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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignLevel Design Workshop - #3 Structural Atmosphere
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JoGribbs
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« Reply #80 on: July 13, 2010, 01:46:23 PM »

one
two
three
four
five

To be continued? Tommorow maybe?
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PsySal
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« Reply #81 on: July 13, 2010, 01:54:50 PM »

This level is quite boring: you can basically solve all the blocks separately one after another.

Your "unbeatable" level, on the other hand, is a lot better (and is beatable).

Agreed, and hah! You're right... Just to be clear, I was doing the level creation in a stream-of-consciousness style, so the outcome wasn't really determined when I started, if that makes sense.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 02:46:25 PM by PsySal » Logged
Jonathan Whiting
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« Reply #82 on: July 13, 2010, 02:29:30 PM »

Okay, my next batch of responses..

First up, just noticed Nitro Crate slipped some new levels in:

Gave it another go! The difficulty ramps up a lot more quickly in this one, but now there's only six levels.  Embarrassed
I'll get around to making at least two more...maybe..
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6

... and the set feels a lot more cohesive and concise now, good job!

lv1
lv2
lv3

I don't like how these came out. making more later

There's some decent enough concepts in there, but the flab makes them a bit tiresome.  I'm sure you already realise that though.  Would love to see these tightened up a bit.

Level #1
Level #2
Level #3
Level #4
Level #5
Level #6
Level #7
Level #8
Level #9
Level #10

None of them are particularly interesting IMO. Will play through some other people's levels later.

I really liked this set, a great little collection of studies in boulder interaction and enclosed spaces.  Very low fat too, although I did see one or two savings along the way.  The arrow level was a really great example of gameplay + aesthetics coming together in a strictly level design enviroment.  I don't think it matters that some of the others were a little dry, this is all about the fundamentals after all.

First bunch are boring, but do demonstrate your idea of starting with the absolute most basic situations possible. Intellectually I can see there might be an advantage to explicitly finding and storing building blocks like that for future use but emotionally I just can't bring myself to create levels with trivial solutions.

Truthfully I'd not regularly actual run down and record such simple ideas before leaping into 'proper' level design when actually developing.  I would however at some stage run through situations as basic as these through my head, especially whilst implementing new mechanics, to make sure I haven't missed anything important and simple.  As with so many things in life knowing that you could do something if you needed to is often more useful than actually doing it.

VI is boring and doesn't seem to demonstrate anything.

The idea behind it was "the order you push the boulders is important", and rendered as simply as possible.  I'll admit it's a pretty dull idea, especially when there's so many more exciting ones out there, but I was trying to be pretty hard-line with myself on my own "distilling simple ideas" brief.

VIII is excellent; so simple and yet had me briefly questioning if it was possible.

Thanks, it was definately the favourite of the ones I'd managed.

IX is trivial after VIII.

Yep, I should have binned it.

My levels are below. I'd like to say that I have a bit of experience designing puzzle game levels; I most fondly remember making levels for Polarium and Chu Chu Rocket.

- Tutorial
- Roundabout
- Ping pong
- Wall
- Rubble
- Scatter
- Combination lock

- Secret
- Minefield
- Cage
- Torn
- Separate ways
- Libertine

For these levels I went with a fairly psychological point of view for the first few (Tutorial shows symmetry that is broken by a solved boulder, which pushes the player to reach new symmetry by imitating the movement in the other directions), and then an aesthetic point of view, which is how I tend to design levels (from Wall onwards, mostly; I set out to create interesting geometry). The latter levels were totally aesthetic in their conception, of course, and none is solvable; they present metaphors or just simple jokes by use of the game's space and rules. I used the level names to highlight what I got from them (which is mostly how it was, rather than naming them first and then trying to make the level fit that name). When you have such a delimited set of rules, it's easy to interpret certain states as an abstraction of a much more complex situation.

This is a pretty interesting set of levels, and they do feel well suited to levels in an actual game.  In the confines of the excercise though they lack the narrow-minded minimalistic punch that has elevated the best of the puzzles we've seen here.  At times yours was another set through which the dark side of symmetry (repeated actions without variation) shone through.  Combination lock was beautiful though, I think particularly because despite the symmetry in starting positions the solution is necessarily asymmetric.  The joke puzzles amused me.

