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Caravel Forum : DROD Boards : Architecture : Which custom elements do you like the most (I sure hope we won't start a forum war about this...)
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Dying Flutchman
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icon Which custom elements do you like the most (0)  
Hello everybody,

You may have noticed that I am working on a complete (?) list of all custom elements that have been developed in drod over the years. You can find that thread here.

The list of custom elements is getting quite long. So long, in fact, that I thinks it's a very good idea to help aspiring architects a little bit to find elements they might like to use in their own holds.

That's why I included some recommendations for extra-cool elements in the list, which led to some discussion.

To be clear: I would like to include recommendations, but not to promote my own darlings. Ideally, the forum members would more or less agree on which elements are 'best'. And by 'best' I mean custom elements that:

1) Are mature: i.e. no bugs, can be used easily and reliably in holds.
2) Have good puzzle potential.
3) Present novelty value in relation to what's already there in drod.
4) Have nice aesthetics.

So let's see where we get. I'll start off describing my personal favorites and why don't you add to the list as well? I'll try to make sense of the discussion and use that to make the recommendations on the elements list better.

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[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 12-04-2019 06:17 PM]
12-04-2019 at 07:43 AM
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Dying Flutchman
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icon Re: Which custom elements do you like the most (0)  
Here's my list of favorites (alphabetical):

Monsters
Boulder crab
The addition of a monster that only approaches when you look away is really novel and interesting. Because it doesn't kill you (and can't be killed), it's less of a thread than it would be otherwise, making for nicely balances puzzle potential.

Entropic aumtlich
Because this monster is twice as fast as other monsters (and Beethro), it complete changes puzzle dynamics and forces you to think in novel ways. Graphically outstanding and some extra element interactions (like breaking crumbly walls) help to make this even more versatile.

Hydra
It's my own design, and I am very happy with how this turned out. But I guess I shouldn't too my own horn more that I did here already.

Leech
(Mauvebutterfly nudged me on this one). Good design, well-behaved scripting and a good addition to the game. A leech moves on land and through water, which makes for richer dynamics than just land (regulars) or just water (skippers) monsters provide. Also has nice resting/aroused states to make it more interesting still.

Lemming
A classic from TSS, but not too much used in user-made holds.

Salamander
A very old addition to the monster zoo. Because it moves diagonally, and (like the leech) on water and on land, it presents completely new manipulation mechanisms. And it looks awesome.

Weapons
Darts
A classic from TSS, but no too much used in user-made holds.

Hookshot
There are several weapons that kill monsters at a distance or teleport Beethro. This one does both in a very well-executed way. Cool graphics, intuitive behavior: feels very natural.

Net
The net is a bit silly by association: it's like sending Beethro on a butterfly-catching trip. And that's funny to me. But at the same time, the mechanic is so radically different from other elements, that it could lead to many, many cool puzzles.

Contraptions
Blocks
The blocks behave a bit like those from the portal game. The scripting is very well-executed and the range of possible puzzle applications seems to be infinite.

Girkle gun
A portal gun. No more, no less. Every game should have one.

Water barrel
Turning land into water is a very simple addition, but it onlocks so much puzzle potential. Great execution of a simple idea.

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Autocorrect is not my friend. Apologies for the typos.

[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 12-07-2019 02:28 PM]
12-04-2019 at 08:00 AM
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Insoluble
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icon Re: Which custom elements do you like the most (0)  
Here's my list. I feel like Lemming, Temporal aumtlich, Darts & dart cannons, etc. are a given as they appeared in TSS. As for user created holds, here are my favorites.

Favorite Monsters
Doppelganger / Duplicator: There's a lot of versatility in a monster that can become almost any other monster. They've already been used by at least one other architect than the original author. It's also nice to have another monster that starts out stationary and only activated when certain conditions are met. Loads of potential with these and they seem to work very well with all other game elements.

Hydra: At the time of writing this is fairly new, but it feels so polished it might as well be an official element. It's really nice to have a fourth snake variety and it is different enough from the previous ones to make for some interesting puzzles and tactics.

Weapons
Hookshot and Girkle Gun: These two weapons, while very different from each other, satisfy a similar niche in that they are shooting weapons that move the player quickly around the room. There's a ton of potential in this and both weapons showcase that potential magnificently in the levels they are introduced in. There's nothing else in DROD that really does this and it opens up a lot of great puzzle potential. Both weapons are super polished too, with a slight edge maybe going to the Girkle gun for it's nice graphics and weapon token.

