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andyrkki

AndrewR1 feedback and discussion

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(Yes, that's right: I just made my first post here in many years!)

 

I haven't received very much feedback for prior iterations of this set, so even though the latest version doesn't change much, I'd really appreciate hearing some thoughts on it. (Please do make sure you download that version and try it out before posting!)

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Hi Andrew, nice to see you around again. Here's some feedback on your levels.

 

1 - Welcoming
 I thought this was a fine level. My favorite part was using the block to stop the pink ball.
 
2 - Taking
 I thought this might get a bit monotonous, but the structure of the rooms made it more interesting than I thought at first. Still, I might have preferred a little more variety.
 
3 - Jumping
 The timing on this was just right. The tension was palpable.
 
4 - Going
 I enjoyed this one too. I liked the length of the level and the concept of returning the way you came (though I've seen that before, it hasn't been overdone).
 
5 - Thinking
 I don't like puzzles like this. Would have been slightly better without Chip being so close to the border but still not seeing the Teeth.
 
6 - Transporting
 In Lynx at least, the balls collide and make this much harder than it should be. In MS, this is better, but still the waiting is a bit pre-determined and if I missed I cycle I felt I needed to get lucky not to die. Basically, the solution felt forced. I would rather see the ice slides shorter and maybe be of the same length, the time limit longer, maybe more safe spots.
 
7 - Forcing
 I don't remember playing this one, so I'll call it average.
 
8 - Forcing II
 This is one of those levels where I felt the designer stretched out the concept to fill the whole map. I don't want to walk around empty corridors for fun.
 
9 - Releasing
 I like the concept but not the time limit. Otherwise there was enough space to do this reasonably.
 
10- Finding
 I didn't like this one. Maybe too much walking around and collecting again?
 
11- Producing
 The best parts in this level are the strong theme and the area where you manouver the block with the fireball in the same room. I hate the part with the tanks and ice.
 
12- Building
 Left no great impression on me, but I don't want to replay it again due to the invisible walls.
 
13- Upping
 Was this made just to use this silly name? :)
 
14- Deciding
 I like this type of pop-up wall mazes and this one adds something by using distance to make Chip guess what lies ahead. The layout is simple enough to not need too many attempts even if the first one fails. But is it too simple overall?
 
15- Riding
 Don't like this or levels like this.
 
16- Circling
 Too big. Maybe would have been interesting with the same number of corridors but using thin walls instead.
 
17- Circling II
 This was ok, however, there was not enough time to take it carefully in Lynx. Also, reacting to the monsters felt harder in MS (but that's ok). It was a bit long too, having to go through all four quarters. It that's something you want, maybe take off a ring or two? I like the use of invisible walls in this level.
 
18- Mixing
 An okay mix of things, but you run the risk of having one thing a player doesn't like that ruins the whole level. For me, this it the ff slide with fire.
 
19- Running
 Don't like ice areas that are this large. And even after I was done with that, there was a lot of level left. Not a fan of this level.
 
20- Reducing
 I love this! It's small and has a puzzle. I would argue that the time limit is not enough to figure out the puzzle part on the first try, making it really annoying to die to time just because I was thinking of the best approach. I like the amount of dodging and use of space.
 
21- Icing
 I couldn't make myself play through this again. I won't judge you for liking ice levels more than me.
 
22- Reflecting
 Why do I want to do the same room four times? What if I die in the third one? You want me to do it 7+ times? No thanks, I rather move on.
 
23- Reflecting II
 The block pushing was not bad, but guessing like this is just stupid.
 
24- Escaping
 Ok, so I'm supposed to count the toggle walls while avoiding the teeth monster, and then count the times the green button is pressed to match and dodge the Glider, all in just 50 seconds? I like the puzzle, but would much rather prefer if there was 500 seconds! Why do I want to race the clock when I am already racing the game elements? And if I mess up, I would rather try again, than restart the level. Solving the level as it is, I would feel more clever if I didn't think my solution was probably very much the same as anyone else's. I don't get this feeling if there is more leeway in the time and I am allowed to make mistakes. At the very least, you could have placed the level one slot earlier in the set to give me a hint on how far to count. In summary, I like the puzzle, but would like to see it executed a bit differently.
 
25- Puzzling
 This would be much better if I could just see a bit more when solving the puzzles. As it is, I find myself guessing too often.
 
26- Tempting
 I like this. I especially like that the level is not longer. Someone might have used this room as a quarter of a larger level, but I think this puzzle is best as a complete level by itself.
 
27- Timing
 I don't like this. The challenge of the timing is not interesting enough to outway the monotony.
 
28- Timing II
 This is better, but still way way too large.
 
29- Comparing
 Ok, I like this concept of randomness influencing the experience; however, I didn't get what was going on in the corridors at first and it felt too random to explore what is inside the rooms. This could be fixed by giving me a place to hide along the corridors, like maybe gravel at some points. The level would be twice as fun!
 
30- Dividing
 This is a fine level. A couple things to consider. Why not use dirt instead of chips in the Glider rooms, or at least a mix, so I don't need to clear the whole room? (The SW room is worse in this regard because it's simpler to direct the Gliders.) I like the puzzle with the vertical teleports, but would rather see this trick as part of the bold solution than as a required thing to solve the level. A similar thing applies to the SE room with horizontal teleports, where I would prefer there was some room for error and testing the mechanism. I did enjoy this though!
 
31- Bearing
 This is another fine level. I would consider adding a hint that would tell the player how many times they need to go through the teeth room. The bombs look symmetric but it's nice that they play differently because the cloners aren't symmetric, however you could remove a few of the bombs for the same effect and less block pushing. It would be interesting to hear what you think of this level yourself? I like the connection with the next level, both in some arrangements and the name.
 
