Thanks Ryan for that download!
Now onto the results... If you want to play the levels first, you can find them here: CC Zone February 2018 Create Levels Packaged
We had eight entrants this month with a total of 15 different levels. I've picked my favorite level from each designer and ranked those against each other. I'll try to keep my comments shorter than usual by answering these three questions about each level:
What was the best thing about the level?
What would I consider building differently if it was my level?
What was the most memorable thing about the level?
If that doesn't cover what I had in mind, I might add some other short comment too. I'm not sure if I'll comment on all the levels or only the ranked ones. Let's get started!
"Another Perspective" by Ihavenoname248
This level is disqualified. Let's hope your other entries are any good.
I would award myself last place had I had the time to build the idea I had into a level, but I didn't. Not sure why I'm sharing that info, but I bet there are others out there too that think about these things without following through. An extra thanks to everyone who did find a way to join this competition!
"Candy Boy" by RB3ProKeys (walls of Non-Dimensional Layer, #5) (8th place, 4pts)
You managed to fit a lot in to a very rigid structure.
I would add more free space to let the player understand what's going on.
How I spent a long time wondering which choices to make without knowing if I'm actually doing the right thing.
I like complex and challenging levels, but this level taught me that this sort of complexity, what I'd call comprehension complexity, is not that fun. If you know the solution, sure, it is not that bad, but going into the level blind took a lot of effort. I'm not happy ranking this last, particularly knowing that this sort of a work of art can't be thrown together without a lot of work, but something has to be here and game play trumps a cool design.
"Complex Complex" by rubenspaans (walls of Difficulty Switch, #25)(7th place, 5pts)
I enjoyed playing this. The best part was a variety of straightforward tasks that were interesting.
I'd add another red key and utilize the fireball somehow. Maybe also add something more to the bottom room.
I'll remember the puzzle with the right time to step on the thief. That was fun.
I also enjoyed your other level, "Corroding Corridors "(walls of Puuf, #71, (0,8) not a wall). It did a lot in a very confined space, so as a design I thought it was even better than Complex Complex. However, the game play was not quite as engaging, so I didn't pick it as your representative level for the rankings. The second socket was a nice touch.
"Boot Burglar" by Markus (walls of Inferno Dynamics, #18, (10,13) not a wall)(6th place, 6pts)
The blob area and the fireball race were great.
Make some of the puzzles a bit tougher, like using the Glider more, or adding something that ties the level together tighter.
I'll remember the puzzles in the four rooms. They all had a good concept and used different elements and monsters.
When I first played this I was sure I'd rank it pretty high, but when I started making those difficult choices, this is where it ended up. Interestingly, this isn't the only level to use these walls, an overlap that doesn't happen often.
"In the Hive" by chipster1059 (walls of In the Pool, #7)(5th place, 7pts)
A great balance between action around you and a limited moving environment.
Not much here that I'd change. I tried busting the level with the block disrupting the bugs, but it was hard. That might be a cool alternate solution to consider allowing. Otherwise I think you did a fantastic job seeing this concept through.
The re-purposing of the center room as a nice puzzle worked very well. I'll also remember boosting into the paramecium by the fire boots right at the end a couple of times.
On another day I might have ranked this elsewhere, maybe a bit lower or higher. That's how it goes when you make a completely fine level that isn't unfun but only lacks something extremely exeptional. Your other level, "Highway Tunneling" (walls of Clay Tunnel, #98), was a bit more mundane though not bad.
"Abandoned Thrift Store" by Flareon350 (walls of Lockdown, #97)(4th place, 8pts)
This level has a nice flow to it from one section to the other and uses the available space very naturally.
There's really no major issues to address, but I'd try to simplify some parts. The thin walls don't do much. The thief at (16,13) makes sure you don't bring a block from the cloner, but what if there was no cloner and that area just had three or four blocks to begin with? A couple of the toggle walls could also be just floor if you wanted. There's one Walker that starts on floor and the others don't, which annoys me
I'll remember the Walkers. The space they had was of the right size. Also the ending puzzle was a clever way to close off the level, not necessarily that the puzzle was mind blowing, but its use of both thieves and a Walker tied back to the rest of the level.
I liked your second level as well, "Gridblock" (walls of Gridlock, #106, as if you didn't guess), but it just had less going for it. I did enjoy the minimalism in tile choices and appreciated how you had come up with non-trivial block arrangements within an existing wall configuration. It's my favorite of the non-ranked levels this month.
