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Rise to the Challenge 2.0 (Poll)
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - Works in Progress - Rise to the Challenge 2.0 (Poll)
Pages: « 1 »
After years of debating whether or not to follow up on RttC, I've decided I'll remake it after all. This won't be a TSRP-style update, though- it's more like a reboot. The general level concepts will carry over, but will be reworked from scratch, and split into smaller levels, so that checkpoint spacing isn't such a headache.

I've applied the SA-1 patch as well (Thanks, Vitor!), so you can expect to see most of the muncher plantations replaced with sprite density that used to be impossible without massive slowdown. Actually, if you were to claim SA-1 is the only reason I'm seriously considering this project nowadays, you probably wouldn't be far off. It gives me a lot more freedom to go crazy with enemy combos, and complements RttC's design style pretty well, I think.

Like A Grand Day Out, I'm probably only going to work on this when I'm in the mood, but unlike GDO, there are few custom resources involved, so progress should be faster when it happens. Feel free to leave any questions or comments in this thread, and I'll try to keep it updated.

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Videos:

Dolphin Dip

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Screenshots:

Dolphin Dip


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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Awesome. Can't wait to see more redesigned levels.

And for the level, it seems to be hard and fun at the same time, nothing seems out of place.

Good work!
I agree. Also, this came out of nowhere (like most of your stuff, haha) but it looks awesome. Surprised to see that the level goes from left to right now, but it seems quite different anyways, it's pretty clear that that the SA-1 patch opens up new possibilities of level design and you use them very well from what I can see. Everything looks pretty fresh.

Btw it looks a bit like that you aren't going to use question blocks... is this right?

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I read you talking about remaking this and reducing fake difficulty, but now it's finally happening.
I suspect that if/when SA-1 goes mainstream that less experienced designers will rely on random enemy spam to make sections challenging just because the ceiling is raised.

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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.
Aww, I thought you were making a sequel. Oh well. This is still going to be amazing though. Can't wait!
Taking a look at that video, I am glad to see a reboot of this. The difficulty seems to be pretty similar but it also seems much more reasonable for that level and I am assuming that this reasonable level of difficulty will carry over into other levels. I am a bit surprised to see it go from left to right now but I guess that fits in better with the level. Good luck on this!

I will never forget that level with the monty moles inside that castle; it seemed impossible even with savestates so I guess I will look out for that one when the time comes (that is, if it makes it back into the hack).
Woooo, awesome! What a nice surprise. #ab{^_^} The original RttC was one of the most memorable hacks for me (though, and this is probably a kinda unpopular opinion, the music made it more memorable for me, not the level design). I really hope you'll compose some kick-ass music for this too! *hopeful face*

Dolphin Dip looks fun and dynamic. Keep it up!
Thanks for the support, everyone! While I'm brainstorming ideas for updating levels, I thought I'd pose a few questions to you all about the original RttC:

--Which were your favorite levels? Least favorite levels?
--Were there any levels that could have been fun, but weren't, because of some design issue? What would you change about those levels?
--Are there any levels that you think should remain mostly unchanged?
--What do you think is RttC's defining feature? What things need to exist in order for this reboot to bear the "RttC" name?
--What do you think is RttC's greatest weakness? Which aspects need to be most improved from the original?
--Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?

Feel free to answer to whatever extent you wish. I'm asking these to help find a balance between what I want out of the reboot and what players expect of it.



Also, responding to a couple of comments:

Originally posted by FPI
Btw it looks a bit like that you aren't going to use question blocks... is this right?

The thing is, trying to get powerups from blocks while dolphins are jumping all over the place seems like it would be pretty annoying to me, so I went with the sprite versions for this one level. Most other levels will probably use question blocks to some extent.

Originally posted by Hadron
I really hope you'll compose some kick-ass music for this too! *hopeful face*

Correct me if I'm wrong, but SA-1 and AddMusicK are compatible, right? So, what I'll probably end up doing is porting the updated versions of the old songs, and then adding a few new ones. It will probably take a while, though, because I've always found the porting process pretty unpleasant :b

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Still have not played all of it, but:
Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Which were your favorite levels?

-Treehouse Joust (awesome music, so much going on, but I didn't really like having to cross that huge gap by spin jumping off the ball n' chains.)
-Rising Tide Ride (such a creative first half)
Originally posted by AxemJinx
Least favorite levels?

-War of the Woods (too long, way too much reliance on precision jumps in the third act).
-Fencing Fracas (maybe I just suck but the layer 2 room was kinda frustrating). I also have never gotten past this stage yet.
Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?

Completely new soundtrack.
And again, maybe I just suck, but I may have lost more lives on most of these levels than the Lost World stages in DKC2.

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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 AxemJinx
--What do you think is RttC's greatest weakness? Which aspects need to be most improved from the original?


I would say the difficulty level was the biggest turn off for me. The levels were nicely put together and also looked pretty. The hack wasn't Kaizo level difficult but the levels were quite long so that made things a bit too challenging. I think the difficulty should be toned down and perhaps you could implement the Multiple Midway Point patch.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?


The soundtrack was quite nice as it was. Since you're remaking the hack, however, it may be a good idea to do some remixes given how SMW music editing has advanced over the years.
Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Which were your favorite levels? Least favorite levels?


Favorite levels

Rising Tide Ride: It's always great to see people break the established norms and succeed in making something good. This level is a shining example.

Fence Fracas: Mainly the second half, with the moving fences. The behavior of the fences/other climbables are odd when they're on Layer 2, though the original SMW never planned around it.

Hoarfrost Hike: This level has to be one of the most fresh and one of a kind, especially in the second half, even if it is very hard.

Least Favorite Levels

I honestly don't have any complaints about levels. It was more the difficulty curve.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--What do you think is RttC's defining feature? What things need to exist in order for this reboot to bear the "RttC" name?


RttC's defining feature is the overall how fun the levels are, and the difficulty (not too easy to be bored, but not too hard to be unplayable). We need challenge, it's the hack's title. The level design was spot on for the most part, and this hack has been aound for a while, so it's more than just proven its worth. Plus you're a good composer.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--What do you think is RttC's greatest weakness? Which aspects need to be most improved from the original?


The difficulty curve is bad, and is the only real serious problem with the original RttC. Mineyl (which rhymes with denial), who played your hack a while ago, said it looked more like a crescent moon than it did a curve, and I agreed.


The first level was a learning wall which would have likely wiped out a huge portion of your potential players, and you've already started work on that, so hooray. Also, if you want shorter levels, just put more levels, with less length in each, on each map since you have space to do it.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?


You should try making a new one.
But don't fuck it up, please.
--Which were your favorite levels? Least favorite levels?

-- I have many favorite levels but I will get to the least favorite levels point: The final level (close shave castle or cave?) whatever. Make it worth as final level, with it's structure, uniqueness of last level, and so on.... I mean no fight whatsoever especially in the final doesn't seem to me the final feel.... It seemed like a demo without some sort of fight in the final level at very least. The music seemed a bit out of place, a bit too relaxing for a last stage....


--Were there any levels that could have been fun, but weren't, because of some design issue? What would you change about those levels?
--Hmmmmm need to replay some levels to remember exactly especially the final one which can be used some work... Maybe the difficulty curve... a bit too hard but I think you will fix it.


--Are there any levels that you think should remain mostly unchanged?
--There are....I wont say not.... Just adjust a little bit the difficulty.


--What do you think is RttC's defining feature? What things need to exist in order for this reboot to bear the "RttC" name?
--What else....It has custom music, fun levels, Overworld was great as well....Some fights in important castle levels and final castle for more action and.... And the final map needs some rework.


--Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?

--A mix of both old and new musics would be nice especially for some levels that the music feels too relaxed but the level itself, is quite hectic!



