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Level 12F (world 8) - Adventum Terminus (Done)

I'd rather see a custom set over something like Hydrocity's tiles, but that may not be a shared opinion.

Also, I don't mind inserting additional tracks if you want to scour the music section for something. You're not limited to just the tracks that are already in the ROM.
Oh no definitely not a fan of that GFX. Strong shading for every brick, making large brick structures unpleasant to look at. Still, only my opinion though, I wonder what the rest of the community thinks. Personally, I thought using Hydrocity was clever, replacing water-filled tubes with lava, but that's not popular opinion from what I've seen.

World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
By "the current tileset" I mean the SMWCP castle, not Hydrocity.

If we're going to soundtracks from the music section, I like this one, for the fire section, for the water room I like "Mega Man 10 - Special Stage 3" (Soundtrack 56, it was used in "into the water" but that level is going to be scrapped anyway), and this one could fit as well for the final room.
I've been working on the aesthetics




How does it look?
It's VERY red. Way too bright in my opinions. Unless the level is suddenly on fire everywhere it probably shouldn't be that bright red. Mute the reds a little and then make the background a different shade to stand out better against the foreground.
Originally posted by FPzero
Unless the level is suddenly on fire everywhere it probably shouldn't be that bright red.

Not exactly what happened but the red is there to give a fiery feeling. I wouldn't like this level to have a generic grey castle color, and that's how it looked in the original level. Also the palette is actually among the darkest reds.

I changed the background color though:



And I did the water section too:

ADVENTUM TERMINUS FINAL

Contains:
-Music
-Dirt
-Fixed the issues pointed out by AxemJinx.

Shit to ignore:

-Piranhas are still glitched.
-Blacked out sprites from the status bar.

Let me know your thoughts on the music choices, and please give suggest something else if you don't like them.
Suika Ibuki - 25107
Give an entire review only to a level? seems to be interesting.
*PLAYED IN SNES9X*
Well level design was okay(amazing) but:
[O]
Ignore the disabled light, i just disabled this in my emulator. personally i don't like them
This area was the only low point in terms of level design, lets just say i pressed A killed the Koopa, then pressed the speed-up button from the emulator,and again pressed A killed the Koopa, then used the speed-up button from the emulator. Not a really big problem since i don't know how this area is with the spot-light.
Now for the gliches:
[O]Priority issue, the light ball "shows" the piranha.
[O]The same for this fire(becomes a problem since it causes cutoffs)
[O]What this smoke is doing here?
Aesthetic problems:
[O]Cutoff water.
[O]Torpedo Ted weird palletes.
Overall the level was okay, i think the problem here are gliches, also looking in the screenshots, you can see a "few" cutoffs in the background.
Sorry if i'm taking minor problems so much serious but is because i need make a entire review to only one level so, i'm pointing out all the errors i have found.
#unbanMB980
@AnOtakuGamer, a number of those are technical issues that might not be fixable, but I suppose they're worth pointing out.


Using higan v094 balanced

Music
The music comes in a bit loud at the beginning, otherwise is fine, doesn't strike me as great or bad. Maybe change the instrumentation, remove that bit of the intro, or reduce its volume. For the dark segment.. now I *loved* that bit of music.

Graphics
The graphics are okay... which leaves a lot to be desired. There's nothing that I feel from them other than "castle", no excitement from being in the penultimate level, no fear from the upcoming challenges, it just feels like more ground to cover. There's also little variance in colouring, only one main colour for the FG and a slightly lighter colour for the BG. I might be biased since I did like the variance that the different coloured bricks gave in the original, but that's my feelings on it.

Like I said, I was personally proud of using Hydrocity and changing the palette to represent lava flowing through the pipes and world instead of water, but that choice was surprisingly unpopular. Did it actually look bad, or was there too much mental association with its original use?

Difficulty
Nice challenges, while still giving ample time for the player to react or plan. Had to tread with caution. Chains of ? Blocks could be relied upon for powerups, which was a comfortable indication, instead of approaching with disappointment or fear that it'd just be coins. I don't recall how if I had done similar in the original.

Technical Issues
A few layering and slowdown issues here and there. I died in the dark segment after getting the second midway point in the water segment, but ended up appearing at the first midway. There was no midway point at the midway posts at the very end. The end door does not open if Mario is standing in the middle.

Water
In the water segment, I was expecting the Torpedo Ted blocks that were on the ground to send one out the top side, would that be possible? Also, I recall people were upset with my use of the Amazing Flying Hammer Bros. in the water portion, which I noticed you retained (which I'm cool with, just note that some people didn't like that).

Dark
Coming into the dark segment, challenge spikes, though perhaps much of it is perception from the music. The original did indeed have the foreground visible, which was intended only because SMW did it (the background was supposed to be visible too but there was a glitch, I don't know if the patch made it into the final version, I notice the background isn't visible here either, but whether or not it should be visible is up to you). With the foreground only momentarily visible, it was paramount to survival to progress carefully.

However, I notice something that's probably definitely intentional, all the enemies are specifically chosen to indicate safe ground. The *Bros move back and forth on a solid platform, the bouncing flames were often used to indicate steps, the Li'l Sparkies used to indicate blocks, and the Ninjis often used to indicate the beginning of safe ground over a pit as well as being a general obstacle.

For the single skull part, which to be honest I was proud to think of, I'm glad to see it retained. I don't know if it happened to be the timing of the lights, but it was always possible for me to see an incoming block, even if I had not much reaction time. I'd be careful with that, it'd be terrible if someone were to approach such that it'd be impossible to tell, but I guess it does work well in that they're always visible.

Boss
Crashes. I notice tileset is unchanged though, I'm guessing that's not done, or your task?

Questions
Are these gameplay bits, using enemies to indicate structure, reliable powerups at ? Blocks, allowing the player to pause to analyse the platforms ahead, are these your personal design techniques, or are these standard practices for SMW hacking nowadays?

I want to double-check, there are indeed 5 dragon coins, yes? I believe I did come across five, but having that is important to me.


Final Comments
Definitely reminiscent of the original, but mostly just in feel. Enemy types, slight structuring, alternate pathing, theming order, though otherwise entirely remade. Structurally, did the original suck that bad?

World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
Just because S.N.N. said "reviews" doesn't mean you have to get super technical about everything. Just the usual error pointing works for me.

Originally posted by AnOtakuGamer
This area was the only low point in terms of level design, lets just say i pressed A killed the Koopa, then pressed the speed-up button from the emulator,and again pressed A killed the Koopa, then used the speed-up button from the emulator. Not a really big problem since i don't know how this area is with the spot-light.

I'm not sure it's that easy without the light, I'll take a look into that.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Music

Other than using another port, I don't think I can do much about the music being too loud.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Graphics

I'm pretty sure the issue with Hydrocity was the association with its original use. I'd rather have a custom tileset for this level. I gave a suggestion last time, but you didn't like it and nobody else gave their thoughts. I'll look into the GFX section again and see if I can find something.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Technical Issues

There's a few slowdowns, I'll take care of them. Regarding the midpoints I didn't insert the multi-midway patch because it's not compatible with the latest Lunar Magic, but I think S.N.N. had a way to fix that.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Water

I don't know if there's a custom sprite for that, but I'll look into the list. Without the original sprites I can't insert anything into the ROM though.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Dark

Well, if you really really want the FG to be visible again, I can make it so, but honnestly, I think that just kills the purpose of having a dark room with a spotlight.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Boss

Blame S.N.N. for the crash. Bosses were not re-inserted.


Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Are these gameplay bits, using enemies to indicate structure, reliable powerups at ? Blocks, allowing the player to pause to analyse the platforms ahead, are these your personal design techniques, or are these standard practices for SMW hacking nowadays?

That's how I naturally design levels actually. The enemies near the platform edges were intended to indicate safe ground though.

Originally posted by Ultimaximus
I want to double-check, there are indeed 5 dragon coins, yes? I believe I did come across five, but having that is important to me.

Yes. One in the lower part in the first bifurcation. One above the firebar between the two pirhanas. One next to the first midpoint. One next the a Rip Van Fish in the Water room. And one in the upper path in the last bifurcation.


Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Structurally, did the original suck that bad?

Well, back then the standards were really low compared to now, so most of the original levels had a low caliber, be it because of highly unfair difficulty, poor sprite placement, unfitting gimmicks or item babysitting. Your level probably wasn't the worst in the ROM but still suffered from emptiness and artificial difficulty due to the lenght and the midboss rooms. I would had let you redesign it if you were active at the time I started it, but I had not idea you would come back and when you re-appeared I already had the level design done.
Oh, I didn't even realise SNN made a post requesting reviews for this, heh.

No, I enjoyed not having the FG be visible.

Well I think I would've preferred to have you or someone else take care of it, I'm completely out of practice and out of the loop for SMW hacking, so if I couldn't make something up to par all those years ago, I certainly wouldn't be able to now. I probably would've cut the water room and a few other segments, but try to keep as much of the original as possible, which defeats the purpose of a redesign.

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Originally posted by Ultimaximus
Oh, I didn't even realise SNN made a post requesting reviews for this, heh.

That part of the post was more directed to AnOtakuGamer, actually.

Anyway, I got this tileset, it's brick based and has several FG colors like Hydrocity. Here's a screenshot on how it looks ingame:



Yay or nay?
The graphics themselves look good but that foreground red is absolutely too bright. I know my monitor has its saturation turned up but even so that's too much. It's almost indistinguishable from the background reds. I see that's the default palette that comes with the set but you can definitely modify it to be clearer.
I think the graphics in that screenshot is a far more fitting set than the standard SMWCP castle set, Bowser's castle should be distinguishable from previous castles.

I also second FPZero's remarks about said graphic's palette.
I wonder what a HFD opcode would do in ASM...
Originally posted by TLMB
Bowser's castle should be distinguishable from previous castles

This is not Bowser's castle, it's the one before it

But yes, I like this tileset much better, it's got contrast, and pillars which are excellent decor, bringing back the palace/richness feel in the original.

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I already posted in S.N.N.'s thread, but I might as well post a status update here. As I said in the aforementioned thread, I'm still working on this, but replacing the graphics takes some time. I'm halfway through the level though.

I darkened the red pallete in the first room as suggested, this is how it looks now:



Also, I choose another BG for the underwater segment, how does it look?

The purple bricks in the water sections are very saturated, and the background has fire torches underwater, but otherwise, I like it.

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Anyone else?

World Community Grid: Thread | Team
 
I'm gonna agree with Ulti, the purple bricks look wayyy too saturated. And the purple flames look quite weird. Also, it might be just me nitpicking, but I think these white lines in the first background should be bright red.

As for the level itself it's quite fine so far, definitely feels more appropriate for a world 8 castle.
i just lurk sometimes
Status update: I've finished the water section after an eternity. The final section shouldn't take me that much since it has no ceiling. Also, I changed the purple palette as suggested and removed the candles in the background (I kind of liked the underwater fire, but meh).