Lowser's Conquest (relowserd!)

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (future plans)

Postby Sednaiur » Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:14 pm

Greetings.
For everyone wondering about my project, it is still being worked on and was never cancelled. I, however took a long break from the community and the forums in general, aswell as just not having an internet connection during that time.
Another reason for my long inactivity regarding my project is that I am reworking it from the ground up. According to the criticism I got about my beta, there is a serious need to get rid of quite some issues, being it design-wise or graphical-wise.
Too many unnecessary secrets, missable bishoujo coins and kind of too long levels are some of the issues. Right now I am reworking all of my graphics and that takes a very long time and commitment to do, since I already got approximately 20.000 graphics (blocks, npcs, bgos etc.) done over the past years. Here is a little peek of what I have done in terms of tilesets:
Image

Please note that the GIF looks pretty bad because there are a lot of colors on the sheet, the real graphics are fine. It's just there to give you a rough idea of what I do with my graphics.

Generally, I remove unnecessary colors and the black outlines, so everything looks sharper and more defined.
My new tilesets feature 14 colors total; 8 for the fill and 6 for the top, whereas the old versions had like 10 to 15 colors for the fill alone and sometimes 8 colors for the top.
Of course this also means that I have to rework all my level-backgrounds aswell, or one may have a bit of trouble to easily tell background apart from foreground at times.

In terms of design I will utilize the features of SMBX2 to improve the quality of the game and to have nice new features too, so Bishoujo coins stay collected after dying or leaving a level. I reduce the length of the levels by approximately 30% to 40% aswell as amount of collectibles. There will only be 4 Bishoujo coins instead of 5 and they will most likely on the direct route through the level (but being a bit challenging to get), instead of being hidden everywhere. This way the levels can be enjoyed for what they are meant to be, instead of having a treasure-hunt mixed with a platformer.
A level is supposed to take 3 minutes at most, when collecting everything and I hope people will like it that way.

Of course all of this means that I have to start my project from point zero, but this surely is no problem, or is it? ^^ Afterall I want to improve everything possible and also want to utilize the SMW-style for my new world map, so everything is fresh and organized. Since I got almost all of my tilesets done and a good amount of blueprints for the new version of my project too, I can assure that it won't take nearly as long as it took to this point.

I cannot start building my levels until SMBX2-beta 4 comes out, so if you like, you may tell me what you disliked about my beta from 2 years ago and what you liked so I may consider it for my future design. Suggestions are of course also welcome.

What I cannot tell by now, is if I should create a new thread for it or if I should just resume using this one. :-P

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (Get the beta now!)

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm

I am not sure if it should use this thread or a new one. I say it depends on if it is the same name or not. I have no comments about the graphics until I see them as a .png, but that I can wait for. Also, I would not say you need to wait til Beta-4, though I guess you are waiting to prevent future-proofing or what ever it is called? Looking forward to it though. I remember finding a lot of cut-off and missing tiles in the beta. Sheesh, There was one star I never found even.

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (future plans)

Postby PROX » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:43 am

Sednaiur wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:14 pm
Greetings.
For everyone wondering about my project, it is still being worked on and was never cancelled. I, however took a long break from the community and the forums in general, aswell as just not having an internet connection during that time.
Another reason for my long inactivity regarding my project is that I am reworking it from the ground up. According to the criticism I got about my beta, there is a serious need to get rid of quite some issues, being it design-wise or graphical-wise.
Too many unnecessary secrets, missable bishoujo coins and kind of too long levels are some of the issues. Right now I am reworking all of my graphics and that takes a very long time and commitment to do, since I already got approximately 20.000 graphics (blocks, npcs, bgos etc.) done over the past years. Here is a little peek of what I have done in terms of tilesets:
Image

Please note that the GIF looks pretty bad because there are a lot of colors on the sheet, the real graphics are fine. It's just there to give you a rough idea of what I do with my graphics.

Generally, I remove unnecessary colors and the black outlines, so everything looks sharper and more defined.
My new tilesets feature 14 colors total; 8 for the fill and 6 for the top, whereas the old versions had like 10 to 15 colors for the fill alone and sometimes 8 colors for the top.
Of course this also means that I have to rework all my level-backgrounds aswell, or one may have a bit of trouble to easily tell background apart from foreground at times.

In terms of design I will utilize the features of SMBX2 to improve the quality of the game and to have nice new features too, so Bishoujo coins stay collected after dying or leaving a level. I reduce the length of the levels by approximately 30% to 40% aswell as amount of collectibles. There will only be 4 Bishoujo coins instead of 5 and they will most likely on the direct route through the level (but being a bit challenging to get), instead of being hidden everywhere. This way the levels can be enjoyed for what they are meant to be, instead of having a treasure-hunt mixed with a platformer.
A level is supposed to take 3 minutes at most, when collecting everything and I hope people will like it that way.

