A twist for collection

Discussion and analysis of graphics, story, levels, and so on.
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JosephBurke
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A twist for collection

Post by JosephBurke » Tue Sep 02, 2003 7:23 am

Collecting points specifically hidden points is mainly what the Keen games are about. How many ways do you think exist for hiding points in keen1-3? You can put them out of view, or making a secret passage in a wall, or use an invisible block, or even hiding them in a secret level counts but in the end there are not many ways. That is why I hope you may receive and help me improvise a slightly new way.

Imagine an ordinary level with an open space. You pogo to the right letting Keen go a little higher each time then by mistake as you pass over a plain background tile you see a hidden block appear. Your curious about why the block is there and why it only appeared after you touched it, giving into curiosity you jump on it and find that it is sturdy and will support you. Being a somewhat clever gamer you pogo off the block looking to see if there are more, your searching proves beneficial a string of them exists leading higher and higher into the sky. The rest of the level disappears below as you ascend, then a new ledge up above appears, using your mightiest pogo jump you reach it. On the ledge a whole assortment of goodies lie about for you to collect.

Other possibilities exist too: like, Keen could be falling from the sky and as he plummets a trial of flames or sparkles could be left behind, a message could be written with hidden tiles, as Keen wandered through a cave he could disturb some rocks revealing a lava flow. (You know that last one would probably kill Keen before he can escape, maybe it could be a trap!)

You can do this hidden tile thing in two steps,

1 - replacing a background tile with the tile you wish to appear
2 - recolor a harmless item like 2000pts to look like the background

then when Keen touches the hidden point tile a new tile appears.

There are two problems here though, one the tile will still be worth 2000pts and two a lack of background tiles. By using Keen3 which has around 48 background tiles problem two is solved but problem one still exists. If someone like Andrew could possibly figure out how to set the 2000pts item to zero I'd be very thankful. :D

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adurdin
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That's the way!

Post by adurdin » Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:30 am

That's what modding is all about -- using what's there to do things that no-one has thought of before. Very neat idea, Joseph (or should I still call you Forge?). I'll be back with patch information (although slightly more general) before too long...

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JosephBurke
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Wahoo!

Post by JosephBurke » Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:17 am

Thanks for the help Andrew, and for the quick reply :o

This will make the day for my mod. ;)

(ed - using the name Joseph would probably be best since new fans wont know who's who.)

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Post by KeenRush » Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:23 pm

J, that is really good idea! It's suprising what we can do with some small modding..

Hmmm, I may use something like this in my mod: The basic background tile in my mod is gray. And after collecting goodie that is in the tileset after something number (can't remember it now), the collectiable tile changes to that other tile, that is normally that black tile in Keen 1 (if I remember correct). So, just edit that black tile, and make something new goodie (for example 100) after that something number in tileset (which I can't remember now), and when you touch that tile, it will reveal the black tile, that you have changed on to something other, to make the effect you know from for example Secret Agent games, or Crystal Caves. :) Oh, and sorry, that's quite confusing text..

I have some nice ideas, you will see when my mod's finished, I'll tell them then.

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Post by adurdin » Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:24 pm

And don't forget, Joseph, that there are at least two different backgrounds that collectable items can get replaced with in Keen 1 and Keen 2.

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Another way

Post by Ilsoap » Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:31 am

If you don't want to use valuable background tiles in Keen 1, there is another way (not quite as effective, but still an option). Use a blank, masked tile that's solid on the top, and then make the masked tile mostly white except for a light-colored bar on the top. This way, it will be invisible until Keen jumps through it.

Not quite the same, but might be an option.

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Masked Hidden Tiles

Post by CommanderSpleen » Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:17 am

Imagine an ordinary level with an open space. You pogo to the right letting Keen go a little higher each time then by mistake as you pass over a plain background tile you see a hidden block appear.
This could also be done with ordinary-looking background tiles... some sort of rock or barrel or something... or even an evil block.

The lava flow thing would be cool... something similar could perhaps be applied to rock ledges appearing while jumping through a waterfall.

How do you change what tile appears after an item is collected, BTW?
Use a blank, masked tile that's solid on the top, and then make the masked tile mostly white except for a light-colored bar on the top. This way, it will be invisible until Keen jumps through it.
That'd be really classy... A series of these platforms leading higher into the air could make for a gratifying hiding spot... you'd have to do a bit of 'looking before you leap' in order to find the next platform(s). For an added annoyance, perhaps the occasional invisible masked ice tile could be useful...

