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Xindaris
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icon what the hey (+3)  
This is being released largely in the interest of "cleaning house". Over the past year or two, I've been fiddling off and on with some small, one-level gimmick holds. I picked out the five of those closest to what I would call "completion", tried to do the last few tweaks I needed for each, and then combined them into a single hold. The title and overall attitude reflects my feelings: "rather than letting all this sit around collecting dust, let's try to release it. What the heck, why not?"

This is a mostly open-format hold, where you can enter and leave the levels at will, with a single-room final level that just throws all 5 gimmicks together at once. There is scripting, and two levels with custom elements (three? four? depending on what you're willing to call a "custom element"). Some general silliness abounds.

Usual testing concerns of checkpoints, leaks, "is it fun", and so on apply, as well as questions of whether each gimmick and/or custom element is sufficiently clear as to the explanation of its behavior and/or the rooms' teaching ability in helping the player to understand said behavior.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 12-12-2019 01:25 AM]
12-07-2019 at 06:27 PM
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Insoluble
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I played through a level and a half. Demos are attached. Mostly fun so far. Here are some thoughts on stuff.

Switching it up
For whatever reason I started off with this one and had a lot of fun with it. The mechanic is a lot of fun and mostly well explained. The only real exception to that is with tarstuff. I spent a long time in 2S thinking it was impossible to teleport through tarstufff because it didn't work when I tried it. The fact that you can teleport through tarstuff but only if your sword is on the tarstuff feels like more of a scripting bug than a puzzle mechanic. If you really want to have rooms based on it I would encourage having a scroll or something explaining this mechanic to the player. Everything else was intuitive and smooth.

The Entrance does a nice job showing off the mechanic in a clear way. 1S is a great introductory puzzle. Not so difficult as to turn off most players, but engaging enough of a puzzle to demonstrate the potential of the mechanic. Many of these rooms were horde rooms, but the teleportation mechanic adds an interesting twist to the horde dynamic. I found 3S1W to be a particularly interesting example of this, and enjoyed carefully planning out when to teleport to each side. I suspect 1S2W may be possible without using the teleport at all, but didn't have the patience to try that hard for it. The challenge in 1S1E was pretty cool. I suspect there are multiple ways of doing it, but it still provided a constrained enough problem to be fun and challenging. 3S feels underdeveloped, I only needed one mirror for it.

Last but probably most importantly, I counted exactly one checkpoint in the entire level. I;m not the best person to tell you where exactly they should go, but probably it would be good to put a few in each room, close to buttons and between chunks of the room, etc.

Token Trouble
I played about halfish of this level and hit a room that was just a bit on the tedious side and needed a break after that. The Entrance is a nice minimalist take on the classic conquer-token-maze-room. Fairly straightforward, but it introduces the level theme. For 1E I got both challenges in one pass. I also recorded a demo of a way to clear the room that is a bit too trivial to be fun. Maybe put another evil eye in the part of the room where you want the player to place the mimic to prevent this? 1W was a fun weapon swap room. Please put checkpoints under all the time tokens so that players can quickly hop to the beginning of each timeline with "r". The same goes for 1N1W. 1N was super cool. I got hung up for a minute thinking I couldn't allow babies to form at all, but figured it out in the end. I finished 2N and needed ab break. Maybe I'm just not thinking about it right, but I couldn't find a nice way to arrange the platforms to get tar to grow around clockwise and counterclockwise simultaneously and had to get a blob going in the lower right square first to get things to work. This felt pretty tedious, especially in a type of room (tar-blob herding) that tends to be tedious feeling no matter what. Maybe others will disagree or maybe I'll feel differently coming back to this again later.

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12-08-2019 at 04:25 AM
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Xindaris
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Thanks a lot for taking a look, inso! As usual, there's somewhere I just totally forgot to put checkpoints at all. As for the rest...

