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102: Digsite Dangers - allowicsous/Lightvayne
Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 5 - 102: Digsite Dangers - allowicsous/Lightvayne
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Claimed by Lynnes/Lightvayne

World: 5
Exits: 2 (READ BELOW)
Theme: Desert Castle
Music Options: Desert Castle, or compose your own.

Briefing: This is the castle of world 4 - however, it leads to both world 5 and world 6. As such, create two distinguished and separate paths through it, one leading to a boss and one leading to a regular exit. If you need inspiration for how to make this split path idea work, take a look at The Counterfort from SMWCP 1. For the level itself, you are welcome to do whatever you feel is appropriate in a sandy castle atmosphere.

If you do not wish to code the boss for your stage, put a boss door on one of the exits and have it simply lead to an empty room.

Special Note: Due to the split path nature of this level, you should only place the three SMWC coins on one path, NOT split between the paths.
firsties.
Eh, might as well update this thread with information regarding my level.

So this is a castle level obviously, but it isn't really taking place in a castle; more of an ancient pyramid. I actually have no plan to include Norveg and his interference in this level at all, this is just more of the penultimate desert area that happens to have a boss at the end. The level itself, however, is a pyramid full of traps and puzzles that Mario would have to solve, but don't worry, it's not going to be entirely a puzzle level.

TheGamer is currently drawing graphics for Smallhacker's "Cat Minion", and I will use them in the desert. If I can get someone to code them properly for me, I would want to chase Mario around just like a Monty Mole, but when you jump on them they crumble like a Drybones, although stay down for a significantly less time. Lighvayne and I have decided to split the work, him doing on path and I am doing another.

This, so far, is the outside.
Originally posted by Lynnes

Yeah, this is just the first outside section of my level; before you get into the pyramid itself. As you can tell from the scaffolding, this is an active dig-site and I plan to add three or so toad "archeologists" just to say a few things regarding the level itself. The graphics are created by Foop, and the scaffolding is by Icegoom. The background, however, is ripped from a game which to be honest I completely forgot, as it was long ago, but it does have some neat parallax scrolling. If anyone needs a good desert background, just PM me and I'll send over the graphics and the ASM to make it parallax scroll. As for the level itself, me and Lightvayne decided to split the paths, him doing the lower, boss exit, and I'm doing the upper, normal exit. My exit is going to have rising sand that is controlled by an on/off switch and moving blocks to be placed on buttons that won't stay down. It's not going to be all puzzle though, the end section right before the end is going to be awesome if I can make the ASM for it correctly.

So yeah, comments?

Like I said in my post, this is the exterior of the pyramid, and is used primarily as an introduction to the level rather than an actual level segment. No action will be going on out here, unless you count talking to archeologists about the pyramid action.


Originally posted by Lynnes

Watch me.

Originally posted by Description
Uh, yeah. This is just a test of the asm in my level for SMWCP2. Everything in here was made by me, except for the pushable block which was made by HuFlungDu. Also, the graphics are by foop and the level is not final.


I mostly want to know if you like how everything works, and if the layer three fog looks alright. Although for the most part the ASM is final, the level itself is not; I haven't placed a single enemy and I still didn't make the introduction room where the guy tells you the quicksand will kill you and where the paths split.
Comments?

Now this is the interior design, and the corresponding ASM to be used with the level. The sand level rises and lowers with a switch of a button, and although Mario cannot move, this feature will result in some interesting puzzles because of how the pushable blocks float on the deadly quicksand.
That's it for the most part, other than some things that don't really matter. Comments?

EDIT: Oh, I should note the level name is "Digsite Dangers", unless someone can find a better name for it.
Talking about the cat, i did some more frames, and since it's a cat, i thought it would be a good idea if he walks while jumping, here is a gif to show better.

if you don't like it, i can make normal walking frames, though i guess this animation is a bit more original.

About your level, it's looking good as always, though it can become annoying when you have to wait the hot sand to go up and down, can you make it a bit faster?



Like /Everlude
Follow @Ludus.Art

Originally posted by TheGamer
Talking about the cat, i did some more frames, and since it's a cat, i thought it would be a good idea if he walks while jumping, here is a gif to show better.

if you don't like it, i can make normal walking frames, though i guess this animation is a bit more original.

