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Pinnacle
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It's not directionless at all, it's a very tightly-structured hold. The plan was laid out in September of 2014, and everything currently in the hold is according to that plan. Nothing about the plan has changed, the hold is just closer to completion and we're actively focusing on making the later levels.

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06-14-2015 at 11:25 PM
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Someone Else
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I think it's a Hrung. You know, like the one that decided to collapse on Betelgeuse 5.
06-15-2015 at 03:30 AM
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Banjooie
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quote:
To clarify just what kind of puzzles we're looking for in the endgame: this project has evolved quite a bit beyond being a simple introductory hold.
quote:
Nothing about the plan has changed
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this project has evolved
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Nothing... has changed
...
Okay!

06-16-2015 at 11:37 AM
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Nuntar
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To put it simply: we are drawing a line between the planning we did from September onwards, when we moved the project to a beta board and started building, and the preceding discussion of what the project's aims should be.

It's true that in the initial discussion, the idea was floated of an extended tutorial hold, with verbal explanations of every element, and puzzles being optional. But this idea was rejected and has never been part of the plan: that is what Pinnacle is trying to make clear. (And no, "Entry Point" is not going to be the actual hold title. We just haven't thought of a good title yet. Thinking of titles is hard.)

The plan has changed in certain respects as we've gone along: we've moved elements to different tiers, given some elements their own level and bundled others together. We were originally going to have only two interludes; then I said "we should cover player roles"; then the evolution of our plot ideas necessitated still further interludes. But the fundamentals have not changed.

Our goals are to make a hold that's accessible to beginners, begins at a very low difficulty level and ramps up gradually, introduces elements one at a time so new players are not overwhelmed with too many game rules at the beginning, has a good variety of puzzles with each element to thoroughly show its behaviour and interactions, and has harder content as secret rooms and bonus levels so that players get a taste of what tougher DROD puzzles are like and then the feeling of satisfaction when they go back and defeat a puzzle that had earlier stumped them. This means that the hold should be fun to play regardless of skill level (experienced players will not be stimulated by the first couple of levels, but they can get through them in a few minutes).

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06-16-2015 at 01:11 PM
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bbb
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Nuntar wrote:
Now that we've got this far, we are heading towards the endgame stages of the hold, and it would be awesome if some more architects who are expert in building high-tier puzzles would join the team! Just contact me if you're interested.


I probably don't qualify as an expert, but I would be interested in writing (or contributing puzzles to) a level about the order of activating orbs when multiple orbs are hit in one turn.
07-21-2015 at 07:54 AM
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nolarboot
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I'm not an expert by any stretch, but I can get most 6-brain rooms finished if you give me enough time. :D
That said, I don't currently have CaravelNet (that's contingent on next month's check), but when it comes in I'd love to be a playtester (or Aesthetic Adjuster). Please count me in!
07-21-2015 at 01:10 PM
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Nuntar
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Sure, just let me know when you have CNet and I'll sign you up.

bbb: Similarly, it would be preferable if you had CNet so I could sign you up to the beta board, so you have access to the topics about hold structure, order of introducing elements etc. That said, if you want to design a level for us, I'm happy for you to do so and we'll try to fit it in.

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07-21-2015 at 01:31 PM
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Pinnacle
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quote:
bbb wrote:
I probably don't qualify as an expert, but I would be interested in writing (or contributing puzzles to) a level about the order of activating orbs when multiple orbs are hit in one turn.


That could work as a wing within one of the existing levels (Red Rock Hermitage), it seems kind of narrow to dedicate an entire level to it.

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07-21-2015 at 01:39 PM
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bbb
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quote:
Nuntar wrote:
Sure, just let me know when you have CNet and I'll sign you up.

bbb: Similarly, it would be preferable if you had CNet so I could sign you up to the beta board, so you have access to the topics about hold structure, order of introducing elements etc. That said, if you want to design a level for us, I'm happy for you to do so and we'll try to fit it in.


quote:
Pinnacle wrote:
quote:
bbb wrote:
I probably don't qualify as an expert, but I would be interested in writing (or contributing puzzles to) a level about the order of activating orbs when multiple orbs are hit in one turn.


