Keen Fifteen: Hello, Galaxy!

Showcase your completed mod here!
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Zeus
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:14 pm

Keen Fifteen: Hello, Galaxy!

Post by Zeus »

After hours, nights and even days I just finished a first playable beta of my new Episode of Keen: Fifteen, Hello Galaxy! - a mod of Keen 5.

So, whats the story?

The Shikadi are back - with a big spaceship, the "Galaxymaker" and want to make a new galaxy to plan the ultimate destruction of Keen. But little Billy is way to smart and so he makes his way through the spaceship to destroy the final laser.

That's all, and due to the fact that its very late...I just got one more thing to say: I hope you have fun with it!


Download: http://kc-pes-liga.server105.isdg.de/Ke ... 0Galaxy.7z (.7z - File)
http://kc-pes-liga.server105.isdg.de/Ke ... Galaxy.zip (zip -File)

Please have a look at the Readme before you play first. Thanks!


Happy Keen Day! :-)
Last edited by Zeus on Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

levellass
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Location: Ngaruawahia New Zealand

Post by levellass »

Download link is broken. It seems having an ! in the title breaks it.

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Zeus
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Post by Zeus »

fixed

Benvolio
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Post by Benvolio »

Nice levels, Zeus. As with the Marta mod, I can only recommend investing time in a graphical make-over, at least I notice the Shikadi have become facebook addicts to match ourselves here on Earth!

Sprites are difficult...so, if intimidated... start with Robored!

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Gridlock
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Post by Gridlock »

Long post ahead. I decided to post this in KeenModding rather than on the PCKF because I included a lot of modding advice. I gave this mod a single playthrough, and for a first mod I'm very impressed. This is 10x better than my first attempts at modding. (see http://pckf.9thfrontier.com/viewtopic.php?t=1827)

In general, you seem to have a lot of great ideas, and I think you have a lot of potential to be a great modder. However, before you move on to new things, you definitely need to look back at what you've completed here and see how you can improve. You still have a lot to learn about level design, tiling, and graphical edits. Try to master these areas by fixing up this mod as much as you can. A few areas you should consider:

Tiling: Every level suffers from misplaced tiles. In particular, ceiling tiles need a lot of attention. As tricky as they are, Keen 5 does provide the proper tiles that get rid of the extra lines on corners. Use them. Also pay attention to background tiles. In many places, you get a little sloppy with using their patterns correctly. I know that you tend to skip over these little details just I like I used to, but fixing them improves your levels a lot.

Clashing colors and clashing backgrounds: A lot of the backgrounds throughout your levels don't go together well. In particular, the recolored red background that you use frequently in levels such as the laser towers tends not to blend well with the rest of the colors in the game. Also, be careful about using too many different kinds of backgrounds. I have discovered that using fewer different backgrounds generally makes your levels neater and more visually appealing. Levels such as Guard Three could benefit from less background variation.

Ceiling and wall thickness: Guard Three provides an excellent example of what you could improve in this area. Generally, you should have at least 1 ceiling tile below platform tiles, and vertical walls that have at least one solid tile in between the left and right edges. These rules can be tricky to follow sometimes, but doing so will also improve your levels.

Archways: Also using Guard Three as an example, you've probably noticed how there is a single column of background tiles that shows up on the inside part of the right edge. While you tend to use any background tile you want here, the correct tiles to use are solid grey for the top parts and the correct platform top for the bottom. If this doesn't make sense, I can try uploading a picture. Take a look at the arches in the original Keen 5.

Points: Placing points well in Galaxy can be much more challenging than most people would think. I used to place points in every free space I could find, but now I realize that it is better to have less of them. There are a couple of rules you can follow to improve your point placement:

1. Try to avoid placing high value point items (1000 or more) in very easy to reach places. If the player can just grab high value points without any effort, then those points tend not to seem as valuable. Another good rule of thumb is to make your levels beatable without collecting any or very few points.

2. Minimalize excessive point grouping. For instance, in The Shikadi Room you had that section with tons of 100 points items as well as a huge drop with tons of vitalins to collect. Instead of completely removing these, try thinning them out.

3. Don't place points together with keygems or right next to other essential things in the level. If the player has to reach those things anyway to complete the level, why provide them an extra reward?

Test you levels: I realize that you didn't exactly have time to do this with the Keenday deadline, but thoroughly play through your levels, checking every last inch and correcting any bugs you find. Try to think of playtesting your levels as fun rather than a chore.


