Escapist Testing Initiative (Portal 2 Custom Map Archive & Challenge Circuit)

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Here's my first map, it's a tower climb called the Ascent.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=73841017

Moderate difficulty, mandated for the most part through a couple of fizzers that essentially split the climb into three areas. Use height to your advantage, and stay close to your cube.

Feedback is welcome, guys! Cheers.

8bitmaster:
third map done if anyone wants to grade it.
The Trap:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=73612028

It's not the only offender, but one of the worst examples of mystery meat puzzle solving I've seen. A handy guide:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2693987

How to make great maps:
Try and at least make it that most initiators (buttons, lasers etc.) either have clear indicator lights to their target, or that you force the player to be looking in the right direction as they press a button. Pressing a button in one chamber, only for it to do something tiny four chambers away is very frustrating

It took me ages to solve it, and I still don't know what half the buttons do. You also used laser relays when you should have used laser catchers, meaning that I spent half an hour wondering why I'm going nowhere and it's because a gnat coughed within five yards of a reflection cube.

Time to post my third map, The White Stuff.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=73894267

Those of you who enjoyed getting conversion gel everywhere in the main game should enjoy this little puzzle. And yes, it is a puzzle not an unsolvable test.

Back from vacation and I'm gonna be testing all week and on Saturday I'm going to update the archive.

I'm a little backlogged so I apologize for any inconvenience.

Here's a first effort (in the portal editor, long time hammer user here.)
A disclaimer: it's large...really large, and I pretty much maxed out the editor. If you have any criticism it's welcome of course, but I probably wont change anything on this map, just keep it in mind for my next (smaller) one. I've done lots of testing and played whack-a-mole with disappearing connectors between buttons and objects (the blue lines just disappear, and the map compiles only when it feels like it because its so large) so its become a bit frustrating to work on.

It is quite a challenge too, but completely beatable without cheating. Through playtesting feedback I've toned down a bunch of stuff, so I hope its not annoying! Enjoy!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=73986362

Diligent:
Here's a first effort (in the portal editor, long time hammer user here.)
A disclaimer: it's large...really large, and I pretty much maxed out the editor. If you have any criticism it's welcome of course, but I probably wont change anything on this map, just keep it in mind for my next (smaller) one. I've done lots of testing and played whack-a-mole with disappearing connectors between buttons and objects (the blue lines just disappear, and the map compiles only when it feels like it because its so large) so its become a bit frustrating to work on.

It is quite a challenge too, but completely beatable without cheating. Through playtesting feedback I've toned down a bunch of stuff, so I hope its not annoying! Enjoy!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=73986362

First timers are always welcome, I'm a little backlogged right now so I may not get to yours today but I promise soon I'll have all maps that have come in graded.

I just get stumped a lot and end up having to hand out 5s. For a bunch of complete strangers a lot of you have turned into little Jigsaws...my brain can't comprehend how to beat some of these maps.

I made a new map, simply named "The Pit". My current guess as for the difficulty is that it's a 5/5 map, as it's fairly lengthy and it requires one mandatory advanced portalling technique combined with several quick-reflex puzzles. This one was a lot of fun making, though. =D

Also, I've checked and I believe it's impossible to get stuck in the map. However, if someone does find an inescapable situation, please tell me ASAP so I can fix the puzzle ASAP.

V8 Ninja:
I made a new map, simply named "The Pit". My current guess as for the difficulty is that it's a 5/5 map.

What's the room with the ariel faith plates for? I managed to beat the map without it. Actually I never even got into the room with the ariel faith plates.

Bad Jim:

V8 Ninja:
I made a new map, simply named "The Pit". My current guess as for the difficulty is that it's a 5/5 map.

What's the room with the ariel faith plates for? I managed to beat the map without it. Actually I never even got into the room with the ariel faith plates.

What aerial faith plate room? Can you give me more specifics?

EDIT: Never mind, I figured out the problem myself. I forgot to connect the button to the exist door. XP

V8 Ninja:

Bad Jim:

V8 Ninja:
I made a new map, simply named "The Pit". My current guess as for the difficulty is that it's a 5/5 map.

What's the room with the ariel faith plates for? I managed to beat the map without it. Actually I never even got into the room with the ariel faith plates.

What aerial faith plate room? Can you give me more specifics?

EDIT: Never mind, I figured out the problem myself. I forgot to connect the button to the exist door. XP

Well I'm giving this a 5 for difficulty. You clearly don't call yourself V8 Ninja for nothing.

After finishing my "The Pit" map, I decided to attempt to create an easier and simpler test chamber, which resulted in The Broken Button. My difficulty estimate is a 3/5, mostly for the final section being tricky to perform.

Thread has been updated with the currently graded maps.

Still behind so I apologize.

I've just done another map. I call it "Trick of the Light".

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=75109882

I reckon this is a pretty hard puzzle. I set it up without knowing whether it was solvable and played it to see if it was. I did solve it of course, but it took me a long time.

I'm realizing more andmore that when I asked for challenging, brain teasing puzzles...something I'm notoriously bad at solving without hours of careful study...you guys delivered wholesale.

I'm flabbergasted at the amount of great level designers here. YOU HEARING THIS VALVE! HIRE THESE GUYS FOR MORE PORTAL DLC!

I feel like I need to make this clearer:

To pass inspection and be graded you MUST have the following.

Your map must not rely on cheats, exploits or glitches in the game system.

Your map must be solvable within the allotted three hours.

Your map must have a solution.

The map creator must fix any flaws found in design in order to pass inspection if a flaw is found.

All steps must be functional and be reasonable.

Look there's a difference between "Hard" and "completely impossible unless you are the designer". No more convoluted over-complicated test chambers. I am done spending my entire day on one map because the solution is not evident...I'm being forced to change the rules and require maps to be completed by at least one player other than the designer without the designer's help.

So...I finished making another map. It's completable, but I have no idea of what difficulty level it is. I would say it's 3/5 or 4/5, but I can easily misjudge the difficulties of my own test chambers. The map is called "Lake".

Alright new rule. If I can't figure your map out, automatic 5. I just spent the last two hours completely lost in one of Deckard Cain's maps. Bro, I gotta say...you are the master of messing with my head. Also "Oh Uncle Deckaaaard!"

After about an hour, I came up with another map called "The Divide". It's a bit claustrophobic, but overall it is a playable map. Which is nice and all...

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=71286898 here ya go, my map created a good bit ago

Once I finish fixing Four-Leaf Clover for the umpteen Bazillionth time I will get back and finish the last tests.

Kind of getting sick of 5s, guys....can we make easier stuff??

EDIT: Almost through the backlog. Finally can go finish my last map and release that so all you guys n gals can find the less-than-five-portals trick in each map. No srsly, it's possible to finish every room in under 5 portals...no hints.

here a new one from my side:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=75596500

and a slightly more difficult version:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=75766083

yes - I have tested both - they have a solution etc, however if you feel like you have discovered a bug let me know! :)

Good luck and have fun

Netsky08:
here a new one from my side:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=75596500

and a slightly more difficult version:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=75766083

yes - I have tested both - they have a solution etc, however if you feel like you have discovered a bug let me know! :)

Good luck and have fun

I look forward to getting stumped!

I think you should be the one grading these maps since I keep getting stuck...

So I've made another two test chambers, one that's a bit large and another one that I think I expertly crafted.

The first map is a big map called "Work From The Top". I have to do a lot of testing for this map, mostly because of the funnel that I wanted the map to revolve around. I at least went through 4 iterations of the map, and it was a pain to test because it took about 3 minutes for the map to compile. However, I did add a secret for those that are smart enough to figure it out. =D

The second map I created was "Three Cubes & Three Square Buttons". While I don't want to say much, I can guarantee that the chamber is completable. Have fun figuring out the solution! =D

EDIT: Also, difficulty ratings; I think "Work From The Top" deserves a 4/5 and I will let other people decide what "Three Cubes & Three Square Buttons" gets.

Completed and commented on both.

Work from the top:
3: Normal- Experienced players will have no trouble with this after some thinking but new players may have a hard time, less than five steps. Sometimes may require map maker's assistance.
Not sure about the 5 steps (depends on how you define a step) - if it's more obviously a 4.

