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Mad Scientist - ASM Contest [Final Results]
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I have made an important mistake: I forgot one entry: Size. Please redownload the BPS who didn't already and for anyone who has alredy judged, reevaluate a judgement. If you don't update your post in 24 hours, I'll send a PM to you.

Rest in peace, Near.
Size: i am in love with this so much
Vertical: this is so fucking cool
Sphere: what a devilish little sprite
Battle: sufficiently cute
Minigame: nice
Rising: quaint
Eel: just kind of is
Boost: a little jank

1. Sphere: Lots of potential for puzzles. I'd suggest to add an ON/OFF function to the bubble generator.

2. Rising: Again, lots of potential for puzzles and exploration levels. (The sample level could have been more creative to be honest)

3. Vertical: I'm impressed something like this is possible inside SMW. Great Entry.

4. Battle: It was a very fun boss battle. Reminds me of Brutal Mario.

5. Size: A neat gimmick, but the water physics inside the bubble feels a bit odd, and it's hard to jump out of it. I could see this being used in Kaizo levels.

6. Eel: I liked it, appears to be fun as a enemy in water levels (mostly the side eel).

7. Boost: This isn't what I expect from a jetpack, and the controls feel odd, but it can be fun after you get used to it. Again, I could see this being used in Kaizo levels.

8. Minigame: Very average, maybe could be more interesting in ground levels for catching butterflies or something. It crashed 5 times while I was testing. Why didn't the author used a clean ROM for it?
Very impressive. I don't think I've seen tile changing used on such a large scale before, and with some creative level design I can see this having a lot of interesting uses - the idea of dynamically changing levels is something I feel isn't touched upon enough, and it's great to see an implementation of it. I also love how the water "fills" incrementally, and as far as SMW goes, seems as realistic as possible.

What the SMW sprite bubbles should have been. A pretty simple concept, but the way it's implemented feels really nice and with the customization options, would be a great addition to any water level. Not much else to say, simply a lovely sprite.

A cool concept, and one that's bound to keep the player active at all times. The physics aren't brilliant, with the jumping out of the bubble and tendency to fall straight through it, but with a bit of work it could easily be an excellent obstacle.

I initially wasn't sure on this, but after trying it a few times, I like it. While not the most crazy idea, it's a nice addition to the pretty limited layer 3 options, and I'm sure it could be a good complement to a tides-based level.

It's definitely well made and makes for a tense fight, but I'm not sure it fits the water theme that well. The water phase just felt like an extension of the boss rather than actually having a core water-theme, and I don't think it would have lost anything if it had been a waterless fight. That being said, it was still a fun fight.

The lack of movement control in the water makes this fairly awkward to work with, but as a concept I think it's pretty cool. With some work on the controls, it has potential to be a neat little water feature, but as is, not particularly fun to handle.

If I was judging by graphics and animations, then this would probably win. The actual functionality is pretty simple though, and doesn't feel particularly "new" or "fresh" as a water-themed mechanic.

While certainly not a "bad" concept, its implementation here doesn't really make it seem useful as anything other than a "curiosity" gimmick. Maybe some additional ASM that utilizes the "caught" counter could make it more coherent and functional, but it doesn't really do much on it's own. Regarding the crashes people (and I) had, the issue seems to be related to pressing the "down" button multiple times. 7 seems to be the breaking point, but I think it varied at some points for unknown reasons during my testing. Either way, it would need to be fixed.
Honestly, I was more impressed by the tonal change in the overworld music when entering the water area.
Vertical - Wasn't built in a day and got aqueducts right. I had no idea what was going on until I hit the turn block. Then, the P-switch just exceeded my expectations when the water started to pour and the water started flowing to the bottom and rising. This is extremely cool and worthy of the title "Mad Scientist"

Sphere - The interaction is all perfect. When I touch the shell with Y held, it snaps into my hand seamlessly, and when I don't hold Y, I kick it instantly. The shell knocks out the Spiny Eggs as you would expect, but touching the Spiny Eggs will cause them to kill you as soon as they snap out. The Bullet Bills coming out of bubbles in the crack is funky, though further proof-of-concept. Getting trapped in a bubble as it floats you up to the ceiling is also cool for either a nuisance, something secret, or just the effect. Extremely practical. I have a feeling I know who made this one.

