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Toxic Plateau Zone Details »»
Toxic Plateau Zone
Version: 1.0, by Rob Rob is offline
Developer Last Online: Nov 2018

Version: SRB2 Rating: (6 votes - 4.50 average)
Released: 10-30-2012 Last Update: Never Installs: 1
Single Player Levels

Hey guys

Toxic Plateau is 2.1's second special stage. This is being released to the general public for a few reasons.

1) To get some useful feedback that should help further NiGHTS special stage quality development.
2) To give you guys an idea of what's been going on and to show you what one of the 2.1 special stages actually looks like.
3) Because beta content is actually fun, right? ;)

I need as much feedback as I can get from you guys on this. What you did like, what you didn't like, what felt mediocre and what felt awesome.

When commenting, please note that this is the second special stage and, as such, it's not meant to be very difficult. Because this is beta content and I wanted to give you guys somewhat of a challenge, the time limit is lower than it is in its 2.1 version. Other than that, it's the same map.

Special thanks to Prime 2.0 for setting up the SOC so that some of the visuals match what's changed in 2.1.

And sorry guys, but because of the instabilities of the NiGHTS track and online play, I highly recommend you avoid using this online. This is not something I can do anything about.
Have fun!

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Old 11-04-2012   #22
Fred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
This stage is so easy on purpose. SRB2 operates under the assumption that you have never played a NiGHTS stage before. And believe me, this stage is difficult enough if you're new to NiGHTS or even SRB2 itself. Back on page one there was somebody who took three tries to finish this one.
The problem with this approach is that not even the original Nights itself did that. In the game these stages are based off, which was by force the first time ANYONE had played a Nights level, the requirements were much more strict and challenging than SRB2 is attempting to match. Besides, does nobody here really remember how cruel and unforgiving the Sonic 1 special stages were the first time you played them? Or the Sonic 3 ones, with their "get it wrong just once and you're out" penalty? I'd very much want the special stages in SRB2 to be challenging the first time and each time thereafter, so the reward at the end actually means something.
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Old 11-04-2012   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
There's going to be replay value in 2.1, where everything respawns after you pass the starting point. Score attack is going to be a thing.
I hope as a result of this there'll be an "Official score attack records" as well as the time attack records for 2.1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Chaotikal View Post
The problem with this approach is that not even the original Nights itself did that. In the game these stages are based off, which was by force the first time ANYONE had played a Nights level, the requirements were much more strict and challenging than SRB2 is attempting to match. Besides, does nobody here really remember how cruel and unforgiving the Sonic 1 special stages were the first time you played them? Or the Sonic 3 ones, with their "get it wrong just once and you're out" penalty? I'd very much want the special stages in SRB2 to be challenging the first time and each time thereafter, so the reward at the end actually means something.
As much as I'd like the special stage to be more difficult as well, Special Stages have always had some kind of difficulty curve, and I can assume they'll get much more difficult for the later ones, seeing as the difficulty curve for SRB2's special stages will probably stay the same as it is for the current special stages.

Furthermore as far as we know only people playing as Sonic get a reward from actually bothering to collect the chaos emeralds still, even though the special stages are the same difficulty for all the characters now. Unless collecting the emeralds is good enough of a reward for someone, Tails and Knuckles aren't any worse off from skipping the special stages entirely, since they probably will still go without any reward from going through them.
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Old 11-04-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Chaotikal View Post
The problem with this approach is that not even the original Nights itself did that. In the game these stages are based off, which was by force the first time ANYONE had played a Nights level, the requirements were much more strict and challenging than SRB2 is attempting to match. Besides, does nobody here really remember how cruel and unforgiving the Sonic 1 special stages were the first time you played them? Or the Sonic 3 ones, with their "get it wrong just once and you're out" penalty? I'd very much want the special stages in SRB2 to be challenging the first time and each time thereafter, so the reward at the end actually means something.
You have to remember that SRB2 is notorious for having controls that are very hard to adjust to. Besides, I always considered it a flaw that the special stages in the classic Sonic games start out so difficult. The first special stage should be easy enough that the player can get familiar with the concept.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sryder13 View Post
I hope as a result of this there'll be an "Official score attack records" as well as the time attack records for 2.1.
What are currently the "official time attack records" will become the "offical record attack records" (or maybe a name that sounds less silly) and encompass all three disciplines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sryder13 View Post
Furthermore as far as we know only people playing as Sonic get a reward from actually bothering to collect the chaos emeralds still, even though the special stages are the same difficulty for all the characters now. Unless collecting the emeralds is good enough of a reward for someone, Tails and Knuckles aren't any worse off from skipping the special stages entirely, since they probably will still go without any reward from going through them.
Well, since special stages allow you to collect continues, it's a good idea to play them as Tails and Knuckles as well.
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Old 11-04-2012   #25
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Here's the other thing worth noting.

