(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.
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.
"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.
(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.
(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.
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.
(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.
"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.
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.
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?