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We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:13 am
by Snessy the duck
So, I've been noticing the recent lack of creativity in episodes and projects recently. They all mostly seem to follow the formula of The Invasion 2 or SMSE, having multiple worlds/hubs with a bunch of linear levels in a straight path along with some secrets, usually having stars as the main collectible. While episodes are in no way bad because they follow that style (AA2 shows a lot of promise, and so does Lowsers Conquest), I think that most newer episodes aren't that creative with their structure, which is something that older episodes seem to do a lot better than newer ones. Take The Princess Cliché for example. Instead of having a bunch of linear levels in a straight path, this episode instead focuses on exploration and finding secret exits in order to unlock new areas and find stars in a very non-linear way. While the episode is pretty short, it has a lot of content that can be expanded upon, and it's really unique in it's structure, which is something I think most recent episodes are lacking in. I think some more creativity in episodes would be very welcome, cause the Invasion style is starting to get a little "cliché" if you know what I mean. But that's just my opinion.

So what do you think? Should episodes try to be more creative, or do you like it the way it is? *Insert generic "post your thoughts" message here*

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:24 am
by Enjl
Make one.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:30 am
by Snessy the duck
Enjl wrote:Make one.
maybe

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:32 am
by TDK
I never thought about it, since I never made an episode.

Give a suggestion on how an episode can be more unique.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:33 am
by Snessy the duck
TheDinoKing wrote:Give a suggestion.
Maybe an episode without a world map nor hud, or an episode composed of minigames.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:38 pm
by Thehelmetguy1
If there isn't a world map nor a hub, you would have to play the whole episode again just to replay a single level. You also can't add secret levels neither bonus levels. Last time I checked, this isn't good design
About a minigame episode, that would be a pretty cool idea imo.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:40 pm
by HeroLinik
Snessy the duck wrote:They all mostly seem to follow the formula of The Invasion 2 and Airship Attack (Which were in themselves based on the offical 2D Mario games), having multiple worlds/hubs with a bunch of linear levels in a straight path along with some secrets, usually having stars as the main collectible
Erm, that's not exactly true. Super Mario Star Expedition did the multiple hubs thing first, and a lot of people followed suit.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:10 am
by AndrewPixel
I'm working on a hub-based episode, but the idea isn't original, but after that I will make a map-based level about Iggy Koopa, my favourite Koopaling. Is it original? ;)

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:22 am
by Uchiha Madara
To tell you the truth, I do not think that's possible. There is no other way that could sustain an episode. At least, not until now. Even if you want to do an episode with several minigames, they would have to be connected by a hub, or else you would simply run the levels in the editor to play them randomly.
You have the option to create a level, and the end of it is a warp that leads to another level... But that would be a bit Frustrating and too Exhausting.

I do not think this should be taken into account to tell if an episode is good or not. What should be analyzed is how Mechanics work, how the npcs's positioning is and what that influences the Difficulty of the levels, the variation of Fun that the episode can provide, the Atmosphere of the episode, the Experience of the episode... Innovations should also be analyzed.
The innovations are very well accepted, but in some cases it is very difficult to judge if it has improved or worsened the performance.

Also, our launcher still has some mechanics that have not been explored completely and perfectly ... It all depends on the way it is applied and the view each player has on what he is working on.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:40 am
by Snessy the duck
HeroLinik wrote:
Snessy the duck wrote:They all mostly seem to follow the formula of The Invasion 2 and Airship Attack (Which were in themselves based on the offical 2D Mario games), having multiple worlds/hubs with a bunch of linear levels in a straight path along with some secrets, usually having stars as the main collectible
Erm, that's not exactly true. Super Mario Star Expedition did the multiple hubs thing first, and a lot of people followed suit.
Oh, right. I'm updating the main post.

Edit:
Uchiha Madara wrote:I do not think this should be taken into account to tell if an episode is good or not. What should be analyzed is how Mechanics work, how the npcs's positioning is and what that influences the Difficulty of the levels, the variation of Fun that the episode can provide, the Atmosphere of the episode, the Experience of the episode... Innovations should also be analyzed.
The innovations are very well accepted, but in some cases it is very difficult to judge if it has improved or worsened the performance.
I totally agree with you there. I also said in the OP that just because they followed the TI/SMSE formula didn't mean they would all suck.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:38 pm
by arcade999
I SOOO agree with you! I mean, you gives tools to players to create something, and rather uses this chance to make something unique, the all follow the same path that was used 41533753537 times.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:04 pm
by Eri7
Im making one right now that is gonna be one of the best episodes out there , full of things people have never done in smbx or thought about to use in their episodes.
And my episode will be based a lot on exploration and grinding if the player wants to have more fun.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:23 pm
by NightKawata
yo grinding doesn't make an episode fun, be careful with that

i think what really kills it is the over-prevalence of similar design tactics or design that's meant to be more filler than it is quality content; which isn't surprising given the demographic of the forum, so there's not too much to do about it, we can't just tell everyone "yo re-evaluate your design philosophy"

like a lot of episodes might try to make the levels fun, but never get the sustenance or the flow of the levels right, moreover, the flow goes against the grain, if you catch my drift

linear levels are fine if you know what you're doing, and mario's typically always point a to point b, sure there's secret exits but that's still a point b

while i wouldn't say the lack of creativity is based upon linear design (in fact some level designers tend to take this to an extreme and have nonsense paths that provide no real purpose, i won't mention names; i can see where they're coming from but that's usually never the best idea, sonic for example has branching paths, but they always lead to a new way to beat the maze, rather than a pure dead end, bar something like labyrinth zone), moreover it's a lack of focus or getting what makes mario truly fun to play, something redigit understood, and why the invasion 2 really has never been topped

