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Help with hacking/game making in general
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Help with hacking/game making in general
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I need some tips for making a certain hack and an actual game I happen to be working on at the time as well:

1) Whats a good way to add replay value? You know, a good reason to replay the game, 100% it, search every nook and cranny.

2) Enemy/character design
While I'm not so bad with actual characters, enemies are sometimes hard for me to design. Whats a good way to get inspired?

3) Plot
I need help coming up with a good plot. I REALLY don't want to resort to "<insert villain name here> kidnapped princess <insert girl's name here>, and <insert hero's name> must save her."

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
1) I'd say make the secrets rather fun and worthwhile. Such as putting your best level designs/ideas in your secret areas.

2) Think of a good theme for your enemies. Do you want your enemies to resemble animals, or perhaps strange animate objects or even food? Maybe you've got a main villain in mind with their own army?

3) Kind of tricky to answer this, as no matter what kind of plot you think of, it's probably been done before. Though I'd say try to avoid basing your story the following, as they're quite overdone
-Save the princess, like you mentioned
-Shipwrecked
-Find the seven objects of plot advancement
Basically, try to think a little outside the box and your story should be okay, just as long as it's prevelant throughout most of your game.

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My Let's Play channel (Current LP: Final Fantasy VI, MegaMari)
1) Non-linearity. The second time through, the player's likely to take a different path.

If you already have non-linearity and just want to encourage the player to play again, well just having a good game in the first place will do that.
Alternatively you can go the cheap way and give rewards for exploration and repetition. IE, collectables, achievements, that kind of thing.

2) I assume you mean visual design. Yeah like Gemini said, go with a theme.

If you don't want to broadcast your villain is evil by giving him spiked armor and twirling his moustache (and stuff like that), well take a look around outside or in other media. If you see someone with an interesting or distinctive haircut (or whatever), stick it on your character. Boom. He's now recognizable and not generic.

For non-human characters, again take a look outside or in other media. You may have noticed that most every Pokemon resembles a real animal and/or is anthropomorphized. This is not a coincidence.

A recurring theme here (and for #3, for that matter) is to borrow from real life. Lots of stuff there to get inspiration from.

3) Not something that can be summed up in a paragraph. Honestly, I'd say check if your school/university is offering creative writing classes and take one of those. Building good stories is something that's an art of its own and takes practice.
For replay value, make sure you have a good amount of secret exits in the hack, but don't make it seem worthless to the player. Have the exits lead to brand new levels instead of just creating a shortcut. Personally, a non-linear level will not make me replay a level. I need an incentive to play through a level again...like a new item or reward that lies somewhere within. That's just my personal preference...a really fun and interesting level might make me want to play again though.

For enemies, think about what the theme of the level is. Is it a beach? Use critters that you see near a beach (crabs, seagulls, etc.) Is it a forest? (Insects, wolves, bears, etc.) Snow? (Penguins, walrus', etc.) Granted, this works if you are going for a more natural approach. Your big bad may have an army of troops like the Koopas are to Bowser.

As for a plot, I can't really help you on that. Everyone has a different idea on what makes a story good. Some like epic tales, some like humorous stories. Some prefer it darker and edgier, while others believe it should be more light hearted. Find your niche and stick with it.
Wow, thanks for all the good tips!

1) So basically the best way would be to add worthwhile secrets, like the secret levels I was planning on adding, right?

2) Actually, the enemies I have already follow a theme. If you haven't already seen the one enemy I currently have:


So yeah, if your wondering why the enemy is practically a block, the main villain is as well...you know...just more scary looking...slightly... Needless to say, there isn't much inspiration for blocks...so looking at animal/media would actually be a pretty good approach. (Well, the main villain is supposed to be an alien invader, and the current story doesn't take place on earth, so that leaves a lot open...)

3) I would probably need to take a story-writing class, all I have is this: There's alien invaders attacking a far away planet, and the victim planet's army finally fails. So one of the citizens of the victim planet volunteers to single-handedly infiltrate the invading force and defeat their leader. So yeah, I guess the details are somewhat stable, but the problem is what motivates the main character to do so. Unfortunately, the only thing I could think of currently was...err...lets just say, there's a reason why I used the steriotypical storyline I did... I really need to think of something better...

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
The story is kind of meh right now.

Why did the aliens come?
Does the planet have something to offer them?
Are they just assholes who love destruction?

Why did the army fail?
How did they fail?
Is the world in an armageddon state?

Why is the hero saving the planet?
Why is the person he going after worth risking his life?
Is he getting a reward for his efforts?

As for teh one enemy you have it's also pretty meh. I mean the design is ok but it's not anything scary or even looks evil it kind of looks like a square slime from any generic RPG.
It also needs more movement I mean a flat box wouldn't be able to just move maybe making it a little less wide and then it squishes itself to move forward giving off the impression of movement.

