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Author Topic: [Maze/Puzzle][Medium][Normal] Escape from Knyttstein  (Read 5926 times)
Vegetal Gibber


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« on: July 27, 2015, 16:05:33 »


Title: Escape from Knyttstein
Type: Maze / Puzzle
Size: Medium
Difficulty: Normal (maybe Easy)

New level from yours truly! Well, the word "new" doesn't really apply here, since this is a map I started building FIVE years ago :P  Back then, I completed about 70% of the map design, but then I got pretty busy with other matters and stopped playing KS, so the unfinished level was left sitting there without being released. When I started making levels for KS again, I thought of giving this old project a second chance, and well... here it is, finally.

Anyways... this is kind of an unconventional level, as it's not focused on platforming, challenges and big open areas. It's a tribute to one of my favorite old DOS games: Wolfenstein 3D. This level tries to capture the original game's labyrinthic map layout, its ambiance and the idea of secret passages and hidden treasure.

Description:

In this adventure, you have to help Juni escape Castle Knyttstein, a huge fortress/bunker where she has been imprisoned by the evil Knattzy Empire. In order to do so, you must explore each floor of the bunker looking for the elevator that will take you to the next floor (and eventually to the exit of the complex) while solving a series of puzzles and looking for secret doors.

There is also an optional "treasure hunt" side of this quest. Scattered around the castle are five treasure chests. They all are hidden in secret rooms, so you must pay attention to your surroundings to discover their locations. At the end of the game, your treasure collecting performance will be graded.

Screenshots:


[ Download link! ]

[ Mirror ]

This level might not be everyone's cup of tea due to its strange design, but I hope you guys like it :) Please let me know if you find any wallswim and/or void screen!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 19:02:46 by Vegetal Gibber » Logged

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Fubaka


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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 17:43:16 »

Nice level! I enjoyed the unique style and the maze-like challenge. The puzzles were pretty decent too, though you definitely set me up to frantically press Down Arrow all over the place.

Amusingly enough, I found every treasure except the very first one.

I didn't find any voids or wallswims, but I did find a couple minor flubs. I've attached pictures below pointing these out.

Spoiler: ERRATA (click to show/hide)

If you want actual complaints, I found it annoying that you couldn't run past the guards. I know it makes sense in theory, but it still bugged me, especially when I had the hologram.

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Vegetal Gibber


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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 22:04:41 »

Thank you for the feedback! I'm happy you enjoyed the level :)

I've fixed the mistakes you pointed out. I already replaced the linked file on the first post with the updated version.

As for the guards... originally, I made them so they wouldn't kill the player on direct contact, but it felt really strange that they would just happily let you pass through (Juni being a prisoner and all). I tried to position them and the invisible killing tiles in a way that wouldn't prevent the player from progressing, but I'm not entirely convinced with the final result. I'll see what I can do.

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Fubaka


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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 00:20:44 »


It's okay, I went and found it again later. Was just telling you what happened the first time.  :P
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pfrangip


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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 03:00:02 »

Well hey, this is... something else! I like it a lot!  C)p

I definitely like the scenery, the challenges, the music, it all fits together well in a new and interesting way. I played Wolfenstein 3D waaay back when it came out, so I do enjoy the nostalgia there.

I'm on level three so far. I've only seen one bug, and that was a void to the left of the I II III tiles on floor two on one of the combinations... not sure which. I especially liked that challenge. The failure was so jarring!

I can tell that this took you a LOT of work, but its well worth it. It's very polished, unique, and fun... I'll think you'll be seeing some good feedback. You've definitely earned this  :hiddenstar: from me.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 03:03:13 by pfrangip » Logged

Vegetal Gibber


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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 14:27:09 »

Thank you! :D

I found the void screen you mentioned (triggered by combination II-II-III). It should be fixed now in the updated file.

It did take me a lot more work that I anticipated. Funny thing is, I originally started this level as a quick side project while I was working on another idea for a big KS level (which never really took off). This was supposed to be a quirky but simple maze level that I would be able to finish building in two weeks or so... but boy, was I wrong! I severely underestimated the amount of shift work this map required, and then came my long hiatus from KS, which certainly didn't help :P
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egomassive


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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 01:27:57 »

It was a neat puzzle level. I found it harder to keep track of locations in this level than I did in Dark Alleys. There were a few slight graphical errors, nothing that prevented me from enjoying the level, but they were a little annoying since I had to investigate everything that looked different to make sure it wasn't a secret. :P

Spoiler: SGEs (click to show/hide)
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Vegetal Gibber


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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 13:50:00 »

Glad you enjoyed the level, egomassive :)  Thanks for reporting these errors. They should all be fixed now in the update I just uploaded.

