Cobra requested I take a look at the level, and give it a review. I’m afraid I didn’t get to it as quickly as I should have, and I apologize for that.
The stuff outside is passably interesting, and the background layers are used fairly well. However, they also are very standard fare for this tileset. Inside, the background is essentially one tile, repeated over and over. It looks very bland and repetitive. And everywhere on the level, each wall or floor seems to be made of only one tile, dragged vertically or horizontally. The tileset has a nice variety of ground and wall tiles, and using a variety would make the level look a lot more natural and organic. The foreground always has leaves and waterfalls, which can look a tad strange inside, not to mention the problems with the waterfalls. The waterfalls are all concentrated on one side of layer 2, and are set to scroll horizontally rather quickly. Especially because the layer also moves relative to the player, this can lead to a very awkward looking waterfall darting halfway across the screen (while you’re supposed to be underground in a mine), pausing for a while, then disappearing as quickly as it came, if the player runs back and forth wrong. The waterfalls are also very poorly constructed, and some have jagged, square edges. There are also several tilebugs, such as the ones at tiles (145, 8) to (145,11), or the extra layer 3, at or around tile (22,6). Overall, the level has a rather unfinished feel, and could benefit from some more time being spent on eyecandy.
The gameplay was also far from perfect. There really wasn’t much flow. The level alternates between narrow, tunnelly portions that are nearly impossible to navigate without running into several different walls, and wide open spaces that are tactically uninteresting. There are also a lot of very difficult, accurate jumps that the player has to make. There a several one tile wide platforms, and at least one, one tile wide one-way. These are awkward, and pausing to line up and do it accurately breaks up gameplay. Also, these routes are no better than any other path on the level. While adding some difficulty to a level can be nice, skilled players should be rewarded for their skill. This is not the case, and taking the more challenging route will feel awkward for anyone, and the level essentially punishes a player for attempting the challenge. The level also suffers from far too many power-ups, a few too many carrots, and a lack of normal ammo. And the power-ups seem to be randomly scattered about. There are two rf power-ups, rather near each other in the bottom right corner of the level, and both can be grabbed with essentially no effort. However, just a bit further left, is an electroblaster power-up which is protected inside an underground bunker. Again, I feel that the level is rewarding the player for doing easy things more than for being skilled, which makes the level much less fun. Also, there are some bugs with the gameplay. Not everything that should be a generator, is a generator (The Full NRG carrot and the aforementioned Electroblaster powerup, for example. There may be more)
I’m afraid this level has some significant flaws. While it was a good attempt, and I like to see the experimentation, I think a bit more effort should have been put into cleaning it up and removing bugs. Even with the bugs fixed, the level does have some issues, and I would suggest studying popular levels to figure out what makes the best levels so good. Once you get a better understanding of the theory behind gameplay, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to create some great levels. Keep practicing.
You need to include event 255 in the bottom right corner or your death pits don’t work. Also, on hard mode, the rocket turtle stops at the bottom right corner of the pit with the second trigger crate, which allows the player to just sit there and kill him. Despite the bugs, I found the level fun, and I liked that the airboard was optional.
The eyecandy is clean, and sets the mood well, although it’s nothing too original. The gameplay is rather hard (I hate moving platforms) even on easy, so if you’re looking for a challenge, I would recommend downloading it.
Please don’t post other people’s work, even if you modified it slightly.
‘Just to let you know, you can update your previous uploads, so everyone will see the latest version, and not get confused and download an outdated version or anything.
This level was entertaining to play through and explore.
This level may not be incredibly ground breaking or challenging, but I found it fun to play through. The level consists of a large number of rectangular rooms, which may seem like it would lend itself to inflexible, bland gameplay, but this is not the case. The rooms connect in various different ways, and you often end up wandering in the alleys between the rooms. The main mechanic of this level involves changing the water level, and the path feels nicely squiggly. You end up going back into the same rooms occasionally, once with water and once without, which feels like a very efficient use of level space. Also, there are several “secrets,” which can be found by exploring alternate routes. The overall gameplay felt very casual and relaxing to explore the level. There were a couple small imperfections in the gameplay. For example, there are some downward suckers to the right of a save point, and it’s easy to miss the save point and fall in. Then, there’s no way to go back and get the save point. The end also involve a bit too much “find the crate” type gameplay. But overall, I thought the gameplay was well done, and fun.
