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BlazingApollo

The Toughest Level You Ever Made

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Sup, everyone! Havent posted in here for a while. Because I'm trying to focus creating my levelset which unexpectedly took about 18 months or so (I can't remember) to create 35 levels. But my target is about 45 levels. Which means it will took another 18 months to build them. Yeah, I know, I suck at CC, both in playing or creating them :unsure:

 

 

Anywaybythewaysubway, right now I'm struggling to finish designing a level named 'Hypercomplex Maze'. This level, apparently, the toughest, and the most frustating level I ever made so far. The main concept of this level is a complex maze. But what makes this level so hard to make is because, this level, described in a mathemathical formula...

 

 

(Triple Maze x 2) + (Sokoban + Steam) + Key Swapping

 

 

 

That's right. I created something which is more painful than a 'Triple Maze' level! I bet it's not easy to create a complex and confusing maze like 'Triple Maze'. It's because the fire, water, and force floor tile are very confusing to be placed in the right location. You have to make sure every single chips is obtainable. Some of them have to be placed in the right place to make sure there's a few places that can only be visited with only one type of boots. You have to make sure the level is also solvable, whether without or with a time limit. Yeah, Pieguy, you've done a brilliant job. (Y)

 

 

Back to my under-construction 'Hypercomplex Maze' level. Trying to expand a highly creative level like 'Triple Maze' is a difficult one. I kept thinking if it's possible to create a more complex level like 'Quadruple Maze'. Since it's a bit hard to use every elemental tiles together as a maze (especially with the ice tile). I decided to make a Triple or maybe Quadruple Maze made of Buttons.

 

 

First thing to do is, I have to make a mechanism where the player can't press different colored buttons in one phase. And on the next phase, the player must press a different colored button, and they can no longer press the first ones. And this continues until the fourth phase. Of course, the mechanism was quite hard to create. Took a couple days to figure out such mechanism.

 

 

And here goes the crazy idea. Since I remembered there's a limit of using the clone and the trap buttons, the maze won't be very large. Aaaand, I decided to put some keyswapping stuff in there. Not enough, I decided to mix the level with Triple Maze concept in it! Not enough! A sokoban is also present in the level now. Oh, almost forgot. A teleport also exist there. A mixed, messed-up salad :/

 

 

.....

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It will turn out into a great level, I think (Five-Star design, ONE STAR for fun :/). Though, a great level comes a great messing-up. The maze is very confusing to look at. I mean, there's a bunch of blue, green, red, and brown button, with fire, water, and force floor tile, AND various locks PLUS a sokoban inside the very maze. I messed up my first attempt of creating the maze, of course. I restarted building the maze, and it's 45% done now. Step-by-step. Very slow.

Hopefully everything is done by tomorrow, so I can test it (hopefully it's solvable, if not, I'm gonna rage :angry: ).

 

 

 

That's my experience in creating a level. What about you guys? Do you have a hard time creating a single level? :lol:

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I've found that making hard levels that people actually think are any good is really hard. You can play levels like Final Destination or Bloblake that are surely extremely hard (and I think the former probably involved a lot of design effort just to make it work), but they're not actually fun, because they are only hard because of dirty tricks requiring tons of luck and near-perfect maneuvers. The good extremely hard levels I played were frustrating more than fun due to the puzzles being non-obvious and expansive, requiring many iterations of logic to figure out, but the joy of finally clenching every small facet of the puzzle made them worthwhile in the end, despite my moaning and hand-wringing while actually playing it.

 

I don't know if any of the hard levels I made are any good. I wouldn't release them if I thought they were bad, but knowing whether a hard puzzle level is actually fun requires you to ask people who solved the puzzle without hints, and that can take a long time. My first hard puzzle was broken several times, and when someone finally beat it, they said it was more tedious than fun due to being too much of an overcomplicated itemswapper. After that I tried to focus more on intermediate-difficulty puzzles.

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Yeah, gotta agree with you. Hard levels will be most likely wont be fun.

 

Though, it seems that I've made a mistake on this thread name. By 'The Toughest Level You Ever Made', it can mean 2 things: Tell us about one of your level which is very tough to beat. But my intention to start this thread is: Tell us about the making process of a level of yours which you think is a nightmare when you made it. I really struggled to finish my 'Hypercomlex Maze' because it's very confusing to design the maze. I have to make a copy of the level. Make a maze out of green buttons. Then move it one-by-one to the real one. Then make another copy, make a maze out of water tile. Move it again to the real one. Make another copy, make a maze of a specific tile, and so on. Painful. Because there's like 8 different tiles I have to make a maze with.

