Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

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Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Teemster2 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm

I have been watching videos and looking at screen shots of every new level posted in this forum and even of the episodes that are being created and I noticed some things. Maybe I am wrong but I wanted to get some opinions on this. It seems like almost all of the new levels are world 1 levels or levels where you just run from point "A" to point "B" with a spam of enemies and power ups in between. I rarely ever see layers or moving objects used. Maybe I need to play more of the levels? I also noticed a lot of the episodes feel like the same old thing or are continuations or remakes of older episodes or games. Where is all of the creativity, imagination or cool levels? The only thing I really see change is the graphics. Every thing else seems to be the same for more than 90% of all levels posted and it gets boring.

Mario Maker has so many different levels that you have a great variety. SMBX feels like the same old thing. Collect stars or run through an easy maze of graphics dodging enemies until you get to the end. Is it that hard to add layers or events or moving objects such as the ones in SMB1 etc? That was just an example but really I want to see people get creative. Also it seems like most story lines are about peach getting kidnapped or bowser trying to get revenge or take over. Does anyone else see what I am seeing or am I the only one?

I am not trying to be rude or put down anybody's episode. I plan to make one after beta4 comes out (My old one was abandoned do to game crashes and bugs) and I want to give people something they will remember and not just something they will play once and then forget about it forever. I would think most people that create an episode or a bunch of levels would try for the same goal. Maybe the problem with most people is that they run out of ideas or experience burnout or they just are not good with layers and events. I must have looked at screen shots for more than 100 levels in the last few days between episodes and level collections and did not see a single one with any moving object besides flying enemies. Maybe it's just the screen shots or just me and I should go play some of these levels but i'm not really motivated to play a level just because the graphics look nice. The graphics are a big thing for me but there also needs to be more than that.

Also when you create an episode do you plan everything about before you start it or do you just make stuff up as you go along? I find it better for myself to have everything planned out ahead of time so I know what I am going to do and I have a lot of ideas but which is better? Doing it as you go or planning it out first?

I will stop rambling on and I hope nobody thinks this is a personal attack when it is not. What is everyone's thoughts on this?
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Ditchencat » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:19 pm

There still are quite a few good and creative levels out there in the community. Sadly though, the most ive seen in one place is with contest episodes where people usually give it their all.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
It seems like almost all of the new levels are world 1 levels or levels where you just run from point "A" to point "B" with a spam of enemies and power ups in between.

Yeah. Those are called "Romp" levels or something to that effect. I mean I guess it's fun to just sit down and play a level that is just solid Mario with no tricks or gimmicks, but the "spam of enemies" part really shines here. As in, it usually detracts from the level. There's a big difference to having to watch out for a spiny (with cliffturn) on a platform rather than jumping over or around a line of them on flat ground. One situation makes you slow down and think before you leap, while the other sorta just is... there with no lasting effect on you. So I can see where you're getting at there.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Mario Maker

Its that name again...

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
has so many different levels that you have a great variety. SMBX feels like the same old thing. Collect stars or run through an easy maze of graphics dodging enemies until you get to the end. Is it that hard to add layers or events or moving objects such as the ones in SMB1 etc? That was just an example but really I want to see people get creative. Also it seems like most story lines are about peach getting kidnapped or bowser trying to get revenge or take over. Does anyone else see what I am seeing or am I the only one?

Now no community is perfect. Especially Mario Maker. Auto levels and music levels still hold strong. Right next to the Super Expert and Expert levels with next to 0 clear rate due to the publisher having a field day with the Koopers or a Japanese glitch level with a timer shorter than. At least here, some effort shows with a basic grassland romp level. I am kind of sick of seeing yet another Bowser plot line though. I guess since it's a Mario engine, we need the Mario Villain. Dunno.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Maybe it's just the screen shots or just me and I should go play some of these levels but i'm not really motivated to play a level just because the graphics look nice. The graphics are a big thing for me but there also needs to be more than that.

Ever heard the term, "Never judge a book by it's cover?". I'm sure some of those level's you've only seen screenshots of could be pretty fun. You'll never know until you see for yourself. Trust me, it's not always the easiest to put your entire gimmick of a level in one condensed screenshot. Sometimes you don't even want to! Where's the surprise in that?

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Also when you create an episode do you plan everything about before you start it or do you just make stuff up as you go along? I find it better for myself to have everything planned out ahead of time so I know what I am going to do and I have a lot of ideas but which is better? Doing it as you go or planning it out first?

I end up diving in head first. Never the best choice, but spontaneous ideas happen when I do and it's best to capture them and use em for later. (If they don't help the project at hand.)

Whew that's a lot of text.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Electriking » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:53 am

So moving stuff = creativity?

OK then.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Teemster2 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:02 am

Electriking wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:53 am
So moving stuff = creativity?

OK then.
I never said moving objects makes creativity but it can be used in a creative way. Having levels with more moving objects, layers and events makes the level more interesting. Seems like most people don't want to mess with this area or go the extra mile to make a level more interesting.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Eri7 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:03 am

You have to take in consideration that not everyone has enough experience to be a good developer that could apply his creativity on numerous things that would be high quality so don't expect people to be born with a talent on game development or learn it in short amount of time , it takes experience and practice and then the willingness to improve in order to understand level design/game design and then apply it on your own creations. I have to say that the Mario Maker community has more of these type of people in it because its more popular and its an official Nintendo game so yeah , don't expect a lot from casual fans.

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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Teemster2 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:09 am

Ditchencat wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:19 pm
There still are quite a few good and creative levels out there in the community. Sadly though, the most ive seen in one place is with contest episodes where people usually give it their all.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
It seems like almost all of the new levels are world 1 levels or levels where you just run from point "A" to point "B" with a spam of enemies and power ups in between.

Yeah. Those are called "Romp" levels or something to that effect. I mean I guess it's fun to just sit down and play a level that is just solid Mario with no tricks or gimmicks, but the "spam of enemies" part really shines here. As in, it usually detracts from the level. There's a big difference to having to watch out for a spiny (with cliffturn) on a platform rather than jumping over or around a line of them on flat ground. One situation makes you slow down and think before you leap, while the other sorta just is... there with no lasting effect on you. So I can see where you're getting at there.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Mario Maker

Its that name again...

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
has so many different levels that you have a great variety. SMBX feels like the same old thing. Collect stars or run through an easy maze of graphics dodging enemies until you get to the end. Is it that hard to add layers or events or moving objects such as the ones in SMB1 etc? That was just an example but really I want to see people get creative. Also it seems like most story lines are about peach getting kidnapped or bowser trying to get revenge or take over. Does anyone else see what I am seeing or am I the only one?

Now no community is perfect. Especially Mario Maker. Auto levels and music levels still hold strong. Right next to the Super Expert and Expert levels with next to 0 clear rate due to the publisher having a field day with the Koopers or a Japanese glitch level with a timer shorter than. At least here, some effort shows with a basic grassland romp level. I am kind of sick of seeing yet another Bowser plot line though. I guess since it's a Mario engine, we need the Mario Villain. Dunno.

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Maybe it's just the screen shots or just me and I should go play some of these levels but i'm not really motivated to play a level just because the graphics look nice. The graphics are a big thing for me but there also needs to be more than that.

Ever heard the term, "Never judge a book by it's cover?". I'm sure some of those level's you've only seen screenshots of could be pretty fun. You'll never know until you see for yourself. Trust me, it's not always the easiest to put your entire gimmick of a level in one condensed screenshot. Sometimes you don't even want to! Where's the surprise in that?

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:54 pm
Also when you create an episode do you plan everything about before you start it or do you just make stuff up as you go along? I find it better for myself to have everything planned out ahead of time so I know what I am going to do and I have a lot of ideas but which is better? Doing it as you go or planning it out first?

I end up diving in head first. Never the best choice, but spontaneous ideas happen when I do and it's best to capture them and use em for later. (If they don't help the project at hand.)

Whew that's a lot of text.
You make some very good points with a well thought out and serious response. Thanks for that. Romp levels can be nice to play sometimes but it seems like they are spammed to death. If I was to make a lot of romp levels I would want to add stuff to make them less of a romp level and more unique or different. Being more creative with layers, events and moving objects is one way to do this. When Beta4 comes out then we could use line guides, mutant vines and new stuff etc to accomplish this to. Just moving from the left to the right for 2 minutes while dodging koopa's and goomba's gets old after awhile and for me comes off as lack of ideas on the creators part.

I understand you can't get much from a screen shot but I watch videos too and I don't see a lot of levels that go that extra mile to stand out unless it's with graphics.

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Eri7 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:03 am
You have to take in consideration that not everyone has enough experience to be a good developer that could apply his creativity on numerous things that would be high quality so don't expect people to be born with a talent on game development or learn it in short amount of time , it takes experience and practice and then the willingness to improve in order to understand level design/game design and then apply it on your own creations. I have to say that the Mario Maker community has more of these type of people in it because its more popular and its an official Nintendo game so yeah , don't expect a lot from casual fans.
Good point. I noticed the community has a lot of inexperienced designers. Myself included. However with everything I love to do (Fishing, Gardening etc) I always take the time learn everything I can to improve my skills. I have seen members post threads that try to help people become better designers. Maybe the community just needs to grow a bit more and people need to try new things and maybe then we will get less rompy levels which seem to be a lot of what is created right now.

Thanks for the response. Your input is appreciated.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Enjl » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:25 am

The minority of people here actually delves into Game Design-related topics outside of their time using the editor, so it's only natural that most levels are bland and uninspired.
Ditchencat wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:19 pm
Now no community is perfect. Especially Mario Maker. Auto levels and music levels still hold strong. Right next to the Super Expert and Expert levels with next to 0 clear rate due to the publisher having a field day with the Koopers or a Japanese glitch level with a timer shorter than. At least here, some effort shows with a basic grassland romp level.
What you bring up only further solidifies Teemster's point: There is variety. If people like music levels in Mario Maker, they have something to play. If people love watching a well-executed auto level, they will look for it in Mario Maker. If people love stupidly unfair levels or troll levels (which I for one really do), they have something they can play in Mario Maker. There will always be badly executed ideas, but no idea in itself is bad. The variety in Mario Maker's submissions vastly outweighs the variety in SMBX's submissions, and I think this is because Mario Maker is the better game. It's effortlessly easy to make fun contraptions by stacking enemies or lining stuff up, while in SMBX there is nothing that really interacts with the environment unless you program it yourself from scratch. Variety is far more accessible.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby xDestroy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:45 pm

You obviously have not met the world of LunaLua. which can change a multitude of levels with different code.
And also, who do you think you are thinking you can walk into our community and complain about how we are not creative enough and our levels are not good enough. We don't need your opinion because SMBX creativity and level design has been improving constantly and if you look at a fantastic level even a year ago compared to an average one now, the average one would be better. Also, layers and events which cause moving tiles to move in different directions are still being used by people to create a fun gimmick to the level, (EX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfpYIRtJh9E), or make a fun little side gimmick to a section of the level (EX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGP682ZIVk4&t=65s). You should play the levels first before reviewing on how creative the level is, as some things may not be shown on the screenshots.