That could work as a wing within one of the existing levels (Red Rock Hermitage), it seems kind of narrow to dedicate an entire level to it.


I don't have have CNet. At this point, all I would need is a little context, about where such a level (or wing) could fit within the hold. If I actually manage to provide rooms of sufficient quality to actually be included, full access to the beta board might be necessary, but such a discussion is a little premature.

Can the relevant level (Red Rock Hermitage) or context within the hold be made available publicly or privately?


07-21-2015 at 03:00 PM
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Nuntar
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RRH is a fairly large level, so my inclination is to make this a spin-off bonus level rather than adding a wing to it. In that case you wouldn't need to worry about connecting it to RRH; I'd handle that. What do you need to know is that RRH is a Tier 5 level, so you can only use elements that appear in the first four tiers.

Here is a reduced list of available elements (for clarity, I've shortened the full list by removing obvious elements, like tar baby appearing in the same level as tar):
Click here to view the secret text


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07-21-2015 at 04:21 PM
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nolarboot
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quote:
Nuntar wrote:
Sure, just let me know when you have CNet and I'll sign you up.



Suddenly, things happened! I have a subscription again, so whenever you feel like adding me on, I'm game. Thanks for the consideration!
07-25-2015 at 05:12 PM
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Nuntar
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Start of a new year, a good time for another progress report :)
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Godot23 wrote:
Hmm... So one tier is 180 rooms. 8 planned tiers at a 180 rooms a piece... Would come out to arou... :yikes

8 times 180 is 1440. And we have now exceeded that number. To be precise, the project now contains 93 levels and 1468 rooms.

As always, a more accurate metric is the number of completed tiers. We are currently about halfway done with Tier 7, the last tier of required content before the hold can be conquered. Lucky Luc is already working on the very last level. In accordance with DROD tradition, this is preceded by a penultimate level that is the peak of the difficulty curve, and we've decided to make this a team effort, dividing it into four-room blocks with a different architect for each.

But this isn't the end. When Tier 7 is complete, all game elements will have been introduced, and our original goal accomplished. However, we feel that for a project of this size and ambition, it would only be appropriate to include a substantial amount of bonus content, to give players a reward for making it to the end and an opportunity to challenge themselves beyond the limit of the difficulty ceiling of required content. So, we're going to continue working into the new year. I don't know how much longer it will take us to finish. But there is a definite cut-off point; we want to get this wrapped up and released, after all.

I hope and fully expect we can get this finished, tested and ready for release at some point in 2016. Wish us luck!

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01-01-2016 at 12:31 AM
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slimm tom
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Another year has passed, and undoubtedly this hold has grown in size even more. How is it going? Would love to get into this sometime soon!
01-27-2017 at 11:15 AM
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Nuntar
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We've been going through a slow patch, unfortunately, but since it's the new year, I've spoken to those team members who are still around and we're going to make a determined push to get this finished and released this year. (As always, anyone who'd like to help us, provided you have CNet and some amount of architectural experience, is very welcome.)

Anyhow, progress report for 2016. We now have twelve more levels, bringing the total over 100, and 1594 rooms. But the main thing is that I've gone over testing feedback for Tiers 0, 1 and 2 and made appropriate changes in response, so those tiers are now completely finished. I'm working on Tier 3 now and expect to have it finished by the end of the month, after which my target is one tier per month. I want to emphasise that the reason we didn't meet my hope of getting the hold finished last year was that we slowed down with building and editing the main content, not that we have a basically finished main hold and we're keeping it back just to add layers of bonus content. From here, getting the main hold finished will take some time, so it's likely we'll have a decent amount of bonus content anyway by the time it's ready. If that's less bonus content than we would have ideally liked to have, that's fine, getting the hold finished and released is the important thing, and we are trying to reach that goal as soon as possible.

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50th Skywatcher
01-27-2017 at 01:17 PM
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