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  1. 5 points
    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 (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: 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! 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 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!
  2. 3 points
    MS scores for Ryan Feenstra CC1 (5938480) 1: 83 2: 90 3: 89 4: 116 5: 85 6: 94 7: 138 8: 96 9: 304 10: 51 11: 190 12: 263 13: 0 14: 188 15: 76 16: 0 17: 83 18: 553 19: 140 20: 340 21: 118 22: 266 23: 199 24: 376 25: 324 26: 243 27: 143 28: 212 29: 281 30: 273 31: 6 32: 324 33: 0 34: 297 35: 530 36: 226 37: 534 38: 435 39: 17 40: 191 41: 149 42: 187 43: 118 44: 116 45: 292 46: 218 47: 182 48: 265 49: 157 50: 299 51: 528 52: 376 53: 478 54: 309 55: 64 56: 144 57: 203 58: 502 59: 368 60: 288 61: 0 62: 282 63: 472 64: 381 65: 290 66: 292 67: 387 68: 367 69: 222 70: 132 71: 314 72: 0 73: 422 74: 350 75: 479 76: 353 77: 481 78: 467 79: 199 80: 630 81: 0 82: 961 83: 287 84: 580 85: 185 86: 381 87: 0 88: 314 89: 313 90: 303 91: 363 92: 423 93: 466 94: 0 95: 335 96: 300 97: 290 98: 325 99: 377 100: 0 101: 222 102: 177 103: 430 104: 184 105: 202 106: 0 107: 246 108: 254 109: 130 110: 230 111: 0 112: 0 113: 440 114: 172 115: 0 116: 603 117: 0 118: 260 119: 191 120: 0 121: 0 122: 255 123: 257 124: 630 125: 0 126: 188 127: 423 128: 300 129: 286 130: 0 131: 14 132: 559 133: 0 134: 0 135: 293 136: 0 137: 377 138: 130 139: 0 140: 230 141: 0 142: 0 143: 0 144: 0 145: 0 146: 525 147: 0 148: 0 149: 950 CCLP2 (5976630) 1: 347 2: 242 3: 103 4: 237 5: 375 6: 163 7: 248 8: 293 9: 197 10: 363 11: 372 12: 311 13: 341 14: 247 15: 233 16: 234 17: 247 18: 202 19: 276 20: 293 21: 234 22: 14 23: 243 24: 294 25: 200 26: 120 27: 265 28: 244 29: 163 30: 239 31: 335 32: 343 33: 71 34: 347 35: 424 36: 423 37: 290 38: 11 39: 221 40: 238 41: 195 42: 205 43: 15 44: 201 45: 126 46: 37 47: 173 48: 115 49: 27 50: 388 51: 371 52: 272 53: 56 54: 281 55: 69 56: 231 57: 236 58: 300 59: 306 60: 553 61: 348 62: 227 63: 91 64: 162 65: 33 66: 225 67: 233 68: 223 69: 230 70: 202 71: 20 72: 153 73: 217 74: 195 75: 98 76: 207 77: 161 78: 278 79: 102 80: 303 81: 282 82: 240 83: 282 84: 349 85: 269 86: 228 87: 11 88: 296 89: 367 90: 172 91: 333 92: 405 93: 350 94: 594 95: 307 96: 157 97: 125 98: 24 99: 248 100: 186 101: 890 102: 347 103: 235 104: 324 105: 145 106: 329 107: 3 108: 334 109: 561 110: 344 111: 360 112: 80 113: 623 114: 59 115: 328 116: 274 117: 435 118: 175 119: 260 120: 301 121: 283 122: 207 123: 616 124: 162 125: 173 126: 152 127: 47 128: 309 129: 593 130: 310 131: 222 132: 196 133: 758 134: 336 135: 363 136: 303 137: 202 138: 324 139: 323 140: 406 141: 383 142: 399 143: 495 144: 465 145: 415 146: 192 147: 207 148: 336 149: 196 CCLP3 (6026890) 1: 189 2: 329 3: 302 4: 234 5: 251 6: 89 7: 148 8: 105 9: 111 10: 77 11: 388 12: 112 13: 97 14: 338 15: 176 16: 251 17: 90 18: 341 19: 174 20: 210 21: 211 22: 108 23: 244 24: 215 25: 99 26: 381 27: 187 28: 392 29: 280 30: 230 31: 206 32: 157 33: 35 34: 845 35: 59 36: 193 37: 132 38: 287 39: 32 40: 218 41: 155 42: 392 43: 314 44: 212 45: 378 46: 247 47: 355 48: 360 49: 297 50: 148 51: 305 52: 246 53: 262 54: 270 55: 211 56: 312 57: 185 58: 238 59: 315 60: 129 61: 253 62: 432 63: 210 64: 302 65: 34 66: 235 67: 167 68: 303 69: 355 70: 371 71: 382 72: 104 73: 222 74: 260 75: 312 76: 465 77: 188 78: 352 79: 280 80: 180 81: 100 82: 376 83: 201 84: 319 85: 491 86: 384 87: 380 88: 776 89: 372 90: 204 91: 199 92: 387 93: 34 94: 264 95: 373 96: 512 97: 445 98: 493 99: 251 100: 219 101: 551 102: 362 103: 294 104: 237 105: 199 106: 203 107: 413 108: 362 109: 296 110: 235 111: 589 112: 217 113: 402 114: 501 115: 536 116: 261 117: 574 118: 351 119: 323 120: 525 121: 52 122: 426 123: 408 124: 410 125: 356 126: 134 127: 250 128: 363 129: 410 130: 237 131: 594 132: 335 133: 742 134: 185 135: 508 136: 360 137: 790 138: 134 139: 500 140: 0 141: 178 142: 326 143: 721 144: 0 145: 701 146: 0 147: 375 148: 318 149: 654 CCLP1 (5874090) #1 (Key Pyramid): 145 #2 (Slip and Slide): 179 #3 (Present Company): 178 #4 (Block Party): 195 #5 (Facades): 198 #6 (When Insects Attack): 182 #7 (Under Pressure): 169 #8 (Switcheroo): 226 #9 (Swept Away): 212 #10 (Graduation): 250 #11 (Basketball): 214 #12 (Leave No Stone Unturned): 218 #13 (The Monster Cages): 248 #14 (Wedges): 151 #15 (Twister): 275 #16 (Tetragons): 191 #17 (Tiny): [983] #18 (Square Dancing): 248 #19 (Feel the Static): 252 #20 (Chip Suey): 335 #21 (Generic Ice Level): 158 #22 (Repair the Maze): 245 #23 (Circles): 216 #24 (Chip's Checkers): 233 #25 (Mind Lock): 136 #26 (Trafalgar Square): 137 #27 (Teleport Depot): 243 #28 (The Last Starfighter): 198 #29 (Sky High or Deep Down): 214 #30 (Button Brigade): 213 #31 (Quincunx): 15 #32 (Nitroglycerin): 202 #33 (Spitting Image): [910] #34 (Just a Bunch of Letters): 275 #35 (Mystery Wall): 308 #36 (Rhombus): 215 #37 (Habitat): 319 #38 (Heat Conductor): 371 #39 (Dig and Dig): 225 #40 (Sea Side): [832] #41 (Descending Ceiling): 154 #42 (Mughfe): 370 #43 (Gears): 202 #44 (Frozen Labyrinth): 259 #45 (Who's the Boss?): 223 #46 (Sapphire Cavern): 255 #47 (Bombs Away): [904] #48 (Sundance): 67 #49 (49 Cell): 237 #50 (The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side): 90 #51 (H2O Below 273 K): 95 #52 (The Bone): 223 #53 (Start at the End): 241 #54 (Mini Pyramid): 54 #55 (The Chambers): 296 #56 (Connect the Chips): [908] #57 (Key Farming): 254 #58 (Corral): 219 #59 (Asterisk): [968] #60 (Guard): 248 #61 (Highways): 307 #62 (Design Swap): 309 #63 (New Block in Town): 166 #64 (Chip Kart 64): 33 #65 (Squared in a Circle): 270 #66 (Klausswergner): 264 #67 (Booster Shots): 216 #68 (Flames and Ashes): [649] #69 (Double Diversion): 222 #70 (Juxtaposition): 156 #71 (Tree): 132 #72 (Breathing Room): 162 #73 (Occupied): 326 #74 (Traveler): 314 #75 (ToggleTank): 138 #76 (Funfair): 108 #77 (Shuttle Run): 7 #78 (Secret Passages): 372 #79 (Elevators): [939] #80 (Flipside): 303 #81 (Colors for Extreme): [820] #82 (Launch ): 82 #83 (Ruined World): [836] #84 (Mining for Gold Keys): 21 #85 (Black Hole): 923 #86 (Starry Night): 273 #87 (Pluto): 368 #88 (Chip Block Galaxy): [571] #89 (Chip Grove City): 159 #90 (Bowling Alleys): 85 #91 (Roundabout): 307 #92 (The Shifting Maze): 490 #93 (Flame War): 190 #94 (Slime Forest): 330 #95 (Courtyard): 142 #96 (Going Underground): 251 #97 (Gate Keeper): 282 #98 (Rat Race): 276 #99 (Deserted Battlefield): [740] #100 (Loose Pocket): 328 #101 (Time Suspension): [610] #102 (Frozen in Time): [936] #103 (Portcullis): [956] #104 (Hotel Chip): 326 #105 (Tunnel Clearance): 123 #106 (Jailbird): 323 #107 (Paramecium Palace): 186 #108 (Exhibit Hall): 265 #109 (Green Clear): 273 #110 (Badlands): [531] #111 (Alternate Universe): [924] #112 (Carousel): 182 #113 (Teleport Trouble): [896] #114 (Comfort Zone): 292 #115 (California): 47 #116 (Communism): 237 #117 (Blobs on a Plane): 126 #118 (Runaway Train): 15 #119 (The Sewers): 253 #120 (Metal Harbor): [637] #121 (Chip Plank Galleon): 209 #122 (Jeepers Creepers): 146 #123 (The Very Hungry Caterpillar): 46 #124 (Utter Clutter): 110 #125 (Blockade): 168 #126 (Peek-a-Boo): 298 #127 (In the Pink): 206 #128 (Elemental Park): 316 #129 (Frogger): 214 #130 (Dynamite): [506] #131 (Easier Than It Looks): 104 #132 (Spumoni): 328 #133 (Steam Cleaner Simulator): 137 #134 ((Ir)reversible): 295 #135 (Culprit): 218 #136 (Whirlpool): [-1023] #137 (Thief Street): 132 #138 (Chip Alone): 380 #139 (Assassin): 208 #140 (Automatic (Caution) Doors): 224 #141 (Flush): 88 #142 (Bummbua Banubauabgv): 351 #143 (Amphibia): [-117] #144 (The Ancient Temple): 135 #145 (Chance Time!): 232 #146 (Cineworld): 345 #147 (Thief, You've Taken All That Was Me): 715 #148 (The Snipers): 281 #149 (Clubhouse): 337 CCLP4 (5894350) #1 (Molecule): 108 #2 (Pixelated Fire): 203 #3 (Fossilized Snow): 149 #4 (Oasis): 198 #5 (Non-Dimensional Layer): 244 #6 (Proving Grounds): 241 #7 (In the Pool): 81 #8 (The Fourth Dimension ): 240 #9 (Pinball): 123 #10 (Stuck in Emerald): 36 #11 (Keyboard Malfunction): 71 #12 (Rivets): 113 #13 (Encased in Carbonite): 158 #14 (Poly-Gone): 239 #15 (Cross Back): 215 #16 (Reservoir Frogs): 195 #17 (The Three Trials): 92 #18 (Inferno Dynamics): 89 #19 (Conservation of Keys): 153 #20 (It's No Skin Off My Teeth): 291 #21 (Glacial Palace): 237 #22 (Bodyguards): 142 #23 (Western Standards of Living): 266 #24 (It's Easy Being Green): 148 #25 (Difficulty Switch): 256 #26 (Shrub): 15 #27 (Suburban Legend): 167 #28 (Zephyr Heights): 279 #29 (Flipper Departments): 212 #30 (Hoodwinked): 27 #31 (Big Boulder Alley): 245 #32 (Blended Brussels Sprouts): 114 #33 (Tool Shed): 179 #34 (Frozen Waffle): 57 #35 (Chasing Chips): 267 #36 (One Who Raids Tombs): 64 #37 (Tropical Hibiscus): 256 #38 (Detonation Station): 7 #39 (In the Walls of Gravel Castle): 262 #40 (Periodic Lasers): 124 #41 (Ghetto Piranha): 121 #42 (Nova Prospect): 172 #43 (Coral Reef): 189 #44 (Blobfield): 364 #45 (Seven-Layer Salad): 113 #46 (Exclusive Or): 183 #47 (Antidisruptive Caves): 139 #48 (Key Insight): 236 #49 (Block Parking): [822] #50 (Secret Underground Society): 128 #51 (Ice in a Blender): 99 #52 (It Suits the Purpose): 6 #53 (Protect Your Fortress): 163 #54 (Split Path): 142 #55 (If I Ran the Zoo): 506 #56 (Fireworks Factory): 73 #57 (Bisection): 293 #58 (Ruinous Plaza): 40 #59 (Blockpick): 119 #60 (Flippant): 36 #61 (Blue Tooth): 308 #62 (Block Unpuzzle): 66 #63 (Pneumatic Diversity Vents): 374 #64 (Excuse Me): 89 #65 (Duplex): 78 #66 (Anaconda): 250 #67 (Nuclear Energy for Dummies): 221 #68 (Cold Fusion Reactor): [751] #69 (Ball in an Awkward Place): 301 #70 (Science Museum): 129 #71 (Puuf): 155 #72 (Sewerway): 283 #73 (Sealed Doors in the Spacecraft): 158 #74 (Technopathic): 203 #75 (Unmitigated Hint Factory Disaster): 70 #76 (Flow State): 148 #77 (Brick Block Facility ): 276 #78 (Aquatic Ruins): 53 #79 (Spring ): 223 #80 (Monster Swapper): 240 #81 (Estranged for a Season): 230 #82 (Puzzle Box): [728] #83 (Frozen Over): 318 #84 (Forsythia): 143 #85 (Nectar Meadow): 341 #86 (Cyprus): 241 #87 (And the Walls Kept Tumbling Down): 252 #88 (Empty Rooms): 224 #89 (Diametric Opposition): 352 #90 (Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy): 242 #91 (How to Retune Your Harp): 331 #92 (Fire Is My Enemy): 366 #93 (Bombs Are a Beautiful Thing): 158 #94 (Ditchdigger): 350 #95 (Ravaged): 415 #96 (Lean Thinking): [730] #97 (Lockdown): 17 #98 (Clay Tunnel): 395 #99 (Ice Cavern): 108 #100 (One Tank's Adventure): 641 #101 (Condo Management): 309 #102 (The Key Issue): 183 #103 (Malachite): 323 #104 (Dual): 155 #105 (Living Things): 377 #106 (Gridlock): 153 #107 (Combinations): [166] #108 (Scatterbrained): 87 #109 (Shemozzle): 7 #110 (Keyrithmetic): [849] #111 (Water Bottle): 108 #112 (Triple Mint Slurpee): 207 #113 (Half of You, Half of Me): 233 #114 (Repugnant Nonsense): 218 #115 (Overlap): [873] #116 (They're Not Called Blocks for Nothing): 209 #117 (Greenian Motion): 140 #118 (Chip Controls): 367 #119 (Strandquist): 391 #120 (Construct-a-Sokoban): 289 #121 (Death and Destruction): 191 #122 (Jigsee): 277 #123 (Life Is Not a Puzzle): 523 #124 (Air Bubble): 17 #125 (Beautiful Struggle): 372 #126 (Bind Mender): 65 #127 (Wrong Exit): 147 #128 (Mindless Self-Indulgence): 348 #129 (Undefined Fantastic Object): 186 #130 (Bam Thwok): 426 #131 (Jigsaw): 294 #132 (Monorail): 343 #133 (Monochrome): 301 #134 (Pushover): 361 #135 (Propaganda): 357 #136 (Seeing Red): 289 #137 (The Longest Track): [771] #138 (Zipper): 331 #139 (Unravel): [879] #140 (Repair the Automatic (Caution) Doors): 543 #141 (World of a Thousand Flames): 576 #142 (Stratagem): 38 #143 (Color Coordination): 504 #144 (Paradigm Shift): 523 #145 (Hacked Save File): 309 #146 (Japanese Game Show): [135] #147 (Gimmick Isle): 604 #148 (Gravity Well): 166 #149 (Mental Marvel Monastery): 404
  3. 2 points
    All downloads in the download section on cczone currently seem to be affected by a script injection violating the same-origin policy! This means either the site is currently compromised by a virus or a serious bug in the client side code: The sanitized origin of the attack is s3.amazonaws.com. Edit: Since the whole site is running on amazon simple storage service via cloudfront it's most likely a bug in the sites code, not using the correct uri.
