Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]

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Offline Ultigonio

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Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« on: October 31, 2016, 15:49:18 »
Happy Halloween, everyone!  This year, I decided to go as someone who just finished his level.


Deep Freeze


(...Can be downloaded by clicking here.  You'll also need Knytt Stories Plus to play this one.  If you already have KS+, be absolutely certain that the build you have is relatively recent!)



Two years ago, on this date, I started work on what may be the single most ambitious project I've ever worked on.  Deep Freeze is a huge, difficult, and wholly unique Knytt Stories experience that pushes KS and KS+ to their limits in order to produce a wild variety of challenges and puzzles.  All these puzzles are based around one distinct idea that gets changed up constantly, keeping the focus tight while making every bit of gameplay feel fresh.  I'm hoping that it pushes players just hard enough to be totally engaging, but gives them plenty of time and space to cool down, with the help of a simple, muted aesthetic, and a relaxing soundtrack composed by yours truly.


I've spent hundreds of hours designing, playtesting, and creating assets (custom objects, music, tileset adjustments, the works) for this level, and I've spoken at length in the preview thread about all the thought that's gone into designing it.  At the end of it all, I had two goals: finish something big, and create something that my friends on and away from the forum would enjoy.  I've already completed one of those goals, and for the other, well... here's to that.  Enjoy.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 06:47:34 by Ultigonio »
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Offline Fubaka

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 02:28:28 »
At last!

I have no doubt in my mind this level will be remembered as one of the best. The lot of you are in for a real treat with this'n.
Where is fancy bread? In the heart or in the head?

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Offline StraightFlame

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 04:43:11 »
Wow. I'm amazed at how... well... amazing this level is. "Will be remembered as one of the best" is a massive understatement in my opinion; the level design, visuals, and music were all much better than those in any other level i can think of.

...there were a few screw-ups that probably need to be fixed, though.
Spoiler: Happy accidents (click to show/hide)

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 05:07:59 »
At last!

I have no doubt in my mind this level will be remembered as one of the best. The lot of you are in for a real treat with this'n.
Oh yeah, and this guy helped out with some of the visual stuff, too!  Mostly making varied gradients and adding light details to some of the areas.  He also did some playtesting, which is really important because I sincerely don't think this level would be as polished as it is without the input of every single playtester who ran through parts of the level.


@StraightFlame: Holy moly, you really blitzed through the thing, didn't you?  Most people took breaks when they played this level!  :P

Nevertheless, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.  As for those small mistakes on my part...

Spoiler: Re:StraightFlame (click to show/hide)

I'll see if I can get away with a quick swap between this new version and the last (I'm hoping that no one else has downloaded the level, yet).
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 05:11:58 by Ultigonio »
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Offline StraightFlame

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 06:08:24 »
Spoiler: Re:StraightFlame (click to show/hide)
I just realized what the problem is: It's the artifact warp at x1004y996. There's no additional screen at x1004y1003 for when the player returns there with all 7 artifacts.

(I said "stopped working" because i assumed it just took me to the adjacent screen as if the warp didn't exist.)

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 07:07:48 »
I'll see if I can get away with a quick swap between this new version and the last (I'm hoping that no one else has downloaded the level, yet).
:bebisharen: ayyyyyy lmao
I'm playing through this version right now  :shifty:.

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 07:14:44 »
I just realized what the problem is: It's the artifact warp at x1004y996. There's no additional screen at x1004y1003 for when the player returns there with all 7 artifacts.
Oh my goodness, I can't believe I didn't think of that.  It's been fixed, now, thanks for the feedback!

:bebisharen: ayyyyyy lmao
I'm playing through this version right now  :shifty:.
No!!  Don't, it's dangerous!!
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Offline StraightFlame

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 20:38:46 »
I don't really know how to say this without undermining the "omg 10/10 best level design ever" stuff from my first post, so, uh... here's a list of things.

  • The warp at x1003y1002 still leads to x1004y996.
  • Part of the fix at x995y964/965 (Was it always there? I could've sworn it was y965/966.) has only 2 layers of death tiles, so you can still get a wallswim.
  • I probably should've mentioned this earlier, but if you don't jump during the "feature" at x1003y967, there are no death tiles to prevent you from getting stuck in the walls.



By the way, i noticed that there's a thing at approximately x1010y998 that looks like some kind of unused test area or something like that. Is it some kind of unused test area or something like that?

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 01:14:01 »
here's a list of things.
Waaaah

This is what I get for bein' rusty and making such a horrendously complex level.  Everything should be fixed, now, including one issue you didn't catch.  Also, I've updated the aforementioned "feature" to better reward skill and cleverness.

By the way, i noticed that there's a thing at approximately x1010y998 that looks like some kind of unused test area or something like that. Is it some kind of unused test area or something like that?
Spoiler: Unused Area (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 01:16:04 by Ultigonio »
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Offline StraightFlame

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2016, 02:45:38 »
This is definitely, absolutely, genuinely the last bug report i'll post. I swear. You can tell because these are all from the starting area because i didn't find anything else in the other areas.

  • I just noticed that there's also a warp at x1003y1003 and it still leads to x1004y996.
  • There's no down warp at x1004y995 to take the player to the starting area.
  • For some reason there are now three artifacts, including the seventh one, at x1005y1001.

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2016, 02:52:19 »
This is definitely, absolutely, genuinely the last bug report i'll post. I swear. You can tell because these are all from the starting area because i didn't find anything else in the other areas.
I'm just gonna' call this update 1.0.3 again
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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 14:23:22 »
How recent is "relatively recent", and what breaks if I use a KS+ that's too old?

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2016, 05:37:01 »
A nine-month old version of KS+ - version 1.2.5 - should do just fine.  Older than that, and a certain animation won't play properly.  Go even older, and you can get issues like a certain gimmick near the end of the level simply failing to work, making the level unbeatable.
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Offline Talps

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 07:16:23 »
I started playing this evening until I ran out of time. I've found 10 creatures so far. I'm really enjoying the experience; I love the minimalist graphics and the very original COs; you've used some effects, such as fading text, that I've been wishing I had the skill for myself. Though the high difficulty may put off a lot of players, I'm loving the challenges which are fair and patient. So far it's really well designed and I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2016, 21:54:43 »
I finished playing this yesterday. It's definitely a masterpiece!

The aestethics were marvelous and the simplistic graphics fit the level perfectly. The gameplay was unique and challenging in fun ways - it's amazing how you expanded on the idea of timed shifts. I also loved the music (wish I could make such tunes myself).

The only thing I didn't enjoy as much were the hologram puzzles. They were just a bit too complicated for my taste.

Also, thanks to you I found out there's this super-useful thing called SignTrig