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Saph and the Great Rebellion Level Sampler!

Okay, so last year on my birthday, July 5, I revealed a project I had started that I vowed would finally be a SMW hack that I would actually finish. Well, it has been a couple months shy of a year , and I still have yet to actually release anything related to my hack - that is, until now.

For those of you guys who don't already know, Saph and the Great Rebellion puts the player in control of an ordinary Buzzy Beetle named, well, Saph. Like all Buzzies, Saph has a few interesting abilities, such as the ability to climb up and on nearly any surface and the ability to spin in his shell while he slides to perform a devestating attack. However...there is one thing you never see a Buzzy Beetle do in a Mario game - jump.

That's right, I have completely removed the player's ability to jump in this hack of mine. Instead, you will need to learn to take advantages of Saph's other advantages, primarily his skill at climbing walls and ceilings, to traverse the world ahead. It's an entirely different experience from any other SMW hack, and it's all on account of the fundamental "Mario" formula being rocked at its very foundation. Jumping is the very basis of what makes Mario Mario. It's for that reason I feel that Saph is going to have an entirely new feel and style to it.

Now, the controls are actually some of the simplest you will ever see. How, you ask? Because the player can go through this hack using nothing but the directional buttons! No jumping means no B button used. Running doesn't need to be triggered by holding Y because Saph runs by default. You can play one-handedly! Swimming is handled by the up button, not B. The only times you need the A or B button are when on menus or the Overworld.

To perform a Shell Slam, press down while running. Saph will tuck into his shell and zoom forward whirling around as he does so. While in his sturdy shell, enemies he bumps into are usually defeated on contact, while Saph is protected from all harm. Keep the following in mind though:

*Saph cannot Shell Slam while underwater (there are no underwater levels in this release though, and the only water in it has no land to stand on within it, so this point is void for now)

*Saph cannot *start* a shell slam going up a slope.

*Once you start a shell slam, though enemies can't hurt you, you have pretty much no control over yourself until you slow down or touch a wall. Therefore, be careful how and when you use it.

Now, as for Saph's trademark wall and ceiling running, that's even simpler. All you have to do is run into any wall in the game, and Saph will start climbing it as long as you hold down on the direction you were running (just like the normal SMW purple triangle). If that wall leads up into a ceiling, don't worry. Still continue to hold the same direction, and Saph will begin to run on the ceiling now! He can also run down walls from the ceiling, too. Gravity has no power over this amazing technique! Just watch out for small indents in some walls and ceilings. (These will not allow Saph to run on that wall or ceiling past that point, as he will not be able to get his footing. Those are not very common though)

Now, the story....can be found in my hack thread. I do not feel like re-explaining it all right now, and, actually, in this level sampler none of the plot or overworld have been added yet. I call this a "level sampler" because what you are getting with this release is a copy of my hack with a completed title screen and presentation logo, a filler overworld with graphics I made myself, (and plan to actually use in a real submap when I make it) and THREE completed levels. These levels vary in difficulty because they are projected to be at different points in the game. "Unknown Depths" is fairly easy, "Jade Ridge" is medium, and "Technological Tower" is what my testers and I agree to be the hardest level in this sampler. Hopefully this will give you a feel for what my hack is like.

Since my hack is an utterly different concept from any other hack, there isn't anything to compare it to. This is an opportunity for each of you to decide whether my hack is fun or not. Whether you enjoy this experience is all up to you.


Here is the download link.


I would also like to tremendously thank Alcaro, Azure, SNN, Jirachi, and Manaphy (not on this site) for testing my hack. Alcaro and Azure have also helped me in too many ways to count in other regards. Thank you all so much for making this possible! ^_^


Also, if you find any glitches when you play this sampler, I would appreciate if you tell them to me via PM. I should have gotten pretty much all the bugs out already, but it's possible I could've missed something. And finally, the enemy graphics are not set into stone. I eventually plan to have no SMW GFX in this hack at all, actually, but I've only partially tackled that. Please do not bother me about enemy graphics, or minor status bar color problems in some levels - the status bar is going to be revamped when I get the chance later anyway, and will not use those parts of the palette.





....whew....that was just about the longest post I've ever written. Anyway, enjoy my release. I'll be looking forward to any feedback you might have, as long as it's constructive.


*Raibys clears his throat and drinks a bit of water*
: As per your request in IRC -


Glitch!

: Right... raise the pokey speed a bit, the graphics could use more shading, kudos on the exploratory level design but remove the timer, Jade Ridge BG needs clouds or something, and maybe make the shell slide not last as long.

AH, yeah, I'll take your suggestions into account. Also, I fixed that glitch and reuploaded the patch. It should work fine now. :)
Wuzzup wit dem overwuld gwafics?

Seriously, this idea is brilliant. It sort of felt like Sonic the Hedgehog, as weird as that sounds. I only hope it doesn't get old for longer hacks.
I must say, this concept has interested me from day 1, and it totally delivers in this hack! On my initial playthrough of it, I found it very difficult getting used to the physics, but at the same time, I would not expect it to be easy to learn. Raibys has done a lot to deliver something completely different and unique to the table with his hack, and it works out greatly.

I look forward to seeing what else you can cook up with this concept.
Excellently made. The levels are huge and fun to explore; this'll be a hack to remember. One thing I dislike, though, is that sometimes there are places where damage is nearly impossible to avoid without taking an alternate route- Like the Hot Head at the beginning of the tower.
Very cool. I really like the different abilities! I'm sure they'd be a pain to get used to, but the concept is striking. Sometime when I'm not so busy, I'll definitely have to give the demo a go.



