Apart from being one of the internal levels, pipe is a special type of level or an area of a level whose width is smaller than driver's height. In order to pass a pipe the player has to go to a special position. This is done by putting the other wheel on the other side of the pipe and riding in a 90° angle compared to normal position (see the picture).
Piping (driving through a pipe) is not easy for beginners since the player needs to use turn and rotation keys really carefully to stay alive. The narrower the pipe, the harder it is to drive through. The minimum width of a pipe is the same as wheel's diameter, but in that case, piping is very hard. The optimal pipe width is considered to be roughly two to three wheel diameters.
Pipe is quite a popular level type in EOL. Usually the designer places apples across the level so players that can't finish the level can compete with each other by the number of apples taken. Single pipes are also sometimes used as shortcuts in normal levels.
Important notes on designing pipe levels
- Avoid making pipes in which the player can reach high speed. If the bike reaches its top speed (no further acceleration possible), piping becomes practically impossible - not necessarily because of the high speed itself but the change in bike's behaviour.
- Make good entrances in all pipes so that the player doesn't have to brake before every entrance. Bad entrances are quite a big reason for why some pipe levels are considered bad.
- Place apples all over the level evenly so that the player will certainly get all of them just by driving through the level, without having to make any extra effort.
- Avoid putting killers. If not placed wisely, they can be very annoying.
- The tighter the pipe, the shorter it should be.
- Do not make too wide pipes. The player should be able to have grip with both wheels during all pipes.
- Do not make too sharp (more than 90 degree) curves. The tighter the pipe, the smoother the curves should be.
- Do not make pipes in which the player has to drive past the flower to get apples. It is quite likely that the player gets a bug finish (a finish without collecting all the apples) because of both wheels touching the same apple at the same time. Such finishes are ignored in battles. In other words, the flower should be the very last object that the player touches.
- If you however wish to design such a level, make sure the apples are placed so that only either one of the wheels or the head will be able to touch them. This might be challenging, because the player might miss an apple in a pipe if it's placed too near the pipe's borders.
- Pipes that contain gravity apples are usually considered bad, which is why you should avoid using them. Especially gravity apples inside a pipe section are definitely not good because it's usually hard for the player to adapt to the gravity change.
- To avoid making impossible pipe levels, make sure you are able to finish the level yourself. Testing the pipe at least part-by-part is recommended.