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12C: Incineration Station - yoshicookiezeus
Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 9 - 12C: Incineration Station - yoshicookiezeus
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This might work. It only makes the change of getting hit by the koopa bigger..

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Ugh... I don't know how many times I died to this segment, but it was usually due to these two spots.



Maybe I'm throwing off the intended timing somehow, but I found this little spot to be the one that killed me the most. Basically, if that flame behind me isn't going out by the time the rotating lift reaches this spot, there is no way I can clear this jump, and I find myself waiting many rotations before a window of opportunity for me to cross is available. At the same time, missing said window of opportunity usually results in death. I think using a three-armed lift would help a lot here.



This spot required ridiculous timing. I had to wait for the platform to go into a fast-fall and even then, jumping a bit too early would get me killed by those flamethrowers. Too late and I fall into the sea of fire. Didn't matter whether I used a normal or spin jump, the issue was present in both cases.



And at the third platform, it requires such quick reflexes to not only hit the block with this balloon, but to also grab it. If you stutter for even a bit or move the wrong way in the slightest, you're not getting that balloon; you're gonna burn. Maybe you should just place the balloon as a sprite several tiles ahead rather than something the player has to quickly get out of a box?



It was a good concept and posed appropriate challenge for the most part, but I found these spots to be the most offending in my opinion.

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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 GeminiRage

http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/10216/Super%2BMario%2BWorld_00004.png
Maybe I'm throwing off the intended timing somehow, but I found this little spot to be the one that killed me the most. Basically, if that flame behind me isn't going out by the time the rotating lift reaches this spot, there is no way I can clear this spot, and I find myself waiting many rotations before a window of opportunity for me to cross is available. At the same time, missing said window of opportunity usually results in death. I think using a three-armed lift would help a lot here.



Agreed. The amount of elbow room you have for this spot is very low and was what got me the most in this sublevel. I try to make a point to make it through these levels without tool assistance and screens 5-6 and 8 (garbage was falling too fast) were just too much. What bothers the hell out of me more about this is that you're almost expected to do the entire second half without taking a single hit at all.

Originally posted by GeminiRage

Okay, testing a bit more with this segment has lead me to agree with you; seems like if you don't do everything up to it perfectly, the perfect timing I had in most of my earlier testing runs doesn't exist anymore. There are now three platforms there instead of just one.

(also after this change I got through the incinerator on my first attempt. Yay?)

Originally posted by GeminiRage

This, on the other hand, I'm not sure if I agree with. I find this one of the easiest parts of the room; I don't think that I have died to it once. Could I get some other people's opinion on this?

Originally posted by MrDeePay
What bothers the hell out of me more about this is that you're almost expected to do the entire second half without taking a single hit at all.

There is a mushroom hidden in the falling segment, which does make the incinerator a bit easier; you can even use it to skip the last part of the ballooning segment if you manage to keep it that far.


On another note: how many people have found the third SMWC coin so far?

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I found:

-the one in the blue Elite room.
-the one right before the end up the garbage chute (clever, but actually more obvious than you may think).

I assume one was in the "Plinko"-styled room with all of the pipes, but I didn't actually find it.

Also, as for the comments about getting through on one hit: I think the difficulty mostly came from the fact that you literally cannot stop at all in that room. If you put a "breather" platform or two in, it might make it substantially less reflex-based (and it seems the best place for this would be right underneath the first balloon).

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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 yoshicookiezeus

Originally posted by MrDeePay
What bothers the hell out of me more about this is that you're almost expected to do the entire second half without taking a single hit at all.

There is a mushroom hidden in the falling segment, which does make the incinerator a bit easier; you can even use it to skip the last part of the ballooning segment if you manage to keep it that far.


Hence why I said almost.

Quote
On another note: how many people have found the third SMWC coin so far?



I had a suspicion on where it was and looking at the level in LM confirmed such. I didn't get it during testing since I was more concerned with beating the level first.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
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This, on the other hand, I'm not sure if I agree with. I find this one of the easiest parts of the room; I don't think that I have died to it once. Could I get some other people's opinion on this?


I guess it might've just been me, because I rarely see setups like this where rather than quickly hopping to the next platform, I have to wait for the current platform to fall a few tiles before attempting to jump, at which point it's fast-falling. Thus, I'm not really familiar with the timings required to clear that segment flawlessly.

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Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
(also after this change I got through the incinerator on my first attempt. Yay?)

*clap*



*clap*



*clap*




Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
This, on the other hand, I'm not sure if I agree with. I find this one of the easiest parts of the room; I don't think that I have died to it once. Could I get some other people's opinion on this?

The acceleration of falling platforms is not something players are accustomed to paying attention to. At least lower the first platform so players so players know what they're getting into, and so there's more of a difficulty curve instead of "get through all of these identical jumps perfectly or die."

