Well, anywhere in that vicinity is probably a good idea. I'd like to try making the current entrance a bit more noticeable first- if the tiny bridge isn't enough of a hint, maybe I can move the bridge up by one to make it visible for slightly longer as players pass it, or something equivalent.
It would help to get some feedback from people who've never seen the level before, too, so maybe I'll make a post in the general testing thread...
The entrance to the secret path and the second coin were definitely "need to look n Lunar Magic" moments for me as well. And I actually did look for false walls in quite a few places--just not in any of those, due, as noted, to a lack of anything that really made them in the least bit conspicuous. Perhaps your ideas might work, though, as you suggest, it might be necessary to get fresh opinions on them, since we already have insider knowledge, making us unreliable judges...
I'm fine with re-traversing part of the level once, put it could get annoying after multiple tries, especially considering the secret path is (unsurprisingly) rather a bit trickier than the main path. But...why not just put your old second midpoint at the beginning? Who says those things only have to be used for longer levels? I always found myself, for instance, wishing for an extra midpoint at the start of the secret paths in TSRP2--it makes sense to apply the same principle here, when it's essentially an alternate second half of the level.
As far as optimization goes, I think we can by all mens still do something there, for while there aren't any major repeating patterns, there's a few common two-block combinations, which could cut the number of objects down by a non-negligible amount, if nothing else. Some optimization is better than none at all, after all.
By the by, on a purely æsthetic note, that Fire Chomp looks remarkably goofy and harmless with that O-mouth and no teef. I suspect the mirthless, toothy grin is an essential part of the Chomp's character...
I was thinking about putting the second midpoint at the beginning of the secret path, too- I guess I will do that after all.
I'm kind of ambivalent as to what fire chomp graphics to use...maybe this is just something I'll leave up to the collab members as a whole. If we can't reach a consensus, though, I'd rather just use the original graphics.
The only thing that worries me about optimization is Map16 space, since there's also the issue of whether to have sandstone variants that have the corners filled in (in which case I would need a ton of duplicates, unless I'm missing something)...but again, I'll leave this up to whoever's willing to optimize it.
Well, I don't know if first-time players will be rushing past everything without killing enemies, but if enough people cite slowdown on screens 6-7 as an issue, I'll remove an enemy or two, yeah.
For future reference, some things that would be nice:
-Munchers that are safe from the sides
-LevelASM (?) for sublevel 174, to prevent 1up farming on the ropes (or will this be a global change?)
-Second midway entrance at the beginning of the secret path (174)
-Mario's cape colors after the apex of flight are screwed up...?
-Sparabuzzy <-> Yoshi tongue interaction...?
The 1-up farming thing will be a global change. The muncher issue should probably be a global change too, but I don't know how that would effect other levels. Mario's cape flight frames iirc are not finished yet
I should have something witty to put here (even if it's just to update dated info), shouldn't I?
Posted this in the IRC and in this topic since it was the level I used for my experimenting. Basically I made an edited version of the Layer 3 background in Opulent Oasis so it can be carried over to- hopefully- the rest of the desert levels. The issues and TO-DO things I've ran into with this are:
- Conflicts with the LevelASM code in (sub)level 101 causing something to always not comply (bricks won't shatter), fixed BG position, etc.
- HDMA gradients for all of the other levels, with Scorching Sepulcher being the most complicated to deal with. (May have to use ladida's for that level instead.)
Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if the file containing the graphics were actually easy to tile up.
I played this in the 2-6-13 base, and it looks like the new background still needs to be inserted for sublevels 16D, 16F, and 174? The palette for 174 seems messed up, too.
Since 175 is an interior area, I'm not sure whether I want the sandstorm sprite used there. Even if there are gaps in the brickwork, I feel like that area should provide at least some shelter from the storm, though I guess I'm fine either way. The same could be said of 16E, in a "the storm has passed" sort of way.
I've also noticed much more slowdown than there was back when I originally built and tested the stage. Is this due to the sandstorm sprite, or some other factor/issue in the baseROM?
I remembered something else: if they aren't already, I'd like for the munchers in this stage to only hurt Mario from the top, and not from the sides.
I don't believe that's the case, but even then, why have it that way? Since Munchers are intended to be enemies, and enemies hurt from any side. Only the spikes hurt from their specific side in the hack.
Also Fakedit: I only just noticed that that post is from May. Too lazy to delete what I've already typed so bumping.
Minish Yoshi sent us a modified version of Jewel Jubilation with a few design tweaks to reduce its unfair difficulty, and the level is now in porting process. I'm also doing some other changes - mainly related to the obnoxious, extremely well-hidden path to the secret exit and the third SMWC coin located in it, which makes no sense to have it outside the regular route. I'm also going to nerf the floating flames that shoot fireballs by reducing their fire spawning rate and reducing its moving speed.
Summing up, all it needs now is more playtesting (the level will be available when the next base ROM update arrives).