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Level 103 (World 4) - Nippy Expanse (complete for now)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 103 (World 4) - Nippy Expanse (complete for now)
Pages: « 1 »
Well, since Gramen Terra has pretty much been fixed (we're just waiting on music at this point), I thought it would be a good idea to take start planning to fix another level. This time, we're going to take on Nippy Expanse.

I get what the author was trying to do (create an athletic snow level in the sky), but the execution was mediocre at best. It honestly looks like it was slapped together by someone who didn't know what a tileset was. This is a bit of an issue, it doesn't look anything at all like an athletic snow level. Here's the plan for addressing the issues in this level.

1. I'm just going to warn everyone right now that this level will probably be drastically redesigned. The same background, and likely the same music, will be kept. However, players should be ready for sweeping level design changes overall.

2. I'm thinking of keeping the arches as a central part of the level. They were used a ton in the original level and I want to respect the author's intent in that regard. However, I'm going to design the actual level so it looks like a snow/ice level.

3. The actual level needs to be a bit more athletic. I'm aiming to design the level in that direction.

Yep, it's a pretty simple plan, but honestly, this is one level that needs sweeping design changes. I haven't started redesigning the level yet because I want to hear some opinions on this level and my plan to redesign it before I get going.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Hey, waaait a second...
Originally posted by akaces
It honestly looks like it was slapped together by someone who didn't know what a tileset was.

Originally posted by AxemJinx, years ago
This level honestly looks like it was slapped together in an hour by someone who didn't understand what a tileset was.

Well, looks like we're in agreement on this one, then. My thoughts from recently playing it echo the same sentiments:

Originally posted by AxemJinx
Nippy Expanse
--The whole layout just feels off and unfocused. It starts with item backtracking, uses the flying winged platforms for only a couple of screens, tosses in some bullet bills and chucks, and the end is too similar to Awesome from the original game (star, fish generator, arch platforms).
--I would rebuild it from scratch or make a new stage.

Basically, it needs a focus. If you're eying the arch platforms, go for it, but I'm a bit put off by how similar the end was to Awesome from the original SMW. See if you can steer it away from that impression somewhat.

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AxemJinx, I may or may not have looked through the thread where you commented on a bunch of SMWCP levels before making this thread...

I completely agree about how the level lacks a focus. I think the arch platforms can be used tastefully. I won't overuse them, but I'm definitely going to use them so the original level is at least somewhat recognizable.

I'll post some screens once I make progress.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Hey, slow down mate! By this point two weeks times there's gonna be no levels left for the rest of us! =P

(I can't actually comment on the level as I don't remember. That's a good thing I think - most levels I remember either as good, or as absolutely fucking terrible.)

- BlackMageMario
I started working on the "new" Nippy Expanse today. I'm about halfway done with the actual level design and have a few screenshots to show.



Remember when I said that this level was getting a full overhaul? I meant it. The first few screens are fairly simple so that the player can get used to athletic stuff in an icy level.



I decided to settle on using Bullet Bills as a key gimmick of this level because I felt that they were the most memorable enemy in the level. At first, Mario has to navigate setups like this, which aren't too difficult.



Eventually, we progress to setups like this (there was a parakoopa behind Mario, but he killed it).



Don't worry, there's plenty of platform jumping for those who prefer more athletic levels too.

So, how does the overall gist of the level look? I feel like Nippy Expanse finally has a focus (athletic snow/ice level with bullet bills), which is what this level most desperately needed.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Looks much better! Keep going, please :b

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Looks like a good and proper atheltic level: wide open spaces, enemies you can use to get extra height, PIPE ABUSE (shot)... I especially love the background in the back of the level (I don't remember if it was in the original). Only thing I can say is that the palette seems a little bit awkward (I would make the colours more white than an icy blue, I think it would look better that way) and that I think there should be a little bit more coins.

Keep it up mate.

- BlackMageMario
Well, I finished the level design last night,, so I've decided to release an IPS. Please play it and let me know what you think about the level.

Known Issues:

- The victory and death music doesn't play in this level for some reason.
- The palette for the midway point is screwed up.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
I think the package as a whole is better than the first version of Nippy Expanse, but I have some suggestions.

-You should probably use blue switch blocks instead of green ones, being that the green switch palace doesn't occur until world 7.
-This is going to be a bit strange, but I think the first half is actually a bit too easy, whereas the second half is of a perfect difficulty (and it feels a bit same-y compared to the first half). Can I suggest moving the stuff from beyond the midpoint to before the midpoint, and then redesigning the second half with something like those wooden platforms from the original Yoshi's Island 3? They're severely underutilized in SMWCP, and this seems like the perfect level to incorporate them.