Those may be some small points for you and me, but well since this is RttC 2.0 version then I told you what could be improved to be called an "upgrade". Some fights in important levels in your eyes especially in last level, rework the final map structure a bit, music change for some hectic levels that have too relaxing music that don't fit that much actually....
Adjust a bit the difficulty on levels, If you feel to add a new level then fine, If you feel to upgrade or even replace some old levels with new ones fine again...

Other than that that's all!

Hopefully I helped even If it's a bit... oh I wrote too much :P
Some parts I didn't liked too much were the secret exit passage of Flood Fright Night, where you have to transport the mushroom with the note blocks. I guess it's just a bit too long a passage. There are probably other areas where that might apply too (areas being a little bit too long for their own good) but other than that I don't have much complaints. One other thing involved Layer2-climbing on moving vines but I can't recall the level right now.

Like sImseiken3 I'd suggest to add something that gives a bit more of a "finale"-feel. I don't neccessarily miss a boss, but some sort of ending would be nice.

In addition, I'm wondering why this neccessarily have to be a remake that replaces the old version. Unless the approach changes for the next levels, this looks more like some sort of alternate version or even some sort of sequel which plays around with the original levels, but if they turn out as different as the dolphin level, I can't see why these two hacks can't co-exist together? (Sure, the old hack won't be gone but if something is called RttC 2.0 everyone will expect an update of sort, but probably not neccessarily levels changed on this drastical level, which means people will only check out v2.0 because they don't expect much differences from v1.) Not a big deal, I guess - in the end it's your work and you are the one who decides what to do with it. #tb{:]}

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Oh wow, I had no idea you made this thread until now. I'm definitely interested!

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Which were your favorite levels? Least favorite levels?

Here, have a long, arbitrary post where I list every single level from most liked to least liked on a per-world basis. Note that just because something appears at the bottom of a list doesn't necessarily mean that I hate it or anything like that!

- Key -
White: I like this level and/or find it passable and wouldn't mind if it were mostly unaltered.
Purple: A level I'd think more highly of if it were executed differently.
Red: I have issues with this level, moderate to major.

World 1
-------
Teal Tide Trek
Sandcastle Hassle
Sludge Trudge Isle
Deep Dive Jive
Sandy Surf Turf

World 2
-------
Ninji-tsu Crew
Hindrance Hills
Bemusement Bay
Creepy Cove
Monty Mole Hall

World 3
-------
Treehouse Joust
Forest Frenzy
Cobalt Cavern
Canopy Clash
War of the Woods

World 4
-------
Rope Rock Rumble
Fence Fracas
Stone Wall Falls
Tightrope Tussle
Rising Tide Ride

World 5
-------
Highway Highjinks
Cold Cloud Climb
Sky Sanctuary
Trick Trap Trip
Bounce n' Trounce


World 6
-------
Sunken Ship Saga
Manic Mountains
Tunnel Trouble
Blind Bailey
Flood Fright Night

World 7
-------
Freezer Teaser
Slip Slide Ride
Glacier Gorge
Ice, Ice, Maybe
Hoarfrost Hike

World 8
-------
Passage Panic
Gilded Grotto
Lava Hole Stroll
Toxic Trot
Close Shave Cave

Yeah... I'm not going to go into fine detail about all of this until later, as that'd take entirely too long, but I think it's about time I gave you some proper feedback on these levels instead of the silly annotations on my videos that too often said irrelevant or hyperbolic things for the sake of filler commentary.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
What do you think is RttC's defining feature? What things need to exist in order for this reboot to bear the "RttC" name?

The difficulty, of course. But not just difficulty for the sake of difficulty - your level design seeks to offer passable, masterable challenges rather than the "hello, Face! Meet brick wall!" attitude the majority of other difficulty-centric hacks focus upon. This shouldn't be changed, though you can go about it in a different way than the original RttC does in order to foster fairness and reduce iteration times.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
What do you think is RttC's greatest weakness? Which aspects need to be most improved from the original?

