Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

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The Snarky Lesbian
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by The Snarky Lesbian » 29 Feb 2020 15:50

Phil wrote:
27 Feb 2020 00:33
First it was The Lost Secret of Egypt, and now this. I certainly hope we're not seeing a trend away from traditional Tomb Raider as we've known it for 20 years plus.
This may sound rude, but who cares? I'm the resident preTR4 sniffer (Don't tell Turnip). When I see TR1-3 based levels I play them over and over again, I sniff them, I snort them, I might start writing fanfiction about them. When I play TR4 based levels I am automatically kinda predisposed against them. What are these beige tones? Where are my 500 different weapons? What are puzzles? Why can't I count the pixels on the bloodspatters?

Point is, for me, TR4 and onwards stuff is always kind of experimental and different than what I am used to. And I see that people have made lots of innovations since the games original release. Be it turnable key-items, Bloom-esque effects, custom moves, custom textures, voice acting (my favorite being DJ_Full as a hobo :D ), the custom cold breathing animations in PhryneCroft's The Discovery (including custom sound effects). Now if it was up to me, the website would be filled with 5000 TR2-style levels, but it isn't, time moves on, people have different tastes, and lots of talented creators try new and innovative things to keep bringing fresh wind into the scene. And that is a good thing, a really good thing. Even TR1-3 devs like Feder keep bringing in new things, and I certainly welcome that.

Thing is, I - as always - have the option to not play these innovative new levels / level sets. We also have the forums to critique them, especially when a certain innovative feature or idea does not work out. But let's not critique them this harshly just for bringing in innovation and a desire to do things differently at all.

There is over 140 Pages of beige Egypt levels on the site that I will never play, but I am happy that they exist and that they bring other people fun.
I overall enjoyed what the creator did here, and while some things played really strangely (like the jump animations), they can be fixed and changed, and either way I am happy for them sharing their art and their vision with us. Even if it was a beige Egyptian tomb (which I am glad it is not).


Your level was a lot of fun for me Lara_Fox_Croft, I found all the secrets and enjoyed the scenery being so reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid. And I can't wait for the finished game. But when it is done, I would love for the levels to just be downloadable normally on the website. You can of course still add the colorful PDFs in the folders.


Edit: There are Christmas levels on this site that don't allow you to kill a single enemy and where sometimes the goal is just to make it into an enclosed venue. Are those Classic Tomb Raider games? Tastes differ, let's enjoy some diversity. One day I will learn to understand puzzles, I hope.
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by lizard queen » 01 Mar 2020 00:44

The Snarky Lesbian wrote:
29 Feb 2020 15:50
This may sound rude, but who cares?
Sorry to barge in but... yes, I am one of those who actually cares. Maybe I'm totally out to lunch here, but I kinda envisioned maybe there were builders out there who weren't all that "saavy" in the computer programming field but were really good at basic TR Level Editing and had brilliant puzzle creating minds and still wanted to build traditional levels but thought they would be laughed at or shunned for creating a basic TR level. I wanted those builders, if they still exist, to know their levels would be welcomed with open arms at least from this player. Anyways, that's my view for speaking up. And as an aside, good on you Phil for your latest post... respect! :2thumbsup:
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Phil » 01 Mar 2020 01:08

Thanks, Lizard Queen. I've been standing in the wings, allowing you in perhaps cowardly fashion to go to bat for me, but you've done an admirable job and I applaud your clear and articulate advocacy (for your position, although it coincides with mine). My original post has been misinterpreted and several respondents have tried to put words in my mouth that I neither said nor agree with. I was a bit put out by a newcomer to this site weighing in rather aggressively, and my curt reaction was impolitic and out of order. I apologize. I'm now playing Anthony's new level and finding in the process that my initial apprehension was misplaced. It's a fine creation in the Tomb Raider tradition and should be experienced by the community at large. It's unfortunate that Anthony's work product has been the focus of this discussion (which for the most part has been instructive, polite and exhaustive). Anthony has expressed a desire that we let it go for now and move on to other topics of discussion, and I'm all for that.

