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My first level.
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Kaizo Hacks - My first level.
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Hey, so i just started with trying to make smw levels. And i am looking to make a mostly vanilla hack, that is somewhere around quickyworld level.

But i have never even made a level, or a desgin before this one. So after making my first level i was looking for some honest feedback that i can work on while playing around with lunar magic some more.


Screenshot
For a first level, the presentation is pretty clean with the exception of the odd muncher stacks. You already have a grasp on how the Map16 editor works - a skinny rounded edge tile replacing the bottom muncher and a wall tile with a joint beneath would smooth that out without altering the tiles' purpose (damage on top, drop to death if jump failed to get in safe range.) If you were aiming for an entry-level Kaizo-style design, I think you have the right idea of how to put it together. The theme and direction of the level is clear and cohesive. Have you playtested it to be sure each component of the level flows and responds as intended? If it checks out, then you're in great shape.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
It's definitely not the first time I see these setups, but given this is your first level, you're off to a great start. Keep it up!

I'm moving this to the kaizo subforum though, where this definitely fits best. Also, please link images that are very big instead of placing them directly in the site - or else they can stretch the site on smaller screens and make navigation uncomfy. I'm fixing your post for you!
Thanks for the tip on the munchers (and moving it to the right place..).

As for playtesting, isnt it hard to playtest your own levels since you dont really have a fresh mind to start with? i mean i already know what the next part is going to be. If it's about flow then it is kinda hard to deciede that on your own right ?

This is my second level now, still trying to figure out an ending
(x sprites are 2 tile falling platforms)
screenshot lvl2
You're off to a great start. You seem to have some good knowledge on designing kaizo levels.

I have some nitpicks about the second level and they are directed towards the playtesting. I'm not sure if it's possible for you to make that small hop to the first mega mole (assuming the glass blocks are solid for Mario only). I also wonder what stops you from snatching one of the shells and using them to make a jump shortly afterwards.
Make sure to test the entire level thoroughly and then show it off! Otherwise, it is in good shape. Keep it up!
So after playing with costum graphics i updated the first level. i hope this fits a bit better and i got rid of the odd muncher stacks.

level1

Originally posted by Katerpie
You're off to a great start. You seem to have some good knowledge on designing kaizo levels.

I have some nitpicks about the second level and they are directed towards the playtesting. I'm not sure if it's possible for you to make that small hop to the first mega mole (assuming the glass blocks are solid for Mario only). I also wonder what stops you from snatching one of the shells and using them to make a jump shortly afterwards.
Make sure to test the entire level thoroughly and then show it off! Otherwise, it is in good shape. Keep it up!


Thanks first and formost, seeing positive responses gives me a boost to try and create an entire rom hack!!

as for the mole section the glass is there to not let the mole sprite walk past it, mario also cant enter. But throwblocks can. As for snatching a shell instead of taking the goomba, thats ok since it's supposed to be a forgiving hack in some sections. you still need to hit the turnblock with something for entry to the last section.

If i could ask people to pleytest these levels how would i go about it? cause that mole riding section that you pointed out gave me insight on that i made it and know whats intented, but others my not find it that straightforward.
I'll give you that the environment of stage 1 is a hundred times better now. That is, if you're planning to stick with custom graphics through the entirety of the hack. Be sure that no graphics clash with each other, though!

You could PM some select people to know their level of interest or make a thread in the hack testing subforum if you got a beta version ready in due time! I'm sure their will attention will be gathered through one of these.
Oh, what I meant about playtesting: The author should definitely test his own work thoroughly to make sure it's beatable at the very least, and then having as much knowledge from design it, gauge how from an expert gamer standpoint just how smooth the level becomes to play; that's what I was getting at. Trying to break your level by doing things you may not have intended with the resources placed is also a good thing. Obviously you will want to source other testers to find bugs and sequence breaking you miss or any other criticism since you may not find it all alone. In my own recommendation, having a fair lot of levels done beforehand might be best since it's more intuitive for a tester to do about a demo's worth of level feedback instead of a few levels here and there or replaying what they may have tested before/moving Mario on the overworld to get to the new content: it also lets you as a builder of a bigger ROM hack know how the whole comes together rather than only the parts.

The updates to the first stage give it a look like it's in outer space, almost like it could pass for Venus - I like it! It definitely has way more character to it that sets it apart from similar content and could provide you with a theme for a map or even the whole hack.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Originally posted by Counterfeit
Oh, what I meant about playtesting: The author should definitely test his own work thoroughly to make sure it's beatable at the very least, and then having as much knowledge from design it, gauge how from an expert gamer standpoint just how smooth the level becomes to play; that's what I was getting at. Trying to break your level by doing things you may not have intended with the resources placed is also a good thing. Obviously you will want to source other testers to find bugs and sequence breaking you miss or any other criticism since you may not find it all alone. In my own recommendation, having a fair lot of levels done beforehand might be best since it's more intuitive for a tester to do about a demo's worth of level feedback instead of a few levels here and there or replaying what they may have tested before/moving Mario on the overworld to get to the new content: it also lets you as a builder of a bigger ROM hack know how the whole comes together rather than only the parts.

The updates to the first stage give it a look like it's in outer space, almost like it could pass for Venus - I like it! It definitely has way more character to it that sets it apart from similar content and could provide you with a theme for a map or even the whole hack.


Ah ok makes more sense now, currently working on a 5 level demo hack for people to playtest and break beyond repair. I played 4 of the 5 levels myself and i am by no means a good kaizo player, and i finished all levels in and around 10 minutes wich sets them at a good difficulty since thats about half the time it took for me to complete quicky world levels and super ryu world levels in general when bli d playing.

Thanks ! Your venus comment gave a good story for the hack, stil dont know the name of the hack though. But al in good time.

Originally posted by Katerpie
I'll give you that the environment of stage 1 is a hundred times better now. That is, if you're planning to stick with custom graphics through the entirety of the hack. Be sure that no graphics clash with each other, though!

You could PM some select people to know their level of interest or make a thread in the hack testing subforum if you got a beta version ready in due time! I'm sure their will attention will be gathered through one of these.


Thanks for pointinf out the graphics clashing, it has been a treat to fix them everytime i add a map16 file xD.. also appriciate you pointing m into the righ direction for getting playtesters. When i have a 5 hack demo (or more levels if my free time allows it) i'll try to hit up the people who are interested!

Some updates!

Yoshi house
Vertical level
Mole level
bat level
The oddly colored munchers irk me to no end. You should stick to palette 6 as it looks more natural, unless you are planning to introduce insta-kill munchers. Same case for the (crystal-like?) spikes.

Level design seems fine so far, but be cautious with repetitiveness in the bat level. Bats are so underused in kaizo hacks there are tons of creative setups for them to be taken advantage of.


I don't think differently-colored munchers are necessarily bad, but you should definitely be careful with the colors you pick. The gray munchers in the vertical level, for instance, match the ground a bit too much; you should use distinct colorations to help differentiate dangerous objects like the munchers and safe objects like the ground. That will help the player visually take in the level much faster, and in a game that moves as quickly as SMW, is extremely important. At a minimum I'd suggest keeping the hard black of the munchers and only recoloring the yellow of the stem.

Also, the background in the bat level feels a bit too harsh. You should adjust the colors a bit to mesh better with the foreground, like this.

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oh that color for the background is indeed better, thanks for the tip on that. And as for the munchers, apperntly they just adjusted allong with some of the pallet changes when i loaded in costum map16 with their pallets. I'll be looking out for that since i am not annoyed by i but i do understand what you guys mean!
So here are small gifs off some of the newer levels, decided to keep it a bit more basic. though i might put in some new ground graphics in time.

(i cant seem to place it as a [ img ] link.gif [ / img ] for some reason so here is a link...)

gif
gif 2

the muncher pallets wil be changed but i am to busy trying to get the overworld to work for a demo XD

what do you guys think ?
You just stick the gifs between the [img] tags much like with images. But if the images are large, then yeah, linking to them is a must.
I'm not sure how are they not working, though. Did you copy the link to the image as normal? I ask because Imgur sometimes links to a page that redirects to the image.

I like how both levels require enough reaction from the player, especially the forest. I don't feel the bright FG fits too well with the BG, honestly.
Originally posted by Katerpie
You just stick the gifs between the [img] tags much like with images. But if the images are large, then yeah, linking to them is a must.
I'm not sure how are they not working, though. Did you copy the link to the image as normal? I ask because Imgur sometimes links to a page that redirects to the image.

I like how both levels require enough reaction from the player, especially the forest. I don't feel the bright FG fits too well with the BG, honestly.



ah ok thanks.

i like levels that require you to be a bit on your toes but not to punishing, so i try to implement that every now and then :D !

wich background did you not like to well? the swoops or the forest one? (currently changing both of them though).

Edit.

changed some things..

(its brighter in game)









I was mostly referring to the forest, though. Sorry for being unclear, lol.

Anyway, I am enamored with both levels a million times now!
In case anybody is stil intrested in whats going on. I am working on 3 new levels and 2 secret exits(not in the screenshots).


ice slide level


platformer (i screwd my layer 2 & 3 XD)


forest level (with obligetory poison shrooms)


what do you guys think about the pallets and presentation so far ?
On the ice cave: I think a bit more testing is necessary, because what stops you from falling to your death after spinjumping from the spinies with P-speed? Or is that koopa kicking that block somehow? The ground under Mario's entrance should be ditched as well. That solo midair mushroom is weird, too.

On the forest: the background palette isn't the best, admittedly. By default, it should be almost entirely dark if you're intending to do a dark forest, but not everything with the same tone to avoid dullness. If you're not sure what I mean, just take a look at how SMW did it with, say, Outrageous or Forest of Illusion 4. On the other hand, the presentation is quite nice.
So here i have some gameplay of levels you gave feedback on.
Dont mind the coins that are wrong color, or other objects that havent been filled in yet. currently not alot of time so i focus mainly on the gameplay :D.

Forest:
new palet, how this one?
the forest

Ice level:
Removed the bottom sections, could not get a infinate kickblock to work so i reworked it a bit.
ice level

Athletic forest:
just some fancy koopa jumps added and costum music
jumpy forest
The palette looks better now (also what's with that weird dolphin graphic?). The other levels are also nice.

As for the infinite kick block, I... don't know what to suggest, but you could have a manual section with a bumper block or something.
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