[Environmental/Playground, small] Remembering the City

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Offline Hmpf

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[Environmental/Playground, small] Remembering the City
« on: March 05, 2010, 01:25:22 »
This is a forty-screen environmental somewhat thematically inspired by Ursula LeGuin's "Always Coming Home", and the gently contemplative post-apocalyptic manga "Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou" - more by the latter than the former, really.

Visually, it's the love child of Chezzy's "Night SE" and the famous "A Walk at Night" by Quincent Cartographer. I've used a few (crucial) elements of the latter's tilesets.

I'm very leery of posting screenshots for this level, for some reason. There are two thumbnails below, though. Plus, this level was declared "gorgeous" by two out of my three beta testers, so maybe you can download it on trust...?

Oh, one more thing: one of the few things I feel needs improvement still, if only I could figure out what to do about it, is the fact that there is no way to indicate when the player is supposed to press the 'down' key to advance the dialogue without actually adding something like "press down" to the speech balloons - which breaks immersion when you're aiming for a somewhat poetic effect. So I have, for the most part, refrained from using such an indication. Basically - just press down whenever you encounter dialogue; it certainly can't *hurt*.


BTW: I owe an apology to my beta testers, yohji, the Jack, and Pick Yer Poison, for posting this without replying to their last batch of comments, nor giving them a chance to give it another look. The beta process for this was quite intense (and resulted in the level growing and improving quite a bit), but the changes between the last beta version and this one are minor, and I decided I felt really good about this version. So, here it is. I'll still try to reply to your comments in the next few days, though, to explain - at least in some cases - why I've decided to do what I've done. But yeah, the main explanation is, I'm really happy with (nearly) everything as it is now.  :-)


Ha. And I guess a *link* would be helpful...

http://www.knyttlevels.com/levels/Hmpf%20MacSlow%20-%20Remembering%20the%20City%20v1.2.knytt.bin

ETA: Fixed some minor bugs, thanks to egomassive; link above leads to latest version. (That's what I get for not running the final version past my betas once again! *g*)

ETA2: Removed a tree.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 22:20:52 by Hmpf »

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Offline lamarblake

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2010, 04:54:16 »
Download it on trust? Well, not a problem after Falling Water Part 1. That was awesome so yes, I'd download this without the plea for trust. What the heck, if it's no good I can delete. :)  

BTW, speaking of Falling Water Part 1 why aren't you working on Part 2 instead of offering up this new and possibly choice tidbit of a level?

Must have more Falling Water!

Anyway, off to play this one instead.....

And....finished. Actually, I've run Juni back and forth several times just to listen to the music.

Really quite a beautifully orchestrated bit o' level there sir. In my top ten environmental levels. Well done.

Now. Finish Falling Water Part 2.  :crazy:  :nuts:
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 05:10:20 by lamarblake »

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Offline the Jack

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 09:08:46 »
@lamarblake: She's still working on Falling Water part 2 -- you should check its Level Preview thread more often. (Also, she's not generally addressed as 'sir'.)

@Hmpf: You don't owe us any apologies. Good beta readers testers will always have lots of suggestions for changes based on their experience of your work, but in the end, it's always your work.

And in this case, some fine work it is.  :D

Actually, it's eggplant.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 09:22:32 »
This was quite good. I've been anticipating it and I wasn't disappointed. Noticed a thing or two that broke the immersion.
Spoiler: bugs (click to show/hide)

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 11:20:22 »
Thanks, egomassive! Heh, I'd been wondering if there was a way to prevent Juni from moving around during a shift... *and* I'd been wondering what that 'quantize' thing meant! (Should have just experimented with that a bit, really; dunno why I never did...)

Anyway: fixed all the stuff you mentioned, and filed away your technical advice for the next level. :-)

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Offline the Jack

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 14:14:42 »
Oh, where's the facepalm smiley when I need it!

I actually noticed the quantized-shifting issue -- repeatedly, even -- but kept forgetting to mention it. And I even knew what the problem was... probably that's part of why I let it slip my mind, actually; I figured you would know what 'quantize' does, being more experienced at level editing than I am.

Careful, Egomassive, or you might wind up flooded with requests to beta other people's levels.  ;)

Actually, it's eggplant.

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Offline lamarblake

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 17:29:46 »
@lamarblake: She's still working on Falling Water part 2 -- you should check its Level Preview thread more often. (Also, she's not generally addressed as 'sir'.)

