Coming up next is another trick for doing elevators that stop at more than two floors. See the diagram (made with the help of a demo version of Gryphon Bricks™) for details:
Red - first floor.
Hint: the diagram of the area [above] has almost NO connection
to the actual layout of the floors.
The version of the 2nd floor that you can see from the entry
corridor is a fake duplicate. Likewise, the version of the corridor
that you can see from the "real" 2nd floor is also
a fake. The entry corridor loops over the 1st floor purely for
the sake of misdirection: it obscures some of the boundaries
between platforms, that would otherwise result in thick lines
appearing on the map for no obvious reason (usually a dead giveaway
of a secret platform).
(The same trick was used on Missed Island to conceal the fact that the big sunken ship and large upright gear are actually composed of platforms which can move. In these cases, the ceiling height was made different over each platform, and the resulting high walls were landscape textured.)
The control mechanism for the elevator is fairly complicated, since the set of platforms which have to be raised or lowered depends not only on the floor you're moving to, but also the floor you're currently on.
A modification of the Enforcer/Tick shooting gallery idea is used, as shown in the diagram here. One Enforcer is enabled, based on the current floor, and one Tick is enabled, based on the floor button which has been pressed. Each of the nine possible lines of fire strikes a switch. For the six possible transitions between different floors, the switch is a tag switch which activates the appropriate platforms. For the three possibilities of pressing the switch for the current floor, the lines of fire all hit the center switch, which is simply a platform switch that reopens the elevator door.
All of the switches are light-activated, and one of the first effects of activating any of the switches is to darken that light. This prevents multiple switch activations per use of the elevator, which would leave the puzzle in an unpredictable state.
The same light also controls a liquid level, which floods the Ticks with lava in order to kill them (they immediately reappear, due to the monster parameter settings). This is necessary to get the Enforcers to accept the next Tick revealed as their new target: otherwise, they would remain locked onto the original Tick even though they no longer had a line of sight to it. (My wife keeps threatening to report me to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ticks. Do you think she might have a point?)
If you'd like to see this control room in operation, there is a way to access it. Return to the elevator, and punch out the three light fixtures along the back wall. You'll then be able to walk through this wall, into a teleporter that will take you to the control room. (The control room has a teleporter that will return you to the elevator.) It would be a good idea to save the game first, since it's possible to screw up the elevator mechanism by killing the Enforcers, or hitting the control switches yourself in an inappropriate order.
As with the demo AND gate you saw earlier, there will be some
texture smearing in the control room where liquid levels are
being used in unsupported ways. This wouldn't be a problem in
an actual level using this technique, since the player would
never be allowed into the control room.
Also, combat with corpse-leaving creatures must not be allowed, at least not in the shared areas of the floors, to avoid having the corpses inexplicably visible in the same place on other floors. Other combats can take place in areas reachable from only one of the floors: for example, there could have been a guardian of some sort in the 2nd floor storage area where you found the uplink chip. Just make sure that any such creatures are blocked from the shared areas via a Monster Impassible polygon.
Note: the complexity of the control mechanism grows rapidly
with the number of floors. A 4-level version might barely be
possible, but any more floors would require a simpler control
mechanism design. One possibility would be to have buttons to
move up one floor, down one floor, and open the door, rather
than having buttons for direct access to each floor. This would
require 2N-2 different floor transitions to be implemented instead
|Download Jason Harper's prize winning map, "Missed Island". This is not only a playable puzzle map, it is also an example map and tutorial. This tutorial was taken from that map. The tutorial on this page can be reached by "warping" to level 4. You must use the provided shapes file to make any sense of this map.|