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014: Onsen Overhang - Kojeco2/cstutor89


Claimed by: Kojeco2

World: 3
Exits: 1
Theme: Oriental Mountainside
Music Options: 1, 2, 3, or compose your own.

Briefing: Consider a high, snowy mountain for this one, or even a cliffside. Perhaps some high-altitude platforming may work here, though it's a pretty open option.
If nobody shows interest in this level after I have completed my own level, I'll take this one up to speed up the world three completion.
S.N.N. would take this as second after the deadline... and I don't know if he offers you a second level :P
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Bloop
S.N.N. would take this as second after the deadline... and I don't know if he offers you a second level :P

We'll see how it pans out, I'm only concerned about the current situation.
Didn't I reserve this level? I'm not entirely sure how the level sign-ups thing works, but with S.N.N.'s permission, I would like to take this level since I have a couple of ideas for it anyways.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

Kojeco2 did reserve it first, so its his first.
@Kojeco2 You don't seem all that active around here which quite honestly worries me. But I've seen a bit of your level design, and I believe you can do great work with this level.(Sorry I was thinking of BlackDeath, regardless, I hope you know what you are doing because I actually haven't seen anything from you) Please don't let me down.
Layout by LDA during C3.
I haven't been too active simply because I have been busy with school work and piano practices. I will try to post as often as possible, which will probably be about 3 times a day since my Harmony Classes are over.

Level Name Ideas:
Wenquan Heights (Wenquan is traditional Chinese for Hot Springs, a gimmick for the level that I had in mind)
- - -
- - -

I want at least three level name ideas so please help if you have any ideas.

I am hoping to have the overall length of the level be about 3-6 minutes (including secrets, SMWC coins and everything else)

Level Ideas
Level: 14
Type: Vertical
Gimmick: I was thinking for this level I would use the standard Oriental graphics along with a bridge set of some sort, then use the sensitive custom blocks to make the bridge act as if it is crumbling when Mario touches it. When "Mario'sPersonalAgent" was in charge of this level someone suggested using Hot Springs. So possibly areas could have water in them with steam rising above them. (ExAnimated of course) Mario may only stay in the water for 3 seconds, then the water will act like lava. I don't know any ASM so I will have to request it.

Alternate Gimmick: For some reason, when I heard 'hot springs' I thought 'geysers', I'm not so sure how well it will fit with the Oriental Mountainside theme though. If I go with this, I will request blocks that act like tile 25 for 16 frames, then act like water for 16 frames and vice versa. Then I will ExAnimate the blocks to make it look as though it is water shooting out of a geyser. This could be useful for puzzles, etc.

The midway point will be placed at the end of level 14.

From the end of level 14, you will teleport to level 34, the second phase of the entire level.

Level: 34
Type: Horizontal
Gimmick: You are almost at the top of the mountain, and there are boulders everywhere. Falling rocks are a hazard in this area, so you better watch your back. I will not be using the falling block sprite though, instead, I will request some graphics to re-skin Bowser's giant bowling ball to make it look like a giant boulder rolling down the mountainside. If done properly, I could probably have some secrets or a bonus room that you can only reach by spin-jumping off of a giant boulder. They won't be placed in suicidal areas just to let you know.

I noticed that there aren't very many bonus rooms/easter eggs in the game so far (from what I have seen of course, I have only skimmed through half of the levels) so I though, why not put one in my level?

Level: 35
Type: Horizontal
Gimmick: This is the Easter Egg room, I am not too sure what to put into it yet, because I want your opinion. Should I even have an Easter Egg? If someone else has one in a World 3 level, then tell me and give me your thoughts on whether it should stay or go. If it goes, then I have the perfect idea for this level.

Alternate Gimmick: Once you reach the top of the mountain, you find a large crater at the apex, once you go inside the crater, the ground beneath Mario begins to shake, until it collapses, where you find yourself inside a giant cave hidden inside the mountain. You have to battle back down to the bottom to reach the exit of the level.

Which level comes after mine? I want to see if I can have a bit of a transition between levels. If the next level is a cavernous level, then I will keep the cave unless someone has a strong point against using it. If the next level is at the peak of a mountain, then I won't have the cave sublevel.

@Lightvayne: I have not taken a class in level design, but I have read about 30 different threads/tutorials on good level design and even have a book on it, so hopefully I can come up with something satisfactory.

