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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:23 am
by Enjl
Eclipsed wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:34 pm
Moreover, you don't have to have 6-7 sections each level to explore the gimmick, fewer sections with more ideas do the trick sufficiently as well: (Heavy Bill Cave, Bold n Brash, Shellway 3000, etc)
Since you mentioned my level I should share my general formula I tend to adhere to:
My levels usually have 4 sections, two per half (or 1.33 per third or 1 per quarter, depending on how many checkpoints are necessary).
The 1st is a little introduction to the majority of stuff I wanna throw at the player later.
The 2nd section presents a mix of these elements in a new context (vertical section, underwater section, one-screen gauntlets) or is sometimes omitted for some other reason (Bold and Brash: having the checkpoint before the autoscroller).
The 3rd returns to the formula of the 1st but does more tricky things in which I sometimes foreshadow setups from the 4th section in a more relaxed scenario.
The 4th section can be anything, as long as it signals to the player "yo, we're about to end the level". Usually this section is higher-tension throughout and calms down a screen or two before the end. (I noticed you did this in your most recent level by deploying a dark foreground overlay)

The section structure is absolutely not rigid and while typing this I noticed a few dozen examples in my recent levels (unpublished) where I betray it. Sometimes the 4th section is a few-screen subsection of the 2nd half's main section, sometimes I only have three sections plus a little one-screen gimmick, and sometimes, if the situation calls for it, I also make just one really wide section that includes everything and has some visual shifts to indicate progress.

What I hope to have conveyed somewhere in the midst of this is that it might be useful to give every section a distinct purpose, so that the player feels that they're advancing towards a goal. That's easier to do with a low section count than a high section count, I feel.
Of course, expectations can be subverted. Checkpoint placement is also a double-edged sword in terms of progression since it can only signal to the player how long a level will be if it's consistent throughout. Or you could use the fact that many sections don't signal progress and build a literal ten-section one-screen-maze the player has to figure out.

Anyway sorry for riding this point for so long. I hope some of it makes sense.

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:37 am
by MECHDRAGON777

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:14 pm
by Eclipsed
Core wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:46 pm
Flow with me and Bumper [Bmaglx3]:
Image
Spoiler: show
Actually this is a bit old level. I even
forgot about it, but then i've decided to finish it
by adding 4 new sections into it. Hooray!
Download - https://www.dropbox.com/s/t0vdrwal3mnqn ... r.zip?dl=0
Download new version - https://www.dropbox.com/s/7f3j05xtq2jpb ... 3.zip?dl=0

Here's the request a while back

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:43 am
by Core
Hi! long time no see!
Frigid Castle[PAL]:
Image
Spoiler: show
So this one took me a lot of time due to me being busy.
Good thing i've finally finished it!
Download - https://www.dropbox.com/s/kfb3549c3u5in ... 2.zip?dl=0

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:23 pm
by Eclipsed
Overall I had fun with this level, my only issue was that occasionally there'd be really awkward places of waiting that sometimes the level felt a bit disjointed. I think this level improves upon block placement. However, although the npcs were used in conjunction with each other fine, there's a lot more that could be explored. I had a fun time playing it casually.

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:51 pm
by Eclipsed
Frigid Castle

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:54 am
by Core
Eclipsed wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:23 pm
Overall I had fun with this level, my only issue was that occasionally there'd be really awkward places of waiting that sometimes the level felt a bit disjointed. I think this level improves upon block placement. However, although the npcs were used in conjunction with each other fine, there's a lot more that could be explored. I had a fun time playing it casually.
Hey, thanks! I was planning to keep making more interactions with npcs, but i had to stop because my rl is getting busier, i'm sorry for that. Also thanks for recording my level!

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:08 pm
by Eclipsed
Trial and Error Speedrun. It’s been a while since this was requested

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:07 pm
by Core
Eclipsed wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:08 pm
Trial and Error Speedrun. It’s been a while since this was requested
Thanks! It probably wasn't fun to speedrun though..

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:27 am
by Core
so.. i'm not sure if i will upload any new level in a soon time because of my depressed state. plus this level is pretty short and rushed in my honest opinion.
harmful rotation:
Image
Info:
Spoiler: show

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:10 pm
by Eclipsed
Heads up don't forget to fix Harmful Rotation's tower

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:19 pm
by Eclipsed
Harmful Rotation

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:31 am
by Core
Hey folks, it's been a long time since my latest level as it seems... I've made a short level (in my opinion), but i hope that it's enjoyable anways.
Field of Shutgun Pipes:
Image
Info:
Spoiler: show

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:38 pm
by Eclipsed

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:52 am
by Core
Thank you, Eclipsed.
And this is my first level in 2020! Agonzied Site, sequel to Ghost Site. (Also it was planned to be lite kaizo)
Agonized Site:
Image
Info:
Spoiler: show
I wanted to upload it on beta 4 release, but... What for?
Download - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p_Abie ... sp=sharing

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:24 am
by Cedur
I already gave up on the first section.

Are you supposed to shelljump or use the boost triggered by the shell? In the latter case, are you supposed to spinjump?

What's even a "light kaizo" level compared to a kaizo level? (I mean this is literally structured as a kaizo level)

also the level is immune to cheats

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:17 pm
by Core
Cedur wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:24 am
I already gave up on the first section.

Are you supposed to shelljump or use the boost triggered by the shell? In the latter case, are you supposed to spinjump?

What's even a "light kaizo" level compared to a kaizo level? (I mean this is literally structured as a kaizo level)

also the level is immune to cheats
You are supposed to shelljump.
Light kaizo is the kaizo level that can be beaten without the use of savestates (or checkpoints)

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:20 pm
by Cedur
I'm really excited to see someone legitly beating this, because I tried again and used assistant mode this time (forgot about that kek), and there are even more parts that I find completely mindblowing.
Core wrote:Light kaizo is the kaizo level that can be beaten without the use of savestates (or checkpoints)

so, since speedrunners can one-shot nearly every level in hacks like Grand Poo World 1/2, should these also be considered "light"? Apparently not, right?

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:12 pm
by MarioLover64
Core wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:17 pm
Light kaizo is the kaizo level that can be beaten
by decently skilled player
Core wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:17 pm
without the use of savestates (or checkpoints)
There, I fixed it.

Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:54 pm
by Enjl
Image
After making it past this for the first time, the eerie permanently despawned. This is impossible now. How do I reset at the checkpoint?


E: After using assist mode to get back to where I died to retry there, I made it to the next section, where the same thing happened.
Image

After a second assist mode blunder I made it, by power of random mushroom cheese?

Easy level if it weren't for all the janky trial and error.
Due to that though it's not very good. It's just frustrating because there's absolutely no indicator for any of the timings.
Most kaizo lite I've played (JUMP hacks) distance themselves from kaizo in their approachability. They are difficult, but the player can beat every setup blind if they approach it well enough, and obstacles are difficult due to the challenge in executing a large number of them in a row, allowing even less skilled players to make steady progress as they overcome each small obstacle, sometimes even with a powerup they managed to keep past the onslaught. This is the complete opposite: Trial and error spike corridor one-hit kaizo.

I'll also make a quick note about the code, since there's a lot of room for improvement here too:
1) it'd make far more sense if the custom spring would propel you higher when holding the button, and not as high when not holding it.
2) it'd be nice if after death the state was properly reset and offscreen shenanigans from last life can't toss me into spikes unexpectedly.
3) i'm surprised the assist menu doesn't make use of the pause state. not a big problem in this level since you're technically never in danger while standing, but it causes janky side effects like being able to minimally control the player (direction, 1-pixel jitter)
4) also, dying with the assist menu open causes an infinite loop of death, since the stored location is harmful
5) that respawn thing in the screenshots above makes the level borderline unplayable by itself, since i couldn't find a way to properly reset the level. i don't know what witchcraft is going on behind the scenes, but if it was unaltered smbx, this issue wouldn't come up