The Wonderland Games:
Last issue's focus on two of our talented community level designers was a big hit, and so we've decided to make this a semi-regular occurence in the Midnight Post. In this issue, we're celebrating two more of the most prolific members of the Return To Wonderland community, 'kaz67' and 'Lillie'.
Read on for a brief Q&A with both level makers. If you want to dive in and try their level selections, you can download the entire pack (complete with custom levels, models, and textures) here. Just unzip the contents into your Return To Wonderland main game directory.
An interview with Kaz67 (aka Karen)
Can you pick out your three favourite levels - i.e. levels that you would want to showcase to someone who perhaps hasn't tried out a 'kaz67'-level?
Here are my three choices:
KAZZA352 - Production Line (a larger one I enjoyed creating)
KAZZA459 - Tinkerette III (loving the sound effects)
KAZZA533 - Zebra Loose in Snowshill (using Liz Mayhews beautiful and inspiring texture)
Can you tell us about your sources of inspiration?
Without doubt, the greatest source of my inspiration is the creativity of other level makers - all too often I will be trying to solve a level incorrectly and use the "wrong way" in that level as the "correct way" in my creation. Or I might see an impressive trick and adapt it for my own use. So my inspiration mainly comes from the community. That said, I have completed some short series based on TV shows, and tribute levels for birthdays and other events and milestones are great fun to design.
A big driver for me is the feedback., it's rewarding to know when players have enjoyed your levels. It makes you want to go make some more!
How do you make your levels? How do you come up with new ideas?
Normally I'll start with one move or piece of equipment in mind as the "centrepiece" and then build the rest around it. It is very rare I begin a level with the whole concept in mind, and each one just evolves amidst trialing and testing.
Some brand new ideas I have dreamt about and then visited the editor over breakfast - but mainly, the new ideas are old ones in disguise.
What type of level do you enjoy making most?
I most enjoy making small puzzle levels and rarely stray outside the basic 14x14 model. I tend to make a larger level at 50x intervals, a practice adopted by a few regular designers.
What about levels to play?
I enjoy playing all levels but if I had to qualify it, I prefer puzzles to action/long levels - get in quick, solve, then move on to the next Wonderland feast.
Wonderland is the most absorbing hobby I've ever had, long may it continue! And thanks for creating the game - you've made something really special there, you know?
Now I'm blushing! Big thanks to you for your creations and for taking out time to answer these questions.
A Q&A with Lillie (aka Lillian)
Lillie, which three levels would you pick to initiate a new Wonderlander into the word of your custom creations?
Here are three faves:
LILLIE666 - "The Curse Of Tutankhamun IV" (I really enjoyed designing this one!)
LILLIE600 - "600 Peegue's Passageway" (A milestone level - big and full of puzzles!)
LILLIE315 - "Casino Royale" (Part of my Bond Series that I had a lot of fun designing!)
Where do you get your level design ideas from?
To be honest - I never have an idea until I open up the Editor. I am inspired by all the wonderful textures that we are lucky to have supplied to us by some great texture creators! I normally chose my texture and then work around that. I am also inspired by playing other people's levels. You see a little new trick and you sort of "steal it", jiggle it around a bit... and "voila", a new puzzle is created!
What are your favourite gameplay elements in RTW, and why?
With the introduction of the Platinum Edition, we had so many new toys to play with! Trampolines and travelators are excellent puzzle tools! But I must be an old fashioned girl, because my fave elements would have to be generators and buttons. A lot of my levels are about covering buttons so that works for me.
What about your least favourite?
Least favourite element would have to be Shadow Stinkers. Some level creators are very good at making levels that involve a shadow dude to help out. Me - I am just plain scared of them!
Any last comments?
I am currently working on a series called The Curse of Tutankhamun. Popo and Liz made me the most fabulous Egyptian models (stone tablets, statues, sarcophagus) on LILLIE666 (see above). People should take a look at the level just to see their wonderful work!!!
And Thank You for wanting to include me in your Midnight Post - I am truly flattered!
Your welcome - in fact, you're twice as welcome. Some people might not know this, but Lillie used to haunt the forum as "Lillian" - with close to 4000 posts to her name. A chance, perhaps, to check out some "retro Lillie levels"???
That's it for this issue's community spotlight... until next time!