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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : Contests : Custom Element Contest Voting (A multiple question poll)
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RankEntryAverageStandard Deviation
1Pixie Desert8.38888888888891.4958791130929
2Pulse Cannon Testing Track8.16666666666671.6072751268322
3Beethro Plays Hockey7.72222222222221.5204369092671
4Koopa Bros' Fortress7.33333333333331.8856180831641
4Net Benefits7.33333333333331.5634719199411
6Duplication Lab7.27777777777781.3664859862499
7Swampy Basement6.88888888888891.3698697784376
8When Mass-Production Breaks6.77777777777781.7812466157646
8Smite-Blasting 1016.77777777777781.5112745009706
10Darting Around6.33333333333332.0275875100994
11Horticulturalist's Headache6.16666666666672.0615528128088
12Two Headed Serpents5.88888888888891.6960375024971
13Fire Fire Fire!5.83333333333332.2669117514559
14That Familiar Feeling4.22222222222222.0964402515681
Beethro Plays Hockey
12345678910
Average Vote 7.7222222222222
Standard Deviation 1.5204369092671

Darting Around
12345678910
Average Vote 6.3333333333333
Standard Deviation 2.0275875100994

Duplication Lab
12345678910
Average Vote 7.2777777777778
Standard Deviation 1.3664859862499

Fire Fire Fire!
12345678910
Average Vote 5.8333333333333
Standard Deviation 2.2669117514559

Horticulturalist's Headache
12345678910
Average Vote 6.1666666666667
Standard Deviation 2.0615528128088

Koopa Bros' Fortress
12345678910
Average Vote 7.3333333333333
Standard Deviation 1.8856180831641

Net Benefits
12345678910
Average Vote 7.3333333333333
Standard Deviation 1.5634719199411

Pixie Desert
12345678910
Average Vote 8.3888888888889
Standard Deviation 1.4958791130929

Pulse Cannon Testing Track
12345678910
Average Vote 8.1666666666667
Standard Deviation 1.6072751268322

Smite-Blasting 101
12345678910
Average Vote 6.7777777777778
Standard Deviation 1.5112745009706

Swampy Basement
12345678910
Average Vote 6.8888888888889
Standard Deviation 1.3698697784376

That Familiar Feeling
12345678910
Average Vote 4.2222222222222
Standard Deviation 2.0964402515681

Two Headed Serpents
12345678910
Average Vote 5.8888888888889
Standard Deviation 1.6960375024971

When Mass-Production Breaks
12345678910
Average Vote 6.7777777777778
Standard Deviation 1.7812466157646
Total Votes 22 100%
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Xindaris
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icon Custom Element Contest Voting (+16)  
And here we are, a compilation of 14 whole new toys to play with! Location of entries in-hold was determined using Random.org for maximal fairness; the poll is ordered alphabetically.

Please remember to vote 10 for your own entry where applicable, and to weight your voting more in terms of of "is this a cool/interesting/possibly useful element" than "did they make a good hold here?". Voting time is up at Local Time:02-25-2017 at 06:00 PM, which is negative 16 weeks, 6 days from now.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 02-11-2017 06:20 PM]
02-11-2017 at 06:18 PM
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File: The Custom Element Contest v3 Anonymized.hold (356.4 KB)
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (0)  
And here is the compilation hold file to vote about.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 02-19-2017 07:33 PM]
02-11-2017 at 06:19 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+1)  
Bug: one of the leeches in Swampy Basement 1W spawns after the room is cleared.

And all of them respawn in the entrance room.

[Last edited by Dragon Fogel at 02-11-2017 06:47 PM]
02-11-2017 at 06:47 PM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (0)  
Oh my. So many entries.

If the hold gets an update, a checkpoint in each hub room might be useful for maintaining progress as we skip around.

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02-12-2017 at 12:12 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+1)  
It would also be nice if the unblocked stairway in each level went back to the respective hub room, rather than the entrance to the hub.
02-12-2017 at 12:53 AM
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+3)  
Hotfix uploaded for now which removes a testing bit of one particular room and repairs a possible crash in one of the scripts. Still waiting on word from the swamped basement architect on that bug; hopefully that'll be fixed in the morning and I'll aim at putting that together into a final version with all 13 new hub entrances that are necessary to make the return to hub stairs go back to the room you entered each individual level from.

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02-12-2017 at 04:43 AM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (0)  
I feel like the movement-order in When Mass-Production Breaks is slightly broken, since there are quite a few conveyor tiles that are not marked with and ortho square that are still skipped. Not sure yet if this renders any room impossible, just wanting to let the architect know, in case they want to look into it.
02-12-2017 at 02:27 PM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+3)  
Ok, in the new update:
-Swampy basement respawn-based bugs have been stomped out
-Return to hub stairs in each level now return to the room the level's entry stairs are in.
-Every room of hub except the exit stairs room behind the blue doors has a checkpoint.

Hopefully this should be good for the remainder of voting time.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 02-12-2017 04:49 PM]
02-12-2017 at 04:47 PM
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Cool stuff so far. Some comments in unhidetime for later:


Really enjoyed this compilation for the most part, so if the comments below come off as complainy I apologize.

I tried my darnedest to vote on these things based mostly on the elements, but in the end some entries showed off their elements a whole lot better than others and that probably impacted my vote just as much as the elements. Entries that did a really good job showcasing the element and all the possibilities it had were more likely to get me to like the element after all. Whereas some entries had elements that I thought were potentially interesting, but it was hard to see if they really lived up to that potential based on the rooms in the entry.

