Fiery Maze Undergrounds

They're not that bad, but they're not that good either.
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HVMetal
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Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby HVMetal » Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Hello!
This level is originally made for my episode's remake.
This level has it's own "world map" since there are 2 levels connected to each other.
So what type of level is this? Here are some screenshots:
Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Note: there is a known bug when the platform disappears. Just go back a little bit and it will appear again. This bug only happens if the main game and the level editor is working at the same time, so I recommend you to avoid this from happening.

Download link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/7a2v6 ... d+Boss.zip

Credits: SMB1 styled platforms, Piranha plants(recolored) from Valtteri's Gfx pack.
Nokobons, Orange clouds , the Background2, the Lavafall and the Orange/Red(recolor) trees and grass from Redyoshi + supermarioman's gfx pack

Other gfx are recolored by me or they are vanilla gfx.

Comment any bug found in the level or any recommandation ( to decrease the difficulty for example )
Have a nice day/a good night!

New download link added because I had to fix a minor bug

Also, I recommend to play it trough the main game since there are 2 levels connected to each other and it will not work in the level editor.
Last edited by HVMetal on Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:36 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby Gameinsky » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:09 pm

I would suggesting darkening the background pipe segments, they look as if they have collision.
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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby HVMetal » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:26 pm

Gameinsky wrote:I would suggesting darkening the background pipe segments, they look as if they have collision.
The half-pipe on the second screenshot or the pipe coming out of the lava?

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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby Gameinsky » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:46 pm

HVMetal wrote:
Gameinsky wrote:I would suggesting darkening the background pipe segments, they look as if they have collision.
The half-pipe on the second screenshot or the pipe coming out of the lava?
Basically any pipe that is made out of BGOs, they look too similar to the actual ones that are blocks. This makes the level very confusing.
Other than that it looks pretty good.
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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby HVMetal » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:48 pm

Gameinsky wrote:
HVMetal wrote:
Gameinsky wrote:I would suggesting darkening the background pipe segments, they look as if they have collision.
The half-pipe on the second screenshot or the pipe coming out of the lava?
Basically any pipe that is made out of BGOs, they look too similar to the actual ones that are blocks. This makes the level very confusing.
Other than that it looks pretty good.
There are no pipes made out of BGOs.
Altough thanks

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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby superhammerbros100 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:50 pm

Image

Why that piranha plant is pink while all the others are normal?
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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby HVMetal » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:15 pm

superhammerbros100 wrote:Image

Why that piranha plant is pink while all the others are normal?
That plant, the Venus fireplant, is pink because: - The most simple reason is to make difference between them
- Also it doesnt looks bad in a lava-underground level
- Mostly because another Mario fangame where the fireplants leafs are always pink
But cmon, always that pink? What's the problem with it? ( If you are just interrested why is that pink then it's ok but if we start like the last time that the pink must be gone then... )

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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby RudeGuy » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:48 pm

Just because another mario fangame does that doesn't mean you should do the same. Also isn't the different head good enough to differentiate the venus trap fires?
And honestly to me it looks strange, but if you want to keep it that way then do it.
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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby superhammerbros100 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:54 pm

RudeGuy07 wrote:Just because another mario fangame does that doesn't mean you should do the same. Also isn't the different head good enough to differentiate the venus trap fires?
And honestly to me it looks strange, but if you want to keep it that way then do it.
He actually did the same with his "Darkland Recolor" and an argument started in that thread just because "pink plant"
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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby as303298 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:37 am

My Review:
Note- This was a suggestion from Dracyoshi for me to touch this level. I haven't a clue why...but looks like you get lucky today.
Note- I have absolutely no intention on rating the boss itself, but rather it's conceptual involvement to the level as a whole. At the end of this review I will give my input on the boss's design, but it will not reflect this review since it exists as it's own ".lvl."

Atmosphere [5/5]
I admit, I did struggle to correctly guess what the atmosphere is until I fought the boss. I didn't understand that this level was designed as a castle for a game, so a few things became clearer to me in the end.
As for first impressions, I do like the atmosphere quite a lot even though it is very claustrophobic.

A mixture of lava and heavy influence on plants and fire-breathing plants was a very nice touch, and then only doubled by the boss itself.

Level Design [1/5]
Now, I am taking into full consideration that this level is designed specifically to be difficult, but there are quite a few problems.

