Short/Experimental levels by VG

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Short/Experimental levels by VG
« on: September 05, 2017, 14:42:22 »
Following on Sergio's steps, I decided to create a new thread where I'll be posting levels I made that I personally deemed too short/strange for a normal release. Be aware that most of these will be basically weird experiments, abandoned ideas, pointless timewasters or all of the mentioned. If you're okay with that (i.e. you're REALLY bored), then by all means, give them a go :P2



[ You Have to Put the Level into the Juni ] (~720KB -- requires KS+)



A really short joke level demonstrating the possibilities of KS+ for implementing bizarre gameplay mechanics that temporarily confuse the player. Has references to other levels and two different endings.



[ Strolling Simulator Pro ] (~5MB -- playable in vanilla KS)



Yet another photo-realistic level. Not exactly a new idea, but it features custom ambience sounds and a few graphical effects that you might enjoy. Also, it looks a bit nicer and has a small secret if you play it on KS+.



[ Maze of Despair ] (~6MB -- playable in vanilla KS)



An experimental maze level. Navigate your way out of this small but disorienting labyrinth. Play it on KS+ for a slightly better experience. Note: A) Controls are quite finicky. Releasing the arrow keys too fast will result in ignored commands, and holding the keys for too long will probably cause you to spin way too fast. Also, B) despite the title, Monokuma is not involved in any way.



[ Super Juni Breakout ] (~1.5MB -- KS mods NOT recommended)



A pretty buggy and dumb Knytt Stories / Breakout crossover. Help Juni escape by bouncing around a lot and collecting the keys inside the colored blocks! Also, keep an eye open for the awesome (not!) secret ending. Note: usage of KS mods (KS+, KS Ex...) is NOT recommended, as this often results in very slow performance with this level.



[ Bad Apple ] (~6.2MB -- works in vanilla KS)



A non-interactive experiment on (almost) full-screen video playback and CO optimization in vanilla KS. Best played/watched in full-screen or KS+'s "Hide desktop" modes.



[ Compact ] (~4KB -- works in vanilla KS)



An attempt to make a tricky challenge/puzzle level with only one screen, using all powers/keys in vanilla KS and with a total file size of less than 4KB. It's doable, but quite hard. Try to finish it without collecting all powers/keys for added challenge (the detector doesn't count :P )



More to come! (probably)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 16:04:35 by Vegetal Gibber »
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 18:33:10 »
Added a new level: Maze of Despair.

I was considering giving this one its own thread, as I ended up putting WAY too much time and effort into what I originally started as a fun little experiment (which seems to be the usual for me). This involved creating a rudimentary 3D engine just so I could take screenshots for the backgrounds and coding a simple utility to generate the bulk of the World.ini shift logic :nuts:  However, it's quite short and plays completely different from a normal KS level (warning: controls are somewhat wonky -- avoid holding down the keys), so... into the level dump it goes!
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 21:09:56 »
Wow, that is amazing! Now make one that randomly generates the map!

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Offline SilasMann

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 02:09:22 »
I enjoyed all 3 of these very much, more than some "traditionally constructed" levels. I still don't know what you did to the overlay on the first one  :crazy:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 13:43:24 »
Thanks for the comments!

@ixMarcel: Believe it or not, the thought did cross my mind while I was working on it :P2  There are plenty of 2D maze generation algorithms I could reuse and the internal structure of the Map.bin file is rather simple, so coding a tool to generate basic random mazes would certainly be possible. However, the keys/locked areas and the decorations would probably complicate things quite a lot. Still, I could release the World.ini code generation tool so other authors can include similar mazes in their levels if they want (although the actual layout would still have to be designed manually).

There's a lot more "shift code" in the .ini file than it needs to be, too. The current tool doesn't do any optimization at all, and just generates all shift metadata for each possible maze cell (1 cell = 4 screens / NSWE) in the grid, regardless of if they're actually present in the map or not. Also, generating a maze larger than the current one would increase the size of the World.ini file dramatically, which would probably slow the level editor to a crawl.

@SilasMann:
Spoiler: The secret to it all (click to show/hide)
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 15:08:02 »
Added a new level: Super Juni Breakout. It's probably not worth your time, but if you want to give it a shot for some bizarre reason, make sure you use vanilla KS. Otherwise, performance will be pretty bad.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2018, 19:25:52 »
I'm not sure what drove me to make this other than sheer curiosity, but... it's a thing now: Bad Apple

This one is *not* a playable level. It's just an experiment on video playback and optimization in vanilla KS. KS+ is not required, although it should work fine there as well (albeit maybe a tad bit slower).

NOTE: I've only tested this on my main desktop PC (Core i3 3.2GHz, 4GB RAM), so I'm not sure if it will run as intended in systems with lower specs. If you give it a try and get unexpected results (excessive audio desynchronization, lag spikes...), please let me know (although I'm only saying this because I'm curious, since I doubt I'd be able to fix any performance issues). Also, I originally aimed for a 30 fps version, but I had to settle for 15 fps due to limitations in the engine.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2018, 14:35:07 »
This is pretty impressive and interesting!

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2018, 19:40:44 »
Glad you found it interesting!

Below are several notes on this experiment that may (or may not) contain tips on dealing with long/complex animations in KS.

Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Short/Experimental levels by VG
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 16:07:06 »
Added a new one: Compact. It's a very hard one-room puzzle with some tricky challenges and questionable design I made on a whim about a year ago. Again, nothing that hasn't been done before and probably not worth your time at all, but you might get some entertainment out of it if you enjoy this kind of challenge. It's also one of the smallest .knytt.bin files ever!
Some KS levels by me: