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echochrome: no end in sight

Kumi Yuasa's Avatar + Posted by Kumi Yuasa on May 04, 2008 // Producer, SCEA

Hello again, PlayStation.Blog Readers!

If you haven’t already downloaded echochrome (it went live during Thursday’s Store update), you’ve got 56 brain-busting, perspective-spinning puzzles ahead of you. If anyone out there has already managed to clear all the levels, these people are looking for you. Still, you’ve hardly seen all echochrome has to offer. Aside from *another* 56 levels to be found in the other version of echochrome (both the PS3 and PSP editions contain unique level sets), you can also play the best levels your fellow gamers have created.

When you boot up the PS3 version of the game and sign in online, you may be prompted to download new content. These new, free updates contain the top user-created levels, hand-selected by the developers themselves. There will be new levels available on a regular basis, but they will only be available to play until the next group of levels is up. So be sure to check in regularly for more content – or you may miss out!

Additional levels will appear at random in freeform mode. Remember that in freeform mode, levels that have not been cleared are selected first.

echochrome PS3 1 canvas7

Now, if you want to see if you have what it takes to create a custom level that might be good enough to get picked by the developer for distribution to PS3 owners everywhere (or if you just want to mess around and see what kind of crazy creation you can make), then keep reading.

To start your own custom level from scratch, go to the main menu and select “canvas.” You’ll start off on a blank canvas, and your builder icon will appear as a red box in the middle. Use the thumbsticks to rotate the camera (and R1 button to go faster), just like the game itself. Move the cursor with the d-pad on a 2D plane (up/down, left/right) based on where the camera is looking (rotate the camera to move in a different direction), and use the X button to put pieces down. If you want to erase a piece, use the O button. A handy feature is the Square button, which will jump the cursor to the closest built area.

echochrome PS3 1 canvas3

You start off with the default path piece selected. To change to different pieces, such as stairs, holes, fans (jump pads), echoes, and the start point (mannequin character), press Triangle, select with left and right on the d-pad, and X when you are at the piece you want to use. Pressing the O button while the selection menu is open will cancel and back you out to the piece you were just using.

Every level has to have 3 things: a start, pathways, and a goal. The mannequin piece acts as the starting point for the level. You can build pathways with as many gaps, obstacles, and bends as you like. The goal is to reach the echoes, or shadow guides. These are like markers that you have to guide the mannequin to. So you’ll need at least one of these. You can place up to four echoes anywhere in the environment, while the fifth and final echo will always appear exactly where you place the mannequin character.

echochrome PS3 1 canvas1

Before you can do anything else with the level, you will have to make sure it can actually be cleared or completed. So open the pause menu and select “test play.” This will let you attempt to get through your own creation to see if it can actually be completed. If it can be cleared, you will be prompted to save it. You can also add a name to your level from “title” in the pause menu.

Now, if you’re not feeling very creative right off the bat, and want some help getting started, you can go to the gallery, where all the pre-made levels that shipped with the game are, and press the Triangle button on one of them. This will copy it over to your portfolio, where you can edit it all you like to make it more challenging, easier, whatever.

Once you create a level and successfully test it, you’re ready to send it off. To do this, go to the portfolio menu and select the stage you want to send by pressing the X button. In the PSP version, you can select the “send” option, which will let you send the level to someone over Ad Hoc. If you’re playing the PS3 version, you’ll have two options. One is “send” which lets you enter the PSN username of the person you want to send the level to. The other option, “upload,” allows you to send the level to the developers. And if they really like your level, it may be distributed to everyone with the PS3 version of the game! Pretty cool, huh?

The game can get pretty challenging on the bigger, more complex levels. To help you out, if you go to the “etc.” option from the main menu, there’s a tip section with useful bits of information. There are other hidden secrets and advanced techniques waiting to be found in echochrome. What have you figured out so far?

//Add Your Own

60 Comments

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51

+ P_tear_griffin on May 5th, 2008 at 5:41 pm said:

PS3 & PSP versions of this game need to communicate. I would create a level when I’m away form home, come back and upload it onto my PS3 and share it.


52

+ Brokoro on May 5th, 2008 at 11:11 pm said:

What I want to know is how often is the user created content updated/revised by the developing team?


53

+ Seribus on May 6th, 2008 at 6:20 am said:

I would love to get this but, no PSN cards yet. :( However the minute I get my hands on one this is the first game I’m buying.


54

+ GibbShift on May 6th, 2008 at 7:12 am said:

Too much cheese and WHINING in this thread.

Anyhoo, love this game. It’s just a joy to play either at home or on the go. The violin pieces that play throughout go a long way. Is there anyway we can get the BGMs up for download on the Playstation Store? That would be incredibly awesome. I own the PSP version, but I’ll be purchasing the PS3 version when I get my DS3. Again, excellent game. One of my most anticipated titles of 08.


55

+ your mother on May 6th, 2008 at 8:49 am said:

Love the game, Seriously the best purchase I’ve made on PSN. But even though it’s great that you will always keep the content fresh during the lifetime of the game, I think you should really consider allowing users to save some of the user generated levels to their hard drives for replay later in the atalier mode. It’s a real shame that great levels will be lost forever every time a new update comes out.


56

+ wiitendotriple on May 6th, 2008 at 11:59 am said:

So the downloadable levels will only be available for download until the next set comes out or they will over-write the ones you’ve already downloaded, too?

Either way that seems pretty lame.


57

+ BellicoseBreakfast on May 6th, 2008 at 12:24 pm said:

First of all, after the number of games the PS3 has that automatically save, we’ve gotten used to being reminded that we shouldn’t turn off the console while the HDD indicator is flashing. Reminding us is fine. Forcing us to press x to acknowledge it is ridiculous.

Similarly, forcing players to agree to the same damn EULA every time they start up the game makes me not want to play the game. Make us accept it again if it changes, but not if it’s the same one we’ve already agreed to.

The way you’re handling the new levels is out-and-out foolish. They only show up in freeform? So, we can’t select which ones we want to play? They disappear once the new pack is out? So, new levels that we love will disappear from our HDD at regular intervals?

Echochrome is a great game. I love it. It’s a shame you’ve taken the enjoyment away from it. Please consider fixing your mistakes.

Thanks


58

+ maluraq on May 6th, 2008 at 12:28 pm said:

For the people claiming there’s no recognition, look in the top-left corner of your screen and you’ll see the name of the person who made the level, their country and the name of the level itself.

My major complaint is that there are no completion amount scoreboards for comparing with friends (98% cleared, etc.) and the same for times on individual levels. I’d like to know if I got a better time than my friends on specific maps like with other such games (like the one with the rubber ducks).


59

+ PROPH3CY_ on May 6th, 2008 at 8:54 pm said:

go0d job on a go0d game Sony! even though it gives some gamers a headache(im one of them)figuring the puzzleS!! LOL!!! k33p it uP!


60

+ Daver on May 7th, 2008 at 5:53 pm said:

just want to try if my gravatar is working loll
btw very nice game! :)


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