I do not think they are particularly in order of difficulty. Some of them are totally cheating, and I reused some stuff a couple of times.

LEVEL 1
LEVEL 2
LEVEL 3
LEVEL 4
LEVEL 5
LEVEL 6
LEVEL 7
LEVEL 8
LEVEL 9
LEVEL 10

A very amusing set certainly, but not exactly what I was after Wink

It's perhaps relevant to note that the actual direct puzzle element of these wasn't generally as good as in the focused/condensed efforts of some of the others.  To me this helps demonstrate why it's worth getting the basics nailed down before you start working on more expansive/creative ideas.

I mostly made these to seem like they were generated randomly

Well, they certainly do appear that way, but it isn't so clear why that might be a good idea.  In the best level designs almost every element is meaningful, and carefully placed to improve the game as a whole.  Randomness is therefore pretty much anti-matter to level design.  I don't mean to say you can't use it, more that it should be handled with far more care than is present in this set.  I'm afraid these largely feel rather flat and tedious.

I think that's my sokoban limit hit for today, I'll resume feedback-ing tomorrow.
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PsySal
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« Reply #83 on: July 13, 2010, 02:46:36 PM »

This One is beatable; the only solution I can find is pretty interesting/convoluted, but I'm worried there's an easy solution?
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Noel Berry
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« Reply #84 on: July 13, 2010, 03:21:31 PM »

This One is beatable; the only solution I can find is pretty interesting/convoluted, but I'm worried there's an easy solution?

I'm not sure which solution I got, but I was able to beat it on my second try (first try accidentally pushing the rock below you at the start down)

Here's a list of step by step as to what I did. Not sure how clear they are...
- Went around and pushed the rock on the far right, (below you at the start) up two, to provide a pathway
 - Pushed far left bottom rock up 1
 - Pushed middle bottom rock down 1, went back around, and pushed it left
 - Pushed the two top right rocks into place in the top 2 positions
 - Pushed the top left rock (that has yet to be moved) up one
 - Pushed the top of the two now left directly up until it was on a finish thing
 - Pushed the last one up and then left.



I liked it though, because it took a lot of thought and the blocks didn't always go right where you thought they would. Grin
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« Reply #85 on: July 13, 2010, 04:54:52 PM »

This One is beatable; the only solution I can find is pretty interesting/convoluted, but I'm worried there's an easy solution?

This was hard! Not that convoluted, though. This is how I solved it (step by step):

http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBEEFAADAABBEBAAADABBBAABBBBAABBDADCAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBEEFAADAABBEBAAACDBBBAABBBBAABBDADAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBEEFADCAABBEBAAAADBBBAABBBBAABBDADAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBEEFADADABBEBAAAACBBBAABBBBAABBDADAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBFEFADADABBCBAAAAABBBAABBBBAABBAADAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBFEFADADABBFBAAAAABBBCABBBBAABBAAAAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBFFCADADABBFBAAAAABBBAABBBBAABBAAAAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBEAAAABBBAAABBBABBFFFCAADABBFBAAAAABBBAABBBBAABBAAAAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA
http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/sokoban.swf?level=AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBABBBFAAAABBBAACBBBABBFFFAAAAABBFBAAAAABBBAABBBBAABBAAAAAAAABBAAAABAABBBBBBBBBBBA


edit -


Really liked this one. Smiley Also, Hiding was surprising.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 04:59:57 PM by agj » Logged

PsySal
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« Reply #86 on: July 13, 2010, 05:07:39 PM »

Ah, that is a lot simpler than my solution. Basically where you diverged (and saved yourself a lot of hassle) was by pushing the middle bottom rock down one, which I didn't think to do. This is a fun exercise, I can't stop:

Not that hard...

Cute?

Jellybeanz!

I'm actually really happy with Jellybeanz, which I think isn't so much hard as it is satisfying. I remember playing a strategy game here sometime last year (can't recall what it was called) but one of the things that was the most satisfying is when there was a pattern that sort of naturally unwound as you played, but you didn't fully comprehend.
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« Reply #87 on: July 14, 2010, 07:18:01 PM »

This is still going? I guess I'll finally get around to making some more maps.
Ok, so I've tried to be different. Every puzzle is a small set of objects in an open space, as opposed to a set of objects in a maze.
As a result, most of these are pretty easy to beat. There are no long puzzles, instead there are several unique simple puzzles.
Level 8 is my favourite; it presents a simple scenario that is much more complicated than it appears, forcing the player to think about what has to be done in order to solve for all of the boulders rather than solving for just some of them.

