Tip: Remaking levels from other Mario games is strongly discouraged, especially popular ones (World 1-1 from SMB or SMB3, for example), as their over-presence in Mario games, official or not, often makes them uninteresting to play.
I've working on my level for the desert world. Right now, I'm about halfway done.
The stage intentionally starts off in a rather generic and aimless way. What I'm trying to do here is give the player a false first impression.
Bait and switch.
This is where the level really begins. Visuals here are quite experimental, though I do like how it turned out. The stalactites that change colors are actually synched to the music (for about ten seconds or so, then it desychs :V)
The level is sort of puzzly, meaning reset pipes are present throughout the stage. The primary level design elements here are baby yoshies and line-guided platforms.
(please ignore the modern munchers, I just happened to have those installed on the rom I'm using)
Puzzles tend to feel out of place in SMW hacks, but they can obviously work as long as they aren't taken too far.
My design focus kind of shifted while I was constructing this stage. I wouldn't say that the finished product is a straight-up puzzle level, but it's certainly not just a platforming stage, either. There's a lot more precision and thought involved in playing this one.
I dunno, see for yourself.
I've made videos on my struggle trying to get through the first part here and here until I stopped. I think some the slopes on the outside area eat my jumps which caused a few of my dumb deaths.
I embarrassingly spent nearly 20 minutes in the first few obstacles but after watching the video, I found it stupid what I to do. I really dislike these sort of puzzle levels, which well, aren't exactly puzzles as it is just mostly "get through this obstacles without doing this and this by accident". They're not very fun to replay through since you're just doing the exact same thing as last time and hope you don't mess up with a slip. There is a lot of nice sprite set-ups but I don't think that should redeem or spare it from what I thought of it.
There is effort as seen from the visuals which are nice apart from the layer 3 that pops in to hide the line-guides sometime. Overall, I wouldn't want to see this type of level in this hack personally. I see it as boring and confusing.
Oh boy, where to start? This level is a mixed bag. Aesthetically I'd give it an 8/10. Really good visuals and fitting music. The graphics aren't technically impressive or anything, but in this case I think pulling off something great with a simple method is more commendable than pulling off something equally great in a complicated way. That's only the aesthetics, though; I still have to discuss the gameplay.
I'll be blunt; this level absolutely unacceptable. Here is why:
- The level does not at all convey what you're supposed to do.
- Jumps are too unforgiving.
- Reset pipes/doors that don't even take you to where you entered them from.
- You're often forced to injure yourself.
The confusing layout is bullshit. Too-hard jumps and puzzle resets too strongly encourage save-states and forcing the player to hurt themselves is just ass. You're making a puzzle level with bad puzzles. The setting for the level is great but execution is terrible.
To Erik I want to say this: Don't accept this level. By doing so you're basically putting the level design bar for the hack at zero.
Also @lolyoshi you can actually jump across the cave entrance. It has a platform with blue coins that spell baka.
<Erik557> Lazy's level was FUCKING insane
<Erik557> but I had, for some reason, fun
<Centipede> I'm not really sure about Lazy's level
<Centipede> On one side I thought it was pretty clever and had some nice aesthetics
<Centipede> But on the other side I think it might feel too different to the rest of the levels from the hack
<Centipede> Also I thought the first half was kinda hard to figure out sometimes, compared to the second half wich I enjoyed much more
<Erik557> true dat
<Erik557> the fact alone that i spent like 15 minutes figuring out wtf (I ran out of time)
<Centipede> I actually had to look at the video to figure out some stuff on the first half
<Erik557> i almost raged
<Erik557> also the fact that it uses yoshi
<Erik557> I still want to have it, but..
<Erik557> i'm not too sure
<Erik557> i mean
<Erik557> i can justify the length
<Erik557> (2-7 and 2-temple are/will be short)
<Erik557> and the difficulty
<Erik557> (I think 2-6 and 2-7 are going to be easy/breather)
<Erik557> but still it doesn't fit
<Erik557> level got negatve reception
obviously leaving all in centipede's hands is being a bad leader so I'm taking public opinions.
