New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Share your work-in-progress SMBX episode or browse and support others'.
User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:28 am

The project is still unnamed so I used the folder name in my PC as the topic title.

Aim:

The project's aim is for me to improve my design specifically on a whole episode since I am used to design individual levels. Because days ago, I had realized that most of my levels have the same difficulty and since I had a project working on, TGCA Remake, it would be awkward to play with after its release.

Although not necessary in improving my current project, I also challenged myself to make cohesive worlds.

My plan:
To ensure that the difficulty curve increases properly, I started creating levels on the first world from 1-1 to 1-Castle.

But to make the worlds cohesive, I do these things:
  • Present the most basic things on the early worlds and then evolve those on later worlds. The only disadvantage I can think of by doing this is the episode will have a slow start.
  • Make sure to combine elements from X-1 to X-n in X-Castle. This would be a bit tedious if there are so many levels in each world. However, I have planned to make at most 6 levels in each world.
  • Decide the worlds' arrangement realistically. (e.g. Grasslands -> Mountain -> Ice Peaks) I'll have a hard time designing a world map though.
Progress:
I have already completed the first world with 5 levels in total.

Screenshots:
29/03/2020: show
Image
Image
Image

Download:
Demo v1 (W1 only)
Last edited by Radiance on Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:16 am

Interesting approach. I hope it works out for you! The one I have settled with is quite the opposite of yours, weirdly enough. I'll briefly summarize it in case you want to try it for yourself:
Ehat I often do is kinda design levels I wanna make and then later sort them into the episode depending on where they ended up in terms of difficulty. The environment doesn't really matter to me here, because if need be, aesthetics can always be adjusted after all levels are done. Earlygame levels are some of the levels I make last, because knowing what later levels look like allows me to gauge more easily what I haven't properly taught the player yet, and also how quickly the difficulty curve must rise at the start to fit the rest of the episode.

Regardless of whether you would like to try this approach for a future challenge project or a world in this one, good luck on your journey.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:03 am

Yours is interesting too! In fact, that's what I use in doing TGCA remake since it's a hub type and less cohesion across levels are needed. However, I need to practice doing levels with various difficulties so I don't end up making levels with the same difficulty.

Also, my target audience is the beginners on the game so I need to create first the easiest levels and then gradually increase the difficulty for the later levels.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am

Radiance wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:03 am
since it's a hub type and less cohesion across levels are needed
If you design the worlds after the levels, this isn't a restriction with world-based episodes either! NSMBU put a desert right next to a snowscape, which is easy enough to at least match :p
Recently I had the idea for a train level, for example, and I was able to put that into any world I wanted to by swapping out the background. Airships, factories, castles, or other types of locations that don't depend on natural features can be freely placed in a similar manner. Even sky levels, in many instances. Even with something like a volcano, the setting can be tweaked into something like a boiling poison pool, or a fuzzy mine.
Radiance wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:03 am
However, I need to practice doing levels with various difficulties so I don't end up making levels with the same difficulty.
Mhm. Your approach may certainly help with that, and I hope it works out for you. Regardless...
Radiance wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:03 am
Also, my target audience is the beginners on the game so I need to create first the easiest levels and then gradually increase the difficulty for the later levels.
I think working backwards might still be good in some instances because it's easier to estimate the curve if you know the cap. Furthermore, difficulty can always be tweaked by rearranging, removing, adding or replacing setups within levels. So a level initially too hard can be adjusted to feature less harsh setups and a more forgiving internal difficulty curve. Of course this can also be done for levels initially more easy than wanted, but often times you'll find your own perception of your level's difficulty to be lower than other people will find it to be. A way of judging difficulty I sometimes hear about was that the difficulty someone else experiences while playing can be estimated by the difficulty you experience trying to do the level damageless.

I think releasing a world as a demo might be a good way in order to get some other people to test it though to see if you're on the right track. I'm interested in giving it a try for sure.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
ShadowStarX
Bronze Yoshi Egg
Bronze Yoshi Egg
Posts: 1544
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:21 am
Current Project: The Mysteries of Bowser's Castle
Chat Username: ShadowStarX
Contact:

Re: New folder

Postby ShadowStarX » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:33 am

This looks like a promising project, I hope you'll be able to have fresh takes in each world and level and also manage the difficulty curve. (which I believe you will)
I'm looking forward to a demo if you're planning on releasing one.
Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am
A way of judging difficulty I sometimes hear about was that the difficulty someone else experiences while playing can be estimated by the difficulty you experience trying to do the level damageless.
Interesting advice, I shall utilize this for my project as well. (and I hope many-many new WIP episodes will make use of this)
Also I suppose you mean damageless with a Tier 1 powerup, as Tier 2 and Tier 3 powerups make the obstacles easier to deal with, meanwhile Small Mario can maneuver easier in less spacious levels than Super Mario can.
"Look me in the eyes and tell me that ad isn't funny." - Shadow Yoshi, 2015
"hitaswitchtohitanotherswitchandseewhathappens" syndrome - Waddle, 2016
"I am in a call with a Natsu" - MECHDRAGON777, 2016
"A serious joke question" - MECHDRAGON777, 2020