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by The Snarky Lesbian » 01 Mar 2020 04:29

Sorry to barge in but... yes, I am one of those who actually cares. Maybe I'm totally out to lunch here, but I kinda envisioned maybe there were builders out there who weren't all that "saavy" in the computer programming field but were really good at basic TR Level Editing and had brilliant puzzle creating minds and still wanted to build traditional levels but thought they would be laughed at or shunned for creating a basic TR level. I wanted those builders, if they still exist, to know their levels would be welcomed with open arms at least from this player. Anyways, that's my view for speaking up. And as an aside, good on you Phil for your latest post... respect! :2thumbsup:
But, do you see that happening? I acknowledge that you are afraid that new and oldschool developers will be shunned in favor of Devs that do super special things, but is that actually happening to warrant the fear? The general consensus here seems to be that people are more annoyed by the innovative stuff than anything else. Wouldn't also by the fact that these innovative designs are harder to create, the amount of classic levels being produced still be higher? I mean it's not like we are running out of space here (or are we?). Let's just respect creators for their creations, and judge the people for negative attitudes when they come up.
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by DJ Full » 01 Mar 2020 17:20

The Snarky Lesbian wrote:
01 Mar 2020 04:29
The general consensus here seems to be that people are more annoyed by the innovative stuff than anything else.
No. People only get annoyed when you get something innovative and aren't told about it, therefore you get stuck. Richard Lawther (old Richard, not new one) had a lot of innovation but there was usually that ONE thing to do, without distractions all around. Unfortunately, only a handful of builders throughout the eras (classic, transiting, modern, doesn't matter) were skillful enough to balance innovation and hints the way which was optimal for the majority.

But a bit of care from a player will always be needed. If I give a quadruple hint and people still walk away, then what the heck can I do.
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Lara_Fox_Croft » 02 Mar 2020 04:22

DJ Full wrote:
01 Mar 2020 17:20
The Snarky Lesbian wrote:
01 Mar 2020 04:29
The general consensus here seems to be that people are more annoyed by the innovative stuff than anything else.
No. People only get annoyed when you get something innovative and aren't told about it, therefore you get stuck. Richard Lawther (old Richard, not new one) had a lot of innovation but there was usually that ONE thing to do, without distractions all around. Unfortunately, only a handful of builders throughout the eras (classic, transiting, modern, doesn't matter) were skillful enough to balance innovation and hints the way which was optimal for the majority.

But a bit of care from a player will always be needed. If I give a quadruple hint and people still walk away, then what the heck can I do.

I hope players won't get lost, I try not to show "what to do", but I use to give hints, like you do, For now I believe that not a lot of people had difficults to understand the demo. As a pretty shitty player ( I'm a noob I'm affraid :hammer: ) I use to give quite a lot of hints to help players,

Plus I made mistakes with SftGE part 2 that I won't make in part 3, one of the biggest was backtracking, and the other was to make the level too big, and too "similar" in textures, so a lot of player just get confused when they played it. I started to work on a different way, which is way more time-consuming than the way I used to work. I make "smalls" levels, but I make quite a lot of them, with some details, some puzzles.

The demo is 'level one' almost complete+training stage. Each level take like 20min (when you know them) to complete. but you do way more things than in the whole "Inside Valek Ruins" (SftGE part 2) level. I hope players will appreciate all the things they will have to do :)

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by SrDanielPonces » 02 Mar 2020 20:25

Now that you mention backtracking... I want to know why to some reviewers backtracking = AWFUL BAD 0/0/0/0
I say that because some reviews on my level were that way. I did have a little backtracking but it was filled with more action through the paths, making it more entertaining than boring.

One thing is having excessive long backtracking (like strange catacombs), another thing is backtrack once, but with a slight difference in the scenario you're backtracking - I've seen this in other custom level and it's just genious.

I really don't understand why backtracking is automatically something bad when it's not (when well executed).

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Joey Quint » 02 Mar 2020 21:39

Phil: if you didn't mean to spit on innovation in TRLE games, then I'm sorry. Your post seemed like it was implying that, and the fact you kept not answering at all (and just pointing out "who's this guy") seemed like you didn't even want to acknowledge what I said just "because", like if you were trying to find excuses not to address the point. Which does sound rude. But if it was not your intent then let's just forget about it.

