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Some advice
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Some advice
Pages: « 1 »
I was working on my hack and I was worried that I wouldn't finish it, but then I realized this: I can finish more levels more quickly if I do the level design first. So I wanna give you some advice and hope that you finish your hacks faster. Lemme know if I helped or not, please. If you wanna sticky this, sure. I'm not posting this for fame, I wanna help you

Why worry about aesthetics while you should worry about your level design?

Got this problem, just like me or someone else? Well, then listen to me. If you wanna finish your levels faster, you should work on the level design first. It doesn't matter if it's made of cement blocks, just leave it. When you're done, insert your fancy graphics and stuff.

Using custom ASM? Leave it

You heard me. If you're desperate for custom ASM, like a boss or patch, don't wait until the last moment, at least leave a base for it. This way, you can wait at the last minute for your request to be fulfilled.

Playtest your hack.

Seriously. Play each level you make as often as you can and pay close attention to how much fun you are having while you do so. Are there parts that drag? Make note and try to see how you can change that section so that it doesn't drag. I can't stress enough. Studious playtesting is what will make your hack better. There is no shortcut. If you put in the time to improve your work, you will have fun playing your own levels. And if you are having fun, you will want to keep working on it. More importantly, if you are not having fun playing your levels, you may be assured that no one else will have fun playing them.

Design using setups

I see many hacks where I feel like the designer places all of the landmasses down and then sprinkles some koopas and hopping flames on that. That must be very boring to design, so it's just as boring for the player.

Instead, design setups. Imagine how a player would move through the level, and place obstacles in ways that act as challenges. From here, there are many different branches of level design that you can go to. There's linear design, where the player is forced to go through a bunch of setups in a row. Maybe each setup flows to the next, or perhaps there are breaks between each setup. There's nonlinear design, where there are multiple ways to go through a setup (NOT just completely separate paths. I mean when there is obviously multiple ways to get through a setup. I'm talking Coin Calamity by Hobz or Balloons! by ToxicRave.) Maybe the level is just one big setup that is a puzzle for the player to figure out. Who knows? Point is, don't just put down all the objects first.


That's all, folks

Have anymore suggestions? Then please lemme know, then I'll put it in this thread. If you think this is a tutorial, no. No, it isn't. Otherwise, you can move it to the tutorials section

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My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!
Playtest your hack.

Seriously. Play each level you make as often as you can and pay close attention to how much fun you are having while you do so. Are there parts that drag? Make note and try to see how you can change that section so that it doesn't drag. I can't stress enough. Studious playtesting is what will make your hack better. There is no shortcut. If you put in the time to improve your work, you will have fun playing your own levels. And if you are having fun, you will want to keep working on it. More importantly, if you are not having fun playing your levels, you may be assured that no one else will have fun playing them.
SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
Thanks, Ten. I'll surely add your advice.

--------------------
My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!
* adds thread to favorites *
Thanks dude!

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I like nipples...
Design using setups

I see many hacks where I feel like the designer places all of the landmasses down and then sprinkles some koopas and hopping flames on that. That must be very boring to design, so it's just as boring for the player.

Instead, design setups. Imagine how a player would move through the level, and place obstacles in ways that act as challenges. From here, there are many different branches of level design that you can go to. There's linear design, where the player is forced to go through a bunch of setups in a row. Maybe each setup flows to the next, or perhaps there are breaks between each setup. There's nonlinear design, where there are multiple ways to go through a setup (NOT just completely separate paths. I mean when there is obviously multiple ways to get through a setup. I'm talking Coin Calamity by Hobz or Balloons! by ToxicRave.) Maybe the level is just one big setup that is a puzzle for the player to figure out. Who knows? Point is, don't just put down all the objects first.
This thread is already making me feel more inspired and the tips are quite useful. Thanks :)

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Hack progress: 6/8 exits
Play the demo right here!
Thanks, Minuy600. I'm getting inspired too to create another hack in the meantime, although I got my first hack to worry about.

And I wasn't expecting any posts till now. Looks like some of my patience finally paid off!

Edit: Ur welcome guys

--------------------
My Mode 0 guide.

My Discord server. It has a lot of archived ASM stuff, so check that out!
I don't exactly get your 2nd tip. Do you mean people should leave bases for ASM or such things they're requesting, even if they can't program?
Also Ten, wouldn't levels you've made and tested viciously eventually get stale to you and thus you stop having fun?
Doin' a thing
tbh you shouldn't rely on requests if you want ASM when you're making a hack
Originally posted by Twoka
I don't exactly get your 2nd tip. Do you mean people should leave bases for ASM or such things they're requesting, even if they can't program?
Also Ten, wouldn't levels you've made and tested viciously eventually get stale to you and thus you stop having fun?


If they get stale, that means you might have found something to improve. There are levels in my hack I'm sure I've played over a thousand times.

ft209 gave great advice. That is exactly how I approach level design myself. A level is made of many little pieces. I am sure the original game's designers phollowed that philosophy themselves.
SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
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