My Project - The Mysteries of Bowser's Castle


Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:37 am

ShadowStarX wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:33 am
Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am
A way of judging difficulty I sometimes hear about was that the difficulty someone else experiences while playing can be estimated by the difficulty you experience trying to do the level damageless.
Interesting advice, I shall utilize this for my project as well. (and I hope many-many new WIP episodes will make use of this)
Also I suppose you mean damageless with a Tier 1 powerup, as Tier 2 and Tier 3 powerups make the obstacles easier to deal with, meanwhile Small Mario can maneuver easier in less spacious levels than Super Mario can.
You definitely ought to test with every powerup and character individually. In levels that use powerups you also need to be wary of softlocks.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:30 am

Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am
I think working backwards might still be good in some instances because it's easier to estimate the curve if you know the cap.
Well, that's a great advice! I'll take note of that.
Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am
If you design the worlds after the levels, this isn't a restriction with world-based episodes either! NSMBU put a desert right next to a snowscape, which is easy enough to at least match :p
I'm having split opinions on it since a general level ready to be plug by any theme is good, but there are some theme-specific NPCs that could be added which requires some major tweaks (e.g. Bumpty when added could require ice tiles, Wiggler when added could require a space for it to move when it is in stomped state). I'll take note of that advice on levels which requires less theme-specific NPCs.
Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:13 am
A way of judging difficulty I sometimes hear about was that the difficulty someone else experiences while playing can be estimated by the difficulty you experience trying to do the level damageless.
Good point, I may release something days after.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:08 am

Radiance wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:30 am
but there are some theme-specific NPCs that could be added which requires some major tweaks (e.g. Bumpty when added could require ice tiles, Wiggler when added could require a space for it to move when it is in stomped state). I'll take note of that advice on levels which requires less theme-specific NPCs.
I was less thinking about swapping out the content and more the environment. A level around bumpties could still fit into many environments and worlds that relate to coldness. Think that a world happens to have a mountain range the player conveniently happens to pass by (or an ice cream factory, or a desert that's cold at night). Single outliers like that (or two in a row) can work well to mix things up. It's what cave levels have been doing in Mario since forever.
Wigglers are naturally a bit more niche in their habitat, indeed, so they are a bit more tricky to adapt to a new habitat if need be. But I think some clever things can be done with them by switching out the flower with something appropriate for the theme, like a hat in a snowy area or a miner's helmet in a cave, so there's definitely some room for maneuvering there, too.
That isn't to say that there aren't cases where the environment of the level brilliantly supports the underlying theme, but those instances are where post-completion difficulty adjustments become more important.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:24 pm

Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:08 am
But I think some clever things can be done with them by switching out the flower with something appropriate for the theme, like a hat in a snowy area or a miner's helmet in a cave, so there's definitely some room for maneuvering there, too.
This is clever indeed! I'll definitely apply your suggestions on the project. Thanks!


Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:58 am

Permission needed to download?
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:50 am

Oops. Fixed it already. Thanks for the notice

User avatar
Cedur
Toad
Toad
Posts: 6477
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:14 am

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Cedur » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:29 am

Honestly I'd find it pretty hilarious if this episode's name remains "New folder".
Image
More Supports: show

Image
Image

Still using the legacy editor? Get SMBX2 and PGE, it will improve your experience significantly. Here's why. And remember, Yoshis are tools to be used and discarded.

ShadowStarX (06/14/18) wrote: South Korea is easy deal

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:06 am

I'm thinking of the same thing actually but I need to have a name which appeals my target audience (beginners) before its release.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:32 am

Impressions:
1-1: show
Teaches the most fundamental of fundamentals well enough. Some clever spins on what the original 1-1 did 30 years ago, though nothing beyond that at all. Qute a shame considering Nintendo made more engaging 1-1 levels in future Mario titles that continued to do well in terms of teaching the fundamentals.
1-2: show
Clever start, though perhaps easy to miss, especially if you hold anything when the level starts. The antisoftlock shell could also just come out of the pipe. I think that would make more sense. Considering how much you want to introduce everything, I am surprised to find that, for the bonus area, the idea of how to enter a pipe was not established. In SMB1, this was done through the intro cutscene of 1-2, and the secret in 1-1 didn't stick out in the environment unlike here, making that accidental discovery for new players much more rewarding.
Coin Ship: show
Fire flower seems very difficult to reach for a powerup available in 1-1 of pretty much every mario game where they don't instead feed you the flight powerup. A sign for where to exit would also be nice. Secret exit is even more difficult for someone who doesn't yet know what a run button is. Bullet jumps are a typical lategame challenge anyway, though. It kiiind of makes sense as a gatekeeper for a later world? Though at the same time I feel like that could've just been the secret exit path of a level that introduces bill blasters, instead of a standalone bonus. The 1-2 secret exit didn't offer much in the way of challenge, anyway.
1-3: show
For a level introducing moving platforms, it has a surprising lack of horizontal movement, instead opting to repeat the same vertical platform path with little to no variation.
1-4: show
A player who missed the optional coin ship will be unlikely to finish the boss fight without taking damage or losing a life. I see what you're going for, but I don't really agree. Overall, adding lava to previous concepts doesn't really make them fresh.
World Map: show
The paths should be 1/4 the length or automatically traversed using travL.lua
Overall thoughts: show
Play World 1 of SMB3 and SMW and see how much they do in spite of being easy and having to teach things to beginners. All these levels feel very factory-produced with any sense of personality thrown out based on the excuse of being welcoming to newcomers. But even levels that try to be accessible can be more engaging than levels made for people who never saw a videogame before in 1980! And Nintendo knew that by the time they made SMB3 (not counting either SMB2 for obvious reasons). Heck, examine the themes of the world 1 levels in NSMB, NSMB2, SM3DW, Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's Wooly World, if you wanna see what Nintendo games are up to now in terms of teaching the fundamentals in easy levels.

