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Improvements, Thoughts, and SMWCP2
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - An SMWC Production - Improvements, Thoughts, and SMWCP2
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I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

Advertising Space

Originally posted by Zeldara109
I think that at some point in the future, some of us, including any original designers who feel like it, should just go improve this alpha-beta SMWCP on our own (well, we'd need the collection of patch/block/sprite/music/etc. files (basically everything that would be needed for porting to a new ROM), but those could be provided right?), to turn it into a hack that's far more enjoyable for everyone-- looking at all of the discussion that has been taking place so far here, I think we can do it.


I (and a couple of other people) have actually considered going back and improving the game more. However, an issue that comes with that is the fact that several levels would need to be flat-out redone from scratch in order for that to happen; not leaving it as an option. Instead, prompting them to just count their losses and move on.

But regardless, I'd like to see Axem continue this in some fashion as well, whether in this board or when he gets his own devoted topic somewhere else (if this board is finally archived). He provides very good insight, to say the least.

Originally posted by MrDeePay
I (and a couple of other people) have actually considered going back and improving the game more. However, an issue that comes with that is the fact that several levels would need to be flat-out redone from scratch in order for that to happen; not leaving it as an option. Instead, prompting them to just count their losses and move on.

I didn't exactly see that as an issue (it's certainly worth it to me), but I suppose not everyone feels the same way about those levels...

Anyway, if an improvement project does happen, you can expect me to play a significant part in it-- my quality standards seem pretty similar to AxemJinx's actually (though I'm generally too concerned about people taking offense to make that kind of comment myself).

(I actually avoided signing up for beta-testing because I had a feeling my comments would have been ignored as taking too much time to implement, especially if they involved replacing things like the bosses that people supposedly worked hard on coding, and because I knew it'd take me at least 3 months to test and I thought they would just end it early before I was done.)

–=–=–=–=–=–=–
Alyssa's Unlikely Trap (demo 3)
I'm hoping for a game that cross all mario games and boss together that would be th best game ever!!!#w{O.O}
Originally posted by dragonblaster98
I'm hoping for a game that cross all mario games and boss together that would be th best game ever!!!#w{O.O}


Good for you.

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Good fucking bye.
1 its so many paths that leads to nothing...
2 the sewers has alot of pipes that does almost nothing...
3 i donth understand why swampland passage was there when it leads to a pipe that takes you to a place you can access in the start of the game.
4 the secret exit of weeaboo manor is hard to find. i was just very lucky when i stumbled into the fake wall

anyway i reached world 3 now and i still think the hack is pretty good
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1 its so many paths that leads to nothing...


There's only five levels total that lead nowhere.

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2 the sewers has alot of pipes that does almost nothing...


They're for later in the game. (I assume you're talking about the submap...)

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3 i donth understand why swampland passage was there when it leads to a pipe that takes you to a place you can access in the start of the game.


Think of the star world in the original game. It isn't the exact same, but still.

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4 the secret exit of weeaboo manor is hard to find. i was just very lucky when i stumbled into the fake wall


Well, I don't think they exactly wanted the switch palaces to be easy to find. :/

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Good fucking bye.
Let's see here...

I, too, would be willing to go back and help fix up SMWCP until it's nice and polished...after I take a vacation from all this level commenting, anyway :p

Onward! ...but on the computer I have now, there seems to be a very slight delay/slowdown/lag/whatever, which will make playing certain levels SO MUCH FUN >_< ...oh well. Maybe I'll adapt.

Foresty Snow Ehh, not the best title. Too literal.

This is a good level to pick up where I left off. Maybe I just have a soft spot for mysterious foresty areas, but I feel like the author really nailed the aesthetics for once. Sure, maybe the shading on the trunks is completely different from the original SMW graphics, but even so it doesn't seem completely out of place; rather, it draws the eye. The music complements the locale, and the amount and types of enemies used evoke a sense of isolation without making the level too easy (it's certainly a pleasant contrast to the surrounding stages :/). The sprite reskins look believable (not out of place), at least more so than other levels.

This is also the ONLY LEVEL I can clearly remember so far that knows how to reward the player for hard work. It doesn't hide a powerup block behind layers upon layers of tricks and traps; it requires all five yoshi coins to access the key. How about that! The reward is essentially playing another stage. Aren't levels what we enjoy in Mario platformers? Is it an alien concept to make those the rewards rather than powerups?!

As usual, though, I have some issues with the design. You don't need the switch palace block to obtain the first yoshi coin, thanks to the boo reskin there.* That first boo circle placement is rather irritating. If I want to get the yoshi coin I have to wait for the stars to align a second time or just take the hit and rush through. Couldn't the lower path be separated a little more?

