Level Design Tips

This is where we'll store the "best" topics that have ever existed on the forums, as well as community events that are no longer relevant. Read at your own risk.
Forum rules
Read at your own risk.
User avatar
Valtteri
Larry Koopa
Larry Koopa
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Level Design Tips

Postby Valtteri » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:41 am

1. If you're going to use custom graphics, make sure they look good and fit to the level.
2. Add enemies, pits, coins to make it a more fun experience and scenery and pipes and such to make it more lively.
3. Make sure everything fits together. It's best to use one theme per level.
4. Make sure the level is completeable. Pay attention to the difficulty, too. Nobody likes too hard levels. It's no fun without a little challenge either.
5. Remember to give the player power-ups.
6. Don't forget the start point. If you move it in the middle for testing purposes, remember to move it back to the beginning.
7. Use a Checkpoint for longer levels.
8. Horizontal warp pipes don't go in the middle but half a block down from the middle of the pipe end.
9. The original Mario games are a great source of inspiration.
10. Have fun making the level. That way the players will also enjoy the level.
Image

User avatar
Shadow Yoshi
Dark Knight
Dark Knight
Posts: 4302
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:56 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:32 am

(Note that you can add tips here too! ...right?)

11. There's no shame in using graphics from multiple games. Just make sure it looks good.
12. The level doesn't have to have a set "gimmick". There are plenty of ways to make a grassland level really fun.
13. Don't feel like you have to name your levels with alliteration (e.g. all the words start with the same letter). Sometimes, personally, I find that kinda tacky.
14. You can never have too many slopes in a cave level. Using just the straight blocks looks boring, most of the time.
15. It's cool to use different types of enemies in your level, but having 20 different enemies that only occur once is generally not a good idea.

User avatar
FanofSMBX
Bowser
Bowser
Posts: 3834
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FanofSMBX » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:45 am

16. Remember the multiple checkpoint tutorial by KILROCK? If you use a mandatory checkpoint-tag like Valtteri's Mini Hawkmouth (in the ultimate pack), it works perfectly! Why, you could recolor that to SMB3 or SMW and use it in longer levels, or even create a mandatory checkpoint style of your own!

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. If you do, put this in your signature.
My graphics pack!
Supporting forums:

Spoiler: show
SMBX Galaxy forum by Pivot40Channel
http://smbxgalaxy.prophpbb.com/
Come to the SMBX+ forums by illias3000. There is a whole forum category dedicated to the boss rush series with official rushes, submit bosses, and fan boss rushes! It is still open but AirSeus Forums is now open:
http://nsmbx.prophpbb.com/
AirSeus Forums the new home of the Boss Rush series:
http://smbxairseusforums.prophpbb.com/
Spoiler: show
First to discover:
Spark
Eerie
Grinder
Rainbow Shell
Birdo
Boom Boom
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
KINGBOWSER112 RULES!


User avatar
TLtimelord
Red Yoshi Egg
Red Yoshi Egg
Posts: 2588
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:16 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby TLtimelord » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:43 pm

17. Use color switches sparingly, and in ways that don't make the player backtrack. Don't use all four just to extend the length of your level.
18.Don't be afraid to use a wide variety of NPCs, but make sure to stick to the basic ones throughout the level.
19.Use scenery/BGO in a plentiful amount, but not in an over abundance, because it's likely you'll make your level lag. Same applies to sizable blocks.
20.Yoshi Coins shouldn't be a necessity; they're simply a way to get a 1-up, not a star.
In an age of darkness light appears
And it wards away the ancient fears
March to the anthem of the heart
To a brand new day, a brand new start

User avatar
FallingSnow
Ninji
Ninji
Posts: 822
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:32 am

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FallingSnow » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:04 pm

21. Levels do not have to be 10 minutes long to be good levels or enjoyable levels.

Personally, I'd say you want a maximum of 5/6 minutes for a level with a checkpoint in the middle. No one likes being forced to replay 8 minutes of gameplay when they die. So many people make their levels too long that they become not-fun after a while. This also becomes a problem when the level is hard (especially for people who want to let's play a game). Longer, easy levels are okay. Shorter, difficult levels are also okay.

User avatar
FanofSMBX
Bowser
Bowser
Posts: 3834
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FanofSMBX » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:53 pm

22. Sometimes it's better to just scrap one of those "wait 2 minutes for a bombomb to spawn so you can hit mother brain 1/10 times" bosses if you can't figure out a way to make it less tedious than doing the same thing 10 times for 20 minutes. These bosses can be cool but these bosses x10 usually AREN'T cool. Maybe just make 3 enemies or something?
23. If you're thinking "Hmm, a switch block barricade could make this level longer!" you're not thinking of good level design right.
24. Also, make switch blocks be solid and stop a gap, or be invisible and make stairs when you toggle them, as opposed to just a big tall wall.
25. This is more episode design, but please don't use "All Koopalings over Larry Koopa" as the bosses if you just put them in the exact same room for each boss. Put cannons, or conveyor belts, or Podoboos or something. A good example of good Larry Koopa varying design is Darkonius64's The Koopalings Are Back!.
26. Just because Chad rose to fame with Super Mario Star Expedition doesn't mean you have to take the graphics and structure from that episode. It's practically deja vu!

I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. If you do, put this in your signature.
My graphics pack!
Supporting forums:

Spoiler: show
SMBX Galaxy forum by Pivot40Channel
http://smbxgalaxy.prophpbb.com/
Come to the SMBX+ forums by illias3000. There is a whole forum category dedicated to the boss rush series with official rushes, submit bosses, and fan boss rushes! It is still open but AirSeus Forums is now open:
http://nsmbx.prophpbb.com/
AirSeus Forums the new home of the Boss Rush series:
http://smbxairseusforums.prophpbb.com/
Spoiler: show
First to discover:
Spark
Eerie
Grinder
Rainbow Shell
Birdo
Boom Boom
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
KINGBOWSER112 RULES!


User avatar
MarioWorker12
Spiny
Spiny
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:24 am

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby MarioWorker12 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:26 pm

27. It's better to make platforms generate if you have a platform ride in your level, so that if player falls down to the starting area again they won't have to restart the whole level.
28. If you use lava in a level, set the mushrooms' speed to 0 (I assume you all know how to use graphic codes). A mushroom falling into lava causes a runtime error.
29. Avoid making some areas too cramped in your levels, this makes dodging enemies harder, especially if you use paragoombas or paratroopas.
30. NEVER place a Piranha Plant on a warp pipe, just don't. Especially don't place Venus Fire Traps on warp pipes, this also causes a runtime error.
31. Not exactly a level design tip but don't use decimals in npc codes, this may cause a runtime error as well.
32. Making player carry keys or springboards around to get furter is always fun, but don't overuse this and avoid making people carry objects for long distances, that gets really frustrating.
33. If you are making a Subcon level, either make the enemies vulnerable to fireballs or don't use Fire Flowers as power-ups. Otherwise they'd be completely useless.

User avatar
Herobrine8219
Koopa Troopa
Koopa Troopa
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:05 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Herobrine8219 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:39 pm

I'd just like to point out, putting Piranha Plants or Venus Fire Traps on pipes does not cause runtime errors. Same thing with the mushrooms falling into lava. They don't caue runtime errors, either.

User avatar
Valtteri
Larry Koopa
Larry Koopa
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Valtteri » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:04 pm

Herobrine8219 wrote:I'd just like to point out, putting Piranha Plants or Venus Fire Traps on pipes does not cause runtime errors. Same thing with the mushrooms falling into lava. They don't caue runtime errors, either.
Why are you trying to trick people? Is this some kind of joke? Venus Fire Traps do cause a crash if the player enters a warp that's directly above/under the plant. Mushrooms and other power-ups don't always make the game crash when they touch lava but they do sometimes.
Image

User avatar
Shadow Yoshi
Dark Knight
Dark Knight
Posts: 4302
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:56 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:46 pm

Valtteri wrote:
Herobrine8219 wrote:I'd just like to point out, putting Piranha Plants or Venus Fire Traps on pipes does not cause runtime errors. Same thing with the mushrooms falling into lava. They don't caue runtime errors, either.
Why are you trying to trick people? Is this some kind of joke? Venus Fire Traps do cause a crash if the player enters a warp that's directly above/under the plant. Mushrooms and other power-ups don't always make the game crash when they touch lava but they do sometimes.
I don't get crashes with either of these.

User avatar
Magna DominXus
Mega Mole
Mega Mole
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:54 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Magna DominXus » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:47 pm

34. Effects have to have the same sprite as the npc.
35. Open levels are always great, but if that's all you do and can't figure out how else to make your level enjoyable without making it too open? Lots of slopes and varieties of blocks.
This is me on the forums.
I'm the ultamite mage!
Image
Image

Come join my drawing contest: http://www.supermariobrosx.org/forums/v ... =49&t=2525
Judging starts now, no more participants allowed to join from now on.

reghrhre
Koopa Shell
Koopa Shell
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:19 pm
Flair: Discord: Benkyo#3458

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby reghrhre » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:26 am

Joey wrote:
Valtteri wrote:
Herobrine8219 wrote:I'd just like to point out, putting Piranha Plants or Venus Fire Traps on pipes does not cause runtime errors. Same thing with the mushrooms falling into lava. They don't caue runtime errors, either.
Why are you trying to trick people? Is this some kind of joke? Venus Fire Traps do cause a crash if the player enters a warp that's directly above/under the plant. Mushrooms and other power-ups don't always make the game crash when they touch lava but they do sometimes.
I don't get crashes with either of these.
I'm pretty sure it only occurs when you play the level in game, I usually don't get an error when I play it in the editor, I guess it's random.