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
There is a mushroom hidden in the falling segment, which does make the incinerator a bit easier; you can even use it to skip the last part of the ballooning segment if you manage to keep it that far.

There is no guarantee that players will find that mushroom. You should have at least one overt powerup for that section.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
On another note: how many people have found the third SMWC coin so far?

I found it. The lack of trash falling kind of gives it away, though players might be too focused on completing the stage by that point to entertain such observations.


Anyway, let's see...


The side room is a major gripe for me. It's too long, the architecture is shoddily done, the jump-through platforms completely confuse the blue elite's pattern; the elite flies and/or changes direction too fast and constantly disappears off-screen. That area needs some reworking.

Does the message box have to be placed in such a way that you're almost guaranteed to hit it as you jump into the pipe? If I want to see what that message box says, I'll go out of my way to hit it, you know? Besides, that particular one doesn't even have essential information, so why practically force players to hit it?

The transitional room is kind of discriminatory toward Big Mario because it forces Mario to make every jump a crouch jump- otherwise, there's no guarantee he'll fit into those pipes during free-fall. Riddle me this: when will players first realize that they have to crouch jump to fit into pipes during free-fall? Answer: during the same jump that goes past the springboard. Now add to that the fact that the midway bar is directly before this section, meaning that everyone will come through here first as big Mario, and you've got a fairly unfair smwcoin setup. Sure, if you die in the incinerator section, you've got another try, but the improbability of getting the smwcoin the first time around strikes me as slightly odd.

The incinerator section...uhh, yeah.

3: Big Mario Discrimination. (Remove the last flame.)

4: If players start this setup with the wrong timing, they'll probably get hit, because there's no breathing room or leeway here. Players will be pressured to jump off the moving castle block before it returns- without seeing the second trash dispenser, mind you- and if things don't line up, they die. How is that justified?

5: Think about players seeing this for the first time. They won't see the flame platform until the rotating platform they're on is extended all the way to the right, and they'll only see it for a brief moment at most. They'll see that there's fire coming out of it, so they'll want to line things up before jumping, but by that point the rotating platform has gone too low and there's nowhere safe to jump anymore. Players will die. Mind you, even if players make it, they now have to immediately alternate between platforms with nearly perfect timing. No breathing room, no safe platform of meditation, nothing.

6: Again, from the perspective of someone playing this for the first time, the speed of those faster dispensers is ridiculous. It's even worse on screen 8.

A: As I implied before, there is no sense of progression with all of these jumps (all = entire sublevel). All of them are in the hardest positions possible. For this particular formation, wouldn't a staircase arrangement be better?

B: Gee, could you put the p-balloon any higher?! It's above a falling platform, for crying out loud! How are players even supposed to know what's in there when they haven't had a breather for the entire sublevel?!

D: Though I made it through unscathed, I can't help but wonder if the last obstacle is questionable.


Overall: What the hell. Players have no breathing room, no powerups, and the sublevel's idea of introducing new mechanics is "get the hardest version of this setup right on the first try multiple times in a row or die." Players see what's up ahead for the briefest of moments before careening into an early death just by standing still and trying to figure out what's going on for a fraction of a second.

I agree that having even just one or two safe platforms for players to catch their breath on is probably a good idea, for starters.


Edit: A somewhat minor point, but should the goal roulette be in the incinerator section?

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Well, I know I'm a tad late with this batch of comments, but better late than never...

This first time I sat down with update 0.9, the Incinerator had me pulling my hair out, but then I stepped away for a while, came back and gave it another go. And now, looking at it again, I don't think it's all that bad of an area. But that's not to say it has its issues. First off, the area as a whole is definitely discriminatory against fresh eyes, with its incredibly fast-paced/lack-of-breathing-room setup. However, we're talking World 8 here, so is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe not, but it is a bit iffy at times - most notably, the first balloon block, which is really asking a lot from the player reaction-wise. I don't know how many times I ended up in that sea of flames because I just couldn't jump quickly enough.

As far as the three free-falling platforms (outside of the balloon bit), I'm inclined to agree with YCZ and found that to be one of the easiest areas. However, Axem's idea of staggering the platforms a bit to give a sense of a difficulty curve may not be a bad idea. As Gemini pointed out, most players may not be readily adapted to jumping from a fast falling platform and may have to be weened into the idea. But as I said, I found it completely doable and fairly easy compared to the rest of the sublevel, so take that with a grain of salt.

The second ballooning area bugged me a bit, but nothing to really whine about. I found my issues with screen 0D to be more of a result of my own impatience - which is intriguing given how slowly and methodically I make my way through the first area of the level with all the Elites.

Overall, I'm inclined to agree with the need for a powerup somewhere in this area - it doesn't necessarily have to be at the beginning of the area; maybe about halfway through. And yea, one or two little safe spots will likely work wonders for this area. It was nice having that breather on screen 09, but even there you're still having to dodge an alternating sea of flames.

