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Super Mario Star Road 2 (Progress Thread)

Super Mario Star Road 2 aims to include over 240 stars, 40+ high quality levels, advanced assembly programming, and a fully new soundtrack. The first preview will show you the bonus level "Sound-Step Seas", featuring Beat-Block and Note-Block behaviors. New enemies may be introduced to the level further into development.

Development of the first level and preview has taken a rather lengthy amount of time, this is due to spending much of last year programming multiplayer and other technical modifications.

Preview One

Well I am speechless. I new milestone for SM64 hacking this game sounds like it will be huge, pat yourself on the back good sir.
Is Skelux Going to add a toad house shop, where you can buy stuff with stars.
I promise to never cancel my hacks
How are you considering scope, a great 120 star hack tends to take people over a year to make and you seem to be proposing double that. I don't like the idea of yourself burning out because of a hack that's 10x more ambitious then is actually reasonable.

A new 240 star hack from you though with everything you learned last year would probably extend the bar for future hacks off the roof. Especially if they all look as gorgeous and polished as that prevew level.

Good luck
As others have said, this looks absolutely phenomenal. The amount of work you put into this must've been no doubt immense, and lemme tell you, it's paying off. This first preview alone has me super stoked!
How is it that you can say you want complex characters, and you want depth in video games, and you want art in video games, and you want them to compete with movies and novels, and yet anytime somebody tries to fucking insert anything that's above and beyond some 2D cutout, you flip your shit because it's not being handled in the way YOU want it to be handled in? Art and entertainment [aren't] always comfortable; they're not meant to be. Sometimes, they're meant to invoke or provoke different emotions and reactions. - Internet Aristocrat
It's so beautifull. It somehow even felt a bit nostalgic. :D

Originally posted by Vinnyboiler
How are you considering scope, a great 120 star hack tends to take people over a year to make and you seem to be proposing double that. I don't like the idea of yourself burning out because of a hack that's 10x more ambitious then is actually reasonable.

A new 240 star hack from you though with everything you learned last year would probably extend the bar for future hacks off the roof. Especially if they all look as gorgeous and polished as that prevew level.

Good luck


The second set of 120 stars will be in a sort of "special world" you unlock where everything is much more difficult.
It's going to be a blast. I'm psyched to support this project from now on! ^^
SUPER CRASH TIME YEAH!
Originally posted by Skelux
Originally posted by Vinnyboiler
How are you considering scope, a great 120 star hack tends to take people over a year to make and you seem to be proposing double that. I don't like the idea of yourself burning out because of a hack that's 10x more ambitious then is actually reasonable.

A new 240 star hack from you though with everything you learned last year would probably extend the bar for future hacks off the roof. Especially if they all look as gorgeous and polished as that prevew level.

Good luck


The second set of 120 stars will be in a sort of "special world" you unlock where everything is much more difficult.


Does your scrolling textures code automatically scroll lava and waterfall textures?
I promise to never cancel my hacks
I want this so much, I am really excited for this and hyped that your are going to do your best in this. I already loved SMSR because it felt so nostalgic and had very fun gameplay (except for those darn bees...).

I really hope this time you do get to make a wii wad port of this because playing playing in Wii64 wasn't always the most optimal choice (I played frame by frame in the last world). Anyway, best of luck to you and whoever is involved with this project, and I can't wait to try out anything that appears!
I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...
All I have is 3 words.

This kicks freaking ass!

My question is:

Where did you get all of your textures/graphics?

Did you make them yourself of rip them from other games?

-Final
I'll post my review of Super Mario Star Road here, because it contains some advice which I really hope is taken into account when the next game is being developed.

