Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

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

Postby Shancial » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Matra wrote:
Shancial wrote:For the game, 7 / 10. (Would have been 9 if the ending had been different.)

You think at least 20% of the game is determined by the final level? That seems rather silly.

Shancial wrote:Also, there were some bugs here and there.

Every game has bugs, but there is not a single game-ruining bug that I have encountered, which is much better than most games these days are releasing. Yes, there are times when the ghost on the last level stops moving, but it's not like you're playing an early Beta version of the game.

Shancial wrote:Skeletons don't always die when they fall to the spikes and continued hitting me with arrows

Neither do you. They aren't supposed to be one-hit-kills.

I enjoyed the last level. It blindsides you at first, but once you know what it is you have to do, it is rather entertaining.



Yes, 20% is determined by the last level, as I said, I didn't feel like I had completed the game and it left me with a "THIS is it?!?!" feeling. The last level is supposed to be epic, not lame time attack.

I just mentioned that there are bugs, but nothing major and those "bugs" didn't lower the game's score.

But I'd like to add one thing that bugged me a lot. In some cases I was forced to abandon my original plan because of artificial restrictions. (I am looking at you, non stoppable swings and some unexpected physics behavior)

R4ved
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby R4ved » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:41 pm

Just completed the tower level.
I liked it, I was kind of expecting something along those lines to test the abilities the characters have learned and stuff. I liked that level, as it was the only level that challenged me in a way that i couldn't solve by slowing down and examining the situation. In all previous levels, if I had trouble on something, I'd just stop for a sec and take a look at my surroundings, and it'd come to me. But not the last level, the tower made me have to know exactly how the characters worked and had to think quick.
I used the Thief initally, until she died around the 2nd part, so I went with the Wizard for a bit, who died close in the 3rd, resurrected the Thief and used her briefly until I messed up, and finished the climb with the Knight.
Not as hard as I initially thought, after seeing how useful the Wizard and even the Knight were in certain parts, it became a lot easier.

whitebyte
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby whitebyte » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:27 pm

+1 for ZedPower's quote.

This is a good game for kids on easy, so the last level could be more consistent otherwise they'll quit when they are so close to finishing the game. Checkpoints or less object dropping would do the trick. At the point where the spikey balls are dropped repeatedly, maybe only one instead so you can survive it without a wizard.

fallacy
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby fallacy » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:33 pm

I beat it this weekend. I didn't find that last level to be so annoying as others. It took me about 20 tries before I got it.. Now I can get it pretty consistantly. I found the sheer amount of Credits more amazing then the end of the game.

Fine game. I as mature gamer found this game near flawless (cept it doesn't save the controller choice whenever u exit a game)

Solid A rating.


Now, bust out some cheats/secrets so we can have some different replay value. :)

binaryuniverse
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby binaryuniverse » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:55 pm

I registered just to post here. Yes, this level is that poor.

Timed levels absolutely ruined Psychonauts (both the Lungfish and the final Meat Circus levels), and it pretty much ruins the last level of Trine.

Up until this point, the game is moderately challenging (though the wizard's floaty triangle the Thief can use makes things a bit too easy towards the end), incredibly charming and very satisfying.

However, the difficulty curve doesn't just increase for level 14, it turns into a sheer cliff face with overhang. The timing is totally unforgiving, and the randomness of what Sarek draws in front of you (there seems to be a little variation from run to run) means you've got basically no chance if you don't do things perfectly - and sometimes even if you do, you can still get killed. I've been trying to pass this woeful level for about an hour now - but if I so much as miss a jump, I'm stuffed. If I try to jump somewhere, Sarek drops a spiky ball on me. If I get up to the angled ledge area, it drops four spiky balls all at once.

Here is where the game stops being fun, and starts being annoying. This is not why I bought Trine.

