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Level 10E [ROM 1] - Twilight Lakeside (Finished!)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 7th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Level 10E [ROM 1] - Twilight Lakeside (Finished!)
Pages: « 1 »
Yeah... I know, I already have a thread about my level, although I've COMPLETELY changed the level, it's not a Lava/Cave themed level anymore. It is now a Beach/Castle/Underwater/Cloud/Grassland themed level. #smw{^_^}

As you can see from the title, I'm currently hiring some testers, but I do have to warn you, this level is a bit... LONG-LASTING & DIFFICULT, so take note of that.

I basically want you to give me feedback on how I can improve my level. If it's too long, too difficult, blatant areas, or not fun, please inform me on those things.

I'd recommend you to review my level design in this type of sample format:

Originally posted by Review

Score: -/10

Reponse: (Explain why you gave such a score, try to also input images if you can!)

Comment: (Extra things you might want to note.)


Here is the download!

NOTE: Majority of the cut-offs are intentional!

Here are some screenshots:

Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
Okay, now I think I've completed the Level Design, if you're lazy to download it, watch the video.
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
This level is definitely nice, however, it is not nice for a level design contest. This level would fare well if it were submitted to SMWCentral's hack section as a one-level hack.

I have a few complaints and nitpicks.

1.      You state that the cutoff is intentional, yet nowhere in the level is there a message box really that states why there is cutoff. I'd get it if you were saying that the castle was falling apart or something, but there is nothing that says anything.
     If you're going to argue something about how this is a level design contest and not a look contest, I'm going to reply with, "that's a bullshit excuse". Sure, looks aren't everything, but if you're going to leave cutoff as glaring as that in your level, then you better have a damn good reason for it. Right now it's seeming less like proving a point, and more of being lazy.
     If you're trying to make a single room sort of effect like Legend of Zelda or something, it won't work if you don't have shadows. I'd suggest you just put the walls in.

2.      I just skimmed the level from the video, but there is a lot that could be worked on. I believe I saw three sublevels with the same 'pattern', where you go find a P switch and take it to a brown block wall to move on to the next. (And also take a detour to a yoshi coin).
     One in particular was the urchin one, and the urchins require the player to wait a lot. Eventually, this starts to get tedious and more of a waiting game than difficult and fun.
     Some things were not needed, such as the room at 6:44 in the video. You're just wasting a sublevel with that. And another part with the line guide at 7:47, because there is no added difficulty, it is just an obstacle that wastes the player's time.

3.      In the sublevel with 6:51, Mario can go in front of the little castle blocks, but if you see at the beginning of the level at like 0:33 or so, Mario goes behind them. This is really a minor nitpick and not bad compared to the others.

4.      The level actually seems like it gets really difficult. Of course you can play the level with no problem, as you made it and know what is coming, however, the player might not be able to. Some things such as 7:52 may come as a surprise to the player.

Overall, the level itself is good, like I said, but it is not good for such a level design contest. I would personally cut some of the level out, because it feels a lot dragged out. 9 minutes is a long time for a level. If it took you 9 minutes, it might take someone around 12.

Just be sure you do what you think is right. Remember that I am a competitor against you. I'm not trying to cause disaster for your level, but you should at least take my advice into consideration.
<p4plus2> SON|KKU: its easier to stop before it bytes you in the ass
<p4plus2> WOW
<p4plus2> REALLY
<p4plus2> FUCKING WOW
<p4plus2> bites...*
To be frank, your first level with the steamy lava rooms felt much more inspired than this. Whatever was wrong with it, I'm sure it could be overlooked or resolved easily, and that you didn't need to scrap it.

I have to agree with mockingod, this level just isn't going to cut it for a contest such as this. It's too long, and there are too many situations of forced waiting and repetition that only makes these flaws more evident. I'd go into more, like how cheap those ceiling spikes can be at some places, but it'd just be rubbing salt into a wound.

--------------------

My Let's Play channel (Current LP: Final Fantasy VI, MegaMari)
Whoa, that level sure is a thing. :)
Overall, I agree with what has been previously said, but I'd like to give some suggestions for improvement as well.

First of all, get rid of the falling spikes the player can't see coming. This is fake difficulty at its best. No fun. Other than that, I like the castle portions somewhat, they certainly aren't bad, with the vertical section beeing my favourite. Overall they remind me a bit of some stuff from Yoshi's Island, which isn't a bad thing.

Also, the level length. Personally I'd really suggest to get rid of all underwater parts to get this level to a more reasonable length. Also, underwater levels which consists of narrow passages which are cramped with enemies (and while carrying a p-switch around) : no fun anyway.

To make things a little more fair, I would also suggest to get rid of the autoscroll in the autoscroll-section. This section should work without it just as well and makes everything a bit more fair for the player.

During the vertical scroll section you have some arkward looking spikes on the right side of a wall. Tile-rotating is actually allowed for this contest. #ab{;)}

Just out of curiousity, what's the point of all the cutoff? I thought the only reason for the cutoff would be that you haven't come around to add the missing tiles yet but since you said it's intentional I'm wondering. What is it you're trying to say? #ab{@_@}

--------------------

Before I reply to the comments and suggestions people have made:

EDIT: (Editing post as of February 10, 2014)

Originally posted by mockingod
1.      You state that the cutoff is intentional, yet nowhere in the level is there a message box really that states why there is cutoff.


Originally posted by FPI
Just out of curiousity, what's the point of all the cutoff? I thought the only reason for the cutoff would be that you haven't come around to add the missing tiles yet but since you said it's intentional I'm wondering. What is it you're trying to say? #ab{@_@}


Lol... I forgot to mention, I am just building the level design, I will add the aesthetics to level later. Meaning I don't really care about how the level looks, I just want to build the level first because it makes it easier for me to correct the mistakes I've made. After I'm final with the level design, THEN I will add the aesthetics.

Originally posted by Q&A Mockingod
Originally posted by mockingod
2.      I just skimmed the level from the video, but there is a lot that could be worked on. I believe I saw three sublevels with the same 'pattern', where you go find a P switch and take it to a brown block wall to move on to the next.


Yeah... I've got to admit, I did get bored playing the underwater part especially, I may have to change up the gimmicks, or possibly even REMOVE it.

EDIT: Fixed - I've removed the repetitiveness of the P-Switch, now it has that gimmick used only once.

Originally posted by mockingod
(And also take a detour to a yoshi coin).


I didn't exactly know what you meant by that...

EDIT: Maybe Fixed?

Originally posted by mockingod
     One in particular was the urchin one, and the urchins require the player to wait a lot. Eventually, this starts to get tedious and more of a waiting game than difficult and fun.


Honestly, I ran out of ideas since I'm not used to making underwater levels. Bad excuse, but I'll try to fix it.

EDIT: Fixed - I've reduced the amount of urchins, also I've kind of widened the area so you wouldn't be so bunged up.

Originally posted by mockingod
     Some things were not needed, such as the room at 6:44 in the video. You're just wasting a sublevel with that.


Well... actually it's not really a waste of a sublevel because I used the same sublevel of the right path on 2:36 (I didn't show everything in my level)

EDIT: Removed - There aren't two pathways anymore, so I removed that part.

Originally posted by mockingod
And another part with the line guide at 7:47, because there is no added difficulty, it is just an obstacle that wastes the player's time.


I'll think about it.

EDIT: Fixed - I changed the guide line difficulty, now the player doesn't have to particularly stand in one place.

Originally posted by mockingod
3.      In the sublevel with 6:51, Mario can go in front of the little castle blocks, but if you see at the beginning of the level at like 0:33 or so, Mario goes behind them. This is really a minor nitpick and not bad compared to the others.


I hate vertical levels with their layer priority problems, but hey, I just won't add those blocks.

EDIT: Removed - Like I said before, I hate vertical level's layer priority issues.

Originally posted by mockingod
4.      The level actually seems like it gets really difficult. Of course you can play the level with no problem, as you made it and know what is coming, however, the player might not be able to. Some things such as 7:52 may come as a surprise to the player.


Again, can't argue with that, honestly, I HATED that part.

EDIT: Removed - Most definitely removed, it even took me, the creator, many times to get passed that part, and I've replaced it with a new guide line area which I will upload tomorrow maybe.

Originally posted by mockingod
Overall, the level itself is good, like I said, but it is not good for such a level design contest. I would personally cut some of the level out, because it feels a lot dragged out. 9 minutes is a long time for a level. If it took you 9 minutes, it might take someone around 12.

Just be sure you do what you think is right. Remember that I am a competitor against you. I'm not trying to cause disaster for your level, but you should at least take my advice into consideration.


Thanks mockingod for the helpful feedback! #smw{^_^}


Originally posted by Q&A GeminiRage
Originally posted by GeminiRage
To be frank, your first level with the steamy lava rooms felt much more inspired than this. Whatever was wrong with it, I'm sure it could be overlooked or resolved easily, and that you didn't need to scrap it.


I might be hated for saying this or something but... I just can never stick with one project, first I thought about Volcanic Mountains, then Misty Caverns, then Magma Caverns (I think the one you're talking about), and now I've changed it to Twilight Lakeside. I felt Twilight Lakeside had many themes to it: Beach/Grassland/Castle/Cloud/Underwater. I don't know, I felt I could... add more creativity maybe?

Originally posted by GeminiRage
I have to agree with mockingod, this level just isn't going to cut it for a contest such as this. It's too long, and there are too many situations of forced waiting and repetition that only makes these flaws more evident. I'd go into more, like how cheap those ceiling spikes can be at some places, but it'd just be rubbing salt into a wound.


Yeah, I can see, but thanks to mockingod for clearing up those problems, I'll make sure I fix them right away!

EDIT: 3/4 Fixed - The level doesn't have too many situations of forced waiting and repetition, alteast I hope not. The ceiling spikes, I think I removed all of them but one... if you watch the new video I upload, you might understand why. BUT, I have some difficulty shortening my level because I have so many ideas I want to add to my level... but hey, you can't always get what you want, so I might edit this again.

Thanks for the feedback GeminiRage. #smw{^_^}


Originally posted by Q&A FPI
Originally posted by FPI
First of all, get rid of the falling spikes the player can't see coming. This is fake difficulty at its best. No fun. Other than that, I like the castle portions somewhat, they certainly aren't bad, with the vertical section beeing my favourite. Overall they remind me a bit of some stuff from Yoshi's Island, which isn't a bad thing.


They're sneaky huh? I tried. #smw{:trollface:}

EDIT: Fixed - Falling spikes are all fixed, except one which I've previously explained to GeminiRage.

Originally posted by FPI
Also, the level length. Personally I'd really suggest to get rid of all underwater parts to get this level to a more reasonable length. Also, underwater levels which consists of narrow passages which are cramped with enemies (and while carrying a p-switch around) : no fun anyway.


I might think about it, I can FOR SURE remove the second part of the underwater, but the first part included however... I don't know because the level takes place on a lakeside... it would be quite weird if the level didn't have any underwater part. Right? :o?

EDIT: Maybe Fixed? - I've completely removed the second part of the underwater because it does seem to get a bit repetitive. The length of the level however... I'm going to try to see how to fix that, I might even completely remove the rooftop part (NOT THE VERTICAL LEVEL).

Originally posted by FPI
To make things a little more fair, I would also suggest to get rid of the autoscroll in the autoscroll-section. This section should work without it just as well and makes everything a bit more fair for the player.


Hmm... I might have to think about this one too because with the auto-scroll, my level goes perfectly with the timing. If I didn't add the auto-scroll then I would have to remove the On/Off switches and Blue Koopas because people would try to take advantage and use the L & R Scrolls to mess up the timing.

Originally posted by FPI
During the vertical scroll section you have some arkward looking spikes on the right side of a wall. Tile-rotating is actually allowed for this contest. #ab{;)


Yeah... I'm just focusing on the Level Design as of for now. I will change it later.

Thanks FPI for the feedback! #smw{^_^}


I hope I've answered all of your questions and made clear why I have those cut-offs.
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
Originally posted by chineesmw
Lol... I forgot to mention, I am just building the level design, I will add the aesthetics to level later. Meaning I don't really care about how the level looks, I just want to build the level first because it makes it easier for me to correct the mistakes I've made. After I'm final with the level design, THEN I will add the aesthetics.

Okay, that's a bit reasonable. I thought you were going to leave it like that for the final level.

Originally posted by chineesmw
Yeah... I've got to admit, I did get bored playing the underwater part especially, I may have to change up the gimmicks, or possibly even REMOVE it.

Originally posted by chineesmw
Again, can't argue with that, honestly, I HATED that part.

It's a really bad sign if you get bored or hate parts of your own level. I didn't like constantly playing my own level over and over, but I never got downright bored with it or thought it was too frustrating to play. If you have a hard time with it, think how hard it will be to a regular player who isn't expecting it.

Originally posted by chineesmw
"(And also take a detour to a Yoshi coin)'
I didn't exactly know what you meant by that...

What I meant by it is that all the water segments had a same basic layout. the player has to get a P switch, and there is also a Yoshi coin the player can get on the way to getting the P switch.

Originally posted by chineesmw
Well... actually it's not really a waste of a sublevel because I used the same sublevel of the right path on 2:36 (I didn't show everything in my level)

Fair enough. Though, even though it isn't a waste of a sublevel, it is a waste of time for the player, since the next sublevel doesn't have anything the player has to 'expect'.
<p4plus2> SON|KKU: its easier to stop before it bytes you in the ass
<p4plus2> WOW
<p4plus2> REALLY
<p4plus2> FUCKING WOW
<p4plus2> bites...*
Ok guys, I've updated the level and fixed majority of the problems.

Click on this video.

Any feedback?

EDIT: The complaints that I, the creator have is that I think I put too many hidden 1-up blocks:
- 0:27
- 2:29
- 4:31
Also, I don't really think my level will do high on the Level Design score, although I don't even know what to improve on, so I will just leave the levels as it is.
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
There is something wrong if you go about designing your level thinking that it wont score high in Level Design.

The bullet bill launchers at 3:48 are unnecessary.

The jump at roughly 5:17 is probably going to be the hardest jump in the level.
<p4plus2> SON|KKU: its easier to stop before it bytes you in the ass
<p4plus2> WOW
<p4plus2> REALLY
<p4plus2> FUCKING WOW
<p4plus2> bites...*
Livestreaming a Timelapse of my Updates!

Click for the stream.

EDIT: Done with the 2-hour Livestream! =D

EDIT2: Click on this video for a Timelapse of my Livestream! =D
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
Livestreaming my Entry (Day 2)
Click this link.


EDIT: Now I'm done with the livestream, also... from now on I'm not going to notify my livestreams because that would be... spamming, right?

EDIT2: I'm done with Update 3! AESTHETICS ARE NOT FINAL! I hope I have enough time to add the aesthetics... =(

Here are some screenshots:



Click this for the video!
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
This might be the last update I will show until I start adding more aesthetics and better palettes.

Click for the video.

Click for the IPS.

I don't think I'm going to finish my entry on time.
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
The level is shaping up to be pretty awesome. One thing I would suggest is that you should fix the slope you can go through in the water portion of the level.

You did show that the player could do nothing in it, but the fix is so easily done and minor that the level would not be effected at all by it. Just add a solid block instead of the slope, like the top right corner of a ground tile.
<p4plus2> SON|KKU: its easier to stop before it bytes you in the ass
<p4plus2> WOW
<p4plus2> REALLY
<p4plus2> FUCKING WOW
<p4plus2> bites...*
Honestly, I think you're pretty much golden in terms of aesthetics. The level overall looks brilliant in that regard, and the level design seems decent enough. Judging by the video, though, there are some areas that might need work design-wise.

-Firstly, just a nitpick, the stacked spikes at around 4:28 are a bit off-putting (I get that they mean "go up," but do they all have to be stacked like that?).

-That final dragon coin seems ridiculously easy to get considering there's a power-up box right next to the turn blocks you need to break to get the coin.

-And speaking of spikes, it seems like you use more spikes to enhance difficulty in many areas of the level. This can be seen as artificial difficulty, which is not good, so maybe cut down on some of the spikes? (Especially the single ones on the ground, as those seem rather blatantly placed.)

-Lastly, parts of the level seem fairly tight, or cramped, in design. As I've observed recently, "cramped" level design has started becoming looked down upon, so keep that in mind.

Just my thoughts. Overall, the level looks great, just some areas need level design tweaking.
Layout by Mirann <3
This is shaping up very nicely - the graphics create a great atmosphere.
I think the biggest issue with it right now might be the very claustrophic design of many parts here, especially in areas where you throw a lot to the player, like the Chucks and Disco shells on the fast autoscroll part - people have not much time to react to all that and thanks to the cramped esign they don't have many options to handle the situation. I think raising the ceiling a bit here and there would do wonders to create a more fun to play level instead of mostly a very hard one.

--------------------

Thanks for the feedback guys!

But I'm surprised, no one noticed in the vertical level, it didn't rain (That's a good sign), lets pretend that the raining stopped...? xD?
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
Alright everyone, I'm done with my entry!

This is the Video link!

This is the Download link!

EDIT: Oh yeah, and thanks especially to mockingod for giving me SO much feedback, everytime I made an update, he was always there to make sure my level had a good flow.
Upcoming Hacks:
- Hazardous Halloween
- Super Mario Orbis
- Xenia
"My Favorite SMW Hack Levels" Playlist
Pages: « 1 »
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 7th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Level 10E [ROM 1] - Twilight Lakeside (Finished!)

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