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01B: Hydrostatic Halt - Lightvayne
Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 4 - 01B: Hydrostatic Halt - Lightvayne
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Pages: « 1 2 »
Owner: Lightvayne

World: 4
Exits: 1
Theme: Water/Reef
Music Options: 1, 2, 3, or compose your own.
Additional ExGFX Recommendation(s): ExGFX 102 (Underwater Rocks/Sand w/ Seaweed Girders) [BG2]

Briefing: A single-exit underwater water/reef level. Try to consider throwing ruins on the bottom of the sea, perhaps using FPzero's underwater girders set.
leod sux

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Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Me to super pokemon world
I like how you're using my set. It's being put together perfectly. You may wish to talk with leod more as he has been adding map16 tiles to the set as of late. You should also talk to him about which one of you should make a different palette than what you already have, like how the DKC games did it when they used the same gfx sets for levels.

The key thing is to communicate with him since your levels are very similar.

The same goes for you leod. Communicate with SPW about your levels since they're shaping up to be similar at least in terms of graphics.
Sent him the background and we decided that he will use a different palette.

And yes, "in terms of graphics" is the best you could say it, as I slightly altered the physics in mine, which means pretty much this.
You can't swim normally, only do these low jumps, but as soon as you grab something you float up with it.
However you can't go down while holding anything as you normally could, so it's either go up or stay down.
Of course there will always be a few throw blocks here and there, to keep the level from being boring, as it gives you quite a big speed boost and having to boost through a few enemies sure could get tricky, no?

Yea, level-wise not much is done, but it's only been a day, so woop.

I also need some kind of reason for why the physics are how they are, because right now it kind of makes no sense and I can't come up with anything :/


In case you were wondering if it wouldn't be easy to mess up and running out of throwblocks then, yea, it would, but that's why I requested the throwblock spawner, then a pipe coming out of the wall would just spawn one, if none is on screen any more.


Also, ignore the music in the video, I didn't set it to the proper one just yet, for reasons unknown.

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Your layout has been removed.
That's certainly an interesting take on an underwater level. You'll have to be very careful of situations where the throw block can get destroyed. What might almost work better is if someone could code you a variant of the throw block that cannot be destroyed by enemies. Or how about this: a key variant that is on a timer like the throw block, and you could then change the key graphic for the level to look like a bubble block or something. You could even explain why the level is that way by saying that the depths here are too strong and the bubble blocks are the only things that can make Mario go up higher.

Talked with leod and he has lost motivation with this project and has asked me to take over.

I will update as soon as I know more about this level and what has to be done.
Layout by LDA during C3.

So as for a brief update, this is the layout plan for this level so far.

I' m still going to be using leod's ASM idea that limits Mario's underwater swimming ability and FirePhoenix's idea of the deep underwater pressure. However, I think I can still make the idea work with normal throw blocks.

Mario enters this deep underwater level through a pipe and realizes he can't swim upwards more than about two tiles high due to the pressure (with a message block describing this of course).He will continue through this level using his "swim-jumps" and throw blocks to clear obstacles, gaps the lead to death and the random fish that inhabit this area.

About 10-12 screens of this (and this will go fast due to the speed you swim with because of the throw blocks) You will enter another pipe that will lead you to a underwater cave that contains a bit of dry land (because a complete underwater level is boring). This part will contain a hidden SMWC coin in there somewhere and will only be about 4-5 screens long and also a mid-way point near the end of it.

After exiting through an pool of water on the opposite side of the level, you will be back in the deep pressurized water again. The catch? It's a vertical level. You will need to use the throw blocks to help you rise to the top of the surface and real the goal.

Also, still looking for a name....maybe something containing the word "Hydrostatic" meaning "the water pressure above a given elevation."

Questions? Comments? Answers?
Layout by LDA during C3.

Well here is what I got so far:

Level name: Hydrostatic Halt


And an IPS Patch to test it out

Just a few notes on the level;
[Mario enters this deep underwater level through a pipe and realizes he can't swim upwards more than about two tiles high due to the pressure (with a message block describing this of course).He will continue through this level using his "swim-jumps" and throw blocks to clear obstacles, gaps the lead to death and the random fish that inhabit this area.]

*I am aware of the glitched water in the second room. That will be resolved soon.
*The exit pipe in the 3rd area currently leads to level 0 and will eventually lead to a goal point. I'm currently waiting to see how flareblade26 is going to start his level, so I know how to end mine.
*All 3 SMWC coins are collectable, one in each area

This is not a final version yet, I plan on adding more decoration to the set and changing anything else that is commented on.
Layout by LDA during C3.

Update, with some decorations
Layout by LDA during C3.
Instead of "something that will let you float," how about "buoyant objects" or something less wordy?

Anyway, the fact that you can't dive while holding a throw block makes me like the concept less, unless you can hold something that doesn't disappear when it comes into contact with an enemy. I also don't like the switch palace block usage- I mean, this is a new mechanic, and players should be able to find solid ground if they accidentally bump into an enemy regardless of switch palace status. It feels like Mario's too limited in what he can do, but maybe it's just me.

Also, make sure that players don't run out of whatever you end up using, be it through reset pipes or spawning vats.

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Thanks for the input. It is a world 4 level so I wanted some challenge to it and any gaps that need to be crossed with it have some spot of ground that you can land on, but I suppose I can widen them up a bit.

I'll play around with the idea of Mario being able to go down also while holding something and see how it works out.
Layout by LDA during C3.
Oh I forgot to tell you something.
Alcaro I think it was, made me a sprite that spawns throw block sprites when there are none on screen, in order to prevent you from running out of them (why use reset pipes if they can be avoided in a more elegant way), I intended it to be used with some kind of small pipe (like the vertical ones I drew) coming out of the wall, because spawning things from thin air is ugly.
So if you want it, uhh.. I don't have it any more and I doubt he does, so you can kind of ignore everything I just said.

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Your layout has been removed.

(disregard Leod's above post. He had the sprite)

Anyways an Update!
Clicky
The only thing needed to be done is the last room containing the Goal sphere. Right now it leads to a "test" level.

Things changed:
Added more decoration
There is now downward movement with the throw blocks
Added an extra bonus room hidden with-in the level somewhere.

Also, I need to remove the second message block in the level, but I'll do that later.
Layout by LDA during C3.
The level's very good. There are just two things I'd like to point out, one of which being just a nitpick really.



A little bit into the vertical section, if you let the Urchin that's near the second block-spawner keep with you, it'll end up going into the slopes here, and go into the wall.



The blocks are placed a little oddly. For the formation on the left, move it a bit to the left and a bit up, and increase the spacing between the invisible blocks.

Other than that, the level was very well made. You did a good job of introducing the gimmick, and the level was very enjoyable overall.

One last note: Using the cement blocks to connect the pipes to the sand looks a little off. Seeing as there were quite a few extra GFX spaces, maybe somebody could just make some sand tiles that mesh with the pipes.

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Your layout has been removed.
The countdown on those throw blocks starts as soon as the pipes spawn them, so if players want a fully-charged one they have to kick away the current one and wait for a new one. Might not be a huge deal, but it's a little annoying, especially since some sections require most if not all of the charge (especially screens 18-16 in the vertical section).

There are also spots where there are a few throw blocks but no spawners, and it feels kind of restricting. I especially felt this at the end of the first section because I wasn't sure whether I should use the limited throw blocks I had to kill enemies, float upward, or hit turn blocks that may or may not contain something useful. I imagined the spawners could be found wherever there were throw blocks, but instead there are sections where I feel oppressed by the design, if that makes sense. I guess that ties in with the whole high water pressure thing, but I'm not sure it's a good thing to make players feel so limited in what they can do.