  4. 2 points
    This is it, the final showdown with my thoughts. Wait, this is a thinly veiled FFX reference isn't it. HA HA HA HA HA okay this joke is overdone. 46. Synthetic Coral One thing I find quite interesting to play is a field of blocks and water or bombs, and all you have to do is move around, building islands as you go. In particular, Plastic in the Ocean from UC5 directly inspired this- what if instead of having to bridge to the corners, you just had to pick up chips? Ultimately, it's quite easy- no Pentomino Lake without picking up the flippers, that's for sure. Unfortunately, splash delay does seriously hurt the level in Lynx... and I still need to finish CCLP4 in Lynx, right. 47. Blast from the Past Finally, the first level I designed for this set! The only goal I had was to throw back about a decade, with pointless rooms, diagonal walls, and pointless boosting! Unfortunately, the level still ends up being fairly modern in its design, but hey- it's a fun variety level with 12 completely separate rooms with absolutely no interaction between them, nope. Don't even try sending the fireballs and gliders into the bomb room, I definitely didn't plan that to be a useful strategy and it most certainly wasn't forced on an older version of the level. 48. Happy as a Clam I think few levels show my usual design style more than this level. I built the central room first (symmetry, level branching off of one core interesting room) and then the fireball room to the right. The gliders followed (single block+monsters in varied forms, simple collision telegraphed) and the rest of the level followed in the order it gets played. I'm especially happy with the fireball stream trick to get the blue key, and the final tank shuffling puzzle. Unfortunately SOMEONE (Tyler) busted this level and didn't get the full experience... but Shane did because I fixed the level. 49. Confusion Cave My designer note for this level simply reads "Creative One Ways, Part 3?". I'm not sure how accurate that is, but when I tried resolving it well after I'd designed it I was quite confused, so I guess it does what I wanted it to. The highlight here is the fireball room and how it's completely impassible without a block. 50. Opal Shrine For this level, I used the walls of Wall Jumping Up Waterfalls to craft a non-linearly ordered variety level. The very first thing I tried to build in was a very lengthy final block path that would reuse most of the level, but this kept having to be scaled back and nerfed as there were ways around most of it. The initial release didn't require the block path it currently does as I had liked the shortcut, but after Tyler didn't even entertain the possibility of the intended path I took another look at the level and managed to require the oversized loop. In the final form, it's a fun level- I only wish the fireball manipulation was a little more clearly telegraphed in advance, as it's possible to fail right at the end. 51. Despotism Walls from Communism. There are some weird hallway block loops to manipulate a single fireball through most of the level. It's not too interesting to play, but I'm still proud of the fact that I fit a completely different level inside Communism. 52. Outlast Say hello to probably the only original concept in the entire set, because truly original concepts are hard to come by. Original executions, sure those are easy. But concepts? Have you ever seen a room where you had to keep a teeth from leaving a certain range, while also having to leave that range? The left room came first while experimenting with the concept of extending where you could step, and is rigid as a result. The right room followed as a "alright, now you understand it, now apply what you've learned" kind of room. It is possible to extract all 10 blocks, albeit not easily and it's not required in any case. 53. Immersion Circulator Walls from Miika's Hexominoes. While I was skimming through custom sets for interesting arrangements of walls, that level jumped out at me. Sure, it was originally used for a collectathon, but there was some serious potential for reinvention there. Once I stripped the level bare... I had nothing. So I built the outside aesthetic, laid down a few objects to partition the level (most notably the tank guarding two red keys) and just built upwards from there. This is probably the longest level in the set despite only having a 496 time limit. Why 496? Because it's the third perfect number, after 6 and... 28. Naturally, I ensured that's how many chips there were. That sounds like something Miika would do. 54. Navigating Neptune Obligatory blue wall maze with some shortcuts and I made the fireball puzzle first and kept that theming for rooms to open shortcuts. Okay bye. 55. Lebanon So, funny story about skimming through custom sets for interesting walls- Cyprus was a given. I immediately hit on the idea of limiting cloning to make a sardine can and then blockslide multiple blocks off of the same slide... but then actually executing the area took hours and was still broken for quite a while. Eventually though, I had a first puzzle and the tanks always changing (everything up to the fireball+tank room) and had no ideas for the remainder of the level, and it'd been sitting there for a while. Well, I had clone machines in place as partitions, but still. A month or so later Josh and I collabed and I sent him the half finished level. I got back the dodging sections and outer block part a day or so later- not what I would have gone with, but hey- it worked and was pretty fun! Though I noticed a few ways to squeeze out extra blocks from the end and made it required (touching the border is also required!) and telegraphed the gimmick of all blocks having gravel under them early, as it could be seen as unfair without that first block. Then I added my own block manipulation section to reach a hidden hint and called it a level. Time limit is 961 because apparently that's the area code of Lebanon. 56. Monotone I hope you don't dislike invisible walls. 57. Mystery Caves Mission statement: difficult linear campaign level. The first section was meant to have a bit of tangential story to it of a prison, and also set the tone with an "In a Nutshell" style area. In hindsight, it's a little mean to start there and force redoing it every time the teeth+ball room goes awry. I went back and forth on whether that dodging and manipulation was fair, but ultimately decided that it was since you can see what needs doing in advance. That said, the tank button to start the manipulation was the last thing I added to make it a little easier. Then you have a fantastic blockslide puzzle before a really cool ball room and a few assorted puzzles before a fake-out exit. I wonder if anyone will ever die to that walker. Probably not, but the room is lol. 58. Flight of the Prince Entered in the Movie Madness Create, which it won. Inspired entirely by chasing Snape down in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and the gameplay suits this. You see a green flash and something go off the tower, immobile, and then get to move when it dies, just like the story. Then you have around 20 seconds that demand perfection in Lynx and near perfection in MS, with some pinpoint dodging checkpoints and minor itemswapping. I love how carefully tuned this level is to work in both rulesets, something I couldn't manage with Extreme Hold Right Adventure. I do wonder if the design is too mean, though, as you do need to get a decent amount of boosts to even solve the level in MS. Regrettably, I couldn't keep a section in which the glider would merge into a 3 tile gap of pink balls and clone another, blocking the path for Chip. Why? Slide delay- waiting at the upper force floors would allow the glider to delay, bounce off a ball instead of merging in resulting in its death, and Chip could just walk into the fake exit. I tinkered with a few potential fixes, but ultimately settled on just making the slide delay not matter. 59. The Party We Have Never Seen Soundtrack for this commentary. Fire and water have such a lovely aesthetic that I underuse. Open-ended cloning puzzles are such an interesting design that, again, are underused. Sooooo I made one with a semi-open order. Gotta get to the bug on the right first to open the block cloner, then do the three chip challenges before the two socket challenges that subvert the normal flow. Shane picked up on the main trick pretty quickly, likely because I telegraphed it in advance. He also spotted a solution I didn't catch to the upper area, which I'm not unhappy with. Originally I wanted to force bridging around the bomb, but he found a clever way to use the existing blocks to guide a fireball over- nicely done! I'm not sorry for the random force floors on the exit path- good luck J.B., and at least it's untimed 60. A Chip Down Memory Lane And finally, the walls from Archie's RUN OUT OF GAS in a spiritual sibling to Mental Marvel Monastery. Fully intended alternate solution follows, with the description copied below: Everything seen here is intended- I designed the level to have two solutions, and this one to feel busted. But nope- every little detail that juuuust works out is completely intended! That being said, I did not tune any of the monster order or timings for this route. I'm pleasantly surprised by how little waiting around there is here. The overall design goal was to make a level like Josh's Mental Marvel Monastery- a throwback medley, of sorts. Strengthening the connection, I used the walls from Archie's "RUN OUT OF GAS" as my starting point, as Josh used Andrew R.'s "Producing". I also took care to make each part try to feel like something out of CC1- I'm not sure I succeeded, but that's why there are the (few) random pointless bits and certain other design choices. Levels referenced in some way: Nuts and Bolts, Elementary, Tossed Salad, Oorto Geld, Scavenger Hunt, On the Rocks, Lemmings, Seeing Stars, Chipmine, Bounce City (skipped), Reverse Alley, Block Buster, Now You See It, Short Circuit, Torturechamber, Miss Direction, and Alphabet Soup.
