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Temporary => Knytt Stories Level Releases => Topic started by: Shreeps on January 16, 2014, 07:25:13

Title: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on January 16, 2014, 07:25:13
This was a level I had started in 2008 and posted an unfinished version of on the old forums and just abandoned it for years.  I eventually saw KS+ by Egomassive and was inspired to go back and redo it and complete it!

It has all the collectables KS+ has to find, though not all of them are required to finish the level. (No rewards for collecting the colored cats.)  The level doesn't have any new original tilesets, but I tried to give every area a unique vibe and there are over 100 of them. There is a lot of music/gradients, also think of this as a tribute to all the great tileset artists and Nifflas who let me use his music.

It is one of the biggest Knytt Stories levels (even bigger than Gaia!). I have play tested through it several times now and my last 100% run was just under 5 hours, but I still find SGE's and stuff that needs fixing every time.  Go ahead and post any errors or wrongly credited things or parts you find unfairly difficult and I will fix them.  I don't think there are any parts where you can get stuck but if you do or don't know where to go then ask.

(http://i.imgur.com/lo2OqiI.png)

I made a map and a short text walkthrough to help people find their way. There are also warp points that unlock as you collect golden creatures and a 'museum' type showcase area accessible from the main hub later in the game that will show you credits and missed items for each area.

My main regret with the level is that there isn't more story and dialogue.  Azure Serenity is more of just exploring a world that opens over time, although there are some recurring characters and some of the areas have their own little histories.  It's nowhere near the best KS level but I think it turned out decent, so let me know what you like and don't like about it.

Also I would love to see any videos or let's plays of the level (even if they don't get finished since it's pretty long) so if anyone wants to record a playthrough feel free to.


The map and walkthrough are spoilers (though it probably won't hurt to take a quick look at the map ;)) and the screenshots and credits could even possibly spoil some of what to expect in the level so use them at your own pace/risk/leisure.

9/16/2014: Added an open world version with most powerups and warps accessible from the start.

Screenshots
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

World Map (Locations of Collectables)
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Abridged Walkthrough
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Credits
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

100% Youtube Playthrough  
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)


DOWNLOAD (156 MB)
http://db.orangedox.com/T88P6Tj91FdHXAbAZW/Shreeps%20-%20Azure%20Serenity%20v6.knytt.bin

DOWNLOAD Open World Version:
http://db.orangedox.com/rbS2UkeDYbWnR0woHw/Shreeps%20-%20Azure%20Serenity%20OPENWORLD.knytt.bin
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Caveflower on January 16, 2014, 08:43:38
This was enough to get me to download KS+ so I could play it.

Starting from the first screen, never having used a KS mod before: wow this is pretty.

If I find bugs I guess I'll tell you. Did you intend for the first two warps (that take you in and out of the house) to be visible? Like a savepoint, but purple?

Thanks for making this. It looks good.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Salmoneous on January 16, 2014, 13:30:37
My main problem with this  is the sheer quantity of screens. I've been running around this level now maybe 40 minutes and still feel like I have so much left to see which is overwhelming in a bad way. Some of the environments are in my opinion just bad and inconsiderately rushed like you really were going for the massive 'gaia' kind of level. Some of the environments were very nice and it makes the level uneven in quality.
The custom music and gradients is definitely a good touch and adds more lust for exploration but it kind of wears of after a few areas. Much of the custom music doesn't fit (like what is this music even doing in the level?) and some gradient choices are just wrong.

I'd say you have a formula here that isn't working but I'm not the person who much appreciated the bigger sandbox levels like gaia and trek. I don't like your map-layout which is just a nonsensical maze (I stand under a clear sky and I go into a cave and then fall into the next area which ooh what the hell another clear sky, but I'm underground or.. what??). There's also many places which I get to choose my path and after a while it starts becoming frustrating for me. Since I miss out on the path I didn't take and so after doing that multiple times it feels like I've skipped huge chunks of the level and if I were to truly try and see all of it I would be forced to backtrack and I'm not going to run around for 5 hours.

in white garden (or what's it called) most of the enemies shot white projectiles, which are practically invisible due to the white background.
In the city area (the one with the tileset from a walk at night) the gradient is just wrong since you ruin the transparent background buildings and hills.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on January 17, 2014, 03:25:41
Thanks for the feedback so far, I chose to leave the shifts visible by doors you can enter and exit since most doors you can't actually enter.  The map layout isn't the best and its not for everyone but I wanted it to at least be unpredictable what kind of area you can encounter next. (I promise it's not rushed :^^: I mainly just used tilesets I liked though)

I updated it and removed the enemies that shoot unseeable white projectiles.  I also changed some of the city background, I agree it doesn't look good with the photo gradient but I still like the way the darker middle with the colored buildings turned out.

Using the in-game map and the one I posted (I hope no one feels forced to use it though) and the warps should help alleviate exploring the same areas over and over, also I made one change that lets you access the warp in Vigilant City that takes you back to the house after you get the climb power up so that should take out the biggest potential section of backtracking early on.  

Anyone who gets the level now has these changes so hopefully that will save people some time/frustration.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on January 17, 2014, 06:29:10
It makes me happy to see my mod inspired someone to finish an old project. *downloads level*

Edit: This is exactly the kind of level I thought could benefit most from the map power and collectibles. I'm enjoying it. *gives star*

I suggest replacing the artifact icon in the Item Bar with a custom icon, a colored cat. Since the golden creature counter is also a cat, it could be confusing. You may want to choose a different golden creature for the golden creature icon while you're at it. Look at Customnibus for an example of this.

Found an error (see image.) For those who want to make error reports I suggest using the F12 key. It displays the screen coordinates.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Kasran on January 19, 2014, 02:10:44
Bigger than Gaia? Now that's something I feel like sinking my teeth into! I'm gonna try this really soon, especially if every area has as much work put into it as the ones in the screenshots.
Also, it's good to see a level using KS+! It doesn't get enough love, I feel.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Polana on January 19, 2014, 18:34:47
I like your level although it's way too big and inconsistent. It would be impossible to play it without map.
I found a bug. Also, there are many places where is possible to reach the void, especially from roofs in vigilant city and from the pirate ship.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on January 19, 2014, 23:33:06
Still enjoying it. You seem to use the same enemies over and over, but maybe I only notice the hard ones. I like the recolored creatures. It's a simple customization, but a really nice touch.

More errors...
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on January 20, 2014, 03:46:58
Fixed these new errors, and I changed the icons and might change the cat icon again.

The warp to Languished Forest and the underwater area isn't meant to be accessed until you get the eye (which lets you get through that solid part) so I'm guessing you sequence broke through the magical coast with a tricky jump that requires you to be right next to the spikes that I found.

Anyway in the update I changed it to just a wall with a message to come back with the eye and I put the creature door on the Languished Forest side.  I added more screen warps and a few empty screens to help take care of the voids too.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on January 21, 2014, 01:23:13
I'm guessing you sequence broke through the magical coast with a tricky jump that requires you to be right next to the spikes that I found.
I have no idea. I haven't been cheating to get places I shouldn't be, and I'm pretty good at jumping.
Spoiler: However (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: theiza27 on January 24, 2014, 06:31:01
sooo am i missing some sort of ks+ cheat that i am not aware of? or am i being dense?  :sigh:
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on January 24, 2014, 10:07:05
Interesting, I found the map cheat (the original cheat was mentioned in an old LPChip level I think), also I had put the the room in the house with all the power-ups to see let people see what they are missing (or quick access whatever they wanted if you wallswim cheat up from the first screen.) So newcomers might just want to grab those if they wanna play a more open world style and just look for collectables.

There are a few gold creatures you need to hologram and walk through them.  The guy that drops down that you are talking about would never damage me, but I figured out I was testing it in an older version of KS+!! (Pretty dumb of me)  I just moved him to a tile to the left.  As for ground chomp guy in the library I am not so sure about because he still doesn't hurt when I touch him whether or not I have the hologram he just pops up and is collected.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on January 24, 2014, 17:29:01
Sorry about the logic change for the Self-dropper. I didn't think it would break any existing level, but I hadn't considered levels under development. I thought it would be more fun if it could kill you like a normal Self-dropper. The Chomper doesn't hurt you, it just surprises you.

I have noticed several KS+ bugs thanks to this level. One of the golden creatures is misplaced in the inventory. Several creatures can be collected after death, if they walk into where you were.

Edit: I've finished the level probably! I'm missing 1 coin but there's no way I'm going to canvas the whole level again. I've found 2 more errors to report:

x998y971 An enemy walks on the air.

x990y957 A blank Sign.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on January 25, 2014, 16:07:16
Hey, thanks for playing it all the way through and glad I could help you find some errors too! I prefer the dropper being able to kill you .

If you feel like going in the house here:
(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/40/j4ho.png)

It might help you find out where the last coin is or if you just want to enjoy the extended credits.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: zhynna on January 27, 2014, 07:45:10
One of the best levels I played. Very good work!
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: ortoslon on February 01, 2014, 12:24:14
played for 20 minutes, felt what Salmoneous wrote, and quit when annoyance at ubiquitous blinking lights outweighed desire to see the next screen
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: GrayFace on February 02, 2014, 13:47:37
One of the most beautiful levels I've played for sure! Still in the process...

