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  1. It's been several months since the release of CC2, and it seems like a lot of chipsters have generally enjoyed it, particularly the expanded selection of game elements and new level ideas to experiment with. One of the reactions to the game I've heard the most has been that the "stock" pack of levels is somewhat inconsistent in design quality. It's understandable - after all, the levels were made before many custom levels were even created for CC1 and level design evolved to what it is today. Personally, I enjoyed CC2 as a nostalgia trip back to the late '90s era of design when designers felt more free to experiment randomly, but I get that it may not be for everyone. Many designers have already begun creating their own levels and anticipating the creation of an official set for CC2, either as an alternative to the stock pack or as an outlet for their creativity. So, I thought we should probably at least start having some sort of conversation about what we'd like to see with respect to future official sets. There are several options we could pursue, each with its own pros and cons, and a number of salient points have been raised in favor of each option throughout the occasional discussions among chipsters on Skype about this topic. (For clarification's sake, I will be referring to the potential next official custom set for CC1 as "CCLP4" and the potential first official custom set for CC2 as "CC2LP1," though I hope we don't have to feel bound to use that name.) 1. Make CCLP4 for CC1, then make CC2LP1 a different set for CC2. This option is appealing for at least a couple of reasons: many designers have built CC1 levels in the hope of seeing them in CCLP4, and CC2 design hasn't quite brought about the same amount of activity or variety of design tools yet. With this approach, CC1 as we've known it can have one last hurrah before everyone fully moves on and makes the adjustment to building levels for CC2. It would also allow for some time for additional editing programs be built, not to mention a free Tile World-esque alternative to the official version of CC2 like CC1 had. The downside is that the focus would initially be placed on a game that isn't exactly "active" in the sense that CC2 is. 2. Make CCLP4 and CC2LP1 basically the same set, without the use of CC2 elements in CC2LP1. Arguably the biggest argument for getting an official custom set for CC2 built sooner than later is that unlike CC1, CC2 is not a "dead" game. It's available for purchase on Steam, and as such, we as a community are facing an opportunity to bring in new members and grow even further by maintaining the game's momentum through some evergreen content. The question is how. A few designers have already ported some of their CC1 levels to CC2. One could argue that anyone who wishes to see their compositions in a future set that badly could easily use Chuck Sommerville's conversion program to port their work over to CC2. Those who would still like to make CCLP4 a reality could get on board with this if the set is compatible across all of the games - but there are a few issues with this. Even though many of the CCLP4 submissions were compatible with both MS and Lynx rulesets, that's not a guarantee that they would work in CC2. Tile World's Lynx emulation was more lenient about arbitrary clone and trap connections, whereas CC2 requires the reverse reading order connections used in CC's original, pedantic Lynx mode. 3. Make CCLP4 and CC2LP1 basically the same set, with the use of CC2 elements in CC2LP1. This option would allow designers to implement workarounds in situations like the aforementioned clone / trap connections (such as pink buttons and wires), as well as give them the freedom to build levels slightly differently if a mechanism would be better suited to CC2 game elements. Of course, there are two rather glaring issues with this option and Option 2. One is whether or not CC2LP1 would allow item dropping in levels, and I'd like to believe that either choice would be consistent throughout the set. Not doing so would prevent designers from placing non-CC1 collectible items (and would be rather sad for an initial CC2 official custom set), whereas doing so would break a number of levels that may be more difficult in CC1. The other problem is that anyone who has been introduced to the CC level designing world through CC2's release would have to build their levels for CC1 and get familiar with its mechanics, which would just be extra work. 4. Forget about CCLP4 and move on with CC2LP1 instead. This is the option I've been in favor of the most. It allows anyone who wanted their levels to be in CCLP4 the opportunity to submit them for consideration in CC2 instead, providing they're still active in the community. It gives them the freedom to build their levels in any way they want using whatever elements they want without having to worry about compatibility with another game and its ruleset(s) or multiple versions of their work. (This would especially be nice for optimization and scorekeeping as well.) Of course, it would mean that we wouldn't be making CCLP4 - but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing when the submitted content could be made even better with the trappings of the new game. We'd be making a commitment to supporting CC2 and making sure that it has new material instead of clutching onto something that's arguably obsolete. What do you think? Which option sounds appealing to you? Do you have another suggestion not listed here? Feel free to sound off in this thread!
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