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Pit of 100 Tiles Developer's Commentary, part 7 (Levels 61-70)

ajmiam

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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

 

 



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