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Old 07-09-2012   #61
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Now that's an interesting take on what's wrong with Tortured Planet. I've always felt that something like that was the main problem, but never have I seen it put so clearly.

In retrospect, Tortured Planet probably crashed and burned because I wanted its main appeal to be how much content was in it. And when I couldn't come up with the content, I just rehashed what I thought had already worked. I totally ignored the law of diminishing returns; people have less fun when they see a puzzle the second time around. And of course, in the case of Spacewalk, virtually none of the gimmicks were as interesting as I thought they would be in the first place.

In my new projects, I'm trying to apply what I learned in Tortured Planet. Though some gimmicks certainly appear many times, I try to use them in original ways. Plus I don't copypaste giant structures anymore.
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Old 07-09-2012   #62
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So, Here Are My Votes. I may add more detailed reviews and MP Votes Later...


----------.:"Single Player":.-----------

Azure Temple - 9/10 - Comments: Well, There's Not Much to say. This map is The Best map here.

Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 - 5/10 - Comments: Average. Just, Average.

Chemical Facility Act 2 -6/10

Frozen Hillside Act 2 - 5/10 - Comments: I have No Idea Why Everyone Liked the first act, It Was Just Like A typical 1.09.4-Like SHORT Map That Was disguised by pretty good enemies and music everyone liked. I would've given Act 1 About 5\10. Act 2 Is Not Any Bit different, Exept For The Rising Snow part. So, Yeah.

Sonic SchoolHouse - 7/10 - Comments: I'm A sucker For Very Silly Joke Maps. This Was A very silly Joke Map. Good Job, Boinciel.

halfassLIGHTLESS Labyrinth - 1/10 - Comments: WHY IS THIS GETTING SUCH GOOD REVIEWS?!

funky scheme huh

(Dr. Gravity received a warning for this post: Use correct grammar and spelling.)
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Old 07-09-2012   #63
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 4/10
Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 10/10
Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 3/10
Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 7/10
Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 9/10
Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 5/10

And just for the hell of it, that's what it would look like in the new voting system:
Azure Temple Zone > Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 > Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 > Lightless Labyrinth Zone > Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 > Sonic's Schoolhouse

Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 4/10
There are so many individual flaws with this level that listing them all will be a challenge. I'll do my best nonetheless. The most immediately apparent problem is that most of the nature-themed rooms, especially the ones outdoors, are way too large and empty, to the where even the hidden items stand out like sore thumbs. There are half-hearted attempts at decorating the rooms with some scenery things and filling up the empty terrain, but it's very rudimentary. It doesn't help that your texturing choice is also very bland and sparse and that the rooms are unnecessarily tall so that the textures repeat over and over. There are two things you can do to fix this: One thing is to cut the rooms down to the bare essentials. Minimalism is fine, but if it leads to lots of unused space, that space should be removed. The other thing is to try and turn the unused space into natural landscapes. I can't explain this very well, so you might want to take a look at Blade's maps and how he incorporates the space he doesn't need into the level. You can use it to hide secrets or create alternate ways to cross the room or whatever, just don't have empty flat space laying around like that.

Another very obvious problem is inconvenient and inconsistent texturing. In the rooms with platforming over death pits, the platforms tend to blend in with the background because they use the same or very similar textures. There should never be a point where the player dies because he couldn't see something he should have seen, so make sure the platforms are easy to see against the background. Likewise, the crumbling platforms need to have a consistent texture and that texture has to be noticeably different from both the background and the normal platforms. In the cave after the first path split, it is very easy to die due to platforms that you can't possibly know beforehand will crumble. And of course, liquids with the same color should always have the same effect. The purple slime in the aqueducts isn't harmful while all the other slime in the level is.

A few of the gimmicks and challenges also just plain suck. At the first path split, the room with the rising green slime is stupid for two reasons: First of all, the rising green slime comes out of nowhere unexpectedly and can easily kill innocent players. It also feels like an unduly harsh punishment for screwing up a section that is otherwise trivially easy. If you want to challenge the player, make him do difficult things instead of killing him off for screwing up easy things. Not to mention that lethal slime is a questionable gimmick to begin with. The other thing was the way you used the diagonal springs. First and foremost, springs are a means of transportation, not a gimmick. This holds especially true for diagonal springs. It's possible to do cool things with vertical springs, as evidenced by the blue spring chains in NAGZ, for example, but midair control adjustments and diagonal spring do not mix in an interesting way. Speaking of springs, in the room with the bouncy grids (otherwise one of the best rooms in the level), I didn't like how the yellow spring, which was needed to continue, was practically hidden from view. The same occurred in the room with the slime current after the second path split. Because the springs that lead to the exit were tucked away in a blind spot, it was very easy to get lost. The slime current itself is also a terrible idea because it's more or less impossible to make it out alive.

