[Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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[Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« on: August 27, 2019, 20:14:13 »




[ Download the level ] (file size: ~7.4MB)


This level has a deeper and more complex story behind it than you can possibly imagine... and by that I mean I went to the park to take a walk, took a bunch of mostly random photos and then thought: "Hey, I bet I could build a KS level with these!"... and lo and behold, a level was indeed built! It was going to be just a quick experiment on photorealistic tilesets that I intended to release in my Short/Experimental levels thread. However, since there aren't many KS level releases nowadays, I changed my mind and decided to expand it into something a bit more substantial.

Alcázar is just a pretty short environmental level with a focus on ambiance, exploration and secrets. There's no story whatsoever, but you'll get a nice photo slideshow if you manage to unlock the exit by finding and collecting all the necessary items. If you fancy hunting for cunningly (i.e. annoyingly) hidden secrets, there's also a bonus area which contains an alternate "ending". Oh and... be prepared to be confused about what's solid and what's not for a while :P
Some KS levels by me:

Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 10:43:55 »
Glad to have you back VG! Very cool level. The graphics look completely like they belong in KS, while still maintaining that photorealistic quality. What's more, you've nicely indicated what's solid and what isn't (at least for me), without detracting from the quality. The only problem I had was that the umbrella disappeared into the background.

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)
Lurk more.

Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 02:21:33 »
Snooping for sneaky secrets was a good excuse for lingering in such a gorgeous and serene place. Quality as always. Thank you for making this.

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 19:05:23 »
Thanks, it's great to be back :D  Glad you guys enjoyed the level! Good to see I succeeded in building a tileset out of those photos without the end result clashing too much with the usual KS experience. I'm also very happy to hear that you both had fun tracking down the secret stuff!

@PP: The umbrella is rather hard to see over the background mosaic tiles, though, as you pointed out. I often have this issue when I work with dark backgrounds. I blame it on Juni having such a plain umbrella :P  I tried to at least put the item in a bright enough place so the player would not miss it, but I'm not entirely convinced. Did you spot it easily enough?

Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 22:20:32 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Not completely my cup of tea (plotless backtracking repeatedly round a small area blerg :sick:) but a fun thing nonetheless. If I had criticisms I'd say the birdsong loop was short enough to get irritating and the hanging moss caused some graphical errors that KS+ could have resolved. But I think you did a really good job of making photo-tilesets (no mean feat!); nothing felt out of place, and I didn't have any issues telling background from foreground :P.

Also your photos are nice!

First KS level I have played in a loooooooong time. A nice little doorway back into the game.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 22:26:34 by Talps »

Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2019, 14:33:01 »
An interesting experience for me, I think the setup blends nicely with the classic KS layout.
Although I had thought that the secret ending originally was randomly set up, it became clear at the end why this was the way everything was placed.

I had no problem with the umbrella, it was quite clear for me to see where it was.

The ending actually reminded me of a castle I had visited last month, as well as the gardens in there. There were even geese and a black swan there x).

Overall, it's the nice welcome back gift Mr Gibber.


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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 14:44:47 »
@Talps: Glad you had fun despite this not really being your cup of tea! :D  Thank you for the feedback as well. I should be able to address the issue with the hanging moss easily with a couple COs.

I agree that the bird ambiance track is a bit too short and repetitive. I really wanted to use my own recording (which I made the same day I took the photos) for this level, but unfortunately, most of it ended up being unusable due to background voices and car noises, so I had to trim it a lot :/ I might try recording a new track at a different nearby park some other day.

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

@PigeonVoyageur: Thanks! Glad you had a good experience. The name "Alcázar" refers to a type of castle/fortress of Moorish origin. There is actually one of these castles close to the place where I took the photos (the "Plaza de España", which is at the Maria Luisa public park in Seville).
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline sergiocornaga

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 13:40:26 »
Nice level. I found the special ending before I found the regular one!

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2019, 13:54:47 »
Thanks for playing, glad you enjoyed it! :) It's interesting that you'd unlock the special ending before the main one...

Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

I might release a small update for this level soon, fixing a few issues and maybe adding a couple new minor features.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2019, 14:31:04 »
Level has been updated.

Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: [Environmental] [Easy] [Small] Alcázar
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 07:46:37 »
Finally getting around to replying here. This level wasn't "fun" but it was "enjoyable". I don't know how to explain it. The aesthetic is awesome and I think the secrets worked really well. :^^: