The five seasons

v1.0.0

ReadMe said:

"The five seasons" is a really big SketchFightert 4000 Alpha custom level which should only be played with a lot of time. It consists of, as you may have already thought of, the five different SketchFighter "seasons":

Wasteland
Factory
Volcano
Ice Caves
Forest

Each one of these is one or even two areas in this plug-in and has its own challenge or even challenges. I hope you'll enjoy playing this and, if you don't know where to find and how to unlock the stars and upgrades, that you will use the "Walkthrough" file in this directory, but more and maybe better information can be found in the Ambrosiasw webboard topic "The five seasons", which is in the SketchFighter 4000 Alpha forum, just search for it.

Yeah, my first level is finally up. No incredible new ideas and such stuff (should be hard to complete, though), but hey, it was one of the first three concepts which got realised! My next project will probably contain some more interesting riddles, but I hope you'll like this anyway. This topic is mainly for reporting bugs and commenting, I appreciate both. 🙂

The five seasons

Changes in 1.0.1 (unreleased)

-(hard) fixed a bug with skull turrets which were heaving one life point instead of being invincible
-(hard) added door in front of the entrance to the forest to prevent players who aren't having any guns to go there
-(easy/hard) changed the colour of the background files to black in the leaked ink area, just added a few extra cover sprites instead of using mainly cover sprites
-(easy/hard) added a "SpinBack" in the shortcut from the factory area to the forest one

Well, obviously, I started out on the hard version. 🙂 However, having made it to the room with all the turrets, mines, and moving blocks, I'm not convinced it's worth the effort to even try.

I've got to say, when I first started playing, I was seriously wondering whether you'd lost your mind. Could you really have released a level with NO weapons in it? But then I realized I was just heading the wrong way. It's hard to describe the exact feeling when I finally reached it for the first time. It was somewhere between Happy Gilmore's "You're gonna DIE, CLOWN!" and "Now I have a rocket launcher, I'll make someone pay." I don't think I've ever derived so much pleasure from blowing stuff up in SketchFighter. And after I knew the proper route (really the only way to reach it at all), it was easy to get to.

But as the map wore on, I began to question the wisdom of taking the hard route. I mean, OK, I get it, there's lots of stuff to shoot, fun for a while, right? But then you die a couple times, and all that stuff you just blew up is back. I can't count the times I cleared the mines and shooties in the room before the volcano, for example. After a while it just got old.

And then there's that room. The one with the turrets and force fields and moving blocks, the one that I'm not convinced I'll ever have the skill to pass. The easy map is just the same level with fewer enemies, right? Yeah, I think that's the one for me.

This post has been edited by cheleball : 08 March 2007 - 08:52 PM

The easy map is the same as "Hard", the enemies and bosses have just less health and there are fewer of them. 🙂 I noticed the effect with the enemies, too, I'll keep it in mind for my next sketchmap. However, the room with the force fields is possible to complete, pretty hard, though.

Oh so there is a way to reach the gun is there? lol, I'm just kidding. It looks like a very good level Freq, one of the greatest yet, but I wont be able to test it properly until I finish a bit more work on TCOC. It seems very hard even on easy, so I'm glad you included a walkthrough, that was considerate. 🙂

Just finished easy mode. I've got to say, it was mostly a blast, and a great challenge. Much harder than the normal game, even if you play the "easy" map.

I did wish that there was a way to bypass the room with all the mines and shooties once it had been cleared once; having to traipse back and forth through that thing, clearing it out every time (yeah, I died a lot) became a major pain and detriment to the level.

Ok, the turret room is passable if you

Spoiler

find the shield upgrade. I missed it on my first attempt. I'm not convinced at all that the room is passable without it, and considering it's hidden (and a considerable distance from the room no less), I think there will be many more frustrated by this.

My time was 1:32:34. 😮 However, now that I know how to get through the impossible turret room, I bet I could beat the hard version. I'm still not convinced it's worth the trouble, though.

Overall: two thumbs up, despite it being a bit rough in spots and there being some design decisions I don't agree with. 🙂

Edit: P.S. The normal entrance to the aforementioned mine-shooty room is a royal pain, too. That's why I skip it using the new force field "feature" introduced in 1.0.1. 🙂

This post has been edited by cheleball : 09 March 2007 - 03:13 PM

@cheleball, on Mar 9 2007, 09:11 PM, said in The five seasons:

I did wish that there was a way to bypass the room with all the mines and shooties once it had been cleared once; having to traipse back and forth through that thing, clearing it out every time (yeah, I died a lot) became a major pain and detriment to the level.

Hmm, I think that I was even thinking about that while creating the map, but held that it wouldn't be that annoying. If more people complain about the issue I'll try to do a workaround.

@cheleball, on Mar 9 2007, 09:11 PM, said in The five seasons:

Edit: P.S. The normal entrance to the aforementioned mine-shooty room is a royal pain, too. That's why I skip it using the new force field "feature" introduced in 1.0.1. 🙂

Heh, but it is supposed to be a "royal pain". :rolleyes:

Quote

Heh, but it is supposed to be a "royal pain".

