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Flareon350

Yodel Pack - Discussion

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This is the official discussion thread for CCLP4 voting's Yodel Pack. Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and comments on the levels here!

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This pack took me a while to get through, mainly because [a] this was around the time I was switching computers and TWS files from one to the other, and it felt like there were more difficult levels here than usual.

 

#1 (Heist): I'm a sucker for a level with great theming, but this one fell flat for me - and that's coming from someone who made a similarly themed level that wasn't all that great either. (Maybe I'll revisit this concept while doing some CC2 designing.) Anyway, it felt mainly like a block-pushing challenge with a "reward" (yellow keys) thrown in and some rather unpredictable dodging at the very end. Maybe if there was more focus on and variety in the "setup" process (recruiting and positioning some monsters to help you, perhaps?), and a more clearly defined "escape" at the end, this could've been a stronger candidate.

 

#2 (Keyboard Malfunction): I prefer this version of this concept over the similar Citadark Isle, which is a more rigid, smaller (but still fun) level. There's something rather bewildering about what's basically an open maze in which you can collect keys with very minimal restrictions, then find out that you can actually amass far more than what is required for the chip in the corner. The title also adds to the "huh?" nature of playing this for the first time. I'd recommend this for a late spot in the set - not only as a relief level, but also as a unique inclusion in its own right.

 

#9 (Pinball): I really enjoyed this. There have been a few other levels with this theme, such as the similarly named one from AndrewG1, but this one captured the flighty, reactionary nature of pinball rather than making everything into a puzzle. Recommended for an early spot in CCLP4.

 

#13 (The Caves): Some levels spring unexpected surprises on you. Unfortunately, this one had one too many unpleasant ones in a row.

 

#19 (Labrynth): I wasn't entirely sold on this at first, and it's still not among my favorite candidates, but I did enjoy unraveling the solution. The small scale of the map made it easier to form some logical deductions ("ah, there's only one red key!", "oh, that door has to be used," etc.) and then craft the solution from there, which worked out wonderfully.

 

#23 (Zero Potential): This is one of those levels that, at least for me, has a counterpart which more effectively did justice to the concept - in this case, Frozen Over. This implementation is a bit too enclosed for my taste, but it's still fairly enjoyable to play.

 

#34 (Day 0: To the Bunker): This is another level originally submitted for a Create Competition that ended up being an unexpected surprise (a pleasant one, that is!). I was spoiled about the purpose of the chips beforehand, but while playing it, I was struck by just how the difficulty was slowly built up - and by how the general feel of the level was geared more toward exploration - albeit careful exploration - instead of complex problem-solving. The aesthetic is also incredible as well, with a landscape that feels truly jumbled and destroyed. I'm normally not one to enjoy messy levels without borders, but this one pulls off that feeling with style. Highly recommended.

 

#35 (Grudge Match): I like this idea a lot, and this level certainly nails the feeling of claustrophobic teeth dodging to a tee. My only suggestion would be to make it a bit less easy for the player to use dirt to trap the teeth somewhere and bypass some potential teeth maneuevering or clever block arranging to evade the teeth.

 

#38 (Friendly Fire): This is yet another level that unfortunately ended up being easier to solve through trial and error instead of arriving at a logically drawn out solution, and I can't imagine I'm the only one who did this.

 

#40 (Run Out of Gas): In another thread, Miika proposed the idea of a "hardcore pack" with ultra-hard challenges, and I can see why when playing levels like this, as the production of such a pack would certainly influence my rating of this kind of level for a CCLP. Personally, after seeing how frustrating CCLP3 ended up being, I think levels of this difficulty deserve their own chance at the spotlight instead of a spot in packs for a wider audience. This is one such level, with so many obtuse puzzles - mixed with some dexterity challenges too! - that the entire thing just became far too overwhelming. It wasn't so ridiculous that I gave it a 1 or that I'd be majorly upset if it made the final set, but it came close.

 

#42 (Jigsee): This level and its counterpart make up one of the most unique concepts I've ever seen considered for a CCLP, and for that reason alone, I'm giving both a high rating. But beyond that, they both are actually interesting and fun levels in their own right. Particularly refreshing is just how open-ended they feel. Even this one, which has a less jumbled structure than the other one, can be traversed with minimal obstructions.

 

#44 (Brickwalled Again): Part of what makes the original Brickwalled work so well is that you don't feel like you're mining in an ultra-enclosed space, testing out each blue wall to see if you can progress forward. You can access entire little rooms at a time and even draw conclusions about where the maze is headed so you don't have to test everything out. Here, the concept is extended by adding bugs. Some might find this irritating; I certainly did not. You start off with one bug, which is manageable enough, and can avoid releasing the others until later. The level does a great job encouraging you to stay alert while making the bug interaction reasonable enough that you don't feel like you're always being subjected to cheap deaths.

 

Favorite level: Day 0: To the Bunker

Least Favorite Level: The Caves

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I'm too slow...

 

1: The last room is EVIL.

 

2: I already played this in JoshL6. It's all right...

 

3: It's not very fun.

 

4: I hate digging.

 

5: It's a decent level, but there are extra keys.

 

6: The part with the balls is easy to cook. The last part is tedious.

 

7: The slightest mistake cooks the level. It would have been great if the player had multiple chances to get things right.

 

8: Nothing special.

 

9: I played this in Po100T and in CCLP1 voting. I think it's a good level.

 

10: Too many extra keys.

 

11: Surprisingly hard, but obvious once the solution is discovered.

 

12: A blue wall maze that has nothing special.

 

13: One of the best levels in voting so far.

 

14: The teeth that have to be freed with only one tile to spare are extremely annoying. What a shame...

 

15: I tried to like this level, but I can't.

 

16: One of my least favourite Jeffrey levels.

 

17: Is there any way to know which sokobans are solvable without looking at the editor?

 

18: I love eternal slides...but this one is built all wrong!

 

19: I assume the title is intentionally misspelled. Surprisingly hard.

 

20: Better than I expected.

 

21: Great strict level.

 

22: One of Jeffrey's hardest levels.

 

23: I like it.

 

24: NO! If at least they were hidden walls...

 

25: Ordinary.

 

26: Digging in chips instead of dirt, it's still digging.

 

27: Better than I thought it would be.

 

28: I don't think it's a very good level...

 

29: The teeth always prevents me from accessing the red key room.

 

30: The concept is somewhat clever.

 

31: Yeah really? What's the challenge?

 

32: Good level with bad title.

 

33: Fun, but nothing special.

 

34: The maze would have been better without the fireballs.

 

35: Better than I expected? I've already said this a few times...

 

36: The Create Competition this was made for had the lowest average entry quality since I joined CCZone.

 

37: It's fun...I guess...

 

38: In the end, it simply requires precise timing once.

 

39: I made this one. Can anyone guess what the title is supposed to mean? :P

 

40: It's just too hard. CCLP4 should not be painful like CCLP3.

 

41: The first part feels like a poor man's version of Steam Cleaner Simulator. The second part is not a challenge.

 

42: Unusual, but decent.

 

43: Interesting concept.

 

44: This happened: BWKemQk.png

 

45: This is already in JoshL6 and JCCLP2, and Josh is great.

 

46: While Josh is a great level designer, his brother is not very talented.

 

47: This would have been better smaller, but it's still all right.

 

48: This fails as both a blob level, and a strict level.

 

49: A level with colour schemes that actually work! It's also fun.

 

50: I played this somewhere but I don't remember where. Great concept.

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I'm too slow...

 

This isn't a race.

 

17: Is there any way to know which sokobans are solvable without looking at the editor?

 

All of the sokobans are contained within the playing area visible while walking around, which I just verified by looking at the editor, oddly enough.

 

46: While Josh is a great level designer, his brother is not very talented.

 

Ouch.

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46: While Josh is a great level designer, his brother is not very talented.

That's pretty rude of you to say, chipster. I kind of lost respect for you after saying that.

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Ouch.

 

That's pretty rude of you to say, chipster. I kind of lost respect for you after saying that.

 

 

 

"What matters is not what you did, but what you did after what you did."

---

"While Josh is a great level designer, his brother is not very talented."

 

I made that post. At first I didn't understand why it was different from any of the other negative reviews I had posted, then it hit me. While previously, I simply attacked the level, this time, I attacked the designer himself. Woah. "Ouch" indeed.

 

I made a mess. I'll admit it. Now it is my responsibility to clean it up to the best of my ability. Which probably isn't much, considering how bad this mess is, but I have to try.

 

Looking back at this post, I feel angry. Angry at myself. I said at the start of the post: "I'm too slow..."

 

"This isn't a race," J.B. says. That's true. However, I considered this a race, so I just hurriedly posted my reviews so I could be finished with another pack. I did not reread them to rewrite comments that other members could potentially find offensive, like I had done for several packs already. Lame excuse, I know. In fact, it's not an excuse at all. But it's the truth, unfortunately.

 

And even if I had rewritten that comment to something like "I don't think [this designer]'s level aren't very good" it still would have been problematic. Because it's quite simply not true. I looked at the levels in BrandonL1, and realized that I had already voted for some of them, such as Fundamentals and Toggle Maze, and I had actually given them good ratings. The only difference was that for these other levels, I did not know he had made them, but for this one, I knew, because it was written in the hint. I was prejudiced against this designer, for no reason. This is getting worse.

 

Another thing is, talent is defined as a "natural aptitude or skill". You either have it or you don't. That makes things even worse: not only am I saying that the designer's levels are not good, but that he himself is permanently unable unable to make good levels. That's really terrible.

 

Right now, I feel like I'm trying to justify my post, by using poor excuses like "I was in a hurry" or "I didn't check the dictionary". These aren't any excuses. It is a really nasty post, and I can understand why Josh "kind of lost respect for [me] after saying that".

 

I don't know what I can do. Say that I regret making that post? I do regret it, but it doesn't change anything. Edit the post? That would be pointless, it has been quoted, and it would remain in members' brains anyway. Resign from the community? That never solves anything. Modify my vote? Yeah, it was kinda harsh, but that has nothing to do with the post. Make sure this doesn't happen in future reviews? Good idea, if there are future reviews, but it's too late, it has already been done.

 

I'm sorry. But in the end, these are just words. I made a mistake, and these 530 words cannot change that. I must face the consequences.

 

 

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13: One of the best levels in voting so far.

45: This is already in JoshL6 and JCCLP2, and Josh is great.

13: What makes it one of the best? Personally I'd say it's easily one of the worst- you're doing the same heavy backtracking over and over and there's no variety to break up the monotony.

45. Yes, it's in (set it was originally released in) and (designer's best of set), but that means absolutely nothing about (community set)

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Just... please be careful with how you word things okay, chipster? I will admit that level of his is not that special but that doesn't mean anything. You don't need to be talented to just make stand alone ordinary levels.

 

And yeah I have to agree, what makes level 13 of this pack one of the best ones in the voting, compared to other levels in this pack?

 

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17: Is there any way to know which sokobans are solvable without looking at the editor?

Logic.  You can see each whole puzzle by standing on its recessed wall, and plan how you'd solve it in your mind.  If you notice that the puzzle cannot be solved, back off the recessed wall.  If you think it can be solved, go ahead in.  I will say this:  each of the unsolvable puzzles was designed so that you will realize it's impossible once you notice a certain feature of it (which varies for each).

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13: What makes it one of the best? Personally I'd say it's easily one of the worst- you're doing the same heavy backtracking over and over and there's no variety to break up the monotony.

 

I know it involves a certain amount of block pushing at the end, but I didn't find it frustrating. It's probably not one of the best, but I wouldn't see it as one of the worst either.

