Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Share your work-in-progress SMBX episode or browse and support others'.
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TheDinoKing
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby TheDinoKing » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:15 pm

King of Eterity wrote:
TheDinoKing wrote:
Tacticynical wrote:Can we add our own tips here? If so, I'd like to recommend this:

Everyone works differently, but please ffs don't make your project thread when you haven't even finished making your first level. I've seen this happen time and time again, and these usually end up getting shelved/cancelled. Look I get it, you're eager to show it off and that's fine, but if you can't prove you're far enough into making your episode, then you won't be able to prove you're committed to finishing it. So have patience. I personally would wait until you're at least a third of the way done before you announce it, but maybe that's just me. And it all depends on the scope of your project of course.
Some people make their project thread without even starting on the project.
It's usually like "I'm going to make this super amazing project with 9999 levels and it will be perfect, I need you to make levels for me".
But it would be locked if there are no screens, and if there is no information, I deem the project as non-existent and a troll
Unfortunately many new users make those kind of topic without making level 1 and say they going to make a 9999 level (not 9999 but it's usually a ridiculous amount of levels like 150).

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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Electriking » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:18 pm

TheDinoKing wrote:
King of Eterity wrote:
TheDinoKing wrote:
Some people make their project thread without even starting on the project.
It's usually like "I'm going to make this super amazing project with 9999 levels and it will be perfect, I need you to make levels for me".
But it would be locked if there are no screens, and if there is no information, I deem the project as non-existent and a troll
Unfortunately many new users make those kind of topic without making level 1 and say they going to make a 9999 level (not 9999 but it's usually a ridiculous amount of levels like 150).
There is a rule that says keep your project realistic, a 50 world episode with 150 levels per world is not a feasible scenario, or something like that. It is evident that most people don't follow the project rules though anyway.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby arcade999 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:49 pm

King of Eterity wrote:
TheDinoKing wrote:
King of Eterity wrote: But it would be locked if there are no screens, and if there is no information, I deem the project as non-existent and a troll
Unfortunately many new users make those kind of topic without making level 1 and say they going to make a 9999 level (not 9999 but it's usually a ridiculous amount of levels like 150).
There is a rule that says keep your project realistic, a 50 world episode with 150 levels per world is not a feasible scenario, or something like that. It is evident that most people don't follow the project rules though anyway.
Or maybe if you make a very very very big contest where users can submits like 10 levels, but yeah, it would definitively look like fake shit...except if it's one of those wierd jokes threads.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby carefreeDesigner » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:45 pm

I say that it can matter hugely in the length of the levels, if a level can be beat in a minute, and the Worlds are planned to have say 50 levels each, then that isn't too bad, but if it's full length levels and it reaches mid double digits, then it more than likely won't work out too well.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Electriking » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:14 pm

carefreeDesigner wrote:I say that it can matter hugely in the length of the levels, if a level can be beat in a minute, and the Worlds are planned to have say 50 levels each, then that isn't too bad, but if it's full length levels and it reaches mid double digits, then it more than likely won't work out too well.
50 levels per world is generally scenario that is not feasible unless it is like 1 world. And what is wrong with an episode being long? The only problems that arise from it is that it gets boring if the creators imagination does not extend enough to bring in new ideas to keep a long episode boring. It could get boring if you have themed worlds and they are long because you are bored of seeing the same theme but really 50 levels per world is not really a level design problem, it's more of a thing that makes you look like an idiot if you think and tell the community that you could make that kind of project.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby carefreeDesigner » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:36 pm