Now that you mention Dark Alleys, that was made approximately about the same time when I was working on the foundation of this level. I took the concept of a multi-layered maze and applied it (in a slightly different way) to an idea I had for the real-life themed competition you were hosting back then. I suppose it's harder to keep track of your location in this map because of the lack of dialogue (DA had many text signs with jokes here and there, which probably worked as references to identify some places) and because of the same reason many players used to get lost in Wolfenstein 3D: the level contains many small closed rooms with very similar decoration.
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 17:15:00 »

This is an excellent level. I managed to get all the treasure chest on my first try thanks to my patented down-hammering technique. I really liked the escape graphic. I agree that the kill tiles used for the guards were a little excessive, but it wasn't a dealbreaker for me... I'm interested to see how you might improve that, though.
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Vegetal Gibber


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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 23:14:13 »

Thanks! :) I had some help with that ending picture, though. My sister made the original rough sketch for Juni, and I did the background and the coloring afterwards.

I've been thinking about the behaviour of the guards on the last challenge. I decided to keep the "kill on contact" approach for now, but I modified the invisible tiles so the collision boxes are as small as possible. This should make it easier to backtrack and to run past the guards on the first screen if you're skilled enough (if you want to do it that way, instead of using the intended solution).

Spoiler: Technicalities (sorta) (click to show/hide)

The updated file should be already online (hooray for Dropbox!)
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 07:23:25 »

I really enjoy your sister's artwork too. Does she do graphics professionally?

Spoiler: Technicalities (sorta) (click to show/hide)
In the future, you can place the CO on an adjacent square. Then use the offset value to move it back to where it should appear. ;)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 07:47:29 by egomassive » Logged
pfrangip


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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 11:59:39 »

I did finish this level up. (Pre update) I didn't find the guards quite so annoying, but that might be because I knew to expect them after reading the forums :)

Overall I quite enjoyed it, and still have all the same praise for it as above. Additionally I thought the last level was a significantly good "climax" to go out on. I liked the end screen and how reminiscent of Wolf3D it was.

The one thing I would have loved would have been a secret level. I recall Wolfenstein had a few of those hiding about. (Or did I miss it? I had all treasures/keys AFAIK.)

It did take me a lot more work that I anticipated. Funny thing is, I originally started this level as a quick side project while I was working on another idea for a big KS level (which never really took off). This was supposed to be a quirky but simple maze level that I would be able to finish building in two weeks or so... but boy, was I wrong! I severely underestimated the amount of shift work this map required, and then came my long hiatus from KS, which certainly didn't help :P

Oh man, I am learning that now! I started what I consider to be relatively minor puzzles in my new level, and the amount of shifting required staggers the mind. (Puzzles similar to the I-II-III) I did like three of them (more like 2.5) just so it wasn't a half assed effort before I quickly moved on to other types of puzzles/challenges. I can spend a few hours making 15 screens that may take the player 5 minutes to get through, or spend that time making one 25-screen shift puzzle. And all for what? A single puzzle-screen that the player is probably going to breeze through in a few seconds.  :sigh:

EDIT: And if you ever want to see a level where the creator just had masochistic levels of shifting-work, check out Define by KG. http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?topic=6061.0
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 12:05:38 by pfrangip » Logged

Fubaka


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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 12:22:17 »

EDIT: And if you ever want to see a level where the creator just had masochistic levels of shifting-work, check out Define by KG. http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?topic=6061.0

KG is a mad man of the best kind.
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Vegetal Gibber


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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2015, 22:07:04 »

@egomassive: Yes, she is an animation major specialized in video games. I sometimes ask her for a piece of artwork for some of my games and my personal projects (such as this). You can check out some of her work here if you want: http://8bitmar.wix.com/portfolio

Thanks for the tip about COs :D I didn't think about that, it would have saved me some editing work. I'll definitely keep that in mind for future levels.

@pfrangip: Oh man, I absolutely LOVED those secret levels in Wolf3D. It was really rewarding finding them in every episode. I'd have loved to include a bonus floor here too, but unfortunately I was a bit pressed for time to finish this before my vacation ended (which was today :( ). I might update the level with some bonus content in the future, though... I really like that secret floor idea.
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2015, 06:23:03 »

This was a REALLY good level! I love that you had it so that whenever you went in a room, you had a semi-transparent version of the room you were just in in the background. It's the little things like that that make me smile, man. :)

But yes, this was a fun level all around. I do like playing a nice calm maze-like level every once in a while, instead of just platforming all over the place like with a lot of other levels. I also really like the sound-alike pun you did with "Knattzy." :P

I haven't got all five treasures yet, but once I do, I'll probably re-edit this post with my thoughts if there's a bonus level/secret ending or anything like that.

Amazing job! Glad you came back to the forums! (It really bugs me how viewership has tanked these recent years...)
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