It's your call, of course. This is still a big step above what was there before.
I enjoyed playing it, and it's definitely a lot better than the original version, but I'm inclined to agree with S.N.N. that it feels slightly easy overall for world 4, and just a little homogeneous (same-y, as S.N.N. put it). There are a few ways we could address this:

(A) Move this level to world 2. It fits the mountain theme as well as the ice theme, and is of appropriate difficulty. Besides, there are ice levels in world 7 that would fit better in world 4, that have difficulty more appropriate for world 4 (Glacial Grave, Permafrost Glacier).

(B) Go beyond global sprites and incorporate another enemy type or two. Alternately, bump up the enemy density slightly.

(C) Move the second half to the first half, and redesign the second half to introduce a new mechanic, such as the wooden chain platforms (S.N.N.'s suggestion). Alternately, slightly redesign both halves to focus more on different kinds of moving platform mechanics, so the level doesn't feel as homogeneous.

(D) Leave everything as it is. The hack in general could use a difficulty decrease, anyway.

Whatever you decide, though, this is already better. Nice work!

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
You did a good job toning down and focusing this level, but I want to mention a couple of things:

- This is minor, but you have Bullet Bill shooters directly beside other foreground objects. When Bullet Bills are fired, they do not have priority for the first split second they're on screen and so appear to go behind foreground objects. You don't have to change it, but I thought I'd bring it up.

Also, this:



Even though the player has to be suicidal to do it, I've never liked one-tile horizontal gaps like this in SMW because Super Mario can be killed when pushed out to the left (which can't happen here) and the player can spin-jump glitch through the floor. I suppose you don't HAVE to change it, but it's not like altering it would hurt anything.
Originally posted by AxemJinx

(B) Go beyond global sprites and incorporate another enemy type or two. Alternately, bump up the enemy density slightly.

(C) Move the second half to the first half, and redesign the second half to introduce a new mechanic, such as the wooden chain platforms (S.N.N.'s suggestion). Alternately, slightly redesign both halves to focus more on different kinds of moving platform mechanics, so the level doesn't feel as homogeneous.


I ended up doing just this for the next IPS. I redesigned parts of the first half to use the vertical moving platforms. The first half of the level feels pretty different from the second half now.

Originally posted by Mineyl
Even though the player has to be suicidal to do it, I've never liked one-tile horizontal gaps like this in SMW because Super Mario can be killed when pushed out to the left (which can't happen here) and the player can spin-jump glitch through the floor. I suppose you don't HAVE to change it, but it's not like altering it would hurt anything.


The thing you mentioned earlier about bullet bill shooters directly beside other foreground object is why that open space is there. It's to prevent the bullet bill from disappearing for that first second.

Anyways, I have a second IPS ready to go. It bumps up the difficulty in the first half of the level. All of the changes I made were in that first half. Let me know if the difficulty is bumped up a little, because that's the goal here.

Download Here

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
All right, now the level is tougher and generally more exciting to play. Good job there. I gotta' point one small issue out, though:



This is weird to explain, but I was standing on the edge of this pipe like so (it has a jumping piranha plant that comes out of it and it's currently within the pipe), and when the right rotating platform's left edge caught me, it dragged Mario's sprite into the corner of the pipe and I took a hit from the invisible piranha plant. Move one of these things a tile away from the other, if you can.

Originally posted by akacesfan
The thing you mentioned earlier about bullet bill shooters directly beside other foreground object is why that open space is there. It's to prevent the bullet bill from disappearing for that first second.

Too bad it still happens all over the level, then. D:
Again, nice work. The changes are subtle, but I think they do a good job addressing those minor issues. I don't think I have any complaints now.

Originally posted by Mineyl


This is weird to explain, but I was standing on the edge of this pipe like so (it has a jumping piranha plant that comes out of it and it's currently within the pipe), and when the right rotating platform's left edge caught me, it dragged Mario's sprite into the corner of the pipe and I took a hit from the invisible piranha plant. Move one of these things a tile away from the other, if you can.

How consistently does this happen for you? I tried to replicate it, but with no success.

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Originally posted by AxemJinx
How consistently does this happen for you? I tried to replicate it, but with no success.

Showing you with a video so you don't think I'm crazy. I'm using SNES9X 1.51, for what that's worth, though I doubt it'd matter.
Huh, weird. I guess it wouldn't hurt to move the right platform to the right a tile or two (I forget if rotation depends on x-position).

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
What if I removed the Piranha Plant in the pipe? I could add a parakoopa above the pipe to compensate.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Another alternative would be to lower the pipe by a tile or two, but see what you think is best.

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
I ended up just removing the Piranha Plant. Anyways, I'm going to send the files to SNN now since there don't seem to be anymore real level design complaints.

Oh, and Mineyl, I ended up just blocking off that narrow passageway with a cement block.

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Mario's Vanilla Journey

Progress: 22/72 levels complete
Jesus christ, you work fast o_o

Good job on the level, though I'm still slightly concerned about the palette. I'd tone down the dark blue under the ground tiles. Your call, though.

- BlackMageMario
Pages: « 1 »
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMW Central Production 1.5 - Level 103 (World 4) - Nippy Expanse (complete for now)

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