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2017 Old-School Level Design Contest (Discussion)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - 2017 Old-School Level Design Contest (Discussion)
Pages: « 1 211 12 13 14 15 16 » Link - Thread Closed
Here is a zip file containing every submitted entry in bps format: Link

Tip: To bulk patch bps files, open Floating IPS, click apply patch, and select every bps file. You will get a different ROM for every patch.
Oh, thanks a lot! I already was wondering why people didn't get insane from patching so much, lol. Now I understand. I might want to do the same as some are doing right now and be a little bit of a judge. Is that okay with everyone?

e: Ahh nuts, i've tried a few and now I get the feeling my optimistic flow of my level is not really justified. I don't want to go all negative here but I am slightly dissapointed in myself.
Originally posted by Minuy600
Oh, thanks a lot! I already was wondering why people didn't get insane from patching so much, lol. Now I understand. I might want to do the same as some are doing right now and be a little bit of a judge. Is that okay with everyone?

e: Ahh nuts, i've tried a few and now I get the feeling my optimistic flow of my level is not really justified. I don't want to go all negative here but I am slightly dissapointed in myself.


Don't get discouraged, it takes a really long time to be able to understand good flow and enemy placement in a level. Yet, I will say that there are ways to get good at it quicker, and it's good to at least know what you're aiming for when making a level.

So first of all, your level's name is "Bullet Bonanza". I'm gonna explain why this level name could be much better, and it's not just because it almost matches the ironic naming chart that I made a few posts back. Bullet Bonanza is boring, and already before playing your level, I have this feeling that it will be a level with bullet bills making up the primary enemy. So already, nothing about that name is making me excited to play the level, since I have played plenty of bullet bill levels before (and they tend not to be that great, since the bullet bills are luck based). I have played lots of levels that had absolutely incredible names, that ended up not being that great (example: Sky At The Weird). But, that is at least better than a level with a boring name, where the design ends up fulfilling the blandness insinuated by the name.

The problem with Bullet Bonanza, or any level that uses the main sprite as the first part of the name, followed by an overused action phrase, is that nothing unique about that level could possibly be inferred from the name. However, if I name a level "Chains of Atrophy", well now, that is interesting. What are the chains going to be? Why are they falling apart? It turns out, the chains are creating/eating brown blocks, but it's an interesting name that really draws you in. Now, not every level has to have this random nonsense VIP styled name to be interesting. Actually, you can have a pretty standard level name, but still capture the attention of people. Take these for example: "Ice Cutting Site" or "Gambly Night". These work because they have a really pleasant and unique ring to them, without using overused tropes like "Bonanza". The "cutting" in Ice Cutting Site comes from the grinders, without implying immediately that they are grinders. Imagine how much worse "Ice Grinders" or "Grinder Snowland" or "Grinder Ice Mountain" would have been.

One of my favorite level names is "Green Palace of the Alchemist" by worldpeace. It's insanely creative because it turns a rather hard to name level concept (the green switch) and makes it interesting by calling it a palace. The alchemist is a joke, since the gimmick involves silver (and alchemy is the process of turning metals into precious metals like gold). If you have a level with bullet bills, even something cheesy like "Bill's Backyard" or "Ready, Aim, Fire" sounds better.

I also checked out some of the other videos on your channel. Why in the hecking actual heck would you name a world in a hack "Plain Plains"? There is nothing exciting about "Plain Cave" either. In fact, there is something extremely UN-exciting about having the word "plain" in any of your level names. I suggest scrapping all of those names and thinking really hard about something that would be humorous and/or interesting. If English isn't your first language, that's all good. I use a thesaurus sometimes to come up with interesting synonyms to common words. For example, in my OLDC level "Agaric Sabotage", "Agaric" is a type of mushroom. Sounds a lot better than "Mushroom Sabotage" right? Do you think I'm an expert on mushroom etymology? Nah, I just googled it, no one will care. It helps make the level name better.


Now, as for the actual level, you said in the description that you made your level similar to the original SMW, but I'm not sure about that. Your level is pretty different than anything in Super Mario World, for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that Nintendo only used munchers in like two levels (Mondo and the Vanilla Secret ice level cave place). But I won't get into that, because who cares? We aren't trying to copy SMW anyway, so don't worry about studying the design style of Nintendo over 20 years ago (Nintendo sure doesn't copy their old design style when making levels for Super Mario Odyssey).

Now, your level goal should be to make something fun, not copying Nintendo. So I went ahead and watched your level, and I can point out ways that would make your level a lot more enjoyable. First of all, you have bullet bill shooters frequently on the ground, in shooting range of Mario. I believe the only level that did that was Outrageous, in the original SMW. The difficulty that comes from using that setup is fine, but the annoying part is how randomly the bullet bills shoot. You'll just be chilling on the ground, when a bullet bill randomly ambushes you. So you can use bullet bill shooters, but try not to put them on the ground. It will be a challenge enough not getting hit by them when you jump.

The other thing is, you should place your sprites so that they present actual obstacles, or setups. Most of the clapping chucks are placed right next to a wall. Actually, you can just avoid all of them by jumping right past them. It would be even better if you just placed the chucks right in the middle of the ground, with nothing around. But theoretically, the chucks present an obstacle whenever you jump, so you should include some sort of jump next to that chuck, so that it is an interesting obstacle that actually does something. There's also a couple setups that involve a trail of coins on the ground, with a banzai bill right above it. I personally think it would be more interesting to have the banzai bill closer to the ground, with coin guides indicating a jumping motion, which requires you to jump on top of the banzai bill. If you think about it, people are gonna follow the coins and go into the pit. Now, all they have to do is just sit there and watch the banzai bill fly overhead of them. You used this as the very last setup to the level right before the message box, and it was pretty nice. You should have used that setup more in my opinion.

Also, you had a lot of 1 tile gaps to fall into, along with chargin chucks. That can turn out badly for the player, cause you'll be in the 1 tile wide gap, and a chuck just follows you right in and ambushes you from above. Totally uncool!

There's a short little cave area that you can take a pipe to in the level as well, with coins and multiple coin blocks as a reward. This is uninteresting, not just because coins are a bad reward, but because the only thing you do to grab the coins is jump. Nintendo had a far more interesting bonus room in their second level, which was as flat as you can get for a SMW level.

You have to work hard for the 1-up in this bonus room area. It's actually a really good room, because it introduces the concept of throw blocks, while giving a cooler prize than coins (a 1-up). You can trust the player to work harder to grab the coins though. For example, stick a winged hammer bro next to some throw blocks, with coins in the air. Players will have to kill the hammer bro and jump on the winged blocks to grab the coins.

By the way, your best setup is right here:



Action packed and a completely :accurate: coin guide trail. Make the rest of your levels more action packed and clean looking like this. Try using more actiony stuff with athletic levels as well, such as grey falling platforms and basically any platform sprite in the mushroom tileset. Since you were using the banzai tileset, you could have used carrot math platforms as well, which combine very nicely with banzai bills by the way.

You also put coins in strange places, such as between bullet bill shooters. Two coins is not worth the reward for risking getting hit like that. Also, someone might think there is a secret invisible mushroom there or something, and risk going into the gap, only to get two coins.

Last thing is, your level breaks the fourth wall at the end in a really strange way. You should never have message that breaks the fourth wall by saying "congrats on beating my level" or "here is my entry" or "I worked hard on this level" because it looks really weird. Same with the feedback thing. It's gonna look weird in the final collab because the contest is already over. Now granted, I guess I did give you feedback after the contest ended, but still, post something like that in the forums. Message boxes should be used to explain something, or they can be used humorously. But, they shouldn't be used to bridge the gap between "player" and "hacker" unless it's like the credits level of some hack or something.

So yeah, there is no need to be disappointed, don't worry. Your level isn't bad, it's pretty good, and well, it's pretty good when compared to the other pretty good levels out there. I'm just telling you all this crap so that you can think about ways of improving your levels for future contests. A lot of people think feedback is "yea this level is nice, here's some cutoff there, but nice level". I think this "feedback" isn't really helpful to anyone. Thankfully, people gave me honest feedback when my levels were bad, and unfortunately, I didn't always get feedback when my levels were bad (and I didn't realize), and I wish I had. My OLDC level would be a lot worse, if it wasn't for someone basically telling me that the third section of my level wasn't that good.

There are things that are good in the level, and you should focus on those good things. I notice you do have a good eye for coin guides in your other levels, so keep using them! Coin guides are a really good method of guiding the player through the level. Don't get discouraged about this contest, because I'm sure you'll level will do fine. But I'm giving my honest opinion, it's not top 3 quality, so I believe that working on things in your levels will help you improve. Another thing I think is a re-occuring thing in your levels is the randomness of coins. The coin guides are nice, but the random coins on the ground aren't great. Sprinkling coins around isn't a bad thing, but using small pockets of coins tricks the player into thinking that "something" is being indicated.

Also, it's okay to not be pleased if your level doesn't rank as high as you want, but it's not the end of the world. But really, you should never be disappointed in yourself, because think about it. You are only as good as you are right now. I am only as good as I am, 'right now'. Same applies to everyone. If you do your best, you did your best. I can't be disappointed when worldpeace always makes levels better than me, no matter what, because I'm happy with how my entry turned out according to my skill level, if that makes sense. Now, if I rushed a level and threw it together last minute, but I knew I was capable of doing better, that would be different.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
*post*


Wow, I didn't expect to see such a detailed review on such a simple level (no offence minuy). This seems to be the place to ask and recieve criticism so I'll take the chance to ask for feedback.

