Recovering old RwK levels

edited January 21 in Robot Wants Kitty
Okay, so, the Robot Wants Kitty Level Recovery project...

A great number of levels have become invalidated by bug fixes, but I hope that by providing actual blocks that emulate the glitches, the levels can be recovered with minor edits.

I am going to be providing a Windows copy of the game that can be used to "port" old levels.

The process will go something like this:

1) Run the Windows copy of the game
2) Download an existing level from a tool I will develop
3) Drag/Drop that level into the Windows copy of the game
4) Fix and share

Now, the only issue here is levels where the creator is long gone, but they're good levels.  I am looking for a way to address that, and welcome any input or ideas.  I would like to just make a zip file available with all levels in it, for anyone to port whatever they want, but I expect there would be some ownership/credit issues with that. 


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Comments

  • Just a note on the substitute blocks that try to emulate... I haven't seen this mentioned before and not sure if you received PM with regards to this but the passable 'one-way' wall block doesn't have a viable substitute yet. Not sure if you intended that greenish block to be it but it's missing a vital part; the ability to zoom into it and 'stick', unlike how it currently behaves akin to zooming into a wall. Let me know if you need more examples to illustrate what I mean.
  • Well-- I probably won't do a "passable one way" since that's like a concept nobody would ever put into a game (point out any higher-quality or nintendo game with a "one way block that you can nonetheless go through backwards" and I'll reconsider!)  I would expect a level modifier to user a combination of a velcro block and the green slow field to produce an analogue... stick to the velcro, jump up and through the slow barrier above (or below).


  • For the sake of preservation, I'm definitely in favor of uploading all the old levels.

    If you're concerned that this could lead to plagiarism, then how about having the PC version give every converted level a non-removable flag that'll prevent their uploader from receiving any karma for them? That way, people would lose any incentive to steal quality levels from other people.
  • Have you looked at any of the examples Fomb or myself shared? The vast majority of 'good' levels utilise this to some extent. It's not about the barrier being passable, it's about one sticking to it (while zooming into it) and slowly falling as you zoom (so not a definite 'stick' like with the velcro block. It's a difficult/challenging trick to do but also rewarding and opens up many possibilities.

    (@40m:30s)

    Here are three very short clips of unfinished levels I manage to find.




    After doing all the above, I actually just played Fomb's "Electro-velcro" level (to try and crash the game) and I must say, he did do a nice job pulling it off! Jump to stick then transport, it does work well! However, perhaps for a future update, I still think this old barrier would be very cool. Fomb's "FT 14" was an exercise in frustration as the jumping and sticking around feels very random so no actual skill, just random jumping and hoping for the best to clear a particular jump. With the three short examples above, especially the video titled "Barrier 2" you can see the usefulness of zooming/sticking/slowly/falling. In another video I can't find now, the barriers were higher with many more monsters and you'd have to keep zooming/letting go, then zooming/letting go to avoid danger, almost like the robot is abseiling, tricky, predictable and rather fun!
  • @raptisoft
    Your right about it not being in other games, but I think that is what seems to fascinate everyone about it. It's special. Yes, in most games there's some one way barrier, it does what it's supposed to do and no one is ultimately impressed...it's just a game mechanic.  The barriers you made add so much and are so intricate and useful on multiple levels. That's why everyone is talking about them now. So yeah, I don't know of any game that has something like this. I also think that's a very good thing. How often does a game come around with something actually unique, something that's not just a copy of every game that came before? The barrier you made is special.
    I understand that they don't work as intended, and as someone who's interested in code that it's code that isn't what it's supposed to be, but as a player of games it's something special we don't see really anywhere else. I can't help but see that only as a good thing.
    Like i've said before, an name change is all that it would take. I know you added the semi-permeable green version. I like the green barrier. It's useful. It doesn't do anything other than what it does, but that's ok. But what about adding the old barrier back in with a new name.  Impedance barrier? or something silly like Wiggly barrier? 
    Intended or not, those old barriers add a ton to the game. Sometimes art involves happy accidents. ;)

  • Don't have time to watch these videos right now, so I can't say whether or not I agree about there being value to the old one way barrier.

    What I do agree with however is that not doing something because no other game does it is a poor argument. If everyone adhered to that, there would be no more innovation. Some of the most beloved games out there succeeded precisely because they had great ideas that nobody had thought of before.

    The only thing that should matter is whether or not a feature is actually good, not how widespread it is.
  • @SomeRandomHEFan, the three "very short clips" I shared are actually only 30s, 16s and 13s respectively but hey, every second counts in a busy life I guess, innit? ;)
  • Sheesh, that is glitchier than I ever imagined.  And it's not that good a mechanic-- it looks like its only value is in being able to glitch through the floor, which I dub PLAYER HOSTILE.

    Well... let me think about what kind of analogue I can do that could match this.  Rather than do this though, I'd much prefer to add Hoggy-style scripting, which would open more possibilities and not require the user to guess stuff.
  • What is “hoggy style scripting?”
  • edited January 22
    @raptisoft,
    You're talking about that last of the short vids, right? It kind of looks like it, but the robot isn't actually going through the floor. He's actually pressed up against the side, but still in the open space of the barrier. There is no access to the actual floor block and one can only proceed away from the block. It can't be used to access the space below the floor or the side opposite. It really is just being pressed up against it like the electro-velcro.

    But how about this, instead of getting rid of these things that add so much to the game, just add a couple of simple things that would alleviate any fears of them being "player hostile". This could be a tag like expert, pro, or extreme/insane, etc. Coupled with this there could be a page (even if text only) describing the very few "extended techniques" or "pro techniques" that describes the lava walk, the barrier/teleport entry, the barrier wall stick, and... is there anything else? I can't off the top of my head think of anything but these three. Maybe the teleport grab (that's the one where you can teleport as you die and grab an app on the other end while returning to the save point...Dahlo's Bear Hug uses it at the start).  So, like 4 things.  Maybe even links to the clips @fnanfne has done such a great job of uploading.

    It would allow all of the great creative level making that has made us all fall in love with RWK, but avoid any player hostility due to the levels being clearly marked as pro, extreme, etc. and even those who wanted to attempt them could quickly see what the possibilities/challenges are with a short description of the extended techniques.
    I think most of us agree these special elements are amazing because of what they allow in level creation, not because their "secret" status. Make them known to everyone, mark all levels appropriately (all of us reporting levels that fail to do so), then there's no problem, only more options for creativity, more intricate levels. Not to mention that if we don't invalidate old levels (which the lava and barrier changes have to effect countless really good levels) we'll instantly have a vast library of levels for the new RWK.  Maybe even for HAP2.
    It seems like a win-win.
  • ^^^^ agree ^^^^
  • I'll see if I can find some more examples and make excerpts for quicker viewing, I know there are a few more ways the barriers can be used. I quickly modified my level (named 'Descendascend') to illustrate the neat way of being able to abseil down slowly as you zoom into the barrier pointing to a wall, like what Fomb is alluding to. Can you still play the old RwK @Raptisoft ?
  • Hey John,
    I'm happy to act as an admin for levels if you're ok with that. I could repair levels of users that are no longer around. Credit happily retained by original author, with. Our that it was updated for compatibility by level moderator. Is that easy to do?
  • @OzBoy... to make that kind of system would mean a lot of tweaking to my server code... it's not REALLY an option.  I'm working on a process though... I'm thinking let people claim their levels for maybe 3-6 months, then open source all the rest.

    @fnanfne... to make something "user friendly" it has to be pretty self explanatory with either a single glance or the very first time it gets played.  A good explanation of it in this video from Egoraptor (language warning)

    I don't see a good way to make these glitched mechanics 'obvious.'  If I were to try to design a level to take advantage of them, I wouldn't even know how to do the explanatory part (example: In the novice level, you don't know that exploding lazors will destroy red crates-- so you get dropped into a pit where the ONLY way out is a situation where you WILL hit a red crate with the exploding lazors, by accident even if you don't intend to-- and then you know!).






  • edited January 22
    @fomb as for marking them "expert" etc... no level should be SO expert that it requires using a glitch to win it.  Like-- a glitch to win it faster?  That's fine.  A glitch to skip parts?  I can work with that.  A glitch to solve it at all?  That's outside of video game philosophy!

    @kylseglin In Hoggy, the user can set up trigger zones (for instance, "if Hoggy walks here").  Those triggers can run small scripts that can, for example, dissolve a portion of the playfield, open doors, tweak monster behaviors, etc.  Some of the level creators have done incredible things with it-- everything from making cartoons to full-blown RPGs.  It provides a creative outlet for level makers that would be a great improvement on looking for sneaky ways to gimp the collision system to make a level nearly impossible!


  • edited January 22
    Just a quickie, and following on from what Fomb said HERE.