Rising - Rock-solid tide manipulation. I realize the layer 3 tide push thing is more of a Mario physics thing rather than an intended effect, but checking out the stability of what's actually here opens a world of possibilities. I think of levels like Chemical Plant Zone, Lockjaw's Saga, and Wet-Dry World. The tides rise and lower to the specified points smoothly, and the tide-lowering blocks reduce the water levels after the block that causes the water to go all the way to the top of the level. I tried filling up the water to the top and sinking to the bottom, and there are no layer 3 problems, graphical, interaction, or otherwise. I tried racing the rising water, and it is possible to outrun it - there might be something cool that can be done with this too.

Battle - Balanced boss with a pattern that is easily observed and can be countered comfortably once you know how to position yourself. The second phase is cool since you are able to swim, the bubbles bounce, but you still have to be mindful of that ceiling overhead. Permanently having the fire flower pattern and a comparable health meter to the boss I think makes this fight work incredibly well.

Eel - Nice interpretation of the eel, but you owe me unagi don for posting this. I do think giving the swimming eel an option to turn would be beneficial to make it more flexible, as, like the Blurp, it just swims left. Maybe because of its size, there are a few situations that the Eel would make more intimidating. The ones in the walls I think are fantastic, but also would need narrow corridors to be a serious threat. How do you think the "clap" sound for the snapping would sound versus the "sptook" stomp sound?

Minigame - (Holy crap this ROM is ear-piercingly loud, and some of the samples got asdf'd. I just came here from the music tourney so Ouch. I don't think that your ASM has anything to do with this.) The health bar is broken, as death is still determined by getting hit while small instead of by the health meter, and this is a very big oversight. The fish count does not reset upon death. I do think it would be more intuitive to map the fishing net to Y and disabling cape spin and fireball controls so you can't kill your objective, as holding down while pressing B is something I like to do to stay level while swimming and it'd help me swipe fish that aren't on the ground. As for what works, I was able to grab fish displayed above the line of visibility. Interaction is not perfect but mostly reliable. A reward scale would make this complete, and also consider a timer and no life subtraction upon death to make an awesome bonus game out of it. Now, that overworld feature that seems to shut off some channels when you go underwater... that is really cool.

Size - Excellent gimmick idea. The water gain and loss is fantastically done. Interaction, however, needs a lot of work - jumping into the bubble or out of and back into it sometimes sucks you right down to the bottom and kills you faster than you can do anything about. It's also not easy to surface-jump out of it with a good amount of height. I gave up about 4 screens in after dying repeatedly from being sucked to the bottom of the bubble. It's a shame, because the idea is awesome...

Boost - I was expecting another F.L.U.D.D. My biggest concern with this is underwater movement is on auto-pilot - it goes straight and floats up without your input. It moves very quickly too, and springing up depends on sinking down. These controls aren't intuitive. I think remaining stationary without input and using Y to propel at a steady pace in any direction would be an awesome direction to take this sprite in, pressing B while holding Y for the big jump out of the water. Animation would help this sprite a lot to suggest its action, like generating some trailing bubbles. A motor-like sound effect would make this believable too.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Very nice. Sounds like you made it very simple to use ontop of being fast. Which is probably the hardest part.

Something strange is afoot! I almost thought this was a troll (don't press any buttons after first poweron until mario bounces off the red koopa for a fun glitchy time :3). Once I finally got in there with the net though I super loved it. Casual minigames are amazing! The timing on the net swings is not as forgiving as I would've liked and there's some minor bugs but from a scope and whole package perspecitve this was one of my favorites.

These Upgrades to SMW's Bubbles (most especially the sprite-recapture bit. If it handled custom sprites it would probably rise up the list. Unfortunately I can't make that assumption. Excellent!