Switching It Up:
I uh..don't know how you got the impression that you can only switch past tar if your sword's on the tar. That sounds super hard to program. I would guess that the problem is you forgot that you can't swap if you are standing on a token or scroll and tried to do it from the vision token, which would be understandable since I only mention it in the scroll in the entrance and it's a slightly unintuitive (but unavoidable) trait of the "power". Maybe I should put a reminder scroll in that room?
3S is a classic case of my perpetual "solution tunnel vision" problem; I'll see if I can come up with something a little better soon.

Token Trouble:
Well, what I hoped would be the only solution to 1W is a bit cooler, more swapping weapons around on the (initially) caber token, but I hardly see a way to enforce that. At least the intended trick is still necessary! As soon as you mentioned a trivial-ish solution to 1E I knew what it was and I think I know how I'll fix it too. I might script in the "do both" challenge since you've shown it possible, though I'm not totally sure how much more fun it is than doing just one or the other. And I'll rearrange the checkpoints in the time token rooms as suggested.

2N is and has been a real conundrum for me since I first had the idea for it. In an early version there were four "almost 3x3" platforms intended to be placed on the corners of the square floor area; the current version is a result of my efforts to make the room less tedious and still get across the idea I started out with (grow tar into the center from the four corners). The idea is to place the two "almost 3x3" platforms on the corners and then purely use the 2x3 and 3x2 as "tar bridges", and I feel like this works without feeling too tedious (and really involves very little to no actual "herding" of the tarblobs), but it's obvious enough that not everyone is going to do it that way nor find even that as non-tedious as I did. I'm just not sure how to make it simpler but keep the bit I find interesting about it. Maybe on the plus side, I suspect this is the "most objectionable" room in this level so the rest shouldn't have anything quite so terrible about them...hopefully.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 12-08-2019 05:17 AM]
12-08-2019 at 05:14 AM
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Insoluble
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quote:
Xindaris wrote:
I would guess that the problem is you forgot that you can't swap if you are standing on a token or scroll and tried to do it from the vision token...


LOL Yup. That's exactly what happened. I spent the whole rest of the room thinking I had to have my sword on tar to pass through it too! That was just pure dumb on my part. The easy (though less aesthetically pleasing) way to prevent this from happening to others is to just offset the vision token and the powder keg. Regarding Token Trouble 2N, I think a lot of it honestly comes down to personal taste so I'd wait for other testers to give feedback before worrying about it too much. It's probably fine.

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12-08-2019 at 05:38 AM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: what the hey (0)  
I do think it's ultimately kind of important to remind someone who's going to do more puzzles with and/or possibly build a room with the swapper of its weird token-related defect, so calling more attention to it is actually preferable to me as long as it doesn't confuse the player into thinking some other arcane rule has been invoked.

With that...

UPDATE
-Added checkpoints to lots of places, especially Switching It Up and DACW (which was also missing checkpoints almost everywhere...); reorganized a few existing ones.
-Leak fix in Token Trouble 1E: Evil eye in the middle of the big block of powder kegs
-Complete redesign of Switching It Up 3S, to be a puzzle that actually uses the swapper now!
-Added a reminder scroll to Switching It Up 2S. Unsure if I'll keep it where it is or move it somewhere else, though.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 12-08-2019 05:42 AM]
12-08-2019 at 05:38 AM
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icon Re: what the hey (+1)  
Cool. Played through most of the rest of this. Demos are attached. There are two rooms that I'm still tinkering with but like so far and one room I fiddled with for a few minutes then noped. But on the whole this was fun.

Old business first: The new Switching It Up: 3S was fun and interacts nicely with the swapping mechanic now. Token Trouble:1E also appears to enforce what you want from it now.

