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Chaco
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icon Fetch The Pie (+12)  
Here's my DROD RPG hold. The hold is already published on the DROD RPG Holds Board. Contained within is an introduction level ("Zeroth Level") many sectors of resource management ("First" through "Tenth" level) and two interlude levels ("First", "Second Interlude").

Although I don't think this will be very difficult to complete, I think it will be very interesting to optimize. I've included a lot of tricks in this hold, some DROD-based, some not, which can lead to higher scores.

So, give this hold a try, and be sure to give me some feedback on how I'm doing so far! (And in case you're wondering, the hold is titled "Fetch the Pie" because your job is to fetch the pie.)

LAST UPDATED: June 28th, 2016

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[Last edited by Chaco at 07-10-2016 04:48 PM]
09-27-2008 at 10:37 PM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (+1)  
Scores for posterity (this post is a work in progress):
Defeated spider:
Click here to view the secret text

I like your use of queen roaches to limit kill count. The style is an exact match for the main hold also, which is nice.

Defeated mud mother:
Click here to view the secret text

You kept the greckle supply tight, which is good. The bridge/trapdoor puzzle for the map was token at best, though.

Completed 1st interlude:
Click here to view the secret text

Very nice puzzles, especially the mimic/snake one, although a lowered blue door in yellow light looks confusingly green. Is 3E supposed to cost a lot of HP? I can't see how to do it without leaving behind three mud babies, making it much more cost-effective to just bring an extra key with me. The queen with roaches in the corners was a bit trivial compared to the others.

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[Last edited by Dischorran at 09-28-2008 12:43 AM]
09-27-2008 at 11:10 PM
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Tahnan
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (+1)  
quote:
Dischorran wrote:
Defeated mud mother:
Click here to view the secret text


I forget my 1st-level score (lower than either Chaco's or Dischorran's), but at the mud mother:
Click here to view the secret text
(and actually, now that I look, my HP could have been higher).

There really is nice stuff here with both eggs and the choices about greckles vs. taking damage.
09-28-2008 at 02:38 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
quote:
Dischorran wrote:
The bridge/trapdoor puzzle for the map was token at best, though.



Yeah, I'll probably replace it with some other puzzle. I like the idea of making a mind-puzzle that doesn't cost HP or greckles blocking the map, rather than with a greckle door or with key-doors or monsters (such as has happened in Tendry's Tale a few times)

quote:

Is 3E supposed to cost a lot of HP? I can't see how to do it without leaving behind three mud babies, making it much more cost-effective to just bring an extra key with me.


Yeah, you have to kill four mud babies. Unfortunately, all tarstuff babies are non-trivial to deal with, so I used mud babies instead.

(I'm still trying to figure out how I can replace the five yellow keys -> green key -> blue key cycle, since keys can be brought in from other levels. I'd prefer an independent-from-keys method that forces the five puzzles to be solved before the player leaves the level... perhaps I can rig something up with stairs.)

Anyway, the next installment will have some more RPG-levels. You may have noticed that after killing the mud mother and getting the shield, it's possible to one-hit kill a lot of the monsters in the First Level, and get around 375 greckles or higher. Don't worry, I'll be considering this when I get around to making the Third Level. :)

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09-28-2008 at 02:49 AM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
quote:
Chaco wrote:
(I'm still trying to figure out how I can replace the five yellow keys -> green key -> blue key cycle, since keys can be brought in from other levels. I'd prefer an independent-from-keys method that forces the five puzzles to be solved before the player leaves the level... perhaps I can rig something up with stairs.)

How about a five green keys -> blue key cycle? Or portable orbs, or pickaxes?

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[Last edited by Dischorran at 09-28-2008 02:54 AM]
09-28-2008 at 02:52 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
Pickaxes sounds like a good idea, but I'll need to retheme the level so most of the area is pits instead of walls.