Of course all of this means that I have to start my project from point zero, but this surely is no problem, or is it? ^^ Afterall I want to improve everything possible and also want to utilize the SMW-style for my new world map, so everything is fresh and organized. Since I got almost all of my tilesets done and a good amount of blueprints for the new version of my project too, I can assure that it won't take nearly as long as it took to this point.

I cannot start building my levels until SMBX2-beta 4 comes out, so if you like, you may tell me what you disliked about my beta from 2 years ago and what you liked so I may consider it for my future design. Suggestions are of course also welcome.

What I cannot tell by now, is if I should create a new thread for it or if I should just resume using this one. :-P
heh, I got to see this early. Personally I think it looks better compared to before. I would say when it comes to your future hills, I would texture them better so they don't look so smooth and shiny.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (Get the beta now!)

Postby Cedur » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:45 am

Greetings! :D

I don't see any need for a new thread, this is still Lowser's Conquest, even if it gets reworked a lot.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (Get the beta now!)

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:46 am

I am assuming the black outline version is the old version then. I am super-interesting in how the World Map will turn out now, hehe.

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Sednaiur » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:07 pm

MECHDRAGON777 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm
I would not say you need to wait til Beta-4, though I guess you are waiting to prevent future-proofing or what ever it is called? Looking forward to it though.
Well, the developers of SMBX2 clearly state not to use the PAL-build for episode-making. And since I want to make an episode, I therefore should wait until the next beta.
MECHDRAGON777 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm
I remember finding a lot of cut-off and missing tiles in the beta. Sheesh, There was one star I never found even.
Yes, I remember some horrible spots. Most of the cases of cutoff and missing tiles were because of mixed-up level-files. I had fixed all those issues already, but for some reason had the wrong files in the beta, which resulted in flying bushes, hovering stalagmites and even heavily bugged layers and events. :-P
And about that missing star; Did you find the only SML1-level on the prototype islands? I do not remember from your videos. That level actually has a star.
PROX wrote:heh, I got to see this early. Personally I think it looks better compared to before. I would say when it comes to your future hills, I would texture them better so they don't look so smooth and shiny.
I am still happy to read this. ^^ About the hills; Do you remember the ones I showed to you many months ago? You really liked them and told me that they do not look like plastic anymore.
Cedur wrote: Greetings! :D

I don't see any need for a new thread, this is still Lowser's Conquest, even if it gets reworked a lot.
Yes, you are right. It still is the same shape-shifting project that exist since the NSMBX-time from almost 7 years ago. I surely hold the record for the longest ongoing project in SMBX-history by now. I remember there being one that lasted about 5 years, though.
MECHDRAGON777 wrote: I am assuming the black outline version is the old version then. I am super-interesting in how the World Map will turn out now, hehe.
Yes, this is correct.
I already work on the world map's layout here and there. I have to say that it surely is harder to design a SMW-styled map, not because of elevation-, or perspective-problems, but because of the fact that I want it to be lovely designed and not a boring, flat patch of land with some levels on it. A lot of thought need to be put into it and I like to have the levels a bit resembled by their close surroundings and not just randomly spread sceneries to fill up the space. That means that I restarted the world map twice by now. But making world maps is very fun for me, so no problems there.

Also on another note, I just learned my first piece of "LUA" (well, I just successfully edited some .xml-files) and now I can create paralaxing level-backgrounds. Finally I get what I wanted to do since I first heard about ParalX years ago.

From now on, you can see my Lua-rank grow in my signature, depending on my experience and abilities regarding LUA.
For now I am just an innocent egg in terms of LUA, but who knows what I may turn into. :-D

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (Get the beta now!)

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm

Nice egg. As for that level, it was a pain to find in Proto-type Shrine. Had to do a lot of random talking then go down the well. I am not even sure if my last parts of that LP even got uploaded. I think the star you spoke of was my 119th star. No one has gotten all 120 from what I have heard. Not even the speedrunners.

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Sednaiur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:07 pm
MECHDRAGON777 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm
I would not say you need to wait til Beta-4, though I guess you are waiting to prevent future-proofing or what ever it is called? Looking forward to it though.
Well, the developers of SMBX2 clearly state not to use the PAL-build for episode-making. And since I want to make an episode, I therefore should wait until the next beta.
not quite. Just do not release an episode in it. (You can make a project with it, as long as you test everything in Beta 4 first before releasing it.)

On a side note, can not wait ot see if this uses Achievements or Switch Palaces ^_^

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Electriking » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm

Sednaiur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:07 pm
MECHDRAGON777 wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm
I would not say you need to wait til Beta-4, though I guess you are waiting to prevent future-proofing or what ever it is called? Looking forward to it though.
Well, the developers of SMBX2 clearly state not to use the PAL-build for episode-making. And since I want to make an episode, I therefore should wait until the next beta.
Actually they only say it should not be used for episode-releasing, so you can still make levels for your project using that version, although you would have to wait until beta 4 comes out and fix any bugs that result from changes made between PAL and beta 4.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (relowserd!)

Postby Sednaiur » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:55 pm

I just updated the toppost with everything I can provide so far. Now everything needed works again. No more broken screenshots and the like.

About my misstatement of not making epsiodes in SMBX2 PAL:
Yes, you are right about the details. However, to me it comes down to the same thing. If I were to work with the PAL-build and anything essential got changed afterwards, it still would cause me a lot of work, so I just wait until the next beta comes out. Even though, In all honesty, I do not think that to happen within the next time.

The good thing is that I still can learn to use LUA the right way. I can now manipulate very basic movement behaviour, which might be enough to create the first new NPC - the "Nekuribo" which will replace the Goomba in my episode. They will behave a bit differently, though.

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Reign » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:12 am

Electriking wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm
Actually they only say it should not be used for episode-releasing, so you can still make levels for your project using that version, although you would have to wait until beta 4 comes out and fix any bugs that result from changes made between PAL and beta 4.
I think this needs some more clarification. What does "fixing bugs" mean for someone who is not an SMBX2 developer? I have also been waiting for the next beta release to even begin working on an episode. If I start now, I'd hate to run into problems that take ages and possible programming knowledge to fix later on. (even more helpful would be an estimate on the release date, but that's probably not going to happen)

Good luck on your project, Sednaiur. I wish everyone (including me) had the patience to keep projects to themselves until they are properly finished, no matter how long it takes.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Teemster2 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:09 pm

Reign wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:12 am
Electriking wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm
Actually they only say it should not be used for episode-releasing, so you can still make levels for your project using that version, although you would have to wait until beta 4 comes out and fix any bugs that result from changes made between PAL and beta 4.
I think this needs some more clarification. What does "fixing bugs" mean for someone who is not an SMBX2 developer? I have also been waiting for the next beta release to even begin working on an episode. If I start now, I'd hate to run into problems that take ages and possible programming knowledge to fix later on. (even more helpful would be an estimate on the release date, but that's probably not going to happen)

Good luck on your project, Sednaiur. I wish everyone (including me) had the patience to keep projects to themselves until they are properly finished, no matter how long it takes.
A lot of people are waiting on the next beta release to start on episodes. This may not come for some time but when beta4 is released it should be more of a polished stone then if it were rushed and have more problems.

The advantage to this is you have more time to prepare your episode and plan everything out from the graphics you want down to the number of levels and worlds and maybe even having the world map ready as this should be ok I think.

I see this as more time to think about how we want our episode or adventure to be and less pressure as we already will have part of it done.

We should see some great projects coming after beta4 is released and activity on the forums should increase too.

Then we can look forward to beta5 while have have fun coming up with ideas for levels and work on our fun projects. I use google maps to help with places for ideas. Have fun.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Electriking » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:03 pm

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:09 pm
The advantage to this is you have more time to prepare your episode and plan everything out from the graphics you want down to the number of levels and worlds and maybe even having the world map ready as this should be ok I think.
If waiting for beta 4 to release causes people to exercise these bad practices, then it sounds more like a disadvantage than an advantage.

Planning the number of levels and worlds before you know how many working ideas you have will just run you into issues like creator's block, or creating mediocre, forgettable stages to fill in level slots you were unable to find ideas for, which will negatively impact the overall quality of the episode. Creating your world map before the levels will also cause this problem, and probably not a great idea to do in SMBX2MaGLX3 or PAL anyway, because there are still some bugs and things left unfinished as a result of it not being intended to release episodes.

Also planning the graphics that will be used prior to starting a level often slows down the process of creating it, as creators will be more likely to add decorations while designing the layout (bad idea), which makes it harder to change up the layout if it ends up not working. It is always better to come up with ideas for your level, design the layout with locations for blocks and NPCs (in the industry, a process called blocking is used), test it out and make sure you are happy that it works well before deciding on how to best theme it based on the ideas/gimmicks used (which is when you can actually think about what GFX to use) and placing decorations.

I feel it would be better to start earlier and at least test out and prototype ideas for your episode to find out what will likely work and won't work, rather than putting it off for potentially months just to wait for a new version to come out.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Teemster2 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:27 pm

Electriking wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:03 pm
Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:09 pm
The advantage to this is you have more time to prepare your episode and plan everything out from the graphics you want down to the number of levels and worlds and maybe even having the world map ready as this should be ok I think.
If waiting for beta 4 to release causes people to exercise these bad practices, then it sounds more like a disadvantage than an advantage.

Planning the number of levels and worlds before you know how many working ideas you have will just run you into issues like creator's block, or creating mediocre, forgettable stages to fill in level slots you were unable to find ideas for, which will negatively impact the overall quality of the episode. Creating your world map before the levels will also cause this problem, and probably not a great idea to do in SMBX2MaGLX3 or PAL anyway, because there are still some bugs and things left unfinished as a result of it not being intended to release episodes.

Also planning the graphics that will be used prior to starting a level often slows down the process of creating it, as creators will be more likely to add decorations while designing the layout (bad idea), which makes it harder to change up the layout if it ends up not working. It is always better to come up with ideas for your level, design the layout with locations for blocks and NPCs (in the industry, a process called blocking is used), test it out and make sure you are happy that it works well before deciding on how to best theme it based on the ideas/gimmicks used (which is when you can actually think about what GFX to use) and placing decorations.

I feel it would be better to start earlier and at least test out and prototype ideas for your episode to find out what will likely work and won't work, rather than putting it off for potentially months just to wait for a new version to come out.
I did not think about these things. I think most if it is good advice unless you have an endless number of ideas which most people don't.

Thanks for this. It's something to think about.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (First LUA-usage)

Postby Enjl » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:25 am

Reign wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:12 am
Electriking wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:22 pm
Actually they only say it should not be used for episode-releasing, so you can still make levels for your project using that version, although you would have to wait until beta 4 comes out and fix any bugs that result from changes made between PAL and beta 4.
I think this needs some more clarification. What does "fixing bugs" mean for someone who is not an SMBX2 developer? I have also been waiting for the next beta release to even begin working on an episode. If I start now, I'd hate to run into problems that take ages and possible programming knowledge to fix later on. (even more helpful would be an estimate on the release date, but that's probably not going to happen)

Good luck on your project, Sednaiur. I wish everyone (including me) had the patience to keep projects to themselves until they are properly finished, no matter how long it takes.
Current prognosis is that you will have to re-save all your levels that use NPCs with extra settings, and download updated community-made npcs with extra settings whenever the creator updates them. We're considering a patch for the PAL build that addresses this, so that the work between PAL and b4 is minimized for creators. I'll make a guide for transitioning between versions when it's time.
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (relowserd!)

Postby h2643 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:31 am

So when the project was first announced I thought it was gonna get finished by the end of this decade max, considering the huge amount of work that needed to be done in graphic and level departments, and all by yourself...

Seeing as you're remaking the project from the ground up now, a part of me wishes you could turn this into something that made you profit by the end of the day, but sadly, this is SMBX we're talking about... I feel a lot of resources went into this. Kinda sad there's no real reward for you for being committed to your project.

This is what I feel about people who spend months and even years of their time creating something SMBX-related, and when some of them realise there's no real benefit for them, they cancel their projects, which I think is a wise decision. I guess this could apply not only to SMBX, but other projects in general.

Or maybe I'm just being really pessimistic... Anyway, hope you're doing well, glad I could help you with some things in the past. Now I wonder whether or not the project is going to get done by the end of this new decade))

Good luck.

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Re: Lowser's Conquest (relowserd!)

Postby Cedur » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:32 pm

if anything I have little understanding for "restarting the project at point zero", because that's not necessary at all to incorporate SMBX2's possibilities
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Re: Lowser's Conquest (relowserd!)

Postby Reign » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:37 am

h2643 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:31 am
This is what I feel about people who spend months and even years of their time creating something SMBX-related, and when some of them realise there's no real benefit for them, they cancel their projects, which I think is a wise decision. I guess this could apply not only to SMBX, but other projects in general.
The benefit is that you enjoy the time creating the project, at least for the most part. If someone is creating these kind of projects for money or universal praise, they are almost certainly going to fail. The other benefit is that you are developing skills which will help you also in real life situations.

The only thing I'd like to see is more people playing the finished projects and commenting on them. In that regard, I'm setting my hopes for the success of SMBX2.
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