User avatar
Pseudo
Peach
Peach
Posts: 5542
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:04 am
Current Project: ???

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Pseudo » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:32 am

36. Don't mix styles that obviously clash, like SMB3 and SMW. However, some of them go pretty well together, like SMB1 & 2.
37. Link can't move springboards at all. Make sure he's disabled if you need to the player to use them.
38. Levels don't need custom graphics to have good level design. Remember, SMBX had already existed for a year when custom graphics were added.
Love and Tolerance FTW!!
previously Pseudo-dino but you probably guessed that yourself

come visit my YouTube channel, where I play games (including smbx)

"sterydy Behemoth expiable novae iconically night owl ticklish turbocharger bactrian riveting . Solidus quits frothy managua scrimper shadowy enthusiastically rearrangement curviness matronliness pinyin piroshki gradual hysterically locker room versed . Horrendous unicorn transnational parka lasso very forbiddingly laborsaving cochabamba hair-raising floozy philter transnational ."
- a spam account 2016

My Switch friend code: 1353 - 7698 - 1308 (add me!)

so... i'm actually a girl

User avatar
MarioWorker12
Spiny
Spiny
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:24 am

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby MarioWorker12 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:14 am

39. Save your levels (simply by Ctrl + S command) before using "Fill" command. You'll have to either delete all the blocks or remake the whole section if you don't, which's a huge waste of time.
40. There's a limit of 20000 blocks per level, so in bigger levels it's always better to use 64x64 or 128x128 blocks to fill in platforms. That way you can keep the amount of the blocks used in the level low, and it also helps to avoid lag.
41.

User avatar
Shadow Yoshi
Dark Knight
Dark Knight
Posts: 4302
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:56 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:08 am

Pseudo-dino wrote:36. Don't mix styles that obviously clash, like SMB3 and SMW. However, some of them go pretty well together, like SMB1 & 2.
Speaking generally, sure, but sometimes this gets into "SMB3 and SMW always clash forever", and that's not what the word "clash" means.

User avatar
FutureNyanCat2014
Lakitu
Lakitu
Posts: 416
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby FutureNyanCat2014 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:18 am

MarioWorker12, 41 is missing.

41. Boss battles should be fair. Attack patterns should not be hard to dodge.
42. If you are working on a fair episode, don't use levels of kaizo-intensive difficulty. Use them only in kaizo episodes, because if you include a kaizo level in a fair episode, you can't continue at all.
Fair Episode = Fair difficulty. Either easy/medium; Kaizo Episode = Kaizo/hard difficulty.
Image
ImageImageImageImage
Forum: http://futurenyancat2002.prophpbb.com/
"F*ck you Einstein! Let's make a level with water + lava!" ~FutureNyanCat2014, 05/05/14
FutureNyanCat2002: Big Fan of Valtteri Since 2013

User avatar
Valtteri
Larry Koopa
Larry Koopa
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Valtteri » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:44 pm

Joey wrote:I don't get crashes with either of these.
Really? Not even the Venus Fire Trap one? That always crashes for me. Even if it doesn't crash for some you should still avoid making such situations possible in your levels.
Image

User avatar
luizmiguel418
Cheep-Cheep
Cheep-Cheep
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:22 am
Current Project: I have no idea. Still returning to SMBX. Long trip.

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby luizmiguel418 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:54 pm

I tried one time, placing a Piranha Plant on the warp pipe, on a battle level... I never get a crash, but every time that someone try to exit, he takes damage. My English is terrible...
I'm back. Long trip out of SMBX. Minecraft, League, Hearthstone, and most recently Undertale.

My updates are NOT regular. Well, that's me.

My graphics pack. Interested?

User avatar
Valtteri
Larry Koopa
Larry Koopa
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby Valtteri » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:00 pm

It has to be a Venus Fire Trap and it has to fire WHILE you're warping. Otherwise it won't crash, obviously.
Image

User avatar
m4sterbr0s
Mega Mole
Mega Mole
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:42 pm
Chat Username: m4sterbr0s

Re: Level Design Tips

Postby m4sterbr0s » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:45 am

42. The meaning of life. Avoid using realistic backgrounds in your levels; they're a guaranteed clash.
43. Always stick with the appropriate amount of pixels. Don't try to use 1x1 pixels for your graphics in a level. They also clash.
44. Use a nice pallete with both your backgrounds and tilesets. They make a level more appealing to the player.


Return to “Archives”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests