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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Holds : Castle Steele (Modest puzzles and pictures)
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7.8/10 (35 votes)
σ 2.06
Author Name:Elfstone
Submitted By:Elfstone
Hold Name:Castle Steele
Theme:Modest puzzles and pictures
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Number of Levels:4
Number of Rooms:50
Number of Monsters:1441
Version:DROD: The City Beneath (3.2)
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Hold Karma:15 (+15 / -0)
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File: Castle Steele.hold (2.2 MB)
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icon Castle Steele  
In this Hold I made an attempt at a few more puzzles than in 'Seasons', but I fear that will never be my strength in Architecture.. It has an off-canon story, and I suspect people will either love or loathe the ending for that reason.

I want to put on record my very great gratitude to my testers; to eytanz and Syntax, to CSR for her meticulous crits and to Hikari (again) for his seemingly unending patience with me. I also owe a debt of thanks to the many people in Chat who helped out with my off-the-cuff questions about scripting. This Hold would not have seen the light of day without your generous assistance.
07-30-2008 at 05:39 PM
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Jatopian
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There's a small backtracking issue with this hold: If you complete The Old Keep : Once East and then exit to the west, you'll need to restore back onto a checkpoint in that room to proceed.

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07-30-2008 at 11:59 PM
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fratropea
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I have never seen rooms so colored, happy and amusing!!!
Compliments... I keep on playing...
PS. My vote is 10! :D

This hold is against the depression!!!

[Last edited by fratropea at 07-31-2008 01:21 AM]
07-31-2008 at 12:54 AM
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Tahnan
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quote:
admin wrote:
In this Hold I made an attempt at a few more puzzles than in 'Seasons', but I fear that will never be my strength in Architecture.
Puzzles need never be your strength. No one makes holds as downright lovely as Elfstone's. The post-mastery rooms stand out in an otherwise really lovely hold. Very much recommended.
07-31-2008 at 10:05 AM
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kzc
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Oh, very nice, Elfstone. I enjoyed this a great deal. The rooms with puzzle elements were not especially challenging, but they were good fodder for the type of story/themed artwork based holds you create. I wish they'd been a higher percentage of the total.

Sentimentalist that I am, I was enchanted by the ending, although I have a niggling suspicion that all is not as it seems. I'll have to play through it again to see if I missed any clues in the early dialog. I hope there's a sequel in the works.

What is the music in the penultimate post-mastery room?

07-31-2008 at 05:51 PM
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noma
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Lovely lovely hold. It should be played for aesthetic enjoyment alone and is a nice way to while away an evening. The puzzles are generally not too difficult, though there were more a couple of rooms I found to be challenging (and one -- De Profundis; Entrance -- that I asked Elfstone for a hint on.) For the most part, I enjoyed all the rooms. There are more than a few that were a lot of fun to try and optimise.

Thank you, thank you Elfstone for leaving a space before the arrows at entrances and for the considerately placed checkpoints. There are architects out there that should take note of how you did this. The back-tracking issue mentioned above isn't really a big problem as there is a well-placed checkpoint shortly before you complete the room, so it's easy to re-complete the room after a restore if you've used the west door.

P.S. I got the quote, but what are "rocheglaus"? Googling produced no results.
08-01-2008 at 02:49 AM
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Elfstone
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My very grateful thanks for the heartening comments that have been left here.

fratropea said: This hold is against the depression!!! what a lovely compliment :)

Tahnan said: The post-mastery rooms stand out in an otherwise really lovely hold. thank you and I'm so glad you like the ending. I was afraid that long-standing DRODers might disapprove.

kzc said: Sentimentalist that I am, I was enchanted by the ending, - see my reply to Tahnan
What is the music in the penultimate post-mastery room? I wrote that song (and sang it :blush)

noma said: Lovely lovely hold. It should be played for aesthetic enjoyment alone . . thank you :)
P.S. I got the quote, but what are "rocheglaus"? - they're lights. Googling produced no results. ah, that's not surprising as it's a word I made up (along with rochelits). O:-

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08-01-2008 at 11:43 AM
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Kwerulous
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Could I also give my compliments - although the puzzles weren't drastically hard, they were still very enjoyable. I loved the way the rooms were designed, so bright and colourful. I particularly liked the way the pictures were made in the mini-map, especially the swan and the sunset in 2. The Gardens

Excellent Hold, well done! This inspires me a lot!

