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Old 03-16-2010   #81
Fawfulfan
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
Final version means that all levels are available, not that you stop working on it, I hope. I'll try this out and give you another overlong review later.
Don't worry...I'm definitely not ending work once the full release comes out. Once all the levels are ready, I'll start ironing out bugs, replacing bad areas, adding more paths, making the levels longer, and tossing in some extra secrets. I'm also considering a set of Match mode levels based on the nine full acts, to compensate for the lack of Coop support.

And yes, I admit that FSZ isn't that good. That, along with DDZ, will probably get the most renovations once V1.0 has been released.

As for SSZ, it isn't Act 3. It's a standalone final level.
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Old 03-16-2010   #82
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Don't worry...I'm definitely not ending work once the full release comes out. Once all the levels are ready, I'll start ironing out bugs, replacing bad areas, adding more paths, making the levels longer, and tossing in some extra secrets. I'm also considering a set of Match mode levels based on the nine full acts, to compensate for the lack of Coop support.
Then everything's fine with me. That's what I hoped for, since the levels in their current state seem more like raw skeletons than the real thing. Only bear in mind that additional content (especially additional paths) will mean that you need more gimmicks and idea than you currently have. I don't want to have multiple paths with the same gameplay.

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And yes, I admit that FSZ isn't that good. That, along with DDZ, will probably get the most renovations once V1.0 has been released.
Huh? Fume Shaft isn't that bad. Apart from the lag, the spikeball-fan idea and the fact that Act 2 gets repetitive at the end, it actually not that bad. The levels that really need renovations are the first three zones, in reverse order (aka DDZ needs least, SAZ needs to be scrapped and remade).

EDIT: Aaand the review:

Fume Shaft Zone Act 1:
These "grass borders" at the beginning looked really nice, as if those platforms had been broken off at the top. I wish you had use those a bit more, since I can't remember finding them anywhere else afterwards. The mine tracks remind we that we really need something like a mine cart ride in an SRB2 level, which should actually be very possible with the use of PolyObjects.
I honestly don't know if it's a good idea to use two kinds of liquid, since it makes the theme feel a bit inconsistent. I would suggest concentrating on the insta-kill one, since the slime doesn't really serve a purpose in most cases. You know, what's the point of getting hurt by the slime if you're going to fall into a death pit anyway?
The second room (the outdoor one) is in dire need of texture variation, just like all the similar rooms that will follow afterwards. The gray wall texture is very dull, especially if used for the whole room, and the AFALLs are not very pleasing to the eye. Also, the falling rocks in this room go largely unnoticed because they blend in with the walls and can be avoided easily.
After that we come to the first room that lags like hell. It's probably because you have several light blocks beneath the water, which requires an awful lot of control sectors, especially if additional liquid has to be rendered on top of it. My computer doesn't lag on DSZ, but it did lag like hell in here. It's probably best to remove the liquid altogether, since it doesn't serve any purpose over a death pit anyway (see above). The glass tube at the end of this room is a really nice idea, but it also lags like hell because of all these light blocks.
The spikeball-fan idea that is introduced afterwards is a double-edged sword: It works quite well in most cases (the notable exceptions are mentioned later), but those spikeballs simply look very plain. The ERZ-style door after that shows what you mean when you said you're not good enough to make a zone like ERZ. It looks somewhat amateurish and not like the real thing.
Next up are two new gimmicks: The Chemical-Plant-like staircase that goes up and down, and the fans that are obviously stolen from Blade's Thunder Factory (not that this was a bad thing, and please forgive me if I'm wrong). Both are really nice ideas and are executed well. Same goes for the up-and-down moving platforms, even if they're not that original. But not every gimmick needs to be original, so I don't have a problem with that. The spiraling staircase after this room needs to be wider, I always run against the wall.
Now we are properly introduced to the falling rocks. AT one spot, they are actually a challenge to dodge, which is very good, but at some other places, they seem like pure scenery, since they don't even get in my way. Whatever...
Aaaah, more lag. That room with the fans submerged in slime needs to go. It lags so bad that it's uncontrollable, it's cheap as hell, and it can be skipped with spindash-thokking anyway. I don't know what that secret exit in this room is supposed to be, since it can't be accessed without an Elemental Shield, and is empty anyway.
In the next room, we have a fan area that doesn't work as intended. I actually had to try to get blown into those damaging sectors, because it wouldn't have hit them otherwise. Just running forward makes sure you clear this room. Shift those a little bit, so that the fans blow the player right in. After falling through the hole in the floor, I get hit by an undodgable spikeball. Since I lost my rings while attempting to get hit in the section before, I died and had to do the lag room again. Put a Star Post in-between.
The next thing that warrants mention here is the Heat Wave Effect. It looks strange and you're better off without it. I can't imagine it would be that hot in such a cave anyway.