But what I did come for is a very valid point: I'm new here, so I couldn't give names, but I definitely can tell there are people (reviewers, not just forum members) who just love to spit on TRLE games that don't strictly follow the "TRLE formula". And that's mostly why I registered here, not gonna lie (but no, it's not the only reason). Because we got so many games that do follow that formula, and there are builders who are afraid of trying something different. And I hate that they have to be just because some people act like their point of view prevails. And yes, I'm guilty: your post triggered me. And then lizard queen continued with this... I'd say irrational, fear, that classic levels might disappear... I mean, it's just that those levels are not even close to be a minority. And complaining about unconventional levels will just make the few of them not even be released (or even built) at all, because builders don't want to feel trashed. It's like there is a whole pizza, with 3/4 of it for one person, and the other person starts eating a bit of the last quarter and the first one yells at the other because he's afraid he's gonna eat all the pizza (sorry for the dumb comparison, I ate pizza recently). So yes, this issue as a whole annoys me. But it's not specific to this game, it's a feeling that I've had for quite some time, and I hope I won't have reason to have this feeling anymore.

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Lara_Fox_Croft » 02 Mar 2020 22:01

SrDanielPonces wrote:
02 Mar 2020 20:25
Now that you mention backtracking... I want to know why to some reviewers backtracking = AWFUL BAD 0/0/0/0
I say that because some reviews on my level were that way. I did have a little backtracking but it was filled with more action through the paths, making it more entertaining than boring.

One thing is having excessive long backtracking (like strange catacombs), another thing is backtrack once, but with a slight difference in the scenario you're backtracking - I've seen this in other custom level and it's just genious.

I really don't understand why backtracking is automatically something bad when it's not (when well executed).
About backtracking, I mean "bad backtracking", like I did in SftGE Part 2, of course a level can have backtracking, but not a lot (well they can but it seems to tend to be a bit annoying after a moment). When I talked about bactracking I mean like kilometers of backtracking, like I did. I have a bit of backtracking in my demo, someone told about this, but well, it doesn"t matter, its logical to have a bit of it, but I, now, avoid to have too much backtracking.

Your level was nice, I don't even remember any problem with the gameplay itself in your level. ;)

And yes, coming back to a place for scenaristic need, is very smart :D

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Phil » 02 Mar 2020 23:15

Building on Joey's pizza analogy, some of us like anchovies, some prefer pepperoni. We have differing preferences about what we like in custom levels, and nothing here is likely to effect much change in those preferences. Still, the discussion is stimulating. Builders should keep turning out levels that reflect their own inspirational leanings, and we players (their consumers) should give them their due credit in our reviews, noting any areas of disapproval. This may not make everyone happy, but it will give builders valuable feedback that should be helpful in shaping future projects.

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Lara_Fox_Croft » 03 Mar 2020 02:20

Phil wrote:
02 Mar 2020 23:15
This may not make everyone happy, but it will give builders valuable feedback that should be helpful in shaping future projects.
Well I don't totally agree with you, of course some feedback are very useful to improve, but some are not. Plus it can't really help for future projects, it can help to please one person in particular, but we (builders) can't please everyone. So the feedback will only represent one point of view, so builders can't really be helped by it IMO.

For example, someone said that lighting was flat on my level, but someone else did understand why the lighting wasn't full of colors. For me as a builder and in a more general way as player (not only trle), I enjoy that every light has an origin. A light in trle must go with a visual light bulb for me, or a cristal or a hole in a ceiling or whatever.
In classic TR, light is very unrealistic and not very logical. Some level builders enjoy to put dozens of light bulbs of different colors for some reasons.
Can a player judge my lighting as flat even if I put light bulbs and sun's in every room? Will it be useful for me to read this? In fact I work my lighting in what I believe to be a quite realistic way, if the player doesn't like it, am I suppose to add colors everywhere to please one person that gave his feedback? Of course this is only an example.

When I started to build I had no beta team, and I worked things on my own, and then I released levels, the only things that gave me hints about how to improve were players and reviewers, and I tried so hard to please everyone, but in the end I did understand that I could not.

Plus by now players became so hard and so demanding, it is very hard to have a 10 in a category, because for some quite closed minded people a 10 means perfection, but come on guys we builders work for nothing, putting a 9 when you say everything is good is like saying "I like you, but I don't want to speak with you" to someone IMO. When a player says everything is right, in my mind it means 10.
How can I improve my rate with no explanation about the point I lose?

