Great mutator, especially with the extra effort of the HTML! Slight improvements could be made to saving gradients. It still lacks the colouring of the default ammo type gun and the death animation. Other than that this is a perfect mutator.
Cool weapon ideas that feel a bit unfinished. The weapons lack sounds and visual queues to help identify them. Neither weapon works as you would think. The teleport is too instant and spammable and causes nausea. Running with wings mid-air looks and feels weird. It feels like these ideas can be executed a lot better than they currently are.
The thing I like most about this level is that it feels like a good looking level made for all skill levels. it’s probably enjoyable for anyone to play. Something very suited for the holidays. Since I get that vibe of this level I also have some nitpicks and tips to make it a more enjoyable experience for everybody:
1. Most of the Rabbit messages were a bit strange or unfunny. I would refrain from using (inside) jokes that most people would not understand. I personally liked the informative messages the most by far. And this is my favourite text box in a SP level yet.
2. I’m not a fan of the mechanic that allows you to finish the level before getting all the packages. I really felt like I needed to get them all and that it outright felt like cheating not to do so. That said, It also took me 30 minutes just to find the last package. Others talked about an arrow, I agree this would be helpful. But I would also be fond of combining that with collecting all the packages. (and make the bottom segment easier for easier difficulties, see #4)
3. For me the UI for the package counter lacks a tiny bit of polishness. I didn’t expect it to be there. I didn’t notice the UI until i collected my sixth package. I think what would really help is if there was some sort of temporary icon/text flash whenever collecting a package, so you really notice that the counter goes up. Maybe a temporary text size or colour change would really help. Similar to how other games handle stat counters.
4. I’m pretty sure that jumping from tiny hook to hook in succession (mainly in the bottom area) is too hard for casual players and should not be part of Easy and perhaps Medium difficulty. Casual spaz players will definitely get stuck here. This isn’t really your fault since this is a trend that has been going on for decades now and with even the most respected SP packs (HH, Devres, etc) are brutal when it comes to these designs. Most leveldesigners tend to only look at difficulty with the amount of carrots or enemies given, but not take into account very difficult platforming obstacles (often combined punishing with pits/hurt events) where casual players are most likely to give up. As i’ve been watching a lot of casual random JJ2 streams it’s very easy to overestimate rabbit control and the intuitiveness of casual players, I’m talking about players that get stuck in TSF, yeah it really happens more than you think. Sure, as of now you don’t need that package to complete the level, but that’s also stealing completionists of their fun. Which is a shame, because I would really like to recommend this level to new players, and I think that’s almost possible, but with parts like these they will get frustrated over the whole experience.
5. Same thing goes for the package at position 10,77. I understood how to get there by buttstomping because of a hidden ice block, but I assure you that this visual queue is too hidden for a lot of players. Maybe collapse scenery is a better option here. Post review I also noticed the stomp scenery at 222,175 in MLLE, which is even more vague, definitely needs a better clue or nobody finds this.
6. Most secrets are cool, some are a little confusing. Overall I enjoy it more when you can see what you are collecting, but often in this level you have no idea what you are collecting. There is a secret at 246,147 with a carrot and a hor spring, but since I was full health i was completely confused as to what I’m missing out on. If there is a horizontal spring inside a wall and I don’t gain anything I immediatly think I should freeze the spring. I’ve had this a couple of times where I felt a bit dissapointed when I could run into a wall and only found something like 4 food pickups. Perhaps it’s because there is no coin warp. With coins it feels different because the game gives you a very clear audio queue and stat counter. 4 Coins in comparison feels a lot more exciting than 4 food. Maybe the best policy is to only put gems and coins behind foreground secrets for that reason, or script something that makes it more noticeable and exciting than it currently is.
7. The level is great for what it is but I also want to note it’s not a really ambitious. For me personally I would have also loved if the boss fight had a change of scenery like Treylina mentioned. Another downside for me is that the level itself also lacks memorable landmarks, which is an issue when running around a map collecting stuff. While searching for the last packages I often got lost in the maze. I can safely say that the change in scenery, caves and open area’s were not enough to really make sense of where I was and where I need to be. It maybe would have helped if paths were blocked off after collecting the needed package.
But even with these nitpicks I highly recommend checking out this level. It’s a fun festive level and very enjoyable for most players.
2022-01-08: A lot of feedback has been used to improve the upload, see the changelog. This is why i’m adjusting the rating a bit.