The eyecandy was also pretty well done. The tileset fit well with the theme of “breathing the filth” and there was some kind of green, toxic snowfall. The level looked surprisingly natural and organic, despite the rectangular rooms. My only complaint is that it could be a little hard to tell apart the different types of destruct scenery underwater, but this didn’t significantly harm gameplay or the aesthetic of the level.
If you have some time, I would recommend downloading and exploring this level.
Unfortunately, this seems to be TSF only. Even when I converted the level to 1.23, the game runs out of internal animation structures, and I can’t get it to run in 1.23 without removing a huge number of events, and therefore losing all real gameplay. Which is too bad, because I was looking forward to trying this level out.
This level is incorrectly labelled as 1.23+, although it actually needs 1.24, and I don’t see how plus makes a difference. It’s an interesting concept, having the players try to find their way to one of three warps while blind. If the player finds the right ones in the right order, they are told they are awesome. Else they aren’t told they are awesome. The gameplay is basically just flailing around blindly, so it didn’t keep me incredibly entertained, although I guess I could imagine if you just want to screw around with friends, and chat and stuff, it could be an alright level to host.
I downloaded this level and hosted it for Sean. I haven’t played for a while, but it was pretty fun
The Eyecandy is relatively normal. I think it looks pretty good for the most part. I like the grassy parts at the bottom, and the floating sand platforms are decorated and interesting to look at. The only major visual flaw this level has is the large, bland upper areas. When using a copter to get to the bouncer or rf powerup, a player’s screen is pretty much just blue background, which is kind of dull.
While there are some really good ideas in the gameplay, the level also has some awkward moments. The seeker and toaster powerups feel too close together, and it’s really easy to get both at once. The area right around the bases also lacks flow. When testing it, I found I frequently hit one of the green springs at 62,32 or 73,32, and ended up getting sucked up to the rf/bouncer warp when trying to get to the other base quickly. Avoiding the springs and actually going quickly felt a bit awkward. The rf jumps under the bases also make very little difference because these two springs also allow the player to launch to one of the sand platforms right next to the base. Some of other areas felt a bit too open, and I’m not a big fan of the H-poles.
However, this level also has some great features. I like the full NRG over springs into a pit. This makes either getting the carrot, or preventing an opponent from getting it, much more interesting and exciting. Other than the seeker and toaster powerup, I think ammo is placed well, and there is the correct amount for a level of this size.
The level is by no means perfect, but it is demonstrates talent on the part of its creator, and certainly can be fun to play.
Edit: Forgot to put the actual rating.
This level is
too small brilliant, fun, creative, and a neat little challenge.
I saw a new single player level uploaded, and it was rated quite high, so I was excited to play it. Unfortunately, I was somewhat let down.
The gameplay was extraordinarily average. The vast majority of the level simply involved large amounts of enemies and a few hurts. The extremely large number of enemies was offset though by the fact that there were several more carrots than needed, and the level really felt a lot like an official Epic level, except with more health lost and gained back. I think if there were simply less of everything, the level would be a bit cleaner and have more interesting gameplay. I did like the amount of ammo, and they type of ammo. There were also several death pits, which could be a hair annoying, because I often found myself plummeting into them from a great distance, and only at the last second realizing they were there. However, I liked that there were pits, because it did force a little more thought and caution on the player’s part. The pits didn’t always work correctly though, and several times I “died,” I found that I hadn’t actually lost a life, just been sent back to my last checkpoint. I had my settings wrong, so I couldn’t see through the transparent tiles, which made a few placed annoying, so if you’re going to play be sure that you can. I liked the choice between the bosses, although they are a bit unbalanced. The left is a bubba boss on a bunch of platforms over a pit, the right is several bilsy bosses. I found the left side to be much easier.