NiGHTS special stages are outright complicated. Unlike classic Sonic's where the special stages were relatively simple in design, NiGHTS is not. Because of that, it's virtually required that the initial stages be easy. I understand that NiD was far more challenging in its initial design, but you also had an unlimited number of attempts at getting it right. You do not get that benefit with SRB2, so the learning curve has to be a lot more forgiving to a new player. There are 3 tokens in the entirety of GFZ. If a person manages to fail SS1 twice, they're already at a HUGE loss for the rest of the game, because of how difficult it is to get tokens later on.
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Old 11-05-2012   #26
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I was the main guy pushing for easier stages to start, and I guess I'll explain my reasoning:

NiGHTS special stages are complicated. Ignoring the basics of movement and dashing, there are the paraloop mechanics, which take a bit to understand, and five different HIDDEN powerups that you can only obtain with those paraloop mechanics. I want to make sure that players have the opportunity to understand these mechanics, but I also don't want to have a literal tutorial at the beginning explaining it in English, so the first few stages are designed with this kind of teaching in mind, showing the player what the mechanics and powerups do by example. For instance, the first special stage has the helper in a prominent location which is immediately helpful in the section right afterwards, and you already can see how we try to teach the player the usefulness of the super paraloop in special stage 2. By the final special stages the player is EXPECTED to understand how these mechanics work, so it's important that they get a chance to learn how they work in a controlled, easy environment without pressure. This does NOT mean that the special stages will be a cakewalk. It just means that the start of the difficulty curve is going to assume a skill level far below the skill level of anyone on these forums to read this. The approximate difficulty levels of the special stages:

Special Stage 1: Designed to be practically impossible to lose. If you're going for a massive score there are a lot of things you have to be careful of to get massive points as your link skyrockets into the hundreds, but if you're just going for completion, this level is designed so that a player with no clue what the mechanics are can complete it, even if they don't use the dash button at all.

Special Stage 2 and 3: Experienced players should still have absolutely no trouble, but new players will have to start using the dash and introduce the risk/reward that going fast in NiGHTS mode introduces. To make sure they end up going fast, there are dash bumpers in various locations. The powerups are also used in plenty of locations to help assure that players understand how they work.

Special Stage 4: This is where the difficulty curve starts to become serious, requiring the player demonstrate complete understanding of paraloops and having the powerups be used in situations that aren't necessarily obvious in their usage. New players will almost certainly lose here their first few attempts, but experienced players may manage to get this one on their first try.

Special Stage 5 and 6: The gloves come off. The player is expected to fly quickly and effectively, grab powerups effectively and dash like a single second will make the difference between success and failure.

Special Stage 7: That sound you're hearing is your dignity being mugged in a back alley.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, this is difficulty just for completion. If you're going for a high score, you're going to want to make multiple loops around the stage. Because all the non-hidden objects respawn when you pass the goal, you'll want to fly around the stage quickly for maximum score. This is relevant in normal gameplay because you get a continue for 50K points, and you get an emblem for an A rank (which is a different requirement per stage). Simple completion is easy in the earlier stages, but getting an A rank score is not. You also get a score bonus in the main game for a high link (max link obtained x 100), so if you can pull off an absurd link you'll also get extra lives in the main game. Completing the early special stages will be easy for everyone, but mastering them will challenge even the most experienced players here.
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Old 11-05-2012   #27
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So after trying to get a continuous link (I did eventually get one of 308), I realized how unaware of many of NiGHTS' mechanics I previously was. So with my new awareness of what is actually going on, let me comment on a few things both good and bad:

  • Until I checked in SRB2DB, I wasn't every aware that the Super Paraloop that you can get out of the first circle is the same one that you can pick up shortly afterwards. I thought they were two different ones. Now that I know it, I must say that it's a brilliant idea.
  • Equally brilliant is the small split in the factory. The lower path is easy and safe, while the top one allows you to rack up your links - if you're careful and collect the NiGHTS Helper. This is rather difficult in 2.0 because the turning radius is so large - it's pretty difficult in general to pick up a powerup after paralooping a circle. But luckily 2.1 improves on that.
  • The glass tube with the bumpers in it is still a bottleneck. It's already rather difficult to get from the circle to the tube without losing your link. But the fact that the first bumper often misses the ring that's right above makes it a bit of a crapshoot.
  • In the last factory room with the large tubes, why are there seven rings/wing logos stacked on top of each other. I very much doubt that it's possible to collect all of them without losing your link and/or momentum, so they seem to be quite useless.
  • As someone pointed out before me, it's a bit odd that to the right of the starting point you see nothing but emptiness, but to the left of the starting point you see a building. That's not ideal.
  • I hope the Drill Refill (and the two other powerups Mystic alluded to above me - no idea what they are since I never played NiGHTS Into Dreams) is introduced either in the first or the third special stage as well. But I would be surprised if you haven't thought of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
You also get a score bonus in the main game for a high link (max link obtained x 100), so if you can pull off an absurd link you'll also get extra lives in the main game.
Oh, the bonus translates to the main score? And here I was, thinking that it transferred to the special stage score, making it suspiciously easy to obtain a continue in Toxic Plateau just by getting a link of around 200. :O

