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View Full Version : Do mod creators only make mods for other mod creators?


poeticraider
27-08-09, 19:00
It sure seems like it.

All of the highest scoring mods on TRLE.net are very very difficult, and not newbie friendly in the least.

It's like every mod creator assumes that the people playing their game are all experienced and want to give them the most fiendish challenge possible :hea:


I've already posted about this, so can I make a request on behalf of newbies who also want to play mods...

Can someone make a mod where the emphasis is on atmosphere and exploration, NOT fiendish puzzles and impossible jumps that scare away newbies?

The thing that I loved most about Tomb raider when I first played the demo back in 1998 was the sense of isolation, and the mysterious atmosphere. Maybe there are two types of fans....those who love exploration and haunting atmosphere, and those who like platform jumping and solving puzzles. It's unfortunate that most of the mod creators seem to be in the latter group.

I think the Tomb raider community needs fresh blood to continue strong, but you can't get fresh blood if all the new user created mods are so difficult.

matrix54
27-08-09, 19:08
people usually make stuff for the community. other than that, they either do personal request or make there own stuff. and there a few level that focus solely on exploration, but they are nice. One that comes to mind in Titia's Jungle Fever. A nice little romp throuigh the jungle. But I never finished it, so I have no idea how it finishs :p but yeah, welcome to the community :wve: enjoy your stay :mis:

Jeissy
27-08-09, 19:10
Hmmm well for the first time I see someone addressing the custom level as mod and I needed few seconds to understand what does it mean.
And I guess I am on your side, I prefer exploration rather than some difficult puzzles[I don't mind that jumps and climbing stuff]. For example, yesterday I downloaded the complete Egypt and beyond level set and when I wound up in front four/five levers, it was clear to me that I had to make combinations and decide which and how to open doors, so I deleted it since I don't like so much difficulty in puzzles :o

mudkip25
27-08-09, 19:11
its only cause TRLE.net people are really aggressive when it comes to building, nitpicking at everything.

poeticraider
27-08-09, 19:24
Hmmm well for the first time I see someone addressing the custom level as mod and I needed few seconds to understand what does it mean.

Sorry about that :). I got accustomed to saying "mods" from games like Baldur's Gate which have a very big modding community.

I should say "custom levels" right?

Anyway, I'm glad that you understand my situation. I tend to get stuck in parts where you have to do some weird angle jump and poor Lara keeps falling to her death over and over again.


its only cause TRLE.net people are really aggressive when it comes to building, nitpicking at everything.

Hmmm....

It is the only site I found with such a huge collection of tomb raider mods though. Do you know of any alternative sites that aren't so competitive?

mudkip25
27-08-09, 19:30
Sorry about that :). I got accustomed to saying "mods" from games like Baldur's Gate which have a very big modding community.

I should say "custom levels" right?

Anyway, I'm glad that you understand my situation. I tend to get stuck in parts where you have to do some weird angle jump and poor Lara keeps falling to her death over and over again.




Hmmm....

It is the only site I found with such a huge collection of tomb raider mods though. Do you know of any alternative sites that aren't so competitive?

laraslevelbase.org but its mostly german and its nice and cleaner.
But its an affiliate of TRLE.net and you need a free membership

tomblover
27-08-09, 19:30
There's also Lara's Levelbase but I dunno if there's any real difference. Though you need to register to download virtually everything.

mudkip25
27-08-09, 19:34
There's also Lara's Levelbase but I dunno if there's any real difference. Though you need to register to download virtually everything.

sorry, I beat you to it on a wii. ;)

Spikey
27-08-09, 19:44
I personally think there's not really much of a difference between trle.net and the Levelbase. The quality of custom levels remain the same, so you'll still find the same adventures at the top of the listings on either site.

I do recommend this level though, since - aside from a single obscure puzzle involving an egg, which you may need to consult the walkthrough for - it's not so high on the difficulty scale (not to mention it's an excellent level in the first place).

http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=2002

larafan25
27-08-09, 19:51
no thats one thing I hate about fanmade levels and have always tried to conqure with my levels(yet haven't managed to get one finished nor released)

I hate when people make you jump at a slope, quickly jump again and do a roll in the air to grab something totally impossible...also thos jump where you run jump and must perfectly land in an alcove on the side of a wall that leads down into a pit...once I see that I stop playing...

a game should be fun and not impossible...don't build it according to you test playing it...build it according to the control scheme and how the player will play it...

don't make use of bugs, and don't put in pole swings that are impossible tog rab, and are only there because it is cool to have swing poles in TR4 engine.

Mytly
27-08-09, 19:58
Can someone make a mod where the emphasis is on atmosphere and exploration, NOT fiendish puzzles and impossible jumps that scare away newbies?

The thing that I loved most about Tomb raider when I first played the demo back in 1998 was the sense of isolation, and the mysterious atmosphere. Maybe there are two types of fans....those who love exploration and haunting atmosphere, and those who like platform jumping and solving puzzles. It's unfortunate that most of the mod creators seem to be in the latter group.

I think the Tomb raider community needs fresh blood to continue strong, but you can't get fresh blood if all the new user created mods are so difficult.
There are 2000 custom levels hosted on trle.net. Out of those, you couldn't even find one that's "newbie friendly"? I find that hard to believe :rolleyes:, especially considering that I have myself played several such levels.

Besides, exploration/atmosphere and jumping/puzzles are hardly mutually exclusive. In my experience, the best builders manage to incorporate all of these. However, if jumping challenges aren't your cup of tea, there are plenty of custom levels that focus mainly on exploration. My personal recommendation would be Trix's "A Time Odyssey" - gameplay is very much exploration oriented, and the whole game is dripping with atmosphere from start to finish. :D

no thats one thing I hate about fanmade levels and have always tried to conqure with my levels(yet haven't managed to get one finished nor released)

I hate when people make you jump at a slope, quickly jump again and do a roll in the air to grab something totally impossible...also thos jump where you run jump and must perfectly land in an alcove on the side of a wall that leads down into a pit...once I see that I stop playing...

a game should be fun and not impossible...don't build it according to you test playing it...build it according to the control scheme and how the player will play it...

don't make use of bugs, and don't put in pole swings that are impossible tog rab, and are only there because it is cool to have swing poles in TR4 engine.
And some people - including myself - love such challenges. Should builders stop building such levels, just because some players dislike them, even though others love them? :rolleyes:

poeticraider
27-08-09, 20:19
Hey, Mytly, why are you being so sarcastic?

We're just trying to state an alternative opinion, and to encourage mod creators to consider different play styles.

Mytly
27-08-09, 20:31
Sorry about the tone. But I still stick to my point, which is that there are literally hundreds of different styles out there. If you as a player want to find what suits you, just try out a variety of different levels from different builders. And ask for recommendations for games of the type you like. As I said before, with 2000 levels on trle.net alone (and not to mention other sites), there is sure to be something for everybody.

Besides, builders build for their own pleasure - surely they are entitled to build whatever they choose to? This isn't a commercial product, and players of custom levels aren't customers. We are essentially getting hundreds of superb (and of course, some-not-so-superb ;)) games for free. What could be better than that? :)

QRS
27-08-09, 20:44
Builders build what they want to build. It is different form a company as we don't get paid. Live with it or play something else. There are plenty of levels out there for all kinds of enjoyment.

MMAN
27-08-09, 20:50
its only cause TRLE.net people are really aggressive when it comes to building, nitpicking at everything.

That has what to do with challenge? Especially as "nitpicking" tends to lean towards complaining about overly hard gameplay.

For a relatively recent, very high ranking level based more around exploration try Fortress Stonerock: http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=1871

There's a couple of difficult moments but it's mostly quite mellow and exploration based.

