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jblewis

2014 Wrapup and Looking Ahead to CCLP4

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Chipsters,

 

What a year it’s been! We’ve seen the end of CCLP1 voting, the release of CCLP1, the integration of the remaining CC elements into Chuck’s Challenge, competitions left and right here on CCZone, and much more. As the CCLP1 staff coordinator, I just wanted to write one final announcement-style message to close out 2014 and look at what’s to come.

 

First, to everyone who voted on, downloaded, and played CCLP1, thank you! On behalf of the CCLP1 staff, I hope you’ve enjoyed the set and the story that accompanied it over the past several months. We certainly had a fun time voting alongside you, tabulating the results, and debating about what the final selection was going to look like.

 

Second, to everyone who’s looking ahead to CCLP4: although I’ve mentioned this in various messages here on CCZone, I just wanted to make it official for anyone who’s wondering - I do not intend to be the staff coordinator for CCLP4. I’d like to focus my efforts in the months ahead on grooming someone new for this position and passing the torch to whomever the community selects as their candidate to lead the CCLP4 project.

 

For now, I just want to use my past experience with CCLP3 and CCLP1 to work with the community to determine what the process of building CCLP4 will even look like so we have an idea of what the time commitment for the staff in turn might look like before moving forward. Hopefully, that additional definition will inspire some within our community to step forward and volunteer for the staff. Basically, I’d like to do as much as I can to make the process, particularly pre-voting, much simpler than it was for sets past so there won’t be a huge burden or time commitment on the staff and, by extension, voters. You can see some of the ideas we’ve been tossing around in the “For anyone who’s on the CCLP4 staff” thread, which is located here. Feel free to contribute and join the discussion!

 

Also, for those who may have missed it, Michael Warner posted a call for CCLP4 submissions on the newsgroup. I’d like to second that call and post about it here so hopefully it gains a bit more exposure. Although there is no CCLP4 staff, website, or official list of submitted levels in place yet, this is more for the benefit of designers, particularly those who aren’t active community members, who’d like to go ahead and enter their creations into the submission pool without having to wait even longer for that period to open. You can see a spreadsheet I’ve created with many of the submitted sets (particularly those from the CCLP1 process) listed here. In the months to come, as more sets are submitted, I hope we can all contribute as a community and playtest these levels for compatibility / bust issues to lighten the load on the future CCLP4 staff. This is arguably what’s held up the production of past sets the most, so if we can make this as easy on the staff as we can, that would be amazing.

 

I’ve also written a blog post about why I believe we’re in a good place to go forward with CCLP4 in the near future here. Be sure to give it a read and let me know what your thoughts are!

Here’s to another fine year of chipping. (Y) Happy 2015, everyone!

 

J.B. Lewis

CCLP1 Staff Coordinator

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I want to second those thoughts: Thanks for CCLP1. It (and not just the set but the the whole event) was (and is) more fun than I anticipated. And let's get CCLP4 off the ground!

 

I also want to thank people for playing and making CCLXP2 last year! My time for CC has been shaved to a minimum in these past few months. In the next few months I'll strive to get the update to this set made so the levels can be locked for scoring purposes at least, no matter what my responsibilities in life are. I also am a bit sorry for not managing to run a competition or two this last December and allow for a final push for Chip Cup points. Congrats J.B. on winning the Chip Cup again!

 

I had a great time playing CC last year, and I want to thank you guys for being such great friends.  :chipwin:

 

-Miika

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I was about to use the word "novelty" in my reply but thought I would look it up in the dictionary first.  Interestingly, there are two seemingly contradictory definitions for it:-

1. Originality by virtue of being refreshingly novel / new and surprising

2. A small inexpensive mass-produced article

 

I think that if CCLPs are to remain the special novelties that they have been in the "refreshingly new and surprising" sense, then the gaps between them need to be long enough... Perhaps not as long as the gap between CCLP2 and 3, but definitely longer than that between CCLP3 and CCLP1.  CCLP1 was more or less above this consideration because of its refreshing "retro" "back to basics" nature, but the same will not hold true for future CCLPs.  From CCLP3 experience, I do understand the challenge that a large pool of submitted levels presents to both the staff and the voters, but then it wouldn't be nice for CCLPs to become "inexpensive mass-produced articles" either.