  5. 2 points
    Another day, another 15 levels worth of thoughts. 31. Blocks Aren't Us I remember I was just toying around with bridging levels and hit on the teleport arrangement in the southern room, and how just those teleports would allow access to an entire room of water. From there, I decided to make a symmetric minimalist bridging level, because it's a rarely done genre. Bridging levels are really hard to keep from being tedious, and I figured that 4 distinct approaches/minor deviations from full water would work perfectly for making an enjoyable bridging level. With those two thoughts in mind, I built the force floor room, then the ice room and the glider room. In the first version of the level, the glider room had 2 gliders and it was manageable, but ultimately I decided it didn't really mesh with the rest of the level so I removed one of them. 32. Autumnal Forest This was the last level I made for UC6, and stemmed from realizing I hadn't built the obligatory "variety/puzzle level where all the walls are actually blocks". While trying to come up with some new ideas of what to do with that design trope late at night, I had the following thought. "heheheh, what if instead of blocks I used LOCKS lol". Naturally, this turned out to be a legitimately great idea. The individual challenges aren't too complicated in this level, but to me it's one of those fun levels that just flows. I also love revisiting older areas, and passing back through the fireball room was something that I felt just needed to be included as one of the final steps. Keeping the current key count in memory while designing was pretty tricky, and keeping it bust-proof was trickier. 33. Betwixt and Between Walls from Fossilized Snow, before it became a CCLP4 level but after it was pretty clear it was going to make the cut. Around halfway through the sets' construction I looked through a bunch of custom sets for interesting walls to use as launching points, and figured that this could be used for... something. Quite some time later, I built a one block glider manipulation puzzle, using gravel and water to set two sets of boundaries. Finally, the means of exiting was something I hadn't really seen done too much, being a blind partial post off of the glider. Unfortunately, this wasn't very fun/fair, so I added the tank buttons to give an auditory cue. I play with sound on basically always, which seems to be a minority stance- but it makes sections like this so much easier! Oh, and the level is named after an area in Kingdom Hearts 2. 34. Hyperspace Runway Walls from The Last Starfighter and level originally made for the Walls of CCLP1 create. TLS was selected not because the walls looked interesting, but because it was level 28 and I asked Jessi what level I should use. Naturally, 28 was selected because a while back, I got a 28 cycle Specter in an any% no infinite jump run that still turned out to be the record (linked below). From there, I realized that TLS was actually quite an interesting layout, so I ruined it with a bunch of force floor slides and blocksliding. At least the glider room is legit. 35. Snow Worries Hey, another level named after a level in a game I used to speedrun, this time the 6th level in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger! In hindsight, this and the previous level probably shouldn't be next to each other, as Snow Worries is a blocksliding puzzle where the puzzle is figuring out how to set up a blockslide. Honestly, this is a level because I noticed the socket puzzle was possible (making a block bounce off a bouncing block) and wanted to make a level around it. The ending can be a little mean, but it's not too bad I don't think. 36. Center of Attention Nothing too special here, just a four quadrants variety level with a sokoban, a monster manipulation, and some dodging. Sorry about the ending, I realllllly shouldn't have left it like that but since I found a way to do it without precise timing or the monster partial post, I left it >_< 37. Unlicensed Archaeology Level originally designed for "The Five Rooms" create, where it placed second. I really didn't have any ideas for how restrictive the guidelines were for quite a while, and then I decided to just theme a level around blocks. Not just use blocks, but actually have that as the core theme. From there, the first room became an explosive romp, the third room a simple tank bypass, and the final room a simple symmetric bridging puzzle. That still left the second and fourth rooms, and the fourth seemed to fit a partial posting puzzle and socket clearing fun part easily. I can't think of a better description for the blue key search than "fun part" lol. Anyway, the second room was actually the first one I built and sent me down the rest of that path. I'm not sure exactly why I decided to use single blocks as walls with dirt as the enforcer, but I'm glad I did because it creates a natural series of small puzzles to figure out how to progress, and as the designer I had to make sure to leave a way back! Level named while streaming Tetris Plus and just discussing random things with Jessi. The phrase came up, and I knew it fit this level perfectly. 38. It's a Small World The very... second level I made for this set! Nothing too complicated here, just a teleport puzzle. I still had a lot of fun working out how to build 7x7 rooms in each corner, and I very much like the starting FF spiral. I guess being able to touch the border is unusual, too. 39. Christmas Armament This is easily one of my favorite levels in the set, less due to how it plays and more due to the combination of concept and execution. Basically, I had the idea of farming red keys to get to the next room from the center, but wasn't sure how to fill each sub-room. Cue me (blob) pestering my brother (tank), my sister (walker), and my mom (teeth) to each build a 7x7 and 8x8 room. The tank maze room and block/bomb room are probably the best two, but the teeth puzzle is interesting as well. The force floor room underwent a lot of iterations before I settled on the more complex variation- originally it was a lot simpler. 40. Obligatory Block Shuffling Level I needed to make a block shuffling level. I made a block shuffling level. The upper room came first and set the shape of the level and honestly isn't too hard, but the lower room took me a solid hour of tweaking to come up with. This is probably my best sokoban design to date with a couple tricky steps involved in the solution. What more is there to say about it? 41. Just Another Regular Thursday Walls from Dave's A Puzzle. Other than the invisible wall with the tank (not required to make the level possible, but made it more fun) and the throwaway joke of blue walls + deadly obstacles in one of MY levels... there's not much here. It's kind of generic in a charming sort of way. Hey Dave, if you ever read this does this level look/feel like something you'd have built? 42. Choice Tools Walls from Nitroglycerin, and entered in the Walls of CCLP1 create. This ended up being Miika's preferred level of my three submissions, but it couldn't go too far due to only being a maze. Which is a shame, because I put a solid 3-4 hours into making sure every combination was possible to beat the level with! Not even building sections, just tweaking the "final" level until I had a version that didn't care what you picked. The inspirations here are quite obvious I think- choices, choices and Tool Shed. This level is the reason I ran the mazes only create, which my brother ended up winning with TOTALLY RANDOM MAZE. I could be accused of nepotism with that judgment... but even Josh (runner-up) agreed that it should win If you're reading this Andrew- make more levels! They're good! 43. Fahrenheit Frenzy About halfway through construction, I decided I wanted to make a time crunch level. A linear fire themed gauntlet named after another Wrath of Cortex level. So I built the bug dodging area, and then it all went downhill when I couldn't resist from building a puzzle. However, I think the puzzle is actually pretty good despite relying on stuff under blocks (I may or may not have been trying to make a statement) even if Tyler busted it with spam cloning somehow. Another of my favorite designs. 44. Celsius Scramble Another of my favorite designs- Doublemaze already overlaid 2 mazes on top of each other, and Archie's Double Puzzle overlaid 2 sokobans on top of each other. What if we took this further with larger tiles (3x3) and took full advantage of the fact that there was ice? The result was this semi-maze, semi block moving, semi dodging/timing variety experience. The two best moments to me are using the tank to deflect a sliding bug into the teleport, and pushing a block into a teleport and then walking around to push it as it pops back out where it started. 45. Blue Narciss After designing time trial levels, I felt like making a level with the aesthetic of Eddy's Melody Rain. A single block monster manipulation puzzle followed. Those are kind of a theme in this set, aren't they.
  6. 2 points
    Yep, it's that time again, where a designer puts some record of their thoughts about their levels for everyone else to read. Today I'm going to be talking about Ultimate Chip 6, which contains 60 levels and will probably not be updated for quite a while to come. So let's dive right in! 1. Welcome to the 21st Century This was one of the first levels I put together after the time trial designs, and the goal was to craft a simple itemswapper with a very sprawling feeling to it. Does it feel like something that would have been made around the time CCLP2 was made? Possibly- but the design still has the modern touches of no rooms or hallways being diagonally adjacent. That's something that I personally don't like the look of in most cases, and that's why this level curls back in on itself. In hindsight, it's not the best introductory level for this set, but I didn't really have a better one, and I'm not unhappy with it as it shows that UC6 can and will contain... whatever I felt like throwing in. 2. Quantum Tunneling After Miika ran a mini TT with his own level, Twice the Fun, I decided I liked running through the upper ball corridor, especially with how the balls would bounce off to always allow passage if the first was survived. So I went with that on a smaller scale, added a bunch of bombs and a force floor slide to give the balls a second purpose, and had an easy level that was pretty fun to play. 3. Snowball Mountain Back to back ice aesthetic levels! I tend to use ice and force floors a lot in my designs, and also have an aversion to large empty spaces (that I'm working on, thankfully). Anyway, this level was originally conceived as a maze TT level, but it proved too easy to route. Level name borrowed from Ape Escape 2, continuing the trend of monkey game named ice themed levels after UC3's Frosty Retreat, UC4's Hot Springs, and UC5's Snowy Mammoth. Unfortunately, I'm out of Ape Escape ice levels without monkey puns in the name for the future! 4. Repetitive Repetition I had just watched the Game Maker's Toolkit episode on Hitman and the art of repetition, and had the thought- what if I could turn that into a CC level? That's kind of what optimizing already does, but how can I capture that feeling to create an entire level around it? Then the concept kind of morphed into "hey, let's make the same room 3 times but with minor variations that allow shortcuts lol" and it's not that good of a level. However, I've since re-used this repeated room idea to make a much better level that very few people have seen- I'll release it eventually guys, but for now, James says it's super legit. 5. Key Free The original idea here was a puzzle level where you'd alternate sides taking keys and boots and having to move several objects around in a multi-stage puzzle. Then I couldn't figure out how to begin designing such a puzzle and still don't have a clue (concept is up for grabs!), so around Thanksgiving I sat down at a relatives' house and threw this together. One of Tyler or Shane got tripped up by this level, surprisingly. It's pretty easy with a load of extra keys, but as a little optimizing bonus it's possible to end with the fire boots on the left side, saving some time. Honestly, that little tidbit is why this level stayed in its current form- I added a decent amount of little bonuses for the attentive in this set, and I'll point them out in these musings. 6. Sneaking in the Back Door Ahhh, this level. When I set out to build this level, I knew I wanted it to be rotationally symmetric and on an island, but beyond that I didn't have too much of an idea. Then I decided to place chips with a lock on one side, and a bomb on the other. This led to adding a teeth monster in order to skip a key, and the original design had 2 of each key and 1 teeth, requiring 0 teeth bombs. Then I changed it to 4 teeth and 1 of each key, and wasn't sure which version was better, as this was meant to be a fairly easy level. Mostly thanks to Miika's suggestion, I took a third option of 3 teeth (better symmetry at the start!) and 1 of each key, requiring 3 back door entries. You do have to be a little careful, but it's still not too difficult. 7. Tonberry Estates Walls from Key Farming, was entered in the Walls of CCLP1 create competition. Again, I'm mentioning Miika, but I'm sorry- that sokoban is clever and fits perfectly in the room. Oftentimes teleport sokobans revolved around partial posts, so I set out to build one that was non-trivial in that space and used the teleports as alternate loops. The rest of the level is some simple itemswapping, dodging and chip collecting, before some semi-blind fireball manipulations with a toggle button. I went through great pains to keep this part from being cookable, and I think I succeeded- though if you're not careful with the locks used earlier, you can render the fireball stuck. Don't do that. 8. Encased, Just In Case Oh look, a Time Trial level! This sort of chip collecting romp isn't too interesting to just play, but routing it was actually quite interesting. The original version of the level had recessed walls instead of red and blue obstacles, which would have created easier shortcuts but ultimately been less interesting. Other than that, there's not much to say here. 9. Tunnel Boring Machine I do like monster manipulation challenges quite a bit, and this level is nothing but a monster manipulation challenge, albeit a very lenient one with respect to monsters. You only need 8 or 9 total I think, and there are 16 in the level. That said, the dirt involved is a limited resource that has to be used somewhat carefully in order to access the central chips. Some will probably find this level boring (insert rimshot here) but I liked playing it in testing and still think it's a fun level- takes a little thought, but not full focus. 10. Tesla Foil Josh mentioned a concept about unmaking partial posts, so I tried my hand at building a level like that. Unfortunately, teleports can be pretty broken and the level is irredeemably busted. Despite this, the intended path is pretty interesting, using symmetry in design but distinct rooms to keep a theme going without overstaying its welcome. Oh and the ending has been described as "what" and "bonkers", even though it's just a toggle door path Even with the bust, this is one of my favorites from the set. Now I see why Andrew has done his designer commentary in groups of 10 levels. Must upstage everyone though- onwards to another... 5. 11. Red, Brown and Red Another time trial level, this time with a cloning theme and obviously inspired by Red, Green and Blue. Optimizing cloning is very difficult, as it generally devolves into chaos and just trying everything. My goal with this and the other level was to craft a cloning level based around ideas and specific smaller scale collisions, rather than spamming the button and hoping everything works. Did it work here? For the most part- the toggle door at the end was the trickiest part to try to route, and a solution one second faster than my 90% logical solution exists. When I was optimizing this (as I did so before the competition to ensure the process was reasonable) I identified a timing that would clear out the lowest bombs, and then tried a few variations with the spare moves I had until I found one that was fast. As a casual level, it's okay, borrowing more from Four Plex without the toggle buttons. Slightly tedious perhaps, but not uninteresting, thankfully. 12. Primordial Ooze Mazes with force floor walls have become slightly overdone in recent times- Forced Circuit by Josh, Jungle Fever by J.B., Cluttered Crosswalks and Bisection by me... these all do different things with the core concept, but ultimately are mazes where the walls aren't always walls. In this level, named after the second level of Ape Escape, I didn't really do anything to spice up the force floor sections. However, the water mazes I took advantage of the fact that they're water and added a few blocks to bridge to otherwise unreachable areas, adding a small thinking element to the maze. A few toggle doors to take advantage of the force floors later, and I had a symmetric chip placement maze that's actually pretty fun to play. The time limit is 280 because my time attack time is 2.80, though this will be dropping about .05 soon 13. Transmission After You Can't Teach an Old Frog New Tricks came onto the scene, full level monster guidance puzzles have almost universally been difficult, with Andrew's One Tank's Adventure being the easiest. Others that come to mind are Guiding Light (me), Set-up (Shane), Get the Ball Rolling (J.B.) and A Bug's Life (me), using most of the monsters in the game. I'd even tried making a level like this before I'd played OFNT that featured a blob, titled... A Boy and His Blob in UC2. However, that left a gap in easy guidance levels, and the humble paramecia is often forgotten, so I elected to change that. Side note- gliders and walkers still need this kind of level, unless there is one for either of them that I'm unaware of. Anyway, this level has another one of those bonuses for the attentive- there's no chip socket, as the chips were a last minute addition to try to trick people into doing extra steps. The dirt section can be done from either direction, the toggle and tank rooms require active attention (and setting up the tank room was a pain) and the ice room has been complained about, but it can be set up in advance or you can actually move the blocks with the paramecia chasing you! Yes, it's possible! 14. Interdependent Line Walls from Eddy's Honey Bomb, found in NSG-Rejects. This one was honestly inspired by The Witness, in a weird sort of way. There's nothing too out of the ordinary here, just a key ordering puzzle with a simple gotcha, a recessed wall section outlining some gravel, and luring a teeth through half the level to gain access to the exit. The means of exiting was something I'd specifically wanted to use for a little while, and the socket being only the first step out of several was another common design trope I wanted to avoid. Yep, UC6 as a whole looks at conventional design decisions, uses them for the most part, but the moment they became inconvenient I ignored them... which wasn't often. 15. Crazy Box LOL walker level. I still think Hysteria from UC5 is my best walker dodging level, but come on- it's practically mandatory to include one of these.