Two more things occurred to me: First of all, there were some bustable walls behind which you hid secrets, but it was never clear which walls are bustable and which aren't. Use a consistent texture for bustable walls that is similar to the surrounding texture but slightly different so observant players can catch it. The other thing was in the very last room of the level. When you spindash through the bustable wall and out of the factory, there's a spring right in front of you that you can accidentally spin into which will land you in a pit, so move it to somewhere safe. Apart from all of these flaws I listed, the level is mostly a bunch of standard and frankly uninteresting platforming interspersed with a few cool rooms that significantly raise my opinion of your level, such as the room with the bouncy grids, the underwater room with the lasers that you have to avoid with careful timing and the room that is apparently supposed to be an elevator shaft, even though it's true that it makes no sense that one weight pulls up the other but not vice versa. Wouldn't it be more interesting if both weights were movable and you had to balance them into the correct position to make it out of the room? Anyway, all in all this is a very average level that is denied a 5 because of a few serious but easily fixable flaws. It seems to me that you are at a point where you have a lot of things you would like to do, but you don't yet have the designing skills to make them come true. Keep trying, it will come to you gradually.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 10/10
What more could I want from a level? Not only did it challenge me more than any SRB2 level before, it did so in ways that are creative, original and always fundamentally fair. And best of all, this has a LOT of replay value. Apart from the obligatory two paths per split, there's also another path entirely for Knuckles and a ton of secrets, some of which are absolutely hardcore (I wonder if anybody has managed to solve the optional puzzle room at the end). The only issues I have with this level are a few minor things: The rooms on the right path at the first split are oddly empty. When I first went there, I thought this was an unfinished dead end and I wasn't supposed to go there. Also on that path, there's a corridor with speed shoes in it that is uncomfortably narrow. Then, on the second path split, there's this part on the upper path where you have to jump over two tiny pegs while a gargoyle shoots at you. That part is already extremely difficult and takes a lot of careful planning to master, but you don't even give me an air bubble to take a rest, so I have to rush through it, which is basically hopeless. A bit more fairness would be appreciated here.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 3/10
Why would anyone want to base a level off Sonic's Schoolhouse of all things? As much as I admire all the work that went into replicating it (graphics, SOCs, sounds and whatnot), the problem still remains that this is a port of a bad edutainment game. Maybe six-year-olds are entertained by "puzzles" la "who is the bad guy?" and elementary school maths. I am not. Likewise, I can think of better things to do than running around collecting rings while avoiding Robotniks that look like you can destroy them like any other enemy but in reality are detons in disguise. There's a reason why 2.0's special stages are being replaced. And the basic block platforming, while harmless, is also something I wouldn't particularly care to do again. The only reason this score isn't even lower is that everything is short and basic enough as to not really annoy me. I suppose it's possible to enjoy this level for sheer novelty, but once that wears off, you will realize that there's not much to this level. Oh, and one more thing: If you're going to use annoying soundclips, at least use them in a way that makes sense. Hearing Sonic say "Good start, but you haven't given me the whole answer yet!" after failing a platforming section makes no sense. On the other hand, maybe that's what you aimed for.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 7/10
On one hand, this level has it all: Cool gimmicks, lots of exploration, smooth visuals and a wonderfully complex level structure that is trademark Blade. The problem is that we've seen all of this before in act 1. The things you do with the snow gimmick are minor variations on the things you did in act 1 and the new gimmicks, like the crumbling platforms and the button-platform combination in the ice palace, are nothing we haven't seen in a million levels before. All of this is well-crafted and enjoyable, but it lacks the originality of FHZ1. It's just your typical generic good level that happens to be made by the one mapper who does typical generic good levels the best. Which, in the context of Lost Worlds, will be more than satisfactory. There are two specific issues I'd like to address though: I still feel that the underwater path is too out of the way. Either you make it a full-fledged bonus path with a disproportionate amount of hidden and not-so-hidden powerups (kinda like the puzzle path in Azure Temple) or you find a way to make it more obvious that the path indeed exists. The other thing are the death pits. I know I was initially against it, but now I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't be better if they blew you back up instead of killing you.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 9/10
I beta tested this a million times and I'm even responsible for some of the things people dislike about this level, so the things I have to say have already been said.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 5/10
I almost feel bad for not giving you a higher score. This level is obviously an experiment and if I treat it purely as an experiment, it's very successful. You came up with an original gimmick and demonstrated successfully that it can be used for a lot of interesting things. The problem is that in trying to figure out what works and what doesn't you came up with a few things that don't. And since this is a level and not just an experiment, the experience and my rating suffers accordingly. All I can do as a reviewer is tell you what I thought what worked and what didn't, so let's do that:

After a fitting introduction of the gimmick, the problems start at the first path split. If you make the jump, you are greeted with a cool section where the lamps guide you over pits that fortunately are not lethal and only teleport you back. You are also introduced to those ghost characters that populate the level. If you take the other path, however, you have to navigate through a maze (?) where the path is guided by rings (?!) while ghosts are harassing (?!?). There are so many things wrong - and so obviously wrong - with this section that I'm surprised that you didn't scrap it right after playtesting it. First of all, mazes aren't fun. Second of all, once the player gets lost, he's practically doomed because he already collected the rings that guided him the way. And third of all, this is not a good place to introduce the ghosts, right when the player is busy not getting lost. And of course, because the player didn't take the other path, he doesn't get to do the "jumping over gaps" gimmick that teaches a useful lesson for later on. The way the paths merge is also a headscratcher. It's very easy not to pay notice to the rings and continue along the corridor in front of you. If you came from the maze, you will reach a dead end and turn around, problem solved. If you came from the other side, however, you will head right into the maze and become helplessly lost. This happened to me not just on my first, but also on my second playthrough. In short, everything that could go wrong with this path split did.

Fortunately, things take a turn for the better now. I like the way you have to turn around after the springs and jump over the gap you just came out of. That's a neat little way of messing with the player's lack of eyesight. Now the fire ghosts are introduced, a cool gimmick that you will later proceed to do horrible things with, but we'll get to that. Then comes the crusher segment, which is also nice (and like I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't get everybody's problem with the three crushers in a row). But just as I'm about to believe that this level is gonna be great and the maze was just a slight aberration, you make me lure tons of fire ghosts from multiple rooms with a nonsensical layout into a single waterfall, which takes forever and is 100% boring. This room and a similar one that comes later almost ruin the entire level for me. Without them, I'd probably be giving the level a 7 or an 8, but these rooms are so excruciating that they pretty much crush any will to replay this level without using NOCLIP. The next room is based on an idea that could be cool but is executed in a kinda lame way. Most of the time is spent standing on a moving platform while dodging ghosts (which can be done by holding spindash) until you finally reach a button (unless you missed it, because it's practically invisible) and have to travel the whole distance again. I get the appeal of the underlying idea, but I'd like to see it done with a little more action. Make me dodge real obstacles while riding the platform or something like that.

The room after that also has a cool concept, but it doesn't work out as you planned it. The zigzag path that you want me to jump across is not apparent unless you look in SRB2DB, and you can easily do the room with three jumps anyway. It's also not immediately apparent that there are gaps in the floor that you can fall through, so I assume most players (me included) mess that room up on their first try. The exit for those who fell down is also pretty hard to find, despite the ring arrows (which are, again, a terrible idea). On the plus side, the room that you get to when you fall down is one of the most epic things I've ever seen in SRB2. It's probably just because SRB2 practically doesn't allow for horizontally moving platforms in most situations and this is the first time it's been done in this complexity. In other games this wouldn't be anything special, but here it's awesome beyond words. Too bad that your reward for making it through the previous room is that you won't get to see this. I've already complained about the fire ghost room that follows, so let's talk about the boss. The ideas behind it are certainly awesome, but one thing makes it very frustrating for me: The bomb missiles come without warning. This makes it as good as impossible for me to beat a boss that would otherwise be glorious.

Overall, I'm very ambivalent about this level. On the plus side, it has a great gimmick with a lot of potential (I'm sure there are tons of cool things you can do with it that you haven't thought of) and of the things you tried with it, the good slightly outnumbers the bad. However, the bad parts are so excruciating that they drag the level down a lot. If I were you, I'd cut the bad parts, tweak a few of the flawed ones and think of new awesome ideas to fill the gaps. I'm sure this can become an awesome level.