Level 1: introduce the goal and controls
Level 2: first obstacles
Level 3: forcing the player to think about how they are limited when guiding boulders
Level 4: forcing the player to move a boulder off of the dots
Level 5: further moving boulders that are already on dots
Level 6: intentional misdirection, forcing the player to do the opposite of what he wants to do first
Level 7: semisymmetric puzzle
Level 8: trying to push two boulders onto the same set of dots
Level 9: expanding on the idea from level 8 with increased complexity
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PsySal
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« Reply #88 on: July 14, 2010, 07:53:23 PM »

@Almost:

Great levels, and taking the approach of removing all outer walls really helps to narrow down on a certain set of mechanics. This was a great progression and really in the spirit of the workshop.

For me the most interesting mechanics of the ones you explored that I ran into while making my levels were "intentional misdirection" and "moving boulders already on dots". One aspect of the level design that I didn't see (but used) when I was making my levels, but that you show quite well, is "push two boulders onto the same set of dots".

This is interesting because it's one way that ordering becomes important; depending on how the squares are laid out, you can deduce what order you need to place them on.

Consider a setup like this; there is a very specific order that the spots have to be filled, no matter what. I guess it's not strictly because of next-door-neighbour spots that you get ordering, but it's interesting anyhow.

EDIT: I think maybe the reason that the multiple "dots" together is so compelling is that you know it's a final configuration, so it's a place to start in working the problem from reverse. Other configurations in the level might be order-dependent to, but it's not usually as obvious that to achieve a certain configuration is desirable as with the final state.
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Noel Berry
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« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2010, 08:13:22 PM »

Ah, that is a lot simpler than my solution. Basically where you diverged (and saved yourself a lot of hassle) was by pushing the middle bottom rock down one, which I didn't think to do. This is a fun exercise, I can't stop:

Not that hard...

Cute?

Jellybeanz!

I'm actually really happy with Jellybeanz, which I think isn't so much hard as it is satisfying. I remember playing a strategy game here sometime last year (can't recall what it was called) but one of the things that was the most satisfying is when there was a pattern that sort of naturally unwound as you played, but you didn't fully comprehend.

Really enjoyed these ones! The first two I got pretty fast, but the last one has got me stumped. Going give it a go every now and then until I beat it.
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« Reply #90 on: July 15, 2010, 05:08:38 AM »

Another block of feedback..

This isn't really relevant, but I took a course where we wrote Sokoban AIs last year. I had pen help me design a tile-set, for the official demonstration.

As in, sokoban solving AI presumably?  That sounds pretty facinating, presumably you can't brute force all but the very simplist puzzles, so you need to come up with heuristics towards solutions?  I'm not sure I'd know where to start.

This is what the final product looked like, but it was animated when in action:

Cute Smiley

I've got 5 done so far. It's pretty late now though, so I'm heading to bed.

[Level 1] [Level 2] [Level 3] [Level 4] [Level 5]

These are pretty slick.  I would say though that they feel a bit busy and long-winded.  It feels like you'd have a great pure set of 5 levels if you unpicked each of the specific ideas you used and created them as individual mini-puzzles.


Honestly I think whilst these have some improvements on the original set, a lot of the criticism on the original set still applies to these new levels.  6 and 7 are kinda weak, they are repetitive, exploitative (going off the screen), and unexciting.  Level 10 was among the better of the symmetrical puzzles that I've seen though.


There's nothing wrong with easy.  These certainly aren't bad, but do seem to re-tread the same ground a little bit.  There is also some room in most of them to compress things significantly further (and I suspect doing so might have revealed the similarities between the puzzles).


Cute.

I'll finish catching up tonight...

Just as a heads-up, I might not quite manage to get the next exercise up this evening.  Todays been a hectic day and I only slept 4 hours last night.  I'd also originally planned the next exercise to be more sokoban, but as people have quite reasonably been covering the ground I'd intended to cover (making more complicated puzzles using the building blocks), and I for one am a bit sick of sokoban I think I should mix it up.  This means a bit more dev time.  Anyway I'll get something up as soon as possible, bear with me till then Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: July 15, 2010, 11:51:57 AM »

...finishing catching up


These felt a bit loose, like there we're lots of solutions available.  They could do with some effort to block some of the alternate paths out, also some shrinking (apart from the middle one, obviously).

