DiamClassics

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Reviews:
1
Downloads:
35
Date uploaded:
6 Nov 2020 at 22:08 (Minor update on 7 Nov 2020)

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Author
MasterMan (More uploads by MasterMan)
Type
Single player
Version
1.23
Satisfaction
N/A
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diamclassics.zip (654.67 kB)

File contents

DiamClassic1.j2l Day Time In Forest 4.42 kB 06 Nov 2020
DiamClassic2.j2l NightTime 4.38 kB 06 Nov 2020
DiamClassic3.j2l Forever In Diam 3.68 kB 06 Nov 2020
DD02.J2T Diamond Dust 02 218.12 kB 01 Jan 2002
Diam1.j2t Diamondus 1 206.58 kB 29 Nov 2017
Diam2.j2t Diamondus 2 206.13 kB 13 Dec 2008

Description

DiamondusClassic thats only the name. they are 3 levels. third diamondus i named diffrent but we can call that Diam3! Maps Maded For Fun

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User Reviews (Sort by Helpful Index or Date Posted) Average: 0

Review by Violet CLM

Posted:
9 Nov 2020, 19:25
I might as well work here (514 Points)
Number of reviews with ratings278 Featured reviews23 Average helpfulness89%
Rating
N/A

We forget, sometimes, how abnormally complicated level design for Jazz 2 has to be. Both the visible resolution and the characters’ mobility so far outstrip most other platformer games’ that there are few available analogs. What suffices as a perfectly functional, even engaging, layout or visual in another game is skipped over here in a matter of moments. Worse, even the official maps shipped with the game fail to perfectly illustrate the way forwards, having themselves been designed for a smaller resolution and more limited moveset.

All of which is to say: yes, these levels can be skipped through quickly, but it’s not really their fault.

Focusing on the moment to moment level design, there’s a lot of good work here. The ground goes up and down a lot as you progress through the maps, both using slopes and using tiny cliffs, and even some springs make their appearance. A few areas place pickups just off the main path, encouraging the player to explore. Vines and trees give the levels even more variety, including a memorable section in level 2 crossing a pit of spikes using multiple vines. Everything you see here is much more complicated and interesting than you could find in many other 2D platformer video games.

But it continues to run into this problem sometimes.

Now, to be clear, this pack is much, much less easily skippable than the author’s previous works. The author is clearly improving, which is great. Even that video is a bit unfair… levels 1 and 2 are much more interesting than level 3, and also put more work into avoiding that problem, even using the presence of flying enemies to prevent the player from easily sticking to the skies. But it’s still a problem. For all that the levels are getting more interesting to look at, the enemies more carefully placed, the floors less flat… there are still a lot of places where the player has the option of speeding through between enemies and ignoring all of that.

So there are two sorts of recourses:
  • Make it harder for the player to skip things. Level 1 does this the most; level 3 does this the least. Ceilings are a valid approach, but the main thing that Jazz 2 does that many other games do not is have the player change direction over the course of each level. The overall progression is still always from the left side of the map to the right side, but in the meantime, there are lots of times when the player has to go up, or down, or even left. Level gimmicks, such as springs and blocks, are also simple ways to force the player to pay attention to the level however briefly.
  • Make the player want to take their time. The most obvious way to do this is putting a lot of rewards in the level—food, gems, ammo, birds, shields…—in places that require just a little bit more work to access. How much extra work should be proportional to the reward… a few red gems could require no more than jumping instead of walking, but a powerup can require some actual work to find. Having lots of goodies around helps to keep the player engaged. It’s still possible for the player to ignore those goodies and run for the exit at top speeds, but then it becomes the player’s choice to be speedy—their choice not to pursue the rewards—rather than something the level simply fails to make impossible.

The other, more elusive option is to find a way to focus on speed above all else as the thing the level design should encourage. I don’t think that’s what the author is doing here, because there are a lot of enemies I had to sometimes purposefully avoid, but I don’t want to leave it out as a possibility and suggest the only good way to design levels (or video games) is to slow the player down as much as possible. Perhaps if anything you want a mixture of the two: challenges, then speed, then challenges, then speed. The official levels have a number of automated sections using springs and poles that seem to support this idea, which simultaneously give the player a chance to rest their fingers.

I don’t have much to say about the visuals in these levels. They’re functional and mostly nothing else, with the occasional cute moment like using a tree branch as a bridge instead of using normal floor tiles. This doesn’t look amazing at JJ2’s high resolutions but I think focusing on level design is more important, so I wouldn’t worry about this too much for now.

Overall the first level here is the best and the third is the worst, but none of them are terrible. Clearly a lot of thought was put into keeping each individual area interesting and distinct from the rest. But some more thought still needs to be put toward the bigger picture, focusing on more than putting down one set of tiles after another until the right side of the layer has been reached.

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