the invasion 2 gets level length and flow done very well, and none of the levels become a chore or overcluttered mess to navigate through, which the same can be said about classic mario; mario's all about the flow of the levels, getting the goodies, having fun with the powerups; more importantly, it's about fun; the perspective of fun for one fan can also be different, which leads to a lot of episodes that may not want to be tackled by anybody that's not a hardcore mario fan

progress and good design make up a good mario level, and it is understandably difficult to master that, which leads to the issue we're having here

i would subjectively say we need more episodes that are fun to play and a good time overall, rather than something overly ambitious and too tough to chew, or something that's a rehash of mario 3 with nothing done differently

i can give examples of what i'm talking about but i'm not really going to start trying to offend people, the key point is "make levels that are fun, engaging, and keep the player's interest." that's what makes a good mario episode, and we could use some more like that

i was being satirical about the self-advertising it doesn't affect me if you look at my episode or not


for more perspective: look at donkey kong country, it's linear, but the flow of the levels and general feel of adventure keep the game going, with the sequels adding lots of things to do, and overall, they're extremely well designed

mega man is also linear, but the design is challenging, yet fair (in most cases, there's some bad cases too), but the fun comes from beating up everything and the enjoyable level design

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:27 pm
by Eri7
NightKawata wrote:yo grinding doesn't make an episode fun, be careful with that

i think what really kills it is the over-prevalence of similar design tactics or design that's meant to be more filler than it is quality content; which isn't surprising given the demographic of the forum, so there's not too much to do about it, we can't just tell everyone "yo re-evaluate your design philosophy"

like a lot of episodes might try to make the levels fun, but never get the sustenance or the flow of the levels right, moreover, the flow goes against the grain, if you catch my drift

linear levels are fine if you know what you're doing, and mario's typically always point a to point b, sure there's secret exits but that's still a point b

while i wouldn't say the lack of creativity is based upon linear design (in fact some level designers tend to take this to an extreme and have nonsense paths that provide no real purpose, i won't mention names; i can see where they're coming from but that's usually never the best idea, sonic for example has branching paths, but they always lead to a new way to beat the maze, rather than a pure dead end, bar something like labyrinth zone), moreover it's a lack of focus or getting what makes mario truly fun to play, something redigit understood, and why the invasion 2 really has never been topped

the invasion 2 gets level length and flow done very well, and none of the levels become a chore or overcluttered mess to navigate through, which the same can be said about classic mario; mario's all about the flow of the levels, getting the goodies, having fun with the powerups; more importantly, it's about fun; the perspective of fun for one fan can also be different, which leads to a lot of episodes that may not want to be tackled by anybody that's not a hardcore mario fan

progress and good design make up a good mario level, and it is understandably difficult to master that, which leads to the issue we're having here

i would subjectively say we need more episodes that are fun to play and a good time overall, rather than something overly ambitious and too tough to chew, or something that's a rehash of mario 3 with nothing done differently

i can give examples of what i'm talking about but i'm not really going to start trying to offend people, the key point is "make levels that are fun, engaging, and keep the player's interest." that's what makes a good mario episode, and we could use some more like that

also self-advertising mario mania tries to do these things
The player can choose if he wants to grind for things in my episode like A-Coins , Stamps , Stars , Power-Ups, Throphys or coins.
My episode will have 2 routes , the normal one where you can beat the world one by one without exploring the extra content or so to say levels in them or he can explore them , play them , collect throphys and other stuff.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:47 pm
by Waddle
This thread doesn't have any actual insightful discussion and is just turning into a page to advertise your AMAZING PERFECT PROJECT which does everything well, so I'll lock this for now.




ALSO SUPER MARIO TIME BROS X5 HAS SWITCH PUZZLES WHICH REQUIRE YOU TO GRIND

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:00 pm
by Zeldamaster12
This thread doesn't technically break any forum rules, so I'm going to unlock this.

As Waddle Derp said, however, don't use this thread to promote your episode.

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:20 pm
by Rhosty
Well, I really think some of the more recent episodes are just carbon copies of the older, original ones. I'm sure there are still gimmicks that nobody has tried yet in their episodes and levels, and I bet people are getting tired of the same "Rescue the kidnapped Princess from Bowser" and "Run right for no actual reason to complete the level".

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:57 pm
by dragonfan96
What if the "Worlds" were like a Mix Of how ToB & Kirby's Adventure where what you did was go door to door into levels in a given "world"(room) in no particular order,and have Enough "Stars" for an Exit and other doors containing optional Stuff like Item Shops/Casino Levels for 1-ups and Puzzles for Secret Stars (similar style to that of Enigmatic World Kind of Puzzle) Just like how in KA there was doors that had Minigames for 1-ups and a Simple Boss Arena or Museum that contained Copy Abilities, In each Zone,

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:15 am
by NightKawata
practicalshorty014 wrote:Well, I really think some of the more recent episodes are just carbon copies of the older, original ones. I'm sure there are still gimmicks that nobody has tried yet in their episodes and levels, and I bet people are getting tired of the same "Rescue the kidnapped Princess from Bowser" and "Run right for no actual reason to complete the level".
i mean yeah sonic advance 2 style level design works for sonic but i dunno about mario :p

a lot of episodes do tend to either follow mario too too closely or completely stray away from it without catching a consumer's interest

for example, the one Pause level that was recently posted, while it certainly isn't exactly mario, it's still unique and mechanically fun to play, if not torture, but still fun (don't we all love stockholm syndrome?)

and while i'm not saying we should all reinvent mario, doing things that are fun or knowing what works and what doesn't is pertinent to success

Re: We need more unique episodes.

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:27 pm
by TDK
I never made an episode so I can't really complain.

However one thing I've noticed is how most episode always have the same 8 worlds + 1 secret world structure.