 

There has also been the somewhat disturbing (to me) trend in the last couple of years of designers creating levels almost entirely with the next CCLP in mind, thereby possibly curbing explorations into creative territory (good or bad, awesome or silly) because they might not appeal to the majority of potential voters, or avoiding random elements to keep optimizers happy, etc.

 

So I hope that CCLP4 is still some years away.

 

 

- Madhav.

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I'd agree a bit more if we were talking about a gap between CCLP4 and CCLP5, but I'd venture to say that the gap between CCLP1 and CCLP4 could be viewed as a gap between CCLP3 and CCLP4, precisely for the reason you mentioned - because CCLP1 was such an exception. We haven't had a community-produced set where people could offer up their levels into the submission pool without any real limitation other than ruleset compatibility (barring any changes to the call for submissions) since CCLP3. Sure, people could technically submit whatever they wanted for CCLP1, but the stated purpose of the set heavily played into the culling of levels prior to voting, what some designers submitted, and how the community voted. Many designers who produced a lot of difficult content in the wake of CCLP3 felt a bit left in the dust. I'd be the last person to ever suggest producing CCLPs like an assembly line process, but there comes a point where, at least in this specific case, we have to recognize that too much will make the set far more difficult to construct.

 

I've noticed the trend you've mentioned as well - I've even made levels with the next CCLP in mind too - but I think this past year has also just happened to bring about a huge wave of levels from some very active designers, including some who have either been far more interested in CCLP4 than CCLP1 or missed the CCLP1 cutoff point entirely. Even so, there are quite a few levels in the submission pool as it stands made pre- and post-CCLP1, and though many "play it safe," there's quite a breadth of expectation represented for what CCLP4 could be. Perhaps a more comfortable solution that would inspire some designers to avoid playing it so safe and inject novelty into official set releases would be to produce a different kind of set during the long waits between future CCLPs - something like what Miika listed in his "Future Community Sets" blog post, or something else that's not nearly as general-purpose as the CCLP series.

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There has also been the somewhat disturbing (to me) trend in the last couple of years of designers creating levels almost entirely with the next CCLP in mind, thereby possibly curbing explorations into creative territory (good or bad, awesome or silly) because they might not appeal to the majority of potential voters, or avoiding random elements to keep optimizers happy, etc.

 

I think this is a good point. One aspect of this is the current trend to require levels to be compatible with both rulesets. I think there can be good levels that only work in one ruleset. For instance, consider "Frost Rings" from CCLP2, which employs "illegal tile combinations" in an elegant way. There's probably a lot of interesting ruleset-specific stuff yet unexplored.

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I would like to submit my levels from E_Trilogy_MS for CCLP4 consideration. You can find the MS version here.

 

I should add that the Decade Message levels can be omitted from the pool.

Edited by Syzygy

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@JB:  Between CCLP2 and CCLP3, a lot of non-Lynx-compatible levels were made.  It wasn't decided that CCLP3 would have to be Lynx-c until the call for submissions.  This arguably left many designers and levels "in the dust" (except for a few like Tom Rowe and Eric Schmidt who actively created Lynx-c versions of their levelsets).  Subsequently, there was a tacit assumption that CCLP4 (or even-numbered CCLPs in general) would allow MS-only levels, although that no longer seems to be set in stone.  If CCLP4 would indeed be allowing MS-only levels, then given that we already had a submission pool larger than what qualified for CCLP3, we should have set about CCLP4 immediately after CCLP3 going by that yardstick.

 

So I think our problems of plenty should not be factors in pushing the frequency of CCLPs.  As an indicator of urgency, perhaps a better metric than "number of eligible levels in the pool" would be "number of new designers since the last CCLP", otherwise we could have frequent CCLPs dominated by a few prolific designers.

 

(I am not entirely convinced by my own arguments above, but they're all I could verbalize about why I personally don't feel enthusiastic to see another CCLP so soon as a designer, as a voter and - most importantly - as a player.)  :P

 

 

- Madhav.

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I don't think there should be MS-only levels in CCLP4.  These days, many people play in Lynx, and this would get annoying.  Also, I don't see how it is possible to fill such a long set with MS-only levels.  Yes, it is possible to make interesting levels with invalid tiles, like Frost Rings, but in many occasions this can be avoided, as seen in the CCLXP2 Beta.  MS-only sets could be made, but I think they should be shorter (50 levels, maybe?)

