mode--you need to hit it when they're fully on a space, but not stopped.

 

Level 72

"Occupied"

(CCLP1 level 73 why is this even in the set?)

Inspiration for the title and concept was those "Occupied/Vacant" signs you see on Porta-Potty locks. Why are the button connections all jumbled up? I thought it would be interesting to force optimizers to figure them out (or peek at the editor) and draw a map, while casual players could just hit all the buttons in any order it doesn't matter. Not that I think it was a great idea now. At least you can see which traps you've opened--they're the ones where the monsters have left.

 

I feel of all my levels that got into CCLP1, this is the least interesting and fun. I'm still not sure why it got in.

 

Level 73

"Feeling Blue?"

In Levelset 1, this level was a simple no-frills blue wall maze like Chipmine. However, I decided that since there are plenty of blue tiles, I should use them all and make things more interesting, and I'm glad that I did. I started with the line of blue locks and went from there.

 

There are a couple walkers in this level but one is just bouncing back and forth on ice (not random) and another is stuck in a single-tile-wide hallway (not random in MS, and always behaves the same in Lynx) so luck can't make the bold time unattainable. That's why this level has a time limit.

 

Level 74

"3 Minutes to Midnight"

This is an itemswapper that looks very much like Hotel Chip, but with less of a pattern as to what item leads to what. Therefore I allow you to have multiple keys and other tools at once, to both help you save time and reduce the chance of cooking the level.

 

As with Hotel Chip, the ice is meant to represent an elevator and the force floors on either end are meant to represent escalators. The blue walls on the outside are meant to represent skylights or something...I just associate one of my local malls with the color blue for some reason. The title of this level would have been "2 Minutes to Midnight" to match the Iron Maiden song, but 120 seconds was too low of a time limit to be reasonable. Heck, the current bold (which is JB's, not mine) would have finished with only 2 seconds to spare!

 

Level 75

"The Shifting Maze and The Impossible Maze"

(CCLP1 Level 92!)

In the levelset JoshL2, #57 "Yet Another Strange Maze" has a section where the walls are made out of blocks. In the original release of the set, the blocks were clone blocks, so when I played through the level in Lynx, I was able to push the blocks, which I thought was a really cool idea! (Josh since fixed it, replacing them with normal blocks with traps under them.) Anyhow, I decided to build a maze that features the concept (walls are pushable blocks)--that's the "shifting maze", and then so you had something to do with them, I made a water "maze" that requires several tiles to be filled in with blocks--that's the "impossible maze". The title got shortened to just "The Shifting Maze" for CCLP1.

 

Level 76

"Garbage Chute"

i thought of this level idea pretty early, except it was going to be a bit more complicated, with the bombs leading to more rooms to explore as they were eliminated, but in the end I kept it simple. There's a small bust here, as once all but the last bomb are eliminated, you can push a block through the path, blow up the last bomb, and exit. Great if, say, you missed a brown button in the recessed wall room. I kept it in because I thought requiring the player to take a block through would be a little tricky for what was meant to be an easy levelset.

 

The fireballs on traps used to be paramecia until I realized the controller/boss glitch would be an absolute nightmare if one got turned around and ended up back on a trap. Though I dunno why I didn't just add force floors like I did with the fireballs....

 

Level 77

"x times 2 to the n"

This level's gotten quite the bad rap I see, and I don't think it deserves it. The point of this level is that there are 4 different mechanisms that will press a blue button after a certain number of moves. The mechanisms are based on the one in Tossed Salad from CC1 where there are a series of balls in traps, and each one releases the next ball when it itself has been released twice. (I call that a "ball clock"). I intended that some of the mechanisms would be faster than others, which you're supposed to figure out when choosing which one to start first (hence the title), but this level got disqualified for CCLP1 consideration because apparently the west mechanism was too short to finish the level in Lynx if you started it first. Yeah, disqualifying the level for that reason kind of misses the point of the puzzle.

 

Approximate number of moves for the ball clocks to complete:

West: 16 * 2 ^ 5 = 512

North: 4 * 2 ^ 9 = 2048

East: 18 * 2 ^ 8 = 4608

South: 94 * 2 ^ 3 = 752

 

This level's time limit is so huge (999) because the level already has its own timing mechanism; I don't need the timer to act as another. Thus, it's just here for scoring.

 

This level had a precursor in Tiles 200 named "Powers of 2". It was an untimed level with a ball clock where you could either wait an astronomically long time for it to finish on its own and open the exit, or you could solve the puzzle of the level to speed it up. Yeah, I liked ball clocks, but couldn't figure out anything interesting to do with them back then.

 

Level 78

"Brickwalled Again"

More Brickwalled, this time with bug dodging! I don't know where this idea (bugs in a maze) came from. It may have been inspired by Maze of the Year (JoshL2 #39) except here the maze is wide enough that the bugs can't really corner you. The maze used to have 4 bugs but I reduced it to 3 because apparently 4 was too hard or something, I can't really remember. Note that the blue fake/solid wall layout is not the same as in Brickwalled.

 

Level 79

"Wormhole"

I'd had an idea for quite a while to make a force floor level based around either black holes or wormholes. Some ideas in this level I like. I think some of the puzzles are all right, and I like the idea of clearing out monsters by sending them onto a force floor. It can just be annoying to figure out where to go next, and in Lynx, to dodge monsters that are converging on the center teleport at the same time you are (not necessary in MS). That's why the chips near the teleport are there, to allow you to sit and wait for an opening, and in an update, I added additional floor to make it less likely you'd miss stepping off to get the chip. Also, the suction boots were much, much farther from the exit originally until I realized it was all too easy to get run over right at the end while slowly walking along the slide.

 

Level 80

"Slide of 25 Trials"

Hey, finally a level whose title and concept (sort of) reference the same thing the set's title does! This is just a series of times-sliding challenges I made because I needed to get better at those myself. I was careful to make sure that you could always see all the enemies you'd have to dodge before starting to slide, except for one place in the middle and one at the end, where instead you get a chance to back off as you approach the monster in case the timing is bad. I think the level is pretty reasonable, as even back when I made it I was able to get through it on most attempts.

ajmiam

Level 61

"It Snew"

 

 

Southpole meets Icedeath! Back in Levelset 1, I made a bog-standard ice level called It Snew. Yeah, "snew" isn't the past tense of "snow"; it's a made-up word I recall reading in a Winnie-the-Pooh book. But I decided to bring the level name back since its letters are each abbreviations for directions--south, north, east, west! So the level seems extremely unfair with multiple blind slides leading to water, but if you go down-up-right-left, you'll reach the exit in only 4 key-presses.

 

 

 

Level 62

"Chance Time!"

(CCLP1 Level 145!)

 

 

This is indeed a Mario Party reference. Chance Time is a rare event whose effects can range from almost nothing to causing a player to gain or lose everything through no fault of their own. As such, it's a rather scary proposition, but boy does it have a catchy tune! Anyway, here the gimmick is that whenever you push a block, the random force floor will send it down a path, and you have no choice but to follow it since it explodes the bomb blocking that path. The suction boots make sure that you don't have to do a precise step-off to follow the block. I could have implemented this mechanic with walkers or blobs instead, but it would have taken up more room, since they can't go on random force floors in MS.

 

I made the level untimed for obvious reasons, though it actually didn't take me that long to score the bold in the (timed) CCLP1 version since the level's so short.

 

One of the rooms on the right is the first place where I brought back the "zigzag away from fireballs" concept from the left side of Clog.

 

 

 

Level 63

"So Close..."

 

 

While playing through CCLP3 I noticed a lot of levels that start you out very close to the exit, with only one obstacle in your way that looks minor but actually requires you to jump through a ton of hoops. (I'm looking at you, Suspended Animation!) Well, what if the obstacle actually could be circumvented early for once? So, the obstacle is a single tile of water, and midway through the level you get blocks...that you can take back to fill in the water. I hope this intentional shortcut (which one playtester mistook for a bust) wasn't so completely obvious that everyone found it on the first try, though I suspect a lot did. Anyway, the fact that missing the shortcut requires you to run through a tight blob gauntlet (itself unusual in my set) with a time limit (completely unlike my previous designs) may have tipped some people off.

 

I was considering making a sequel called "...And Yet, So Far" which would have had an ice space as a similar obstacle, only this time there'd be no shortcut. I never developed the idea further, though.

 

 

 

Level 64

"64 Cell"

 

 

I can't recall the exact chronology of making this level, though I remember building the wall structure of it fairly early in Po100T development to make sure it would fit, and fit it did--barely! Someone asked me why I didn't make an "81 Cell", and that's because there's no way to fit 9 by 9 rooms of size 3x3 with full-tile walls between each onto the map. Anyway, even though I built the wall structure early, I didn't begin filling in the rooms until all 63 levels before it were done.

 

I didn't want the exit to be surrounded by circling monsters yet again, so I guarded it with a trap instead. Other than that, just an ordinary "Cell" level, except with even more backtracking and a little block pushing. Yay? I took extra care with this level to make the chip count 64 and the time limit 640, all in honor of the best video game console I never had. Also, the gliders in the bottom-right were originally spaced 4 tiles apart instead of 5 to 6. I changed it after a tester pointed out that the strict dodging was a bit annoying that far into a long level (something I agreed with).

 

 

 

Level 65

"Bonus? Rooms"

 

 

This level was intended from the very start to be a teaching tool, preparing the player for "lock nails" (where keys or chips have to be avoided so that they don't unlock a door that's letting Chip move across a force floor). I figured if the player would ever try CCLP3, it would help them get past Motion Blur and Zelgon's Lair, at the very least. I didn't want to spell out everything in the hint, so I settled for providing a hint and title that vaguely suggests what they have to do to avoid cooking the level, and letting them see the lock nail mechanism from the start. I think the lock nail mechanism is something you only need to fail once before you realize how to get past it, after all. The rest of the level is a blue wall maze because I needed something to put the chips and keys in that wasn't too trivial.

 

 

 

Level 66

"Parallels"

 

 

Not much to say. The left ball/wall/chip maze is quite interesting, but the right side is kind of annoying, rigid, and uninteresting for my tastes.

