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OneMoreNameless
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File: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles.hold (74.1 KB)
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icon An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+3)  
* Four aesthetically themed areas covering over 60 rooms. Explore a roach-besieged city, voyage across a spacey frozen landscape, chase a tricky foe through deep forest, or even compete in a smitemaster's tournament!
* A wide variety of challenging puzzles. Solve everything from basic monster manipulation and lynchpins all the way down to chase sequences and stealth missions! There's even a few unique scripted pieces and effects.
* Semi-open level design without filler. Stuck in one room? Freely and quickly backtrack to resume another path! (Also, the hold file is anyone-edit, so there's that.)
* Amusing scrolls!

This hold was built in DROD: The City Beneath. It is theoretically finished, but I would appreciate any players able to check that a) there's no too-easy unintended solutions, b) the scripted pieces are very clear to the player in advance, c) the more convoluted levels are realistically solvable for a player not layering their elements part by part while abusing infinite undo and d) there's no typos or such.

[Full disclosure: I designed these puzzles nearly three years ago as part of a larger-and-since-abandoned WIP that I've removed/changed dialogue/scrolls from, to instead stand alone. The result is that while I can promise I solved and double checked each room during its construction, I cannot promise to necessarily quickly recall the exact steps required to do so.]

[Last edited by OneMoreNameless at 05-15-2013 11:17 AM]
04-18-2013 at 10:11 AM
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Someone Else
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
I just began this, and I don't have time to play much, but it's looking really good so far!
04-18-2013 at 05:30 PM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
I've played through one full path, and noted several backtracking issues, two of which currently prevent further progress for me. In addition I have found some scripting that I couldn't predict and atleast one solution that did not feel intended.

I've attached a file with all of my demos from the hold at the moment.
Click here to view the secret text


I may not be able to play more for a little while even after the backtracking issues are fixed.


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04-20-2013 at 01:21 AM
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komachi
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
Another backtracking issue in 2S 2E. You can't return to the north rooms when you enter in the room by the south exit.
04-20-2013 at 10:56 AM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
Hold file updated.

Click here to view the secret text

I also added backtracking for 2S2E, thank you komachi. And duplicated a backtracking script into 12E. And added an easier backtracking path to 13E. How did I leave out so many of these. >_<
04-21-2013 at 02:04 AM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
I've noticed a few problems with the new version before I started playing through the whole thing:
4N13E: I can stab the northern tar blob as mud or tar, preventing the switch being useful.
5N13E: Didn't the orbs at 17,6 and at 32,17 close the gates at 7,19 and 14,26? If not, then I remember incorrectly, but I was pretty sure they did. It does change the room drastically.

I missed this last time but, I get stuck in 4N4E if I come back from the west.

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[Last edited by blorx1 at 04-21-2013 02:38 AM]
04-21-2013 at 02:36 AM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
Right. Quickly fixed those.

I did change 5N13E's orbs in v2. Partially to ensure Lord Bog can't get stuck on his escape route, partially because your original solution was able to skip a step of mine (the briar).
04-21-2013 at 02:53 AM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
I've got some various comments that I don't want to forget before I upload my next demo batch.
3S: I think if I conquer this room before finishing the level I will be unable to finish the hold.
3S1E: I don't really get what was going on here. I just stabbed everything. Also having exposed room edge that goes nowhere is generally frowned upon.
3S2E: Technically if I trap a roach somewhere and drop all the trapdoors I can leave to the west and get stuck. This is an easy fix by adding a second green door to prevent me from leaving.
2S2E: I am able to place the decoy on most pressure plates, some of which allow me to disrupt the flow of the room.
7S5E: The checkpoint at 5,24 needs to be moved, since it is currently unusable, given the two aumtlichs that will trap me there.

I've got a couple of rooms with other US's that I'll explain once I get to finishing the rest of the hold, since it is easier to just post all my demos at the same time. Also, about the rooms with lots of secret wall paths, while secret walls look better ascetically, they make it hard to plan paths and make it very hard for optimizers. There will probably be people who complain about them more than I would.

Edit: Oh and when I'm slowed, checkpoints don't work. I would try to find a scripted solution at some point.

Edit 2: US in 7S3E: I can kill the golems before getting the mimic, making the room very very easy to conquer.

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If you need to think outside of the box, then you didn't build a good enough box.

[Last edited by blorx1 at 04-21-2013 08:04 PM]
04-21-2013 at 07:00 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
This is a pretty neat hold - my favorite rooms so far are probably 6S4E, 6E and 8E. I'll probably post more specific comments when I've gotten further down each path.

Unless I'm missing something, though, you can't backtrack through 6E from the east entrance, since there's a yellow door you just can't open no matter what.

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04-21-2013 at 10:11 PM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
Hold file updated.

Click here to view the secret text

I don't think there's anything I can do about the slowdown breaking checkpoints, at least not in The City Beneath's engine. The only way I could get it to work at all was sort of abusing the cutscene command. I'm not so concerned about the secret walls; I don't think there's any rooms where they're not obviously indicated by broken walls or where the exact path could screw a careful player over. Is anyone that likely to seriously optimise on their first playthrough of a room?

Also! All rooms with spiders now have optional vision tokens, because seriously.
04-22-2013 at 09:31 AM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
Wow I feel stupid, sort of, for 7S3E. My first solution involved me using all of the space I had, but without killing the golems to aid in manipulation, which I now realize is the intended solution.

In my old (and apparently very difficult and overcomplicated solution, I had to
Click here to view the secret text
This is of course, impossible now that I have less space, but it was a pretty funny solution in light of the real one.

Also, I think you can make checkpoints work with the chill by having a fegundo in a closed off area. This is very worth doing, because no players will be used to being slowed, and it would help them actually manage to play.

A couple other points: For 3S1E, it may be worthwhile warning players about the exposed room edge. It looks like two orbs randomly appeared in 6E. What are they doing there? Also, the new fix to 3S2E prevents backtracking, I was suggesting still keeping the first green door that was built into the red gate. I also does not look like the checkpoint in 7S5E was moved.

Also, in 7S5E, I managed to get past the rattlesnake and do an interesting, likely unintended, solution.

Edit: In 8S6E I can place the decoy potion on the conquer token, solving the room without any effort. Also at the least put some checkpoints in the fegundo area, which should be useful for any players.

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[Last edited by blorx1 at 04-24-2013 04:59 AM]
04-23-2013 at 12:09 AM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
Hold file updated again.

A few more too-easy unintended solutions are fixed. Fegundos are used in a couple of rooms as a workaround for the slow-down script / checkpoint problem. I got over myself and replaced aesthetic secret walls with broken walls where at all related to the puzzle, as well as used lighting to emphasise the broken walls in one seep-filled room where they were still hard to spot. The tarstuff tree room now only takes half as long to solve. Lastly, a staircase was added to the end of each themed branch to jump straight back to their start, as well as provide some flavour text on completion.
04-28-2013 at 03:09 AM
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blorx1
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File: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles.demo (63 KB)
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+2)  
I've conquered the hold, and I've uploaded my pack of all the demos. I've got comments on various rooms.

Click here to view the secret text


I think the hold as a whole could use more checkpoints in places where optimizers will actually step. Some people will complain if they can't actually use the checkpoints when going for highscores.


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04-29-2013 at 01:36 AM
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OneMoreNameless
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Guys, do you know what? I'm going to stop using the phrase 'unintended solution'. From now on, we are all reporting 'multiple solutions' and every post should additionally include at least two of the keywords 'replayability', 'anti-frustration' or 'genius!' (exclamation mark mandatory).

... Yeah. I've watched through all the demos and even aside from the ones noticed, there were quite a few solutions that didn't match how I remember finishing them myself. It's pretty clear by now that my method for designing puzzles as of 2.x years ago was just bad. Too many of the rooms were created with an insistance on filling space and layering on further elements until the result wasn't so much complex and clever as it actually is messy, unclear and variously broken. I mean, I do still love the minimap design and some of the rooms are fun to play, but a lot of this hold feels like slogging through random crap and who even knows if you've solved it or gotten lucky or bluh.

Thank you blorx1 for all your help testing, but I'm not sure If I even want to submit this hold officially anymore. I'll at least give it one more pass sometime this week, to fix the worst cases and frig around with checkpoints some. Getting every room down to a single clear solution is gonna stay a lost cause though.

EDIT: Wait wait wait, I got this. "Optimiser's delight!" :D

[Last edited by OneMoreNameless at 04-29-2013 12:55 PM]
04-29-2013 at 09:44 AM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (0)  
I think that at the least the hold has enough rooms that are worth playing that if you don't release the whole hold, you should go through and pick the better rooms, since some of them are very worth playing.

A pick and choose mentality would wreck, though it could still be salvageable, the level design, which would end up being rather disappointing, since the map is very pretty, but I agree that there are also some rooms that end up erring on the side of filling space.

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[Last edited by blorx1 at 04-30-2013 12:07 AM]
04-30-2013 at 12:06 AM
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Tim
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
One of the pitfalls many new architects fall into are those so called "unintended solutions".

Here's a trick to deal with them: there's nothing wrong with unintended solutions. Unless you're going for a 9+ brains hold, it's fine to have some of those solutions. Besides, who else would know that they were unintended anyway? (I do, but I'm not a beginning architect, and I test my own holds very thoroughly.)

It's also the way one can handle that kind of additional solutions that marks a good architect.


TL;DR: It's fine to have alternative solutions in a room if it's your first hold.

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04-30-2013 at 02:52 AM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
Hold file updated.

I've moved / added a lot of checkpoints into positions that are required or more likely to be crossed by optimised solutions - bearing in mind that I haven't tried to optimise this or really any hold beyond 'literally solving', so some rooms might still be off the mark. Puzzle-related changes are listed in the spoiler. I plan to start building a simpler hold this weekend - so if you want to critically mock or just utterly break this hold in revenge for all the mean things I said about GatEB, now's the time! :P

Click here to view the secret text

05-01-2013 at 02:58 PM
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blorx1
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
I've played through the changed rooms,
12E: seems less breakable now
14E: I think is is impossible now, since I can't get the decoy potion until after it is neccessary, since I use it to kill the water skippers.
8S8E: I can still break this room by placing the clone potion on the other side of the room and leaving after conquering.
7S13E: The change makes this room considerably more difficult and prevents me from dropping the red gate. Also would it be possible to move the construct whose sword covers the green gate, getting through the room is a pain because of it.

One last note, you may wish to add something somewhere that tells people that rooms that seem nonbacktrackable have scripts to allow backtracking.

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05-01-2013 at 04:34 PM
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OneMoreNameless
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icon Re: An Ode to Roach and Other Puzzles (+1)  
14E: Fixed. That was careless of me.
8S8E: Fixed, perhaps for real this time?
7S13E: The automaton placement is intended to introduce players to how it worked, though I admit it's not as helpful as it could be given that I never got around to building many more levels using the automaton. Forwardtracking the cleared room is a little slower, but this room is right near the end of its branch so most players probably won't be recrossing it many times if it all. (Also, the intended solution never dropped the red gate.)

Added 'Author's Note:' scrolls re. the two backtracking scripts.
05-01-2013 at 11:49 PM
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