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How long should levels be
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - How long should levels be
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Hey all,
I'm just wondering what your opinions are on level length. What would be your ideal level length, and does this ideal change based on whether the level is standalone/a part of a larger hack?







I think the original game had it down pretty well. I generally like to keep my levels near the same length as a lot of the original levels, as going too long can make people sick of your game. Of course, if you're not going to include midway points, then you should probably aim for SMB3-length levels.
Play a level designed by levelengine, and simply make something shorter than that.
if you're using a retry system and have frequent screen transitions, then make it as long as you want.

otherwise, 1-2 minutes (edit: without dying) is cool. shorter gets really disappointing and longer can easily get tedious and boring.
3 to 5 minutes (assuming it's being played casually) is usually good. Earlier levels could easily get way with being 2 minutes long or maybe shorter, but anything past 5 is often pushing it, unless you have a good reason to do so.

Originally posted by lolyoshi
Play a level designed by levelengine, and simply make something shorter than that.

And what he said.
It depends on how difficult the levels are, how good the level design is, how much the design varies up obstacles and layouts (or does that fall under the previous thing?), and how many checkpoints there are. Though I would say that if you're new to SMW hacking (or any sort of game designing, really), making them about what they were in the original game sounds pretty reasonable.
Originally posted by levelengine
3 to 5 minutes (assuming it's being played casually) is usually good.

#smw{-_-}

150 SMW seconds at most per section. I usually go for 60-80 SMW seconds between sections. (what I mean by a section is the area between checkpoints.)

Oh yeah Skewer makes ridiculously long levels as well.
So basically, aim for a 2-minute-or-so level? Got it. Now to find out how to use checkpoints in conjunction with sublevels...

EDIT: It looks like there's a patch for that. Bad if I want to enter any VLDCs in the future, but good for nigh-all other scenarios.







Originally posted by gravitas
So basically, aim for a 2-minute-or-so level? Got it. Now to find out how to use checkpoints in conjunction with sublevels...

EDIT: It looks like there's a patch for that. Bad if I want to enter any VLDCs in the future, but good for nigh-all other scenarios.


Actually there's an easy vanilla work around involving 1-up mushroom checkpoints or dragon coins that is easily done, seen in both worldpeace and morsel's vldc8 levels. As with most things, there's a vanilla work around that's a lot more complicated than the ASM counterpart.
Hope I'm not too late to add anything.

A made up rule I like to follow is the first and second segment of the level can be no longer than F screens long. Of course this differs depending on what kind of level I'm working on like if it's a slower proceeding level or a puzzle though as I'd make it less than F screens long. Usually my levels are no longer than 3 minutes unless I intentionally make it longer than that. However if that seems to lengthy then I'd say just cap yourself at F-13 screens at most as that should be long enough.

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My Youtube Channel for Hacking and Gaming.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
As with most things, there's a vanilla work around that's a lot more complicated than the ASM counterpart.

well I downloaded asar for one and I find that complicated

Originally posted by EvilGuy0613
A made up rule I like to follow is the first and second segment of the level can be no longer than F screens long.

As you mentioned later a puzzle will definitely be much shorter. If it's a casual, common, and straightforward level, F screens is fine (a bit on the short side). If it's difficult and/or puzzly, then F screens might be a chore to go through.


Just don't have an F-screen boss fight, lol
I like having my levels last 15 minutes or 30

I'm quitting smwc goodbye it has been fun meeting you guys
A fifteen minute level sounds like a miserable slog, and I certainly hope it has a ton of checkpoints.

I think the original SMW had a good hold on reasonable level lenghts, and try to follow it unless something particular calls for doing otherwise.

Originally posted by Cydrius
A fifteen minute level sounds like a miserable slog, and I certainly hope it has a ton of checkpoints.

I think the original SMW had a good hold on reasonable level lenghts, and try to follow it unless something particular calls for doing otherwise.


If it would be the last level, I would be fine with a long level.


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Originally posted by Niiiiiiiiiiko
If it would be the last level, I would be fine with a long level.


Don't overdo it, though. Last thing somebody would want is to be playing a romhack, then suddenly, as they're approaching the end of the game—it turns into the "Great Maze" from Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
Originally posted by gravitas
So basically, aim for a 2-minute-or-so level? Got it. Now to find out how to use checkpoints in conjunction with sublevels...

EDIT: It looks like there's a patch for that. Bad if I want to enter any VLDCs in the future, but good for nigh-all other scenarios.


Actually there's an easy vanilla work around involving 1-up mushroom checkpoints or dragon coins that is easily done, seen in both worldpeace and morsel's vldc8 levels. As with most things, there's a vanilla work around that's a lot more complicated than the ASM counterpart.


Wait, how do you do that? That sounds interesting as hell.







1 to 3 minutes?

Try to avoid lengthy and/or tedious levels.
Levels can be short and still tedious!

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linkies | asm stuff :)

im gay and a lion. I AM VERY POOR PROGRAMMER !!! pixel art no hoper. transcriptions on a hot tin ear.

スヤスヤ・・・ (Art by 1UPdudes)
Originally posted by gravitas
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
Originally posted by gravitas
So basically, aim for a 2-minute-or-so level? Got it. Now to find out how to use checkpoints in conjunction with sublevels...

EDIT: It looks like there's a patch for that. Bad if I want to enter any VLDCs in the future, but good for nigh-all other scenarios.


Actually there's an easy vanilla work around involving 1-up mushroom checkpoints or dragon coins that is easily done, seen in both worldpeace and morsel's vldc8 levels. As with most things, there's a vanilla work around that's a lot more complicated than the ASM counterpart.


Wait, how do you do that? That sounds interesting as hell.


The 1-up checkpoint objects work like this. If you place all 4 and you get all 4, you get a 1-up right? So if you either die or take an exit pipe/door to another room, the 1-up checkpoints will disappear, meaning all objects you placed under it will become visible. This is especially useful in vanilla hacks to create multiple midway points, since after you die and enter the level again, people will place hidden pipes that only become visible after the 1-up checkpoint is collected, allowing you to skip to the end. Although it's usually done as a checkpoint after you die, worldpeace showed that it can be used as a checkpoint even if you don't die in his JUMP 1/2 level.

Same can be done with yoshi coins. If you collect all 5 yoshi coins, all yoshi coins will disappear. It's important though that the 1-up checkpoints and yoshi/dragon coins aren't inserted with map16, or it won't work.


As far as level length goes, it entirely depends on the mode of play style and design. If the level involves lots of vertical ascension, waiting time, or puzzles, you obviously don't want it to be long horizontally, and if it is mostly flat, is can be longer horizontally. As far as time goes, let others play it and say how long it took, because the way you play your own level is extremely skewed, especially if it's non-linear.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset

The 1-up checkpoint objects work like this. If you place all 4 and you get all 4, you get a 1-up right? So if you either die or take an exit pipe/door to another room, the 1-up checkpoints will disappear, meaning all objects you placed under it will become visible. This is especially useful in vanilla hacks to create multiple midway points, since after you die and enter the level again, people will place hidden pipes that only become visible after the 1-up checkpoint is collected, allowing you to skip to the end. Although it's usually done as a checkpoint after you die, worldpeace showed that it can be used as a checkpoint even if you don't die in his JUMP 1/2 level.

Same can be done with yoshi coins. If you collect all 5 yoshi coins, all yoshi coins will disappear. It's important though that the 1-up checkpoints and yoshi/dragon coins aren't inserted with map16, or it won't work.


As far as level length goes, it entirely depends on the mode of play style and design. If the level involves lots of vertical ascension, waiting time, or puzzles, you obviously don't want it to be long horizontally, and if it is mostly flat, is can be longer horizontally. As far as time goes, let others play it and say how long it took, because the way you play your own level is extremely skewed, especially if it's non-linear.


Holy guacamole, that's ingenious as hell! Thanks for explaining how that worked -- I appreciate it a ton.







Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
worldpeace showed that it can be used as a checkpoint even if you don't die in his JUMP 1/2 level.

I quote you all the time because you have so much to say, and there's always something to pick on.

I believe the level you are talking about is Nitroglycerin Betrayal.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
Same can be done with yoshi coins.

And moons Kappa.

@gravitas Make sure that when you are inserting these extra vanilla checkpoints, that you are using the extended objects. Do not take the 1-up checkpoints from direct map16 as they will always be there. Same applies with moons; not sure about dragon coins.

As Leomon said 1 to 3 minutes is fine. I personally get pissed off at huge exploration levels, but most people enjoy that type of thing, so what do I have to say...
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