[Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu

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Offline Talps

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[Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:57:39 »
Hello! My name's Xianu and very soon you will be able to share my adventures in Liangzhu Cave!


This is the entrance to the cave!


Um, this place looks pretty scary...


Hey, whoever made that terrifying dragon fountain forgot to give it wings*! (What a dork!)


How come I have two braids but only one hair ribbon? What is this rubbish?!

'Liangzhu' utilizes two of the recent community-made tilesets and numerous OCOs. It features six levels, five hidden collectibles and a reward for finding them all, custom music, pretty places, and me, Xianu, a totally custom character!

Semi-original tilesets made to compliment the community-made tilesets, and most of the level's OCOs (including myself!), will be released for public use when the level is completed.

As of posting this, two of the six levels have been explored but I'm making good progress! Beta-testers will be requested when I'm closer to the end. Also, the guy who made this cave could use some help translucentifying (it's a word!) some objects - for example, the crystal bouncer in the second screenshot - so if anyone would like to volunteer for that it'll save him the embarrassment of asking!

See you soon!


*True story!
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 19:28:32 by Talps »

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 07:24:07 »
Cool!  It's always exciting to see KS levels with a lot of custom content, and it's especially nice to see those custom tilesets getting good use.  I'd be more than happy to transparificate ( :P ) some things for you, too.
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Offline bulbapuck

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 15:07:32 »
Damn. This looks really good o.0

It's been some time since I was excited about a KS level, but now I am ^^
Emma fell down a well - Enviromental KS level inspired by Salmoneous/Elder
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Offline SC

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 04:53:48 »
Yes! I always wanted to see custom characters being used for a real level in KS+! And custom tilesets is always a nice thing to have. I can also expect custom music to be in this too, right?

Anyways, nice work! Hopefully the whole place gets 'translucified' soon enough, as I feel it would add so much to the level. :)

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 14:32:23 »
Bah, I knew I shouldn't have let Xianu write that message! She's just paying me back for all the nasty jumps... I'll have to get my own back by making the next level really hard! Bwa ha ha!

It was fun to create a totally custom character. She went through a few designs; I added an extra pixel to her hair ribbon quite late on, and her body and dress changed shape a few times - I spent a good few hours making her body shape work in all the sprites, and then decided I didn't like it and changed it :/. The dress is based on one designed by Egomassive for a custom Knytt character so I guess I'll have to credit him and dressmaker or something. :P Making her hair flap about was challenging, even just copying Juni's sprite, and so was the floor-length dress. The climbing animation was hardest as it uses a rather arbitrary-seeming number of sprites which didn't suit well to a circular sequence of motion (if that makes sense). But the whole thing made me realise that I don't watch Juni's movement particularly closely when I play - which is both reassuring that people commonly don't and intimidating that, as it's a custom graphic, they might!
I also made both of Xianu's arms visible when she's climbing and sometimes when she's running, whereas you only ever see one of Juni's at a time.

Ult, thanks! I (um, I mean Xianu) should have mentioned that some of the objects I need making translucent will be spoilerific, so I hope that's still ok. I'll try and send you what I dread to refer to as the first batch this evening or tomorrow, and it's your choice whether you still want to look at them!

Bulba, thanks. :) Also, it would make me so happy if LPchip were to sneakily change your username to Ivypuck. XD

SC, looking for custom music on t'internet has taken a major part of my development time! Finding free to use, 2-3 minute long Chinese-esque music on the internet has proved far too difficult. Where are all the Japanophiles now?! What happened to you guys? are you too busy watching anime to make classical Japenese music and distribute it for free online?!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 14:37:23 by Talps »

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 18:07:17 »
Ult, thanks! I (um, I mean Xianu) should have mentioned that some of the objects I need making translucent will be spoilerific, so I hope that's still ok. I'll try and send you what I dread to refer to as the first batch this evening or tomorrow, and it's your choice whether you still want to look at them!
Don't worry, I'll keep my eyes closed when I'm working on them.  :P2  

Quote
SC, looking for custom music on t'internet has taken a major part of my development time! Finding free to use, 2-3 minute long Chinese-esque music on the internet has proved far too difficult. Where are all the Japanophiles now?! What happened to you guys? are you too busy watching anime to make classical Japenese music and distribute it for free online?!
Actually... I could possibly help with this, too, if you'd like.  I'm not ultra-familiar with the way classical Asian music is written, but I've got the tools available (digital instruments and whatnot) to learn and create something original for you.  The way I write is heavily inspired by Japanese music, as it is, and I love new experiences.
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Offline Talps

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 00:53:41 »

Hello, me again! Talps is all sick and horrible and gross right now which is why he hasn't replied, why he didn't send you the things he promised and why I was able to sneak past him and post again!

Ult, wow, that would be amazing! Talps was looking for four or five music tracks and has found three. Whether you'd like to provide just the one track or more, and how you'd like to go about putting it together, well... I speak for Talps when I say we'd love to see what you can provide; do you want to PM him to discuss it further? Thanks loads for offering!

Talps will send stuff to be made translucent (apparently 'translucentify' isn't a word) when he's feeling less ill.

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 04:17:11 »
do you want to PM him to discuss it further?
Sure!  There are definitely some things that'll need to be discussed - appropriate environment and mood, particularly - so we can start working that out whenever you- I mean -  Talps PMs me with what needs to be transparentificationatified.
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Offline Talps

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2014, 00:19:37 »
Xianu, stop being frivolous! This isn't a funny level! It's arty and melancholic!

