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M11k4

Veteran pack vs CCLP4

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This could almost have been a blog post, but I thought I'd post this here as it pertains to CCLP4 and really needs input from others too.

 

There was some talk of a hardcore or veteran community pack that would collect some very difficult levels together. There is an audience for this type of levels but maybe the end of a CCLPn is not the ideal place to put them. The idea hasn't taken flight yet even though it seemed nobody was against it. I bring this up now as it might affect people's votes on CCLP4. We have a good chance to identify good levels for this project while not forcing them into CCLP4.

 

I have a few ideas for this project that are obviously subject to change but I'll share them here for now.

 

1) The set would start off with relatively few levels, around 10-15.

 

2) Instead of sequels, new levels would be added to the set without changing the order of the existing levels.

 

3) These updates could come out about once a year or maybe two.

 

4) Publishing solutions to the levels would be discouraged. Everyone should work on the levels independently. (I haven't completely considered what to do with hints or helping others, but I'm sure we'd figure something out.) 

 

5) There would not be a score board to track the best times, but rather something that lists which levels players have solved. We wouldn't compete in optimizing these complex creations, but just try to solve them. This doesn't mean every level would be untimed or you couldn't report your times. The set could possibly be uploaded to pieguy's site.

 

6) Each update shouldn't feature multiple levels from any one designer, nor should they all need to be the same difficulty. We want there to be variety in the set, including having a range of difficulty.

 

7) Compiling the set would not be done with a straight vote like the larger community sets. There would still be some way of nominating levels and possible other ways to influence the set.

 

A few questions need answering:

 

1) Should we go ahead with this project?

 

2) Is now a bad time for starting this? Or is it the best time?

 

3) If so, do you accept me as the lead for this project?

 

4) Would you like to help out in making this, at least for this first year?

 

5) Is Veteran Pack a good name? I imagine the file name would be veteran.dat.

 

6) How do you see this interacting with the CCLP4 process?

 

7) Would you play this set?

 

Any other comments are also welcome :)

 

-Miika

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Answers to your questions:

 

1. I don't really think it's necessary right now. If anything, it should wait until after CCLP4 comes out but even then I don't know.

 

2. I have to say I'm pretty much against this project happening right now. I think CCLP4 is more important than this honestly so let's just focus on that instead.

 

3. If you want to lead it, I'm all for it.

 

4. I think I'll pass, my free time has been heavily reduced and I don't see it lightening up anytime soon.

 

5. I don't have an answer for this, I guess Veteran Pack is a good name.

 

6. Well I see this causing issues with the voting process of CCLP4. If this project were to happen right now or along with CCLP4, then CCLP4 could just become another CCLP1 and I personally do not want that.

 

7. I'd play it definitely. I just don't want it anytime soon.

 

Sorry for the harsh answers but I'm very much against this happening right now. :)

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I personally think this is a great idea. I would play it, and I think you leading the project makes perfect sense. It would probably NOT have much impact on cclp4, as most people can separate the two I would think. I'd recommend laying the groundwork now and opening submissions in a couple months, maybe near the end of cclp4 voting. I don't have much time to help, but I'll help if I can.

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Answers to Miika's questions. That's all subjective, but here is my opinion:

 

1: No, we should not go ahead with the project, not now at least. Maybe eventually, but the odds are that I won't be around when this happens.

 

2: Now is a terrible time. I think we should wait until after CCLP4 gets released.

 

3: If you want to be the leader, go ahead.

 

4: No. Real life takes too much time.

 

5: veteran.dat sounds rather simple and generic, but I don't have anything else to suggest.

 

6: If this happens now, I see it distracting everyone from the CCLP4 process and causing both sets to stall for several years like CCLP3 did.

 

7: If it happens before the CCLP4 release, perhaps. If it happens afterwards like I am suggesting, no, I probably won,t be around.

 

Great, I see another flamewar coming. This thread is tagged supercontroversy after all...

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I'll only answer question 5:

 

"Veteran" sounds like "experienced" but with a ring of "old and retired" to me, so I think that's not a great name.

 

It's also not clear what "difficult" means here:  Difficulty of playing skill and difficulty of puzzle-solving skill are two totally different things, and the latter can be further subdivided into lateral thinking (YCTaOFNT-like) vs logical/algorithmic (Sokoban-like).

 

 

- Madhav.

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It is unclear what level of difficulty the community wants for CCLP4; knowledge of which is required to make proper decisions about this proposed pack. If the community wants very difficult levels (whatever that means; see Madhav's post) at the end of CCLP4, then that should be done. However, I think we should save any massive community-wide discussions about CCLP4's difficulty ceiling until after the voting is finished; that way the staff can see the pure level by level votes and adjust the final pack composition with respect to difficulty as necessary, rather than have the discussion now and then have many votes be influenced by that discussion. ("Is this level rated poorly because people thought it was terrible, or because people thought it was really good but simply didn't think the difficulty was appropriate because of that confusing discussion on CC Zone?" You don't know, and you don't want to have to know.)

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Thanks for everyone's reactions.

 

The reason I saw this as a good time to bring this up, is that I'm trying to figure out what I would want CCLP4 to look like and am thinking which sort of levels are the right fit for it. If we had discussed a hardcore pack before CCLP3, I think stuff like Avalanche and YCTaOFNT would probably not be in CCLP3. Both are levels that I really think deserved wider recognition than they were getting in their original sets, but they also were pretty difficult of a CCLPn. Perhaps I don't quite understand what the exact plan is to avoid this sort of situation in CCLP4. Sorry that I am not able to just vote on which levels I like and let you guys figure out the difficulty curve, mainly because CCLP1 turned out so well when we had a clearer goal in mind. I did not think talking about or even starting this set would step on the toes of CCLP4, but rather it could work well in conjuction. Does that make sense? In my mind, having a separate place for these ultra hard levels would free up space in CCLP4, while still acknowledging that there are players and designers who enjoy this type of a level too.

 

In any case this extreme pack could host a variety of different types of levels and different types of difficulty. Maybe not levels that are inhumanly difficult to figure out or play, but something that still keeps players interested. They should still be challenging, even to the point that not all of us would solve all of them. At the lower end of the curve would be levels that fit nicely in a CCLPn. Would the end of CCLP4 be the same difficulty as some levels in this other pack? I don't know, would you want it to be? I don't think it matters if both packs do what is best for their intended audiences.

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