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Winter C3 2021 Content Spotlight
CosmicTiff's "The More Than Dreamin" Demo!
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Level 2 (World 1) - Gramen Terra (complete)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 2 (World 1) - Gramen Terra (complete)
Pages: « 1 2 » Link
So, I've decided to take on the task of redesigning Gramen Terra. First off, it's important to note that the level is going to switch places with Sunny River, which means that it's now going to be the 4th level in the hack. Keeping that in mind, this is a quick list of changes that need to be made to the level...

1. The level needs to be more interesting. Right now, it's just running through a hilly terrain while dodging slow enemies that are easy to defeat. That needs to be fixed. I'm thinking of slowing down the pace of the level just a little bit. It's fine if the level is still wide-open overall, but there need to be things that pique the player's interest along the way. Think of the original SMW. Those levels are wide-open, but still interesting because there's stuff to do in those wide open spaces.

2. Lakitu will be introduced in a better way. There needs to be more spaces that the player can hide under. Remember, this is only the fourth level of the game.

3. On a similar train of thought, I'm also probably going to introduce Spinies and Pipe Lakitus before Lakitu actually gets introduced. This means that I'll probably be getting rid of bob-ombs, they just don't fit in this level.

4. The bonus room will be redesigned so that there will be less backtracking. Right now, it's just kinda boring.

5. Since this level will be swapped with Sunny River, it will be the level right before the castle. I'm thinking of doing a lead in to the castle in the last part of the level. Sunny River had that at the end of the level, but I'm not really sure if we can keep that because Sunny River doesn't precede a castle anymore.

6. Finally, the music just doesn't fit the level. It needs to be changed.

Well, this is what I want to change about Gramen Terra. Does this list sound good?

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Swapping this with Sunny River kind of feels like unnecessary work, since Sunny River already has that castle transition area, and we can just make Gramen Terra easier (but more interesting). Your plan sounds good, though.

Also, remember that Vanilla Secret 2 used bob-ombs together with pipe lakitus and spinies. It's not an unheard-of combination.

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Alright, I'm about to get started on the level then. My only concern at this point is about how much stuff I need to do to change the level. I feel like it's going to require a lot of gutting in order to make it ideal. The level's still going to be wide-open, just like Ultimaximus intended it to be. The design will just be different.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Originally posted by akacesfan
The level's still going to be wide-open, just like Ultimaximus intended it to be. The design will just be different.

So long as you maintain the overall feel of the level, I'd say you don't have much to worry about. Make whatever layout changes you think are appropriate.

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If you want it to be just like ultimaximus intended it to be, I might as well say that in the original level she designed, that lakitu was never even there. Supposedly SNN did that while he went through the levels and made minor edits.
Well, I just finished the first half of the level. Please ignore the ugly block palettes, those haven't been fixed.



Almost immediately, the first thing you'll notice about the "new" Gramen Terra is that the overall pace of the level has been slowed down. There's still wide open spaces, but now, you actually have to slow down and think about your movements in some spaces. Also, the "new" level is going to have more sprite variety as well. Chargin' Chuck is Exhibit A.



Early on, Pipe Lakitu is introduced as well.



I'm making an effort not to gut the level too much. Some sections of the original level will remain intact, with maybe some minor changes. This is one of those sections.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Originally posted by akacesfan


I'm making an effort not to gut the level too much. Some sections of the original level will remain intact, with maybe some minor changes. This is one of those sections.

The part of the level you want to keep is the segment with two-tile-wide platforms? I'm thinking you should at least widen those a bit.

The rest looks good so far, though.

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In all honesty, I don't think the jumps are that difficult to make, even for beginners. Don't forget that there's a strip of land below to catch Mario if he falls. He has easy access back to the beginning of the area so that he can try the jumps again if needed.

Also, SNN just told me that we won't be switching this level with Sunny River after all.

I should have an IPS ready sometime tomorrow. I've finished designing the main level and am working on the bonus room right now.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Is there any reason you're keeping them that narrow, though? I don't think it would hurt to make them three tiles wide?

I mean, even if they are simple, I feel like it'd be annoying to backtrack and then repeat those jumps because you missed one.

Well, maybe I should wait until I play the IPS.

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Originally posted by AxemJinx
I mean, even if they are simple, I feel like it'd be annoying to backtrack and then repeat those jumps because you missed one.


To be fair, that's just having to backtrack a little bit, as opposed to having to start the level over because you died.
As promised, I have the first IPS done. Please test the level and tell me what you think. The level is located where Toad Town usually is on the OW.