[Last edited by Kwerulous at 08-01-2008 01:06 PM]
08-01-2008 at 12:44 PM
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mxvladi
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Yeah, this isn't very puzzly, but beautiful hold. Design of rooms is pretty-pretty good. ;)

Good job!
08-01-2008 at 01:50 PM
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Danteslives
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I can't believe how gorgeous this was! I have fallen in love with this hold, very in line with the story. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.
08-28-2008 at 11:57 PM
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Elfstone
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My apologies to Kwerulous, mxvladi and Danteslives for taking so long to respond to your kind comments - I haven't had time to come in here for what seems like an age; work has been getting me down and I have more or less given up DROD (sacrilege I know! ) and Writing :weep
I'm more than chuffed at your opinions of my Hold - it was lovely to come in here and read such approval; fair cheered me up! :look

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09-30-2008 at 04:51 PM
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zwetschenwasser
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Hello, Elfstone, how r u?
Please read signature, please read signature :)

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09-30-2008 at 10:31 PM
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Elfstone
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quote:
zwetschenwasser wrote:
Hello, Elfstone, how r u?
Please read signature, please read signature :)


I'm fine thanks - just seriously overworked at the moment. I have PM'd you.

Elf.

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10-02-2008 at 06:30 PM
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zwetschenwasser
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Great hold, by the way!
:blush

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10-03-2008 at 11:58 PM
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jbluestein
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Played and mastered.

With Elfstone's holds, it's never completely about the puzzles, but nevertheless there are quite a few good ones here. Difficulty level is consistently low, with the exception of 4. De Profundis: Entrance, which is mostly easy but cleanup requires some clever manipulation.

And, of course, it's beautiful.

So I give the hold a 9 for fun. I would give it 3.5 brains for difficulty, but that one room forces me to kick it up to 4.

Excellent work!

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10-06-2009 at 02:44 PM
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west.logan
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I'll be quite honest. About halfway through this hold I was hating it.

Not that the scenery isn't beautiful, or that the artwork isn't clever. It was absolutely stunning, aesthetically. The way certain top-down scenes were made to look three-dimensional was brilliant and none of the rooms were sloppy or added as an afterthought.

What bothered me was essentially that there weren't any puzzles. It was more that the player was thrown into a room with a bunch of enemies and told to survive. Over and over and over. A few checkpoints were well-placed, most of the time I was wishing for better ones. Some "puzzles" required lots of roaches to spawn and just the right sort of fidgeting/manipulation to pull off, and that was a nuisance as well. Most I didn't even feel energetic enough to try over to get a better score. I was just happy to finally have defeated the horde.

Some of the custom scenery was confusing. Nice, but confusing. In other words, I can't walk on the water (okay, I get that) but I /can/ walk on the sky? Not obvious to me at first.

But then I got to the end and all was forgiven. The last few tunnels after the master wall were inspired. Custom scenery, custom /music/! It wrapped things up nicely and was not tacky or tasteless. The ending made the hold worthwhile for me and as always, it was quite lovely.

Elfstone, I would strongly urge you to make some more holds, but in conjunction with someone else. As you have said, puzzles are not your strong point but nice-looking holds are. Combine that with someone who can implement the puzzles with your aesthetics and I think we'd have some really, really solid holds.

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08-08-2011 at 01:48 PM
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Elfstone
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west.logan wrote:
I'll be quite honest. About halfway through this hold I was hating it. . .
and I thank you for your honesty (even if it is not something an architect enjoys reading about his/her Hold). I'd much rather this kind of well expressed comment than that "1" with no explanation.

quote:
What bothered me was essentially that there weren't any puzzles. . .
I accept that - unfortunately I'm not good at making (or playing for that matter) hard puzzles. Perhaps this Hold belongs in the 'for beginners only' category.

quote:
Elfstone, I would strongly urge you to make some more holds, but in conjunction with someone else . . .
That sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice I'm not sure if it would work. The creative process is a very individual one and I'm not sure that collaborating on a Hold might not turn out a bit like a Hold version of the Three Word Story thread in 'Forum Games'! A group of us on my Writing site tried a collaborative poem once a number of years back; it was an interesting intellectual exercise, but the end product really didn't work as a poem in it's own right. I have a feeling my Hold making days are over.