32- Bearing II
 This first room has to be the hardest puzzle in your set. I remember giving up on this on a previous play through because it felt like it relied so much on collisions. Now I think the main problem is getting into a state that is not redeemable, so it would be great if there was a way to remove a stuck Glider in an easier way than just collisions. The other puzzles in the level are ok, but again I would wish for execution that didn't require so much waiting. Particularly the tank area loses nothing if there was just two tanks that need to be toggled by the paramecium.
 
33- Competing
 This was a very good Time Trial level, and it works ok as a casual level as well.
 
34- Clearing
 This was a fun mess. It put a smile on my face completing this.
 
35- Longing
 I don't want to sit here for 24+ days solving this level. Then again, since it looks like it's theoretically solvable, I would like to sit here and solve it. Unfortunately, I play in TW and it won't allow for long solutions like this. Maybe if this was ten times shorter, and pretty likely if it was 100 times shorter. I guess getting me to think something like this was your point in making the level. It is a fine 'unsolvable last level' :)
 
 Your set is not terrible. I like some of the levels, and you clearly have great ideas in many of them. Some of your design choices feel old school and aren't as player friendly as many current levels are. I like that the set is not too large, so I haven't minded playing through it a few times. The difficulty varies and doesn't get too bad. I like that you have made it work in both Lynx and MS. The set has a few too many ice levels for my taste, but otherwise it has a nice mix of monsters and puzzles. I wouldn't mind recommending this set to someone, and I am interested in seeing what might come in AndrewR2!
 
 That brings me to something that's been on my mind: mostly I would like to see new levels from you, or other interactions in the community. Do you still play CC? What are your favorite levels in CCLP1? Have you tried CC2? Hope to see you around more!
 
-Miika
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Hi Andrew, nice to see you around again. Here's some feedback on your levels.

What's this? No... it can't be... someone has actually decided to review my levels!? :)

 

Before I address this, I should note that most of the levels in this set date back many years, so when I say I don't like something myself, you might find yourself wondering why I, as the level designer, haven't changed it, but as a rule I don't like changing levels entirely as opposed to simply creating new ones. (I view doing so as a sort of creative destruction, if you will.) That said, minor and sometimes even medium-level changes can be acceptable, even to a level made a long time ago, if they don't make the map unrecognizable.

 

1 - Welcoming

 I thought this was a fine level. My favorite part was using the block to stop the pink ball.

This is actually one of my least favourite levels in the set overall. I particularly dislike that something like half the level is a hidden wall maze, as well as how disjointed the level seems in general, lacking the themes that characterize many of the later ones.

 

2 - Taking

 I thought this might get a bit monotonous, but the structure of the rooms made it more interesting than I thought at first. Still, I might have preferred a little more variety.

Not much to say about this one, except that I find my design at the end to be rather more creative than the CC1 version. ;)

 

3 - Jumping

 The timing on this was just right. The tension was palpable.

Short and sweet, that's how I like many of my levels. This particular one is quite decent in that regard, although it's not the best at map aesthetics.

 

4 - Going

 I enjoyed this one too. I liked the length of the level and the concept of returning the way you came (though I've seen that before, it hasn't been overdone).

I find this level to be a poor man's version of the CCLP2 one. Indeed, my original rationale for creating it was noting how much I enjoyed that one and wanting a similar level in my own set, but I don't think I got it to nearly the same quality bar.

 

5 - Thinking

 I don't like puzzles like this. Would have been slightly better without Chip being so close to the border but still not seeing the Teeth.

A pretty standard hidden teeth puzzle here. I suppose a bit more freedom to explore the map might indeed have made it more interesting, but that would make it even more similar to a certain level in CC1.

 

6 - Transporting

 In Lynx at least, the balls collide and make this much harder than it should be. In MS, this is better, but still the waiting is a bit pre-determined and if I missed I cycle I felt I needed to get lucky not to die. Basically, the solution felt forced. I would rather see the ice slides shorter and maybe be of the same length, the time limit longer, maybe more safe spots.

Sigh... I keep forgetting just how many of these early levels are based directly on CC1 or CCLP2. At least this one is only based on a portion of a level (from the latter set), not an entire one. It's also surprisingly difficult to do well, thus the issues you've pointed out.

 

7 - Forcing

 I don't remember playing this one, so I'll call it average.

Yeah, I don't like this one either. :P At least it's not as forced as the next one... no, I don't actually think that's the reasoning behind the titles (IIRC it's actually based on a certain level title from CC1).

 

8 - Forcing II

 This is one of those levels where I felt the designer stretched out the concept to fill the whole map. I don't want to walk around empty corridors for fun.

See previous for the most part. The one other thing I can say about both of these is that at least the maps aren't based on any other levels as far as I recall. As you can tell, though, originality isn't everything.

 

9 - Releasing

 I like the concept but not the time limit. Otherwise there was enough space to do this reasonably.

As I've posted before (http://cczone.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/333-any-good-tips-for-the-140s-in-cc1/page-2&do=findComment&comment=11824), the CC1 level is my absolute favourite in the set (almost entirely due to having by far the highest replay value in CC1), so I simply had to make my own. Unlike the one from CCLP2 previously mentioned, I think this one actually turned out quite well, your point about the time limit notwithstanding.

 

So now I got a message from the forum software here: "You have posted more than the allowed number of quoted blocks of text"... really? Well, I guess I can't really discuss more than 10 levels at a time, since I'm not getting rid of the quotes... actually, I think I might as well wait for a bit to see if you have anything to add before continuing with the next batch.

