Hey there! I had originally planned to have a super elaborate and polished "press release" by C3, but some major life things came up over the past couple of months, and I had to put both the hack + the preview on hold. So (obviously) I scrambled to pull this together — complete with crappy quality watermarked video and such.
For about a year and half now in the kaizo community, I've been casually talking about a hack I've been working on. I had no grand plans to create a masterpiece or anything; but the quality of kaizo hacks has risen so dramatically over the past year or two, and I've been so inspired by their phenomenal creators, that I started taking my own work more seriously.
I'm super excited to release my hack, Flux World, sometime in the next few months. Flux is an intermediate-difficulty kaizo hack (think Invictus) which I hope will stand out in a few different regards. Although historically speaking, this is something that's been sorely neglected in kaizo hacks, I've placed aesthetics at the front and center of mine, attempting to create beautiful level environments — inspired by creators like WhiteYoshiEgg and FerpyMcfrosting. This will also be the first kaizo hack to utilize MSU-1 with a largely original score, specifically composed to capture and complement these environments.
In terms of actual level design: as with any hack in this burgeoning Golden Era of kaizo, one of the primary goals was simply to create levels which are challenging, but also feel great to complete (and to replay!). However, I think there are a number of elements here that make Flux unique.
A huge amount of work was done in terms of conceptualizing levels, and ensuring that their primary mechanics would be intuitive and rewarding. Flux also regularly experiments with uncommon level *shapes* and types of movement. At a smaller level, individual setups have been carefully crafted to avoid clichés, and/or to ensure that more familiar gameplay elements always serve a larger creative vision, and weren't simply devices to fill out space. To accomplish all this, some 300 different kinds of custom blocks have been utilized, and a particularly large array of custom ASM and sprites. (For which I'm eternally grateful to the enormous amount of help I received.)
In tandem with this, Flux has taken a unique approach to the concept of "quality of life" tweaks. Extensive camera manipulation has been done to give the player the absolute best range of vision in each setting. Beyond this, Mario's movement itself — including things like falling speed — is often dynamically manipulated by blocks to allow for more types of setups (or for ultra-reliable ones); and swimming speeds have been modified to feel more natural. Finally, levels have also undergone an unusually extensive amount of redesign and playtesting, to make sure they’re always creative, consistent, and have organic flow — in some instances devoting some 200 hours of work to a single level.
All of these come together in what I hope will be a fantastic SMW hack experience, with truly memorable levels and environments.
(Note: if there's something you see in the video that you think could/should be tweaked, I'm almost certainly already aware of it — I’m an ultra-perfectionist, and again didn’t have as much time to prepare for this as I’d have liked. Any feedback is still appreciated, though!)
Very glad to see your progress on this, looks fantastic. I'm sure that this hack will be at the forefront of the aesthetic movement in Kaizo. I'm also very interested in the MSU-1 original score, that will certainly be exciting! Keep up the strong work, wishing you the best with what's left!
This is some impressive aesthetics here, and yeah it'll be great way to differentiate from many other hacks. I've seen you talking about this and it sounds and looks like you've put a tonne of work in. Good luck with release, I'm looking forward to seeing more.
Wow Charlie this looks awesome and very interesting in many ways! I really like your concept concerning "alternativ setups" and focussing on the visuals.
Although visually impressive the brighter (not space-themed) levels looks a little bit out of place from this preview video but I'm very excited how everything fits together in the final hack!
I'm definitely looking forward to play it but I hope I don't get clobbered over the head with this 300 (wwooooww) custom blocks!
Impressive work Charlie
Loving the decoration in this hack, it gives a totally new vibe for a kaizo hack. Some of the gameplay elements are also pretty unique, for example I really like the use of throw blocks you had in the video.