Feeling frisky (?) so I decided to go through a stage-creation process. Maybe this will interest somebody, here is the final level first to play:

Breaking the process down is a pretty great idea, but the actual level isn't that inspiring.  It suffers the same problem as your previous levels, it's a bit loose.  Tried to see if I could tighten it up a bit

one
two
three
four
five

To be continued? Tommorow maybe?

Two seems to be a repeat of one, and three seems broken.  Don't know if something went a bit  wrong or?  The remaining levels have some promise, but I'd like to see more.

This One is beatable; the only solution I can find is pretty interesting/convoluted, but I'm worried there's an easy solution?

This is a lot more like it.  It's not as atomic as I was hoping for with this particular exercise, but it *is* a pretty solid puzzle Smiley

Not that hard...
Cute?
Jellybeanz!

I'm actually really happy with Jellybeanz, which I think isn't so much hard as it is satisfying. I remember playing a strategy game here sometime last year (can't recall what it was called) but one of the things that was the most satisfying is when there was a pattern that sort of naturally unwound as you played, but you didn't fully comprehend.

You can drop the entire top row of "Not that hard..." and having done that the top left boulder feels unnecessary

The same sort of stuff applies to "Cute".  Jellybeanz seems fairly solid.

This is still going? I guess I'll finally get around to making some more maps.
Ok, so I've tried to be different. Every puzzle is a small set of objects in an open space, as opposed to a set of objects in a maze.
As a result, most of these are pretty easy to beat. There are no long puzzles, instead there are several unique simple puzzles.
Level 8 is my favourite; it presents a simple scenario that is much more complicated than it appears, forcing the player to think about what has to be done in order to solve for all of the boulders rather than solving for just some of them.

Level 1: introduce the goal and controls
Level 2: first obstacles
Level 3: forcing the player to think about how they are limited when guiding boulders
Level 4: forcing the player to move a boulder off of the dots
Level 5: further moving boulders that are already on dots
Level 6: intentional misdirection, forcing the player to do the opposite of what he wants to do first
Level 7: semisymmetric puzzle
Level 8: trying to push two boulders onto the same set of dots
Level 9: expanding on the idea from level 8 with increased complexity

Wow, that's really inspiring.  Very clever, and a perfect though surprising way of meeting the exercise.  Excellent!
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increpare
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« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2010, 02:13:05 PM »

I've been following this and playing a bunch of the levels - I've found a lot of them pretty cool : )
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« Reply #93 on: July 16, 2010, 06:32:04 AM »

This exercise has been so great and informative to see all the level ideas created within the 10x10 grid of this editor.  Really quite inspirational.

I appreciate the feedback I've been given on my level designs and feel I almost entirely agree with the criticism they've received. After playing so many of your levels I do believe I would be able to create some much more refined and better levels.

I'm very short on time right now unfortunately to be able to respond in depth like many of you have but I wanted to at least give a few mentions of levels I particularly enjoyed or found noteworthy to my own tastes and preferences. Luckily there has been so much great feedback given it seems no one should feel too wanting hopefully. I'm going to skim through all the levels again and try to capture some of the impressions I remember from playing them. My apologies to those I don't mention. I've played and solved almost everything everyone has posted though and learned a lot from them.

Quote from: Nitro Crate

I really found this level to be pretty enjoyable to solve. It took me quite a few attempts and I liked that it looked fairly straightforward at first and only once you started shoving boulders around would you then mess up and have to start again / think it through.

I found your preceeding 5 lead along a nice curve of increasing challenge as well.

Quote from: baconman

While I know this level received valid criticism of being able to be simplified a good bit it was still the first time I encountered the three boulders in a vertical column mechanic. Like I mentioned many posts ago I have not really played much Sokoban before (and not recently at all) so I skipped this level initially as being broken. It was only a little later that I read some feedback of it that made me realize it must have been beatable. I tried harder and then discovered how it was solvable. This made me really excited in just realizing how some puzzles could trick the player into just halting almost or intimidating them and I found that enlightening.  It was not that the level looked over complicated--it was that the level looked so simple and yet I thought it was unsolvable that made me just skip it initially. Well done. Had this been in a game that barred advancement until solving was complete it would have made finishing it all the more rewarding.

