I do honestly, Step 1 would be planning, Step 2 would be making the actual level, and Step 3 would be adding the question blocks/coins. It's a good process, and I recommend you to make the actual level first before adding the misc. stuff like the question blocks.
- Think on a theme. Listening to music really helps. I start visualizing the level in my head to give me an idea of what I want.
- Plan on a basic layout and a gimmick. How will the level develop is all in this step.
- Start designing the actual layout.
- Start adding coins and decorations, the aesthetics and a bonus here and there.
1- Find a good level idea while working/doing other things. Might take weeks, might take months;
2- Find/draw some music/graphics before starting Lunar Magic;
3- Design 2 or 3 screens, with lots of polish, as an example of how it'll look and what the limitations are;
4- Design the rest of the level without polish;
5- Realize that your idea was flawed and you need to rework half of the level;
6- Do so, and finally apply the polish to the rest of the level;
7- Realize that you graphics are shit, rework them and redo the polish on the level to accomodate it;
8- Realize that Mario's physics were somehow corrupted and he cannot run-jump anymore;
9- Ctrl-Del outta LM, don't boot it back for another 6 months.
A-At least the plot/script is already written guys!
Dark Star Dance release date: November 2034.
Haven't made a level in quite a long time, but the way I went through making a level was generally always the same:
1. When thinking of a level, I would always consider the world that level was in and try to come up with ideas that could work within that world and wouldn't seem too out of place. I also made sure that the level I wanted to make wasn't too similar to other levels found within the same world, so that way things would remain varied and fun.
2. Then I'd come up with a group of enemies to use within the level; somewhere around four to five different ones that I thought would be fun to design around. Anymore more than that and the level would seem like too much of a jumbled mess.
2. Next, I'd begin designing the level chunk-by-chunk, placing all the necessities down as I went—things like the chosen enemies, question blocks (including power-ups and coins), coins, dragon coins, and the midpoint. I'd say you should place things like that down as you go simply because if you wait to do it until afterward, you could find that some of them just don't fit into interesting spots. They could end up feeling to the player as if they were just stuffed there and weren't well planned.
3. Once I felt the actual level was done, I would then place all the fun little decorations around to make it all look pretty.
Of course there were times when I planned parts of the level out on graphing paper—but most of the time I simply just made it all by scratch within the program.
Edit: All of this in mind, it might've been why I haven't ever released a full-length project...
1) Think of an overall concept revolving around a combination of glitch, block, patch, puzzle element, or sprite
2) Test several set-ups for said concept
3) Make sure it's fun and unfairly difficult. If I feel a part is too easy, impossible, or if I find it too tedious, then spend more time on step 2
4) Add to it until it doesn't feel "too short" or take out some stuff if it feels "too long." Sometimes the latter is done post-production.
1) Come up with the theme and concept of the level then assemble the graphics for it. This includes decorations as well though sometimes I'll use place holders for custom blocks.
2) Come up with the gimmick/gimmicks for the level as well as what kind of obstacles will be used. I usually don't move on to the next steps until I've confirmed that the gimmicks and obstacles work.
3) Find enemies to use for the level. If it's an enemy that isn't as straight forward to use or one that I'm not familiar with I'll usually test them out to see how they are.
4.) Once the first three steps are finished I will begin designing the level to it's fullest pretty much. I often forget the secret exit path as well as sub levels that contain bonuses or leave them for later.
5.) Once the layout of the level is finish then I start setting all the properties as well as linking the levels together if I used any sub levels.
6.) This is probably strange but around this time is when I actually choose the music for the level. Most people it would seem design their level around the music their going to use which I surprisingly don't do that. I personally find it easier to choose the music for the level after everything is finished because there's a chance that things may change during the designing phase of the level and the music I would have choose for the level may not fit what I first designed it around. (If that makes any sense.)
7.) After all the other steps are done then the testing phase begins. Basically all you can expect when it comes to testing a level out applies here.
8) Make changes to the level depending on what errors I found during the testing phase. If it's just minor changes I won't really bother to test the level again until later otherwise revert back to step 7.
That's pretty much it. The order in which I do things may change every so often but most of the times it's like this.
I start with the overworld, then pick a level theme from that. From the theme I come up with a major gimmick or two. Then, it's mostly just a matter of filling in the level.
For one of my stages, I happened to have a waterfall on the OW so I decided to put a level dot there. The gimmick then was pretty obviously going to be waterfalls. Then I filled it in with a few puzzles and platforming segments and such and was done.
I just think about what I want to make and sometimes I start making it...
I usually have a sketch of the looks, the music and a few setups in my mind prior to doing anything in Lunar Magic, so it's just a matter of putting shit into action (the hard part)
I always think of an overall concept and test whatever possibilities there are with it (I do insert custom music in the middle of the process if I feel the atmosphere is gonna be kept). If the setups are too easy or too difficult, I modify them accordingly and see whether I'm satisfied afterwards or not.
I start with a raw Idea in my head. I tend to import custom music first and then build the actual level. Thats because I find it far more difficult to get a fitting song for a level, than a fitting level for a song.
Everything that is just for the looks and doesn't really affect gameplay comes a the the end.
Pick a sprite/concept, figure out how many possible ways I can twist that idea until it is absolutely beaten into the ground a la the DKC style of designing levels, and then incorporate all of those ideas.
twist that idea until it is absolutely beaten into the ground
In a single level? Isn't that kind of dangerous though? If you use it until it's "absolutely beaten into the ground" then you won't have much room to mess with it in other levels, and since there is a finite number of objects/sprites in SMW, there's only so much you can do with it.
That's what I've always been worried about ever since I started level designing, and it's kind of held me back from going "all-out" too much.
-------------------- All of my imaginary friends think I have mental problems.
There's more than enough ways to beat shit into the ground to last for a hundred full hacks if you're creative enough and start mashing different gimmicks together, exponentially more if you count all the custom stuff on the site.
Worrying about running out of possible level themes is silly, the only thing you should be worried about is which of those nigh infinite concepts you can think of using, but even then you can ask other people for ideas or take inspiration from other people's work.
0.Find a good idea for level.
1a.if this level uses custom background use sample level,then copy this background to the other level.
1b.use SPCplayer for music.
1c.start level creation.
3.finish level creation.
5.fix problems and bugs.
6.test again again.
7.repeat all steps for next level.
-------------------- If you want in my basement to observe my projects, PM/DM me for invite link.
1. Plan out your level
2. Start with the minor things like music and time
3. Lay out the ground
4. Add the more advanced stuff like coins and enemies
5. You should test it out now
6A. If anything goes wrong, fix it
6B. If everything goes right, start on the even more advanced objects like sub levels and exits
7. Test it all out
twist that idea until it is absolutely beaten into the ground
In a single level? Isn't that kind of dangerous though?
Only thing that is dangerous is questioning SNN.
1. Think of a theme
3a. For kaizo levels, I make one obstacle at a time and test it.
3b. For normal levels, I make one or two screens at a time and test them.
4. Aesthetics, polishing
5. Ask for feedback, revise
6. Come back and play the level every once in a while.