  7. 2 points
    Onwards to the second quarter! 16. Arctic Antics I've noticed there are a lot of horizontally designed levels compared to the amount of vertically structured levels, which is interesting. Specifically, mazes often seem to have more horizontal paths with vertical connectors compared to vertical hallways with horizontal doors- not counting curvy paths. It's a strange observation to make, and this level was designed in response to that observation. It's "only" a maze with a blue wall/blue lock aesthetic and long vertical ice slides, but some of the blue walls are fake and there are a few extra chips. Just a couple more of those bonuses for the attentive, though of those who've streamed the set (Tyler and Shane), I don't think either of them caught the fake blue walls. Named after the first level of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. 17. Retroactive Invocation Most keyswapping levels have you pick up keys, go somewhere with that key, and pick up more keys behind a lock. More advanced keyswapping levels will use the locks as the only gates to progress in a denser environment, such as Three Color Problem (me), Thinner (Cyberdog I think?), or even too many keys (pieguy). This level tried to do something a little different- recessed walls to "break into" the keyswapping area and get some early keys, and a way to save extra keys. Of course, some of those keys end up used in the second half of the level, which gives the monsters circling an extra purpose. Dual purpose design is always pretty cool, and something I've been trying to include more often. 18/19. Tanks / Tanks, But No Tanks Ahhh, yes. One of the few levels where I came up with a title before the contents. I don't make tank levels very often, and J.B.'s Genetic Experimentation seemed like an interesting set of walls for a constrained idea. After I set out to make a tank level, I had the brilliantly terrible idea of copying the level, but removing all of the tanks from it to make a pun. From there, I just built a few distinct challenges for Tanks, and added hidden walls and tweaked areas for No Tanks. There should honestly be more level that build off of/toy with adjacent levels- neither of these are too special on their own, but as a combination I absolutely love how they work. 20. Special Little Snowflake One of the sillier ways I make levels is to just start toying with interesting tessellations and see how they develop. Fossilized Snow and Three Color Problem are two examples of where I've done this in the past, but there are others. Anyway, this level is just a blocksliding challenge with an interesting twist- in MS, a ram is required. This was somewhat controversial, and Shane though it was unfair, so I'll defend this decision a little bit here- this could easily have been relegated to i^e, for instance. I decided to keep this level for three main reasons, but first, watch the Lynx solution if you haven't already. 1. There was no easy way to change the aesthetic/ice placements to make something else interesting, but non-trivial. 2. The solution plays out nearly the same in both rulesets. 3. After the Rainstorm has already canonized the ram. Now, point 3 on its own is fairly weak as it can create an inequality, and that's something I try to avoid. But that combined with point 2 was enough for me to give into point 1 and keep the level in its current form. Hope that makes sense! 21. Deflection Field Another level originally conceived as a time trial that was ran as one- though it turned out to be fairly easy to route. In the first version, the exit was where the suction boots are, but Miika had the idea of adding a runback and I liked it for both optimizing and casual play. Though there are 2 balls on every line, the dirt makes for a lot of safe places and ultimately makes this a very cerebral dodging level, which naturally is the kind I prefer. There's just something fun about alternating bursts of preplanning movements and mad dashes/quick reactions to things that you just don't get with a lot of melee levels. Naturally, Seeing Red is one of my best examples of this design style. 22. The Sound of Silence More than any other level in the set, this is the one that got me designing heavily again. After releasing the update to UC5, I really didn't have any more ideas for levels. Sure, I built the stray level here and there, but it seemed unlikely I'd have a large CC1 release again. After a couple months of downtime, I tried designing some levels meant for time trials, to varying degrees of success. But even that didn't really get anywhere, and roughly 6 months after the UC5 update, I had maybe a dozen levels. For comparison, I've built more than that in the past few weeks! Anyway, CCLP4 construction was ongoing at the time- I think voting had just opened, and I'd spent a lot of time playtesting the submission pool alongside the rest of the staff. And then, Idle Contrast by Eddy came up as a topic of discussion. Was it better or worse than Suspended Animation, which used the concept of trapped monsters springing to life first? Was it too simple? Was Suspended Animation too complex? Why was there no middle ground? Well, I decided to try my hand at designing that concept with the goal of settling the debate. In favor of my own newly design level, of course I started with the ball rooms where you start- I figured the best way to immediately communicate that this used the Suspended Animation concept was to have a visible exit blocked by trapped monsters, in a room that would allow passage if they started moving. From there the level built off naturally, with various challenges, connections and revisits. By far the hardest part was getting the controller/boss glitch to cooperate. If you look at the bottom right, when the tanks switch the pink balls can start moving, alternating directions every move. This conveniently matches the 5 moves between traps for the paramecia on the left side. The bugs were even trickier, and required some careful tuning of locations and sliding tiles, controller by the fireballs on the bottom left. The ice makes sure they alternate facing up and right when the bugs try to move. Finally, the teeth was the hardest of all- I needed 2 teeth, as only one would have it be released in the opposite direction. Even still, I couldn't find a way to make the teeth release in any direction, so I settled for just up/down. I'm really happy with how the flow of this level turned out, and even though it uses an existing concept, I think I changed enough and added my own flavor to it to be an original level. Besides, did the monsters ever... stop moving in the original? 23. What Lies Beneath And now, another level that was used for a time trial! Unlike the other time trial levels in this set, I didn't intend for this to be one. I just built another maze where the walls could be pushed (and had to be in the outside areas) hid 4 chips under blocks that lined up with the pattern (not required, of course) and noticed that it would probably be quite interesting to optimize. Well, it was, and Miika ended up sniping first by 2 seconds This is probably my favorite maze level that I've ever designed. 24. A Glide Amongst the Clouds Late in construction, I realized I didn't have a glider level yet! So I made one. The ending underwent a lot of changes, and I went back and forth on if 2 gliders were fair in that toggle room, but ultimately decided that yes, they were. One was too easy, anyway. Other than the ending, it's just some cloning to disrupt and some simple dodging. Enjoyable enough, but not really standout. 25. To the Dungeons! Recommended viewing: Alright, you back? Great. I'm sure you can see the obvious inspirations, with traps, layout, unreachable objects, and a leap of faith for that blue key. By far my favorite part of this level is the bottom right- the force floors spice up some otherwise simple ball dodging, and the single block manipulation of 2 gliders is . Also, that's going to become a recurring theme here... 26. A Wish Upon a Distant Blob Obligatory blob level but more interesting than the obligatory walker level. The lower left can be a little mean, but with the right strategy it doesn't actually take very much luck to complete. The middle section has a minor bust, but I'm okay with its existence. Overall, this level has some really weird moments and I think it succeeds as a blob level. Time limit is 436, the current bold to Blobnet. 27. Uphill Battle Hi I like hand-built block shuffling puzzles and you can't adapt them with ice or force floors and there's a gotcha/minor shift in style right at the end and I really really like this level. The force floor puzzle in particular, as it's half sardine can, half "how is this even possible" until you use the force floors to your full advantage. Another of my absolute favorites from the set. 28. Demolitions Expert Yet another time trial level- we're running out of those This one was paired with Red, Brown and Red and uses gliders as a counterpoint to the fireball cloner. It can get a little out of hand with routing, but ultimately I think it succeeded as a reasonable optimization challenge. Especially because everybody missed something sizable here. I couldn't figure out a way to clone all the gliders at once, and both Miika and Ruben missed the method of using only 5 red locks instead of all of them! I'm still surprised at this, as I specifically designed that in as a shortcut and I thought it was obvious... anyway, building the layouts was quite difficult to keep them rotationally symmetric and nontrivial, but also hard to cook. 29. Congregate Just a fun little monster dodging collection level with a blob and teeth that can wreak havoc if released early, but screw up fast routes if released late. Have fun J.B.! 30. Dissonance Amid the Storm Title taken from Touhou 14's Stage 4 title. Random force floors look quite nice, and using them as a path for hidden walls I thought was a really neat idea. Mostly, those paths just break up some precise running from monster in varied arrangements. Oh, and there's a joke at the players' expense here with the teeth. Another 15 bits of behind the scenes knowledge tomorrow, probably! Unless I'm too busy with a tournament. Or practicing for said tournament. Or working on CCLP4. Or working on Ape Escape time attacks. Or job hunting. Or relaxing. Or level designing. Or playing FF9. Or working on my backlog. Or coming up with more "or [activity]" phrases to include here...
  8. 2 points
    So after almost a year of relative absence from the game, I'm back! I'm between jobs right now, and the Seattle weather is nothing but rainy, so what better opportunity could I expect to dedicate some time to Chip's Challenge 2? I spent the last week or so dedicating myself to a complete Let's Play and levelset review of "Nanamin's Challenge 1.0" which was released by Nanamin on February 25th this year. I picked a brand new set by a designer I know nothing about for a couple reasons. First, the CC2 community has been somewhat dormant for some time (due in part I think to a poor editor and the ongoing CCLP4 voting), so I would like to do what I can to generate interest in the game. Second, I've never created a Let's Play video series before, and I wanted to try it out on a truly blind experience -- I've never seen any of these levels before. The videos are available on my Youtube channel at the following links: Part 1: (Levels 1-20)Part 2: (Levels 21-26)Part 3: (Levels 27-35)Part 4: (Levels 36-42)Part 5: (Levels 43-48)Part 6: (Levels 48-55)Part 7: (Levels 55-60) Summary: Nanamin's Challenge 1.0 is a wonderfully designed 60-level set with a medium difficulty curve. There are several themes I've noticed that run through the set: 1) The most common and most enjoyable levels are small, compact puzzles that always manage to bring together a variety of elements in some very creative ways. 2) There are a fair number of cooperative levels where you switch between Chip and Melinda. 3) There are 6 GRID MAZE and 3 CHAOS levels that are interspersed throughout the set and even act as a weak story line. GRID MAZE levels take place on typically on repeating patterns of decorational walls, while CHAOS levels involve picking your way gingerly through unintelligible jumbles of tiles (think NONSENSE or SCRAMBLED EGGS form the original CC2 set). 4) There are bonus flags everywhere! I'm not an optimizer but this set would either be a dream or a nightmare. Curated Levels: If you don't have time to play through the whole set, I'd recommend the following subset of 10: 15 STRATEGIC DETONATION 23 THE WRONG FOOT 25 THE DUEL 26 GOLDILOCKS 30 THE SECRET OF THE BLUE SCARAB 33 THE ICE KINGDOM ADVANCES 39 OBSTACLE MACHINE 42 EXPULSION CUBE 48 COMPANION CUBES 50 CONTROLLED RELEASE And if you can only check out one level, please check out the masterpiece that is 48 COMPANION CUBES. Recommendations to the designer: 1) make more levels! these were great! 2) add a secret eye tool to 55 FLOODGATES. Remove or redesign the guesswork in levels 05 OUTBREAK and 29 GRID MAZE 3. Redesign 58 WATERFALLS to not depend on monster order. Redesign 19 DESICCATED SWAMP to add more depth to the gameplay. Individual level reviews: 01 MIRROR CUBE (Part 1, 0:50 - 10:24) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) The highlight of this level was the interesting opening puzzle with the swivels, doppelganger, yellow teleport, and toggle doors. The enormous blue wall bonus maze and the lower room with all the arrows felt somewhat haphazard. On the plus side, it added a sense of exploration to the level, but it also felt confusing and space-inefficient. Using the TNT to pick up the last chip or blast through the walls to the exit felt loose. I thought it was a bug and demonstrated it in the beginning of my LP video part 2, but a viewer pointed out that the exclamation points suggest placing the TNT there. But with the final chip merely one room over it seems like it only saves a second or so. Overall a playable and decent level, but it feels like an amateur-ish introduction to what turns out to be an excellent set. 02 GRAVITY CURTAIN (Part 1, 10:24 - 11:48) Concept: (3/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) Another level that felt very loose and like it was thrown together fairly quickly. It is short and easy. I think the design falls short compared to some of the work that clearly went into later levels in the set. I think there is potential to turn the Melinda/gravel/force floor maze into something a little more creative. 03 WAIT (Part 1, 11:48 - 16:20) Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) After a slow start to the set this is the first real puzzle level that shows, in my opinion, what the set is all about. It's one of many small to medium sized levels that use diverse elements to create compact puzzles of surprising depth. The glider/bear-trap puzzle is nicely connected to the block/flame-jet puzzle. The interplay between the pink button wired to the flame jet and the orange button is instructional. The tank and button do feel somewhat underutilized however. I like the way the recessed wall section works to bridge the two halves of the level together. 04 FLOODMARSH (Part 1, 16:20 - 27:01) Concept: (4/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) I've always loved the 'maze within a maze' idea of levels such as SHORT CIRCUIT in the original CC1 game, or TRIPLE MAZE in CCLP3, for example. FLOODMARSH is a fun and easy entry into that category. You initially navigate the maze as Chip (with flippers), and can use the water and floor paths. Once you gather all the chips, you transmogrify into Melinda and lose the flippers, taking the floor and chip socket route back to the exit. I appreciate the restraint in level size and the tight-but-not-terrible time limit. A nice concept executed well. 05 OUTBREAK (Part 1, 27:01 - 36:22) Concept: (4/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) I have mixed feelings about OUTBREAK. I think the concept is thoroughly unique (finding a route through a 'minefield' of block cloners and area buttons); however, the only thing that makes this implementation *barely* playable is the small size of the level. Upon further thought, I think one major factor bringing this level down is that the direction of each clone machine is not visible, so the gameplay is in fact a guessing game. I would suggest to the designer that an arrow marking on the floor next to each machine would help to make the level fair. 06 SHOVEL TEAM (Part 1, 36:22 - 39:39) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) This is a simple, unique concept that ends up being an extremely fun and loose level to play. A great early level in a set. Fun to figure out what's going on underneath all the ice blocks, and then easy to execute. 07 DOUBLECROSS (Part 1, 39:39 - 41:15) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) Average level, fun and quick to play. Not sure I 'get' it, but it works for an early level, especially for a player still learning the elements. 08 POOL PARTY WITH ANTS (Part 1, 41:15 - 46:27) Concept: (2/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (4/5) This is very much a gimmick level, but it works wonderfully as such. The wing boots are an underutilized design element. The level did a nice job of putting me into such a rush that I didn't see the 'twist' until I was just beginning to get frustrated. 09 ANTI SWAMP ZONE (Part 1, 46:27 - 50:34) Concept: (2/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) Another decent early-game level. The block pushing is both interesting and forgiving. The teeth, bowling ball, and perimeter of slime all contribute to the aesthetics. Great design rescues what might otherwise have been a somewhat boring concept. 