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Michael

For anyone who is on the CCLP4 staff

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Not people, only one person I know of... <_<

 

- Madhav.

 

False. That is all.

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False. That is all.

 

The only person I have seen express an intense desire to start CCLP4 at this moment is Michael. Care to share who else is this eager?

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Right now, I guess we may start extremely early discussions about the set, such as how many levels there will be, and in what rulesets it will be solvable.  But I think it is still way too early to assemble a CCLP4 staff.

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Right now, I guess we may start extremely early discussions about the set, such as how many levels there will be, and in what rulesets it will be solvable.  But I think it is still way too early to assemble a CCLP4 staff.

 

Well there's no reason to even discuss that, it's already been established that it will have 149 levels as well as being solvable in both rulesets.

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My 2 cents, I guess?

 

- A veteran pack would not work. There's already CCLP3.

 

- As previously mentioned, CCLP4 should not occur nor be launched for at least a year. There's not enough new levels to make it happen.

 

2 points, so 1 cent each? Is that how it works? :)

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If we want to do something right now for CCLP4, it'd be best just to have somewhere here on CCZone where we could have a list of all sets eligible for it (if and when it happens). So basically opening submissions. Also, forget me for the CCLP4 staff for now, I just don't think it's going to work for me in my college years  :)

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Obviously, this year, I have close to no time to devote to something like that, so if it's pushed forward this year (which I don't recommend for obvious reasons mentioned countless amounts of times before by several people), I won't be able to be an efficient part of said staff. But who knows next year?

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If being on staff means being even LESS helpful than I was for CCLP1 -- count me in!

 

BTW, we could just "open submissions" and let them languish for a couple years -- like CCLP3 did.

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I probably won't be on the CCLP4 staff, but I won't say no for sure. I think the difficulty should be around CCLP2 and CCLP3. Invalid tiles can be used for some good concepts, but it's no longer the norm anymore.

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I've said in the past that we don't really know what the future holds when it comes to future CCLPs, community preferences, community makeup, or design preferences, but I think that also needs to be tempered with the notion that deciding what kind of set we as a community want to make now will also help inform what people submit for it in the days to come. To a large extent, it does work both ways.

 

It's been almost five months since CCLP1's release, and the amount of time most people took to solve it was not nearly as long as what was required for CCLP2 or 3. We're slowly starting to see level design filling up the community's time once again. We're beginning to discuss what kinds of levels we want to see in CCLP4, at least from what we have available. So I don't think it'll hurt to talk about what CCLP4 could be, as long as our expectations aren't terribly set in stone just in case tastes and preferences happen to change along the way.

 

After serving on two CCLP staffs, I think what should be done in the future should make the process as least time-consuming for the next staff as possible. :P My recommendation is to go ahead and hold this discussion and set tentative goals and guidelines for what CCLP4 should be as the next official level set: something generally agreeable that's also fairly flexible. I'm thinking very general guidelines here: ruleset compatibility, whether or not levels should have borders, what spectrum of difficulty is welcome, etc. Then, go ahead and announce here on CCZone that submissions are open. This will [a] encourage designers who haven't yet submitted material to build levels with the guidelines in mind, much like what was done with CCLP1; and start compiling a list of submitted sets. As a community, we've also grown quite adept at locating busts and compatibility issues in levels, so playing / testing them without a staff in place to address these issues before anything else is done shouldn't be difficult. It will also give people who don't have time to be on the CCLP4 staff or who are uncertain about their involvement in the future a chance to participate and contribute. At the very least, those who are very intentional about submitting material with the guidelines in mind can receive support for these problems immediately rather than wait to be contacted by the staff years down the road. It also frees up the staff from having to re-test everything again.

 

I think whenever the staff is formed should be around the time the community believes there are enough levels in the submission pool from which a voting process or some form of community-backed level selection can take place. Personally, I don't think we should wait too long for this to happen - maybe cap off the submissions at a number like 1500, give or take a bit. CCLP1 had a limited number of levels on which the community voted, which made variety in the set itself much easier to attain. (Variety seems to be growing as a level design trend anyway these days...maybe because designers are finally realizing that less homogeneity within their submissions tends to mean a greater chance of inclusion in the finished product? :) ) CCLP2 had even fewer levels available when it was created, and despite its flaws that many like to point out, it was far from homogenous. Several factors should be involved in the formation of the staff: at least a few people should have been active community members throughout the submission process, all should be knowledgeable about the game and its rulesets, all should possess some degree of objectivity, maturity, ability to work with others in a team for a few years, etc. By the time the staff is selected, submissions can be closed, and those on the staff who have been around the most, are familiar with the formation of the set-defining guidelines, and have helped with the testing of the levels throughout the submission process can help decide what is included in the voting or selection process that's designed to inform the staff's final choices. Then, the community can get involved again in whatever method the staff has in mind.