 

I agree that CCLP4 should not be released for a few more years, but making a good set takes time.  The making of CCLP2 seems to have been done very fast.  The first custom levels were created around 1999, and the set was released in 2002.  And I can't find when discussions for CCLP2 started happening, but the entire process would have taken a maximum of three years...

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I agree with J.B. that CCLP4 should be constructed sooner than later. It's been pretty much agreed that a good portion of the community don't like the difficulty spike with CCLP3 and any future CCLP shouldn't have levels of difficulty similar or higher than that. CCLP4 should be well balanced when it comes to that, and there are a lot of good levels within that criteria that have been released, as well as neglected from CCLP1's voting. I don't really think it matters how many years there should be in between CCLPs.

 

I also disagree with MS-only levels being in another CCLP because that's a bit unfair towards Lynx players, and it would eventually lead to another Lynx conversion like CCLP2 did, though I could be wrong with the latter.

 

I'd be more than happy to be part of the CCLP4 staff as well!

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It wasn't decided that CCLP3 would have to be Lynx-c until the call for submissions.  This arguably left many designers and levels "in the dust" (except for a few like Tom Rowe and Eric Schmidt who actively created Lynx-c versions of their levelsets).  Subsequently, there was a tacit assumption that CCLP4 (or even-numbered CCLPs in general) would allow MS-only levels, although that no longer seems to be set in stone.

 

This is somewhat untrue. Prior to the 2006 call for submissions that Larry Jackson posted, Dale Bryan (who had coordinated CCLP2 production) posted a message or two on the newsgroup around 2003 stating that he was hoping to see odd-numbered CCLPs be compatible in both rulesets, whereas even-numbered CCLPs would alternate between rulesets. In other words, CCLP2 was MS-only, CCLP3 was supposed to be MS- and Lynx-compatible, and then CCLP4 could be a Lynx-only set, CCLP5 could work in both rulesets, and so on. So Lynx compatibility was on the table for a while. I think the reasons why we saw as many MS-only levels as we did prior to CCLP3 were [a] the last official set was an MS-only set and inspired designers to further explore MS-only behaviors, this curiosity further inspired players to dissect the game and create levels that exploited these behaviors, and [c] Lynx play was not nearly as commonplace as it has been since the release of CCLP3. As I recall, you were one of the first designers to encourage the rest of us to design for both rulesets. ;)

 

I agree with Josh about the problem of MS-only levels being in another CCLP: we've reached the point where every official set can be played in both rulesets with the release of CCLXP2, and Lynx play is much more common now. I think your strongest point is that there have been many designers who have been gipped by the dual-compatibility requirement of the CCLP series. I still believe that a fair way to make sure that designers are free to make whatever they want and get some recognition for it while still respecting what's been done with CCLPs is to make special, shorter packs between CCLPs with a specific hook: all MS-only levels, all Lynx-only levels, all super-difficult levels, all CCZone competition levels, etc. Basically, anything that wouldn't fit within the CCLP series that's meant to be played by a general audience with whatever ruleset they want to use. And while it's impossible to please everyone, I can't really see too many other options that come this close. If we as a community want to encourage designers to play around without having to conform, I don't think it's terribly unreasonable to go ahead and honor those who have worked hard over the past few years, go through with CCLP4, and then start fresh, exploring what kind of special pack could be made during the long wait for CCLP5.

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Sometimes the difference between getting a layout to work in both MS & Lynx modes is minor. Perhaps a new CCLP could be released in 2 modes, with designers submitting one level done in MS and the other in Lynx, but with only changes that allow for differences in the ruleset to be overcome.

ian

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Sometimes the difference between getting a layout to work in both MS & Lynx modes is minor. Perhaps a new CCLP could be released in 2 modes, with designers submitting one level done in MS and the other in Lynx, but with only changes that allow for differences in the ruleset to be overcome.

ian

 

I was just about to post this same suggestion. I think having one level for each ruleset would also help designers to recognize the differences. However, it would mean more work for people wanting to submit levels.