Regardless, I've yet to manage the Incinerator section without savestates, although I'm definitely trying. I'm typically losing out to the faster varieties of falling debris or while trying to obtain either balloon.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
mushroom in the second section

Ugh. I never even knew that was there since I always went to the right to try and get the springboard.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
SMWC coin

Yes, found it on my first time through. And as others have said, it likely comes off more obvious than you intended.

But speaking of SMWC coins, and I really hate to sound like a broken record here, but that third coin further enforced my disdain over the first coin. Sure the second and third coin are hidden, but they are both incredibly easy to get if you know where to look. The first coin however, I've given up on that setup. Of the countless times I've tried to get that blue bastard over to the coin, I've only managed the feat once in which case I immediately killed him by accident and lost my opportunity to obtain the coin. I've pretty much decided the only viable solution is to use a feather.

Honestly, four screens is just way to much given the Blue's erratic pattern and likelihood of despawning. The On/Off bit and ledge tiles further add to the problem. The On/Off part feels tacked on and the ledges pose more of a hindrance than anything, at least to me. Whether it's because the Blue will be blocked in when he's trying to fly downwards or I accidentally stomp him as I'm standing on a ledge and he's flying upwards, the whole room is just a frustrating mess.

And again, I know others have mentioned that the room really isn't that much of a chore, so I know there's got to be a trick to it. But whatever it is, it's beyond me.
Originally posted by Milk
And again, I know others have mentioned that the room really isn't that much of a chore, so I know there's got to be a trick to it. But whatever it is, it's beyond me.

Actually, while I thought the first version of that side room was doable, I haven't had a single success with this newest incarnation. Maybe I, too, am missing some trick to it, but I really think the room should be shorter and have better architecture than "a long, one-tile wide protrusion from the ground, then one from the ceiling, rinse and repeat (from what I remember)."

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I apologize on going all AWOL on everyone; I kind of got caught up in playing Fire Emblem lately. :V I haven't been entirely inactive, though:

Incineration Station v1.0

Changelog:
- Completely redid first SMWC coin room (now "exciting adventures in multitasking" instead of "guide blue koopa through lots of small holes")
- Rearranged falling room, to avoid unnecessary trouble with entering side passages while falling
- Rearranged obstacles in incinerator room, to (hopefully) give a better sense of difficulty progression and introduce the fast spawners in a better way
- Added a single yellow switch block to incinerator room, providing an extra powerup and a safe place to catch your breath (inserted through direct map16 access for testing purposes)
- Added a couple extra falling platforms to incinerator room, to give the player some extra time to react to certain obstacles
- Fixed glitched graphics in incinerator room

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...I still don't see much breathing room in the incinerator part. It's still better, though.

Also, the Bonus room was much harder, since you had to think about 3 things at the same time:

Getting the blue elite koopa into the next place thing,
hitting the on/off switch at the right time,
dodging all fireballs.
I died in the bonus room, so I had to do everything over again.

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Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
I kind of got caught up in playing Fire Emblem lately.

Yep, I know how that feels~


To be blunt, though, I don't like this incarnation of the side room either. Whenever it's time to hit the switch, there's infallibly a fireball in my way, and it's infuriating. I still think all you need is a relatively open area with an uneven ground and ceiling, perhaps with a red elite box hovering in the center. If you're going to use on/off walls, either place them further apart (seriously) or give them unusual shapes and/or placement.

I just noticed that you can enter an infinite 1up loop if you die after the midpoint, so I'm wondering if you should remove it (and it doesn't excuse the difficulty of the second half, by the way).


Incinerator Section
4: That second platform is useless because the next platform is a single one and will have already rotated too far.

5: It takes awfully precise jumps to get this mushroom. Why not take out the flame directly underneath if you're making this a safe spot anyway?

6: Not immediately obvious whether this will be a single or multiple platform.

7-8: These two setups are pretty much exactly the same. Couldn't you make the first one a bit easier (or even just different) somehow? Otherwise you're not really introducing the faster dispensers with a sense of progression. (For instance, shift the multiple platform a bit to the left and put the first fast dispenser in between.)


It's an improvement, though.

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Incineration Station v1.1

Changelog:
- Redid the first SMWC coin room yet again (now "Fire Switch Mini-Athletic")
- Hid the 1-up in the falling room in a way that's rather less obvious even after you found it
- Made some slight alterations to the incinerator room

Isn't it always so much fun when you find bugs that doesn't seem to have any discernible cause? I had to scrap my first new setup for the SMWC coin room entirely, because apparently the Magikoopa aiming routine doesn't work properly in the interval between +30 and -30 degrees when screen boundaries are involved. *sigh*

Originally posted by AxemJinx
7-8: These two setups are pretty much exactly the same. Couldn't you make the first one a bit easier (or even just different) somehow? Otherwise you're not really introducing the faster dispensers with a sense of progression. (For instance, shift the multiple platform a bit to the left and put the first fast dispenser in between.)

