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Level Testing

Here what I got so far for the world one castle:
LINK

The reason why I'm posting this before I finish the level because I'm a bit judgy on the difficultly.
I think the SWMCoin is placed 2 tiles to high; I can't reach it spin jumping that... beast :P

and a little palette glitch: The hands of mario are yellow
Your layout has been removed.
This is v.1.2 of my level.

Carnival Caper

No end sprite is inserted. Enjoy.

edit: new update
Very nice, but to all the slopes have to be short 45 degree ones, they're awkward to jump off if you're walking down them. I understand if that can't be changed though.

The music is absolutely perfect for the level and the graphics, music and design as a whole capture the idea of a carnival.

My only advice would be to maybe involve the baloon koopas a bit more, t least one of the superflyinhammerbros feels a bit redundant.

Also, maybe work on the icecream hopping sprite a bit more, maybe make the cone seem a bit thinner. Could it be easily tweaked to make it velnerable to fireballs btw, it seems a bit weird to have an icecream that won't melt.
I like the level as well but there are two problems with it. One major problem is that you can swim under the level. I won't have a problem with this if it was a world 1 level, but due of it being a world 5 level. It takes away the challenge. Also, the midway point create cut-off once you collected it.



Not really a problem but you should add some animation to the balloons. It looks weird due of the balloons just standing still.
Here is the first half of my level. It's mostly done, but i want some help as to how to improve it. I'm not the best at making levels, and could use some help.

Click here!

Please tell me what you think!

Status of my Hack:



Originally posted by bleaghhh
, t least one of the superflyinhammerbros feels a bit redundant....it seems a bit weird to have an icecream that won't melt.

Yeah i'll take the second amazing flying hammer-bro in the first part out. Also if i make it so that
the ice-cream cone gets killed by fire it will be to easy. Let's just say its got a outer hard shell.

Originally posted by notgoodwithusernames
One major problem is that you can swim under the level.

I'm pretty sure that the ceiling generator sprite also creates a floor one as well. So it fixs that problem.
The mid point is my fault. I should of tested the mid point.


@rtyuio54321
It was full of glitches. I don't know if it was me setting everything up but in the future
make an IPS file, it's way easier to test.

Making invisible walls is annoying and confusing. The layout was kind of redundant. I think
that this kind of theme require a more linear setup.

I loved all the graphical replacements. Especially the boos. #w{xD}
Banzai bill is very glitch-ed though.
notgoodwithusernames

After actually playing through the stage, I feel more strongly about what I said in your level thread, primarily the spritework. This stage feels empty for a castle, and pretty much none of the enemies seem to pose any threat. Players have plenty of time and space to dodge them, and there's nothing thematic to complicate matters or make players pause and think about what is the best way to proceed. Most enemies are encountered in isolation, and there are spaces where there are pretty much no enemies at all. The level doesn't feel engaging. That's not to say you have to make it overly difficult, but the spritework is too simple right now. Try to saturate the stage a bit more with enemies, or place the enemies more effectively, or use them in combination more often, or think of some mechanic or concept that will work with the enemies- a castle generally has more intricate traps, no? As-is, it doesn't seem to do anything beyond what Firephoenix's first level does, and that's bad, because we have to make a strong first impression in World 1, slowly working in new ideas.

Also, the top path seems like it has many more enemies than the bottom half, which is strange because players have no way of knowing that. The paths are hidden between two arbitrary doors. For that matter, I'm not sure the best way to split the world map paths is to essentially make two separate levels in one. A LOT of levels this time around are aiming for that 'parallel paths' aesthetic, and that worries me: it's not the only way to design a level, the SMW engine isn't really built to accommodate it in terms of architecture and the number of sprites on screen at once (unless you separate the two into different sublevels altogether), and it doesn't always make the level "nonlinear," especially in this case where it's really just two linear paths.

That sideways thwomp seemed pretty difficult, and putting a thwomp above a door isn't really necessary (honestly, a lot of people seem to have an obsession with blocking screen exits).

On the upper path, why are some sprites placed below the floor if they're just going to end up above the floor anyway? That thwomp is very oddly placed as well.

As far as architecture goes, those thin pipes need to be shaded differently, because there were times I thought I could walk on them, especially on screen 6 of level 5C where you connect two girder platforms with them (alternately, just don't place them in confusing ways). Also, again, the lower half seems tame and shallow compared to the twists and turns of the upper half. Should an arbitrary choice of doors skew the complexity so much?

Oh, do you really have to wait for that diagonal fireball to go there and back again in order to obtain the 1up? That seems like a bit much for this early in the game, even if it's clever (which it is).

What if you get trapped behind the turn blocks for that smwcoin? Maybe you could use breakable blocks or something?

Is the silver p-switch for something you haven't constructed yet?

Finally, the entranceway puts players through a lot of tedium just to get a powerup and a few coins. Is it necessary to have stuff up there when you start right next to the doors? It seems senseless to go up and down like that.

