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Level 12F (world 8) - Adventum Terminus (Done)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 12F (world 8) - Adventum Terminus (Done)
Pages: « 1 2 3 » Link
Before we begin, I want to make a review of this level. (If you're not interested and just want to know what I'm planning to so, just to skip the next three paragraphs)

"Adventum Terminus" is the level before Bowser's Castle, or the world 8 castle, playing the same role Larry's Castle did in SMW being that castle before the actual final castle. Being the pre-last level of the game, the player would expect a great challenge and a level full of dangers and powerful enemies; not as much as in the actual final level, but there should still be a presence. The level name means "The End of the Adventure" (or the end of the trip), while this is not an exact translation, it’s what the context suggests, this adds more to the expectations of the player, it's the end of the adventure, past this point everything's over, you wouldn't expect this to be easy right? Well, unfortunately, this level did not meet this expectation, and as a player, when I first went through this level, I was very deceived.

While the level was not exactly easy, its difficulty was based mostly on two things: its length and the midboss rooms. The level consists in three fire-theme areas of 0B, 0E, and 15 screens respectively, then there's a water area of 0D screens (plus 05 screens after the midboss) and a dark area of 11 screens, and a midboss area between each major area of one screen. This gives us a big total of 5A screens (I counted the miboss areas and added one screen for each sublelvel since the all start in screen 00) or 90 screens in decimal. Plus the boss.

90 screens, yes, that's a lot. I know I said the level had to be climatic and all, but seriously, 90 screens is way too much. And the thing about this is that a lot of screens were empty or had only one enemy that could be jumped over, there were large areas of flat ground and places were all you had to do was to jump over large lava pits with run jumps. Sure, the level did have actual obstacles and places with strategically placed enemies, but the problem is that these areas weren't many and they were much spaced one from another. This is why the level is so long, it has a lot of filler screens that made the player spend more time on it and make the level feel harder than what it actually is. The midboss rooms also play a role in this, since they're the rooms where the player is most likely to die, meaning that the will do the whole long thing again until they get to said room again, which is not fun at all.

---
Review over.

Of course I'm not going to rant about how this level was anti-climactic and go away right? Well, think again, I'm too busy playing TSRP2R plus I have a hack to make, so good luck. What? Why are you looking at me like that? Alright, fiiiiine I will re-design the level.

I want to respect the author's original idea, since it was good, however, I will cut the number of rooms and remove the midbosses, because those don't do much and it feels more natural to have those enemies placed in the level (since some of those weren't). I will scrap the sonic graphics (this level deserves a custom tileset) and start designing it with the vanilla ones until I have something else. Enemy-wise, I'll respect the choices of the author, although I might add a few more if they fit in (mostly fire and water themed ones).

The level will contain three sections (fire, water and dark) of 10-15 (hex) screens each, it will still be long, but not nearly as long as long as the original level, plus it will have a midpoint at the middle of the second area or one at the end of each area. Unlike the original level, you can expect this one to be action-packed and based more on dodging enemies and obstacles rather than running and jumping. The original level sometimes gave the players the option to follow two different paths, so I will respect that. For the dark area, I will keep the gimmick (having a flashing light that appears from time to time) but I want it to actually work, because in the original you were still able to see the FG even where the light were off.

I won’t start working on this right now because I have to hear some opinions before. Also, if you’re interested in drawing a tileset I just need something that can fit in both a water and a fire castle (depending on the palette) and I will be using slopes.
Well, I found the DKC2 - Welcome to Crocodile Isle theme to be kind of unfitting for the fire section. Should we perhaps change it to something more fitting?

And what about the Aquatic Ambience music from DKC? I don't really like that theme, although it does kinda fit.

Other than that, good luck in redesigning this long level.
Come help save Super Mario World Central Production 2 here!
I've never been able to play this level myself because the first midboss room always glitches up on me, but after watching a video playthrough, I agree with your plan. The level's way too long, and the midboss rooms are unnecessary. I wasn't a fan of the sonic tileset, either.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
ADVENTUM TERMINUS 1.0

Contains the first room of the castle (fire). It ends at the pipe (after that you will be taken to the original level).

Shit to ignore:

-There's no dirt because the level is still a wip (also GFX are not final).
-Glitched sprite graphics.
-The level still uses "Welcome to Crocodile Isle", but it will be replaced in the future because I agree it doesn't fit, feel free to suggest another music.
-There's a door at the beginning that leads to the original level.
This looks much more action-packed and compact than the video of the original I saw, plus it never really seemed unfair to play despite the higher enemy density, so I definitely think it's a major improvement. Nice work!

The only thing that felt a bit awkward to me was jumping past that first red parakoopa from the vine; I just ended up jumping from the vine block instead, since that gave me more control over my x-speed. The bony beetle can also ambush you from above if you take too long to ascend the vine.

On screen F, it felt like it took a while for things to line up safely before I could cross. Maybe it's just that I was distracted a bit by the resurrecting dry bones I jumped on to the left? I'm curious what others have to say about this part.

Since the room is a bit on the long side and only provides two powerups, I'm thinking it might be best to have a midpoint at the end of each room, especially if the other two will be the same length and difficulty. Alternately, you could provide more powerups or make the rooms a bit shorter, but I'll leave it up to you.

I'm surprised no one else has tested this yet. Although I'm okay with the length and difficulty so far, I'd like to know what others think, too.

Still, looking forward to room 2!

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Well, it's definitely more exciting than before. The only thing I take issue with in the first room, aside from a couple things AxemJinx mentioned, is the junction of screens 03 and 04 because of the potential blind drops into the lava there. It's excusable on screens 0A, 0B, and 12 because the direction the player has to go is not downward, but not on 03 and 04.

As for screen 0F, I think it's okay, but if the player lingers, things can get misaligned a bit due to the roto-disc and firebars revolving at different speeds.
Originally posted by AxemJinx
The only thing that felt a bit awkward to me was jumping past that first red parakoopa from the vine; I just ended up jumping from the vine block instead, since that gave me more control over my x-speed. The bony beetle can also ambush you from above if you take too long to ascend the vine.

I changed the bony beetle with a dry bones that stays on ledge. I never found the koopa hard to dodge, but I'll see if I can replace it with another enemy (probably a Roto Disk)

Originally posted by AxemJinx
On screen F, it felt like it took a while for things to line up safely before I could cross. Maybe it's just that I was distracted a bit by the resurrecting dry bones I jumped on to the left? I'm curious what others have to say about this part.

I can replace either the firebar or the roto-disk by a podoboo (I don't want to just remove them), but I'll wait for more opinions on this one.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Since the room is a bit on the long side and only provides two powerups, I'm thinking it might be best to have a midpoint at the end of each room, especially if the other two will be the same length and difficulty. Alternately, you could provide more powerups or make the rooms a bit shorter, but I'll leave it up to you.

I'll use the midpoints. I'm not really a fan of giving the player too much powerups.

Originally posted by Mineyl
Well, it's definitely more exciting than before. The only thing I take issue with in the first room, aside from a couple things AxemJinx mentioned, is the junction of screens 03 and 04 because of the potential blind drops into the lava there. It's excusable on screens 0A, 0B, and 12 because the direction the player has to go is not downward, but not on 03 and 04.

You can perfectly see where you have to land. I moved the last jump one tile up though since that one was a bit down, but the rest seem fine to me.
Originally posted by aj6666
You can perfectly see where you have to land. I moved the last jump one tile up though since that one was a bit down, but the rest seem fine to me.

If you're jumping from pipe to pipe, you can see, but because of all the danger in that section, I want to fall straight down between the wall and/or the pipes to bypass the danger. I imagine other people would feel the same way, not knowing that there is lava at the bottom of the shaft (which cannot be seen from the upper corridor).

Placing coins between the pipes to guide the player to jump on them could solve the problem without changing the level design.
Originally posted by Mineyl
Placing coins between the pipes to guide the player to jump on them could solve the problem without changing the level design.

Done.

For the underwater room I will be using the firebar (after all it's a fire castle) and the roto disk again. They weren't in the original level, but the original selection of sprites was very limited, so I decided to expand it a little. I will still use the water sprites and probably the hammer bro, however, I won't use chucks since they barely pose any thread under water unless you abuse low ceilings.
Adventum Terminus 1.1

This one also contains the water section. Same shit to ignore except the door now leads to the second room. Also, double post because I can.
Here are my general opinions:-

Main Section (12F)
Review
-I liked this section. Good introduction to this level.
-I enjoyed how you use the same 3-4 sprites in differing situations. It gives the level a sense of coherency and flow.
-The secret paths here were interesting. I enjoyed how they were signposted. They weren't too obvious nor were they too obscure to find.