Quote from: Almost

Found this level to be a really rewarding challenge.  I liked this best of your series but enjoyed playing a few of the others as well.  This one shined for me though.  I enjoyed how much traversal I had to make around the structure as well as appreciating the fact that it was left so open around the edges. It gave me a tangible feeling of space as I trekked back and forth attempting to accomplish my goals. 

Quote from: Captain_404

Brilliant and elegant level. So simple in layout yet so insidious in solution. I must've played this at least 6 or more times before cracking it. I just like how so few blocks created so much challenge.

Quote from: jwhiting

Wow so awesome! I played this over 10 times at least and was mentally sweating as I struggled to figure out how it must be solved. It was SO rewarding when I realized the simple brilliance of the solution and tried to take mental note of that slick mechanic that was used to allow the solution. It made me really wonder how you created this one and impressed by how frugal it was on level piece usage.

Quote from: agj
The unsolvable stylistic levels

Just wanted to mention that I really enjoyed playing around with these known unsolvable levels that were made to encapsulate the idea of the level name. It is examples like this that I am particularly drawn to which show the power of suggestion and pattern matching in our own brains that can lead to experiencing an abstract level concept as art much like staring at an abstract painting with a title (or not) can lead us to seeing "images in the clouds" in a sense. It was also a nice break from the analytical solving I had been doing up to that point and was a welcome palette cleanser.

Quote from: a ton of other level designers
tons of levels...

I haven't had a chance to more than skim a bunch of levels posted by people since agj's levels... but did encounter one level in particular of psysals:

Quote from: psysal

THIS LEVEL IS MY BANE!!! I love it so much and I have not yet cracked it despite over 20 plays. I can't wait to defeat it.

I also appreciated your in depth posts about ways you experimented with various processes of level design. The stepped out levels that showed you adding elements were really great. I had been considering if a process like that might work out when designing my levels. I thought "well maybe I can throw down some goal-holes with boulders on them already and then play the editor to track how the player may push them off and reverse build a neat level." It was great to see that concept outlined as I hadn't had a chance to try it myself.  I am not sure exactly if you used this process to build Jellybeanz! but it is one of the first ones I've been unable to solve. So many times I thought "Oh now I've got you!" and found I was celebrating too early as I then saw to my horror that I was trapped yet again. I feel I need to use a different mode of problem solving to tackle this one but that is just my intuitive feeling/fear now based on so many failed attempts.



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« Reply #94 on: July 16, 2010, 08:50:13 AM »

agj I love your levels, the aesthetic angle is always welcome, and I think you used it best on the Cage level.

No idea what you were going for with Secret. At first I thought you may have created some sort of pattern in the URL which was broken or something and would make the level beatable when fixed, but that didn't end up being true...

So I changed the URL and beat it.
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« Reply #95 on: July 17, 2010, 09:40:35 AM »

Secret was just a way to show that the following levels were unbeatable. I initially conceived it as a last level, to make the reveal at the end, but the other levels I came up with were not opaque enough for that.

That's a really clever idea, though; wish it had been the case! (You should've made such a level.)
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« Reply #96 on: July 18, 2010, 02:42:41 AM »

Right, apologies for being so slow getting round to this but..

Exercise 2: Composition and Pacing

Originally I'd intended this second excercise to an extention of the first.  We'd take the base pieces of the sokoban puzzles and put them together into larger puzzles.  I think now though that we ended up covering a fair amount of that ground anyway, and I for one feel rather sokoban'd out.

So I thought it might be better if we looked at composition from a platform game perspective instead.  For me composition and pacing tie together pretty firmly, so I want to try and cover that a little bit too.,

My composition I mean the combination of the 'little sections' that I talked of in Exercise 1, and the challenge that the juxtaposition of these challenges create.  This can be as simple as two identical jumps placed sequentially, or as complex as entire levels.  It is important to be able to make sound judgements on how these juxtapositions effect the difficulty of a section.

What I mean by pacing is hopefully more obvious.  It is the way the difficulty varies over a level and/or series of levels.  Though actually getting pacing right is far more of a black art.  It is fairly clear that games are generally at their best when they start easy and end hard, but how the difficulty should best curve between the two extremes is something very open to dispute.