Sorry for not being clear. I mean that if you want to force players to pass through that entrance, you'll need to find something other than a force field to do it because those are just too easy to bypass in the new version.

Gah.

I've already told you folks that Freq used to own the absolute best completion time in the beta (alternating with me), so when I knew about his level, I thought that he must have made it pretty hard. But I nevertheless chose the hard version. I wasn't disappointed. It is pretty friggin' insanly hard. Let me tell you, I thought myself to be one of the best players in the world, well I've been sent back to flying school (which, as it happens, is Maelstrom) crying with some of the challenges in there. The worst has been the corridor of megamines ( AAAHH! NOOOOOO! A DEAD-END!!!!! ), though I've also died countless times in the Dark Ice (in fact, I did the three subparts separately, and I still died a dozen times for each), in the turret room

Spoiler

(though the time I did succeed, I had more than 100 shield points remaining, so I guess it's technically possible to do it without the shield upgrade)

, and of course the mine room, though not that much, you just have to patiently clear out everything (even stuff you can't see) before going on. And after 140 minutes of play, here I am, having completed the hard version. Congrats Freq. I've never been challenged that much in SketchFighter, the last time I was mildly challenged was when Lars introduced the current final boss battle.

However, a bit of criticism. First, the corridors are a bit narrow and that, combined with the fact there is no real indication (besides, of course, the walls and fauna) that you're changing zone, means your levels fails to give the feeling of going from one zone to another. Also, there is a grave level design mistake (which is only in the hard version): the skull turrets at the corners of the final boss battle have one life point (instead of being invincible, of course)! Worse yet, this means that, since there is an Extra2 link between the turrets and the boss, when one is destroyed the boss itself vanishes, and in fact 1.0.1 (no, I'm not going to try and reproduce it with any other version, thank you) does not seem to like having the boss vanish while in the middle of a boss battle, and crashes. Fortunately, there is this way to reload a custom saved game (which I had of course figured out, I just wanted you to figure it out yourselves :p) which allowed me to investigate this, otherwise I'd have become crazy, and I eventually completed the level (nice secrets and puzzles, btw, though this level is more about demented fighting and flying challenges than secrets and puzzles).

So I really recommand it, but only if you're finding the hard mode of the main game trivially easy (at least for the hard version, I didn't test the easy one).

@zacha-pedro, on Mar 10 2007, 09:54 AM, said in The five seasons:

Gah.

I've already told you folks that Freq used to own the absolute best completion time in the beta (alternating with me), so when I knew about his level, I thought that he must have made it pretty hard. But I nevertheless chose the hard version. I wasn't disappointed. It is pretty friggin' insanly hard. Let me tell you, I thought myself to be one of the best players in the world, well I've been sent back to flying school (which, as it happens, is Maelstrom) crying with some of the challenges in there. The worst has been the corridor of megamines ( AAAHH! NOOOOOO! A DEAD-END!!!!! ), though I've also died countless times in the Dark Ice (in fact, I did the three subparts separately, and I still died a dozen times for each), in the turret room

Spoiler

(though the time I did succeed, I had more than 100 shield points remaining, so I guess it's technically possible to do it without the shield upgrade)

, and of course the mine room, though not that much, you just have to patiently clear out everything (even stuff you can't see) before going on. And after 140 minutes of play, here I am, having completed the hard version. Congrats Freq. I've never been challenged that much in SketchFighter, the last time I was mildly challenged was when Lars introduced the current final boss battle.

Heh, this is all spoiler. Sorry kids.

Spoiler

The mine corridor is actually not that tough if you cheat a little. When you first enter, go up around the first bend a little ways, then quickly turn around and head back towards the entrance. If you time it just right, the first mine you triggered will have exploded before you get there, allowing you to sit safely in that space and wait for the others to blow. You can then fly through at your leisure, setting off the mines before you get to them (instead of having to race ahead of them).

Also, in the turret room, did your health stay above 100 the whole time, or did you recharge it to that point with the shield pickups?

I was also a bit stymied by the ice room on first attempt. I figured that since the turret room needed an upgrade to be reasonably passable, perhaps with the wave gun the ice room wouldn't be that bad either. I knew it had to be in the level somewhere, since I'd seen a switch or two that needed it. So I went in search of it. It just had to be behind the most devilishly hard (IMHO) challenge in the level, the spinning dozer boss.

But, wave in hand, the ice caves weren't that hard at all. I also chickened out and ran back to the save ring each time my health ran low, but that section is the only one that didn't kill me once.

On the plus side, having finished the Five Seasons (even on easy), the Temple of the Pen doesn't seem so hard anymore. 😉

Oh, two other issues that I only remember now: when you go from the Forest to the Factory through the little shorcut against the force field (with the third ship), there is no spin back to revert you to normal orientation, and you end up having to do the following stuff (at least until the next save/die/reload cycle) in an odd orientation. Also, the tiling of black sprites in the Dark Ice Pit isn't perfect, and some of them end up being culled out while still visible. Just put this blackness as black background squares, and tile them the same way as background sprites, in fact remove any paper background (except when required for the transition at the edges) since this black will be your background (unless there is colored stuff you want to hide).