I don't care if it's "controversial". It's not. It's just not good design. There's too many elements in play to make it even seem possible to complete by someone of average skill. Plus, you don't know what's ahead if you do get a little further, which means you inevitably die over and over and over and have to win either by sheer luck or rote memory (and also a lot of luck). Not good. Not good at all. This level tarnishes the whole game experience.

Kirby
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Kirby » Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:36 pm

lupercaleb wrote:i wish that the knight was more viable in the climbing phase, but he simply can't move fast enough in comparison to the thief considering how he destroys objects. if he was able to jump, slash to destroy the object in his way, then land onto the next platform, he would be awesome. but if he attacks while mid-air he is not going to make it


I can upload the tower-part with knight-only on youtube (first jump is too high for him ofcourse)... but I messed up at the top and died to the skeletons / jumped into the small lava pools several times while trying to reach the flating platform... so it would just be the "climb" part.

aschloch
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby aschloch » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:41 pm

im gonna smash my keyboard to the wall, this level is so annoying :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Atnas
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Atnas » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm

I think that the level was very well done, but I hated how some paths simply were better then others and how the Thief was outstanding the best.

A bit of time pressure was what was needed to make the final level exciting and the level wasn't overly long or anything. It is probably one of thew few levels where I felt like a complete badass, since I finally got to utilize my badass roping skills! Making one mistake usually meant death (altough once I did an awesome save and I was nearly killed anyway because I just stood there going "I'm the fucking best BAM") so once you actually complete it, it feels a lot better. The warrior was utterly useless though, and curse those spikeballs!

The only real complaint I have is that I had to reload the map each time I failed and how I had to listen to his voice in the beginning haha

orunin
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby orunin » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:32 pm

Kirby wrote:I can upload the tower-part with knight-only on youtube (first jump is too high for him ofcourse)...


Unless you are going for Better Than Developers!, you could put the rez gem on him and jump into the lava. You still have to switch to the thief and back really quick but you still get ported to the ledge.

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t1rrr0n
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby t1rrr0n » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:02 pm

its not an easy level... but i can tell you: once you made it, and than play it again, you gonna laugh, because you realize that its not thaaaat difficult like you think before 8)

whitebyte
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby whitebyte » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:14 am

Shancial wrote:Yes, 20% is determined by the last level, as I said, I didn't feel like I had completed the game and it left me with a "THIS is it?!?!" feeling. The last level is supposed to be epic, not lame time attack.
I thought the last level was a good way to end it and I knew that "this was it". What would you suggest instead?
Shancial wrote:But I'd like to add one thing that bugged me a lot. In some cases I was forced to abandon my original plan because of artificial restrictions. (I am looking at you, non stoppable swings and some unexpected physics behavior)
Yep. Non-stoppable swings could have a powerful motor though... It didn't bug me a lot but I did sort of expect a little more from the Physx.

t1rrr0n wrote:its not an easy level... but i can tell you: once you made it, and than play it again, you gonna laugh, because you realize that its not thaaaat difficult like you think before 8)
I agree. Cheat and press F10 if you want to learn it without the frustration (no enemies including lava).

Preyer
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Preyer » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:57 pm

In short, the last level was great, but a little short (in old platformer games the running continues looong, now Sarek's Tower took me only two restarts).

Ceracryst
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Ceracryst » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:26 am

I'm glad that last level was in there, though my friend I was co-oping with was not so impressed. Trine is a fairly easy game, as it's pretty much impossible to fail and the checkpoint system is very forgiving (I see this as a good thing-- thank you FB for a "Restart at Last Checkpoint" function that doesn't require any loading!) (edit: Since the tower is based off of triggered events, I can see why loading is necessary. Maybe Easy Mode should just remove the lava rising. It'd solve all the issues and complaints about the level.)

The last level turns that around and goes in a completely different direction that's frantic and intense, somewhat reminiscent of old platformers from the NES era. Things are happening every which way and one little mistake makes you fail. There's a lot of memory and rote involved, and sometimes a bit of luck when things go wrong, but FB has done an awesome job of making sure that there are multiple paths through the stage. I'm very charmed by the last stage, and actually wished there were some more like it. (note: It took my friend and I like, 2 hours to beat it... so I'm no pro at this stuff).

But more time-attack stages should not be necessary to feel like you finished the game -- more like a bonus/challenges sort of thing, so that the player has a good idea of what they're getting themselves into. It's a different kind of game play altogether, and I'm glad it's in there. It's hard. It's fun ... that's refreshing to me, when games are getting easier and easier (i.e. Prince of Persia 2008 vs. Sands of Time), and the games that are very difficult aren't particularly rewarding. (i.e. Call of Duty)

Shadowgrounds was pretty good, but Trine has made FB a developer whose titles I'm definitely going to be following. And thank you, for implementing a, "THIS IS SPARTA!" attack for the Knight. =3 Not expected, and totally loved. Bwahaha- it combos so well with the sword.
Last edited by Ceracryst on Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

LicensedLuny
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby LicensedLuny » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:41 am

I wouldn't go so far as to say, "Frozenbyte fails!" but I'm disappointed in the last level, too. I've never been good at games where you have to move fast and aim at the same time. It's just not something I do well. So I simply avoid playing games which require those skills.

The demo showed me a game where it might help if you could be really fast and "pro" with the controls, but it wasn't required to progress. Everything left me plenty of room to take my time and sort things out. If it didn't work at first, I could try again without starting from scratch. If I got overwhelmed by enemies, I could retreat and try a different approach. There was never any time pressure. I pre-ordered the game because of the way the demo played. Playing through the game I had a blast! Yes, the levels got harder, but I still had plenty of time to go at my own pace. The last level changed all that. I wouldn't mind the climb and the dodging, but that lava-timer ruins my chances. I take issue with the last level because it feels like false advertising. I don't bother to buy and play games that work like this.

I realize there are plenty of people that can do it without much trouble, and they're way better at this sort of game than I am. I see the responses saying things like, "just practice more and you'll get it," but in my case, no I won't - I fall in the lava over and over, then get tired of it and stop playing. It's a game - it's supposed to be fun. I have no fun on the last level, so I don't play it.

I don't feel cheated out of $30 because I loved everything up until the tower, but with the style of the game changing so drastically on the last level like this I'll think twice before buying another FB game ... no matter how cool the demo is. :(

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FB_Lauri
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FB_Lauri » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:03 am

While I still disagree that last level is some sort of major failure from us, we still did not test it enough with real players and therefore we are patching the easiest difficulty to be very easy with the lava. This patch should be available on Steam starting tomorrow (Wed). Also normal difficulty gets a bit easier, but hard and very hard remain as they are.

Furthermore, what I was looking with the last level was a boss fight, but instead of having boss to fight, you have one giant level (one giant puzzle to say!) to fight. Clearly, some people feels it failed miserably, while some people say the last level is best in the game.

I'm still arguing that after completing the final level everyone have a new perspective to "accomplishment", something what Trine has been designed to bring to players. Until that, of course, the feelings are mixed at best. I still would find it fair to give us a chance (after patch at least), before judging also all of our future titles.

Jeeds
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Jeeds » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:51 pm

Although I didn't like the last level at all, I can understand why others do like it. I just don't like frantic gameplay and much rather want to take my time to find the best way to solve problems. I did succeed on medium however, but found the ending to be a bit lacking. It didn't really get some closure, storywise.

But all in all it was a great game, one I've come to expect from FB from the moment the first Shadowgrounds was released. So keep up the good work and hire some more playtesters (:P).

Oh, one tiny suggestion: The map during the loading times was a bit static. Maybe it would be fun and more immersive if you showed us where we're going in the next level? Instead of a horizontal progress bar, you could make one that goes from A to B, etc. Maybe something like Dungeon Keeper did with the map.

Looking forward to your next game!

FlukeRogi
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FlukeRogi » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:52 pm

Might as well throw in my two pence...

