The reason this is coming kind of out of the blue is that there wasn't a lot to show off here after the palette was done - this is a pretty straightforward level with no fancy gimmicks. It's not that long, and perhaps not even that exciting, but I think it does a good job at introducing Chucks and the bouncing acorn sprites I made to replace footballs. I'd rather not revise the level design a dozen times when I could reasonably be moving on to making the next.
(The screenshots make the level seem a little empty, but in all cases there's enemies right off-screen, and Chucks and acorns turn out to be enough to keep players on their toes anyway.)
As for the Chuck graphics, after drawing the head from scratch I decided to just take the body graphics from SMW and recolor/reshade them, in the interest of getting on with it™.
Also, for those who missed the C3 thread, here's the trailer-ish thing I made to show off some world 2 gameplay:
While world 3-1 had bright and pleasant fall weather, world 3-2 shows off one of the season's less lovely sides - the plains are flooded, it's raining again, and it's one of the very few times in SMW hacks where the sky is overcast. All a vital part of nature though! (definitely more in line with my personal fall experience, anyway.)
Compared to the last level I spent a lot more time crafting the visuals for this one - and from what I could gather from Discord feedback, it was worth it (apart from the slightly sloppy cloud movement and the lack of rain splashes).
There's some HDMA cleverness going on again that I'm quite pleased with: the foreground water is actually on layer 2 as well, it's just moved to the main screen and given translucency for the last 16 scanlines. That means I didn't have to make separate foreground tiles for the underwater part, and still had layer 3 free for rain. Phew!
I still don't know what to do with the level design though.
(Also, I've been working on this over two hot summer days, which is quite a bit of clash. I don't think I've built any level so far during the season it represents?)
For 3-2's gimmick I decided on (among other things yet to come) a Lakitu that throws acorns. This is actually a different sprite than the bale-throwing one from 2-1, in both behavior and graphics, and I drew this one up just today. (I'm reasonably satisfied with the graphics; enough to move on anyway.)
Here's a somewhat clearer view showing the progress and a couple of dead ends:
Thanks for noticing! That's fixed now (or at least it seems to be no worse than in SMW).
In other news, here's the second gimmick: jumping fish. (Hopefully it's clear from their color and spikiness that they can't be jumped on?) I think paired with acorns falling from the sky they'll make for world-3-appropriate obstacles.
world 3 is looking fantastic as always wye! really love the scrolling in the rain background a couple of posts back. out of curiosity, are you making use of other hdma channels than the spare three SMW has? I feel like there's more than three things going on all the time
nice to see some interesting lakitu variants coming through. i had a similar issue with coding a lakitu sprite before where it kept throwing the sprite in the directions i didn't want it to (like to the right like yours), glad you made it better. can't remember what I did to fix mine.
only thing i didn't notice until i read your post was that the fish are spike-y. not sure, but i feel they're moving too fast to notice the spikes straight away. don't really think it warrants changing or anything as i'm fairly dumb at figuring things out lol. if you're using message boxes though (can't remember if i've seen them in previous posts), then maybe one wouldn't hurt.
Thanks for the input! Guess I'll have to draw more readable graphics then. (Explaining behavior with words I think would be clumsy, and message boxes don't work in the rain anyway.)
Because why not, here's another refinement that isn't even obvious at first glance:
Fish now jump in sync no matter when they spawn. Every fish checks on spawning if there's another fish already in the level, and if there is, it copies its speed and position within the arc. It seems like a minor detail, but when testing out setups I've found that essential, in order to make their movement not feel too chaotic.
New fish graphics, very much inspired by Porcu-Puffers. I think they work a lot better overall, and even if they're obscured by the rain and their speed you can tell they're spiky. Thanks for those suggestions!
I also reduced their gravity to 75% so they don't move as fast, which should make them more readable and prevent them from being frustrating to deal with.
I beat Donkey Kong Country and it's sequel, I can beat this.
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I've been working on the graphics for the underwater part, which has a gimmick that was nearly overused years ago but may now be cool again:
Yep, it's the return of silhouettes. (I think the colors should be alright in terms of distinguishableness?) I'm aiming for a kind of sunken city atmosphere, and for the gameplay gimmick I was thinking of, uh... spikes.
(level design still to come.)
I can't speak much to the level design because I haven't played a demo or anything myself (not that there's anything bad in the screenshots) but these visuals are incredible. I always knew you were at the very least a decent artist, but damn.
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I was wondering why this hack took so long..I now know. Every single level in this hack is gorgeous!! Usually I prefer vanilla-like graphics, but these graphics..they're too good to ignore. I can't wait for this hack to release, it looks incredible.