I also will say that I was very heavily biased towards simplicity here. I tend to like custom elements best when they are simple to understand and don't come with millions of little edge cases interactions to remember. I love bizarre DROD edge cases as much as the next person, but with the standard elements we all know and love and have had time to digest and fully understand. With custom elements, I want to get to the puzzles as quickly as possible and don't really care to spend half an hour learning and remembering all their weird quirks.

I'll also mention something that came up for me a lot because there are definitely different schools of thought on the matter. A general unavoidable fact with custom elements is that the player is going to have to somehow figure out what the heck they do and what all their weird rules and quirks are. I'll be honest, I'm mostly into this game for the puzzles and don't care to fuss around with a new element for half an hour just to "discover" some oddity of it's behavior. I'd rather know the rules explicitly and up front. Some folks really like discovering what new elements so through experimentation and take offense when an explanatory scroll is placed there for the benefit of players like me. Here's the thing though, you don't have to read the scroll if you don't want to, where as I still have to fiddle around for half an hour (or more likely ask in chat) if the explanation isn't there.

Now some behavior rules are more obvious than others, and I don't necessarily think there needs to be a written explanation for everything. But as a general rule I tended to find it somewhat annoying if a behavior wasn't obvious and the architect didn't do his or her best to make it really super clear what was going on before tossing me into a room where I needed to know it for a puzzle. You can tell me to "git gud" or whatever the meme is, but I honestly just don't find "guess the scripting" to be any fun. I'd rather read the manual, know what the rules are, and solve puzzles based on logical deduction. It a completely subjective thing, but there it is.

Beethro Plays Hockey
I really loved the Hockey Puck element. What I did not love was fiddling around with the stupid thing for 20 minutes just to accidentally stumble on the interaction it has with fire traps and hot tiles. Sure, sure, the entry room technically showed this off, but it's easy to miss. This is the kind of obscure interaction for which I'd like either an explanatory scroll or a much more explicit tutorial room. I guess 2N was supposed to be a tutorial room of sorts, but it was really not all that explicit and quite easy to draw the wrong conclusion (the puck will pass straight through tar but not gel if it hits on an uncuttable edge?)

Other rooms in this entry were really nice and showed off the puck quite nicely. The goblin room (and the hilariously fun broken version) were both neat and lots of fun. To be honest though I think I would have liked this element better if it didn't have the hot tile/firetrap interaction at all. The puzzle in 1W for instance shows that there is a lot if interesting potential with just he plain "unheated" puck and I feel like that version of the element could easily have filled a level with interesting rooms. It's simple to understand, very intuitive, and yet distinct from any currently existing element.
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Darting Around
This was one of my favorite entries overall. The elements themselves are simple, streamlined, and well explained in the first room, allowing me to get to more complex puzzles involving them almost immediately. The level showed off some interesting potential for making puzzles by controlling and expanding the number of empty squares around the Dart Splitters. Rooms like 1S1E and 1N2E did a great job of this and were some of my favorites. Not sure why the room at 3E was un-required, it was a pretty basic puzzle compared to some others on the level (basically just involved counting) but I thought it was fun. This was my favorite entry of the bunch.
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Duplication Lab
This element was really neat. The behavior was pretty straightforward and the architect did a decent job of explicitly showing off how it behaved. Bizarre edge cases that show up by necessity were explained, but the architect seems to have had the decency to have not built puzzles around them. I say seems because I didn't actually solve that many rooms here before casting my vote. This was by far the most difficult entry of the lot. I tried not to let that impact my vote too much and vote mostly based on the potential of the element though.
-----------------------

Fire Fire Fire!
I chuckled at the entry room in spite of myself. Not sure if that sound clip will be able to make it into the compilation due to copyright issues, but that was a fun little bit of nostalgia. I like that everything was clearly explained in the first room again. The element itself is nice and straightforward. No weird edge cases to worry about really. But there is a lot of powerful puzzle potential in that simplicity.

I liked the difficulty curve in this one for the most part. First few rooms were super straightforward just to show off some basic ideas for working the element. Rooms got harder as you progressed. Though some of the rooms were a bit on the fiddly side (looking at 2S1E in particular), I can't really penalize the entry for that. It had a good mix. Rooms like 2S and 3S were a lot of fun and interesting to work out, and I respect that the architect tried to show off a wide variety of different kinds of rooms and difficulty.
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Horticulturalist's Headache
I'm not sure what to think about this element. It's an interesting idea in theory in that it is so completely different from any other weapon the player has aver had. So I definitely give it points for creativity. I also liked the simplicity and restraint here. The element is simple to understand and cleanly explained up front. The major drawback is that it is prohibitively complicated to predict more than a few turns out, especially when you have a couple of nearby roots placed. This made it feel a bit like the potential is somewhat limited to "guess and check" kinds of rooms. That being said, I did definitely enjoy some of the rooms here, 1N2E for example. In that room I felt like at the very least my guesses were strongly influenced by logical deductions about where the briar would do most good. I only solved about half the rooms in this one though, so it may be that the rooms I didn't solve required more logical deduction.

This didn't impact my voting at all, but it seems the number of challenges was a bit excessive. I just didn't bother with most of them.
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Koopa Bros' Fortress
So this was a joint entry by Nuntar and Me. I don't have as much to say about it as I normally might since Nuntar did most of the work here. He did all the scripting, element art, and made the two intro rooms. I think the element is pretty neat. Some of the behaviors, like the fact that it hibernates in shallow water and won't bomb the tile it is currently on, were a bit unintuitive, so I tried to make sure those things were explicitly stated in the level. For those of you who find text explanations and scrolls viscerally offensive I tried to demonstrate the behavior too.