Electriking wrote:I say that it can matter hugely in the length of the levels, if a level can be beat in a minute, and the Worlds are planned to have say 50 levels each, then that isn't too bad, but if it's full length levels and it reaches mid double digits, then it more than likely won't work out too well.
50 levels per world is generally scenario that is not feasible unless it is like 1 world. And what is wrong with an episode being long? The only problems that arise from it is that it gets boring if the creators imagination does not extend enough to bring in new ideas to keep a long episode boring. It could get boring if you have themed worlds and they are long because you are bored of seeing the same theme but really 50 levels per world is not really a level design problem, it's more of a thing that makes you look like an idiot if you think and tell the community that you could make that kind of project.[/quote]
I didn't say that 50 is a normal amount or anything, I was just coming up with a number off the top of my head. I personally think it is possible to make interesting levels, even in bulk, if you just keep adding new elements to the table often. That's what I'm doing in Mario & Luigi X, which has a focus on eliminating enemies rather than platforming. I more or less can just depend on the style of play that you're going for.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Enjl » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:33 am

In regards to episode length: Don't forget that along with it also scales the likeliness of the creator getting tired with it and cancelling it. I personally like the range of 5-15 levels total, because it doesn't take forever and lets me worry less about filling up the slots and more about each individual level. Everyone has their own preference about this, but I often see people majestically overshooting their capabilities, working on several projects with 100 levels each at the same time which all end up getting cancelled, which is unfortunate.
carefreeDesigner wrote:focus on eliminating enemies rather than platforming. I more or less can just depend on the style of play that you're going for.
Interesting point to bring up, it reminds me of something: Have you ever noticed how all Mario games have at least one "Tier 2 Powerup" (Fire Flower, Ice Flower, Leaf, Acorn, Propeller Suit) for "Action"-based levels (killing enemies, "aggressive" form of play) and at least one for "Platforming" based levels (dodging obstacles, "passive" form of play)? This is intentional because it helps as a marker to the player and establishes the powerup in the level as the "intended" way of approaching it, while not condemning any other. What's even more interesting is that this creates a self-imposed difficulty curve depending on the player's powerup choice. The idea of flight-based powerups being ridiculously overpowered stems from this: Flying over an action-type level is easy and avoids all the challenge, but using your action powerup in a platforming-based level doesn't give you any advantages over regular mushrooms. And while flight powerups have been getting weaker over time, the newer Propeller Block, Cat Suit and Acorn Suit are still powerful given a high starting point.
Sidenote: Notice how Yoshi in Yoshi's Island embodies both types of play at once with his flutter jump and egg throwing abilities.

This is hardly related to the topic and I apologize if it went on for longer than necessary, but if not for interesting trivia about Nintendo's design philosophies, one can incorporate this in how they design their own episodes and when to distribute which powerup.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby MrVaderSpino » Sun May 13, 2018 10:55 pm

CustomArio0919 wrote:
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby AAguy11 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:22 am

I'm making a world where there are 2 paths and each path has its own stories and levels...
Has this been done before?
Because somebody needs to feel my pain
AA

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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Cedur » Wed May 16, 2018 9:27 am

are you doing something similar to Hero story and Dark story in Sonic Adventure 2?

This is probably indeed innovative.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Pop Yoshi Bros » Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 am

AAguy11 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:22 am
I'm making a world where there are 2 paths and each path has its own stories and levels...
Has this been done before?
Because somebody needs to feel my pain
Hope it doesn't have any cutscene, that's the pain I feel with Attack of Darkness
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Enjl » Thu May 17, 2018 8:06 am

AAguy11 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:22 am
I'm making a world where there are 2 paths and each path has its own stories and levels...
Has this been done before?
Because somebody needs to feel my pain
Does Hypnosis Redo count?
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby MarioRPGExpert93 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:34 am

Pop Yoshi Bros wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 am
AAguy11 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:22 am
I'm making a world where there are 2 paths and each path has its own stories and levels...
Has this been done before?
Because somebody needs to feel my pain
Hope it doesn't have any cutscene, that's the pain I feel with Attack of Darkness
Let me guess. the cut scenes from "Attack of Darkness" are Ninja Gaiden NES quality?

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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby AAguy11 » Sat May 19, 2018 12:23 pm

Actually, My project does have cutscenes but only the intro is a 'long' one.
AA

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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Walder » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:43 am

On a side note I believe that taking care of yourself IRL really affects your project as well; a room without a lot of breathing space (especially a problem during summer) can cause you to feel nausious and put an unnecessary obstacle upon your project development for example; also having proper sleep/food/hydration and hygiene are key factors that when fulfilled further allows you to put the most of your effort into the development of your project.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Eri7 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:44 am

Walder wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:43 am
On a side note I believe that taking care of yourself IRL really affects your project as well; a room without a lot of breathing space (especially a problem during summer) can cause you to feel nausious and put an unnecessary obstacle upon your project development for example; also having proper sleep/food/hydration and hygiene are key factors that when fulfilled further allows you to put the most of your effort into the development of your project.
Well before when i was actively working on my project (2017) , i worked everyday around 7-8 hours on it without having proper sleep , i normally slept around 5 hours per day , ate only like 1 and rarely 2 times a day and my hygiene sucked but i was so addicted to working on my project that nothing could stop me then but then there is the burnout effect when you do something 24/7 for a long period of time and then suddenly it becomes boring and hard to work on (im on this phase right now) so that is my experience , everyone is different and everyone has different pace on working on their projects but the burnout really sucks...
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Enjl » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:42 am

Eri7 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:44 am
Walder wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:43 am
On a side note I believe that taking care of yourself IRL really affects your project as well; a room without a lot of breathing space (especially a problem during summer) can cause you to feel nausious and put an unnecessary obstacle upon your project development for example; also having proper sleep/food/hydration and hygiene are key factors that when fulfilled further allows you to put the most of your effort into the development of your project.
Well before when i was actively working on my project (2017) , i worked everyday around 7-8 hours on it without having proper sleep , i normally slept around 5 hours per day , ate only like 1 and rarely 2 times a day and my hygiene sucked but i was so addicted to working on my project that nothing could stop me then but then there is the burnout effect when you do something 24/7 for a long period of time and then suddenly it becomes boring and hard to work on (im on this phase right now) so that is my experience , everyone is different and everyone has different pace on working on their projects but the burnout really sucks...
Burnout happens less if you moderate yourself, which is what Walder was talking about to begin with. The human has basic needs, and humans aren't different in those basic needs amongst each other. You could learn from following Walder's advice.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby TheLoafLord » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:40 am

I see a lot of people making episodes with a severe lack of confidence. They'll say things like "this'll never get done" or "i suck at level design xd". I just want to say, you can't learn from your mistakes if you see everything as a mistake.

I've been there before, in fact, my low self esteem still haunts me even today.

But, you really need to believe in yourself, because if you can see it happening, then you can make it happen.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Daring Tombstone » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:36 pm

I would like to add my experience from making my episode "Your Journey Awaits". When I started it, I was in the mindset of "Lots of levels". I finished the episode with about 90 levels which are longer than SMB3 levels. Is each level unique? Probably not. I finished this episode in early 2018. I started this project in 2014.

Granted, there was a time my laptop was down and I couldn't work on it so cut about a year off for a grand total of 3 years working on one episode. Don't do this to yourself. I feel like my episode could have been better if I didn't have so many levels or if it didn't take so long.
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Re: Tips and Tricks - Working on a Project

Postby Electriking » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:36 am

Some things to think about if your project is going to take a long time:
1) Will I be able to work on it for that long?
-if you think you may burn out or get stressed out or simply lose the desire to continue, then you may end up going on hiatus or cancelling the project, and end up disappointing supporters.

2) Can I make the wait worth it?
-Assume your audience has been following your project since it has first been public knowledge. Even if you are able to work on the project for the time it takes, the longer you work on it, the higher the required standard in order to not disappoint the players.

Unless you are certainly the answer is yes, then perhaps you should avoid creating a project thread until you are sure it will be finished and can be made as good as it can be. Otherwise you will put more pressure on yourself which will only increase the risk of cancellation and disappointment of your fans.
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