Arboreal Ascendance - A Spudzalot and Losttortuga Mappack

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Postby Losttortuga » 2009.06.04 (04:42)

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Arboreal Ascendance


by Spudzalot and Losttortuga


Roughly a year ago, mappmakers Spudzalot and Losttortuga joined heads and started working on a completely bitchin' pack. Times were tough. Losttortuga had an obscure accident too unsightly to imagine, but the main setback was both members forgetting about the pack, which had a pretty devastating effect, as you can probably imagine. But. It's done now, and aren't we happy.
The title derives from a theme in the pack, which was supposed to make you feel like you are climbing throughout playing the maps. Climbing to the top will bring you to the ultimate destination.

Enclosed are some of the ripest blended fruits of episodic mapping, all just waiting to be savored by your loving touch.

Will you indulge yourself?
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Postby PALEMOON » 2009.06.04 (04:43)

first post! lol

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Postby otters~1 » 2009.06.04 (04:56)

oh wow

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Postby sidke » 2009.06.04 (05:12)

OHBOY

*PLAYS*
spoiler

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Postby Riobe » 2009.06.04 (05:15)

This could possibly be the hottest pack I've ever played.

Then again, it could suck balls.

I however think it's the first. I'll give full critique once I get a chance to play all of these maps. :)
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Postby Destiny » 2009.06.04 (11:45)

<3<3<3<3<3<3

I loved every level, apart from the the first one. The first level quickly grew boring, and was more of a chore to AGD than fun, but the other maps were awesome! They were imaginative, varied, had a nice difficulty curve - not to mention aesthetically perfect.

Saying that though, i think im gonna need a shower after how much i've sweated to bring you this, a text file full of AGD's on EVERY map.

Phew.
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Postby toasters » 2009.06.04 (12:10)

I think I cheated 00-1.



Favorite Losttortuga level: 05-0 Quadropolis 4
Favorite Spudzalot level: 04-0 The Islander
Favorite Losttaters level: 07-3 Angels Falling Up
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Postby Destiny » 2009.06.04 (14:32)

i thought that's what you were supposed to do on that level at first XD
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Postby Losttortuga » 2009.06.04 (23:19)

Hah, that's awesome Destiny.

How long did it take you to do the last map?
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Postby mintnut » 2009.06.05 (19:35)

Wow! 'Embrace' and 'My Rock' are both phenomenal, my new favourite levels. 'Feather Falling, in time' was beautiful, but was a little let down in places, and as such, not as perfect as those two.

I loved how your styles meshed, and the whole thing was just wonderful, the best map-pack I've ever played...

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Postby 29403 » 2009.06.06 (00:19)

Wow... I've seen special names on packs, but this goes too far. This is a brilliant name for a pack, due to the alliteration. Tree Ascendence, haha.

Nice maps, by the way. Both of you did well in this, it let my trusty, dusty N be opened after a long while. Did I mention the maps are brilliant. I've always liked Losttortuga, not because his name is good to make jokes from (which he doesn't find funny ;_;), but because his quality of maps are brilliant, as with potatoesalot.
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Postby Amadeus » 2009.06.06 (04:54)

Not as original as I expected.
I liked the theming though.
Didn't play so well backwards as I hoped.
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Postby MattKestrel » 2009.06.09 (20:59)

Submit Regi Regi to NUMA and I'll feature it, eventually. Lucky Spudz <3
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Postby otters~1 » 2009.06.10 (19:42)

Hi. This is so fucking brilliant I don't know what to say.

Two things: your styles fit perfectly, and these maps all seemed like one continuous landscape.
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Postby OneSevenNine » 2009.06.10 (22:21)

I don't know about styles fitting perfectly... when I played through it, there was a sharp change in style every other episode; not that any of the levels weren't great (though some could definitely have been more interesting) but it didn't have the same continuity that you advertise. The highlight of this is definitely the collabs; all of them have perfect aesthetics, shiny gameplay, yada yada, things that everyone else has already said.

