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Glow (a Gameboy style hack)
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Glow (a Gameboy style hack)
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I know I just finished a hack a few months ago, but I was bored and started working on another one. I was gonna make this hack at the same time as Super Ninji Land 2, but working on 2 hacks at once is a terrible idea so I didn't do that.

This is a hack I've shown off at the summer C3 of 2020. It was really early in development. (Link to C3 thread) I didn't know what to name it, so the placeholder name is now the official name.
Now, about the hack:


Story

The story is pretty simple. Someone stole the colors from the world and the player has to get them back. The 7 colors of the rainbow are split between 7 levels. The playable character is nameless for now


Overworld

Palette Island

This submap is a sort of hub. It'll lead you to the final area after the bridge is restored. The bridge gets restored after you hit 2 switches.

Witch's Wasteland

This is the final area, but you can't access the bottom part until you restore the bridge. This submap also leads to the 2 main areas via those stars. You can choose whether you want to do area 1 or 2 first.

Area 1: Warm Wilds

Originally, I had all the levels on one submap. I decided to split the levels between warm and cold colors. The warm colors are easier and the cold ones are harder

Area 2: Cold Cliffs

The submap for the cold colors. I'll make the blue and green parts blend in a little better.


Level 1: Faded Fields
This is a sort of tutorial level where you learn some things like wall jumps and spin jumping on enemies.





The mushroom replacement. I wasn't gonna have powerups at first, but that seemed a little unfair. You can find these in levels, but you don't keep them after the level.


The goal. All of the levels will end with a Color Sphere, but this one's a little different: it's all cracked!


Level 2: Red Forest
This is the first "color" level. There's a reason why this forest is red: it's on fire. Each of the color levels will have an explanation for their colors.

The level starts off as a normal forest. Each room of the level will have something different about it, this is to make each room feel a little distinct.


This room introduces these fire pillars


This room introduces oil. You sink into it like quicksand, but you'll take damage if you sink too deep.




The forest bursts into flames


Some more info

The hack isn't really accurate to the Gameboy style, the backgrounds scroll separately from the foreground and the background palette is different from the foreground. Originally, the bg would have the same scroll rate and palette as the fg. That got really confusing, so I changed it. I also decided to use layer 3 to make give the bg more depth.

Coins don't really have a use as of now. Since there's no life counter, 1-ups are worthless. I thought of having them give you a star when you collect 20, but that would break levels where you use enemies as platforms.

Dragon coins have been replaced by shattered color spheres. You only have to collect 4. They let you bypass a barrier that leads to a secret exit. They don't save, this is because they're an extra challenge: beat the level without dying. I'm not sure what the secret exits will unlock right now.

Why am I making this?
I'm mostly making this hack to get better at harder level design. I also wanted to make this because there aren't too many 8-bit hacks.
Oh man, this is lovely! I love 8-bit styled hacks, and the color gimmick of this project is a simple idea but it's a good excuse for the varying aesthetic. And, well, I'm just a sucker for cutesy Kirby-esque 8-bit styles...

Definitely putting this one on my watchlist. By the way, does the player character have any special abilities, or are they the same as vanilla Mario right now? I feel like you could do something with the color gimmick there, and give the player some special ability related to it. Eh, maybe I just have Paper Mario: Color Splash on the mind.
Originally posted by Sayuri
Oh man, this is lovely! I love 8-bit styled hacks, and the color gimmick of this project is a simple idea but it's a good excuse for the varying aesthetic. And, well, I'm just a sucker for cutesy Kirby-esque 8-bit styles...

Definitely putting this one on my watchlist. By the way, does the player character have any special abilities, or are they the same as vanilla Mario right now? I feel like you could do something with the color gimmick there, and give the player some special ability related to it. Eh, maybe I just have Paper Mario: Color Splash on the mind.


Thanks for the positive feedback :)
As for the player character's abilities, there's wall jumps.
I was also thinking of replacing the fire flower with something else (maybe something paint/color related), but I'm not sure for the moment. That, or I could have a unique color related power for the final boss fight
Your SMW hack is interesting.
The plot reminds me of a certain RPG that I played years ago.

The idea of warm colors symbolizing difficult stages was a nice touch. Seeing a hack with an 8bit theme is super refreshing, I wonder if the OST is going to be pretty much made of chiptunes, too?

I will keep an eye on your project.
Good luck!

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"If you imitate someone, you can never surpass them."
Originally posted by TheMorganah
Your SMW hack is interesting.
The plot reminds me of a certain RPG that I played years ago.

The idea of warm colors symbolizing difficult stages was a nice touch. Seeing a hack with an 8bit theme is super refreshing, I wonder if the OST is going to be pretty much made of chiptunes, too?

I will keep an eye on your project.
Good luck!


I haven't heard of that rpg before, might check it out.
As for the music, sadly not all of the music tracks will be 8-bit chiptune because there just aren't enough music tracks that have been ported that are. Even if there were, they would need to match the theming of the levels.
Level 2 is pretty much done right now, so I decided to change some visual things


I added some smaller flames in this background to make it look less empty


I also changed the graphics of these fire pillars to match the style better. They were just recolored SMW graphics before.


I have started to work on level 3.