@Hmpf: You don't owe us any apologies. Good beta readers testers will always have lots of suggestions for changes based on their experience of your work, but in the end, it's always your work.

And in this case, some fine work it is.  :D


Well, I certainly meant no disrespect by using "sir" to address.  Actually, it's not apparent from the username whether Hmph is male or female. As for checking other threads, I don't usually nor do I have time to check other users profiles. I barely have enough time to check out this temporary thread. The request to have Falling Water part 2 finished was serious albeit with some humor intended and not meant to pressure.

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 18:00:48 »
Well, I certainly meant no disrespect by using "sir" to address.  Actually, it's not apparent from the username whether Hmph is male or female. As for checking other threads, I don't usually nor do I have time to check other users profiles.

No prob. Although I, like the Jack, occasionally like to remind people not to assume 'male' as the default gender of a not-immediately-clearly-gendered person on the net. ;-) But, I'm not offended or anything - just think it's a useful thing to keep in mind. :-)

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The request to have Falling Water part 2 finished was serious albeit with some humor intended and not meant to pressure.

I appreciate your interest. FW is coming along nicely, but it's going to be huge, so it's still going to take a while. :-)


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Offline Pick Yer Poison

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 18:56:59 »
@Hmpf: You don't owe us any apologies. Good beta readers testers will always have lots of suggestions for changes based on their experience of your work, but in the end, it's always your work.
Seconded. Beta testers are there to use as an optional resource, not as required input; they provide useful information and (sometimes) helpful advice, but they don't necessarily know what's best for your work.

And in this case, some fine work it is.  :D
Also seconded.

Oh, where's the facepalm smiley when I need it!
Here ya go!

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2010, 20:21:59 »
Ya know, I'm kind of intrigued by the fact that the only people commenting on this seem to be my beta testers (apart from lamarblake, that is). Are you guys my fan club or what? ;-)

(Yes, I do know that it's probably mainly because it's the weekend and a lot of people don't really post much on the weekend. - I really don't think it's due to the level being crap. Though maybe I have an over-inflated opinion of it, being its 'mommy' and all... ;-))

ETA: Oh, I was talking rubbish. "... apart from lamarblake *and egomassive*), I should have said. I guess egomassive's great technical advice made me feel that he was one of my betas. *g*
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 17:51:26 by Hmpf »

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Offline minmay

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2010, 17:16:21 »
It's a decent environmental level.  Mainly I'm annoyed by two things:

1. A few screens at the beginning feel way too busy to me.
2. More detailed (foreground) objects are often placed behind less detailed (background) objects, which always looks weird.

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2010, 17:36:06 »
It's a decent environmental level.  Mainly I'm annoyed by two things:

1. A few screens at the beginning feel way too busy to me.

That is a matter of taste, I suspect. I rather like certain types of visual 'busyness' (though it depends very much on... I dunno. Whether it feels balanced? Something, anyway. There's 'good busy' and 'bad busy', in my eye.)

ETA: Ya know what, you're *kind of* right about the second screen (not all of the early screens, though, IMO). There's always been *something* that bothered me about the second screen a bit, and I've just figured out, thanks to your comment and the search for wrongly placed background stuff that it inspired, that it's the over-abundance of trees in that screen that makes it feel 'off' to me. So I've removed a tree. I really do like the screen completely, now, though. :-)

However:

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2. More detailed (foreground) objects are often placed behind less detailed (background) objects, which always looks weird.

... They are? Where? I'm honestly puzzled by this observation. Could you give an example?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 17:47:16 by Hmpf »

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Offline minmay

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2010, 19:51:27 »
... They are? Where? I'm honestly puzzled by this observation. Could you give an example?

Mostly in the village, with those green vine things used in front of the much more detailed background.  Always looks weird.

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2010, 20:29:00 »
Okay, I'm even more confused now.

There's not a single thing I'd call 'vine' in that area, nor anything green except for some grass, which is used where it's usually used. ... Do you mean the trees? But they're not green, either...

And the background isn't that detailed, is it? And where it *is* detailed - the small 'background versions' of the houses, I suppose? And possibly the small, background versions of the trees? - both the colour and size distinguishes those elements from the foreground parts pretty well. Or so I think, anyway...

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Offline minmay

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Re: [Environmental, small] Remembering the City
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2010, 00:13:32 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

It's the trees I'm upset with.  They're distinguished from the far background, but the lack of detail makes them look strange, as though they should be cracks rather than trees.  (I mistook them for vines at first...)

Particularily bad with the one at the bottom.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 01:03:37 by minmay »