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ajmiam

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Everything posted by ajmiam

  1. Just so all of you know, you do not need to guess which new levels use old wall patterns in order to "complete" this clue. Just figuring out which old levels the wall patterns originate from is sufficient. Do feel free to speculate on the identities of the new levels, though! You've already got several of the old levels right. Six, if I counted correctly. Keep looking! (And just so it's clear, the clue is not screen-resolution-dependent. )
  2. Congratulations! Both to rubenspaans for figuring this out, and to Eric Schmidt for having the only ongoing perfect CCLP streak! I'll go over the clues in the video below: The keys represent the number of designers represented in each CCLP: red for CCLP2, yellow for CCLP3, green for CCLP1, and finally blue for CCLP4. The quantities for the first 3 of those were already known, so you could infer that the 21 blue keys represent the 21 designers in CCLP4. Even if you didn't make the keys-to-designers connection immediately, there are some hints that the different key colors have to do with CCLP2, CCLP3, CCLP1, and CCLP4 in order. First is the fact that we already knew the first three but not the last. Second is the number of monsters Chip must dodge before entering each corridor of keys--2, 3, 1, and 4, in that order. And finally, pay attention to the force floors. This is a bit trickier; anyone know what they represent? It's not necessary to solve the clue, but could help, and confirms something you technically don't know yet but could probably guess. Also, to make the "keys=designers" connection more obvious, the level is titled "Monument". What is a monument? Usually a structure or symbol used to honor or thank a person or group of people. In this case, it thanks CCLP contributors, for making such delightful and creative levels to play, and for allowing us to compile them into a set for everyone to enjoy. Now moving onto the "monument" itself, i.e., the tower of locks. As rubenspaans theorized, each row represents a designer, and each column represents a CCLP. With keys representing designers in a specific CCLP, it only makes sense that an unlocked door in a given row and column means the designer in that row got a level into the CCLP in that column. Further, you'll notice that there were only 2 rows with all 3 of the first doors open, which matches a fact we got from the CCLP1 leaks--that two designers who each had levels in CCLP2 and CCLP3 would have a level in CCLP1. (Those designers were Mike Lask and Eric Schmidt, which became public knowledge upon CCLP1's release.) And this was visible during the part the hint said "you already knew". Then, the tanks and bombs. The fact that only one tank makes it through indicates that only one designer has a perfect streak. Sadly, one of the two ongoing perfect streaks broke.... The specific numbers of the rows aren't important; we just added the numbers so it would be easier to count how many doors Chip was unlocking and where. It was a (neat) coincidence, based on the way we grouped rows by CCLP representation, that the 42nd row was the one with the perfect streak. However, the total number 71 is important; that's the number of distinct credited designers among all 4 sets (including "CCLP3 Staff" so as not to throw off the count for anyone referring to the wiki). After all that, there's the final room, offering congratulations to the designer with the perfect streak. Note the constant "e" (2.71828...) repeated all over the floor, and the question, "What are these?" The answer to the question is, "e's", which points to E.S., or Eric Schmidt, being the sole remaining perfect-streak designer! Some other things you can note from the monument: There are 5 new CCLP contributors in CCLP4, and the remaining 16 have levels in a previous community pack. (rubenspaans pointed this out in his post.) 3 designers missed CCLP2 but have an active streak of 3 packs: CCLP3-CCLP1-CCLP4, and 3 are coming back after having a level in CCLP3 but missing CCLP1. The rest of the designers in CCLP4 had a level in CCLP1 but no other pack. Interestingly, while some designers had a level in CCLP3, missed CCLP1, and came back for CCLP4 (which is awesome), not a single CCLP2 designer has ever come back after missing a pack. Anyway, thank you for your efforts in solving this clue, and look for another clue to appear here sometime soon, most likely by the end of the week!
  3. Some interesting ideas there...are any of you ready to organize your thoughts into a final* answer? *Final as in specific and ready for evaluation as right or wrong; naturally, if it's wrong, you'll be allowed to guess again. (I will say one of you is very close--just cut out a "maybe" and replace it with a specific name, and I'll be able to tell you which parts of your answer are correct.)
  4. That is it! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who participated. 1) The lowest time limit is 60 and the highest time limit is 999. 2 of the 3 levels with a 999 time limit are by the same designer. 2) Two community-nominated levels will appear in the final set. 3) The highest and second highest rated level for "fun" in CCLP4 voting were ranked 152nd and 588th in CCLP1 voting, respectively. 4) Two levels are in the same slot as the level their walls were originally from. 5) Nine of the twenty eight levels showcased in the first podcast did not make it into CCLP4. Four of the levels in the second podcast did make it. 6) The 131, 144, 147, and 149 spots are held by four different CCLP4 staff members. 7) The most consecutive levels by the same designer is 3. This occurs four times in the set, covering three different designers. 8) The highest fun rating not included in CCLP4 was 4.35. The lowest fun rating included was 3.33. 9) Thirty-six levels do not contain blocks. Three additional levels use blocks only for aesthetic purposes. 10) Four levels have been significantly renamed. The new titles are Inferno Dynamics, Detonation Station, Ruinous Plaza, and Blockpick. Feel free to speculate on these clues, and stay tuned for additional updates in the near future...
  5. Yes, Madhav, 10 of 10 leaks have been viewed on the CCLP4 site...however, it looks as though only nine of them have made their way to CCZone. Hmm... All leaks shared above are correct. To recap, here's what you all have shared so far: 1) The lowest time limit is 60 and the highest time limit is 999. 2 of the 3 levels with a 999 time limit are by the same designer. 2) Two community-nominated levels will appear in the final set. 3) The highest and second highest rated level for "fun" in CCLP4 voting were ranked 152nd and 588th in CCLP1 voting, respectively. 4) Two levels are in the same slot as the level their walls were originally from. 5) Nine of the twenty eight levels showcased in the first podcast did not make it into CCLP4. Four of the levels in the second podcast did make it. 6) The 131, 144, 147, and 149 spots are held by four different CCLP4 staff members. 7) The most consecutive levels by the same designer is 3. This occurs four times in the set, covering three different designers. 8) The highest fun rating not included in CCLP4 was 4.35. The lowest fun rating included was 3.33. 9) Thirty-six levels do not contain blocks. Three additional levels use blocks only for aesthetic purposes. Please check again, everyone who hasn't posted yet, and see if you have the missing leak; you'll know it when you see it. Encourage your friends to check for it, too!
  6. Greetings Chipsters, Just a small announcement to point out that the CCLP4 homepage has now been updated to inclulde the official CCLP4 logo. Visit the site here to view it: http://jamesa7171.net/cclp4/ Or, alternatively, check it out below: Happy chipping! Sincerely, The CCLP4 Staff
  7. I use the one-word version, and I think a lot of us do too. (Whoever wrote the descriptions for the "Level Discussion" and "Under Construction" forums does! )
  8. Hmm, it's odd that I don't need all the keys, I can just go to the right and skip two of the doors... ...Oh. That's not an ice corner.
  9. 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"
  10. You're supposed to block off the stream of balls and take the path in brown, but I was suspicious of the ball circled in red, so I saw a clearing in the blocked-off ball stream and went for it! (shown in blue). And...didn't get very far.
  11. Hi, mmoraleta, and happy holidays! I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the set, and congratulations on getting so far. There are a couple of reliable strategies I know of to clear Swip-Swap. General descriptions: And here are those solutions step by step in images, in case you need further help: JB's "just run for it" approach takes less work, but it's also less reliable (and it might not work in Lynx since he did do a backwards force floor step-off). If you still can't solve the level, please let me know exactly what problems you are having and which ruleset you are playing (MS, Lynx, or CC2), and I will do my best to help.
  12. My top levels for this set: #7 Sokobananas - A series of sokobans that vary between being really easy and deceptively easy...the solution to the very first room has a twist to it that took me several minutes to figure out! The variety, as well as the relatively short execution time for each room, make this an enjoyable standout in terms of block puzzles. #13 Condo Management - An exploration level whose aesthetics really sell it, as the repeating room pattern from Apartments, combined with the bombs to limit freedom, is quite pleasing to look at. It does a good job of opening the level up as you explore in a way that feels rewarding. However, I believe the condo management is doing a poor job if there are that many dangerous explosives littered around the place.... #25 Central Square in Winter - Another very pretty level with some nice easy variety challenges that could make for a good early CCLP4 pick. There's something neat about being barred from the blue walls until the very end, where you discover that (SPOILER ALERT!) they're not all solid and you can go through some of them to reach the end! #42 Fossilized Snow - There's something really enjoyable about being able to see all three layers of this maze but only being confined to the first...until you collect all the chips and unlock the second, followed eventually by the third. Also, none of the layers are big enough to be frustrating. Another good early-game candidate. #46 Compactor Reactor - A very open-ended level, yet surprisingly tricky to navigate. A lot of the fun is seeing a chip you need and going, "OK, I need to teleport in from point A, but to get there I have to come from point B..." and so on. Also, limitless opportunities for building your own partial posts. For me, the time limit was just low enough to provide a bit of urgency without actually causing me to fail, making the hunt for the last two chips a lot more exciting and memorable than it might have otherwise been. Some honorable mentions: Phoenix (though this is not my favorite level with the concept of fireball-streams-for-walls) Monochrome Horizontal Motion Sensor Airport Security Shambles Biggest disappointment, IMO: #17 Railroad (Looks nice on paper...but in practice, the core mechanic sucks out all the fun by making it so tedious to actually get anywhere, and somewhat easy to screw up and die) Strangest inclusion in voting (in ALL sets I've played so far, not just this one): #9 Conveyor Belt (Am I missing something? Lucky timing, especially in Lynx where there's no chance for you to "Hit the Brakes!!"; Buttons that affect things halfway across the map; A "don't have keys" mechanism that doesn't actually guard anything you can't reach by going the other way; Dodging right at the end... not sure what parts of this level stood out to people to convince them to rec it.)
  13. TIMING! EDIT: Actually I'm not sure this is a cook... EDIT 2: I did cook the level, but for a completely different reason, as it turns out. This "mistake" was not actually a cook.
  14. 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!
  15. 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!)
  16. Now this is more like it! Plenty of strong candidates all over this pack. Some favorites: #5 Nether Fortress: The aesthetic of the bombs everywhere and the gravel in the starting area is just fantastic. It's cool that you have to blow some of them up to get into various rooms, but it's pretty easy to tell which ones need to go. A level full of manageable puzzles that unravels itself as you go. Being able to have free reign to blow up a bunch of the bombs in the south due to the cloner was also cool. One minor point of confusion was the room with the fireball cloner, as I didn't quite grasp what was causing the continuous cloning until after a couple tries. Once I did, it became a frantic and exciting dodging challenge in an otherwise fairly calm level. #18 Magic Block: The solution to this level is not hard or involved. In fact, there's not much freedom or decision-making at all. But hot diggity dog, is it creative! It felt like a real magic show, as the illusion was flawless. The designer knew exactly what the room would look like after each step in order to replicate its appearance in the next. #35 Colour Control: Let's just say this manages to pack an impressively devious puzzle into a small space. Quite a few factors have to be accounted for with the limited resources you have. It does require precise timing, but it's short enough for that be nothing more than a very small annoyance. #36 Forsythia: What can I say? The level has some creative puzzles that mesh together really well. The fire boot/recessed wall contraption is something that I've never seen anywhere else, and the Monster Sorter section is a different take on something that I've only rarely seen. The way the blocks are re-used later in the level after you solve the initial sokoban is just a beautiful design choice. #39 Toggletank Factory: Hectic! That's how it appears at first glance, and then you realize how well everything is set up for you to avoid causing disruptions to the monster cycles. It takes a bit of foresight--recognizing that you shouldn't venture into the southeast before you pick up a blue key, and that you shouldn't let the horizontal pink balls into the path of the vertical one that bounces from (26, 9) to (26, 15), but these were easy enough to spot that I don't consider them unfair. It's still a pretty tense level with lots of dodging, but in my opinion it's fun to discover and solve each new challenge in it. Honorable mentions: A couple of blue wall mazes. I actually prefer #9 Dayrdreamer's Maze over #29 Air Shaft. Both were easy to get lost in, but Air Shaft consisted mainly of a tree of twisty-but-ultimately-linear paths where your only challenge is making sure you remember to push on every wall, whereas Daydreamer's Maze had loops and, in my opinion, a more logical structure, making it a more likable experience to solve. I finished Daydreamer's Maze with only 84 seconds on the clock (which is pretty close to my initial solve time of Mazed In) so I agree with Chipster that its time limit could be bumped up a bit. Others I liked included Pongo, Alcnalkcxa, Frozen Waffle and The Crusher. Also, One Tank's Adventure is in my top 3 of my own levels that I really want to see in CCLP4, just because I'm not sure I've seen a level that focuses so strongly on the concept of escorting a single tank. I wouldn't mind seeing Brutal make it in as well, as I think it's a tough but fair level that's decently fun to play...but I can see how the beginning ball challenge might turn a few people off.