I'd say you have a formula here that isn't working but I'm not the person who much appreciated the bigger sandbox levels like gaia and trek.
And Mashu Prapa ;)

For those who want to make error reports I suggest using the F12 key. It displays the screen coordinates.
Funny, that's exactly what I made locally in KS Ex. The map cheat is a good idea!
I modified KS+ to play this level with 2-pass rendering, because 1-pass is too slow there. Also changed death delay as I like.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on February 02, 2014, 23:40:46
I modified KS+ to play this level with 2-pass rendering, because 1-pass is too slow there.
Can't you set the level's format to 2, and get the same result? I don't recall any KS+ features that wont work with a level labeled format 2. However, I have been considering making the render method optional for KS+ levels.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: GrayFace on February 03, 2014, 21:09:59
I think I've been everywhere or almost everywhere. Now I have no idea where to find 3 creatures and 5 coins that are left. Extended credits don't help at all. All they say is location name which is useless. I haven't noticed two of the creatures in them anyway.

Can't you set the level's format to 2, and get the same result?
I haven't tried.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Chrysophylax on February 06, 2014, 22:56:38
I have encountered two bugs, one of them major. Firstly, there is a girl near the top of the right hand side of Sakura City (I can't give coordinates because my KS+ won't let me edit it) who walks through a wall on the left of the screen. The screen has a wall-walking spike, if that helps identify it.

Secondly, the whole level has become very dark. I think a dark overlay was applied when I went to the bottom room of the passage between the snow place and the Apocalypse Guild and was not removed again when I left the snow area.

ETA: going back to that room and leaving by foot upwards fixed the problem, which I assume arose because I warped out.

There is a void screen in the corner of the downward bend of the Valley of the Frozen Moon. The top right screen of its dark blue portion does not match the screen below leading to wallswim.

ETA^2: the first room of the Overwhelming Citadel (the place above the Cascade Sector with all the blue pipes ) appears entirely separately from the rest on the map. In that room, it is the only thing visible; in any other part of the are that room is missing from the map.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: GrayFace on February 08, 2014, 04:01:55
Done it :) The map helped me out. Extended credits actually helped me find the coin I missed. I was wrong, the name of a place can be searched in world.ini, so it is helpful.
I liked it a lot. I think it involves too much backtracking though, in part because the hubs are very sparse, so getting back to the hub system becomes a big problem.
Here's an archive with some little bugs: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/44735333/ks/AzureBugs.rar
There are 2 spelling errors, but I'm not sure they aren't intentional. The rest are voids and wall-swims. If some screens don't make it clear, I'll explain how the voids are reached.

I can't give coordinates because my KS+ won't let me edit it
I'm sure egomassive would like you to elaborate on it. As for coordinates, F12 key shows them.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on February 08, 2014, 06:15:20
I can't give coordinates because my KS+ won't let me edit it
I'm sure egomassive would like you to elaborate on it. As for coordinates, F12 key shows them.
It's not enough information for me to diagnose the problem. Are you using the KS+ level editor Chrysophylax? Anyway as GrayFace says, while you're playing the game normally you can see where you are with the F12 key.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Chrysophylax on February 08, 2014, 16:25:41
Queries: is it possible to acquire the hologram without paying for it? Is it possible to reach the room immediately below the enterable houses in the extreme west? (There are four green rooms in a horizontal line on the map and a single room below that I can't find a way into.) Is it possible to view the whole map at once? If not, could a fully-explored map be posted, please?

Edit: I now have a working editor and can see that it is a post-purchase versioon of the shop.


Quote
Are you using the KS+ level editor Chrysophylax? Anyway as GrayFace says, while you're playing the game normally you can see where you are with the F12 key.

KS+ normally allows the player to see Juni's coordinates with F12. My version doesn't for reasons unknown. I'm using KS+ 0.9.1.0. I don't have the KS+ editor.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: sergiocornaga on February 08, 2014, 16:51:49
KS+ normally allows the player to see Juni's coordinates with F12. My version doesn't for reasons unknown. I'm using KS+ 0.9.1.0.

Downloading the latest version should fix this problem (and could generally result in a better experience of this level). Is there a reason why you're using an old version?
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Chrysophylax on February 08, 2014, 21:29:02
Bug: I went to x989y1008, the location of the seed-spitting gold creature in Ancient Veldt according to the credits, but could not find the creature. It does not appear on that screen in the editor and is not in my inventory.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on February 09, 2014, 17:43:12
@ Chrysophylax: The credits just indicate the area of the collectible, not the exact screen. Try looking around that area.
Spoiler: Hint (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: GrayFace on February 10, 2014, 11:17:53
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Is it possible to view the whole map at once? If not, could a fully-explored map be posted, please?
It's in the first post: http://imageshack.com/a/img837/9206/2or5.png
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Chrysophylax on February 11, 2014, 02:34:35
Level complete, all items, cats, coins and gold creatures collected. A very nice job! It would be helpful if Shreeps' house contained a warp to an explorable annotated map a la Exquisite Knorpse 2. It would also be helpful if the credits showed the true position of each gold creature and if the entances and exits of areas were marked on the map in some way, perhaps by being coloured differently.

