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|LEVEL0.000||DIAMONDUS LEVEL ONE||20.97 kB||28 Nov 2005|
With the old version of JCS 94, I found level making so cumbersome that I didn’t even consider making a level with it. Granted, there are people who rose to the challenge and one even produced a level that actually made high marks on the charts (Go Violet!), making levels with the old JCS 94 isn’t practical.
After making the changes to the new version, Newspaz nudged me when I would try making a level myself. All the time I spent testing and fixing the editor up could hardly be considered checking the user-friendliness of the program. So, I decided to give it a try (of course, using the Diamondus tileset which I love so much).
Once I actually started making a level, I realized how easy it was. I could actually scroll the windows with keys and the windows could be moved freely across the screen. I loved the shortcuts, especially the B, Ctrl + E, and Shift + E combos, which were so helpful. The new functionality to place the last selected event is also very useful as well. On top of that, I found that some tiles had bad masks, so I didn’t hesitate to change them on the fly. And if multiple selection of tiles wasn’t enough, I found it very simple to make my own events, which you will witness in this upload. The level only took a few days to make.
Granted, making levels in just a few days isn’t the smartest thing because one doesn’t put enough thought into the whole matter, but I was doing this to test the waters — nothing more. I’m hoping people can realize with this upload how easy and fun (yes, fun) it is to make levels with your own unique events, and will be inspired to sit down and actually produce something like I have.
Anyways, the point of this level is the exact opposite of Violet’s level — get back to your rabbit home and eat the carrot (lunch) that’s waiting for you at the end. Some new ideas have been incorporated into this level, such as new enemies (Yellow bouncers), flying bird platforms and other types of platforms. The level itself is much longer than most jazz1 levels, and there is no difference between easy and hard difficulties. Just test it out, watch the eyecandy, and give it a rating. Even if you don’t like it, GO OUT AND MAKE SOME LEVELS ANYWAYS!
Back up your Level0.000 file and replace it with this one.
(As a side note, I’ve noticed that a few tiles that were unused in the actual game of jazz in the Diamondus tileset cause the game to crash. As to why, I have no clue. Examples of these tiles would be the grass spike tiles and the ground tiles with grass spikes.)
I think we can already see some trends emerging, in the sense that those available sprites which look somehow generic – shield diamonds, bridges, birds – are going to be used to create new events, while the existing stuff seems generally content to remain the way you might expect it to. This level does contain some inventive switching of behaviors – a giant gem speeds up your music at one point, and some glistening yellow specks restore your health – but for the most part it’s a fairly standard JJ1 level, some experimentation with multiple paths, which has a little fun with creating strange moving events near the end.
I like some of the ideas in this level more than others… the rabbits seem somewhat familiar, however replaced, but again, that sort of thing is probably going to be standard until someone gives us the ability to create/insert new animations into level files. I’m not positive about the author’s claim that this is longer than most JJ1 levels, either. Most of its length seems to stem from the fact that you can go in multiple directions a lot, although they always seem to end in dead-ends, allowing only one final route through the level which would seem somewhat quick if taken by itself.
I noticed a number of masking bugs in the level, as well, although this is somewhat of a minor point. J1CS does not allow you (I believe) to view the collected mask of a level, only individual tiles as they are being placed, so it was probably easy for the author not to notice that many of the walls in the levels had unmasked portions. Fortunately this never affected gameplay, but still should have been noticed and fixed.
The Return Home, is in every sense, an early JJ1 level. Standards have not yet been developed and the idea behind new events is “whatever doesn’t look horrible”. Presumably, unless J1CS somehow dies off, our level making psyches will eventually mature and this will be seen as a childish attempt, too much in common with the original game, perhaps, not enough experimentation, eyecandy too bland. (Granted, Diamondus is somewhat limited in terms of originality, as far as I can tell.) So be it. A first step is important.
AtomicFeline’s creation offers nothing special in terms of level design, and is not particularly inspiring by itself. it is a good effort. Hopefully more shall follow.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.