Core Makes Good Levels

Share your own SMBX levels and play others' too.
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The best level so far?

August Flying Gods
1
20%
Mystic Caves
1
20%
Shadow Mausoleum
0
No votes
Spacedust Valley
0
No votes
Machinarium
0
No votes
Bubble Skies
0
No votes
Bomb-foo Tower
0
No votes
Ghost Site
0
No votes
Flow with me and Bumper
1
20%
Electrosparky Caves
0
No votes
Trial-and-Error
2
40%
Frigid Castle
0
No votes
harmful rotation
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 5
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Core
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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Core » Sun May 26, 2019 10:12 am

Hey.
Electrosparky Caves [Bmaglx3]:
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Spoiler: show
So i've asked Eri7 for permission to make an official sequel to his level.
I'm not really proud it honestly..
Download - https://www.dropbox.com/s/2t5xnxqivfhwv ... 2.zip?dl=0

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Eclipsed » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:44 pm

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby MegaDood » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am

Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Core » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 am

MegaDood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am
Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
Thanks! I think you should check out 'Flow with me and Bumper', it think it's better than Electrosparky Caves imo.

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Scroll » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:05 pm

Core wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 am
MegaDood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am
Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
Thanks! I think you should check out 'Flow with me and Bumper', it think it's better than Electrosparky Caves imo.
Yeah it is! Couldn't play it because the new build doesn't really work for me but I watched it in Eclipsed's channel and it's very well made.

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Eclipsed » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:07 pm

Scroll wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:05 pm
Core wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 am
MegaDood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am
Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
Thanks! I think you should check out 'Flow with me and Bumper', it think it's better than Electrosparky Caves imo.
Yeah it is! Couldn't play it because the new build doesn't really work for me but I watched it in Eclipsed's channel and it's very well made.
Honestly, Flow with me and Bumper is hands down the best level Core has ever made. Usually my main two critiques with Core's levels are that they feel like they just suddenly end such as August Flying Gods, Machinarium, and Mystic Caves that essentially they feel like a tech demo and make you feel rather disappointing when it suddenly ends. The second critique is that sometimes portions of the levels are way too hard or not fun to play due to pacing such as parts in Ghost Site and Electrosparky Caves for the former and parts in Bubble Skies and Spacedust Valley for the latter.

Flow with me and Bumper is probably among the best SMBX levels I have played because it mostly avoids these issues. Instead of suddenly ending, it thoroughly explores the usage of the bumper mechanics and gimmicks. It was really creative and the setups did not feel like they were repetitive due to context surrounding each situation. Furthermore, this level although has difficulty balancing issues here and there, but it is not as blatant as the aforementioned levels. I'm not keen on the eye for graphics, but Core's graphics style is decent which is always a huge plus. I will say I helped with updating the autoscroller portion with him,. All that being said, the only part of the level I have a major problem is the auto-scroller section even after the update. In my opinion the difficulty in that portion of the level just suddenly ramps up and is such a massive shift that this portion feels uncomfortable to play. Before the update, this section was around 2-3x worse in terms of difficulty.

tl;dr Anyways, Core Flow with me and Bumper is the best level you have made. Keep up the good work by fleshing out and thoroughly exploring the gimmick you're designing around. Also for the love of redigit, please balance difficulty in your levels better. Looking forward to see if you can top this level in terms of quality.
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[WR] Invasion 2 Any% All Characters in 28:28:602
Spoiler: show

[WR] The Princess Cliche in 7:16:263
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[WR]Another Princess Cliche in 23:44:217
Spoiler: show
[WR] The Great Empire in 15:36:686
Spoiler: show
[WR]Super Mario Land Returns in 7:18:141
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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby MegaDood » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:57 am

Core wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 am
MegaDood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am
Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
Thanks! I think you should check out 'Flow with me and Bumper', it think it's better than Electrosparky Caves imo.
Ooh I sure will. I'll let you know what I think of it.

Added in 39 minutes 55 seconds:
I played Flow With me And Bumper. I really liked it! I thought the difficulty rose very well and sequentially, however I do feel the last part with the bridge parts should have gone before the autoscroll section. It would have made the autoscroll section feel like a true test of the skills you've learnt rather than just another section. It was a great level, and the LunaLua touches felt great as well.
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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby bossedit8 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:33 am


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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Core » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:00 am

MegaDood wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:37 am
Core wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 am
MegaDood wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 am
Electrosparky Caves was really good. It was a little bit short, but I think the gimmick was conveyed really well. It felt like something that would appear in an actual Mario game.
Thanks! I think you should check out 'Flow with me and Bumper', it think it's better than Electrosparky Caves imo.
Ooh I sure will. I'll let you know what I think of it.

Added in 39 minutes 55 seconds:
I played Flow With me And Bumper. I really liked it! I thought the difficulty rose very well and sequentially, however I do feel the last part with the bridge parts should have gone before the autoscroll section. It would have made the autoscroll section feel like a true test of the skills you've learnt rather than just another section. It was a great level, and the LunaLua touches felt great as well.
I felt like player needs a rest after that hard section. Thanks anyways!
Also thank you bossedit8 for recording my level!

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby PROX » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:49 am

I know that this comment has nothing to do with your levels, but please get rid of the "a" in your title lol
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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby FatalPepper66 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:29 am

You made really good levels. Make more please!

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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Core » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:04 am

PROX wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:49 am
I know that this comment has nothing to do with your levels, but please get rid of the "a" in your title lol
Got it! I'm so sorry for it, lol. Thanks for reminding.
FatalPepper66 wrote:You made really good levels. Make more please!
Sure. If you have anything to say about my levels (would be nice to hear about bugs or mistakes i've done) then be sure to tell me!
Last edited by Core on Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Core Makes a Good Levels

Postby Cedur » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:08 am

Core wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:04 am
FatalPepper66 wrote:You made really good levels. Make more please!
Sure. If you have anything to say about my levels (would be nice to hear about bugs or mistakes i've done) then be sure to tell me!

Have you noticed about the fake Betterified? Have you noticed the other random effortless posts made by this guy? He's banned.

(ofc make more good levels though)
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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Core » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:57 am

Holy crap, this level took me so much time to make. whew..
Trial and Error [Bmaglx3]:
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Last edited by Core on Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby thegameseum » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:29 am

I really liked this level. It wasn't impossibly hard like most hard levels are. This one took a more creative approach. The visual and sound effects were also really good.
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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Enjl » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:47 am

All your levels always feel like you have HALF of the ingredients to making a good level down, but the rest is always incredibly lacking.
You have ideas.
They're mostly good ideas.
You string them together in a way that makes sense.
But man, do you ever forget to mix things up.
You also still have a lot to learn regarding what makes a good autoscroller, but that's a different topic.

This post is split into a couple of sections where I think your design can be improved. They're all put into spoilers to make them easier to look through. But first...
Trial and Error notes: show
- You know... with a name like this I'm immediately wary of the level trying to pull some "you figure it out" stuff. I was pleasantly surprised when that didn't happen, but was similarly confused about how the name related to the level or what you do in it
- Wait, where are the enemies? Is it just an iwannabetheguy spike corridor?
- Oh, nevermind. This is where the trial and error starts. A minute into the autoscroller.
-- All the "wait for 1f0 to go offscreen" setups really suck, which is a shame considering the quality of the rest

Man, I wish the autoscroller's setups were the first section, with all the structure movement. And then the level could add actual enemies and obstacles on top in later sections.
Autoscrollers: show
Autoscrollers are hard to make. They can be a rewarding sendoff to the level or a great place for synthesis with different, unexplored ideas, but they can also be a pool of frustration or very easily feel out of place. What I'm noticing in your autoscrollers is that they'd almost entirely work better if they weren't autoscrollers. 75% of the time you're waiting for the screen to catch up, and the rest of the time you're hurrying to where the level expects you to go (especially notable in the beginning of the 2nd section of Bonus Area). Setups that exploit unpredictable offscreen behaviour in relation to screen movement aren't worth having if the price is a player's ability to quickly return to the setup they failed at.

So what do I try to do in my autoscrollers to take care of these issues?
- Setups inside the autoscroller ideally would never work in sections that aren't autoscrolling. This means carefully timed enemy spawns, tricky platform paths, some sort of escort, or whatever else you can come up with
- An autoscroller should be more stressful than difficult. Especially in autoscrollers it's important to have mercy on the player and let them parse everything going on so that they don't have to replay a large chunk of level to return to where they were. If you want your autoscroller to be hard, make it shorter and put the harder setups near the start and the scarier but easy-to-parse ones near the end
- The speed should be the servant of the setups. Autoscrollers should be set up so that players hang out somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd fifth of the screen relative to the scrolling direction. Too close to the scrolling side and they might get telefragged by oncoming obstacles, too far away and they might fall into a panic and fail to parse whatever comes next
- Whenever it makes sense, I prefer to use a pseudo-autoscroller that gives the player a chance to control the speed by themselves to a certain extent. An example of this could be putting the player on a moving platform with controllable speed, or periodically adding barriers that temporarily halt the scrolling (think a screen-by-screen challenge autoscroller).
I wanna be the guy: show
Man, so many of your levels boil down to tight spike corridors, it's kind of monotonous. I don't even have much of a suggestion here aside from "remember that the remaining features of the engine exist and add a couple you like to your tileset itembox". Seeing more elements instantly develops more diverse ideas. Try to mix things up!
Level names: show
Personal nitpick.
Really really personal nitpick.
If there's one thing to not take personally or too strictly from this post, it's this.
Feel free to ignore it all.
But man, I'm not a fan of a sizeable number of your level names, sorry.
Bomb-foo Tower has bombs and foos but no Bomb-foos, Bonus Area is a description befitting a million different levels, Trial-and-Error is named after a bad design practice, August flying gods only tangentially relates to "flying", some other names (like bomb-foo tower) are [Enemy] [Location], and "Flow with me and bumper" remains incomprehensible to me.
I'm really sorry for rambling, and again, feel free to ignore all of this spoiler, but I'm kinda passionate when it comes to level names since there's so much character that can be put into them. References, foreshadowing, lore, jokes, you name it.