 

 

 

Level 67

"Connect the Chips"

(CCLP1 Level 56!)

 

 

The title is inspired by the kids' activity known as "Connect the Dots". Originally it was just a blank 30x30 grid of recessed walls and chips--one chip per row and per column. You can see in the picture below.

TewhYha.jpg

*YAWN* It was meant to be a breather level, but it was really utterly trivial and pointless. So for version 1.006, I completely remade the level to what you see today. It was originally going to just be Chip-shaped (and I used a zoomed-in Chip sprite as a reference for the outline, copying it down to the last pixel). However, I realized that the gray color of the recessed walls made it look more like a "Burned Chip" tile. So I added fire and "smoke" to the background. I hugely prefer this new version over the original. :fireblock:

 

 

 

Level 68

"Monster Swapper"

 

 

Just an idea I had for a while and I'm happy with how it turned out. The walls and items are the exact same on either side, it's just the monsters that have been swapped, as the name indicates. Bugs <-> paramecia, fireballs <-> gliders, balls <-> tanks. This is the first of a "two versions of the same level, separated by teleporters" concept that I came up with, which will return once in The Other 100 Tiles.

 

This is the level of mine that I'm the most disappointed didn't make it into CCLP1.

 

 

 

Level 69

"Gate Keeper"

(CCLP1 Level 97!)

 

 

This was named before the Cedar Point rollercoaster of the same name! This is a use-locks-to-deflect-monsters puzzle inspired by Vulcan, but reimagined quite a bit so that the paths are clearly laid out through the gravel and the doors just correspond to choosing a direction at each intersection. The ending "puzzle" I came up with on a whim. It basically solves itself, and it uses a small bit of awkward hidden machinery to clone fireballs at a constant rate, but I thought it was neat enough to include.

 

 

 

Level 70

"Be Quick About It, Man!!"

 

 

In my vein of referencing things without mentioning their exact title, this is a reference to the Quickman state from Mega Man 2. Quickman's a cool character because he's got a tough stage and a tough boss fight, but there's this one side game where he actually sacrifices himself to SAVE Megaman's life, which is pretty sweet. (I kinda ship them together for that reason.) So that's why I made this stage as a homage to him.

 

The central mechanic of Quickman's stage is the "force beams", a network of deadly lasers that shoots through each room shortly after Megaman enters it. One touch from the lasers, and Megaman is toast. This makes it so Megaman always has to drop through to the next room quickly. That's why the stage is considered very difficult. In my version, I use fireball streams to simulate the force beams. They're triggered by the brown buttons, each of which sets off a long and complicated mechanism to start continuously cloning fireballs after a set time.

 

In the Megaman version of this level, you don't have to collect any items (thank goodness!) but in the CC version you have to collect keys since the fireballs are only as fast as Chip and it'd be trivial to outrun them otherwise.

 

I'm pretty proud of managing to fit all the machinery needed for this level to work. With each brown button you press, you free a ball or fireball, which in turn frees some gliders from traps after a time delay, and each glider gets stuck in a 1x3 vertical shaft where it clones a fireball every other tick. (The ideas of the 1x3 shaft and having each glider deflect off the next unreleased glider were critical for getting this mechanism small enough.) There are a couple exceptions to this, however--for example, the cloner at (30, 17) is started by a ball and then the fireballs start cloning themselves. The reason there's a set of toggle walls that stop the initial cloning mechanisms is because I was afraid that if too many monsters were in the level at once, then the cloners in the right half of the level would stop working. It also serves as a visual representation of the halfway point of the level, which is nice I guess.

 

As a callback level, it's packed full of callbacks to the source material:

1) The title includes both part of Quickman's name

2) The password "ROCK" refers to Megaman's Japanese name, Rockman

3) The number of total keys in the level (28) is equal to the number of HP units Megaman and each boss has in Mega Man 2

4) The time limit (120) is a permutation of 012, which is Quickman's serial number according to the official lore

5) The level concept is based off Quickman's stage, as described above, and uses the same terminology for the giant lasers ("force beams")

6) The series of locked doors at the end is shaped like a boomerang, Quickman's weapon

 

 

ajmiam

Level 51

"Against the Floe"

 

 

Dumb pun title #12354723, but it was inspired by the level instead of the other way around this time! Anyway, this was intended to serve as an "action" level as a substitute for 50, which is a "break" level, and I guess it qualifies in the sense that there ARE monsters to avoid...but it's more about patience vs pressing your luck than anything else. It might seem like lucky timing to cross the ice safely at first, especially if you always try to go, but the three sliding monster groups are always spaced the same distance apart (36 tiles).

 

Since the types of monsters used were pretty much irrelevant, I wanted to use as many different ones as possible (including walkers). I couldn't use blobs, though, since they could start out going backwards or perpendicular to the monster stream, plus they were too slow in Lynx. Also, Teeth would take different amounts of time to get going in MS depending on the step, ruining the 36 tile intervals, so they're out as well.

 

 

 

Level 52

"Escape the Telenet"

 

 

This was inspired by a toy/puzzle I saw that involved two chambers on a flat plane, each containing a small metal ball and a shallow pocket away from the center. The goal was to get both balls into their pockets at the same time, but tilting the toy wouldn't work since if you did that to get one ball in its pocket, it would cause the other ball to fall out of its pocket at the same time. The solution was to spin the toy, causing both balls to move outward simultaneously.

 

Anyway, I thought about making a Teeth puzzle based on that concept, but didn't quite know how to go about doing that...so I reversed things; this time, you wanted to bring Teeth to the center from opposite sides, but because they were on opposite sides of the center, separated by a twisty path, luring one towards the center would lure the other one away from it. The solution is pretty elementary, though--just take one Teeth past the center to the other Teeth's side, then lure both Teeth back to the center at once.

 

I wasn't sure that using one Teeth to partial post the other would work in Lynx, but it does work in both rulesets, thankfully. I don't understand why BOTH Teeth end up getting partial posted into the middle, one after the other, in MS.

 

Minor notes--The time limit is 99, not 100, to emphasize that this is a really short level. Also, the thin walls aren't symmetrical because the debate about CCLP1 being pedantic-only was still going on at the time, so I favored south, east, and southeast thin walls over north and west thin walls (these latter two didn't appear in CC1 and thus were not considered part of "pedantic" CC). And I know this level is nothing like Telenet, but I couldn't think of a better title :P

 

 

 

Level 53

"Hotel Chip"

(CCLP1 Level 104!)

 

 

This title is wholeheartedly inspired by the oft-mocked game "Hotel Mario". The gameplay is inspired by the shine called "Mysterious Hotel Delfino" in Super Mario Sunshine. This mission has Mario go through a hotel where most of the rooms are locked, but he can find secret passages to travel from room to room, eventually reaching the attic and then dropping into the room containing the Shine Sprite. I represented the secret passages using blue walls; in some cases, Chip must pick up items behind the walls, and at other times he passes through them to travel into rooms locked with green doors since Chip doesn't pick up the green key until the end.

 

Aesthetically, the monsters are meant to represent the hotel guests, the ice slide an elevator, and the force slides either escalators or steps. The hint says that Chip's room is "#501" because the room Chip must visit first is the 1st room on the 5th row from the bottom, i.e. the 5th floor. (Okay, with the hallways as they are, you could make a better argument for it being the 3rd floor, but I didn't know how to specify the top-left rather than bottom-left room for that "floor" in a flavorful way.)

 

The Teeth room is a bit cramped for dodging. Nothing too tricky for advanced players, but in the CCLP1 version, I widened it and added fire in the center (blocked off with thin walls) to represent a "boiler room".

 

 

 

Itemswappers like Tool Box from CCLP3 always annoyed me with how easy it is to take items in a wrong order, thus cooking them and not finding out until much later, so I made sure to avoid letting that happen here. The only key available at the start is red, and every red door leads to a yellow key (or an item that leads to a yellow key). Every yellow door leads (eventually) to a blue key, and each blue to a red, so the cycle repeats. Every possible order of unlocking the doors is therefore a correct solution.

 

 

 

Level 54

"Just Glide Through This Level"

 

 

After I came up with this punny title, the level pretty much designed itself. Yes, if you move like a glider, going south to start and only turning in the proper direction when you encounter visible walls, you'll pick up every chip and bounce right into the exit, all without oofing into a single invisible or solid blue wall. I added dead ends here and there so that players who didn't get the hint in the level title would be less likely to solve it than if the only open tiles were on the correct path.

 

 

 

Level 55

"Build-a-Bridge Workshop"

 

 

Agh, the puns don't stop! This is a reference to Build-a-Bear Workshop, which I've never actually visited but have seen tons of commercials for. :P I purposely designed this level to be very lenient with extra blocks, but have some portions (like the southeast) where it's clearly best to build along a particular path. I was happy with coming up with the thief islands as a mechanism to require that the two chips and exit are connected by dry land before you pick up either chip.

 

 

 

Level 56

"Roy G. Biv"

 

 

I have a minor fascination with rainbows, so I decided to work them into a CC concept. I made a Levelset 1 level with this title where there was a ball that you had to get across the top row of the level to a bomb (similar to Progress Ball), looking something like this:

Oy3NS5v.png

There were minor challenges elsewhere in the level to pick up the keys, and then the hint said "Be sure to open the doors in rainbow order!".

 

For the Po100T version, I decided "Why stop with keys?" and applied the rainbow concept to everything that I could. I started out by putting a fireball room and a pink ball room on either side of the start, then added the bug room with the two keys (only one of which must be collected at that point) and the blob room, and improvised from there. All I knew when I designed the level was that I'd use locked doors to partial post into the rooms in order, so I had to lay out the teleports pretty much where I did.

 

Originally, the blob room required you to dodge the blobs, but I didn't want yet ANOTHER random/untimed level in the set, so I changed it. Also, the "chip vault" after the blue door (which is mostly there to serve as a reward and fill up the space) didn't have a looping path, but I figured it would be annoying to have to walk all the way back.