 

Thoughts?

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 I'm thinking very general guidelines here: ruleset compatibility, whether or not levels should have borders, what spectrum of difficulty is welcome, etc. Then, go ahead and announce here on CCZone that submissions are open.

I think MS and regular Lynx, pedantic optional has the most appeal without being restrictive-I've seen a lot of good level ideas that in pedantic would require a ton of shenanigans to make work-if they even could.  Personally, I think CCLP4 should model its difficulty after that of CCLP2-start off with some slightly more complex levels than, say, CC1 and CCLP1, and just scale up from there.  The last few levels could approach late CCLP3 difficulty, since on their own and surrounded by shorter and easier levels, I think those would really shine in a community set.  Nothing like Avalanche or YCTaOFNT, though :P

 

Borders should be up to the designer I think-for the most part, my levels have borders but every once in a while I make one without due to wanting a certain aesthetic (i.e., water everywhere) and then I give the player flippers as part of the level.

 

 

 

I think whenever the staff is formed should be around the time the community believes there are enough levels in the submission pool from which a voting process or some form of community-backed level selection can take place. Personally, I don't think we should wait too long for this to happen - maybe cap off the submissions at a number like 1500, give or take a bit.

The CCLP1 voting packs had 1,647 levels total-were these picked by the staff or the community?  How big of a drawing pool for those levels were there?  Depending on the actual process, 1500 may not be close to enough for a "first cut".  I will say that the CCLP1 voting packs have been quite manageable, and breaking up the sets into 50 level anonymized chunks seems like the ideal solution-if not very close to it.  It just comes down to what method of generating them is wanted, and that's where I think there is no perfect way to do it.

 

Purely community nominated levels turns it into a popularity contest of the designer (mostly) over the merits of the levels themselves.  Having the designers put forth a certain amount of levels up to a point could work, but could also work against variety-and essentially makes every level have to pass through a double sieve.  Perhaps if this bar was set very high it could work (maybe 100 max), but even then, there's a lot of good levels out there.

 

Just my 2 cents 2.5 times.  Have a nickel.

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Borders? Shouldn't be required, but the majority of levels that make it in probably will have them. We could always take the CCLP1 route and add borders if possible.

Rulesets? No one is makes MS only levels anymore (other than like Zane and I), so sure, make it non-pedantic Lynx compatible. I wouldn't be upset if it weren't though.

Difficulty? Whatever the community votes in. I'd be sort of disappointed if there was some arbitrary elimination of levels for CCLP4 before voting starts. It served its purpose with CCLP1. There really isn't an abundance of difficult levels out there anymore. All the difficult Madhav and pieguy levels that are decent are in CCLP3, and no other designers design at their difficulty level anymore.

Zane? He's pretty cool.

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Purely community nominated levels turns it into a popularity contest of the designer (mostly) over the merits of the levels themselves. 

That has always been an issue I was strongly fighting against, but hey, ultimately, biases can't be overturned, sadly.

 

breaking up the sets into 50 level anonymized chunks seems like the ideal solution-if not very close to it.  It just comes down to what method of generating them is wanted, and that's where I think there is no perfect way to do it.

We generated them randomly, so yeah it was as good as what was there.

 

There really isn't an abundance of difficult levels out there anymore. All the difficult Madhav and pieguy levels that are decent are in CCLP3, and no other designers design at their difficulty level anymore.

That is true, there are some around but the global thing shouldn't be overwhelmed by their number, so we're good there.

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The CCLP1 voting packs had 1,647 levels total-were these picked by the staff or the community?  How big of a drawing pool for those levels were there?  Depending on the actual process, 1500 may not be close to enough for a "first cut".  I will say that the CCLP1 voting packs have been quite manageable, and breaking up the sets into 50 level anonymized chunks seems like the ideal solution-if not very close to it.  It just comes down to what method of generating them is wanted, and that's where I think there is no perfect way to do it.

 

If I counted correctly, there were 4,484 levels across the sets in the submission pool for CCLP1. What we did before voting was to narrow down the list by eliminating levels that fit into the following categories:

 

[1] Levels that were automatically ineligible by default: in other words, levels that were already in another CCLP, levels that contained some sort of inappropriate content in their design (yes, believe it or not, we had to deal with this), special-purpose levels that would not be appropriate for general voting like cyphers and credits lists, dummy levels, blank levels, levels that were superseded by newer versions in a newer set, levels created after the submission deadline, and levels that were specifically requested to be removed from voting by their designers.

[2] Levels that were incompatible with one of the two rulesets and could not be fixed without basically constructing an entirely new level.

[3] Levels that were determined by the staff to be too trivial, too difficult, of poor design quality, or any other characteristics that didn't make them a good fit for CCLP1.

 

As part of a check / balance system, we made sure that levels that fit into categories [2] and [3] had a chance to be nominated back into the voting process by non-staff community members who didn't want to see them eliminated. The grand total, after all was said and done, was the remaining 1,647.

 

I didn't get into the reasons for suggesting a cap of 1,500 in the previous post because, honestly, that could be an entire blog post. But I'll try to summarize my thoughts: whenever CCLPx is released, the disappointed designers who didn't get levels they wanted to see in the set are often told, "Don't worry; there's always CCLPx+1!" That is true - I mean, just look at the almost decade-long gap between Lazy Hourglass's original appearance in CCLP2 voting and its eventual induction into CCLP3. But after working on building a couple of CCLPs, I can say with some certainty that this is more or less the exception to the rule. CCLPs are generally a reflection of the levels and level design preferences of the time, which are always in flux as people come and go, and new official sets affect the tastes of players and the tendencies of designers. By the time the next set is constructed, you're dealing with new levels built after the paradigm shift that will more than likely garner quite a bit more praise than the material of yesteryear. Perhaps it won't be the case with CCLP4 because there are a lot of CCLP1-inappropriate levels that would be given more positive attention now, but this would be even more reason to take a good look at what already we have and, by extension, what we need for variety's sake. This is what's been done for another community-produced puzzle game I've been involved with: the designer put out a call for level submissions, then he gradually adjusted that prompt to account for the kinds of levels that weren't nearly as well-represented.

 

Don't get me wrong - I'm the last one to suggest that the CC community turn into a CCLP-producing factory rolling out a new set every several months. But I think we need to pay attention to just how fast levels are being made. More than that, I'd hate to see more people walk away disappointed after not getting something they made in an official set and then submitting the same material next time just to see it get overshadowed by newer levels and the "contemporary" design tactics of the day after so much time has passed. (Thankfully, the voting pack system can help with this a bit.) I'm not a fan of abandoning the formal submission / permission-granting process either, since increasing the size of the pool with each CCLP will just get more cumbersome for the staff and the community at large. The CCLP3 process is a perfect example of just how much more difficult it can be to manage the project when the submission process is open for so long and contains so many levels. Nor am I a fan of ditching the quality-based method of level selection for a designer "fairness"-based method, since doing so can easily compromise the quality of the overall product. So by process of elimination, that leaves limiting the submission pool as the only viable option to ensure that [a] the possibility of making it into CCLPx+1 is a bit more of a likely possibility, and the testing / voting / assembly processes do not take a ridiculous amount of time.

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Another interesting option that seems relatively unexplored: Upgrade Tile World Lynx to work with invalid tiles in the same way that they work in MS. Obviously this wouldn't really be Lynx anymore so it might be worthwhile to make a new name for it, but keep the spirit of animated graphics and all the usual Lynx features.

 

I'd also love to see some Chuck's Challenge integration. Since it'll likely be 3 years or more before we see anything of a new official set, there would be plenty of time to convince Chuck to add the last few CC1 tiles to the game. Then the staff could take liberty to port the levels to the game, or outsource that job to the original level designers if they want to do so.

 

Borders? Nah, if the community wants them then we'll have something similar to CCLP1 where most levels already had them.

Difficulty? I like the idea of not having any restrictions for now, because the community doesn't seem to have much motivation left for extremely difficult levels but wants levels more challenging than those seen in CCLP1. But we can see how this changes as the level submissions change and discuss accordingly.