Mytly
27-08-09, 20:53
Fortress Stonerock - definitely perfect in the exploration and atmosphere department. :tmb:

LaraCablara
27-08-09, 23:26
I personally think there's not really much of a difference between trle.net and the Levelbase. The quality of custom levels remain the same, so you'll still find the same adventures at the top of the listings on either site.

I do recommend this level though, since - aside from a single obscure puzzle involving an egg, which you may need to consult the walkthrough for - it's not so high on the difficulty scale (not to mention it's an excellent level in the first place).

http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=2002

Thank you :).

I have to admit, I don't play complicated levels, and I don't like them either :o. I think there should be some hints somewhere about how to solve a puzzle. At least in the read me file. I also just don't play levels with long mazes and impossible timed run jumps, because they just are not fun, especially levels that start with a room with seemingly nowhere to go. I think if you see the player might have trouble making a jump, then provide a hidden alternate route to get around the jump.

larafan25
27-08-09, 23:35
There are 2000 custom levels hosted on trle.net. Out of those, you couldn't even find one that's "newbie friendly"? I find that hard to believe :rolleyes:, especially considering that I have myself played several such levels.

Besides, exploration/atmosphere and jumping/puzzles are hardly mutually exclusive. In my experience, the best builders manage to incorporate all of these. However, if jumping challenges aren't your cup of tea, there are plenty of custom levels that focus mainly on exploration. My personal recommendation would be Trix's "A Time Odyssey" - gameplay is very much exploration oriented, and the whole game is dripping with atmosphere from start to finish. :D


And some people - including myself - love such challenges. Should builders stop building such levels, just because some players dislike them, even though others love them? :rolleyes:

for me it's not about what is liked by the player, it is about having them be able to have fun when playing my level, not be frustrated over things I should have thought through better....I as a player enjoy being stuck on puzzles and such, but not on a jump that is impossible to make, or moves that work 1 out of 10 times......

thats not a good game:)

mudkip25
28-08-09, 02:04
That has what to do with challenge? Especially as "nitpicking" tends to lean towards complaining about overly hard gameplay.

For a relatively recent, very high ranking level based more around exploration try Fortress Stonerock: http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=1871

There's a couple of difficult moments but it's mostly quite mellow and exploration based.

I meant reviews there which struggle someone to build levels under pressure and then either mess it by making it to hard or too easy. many builders even take they're levels down or stay away cause it causes pressure.

Mokono
28-08-09, 02:08
its only cause TRLE.net people are really aggressive when it comes to building, nitpicking at everything.

And there lies the charm of their creations.

poeticraider
28-08-09, 07:18
Ok, I tried Fortress Stonerock, and got stuck at the very beginning. :hea: Now, I'm not complaining, but I'm just trying to understand the mind of a custom level creator.

What hint did they give to let me know that I was supposed to ... in broad daylight ??! See, this is the kind of puzzle that make me get stuck, because I always expect a puzzle to have some kind of logic, but this one seemed a bit unfair and unintuitive.

Note, I'm not angry or anything, I'm just really curious and I would like to know the reasoning behind puzzles like that one.

MMAN
28-08-09, 10:32
I'd agree that the starting puzzle is kind of dumb, I don't really recall anything like that after though.

larafan25
28-08-09, 16:05
ya that first bit was seriously impossible to think up....

I remember walking around thinking I had to climb over the hill...but once I was ready to pack it in, I saw lighting around a random square in the wall and right away though it was a pushable wall:)