The weakest thing about RttC is its world map. It presents as this strange middle ground between linear and non-linear, but in its current incarnation, it sabotages the good points of both approaches.

Half of the secret exits lead to warp pipes that, in the first four worlds, skip ahead four worlds. This could be a good thing, except the map has direction that a first-timer won't pick up on if they're searching out these secret exits. The lack of finality to the last world means that the game has to instead rely on delivering as much content as it can to make up for it, but this is directly conflicted by being able to skip half the game.

The warp pipes in the last four worlds actually go back four worlds, making many of the secret exits in worlds 5-8 effectively counterproductive. They're also anticlimactic if the player has already discovered the corresponding secret exit in the previous world since they share paths. Their one good point is if the player just happens to skip out on previous worlds by using earlier warps, but I'd imagine that more often than not, this won't be the case.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Would you rather have the old soundtrack as it is, a completely new soundtrack, or a mix of old and new?

Definitely a mix of old and new. All of the songs in RttC are iconic and I can't see the game without them. Remix, remaster, and resequence them if you have to, but the old tracks should definitely stick around.
Nice to see a remake. I can't really say what was annoying or what was bad designed. This hack felt quite well designed and challenging as well. I think some are a bit too long and a second midpoint would be nice.

Maybe I disliked a bit the placement of enemies/obstacles in a few level, like the mole castle. These stairs are buggy and it's sometimes a little frustrating to move on them while dodging moles and ball 'n' chains. Maybe that note block (sorry, I don't remember all level names) level could have reduced some of these note blocks. I never liked when note blocks were too much used.

The rest was okay I think. I like challenging hacks, but I'm interested of the remake. Can't wait for more.
Originally posted by FPI
I agree. Also, this came out of nowhere (like most of your stuff, haha) but it looks awesome.


Taking a bit of inspiration from you, I suppose? ;)

Anyways, so far, looking great! I am all for new changes to the hack, though I hope not all hacks these days are just resorting to remakes. This is going to feel like the film industry if that's the case lol.
Hi AxemJinx.

I will say that one of the biggest weakness in the original RttC game is that the game does not work well on newer versions of snes9x (like v1.52 & v1.53) and "accurate" SNES emulators like bsnes & higan. RttC works as expected when playing it on Zsnes or older versions of snes9x like v1.51.

Because RttC used custom music, I found out that the music sometimes stops playing after touching the goal post in certain levels when playing the original RttC game in bsnes or snes9x v1.52/v1.53 and then the game sometimes freezes in a "black screen" after crossing the goal post if the music goes out.

I hope before RttC 2.0 is released, you have fully tested that game on bsnes/higan, snes9x v1.53 and on real snes hardware. Ice Man's "Toad's World" and FPI's TSRP2R hacks are the only games with custom music I've tried out that worked on bsnes/higan. Why not RttC?
Originally posted by erpster2
I hope before RttC 2.0 is released, you have fully tested that game on bsnes/higan, snes9x v1.53 and on real snes hardware. Ice Man's "Toad's World" and FPI's TSRP2R hacks are the only games with custom music I've tried out that worked on bsnes/higan. Why not RttC?

You have to know, that RttC uses an old addmusic (the hack was originaly released in year 2008). That one isn't compatible with accurate emulators. Later, in year 2010, HuFlungDu modified Romi's Addmusic to make it compatible with accurate emulators and a rule for submitting hacks and musics was added, that custom musics shouldn't break on real hardware/BSNES so every hack which was moderated after the new rules existed will be automaticaly rejected. Any hack which has broken the rule but still exists on the hacks section (now on "Legacy Hacks"), was released before on of the rules which the hack has broken existed.

tl;dr He obiviously make RttC 2.0 compatible with BSNES/on real hardware because if he don't, his hack won't be accepted. RttC only had this problem, because it was submitted before a compatible version of AM4 and the rule existed.

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Okay, my layout looks ugly.
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