[Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side

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Offline The Red Snifit

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[Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« on: December 19, 2010, 14:54:10 »
A bit less than three years ago, I started working on a level called The Five Lands. After several long hiatuses, and a couple of design and story shifts, it is finally complete under a new title, The Other Side.

[Download] (Final Version)

In this level, Juni decides to go visit her parents, but she is knocked unconscious by a mysterious white light on the way there. When she awakes, she finds herself in a familiar, yet strange and synthetic place. It is a world without grass.
There are a grand total of two endings to discover, but I assure you, there's plenty more to discover in the process if you plan to beat this legitimately.

One of my intentions with this level is to (generally) have the difficulty increase as the level progresses, so the Very Hard label applies mostly to the end game. If I have failed to do this, though, then feel free to point it out.
Another thing that I should point out is that this level is intentionally a bit barren. If you think that you have spotted a particularly glaring instance of barrenness, though, then you are welcome to make note of that as well.

Aside from those things, please critique this like you would any other level.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 02:37:49 by The Red Snifit »

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Offline oskop

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 15:41:04 »
The screens look nice, and I like "intentionally bare/barren" as a visual concept, will play this soon!

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Offline Widget

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 15:43:45 »
Only just started playing (just got the double-jump) but first impressions are resoundingly excellent. I love the graphical style, simple but beautifully finished and so far the difficulty has increased very smoothly. I'm particularly impressed that you've pulled off the same non-invasive "funneling" as in Nifflas' The Machine and A Strange Dream. It's a simple concept but tricky to pull off in a way that seems natural. Also the way that a path to a powerup can be tricky but, with the powerup it leads to, easy on the way out.

I'll be carrying on and add to this as I make more progress  :)

Edit: From the sign "Only those who must enter the purple land dare to jump off this cliff" and jumping to the right with the umbrella I just skimmed through the bottom left corners of a couple of void screens before crashing into the spikes in the wall. Not a big problem but worth placing the background in them.

Ed.2: Whew, gonna have to take a break. Not sure how much of this would count as spoilers but at least one part definitely is;
I think the difficulty is still quite smooth. Since it starts at the easier end of Normal it's a fast progression but still reasonable and it's fun to have such a variety of challenge types aswell.
Also, very good placement of savepoints. You're not swimming in the things but equally never have to repeat much when you die.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 16:25:55 by Widget »

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Offline The Red Snifit

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 16:15:46 »
From the sign "Only those who must enter the purple land dare to jump off this cliff" and jumping to the right with the umbrella I just skimmed through the bottom left corners of a couple of void screens before crashing into the spikes in the wall. Not a big problem but worth placing the background in them.
Huh, I didn't think one could even jump that far. I suppose I need to work on my umbrella jumping technique.

Regardless, expect this to be rectified with the next update, along with any other issues that might be connected with this revelation.

P.S. Thanks for the support.

Edit: Also, if you consider yourself to be stuck, then it generally means that you're going in the wrong direction. Keep that in mind.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 16:48:26 by The Red Snifit »

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Offline Widget

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 21:57:17 »
Made it to the ending. Well, an ending... there's still parts of the world I haven't managed to get to.
Spoiler: Really major spoilers (click to show/hide)
Still, it's these sort of things that keep a level interesting  :)

It's been really good fun to play, even though that climb towards the end contained all my most hated enemies in tricky placements. I'm not sure if the difficulty plateaued in the Red Land or I was just getting into my stride as I finished the level but, either way, I found both areas about equally challenging. Or maybe I'm just very poor at the technique required in Red Land  ;)

I'd probably call it a hard level based on what I've played so far but I've no idea how hard those odds & ends are. I'll probably be hammering away at the nagging details for quite some time, judging by how little progress I've made so far.  Whoah, scratch that! I managed to find out how I progress and now I see why it's tagged very hard  :O

A really entertaining challenge I'd recommend to anyone.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 22:06:15 by Widget »

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Offline The Red Snifit

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 06:49:32 »
There's also a group of people and a sign near Purple Island which I can't figure out a way to get up to. Are they just scenery or have I simply not figured it out?
For all intents and purposes, that's leftover stuff from an older version of the game that I also thought impossible to find due to my lame umbrella jumping skills. As such, don't worry about it.