10 BLOCK COURIER (Part 1, 50:34 - 56:31) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (3/5) I don't generally like levels that require 'block-sliding' (hitting a moving block sideways off an ice or force floor), however this level is at least mercifully short enough to make the challenge fair, similar perhaps to ANNOYING WALL in CCLP3. (One nice bonus would be adding the helmet to protect the player). This level is also technically busted (see the beginning of the second Let's Play video), but the bust is creative and fun enough that it might be worth leaving in. 11 ANT NEST (Part 1, 56:31 - 1:01:24) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (5/5) I loved this level. I liked the way that opening more doors in the level added to the number of ants milling about. I liked how the green door/yellow door balance ensured that Chip and Melinda both had roles and had to help each other out. The gravel squares in the center of each room ensured that the dodging wasn't too bad. Finishing the level off with a TNT blast was fun. 12 FORKPATHS (Part 1, 1:01:24 - 1:11:30) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) A great concept with really great execution as well. I've struggled as a designer with using area buttons and force floors well, but this is a great use of the theme. At initial glance it seemed very intimidating, but it was fun to explore the paths, and it seemed like it was always pretty obvious which button to press next. It would certainly have been easy to make this level more unforgiving! A fun level to figure out. 13 GRID MAZE 1 (Part 1, 1:11:30 - 1:16:03) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) The first of 6 levels bearing the name GRID MAZE. It's alright to play. The confusion of colors between the custom walls, floors, bombs, and bonus flags adds to the difficulty. Decent filler level. 14 DUAL CORE (Part 1, 1:16:03 - 1:19:35) Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) A great little block puzzle, fairly easy, and well-placed in the set. I love the use of both the green and purple toggle walls to add interest to the sokoban concept. 15 STRATEGIC DETONATION (Part 1, 1:19:35 - 1:25:52) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (5/5) Another great little puzzle. Fun, short, and satisfying. Instructive on blue teleports. The order of doing things is non-obvious. 16 STAMPEDE (Part 1, 1:25:52 - 1:28:04) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (4/5) Out and back monster-dodging. Memorable and fun. 17 SNOW PLOUGHER (Part 1, 1:28:04 - 1:33:28) Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (4/5) A deserving puzzle level. Possibly a minor bust since the ice block cloners change direction when blocked. Aesthetically pleasing due to diagonal symmetry. 18 FLIPPER (Part 1, 1:33:28 - 1:34:40) Concept: (3/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) A great and easy introductory puzzle level that requires planning ahead. 19 DESICCATED SWAMP (Part 1, 1:34:40 - 1:38:53) Concept: (3/5) Design: (1/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) A weak entry in the set in my opinion. The level is aesthetically pleasing and the concept has a lot of potential, but it feels thrown together and poorly designed. This level would work great as a 'maze within a maze' similar to FLOODMARSH, where Melinda goes through the whole maze to get the dirt boots, then collects the chips, then loses the dirt boots but can open chip sockets, etc. Instead, she gets the dirt boots halfway through the level, which opens pretty much everything up. There's a blue key and two red keys which don't make much sense, and then a key thief by the exit that seems to serve no purpose at all. 20 CHAOS ENCROACHES (Part 1, 1:39:04 - END) Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) The first of 3 'Chaos' levels (at the 20, 40, and 60 level numbers) is also my favorite of the series. It plays more like a puzzle (reminiscent of NONSENSE in the CC2 official set) than the other two which feel more like mazes. 21 GRID MAZE 2 (Part 2, 4:07 - 15:28) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) I'm not a huge fan of the Grid Maze series in this set, although I do think they (for the most part) make good, short, filler levels, and serve to provide a sense of interconnectivity between earlier and later levels. This one for some reason really stumped me during my LP since I kept seeing a camo floor as a wall, but that was my fault. A decent maze level. 22 HOMEOSTASIS (Part 2, 15:28 - 19:01) Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (4/5) Fun to figure out, not terribly challenging but definitely some wrong paths to go down. Good puzzle with great aesthetics. 23 THE WRONG FOOT (Part 2, 19:01 - 26:42) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (5/5) Love, love, love this bowling ball puzzle! We don't see enough of these... 24 LATTICE PALACE (Part 2, 26:42 - 28:52) Concept: (2/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) Nothing remarkable here, but it's a simple and fun level. 25 THE DUEL (Part 2, 28:52 - 35:25) Concept: (5/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (5/5) One of the few action levels in the set. Great use of bowling balls, going head to head with monsters. It's a tough concept to do well but this succeeds. The high point of the level is definitely the shootout with the four fireballs in the lower right corner. Very fun. 26 GOLDILOCKS (Part 2, 35:25 - 48:26) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) Masterful puzzle, very compact, one of my favorites in the set! Nice take on the directional block/railroad track concept. The flame jet portion works beautifully. 27 PALACE DUNGEON (Part 3, 0:00 - 7:36) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) Definitely a fun puzzle. I loved the bear trap/ant combo to allow pushing blocks around the level. The itemswapping at the end felt a little less inspired but it's a solid level. 28 DRAIN CLOGGER (Part 3, 7:36 - 10:54) Concept: (3/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) I like the idea of filling up the force floor to gain access to the other side of the level, but the block puzzle just wasn't very interesting. I'd like to see it reworked into a slightly less trivial sokoban. 29 GRID MAZE 3 (Part 3, 10:54 - 13:56) Concept: (3/5) Design: (1/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (1/5) Unless I'm missing something with the hints, this is purely a guesswork level. The hint tiles certainly do lie! At least the level is mercifully short. I would recommend removing this level entirely. Worst of the Grid Maze series, unless there's a puzzle with the hints that I didn't understand. 30 THE SECRET OF THE BLUE SCARAB (Part 3, 13:56 - 29:36) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (5/5) Another excellent variety puzzle. I love the way the rooms connect, and how you make your way around the level and return to the start. 31 CONTAINMENT CHAMBER (Part 3, 29:36 - 32:30) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (3/5) Decent level, I admire the attempt to use rovers. The fire squares make the dodging easy at least, although the monsters feel almost as random as blobs. 32 TANK! (Part 3, 32:20 - 36:24) Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) A solid design. Fairly easy level but it manages to feel very fresh. A lot of fun to play! 33 THE ICE KINGDOM ADVANCES (36:24 - 38:34) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (1/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (5/5) Well done! I experimented with this concept a bit during the original CC2 design phase (see GLACIER and GLACIER 2 in the CC2 Rejects set) but they were pretty awful. This design does a much better job of giving the player choices without the solution being obvious. Great level! 34 PUSH'N'SWIVEL (Part 3, 38:35 - 48:03) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (4/5) This level as well as EXPULSION CUBE do a great job exploring the 'sokoban with swivel doors' concept. Both are great puzzles and very satisfying to solve. 35 FLAMOSPHERES (Part 3, 48:03 - END) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) Great concept, great use of the 'hide logic' feature. I think the level is just the right length for this idea. I like that taking the wrong path doesn't kill you immediately (similar in that respect to SPOOKS from CC1). Very unique level. 36 CORE (Part 4, 0:00 - 8:18) Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) I like the idea of getting all the blocks across to positions on the opposite side. The symmetric design is top-notch. Gameplay isn't going to be particularly interesting on a level like this but it works and doesn't take too long. I don't know if it was intended, but you can get away with some tricks by pushing blocks onto the force floors and then pushing them off on the other side of the level. I rescued my 1st attempt on the Let's Play this way. 37 GRID MAZE 4 (Part 4, 8:18 - 19:26) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) Decent level, my favorite in the GRID MAZE series since it's more of a puzzle than a maze. It's hard to keep track of the different areas and what needs to be done, but in the end it comes together after a couple tries. 38 WASHOUT (Part 4, 19:26 - 26:08) Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) Really fun and unique design, satisfying to solve. I like the symmetry of the central puzzle while retaining the variety between the right and left 'wings'. 39 OBSTACLE MACHINE (Part 4, 26:08 - 40:58) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (5/5) Another phenomenal 'variety' puzzle in a set that's already full of them. One of the best levels in the set. Great use of a lot of different elements. 40 SURROUNDED BY CHAOS (Part 4, 40:58 - 54:13) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) The second entry in the CHAOS series is an awesome design! I don't even know how I'd go about designing a maze that works on this level. The level map even looks like a work of art. The gameplay is really frustrating at first but turns out to be quite playable. 41 COUNTDOWNER (Part 4, 54:13 - 58:07) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) I really loved this puzzle. It makes a great tutorial on counter gates, yet without feeling like a tutorial. 42 EXPULSION CUBE (Part 4, 58:07 - END) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) The ONLY things that might drag this level down are the two blocks that have pop-up walls underneath them. For this reason I'd recommend giving the player the secret eye tool. But even as it is, you discover those secrets fairly early on your first playthrough. The rest of the level is a top-notch, straightforward, and quite difficult puzzle involving blocks and swivel doors, and is one of the best puzzles in the set. 43 PARADIGM SHIFTER (Part 5, 0:00 - 10:08) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) Another wonderful variety puzzle. Excellent use of the key and item thieves, as well as the connection between rooms. 44 OFF RAIL (Part 5, 10:08 - 15:10) Concept: (3/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) It has potential but didn't feel like it played very well. The long railroad tracks with recessed walls at either end felt somewhat reminiscent of CAMPGROUNDS (although not quite as evil). It seemed that to play the level 'right' you'd need to make a map. Fortunately it's short enough that I was able to take a random route and beat the level on my second try. 45 GRID MAZE 5 (Part 5, 15:10 - 19:25) Concept: (4/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) I've always loved the idea of the toggle wall maze that 'switches' half-way through to create a brand new maze. This level plays with that idea, but ultimately doesn't execute very well. The biggest drawback are the invisible walls that block off many of the exits, an unfair move that feels off-putting after you've essentially solved the maze. 46 GHOST TO GHOST (Part 5, 19:25 - 23:50) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (3/5) A decent entry in the set, although the design didn't make a whole lot of sense to me for such a simple concept. It works though, and is pretty easy. 47 SPRING CLEANING: WITH ICE! (Part 5, 23:50 - 26:05) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (3/5) Good filler level. 48 COMPANION CUBES (Part 5, 26:05 - End, plus Part 6, 0:00 - 24:45) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) This level is simply a masterpiece!! Best level in the set, and one of the best custom levels I've played. It's not often you spend an entire hour solving a CC puzzle and feel like you wouldn't mind restarting and playing it again just to appreciate what just happened. The two thieves in the ice block room caused me so much grief, but that only added to the pleasure of circumventing them! 49 FOUR LINES (Part 6, 24:45 - 27:36) Concept: (3/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (3/5) A teeth level that works okay, but I'm not thrilled with the design. I love the idea of Chip clearing a path through the dirt for Melinda, and I love the idea of teeth that only follow the active player, but neither concept was really explored in much depth here. My solution was pretty much to just run for it, and since that worked it didn't feel like it had much depth. 50 CONTROLLED RELEASE (Part 6, 27:36 - 35:21) Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (4/5) Fun: (5/5) Winning concept, and great process of discovery to figure out what is needed. Great blend of action and puzzle elements. One of the best of set. 51 PINPOINT (Part 6, 35:21 - 48:22) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (4/5) This puzzle really wouldn't be that difficult if it was visible all at once, but being as spread out as it is, ends up being a very satisfying challenge. 52 MONOPATTERN (Part 6, 48:22 - 1:04:56) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) Didn't care for this level much. The idea of using repeating patterns on the map reminds me a little of COLOR COORDINATION by J. B. Lewis, but isn't really put to good use here in my opinion. The problem is the patterns don't really serve much of a purpose or present a challenge in most of the rooms. The mazes are too simple, the turtles and recessed walls room can be solved in pretty much any way you feel like, the puzzles feel trivial. (Although I do like the final room with the ice blocks and fire.) I'd like to see the concept revisited with a little more care. 53 GRID MAZE 6 'FINALE' (Part 6, 1:04:56 - 1:11:44) Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) One of the better GRID MAZEs. The teleports are nicely confusing, and it's just the right amount of frustrating at first, but you learn the level after a bit. The time limit is short but fair (I beat it with 20 seconds left on my first try). 54 DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING (Part 6, 1:11:44 - 1:16:03) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (2/5) Cool concept with two ways to win: either collect all the chips but no green key, or else collect both red keys without collecting all the chips. I will point out that the hint is incorrect, and the level is poorly named, because you may push blocks and collect green keys to your heart's desire, and still exit as long as you get both red keys and only 3/4 chips. Either way it's a very easy level, but feels looser than intended. 55 FLOODGATES (Part 6, 1:16:03 - END, Part 7, 0:00 - 12:19) Concept: (4/5) Design: (1/5... but 4/5 if the secret eye is added) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (1/5... but 3/5 if the secret eye is added) So... the hint says 'Think before you push' and 'Beware the outside', but as the level is designed you might as well 'pray before you push' and 'beware the inside'. The puzzle is actually quite a nice one in theory, but it plays horribly because about half the ice blocks have recessed walls underneath them, so just when you think you're clearing the path to the exit, suddenly there's a wall there and you've busted the level. Over, and over, and over. I eventually made a pen and paper map and recorded all the blocks that have recessed walls underneath, and then beat the level fairly easily and enjoyably, which proves that's it's actually a good puzzle. But it's unplayable as is. The good news is that simply adding a 'secret eye' tool should make it fair. 56 COCCOON (Part 7, 12:19 - 16:23) Concept: (2/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) It's playable, not one I'll remember. 57 BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Part 7, 16:23 - 24:46) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) A solid teamwork puzzle with a lot of nice variety. Very enjoyable. 58 WATERFALLS (Part 7, 24:46 - 39:27) This is the only level in the set I didn't beat. Initially it looked provably impossible. It turns out to be possible due to different behaviors from blocks on force floors depending on whether they are before or after the player in the monster order, but I personally consider that to be invalid as a puzzle concept. If there's a way around the monster order part, the level looks like an interesting puzzle, and I'd like to see it reworked so that it doesn't depend on that. 59 MANDALA (Part 7, 39:27 - 59:56) Concept: (4/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (5/5) A sprawling teamwork level, reminiscent of MELINDA 911, that stitches together portions of earlier levels, and manages to stay 100% fresh. I think my solution busted the level somewhat since I didn't need the force boots, but I kind of like that it's busted since there are several creative ways to win. 60 AND OUT OF THE CHAOS (Part 7, 59:57 - END) Concept: (3/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (4/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) The final level in the set, and the third CHAOS level. My least favorite to play, but still fun. Frustrating to pick your way through the maze, as I never felt like I could remember my past routes, felt more like feeling blindly the whole way. I really did not like the blue tank next to the red teleport, as it is too easy to accidentally die when exploring the teleports. I don't understand the cryptic hints, but would like to believe that there's an Easter egg there to discover. Also, does "Nanamin" equal "Alice Cox"?