queo_Lita
28-08-09, 16:14
Poeticraider, I share your passion for good level building. Game design takes a while to fully understand and TR's engine allows for a lot of things that you can come up with to be realized. I consider it a problem that the community ends up being plagued and degenerated by the criticism virus. (I am only saying this as an observation, do not lynch me for having an opinion that I do not try to imply on anyone.)
Yes, it is in the sake of bettering one's skills, but very few levels come with a Read Me or anything that says "Lara can now bounce sideways off walls. Press jump, rotate three times counterclockwise, press flare, hold look for 3.2312 seconds, then draw and left- for bouncing off to the left." It is things like that that has made me and others drop a level.
If you go through the forum you'll notice that levels are judged on screen shots for atmosphere and such, but mainly pretty looks. A lot of levels get lost in the idea that gameplay is a way to walk through pretty areas; and puzzles end up being just way to gain time for a level run.
Do you remember how in the Tomb Raider games you may first find a door with a keyhole to the side, but you don't have the key? That's a way to suggest to the player that they need to be looking for a key. The idea of observation as a dynamic interaction in many levels I find missing, and that's when the puzzles become meaningless. Or the jumps are no longer smart, but rather unthinkable.
In my opinion - it is hard to level build, really, don't take it for granted. And building in TR is easy.
I'd suggest that you play some of those levels that in their reviews aren't noted for hard puzzles and such. I understand your passion and I find it refreshing, as really, many players who aren't level builders would play a levelset if it is aimed at the goal of having some good time, rather than criticizing it.
I hope you find yourself some nice levels. Toddles!
NOTE: I only want to help Poeticraider understand level building for TR and orient him so he has an idea how to find proper levels for himself. Do not take this post as valid for anything or anyone, but him.

poeticraider
28-08-09, 23:15
Hey, Lita, thank you for your encouraging post. You seem to understand me very well.

I am also glad that you notice my passion for this game.

Yes, I really really love Tomb Raider. You understand that the reason why I have issues with custom levels, is not because I hate the game, it's because I love it so much, and am greatly disappointed when I get stuck on a weird puzzle because I see so much great potential.

Maybe, it's because the VERY FIRST PC GAME I ever played was the demo of Tomb Raider 2 ! :D I still have fond memories of my childhood when I replay the Great Wall level.

I'll definitely take your advice, and search harder to find custom levels that avoid these issues I brought up.

mudkip25
28-08-09, 23:40
TR2 was my first TR on PC too! (I got TR1 on PSX)

I never got past Venice lol. Anyways, Its great your Custom Level problem is fixed. Try working up the ladder from easy, slowly getting a little harder progressively.

queo_Lita
29-08-09, 00:36
Poeticraider, I am glad if I could be of any help.
See there's also this thing that when level builders build - throughout the process they are communicating their projects with other level builders, which is why everything becomes so insider-friendly, if that makes sense.
I've been trying to get two of my best friends to play some custom levels (and one of them loves adventure games), but it's when they get to the stuff they don't know should be happening when they ... well, yell at me, actually.
I'd reccomend that you play some levels from around circa 2006; I've found those to be pretty newbie friendly. Also, if you aren't picky try levels that are rated at around 5-6, because my friend told me he was fine with a couple from that range. Still your best bet are the reviews though, don't skip them.
Toddles!

MMAN
29-08-09, 15:05
The OP made it sound like you were just looking for exploration based levels with few traps and dexterity challenges, but now it sounds like you're looking for easy to medium (and maybe a bit above) levels in general, in that case (from the hall of fame):

TR Tokyo 9: http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=289
Catacomb Towers: http://hof.trle.net/showHoFPage.php?month=200212b&aid=174&lid=351
Sanctuary of Water, Ice and Fire:
http://hof.trle.net/showHoFPage.php?month=200309&aid=174&lid=779 (goes a little into the hard category, but mostly balanced).
Walhalla: http://hof.trle.net/showHoFPage.php?month=200412b&aid=148&lid=1000
Tower of Sumpta: http://hof.trle.net/showHoFPage.php?month=200502&aid=304&lid=854 (I haven't played it for awhile but I don't recall it being that hard).
The Legacy: http://hof.trle.net/showHoFPage.php?month=200907&aid=313&lid=895
Tarragona series: http://www.trle.net/sc/authorfeatures.php?aid=105 (I recall some stuff being pretty tough and played it ages ago, but it was possibly the first custom level series I played and my skills were nowhere near as good, so it can't have been THAT tough outside maybe the last few levels, but this is the one I'm most unsure on).