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I'd like to echo many of Miika's thoughts here. Overall, I think the level design improved as the set grew, particularly with the latest additions and the decrease in long, tedious corridors. I especially appreciated that Reducing and Tempting are now two separate levels, the latter of which is one of my top picks for CCLP4.

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I'd like to echo many of Miika's thoughts here. Overall, I think the level design improved as the set grew, particularly with the latest additions and the decrease in long, tedious corridors. I especially appreciated that Reducing and Tempting are now two separate levels, the latter of which is one of my top picks for CCLP4.

Well, let me first say thanks for breaking up what would have been a double post. :P In all seriousness, though, I think you're quite right on both counts. (The original motivation for combining those was to keep the total number of levels to a specific, well, number... but when I added two entirely new levels that motivation actually ended up working in reverse.)

 

10- Finding

I didn't like this one. Maybe too much walking around and collecting again?

I actually have difficulty remembering which one this is, and I can't be bothered to open the set in an editor to check, so that probably tells you how much I like it. One thing I'll say about it, though, is that it's one of two levels with the teeth mechanism in the middle... so that probably tells you how much I like that mechanism.

 

11- Producing

The best parts in this level are the strong theme and the area where you manouver the block with the fireball in the same room. I hate the part with the tanks and ice.

Yeah, this is obviously the magnum opus of the set, which is why it's still the only CCLP level. My opinion of the specific parts you named is exactly the opposite, though - I don't really care for the fireball part much (it somehow manages to seem obvious and pointless at the same time) while the tank part - and that whole area, really - I consider to be one of the best level segments, if you can call it that, in this set.

 

Since this is a CCLP level, it gets an extra paragraph! :D Quite possibly the most important thing that I look at when I judge a level - especially one of my own levels - is minimalism. This doesn't mean that big levels are out - in fact, large maps that employ minimalism are obviously far more difficult to make and I would thus rate them higher, all else being equal. What it does mean, though, is that there should be as few tiles as possible (ideally none) beyond what is required to accomplish the goal of a particular puzzle in a level. In this level, for instance, the fireball part does not fulfill this criterion to nearly the same extent as the tank portion (it could be made more compact while preserving the exact same core gameplay aspects, for example, while the part with the tanks would lose much aesthetic appeal this way).

 

12- Building

Left no great impression on me, but I don't want to replay it again due to the invisible walls.

I actually don't like replaying this level much either despite having pretty much memorized the path through those walls. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this one, I think.

 

13- Upping

Was this made just to use this silly name? :)

The names actually came afterwards for most of the levels. This one was originally named in direct reference to the CC1 level, and you may notice that it remains numbered as such.

 

14- Deciding

I like this type of pop-up wall mazes and this one adds something by using distance to make Chip guess what lies ahead. The layout is simple enough to not need too many attempts even if the first one fails. But is it too simple overall?

No, as I mentioned before, I think that short and sweet (and simple!) wins the race... or something. Mixed metaphors aside, this level probably can't be simplified in any way without losing its aesthetic appeal almost entirely, and that's just the way I like it.

 

15- Riding

Don't like this or levels like this.

Why? This is one of the best levels in the set! Even if you don't like levels that involve trudging through force floor corridors (I know some players don't), it's so short that I think you should give it a chance anyways.

 

16- Circling

Too big. Maybe would have been interesting with the same number of corridors but using thin walls instead.

Yeah, this is pretty much a proof-of-concept level. Actually, quite a few levels in this set are proof-of-concepts, but most of them are at least interesting otherwise. This one... pretty much isn't. (The thin wall idea is rather intriguing, though.)

 

17- Circling II

This was ok, however, there was not enough time to take it carefully in Lynx. Also, reacting to the monsters felt harder in MS (but that's ok). It was a bit long too, having to go through all four quarters. It that's something you want, maybe take off a ring or two? I like the use of invisible walls in this level.

Symmetry is extremely important for aesthetics when designing level maps. Here, the four quarters are essential for that. As for the invisible walls, I think that even players who usually find them annoying won't mind them here.

 

18- Mixing

An okay mix of things, but you run the risk of having one thing a player doesn't like that ruins the whole level. For me, this it the ff slide with fire.

I thought about removing that at one point, but it's just such an integral part of the level. It's also the only level with this type of force field slide as you call it, so I don't think it's too much of a problem overall.

 

As before, I think I'm going to wait for a bit to see if anyone has anything to add before continuing.

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Double post time, I guess it is!

 

19- Running

Don't like ice areas that are this large. And even after I was done with that, there was a lot of level left. Not a fan of this level.

You know, this level was actually originally made with an intentional bust, and it was originally named after what is probably the only intentionally busted level in CC1. Much like in that set, though, the bust relied on backwards boosting (and made the level too easy!), so it was scrapped - leaving this rather bizarre hybrid level behind.

 

20- Reducing

I love this! It's small and has a puzzle. I would argue that the time limit is not enough to figure out the puzzle part on the first try, making it really annoying to die to time just because I was thinking of the best approach. I like the amount of dodging and use of space.

Once again, you enjoy a level that is one of my least favourites in the set. See, unlike that other one you pointed out, I think this one really is too simple... but for some reason you don't. Weird, huh?

 

21- Icing

I couldn't make myself play through this again. I won't judge you for liking ice levels more than me.

The time limit really makes this level, though, since you need to literally memorize the correct moves (and perform them precisely!) to finish it. It's not really comparable to an ordinary ice level for that reason.