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09-28-2008 at 03:41 AM
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Dischorran
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Only if you want to be nice to the player (why???). If the player needs five pickaxes to get to the exit, using them to break a puzzle instead just leaves the player trapped at the end of the level.

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09-28-2008 at 04:31 AM
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Rheb
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Fun hold! Me and Blondbeard played it through and ended at a score of
Click here to view the secret text
A sugestion: Why not say somewhere in the beginning that the hold is aumtlich/hottile free? That way you don't have to bother with not picking up lives all the time.

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[Last edited by Rheb at 09-28-2008 10:32 AM]
09-28-2008 at 10:29 AM
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deftriver
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
I've just started, but the disconnected sword is actually quite distracting? Can a image be made to have arms so that the sword isn't just floating out there?
09-29-2008 at 03:49 AM
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Tahnan
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quote:
deftriver wrote:
I've just started, but the disconnected sword is actually quite distracting? Can a image be made to have arms so that the sword isn't just floating out there?
Not by Chaco--architects can't alter official DROD images--but it's a reasonable thing to ask as a feature request.
09-29-2008 at 04:10 AM
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Chaco
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icon Fetch The Pie Alpha 2 (+1)  
A lot of you guys thought this hold was really good, even with the small amount of content contained in the first alpha version.

I've attached a second alpha version to the first post, which contains two more levels and one more interlude. There is a *lot* more content in this hold now - Vincent has been given sparse amounts of dialogue, giving him a personality that is not quite like Tendry's. In addition, you might want to pay attention to what you find out, because the story gets a bit thicker in this new installment.

Go explore and conquer! And when you arrive back, let me know not only how you did, but also what you thought of the new content. :)

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[Last edited by Chaco at 10-28-2008 09:10 PM]
10-28-2008 at 09:10 PM
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Chaco
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File: spnt_skin_shield.png (1.1 KB)
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (+4)  
Also, because I imagine some of you might want to use this...

Attached are the graphics used in this hold for a serpent-skin leather shield. I'm okay with other people using this graphic for any sort of implementation as long as they credit me as having been the one that created the graphic.

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10-28-2008 at 09:46 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
quote:
Nuntar wrote:
Wow, this is a lovely hold, but so hard.... I'm completely stuck on the eyes on Level 2, because there are just too many in each room and I can't survive or open the greckle doors. I'm assuming I must have failed to do well enough on the first level.... I'll keep trying though!


You're talking about the eyes in the six rooms that form the rectangular pit (the first large section of level 2)?

Ideally you should have enough ATK (around 25-28) by this point to kill eyes in 3 hits (taking 2 hits from them if attacking them normally). Then you can get ATK upgrades until you can kill eyes in 2 hits (taking 1 hit from them if attacking them normally but instantly killing them if attacking from the back)

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10-29-2008 at 02:42 AM
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Dischorran
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Alright, I have a report up through entering the second interlude. In the later levels, I seem to be one-shotting a lot of monsters that the level design suggests should still be giving me some trouble - queens at the beginning of level 3, antlions at the end, and rock golems in level 4. It still looks good, but you might have some more balancing work to do.

Level 1: Collected enough ATK to make WWs easy before heading south. Never collected far northern potion.
Defeated Spider: HP335, ATK25, DEF10, Keys1/0/0, Score 173.

Level 2:
1N1W is improved.
Defeated Mud Mother: HP1974 ATK50 DEF10 Keys2/0/0 Score 349.
Killed monsters to get shield.

1st interlude:
Nothing broken, and the handbombs work fine.
Completed 1st Interlude: HP2443 ATK54 DEF20 Keys2/0/0 Score 411.

