|ezcrayon.j2l||Crayon Valley||105.65 kB||29 Dec 2020|
|CrayonValley.j2t||Crayon Valley||445.48 kB||18 Oct 2020|
|crayonbridge.j2a||0.83 kB||13 Oct 2020|
|pretty.xm||pretty||1028.13 kB||19 Aug 2013|
|ezcrayon.j2as||5.61 kB||29 Dec 2020|
|MLLE-Include-1.5.asc||12.62 kB||29 Dec 2020|
|ezcrayon-MLLE-Data-1.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||13.18 kB||29 Dec 2020|
|ezcrayon-MLLE-Data-2.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||13.02 kB||29 Dec 2020|
|ezcrayon-MLLE-Data-3.j2l||MLLE Extra Data||12.80 kB||29 Dec 2020|
This level was initially made for cooba’s cooba’s Silver (+1) Jubilee Contest, but it took way longer than expected to fully finish this (and it’s way past the deadline now unfortunately).
It’s a colourful CTF level that uses a mashup of different tilesets like Emeraldus, JJ1 Diamondus, Bloxonius, Lagunicus, Carrotus and Colony. It’s quirky with a heavy focus on the central carrot. Should work for games between 6-14 players.
23/10/20: Bug that made mountains scroll instead of clouds due to layer rearrangement. Now fixed. Lantern lights are now animated slower.
26/10/20: Mask fixes for the sand
29/12/20: Last change hopefully. Visual changes, includes more reflective lampposts, more sand and some tiny wall changes.
Another solid CTF level from Faw. The various JJ1 sets have been amalgamated together in a nifty way to create a visually interesting level. The pastel colors in the background complement the sprite layer nicely without being distracting. The gameplay and the layout are pretty excellent for the most part, with a few handy tricks here and there.
One of the more interesting multiplayer level design patterns that’s emerged in JJ2 is the commitment to making it easy for the player to get around without bumping into things. You wouldn’t necessarily expect this from the sometimes downright nonsensical layouts of the official levels that served as our earliest examples, and yet here we are. Arguably this pattern has two main components: if you see somewhere nearby, you should be able to get there easily, and if you’re moving around at high speeds, you shouldn’t get unexpectedly overly impeded. In general, movement through the map should be intuitive, leaving you to focus on where you want to go more than how to persuade the level to let you get there.
And as you might imagine, this pattern really shines through in Crayon Valley. With only a few exceptions—high jumps in the bottom corners, occasional moments of losing speed by bumping into ceilings—it’s very easy and pleasant to get around here. Edges of platforms are perfectly positioned to let you transition to other nearby platforms, which is made the more impressive by how how many tiny platforms there are, all of them more or less working with each other. And yet, miraculously, the layout doesn’t feel clinical at all.
In fact, the level even finds time to divide its layout into two halves, top and bottom, distinguished both by different eyecandy (outdoor trees and hills vs. indoor sand and blocks) and by the thick walls between them, with only a few carefully defined points for the player to switch sides. This should make it easier for the flagholders to escape capture in the lower half, as it can take more work to reach them there—reminiscent of such stalwarts as Happy Castle CTF—but also defines a lot of clear structure. You can get a general sense of where you are at a glance by looking at the graphics around you.
Better yet, the two graphical halves of the level don’t clash at all, thanks to careful use of the same general color palette (rainbows, pastels, and pink walls) and a few common elements like lampposts. With eyecandy doing so much informative work in this level, you might worry that it would be overdone and get in the way of the gameplay, but it manages to accomplish its goals without those pitfalls, succeeding through color palettes and broad strokes at what other levels might need entire arboretums to accomplish. The distant parallax background of the top half uses the same general palette as the rest of the level, but sufficiently faded and low-contrast as to not look confusing solid.
Ammo choice is mostly standard stuff for a CTF level, with the normal set of powerups (bouncers/toasters/RFs). Seekers and fireballs (forced by the level to exclude pepper spray) are also present but can’t be powered up. Electroblaster is the more interesting inclusion and tracks well with the level’s layout, which does have a lot of key spots (in the top half) with thin enough walls to attack other players through. The handful of TNT pickups I’m less sure about, but maybe that weapon is enjoying a renaissance, I don’t know.
All in all, a delightful showing with an uncommon yet vivid color palette. The layout is strictly symmetrical on the edges but not in the center, an interesting choice that gets around an awkward center area where players can clearly see the exact spot the mirroring happens. The CTF bases are in clear visual fortresses but are still quite open, approachable from three different sides. The music is cheery without becoming inane.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.