Great work.
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Postby otters~1 » 2009.06.11 (16:30)

OneSevenNine wrote:I don't know about styles fitting perfectly... when I played through it, there was a sharp change in style every other episode; not that any of the levels weren't great (though some could definitely have been more interesting) but it didn't have the same continuity that you advertise. The highlight of this is definitely the collabs; all of them have perfect aesthetics, shiny gameplay, yada yada, things that everyone else has already said.

Great work.

I didn't say it was all the same; I said they fit together well. I was always able to tell if I was playing a spudz or an Lt, but it didn't matter.
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Postby Amadeus » 2009.06.12 (21:10)

Great pack. I've played it through; each time I like it more and more.
'Out of the Norm' felt like a filler, but I loved 'On the Ropes'
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Postby Destiny » 2009.06.13 (09:33)

Losttortuga wrote:Hah, that's awesome Destiny.

How long did it take you to do the last map?


Four tries. Embrace took me much longer XD
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Postby KinGAleX » 2009.06.13 (10:43)

There are definitely some good maps in here, 01-0, 01-1 and 07-4 being the standouts for me, but I found the lack of a difficulty curve annoying and not in the spirit of a map pack. Also, the fact that there were some unifying concepts occuring in maybe four or five maps in a row and then not appearing again until later in the pack quite frustrated me. I've got nothing against a series within a larger setting, or an entire conceptually linked map pack, but the way you guys went about it just seemed wanky and without any real substance. Additionally, it didn't seem like any real attempt was made to make some different maps, what with each author's style being extremely present, and with map after map seeming like something on NUMA not worth your attention because five hundred other people did it better this year.

After quite a negative review, though, at least the maps aren't shit. They're all of the standard I'd expect from your names, and nothing more. A few isolated flashes of brilliance, but not something I'd play again. 2.5/5 for the whole pack.
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Postby aids » 2009.06.16 (08:55)

:: I played the lot. The middle third was the best I think. Not the best maps from either of you.
Comments on individual maps:

00-0 Cyber Valley - Great theme combined with great gameplay. The drone section and rocket section provided for plenty of close calls, and the thwump section had a cool puzzle aspect to it. The gold was fairly standard, but it worked. 3.5 out of 5.

01-1 Chess Players - It was a fun map, but it didn't go with the other maps very well. I liked the mines, but the floorguard didn't contribute much to the map. 3 out of 5.

01-3UrbanTime - The minimalist style in which this was made turned me on. ;) The floorguard section was excellent, but the gauss could have been a little bit lower. I loved the buildings in this map too. 4 out of 5.

01-4Spout - Another great minimalist map. The rocket had access to all parts of the map, and the mines were well placed and effective. The oneway trick, though simple, was a clever way to separate the map in half. The gold placement was, hmm, stylized. I loved the highscore potential. 5 out of 5.

02-0 Out of the Norm - I loved it when it was on NUMA, and I love it now. The rockets do a great job protecting the gold, the gold was well-placed (especially the gold behind the exit), and the jumps were exiting. 5 out of 5.

03-0 UrbanSun - Once again, this rocket is excellently placed. I managed to get it to squeeze through the tile gap near the exit switch a few times. The gold, while plain, was spread out enough that it was fun to get. This was another map with great routes. 5 out of 5.

03-1 End of Broom - Weird idea, but very fun. I would have moved the ninja more to the left so that AGDs would be easier. The rocket did a great job as a lone enemy, and the gold was spread out enough to add challenge. 4 out of 5.

04-0 The Islander - Honestly, I can't find a thing wrong with this map. The tiles are mesmerizing, the gold is fun but challenging, the rockets are only enemies if you go out of your boundaries, and the jumps are excellent. A very good highscoring map. 5 out of 5.

04-1 Archepelago - Freakin' crap man! Could you have placed harder gold? I took me well over an hour to get up there. I did like the overall look and feel of the map though, and the gold was well-placed. The gauss was extremely effective at protecting both the gold and the trigger. 4 out of 5.

