BartolisReturn by alan

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The Snarky Lesbian
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BartolisReturn by alan

Post by The Snarky Lesbian » 09 Feb 2020 00:20

Me 5 Minutes ago: "Awwwwww yeeaaaaah, another TR2 level, today is gonna be guuuuud."

Me Now: "I want to return to Scourge05's meme room."

Okay, it's not AS bad at Scourge's level. Like there are no unmarked deathtiles, spikes out of midair and the level resulting in a meme room. But it is a hard sell nonetheless.

Edit: Here is my written review (as a preview so to say) and below I will go into a little bit more detail on a level by level basis, in hopes that the creator actually gets to read this and might take some constructive info from it.
So originally I wanted to give this level set a pretty small score, tell everyone to skip this trainwreck and move on with their lives. But here is the thing, I love TR1-3 levels, and there are not a lot of builders for these types of levels, so I dearly dearly hope the creator will keep practicing, and so it is only fair that I talk about all the things that should be changed in these levels so the creator can get an idea of what to change, and which order. For everyone else, just skip these levels. Okay so let’s start: <br />
1) Flatten then ground. It’s the first thing I noticed in your previous level, and it’s the first thing I noticed here as well. For some reason 90% of all floor tiles in these levels are a chaotic array of different slants that still retain a flat collision, so you keep clipping through them at every time. It looks horrible, it plays horrible and it all around wrecks the experience. 2) Unflatten pretty much everything else. As slanted as the grounds are, as flat all the walls are. I know this is probably just the easiest way to build levels, but keep in mind that it looks incredibly unnatural while playing. A cave doesn’t only consist of 90° angles, so you shouldn’t build them that way either. I know the game isn’t super realistic to begin with, but any bit of realism you CAN add can and will enhance the atmosphere. I know this will drastically decrease the speed at which you can build and finish a level, but let me tell you, in Tomb Raider it usually goes Quality over Quantity. 3) Your environments make no sense no matter how they look. While I understood that somehow the third level was supposed to Crypts of some kind, and the fourth level was a glacier of sorts, I cannot for the life of me tell what the first two levels were supposed to be. Again, try to make it somewhat realistic, TR2 can be gamey and arbitrary, but you can still try to make it seem like a place that exists, and then use the attributes of that place to help you structure, for instance the flipped corridors in Ship-Type levels, having Amphitheater like places in these ruins etc. It’s not enough to just stick to the textures and enemies the original game used, I need to feel like “Ah, this is a submarine, oil rig, ship, mastabas, tomb, etc. 5) Thematic cohesion. Your set went “I am in a tomb maybe? To a ship, to green crypts to a snowy glacier to the Dragon’s Lair. You don’t need cutscenes, just make multiple levels of one theme and try to give some sense to why Lara is suddenly somewhere else completely. 6) Stop stacking pickups like crazy, 1-2 pickups per graphic should be enough, I don’t want to pick up what looks like one Uzi pickup, only to result in me receiving 20 at once. It does not feel rewarding that way. 7) Your enemy encounters are kinda horrible. Space them out more and give out Ammo more sparringly. Your pickup to Action ratio is completely skewed. The Spearman Encounter in the last level was absolutely horrific and resulted in me just spamming med kits and grenades. 8) Fix the textural cohesion, the actual textures themselves work, but they repeat ad nauseum with no pattern to them. Check out either the original game or Feder’s Hidden Dagger level set to get an idea on how to combine textures into sensible patterns. Again, Quality over Quantity. 9) Some of the action puzzles really sucked, like the timed shimming and the barrel slides in the second level, please make them a slight bit less tight. I know I am called theSnarkyLesbian, but I don’t actually like it THAT tight. <br />
<b>The Good</b>. There is actually some stuff I really liked here. For instance that it was generally quite bug-free, or that you seemingly tried to combine different textures of any given level theme. Some puzzles were really good, like the block pushing puzzle in the big hall in the second level. And I liked how well hidden the brown switches were in the glacier level. In general, while I cannot score this level set that favorably, PLEASE keep building. Check out Feder’s Tomb Raider 2 levels and learn from them. I would gladly beta test your levels too. Pelase keep building and improving, cause we definitely need more TR1-3 builders!
And here is going to be one in more detail on a by level basis:

1) Sewers: The first level, I have to admit, is possibly the biggest shitter of the entire set. You start in btfk nowhere and look at a glitchy (sea?) with flying Frogment, amazing. So outside of this level being ungodly ugly, and it not looking anything like a Sewer, it's glitchy as hell and starts the horrible trend of the slanted ground everywhere and stacking pickups like crazy. I recommend stretching it all a lot more. More uniquely placed pickups, but they are not stacked. Also more enemies spawn more naturally as well. Also there is nothing to indicate that the second room's pool is deadly. The block pushing puzzle at the end was actually quite good.

2) Hydrogenous Creatures: I have no idea where or in what I am, but I suppose that is okay, cause otherwise the atmosphere of the level works more than well enough. And while I generally liked this level (and the strong underwater maze towards the end), two big pet peeves. First of all the second timed shimming section is so goddamn tight that I was close to getting the lube from the drawer (by which I mean skippin the level). Also the rolling barrels ramps at the end where absolutely insane, so insane that I thought it was impossible till that one try when used a running jump to the right lane and then spammed jump and somehow managed to end up behind the barrels. This really brought me to the breaking point. But it ended in a small underwater maze that made me feel better about myself. Something else though, what is it with you putting secret Dragons on breakable ground? Both this and the next level had that, and it did not make sense in either cases. Sure it worked, but it looked ridiculous.

3) Pyramids of Teohicaneobriodudeldei: I breathed a sigh of relief when I made it to this area, because it seemed like a caling theme, sadly it wasn't. Most of the structures in this level were either designed to steal as much of your time as possible, or outright made no sense to begin with. I could not for the life of me understand the block pushing puzzle in the tomb with the door opening and closing ground tiles, so I ended up skipping the level.

4) Threatening Icy Cliffs: My favorite level in the set. Even if the Snowmobil section at the end was weird cause too much speed would constantly get me to fall down and explode, so I had to go downhill moving backwards. The various enemies just spawning out of thin air atop the mountain earlier was very bad, but also negligible because you were already on your bike. So why where they even there? As mentioned in my review, I like how the first mountain village house was opened with a hidden brown switch, but that one might as well have led to a secret. In fact I think that is how you could have done a secret well. I bet that one switch will frustrate a lot of people. So if someone checks out this thread, the first house-esque structure has a switch on it's backside. I actually absolutely loved the big ice block at the end and clibing around it all the way to the top. Again, it's ugly and I have no idea what the structure was supposed to be, but making it to the top was actually quite the exhillarating moment, so kudos there.

5) The Final Round: No, Meh, Yes. Easy to describe. The first room with the 7 Spearmen has to be a troll. It's hard, not as in requiring the player to be skillful, tactical, or dodge well, but in standing in a corner and spamming Grenades at the enemies while spamming your 50-something med kits cause every rush of these spearmen has the potential to instantly kill you between frames. GOD AWFUL. The Knive Thrower Room was very boring, and the Dragon boss? Actually quite good. In absense of the Speedrunner's pillar I had to actually look for a new safe zone, and ended up not really finding on but still developping a strategy (hide behind the pillar in the far corners near the water and side flip out (shoot) and back into cover again and again. This was okay. Finishing this level crashed the game, but considering the levelk's name I supposed it to be the last level of the set.


Again, this set was really ugly, but compared to the "Deadly Cave" level still an improvement. Keep at it friend, I know eventually you will be able to make some really good levels. Just don't go for sets. Go for a single good level and put your time into that. Quality over Quantity, and you will see the results coming!
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Do a good for the world and reduce the number of crawlspaces in your levels.

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Jorge22
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Re: BartolisReturn by alan

Post by Jorge22 » 09 Feb 2020 12:04

I *may* still play it.

Quality over quantity. Yes, I say that often.
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nad
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Re: BartolisReturn by alan

Post by nad » 10 Feb 2020 10:16

Push block puzzle with the door in the third level.

I don't know if the LB meant it that way, but Lara can jump out over the corner between the door and the block after pulling the block once.
Just jump forward several times standing close to the corner.
That's how I did it.

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Re: BartolisReturn by alan

Post by The Snarky Lesbian » 10 Feb 2020 10:40

nad wrote:
10 Feb 2020 10:16
Push block puzzle with the door in the third level.

I don't know if the LB meant it that way, but Lara can jump out over the corner between the door and the block after pulling the block once.
Just jump forward several times standing close to the corner.
That's how I did it.
Really? Hmm I thought I tried that. But thank you, I will try again with that method!

Edit: Yeah okay, doing it multiple times starts slowly pushing me through it. Thanks a lot!
Edit2: I'm an idiot in general, I could have just skipped the puzzle in general by cornerbugging up the big block (which is the next stop anyway).
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Re: BartolisReturn by alan

Post by Torry » 11 Feb 2020 07:24

Hi Snarky

Yes, I used the door corner glitch as well as I did not see any other way with that one. Made it to level four so far and I think this is quite good (apart from the floor tiles you walk through which can hide pickups that the dead drop) with some tough sections and platforming to negotiate. Only time I got stuck was right at the start in level one. Must have swam passed that damn underwater lever a dozen times without seeing it. :hammer:

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