I think easy levels should be engaging at the same time, because if they aren't, chances are you're losing people before the game "gets good". I applaud the effort to try and make easy levels, but if you don't also make them interesting on their own, that practice won't help with much, since it's easier to make levels easier than to infuse existing levels with a more interesting idea.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:25 am

Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:32 am
Overall, adding lava to previous concepts doesn't really make them fresh.
While I agree with most of your criticisms, this part confuses me. Are you talking about the insta-death hazards or only the presence of the lava? Because if it's the former then I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong adding an insta-death hazard especially on the most difficult part of the world. Otherwise, I'll probably reskin it with something else.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Enjl » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:07 am

Radiance wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:25 am
Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:32 am
Overall, adding lava to previous concepts doesn't really make them fresh.
While I agree with most of your criticisms, this part confuses me. Are you talking about the insta-death hazards or only the presence of the lava? Because if it's the former then I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong adding an insta-death hazard especially on the most difficult part of the world. Otherwise, I'll probably reskin it with something else.
Sure it may perhaps remove the safety net, but if you take a look at the world 1 levels from official titles, the safety net is usually removed two or three setups after the introduction, still in the introductory level. So if you put 5 setups with a safety net in level 1, and then 5 setups without that safety net in the redux level, you still have basically the same setup several times without anything to alter the challenge. Combined with the fact that some of the redux setups can be entirely skipped by a full jump without holding the run button, I feel like you should be a bit more imaginative in the way in which you expand upon your challenges, even in the early stages.

I absolutely agree that instant death hazards are fine for early world levels. Even SMB1 1-1 had bottomless pits.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image

User avatar
Radiance
Level Reviewer
Level Reviewer
Posts: 1295
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:53 am
Current Project: viewtopic.php?t=16308

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Radiance » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:02 am

Enjl wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:07 am
So if you put 5 setups with a safety net in level 1, and then 5 setups without that safety net in the redux level, you still have basically the same setup several times without anything to alter the challenge.
Ahh I got it now. Thanks for the tips as I will edit these levels and apply those tips in the future levels.

User avatar
Teemster2
Volcano Lotus
Volcano Lotus
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:56 am

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Teemster2 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 am

I watched several partial episode runs from a bel niko player on YouTube and after 3 different episodes I was not happy. I mean each episode in the first worlds seemed to have a power up every 30 seconds and they mostly spammed enemies that just walk towards you and are easy to dodge. The first episode was bad. You only start out with 3 lives but after 8 levels (only 1 play each) the player had 100 lives already. Now I get it's supposed to be easy but that's just way to easy. It sounds like you don't plan to take this approach which makes me happy. I don't find levels that mass spam power ups to be fun. Especially ones that have 5-6 power ups and can be beat in 30 seconds.

I'm glad you plan to increase the difficulty and make your episode more challenging. This looks very promising. Keep up the good work.
I want to say thank you to God for every day he gives me on this planet and for the chance to be in a better place when I die.

Enjl
Cute Yoshi Egg
Cute Yoshi Egg
Posts: 8729
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:58 pm
Flair: Orphion Egamalenitar Osmos IV, Esq.

Re: New folder (Screenshots and Demo v1 released)

Postby Enjl » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:51 pm

Teemster2 wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:03 am
Few things:
1) Lives are no indicator of difficulty. They're an archaic leftover from the arcade days and all they can ever hope to contribute to is a game over. A game over has the consequence of you losing your checkpoint in a level, which is frustrating and not challenging. You have already proven to the game that you can beat the first half of the level, after all.
2) Powerups are hardly an indicator for difficulty. Of course, being able to tank through everything is unsatisfying, but it's better to place a powerup too much than too little, because it helps struggling players and gives better players something to try and preserve, especially if it's a rare one. The opposite end of the spectrum is powerup starvation, and powerup (or checkpoint) starvation is a thing you wanna stay away from as much as possible, because all it can ever lead to is frustration. Levels without powerups work by means of placing frequent checkpoints.
3) Avoiding frequent powerups is impossible in levels that require a specific powerup. Those levels are usually to be treated as a level without powerups where you're just permanently in a specific powerup state.
Ideas are useless if you can't make them real.
Image


Return to “Projects”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests