|07 Dec 2017
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|27 Sep 2015
|28 Sep 2015
Small battle level I started randomly at some point this year. It makes heavy use of various plus 5.x features, most notably through jjPIXELMAP and the use of custom sprites and sounds, in addition to a whole host of another garnishes. The level takes place in a somewhat creepy abandoned theme park; the cause of this desertion is left to the player’s imagination. The level has been designed primarily with duels in mind, although it can potentially work with up to 8 players.
I won’t waste your time with a needlessly long introduction. Happy Halloween!
During my duel in this level I learned that I really enjoy its layout and carrot placement. It’s easy to learn and intuitive. My main issue turned out to be weapon balance: bouncer is extremely powerful and toaster barely useful. The highlight of the level is its heavily scripted atmosphere, something we’ll hopefully see more often thanks to it.
The eyecandy is phenomenal while the gameplay and layout are decent for a duel map. Duels might take a while even when there are only a few paths to traverse. Theme fits well with Jazz’ standards. The script is a nice addition to the map giving the theme an extra boost and more impressive eyecandy with this ‘hard-to-use-tileset’. D/R (Y)
Dilapidation is (as said in description) a small battle level, and to my surprise a near perfect practical example of what Plus 5.x features can do to both atmosphere and gameplay.
But first let’s look at the gameplay value. The layout can roughly be divided into 2 height levels and 3 sections. The center section is a scripted ferris wheel that turns around at a speed calculated by the position and duration of players standing on it, which works as expected by common physics and gives a fresh twist to the level. The left section has a pinball paddle and bumper ‘balloon’ that helps players move to the upper part while evading their opponent, and the right has a hounted cave. The bottom has water but is used lightly to create small pools containing extra seekers (but not so much to become a seekfest). PU’s are a Toaster (upper left), Bouncer (lower middle), and RF (lower right). All 3 sections have a 1h carrot too which are about opposite of the PU positions, which is plenty for a duel level and forces players to move around instead of merely camping PU’s. Maybe the right corner (or right cave entrance for that matter) can be a little campy at times, but I’m by no means a duelling pro and overall it seems to me like a pretty balanced level.
Next let’s take a look at the eyecandy. First thing noticable are the lightning strikes that finally feel more like natural lightning as seen from a distance. Instead of turning the entire screen white like we know (and most of us despise) from earlier levels, it uses (I think) ambient light to blend a more transparent light in with the textured background. I also liked the silhouette crows flying in circles at 2 points in the background mountains. Next there’s a creepy clown (aren’t all clowns?) selling the ferris wheel ride as if he were a Coin Bunny, swinging vines that are colored to act like decaying rollercoaster foundation, and transparent enemy sprites decorating the haunted cave. There are some more smaller changes (like colored water, 4 custom sounds, etc) but these were the most profound. Lastly, the music is the classic Spire theme from Unreal, which sounds depressing and fits the eery theme of the level.
So there you have a fairly standard yet balanced battle level that wouldn’t really stand out from it’s equivalents if it weren’t for it’s groundbreaking AngelScript usage. I can’t say how much of the balance remains outside of duels, but I’m sure it can be a fun choice for small teams or maybe even small events. Download recommended and a 9 for the balance, atmosphere, and AngelScript efforts!
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.