 

 

That level is really giving me hard time. And now, I'm curious if everyone in here also have the same experience as me. Not when creating a maze like what I mentioned earlier. It can be any level. It can be the one which forces you to playtest it very often. Or it can be a complex puzzle which causes a headache when you think about it. A full-effort level to be made.

 

 

Also, I'm wondering about how did Madhav create his YCTaOFNT, Pieguy with his Same Game, ('insert level designer here') with Caves, Mental Blocks, Stress Fracture, and other difficult levels in the existing CCLP.

 

So yeah, this thread is about behind-the-scenes of a level you made.

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Same Game kind of happened by accident. The original idea was just a bunch of sokoban segments. I spent a long time trying to solve the last room, but I couldn't. But then I realized that with a slight tweak, the level might still be solvable. And it was.

 

Sometimes the best way to make a hard level is to start by making an impossible level. Then back off until it becomes solvable.

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Hmmm, I was considering posting in this thread, but there's no use now that pieguy and Madhav have posted.

 

Where's J.B.?

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Just play any level from the OLD levelset...

 

Nathaniel's Very Tough Spiral (Y)

 

I also liked Trapfrog and Gwof, among many others I cannot possibly remember the names of =]

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My hardest level may have to be the Indiana Chip: Raiders of the Lost Chip, or Set-Up.

 

Set-Up was impossible for a long time because I never had the patience to try to beat it, but then I ended up playing through the level about 20 times before I got it right.

The Indiana Chip one though, I just made this extra specific route to go through with a lot of other possibilities to make the difficulty.

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Although evil, my set's 112 slot isn't that difficult with good hands and precise timing, but is definitely not the hardest level I've ever made. One of the hardest in ZK1 might be level 147 (Not Ready to Die). My next lynx-compatible set will be of a higher difficulty, since most of the levels in my current one are usually within medium difficulty range and nothing too hard.

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I must say, Gimmick Isle Part Deux is very well-planned. I'm really interested in how you made it, Tyler.

 

I didn't really plan it at all. All I knew I wanted in the level was the tank gimmick, the pushing a block in the fire to bounce off it gimmick, and the using one recessed wall for two blocks gimmick (which is based off of a part of Mice Are Good For Something). I've never planned out the entirety of a level, I just add things as they come to me. Also, I greatly prefer the first Gimmick Isle.

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I kind of have four levels, two that are more annoying rage levels, and two that are hard rage levels.

 

"MAZEpossible" (which is currently an ms-only level, but I'm thinking of making it lynx compatible), and "block skate" (which is ms & lynx) are both super annoying to try and beat. Though I think that I raged far more on block skate, do to slide delay and slow or miss-stepping fingers.

 

"chaos in the chip factory", and "bits and pieces 2: the boot maze" are both hard to beat. chaos for being completely filled with pink balls, and boot maze because of the couple of random force floors at the start of the level and generally confusing nature of all of the elements within the level (think triple maze on hyper drive).

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I'd have to say any level that involves thinking about how one single tile affects everything around it throughout most of the entire map - for me, it'd be Skydiver's Maze.

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I really hesitate on that one. I've made some incredibly tough ones, in terms of puzzles. I'm thinking of Whirl Blast, Voices and Unicorn Rabbit (your call?).

 

Whirl Blast has a very interesting story. I kinda made it the pieguy way. I started by drawing all sorts of patterns with water (I knew back then that I wanted a Cloner's Maze thing), and when I was done with the drawing, it almost resembled its current design, but it was way too trivial and easy. I just needed to add bombs and water tiles at not-so-random locations to make it stricter and actually use only 9 blocks. I had pieces of solution in my mind as to where to sacrifice the blocks, the rest is all player's choices with the suggested structures. Making sure it isn't busted where I wanted it to be strict was the longest part, but it took me only an hour to make, which is a miracle in itself. The ideas came as I was drawing stuff around :)

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First off Rock, I'm pretty sure Bloblake was your hardest level.

And secondly Josh, what about Double Pain?

 

Rock probably doesn't count it as he doesn't feel its a well made hard level perhaps. I mean anyone could make a hard level if lucky timings are involved.

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I think BlazingApollo clarified earlier that the title of this thread was misleading; he was referring to the level that was the toughest for each designer to make, not the toughest level to play. :)

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