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  #1  
Old 04-17-2009, 11:43 PM
BARGAD BARGAD is offline
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Smile Thoughts about levels

Hello,

Not many may remember me, but I used to do some leveling a couple of years back. For some reason I have started playing some Graal again (moved to another country, stuck with a laptop) and took some interest in looking at levels.

Now, this is based mainly off the screenshots I see of levels I posted here at the time, because I would not want to criticize someone elses work. Mainly seeing as I am not into Graal leveling anymore and understand that styles change over the years.

However, two things I would like to bring up that I notice are as follows.

First, from a pure "eye-candy" perspective, some of the levels I see looks pleasant I suppose, but it is next to impossible to do anything on them. Whole level full of rocks one can not lift up, stones on the ground blocking the path, mainly cluttering the map of irrelevant stuff that makes actually moving or doing anything on the level impossible. Imagine actually trying some PK:ing on some of the more "detailed" levels. What I suggest is not to go down on the detail, or to some extend perhaps, but to avoid certain tiles that block. So not only should the level look good, but actually should be good moving around in it.

Another thing I from those levels are things that are "out of place" in a sense. Putting a table and a couple of chairs out in nowhere just becuse one needed something to fill it up with in the middle of a swamp hardly seems logical. That would go for the "over the top" roads and waters that are supposed to look so edgy they just comes across as wrong.

And finally, although I mentioned I only had two things to bring up, a minor tile-error are not the end up the world, the overall-impression of the map is more important.

Anyways, very sorry if these matters already been debated into oblivion, in that case I suppose lock the thread. Also was criticism of my own old levels, things may have changed in many ways. Interesting to see things still going on around here.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:53 AM
Crono Crono is offline
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Welcome back.

I'm sometimes guilty of focusing more on eye-candy than practicality but then again the said levels aren't intended to be played in anyway. I do know what you mean though, many LATs seem to be making levels difficult to navigate through with block tiles all over the place.

I suppose people such as myself who provide much criticism should be posting more levels as examples for to the rest of the community.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:04 AM
FriendlyLea FriendlyLea is offline
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I'm probably guilty about focusing more on the general appearance of the level than the practicality of it as well. ;P I'll remember to stay a tad more practical with my next level.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:37 PM
King homer daStupid King homer daStupid is offline
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If you're going to make a level just to show off (i.e. not uploaded onto a server), then I don't see anything wrong with it not being very practical and simply being eye-candy.
If you're making a level for a server or something, then sure...it's important to consider the function aswell as fashion.

I agree with the "out of place" logic, I don't see many tables and chairs in the mountains in real life! A good leveler thinks of something to fill the level with, but something that suits the environment, not something random.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:30 PM
WanDaMan WanDaMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King homer daStupid View Post
If you're going to make a level just to show off (i.e. not uploaded onto a server), then I don't see anything wrong with it not being very practical and simply being eye-candy.
If you're making a level for a server or something, then sure...it's important to consider the function aswell as fashion.

I agree with the "out of place" logic, I don't see many tables and chairs in the mountains in real life! A good leveler thinks of something to fill the level with, but something that suits the environment, not something random.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:12 PM
Darklux Darklux is offline
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Iam trying to build simple levels, with a good mix of a good style and fast and easy ways for the player.
I doubt that most players even notice or pay attention to overstyled lvls.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:30 PM
Loriel Loriel is offline
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Iam trying to build simple levels, with a good mix of a good style and fast and easy ways for the player.
I doubt that most players even notice or pay attention to overstyled lvls.
This sounds exactly right to me. When I build levels, I try to leave the paths that I would actually expect players to take relatively free of both physical and optical clutter. I suppose the idea is that I try to use "detailing" not to make everything look pretty, but to guide the player through the levels and give hints about the underlying layout.

To contradict the OP, I actually think that tile errors are a huge deal, because they bring the player's attention to the fact that stuff is actually composed of tiles, and break the immersion into the game world. Of course, as long as players get drawn over the sides of tile-based trees and cannot pass behind pillars and everything, establishing immersion in the environment in the first place is probably somewhat tricky.

Of course, what do I know, I have not built anything interesting in years, or much less seen what other people do with their worlds.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:52 PM
Rufus Rufus is offline
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To contradict the OP, I actually think that tile errors are a huge deal, because they bring the player's attention to the fact that stuff is actually composed of tiles, and break the immersion into the game world. Of course, as long as players get drawn over the sides of tile-based trees and cannot pass behind pillars and everything, establishing immersion in the environment in the first place is probably somewhat tricky.
All of the 2d Zelda games have a pretty large amount of tile errors, but you don't pay attention to them because it's not something you're actively seeking to do when playing.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:44 PM
Aknts Aknts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loriel View Post
This sounds exactly right to me. When I build levels, I try to leave the paths that I would actually expect players to take relatively free of both physical and optical clutter. I suppose the idea is that I try to use "detailing" not to make everything look pretty, but to guide the player through the levels and give hints about the underlying layout.

To contradict the OP, I actually think that tile errors are a huge deal, because they bring the player's attention to the fact that stuff is actually composed of tiles, and break the immersion into the game world. Of course, as long as players get drawn over the sides of tile-based trees and cannot pass behind pillars and everything, establishing immersion in the environment in the first place is probably somewhat tricky.

Of course, what do I know, I have not built anything interesting in years, or much less seen what other people do with their worlds.
Well I must suck then because I have never made a level without a tile error. As much as I used to make levels most of the time I didn't notice tile errors, unless the whole level was bad.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:33 AM
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Well I must suck then because I have never made a level without a tile error. As much as I used to make levels most of the time I didn't notice tile errors, unless the whole level was bad.
Different people consider different things tile errors. For example, the small amount of green grass surrounding a top-left, wooden-roof corner would look out of place when placed within a group of tiles with no grass. Because this can be corrected by using an appropriate tileset (a tileset other than pics1.png) or by using an NPC with an appropriate image, some might consider not doing so to be a tile error. However, others would argue that as there is no solution given the tileset they are using (pics1.png for example) then it is an "issue" and can not be avoided; ergo it is not a tile error.

I try to compromise on this issue when reviewing levels. An example of this is the use of pole bottoms. In the pics1.png tileset, pole bottoms (found just before the start of the castle tiles) have small amounts of grass at the bottom corners. When individuals use these tiles in areas with no surrounding grass, I point it out as an issue of style because some level makers do not consider the use of NPCs part of leveling, and given the constraints of the pics1.png tileset, it is an understandable "error."

Even so, I believe the amount of tile errors in a level is largely dependent upon the preferences of the individual that designed the level. I would consider myself fairly strict on tile errors so when I am leveling, I usually subconsciously check for tile errors every time I place tiles. Even when I am "finished" making a level, I usually go over it a few times to check for errors and style issues.

It certainly is nothing to make someone consider themself to "suck" at leveling.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:38 AM
DustyPorViva DustyPorViva is offline
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Tile errors are not always the same case. Some just SCREAM out at you, and yet people seem to miss them. This seems like a case of lazyness and rushing rather than putting effort into what they're working on. However, some are small and easy to miss because the tile you need to use probably only has 3-5 pixels different than the one you're using. Those are excusable, but not if you're told and just ignore them. Some tile errors are simply made from inexperience with the tileset, and not knowing there are alternative tiles to fix the problem.

However, when there are bush tiles overlapping cliff tiles, or rogue grass tiles clearly sitting right on top of a house or such... there really is no excuse. Regardless, tile errors aren't something that should be put on a low priority, because people do tend to notice things you don't, and sometimes it can look a lot worse than you ever realized.
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