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Lucky Luc
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icon The Intelligence (+50)  
Hi,

as this is my first post here, maybe a very short introduction.

My name is Lukas, I've discovered this game only a few months ago and been quite obsessed with it since then (maybe too obsessed). I've played though JtRH, TCB and GatEB, but have only looked at few custom holds, so in case other people came up with some of my puzzle ideas before me, I'm sorry.

This is obviously my first hold (or the first half of it at least), so I would really appreciate some constructive feedback; I have absolutely no idea how difficult and fun the puzzles are. I've solved every in it's current form at least once (though some only in the editor, but I don't believe there are any global problems), so everything should be possible. I also wanted to see what the editor (especially the scripting system) could do, so there's quite some scripting going on. I hope it all works the way it should, if you find any bugs, please tell me.

The story takes place somewhere in between KDD and JtRH. And I guess I should say although I didn't really use any new game elements expect for the Forest style yet, this is a GatEB hold.

Hope you enjoy and comment! :)

Lukas

EDIT: Updated the hold file so you can also download the newest version directly here, currently v15 (only difference to v14: Set the editing rights to "You and Conquerers").

[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 07-14-2013 08:25 AM]
08-25-2012 at 04:31 PM
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Chaco
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Hi,

This is a really neat hold! I think you've got a good talent for making lynchpin puzzles which are all about figuring out what to do - after I figured out what had to be done in rooms like Briar Brushes 2W and 2N3W, for example, it didn't take me very long to go through the motions to get what I had seen in my brain down in the room. Other rooms, like 1W and 1N1W were all about the actual tactics of playing DROD, which I also appreciate.

I think the difficulty curve of the first level is just right - 1W and 2W are easy enough that they probably shouldn't get people stuck, but should instead give them an idea of what kinds of skills are necessary to solve the rooms.

1N is a great room and I'd like to evangelize it a little bit, since there's several steps that have to be gone through in order to incrementally improve the situation at the end of the room. The final lynchpin that actually makes the room solvable is genius and proves the architect had a good idea when he was building the room.

-

Anyway, there are two things I'd like to suggest right away in terms of improving the hold:

First, I think Briar Brushes 1N3W is an oddly easy room for how far back in the level it is. Since there's only three waterskipper nests, it isn't hard to quickly run in, hit the orb, and get back out, at which point the room is finished already.

Next, I don't see any reason to have the force arrows at the entrance to Briar Brushes 1N1W. The force arrows and the 5x5 mimic enclosure could all be moved up one square, to give one square of free space at the room entrance, without affecting the room solution at all. This would also let the player restart the room and leave if, for any reason, while solving 1N1W, they decide to leave the room and come back later. Right now they can't decide to do this because the force arrows prevent it. While it is nice to build the path from the SW corner of 1N1W that meanders through 1W, to give the player a preview of this room feature, it's still not good to have force arrows on room entrances like this.

=

Anyway, you're doing great! I'm working on the second level right now (which is pretty tough), and I'm enjoying every minute of it. :)

____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text

08-25-2012 at 06:05 PM
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Chaco
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File: TI Secret Cavern - First Level 1N2E Victory.demo (1.3 KB)
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
Here's a demo for Secret Cavern First Level: Once North Twice East. I think this may be an unintended solution - as a whole, all the rooms in the main part of this level are *much* harder and require more difficult manipulation than the relatively simple strategy I used here, so I think the architect might have wanted me to wake up the eye at some point.

Anyway, I'm still working on this level, and I have five rooms left.

____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text

08-25-2012 at 08:47 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Wow, you're really quick, thanks for your comments so far! It's great to get some positive feedback after working on it for quite a while now. :)

Some comments on your comments:

Briar Brushes 1N1W: You're absolutely right there, gonna fix that.

1N3W: I personally don't find that room that easy, then again I guess I'm not a very good swordsman, especially on a raft. I'll think about it, maybe I can make it a bit more difficult.

1N: Well, thanks a lot :) However your description leaves me wondering if you've maybe found an alternate, more elegant solution, because I thought of this room as a rather straightforward optimization puzzle. Maybe it's just because of the building process, though.
Click here to view the secret text

--

Secret Cavern 1st Level 1N2E: D'oh, that's one obvious shortcut! That room has been giving me the hardest time designing so far, because I really like the intended solution idea, but it seems almost impossible to force it. I could probably prevent your double shortcut, but I think I would still be left with at least one unwanted side solution that's in my opinion not nearly as elegant as the intended one. Maybe I'll have to scrap that design completely and rebuild the room from scratch.
08-26-2012 at 12:15 PM
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mxvladi
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
Almost done through second level(1S 2E left). Some comments:

"Briar Brushes: 1N": I'm pretty sure I broke it (see demo). After breaking it, I completed it in a different, slightly trickier(judging by what you wrote in secret tag, intended) way, too.

If I clear "Secret Cavern - First Level: Entrance" and exit to the west, I can no longer reach the rest of the level.

"Secret Cavern - First Level: 1N 3E": I didn't use roach queens in any way. Intended?

Also, 1N 1E and secret room in "Secret Cavern - First Level" are notably awesome. Nicely done!

EDIT: hrm, looking at "Briar Brushes: 2W" again, I'm not sure I did it the way you intended.
Click here to view the secret text


And not sure about "Briar Brushes: 3W", either.

Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by mxvladi at 08-26-2012 01:25 PM : typo in level name]
08-26-2012 at 12:28 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Wow, you did break a lot of rooms! ;)

Briar Brushes 2W: Okay, that completly breaks the room, but it's easy to fix.

1N: Also completely broken. I guess though this can easily be fixed, too.

3W: I have absolutely no idea what you did there! I guess if it's a clever solution, I'll just leave the room as it is and allow your solution as well as my rather simple but tedious one.

Secret Cavern Level 1 Entrance: Oh, you're right, stupid me. I'll fix that.

1N3E: I have an idea what you did there, but I'm not sure exactly how you did it:
Click here to view the secret text


08-26-2012 at 01:49 PM
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mxvladi
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Lucky Luc wrote:
3W: I have absolutely no idea what you did there! I guess if it's a clever solution, I'll just leave the room as it is and allow your solution as well as my rather simple but tedious one.

No, my solution is rather easy:

Click here to view the secret text


1N3E: I have an idea what you did there, but I'm not sure exactly how you did it:
Click here to view the secret text

Yes, you're right about what I did.
Click here to view the secret text


EDIT: also, I've solved "Secret Cavern - Second Level: 4W"... Wow. That's impressive scripting! Quite tricky, too... Took me a while to prevent AI from winning ;) This room needs a checkpoint or two, though.

[Last edited by mxvladi at 08-26-2012 04:27 PM]
08-26-2012 at 02:00 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Briar Brushes 3W: Oh, right, didn't expect it to be that simple! :rolleyes I guess in that case I'm gonna fix it.

Level 1 1N3E: Okay, thanks, I could repoduce your solution now. I'm not sure what to do about it, though, as there's a certain beauty to your solution; then again, it's much simpler than the intended one, and I guess unnecessary game elements don't really fit the whole level. Unfortunately even if I wanted to, I have no idea how to fix it yet.

Level 2 4W: Thanks :) That one was a lot of fun to create. You're right about the checkpoint, gonna fix that.

[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 08-26-2012 05:19 PM]
08-26-2012 at 04:35 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: The Intelligence (+1)  
Okay, I've updated the hold now. No new puzzles yet, but some were heavily changed.

Major Changes:
- Briar Brushes 1N3W: Added a fourth water skipper nest and another raft. The room is a lot harder and also hopefully more interessting now, I think.
- Cavern Level 1 1N2E: Pretty much redesigned the whole room. I think if any side solution is left, it should be difficult enough to keep it.
- Cavern Level 1 1N3E: I've found a way that should force the intended solution. I think I'll create a version with only golems for the master area, though (with a credit to mxvladi, of course).
- I've added a temporary shortcut area to provide quick access during testing phase.

Minor Changes:
- Briar Brushes 2W, 3W, 1N: Shortcuts fixed.
- Briar Brushes 1N1W, Cavern Level 1 Entrance: fixed backtracking problems.
- Cavern Level 1 1S3W: Added two roach queens for symmetry reasons; hardly affects the puzzle, though.
- Cavern Level 2 4W: Added a checkpoint.
08-27-2012 at 05:53 PM
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mxvladi
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Briar Brushes 3W:
Click here to view the secret text


Briar Brushes 2W seems fixed, if I'm not supposed to use golems in any way. (if I am, then there's still more work to be done on fixing it)

Briar Brushes 1N 3W is trickier indeed. Nice.

Secret Cavern - First Level: 1N 2E:
Click here to view the secret text


Secret Cavern - First Level: secret room: Beethro's speech repeats when I reenter it.

Secret Cavern - First Level: 1N 3E:
Click here to view the secret text


Secret Cavern - First Level: 1S 3E:
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by mxvladi at 08-27-2012 07:00 PM]
08-27-2012 at 06:59 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
D'uh, why do I always miss the obvious stuff?

Briar Brushes 3W and Secret Cavern Level 1 1N2E can luckily both be fixed very easily (yes, you weren't supposed to wake up that eye ;) )

Briar Brushes 2W is a bit more difficult. You should use at least one golems, which of course you don't have to do if you leave the room to the east. An obvious solution was to just block that exit with force arrows, but that also means once he's conquered the room, he can't go back until he finishes the rest of the level. Then again, there's not much to see there anyway, right? (and I don't believe you can traverse 1W without solving it...) Otherwise I can of course do a little restructuring.

Secret Cavern Level 1 1N3E:
Click here to view the secret text


Secret Cavern Level 1 1S3E: Yeah, that's not the intended way, but I guess it's close enough.
Click here to view the secret text

08-27-2012 at 10:21 PM
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mxvladi
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Briar Brushes 2W: force arrows on room entrances are frowned upon(and don't look very nice, IMO), but there's even better way to block exit to the east - place a (initally opened) yellow door on room entrance which gets closed when player steps on the pressure plate. Since player has to step on it in order to clear the room, he'll have to use other exit. And after clearing and reentering it, player can even use eastern exit(it indeed isn't important, but still).

Oh, and I see the intended solution now. That's pretty neat.

Secret Cavern First Level 1N 3E: that's quite interesting solution, but it seems that it's really, really hard to enforce it in this room. Fortunately, the one I found isn't trivial, either.
Click here to view the secret text

08-28-2012 at 11:01 AM
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Lucky Luc
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Yes, this hold is still alive :) Development has been going slowly, though.

The new version should hopefully fix all the existing problems, and it also contains about 15 new rooms, yet the last level is still under development.

I'm a little unsure about SC Level 2. I think the rooms are (mostly) ok and some of them maybe even quite enjoyable, but I'm not sure if the completely linear design works out too well (I chose it to enable simple storytelling). Also, I'm a little unsure about 1S2W, which I think has an interessting concept but is also a little tedious. Some feedback on that would be nice :).

Oh, and by the way, has anyone solved SC Level 1 1S2E by now? I've noticed that even when you know what to do, the snake manipulation can be a little frustrating even with an invisibility potion. Do you think I should turn this into a secret room?

Lukas

(I should probably also mention that the hold can't be conquered at the moment, as the last level is still unfinished)
09-22-2012 at 03:23 PM
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mxvladi
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Oh, and by the way, has anyone solved SC Level 1 1S2E by now? I've noticed that even when you know what to do, the snake manipulation can be a little frustrating even with an invisibility potion. Do you think I should turn this into a secret room?

Yes, please, make it secret! For now I don't have time(or wish) to play it, admittedly.


I've tried some of SC2(in editor). I found 1S 2W great(not sure why you're unsure about it), though probably not did it entirely the way you intended me to(at the very least, I didn't get even close to some of checkpoints you've placed while manipulating the soldier to gel baby). The general path soldier followed is something like this:
Click here to view the secret text

(obviously, that's not exact path he followed - I made him switch between targets and move back-and-forth a lot).
Pretty short, and soldier doesn't get even close to many of mud babies in the room, so I think that it is not quite intended.
I would love to attach demo, but I can't unless SC1 1S 2E becomes unrequired(or unless I solve it, but that probably won't happen very soon).

(other rooms on SC2 I've quickly played through are: 1N(very fun), 1W(okay room), 1N 2W(pretty weak IMO); don't think I found unintended solutions in any of them)

[Last edited by mxvladi at 09-25-2012 11:51 PM]
09-25-2012 at 11:25 PM
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Lucky Luc
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mxvladi wrote:
Oh, and by the way, has anyone solved SC Level 1 1S2E by now? I've noticed that even when you know what to do, the snake manipulation can be a little frustrating even with an invisibility potion. Do you think I should turn this into a secret room?

Yes, please, make it secret! For now I don't have time(or wish) to play it, admittedly.

Okay then, I'll just have to think about an alternative puzzle for that location.

I've tried some of SC2(in editor). I found 1S 2W great(not sure why you're unsure about it), though probably not did it entirely the way you intended me to(at the very least, I didn't get even close to some of checkpoints you've placed while manipulating the soldier to gel baby).

Thanks :) You're right, the intended path roughly follows the checkpoints. I assumed once in the central crossing the soldier would be trapped, but looks like I was wrong. If you liked it, I'll leave it as it is, though (I guess your solution isn't trivial, anyway)

I would love to attach demo, but I can't unless SC1 1S 2E becomes unrequired(or unless I solve it, but that probably won't happen very soon).

Sorry, but I don't really feel like uploading a new version straight away. It should be possible, though, to start a new game and directly go to the second level in the shortcut area.

(other rooms on SC2 I've quickly played through are: 1N(very fun), 1W(okay room), 1N 2W(pretty weak IMO); don't think I found unintended solutions in any of them)

Glad you enjoyed 1N :) Too bad that you didn't like 1N2W. Do you find it too unoriginal? (I admit this started out as a filler room as I was running out of ideas and wanted to do something, but I was rather satisfied with the outcome)
09-26-2012 at 08:43 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Yeay, a new version! :) I think I've got all the rooms I want to be in there now, so now it's only about whether or not they're any good and/or can be completely cooked.

I've left Briar Brushes and SC Level 2 untouched (expect for adding two checkpoints). I've made some minor changes to SC Level 1 (changing the entrance a little to make it more WYSIWYG, but mainly making 1S2E unrequired), but the main update is the completition of SC Level 3.

The final room was a real beast to script, so if you find any bugs, please let me know! Also, there's one secret room which has backtracking issues, but I don't see a way to avoid it (you'll understand when you find it). As I understood, though, the HAs remark it but don't disqualify my hold for that; am I right?

Oh, and I've also added a post-mastery level. It's still slightly empty at the moment, but I'm confident you'll find enough unintended solutions to fill it up ;)

Lukas
10-11-2012 at 03:55 PM
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mxvladi
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Quickly tried some of rooms. Three unintended solutions I immediately spotted:

SC2 3W -> use one of decoys to kill mud baby.

SC3 1E -> hit pressure plate, then place the mimic where the roach started. Doubt you intended that.

SC3 2E -> I can use decoy to kill evil eye(less trivial variation: using decoy to hit the orb).


Too bad that you didn't like 1N2W. Do you find it too unoriginal?

Yeah, kinda: I found it very easy compared to majority of your other rooms, and quite forgettable, too. It's still not bad room, but compared to other puzzles you have in this hold, it looks weak.
10-11-2012 at 11:50 PM
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Lucky Luc
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D'uh, thanks! You should think I'd learned from my mistakes... But maybe that needs a little more time. Luckily, they can all be fixed easily. I also quickly checked the other rooms with mimic/decoy potions, but they seem to be ok.

Okay, I can kind of see your point about 1N2W. Maybe I can think of something else, maybe I'll leave it as it is.
10-12-2012 at 10:26 AM
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Lucky Luc
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Soo, I think I fixed these 3 problems, and just finished playing though the complete hold myself one more time. This is the version I'm planning to submit to the HAs unless someone (mxvladi, I'm looking at you ;) but seriously, thanks for your great support) finds another trivial US, but I'd like at least one other person to conquer the hold before I do so, so once you're finished and haven't found any bugs, please let me know!

(Oh, and I've changed the Edit rights to "You and Conquerers" now as this is the way I'd like to have it in the end. If I could have easily done this later on, I'm sorry, I'm not really familiar with the submitting process yet.)

Lukas
10-14-2012 at 07:05 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Lucky Luc wrote: This is the version I'm planning to submit to the HAs

Bah, here's another version :P . I thought of a puzzle that suits the SC Level 2 very well in its style, so I've replaced 1N2W. I'm almost sure I have overlooked some unintended side solution, so if you think you've solved something differently than intended, please let me know! I also fixed 2 minor issues on SC Level 1. And I reset the edit rights to Anyone, guess I was a little too fast there.

Is anyone still playing this hold from time to time, by the way? ;) If so, how far have you come?

[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 11-24-2012 01:17 PM]
11-24-2012 at 01:15 PM
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mxvladi
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BUMP

I can't believe no one has commented on your hold for so long :huh

SC Level 2: 1N 2W -> I believe I didn't do it the way you intend, as I didn't drop *any* trapdoors in lower area. What I did is:

Click here to view the secret text


SC Level 3: 2E -> there's still trivial solution: I can use decoy to wake up evil eye, and it goes right to me.

The intended solution, it seems, is to

Click here to view the secret text


If so, there's another (not trivial, but easier than that) solution: place decoy on one of four pressure plates and lure three of guards to three other ones before going to the orb. Perhaps doors to the left of pressure plates should be closed initially (and lower orb will open them)?

[Last edited by mxvladi at 01-10-2013 03:00 PM]
01-10-2013 at 02:57 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Haha, thank you, I had almost given up hope ;) Either people don't have too much time at the moment or this hold is way more difficult than I expected...

