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Xindaris
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File: S A N D.hold (18.7 KB)
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A small (2 levels containing 18 rooms) hold themed around water skippers stuck on land. The second level also introduces Water Barrels, custom pushables which turn floor under them into shallow water when destroyed. Also there's a badly outdated star wars joke which inspired the whole thing.

I'd rate the first level's difficulty at medium-hard, the second a bit easier for introducing a new element, except for the top row where I put all the "serious" puzzles. Anyway, want testing for the usual purposes: Fun, checkpoint placement, broken enforcement.

The only specific question I can think of right now is the second level's 2N2E should have some visual clue for where the player isn't allowed to step because of the water skippers, or if how it is right now is OK.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 11-06-2018 03:27 PM]
07-09-2018 at 01:52 AM
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davidatk100
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Hi Xindaris, I played through the first level and thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall I thought it was quite well polished. Manipulating stationary monsters is a clever idea which seems simple at first but many rooms were quit challenging.

Some spoilers below. I wasn't sure if I should secret them so I secreted everything :facepalm:.

1S1W:
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1S2W:
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1S:
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1S1E:
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1S2E:
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1E:
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1N:
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Secret room
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I look forward to playing the rest :)
07-09-2018 at 01:51 PM
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Xindaris
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Glad you like it so far! Usually I put a long stream of comments in a secret just to make it easier to scroll down the thread later; otherwise it's not a big deal. Response to specific comments:

Click here to view the secret text


EDIT: Uploaded new version with fixes mentioned in above secret to the first post.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 07-09-2018 05:04 PM]
07-09-2018 at 04:43 PM
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davidatk100
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Hi Xindaris,

I had a go at the second level Not Sand. As with the first level, I struggled through most of the rooms and eventually enjoyed the solution to most rooms. Note that I didn't download the updated level.

Click here to view the secret text


Overall I really enjoyed both levels :thumbsup
07-11-2018 at 11:26 AM
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Xindaris
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Thank you again! If you don't mind, and if you have them, I would like to see your demos for the hold just to be sure you didn't break anything without realizing it. I'm not too worried about using less water barrels than given in some rooms, just don't want anything to be overly trivial to figure out.

The way the order of events within a turn plays out makes it basically impossible to fix the issue with explosions (and also firetraps) "activating" the water barrel effect a turn later. Basically the problem is that explosions and firetraps happen after all entities act, and the thing responsible for making shallow water appear is an entity, and so its action is "trapped" inside of that part of the turn when entities are acting. I can add something like "Sometimes the water needs an extra turn to fall, depending on what destroyed the barrel" to the scroll in the Entrance if you think it'll help.

Also, I take it that you were able to understand the "forbidden" tiles of 2N2E without any extra visual guides, then?



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[Last edited by Xindaris at 07-11-2018 03:25 PM]
07-11-2018 at 03:18 PM
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davidatk100
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File: Davidatk100 S A N D all demos.demo (17.1 KB)
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I don't understand what you mean about the "forbidden" tiles of 2N2E. Which tiles are you talking about?

I've attached all my demos for both levels. I didn't find any rooms trivial (except the entrance rooms).

Adding the extra note to the Entrance scroll is a good idea.


07-12-2018 at 01:28 AM
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Xindaris
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Thanks so much for the demos! Found a couple of things to change:

-Your solution to Sand 1W pointed out to me that I'd accidentally sort of trivialized the room. I added one more tile of "wall" on either side to fix that.
-Your solution to Not Sand 2N1E showed me a way to do the north side with only two barrels (I already knew how to do the south with two barrels), so I made a challenge for using only 4 total :)

(Update in first post)

Anyway, what I'm talking about with Not Sand 2N2E is just the danger zone where you can't walk because of the water skippers. As mentioned in the first post I had some concern about the player being able to see where he can and can't walk.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 07-12-2018 03:19 AM]
07-12-2018 at 03:16 AM
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davidatk100
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I understand now. I think Not Sand 2N2E was easy enough to navigate so the danger zone doesn't need to be marked. I got killed plenty of times, often on the same square but I was quick enough with the Undo button and most of the time I was working towards the solution. Having said all that, it might be nice to have the danger zone marked. I turned on Puzzle Mode for this room and several others which helped.
07-12-2018 at 03:43 AM
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Lucky Luc
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File: S A N D Luc Demos.demo (17.1 KB)
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So apparently I was in testing mood today.

I found the first level to be a bit meh (relied a bit too much on fiddly pushing), but the second level is really cool. Demos are attached.

Sand:
1W: Honestly expected to have to do something more clever here than what I ended up doing. Also used only one barrel. Maybe broken?
1N: Favourite room of the level, probably. Clever lynchpin and not overly fiddly.
1S: Soldier movement made the end of this surprisingly fiddly, but I guess there's not much you can do about that.
1S1E: Slightly broken. Good old diagonal force arrow trick.
Rest of the rooms were fine, though nothing too memorable.