I'm not super familiar with the character it references; something from one of the later Mario games apparently. But I really like the artwork and scripting that Nuntar did for it.
-----------------------

Net Benefits
There's a lot to like about this entry. The custom element is really neat and has a ton of potential. There were also a few weird edge casey things that I wasn't so thrilled with. The fact that elements placed over a pit or water just hover there is arguably a bit weird, and the fact that you can "net" mimics easily without penalty, but "netting" a clone kills you is an unfortunate consequence of the scripting I guess. I really enjoyed the puzzles in this level for the most part though. As was pointed out in chat, 2N1E relies on the weird pit/water behavior without really demonstrating it previously though. It's such a constrained room that it's not hard to just guess that's what you're supposed to do, but again, I'd really rather solve puzzles based on complete information about the rules rather than blindly experiment. There's also a case to be made that the element is interesting enough on it's own to not have to make puzzles based on strange edge cases.

That being said, it's hard to not rate this one highly based on how neat the concept is and how fun most of the puzzles showcasing it were. I really enjoyed rooms like 2N, 2S1E, that showed off how this element can be used in really intriguing ways in complex linchpin rooms.
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Pixie Desert
Really enjoyed this one. This is another case of a really simple element that you could easily describe in a sentence. The behavior is made pretty clear by the first room, and there's really only one sentence of explanation for those of you who hate reading. It works since the element is pretty much as simple and streamlined as it could possibly be.

I also have to mention that I absolutely loved the puzzles on this level. I know that wasn't supposed to impact my rating, but if I'm honest with myself it probably did. Rooms like 4N1E and 2N1E make really good use of the element (Though I hear there is a fiddly alternate solution to 4N1E that relies on movement order somehow, the solution I found was really neat). Seeing interesting linchpin puzzles like these (as well as, for example, efficiency rooms) really shows off the cool potential this element has. This was probably my second favorite of all the entries.
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Pulse Cannon Testing Track
I thought this was a super cool element. The behavior is pretty easy to understand and fairly well demonstrated. Again, the simplicity of what it does is nice. There don't seem to be too many weird edge cases to worry about, or at least if there are, the architect wisely chose not to build puzzles around them. There is a good variety of room types too. Some standard horde rooms (though 1S I could do without) mixed in with more linchpin puzzle type rooms and manipulation rooms (really liked 1S1W). It clearly shows how versatile the element is. The player role rooms at the end were just icing on the cake.

One thing to note (though it's probably been brought to the architect's attention by others) is that there are quite a few broken rooms here. Notably the two northern tar rooms 1N1W and 1N2W. I also didn't feel like I needed to be green gated for three rooms in a row before being able to get to the rest of the level. None of that had an impact on my voting though, since it wouldn't be fair to punish a (presumably) single person entry for lack of play testing and feedback when the collab entries had that advantage.
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Smite-Blasting 101
This was an interesting take on the ranged weapon. I'm still not sure what to think about the fact that Beethro doesn't automatically face the direction he moves in. I guess it's pretty clear from the start, but it took some time to get used to.

The element itself was a lot of fun to play with for the most part. Like darts and other ranged weapons, this element lends itself to some really interesting linchpin puzzles. 1N1E did a good job showing off how a fairly straightforward and easy to understand element can be used in different ways to make for a nice linchpin. I also really enjoyed the manipulation involved in pushing rockets around. I think the attempts to show off how rockets work in horde rooms (2N and to some extent 1W) really just demonstrated that ranged weapons like this don't really lend themselves to that kind of room. Still, there was enough versatility in the element for me to rate it fairly high.
-----------------------

Swampy Basement
This one grew on me as time went by. My initial first impression wasn't great. I didn't really figure out what the conditions were for waking up the leeches in the rooms I was supposed to (presumably the green gated ones). But once I figured things out in the main part of the hold, I thought the concept was pretty neat. There's a lot of potential in an element that is dormant at first and get woken up, just look at evil eyes as an example. I also thought the fact that these guys can traverse water, shallow water, and floor was pretty neat. The way they behaved when stunned (in 1N3W for instance) was a little weird, but I guess it makes sense. I definitely enjoyed some of the rooms on this level and think there's a lot of interesting potential here.
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That Familiar Feeling
This one is based on video game I've never played, but since I don't live under a rock I picked up the reference I guess. It definitely had a bit of a "guess the scripting" feel which may be mostly because I've never played the video game in question. I also didn't really get much of a feel for the potential this element has based on the one or two puzzle rooms in this entry. It's an interesting idea for sure and it's hard to deny that there could be some interesting puzzled you could make with this sort of thing.
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Two Headed Serpents
I really wanted to like this one. I really did. I think the element is, for the most part, really simple and elegant. One minor tweak (okay, two if you count the brain thing) to a common element can make for something with a vastly different feel. It seems like there could be a ton of potential for this. I say it seems because it's hard to tell for sure based on the entry. There are only a couple of interesting linchpin rooms in an otherwise linchpin free level. And after a while I got tired of just pushing these things around at random until I stumbled on the sequence that happened to work.

There were some neat rooms (2N1W and 3N come to mind as rooms I really enjoyed), but on the whole most of the rooms just involved finding the right manipulation and weren't really all that engaging. I also found it questionable to lock a bunch of rooms behind a green door in 3N1E (which was super fiddly. Sorry no, dancing around until you find a way to get two roaches following you in just the right spot was not fun.) I didn't take that kind of level design decision into consideration when voting though, since this contest was about the elements first and foremost. I ended up rating this one higher my gut instinct mostly based on the fact that I like the simplicity of design. Even though I didn't care for most of these rooms, I found the minimalist approach to custom elements here really appealing and I suspect that this element has a lot of interesting potential.
----------------------

Mass Production
This was another one that I really wanted to like. I think the idea of conveyor belts is one that's come up before, and it's a neat idea for sure. But there were soooo many weird quirks to the way these things behaved. The first 4 rooms or so just seemed to pile on one bizarre edge case after another. It could be that this is just an unfortunate consequence of the limitations of DROD-script, but there really wasn't a need to build rooms around these things. Just the basic element of things moving on their own for a turn on the conveyor belt should be enough to make some interesting puzzles (which some of the later rooms do indeed do).

Again, I ended up rating this one higher than my gut reaction to it mostly because really loved the idea of the element (though the implementation leaves a bit to be desired). There were some good rooms deeper in, though for some strange reason they were locked off behind green doors in other rooms. 1N1E for example was a really nice room, it was very clean and did a great job showing off interesting puzzles you can make without any weirdness. Some of the other rooms (like 2N1E and 3N1E) were okay too once you cut through the visual clutter. And that brings up one last point. This didn't impact my vote at all, but perhaps in the future the architect could opt for a somewhat less garish and fussy level design. Especially with the Mosaic Frost style, the assorted pits and bridges and such scattered about everywhere, in addition to causing some eye pain, made it somewhat more difficult than it needed to be to parse the rooms.
-----------------------


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[Last edited by Insoluble at 02-24-2017 06:35 AM]
02-12-2017 at 07:32 PM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+1)  
In posting an update to fix my error in not correctly hooking up the hub stairs to Swampy Basement, I have also made a requested fix to the Mass-Production level. The problem appears to have had to do with pasting over rooms full of invisible characters somehow screwing up their move order, which honestly shouldn't even be a thing that can happen :?.

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02-12-2017 at 08:07 PM
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Lucky Luc
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Played through most of the stuff. Some pretty good stuff. Comments:

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[Last edited by Lucky Luc at 02-21-2017 10:20 AM]
02-12-2017 at 09:05 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (0)  
Just a note - when you take the south entrance to That Familiar Feeling 4E, don't use the bottommost tile. The cutscene in the next room breaks if you do.

I assume this will be fixed eventually, but for the moment I'm just letting people know so they can avoid it.
02-13-2017 at 04:39 AM
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Comments on entries


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[Last edited by Doom at 02-25-2017 08:51 PM]
02-16-2017 at 02:30 PM
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Here are my comments. These include a few comments on the holds, but as instructed, my votes were determined by my feelings on the element.

Beethro Plays Hockey

Hockey puck. An interesting element with potential for sliding puzzles and long-range attacks, bringing something definitely new to the game. Firetrap interaction wasn't very clearly introduced, requiring a bit of messing around to figure out the rules. 1N1E is possible without using the pucks. The secret at 2N2E was easier than most of the required rooms.

Score: 8 Architect guess: Dischorran

Darting Around

Collectable darts and dart splitter. I like the logic puzzles this introduces, in figuring out which order to use the splitters so as to end up with the darts you need. However, I'm not convinced about its versatility; rooms that combine it with monster manipulation, combat etc feel awkward, with having the dart as your weapon being mostly a handicap to be worked around.

Score: 7 Architect guess: disoriented

Duplication Lab

Doppelgänger (duplicates any monster that steps adjacent). This has a lot of potential for combinatorial puzzles where you have to decide which monster you need to duplicate, and guide that monster to the doppelgänger while keeping others away. Unfortunately, the given puzzles jump straight from tutorial to bursting with complexity in every room, and under the time constraints of a contest, I didn't feel up to tackling them. Still, this is definitely an element I'd enjoy playing around with.

Score: 8 Architect guess: hyperme

Fire Fire Fire!

Special command is scripted to place firetraps. I would count this as more of a gimmick than an element, but that's allowed by the contest rubric. This came with by far my favourite of the showcase holds; I enjoyed it so much that I finished it before moving on. I think I broke 2S (only four firetraps are needed). The rule about the traps deactivating when a monster is stabbed or burned wasn't clearly taught. (It would, perhaps, make more sense as an element if they only deactivated when a monster is burned, but since there's only one "Wait for event" that covers both, I understand you had to work within that limitation.)

Among the many possible variations of the "scripted command to place an element" gimmick, firetraps were an excellent choice because of their simplicity. This allows timing puzzles, swordless-player puzzles, and changing-floor-type puzzles that feel like a natural extension of the firetrap as an existing element.

Score: 9 Architect guess: Lucky Luc

Horticulturalist's Headache

Special command is scripted to place briar roots on force arrows. Although this is very similar to the gimmick of "Fire Fire Fire!", I like it a lot less, because briar roots are inherently fiddly and difficult to control. For the compilation, maybe give seeding beacons to allow the player to reset and do challenges?

Score: 5 Architect guess: IQubic

Koopa Bros' Fortress

Joint entry by me (scripting, sprite, tutorial room) and Insoluble (puzzles). In case anyone wonders, the direction of inspiration was that I started with the character Bombette (from Paper Mario) and thought about how she would work as a DROD element, rather than coming up with the behaviour first and then deciding on Bombette as a "skin" for it. I think this is a fun element and I hope to do more with her in the future :) Other architects are welcome to use her as well.