  9. 2 points
    Today's levelset review is of the custom CC2 levelset "Explorer's Delight 1.2" by H2O. The set contains 6 levels. As the name suggests, the levelset features very large, sprawling levels where exploration is as much a part of the gameplay as the puzzle solving. The full video of my playthrough can be found at the following link: Summary: Overall, I have mixed feelings about this levelset. 1) I absolutely love the idea of focusing on exploration. When I think about what it was like as a kid to play the MS version, I remember more than anything the excitement of discovering new rooms and exploring new passageways. That's one area where I think the official CC2 levelset could have used a lot of improvement, with its focus on small puzzles (often 20x20 or smaller). This levelset does a good job in general of capturing that feel. 2) The puzzle design is top quality. The author consistently puts together puzzles that are interesting, fun, and challenging. 3) The epic reach of the levelset is in some ways its own undoing. Levels 3, 5, and 6 all stand out in my memory as being incredibly frustrating. The problem (of course) is that whenever a level is very long, any late mistake results in the player having to replay the entire level. The challenge for the designer is to find a way to mitigate that. Difficulty by itself is okay, and campaign-length levels by themselves are okay, but when you factor both together you run the risk of player frustration. In my case it took me over 4 hours to beat 6 levels, with the majority of that time spent on the last 2. Granted, I'm not the best CC player, and my dumb mistakes may have contributed to that, but the fact is if this hadn't been a Let's Play, I would have given up. Now, I really do appreciate the attempt to create an exploration-themed set, and I did enjoy my playthrough, although I felt it involved a lot of unnecessary frustration. I personally really liked the first two levels. They both did a great job with the exploration element, and they each had ONE central puzzle. My feeling is that this levelset could be a great success if each level centers around 1, 2, or maybe 3 puzzles at maximum. So, to the author, thank you for uploading! I hope you continue exploring (pun intended) this concept. My personal feel is that large levels should be mostly casual play experiences, and therefore I'd like to see the difficulty dialed down a notch or two. Individual Reviews: 01 ABANDONED MINESHAFT As described, a great intro to the set, love the deco walls/gravel combo. The 'mineshaft' feel was evident with all the broken railroad sections. I loved all the inaccessible areas with extra chips and all the random monsters. The central puzzle with the three blocks was interesting, I didn't know the first time I played it that you could push a dirt block with a directional block. But I liked how there was really nothing else to try. The maze at upper left added a lot to the feel as well. 02 FIERY CAVES A beautiful exploration level with a straightforward concept. My favorite exploration experience of the set. Again, some really cool areas along the sides of the map that you can't quite reach, but they look so cool! 03 SUBTERRANEAN ADVENTURE The first level where the problems inherent with large levels begin to show up. All of the individual puzzles are lovely. I particularly love the opening with the ghost and the great hint. Together, though, the combination just begins to cross the line of frustration. I do like how each puzzle is fully visible before committing, but still, I think the average player will have trouble thinking ahead through the recessed wall and railroad switch portions, and it's a lot of level to replay when you cook it. 04 POWDER MONKEY If FIERY CAVES was my favorite exploration experience, then this is my favorite puzzle experience of the set. All three block puzzles were ingenious and very fun to solve. The difficulty overall was about medium, which is just perfect in my book. I may have busted the west room, since I never opened the red door in the corner. My only critique is that this didn't feel much like an exploration level, and therefore felt out of place in this set. Excellent level however. 05 SCATTERED I think I may have made my peace with this level, despite the frustration exhibited on the Let's Play. One issue that's debatable is: My personal feel is that certain gameplay mechanics are 'bonus' behavior and shouldn't be relied on to solve a level unless help is given either in the form of a hint or else careful level design. Obviously these are up for discussion, but things like monster order, ultra-precise monster timing, block-slapping, or covering up wires are examples of things that are somewhat 'unfair' in my opinion and should be used with caution. This level absolutely tested the limits of my patience, but in retrospect I do think it was kind of cool. It would make a good level towards the end of a difficulty curve, especially if the set containing it already has examples of the previously mentioned gameplay mechanic. The beginning was delightful. The 'exploration' aspect significantly added to the difficulty, as the inaccessible areas with extra keys made it more confusing. But once explored, it was absolutely a memorable puzzle, with quite a lot of 'how is this even possible' moments and a great, if slightly unfair 'crux'. 06 SMALL OBSTACLES This level, coming after SCATTERED, gave me the most grief of all. Like SUBTERRANEAN ADVENTURE, it's definitely got the exploration theme going for it. And like that level, it has a collection of individually wonderful puzzles which together are just... frustrating. It's a great feeling to solve another section, but when you cook it instead and have to replay everything, it gets old really fast. Additionally, a couple extra factors made this not so fun to play: Also, the later puzzles are HARD. I'm not a particularly good CC player, but I'm pretty sure almost anyone who plays this will mess up the yellow teleport section multiple times and have to replay pretty much the entire level on each go. This adds a lot to the frustration, and makes it more likely the player will make stupid mistakes earlier in the level (a few of which you don't realize until much later). Finally, the last puzzle on bottom left relies on a gameplay mechanic that most people probably haven't tested. In a short level this wouldn't be a deal-breaker, but coming at the end of what was for me a 2+ hour ordeal, it felt pretty unfair to try out something new that might require yet another replay. So, I didn't like this level at all, despite it consisting of some great puzzles. I'd recommend splitting it up into either 2 hard puzzles or, even better, 3 medium puzzles.
  10. 2 points
    Hey remember that post? That was a few months ago. So what happened? Well...since I posted that, the only levels I played were in C1059-CC2, with the exception of that collab level I did with Josh, and maybe a few others. Either way, I did not play any other custom sets, nor any CCLP4 voting packs. And unfortunately, it feels good. CC is a good game, there's a reason why it's still popular over 25 years after it was first released. But honestly, now that I stopped playing, I can't say I miss it. I think that my life has actually been improving since then. Not playing CC anymore gives me more time to focus on things that I find more important. So essentially, I'm leaving CCZone. This time it's for real. It was good while it lasted, but now it's over. I released an update to C1059-CC2 yesterday; I reached my 149-level goal, nearly all levels have replays, and they shouldn't contain any major busts. If I ever update it again, it will take a while. Also, some of you may have noticed how I uploaded a bunch of videos on Youtube on Christmas Eve. These videos were filmed a while ago, I just didn't upload them. Now that everything I filmed has been uploaded, I won't be uploading anything else for a while. If anyone wants to continue my LPs where I left off, feel free to do so. TCCLPRejects Jacques.dat LizzyB1 I may visit this site again sometimes, but don't count on much. I may come back for CCLP4, but I won't guarantee anything. If anyone needs to contact me, please email me: myusername at gmail dot com (of course, replace myusername with my username). I have one last request. Please consider C1059-CCLP4 for all future official CC1 sets, and C1059-CC2 for all future CC2 sets. Tyler will have to give his consent for 110 to be submitted, and Josh, for level 147. I don't have anything else to say, so just goodbye. Thank you for being a part of my life for the past three years or so. Be positive and amazing.
  11. 2 points
    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. 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: 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 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: 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 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!)
  12. 1 point
    The holiday season is all about spending quality time with family and friends, but who says that need only apply to real life gatherings? In this competition, you will be *pairing up with another community member* to design your level as a team! Many amazing collaboratory levels have been produced over the years from community members honing each others' ideas as a team, and the experience of working with and learning from each other while making a great level adds a lot to an already fun experience. If you haven't designed a level with someone else before, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out! If you are having trouble finding a partner - or don't even know where to begin doing that - try posting a message here or posting a message to the CC Discord server. If that doesn't work, email me and I can try to set you up with others who are looking for a partner. (In the absolute worst case scenario I will team up with an odd-entrant-out to guarantee that nobody gets left out.) There will be no level restrictions for this competition: all types of levels are allowed and welcomed. The only "rule", if you will, is to have a strong sense of teamwork with your collab partner when designing your level. (i.e. if you and your partner both create some stuff independently and you lazily copy-paste it all into the same level to create a "collaboration", that effort will be judged much more harshly than a partnership who talked together about their ideas and refined each others' concepts while working together towards a common goal.) Bonus points will be awarded for: * Doing a little write-up alongside your entry describing who did what, how the level came to be, and what the process of collaborating was like for both of you * Giving your level some kind of connection to the holiday season (it doesn't have to be much) * Having some kind of creative/novel usage of random elements (anyone can stick a few blobs in a room for the sake of giving the player some generic monster to dodge, but can you add random elements to your level in a meaningful way such that they couldn't simply all be changed to other monsters or tiles without detracting from the level?) Please send your entries to jraanderson at msn dot com (or pm them to me here). I will send a reply confirming that I have received your entry. Notes: * I want to keep this open a bit longer than usual due to the logistics of collaborating with another person and how designing these levels will probably take more time than usual, so the preliminary deadline for this competition will be midnight (UTC-8) on the evening of January 31st. I will continue to accept late entries until I post the results, though late entries may be penalized. * You may submit as many levels as you like, but please only submit one level per partnership. (I'm looking at you, Tyler and Josh!) Please feel free to form new partnerships in order to submit more levels. * All rulesets are permissible: the level can be created for Lynx, MS (including MSCC-only and pgchip stuff if you want), or CC2 as long as it is solvable. * Entrants receive the normal prizes: the "You're Winner!" award, Chip Cup points, and the "Tool Box" award for first time entrants. * Please ask about unclear situations.
  13. 1 point
    I'm guessing that you downloaded the TW2-with-CCLP1,2,3 bundle, and so those are installed properly; but you had to download CCLP4 separately and missed out copying some of its files to the correct location. Make sure that you've copied the .dac files to the "sets" directory AND also copied the .dat and .ccx files to the "data" directory. - Madhav.
  14. 1 point
    CC2 #104 (PIECES OF EIGHT): 289 (+1, bc) | 54890 (+10, bc) #114 (IN THE LONG RUN): 79 (+1, bc) | 58790 (+10, bc) #163 (BLOX): 328 (+1, bc) | 84780 (+10, bc) #188 (CLONE): 320 (+3, bc) | 97200 (+30, bc) Total seconds: 37,618 (b) Total score: 14,535,891 (b)
  15. 1 point
    tfw you finally qualify for the Doppleganger award but CC Zone was just upgraded to remove awards High-five, Bacorn! Well done for taking on the challenge of the third level as well. Looking forward to seeing all the solutions Thanks for running the competition, Miika.
  16. 1 point
    Oops, that is 825, b+10, nr. My bad add. ¡?¡
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    You have a very interesting avatar to say the least.