A small and nice conversion with some usability, but also fairy limited. It definitely requires the levelmaker to do some extra work (like tileset merging) in order to create unique levels. The artwork itself is nice, but to me the soil and the sublayer backgrounds don’t look great, although I understand the uploader decided with a direct port.
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.
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.
I decided to review this level, I like to do that by seperating the review into two parts. First I want to talk about what went right and secondly what I think could be better. That said, let’s start the review.
What did it get right?
Inside the freezer has a theme that builds upon. Using the multiple tilesets, it mixes the cold blue tint frozen feel of the level together with the steel/industrial feel of a freezer. The music works for this level and everything together makes this levelname quite believable.The colouring in this level is pretty, because it blends well together (although a small nitpick would be that the dark blue platforms are a bit too dark and the fans in the background are too bright). For the most part it has a nice offset between a brightness in sprite layer and a dark background. This creates depth in the level. Always try to think of what you want to place together and what you want to seperate, make distinct choices so the player can more easily understand the level. This makes the level look more clean and professional. I hope to see more of that in the future. So far from all Dragusela’s levels on J2O, this is his best implementation of theme and it really shows he grows as a levelmaker to make distinct areas and adds tiles within that theme.
The gameplay, for a some parts definitely looks better than your previous levels. This level feels easier to move around in, it is more open, it is more practical. It flows better than other levels. This doesn’t have uncounterable camping like before. I can remember in your first levels it used to have powerups in extremely safe spots, luckily this level doesn’t have that.
Where is room for improvement?
Although this level does some things right, it also shows a lot of room for improvement. There’s a certain randomness to a lot of the level aspects, which makes it feel chaotic and unprofessional. It’s a bit much to name, so I’m just going to start a list of things you can expect to find in Inside the freezer: Secret warps that have no visual indication (I had to look in MLLE to find it), ground tiles that also unexpectedly become foreground tiles, inconsistency with one-way floors, confusing layer speeds that move slower than the layer behind it, ceilings that randomly stop existing and turn into foreground, floors that could be just floors but instead has bridges behind foreground scenery (also had to look in MLLE to find this), the unconvincing perspective that a huge background is seperated from the sky by a mere 1 tile waterfall, inconsistency on whether steel support beams are masked or unmasked, missing masks to prevent players running in the edges of the map, missing mask edits for inferno to stop players from standing near ceilings, dead ends without any pickups, springs that don’t reach high enough or are too high or are missing completely, the copter respawning too slow, pulse lights that don’t do anything because the ambient lighting = 100, ricochets causing bullet desyncs in multiplayer. Wew, this is quite a lot… I think it can be helpful to look into these again and imagine how this is from the player perspective and what you can do differently. I think most and foremost: Try to stop combining your layer 3 with layer 4 this much. They are not interchangeable and shouldn’t be. Layer 3 should only really be mixed into the playable area to hide small areas or for small scenery, not hide entire masked layouts.
Anyway, I hope to see more levels and I hope to see you continiuing levels, because I can definitely see some improvement.
Funny, but not useful in any way. I don’t want the rating system to undermine great uploads, that’s why I’m giving this a 7. I think these type of uploads work better with N/A only.
Purplejazz nails it again on level theme and aesthatic, this level looks great and has a great vibe to it.I feel like the gameplay elements could have been explored more with this tileset. The gameplay felt a bit uncohesive as I was jumping and shooting into blank areas. This is enjoyable as a casual level, but comes short for being great for me.
This sole program kept content creation in jj2 alive. Fills the gap to make jj2+ and content creation streamlined. Everything that is here is already top notch, i hope to see future updates that make tileset/palette editing even easier. Nevertheless this deserves a 10.0 already.
This is a useful script, although i’m not a big fan of how the emotes look. Turning them off is possible, but only for you. A better solution in my opinion would be if they didn’t replace the old emotes, but were a new set. For communication purposes I like it more if the sender and receiver see the same message.
One of the most professionally made levels to ever come out. Aesthatically this level sets the bar for levelmaking higher than ever before. A good working layout for this levelsize is expected and is indeed solid. Gameplay and visuals go hand-in-hand here. PurpleJazz is one of the few leveldesigners that pays attention to every necessary detail.
I’ve recently given this level some thought and decided to write a review on it. To start off, this level does not have any glaring negatives. Everything in this level certainly works to an extent. The theming is superb. PJ shows again how good he is setting up a theme, put attention to detail and make a nice polished level around it. The combination of tile elements and colouring gives this level a new and fresh feel. From my experience this is not an easy thing to come up with and to deliver constantly, but PJ shows he can surprise us with each upload.
