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Old 25-08-17, 18:20   #1
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Default Tomb Raider custom games feature request - What I like/hate/miss

Dear Tomb Raider custom game players!

This thread is made to tell your requests to the TRLE/DXTRE3D/TREP/TRNG/TE level builders in three categories:

Like - You encounter this often (or almost often) in the games, which you find nice, because this feature is so cool, you want more, more, more!
Hate - You encounter this often (or almost often) in the games, which you find awful, because this feature is so annoying, builders should be more careful with that or they should skip that totally.
Miss - You encounter this rarely (or never) in the games, which you find awful, because this feature would be so cool.

Your request could be about ANYTHING, after all - an interesting structure, some sound feature, a spectacular visual effect, your favorite geographical site etc.
But, please:

- Never be too general. For example, "I like boss fights" is an improper request. Boss fights how? With tons of bullets, or with a tricky puzzle?
- Try to be within the actual limits of the editor programs, level builders cannot build which the tools are unavailable for. (If you don't know what the limit is, then remember the games what you have played, and try to ask something what should fit the quality of those games.)
- Try not to be tutorial-like, like "place a Sun bulb in each room or else Lara looks flat". It is not a tutorial.

For example:

Roman aqueducts are so cool. Please do more.

- Ahmets dead on the floor and burning is so annoying. You should remove it with an A14 trigger.
- Short music soundtracks repeating often instead of ambient noise backgrounds should be avoided.

- I have never found Byzantine sites so far.
- Flash grenades are underrated, but they could be so great for stealth levels, when Lara is disarmed.
You can send a Like/Hate/Miss post any times.

Please, remember:
It is not a general chat, it will be an encyclopedia for the builders.
However, the legitimacy of a new request could be discussed here.

I also suggest this thread.

Last edited by AkyV; 05-07-19 at 16:53.
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Old 25-08-17, 18:35   #2
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Ok, let's see if I got his.

- I love water puzzles! Anything that has raising/lowering/moving water. If creative enough, it can be a real challenge.
- Stealth. Not really common, but if you know how to use AI objects, basic scripting and some conditions for view angles, you can do nice stuff with it and create some more realistic stealth in TRLE levels.

- I hate any missing sound or a wrong sound.
- Unfinished objects with missing faces, be sure to check them always.
- Really big areas with almost no hints, being lost is not fun really.
- Cracks, especially underwater, they look terrible with black holes/distorted wall like you're opening a portal to another dimension.

- I rarely see turn switches, cog swithces etc, they can be used for some pretty neat stuff.

These are the first thing that came to my mind of course....

Last edited by Raider99; 25-08-17 at 18:42.
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Old 25-08-17, 19:52   #3
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- I love neatly made backtracking and possibilites to see old room from other perspective. Builders should not be afraid of connecting different locations in many ways. Having an ability to somehow return to the older room through different entrance is a great thing.
- Combinable objects. For some reason a lot of levels prefer to stay classic, with lots of keys and moderately low amount of puzzles. I think this should be replaced with something more elaborate and combinable objects give the possibility to make some really interesting puzzles.

- Too many traps, instant-kill etc. The real fun of playing game is when you can avoid traps if you are bright enough. There should always be a hint when danger is coming, so one, if clever enough, can avoid it.
- Pushables. Don't get me wrong, having a pushable from time to time is fun, especially when you can climb onto it. But what I absolutely hate is when there are several pushables with long distances to move them. Awful. Irritating.
- TR4 water collisions. If you're using TRNG, then use CUST_TR5_UNDERWATER_COLLISIONS ASAP. It makes swimming much easier and less irritating.
- Rope. They are just awful. They should be either redesigned or removed entirely. Never use them.
- Too much music. I mean, I love nicely put soundtracks, but if there's one track looping over and over again through the entire level, it gets boring and irritating. The best thing is to have simple, long ambience and music tracks only for special events.
- Too many long flybys. Most of the time they are pointless. If you really insist on adding them, always make it possible to cut off the entire sequence. The best thing is to keep only one or two longer flybys in the entire level, while the rest is just simple camera for 2 or so seconds long.
- Big, empty areas. They are boring, most of the time ugly and don't have anything important. It's better to keep things small but filled with action rather than big and empty.

- Focus on gameplay. Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling that some of the newer games are too focused on graphics rather than gameplay (including my own custom level). It seems that gameplay is always rather an afterthought and most of the time it's boring and senseless. It's better to stay away from building for a while longer, but instead design the level on paper first. Even better, maybe try to make puzzles first and only after that try to make the entire level around them.
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Old 25-08-17, 21:29   #4
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*Detailed environments that don't always have use, but can just be there to add to the immersion of the world. (Additional rooms, NPCs, animated objects...)

*Levels that have no backstory, that have no thought as to why Lara is there, why she's doing anything, what she's looking for.

*Hidden areas for the purpose of looking interesting or adding complication to the puzzle/story.
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Old 26-08-17, 11:49   #5
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I know not everyone does a complete level set on here but I do always enjoy seeing a TRLE game which includes a variety of locations and has a well thought out story/plot involved in it as I find a TRLE game with a story makes the player engrossed into it more, knowing what they are looking for and why they are at certain locations instead of simply just getting from point A to B.