  17. I agree with JB, not too many levels in this pack really wowed me. I only gave out three 5s, and even those levels just barely earned them in my opinion. Some of my favorites for this pack: #6 Go Swimming: This level is full of puzzle types that we've seen before, but they're good puzzle types (well, except for the cloning part), and I think the level implements them well. I thought "Trail Master" was a good concept that was stretched on for far, FAR too long in its namesake level, and this level keeps it more manageable in scale while giving you as many tries as you need. That part was still challenging for me, but felt good to beat. #10 Security Gates: Unlike some itemswappers that have you running around a big area, here the puzzles are self-contained...or are they? Well, in any case, there are defined points beyond which you know you don't need to backtrack, which are nice. The gates start off very simple but by the end really ask you to consider carefully how all of the available items can be used to your advantage. I liked how the puzzle ramped up in difficulty this way. #24 Colorblind Dog: I believe this key puzzle has many solutions, as I was basically able to improvise as I went along. That's welcome, and there's something I liked about picking up extra keys by entering the space between the rooms. #33 Chant of Sapphires: Something about having the choice--either find a way around every key, or take the easy way out and pick some of them up--made this blue wall maze play in a way I liked more than usual. #46 White Noise: A nice easy level with a variety of ice mazes that aren't too big or too tough to wear out their welcome. I especially like how each time you are returned to the center room, you're lined up to go through the teleport in a new direction so you probably won't accidentally die by taking the same path twice. Also the aesthetics manage to waste a lot of space without making it obvious, so you initially think the level is larger than it really is. Kind of cool. Honorable mention: #22 Wastelands of Tabora: I agree with JB that opening multiple paths to the starting room is really enjoyable. This level both looks and plays well, but my enthusiasm for it was dulled a bit when I failed to realize I had to save the walker in the trap at (6, 22) for the second bomb rather than the first. I didn't quite feel like playing it again. But that mistake was mostly my fault, so the level still gets a good score.
  18. Logic. You can see each whole puzzle by standing on its recessed wall, and plan how you'd solve it in your mind. If you notice that the puzzle cannot be solved, back off the recessed wall. If you think it can be solved, go ahead in. I will say this: each of the unsolvable puzzles was designed so that you will realize it's impossible once you notice a certain feature of it (which varies for each).