What's interesting about the pipe to the bonus area is that players can access it regardless of powerup status, and do so differently if small. I'm not sure whether or not I prefer things that way, but it's certainly better then Frigid Lake Cavern's implementation of ice projectiles.

It's somewhat easy to jump over enemies in the second half using the upper platforms, though I supposed this is mitigated by the fact that many of them are narrow and slippery.

Apart from what I've already said, I do like that this level uses switch palace blocks meaningfully (though you don't need them for the silver p-quarter either; perhaps surround the items with them?)*. With the enemies trapped and the slight scarcity of enemies in general, I was worried this level would be too easy, but it doesn't seem like a problem. Admittedly, I haven't played in a while, and of course it's hard to say what the difficulty curve is when it amplifies the sine wave far beyond what you would see in math class, but this level is the least of the hack's worries.

Oh, and the splittin' chuck can cause some slowdown. Also, the midway point seems a little early, but that might just be me.


Well, I guess I didn't have that many issues, comparatively speaking. Yep, this was World 4's brief reprieve, and I'm not looking forward to my next post here :/ (or is it two posts down the road? I forget)

Really though, this one feels like a proper Mario stage, and it doesn't overstay its welcome like so many levels have done. I hope this is a sign that half of the game, at least, is actually quite enjoyable, and continuously so.


*Edit: I don't know why I confused switch palace blocks with on/off blocks. But anyway, looking at it from the point of view that the switch palace blocks simply make it easier to get the first yoshi coin and the silver p-quarter, I don't really have an issue with it.


Edit 2:

Catacomb Calamity

Structurally speaking, having this many coins in one level basically negates the purpose of including a shop...unless you have ridiculously high prices. Oh wait. So maybe this level's one of the reasons for that. Maybe it's also the reason this level has only one powerup and a years' supply of two-tile-high corridors with enemies inside. After all, we can't have those darned players farming all these here coins! This is our money vault! We'll have no funds for SMWCP2! Of course, this level gives you a cape and 1up for free anyway, so it's all just one inconsistent mess. What were they thinking?! /avgn

...But yeah, this stage is annoyingly cramped to the point where I'm constantly holding jump in midair to make sure I squeeze into gaps and not squeeze into a bottomless pit. It's not that hard, just annoying. It continuously feels like I have no breathing room. I guess I understand what the author was going for- underground areas tend to be more cramped than aboveground areas, obviously- but I think it goes a bit too far in this case.

I'm not sure it's necessary to have that piranha plant staring me in the face at the stage start, either.

The palette is nice, especially for the coins, but the effect is ruined by the coins enemies turn into when hit by fireballs.

The music reminds me of Vega's Theme, but sounds different...of course, there might be different arrangements for the Alpha Series or other Street Fighetr games whose music I don't remember specifically. If it is Vega's Theme, well...that's a little strange. When I think 'Vega,' I don't think 'sewer.' Quite the opposite, actually...

For the p-balloon section: You can arrange two different "paths" and call it nonlinearity all you want, but if there's a dominant strategy then your efforts are all for naught. There's no incentive not to dip into the water; there are plenty of coins to be found elsewhere in the stage. You don't even need the p-balloon, since you can bounce on the hot head. Finally, the reset pipe isn't labeled.

There's a point where you can jump up, or drop down and then run up a wall to the same place. What's the difference?

Also, it seems strange to have bushes growing along a nonexistent floor.

Oh, the time limit feels a tad on the short side, too.

The yoshi coin and 1up placement is mostly nice, at least, and the springboard carrying is kept short, thankfully. Overall, not a bad stage- SMWCP has far worse problems- but it could be better, I think.


...yep, now I'm really not looking forward to next time. Oh well.

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Glad you're getting back to these critiques, now I have reason to check this subforum again, hahaha.
Zephyr Manor: Well, this had better be the last candidate I find for worst level in the game, to put it bluntly. This level has probably already been beaten to death, so I'll try to make this quick and painless. No guarantees, though :b

The first area has extremely plain architecture, and doesn't make for much of an entryway. You go to the right, drop down, and go to the left, like you're following the circumference of a rectangle in boredom as your family puts in the order at a crowded outdoor eatery on a hot Summer day... *ahem* Really though, is this the way the level should start? It doesn't feel like I'm in a manor at all. If I jump too high, I have to start over- go right, drop down, go left.

When you come out of the pipe into the next area, sometimes the wind blows right, sometimes up. I assume the former is intended, because via the latter you can skip the beginning of this section entirely by hopping and skipping along the roof. You spend the rest of the section forced to the ground by a down-draft, so nothing interesting happens...


(Regular path)
I am not even going to write in detail about the next section. It gives absolutely no thought to the reverse trek, which ends up being a lot harder for all the wrong reasons. How this room made it into the game goes beyond my understanding. At this point, mind you, we've already gone through three rooms- four if you count the return journey here- so we must be making some progress, right?

WRONG. (Though I guess you can spin jump on the chain boo to skip that area altogether. But then what's the point?)

Anyway, parts of the next section have tips of spikes lining the top. Of course, you won't know they're spikes until you jump up and touch them. No powerup? Too bad! Start from the beginning. An up arrow tells you to go up, which I did to no avail, until I realized I was supposed to go up AND RIGHT over a platform I couldn't see. Oh, I hope you don't decide to slide into that cloud copter platform instead of jumping on it, since it'll leave while you're half on, and laugh maniacally as you fall to your doom (what, you couldn't hear it?). Maybe that's better than the alternative, though, since if you survive you'll have to go through the most arduous maze conceived in SMWCP...if you're not small Mario, good luck trying to navigate around all those boos when every ceiling and wall hurts you and jumping is a bad idea. Was this area even tested?

It's ok, because we're almost d- huh. A midpoint? ...a midpoint.

...

...Wow. Anyway...the midpoint itself is very annoyingly placed, and then you have to dodge a very tricky fishin' boo just to reach the next pipe.

The next section is probably the worst implementation of the brown block train I've ever seen. Its path is completely non-intuitive, and more often than not, you'll die because it loops around and cuts you off (since it's the short variety), or goes up, up, and more up before you realize you have to jump on top to survive, and then it's too late. Sometimes you'll just jump the wrong way and then good luck getting back on! Even a cape will be of little use to you here because the camera won't scroll until you land. It's also extremely long. I mean it- it just screams unfair. Of course, you can just stand on a platform and hope it returns so you can avoid entire sections. Hmm, that seems to be a common theme here.

After you finish with all that, there's yet another cloud copter section! Luckily there's not much hard about this one, but it is long and boring! And I hope you were paying attention to the shifts in wind direction as you move on the copter- otherwise you could have a hard time dismounting for the very last jump of the level. We wouldn't want you to die there, would we?


(Secret Path)
What, this level has two exits?

Just entering the first pipe requires nearly pixel-perfect jumping. Sheesh. Oh, and I just realized the midway point was used for the regular path, and if this path is just as long...SAVE ME JEEBUS

Anyway, the first area has deceptively upbeat bonus area music with nonsensical design, one very tough to avoid rock, and completely unexpected bullet blitzkriegs. The wide open spaces where you get the p-switch at the end make it very non-intuitive where you're supposed to use the damn thing...turns out you have to go to the next section, on the regular path, transform the coin guide, and jump up to the left. Ok, fine. What's next?

Well, a bunch of annoying wind jumps with one-tile wide platforms, some really tricky jumps in a minefield, and another boring cloud copter run. In all honesty, it's nowhere near as bad as the regular path overall...but it's still mediocre at best. I noticed there was a pipe in the upper left, but you wouldn't catch me dead finding out where it leads. And seriously, what the hell is up with that coin arrow pointing down-left? I follow it, squeeze down a gap on the left side, and then I watch in horror as I lose control of the copter, it goes off-screen, and I die for no reason. This level just doesn't make any sense. Ugh.




Nippy Expanse: This level honestly looks like it was slapped together in an hour by someone who didn't understand what a tileset was. Most platforms are donut bridges, clouds, arch platforms, nets, and pipes, and there doesn't seem to be any sense of continuity or theme...Is the dev team seriously presenting this stage as a finished product? I laughed in exasperation when I realized I had to wait out a p-switch (I lost count) only to use a second one in combination with a springboard. And actually, when you free the star at the end of the stage, that p-switch is also in effect until you reach the goal, essentially. While we're on the topic, doesn't that last section seem an awful lot like Awesome from the original SMW? As in, the exact same idea? Which is NOT awesome. AT ALL.

The level also seems to halfheartedly take a note from the Forest Secret Area in SMW. You use those winged platforms for all of two screens and then you don't need them for the rest of the section. But they're still there. What's the point?

There are blind drops and high-bouncing koopas that both fly off the top of the screen and appear with no warning for a blind airstrike. The Deceptive Hitbox Bill makes an encore appearance, and if you ditch those winged platforms you have to use it for a tricky bounce at risk of death.

It looks like I can only get the powerups at the beginning of the second section if I drag a p-switch across the stage to transform the coin arrow. So we're playing those games again? Blegh.

This level is shoddily done, and I don't like it. It has the air of someone opening Lunar Magic for the first time, not someone contributing to a hack that bears the site's name. Perhaps if it didn't fall prey to the same old issues I would be more forgiving, but even putting those points aside, there's nothing here that really engages players all that much. The level doesn't feel wintry or icy, it mostly uses standard enemies, the architecture is uninspiring...I mean, anyone would begin to lose interest at this point in the game. To be honest, when I see levels like this, I'm not even sure I want to continue writing these critiques. What more can I say when I run into the same issues time and time again? It would probably be easier to scrap half of the game and move on.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART

Extras



I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?

Advertising Space

Originally posted by Axem
Zephyr Manor: Well, this had better be the last candidate I find for worst level in the game, to put it bluntly.


I can tell you right now that it won't, but thankfully, said candidates aren't until much much later (or if you go with what Mineyl mentioned before), then there's another one coming up somewhat soon.

Originally posted by Axem
I am not even going to write in detail about the next section. It gives absolutely no thought to the reverse trek, which ends up being a lot harder for all the wrong reasons. How this room made it into the game goes beyond my understanding. At this point, mind you, we've already gone through three rooms- four if you count the return journey here- so we must be making some progress, right?


Not sure which version you're doing this commentary from, but from earlier version of the level I played, that section had "Acropolis-style" platforming with the added hazards of some spike columns and some oh-so-conveniently placed Boo Streams that you were almost guaranteed to hit on the first and fiftieth tries. Yeah, luring a Boo and Spin Jumping it was the dominant strategy there.

Great, now I'm using "your" terminology.

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...Wow. Anyway...the midpoint itself is very annoyingly placed, and then you have to dodge a very tricky fishin' boo just to reach the next pipe.


I'm not a fan of making the player work for their checkpoints like that. It just screams "dick move" to me.

Originally posted by Axem
The next section is probably the worst implementation of the brown block train I've ever seen... ...die there, would we?


That entire sub-level should've been scrapped and the checkpoint should've been moved to the start of the second outside area if this was going to be a World 4 level. Honestly, in its current form, Zephyr Manor did not belong in World 4 at all. A fairly good concept that was marred by horrible execution to the point where Riolu continuously apologized for the level.

Originally posted by Axem
I noticed there was a pipe in the upper left, but you wouldn't catch me dead finding out where it leads.


It leads to the block snake room.


But in any case, the worst of the worst is done (for now at least) and it's a damn shame that those offenders had to get into the collab to begin with. Especially when most of them are placed pre-midgame in terms of level placement, which gives off a horrible first impression to where any similar levels with a similar "issue" gets hell for it.

Originally posted by Axem
Nippy Expanse:


That was one of those levels that I edited myself, though mostly for cutoff and palette issues because they weren't placed properly or the global graphics changes messes them up. Personally, I'm not a fan of 1-2 tile slippery block jumps over a pit for a World 4 level- it just feels incredibly unnecessary.

I don't know what version of the hack I have, so if this has already been changed, ignore me, but I think we should change the timer blocks in To Land Much Below to allot more time. As it is (20 seconds for me), it's pretty much forcing me to blindly speedrun the stage at penalty of death. That the mechanic is ridiculous goes without saying, but if the time allotted hasn't been upped yet, I seriously suggest we do so.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Notes on "TLMB":
-If you manage to keep a fire flower, the entire 20 second segment gets a whole lot easier, since nearly every enemy I placed can be killed with fire.

-Plus, (not trying to completely defend my mistake, but as an insight to others) The 20 second blocks don't disappear, if you think you messed up try going back to the 20 second block and rethink what to do. The thing about it being 20 seconds is that it's a terrible mind game, as people tend to panic when time is running out, making them take drastic changes. Here, 20 seconds are forever (not applicable in the second area though, I admit I put that P-switch block too far). That Blue Panser is also a pain in the neck too, at the end of the first 20 seconds segment.

The people I had test this said the 20 second part wasn't so bad, yet raocow had spent 1.5+ hrs trying to beat it. It's been a mixed level from what feedback I got. However, I'd like to say this level is far from impossible and far from blind. Most of the ire comes from a badly placed sprite, previous glitchy shyguys, and a p-switch block that was placed a bit too far... I'd also remove that precision jump by the first roto-disk. If people want to add more time so they could brute force it around the first few tries, I really don't mind, I rather just see how the feedback would be with just a few changes in structure instead.



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I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...
Originally posted by TLMB
If you manage to keep a fire flower, the entire 20 second segment gets a whole lot easier,

And if you don't? The level shouldn't be an exercise in Small Mario Discrimination.

Originally posted by TLMB
The thing about it being 20 seconds is that it's a terrible mind game, as people tend to panic when time is running out,

I actually didn't know what was going on at first- I thought I had died due to some glitch or something. It was only after I died several times that I realized it only happened when I brought a shell with me, which ended up taking more time. I mean, the only time I pay attention to the clock is when the hurry up jingle plays. There was no indication that the clock suddenly nosedived hundreds of seconds.

Originally posted by TLMB
The people I had test this said the 20 second part wasn't so bad,

I have a hard time believing that, unless they used savestates, saw the layout beforehand, or looked at it in Lunar Magic. My experience was similar to raocow's.

Originally posted by TLMB
However, I'd like to say this level is far from impossible

It's also far from fair...

Originally posted by TLMB
and far from blind.

You miss my meaning. It's blind by definition because you have literally no time to take in your surroundings. It's pretty much guaranteed you'll die the first few times until you memorize the layout, unless you get really lucky. You have to rush, and there is very little room for error. Think about it from the point of view of players seeing it for the first time. The layout is entirely new to them.

Originally posted by TLMB
previous glitchy shyguys

Unless my version is outdated (and it might be- I don't see a version number in the readme), they're still glitchy.

Originally posted by TLMB
I rather just see how the feedback would be with just a few changes in structure instead.

Changing the structure would be fine, too, but the lower the time limit is, the less complex your setups can be.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
If you manage to keep a fire flower, the entire 20 second segment gets a whole lot easier,

And if you don't? The level shouldn't be an exercise in Small Mario Discrimination.

In all my tests of my level, I only used standard small Mario, as he is more versatile to get through the enemies. I never used a fire flower or cape unless I received it in the level itself. I didn't even know the pansers were weak to fire until a few weeks ago watching someone play my level.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
The thing about it being 20 seconds is that it's a terrible mind game, as people tend to panic when time is running out,

I actually didn't know what was going on at first- I thought I had died due to some glitch or something. It was only after I died several times that I realized it only happened when I brought a shell with me, which ended up taking more time. I mean, the only time I pay attention to the clock is when the hurry up jingle plays. There was no indication that the clock suddenly nosedived hundreds of seconds.
Yes, that segment should have had a message box. I didn't think about it at the time, so that'd be my fault.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
The people I had test this said the 20 second part wasn't so bad,

I have a hard time believing that, unless they used savestates, saw the layout beforehand, or looked at it in Lunar Magic. My experience was similar to raocow's.
Don't really know what to say to this, the level got mixed reviews. Some people liked it, others hated it, some quit playing SMWCP because of it ;_;

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
However, I'd like to say this level is far from impossible

It's also far from fair...
I agree with this because of level design, not the time gimmick.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
and far from blind.

You miss my meaning. It's blind by definition because you have literally no time to take in your surroundings. It's pretty much guaranteed you'll die the first few times until you memorize the layout, unless you get really lucky. You have to rush, and there is very little room for error. Think about it from the point of view of players seeing it for the first time. The layout is entirely new to them.
Understandable, but I still say one doesn't need to rush things out, since most time blocks are accessible for resets. Maybe that could've used it's own message box as well :/

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
previous glitchy shyguys

Unless my version is outdated (and it might be- I don't see a version number in the readme), they're still glitchy.
You have an older version of SMWCP, as shyguys were removed from the hack.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Originally posted by TLMB
I rather just see how the feedback would be with just a few changes in structure instead.

Changing the structure would be fine, too, but the lower the time limit is, the less complex your setups can be.
I agree with that, but I really see the level could use more structural fixes rather than slapping on more time, some of the jumps are ridiculous no matter how much time you have (that blue panser comes to mind, actually almost anything that deals with pansers as a few of them didn't have a set pattern from what I saw).

The world needs a SMWCPR

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I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...
Originally posted by TLMB
The world needs a SMWCPR


YCZ is trying to do something similar with ASMT, and I'm expressed my intense dislike for "reloading" hacks like this. In both cases, the only way to truly fix what is broken would be to redesign every bad scenario in the hack. This isn't a case of "shift this block over and the level is suddenly fixed". It's a case of a lot of faulty design, and if people are going to go through the trouble of redesigning everything, then they might as well just make a new project completely.

There are little things that can be fixed, sure, such as increasing the time limit in To Land Much Below. Overall though, what's done is done and looking towards the future is much more ideal. How far would the VIP series have went if they went back and reloaded the first two (which arguably were pretty shitty)?

It's just my personal belief. I'm not going to stop people from attempting to redo things in this, but I feel it would be a waste of precious time. The reputation has already been set.
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