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Zerio's Untitled Furry Hack (Playable contest entry level)
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Zerio's Untitled Furry Hack (Playable contest entry level)
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I've been around here for a while, but the only hacking-related things I've shared have either been painfully mediocre or just never were finished to a point a demo would be reasonable. After drifting away from SMW hacking for a while, I thought it'd be fun to try to make one again just for the fun of it, and as extra practice for whenever I eventually make games of my own. This hack has been in the works for... maybe a few months, now? And I figure it's a decent time for me to finally start a hack thread and show what I have so far.

But I doubt anyone cares too much about all that stuff, let's get some grub going. And by grub, I mean videos and screenshots. Why did I phrase it like that.

Spine Canopy - The first level I made for this hack, including bouncing spiny eggs, blue koopas, and a couple of flying hammer bros.


Peak Performance - A level built around the obstructive layer 3 clouds and precarious ledge climbing blocks. The layer 3 was tricky yet rewarding to work with from a design standpoint.


Arid Tribulation - A level built around a reverse air meter where you have to race between pockets of water to avoid overheating. A very barren level, with almost no mushrooms and devoid of a checkpoint, making it an intimidating one-shot challenge.




Untitled Water Temple Level - Water works a bit differently in this game, as Shiro and Kenchi can't swim very easily. Instead, they can only jump up off of the ground and will sink otherwise, making bottomless water much more of a hazard.




Untitled Highway Level - A speed-based stage featuring tokotokos, disco shells, thwomps, and YI cloud drops. They aren't invisible in the screenshot; instead, it's a self-coded mechanic where there are bits of ground that, when sprinted across, will make them sparkle and able to break through pink blocks on impact, but only as long as they maintain sprinting speed, making for unique sprinting challenges. The level's also being built in such a way that a skilled player will be able to consecutively sprint from start to finish in one go.


Anyway, that's about all I have to share so far. Hope you all enjoy, and I'm definitely open to critique on these levels, since I want them to be fun for you all to play! (Also no, it's not Literally Titled that, I just actually haven't thought of a name yet aha)
I love it when they somersault. :)

Your level design is seriously good. It was fun watching it being played. Everything looks meticulous and finely-tuned, it all flows really well and the player is constantly engaged with new challenges. A lot of time and testing has gone into this project, and it shows.

Criticism: I think you'll feel increasing satisfaction, the more you replace vanilla graphics with something that isn't vanilla. You're off to a good start!

This hack is quality. How big will it be? Is there a story?
furry is good

Really interesting level design and mechanics. I enjoy the little bonus 1UPs for taking the harder route through a level. The player sprite seems a bit awkward to control with its width, so I'm glad you decided to go for a health bar. Really looking forward to this game! ( ^o^)b

As an aside, I never really got the whole two headed aesthetic some people go for. I won't shame though, different strokes for different folks. Was always more of a giant sort of person myself (big cutes aaaa) and a lot of people aren't into my sort of thing, so. ^^

The characters look lovely though, would do drugs with.

--------------------
HackPortsASM"Uploader"

Originally posted by Ondore's Lies
I love it when they somersault. :)

Your level design is seriously good. It was fun watching it being played. Everything looks meticulous and finely-tuned, it all flows really well and the player is constantly engaged with new challenges. A lot of time and testing has gone into this project, and it shows.

Aah gosh, thank you so much! This is an awesome first reply to see, especially considering I already really like your hack too.

Originally posted by Ondore's Lies
Criticism: I think you'll feel increasing satisfaction, the more you replace vanilla graphics with something that isn't vanilla. You're off to a good start!

That's completely fair! I forgot to mention anywhere I do plan to resprite the dragon coins into something else (and have them unlock stuff probably), and the 1-ups in the levels are kinda a placeholder for design's sake; later on, they're planned to instead be another collectible to unlock bonus levels.

I'm a bit reluctant to change the enemies though, since it'd be a lot more art on top of the character graphics and it could be hard to match the immediate "readability" of what to expect them to do, but I'll certainly consider it too if enough ideas come to mind.

(And I did aim to replace literally every graphic with my own art before, in my previous project Stella Somnium, though at this point I've decided that story might better fit its own game one day. I could possibly try to finish some things and compile a more formal level sampler of what I had so far of its hack form though, if there's enough interest)

Originally posted by Ondore's Lies
This hack is quality. How big will it be? Is there a story?

Thanks again! I'm not entirely sure how long it'll be, since I'm more or less just making the levels for fun based on a bunch of ideas I have, but I think it'd be cool to at least be a medium-length or even kinda long hack, so maybe 4-8 worlds with maybe around 6 levels each? Just depends on how much motivation keeps going throughout, ehe.

So far there are the two finished levels I've shown and the three WIP stages; I might see about a demo when there are... around 9 finished levels, maybe?

As for the story, I'd like for there to at least be a somewhat simple one going on, yeah. Nothing concretely decided yet, but I have several ideas floating around in my head, and one idea for a mechanic where instead of message boxes for level hints, there could just be optional benches where the player can have the characters sit down and talk to each other for level hints and general character interaction, possibly.

Originally posted by lion
furry is good

Really interesting level design and mechanics. I enjoy the little bonus 1UPs for taking the harder route through a level. The player sprite seems a bit awkward to control with its width, so I'm glad you decided to go for a health bar. Really looking forward to this game! ( ^o^)b

As an aside, I never really got the whole two headed aesthetic some people go for. I won't shame though, different strokes for different folks. Was always more of a giant sort of person myself (big cutes aaaa) and a lot of people aren't into my sort of thing, so. ^^

The characters look lovely though, would do drugs with.

Oh hey perfect timing, you posted this right as I was previewing my post. :p Thanks much, too! I really appreciate the comments. Hopefully future levels will continue to be as fun and unique as these two seem to be so far!

As for two-headed characters, personally I find the sorta duality fun from a design standpoint, how the characters can be similar as a whole yet different as individuals at the same time, and personality-wise I think it makes for fun dynamics as to how they'd interact with each other and other characters (which is also something I wanted to have a bit of in the game, on the subject of story - via the bench idea and various NPC characters here and there). I appreciate you'd chill with them too, aha.

As an additional unrelated aside, I also probably won't be recording videos of every level as I finish it, since I don't want to give everything away before eventual demos and releases, so hopefully that's fine. I'll probably be recording more at some point though, so if anyone's curious about any of the screenshotted levels just lemme know and I'll consider them more when thinking about which to record.
It took me longer than I'd like to admit to realise that the character had two heads and they were not doing an "Ice Climber" style of running side by side.

That said however the character is pretty unique and I always prefer hacks that replace Mario in some sense.
Aside from a few little palette issues (the rope in the city level) the hack is looking promising.
I quite like the idea of speed focused level as well as how the character flips around when jumping.

Keep it up! #smrpg{y}
Originally posted by 1UPdudes
It took me longer than I'd like to admit to realise that the character had two heads and they were not doing an "Ice Climber" style of running side by side.

That said however the character is pretty unique and I always prefer hacks that replace Mario in some sense.
Aside from a few little palette issues (the rope in the city level) the hack is looking promising.
I quite like the idea of speed focused level as well as how the character flips around when jumping.

Keep it up! #smrpg{y}

Oh hey, thanks 1UPdudes! :D

Your comment on the ropes makes me realize I haven't actually mentioned this anywhere, whoops. The ropes are just placeholder graphics for what's going to be a sorta laser/light platform. The cartwheel "spinjump" I thought fit a mechanic of kinda dodging through certain objects, like going through the laser walls without taking damage. The ropes are a similar idea, just that they fall through them when cartwheeling and can stand on them otherwise. It makes for some fun setups, having to be careful to not accidentally fall through them in some cases. In the Highway level for example, they gotta cartwheel through it to a lower platform to avoid colliding with the tokotoko while remaining at full speed to keep the sprint sparkles, since there are upcoming pink blocks they can only break while sparkly needed to progress.

And speaking of placeholder graphics, I still gotta resprite the laser wall "source" blocks, since I'm not entirely happy with how they look, aha.
That sounds like a really solid concept so I can't wait to see all the pieces put together and watch it in action.
I'll be keeping my eye on this so whenever you have an update I'll be sure to leave some feedback.

#smrpg{mlem}
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!

--------------------
Mama Luigi
Originally posted by MarcosMoutta
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).
Those blocks look really unique! I kind of like them!
Originally posted by The Yak Smoker
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).



Since it's a contest entry, you can download and play it via the patch:
Flippin' Flickerbars.

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?

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.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Mad level design dude

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Originally posted by Counterfeit
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

Thanks much!



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.
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