I come down on the side of finding the last level annoying. The problem is it's totally at odds with the play-style of the rest of the game. Maybe if there had been smaller (and easier to start with) similar sections scattered throughout the game that gradually built in difficulty as you progressed, it would have felt that I had been prepared for the last level. Then again, I think it would have drastically altered the feel of the main game.

I have finished it now, but on Monday evening when I first got to that level, after several attempts I had to just turn off the game and walk away - I found it that infuriating. Managed to finish it the following day but still, it left a bitter after-taste on what was otherwise a great gaming experience.

Still, it's not very often I replay many games (due to having way too many on Steam that I haven't even bothered with yet) but I'll definitely be trying for the Very Hard achievement.

voodoochile
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby voodoochile » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:48 pm

I really liked the last level.

It took me several tries until I nailed it but I enjoyed the process. It was only possible to complete it if you remembered things, like where a wall would be spawned and where things fell on you etc. So it was the ultimate test of dexterity and it tested your skill at switching between characters and playing them all, better than any other level in the game. In addition to that it had the memory element. This is the level that separates the men from the boys in that up to this point, it was all fairly straightforward, and you could do it all at your own pace. Add in a real pressure (time), and it's all about keeping a cool head while still being able to perform well under pressure.

This is the kind of gameplay that most games used to be founded on. If you grew up playing games in the 1980's and early 90's, this is what many of them were made with. It's frustrating but it's addictive at the same time. Gamers would want to "try to beat" the game. They would try, try, and try again until they succeeded, and it was finally beating the game that made gamers feel really proud of themselves. Those big boxy arcade machines wouldn't have made as much money if it wasn't for this. I don't know if modern gamers have the patience for that kind of thing any more, but I think many will, and it's only right at the end.

So yeah, I think it was a great level. In fact, I personally would have made it a bit tougher, like having the final spiked ball land and stay still. It actually lands and rolls off the little ledge by itself, so if you take the left at the top, I didn't need to use the Wizard or Knight at all.

[s p o i l e r !]
As for the tactics, I found the thief to be best too, but the wizard worked best at one point. I used the theif to do the first 60% or so, really quite easily. Just jumping up and roping up from ledge to ledge, and fire arrow anything that gets in the way. Nearer the top, if you go left you can do it with the theif, but if you go right you need to use the wizard to stop the rolling spike balls. Have him levitate them over you. I found that if the lava is about to catch up to you, you can just quickly switch to the Knight and let him be the one who dies in the lava. The game then kindly lets you respawn with a new character quite a lot higher up. It's almost like a cheat. Although after several tries, I remembered all the tricky bits, so on my last try I went all the way without losing anyone.

FB_Lauri wrote:It is controversial, but there are also a number of people who like it. However, we will look into making it easier with easy difficulty (for the rest of the difficulties it's however working fine I think).

It would however help us to do correct tweaks if people who have completed the last level tell their feelings about it. Eventually, it all comes to the rewarding point when you complete the game, and I think that matters more than the flawless accomplishment of the entire game :D

(flawless accomplishment, as we have seen, turns out to be a discussion about game length .. :wink: )



I did that literally 7 or 8 times until I was able to finally do it. I did ok every time, even my very first attempt, but you went out of your way to do sneaky things which really took me by surprise :) Like when I got near the top and jump from one ledge to another, and you have the ghost create a flat wall JUST as I am jumping. The way I found to get around that was to just hesitate for a moment and the wall falls and then I can jump.

Really, I can't think of any way to tweak this process. You went with the frustrating, timed, test of dexterity challenge as the final point of the game, and I don't think you can really tweak that. If you remove the ghost adding the walls or something, it just wouldn't be as fiendish and I like that it was fiendish. It's the end of the game after all. The only thing I would do, is like you said, make it easier on the easy level. I would probably leave it the same but have the lava rise slower.

whitebyte wrote:+1 for ZedPower's quote.

