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004: Hiker's Hollow - Forty2

Complete

Personally I think the architecture is excellent. The passageways look naturally formed and twist n' turn all over the place. The stalactites/stalagmites, rocks, and water pools add flavor.

I'm not sure about difficulty until I play it in this case, but what you have so far looks good, and you have the rest of the level to make things a little harder if you need to, so I don't think you have to worry too much about that. I only take issue with that first seemingly blind drop on screen 0, because it looks like players won't see the fish until it's too late. Otherwise, good work so far.
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The level looks fine. If you make the rest of the level like that, you should be set.

Also, are you planning on adding that tileset to the baserom? I've been needing a nice cave set, and that would fit the bill perfectly.
Your layout has been removed.
I too would want this tileset for a bonus room around the end of my level.
The tileset can be found here and I have reserved it under ExGFX slots 1C0 (main stuff) and 1C1 (decorations). I haven't actually be keeping up to date with the base ROM, so I should probably get around to sending it to S.N.N. for insertion at some point.
May we meet again outside the battlefield.
Oh hey I made more of the level. This is what it looks like now.

Now extends up to screen 0F. The midpoint is accessed from the first green pipe with the Piranha Plant in it, the turn block near it is a vine block. Yeah, there are some Piranha Plants and vines involved now.
The upward facing Piranha Plants look correct in-game. The FG palette is slightly less saturated than before. Vine ends are made from the conveniently shaped stalactite/stalagmite tips. I updated my base ROM so now I have the Slope Fix Blocks instead of my vanilla workaround (and also slightly different Spike Top graphics I think).
I'm assuming the Piranha Plant stem graphics will be changed eventually, because at the moment they're the original SMW ones.

I still haven't been bothered to submit the FG graphics, but I linked them in my last post so that shouldn't be a problem. I'll submit my Map16 when I submit the level.

Anyway, progress is going faster than before, so if everything goes well I should have something playable within the next couple of weeks or so.

Level Progress (June 14):
✓ Foreground graphics.
✓ Intro/midway section. 4 screens built.
--- Main section. 16/?? screens built.
✗ Ending goal section. 0/?? screens built.
✗ Backgrounds.
May we meet again outside the battlefield.
In that case, will there be a message block explaining that the midway point is through the pipe? Just my opinion, but some people, especially new players, may not figure that out.

If you don't have any level names yet, how about...

Subterranean Safari
Rocky Route
Stalagmite Stroll
Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Looks really good Forty2!
I like the spilt paths, makes it feel more cave-ish.

As for a name I thought of Boulder Bypass, :P
Very consistent architectural style, and I like how you gradually add piranha plants into the mix. Just make sure it doesn't wear out its welcome toward the end.

And I have to say, the sense of motion here looks excellent- it really makes me feel like I'm exploring the twists and turns of subterranean tunnels.

Looking forward to testing it out.


As for names...let's see:

Subterranean Segue
Ephemeral Excavation


Eh, I'm not even sure whether I like those ^_^;
I'll get back to you ;p
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Well, I just "finished" my level. Of course I'm likely going to have to make a few tweaks based on feedback I get, but yeah.

Level 1-3: (currently untitled cave level)
Spans approximately 28 (1C) screens.
Known issues:
-Because of the way Spike Tops (don't) work, some may not appear depending on how you approach them.
-Negligible sprite layer priority issue with a Swooper and a Piranha Plant in a pipe.
-A bit of slowdown occurs in some parts, but that shouldn't be a problem when FastROM is applied.

So yeah.
May we meet again outside the battlefield.
Pretty good level! I like it. But, why are you using the original SMW music? Those are boring :P
Also...

The bottom tiles of those vines are cutoff. you might want to make some bottom tiles.
Your layout has been removed.

Extras



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

Advertising Space

Actually, they DO have bottom tiles.

...Oh. Zoomed in on paint and I saw them. Sorry :P
Your layout has been removed.

Extras



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

Advertising Space


The level has a few instances where Mario can do a blind drop and land on a Cheep-Cheep that's placed one tile beneath the surface of the water. This is especially an issue when Mario is big, meaning he risks a... "cheep" hit much easier.


Minor, but it's possible for Mario to hug edge of the screen during the victory march. Extending that level out by one screen should work.


For music, how about 49 (for the above ground) and 31 (for the underground)?

Other than that, I feel it's a pretty solid level. I can't really find anything else to take a stab at, so it should be pretty good to go.

I really don't have any complaints about this one, just a few quasi-quibbles.

Like MrDeePay says, there are a couple of blind drops onto fish, especially screens 0 and 12 (the coin guide in the latter case practically leads you into the fish :b)

Not necessarily a problem, but the smwcoins are slanted slightly toward the first half of the stage.

Can't sublevel 191 be appended to sublevel 4 to save room for other stages? Also, what if you hid a 1up above the ceiling there, to reward players for understanding this level's design style?


But yep, I'd say it's just about ready to go. Good work.

Any thoughts for a name?
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Going to echo MrDeePay in that this is a very solid level. Great architecture, great difficulty, and all around amusing to play. I have a couple of gripes which have not been mentioned yet.