We already have 2 (lolyoshi, VF) to reject, and 1 neuter (Erik557)
Note: I have not played the level myself. I watched the videos you and lolyoshi posted. The visuals and music are really well done, but the level design is not something I'm a huge fan of here.
1. The puzzles are hard to figure out. We are expected to do things like throw Yoshi up to eat some rocks but then grab him before it's too late. No real indication that we would still need the shell from the beginning, and it's incredibly easy to lose the shell.
2. The first reset door requires you to hurt yourself if you're big (why?) and is very unforgiving. Why does it send you back to the beginning of the level?
3. Forced to take damage after the first Yoshi jump. I understand this setup exists to filter out the player's powerups for the upcoming puzzle but it's not very friendly.
4. Broken puzzle right after that. Instead of going through the long journey to get the second mushroom, it appears you can just grab the first mushroom that spawns, then squeeze through the bottom by duck-jumping. Also, the intended solution again requires you to damage yourself.
5. The line guides are hard to see with the layer 3 effect.
6. The brown platform has very strange interaction with the dotted outline blocks. It just kind of floats above them and it looks really odd.
7. Unforgiving jumps. The koopa jumps at the beginning of both cave sections are very difficult. Particularly the second one because you are on a platform that's moving away from the Koopa.
Now the second half is pretty alright, to be honest. The "don't get the mushrooms" part is neat, although it doesn't really fit with the rest of the level at all. Once you get into the caves for the second part, the ON/OFF switch thing is pretty cool. I think if the level was based entirely around that type of thing it'd be pretty fun.
In its current state the level is too difficult in the way its puzzles are set up. I'd like to see the puzzles made more obvious or even removed entirely before this level goes into the hack.
Alright, clearly I overshot my goal here, and I would like to apologize to all the players who were struggling with this level.
Now, I'd like to ask you: is this a train wreck that is beyond repair or should I try fixing the level in its current state? I could, say, cut down the first half to be more fair and extend the second half which people seem to like. Personally, I'd like to do an entirely new level. I'm sick of working on this one. However, I could keep the visuals and the setting seeing as that seems to be its strong point right now.
I would very much like to see a level with the visuals and music from this one, so I say keep em'. I also like the idea of alternating between above and under ground. Like people have said, though, the puzzles don't really work. With proper level layout this entry could be one of the best in the hack.
I also agree that the visuals and aesthetics are pretty nice and the concept of alternating between ground and cave is good, but you went overboard with some puzzles. I can't speak for you so if you feel more comfortable redoing the level then you can do that. I would prefer a revamped first part, though.
It's all about bubbles and their contents now. I have never worked with bubbles before, so this was kinda cool. Plus the outside sections don't feel as out of place anymore.
Speaking of the outside sections, those remain mostly unchanged bar some minor tweaks.
I hope you enjoy.
(I am aware 3-8 uses bubbles as well, but I highly doubt our levels will feel samey to the players.)
I feel like the level still has a few problems, but, it's certainly better than it was before.
1 - The level really likes to lag a lot, on my end, especially in the underground sections. 2 - The "insta-death" blocks look ugly, in my opinion. It's also not incredibly obvious that they can kill you, but, maybe I'm just stupid. 3 -This explains it. 4 -I really don't like 'fake HDMA'. 5 - I dislike how you have to think really far ahead in this stage. For example, if you do the wrong thing, especially in the underground sections, because you just don't know what's ahead, you have to fall in a pit and go back to the start of the sublevel the player might be in. That's just a minor nitpick though. 6 - That whole "JUST DO IT" section was BS. I ran and jumped, then died. I walked off the edge instead and then went into the second underground section instead. That's just BS - what else do you expect the player to do? 7 - This level drags on for too long, in my opinion.
Apart from the above, I really liked it. Especially the end section - the puzzles weren't BS, and were enjoyable to solve!