Should clips be removed from SMBX?

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Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Eclipsed » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:38 pm

Due to the number of posts about it in the level forum where this topic was brought up I think it would be good to address it here.

There has been a current discussion to remove all wall clips from lvlx files in future versions of smbx.
What is proposed is a .lvlx files without clips and ones that enable support for clips in .lvl files in future versions.

I would like to bring to light some of the arguments being used and responses and questions about them. There are valid arguments on both sides that I think should be discussed.
Will this be implemented in Beta 4? How do I think the arguments about this hold up?
Enjl wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:28 pm
One of the main arguments being used is that as designers people have to consider work-arounds to them.
However, this argument is really flawed and here's some points why

The crouch clip is the only clip that is necessary to actively design around, and even then it's not that much of hassle to work around or hampers design too significantly in my opinion.

In fact the majority of zips only happen if the player decides to execute them and virtually almost never happens accidentally.
Spoiler: show
Floor and Ceiling Clips have tight 1-4 frame windows
Tanooki Statue Clip are luck or you have to intentionally look in the editor for determine if the layout allows you to do so.
Key Clips require a fair amount of precision
NPC Block Top Clips ask you to align yourself near a wall.
Here, most likely around 99.5%, if accounted for lurkers, of the people who play SMBX would never attempt these clips. Moreover, people who want to clip through levels are more likely than not to already have played them, since it usually implies they enjoyed the level enough to attempt to speedrun it. Moreover, people require the necessary motor skills to perform such clips.

Essentially, designing to prevent zips besides the crouch clip is a non-issue that only addresses a minority of a minority of a minority of the SMBX player base, who have also decided they enjoyed the level enough to do something cool around it. In fact, it's not necessary to remove all possible zips from episodes since it's honestly an over-concern via a product of forum mindset. To add onto this, people who want to clip through levels to find the most efficient way to deal with them will use prior compatible versions to clip through levels unintended anyways so it defeats the purpose of patching it. In fact, this has the reverse effect of increasing the likelihood of people zipping through levels due to not blocking off the crouch clip in levels compatible with prior versions. For example, in Mario Odyssey after numerous patches, runners stayed on version 1.0 until daylight skip was added in 1.3. One of the goals of this patch is really minuscule and doesn't remove what it tries to address, so it would be better to spend development times on other aspects of the engine or episodes.

An example of the argument for keeping the zip is made by 55jedat555 about the removal lowering design potential.
55jedat555 wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:49 pm
A case around this is that removing it is more of a trade-off in level design. I personally believe the trade off contributes far less than what removing zips removes from level design. I'm of this opinion since it's really rare that allowing slides into one block gaps in mario editors is executed well.

I'm fine with three outcomes in order of most to least preferred:
1. A true toggle on/off system
2. Legacy System or Maintain All Clips

Also Case 2: Should the glitch used in MrCaves level be removed from SMBX?
This level uses a glitch where if you're within a player block and bounce on an enemy you clip downwards to the next empty space.
I believe this one should be removed since it's easy to replicate with code, and occurs way too frequently when using character blocks.
Last edited by Eclipsed on Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:14 am

I mean, quite a few episodes use clips such as Super Talking Time Brothers, Mario Classic, and some of the Valtteri Island episodes. I know some of my Kaizo levels even use the clips in question.

Edit:
Also Case 2: Should the glitch used in MrCaves level be removed from SMBX?
This level uses a glitch where if you're within a player block and bounce on an enemy you clip downwards to the next empty space.
I believe this one should be removed since it's easy to replicate with code, and occurs way too frequently when using character blocks.
I mean, that glitch was used in Icy Mix II, No Hiding in Bullet Heaven, and another Kaizo level I made for a contest.

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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Natsu » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:24 am

Whenever a game is still being worked on, wether the torch has been passed or it's still being worked on by the original dev, bugs are fated to be fixed as they are not intentional. I personally think it's fine to thrive on them, but if you ask me the sooner these get fixed the better simply because they get in the way whenever someone works on a project that doesn't want to rely on such tricks. To clip through blocks is to make the player behave in a specific way that is wrong, and depending on the level layout when not taken into consideration can lead to softlocks or death.

Or TL;DR because that's not how the Merios behave in official games.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby zioy » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:25 am

If a coding solution to fixing clip glitches was implemented I doubt it would have a MASSIVE impact, but I’ve always liked the slight jankiness of SMBX. Being able to turn clipping on and off in the editor would be a pretty cool feature honestly, even though it sounds dumb.