Bubble Gun: This one is also quite unique in that it allows the player to create pushable obstacles, leading to all sorts of interesting potential. It's extremely fun to play around with in the rooms it appears in.

Other stuff
Blocks Mrimer mentioned in the hold thread that something similar to these were actually considered for inclusion in TSS but they already had enough new elements. These really feel like they belong in the game. They interact smoothly with other elements and have a lot of interesting puzzle potential.

Sphere Frontier
Maybe not quite as good a fit based on the four criteria listed above since they were intended to act as a stand-alone element, but I love these. The gate and key aspect is something that seems so obvious but is strangely lacking in DROD and they can interact with other game elements in interesting really ways.

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12-04-2019 at 02:11 PM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: Which custom elements do you like the most (0)  
Spoiler warning: I'm going to list a few of my own creations as favorites. I can't help it; I really do like them that much.

Monsters
Duplicator:
I just think the whole idea is neat.

Flower:
I've found loads of cool puzzles for these guys. They can stand on shallows but not deep water; they can go against force arrows and crawl up onto walls! They just need the right motivation first. It seems like truly great flower puzzles, though, are largely about manipulating other monsters so a flower will eat them in the right way.

Sparks/Antisparks:
These thread the line between being "monster" and "contraption". They don't really care about Beethro the way most monsters do, but they will kill him if he's not careful, and there are ways to manipulate them. The fact is that regular DROD doesn't have any "wall-crawling" behavior whatsoever, so I feel these bring in a unique new thing in general just from that. Plus, the interaction of "explode when you bring a spark and antispark together" had quite a bit of potential. And I'll admit to feeling somewhat proud of the graphics for these; they have an animation and everything!

Flaming Fegundos:
I'm mostly just fond of the utter silliness of this idea, plus the fact that it adapts a phrase already in use in the Eighth. It turns a controllable or stationary fegundo into a highly explosive missile that lights any fuse it crosses!


Weapons and Other Superpowers
Pulse Cannon:
Fills lots of neat niches: A weapon-only pushable, a thing what kills both you and monsters; an alternative long-distance method to blow up explosives and activate orbs; an excellent evil eye-esque trap to keep a mobile player on their toes.

Jumping (e.g. the float feather):
It's hard to overstate just how much the ability to "jump" over single-tile gaps of water or pit in a single turn changes the entire design of the game. In addition to the obvious change in meaning for those types of terrain, it gives the player the ability to move 2 tiles at once in particular situations; it has amazing trapdoor puzzle potential; it's just great.


Contraptions
Blocks:
While I wouldn't call their aesthetics particularly nice, I do feel like I managed something reasonably functional and distinct. I spent a very long time making these things work as well as they do, and while it's still...not quite...as well as I would like, I think the sheer puzzle potential is through the roof.

Wheels:
I'm proud of them. I like making twisted knotted mazelike things with these, but they're really better alongside some other custom element that plays well with them, to be honest.

Opals (from Avos's dungeon):
These look really good, and they fill yet another otherwise unfilled niche of being body-push only objects. I'd love to see these get a little more use, honestly.


[List incomplete; I'll edit more in later]

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 12-04-2019 06:34 PM]
12-04-2019 at 04:23 PM
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azb
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icon Re: Which custom elements do you like the most (0)  
Monsters

Temporal Aumtlich
These make for some really neat combat rooms if placed cleverly, because of their amoeba-like nature.

KDD Obstacle
These seem to have mostly been forgotten in user holds, but I like them because they are the only monster you have to specifically activate to turn hostile, and you can deactivate them at will too. Lots of puzzle and combat potential.

Flower/FCC
Who needs a Really Big Sword when you have these guys?

Objects

Temporal Resonator
I love how the player can change the state of the room at will. Also can serve as a weapon by dropping large amounts of badguys at once.

Monster Switching Token
Has tons of puzzle potential, and like the Temporal Resonator can be used as a weapon too (like changing wraithwings to other monsters over pits)

Weapons/Abilities

Rocket Launcher
Great for clearing large amounts of badguys at once - about as effective as the Raygun!

Raygun
What once started as a forum in-joke turned out to be an awe-inspiring superpower.

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12-07-2019 at 01:16 PM
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