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Author: Livio
Game: Canvas Rider
Date: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 1:53 am

[?] Karma: +1

Description:
I haven't uploaded a real level since July. For someone who's been talking a lot about game design and level design lately, this is not good. Furthermore, this will be my first level in which I apply some of the game design skills that I've been learning since the summer.

If you don't get the cryptic title, MIS496A is a course I'm taking this semester (management information systems), and this level was meant to satisfy homework assignment #5. It was an open-ended assignment where we just had to create some kind of "creative thing" that highlights what we've been learning this semester.

When I present this to the class, I plan to get someone from the class play the level, rather than just having me breeze through it, which would be boring. And so the biggest challenge when making this level was trying to make it a good tutorial level for people who haven't played the game before.

This homework is due on Monday, but I won't get to present it until Wednesday. So in the meantime, I want you guys to playtest it, and give me appropriate feedback on anything that might hurt this level.

PS: It's a short level.

EDIT: Click here to read my in-depth analysis of the production and design of this level.

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User Rating: (Log in to rate)
8.8 out of 10
Great
2 votes
Difficulty Rating: (Log in to rate)
1/5 — Easy
1 vote

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User Comments (16)
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Kooler
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 2:03 am EST
find me in your local trashcan

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8.7/10
Great
1/5 — Easy
This is going to be great for your homework, because it is a flawless tutorial, good luck Livio!


go drink some water
Livio
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 2:17 am EST

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I personally think that the best thing this level has going for it is the ending area, because the player is free to do whatever they want there, to just play around, and get a feel for the controls, while giving them a goal to work towards. I feel like a much better tutorial would've expanded on that concept, rather than making the player go through a strictly linear path first.

But of course, this level was designed to be part of a presentation, and the linearity serves as a mechanism for tracking progress and making sure all my drawings got shown.

Making this level was a great learning experience, and I want to write a blog about all of the interesting design problems I ran into. Although, I probably won't be able to write it until next weekend because of how busy I am in the next few days.
Shavey Dave
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 3:13 am EST

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I was planing on doing a CR level soon...




shos
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 5:44 am EST
~Jack of all trades~

Age: 27
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In my opinion, this level would be a very nice tutorial, but there is only one flaw in it - flowing with the graphics. I tried to look at the game as if I didn't know it before. so at the start it was very good and stuff, but eventually, you don't know how quickly the player moves, so I had to slow down to see the graphics for example, the drawings etc. overall it was very nice, it implemented everything possible in the game's basics, and even showed a glimpse of the non-basic (before you changed gravit for example). I think that when you present it you should also show the comments from here, cuz there's raelly nothing better than seeing positive responses from real people. I'll also be glad to comment on your stuff for the university in the future


jellsprout
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 8:00 am EST
Lord of Sprout Tower

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The blogosphere is very cruelly located.


Spoiler:
soccerboy13542
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 2:21 pm EST
~*~Soccer~*~

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8.8/10
Great
i don't see much stuff wrong here...
like jell said, blogosphere is really badly located.

the graph seems to jump down a bit at the end, so maybe you could write speed instead of visits?
unforunately, the breaks on the bike end up flipping the bike completely and kills you.


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.
Livio
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 2:54 pm EST

Age: 27
Karma: 470
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Location: Arizona, USA
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jellsprout said:
The blogosphere is very cruelly located.
are you saying that it's easy to hit the text if you're going too fast? I decided to leave that in because it really emphasizes the need to slow down, which in turn gives the player a chance to look at the drawings. But yeah, since you guys think it's too evil, I'll try shrinking it a bit. Or maybe I should just turn it into scenery lines instead?

soccerboy13542 said:
unforunately, the breaks on the bike end up flipping the bike completely and kills you.
yeah I hate that about the game. Maybe a better tutorial would have taught to player to use Z to break rather than actually using the break.

I'm also wondering whether it was a good idea to say "Hint: Press Z" at the end. I guess I was going for making the player think they reached the end and then making the goal optional. It kinda stinks how there's no equivalent to a gem item in any of the Free Rider games or remakes.

One way to slow the player down would've been to make a track that was about riding on rough terrain, but those kinds of tracks demand more skill. Early players are likely to want to blast their way through the track, which is why I took extra care to make these lines smooth and easy to ride on.
Livio
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 3:14 pm EST

Age: 27
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Alright, I updated the level.

I changed the Blogosphere text to be in the background so that you can't crash into it.

I also added a Goal to the beginning to introduce the idea that you need to grab them. To reinforce this concept, I added two goals in the middle of the level. The purpose of the second Goal was to remind the player to be on the lookout for them. While the third goal is placed to prevent cheatability if you manage to skip the Google path. I still wish the final goal was a gem rather than mandatory, but at least it's ultimately the player's decision whether or not they "beat" the level.
shos
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Sunday, November 27 2011, 3:54 pm EST
~Jack of all trades~

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I thought that the level was grea befoer the change. as you said, the death threats emphasized the idea of moderating your speed, and I liked the "Hint". it's a good tutorial - it gets you to the place where you NEED the Z, and then tells you how to do it. go here, see what I mean by a good tutorial:

http://sarahsrun.sophiehoulden.com/preview/


Livio
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Monday, November 28 2011, 1:55 pm EST

Age: 27
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Yeah that game has some great level design.

I know Canvas Rider is supposed to be a remake of Free Rider 2, but really, FR2 is still a better game. The only thing CR has going for it is the fullscreen option. Other than that, it does a number of things worse than FR2:
--it doesn't let you move the camera with WASD anymore
--it manages to create an incredibly unintuitive control scheme for the editing options.
--the boosts look way too much like goals, and the icons and power-ups have much less character to them now.
--When you get a goal or checkpoint, only the background becomes semi-transparent, and because the border is still solid, it's very hard to tell when you've acquired the item.
--they got rid of the slow-down powerup, not that I used it much, but it's still annoying.
--the camera doesn't zoom out when you go fast anymore, making it harder to see the drawings as you go by them at fast speeds.
--you don't get any notification that you've beaten the level, aside from the SUPER SMALL text on the top left of the screen.

So yeah, I probably won't be making a Canvas Rider level again...
soccerboy13542
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Monday, November 28 2011, 5:52 pm EST
~*~Soccer~*~

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also, when you get the checkpoint, you maintain speed.
this could be good... but if you are a little off, it can be horrible.


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.
Livio
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Monday, November 28 2011, 6:14 pm EST

Age: 27
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Oh yeah. I thought that was kinda cool, though. It still stinks when you run into a checkpoint upside down. I guess it all depends on the level designer to place good checkpoints. I remember some FR2 levels that actually threw you into an alternate path when you respawned at a checkpoint.
Livio
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Saturday, December 3 2011, 5:01 pm EST

Age: 27
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I just finished a blog post about this level. Check it out:
http://livio-game-blog.blogspot.com/2011/12/level-postmortem-mis496a-hw5.html
soccerboy13542
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Saturday, December 3 2011, 6:52 pm EST
~*~Soccer~*~

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the code for canvas rider and free rider are the same.

so you can make the level in normal free rider, then play it in the caanvas rider game so it's in full screen.


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.
Livio
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Saturday, December 3 2011, 7:48 pm EST

Age: 27
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Hey, that's true.

Although the code in Canvas Rider seems to track which vehicle you set, which is cool.
soccerboy13542
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Saturday, December 3 2011, 8:00 pm EST
~*~Soccer~*~

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well there's only two vehicles in cr so it doesn't help that much xD


Livio said:
You know, I was thinking of getting an internship at Microsoft, but I'm not sure I want their lameness to rub off on me.

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