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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:27 am

zioy wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:25 am
If a coding solution to fixing clip glitches was implemented I doubt it would have a MASSIVE impact, but I’ve always liked the slight jankiness of SMBX. Being able to turn clipping on and off in the editor would be a pretty cool feature honestly, even though it sounds dumb.
Honestly, I believe that would be the most ideal solution considering very few people use them, but there are levels that require them.

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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Eclipsed » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:30 am

zioy wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:25 am
If a coding solution to fixing clip glitches was implemented I doubt it would have a MASSIVE impact, but I’ve always liked the slight jankiness of SMBX. Being able to turn clipping on and off in the editor would be a pretty cool feature honestly, even though it sounds dumb.
Honestly, a system like this perfectly addresses both sides of the change. In essence having the option to enable or disable them allows for more design options then just choosing one over the other.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby 55jedat555 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:53 am

I think the concern with clips comes from the fact that a lot of people don't know about them (even the basic crouch clip, despite it making many appearances in various levels/episodes), hence why I support Eclipsed's one-minute tech videos and think that more people should see them. The idea of entirely removing zips (even if that's not actually an option in this situation) just feels like taking away possibilities from more experienced players in favour of the portion of the userbase which is completely unaware of their existence and thus doesn't account for them when designing.
On a side note, assuming that the "clip patch" will be a thing in the future, I'm curious as to how different clips/situations would be handled by it.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby DrMekar » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:25 am

I have to say for myself that I usually don't mind either side of Crouchclips. Aside from the fact that there, like stated rarely happen by Accident, there defenitly fun to watch. NPCs Clips on the other side should be removed in my opnion. Especially in connection to SMB2 Mushroom Blocks or SMB3 Airship Tiles (including the Rocket Plattform especially in concern of Megamans Tanooki Ability) there are mostly just annoying.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Eclipsed » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:20 am

DrMekar wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:25 am
I have to say for myself that I usually don't mind either side of Crouchclips. Aside from the fact that there, like stated rarely happen by Accident, there defenitly fun to watch. NPCs Clips on the other side should be removed in my opnion. Especially in connection to SMB2 Mushroom Blocks or SMB3 Airship Tiles (including the Rocket Plattform especially in concern of Megamans Tanooki Ability) there are mostly just annoying.
The powerups of Megaman are slated to be changed in the future. And I agree the SMB2 Mushroom Blocks are just mostly annoying, and it has use cases, but I think that one when you clip downwards with the mushroom block, specifically is really awkward to deal with. It'd be cool if there where mushroom blocks added you could only stand on but pass through the sides and bottom of.

Added in 11 minutes 14 seconds:
55jedat555 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:53 am
just feels like taking away possibilities from more experienced players in favour of the portion of the userbase which is completely unaware of their existence and thus doesn't account for them when designing.
On a side note, assuming that the "clip patch" will be a thing in the future, I'm curious as to how different clips/situations would be handled by it.
In essence that just becomes an added minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of the SMBX player base
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby DrMekar » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:43 pm

Eclipsed wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:31 am
DrMekar wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:25 am
I have to say for myself that I usually don't mind either side of Crouchclips. Aside from the fact that there, like stated rarely happen by Accident, there defenitly fun to watch. NPCs Clips on the other side should be removed in my opnion. Especially in connection to SMB2 Mushroom Blocks or SMB3 Airship Tiles (including the Rocket Plattform especially in concern of Megamans Tanooki Ability) there are mostly just annoying.
The powerups of Megaman are slated to be changed in the future. And I agree the SMB2 Mushroom Blocks are just mostly annoying, and it has use cases, but I think that one when you clip downwards with the mushroom block, specifically is really awkward to deal with. It'd be cool if there where mushroom blocks added you could only stand on but pass through the sides and bottom of.

Added in 11 minutes 14 seconds:
55jedat555 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:53 am
just feels like taking away possibilities from more experienced players in favour of the portion of the userbase which is completely unaware of their existence and thus doesn't account for them when designing.
On a side note, assuming that the "clip patch" will be a thing in the future, I'm curious as to how different clips/situations would be handled by it.
In essence that just becomes an added minority of a minority of a minority of a minority of the SMBX player base
Okay, then. That's a relief. The idea with the Mushroom Blocks is Good, as long as the old ones stay, because they can still make a blockade for instance to move away while dodging Enemies or somethink.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Reign » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:26 am

I'm not sure if it's considered clipping, but in my opinion, if the player is carrying an npc, walks next to a block and releases the npc inside this block, the npc should always get destroyed instead of illogically teleporting nearby. The shells for example already get destroyed in this case, but mushroom blocks and keys do not.

Actually a better solution would be, if the player's hitbox grew when carrying an item. This way you could not even position the carryable npc inside a block.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Enjl » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:34 am

I agree with what Reign says, although I would make it so that non-hostile items and shells are forced back out of the wall like in Super Mario World. In SMBX, every time I try to position a spring or a shell, I have to be overly cautious of the death barrier that is the wall. In my wip episode I made it so that springs/keys/switches can respawn even when onscreen, to prevent players from softlocking themselves by dropping it next to a wall, forcing it to fall through the floor. That's super silly.
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For the claim that zipping is hard to do, and rarely happens accidentally, here are a few items that are very limited or borderline invalidated by zips as the anti-stuck code. For all of them designers have to essentially engrave into their minds to never put them anywhere near a wall, which is pretty limiting. Especially for the skull raft, which always needs some sort of safe container or pit to fall into into which the player cannot follow:
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Eclipsed » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:27 pm

Enjl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:34 am
I agree with what Reign says, although I would make it so that non-hostile items and shells are forced back out of the wall like in Super Mario World. In SMBX, every time I try to position a spring or a shell, I have to be overly cautious of the death barrier that is the wall. In my wip episode I made it so that springs/keys/switches can respawn even when onscreen, to prevent players from softlocking themselves by dropping it next to a wall, forcing it to fall through the floor. That's super silly.
Agreement with the fact that items feel like they should be outputted out of the wall.
Enjl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:34 am
For the claim that zipping is hard to do, and rarely happens accidentally, here are a few items that are very limited or borderline invalidated by zips as the anti-stuck code. For all of them designers have to essentially engrave into their minds to never put them anywhere near a wall, which is pretty limiting. Especially for the skull raft, which always needs some sort of safe container or pit to fall into into which the player cannot follow:
Out of those items, only the conveyor belt or the skull has problems with designing around walls, and I agree those should be dealt with. In half the episodes on the forum, I've seen some where those are issues that occur. Most of the time with moving platforms, there are very few cases where accidental zips happen due to it naturally being used in layouts. Usually when these are used they introduce a jump a good while before a wall. There has not been a single case in half of the episode on the forums that zipping is caused accidentally between those. So episodes made by people that don't know about these zips don't have these issues.

Based on the forum thread, the conclusion so far is that not all zips inherently hinder design or are caused by accident, not all zips inherently benefit design or are caused are purpose. Removing them entirely is not the solution, it's better to evaluate each on a case by case basis then picking a few and deciding to remove them entirely. However due to the logistics of isolating each one, most people here are advocating for an on/off toggle instead of a complete removal. It's better to have more customization then to remove one or the other.

Here's the actual question that should be considered: Why do you think a legacy system is better than utilizing an on/off toggle? Is it due to limitations, easier to implement etc.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Enjl » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:50 pm

You're putting words in my mouth I think. I don't recall ever ruling out the possibility of having both legacy and on/off at the same time, outside of my lack of knowledge about whether either would even be possible. The legacy system, to my knowledge, would be less of a hassle to make.

In either case I'm not the one making the decisions, I just have opinions as well, and my opinion is that zips are a broken mess and hinder design across the board when looking at the 99% who aren't trying their hardest to break the engine's underlying systems. An on/off toggle, in my opinion, would bring about the mario multiverse problem where it's impossible to tell at any given moment how the game behaves. "How was I supposed to know the path forward is through this unmarked wall with an inconspicuous math platform beside it?" Next level: "I'll try that thing from last level...." 2 hours later, no success.

There was a minor outrage from like 0.1% of the smm community after stuff like stacked pipes and wall-walking was patched for the sake of the 99.9%. If you enjoy the brokenness of unmodified redigit code, more power to you. 1.3 is available. But I personally would be thrilled to see this engine actually get more robust as time goes on.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Eclipsed » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:59 pm

