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124: Shivering Cinders - MrDeePay

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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 AxemJinx
I also like the way that BG is coming along. I might be misinterpreting what you said, but don't treat it as a masterpiece; I'd rather see you finish it and learn something, regardless of perceived quality, rather than avoid it because you'll never be satisfied until it's perfect. That's just me, though :p


I'll see how that goes, then. I go to another forum that leans more towards graphics, so someone there may be willing to pitch in if need be.

EDIT: Looks like the parallax scrolling MIGHT be out of the question now. After putting some details in the snowy mountain, I noticed that some of the (originally) planned details will look funny when it scrolls. A different method will have to be used if I wanna use parallax scrolling. Well, either that or use Layer 3 ExGFX... which I could never get working properly.


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As for the level design, I was wondering whether the terrain layouts are a work in progress? They seem rather flat for me, but I've remained reticent because I assumed you were first sketching out all of the alternate pathways and such.


It's 50/50. I mainly work on the actual level itself, but constantly go back to change things around if I get an idea or something else that I can implement into the level without throwing something off or forcing it in. (read: if I feel that I can make something better) The tileset doesn't lend itself well for sloped terrain for the fire FG, but I can always draw some tiles that can come close enough.

I'm no stranger to redoing things if I feel that something I did doesn't hold up well to my standards today... which is mostly the reasons why I'm likely sitting out C3 this time around. Also, I've been wondering about your level feedback in the original SMWCP board. You like... died again, and general feedback on anything after Zephyr Manor is drastically lower to everything before it.

Originally posted by MrDeePay
Also, I've been wondering about your level feedback in the original SMWCP board. You like... died again, and general feedback on anything after Zephyr Manor is drastically lower to everything before it.


Hehe, sorry about that ^_^; Actually, despite having Spring Break, I spent a great deal of it transferring to a new computer and also stocking up on academic licenses for software before I graduate. Add to that the level advice I've been giving for SMWCP2 and I guess I let it slide for a while. I do intend to finish that feedback, though. It's just that writing out comments for a single level can take more than an hour...but I'll try to squeeze it into my schedule more often. Besides, it's not like I have to finish the whole thing in one sitting :p
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART

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

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FUN FACT: Shading is a bitch.
Also since I cannot come up with a name that could beat out Shivering Cinders (well not yet at least), let's go with that as the name for now.

I have a random idea for a name.
What about "Celsius Conundrum"?
*shrug*
woag.....

(previously superdragonyoshi1. sup yall.)

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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 S.N.N.
Note that it may help to converse with the other two users who have chosen the fire/ice theme and collaborate ideas.


This just hit me after looking after making a good amount of progress (overall over 50% complete), it seems that we're at an issue. Of the four Fire/Ice levels available, I'm the only one that has shown anything for it. Mariocool, Moltensnow, and AnonymousBloodlust (Jesus) have not made a single word in any of their topics on their work, which makes it a little more difficult for any of us (or me, since I'm making this post) to collaborate on what's going on with the other levels. Seriously:

Mariocool - Not a peep.
Bloodlust - Ditto, coupled with his level apparently going to be pretty resource heavy.
Moltensnow - Apparently is looking for some GFX, but from my observations, said GFX are purely asthetic and isn't preventing him from actually making his level.

Yeah I know about there's a good number of other levels where their authors said very little or nothing at all, but these specific levels (especailly the Fire/Ice Castle's) were contested over a good amount. A little over a month since signups started have now passed, so...





As for progress on THIS level, it seems I'm having a little trouble regarding difficulty. I get the feeling that the level is currently harder than the first half of Volcanic Antics, though that could be me finally getting the hang of it.), so I'll probably make a quick patch of what I have so far so you folks can gague what's to do with the difficulty balance.

Other things to do with the level.
- Fix the mistake I made with the fire pillars Y-speed so no cutoff is present.
- Prevent the fire pillar from being spin jumpable. Currently it's too much of a free pass.
- Remap the fire pillar to other free space to make room for the Podoboo.
- Find some way to prevent the fire pillar from hurting Mario if he's X tiles above or below the sprite. Currently I have it in areas were the ceiling is a little lower to prevent said issue from happening too much.
- Find some way to make Podoboos hurt Mario if he's on Yoshi (he's currently invincible when that happens).

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http://bin.smwcentral.net/48146/ShiveringCinders01.ips - Not finishes by any stretch of the imagination, but try out what I have so far.

- Ignore graphical cutoff.
- A couple of pipes will lead nowhere.
- None of the things I mentioned on my To-DO List were fixed, largely because C3 happened.
- Ignore glitched Podoboos. Non-Dynamic Podoboos and SMB3 Powerdown were applied based on patches that are supposed to be added later.
- For testing purposes, Mario has infinite lives.
- Test the level with every scenario that you can. The Hub has all of the Switch Palace switches for convenience in trying the level out, so use it.

All jumps really where hard (even WITH switches), and some where like impossible (the jump after entering the pipe) I stopped there
Your layout has been removed.

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It helps if you're specific on what specific jumps you're talking about. What was done with the level was tested out with every possible scenario a specific section would call for.

Yes, I did get it, later I did the jump good. But what is the use of having that fire brother on the blue blocks? I think it makes the jump even harder.
Your layout has been removed.
I haven't had a chance to test the level with any of the switches activated yet, so I've only done the base run so far.