The eyecandy, like the gameplay, was fairly standard, but more crowded. There were a couple little tilebugs, such as(106,9), which had an extra fog tile over top of the wall, but most of it looks good. Things are generally consistent and easy to tell what’s going on, although again, in some places it simply is too crowded and a bit confusing. I liked how events were consistently placed on the ceiling. This was a nice little touch that made the level look and feel more unique and cohesive.
The level is good, although other than the boss selection, not very creative.
Edit: Forgot to actually rate it
This is a fairly interesting battle level.
The eyecandy is relatively good, but doesn’t really stand out to me. As with most levels using this tileset, it’s fairly bright and clean looking. There’s some nice layering with the background throughout the level, and I like the part just above the “sparkly pumpkin,” with a waterfall that appears to fall between two layers of background. I don’t really like the layer 2 rain much, because it seems to move too fast and if anything gives the impression of a powerful storm with wild winds, which don’t really fit with the blue sky and rest of the background. Events like moths and food, (although the food at least can also effect gameplay to some extent) give the level a pleasant, natural look.
The gameplay of this level has some interesting ideas, and could lead to fun games, but doesn’t really feel polished all the way. The most unique part of the level I noticed was two coin warps. One requires 20 coins, the other requires 50. The 20 coin warp can send a player to either a bouncy or pepper-spray power-up, while the 50 coin warp can send the player to either an empty room or a room with a shield and a blaster power-up. The empty room is three times more likely than the room with the power-up and shield. (I know for single player warps with multiple targets aren’t actually random, but I forget if this is true for multiplayer games. If it is, then a smart player can always get their money’s worth for the 50 coins if they use the 20 coin warp the right number of times in before using the 50.) I feel this is a bit unbalanced. A shield is nice, and the blaster could be useful because of the relatively sparse ammo on the level, but without any fast-fires on the level, a bouncy power-up is far superior in the long run, if one can collect ammo fast enough. Which actually could be rather difficult, because every generator on this level seems to have a delay of 30 seconds, and there isn’t a particularly large amount of ammo on the level to begin with. If there are many players, collecting 50 coins would be nearly impossible, and getting the reward doesn’t seem worth the effort, especially if one ends up getting dumped into an empty room 75% of the time. Ammo is also difficult to collect enough of. This is especially true because there is only one power-up that does real damage and requires ammo. I believe there are six +3 bouncy ammo events to collect, each with a respawn time of 30. Of course, limiting people’s ability to use power-ups may also work ok, because there is only one +1 carrot that players are supposed to be able to get. It is possible to get a full NRG with a somewhat tricky rf jump (No, i did not use any cheat codes to get up there). The bouncy power-up and pepper-spray can also be got by some possibly unintentional means. The pepper-spray can be shot through the walls of its room by running into the wall and shooting some bouncies just before colliding. The bouncy power-up requires either the warp or a rather difficult rf jump that would be even more difficult during an actual battle, so this probably doesn’t have to be worried about.
Overall, this level is fairly good, but because it’s rather difficult to collect ammo, I don’t find the gameplay as great as it could be, and don’t believe the level really stands out much.
These are pretty nice. Although some, especially Awkward, could be difficult to fit in a 256 color palette, they all are visually interesting and could make a nice addition to a tileset.(Although why is it labeled for TSF+?)
Unfortunately, this level has rather weak gameplay. There are about five power-ups, I believe. However, they seem to just be randomly distributed, with a couple very powerful ones (seekers and rf’s) right near each other and in plain sight, while a more useless one (gun8) is hidden in a bizarre slot in a wall, where no one is likely to find it. Also, there are practically no events other than the power-ups. This means it is possible, that in a game with too many players, some may be stuck with nothing but a blaster. However, the respawn time isn’t particularly long, so this hopefully would not be a problem. The level also has a bit awkward placement of carrots, meaning if someone gets hurt, they’ll possibly have to hide or die. There is a full NRG near the middle, but it’s in a wall hidden behind layer 3, so trying to get it leaves the player too vulnerable. This will also almost certainly result in camping. There is also a +1 c in some vines in the middle, a bit higher up. However, these vines are a bit high off the ground, so spaz can get the carrot a lot easier than jazz, and I doubt lori could get the carrot at all, without a huge blind leap from the blue base. Also, the leftmost masked tiles of the vine do not have the vine event on them, which can lead to collisions that shouldn’t happen. There is another full NRG in the tube up to the blue base. This may throw off the balance between teams a bit though. Also, none of the carrots are generators, so players cannot heal nearly enough over the course of a full game. The level also has a total lack of paths. There is one way to get to each base. and one big flat-ish plain at the bottom of the level. There is no real choice as to where someone wants to go. The combined lack of ammo, well-placed carrots, and paths to choose from gives the level no strategic values as far as I can see, and lends itself to fairly plain gameplay. The red and blue both seem to be fairly even though, which is a plus.