What I was going for with that was mostly that you have all the time you need to observe the first one, while you need to react quickly to the second one. I have experimented with putting one of the fast spawners in between two platforms, and well... let's just say that my success rate at getting past it was somewhere in the line of 10%. (also sprite limits are not my friends, or I would have put one of the slow ones next to the second fast one. D:)

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When I was describing what I think you should do for the side room, I forgot to mention to keep the blue elite mechanic- I guess I thought it was implied. This way works fine too, though, even if the top section is kind of a "run straight forward with good jumps" sort of thing.

Anyway, difficulty-wise I think I'm mostly ok with this stage now. The only remaining nitpick is this feeling I can't quite shake that the fast dispensers (and maybe also screen C, assuming Big Balloon Mario has a bigger hitbox than its smaller companion (?)) are a teensy bit discriminatory toward Big Mario. What does everyone think?

Oh, and sorry for being so strict about this. I just don't want the difficulty to become unreasonable toward the end of the game, is all.

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While I didn't see anything I'd call discrimination against Big Mario, I do have two minor difficulty complaints. Once they're addressed, I'd say your level is ready to be inserted.


I like the new take on this room, but I found this particular part extremely frustrating, and nearly impossible if both of them are firing at once. It might just be me, but the space is so tight that I can't even imagine how you're suppose to dodge the right Koopa's fireballs. I eventually managed to time it so I could get up there and get back down before he shot them horizontally, but I have to save state quite a bit to pull it off.


The rest of the incinerator was great, and I was able to get through on my first shot, but this part was super frustrating. It seems like you need pixel-perfect timing to get through the part to the right.

Other than that, great job.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
[picture]
I like the new take on this room, but I found this particular part extremely frustrating, and nearly impossible if both of them are firing at once. It might just be me, but the space is so tight that I can't even imagine how you're suppose to dodge the right Koopa's fireballs. I eventually managed to time it so I could get up there and get back down before he shot them horizontally, but I have to save state quite a bit to pull it off.

Well, you aren't supposed to be dodging anything in there in the first place. Jump up to the platform just as the right Koopa stops firing, and you should be able to hit the switch and get out before its next attack.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
[picture]
The rest of the incinerator was great, and I was able to get through on my first shot, but this part was super frustrating. It seems like you need pixel-perfect timing to get through the part to the right.

I have been thinking about this segment a bit myself; sometimes I get through on my first attempt just fine, while other times I just can't seem to do it without getting hit (which is kind of strange, given how both the flamethrowers and the spawners run on the same global timer). I do, however, believe that I have come up with a solution: after removing the flamethrower just to the right of the last spawner, while the timing is still rather tricky, I seem to be able to get through much more consistently. Do you want me to post a new IPS patch with this change so you can try for yourself?

Originally posted by S.N.N.
Other than that, great job.

Why, thank you very much. :D

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Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
Well, you aren't supposed to be dodging anything in there in the first place. Jump up to the platform just as the right Koopa stops firing, and you should be able to hit the switch and get out before its next attack.


I ended up doing that, though as I said, it took a lot of effort. I guess it's world 8 though, and it isn't really mandatory unless you want to unlock the bonus world. Maybe I just sucked at it too, or something.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
Do you want me to post a new IPS patch with this change so you can try for yourself?


Actually yeah, especially since this is the only part of the level I find overly questionable at this point. I'd like to see how you alleviated this problem.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
I ended up doing that, though as I said, it took a lot of effort. I guess it's world 8 though, and it isn't really mandatory unless you want to unlock the bonus world. Maybe I just sucked at it too, or something.

Yeah, I'm kind of getting the impression that you are somehow doing something incorrectly, given how I can do it without trouble just about 100% of the time. And the left Koopa shouldn't be an issue at all; unless you really take your time with hitting the switch, it doesn't even get the time to fire at you.

Originally posted by yoshicookiezeus
Actually yeah, especially since this is the only part of the level I find overly questionable at this point. I'd like to see how you alleviated this problem.

Here you go, then:

Incineration Station v1.1.1

Changelog:
- Removed a pair of flamethrowers near the end of the incinerator room

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I actually had the same experience as S.N.N. in the side room. It was counter-intuitive for me to have to despawn the fireballs off the side of the screen to give myself more breathing room, because that felt like circumventing the design rather than playtesting, but in the end, that's what I had to do. Maybe the two of us just expected the challenge to be "dodge at all times" instead of "dodge, then rush in/out," but yeah, it might just be our playstyle...? I'm not sure.

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Forum Index - Events - Super Mario World Central Production 2 Completion Project - World 9 - 12C: Incineration Station - yoshicookiezeus

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