05-0 Quadropolis 4 - This is a map where rockets weren't the best choice for enemies. The annoyed me waay too much to be fun. A laser or two would be better. The gold wasn't fun, and the locked door felt unnecessary. 2.5 out of 5.

05-1 Beatiful Ruins - Miss-spelled the title? Well, even so, this was a wonderful map. The tileset made for a great exploratory setting, although the tops of the towers were funky-looking. The middle bounceblock section was great for jumps, but I disliked the mine above the trigger. The rocked proved a formidable enemy, and the gauss did a good job at protecting the exit switch. The gold was interesting, but still fun. I didn't like the locked door though; it didn't mesh well with either the tiles above it or the mines below it. 4.5 out of 5.

05-4 Infre(RD) - The beginning wasn't the best, since the gauss and rocket clashed. The drones were much better; the lower offered a challenge to get the exit switch and the upper pair guarded the gold well. 3.5 out of 5.

06-3 My Rock - The chaingun was very fun, but the gold should've been placed amongst the '2' tiles. The drones needed to be swapped, e.g. all the seekers become zaps and visa versa. The tiles above the second-to-left drone's chute were bothersome; I always got stuck and fell to my death. The last chute was the best, but there was a '3' tile there which was out of place; I would've used a '7' tile instead. The exit trigger room was too crowded. If the '2' tile wasn't there, and the mine was moved opposite the other mine, I would be much better. I did like the last switch placement. It was a good trick which I didn't notice at first. 3.5 out of 5.


:: Overall, I give this pack a 3 out of 5 since I only played a third of the maps, but those were above average maps. It had well-placed gold and enemies, fantastic tilesets, and fun gameplay. I'd suggest more publicity for this by posting 01-4, 03-0, 04-0, and 05-1 on NUMA. Maybe 06-3 also because others have approved of it.

:: The text file below has the above levels with my best AGDs.

AAdemos.txt
Watch the demos.
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Postby Seneschal » 2009.06.16 (19:43)

00-0 – 4
00-1 – 4.5
00-2 - 4
00-3 - 4
00-4 – 3.5

Average = 4

01-0 - 3
01-1 – 3.5
01-2 - 4
01-3 – 4.5
01-4 - 4

Average = 3.8

02-0 - 3
02-1 – 3.5
02-2 - 4
02-3 – 3.5
02-4 – 3.5

Average = 3.5

03-0 - 4
03-1 - 4
03-2 - 4
03-3 - 4
03-4 – 3.5

Average = 3.9

04-0 - 3
04-1 - 3
04-2 – 4.5
04-3 – 4.5
04-4 – 4.5

Average = 3.9

05-0 – 3.5
05-1 – 4.5
05-2 - 4
05-3 - 4
05-4 – 4.5

Average = 4.1

06-0 - 4
06-1 – 4.5
06-2 - 4
06-3 – 4.5
06-4 - 4

Average = 4.2

07-0 – 4.5
07-1 - 3
07-2 - 4
07-3 - 4
07-4 - 4

Average = 3.9

Spudz average = 3.8
LT Average = 3.93
Losttators Average = 4.05

Whole Pack Average: 3.9125

Comments: I really, really enjoyed this mappack. I couldn’t find a single map that I would rate below average on NUMA; the vast majority of the maps were fun to play and were well constructed – I could tell that they hadn’t been thrown together in 5 minutes. I liked the structure as well, 3 episodes per author plus two collab episodes. Since I’m sadly not hugely familiar with either of you two, it was a pleasure to work my way through the pack, gradually acquainting myself with each style, culminating in the joining of both.