@cheleball, on Mar 10 2007, 06:26 PM, said in The five seasons:

Spoiler

Also, in the turret room, did your health stay above 100 the whole time, or did you recharge it to that point with the shield pickups?

Good point, I'm not sure.

EDIT: oh, and one more thing: it would be good to prevent the player from going through the force field to the "triple turret blob" if he doesn't have any weapon, putting a yellow door before the force field will suffice.

@zacha-pedro, on Mar 10 2007, 05:54 PM, said in The five seasons:

However, a bit of criticism. First, the corridors are a bit narrow and that, combined with the fact there is no real indication (besides, of course, the walls and fauna) that you're changing zone, means your levels fails to give the feeling of going from one zone to another. Also, there is a grave level design mistake (which is only in the hard version): the skull turrets at the corners of the final boss battle have one life point (instead of being invincible, of course)! Worse yet, this means that, since there is an Extra2 link between the turrets and the boss, when one is destroyed the boss itself vanishes, and in fact 1.0.1 (no, I'm not going to try and reproduce it with any other version, thank you) does not seem to like having the boss vanish while in the middle of a boss battle, and crashes. Fortunately, there is this way to reload a custom saved game (which I had of course figured out, I just wanted you to figure it out yourselves :p) which allowed me to investigate this, otherwise I'd have become crazy, and I eventually completed the level (nice secrets and puzzles, btw, though this level is more about demented fighting and flying challenges than secrets and puzzles).

Hm, I won't change the corridors in "The five seasons", maybe in my next map (I think I'll simulate the kind of going from one zone to another of the real game by using force fields and such stuff). Thanks for the bug reports, I think all bugs are fixed now, and the feedback of course.

I've haven't gotten past the Volcano yet, but I'm still going. Very nice level so far Freq, I can't wait to find out what the rest is like.

@zacha-pedro, on Mar 10 2007, 08:44 PM, said in The five seasons:

when you go from the Forest to the Factory through the little shorcut against the force field (with the third ship), there is no spin back to revert you to normal orientation

Actually, I went through there with the first ship 😉

I guess that is probably a bug in the (hard) map probably the same in the other, but I've never tried it.

Also, in the 'hard' version after beating that boss with the skull turrets in the four corners (the one that looks like a megamine with 3 mover's around it's outside), the far door went into a power-up room that had no power-up. Is this intentional?

That was a great boss by the way - very difficult.

@crono, on Mar 11 2007, 07:26 PM, said in The five seasons:

Also, in the 'hard' version after beating that boss with the skull turrets in the four corners (the one that looks like a megamine with 3 mover's around it's outside), the far door went into a power-up room that had no power-up. Is this intentional?

No, definitely not. You are supposed to get a "Wave Gun" upgrade there. I don't really know what could cause the disappearance of it, especially because there didn't seem to be such a problem with other players before.

@crono, on Mar 11 2007, 07:26 PM, said in The five seasons:

That was a great boss by the way - very difficult.

Thank you. 🙂

@freq245, on Mar 11 2007, 06:39 PM, said in The five seasons:

No, definitely not. You are supposed to get a "Wave Gun" upgrade there. I don't really know what could cause the disappearance of it, especially because there didn't seem to be such a problem with other players before.

It may be because I fell over the 1hp turrents the first time as ZP mentioned earlier and SFA died. So I used the magic custom-reload trick (copying the save file) in order to get back to where I was - perhaps that is what broke the map.

I can always upload/mail you the save file if you want to check. That said, I might try just opening the map in the editor and moving the start stuff next to the boss, so I can try from 'clean' to see whether it was that.

@crono, on Mar 12 2007, 04:26 PM, said in The five seasons:

It may be because I fell over the 1hp turrents the first time as ZP mentioned earlier and SFA died. So I used the magic custom-reload trick (copying the save file) in order to get back to where I was - perhaps that is what broke the map.

I can always upload/mail you the save file if you want to check. That said, I might try just opening the map in the editor and moving the start stuff next to the boss, so I can try from 'clean' to see whether it was that.

Or you can, if you still have your "Game 999" file, open the "The five seasons", add a second wave gun upgrade near the boss and use then your game file. You should be able to collect the upgrade that way.

Oh, and one last thing. Pay attention to the way you make acute corners! Most of the time I hit the back of the collision rectangle of the wall on the other side of the corner, and I am pushed in an odd way (one of the worst places being the exit corridor, which you can take when you have the missiles, of the megamines "racetrack", it's harder to enter it that it should). When making acute angle corners, it's worth it to shorten the actual wall sprites so that this does not happen and put a few small black line sprites to complete the corner.

In Obstacle Course I sometimes resorted to using a filler sprite, like a basalt rock or flower, to alleviate this. I've also resorted to making the actual wall sprite non-solid and placing a (thinner, so the back of the box doesn't hang out) invisible wall on top.

Log in to reply