I like the way that looks, how he hops around and stuff. But if he hops, you should make the legs together like a real mummy, which would give it a nice reason to hop around like that. You don't have to draw the walking frames then, just draw the crumbling frames and you're good.

Originally posted by TheGamer
About your level, it's looking good as always, though it can become annoying when you have to wait the hot sand to go up and down, can you make it a bit faster?

Yeah, I can make it faster pretty easily, thanks for the comment.
Yep, so I finally got enough done to dish out a small tech demo. It's relatively short, but it shows off the mechanics of how the sand will work, and how the level itself will be designed. A couple things first.
-Don't comment on how little enemies there are, I plan to add more once I get the Cat Minion from HuFlungDu and I decide what else I should add.
-Also ignore the outside area, and don't worry; the sand will have some explanation of immediate death in a room before this one.
-And yes, the sound effects are messed up, I used an older base ROM.
-I'm mostly looking for comments regarding glitches and predictions of how this gimmick will work.
-I am still looking for criticism on visuals though, so don't avoid those completely.

Link.

So comments?
Looks very cool so far. I really like the sand animation, and I think these little block moving puzzles will do it. I haven't found any glitches, and I think this is a very interesting 'gimmick'. So, well done.
Wow,should be a great level...
Well,enjoy this...
Including the Layer 2 switch...
Very interesting...
When you're being pulled down by the quicksand as it recedes, you go through platforms, which looks just a little odd to me, but it might not be a big deal.

Also, you make the blocks move as though a human is pushing them step by step, but Mario's just running into them, so it looks a bit strange. Also, I'd argue the blocks move too slowly.

It might be a good idea to keep the switches pressed until Mario moves/jumps off of them, especially if you're going to put them on narrow platforms.

--------------------
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Thanks all, sorry for the extremely late comment but I didn't want to post until I had actual material.

Originally posted by Hadron
Looks very cool so far. I really like the sand animation, and I think these little block moving puzzles will do it. I haven't found any glitches, and I think this is a very interesting 'gimmick'. So, well done.

Thanks, I'm not really all that great at making puzzles because I think they are tedious to create, so I'm glad you liked it.

Originally posted by Roberto zampari
Wow,should be a great level...
Well,enjoy this...
Including the Layer 2 switch...
Very interesting...

Thanks. I also plan to add switches that activates gates in the later rooms, but I haven't got to that yet.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Also, you make the blocks move as though a human is pushing them step by step, but Mario's just running into them, so it looks a bit strange. Also, I'd argue the blocks move too slowly.

Well, that moving block wasn't made by me and was found in the sprites section, so changing it is nearly impossible because I have no idea where to start. I do agree with you that the pushing is odd though, but it is out of my power to fix it unless I make another request.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
It might be a good idea to keep the switches pressed until Mario moves/jumps off of them, especially if you're going to put them on narrow platforms.

Yeah, I see what you mean. I'll try to fix it, but I may not be able to.

Now, content. I have finished the first small puzzle section, and a little bit of the short platforming section that follows it. I am, once again, mostly looking for comments on level and puzzle design.

IPS

-I know there are zero coins and question blocks. I honestly don't like the way that they look in comparison to my level's atmosphere, so they are out unless I get better looking ones.
-Ignore the fact that there is nothing in the first two areas. NPCs will be there soon.
-There's some slowdown around that cats. I have to optimize my sand code still, so that will probably fix it.
-There's a funny glitch that happens when the sand is receding and you land on a bridge. Easy fix, haven't gotten to it yet.

So, comments or anything like that?
I've been eagerly waiting this level. I saw the initial test video, and it looked like it would be a genuinely good puzzle level. Needless to say, you did not disappoint.

It is a little on the slow side (in the puzzle area at least), but that is to be expected. Saturating the place with enemies would likely make pushing the blocks a total nightmare. The platforming part is good so far - it's about what I'd expect from world 4's castle. Now, I do have a couple of things I need to point out to you.

