Tip: A common level trope to avoid is "item babysitting". This involves forcing the player to carry P-Switches, springboards, or other items all around the level. Usually, this doesn't end up being very fun or engaging, so use another level gimmick if you can.
Here what I got for the level design as of now: LINK
Big thanks goes to Alcaro for coding the appearing/disappearing blocks.
The time of date the level will take place is dusk. So it would have light beams on layer 2 and use HDMA to give the level a reddish tint. Also, I had a idea of a thwomp smasher, which is a smasher that acts like a thwomp. So if you get close to the smasher, it will try to crush Mario.
So I decided to scrap the level and I will introduce the appearing/disappearing blocks much better then before. Just the main problem I have right now is introduce the blocks while keeping the world 8 difficulty. Here what I got so far:
The beginning looks far more doable and a much more fair introduction now. I'd still focus on making the level a bit less claustrophobic as a whole. Like I said before, it's more than possible to make a level have a world 8 difficulty while still allowing room to move around and such. It all boils down to how well you can cleverly set up the block chains to be both fair but difficult.
Looking at that picture, I notice that you aren't using my tileset completely correctly; the shading for the ceiling and most of the inner corner tiles is facing the wrong way. You can find the correct tiles on Map16 page 7.
It looks a bit too easy for a world 8 level, and some segments are lacking ennemies. I know you have the appearing and disappearing blocks to add some dificulty, but if you don't add some ennemies in the way, it's very easy to pass them.
I hadn't gotten around to trying your original ips's for this, so I don't know what the difficulty was like outside of what others have said. It sounds like your blocks switch at a fairly rapid rate, so that may indeed force an intense panic, but I'm worried about how straight-lined everything looks now. Straight lines are fine to introduce the gimmick, but I'm wondering if you're dragging on the simplicity of it for far too long. I guess I'll need to see it in action to really pass judgment, but as aj said, it does look to be easy for W8.
If you guys had played the original IPS, you would be in total agreement that the level was borderline Kaizo. I'm all for seeing more advanced uses with these blocks, but giving a few screens of introduction like NGWU is doing now is exactly what this gimmick needs.
I just went back and played what ips I do have. I thought I had two different ones - guess not (and unfortunately it seems I don't have the borderline kaizo version, but based on the original picture, I can see some extreme difficulty in there). The blocks work completely different than I originally thought and I find them much easier to handle than typical on/off varieties. Based on this, I still stand by my original thoughts that it looks easy. But looking easy and being easy are two completely different things, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
I think this is a perfect start for this stage. It's quite doable without dying. From here on you can ramp up the difficulty mre and more. I would also suggest to redo the previous part of the stage but maybe as third room. However, you would have to slow down a few blocks.
Yep, this is a much more fun and more interesting start to the stage. I'm especially liking what you did with the block snake there (in fact, I'm loving the usage of the block snake in this hack overall so far).
Keep it up. I'm looking forward to more intricate and creative stuff in this level.
Dang, this is really good. Heh, I had a far more enjoyable experience with this than with your Level Design Contest entry awhile back.
One question, what's the point of the floating platform just above the surface of the lava after the SMWC coin? It's not a flaw, but I'm curious because it doesn't seem to really hold much of a purpose.
Echoing S.N.N.'s comments about that SMWC coin puzzle. This level is shaping up nicely so far!
I really don't like the second part for some reason, I can't really put my finger on it. I meant trash the second part and make a creating/eating block section instead.
Also, I planned on making a bonus section where there are some used brown blocks that are on layer 1 and some on layer 2. However, layer 2 will have a different scroll rate. So the idea is to get the eating block sprite to point A to point B to get the third SMWC coin. I think I did this once before, but the eating block sprite glitches when it touches layer 2.
@tatanga: The idea of the platform is that if the player fall off of the blocks, it's there to catch them. I will most likely just get rid of it though because it does more harm then good.
It's just the basic setup as of now. The yellow line blocks are there to show you where the block train will go, they will not be there in the final product. I planned on using the background in the pic for layer 3 and use layer 2 for smashers. Also, I plan on using the ledge dwelling Monty Mole to block the train path. That's why there will be a different color coin above them so you can tell where they are at.
I finished eight screens for the second section, but I'm facing with a little problem that I have. The problem is that I used a test door to enter the second section, but if you use a pipe to enter the second section. The timing is all messed up. So is there a way to fix the timing if you enter a pipe?
So I put a door in the first screen and you would end up in a area that has a pipe and a door. So you guys can have a idea of what I'm having a problem with. If you are testing the level, please enter the door instead of the pipe.
You know, despite some flaws, I'm really enjoying this so far. I find your setups with the appearing/disappearing blocks as clever as anything, and the fact that you can continue to develop these fresh and unique creations with them is wonderful. There are a couple of gripes I have:
To get past this part safely, you need to stand on the grey blocks to the left. However, on a blind run through this level, it is not obvious at all. The player will likely just continue along, thus causing them to die. If you could alter this setup a tad to make it more obvious that you're supposed to go on the grey blocks, that would be great.
The Pokey gets stuck on the edge of the conveyor and glitches out.
-No screenshot, but get rid of those Monty Moles that pop out of nowhere. They look really ugly and don't really benefit the level's difficulty fairly at all.
Other than that, I don't have any complaints. I've been trying to think of ways we could graphically improve the blocks to make it seem like something less arbitrary (i.e. coloring them red and making them act like "lasers" you can stand on or something). I don't know .. I guess it's just been bugging me.
I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?
I don't think you still quite get it.
- Coloring on the Thwomp isn't as good as it could be. (Notice the grey he still has.)
- How the hell are we supposed to get that SMWCoin AND get out unscathed? You could probably float down there with a cape, but there isn't any room to get out without falling into the lava.
(Almost) Guaranteed kill setup on the first few tries due to the Thwomp/block setup. Add a safe spot in there somewhere.
Think fast. The animated blocks don't sync to Mario exiting the pipe and he'll land on the last block of the block snake, giving him less than a second to react before falling into the hole. Give Mario at least 3-4 seconds upon (sub)level entry before trying to harm him.
After the hell you put the player through up to this point, you do this? You're kidding, right? It's fairly easy to mess this part up, forcing Mario to do the rest of the level in one go... maybe even one hit.
I should stop taking this screens so late. (Forgot why exactly I took this one.)
What SNN said regarding the Moles and the Volcano Lotus/block setup.
While it's still a major improvement over the disastrous first version, there still a stigma of the level feeling borderline ridiculous with its difficulty. Frequent precision jumping with little room for error is really doing this level in for me, giving me the feeling that you're throwing Mario out of the frying pan and straight into the fire very quickly.