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A Grand Day Out (Limestone Lowlands)
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - A Grand Day Out (Limestone Lowlands)
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Ok, finally making a thread for this.

The last time I made a full-length hack, I was trying to push the boundaries of "difficult but fair" while keeping the game pretty minimalistic in terms of resources used. That was five years ago.

This time around, I'm trying to make something that appeals to a wider audience, and makes more use of the resources and advances we've gathered since then. I'm probably only going to work on it when I'm in the mood, so you shouldn't always expect frequent updates, but now that I've made the decision to do it, quitting halfway is unlikely, even if that's easy for me to say at the outset.

The hack makes several changes to SMW in order to remove superfluous penalties and irritating situations. Lives never decrease, powerdowns are tiered a la SMB3, every level offers a save prompt, and the item box grants you powerups instantly instead of dropping them. Capes and yoshis will also be in abundance, unlike my last project. Oh, and I'll be using multiple midway points, too.

I could go on, but there's plenty of time to talk about the finer details. I'll keep this first post updated with videos and screenshots.

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Videos:

Summersun Shoals (Part 1)
Summersun Shoals (Part 2)

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Screenshots:

Summersun Shoals


Limestone Lowlands


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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
This looks pretty cool, especially with the classic piranha plants and the custom palettes, and also the multi-coloured dolphins. Can't wait to play it!

Layout base code by Tahixham
pm me if you want to know what my location stands for.
No of users who have asked me: 3
Just took a look on the images and watched the video, I got amazed after it. I like your level design style, palettes are also looking very nice. I find cool the usage of multi-coloured dolphins in the level and other custom resources (such as nippers, classic piranha plants and those plataforms that reminds me NSMBWii). I have not much to say for now, since I only saw the first part of the level.

But regarding how great RttC was, I'm sure this hack will be great too, or even better, so keep it up!
Thanks for the support!

Finishing the second half of Summersun Shoals didn't take as long as I thought:

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Video
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This nipper doesn't pose much of a threat at first...


...but it hinders retreating from the first venus trap.


Timing becomes a bit more important here, but you can also use the lower empty pipe to your advantage if you're having trouble.


Venus traps with gold heads spit two fireballs. Hopefully this will serve as a nice teaser for what later levels might use.

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Loving the concept of using different coloured enemies :3
As for the level design it's clear its been well thought out with every enemy placement and position ;D

Can't wait to see more! -watches-
Nice palettes you got there! Also, I saw the video and loved your design. Can't wait to see more levels.

Currently: Bringing back the footer I had in 2013.
That's looking really good so far. Your level design is really good and I really like the nipper plant gimmick thingy and the way you used it. I like the multi-colored dolphins although I'm not sure about the golden venus plant, but besides that and the yellow midway/goal spots the palettes look pretty neat for me.

I have not much to say about the general hack, but if your levels keep like that it will sure be awesome, and I'm sure you won't disappoint. Good luck!



As the others already said, it looks very good and well-thought out (but after RttC this was to be expected #ab{;)} )
Overall I like the clever integration of sprites into the level design. The sprites are a part of it instead of just being there.

I'm surprised you use the "gold" piranha plants that early, though. But I assume in future levels it will always depend on the situation in the levels wether you use the red or gold ones? Just asking, because if you plan to replace the red ones, I'd say the gold ones appear too early.

Other than that I only have one suggestion: Make a custom goal point with flipped graphics (both the goal and the sprite) - in it's current form I think it looks kind of odd, like Mario is getting it from behind, which it shouldn't.

Edit: On second thought: I just realised flipping the graphics for the tape won't be enough - you'd have to deal with the disassembly of the tape, changing the tilemap there if you want to archieve that. #ab{<_<}

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When I saw your item box patch, I thought you were just simply editing Rise to the Challenge but obviously not. It is looking great and hopefully won't be too difficult as was the case in RttC.
i like the fact that it has a lot of custom palettes.

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Currently: Starting college!
Originally posted by Everest
When I saw your item box patch, I thought you were just simply editing Rise to the Challenge but obviously not. It is looking great and hopefully won't be too difficult as was the case in RttC.


I actually also thought this was going to be a remake of Rise to the Challenge.

I myself wasn't that huge of a fan of RTTC. It was definitely well designed from a graphics, music, and overworld point of view, as well as having an interesting story... but it was way too difficult to be enjoyable IMO.

I am VERY glad to hear that you are going to use Multiple Mid-way Points. While I know that this hack is going to be for a wider audience, if there is any difficult levels towards the end, at-least there will be more than one mid-point.

The level design looks interesting so far. Funnily enough, the level you've shown reminds me a lot of RTTC's first level, with obvious changes. Your palette work is pretty darn good, as is your general graphic work (that's the one part of RTTC I loved - you did great decorative work with original SMW graphics, without going overboard on decoration).

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

- BlackMageMario
Whoa, lots of feedback o:

Originally posted by Koopster
I'm not sure about the golden venus plant, but besides that and the yellow midway/goal spots the palettes look pretty neat for me.

Yeah, I was thinking maybe they both stood out a little too much, so I've been tweaking the palette a bit since then. Thanks for pointing it out!

Originally posted by FPI
I'm surprised you use the "gold" piranha plants that early, though. But I assume in future levels it will always depend on the situation in the levels wether you use the red or gold ones? Just asking, because if you plan to replace the red ones, I'd say the gold ones appear too early.

