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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : Klatzl's palace (New hold, testing requestion from the good people here)
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Dying Flutchman
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icon Klatzl's palace (+4)  
Dear drod-folk. I played drod for some time a couple of years ago. I also built this hold...
Just rediscovered the game. The hold has been completely re-tested, with demos added for each room.

Style is mixed, but there is quite some emphasis on rooms that require multiple entry/exit to be able to finish them.

I would appreciate your test-playing very much! I welcome all comments, also the -possibly- negative ones.

If you have any questions, or would like to skip rooms, I'll see if I can help you.

Many thanks

EDIT - 28 Jan
Added many checkpoints. 'Backtracking issue' in 1W in first level will be solved in a couple of days.
EDIT - 29 Jan
Changed 1st level 1W to make backtracking easier. Also made hold 'edit anyone' for easier playtesting.
EDIT - 30 Jan
Changed 5-layer sandwhich to be less repetitive
Changed darkness of palace
EDIT - 31 Jan
* Extensive greenhouse shortened = less tedious = more fun
* Changed 5-layer sandwhich again - more arrows = more difficult
* Changed palace first floor - guard room (2N) more difficult (briar), 2N1E more tricky, 1N1E much more tricky to get to the secret rooms at 1N2E (mirror cannot be used anymore to open one of the entry doors)
EDIT - 25 March
* Resolved bugs and broken rooms
* Changed some layout styles
* Fixed reaeaeaeaeally boring room in back & forth
* Several small details

[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 03-25-2017 08:51 PM]
01-27-2017 at 04:39 PM
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Dying Flutchman
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icon Re: Klatzl's palace (0)  
Demos for all rooms will be supplied upon request. I don't want to spoil the fun...

[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 01-27-2017 04:41 PM]
01-27-2017 at 04:40 PM
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Nuntar
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Entrance halls

A nice range of easy-medium rooms, with a mixture of horde combat, trapdoor puzzles and mimic puzzles. I particularly liked the way 1W combines a trapdoor puzzle with a bomb maze; oddly enough I've never seen that done before.

Checkpoints are very sparse. It would be nice to have more accessible checkpoints to step on in the middle of large horde sequences, so you might put some around the outer part of 1E, and you certainly should put some in the waterskipper fight in 1S1W.

Other than that, my only complaint was having to solve the puzzles in 1W again to return after doing the secret. Perhaps there could be a green door to return to the Entrance, or use scripting somehow?

Very extensive greenhouse

Enjoying this so far, but again there are some issues (mainly with checkpoints).

3N: Add checkpoint at 20,24 so you can easily save before the hardest part of the room.
5E: There's a lot to do here before you reach the first checkpoint, so add one in the first area just in case the player makes a slip.
6E: Not essential, but would be nice to have checkpoints around 20,4 and 20,27 so you don't have to go out of your way to save and lose time on the spawn cycle.
4E: Checkpoints in the outer part of each quadrant (the area with two bushes).

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 01-27-2017 06:59 PM]
01-27-2017 at 06:24 PM
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Chaco
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For the Entrance Halls, it also might be nice to use walls to wall off edges of the rooms that don't lead to extra rooms in other directions. It might spoil where the secret room is on that level, but it would also save players time looking for rooms in coordinates like 1N1W or 2N, when they don't exist.

I'll post some comments when I'm done with level 2.

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01-27-2017 at 06:39 PM
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Dying Flutchman
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Dear testers,

Thanks for your comments. I'm not really a checkpoint type, so I tend to place little of them. Will change this, however.

I'll rework the boundaries in Level 1, see what's the best option to convey the message that there's nothing there besides the 5 main rooms + hidden room.

I'll also fix the 'redo 1W puzzle to get back' problem.

Expect a new version early next week, or today if I manage.
01-28-2017 at 12:39 PM
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Insoluble
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File: Klatzls palace.demo (30.7 KB)
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I played the first few levels of this. There are some interesting ideas so far. It feels very much like an Architects Edition hold in many ways with a lot of focus on horde management and large room layouts. Mostly fun so far. I've attached demos of what I have so that you can see if anything is unintended. Probably not (with a few exceptions) since most of the rooms are fairly open ended. I'll also try to make some room and level specific comments about things you may want to look at.