 

 

 

Level 57

"Brickwalled"

 

 

This is a blue wall maze that just...came to me, title and concept, one day. There isn't a lot to say about it, really, other than that I liked how it looked so much that I decided to use it again later in the set, and actually reference it in To100T. I suppose if I'd been feeling extra-nice as I made it, I would have made it consistent as to whether the "open" blue wall is the upper or lower one wherever there's a path, but I didn't. :/

 

 

 

Level 58

"Clog"

 

 

I always really liked Monster Lab in CC1 for both the constant streams of monsters (an unusual concept in that set), tons of buttons, and the different ways Chip had to clog the clone machines to stop the streams. There's also a slight double meaning with the passage below the start that gets "clogged" with pink balls when you pass through it. I basically started with that passage and teh force floor/recessed wall passage above the start, and improvised from there. Anyway, this level has a lot of running around, figuring things out as you go, and revisiting rooms from different directions or for different reasons, something I kind of like about it.

 

The tank room (where you cause a "clog" by hitting a blue button) was directly inspired by the analogous part of Monster Lab, and the bug circling the chip sockets was inspired by the end of Mix Up.

 

I tried to build the room left of start so that you'd have to take the block to the bottom row and deflect the fireballs into the bombs one by one, moving the block to the right each time, but oops, I failed and you can just take the block up the left side! Not that it's a major problem or anything.

 

The "zigzag past fire while chased by fireballs, hiding occasionally to let them by when they get too close" concept didn't originate here; it actually started in "Toll Road", a Tiles 200 level that I eventually put in To100T. The "bugs following a long twisty path around a central structure" idea did originate here, and I used it a few times later.

 

I discovered the "Clone Desynchronization" glitch (apparently also known as "Release Boosting") while testing this level in Lynx mode, and posted a video showing it to YouTube. That made this level the first publicly visible one of Po100T. I also joined CCZone (awesome decision)so I could post a link to that video in the forums and ask about the glitch. People seemed to like the level from what they saw in the video, which helped encourage me to release the levelset on CCZone!

 

 

 

Level 59

"Roads to Victory"

 

 

I started this level by placing the exit and the paths leading to it, and thought "What if the chip solution wasn't actually the correct one?", a thought that soon became "What if ALL four paths were correct solutions?", which gave the level its name. I wasn't sure how I'd make the solutions diverge, but then I made the starting room (originally with just five blocks for bridging down, two keys under the blocks, and a glider to dodge). I then decided to add water to the sides as an alternative way out and place bombs so that it mattered which way the glider went if you sent it out of the room. The rest was pretty much improvised.

 

Yes, there are four paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on. At least, the chip solution and the yellow key->toggle door solution require the least specific actions, so they're usually available if you mess up another solution. The suction boot solution is probably most difficult since it requires you to send the glider right at the start (tricky).

 

The walker sliding around the force floors might seem scary, but there are no force floors pointing at its path from outside the rectangle it goes around.

 

As with Choose Your Own Adventure, this level is untimed because I didn't want one solution to "dominate" as the fastest one.

 

 

 

Level 60

"Slimy Swarm"

 

 

A Levelset 1 concept that took direct inspiration from CC1's Jumping Swarm. The Levelset 1 version was even more like Jumping Swarm, with only the one cloner at the top. Upon reflection, I realized that the blobs took too long to spread out from the top-right, making the rest of the level less interesting, so I put in 4 cloners, one on each side. It took a bit of adjusting the chips required, chips available, water, and rate of blob cloning before I was comfortable with the level's difficulty. There are 11 extra chips.

 

The reason that the blobs are cloned by balls instead of cloning more copies of themselves is because unlike with the walkers in Jumping Swarm, there's no way to prevent a blob from stepping on a red button, trying to go back, and immediately getting forced onto the red button again, thus cloning way too many in a short time. Also, there are force paths completely surrounding each cloner because I wasn't sure if blobs could randomly choose to clone into a wall and thus not be created at all. (Does anybody know, can this happen?)

 

 

ajmiam

Level 41

"Constant Vigilance!"

 

 

This level's based off of Mad-Eye Moody's catchphrase from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" Thus, I included plenty of booby traps in this level that'll kill you if you're not careful, but they're all visible. The ball hallway that leads to the exit can be seen from the start, for example. I was quite pleased with the part where you have to push the blocks onto the fire/keys and later collect the keys from the other side...it was a nice way to use hot blocks without making them about lucky guessing.

 

The area with the bugs and paramecia going around those 3x3 rooms was inspired by the episode of Rock's CCLP2 LP where he plays through Loop Holes and gets killed by one of the monsters that's circling the chip (when all but two of the monsters in the level were circling the outside of their rooms instead). I changed things a bit, staggering the monsters so that the chip that the bugs are circling is completely impossible to pick up in MS. Unfortunately, it's possible to pick it up in Lynx with very good timing. At least none of the other chips in the level are particularly hard to get, so it doesn't skip a major challenge.

 

 

 

Level 42

"Life, the Universe, and Everything"

 

 

With a level number like this, who can pass up a Hitchhiker's Guide reference? Not me! I didn't have too much of a plan for making this level other than that I wanted to use every (valid) tile type at least once (not counting different directions separately), and I did succeed at that plan. I pretty much just started with the pool of water and the Teeth in the beginning room and went from there. The toggle wall maze (where walls and floor swap almost completely) was inspired by similar mazes in levels like A Walk in the Park, Jumble, Every Trick in the Book, and Shattered from CCLP3. Also, making it so you could get suction boots before tackling much of the force floor section was intentional.

 

I didn't really know what to do with the hint tile in this level, so I decided to use it and the thief to introduce the "boot disposal" concept (where you have to get rid of your boots so they don't slow you down on a sliding path, such as the ice at the exit). I didn't plan to use the concept very much during the rest of the set, but it did help to prepare the player for part of a level very close to the end....

 

In Po100T's first version, this level had one of the silliest busts I'd ever made. I accidentally put a gravel tile in place of a wall tile at (7, 2), meaning anyone could grab the fire boots without the skates, and by extension, without the chips. What's extra silly is that it took nearly a month for anyone to find it after the set was released!

 

 

 

Level 43

"Checkmate?"

 

 

I've been a chess player since about 2nd grade, so that's the inspiration for this title. The theme was supposed to be situations where it looks like Chip is doomed to get trapped by monsters, but there's an easy-to-overlook way to escape. The beginning section, in particular, is similar to a "back-rank mate" (where the losing king is on the rank closest to where his player is sitting, is checked by a queen or rook from the side, and can't move forward because his own pawns are in the way), only here it's blue walls instead of pawns, and there's a way out.

 

This level seems to be a bit unpopular, and I can understand why. Many of the ways out of the situations are extremely easy to overlook, especially the safe spot to hide from the stream of cloning fireballs while waiting for the toggle doors to open. It didn't help that the way the doors were placed made it look like they would open in time for the player to avoid the fireballs, when in fact they would not. (I put them there so that they'd open while the player was standing in the safe spot, thus notifying the player that things were happening behind the scenes and they weren't stuck.) The tank blocking the exit is also a nasty trick, though I thought it wouldn't be so bad since the level's short and if you cook the level that way, the reason why (and what to do about it) is visible from right there.

 

Funnily, it took over a year and 8 updated versions before anyone realized that this level's chip count was set to 0 instead of 2, which I then quickly fixed. Given how easy the chips are to get and how early they are in the level, I don't think it made much of a difference :P

 

 

 

Level 44

"Secret Passages"

(CCLP1 Level 78!)

 

 

For some reason I always liked secret passages in books and movies, especially the Hardy Boys detective stories. So I decided to translate the idea of a secret passage to CC. Blue walls for the rooms and hidden walls for the passages seemed a natural fit. Note that I don't require you to find every secret passage to complete the level, but you do have to use at least some of them to save keys and others to get chips that are in secret rooms inaccessible from the main hallways. There are a few extra keys; I know it's possible to finish with at least 2 red and 3 blue keys left over.

 

There's a subtle hint in this level. (I've always been a fan of subtle hints.) The number of chips in each room is equal to the number of ways out of the room (visible and secret hallways combined). I hoped that the hint tile would sort of give this away, given that it uses the word "Chip", but wouldn't be too obvious since it's placed to look like a thief talking to Chip the player. How many people noticed the chip/hallways correlation?

 

 

 

Level 45

"Periodic Lasers"

 

 

There's not a lot to say about this level, except that since there was constant clicking due to all the cloning, I couldn't use a "warning click" to tell the player to switch sides, so I had to use the timer instead--every 20 seconds, the fireballs switch sides. I don't think I've seen more than maybe one or two other levels (if any) using specific times on the clock as a warning, even up till now. This level is a return of the "laser" idea, which I had originally not intended for any particular levels other than Laser Sweep and the upcoming level 70. The word "periodic" appears in the title because I was thinking about periodic functions when I made this, and it refers to the predictable, repeating side-switching of the laser shooting.

 

 

 

Level 46

"Teamwork"

 

 

In the first released version of Po100T, this level didn't have the glider cloner, and was named "Blue Bombers" (because the walkers were blue, and it's a reference to a nickname for Mega Man). However, early players of the set noted that it was annoying that the walkers could waste a lot of time bouncing back and forth even after you'd set up proper paths for them to take, and I agreed. As such, I let you use a limited number of gliders to destroy bombs. Since there are 16 bombs, 6 blocks, and 8 gliders, only 2 bombs need to be destroyed by walkers in the final product.

 

The level looks a lot like Flames and Ashes from CCLP1, though I didn't play it before making this.

 

 

 

Level 47

"Touch Force Floor, Get Dizzy"

 

 

Yet another video game reference here. This title is a play on the name of World 1-7, called "Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy", from the game Yoshi's Island. Anyway, it's a big force floor mesh inspired by Forced Entry and Force Field. (In fact, I put it at slot #47 because Force Field was at slot #147 of CC1.)

 

The design may look extremely chaotic, but there's actually a bit of order to it. There are 6 "rings" that each consist of 8 force floors circling around a chip--one ring in each corner and 2 in the center. From each ring, there are 2 paths leading out from it to other rings and 2 paths going into it. The chips are placed on the "empty" tiles between the paths, and ice appears wherever two "paths" cross.

