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Should a level be solvable on the first attempt?

Initial attempt win??  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Should a level be solvable on the first attempt if the player doesn't make a mistake?

    • Never. What is this, kindergarden?
      1
    • Possibly no. It doesn't matter enough to affect a design.
      1
    • Who cares? Just as long as the level is solvable.
      5
    • Preferrably yes, but depeding on the concept sometimes no.
      20
    • Always, to maximize the fun and elegance.
      1


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For maximum enjoyment, should a level be theoretically solvable by someone playing it for the first time if they can play well enough?

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Sometimes levels are not designed to be done on the first try. The prime example being Lead Us Not into Temptation at a guess, because in my eyes it relies on the concept of trial and error. Hard levels which are theoretically possibly on a first try, like Avalanche are good but players are pressured by the time limit of 999 seconds, so it's tough to do first try without any guidance. It doesn't have to be a requirement to be a standout level though, just it might be considered easier when there's no guesswork to do.

 

I don't mind either way, as long as the level is fun and doesn't outstay its welcome for too long like Old Frog. That level is a bad one for that reason for me.

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I honestly don't care, so long as it's solvable within reason. I mean, some levels are just over the top (*COUGHSuspendedAnimationCOUGH*), but for the most part, as long as the level is solvable and actually possible to figure out without the mind of a super computer, then I'm okay with it.

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Also,

*kindergarten

*Preferably

*depending

 

lol

 

It seems I was in still in chat mode when posting. Actually, this might be my cue to whip out the "my first language isn't English"-card but I feel like I've been part of the community for too long to do that. I mean seriously everyone has been super nice for the last few years and this is the first time anyone says anything about my spelling, which is really rare generally online. But I guess it had to happen at some point and I did make three eye-catching mistakes in the same post :P

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Really just depends on the concept the level is giving to players.

 

If it's meant to be difficult, then no I don't really expect to solve it first try. :)

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This is the first time anyone says anything about my spelling, which is really rare generally online.

"Online" is a big place. I've seen some communities that do this at almost every opportunity.

 

But I guess it had to happen at some point and I did make three eye-catching mistakes in the same post :P

I only caught them on my second or third read. lol

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Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Lesson levels, for instance, are meant for practice and learning about the actual game. Others, like the triple digits in CCLP3, are meant for more skilled players.

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I went with "Preferably yes", assuming that "solvable on the first try" means "solvable on the first try without guesswork". I definitely prefer both making and playing levels where you are given the chance to figure out what you have to do before you have to do it. Being able to make a level that is still challenging with that quality is definitely a tough but worthy design task!

 

I always find it kind of off-putting when a level forces you to make a bunch of irreversible decisions (drowning monsters, stepping on recessed walls/force floors, using blocks, unlocking doors, pressing red buttons when you don't know what they control) practically right from the get-go, and then you just have to go as far as you can and figure out which ones of the dozen or so decisions you made cooked the level *coughcoughOld :teeth:*. It's especially bad if the irreversible, unknowable decisions continue all the way through, and then you risk undoing 500 seconds of work unless you peek in the editor.

Still, there are some levels that require guesswork that I don't mind, namely those with short, strict time limits. In these levels (e.g. Shattered) guesswork is inherently required because you just don't have enough time to explore ahead before making decisions! But because the level length is small, there is little cost for wrong choices, and it's generally fun to figure out the most efficient ways to complete these levels!

 

On the other hand, because of Chip's limited eyesight, it's (probably) not possible to make puzzles as intricate as Old :teeth: and the rest of CCLP3's endgame without necessitating some guesswork...but I still tend to like pure, fair logical levels better. They just seem to be more satisfying to solve.

 

I suppose an interesting side-question would be, if you find an intricate Old :teeth:-style puzzle level that involves guesswork, how long do you try it before peeking in the editor (or do you never peek at all)?

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I really, really don't mind about guesswork, I've grown up a lot through my LPs. What I hate is hiding the guesswork behind a concept. It's not as much as figuring a puzzle out when you can see all the pieces you need, but when you're forced upon a choice that you have no idea if it's going to lead you to your objective.

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I answered preferrably yes, because I think it is a level design concept that needs to be explored a bit more for CCLP1; where if you make a mistake it is reversible and "player-friendly". Obviously this wouldn't apply to all concepts and designs, especially more so in later levels, but like in CC1 the routine restart will still certainly be inevitable. I also like how restarting is the main point of figuring out a strategy to get through on some levels, such as Jumping Swarm or Cellblocked.

 

I am totally with ajmiam on a lot of that stuff, I think the limited sight distance is often something to keep in mind when making player-friendly levels (and something I paid a lot of attention to in my levels). It is kind of annoying when you push a block forward to get it out of the way to see farther down a room, only to discover when it is too late that you pushed it too far (not knowing what the whole puzzle or challenge was).

 

Guesswork is fine with me unless it is in such a position that it would cause one, who may feel successful for getting so far into a level, to have to start over again at that point, which could easily ruin the moment. I am personally one of those people, although more recently it doesn't bother me as much on shorter or medium-sized levels. I would peek in the editor if it were especially annoying, for example, an extremely low chance of picking the correct continuation or getting lucky and passing through, but I am sure there will be no CCLP1 levels like that.

 

Thanks Tyler/Michael for referring me to this thread, I almost forgot there was still some good discussions being had here!

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To answer ajmiam's question about Old Frog: When I opened it for the first time (way before CCLP3), I played along with the map. Those kind of levels are obviously not meant to be played casual, therefore not suitable for a CCLP in my humble and honest opinion. I messed around for 2 hours WITH the map, and I was still going absolutely nowhere, so it's safe to say it's pretty unreasonable to expect casual play from someone through this whole thing and/or expect someone to find the solution without a map on the first try. Though I understand the idea and the concept, it should belong to the individuals ready to take on the challenge itself.

 

As a perfect illustration for what I mean there, Cloner's Maze (if not for the fact that it should have been untimed) can be figured out on one's first try, and remains to the day one of the greatest puzzles ever designed.

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I agree with Rock and Trevor, generally. I've been going through and evaluating the CCLP1 candidates pre-voting so I can jot some ratings down (at least), and what I've found is that the most fun levels are the ones that are intuitive in their design and presentation.

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I tend to go with the "generally yes" route, but at the same time, there are difficult levels out there that may not necessarily be solved by most people on the first try, but the objective of the level is at least clear (Ida's "Lean Thinking," anyone?).

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On this topic, I am currently taking a Ruby programming class and my plan for the final project is to build a CC-like game. I don't want to de-rail the discussion here so I will most certainly add its own thread when I start on it, but my plan was to have all the basic game elements (with some obvious differences), but the major change would be the adding of a checkpoint system and game-saving that works, and maybe health/shields/killing monsters of some sort to help alleviate this problem entirely with stupid monster deaths or pushing of blocks in a corner or irretrievable areas. I just thought it was worth a mention for now, so don't let it distract you all too much. :)

 

Yes, yes, I know about copyright. I won't use the same graphics or anything like that.

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Ahhh, I thought too that it couldn't be a legit BigOto2 post without the use of the word "copyright" ;)

 

Back to the topic, to think twice, I should say that it was one of my main issues in CCLP3, but say on a much easier scale, I don't think I have much problems with the lack of first-shot salvation...

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Lose is normal. I don't think a level should be solvable on the first attempt as long as the level is solvable.

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