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What Makes a Good Kaizo Hack?
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Kaizo Hacks - What Makes a Good Kaizo Hack?
Pages: « 1 2 »
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 section.

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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Your layout has been removed.
yes but this doesn't apply to me as my hack is the best Kaizo hack ever made

Sadistic approves of this message. Recently I read somewhere that the diagonal dirt gets rather tiring, and upon seeing it again I agree. So in that last screenshot I would prefer it if that dirt diagonal was removed. Also there unfortunately is some cutoff in the last picture, at the left (where the pipe touches the ground). Perhaps you can change that last picture a lil', as it's a shame that an example post contains errors.

Other than that: great post! That last screenshot (with kirby music) would definitely spark my interests, whereas the first one almost looks offensive. And none of the level design/gameplay was changed, so there really isn't a reason not to make the changes mentioned above.

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Of course you should fight fire with fire, you should fight everything with fire.

Oooh look at my userbar!


Sadistic Designer - testing Pit without tools.
Originally posted by Sadistic Designer
yes but this doesn't apply to me as my hack is the best Kaizo hack ever made

Sadistic approves of this message. Recently I read somewhere that the diagonal dirt gets rather tiring, and upon seeing it again I agree. So in that last screenshot I would prefer it if that dirt diagonal was removed. Also there unfortunately is some cutoff in the last picture, at the left (where the pipe touches the ground). Perhaps you can change that last picture a lil', as it's a shame that an example post contains errors.


Yes I agree. Changing...

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Your layout has been removed.


Originally posted by ShadowDragon121

It should be noted that decoration should not be abused. While it's good to have, you should not spam crazy designs all over the level, as it just looks like you threw up the ground. You can leave a few decorations every so often, but this, for instance:


Don't do this. Seriously.

Professional frame-by-frame time wizard. YouTube - Twitter - SMW Glitch List - SMW Randomizer
I think a good Kaizo hack doesn't have to be 100% break free. Just as free from easy shortcuts as possible (by which I mean breaking the level using tricks and/or glitches that are already required in the hack). Sometimes breaking the level in a way that makes the intended solution seem easy can be fun to watch (like shadowdragon's TAP of the beta of MMD2 stage 1).
Here is a list of overused tricks we're all tired of seeing:
-Run under Clapping Chuck
-P-Switch and bridge of coins after the goal (classic Kaizo trap)
-Random invisible coin blocks
Kaizo 1, 2, and 3 can get away with these because when they came out they were original, and Kaizo 3 keeps up the tradition. Kaizo can get away with Flunchers because back then we didn't care about Flunchers or aesthetics. Now times have changed.
You are allowed to use the same/similar gimmick as another level. Just find a way to make it harder or not blatantly copy from said gimmick (I don't think I've seen anyone use a harder version of Kaizo 3 level 6's gimmick, nor have I seen Dino Torches used much. Just a couple suggestions.)
Some more tips:
-It's really hard to require block duplication and have it be (mostly) break free, so it's usually not a good idea to include it unless maybe you're making a pit hack. Turn block+P-Switch/key/shell=instant break factory!
-Related to the above, either use the block duplication fix patch or don't worry about it. The average player probably will not think of breaking the level with block duplication on their own. Unless it's required, of course.
-If you use the P-Balloon, use the P-Balloon fix patch so players can't cheat through the level. If you want it completely vanilla, either make it a left scrolling level or a vertical level.
-Try not to leave much room for error, if at all.
-Be careful if you include Yoshi due to Yoshi's long list of level breaking glitches that Sadistic often mentions. Try not to hand out free blue shells or power-ups too carelessly.
-This is really hard to do even for a talented designer like me, but try not to waste any space in the level design. Strive to fill as much empty space with challenges as you can.
-Related to the above, try to keep the player as busy as possible.
-Try to make the intended level solution thought provoking and restricting. Try not to make the level too open ended.
Originally posted by ShadowDragon121
DO NOT REPLACE THEM WITH GROUND, OR ELSE YOUR LEVEL WILL BE BROKEN.

What if the designer is one of those people who doesn't care if their level is breakable with wall-jumps since shell jumps are much easier? Also, no need for that if they apply the wall-jump fix patch. Wall-jumping is, IMO, too hard to even consider as something worth designing my level to prevent. I have managed to finally do a wall-jump without frame advance the other day, intentionally, but that doesn't mean that I want to do them out the wazoo (yet). Still, I think it should be up to the designer if they're willing to make efforts to prevent wall-jumps.

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Legacy custom music


How am I so creative? I think taking walks might have something to do with it.
Every single level I will ever make in SMM2 will be easier than Ultra Necrozma.
Originally posted by Thomas

Don't do this. Seriously.


That is true. Something can be overdecorated as well, which might distract the player.

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Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Sokobansolver

-It's really hard to require block duplication and have it be (mostly) break free


Truest statement I've ever heard. In some cases I don't think it's even possible to anti-break a vanilla level. The only thing you could do is just hope it isn't faster than the intended solution. But like you said, if the creator doesn't mind their hack being broken by a TASer that's fine, if it's just a Kaizo hack, then I wouldn't feel bad about having many unintentional walljump breaks at all, unless the intention is for players to play it normally, and you're anticipating a TAS as well.