The eyecandy is a bit rough in a few places, but generally good. Nothing stood out to me as brilliantly beautiful. I liked the choice of tileset. The main reasons I didn’t rate it higher is because much of the level looks rather synthetic and forces. Possibly my least favorite point is the set of platforms one must climb to reach the red base. at the bottom, there are some destruct block looking things that just look out of place. The rest of the platforms just kind of float there without anything indicating why they’re there. Also, the blue base is in the middle of a hideous collection of these destruct block type thing. There was an attempt to use layers other than 4, and the background is ok, if a bit boring, standard diamondous type. I dislike the foreground, because it seems to be there just so that there’s something in the foreground, but doesn’t look particularly pretty and seems like it doesn’t really belong. There were some nice touches in eyecandy though too. There were moths (a bit too many maybe, but still they added some variety), and a few lighting changes.
Events are few and far between here, and those that do exist are often not generators. There is essentially no ammo, and the power-ups are either too obvious and near other power-ups, or too hard to find. Please don’t hide power-ups in holes in the wall behind layer 3. Power-ups should be at least slightly visible, so people who are new to your level will know to look for them. Also, even the people who know they exist will not know if one is still there when they check. People will waste time looking for the bouncy power-up or the full NRG if someone’s already grabbed it before them, and players will end up spending time kicking a wall in a narrow slot in hopes that they’ll hit it when it appears, resulting in some awkward, nasty camping.
Your upload does not include the tileset used, the music, or the next level. While I happened to have the tileset and music, and plus fixes the nonexistent next level, not everyone will have the same experience, and it’s quite possible several people who download this will end up having it crash on them because of these problems. Also, it would have been nice if you had converted it to 1.23, but I’m not going to take off another point for that.
12 out of 30 possible points =4.0/10 (rounded up)
Unfortunately, I don’t find this level very playable. Please take note of what I have written, and consider it next time you make a level. Also, no amount of written advice will help you improve as much as 1. making more levels, and 2. looking at levels you enjoy. #1 is pretty obvious. Just like with everything else, practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if your levels don’t get the ratings you want, and don’t stop because other people don’t appreciate what you’ve done so far. Just keep making them anyway. #2 is probably what helped me most in my level making. Play jazz a lot. Figure out what your favorite levels are. Figure out why they are your favorite levels. Then make levels that have qualities you like. For example, I like Gauntlet. I like it because there are multiple different ways to heal (2 normal carrots or one full health carrot), and therefore camping isn’t as common. I like it because there is enough ammo that I can shoot whenever I need to, but only if I pay attention and collect ammo when I’m running low. I like it because it’s got enough horizontal space that using rf’s can be useful even when they aren’t powered up. I’m not saying that you should simply copy chunks of your favorite levels, because this leads to boring, repetitive levels. Also, don’t get too stuck in a rut, and only make one type of level. Adding to my example earlier, I also like semi, in part because it just has one carrot. This leads to drastically different gameplay than Gauntlet, but different doesn’t imply better or worse, just different. Your goal isn’t to mash up levels you like, or get level making down to a formula where everything you do has the same number of carrots, same weapons on the map, and similar layouts. Your goal is to understand just what makes a level fun, and then be able to apply these ideas to your own creative works.
I like the concept of turning a dream into a level. However, the level itself is slightly disappointing.