Fume Shaft Zone Act 2:
Same Heat Wave comment applies here as well. In the beginning, you have some hard to notice death pits. After falling in the first time, I jumped the second time, directly into a 1-up. By all means put secrets in your map, but this one is too easy to find.
The fan in the first real room is obviously a work of copy-pasting. Please change the visuals of this fan to make it look more appropriate and not like a complete stranger.
After another one of the neat big tubes, we get to the path split. Wait, a path split? This has to be the first one since the snow level! Anyway, no need for those "No Tails/Sonic/Knuckles symbols" when there's only one door open anyway. You don't need to be that blunt, and it has a strange effect. Sonic's and Knuckles' room suffers from horrible framerate and being overlong with no room for error. It also looks to ERZ-ish, which doesn't fit the theme, but I do like those tubes with grids. Tails' room looks weird. That's a thing that happens often with character specific paths: They look unnatural because Sonic wouldn't make it through, and we all are focused on Sonic.
The next section is where the level starts to be repetitive for the first time: The up-and-down moving platforms, combined with those liquid tubes, the fans and falling rocks come up too often. Also, the edges of those tubes needs to be thicker to make it a bit more fair, and the falling rocks are often easily dodgable. All in all, one or two of these rooms are okay, but you're going a bit overboard here.

Fume Shaft Zone Act 3:
In contrast to pretty much everyone else, I think this works. The acid pit looks abysmal though.

Whaddya mean, TL;DR?

EDIT OF AN EDIT: I really want to make the longest post, but oh well, here it comes:

Liftoff Gantry Zone Act 1:
Wow, the texturing at the beginning came as a surprise. I really like them, and now I desperately want you to make a level using that theme. Anyway, the river at the beginning breaks the flow a bit, and that Snailer is in my way.
Entering the actual "factory" or whatever, I noticed the cool lighting effects on the staircase. In terms of visuals, this is probably your best level yet (seeing as they're not exactly your strong point). The gameplay in that first part leaves nothing to be desired, but it's not exactly worth a comment either.
Then we get into that large room with the tower-like construction, and I must say: Wow. This is what I call epic. Especially if you wait a few seconds at the right spot until the Sharps come flying down. Please make that an actual part of that room, other than something accident that only happens with luck. Speaking of Sharps, I like how they can be avoided when you are actually careful. The only thing I don't like in this room is that a certain secret is not particularly well-hidden.
Next up is an overly dak corridor. So dark in fact that I can barely see that Snailer coming. It's okay to have dark corridors, but don't put unavoidable things into them.
The rotating laser room (or rooms, to be precise) is probably the worst possible thing you could have done. I don't mind you using that gimmick, but copy-pasting the room out of ERZ2 is just really bad. Also, the glass walls can be thokked through, leading into a death pit that isn't a death pit.
The outside room following is yet again visually appealing. It actually makes the level look exactly like something space-related without actually being in outer space. The Sharp, just as before, can be avoided if you're clever, but it will always get you if you don't try hard enough. I actually hated them and thought they were cheap, but your level proved me wrong.
Just in the middle of the level, you suddenly tossed a room in that is textured like the beginning. I really like the effect, and you should expand that idea further. Try to make that room look as stunning as possible for maximum effect. The lift platforms in this room actually don't work too well in 3D because the camera gets stuck behind the pillar they move on. Try to fix that or just keep that idea for the 2D part in Act 2.
The laser that breaks the wall, just like rotating lasers before, should contain at least something original. I don't want to see things I've seen before when playing a custom level.
The next room also looks a lot like something you'd find in a "real Liftoff Gantry". I wish there was some kind of cool gimmick to go with the basic elevators though.
And then we enter the interior of the building, which again actually looks like a reasonable building, thanks to those Doomship textures. I guess those Zoom Tubes weren't necessary though, as they don't add anything. Next up are those "not-PolyObjects-but-nonetheless-horizontally-moving-platforms", which somehow are a bit slippery. I don't know what causes this, but it makes an otherwise great section somewhat quirky.
The next room is again a dark corridor, this time with lasers. On my first playthrough, I didn't see anything, but somehow, when I revisited it, I could see everything clear. Anyway, that Sharp is annoying and as good as undodgable, and room with the hole in the floor afterwards has some weirdly clashing textures on the walls.
The aforementioned hole leads to more weirdly fitting cave goodness (which could also be even more eye-candy). Then we reenter the building, and I just know you played Blade's Death Egg Zone, since that laser grid is copied from that. Anyway, the dark corridor after that doesn't work, I always manage to run into every single Pointy before seeing it. Then the level ends, and we're off to Act 2.

Liftoff Gantry Zone Act 2:
I don't like the ERZ2 music, which is vastly inferior to the original. But I'm probably the only one who thinks so, so don't worry. The elevator looks nice, and I like the effect of the glass floor being elevated from the ground. Looking back at Act 1, you need more real elevators and less boring upwards-moving floors.
I really don't have much to say about the following few rooms. We get some lasers, a nice variation on those "still-no-PolyObjects" and then an elevator...
Oops. That's a 2D section right there. The transition is pulled off quite nicely, and I love how that Pointy is perfectly avoidable. The room that pulls you off into space needs some tweaking though. I didn't even notice it actually does anything until I stopped on purpose to find it out. Then we get some cool-looking cutscene-like Zoom Tube, and yet more 2D (plus another cool Zoom Tube).
And then that miniboss from ERZ2. This is the third thing you have blatantly stolen without modifying it, and gets on my nerves. The next Zoom Tube gets us back into 3D and back into the actual building, that, again, looks like a building. The shrinking idea is pulled off well, and I love those horror-inducing Snailers, but I don't like how I have to go through the same rooms several times.
After that, we revisit a gimmick that we've seen before in Snowcap Nimbus. Don't get me wrong, I like the gimmick, but do we really need it twice. Just in case we don't, I'd recommend keeping this version of it and scrapping the other.
The part with the acid and the cramped platforming around those four circular rooms is not really good. I get what you're after from a designer's point of view, but i doesn't play well due to crampedness and bad enemy placement.
The following 2D section doesn't need many comments apart from pointing out the annoying Pointies. I want to dodge them, but you don't let me. Also, I like how there are sometimes openings in the back of the wall, letting you look into another room. The lift thing from Act 1 returns in 2D, but I always manage to walk under the first platform and get crushed. Let the player stop before that section to prevent that issue. The transition to 3D is too abrupt, you need a Zoom Tube for transitions like that.
And now we get the ultra-epic ending, and then we're done for now. It will be hard to follow this kind of epicness with two more zones, don't you think?

Liftoff Gantry Zone Act 3:

Nice idea, it works as intended, and for some reason, I don't fall off anymore like I did last beta,

Now, would you kindly allows me some closing comments before we meet again in the Releases section? First of all, you need more Star Posts. One before or after every difficult section. Second, multiple paths and secrets are needed badly, but you know that. Then I also have a few more things to say about the first five zones, especially in terms of balancing the level pack as a whole:

Sunshine Atoll has the right length and the right difficulty for an introductory stage, but it sucks really hard. Please redo it. Also, I would consider using a more jungle-themed setting, since you haven't done that anywhere else in your level pack, and it looks much more unique than what you currently have.
Eruption Conduit needs some major visual overhauls, and some confusing section needs to be removed with something more reasonable. Otherwise, it also has appropriate length and difficulty.
Drowned Downtown is in dire need of an overhaul as well, and you have already said you'll do one, so that's fine. That maze crap needs to go, empty sections needs to replaced. Also, Act 1 is too short and Act 2 is too long. It's literally 90 seconds against 6 minutes.
Snowcap Nimbus and Gritty Columns probably need least fixing, apart from some 1.X visuals. They also have appropriate length, though I do feel that GCZ1 is a bit too short in comparison to Act 2.

And now, I'm eagerly awaiting the next release.

Last edited by MascaraSnake; 03-16-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 03-16-2010   #83
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May I make a suggestion? I tried this out and it goes quite well. On Eruption Conduit Zone, the RVZ music suits it well (better than the THZ music in my opinion). That might already be in use on another zone, though. I didn't check. The regular RVZ music goes with the first zone, and the guitary one goes with the second zone. Just an idea.
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Old 03-16-2010   #84
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Hmmm...scrap Sunshine Atoll and start over? I dunno...I'm aware that it's the worst zone in my level pack, but I'm still gonna give a good faith effort to overhaul it first. If I just can't make it work, I'll redo it.
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Old 03-16-2010   #85
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I enjoyed the 2 new levels, really, they are so awesome!
My only problem is that Fume Shaft Zone lag a lot in some parts, other than that, good job!

Oh and here is a message for some SRB2 users: "We need less criticism and enjoy more"
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Old 03-16-2010   #86
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Oh and here is a message for some SRB2 users: "We need less criticism and enjoy more"
Did you ever consider that criticism is meant to help people improve their levels? I don't give criticism because I want to nitpick over the flaws, but because I want to give feedback on what's good and what needs to be improved.
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Old 03-16-2010   #87
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Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
Did you ever consider that criticism is meant to help people improve their levels? I don't give criticism because I want to nitpick over the flaws, but because I want to give feedback on what's good and what needs to be improved.
I know, but some levels are good the way they are, you cant pretend to change all, sure, you can give criticism to improve it... change some small things, but dont expect the creator to change all what people said
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Old 03-16-2010   #88
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Originally Posted by STHE123O View Post
I know, but some levels are good the way they are, you cant pretend to change all, sure, you can give criticism to improve it... change some small things, but dont expect the creator to change all what people said
I wouldn't be surprised if people were facepalming on the IRC.

To be honest, I would give you some advice, but I'm too busy to actually play it. But... don't slag people off for helping the mod creator... It makes you look bad, especially when it's not you.
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Old 03-16-2010   #89
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I wouldn't be surprised if people were facepalming on the IRC.

To be honest, I would give you some advice, but I'm too busy to actually play it. But... don't slag people off for helping the mod creator... It makes you look bad, especially when it's not you.
Ok, ok, ok... that s my opinion, we better dont go off-topic...
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Old 03-16-2010   #90
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STH123O, I'm flattered you enjoy my levels so much, but I actually like having my mod nitpicked and criticized. How else am I going to know what other people most want changed? It's the only way that my levels can get even better.
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Old 03-17-2010   #91
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Fume shaft has really weird texture choices. Red Volcano textures do not fit in with acid and slime. I suggest using brown black purple or green rocks.

And add the conveyor belt sector type to your conveyor belts. They glitch up if you don't. This includes the kewl looking moving platforms in LGZ.
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Old 03-17-2010   #92
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Yeah, I know...I thought I had added the conveyor belt type to the LGZ platforms, but I guess I didn't. I'll get on that ASAP.

Oh, and one other thing...SpiritCrusher, you liked the texturing in the beginning of LGZ1? Thank blahblahbal for that...it was largely inspired by his texturing in Jadeflower Zone, easily the best thing about that level.
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Old 03-17-2010   #93
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Red Volcano music doesn't really fit FSZ. Maybe you use Silver Cascade music, or Mine Maze music?
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Old 03-17-2010   #94
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I have an idea to make DDZ more appealing. Why not add some broken pipes and other stuff in the inside of the buildings?
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Old 03-17-2010   #95
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I'm putting that idea on file.

(Yes, literally. I have a text file in which I have copy/pasted all the best ideas and criticism which I intend to act upon later.)
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Old 03-18-2010   #96
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I dunno if you care about how your level pack/mod plays in Opengl or not, but Liftoff Gantry Acts 1 & 2 have alot of missing floors, so it's hard to tell if you're walking towards solid land and where the bottomless pits are. I've died quite a few times because of this. Just suggesting to design with Opengl in mind, but you don't have to since SRB2 really relies on Software Mode for the most part anyways.
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Old 03-18-2010   #97
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Just suggesting to design with Opengl in mind, but you don't have to...
That's right. I don't have to, because OpenGL is no longer officially supported. The new version of OpenGL is buggy no matter what, especially in ERZ-themed levels, and I'm afraid there's simply nothing I can do about it.
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Old 03-18-2010   #98
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There are certain features that simply don't work in OpenGL, and designing with it in mind would mean removing content.
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Old 03-18-2010   #99
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Precisely. That's why I'm not going to do any OpenGL redecoration. So I apologize to those who still like to use OpenGL.
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