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    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 Now, on to the levels themselves! Level 1 "A (Slightly) More Complicated Maze" Level 2 "Gravity Falls" Level 3 "Mortarfied" Level 4 "Pluto" (CCLP1 Level 87!) Level 5 "Hammered Into Place" Level 6 "Tool Shed" Level 7 "Encased in Carbonite" Level 8 "Boomerangs" Level 9 "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" (CCLP1 Level 123!) Level 10 "Swapgates"
  21. 1 point
    I took a break today from my ongoing Let's Play of the very enjoyable but lengthy 'Flareon1', and decided to take a peek at the latest file from H2O, posted yesterday. The levelset is called 'Rising' and features 8 levels. Playing through the set took me about an hour and 20 minutes. The video of my playthrough can be found here: 01 RISING The set begins with this massive untimed 99x99 bonus level which is unique in that it contains all of the other levels in the set. I call it a bonus level because the solution is trivial - just walk in a westerly direction and find the unguarded exit. However, there are bonuses everywhere and I'm sure finding an optimal route would be a challenge. I really like the pixel art (the trees and the path) at lower right, and it is interesting to be able to get a preview of the levels to come. However, I think it would be more interesting if there was at least a little bit of challenge in the level, and it was also pretty confusing on first play because I didn't know that all these rooms were previews of coming levels. I didn't 'get' it at first, but once I figured it out later it was a cool moment. 02 RED INK A nice little puzzle, fun to solve, feels like it's over too quickly though! 03 HOT WATER Also a cool concept, dodging the yellow tanks is easy but interesting. Again, the level is over so quickly! I could see combining this + RED INK + maybe a compressed version of GREEN THUMB all into one level. (I guess after my review of Explorer's Delight I must sound like Goldilocks-- "These levels are too long... these levels are too short..." Sorry.) 04 GREEN THUMB The central puzzle is awesome, and very fun to figure out. I'm less of a fan of the level's layout, but it works. 05 OFF THE TRACK I enjoyed this one. Short enough it's not terribly frustrating, pleasing to the eye, and a unique gameplay concept. 06 CUT TEETH Wonderful level with an unique, engaging theme. The length is perfect, just enough to be quite challenging, but not so much that it's a chore to restart the level after a mistake. Felt very satisfying to solve. 07 CUT THE ICE My favorite of the set. I like the use of the one-way teleport mechanism to create three separate, similarly themed teamwork puzzles. The top left puzzle did feel somewhat trivial compared to the other two (which were excellent!). I might consider starting Chip and Melinda off within sight of each other to emphasize that this is a teamwork level. The teleport mechanism plays pretty well! There are ways to drastically simplify the circuitry, but since it's not visible during play maybe it's irrelevant. 08 DIRT FILE A lengthy maze level using blue tanks, green toggles, and... a three-way toggle mechanism! This was actually the most frustrating level in the set for me, mostly because I didn't quite understand that each of the pink buttons was actually controlling the state of all the pink walls, i.e. I thought that each pink button was only responsible for the pink walls in the immediate vicinity, and so it would confuse me to find a door open where I thought I'd left it closed, and vice versa. A hint might help. But overall it's a quality level and satisfying to solve.
  22. 1 point
    Today's levelset review is of the custom CC2 levelset "Centennium II" (v 0.1.0) by J. B. Lewis. The set contains 10 levels, and was released about a year and a half prior to this review. I gather this is a back burner project, but I do hope it someday contains 100 levels as its predecessor does. The levels vary widely in theme and concept, however they are all clearly "CC2" levels in that they all appear to be heavily inspired by the possibilities opened up by the new elements. As with previous reviews, I recorded a Let's Play video series. This was less of a blind play than previous series, since I have seen these levels before, but it was still a blast and I learned a lot about the levels and the game in the process. The videos are available on my Youtube channel at the following links: Part 1: (Levels 1-6)Part 2: (Level 7)Part 3: (Levels 8-9)Part 4: (Level 10) Summary: Centennium II (v0.1.0) is an early and unpolished attempt by a master level designer to begin exploring the potential of Chip's Challenge 2. The concepts in the 10-level set are wildly creative and diverse, although the quality of the execution varies somewhat (as should be expected given the experimental nature of this offering). Recommendations to the designer: 1) Fix major busts on SOKOBOMB and AXIS. 2) Raise the time limit on PANDEMIC to at least 800 to allow for a more methodical playing style. 3) Tweak TRAIN OF THOUGHT to give the player more reaction time. 4) Shorten NOW YOU SWITCH IT to be more forgiving (either a 20x20 design or else 20-30 more extra chips). 5) Raise the base difficulty on MANIFEST DESTINY by turning some of the bonus flags into chips. 6) Add 90 more levels . Seriously, these are great! Individual Level Reviews: 01 WARM UP Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) A nice intro to the set. Good use of the colored floors to give each room a different feel, and good reminder of how the elements work. The force floor room seemed surprisingly challenging to navigate, not sure how a relatively new player would fare. The recessed walls under the blocks felt like an unfair surprise, but I wonder if the hint tile was supposed to warn me? For some reason no hint text was displayed. Although I just realized that one of the chips wasn't required, so I probably didn't even have to restart (a nice touch btw). Loved the room with the tank and trap, the room with the ant cloner, the water/thief room, the teleport room, and the bonus mechanism. 02 CHRISTMAS TREE Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) What a remarkably original level! It makes me happy that this even exists . Overall the gameplay isn't anything particularly special, but it's a nice use of the toggle chips and green wall elements, and ends up as a loose and casual addition to the set. 5/5 aesthetics. The 'presents' are hilarious. Thanks for the bowling balls, Santa! And the 1K flag in the center of the dirt blocks made me laugh. 03 ROUND TRIP Concept: (3/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (4/5) Nice reversal of the CCLP3 concept of luring teeth through a thin wall maze, in this case chasing them! Using opposite-color teeth is one of those rarely used CC2 concepts along with rovers and stopwatches, so I'm glad for the attempt. The short time limit and gender tiles make for a fun challenge that is unlikely to be solved on the first try, but probable on the 2nd or 3rd. A solid 10x10 entry. 04 SPLITSVILLE Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (3/5) I really want to like this puzzle more than I do! It's a really cool concept, but my solution felt less like I had actually 'figured something out' and more like I had spammed buttons until all the doors were open. I'd like to go back and figure out what the actual pattern is to the switches. Definitely another 5/5 aesthetics level and a nice easy bonus. 05 PANDEMIC Concept: (4/5) Design: (4/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (4/5) Fun: (3/5) This level is actually close to amazing. Blobs and slime is another CC2 concept that sounds great in theory but is surprisingly difficult to use well. This level comes really close to doing the trick. I think the size is great, and it's so cool to see how fast the slime spreads. You really get a feeling of shock and almost panic seeing the level changing so fast around you. The chip and block layout is pretty great. Honestly, I think the biggest thing I would change would be to triple or quadruple the short time limit. The spreading slime already provides a sense of urgency. The way I want to play this level is to have all the time in the world to gather blocks together and 'bulldoze' my way around the level in corridors that are 4 or 5 tiles wide, perhaps even strategically corralling some of the blobs into a corner. I think there's a rare strategic and sandbox-y quality hinted at by this level that would be fun to explore with some more time (and even possibly more blocks). 06 SOKOBOMB Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) (assuming bust is fixed) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (5/5) Another amazingly creative concept: push blocks together into groups to destroy them with well-placed TNT. Seriously, I don't think I ever would have thought of something like that. Unfortunately the level is seriously busted, but can be fixed I think by replacing all the green walls with toggle walls. It's very easy with 4 bombs, but would make a great early level. I would almost consider removing the 4th bomb to make it more challenging, but it works great as is. Love this level! 07 TRAIN OF THOUGHT Concept: (5/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (5/5) Fun: (3/5) The idea is wonderful - implement the addictive minigame from Lumosity in CC2, and guide all the monsters to their appropriate locations using railroad switches! Alas, this level is so close to being wonderful! Unfortunately, I think the monsters either come too fast, or the switches are placed too far apart, for this to work well. For this concept to be fully successful, it should be playable for a new order of monsters each time. My solution unfortunately was dependent on literally writing down the exact order of monsters and sticking the list to my computer screen, and even then it took me 3 or 4 tries. The last 6 monsters come SO fast that near perfect play is required even with the order memorized. I don't think there's really time to pay attention or react to what the next monster is if playing the intended way. So, I'd like to see this level tweaked a little to allow reasonable reaction time. But that being said, I did have a blast playing it 'my way', and it definitely holds its place on my list of memorable CC2 levels. 08 AXIS Concept: (5/5) Design: (5/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (2/5) Action Difficulty: (3/5) Fun: (5/5) I previously reviewed this level in a blog post (http://cczone.invisionzone.com/index.php?/blog/18/entry-79-axis-review-centennium-2-j-b-lewis/), and my opinion stands. This is a great level, and is both my favorite in the set, and also one of my top 10 custom CC2 levels. This time I did uncover a major (but very fixable) bust: Collect all 4 chips, and then open any socket with the bowling ball. As shown in my video, the tank will be destroyed and you can just exit. 09 NOW YOU SWITCH IT Concept: (3/5) Design: (2/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (5/5) Action Difficulty: (1/5) Fun: (1/5) This level just doesn't work for me as is. I spent over an hour on it, but didn't solve it. The concept is worth exploring, but the 32x32 level is just too long (I was hurting for time even with 999 seconds), and the traps too subtle, to make this playable. I would say either 1) make the level 20x20, or 2) make 30-40 of the chips extra. On my nearest attempt I was down to 18 chips left and 150 seconds left, which put me into a serious time crunch, which is just a disaster waiting to happen in a minefield like this. The concept is solid however, and so I definitely think it's worth having a more forgiving version of this level in the set. 10 MANIFEST DESTINY Concept: (5/5) Design: (3/5) Puzzle Difficulty: (3/5) Action Difficulty: (2/5) Fun: (4/5) An awesome concept with decent execution. I absolutely love the idea of having one time limit to essentially build the level as Chip, and then another time limit to play through the level as Melinda! So amazingly creative! Nice use of the logic circuit to shut the door after 2 minutes. In practice, I thought the execution of the concept felt way too easy and loose, although maybe that was intended. I had more than enough time to clear most of the dirt out of the upper level before switching to Melinda, and then felt like I could have either used the yellow tank or (with a little more careful preparation) the fireball to activate the toggle button. Since that was the only real puzzle that was required, it felt significantly anticlimactic. The bonus puzzles could definitely add some interest, but honestly I think the level would be better if most of them were required. The lower third of the level felt very out of place with the rest of the design, as if a completely separate level had been added for no obvious reason. The puzzles were fun and easy to play, although the slime puzzle was rendered trivial because I still had the hook tool. The yellow teleports at the end certainly opened up some fascinating possibilities for the bonuses. For example, you can swap them (along with the flippers and hook) for the dirt boots from one of the rovers. Or you can use them to free the rovers into the dirt room and hope they go where you need them to. Or you can bring all 3 ice blocks into the dirt room and clear dirt that way. So, overall I loved the concept and appreciated the open sandbox feel with multiple solutions, but thought the bar for beating the level felt like it was placed almost absurdly low, and felt like the bottom 1/3 didn't really belong. Still enjoyed it a lot, which is what counts last I checked .
  23. 1 point
    It has been nice having you around here, Chipster, and I hope you enjoy whatever comes your way next. Hope to see you around here from time to time; most people never truly quit CC anyway, they just take extended breaks I think one of the reasons you got no responses is that you already posted something like this earlier (and people already tried to convince you to stay back then). I mean no disrespect by this at all, but the way you wrote multiple long drawn-out posts could easily be interpreted as attention-seeking and almost "boy who cried wolf"-ish. I myself had a pretty visceral negative reaction to this post until I sat down and thought about it. Don't think it's because people don't care about you, though. Once a member of the community, always a member of the community.
