Totally off topic, especially in terms of the rest of the post, but my rant about happiness last time gave me a bunch of Self Help links in my Google Ad. It’s so cute, like Google says, “Aww, you need a hug,” or something.

Anyway, on to the real meat. The Cavern level is coming along really well. After the Prison level, which led you through the steps and generally held your hand through the puzzles, the Cavern is the first real level to showcase the puzzle elements of the game. In other words, it’s the first time I get to play the game that I want to play. The best part is when I’ve forgotten the answer to my puzzle and have to figure it out again.
In particular, there is a branching path off the side of the level that goes through a “wicked” area. “Wicked” (other than being candles =P ) means that the area is much more difficult to get through at the stage in the game you are at. So a wicked area in the 2nd stage is probably equal to a 5th stage difficult puzzle, and 5th stage wicked segments are going to be, well, really quite challenging. So I built this section (it leads to one of the collectible dolls/extra lives) and find that when I play it, it’s A) totally hard – even when you know the answer and B) totally unforgiving and C) just like I wanted it.

More on that. I am noticing that the game is a little unforgiving in some regards. As in a single misstep can, and probably will, murder. I am okay with this. On the one hand, when a mistake is made, it is clear what happened, so a similar mistake can be avoided in the future. This is not the same as trial and error gameplay, as the puzzle is static. There is no timer and the player can take as much or as little time as they want to figure the puzzle out in advance. Second, the puzzles generally do not murder for an “almost” (well not yet). Meaning, that if a mistake is made, the puzzle will generally allow you to save yourself. I won’t do an, “Oh you missed it, now you get the Spikes!” That seems kind of jerkish. A quick player should be able to use the Flip, Wall Jump and Dash to save themselves from a screw up and try again. Of course, completely going off the ranch, well, I can’t design for that so death will probably be quick and prejudiced.

Doesn’t the word “Prejudiced” look like something you do before you juice a fruit? “I Prejudiced the limes to get more juice out of them.” Right…

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