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Flareon350

JoshL7

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8 hours ago, chipster1059 said:

44: The sokoban that has to be done twice is my favourite part of the level. However, I'm not a fan of the use of traps in the top part of the level, especially since, unlike for the fireball room, the hint doesn't explain their wiring.

At the time I designed that part of the level, I didn't think of it as unfair but now I can easily see the misdirection there. And being so late in the level feels like a cheap shot as a designer. It would have been mentioned in a hint but I couldn't do that with the starting fireball room.

So! I went ahead and made an update to the set that makes that section of the level a lot more fair and clear to understand. I should have went with this initially :facepalm: but please update your copies! A resolve is required unfortunately but that shouldn't be an issue considering it's been well-received so far :)

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More of my experiences playing through the set.  Note:  There may be spoilers to the solutions of these levels in my comments, so don't look if you haven't solved yet!  (Covers levels 11-17)

 

Level 11 (Prison Hall):  For something so short it sure drove me mad, since no matter what I tried it always took 3 blocks to get the chips, and then one would get stuck against the left wall!  Then I figured out the trick...I didn't need to blow up ALL the bombs right away...well played, Josh!  Good puzzle.

Level 12 (Blue Key Chamber):  Another small level that took me several tries to beat.  The difficulty is definitely ramping up!  Though I probably could have been a bit more observant.  The 200 second time limit kind of made me nervous, I think...it may be a relatively small level, but there's a lot to do, and the more stuff is crammed into a section, the more closely and carefully I have to look at it.  (Thinking of the top-left.)  Still, a fun level and I was pleasantly surprised to see the key behind the bomb at the start get used for something after all.

Level 13 (Fire Glide Caves):  The locks-and-recessed-wall paths were nice.  I liked how you could choose whether to use monsters or blocks for some of the buttons (like in the bottom-right room), but unfortunately the two glider rooms were practically identical (both involved sacrificing one block in water, then using the other to direct the gliders from the outside straight through the center).  The ending got me because I totally forgot to pick up the last chip before heading through the force floor the first time...my bad!  This was definitely easier than the previous two levels.

Level 14 (Green Fever):  Pretty standard maze, but the extra chips and losing the boots at the end (even if it was still really easy to get to the bottom-right corner and the exit) helped it to stand out just a bit.

Level 15 (There Goes the Neighborhood):  There were several tricky cooks to avoid when you couldn't see everything remaining in the level (but could kind of guess at it), such as:  not filling in the water with the block at the start, not cramming the ball all the way against the tank, and not being able to clone more than one glider.  The third one was heavily implied, though, by the blocks next to the clone button, and the others were early in the level (which is overall short) so not a big problem.  It's a little strange, though, how the set seems to go between extremely straightforward levels like the previous two and levels where trying even the slightest obvious-looking thing could be a cook.  I definitely liked how you clear paths to get around the recessed walls you used up earlier and travel between the upper and lower parts of the level.

Level 16 (The Whoa Zone):  Mazes with tons of teleports have been done before, but never quite the same way as this.

"Albeit, there's no way to make this concept uncookable..." Josh says.  However, as a player, one thing you can do, I realized, is avoid teleporting right, lest this happen:

image.png.e6ffef8112655bf1d3bf7795dffc528b.png

Thankfully, I got it on the second try.  There are plenty of ways to approach the chips, and the high density of recessed walls compared to teleports meant it wasn't too hard to get to any of them.  (Looking for ways to teleport up or down to a chip definitely helps.)  I think the level size was chosen well.

Level 17 (Slytherin Common Room):  Hmm...I know Slytherin students sleep in a dungeon, but I hope it's not this gross!  Anyway, the blob-filling chip-collecting room at the start was pretty neat, kind of what I hoped to achieve with my level "The Green Virus" but on a smaller scale so the pressure felt more immediate.  The rest was OK, thankfully not too hard.  I did have the misfortune of having to wait a long time for the final blob to drain from the flipper hallway right before the end.  I did go back to get the secret hint, which took a fair amount of patience and courage...most of the time, there were 3-4 blobs in that upper-left corner of the starting room, so I had to wait for it to go down to 1 blob and then make a beeline to the red key.  Luckily I was able to escape using the force floors.  I did manage to get it without dying even once.

Edited by ajmiam
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Set updated once again! This update fixes a couple busts in Indigo Plateau that were found by Jeffrey :) I had a feeling there were ways to bust it that I didn't catch, so much appreciated for informing me (Y)

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A few more comments from the levels I just played...