I will get to work on this level straight away and I will post pictures of a possible layout as soon as I can.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

Originally posted by Kojeco2
Which level comes after mine?

I think Sakura Swim (Teyla's level) but I'm not sure.
Your layout has been removed.
Your level is actually at the end of the secret path and leads to a pipe. Supertails' level comes before you, however.

As for the ideas .. they seem good in theory. I'm glad to see the usage of hot springs and geysers, as that is sort of what I envisioned this level to have. If you're looking for a potential graphics set too, you could check Ladida's "Custom Japanese Forest" in the Graphics section or whatever it's called. It has a lot of tiles which may be useful to you (and if you alter the palette slightly, it'll look like a mountainside).

The level name .. remember, it needs to have alliteration or a rhyme. I like the "Wenquan" prefix, but the second part would need to be altered. Something like "Wenquan Waypost" (historical site) might work.

Oh okay, then it doesn't really matter how I end it.

Of course the ideas seem good in theory, how I execute them is what I am worried about. I'll come up with some puzzles and then get your opinion on it. I got Ladida's Custom Japanese Forest and I think it would work great for this level, thanks for suggesting it.

As for the level name, I couldn't find anything that would alliterate with Wenquan so I am going for something else. Maybe Ruixing Rise, which is actually just Rising Rise. I'll have to actually think about it on my own time, for now I'll get started on the level.

As for possible puzzles, does anyone have any ideas?


Here is a video of small progress. I'm not a big fan of what I've done but I'm just trying to get familiar with the pieces of the set. This also shows a small problem I am having with the coin blocks, according to the fg/bg tile setting it doesn't turn into tile 132 when hit but some other random block.

The level is still EXTREMELY early in design etc. so don't worry if it looks. . . crappy.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

As S.N.N. said, your ideas sound good; I hope you will be able to get the block/sprites you need to make them.

As for the video, the level seems a bit empty for now; maybe you should add some more enemies. Also, when the bridge gets broken, the rope that holds the bridge gets cutoff, I think you shouldn't put the ropes above the breakable bridges, it will prevent cutoffs and it could be a good indicator of which parts of the bridge will break.
My level only seems empty because I had only been working on it for 5 minutes. After about half an hour, I was able to come up with something a bit better. The SMWC coin you saw under the bridge was just for reference so that I wouldn't have to go all the way back to page 0 (from my map16page page 2c) just to get the blue coins.

I have added a couple of enemies but not too many because of the way you traverse through the level. I've always found vertical levels so difficult to design because the way you move through the screens doesn't allow for too many sprites. For some reason, the no sprite tile limits patch isn't working for my level so if you hold a springboard and go in the water, the counter causes cutoff on the bottom right corner of the spring board (and sometimes causes it on other enemies too). For the breakable bridges, that is the idea I had too but I just haven't gotten to taking 3 minutes to make a new 8x8 tile for it.

I have played through my level a couple times (the new larger version) and I think it is pretty boring as of now, the same gimmicks are used over again without too many variations. I am having a lot of trouble coming up with puzzle ideas. Does anyone have any ideas for puzzles I could use? Remember, my gimmicks are geysers, breakable bridges and hot springs.

Tonight I will post another video showing off the newer level. Now that I have reserved ExGFX13D I can work on a set of rocks for BG2, that will hopefully give it better (mountainous) atmosphere.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

Video update! tell me what you think!

In this video, you can see all that is done in the first half of the level, the hot springs, the geysers (not yet in the ROM) and the collapsing bridges.

Just to let you know, the geyser graphics/blocks are not yet in the ROM, so in place, everywhere you see two 'used' blocks paced on the ground is where the geysers will be, and the cutoff bridges shows how high the geysers will go.

Things I am aware of:

1. The level is a little bit too easy, I am looking for custom sprites to spice it up a little bit and finding ways to add sprites without them disappearing.

2. The ? blocks with the coins in them still act as they should in the 'minigame' in the original SMW, that is already fixed so more coin blocks have been added.

3. Graphics for the broken bridges have not yet been made, I will start on them tonight.

4. The gimmicks of the level don't pose to big of a hazard, the first part of the level is meant to introduce the gimmicks, and the second part of the level with the boulders is where the gimmicks will actually become more dangerous.

