Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

For discussion about Trine, firstly released in 2009 for Windows and on PlayStation Network.
bob2
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby bob2 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:58 pm

I've found the last level one of the most interresting.
Why ?

Because it's the only one I couldn't finish the first time.

Challenge = Fun
No challenge = Boring (although, Trine is so beautiful to look at and fun to control...that it's hard to be angry against it)

I think if some people dont like that last level, it's maybe because they weren't prepared to it...I mean, even the before-last level is easy to complete (there is just that lava passage - but nothing major) so it's kind of surprising to suddenly being under pressure, with a lots of events happening here and there and wich make this level near impossible to complete the first time.

I like Trine a lot because of the visuals, its originality, and the nice maniability, but I find it way too easy for my taste mainly because of the overpowered 3heroes and the not so challenging puzzles...but still, it's a great game.

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Damage
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Damage » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:03 am

I'm going to agree with what seems to be a high number of people here, I also strongly dislike the last level. As has been stated repeatedly, it's completely out of character with the rest of the game. Those of you that say "that's what makes it rewarding" etc, I'm sorry but that's nonsensical. If you enjoy a game because of the way it plays through 99% of the game, it's not unreasonable to expect it to continue that way to the end.

It's like third-person-shooters where they stick in a random race which you have to complete to progress (Citizen Kabuto, I'm looking at you). It's done purely for the sake of it (in fact, I'm at a loss as to why it's done) and has nothing in common with the rest of the game, which makes it frustrating and annoying. Token stealth levels in non-stealth FPSs are a similar device, and game reviewers are quick to point out how annoying and contrived they invariably are.

Trine is supposed to be a relaxed puzzler with some unpunishing arcade elements, and it was exactly that. To suddenly make it frenetic and totally unforgiving after being completely the opposite up until that point is inconsistent and bad design. The previous poster who compared the difficulty curve to a vertical cliff nailed it perfectly, the last "normal" level is nicely challenging but still consistent, suddenly ramping it up beyond reach is unreasonable.

Sure, if I keep trying and trying and trying I could probably - eventually - memorise the level sufficiently that after 30 playthroughs I might scrape through. But, why I should put myself through that? The whole point of the game prior is that you can choose your own method for solving all the puzzles, whereas this final level you have one of two choices and both of them are artificially difficult and deliberately harsh, and with a complete level restart every single time you screw up it ceases to be either fun, or even a challenge. It becomes a joke.

Whoopty-do, those of you who finished it, and those of you who like the level, as another poster stated perhaps you like that sort of fast-paced experience. I'm not adverse to it myself, but not in a game that's not been like that in the preceeding 20-odd levels.

Personally, I'm done trying, I don't play games to be irritated and frustrated, there's no pleasure in it. The level is plenty tricky enough as it is without the lava, but with it all the enjoyment vanishes. And it's a blatant rip-off of an over-used platforming element, the rising water/lava/sudden-death-race device has been used in games as far back as Rainbow Islands, and it was irksome then, too.

Don't get me wrong, It's a fabulous game and I loved every second up to that point, but there's no way I'm going to recommend a game to my friends that I can't even finish myself.

FrozenByte, please take note of all these complaints, it's perfectly reasonable to allow those that want it to have a final level in keeping with the rest of the game, whilst retaining the difficulty for those others that still wish it. As another poster said, while kids could play this I doubt there are many who wouldn't give up on the last level almost immediately. Take away the lava for Easy, as has also been suggested above, anything so that those of us who enjoyed the game for what it has been can have the satisfaction of completing it without having to adopt a completely different style and method of play.
Gonna Rip 'em a New One

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FB_Lauri
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FB_Lauri » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm

Please try it patched with easy difficulty.

For our future products I'm sure we don't make this kind of changes any more, as it clearly has been a misjudgement from us.

AlCool
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby AlCool » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:06 pm

I don't get why everyone has problems with the last level. here everyone goes complaining the game is too easy, but get mad when they die for the first time. I played it with 3 player coop on hard (not very ahrd yet) and it was fun, but challenging. Dying can be funny when you and a few friends are frantically trying to work together to beat impossible odds.

