Thanks for the feedback. I did consider making a new overworld for the game since that would have allowed for more creativity in creating multiple routes as well as it just looking nice. The only real reasons I can say I didn't is because it helped keep to the theme of this really being a lost levels equivalent of Mario World, with many levels even echoing the old design themes of Super Mario World but changed or twisted up in various notable ways. Keeping the old overworld helps reinforce that focus a bit.
If I ever made a second hack, I certainly would create a new overworld and use ExGFX, along with other tools to make something much different from this. Still, even with this fairly simple focus, it still took me a few years to test and retest every one of these levels, getting others to test them, as well as just coming up with all of the ideas for the levels, sometimes scrapping whole levels and ideas and remaking them. Doing it again wouldn't take as long, so it would be worth experimenting with everything else the editor can do.
Originally posted by PROMETHEUS
I think 3 things :
- level design definitely shows high potential : carefully thought challenges with originality.
- however it also seems to have a huge flaw : challenges are impossible for someone who doesn't know everything he has to do nearly by heart, unfair deaths EVERYWHERE.
- but it's impressive that you've been making this many levels with such a level of quality.
I really think it's WAY TOO HARD from all the videos I've seen. It doesn't demand only skill but also luck in some parts and knowledge of the levels, which are 2 things that people don't like to need when they play a level. I've done levels way easier than that in my short 6 levels hack and quite a few people said they found it too hard to be maximum fun.
There is a try and die element some of the harder levels, mainly the Special Zone, though I figured that kind of cruel design was OK in a more optional setting since people were probably looking for it. As a general rule however, I did still try to keep things mostly fair. I tried to have coins indicate paths on blind jumps if needed and even on the Special Zone I didn't, say, put invisible blocks over pits or something with the intent of killing you, even if I don't think it's likely that people can beat most of those levels without a number of deaths.
Even a level like, say, the remade Choco-Ghost House's puzzle (which I won't spoil, but I have a video of it), will have hints in the design on the fake path that clue you into what you need to do, with coins suggesting the correct jumps when you have to start gambling your life.
Don't think you need luck to beat the levels either, in that some parts may be impossible on probability. The correct strategy should always get you through. The worst I've seen is a necessary sprite platform disappearing if there's a build-up of too many enemies from a generator or something, mainly but still uncommonly on Butter Bridge 2.
It is very hard later on though, and you might be right that it could be too hard for a lot of people to fully complete and have fun with it. Only thing I can say on that is that I have beaten every level little without save stating unless it specifically forces a power up (only the case with secret paths/exits) and that not every stage is ridiculously demanding. It is consistently beatable, though maybe unfairly so at the hardest points.