This was pretty fun. Was definitely veeeery easy though. I don't recall any MegaMan bosses ever being easy so maybe there's some mario-factors at play here.
Coding-wise there's so much detail though!

I loved it. This was cute. I also hated it. Any sort of "platforming" inside this bubble is soooo punishing.

I liked. Deinitely an integral part to a SM64 Hack!
And the setup you introduced it in made me scared of the thing!
Wall Eels reminded me of Crash 3's eels!

It's very narrow in scope as it stands, but a fun gimmick. I'd say my main nitpick with it would be that something is affecting my bounce height off the water (sometimes an input-less bounce will clear the first right edge othertimes it won't) which as a probably level-wise gimmick it should probably be more consistent. And as a small thing: mario will vibrate on a wall underwater.

Nice tide effects! I can easily see this being used in a WetDry World kinda thing or in the "rising magma" everyone's always asking for. (I generally avoid tides so I have no idea how technically impressive this is to give a less potentially-biased rating, if it's on the hard side then apologies for the lower end ;3)
Here is my ranking (though I don't feel like writing anything about my reasons, so it's just the ranking):


Feel free to visit my website/blog - it's updated rarely, but it looks pretty cool!
1) Sphere - Neat idea, looks very versatile to use and it can bring a great variety of obstacles and setups, also thanks to the amount of customizations included. The fact that they can also grab Mario or other sprites is very interesting, paired with the current mechanic.
2) Vertical - Now this is a great idea, and very well executed. Also, nice cutoff :P
3) Size - Very cool. Sprites you can swim in is a very unexplored concept (as far as I know. I did it once with the green ghost bubbles and it was pretty jank but kinda fun to swim in) and this looks very well executed. Also the growing/shrinking aspect of it makes it more interesting. One suggestion I have it try to make it also work with sprites (assuming buoyancy is on), but I don't know how difficult that would be to achieve. My only nitpicks: the air bubbles coming out of Mario don't vanish when out of the water, but it's super minor and also probably annoying to deal with if you have more than one of the tracker water sprites in the level; the brief wraparound that happens at the end of the vid, which I assume it's something related to OAM X high byte or something. You should've probably avoided showing that in the video lol.
4) Rising - Nothing revolutionary but very useful for having more interesting uses for tides in vertical levels.
5) Battle - Neat recreation, although it's a bit toned down from the original, and there's not much variety in the gameplay (I can't blame you much for this given the short deadline, and also bosses in SMW in general tend to be pretty flat in terms of gameplay). The second phase was an interesting twist, although it can be easily cheesed by staying at the top of the water level and shooting down, and the boss' attacks won't reach you (it's a bit risky due to the spikes, but not that hard to pull off by holding the down button while swimming).
6) Boost - I can see this used with interesting kaizo/puzzle setups, although the controls feel very unnatural to me. Maybe I'm biased because I really like vanilla water physics :shrug:
7) Fishing - The idea is neat, but I have a couple complaints. First, it'd be nice to have the fishing be mapped to a different button (maybe A or X), since up feels unnatural and it's already used while swimming. Second, the game crashed while playing, but I can't tell what caused it, or if it was because of the sprite or it's a problem in the baserom you used. Maybe next time use a clean rom instead (and don't put your name in the entry, lol).
8) Eel - I like the idea of the wall version that attacks you when you're near it, but the other one just feels like a generic water sprite (although it's neat that they have different behavior in and out of water). The graphics look really good, but that's not what we're judging here.
Sphere - Interesting, and very cool.

Vertical - Interesting, cutoff

Size - Interesting, and a lot of fun to play with, but I absolutely hate how difficult it is to catch yourself when jumping into the water. But it's a minor fix so I don't want to let it effect my rating too severely.