1. It doesn't seem like you included any SMWC coins yet. I would advise putting one in the puzzle area somewhere (hopefully you read the stickied "Want to design a level?" thread, since it covers these). It shouldn't be too hard to add in your current atmosphere.
2. Remember that your castle actually leads to both world 5 AND 6 (two exits). You should have a second, distinguished path somewhere in the castle. If you were going to implement this already, then feel free to disregard my message.

I only have one complaint about the level itself:



It's fine if this is intended, but it seems a little irritating. My first instinct upon pushing the block down was to run back up, hit the switch, and jump on it. This, of course, leads to an inescapable death. I guess it's only fair being that there should be a sense of doom if you do the wrong thing in a puzzle, but .. I dunno.

Other than that though, I had a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing the second half (and alternate path) in it.
Originally posted by S.N.N.

This is inexcusable, even if intended. There's no way players will know what hit them until they progress forward, and most players are not going to progress forward until they decide whether or not to press the switch. This reduces the area to trial and error punishable by death, something we really don't want in this game. Yes, pressuring players to think carefully by penalizing incorrect manipulation of the puzzle is ok, but players should also be able to reasonably understand what the potential pitfalls are, which is something this particular setup does NOT do. Besides, I question whether the penalty should be death in any case.

I think the problem I have with your level is that it's too repetitive. Every setup seems to be compartmentalized by thwomp + spike jumps. Seriously, take a look at it in Lunar Magic- every other obstacle is a thwomp surrounded by some grouping of spikes, in both 1A1 and 1A3. Also, the moving block puzzles don't have a sense of progression or increasing complexity to them, unless you count the fact that I waited longer and longer for the sand to move up and down with each subsequent setup. Waiting longer =/= more complex, and all of the "puzzles" in 1A1 seem pretty straightforward: (1) I see a switch and press it -> (2) I see a block and move it to the right -> (3) The ledge is still too high so I press the switch again -> continue.

The first setup involves {(3)} (1), the second (1) (2) (3), the third (1) (1) (2). Is there a sense of progression there? Personally, I don't feel it. Maybe you'll have more complex setups later on, which would be fine, but I think you need to be careful about having too much repetition in general. I mean, puzzles are supposed to be about finding out what to do, but I feel like it's immediately obvious what you have to do in these scenarios.

I think you're also limiting yourself by only using the bottom half of the screen, but I understand that might be a necessity based on the mechanics you're using?

I will say that the sense of atmosphere is fantastic.


Some specific comments:

1A1
1, right: This is one of the trickier jumps in the level, and it's right at the beginning. What if you saved jumps of this difficulty for a bit later?

2: This movable block comes to a rest right on the edge of the platform, making it annoying to push it into the sand without falling in yourself. Mind you, this is the first block players have to move. Shouldn't you shift its position a bit so it falls in cleanly from constant pushing?

5, right: So, when the sand is receding, blocks still interact with the bridge tiles, but Mario doesn't? Isn't that a bit inconsistent? (Or is this the glitch you're talking about?)


1A3
1, center: All this involves is waiting for the cat mummy to cross completely, which slows down the pacing of the level even more.

--------------------
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to make this level as good as possible design wise, so I'll listen to practically anything said here that's usable advice.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
It is a little on the slow side (in the puzzle area at least), but that is to be expected. Saturating the place with enemies would likely make pushing the blocks a total nightmare.

Well, I dearly have been hoping I can get a new crate that travels faster and smoothly. HuFulngDu did kindly let me borrow one that did just that, but it lacked interaction with walls so I couldn't use it.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
1. It doesn't seem like you included any SMWC coins yet. I would advise putting one in the puzzle area somewhere (hopefully you read the stickied "Want to design a level?" thread, since it covers these). It shouldn't be too hard to add in your current atmosphere.

They're going to all be on the other path, unless I change my mind for whatever reason.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
2. Remember that your castle actually leads to both world 5 AND 6 (two exits). You should have a second, distinguished path somewhere in the castle. If you were going to implement this already, then feel free to disregard my message.

Yes, it's probably going to intersect right in the beginning. I'm not sure if Lightvayne is still doing the other path like I promised him though, he did claim another level. If he doesn't, I do have some alright ideas for it (a segment where Mario travels left under the pyramid with Ersanio's spotlight).