Please ignore any ugly pipe or block palettes. I haven't gotten around to fixing those yet. Also, the graphics for the expanding/contracting pipes in the bonus room haven't been added yet, so please ignore the graphical clash there.

Download IPS Here

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Wow, you did a pretty good job spicing this level up. Kudos to you. I have one small thing to mention: the pit with the three red paratroopas over it at the screen 03-04 junction is kinda' mean if the player is small. I'm also going to echo what AxemJinx said about the small platforms, but other than that, super job!
I agree with Mineyl. I knew you'd be a good fit for this kind of level, and you haven't disappointed. A few suggestions, though:

--That pit over which fly three parakoopas? I'd remove the middle one and just use two, so there's more of a gap to work with.
--After playing it, I still feel the same about those two-tile-wide platforms in the middle. It's less of an issue with the pipes in the side area because they're closer together.
--The problem with using lakitus in a room with vertical camera scroll enabled is that they're either too high (can't see spinies until they've already started falling) or too low (not enough breathing room). Even though it doesn't last long, and ties well into the secret exit, I'm tempted to say you should replace the lakitu with other enemies for that section. Just my take on it, though.

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Originally posted by Mineyl
I have one small thing to mention: the pit with the three red paratroopas over it at the screen 03-04 junction is kinda' mean if the player is small. I'm also going to echo what AxemJinx said about the small platforms, but other than that, super job!


Both issues have been fixed. I widened the platforms to four tiles each, and just removed the middle parakoopa in that set of three. Thanks for the feedback!

Originally posted by AxemJinx
The problem with using lakitus in a room with vertical camera scroll enabled is that they're either too high (can't see spinies until they've already started falling) or too low (not enough breathing room). Even though it doesn't last long, and ties well into the secret exit, I'm tempted to say you should replace the lakitu with other enemies for that section. Just my take on it, though.


In general though, that problem doesn't happen in this level. I tested it a bunch and the only time it really happens is near the beginning of the Lakitu section. It should be fine, and plus, most people that I've gotten to test the level were okay with it. Thanks for the feedback!

Also, I was thinking about songs to replace the Koopa Beach theme (I just don't think it fits the level very well). I've narrowed it down to three choices. Please listen to all three of them and let me know which one fits the level the best!

Choice #1

Choice #2

Choice #3

Finally, I have another IPS ready. It fixes the issue with the parakoopas and the narrow platforms. Also, it takes care of any palette issues with the pipes. Please download and play this version. If no new issues arise, I'll send all of this to SNN.

Download Here

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Looks good to me! Just one nitpicky thing: You award a powerup at the end of the side area, but since you exit right next to a powerup block, you get two in a row, and then a third one a few screens down, at the midpoint. Is that intentional?

As for the music, I'd pick #3. Maybe I've just listened to too much Kirby music, but that doesn't seem to fit the level either.

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Originally posted by akacesfan
Also, I was thinking about songs to replace the Koopa Beach theme (I just don't think it fits the level very well). I've narrowed it down to three choices. Please listen to all three of them and let me know which one fits the level the best!

Choice #1

Choice #2

Choice #3

Ah...out of those three, I'd go for the third one. Green Greens is too easily recognizable as the de facto Kirby song, and the main instrument in Peanut Plains is too loud (though if the volume were lowered slightly, it might work).
I'll definitely remove the powerup box in the side area before I send this off to SNN. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it really wasn't.

Anyways, how about this song too?

I think it fits the level better than all of the other songs I posted earlier, but if the majority disagrees, then we'll just go with MC Kids.

Edit: Imamelia suggested this song from Moose as well.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
CUSTOM - At the Beach

I looked through about 20 or so songs and this is the only one I found that could potentially fit if you can overlook the slight beach implication. Also, I think Tilt Island could be left in, but that's just me!

You should let some others chime in, though, because I'm not very musically-inclined, myself, and prematurely settling on an unfitting song would be bad.
Hmm... Of all the songs suggested so far, I still like the MC Kids one the best, even if it's a bit beachy. Moose's grassland is good too, though it gets kind of uptempo toward the end.

I hate looking through the music section here, but here are a few more suggestions, assuming you can get them ported:

Mario Golf - Toad Highlands
Mario Golf - Yoshi Championship
Fire Emblem 7 - Winds across the Plains
Mario & Luigi 3 - Bumpsy Plains 1

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Also, what about the mountain theme from the VLDC collab? I think it would fit this stage perfectly!

Otherwise, I think we'll go with MC Kids. It fits better than Koopa Beach, that's for sure.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Pages: « 1 2 » Link
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 2 (World 1) - Gramen Terra (complete)

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