  19. I agree with JB that this pack is good, it has only a few 1s or 2s from me and had nearly as many 4s as 3s until I decided to winnow my 4-votes a little more. Some of my favorites: (Note that just because a level is listed among my "favorites" doesn't mean it necessarily got a 5; it may have gotten a 4, and some levels that got a 5 might not be listed among my "favorites". I try to list not just the levels I liked the most, but levels that really stood out to me for some reason and may not have been mentioned by others.) #5 Wrong Exit--Sometimes these "red herring" levels feel pointless, as you know none of the exits you see are going to be reachable until you get to the end of the level. However, this one has a nice subversion as the "correct" exit is inaccessible the first two times you approach it but becomes reachable slightly later. #19 Secret Society of the Teeth--It may be lengthy, but it was fun to clear out (both the chips and the Teeth) and the little formations were varied enough that the level didn't become monotonous; I had to stop and think several times. #26 Overlap--This looks intimidating at first, but once you realize which item combinations you need, and from that what order you need to obtain them in, the level pretty much solves itself, which is a nice feeling. #35 How I Learned to Stop Bombing and Love the Worry--This is a thrilling level due to the time crunch, making the "Love the Worry" part of the name quite accurate! It really tests your ability to think quickly. You can't just push blocks around randomly and expect to win, but you don't have to be perfect, just be good enough and improvise and you should do all right. #50 Concrete Jungle--Something about this aesthetic just appeals to me, and I like that it's a spacious recessed wall maze, meaning you need to have a general plan for clearing it but can usually improvise the details once you see where the chips are. Honorable mentions: Lab Basement, Chipweave, Bind Mender, The Road Not Taken, Bam Thwok, Platforming?!, Meteor Shower Almost-honorable mentions: #41 Center of Gravity would have been an easy 5 if it just consisted of the top and bottom rooms. Both those puzzles were great! Sadly the left and right rooms were really annoying and dragged the whole level way down to below average. (Having to deal with RFFs in the left was stressful and tedious, and on the right, you couldn't tell that you had to get the paramecium to the bottom-right corner until it was too late.) This one I didn't really enjoy playing, perhaps because the first half of the level is all about doing whatever you can with the level saving you when it looks like you screwed up (a prime example being the block cloner and clone-button-under-a-block at the bottom near the left side) and then suddenly once you reach the right side, it's all about super precision and it's easy to screw up the part where you push the blocks through the teleport to cover the traps (you can push a block down either the left or right column to make some space and see more of the room, but then it turns out the left column is incorrect--oops!) The sudden mid-level difficulty spike is very likely to cause mistakes and restarts. Decent idea, poor execution. The area needed to be significantly bigger, as it's too easy to be trapped by the Teeth.
  20. Woohoo, another pack down! This one seemed to have a large number of good candidates. with a huge number of 4s and several 5s given out. In fact, 23 of the 50 levels--nearly half--got a 4 or 5 from me. Some that stood out to me: #4 Buried--I didn't quite understand what was going on until I found the hint and realized what exactly had gotten buried! A nice throwback level that requires you to use some logic plus recall the layout of the referenced level to figure out which blocks to push. This level might not be a hit with everyone, but personally I thought it was ingenious and creative. #8 Key Insight--I solved this one a while ago so I don't remember all of the details, but do recall it taking a fair amount of thinking and feeling quite good after it's done. It's creatively laid out and not too big. It's always nice when a "greed" level (don't take too many of a specific item) makes the "greed" portion into a puzzle itself rather than the main idea being "you were playing a greed level all along and you didn't realize it, ha ha" or "the forbidden items are just glorified walls to navigate around". #22 Dwarven Keep--Ignore Chipster's "ordinary" comment. I thought this stood out for several reasons. One, its room layout is highly irregular, which as the title suggests evokes the image of an old, maybe decrepit, dungeon or keep as opposed to a modern structure with symmetrical shapes. Two, it does an unusually good job of letting you choose different paths to follow without cooking the level if you do the wrong one first. There are several things that have to be done in sequence, but you visit things out of order, you don't cook the level, you just have to come back later to pick up everything. Oh yeah, there is some required backtracking, but it's not tedious. And the "treasure room" was a nice touch. It's not overly tight but you do have to clear it at least somewhat efficiently. And the part where you have to move the two blocks out of the way to get the green key was a creative touch, as was the small blocks/recessed wall puzzle near the vertical teleport. #37 Dave's Warehouse--This was a nice sokoban that manages to hit the sweet spot between trivial and frustrating. There are a few puzzle elements, like figuring out the correct method for extracting blocks and which buttons should be covered before which. The blue walls (and permanently irretrievable blocks) were a nice aesthetic touch that happily did not add guesswork to the level. #48 Zephyr Heights--The name reminds me of a Spyro level and the high quantity of collectibles, simple puzzles, exploration, and gliding from one area to the next make me think of classic Spyro even more. And classic Spyro games were good, so as you might imagine I liked this level. The alcoves where you can push a block to reveal some hidden collectibles were a sweet touch! Honorable mentions: #41 Block Race--This did some nice things with blocks--the Teeth puzzle was fun and the sardines puzzle was nice if nothing special. Taking a block back through each room after you solved that room was a nice little touch. The end "race" was a bit unnecessary I think, as it didn't fit with the theme of the level, you wouldn't know where the exit is when you started it, and you wouldn't know where the green key was unless you were paying careful attention earlier in the level. I think the level would be even better if it dropped the "Race". #46 Minigame--The rules of the game (in regards to what the red buttons do) isn't explained, and I think that's fine since it's intuitive and easy to figure out with some experimentation. And then once I learned the rules, lining everything up was fun, too. Other thoughts: In #26 Diamond, I solved it using 3 keys and had only 2 moves to spare when it came to getting ahead of the fireball. Is that optimal? If so, that's a pretty hefty demand in the optimizing department that must be met just to solve the level at all! Especially so when you consider the many different key counts and door combinations a player might try before finding the correct route.