Frequently mentioned is the rising sinusoidal difficulty curve:



.. but whilst I do think that's a very sound approach I wouldn't consider it to be the only one with value.  I think most important is that whatever you aim for you should both be aware of the 'curve' that you are targetting, and try to avoid any strongly outlying sections (either easier or harder).

The Task

Create a level, or a short series of levels focused entirely on manipulating difficulty.  Pick an approach; a pacing you want to achieve and a length first, and then build the level around that framework.

As per the first excercise, and I want to make this particularly clear this time: Don't get hung up on aesthetic concerns!  We've got plenty of time to look into how to make levels visually appealing and consistently interesting.  It's something I completely intend to cover in a big way later on.  For now, just focus on difficulty at the expense of everything else.  Doing otherwise risks hiding the lessons that we can pick up from the exercise.

As my link-copying flash sokoban thing seemed to work fairly well last time I decided to continue with that idea.  Whilst you should still feel free to investigate the exercise in something else if you prefer I've made a platformer/editor thing available at:

http://jonathanwhiting.com/coding/ldw/composition.swf

It's pretty much just a bit of a mash-up of the sokoban one and my basic platforming code from Love Letter.  Hopefully it'll work out okay.  As a general point, as I'll probably be reusing this core functionality again in the future, do let me know if there's anything I can do to make using it substantially easier.

Usage is much the same as the sokoban one..

Quote
There is a tile palette at the bottom to select tiles, you can also use number keys.  Click in the main area to place tiles.  In the bottom right there are two buttons, the left hand toggles between editing and testing, the right hand puts a url containing the level into the clipboard, so you can paste it somewhere, like here.

All clear?  I can't wait to see what comes out from this.

Oh, and as an effort to isolate some of the building blocks we'll be using I made this.  Might be useful *shrug*.
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« Reply #97 on: July 18, 2010, 04:12:11 AM »

Error #2046 using your link, and mine.

anyway, assuming that gets fixed, level I'm too tired to keep going, but basically there's a "warm up" area, that introduces the player to "challenges" that are relatively easy, but educate them on the importance of being able to judge high and low jumps and where to use them, then there is a simple challenge in the middle with more "real" danger (even an experienced player may fumble a jump here), followed by the real challenge area of the level, which will hopefully encourage emergent gameplay and make the player weigh up the cost/benefit of the paths, and which one suits their style. They may even try to cheat the system. Basically, difficulty curve is something like
_----''''^^, don't dwell on the easy bit but don't swamp the level in impossible jumps. I suppose it's a bit of a log graph really.

Anyway, tired, night
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« Reply #98 on: July 18, 2010, 04:48:05 AM »

Error #2046 using your link, and mine.

Hmm, strange, the links are working fine for me.. anybody else having problems?

anyway, assuming that gets fixed, level I'm too tired to keep going, but basically there's a "warm up" area, that introduces the player to "challenges" that are relatively easy, but educate them on the importance of being able to judge high and low jumps and where to use them, then there is a simple challenge in the middle with more "real" danger (even an experienced player may fumble a jump here), followed by the real challenge area of the level, which will hopefully encourage emergent gameplay and make the player weigh up the cost/benefit of the paths, and which one suits their style. They may even try to cheat the system. Basically, difficulty curve is something like
_----''''^^, don't dwell on the easy bit but don't swamp the level in impossible jumps. I suppose it's a bit of a log graph really.

Anyway, tired, night

The first of the 'low jumps' is pretty brutal, in fact, after the warm up section all of the rest is very hard indeed.  The increase in difficulty is very very steep, and I think the level would have benefitted from longer dwelling on the easy bit.

I wasn't sure I liked the middle section that much.  Something about the layout made it feel like there was one intended route, and the others were there by mistake.  This wasn't so much from the difficulty which was quite similar in each path, but because of the appearance of a natural path (I traced it in Goals).  I guess mentioning this is a little opposed to my "only consider difficulty message" I gave, but it feels worth mentioning anyway.

Despite my misgivings, there's some nice stuff in here.  I'm particularly impressed by the interestingly difficult challenges at the end.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #99 on: July 18, 2010, 05:06:02 AM »

The links all work fine for me.

Is that last jump on your demo level even possible Jonathan?
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