Castle of Elite - Official game guide|
Introduction - Basics - Solutions - Secrets - Trivia
Like Retrobattle, Castle of Elite was scetched on two pages of paper, and made in two months from those notes. The level editor was not originally planned, but after considering how much it would add to the game, I put one together anyway. It's really unoptimized, though.
Mistakes and updates
The game has been updated several times, as people kept mailing me with ways to beat Hard and Elite levels with spare brick symbols. Not even Vertigo was safe from these skilled players, who found loopholes in the levels I had never thought of. As a result, and due to the fact that people tend to mirror this game on various sites without asking, there exists many different versions of CoE on the Internet. This is why I updated all my games in 2006 with a disclaimer in the help file, which tells you that the game is freeware and it's illegal to make money off it.
Much of the game was inspired by the DOS game Jetpack, but with a focus on puzzles instead of action. The idea of the "Trundling snakes" level was even inspired by a similar one in that game. The brick symbols were partly inspired by Solomon's Key, and partly by Tetris. The idea of collecting coins was simply taken from Retrobattle, my previous game.
All the levels are listed as a 1 or 0 in the savefile depending on if it has been beaten or not. Each level also has a large number associated with it; these numbers are simply added together to form the checksum, which is what makes the savefile hard to "crack".
The sound effects in the game are mainly extremely short clips, heavily modified until they came out as full sounds. It's the first game where I really put effort into the SFX editing.
Creating the puzzles
The later levels certainly weren't made in one go. A lot of trial and error, and playtesting to find loopholes, went into the game. As mentioned above, however, I still didn't manage to catch all the unintended solutions for the Hard and Elite levels. It's very possible that even a well-planned level like Eternal has unintended solutions. Final Destination intentionally has many different solutions, though.