Level 3: Orange Shore
Explanation for the color: this level is orange because it takes place during a sunset, like Orange Ocean from Kirby's Adventure.
Speaking of Kirby, this level uses the sand and palm tree graphics from Kirby's Dreamland as I thought they would look good.



The main enemies in this level are Urchins and these crabs (Rip Van Fish reskins)


The level also uses these blocks.


An underwater section.


Some Stuff:

I have decided that secret exits, unlocked by collecting the 4 Dragon Coin reskins, will unlock some harder optional levels. I'm not sure if that's a good reward though.

I have also decided on a name for the player character. She'll be called Glo (short for Gloria) because that's one letter off from the hack's name and I'm unoriginal
:O

I'm still not sure what the normal coins will be used for. Maybe they could just give a powerup after collecting a certain amount, but I don't think that would be too useful because you can just find powerups lying around in levels anyway.
I've finished level 3, it took me a while to figure out how to use all of the level's mechanics for the final room.



Otherwise, here's level 4:

Level 4: Yellow Canyon
This level is a mix of desert and mountain. It mostly revolves around bouncing on enemies and on fragile note blocks. The color choice is pretty obvious.









When I'm done with world 1, I'll post some gifs or videos to show off each level in action.


Here's some stuff I should have said in the first post:

The level design is trial and error based i.e. you'll have to learn the level instead of just trying to beat it first try. I feel like trial and error level design works better when you don't have any lives and the only consequence to dying is being sent back a bit. This also references how most 8-bit games would use trial and error (although that was mostly just because old arcade games used this to eat your quarters, for some reason they carried that idea in console games)

The levels are also somewhat speedrun focused (there's always a faster and optimal way to beat the level). This ties into the trial and error level design as you'll probably find faster ways past some obstacles each time you redo a section.
Pretty good gameboy levels #smrpg{y}

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List Soundtrack - List Hacks
Ooh, I'm really liking the looks of this hack so far! The story is simple yet interesting, and it's nice how the aesthetics and graphics revolve around that. Going for a Game Boy style is a unique choice too, and I'm also all for the Kirby vibes I'm getting from these levels.

On top of that, the idea of trial and error level design and a bit of focus on speedrunning sounds pretty intriguing. I don't think I've personally ever heard of something like that in a hack, so I'll be looking forward to seeing how that concept develops. I'll also be looking forward to the progress on the hack itself as well, of course!

Good luck have fun!

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What is a Lunar Magic, and can I eat it?
So here's level 6. I've skipped level 5 for now because I couldn't really think of anything for the design, the only thing I thought of for it is the theming. I'll get back to that one later.

Level 6: Cyan Snowfield
It's an ice level...
This is the second level from area 2
This level uses blue Koopa reskins that kick shells and thin ice platforms that you can fall through.







These thin platforms are this block

You only fall through it at a certain speed (while running), but the sliding from the ice physics doesn't actually count as running, so you can use that to your advantage

Some other stuff:
So I found a good purpose for the secret exits. I've already said that they unlock secret levels, but do those levels have a purpose? Well now they do! Each of the secret levels will have a 2-digit number at the end. These numbers will be part of a code (like the one in New Super Mario World 2: Around the World) that will unlock one final level (and possibly a true ending).
Haven't worked on this in a while. I took a little break.
I haven't really made any new levels, just changed a few things in the ones I've already made.
Here's some of the changes:

Level 3:

The bg is slightly darker and the water gfx were changed

The enemy-only blocks were changed, I think these look a lot nicer


Level 6:

Gave the snow tileset a black outline. I want most solid objects to have a black outline so that the non-solid tiles are easier to tell apart

Other stuff:
Here's some gfx I've made for levels 7 and 8


I'll start working on these levels soon enough, though I still haven't started work on level 5

I've also changed how the Dragon Coin replacement works. The Dragon Coins now teleport you to the secret exit once you've collected them all, so you don't have to worry about making it to the goal and dying once you have all of them
The sprite-only blocks could be a bit darker, they kinda blend in with the background.

Also the black outlines for the snow level don't really fit. It could be a bit greyer (like the vanilla snow tileset).

Other than that, these look great! #smw{:TUP:}



Hack.
YY-CHR > Photoshop
Originally posted by BlueToad
The sprite-only blocks could be a bit darker, they kinda blend in with the background.

Also the black outlines for the snow level don't really fit. It could be a bit greyer (like the vanilla snow tileset).

Other than that, these look great! #smw{:TUP:}


The sprite-only blocks are easier to tell apart from the background when actually playing, but I can see that being a bit of a problem. I might change them again.

I had lighter outlines on the snow tileset before, but it was a bit confusing as there are non-solid tiles that have the same color outline. I know they don't look as good with the black outline, I just want the solid tiles to be clearer

Otherwise, thanks for the feedback
I really like the monochromatic look. It's not uncommon to find an "abstract" world featuring a level or two like this, but this is the first time I've seen an entire hack done in that style—and with an original world and cast, no less.
You do a great job painting a clear environment within your limitations. The mechanical and thematic progression in the level design looks really cool. I'm ashamed I didn't notice this project last C3.
I was wondering what was happening with this hack. Good to see some progress. I really like that Purple Cloud Level.
The way it transitions into the water section is pretty simple but really effective even with the limited palette.

Looking forward to seeing more as always!
Pages: « 1 » Link
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Glow (a Gameboy style hack)

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