Level Design Tips

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sezixor
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby sezixor » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:11 pm

59. When you plan to make a long level, there is a chance that you won't be able to design it the way you want because you might reach the block limit before it is finished. There is a way to fix this issue if you plan to make levels that require more blocks than allowed. You can basically take a sizable and turn it into an expandable block. Using paint.net, you drop a default sizable into it, as well as the centerpiece from the tileset you plan to use. Copy and paste the centerpiece block onto the sizable until it looks like a bigger version of the tile. (If it is a 64x64 block than you would need to copy the block into it four times). So after saving it to the level folder you have an expandable version of the centerpiece that could take up an entire part of the screen, but only use one space in the debugger. I used this for my level Ultimate Airship Invasion.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Natsu » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:43 pm

60. When creating a level think carefully how you want your level. Play and learn from other levels of rather good or great quality to get inspired and plan your gameplay.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby UninspiredUsername » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:39 pm

61. If you have a long level with a short section that's a bit harder than most of the rest of the level, you should place the midway point right before that section, rather than right in the middle of the level. That way, the player doesn't have to go through an easy part just to get another shot at the hard one, it's annoying. You kinda have to play it by ear when doing this though. If said hard section is only marginally harder than the rest of the level, and is very short and at the end of the level, you might not want to do this.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FanofSMBX » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:58 pm

62. Make a decision: Every level in your episode has checkpoints, or it doesn't. It's inconsistent to do otherwise.
63. The same goes for Dragon Coins.
64. Remember that more than 5 Dragon Coins =
6 = 2up
7 = 3up
8 or above = 5up
65. Remember to place at least 5 Dragon Coins (unless you modify the score to have less give a 1up). If you don't, finding the Dragon Coins is almost a waste.
66. Just because Chad put 3 stars in all his SMSE levels doesn't mean you have to.
67. If you make your level too long, hunting for stars will be tedious if the player misses some on the first go. This is one of the problems SMSE had IMO. Try shorter levels so that the player will want to replay them if he misses something, and not just go to the next level.
68. Tying back into the last one, if you have stars, think about not making 100 percent of them, mandatory to get to a special world. A secret Toad House with items is fine IMO, but it's annoying to have to track down the ONE SINGLE LAST STAR left at the end of the regular worlds.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Willhart » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:54 pm

69. If the level contains water, slopes or walls that extend to the screen boundary, continue them couple of blocks offscreen in order to prevent unwanted shortcuts and sudden death.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Ace » Sat May 17, 2014 6:51 pm

70. If you do this, then you are actually the most evil person ever.
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Last edited by Ace on Sat May 17, 2014 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby MrPunchia » Sat May 17, 2014 7:07 pm

You don't HAVE to do these, but:
71. Draw your level on a whiteboard or a piece of paper BEFORE making the actual level.
72. Bonus stages are great. Have them in some of your levels.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Enjl » Sat May 17, 2014 7:20 pm

Ace wrote:70. If you do this, then you are actually one of the most evil person ever.
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omg who made this? xD
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Ace » Sat May 17, 2014 7:21 pm

Emral wrote:
Ace wrote:70. If you do this, then you are actually one of the most evil person ever.
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omg who made this? xD
I'd rather not say, because it doesn't really matter and I don't want to make it look like a personal attack.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Kyo » Wed May 21, 2014 11:08 am

Yeah, that was me. But I really can't take this as an offense, how could I? I made that level back then over two years ago, when switch gimmicks were still a thing. Now that they became overused, I'm orienteering more at other gimmicks. Everyone used switch gimmicks back then, because it was the most simple method to add non-linearity to a level.

As for a tip, I really don't have an idea. I would need to read the entire topic to find something that wasn't mentioned so far, and I don't really feel like doing that.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Enjl » Fri May 23, 2014 3:36 pm

Tip Number 201212534523424 (73):
Always eat your food. Never submit your levels without having tested them in god-mode without god-mode and finished them. Testing is a good way to revisit your level and find bugs and flaws you didn't find during designing.

Tip Number 201212534523425 (74):
A gimmick being overused doesn't mean you're not allowed to use it. If you think it goes well with how you want your level to be, go ahead!

Tip Number 201212534523426 (75):
The community loves SMB2 levels. This is scientifically proven. Have fun.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby DarkMatt » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:35 pm

I didn't read the thread before posting these.

1) WORK OUT YOUR THEME AND ART STYLE FIRST. You'll want to have a good idea of where to start on your level and where to go with it. Putting down whatever while keeping a vague idea is a good way to make a terrible level.
2) DON'T USE THE HARD ENEMIES ALL THAT OFTEN. There are plenty of ways to use the other NPCs to invoke a sense of challenge without using venus piranhas or hammer brothers. Conforming to a limited selection of NPCs also helps with tip #1.
3) IF YOU CAN'T DO IT, NEITHER CAN THEY. Use God Mode for one reason only: testing how a level flows and runs. You need to be able to complete your level without any help from powerups. If YOU can't beat your own level, or at least validate that each part of the level is possible at base minimum, then how is anyone else going to do it?
4) PUT YOURSELF IN THE PLAYER'S SHOES. By default, you're cheating by knowing the level exactly as you put it together. Players don't get that luxury the first time around, or maybe the second or third or fourth. The easiest way to solve this problem is to assume the average skill level of the player is lower than yours. That way, you'll be able to say that parts of the level you clear without issues is just right, and parts you struggle on are going to give others a worse time. You'll want to give this a bit more forethought than that though.
5) Finally, GET SOME EXPERIENCE. Play SMBX. Play other platformers. Take notes on the episodes of greater people. Show works in progress and ask for advice. Make a single level and have others evaluate it. Those 5 star ratings don't come to people because they have the midas touch of marios. They've practiced, experimented, and worked up a solid grasp on how SMBX works. Unless you do your homework like everybody else, you're gonna be one of the hundreds of people who make garbage levels.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:02 am

80. Try to not make a player utilize glitches in a level unless you explain how the glitch is done in some way! No one likes to play a level and get stuck, just because they do not know something about the SMBX Engine! [I made this mistake with a little test level I released!]
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby bossedit8 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:10 am

What not to make in SMBX:



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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Wohlstand » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:57 am

And graphics notes:
Masks must be correctly, instead Lazy-made copy-paste:
http://engine.wohlnet.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=140
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby RudeGuy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:33 am

Wohlstand wrote:And graphics notes:
Masks must be correctly, instead Lazy-made copy-paste:
http://engine.wohlnet.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=140
Images must be saved in GIF format, instead BMP format, saved with "GIF" extension (lazy-made too):
http://engine.wohlnet.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=138
Uhm... Level design have something to do with graphics?
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Zant » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:51 am

81. Don't add slopes in a Larry or Ludwig bossfight, because the player can slide and damage the boss unfairly.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Valtteri » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:42 am

Zant wrote:81. Don't add slopes in a Larry or Ludwig bossfight, because the player can slide and damage the boss unfairly.
That reminds me, using slopes in a Birdo battle isn't advisable either as its animation will glitch badly when it walks on slopes.
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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FanofSMBX » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:05 am

Valtteri wrote:
Zant wrote:81. Don't add slopes in a Larry or Ludwig bossfight, because the player can slide and damage the boss unfairly.
That reminds me, using slopes in a Birdo battle isn't advisable either as its animation will glitch badly when it walks on slopes.
Ludwig also sort of gets stuck on slopes.

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Re: Level Design Tips

Postby HeroLinik » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:45 am

This one flew into my head after I chose to use a certain music track.

82. Unless they sound better than the originals, try to avoid using remixes/arrangements of default SMBX music, as it's a waste of space.
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