Now that I think on it some more, the next few levels probably won't have venus traps at all, so players will probably forget about them for a while...so yeah, I probably should introduce the gold ones later on. Good point!

Originally posted by FPI
Other than that I only have one suggestion: Make a custom goal point with flipped graphics (both the goal and the sprite) - in it's current form I think it looks kind of odd, like Mario is getting it from behind, which it shouldn't.

Edit: On second thought: I just realised flipping the graphics for the tape won't be enough - you'd have to deal with the disassembly of the tape, changing the tilemap there if you want to archieve that. #ab{<_<}

Yeah, I thought it looked a bit odd too. I'd like to change it, but since I'm using a couple of patches that hijack the goal routine in several places (Bidirectional Goal, Score Bonus Fix), I may or may not have to make the goal tape disassembly compatible with those...so for now, I'll just put it on the "to do list," but thanks for bringing it up! I'll get around to it eventually :b

Originally posted by BlackMageMario
I am VERY glad to hear that you are going to use Multiple Mid-way Points. While I know that this hack is going to be for a wider audience, if there is any difficult levels towards the end, at-least there will be more than one mid-point.

It's definitely something I wish I had back then, since RttC had so many levels with three major sections. Plus, now I can have separate sets of checkpoints for secret paths.

Originally posted by BlackMageMario
Funnily enough, the level you've shown reminds me a lot of RTTC's first level, with obvious changes.

Yeah, that's intentional; you may have noticed the ground palettes are inverses of each other (orange<-->yellow), just as the approaches they take to designing a first level are totally different :b


Thanks, everyone!

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Ok, so next up is Limestone Lowlands, a shallow rocky area near the coast at sunset or late afternoon. I worked on the FG/BG palette today:



The duller-colored stones will be faux background blocks, so I can build convincing stone structures like I did in Jewel Jubilation for SMWCP2. I think I'll have to draw some alternate tiles to get thin stones (1*x) to look right, though.

As for enemies, it will probably use some combination of bullet bills, dino rhinos, jumping piranha plants, chargin' chucks, and bouncing green koopas. I've never really liked how fast SMW bullet bills are, especially compared to the ones in NSMB games, so I might globally make them a bit slower...we'll see.

Oh, I forgot to mention I might be using switch palace blocks in this project, too. Or at least, I've already applied the "All Switch Blocks Have Powerups" patch, so they're there if I need them. I think I need to lay out a skeletal structure for the overworld soon, though, so I can plan which levels have secret exits. In RttC I had more of those than I knew what to do with ^_^;


I think that's all for now. Stay tuned!

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Oh wow, You are making me so jealous with those palettes! Amazing work, Don't give up on this!

Currently: Bringing back the footer I had in 2013.
Nicely done with the palettes there. The dark clouds in the background are also nicely done which is quite strange for me since I always go for a whitish color there and never bother with other colors. I will wait for some more previews of the level before offering my comments on this.
AxemJinx should be the palette master! #smw{;)}

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Currently: Starting college!
The palette here looks nice, but I'm not really liking the dirt colors here. The dark color used on the 'shadows' doesn't really fit well with the other colors, and the 'dirt spots' also are a bit too similar to the dirt color, try making them a bit brighter.

Really loved Summersun Shoals, by the way - the use of sprites and blocks is very skillful and it just looks very fun to play (the coloured dolphins are a neat touch, by the way).

Great job here, and good luck on completing this! #ab{:D}
On first sight I would have thought those dull blocks were just different colored versions like the other blocks. You could try making the outline on those a bit lighter. Maybe that's just me though.
Originally posted by Undy
On first sight I would have thought those dull blocks were just different colored versions like the other blocks. You could try making the outline on those a bit lighter. Maybe that's just me though.


I agree to that; I'd also suggest getting rid of black outlines from BG objects, it can confuse with FG-stuff very fast. Other than that, I'm curious to see how "serious" this level gets. Past stuff from you had a very serious tone somewhat but with these blocks it almost looks like Mario is going to Toyblock-land or something. #ab{;)}

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Originally posted by Purple Rex
I'm not really liking the dirt colors here. The dark color used on the 'shadows' doesn't really fit well with the other colors, and the 'dirt spots' also are a bit too similar to the dirt color, try making them a bit brighter.

I've tweaked the palette slightly in response to this- thanks!

Originally posted by Undy
On first sight I would have thought those dull blocks were just different colored versions like the other blocks. You could try making the outline on those a bit lighter. Maybe that's just me though.

Originally posted by FPI
I'd also suggest getting rid of black outlines from BG objects, it can confuse with FG-stuff very fast.

Yeah, I thought something was still off about the BG versions, but I wasn't sure what it was at first. I tried getting rid of the outlining and detailing, and came up with this:



Is this better, or is it still missing something?


Originally posted by FPI
Other than that, I'm curious to see how "serious" this level gets. Past stuff from you had a very serious tone somewhat but with these blocks it almost looks like Mario is going to Toyblock-land or something. #ab{;)}

Yeah, I think this project will start out a lot more lighthearted than what people are used to seeing from me, which will be interesting. Who knows what will happen later on, though!

Also, Toyblock-land...good idea! XD

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Looks pretty good! A castle and grass-ish looks nostalgia! The palette looks good! #ab{;)}

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Amazing layout by JackTheSpades
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