Not Sand:
1N: A bit tedious, especially since it doesn't add that much new to the puzzles from Sand, but probably ok.
1N1W: This took me way longer than I'm comfortable admitting.
1N1E: Clever and fun little puzzle. Not too hard to figure out what you need to do. Barrel manipulation was a bit trickier.
2N: Not sure why there's one excess barrel in this room, otherwise neat.
2N1W: I think I broke this badly.
2N2W: Very clever and very satisfying to solve.
2N1E: Are you sure the challenge is currently obtainable? I managed to kill nine of ten, but the last one is hiding in a corner.
2N2E: I thought the mechanism to enforce the upper route was a bit weird, but I must admit the last move was very satisfying.

Re bleeding water barrels: Maybe you can give them tar baby appearance? the tar splatter might look a bit like water if you squint your eyes. Or is there a specific reason why it needs to be wraithwings / roaches?
10-01-2018 at 12:10 AM
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Xindaris
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Thanks for the testing. For some reason I internalized this as a hold I had "Finished and thrown to holds board already" but that is evidently not the case.

The water barrel MUST be wraithwing-appearance in order to be both stabbable and behave correctly when pushed off all kinds of ledges. It needs "time" to update its position before dying to shallows so the handler can build stepping stone there instead of whatever tile it was pushed from, and also to avoid buggy behavior like the barrel being pushed off of a pit and then whatever tile it was previously on turning into shallows.
If we had "Imperative: Flying" then I could totally use rock golem or tar baby as a base and solve this issue, but...nope. Even restricting it to this hold with no deep water in it my only other options would be spiders or water skippers, which both still bleed, so I might as well use wraithwings since at least they're slightly more generally applicable.

Sand:
I'll fix 1S1E with a few orthosquares, thankfully much easier than the earlier leaks along that row.
1S has a slightly more satisfying, consistent solution that doesn't require any particularly fiddly soldier manipulation, just good placement of the skippers after calling him. Seems like most people will end up fiddling with the soldier anyway, but I think I'm ok with that.
My solution for 1W doesn't blow up any of the barrels (it uses all three however), but I'm perfectly alright with yours too. Although it makes me wonder whether a "no explosions" challenge for that room would be interesting.

Not Sand:
1N is thematic more than "difficult"; it's supposed to be a "Free room" for the player to mess around with water barrel behavior if desired after the "this is what it is" of the Entrance.
2N has an extra water barrel over what's strictly necessary mostly for aesthetic purposes. I mean, I think my solution using all of them is slightly less turns but that's about it.
In 2N1W I'm happy with a pretty wide variety of solutions, including yours. The main point is more or less just using a water barrels+brain interaction somewhere.
I have a demo of 2N1E's challenge, and I don't push any water skippers onto hot tiles in it. It's all about making really good use of your 4 available "make floor tiles".

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 10-01-2018 12:56 AM]
10-01-2018 at 12:47 AM
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Lucky Luc
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Oh, good point about the sinking behavior, didn't think about that. Yeah, having less restricted NPC behaviors would be really nice. Or the possibility to script custom "Die special"s. One day, I have to learn how to compile DROD and implement one of those O:-

Fair points about the rooms. It just always feels a bit unsatisfying to have stuff in the room you just don't know what it's there for, but I guess it's nothing too bad. Guess I'll have to think about the challenge a bit more then.
10-01-2018 at 05:01 PM
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Xindaris
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UPDATE:
Added the level "For Architects" which is behind a hold complete wall in Sand: The Entrance, which is for architects who want to use water barrels in their own hold. It's more convoluted to do so than I would like, so there are some explanatory scrolls in there too.

I would appreciate proofreading and maybe someone's opinion on how clear and/or helpful these instructions are. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with the "main hold" at this point and ready to HA the thing once I've settled the "For Architects" level. At least...provided I can get permission to use the water barrel graphics, which are heavily modified powder keg ones.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 10-31-2018 09:34 PM]
10-31-2018 at 09:30 PM
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mrimer
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quote:
Xindaris wrote:
At least...provided I can get permission to use the water barrel graphics, which are heavily modified powder keg ones.
I'm okay with granting permission.

My memory might be failing, but IIRC, the general policy is that DROD tile graphics may be modified for the explicit purpose of reuse in user holds. (If I'm wrong, please correct me and point me to the correct policy.)

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11-04-2018 at 01:29 AM
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Xindaris
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Thank you very much. I'll see whether I can find that policy for my other hold that uses heavily modified keg graphics.

UPDATE:
While writing the "barrel making instructions" for Immolation, I came up with about as simple a way of describing the process as I think I ever will, so I pasted it into this hold, too. I think I'll push this to HA very soon.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 11-06-2018 03:34 PM]
11-06-2018 at 03:29 PM
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