Really these time based areas should have had a few more debuts in Trine. Like rocks rolling behind you and such or moving aztec style traps. It really adds to the diversity of the game. The whole game doesn't have to have physics based objects and puzzles at every turn. A little action sequence every now and then makes it feel more complete, and less repetitive.

All that would be even better to see if a more non linear map. Like beating a level opened a branch to 2 or more choices, some leading to dead ends with treasure, others opening more paths towards the end. It gives the player more choice that if, one style is too hard (lets say action), then they can choose a different level that is more puzzle based. Trine is just completely expandable in every way and shouldn't be shot down for simply being different at near every turn towards today's gaming standards.

Don't let the community control your game. You're the developers here.

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Damage
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Damage » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:08 am

I think it's up to the developer to take all views into consideration, since at the end of the day it's the gamers who buy the games and support the company in the first place. As stated, everyone has their own opinion and experience, trying to imply that they're mutually exclusive isn't reasonable. So you played the game with 3 player co-op and finished the last level without issue? How can that compare in any way with me playing it on my own? It's an entirely different experience and of course it results in differing opinions.

I've no desire to try and force or steer Frozenbyte in their development, although I'm sure they're quite capable of making their own decisions! All I've asked for is that allowances be made for all of the views expressed here. If people find it too easy, simply make the hard mode harder. If people find it too hard, make the easy mode easier. It's perfectly possible to accomodate everyone without damaging the game or spoiling it for anyone.

From FrozenByte's almost immediate response to my post I have to say thank you for taking such an interest in the many discussions here, and for taking the time to look at the feedback. It's things like this that guarantee players will keep coming back and keep buying new titles. Any chance of Shadowgrounds 3?! ;-)

There's loads of scope for a Trine sequel here, the potential for greater and more fiendish puzzles is almost infinite, and sure, if they want to add some more time-sensitive puzzles and stronger arcade elements in the sequel that's fine, as long as it's generally consistent or has a suitably gradual difficulty curve, I don't think any of the players are going to complain. The last level certainly has its appeal, it was just a bit sudden and harsh after the pace of what went before.

Anyway, FrozenByte, I hope you're not taking all this too much to heart, as stated I did love the game and have been a regular fan of your titles for many years now, so please keep up the good work and thanks again for always staying so involved with your gamers.
Gonna Rip 'em a New One

kolorabi
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby kolorabi » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:20 pm

I thought it was a very interesting level (Rainbow Islands Extreme :) ). I was frustrated at first, but on the other hand I appreciated the change of pace. It is something you should do more of for the "sequel" (assuming we get one), as variation is always good.

The mistake you made here was simply to make it too hard for some players. A checkpoint would have fixed it, though I realize that might be difficult to code given the nature of this level compared to the others (you'd have to revert to an earlier state of the level instead of just sending the players back to a certain position).

qeinar
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby qeinar » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:05 pm

GVBN wrote:Fun level, reminds me of Toxic Tower level from DKC2


haha i was so gonna say that! Anyways it was a good level, abit easy for my taste, cleared it first try with thief only. the level could have been a bit longer.. but i did it solo i can imagine this is pretty damn hard to do with 3 players xD (sadly i don't got extra controllers, online play would be awesome.. ^^)

qeinar
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby qeinar » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:14 pm

FB_Lauri wrote:Please try it patched with easy difficulty.

For our future products I'm sure we don't make this kind of changes any more, as it clearly has been a misjudgement from us.


nah you should just make it so it scales with difficulty, altho i don't really see how it can be that hard. i mean if you look at oldschool platformers (the lava tower on DKC2) was insanely hard compared to the last level of trine. Alot of people will welcome a challenge in a game instead of just running trough it without ever having to retry a map.

mythos
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby mythos » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:55 pm

First of all I didn't like the last level either.
It's not a matter of difficulty, as it wasn't that difficult. It is a matter of gameplay. Trine is not a platformer. It does have some platforming elements, but it's basically a physics based puzzle game. Having the last level be essentially a different genre makes absolutely no sense to me. It's like having an RTS where the last level is an FPS.
All in all it's a very beautiful game although the last level does leave a biter taste.
I see that Frozenbyte have realized their mistake, and that's a good thing. I'd like to see a sequel.

dabski
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby dabski » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:22 am

spyboy wrote:I've played that level about 10 times, and I'm just short of smashing my keyboard through my monitor :)


I know how you feel my mate and I played the game together on the PC and we almost gave up on the last level. Played through all the other levels on hard except for this one. After about ten tries we descended from hard to medium and then again all the way down to easy and it still took us around an hour or so to pass this level.

The problem is that the gameplay is completely different from the other levels which are somewhat like The Lost Vikings(puzzle platformer) all of a sudden we are playing something like Mario(hop and bop) which I have nothing against(I quite like original Mario games) except that the other levels do not prepare you for this type of gameplay and for those of us who aren't all that good at timing jumps and reactions are a little slower this twitch level is very frustrating and tarnishes the game. I wouldn't go so far as some of the others saying that this level ruins the whole game but it definitely does leave a bad aftertaste.

What is needed is for the easier difficulty to have a continue half way up the tower or a lever that removes a wall or something and lets the larva drain out slowing it down so that level is not so unforgiving.

DrTall
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby DrTall » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:06 pm

I'm really surprised at this negative attitude about the Tower. I read this thread before beating the game, so I was expecting a death gauntlet or something. I ended up beating the Tower on my second try (hard difficulty).

I thought the variation from the regular gameplay was excellent. Previous posters are making it sound like it switched from puzzle platformer to Rock Band or something. Every area in Trine has puzzle elements and harassment elements. Previous levels had acid and lava and skeletons and bats. This level has rising lava. It's clearly the same gameplay even if you need a little haste to survive.

I find the attitude here disappointing, especially considering how much extra development effort must have gone into the Tower level. After making 14 levels, making a 15th that's very similar wouldn't be that hard. Instead they put in the extra effort to make a challenging and exciting finale for the game. And then everybody craps all over them because it's too hard. The Tower is a boss level, and easy bosses are lousy.

I thought the Tower was a great finale.

guns_linger
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby guns_linger » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:04 pm

I, like a previous poster, only registered here to voice my feelings about the tower.

Trine's strength is that, like Braid, appeals to this massive amount of adults who grew up with platforming games but no longer see platforming as the height in gameplay. They're fun and all. But platforming only becomes interesting to anyone anymore when it SHATTERS expectations. The nice thing about Trine was that it didn't prize platforming convention, it prized the fact that It allows players to solve problems at their own pace, in their own way, without the burden of fearing frequent demise.

All of Trine follows that philosophy except for the Tower. The Tower, for me right now, is a roadblock keeping me from finishing the game. Maybe I'm not as good at platforming as other players, but I HAVE been playing video games for like, 20 years. If you are making levels that are turning me off and keeping me from solving the puzzles I fell in love with your game for, what function does a level like that really serve? Sure, it tests the reflexes of your die-hards, but they were gonna play it on hard and get all the achievements and stuff anyway. Why suddenly change the game so drastically for everyone else?

Trine gave me a beautiful, simple, elegant way to enjoy my love of solving puzzles, and now I felt like all of that was crescendo'ing to a mind-blowing, intricate finale... And granted, I haven't finished it yet, and I take the developer's point that beating the tower SURELY that must be satifying (what difficult task isn't to finish?), but honestly, I'm so frustrated and turned-off, I probably won't go back to it. Which is a shame. I've been playing this game slow and recommending it almost constantly, and now I have to warn all my friends that if they aren't platform gamers, they may want to think twice.

Just because you can elicit satisfaction by putting a difficult level in a game, doesn't mean you should. If your whole game is 10% combat / falling death, 90% safe puzzle-solving and exploration, why add merely ONE level where those percentages are switched? And then, why not make it optional or skippable (like a mini-game or a challenge mode)? Such extra content, even if difficult and completely different than the game's normal mode of play, is beloved and appreciated because it isn't confused with how the game naturally plays.

Last thought: My thoughts on the tower don't ruin my feelings about the whole game... I really love a LOT about Trine. I hope the tone of this post and its length can attest to that. But the Tower belongs in a Mario game. I hope that Trine 2, if it has content like that, has it separate from the campaign.

End rant.