This is my level. It doesn't have a name. It's short and relatively easy so please give it a shot if you've got time.

So, why am I asking for feedback if the submission period is already over? Well:

1)I made a big mistake as a noob hacker: I tried to bite more than I can chew. This level goes around avoiding mushrooms to advance, which imo is a good idea on paper, but I can't help but think the execution of said idea could've been way better. In contrast to many crazy setups other levels have, this level's is not the big deal, anyone with basic lm knowledge could've done it.
2)As I said before, I really like the concept, so I'd like to improve as a designer and overall as a hacker to work on a possible vldc11 entry using this idea as its backbone. This is my main reason to ask for criticism tbh.

Also, part of this level was made in a rush, and on top of that I couldn't get anyone to playtest it before submission, so atm I don't really know if I made a shit or a good level (my pesimism tells me it's shit tho lol).

tl;dr feedback would be really appreciated.
Originally posted by gbreeze
if I name a level "Chains of Atrophe", well now, that is interesting.
no thats just pretentious

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r̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲a̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲t̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲s̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲p̲̲̲̲̲̲̲a̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲w̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲n̲̲̲̲̲̲̲̲
Originally posted by Hobz
Originally posted by gbreeze
if I name a level "Chains of Atrophe", well now, that is interesting.
no thats just pretentious

Lol I actually misspelled it (it's chains of atrophy) because I'm super dumb. It's also a real level?? I probably should have clarified that
What do you think about my level?

Haven't heard any feedback about it at all, so I'd like to know if I'm a poor designer or if it's actually pretty good.
Ah, that's some really helpful commentary you're giving me. Thanks for the advice, and for assuring me that my level won't fail completely. I'll take this into account for later, especially later levels in my hack and other contests.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
It's also a real level??
i assumed it was #fim{TwT}

I specifically chose to make a level in the star world because i wanted to be able to call my level EPIC without controversy. The original plan was LUIGI'S STAR COURSE and it was gonna be a whole thing just to annoy the judges but since you can also play as Luigi it didn't really make sense for him to possibly running his own course.
Either way I'm expecting go place low 30s high 40s, but if its any worse i wont really be too let down.

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just bribe the judges with body pillows and you should be in the top 20s

probably
what would the anti-anime league want with body pillows?

e: you're mistaking this for the kaizo contest

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hobz I understand that your insults are always epic but don't harm poor little pat545 and his prizm memes
Kinda late, but oh well. Final issues:

Everest entry - in your place I would switch entrances to a key and to a dragon coin between each other.

ft029 entry - isn't Yoshi spitting object through wall considered a glitch? And glitches aren't allowed in this contest.

homerscout entry - you have forgot to put warp to level 26. That means your level can't be beaten. Also I would block this short passage to the midpoint.

mkwstar entry - entrance to your level (level 7) isn't placed anywhere near Mario's starting point at worldmap. There is empty message box. In Dragon Coin run last 2 Dragon Coins vanish. They appear only when starting level from midpoint. There is glitchy looking balloon. In section after midpoint clone of our HUD randomly appear and move together with scrolling.

Steven entry - aside from really low time limit, you put Mario's starting point in wrong place - just before final challenge. Also some sprites are glitchy looking.
Originally posted by Galaer
homerscout entry - you have forgot to put warp to level 26. That means your level can't be beaten. Also I would block this short passage to the midpoint.


Yeah, that was a big mistake. I rushed the level because I was extremely short on time (and even submitted two minutes too late >_>) so I did not have the time for a short playtest, which is extremely dumb from my side.

Here is a fixed version, making the level the intended way. Of course, it WOULD be very nice if this version could be used in the judging process, but I would understand as well if this wasn't possible.

EDIT: fixed
Originally posted by ft029
hobz I understand that your insults are always epic but don't harm poor little pat545 and his prizm memes

prizm winning isn't a meme, it's a promise

I will gladly accept your pity though
Originally posted by ThePat545
Originally posted by ft029
hobz I understand that your insults are always epic but don't harm poor little pat545 and his prizm memes

prizm winning isn't a meme, it's a promise


The prizm wins meme is dead. As the creator and initial promoter i have executive decisions. It's over. Please stop.

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Later.
Originally posted by Prizm
Originally posted by ThePat545
Originally posted by ft029
hobz I understand that your insults are always epic but don't harm poor little pat545 and his prizm memes

prizm winning isn't a meme, it's a promise


The prizm wins meme is dead. As the creator and initial promoter i have executive decisions. It's over. Please stop.


:O

(he's right tho)
wow i cant believe prizms not gonna win

colour me shocked.

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consider the meme dead folks, I respect the head honcho of it all
oh noes people are being off topic so now i'm triggered!!1

In all seriousness, I would like a top half finish. It'd motivate me to improve more because then I know I have a solid base to build upon.
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - 2017 Old-School Level Design Contest (Discussion)

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