"Instigate and Exfiltrate" by ajmiam (walls of Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, #90)(3rd place, 10pts)
The best part of this level was the "instigating and exfiltrating" in the main area of the level.
I would look into changing the force floor room to have a new puzzle with the same theme as the rest of the level, because that was the stronger concept and you could probably find a twist on it. I do like the existing puzzle in the lower half of the level, in fact it's very clever and rewarding, but there really was no connection to the first half, so maybe it could be split into a separate level.
I'll remember cooking the block pushing above the teleport. There's other things to remember that are more positive, but my own mistakes just illicit a stronger reaction.
Your second level, "Insanitorium" (walls of Ditchdigger, #94), used unknown information in a very cohesive way. I liked the exploration and finding out how to get into the rooms that are more easily missed. It would still be better with fewer rooms, like maybe 10-12 rooms instead of 16 (the row I'd remove is the second from the bottom). I'll remember the Walkers and Teeth that were safe but scary.
"Flaming Loop" by Bacorn (walls of Split Path, #54)(2nd place, 12pts)
I love a puzzle with a clear goal and interesting multi-part solution. The level is the right size it uses the whole area well.
I'd add more toggle doors to guard the chip. As it is, it looks like it might be enough to direct the Fireball onto the toggle button for a pair of presses instead of trapping it in a loop. Then again, there's not really the right amount of room to add another toggle door, and even if there was, the Fireball usually IS caught in a loop once you get it to hit the button. Playing it again right now, I found something to change: the bomb into a pop-up to make fetching that chip quicker.
Asking you for your solution and seeing it was the same as mine. The level feels like there might be alternate solutions, but in reality there seems to be only one that's the most straight-forward.
"Another Perspective" by Ihavenoname248 (walls of Monster Swapper, #80)(1st place, 15pts, congrats!)
Ok, so it turns out I couldn't disqualify this level for being too good.
The best part of the level was of course the concept and the meticulous way you stuck with it. Had you given in on even a tile, everything up to that point would have been worthless. You found interesting ways to utilize the duality, like the toggles, and of course how rooms played differently. It's hard to pick a favorite area in the level, but perhaps it's the Teeth corner. That area is not perfect, as the trap mechanism only works once and if you miss the second block on your first try it takes a lot to recover from it, but overall the pay-off is worth it.
I would still try to see if there was a way to improve the second top left area with the Gliders. I know you are restricted by the wall configuration to do something great here, but even in the first half of the level, the second Glider was a bit redundant. (Was it too tough to have a chip at the end of the corridor? Maybe that's too tricky because you would only be able to get the first one and the second one would cook the level.) I also wonder if there was a way to force the toggles from toggling in MS as is required in Lynx. Having two tank buttons being pressed every move would work, but would also be noisy; any other mechanism for this might require larger changes. The Fireballs do practically same task on both halves, so some interaction with the changing elements would not be out of place, though it is hard to do that while sticking to the same wall configuration.
I'll remember getting stuck right at the end with the block next to a tank. It felt like a situation where I could still get out of it, but there was no way to fix the situation. Many of the puzzles were fun, and I'll remember and replay those gladly.
You sent in five levels hoping at least one would stick and that payed off.
"Prison Lane" (walls of 'Fire Factory' #18) had stuff in it that was nicely put together. The toggles throughout the level give it a cohesive feel and yet they are part of all the puzzles in a variety of ways.
"Illicit Logging Facility" (green locks and sockets of Nectar Meadow, #85) was very well made too. You were able to take that checkerboard pattern with sockets and green locks and split the level in two nicely.
"Sidewinder" (walls of Anaconda, #66) used the walls of an awkward level decently well, but nothing stood out really. Perhaps the paramecium part was my favorite here.
"Neon Nights" (walls of Chip Controls, #118) looks nice in an editor but this doesn't translate to game play. Maybe the level would work with a very tight time limit and less block pushing (in the second room at least).
There you have it! It turns out answering those three questions did nothing to shorten the text or the time I spent compiling this post.
I did enjoy the process, and am happy for all of you who were part of this! Thanks again!
If you have more levels that use the walls from a CCLP4 level, do share them in below for those that want to check them out or otherwise keep a list. I didn't comment much on how a level was different or similar to the original with those walls, but it was on my mind while I was playing the levels.
We might not have a new create competition before April. If you have any requests for create competition themes, do share! As always, I'd gladly hear what you think of the levels. (And James, that's how you post the results!)