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Pasting from the other CCLP4 thread because relevance:
 

Having some version of CCLP4 for each ruleset is enough for me as far as compatibility is concerned. In fact, when i first solved CCLP3 #16 in both rulesets, i expected later levels to continue utilizing ruleset-specific mechanics, and i was disappointed when i found out this isn't the case. Perhaps we can have more of this in CCLP4? Then again, it probably won't matter since almost everyone designs their levels to be indistinguishable between the two rulesets.


After seeing some of the differences in gameplay on CCLP2 levels when CCLXP2 was released, I think being more lenient on "inequalities" between rulesets may not be such a bad idea. The main reason we instituted this policy for CCLP3 was to prevent significant differences in difficulty that could affect voters' assessments on those levels, but more minor differences and "forks" like those in CCLP3 #16 could be fun to have in a CCLP, providing designers actually make more levels like that. In the end, I think we can trust whatever calls the staff makes.

I don't believe we need to overcomplicate by having separate versions of a CCLP for each ruleset. It was necessary for the originally-MS-only CCLP2, but seeing how many people design for both rulesets these days like you said, I don't think anything more than one version of the set that works in both rulesets is needed. This is meant to be a set generally representative of what the community has to offer, after all. If the community is strongly in favor of an MS- or Lynx-only set, we can always make a separate one for the occasion.

But at least for now, based on just the responses on this thread, it's looking like most people want:

- A set that's compatible in MS and Tile World Lynx.
- A set with a fairly wide range of difficulty that doesn't quite reach the heights of late CCLP3's difficulty.
- A set that doesn't exclude levels without borders.

I think we can work with this for now. :) Why don't we go ahead and just open submissions and see how much we get?

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I would not be against two versions of a set, one for MS and the other for Lynx, but I would actually prefer that the levels that differed would not be similar at all. This way people could make levels that use MS specific things, as well as levels that are exclusive to Lynx, and both could make it into a community set. Something like 10-30 levels out of 149 could be like this. It would be more work for a CCLPn staff though. I wouldn't mind the other way either, if CCLPn's remained for both rule sets and from time to time we would make special sets that don't adhere to this rule. I realize it's really easy for me to say this without any plans to contribute to CCLP4, so I'll try not to complain about any decisions the staff makes.   :teeth:

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... I don't see how it is possible to fill such a long set with MS-only levels.  Yes, it is possible to make interesting levels with invalid tiles, like Frost Rings, but in many occasions this can be avoided ...

"MS-only" should be read as "not-necessarily-Lynx-compatible" (and conversely for Lynx-only).  It doesn't mean that levels must necessarily use invalid tiles or MS-specific behavior; what it means is that a level designer need not bother about levels being unsolvable, busted or otherwise behaving undesirably in Lynx.

 

Designing a level for one ruleset vs both is in many ways similar to developing software for one platform vs multiple.  It's easier to do it for just one with lesser experience and a casual interest.  It *can* be done for both but requires more learning and attention from the designer, and imposes some restrictions.  Getting a non-trivial level to work the same way in both modes is not always easy, and unlike a program, you can't conditionally define a different tile at the same location depending on which ruleset is being used.  Then you either try tricks like using one quirk to balance another (e.g. as in KeyboardWielder #7 and #8) or abandon the concept.  Having a CCLP which only needs to conform to one ruleset makes it easier for designers to design their levels, and also allows exploring the possibilities of that ruleset.

 

The bent towards MS when only a single ruleset is being considered is because there are probably more people who have played only in MS mode, and who as designers are familiar only with MS rules (even if that is slowly changing now).  It's still not at the stage where a Lynx-only levelset would find as many takers.  I'm not aware of Dale Bryan's 2003 message mentioned above since I joined the NG in late 2005; but I'm quite sure I remember strong hints being given when CCLP3 got going that the MS-only levels which were not eligible for CCLP3 would get their chance in CCLP4.  Anyway, all that may perhaps not necessarily be relevant given that many of those designers are probably no longer active...  But the point remains that it will always be more difficult and restrictive for new designers to try to make interesting CC levels if they have to get both rulesets to behave as intended with the same design.

 

Which is why I am leaning in favor of PB_Guy's and Miika's suggestion to have 2 versions of the set - with, say, 50 levels identical in both, 50 that are "essentially" the same - but either have differences in design in order to work the same or intentionally behave differently, and 49 that are completely different and free to explore their individual rulesets.

