Briefing: You'll be designing the second level of the hack - a two-exit level located in world 1. You might want to play "Girder Grasslands" for some inspiration. The theme is grasslands, with some factory aspects mixed in. Consider introducing the player to some different enemies not seen in the first level, but those which could still be considered at a world 1 difficulty.
Lots of enemies in SMW can be dangerous to new players. When introducing new enemies that Girder Grasslands did not show, be sure to allow the player time to see and react to how the enemies act. For example, Girder Grasslands introduced the Spiny, but always put them in places that the player could bypass them. This level could possibly add them in the main path of the player, making the player have to actively avoid them instead of taking another route.
This level also introduces the concept of secret exits. At this point in the game, a secret exit that has the player carry the key through a majority of the level is not okay. Ease the player into the idea of carrying the key to the keyhole, but also introduce the idea that secret exits should be a little bit tricky to find in comparison to the normal exit.
I had a couple ideas for this level, that I think would work out pretty well.
-This would be the introduction to lakitu. He wouldn't be a nuisance, as there would be blocks to hide under a la SMB
-The level will be somewhat athletic, taking place in girders between plateu-type landmasses
-There would be water involved... as well as (in some small segments) lava. there would be pipes sticking out pumping water/lava into areas. the lava would be small (as in, mostly there to show both liquids are being pumped), the player would be warned firsthand about it, and they would rarely be allowed to get close enough to touch it, however, water will be swam through in short bursts. It's athletic, it's staying athletic.
-Maybe Plateu Pumps, or Jump Jump Pumps! for the level name. I'm bad at names :V
If you are going to introduce Lakitu, I'd advise you to use a fishing lakitu, so he won't be too annoying, but don't put him at the begining of the level because the players will start farming 1-ups if you do. Also, since you will be using a lot of pipes in this level, maybe you should introduce the pipe lakitus as well.
As for the name I'd suggest something like Pipe Platead or Lakitu Landmasses (not sure if the second one will fit though), otherwise, Plateu Pumps is a good name too.
I haven't had much a chance to work on it due to being busy recently with university and stuff coming up, but I should have some free time this weekend before my first day (oh boy!) so expect to see more.
I also need some waterfall/lavafall graphics I guess, and I'll have to make some pipes with lava/water corners? I'll probably just make an ExGFX set of them with sharp corners.
It's nowhere near done yet, and I'm planning on fleshing it out by putting more between the first water pumping area and the midpoint, and hopefully there will be a bonus area too.
I also want to make an area where the player has to climb vertically around water pumps. I think that would be pretty fun somewhere in the middle/near the end.
Not a bad start. There should be some waterfall graphics floating around somewhere in the ROM (or at least, there was a tileset at one point that had them). Just remember that this is the second main level of the hack, so it shouldn't be overly long, nor should it be overly complicated. What you have going so far seems nice.
I haven't really had much a chance to work on it due to school starting up, but I got a couple ideas about how to actually implement my original ideas, so it should be good, and I should be able to do more work on it this weekend.
Also, an extra section (maybe a sublevel, not sure if I want to use one) just for one of the SMWCP coins, sorta like the Star Coin rooms in NSMBWii
This feels much more like the second level of the hack than the first submission for this did. I'm very pleased that you've not only managed to introduce elements of water and fire, but also Lakitus and Hammer Bros. in a way that is not too extreme. Strangely enough though, I was only able to find one SMWC coin (directly over the lava), so I'd make the other two quite a bit less hidden.
Couple of general screens:
I'd move this message box to the left two tiles. I found myself bumping it while trying to jump across pretty consistently.
The SMWC Coins actually rely on using tiles from the diagonal pipes, so you'll have to remove this or else it'll end up getting eaten by the coins. Just add a small girder formation in its place or something.
Well, I have screenshots, but photobucket is being asshat to me at the moment. Anyways, I'm seeing a lot of cut-offness with the water and lava that is suppose to be flowing from the pipes. But I see you are requesting gfx for that so I'll ignore that for now
Also near the beginning at the first encounter of the Lakitus, there is a trail of coins in the sky the lead down toward a pit. Maybe move these coins over a bit.
Other than that, I think everything else has been mentioned already
Haven't tested any levels in a while, so I thought I'd try this.
One thing I'd like to point out is that the first half feels a bit empty if you defeat the lakitu. I think having no more than a lakitu worked in SMB3 because you were given less chances to trounce them in that game, but here you're giving players an easy way to kill the lakitu (and ride its cloud, no less!) at the very beginning of the stage, and then there are pretty much no other enemies, so I'm worried it could become boring. Maybe you could add some parakoopas here and there, or something like that?
I like how you place turn blocks to give players some cover, and the water pipes mix things up in a way that's reminiscent of a secret level from TSRP2 whose name I can't recall...but anyway, good choices all-around.
Another thing you should be careful about is spinies falling into those gaps between pipes, since they can eat up sprite slots quickly and make other sprites, like that Hammer Bro or sometimes even the piranha plants, disappear.
I feel like the lakitu on screen 12 is a bit too high (read: off camera), and trying to predict where the spinies will fall seems a tad much for the second level in the game, but that might just be me.
Oh, and since you make players do a bit of walking/climbing in the secret exit area, I wonder whether you should add a couple of enemies there, too.
Overall though, gotta agree with S.N.N. that this level introduces some important concepts without going overboard on difficulty, so good work.