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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : Ghostsmiters (A hold with “3D”-puzzles and scripted monster(s))
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Bent
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Hi! Here's a hold I've worked on for a while. It is also my first hold.

The hold's theme is puzzles in 3D (kind of) using scripted elements. It has three gameplay levels, at least one scripted monster, and an extra challenge for people who has mastered the hold and want some more.

In this hold backtracking issues are unavoidable: Be prepared to restore a lot. The reason for this is that the custom monsters spawn at different places depending on your actions in the previous rooms, and this might cause you to get stuck. I've tried to make up for this by adding a lot of checkpoints around room exits and by making all required rooms in a level visible from the start.

I have playtested the hold thoroughly before uploading it, so unless something has gone horribly wrong, the levels and challenges should be fully playable and solvable. I do not plan on adding more content to the hold, but will of course aim to improve the hold based on your feedback.

I hope you enjoy it and I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

[Last edited by Bent at 07-28-2016 09:17 PM]
03-15-2016 at 09:11 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Ghostsmiters (+2)  
Neat concept! Once I understood how the skull worked I definitely liked how it opened up new possibilities for manipulation.

I could use a hint for The Dark Tower: 2nd Floor though. The southwest orb is a broken orb, not a cracked orb, so the southwest guard can't be let out. This leads me to assume I need to re-position the skull so that when I enter 2nd Floor, the skull will be on top of the southwest guard, squelching it and letting me kill all the rest of the guards.

Trouble is, I can't figure out any way to use 3rd Floor and 1st Floor to accomplish this. 3rd Floor only lets me move the skull straight southeast, or east on the appropriate row, and First Floor only lets me put the skull in a few particular locations which would result in the skull being outside the gate in 2nd Floor.

There's no way to keep the skull on 2nd Floor's (11, 18) or (10, 17), so I don't see how this setup is possible.

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03-18-2016 at 02:19 PM
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Doom
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Very original and up to a promising start after the first few floors. The presence of seeding beacons is mysterious. I can imagine some evil tricks with them, but so far they weren't useful. It's a bit annoying how you sometimes have to restore if the skull gets too close to you on the stairs. Not sure what can be done about that though.

edit: Done with the first level. I like it. One thing I'd really like is if you can add some kind of markers to tell which stairs go up and which down. Because the layout isn't consistent at all.
Chaco wrote:
This leads me to assume I need to re-position the skull so that when I enter 2nd Floor, the skull will be on top of the southwest guard, squelching it and letting me kill all the rest of the guards.
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Doom at 03-18-2016 03:50 PM]
03-18-2016 at 03:01 PM
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Bent
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

Doom wrote: The presence of seeding beacons is mysterious.

The seeding beacons are there because in some rooms you need to use monsters to position the skulls in the right place, so if you clear such a room too early on, you're pretty much stuck without a seeding beacon, and I think that's just too unfair to the player. 4th floor of the dark tower was supposed to be such a room. Only placing seeding beacons in these particular rooms would provide big hints, and would seem a bit out of place as they're not useful in every playthrough. So placing a seeding beacon in every room, whether it can be useful or not, is the best solution I've found so far, but I agree that it's not ideal and can be confusing...

Doom wrote: One thing I'd really like is if you can add some kind of markers to tell which stairs go up and which down. Because the layout isn't consistent at all.

Actually the stairs are placed in a consistent way, but it seems not in a way that is clear enough... I'll see what I can do to make it more apparent if the stairs lead up or down.
03-18-2016 at 07:00 PM
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Doom
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Bent wrote:
Actually the stairs are placed in a consistent way, but it seems not in a way that is clear enough... I'll see what I can do to make it more apparent if the stairs lead up or down.
After playing more I did notice that the matching stairs are always on the same tile. But I still think additional markers will help a lot.
1) You still need to click both the previous and the next floors to tell which one has the matching staircase.
2) The last level has a few rooms where both the previous and next floors have a staircase at the same coordinates, so you have to go even farther to be sure about the connections.

A few more comments after mastering the hold.

The second level felt very similar in difficulty as the first.

The third level on the other hand was a serious difficulty spike.
4N: Tricky (but perfectly fair after you get the tricks)
3N: Can be really annoying and is kind of brute-forceable with unlimited undo if you have a poor setup, but is reasonable if you don't try to dance around the ghosts too much.
1N, 2N: Fairly straightforward.
Entrance: This is the ridiculous one. The pressure plates add a lot of complexity and I had to think for a long time about all the different ghost setups that seemed plausible but didn't lead to a full solution. In the end the approach that worked required a very precise movement pattern that seemed out of place compared to all the other rooms. Specific solution in secret tags:
Click here to view the secret text


Didn't do any of the challenges yet, but at least the mastery-related ones didn't look like they'd be too fun, so I'm probably passing those...
03-19-2016 at 08:32 PM
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Bent
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Thank you again for the feedback!

Doom wrote:
After playing more I did notice that the matching stairs are always on the same tile. But I still think additional markers will help a lot.
1) You still need to click both the previous and the next floors to tell which one has the matching staircase.

The graphics for the stairs also point out which way the stairs are leading: Since DROD is played from a birds-eye perspective, in stairs leading upwards the highest steps are “larger” than those closer to the floor, while in stairs leading downwards the “largest” steps are the ones closest to the current floor (= the ones facing towards Beethro). In other words I have applied perspective to the graphics to signal if they go up or down, but obviously in a way that is not clear if you do not know what to look for... I should probably have mentioned this in the previous post, but didn't really know how to explain it...

In any case, I will soon upload an updated version of the hold that will have signs signaling if the stairs go up or down, among other things.

Doom wrote:
3N: Can be really annoying.

