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Level Decorating Advice
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Level Decorating Advice
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Hey so I've been working on my hack for some time now and I've gotten pretty good at most things (accept ASM of course) but anyways one thing I seem to struggle with is decorating the levels well (or at all) Honestly some people do it really well even with Vanilla hacks.

I don't want to make my levels seem dull or dead because their poorly decorated. So just wondering if anybody could probably give advice on how they would decorate a level or how I can decorate a level good or basically what tools to use to do so.

(I'm actually not sure if there was a tutorial for this but if so please direct me there)

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
There is a hack called Super Mario World Hacks 101. It's a game where it teaches level designs and what not to do in a level. You can play that game and get ideas.
Here is the link: http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=showhack&id=4013

Otherwise you can make stuff on your own if you'd like to. My private advice: Not only make the level-make sense ;).

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What-A-Blast! - My WIP Super Mario World hack
**Layout by Erik557


When I go decorate my levels, I most likely really sugarcoat it all, because I find it's too empty or just too plain. My advice would be to look at what you've got, and use MAP16 to make new decorations. This is what I sometimes do whenever I'm making something vanilla, but you can do it with whatever you want (if the tileset allows it, of course (I mean that palette-wise and shape-like, because not everything can really result in good decoration)).
GvS @smwcentral.net ~ u:11380
Hah, this is my favourite part in hacking. I use BG2 and 3 to mix tilesets, combine some tiles to create some nice stuff. But you can also create some fun with bushes. Mix some MAP16 tiles to get some nice shapes. There is way more than this but I use this the most.
One neat trick to use is to mess with tile priorities, e.g. make Mario go behind some tiles. Only be careful that it doesn't obscure enemies or other important stuff. Other than that, break boring stretches up, and create new Tiles using Map16 (if you go vanilla) to help decorate your level. Be varied, but have some kind of consistency running through the level so it doesn't seem schizophrenic.
Well I read and viewed carefully what you all said and I have to say thanks alot =)

Lately, I've been starting to mix tile sets and sprites or add in stuff with YYCHR when I can. I want to make my levels not only look well designed but well decorated as well.

Which is pretty much why I asked for advice, because Decorating seems to be my weakest point. I think I improved some from the advice however.

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
a little thing I do often, at least in grass/forest levels, is take the little 8x8 grass squares from the arrow sign, and make lots of little patches of grass out of them that I cover every flat piece of land with, and give priority so they cover Mario's feet. A nice little effect if ever there was one.

Disarray!

Nyanyanyanyanyanyanyanya!

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Your layout has been removed.

Make sure your FG isn't flat; make it a bit hillier. Along with the decorations, make sure your FG is well set up, to give it a nice decorative look.

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Hey, I'm Riot. I used to use this website a lot but it has been quite a while since I've been a part of it. Help me out with any of the changes; it'd be much appreciated.
@ Disarray: That's a pretty neat Idea, I never really thought of that.

@ Riot 898: I think I do a good job of that, I'm not sure, I have a habit of making my FG not flat to where it becomes a little hard to decorate at times.

Hey Guys I have another little question about decorating but this time I want to know, what are the little things you use to decorate, like rather it's coin blocks or something that the FG came with.

Reason I asks is because some FG's I use at times, don't really come with things besides flat ground and slopes and when I want to add other things to it with YYCHR, it happens to take up most of the space to where I can't.

So yeah Just curious and in need of some advice.

Note: You don't have to answer if it's like some special thing you do, to make your levels look different from others.

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
I don't realy foccus on decorations to make my levels, so I use the original decorations (bushes, trees, donut bidges etc...) most of the time. Sometimes I also use sprite GFX or dirt tiles as decorations and I aslo put other tiles (like pipes, bones ect..) inside the ground so it won't look too bland.
Originally posted by aj6666
I don't realy foccus on decorations to make my levels, so I use the original decorations (bushes, trees, donut bidges etc...) most of the time. Sometimes I also use sprite GFX or dirt tiles as decorations and I aslo put other tiles (like pipes, bones ect..) inside the ground so it won't look too bland.


Really? I've been pretty much doing that a lot lately. Also a select few of my levels aren't really that decorated depending on the style of it, like if it's some kind of abandon place or something.

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
Yo I'm back with another question kind of.

Okay so I find it easy to decorate places that are like wilderness status. Places such as Forest, Beaches, Deserts even Grave Yards.

Now my question is, what kind of decorations would you put in themes like Caves and Castles. Those seem to be the two I have trouble with the most.

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
Well, for both caves and castles, lava works wonders. I usually also use pillars in my castle levels.
I would try to create stalagmites for the caves, and use some exanimation exgfx for sparkles (diamonds?) in the ground. For Castles, I don't know. Maybe try pillars and koopa kid statues (from the koopa kid the castle belongs too, of course). I've got no ideas for castles, really :S
GvS @smwcentral.net ~ u:11380
For castles, simply try some statues. You can make your own (change sprite tiles into objects with BG3) and you can also use pillars made of edited midway point tiles or goal post tiles. Some simple palette changes can do wonders too. Use palette 7 and change it do a darker palette, so you can place normal FG objects without being solid (act like tile 25).

Yeah, there are a lot of options. Let your creativity be the one who selects what you use.
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