 

I knew that grabbing all of the chips could be frustrating, so from the very start the level had extra chips.

 

 

 

Level 48

"Choose Your Own Adventure"

 

 

I'd only read a couple "choose your own adventure" books in my childhood, but liked the concept and name enough to base a level around it. Here, you can clone either a glider or a fireball at the start, and that determines the path you can take, up until the end where the paths rejoin and you can go through either locked door to exit. I kinda like how both paths walk through the same pink ball room, with only the balls themselves preventing you from crossing over. In case you're wondering why there's a floor tile above the teleport at (15, 9), it's so that if, for whatever reason, you come through that teleport and then try to re-enter it from below in Lynx mode while the toggle wall at (29, 10) is open, you won't get stuck in the teleport. Also, the level is untimed to discourage people from focusing on only playing the "faster" path.

 

I think my biggest complaint about how this level turned out is that the difficulty of the two sides is unbalanced--the force floor mesh and bug/fire/recessed wall/green lock maze of the fireball path are quite a bit harder, I think, than the simple block pushing and dodging of the glider path. But maybe this isn't such a critical problem, since it fits in with the idea of choice. Also, the ice-and-toggle-walls timing challenge rears its ugly head once again, but I think it's less obnoxious than it was in Difficulty Switch.

 

 

 

Level 49

"49 Cell"

(CCLP1 Level 49!)

 

 

Well, it's another "Cell" level. I hadn't yet decided upon setting the time limit to be the number of cells times 10, so I think it was like 500 or 600 pre-release before I set it to 490. Coincidentally, this level has not 49 chips, but 36--I didn't aim for a specific chip count in any of the 3 "Cell" levels so far.

 

Anyway, this level continues to ratchet up the complexity, adding boots, buttons, and more keys and monsters. I intentionally added a way to cook this level (taking the force floor into the red key room a second time without getting the fire boots first) in order to encourage the player to pay attention to their surroundings. Also, uniquely for the "Cell" series, this level features a Teeth that guards the second-to-last item to be collected (the flippers). I definitely wouldn't have wanted the player to have to deal with a Teeth throughout a large portion of the level, but I thought having to avoid a Teeth for a short time would be interesting given the "Cell" structure. I kind of wish the Teeth hadn't been replaced with a fireball for CCLP1, but it's probably for the best given the level's placement in the 49 slot of CCLP1, which would be a bit early for a challenge like that.

 

 

 

Level 50

"Enjoy the Show!"

 

 

Here's a returning concept from Levelset 1, though it changed quite a bit. The Levelset 1 version was only a single, very loopy ice slide that led to the exit (with a Teeth entering a force floor portion of the slide behind Chip near the end). It was meant to be a mid-set break. I decided to change things up and add a few different "attractions"--exploding bugs and paramecia; an instant-bridge-just-press-buttons; and another section involving pushing a tank back with a block.

 

However, the real reason I brought back this idea was because I had heard of the special programming of Tile World 2 that causes it to play back a portion of the solution to CCLP3's "You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks" from the Teeth's view instead of Chip's, and I wanted to see that happen here. That's why you end up cloning a Teeth that has to bounce through a forest of pink balls to release Chip from a trap--I thought it would be fun to watch. Unfortunately, the special programming didn't kick in here (and I'm still not sure what exactly causes it to activate....) so the level lost a bit of its purpose. It's the only level I explicitly removed from CCLP consideration (permanently) because it's simple to solve and the long delay for the Teeth to release Chip from the trap at the end could be seen as annoying (or the player could incorrectly assume Chip's permanently stuck).

 

 

ajmiam

Level 31

"Culprit"

(CCLP1 Level 135!)

 

 

One design idea I always thought CC1 overlooked was using tanks to push tank buttons, thus making them constantly move back and forth like pink balls. (Yes, I know Paranoia involves tanks pushing tank buttons, but it's not a constant back-and-forth and I never got that far back then in CC1 anyway.) So, in Levelset 1, I made this Level 17 called CULPRIT (in all caps for no good reason; no, I did not name all my other levels in caps) that was basically a simple tank dodging level, similar to the middle column of the final product, where one of the tanks far from the start was pushing buttons controlling the rest of the tanks. I can't quite remember whether I was actually smart enough to make it so you couldn't stop the whole mechanism by just pressing one button while the tank hit the other....

 

Anyway, I liked the concept enough to bring it back in Tiles 200, where I thought of a few things to add--the long line of tanks preventing you from exiting until they're stopped, the upper-left area with the tanks arranged so you can only go through each row in one direction *coughIactuallyscrewedthatupandthere'senoughtimetogothroughbothways* and the icy tank section inspired by Think Tank's southeast corner. Oh, and I added force floors above the bottom tank so that you could only stop it using a block, not by pressing the buttons yourself. The Pit of 100 Tiles version is very similar to the Tiles 200 version. It was originally going to be Level 17 as a throwback to my first set, but I moved it to 31 since it was rather difficult for the teens.

 

In both the Tiles 200 and Po100T versions, I made sure to leave room at the bottom of the level for you to turn the block. Back then taking the block through the middle column of tanks was a bit of a harrowing experience for me, and it would have been even tougher if I couldn't take the block along the side walls while going through there. I'm not sure if adding the hint (saying that there's room to extract the block from the side when it reaches the bottom) was totally necessary for CCLP1, since it seems like a reasonable thing the player would assume, or at least check for, while they're getting the chips down there. Oh well, I guess as long as it helps some people, it's fine.

 

I'm quite pleased that the "culprit" tank was given plot relevance in CCLP1's storyline! :)

 

 

 

Level 32

"Combinations"

 

 

I'm always happy when I can make pure puzzles like these that don't feel like a drag to play and don't feel like a rehash of an overused concept. I got this idea from a college class called "Discrete Structures" (basically discrete math, but taught by the CS department) where we learned about Boolean logic, set theory, induction proofs, and combinatorics. The "combinations" in the title refers to the combinations of boots that you have to choose to solve the rooms. There's one room requiring each possible combination (including the no-boot combination and the all-boots combination), and there's no guesswork--each room has only one solution. (It wasn't actually too hard to build each room to have only one solution, though I had to write down the solutions on a piece of paper as I went to make sure I didn't reuse a combination.)

 

Note that there's a little indent into each room to allow you to see the whole thing from outside before you step on the recessed wall. I think that this level is one of the largest difficulty spikes in the set since it's rather long, can be deceptive (such as the no-boot room which may not be immediately evident), and gives zero margin for error--every boot is needed. However, since each room can be worked out individually and the overall goal of the level is pretty clear, I considered it acceptable.

 

Since we usually count combinations only of a specific number of items out of a specific larger set of items, maybe "Subsets" or "Power Set" would have been a more appropriate name for this level, but I didn't think of it at the time....

 

 

 

Level 33

"Think Outside the Block"

 

 

Well, I decided to make a block bridging themed level, and put it in the On the Rocks slot because reasons. The real inspiration for this level was Obstacle Course in CCLP3, which reqiured me to build a bridge from part of the level to a previous part of the level that was too far away to see in order to get more blocks to use. Well, I decided to revisit this concept but hopefully make it a bit clearer (through the name) what the player had to do. Other than that, the first two rooms are pretty random, and I'm a bit proud of the third room (the 1-block-per-item room). I guess this level could be accused of sticking a few toes over the line of the "no guesswork" design philosophy.

 

I'm super surprised the title wasn't taken in any of the sets I played before making this level, since it seemed like such an obvious pun....

 

 

 

Level 34

"Paramecium Palace"

(CCLP1 Level 107!)

 

 

The inspiration for this level is a very silly Levelset 1 level. It was called "Promenading Paramecia" and it involved a few instances of a bug and paramecium walking around the outside of a room in opposite directions, meeting up in the middle and walking side by side up the center, sort of like this:

d8CODjv.png

I guess I imagined the para and bug dancing with each other to the tune of the MSCC music or something. Anyway, I thought it was kind of cute but not really challenging, and planned to remake it for Tiles 200. However, before I even started, I realized that there was a massive problem. Promenading Paramecia had worked when I playtested it in Levelset 1, but I had only playtested it in Lynx mode (I liked it much, much better than MS back then because animations were cool)! In MS mode, the concept would always fall apart since one of the insects would have to move first and the other would step out of line instead of following alongside. Thus, I had no choice but to scrap the concept.

 

But I liked the idea of a bug/paramecium couple, so I decided they could be king and queen in a palace filled with their fellow noblebugs and servants! From there came the idea of a moat filled with glider-sharks and a small "forest" of blue walls that you had to traverse for some blocks. Then I just added some rooms to the palace and some locked doors, and made the "throne" out of traps, and the level was pretty much done. The only real original concept inside the palace was the pair of "Push the block and RUN!" hallways adjoining the throne room, something that I had originally planned to make an entire level out of but never got around to doing.

 

Don't ask me why I used so much fire as decorative walls; I know it doesn't make a super huge amount of sense. Maybe to make the monsters seem more evil...? Anyway, I kept in a little of the old Promenading Paramecia aesthetic with the bug and paramecium that walk side by side in the lower-left room of the palace around those blue walls.

 

Overall, I'm very happy with how this level turned out, and quite proud of its inclusion into CCLP1. One little thin I think is weird about this level is that when I require you to walk through the fire on the left side, the bugs in that tiny room are out of your way, but in the equivalent room on the right side, you have to dodge them. Arbitrary asymmetry >_>

 

 

Level 35

"Difficulty Switch"

 

 

This one is, as the name indicates, based on the concept of difficulty settings in games. I've always thought difficulty settings are a good idea since they add a bit of replay value and make the game accessible and interesting to a wider audience. Anyway, here I implemented difficulty settings by letting the player set the frequency at which the toggle doors and tanks switch throughout the level. The player does this by pressing a red button, which triggers some blocks to clone to knock a fireball into an alcove where it bounces between the two switches. The depressions are larger (making the switching happen slower) further away from where the fireball starts. Oddly, in my first iteration of the level, I had the red button trigger a stream of ball cloning from the right side of the passage to deflect the fireball instead, but it proved highly unreliable (especially in Lynx) and took up more space. The image below shows what it looked like:

4qMb6Jt.png

This level is where the ice/toggle wall timing challenge I mentioned in Four Corners (Level 11) first returns, and most people seemed to dislike it here. I understand why completely. If you step towards a toggle wall, often it will be solid when you slide into it, and the wall you came from will be solid when you bounce back to it, etc. until Chip eventually lands on one side or the other. Annoying waste of time. In retrospect, I think my biggest error when designing this section was putting the toggle walls so far away that you couldn't see the next one from where you were.

