BlockAction

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

General Levelmaking Secrets

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BlockAction Forum Index -> Guides/Walkthroughs
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
bobobobobob
Most Likely to win $1 in the lottery


Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 507
Location: Exile AKA Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:26 pm    Post subject: General Levelmaking Secrets Reply with quote

Before I start typing a wall of text, it'd be nice if I could get the designers who are head-and-shoulders above me in terms of skill *cough* THIS MEANS YOU, FLAPPY *cough* to throw in their input.

---

So, I realized something while making my latest stage.

A lot of the best levels rely on some basic knowledge. When I make a stage (a good one, that is), I know a lot of things going in. For example, the maximum height that can be attained while wall jumping is 4 blocks above your current position. I came on here, and realized there wasn't really a general guide to putting together a decent stage. So here we go. This is a work-in-progress, I'll likely add more and more to it as time goes on.


I focus on puzzles. Difficult ones. Here's how I make a stage.

Tip 1: Build it in order

When I go to make a level, regardless of size, where I start building from usually becomes the starting point. This, ideally, should be in the middle of the screen. This way, should you need more space in any one direction, you can get space, rather than have to seriously edit later to fit everything you want in.

The main reason for building it from start to finish is simply that you'll directly control the entire sequence of events. It's a lot harder to mesh a bunch of good ideas together.

Tip 2: The purpose of elevators

Elevators are, without question, the key to building puzzles in Block Action. The funny thing is, they aren't really useful as far as their intended purpose goes. I think of them as the closest thing BA has to keys.

The reason is, simply, that elevators enable you to have the player hunt down an elevator so that they can jump from any elevation you choose, or pass a barrier.

An example is horizontal moving blocks, and elevators' bizarre ability to go through them. You can block off an area with a red (horizontal) block, and force the player to go hunt down an elevator to go through it.

Tip 3: Basic Design... things to memorize.

- A spring will, without using any glitching, cause you to jump to a height of exactly 5 blocks. No more, no less.

- Ice is the hardest block to learn to implement, but, used correctly (because it limits speed or preserves it, in some cases), can allow you to prevent players from getting to up to 4 areas at once, until the player finds the right ledge/booster to sprint off of

- If you're having trouble making it so that it's possible to survive a jump over a spike, try changing the spike to a red or blue one, and forcing it to stay in place.

Tip 4: Linear, but not straightforward

My favorite stages are, unconditionally, the ones that recycle a lot of the same level over and over again, but, because you approach it in different ways, make it so that replaying the same segment becomes a new experience. Yogurt 2 (191027) is probably my best example of this concept, where you essentially have to play the level twice to beat it, once right-side-up, and the other upside-down.

So, build your levels in a way that makes them traversible both normally, and inverted.

Also, make sure you include areas that can't be reached until the player picks up speed on an ice sheet, or finds the right elevator.

Tip 5: Planning

I think the most important thing you have to keep in mind when you're putting together a stage is your own ability to think ahead.

My starting point when building a stage is usually a hub, an area with multiple paths, only one of which is accessible at the moment. Build a lot of paths early, and you can close them all up to finish the level.

Again, 191027 is a great example of this.

Tip 6: Testing

I'd say, of the hour average I put into a full-screen stage, about 35 minutes goes into testing. I build a rough stage, then perfect the ideas by eliminating all possible cheats (at least, that I can see), and making sure I can get through the level fairly consistently.

Also, if I think a section could be better, I add to it.

NOTE: That being said... I still seem to be the only one who can consistently beat my own stages. Are they really that hard? Embarassed

I'll come up with more as I feel like it. Any suggestions/tips of your own are welcome. Unless, of course, they're wrong. TROLOLOL
_________________
Now is EPOCH FAIL!


Last edited by bobobobobob on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
qwertyuiop



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 65
Location: At what time?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to look over this sometime and apply it to use within Block Action. I haven't made levels in a long time, it would be nice to resume.
_________________
Hello?

Anyone in these forums?

ECHO... echo... echo...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
flappy j
Awesome Level Creator


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 341
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great, puts together everything I use when building stages. Apart from the staring from the start and building as you go along thing... when making a stage, I make loads of little bits and eventually put them all together. It's hard to do this because I don't plan ahead at all, and its so easy to make it so that it's impossible to connect two ideas...also it's probably the main source of massive cheats in my stages. I do it this way tho because when making one part of the stage, I get an idea for another, and I've got shit memory so if its a good idea, it needs to be made there and then so I don't lose it.

I think the main thing that makes a stage great is having to go around parts of the stage more than once. For example:

- Going round part of the stage again after releasing a yellow arrow block (see http://www.blockaction.net/?action_id=131737)

- Going back through part of a stage backwards AND for bonus points, using the same blocks (e.g. elevator blocks) that you used 'right-side up'.

- One of my favourite techniques is using ice twice (or even three times if you can)...either in different directions, or at different speeds. See bobobob's new stage http://www.blockaction.net/?action_id=419512. Brilliiantt.

Another thing is don't make your level too hard, it gets so frustrating doing a level over and over again. ooo and tease the player... make it so that you can almost reach a place, but not quite so you have to go a different way. Or you pass very closely to a place you've already been.

Can't think of anythin else right now but will post summin if i think of it Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
qwertyuiop



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 65
Location: At what time?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, another incredibly difficult thing is making a stage that not only fits together and is fun to play but also follows some kind of coherent pattern or storyline. Something that turns the game from a platformer with no goal to a platformer where you are fighting off robots in a post-apocalyptic world.
_________________
Hello?

Anyone in these forums?

ECHO... echo... echo...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
bobobobobob
Most Likely to win $1 in the lottery


Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 507
Location: Exile AKA Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've contemplated doing a serial.. but you just can't fit enough text in the level description to write the kind of thing I'd want to write about.

Considering my major is in software engineering, I'd probably just make a game tailored for the kinds of stories I have to tell, if I wanted to tell them. Confused
_________________
Now is EPOCH FAIL!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BlockAction Forum Index -> Guides/Walkthroughs
All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


© 2007-2008 Informe.com. Get Free Forum Hosting
Powered by phpBB © 2001 - 2005 phpBB Group
 
Theme ACID v. 2.0.18 par HEDONISM