 

22- Reflecting

Why do I want to do the same room four times? What if I die in the third one? You want me to do it 7+ times? No thanks, I rather move on.

Eh, I recall someone else really liking this level, so I don't think it's that bad. There's also the interesting aspect of the teeth being able to exit their rooms once the respective chips are collected.

 

23- Reflecting II

The block pushing was not bad, but guessing like this is just stupid.

Seriously? I think you're the second person to say this about this level (unless it was you before), and I have to say I find it rather bizarre. I mean, I thought that the problem with guesswork in levels is that if you get it wrong, you would have to start all over again... but here the (only) guessing is performed within seconds at the very start! You're basically arguing for not having guesswork in levels at all, which I don't think is a reasonable stance to have. (Unless, of course, you're also talking about guessing where to push the blocks, in which case you should simply have checked from the respective corridors first - you can actually see the number of water spaces at each level from there.)

 

24- Escaping

Ok, so I'm supposed to count the toggle walls while avoiding the teeth monster, and then count the times the green button is pressed to match and dodge the Glider, all in just 50 seconds? I like the puzzle, but would much rather prefer if there was 500 seconds! Why do I want to race the clock when I am already racing the game elements? And if I mess up, I would rather try again, than restart the level. Solving the level as it is, I would feel more clever if I didn't think my solution was probably very much the same as anyone else's. I don't get this feeling if there is more leeway in the time and I am allowed to make mistakes. At the very least, you could have placed the level one slot earlier in the set to give me a hint on how far to count. In summary, I like the puzzle, but would like to see it executed a bit differently.

Ouch! So much criticism for what I think is a brilliant level. I'm beginning to see a pattern here... maybe you prefer levels that you can solve on the first attempt? I mean, I know MSCC encourages this with the whole "Yowser! First Try!" thing, but personally, I don't find creating a whole set of levels like that a good idea. (I'm also not sure what you're referring to in regards to the level number, as that's certainly not the number of times to count here.)

 

25- Puzzling

This would be much better if I could just see a bit more when solving the puzzles. As it is, I find myself guessing too often.

With 9 puzzles in a single level, it's rather difficult to let you see them in their entirety without making the puzzles very small and thus likely trivial. I'm really curious to hear what you think about the individual puzzles, though, as I think that some of them are extremely clever - would you mind reviewing each one individually?

 

26- Tempting

I like this. I especially like that the level is not longer. Someone might have used this room as a quarter of a larger level, but I think this puzzle is best as a complete level by itself.

I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a subtle joke at my expense, since I actually did combine this with another level at one point, but if it is... well done. As for the level itself, this is definitely one of the best in the set... it's so hard to pick an absolute favourite, though!

 

27- Timing

I don't like this. The challenge of the timing is not interesting enough to outway the monotony.

Yeah, again, with these timing levels I literally can't remember which one is which. Besides the teeth mechanism I mentioned before, IIRC this one also has the glider mechanism, which I also like and therefore used again as well.

 

28- Timing II

This is better, but still way way too large.

You know... for these three levels, I would really appreciate some feedback specifically in regards to making some changes that don't impact the levels too much but make them much more enjoyable. Let me know if you think of anything.

 

Any comments? Anyone? I'm waiting...

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With 9 puzzles in a single level, it's rather difficult to let you see them in their entirety without making the puzzles very small and thus likely trivial. I'm really curious to hear what you think about the individual puzzles, though, as I think that some of them are extremely clever - would you mind reviewing each one individually?

I remember playing through this is the CCLP1 voting packs and I absolutely hated the level. There's 9 rooms but most of them require you to commit to an option without being able to see if it's correct, and an incorrect guess will force a restart. The first room with the monsters is good to be first since it does get out of hand very quickly. Not my personal preference of design but it's fine. The second room starts the main problem-from the editor, you can clearly see the green key is required (and following back, the red as well). From the game view, that second green lock is completely out of sight. So I guess red and yellow since usually the green key is wrong on levels like this, and back to the start (and a couple more deaths on the beginning until I have a consistent method).

 

At least guessing wrong gave me a better look at the room, so I took the red and green, walked through the blue wall path and...oh fun, another guessing game. From what I can see, flippers and skates look promising, as do flippers and suction. I don't really see the purpose of fire boots unless I could also take the flippers, so...flippers and skates it is for minimal pushing. Obviously, this was wrong, so now I look at the room from the inside and figure out which is correct, then play through everything up to that point again.

 

The fifth room is guesswork as all 5 columns look identical and only one is correct. I said screw it and pulled up the editor at this point. I wasn't going to replay the level several more times just to guess wrong (I would have gone with the center and been able to see the correct path from there). Sixth room you really could have allowed Chip access to without breaking the puzzle, but instead it's another 1/3 chance guessing game, this time with execution involved! I would have guessed correctly here just because the fireball cloner seemed to be a trap, and the tank being lined up with the trap was too convenient.

 

Then you have an ice maze with bombs at the end of slides you can't even see. You go left because up is a bomb and right is backwards, now left is a bomb you can see, down is backwards, and you can't see where up or right will go. Up is death and redo everything again, but you could go back and look to see right is safe. From there you can see where to go, so this room is well designed but the fact that you can't tell what's safe in many previous rooms works against the level here, as the player would likely assume this is yet another forced guess: assuming they haven't given up.

 

Then a block pushing room where you can see the goal before you move anything and a teleport maze. Nothing special in either room, though the teleport maze is fun.