Last edited by MascaraSnake; 07-14-2012 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 07-10-2012   #64
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
Now this is interesting. Mind giving some examples?
Sure, in my voting post. I'm actually on vacation (yay), so I'm doing a lot of hiking in the Finger Lakes and stuff. I'll detail everything when I get back and have some time to do so. I'm honestly surprised you of all people gave CFZ2 such a high score, because I think it is quite bad, and worthy of nothing more than a 5. I just played through it a second time today, this time with a friend who is accompanying me on my travel, and we got a good laugh out of it. But again, I'll explain my beef with it all when I have the free time. That could be Saturday, or sooner.
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Old 07-10-2012   #65
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I'm honestly surprised you of all people gave CFZ2 such a high score, because I think it is quite bad, and worthy of nothing more than a 5.
I'm honestly surprised that the general reception is so mixed, especially since the first act received very high scores and this one arguably uses the same basic elements in much more creative ways. From what I've gathered in #srb2fun, it basically boils down to a few key issues that I don't have much of a problem with but that bother other people a lot, namely:

  • The sticky goop turrets. A lot of people found them annoying, and while there are certainly a few spots where I can see why (that part with the waterfall, during beta testing I considered complaining about that but decided against it), for the most part I get the feeling that people are allergic to enemies that actually threaten you in ways other than spilling your rings. Even more puzzling is that nobody complains about the mice that do the same.
  • People think that the reverse gravity parts are boring. I can agree with that if we're talking about the one room where you actually step on a gravity flip platform. But the other one that you reach with the orange gel? It has a stupidly placed pit, yes, but how is it boring?
  • Some complained about the ultra-fast conveyors that you can't outrun but have to thok over. Again, the aforementioned room where you thok into a pit you practically can't avoid is stupid, but that's because of the pit, not the conveyor. In all other instances I think they're entertaining and appropriately challenging for a final zone.
  • People think the timed door room is too harsh. I can agree that it comes out of nowhere difficulty-wise, but per se I enjoy the challenge. It's really hard, yes, but that alone doesn't make it bad. I just think that people were brickwalled by it and blamed it on the room instead of the level's inconsistent usage of difficulty.
  • It's a problem that the white liquid physics are introduced over a death pit, yes. But I absolutely do not understand the complaints that the gimmick itself is pointless, boring or awful.
In other words, the reason why I rate this so highly is a mixture of two things: 1. Some of the issues people have I can acknowledge, but they don't bother me to a degree where it would seriously affect the rating. 2. Some of the issues I just absolutely don't see.
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Old 07-11-2012   #66
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Sonic's Schoolhouse, by Boinciel - 10/10
I honestly can't find the words to describe this. What a scathing indictment of our education system. But so hilarious, and well-constructed to boot. Epic win, my friend.
Except it's not about America's education system at all - it's based on an actual Sonic game of the same name!

Besides which, are you serious about giving it that score anyway?
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Old 07-12-2012   #67
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Believe it or not, I am serious. I'm aware I'm far outside the norm here, but I had a blast playing it. Partly I found it hilarious, but also I really liked the way it was put together.
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Old 07-14-2012   #68
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Actually, I just wanted to respond to SpiritCrusher's critique:

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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
After a fitting introduction of the gimmick, the problems start at the first path split. If you make the jump, you are greeted with a cool section where the lamps guide you over pits that fortunately are not lethal and only teleport you back. You are also introduced to those ghost characters that populate the level. If you take the other path, however, you have to navigate through a maze (?) where the path is guided by rings (?!) while ghosts are harassing (?!?). There are so many things wrong - and so obviously wrong - with this section that I'm surprised that you didn't scrap it right after playtesting it. First of all, mazes aren't fun. Second of all, once the player gets lost, he's practically doomed because he already collected the rings that guided him the way. And third of all, this is not a good place to introduce the ghosts, right when the player is busy not getting lost. And of course, because the player didn't take the other path, he doesn't get to do the "jumping over gaps" gimmick that teaches a useful lesson for later on. The way the paths merge is also a headscratcher. It's very easy not to pay notice to the rings and continue along the corridor in front of you. If you came from the maze, you will reach a dead end and turn around, problem solved. If you came from the other side, however, you will head right into the maze and become helplessly lost. This happened to me not just on my first, but also on my second playthrough. In short, everything that could go wrong with this path split did.
I actually agree entirely with this. I really really really wanted to replace the maze with something that's not shit. It seemed like a good idea when I was making it at first, but my first run through it (which didn't have the ring arrows and was even more complex) proved it wasn't fun. However, I was sort of on a stride with the later gimmicks and decided to keep on going and come back to the room when I had time - which I never got.

I really, really want to axe that room entirely and come up with something else. Unfortunately, due to how the horizontal platforms work, I can't put one of those in its place (the relevant gargoyle would end up being placed in the middle of the actual, accessible map space) - I'm probably gonna have to come up with something new instead. Actually, I kind of wanted to do another big, wide-open room immediately after the second red fire-kiting room, with a bit of verticality to it to make things interesting, but sadly couldn't get around to it. I might repurpose it for here - if nothing else, anything would be better than the goddamn maze.