If there is one thing I hate that I have saw in a few TRLE games then it has to be repetitive puzzles in the same level level. If you have say a switch puzzle in one section and then another switch puzzle in the next one the same level, it is going to slowly drain the player of enjoyment as they aren't exploring or solving anything new to keep them on their toes.

For me, the thing I do not see too often anymore is a creative boss battle, whether it be focused on the boss itself or how the room is set out to make the boss a little more challenging really does make all the difference in terms of tension towards points in your TRLE game, take King Arthur Project for example, they done it extremely well.
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Old 26-08-17, 15:36   #6
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@AkyV: thank you for this thread, I never hesitate on telling which features I like/hate/miss in custom games Should we feel free to add new features later?

Like: Good clues about what to do next so I never lost in game.
Beautiful, wise used textures, new moves and also fresh sounds. Really, the default sounds are boring in most cases.

Hate: Timed runs. I hate any timed thing if it is more tight than in classic games. And if the timed event is long I most likely hate it either.
The same is about pixel-perfect and banana jumps (my god, some builders even combine them with timer!). You hardly see such things in classics.
The thing called "fake challenge" it is when you beaten the game but didn't enjoy it. Those "hard jumps" and tight timers completely fit the term IMO.

Miss: Alternative routes, when you can choose between two or more ways to play entire game/solve particular puzzle/enter to area.
Good balance between detailed Lara outfit and blocky world, including the enemies and decorations. I wish builders use less detailed and realistic outfit if the world and it's objects are far from being HQ.
Good optimized games. It is not always necessary to use hi-polys objects and hi-res textures to make a game look good. It is all about good balance. See any level by teme9 or sponge for example of wise optimizing.

This is all for now

Last edited by A_De; 26-08-17 at 15:38. Reason: typo
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Old 27-08-17, 10:29   #7
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Originally Posted by A_De View Post
@AkyV: thank you for this thread
You are welcome!

Should we feel free to add new features later?
Of course, you can edit your post any times.
Or feel free to send a new one.
You don't even need all the three categories in a post, if you have something to tell only in one or two categories.
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Old 06-09-17, 01:59   #8
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Like: Levels that have clues as to where to go when you begin. Hints for puzzles. Levels that loop around, guide you to where you need to go without backtracking excessively.

Hate: Underwater mazes. Levels with impossible to make jumps. Levels with a thousand new moves and animations that don't work properly. Huge and empty levels. Levels that begin with a SUPER SUPER long flyby (that of course, does not even show you where to start). When you pull a switch and no camera cues you as to what opened. That 3d mountain horizon that really does not look good when its out in the open.

Miss: Levels with alternate routes and optional pathways. Secrets that unlock something extra.
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Old 10-09-17, 15:41   #9
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Excellent Thread Idea.

  1. Simplistic levels centred around a challenging puzzle.
  2. Puzzles that give clues on how to complete. "Aha" over "Oh thank god for that".
  3. More open ended levels with less of a focus on puzzles and more exploration based. Any puzzles should be localised, unless the direction and objective is clear.
  4. A clear sense of direction, with well thought out level design.
  5. A sense of adventure. Basically when you get from A to B, and you can look back at A and think "wow, I climbed all the way up here from there".
  1. Pushing blocks far. If you have to push a block more than 3 squares (ideally two), it's too far.
  2. Big open levels with no indication of where you need to go (I'm looking at you Hypersquare (great game though))
  3. Extremely hard/ unforgiving climbing sequences. If I know exactly where I need to go, but it involves excruciatingly precise control movements that takes fifty attempts instead of two or three, then I start to think "what was the point of that".
  4. Intimidating level design (and arbitrary mazes).
  5. Unfinished, untidy levels. If you're going to put something out, spend a bit of time on the presentation. Don't leave objects as "load" or levels that say "missing".
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Old 17-09-17, 14:47   #10
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Levels that are about as challenging as TR I-V and only use classic animations. Some level builders rely too much on copying the LAU formula, which doesn't work with the classic engine and makes some actions overly complicated like jumping from one ledge to the other.

The implementation of LAU animations. These animations are made for a dual analogue control scheme and are simply a pain in the arse in a game with tank controls. Also I think that only using classic animations force the designers to be more creative.

Too well hidden paths. In some levels I run around for 15 minutes, trying to find the correct way only to find out that it's hidden behind a certain texture or in a very dark corner. This isn't challenging, it's just frustrating and more often than not I quit playing such a level.

Too many traps that will certainly kill you on your first try. Yes, the classics had a few instances where you couldn't possibly know that there's a trap, but usually Core Design was very fair and experienced players could always avoid traps by being observant. A favourite among custom level builders seem to be corridors with spikes that pop out and retract from the floor and walls with some seconds between intervals. This is not fun! Especially when I have to jump into the corridor before running through it.

Creative level design that doesn't rely on new animations. Also: Simple looking levels that aren't filled to the brim with 3D objects that are distracting, sometimes make jumps harder than they should be by being in the way and make it hard to distinguish pick ups from decorative objects. The worst offender are plants with collision in some jungle levels. Sure, it's nice to have a lot of greenery in a jungle level, but please don't put collision on plants that hinder the player. Same with decorative skeletons.
Is joke! Or is?
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