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by MichaelP » 03 Mar 2020 11:29

Feedback is always a gift. And as with any gift you can choose to accept it, or ignore it or even reject it.

Ideally, feedback given in a review of a level is at a minimum well intended, meaning it represents the honest perception and opinion of the reviewer when she/he played the level. Now, quite obviously, that does NOT automatically imply that the feedback is actually useful - for the builder or the players...

As a builder, you may well disagree with the perception a player describes, but you cannot and should not deny the fact that this WAS the players perception.
As such you can choose to ignore it (for perfectly good and valid reasons) - or you can accept it, learn something from it and adjust accordingly the next time round (for equally good and valid reasons).

It is all a bit in the eye of the beholder in the end - and it takes a certain level of maturity to accept that there are other points of view in the world than your own and that does NOT automatically mean they are "wrong"... (and that naturally goes for builders and players/reviewers alike...)
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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Lara_Fox_Croft » 03 Mar 2020 12:50

MichaelP wrote:
03 Mar 2020 11:29
Feedback is always a gift. And as with any gift you can choose to accept it, or ignore it or even reject it.
[...]
It is all a bit in the eye of the beholder in the end - and it takes a certain level of maturity to accept that there are other points of view in the world than your own and that does NOT automatically mean they are "wrong"... (and that naturally goes for builders and players/reviewers alike...)
That was my point, by saying that some feedback are not very useful, because we can't make something that will be appreciated by everyone, it depends on the player more than in the builder perceptions, you can make whatever you want, you'll always have someone to complain about.
And I accepted it, since years. It is about perceptions more than building skills. Reviewers can't be objective, and it is OK, a lot of subjective point of view will give us a global objective point of view, and rate. A bad level will never reach a good rate, and a good level will never be rated like "shit". Even if you have a few haters, or friends reviewing the level, it still quite objective in the end.

I don't actually complain about a review I had, far from it, it was an example to support my point of view. It is all about acceptance, well I choose one type of lighting, and even if it is technically fine, some will complain about it, because they don't like it, and it is OK for me, because I know that you can't please everyone's taste.

No one is wrong of course, except trolls and people seeking for revenge after a review.

Same for builders, people stealing other persons work or trolls are unwelcome, but the rest of builders, good, bad, classics or innovative ones are very welcome IMO.

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Matie » 03 Mar 2020 15:10

Just to provide a little perspective from a builder's point of view, builders are basically artists. Expecting us to change in the core is very counter-productive. It's like saying you love a person but you want them to change. Or wanting someone to sculpt instead of painting, because that's what you want them to do, but that's something they don't enjoy doing at all. It's like telling psiko not to use such strong colours, or asking Titak to build simple levels. It will lose everything special about those creations.

There's always been a trend towards innovation and trying new things, that's crucial to the community's survival, otherwise people lose interest. Some people prefer those kind of levels, but it's not fair for them to say 'please can builders not make the same old boring classic levels', and it's not fair for people who prefer simpler, classic style levels to say they don't want overly complex games with features that are anything out of the ordinary. There will always be a place for both, you don't have to force yourself to play something you don't enjoy, just like builders can't be forced to create something they don't enjoy creating.

If that's the problem someone has with a level, which is down to personal taste, I don't think it's a good idea to complain, it's not going to change the builder's art direction, as that would be something that would kill the art itself. If there's a valid point behind the complaint, constructive criticism is always welcome, of course. But bullying builders just because their levels don't cater to their own taste is anything but helpful and it's very disheartening to see.

I'm not only talking about this thread, but some other conversations I've read lately, too. There've always been complex levels and there've always been levels that tried to be more than the usual lot, but I don't think I've ever seen so much dismay towards them until now. I can't express how discouraging this may be for the builders concerned, if you've never been in their shoes, you will never understand.

Sorry for the novel, I just felt the need to say this.

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Re: Lara_fox_Croft : Search for the Golden Elephant Part 3 (end)

Post by Trikazz » 03 Mar 2020 16:58

Your level was nice, I don't even remember any problem with the gameplay itself in your level
.

You have sure what do you saying? I knowledge some another way :roll:
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