Me for CCLP4 staff? Only if you pay me for all my video game needs for my time on the staff.  :teeth:

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I'm the last one to suggest that the CC community turn into a CCLP-producing factory rolling out a new set every several months. But I think we need to pay attention to just how fast levels are being made. More than that, I'd hate to see more people walk away disappointed after not getting something they made in an official set and then submitting the same material next time just to see it get overshadowed by newer levels and the "contemporary" design tactics of the day after so much time has passed.

I think that would inappropriately suggests people to play only official sets and would pretty much discard any possible view on custom sets, because hey, we got the official sets...

 

Also, the motivation isn't that we don't want difficulty, we just don't want homogenous difficulty.

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I'd also love to see some Chuck's Challenge integration. Since it'll likely be 3 years or more before we see anything of a new official set, there would be plenty of time to convince Chuck to add the last few CC1 tiles to the game. Then the staff could take liberty to port the levels to the game, or outsource that job to the original level designers if they want to do so.

 

I like the idea of porting CC levels to Chuck's Challenge (which I'll refer to as CC3D), but there's one non-game logic issue I've had: aesthetics. The design of the game elements of CC3D is completely different and would make much of what worked for CC look really strange. Could you imagine playing a location-referencing level like "Launch" in CC3D since the gravel would be replaced by the light spongy material? Or all of the levels involving color-based aesthetics that made sense in CC but would be visually broken in CC3D? I think porting levels is great, but I don't think it's something that needs to feel obligatory - or something that should affect our judgment calls for future official sets.

 

I think that would inappropriately suggests people to play only official sets and would pretty much discard any possible view on custom sets, because hey, we got the official sets...

 

I agree, but don't forget that much of the audience for CCLPs consists of people outside the active vocal group in this community. There are plenty of people who still subscribe to the Yahoo! group who don't care at all to play the custom sets and just want to consume the cream of the crop. This is part of the reason I think late CCLP3-difficulty levels should be in their own set outside the CCLP continuity, targeted at a more specific audience.

 

Also, the motivation isn't that we don't want difficulty, we just don't want homogenous difficulty.

 

Yeah, that's more or less what I was trying to get at.

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The method used for CCLP1 sounds like it should work fine again, since a lot of the initial trimming could be done at a glance.  I've skimmed through levelsets before on pieguy's site and Jacques.dat took me a couple hours to skim through-and that's the worst case scenario, and I was looking at the content, not trying to rule out trivial levels or ones that simply aren't Lynx compatible, which would speed up the process immensely.

 

 

Another interesting option that seems relatively unexplored: Upgrade Tile World Lynx to work with invalid tiles in the same way that they work in MS. Obviously this wouldn't really be Lynx anymore so it might be worthwhile to make a new name for it, but keep the spirit of animated graphics and all the usual Lynx features.

I don't dislike this idea, though I think with CCLXP2 in its current form it's not really worth the trouble to implement.  At that point you might as well throw in advanced coding and the other obscure glitches not currently emulated (disclaimer: I do think that these other obscure glitches should be added, but notsomuch insane level functionality).
 

I'd also love to see some Chuck's Challenge integration. Since it'll likely be 3 years or more before we see anything of a new official set, there would be plenty of time to convince Chuck to add the last few CC1 tiles to the game. Then the staff could take liberty to port the levels to the game, or outsource that job to the original level designers if they want to do so.

I'd say if the original designer has CC3D, then the default should be they port-the outsourcing to the staff would likely be a better option (if I'm on the staff I'd gladly do it).  At least with my own levels that I've ported, I've made a few changes to the CC3D version to better capture the aesthetic I was going for-see In the Pipeline, where in Chip's Challenge I had to pull shenanigans with thin walls to make work and as a result couldn't add water, but in Chuck's Challenge, the aesthetic could be a lot less jagged and my original vision with water could be implemented.  You never know, there might be something the designer wanted to add (minor, of course) or change the look of that couldn't be done with regular CC.  To use another of my own levels, when I ported Frosty Retreat I ran into 3 issues: no thief tile (fixed by gravel acting like thief), no recessed wall (fixed by toggle) and no blue wall for aesthetic (used blue locks).  I also used blue pressure plates in one room that in the original, had a gravel floor.
 