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2dareduck

Much, much better. Wow, that's an improvement over the last time. The sprite reskins are absolutely delightful and you have a really fun atmosphere going on here now. The only potential issue I see is with the ice cream cone sprite: maybe it's just me, but it doesn't look quite identifiable enough, if that makes sense.

The beginning of the level is a very disorienting (read: poor) introduction, and I think you should modify it. The player could accidentally jump into the munchers; it's not immediately obvious that the hanging life preserver is solid; that first jump onto the rotating platform is pretty difficult for the first screen. Having said that, it's nice to see a powerup at the beginning of the stage for once. Not every level has to be stingy :/

I like how you outline the invisible blocks so we can actually see them. It takes a lot of frustration out of the equation, and besides, they don't look half bad in a carnival context. However, players might not hit the first one- they might take the hammer bros. platform instead- and the next one is in a dangerous spot. Make sure that introductions are both nonlethal and likely to be used by players so they know what's going on. The only problem is, the invisible note blocks are completely invisible, which might (I'm not sure) kind of breaks players' expectations after seeing the outline blocks. The only spot where it was a big deal, though, was in the second half, where you have to scale that tall log. The first time, I didn't find the invisible note block, and I used a cannonball instead. For secret areas, I would say it probably isn't a big deal.

Speaking of cannonballs, they definitely inject some difficulty and complexity into the stage (and other sprites do as well), and overall there are just a lot of different sprites here, which makes the level fun and colorful, as a carnival should be. What you've accomplished is no small feat given that the tide gives you less sprite room, so color me impressed in that regard.

It'd be nice if you'd couldn't carry the life preserver outside the underwater section, because it can cause slowdown on the main path (especially in the part with all the cannonballs, but I don't think you should get rid of those). Also in that underwater side area, maybe it's just me, but I think it's weird to have the right end bordered by the camera stopping and not by a wall. For the sky side room, if adding one or two enemies doesn't cause slowdown, then I would at least consider it, though I'm not saying it definitely would be better with enemies- I'm just wondering if it would be.

By the way, playing it now, I don't see any problem with the number of hammer bros.

The only other design issues I have right now come at the end of the second half. The pipe arrangement for the torpedo ted reskins (which I love, by the way) seems a little plain. You could keep the ones you have where they are, but do they all have to be the same height, for example? Maybe it would also be a good idea to scatter a few more pipes amongst those (but place them higher so they aren't confused with the ones that generate enemies). In addition, I don't think you can see the bottom row in all emulators...but I guess there's not really a way around that. Actually, players are liable to discover it on their own while trying to swim beneath the enemies, so it's probably not much of an issue in that sense. It might make things a bit easy, though, since you can just wait for the enemies to pass without having to swim. Oh, and yeah, it's probably a good idea to fill in the bottom row so players can't swim under everything.

Also, for the ice cream cone on the next screen, the last two question mark blocks makes it a bit easy to jump over that obstacle completely. Maybe you should just keep the first three?

Anyway, this is a huge improvement over the last version I played. You definitely know how to handle feedback, and that's very good.
Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Please test my level. People are saying it's on the border of of being accepted.
Violators will be prosecutedt to the full extent of the jam.
[My layout went really trippy in these posts... I can't fathom why]

Agie777, playing through your level, i found pretty much nothing wrong with it, the design was good and enjoyable, the graphics pleasing, the music a pleasure to listen, generally was a fun level to play. For perfectionist sake:



This enemy seems to have no purpose... he just stands, out the way jumping... but whatever, no real issue.



Next is that your foliage effect at times obscures the status bar, again, nothing major but it's still there, you can easily fix this by just removing the leaves where coins are or reducing the leave's priority. I'd recommend adding either a layer 3 background here, to go behind the background to add an extra sense of depth and remove some of the emptiness, or add a HDMA gradient.



Final issue is this, the, angular, chunky ground used in the sky, this is more a personal thing but I have never really been fond of this whole effect, I'd recommend either making it come all the way from the ground or use a cloud FG tileset. Like I said earlier, adding a HDMA gradient or layer 3 (constantly scrolling) cloud background would add an extra bit of beauty, though maybe not enough o justify the effort. I'm going to throw out here someone on the SMW CP (lulz) should be in charge of adding such things for extra flair.

The only other two criticisms I can find are that early on your level felt a bit straight forward, with the exception of the area you can fall down, and have to traverse back to the right to get back up, this whole section felt redundant and unnecessary. The level did branch out later though, since I took one path and found a goal sphere I assume I'd found a secret exit, I went back to the level only to find the other path leads to the same place and thus had wasted my time. At one point near the end the player was given a springboard that seemed unnecessary, correct me if I'm wrong. It seems unusual to be traveling to the left at first, and the presence of lots of low down foliage made me think land was present when often it was not, still, this is a fault on my part more than the games. Having some coins to guide the player upwards instead of down would be a small and slightly helpful addition.

Writing that I fear I may have missed something blindly obvious and seem like an idiot.