This is a good game for kids on easy, so the last level could be more consistent otherwise they'll quit when they are so close to finishing the game. Checkpoints or less object dropping would do the trick. At the point where the spikey balls are dropped repeatedly, maybe only one instead so you can survive it without a wizard.


You can take a completely different route. If you go left, you don't even go to that dropping balls area. Even if you do go right, I found that quite easy to handle with the Wizard, although I don't fancy my chances at this last level if I was playing with a game pad.

Preyer
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Preyer » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:12 pm

FlukeRogi wrote:The problem is it's totally at odds with the play-style of the rest of the game.


Exactly! That's what makes it feel fresh and challenging, ergo rewarding when completed.

I feel like Lauri said, that the level is a kind of boss fight. In my opinion, as I wrote before, the problem is that the struggle is a bit too short - the final boss could be harder. It's sad if players nowadays think a boss fight should be winnable on the first try.

EDIT: I completed the level with mostly the thief & the wizard's triangle, but maybe I should try soloing it with the wizard or the knight or co-op to add some challenge.

FlukeRogi
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FlukeRogi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:33 pm

Preyer wrote:
FlukeRogi wrote:The problem is it's totally at odds with the play-style of the rest of the game.


Exactly! That's what makes it feel fresh and challenging, ergo rewarding when completed.

I feel like Lauri said, that the level is a kind of boss fight. In my opinion, as I wrote before, the problem is that the struggle is a bit too short - the final boss could be harder. It's sad if players nowadays think a boss fight should be winnable on the first try.

EDIT: I completed the level with mostly the thief & the wizard's triangle, but maybe I should try soloing it with the wizard or the knight or co-op to add some challenge.


Don't get me wrong, I like variety as much as anyone else. The problem I had was that the difficulty didn't gradually climb to prepare you for that challenge; compared to the rest of the game it suddenly plonked down a brick wall. Maybe if the last 4-5 levels had started ramping up the difficulty, it might have felt like a better fit.

Kokos
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Kokos » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:21 pm

Already tried this level like 20 times, but keep diing every time :( Looks like i wont be able finish game. However rest of the levels are awesome. Is there some cheat to stop lava rising? Its simply to hard for me otherwise..

FlukeRogi
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby FlukeRogi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:21 pm

Kokos wrote:Already tried this level like 20 times, but keep diing every time :( Looks like i wont be able finish game. However rest of the levels are awesome. Is there some cheat to stop lava rising? Its simply to hard for me otherwise..


Try some of voodoochile's tips above. Fortunately, that level isn't actually very big (good job too, or I probably wouldn't have managed it).

karlkart
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby karlkart » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:26 pm

i think the last level sucks for single player but fro co-op my friend broke my gampad cause we counld not get his fatass knight up or he would fall and there is alot of betrals gose on with the wizard he can take adavtage of the sistuation

Keytap
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Keytap » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:11 am

Maybe it's just me, but on my very first playthrough of the game (on Hard), I beat this level on my first try. I alternated between thief and knight all the way up, and at the very end I used the wizard's floating platform and levitated him up to the artifacts.

I didn't find it difficult at all. The lava never even appeared on the screen after I got above it initially. Admittedly, it wasn't my favorite level, and I was expecting some uber hard physics puzzle to be my final challenge, but it certainly wasn't very difficult, and I didn't find it annoying. In fact, there were a number of levels I found much, much more difficult and/or annoying.

But maybe that's just me.

Edit: On a side note, I can't get achievements to work on this level. I've completed the level on Very Hard, with none of my characters dying or taking damage, as well as no enemies dying. I even repeated this two more times, and none of the corresponding achievements have been unlocked. Can anyone help me out with this? Does skipping the cutscene or credits keep you from unlocking achievements? Thanks in advance.

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Mr. ShadowStealer
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Re: Tower Level - Frozenbyte fails!

Postby Mr. ShadowStealer » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:48 pm

The latest patch deleted an essential file which makes the achievements work. It should be fixed soon.
Not all of you have äää's and ööö's :P


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