I explored the entirety of Moonlit Bluffs and the Enchanted Castle by hand, by teleportation and by map teleportation. I walked over every single floor tile. I examined the level in the editor. At no point did I encounter the golden lizard; I had to get it from the credits to progress. I also observe that I collected 50 of a (presumed) maximum 51 creatures: there is a creature on the left, a bump-headed squat biped adjacent to the horizontally-flying spiky thing, the wall-crawling shooter of trios of pink projectiles and the snail, that does not appear in the inventory of my completed file.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: GrayFace on February 11, 2014, 14:39:38
It was one of those I haven't found as well, it's at x983y1003. The others were the one at x946y1001 and the toast (which I obviously found, but only before I got the hologram).
Also forgot this bug: a laser interacts awkwardly with an invisible block at x1014y1056.
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: egomassive on February 12, 2014, 06:09:14
I also observe that I collected 50 of a (presumed) maximum 51 creatures: there is a creature on the left, a bump-headed squat biped adjacent to the horizontally-flying spiky thing, the wall-crawling shooter of trios of pink projectiles and the snail, that does not appear in the inventory of my completed file.
Sorry, that was a bug in KS+. It was in the wrong spot, overlapping one of the plants in the inventory display. I fixed it recently after I ran into the problem while playing this level. There are only 50 creatures.
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: Shreeps on February 14, 2014, 06:39:21
Fixed most of the stuff listed so far in version 5 but not all the sequence breaks.  I can't believe a couple of the voids I missed but some were jumps I still can't manage to do.

I added some lines to the map, entrances and exits aren't on it but at least you can see where zones end.  You can now teleport to the area from the extended credits.  When I was teleporting from the credits to the screen with the same gold creature it disappears for some reason until I run to another screen and back.  I don't know if that's only within the editor but for those specific screens the credits teleport to an adjacent screen instead.

I explored the entirety of Moonlit Bluffs and the Enchanted Castle by hand, At no point did I encounter the golden lizard.
x994y991

Queries: is it possible to acquire the hologram without paying for it?
Only the cheat or some interesting wall-swimming.

Bonus: Most of the Spreadsheet I used while making the level.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiBVy77n1mnKdGVnYUhFWmZnLXpieEk1OUFmMEtxdnc&usp=sharing
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: seattalite on April 11, 2014, 08:47:55
Just started playing it - LLLLOVE IT!!!!!!! Love the land/artscapes! So beautiful. Love the jazz, night time city walking music. All of it. Love the KS+ elements. - I'm just loving it so far.


EDIT: Visually and aurally - this is THE most beautiful knytt stories level I have ever played! Hands down.

The work you must've put into this - in terms of just the aesthetic design. 2 thumbs up!
Title: Re: [Normal-Very Hard] [Massive Challenge/Playground] [KS+] Azure Serenity
Post by: seattalite on April 16, 2014, 01:57:10
Fixed most of the stuff listed so far in version 5....

Bonus: Most of the Spreadsheet I used while making the level.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiBVy77n1mnKdGVnYUhFWmZnLXpieEk1OUFmMEtxdnc&usp=sharing


Again - one of the best Knytt Stories games I've ever played. This level is like "The Wire" of Knytt Stories' levels. lol. You can't play it all at once - that's where people are going wrong. You've got to stretch it out - break it up. Play for the 1st time for like an hour or just 1/2 an hour and then wait til the next day and play another 20mins to half hour and so on...This level will give you a solid two weeks of playing enjoyment. There's just so much and it's so rich - not a single screen is boring and it goes from exploratory to lunatic - so it has something for everybody. I've gotten all the main elements and 2 of the keys and it got to the point where I was getting a lil frustrated and mad - I was like there needs to be more clues for the keys (you know, through character dialogue) - then I discovered - oh wait! there are! So that's good - just maybe add some more (dialogues)- since it's such a huge, expansive level. What really got me going again was the spreadsheet - I'm using it strictly for the last two keys I don't have. Like I said - if you added more clue/hint dialogs to the whereabouts of the keys - then I wouldn't even have to do that - my question:

What do the 7 parts for each key mean on the spreadsheet??? Does that mean I have to physically go to each part before I can get the key. Do I have to activate the checkpoint at each part or will it simply suffice to have gone through that particular screen. I went to the Vigilant City screen expecting to see a key and saw butkus - so help me out - what do I have to do? Thanks

EDIT: Nevermind - lol. I found the blue key on my own. I DID use the map to find the red key - very helpful. I covered 99% of the entire game on my own and found the majority of the golden creatures & coins. Still have a few left. good stuff! ::thumbs up!::