 

The bug section in the upper right was entirely experimental. I put the bugs and toggle walls down, not really knowing how I could expect them to behave. Fortunately, they turned out to be pretty manageable to deal with.

 

I think the most dangerous (and exciting!) part of the level is snatching those two chips (at (2, 13) and (2, 18)) away from the tank moving vertically in the center of the force floor loop.

 

The reason for those four toggle walls at (8, 3) to (9, 4) is to hopefully prevent you from running too far and slamming into a tank or onto the force floors out of there after sidestepping off the force floor leading to that area.

 

 

 

Level 36

"36 Cell"

 

 

When I made 25 Cell, I didn't originally intend it to be a series. After playing it a bit, though, I decided to make a larger version called "64 Cell" and put it in the level 64 slot. However, I...got a bit impatient waiting to design all the levels before it (for some reason I didn't want to make it out of order) and decided to make Cell levels for the perfect squares in between--36 and 49. I thought that if I kept only the elements from 25 Cell (chips, force floors, and monsters), the Cell concept might get a bit stale, but I didn't want to make 36 Cell too different from its predecessor, so I only added a few new elements (two colors of keys, a pair of teleports, and some rooms with a diagonal wall down the center). The later Cell levels would include more elements. I think I originally set the time limit to 400 or something not-too-special, but quickly decided to go with the level's theme and set it to 360.

 

 

 

Level 37

"Cross Over"

 

 

This is very similar to a Levelset 1 level I made. I can't remember its name exactly, but I think it might have been "Crossover". Anyway, the inspiration for that level was Blink from CC1. I liked the aesthetic of 4-way intersections with a slippery tile in the middle, but didn't want to go through the trouble of planning out a teleport maze, so younger me kept it simple and used ice instead.

 

At first I thought the idea was a bit unexciting for Po100T, but decided to put a little spin on the concept: I would make it so that the player had to find a specific place to "cross over" between two halves of the maze. That is, for most ice intersections, if the player could currently cross it horizontally, the player would then have to walk through the crossover point to be able to cross it vertically. (The crossover point is the bottom-right corner of the map, in case you're curious.) Thus, the title had a double meaning: The paths crossed over each other, and the player had to cross over from one half of the maze to the other in order to solve it!

 

 

 

Level 38

"Keyrithmetic"

 

 

If Combinations is a difficulty spike, this is a freaking difficulty thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot-pole! The punny title inspired this level concept: you have to figure out where to use your keys to get the most chips (and, in many cases, more keys to keep yourself going). This level turned out slightly differently in Po100T as compared to Tiles 200, but both had the cross shape, designed to let you see every room before you have to spend any keys.

 

Anyway, I think this level is incredibly difficult for its place because of the huge number of choices available and the fact that it's extremely strict. (It's only possible to just get enough chips and have one key left to exit with). However, I purposely designed the level (both times I built it) to be solvable using a few heuristics, if you can discover them:

1) Red keys are the least valuable key type, then blue, then yellow. What I mean is, trading a blue key for a red and nothing else is always wrong, while the inverse is always correct, and both yellow keys in the level are required.

2) The green key is a bad idea! Don't get it! (I put it there just because I figured everyone would expect there to be a green key in a level like this, but I thought it would be too obvious if it were necessary for the solution, so it's a trap.)

 

I did consider moving this level to the 60s at some point shortly after Po100T's release (and I think maybe even that's too low of a position!) but I didn't get many complaints about its difficulty, so I decided to leave it in place.

 

 

 

Level 39

"Corral"

(CCLP1 Level 58...)

 

 

I wanted to make a level all about trapping monsters, somewhat inspired by JezzBall (a member, alongside Chip's Challenge, of the Windows Entertainment Pack that was installed on the computer I played on back in the late 90s). So I came up with this level where blobs wander around open space and you have a large number of blocks at your disposal to trap them with. Admittedly, most of the rooms are so huge that trapping the blobs may be more effort than it's really worth, but I personally am willing to take any risk-free opportunities to get around random monsters....

 

Out of my CCLP1 entries, I think this is one of the weaker ones. It has quite a few more rooms than needed to get the concept across, and it's extremely easy to cook the level at the end if you're not careful (i.e., you're preparing to trap the blob with the final few blocks but it goes the wrong way and you push the block before you can stop yourself, thereby sealing off the only safe path to the exit).

 

 

 

Level 40

"Courage"

 

 

What a messy looking level! (But it was made like that on purpose, so I don't see it as a bad thing.) Just an odd idea I had. The title refers to the fact that you have to be brave and take advantage of gaps in the monster streams to get by, since the collisions, while not actually random, are quite hard to predict when you're playing casually. Because the collisions play out the same way every time, I did put a time limit in this level.

 

Originally, the level was called "Risks", another fitting title, but I thought "Courage" sounded a bit more uplifting.

 

 

ajmiam

Level 21

"Through the Looking Glass"

 

 

I came up with this level's title, and from there the concept. It does, of course, reference the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, a sequel in which Alice goes through a mirror. Thus, the idea is that the ice (because it's smooth and reflective like a mirror!) splits the level in half, and everything on the right is a mirror image of the left, but with invisible walls. This even goes so far as to put the exit on the right side, opposite the start. I realized it was a bit too much to expect the player to memorize the whole layout, so my goal with designing the maze was to make some distinctive shapes that could be remembered easily. I think this succeeded with the sideways ?-shaped wall formations near the top and the "single wall with 8 chips around it" area. Maybe the wide upside-down "T"s at the bottom, too. The rest of the level, not so much, though at least keeping track of which spiral opens from the top and which from the bottom helps immensely when trying to get those two chips at (26, 20) and (26, 22) on the right side.

 

Since CCEdit doesn't have a copy-and-paste function that mirrors the copied area, I had to make the right side by hand, trying very hard not to miss anything...and since no one has pointed out a mistake in this level after nearly 3 years since the set's release, I daresay I succeeded.

 

 

 

Level 22

"Assembly Line"

 

 

I think this level may be a bit tough for its slot, but I haven't heard many complaints about it, so maybe not? Anyway, I designed this level for Tiles 200 before I made Laser Sweep in Po100T, so this is the true originator of the "warning click". I figured the players would not appreciate having to dodge sliding blocks with no indication they were coming!

 

The lake (whose shape and islands were drawn pretty much randomly) and the fireball/bomb puzzle at the top were the first elements made, but I threw in the lower-left bomb puzzle and the trap buttons later for a little variety, and because the multiple avenues of advancement meant that the player could switch between using blocks on things "close to home" (good for clearing out backups) and using them further away (good when there aren't too many blocks left on the slides). The ice slide to the exit lets you see a part of the cloning mechanism (specifically, the bug path) as a sort of "reward" for beating the level.

 

The hardest part of the design was actually finding a good cloning interval. I started with having only one cloner, but no amount of time could help the level from being kind of dull in that case, so I added two more. I think I shuttled between 15 and 20 seconds before settling on 18. 18 seconds between blocks means that there's a small amount of downtime for the first couple rounds of cloning, but as you build farther away from the start, things pick up, and you need to act fast; sometimes sinking a bunch of blocks in useless water spaces to keep them out of the way is a good idea.

 

 

 

Level 23

"Rat Race"

(CCLP1 Level 98!)

 

 

I've always thought this level was really fun! I came up with the concept in Tiles 200 (it was Level 23 there, too...there was always something I liked about the number 23 and I liked this level, so I put it in that slot). I recreated it here relatively faithfully. It took a mistake or two before I realized that in order to keep each pair of gliders the same distance apart, I have to count two ice spaces' worth of distance between gliders the same as one regular space.

 

A couple changes from the original version were: I moved the chip socket/exit down a small bit so the player wouldn't have to react so quickly and turn right immediately after exiting the teleport. Also, there was a water space 1 space down-left of the socket, which was unnecessary since the gliders already prevented backtracking there and there was no reason to punish the player for missing chips like that. Thus, I removed the water space, making it possible to loop around again if you miss any chips.

 

Do notice that the twisty-looking final ice slide leading to the teleport never crosses itself--if it did, you'd need to have lucky timing to avoid the gliders! :P

 

 

 

Level 24

"Tree"

(CCLP1 Level 71!)

 

 

I'm happy with this level. It's not super-special, mainly a variety level, but I like the path-choosing mechanism that also asks the player to do just a tad of memorization. Also, I thought it was clever that the challenge is not getting TO the chips but getting BACK after taking one. I thought of the tree because I was taking a Data Structures class for Computer Science at the time and binary trees were on my mind....

 

The thief at the start of the "tree" is unnecessary, since no blocks or boots can be taken out of their respective challenge rooms. However, I left it in because it serves as a signal to the player that they won't be needing to take items between rooms.

 

Amusingly, the first Po100T version I released had several busts in this level: there were no recessed walls on the left side, so a player could take any key, go through its room, and then just go through that room again and again after taking each of the other keys. It was a simple thing but something I never thought to try myself while testing.... :facepalm: Oh, and the block/water room initially didn't have the column of 2 waters next to the 2 columns of 4, which was a mistake because only 6 of those 8 waters needed to be filled in, thus leaving extra blocks. The current version fixes both of those mistakes.

