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[Accepted] Pikmin Forest
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - SMWCX - [Accepted] Pikmin Forest
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It's about time I get this darn thing posted!

Do you know about those Super Mario Bros. 2 weeds with vegetables buried under them? Well, I replaced the vegetables with...



Pikmin.

Honestly, I have no idea why no one has ever thought of this before! Pikmin buried in the ground and being able to throw them like this makes total sense! I started playing the Pikmin games earlier this year, starting with Pikmin 3, then 1 Wii, then 2 Wii, and a level like this immediately came to mind.

It's not a simple graphic change, though. For one thing, all of the enemies in the level can't be killed by conventional Mario means. They must be killed by throwing the Pikmin at them. You will also find a bunch of obstacles while playing the level that must be destroyed by throwing Pikmin at them. There's a limited number of Pikmin available in the level. If you run out and you can't proceed, you're forced to kill yourself.

This is basically a proof of concept of what you'd expect in this level.


On another note, something that I really wanted to do for this level is, O.K., do you see that Pikmin Onion on the left side of the picture and the enemy on the right? What I wanted to was be able to kill the enemies, and they would leave their corpses behind. You would then be able to pick up the corpses and throw them at the Onion. After that, the corpse would disappear and the Onion would shoot out Pikmin seeds, fall to the ground, and you'd have more Pikmin to throw, EXACTLY like the Pikmin games. I've been trying for A WEEK to get this to work. Although it seems simple, this system has very strict standards that can't be met easily. I've tried very intricate methods to get this system to work properly. At one point, I got it all set up! I throw a corpse at the Onion, the Onion shoots out Pikmin seeds, the seeds fall to the ground, and new Super Mario Bros. 2 weeds containing Pikmin appear. I was very glad and excited then. Unfortunately, my happiness turned to disappointment when I found out that the newly formed Super Mario Bros. 2 weeds freaking DISAPPEARED when I scrolled the screen too far! Ugh, talk about DISAPPOINTING! I was SO CLOSE!

I tried some more for a bit and I eventually decided to give up. If anyone else wants to try, go ahead. If you want the details, I'll give them to you.


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Originally posted by DPBOX
all of the enemies in the level can't be killed by conventional Mario means. They must be killed by throwing the Pikmin at them...If you run out and you can't proceed, you're forced to kill yourself.

Having played the original Pikmin for Gamecube, I know that you can go out as Captain Olimar without any Pikmin and kill enemies by punching them to death (the same button that throws Pikmin), so the first two statements in the quote aren't entirely justified. Heck, this can also be done in Pikmin 3, but if I remember correctly, the strength of the punch has been greatly reduced.

Even aside from all of that, making a level where, if the player messes up, he/she has to kill himself/herself is bad level design no matter what. I recommend adding a Pikmin generator somewhere, possibly near the Onion as that would make the most sense (though, depending on how long the level is, you may want to add more so that the player doesn't have to run all the way back to the beginning just to get another weapon).
I don't see it as bad level design, personally; it's pretty much the same thing as, for example, dying on a P-Switch run for not doing it in time, or having to kill yourself in a lava level themed around moving skull platforms (in a few sections you have to go through a few platforms while keeping a watch on the moving skulls; if you're too slow, you have to kill yourself and do it again).

Plus, by giving the player unlimited tries, it might make the level too easy, judging by how the gimmick was implemented. The player will have more than enough chances, from what I understood, so having the player have to kill himself if he messes up too many times is fine.
Regarding the P-Switch analogy, that doesn't really apply since, as soon as the P-Switch runs out, the blocks turn into coins and the player falls down and dies; the player doesn't need to kill himself/herself because the mechanics do it automatically.

Regarding the skull raft analogy, that does make a bit more sense, but I would at least rather have all of the Pikmin on a layer, then have an event (triggered when there are "No more objects in [the pikmins'] layer") either kill the player itself and/or trigger a message saying something like "You lost all your Pikmin; you can no longer beat the level and must die."

To me, it seems like the way that the gimmick is implemented may make the player think that he/she will be able to beat the level even if all of the Pikmin are lost, so there should be at least some kind of warning and/or notification in-game so that the player doesn't end up wandering around for a while trying to figure out what to do when he/she has already lost.
There will be a bunch of message blocks explaining the level's gimmick. I just haven't implemented them yet.