Suggestions/Comments
-Screen 3: Not obvious you weren't meant to fall down here. I saw the coins as "Oh look, some extra coins" rather than "Follow this path!".
-Screens C: I don't like the powerup placement. It's too easy to lose the mushroom here especially as it is near lava & Podoboos




Water Section (14F)
Review
-I don't like this section as much. It feels very cramped and frustrating at times; especially as big mario.
-This area isn't bad but the low ceilings make it more frustrating than it ought to be. Mainly Screens E-F.
-I do like your usage of the roto disk in the water. That's an interesing sprite choice that works really well here.
Suggestions/Comments
-Seems a very abrupt change from lava to water. Perhaps a more fiery palette would make sense?
-Screen 5: The rip van fish seems like an unnecessary threat here. I think the roto blade and the torpedo are enough to dodge here so I would perhaps consider removing it.
-Screen D: It's difficult to pass through all the threats here while remaining unscathed. Maybe the bullet bill could be removed?
-Screen E: This area is a bit cramped for my liking. Could the ceiling be raised here?
Originally posted by SpicySeafood
Seems a very abrupt change from lava to water. Perhaps a more fiery palette would make sense?

Regarding this, that's how it was in the original level. I agree the water room doesn't go that well is a fire castle, but I prefer respecting Ultimaximus' original concept.

I took care of the rest though. In screen 3 of the lava room, I added podoboos to hint there's lava bellow.
Adventum Terminus 1.2

Final room added. Level design is done, still need to work on aesthetics and music.
Some thoughts:

--Dipping under torpedo ted launchers in cramped spaces is not something I've ever enjoyed doing. I know even the original SMW used them like that, but I find them about as fun as ground-level hammer bros. Probably just my personal taste speaking, though.
--I'm not sure enabling vertical scroll with the spotlight is a good idea if you're going to black out the level when it's not lit. Some of the higher platforms lie outside the cone of light, making some jumps fairly blind (screens 3, 7, 9).
--I think the skull raft section at the end is too hard because the light doesn't sync up well with the platforms. I got pushed into the lava plenty of times by platforms I couldn't see because the light was off at the time. The platforms before this section were easier to anticipate because they had enemies on top.
--Now that I've played the whole thing, part of me feels the level's still longer than it needs to be. I realize you're trying to stay true to the original concept, though.


But yeah, overall much better than the original, I think.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Dipping under torpedo ted launchers in cramped spaces is not something I've ever enjoyed doing. I know even the original SMW used them like that, but I find them about as fun as ground-level hammer bros. Probably just my personal taste speaking, though.

Moved a couple one tile up. Didn't touch the rest though.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--I'm not sure enabling vertical scroll with the spotlight is a good idea if you're going to black out the level when it's not lit. Some of the higher platforms lie outside the cone of light, making some jumps fairly blind (screens 3, 7, 9).

The spotilight follows you as you go up, do vertical scroll shouldn't be a problem, regarding the jumps, I can highlight the platform with enemies.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
--I think the skull raft section at the end is too hard because the light doesn't sync up well with the platforms. I got pushed into the lava plenty of times by platforms I couldn't see because the light was off at the time. The platforms before this section were easier to anticipate because they had enemies on top.

Pushed the platform back and added a koopa.


Originally posted by AxemJinx
--Now that I've played the whole thing, part of me feels the level's still longer than it needs to be. I realize you're trying to stay true to the original concept, though.

Yes, but its got two midpoints and six powerups, that should be enough to keep it balanced.
I don't know if you received my email, but here it is:

Quote
The only comment I'd like to make is that it is not necessary to preserve the water section. Feel free to remove it if it clashes too much with the regular level.


The water segment was just an unnecessary extension, trying to do as much with this level and tileset that I possibly could. Were I to make my own hack including this level, I'd actually extend this level into a whole world, which further emphasizes the water segment as its own entity.

I don't know if it's too late now, but I really have no qualms about you removing it, and would actually prefer it.

World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
I didn't see your e-mail, sorry.

I don't really have much of a problem with the water section myself, and I prefer to keep it since it was part of the level. However if you (or most testers) prefer to see it go, I'll remove it.
Well, I would like to see the water section go, as it is kinda unfitting for World 8, where it has a fiery/void theme, and not a watery theme.

So, i'm in for the water section being ripped to bits.
Come help save Super Mario World Central Production 2 here!
Originally posted by aj6666
I didn't see your e-mail, sorry.

I don't really have much of a problem with the water section myself, and I prefer to keep it since it was part of the level. However if you (or most testers) prefer to see it go, I'll remove it.

Says the one with the Vaporeon layout β)

World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
No more Vaporeon layout.

Alright I'm not really good at picking music, so I'm going to need your thoughts. I've checked some of the soundtracks from the ROM and I liked Dance of the Death (Soundtrack 85), it doesn't sound fiery, but it has the final-ish touch I'm looking for.

As for the graphics, I was thinking on either use the current tilest or this (with a red palette obviously). Which one do you prefer?
Pages: « 1 2 3 » Link
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 12F (world 8) - Adventum Terminus (Done)

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