 

 

 

Level 25

"Maze Maker"

 

 

Well, this one didn't take long to make! It took longer to come up with a decent chip count (not too easy, not too hard) than to actually put down the tiles. The idea behind the name is that you should avoid the walkers by creating a "maze" of twisty passages through the chips since they usually won't take all the turns correctly to keep up with you. This level is timed, unlike every other level with randomness, because I'm guessing the bold route just keeps moving without any danger of getting hit by a walker. (I've never bolded the level, but according to JB, who did, my assumption was correct.)

 

 

 

Level 26

"Monster Sorter"

 

 

This is basically a minigame. Instead of playing CC, we're going to be playing this game where we flip the walls to make sure each monster goes in the correct direction for its type. This level would have been borderline unplayable without tons of memorization, I think, if I hadn't put that "preview" window up top so you can see the incoming monsters. I hope it was clear enough to the player what that upper window meant, since the hint didn't mention it, and it wasn't placed near where the monsters actually enter the room.... I think I got lucky with how far apart I chose to place the monsters--the level seemed reliably beatable on the first try when I tested it, but I did have an advantage since I knew the monster lineup I'd picked out. I'm not sure what others think of its difficulty.

 

Upon reflection, I think this better fits the "action" category (it's more similar to levels like 10 and 20) than "Froggy!" which is the upcoming Level 30. I guess I put Monster Sorter here because I didn't want the multiple-of-10 levels to feel too similar to each other.

 

 

 

Level 27

"Hornet's Nest"

 

 

A pretty straightforward realization of an idea I came up with based on the phrase "stirring up a hornet's nest". The maze is initially calm until the player picks up an item, which forces them to start a repeated cloning sequence. The biggest change is that in my mind the level would be laid out more horizontally as opposed to vertically and it would have more walls, less gravel.

 

It took a couple tries to get the time between consecutive clones to be long enough for reasonable dodging. When I initially built this level in Po100T, it just had the chips where the keys are now and no locked doors, but I added the keys/doors because otherwise it was too easy--I was able to finish too quickly for the swarming to really become noticeable. The weird ring of force floors around the cloners is to ensure that no matter which way their controller points, they'll always successfully clone in MS and the cloned monsters will be funneled towards the exit.

 

I was worried that the monsters might somehow clone in a pattern that constantly blocks the path to the chip socket, but in many test runs I've never had that happen. I have had times where each paramecium hits a bug and does a U-turn back towards the force floor before crawling out of the upper area, but there's always an opportunity to get to the exit. I think if I hadn't added the gravel in the upper wall and instead required the player to walk through the (15, 8) choke point, this would have been a problem.

 

 

 

Level 28

"Easier Than It Looks"

(CCLP1 Level 131!)

 

 

Pretty much an easy "joke" level...that somehow got into CCLP1! I'm pretty sure I made this because after playing CCLP3 and some custom sets, I was so sick of levels like Suspended Animation that look easy but actually require you to jump through lots of hoops to get things done--especially when an invisible or hidden wall is what blocks you from getting something the "easy" way. It's not nice to taunt the player too much! (After my first attempt at Suspended Animation, I briefly considered deleting the invisible wall blocking the exit and pretending it was never there *whistles* :rolleyes:)

 

So to counterbalance that annoying trend, I came up with the idea where invisible walls work FOR you--you're surrounded by teeth, but the invisible walls protect you from them! Next was the idea of the fireball cloner that you beat by just running towards it ahd hitting a green button to divert the flow before it reaches you. At that point I made the theme of the level be "just run through without stopping or thinking". Thus, I came up with the tank section that you could pass by just holding right, the key section where you just keep moving right to the wall and then up, and the bug section with irrelevant chips.

 

The bug section, in particular, was a small homage to Tossed Salad and the (skippable) bug and chip section at the beginning. (Young Me felt like a genius when I initially finished Tossed Salad and discovered there was a yellow door but no chip socket guarding the exit--"Ha! Wonder if anyone else noticed they don't actually need the chips?!") Here I changed things up by actually having a chip socket but making 0 chips required.

 

The final bit of unexpected easiness consists of a water maze that can be totally stomped on with the flippers from way back at the beginning, and an ice slide that looks like it'll send you into either a bomb or sliding teeth but is set up so that the teeth clears the bomb for you instead!

 

I'm quite honored that this got the Level 131 slot of CCLP1, with the infamous "Totally unfair!" decade message. I was surprised at the non-triviality of the bold route--it required an easy-to-overlook and slightly-difficult (for a novice optimizer)-to-execute timesaving maneuver, taking me a few dozen tries to get. So I guess the bold was Harder Than It Looked! :D

 

 

 

Level 29

"Mining for Gold Keys"

(CCLP1 Level 84!)

 

 

Mining for Gold Keys seems to be a favorite among players who have finished my set, and I can see why--the way it looks and plays was quite unusual for its time. Interestingly, I didn't come up with the subterranean/mining aesthetic at first. During a car ride, I was thinking about CC and realized that a block in the middle of a "T" intersection can only be pushed if you came from the left or right, but once it moved, you could travel through the intersection in any of the three directions. My only plan when I started the level was to create a maze using that concept. I think I decided to put an item under the block, and somehow this evolved into the level you all know. (I don't remember the exact thought process.)

 

I think I added the blocks that can't be pushed (because they are in corners, etc.) because I wanted more visual variety--it wouldn't look natural if blocks only existed where they could be pushed. Originally, every movable block was going to have a key under it, but I decided to add some blocks to be used for filling in water so the level wouldn't be too simple and repetitive. I added the red and blue doors primarily to make it so you couldn't just immediately walk around one of the aforementioned "T" intersections to one of the directions that you could push the block from. I think it also serves as a nice way to reward the player for finding the red/blue keys, giving them more level to explore, instead of giving them access to everything from the start.

 

Oh, in case you were wondering, I don't really play Minecraft, so that wasn't the inspiration for this level.

 

 

 

Level 30

"Froggy!"

 

 

I guess this level stemmed from how many Chipsters call Teeth "frogs" since they pretty much are mutant frogs in the MS version! :teeth: At least, this explains why I decided you have to lead some Teeth across the level to the five goals instead of just walking to them yourself, which would more closely parallel the gameplay of Frogger. Anyway, I didn't do that great a job representing the obstacles Frogger faces. I mean, bombs represent traffic? Solid paths through water represent flowing logs? But moving monsters wouldn't kill a Teeth on contact (didn't stop me from adding a pink ball to represent the snake :P), and CC doesn't do moving platforms over water, so....

 

You may notice that when you clone a Teeth, you actually hear two button clicks. That's because the clone button you can reach actually clones a pink ball in a faraway corner of the level, which travels up to clone a Teeth. This ensures there will always be a proper controller so the Teeth don't fail to clone. I had to add the mechanism after I released the first version of Po100T, which had problems with this level, and the second version failed to completely fix them. The "controller cloning" mechanism is quite useful; I used it in a later level in Po100T.

 

 

ajmiam

Level 11

"Four Corners"

This is a bit of a bump up in difficulty, I think, though it's still very easy for experienced players. The hardest part is probably the second room in the bug corner, where it takes a bit of timing to get rid of the bug inside the blocks and the one outside. One tiny issue I have with the level is that the player will cook the level if they teleport to the right after clearing the bug area once, since they will lose their fire boots when they leave the first time. I realized this when I made it, but only realized way later that the thief could have been a gravel tile, preventing this issue, since there are no fire tiles outside of that corner. Oops...maybe I'll update it with a change someday.

 

The ice/toggle wall area ended up inspiring a somewhat contentious level mechanic of mine. When I playtested this, I enjoyed the challenge of timing a step onto the ice so Chip would slide onto a flipping toggle wall while it was open (necessary to get the chip in the upper-left corner). I ended up using this concept later in more difficult ways (longer slides, moving from one toggle wall to another) in later levels, which annoyed some of the players, and I can see where their complaints are coming from. So, proof that not all ideas are as good as they seem, or at least don't need to be taken to the extreme.

 

 

 

Level 12

"Repair the Maze"

(CCLP1 Level 22!)

I can't remember what inspired this concept, but I do know that I originally made it in Levelset 1. Maybe I was just thinking about how I like that in speedruns you generally have a limited number of tools at your disposal to make things easier or take shortcuts, and you have to make the most of it. Or maybe I was just annoyed at having to retrace my steps through a long non-branching passage after getting a chip in some other maze. Or maybe I was thinking about Strange Maze from CC1 and how I liked breaking through the socket maze at the end. I definitely had creating a challenge for optimizers in mind when I put in the 2 extra keys.

 

The "Levelset 1" version of this level was named "Cheat" and had yellow doors instead of red. I didn't really plan out "Cheat", just kinda threw doors and chips down all over the place and gave out three keys, hoping some of them were necessary (and I'm pretty sure at least one was, though I wasn't the greatest playtester back then). By contrast, I planned this version a lot more, placing the required doors to unlock in obvious places like the middle of a 4-way intersection. True, that made it very easy, but I wanted a gentle introduction to the concept, both for the sake of first-time players and because I planned to bring it back as a harder version later. (This was back when Po100T was still Tiles 200, and part of my plan was that there would be some pairs of Level x and Level 100+x with the latter level being a harder version of the former. Repair the Maze was a level I had planned to do this with, and I do have a harder version in my sequel levelset "The Other 100 Tiles".)

 

As with level 7, this one doesn't take up the entire map. It was when taking a look back at this level that I realized how much of a difference moving the borders in towards the center of the map makes. Moving each border in by 5 tiles on every side reduces the perimeter of the level by 1/3...but it reduces the area by over half! (30*30 = 900 tiles, and 20*20 = only 400.) With this level, as with many others, I decided before building it that the concept would probably become a bit tiresome if the level was too long, so I drew the borders 5 tiles in and constructed the maze inside.

 

One final point of interest is what I did with the exit. Instead of having walls all around it, it's just kind of sitting there right outside the border; I wanted the feel to be that Chip had exited by breaking out of the level instead of just entering an arbitrary dead-end. The aesthetic is certainly not like most CC1 exits.

 

 

Level 13

"Dig and Dig"

(CCLP1 Level 39!)