I agree, and have replaced this room the upcoming version of the hold.

Doom wrote:
Entrance: This is the ridiculous one.

Your solution is the intended one, however...

Click here to view the secret text


I am not sure what to do about this room, since I kind of like it... As of now, I'm gonna add some visual clues signaling that
Click here to view the secret text
and leave it at that. But if I get more feedback that the room is too hard I'll consider changing it fundamentally or replace it.

Doom wrote:
Didn't do any of the challenges yet, but at least the mastery-related ones didn't look like they'd be too fun, so I'm probably passing those...

Yeah, I suspected that that wouldn't be for everyone... Personally I had some fun having to think of new strategies in certain rooms because of the added challenge, but after having completed the challenges numerous times while testing the hold I certainly see how it can be annoying to solve them too... I'm going to leave them in though, since they work and are fully optional.

[Last edited by Bent at 03-20-2016 10:10 AM]
03-20-2016 at 03:49 AM
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Bent
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New version uploaded in the first post!

Changelog:
Click here to view the secret text

03-20-2016 at 05:08 AM
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Doom
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icon Re: Ghostsmiters (+1)  
This update seems to have changed the hold ID, so the hold appears as a new copy instead of an update to the original. This means players will lose their progress. Best to avoid this when possible.

Odd. Somehow I never noticed the stair image showed you the direction. I guess it's because the staircases are so small it didn't stand out. But I think the arrows are easier to parse for me personally, so I'm fine with the extra visual help.
Bent wrote:
* I changed my mind about the seeding beacons and removed them from most rooms.
Doesn't this break a whole bunch of rooms? My solution for DT:4N relied on trapping a skull behind a goblin in 3N, but 3N doesn't have a beacon anymore to reset it. Similarly I needed the snake to keep the skull in the south half of 5N. THH:2N beacon was useful for accessing the top-right room. There could be more I'm missing.

Honestly I didn't mind the extra beacons for the reason you originally added them. It's even a small metapuzzle to figure out which rooms are useful to reset after clearing them. I guess the third level doesn't necessarily need any, although it means you'll need to restore to access the secret.
03-20-2016 at 10:20 AM
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Bent
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Doom wrote:
This update seems to have changed the hold ID, so the hold appears as a new copy instead of an update to the original. This means players will lose their progress. Best to avoid this when possible.

Oh... I tend to make a duplicate when trying out new things, so that if something goes wrong I won't have to remake lots of stuff... I won't make the same mistake in the future.

Doom wrote: My solution for DT:4N relied on trapping a skull behind a goblin in 3N, but 3N doesn't have a beacon anymore to reset it. Similarly I needed the snake to keep the skull in the south half of 5N. THH:2N beacon was useful for accessing the top-right room. There could be more I'm missing.

You are right... I really should have given that change some more thought! I have uploaded yet another version correcting the error (hopefully without breaking anything else). I have decided to still leave the beacons out of the third level though, because although it makes the secret non-backtrackable, I think that's much less annoying than accidentally setting off a beacon without noticing it and having to solve the room again because of it...

edit: I've added another version fixing some minor backtracking issues in the 2nd and 3rd floor of the dark tower.

[Last edited by Bent at 03-20-2016 12:58 PM]
03-20-2016 at 11:29 AM
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abe10
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icon Re: Ghostsmiters (+3)  
Could someone please give some tips for DT:3N? I do not understand what to do.
Do the red and green lights over the right and left stairs, respectively, mean anything?

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[Last edited by abe10 at 03-30-2016 11:47 PM]
03-30-2016 at 11:45 PM
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Bent
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abe10 wrote:
Could someone please give some tips for DT:3N? I do not understand what to do.
Do the red and green lights over the right and left stairs, respectively, mean anything?

I have apparently set the wrong entrance in the dark tower to be the main level entrance, but I am unsure if that is the case in the version of the hold I have uploaded here. I don't think it affects gameplay in any way, but because of that I am not entirely sure which room you mean.

From your description though I would assume you're either talking about the “3rd floor” (the one with the four roach-queens) or the “5th floor” (the one with the goblins).

Here's some hints for both rooms:

“3rd floor”:
Click here to view the secret text

“5th floor”
Click here to view the secret text


The lights do not mean anything, it is just a way of distinguishing which stairs are connected.
03-31-2016 at 08:24 PM
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abe10
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I mean the 4 queens room.
Click here to view the secret text
I do not understand how to do this fast enough before the dumb roaches kill me.

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Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by abe10 at 03-31-2016 09:30 PM]
03-31-2016 at 09:30 PM
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Bent
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abe10 wrote:
I mean the 4 queens room.
Click here to view the secret text
I do not understand how to do this fast enough before the dumb roaches kill me.

Click here to view the secret text

04-01-2016 at 09:29 AM
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abe10
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Thanks for the tips. I beat 3N, but now I am stuck on 4N.

Click here to view the secret text

The skull traps me. What should I do?

____________________________
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Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by abe10 at 04-09-2016 04:04 AM]
04-09-2016 at 04:03 AM
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Bent
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abe10 wrote:
Thanks for the tips. I beat 3N, but now I am stuck on 4N.

Click here to view the secret text

04-11-2016 at 12:04 AM
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Bent
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So, I've given the hold a few months rest, but now I'm back with a new (and maybe final?) version of it uploaded in the first post. The most notable difference between this version and the last is that the 1th floor in the “The Temple of Opo” is now a bit easier, as per Dooms suggestion. I am feeling pretty happy about the hold, and plan to promote it shortly... So if anyone has any more suggestions for improvements, now is the time to let me know. :)
07-28-2016 at 09:21 PM
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