I hope the new version fixes both rooms. I've used your suggestion for SC Level 3: 2E (though I think the non-trivial side solution is nearly as difficult as the intended one; I can see how to do it but it's not quite easy to realize). I'm not quite sure about this room anyway, it seems a bit too trial-and-errory; than again, it's a secret room, so maybe that's okay. SC Level 2: 1N2W should hopefully also work now (quite a simple fix if it works). I think there might still be some crazy stuff possible using gel babies, but that would probably be much more complicated than the intended solution, so I'll leave that as it is for now.

Beside of these two, have you also played some other rooms? I'd love to get some more feedback :)


01-10-2013 at 08:52 PM
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mxvladi
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Beside of these two, have you also played some other rooms?

I've also played SC Level2 1N 1W, 1S and 3W (this time, the intended way).

For 1S, there's unintended (well, I guess it is; it's also pretty easy) solution which involves placing one of decoys on on/off pressure plate and using one of goblins to press the pressure plate near briar. (then, you can either let briar kill the roach queen, or do it yourself)

Be warned: in 1N 1W the optimal score will be pretty trivial to achieve as it's possible to reenter the room from secret-passage exit and kill brain and roach without any mirror manipulation (player will still have to solve room normal way first, though, but it makes optimization slightly easier). As for the room itself: the idea is quite interesting, but I can't say that manipulating mirrors around was particularly fun. Thankfully, finding the right spots for them wasn't too difficult.

I knew how to remove tar blobs in 3W immediately, as I've seen similar puzzles in other holds. Removing gel wasn't too tricky. It still was pretty enjoyable room, though.
01-11-2013 at 04:40 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
1S: Oh, right, didn't think of goblins to activate that pressure plate. Simple fix (I think).

1N1W: I was aware of that, but I didn't think about optimization issues. That's a good point, I've changed that. I also see that mirror manipulation might not be everybody's type of puzzle, but I hope some people will enjoy it :)

3W: Yeah, I expected not to be the first one to come up with this ;)

1N2W: Actually, I tried a bit and found an US with gel babies, should be fixed now. The solution is still mildly interessting, though, so I've put it into the post-mastery level.
01-12-2013 at 12:51 PM
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Here are my comments w/o dropping the blue door yet.

Briar Bushes

2w- used the snakes to preserve an ew path while briar killed the ees.
3w- used adders to make zig zag path for briar.
1n1w- broken. i killed the lower roach first by breaking the wall, letting it move east some, push against it, then kill it and exit alcove.
1n2w- fiddled with the timing to get briars to die exactly on the ees.
1n3w- unsolved. i didn't think of using both rafts, but even with both i haven't solved this yet.
2n3w- unsolved. I have no idea how to solve this, but a checkpoint or two might be nice.

1n- solved in editor. used the adder to make briar grow south. i lit fuse, killed adder, made zig zag mze, let briar fill maze, hit pp. i think the snake manipulation might've been pretty annoying if i hadn't played this in the editor with uu.

I was afraid snake manipulation might be annoying in several rooms, but it wasn't too bad. All in all, nice rooms so far.

[Last edited by larrymurk at 01-30-2013 07:57 PM]
01-30-2013 at 07:26 PM
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Lucky Luc
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File: The Intelligence v9.hold (200.4 KB)
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
New feedback, thanks a lot! :)

Glad you like it so far. I've added some more checkpoints to 1N, 1N3W and 2N3W. Also, I think I've fixed 1N1W by replacing the roaches with evil eyes. Sounds like you've solved the other rooms as intended.

EDIT: By the way, I've been wondering for a while now, what's the common practice concerning hold updates? Should I upload a new version whenever I fix something small or should I rather wait until there are bigger changes?

[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 01-31-2013 01:23 PM]
01-31-2013 at 01:19 PM
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larrymurk
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Lucky Luc wrote:
EDIT: By the way, I've been wondering for a while now, what's the common practice concerning hold updates? Should I upload a new version whenever I fix something small or should I rather wait until there are bigger changes?

I don't see any negative to posting updated holds. I do think it is better to simply attach your most recent hold to the first post.
01-31-2013 at 01:30 PM
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blorx1
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icon Re: The Intelligence (0)  
I've played through the first level and I might manage to get to the second tomorrow.
Here are my comments
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If you need to think outside of the box, then you didn't build a good enough box.
02-27-2013 at 05:42 AM
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Lucky Luc
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Wow, that was quite fast, thanks :)

1N: Ugh, that's a nice find. I hope my new fix will eliminate any thinkable US. I've updated the hold file in the first post; I think I'll just do that from now on.
02-27-2013 at 08:23 PM
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Jacob
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New to DROD? You may want to read this.
My Holds and Levels:
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02-27-2013 at 09:18 PM
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