7 Level Creation Tips
Just thought I'd share some things I've found help me make a better level, and that I really appreciate seeing in other peoples' levels too. Hope these tips help!
1. When you finish your level, create graffiti arrows like in the main game so that you can more easily visualize your goals. This can be frustrating because it takes up your elements, but it can be invaluable for reminding the player of what they're supposed to be doing and anybody who's played the campaign will know what those green and yellow arrows signify.
2. Center your map. All you have to do is select all your items with a click-and-drag option, then click on almost any item (I say that because electrical cords will mess this up if you try to click on them to do this) and move the entire thing over, then click again to place it. Sometimes things may change slightly due to glitches when you do this, but that can typically be easily fixed (so test the level again after you move it!). It can be frustrating to play a level stuck in the bottom-right corner of the level space when you have a bunch of empty space above and to the left, so make sure to center your levels!
3. Play your levels. This can be time-consuming, but it's also incredibly helpful; you may find a glitch you didn't know was there that makes the lab unbeatable, or something that is simply frustrating that you should change.
And don't just play it in the level creation's "test" area! REALLY test it!
4. Look for ways to cheat in your level. I find it extremely frustrating when my older brother finds ways to cheat in my levels and finish them with three of the 15 placeable elements. You may feel that it ruins your level to look for ways to cheat or that it destroys your vision, but it's really a necessary thing.
Don't make it so rigid that nobody can try different ways to complete it, but don't leave an easy opening either!
5. Know what parts you've got available. This sounds stupid, but there are some alternate parts that you can use in lab creation that you'll never see in the campaign (at least not for the original Crazy Machines 2, I don't have the expansion packs so I don't know about in those). I never would have guessed that the fixed fuse could become a fuse that sticks out from the wall all the way across, or that the catapult could have a lug attachment instead of the paddle for attaching chains and such to it. You'll be surprised what you'll find!
6. Add hints. You can add hints by going to the middle tab where you put in your description. While I personally don't use hints, there are people who do, and it's not too tricky to add in a couple.
On the note of hints, it's also not a bad idea to add some posts to help you know where to place curved rails, or to do things like that with graffiti or other instances, mainly where precision is necessity. When it gets frustrating instead of enjoyable, it's a good idea to add those hints!
7. Experiment! You're never going to know if something will work unless you try it out first. I've gotten some of my favorite level designs by messing with random (or "worthless") parts!
There's my two cents. Is there anything else that you would add to that list?
Labs by me include: "Adventure for Treasure", "Wheels, Axles and Such", "The Gravity Machine" and "A Quintuplet of Quizzes"!