I am taking one point off just for this phrase: "Note: there is a known bug when the platform disappears. Just go back a little bit and it will appear again. This bug only happens if the main game and the level editor is working at the same time, so I recommend you to avoid this from happening." I couldn't care less what causes a bug or how I, as the player, can fix it. It is your job, as the designer, to reduce the amount of bugs, glitch and exploits are within your level. To give out a warning such as this is a lazy excuse to leave it in the level rather than design around this strange flaw.

Next we are going to touch onto these irritating fire chomps you have, since they persist as a physical obstacle more than an NPC. For one, these things seem to "shift" between being physically present to being completely intangible to NPCS. This created a lot of issues during the beginning of the level as I intend to jump and get my mushroom yet the goombas seem to decide whether to turn around or not. I haven't a clue what the hell was causing this, but fix it; it is so freaking irritating. Then there's the over abundance of these things with very little indication as to when they will shoot. Either make these things perfectly destructible, at the cost of time, or make it very obvious as to when these things are going to shoot. The constant fear of WHEN it will shoot is what causes a player to loose their footing.

Next, lack of sufficient powerups. While I did get impatient, I noticed a lack of real powerups, coins and 1-ups. For a majority of the level, you are only working with one powerup at a time. To be fair, I get this is difficult but you need to give the player the chance to beat the level and fail rather than rip the rug from underneath their feet and laugh as they fall.

Next, rotodisks. I admit I love this things, but you used them way too much. I will touch more onto this topic NPC Placement, but I will note that their involvement hurt both that category as well as this one.
Next, section 2's invisible bridge. I can understand the concept of forcing the player to deal with your obstacles since my old project did the same thing. But forcing the player into a loop of warps until they finally realize that there is a random invisible bridge is a cruel method of design from my perspective.

Lastly, this level is way too claustrophobic. From a difficult-level designer's perspective, I can understand exactly why this level is made the way it is. But that doesnt mean you need to keep the level so small.
What I mean by this is the follow:
-The level is visually so compressed to ensure the player can't focus on anything other that what is right in front of them.
While this is a neat premise to work off of, you don't understand that an experienced player, such as myself, won't appreciate this style. You have so many openings to add in some clever npc placement within walls to help avoid makign the level feel like such a cramp space, or even just expanding the field of view so the player can feel a little at ease. A very strong case of this is the lava chasing section, which isn't too difficult once I get a hold of yourself. The lava approaches fast and you are already in a super tight space. Logically, this will make someone panic unnecessarily on top of all the crap that they need to focus on such as roto-disks and other enemies. I HIGHLY suggest readjsuting this level to not be so gosh darn cramped to the point it stresses the player out.

There's difficulty / Then there is just being unnecessarily rough on the player

Graphical Continuity [2/5]
I really only have two main issues with what graphics were used.
-The bushes would never grow inside a castle. I am sorry....but this makes no sense from a logical point of view. You would be better off using lanterns and ropes to fill in the BGO Placement aspect of the level rather than using these bushes.
-The Fire Chompers. There is an instance where you CAN kill one of these things, which requires a bomb. They don't have a death effect OR event that turns off their fire ball projectiles. I mean this is a tiny mistake, but a huge one at that.

BGO Placement [4/5]
While I disagree with what was used, I will say you did place the BGOs in key parts of the level in order to occupy the right amount of space on the screen.
However, dont mix a tileset's blocks that match the BGO you used. All this does is confuse the player if they aren't paying attention.
Granted, such an issue is the fault of the player, but you shouldnt leave an opportunity for the player for misinterpret the level's contents.

NPC Placement [2/5]
-I give you a lot of prompts for effort, but you are much too cruel.
-Roto Disks that overlap each other's safe spots.
-Platforms specifically designed to give you a small window of opportunity PLUS podabos.
-Every mushroom's position is more dangerous than any other single point in the level. If you are going to give me a power...don't take it away this god damn fast. Take the first screen for example: Fire Chomp, Fire Piranha, 2 Goombas on the FIRST screen.
-Section 3's Koopas dont respawn. Meaning that is a one-time shot to get this jump absolutely perfect.

Difficulty / Replayability [3/5]
I would easily say I would replay this level again if it wasn't for the fact it is just so god damn hard. I highly recommend restructuring the level to be a bit more fair to the player.
My rules of thumb:
-Never make the player feel like the level cheated them.
-Give them as many resources as you feel like you can take them away. (I.E. Give them a fighting chance)
-Don't stress the player out more than you need to. Playing on a player's impatience is one thing, but playing on stress is unacceptable.