Level 18 (Cold Hard Chip):  I liked the aesthetic of the hallways with ice tiles down the middle/a few branching off.  The yellow key section was just intuitive enough for me to get it on the first try by process-of-elimination even though not everything was visible at the start, which felt good.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that you absolutely have to enter the ice checkerboard section from the bottom-right, resulting in a surprise ambush by hidden walls:

5ad190b4dca40_coldhardchipcook.JPG.8313cf12919b5ae8350d28c69ff10b64.JPG

Level 19 (Drops of Jupiter):  This started off nice and relaxing with some simple sokobans with small twists, and then suddenly some harrowing monster dodging near the end...a bit nerve-wracking, but I got through it in one piece.  My favorite sokobans were the ones that involved the teleports.

Level 20 (Fortune Ravine):  Like the previous level, another nice themed campaign level, but here the theme was recessed walls.  I think the difficulty was just right here for its place in the set and it very gradually sloped downwards (unlike the previous level which seemed to spike upwards around halfway through).  There were a few places I wish I could have seen farther, but also could have probably avoided cooks if I'd been more careful.  (The red/yellow/green key section looked like guesswork at first, but then I realized I could tell that the red key had to come before the yellow.)  My favorite part was going through a bomb/recessed wall maze and then clearing out the bombs using a fireball cloner!

---

And now because it was getting late and I decided to skip around arbitrarily:

Level 49 (Seven by Seven):  One cool thing about this level was being able to see the whole thing, notice that there is no visible exit--and yet still I knew exactly where the exit had to be.  (And I was right.)  It turned out much simpler than I expected; I never had to use the trapped ball or the flippers for anything.  Was that intended?  Anyway, the nice thing about leaving the flippers untouched is that you avoid the "dumb Lynx ending" you mentioned in your designer comment (the tank doesn't need to be stopped on the button if the flippers are still there).

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On 4/13/2018 at 10:29 PM, ajmiam said:

A few more comments from the levels I just played...

Level 18 (Cold Hard Chip):  I liked the aesthetic of the hallways with ice tiles down the middle/a few branching off.  The yellow key section was just intuitive enough for me to get it on the first try by process-of-elimination even though not everything was visible at the start, which felt good.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that you absolutely have to enter the ice checkerboard section from the bottom-right, resulting in a surprise ambush by hidden walls:

5ad190b4dca40_coldhardchipcook.JPG.8313cf12919b5ae8350d28c69ff10b64.JPG

This was actually pointed out to me upon releasing the set but I didn't feel the need to change it because no one else seemed to go through that direction (at least no one really complained about it).  Still don't to be honest because the level is open-ended enough elsewhere and well... not every single level needs to be solved the first try :P I realize it's technically unfair though so I apologize.

On 4/13/2018 at 10:29 PM, ajmiam said:

Level 20 (Fortune Ravine):  Like the previous level, another nice themed campaign level, but here the theme was recessed walls.  I think the difficulty was just right here for its place in the set and it very gradually sloped downwards (unlike the previous level which seemed to spike upwards around halfway through).  There were a few places I wish I could have seen farther, but also could have probably avoided cooks if I'd been more careful.  (The red/yellow/green key section looked like guesswork at first, but then I realized I could tell that the red key had to come before the yellow.)  My favorite part was going through a bomb/recessed wall maze and then clearing out the bombs using a fireball cloner!

That bomb/recessed wall part is also my favorite part of the level. Glad you enjoyed it overall! Definitely one of my top favorites in the set.

On 4/13/2018 at 10:29 PM, ajmiam said:

Level 49 (Seven by Seven):  One cool thing about this level was being able to see the whole thing, notice that there is no visible exit--and yet still I knew exactly where the exit had to be.  (And I was right.)  It turned out much simpler than I expected; I never had to use the trapped ball or the flippers for anything.  Was that intended?  Anyway, the nice thing about leaving the flippers untouched is that you avoid the "dumb Lynx ending" you mentioned in your designer comment (the tank doesn't need to be stopped on the button if the flippers are still there).

Yes everything you see there was intended in some shape or form.  I did want it all to be part of the solution upon first designing it but as soon as I realized it wasn't necessary, I liked it so I kept it all in to kind of throw off the player. It worked in J.B.'s LP ;)

While we're mentioning this level I might as well throw it out there that the 64 second solution (Hi Jeffrey) is pretty awesome.

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