----------------

I'm working on a hack! Check it out here.
I'm really glad my hack has been receiving positive feedback overall! Like I said earlier, I had nothing to base this off of, so designing this felt like a gamble - I had no way of knowing if it would be fun for others to play or not! It's a really great feeling to know my work's paid off. (at least so far)

You can expect to see this hack updated more frequently, especially with summer vacation around the corner!

Motivation ++
Well I already told you about most of my issues with this in IRC but I still greatly enjoyed the game. A level sampler isn't the best showcase of the hack's true intentions anyway so I'm sure that the things I talked to you about aren't that big of a problem. The whole concept of running up and down walls and ceilings is a very interesting one, one that's you're executing very well Raibys. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this hack in the future. :)
Here's an idea Raibys, you could press down while on the ceiling and do a drop shell slide! You know, like the buzzy beetles did in SMB3. It would hurt enemies while falling!

:D

But I think this hack is great, regardless of vulnerability on slopes and walls and ceiling.
I was impressed with the hack when it was first announced in June, and was glad to be able to try it out. While it was generally pretty fun, there were aspects that were somewhat disappointing.

Being unable to get out of the shell smash was intentional, but at the same time, it doesn't feel right. A lot of times, the player won't know what's ahead of them and would be helpless as they careen to a pit. If Saph was able to cancel out of that, it would be a lot nicer, but I would understand if you want to keep it the way it is.

The levels were decent, and I'll hold off on my comments about the graphics since they're still in progress. Music wasn't bad, though a couple of the tracks seemed a bit off, though it's just issues with the ports themselves.

My concern, though, is that all the levels will eventually become mazes with a bunch of walls and other things. Then again, there are the wings, but I'm worried that there will be a lack of variation overall. But who knows, there could be things you haven't even announced yet.
Originally posted by Supertails
I was impressed with the hack when it was first announced in June, and was glad to be able to try it out. While it was generally pretty fun, there were aspects that were somewhat disappointing.

Being unable to get out of the shell smash was intentional, but at the same time, it doesn't feel right. A lot of times, the player won't know what's ahead of them and would be helpless as they careen to a pit. If Saph was able to cancel out of that, it would be a lot nicer, but I would understand if you want to keep it the way it is.

The levels were decent, and I'll hold off on my comments about the graphics since they're still in progress. Music wasn't bad, though a couple of the tracks seemed a bit off, though it's just issues with the ports themselves.

My concern, though, is that all the levels will eventually become mazes with a bunch of walls and other things. Then again, there are the wings, but I'm worried that there will be a lack of variation overall. But who knows, there could be things you haven't even announced yet.


Yeah, the shell slam has been tweaked to work better, but it was after I already released the sampler so the effects of this work won't be seen until I make another release. Saph's Shell Slam won't go on for as long as it does right now, which will lower the amount of mishaps that you said could happen regarding it.

As for variety, well...let's just say I'm full of all kinds of unique ideas to do with the game's mechanics. In case anyone noticed, I placed all sorts of alternate paths and the like in Jade Ridge that you can get to by going along the right walls and such. In my head are many different and creative ways I plan to fully utilize to make this a varied and fun experience. In my opinion...isn't 3 levels a little bit early to be worrying if I'll have enough ideas? All I can say is have faith in me - I've got more surprises up my sleeve yet.



You can kill the grinders by sliding, producing glitchy death GFX.

This was done by running up the left ledge; it should be easy enough to fix. This is what happens when you hit the ceiling:

There is cutoffness on the bridges; you should make a cement block act like tile 25, but with a different palette and put it on the end of the fence.


Other than that, this was the best hack I've ever played. If someone were to code a game and make into a DS game, it should definitely be this one.
Balloon Party.
At times like this, you need to step back and say, "Where's the Balloon Party?"
Just....oh my. XD

I thought I had caught all of the problems with air-walking to begin with, but first Hach found one that I promptly fixed, and now you found another one. It's not anything major though, and I can easily fix it. In fact, I will likely do that right now.

As for the grinder...oye. I made them immune to shell slamming but I forgot to take into account the original SMW slope butt-slide move thing Mario can do. *that* can still kill them. ._.;

I'll address those glitches right away. This also means the "fixed" version will have the better shell handling included too, even though Is aid that would be in next release. *shrugs*

I'll handle the little graphical issues next release, not now. They do not affect gameplay.
Double posting. Just want to bring to everyone's attention that the mentioned gameplay-related glitches have now been fixed, and that the shell slam tweaks are in effect too.
C3 booth the 25th

I approach this booth and quickly grab whatever IPS patch is here. I have time for only one level of echo new game.



So I attempt only this level, Unknown Depths. I learn to control Saph, and I win the level after a few tries.

I throw the demo of "Saph and the Great Rebellion" into my bag, which is now about twice as heavy as it was at the end of yesterday. I leave this booth, as I think that I can collect more new games over there...

Hacking Super Mario World since 28 February 2009
SMWDISC
I played this game earlier today, but didn't really know what to think of it. I still don't fully know how to feel, but one thing I can promise you is that I do like it. The new play style took a little while to get used to. Walking in one direction and holding the other on the ceiling felt a little unnatural, but easy once I adapted.

Another problem I had is something previously mentioned. I disliked the length of the down shell spin, but I see you're actively working to make it more enjoyable, so I'll leave it at that.

There is a minor thing that I didn't enjoy too much. On the title screen, could you make the lettering a different color? The baby blue used made it a little difficult to read with your background. There was also this spot where you had to press up to survive the water pit. Could you possibly put a small arrow pointing up above the water or add a text field explaining this so new players can avoid death?

Overall, I was really enjoying this sampler. You provided a fresh new feel to a pretty stagnant game. I really look forward to the future of this hack, and can patiently wait while you fine tune the hack to your liking.