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

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2016, 19:45:04 »
The only thing I didn't enjoy as much were the hologram puzzles. They were just a bit too complicated for my taste.
Yeah, I totally understand that.  Other than the fact that the large breadth of puzzle/challenge types will definitely leave some people having difficulty with one particular part or another, I feel that certain series of those hologram puzzles ramped up faster than they should have.  Balancing and curving difficulty appropriately can be very difficult, especially with puzzles.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, though!  It's great to finally have people just playing this thing for fun.
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Offline pfrangip

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2016, 05:24:06 »
I am enjoying this thoroughly! I do like how you were able to create an entirely new mechanic... it makes everything feel fresh and challenging once again!

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2016, 05:37:06 »
Spoiler: Re:Stuck Pfrangip (click to show/hide)
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Offline Talps

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2016, 17:53:38 »
I really enjoyed this. The first half of the game in particular I felt I would have been happy if I'd paid money for it; the quality was that good. I find it really hard to design clever puzzles and have paid for would-be puzzle games that very quickly degenerated into straightforward platforming, so making a level with so many challenges where stopping and thinking was a better option than running in and mashing the buttons is a real achievement. So well done!

The difficulty did get a bit nasty later on and there were some screens where the mid-way saves of earlier puzzles were sorely lacking. Also, the artefacts from the beginning felt completely pointless, but reading the comments here makes me wonder if they served a point which I didn't see because I had collected them.

All in all I really loved the quality and cleverness of the design, especially in the first half or two thirds. The 40-50 segment could have used a bit more polish in places to be as good, and I really liked the time challenges right at the end and would have liked to see that segment extended.

I'd like to criticise the story and will go so far as to say that more thought could have made something better, but I also recognise that that wasn't the point. I am resisting the urge to say more; suffice to say you probably know that I like plot heavy games so if the story isn't a key component I'm going to miss it.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 17:57:43 by Talps »

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2016, 21:09:48 »
Yeah, I definitely understand what you mean by the latter end of the game being a bit more rough.  While most of my favorite puzzles in the level are there, the pacing isn't always as stellar, which is especially because that 40-50 segment you mentioned was intended to be the most smoothly-paced part of the game.  I feel like part of this is due to the inherent complexity of the concepts at that point making for especially tough platforming, but another part of it is KS itself clearly buckling under the weight of said complexity.  Screens are static and small, and in order to stuff in a concept that requires so much room to function properly, I ended up having to really pack in certain things, and this shows with the awkward difficulty curve of some of those screens.

Nonetheless, I feel did the very best I could ensuring that stretch of gameplay was at least fairly enjoyable; I'd received a massive chunk of heart-breaking feedback from the first playtester to complete it, so I'm glad I went through, smoothed out the bumps, and then repeated the process with another tester.  It's clear that more could have been done, but my exhaustion with Deep Freeze, confusion as to how to further adjust difficult, and desire to stop sitting on it for so long, led me to release it in this state, which I'm ultimately satisfied with.  

(Sergio also mentioned feeling that the bit at the very end should have been a little longer.  In retrospect, I totally agree, but I couldn't come up with any particularly enticing ways to expand on the idea, and I was concerned that players might find it more annoying than interesting.  If nothing else, I've at least left the door open for someone else to expand on that one.)

I don't disagree that more story may have benefited the level, but I can't shake the feeling that it would have severely extended development time and may have made it difficult for me to make some of the free-form changes that I was always making to the level design.  In the future, I'd definitely like to construct a more visually and narratively* complex experience, but my goal with Deep Freeze was simply to make something big, and something fun, and I knew that simplicity would be the ideal way to keep me moving forward.  

The cyan artifacts were intended to give more experienced KS players something more interesting to focus on in the early part of the game.  Much like the story, the use of the cyan artifacts was something that succumbed to me just wanting to get the level done.  The red ones do serve a purpose, but it's very, very niche, and requires one to find a bizarrely-hidden secret.

