Please inform me if there are any bugs
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.
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:
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.
A very professional level. This level is thematically at the top of levelmaking. The tileset could have used a little more visual variation, especially for making the middle more organic where the level struggles a little bit showing it’s symmetry. Besides that this a near perfect level. It plays really well too and includes surprising elements.
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.
u programed that!?
Good Test! 10/10
- I think that background color is too aggressive,orange trees looks like you can stand on it and that’s kinda confusing.Map feels kinda empty, i think it needs more ammo.Iam wonder why is there spring on 95,37 I didn’t find it useful(mby it is but i just don’t see it).
+I like middle part layout and map idea (mby just change a bit palette?)
Beautiful level with with great gameplay and many hidden secrets!
The first time I played this was in hard mode, it was challenging and the enemies are no joke (God those monkeys). One of the best levels I played for sure. The platforms’ creative effects and the waterfalls add up to the fun. Despite the level being kinda big, it never got repetitive and it kept getting better! It is also well balanced in difficulty: easy is truly easy and hard is truly hard, allowing players with different levels of skill to enjoy it.
Though there were some parts that I have complains about in hard mode:
The last part with the pumpkins: your screen is filled with enemies everywhere, the pumpkins are following you around and your adrenaline is high, you wanna get out of there ASAP, so it was easy to overlook that one special platform at the end that gets you out of there, instead i wasted my time to search for the exit in the water so the water in that part felt useless/misleading. I only noticed that platform when i replayed the level in easy mode (just to realize that i was at the very end when i lost in hard mode).
Some poles flew me straight to collide with enemies with no way to react.
I also agree with slaz about the airboard, I went there the first time without knowing that I needed an airboard to continue and got stuck. (Getting in, grabbing the airboard and getting out was also one of the most challenging parts)
All in all it remains a great level, download recommended!!!!
nyt on kuumaa kamaa
One of my favourite hotels. A lot of memories came back to me after seeing it on main page ;d.
I really like this, good job
Awesome level, awesome story, awesome gameplay, hope this gets completed, i’ve messed around with it a lot, gj on the level
While this level looks aesthetically modern and contains many scripted elements, this is still the most vanillish JJ2 level by Violet in a while due to the obvious theme of the contest it was made for. While having enough original quirks, the main course here is a pretty straightforward mostly linear level with a mild focus on exploration. Secrets are traditionally placed in walls and most of them are accesed a bit more intuitively than just by hugging every wall around them. There are also more open secret areas that can often be found by following the path not guided by arrow signs.
Gameplay mostly follows JJ2 standards, although there are a few platforming sections that take more precision by means such as chains of platforms appearing and disappearing one after another quickly. Hence why Violet decided to make these skippable by giving good old Coin Bunny a mere 10 coins. The carrot rockets are also a surprising addition, as well as the water slides. And while not by far among the hardest of JJ2 levels, this one is definitely more difficult than standard JJ2 and a slow & steady traverse is recommended above running & gunning around.
Enemies are mostly slight alterations of original JJ2 enemies, such as faster throwing Monkeys and Fencers standing on airboards so that they can cover more vertical space. There are also Devan and Devil Devan clones that behave like their regular boss variant but take only a few shots to kill. The most original enemies are the swarms of pesky pumpkins that can poison you, forcing you to look around for antidotes if you were unfortunate enough to touch one. Ammo is very balanced, with the more useful types such as Seekers and Toasters being relatively scarce. Most of the powerups and shields are placed within secret areas to make them feel rewarding. Bird cages are less secret yet placed very out of the way.
The only problem I encountered on my first run (on Hard) was that I somehow missed the airboard and jumped straight through the vine area assuming the large carrot platforms were meant to be long-jumped. That all went well until I got stuck below, got confused and died to get back up to the checkpoint. Maybe there is a way to clear it without the airboard but I don’t think it was meant to be.
And finally, the bossfight didn’t feel so special and recycled a bit of the Angelscript example level. It’s still better than ending such a beatifully crafted level without a bossfight. The typical J2C-style credits text near the end of the level got me by surprise though. I also liked how the player grading feature from Bunnylover was ported over, it encourages replayability a lot.
Download highly recommended as long as you enjoy SP levels!
This will be Carrotus graphics in 2014!
I’m in awe, I’m amazed by the charm of this level. It’s full of things I’ve never seen in jazz 2 before, devan clones, rocket carrot, tube carrots, etc…
I really like the water in this level, it’s just too white and I can’t see well. However I find this level a masterpiece,
You really amazed me Violet!
[Changed to quick review]
I like the atmosphere and the color scheme. I feel like the bricks are a bit mismatched with the tileset though. I also think the weapon balance is slightly off, with Fireball PU outclassing Blaster PU. The layout is decent, although the pit is probably unnecessary, and the hanging wooden beams were a bit obstructive. Overall, cool level though!
I’m amazed at your level, it’s a small map but well filled, I really like the fact of the mushrooms that act as springs. I think there aren’t so many ammo in the level, the layout is simple but with this background it makes complicated.
Good job PurpleJazz
This level looks gorgeous.
It’s a bit claustrophobic and there are too many pick-ups but, overall, it plays nicely.
I decided to review this because I think it deserves a review. Since Jgke is an experienced levelmaker, I’m going more into detail.
The visuals in this level are overall solid. When starting the level, you directly notice how Jgke has seperated the background layers by using a blue tint. Although tinting the background has been a fairly common trick by now, this is still a clever design choice. Jgke is aware that by using the tint, it creates a lot of visual depth. It not only puts the background further away, but also makes the playable area pop out to the front more. Although players are not always aware, it does a lot to feel connected towards a level. Seperating layers professionally is one of those checkboxes. Mitosis does this through colour, but there are a lot of ways to do this, for example: through scale, brightness, saturation or just overall level of detail. So for any levelmakers reading this, always ask yourself: “How does this look from a player perspective?”.
To go more into depth, this question can be expanded to “What can players see in the 800×600 canvas at any position in the map?”. This is crucial to jj2, because the maximum resolution is 800×600. Considering this, I still see a lot of room for improvement for Mitosis and i’ll try to explain what exactly. Behind the blue tint is a bunch of scenery placed into two seperate layers. Something that is noticeable right away is that the placement of this scenery looks a bit chaotic and uncohesive. As a levelmaker, I instantly notice that this takes away from the overall feel of this level for multiple reasons: 1.For some reason the bricks don’t have the usual shadows on them anymore like in the sprite layer. 2.It feels like both layers were made seperately, without actively keeping the parallax view or the viewability in the 800×600 resolution in mind. This results in background eyecandy that feels a bit off. While moving around you’ll notice that the layers fall into each other, float in the air, obscure each other, or fall off the 800×600 resolution. Since it’s also a bit oversized, it’s hard to imagine the continuation of the scenery patterns. The difference in layer speeds makes it extra confusing. Between the first and second scenery layer is no difference in scaling/colouring/brightness/saturation that I’ve talked about earlier, yet they have different speeds from the player perspective. The combination of these factors make this background not as visually convincing as it could have been. I think there are several levels with backgrounds that do this a little bit better, closest reference being the level “verdoemenis”. So on the background overall: tint is nice but I hope these tips help a bit on how to implement it even better in the future.
The visuals of the sprite layer + background walls look good enough, but it feels like there is just too much blending of tiles from the tileset in each part of the level. I feel like it could have been easier if you showed a bit more restraint in the eyecandy usage. I’m missing some visually memorable landmarks in Mitosis as a side-effect, but this is not a huge issue in a level this small. Choosing distinct visuals goes hand-in-hand with gameplay, because it’s part the same thought process. Therefore I decided to describe this further under gameplay.
The gameplay here is decent, it’s noticeable how Jgke put effort in optimizing the flow in this level. Eventhough this level has a lot of slopes, It’s unlikely you will ever bump unintentionally into diagonal ceilings. I couldn’t find any flow issues in events like springs/tubes, they are all adjusted nicely. The main pickups like powerups and carrots are also well visible.
However, I can’t help but feel that the gameplay in Mitosis feels uninspired. This is because the layout is very limited to a single style throughout the entire level. I’ve talked earlier that visually the parts of the level are also not distinct. As a result, it doesn’t fill different locations with their own distinct gameplay assets (and can’t due to the singular layout and visual blend). When you look through the layout in the editor, it’s very noticeable how every area kind of masks the same and every area tries to blend in a lot of tiles from the tileset at the same time. My tip is to have be more restraintful about the tileset use or make choices in it, it will make a level look more convincing and understandable. For example: A tileset like diamondus forces you to use thin masks if you want trees, tree areas and ground areas play very different in diamondus and that’s very interesting for gameplay. In a tileset like windstorm fortress it’s not so easy to see, because the tileset does not force you to use it’s tiles in a certain way or for certain masks. This is why it’s important to think about how and where you use these tiles for, both visually and layout-wise. For example, you can decide with windstorm fortress that you use the red tiles and the grey tiles in very different ways and parts in the level. Mitosis doesn’t really do this and thus it’s also less tempting to think about the step after on how to connect gameplay to masks. For example after that it’s where you can start thinking about the masks, the scale, maybe the red area having vines but other areas don’t, grey area with loads of springs.etc. There are a lot of ways to expand on the theme once it’s convincing.
Mitosis doesn’t really stand out because it seems to be missing some of it’s design processes.that seperate the good from the great. However, there is not really much to hate about Mitosis either. Everything is decent and there aren’t any bad design choices.Mitosis is a fairly standard CTF level that plays like your above average CTF level and it is certainly enjoyable enough to play in sometimes.
Almost all of these are terrible for instagib.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.