First and foremost: Please make this "anyone edit" while it's being tested. It makes it a lot easier for the testers to check things out, especially with frequent updates to the hold. Looks like this got done right after I downloaded it :)

Entrance halls
This was my favorite level so far. Interesting layout (made me think of the recently published "Hold") with neat little mini puzzles. The difficulty was pretty even throughout here. The gel portion of 1N was probably the hardest portion and took me a bit to work out. Really nice on the whole though.

The very extensive greenhouse
There are some good room here, but this suffers from the same thing that plagues a lot of "constant room template" levels: the rooms that are based on the same template start to feel very repetitive. The ones that vary things up a bit (like the twist of having rock golems in 5w that block your way) aren't bad, but some of the versions of the rooms are barely different from the previous one. I liked the spiral killing technique in 1W, basically the same trick used in Claythro Tower back in the day, but it was fun to see it again. 3W didn't really add much to this though. it was basically the same room.

It doesn't help that a lot of these rooms are horde rooms. It feels kind of like a slog going through the four chambered even number rooms (4w,2w,2e, and 4e) after a while. Not sure if this is something you'd think about changing, but it may be good to continue working on these rooms to see if a little bit more variety could be added (especially to the even rooms). Also, I noticed red gates in the even rooms on the west side, but never actually needed to bother with them. Both rooms can technically be solved and exited without dropping all trap doors.

One thing about the greenhouse rooms that really should be changed is the arrows on room entrance. These are a real pain for optimizers who will want to exit and reenter the room with different sword orientations. I know that by the time you've gotten to the entrances with arrows you'll have already seen the room, but it's still a nuisance (especially in 3E, where the briar makes it pretty much impossible to use the rotators to re-exit the way you came in. Consider moving the arrow/token combo in one square on each side.

I actually enjoyed the secret rooms on this floor a lot more than the non-secret ones. They provided some good variety while still staying thematically consistent. In 2N you have some flexibility in that you can either use Beethro or the mimic to drop most of the trapdoors which is nice.

The palace: first floor
I'm assuming I'll be able to come back for the east side. I feel like the hold kind of lost some steam here. Throwing a bunch of guards at the player has kind of been done to death and 1N really feels underbaked. The level layout is nice though. I like the aesthetics. Though it could stand to be a tiny bit less dark.

Five layer sandwich
I'm not really feeling this one. I guess I'd rather not have to repeat the same tasks over again each time I re-enter this room. A similar concept was done in one of the entries in the most recent contest, and that one grew on me over time. Perhaps this one will too. Also, I suspect I'm not supposed to be able to clear the room on my third entry, but it is possible (see demo). That probably makes things a bit easier down the road. Not sure if you want to prevent that or leave it in as a reward for the folks who think to do it.

EDIT: Completed this level now. The 5 layer room does get a bit repetitive after a while, but I really enjoyed the secrets on this level. I'll post an updated demo set along with some thoughts on subsequent levels soon. Still really enjoying this hold!

On the whole I'm enjoying this so far. I'll try to post more comments once I;ve worked through more of it.

____________________________
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Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Insoluble at 01-30-2017 05:59 PM]
01-30-2017 at 05:35 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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Dear Insoluble,

Thanks for your extensive comments. Indeed, the VEGgie part tends to be a bit boring. After a couple of years off, I had fun enough replaying my old stuff, but perhaps it's less fun when you're into DROD some more...
Actually: the secret rooms are better. Perhaps I'll just throw a couple of the W/E rooms out. Btw: red door were meant to be necessary, but congrats: you broke those rooms :yes

Regarding your other comments: Palace has been lit up and 5-layer sandwhich reworked. Actually, a single solve is now only needed, but I've included force arrows to make the mimic-movement more tricky.