This way:-

- Casual designers still get a good deal.  Expert designers get a deservedly better deal.

- Players who prefer only one ruleset are satisfied.  Those who like both get more levels to play.

- The staff gets a humongous pool of levels to manage and has more complex decisions to juggle.  But that should be the least of the concerns, and it's what you sign up for if you want to be a CCLP staff member.

 

 

- Madhav.

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I'm kind of torn, because even though I (along with most of the community from what I can see :)) have been getting the most enjoyment lately out of levels compatible with both rulesets, a small part of me does feel like CCLP4 should be MS-only (or at least have an MS-only version) to keep the "agreement" made way back regarding odd and even numbered CCLP's....but on the other hand, I don't really think there are enough MS-only levels anymore to warrant an entire CCLP dedicated to them.  And I wouldn't be in favor of creating a CCLP that had a mix of MS/Lynx compatible levels and MS-only levels - that might end up keeping Lynx players from playing the set and missing out on the great Lynx-compatible levels.  Although I guess this probably wouldn't be an option at this point - it sounds like if an MS-only CCLP is created, a Lynx-compatible version would be produced alongside it...but if only slight changes need to be made to the levels, the Lynx-compatible edition might as well be the only version...

 

BTW, if a levels-per-designer limit is introduced for CCLP4, here are the MikeL3 levels I would like considered (spoiler tags used to avoid stretching out the post):

 

 

 

1. Chips and Blocks
2. Walls 
3. Collectibles
4. Buttons 
5. Teleports and More Monsters 
6. Blocks Again? 
7. The First Mission 
8. Repetitive Wandering
9. Pickup
11. Ice Chips
16. Backtrack
18. Guarded Hallways
19. Telementation
20. Back to Basics
22. Skelzink
24. Stadium Seating
25. Who Let the Bugs Out
27. Careful Pushing
28. Bummer
29. Teleporting Madness I
32. Open House
33. Careful Skating
34. Toggle Tactics
47. Quadmaze
49. So Much Stuff!
51. Callback
52. Random House
53. Free the Monsters
54. Element Mix
56. Angry Chips
57. Teleporting Madness II
59. Flappy Chip
61. Tank Race
62. 12 Room Level
64. Time for a Swim
66. Rush Hour
68. Creativity, Imagination, and Practice
69. Monsterflow
70. Piece by Piece
72. Block Arranging III
73. No Going Back
75. Avoidance
76. Total Disaster
77. Cellblock
78. Green Rooms
80. Skelzink Overloaded
85. Teleporting Madness III

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a small part of me does feel like CCLP4 should be MS-only (or at least have an MS-only version) to keep the "agreement" made way back regarding odd and even numbered CCLP's....

Ignoring the preferences and designs of the current community to honor a vague agreement made by people who aren't part of the community seems...very silly to me, without even getting into the supply of levels exclusively for 1 ruleset.

 

I can see the appeal of a set specifically designed to be split, but I think that CCLPx-s should be compatible with both rulesets, and potentially other, smaller community sets (25ish levels, perhaps less, perhaps more depending on details) could be designed explicitly for one ruleset or the other.  I think that's the solution that best highlights the best levels created by the community, without shunting any specific type of [active] designer, and without creating a ton of extra work for any given community set staff.

 

To illustrate:

If we do go with 50 levels in CCLP4 are MS only, 50 are Lynx only and they swap out, voting would need 3 categories (adding confusion for voters), less levels from the largest pool would be selected, and the staff would have a headache with trying to balance ordering of the set with some levels not being part of either.  Additionally, there are a lot less Lynx-designed levels out there, which could easily create a disparity in overall set quality.

Going with other community sets keeps the CCLP4 process streamlined and avoids the pitfalls above, and other community sets could fill the void of ruleset-specific levels easily.  It would take a bit more external planning, but all the distinct processes could go a lot smoother.  An MS-only and a Lynx-only set could even be worked on simultaneously here, with completely different levels as side projects (though, I would wait until after CCLP4 voting ends, leading to...)