  24. 1 point
    Hi Chipster! I always enjoyed your input on things. If you need to step back from CC, that's understandable, but remember that you are always welcome back. I hope you drop by when CCLP4 comes out and maybe tell us how you are doing. Have a good 2017 and beyond! -Miika P.S. Nobody replied in three days during the holidays? Not many had a chance to see your post
  25. 1 point
    ((88/8)^((8+8+8)/8)-8*8-8*8*8)
  26. 1 point
    I'm still letting that sink in. 500 is such a small, unassuming number as a number. It's a fairly short period of time in seconds, being just over 8 minutes. You can't do very much in 8 minutes. You can do a lot in 8 minutes (complete all but 5 or 6 official CC levels). It's an incredibly long time to have to make 0 mistakes during (Warehouse II, Cityblock). And when taken one item at a time, 500 is a veritable mountain. I'm not done optimizing, nor am I done with any of these scores (ok maaaaaybe done with CCLP1), but this is a good point to take a hiatus. These past dozen bolds have all taken a lot out of me and I definitely need the break to work on other pursuits, so for now I will just reflect on what it took to get here. (as well as the Chip Cup from the past 2 years, since I need to average 7th to lose this year... heheh) 500. Wow. February of last year, I scored 700 on Cake Walk to take 10th place in the original set and claim the Bit Buster award. I had 403 bolds at the time. Trying to go chronologically from here would be confusing, since I don't remember a lot of the specifics, but I do remember Ruben gained 1 second each on Teleblock, Lemmings and Jailer to reach 5,977,030 points and knock me out of the top 10 (November 30th). Naturally I refused to let this stand and went to improve my 413 Blobnet. That same day I spent a couple hours playing the level, at first copying Miika's 422 safe route directly and later using judgment to skip waits (but still no risks). This resulted in a quick 427, settling me firmly in 7th for the time being. But then I realized I could take a couple risks early on, cut a few corners and before long reached 431, meeting my goal of 430+ for the level. I am still yet to improve Block Buster or Cake Walk, but I'm much more confident in my ability to get a solid score now. The new goal is to pass Andrew Bennett on all sets: this seems doable with significant effort, but it feels like it can't be a bigger mountain than 500 bolds from 0 in this span of time. CCLP2 I'd gone through and picked off the easy bolds while playing through for the first time. This left me with some fairly significant execution challenges to overcome, and I made the mistake of sorting these into the same classifications I gave CC1 levels: Definite, Probable, Unlikely and HAHAHANO. Funny aside about HAHAHANO- originally CC1 had 4 levels in this category, being Blobnet, Blobdance, Cityblock and Doublemaze (I could see Block N Roll being something that happens at some point as 433 takes very little reacting). Now there are three, as I not only found 549 on Cityblock, but found and scored 550, beating pieguy!!! I'm not convinced my route is optimal, but I'm in the CC1 MS evolution page now anyway and nothing can take that from me (of the 500 bolds I have this is one of the ones I'm most happy with, and if you want to match it...well, don't be afraid to break the patterns.) Anyway back to CCLP2. The Definite pile was fairly small and easily scored. The Probable pile had a couple naive placements, like Jungle (seriously me?) and Island Hopping (only took about a half hour or so, wasn't too bad). Working through these didn't take too long to reach around 120 bolds, at which point I hit a wall. Oorto Geld II was a pain and I had to score it twice as the first time I missed the -.9 and got a -.0 instead. Iron Mysticus and Key Color also both proved much more challenging than I expected (Key Color in particular with a 1/10000 string of bad luck with the blob cloner blocking me the first time 10 times in a row...), but as usual persistence in attempting and practicing specific sections helped significantly. Wrongly pegging difficulties of levels continued as Icy Moat fell quickly (I expected to struggle with the timing, but it was close to 49 Cell which I already knew) but Madd Maze was a full day grind, with an abyssal RFF room success rate (my route through has an extra input compared to the AVI or TWS routes, but this extra input helped me as it meant I had a consistent input rhythm), and then the blobs kept directing the gliders wrong >_<. Eventually I worked through all the easy levels, and so progress slowed significantly at 480ish total (I'd been working on other sets during the CCLP2 focus, but not as much). Pauseless Captured and first try traps Gauntlet helped, as well as saving a bunch of long sokoban routes for all in a row. After Cityblock, I moved to CCLP3, scoring two new records (Countdown with Hornlitz and Get a Clue solo!) and copying a bunch more routes. Checkers and Flame Thrower were two non-public routes I was able to find with minimal difficulty as well. Flame Thrower in particular was a lot of fun to work out a route for in the editor, and then I just adjusted when I would pick up certain chips and scored 370.6 immediately. A small tweak to the last room to trade [1] for [2] and a chip was all it took for the bold of 371. I also found the Alphabet Soup route a few days before scoring it (thanks James for pointing out that my 948 was the 949, but missing a move in execution which snowballed >_<). Three days ago I got access to MSCC. It was the second most frustrating experience I've had with this game (I'm getting to the most frustrating, don't worry) as Every. Single. Input. was delayed by an entire move. I had to count out how many times to press the key individually, then not screw up the rhythm and on the longer walks I was counting "1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3" or "1-2-3-4 1-2-3" or something else like that. The actual teleport skip in Graduation was trivial. This was bold 493. The previous two days were spent on long sokobans. On the Rocks and Mind Block were both very simple to score, especially after noticing Mind Block had a consistent pattern and 'merge point' in cloning another block. One of the biggest route memorization aids I've found is finding a place that must be visited between phases and remembering what happens between those visits to that point. For Warehouse I, the next bold I scored, that was dropping a block into a bomb. Executing and remembering the route took a couple attempts, but was ultimately much easier than I anticipated. Yet Another Puzzle took a few more tries than I expected but was still fairly easy. And then we got to Warehouse II. I tried scoring Warehouse II back when I first played through CCLP2 last year. It didn't end well and I took b-191 initial solve. I expected a repeat, but all the maneuvers made sense to me this time around (thank you, optimizing Shifting Maze out to 832!) and I was able to score the perfect decimal after only about 60 minutes! I expected it to take much longer than that. Oracle II on the other hand, was an interesting blend of everything thus far. Long opening (2.5 minute first room, very easy to remember) and then a more complex second half that I kept making small mistakes during. I was still able to score 598 after another hour or so, though it nearly gave me a heart attack when I lost 3 moves on the final trip up from the bottom! (oof, oof, missed spring slide) And so I reached 499 MS bolds. All the way back at 470ish I decided that number 500 should have an appropriate title and you already know it's Which One Next? This was a dumb decision. I regret everything. This was the most frustrating experience- not for remembering the route, no, that was easy with a carefully notated map ( http://i.imgur.com/VldpXwA.png). All of my frustration here came from execution, as there is really nothing hard in this level (other than the 11 teleport run about halfway through). But I kept screwing up the simplest things, and it took me 3 hours of attempts (over the span of a lot longer than that) to realize I was trying to teleport too fast. Slowed down the pace, found the right rate, and had a flawless run going all the way until 30 seconds left, where entered a station from the wrong side. Then I had another perfect run to the very last teleport sequence, where I still went too fast. Finally, I managed to not screw up the ending after losing [1] in the 11 teleports to take my 795 and 500th bold. I am not looking forward to Oversea Delivery after that. Anyway, thoughts on a couple levels and stuff! CC1 levels Lesson 7: Taught me how to boost sort of okay. I kind of brute forced attempts until scoring bold 20+ months ago. Trinity: Taught me how spring slides sort of worked. I kind of held the key every time and hoped to change directions right. Now I know to double tap things. Hunt: Taught me that following every step exactly the same as a reference route is a recipe for dumb mistakes. I copied the beginning and then just made up a path for the rest as it really didn't matter. Blobnet: Much much later, taught me how to spot whether blobs were on their moving turns or their non-moving turns. Blink: Taught me how to spring slide properly- with the double tap and then direction change. I do still hold sometimes for when all the direction changes are equally offset, however. Arcticflow: Taught me that practicing specific areas was much easier with a copy of the level edited to only be that area. It still wasn't an easy bold at all. Mishmesh: Taught me how to play off a map. This has come in handy a LOT. Seeing Stars: Taught me that pausing to help remember routes was viable. I've since honed this quite a bit farther, but for the sake of real time I rarely use this technique. I Slide: Taught me the value of good notes. This has also come in handy a LOT, and not just with simple moves. Combining an encoding, textual instructions and a map on the side is how I execute routes with a lot of variety and backtracking. Spooks: Taught me that pieguy is unsurpassable, and sometimes unreachable. Also taught me that J.B. is nearly on the same level. Four Plex: Taught me that the publicly available route, even when it's the bold, isn't always perfect. Cityblock: Taught me that pieguy is beatable, hooray! Mixed Nuts: Chips under blocks are apparently my specialty and I learned more about how spring slides work to save time here. Still not enough for a new record.. :/ Mix Up: Taught me I could remember long sokoban routes. It was around here that the reasons why certain orders saved time started clicking for me. Yorkhouse, and to a lesser extent Catacombs: Taught me not to trust Andrew Bennett's probability calculations. They always err on the side of optimistic, as Catacombs is 1/655 and not 1/455 and Yorkhouse is way below 10% odds. The grind was annoying, but... CCLP1 levels Graduation: Taught me that MSCC is garbage and how did I ever play with this and how did anyone ever put up with this and how does James even manage now it's impossible. Also, Teleport Skip Glitch is easy someone add to Tile World please so I can score Skelzie. Wedges: I can blocks! Tetragons: RFFs aren't that bad... Square Dancing: Always test your routes before counting moves, and always count the free first move when counting moves. Descending Ceiling: If something seems weird about the scores people have, there's probably a couple tricks to find and each person missed a different thing. Applied to Get a Clue. (hint, hint) Who's the Boss?: Shift-O is dumb. H2O Below 273 K: holy crap this game gets hard to execute fast wow (273 -.9 still very happy with this thanks) Mini Pyramid: Yeah, chips under blocks are definitely my specialty. Chip Kart 64: Note to self: sliding less tiles is faster than sliding more tiles due to more overrides and boosts. Colors for Extreme: Keep an eye out for blocksliding opportunities. Technically applies to Booster Shots as well, but this came first chronologically so Bowling Alleys: Just because a lot of the top players have the score doesn't mean it's optimal. Also applies to Get a Clue, but this came first. Also, just because you barely scraped another second out of the level doesn't mean that your decimal is optimal. The Shifting Maze: Yep. I can definitely blocks. Shuffling everything around, more loops, small timesaves, small "hey I don't need that!" moments... this is probably one of the most complex CCLP1 routes to develop. Time Suspension: When grinding RNG, set aside an entire day, have other things prepared to keep from getting bored, and the pull of a new record can outweigh a lot of tedium/boredom. Also, walkers are worst monster. By a lot. Portcullis: You can slip by the single ice tile clone thingy in Lynx. Huh. Easier Than It Looks: Ok seriously if the same route hasn't scored a second higher yet it's not going to without a change. Also, pay attention to teleports and where they lead. This can shortcut (hi Countdown!) Cineworld: Half waits suck. CCLP2 levels Use the Fish: Taught me to just boost for it when failure means death: going to slow means a restart in this setting! Madd Maze: RFFs suck. Just thought you ought to know. Just Enough: Tedious, tedious, tedious, so glad I get to copy a route instead of have to iterate the timing of everything myself...ugh. Roller Coaster: Just because the AVI is perfect doesn't mean I have to be perfect. Think through if moves can be lost, and if so, where do they start mattering. This goes double for the TWS losing 0 to the blobs but 6 to the walkers. I lost 8 to the blobs and 0 to the walkers in my run, since the walkers will often either let you past or kill the attempt. Monster Factory: Sideswipes exist. Better routes for travelling salesman problems don't. CircleMaze: Pay VERY close attention to heavy boosting sequences. 475 takes very little luck and 476 does not require >R (override) >R (override) >R at the end. Captured: Mouse clicks aren't so bad... Gauntlet: Random results will behave differently for everyone. I knew this already, but James mentioning how bad it feels getting stuck in the trap on 458 potential had me expecting it to happen on my first try past the walkers, so I was pleasantly shocked when it didn't! CCLP3 levels Lot in Life: Illogical routes sometimes trump logical routes. My poor 95 MS....my 95 Lynx though is pretty logical. Not easy to find without the right insight, though. Map the Path: It pays to be in the right place at the right time for the scoreboards. I was around when J.B. found 245, and was able to find it before anyone else came online. Looking back, I think this is the moment I realized "yeah. I can actually do this optimization thing." Recess: Even bad levels make CCLPs sometimes. Spiral: See previous level comment. Blazes: James gets ridiculous insights with monster interactions. Pay attention to them. Get a Clue: Pieguy is not perfect. I am able to find things he missed sometimes. (This, combined with the imminent J.B. look got me to take a look at Cityblock and score 550). Flame Thrower: Just because one person found routing the level easy/hard does not mean I will find it easy/hard. J.B struggled, I had no trouble. Conversely, James found 825 on ACD and I still don't see how an improvement isn't 826. I suppose finding a "half cycle" on the balls would be the key. Once Upon a Troubadour: Moving mouse clicks are a pain when boosting is involved. At least it's short. Countdown: Just because bold has been reached doesn't mean you should stop looking. Shoutouts to Shane for finding the trick I missed to raise 71 to 72, though if we hadn't, triple joint bold with J.B. would have ensued Checkers: Miika is really good with blocks. Listen to his ideas. In Lynx, slaps are awesome, splash delay is not, avoiding splash delay is. Mediterranean: Collabs are awesome. Long teleport runs are not. Which One Next?: Ok, what did I just say? Oh right, long teleport runs are not awesome. This is a bad level. Yay 500 bolds with appropriate title (and 501 has a recommendation already). Lead Us Not into Temptation: Walkers are still worst monster. Also this is more likely than Time Suspension, which is still unconfirmed. Despite the route having been public since I scored it. Manic Depression: Sometimes, just sometimes, randomness will go your way the first chance it gets. Also cross checking into rams is awful and the first bunch of this level is a huge pain. Mr. McCallahan Presents: Some busts are convoluted and use every part of a level and several obscure mechanics. This helped me fix Fish in a Barrel before anyone else caught the ridiculous MS only bust in UC4. Chip Cup I would have had a real shot in the 2014 Cup had I been around to enter the super competition...oh well. I still did well for what I was able to enter. I went into the 2015 season aiming to win, and so far I've built up quite the lead. Got sniped on the pieguy award with the survival competition last year by pieguy himself. Still haven't had a single treasure hunt competition to enter. Sometimes, the rule that better Lynx scores are counted as equivalent is silly when Lynx is clearly faster by a significant margin. The Power of Slide Delay Compels You! is a great level and I had a lot of fun trying to make everything I wanted to do with it fit into the level, as well as tweaking the slide delay rooms. J.B. is not infallible with optimization and can be beaten in time trials (I did so twice!). If a level gets updated, always look over the new possibilities. The past 22 months have been a ton of fun. Here's to another long period of time, more intricate routes, more fun levels and stellar community packs! I'm coming for that CCZone Awards Leaderboard overall first
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