1 point - Guess the series/franchise that a song comes from, but not the game (e.g. "Mario" for Super Mario Odyssey would get 1 point). Game points and series points are mutually exclusive.
Just to clarify, does the last part here mean an incorrect guess of a specific game will be wrong even if it's in the same series? For example, if we know a song is from the Super Mario series but try to guess Super Mario Odyssey when it's actually from Sunshine, would the guess get zero points and we should just say the Super Mario series in that case?
Also, when it comes to series with multiple subseries like Super Mario (Mario & Luigi, Paper Mario) or Mega Man (X, Legends), would the subseries need to be specified to get franchise points?
It's been forever since I formally submitted anything, but I vaguely remember what it was like having my first few hacks rejected. I remember feeling confused and surprised by the removal and resulting constructive criticism, almost like I was being personally attacked for it. Even for reasons like using blatant level edits or excessive cutoff because I didn't really understand how to create levels.
That was when I was like 11 or something though, and it's silly looking back and thinking "hm I really used to be like that huh."
If my next hack gets rejected whenever I get to the point I can submit a demo, I'd read the log to understand why (along with any other areas the hack may be lacking in, even if not strictly removal-worthy), fix and improve these things, and try again. Since yeah, when things get removed it does happen for a reason, and the removal logs exist to help us as users improve our work.
Feedback is always valuable, even if it may sometimes initially hurt to hear. People wouldn't point out flaws in our work if they didn't want us to improve, after all.
The deadline slipped past me, but it seems most of my guesses were completely off anyway lmao. Dunno if I'm more impressed by just how obscure a lot of these are, or by how people were able to recognize most of them.
Surprised nobody guessed the Battle for Bikini Bottom theme, though. That was like, one of the few that explicitly caught my recognition.
Also I appreciate the heck out of the Spark the Electric Jester and An Untitled Story inclusions.
Apparently people strongly dislike Megaman X6, but it's honestly one of my top favorites in the series. It has my favorite aesthetic of the games, and I genuinely think the gameplay is really fun if you're up for a challenge. It's almost ridiculously hard, sure, but that just makes it all the more gratifying when you finally figure out which weapons and abilities work best for a situation and overcome it.
I think it helps to think of its difficulty curve as continuing from where X5 left off rather than starting over; more of a continuation than a fully separate experience. Like most games, though, I will acknowledge it has its flaws - like some stages being laughably tiny, or the upgrade hidden behind literal RNG - but it's still an all-around solid game in my opinion.
I also have a soft spot for Sonic 06 despite being a mechanically terrible game, mostly out of appreciation for its good story and characterization (for the most part), and seeing fan mods that fix the gameplay wondering if it potentially could have been fun if it had more development time. Not sure if this is just because we've had games like Sonic Forces for so long now that make it look better by comparison or not, but eh, I still stand by this.
There are probably several more, but I'll wrap this up by mentioning I also respect New Super Mario Bros. 2 despite the ""New"" series being so warn into the ground at that point, because I think it has good level design and probably my favorite visuals in the ""New"" series.
For Mario I can't recall specifically which I played first, since several were among my first video games in general and I started playing them when I was like 2. So it was probably either Super Mario Bros. 1 or 2 for the NES, but there's also a chance it was Super Mario All-Stars or World.
As for Sonic, that'd be Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast. Technically some demo disc that included just Emerald Coast among other game demos before I got the full game. I remember just running through that level a lot, aha. That was also around when I got a Sonic plush, and there was just something really cool about having a toy of a game character at the time, considering that was before video game merch was widespread at all.
The levels and graphics are so good! Like legit this is awesome! But the main character looks like siamese twins, please limit it to a single furry!
Thank you very much for the compliments, I appreciate it! However, the characters being siamese twins is the point of their design. It's intentional, and I don't plan on changing them.
Also now's probably a good time to give an update on things. I haven't been making a ton of progress as of late, but there has been considerable progress since my last post in the thread, and I hope to get back to it sometime soon.
First off, new coin and block graphics:
The top left block is a moon coin block, top right gives a healing item, and the bottom two are turn blocks. I figured custom graphics with these would give the hack more of a unique feel, and now players can always tell what a block is going to contain at a glance. I do plan to redraw other SMW assets as well, such as enemy graphics.
And second, I finished the levels Arid Tribulation, Aphotic Sanctum (the Water Temple level), and Overdrive Pass (the Highway level). I don't really want to show off playthroughs of every single level in the hack before I release a demo, so anyone interested should let me know which one of these three sounds best, and I'll then record and post a video of it (screenshots of all three are found in the opening post).
Gosh, I'm pleasantly surprised to have gotten 15th place here. The more time passed the more critical I got towards my own level, and worried it'd be considerably lower down than it was.
I really do appreciate all of the feedback on it, both the compliments and the criticisms. And the joke's, aha. I do realize the level has its share of flaws, like the fourth dragon coin's blind drop and a bit of "lifelessness" without any real enemies. It was definitely an ambitious decision to try to just use the flickerbar and various platform/laser gimmicks, but on reflection it does feel like it's missing a key ingredient. Maybe I'll figure out some enemies that'd fit in a later rework. The compliments on the character sprites meant a lot too, especially MrDeePay's, since that was another thing I was a little nervous about when submitting.
So yeah, thanks again for the feedback, and congrats to everyone else too!
Those blocks look really unique! I kind of like them!
Thank you, I'm really happy with how they look!
Also this post's going to be either rehashed news or a surprise, depending on if you've been paying attention to current contests or not. Point is, I entered the most recent Chocolate Level Design Contest. Though the level was started and created after the start of the contest, it was made with the player characters and mechanics present in this hack.
Due to the contest requiring creators to remain anonymous to the judges, I wasn't really able to post it here until now (and considering my avatar choices on here and Discord I only barely stayed under the radar lmao).
I got 15th place, which is certainly a lot higher than I was worried I'd rank. Feedback and personal retrospection determines it does have a bit of a clarity problem at times and could certainly use another enemy type or mechanic closer to the end, but is generally considered pretty enjoyable. Definitely feel free to give further feedback if you feel so inclined! I do plan on touching up on the level with a sort of v2 in the future (especially changing that second to last dragon coin challenge - dunno what I was thinking with the prolonged crawlspace thing). Also this unfortunately predates the custom block graphics, as a sidenote.
Sorry this isn't really anything new for those of you who have already seen Flippin' Flickerbars. I'll aim to record one or two of the three unrecorded levels sometime soon, and maybe start on some new ones as well. Progress has been a bit slow as of late, but I think I'm starting to get back on top of things.
I noticed when your characters turn around, it's not an X-flip but as if they actually turned about-face, with the correct character now being on the outside. That's awesome! I always wondered about that detail for asymmetrical characters. Kudos for doing it! Do they have names yet?
Oh hey, I'm glad that detail is appreciated! I can't believe I haven't mentioned their names here yet; they're Shiro and Kenchi (Shiro's the blue one), who I'm pretty sure are my first actual furry characters, so I've had them for a really long time. Their deal is they were combined via an alchemy accident many years ago and as a result learned a fair share of alchemy trying to get back apart. Not entirely sure if alchemy will play a role in this hack's story specifically, but we'll see. Maybe I should figure that and a name out soon lmao.
A big part of this hack's foundation was actually me just being curious if I could get them to work in SMW's engine. And it turns out, with the 32x32 character patch and a bit of custom ASM for the x-flip, I totally can. Aside from that, this hack's mainly to practice level design, and a small bit of coding. I'll probably end up reworking the x-flip code to work with the custom powerups patch later, since powerups might also be a thing I experiment with in future levels. No promises I'll figure out how to get that to work though, aha. But it'd be fun.
Originally posted by Counterfeit
Your CLDC level looks and sounds very comfy. I love the exploration and the mechanics - it really is its own thing. Everything else looks fun and eye-catching too, especially the city level. Spine Canopy has a fantastic background, solid gimmick, and great relationship between blocks/ground and sprites to manipulate things in an engaging and lively way. Peak Performance, I was a bit worried about layer 3's obstructive mist but you pulled it off in a fair and atmospheric way. The music fits wonderfully. All 3 of your levels make great use of space too!
Your new block graphics are also shiny-looking and the band around it is well-detailed, showing what it is. The heal block itself is something that if I see being out of the way and could use, I would try to pivot and go for it instead of dismissing it. The moon coins are also really pretty with the night sky rounding out the crescent moon.
Thank you so much! I seriously appreciate how in-depth this feedback is. I was kinda worried about Peak Performance as well, since it's always hard to imagine things from a new player's perspective - especially with the mist - so it's really reassuring to hear it seems fair from your perspective. I put a lot of focus into setting up various context clues and failsafes just in case, and playtested that one a lot aha.
I also can't take credit for all of the graphics; all of the foregrounds and backgrounds so far are just from the graphics section here, though I do always mix and match various sets in ways I think fit well, and sometimes change the palettes. All I drew so far are the player sprites and the blocks/coins, so I'm also really glad to hear those work well too!
Originally posted by Amine Retro
Mad level design dude
Finally got around to recording a video of another level, I decided to show off Aphotic Sanctum this time. It's a semi-water level, and Shiro and Kenchi can't exactly swim, meaning they can just kick off of the floor when underwater. I think this makes for some unique setups, and am kinda excited to play around with water more in the future.
Of course, the current state of the level does have some layer priority issues and a few broken/placeholder graphics, I'll of course fix those before I release any sort of demo lmao. If anyone knows of a quick way to give the rotodiscs absolute layer priority please let me know, that's the main reason I haven't tweaked the priority yet, since I don't want them to be obscured by the foreground and just jump out suddenly at the player.
I also unfortunately haven't been making much level progress since I've been tied up with other obligations, but I did start piecing together another one. This one is called Mt. Sublimation and is going to be a vertical level; still working out what the exact enemies and mechanics of this one are going to be otherwise, though. Probably something wind-based.
I'll also record gameplay of Overdrive Pass and/or Arid Tribulation if anyone's specifically interested in those levels. Just hard balancing how much I should show off and how much I should leave a surprise.
How such news possibly sparked any arguments at all is genuinely beyond me, especially since the first post specifically said this applied only to cases of bad faith. Like... genuine bigotry literally should not be tolerated, this should just be common sense lmao. I suspect that in cases where it's unclear, the users in question would be approached about it or investigated further before action is taken anyway, so it's not like there's going to be "rampant censorship" or anything. And yeah, if someone's being blatantly awful outside of the site, the mods should still feel justified in banning them here too.
I'm really happy to see this progress, though. If anything I was actually kinda surprised to learn it wasn't already site policy, but I guess I haven't been active enough lately to really tell. And hey, for any baffling "controversy" that's sparked by the newspost, at least that's a way of weeding out the people who would be bound to say horrible stuff eventually anyway.