Yay, Dig Dug reference! Right down to the upside-down-T-shaped tunnel in the dirt that each level starts with. Only I didn't use the name exactly, because, well, it's not really Dig Dug, it just looks and plays somewhat like it. I think most players got the reference anyway. I used bombs in place of falling rocks because both can kill enemies. The blue walls at the top are meant to represent the flowers in Dig Dug's garden, but they don't really look like much of anything because drawing flowers with only 3 "pixels" of vertical space to work with is a bit difficult :P

 

Random fact: I haven't played more than about 5 minutes total of Dig Dug in my entire life. Second random fact: This was the first CC level I ever scored bold on.

 

 

Level 14

"Pinball"

I've always liked pinball, but haven't played it very much in recent years, sadly. Anyway, everything here represents a part of a table; the regularly spaced single walls that the pink balls bounce off of are supposed to represent bumpers; the ice slides leading to the green button and exit are meant to represent short ramps leading to those "locks" that the ball falls into to get shot back out of after awarding some bonus; the left side is meant to represent one of those twisty wireframe ramps that I like so much; and the pair of force floors in the bottom-right is meant to represent the flippers.

 

The logic behind the hint is that in a real pinball game, whenever the ball drains, it goes back to the plunger lane to be launched again for the next ball (or credit). Hence the teleport leading there. I guess it could be interpreted, however, as saying "If you missed any chips, then you cooked the level, so better restart/commit suicide to try again" since draining a ball in pinball is somewhat analogous to losing a life in other video games. Oh well, if the player explores they'll find the teleport, so I never considered it a problem worthy of fixing.

 

 

Level 15

"Nitroglycerin"

(CCLP1 Level 32!)

This level was an idea that I thought was clever: Press a brown button, and look for what changed! Of course, you can see the whole mechanism, so it's just a matter of progressing down that central column, but I still like the idea of discovering what all's in the new area opened up by the removal of a bomb.

 

When I first made this level, the maze was pretty much all bombs and no walls, except for one wall to make the 5th and 6th fireballs turn. I added the walls because back then I was still kind of nervous wandering around in mazes of death tiles, so I set up the walls as "guardrails", preventing Chip from dying due to turning too soon or late at various spots. I'm quite happy with the current look of the level (walls + bombs) because it adds a bit of visual variety over just bombs. I'm especially happy that this level got into CCLP1.

 

 

Level 16

"The Forever Belt"

This one's been around since Levelset 1, and it's one of the few levels that I'm slightly disappointed missed out on a CCLP1 slot. It was just designed to be a fun zip-around-the-slide-and-step-off-to-do-stuff level, possibly inspired by Go With the Flow from CC1. (Note: the word "itemswapper" wasn't in my vocabulary back then). It was at level 16 in all 3 sets because, well I don't really know, it just seemed to belong with that number. One thing that stayed constant in all 3 sets was the "don't enter the block/water room from the wrong recessed wall" puzzle because I thought it was really clever back then. Most of the rest was added in Tiles 200, but I added the giant spiral (or, as JB called it in his Let's Play, the "Spinning Vortex of Terror" :D) in Po100T because I had much more room left over than I'd planned for when I remade the level.

 

The title's kind of odd...it was inspired by a book in the Pendragon series called "The Never War". I just thought that the usage of an adverb as an adjective gave the title of that book a unique and mysterious quality...I've always been a sucker for that kind of thing, and chose to replicate that wording style here.

 

 

Level 17

"Laser Sweep"

This level was actually inspired by an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Called "Starship Mine", it features Captain Picard trying to avoid a team of intruders on the starship Enterpise and find a way off the ship before a baryon sweep, which acts as a deadly advancing ship-wide wall, reaches him. I decided to emulate that with a deadly hallway-wide wall of fireballs, but with cubbyholes to hide in so you could actually make progress. This level introduced a couple of concepts--the theme of using fireballs to represent lasers, and the idea of a "warning click". I use the warning click for whenever a button's about to be automatically pressed by a monster and such a press could cause an unpleasant surprise, such as a fireball cloning onto Chip's head. Here, the click sound is caused by a tank button that doesn't affect anything because there are no tanks in the level. (A trap button without any connections would have worked equally well, but I didn't think of that back then... :\)

 

 

Level 18

"Cross-Eyed"

Here, my idea was to teach beginners very specifically how teleports work while presenting at least a slight challenge for experts. Okay, there's a little puzzle here in that you need to take at least 2 trips going up-down-up-down-up-down... through the grid to get everything, and what chips you end up getting depends on which teleport you go up into each time you appear on the right side. But the level didn't have to be so large...and even with the hint, I'm not sure new players will be able to figure out that pattern, or how partial posts work (and one is required to reach the exit). So, honestly, I think this level was a bit of a failure (though I personally liked the concept). The puzzle could have been shrunk and put into another level, and the hint could have been paired with a smaller level that's more explicit in the lessons it's teaching.

 

The level is untimed because it's relatively complex and I didn't want anyone to die by time out because they were having trouble reaching a few chips. It's one of only 2 levels in Po100T to be untimed without

 

There's actually a funny story behind this level, though...In Levelset 1, I made a level that was like a checkerboard alternating between teleports and chips, kinda like in the image below this paragraph. Unfortunately, I didn't know how exactly teleports worked back then, and so when I playtested I only ever managed to get half the chips; the other half were between teleports that I could figure out how to enter but never pop out of. (After some testing I'm now almost entirely sure all the chips were obtainable, but not with Younger Me's strategy of "left left left left left ad nauseum".) Not quite understanding the problem, Younger Me was just like, "Whelp, that's the way it is, then" and lowered the chip requirement to whatever the highest amount was that I managed to collect. I tried remaking that level in Tiles 200 and figured out how to fix the "issue", replacing the teleports on every other row with a South-East thin wall. I then copied this fixed design into Po100T. At least now I know if I ever want to revisit that original tele-chip-checkerboard structure, I should probably make it a tiny bit smaller... :P

6IKefW0.png

The highly elaborate design in Levelset 1 that would go on to inspire Cross-Eyed.

 

 

Level 19

"Descending Ceiling"

(CCLP1 Level 41!)

This one's inspired by Mario games, particularly sections like the second room in the first fortress of Super Mario Bros 3, which features a rising and falling spiked ceiling with small cut-out safe areas. The way you exit is similar to a part in Super Paper Mario where you have to let the ceiling fall, then get on top of it and ride it back up. I'm happy with how the entire concept translated to CC. Admittedly, I'm not sure why I put flippers and water on the right side instead of just another chip in place of the flippers...I guess for variety's sake? Or maybe to prevent MS players from taking that chip and escaping to the exit there instead of going back to the "correct" place to escape from, though I don't specifically recall thinking that.

 

 

Level 20

"Chip Kart 64"

(CCLP1 Level 64! How appropriate!)

This is quite clearly inspired by Mario Kart 64, a game I always enjoyed during the few opportunities I had to play it (Never did own an N64 myself). Chip has to run over booster pads (force floors) and collect items (chips, keys, boots) to take shortcuts while avoiding hazards (bombs). This appeared in Tiles 200, where it was just one lap, but I thought it would be more interesting and true to the series to have multiple laps, so I made you get a green key and go around again. The focus was racing the clock, so I didn't add any monsters, though on second thought a couple balls bouncing back and forth could have been interesting, as well as true to Mario Kart's penchant for horizontally-moving obstacles the player must drive past....

 

There's quite a bit of spare time on the clock. I wanted the level to be solvable in time even if the user didn't take any shortcuts (because they're shortcuts, not required paths), so it kinda turned out to be just a fun gimme level. However, apparently it's no gimme to optimize, something I'm happy to hear!

 

 

ajmiam

blog-0598462001423201511.pngBackground information (VERY LONG VERSION):

 

 

Ah, level design. Pretty much any time I play a game, I think of all the possibilities the developers left unexplored, and think, "Wouldn't it be clever if they had done that?" Ever since I was about 8 years old, I would draw out my own Mario and Zelda levels on paper, and I also made a few paper levels for Chip's Challenge (though not much because I wasn't all that good at the game early on). Unfortunately, I didn't know about level editors for any of the games I played, so my ideas were forced to remain still pencil drawings on the page...and it didn't help that my family got a new computer a few years later, one that didn't have Chip's Challenge on it.

 

Luckily, one day I was feeling really bored and curious about old games, so I searched up Chip's Challenge, and to my great surprise, I found a clone of the engine (Tile World), a level designer (CC Level Designer) and even a whole new pack of custom levels (CCLP2)?!?! (I can't remember where I found these things, but I sure am glad I did!) Well, I played CCLP2 for a bit, but got kind of weirded out by all the tiles-under-other-tiles-that-didn't-make-logical-sense and stopped at level 19. But with the editor, I was finally able to build my very own levels! I made about 60 of them, and lacking a name for the set, I just went with the default of "levelset 1.ccl".

 

Unfortunately, this first set did not last, as our computer I was using at the time was dying. I meant to back up all of my files on this computer, but evidently missed levelset 1, since it was nowhere to be found on our external hard drive when I went searching later.

 

That kind of put me off of level designing for a while. But interests tend to come and go with me, so a few years later in early 2011 I looked up CC again and--surprise!--there was CCLP3! CCLP2 had been a bit off-putting with its unusual tile combinations, but I read that CCLP3 was compatible with both MS and Lynx (meaning I wouldn't have to worry about such shenanigans), so I gave it a try. CCLP3 being CCLP3, the going was slow, and around level 61 I stopped playing it on my own and started watching Trevor Hedges' Let's Play of it. I noticed that many things I didn't care for gave him problems too, especially guesswork, lucky timing, and needlessly difficult dodging right at the end of a level. "I can do better", I thought, and began designing levels again, taking inspiration from CC1, the good parts of CCLP3, and my own ideas. Being somewhat ambitious, I titled this set "Tiles 200" because it was supposed to have 200 levels (to distinguish it from all the 149-level sets, I guess...?) Once again I got through a bit more than 50 levels, but disaster struck again in the summer of 2011 and my laptop's operating system crashed, requiring a reformat! Shame on me for not backing up my set....