-I don't really like the placement of that Buzzy Beetle up top. It's very possible he'll fall on you on your way back from getting the SMWC coin.


-If you want this guy to be an actual threat, I'd move him back a few tiles.


-This is just a personal thing, but I think putting some kind of reward (i.e. a 1-UP) up here would be cool. The jumping Koopas make it possible to get up there, and I feel you should give those willing to explore a surprise.

Other than that, good stuff. Fix up these and then I'll clear the level into the base ROM.

(oh, and you'll want to come up with a name too. If you can't, I'm sure someone else could help you.)

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 above posts
Any thoughts for a name?

(oh, and you'll want to come up with a name too. If you can't, I'm sure someone else could help you.)


Cavern Crusade?

I agree with everything that's been said in regards that this is a great level. I have just a few minor problems with the level.



Maybe you should use a trail of coins to hint at the coin up there. This is just my opinion, but some new players will probably just think of that area as ceiling and not anything special.



I got killed trying to swim under this Cheep Cheep. Please remove this one, because it's practically impossible to swim around this one unscathed.



Maybe you should use a message box to alert the player that the midpoint is up that pipe. Some people may not be able to find it.



This Cheep Cheep also caused a lot of problems. Please remove this one as well, because he really did cause a lot of problems.



So many enemies, one little space...

Other than these, your level is great and I had a lot of fun with it.
Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Some more random names:

Cavern Corkscrew
Undulating Underground
Earthen Enervation
Hiker's Hollow


As for those fish, I'm not sure that outright removing them is the best idea- that could create an imbalance and/or make things feel empty. If they really are such a nuisance, perhaps the placement or the architecture could be modified slightly.
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Originally posted by MrDeePay
The level has a few instances where Mario can do a blind drop and land on a Cheep-Cheep that's placed one tile beneath the surface of the water.

I'll try moving some stuff around a little so it's not as much of an unfair hit. (I might get rid of that first fish altogether.)

Originally posted by MrDeePay
Minor, but it's possible for Mario to hug edge of the screen during the victory march. Extending that level out by one screen should work.

If it's really a problem I'll rearrange that ending section slightly, because I don't really want to over-extend the empty space at the end; it's just kind of ugly and it doesn't sit well with me to have so much empty space.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Not necessarily a problem, but the smwcoins are slanted slightly toward the first half of the stage.

Yeah, I noticed that myself but I didn't think it really mattered much. The third one is still after the midpoint so eh.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Can't sublevel 191 be appended to sublevel 4 to save room for other stages? Also, what if you hid a 1up above the ceiling there, to reward players for understanding this level's design style?

Putting the goal section in the same level as the entrance would make it possible for the player to just jump over the whole level, unless I extended the ground to the top of the screen and used the ceiling generator, but I don't really want to do that. And I don't think one sublevel would be much of an issue seeing how many are available.

Also I will put a 1UP above the ceiling of the ending section, I don't know why I didn't come up with that myself.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-I don't really like the placement of that Buzzy Beetle up top. It's very possible he'll fall on you on your way back from getting the SMWC coin.

Can't say that's been an issue for me. If it really is a problem I'll do something about it I guess.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-If you want this guy to be an actual threat, I'd move him back a few tiles.

Will do.

Originally posted by akacesfan
Maybe you should use a trail of coins to hint at the coin up there. This is just my opinion, but some new players will probably just think of that area as ceiling and not anything special.

There is a coin there already, so I don't see your point.

Originally posted by akacesfan
I got killed trying to swim under this Cheep Cheep. Please remove this one, because it's practically impossible to swim around this one unscathed.

I'll move the slope one tile over to the left to provide a little more room. I don't think the Cheep-Cheep is that much of a threat really.

Originally posted by akacesfan
Maybe you should use a message box to alert the player that the midpoint is up that pipe. Some people may not be able to find it.

To be honest, you'd have to be pretty dumb to not enter that pipe when you see it. I'd think the only logical thing to do when you see a pipe at the end of a passage would be to enter it.
If you mean that they might not be able to find the vine block to get up there, again: who could possibly miss something like that? Unless this person has never played a Mario game ever, it should be fairly obvious that something is in that lone block.

Originally posted by akacesfan
This Cheep Cheep also caused a lot of problems. Please remove this one as well, because he really did cause a lot of problems.

Is it really that hard to swim underneath a Cheep-Cheep? I guess it's the player's fault for trying to rush through.

Originally posted by akacesfan
So many enemies, one little space...

Uhh, how is that a problem? The only way that could even happen is if you were standing in the same spot for a long time or if you went backwards just to point that out.

Anyway, I'll get all these things fixed soon, and then I'll send the stuff to S.N.N. to insert. edit: changes made, level sent to S.N.N.

edit: oh and for the name, I guess I'll go with Hiker's Hollow because it fits what I had in mind.
May we meet again outside the battlefield.
Thanks for the name edit and whatnot. I've inserted this into the base ROM.

Guess this one is done then!

Complete