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Fortunately, things take a turn for the better now. I like the way you have to turn around after the springs and jump over the gap you just came out of. That's a neat little way of messing with the player's lack of eyesight. Now the fire ghosts are introduced, a cool gimmick that you will later proceed to do horrible things with, but we'll get to that. Then comes the crusher segment, which is also nice (and like I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't get everybody's problem with the three crushers in a row). But just as I'm about to believe that this level is gonna be great and the maze was just a slight aberration, you make me lure tons of fire ghosts from multiple rooms with a nonsensical layout into a single waterfall, which takes forever and is 100% boring. This room and a similar one that comes later almost ruin the entire level for me. Without them, I'd probably be giving the level a 7 or an 8, but these rooms are so excruciating that they pretty much crush any will to replay this level without using NOCLIP.
I've actually already started modifying these segments. For the first, I added more waterfalls so you're not kiting them into the same room, which should hopefully make that segment go by much faster. For the second, the bend is much shorter, and there are only five enemies instead of, like, ten or twelve. I'm loathe to cutting it outright, though.

Hrmm, I wonder if making the first area more linear instead of open would help it...

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The next room is based on an idea that could be cool but is executed in a kinda lame way. Most of the time is spent standing on a moving platform while dodging ghosts (which can be done by holding spindash) until you finally reach a button (unless you missed it, because it's practically invisible) and have to travel the whole distance again. I get the appeal of the underlying idea, but I'd like to see it done with a little more action. Make me dodge real obstacles while riding the platform or something like that.
Might be doable. Sector-based obstacles are right out, unfortunately, due to the nature of polyobjects (if they cross the borders of sectors with very different settings, bad things happen, with the renderer if nothing else), but if I could figure out some kind of Thing-based obstacle, then we would be in business.

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The room after that also has a cool concept, but it doesn't work out as you planned it. The zigzag path that you want me to jump across is not apparent unless you look in SRB2DB, and you can easily do the room with three jumps anyway. It's also not immediately apparent that there are gaps in the floor that you can fall through, so I assume most players (me included) mess that room up on their first try. The exit for those who fell down is also pretty hard to find, despite the ring arrows (which are, again, a terrible idea). On the plus side, the room that you get to when you fall down is one of the most epic things I've ever seen in SRB2. It's probably just because SRB2 practically doesn't allow for horizontally moving platforms in most situations and this is the first time it's been done in this complexity. In other games this wouldn't be anything special, but here it's awesome beyond words. Too bad that your reward for making it through the previous room is that you won't get to see this.
Yeah, I know rewarding your failure with awesomeness and punishing your success with a faster but comparatively duller room was kind of boneheaded. Not sure what I'm going to do about this, though. I think I have room for more polyobjects, at least, unlike that damned maze, so I might add another jumping puzzle in there.

Also want to address a specific line in here:

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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
The exit for those who fell down is also pretty hard to find, despite the ring arrows (which are, again, a terrible idea).
I actually want to replace these with fullbright "EXIT" sign textures. You can't collect those and make them vanish. I don't think it'd save the maze, but it'd make the exit from that pit much easier to find.

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I've already complained about the fire ghost room that follows, so let's talk about the boss. The ideas behind it are certainly awesome, but one thing makes it very frustrating for me: The bomb missiles come without warning. This makes it as good as impossible for me to beat a boss that would otherwise be glorious.
I suppose. I was pretty much just porting the Cyberdemon verbatim (but with an alternative flamethrower attack for the helluvit), and he does kind of attack without warning. I could make the initial attack frame a bit longer, perhaps - it won't warn you which attack it'll be, but it'll clue you in that he's going to attack, period.
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Old 07-14-2012   #69
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I'm loathe to cutting it outright, though.
Oh, that's fine, you don't need to cut it. The problem with these rooms was not so much the idea behind them, but how long it took to complete them and how unfun it was to lure these things over long distances. If you do what you outlined, it should be just fine.

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Hrmm, I wonder if making the first area more linear instead of open would help it...
If by "first area", you mean the first of the two rooms with multiple firedemons, then yes.

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Originally Posted by Shadow Hog View Post
Might be doable. Sector-based obstacles are right out, unfortunately, due to the nature of polyobjects (if they cross the borders of sectors with very different settings, bad things happen, with the renderer if nothing else), but if I could figure out some kind of Thing-based obstacle, then we would be in business.
Yes, I know it's kind of hard to do stuff with PolyObjects. If it doesn't work out, that's not a disaster: The room isn't terrible as it is, it just doesn't reach its full potential.

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I actually want to replace these with fullbright "EXIT" sign textures. You can't collect those and make them vanish. I don't think it'd save the maze, but it'd make the exit from that pit much easier to find.
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

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I could make the initial attack frame a bit longer, perhaps - it won't warn you which attack it'll be, but it'll clue you in that he's going to attack, period.
That would be enough. I don't necessarily need to know which attack is gonna come, I just need to able to prepare for it, because otherwise there's no way I can avoid the bombs.
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Old 07-14-2012   #70
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Well, as always, I'm only gonna play/rate the SP maps. So here they are:

Lightless Labyrinth - 6/10

This zone remarkably awesome and yet remarkably evil. The idea is great; at first I was bored, but by the end and that HOLY CRAP boss it was fun. The only problems I really had were those buttons, which I managed to run past multiple times, and that music. OH THAT HORRIBLE MUSIC. Definitely knocked the score down.


Azure Temple Zone - 9/10

Wait, what? That was most definitly an odd zone, yet I quite liked it. The gargoyle puzzles with the lights was executed really well, as well as the hazards using them. I am curious to find out what is behind that secret door in the room with lots of lights, though, and I'm not sure how one would complete that room. Overall, great level, with good design, feel, and music. And yet it was completely underwater... and I usually hate water levels!


Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 - 8/10

lol that music. A friend and I have an inside joke involving that music, and as soon as I heard it, I began to lol. Anyway, I must say I quite enjoyed this level. The gel gimmicks were executed quite well, and the level was fantasitically long. I only really had some trouble in the button-timer door room, which took a few tries before I squeezed through. Good socs, but be carful when putting multiple sticky gel enemies in one room; one can get indefinitely stuck. Really, the majority of the points here come from level geometry, which imo, is great in this level.


Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 - 7/10

This zone is not without its charm, but it really kinda didn't live up to the first. I still love ice levels, and you've definitely got some good stuff going on here, such as the breakable blocks, but it didn't really have anything interesting. Great geometry, I love that, but the level... it was good.


Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 - 5/10

This level is remarkably average. I didn't really enjoy it at all, and I couldn't even understand the music. The geometry and texturing isn't that great, and there are some areas of just empty space. If you rerelease the level, please put something interesting in these spaces!


Sonic's Schoolhouse - 5/10

(lolwut) I've never played the original of this, so I'm judging on sheer gameplay and nothing else. I'm sure the "puzzles" in the game are accurate and in the original, and I'm assuming that's why they're so easy. However, the map was very simple in its level design, with not much interesting to do, and kinda boring. The only thing you've got going for you are the socc'd objects and their sounds.
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Old 07-16-2012   #71
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 6/10
Very solid entry with some great music. There were a few things that annoyed me, though.

First off, in the first cave with all the jumping puzzles, I thought the second piston you come across was moving way too fast, such that there was too little margin for error in clearing it. I also didn't like the "don't jump here" pillar. Yeah, you warned me not to jump on it, but frankly the warning didn't really click, and instant death (more or less) isn't exactly a fair punishment considering this is the first time (and, if I recall correctly, the only time) you stumble upon this particular trap.

Second off, I hate hate hate the big slime lake. It'd be one thing if it were just that and I could quickly grab my rings and be on my way, but no, it's a current, as well, so as soon as I land from my pain state, I'm stopped, and thrust down a path, away from my scattered rings, that was frequently too long for me to properly recover from. I couldn't reach a spring before my flashing state ended, and died several times.

Not to mention, the path isn't particularly clear. There are two red diagonal springs that, while their purpose is clear after you drain the lake, only serve to launch you headfirst into the slime otherwise. The actual path forward is obscured by the fact that, at that level of sector brightness, the platforms you're supposed to jump onto are the same shade of gray as the walls behind it, effectively camouflaging the way forward. Not good.

Lastly, the last room seems to have Drawseg overflow issues (Doom wiki entry). I'm not sure what's causing it, but I believe this is what happens when you have too many linedefs visible in the same angle; the excess ones are simply not drawn. Seeing as it would appear a sector far off in the distance is getting rendered, you might double-check that this room is entirely sealed off from the rest of the map with single-sided linedefs (barring the actual entrance/exit to the room, of course).

That's not to say that this level was all bad, though. I really loved the pulley gimmick near the end; that was incredibly inventive. The bouncy platforms were nice, too, but they were only used once that I could tell, which was a bit of a shame. I kind of wish you used more gimmicks like these, as otherwise the thing's a bit too generically THZ.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 8/10
I absolutely and utterly despise the beginning. Jumping onto really tiny platforms with only a split second to jump off of them is only marginally better than jumping out from atop platforms before they crush you, but both really, really suck.

However, I really liked the rest of the stage. Even knowing about the enemy beforehand based off your discussions in #srb2dev, it's pretty nifty how you two managed to get that working. Also, the puzzle room was great - required me to think a little outside the box to figure out how to arrange those guys, but nothing too mind-bending.

I had to abuse DEVMODE and SETLIVES just to see the level through, and that's with the 15 life bonus. :I

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 7/10
This is an in-joke you either get or don't. Considering the evidence, it would be apparent that I'm in the group that do, which earns you a few points. Gameplay-wise, though, it's a bit bland, and there's nowhere near enough of it; it ends way too abruptly. It'd be nifty if there were some way to randomize the questions you get or something...

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 8/10
Aaaaah pony songs

Anyway, this stage is a pretty good followup to Act 1 (although you probably should've found another remix of "Winter Wrap-Up", since this is the exact same one from Act 1). Doesn't really do anything the first didn't, that I can immediately think of, but it's been a good while since I played it, and it's still a fairly solid gimmick anyway.

Also, this map has the dubious honor of being the only one (aside from Boinciel's easy-as-heck Sonic's Schoolhouse reference) to not require me to use DEVMODE and SETLIVES 99. I guess I really suck or something.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 6/10
I really like the design/theme of the stage, as well as the gimmicks used to that end (but as has been mentioned, blue should be bouncy and orange should be speed, not the other way around). I wasn't expecting the SOC'd enemies, and they were pretty inventive, all things considered. Still, three things brought this stage down for me.

Thing numero uno: The room with the timed doors. I swear, that timer is just too short; like, maybe a second or so. All the annoying columns in the room mean it doesn't have any particular shortcuts to assist with this, as well. I had to attempt this several times in order to make it work, each time I reached it.

Thing the second: The right path from said room has an orange bouncy gel column that immediately turns you upside-down. I was able to clear this room exactly once (but regrettably couldn't finish the stage thereafter, bringing me back to it); every other time, I somehow clipped through the gel and died, either on the bottom end or the top end. If this was intentional, then let me note that there was no visual indicator that this part of the gel was any different from the others, which were all entirely solid. Not really a fan.

Thing Type 3 (Player 3 Start): The left path from the room delineated in the first grievance was no better. I go through this white water that makes me fast for some reason, climb up out of it, and find a waterfall with rings indicating I should go up... but no means of going up it, as well as no other area that is accessible with my jump or thok. Dead end, in other words. A monitor on the ceiling would imply that I'm supposed to flip gravity here somewhere, but I saw absolutely no location around that would let me do so. This meant the only way to complete the stage was either not be Sonic, or noclip my way through. Either one's inexcusable.

I see a good stage here, but as it is presently, a great deal of the map, starting from the timed room, needs addressing before it can reach that potential.

Also, minor niggle, but you have a small graphical issue right about here. I forget where exactly this is, other than it being outdoors.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog
Yeah, I kind of expected this would be love-it-or-hate-it. Wasn't expecting quite so many hate-its, but eh, what can I do. Definitely working on improving it, though, as some of the feedback gotten here has actually been quite informative.

Also kind of wonder how many people found the secret room...

Last edited by Shadow Hog; 07-17-2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Changing a score again
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Old 07-16-2012   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Hog View Post
Thing the second: The right path from said room has an orange bouncy gel column that immediately turns you upside-down. I was able to clear this room exactly once (but regrettably couldn't finish the stage thereafter, bringing me back to it); every other time, I somehow clipped through the gel and died, either on the bottom end or the top end. If this was intentional, then let me note that there was no visual indicator that this part of the gel was any different from the others, which were all entirely solid. Not really a fan.
That's a bug with SRB2 that sometimes happens and sometimes doesn't. Try to stay away from the edge of the sector, that might help.

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Thing Type 3 (Player 3 Start): The left path from the room delineated in the first grievance was no better. I go through this white water that makes me fast for some reason, climb up out of it, and find a waterfall with rings indicating I should go up... but no means of going up it, as well as no other area that is accessible with my jump or thok. Dead end, in other words. A monitor on the ceiling would imply that I'm supposed to flip gravity here somewhere, but I saw absolutely no location around that would let me do so. This meant the only way to complete the stage was either not be Sonic, or noclip my way through. Either one's inexcusable.
Uh... You surely must have noticed that the white liquid reduces your gravity - otherwise you wouldn't have been able to make the jumps that led you up to that waterfall in the first place. The waterfall allows you to go higher than normal; abuse that fact to reach platforms that you otherwise couldn't. Shouldn't that be obvious?