Originally posted by AxemJinx
This is inexcusable, even if intended. There's no way players will know what hit them until they progress forward, and most players are not going to progress forward until they decide whether or not to press the switch. This reduces the area to trial and error punishable by death, something we really don't want in this game. Yes, pressuring players to think carefully by penalizing incorrect manipulation of the puzzle is ok, but players should also be able to reasonably understand what the potential pitfalls are, which is something this particular setup does NOT do. Besides, I question whether the penalty should be death in any case.

Easy fix; thanks S.N.N. and Axem.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
I think the problem I have with your level is that it's too repetitive. Every setup seems to be compartmentalized by thwomp + spike jumps. Seriously, take a look at it in Lunar Magic- every other obstacle is a thwomp surrounded by some grouping of spikes, in both 1A1 and 1A3.

Hmm... Alright, I'll try my best to vary the environments, most likely by removing some spikes, moving around thwomps, those kind of things. I'll mostly focus 1A3, though, because 1A1 is practically impossible because of the mechanic.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Also, the moving block puzzles don't have a sense of progression or increasing complexity to them, unless you count the fact that I waited longer and longer for the sand to move up and down with each subsequent setup. Waiting longer =/= more complex, and all of the "puzzles" in 1A1 seem pretty straightforward: (1) I see a switch and press it -> (2) I see a block and move it to the right -> (3) The ledge is still too high so I press the switch again -> continue.

I completely redid the third puzzle, making it more complex and not blatantly obvious, but it is still pretty simple when it boils down to things. The first I can't even call a puzzle, it's really just a small introduction to the sand mechanics and how the blocks float. As for the second, I'm going to change it up a bit to not make it so obvious. When I'm done with that I'll upload another IPS.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
I think you're also limiting yourself by only using the bottom half of the screen, but I understand that might be a necessity based on the mechanics you're using?

Yeah, I'd have to be an ASM wizard to get the top half of the level remotely usable, so that's out of the question sadly.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
I will say that the sense of atmosphere is fantastic.

Ah, thank you, glad to know I did something right.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
1, right: This is one of the trickier jumps in the level, and it's right at the beginning. What if you saved jumps of this difficulty for a bit later?

Fixed. Removed the spikes above your head on that jump after the block.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
2: This movable block comes to a rest right on the edge of the platform, making it annoying to push it into the sand without falling in yourself. Mind you, this is the first block players have to move. Shouldn't you shift its position a bit so it falls in cleanly from constant pushing?

Well, shifting it's position around doesn't necessarily result in a clean fall 100% of the time, but it does help for the most part.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
5, right: So, when the sand is receding, blocks still interact with the bridge tiles, but Mario doesn't? Isn't that a bit inconsistent? (Or is this the glitch you're talking about?)

I see what you mean by inconsistent, but I don't think I should have it any other way. Trust me, it is much buggier and odd looking with Mario sinking in the sand only to suddenly be saved by the blocks. Falling in the sand should always result in death, not sometimes, and that's why it should be avoided.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
1, center: All this involves is waiting for the cat mummy to cross completely, which slows down the pacing of the level even more.

Took the cat out entirely.

Thanks guys, look forward to more comments from the both of you.
Originally posted by Lynnes
Originally posted by AxemJinx
1, center: All this involves is waiting for the cat mummy to cross completely, which slows down the pacing of the level even more.

Took the cat out entirely.

Actually, this is an approach I generally don't recommend; doesn't flat-out removing the offender make the level seem more empty? I was going to suggest just modifying the architecture somewhat- for example, removing a couple of spikes in the middle and/or making the platforms descend toward Mario so it becomes easier with each cat-jump to deal with that enemy. I just want players to have more options than waiting it out, but removing the enemy altogether results in another kind of waiting for something threatening to come on screen, if that makes sense.

--------------------
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART

Originally posted by Lynnes
Originally posted by S.N.N.
2. Remember that your castle actually leads to both world 5 AND 6 (two exits). You should have a second, distinguished path somewhere in the castle. If you were going to implement this already, then feel free to disregard my message.

