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View Full Version : Three Types of 1000 Heroz Runs



rlmergeuser
08-03-2012, 10:15 PM
I have observed that, for me at least, there are three types of runs in 1000 Heroz:

Type 1: Runs I finish with gold stars on the first try with no scouting and no effort. These are a nice little ego boost, but not exactly why I play the game. They are fairly common (admittedly more so now that I've done 424 runs, many twice after having to reload my entire phone 4 months ago).

Type 2: Runs I finish with either bronze or silver stars on the first run--maybe even the first few runs--but that I gradually work down to gold star times. I find new quirks and shortcuts on each run, and in general enjoy the challenge for a good couple of minutes. These are by far the least common type of run for me.

Type 3: Runs that make me want to smash everything in sight. These are runs where if the character lands on the wrong pixel--and it will--your run is screwed. So you repeat over. And over. And OVER. These aren't about finding a line to establish a good time. These are about finding a line to get the stars and get through those courses so I never ever ever have to play them again (until the next reload, because for some reason Game Center didn't seem to save my game data correctly, so I lost it all on reload). These are courses where some $%^& puts a stone next to a dropoff, or a rolling boulder on the other side of a gap, or a giant wall that destroys your time unless you manage to shoot yourself out of a cannon just right. These don't just make me hate 1000 Heroz; they make me hate video games as a genre of entertainment. Thankfully, they are not at all common (at least for me; I've managed three gold stars on all but about 25 runs since having to manually replay everything).

Still, level designers: the point of these courses should not be "Hmmm, how can I frustrate the player?" It should be "Hmmm, how can I make the player want to improve his or her time?" or "How can I make the player want to take just...one...more...run?" (or for Redlynx, "How can I make the player consider spending a diamond [when the servers are up]?")

Oh--and let players disable the #$%^ ghost. Some players like it, but for me, it's a counterproductive and annoying distraction that has never helped me improve a single run. Let players who like it keep it. Let everybody else put it in the bitbucket where it truly belongs.

TheRobZ
08-04-2012, 12:55 AM
Still, level designers: the point of these courses should not be "Hmmm, how can I frustrate the player?" It should be "Hmmm, how can I make the player want to improve his or her time?" or "How can I make the player want to take just...one...more...run?" (or for Redlynx, "How can I make the player consider spending a diamond [when the servers are up]?")

Good idea... I'm sure the procedural program that generates the levels without any human interaction whatsoever will be taking your feedback into consideration http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif

rlmergeuser
08-04-2012, 03:48 AM
Still, level designers: the point of these courses should not be "Hmmm, how can I frustrate the player?" It should be "Hmmm, how can I make the player want to improve his or her time?" or "How can I make the player want to take just...one...more...run?" (or for Redlynx, "How can I make the player consider spending a diamond [when the servers are up]?")

Good idea... I'm sure the procedural program that generates the levels without any human interaction whatsoever will be taking your feedback into consideration http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif

Well, I didn't know it was just a procedural program. Thanks for the welcome.

ETA: Sorry about that. I shoulda poked around a little bit more, though in all honestly, I do think it's reasonable to be surprised that it's a procedural program. It's not a knock against the app (particularly since the full version offers replays of all the previous levels for $2.99), but the app is known for offering levels one per day. (Again, we're talking about 1000 levels total when all is said and done, which is really inexpensive).

Also, I'm not trying to denigrate the overall level quality, which is so good that I honestly thought humans designed them all! However, there are still those levels that humans might tweak a bit in both directions for playability if they have time. That is probably a better statement of my overall message.

rlmergeuser
08-12-2012, 06:39 PM
I disagree on the statement that easier levels would be more fun to play and compete. The easier the level, the harder it is to stand out, to think about different strategies, etc. because it is obvious that there is just one way to do the run correctly. And then everyone tends to have exactly the same time. I enjoy longer winter levels, there you can really make a difference with a very good run.

AnttiKi
08-13-2012, 09:50 AM
Actually, no level goes into production without first being checked out by a human. A human has to set the silver, gold and "perfect run" (1000 points) times. Obviously the human must play the level before setting the times. The randomly generated level can also be regenerated if it doesn't meet the standards, but as far as I know, it's not possible to manually modify the generated level.

rlmergeuser
08-13-2012, 03:33 PM
Actually, no level goes into production without first being checked out by a human. A human has to set the silver, gold and "perfect run" (1000 points) times. Obviously the human must play the level before setting the times. The randomly generated level can also be regenerated if it doesn't meet the standards, but as far as I know, it's not possible to manually modify the generated level.

Ha - I thought TheRobZ was just joking around when he said they were generated by a procedural program.

rlmergeuser
08-21-2012, 06:03 AM
I disagree on the statement that easier levels would be more fun to play and compete. The easier the level, the harder it is to stand out, to think about different strategies, etc. because it is obvious that there is just one way to do the run correctly. And then everyone tends to have exactly the same time. I enjoy longer winter levels, there you can really make a difference with a very good run.

I agree that easier isn't always better. Remember, my favorite levels are what I call the Type 2 levels that encourage a player to go back and try for a better time, and those aren't generally the easiest. I'm just saying that harder isn't better either. In particular, I notice that I get the most frustrated when a level has a particular point (or two...or three) where it looks like the character should be able to jump (which should just require that the character have one or both feet on the surface), but touching the jump button doesn't do anything, and I wind up dropping into a crevasse, or landing badly at the other end of a gap, or otherwise having to repeat the level.

To put that in perspective, I don't mind at all when I have to try multiple ideas to try to get a good time on a level, but there are times when whether it's my fault or not, it feels like a control sensitivity issue or a difference between what I'm seeing (and bear in mind that I have 20/10 vision in both eyes, so vision is not a problem normally) and what's actually happening. I don't mind jumping to a bad landing and knowing that the next time through I have to jump earlier or later, but when I hit the jump button and nothing happens, or when the character seems to land hard despite the lack of a slope, then I'm not exactly thrilled.

It's especially frustrating because I had to restore my iPhone in April, and I lost all my progress, and had to repeat every course from the beginning--and replays only go back so far due to the aforementioned issues (and other reasons, as I recall), so there are some levels I don't know if I'll ever finish at the three-gold-star level. In particular, levels 142, 158, 161, and 162 have no replay available, and I haven't found a video on YouTube for any of them.

I mean, so far, of the 441 days so far released, there are only 26 levels I haven't managed to get three gold stars on, so while I'm clearly mediocre compared to the players who have earned places at the tops of the leaderboards, I'm also not exactly a bad player. And yes, I know that clearly all the levels can be mastered because of all those who have done so before me.

But I do think that there is a clear line of demarcation between a level that is merely challenging and one where the natural limitations of the app's design make the level feel....well, honestly, cheap and mean.

While I understand that the developers approve every level, and that every level has been mastered by both playtesters and players...well, what did I ever do to you guys to deserve level 142?! http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon/wink.gif