Net Benefits

Special command is scripted to pick up and put down a monster, keeping its original facing. Land-based monsters can be put down on pits without falling. I didn't spend much time here, as most rooms seem unapproachable. This feels very much like "Darting Around", in that the player has a replacement weapon that is far less versatile and ends up being a handicap to be worked around. Entrance should have a checkpoint.

Score: 6 Architect guess: kieranmillar

Pixie Desert

Similar to the "portable teleporter" that's been proposed for EP, but instead of a placeable stationary teleporter, the teleporter moves like a (flying) roach! This was a case of an idea that sounds like a joke entry and unexpectedly turns out to produce really fun puzzles. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of this. Very nice portrait work, too ;)

Score: 9 Architect guess: Chaco

Pulse Cannon Testing Track

A (pushable) laser cannon that fires the turn after something steps in its path. Intriguing, and a neat tool for horde rooms, but as a puzzle element it feels a bit fiddly. Maybe that's a too hasty judgement and a different selection of rooms would have convinced me more.

Score: 7 Architect guess: blorx1

Smite-Blasting 101

Like the dart launcher, but it's a rocket launcher. This feels like a variation on the element rather than anything distinctly new; and as with all the dart variants, it tends towards awkward and fiddly rooms.

Score: 6 Architect guess: Someone Else

Swampy Basement

Leech moves over water until it becomes angry (when you get within 2 tiles), which gives it the ability to move on land as well. That sounds like an interesting monster that's different from anything we have, but playing the level left me feeling it was just more of the same roach-like monster manipulation, combined with a "don't step on certain tiles" that can also be done easily with existing elements.

Score: 5 Architect guess: Xindaris

That Familiar Feeling

Teleporter tiles, with pressure plates that switch how the teleporters connect. On the one hand, the ability to teleport mirrors and monsters makes this element distinct from tunnels. On the other hand, what the plates do isn't clearly indicated, and this is sometimes combined with "guess the scripting" (e.g. the disappearing mirror in 1N5E). 3E is impossible with the known rules, and I didn't feel like fumbling round until I hit on the scripting quirk that makes it possible. Teleportation could lead to interesting puzzles, but I feel it could be better implemented than this.

Score: 5 Architect guess: Don't know

Two Headed Serpents

In spite of the name, it's a roach that can be body-pushed. Unfortunately, this just seems to lead to really annoying manipulation rooms. Several rooms lack checkpoints.

Score: 4 Architect guess: uncopy2002

When Mass Production Breaks

It's like a law of the universe or something, when you have a tile-based puzzle game, someone will either propose or implement a conveyor belt. I didn't get to see much of this entry, as most of it is blocked by a green door in 2N. Still, I enjoyed the rooms I played, and this has potential for a variety of uses.

Score: 8 Architect guess: Crimson Moon

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02-18-2017 at 05:34 PM
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Chaco
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C h a l l e n g e !
 Beethro Plays Hockey: Once North Once East 


Clear out the horde without moving any pucks.

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02-19-2017 at 03:41 AM
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Bug in Hockey: hockey is drop into pit/water/shallow water only after at least 2 tile from where it's hit. It always skips through the first tile at its travel.

[Last edited by uncopy2002 at 02-19-2017 05:37 AM]
02-19-2017 at 05:33 AM
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One more change uploaded. Themsalltook discovered that I forgot to mark the post-blue-doors room in the hub as non-required, so I did that thing.

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02-19-2017 at 07:34 PM
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I just completed the compilation. This was really great! I had it in my head that I wasn't a fan of custom elements in general, but after seeing these entries, I may have to change my mind. I feel like this was a really good showcase of how interesting and enjoyable they can be.

I completed all required rooms, though I did skip a couple of secrets. Here's my feedback for each entry in the order I played (written as I played, so it's somewhat unfiltered):

Koopa Bros' Fortress

Element: OKish. Seems somewhat limited in puzzle potential, especially for longer rooms, but this was a good demonstration of what it could do. Hard to resist giving bonus points for referencing one of my favorite games, though. :-)

Rooms: Awesome! Good puzzles all around. I was stuck for a moment in 1N until I discovered the shallow water mechanic. The rest of the rooms were pretty smooth sailing.


Beethro Plays Hockey (architect guess: Insoluble or Chaco)

Element: Loved it. Fire puck was especially enjoyable. There's a lot of nuance to how the puck works, which was really well showcased by the rooms.

Rooms: Great stuff, mostly. 1N1E felt a little bit pointless - easily doable without touching a puck. 1E and 2N1E were super cool pure sliding ice puzzles. 2N2E was pretty heavy on trial an error, but cool nonetheless.


Swampy Basement

Element: Pretty neat. Good puzzle potential demonstrated by rooms.

Rooms: Pretty good overall, though not spectacular. 4W was awesome. 1N4W is INSANE. The rest of the level is a nice easy romp, but that monster maze took me over an hour to do. It could have been a lot different if there was a way to turn the force arrows back off after killing the tar mother, which I was able to do reasonably early on, but figuring out how to get everything positioned so that I could kill it at the end was a nightmare. The rest of the rooms felt about like 5-6 brain difficulty, but 1N4W was easily 8+ for me.


Darting Around

Element: An interesting take on darts, though nothing particularly groundbreaking. Some puzzle potential, well-demonstrated by rooms in entry.

Rooms: Really good stuff. I got pretty stuck on 2W for a while, but eventually figured out what to do after a hint from another forum member. Pretty cool once I got it working.