It's been really good fun to play, even though that climb towards the end contained all my most hated enemies in tricky placements. I'm not sure if the difficulty plateaued in the Red Land or I was just getting into my stride as I finished the level but, either way, I found both areas about equally challenging. Or maybe I'm just very poor at the technique required in Red Land  ;)
That's funny, considering that just before the release, I made a few changes that actually reduced the difficulty of the area slightly. For the next update, I might revert some of these changes.

Anyway, I'm glad that you're enjoying it. It's my very first level, and I haven't really played too many other levels to compare it to, so I was always a bit worried in the back of my head that what I was making really wasn't that fun. It's nice to hear that this is not the case, though, even if it is just the opinion of one person.

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Offline GrayFace

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 17:43:43 »
Both gameplay and story are very nice. I remember playing The Five Lands and I had no idea there is a secret ending in it.

The hardest part was the ghost castle.
I didn't like the 2 places where it looks like you are unable to get past a challenge, but in fact you aren't supposed to get past it.
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Huh, I didn't think one could even jump that far. I suppose I need to work on my umbrella jumping technique.
Just hold S button. You should really play A Knytt In Time by egomassive :)

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Offline ortoslon

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 01:24:49 »
i found spiky key rooms annoying (move slowly and carefully, yaaawn) and i ragequit when getting to the bonus ending required me to fall through a narrow spike tunnel and the savepoint wasn't immediately before it. aside from these things, great level, i'm going to record a video playthrough of the normal ending after you release a final version and maybe hard ending too if you fix it as well.

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Offline The Red Snifit

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 06:58:19 »
Thanks for all of your input. I took your advice into consideration, and I have now released Version 1.1, hopefully the final version.

[Download]

List of changes:
- Increased the difficulty level of the Tower slightly.
- Fixed a couple of instances of potential sequence breaking involving the keys.
- Fixed a few void screens that could be reached with a good umbrella jump.
- Changed many of the unnecessarily retractable spikes into regular ones.
- Added a few minor aesthetic changes.

And now, something completely different:
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Somehow, I remember seeing that error, but not correcting it. I wonder why...
Anyway, it's a phrase describing someone as cool that I was attempting to spread around back in the day. (It didn't really catch on.) I picked it up from a production of a musical I was involved with a while ago called Zombie Prom. Here's the part containing it, if you're curious:
Spoiler: Plenty-O-Text (click to show/hide)

P.S. The Marathon Trilogy isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea, but hopefully you have fun with it.

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Offline GrayFace

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2010, 14:49:03 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Plenty-O-Text (click to show/hide)
:)

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Offline ortoslon

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2010, 15:49:19 »
Spoiler: probably a bug (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 19:00:12 by ortoslon »

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Offline The Red Snifit

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 00:12:20 »
Well, it didn't really take that long to find enough to warrant a new version, eh? Anyway, here's Version 1.2:

[Download]

List of noteworthy changes:
- Prevented the skipping of the entirety of Red Land with a well executed umbrella jump.
- Fixed a couple of void screens reachable in the first optional area.
- Fixed a typo in the Final Area.

This is probably going to be the final version of this, but still, feel free to point out any bugs you find.

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Offline ortoslon

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 04:40:14 »
playthrough to the normal ending http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN55GdWA2zY
playthrough from the branching point to the secret ending http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urkCwVNYZC4

Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2010, 05:33:19 »

Thanks. I was stuck there.

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Offline The Red Snifit

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Re: [Challenge - Very Hard] The Other Side
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2010, 06:32:33 »

Thanks. I was stuck there.
Yeah, by some strange stroke of luck, I managed to get past it two out of the five times I attempted it before releasing it, so I didn't realize just how absurdly difficult that part was until I tried to get through it again.