Once you improve the execution of your ideas and become more familiar with how to manipulate things well, you'll find that your work will become really amazing. If you take the time now to get better at little things like tiling and design, you'll be able to progress towards making a high quality full mod much faster. Trust me, you'll thank me later if you follow this advice. The more thought you put into modding theory, the better your work will be. Ceilick had to invest a lot of time into this stuff in order to make TUIT as good as it was.

Again, great job on this. I definitely have to compliment some of the original ideas you had. My favorite level was the First Lasertower, though some other levels were pretty clever too. I particularly liked the way you ended the 4th Lasertower with the same room as the original game. The more creative you get (provided you execute your ideas well), the better. Although I think you yourself should be the one to go through this and improve on the areas I mentioned, I am willing to help with the revisions this week if you want me to. I already know some ways that some small details could be improved (such as the lasers on the world map). I hope all this helped (because it certainly took a long time to type).

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Zeus
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Post by Zeus »

Thank you very much for your posting.
In fact, the Keen Day was a bit to early for me. So this is just the first beta-version of my mod. I try to do a little work every day, but it's not always possible and some next steps (music, new tiles) need so much time I guess, because - as you say - I want to understand, how things are working instead of only using them as they are.

I think you are right, when you say, that some colors doesn't really fit to each other. My original plan was to change the red and green floors to other colors...but there was still no time to do that.



For me, this is my first mod and the main thing I like to know: What do you think of the levels I designed? What was good? What was bad? What was too easy, or too hard .. because I think, that the levels are the "main building" at a mod. I have checked very many other mods and I wondered about the big and dizzying levels, so I tried to avoid this by


For the rest, I need some holidays..easter e.g., there could be some time for new things. But Gridlock, thank you very very much, it is really a good feeling, when a really great modder like you type such a long text. Thank you very much!
I'll return to my thread viewtopic.php?t=1552 soon... ;-)

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Gridlock
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Post by Gridlock »

Sorry about the slow response. Every level designer is a little different, and it can be difficult to judge levels when I don't know exactly what style they are aiming for. In some mods such as TUIT and Keen Asylum, the creator clearly intended to mimic the level design style of the original games, but with a twist. In others such as CKGuy's Keen 5 levelpack, the levels are clearly intended to be difficult in terms of puzzles, death challenges, etc. These levels haven't quite found out what they want to be, but that doesn't mean they need to fit in any of the categories I mentioned.

Several levels may have been too broad in focus. I sometimes have this problem too, but you want each level to have one general concept that makes it memorable to players. Keen 5 can be limiting in this sense due to the lack of variation and sterile environment. Because of this, Keen 5 levels tend to do best when they either try to mimic the original levels or have some really unique idea. A modder's challenge is to find new ways to make a game like Keen 5 fresh and original. You could definitely work on maintaining a better theme in each level.

Try to cut down on your use of long hallways (long hallway syndrome). At this point, changing them will be more work then it's worth, but when you start designing new levels, try to make better use of your space. In my level designs, I tend to section off various areas with different challenges and have clever ways to connect them. It's up to you to decide how you want to design levels and connect everything.

When you start modding, you'll want to search for a clever graphical concept that will give you some ideas for level design. I personally like to experiment with black and glowing colors, as these varying graphics help me to better section off my levels. Provided they are reasonable, you should pursue any awesome ideas you have and try to get them in the game. You probably won't get it to look exactly as you had imagined, but sometimes the results can be different and even better. Remember, you can also come back later and try to redo some of your original ideas when you have more experience.

I realize you probably want to hear more about your level designs, but I honestly don't know what to say right now because I don't quite know how you want your levels to be judged. I do feel that you could have been a bit more creative in some spots, but other spots had neat ideas that you didn't always use to their potential.

zanon2b
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Post by zanon2b »

Hi,

First I'm not a modder or graphic designer so know nothing about the technical aspects but am just commenting as someone who's played your game.

Very glad it's based on Keen5 so there was no underwater levels to ruin it for me. Generally liked the levels. The main thing I had difficulties with were those extra-short pole things which invariably meant I had to 'cheat' by saving my game because I knew it'd take several attempts to get past the things. (I've so far only played the game on Easy and Normal levels BTW.)

I did experience a bug in one of the penultimate levels (Shikadi Roomase). Whenever I jumped on the righthand shooting thing and jumped up to get onto the platform to get up to the pole leading to the final corridor for the exit, the game would crash to a black DOS screen with an error message something like "RF_?????.....nospaceleftinarrayforAnimTile....". However, when I finally remembered to save my game before that point, I discovered if I jumped on the moving platform from the ground, the crash didn't occur -- Hope that's some help.

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