Within the first few second of playing, I found the gameplay a bit lacking. At the very start, I jumped and found that midway through the building I was standing in front of, the tiles became masked. This feels very unnatural and confusing. Throughout the entire level I continued to find misleading tiles. On occasion the same tile was used in layer 3 and 4 or 4 and 5 which is rarely a good idea. Also, many tiles were used with no explanation at all. For example, Bower threw green block which seemed tome to be a platform you’re supposed to jump on until I touched it and found it hurt. The level also felt too short. If it had taken longer to beat, I would have enjoyed it more. Not everything was bad though. There were at least a couple secrets and you have some places where multiple different paths can be chosen.
The level looks like an old Mario game. In general, things don’t look bad, although the green pipes don’t look connected to whatever they’re next to. Also, some things just look too square to me, and don’t appear natural. Layers 1,2,6 and 7 are not used at all. This is understandable with the tileset choice, although I can’t say I’m thrilled at the tileset choice itself.
Event Placement: 3/10
I was not impressed by the event placement. There was no ammo or food, and the number of gems was rather limited. Enemies felt thrown in as an afterthought and were either absurdly easy to kill or incredibly annoying. Case in Point: When you reach Eva, you hit a sucker tube and (on hard mode at least) a float lizard will start throwing bombs at you before you get out of the tube. This caused me to get blasted back into the tube several times before I could progress with the level. The carrots in the coin maze were good, but the other carrots were much too close to the end. I can’t imagine how a player would make it that far, then require two more health to walk maybe 15 tiles right to the exit, even with the random enemies.
The concept is good and the level itself could be worse. The majority of the problems come from a lack of experience making levels and the need of more beta-testing. Keep working at it, and you’ll make much cooler levels in the future.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with Thex. While the level is not perfect, there is no reason to prepare for a sucky level when you download this. Also, it’s not as small as his description initially led me to believe. It would probably be best with maybe 6 people on it, and would feel rather large for a duel.
The eyecandy is generally good. The background looks good, and the foreground is fairly interesting. It’s even snowing. Basically what you’d expect from a level made with WTFBorealis. I can’t say there was anything unique that caught my eye. The one big way the eyecandy could be improved on this level would be extending stuff on layer 3. For example, when Jazz is in the pools of water at the bottom of the level, you can sometimes see his feet sticking out the bottom, which just looks ugly.
Two words: Beta Test. Thex, this level shows great potential, especially for a first time levelmaker. However, it also has many problems which I believe you would have been able to discover and fix, had you gotten other people to play through and critique the level beforehand. The two main problems I found with this level’s gameplay is confusing tiles, and too many carrots. By confusing tiles, I mean there are several tiles which you place on different layers in different places in the level. For example, the hooks are on layer 4 with a vine event somewhere, but other hooks are merely scenery in another portion of the level. Also, in the top right hand section of the level, near one of the start points, there are some blue tiles one layer 4 which are directly next to some of the same blue tiles on layer 5. This makes it impossible for someone playing the level to know which is which, and can be very frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to use some tiles on multiple layers (like the path to the bouncer power-up hidden behind a wall), just be sure someone playing the level will generally be able to figure out what is what. The other main thing you could fix with the level’s gameplay would be to reduce the number of carrots. Why in the world are there four full health carrots on this level? In a standard battle, where everyone has 5 health, no one would ever die. Each time they lose health, they can run to one of the carrots and heal. And with so many different choices, there’s almost always going to be some route they can take to a carrot without any people in the way. I would suggest changing most if not all of the carrots to 1 health, and maybe getting rid of some all together. It could also improve the level if you made the carrots harder/more dangerous to get. For example, you could put one full health carrot in the sucker tube and no other carrots on the level. This way, if someone knows their opponent is low on health, they will be able to guard the entrance or exit to the tube, and prevent their foe from being able to heal. This would add a strategic element to the level, as well as making scoring much easier.
1. You uploaded a folder zipped in a folder, containing a level and another folder with the tileset. This was just confusing. However, it doesn’t have anything to do with the level, so I won’t factor it into my rating.
2. Go into JCS. Click the “Tools” menu (Next to “File” and “Help”). Select “Level Properties.” Use them. As it is, your level has no music, no text, and is called “Untitled”. Most importantly, it has no “Next Level” setting. This means the game will crash as soon as the level ends (Unless you have JJ2+(http://www.jazz2online.com/jcf/showthread.php?t=17567)). For crashing the game, you lose half a rating point.
