The problem is that you're assuming that world two is early game, when it's really, really not. The hack only has four worlds, and the fourth world has fewer levels than any other world as well, which makes world two decidedly mid-game.The Doctor wrote: ↑Ryrir wrote: ↑ If you'd order all these levels in a traditional difficulty curve, you'd get about half a world's worth of easy levels, then an enormous jump in difficulty, and maybe five super ridiculous, rage-inducing levels at the very end.
That's not a very well balanced difficulty curve either, is it?
The ideal difficulty curve is a game that gets steadily harder as it goes on, but has breather levels to give the player a rest in between the rage-inducing levels. I'd say those five super ridiculous, rage-inducing levels should be spread out in the second half of the game (none in the first two worlds) with some easier (relatively speaking) levels in between them. The problem is that world 2 -- the early game I remind you -- put three extremely hard levels back to back to back. Sorry, but I just can't agree with you that this is good design. Here's a cool graph I found online that I think shows the perfect difficulty curve.
Another point that I feel like you're missing is that the difficulty threshold was high from the very start of the game. The second level of the game was already difficult, levels like "This Stage" were difficult and even stuff that raocow breezed through, like "EXPRESS" or getting all the dragon coins in "R Lake" are not trivial either.
From that level of difficulty the step up to "Underground Exploration" is not that high. If you consider the secret exit of "Summit of the Gods" to be bonus content, that level doesn't even factor into the equation. I guess you could argue that "Support Beams" should have been placed somewhere else on the map to give a break after "Underground Exploration", but that's basically it.
From my point of view the game actually follows your graph pretty well (:
I am pretty sure that the development of the hack didn't work that way. Maybe hanaymata can correct me on this, but my assumption is that there weren't any project leaders at all. People just submitted their levels, some peeps stepped up to do the overworld and that was that.MoneyMan wrote:
Of course the level authors might have given each other criticism, but if that other author explicitly doesn't agree to these changes, who are you as just another level designer to decide that their work should not be included in the final product?