people can't do what they want with their level if they want to take prizm's place
by taking his place I mean winning 1st place
so, restricting yourself is what you need to do?
restricting how garbage a level is what you need to do LOL
if anything needs restricting its something that has no power ups or a really messy puzzle where the reset door is unreachable like inferno athletic or frozen cavern castle even bad levels are good next to them
i reward the player by making the level even longer
e: its interesting to note that in a lot of nintendo design, rather then using power-ups as rewards they include semi-goofy moments of gameplay that just make you feel good. Like giving you a shell and 3 wigglers immediately after a tough platforming section. Or, as more hackers have started doing, giving you flopping fish to kick off the screen.
These are definitely more satisfying than just giving you another powerup, unless of course they drastically change the way the game is played (such as the cat suit).
Honestly I had never even thought of that, but that is so cool. I have always said that coins are a terrible "reward", but I couldn't figure out why, but I think it's because it isn't very satisfying. There are some things that are super satisfying though, like kicking a flopping fish, or hopping on enough enemies to grab a 1-up.
Midnight Arbor had a really cool 1-up minigame where you bounce on dinos. I mean, creative moon puzzles are really cool and all, but they are fun because you appreciate the creativity of the puzzle or minigame. But nothing is quite as satisfying as shell kicking or hopping on enemies.
It's interesting to think about humorous breaks in gameplay as well. Swiss Nazca had the best example of this I think, right before the autoscroller. There's a fuzzy and grinder lined up on top of each other, and it looks absolutely ridiculous. It's a funny break after some hard platforming. I hadn't really thought of the fact that Nintendo does that. There's a lot of stuff they do that we also can't possibly come up with, because they're a team of professionals.
It's not the coins that are unsatisfying, it's how it feels to collect them. That's obviously subjective, there are a lot of players that have completely detached coins from being anything more than a guide for blind jumps, but the idea of setting up coins as a reward is that it should be fun to jump around trying to grab them all. It's like that one bonus in whatever castle where you have to fly for like 9 screens and then there's a bunch of boxes placed seemingly at random. They're very specifically laid out to be fun to run around and try to hit all of them.
That's also why the newer SMW games use coins that move and red coins as a way of making them more satisfying. Stationary coins just aren't very fun to grab because they require no thought to line up and jump into them. I think that's also the idea with the invisible coins you jump through to spawn, but those are also pretty bleh if they're used incorrectly.
I think its more interesting to get these rewards in the main level rather then off the beaten path tho, just because you're already pretty excited to be in a bonus stage, so the rewards you get there are less satisfying because you're already expecting a reward. If that makes sense. In a more standard platforming level you're focused on not dying, so getting that breathing room to kick back and watch a sumo bro fly off into the abyss is inherently more satisfying because it alleviates any stress the level could be causing (which the bonus room already does with its existence). I've always personally believed it should be impossible to die in a bonus room, but even that's probably debatable