Two Headed Serpents (architect guess: blorx1)

Element: A weird concept, but kind of fun to play with. Kind of finicky, especially in how it doesn't interact with brains or stealth the way a normal monster does.

Rooms: Pretty tough overall. The Entrance was definitely a trial by fire... I died a few dozen times in a seemingly impossible situation before finding the main mechanic by complete accident. The idea of pushing wasn't in any way obvious until I stumbled onto it. The difficulty of the rest of the rooms was pretty high, but very even - I felt stuck a lot of times, but never disproportionately in one room compared to the others. Still, I managed to get them all done in a not-too-unreasonable amount of time.


Net Benefits

Element: I like the core concepts, but I'm not sure I'm a fan of all the quirks, which seem to be the main focus of the puzzles.

Rooms: 2N1W seems like a "hey, element has this weird quirk, let's make a puzzle out of it for some reason" room. Like, the room was fun, but it didn't quite feel like it belonged. 2S1E felt like it was almost designed to be done without reorienting evil eyes in the net, and I feel like it would have been a more enjoyable puzzle that way. Reorienting evil eyes is interesting, but this might not have been the best way to show it in a room. I also never needed the multi-use pressure plate for anything. What I did in 1S1E seems like it couldn't possibly be the intended solution - I netted a wubba, used it for protection against the two aumtlich, then used the net to shuffle those three things onto the pressure plates and hot tiles (breaking orbs with aumtlich beams first). I thought I was going to have to mess with brainedness by netting and unnetting the brain, but that didn't seem to play into the room at all the way I did it. 2N1E is particularly egregious - having a net place things on water and pits without them falling in seems more like a bug in the element than something that puzzles should be built around. I understand the behavior perfectly and can apply it in the puzzle just fine, but it doesn't make sense.


Fire Fire Fire! (architect guess: hyperme)

Element: Pretty basic idea. Fun potential, but not particularly revolutionary.

Rooms: 1S1W was neat and silly. 1S was pretty fiddly, and I solved it mostly by accident. 2S...had a bunch of extra fire traps? I just discarded three of them, then laid down a row of 4 to cut the pressure plate in half and kill the tar babies. Maybe there was another way to do it? I was stuck on 2S1E for quite a while. Until I figured out what I needed to do, I was worried it was one of those "predict many steps of this behavior, and also invent a mechanism at an arbitrary point in the room that will line up with your predictions" rooms, which is a style of difficulty that never agrees with me. Once I got it, it wasn't so bad. My only real complaint about how the element is used is how often it boils down to "replace floor under Beethro with anything at all, when what he has just happens to be a fire trap". It made for some nice mechanics in rooms like 3S, but it just feels like it's not the best use of this kind of element.


Smite-Blasting 101

Element: This is cool and satisfying to use. I LOVE that Beethro keeps his orientation as if he's wielding a sword, even if it does make fegundos move mysteriously. :-)

Rooms: 1N used some questionable behavior... Stunnable rockets is kind of a goofy concept, but intuitive enough I suppose. 2N seemed to have its pressure plate wired the wrong way (briars open the exit door instead of closing it), but I did the room without exploiting that and it was fun. 1S1W was pretty neat, but I did it without the spear mimic somehow - I placed the stick mimic on the first island and the pickaxe mimic on the second, and they were able to do the job on their own.


When Mass-Production Breaks (architect guess: Crimson Moon)

Element: Neat concept, but I feel like there were too many rules to remember. For example, in 2N1W, I didn't understand at all what I did to solve the room, despite having had it explained to me a couple of rooms ago.

Rooms: Mosaic Frost is a nice theme, but I don't really like what's done with it here. The use of bridges in particular was really confusing; I kept mistaking them for pits. 2N was pretty heavy on trial and error, and I barely understood why it worked when it finally did. 3N2E was quite enjoyable. My solution to 2N1E seemed unconventional, but I guess it was intended? I had to go up north myself and push the safety wubba into a pit since the aumtlich couldn't quite crack enough orbs by himself. 2N2E seems to be made of hate, and doesn't even lend itself to either prediction or trial and error - because of some sort of turn order quirk or something, brains sometimes moved one conveyor tile and sometimes two, so I couldn't actually count out the length of the paths I'd need to make them all line up. I ended up cheating and using someone else's layout to solve it. 1N1E was AWESOME.


Duplication Lab (architect guess: blorx1)

Element: Super cool! Lots of neat ways it could be used.

Rooms: Holy Hoobuffins. These were incredibly daunting at first, but eventually they started yielding to my attempts to solve them. Great demonstrations of what the element can do, and excellent restraint at not using their quirks too much (while also explaining what those quirks are). Beyond the first couple of rooms, these were all elaborate enough that I want to give individual room comments. In the order that I solved them:

3S: This was a fun roach queen manipulation room once I realized what I needed to do. Pretty straightforward compared to the rest.

2S: If I did this the intended way, it was a nice misdirection puzzle. I used extra roaches where it was made to look like goblins were supposed to go. Took me a while to figure out how I could duplicate more than two types, and then a while longer to figure out that I could do it with three types instead of four.

2S1E: I think I broke this room by flooding the eastern chamber enough to allow a roach make an unbrained northward move to touch the northern doppelgangers. I never figured out what the pressure plate that toggles the force arrow by the bomb was for.

4S1E: This was super cool, though I have no idea what the two seeps were for. Working out how to get a wubba into the south section was a treat.

4S Absolute brilliance. I had to take notes on the sequence of events and follow them carefully to make sure all the timeclone handoffs happened as needed. The solution was SO COOL once I actually got it to work. Favorite room of the level I think.

3S2E: This was pretty lengthy - I cleared it in just under 2000 moves, using two dead rock golems in the east to hold a flood of tar babies in place so I could extract the roach and clone it for the southern pressure plate. I get the feeling there was an easier way, but this was the only way I could find that worked. I initially tried with three golems of course, but couldn't work out any way to deal with the south section with only one roach.

3S1E: Yow. This was a total nightmare to try to parse. I couldn't make heads or tails of anything that was going on for the first 10 minutes or so, so I just started fiddling around with a few sections of the room until I had something that worked. Fortunately, I stumbled onto a repeatable pattern that let me clear the whole maze. Definitely my least favorite room of the level, just because it's so incredibly busy.


Pulse Cannon Testing Track

Element: Kinda cool concept, but it felt awfully cumbersome in most rooms. Using the cannons as a defense mechanism to cut through big hordes of monsters was enjoyable, but pushing them around for precise setups just didn't feel good to me for some reason.

Rooms: For some reason, I didn't have a very good time on this level. In a lot of rooms, my solutions felt more accidental than anything. It's hard to characterize exactly what it is I didn't like, but somehow these rooms just didn't agree with me. The fegundo and wubba rooms were a nice change of pace, though.


Horticulturalist's Headache

Element: Pretty cool! This was very satisfying to use, and led to some really interesting puzzle potential. I also liked the variations in the secret rooms at the end.

Rooms: These are great! I like the challenges in every room. The challenge in 2E didn't award for some reason when I did it. Looking at the scripting, it seems like the problem is that the Challenge variable was set to 10 when I reentered 1E, but wasn't set back to 0 when entering 2E. Got all the others done, and it was a blast. Great rooms!


Pixie Desert

Element: Very interesting! It seemed really basic at first, but having a teleport destination that can only be controlled like a roach turned out to have a lot more potential than I would have guessed. Dealing with multiple simultaneous teleport destinations turned out to be pretty cool too. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Rooms: I love the flavor and dialogue. Looks like a lot of effort went into this. Great demonstrations of the puzzle potential all around. When I did 4N2E, I didn't understand why it worked once I got the solution; it felt like I just tried a bunch of different things and one happened to be fast enough. I think I broke something in 2N2E, because I didn't use most of the mechanisms in the room (no idea what the mirror, togglable force arrow, or eastern trapdoor were for), but the room was enjoyable enough anyway, if a bit simple.


That Familiar Feeling

Element: So it's kind of like a multi-destination tunnel that monsters and objects can go through? I dunno, it didn't really speak to me. There were so few rooms and they seemed so haphazard that I don't feel like I really got a good idea of its potential. Something also seems to be very wrong with the custom graphics for the element, because they only showed up sporadically, and when they did, they didn't quite line up with the correct tiles.

Rooms: I'll be honest...I didn't have a good time here at all. This felt like a lot of guess-the-scripting, and seemed more interested in following a narrative than showing off the element. I was teased with a possibly cool-looking puzzle in 4E that I didn't actually get to play myself. Dealing with the roach hordes in 1N4E was kind of enjoyable, but the teleportation didn't add much to it - a yellow door would have basically done the same thing.
02-19-2017 at 08:26 PM
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Some general notes:


I was mostly interested in three things. Does this element actually work under a decent number of conditions? Does this element do something new? Can I see this element fitting into existing room concepts, or do rooms fundamentally have to be designed around it?

Beethro Plays Hockey: Mine. I maintain that pucks in the Eighth are flammable. Never got around to full implementation of proper behavior of pucks at rest as things change around them, oh well.

Darting Around: Doesn't really add much new to the existing element and the directionality seems overprescriptive puzzlewise.

Duplication Lab: Cool idea, to whatever extent that I was able to extrapolate its uses after bouncing off the entry. Tailormade for making breakable rooms, I suspect.

Fire Fire Fire: The idea of having one shot at killing everything is interesting, but not very flexible (or, imho, fun). The additional effect of being able to break up pressure plates, platforms, etc, though, is very cool - I'd be interested to see an element that keeps this aspect and does something different otherwise.

Horticulturist's Headache: How to give the player the most ability to wreak havoc in a room with the least predictable control. Not a fan. I liked the arrow dropping more than the actual briar dropping.

Koopa Bros.' Fortress: This was a nice one that I could see being of general use, although the water interaction felt a bit weird. I wonder if there are other plausible ways to keep it from exploding. Bonus points for a manageable entry.

Net Benefits: Nicely made and a fundamentally new idea. It bugged me a bit that I couldn't drop the net after picking it up, making it not quite a new weapon, but that's really my only quibble.

Pixie Desert: Integrates very cleanly into DROD with a neat new function, and one of my favorite entries. Could have done without the creepy portrait, though, and having multiple pixies be so fundamentally dependent on move order is annoying. Puzzle design was nice itself, also.

Pulse Cannon Testing Track: My favorite entry. Flexible, integrates nicely, and provides a new but not excessively powerful function due to the one-turn wait. Wouldn't mind seeing a lot more of this.

Smite-Blasting 101: A lot of fun, certainly. Not convinced about its long-term utility, but wiring it up to a token could make for some fun future puzzles. The fegundo/etc weirdness should probably have been avoided in architecture rather than highlighted, but keeping Beethro from turning as if unarmed was a good call.

Swampy Basement: I'm not sure I fully grasp the potential of this element; wish I could say more. The maze room was very cool, though.

That Familiar Feeling: Try to at least half-ass your next entry, hm? A tunnel that anything can use isn't necessarily a bad idea, but this was certainly not the implementation for it, even leaving aside the entry itself.