Enjl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:50 pm
You're putting words in my mouth I think. I don't recall ever ruling out the possibility of having both legacy and on/off at the same time, outside of my lack of knowledge about whether either would even be possible. The legacy system, to my knowledge, would be less of a hassle to make.
Sorry about that, I should have phrased what I said more properly. It's a perfectly valid reason if that's the thing that causes it since no one has all the time in the world.
Enjl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:50 pm
In either case I'm not the one making the decisions, I just have opinions as well, and my opinion is that zips are a broken mess and hinder design across the board when looking at the 99% who aren't trying their hardest to break the engine's underlying systems. An on/off toggle, in my opinion, would bring about the mario multiverse problem where it's impossible to tell at any given moment how the game behaves. "How was I supposed to know the path forward is through this unmarked wall with an inconspicuous math platform beside it?" Next level: "I'll try that thing from last level...." 2 hours later, no success.
Mario Multiverse actually does not have that problem. Before a level begins it displays symbols and corresponding animations/actions that indicate how the game behaves, so it includes a similar solution to what SMBX could implement to this perceived problem.
Enjl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:50 pm
There was a minor outrage from like 0.1% of the smm community after stuff like stacked pipes and wall-walking was patched for the sake of the 99.9%. If you enjoy the brokenness of unmodified redigit code, more power to you. 1.3 is available. But I personally would be thrilled to see this engine actually get more robust as time goes on.
Truthfully, what would benefit myself would be clips being removed entirely, including no legacy, due to the fact that my consistency rate with the statue clip is really low. In essence, I'm just advocating for what I see a greater benefit in helping those are both sides of the topic.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Animebryan » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:39 pm

I don't really care about most of the less common clipping tricks/glitches, but as long as you leave the crouch zip alone I'm fine with it. I honestly don't think the crouch zip is a bug, but rather a reference to the wall zip from SMB1 which you can do to either climb to the top of an underground brick wall or the infamous wall zip that gets you into -1. I'm working on a level right now that uses it to get into a secluded area with a switch block to solve a puzzle. Its a very intuitive trick as long as you hint at it in your levels/episodes.

As for it happening by accident, just make sure you don't leave 1 block gaps near your walls, its not that hard really.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Natsu » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:23 pm

I can't understand how you people are fine with this being a thing. If you must have it, an on/off toggle option could be useful so long as Enjl's concerns are addressed. But the question then becomes if it is easy or even possible to implement something like what you refer to Eclipsed. Either way, this sounds like a hassle that in my opinion is not worth going through with for the sake of the minority.
Animebryan wrote:As for it happening by accident, just make sure you don't leave 1 block gaps near your walls, its not that hard really.
It's not a matter of it being hard, it's just annoying to take something as bad-looking as that into consideration just because it is a thing. I love to have natural looking terrain on my levels, and having this cursed clip is a pain in the ass, which is especially noticeable when placing pipes.
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby 55jedat555 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:39 am

Is it really worth the effort to even take on the task of removing clipping altogether? I think the bigger problem here is that people aren't aware of their existence, because if one is aware it takes literally no effort to prevent them from happening, especially in less convoluded set-ups (if we're talking in terms of casual levels). Furthermore, there are ways to prevent it that are equally as simple and don't tamper the aesthetic feel of the level, if one is concerned about that (e.g. overlapping invisible insta-kill blocks with the walls, killing off platforms or skull rafts with an npc remover (requires ~3 lines of lua code) or detecting when a player is clipping through lua and either force them out of the wall or kill them). Items clipping into walls don't really have a whole lot of functionality to them, so generally speaking their removal wouldn't be too drastic, however patching that out would make other clips easier to perform (such as a solid item clipping the player through blocks when dropped onto him). And as Eclipsed stated in his original post, even if clips get patched, people who'd still want to abuse and use them would just keep using an outdated version for purposes of speedrunning etc.
In short, I will acknowledge that patching out clips would be a convenience to most of the userbase, but to me it just feels like supporting laziness and limiting design possibilities (most notably to more experienced players).
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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby cato » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:47 am

The problem is, it could be a level gimmick. Some level in the Kaizo X contest commonly used multiple glitches.
Another problem is, some poor level makers would make the player lose power-ups over a 1 by 1 gap.
Taking examples from New Super Mario Bros Ds, when you clip through the wall, it moves slower and in opposite direction than SMBX.
Taking another example from Mario Maker, you have to spam jumping and move right to move. The harshest example would be dropping down from a higher platform to a lower one, in a 1 by 1 "chimney", then go to the right with a 1 by 1 hallway. This would be impossible without clips since you don't enough space to create momentum for you to spam jump and right.
Besides, why take away what Redigit has given us?

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Re: Should clips be removed from SMBX?

Postby Natsu » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:01 pm

@55jedat555: So essentialy the majority of the userbase should accomodate to the minority. That's what your entire post boils down to. And since you asked a question, Yes, yes it's worth the effort to remove clips, fixing bugs should always be a priority when it comes to the development of any kind of software.
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