Sorry if this post sounds rushed, I am very pressed on time right now but I will be back tomorrow afternoon.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

Actually everything is looking pretty good so far, and I'm fairly pleased with how its turning out. I like the geyser idea also. I don't really have much else to say other than that without being able to actually play it, so hopefully you can get a demo up soon.
Layout by LDA during C3.
I just watched your video and I can tell you that I REALLY like where this is going so far. The first room looks fairly difficult with a nice introduction of both the bridge and the geyser gimmick. Hopefully we can expect some clever usage of these in the second half of the stage (of in a bit more challening way than they were used in the first half) combined with the boulders. I also like the visual style of the FG. Which background will you use - will you use an already existing BG or will you create your own once you have finished the design?

Also, this music theme is just so awesome. It is very peaceful and quite catchy. :D I would suggest to use it in the second half of your level as well. :)
Whoa, its almost been a week since I posted that video. Sorry for not updating as frequently as I said I would, I was very busy with other stuff and I was mostly just waiting for more feedback on the first part of the level.

I still haven't gotten the graphics for the geyser or the block that acts like nothing for 3 seconds and then acts like water for 3 seconds so I can't do anything about that yet. Should I add Venus Fire Traps around the level to add to the difficulty?

I will try to get an IPS up soon, but for now I will continue my work on the second part of the level.

As for the second part, it is going quite well actually. I have been able to come up with ways to use the boulders that create a challenge for the player without being overly difficult. One simple area requires you to swim up geysers to avoid a boulder. I will try to update with a video/pictures of the level soon.

I don't have graphics for the boulders either, would anyone be willing to help me?
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

If you haven't got the code for the block you said about yet, I may help you. Here's something I coded:

JMP Main : JMP Main : JMP Main : JMP Main : JMP Main : JMP Main : JMP Main

	LDA $18BB
	CMP #$B4
	BEQ Break
	INC $18BB
	BRA Main
	STZ $18BB
	LDY #$00
	LDA $1693
	EOR #$27
	STA $1693

Test it on some ROM you can find as it may not work, but if it works ok, you can use it. It should act like water 3 seconds, and then change to a blank tile for 3 seconds, and then again water 3 seconds, and so on. With the "EOR #$27" line I have in this code, it's not important to choose between making it act like a blank tile (25), or water tile (02). You can make it act like 25 or 02 in Map16Page Editor, it's not important. I hope it works. Backup your ROM before trying!
Originally posted by Kojeco2
Should I add Venus Fire Traps around the level to add to the difficulty?

Hmm, I'm not so sure I'd recommend that. From what I've played of the other levels, it seems they're used quite a bit already--something else might be a better choice for variety's sake.

Otherwise, the level seems a decent enough start, and the steam-theme seems a good revolving point--maybe some mist in the higher sections of the mountain might be a nice touch as well (level format allowing), so as to completely envelop our esteemed player in a shroud of white? Somehow, when I think "East-Asian mountain", a misty vista is the dominant image, but maybe that's just me. Also, in addition to the steam you mentioned, I think some calm, flat water would work well for your hot springs, especially with a more grey- or white-dominated palette, or at least a very pale, desaturated sort of blue.

Your Ninja Chuck palette, incidentally, is also an improvement over the original, I think--maybe some of the other designers might be persuaded to follow suit? I have a small number at the end of my own level I'd be willing to change, but since they're there specifically for a transition to Hadron's level, their appearance is very much dependent on how they appear in that level...
First off, thanks Teo17 for replying so fast.

Unfortunately, the block does not work properly whether it is set to act like tile 02 or set to act like tile 25. Even if it is set to act like tile 02 nothing will happen, you can walk through it and after three seconds you can still walk through it as if it is tile 25.

I was thinking of adding a Layer 3 foreground of mist to give the affect of being so high up in the mountain that you are going through a layer of clouds.

EDIT: Actually, I can't add Layer 3 mist to the foreground of the first area for two reasons:

1. It looks really abnormal in a Vertical level.
2. I have a message box in the level so the layer 3 is going to disappear when you read it.

EDIT: Oh wow, thanks Rameau's Nephew, that was exactly what I was thinking. I all your suggestions and I will change the palette and animation of the water.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .

Hey everyone, sorry I haven't been posting, don't think that I haven't been working on my level though. The level is going swimmingly, everything is working as it should (except for the geyser block of course) and I should be able to post an IPS in a week or so. I'll try to post some pictures tonight if I have the time, I have to pack for a small Vacation to meet some family in Kentucky, so I won't be able to work on the level for 4 days.
Hmm. . . not sure what to say so I'll just stop talking. . .