I'll post an update to the hold with changes to palace / 5L-sandwhich. I'll get thinking about the VEGgie part...
01-30-2017 at 08:36 PM
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Chaco
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File: Klatzls palace Chacodemos jan27.demo (23.1 KB)
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icon Re: Klatzl's palace (0)  
Hi,

Sorry for waiting a while to give feedback on the hold. I think Insoluble covered most of what I was going to say.

Here's a big pile of demos for the Jan. 27th version of the hold (up to Palace: First Floor); maybe they might prove useful for showing how I solved each of the rooms.

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


[Last edited by Chaco at 01-31-2017 02:39 AM]
01-31-2017 at 02:39 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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Dear Chaco & Insoluble,

Thanks for your input, has been a great incentive to rethink a couple of things!

I did make quite some changes. Palace level has become trickier. Not necessarily the rooms themselves, but navigating the whole level and especially getting to the secret rooms behind 1N2E is much more difficult now.
Greenhouse is less tedious now. I just skipped the least interesting rooms.

New version attached above.

[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 01-31-2017 07:27 PM]
01-31-2017 at 07:26 PM
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Insoluble
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icon Re: Klatzl's palace (0)  
Alright, finally played some more of this. Sorry for the delay! Demos are posted as before.

Old business.
Greenhouese. I like the shortened level. Rooms on the main axis seem much tighter.

2E: Passing through the middle west to east on my first pass through, there doesn't seem to be a way to get past the yellow gate at (32,16). Should these be toggled the other way initially? Should the orb I strike at the beginning of the room open them?

3E: Probably could use a checkpoint in the two main snake chambers.

The Entrance: How do I get out from the northern and southern passages (the trap door bits)? I can't find a way to backtrack through the middle passage in 2E or 2Wi, am I missing something?

2W: Passing through the middle east to west on my first pass through, there doesn't seem to be a way to get past the yellow gate at at (5,15)

Five layer sandwich Liked the new version of the entrance room where the first few passes are just to show it off. This also fixes the unintentional solve from the third pass from before.

New business.

Five layer sandwich Really liked the secret rooms for the most part. These were neat, and I thought the "Get out of here!" was a fun touch.

1S: This was a fun mirror puzzle. Possibly my favorite room on the level.

1S1E: This was another really fun one. I should have two demos visible for this showing two fairly different solutions. As you can see, not all the decoy potions are necessary, but it's not necessarily bad to have extra.

1N1E: This one was a bit of a slog. I'm sure my demo for it is horribly inefficient though and there are better ways to go about it.

1N: A fairly standard golem packing room. Still fun though.

Back and Forth This was a neat level. Unfortunately I didn't think to record a multi room demo so you'll only see demos for room clear for the most part.

2N2W: Fun little room! I was worried the doors would be hard to parse at first, but everything workd out pretty nicely. Neat idea.

2N1W: Only recorded room clear. It's neat that there are three disrtinct rooms here (version 1: kill goblins; version 2: drop trapdoors; version 3: clear mud)

2N: I somehow remembered to record demos for both parts! Even though these are standard room types, i thought both passes were pretty fun.

2N1E: Nice tarstuff horde room. Some good restraint was show in not making this overly tight or frustrating.

1N2W: Thanks for the cautionary scroll!

1N1W: The presence of a mimic makes me think I'm only supposed to be able to solve this room on the return trip. I can solve it from the entrance with the mimic of course (did it in the editor), but it's just as easy to solve on the first pass. Not sure which way is more efficient on the whole. This may possibly bug optimizers who will have to fiddle about with save files to be able to attempt the room from both entrances, but it's pretty clearly telegraphed that you'll be returning here from the other entrance at least, so they should know to leave this one uncleared on the first pass. Still though, you might want to consider putting an inactive seeding beacon in some of these rooms that can be solved in different ways from more than one entrance just so that people can try solving from both entrances without having to restore.

1N: This one can be solved from both orbs, but I only have a demo recording from the southern one. Again, you may want to consider putting inactive seeding beacons here to allow people to try it both ways.