Level 3:
Roach queens, roaches, and wraithwings, even brained, are lousy protectors since I can one-shot them.
Got into the secret room, costing 120G and a yellow key, but no health.
3S: Bombs and fuses? Really? Just went with green, then red, then white to solve the room. Thank you for not being Rheb.
1W: Killed all brains.
1N1W: Didn't use the bombs - bought the ATK instead.
Going clockwise around the level, could even one-shot antlions by the end, neutering the puzzles.
1E: Entering from the north, I can get the SE goodies for one yellow key.
Defeated Mad Eyes: HP9485 ATK90 DEF20 Keys4/1/0 Score 807, with option of buying more health. Killed brain, but tackled eyes head-on.

Level 4:
1N1W: 120 greckles for 45 health? Seriously?
2S1E: Clever. If ever so slightly tedious.
1E: Who do you think is going to drop 2 greens and a yellow here?
Do you expect people to not be one-shotting rock golems?
Didn't get the shield.
Defeated Simple Guards: HP11545 ATK105 DEF20 Keys5/0/0 Score943

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10-29-2008 at 05:55 AM
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Blondbeard
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Again: I would like a policy where architects state if a hold is Aumtlich/Trapdoor free. Makes it much easier to play it.

Hmm... Quite a bit too easy. I think a great hold ought to encourage the player to playing on the edge. This level just escalated. One antelion managed to hurt me. No Rock golem managed to hurt me.

The alter in Tendry's Tale makes for an excelent challange for those who wants to challange themselves. I would really encourage alters for this hold as well, since I was never close to running out of lives. Nevertheless it is a fun hold :)

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[Last edited by Blondbeard at 10-29-2008 10:37 AM]
10-29-2008 at 08:08 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (+1)  
quote:
Dischorran wrote:
Alright, I have a report up through entering the second interlude. In the later levels, I seem to be one-shotting a lot of monsters that the level design suggests should still be giving me some trouble - queens at the beginning of level 3, antlions at the end, and rock golems in level 4. It still looks good, but you might have some more balancing work to do.



Yes, I do expect people to start one-shotting roach queens, antlions, and rock golems at around those times (perhaps even golems earlier if you've fully explored level 3). Successfully doing this opens up a lot of options, as you've noticed.

quote:

Level 3 3S: Bombs and fuses? Really?



In case you don't feel like solving the room right away, there's a secret room where the code is given to you. (Of course, by then the map is pretty useless... maybe I'll put some health in there with it, since that map room never gets sealed off.)

quote:

Level 4 1E: Who do you think is going to drop 2 greens and a yellow here?



It was meant to be an alternative to spending a large amount of money or fighting the mad eyes, but I'll probably change that to two yellow doors to make the option more attractive.

quote:
Blondbeard wrote:
Again: I would like a policy where architects state if a hold is Aumtlich/Trapdoor free. Makes it much easier to play it.


This hold has trapdoors in it. Sorry. :p

(I don't like Aumtlich much either. That doesn't necessarily mean I won't include them, it just means I'm going to try not to be obnoxious with Aumtlich and Hot Tiles, since it can be a pain to optimize percentages and deliberately leave health potions behind for later.)

I've noticed that even with the balancing work I did, the player still ends up with a *lot* of HP at the end of the hold - usually more than 11000 or even 15000 if the player has been conserving health very well. I might address this in the next version.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 10-29-2008 10:09 AM]
10-29-2008 at 10:08 AM
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Blondbeard
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Okay... moving on. You seem to have understood me anyway :P

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[Last edited by Blondbeard at 10-29-2008 10:40 AM]
10-29-2008 at 10:39 AM
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Jason
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I'm stuck on the first interval. I've conquered all the rooms but 2S and 2S1E. I have one handbomb, but it seems as if I need 5 to break through the briars for 2S1E which I need for 2S. Help please?

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10-29-2008 at 05:24 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Fetch The Pie (0)  
quote:
Nuntar wrote:
I'm now completely bottlenecked on Level 3 and finding this hold to be a major annoyance. I've not missed anything on previous levels, and yet to progress I have to either kill a rock golem (my ATK isn't high enough) or use a yellow key (I have none).



Uh oh. I don't want any bottlenecking to take place in that kind of manner - sounds frustrating.

quote:

(1) It's meant to be impossible to progress if you miss the hidden room on Level 1. Trouble is, the room seems to be impossible to reach.



It's not meant to be impossible; but the room is possible to reach. The room does contain 1 ATK, however, which may be the key to destroying roach eggs early, so I wouldn't recommend missing out on that room. I can give you some clues on how to get in there if you want.

quote:

(2) It's meant to be impossible to progress if you make the wrong choice in Level 2 4N2W. Yet there were no clues to help the player choose; just "you have to miss out on this good stuff to get a yellow key that you'll need later but you won't know until you get there and then you'll have to play everything from here to there over again".



It's a choice between a yellow key and a lot of health and a power gem. I finished most levels with an excess of keys (or was able to go back later and get some that I left behind) but I think it could be possible to waste all your keys and end up keyless.

quote:

(3) It's meant to be impossible to progress if you don't do the Interlude. Blegh -- I was enjoying this game because it got me away from those sorts of puzzles. I'm fine with you including them in an interlude, because you make some damn good puzzles, but please make it optional.



Completing the interlude gives 6 ATK. As this is a relatively high number, I may just move 2 ATK to the post-mud-mother stash, move 2 ATK to beside the wooden shield, and keep 2 ATK as the post-Interlude reward. (I want to make the Interlude optional but rewarding.)

quote:

(4) If none of the above apply, I must suck at this much worse than I thought I did.....


Given that this is my first RPG hold and that we're all pretty new to this game I suspect I have a lot to learn about good RPG hold design, and not that you suck. (But I'd like to add that I completed Tendry's Tale before I started work on this, so keep that in mind even when you're fighting roaches.)

To make a compromise, the next version will feature some more areas earlier in the game where yellow keys, health and/or power gems can be bought with greckles. (There's still a reward deep in level 4 that requires a rather large amount of greckles, so if you've been optimizing properly and can kill a lot of monsters then it might be possible to get that as a reward for all that hard work.)

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[Last edited by Chaco at 10-29-2008 07:28 PM]
10-29-2008 at 07:25 PM
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mxvladi
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Have recently started playing this.

Interesting hold. Choices are good, the story is nice, too. :)

My score after defeating Mud Mother:

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10-30-2008 at 02:07 PM
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reyll3
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Im playing this and i guess im stuck at interlude 1 : 1 south twice west, i cant open the second door cause ill lock myself in if i do that.

further: very nice hold. includes puzzling and RPGing...nice combination you made :D .
and i got all ATK i saw. i missed DEF gems though... i hope ill get to play more soon.
EDIT: nvm i got the puzzle



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[Last edited by reyll3 at 11-01-2008 10:57 PM]
11-01-2008 at 10:36 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
reyll3 wrote:
i missed DEF gems though...



You may or may not have noticed, but there aren't *any* DEF gems, similar to the first part of Tendry's Tale.

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11-01-2008 at 11:28 PM
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reyll3
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quote:
Chaco wrote:
quote:
reyll3 wrote:
i missed DEF gems though...



You may or may not have noticed, but there aren't *any* DEF gems, similar to the first part of Tendry's Tale.


i meant that i missed them in your hold.

Anyway,im done, and i have to say its good, but the only thing that im thinking of is
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11-02-2008 at 12:55 AM
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Chaco
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quote:
Nuntar wrote:
The only thing I can think of that might make a difference to your final greckle total is
Click here to view the secret text

but if so it's going to be way too tedious hunting for the correct method, and besides, that doesn't look like it will make a large enough difference to get past the greckle gates -- could be wrong.


That's correct. When I solved Second Interlude I only had four spare greckles, and had to squeeze every last greckle out of the enemies. (I find that most of the time it's the squares near the mud mother that one is least efficient around if one isn't paying attention.)