To me, where there is a surprise in theming and eyecandy, it somewhat lacks in gameplay. It’s certainly not bad, however i’m certain we’ve seen every gameplay element in this level before in another level. That is except for the carrot area. But i’m going to be honest that despite how clever the carrot area is, the risk going into the dead end is too short to really have a big influence on gameplay.
To give a short summary on the rest of the level: We’ve seen the triple pathfloors before, we’ve seen the scale of pathways before, the linearity & width around gap placements in paths, the typical spring on every end of a path to go up. It’s not an understatement that the pathing in this level is extremely simple and likely won’t suprise neither challenge anyones skill. There is nothing to me layout-wise that makes me think like… “Oh, that’s new and clever”.
Of course one could argue that this was the plan all along to keep it simple for players. But in my opinion this is a step down in professional levelmaking as we’ve known. The next step in JCS is also about inventing and you need to be taking some risks. This can be great if it pays off and I think we’re not done reinventing multiplayer levels to a big audience. This layout however is as risk free as it can get. I feel like PJ can be more creative to bring new and fresh gameplay elements to the table.
And even if we look at the entire JJNet mappool levels now, where does this level stand? I hate to say it but it really doesn’t feel like it brings a new choice to the table. If i want my typical open layout flatground level, with somewhat equal scorepacing and expected player skill, then there is a lot to choose from already. I could also go with Facing worlds, Byzantine Blues, Starlit CTF, All Your Base, Gauntlet, Ancient Museum, Dragon eyrie and to some extend Stronghold CTF. These levels also have very limited chokepoints and are quite easy to learn.
To put this into perspective: Right before the clanwar CC vs CDF, many of the old warteam members came back one day before it to train the entire mappool. I remember especially Vegito was hesitant at first learning the new levels, but we came to the fast conclusion that a lot of these in the current pool play the same way. Eventhough we struggled in Butrinti, we liked it a lot more cause it felt like there was room for tactical improvement. We have ideas on how to control that level more optimally and where to position ourselfs around chokepoints. I think it’s nice when a level does that. This is why i rather would have wanted something new to the mappool. This is just hard in a level that doesn’t challenge you to adapt much to the level. Galeloch works, but feels generic with what we’ve seen. To me this could have been a 9+ level if it had great gameplay to go with the theme.
Of course despite this PJ is still a very professional JCSer and this level was made very professionally. I just hope we take the next step in JCS by taking some creative risks and making them work. PJ is one those JCSers who can certainly do that.
I know some effort went into this. It has a lot of levels and a lot of scripts too. Although the level designs are really repetitive and boring. The jj2 gameplay core is lacking here.
Violet kicks all of our asses in angelscript, but not quite with the basic jcs. We, generally speaking are all very amazed by the ridiculously cool script. But if you take away the scripting part, the level itself is far off from evilmikes SP works in JCS. There is more to offer for the jj2 future!
Agree with PJ.
This level only involves gameplay, almost nothing next to it. the same tile used in every wall is really a bummer, this could have looked great and playable otherwise. Some parts of the layout are just huge and bland. and i dislike how it’s a little too tunnely overall.
Don’t rate your own levels.
Definitly one of the best CTFs in 2011 so far. Great layout.
Only objections are that an almost slopeless set can be chaotic at times with so many springs and that the music annoys me after a while but w/e.
Mad props to the ec, especially for this set. Eventhough I think some ec parts are a little overdone, it doesn’t matter. Download this now!
Everything added is somewhat taken from A_Fix_carrotus. The example levels don’t really show off the new possibilities. (for example with the additional horizontal tree logs). there is also no rearrangement in the tileset, or additional tiles i haven’t seen before.
So all in all these are just mainly pallette swaps, and even those are directly taken from tileset packs like Diamß by pyromanus. this makes easterius look like carrotus, which shouldn’t be like that. Even in pallette swaps where the blue/pink/purple theme still appears i am not sure if the contrast is right or for example, fits with a grey background.
It’s fun to have A_carrotus fix copy with chocolate bunnies.. But with easterius it’s grass turning green like carrotus, pallettes taken from some other sets, additional tiles taken from other sets and questionable color schemes. I don’t think I should give you much credit and appreciation.
No DR since these tilesets are imo not a must have.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.