Nonetheless, your level was a blast to play and well constructed all round. Iron out the creases and you're good to go.
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Originally posted by Disarray!
Next is that your foliage effect at times obscures the status bar, again, nothing major but it's still there, you can easily fix this by just removing the leave where coins are or reducing the leave priority.


thats a problem with the status bar itself and the status bar is going to be fixed so it goes above everything else (its a problem with every level at the moment)

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Red Tales: [Insert Subtitle here]: Hack is being worked on, maybe, probably not
Levels Complete: 5/50+

Originally posted by dragonphoenix29
Originally posted by Disarray!

Next is that your foliage effect at times obscures the status bar, again, nothing major but it's still there, you can easily fix this by just removing the leave where coins are or reducing the leave priority.



thats a problem with the status bar itself and the status bar is going to be fixed so it goes above everything else (its a problem with every level at the moment)


Yeh okay whatever, I did say it was a minor issue.
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Disarray!
stuff said

Ninji at the start is to stop people from rushing to get the mushroom right away. It wins like 1/2 seconds, but whatever.

As said before, priority issue is in the counter, it's going to be fixed.

"A more personal thing" isn't really an issue, or is it. I haven't heard anyone else complain about it yet.

Also, how is the first section redundant and unnecessary? Really, I don't see what's wrong with it. It's just good ol' platforming, but then from right to left. And why is right to left a bad idea? Please explain this further.
Violators will be prosecutedt to the full extent of the jam.
Here is version 2.1 of my level. It has the first two parts of the level done, so I think all that's left is to add the sprites and make the third area the end.

Click Here

BTW, this time, its an .ips file

Status of my Hack:



Playing through your level, was fun. But to point out a few things:


You can easily get 1-ups here. You might want to place the ladder up a bit more.


Some GFX don't fit here, like the P-Switches and pipes. You might want to change there GFX.


Another 1-up spot.


This part hurt my eyes and there is also cutoff on all of the corner tiles.

Overall I thought it was quite easy for it's places in the game. That might just be me though.
Rtyuio54321, I just played through your level. It wasn't bad, but there are a few things that should be touched up on.

1. Pardon me if this sounds nitpicky, but I felt the question block sprites could cause some problems because the question mark on the block appears and disappears. I'd recommend changing it to where the question mark stays the whole time.

2. I felt the P-Switch puzzle in the blueprint section was underwhelming. I understand it might be more of an "action sequence", but if you're trying to make it a "puzzle sequence", I would look into it, because it's really easy.

3. The part near the end of the blueprint section was annoying. I'm not a fan of backtracking, it really isn't fun.

4. The midway point doesn't work.

5. There were a few sections throughout the level that weren't that exciting because there wasn't really any action. I'd recommend looking for places that don't have a lot of action and maybe adding a jump or a few enemies.

Overall, I think you're off to a great start, but there a few things you need to fix.
Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Dear Agie 777 (obligatory numbers are cool)

Right to left is simply counter intuitive to how the levels usually play is all.

It seems you did not properly read what I said; there's an area at the beginning you can jump down to, seems fine, so out of curiosity I jumped down, then had to traverse back to the right to get back up and repeat that part of the level. It was unneeded and annoying to be forced to repeat a part of the level I'd done, simply because I was curious.

"early on your level felt a bit straight forward, with the exception of the area you can fall down, and have to traverse back to the right to get back up, this whole section felt redundant and unnecessary"

You can clearly see I did not say the entire first section just that one part, read properly in the future, or get new eyes. Also, personal preference is bound to matter to a degree, for if one person dislikes it, chances are others may also dislike it, and thusly the issue is worth raising. Re-raising a point I already answered is also unnecessary.

If you'd like to stop posting needless accusations I'm going to go drink a cup of tea and cry over the lonely, loveless life I live. At least this site makes me feel as though such an issue is irrelevant...

Disarray!

Caffie Radio is brought to you by a nasally pubescent teenager.
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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

Originally posted by Disarray
Right to left is simply counter intuitive to how the levels usually play is all.


Whoop de flippin' do.

Quote
It seems you did not properly read what I said; there's an area at the beginning you can jump down to, seems fine, so out of curiosity I jumped down, then had to traverse back to the right to get back up and repeat that part of the level. It was unneeded and annoying to be forced to repeat a part of the level I'd done, simply because I was curious.


It is not his problem that you chose to do something out of curiosity as long as it's not a dick move, such as outright killing you. Plus that area you most likely are talking about leads to an SMWC Coin.

Quote
If you'd like to stop posting needless accusations I'm going to go drink a cup of tea and cry over the lonely, loveless life I live. At least this site makes me feel as though such an issue is irrelevant...

Disarray!

Caffie Radio is brought to you by a nasally pubescent teenager.


Or you can just stop expecting people to build levels to cater around your own personal preferences.

Next update.Carnival Caper

I change a few things.
edit;new update
*No longer responding to Disarray because he's acting like a depressed kid*
Violators will be prosecutedt to the full extent of the jam.