Originally posted by MrDeePay
I get the feeling that the level is currently harder than the first half of Volcanic Antics, though that could be me finally getting the hang of it.)...

Unless I've missed a recent update of FP's level, I would disagree. Personally, I feel it leans more towards the easy side of the spectrum regarding what has been showcased as World 7 difficulty, especially considering that both the Feather and Yoshi is present. But like I've said, I haven't tried it with any of the switches yet, so perception can change based on the alternate paths available.

Anyways, not sure if you're aware of this as of yet - didn't see it mentioned anywhere, but these guys (Flurries? I don't remember what they were called) don't seem to like slopes very much:

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I suppose I could move the Cape block to somewhere else then. Where, I haven't decided yet. As for the Frostees acting like that... I'm not sure what to do with those to fix that issue without screwing something up, so I'll wing it for the time being.

I just want to inform you that my level is much easier in the first half and is actually potentially going to undergo a bit of a change to make this progress better.

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Originally posted by FirePhoenix
I just want to inform you that my level is much easier in the first half and is actually potentially going to undergo a bit of a change to make this progress better.


Shifted this to the other topic and I'll bring it back here if necessary.



http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/1365/ShiveringCinders02.ips
This is a bells and whistles update as most of the graphical cutoff has been fixed. While some lava pools were lowered due to the tiles I placed down, level difficulty is still the exact same from the last update.

I will now end this post with Mario about to fall into lava- what a poor bastard.


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I'm currently recovering from a malware and virus (stuff that disguises itself with an XP/Vista interface) attack that fucked my computer around pretty badly, so I just did a system restore without thinking about backing my stuff up before it happened. A ton of hacking stuff (patches, music, sprites, etc.) was lost, but I was fortunate to back THAT up three days ago. Shivering Cinders work won't take long to recover, as I can just repatch v0.2 to a clean ROM to get a lot of the stuff back, though I'll need to re-rip Foop's FG and BG stuff.

Personal, non-hacking related stuff will be a bitch to search for, however.

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

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Oh go ahead anyway. I haven't made any progress on the level since I posted the 0.2 patch; plus you give very good input.

Why am I not surprised your level's hard to give input on ^_^;

One problem I have with the level is that it seems so labyrinthine that I develop a sense of apathy toward on/off blocks. I mean, I have no idea what's coming up next, so does it matter if I hit that next switch? I become kind of content to let the level take me where it will. Is that good or bad? I don't know- I guess I don't have much experience with a level like this. On the other hand, it's very likely that players' experiences will vary, and I would argue that's a positive in this case. It's kind of like Way Cool from the original game, but because you can't always see the immediate effects of what you're doing, it's a little intimidating or something (and this might just be me). Then there are parts where I think, "Oh, I should come back here with the switch pressed the other way," but the last switch I pressed seems so far-removed from that spot that I can't seem to backtrack in my head and make an effective plan (again, might just be me). I suppose I could just keep replaying the stage until I figure out what I need to do, but...I don't want to do that :p

Another thing I don't like is that many of the spikes in difficulty come from gaps that stretch Mario's jumping ability to the limit. I know we're aiming for harder levels at this point in the game, but I guess for me, having so many wide jumps like that is a bit wearisome, since I feel like I have to line everything up. It's kind of like adding blades to a razor and then claiming it's more effective. The sprites, on the other hand, usually aren't too difficult to deal with, except for a few quasi-tricky firebar-on-the-ceiling jumps, and the floor is usually somewhat level, so I feel like there are some difficulty swings. It's fine to have rests in between tense areas, but sometimes I feel like the level is difficult for the wrong reasons, if that makes sense.

Oh, and I don't understand what the path to the right of the level entrance is for, though I guess the level's still under construction.


Anyway, those are my first impressions (don't even know if they're helpful ^_^;), though I may write more later. It's certainly a fascinating level concept.
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Originally posted by AxemJinx
One problem I have with the level is that it seems so labyrinthine that I develop a sense of apathy toward on/off blocks. I mean, I have no idea what's coming up next, so does it matter if I hit that next switch? I become kind of content to let the level take me where it will.

(not trying to argue Axem's thoughts - just adding my own to what he's already said.)

While I experienced a similar feeling towards the on/off blocks in my test run, and as such just skipped a few, I have no immediate reason to frown upon their inclusion. I found it to be a rather interesting use of on/off blocks by not forcing them into the focus of the level like most designers do (myself included), which allows the player to hit/not hit them at their leisure without fear that their choice will impede further progress. I think as long as these blocks stick to this premise, all should be well.

Of course, as has already been the case (based on posts I've seen), people are suspect of the "where do I go now" vibe the level seems to put off, which can make one wonder whether or not these "superfluous" on/off blocks are doing more harm than good. Personally, because of how they're being used, I like them.

I still need to get around to doing the Pressed Switch runs. I feel like anything I say really doesn't hold any water since legitimately I can only speak for 1 out of 5(?) possible routes.

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I had a feeling that there would be at least some parts of the level being harder than Volcanic Antics. Well I'll see what I can do about it, then.

As for the lack of ON/OFF Switches, those are for the unfinished parts of the level. I want to utilize the slippery types of them a good amount more than what you may have encountered in my two updates.

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I'm somewhat back in full swing now, but during all of my file recovery has made me think of having an ice-based enemy made. I thought of this one an hour or so ago- What about a Dino-Torch that spits out icy spores instead of breathing fire? To make it more of a threat, it could attack a little more often than the real Dino-Torch.

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