Though, it would end up flooding CC3D and the current level search system is horribly awkward, and there's no way (yet) to set up a 'campaign' of sorts.
 

Difficulty? I like the idea of not having any restrictions for now, because the community doesn't seem to have much motivation left for extremely difficult levels but wants levels more challenging than those seen in CCLP1. But we can see how this changes as the level submissions change and discuss accordingly.

Me for CCLP4 staff? Only if you pay me for all my video game needs for my time on the staff.   :teeth:

I think that since CCLP4 isn't an introductory set, no real difficulty cap needs to be set.  Levels that are punishing rather than challenging will be weeded out in voting, a variety is appreciated and will be assembled, leaving levels that are too easy/simple to get removed in voting-which will create a lower-end difficult from what people want.

Oh and throw me on the staff instead, I'll do it for free :V

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So... convince Chuck to add custom tileset support too?  :) Probably asking a bit much though.

 

Advanced MS game mechanics and/or data resetting? Hell no. I'd just be interested to see CCLP2-like stuff make a return in an official set and see what today's community would make of it for something different.

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So... convince Chuck to add custom tileset support too?  :) Probably asking a bit much though.

 

Advanced MS game mechanics and/or data resetting? Hell no. I'd just be interested to see CCLP2-like stuff make a return in an official set and see what today's community would make of it for something different.

 

The line between what's an advanced mechanic and what isn't would need to be defined though. A lot of people were opposed to the ram that was in After the Rainstorm in CCLP2.

 

But CCLP4 will probably be Lynx compatible so we won't have to worry  (Y)

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Advanced MS game mechanics and/or data resetting? Hell no. I'd just be interested to see CCLP2-like stuff make a return in an official set and see what today's community would make of it for something different.

I wasn't saying to include those in an official set, but the rest of the glitches (barring transparency crash) would be interesting to see implemented into Tile World.  Less so for anything defined as insane, though I would still argue that it would be nice to see just so that those levels can still be played as intended when, inevitably, no one has a computer capable of running MSCC any more.

 

Invalid Lynx though...actually, has anyone ever hex edited in "invalid" tiles into the original Lynx version?  A basis from that could be the way forward, though again it hinges on someone adding functionality to Tile World.

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The line between what's an advanced mechanic and what isn't would need to be defined though. A lot of people were opposed to the ram that was in After the Rainstorm in CCLP2.

 

But CCLP4 will probably be Lynx compatible so we won't have to worry  (Y)

 

I think a good rule of thumb is for CCLPs to be fairly open-ended: inclusive of a variety of difficulty levels but not ridiculously hard, as well as compatible in both rulesets (which CCLP2 has pretty much now achieved). Anything specific to one ruleset can be in its own special level pack outside the CCLP continuity. It would just depend on what the community would like to do outside creating the "best of" CCLP sets.

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The idea of not having a staff for now and waiting for that is really great, JB.

 

As for the submission cap, I don't know.  1500 doesn't seem like a lot, as 10% of all the levels submitted would be in the final set.  2000 seems more reasonable to me.

Ruleset compatiblity: I think it should be solvable in Lynx and MS.  Pedantic Lynx mode seems to add aditional restrictions, and I don't know anyone that uses it on a regular basis.  A set with invalid tiles would be interesting, but if it had 149 levels, I would find it quite long.  And I guess implementing invalid tiles in TW Lynx would be a lot of work with little benefit.  I think it would be better to implement the teleport skip glitch so people can get all the bolds without MSCC.

 

Borders: Many levels have them, but I don't think they should be required.

 

Difficulty: I think there shouldn't be any lesson levels.  The first levels should be about as hard as Graduation.  By the end of the set, we would have some hard, late-CCLP3-style levels that are not painful.

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> All the difficult Madhav and pieguy levels that are decent are in CCLP3

 

Umm... I think I'll take that as a compliment.  :P

 

 

> and no other designers design at their difficulty level anymore.

 

There's still me; but yes, maybe even I don't design at my difficulty level anymore.

 

 

- Madhav.

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This is part of the reason I think late CCLP3-difficulty levels should be in their own set outside the CCLP continuity, targeted at a more specific audience.

 

Really, that's too bad you didn't think that back in the CCLP3 days!

 

Also, I think some of my levels match late-CCLP3 difficulty, but I design so many different kinds of levels with so variable difficulty that I can't consider myself as "designing hard levels".

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