 

Running down the chances of beating the level on the first try with logic: 1/3 chance of keys, 1/3 chance of boots, 1/5 chance of blocks, 1/3 chance of buttons is 1/135 with not much that can be done to mitigate it. If you could tackle the rooms in whatever order you wanted, or these were more on their own (Maze of the Obeyor in CC2 does this), or you could just see farther for the 1/3 selections (the block column room would still be an issue) the level would be a lot better. As it currently is, the level is a frustrating experience since it relies on a lot of hidden information, where not knowing this information multiple times results in a restart.

 

Now, I don't necessarily want to be able to always solve a level on the first attempt. But I do want to feel like it was my fault I didn't solve the level anytime I don't. Trust Me (and its sequels) have obvious traps on the way to the correct answer. If you fall for the right path in Trust Me, it was while exploring and right at the start so it doesn't bother me. Again, Puzzling forces you through all the rooms in the same order every time.

 

Andrew Menzies's "And the Walls Kept Tumbling Down" and "What's Wrong with This Puzzle?" (both in The Other 100 Tiles) are good examples of puzzle level that makes full use of what you can see from a given location.

 

                                                                                                       

 

Thoughts on some other levels:

Welcoming: Fun, though I'm not a fan of circling the level at the beginning in most cases. The fact that there is a small puzzle involved doesn't help either, since it's a fairly long amount of downtime before the player gets to try again. The hidden wall section is well designed, especially with how it looks like you have to loop around the level again but don't if you were thorough with exploring.

Forcing: One of the best levels in the set, even despite the guess at the end, since you can, with keen observations, discern the correct path.

Building: Invisible walls have to be used very carefully or they're just annoying. If these were hidden walls instead, the level would be much stronger (but still not fun with the guesswork ending- and no, I don't mean the hot blocks!)

Deciding: It's scaled absolutely right for the concept. It makes the player have to remember where they've been and where they still need to go. The one downside is that where the borders are isn't entirely clear, but that's very minor and a mis-step can always be taken back.

Riding: I like force floor levels and I wasn't a fan of this either. It's too rigid for my liking-there's only one path and missing a single sidestep puts you who knows where.

Reducing: This is another level that does the "you screwed up, but it's your fault!" design well. It's very easy to mis-place the teeth but since you know you'll be returning through the teeth room, it's a clever trap that can be avoided with careful thinking ahead, but probably won't be.

Icing: That you MUST memorize the path is a fairly big downside to most people, myself included. The problem with a level like this is that in MS it's going to be easier due to boosting shaving off time on every landing, and the path isn't obvious.

Both Reflectings: They're both a little tedious. Picking up chips isn't the most exciting thing to do, and when the entire level is that (this applies to both Timing levels as well, since those have 80-90 seconds of picking up chips) the level had better have something else going on. Dealing with a few teeth...it's Hunt again, and just like Hunt, you can trap the teeth easily. If there were small variations in the block pushing quadrants and the 'pick the correct path' at the beginning didn't kill you (like Mixed Nuts did at the end) it would be a stronger level. As it is, it's the same thing over and over.

Escaping: With a larger time limit this wouldn't be a terrible level, but it is a little annoying with the waiting and how tight the ending is. Even 75 seconds would be an improvement. (for what it's worth I just played it again in Lynx and had 3 seconds left)

Tempting: Small, simple, looks impossible but isn't. No complaints here, though I wouldn't have minded seeing a couple more rooms in the same style as part of a longer level.

Comparing: The inside rooms are great, but the outside hallway could definitely use a bit of dodging space.

Both Bearings: Too much waiting for buttons to be hit on very long cycles. The ending of Bearing II does what Puzzling should probably be doing, in that you can look and see that the fire boots are a trap.

 

Overall though I pretty much agree with Miika and J.B. on the set.

Edited by Ihavenoname248
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Ihavenoname248, thanks for doing your own (albeit somewhat limited for the level portion) reviews. I'll try to get around to those later. Anyways, let's get this thing done!

 

29- Comparing

Ok, I like this concept of randomness influencing the experience; however, I didn't get what was going on in the corridors at first and it felt too random to explore what is inside the rooms. This could be fixed by giving me a place to hide along the corridors, like maybe gravel at some points. The level would be twice as fun!

But there's only that single creature in the corridors... what purpose would gravel really serve here? Why do the rooms feel random (beyond the obvious, that is)? I feel I might be missing something here...

 

30- Dividing

This is a fine level. A couple things to consider. Why not use dirt instead of chips in the Glider rooms, or at least a mix, so I don't need to clear the whole room? (The SW room is worse in this regard because it's simpler to direct the Gliders.) I like the puzzle with the vertical teleports, but would rather see this trick as part of the bold solution than as a required thing to solve the level. A similar thing applies to the SE room with horizontal teleports, where I would prefer there was some room for error and testing the mechanism. I did enjoy this though!

Again, I'm just not sure what you mean. How would you change the level to make the teleport puzzles optional? I thought those are the core of the level, and the other two rooms are just fluff, albeit mildly interesting fluff...

 

31- Bearing

This is another fine level. I would consider adding a hint that would tell the player how many times they need to go through the teeth room. The bombs look symmetric but it's nice that they play differently because the cloners aren't symmetric, however you could remove a few of the bombs for the same effect and less block pushing. It would be interesting to hear what you think of this level yourself? I like the connection with the next level, both in some arrangements and the name.

I know I said it's hard to pick absolute favourites out of these, but I think that these two levels would have to be at the top of any such list (in descending order). There's just so much here, so much to do, so much to explore... in this sense, it's really only surpassed in this set by the other level. Yeah, I noticed the lack of symmetry with the cloners too... I say "noticed" because it was pretty much accidental that it was set up that way, and I think it works especially well because neither cloner seems misplaced despite the asymmetry (by being identical instead of reversed).