Whenever Mario doesn't have a throw block, the level devolves into ducking underneath fish and the occasional urchin, and this felt particularly trying for me (not to mention discriminatory toward Big Mario) because it was slow-paced, methodical, and repetitive. I wonder whether slightly increasing Mario's jump height and/or walk speed would make it more feasible for him to explore the architecture and dodge other enemy types, relieving the need for throw blocks everywhere. I also personally think it might be better to control when players are holding throw blocks in a way that isn't time-based, unless you can make it so that the spawned ones don't count down until grabbed...

Also, if you ever hit an enemy by accident, it's back to the drawing board, so generally I tend to cling to the walls or ceilings, or just duck below everything. Otherwise I'll run the risk of having to do the same section several times.

Some other minor issues:

Since the explanation for Mario's limited movement is water pressure, I don't think it makes sense for Mario to return underwater by just doing a quick dive from the cave...wouldn't a pipe make for a better transition in this case?

The throw block spawner on screen 19 of the vertical section spawns blocks even though there's already a pile available.

A shell from a question block also contains a koopa, which will awaken after a few seconds...so you probably shouldn't make use of that as a bonus.

The bonus area structure doesn't make sense to me. The 1up's in plain sight, but you use two springboards and climb to the top of the area just for a few coins. I'm not sure why the directional coin block is there either, though I suppose that in particular isn't a big deal.

At the end of the vertical section, why does the pipe protrude so much from the ceiling? If players miss they could have a frustrating time dipping down again and trying to line things up.


Overall, I like the idea, but I'm underwhelmed by the implementation. In the main areas you only use two kinds of sprites; the walking sections are rote and predictable; the throw block mechanics and the way they're used seem to limit players too much.

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Originally posted by AxemJinx
A shell from a question block also contains a koopa, which will awaken after a few seconds...so you probably shouldn't make use of that as a bonus.

In my version of the custom question block, I had modified the sprite state for Koopas so that the shells are empty when they spawn. Although I don't suggest using these blocks as they are (due to large amounts of unnecessary and rather clumsy code), I can easily rewrite an alternate, cleaner version specifically made for shells if desired.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
The countdown on those throw blocks starts as soon as the pipes spawn them, so if players want a fully-charged one they have to kick away the current one and wait for a new one. Might not be a huge deal, but it's a little annoying, especially since some sections require most if not all of the charge (especially screens 18-16 in the vertical section).


The code itself was created by Alcaro, It's already been modified because the last time the blocks would randomly not disappear at all. This is only a one level gimmick, if it was used in more than this level, I would consider it, but I don't see it being all that bad.

Quote
There are also spots where there are a few throw blocks but no spawners, and it feels kind of restricting. I especially felt this at the end of the first section because I wasn't sure whether I should use the limited throw blocks I had to kill enemies, float upward, or hit turn blocks that may or may not contain something useful. I imagined the spawners could be found wherever there were throw blocks, but instead there are sections where I feel oppressed by the design, if that makes sense. I guess that ties in with the whole high water pressure thing, but I'm not sure it's a good thing to make players feel so limited in what they can do.


That was the point of it. Those parts are suppose to be like that because if you to can get it right out of those few times, you can usually get something good out of it like a 1-up. It is not necessary to use those blocks to continue on with the game, therefore no need for a generator.

Quote
Whenever Mario doesn't have a throw block, the level devolves into ducking underneath fish and the occasional urchin, and this felt particularly trying for me (not to mention discriminatory toward Big Mario) because it was slow-paced, methodical, and repetitive. I wonder whether slightly increasing Mario's jump height and/or walk speed would make it more feasible for him to explore the architecture and dodge other enemy types, relieving the need for throw blocks everywhere. I also personally think it might be better to control when players are holding throw blocks in a way that isn't time-based, unless you can make it so that the spawned ones don't count down until grabbed...