There are two parts of a developer's mind. The creative/technical side, and the fun side. The creative/technical side is in charge of making good and creative concepts for stages, as well as executing the code to make it happen. The fun side is in charge of balancing out the creative/technical side, to make not just the scenery of the level itself pretty, but to ensure that the level doesn't become too frustrating and feels fair, feels either challenging or easy for the right reasons. Sometimes, this balance isn't quite met. Look at the Link to the Past hack Parallel Worlds, for instance. While technically impressive, thanks to all the pixel-perfect precision through spikes and enemies, it's terrible, harrowing, and just not fun to play. This is the problem with the hardcore "hacker" mentality, I've noticed. Hacks are most often praised for doing novel new things with the engine, bending it at their knee, and making it do something, regardless of whether or not it's actually a good idea. I worry sometimes that there’s a bit too much developer in their blood, and not enough gamer. It isn't mere happenstance that Brutal Mario, a Super Mario World hack known mostly for its bosses and fancy ASM tricks, is the most downloaded and sought after game on Super Mario World Central. Meanwhile, if somebody comes along and makes a game with extraordinary level design, but doesn't use custom graphics to pretty it up or ASM to make new things, it will most likely be lost in the endless sea of underrated and underplayed hacks, which is all too unfortunate.

As a technical/graphical showcase, this game is astounding. Each world brims with creativity, and along your quest you'll explore a candy/toy themed stage, a space stage, a stage comprised of musical instruments, and just about all of the stages look fantastic with a level of creativity and whimsicalness in your design to a degree I haven't seen since Little Nemo the Dream Master on the NES. You truly do take the engine and use it to explore some excellent ideas. You do have a very creative mind, and you put it to some superb use to make a very, very charming set of stages.

Yet, there's an actual game here. And as a game, I hate to say it, but this feels like it needed to stew a bit longer and have more people test it before releasing it. You have such creative and charming concepts that I wanted to like it, I really did, but the level design requires too much precision using techniques that, simply put, shouldn't be used. The difficulty of a jump should come from timing and aim, not trying to make Mario pull a convoluted maneuver off in a space that discourages said move in every possible way. I can't count the number of times I'd have to execute a triple jump within a very confined space and where, if I missed, I'd either be killed or tumble down from a large structure and have to replay ten minutes worth of level, complete with the difficult jumps leading to that point, over again. I'd have to execute a side somersault/wall jump given only a tiny little line in which to pull it off. And then, I'd usually have a bunch of other ridiculously hard maneuvers after that, which, if I slipped up on a single one, I'd have to, again, start the stage over again and have to pull off the steps before that all over again, and if I miss one of those, guess what? There's a reason we don't see situations such as needing to use a wall jump to extend your jump distance, executing a series of reverse somersaults, executing a perfect long jump, in the actual Super Mario 64. That isn't fun. That isn't challenging. I'm sorry, but with how slippery Mario tends to be in his first 3D debut as opposed to his 2D installments, that's punishing, tedious, and makes the game feel like it was built purely for aesthetic appeal, while playability was more of an afterthought.

For one example of what really should have been changed before release, and for reference of what you should really avoid in the future, there's one stage in the tree world in which Mario has to hit a switch which causes a crate to appear above a lily pad to enable you to reach a star. The trick is, the crate is only there temporarily, and you have to long jump from lily pad to lily pad (which sink into the water when you stand on them, making long jumping from lily pad to lily pad very, very difficult) in order to reach the final lily pad, reverse somersault on the crate and jump to the star before time runs out. The final lily pad also evilly has a blossom on it with absolutely screwy collision detection that causes Mario to slide around, which makes it even more difficult to pull that stunt off. And, of course, you can still break the crate and have to restart the stage. That's a stage that really should've been ironed out and tested more. It's a stage that actively plays to Mario's disadvantages, and it doesn't feel challenging. It feels annoying and it actively feels like the game wants to turn you off from playing it.

For the sequel, Super Mario Star Road 2, here's my advice. Play Super Mario 64. Then, play it again. Think about what it requests of players, and how the player moves around its environment as opposed to that of the original Star Road. You might notice that simple jumps are the tool of choice, and are most often your main method of transportation, while more advanced moves such as the reverse somersault, the side somersault, the long jump, the wall jump, are very rarely required to proceed, and if they are, they allot the player a margin for error. This game… doesn’t. If you do require that these moves be made, give the player a safety net if they can't pull off one of the more tricky maneuvers so that they don't have to backtrack through the entire level, and more importantly, give the player enough room for error, at least in the early parts, that absolute precision isn't required. Don't focus on being clever, and please don’t focus on making it look pretty, don't focus on putting on a show. Focus on making the game playable. Yes, the toy theme/space theme/music theme was cool, but the charm amounts to absolutely nothing if the design is painfully annoying. I apologize that I didn’t enjoy Star Road too much, but I did like its ideas, and I can tell from what I’ve played that you have the ability to do better.