(As you can probably tell, I was inspired by Rule 8's 4,000 greckle merchants and the fact that it's actually not too horrible to fulfill their requirements.)

quote:

Really, it stopped being fun once I was past the first brain room on Level 3. Too easy; too many one-shot enemies. I ended up with so many HP and greckles that I stopped caring how many I spent. Afterwards I found that I was meant to concentrate on spending HP and saving greckles so as to get the shield, but (1) with there being so little challenge it would have just been tedious to go back, and (2) it was so easy, the shield was unnecessary anyway. I think a good hold is one where you have to optimise lots of choices -- this level seemed to contain only one big choice.


Yeah, I see what you're getting at here. I'll redesign parts of levels 3 and 4 to incorporate some tougher enemies so the player's HP can't quite get above 10,000, and also be a bit stingier with the health I give out. I also noticed that by backtracking it's possible to get *a lot* more greckles, so I'm going to up the cost of the Serpentskin Shield and some of the other greckle areas.

Part of the appeal of Tendry's Tale (particularly in the second part) was the possibility of getting horribly killed by monsters, and then *just barely* getting strong enough to defeat them reasonably later. I'll need to balance the difficulty curve so that the entire hold isn't comprised of killing monsters in one or two hits.

Also, some of you may have seen a goblin level coming, and I'll say that yes, that's what I'm planning on making next. For those of us who have a lot of HP left, I'm planning on allowing them to defeat the level boss early, but *not* getting reimbursed for their health *or* being able to skip the level. (I'll give a reward for doing that that's reasonable.)

quote:

I'm also not keen on so much darkness that I have to keep clicking everywhere to see whether a gate is yellow, green or greckle, and which squares are pit, which bridge and which platform. Maybe one dark level -- I might have one in my hold as well -- but I don't like the whole hold being like that.


I (obviously) didn't have any problems with the darkness, but it might be a result of my greater-than-one gamma setting. I'll tone down the darkness a bit and add more lighting in complicated areas.

quote:

I do really admire your ability to create aesthetically pleasing room and level layouts, by the way. Wish you could teach me something about how it's done.

Well, gee, thanks. Let me know if you want any lessons. :)

(back to work)

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[Last edited by Chaco at 11-02-2008 09:59 PM]
11-02-2008 at 09:57 PM
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Chaco
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quote:
Nuntar wrote:
Also -- I've just noticed another design flaw. Third Level, 1E: there's no interesting choice as to whether to kill the brain immediately or not, because you clearly don't really lose anything by killing it.


You lose something by killing it if you're approaching from the south, but it's quite ludicrously easy to approach it from the North. (Also, no monsters need be fought in Once East.)

I'm starting to think a total redesign with the same visual ideas would work better. I'll get to work on that.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 11-02-2008 10:34 PM]
11-02-2008 at 10:34 PM
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Bingbing
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I'm stuck on First Interlude, 1S2E. One of the doors can only be opened by a single orb, but that orb also closes off the path needed to get out of the accove where the orb is. Can someone help?

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11-09-2008 at 06:25 PM
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reyll3
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A hint, that room got me puzzled too.
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11-09-2008 at 06:44 PM
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Bingbing
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Thanks, but now I've think I found a bug. Apparently, if you restore from the serpentskin shield autosave, the shield does squat.

EDIT: Upon trying again, the shield functioned as normal, allowing me to destroy the simple guards without losing more than 800 hp.

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[Last edited by Bingbing at 11-10-2008 09:11 PM]
11-10-2008 at 08:48 PM
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Chaco
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That bug has been reported and is fixed in the 1.1 patch.

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11-10-2008 at 08:49 PM
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NiroZ
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I didn't mind the bottleneck on yellow keys in lvl 3, except for the fact that I had to load way back at the end of lvl 1 in order to better manage my keys. Couldn't you put an autosave where you get to choose between attack and yellow key?

Also, you really need to tighten up the last 2 levels, expecially the last one. I mean, CAKEWALK!

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11-14-2008 at 02:45 AM
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