[Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Hell freezes over! Flying pigs spotted! Bat child found in cave! I'm finally making a large KS level :O


This is a project that was almost entirely born from the plethora of unfinished levels and abandoned tilesets/ideas that have been gathering digital dust in my hard drive for 2-3 years. Instead of finally discarding them for good, I decided to rescue them from oblivion and combine them all into a single large level! (probably not epic-sized, though... but I'm aiming for about 200-250 distinct screens or so).

The level will feature the classic KS progression system, although it will not be completely linear in nature. In order to reach and unlock all areas, you will have to find all power-ups and keys by thoroughly searching the lands and overcoming the occasional challenge. However, you will sometimes unlock multiple new areas at once, enabling you to explore them in any order you like.

Since this is mostly an amalgamation of many different ideas and assets (incomplete/unused tilesets and COs, abandoned levels, drafts, etcetera) and I'm focusing more on quantity over quality here, the overall level of detail and polish may not be on par with some of my other smaller releases. Still, effort is being put into making all areas look interesting and work together in a single (hopefully) cohesive experience.

And now, for the obligatory bullet list of planned features:

  • Many different areas (both brand new and imported from abandoned projects) to unlock and explore!
  • Lots of custom assets! (tilesets, gradients, ambiance, music and COs)
  • Hidden areas and bonus collectibles to be found by those with a keen eye.
  • Support for KS+'s map feature and other minor enhancements (KS+ is not required, though).



Some KS levels by me:

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 11:18:01 »
With your attention to details and keen eye for graphics I'm sure this is going to be one amazing large level.

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Offline sergiocornaga

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 12:31:00 »
This looks quite wonderful, best of luck with it!

Oh, also, are you aware that the term "Forgotten Realms" is kind of in-use already?

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 13:18:41 »
Thanks for the kind words, guys! Hopefully I'll be able to put all this stuff to good use after years of neglect. That is not to say the level will not feature any stuff made recently, though. In fact, I already made a couple tilesets and a bunch of new COs for this.

@Sergio: I wasn't aware! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I went with that name because I thought it represented the idea of "abandoned levels" very well. It's just a tentative title for now, though, so I might change it at some point.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline lilmanjs16

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 03:03:36 »
This looks really well done. Will play it when it is released!
we all love each other. and thanks to those who like my dj mixes, it makes me happy:hiddenstar: thanks AClockworkLemon! makes me feel proud

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 17:58:48 »
Thanks for the interest, hope you enjoy the level when it's finished :)

I've been making good progress on this the last few days (current screen count is a little over 200). Here are a few more screenshots from recently added areas. Check them out if you want to see a quick preview for those or ignore them completely if you prefer to avoid spoilers.

Spoiler: Choose wisely (click to show/hide)
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 15:03:10 »
It's aliiiIIIive!  :whoa:

Well, I guess it'd be more appropriate to say "it's not dead yet" for now. However, I've been *slowly* but steadly working on this for the past two weeks, as part of my effort to get my level design groove back on... and it seems this is finally on track to completion :D

Out of a total of 20 planned areas, 14 are basically done (I'll probably come back to them at some point to add more enemies/decorations). I currently have four unfinished areas that are about 40-60% complete each, and a new area that has been recently started (tileset is more or less ready and it's basically a matter of making screens... but oh man, am I slow at that :S ). After that, the only thing remaining will be the two bonus areas, which I have more or less planned (no screens made yet, though). I'd say the project is about 70-75% done.

The total screen count will be quite higher than I originally expected. I'm currently at around 300 screens (not counting duplicates and the like), so I now estimate the final level will feature 350-400 distinct screens.

I have also revamped the progression system quite a bit, changing the requirements I originally planned and adding a new mechanic:

  • You can access up to 10 different areas simply by collecting powers (although 3 of these areas are behind secret passages). The power-ups are all mostly in plain sight.
  • Finding and collecting the four keys gives you access to 7 additional areas. The keys are not particularly well hidden, although they may require a more in-depth exploration of the areas that you have already visited.
  • Finding and collecting a total of 9 energy crystals (a custom collectible) will let you enter one of the two bonus areas. These crystals are mostly placed in secret and/or hard to reach screens.
  • Finally, a second bonus area can be unlocked at a certain location by entering a (quite long) glyph code. The code is divided into 5 segments and each segment is placed in a (you guessed it) hidden room. You'll probably need pen and paper (or your favorite screenshot grabbing method) for this one :P


I also have plans for some additional KS+ features (probably golden coins or creatures), but this is not set in stone and depends entirely on how burned out I might be when I finish everything on my current TO-DO list  :sick:

Even though the level is still incomplete, I'm considering holding an early round of betatesting in order to gather some much needed general feedback and to make sure I'm still on the right track. It's been a fairly long time since I stopped working on this and I fear I might be forgetting something critical (hopefully that's not the case since I fortunately took some notes while making the level to prevent this, but any additional peace of mind I can get would be oh so welcome). So, if you're interested in trying out the alpha version and giving me your thoughts on it (and maybe even take a more active role in this, by helping me decide where to place challenges, creatures, collectibles and such), just post here to let me know.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 16:05:34 by Vegetal Gibber »
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline SC

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2019, 20:19:27 »
God, this looks EXCELLENT. Can't wait to play the full thing!

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 14:52:14 »
Glad you're interested! Hopefully you don't have to wait for too long. I don't want to make any promises, but if things keep going as well as they've been going recently, a release before the end of the year would no longer be an impossible dream :D

Also, here are some minor updates:

* Total screen count is now at around 350 after finishing two of the remaining incomplete segments, which means I'll probably reach 400-450 with the inclusion of the bonus areas (which I have not yet started working on).

* Added a couple easter eggs I had not originally planned to, because why not?  ...oh yeah, because I want to actually finish this thing someday in the near future, that's why. Welp, too late now :P2

* I'm also adding a new custom item that will unlock a small post-game area containing some trivia about the level and each individual area.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 18:52:13 »
Time for a progress report!

Still chipping away at this, albeit at a slower pace than last month due to all this pesky real life stuff I have to deal with :P  LPChip helped me quite a lot during the alpha testing phase by providing me with valuable feedback on the progression system, aesthetics and secret placement (thanks man!), which I'll be slowly but surely addressing as I continue plowing through the two remainding bonus areas.

As for the main (non-bonus/secret) areas, all of them are basically done by now. I recently finished adding a 40-screen long maze part to one of them, so it looks like the total screen count of the finished level will be even bigger than I previously estimated. It may even hit the 500 mark at this point, which is not particularly impressive compared to many of the larger exploration-based levels released here, but it's quite the achievement for me :O

Here are two more screenshots, probably the last ones I'll be posting before the level is released:

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline LPChip

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 00:17:25 »
You're welcome. It's a fun level. People will be happy to play this when it comes out. :)
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Offline Talps

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2019, 00:49:34 »
Tantalising!

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: [Challenge/Playground] [Normal] [Large] Forgotten Realms
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 06:46:07 »
I realised I never commented here. Looking forward to this one!

And don't think that just because you made it look 1000x better I wouldn't recognise that tileset. :P