 

32- Bearing II

This first room has to be the hardest puzzle in your set. I remember giving up on this on a previous play through because it felt like it relied so much on collisions. Now I think the main problem is getting into a state that is not redeemable, so it would be great if there was a way to remove a stuck Glider in an easier way than just collisions. The other puzzles in the level are ok, but again I would wish for execution that didn't require so much waiting. Particularly the tank area loses nothing if there was just two tanks that need to be toggled by the paramecium.

About the glider room: once again, I think you're the second player to say this (correct me if I'm wrong)... and while I do think it's somewhat tricky, I don't think it's that bad, especially what with being at the start of the level and all. The biggest difficulty I have with this room is its relative unpredictability in that a very tiny change in timing upon entry will almost certainly cause the gliders to move completely differently, but aside from that, if you know what you're doing it's not too hard at all.

 

33- Competing

This was a very good Time Trial level, and it works ok as a casual level as well.

Yup, agreed on both counts. Not much more to say here! (Well, I do wonder what you think of the dirt mechanism at the end... is it a bit challenging for this level?)

 

34- Clearing

This was a fun mess. It put a smile on my face completing this.

I pretty much created this level to have fun with it. I actually sometimes feel that CC1 really suffered for not having at least one simple sandbox-type level like this. It's just too bad it completely fails to work in pedantic mode (I think it's still possible to complete, actually, but most of the cloners don't function so it's not nearly as fun), and fixing that would seemingly require massive changes to the level. (If you think of a way to do this without that, let me know!)

 

35- Longing

I don't want to sit here for 24+ days solving this level. Then again, since it looks like it's theoretically solvable, I would like to sit here and solve it. Unfortunately, I play in TW and it won't allow for long solutions like this. Maybe if this was ten times shorter, and pretty likely if it was 100 times shorter. I guess getting me to think something like this was your point in making the level. It is a fine 'unsolvable last level' :)

A fine unsolvable last level... it is indeed. :D I've actually thought of calculating how many moves (and then seconds) it would take to solve this as an interesting mathematical problem, but didn't actually get around to doing so just yet.

 

Your set is not terrible. I like some of the levels, and you clearly have great ideas in many of them. Some of your design choices feel old school and aren't as player friendly as many current levels are. I like that the set is not too large, so I haven't minded playing through it a few times. The difficulty varies and doesn't get too bad. I like that you have made it work in both Lynx and MS. The set has a few too many ice levels for my taste, but otherwise it has a nice mix of monsters and puzzles. I wouldn't mind recommending this set to someone, and I am interested in seeing what might come in AndrewR2!

 

That brings me to something that's been on my mind: mostly I would like to see new levels from you, or other interactions in the community. Do you still play CC? What are your favorite levels in CCLP1? Have you tried CC2? Hope to see you around more!

 

-Miika

Lynx, Microsoft, and pedantic, that is... and I don't think AndrewR2 is coming out any time soon. :P Anyways, your feedback is really appreciated and makes me feel a bit less like I wasted my time creating and fine-tuning this set for so many years.

 

I've played through the entirety of CC2 (and CC2CC1, or whatever it's called). I didn't get a chance to really try out CCLP1 or even CCLP3 yet, though I have dabbled a bit in each. But this is really stuff for another topic, I think... :)

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Before I address this, I should note that most of the levels in this set date back many years, so when I say I don't like something myself, you might find yourself wondering why I, as the level designer, haven't changed it, but as a rule I don't like changing levels entirely as opposed to simply creating new ones. (I view doing so as a sort of creative destruction, if you will.) That said, minor and sometimes even medium-level changes can be acceptable, even to a level made a long time ago, if they don't make the map unrecognizable.

 I like this type of updating, where you improve levels but don't make them unrecognizable.

 

Yeah, this is obviously the magnum opus of the set, which is why it's still the only CCLP level. My opinion of the specific parts you named is exactly the opposite, though - I don't really care for the fireball part much (it somehow manages to seem obvious and pointless at the same time) while the tank part - and that whole area, really - I consider to be one of the best level segments, if you can call it that, in this set.

 

Since this is a CCLP level, it gets an extra paragraph!  :D Quite possibly the most important thing that I look at when I judge a level - especially one of my own levels - is minimalism. This doesn't mean that big levels are out - in fact, large maps that employ minimalism are obviously far more difficult to make and I would thus rate them higher, all else being equal. What it does mean, though, is that there should be as few tiles as possible (ideally none) beyond what is required to accomplish the goal of a particular puzzle in a level. In this level, for instance, the fireball part does not fulfill this criterion to nearly the same extent as the tank portion (it could be made more compact while preserving the exact same core gameplay aspects, for example, while the part with the tanks would lose much aesthetic appeal this way).

I appreciate elegant design and the subset of it which you call minimalism. However, I do value the gaming experience of minimalizing every puzzle (that's a word right??). That's the reason I like the fireball area, as it is exciting to be trapped in the circle with the fireball and block. The size of the room is not minimalistic, but it creates a fun experience when you can't always see the fireball and you just have to know which way it is going.

 

Why? This is one of the best levels in the set! Even if you don't like levels that involve trudging through force floor corridors (I know some players don't), it's so short that I think you should give it a chance anyways.

So I gave it another try. I like it even less now. The structure punishes me too much for missing an intersection, and combined with the time limit I find myself going around the same parts of the level over and over again. These long corridors definitely do not confirm to minimalism.

