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|dGreenflower.j2l||Greenflower Jungle||10.06 kB||29 Apr 2020|
|dGreenflowerNight.j2l||Amazon Forest Paradise||10.06 kB||29 Apr 2020|
|ic-jparadiseD.j2t||Jungle Paradise Day||259.91 kB||14 Nov 2006|
|ic-jparadiseN.j2t||Jungle Paradise Night||259.92 kB||14 Nov 2006|
I create this on Earth day, to respect the theme I created a jungle level. :D
When you’re new to the multiplayer level-making scene, figuring out what to design can be a challenge. I feel like this is their best level out of the three (as of this review). So, without ado let’s go;Minimum standards it does reach;
And what could be improved is..a lot.
The first impression I got was..very confusing eyecandy. It uses a lot of layer 3 and traditionally layer 4 tiles as visuals. I think it’s trying to look pretty, though it either comes off as intrusive or misleading. It also covers one of the important pieces of key ammo, gun 9. Covering key areas with layer 3 is something to be very careful with, generally left only to secrets or adding a small touch of atmosphere. Some levelmakers will tint the colour of non-functioning sprite layer scenery to show it’s not interact-able (with either scripting, or the classic translucent tile trick), or other, intended tiles filling the space. Or they at least add parallax to those kind of tiles, which gives a sense of depth (can still be kind of confusing, but much-less so).
The second impression I got is the levelmaker struggles to find where the one-way event is, which explains how they are often lacking where they should be – for example the branch above the left of the red base, or the edges of the hut platforms. You can copy and paste events, and adding one ways is more appreciated than not having them at all.
My third impression is that it’s practically unplayable without Spaz. Yes I get it, most players use him, though a lot of it can be so easily fixed in a way that would improve flow for everyone. For example, the branches area near red base can be climbed to the top with him, without having to go all the way around, you can doublejump to the blue-base from below with the green spring and jump to there from the right conveniently. It’s considered good courtesy to keep levels functional for all characters.
And then…the base balance. From what I’ve checked the creator has also made, they seem to really dislike red team. Blue base is given a lot more defense and a strong powerup nearby. Even if they are less close to the full carrot, they could way more easily fend it off. Red also more closely gets the ice powerup – one of the weakest, if not the weakest powerup in the entire game. Remember that by default, players do not get hurt, can break out manually and the powerup does no extra damage.
There’s more flaws I could point out, though I believe I’ve written enough for a beginner.
If I have to be super honest though, I actually don’t recommend newbies make multiplayer levels until they have played online for a reasonable amount of time. This gives a baseline understanding of what makes a multiplayer level fun, and is extremely hard to understand by explanation alone. I see a world of difference in improvement when levelmakers make multiplayer levels where they haven’t played online at all, vs when they have – especially for several months.
Don’t let this review put you off from levelmaking though, new blood is always welcome when you’re willing to learn and put in some effort! With some more experience, I think you have potential.
I’d recommend using Multi layer level editor, which allows you to find events easily now by sticking in key letters/words – very handy for JCS newbies and saving time on placing new events. You can also set smart tiling with it, saving much long-term time constructing base layouts.
(This review is based only on the Day version, under the assumption the Night version is identical but with a different palette. If this is wrong, I apologize.)
The impression I got here is of the author trying to lay out a coherent and logical jungle world, populating it with several distinct areas—a cave, a treehouse village…—that each have a layout appropriate to that kind of geographical feature. This is an admirable idea, and the complete opposite of the creating a layout first and then applying a theme to it afterwards… it is, unfortunately, much harder to get right than that other option, especially in a heavily layout-focused gamemode like CTF.
The consequence of the way the level is designed is that it’s surprisingly hard to get around. Over and over, I’d expect to be able to go somewhere, only to discover the mask didn’t actually let me. Either I’d guess wrong what was masked and what wasn’t, or I’d be unable to jump up through a platform, or the jump would be just a little too high to pull off. I’m accustomed to multiplayer levels being more or less on my side: if I see what appears to be a path nearby, and it’s in the direction I want to go for some larger purpose (e.g. getting to a base or powerup), I expect to be able to take that path without much thought. Here navigating the level is actively difficult. This is especially dangerous if you’re being pursued by another player and you don’t have the time to stop and figure out how to move around because that will lead to your death.
One such area is the bottom right corner. Its proximity to the red base suggests it’s a either a way of getting to the red base or a way to escape from the red base when you’re being pursued. It’s not. Rather, it’s the only(?) source of electroblaster ammo, which is needed to get the powerups scattered around the level. All well and good, but the actual electroblaster pickups are hidden behind a wall of leaves, so the player doesn’t even know they’re there, and also it’s almost impossible to get out of the bottom right corner in anything approaching a timely manner unless you’re Spaz. Though at least it is possible.. by comparison, in the area surrounding the ice powerup, you can only move from the right side of the level to the left side if you’re Spaz. Likewise, the blue base is flanked by two cliffs which only Spaz can jump to the tops of. Any other player needs to climb a series of nearby platforms and hover over, which takes more work and only affords access to the base from the right, while Spaz can access it from either the right or the left.
There’s not a lot to say about this point, but there’s not a lot of ammo. Probably the most plentiful kind of ammo is ice, which is also the least useful. Arguably the most useful powerup, the seeker powerup, is hidden inside a secret warp, which gives a significant advantage to people already familiar with the map.
I can see what the author was trying to do here, and again there’s clearly a lot of work put into it, especially the luxuriously detailed graphics. It’s just unfortunate that it’s so hard to move around the level, which, again, is fatal when you’re being pursued by a rabbit from the other team.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.