Hello and welcome back to what will one day be the greatest ROM hack of all time! That's right, our goal stays the same! For the uninformed, Extra Mario World is a collaboration between Von Fahrenheit (programmer), PercentN (background artist), Eminus (sprite artist) and Ruberjig (composer). Together we are Team Välfärd and aim to push SMW hacking to new levels through the power of friendship.
This year we're going to do our best to get out more updates (I guess 1 update to start the year is better than 0 LUL). Who knows, maybe you guys will get a playable demo before the year ends ;) Anyways, let's take a look at what we've done since last time.
Character Portraits and Dialogue Box
We have some new and updated portraits for the characters in our game, courtesy of Eminus! (please forget those
Before I forget, I'd like to point out that the portraits use psuedo-5bpp graphics which allows for 30 colors/tile (rather than the usual 15, which allows us to display these vibrant portraits AND the message boxes at the same time). Check it out:
Playable Characters and Co-op
One of the main draws of our hack is the new playable characters and multiplayer co-op. Von Fahrenheit has spent a lot of time since Summer improving the controls and tweaking the physics of the character engine to make sure it feels just right. It's difficult to convey in text and pictures but it will be obvious once we release the next demo. Out of a planned 6 characters, 3 are finished enough to be presentable (one of these is Mario but hey, Von Fahrenheit had to change quite a bit to make him work in multiplayer). This system comes with a character select menu available on the overworld. Enabling multiplayer is as easy as pushing start on the second controller and selecting a character and dropping out is just as simple! Here's a sneak peak:
Related to character selection and multiplayer is the new HUD:
It's pretty simple, stripped down to the bare minimum. Each player gets a 4-digit coin counter, a life meter (Mario has his reserve item there) and in the middle is the shared Yoshi Coin bar. Yoshi Coins don't respawn and are used to purchase upgrades, but you'll get to see those in a later update. The individual coin counters encourage some competition, even though it all goes into the coin hoard at the end of a level. The coin hoard holds up to 999999 coins and is used to purchase cosmetic things, such as alternate palettes for your characters or new trinkets and furniture for your home base. In case anyone is wondering, ALL coins are given to the player that earns them, including kicking shells at blocks (that one was pretty tricky for Von Fahrenheit so he wanted to mention it!). This is 2018 and we're not savages, so we have decided to not use lives/1-ups in our hack. Instead, we have included gold mushrooms that fully heal you and give 100 coins. Yoshi Coins are worth plenty of cash as well.
We have an unfortunate lack of new levels to show this time due to focusing on other things. We do have some new stuff we want to show you though!
The thick vegetation you see here is the Living Garden. It a level where the terrain itself lives! This level has tons of vines, and some of those vines have heads. If you cut the head, you can clear the vines!
If you can figure out how to get that Yoshi Coin, you're pretty clever ;)
Once you get to a certain point in the Living Garden, a thick, poisonous fog starts rolling in. What could lie beyond?
Also, here is a video showing a cave section from one of our levels called Crossroad Plains.
You'll notice a few custom sprites, and there's one in particular we're about to get into details with!
Enemy Spotlight: Tar Creeper
don't sue us blizzard
What's this? It's an insanely overly complex sprite we've made! It's the Tar Creeper and it's meaner than the smell of Kamek's old undies! It moves around and blocks players with its size-shifting hands. It remembers any ledge it sees and is happy to toss you down one. Jumping on it doesn't hurt it, but it doesn't like it either so it blocks you from above too. This can be used to your advantage however, as the Tar Creeper might just be willing to carry you across some spikes if it means getting rid of you later.
While the mighty Tar Creeper can't be killed by conventional means, it does have one ultimate weakness: it is made of tar. Which is very flammable.
Note: the Tar Creeper uses a vector system that can apply force to objects like players and sprites without altering the speed registers. This interaction is still a little buggy with Mario. The reason the enemy is so complicated is its dynamic tilemap generation to account for every possible arm angle, hand angle and hand position, as well as these interacting with players. It's also pretty smart and is able to block both players regardless of how they approach it.
Altered Vanilla Enemies
After coming to the conclusion that a lot of vanilla enemies felt out of place alongside our more advanced custom sprites we decided that we would alter some of them. We added extra bit support for a lot of enemies to use different behaviours and gave them a psuedo-dynamic graphics loader that makes sure we can use any combination of enemies we want on any level. We also made new versions of some of our favorite sprites. Look at these tiny-ass moles! I bet they couldn't even hurt me...
Eminus also made some high-quality redrawings of the koopas with additional frames and more colors.
One of Von Fahrenheit's favorite additions is setting the extra bit on blue kicker koopers to make them hold their fire until someone steps into line of sight. Here's him being owned by one of them:
Truly, the standoff of the century...
Here are some recent graphics for an underwater level that has yet to be done:
The background here has the particularity to have a pretty complex parallax effect applied to it, giving a 3d effect (think Donkey Kong Country).
Aside from the video you haven't heard many of the musics so far. They're quite valuable, since all the musics are custom made by Ruberjig! Here are some spc files he made:
- Onto the Crossroads
- Subterranean Surface
- Lightning Lounge
That's all we have for now, but we do want to keep you guys in touch more often than before, most notably in our WIP thread. Hopefully you'll hear more from that soon enough.