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009: Reclaimed Refinery - ToxicRave
Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 1 - 009: Reclaimed Refinery - ToxicRave
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While I am worried at how many levels are taking a parallel paths approach, it's true that you do a good job of applying obstacles to both paths, and I also agree with S.N.N. that overall, the difficulty/design is appropriate for a World 1 Castle. (I agree with S.N.N.'s screenshot comments, too.)

On the other hand, I'm also in agreement with MrDeePay that your level feels a tad short (maybe because of the lack of a midpoint bar), but considering that you're going to lengthen the first room, I don't think you necessarily need to extend the parallel paths section.

Essentially, I agree with what people have said already. The only thing I have to add is that the mushroom at the stage goal seems to ruin the purpose of the roulette. Overall, good work- as S.N.N. said, this is already a lot more appropriate than what happened in SMWCP1.

Oh, on the topic of midpoints: if you're going to place them in the parallel paths section, make sure you have one for each path, and take care that the actual midway entrances don't place Mario immediately in the line of fire.

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So far, I've really enjoyed the level and agree with most everything SNN has stated already. I don't really get the "bare bones" feeling that MrDeePay is talking about, unless I'm misinterpreting his meaning and it is just referencing the fact that it only feels like half a level so far - in which case, yea, I'd agree.

Something that bothered me on my first couple of playthroughs (although this rang true for your earlier version more so than the latest update, which I was probably just use to it by that point) was figuring out what was solid and what wasn't. I know this is more of an issue with the tileset, but my initial reaction was that all pipes were not solid. And although I eventually learned what was solid and what wasn't, I still had a certain lack of trust regarding the pipes. Maybe it's just my own stupidity though. But still, I wonder if it would be in the best interest to perhaps darken the decorative pipes/tanks to help differentiate them from all of the solid pipe objects?

Regarding the possible Yoshi gimmick: remember that Yoshi does not transfer between levels. If you don't include Yoshi to begin with, it shouldn't be a problem. But yea, I'd advise against a gimmick that requires you to kill Yoshi.
Originally posted by Milk
Something that bothered me on my first couple of playthroughs (although this rang true for your earlier version more so than the latest update, which I was probably just use to it by that point) was figuring out what was solid and what wasn't.

This also bothered me in earlier versions, but I'm afraid I may have gotten used to it and no longer know for sure if it's still an issue. I know you changed the parts that were the most confusing for me, though, so I'm not particularly worried about it for the time being.

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Extras



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

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Originally posted by Milk
I don't really get the "bare bones" feeling that MrDeePay is talking about, unless I'm misinterpreting his meaning and it is just referencing the fact that it only feels like half a level so far - in which case, yea, I'd agree.


Yeah, that's what I meant when I said bare bones.

Here is the updated version of the first-part:


I'm planning on finishing the level by the end of the week for clearing. Also, I'm not going to use the yoshi gimmick. I finally have a name for the level and it's called, "Reclaimed Reffinery" (thanks goes to a youtube user name cloudyboy94).

Thanks for all the comments so far, they help me a lot for improving the level.
I'm worried about how much leeway players will have if they reach the first thwomp too late, and having as much as three coin blocks lined up right where the eating block starts seems a bit excessive (though of course, I haven't tested to assuage these concerns), but overall, that's looking pretty good so far.

Well, I guess I'm also a bit concerned that if you go left, the door's right there, so there's a noticeable difference in length between the two paths now. The difference by itself isn't bad, but I'm wondering whether you made one path "long enough" and neglected the other? See what others think about this, I suppose.

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The only reason why one path is longer then the other so no matter what path you take, it's the same length. If I counted correctly, each path is 19 screens long (13 in hex).

Here is the updated version of part 2, it isn't much but I change some things. Also, to get the first SMWC coin, you have to use the diagonal fireball to do so.



Also, I added a third part do it, you end up here when you enter in the blue pipe in the second part.



The idea is to grab one of those blue blocks so you can throw it up to the koopa. When the koopa hits it, you have to fellow the blue block or the block will disappear. Then, when the blue block hits the coin block, jump on the coin block so the eating used block will move.

Edit: Claimed 8 more map 16 tiles for the lighting of the level.
So I made an update for the level due of the fact that I felt the design was a little sloppy here and there. Also, I scraped the old bonus area and replaced it with a brand new one.

Here is an IPS of the update.
Concerning general apsects of the level:

- While I'm generally a fan of subdued foreground palettes, sprite palettes are the sort of thing one needs to be more careful with when dimming. All of the grey foes (Thwomps, Dry Bones, Grinders) look fine, as do the Podoboos, but the P-switch and red mushroom end up looking very odd and washed out, and would look better better changed to something a bit closer to their default colors. What stands out the most, however, is Mario's palette--since only the first few colors can be altered anyway, he ends up looking very bizarre and discolored with just these altered (and not n the most logical way), but the rest of his colors unaffected. Best not to mess with his palette at all.