And if you think Mario Maker is better then SMBX, just think of one word, slopes.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Enjl » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:52 pm

xDestroy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:45 pm
And if you think Mario Maker is better then SMBX, just think of one word, slopes.
Lol. As if slopes are more important than stuff like NPCs hitting note blocks, anything being able to have wings with unique properties or being able to carry a key that you don't have to carry, or bombs hitting more than 1 block which cannot be destroyed by a regular bonk or spinjump.
xDestroy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:45 pm
SMBX creativity and level design has been improving constantly and if you look at a fantastic level even a year ago compared to an average one now, the average one would be better
So... Any average level today is better than He's Back? Today's average design is barely better than it was 3 years ago. There are just slightly more people who make stuff that stands out a bit. They don't release stuff often though, so on a day to day basis you're still met with samey screenshots.
This level seems to be stuck in 2014. There are sooo many cool things that could've been done with the ladders in moment to moment gameplay, but they're mostly used as bridging segment between rompy gameplay. The up/down nature of the ladders is only touched upon near the end of the level. There's a lot of untapped potential with the idea which is the kind of untapped potential that Teemster and I both would like to see more of.
Grand Chemo 666 was designed to be satire or the average 2014 "good" level.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby xDestroy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:22 pm

I was trying to help.....
no

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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Teemster2 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:34 pm

xDestroy wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:45 pm
You obviously have not met the world of LunaLua. which can change a multitude of levels with different code.
And also, who do you think you are thinking you can walk into our community and complain about how we are not creative enough and our levels are not good enough. We don't need your opinion because SMBX creativity and level design has been improving constantly and if you look at a fantastic level even a year ago compared to an average one now, the average one would be better. Also, layers and events which cause moving tiles to move in different directions are still being used by people to create a fun gimmick to the level, (EX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfpYIRtJh9E), or make a fun little side gimmick to a section of the level (EX. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGP682ZIVk4&t=65s). You should play the levels first before reviewing on how creative the level is, as some things may not be shown on the screenshots.

And if you think Mario Maker is better then SMBX, just think of one word, slopes.
I watched the video of the level with ladders and I thought it was pretty cool. I would have liked to see more done with the ladders but yeah it was a nice level. To be honest, I don't know if my designer skills are good enough to create what I see for a level but I can certainly make more with moving objects then what most people do.

Also everyone is telling me not to judge levels by their screenshots. So how about this? I take screenshots for 100 levels recently posted in the level/episode forums and put them here and you tell me if they are rompy or not? I am not actually going to do that because based off the screens you will probably agree with me and I stated I did watch videos too. I have seen many videos including levels in 38A and I have not seen any moving objects to be honest with you in anything I have watched in the last 2 months (Unless I forgot one and I don't really watch speed runs) and I check every newly posted level to see if I want to download it. Maybe there is a few levels with screens that actually have moving objects and I need to stop judging a book by it's cover but my point still stands. I see numerous episodes that don't get past the first 2 worlds and look world 1ish with rompy levels only to be cancelled and I see numerous levels posted that just change up the graphics but do the same old thing. I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts were.

I do respect your opinion and thank you for responding. I honestly meant no offence with this. My thoughts were people could read and learn from this.

I saw a level in Mario Maker where you are riding on a block and there is another block ahead of you moving forward. On the front block is an npc that throws stuff at you forcing you to dodge stuff while moving around. Even SMB1 had moving shafts you had to jump on or sit on while they moved. Why is it so hard to do stuff like this in SMBX?
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Electriking » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:42 pm

You do know that there are ways of being creative that don't involve moving stuff.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Enjl » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:32 pm

Moving layers are just about as important to variety as slopes are (e.g. barely ever, since they create a different kind of staleness where everyone uses them in the same way).
Remembering slopes I actually recall one level which uses them in an interesting way, though it's quite similar to the mario maker bill launcher clip glitch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XccUa7AMJhE
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Teemster2 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:01 pm

Enjl wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:32 pm
Moving layers are just about as important to variety as slopes are (e.g. barely ever, since they create a different kind of staleness where everyone uses them in the same way).
Remembering slopes I actually recall one level which uses them in an interesting way, though it's quite similar to the mario maker bill launcher clip glitch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XccUa7AMJhE
It was interesting in the way the slopes were used and something I have not seen before. Talk about being creative.