Mario's walk speed underwater is not any different anywhere else in the game, so I see no point in changing it.
As for the ducking stuff and things related when you are not using the blocks, there really isn't much else that can be done. You are limited to movement. So the occasional ducking and jumping isn't really all that bad

Quote
Also, if you ever hit an enemy by accident, it's back to the drawing board, so generally I tend to cling to the walls or ceilings, or just duck below everything. Otherwise I'll run the risk of having to do the same section several times.


This is a World 4 level, there is suppose to be a bit of challenge to it. If that means having to go back a screen to grab another block, then so be it.

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Since the explanation for Mario's limited movement is water pressure, I don't think it makes sense for Mario to return underwater by just doing a quick dive from the cave...wouldn't a pipe make for a better transition in this case?


Its a Mario game with floating coin and blocks and a Player that can jump 4-5 times his height. Nothing make sense. :P However, I do see what your saying and I'll take it under consideration.

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The throw block spawner on screen 19 of the vertical section spawns blocks even though there's already a pile available.

I know. :P It was suppose to represent a build-up of extra blocks that came from the pipe, but I suppose I could do away with it...

Quote
A shell from a question block also contains a koopa, which will awaken after a few seconds...so you probably shouldn't make use of that as a bonus.

I might take up the offer on Milk's idea of the empty shell. This part did bug me a bit cause I kinda wanted it in there, but always had to wait for the koopa to come out of the shell before I grabbed it.

Quote
The bonus area structure doesn't make sense to me. The 1up's in plain sight, but you use two springboards and climb to the top of the area just for a few coins. I'm not sure why the directional coin block is there either, though I suppose that in particular isn't a big deal.

This room bugged me to which is why I had already redone it before this was even posted. The directional coins stayed however due to it being a "bonus" room where you can get a "bonus" which is the extra coins.

Quote
At the end of the vertical section, why does the pipe protrude so much from the ceiling? If players miss they could have a frustrating time dipping down again and trying to line things up.

Not seeing an issue with this. Like I said before, its a world 4 level, there needs to be a bit of challenge to it.


Quote
Overall, I like the idea, but I'm underwhelmed by the implementation...
...the throw block mechanics and the way they're used seem to limit players too much.

I've already placed back in the ability to swim down while holding the blocks, what else do you want? o_O?
Layout by LDA during C3.
Originally posted by Lightvayne
The code itself was created by Alcaro, It's already been modified because the last time the blocks would randomly not disappear at all. This is only a one level gimmick, if it was used in more than this level, I would consider it, but I don't see it being all that bad.

But again, many passages require close to a full charge, and you're making the player do the designer's job. Every gimmick should have polish and consistency regardless of how many levels use it.

Originally posted by Lightvayne
That was the point of it. Those parts are suppose to be like that because if you to can get it right out of those few times, you can usually get something good out of it like a 1-up. It is not necessary to use those blocks to continue on with the game, therefore no need for a generator.

Still, when you crowd the passage right next to the throw blocks with fish, and then tempt players with question blocks that may or may not have something good in them but can only be accessed with throw blocks, of course players aren't going to feel like they have enough, and moreover they might feel frustrated when only coins come out of those question blocks and there's nothing left to do but walk slowly onward (as opposed to using throw blocks to progress quickly, which is now out of the question). Shouldn't we reward players for exploration and not for guessing correctly how the blocks are supposed to be used?

Originally posted by Lightvayne
Mario's walk speed underwater is not any different anywhere else in the game, so I see no point in changing it.

I was suggesting a global change to accommodate your level.

Originally posted by Lightvayne
As for the ducking stuff and things related when you are not using the blocks, there really isn't much else that can be done.

I strongly disagree. Even if somehow that is true, then the concept shouldn't be used. You shouldn't look at a part of a level that isn't exciting and say, "Well, better luck next time." This is SMWCP2, and I expect better. Fire flowers completely negate this level's difficulty, and without them it's a chore to get around the fish. I thought we were aiming to steer away from methodical water levels and wide difficulty swings due to powerup status?