New stuff:
Token Trouble
2N1E: has no checkpoints, though the rooms if fairly short and its a timer room so it's hard to say where they ought to go. Not sure if having a checkpoint on every token would be annoying for the folks still doing single undo.
2N2E: I skipped one of the horns and didn't use the dagger. It's probably fine to leave multiple solutions for this one though, I still enjoyed solving it the way I did.
1N1E: It's possible to kill the evil eyes before the lemming gets a chance to touch any of them. Not sure if this is worth a challenge (and could possibly be annoying to script).
3N and 4N: Looks like 3N is a primer for 4N These rooms are super cool by the way. When I got to 4N it was well past midnight so I didn't get a chance to finish it yet, but I really like the interactions here. 4N could use checkpoints. Also, the vision token is in a spot where no one trying to be efficient will ever step. It's not a huge deal since there's nothing really hidden under the tar, but it would be nice to move it to (14,25) maybe.
3N1W: My 1000+move demo is definitely far from efficient, but this room still felt on the longish side. Not sure what can be done about that though.

Destroy All Crumbly Walls
The title is apt I suppose. I destroyed all crumbly walls. Most of these were pretty straightforward and I don't have much to say about them other than I did the obvious tasks the room asked me to do. I will say that it was cool to see the raygun again in 1S1E. 1N1W was very nice as there were a few possible ways it could go and it was interesting to find the most efficient use of the kegs. 1N1E was also very nice (possibly my favorite on this level), though it looks like you provided a few more kegs than necessary. Red Herring? In 2E I ran into a weird scripting bug with the cut scene. If I clear the room, then reenter and don't blow up the bombs, I can get caught in an infinite cut scene (see demo) I can also get the cut scene to run me into a bomb and kill me.

Just Passing Through
This was a really neat horde room level. Scripted gimmick is self explanatory and well introduced. The difficulty was all over the place though.
1W and 2W: Feel almost trivial. 1W basically is. In 2W it is also not too hard to hit the conquer token last. Probably not worth making a challenge for it though.
1N1W: Also possible here to hit the token after killing all the monsters. Probably not worth a challenge still.
1N2W: Did the challenge. Also I appreciate the room layout being particularly convenient for setting up corner kills on the slayers.
2N1W: Fun room making use of the mechanic.
1N: Another room where you can hit the token last after all the monsters (well, except for the brain I guess).
2N: Wow, this one was much more challenging. I really enjoyed it. More difficult than most of the other rooms by a good bit, but still very approachable with the right tactics.
3N: Fun room. Challenge: only release 3 roach queens.
1E: Here's the room I fiddled about in for about 10 minutes then decided it wasn't worth the bother. Looks like I have to magically keep enough puffs alive to slow down the briar growth in just the right way? Maybe I'm missing a non-fiddly way to do this? I'm willing to believe there's a clever trick here that I just didn't see.
1N1E, 2E, 1S1E, and 1S2E These were all fun mid-range difficulty manipulation/horde rooms. Nothing much to say about them. It's probably possible to do 1N1E without taking all three potions, but doesn't seem like fun so I wouldn't bother with a challenge for that.

Magic Wand
This level was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some rooms were a lot of fun, others not really the kinds of rooms I go for. Probably all just a matter of taste though. Again, the scripting is pretty self explanatory and I really appreciate the explanation/demo room in 1S.
1S1W: Solid golem manipulation room. It might be good to have a checkpoint in the western end of the room so that folks can save easily during the end stage of the room.
1S1E: I think I was meant to make a stepping stone maze in this one, but you can actually just kill the skippers directly in their starting nooks and solve the room that way.
2S1W: Briar flood rooms are always a bit fiddly and chaotic, and this was no exception. There are folks who like this sort of thing though, and this one was at least not super strict with the timing.
2S: Fun little horde room. The magic wand is a neat weapon to play with in straight up horde rooms like this.
2S1E: Sigh, the world already has more than enough "blind fight" time token rooms. This is basically a fairly easy exercise in tedium. The only "difficulty" the time token adds is that it makes information about where the monsters are going to be a bit more annoying to have access to. Meh. I guess some people like this kind of room, but it feels like a waste of potential for the time token. Either way, the time token should probably have a checkpoint under it.
3S1W: I've played around with a couple of different paths that almost work, but don't. Haven't solved it quite yet but am loving every minute of it. Really nice room.
3S: Another super cool room! I really enjoyed working out a solution for this one. Is it possible to do this one without setting off the fuse at all? I tried for a little bit, but couldn't get it easily.
3S1E: Fun little room that felt a bit like a lights out variant. I cheated a bit at the end, but I don't know if it's blocking since I basically had to follow the restriction for most of the room.
4S: Another really cool room. I like that there was a bit of leeway on the timer.
4S1W: Man, these wonky custom tile-sets can be hard to parse. I got stuck on this one for a while because I was certain that (17,14) and (19,14) were wall and not pit. Then I did a "randomly flail about" run and it basically solved itself. This one needs a checkpoint