 

Just... please be careful with how you word things okay, chipster? I will admit that level of his is not that special but that doesn't mean anything. You don't need to be talented to just make stand alone ordinary levels.

 

I'll try. Thanks Josh.

 

Logic.  You can see each whole puzzle by standing on its recessed wall, and plan how you'd solve it in your mind.  If you notice that the puzzle cannot be solved, back off the recessed wall.  If you think it can be solved, go ahead in.  I will say this:  each of the unsolvable puzzles was designed so that you will realize it's impossible once you notice a certain feature of it (which varies for each).

 

So the sokobans would be unsolvable even if the buttons were wired? That's really clever.

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I know it involves a certain amount of block pushing at the end...

 

...

 

So the sokobans would be unsolvable even if the buttons were wired? That's really clever.

Are you actually solving these levels before voting or just looking at them in the editor?

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Are you actually solving these levels before voting or just looking at them in the editor?

 

I played all the levels in the packs, until I either solved them, or lost patience. When the latter happened, I generally went back to them a few days later. However, unsolved levels remain.

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Time for some feedback on this pack. Despite the first few levels being ones I dislike, this is probably one of my favorites so far.

 

6. Vanity

 

I myself have been complained to about some of my levels having hidden information under blocks with no clear understanding that they exist under blocks to start with. This is one such level that did this (and this isn't my level). The chips under some blocks in the latter half of the level really ruined my fun with solving it which is unfortunate because I liked the block puzzle to start with. And then there's the start of the level with the ball dodging. While I appreciate it being at the start, I didn't appreciate having to bring three blocks through that easily cookable section.

 

7. Bifurcations

 

Another level that I would have liked but I personally think was executed horribly. The concept is without a doubt amazing and definitely extends the concept that If I Ran the Zoo brought (which I believe is by the same designer) but I see no reason why skates couldn't have been given to the player for easier navigation. Without them, it's just a confusing puzzle that you don't know if you done something already or not and sliding around really doesn't do it any justice. In the end, I strongly prefer If I Ran the Zoo over this one.

 

15. New Adventures for Chip

 

I wasn't a fan of the placement of hidden flippers but other than that I enjoyed playing this one. Maybe that's because I have a soft spot for levels that have no particular concept yet still contain variety like this.

 

22. Decrepit Crypt

 

I'll be honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of this level when I first played it in its original set. However, after replaying it here, I've grown to kinda like it. There are still some things I dislike about it like the cloning connections and the teeth section (both parts), but the way it all ties together is pretty fascinating and very well crafted. I'm still not too big on seeing it in the final set but if it makes it in, I won't be upset.

 

26. Chip Controls

 

Some pretty clever and tough monster manipulation puzzles here. Even though I'm mostly against CCLP4 having levels of that genre, this one I really wouldn't mind seeing. 

 

35. Grudge Match

 

This is one of my favorite teeth levels in the voting. Despite its small size, it's somehow manages to be extremely fun to play and for that, it is definitely a level I want to see in CCLP4.

 

36. Unlock Block

 

I've said my peace with how I feel about levels that are too cramped. Though considering this one was made for a create competition some time ago and couldn't be enlarged, I'm more than willing to overlook the cramped feel of this level and say that it's a blast to play. The concept of getting rid of keys has been done a decent amount of times, each with different execution and this one does it in such a way that actually makes the level a challenge despite the size. I might prefer other levels of this concept to be included in CCLP4 but this one is definitely a good choice regardless.

 

47. Seeing Red

 

Again, the concept of red key collecting and teeth dodging has been done a few times but this is probably my favorite one that actually allows you to collect the keys. I might be bias when I say I prefer my own Gone to Lunch over this level but in the end, this was still a ton of fun to play and definitely a level I wouldn't be against seeing make the cut. On an unrelated note, I absolutely love the lineup of this level and the one that follows it.

 

Favorite level: Beautiful Struggle (32)

Least favorite level: Bifurcations (7) / Run Out of Gas (40)

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