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Forest of Illusion
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 7th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Forest of Illusion
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Hi,

So this is my vanilla level thingamajig.

Forest of Illusion



Pretty much it's a more literal interpretation of the Forest of Illusion. There will be a bonus mini objective just for fun.



Mario gets ready to hop in a pipe...



...or so he thinks.



Get those coins!



Or not. And are those all really Bob-Ombs?
I've always like illusion-based gimmicks like this, but only if they're implemented in a way that doesn't make things horribly unfair. Since your method seems to keep things both fair AND fun, I have no doubt you'll pull this off really well. Good luck!
The level looks mostly pretty generic here, but I like the gimmick used in it. Looks pretty interesting.
Working on the second half of the level.



Getting ready to jump over some spikes.



They ain't done with you yet.
The spikes follow you around? Or jump after you? That's pretty goofy :)

The level seems to be shaping up nicely. The illusion gimmick could end up being pretty annoying/misleading, but it looks like you have it under control. Also the 30 coin mini-challenge gives you something else to do in the level, which is a nice way to add replay value.

--------------------
Yes, I just replaced the Boo graphics with the spikes, that way they would blend in with the normal spikes.

As for the 30 coin challenge, I've come up with a way to have it lead to the secret exit. Didn't think a measly 1-up would be worth the work.
Oh wow I can definitely see how to make a path lead to a secret exit with the star block. It also fits with the illusion bit if you do it a certain way.

If you do this without the coin above block glitch, though, then I'll be pretty confused about how it's gonna work.
Originally posted by Golden Yoshi
Yes, I just replaced the Boo graphics with the spikes, that way they would blend in with the normal spikes.


Make sure you also changed the frames it uses and it's stationary.
Originally posted by mockingod
If you do this without the coin above block glitch, though, then I'll be pretty confused about how it's gonna work.


It won't involve the coin above block glitch, actually. There will be another trick to it. It's slightly odd but it works.

Originally posted by Giant Shy Guy
Make sure you also changed the frames it uses and it's stationary.


Well, they won't be stationary. The whole point of those moving spikes is for you to think they're just ordinary ol' spikes you have to jump over when in reality they chase after you.
Originally posted by Golden Yoshi
Well, they won't be stationary. The whole point of those moving spikes is for you to think they're just ordinary ol' spikes you have to jump over when in reality they chase after you.


No, I mean when you stay stationary and the Boos stay stationary long enough, it's going to the crazy-tongue animation:

Oh yes, I took that into account and changed all of the frames so that wouldn't happen.
The idea of illusion is a tricky thing to work with, and just simply changing the graphics of things could get a bit frustrating. So i see you tried going with a more plain style to compensate, reducing the challenge to the player, that will now just focus in discovering what each thing is given it's behavior. It's a bad thing. Is workable, but could be better.

What i suggest is, try to incorporate the illusion in a more natural way, something that could interact directly with the landmass. Simple example: make a falling sprite plataform with ground tiles, you can easily blend it to the scenario, gives player time for reaction, is unexpected while not being unfair, and making the terrain more engaging to walk further the screens. To avoid cutoff, you can make something using the objects going behind the sprite to fix any problem with it.

Wooden chained plataform is another good sprite to use, you can achieve great results with it.

EDIT: You can also try making something with "impossible structures" sort of optical illusion in mind, it would be interesting too.

Not saying the level is looking bad by any means, it's just it could improve greatly and be spot on compared to same thematic levels. I like your work, so i hope you take good ideas out of these lines. Good luck with your level.






Also, one problem i found about the boos: you can spin-jump into them, but not the other spikes, that could lead the players to think spikes are spinjumpable, even with the illusion idea in mind.

Originally posted by Golden Yoshi
As for the 30 coin challenge, I've come up with a way to have it lead to the secret exit.

Can i venture a guess?



Like /Everlude
Follow @Ludus.Art

Well, I have been careful not to include any unfair illusions (e.g. you walk on what appears to be solid ground when actually it's an air tile, leading to your death).
Thats not what i mean.



Like /Everlude
Follow @Ludus.Art

I've uploaded my entry if anyone would like to play it before I submit it. Feedback welcome.
I honestly found this very confusing at times. I got killed by the wiggler under the first three blocks because I thought I could jump through all of them but when I hit the last one I fell directly into the wiggler because it was solid.
Also the green switch palace block thwimps can be reached quickly enough so they don't jump before you reach them, although I guess I should have been more careful since everything was different I jumped directly onto the first one before I could see that he'd jump which felt kind of unfair, but that might just be me since I was too fast.
The rest of the level was pretty cool, it's just those first few screens that were kind of frustrating at first imo.
Spoiler tagged gameplay details below:

It took me two lives to get through the level on my first go, one life was lost from the Wiggler near the start and the other was lost after a poorly-timed jump in the gray platform section, but it wasn't too difficult of a level otherwise. It took many more lives to find all 30 coins. Sorry, I somehow lost track of how many lives I lost for that challenge, but the number might be around 10.

It's certainly no Golden Yoshi Returns Again (far from it), but this level's difficulty increases a good amount when going for the secret exit, that's for sure! The coins/tree trunks hanging just below the falling gray platform, the grass between the spikes in the second room being disguised coins, and the P-Switch were the hardest ones to find. I got the Bullet Bill Cannon/Coin accidentally. I almost want to say that the grass near the spikes in the dark forest room were too hard to get, and that it should be changed, but that might just be because I find the "hitting the side of the spike still hurts" thing really annoying. There's nothing you can do about it with vanilla SMW though. Did anyone else find it difficult to get those coins without taking damage from the spikes?

My first death in the level was apparently the same as Undy. I was killed by the Wiggler after smashing my head on the one solid Question Block. Maybe the three Question Blocks should be placed a bit higher or the Wiggler should be placed further back.

Enemy placement in the level was done pretty well. It stays relativity close to forest enemies, with some Ghost House enemies used for the darker part of the level. Enemy placement standouts were the Wiggler and Bullet Bill combo to both help and hurt you in your quest to hit those two coin blocks suspended in the air, the use of flying enemies in the gray platform section ready to catch you in mid-air, and the "climax" of the level with the falling bones, Eeries, green bubbles and flying spikes all ready to kill you. It gets trickier when you have to travel back to pick up some coins the P-Switch makes.

Two enemies that felt a little pointless were the Green Switch Thwimps. There were no other Green Switch Blocks in the level and they were placed on a flat piece of land, making them easy to dodge. I'd suggest turning the Thwimps into Cement Blocks instead. You'd have to place cement blocks in the beginning to properly trick the player, but I think that would work better than the Green Switch Thwimps.

I thought the fake Chargin' Chuck and the underground section with the hidden Golden Yoshi were both hilarious. The whole level was kinda funny, actually. It reminds me of something you'd see in a more simple Japanese SMW hack, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It feels like the 30 coin thing is the main challenge, and I guess that works just fine. Overall, I found the level pretty simple but also very creative and pleasant to play through.


Wow I wrote a lot #ab{~:o}

--------------------
Thanks for your feedback, I will make some fixes based on the suggestions given.
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