 

CCLP4 details:

Sooner rather than later for sure- we have enough levels, and as others (I think J.B.) have said, some levels that were shafted from CCLP1 for difficulty reasons pose a unique case where waiting just continues to shaft those levels.  What would be stopping us from going forward with CCLP4 right now, while also talking about other potential sets to fill other niches?  Right now, it looks like a staff.  I'd gladly be a part of that, preferably not as staff coordinator but if no one else steps up I'd be willing take the role.  If anyone wants that position specifically, they should probably say something so we can keep moving forward and make another awesome set.  As for a submission limit/community nominations: If there is no submission limit, I don't think nominations would really be required.  If there is, and it seems like 50 levels seems to be the current consensus (though I'd argue a bit higher, admittedly for primarily selfish reasons), I'd think submissions of sets to nominate from -> nominations -> designer moves forward another [insert number here] is probably the best way to go about pre-voting.  Ideally this would probably be done by the end of June, though realistically I could see this point lasting until September.  Alternately, submitted sets to nominate from could have a limit of June (these are arbitrary), nominations could last until late September and then designers could have until the end of the month to finalize their additions.  From that point, staff makes voting packs, releases those packs, voting happens, set is made from vote results.

 

Regardless of the process, it should be fun (both the process and the set).  Right?  :teeth:

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Madhav,

 

I'm inclined to agree with Jeffrey here. It's not that I'm personally opposed to sets with MS-only or Lynx-only levels; in fact, I think those could be a great idea. But we need to turn our attention to what we have right now: a huge mound of levels that are cross-compatible. We can talk about encouraging designers to experiment and design for one ruleset all we want, but that's still not going to change what's in front of us at the moment. Again, I seem to recall that you were one of the trailblazers of cross-compatibility - you found a lot of enjoyment in the challenge of making ruleset-specific mechanisms work in both rulesets and encouraged many of us to do so as well. ;) And it's partially because of that encouragement that we as designers have enjoyed making cross-compatible levels in the years since.

 

With respect to the "vague agreement" among those who aren't with us anymore: I'm hesitant to suggest making any CCLP with levels that work only in one ruleset from this point onward. Yes, CCLP2 did this, but we have a Lynx-compatible CCLP2 now. Currently, every CCLP can be played in every ruleset in some way. I don't think it's unreasonable to position a series of level packs - CCLPs - as the general "cross-compatible" series that people can always count on working in both MS and Lynx. In other words, when a CCLP is released, players of both rulesets can come out, resting assured that they can play the same levels in both rulesets. This idea to include some ruleset-specific levels in the set is interesting, and I wouldn't mind seeing it in a future non-CCLP set, but it's rather difficult to get behind it right now when there really isn't an equal number of quality MS-only and Lynx-only levels. Perhaps the best middle ground for CCLPs would be to be a bit more lenient on "inequalities," as some have suggested. We originally started watching for these during the CCLP3 process, primarily because we wanted the set to avoid Block Buster-level discrepancies between rulesets. But having Two Sets of Rules-esque levels or little puzzles that are a tad harder in Lynx like the sokoban from Mini Challenges isn't going to hurt. Sure, it's somewhat unfortunate that designers have been primarily building levels only for a cross-compatible CCLP4. But that's what we have on the table right now. I don't think it would be nearly as much of an issue if after CCLP4, someone stepped up and laid out ideas for non-CCLP packs, perhaps in a community straw poll. If we could define what the community might want to pursue next before CCLP5, it would be much easier to encourage that variety in level design.

 

Furthermore, having a humongous, CCLP3-sized pool of levels to manage should not be what you sign up for as a staff member. I'm sorry to be blunt about that (and yes, my experience is somewhat colored by playing literally thousands of levels in the submission pools for the last two CCLPs), but there needs to be much more definition involved in serving on a staff with respect to how much work is involved and how long it will take - at least a ballpark estimate. Otherwise, hardly anyone will volunteer, and people will start dropping off when the set's production drags on and on and on.

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... I don't really think there are enough MS-only levels anymore to warrant an entire CCLP dedicated to them ...

  "anymore"?  :) The levels are still there, it's just their designers who aren't active ...

 

 

Ignoring the preferences and designs of the current community to honor a vague agreement made by people who aren't part of the community seems...very silly to me ...

