memelord69 wrote: ↑
Wed May 27, 2020 8:00 pm
I generally liked the level for the most part. It did a very good job at encouraging exploration. I really like how you hid the bouncing ball weapon thing.
The acid section had a few problems imo. First, those spikes in there are almost hiding. I'm not sure if that was your intention, but I definitely slammed into spikes I couldn't even see lol. The PlantMan boss in this section also had some issues. I noticed that it was often the case that he'd just do his attack pattern underwater, making it impossible for you to fight back half the time. The weakness gets around this, but if we *need* the weakness, then it defeats the purpose of having the level be open.
The way the secrets are laid out is also linear and has a "correct" solution. If we do the bone section first, for the Wheel Cutter, then fire for the secret weapon and Oil Slider, and then acid for the secret there, then poke our head back into the bone section with cKick, we get all the items. That whole cycle is a "correct" solution. If we do the acid first, then the fire, then the bones, then we've gotta backtrack through everything to get the secrets. This reverse cycle is the worst possibility for the player. Then there are the combinations in between. Imo, have the secrets require us to zigzag between sections, instead of having a linear solution
The SheepMan fight was a mess and I just closed out the level tbh. I died by accident once and ran out of energy for the weakness. Using Buster only, I hit them for like 3 damage each before dying. It's full spam, and the background and flashing foreground don't help with visibility at all. It's a very abrupt ending to a level that otherwise flowed very well.
You succeeded massively with giving us a sense of exploration and atmosphere.
Again, first off thank you for playing the level and giving me your feedback. I'll try to adress all your points.
The spikes in the acid section, apart from the ones in the secret room were mostly placed as decoration and I placed them in such a way that the player should go out of their way to jump into them. I guess they could fit too much into the aesthetic, but at the same time I think they are still noticeable.
Plantman can indeed enter a pattern of doing his attacks underwater, but if you let him fully run up against the wall, he should always jump out and land on ladders, that's the "easy" way of breaking that pattern, and I thought it would happen somewhat naturally without the player needing to go out of their way in order for that to that to happen. I guess if you keep dodging him the same way, and he keeps attacking you the same way, that might lead to that "always in the water" part.
For the secrets, I of course intended each one to require a specific power up, while at the same time not using the lazy option of weapon blocks. Something worth noting is that you can at any point into any section fully backtrack to the "hub".
Your "correct" solution was actually not the one I used the most, I usually started the weakness chain at the Acid section since cKick is the most versatile weapon of the level.
I indeed intended for the level to feature backtracking if the player wanted all the secrets, I wanted to give that "Ooooooh, so that's how I get that" feeling. I think by that nature the secrets aren't too linear, since you get the choice of order of sections, need to somewhat explore or even notice details in order to even discover some of them and if you want them all you need to backtrack at some point.
As for the Sheepmen fight, it's indeed a big difficulty spike in the level, there used to be a weapon energy refiller right before the fight, but I removed it. Maybe I should have left it there.
I did manage to defeat them buster only with only a few hits multiple times during playtesting though, as I noted above, by climbing the ladders you get into a very nice safe spot from the thunder, and if a sheepman drops down and gets under a tile, he will be somewhat stuck for a while down there, and that makes him a lot more vulnerable than normal. Also both drop a large health pickup, so focusing on one should give you enough leeway for the other one and be multiple hits away from danger.
I really wanted to have a double robotmaster fight as a final boss, in order for the final bossfight to differ from minibosses, and I honestly thought that I managed to hit a good "Difficult but fair" bossfight, so I find it a bit sad that you saw it as undodgeable spam.
I also was pretty generous on E tanks if you get all the secrets, in order to make that bossfight somewhat easier for the ones that might not be that good at it.
Anyway, again thank you for playing the level and giving me your honest feedback, too bad you got too frustrated towards the end of the level.