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2 Levels awarded
The Flowstorm editor provides players with the capacity to express a more creative side. Creating levels may be an enjoyable experience and there are many skills to be learned that will help the integrity of one's levels. This thread is intended to help players who want to learn a couple general rules that make more exciting and enjoyable levels.
So what is a level? A level, is defined as the space in which a game is played. For Flowstorm, the definition is more clearly defined as follows:
- There must be a spawn, at least one checkpoint, and a finish line for racing modes; at least one rocket for shooting modes.
- All levels should be closed forms, as in, all pieces of a track connects to make an overall form. This is not to say that all levels should be closed, but all forms that make one should.
- A certain level of detail should be accomplished.
By far the most effective way to make sure your level is fun and playable, is to play it yourself. If there are parts of your map that you don't enjoy, assume that others will not enjoy it either.
Keep in mind there are six game modes for race and shooting levels and players will test most of them on your map to get a top score.
Detailing is best utilized in high density. To illustrate this, imagine if the entire world had the same amount of detail everywhere, even if everything had exquisite detail, it would end up being boring to look at. The same rule applies to your levels, if everything has the same level of detail, then it becomes uninteresting. In another sense, this way of design could be called "landmarking", as it presents parts of the map as having their own personality.
- Less detailing is needed in areas where the player is going at a high velocity. This is due the the fact that rails, more than details will be sought out at high speeds. Thus, the opposite is true for areas of low velocity, as players will be able to appreciate detailing much more.
- Using props adds polygons to the map which decreases framerate or FPS. Too many props in a level can cause lag on players who have less capable computers, so reducing poly count where possible is desired.
- Achieving a difficulty in a level is one of the hardest fundamentals to master properly. It is easy to make a level easy, but it is hard to make a level challenging for the "right reasons". What is meant by the "right reasons" is that it is easy to make a challenging level that is unfair to players, but it's difficult to make a challenging level that plays well. An example of a very easy challenging level is to make a corridor that is only a couple pixels larger than the ship, it's difficult, yes, but no player has the capacity to beat it with enough skill repeatedly. On the other hand, if a map has challenging obstacles repeated throughout the track, a player who has enough skill can get around each obstacle and the real challenge comes from doing all of them in a row efficiently. In essence, a level should be difficult due to the culmination of challenges that a player must overcome.
- Using this model also presents the level to achieve a greater variety of scoring, as certain players will be able to overcome certain obstacles in faster amounts of time. Thus, having much variety in the map allows for more variety in the scoreboards.