It would be unfair for me to not name some names I like:
Machinarium, while hardly relating to the context of the level which seems to be more of a construction site, is an awesome level name. Sounds great, rolls off the tongue, and sets a kind of dystopian vibe.
Shadow Mausoleum and Mystic Caves, too, foreshadow some mystery. They're simple, but really neat.

Here's some ideas for how something like Trial and Error could be named in regards to the previously mentioned categories: Reference, foreshadowing, lore, joke, and one that's just Enemy Location:
Reference: Alley of Toe-Stubbing (referencing how Mario dies whenever he stubs his toe on a spike), Cut through the City! (spikes)
Foreshadowing: Aimless Dance (relating to the way Mario seems to dance atop the arrow blocks that move in all directions) (music could be used to emphasize that idea too), Prickly Journey (again, spikes)
Lore: Charge! Advance through Spiketropolis (action), What remains of the city (tragedy)
Joke: Spike Dance Revolution (DDR blocks)
Enemy-Location: Arrow Alley, Spiky Suburbs, Arrowspike Rooftops
I'm excited to see how your level style continues to evolve over time. Try to take some of this with you and keep it up!
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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Core » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:21 am

Well, i agree completely on this one. I'll try to follow those tips, and i hope that i can learn them well, so those mistakes wouldn't happen in my future levels. About enemies - i wanted to add them, but level development was pretty stressful, so i kinda forgot about it, but i don't deny it though. Enemies would make an interesting interactions for sure.
Also just thing i want to point out:
Spoiler: show
-Bomb-foo tower doesn't means that there is bomb-foos, it means that there is bombs and foos in this tower.
Also would be nice:
Spoiler: show
Don't call me man, guess why. Also i've noticed you are calling me 'Eric52' sometimes, so would be nice if you would just.. call me Core, i really don't want to be associated with this nickname anymore.
Anyways, thanks for review and tips for autoscrollers!

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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Enjl » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:43 am

If Bomb-Foo tower is about bombs and foos, the - should be a &. I understand now, though. Also, I use "man" as an expression like "aw man the store is closed" rather than in relation to a specific person. I only referred to you as "you" in that post, I'm pretty sure.
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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Core » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:55 am

Enjl wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:43 am
If Bomb-Foo tower is about bombs and foos, the - should be a &. I understand now, though. Also, I use "man" as an expression like "aw man the store is closed" rather than in relation to a specific person. I only referred to you as "you" in that post, I'm pretty sure.
Mhm.. Fair enough.
Ah, i never take it as expression, but alright, i got you. Also level is updated.

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Re: Core Makes Good Levels

Postby Eclipsed » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:34 pm

Enjl wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:47 am
Man, so many of your levels boil down to tight spike corridors, it's kind of monotonous. I don't even have much of a suggestion here aside from "remember that the remaining features of the engine exist and add a couple you like to your tileset itembox". Seeing more elements instantly develops more diverse ideas. Try to mix things up![/spoiler]T
I know I already mentioned this in the level of the month thread, but would like to re-iterate it here in this post. Although it has gotten better, a significant portion of your levels feel like they just end suddenly. Mystic Caves, Shadow Mausoleum, Machinarium, and Ghost Site just introduce the concepts of the level and before you know it the levels are suddenly beaten. Although short levels can be decent, these levels after I beat them had a feeling of I want more or I wish the level was more fleshed out, which is not the worst take away after playing a level, but also not a good way. I strongly suggest that using this point if you're struggling to think of new ideas or concepts. 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). Something I said before is I really like the creativity the majority of the time, but not so much of the execution (that part in Ghost Site is a real pain), so I feel like diversifying the setups will help alleviate both of these issues.
Check Out SMBX Servers List - It Hosts Every SMBX Server

Check out my channel for SMBX content and custom levels

My Best Speedruns:
[WR] Invasion 2 Any% All Characters in 28:28:602
Spoiler: show

[WR] The Princess Cliche in 7:16:263
Spoiler: show
[WR]Another Princess Cliche in 23:44:217
Spoiler: show
[WR] The Great Empire in 15:36:686
Spoiler: show
[WR]Super Mario Land Returns in 7:18:141
Spoiler: show
"I am the embodiment of Canada" - Darkonius Makavar


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