- Speaking of palettes, I have a little trouble telling what's solid in the level. Most problematic are these sort of jump-throughable platforms:



...They're a little too dark compared to the other metal FG objects, and almost look more like non-interactable background pieces. What's more, they're often connected to those thin pipes, which are non-interactable background pieces, yet look more solid than the platforms themselves. It might be a good idea to move both the pipes and platforms to a different palette, and change each of their colors, so that the platforms are brighter and more saturated (and therefore look more similar in hue to the rest of the solid objects), and so that the pipes are less bright and less saturated (and thus look more distinct from the solid objects).

Concerning the design:

- The main path is fine, but there's some parts of the secret path that seem a little too hard for the first castle, evening assuming a higher average difficulty due to the shorter length of the path. A few of the obstacles seem a little to cramped and difficult to avoid, especially this one:



...This masochistic gold statue spawns one tile to the right of the wall, immediately jumps up and bashes its head against the spotty metal thing, then falls back down and lands in essentially the same spot, wherefrom it repeats the same bit of self-harm over and over again, all the while giving Mario only a tiny gap through which to manoeuver. What's more, this obstacle appears twice in the level.



- These two Ball-n'-chains seem a little too perfectly well-timed vis-a-vis one another, making a hit difficult to avoid if the player doesn't luck out as regards their position with respect to one another.



- First the player has to avoid the Thwimp...then a Grinder unexpectedly comes out of the tunnel with no warning and no space to jump over it (and the aformentioned Thwimp still blocking the way which the player came...and then a maverick Thwomp unexpectedly ambushes the player the instant they emerge from this narrow tunnel. Leans a bit to the overkill side of the street, no?

Concerning the bonus room:

- I appreciate the idea of this room, but it's laid of in such a way that it's not readily possibly to tell exactly what you're expected to do here the first time you enter the room (and possibly the second, third, etc.). It's not that hard to re-enter the room and try again, but it might be a good idea to give a slightly better visual clue as to what exactly is going on the the room, so the player at least has some idea as to why they're re-entering in the first place.

- Also, the room seems a bit more difficult to exit than it needs to be. It's not immediately obvious that the player can't make the jump from the upper platform here...



...And the exit pipe itself is a little annoying to access thanks to the shallow jump needed and passable platforms:

http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/1210/reclam003.png

...which seems awfully silly. It's also not immediately obvious that this pipe, of all places, should even be the exit, rather than, say, the pipe the player entered the room by. Why not just put a more easily accessible an obvious exit pipe nearer to the coin itself, so as to avoid any confusion? Also, minor cutoff where the pipe meets the lava.)

On the whole, though, the changes themselves all seem to be to the levels benefit, so mission well accomplished in this respect.
Thanks for the feedback, and here is another update for the level.

LINK

I left a test door at the beginning of the level just for easy access for the bonus room. Also, the golden sprites in the level uses Mario's palette and I wonder how to get those sprites to use a different palette row.
I would like to say that I sent the updated files to Lightvayne.
Och, and just as I was about to make a few comments.

Anyway, it seems mostly good to me. It's quite clear now which pieces are solid and which are not, and the "secret" path seems a bit more reasonable now for the first castle. That said...



...I wonder if just a single reflected Podoboo might be quite sufficient here. They can be quite dangerous in enclosed spaces, after all.

Concerning the bonus room, it's now clear what going on, and just generally more interesting than the previous version. A few things still both me, though:



This is a clever setup, but the combination of the unleashed Grinder, Podoboo, and Ball-n-chains seems a little much (the similar setup later on with just the Grinder and Dry Bones is perfectly fine, though).



It seems a bit unclear to me that this piece is solid here, as it sort of blends in with the decorative girders, we're not really used to seeing this particular block in isolation. I'd either recommend replacing it with something unambiguously solid (e.g. the 16x16 spotty metal block from the girder tileset) or replacing it with a non-solid piece that still looks logical for the Ball-n-Chain to orbit around.

Finally, while it's clearer what's going on with the block chain race now, it's actually become significantly harder to actually get the coin in this version. I'd recommend modifying things slightly so the player has just a wee bit more time to actually reach the coin before the blocks below it are eaten away.

Other than those point, though, things are looking good from my perspective.
I'm sorry for jumping the gun a little to early, I just wanted to get the update finish before the next base rom came about. However, I did fix up the minor problems that you had and sent the updated files to Lightvayne once again.
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Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 1 - 009: Reclaimed Refinery - ToxicRave

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