Similar things could be done with collectible items with a solid top, like the cola cans in Keen2... you'd have to be careful not to collect the items in order to get to the very top and collect a lot of points, then collect the platforms on the way down... perhaps some yorps raining down from above could add an extra challenge... and, of course, slippery ice platform items every now and then...

Even hidden areas that are only accessible through not flailing stupidly when heading to one's doom or falling off one of the above platforms... (ie. slipping off a platform and allowing Keen to just fall, rather than trying to preserve as much climbing progress as possible). "Blind faith bonuses."

And what of plain view bonuses? There's a lot that can be done there... items that look like walls just after the exit... then whatever other bonuses/etc, perhaps a no-return leap... then another exit.

I'll have to use some of these in CKMB...

>CommanderSpleen

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Post by KeenRush » Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:27 am

Ilsoap, ghost-tile, that's a really neat idea. :)

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adurdin
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Another possibility

Post by adurdin » Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:45 am

Another option would be to use something very much like the Keen 1 "hidden" brick, but animated; so that 75% of the time it looks just like a background tile, but 25% of the time one pixel is visible.

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Post by KeenRush » Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:52 am

That's nice too, but too bad the frames of animation change so fast.

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JosephBurke
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slowly

Post by JosephBurke » Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:59 pm

Maybe the speed of animation could be changed, though things could get pretty slow that way... wa... y.
How do you change what tile appears after an item is collected, BTW?
You have to use another background tile. There are only two of these in Keen1-2 so it's not practical but in Keen3 every tile along the left side of the tile-palette is a background tile.

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Post by KeenRush » Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:55 am

I bet it could be somehow changed, but it would affect ofcourse to all other frames, and that wouldn't look so good. Or probably it could slow down the game, in case that variable would define the speed of game, and on the "side effect" cause animation speeds.

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re: tiles

Post by XkyRauh » Thu Sep 04, 2003 6:34 am

i think an animating tile would be more noticable than non-animated (at least with the Keen:Vorticons engine) in Keen4 the hidden tiles in Hillville and such were nice because they had long pauses of invisibility, and the flashes were very brief. with the Vorticons 4-tile system, there's considerably less mystery--a hidden tile would flash twice a second!

if you could hack it to animate more slowly, hidden platforms would work. the masked tile was a good idea too. but most of what you've mentioned is dynamic level design, usually done with triggers and entities (i.e. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Genesis had an earthquake in Hill Top Zone that made a new ramp of earth rise) ...if you're looking for new ways to hide items in the Keen:Vorticons engine, one suggestion i've got is to make creative use of your enemies.

the Scrubs in Keen2 have lots of potential--and can make hunt-happy players spend rediculously long periods of time pogo'ing about (think about that one jump in the D.C. level... argh!)
in Keen3, you could make areas that are Jack'ed and require Ankh time to get past, among other things.
all three games offer ways of placing tiles to reward meticulous jumpers. often a gap can be established that isn't reachable by a "full power jump" or "full power pogo" but requires some dexterity in between ;-)

one of the classic methods of taunting players in platform games is to put items in plain sight, just on the other side of a wall that's not immediately passable--and so the player must focus their attention on other parts of the level, and must rely on memory to say "oh yeah--how do i get back there?"

the last thing in my mind isn't necessarily a way to 'hide' items in a level, but these are key moments in all platform games. the first example is Level03.ck1, where the player can spend multiple jumps trying to grab all the balloons/lollipops. even the most casual gamer is likely to spend 2-3 jumps trying for them... the hardcore guys will sit there until they actually GET it. the other one is "the fall" where a player has ascended some sort of tower or building, and is faced with the split between continuing the climb, or leaping from their peak to collect a few points. this was used all over the place in Keen3.

if you really feel that you're limited by the engine as it exists, feel free to mod it (that's what the forum's for) but don't think that there's anything wrong with "the classics" :-)

--Xky

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Re: re: tiles

Post by Yowza » Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:05 am

XkyRauh wrote:even the most casual gamer is likely to spend 2-3 jumps trying for them... the hardcore guys will sit there until they actually GET it.
No, the hardcore guys get it all in those 2-3 jumps :P

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JosephBurke
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Recognition a powerful tool

Post by JosephBurke » Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:14 am

Maybe I'm aging too much because sometimes I simply say, "Yep I can get those points," and move on.

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