3 Cubes and those buttons:
that depends how the player is trying to solve it - could be a 3, 4 or 5.

Expect a full release of my last "Challenge" map called "A Spittle Momentum...". I am just fixing bugs and issues, cutting out unnecessary parts and adding in a new opening portion (the light bridge I already have isn't exactly hard at the moment...)

Lord_Ascendant:
Expect a full release of my last "Challenge" map called "A Spittle Momentum...". I am just fixing bugs and issues, cutting out unnecessary parts and adding in a new opening portion (the light bridge I already have isn't exactly hard at the moment...)

Good to know! Will try the level out after you release it.

Also, I thought I should say that my level "Three Cubes & Three Square Buttons" has been changed. Basically I made the map a bit harder because I found an unwanted way for testers to complete the original.

Here is a guide for map makers that are having trouble figuring out "How do I make a good map?"

Here's some things to AVOID when making maps for Portal 2.

* Don't use too many buttons or require too much running between parts of the map without shortcuts or portalable surfaces.

* Use what the game itself already teaches. Don't expect players to know everything, pretend they are dumb and only know what the game tells them through the single player game.

* Test. Your. Maps. I can't stress this enough. If you can't get it to work, chances are other people will not be able to as well.

* If your map has turrets, give the player a way to avoid them or destroy them. Nobody likes the two second "avoid the turret" game unless you specifically want to make a difficult challenge.

* Make sure every part of your map can be seen and every mechanism understood at a glance, if someone has to noclip to figure out your mechanism then it isn't a good mechanism. Give a player a visible, tangible acknowledgement that pressing a button did something. Show, don't tell.

* Go the extra mile, make sure everything needed for a test is a little more that it needs to be. Make that drop needed to make a jump one block deeper than you think it needs to be. Make sure that the player makes it to where they want to go.

* Use lighting to point the way, if something isn't clear to a playtester use lighting to point them in the right direction.

* Give a player time to complete the map. Don't put unnecessarily short timers on things, forcing players to hurry. Hurrying means missing your map's full potential.

* Give a player multiple avenues for success. One solution to the test means searching for the exact way to beat a room, every player solves a challenge differently. Allow for that and you'll have a better map.

* Your players should not be lost as soon as they enter your room. Start them off with hints of how to solve the room. Lay out all your cards, then tell them to start solving the puzzle.

* Never use a solid flip panel to hide a button or a devise, use glass so players know that there is something they need below or behind it.

I hope these tips help players make better maps because I'm getting tired of grading maps and not being able to solve a test because of obvious flaws in design. It makes a map look sloppy or too much of an asspain. This isn't just about challenge, it's about fun as well.

There is already a "how to make good maps" sticky on the Steam forums.

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2693987

I'll sticky that on the top post.

Can't seem to get the steam community webpages for the maps to show up but relax, the last maps will be up soon.

Lord_Ascendant:
I know what to do but I couldn't get the white goo higher than halfway up the third room with the exit and had to noclip and just say it's good enough. 4/5

You aren't supposed to get the gel up to the exit.

Full solution:

Lord_Ascendant:
Alright new rule. If I can't figure your map out, automatic 5. I just spent the last two hours completely lost in one of Deckard Cain's maps. Bro, I gotta say...you are the master of messing with my head. Also "Oh Uncle Deckaaaard!"

Now that is funny right there, thank you for that.

The way that map is layed out is that, you see all these different openings and its down to exploration to figure out what opens what. I think when you actually have activated certain things it will tell you in the main area, but the main part of it is exploration and random portal flailing until you find out which buttons open which doors to get everything active.

edit: I don't know how obvious it was, but one issue I had for awhile was lighting. I hope things were bright enough when you were going through it. It took me awhile to make sure that every "screw up" possible was recoverable unless you fell into the goo.

Totally forgot about this thread >.>

Working on the special Challenge Circuit and I put Map testing on hold to try Tribes: Ascend. Newsflash; Tribes is frustrating and stupid.

Here are a few of my chambers:
Special Delivery
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=86636520
This one requires out-of-the-box thinking.

Freakin' Laser Beams
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=80112916
This is my personal favourite of my tests.

I accept the tier 3 challenge circuit, sorry. I have been afk for some time now

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here