Originally posted by Lightvayne
This is a World 4 level, there is suppose to be a bit of challenge to it.

Yes, challenge, not repetition everywhere. You can easily sidestep the issue by not making the throw blocks collide with enemies. Then navigating tight spaces between enemies stops being a pain, and clinging to the contours of the level doesn't have to be the dominant strategy.

Originally posted by Lightvayne
Its a Mario game with floating coin and blocks and a Player that can jump 4-5 times his height. Nothing make sense.

Some things don't raise questions, others do. Internal consistency is important, and we shouldn't take chances with things that can rupture the sense of illusion.


Originally posted by Lightvayne
It was suppose to represent a build-up of extra blocks that came from the pipe, but I suppose I could do away with it...

I admit I didn't think of that; perhaps you should keep it, then.


Originally posted by Lightvayne
I might take up the offer on Milk's idea of the empty shell. This part did bug me a bit cause I kinda wanted it in there, but always had to wait for the koopa to come out of the shell before I grabbed it.

We really don't want to make players wait like that, so I hope you do change it.

Originally posted by Lightvayne
Quote
At the end of the vertical section, why does the pipe protrude so much from the ceiling? If players miss they could have a frustrating time dipping down again and trying to line things up.

Not seeing an issue with this. Like I said before, its a world 4 level, there needs to be a bit of challenge to it.

Yes, challenge, not annoyance. There are much better ways to make the level challenging than make players line up a pipe entrance...



Originally posted by Lightvayne
Quote
Overall, I like the idea, but I'm underwhelmed by the implementation...
...the throw block mechanics and the way they're used seem to limit players too much.

I've already placed back in the ability to swim down while holding the blocks, what else do you want? o_O?

In terms of coding, I'm talking about the enemy collision thing, but I'm really talking about the level design here. I don't think you're creative/varied enough both with how players have to use the blocks to progress, and with how players proceed when they don't have blocks.

Also, I think it prudent to point out that you can jump higher by holding up before jumping, and it might be a better idea to have a uniform jump height for this level.

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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?

Advertising Space

I'ma try to hit up some things Axem didn't mention, so...

The formation here can make it easy to screw yourself over if you drop the Springboard by mistake. Though since there's two here and you mess up, well then you'd deserve to die, I suppose.



"Big Mario Discrimination" Thanks a lot, Axem!
When you emerge from this pipe as big Mario, if you don't duck immediately, the Cheep-Cheep will get a cheep hit.


Dry humor (or wet!?) aside...

I added the actual midway tape here instead of giving myself a checkpoint since (before editing the level a tiny bit) where the checkpoint would put Mario when he returned. However, whoever made this tileset needs to be slapped across the face because they overwrote a critical level object with... that. Looking at the 8x8 editor shows that it should be very easy to move that tile somewhere else in the GFX file.



The formation of these blocks and the peak of the sand implies that jumping up these blocks to continue on should be an option, however, Mario struggles with this spot.



Aside from the left wall, you can just hug the left wall and avoid the onslaught of Urchins.


That springboard I mentioned earlier? It breaks the entire first half of the level.

if you can find some way to improve Mario's underwater X speed when he's not carrying anything (even if it's closer to something like the original DKC games), then by all means go ahead and do it. I don't feel the non-"buoyancy" portions are as bad as Axem feels they are, but they still are a little too slow in any case.

VERDICT?: Roughly the same as Axem- very good concept, but leaves some room for improvement to make it better.

Originally posted by Lightvayne
I might take up the offer on Milk's idea of the empty shell. This part did bug me a bit cause I kinda wanted it in there, but always had to wait for the koopa to come out of the shell before I grabbed it.

Here's the block in case you decide to go that route.
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Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 4 - 01B: Hydrostatic Halt - Lightvayne

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