 

Seriously? I think you're the second person to say this about this level (unless it was you before), and I have to say I find it rather bizarre. I mean, I thought that the problem with guesswork in levels is that if you get it wrong, you would have to start all over again... but here the (only) guessing is performed within seconds at the very start! You're basically arguing for not having guesswork in levels at all, which I don't think is a reasonable stance to have. (Unless, of course, you're also talking about guessing where to push the blocks, in which case you should simply have checked from the respective corridors first - you can actually see the number of water spaces at each level from there.)

Yes, I meant the guessing at the start. It feels pointless. How does it ever make the player feel good? They miss most of the time and some of those times they see which way to go on their next attempt. Even when they do hit the right one on their first attempt, do they feel smart because they picked the correct one? I don't see how. All it does for me is waste one minute of my time realizing that yes, this was a pure luck based thing that I had no control over. If you like it, fine, but I will always call it out :)

 

Ouch! So much criticism for what I think is a brilliant level. I'm beginning to see a pattern here... maybe you prefer levels that you can solve on the first attempt? I mean, I know MSCC encourages this with the whole "Yowser! First Try!" thing, but personally, I don't find creating a whole set of levels like that a good idea. (I'm also not sure what you're referring to in regards to the level number, as that's certainly not the number of times to count here.)

Yes, a lot of criticism because I care enough about the puzzle to say something about it. I do prefer solving levels on my first attempt if possible, but I don't mind failing either if at least I have an idea of what to try next. The part I hate is redoing stuff, particularly things that I figured out quickly even on the first try. That does not apply here, so my dislike for the design choices here stem from other things.

Let's take a quick step back and see what exactly I don't like about the level even though I claim to like the puzzle, even at the risk of treading some of the same ground I did last time. So I start the level and if I am smart, I realize I only have 50 seconds to solve this level. Ok, so it's probably something pretty quick, maybe a dodging challenge. I see that there is some sort of mechanism on the other side of the walls, but nothing I can do about it right now. So I head to the center of the level and encounter a Teeth. I steal the block from him; notice that I found a chip; push the block to the only place I can, that is the water; and go open the socket. At this point, I might have 25 seconds left on the clock if I am a super genius and intimately familiar with this game. I press the trap button once. Ok, the toggles toggle once. I stay on the trap button and the toggles keep toggling. A fireball passes by. Now I have a pretty good idea of the mechanism that lurks outside my view. I pause the game and think of what I am doing. I have fifteen seconds left on the clock. I build the puzzle in my mind, imagining the fireball going around the toggle path. I deduce that eventually it will free the path to the exit, and all I have to do is time my departure from the trap button such that everything works. I un-pause and wait a bit till I feel the fireball might be close to its destination, and then step off the button again. I have 12 seconds left. I decide I must see where the fireball is at this moment, and go take a look. It is three toggles away from freeing the glider. I go and press the trap button.... but I run out of time. WHY??? WHY??! I was a super genius and I couldn't solve this level even if I figured it out inhumanly fast! Do I play the level again? All I will be doing is going through the same motions I already did and this time just knowing a bit better how far to count. Maybe I waste one 50 seconds going around the level and counting that I need to wait 23 times that the toggles switch, and settle for solving the level on my third try. (In practice, I am not actually superhuman and it takes me more than three tries.) Once I do solve the level, I have two thoughts in my mind: 1) that was a clever mechanism and I enjoyed figuring it out. 2) the frikkin' time limit is stupid. THAT is why I don't like the time limit. It distracts from a good puzzle. Even at 100 seconds, I don't think it is enjoyable to die on time in this level where I want to go back and forth to see where the fireball is so I don't end up just guessing the timing and re-trying when I fail, but actually adapting to what I see in the level. I need time to analyze a level. :)

 

Ok, I have a couple more comments on the latter levels, but for now I have to leave it at this. See you soon!

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After many, many years, 3 previously "lost" levels have been found, as well as a "lost" introductory levelset which is now called AndrewR0.
2 of the levels are nothing to write home about really, although one of them is a sandbox-type level, which I continue to think there aren't enough of.

But the level "Misdirecting"... I don't think I've ever spent this much time working on a single level design. The thing is, I had been sporadically working on it from around 2006 to 2008, during which time I released two slightly different versions of it. But it had always been the last level, and as such it was continuously a work-in-progress that was not necessarily solvable. When I tried out both versions after it had been lost for so many years, I realized both were indeed unsolvable.

(In addition, during the period it was lost I remembered liking it so much that I tried to recreate it from memory several times. You may recognize the result of these efforts as Puzzling. Yeah...)

It is now a finished product, and to be quite frank I consider it to be better than any other level I've ever made - my new magnum opus level, even surpassing Producing. So I am announcing a very simple "competition" - no prizes here or anything, but I really want whoever is the first person besides myself to actually solve Misdirecting to tell me their thoughts about it.

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So, 3 new levels...

Enduring is either a clever puzzle to find the solution, or completely busted, as I was able to find a way to stop the cloning.

Syncing is a level that suffers from taking up the entire map.  The central dodging section is neat, but the long winding hallways wear thin, and the recessed wall above the blue lock is an unneeded and potentially cheap trap- though with the low time limit, choosing wrong would lead to failure anyway...

Misdirecting doesn't seem to be doable in Lynx, unless I've missed something major. At the flippers, you can't take them in Lynx (you can in MS) and appear to be stuck in the second room with the teeth/fireballs without them. Also in MS, you can get the green key early using a flick and bust the level, with which I obtained a time of 579. I'm also unsure of how to approach this without the bust. Other Lynx issues I spotted are, well, the element room (which isn't guesswork this time, as what you can observe forces flippers+fire!) where the chip can't be collected in Lynx.

