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Level Design Discussion and Questions
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Level Design Discussion and Questions
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Originally posted by Haithius
Would a level based mainly around chain chomps be a good idea for the fifth level of the game?


I don't see why not, as long as the difficulty jump from level 4 to level 5 is smooth then there shouldn't be a problem with most players. Personally, I would add a lot of powerups as chain chomps can be a bit tough to deal with (due to their more unpredictable nature)
You can also add easy ways to avoid Chain Chomps so the players don't get hurt as easily as they would otherwise.
How do you design puzzles?
I'd like to make a one-screen puzzle. Not a crazy one. Not something you spend 1 hour on.
But I don't like watching puzzles, I don't like playing them, and to design them, I have NO idea how to proceed
Do you, for example, set the start, the goal, and go from the goal to the start by adding an obstacle (or piece of puzzle, rather), each time?
Do you think oif a general idea and do it, and then eventually add pieces where needed?
I'm kinda lost

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Super Mario Pants World
Luigi's Lost Levels
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VLDC12 - 72HoKaizo#1
Originally posted by Romano338
How do you design puzzles?
I'd like to make a one-screen puzzle. Not a crazy one. Not something you spend 1 hour on.
But I don't like watching puzzles, I don't like playing them, and to design them, I have NO idea how to proceed
Do you, for example, set the start, the goal, and go from the goal to the start by adding an obstacle (or piece of puzzle, rather), each time?
Do you think oif a general idea and do it, and then eventually add pieces where needed?
I'm kinda lost

Well my man, it'll be very hard for us to tell you how to design a puzzle if you're telling us you don't even like them. It'd be like trying to draw a portrait when you hate drawing people and prefer drawing landscapes; it's kind of contradictory, you won't really want to learn if you're not fond of them. I'd urge you to at least try to find the charm in puzzles so you can better study them and create one yourself.


With that said, I think there are a few steps or "stages" in every puzzle: the presentation, the catch and the solution, and it all revolves around using the information you're given correctly.
The presentation would be all the information you have available at the start of the puzzle, and it's important to be very clear here; you can't be expected to get to the solution if you don't even have all the pieces of information required.
The catch is when, after you've given the puzzle a try, the solution seems impossible to achieve at first glance. For example: you're required to get the key to the keyhole, but the only way of getting to the keyhole is by using the key as the platform as the former is too high up to reach by jumping. This is supposed to force you into tackling the puzzle in another direction (and this is where the puzzle gets interesting if you ask me).
The solution is self-explainatory. You find the "true" way of solving the puzzle, bypassing the catch and getting to the right answer. It's supposed to make you use the extra information in the puzzle; idk, maybe that same room had koopas whose shells you could use to jump off of.

of course, the whole key/keyhole puzzle is very shitty but it's just to give you an idea.

That's what I think of when creating a puzzle, at least.
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I agree with everything from the above post. Be careful not to leave unintended breaks as well or your puzzles will have zero purpose at all. I myself add objects and sprites at any place I deem necessary and test my setups thoroughly.
I know you don't like to watch other puzzle hacks, but an example of a hack that pulls one screen puzzles perfectly (to my knowledge) is this one. It's up to you.
Looking for level design ideas for a beach world tower level so it needs to be a vertical level, if you have any ideas let me know, ive been stuck on making thid level for a week now, thanks!

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Ive restarted it
Name:Super Mario Endless World
World 1: 100%
World 2: 100%
World 3: 30%
World 4: 2%
World 5: 2%
World 6: 2%
World 7: 2%
World 8: 2%
World 9: 2%
Special world: 15%
Star world: 10
Hi,

from your experience, are there things I should know about sprites placement?

For example, I always find myself having to restructure a whole patch of scenery just because an enemy will pop up earlier than intended, or fall off a ledge without my player arriving there first, etc, it really gets infuriating at times!

Same with the memory modes, I actually didn't learn how to use them efficiently, I don't know what they stand for, so it's causing weird slowdowns. Level modes I've used some, so I can understand, but it can be, that I don't know the limits and constraints of each one.

Sprite placement bad experience : Spinies or green koopas in vertical level, they appear above screen and fall off ledges much earlier than I could expect.

@Haithius, I suggest mixing different ExGFX to get to what you want. Unfortunately, the beach assets are intended for ground, not vertical-levels... But if you're gonna imagine a tower you may like to use this tileset for example, making use of the barrels and wooden containers, along with this for some pipe action, and of course this to have your castle walls... As said, the typical beach assets such as palm tree and the sea, should be taken in the background. You can even put your background settings to scrolling H/V : none, so the scenery will stay the same.

