Music Options: Playful Breeze, or Pumped-Up Pressure
Briefing: You will be designing the level which the second level's secret exit leads to. There aren't really many limitations .. if you can, try to include some flowers in it (some which have been affected by the factory's pollution, perhaps?).
This level can be a little harder than the other levels in this world since it's not on the main path for World 1, but don't go overboard!
This looks really nice, but my main concern is that you may end up going overboard with the plants. I understand this level is supposed to teach the player to be careful, but it still is a World 1 level.
Other than that though, I really like your idea. The captions were also pretty awesome.
I'm planning to make it on par with the other world 1 levels if you don't rush through it. If you're the type to hold y and run nonstop through a level, you're going to get torn apart though. I'm also being careful not to mix too much platforming with plant dodging; most of the venus fire traps are upside down and not in your way, and most of the normal piranha plants aren't past a gap or anything sinister like that. Also working on implementing an upwards moving smog obstacle, MarioE just worked out the bug that the original version had.
For reference, plowing through my level (just running right and jumping over stuff in a hasty manner) is pretty much guaranteed to get a time of under 45 seconds, and no one so far has complained about it being too short. However, there are a lot of things to go around and take your time to look at, so that's probably the reason for that.
Considering putting a Yoshi section towards the end of the level, because he's currently underutilized and it would make a good "reward" for finding the secret level in the first place. Thoughts? Ideas?
Also, sorry for no screens, I got about 70% of the level done in the first 3 days and most of my changes since then have been fine-tuning the level design and difficulty.
Well, this used to be my level, but I gave it up. I am so happy I did, after playing this!
This is a problem throughout the whole hack, right?
It is possible to get up here. Will a ceiling generator be applied? EDIT: I am on top of the screen, by the way.
Why can I climb the bush? Is this intentional? (This is the only bush it happened to me on (then again, this is the only bush I tried it on)).
Since I knew there were platforms below, I jumped down, and ended up falling to my death. I later realized I could've jumped across an just followed the path, so forget about this picture.
Anyway, the level was great. The difficulty was perfect (I didn't die! ), and the SMWC coins were in good spots. The bonus game to get one coin was cleverly hidden, and it was a bonus game I never seen before. Great use of the annoying creating/eating blocks! Getting to the coin was a little annoying, but I am awful at note-block jumps.
All in all, this was very good, and I cannot wait to see the rest of the level.
-------------------- Just back here to browse a bit.
Dude, this level is really awesome so far! I really couldn't find anything to suggest changes for. I thought the bonus area with the creating eating blocks was genius (although I was stupid and didn't realized I needed to jump where the coins were the first time).
The only thing I could find was this, and it's really a matter of preference:
Right now I'm on top of the screen. I wasn't sure if you wanted this to be possible or not.
There's two things that instantly jumped out at me about this level: wide open or linear spaces and a minimal amount of types of sprites. Since we're dealing with a W1 level, both of these elements are really nothing to complain about. However, I think there are a couple spots where they are holding the level back.
Two spots that suffer from too much openness/linearity are screens 07/08 and 0D-10. Both the upper and lower path on 07/08, I can't help but feel that something can be added here. For the top side, it could be as simple as adding something architecturally - help mix it up just a little. The bottom route on the other hand is nothing but a stale note block crossing. There needs to be something to add a little threat to this route. I know you have smog bubbles planned for this level - not sure if that's something that'll be seen in the latter half of the level or if you plan on introducing them earlier, but this would be a perfect spot. And if that's already planned, then feel free to ignore this.
Screens 0D-10, however, are in dire need of rethinking. Right now it's just a long linear bore with little to no threat from anything. The Yellow Koopa on screen 0E, for instance, serves no purpose as is. Unless someone foolishly backtracks along his bridge, he will never prove dangerous. Even if you get the SWMC coin, it's better to just jump across the gap on the bottom tier than to jump back up. Again, the smog bubbles could drastically change how this area plays out, but compared to the rest of the level, which I find to be very fitting of W1 with some fairly interesting design, it comes off as flat and lifeless.
You certainly don't need a mixed bag of sprites, especially in W1, and I think what you have is fair (with the knowledge that the smog bubbles will be inserted). In fact, your sprite choice helps convey the theme of the level nicely - a sort of polluted garden. But I don't feel like you're using the sprites to their fullest potential when it comes to enemy combinations. You're either dealing with plant enemies or ground enemies, but never both at the same time except on screen 06. And without exactly knowing where you will be putting the smog bubbles, based on the current level layout and where I might imagine you would place them, I fear that even the bubbles will be a lone threat, rarely used in tandem with a different type of enemy. Of course, that's all guesswork at the moment, so take that with a grain of salt.
My other sprite concern is the usage of the Venus Trap that can shoot two fireballs. While I would normally say that W1 seems a bit early to be using this variety, we are on a secret path, but...? I think in all fairness, your usage of them in the SMWC room is fine, but I'd probably stick to single shooters throughout the main level. Just my opinion, and others may not see any issue with it. Plus, if I recall, I think you only had one double shooter on the main path?
And one final thing that seemed to be an odd design choice was the jump over the top of the screen on screen 06 to get the checkpoint 1-up. Yea, it's for an optional bonus, so I guess there's no real reason to complain, but I've always found it weird to have to jump over the screen. Personally, I'd remove the hidden note block to the left of the pipes and maybe force the player to use the Chargin' Chuck to get up there for an SMWC coin. But then, you'd essentially have two SMCW coins on the same screen since the entrance to the SMWC room is on screen 07, so I don't know. Of course, if you add a ceiling generator, as others have suggested, the note block jump would be moot, so yea.
All in all though, I think it's shaping up to be a fun little W1 level with a very interesting atmosphere - the mix of garden and pollution. Those areas that I didn't mention were well developed, areas like 04-06, 09-0B or even the SMWC room which was a very cool take on the creating/eating block gimmick. And I think once the smog bubbles are added in and some of the more "flat" areas are fixed up, I think this level will be a lot of fun.
Super busy because of first week of classes, but I should have an update tomorrow. The basic structure of the second half is done, I just need to add sprites, blocks, and decorations. First half has been changed based on all of the criticism I received, including adding a ceiling generator, so thanks guys!