Last edited by MascaraSnake; 11-05-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012   #28
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I think I'll place a hoop instead of the sphere after the bumper. This should alleviate some of the issues with that.

The 7 ring stacks are actually just leftovers from the original scrapped hazard. I just haven't really fixed the placement there yet to compensate for that.

The aesthetics for all the special stages will probably be changed up some before 2.1 sees release, so I'll be sure to keep that on the todo list.

And drill refill shows up in SS3. I don't think I put it in SS1. If I did, it needs to be taken out because it's so easy to fill the link meter there that anyone who gets it won't necessarily see the immediate benefit.

Also, as an aside, something to keep in mind. in 2.1, only the hoops build up your boost meter.
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Old 11-09-2012   #29
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The new 2.1 Special Stages seem quite amazing compared to the original ones from 2.0! I was able to beat this one first try, and the visuals were amazing! It was a bit of a challenge trying to complete it in time, but it was fun. The only thing I see wrong with this, is the thing at the end that you have to get to complete the level. Besides that, this seems to be pretty great!
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Old 11-10-2012   #30
Rob
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So, this is what I did for my max link...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2vLpKlREJw

Could have been 341 but I messed up in 2 minor spots. Curious to see what you guys can do (video please).

Last edited by Rob; 11-10-2012 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 11-10-2012   #31
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I think it was Fooruman who managed a 358 link by going through the section where the path splits twice. Personally, I only managed 338 with that method, but then again I suck ;)
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Old 11-10-2012   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
I think it was Fooruman who managed a 358 link by going through the section where the path splits twice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by #srb2fun
[21:55:55] <Fooruman> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/51760266/to...au-336link.lmp
[21:56:02] <Fooruman> gee I'm terrible at nights
[21:57:17] <@SpiritCrusher> [21:56] <Fooruman> gee I'm terrible at nights <- Certainly not if you managed a 336 link
[21:57:35] <Fooruman> I missed so many items on that run
[21:58:18] <Fooruman> it could easily be like 345 if I didn't screw up so many times
[22:00:40] <@SpiritCrusher> Oh you clever person
[22:00:59] <@SpiritCrusher> Nobody until now has even thought of going through the section with the path split twice
[22:01:10] <Fooruman> I'm a genius
[...]
[22:21:26] <Sryder13> https://dl.dropbox.com/u/58421501/Ti...eau351Link.lmp
[22:21:33] <Sryder13> Going to keep trying to get better :)
[...]
[22:32:17] <Sryder13> Then, not long after that I break the record again with 358
[22:32:25] <Sryder13> Whee~
tl;dr: Going through the path split twice without losing link is possible; Sryder13 got that 358 link.
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Old 11-10-2012   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritCrusher View Post
I think it was Fooruman who managed a 358 link by going through the section where the path splits twice. Personally, I only managed 338 with that method, but then again I suck ;)
I sucked too, only 335 :)
__________________
S: Did you collect all chaos emeralds?
Ariel: WHAT? YOU DIDN'T SAID I MUST COLLECT THEM!
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Old 11-10-2012   #34
Sryder13
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Just as a note, I believe I managed a perfect link with a 374 link, I'd need Rob to confirm whether it is or not though, I can't see anything I missed anyway. Here's a video in case you want to see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnMupzQ_ntI

EDIT: Also I think it's impossible to get a perfect link and finish the level with the current time limit unfortunately. :(
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Old 11-12-2012   #35
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That's awesome, I didn't think that was actually possible.

And it is possible to break the capsule and get max link. What you need to do is paraloop the trails of stuff around the capsule, go back and break the capsule as the items come to you, thus keeping the link going while you're stagnant. It's insanely hard, but doable.
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Old 11-17-2012   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel View Post
I sucked too, only 335 :)
Today, it's better, 348!
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Ariel: WHAT? YOU DIDN'T SAID I MUST COLLECT THEM!
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