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Pit of 100 Tiles Developer's Commentary, Part 8 (Levels 71-80)

ajmiam

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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.



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