[Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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[Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« on: August 09, 2017, 21:17:48 »
Current progress: 100% completed (releasing soon!)






It's been ages since I last designed a pure "Challenge" level, so I decided to take one of my recently released tilesets and start yet another project (instead of finishing any of the other 3 I started, like a smart individual would :P ).

"The Dithered Temple" (tentative title) will be a short, retro-styled (complete with fake 16-color EGA graphics and AdLib-like music) and rather hard challenge level with lots of traps and tricky jumps. It will also feature a secret, completely optional area with harder versions of the regular challenges and possibly a few new ones that will make the player experience a whole new level of hate towards the level designer (hence the Hard/Lunatic tag).


Spoiler: Screenshots (click to show/hide)

* This level will require egomassive's KS+ mod to play
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 15:52:03 by Vegetal Gibber »
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Offline canteven

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 22:24:07 »
I would be up to try it.
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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 22:55:41 »
Thanks! :D  I'll send you a PM with a link to the alpha version soon (most likely tomorrow).
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Offline SC

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 00:39:28 »
Yo, this kicks ass! I'm not that great with challenge levels but I'll still give this a shot when this comes out!

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Offline StraightFlame

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 14:37:36 »
Glad you guys liked the preview! Hopefully I can get this ready to release in a few weeks or so. It shouldn't take too long, since this is supposed to be a small level and I'm trying my hardest not to turn this one into my usual 20+ CO party :P  Instead, I intend to focus on the basics and the use of KS+ exclusive traps/areas.

I'm not sure if the overall difficulty level of the final version will be "Hard" or "Very Hard", though. I'm aiming to offer experienced KS players a decent challenge, but I'm also trying to be as fair as possible. The challenges I'm making rely mostly on timing and reflexes, avoiding the use of enemies/traps with random behavior as much as possible, and I'm keeping the distance between save points short in the hardest sections to minimize frustration (having to do 2-3 entire screens over and over can be quite aggravating). Still, depending on the preliminary feedback, I may tone the current challenges down a notch and leave all the hair-pulling situations to the optional/secret areas.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 16:57:07 »
I took a break from this to participate in Sergio's latest Knytt Stories collaboration project, so I haven't made much progress since the preliminary testing round ended (level's currently about 55% done). I do intend to resume work on this shortly, though.

In the meantime, here's a screenshot from one of the breather areas, where the player can relax a little before tackling on the second part of the temple:

Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 21:12:29 »
I've been making good progress on this (about 70% done at this moment). I'm still not completely sure about the difficulty category for this, though. Overall, I'd say it's "Hard" with a few challenges and secrets bordering on "Very Hard", but I will probably need some more external feedback to help me keep things balanced. Depending on the results, I might end up adding a second, easier difficulty setting for the main quest (the optional bonus area will still be Lunatic-ish, though).

For this reason, I'm going to need an additional betatester when the RC version is ready, so feel free to reply here or PM me if you're interested. Bear in mind that this is a rather tricky level (at least in its current state) and the bonus section will feature Very Hard/Lunatic challenges, so a certain degree of t3h mad skillz will be required :P

I can't believe I said that...
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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 17:11:27 »
It's been some time since my last update. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to work on this at all for the past two months, so there's not much new to report. I believe I'll be able to resume work on this shortly, possibly during the holidays or at the start of the new year.

To make up for the lack of updates, here are a couple screenshots from the newest areas. It's up to you if you want to check them out or not, though (in case you want to avoid all possible spoilers... although this level doesn't really have a story, so I don't personally think this matters much):

Spoiler: Open at your own risk (click to show/hide)
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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 00:05:07 »
Status update: work on the level has finally resumed! :D I'm trying my hardest to get this finished by the next month, so hopefully that will be the case. Also:

* I've reclassified the main level as Very Hard. This doesn't include the bonus Lunatic area, which will still be... well... Lunatic.

* I may also add an alternate "Normal" mode for players who are not too keen on high amounts of spikes, lasers and other deadly stuff.

* I decided to extend the final part of the level a bit, so this will probably end up being a Medium sized level instead of a Small one.

* Collecting certain items will also unlock a separate "Environmental" bonus area.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 00:10:33 by Vegetal Gibber »
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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 09:36:25 »
Good to hear. I've been Knytting lately too. I prefer easy levels usually, but I'll play through a difficult level if I trust that the designer knows what they're doing and isn't a sadist.  :P

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Offline cman

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Re: [Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 11:24:30 »
Looking forward to this. Specially if it has a Normal or Hard mode.. I feel a bit discouraged with levels that are very hard, as I know I will get frustrated trying to complete the same screen hundred of times... I have just completed Dragon Myth that is tagged as "Normal/Hard" and it was already quite challenging for me!

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 14:08:32 »
Thanks for the interest guys!

I'm trying my best to make the level as fair as possible despite it being labelled "Very Hard", by not relying on tons of unpredictable enemies, lots of unforgiving pixel-perfect jumps in a row, scarcity of save points and other similar stuff. It's proving to be quite the difficult task, though. Sometimes, displacing an obstacle by just one or two pixels is all it takes to turn something "Challenging" into "Absolutely infuriating" :S

canteven has already helped me a lot with this during the alpha testing phase (thanks!), but I'll probably hold a final round of testing right before releasing the finished level so I can get a second opinion and hopefully iron out any unexpected gameplay issues. Still, I cannot guarantee that you won't feel the urge to throw a couple nasty words at me during certain parts. Alas, it's a fate that all game designers should accept and embrace :P

@ego: I'm very curious about what you are working on right now! Then again, it might be the kind of top-secret stuff that may require sending assassins after me due to me knowing too much  8)

@cman: At this point, the inclusion of an easier difficulty level is almost a given. It'll probably be a "Normal" mode with a few screens bordering on "Hard".
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 18:40:33 »
About 90% done. Almost there!

The two screenshots below will be the last pics I'll post here before the final release.



An updated version of a previously posted screenshot from the "Upper Halls" area.



A preview of the last area, showing the final version of the title font.
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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Challenge] [Very Hard/Lunatic] [KS+] The Dithered Temple
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 20:20:07 »
That custom Title font is great. I liked the earlier version too. I went and Looked at the default after see these thumbs, and now I feel like the default is incredibly ugly. :/ Can't wait to play this!