Yorpius II level design

Discussion and analysis of graphics, story, levels, and so on.
Kdash
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Post by Kdash » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:56 am

I never noticed that before.
Now I've gotta go back and look at all the levels in my first mod and see if they're all facing the right direction (probably not). Haha...

Actually, the camera could technically be facing any direction, so the way Keen starts out and the way he enters it doesn't really matter too much.

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XkyRauh
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Post by XkyRauh » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:49 am

Oh, I've made this sorta "mistake" all over the place in my own mods--I suspect XkyKeen2 is loaded with it. It's something that I hadn't really considered until I made that post yesterday... but it's something I plan to keep in mind from here out! :D Haha.

Stealthy71088
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Post by Stealthy71088 » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:55 pm

We're getting near the end. Just this level, two massive levels, and the boss.
This one is pretty small compared to the others.But That's probably a plus. After the last so many levels, the player needs a break before the next two. This level gives that break...at least in terms of length.

The jumps in this level are evil. Although you can't tell from this picture, Keen cannot stand on the bottom solid rung. This makes jumping just right very difficult. The pogo jump for the key is very difficult. It's incredibly easy to die in this level, with precious few points to show for it.

On the plus side, this is one of the few Yorpius II levels that has Keen moving up. The level is basically a series of cliff hangers, and the difficulty makes you as the player feel it. Because it is such a short level, the player is also willing to die much more often before giving up.

Any thoughts or comments?

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XkyRauh
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Post by XkyRauh » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:02 pm

Make the level twice as large, but with the same number of jumps. Rather than have the level be barely over a screen wide, so the player can see all the jumps coming, spread them out, so that each jump is a leap to a platform on the other side of the screen. Let the player use their pogo more--give the level a breezier, aired-out feeling. Instead of jumping from ladder to ladder for each jump, put a couple tall pillars of earth jutting up out of the miasma of yellow death circles, for variety.

I like the theme/concept of this level, but it feels a little cramped in its execution. What it currently boils down to is a dozen well-placed jumps, and nothing else. We don't have to shoot, puzzle with doors, or anything. So let's move those dozen jumps out to take up more space! It's a whole level, for cryin' out loud. :)

Stealthy71088
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Post by Stealthy71088 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:46 pm

Other dangers might be nice too. Some water, and plants would be great to add variety.

After reading Xky's comments, I looked at the level again, and found it looked like only half a level. Perhaps some border or cliff on the other side of the level might be nice to close off the pit on the bottom of the level.

EricMushroomWilson
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Yorphius II levels - late to the party :P

Post by EricMushroomWilson » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:25 pm

Woah, those jumps are evil. :O

There's a lot of interesting discussion going on in this thread. Here's my attempt to contribute:

First of all, precision jumping is one of those things I just find frustrating rather than challenging, at least most of the time. This level seems to revolve around it a little too much, so maybe it could be toned down a bit?

I think the exit should definitely be made easier to get to without falling. After all that careful jumping, falling to your death would be pretty irritating. So perhaps the top left ladder could be extended a little? Also the roof above the ladders and the floor under the exit could be fiddled with a bit, I think.

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Post by Stealthy71088 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:53 pm

It's interesting that throughout Yorpius II, Keen usually jumps from the side of a ladder. He rarely climbs to the top. Yet in other games, ladders are more often climbed than used as pillars. It almost feels like a level in the gameboy rerelease of Donkey Kong. I think if you're going to make a level that has constant, frusterating jumps like this, it should be a short level, so as to not overdo the theme.

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Post by Stealthy71088 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:46 pm

The third to the last level!

This is a nasty level. There are three things about it that make it evil.

The first is the very first jump. The points don't make a perfect arc, so it's hard to tell whether keen should fall into the plants, or jump across.

Secondly, it has three extremely difficult drops that require you to wait for the Ancient to move to the side before you wall, so you don't land on it. The problem is that the Ancient could easily change direction and kill you.

Finally, those blocks on the bottom of the map are all slippery. Most of the jumps require the pogo, and they're all one tile platforms.

On the positive side, I really like how it looks. Much of the level is floating in mid air, but all the grass and the trees make it seem natural, as if that's how nature works normally.


This topic is very informative. We could add it to the wiki's section on Yorpius II. Each level could have a map, and some sort of commentary for each level could be done. Is that a good idea?

If so, would the commentary be better if it were made up of divided sum ups of the thoughts of different modders, one section a modder? Or should the commentary be everyone's thoughts combined into one article?

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XkyRauh
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...

Post by XkyRauh » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:54 am

If we're gonna Wiki-ize mod discussions, I think the first heading, and the meat of the article for the level should be very simple, i.e. "This is level X of mod Y," but is followed by the modder's comments/description for the level. Some mods have very thematic designs and neat things the author can say about them; others are very cut and dry.
The level discussion can take place on the discussion board for the article, right? :) (I'm still not sure how Wikis work)

About this level: I agree with you on all fronts--it's gorgeous, tight, and well built... but those falls onto the Ancient Beasts are very frustrating. I do, however really like the way the jumps on the right side of the level are set up--that's a great layout for climbing a large vertical distance with very little horizontal motion. :D Ok, here we go:

First, I'd extend that dirt platform to the right, so it puts a bridge over the Green door; because we're going to challenge the player with these Ancients so much, there's no reason to kill them with a cheap trick. We'd have to open the wall directly above the Green door, however, so the player could still fall "around the corner" to enter. If, on the other hand, we want to keep the sizeable gap there, I'd recommend putting a few extra slippery platforms branching up toward the left side of the level, so that a player who falls down without the Green Keycard isn't necessarily doomed (although the slippery blocks make survival really hard!)