  21. Some I liked from this set: #3 Solid Vertical Structure -- The invisible wall going straight up the middle makes for a quite nice aesthetic. The puzzles are pretty simple but they're varied and fun. It's clever how the brown button rooms subvert trap connection guesswork (there's only one place you can push the block if you want to get the chip, so that must be the button that opens the trap). #14 Hoodwinked -- A series of short linear puzzles like Oh-Ho! which was one of my favorite CCLP3 levels! The contrast between the cramped look of most of the level (narrow passages, all space outside the level filled with walls) and the chip vault is nice, and it's especially clever how getting to the exit requires you to re-use a certain something you may have forgotten about #23 Turmoil -- The dodging section at the beginning is tricky, but key point--it's at the BEGINNING! So failure is not a problem. The rest of the level has some creative toggle wall and block puzzles that were intuitive enough for me to get on the first try, but tricky enough for me to stop and think for a bit. Definitely a good one. #28 Lean Thinking -- At first glance I thought this was going to be a ridiculous dodging fest, but after a minute I realized...this is a very creative use of the Compaction/Corral mechanism that actually requires a lot of thought to solve! I had to retry a few times, having too few blocks at first, but actually ended up with one extra block on the successful attempt. I didn't have the strategy mapped out to every little detail as I went, but I did have a general plan and then at the end when things became clearer, made some key decisions to maximize the number of blocks I could extract. #35 Cyprus -- Very fun block maneuvering puzzles and the island aesthetic is nice too. Honorable mentions to Blue Tooth and The Toggle Station. Heat Wave was borderline; it would have been better without those "2x2 square plus one more tile" walker zones. Really? I guessed wrong on what to do on my first attempt, but got it on the second try. The blocks in the bottom room are completely irrelevant; you can get all the chips using just the blocks in the first three rooms. The blocks from the third room can be pushed down the left side, then right, and down to the final chips.
  22. This set seemed to, coincidentally, be the set of tough (mostly block) puzzles, with several of them appearing in the final 10. Some of my favorites here: #6 If I Ran the Zoo -- What an incredibly creative concept! This was fun to figure out. I really like being able to walk around the level freely and the easy-to-use mechanisms for choosing which cage to partial-post the monsters into. I'd love to see this in CCLP4, just as JB said. #10 Yet Another Pickle -- Teeth dodging in an open space tends to simplify itself to one easy strategy: lure all the Teeth into a clump near you, then hightail it across the level, grab as much stuff as you can, and repeat. The force floors here keep you constantly on your toes, as they ensure that strategy never goes off without a hitch. But since there are just 5 Teeth, which is a perfectly reasonable number to dodge, this isn't extremely hard either, and I had a lot of fun beating this one! #35 Teknopathic (This is how I first misread its name, and I refuse to use its real name, because the level is not pathetic! ) -- This is a variety level where the parts don't have a lot of cohesion, but I found it incredibly fun to play. I think it's a case of the level hitting the bullseye on difficulty for its length--not so hard as to be frustrating, but not too easy as to be boring. Like JB, I enjoyed the "find the path through the monster trails" section. Also, I nearly panicked when I saw the bombs on the force floor slide, but soon realized the level is kind enough that the force floors won't fling you into them if you sit still and let them carry you. #41 Malachite -- A logic puzzle that's exceptionally rigid, but it's really not too hard to figure out what gets done before what. If this were bigger it would have been frustrating to try to remember everything to do, but the designer kept the level down to a manageable size. #43 Death to Us All -- Like Malachite, but trades being a bit bigger for being a bit less rigid. Honorable mention goes to Reservoir Frogs which other people already mentioned. Responses to others' comments: I liked the sokobans, but didn't like trying not to boost into the paramecia in the ice-corner room in the MS ruleset. A little more breathing room between them would have been nice. Agreed