Things need to be more ironed out.
Originally posted by ninja boy

I disagree. A lot of Mario plots are fairly vague. For example why does Bowser constantly kidnap the Princess? Why did he choose to build is fortress in the center of the universe in SMG? Although a little more explanation could be used I think we can go without that degree of plot. Ultimately it's up to Dark Bones though.
SMWC's official dentist since 2011.

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I have to agree mario plots are slightly vague but it has been declared by nintendo that bowser kidnaps the princess because he is jealous of mario and he loves peach. As for teh glaxy thing it's explained throughout the game that bowser having "destroyed" the mushroom kingdom wants to expand his domain to the outer reaches of the universe.

Have a vague plot at fisrt isn't a bad thing but you need to fill in holes or at least give enough of a clue that the player fills it in themself making a game have a different mean for everyone who plays it.
Originally posted by ninja boy
Why did the aliens come?
Are they just assholes who love destruction?

Actually, yes. Along with almost every other alien character I've ever created...they're also pretty much destroying everyone because they're jealous. But for the most part, just jerks...

Originally posted by ninja boy
Why did the army fail?
How did they fail?
Is the world in an armageddon state?

Actually, its not post-apocalypse. Only half of the planet has been taken over, and they didn't really destroy much of the wild life. They don't really need to, as the inhabitants are normally very peaceful.

Originally posted by ninja boy
Why is the hero saving the planet?
Why is the person he going after worth risking his life?
Is he getting a reward for his efforts?

Well, if he doesn't, his entire kind will be destroyed, so he has nothing to lose. Also, think about it, who would give the reward? The government? ...yeah right... He is promised a reward though...

Originally posted by ninja boy
As for teh one enemy you have it's also pretty meh. I mean the design is ok but it's not anything scary or even looks evil it kind of looks like a square slime from any generic RPG.
It also needs more movement I mean a flat box wouldn't be able to just move maybe making it a little less wide and then it squishes itself to move forward giving off the impression of movement.

Well, it's the first, most generic enemy...pretty much the equivalent of a goomba or koopa...so it's not exactly threatening. Also, the squishing idea is actually pretty good, I never really thought of that. It would need a lot more frames, but that's only a problem for the chocolate entry...

Originally posted by ninja boy
Things need to be more ironed out.

Yeah, they do. I started on this not too long ago...

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
Originally posted by ninja boy
... bowser having "destroyed" the mushroom kingdom ...


Wait what that makes no sense whatsoever.

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Good fucking bye.
well the squishing to move idea would really need more frames really it just depnds on how many frames the sprite has to begin with. you can do it with as little as 2 frames if done correctly.

the only problem i see is if you have the eyes move as the sprite moves then yes youd need more frames.

I have to ask though had sprite are you replacing with those?


~At goldensonic~
it does because that was the plot play the game again.
Well, I was planning on making a custom sprite so I could use more tiles, but if I can't figure out how to make a sprite animate between more than two tiles, then I guess I would take the easy way out and replace the shelless koopas.

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
Look up a tutorial on ExAnimation for sprites. That should help you out.
SMWC's official dentist since 2011.

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Originally posted by marioVSshadow
Look up a tutorial on ExAnimation for sprites. That should help you out.


Exanimation on a sprite really only works when it has 1 frame having more than 1 it kind of comes out weird.

~EDITED~
This is fairly rough and made with only 2 frames but this is what I was thinking of a squishing animation but as stated it's rough and tiny

Not that this is important, but the storyline sounds a bit like a altered version of Super Bobido World...

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Nixon's the one.
@ninja boy:
Well, that would look great as the placeholder, but obviously the final would have more frames.

@LemmyKoopa:
Super Bobido World? Never heard of it. What's it about?

EDIT: I'm currently thinking of a name I'll use for a company if I ever finish the game (the full, commercial, actual game version, obviously not my chocolate contest entry), how about "Gravity Games"?

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
Super Bobido World was a hack that was posted here once. It appareantly got rejected because it was a Terrible attempt at a hack.
But the storyline is that aliens come to dino land and kill Peach, Luigi and Bowser. The bobidos are the aliens. Anyways, Mario and Yoshi must travel through the Bobido's Demension to stop them.
That's a bit like your story line. Maybe you want to change it up a little bit?

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Nixon's the one.
Well, for one, the aliens don't really kill any major characters, two the hack was rejected, and three, I never have heard of it before. So I think I could more or less leave it the same.

Coincidently, the main villain has his own dimension, but the alternate dimension is pretty much just the bonus levels.

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Eh, sure. Why not? Kaizo hacking doesn't seem too ha-aaaaaaand I broke the ROM.
a games title should have at least something to do with the game how does "gravity games" relate to yours?
You should go on to youtube and type in "Super Bobido World"
Azureblade49 did a LP of it and has agreed to do Super Bobido World 2.

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Nixon's the one.
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