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Also kind of wonder how many people found the secret room...
Me. Didn't get the reference, but I laughed nonetheless.
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Old 07-16-2012   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
Uh... You surely must have noticed that the white liquid reduces your gravity - otherwise you wouldn't have been able to make the jumps that led you up to that waterfall in the first place. The waterfall allows you to go higher than normal; abuse that fact to reach platforms that you otherwise couldn't. Shouldn't that be obvious?
As I was telling Coat last night in IRC, I did attempt this, but 1) I generally wasn't getting the needed height from the waterfall, and 2) in the off-chance that I did, I immediately succumbed to full gravity the instant I popped out of the waterfall and fell into a pit.
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Old 07-16-2012   #74
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The waterfall alone doesn't give you enough height, you have to jump into it from the edge surrounding it.
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Old 07-16-2012   #75
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Sonic Schoolhouse - 0/10


This puzzle is broken and I cannot finish the map. This is absolutely unacceptable and I am left with no choice but to express my displeasure at this insult on these forums.
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Old 07-17-2012   #76
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---------------------
SINGLE PLAYER:
---------------------

Lightless Labyrinth Zone 8/10

This level and do I say it. It is bad ass even for being such a simple level with nothing but flat hallways. The maze and the final part is amazing. I dont want to spoil it for it for everyone who has not seen the ending to this level yet.

Azure Temple Zone 6/10

This stage is one of the hardest stages I've ever played that look good and well design. The level has its parts where you need to move slow and time your jumps. But at times I find it little to nearly impossible to get though a section with out a single ring.

Chemical Favility Zone 2 10/10

You have made outstanding level. This stage has a ton of detail added
with a bunch of traps. Everywhere I look. I had to see if there a secret somewhere hidden in a room. Lots of new robots added as well.

Frozen Hillside Zone 2 8/10

This level was quite entertaining. With its MLP song as the theme of the level. And its wonderful snow theme. I just adore it all. Snow levels always been my favorite in games like Sonic. And you pulled it off very well. With parts that had little difficult in it.

Industrial Valley Zone 1 5/10

This stage was nothing more then running jumping and going though the level. There no detail put into this at all and it dispointed me a lot The stage it self is very easy. Anyway this map is alright. It been better if you added detail to it though. And more secrets.

Sonic's SchoolHouse 5/10

I find this level rather interesting in Sonic Robo Blast 2. Then in the real game. But I have to say i'm surprise this was even pulled off. And that you can even go that far into porting a level from the real game to this. And make it look just like the same game. But your playing as a character. The level was great.
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Last edited by EternallyAries; 07-17-2012 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 07-17-2012   #77
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Just voted on the multiplayer levels, and sorta finished the 1p ones.
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Last edited by CoatRack; 07-17-2012 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 07-17-2012   #78
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Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper: 6/10
Oh God that pink slime part.

Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0: 7/10
VVVVVV hard but still hella fun.

Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel: 2/10
No... Just. No.

Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade: 5/10
Just jumping and running and then some interesting jumping then some more running then the end.

Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack: 6/10
Good gimmicks but my God the difficulty spikes.

Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog: 3/10
"I don't take kindly to yer kind, LLZ."
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Old 07-17-2012   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Ivo Robotnik View Post
Image URL
Somehow, Robotnik has access to Whackjood's Photobucket account.


Anyway, votes:

Single Player:
Industrial Valley Zone Act 1 by Zipper - 7/10
Azure Temple Zone by Mystic & Prime 2.0 - 10/10
Sonic's Schoolhouse by Boinciel - 5/10
Frozen Hillside Zone Act 2 by Blade - 8/10
Chemical Facility Zone Act 2 by CoatRack - 9/10
Lightless Labyrinth Zone by ShadowHog - 9/10

Match:
Green Match Zone by Root - 2/10
Marble Zone by CoatRack - 9/10

Capture the Flag:
Glades of Serenity by Scizor300 - 8/10
Fungus Forest by RedEnchilada - 7/10
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Old 07-17-2012   #80
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Somehow, Robotnik has access to Whackjood's Photobucket account.
Robotnik was too lazy to make his own account, so he hacked the account of his most loyal fan. Which was ironically more difficult.
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