While this level is fairly good, it still needs some tweaking before I’d be willing to give it a download recommendation. Continue to work on making levels, and learn from your mistakes, and I could imagine you creating some really amazing levels in the future, Thex.
Holy Cow, this is awesome. Just a plain amazing use of JCS. There is definitely room for improvement, but mellamokb already mentioned them. Mainly, I would just like to see a move counter, and better eyecandy. Plus, something challenging like baddies or an end-boss could be fun. Overall, great job, keep up the good work.
Ok, so I helped create this, and I guess I can’t rate it. But I would like to leave a comment.
To be entirely honest, when I first learned what sonicnathan was trying to do, I had no idea why. I never thought of Colonius as a particularly broken set. I rarely used it, but didn’t notice mask problems or anything that seemed to be in need of a change. The levels I had played with it seemed perfectly good.
However, as I started to make the mask, and really had to pay attention to the details, I understood the fix. I found a couple of random problems in masks, such as inconsistencies in the benches, and a section of the background that was auto-masked (I’m not sure why it was masked at all). Also, when I would look for a specific tile so I could find exactly what the mask was supposed to be like, they were in really random places. The fixed tileset would be way easier to find tiles in and build levels from.
Therefore, I’d definitely recommend a download if I was allowed to.
PS, I don’t think I deserve too much credit for this. Sonicnathan was the genius behind the ideas, and all I did was some copy/pasting for the tileset.
So there are two very conflicting ratings on this tileset. To clear things up, it is unfortunately awful, and SPAZ18’s review is much more accurate.
There are a couple nice, 3d looking tiles, and you can make a fairly neat looking disintigrating tile animation. However, the rest of the tileset is pretty bland, or even ugly. Most of the ground is simple, cartoonish, and don’t mesh at all with each other. The background doesn’t work for textured, and doesn’t even look like it tiles 100% right. Many tiles were very poorly created. There are a flower and vine, which look very two dimensional. The only other real eyecandy is a bunch of Spaz’s with people’s names over them. However, they can only really be used for inside jokes, and will be entirely useless to the vast majority of people. And there is no eyecandy at all for foreground and background.
This tileset is very hard to use. It has a bunch of letters and symbols(too many probably), vines, and a couple destruct tiles. However, the tileset is mainly hard to use because its lack of basic tiles. Even on the example level, bland orange slant tiles are placed next to the 3d tiles, looking very ugly, because they clash. The mask is also imperfect, with a few pixles of one of the charaters masked. Unfortunately, I can not imagine this tileset being widely used.
I’m thinking of a tileset with solid colored walls. And some letters. This tileset does nothing new.
Bonus: Includes an example level: +1
Sorry, no download recommendation.
An interesting little single player level.
This level has a few enemies, but few enough that the level could be won mainly just by running and shooting. The only interesting point was that the lighting was set at a constant, dark, twighlight level. This made it quite challenging to see some of the enemies, but they were generally placed in obvious places. The only other complaint I have about gameplay, is some of the tiles were used inconsistently. You could walk through some little hills, but not all of them. This can be confusing, and should be avoided if possible.
Eye Candy: 6/10
This level had a great feel to it. The dark atmosphere with glowing pumkins was quite convincing. And when you stand in front of some tombstones, the ground drops out from under you, so you fall into a grave. This was a brilliant touch. However, the eyecandy also has some fairly significant flaws. The tileset itself is a bit simplistic. There are a few places where tombstones are used in layer 3, and when you walk behind them, your feet show through under them. Also, the messages on the “Text” squares are too high to easily read. I didn’t even notice the first message for a while. Try adding the @ symbol in the text string before the message a few times while editing the level.
It has an episode file: +.5
Lazarus didn’t mention “This is my first upload,” and wanted people to appreciate it for quality, not circumstance. +.5
Much too short: -2
(Make the level longer, or create a whole pack, and it will be much more enjoyable to play. As it is, it almost took longer extracting the files from the downloaded zip, making it feel like downloading wasn’t entirely worth it.)
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.