The tileset-making genius Lewiswolke has given me permission to use, adapt and expand upon his tileset, 'Dark Castle', to my heart's content, so I've spent the last few afternoons working on that. The screenshot below, I started making just to see if the character could move smoothly over and around the scenery, and then finished it up to show off what I'm working on. It's not made to appear in the level but it should give a hint as to what's in store. The statue on the right is one of three; can't wait to show the others off, too!

The fountain is largely adapted from a fountain that appears in the ruins in 'Knytt' (It's not plagiarism when it's a homage). Nifflas' fountain is animated but lamentably I don't feel I can animate pouring water. While the fountains in an ancient, semi-ruinous underground palace can be justifiably non-functional, I none-the-less would like to plea for aid - if anyone feels they can animate water for my fountain I'd love to see what you can produce, and I'd be very grateful! (Credit you as plumber...)

The ledge Xianu is standing on is two-way and I'd like to find a clever way to use them, but I'm pondering over effective ways to demonstrate and explain them to the players. People less familiar with KS+ may not know of the existence of drop-down ledges, let alone how to work them. I'll probably have to break the fourth wall with ingame text to explain it; I'd rather not but needs must. So maybe it's a case of finding the least intrusive way of doing that.

I have eight spaces left on the tileset; fairly sure I won't need them for infrastructure so if I find a use for them it'll probably be for props. Anyone have any ideas for things you might see in an ancient semi-ruinous underground palace?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 00:43:35 by Talps »

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2014, 06:31:06 »
The ledge Xianu is standing on is two-way and I'd like to find a clever way to use them, but I'm pondering over effective ways to demonstrate and explain them to the players. People less familiar with KS+ may not know of the existence of drop-down ledges, let alone how to work them. I'll probably have to break the fourth wall with ingame text to explain it; I'd rather not but needs must. So maybe it's a case of finding the least intrusive way of doing that.
This is something I struggled with as well when working on the prototype for Deep Freeze.  One-way is much easier to manage because players will often "accidentally" go through from below without even realizing.  You even took advantage of this in I Chased the Moon - I distinctly remember just automatically climbing up that one ledge, and it took me a few seconds to realize that you'd used a one-way object, there.  

Ultimately, I think the best way to handle two-way would be a simple, visual explanation using a CO - something like this:
(Floor shifts kept visible for clarity.)

The first time the player walks over the two-way tile, a simple CO is spawned by a floor trigger, depicting a down arrow and an "s".  This is the simplest way I could think of to depict depressing one key, holding it, and then pressing the other.  When the player completes the action, they hit another floor trigger just below, and the CO disappears, indicating to the player that they've completed the action (though you could also have the second floor trigger spawn a little checkmark CO and make a nice sound, if that's the kind of atmosphere you're going for).  You could even make it so that there's also a floor shift where the second floor trigger is that gives the player a flag so they'll never see the CO again, if you wanted.  If you felt the need to show the player that they can also jump UP through these tiles (though I think that they'll be able to get that naturally, as is the case with one-ways), then you could easily place another two-way that they're forced to jump up through.  From there, all you need to do is keep your tileset direction consistent enough so a player can tell whenever something is two-way, but I imagine you'll be able to handle that well enough.

All that said, my level has the benefit of having a similar graphic earlier, with only the down arrow, so the meaning of this one is something that should already be partially understood by the player.  It also benefits from its simple visual presentation - this graphic won't clash with it.  It may be a little tougher to create a similar graphic that fits for your level (may need smoother animation, shading, etc.), but I have faith that you can figure that out. I don't think a "voiced" explanation is too bad, but I feel that the simplicity of the CO allows the player to feel that, even though they've basically been told the inputs, there's still an itty-bitty sliver of figuring out the mechanic for themselves, and it does it with less word stuff, which I think is always better when you want to teach these kinds of things.  There is one major issue with this, which is ironically also only made possible by KS+, and it's that some players may actually not have their jump button bound to the "s" key.  Then you're left hoping that they remember that jump is "s" - although I guess you could squeeze the word "jump" in there....

I already had a lot of respect for you simply 'cause you've made so many polished, complete decent-length levels, but seeing that this sort of level design subtlety is something you take into account bumps that even higher.  Keep it up!  And sorry for the huge amount of text for something so simple.  :P2
« Last Edit: November 29, 2014, 08:37:48 by Ultigonio »
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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 15:08:33 »
Are you still working on this, Talps? I like the premise of this level a lot, I'd love to see it completed. I could try my hand at those animations you mentioned, if you still need them.
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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 17:22:43 »
I would also like to see this level finished!  And my offer to make the music (and transparentificatify) still stands - in fact, I'm considerably more confident I could handle it now than I was before!
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Offline Talps

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 00:34:20 »
I stopped work on this a while ago, partly 'cus I couldn't get the underground temple tileset to work as I wanted or to gel well with the community sets, but mostly because I was unsatisfied with the story I had in mind. It was very integral to the design of the level but it wasn't working as a piece of storytelling at all, and Xianu taking on such a personality in this thread was only making it worse!

I won't say this is definitely dead as there are some screens and resources in it that I'm really happy with, but I've no plan to work on it for the foreseeable future, at least before 'Dragon Myth' is done. But I might cannibalise parts of it for 'Eurydice DX' instead; I will certainly be using Xianu's sprite for the new Eurydice.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Small/Hard - KS+] Liangzhu
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2016, 02:46:52 »
How did I never read this thread before? I was all excited until I saw the dates on the posts. I like the visuals, but that one challenge screen-shot looks really hard.