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08-09-2011 at 05:51 PM
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Banjooie
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Hey, now.

What you do may not necessarily be the most interesting puzzles necessarily, but you do do some pretty amazing stuff, Elfstone. Honestly, I think even if you didn't add any monsters you could still make interesting stuff that's worth walking through for the hell of it.

....So I actually played through. Yeah, it's...sure, pretty easy, I'll allow that, but when I /do/ manage to see the image of a room properly, it's like /whoa/.

[Last edited by Banjooie at 08-09-2011 06:30 PM]
08-09-2011 at 06:21 PM
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west.logan
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I hope you read through all of my post, Elfstone. Because it certainly wasn't as bad as it sounds like you took it. By the way, I scored the hold a 7, not a 1.

I think Banjooie has a good point: even if there were no monsters then you'd have something to contribute. My favourite part of the hold was the last bit of caves, which had nothing but story in it. For cutscenes and custom scenery and creativity, you've got it nailed. I just got tired of a huge number of monsters thrown into a room that didn't seem to be there for any reason except to force me to survive. But I loved your 3-dimensional scenery.

Penwielder and I worked on a hold together, although I just made a few aesthetic suggestions and the voice acting. Advanced Concepts was a different sort of collaboration but one which worked remarkably well. I think it honestly could work and I hope you make at least one more hold (and I'll keep saying that after every one :D )

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08-09-2011 at 06:39 PM
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Banjooie
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Speaking as a gigantic jerk, West.logan, generally people are going to take 'I hated it' to mean you didn't enjoy the hold.

I'm just saying.
08-10-2011 at 04:17 AM
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west.logan
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It was "I was hating it" (and implies a change coming) but I agree, probably sounds a bit harsh.

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08-10-2011 at 12:07 PM
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Elfstone
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Oh dear - perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully enough ( a terrible admission for an aspiring Writer! :P )

Yes I did read all of your post and I haven't taken umbrage - not at all! I have said somewhere else w.l, that I very much admire the fact that you leave a comment for every hold you play - something we should all emulate I think. Your comments are always thoughtful, useful and eloquently expressed and your comment on Castle Steele is no exception. I accept it unreservedly and without any rancour. I knew that you didn't give the Hold a "1" (that appeared almost immediately after the Hold was elevated to the Holds board) but re-reading what I wrote it may have seemed that's what I was saying - mea culpa.

I think my feeling is that while I enjoy Architecture - the process itself - there has to be a purpose that is more than just that process. It has become apparent over time that what people on the site seem to want ( I may be wrong here of course) is Holds with difficult, or even very difficult, puzzles. I can't do that; my brain just doesn't seem to work that way.

I take your points about Advanced Concepts and the Hold on which you and Penwielder collaborated, and I am not opposed to collaborating on principal. I'm just not at all sure how on earth I would combine my Seasons/Castle Steele type of hold with something 'lynchpin' based for instance.

"What you do may not necessarily be the most interesting puzzles necessarily, but you do do some pretty amazing stuff, Elfstone. " :blush thank you.

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08-10-2011 at 03:08 PM
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west.logan
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I think the hardcore players (they are the vocal ones who hang out long-term) are going to enjoy the difficult puzzles. But there are are still a good many who would enjoy a good story or good scenery. I think I would have enjoyed your holds even more if they had actually been /less/ difficult (i.e., had less monsters). There's certainly a lack of polished story-telling and aesthetics in a good many holds I've played and that's something you have nailed.

Great Uncle Yurgess' hold wasn't difficult but I thought it had an entertaining story, fairly good scenery, and lots of people enjoyed it. Simple puzzles aren't bad---all the more so if the puzzles aren't the main feature of the hold.

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08-10-2011 at 03:18 PM
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Banjooie
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for the record I am completely okay with people making holds that I personally can /actually complete/.

I imagine people who are new to this game also want holds they can actually complete but are aesthetically pleasing.

So yeah, you fill a very important, very awesome niche here Elfstone.

Edit: just hit post-mastery

Elfstone you are in no way to stop making holds, that was amazing.

Not, like, /superbly difficult/ but amazing.

[Last edited by Banjooie at 08-12-2011 03:28 AM]
08-10-2011 at 11:02 PM
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