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I'm currently working on a boss right now.

Do levels with bosses in them HAVE to be the last level of a world or no?


Another thing is, is it possible for me to reserve this level and guarantee it's in the collab? See the thing is, this level is going to take a while. I have A LOT planned for this level, more than you'd think.

Vanilla levels are very simple and easy to make, but they can often have poor quality compared to the more well-designed levels. This level is NOT going to be a Vanilla level. You can probably already see the level of detail that the level will have. Ghosts from the Pikmin series appear when you kill enemies, for example. If you read the last two paragraphs of my first post, that was something I had planned that I had to scrap. I'm thinking about changing the tileset graphics.

See, I don't want this collab to be plagued with Vanilla levels. I want there to be some super high quality levels that took a lot of time and effort to make, too. High quality levels may take a long time to make, but it's worth it. This will be one of those super high quality levels that will take a while. Bonus points for it being about something that absolutely NO ONE has thought up before for Super Mario Bros. X.


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When I got a P.M. asking, "Are you going to finish this level?" I said that I'd have it finished by June 30, and that I was going to submit it then.

I know, the level's LONG overdue, and I'm felling bad. I just wasn't motivated, and there are other things that I want to do. It's the same reason why only a very small amount of attempted fan projects are completed.

However, I'm a procrastinator. Now I'm trying to get this level done as quickly as possible. I'm proud of myself for setting a deadline.

I'll be working very hard on this level June 30. Hopefully, I'll have it submitted, but if I don't, you can be rest assured it WILL be submitted on July 1.

This message is mainly just to tell you that this level is NOT dead and that I will be submitting the level within 48 hours as of now.

(All times and dates are for MY time zone. June 30 means 12:00 A.M. to 11:59 P.M. MY time.)


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Oh, man, I am STEAMING MAD RIGHT NOW!!! YOU WANT TO KNOW SOMETHING? THIS LEVEL THAT I'VE BEEN WORKING HARD ON FOR WEEKS GOT CORRUPTED!!

I was making finishing touches to my level. YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! I was at the point when I was going to submit it in an HOUR or two. Specifically, I was making a power-up filter with the original editor.

So I went to test out the power-up filter for the first time, and strange things started happening in seemingly unrelated parts of the level. I decided to deal with it later, and I used PGE to try out something different with the power-up filter. I was immediately greeted with a message that said that I had 101 events and that the original Super Mario Bros. X can't handle more than 100 events. Well, I didn't know there was a limit to the number of events you could have. So what did I do? I deleted some, well, unused events, of course. But those issues were still happening.

I finished the power up filter, and discovered that all of the event-connected enemies in Section 1, and ONLY Section 1 were just dropping dead right when the level started. I thought, "What's going on?" because you have to kill them for their event to occur, and nothing's killing them.

What's going on? I've tried deleting some and adding them again, and that actually made things worse.

You know what? I'm distraught now! My level...I've worked hard on it for WEEKS...and IT'S FUCKING CORRUPTED!! I still don't know if it really was caused by the addition of a 101st event. Wha...what am I going to do? I can't submit it like this.

Sob, sob, I may have to cancel this level. I just wanted to submit a good level to the collab, and it's corrupted. No, I'm not officially submitting it or cancelling it, but, here.

Please, please, I don't want to start the ENTIRE THING OVER. How do I fix this?

Now I'm probably going to go to bed crying.


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Ouch! I know how long it can take to make a level, as well as how annoying it can be when all of that hard work doesn't pay off. I'll see if I can help get your level working.

I know for a fact that the screen-scrolls-up-and-left bug is caused by the event setting the boundary of a section that the player isn't in, so just keep the event window open and just go through the different sections until the "Set" button is pressed down under the Section area of the Events window, then click "Don't Change" (or whatever it says).

--EDIT--

This is what I mean:


--EDIT 2--

Don't forget to do the same thing to "Bulborb 2 Corpse."