________
As for the boss, there's a bit you need to work on. First off, a little warning: this is nothing to me. My eyes can quickly dart and assess whatever is thrown at me, so long as I am not preoccupied. Meaning your clever method of trying to overwhelm the player doesn't really work on me.
HOWEVER, I will say that this method of "attack" is WAY too difficult for the common person to deal with effectively. I highly suggest slowing down the events or adding in random powerups to help the player.
Next, there is the lava rush attack. This is poorly executed in every way. For one, a more audible sound would be nice, on top of better visual indication to what happens before the lava comes up. I actually died because the tileset looks just the the BGOs. Which plays on my previous comment: don't let the player feel like you cheated them.
As for the boss itself, when has doing the same pattern three times to see absolutely nothing change ever been fun? I suggest reducing how many hits this thing takes and "code" more events for different forms.

Overall Score: 17/30
Final Score: 5.6/10
Judgement: Average
Video:
Spoiler: show


The SMBX Let's Player, as303298 / Wraith Admanknight
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/as303298?feature=mhee

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Re: Fiery Maze Undergrounds

Postby HVMetal » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:53 am

as303298 wrote:My Review:
Note- This was a suggestion from Dracyoshi for me to touch this level. I haven't a clue why...but looks like you get lucky today.
Note- I have absolutely no intention on rating the boss itself, but rather it's conceptual involvement to the level as a whole. At the end of this review I will give my input on the boss's design, but it will not reflect this review since it exists as it's own ".lvl."

Atmosphere [5/5]
I admit, I did struggle to correctly guess what the atmosphere is until I fought the boss. I didn't understand that this level was designed as a castle for a game, so a few things became clearer to me in the end.
As for first impressions, I do like the atmosphere quite a lot even though it is very claustrophobic.

A mixture of lava and heavy influence on plants and fire-breathing plants was a very nice touch, and then only doubled by the boss itself.

Level Design [1/5]
Now, I am taking into full consideration that this level is designed specifically to be difficult, but there are quite a few problems.

I am taking one point off just for this phrase: "Note: there is a known bug when the platform disappears. Just go back a little bit and it will appear again. This bug only happens if the main game and the level editor is working at the same time, so I recommend you to avoid this from happening." I couldn't care less what causes a bug or how I, as the player, can fix it. It is your job, as the designer, to reduce the amount of bugs, glitch and exploits are within your level. To give out a warning such as this is a lazy excuse to leave it in the level rather than design around this strange flaw.

Next we are going to touch onto these irritating fire chomps you have, since they persist as a physical obstacle more than an NPC. For one, these things seem to "shift" between being physically present to being completely intangible to NPCS. This created a lot of issues during the beginning of the level as I intend to jump and get my mushroom yet the goombas seem to decide whether to turn around or not. I haven't a clue what the hell was causing this, but fix it; it is so freaking irritating. Then there's the over abundance of these things with very little indication as to when they will shoot. Either make these things perfectly destructible, at the cost of time, or make it very obvious as to when these things are going to shoot. The constant fear of WHEN it will shoot is what causes a player to loose their footing.

Next, lack of sufficient powerups. While I did get impatient, I noticed a lack of real powerups, coins and 1-ups. For a majority of the level, you are only working with one powerup at a time. To be fair, I get this is difficult but you need to give the player the chance to beat the level and fail rather than rip the rug from underneath their feet and laugh as they fall.

Next, rotodisks. I admit I love this things, but you used them way too much. I will touch more onto this topic NPC Placement, but I will note that their involvement hurt both that category as well as this one.
Next, section 2's invisible bridge. I can understand the concept of forcing the player to deal with your obstacles since my old project did the same thing. But forcing the player into a loop of warps until they finally realize that there is a random invisible bridge is a cruel method of design from my perspective.

Lastly, this level is way too claustrophobic. From a difficult-level designer's perspective, I can understand exactly why this level is made the way it is. But that doesnt mean you need to keep the level so small.
What I mean by this is the follow:
-The level is visually so compressed to ensure the player can't focus on anything other that what is right in front of them.
While this is a neat premise to work off of, you don't understand that an experienced player, such as myself, won't appreciate this style. You have so many openings to add in some clever npc placement within walls to help avoid makign the level feel like such a cramp space, or even just expanding the field of view so the player can feel a little at ease. A very strong case of this is the lava chasing section, which isn't too difficult once I get a hold of yourself. The lava approaches fast and you are already in a super tight space. Logically, this will make someone panic unnecessarily on top of all the crap that they need to focus on such as roto-disks and other enemies. I HIGHLY suggest readjsuting this level to not be so gosh darn cramped to the point it stresses the player out.

