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Posts by cstutor89
cstutor89's Profile - Posts by cstutor89
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Ugh, 24 hour unable to repost. I wanted to post yesterday but I just couldn't so I just put an Edit insert. Anyways, I worked on this a quite a bit the last couple of days.

Here's a link to the IPS (I hope it works): IPS

If you would like to see a video of this level being played here it is on Youtube: Video

There are still 2 (minor) issues for me to resolve.
1. Arrows are still flipping vertically sometimes ... GAH, why!?
2. Pillars in the 3rd Part look strange as the ceiling is coming down.

BTW: I looked for Song 30 but it wasn't inserted in the latest base rom. So right now the 1st part has a song substitute and will change later.
Lots of good feedback from AxemJinx. And I have no problems changing it up and fixing parts that are repetitive or not as great.
There are definitely some things that I will remove.

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For example, I know those spikes were insta-death in Yoshi's Island, but it feels like overkill in SMW, especially in the dropping ceiling section. I'd say merely hurting Mario is enough.


Yeah, I was thinking about it as well, I probably will change those spikes on the top to act like normal spikes that just hurt Mario.

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Also, I found myself wondering if you were using the arrows too much. It's fine to make them the focus of the level, but I feel like you hardly use any other enemies, and by the time I reached the third section, I was beginning to tire of them. In the first area, I don't know if monty moles are the best enemies to use, as they frequently get stuck in lower areas that you can then jump over with ease. The two on screen 2 are also kind of odd in that they spawn off-screen a bit as they hop up, making them a little hard to see at first.


Okay, let me go through the list of custom Desert sprites and see if I can add new sprites and delete some of the arrows.

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On a side note, instead of laying the bricks out half-piece by half-piece, you should make a two-square-tile piece in Map16 so you can cut down on tile usage. As it stands, your level's going to take up a lot of space in the ROM.


Yeah, size might be a problem. Probably will fix this one.

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Oh, and the arrows push Mario back even when he's recovering from a hit, which I thought was a little odd, but see what others think, too.


Yeah, I'm not sure how I would fix this one.

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In the second area, the general darkness combined with the color similarity in the FG/BG makes some blocks hard to see...or at least, I think so.


It is at night and it is closed inside. I can make the FG blocks a little bit brighter but not too much more.

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Finally, this might just be me, but I thought the fact that the arrows actually knock Mario back was a little weird in practice.


I have to see if other people feel the same way, but it's not too hard of a change if I need to fix that.

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0: This would serve as a nice introduction to the arrows if Mario had not already encountered them in the previous section...I'm not sure why you put this here, specifically.


It's for the floor triggered arrow shooters.

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2: Nitpicky, but are these 'M' blocks strictly necessary? They look awfully out of place to me in this level.


All of the M blocks here and in 6 will go away. IDK why I didn't get rid of them.

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3: The coins kind of suggest that you should do a full-speed jump to clear this gap, but if I understand correctly, the height you gain from such a jump is randomized and isn't always 6 tiles high. I guess if players know to spin-bounce on the bowling ball (which, by the way, looks weird when it doesn't rotate) it should be ok, but this jump gave me pause.


I might just do away with that spiked graphics and just keep it as a rolling spherical rock.

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3/4: I know Kojeco's level uses crumbling bridge tiles, but that's pretty far away from this one, and I think you should reintroduce them in a safer manner, so as to refresh players' memory before continuing. Otherwise, I have a feeling players will be (unfairly) caught off-guard.


Okay.

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4: The arrow shooters sometimes seem to cancel each other out, which makes their rate of fire kind of erratic. Not a good thing when you're demanding precision. Also, the p-quarter affects the late vine block, which I personally thought was kind of annoying.


It might help if I reduce the number of shooters and only have 1 of them on the screen at a time.

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5: I feel like there should be a bit more vertical space between the two shooters here- that way, players could jump on the lower tier without getting hit by the upper arrow.


I wondered about that, I think I will raise it 1 or 2 more blocks to make it better.

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7: Maybe I'm just tired of seeing p-things, but reliance on them here seems kind of underwhelming. Up until here the level has a nice sense of environmental danger, and then these global tiles crash the party, if you take my meaning.


I could just do away with them and make it one continuous long chain of spikes.

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B-C: Might just be me, but I didn't like this too much, either. Too much precision to squeeze into that space after the triangles, and then you have to wait a full p-quarter cycle just so the koopa doesn't fall off prematurely or get killed by the shell. On top of that, this kind of setup doesn't sit well with me to begin with because it's exactly the kind of thing you see in run-of-the-mill switch palace "puzzle" levels. Also, see 2.


Maybe I'll just make it a harder section for the coin.

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Overall: What I find weird about this section is that, even though there's a message box explaining the situation, the danger isn't visually immediate, and if you dilly-dally until the ceiling spikes actually show up, by that point it could be too late. Overall this area seems to demand a lot of precision, even trial-and-error, and I felt like I was rushing and stumbling through the whole time. I kind of expected to see more on/off blocks so I could reverse the ceiling's movement, but no dice.

Also, you can't see the swoopers. This was fine back in one of the Bowser's Valley levels from the original game because you didn't have an irreversible insta-death ceiling bearing down on you the whole time, but here it makes things seem unfair. In addition, some of the arrow setups, especially on screen 4, make me just want to tank through out of urgency instead of thinking about how to make it through unscathed.


I could alleviate the difficulty by removing some of the arrow shooters since there are many of them. And changing the spikes would help me lower them a little bit so that they are visible from the beginning on.. Swoopers will be replaced by something else.

I don't think I will change the direction of the ceiling though because it is trying to actually crush Mario as in Indiana Jones style and it's the time to panic and get the heck out of there kind of scenario.

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Oh, and maybe it's just me, but the color of the chains seems a little bright compared to everything else.


Yeah, I'll tint those.

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Is that clear block supposed to be the normal exit?


It is supposed to be. Going to replace it later.
Originally posted by Woody
The switch blocks in this message box should be green, not blue.


I know about that error. Will be fixed.
The only thing I would like to mention is the level that I'm working on, Green Switch Palace, does have a section in it that has a spiked ceiling coming down on Mario. But other than that I like the idea. How will do the secret exit?
Originally posted by TomPhanto
I like the concept, but I found the level to be frustrating at times.

Final Thoughts: It really didn't feel like a switch palace level. It just felt like a desert ruins level painted green. And I found the difficulty to be too demending for World 4 at some points. This really isn't a complaint, but at the beginning of the stage, I find that you're able to fly up on top if you have a feather. I like that you put the ON/OFF switch inside the ruins so the player wouldn't get a free pass, but if you already got the switch, then you could just enter the pipe and be done. Of course you were already done with the level so it isn't too big a deal.

Personally I think you need to start over, with the same concept, but rethink the level design, but that's just me. Don't take this too personally, you've proven that you know what you're doing. It's just that I think the level could go in another direction.


Alright. I don't have a problem starting over with the same idea as long as there are legitimate reasons. And with the difficulty being too tough, overabundance of arrows, and some annoyances with the arrows those are legitimate reasons. What this version does help me is at least establish a base to help me gauge what is too hard, what needs to be fixed, and what needs to be watch out for in terms of design.

The design plan for right now is first I need to reorganize some of the graphics that I made. The ExGFX content need to be moved around in the file. The mood/setting/colors/arrangement of the level will stay the same.

As for 23, I think I will make that area strictly a desert/outside ruins areas with desert enemies. I have to look at the custom sprites again and see what can be used or what will be most effective (other than monty moles) in the level without it being too difficult. Probably will get rid of the arrows in this part of the level but design wise stay the same (except for the moon - that will just be eliminated).

As for B4, pretty much the same enemies will still be here - bats, arrows, spikes, desert enemies, and still trying to add Pokey if possible. Puzzle wise a shorter puzzle for the 1st SMW Coin.

As for B5, spikes will be lowered 1 square to see there is immediate danger (but don't instant kill) and the spikes on the bottom will be replaced with a bottomless bit. The idea for the 2nd SMW Coin will probably stay the same as it will require a little bit out of the way work to get since the spikes don't instant kill anymore. Bats will be eliminated because they are just too big of a hazard and you won't be able to see them in time while avoiding the regular enemies, crumbling floors, and arrows.

I don't think I will change the switch area (B6) unless there's cutoff or some strange graphical errors. If anyone sees cutoff or something like that let me know and I'll fix it. As far the clear box is concerned, I should have made it very clear that it was going to be replaced with the goal roulette.

I know this is a long post, but I do want to make it as defined as possible to let people know what I'm doing and how I will continue on with this level. But I do appreciate the comments and feedback a lot.
I just finished testing it, much better now. I don't think I have anything else to point out at this time. As long as SNN likes it, it's fine with me. Really good job with the level :).
I tested your level again and I think you've addressed some of the issues I had last time around. Still a pretty good level - just a few issues with colors and BG stuff.

Level 116
1. I think you've addressed the camera issue with the vertical climb and it looks better than before. I still think it feels a little bit too much like the land is still falling rather than Mario moving up. I think the key to this one has to be something with the Scrolling feature of Layer 2, H-Scroll:Variable, V-Scroll:Constant. I'd be glad to try to see if this is possible.

EDIT: With the size of the level being larger than E length, it's not possible to use Variable/Constant. Just ignore Part 1.

2. Color 33 - just change that to something like 000E or 000D. That black on that red/white pipe looks a little bit strange.

3. A little bit of slowdown on screen 6 with the Lakitu's throwing stuff with the Bob-omb.

4. The Koopa kicking the shell, discriminates Big Mario a bit as either he has to get out of the Lakitu Cloud or take a hit if he's confined in that area. Maybe just move the cloud and Koopa/Shell one block down.

Level 94
1. Since Mario is pretty close to the clouds, I think it would be better if this area had just clouds to look at.

Level 95
1. Again Color 33.

2. There might need to be a little bit more texture on the clouds in the FG.
Sorry, I haven't posted in a while. Ugh, the Christmas/New Years season was really busy for me.

I started over pretty much but this time tried to cut back on the amount of memory usage and figure out what sprites were best for this desert level. It was hard to find something that was strong and at the same time made sense for the world and its difficulty.

I decided to go piece by piece this time around. I've just worked on 23 for now and will modify that part first before moving onto B4 and B5. I've kept B6 the same and fixed the blue block problem from the message block.

The design layout is pretty much the same except this time there are no arrow shooters in 23 and in place of them there are dry bones, a few koopas, spinies, and desert cat enemies. No monty moles, I just couldn't figure out how to make them a worthy enemy without making them too complicated. I rearranged the ExGFX file a bit, deleted excessive items and added a few. Here it is right here:



Here's a video of 23 and B6: Video

Here's the IPS of 23 and B6: IPS

I will be moving the ON/OFF block to level B5 when I get that far.
I do LPs too, normally on a daily basis. I started off doing walkthroughs with SMW stuff and now have extended into LPs and other things as well. I'm just about to start Quest On Full Moon Island v1.2.

I also show some of the SMW hack stuff I've done too and some other misc videos as well.

Channel: www.youtube.com/cstutor89


Originally posted by Artemiscat55

Ask and you shall receive. But first, I'll ask what the program is that you other LPers use. I can't figure it out. If it helps, I do have a webcam, if a small one.


It depends on the system what program I use. zSNES has a recording device built into it that I use. For screen captures and editing I use Camtasia, it works really well but is pricey. If price is an issue, Sony Vegas 10 is great for editing and recording videos. Or if you want a free version, Camstudio is great - though audio syncing might be troublesome. I think many of these recording software systems have 30 day trials where you can test it out first before you buy it so I'd go with that first and see which one best fits your needs.

For Wii/N64/Gamecube kind of games, my computer has a built in TV tuner so I can use that in combination with Windows Media Encoder 9 to get the footage from there.
Originally posted by Superderek
Recently I've been trying to record Terraria and I seem to be getting this "fuzzy" effect sometimes after rendering. I've tried a few settings and while this proves the less laggiest, it still does this. I've never had much problem recording Minecraft but this seems to be quite strange. If you'd like to help me then please PM me or post what you may know about it. I'll PM/post any answers to questions you may have about my settings.

The resolution to record is 720P (1280 X 720), on both recorder (Camtasia) and on the Terraria window. I do have Skip Frames on for Terraria. I have tried recording at a resolution half of this and it still does this "fuzzy" effect. It appears to not show before rendering and the recorded FPS is decent around the times it appears.


That's an interesting problem. I could try to help. I've worked with Camtasia before and the fuzziness that occurs in the videos is something I've never seen before. Fuzziness only occurs when I scale up a file to be a size larger than the original. It may possibly be a CPU/Graphics problem or it could be a Codec problem. What kind of codec are you using to render the videos? Are you using lots of programs while you are recording the footage?
Originally posted by Superderek
I exit and make sure no other unneeded process/program is running before recording, such as my browser.

The codec I'm using with Camtasia is "TechSmith Screen Capture Codec". It is the default one I believe. I haven't thought that it may be a problem but I have heard of some which may be better. Any recommendations? And while my computer doesn't suck, I do know that the CPU isn't always below 90%. I just find it strange I don't see it before it renders. It looks fine in the "playback", looks fine in the preview before rendering...then the .mp4 it renders into completely saddens me.


Ah, okay.

I usually encode to a WMV file and use TechSmith Screen Capture Codec too. I've used Cinepak Codec by Radius before for my Adventures Of Lolo 2 hack by Sivak and that one works pretty well too. Maybe try that one to see if it gives different results. Does the file give the same result in a WMV file?

I've looked through the MP4 options, maybe you can raise the quality rate to about 85% or the bitrate to a larger number in the Flash Options.
I checked it right now and I don't have problems setting the number to 9F. What kind of sprite memory choice are you using right now?

EDIT: Maybe it's not a sprite memory issue. I'm playing around with SMW right now and I can't get it to crash ... ugh.
How about a screenshot? If you're using Windows you can use Ctrl + Print Scr to get a screenshot of your computer.

I was going to say what 2dareduck was going to say but he said it before me lol.
I think Lunar Magic glitched.

I changed it to 0 and it was okay just had lag and missing tiles lolz. But I'm glad it's working now.
Oh okay, it looks like you've saved the 16x16 Map Screen.

Have you saved the ROM itself?
lol, just making sure :)

Um, if you want, you can send me an IPS and I'll take a look at it and see what's really going on here. It's not usual for something like this to happen.
I've figured out the problem. :)

In order to keep the background (the checkerboard BG) as it is, if you use FG2 you will need to keep slot F8 free and open as its a standard free/open spot. Otherwise anything that is in slot F8 will cover up the BG. I'll send you the IPS back with the fixed graphics. I did have to move the item in F8 to D8 (check the 8x8 graphics) but it should work now. :)

I'll edit this with a link soon.

EDIT:

Here it is, all fixed up. I think you might need to color in some of the checkerboard things in YY-CHR, the dark brown blocks are missing some color. But it should work now.

http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/14182/fixed.ips
Are you patching to a clean SMW rom?

You can use this to check: http://www.smwcentral.net/online/clean/

EDIT: Ah okay.
The secondary entrances' positions look correct in the screenshots. When you add secondary exits to the level use the following steps:

1. Click on Add/Modify/Delete Screen Exits (+/- Door button in LM)
2. Select the screen number you want to add a secondary exit too (in this case it would be 02 for both levels).
3. In "Level Destination or Secondary Exit Number" if you are exiting to a level put the level number in. If you are exiting to a secondary exit put the secondary exit number in. For Level 106 since you are exiting to Secondary Exit #000 you would put 0 in this box. For Level 105 you would put 1 in this box.
4. If you are exiting to a secondary exit make sure to select "Use the above value as a Secondary Exit Number" otherwise it will think you are trying to exit to a level of that number. Make sure to check this box in this case because you want to use the secondary exit.

And there you go.
It looks a lot less fuzzy this time around. Looks much better.

Great job finding a solution to the problem.
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