Battle - Interesting and fun, but very easy to cheese. I'm not sure if the harsh swimming near the top is a deliberate attempt at making it harder to hide up there, but you can down swim and avoid the missiles and bubbles easily. Once the bubbles get a higher arc you can also stand still and they jump right over you. A fun idea, but the execution doesn't fit with Mario's moveset

Minigame - Interesting, though unreliable. There were many times I grabbed a fish and it didn't count, which is very frustrating. Simple and I'm not sure what kind of use it could have outside of a very specific gimmicky level about catching fish, but for what it is it's a fun time.

Rising - Interesting, though I've definitely seen this exact thing before. As a contest with peer-judging, I'd hope for something with a little more spectacle.

Eel - Interesting, but the free swimming eel immediately bugged out. Was it supposed to follow Mario or something? I like the wall ones though. Also what the hell was up with the on/off switching turning water on and off???

Boost - Interesting, but not very fun to control. I see the potential, but as is this is not an enjoyable thing to use.

something coming soon
1) Size
2) Sphere
3) Vertical
4) Battle
5) Boost
6) Rising
7) Eel
8) Minigame


List Soundtrack - List Hacks
Sphere: I had good times there, good execution.

Vertical: Could be improved with the appearance but good execution of the action.

Battle: I had good fun battling this guy!

Size: Interesting gimmick but I did not enjoy being not able to jump from the water. Very creative either way.

Rising: Gimmick seems alright but the level was rather bland and did not offer a challenge. I found myself checking where the water level was many times, just to find it was building slow.

Boost: Did not like the maniability too much but nice idea.

Eel: Didn't get why the eel in earthed-mode stays immobile. I do not understand either if the switching earthed/water comes from the sprite or as a separate feature. Without this switching I would have scored it higher since the "wall trap" eel does look good.

Minigame: The other friends already pointed the problems here. Pressing up at a certain moment while maintaining enough swimming pace was unforgiving so I lost multiple times. I was not able to understand the changing power-up at the left-bottom of the screen, except the noise was annoying.

Previously known as Darkslayer (2008-2020)

My video game resume
When is the deadline? I know we had 1 week to do this but I wasn't able to complete my entry and am still working on mine. Thanks.
Originally posted by Final Theory
When is the deadline? I know we had 1 week to do this but I wasn't able to complete my entry and am still working on mine. Thanks.

It's done mate. The opening post for Round 1 was edited with the deadline at some point. It's 1 week from the initial Round Theme Post to the minute (if you attempt future rounds).

edit: I feel your pain when you read this.
1. Eel - I like it because I came up with so many ideas
2. Sphere - I feel like I've seen it elsewhere but I like it just the same
3. Size - This is so cool, it reminds me greatly of the Fuel Platforms in Donkey Kong Country 1. The different sizes of water pickups are a good idea too because you can create moments of tension where you need every drop, and release, where you get the big bottle and fill the whole bubble for short relief.
4. Vertical - Something I could definitely see being used in puzzle levels, or as a cool way to dynamically fill a room in levels that represent changing water height through sublevel changes. I'd love to see a way to drain or shut off water sources too, for further puzzle or exploration opportunities.
5. Battle - Seems like a pretty competent little boss fight, complete with a two-phase structure and variation mid-fight to make it interesting.
6. Boost - I think this could use a sound effect or two but otherwise it seems like a neat piece of underwater movement tech. I especially like the high jump you can make coming out of the water using it.
7. Minigame - Cute game, but I'm not really seeing the purpose of it. Like, can it be tied to a reward of some kind? I also think pressing Up for the net is a poor decision, and would be better suited to X, L, or R.
8. Rising - Simple, does its job, but is probably the least ambitious. Not bad or anything because it has a clear purpose. It's just less impressive than the rest.
Size: What an awesome manipulation of L3 to make the bubble grow! When I first saw it, I thought it was a sprite but then realized the sprite palettes weren't affected so I thought it was a layer. Some small issues are the fact that when you fall into the bubble, you fall straight down, which is quite dangerous, and when you L/R scroll, it doesn't stick to its line-guided engine.

Sphere: Very cool concept that has lots of potential in water levels. The fact that the player and sprites can be caught in them highlights this potential.

