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Deja Vu-lley
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Deja Vu-lley
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Download the level here: Deja Vu-lley

Okay, so initially I had an idea of doing a water level, but later on I changed my mind and decided to take a risk.
This will be a five-in-one level. This is indeed a risky move, because it's really hard to connect the areas in a way the level keeps its purpose.

So the level theme is déjà vu (strong sensation that a current event has already been experienced in the past). The purpose of the level is to resemble original SMW levels in a new way.
Levels that inspired me were Animal Antics from DKC2 and Copyright Violation from VLDC8 (although the gimmick of the last one is completely different from what I'm doing).

For the aesthetics, the palettes will be different from the default, but the levels will be as vanilla as possible to actually fit the level theme.

Updated screenshots:
tubular except you have to avoid feathers as well as footballs.

This looks cool. Variety Path SMW.
I love your palettes, they're very pretty! Level looks really cool as well. The idea of making a long-form level that's heavily reminiscent of the original SMW levels is a risky one for sure, but just be sure to try to keep it at a reasonable length and it should be fine.
most okayest
Something about these screenshots scream sinister.
I like the concept. I hope it's not DQ'd for being based on original levels.
It's as if the sun set on the original smw
The idea is interesting, but maybe people may call it inconsistent switching from night to castle to sky to forest to ... area. On the other hand it may be consistent if every part refers to an original SMW level. Don´t know whatto think about it, but it definitely stands out in its own way. Also the palettes are very pleasant.

But as people said before. Keep the lenght reasonable and don´t mix up like 50 SMW levels in one level. We don´t need a variety path 2.0

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As it is now, I think the level length is reasonable. I'm still working on it but I think there won't be more than 10 SMW levels references.
I'll try to see what I can do about the inconsistent level transitions.

Thanks for the feedback!
Entries based on the original SMW levels won't get disqualified, don't worry. Specially if it looks good, which seem to be your case so far!

I like the small atmosphere modifications from the original levels. It makes you still go on them but with a different feeling. As the other people said, don't make it too long and be sure to have some logic connection between the levels. I always think dejá vu themed stuff leads into interesting things so be sure to make yours interesting too! :P

Good luck and be sure to have positive dejá vu scoring memories.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xkRkaXPN_A
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Thanks for the feedback. I recently have made some changes to the palettes. Refer to the first post.
Ok, so I made so many changes on this level and I am still being bothered by something that I can't tell what it is. I really would appreciate if someone could give it a go and enlighten me with an idea.
You can easily cheese not-tubular by getting first cape and then going back to beginning and then just fly through everything, I managed to do that first try(no savestates) too(put something to ceiling/top if you want to prevent that).

The banzai bill jump at end of the first area is too strict, its easy not to make the jump if you hesitate even a little bit. I liked the castle part(to be specif the inertial part), but other than that the level itself just felt typical 105-edit with some effort put to it.

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Originally posted by KDeee
You can easily cheese not-tubular by getting first cape and then going back to beginning and then just fly through everything, I managed to do that first try(no savestates) too(put something to ceiling/top if you want to prevent that).


So you got the first cape on tubular and then went back to the beginning of tubular section or you went back to the beginning of the whole level? It's totally doable to fly through tubular, but the ceiling exists. I will see what I can do here to avoid it though.

Originally posted by KDeee
The banzai bill jump at end of the first area is too strict, its easy not to make the jump if you hesitate even a little bit.


I will ease that jump.

Originally posted by KDeee
I liked the castle part(to be specif the inertial part), but other than that the level itself just felt typical 105-edit with some effort put to it.


Well, the main purpose of the level is to feel typical 105-edit. Is it a bad thing? I don't really know what I can do about this.

Thanks for the review.
I meant the beginning of the not-tubular part the ceiling only makes it slightly harder, but theres still really nothing preventing me from flying through it.

I forgot to mention that the line-guided rope part was bit too strict at times, in few spots theres very little time to react. I'd also made the bridge at the end bit longer as the parakoopa is perfectly sync with the rope which makes the jump too strict(as the rope goes backwards)


Like here theres just barely enough space and time to avoid getting hit.


This jump is just pain because the parakoopa is perfectly in-sync with the rope, and the rope goes backwards and quickly speeds-up making player backtrack the entire thing(or tanks through it). I'd made the bridge longer to the left and/or remove the parakoopa.

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Thanks for pointing out the flaws on cheese bridge section.
But how did you get a cape in that section? The only way is if you passed the level with the cape and re-entered the level, because I don't remember giving a cape to the player before this area.
I have updated the level. I would appreciate if anyone could try and provide me some feedback. Also, ideas for BGM would be nice.
Thank you so much for the feedback, KDeee, Aeon, Falconpunch, idol, snoruntpyro!
I'm really happy the whole concept actually worked, since we all know 5-in-1 levels usually fail. I'm without words, really.
I'm working in the level and it's almost done. I started the first section by scratch basically, and you might also see some changes in the other sections.

Again, many thanks!
grassland
- the fg palette is very very pretty! I'm not as fond of the hills in the bg, particularly the yellow ones, but they aren't awful. The gradient is freaking beautiful!
- The layer 3 bg makes the hills look paper thin. idk if there's a way to move them around to make them feel a bit more dynamic, but it might be worth thinking about.
- I'm not a fan of the sudden kicking koopa. The yellow koopa troop made me laugh because as soon as I jumped on a shelled one, the baby behind it hopped in the shell and chased me down! I liked that, but maybe have them in a more consistent pattern. Right now it looks very careless and spammy. (It'll also make it easier to spin jump all of them for the 1-up, but you can still do that as is)
- I'm not a big fan of the jumping pirahna plant coming out from behind a bush rather then a pipe. It's possible to walk into him without seeing him back there
Overall, I think the section needs a lot more focus. The yellow koopa hoards are pretty interesting and fun, but there are 1-off enemies (the hammer bro jumps out in my mind) that should really be cut. If this section was just yellow koopas (small and shelled), rexes, chargin chucks and banzai bills, I think it'd be a lot more enjoyable.

Sky
- I think you're using the wrong line guide tile. That's why the rope starts underneath the line and jumps up when you grab it. Try using the other flat one!
Overall, it's fun, a little tough to manage as there are times an empty line will have a red spot or a crazy pattern and leave you so focused on it that you kind of lose sight of your surroundings. The difficulty spike from the grassland to here is quite ridiculous, I think there should be a section or 2 inbetween, or it should be made easier (probably by shortening it and removing the red line guides.)

Castle
- As much as I love the invisible block on a net tile thing, it's worth noting that if you rub up against it mario spazzes out a bunch. Can look sloppy and takes you out of the level. the way you used it was absolutely brilliant though. This is a wonderful way to hide a secret! I'd move the spiky ball to the right though. It's not very fun hitting it after excitedly running towards the pipe as there's no way to avoid it once you start falling
- you cant hit net tile koopas with throw blocks. it makes it kind of weird since they're side by side
- the secret cave makes you skip a yoshi coin, and thats not cool
Overall, not sure I'm following where the "deja vu" comes in with this section... it's incredibly creative, and a lot of fun, but doesn't really resemble SMW in the slightest. The spike pits are cool and the net puzzles are really awesome, but yeah. Not exactly deja vu material.

Secret Cave
- jumping fish in these tight corridors aren't very fun. i keep getting hit by them and i dont think there's anything i can really do to avoid it, without already knowing where they are.
- clever secret exit. I like
- it's a little silly that after all that, if you miss the secret exit you get sent back to the castle level. I think that as a skip it should let you bypass an entire section for your troubles.
Overall, it feels a little bit too long, it could probably afford to be cut down a bit. It's fun, but a little samey.

P Balloon
- SUPER DUPER BEAUTIFUL OH MAN this looks hella great
Overall, a strong way to end the level. Challenging but fair, and very fun.


So yeah! I really enjoyed that!! As I said, the grassland needs more focused enemy placement/selection, the bridge section is way way too hard, and the cave section might be a tad bit too long. Also the net tile puzzle might be better suited for a different level, as I said it isn't very authentic here. Keep that secret wall though that was really cool! :)

e: oops, forgot my picture comments!


[L TO R: since the yoshi coin is at the bottom of the screen, my first reaction is to climb down. However, doing so traps me as I cant climb back up or go down. I'd probably make it possible to avoid getting hit by a saw if you're caught down there; lol this chuck conjures the rock out of thin air here; Raise the ceiling here. Once that chuck starts digging rocks its nearly impossible to avoid getting hit.
most okayest
Thanks for the feedback Hobz!

Originally posted by Hobz
I'm not as fond of the hills in the bg, particularly the yellow ones, but they aren't awful.


I was expecting someone to say something about it, because I didn't like it that much too. Hehe... I will see what I can do. Basically, the first section is another level. Still grassland though.

Originally posted by Hobz
I think you're using the wrong line guide tile.


Thanks for pointing that out. I noticed it before, but I wasn't sure if there was a way around. I was indeed using the wrong line guide tile. Now, the transition between slow and fast is really smooth.

Originally posted by Hobz
The difficulty spike from the grassland to here is quite ridiculous


I tried to ease the pain a little bit on the sky section. Also the grassland area is more challenging than before. Far from being hard, but not easy as it was.

Originally posted by Hobz
you cant hit net tile koopas with throw blocks. it makes it kind of weird since they're side by side


I got no other ideas here. On the original SMW, there was a magikoopa in this section to destroy those turn blocks. But a magikoopa is all I don't need in this castle.

I made lots of changes on the castle area. It resembles the original SMW better than before.

Originally posted by Hobz
P Balloon
- SUPER DUPER BEAUTIFUL OH MAN this looks hella great
Overall, a strong way to end the level. Challenging but fair, and very fun.


I had to rework this area. A lot of complaints about being really hard to get past on time. It is still challenging, but the p-balloon area is much shorter, and the grass was extended a bit.

Originally posted by Hobz
Also the net tile puzzle might be better suited for a different level, as I said it isn't very authentic here. Keep that secret wall though that was really cool!


I guess I will keep this gimmick. I had made some changes that at least for me, felt a little bit more authentic to the original. The main grip of the whole "deja vu" concept was to make the player recognize the levels they were based in. And looking to all the reviews so far, I guess every single level I based into was recognized, except for Larry's Castle.

Originally posted by Hobz
the cave section might be a tad bit too long


It's actually the same size the castle is.

Originally posted by Hobz
[L TO R: since the yoshi coin is at the bottom of the screen, my first reaction is to climb down. However, doing so traps me as I cant climb back up or go down. I'd probably make it possible to avoid getting hit by a saw if you're caught down there; lol this chuck conjures the rock out of thin air here; Raise the ceiling here. Once that chuck starts digging rocks its nearly impossible to avoid getting hit.

Thanks for pointing that out. I already fixed those, except the saw. The coins are there to warn the player. If you follow the coins you can get the dragon coin without being hurt. I made this dragon coin a little bit easier too. The coin guides are more accurate.


Again, thanks for the feedback!
So, I made some final changes regarding some sprites placement and setups. Refer to the first post for the level. Thanks everyone for the feedback and have fun!
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