--EDIT 3--

Lastly, the reason all of those enemies in Section 1 die immediately is because you cloned Section 1 to Section 9, but then you shrunk the section boundary so that all of the duplicate NPCs are offscreen, which, to SMBX, means they're dead; therefore, their death event is triggered. The same thing goes for the bridge. Erasing the duplicate NPCs should make the section work normally.

--EDIT 4--

Okay, I fixed all the problems you pointed out. Now all that remains is to make your power-up filter more inclusive and less obnoxious.

EDIT 5: Almost forgot the link to the video.

--EDIT 6--

Wow, this level is really annoying. It just consists of going back and forth to grab Pikmin to throw at something behind a wall to make the wall disappear. It just feels like you're trying to pad out the level, especially when you do things like this:


And when it isn't Pikmin, it's Bomb Rocks, which are even more annoying since it's on a projectile generator shooting DOWNWARD, making it unnecessarily difficult to pick up.

However, my biggest complaint would have to be with Section 6. First of all, I didn't notice the bomb-able wall in Section 2 until after I entered the pipe, and since there wasn't a warp back, I'd have to replay the whole level again to get that last star. I recommend either moving the entrance pipe further to the right or adding a warp back to Section 2. Second, it's literally impossible to kill the green Switch Goomba if the player is Super Mario since Super Mario can't duck-jump while holding an item. Third, there's no checkpoint in the entire level, so if the player makes it to Section 6 as Super Mario, he/she has to kill himself/herself and replay the entire level AGAIN while making sure to stay small. Fourth, those blue coins are an unintuitive indication that a pitfall is there; I got lucky and managed to avoid them on my playthrough, but it will be a cheap death for others. Fifth, you forgot to put the Bulborb generator on the "switch" layer, so Bulborbs will literally appear from nowhere. Plus, you set the generator to move left instead of up. Lastly, you forgot to put the last two stone walls onto their own layer (they're currently on the default layer), so the level is STILL impossible to beat without cheating. Heck, the player can't even complete the bridge since the first of those two stone walls won't disappear partway through (or at all)!

I'd say that this level HAS MAJOR ERRORS at best, but that's something I'll leave to the project leads.
Thank you very much Imaynotbehere4long! You saved my level!

First of all, I KNOW the level has issues. It's still incomplete, especially Section 6. I posted it because I didn't think I was going to develop it more. I decided to take it one step at a time. I was going to fix Section 6 after I finished the power up filter. The power up filter isn't complete, either. I was going to set the "No Gravity" flag to those ? Mushrooms.

I'll be honest. I lost confidence in the level because I thought saving the level with 101 events caused it to break permanently. This fact contributed to me to overlooking those issues you mentioned.

Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
off screen enemies dying because they're in Section 9


This was mostly caused by laziness. For the power up filter, I decided to clone Section 1 to Section 9 and change the boundaries. Lack of knowledge also contributed. Because the enemies were off screen, I didn't think they would load, let alone die.

Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
positioning issue


I seriously HAVE NO IDEA how this happened. I don't think I ever touched those ever. This is totally weird!

Well, I'm going to start developing the level again. It should be complete and submitted within 48 hours...assuming something doesn't come up. Well, I guess I submitted a beta. I guess you can give feedback, but keep in mind that there are still many issues and the level is not complete.


EDIT:

3.5 hours later...

The level is complete!!!!

(Wow, that was fast.)

Yes, this level is finally complete, and I'd expect concrete feedback.

Some aspects of the level I had planned I had to scrap, including a boss. I learned today that I wouldn't be able to implement that stuff anyway because all 100 event slots are used up. Yeah, that's how complex this level is.

Well, enjoy!#ab{;)} I will officially submit the level soon.

By the way, is there a limit to how many layers a level can have?


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I still stand by this (regarding the first section, at least):
Originally posted by me
It just consists of going back and forth to grab Pikmin to throw at something behind a wall to make the wall disappear. It just feels like you're trying to pad out the level, especially when you do things like this:

Seriously, though, the only time the empty-back-and-forth-corridor makes any sense is if the level is auto-scrolling; otherwise, it's just pointless padding.