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12-10-2019 at 05:50 PM
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Xindaris
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Thanks for more detailed feedback. My responses in the following secret to save some scrolling--

Click here to view the secret text


And, UPDATE:
-Script change in DACW 2E to hopefully fix cutscene bugs
-Leak fixes in MW 1S1E, TT 2N2E, DACW 1N1E...I think that's it?
-Checkpoint changes (hopefully improvements) in I don't remember exactly which places.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 12-12-2019 01:35 AM]
12-12-2019 at 01:24 AM
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KituU
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File: what the hey- KituU.demo (29.4 KB)
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icon Re: what the hey (+1)  
Hi, had sooo much fun playing. Another fantastic hold
Demos

Just Passing Through:
the theme is so creative ! most liked 1N1W, 2N and 3N
JPT 3N : can be solved releasing only 2 queens
JPT 1E : very challenging. Seemed impossible, until i realized
Click here to view the secret text
(the solution I found had no spare turn to get out)

Token Trouble :
TT 2N2E : very nice
TT 2N: first I struggled. Then I realized
Click here to view the secret text
. I liked it
TT 1E: very easy, even with both challenges at once
TT 3N1W : very interesting
TT 4N: couldn't solve it yet

Magic Wand : how interesting so many different possibilities
MW 2S and 3S : very nice
MW 1S1E and 3S1W : this rooms are awesome !

Destroy Crumbly Walls : great idea. Liked most 1N1W and 1N1E


[Last edited by KituU at 12-16-2019 11:44 PM]
12-14-2019 at 04:07 PM
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Xindaris
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I'm glad you liked it, KituU! Thanks for taking a look at yet another of my holds x_X
Looking through your demos, I'm somewhat proud to have found relatively few actual bad leaks or anything.

Few responses:
-Your solutions for MW 1S1E and 3S1W were fascinating to me as you found shapes that required "no work" from the player after starting the "monsters chasing beethro" machine. In my solutions:
Click here to view the secret text

The fact that such wildly different shapes and strategies can work, without either one being trivial, is pretty much what I really wanted out of those rooms.
It was also pretty neat that you solved MW 3S1E without turning at any point after placing the mimic.

I was delighted to see your solution to TT 1W was very much like mine, but you broke the intended mechanism in 1N1W in a way that should've been obvious to me. I think I'm fine with this particular break though, as it does still use the intended room elements to achieve the goal, after all.
Maybe more worrying, you also broke the mechanism in 3N1W a bit. The square button between the queens is supposed to keep the player right there for 60 turns, and a player able to escape halfway through to go do something might break the enforcement mechanism. I'm not sure, since you still solved the room in basically the intended way. But maybe the on-off plate there should just close the door to its south right away to prevent this...

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12-15-2019 at 08:07 PM
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KituU
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quote:
Xindaris wrote:

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That was very clever ! didn't realize
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Also very clever to
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12-17-2019 at 12:02 AM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: what the hey (0)  
This is sort of a "bump post" for this hold because--of course--the hold produced in hopes of cleaning house has been sitting in architecture for half a year now. I think the hold is basically HA-able, nearly all the rooms have been tested by at least one, maybe 2-3 people?

The one thing I'm unsure of is whether anyone but me has tested The End (final level/room). If anyone who's willing can get back to me on that? Feel free to poke into it from the editor if you don't feel like finishing the other levels completely, but at least try them if you haven't so you know what the gimmicks are that are being employed in that last room.

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06-17-2020 at 09:01 PM
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