I'm sure there's various other levels in the HOF with a lower difficulty level, but these are just the ones I definitely recall being that way.

Edit: Here's a recently uploaded TR3 level with a great theme and relatively straightforward gameplay too: http://www.trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=2048

l.m.
30-09-09, 21:22
Ok, I tried Fortress Stonerock, and got stuck at the very beginning. :hea: Now, I'm not complaining, but I'm just trying to understand the mind of a custom level creator.

What hint did they give to let me know that I was supposed to ... in broad daylight ??! See, this is the kind of puzzle that make me get stuck, because I always expect a puzzle to have some kind of logic, but this one seemed a bit unfair and unintuitive.

Note, I'm not angry or anything, I'm just really curious and I would like to know the reasoning behind puzzles like that one.

hi :),
i can give you the answer why i have placed that key on that place:

this was my very first level and i had not experience.
That's it. Damn easy answer, isn't it :D. Sorry for that. I recognized that this place (a very very small grey key under a plant) is ****. ;)
But i hope ... many player find this out, and explore the next rooms, and forget this stupid key (god thanks :D). This awareness of this stupid hidden place and feedback from players help me to build better level. hope my gameplay of my next level is much better than that hidden key place of the beginning of my beginning level... ;)
afterwards the release and feedback for this key i never placed a key on such a place :D.

greetings from germany :)

mgan9311
01-10-09, 13:19
ok

Titak
01-10-09, 17:13
The levels are not labeled like that, but they are labeled according to environment. Like Desert, Jungle, Ice, Oriental and Remake and so on. But Shooter is also a label. So the levels labeled as Shooter are obviously more combat themed.
There's also a label Joke. Most of the Joke levels aren't all that funny to play though. They are usually bad. But there are also a few good ones worth playing. :D

No labels like Novice, Medium and Difficult though.
You would have to read the reviews to see if a level is easy or not.

mgan9311
01-10-09, 18:54
ok

Mulf
01-10-09, 19:23
Why exactly are you making your suggestions on a forum that has no share in either the hosting of levels or their being categorized? :)

NB. "Joke" is not a category imposing a "harsh" value judgement on certain newbie levels (although dot, dot, dot), it is a category descriptive of what its name says, namely levels that were intended to be a joke on the player. For example, The archetype, Lara in a Box, is a "level" consisting of one room that Lara cannot leave, thus being everything that a TR level characteristically is not.

At any rate, for various reasons a more in-depth way of categorizing, desirable though it may be, is probably not feasible.

mgan9311
01-10-09, 19:50
ok

Mulf
01-10-09, 20:19
(and Titak has nicely explained the basic set up in his last post).

Yet again...Titak would want to be referred to as "she". :)

Forgive me if I am not sure what "Joke" stood for.

Nothing to forgive. I merely intended to clarify things.

NB?

Nota bene, mark ye well, take notice of.

mgan9311
01-10-09, 21:33
ok

QRS
02-10-09, 02:13
I would like to add that some of the levels are marked as "easy" "difficult" etc. You can see that if you check the levelinfo for the level you are checking (Not a category on its own as Titia say). It was added as a feature 2-3 years ago, so not all levels have the feature that indicates its difficulty.

Titak
02-10-09, 14:00
@ mgan9311:
There was no need to edit your posts really. You did a good job explaining yourself with them. And explaining yourself in a decent way is okay on this forum. :hug:

Sorry for the misunderstanding about the Joke category. :o

mgan9311
02-10-09, 15:54
@ mgan9311:
There was no need to edit your posts really. You did a good job explaining yourself with them. And explaining yourself in a decent way is okay on this forum. :hug:

Sorry for the misunderstanding about the Joke category. :o

That's okay. I will research a bit better before I post next time!! Thanks!! ;) I guess now the thread looks kinda funny.... :o