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FB_Lauri
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FB_Lauri » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:44 am

All I can say is that I kindly ask everyone to play the tower at easy difficulty if you find other difficulties too hard. And please, update to newest version the game, as from patch 1.02 and after the easy is actually very easy. You can change difficulty without restarting the entire game.

guns_linger
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby guns_linger » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:05 pm

FB_Lauri wrote:All I can say is that I kindly ask everyone to play the tower at easy difficulty if you find other difficulties too hard. And please, update to newest version the game, as from patch 1.02 and after the easy is actually very easy. You can change difficulty without restarting the entire game.


Lauri, number one - in case no one here is giving you a lot of credit for your attentiveness to your customers' needs, let me say what I'm sure everyone here has already noticed: everyone here loves Trine, and everyone here, whether they realize it and say so or not, benefits from your patient reception of our feedback. Thanks for keeping an eye on this thread.

Let me also reiterate that I think Trine is a triumph, and I'll be getting any available sequel. Also loved Shadowgrounds. This isn't a "fix this stuff or I won't be buying" kind of thing.

I really just wanted to say, that having beaten the Tower (at last) on Easy, I could appreciate the level's merits, but considering the amount of tries it took on Normal, the drastic change in gameplay, the digging up of old platforming tropes, and a breaking of what I guess I thought Trine's philosophy was, I didn't feel any satisfaction from my win. It just felt like "Thank God!" That's not what I wanted from the end of this game I totally love.

Anyway, please take all of this as constructive criticism, not just run-of-the-mill internet griping. For a thread devoted to griping, I see a lot of Trine love in here. Thanks for everything!

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FB_Lauri
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FB_Lauri » Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:42 pm

Thanks for all the positive feedback :)

I understand that most of the people still posting on this discussion have good intentions (to make sure we understand), but I also must say that after all this you can be sure I have learned my lesson (which I have stated in this discussion already).

In conclusion: we will not make as drastic changes in the future, but neither we are sacking ideas we love, as if we would be afraid of everyone not liking our games or decision, we would be making the average grey stuff what everyone else is already doing.

Finzy
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Finzy » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:18 am

Hmm...:P

I thought the last level was pretty easy on normal difficulty. I only had to restart a few times to get the idea of how it plays out, then it was over, nothing impossible. In fact, I liked that you couldn't just stand still and had to constanly go up. The normal game had none of that, I would've gladly liked to see such a mechanic in other levels too, so you can't just peacefully stand still and camp the crystals to revive your characters everytime something goes wrong.

I did miss having a good boss battle though. It was kind of disappointing just to land on a single platform at the top and have the game end right there after fighting all those skeletons and desperately trying to find a way up.

Malygris
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Malygris » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:38 am

I was cursing and swearing over the last level myself. The timed jumping seemed so wildly out of place compared to the rest of Trine, which had been a relaxing, engaging game that even non-platformer-fans (such as myself) could easily get into. A few moments of frustration here and there, sure, but nothing that wasn't quickly overcome. But as I struggled with the last level I began to feel as though this uniquely outstanding game had been marred by an overly difficult and completely inappropriate ending.

Fortunately, after an hour or so of futile dicking around I came in here for help and read (in this thread, no less) that changing the difficulty to "easy" would make a big difference. I tried it, and it did; finished the level on the first try on "easy." So, good job on making the final level easy enough even for those of us who don't play games because we like to spend hours honing our twitch reflexes, but maybe next time you could include a in-game "HEY, WHY DON'T YOU TRY IT ON EASY" notice for those of us too thick to figure it out for ourselves. ;)

Vagelis
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Vagelis » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:11 pm

i did not like the frustrating climbing up at the last level,also...after many tries, i finally put it in "easy mode" to finish it...this level breaks down all the nice feeling having while playing it... i would prefer some other "type" of difficulty for an ending... Other than that, the game is GREAT.. and i thank again all the Frozenbyte team, for their effort and work to give out a game with "Heart" like this one...it is going in my TOP-LIST of platform games along with "Abe's Oddysee" 2 games, and "Duke Nukem-Manhatan Project"!!!..i hope we see more Amazing work from FrozenByte in the future.. :)


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