This assumes that the posts here at CCZone reflect the opinion of the "current community" ... which is potentially true.  But we should run this topic by the NG and/or have a poll to factor in more input.  That said, based on past experience, I imagine that those from the "past community" would be quite happy to go along with whatever the more active part of the community is in favour of.

 

If we do go with 50 levels in CCLP4 are MS only, 50 are Lynx only and they swap out, voting would need 3 categories (adding confusion for voters) ...

... less levels from the largest pool would be selected ...

... the staff would have a headache with trying to balance ordering of the set with some levels not being part of either ...

- Not necessarily.  Voters would simply vote for their favorite levels from the pool of eligible levels and the staff would determine the categories of the top levels.

- The actual number of levels in each category can be decided based on what's in the pool or can be tuned based on the voting results.

- The staff would first order the levels that are common to both (using these levels to direct the story), separately sort the two sets of "uncommon" levels and then sprinkle them in between the common levels (either at the same or at different slots).  J.B. and I had fun sorting levels for CCLP3 - as I remember it.

 

What I mean to say here is that we can find creative solutions to any potential problems, should this kind of CCLP be agreed upon.

 

 

... But we need to turn our attention to what we have right now: a huge mound of levels that are cross-compatible. We can talk about encouraging designers to experiment and design for one ruleset all we want, but that's still not going to change what's in front of us at the moment. Again, I seem to recall that you were one of the trailblazers of cross-compatibility - you found a lot of enjoyment in the challenge of making ruleset-specific mechanisms work in both rulesets and encouraged many of us to do so as well. ;) And it's partially because of that encouragement that we as designers have enjoyed making cross-compatible levels in the years since.

My opinions about the timeline and contents of CCLP4 are completely unrelated.  I am not happy about CCLP4 coming so soon only because we had CCLP3 and CCLP1 (and CCLP2-Lynx) happening in rather quick succession, and not because of how many or which type of levels there are or aren't.  Personally, any kind of composition for CCLP4 works for me; but I think it would be nice for CCLPs to be more inclusive of designers and levels of all sorts.  Yes, I still relish making and playing levels that are cross-compatible (and cleverly done) and encourage designers to continue to do so, but I don't think that it should necessarily be a mandatory requirement.

 

Furthermore, having a humongous, CCLP3-sized pool of levels to manage should not be what you sign up for as a staff member. I'm sorry to be blunt about that (and yes, my experience is somewhat colored by playing literally thousands of levels in the submission pools for the last two CCLPs), but there needs to be much more definition involved in serving on a staff with respect to how much work is involved and how long it will take - at least a ballpark estimate. Otherwise, hardly anyone will volunteer, and people will start dropping off when the set's production drags on and on and on.

You are right, and it depends on what we mean by "manage".  If 20,000 levels have been created and their designers have allowed them to be used in future CCLPs, and you want to be on the staff, you should be okay with that.  But what the staff should do next with such a pool is ask the designers or community to decimate it - by means of nominations or limited submissions (like what has already been proposed) or initial voting by a few very active fans (like the first round of CCLP3) possibly followed by allowing designer pleas for re-consideration (like CCLP1).

I was surprised when Dale Bryan originally announced that the CCLP3 staff members themselves would be reviewing each submitted level for Lynx-compatibility, and stupefied when you first announced that you had taken up and completed this burden.  Yes: No, that is not what the staff should have to do.  While there are some creative, some mathematically inclined and some programming-savvy members either in the staff or in the community who can guide the staff, all these supposed problems can be managed efficiently and without the need for gruelling effort.  Divide and conquer. :chipwin:

 

Interestingly, the possibility to make a blanket submission for "all future CCLPs" (something that those who submitted levels for CCLP3 long ago probably never thought of) means that the currently huge pile of levels pushing for CCLP4 will be diminished by a massive 149 levels once CCLP4 is released.  :P

 

 

- Madhav.

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Ignoring the preferences and designs of the current community to honor a vague agreement made by people who aren't part of the community seems...very silly to me, without even getting into the supply of levels exclusively for 1 ruleset.

 

True, which is why only a small part of me feels that way.  :P

 

 

  "anymore"?  :) The levels are still there, it's just their designers who aren't active ...

 

Yeah, I guess that wasn't worded very well...  :D  I guess I was referring to the ratio of MS-only levels to MS/Lynx compatible levels being much lower than it used to be...

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