By making the dirt section larger, we can change the way the points are laid out on it, and even add an Ancient up here--preparing the player to be cautious of Ancients from here on out. I'd even go so far as to remodel the maze before the first fall onto the Ancient, so that the distance the player has to fall is more universal.

In my opinion, part of what makes this level so challenging is that Keen falls at a rate that doesn't allow for error when dealing with the Ancients in these cramped quarters--if we're going to make the fall longer, we should make the pit the beasts are in wider... or keep the pits narrow but shorten the distance the player has to fall. Personally, I'd go so far as to make every pit uniform--2 tiles tall, 3 tiles wide, so that the player can get the hang of that particular obstacle--except for one, in a different part of the level, which was different.

I'd also recommend either making the slippery platforms 2 tiles wide each, or changing the layout so that only half of them are slippery. It's not a tough area to navigate if you do the whole thing on the Pogo (which ignores the slickness) but it's still a shock if you don't know it's coming.

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Yorphius II

Post by EricMushroomWilson » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:25 pm

Hmm, I agree about making some of the blocks not slippery. I'd also suggest maybe making some of them closer together or adding more of them.

It seems like there's not much room above Keen's head when jumping to the island with the Yorp and the trees, maybe that could be changed a little bit. Although it could be difficult as it would require moving the island downwards...

It'd also be nice, I think, to have less of a chance for the player to die after getting the yellow keycard. That would be pretty frustrating after dealing with all the rest of the stuff in the level, I reckon.

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Freeyorp101
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Post by Freeyorp101 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:34 am

Although it could be difficult as it would require moving the island downwards
Not if you don't want it to; just resize the level to add a few extra blocks at the top.

The right side of the level with the blocks along the vertical line can also be quite irritating. Maybe eliminate one of the blocks in favor of the other side?

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Post by Stealthy71088 » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:25 am

Freeyorp101 wrote:The right side of the level with the blocks along the vertical line can also be quite irritating. Maybe eliminate one of the blocks in favor of the other side?
If we just drop the lowest block in that vertical line by 2 tiles, it won't be that challenging. The greater the distance between blocks, the easier it is to pogo from one to the next.

If this is done, it might be interesting to add another Ancient at the bottom of the pit. Keen can kill it pretty easily, but it adds something else to the level.

[quote-"XkyRauh"]If we're gonna Wiki-ize mod discussions, I think the first heading, and the meat of the article for the level should be very simple, i.e. "This is level X of mod Y," but is followed by the modder's comments/description for the level. Some mods have very thematic designs and neat things the author can say about them; others are very cut and dry.
The level discussion can take place on the discussion board for the article, right? :) (I'm still not sure how Wikis work) [/quote]

That's a good idea. Whoever made the game should be able to have the "front page" of the level.

We may want to add a little "critizism from other modders on discussion page" at the bottom of the article if we want to do that.

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Post by Stealthy71088 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:02 pm

The second to last level, and the last "real" level since the next one is a boss.

This is the biggest level in Yorpius II by a long shot. It's not a Benvolio level, but it's big enough to be challenging.

The hardest part of the level is finding the keys and getting to the doors alive. All the blinking balls of death are placed in a way to create a maze, and it's very easy to mess up and die, especially in that jump in the beginning.

I have to say, I think Keenrush is a genius at making these levels look natural. The pillars here are built in just such a way to make the level look realistic.

The greenies are lethal in this level. They are good at jumping from one platform or another, and because of the walls of death, you can sometimes get stuck between a greenie and a wall.

Also, there are NO RAYGUNS in this level. So I hope everyone has an arsenal right about now.

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Freeyorp101
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Post by Freeyorp101 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:42 am

I think that some of the walls of death should be replaced by more convential walls. There are enough tiles in the tileset so that the level could still look 'natural'.

Also, there shold be more rayguns, since the creatures are placed in some very difficult places, there should be ammo to deafeat them (or places to dodge them).

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XkyRauh
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Post by XkyRauh » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:46 am

I think that's really all that needs to be said about this one--this has always been one of my favorite levels in Yorphius--the big ruins that seem to speak of some advanced civilisation and atmosphere... I always wondered whether the swamp monsters or ancient beasts had anything to do with their construction, or if they'd simply wandered into the sites after those who built them had left... :)

I agree that the walls of death in some cases should either become natural barriers, or simply a different type of pillar, unable to be moved through. Maybe a darker one, or one with different width stripes. Either way, I think it's wonderful that the ruins are so asymmetrical, and the monsters roam about so freely.

Really, the lack of ammo didn't strike me as a bad thing, since so much of the lower confines of the level are barren, anyway--the only pinch spot I could see on the map might be the area underneath the exit, since the player does have to dip down to ground level there to get past an obstacle... but that's easy enough to solve by ensuring that the natural ground section of the level has subdivisions--so that marauding monsters are trapped further left, if need be.

If we're dead-set on adding ammo in this level, I'd say put it next to the Blue Keycard--let the player dodge and sweat a little on the way in, but then give them a way to relax, afterward. :)

This level may be large, but I feel that it has less overall backtracking than other levels we've already gone over. Since it's practically the last level in the game, I think it is appropriate length.

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