So I started a topic http://cczone.invisi...-in-my-cc-blog/ to get some idea of what others would like to read that I write. Of the first three topics I posted, this one now has four votes, and the other two have two votes each, so I'll be writing about how I was introduced to CC and then later the CC community, and how I started improving my scores. Not all my topics will come through that thread, but you should take advantage of it to tell me which topic to visit next. I'll try to add a new topic each time I use one to there should always be at least three topics that you can still pick from.
Most stories start from the beginning, and some stories start from the end and then jump back, but I want to start this one from the middle. I had somehow heard that CCLP2 had been released, so I downloaded it, unzipped it, found the file with the levels in it, changed its name to CHIPS.DAT and renamed my old one as CHIPS.OLD and started playing! I had no clue about Tile World and didn't bother to read all the documentation that might have explained how else I could have played the levels. These were the first custom levels I ever played. I don't remember my reaction to invalid tiles or any particular level either, but I did enjoy it a lot.
This introduction to CCLP2 wasn't right after its release in 2002, but maybe in 2004 or 2005. I didn't play through all the levels at once, but maybe thirty of them and then I kind of got side tracked and forgot about the whole thing. Then one day I was bored and I clicked on the icon on my desktop and played through a few more levels. This would go on for a few years until I finished most of the levels. Earlier I had finished all of the original levels, so towards the end I was determined to do so with these levels too! I had no maps or anything, so this wasn't a trivial task.
I had one level left. After the Rainstorm. There was something there that I just couldn't figure out. I was had to be missing something. Maybe I hadn't stepped on all the tiles I could reach, and all I needed to do was find a hidden pair of flippers? This idea didn't lead anywhere. I then went through all the water tiles, filling each one in to see if something was hidden under the water and would reveal itself after I step on the dirt. This too turned out nothing. I had only one thing left to do, either give up or go online and look for help. I'm glad I didn't give up.
Now why had I been able to download CCLP2 but not been interested enough to look online for other related information? I don't remember, but I do know I found lots of stuff to keep me busy! I found that I needed to use something called a 'ram' to solve After the Rainstorm. I found that there in fact was a level 145 in the original set of levels, and I had to go back and play that to be able to say I completed all of those levels too. I found scoreboards, editors, a newsgroup, tons of custom sets, and Tile World. A whole new world opened up in front of me!
So what do I do first? I was a bit shy at first, so I didn't know what to post the the newsgroup. I looked at the long list of custom sets at pieguy's site and one jumped out at me, TomP1fixed.dat. The reason it caught my eye was that it had sequels called TomP2.dat and TomP3.dat, so if I liked the first one I could play through all three. I still didn't download an editor, and though the set has a bunch of invalid tiles, after CCLP2 I didn't complain at all. I played through the first one quite quickly. TomP2 took a bit longer, and by its end I was a bit annoyed with the invalid tiles, so I didn't move on to TomP3. Thus, I needed another set. The next one that caught my eye was KeyboardWielder.dat. Why does it have such a silly name? And why are there so many levels with very few score reports? I worked on that for about a week, maybe solving one level each day. These were very different from the levels I had seen before, and for one of them I even ended up downloading an editor so I could test some parts without playing through all of it (this was In the Line of Fire, but I still didn't want to use an editor to look at levels otherwise).
So I reported some of these scores at pieguy's site. I had also been reading the newsgroup for a few months, which I guess is how long it took me to play to the end of TomP2. This was towards the end of summer 2009. I was soon asked about my CC1 and CCLP2 scores, so I posted those too. I had played through all those levels again after downloading Tile World, so I have no clue what times I had when I first played them. The next set I played was JL1 after it being recommended to me. It had some great puzzles and it cemented my love for this game.
I soon began playing levels again to get a better time on them. This was particularly interesting for newly released levels, but I also practised on some older ones, like the last 40 or so levels in TomP2 (none are yet broken!). I improved my CC1 scores and learned a lot from the wiki on what optimized routes look like. I got my CCLP2 score up past 6,000,000 without outside help, and then raised it a bit more by looking at the bold solutions (I've been at about 6,020,000 since then). I wasn't able to compete in the Time Trial competitions at CC Zone because I couldn't be bothered to get a screen capturing program, but I did watch those too.
Then CCLP3 voting came around and that was a blast! Unfortunately, we don't have time for that part of the story right now. We didn't even get to go back and see what happened in the beginning, so I'm sure I'll revisit this history stuff at another time. Until then, I would love to hear any comments you have! Has your own story had any similarities? Did something make you think I'm totally nuts? Was there something you'd like me to elaborate? Thanks for listening!