This assignment we had to create another 3D level, but this one had to be hard. Also, we were finally able to make small additions to improve on the game (without changing the controller itself). It also had more or less of a theme, it was never enforced, but we were originally told it is supposed to be a stealth, alien game, but in the end it didn’t really matter.

Yet again, I stuck with my beloved design of dark environment where the player has to depend on light only. I listened to the previous complaints and this time I made platforms glow so people know where to go. Unfortunately it is still linear, but I have something planned for the next iteration.

So, now on to the feedback I received. I got 8 responses, which I find really good considering the difficulty of the level.

  • Was the level hard?
    • YES! All of them agreed that my level was hard, unlike my previous levels, I think I finally have an unanimous answer regarding the difficulty.
    • Some ever taught it was too hard. I would have to disagree. Even though I made the map, I tested everything myself so I know it is possible to beat, you just need to practice, which not many had the patience to do.
    • Now, also because this was a hard level that meant they had skipped previous levels that would normally act as training.
    • In the end I would consider this to be a success

  • Was the level interesting?
    • I wanted to make sure that, despite its lack of visual scenery, being nothing but fairly bland environment, I wanted to make sure that people still found the level interesting. Most said that they indeed found it to be so.
    • Somebody did comment on the lack of exploration, which I do plan on adding several paths in the next iteration to make this much more interesting.

  • What went right?
    • Here are the responses:
      • I knew that the colors represent what each obstacle is.
      • the layout was interesting
      • hard, not an open world level like most, felt almost super meatboy like
      • the platforming was decent and possible
      • Overall the level was a nice design
      • The design of the level was decent
      • Maze, Traffic, Lava
    • Being compared with Meatboy, a game which I highly enjoy, definitely made me feel proud. They like the design, which is a good thing for me, because I might expand on this idea in the future to maybe make a game of my own
    • Also, at least one person found the platforming decent

 

  • What went wrong?
    • Ok, as expected some things went wrong. I know for instance a few rage quit and others were having problems in the maze area (although the area is highly possible), Here is what the people had to say:
      • In the third part of the level I felt that it was too hard to complete because of the controls and the camera angle. I would have understand the hard difficulty if you can’t touch the walls but because of the awkward angles and controls I felt it was unfair to the player. – to fix this I made a small adjustment to the player’s rotation angle when walking to be slower, so they can turn better
      • the level does not utilize the third person character’s mechanics to their fullest potential. This level highlights the flaws with the player controller instead of hide them. – I don’t know what to say about this, I feel like I tried my best to make a fun, hard level, even with the mediocre controls, not sure which flaws were highlighted to be honest. In my opinion nobody managed to really hide them, because bad controls just can’t be ignored
      • There seems to be no stealth – Since Jeff said it wasn’t much of a requirement I didn’t bother with it, instead I concentrated on making this much more interesting. However, the next iteration will have more stealth (as much as can be achieved)
      • too hard. that red line jumping section is almost impossible and the last jump has like a pixel of safe space to land, rage quit right there – Ah yes, a very hard section, this comes right after the moving platform (a relative easy section). Jumps are doable, but in the style of hard levels you need to have enough skill to pass them. The fact that plenty of people managed to get through tells me that this isn’t really a problem.
      • the enemies in the begging are way too fast – But predictable, will adjust this as I go on, based on what the next sections are going to be like
      • The red walls near the end were too close together in my opinion. I couldn’t get past them because the collider for my player was too large and the slightest movement would kill me. – As I said, the maze is purely hard because of the player rotation speed, which I did change, making the section much easier, while still challenging
      • Player controls. But over time you get used to it – Not much I can do about this, so I will take this as a win
      • Platforms. – I saw the player go through this section and saw their struggle. The platforms at the end seem to make you stick to them even if you are slightly next to them, so that will be fixed, possibly making it easier

  • How could the level be improved? (within reason and control limits)
    • So what did the testers say I could improve the level? Somebody suggested I make the walls thinner so the player can have a better view of themselves. This is, unfortunately, a lie. The camera is so far away that it would just go behind the walls, blocking the view. I will probably just move the camera closer to fix this. The camera was a common complaint, so will definitely look into it.
    • Somebody else wanted slower end platforms, which I might do. I do agree they feel a bit too fast

So there you have it. My level was a success and I learned quite a lot from this. Mainly that bad controls and camera angle can’t be saved by even the best levels. A level can only do so much.