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Postby Riobe » 2009.06.17 (10:59)

(Lost) = Losttortuga
(spudz) = spudzalot
No parentheses = Losttators

Episode 00 (spudz)

Cyber Valley 4.5/5 - This has some really, really good elements in it for sure. Really good job.
Hanenbow 5/5 - This is flawless. Great aesthetics, great gameplay, great everything.
Lizard Lava 3/5 - This one was a awkward, and I didn't enjoy the gameplay much. However, this still had nice aesthetics.
On The Ropes 4/5 - This map too had good aesthetics. A bit tedious, as far as the gameplay goes though. Still, nice.
Sushi Roll 5/5 - Flawless map. Fantastic gameplay, awesome aesthetics. Also came with some added in flow! :D

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Episode 01 (Lost)

NUMBER1 4/5 - Really nice concept, pulled off nicely for sure.
Chess Players 3.5/5 - I liked the jumping, but the map was a bit boring.
Skeleton of Bull in Rock 4/5 - Really good aesthetics (as always). Though a bit of the minejumping was tedious, I still enjoyed it a lot. Very good! :D
UrbanTime 4/5 - This map had both good aesthetics and gameplay, with no minor quibbles at all.
Spout 5/5 - Perfect, perfect, perfect.

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Episode 02 (spudz)

Out Of The Norm 4/5 - Played before, played again. Still great.
Cannon Light 3.5/5 - The gameplay and aesthetics were good. The only things I didn't like were the drones. Still, pretty good.
Mind Crush 4/5 - Oh yes, classic spudz. I especially liked the chaser drones in this one.
Over The Hills And Far Away 4/5 - Very nice map indeed. Favorite parts were the jumping.
Regi Regi 4/5 - The thwump part took a few times to get, but the laser was really well placed in this one.

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Episode 03 (Lost)

Urban Sun 4.5/5 - Oh yes, this map was very awesome. Nice tiles especially. ;)
End of Boom 4.5/5 - This map was also very awesome. That rocket was placed perfectly.
Season Retreat 4/5 - I loved the trees. Oh yeah, gameplay was pretty good too. :P
Father Falling, In Time 4.5/5 - The gauss was placed well, but those tiles + that chaingun = Fantastic.
stciks 4.5/5 - Very very good. The gauss placement was nothing to be scoffed at for sure.

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Episode 4 (spudz)

The Islander 4.5/5 - Perpendicular Jumps ftw.
Archepelago 4.5/5 - That jump to the topmost gold is fantastic.
Embrace 4/5 - A tough puzzle for sure. It's pretty clever though. Running away from the rocket was also pretty awesome as well.
Quasi Hyperresonance 5/5 - This had some of the best jumping I've ever seen. Fantastic job.
Roller Coaster Emotions 4/5 - I loved running around above the rockets.

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Episode 5 (Lost)

Quadropolis 4 4/5 - The aesthetics were nice, but what caught me was the nice rocket placement.
Beautiful Ruins 4/5 - Beautiful indeed.
mosaic/anarchy/tile 4.5/5 - Fantastic minejumping. Fantastic.
Grassy Fields, Sunlight 3.5/5 - I liked the rocket, but the drones didn't really do it for me.
Infre(RD) 4/5 - Jumping up to the top area was the best part. :)

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Episode 6

Boneyard Clash 5/5 - This map was just pure awesomeness. The rocket, the minejumping, the everything.
Bread Mine 4/5 - I enjoyed the concept in this one, though it did get a bit tedious from time to time.
Creamy 4.5/5 - Those tiles are orgasmic, and so is the gameplay.
My Rock 3.5/5 - I liked the concept, though it was too tedious for me.
Astral Convergance 4.5/5 - Purely wonderful. I really loved flying through the air, and the enemies were placed very, very well.

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Episode 7

Support Platform 4/5 - You guys did very well with the drone pathing on this one, as well as the aesthetics, and the rocket.
The Vile Village 4/5 - I love the tiles, and the gameplay had some nice jumps in it as well.
The Aboveground Railroad 5/5 - That drone pathing is...wow.
Angels Falling Up 5/5 - Again, everything in this one was perfect. My favorite part was the last jump on the way back. Amazing job.
Tree Tops 4.5/5 - And again, a fantastic map. This had some really, really great minejumping in it. Really, this is a great way to end put the pack.

--------------------
I do agree with flagmyidol, your styles mesh perfectly for me as well. I also do love the last 2 episodes the most. Seriously, you guys did a fantastic job with this mappack.

4.5aved. <3
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