    With regards to the lava-walking, you absolutely don't have to make it obvious as it should already be screamingly obvious, common sense and "pretty self-explanatory" as you put it. If for some inexplicable reason, the player does not know this, he/she will very quickly realise that this is indeed the case. When a player KNOWS his/her character is invincible (flashing red robot), there are/should be no exceptions. Being invincible/indestructible with a caveat/exception is an oxymoron. Making an exception here merely introduces complexity and it is not consistent, something you also said you're striving for, if I'm not mistaken. Again, I submit that the lava-walk is not a glitch and should be disregarded as such

    The bottom line here is that they work great, folks utterly love them and they are just super awesome. Don't retain the glitches/bugs, make new blocks that emulate them (as they have become quite useful).

    But it'll be cool if a scriptor is introduced as this may solve all the problems!
  • Oh thanks for the language warning, appreciated!
  • Yeah, his language is pretty salty, but his diatribes on how Megaman "teaches" about how things work should be viewed by anyone who loves video games.  And especially by designers...

    HEY ROBOT!  ROCKET AGAINST ONE WAY WALLS AND KEEP ROCKETING!  YOU'LL STICK AND SLOWLY GLIDE DOWN IT!  (Press A to continue)
  • @raptisoft,
    That's a great video (and I've always been a huge fan of Megaman, from the beginning).
    One of the comments he makes repeatedly too I think is poignant. He repeatedly talks about developers underestimating their players and not recognizing their basic pattern recognition and problem solving skills.
    Especially with a simple explanation these techniques won't be mysteries. And I know we're all calling them glitches, in the sense that they aren't things you intended initially, but judgement of what should/shouldn't be aside, they are just things that can be done in the game. Interesting things that add a lot to the gameplay.
    It would also be really easy to make small (extra small, tiny) levels that demonstrated each of these and link to the videos in an explanation. For example, the barrier wall slide, just the robot with the rocket, nothing else, only way to the kitty is sliding down the barrier. With literally nothing else to do anyone trying this would learn the trick in seconds.
    All of these options would make these techniques clear and easy to learn, and only add functionality and options for more creativity in level design.
    And as testified from our pal @fnanfne, encountering an incredibly challenging level, even seemingly impossible and taking more than a year to figure is, as Fnanfne put it "this is the level that got me hooked on RWK". I know, again, a sample of one is not that scientific, but I think it's fairly representative of people's feelings on games. The whole point of playing a game is to be part of something one has to figure out.

    Of course, I would totally be willing to make the exceptionally short levels that require the specific "special techniques" and people could suggest tweaks (or make their own). Then videos and links. It would all be easy and add so much to the game.
    ...we'd just need the glitches back first. ;)
  • Oh, and Megaman, which really is one of the best crafted games of all-time (just like the video you posted argues), is not a glitch-free game.
  • Yeah perhaps we as fans and players view the glitches more as secrets that we learned after playing for a while. If it’s framed that way, and considered with @fomb logic of using an expert tag on hard levels would make it apparent that they are supposed to be hard. I think there’s a valuable puzzle aspect to this game and figuring out which secret to use is what makes it even more fun than it would be normally.

  • I don't object to glitches-- EXCEPT when it's necessary to use the glitches to complete a level.  The only ones I fix are the ones that makes levels look impossible to players-- this causes them to write me e-mails.
  • I struggle a lot with Hoggy 2, I swear some of those levels are literally unsolvable. Will you make it easier if I write you a scornful email? Just kidding! ;)
  • I guarantee you that when you see the solutions to a Hoggy 2 level (I mean the main game, not makermall-- some of the creators use scripting to ruin life) you will ALWAYS slap your head and say "I can't believe I didn't see that!"
  • //
    1) Run the Windows copy of the game
    2) Download an existing level from a tool I will develop
    3) Drag/Drop that level into the Windows copy of the game
    4) Fix and share
    //

    What do I do now that I've installed RWK for IOS? I've backed up the levels using a 3rd party tool. I can extract them because the .ipa on my desktop is effectively a zip file. Is that enough for now?
  • I don't think you'll be able to convert the levels before John releases the game's Windows version, even if you already have them.
  • @Ozboy, actually that's the very BEST way to do it.  What you'll do is look for the /ExtraLevels folder in that IPA, and you should find a bunch of .kitty files.  You can drop any of those into the Windows version I'll release and they'll convert right then and there.
  • And sorry if any of this is a repeat.
    Ob1: when running left/right, the game constantly stutters when scrolling. It's very distracting.
    Ob2: after playing FOMB's test14, the Velcro feels too sticky. If I want to jump or fall, it's fairly tricky.
  • Im assuming windows version is coming soon?
    Also, how do I donate? I promised a donation. I clicked an ad so far, but, no donation box :)
  • "...to ruin life." lol
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