 

Well, not to be deterred, when my laptop was repaired, I got right back to work, remaking and improving on some of the designs from Tiles 200 and adding a few new ones. I also played a few custom sets from CCZone, such as BigOto Returns and JoshL2. Before long, though, the community began talking about creating CCLP1--a set for beginners designed as a copyright-free substitute for CC1. I realized that since my set's levels were all rather player-friendly (partly because of my design philosophy that emerged from the Trevor LP of CCLP3, and partly because I wasn't very good at making hard puzzles), my levels would be good candidates! As CCLP1 plans solidified, I realized I would never finish 200 levels before submissions closed, so I cut the set's planned size into half. Unable to resist a punny name, I renamed the set "Pit of 100 Tiles", after the Pit of 100 Trials from the Paper Mario games. I quickly finished the set, submitting it here on CCZone in 2012, and to my delight over a quarter of its levels became part of CCLP1!

 

 

 

Background information (VERY SHORT VERSION):

 

 

"Levelset 1" refers to my first (incomplete) levelset I created in an editor, I forget when but around junior high/early high school. It was between the releases of CCLP2 and 3.

"Tiles 200" refers to my second (incomplete) levelset, created after CCLP3's release. It was much more similar to Pit of 100 Tiles than "Levelset 1" was to it or Po100T.

"Pit of 100 Tiles", or Po100T for short, is my first finished levelset--the one released in 2012 and that provided 27 of CCLP1's 149 levels.

 

 

Levels 1-10:

 

Level 1

"A Simple Maze"

One question I had to ask myself as I made Po100T was who the audience was to be for the game. Over time I decided that it would be for someone who at least played a little bit of CC1 and CCLP3 (kind of like myself), but wanted to leave the possibility that a complete beginner could pick up the set and play it. As such, I didn't make full-blown lesson levels. However, when I made this level, I deliberately put in multiple solutions, each using different items, with the hope that a beginner could experiment with the items and discover how they work.

 

Level 1 is quite trivial for any moderately experienced player to solve, and I liked it that way. I wanted it to serve as a gentle "welcome to the set", setting the tone for what was to come and serving as an extremely low difficulty level that I could curve up from. I felt as though "Entrance Examination" from CCLP3 was a poor choice for a Level 1--the hot block at the beginning made me expect unfair CCLP2-like shenanigans throughout the set, and the partial post (without explanation) would have likely stumped me if I weren't an avid Chip Wiki reader by that point. I found it strange that the next 6 or so levels after Entrance Examination were, in my opinion, far easier than it.

 

I wanted to be sure my Level 1 didn't have the same problems CCLP3's did, but still served some purpose. I ditched my previous idea from Tiles 200, which was a smaller, more open maze with a few monsters and no non-chip items.

 

Level 2

"Welcome to Dinner!"

This level's goal was very simple--introduce monsters! The name stuck through all three iterations of the levelset--Levelset 1, Tiles 200, and Po100T--but the idea of a house-shaped upper area (where a :teeth: has invited Chip to have be dinner), wasn't added until Tiles 200. The wall formations outside the house aren't meant to represent anything, even though some say the upper-left one looks kinda like a fork.

 

Level 3

"Returning the Favor"

The title and basic concept of helpful monsters lasted through all three iterations of my levelset, and it was Level 3 in each of them, but each time I remade this level I added something new to it while recreating the previous parts nearly tile for tile. It started off with just the glider and tank/fireball in Levelset 1. In Tiles 200, I added the :teeth: area (inspired by one of my favorite early CCLP3 levels--My Friend) and the fireball area at the exit. In Pit of 100 Tiles, I added the ball/toggle wall area between the Teeth and fireball areas because I figured it was a good idea to show that monsters can push other buttons too.

 

I realize that the fact that the tank needs to be flipped before it's released (else it drowns, cooking the level) may trick new players, and it's a minor violation of my friendly design philosophy, but I decided to let it slide because it's less than 10 seconds into the level and should only be a problem at most once.

 

Level 4

"Chip's Checkers"

(CCLP1 Level 24!)

This level is wholeheartedly and unabashedly inspired by Doublemaze from CC1--but it's even more complex in concept, as there are toggle wall states to swap, too! Thankfully, from the very beginning I chose to keep it small (imagine how hard it would be if it took up the whole map!) The level was originally made in Tiles 200, then reproduced (in concept, though certainly not in exact layout) in Po100T. The original version in Tiles 200 had 29 chips, and realizing that Doubledoublemaze was quite hard for Level 4 of any set, from the start I decided to make only 25 of them required. The Po100T version has 25 chips and requires Chip to collect only 20 of them.

 

Level 5

"Leave No Stone Unturned"

(CCLP1 Level 12!)

I'm not sure why the "stuff can be hidden under blocks" lessons of the time always seemed to have the side-effect of teaching the player "Be nervous about pushing blocks, since you never know when :fireblock: will happen." It wasn't just Lesson 4 of CC1 that did this; several custom sets I started playing as I was making this set had a "things can be hidden under blocks" lesson level where at least one of the blocks had a water, fire, or bomb tile underneath. Obviously that would not fly under my minimal-guesswork philosophy, plus I didn't want to make the player shy away from blocks in the future, so I came up with a safe way to teach the lesson. I force the player to acquire fire boots under a block before they have any chances to push hot blocks!

 

This level first appeared in Tiles 200 and didn't change much between then and Po100T. It has a few references to Lesson 4: the first sentence of the hint here is the same as the last sentence of the hint in Lesson 4; and the contents of the X block formation (chip in middle, fire outside) is the inverse of the same shaped formation in Lesson 4 (fire in middle, chips outside). Later I decided to use this difference as a very subtle hint for part of a future level....

 

A few last things: I think the "push all blocks" puzzle in the room before the fire boots might be a bit too tricky for an absolute beginner to get on the first try, but oh well, the set needs to start being a challenge sometime. Fun to optimize, that was. For some reason, the CCLP1 staff removed the hint's second sentence ("But don't worry about being killed by fire in this level") in the CCLP1 version--maybe because it sort of referenced CC1? Also, the level title is apparently a common phrase, but I first saw it in a Super Mario Bros. 3 strategy guide, of all places :P

 

Level 6

"25 Cell"

Trinity had always been one of my favorite CC1 levels. I liked mazes of one-way passages for some reason, and the dodging was simple enough for me to handle back then, so I made this level full of one-way passages and 3x3 room monster dodging as a sort of tribute. I first made it in Tiles 200. After playing it a few times, I decided I liked it so much I made a few sequels....

 

Level 7

"Two Mazes for the Price of One"

I seem to get a lot of my level ideas by thinking of clever-sounding titles, and this is one of them. It appeared in all three iterations of my set (with the same concept but completely different layouts each time, naturally). I realize that this "the walls switch places with the floor" maze concept is rather well-known and common by now, but to me at the time of Levelset 1 it was an original idea. I think the closest thing CC1 had was Steam, which offers a lot more chances to "change mazes" and thus plays differently. Ah, well. I purposely made this level's borders in a bit from the outside of the map on all sides since I didn't want the player to get tired of the level. This level, and another one, helped me realize just how much of a difference moving the borders in made....

 

Level 8

"The Monster Cages"

(CCLP1 Level 13!)

This level appeared in both Tiles 200 and Po100T, virtually unchanged. I always liked "Hunt" from CC1, in particular the use of chips to contain monsters, so I used that concept here. I also decided to include water around the edges so the escaped monsters wouldn't be a problem, and so that the player wouldn't have to ever take an isolated chip as it was being circled by a bug or paramecium (like in Chchchips). I then added a hint to make it clear that water kills monsters. (I found the hint especially necessary for MS players, where the lack of a splash animation/sound can make it a bit confusing what happens to the monsters. For instance, back in my early CC1-playing days, when I used a block to deflect a paramecium into the water in Arcticflow, I thought I had actually crushed the paramecium under the block.... :P)

 

One notable thing about this level is that there's no time limit. This is because of the walkers. For the vast majority of CC levels, there's a clearly defined, well known best possible time, and I don't think it's fair if the player has to restart the level 512 times or so to score it because they were playing perfectly but got unlucky. Therefore, I decided to make all* of my levels with random elements untimed. *There's a minor exception coming up in a bit, but there the randomness shouldn't really be a problem for optimizers.

 

Level 9

"Cloud or Circle?"

(CCLP1 Level 29!)

Religious references? In my CC game? It's more likely than you think. Well, I had a bunch of level ideas as I was making Po100T, but none of them seemed a good fit for the 9th slot, so I went with the ol' clever title method and came up with this, which references two phrases including the number 9: "Cloud 9" and "9th circle". Naturally, I made the upper part a wide-open sky with a couple gliders flying around and a few small blue-wall clouds containing chips, and the lower part a perilous, Fireflies-inspired fire-and-brimstone gravel region with fireballs patrolling in circles rectangles, just difficult enough to trip up anyone who's not sufficiently cautious. Oh, and since the imagery or references or whatever you want to call it couldn't stop there, I put 7 chips in the "Cloud 9" and 13 in the "9th circle" and stole digits from the numbers 13, 7, and 666 to make the time limit. 376 is also the number of an interstate near my house.

 

Interesting fact: I made all the fake blue walls be non-adjacent to glider paths so the player could find them all without having to take too many risks.

 

This level was renamed "Sky High or Deep Down" in CCLP1 because the title didn't work very well without the level being in the 9th slot.

 

Level 10

"Three Strikes You're Out!"

Obvious baseball reference is obvious. This level appeared in all 3 iterations of my set, and the only major change between versions was the very long detour to the 12th chip in the Po100T version to make it both easy to pick up that chip if the player needed it and easy to skip past it if they didn't. I'd say that this level was inspired by Joyride II from CCLP2, but I actually don't think it was, since I never made it that far before I built this in Levelset 1....

 

This is the level that gave me the idea to make every 10th level (except 50) an "action" level, since I liked how fast-paced and short this one was. Admittedly, some of the "action" levels like 30, 40, and 51 had much slower pacing than what I was going for with this category of levels, but 20, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 are closer to my idea of "action".

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