Anyhoo.  I'm glad you enjoyed the level, and I strongly appreciate the sentiment that you'd be willing to pay money for even just some part of it.  It's a motivating thought, even if I have no intention of releasing anything commercially for quite some time.

*Apparently not a word
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Offline egomassive

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2016, 00:25:39 »
I finally finished playing it! I had to take breaks because of the difficulty, but I finally made it through. I feel this might be greatest KS puzzle level ever made. I say might because KG's Define was also really good, but it was so different from this that it's hard to compare. Congratulations on finishing it, by the way. It must feel terrific to have finally finished such a huge undertaking. I almost feel bad about what I'm about write next...
Spoiler: Bug Repot (click to show/hide)
P.S. *gives star*

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2016, 07:21:39 »
I finally finished playing it! I had to take breaks because of the difficulty, but I finally made it through. I feel this might be greatest KS puzzle level ever made. I say might because KG's Define was also really good, but it was so different from this that it's hard to compare. Congratulations on finishing it, by the way. It must feel terrific to have finally finished such a huge undertaking.
I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!  It really makes me proud to get all these wonderful comments from folks I've looked up to for ages.  Hopefully the difficulty was more satisfying to conquer than frustrating to deal with!

Define is really interesting and, yeah, totally different from Deep Freeze.  It's impressive how dynamic KG managed to make the mechanics of the level feel using shifts - I can't imagine the level of patience that must have taken for certain screens.

Moreover, I'd like to thank you personally (again) for making KS+!  The only reason the concept for Deep Freeze was even conceived was because of the tool, and its gorgeous interface made working on the level such a smooth experience.


(As for the bugs, I'll fix those up tomorrow and get a new version out relatively soon.  As I think I said earlier in this thread, Deep Freeze is insanely complex and also held together with duct tape and string, so it's not surprising that some things seep through).
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 07:24:24 by Ultigonio »
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Offline pfrangip

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2016, 16:28:32 »
Just finished! Really did love the puzzles in this... it was "money-worthy," as Talps said. I appreciated how most of the puzzles were just that... puzzles... not platformer/agility skill testers but true, "Huh, what do I do here?" type puzzles. I'm not even sure how you came up with so many unique puzzles! I can't really add to what everyone else has said... the music was great in most places, I enjoyed the art style, and it really was just a lot of fun to play.

I did run into my fair share of wallswims and a few perplexing glitches, but I'll leave those to everyone else.

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2016, 04:35:55 »
Wow. Can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. This is definitely one of the best KS levels ever made! :)

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2016, 02:30:27 »
Right, that took way longer than it should have!  Those issues Ego mentioned have been worked out, and a new, slightly updated version of Deep Freeze is now available.
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Offline Norci

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2016, 14:38:58 »
x1005y996 is unsolvable. Both up and left teleport things are too fast. Or is there an another way to beat the level?

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2016, 11:40:27 »
x1005y996 is unsolvable. Both up and left teleport things are too fast. Or is there an another way to beat the level?
Hmm.  I can't say I understand exactly what you're stuck on, but I assure you the screen's solvable.  There might be an element unique to this area that you've not fully grasped, yet.
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Offline Norci

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2016, 15:26:15 »
x1005y996 is unsolvable. Both up and left teleport things are too fast. Or is there an another way to beat the level?
Hmm.  I can't say I understand exactly what you're stuck on, but I assure you the screen's solvable.  There might be an element unique to this area that you've not fully grasped, yet.

I can't find a solution, any hints?

I cannot reach the topmost switch due to the red spike thing blocking my way when using the up teleport thing.

Also the switch to the right is too far to reach with the left teleport thing.

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2016, 06:28:28 »
I can't find a solution, any hints?
Sure.

Spoiler: Hints (click to show/hide)
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Offline Norci

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Re: Deep Freeze [Large] [Very Hard] [Challenge/Puzzle] [KS+]
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2016, 08:51:01 »
The problem for me is that once you teleport to the glowing beacon, it will nullify the teleport effect. So 0:24-0:26 in the video will not happen.