The strand of bad hacks has gone on too long, and it's time to settle it here. I will be addressing problems that too many hacks have, and things to improve on. Hopefully this will enlighten some hackers so that they have that "oh hey" moment.
First off, floating munchers: GONE. NO ONE LIKES FLOATING MUNCHERS. They look extremely unprofessional, cutoffy, and inform the player that you are just too lazy to do something with them. Don't give me the excuse that you are creating vanilla hacks; you can modify/create new tiles within the map16 tile editor. Here's a good example:
This image makes me vomit (almost). This level has a few aspects of bad design, and it's not even a screen long. I will address them one by one. We'll start off by saying, create something to eliminate the stacked munchers. Unless you want to have your level broken, I would advise you not to replace them with ground. Instead, the most common way of fixing this is using a cannon's branching tiles and making them act as munchers (tile 12F). This example looks a bit better, and it only took a second:
Exanimation wouldn't hurt either for sideways munchers. Next, I'll address the palette. The palette is unchanged, and plainly dull. How about we change that to a nice light yellow?
See? Looks significantly better. The palette could still be improved, but it's a lot easier to get sucked into a hack with good palettes.
Next is music. It isn't necessary, but it's a nice touch. Throw in a bit of kirby's athletic music for this palette to match, and you're set. There are still a couple of problems.
Another major problem is people spamming cement blocks. The nice forest found with spammage of cement blocks? Not in a good hack. Good hackers take time to go the extra mile, and eliminate all dull/plain looking tiles. Our result is this:
Nice. It's already looking better than just flunchers and cement blocks. There's one more thing we can do to spice this up a bit. Mix in some scenery into your "hack soup." Create multiple tiles with the 8x8 tile editor. Keep in mind that this is a completely vanilla hack:
Beautiful. This is the type of hack I would play. Not only does it look nice without the dull aspects, but it also goes beyond a normal hacker's design standpoint. The black tower that connects to the piranha plant still stands out a bit, so you might want to use custom GFX to change that, or, like I said before, Exanmation for sideways munchers.
Now, at this point, you're probably thinking, "this isn't for kaizo hacks, though, it's just for regular hacking design." That is true, but, in my opinion, scenery for kaizo/pit hacks is significantly important, because most people get a 'bad level design' feeling when they hear about kaizo hacks, because they think about hacks such as, well, the original kaizo. Also, many people need to think about breaks in their hacks, even if they intend for the average player to play it. Work shows, my friend.
Now, getting to the kaizo parts of level design. Include a variety of things. This doesn't have to be just glitches. Of course, glitches are always good to include in kaizo types of hacks, but, make sure you keep in mind the people who are going to play your hack. If you want the average kaizo player to play your hack, don't throw in a corner clip because you think it would be challenging. Use a good amount of precision jumps, but keep it to the ratio to the size of the hack. If you have a giant hack, it's good to have a good amount of precision jumps, but a small hack that just ourtright abuses them is bad. Do not include shelljumps just to have shelljumps. If the player keeps doing the same shelljumps over and over again, they get bored. If you are to include a level based around this, do a variety of them.
Do I really need to mention walljump/corner clip breaks?
Think of several clever puzzles. If people play something, and then see it over and over again, you are significantly lesser likely to have a played hack. I don't mean one small precision jump or shelljump; what I do mean is a section of a hack. Puzzles and ideas that are new spark interest in viewers, that might soon become players. Also, put in some ASM and include puzzles with that. The fact of puzzles using something that not everyone has seen before are more interesting (most of the time) than those of regularly used and seen sprites/items. Create your own things, which you actually know to the full extent. However, if you are like Sokobansolver and like to get clever with vanilla blocks/sprites/glitches, then those are enjoyable as well. If you are to, try to use things that were underused in other hacks/the original SMW.
DO NOT SAY THAT YOUR HACK IS THE BEST THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE. NO ONE LIKES A BRAGGART.
Questions and Answers:
Q: Is my hack pit or kaizo?
A: It could be both, actually. Most of the time the two can be defined by whether or not slowdowns are needed.
Q: Is one fluncher ok?
A: If you can avoid it, whatever it be, please do so to attract most to all kaizo players. If, for some reason, it cannot be avoided (Most likely not) I guess you should hide it as much as possible.
Q: How do I find a good palette?
A: It's really about shading. Paletting believe it or not can take a while. Remember that control + rightclick and leftclick can copy/paste palettes.
Q: How do I insert items outside of lunar magic?
A: You can find tutorials in the documents
section. Insert items, whether it be music, blocks, sprites, patches, or graphics, with programs made and put in the tools
Q: How do I know if my hack is good?
A: First of all, if you're asking yourself about whether or not your hack looks nice, you probably need to improve it, but if you feel unsure, give it to a tester/hack experimenter (such as me) and they will give you some things to improve on and what they thought after playing it.
Well, that's all for now. Tell me if you want anything added to this, if you want me to change anything, or if you have any questions.
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