That said, you're free to take as much or as little of my advice as you wish, and I suspect that I'll garner a bit of flak from some of the others in the thread for coming across as negative, but that's the price that must be paid.
I appreciate your feedback.

I have been addressing difficulty issues in SMSR while porting it to DS. The DS port was originally going to be a minor side project, but now I am thinking I may be more inclined to consider it the true completed release of the game, playable on real hardware with refined level design and gameplay. The only issue that deters me is the inability to program in all of the custom behaviors and such which largely make up some of the more unique stages in the game.
I actually didn't quite feel the difficulty crunch on Star Road nearly as much as I did in Super Mario 74, so I didn't think it was too terribly difficult (Still used savestates though, sparingly, there were some fairly hard 100 coin/red coin stars, and the hidden level is fairly guilty of what Din described, actually, especially the last major jump)

But that's not the main reason I posted, actually, I just wanted to stress that you really test the everloving crap out of SR2. I only say this because I've played quite a few SM64 hacks...not all of them, certainly, but quite a few, and although they had their fair share of bugs, I found Star Road to have quite a few annoying ones.

Ones where you get stuck in geometry in particular, and have no way to escape without resetting, I have gotten stuck in the vase for World 2, I have ended up going through the Lighthouse in the coral diving level (The boat never spawned for me either in star 2, had to use a shyguy near the surface of the water to spin onto the platform), and in the star where you have to pound the ground to break the floor to get to it, I ended up smashing through into the lava on accident no less than three times because the turning animation of the ground pound destroyed the first floor (And I wasn't pounding immediately after the jump either!)


Little glitches like that made Star Road a bit more frustrating to me than the other hacks, even though Star Road has some of the most creative and interesting level design I've seen in SM64 hacks. I know you won't let that many bugs slip by you this time though, Skelux, since you've grown a lot more as a hacker in the time since Star Road initially came out. I'm not trying to be hostile or anything either, I'm waiting with bated breath for Star Road 2, but I figured since I signed up here anyways I might as well bring the issue to your attention.
About ground pounding the floor into the lava, I think your actually suppose to ground pound near the edge of the breakable ground so mario can grab the ledge after the floor breaks.

I too am eagerly waiting for star road 2 and I agree with mogwaimon,
testing your game is crucial and I have no calms about waiting longer in order for you to do so.
I've fixed the ground pound panels in the final SMSR update patch which fixes all remaining noteworthy glitches. It will be up soon.
Oh wow, haha, I had no idea there was an update for it! I thought Deluxe was it, honestly =P I already beat Star Road so I'll probably wait either for 2 or the DS version if you're still working on that, thanks for fixing that stuff for future players though.

Actually just as an aside, in the DS version of Star Road....well it's sort of out of place but just curious, do you get to play as the extra characters or is it Mario only?

Alright, I'm gonna fade back into obscurity now and wait patiently for Star Road 2. It's gonna be pretty sick in a few years when it's finally out, haha
Originally posted by mogwaimon
Oh wow, haha, I had no idea there was an update for it! I thought Deluxe was it, honestly =P I already beat Star Road so I'll probably wait either for 2 or the DS version if you're still working on that, thanks for fixing that stuff for future players though.

Actually just as an aside, in the DS version of Star Road....well it's sort of out of place but just curious, do you get to play as the extra characters or is it Mario only?

Alright, I'm gonna fade back into obscurity now and wait patiently for Star Road 2. It's gonna be pretty sick in a few years when it's finally out, haha


Final update for SMSR is up, I'm dropping support for it now unless there is a serious issue in this most recent version.

SMSRDS will arrive much sooner than Star Road 2, including several new levels and the extra characters. I really have no idea how long SMSR2 will take, only that I intend to finish it eventually. Chances are I'll pick up another side project if I finish off SMSRDS.
I will at least provide the counter opinion that I actually enjoy both exploring/discovering as well as doing really hard jumps. Super Mario 74 Extreme Edition (for example) obviously has a much smaller target audience than SMSR, but there is certainly a lot of fun to be had in both types of games.