1N1E: That's a lot of snakes! My horribly sub-optimal demo aside, this wasn't really to bad or to fiddly though. Most of the rattle serpents and adders had the decency to get caught on walls or other snakes at least.

1N2E: I felt like this was a bit of a slog, and maybe the same idea could be done with fewer mothers and a smaller room. But looking back on my demo I definitely made things harder than they needed to be by drawing out and spreading out the babies unnecessarily.

1W: Pretty straightforward room. I feel like the checkpoints ought to be a little bit closer to the entrances, since in most cases you won't be wanting to wander too far from them to wrangle the snakes.

The Entrance: This one definitely reminded me of Journey to Rooted Hold. Seems like the kind of room that showed up there or in KDD a lot.

1E: Sorry, I only have a demo of solving it from the norther entrance. Not sure why there are force arrows scattered about in the walls.

2E: Managed to record demos from both directions for this one!

1S1W: Nope. I hated the Tetris room in The City beneath and have no desire to shuffle platforms around for half an hour. It's probably more a mater of personal preference though, and other folks might be more into that sort of thing.

1S: This is the kind of slayer room I like a lot. The slayer isn't just there to be a pest, but is actually used in interesting ways as part of puzzle widgets. This was a refreshing change of pace from the more horde focused rooms on the level and a lot of fun.

1S1E: Another really nice, more puzzle focused room. On the whole, the southern rooms in this level were a lot of fun. Standard roach queen tricks were used here, but it was a neat room and it took me a minute to get the exact trick.

1S2E: Slayer didn't seem to be good for much other than being a pain here, so I just killed him on the trapdoors. Still a strangely enjoyable room.

2S: I kind of agree with Beethro's assessment here. I feel like there should be more to this room.

2S1E: This was a neat room. I thought I was supposed to carve a path out of the brains at first, but after a minute that approach seemed clearly flawed. Manipulating the roach while brained wasn't too bad and a lot of fun actually. Nice room.

This has been pretty enjoyable so far, and I hope to get to the last few levels soon. I also really hope you keep working on it! It's definitely a change from the more linchpin heavy holds that are more common these days, and it's fun to have variety like this. There's also some fun cleverness to the level design that I've enjoyed a lot.

____________________________
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Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Insoluble at 02-28-2017 01:50 PM]
02-28-2017 at 06:52 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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Hi Insoluble,

Thanks for your detailed testing remarks and encouragement.

I've been very busy last weeks, so I did not mind to wait at all. In fact, I'll be getting around to making hold edits not earlier than next week. So patience-wise, we're on par then, OK?

But be assured I will make edits. Your comments seem reasonable enough to me.

Get back to you. DF
03-01-2017 at 07:37 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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Finally got 'round to editing the hold.
I basically stuck to Insoluble's comments:

* Had some bugs following the conversion of Greenhouse to the smaller version. Fixed those.
* Five layer sandwich, 1S1E: You broke my room! (In two different ways, actually) Thanks for that, no I had the opportunity to fix it :P I'm not telling you how to solve it now...
* Back and forth: generally, I can follow your comments about the monster slaying. There might be a tad too much of that. However, I will not start reworking the level. It's an old hold and that's the way it is. I like it reasonably well, even though I would build something different today.
* I did not know that killing the slayer actually would be that "simple". Bonus points for you. I think I better not solve this issue, however. Puzzles have moderate/easy difficulty throughout the hold. I expect most players won't be able to kill the slayer and will be appropriately annoyed/hampered/terrified.
* I think it should be clear enough that all rooms in Back/Forth can be solved in two different ways. I don't like the idea of putting in a seading beacon, that element has never been available in my old editor. Seems a bit anachronistic to include it anyway now.
* Tetris may be too tedious for some players. But hey, it's secret for a reason :P

NEW VERSION OF HOLD ATTACHED IN STARTING POST ABOVE

I'll wait for another couple of weeks to see if someone has comments for Palace: 2nd floor. If not: I'll submit the hold.

Thanks again for your playtesting.

[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 03-25-2017 08:53 PM]
03-25-2017 at 08:49 PM
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