There's difficulty / Then there is just being unnecessarily rough on the player

Graphical Continuity [2/5]
I really only have two main issues with what graphics were used.
-The bushes would never grow inside a castle. I am sorry....but this makes no sense from a logical point of view. You would be better off using lanterns and ropes to fill in the BGO Placement aspect of the level rather than using these bushes.
-The Fire Chompers. There is an instance where you CAN kill one of these things, which requires a bomb. They don't have a death effect OR event that turns off their fire ball projectiles. I mean this is a tiny mistake, but a huge one at that.

BGO Placement [4/5]
While I disagree with what was used, I will say you did place the BGOs in key parts of the level in order to occupy the right amount of space on the screen.
However, dont mix a tileset's blocks that match the BGO you used. All this does is confuse the player if they aren't paying attention.
Granted, such an issue is the fault of the player, but you shouldnt leave an opportunity for the player for misinterpret the level's contents.

NPC Placement [2/5]
-I give you a lot of prompts for effort, but you are much too cruel.
-Roto Disks that overlap each other's safe spots.
-Platforms specifically designed to give you a small window of opportunity PLUS podabos.
-Every mushroom's position is more dangerous than any other single point in the level. If you are going to give me a power...don't take it away this god damn fast. Take the first screen for example: Fire Chomp, Fire Piranha, 2 Goombas on the FIRST screen.
-Section 3's Koopas dont respawn. Meaning that is a one-time shot to get this jump absolutely perfect.

Difficulty / Replayability [3/5]
I would easily say I would replay this level again if it wasn't for the fact it is just so god damn hard. I highly recommend restructuring the level to be a bit more fair to the player.
My rules of thumb:
-Never make the player feel like the level cheated them.
-Give them as many resources as you feel like you can take them away. (I.E. Give them a fighting chance)
-Don't stress the player out more than you need to. Playing on a player's impatience is one thing, but playing on stress is unacceptable.

________
As for the boss, there's a bit you need to work on. First off, a little warning: this is nothing to me. My eyes can quickly dart and assess whatever is thrown at me, so long as I am not preoccupied. Meaning your clever method of trying to overwhelm the player doesn't really work on me.
HOWEVER, I will say that this method of "attack" is WAY too difficult for the common person to deal with effectively. I highly suggest slowing down the events or adding in random powerups to help the player.
Next, there is the lava rush attack. This is poorly executed in every way. For one, a more audible sound would be nice, on top of better visual indication to what happens before the lava comes up. I actually died because the tileset looks just the the BGOs. Which plays on my previous comment: don't let the player feel like you cheated them.
As for the boss itself, when has doing the same pattern three times to see absolutely nothing change ever been fun? I suggest reducing how many hits this thing takes and "code" more events for different forms.

Overall Score: 17/30
Final Score: 5.6/10
Judgement: Average
Video: [Held for video]
Alright, thanks, I wasnt so experienced at NPC placement and yeah... Is there a chance for a re-review if I remake some stuff and NPC placement like you said or there is no turn back? For the boss, well yes... I never realised it was so damn hard since I dodged the projectiles easily and never tought that some poeple wouldnt. I will fix these bugs like the death effect of some piranhas and I may slow down the lava a little bit but the koopas... they will respawn if you didnt shoot them with fireballs. I tought I already reduced the number of rotodiscs enough in the rising lava section because I also died continuously. That 2 goombas will be deleted at the start of the level. But "Note: there is a known bug when the platform disappears. Just go back a little bit and it will appear again. This bug only happens if the main game and the level editor is working at the same time, so I recommend you to avoid this from happening." I cant do anything with this. This is not something which can be fixed so easily like the lava and some npcs. It lagged for me and It was annyoing when the platforms were disappearing. I cant do much with this since this isnt a coding problem and I didnt ask too much, just to avoid that the 2 programs are open at the same time... I may expand the level itself in the future when I have to make the castle for World 6. Anyways, thanks for the review ( and Dracoyoshi for suggesting you this ).


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