Vertical: Really cool as well. I was wondering if or how the waterfalls would be reimagined into SMW, and I think I can see how. Reminds me of Minecraft, though I've seen something similar executed in that ASMT B-Side level.

Eel: Nice recreation of the Unagi from NSMB! The animation is very smooth, though this could only fit very specific types of hacks, like NSMB-styled ones. Still, very cool sprite with plenty of potential in water levels.

Battle: Pretty interesting boss you got there. The second phase is a good twist with the water rising and all. While it's possible yet risky to cheese the second phase by swimming above it, it's still challenging in its own right. In fact, I died a few times to this boss.

Rising: As the others said, this is simple yet has plenty of potential such as in water or lava chase levels.

Boost: Eh, the controls are a little odd with the fact that you can't turn with the jet, but I think this is interesting with plenty of potential. Should've had a lot of polish to make it even better, but right now, I think it's alright.

Minigame: Er, I'm not what the purpose of this is. I thought there would be a reward, but not really. Also, the choice of the button for swinging the nets is a little questionable. However, the swimming animation for the overworld player and the music fading are pretty cool, but I'm not sure if we're supposed to judge that. By the way, unlike the others, I didn't encounter any crash in the level. Lucky me.

My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!

1. Vertical
Incredible execution. I thought it was really something else when (in addition to creating a pillar of water) it began to gradually fill any basin the water fell into. Fantastic work!

2. Sphere
Really diverse sprite/spawner. I love that it'll carry Mario and recapture sprites! I think this has a ton of potential for level design, it's a really well-executed idea.

3. Size
Incredibly well-done, I like that you added in collectables that increased the size of the bubble. I can tell a lot of work went into this! Looks great. The only thing I would mention is that it can be somewhat disorienting to fall into the bubble and retain your y speed, because (as far as I'm aware) that's not a vanilla property (not that it has to be), which makes it a just a bit of a challenge to control Mario. Great job!

4. Rising
I think this is a super good idea that's well done, too. I think this could have a lot of cool applications in puzzle levels.

5. Battle
Cool idea, with nice execution and variety of both phases. I did notice that you're safe from all attacks if you're very high up during the water phase, but that's minor. Great job!!

6. Minigame
A lot of cool ASM going on here. Not sure if the underwater dash is part of it? Kind of takes away from my enjoyment of using the net powerup. It seemed to me that the hitbox of the net while trying to catch fish was kind of small, and so you couldn't catch fish that were directly in front of you, even if the net animation passed through it. Great job, though!

7. Boost
I like the concept of this powerup, but I think that the controls are pretty jerky, making it hard to feel in control of Mario.

8. Eel
Nice rip! I think the graphics look good, and the sprite interactions all make sense. Great work! Kind of a simple entry, didn't truly blow me away.
a rather interesting entry having to break holes in where the water is at kinda gives the water some realistic-ness if that makes sense it can also be something good for puzzle levels

A rather coolio one the mini game of fishing for rip van fish reminded me of something like spongebob catching jelly fish for some reason though the net seemed odd like sometimes it wouldnt catch the rip van fish and this bug kinda ruined the entry abit though it isnt to major of a bug that ruins it entirely

This entry was a quite nice recreation of bubbleman from mega man i also like how theres multiple ways of defeating him like jumping on him damages him alot more and shooting a fireball at him takes away 1 hp as if i recall correctly the bosses in mega man had certain weaknesses to certain attacks and such it also reminded me of ringman from brutal mario generally how everything felt for some reason

A nice use of the layer 3 tide reminds me of the rising water from dkc this would be a nice nice gimmick for a level especially if the water acted like lava it could be like a level inside a volcano with rising lava definetly a nice one!

here we have another nice entry and its nsmb themed though not much to say about this one as there isnt much to comment on i find it impressive on how fluid the eels are and how accurate they feel to their source game the on off part is nice having them appear randomly seems nice for puzzle levels and such

Another nice entry with an interesting gimmick idea having a line water bubble that needs water in order to become bigger or else it will shrink down is a nice idea

i like this one having bubbles that carry certain enemies reminds me alot of the bubbles in the forest stages of smw that contains certain enemies but this seems to have expanded on that idea not to impressive but its certainly a nice entry

its an ok entry with having something that act like the fluud but i find it abit weird and janky because of how the movement felt unfinished and it generally feels like an unfinished version of the fluud sprite not really a big fan of this one sorry..


This is my layout i plan on adding one soon

I have a discord server smwc users only

(Server is closed for now)
Thank you for voting,

And this round's winner is...
with the entry of Sphere and score of 133 points.

Von FahrenheitBattle86

Round 1 was thematic but now we go to something technical...

Round 2 - Darkness, Lightness and Colourness

Now we get to something more technical: Colour maths. Colour maths is commonly used for transparency (including the unused transparent foreground level modes) but is also used for darkness (last room in Bowser's Castle), hence the title.


Since it goes into technical area, not everyone knows how to work with it. To give you a short insight:
  • Colour maths is the addition or subtraction of selected mainscreen layers with all of subscreen (or the fixed colour).
  • CGADSUB ($2131, mirrored at $7E0040) allows you to specify whether colour maths is addition (transparency and light) or subtraction (darkness), halves the subscreen colours (think of Donut Ghost House) and each background layer, objects (sprites) and the backdrop (colour 0) on mainscreen are affected.
  • CGWSEL ($2130, mirrored at $7E0044) allows you to specify how colour maths should act with masking and allows you to specify whether the fixed colour or subscreen is added to mainscreen.
  • There are two backdrops, one for each screen: Colour 00 for mainscreen and fixed colour for subscreen.
  • Experiment with TM, TS, TMW and TSW ($212C-$212F) and see which results look interesting to you.
  • Sprite palettes 0-3/8-B aren't affected by colour maths. This is in many ways a disadvantage but in some cases also an advantage such as in a sprite-based HUD.
You can see more information about Color Math from Retro Game Mechanics Explained which also explains how the screen is rendered with windowing enabled.

The Rules

Make something cool with colour maths. This can be purely graphical to also gameplay related. You can combine it with windowing to create effects such as light spot. Even static settings still can yield awesome effects but don't focus on level modes 0E, 0F, 1E and 1F too much unless you can make your own spin to it.

We have decided to give round 2 a bit more time this time, 10 days. Voting will be reduced to three days instead. It ends at October 30th, 18:00 UTC.

Edit: The theme as slightly changed — see this post for more information.

Rest in peace, Near.
Finally i'm top 10 in a contest :)

Thanks for all the feedback, I'm making an improved version (maybe i'll upload it to SMWC)

I suck at ASM and AMK

My Youtube

KLDC 2021

OLDC 2021
Originally posted by Counterfeit
Eel - Nice interpretation of the eel, but you owe me unagi don for posting this. I do think giving the swimming eel an option to turn would be beneficial to make it more flexible, as, like the Blurp, it just swims left. Maybe because of its size, there are a few situations that the Eel would make more intimidating. The ones in the walls I think are fantastic, but also would need narrow corridors to be a serious threat. How do you think the "clap" sound for the snapping would sound versus the "sptook" stomp sound?

I can't do it turn around because i dont have animations for that. But you can select go right or left with the extra bit. I tested some sounds before select that, it was the best that i found.

Originally posted by Hobz
Eel - Interesting, but the free swimming eel immediately bugged out. Was it supposed to follow Mario or something? I like the wall ones though. Also what the hell was up with the on/off switching turning water on and off???

What do you mean with bugged out?

The on/off is to show both behaviours (on water and not water levels), i think i should do a better example level.

Originally posted by quantuum
Eel: Didn't get why the eel in earthed-mode stays immobile. I do not understand either if the switching earthed/water comes from the sprite or as a separate feature. Without this switching I would have scored it higher since the "wall trap" eel does look good.

Is a separate feature, On earth it says inmobile because is an acuatic enemy, it is like cheep cheep when it is out of water.

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