Yes, it's probably going to intersect right in the beginning. I'm not sure if Lightvayne is still doing the other path like I promised him though, he did claim another level. If he doesn't, I do have some alright ideas for it (a segment where Mario travels left under the pyramid with Ersanio's spotlight).





Yes I'm still interested in helping out with the second part of the level. Just let me know when you need me to jump in so I can grab any files I need.

Also, I'm loving the look and feel of this level so far. Great Job Lynnes. ^^
Layout by LDA during C3.
Originally posted by AxemJinx
5, right: So, when the sand is receding, blocks still interact with the bridge tiles, but Mario doesn't? Isn't that a bit inconsistent? (Or is this the glitch you're talking about?)

I'm assuming the glitch Lynnes is referring to is that Mario will no longer interact with Layer 1 outside of the bridge tiles if the aforementioned scenario happens, ie this:


I find the inescapable death area on screen 6-7 to be a result of using bridge tiles for the top path in screens 5-6. Having a bridge there alludes to the idea that the button should be pressed again (otherwise, what's the need to return to the top?), especially since that's how most of the prior "puzzles" work. Naturally, I too pressed the button and fell victim to the inescapable death. Honestly, as is, I have a feeling that that would be the first course of action taken by first-timers coming through this level.

However, you've already stated you found an easy fix, so my opinion on the matter may already be moot (curses for lagging behind on level testing). Otherwise, I don't really see anything worth harping on, at least nothing that Axem or SNN hasn't already pointed out.
Milk: Yes, that was the glitch that I mentioned (the lack of interaction with layer two except for the bridge tiles), and as you can tell in the update I did fix the inescapable death.

IPS (again)

Revised all the areas mentioned, re-did puzzle number three to make it more complex, and finished the platforming area, 1A3. I did not, however, re-do puzzles two and three because it is not noticeably obvious that blocks can be pushed or that they float on sand, and they are used as an introduction to the mechanics and the concepts in these two are brought together in test number three.

Any other comments or suggestions now? I'm not moving on to the more complex puzzle area (1A1) until I get this right.

Well, as mentioned before, I'm working on the lower area of the level that is leading to the boss room.

My idea for this part will begin at the entrance of the pyramid. I am hoping one of the Toads Lynnes mentioned will explain about the different paths that you can take. Once inside, Hopefully we ca design some sort of sign that the will show the split path one pointing to the right for Lynnes section and one pointing to a pit heading to my section.

Once you jump in, you land in the lower section which will contain the same same sand and dust shown in the other areas. The level itself will however will proceed from right to left.

Once you reach the end of the area, there will be a door that will lead to the second section. This will be a vertical area that will slowly proceed to scroll downwards with the quicksand at the bottom of the screen. (kinda like the last area of NSMBWii with the lava) Once at the bottom, you will then reach the boss door where you will then fight.....erm.....some boss type dude I'd assume :P

EDIT: Inserts pic below:
Photobucket
Noticed a difference with this tileset and the one Lynnes is using? Well, you shouldn't. But it is in fact different, as it now uses 2 whole less palettes than it did before, and it no longer overwrite the coin/block/pipe palettes.
Yay me. ^_^
Layout by LDA during C3.
Looks nice so far.

Although, I honestly don't recommend using the rafters; not only is it odd to have a man-made structure this deep into unexplored segments of the pyramid, but their pallet is a little odd. Also, I have been thinking. It may be best to put the boss on my path, mostly because you have the smwc coins and the path I'm doing feels like the "main" path. Plus it'll be pretty cool fighting the boss on the roof, heh.

Well I have an update on my section of the level

IPS Link.

A few things to point out:
There is slowdown in the level because the fast rom patch is not applied yet.
I am aware of the palette issue with the midway point
Me and Lynnes talked about it and figured that the rafters are fine in the level, and I did tweak the palette
The level ends just after the halfway point at the cut off wall.
This is using a very old base rom because Lynnes needs to make some updates to the custom blocks and it just make it easier when the block are inserted in the base ROM to transfer everything over.

All I'm really looking for is any improvements that need to be made in the design so far.
Layout by LDA during C3.
Pages: « 1 2 3 » Link
Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 5 - 102: Digsite Dangers - allowicsous/Lightvayne

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