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VLDC Tips and Tricks Tutorial
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - VLDC Tips and Tricks Tutorial
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I've been told there is interest in a tutorial concerning common tricks used in VLDC levels, such as merging and recoloring. If anybody is interested in seeing something like this, please post in this thread with the kind of things you'd like to see and I'll write up a tutorial when I get the chance, likely after I'm done judging.

Thank you.

A tutorial is always nice, but what would probably see even more appreciation is a collection of "vldc-legal" graphics that can be imported into an ROM (like the square concrete blocks, for one).

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Switch: SW-2766-9108-9399Twitter: @Vine_STYouTube: that ivy guy
non-vanilla "vanilla" mechanics, like 1-up checkpoints and 1F0 (yes, I know it's overused, but hey, someone could use it in a clever way)

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How to make expanded vanilla switch palace floor graphics and 1-up checkpoints would be good inclusions.

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*everything stops*
Yeah, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation...
*cut to next post*
Originally posted by Ivy
A tutorial is always nice, but what would probably see even more appreciation is a collection of "vldc-legal" graphics that can be imported into an ROM (like the square concrete blocks, for one).


That would be appreciated I guess, but it's not feasible as I don't have the ability to decide what additional already-modified graphics would be legal in future VLDCs I might not have a hand in.
Originally posted by NGB
non-vanilla "vanilla" mechanics, like 1-up checkpoints and 1F0 (yes, I know it's overused, but hey, someone could use it in a clever way)


Also sprite memory and such would help.

But yeah, that's a good idea.

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The sprite-only water glitch is a good one. Would be cool if it also covered simpler but still really useful stuff like tileset mixing and GFX merging.
It would be interesting to see a tutorial on the way sprite memory works concerning dragon coins, regular coins, etc, and ways it can be abused, although a lot of it is already well known.

Some ideas besides what was already mentioned:

fake hdma, tiles used for fake hdma (lower and upper part of screen)

how to decorate without making your level distracting

act like tile behaviors for unconventional uses
-There's a really cool tile Lazy figured out works like a vanilla sprite filter too, the red light switch boxes function as sprite-only blocks that don't persist off screen, and tile 1C8 (and I think 1C0) work as reverse clouds (reverse tile 100)

It would also be cool to see even more interesting stuff explained like sprite slots, which were abused for the first time ever (I think?) in Lazy's level. A lot of that stuff comes down to creativity though.


I think making 1-up checkpoints common knowledge would really help too.
A better Layer 3 guide plox
I think some tutorials would indeed be nice. The following things should have the highest priority in my opinion:

- How to insert Layer 3 as a Background
- How to use the invisible 1-Ups as an extra-checkpoint
- ExAnimation tutorial (so how can you do the effect, that you pass a certain points and e.g. torches are lighting on (as worldpeace did in his first room or as underway used it several times)
- How to make a room that´s underwater for enemies but not for Mario
- Fake hdma-tutorial

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if I have time I can do the tutorial on some vanilla tricks sometime soon, I don't know much about graphics but I know a lot of the vanilla shenanigans.
1UP Checkpoints:

1. In the add objects window, go to "extended objects". Object 19, 1A, 1B, and 1C are the invisible checkpoints.

2. Place these objects in order where you want the checkpoint to be. Make sure that the player is guaranteed to hit the checkpoints in order!

3. Near the main entrance/midway of the level, place a door, pipe, whatever.

4. From the extended objects menu, find invisible checkpoint #3 (1B). Place it over the door, pipe, or anything else you want to reveal. Make sure the invisible checkpoints are covering the tiles.



Now when Mario gets the 1UP checkpoint, all the 1UP checkpoints will disappear, so you can reveal certain objects. The 1UP checkpoints will only come back if you reset the game (not sure about game overs).
IIRC they come back when you get a game over. I've gotten... a few... game overs while judging.

Originally posted by ft029
1UP Checkpoints:

1. In the add objects window, go to "extended objects". Object 19, 1A, 1B, and 1C are the invisible checkpoints.

2. Place these objects in order where you want the checkpoint to be. Make sure that the player is guaranteed to hit the checkpoints in order!

3. Near the main entrance/midway of the level, place a door, pipe, whatever.

4. From the extended objects menu, find invisible checkpoint #3 (1B). Place it over the door, pipe, or anything else you want to reveal. Make sure the invisible checkpoints are covering the tiles.



Now when Mario gets the 1UP checkpoint, all the 1UP checkpoints will disappear, so you can reveal certain objects. The 1UP checkpoints will only come back if you reset the game (not sure about game overs).


Why checkpoint 3? I used 1 for my hiding purposes and it seemed to work as intended.

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Does it matter which one you use? Remember that ALL of the 1-UP Checkpoint tiles disappear after usage, not just one of them.
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All checkpoints work as hiding spots and especially after a game over, but only if you choose to continue upon returning instead of restarting.
Maybe if you use the infinitely-durable Map16 versions of the checkpoints it will work every time. Try that. It should work, otherwise I'm not sure

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That won't work, they will just respawn at the spot you hid your objects as if there was no effect. Same logic for dragon coins.
I can't remember at the top of my head but do coins or any collectable in the objects list do the same?

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Originally posted by Ruberjig
I can't remember at the top of my head but do coins or any collectable in the objects list do the same?


Yes, but if the sprite memory is set to "index 3 no track", they will all act like map16-access tiles, regardless of whether they are placed via object or not.

Also not perfect, sprite memory'll only keep track of the x-position, not the y-position (in horizontal levels, for vertical, idk). Collect one coin, all coins in that column will disappear upon re-entry.

To make matters worse, levels that share sprite indecies (index 0x0, 0x1, or 0x2 are the only options) also share data on collected coins yes/no. For example, if two sublevels share a yoshi-coin in the same x-position on the same screen, collecting one will make the game not spawn either next time the level is loaded. This is extremely rare, though, and usually is only the case with (near)-identical levels, which you'd want to happen anyway, so it's not a distinct disadvantage.

More complicated still, all collectables (i.e. coins, Yoshi blocks, Yoshi coins, etc) just use a boolean "collected yes/no" byte, meaning collecting a coin causes a yoshi coin directly above it from not spawning upon reentry, or vice-versa. Also happens across levels within the same sprite index, so large areas of coins can cause problems if two levels happen to share a sprite index (which usually isn't needed, though)

Putting all three rules together, collecting a coin in one screen in one sublevel could stop a Yoshi Block from spawning (turns into a brick block instead), if it is in the same screen, and same x-position as the coin, and both sublevels are set to the same sprite index, which isn't 0x3. Which is exactly what my level did, if you want to see an example.

So... unofficial incomplete tutorial on sprite memory, I guess?

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