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Electriking wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:42 pm
You do know that there are ways of being creative that don't involve moving stuff.
So I am curious what do you or anyone else here consider a creative level? Nobody wants to talk about moving objects and points out you don't need them to be creative and that tells me the majority of people are still stuck on romp levels. I think that is just what everyone in the smbx community likes to play. No offense intended. Just asking what everyone finds creative?
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Enjl » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:23 am

Teemster2 wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:06 pm
So I am curious what do you or anyone else here consider a creative level?
Every tool in our arsenal cooould technically be used creatively. The important part is using that thing in various ways so that every setup of a level is meaningful in its own way (as in, every challenge presented on any new screen).
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Ditchencat » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:45 am

Enjl wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:25 am
There will always be badly executed ideas, but no idea in itself is bad.
Now stare at a level where the creator seriously just spammed a stairway of coin, a few hundred mushrooms, and added a 300 second timer and tell me that wasn't a bad idea.

I can see what you mean by there being a lot of easy to access variety in Mario Maker and how some people enjoy playing the aforementioned levels, but come on here you can only take so much of a level where you don't do anything to win or a level that plays only music before you want even a slight challenge. Might I even add, some auto/music levels aren't even well executed and just add to the over saturation. So what now? A good chunk of the creators will spend their time on a level format that just gets them stars and you can be hard pressed to find a level with time and effort put into it that isn't kaizo. My point was that every community has their faults, not that the formats themselves are horrendously flawed and shouldn't exist. I just feel that the community there is at an imbalance as much as us.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Enjl » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:21 am

Ditchencat wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:45 am
I can see what you mean by there being a lot of easy to access variety in Mario Maker and how some people enjoy playing the aforementioned levels, but come on here you can only take so much of a level where you don't do anything to win or a level that plays only music before you want even a slight challenge. Might I even add, some auto/music levels aren't even well executed and just add to the over saturation. So what now? A good chunk of the creators will spend their time on a level format that just gets them stars and you can be hard pressed to find a level with time and effort put into it that isn't kaizo. My point was that every community has their faults, not that the formats themselves are horrendously flawed and shouldn't exist. I just feel that the community there is at an imbalance as much as us.
Just because you don't like auto levels or music levels doesn't mean that they're a bad thing. I like music and auto levels because they're fun to watch/listen to. They're their own kind of art and don't need to be challenging. There are challenging music levels, though, if that's something you're more into.
Furthermore:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 3S4TX4tELD
If you're starving for some quality content, check out some of the levels in this playlist. They're jam-packed with creativity and are in a lot of different genres and showcase the high end of Mario Maker design.
I'm not here to dispute the fact that the range of QUALITY in levels in a community is vast. Higher quality will always lead to less similarity, but it can be very hard for people to get there. There's this point where things click at which a rapid growth in a person's level's quality is noticable (usually when they notice "Hey! Why DON'T I carefully consider the placement of absolutely everything?").

So I wanna talk about genres a bit more:
Auto and Music levels are just a few kinds of level styles you might find in Mario Maker. Puzzle levels, Speedrun levels, Story level, boss gauntlets and troll levels (yes they can be well-executed) are also super fun to play and offer something different to the standard platforming challenge.
I'm also not saying that there aren't HINTS of these genres in our community. Off the top of my head I can name these levels:
Story Level
One-screen puzzles
More one-screen puzzles
So we have like... one person making puzzle levels in his episode, and a handful of other people dipping into the other genres. I would like to see that statistic rise. As well as the one for overall design quality.
It's difficult though, because vanilla SMBX gives designers little to work with in order to create such variety, and Beta 4 will only somewhat improve that in certain aspects, because a full overhaul of the underlying structure would be necessary to create something future-proofed that encourages creativity.
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Re: Is it just me or are most of the new created levels the same thing?

Postby Electriking » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:27 am

Ceave Gaming is also a good source for Mario Maker stuff.
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