Two Headed Serpents: I seem to be in the minority in thinking that this is a really great element that integrates beautifully into DROD with some new interactions. I came around to the idea of it not being brain-controlled, but ignoring invisibility remains an annoying drawback.

When Mass-Production Breaks: Neat idea, but am I wrong in thinking that it's fundamentally flawed due to move order dependence? At some point in a loop, the dragged object's going to move twice in a turn. Not necessarily the author's fault, of course, but it's still too basic a flaw in the concept to be overlooked. As a minor complaint, forming islands in deep water just feels wrong. I do like having on/off control.

Overall? I'd be interested in seeing pixies, leeches, pulse cannons, duplicators, rocket launchers, nets, and two-headed serpents appear again. And pucks, of course. All in all, a pretty good contest haul.


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[Last edited by Dischorran at 02-24-2017 07:54 PM]
02-24-2017 at 07:52 PM
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mauvebutterfly
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Done and voted! And just in time too!

I have a ton of editing to do now, but I recorded my playthrough of all the entries and will try to be uploading one per day. I'll hopefully have the first video up shortly after the poll closes, and I'll post the link here when youtube finishes processing it.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2vW3p2ZL0YT1YuXWTtagxH1dLGdrq0i9

Overall the entries were pretty fun. Architects did a pretty good job of introducing their elements in a way that allowed the player to see all the new behaviours to look out for. I was worried that there was going to be a lot more "guess the scripting" puzzles, but fortunately I never had to worry about that since it was pretty easy to quickly test any questions that I had and most of my questions were demonstrated near the beginning of their respective entry anyway.

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[Last edited by mauvebutterfly at 02-26-2017 04:55 AM : Changed from video to playlist in link]
02-25-2017 at 09:13 AM
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RESULT TIME!!!

I liked pretty much every entry into this contest, and with maybe one exception at most I could see all sorts of wonderful puzzles coming out of these things. So let's see how everyone else felt.

In first place, we have Pixie Desert, featuring the Pixie element, by Lucky Luc! Great job!

Coming in at a close second place, there is Pulse Cannon Testing Track, featuring Pulse Cannons, by hyperme! Woo!

And at third place is Beethro Plays Hockey, featuring the humble hockey Puck, by Dischorran! Give it up for him!

(I'm going to hope the people in charge and/or the winners of these places know what to do about getting the prizes awarded and stuff because I don't actually know the ins and outs of that...also if there are any 10th timers or whatever it was?)

As for the rest of the entries:
-Fourth Place is a tie between Koopa Bros' Fortress, which is a collab between Nuntar and Insoluble, and Net Benefits, a collab between disoriented and Crimson Moon.
-Fifth Place goes to Duplication Lab, by Doom.
-Sixth Place is Swampy Basement, by Chaco.
-Seventh Place is another tie, between When Mass-Production Breaks by Crimson Moon and Smite-Blasting 101 by hyperme.
-Eighth Place is Darting Around, another collab, between disoriented and IQubic.
-Ninth Place was Horticulturalist's Headache by mauvebutterfly.
-Tenth Place goes to Two Headed Serpents by blorx1.
-Eleventh Place goes to Fire Fire Fire! by disoriented.
-Twelth place is That Familiar Feeling, by jamesdenem.



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02-26-2017 at 12:20 AM
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Xindaris
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(Results above)
Some commentary on my own impression of the entries, even though I didn't actually vote for anonymity concern reasons:
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[Last edited by Xindaris at 02-26-2017 12:32 AM]
02-26-2017 at 12:31 AM
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Lucky Luc
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So, I placed first apparently. Cool! Thanks everyone :) I was actually pretty happy with my entry when I submitted it, but when I first saw some of the other stuff people came up with, I figured I wouldn't stand a chance. While we're at it, congratulations hyperme and Dischorran! Definitely two of my favourite entries.

I actually caught the get-your-sword-back trick in 4N2E during testing, but I figured it was actually kind of cool and if someone realized it was possible, they totally deserved to cheese the heck out of this room. Especially since it doesn't help you avoid using the pixie to fast-travel entirely. Other breaks (2N2E, 4N) were a lot less intended ;)

Seems like the most divisive thing about my entry was the portrait. In my defense, it was supposed to be slightly unsettling :P As with anything I script, feel free to use and modify stuff as much as you want.

And finally, am I the only one who thinks Two-Headed Serpents (along with the "Oh wait, not this guy again"-line) is a reference to how the same architect made a construct level called "Even More Fluff" once?
02-26-2017 at 10:52 AM
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disoriented
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Would anyone be willing to create a custom graphic for either the Net Token element (Net Benefits) or the Dart Splitter element (Darting Around)?

I'll give you a mod point and credit in the final released compilation hold. :)

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03-14-2017 at 01:20 AM
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File: NetToken.png (2 KB)
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icon Re: Custom Element Contest Voting (+5)  
Here's the net token I've been working on for a custom weapon token that uses all the weapons from the contest.



I included a variant with a black background since your net token in the entry isn't a "true" weapon token (can't switch back) so I thought a different colour might be appropriate. Also, there's an empty black circle if you want to switch to that once Beethro is armed with the net. I thought it would make a neat visual indicator that the net had been picked up.

My pixel art is pretty crap, but it's another skill that I'm working on (too many projects!) Anyway, should be good enough for this. If I end up changing it I'll let you know, but I think this is as much time as I want to spend on it for now.

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03-15-2017 at 01:33 PM
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