Keendroid

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CommanderSpleen
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Keendroid

Post by CommanderSpleen » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:01 pm

This mod was released for Keen Day 2014, disguised as abandoned OrbKeen files. I started working on it when Ceilick posted a reminder about Keen Day 4 days prior. It is a continuation of the Keenbot concept originally conceived by my friend Victor_4k almost ten years ago. The most notable feature is the one-tile-high protagonist.

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Keendroid is basically a one-level minimod that allowed me to explore some level design concepts that are closer in style to Keen 1 than the later Keens that I tend to take inspiration from. It is more an exercise in jumping skills than the usual puzzle- and exploration-driven style my other mods tend to follow.

Most of the time I put into working on this went into the presentation--story text, title screens, status patching, etc. The level design was relatively easy and actually fun for once. I intend to create more levels in the future and continue the storyline.

Note: In this mod you have infinite lives but must complete each level before you can keep the points you've collected. This means there is a maximum, perfect score that can be achieved.

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CommanderSpleen
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Post by CommanderSpleen » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:21 pm

In reply to feedback in the PCKF thread:
Ceilick wrote:What I didn't like:
Level 2 was 25% too long. I reached a point where I got so frustrated over a couple point challenges that I just stopped caring about the easy ones too.
Perhaps the lower section of the level should have been a separate level of its own, though circling back for the RoboTed was an important part of the design. Maybe the right hand side should have been truncated. Most of that area was space-filler point trips.
Ceilick wrote:Droidkeen's hitbox height is approximately one pixel into you fucling bastard land. May this was on purpose.
Not intentional, but I did notice it while playtesting and tried to design accordingly so that there were ways around what I found to be almost impossible jumps, but placed that you will hopefully find them after trying said jumps a few times and then :rageface
Ceilick wrote:Droidkeen's movement speed/momentum was really jarring at first; I was expecting him to move slower and this resulted in a lot of jump-land-overstep and repeats. Again, maybe intentional.
I didn't notice anything strange about the movement. I blame your ignorant droidist prejudices.
Ceilick wrote:Incredible feature/bug: Droidkeen can exit the bottom of the world map after level 2, and if going offscreen and trying to enter a level, here be dragons.
Must have forgotten to place some of the top-edge cliffs. Awesome.
Poptart wrote:Why can't you apply that work ethic to OrbKeen?
The work ethic I apply to OrbKeen is the barrier that causes it to be delayed. The very idea of this mod was to loosen up my design approach.

Already it has helped me to shift a few things around in my head and start replacing the junk levels with a less rigid and literal interpretation of each level's purpose within the story without totally abandoning its meaning.

Benvolio
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Post by Benvolio » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:54 pm

A very interesting, experimental mod. Some very nice level design - very dense levels compared to the average fan-made or original Keen level. The very fabric of the level keeps you on your toes, constantly having to think a bit about where you are going. I hope some elements of this work find their way into your main projects, especially the mechanically similar 'Retrosis'.

I would say that the hitbox size of the Keen Droid, as pointed out by Ceilick, is slightly irkesome and could cause a full mod to attract an unnecessary flurry of criticism. But certainly in this setting it poses a bit of a challenge to the player that was not present in 'Retrosis'.

One thing that I don't think has been pointed out yet is that the stars/moons are solid in an unexpected manner. Thankfully I have not died because of this, but certainly it caused a moment of stress when I was knocked off the platform in level two. I don't know if this was intentional or not on your part, Spleen.

At any rate, all releases from your good self are much welcomed around these parts, Spleen!

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Ceilick
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Post by Ceilick » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:12 pm

Spleen wrote:Not intentional, but I did notice it while playtesting and tried to design accordingly so that there were ways around what I found to be almost impossible jumps, but placed that you will hopefully find them after trying said jumps a few times and then :rageface
I did notice this as a trend, but never felt convinced I could trust it persistently.
Spleen wrote:I blame your ignorant droidist prejudices.
I can't help if bots are a blight on society. Stereotypes are there for a reason! :shot
Spleen wrote:The work ethic I apply to OrbKeen is the barrier that causes it to be delayed.
Elegantly stated.

levellass
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Post by levellass » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:58 pm

I didn't notice anything strange about the movement. I blame your ignorant droidist prejudices.
I share this complaint; I think the smallness of droidKeen makes the player expect a slower 'weaker' protagonist rather than the surprisingly Keenish one they get.

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