For pit hacks, there is no excuse. Breaks are bad, and I don't know a single pit hack without any breaks (and that includes my own, regrettably, even with loads of custom blocks to prevent breaks, they still happen. grr.)

Back on topic, I edited a level from the very ugly but fun to play World of Dickish Moves, took 5 minutes to do:



Before on the right, my edit on the left. I've only added a tiny bit of scenery and made sure the colours go together, and I haven't even changed how the level plays whatsoever. Still vanilla.
Am I the only one that doesn't care about flunchers?

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Why not go to my Youtube channel?

Originally posted by InitialBN
Am I the only one that doesn't care about flunchers?

I don't have that strong of an opposition to flunchers. In fact, the only reason I don't use them in my hacks (well, almost never. See below) is because I don't wanna get scolded for using them, not because I know better. I just happen to think sideways Munchers and/or skull blocks look appealing too. What I don't like is large thick walls or structures made of flunchers.
Also:

Getting crap past the radar, much? Wait, do these even count as flunchers?

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Legacy custom music


How am I so creative? I think taking walks might have something to do with it.
Every single level I will ever make in SMM2 will be easier than Ultra Necrozma.
Originally posted by Sokobansolver
Originally posted by InitialBN
Am I the only one that doesn't care about flunchers?

I don't have that strong of an opposition to flunchers. In fact, the only reason I don't use them in my hacks (well, almost never. See below) is because I don't wanna get scolded for using them, not because I know better. I just happen to think sideways Munchers and/or skull blocks look appealing too. What I don't like is large thick walls or structures made of flunchers.
Also:

Getting crap past the radar, much? Wait, do these even count as flunchers?

I think so, but it looks better than stlunchers. But yeah if used properly flunchers can add to the feel of the hack. Overuse of stlunchers is just kind of stupid though.
Originally posted by Botcrazy
stlunchers

"stlunchers". You're serious. "stlunchers".


World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Originally posted by Botcrazy
stlunchers

"stlunchers". You're serious. "stlunchers".


mfw

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Why not go to my Youtube channel?

I would condone floating munchers if these conditions are met:

-The hack is completely vanilla
-There cannot be a tile anywhere adjacent to the muncher
-They are not stacked

If there is a long line of flunchers side by side, I'd say this isn't acceptable. If it's just 1 floating in midair, and cannot be changed with a floor or something, I'd accept it. I suppose using a skull block is only slightly better. With regarded to Sokoban's picture, I think they look pretty neat, better than repeated skull blocks. They could only be improved by something non vanilla, like ColonThree style muncher lines.
Originally posted by HoorayForJay
better than repeated skull blocks.

That's pretty much why I made it like that.

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Legacy custom music


How am I so creative? I think taking walks might have something to do with it.
Every single level I will ever make in SMM2 will be easier than Ultra Necrozma.
This isn't a really "What makes shit good" thread, feels inaccurate.
Originally posted by KY2010
This isn't a really "What makes shit good" thread, feels inaccurate.


It's more of a "how to not make shit things", so you can use your own judgement to make it better. Stflcrxbhlrunchers looking bad is almost a unanimous opinion, whereas prettiness is mostly down to personal preference.
Sometime new comers scroll by these threads to learn how to make good hacks/kaizo hacks, just in case there is one viewing this, u can get custom blocks and more info from that menu to the right or left, (whatever u configured) yea make good use of that ^_^
I am currently making a Kaizo hack (Mario's Deadly Adventure), and I like to see that I'm staying in the boundaries.

A dino torch level sounds good...

But...

How?

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Try my Kaizo hack!

I am a Bug Tester, Play Tester, and Proofreader.

Will accept other hacks.

Currently Testing: Nothing!

PM me if you want your hack tested.
Well, I don't find floating munchers that bad.



This looks fine.

Structures and thick walls made out of munchers?

I don't like that.

Thin walls, like the picture above, are acceptable.

As long as the animated parts of two munchers aren't touching.



That image is fine. It really is.

The munchers are all on the ground, and the animated parts don't touch.

The only problem is the munchers in the top row, which should be flipped.

Also the giant "NO" made by removing pipe tiles. Anyways...

A long line of munchers is okay with me, as long as the animated parts don't touch.



This image is not fine.

The animated parts of munchers are touching other munchers.

That will always be bad.

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9205/supermarioworldu00006.png

I'm fine with this image. Diagonal dirt is okay and I rarely see it.

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Try my Kaizo hack!

I am a Bug Tester, Play Tester, and Proofreader.

Will accept other hacks.

Currently Testing: Nothing!

PM me if you want your hack tested.
Originally posted by Dipalon
Also the giant "NO" made by removing pipe tiles.

Actually this screenshot isn't meant to be in a hack at all. And that giant "NO" is to show what shouldn't be in a Kaizo hack. Besides, jumping between muncher after muncher is waaaaaaay annoying IMO.
Quote
The animated parts of munchers are touching other munchers.

Yes, but there are also stacked munchers as well, and I think replacing their huge wall with death blocks should solve the problem.
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