As for Section 2, I liked the idea of using the Lakitu sprite-swaps' bombs to progress, but I don't think it was implemented to its full extent (especially since the Lakitus can be killed by just waiting next to the Bomb Rock generators on the right side of the section). Also, the exit point for warp 5 is a bit too close to the Bulborb. I recommend moving it to the other side of the hole so that it's further away from the Bulborb and so it puts the previous Lakitus on screen (so the player doesn't have to backtrack for them if he/she gets the secret star there).

The only part I found to be truly enjoyable was the bridge in Section 6 since the Pikmin are unlimited, the backtracking is minimal, and there are Bulborb generators that the player has to avoid (though I think the second one generates a bit too quickly, especially for a section devoid of power-ups. I recommend adding a mushroom somewhere).

Speaking of Section 6, you also didn't change the thing with the blue coins indicating holes. Unless that's your signature design tactic or is commonly used in SMW hacking (or you warn the player about it in the level beforehand), I doubt anyone will figure that out without trial and error. I recommend just making that area part of the P-Switch run since, as it is, the P-Switch run is really short and forces the player to wait by the down arrow (and waiting = boring = not fun).

This level still has errors, but whether they're major or minor is for the project leads to decide.

--EDIT--
Originally posted by DPBOX
I will officially submit the level soon.

I thought that levels were submitted by just saying that the level is complete in the topic's title.

--EDIT 2--

Also, the power-up filter(s) is/are still really obnoxious. I recommend you make a small area where the player is forced to jump into a Mario change-block, then spinjump onto some jump-through-able blocks (to remove Yoshis and shoes), then enter a door while hitting the "Drop Item" button so that the player is taken to another section as soon as the item drops. Then, have an invisible harmful object that disappears after 0.1 seconds positioned one unit above the door's exit so that Mario will become small if he has a power-up but remain unscathed if he's small.

That entire process should only take about one second in-game if done correctly, and if you're clever, you can hide the process behind foreground images and have a short cut-scene play to mask the filter.
It now looks like this



Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
the Lakitus can be killed by just waiting next to the Bomb Rock generators on the right side of the section


I removed the top Bomb Rock generator.

Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
Also, the exit point for warp 5 is a bit too close to the Bulborb. I recommend moving it to the other side of the hole so that it's further away from the Bulborb and so it puts the previous Lakitus on screen (so the player doesn't have to backtrack for them if he/she gets the secret star there).


I moved it.

Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
Speaking of Section 6, you also didn't change the thing with the blue coins indicating holes. Unless that's your signature design tactic or is commonly used in SMW hacking (or you warn the player about it in the level beforehand), I doubt anyone will figure that out without trial and error. I recommend just making that area part of the P-Switch run since, as it is, the P-Switch run is really short and forces the player to wait by the down arrow (and waiting = boring = not fun).


I have seen that used in Super Mario World hacking. I simply removed the gray cement blocks, the blue coins, and the down arrow and made it part of the P Switch Run. I also added a Mushroom.



Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
I thought that levels were submitted by just saying that the level is complete in the topic's title.


It will say "Accepted" if it's been accepted. I'll probably make it say "Submitted", if it's been submitted but not accepted.


Updated level!


[Addressing SMWCentral as a whole] Also, I'd like to have feedback from more than one person, please.


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All right, I've made a few minor changes to the level and submitted it, since no one's giving me feedback. (The links should still work and contain the updated level.)


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Not sure if I like this level - it does have some interesting ideas, but I don't think they were executed very well, so it still has a few major issues. Major issues through the level are backtracking and the limited Pikmins - there was a section with unlimited Pikmins and it worked pretty well (probably one of the level's best parts).

Not really sure on what to do with it, but it definitely has a few errors at this point. If you could somehow make the design more interesting, with less backtracking/flatness/more interesting enemy uses, specially at the first section, it would be great. Not sure on how hard it would be to do that without completely breaking the level, though, considering it already happened once.
I updated the level yet again. I reduced the length of Section 1 by cutting out unnecessary flat land and even an enemy. I also moved some Pikmin. I don't want the player to have a Pikmin and then throw it at an enemy. I want the enemies to hinder the player, so I tried to place the Pikmin after the enemies instead of before. I also tried to cut back on backtracking by placing 5 or more Pikmin by the tree and bridge, but it's hard to cut backtracking with the type of level. Also I want to punish the player for missing too much by having them backtrack. I'm debating on whether or not I should make the Onion at the beginning of the level keep spewing out unlimited Pikmin. It's at the beginning of the section, so...

I think a bit more testing is needed, though.

I'm resubmitting the level.


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I know it has been a while since anyone posted here, but if this level is accepted, I'd like to make a faster power-up filter for this level.
Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
I know it has been a while since anyone posted here,...


I know. I resubmitted the level to Eternity about 15 days ago, but I still didn't get a PM back or a post in this thread. I don't know what's up.

Originally posted by Imaynotbehere4long
...if this level is accepted,I'd like to make a faster power-up filter for this level.


You can, but after doing so, you'll have to send the level with the modified power-up filter to me for approval. If I accept, I'll officially submit the level with the modified power-up filter.


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This level is quite intersting. There are a lot of cool ideas. The sprite swaps are neat and the ghosts of the enemies are really cool.

The level has some issues, though. The main problem (for me) is that the level gets very repetitive, especially with the backtracking for pikmin. And if you die, you have to do it all over again, which gets tedious pretty fast.

However, I liked the part with the unlimited pikmin (section 6, the 15x bridge) like the other people that commented. I also think that the "kill all the enemies" gimmick doesn't add that much. Most of the time you just have to backtrack to get a pikmin (or simply slide kill the enemies in the first section). I think it would be better if this was a "normal" level with pikmin to help you progress, but they aren't an absolute necessity. It might also be an idea to make more of the unlimited pikmin sections (just a thought).

There are also some minor issues:
- The power-up filter takes pretty long. This doesn't really help with the repetitive nature of the level. If the level is finished, I'd take Imaynotbehere4long up on his offer to improve it.
- This wooden block structure feels a bit pointless now:

You should just make it normal land at the bottom.
- The first secret star feels kinda random (I know there is a sign, but that didn't really help :/ ). The level doesn't need it necessarily (The other secret stars are better placed). I would leave this one out or relocate it. (It could be hidden after another bridge building secret at the end of the section, provided that you don't have to backtrack too much to get all the pikmin (this is just an idea, though)).
- The cave section has some cut-off in the pits, when they come from a sloped hill:

The rest of the cave is neat, but it would really benefit if you didn't have to kill all the enemies, since most of the time I got stuck in the end with three to four bomb lakitus, who overwhelmed me with bombs. And it would be nice if the opening here on the right would be a few tiles longer, so that you don't have to blow up the ground you're standing on to progress:
to
- In section 6 there is some more cut-off in the lower right corner:

The beginning of this section is pretty unforgiving, by the way. You have just enough pikmin to make it through. I also don't really like the green switch section and the p-switch run. It feels like pointless padding. I think it would be better to delete those parts completely. You could move the midpoint to after the blue goomba. This way, the midpoint won't be too lopsided. The rest of the section with the infinite pikmin is pretty cool, though!

Sorry for the late response, and good luck with the level!
I resubmitted the level. (Well, I'll send Blue Leaf the PM in a few minutes.)

[1st screenshot]
Well, it's just scenery. I added decoration.

[2nd screenshot]
Well, the problem is, that's the only way to make slopes in a structure like that. Are you expecting me to change the slope graphic and put "grass" or whatever it is on the side of the slope tile?

[3rd and 4th screenshots]
I made the bomb blocks 5 tiles high and also added 2 red donut blocks next to the bomb blocks to make it easier.

[5th screenshot]
I did delete those parts. The section starts right at the bridge building segment now.

Also, I moved the checkpoint to an intermediate area between the forest section and the cave section. I decided that, since the forest section has all of the backtracking and the rest of the level doesn't, and with the cave segment having a much higher difficulty, I think this change would cut down on players' frustration and make the backtracking more tolerable since they won't have to do it again. The removal of parts of the desert segment makes the new checkpoint placement more reasonable.

I believe the links still work and point you to the updated level, if they don't, reply.


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Originally posted by DPBOX
[2nd screenshot]
Well, the problem is, that's the only way to make slopes in a structure like that. Are you expecting me to change the slope graphic and put "grass" or whatever it is on the side of the slope tile?


No, because Sednaiur already did it for you.

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