I've started a hack located in warehouse and had no idea what to do first, so I've searched for ExGFX and began experimenting to find what I really need. Good luck!

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What is a gimmick and how do i manage it in a good way?
Gimmick is a pretty broad and generic term. A level based on koopa hopping would be a gimmick but so is a hack that's mainly water levels with an air meter.

I guess it depends on what you want to do in terms of your gimmick.
A pretty general tip or method to managing a gimmick would be as so:
Introduce the gimmick in a safe area to the player. Then, present that same gimmick with a risk of death.

From there its just varying that gimmick slightly to be harder as the stage goes on, and/or mixing it with other gimmicks.
(Note I wrote this for those sort of gimmicks on a level-basis, like a new enemy or summin', but I guess it could also apply to a full game gimmick like a double jump, etc.)
take a shot everytime i say gimmick
Originally posted by wuffalo
A pretty general tip or method to managing a gimmick would be as so:
Introduce the gimmick in a safe area to the player. Then, present that same gimmick with a risk of death.

That's exactly what TvTropes refers to as an antepiece.

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Hi, so I'm currently making my first ROM Hack and was wondering about level design for water levels. I'd love to hear about specific design choices or levels from different hacks that show off good water level design. Thanks!
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People tend to get fatigued on swimming levels, or dislike them entirely. Consider breaking water levels up, so that only a part of it is actually in the water. That way, you can still use the swimming mechanic and design around it, without frustrating the player with too much swimming (or having a level which is just too short).
GANYMEDE

Chapter two: Land of No Shame
Coming January 2022
use throw blocks or have koopa shells underwater so the player can swim faster and get out of the terrible thing known as water levels quicker
I think SMW water levels are really underrated, thanks to this general culture of hating on water levels in games.
SMW swimming mechanics are great, and allow the played to have a lot of control over Mario's vertical position at any given time.
The problem with most water levels in hacks out there is they don't use these mechanics at all, and tend to just be empty open spaces where you just swim until you get bored, the best water levels i've ever played have been in kaizo or very hard hacks, exactly because these hacks aren't afraid of utilizing the full potential of "advanced" SMW mechanics.

So one tip i have for making water levels is making constant use of vertical space, make it so that the player has to take control of Mario's vertical position constantly in order to keep them engaged.
Also, having good sprite placement is a must in these levels, because water levels naturally have a slower pace than land levels (save for a few exceptions), which makes it harder to keep the player engaged only using the terrain.
Wuffalo's tip is also useful, using carryable items is good for predominantly horizontal water sections, since they increase Mario's swimming speed (while also reducing control, so it's kind of a risk/reward situation for the player).

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Anyone has any advice on how to design hard but not tedious levels? I have a hard time coming up with "good" difficulty and not just spam tight jumps and difficult enemies.
I have foolproof advice.

1. Play the level you made, once you've made it.
2. While you are playing your level, stop playing when you feel like it is boring you.
3. In Lunar Magic, go to that part of your level, and try changing things around right there.
4. Play it again, and see if you like it better. If not, repeat until you are satisfied.

If someone plays your level and thinks parts of it are tedious, you're probably going to think they are, too.
GANYMEDE

Chapter two: Land of No Shame
Coming January 2022
I have one brief question: can a hack be completely vanilla in this day and age, or have most people shifted towards chocolate design? It's been a long while since I have hacked something.
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Both are styles are popular still - so you're welcome to make whatever you want, that you feel comfortable. I had a quick glance down the first page of the hacks section, and there's a mix of choco and vanilla styled hacks straight away.
Okay, I'm thinking I might post here at least once to hopefully get some advice on level design so that I can get rid of the rust I have from not doing any major hacking since 2013 (my BLDC level was the first level I made since then).

So one of the things I'm thinking of doing for my upcoming hack is making a desert world with two types of quicksand; one for outdoor levels, and one for indoor levels. Thing is, while the quicksand in outdoor levels will probably be a tad tricky to contend with, I'm thinking of having special quicksand in the indoor levels that if fallen into, cannot be escaped from (I took this inspiration from Hidden Base and Sand Ocean; which are two levels from Sonic Adventure 2 (Battle) where you have to avoid the quicksand at all costs).

For starters, should I use different GFX to distinguish between the two types of quicksand? I'm also thinking of having a message block in the first indoor level to warn the player about the hazardous indoor quicksand (maybe I'll mention that Bowser's magic made it more dangerous or something).

I was hoping to make at least one desert level in my old hack, but since I didn't get that chance, I'm gonna make sure my new hack has a desert world (it'll likely make it the second world).
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