Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

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SlimyAmeoba
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Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by SlimyAmeoba » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:14 am

Hey guys, just finished a dungeon I'd been working on for the last month. I'd really appreciate anyone checking it out and letting me know what they thought! Below is the steamworks page and it's description:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =106914951
Nexus: http://grimrock.nexusmods.com/mods/97

Tower of the Arlorak

A 4 (6 including a small boss room and story library) floor dungeon with a story attached. Should take 2-4 hours to complete. This is the final version from intro to ending cinematic so you won't be playing something half finished.

-Featuring music by Kevin MacLeod (The dungeon music is very soft, you might want to turn down your sfx and turn up your speakers)
-Meant for a new party of balanced characters, a party of mages won't really make it.

-Some monsters are going to be too hard to fight, at first anyway. Running away is sometimes what you're supposed to do.

-I'm assuming you've played grimrock before and are fairly skilled at dancing around enemies. The dungeon will be challenging if you are and downright hard if you aren't. Either way, save often. Resting is disabled so you will need to make good use of crystals.

-Secrets are abound in this dungeon, there are lots and they will help you. You can definetly beat it without them but it will be noticeably harder if you skip them. Keep your eyes open. There's also one easter egg secret that isn't super hidden but might require more than one playthrough to open.

-Most items are changed slightly for balance and there are several new items using existing graphics so you'll want to pay attention to things you find.

-You'll be getting double stat points when you level because you won't get higher than level 5 or 6 when playing. This way you'll still feel like you've gained some power by the end. If you focus completely on one skill per character you should be able to max it by the end.

-If you're playing on hardcore mode with no map you may actually want to use graph paper, I can barely navigate the thing and I built it.
Last edited by SlimyAmeoba on Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Skuggasveinn
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by Skuggasveinn » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:33 pm

I allways like it when things have a clear start and ending :)

I will taka a look at this tonight or tomorrow and let you know.

Skuggasveinn.
Link to all my LoG 2 assets on Nexus.
Link to all my LoG 1 assets on Nexus.

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msyblade
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by msyblade » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:23 pm

I'd love to check it out if you will throw it up on the Nexus :)
Currently conspiring with many modders on the "Legends of the Northern Realms"project.

"You have been captured by a psychopathic diety who needs a new plaything to torture."
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SlimyAmeoba
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 am

Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by SlimyAmeoba » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:43 am

msyblade wrote:I'd love to check it out if you will throw it up on the Nexus :)
Up on nexus now:
http://grimrock.nexusmods.com/mods/97

Thanks!

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Skuggasveinn
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by Skuggasveinn » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:06 am

I played this tonight, for about 3 hours, but didn't finish.
Its really really hard :)

Here are my honest thoughts about this dungeon

The Good:
Some moments are just brilliant, you have created moments of cinamatic tension !!!
SpoilerShow
The slowmotion doors with the warden and loot room for one
The music is fantastic, its really nice to be playing this with some new music and its just there, filling in the atmosphere without being intrusive and thats the golden ticket for ambient music in games.
The story scrolls, I like story and you gave me "why am I here" and "whats going on" and thats always nice.
The look and feel of the dungeon is good, you made the design decision to not have a single torch there, using only custom lights to light things up, that gives you total control over the "feel" and it shows.

The wierd:
There are some grafic glitches here and there, cave-ins that are facing the wrong direction, pillars overlapping with pillars making the texture flicker, I saw one time the pillar of a stair sticking into a corner etc etc.
On the first floor there is a healing crystal that you get access to when you place the blue crystals into the daemon head (spawns a portal) but that portal can be spawned again and again, I don't know if thats a bug or not, but you disabled resting, so I found myself running back to that spot everytime I needed to heal up or res (and lets be honest, thats alot because of the difficulty). Running allways back wasn't fun, but if this is a bug then ok. But if this is designed this way then I don't get it, why disable resting when you have unlimited access to a healing crystal ????
One time when I was getting back from a healing trip the door to the "watcher" next to the prison cells was open !!!!!!. He never fought back and I barely could hit him but I smashed him for a while and in the end he died giving me an easy 1000 exp.

The Bad:
The difficulty was over the top for me, I stopped feeling challenged and got frustrated.
I never got further than the trapdoor room where the party gets closed in and poison skeletons start coming in, then the trapdoors start to close and the skeletons get closer and closer. (cool trap btw) But the skeletons never stopped coming in, and be the time there was only one row between me and the skeletons I was having difficulty navigating between the levers to find the combo (you had 4 skeletons per group, and there where about 14 groups there, making a total of 56 skeletons, all with particle effects on them inside one room) This was too much for my rigg, I was having performance issue and lagging alot.
I tried several times, then got frustrated and quit :?

I can see you put alot of effort into this, and it shows. Thats why I feel I need to be honest with you. This was too difficult for me and I stopped playing this time (I say this time, because I hope you make another one, you can clearly design stuff and you strive to make high quality dungeons).
That being said you warned people in your description that this will be hard so you are not pulling your punches :)

best regards.
Skuggasveinn.
Link to all my LoG 2 assets on Nexus.
Link to all my LoG 1 assets on Nexus.

SlimyAmeoba
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 am

Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by SlimyAmeoba » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:33 am

Hey, thanks so much for the feedback! I'm guessing the lesson learned here is that I should get some playtesters before fully releasing :P
I made a few quick updates to the dungeon and I definitely encourage you to try again if you're feeling up to it, the later parts get a bit more intense and some more of the story is revealed closer to the end, including how the arlorak came to be.
Skuggasveinn wrote: On the first floor there is a healing crystal that you get access to when you place the blue crystals into the daemon head (spawns a portal) but that portal can be spawned again and again, I don't know if thats a bug or not, but you disabled resting, so I found myself running back to that spot everytime I needed to heal up or res (and lets be honest, thats alot because of the difficulty). Running allways back wasn't fun, but if this is a bug then ok. But if this is designed this way then I don't get it, why disable resting when you have unlimited access to a healing crystal ????
One time when I was getting back from a healing trip the door to the "watcher" next to the prison cells was open !!!!!!. He never fought back and I barely could hit him but I smashed him for a while and in the end he died giving me an easy 1000 exp.
Both the crystal and the arlorak were bugs which should be fixed now. I bet the arlorak you're talking about is on puzzlefloor2 just as you get down the stairs. There is a weird bug with that guy and his door keeps opening even though I've checked and rechecked and nothing should be opening it...

As for the crystal, you are meant to have to run back to crystals but not that one. That particular part of the dungeon you are supposed to do in one shot and it's kind of an extended intro sequence. The other crystals are spread out through the main dungeon areas and it's so you both take a lot of caution while fighting and get a better feel for the dungeon and as you run around several times, you might find a secret or an area you missed before. You can use them as kind of a reference point to your progress as you're moving along.

Some of the enemies might seem tough at first as well but if you've played the grimrock main game a couple times you should be no stranger to dancing around enemies and drawing them into more open spaces. This is especially important when you get up to the floor with the fire demon uggardians, you'll see what I mean. If you fight them in a particular way, attack/dodge/repeat, they're almost too easy so I purposely made damage/hp higher for them. I play tested the dungeon several times using the standard pre-made party getting no secrets and spreading skill points around as well as a custom party with all secrets and skill points straight into damage and was able to do it with both. If you're having trouble i'd suggest the second type of party since if you customize for high hp and get high in a damage skill you're doing easily 50+ damage when you get a special attack fired off and should have a much easier time tanking as well.
Skuggasveinn wrote: The Bad:
I never got further than the trapdoor room where the party gets closed in and poison skeletons start coming in, then the trapdoors start to close and the skeletons get closer and closer
You actually aren't the first person to have trouble with the lever puzzles. I didn't think they would be a big deal since random lever puzzles are not exactly new to video games. I do see your point though and I've added visual cues to a couple of the lever puzzles so you'll at least know if you're on track or not. This one in particular though I'd rather have it be harder than too easy since I feel it would take away a lot from the intensity of the scene if you could solve it too easily. I did add a couple hints to it however. I also changed the skeletons to a few wardens, which should cut down on the lag. Honestly I was experiencing it too but wasn't sure how to address it.

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flatline
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by flatline » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:21 pm

I played through the original version just now, all the way. Brilliant! Played on Hard difficulty. Got 20 out of 27 secrets, I think. Went with 1 fistfighter warrior, 1 fistfighter rogue, 1 assassination back row rogue, and 1 ice mage. All human. Very good party. Fistfighting totally owns everything. Weapons were completely irrelevant to my party, except for the magic globe, staves and assassins dagger.

First, the issues I hit were similar to the ones reported:
The healing crystal activated by the Demon head stones, I used it a lot running back.
The bugged 1000 XP bonus friendly "watcher" just down the stairs, as previously mentioned. Gave my guys an extra level early, which was very welcome.
However, the reason for running back and discovering the bonus watcher while using the healing crystal on the first level, was that the room which spawns all the scavenger creeps was totally flooded after a while. I couldn't kill them quickly enough, before they got my health down so low that I had to go back up and heal again. That was the hardest fight of the game for me.

The other hard part were the random lever puzzle, because I honestly thought I had missed a clue somewhere. I finally just started pulling the levers randomly, died a few times, tried using the unlimited frost orb to kill the skeletons (would have worked, but it took forever so I gave up) and then I finally found the solution. Still, some hint that it was random would have been nice, because I wnet back and searched the entire cave twice for a clue.

I killed the first Warden in the tunnels. Easy with Ice magic. The last boss fight was super easy, I thought he was the first of many watchers. When I got the prismatic robe, I think there was a small bug, or intended. The vault opens when you remove the skull, rather than when you place it. Oh, and there's a backwards cave-in after the first Warden, in the tunnel.

Unfortunately I had music turned off in the first levels, but the music later on was great.

All in all, definitely gave me the Grimrock feeling. Good puzzles, great maps, good difficulty. The Uggardians and Wyverns were really easy though. Wardens were hard, as they should be. Ice lizards harmless.

Highly recommended! Great story and great quality map! Looking forward to a sequel!

SlimyAmeoba
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by SlimyAmeoba » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:10 am

flatline wrote:I played through the original version just now, all the way. Brilliant! Played on Hard difficulty. Got 20 out of 27 secrets, I think. Went with 1 fistfighter warrior, 1 fistfighter rogue, 1 assassination back row rogue, and 1 ice mage. All human. Very good party. Fistfighting totally owns everything. Weapons were completely irrelevant to my party, except for the magic globe, staves and assassins dagger.

First, the issues I hit were similar to the ones reported:
The healing crystal activated by the Demon head stones, I used it a lot running back.
The bugged 1000 XP bonus friendly "watcher" just down the stairs, as previously mentioned. Gave my guys an extra level early, which was very welcome.
However, the reason for running back and discovering the bonus watcher while using the healing crystal on the first level, was that the room which spawns all the scavenger creeps was totally flooded after a while. I couldn't kill them quickly enough, before they got my health down so low that I had to go back up and heal again. That was the hardest fight of the game for me.

The other hard part were the random lever puzzle, because I honestly thought I had missed a clue somewhere. I finally just started pulling the levers randomly, died a few times, tried using the unlimited frost orb to kill the skeletons (would have worked, but it took forever so I gave up) and then I finally found the solution. Still, some hint that it was random would have been nice, because I wnet back and searched the entire cave twice for a clue.

I killed the first Warden in the tunnels. Easy with Ice magic. The last boss fight was super easy, I thought he was the first of many watchers. When I got the prismatic robe, I think there was a small bug, or intended. The vault opens when you remove the skull, rather than when you place it. Oh, and there's a backwards cave-in after the first Warden, in the tunnel.

Unfortunately I had music turned off in the first levels, but the music later on was great.

All in all, definitely gave me the Grimrock feeling. Good puzzles, great maps, good difficulty. The Uggardians and Wyverns were really easy though. Wardens were hard, as they should be. Ice lizards harmless.

Highly recommended! Great story and great quality map! Looking forward to a sequel!
Thanks a bunch, very glad you enjoyed it! It was hard to gauge the difficulty when making it, I suppose if I do make another dungeon I'll be sure to flesh out the difficulty levels more as well as offer some more character development. A lot of the difficulty was supposed to come from unexpected attacks, monsters hiding or several attacking at once. The disabled resting was supposed to augment this more and make you feel it if you got cornered in a fight and had to run all the way back to a crystal. If you're a skilled grimrock player (which you certainly seem to be) I suppose it's a fairly straight forward affair. I'd noticed the final boss was a bit easy too, I actually doubled his hp last minute before submitting the mod and he's still a bit of a push over :P There were a few times I'd gotten cornered by the wardens and hit by them plus the arlorak at the same time which pretty much insta killed me. That was the point I figured it would be good enough.

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flatline
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by flatline » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:33 am

SlimyAmeoba wrote:
flatline wrote:I played through the original version just now, all the way. Brilliant! Played on Hard difficulty. Got 20 out of 27 secrets, I think. Went with 1 fistfighter warrior, 1 fistfighter rogue, 1 assassination back row rogue, and 1 ice mage. All human. Very good party. Fistfighting totally owns everything. Weapons were completely irrelevant to my party, except for the magic globe, staves and assassins dagger.

First, the issues I hit were similar to the ones reported:
The healing crystal activated by the Demon head stones, I used it a lot running back.
The bugged 1000 XP bonus friendly "watcher" just down the stairs, as previously mentioned. Gave my guys an extra level early, which was very welcome.
However, the reason for running back and discovering the bonus watcher while using the healing crystal on the first level, was that the room which spawns all the scavenger creeps was totally flooded after a while. I couldn't kill them quickly enough, before they got my health down so low that I had to go back up and heal again. That was the hardest fight of the game for me.

The other hard part were the random lever puzzle, because I honestly thought I had missed a clue somewhere. I finally just started pulling the levers randomly, died a few times, tried using the unlimited frost orb to kill the skeletons (would have worked, but it took forever so I gave up) and then I finally found the solution. Still, some hint that it was random would have been nice, because I wnet back and searched the entire cave twice for a clue.

I killed the first Warden in the tunnels. Easy with Ice magic. The last boss fight was super easy, I thought he was the first of many watchers. When I got the prismatic robe, I think there was a small bug, or intended. The vault opens when you remove the skull, rather than when you place it. Oh, and there's a backwards cave-in after the first Warden, in the tunnel.

Unfortunately I had music turned off in the first levels, but the music later on was great.

All in all, definitely gave me the Grimrock feeling. Good puzzles, great maps, good difficulty. The Uggardians and Wyverns were really easy though. Wardens were hard, as they should be. Ice lizards harmless.

Highly recommended! Great story and great quality map! Looking forward to a sequel!
Thanks a bunch, very glad you enjoyed it! It was hard to gauge the difficulty when making it, I suppose if I do make another dungeon I'll be sure to flesh out the difficulty levels more as well as offer some more character development. A lot of the difficulty was supposed to come from unexpected attacks, monsters hiding or several attacking at once. The disabled resting was supposed to augment this more and make you feel it if you got cornered in a fight and had to run all the way back to a crystal. If you're a skilled grimrock player (which you certainly seem to be) I suppose it's a fairly straight forward affair. I'd noticed the final boss was a bit easy too, I actually doubled his hp last minute before submitting the mod and he's still a bit of a push over :P There were a few times I'd gotten cornered by the wardens and hit by them plus the arlorak at the same time which pretty much insta killed me. That was the point I figured it would be good enough.

Disabling resting was a very good move! The cornering worked to an extent, but with the freeze-orb from that boss-spider, my Ice-mage became even more awesome. After I got that, I merely froze everything and punched it to death.

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SpiderFighter
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Re: Tower of the Arlorak - C&C welcome!

Post by SpiderFighter » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:11 am

Welcome!!
SlimyAmeoba wrote:Both the crystal and the arlorak were bugs which should be fixed now. I bet the arlorak you're talking about is on puzzlefloor2 just as you get down the stairs. There is a weird bug with that guy and his door keeps opening even though I've checked and rechecked and nothing should be opening it...
It sounds like you have a hidden plate that most likely isn't checked "Activate Once." I wish there were a way to see what links back to an oject, because of situations like this, but that's my guess.
SlimyAmeoba wrote:-Meant for a new party of balanced characters, a party of mages won't really make it.
The challenge has been issued! :D

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