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12 minutes ago, Ihavenoname248 said:

So, 3 new levels...

Enduring is either a clever puzzle to find the solution, or completely busted, as I was able to find a way to stop the cloning.

Syncing is a level that suffers from taking up the entire map.  The central dodging section is neat, but the long winding hallways wear thin, and the recessed wall above the blue lock is an unneeded and potentially cheap trap- though with the low time limit, choosing wrong would lead to failure anyway...

Misdirecting doesn't seem to be doable in Lynx, unless I've missed something major. At the flippers, you can't take them in Lynx (you can in MS) and appear to be stuck in the second room with the teeth/fireballs without them. Also in MS, you can get the green key early using a flick and bust the level, with which I obtained a time of 579. I'm also unsure of how to approach this without the bust. Other Lynx issues I spotted are, well, the element room (which isn't guesswork this time, as what you can observe forces flippers+fire!) where the chip can't be collected in Lynx.

And here I thought I'd rechecked that room more than enough times... sigh.
(Should also have probably specified my "competition" was for a non-busted approach...)

Anyways, I'll replace the south tiles with north ones at the bottom. Is that the only bust?
BTW Misdirecting is not supposed to be solvable in Lynx. I did consider it, but making it Lynx-compatible seems to require surprisingly numerous and fundamental changes that would make it almost a different level.

I assume Enduring is busted because of collisions? Can't see anything else that could be theoretically off about it...

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Enduring only requires one collision- step left, then up 3, then right until you're 2R3U from the clone button, then down 4 and right. Then you can go make a loop wherever for the 5 gliders and wait out the mechanism.

I was looking at Misdirecting under the assumption that it was meant to be solvable in Lynx, and trying to find a solution that broke as few Lynx rules as possible, so I could easily have missed something about the end stages of the level. In fact, on looking again I see exactly what I overlooked and how to solve the level (my intended path play got up to the element room, and the remaining steps aren't too bad). So, for the intended solution- I don't like the blind ice slide across the fireball room (though it's at the start so it's okay I guess) and I really don't like the slide to get the fire boots, as there is an element of lucky timing to it.

Most of the level is kind of just... there. I do very much like the green key room and seemingly irrelevant socket, as that's a pretty neat interaction with the ice.

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4 hours ago, Ihavenoname248 said:

Enduring only requires one collision- step left, then up 3, then right until you're 2R3U from the clone button, then down 4 and right. Then you can go make a loop wherever for the 5 gliders and wait out the mechanism.

I was looking at Misdirecting under the assumption that it was meant to be solvable in Lynx, and trying to find a solution that broke as few Lynx rules as possible, so I could easily have missed something about the end stages of the level. In fact, on looking again I see exactly what I overlooked and how to solve the level (my intended path play got up to the element room, and the remaining steps aren't too bad). So, for the intended solution- I don't like the blind ice slide across the fireball room (though it's at the start so it's okay I guess) and I really don't like the slide to get the fire boots, as there is an element of lucky timing to it.

Most of the level is kind of just... there. I do very much like the green key room and seemingly irrelevant socket, as that's a pretty neat interaction with the ice.

There is no lucky timing for the slide at all - you simply step off when given a certain indicator, so to speak. (It's worked every time I've tried it.)

BTW you didn't answer my question about the flick bust - it's just the bottom ones, right?
And would you mind solving it without using said bust, and telling me your score (and maybe some more thoughts)? I want to know you found the actual intended solution, and that there isn't yet another issue I've overlooked.

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Yes, for the 579 I only flicked off of the bottom thin walls.

Using the socket path and all keys, I just played out an unoptimized 427. I did run into an issue after getting the green key of how to get back to the NW room, but again resolved that with a flick (onto the water at 2, 8). With how few options there are at any given point, I'm pretty sure this is the intended solution unless there's something subtle I overlooked: but with the NW room, you either need to save the flippers (impossible given thieves) or flick.

And you're correct that certain cyclic indicators can work for each of the ice slides where a monster can appear from offscreen, with no luck at all- but developing that cue can require subjecting yourself to lucky timing, most notably at the beginning with the fireballs. Further- a few of the cycles do change slightly over time due to slide delay, albeit only in small ways that fix themselves.

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19 hours ago, Ihavenoname248 said:

Yes, for the 579 I only flicked off of the bottom thin walls.

Using the socket path and all keys, I just played out an unoptimized 427. I did run into an issue after getting the green key of how to get back to the NW room, but again resolved that with a flick (onto the water at 2, 8). With how few options there are at any given point, I'm pretty sure this is the intended solution unless there's something subtle I overlooked: but with the NW room, you either need to save the flippers (impossible given thieves) or flick.

And you're correct that certain cyclic indicators can work for each of the ice slides where a monster can appear from offscreen, with no luck at all- but developing that cue can require subjecting yourself to lucky timing, most notably at the beginning with the fireballs. Further- a few of the cycles do change slightly over time due to slide delay, albeit only in small ways that fix themselves.

I found the timing in that section to be incredibly obvious though, and figured it out on the first try.

Anyways, please take a look at the fixed version of the levelset I just put up, particularly Enduring.

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After another bust in Enduring was identified over Skype (how can such a simple level have so many busts!?), I had to update the set yet again.

This time the older levels were not left unchanged, though: Reflecting has been changed to be more symmetric. I'm actually a bit surprised nobody pointed out the asymmetry to me, given the level title.

The time limit in Misdirecting has also been increased to allow for more exploration, but the level is otherwise unchanged so solutions are unaffected.

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