but I don't know what purpose the tank button serves. It seems you can get the chips and get out of that room without pressing it. JB and Chipster both commented on Salmon, with differing opinions, but both compared it to Rat Race. While it was definitely designed to be a foil to Rat Race, a notable difference is that Rat Race is pure dodging while Salmon involves both dodging and puzzles. Nice to see some diversity in opinions, even though one of them says the level's "ordinary". Not that it matters now, but "Too hard for CCLP1", really? This was only Level 11 in my first set! I wonder what you thought of "Thief, You've Taken All That Was Me". However, looking back at this level, even though it was made long ago I just now realized that the thief could be replaced by a gravel tile. As of now the thief tile means that if you accidentally re-enter the bug quadrant a second time, you're cooked. However, there's no fire outside of that quadrant, so letting you carry the boots elsewhere isn't a problem, and none of the other quadrants cause a cook if you enter them twice. So if this does get into CCLP4 (and I think it's a fine early level but no standout), I give the staff (hey, that includes me!) permission to make that switch.
  23. By pure chance this seemed to be The Pack of Mazes (Ice and Otherwise) -- in the second decade alone, 6 of the 10 levels were mazes! Some of my favorites from this set: #2 Block and Key -- A nice, small puzzle where everything is visible from the start. Not too complicated, but it does require some good logic to figure out and feels really nice to solve. Looks good, too! #18 Speckles of Silver -- Something about this maze stood out to me from among other blue wall mazes. I think what I really enjoy is how it has the aesthetic of being divided into so many distinct "rooms" but ends up subverting that, as you have to enter the same "room" from many different directions to get all the chips. It's a clever design choice that tickled my fancy. Also, the recessed wall rooms are extremely easy which is very considerate for a level this long. #27 Blue Ridge Corporate Center -- Looks nice, and not stressful at all! From the name I'd guess it's meant to evoke the feeling of some industrial park with water features outside or maybe fountains in the building lobby....This could be a good early level or a good Breather Level later in CCLP4. #31 What? -- Normally I'm against levels that are impossible to get right on your first try, but the fact that you can burn an attempt to see everything and then logic it out really helps. There isn't a huge number of decisions to make, unlike certain itemswappers from CCLP3, so it's pretty manageable to solve but still feels like you've accomplished something when it's done. #39 Iced Tea -- Another maze! I've seen this concept a couple of times, but I think this is the best it's been executed. The first thing it gets right is that there are NO blind slides leading to water. Absolutely essential for a maze of this size. Also, it manages to be deceptive in parts without being overly confusing. This is probably helped by the dirt that marks areas you haven't visited yet. I quite enjoyed figuring this one out! Funny coincidence, it being in the same voting pack as Iced Teeth. Responses to others' thoughts: It's interesting to see the difference of opinion on Repair the Maze 2.0! Also This is a neat design idea but I seem to have a rotten experience with it every time I play--I screw up the 5th or 6th room and don't feel motivated to replay the rather uninteresting first 3 rooms to get back to where I died. I'm worried the same thing will happen if it gets into CCLP4, but on the other hand I see some of the level's merits, so I kind of consider it average. I had much more fun solving this in the editor than I did trying to piece it together walking around using the game window. If you want to make solving it without the editor viable, I'd recommend multiplying the time limit by at least 4, maybe 5, or perhaps even maxing it out at 999.
  24. Thank you very much for hosting and judging this competition, Josh! Good job to all those who entered--I enjoyed most of the levels, and the top three definitely deserved to be up there. I actually learned a lot from some of the tutorials, particularly Tyler's block tutorial.
  25. That's correct. Also, I second Zane's nomination of Level 44 Frog Baseball from Chip56, which pushes it up to the 3-rec threshold (and the 2-staff-member threshold as well, coincidentally)
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