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Ganymede: Six years and still going strong, and a brand new demo with story and bonus content
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Winter 2019 - Ganymede: Six years and still going strong, and a brand new demo with story and bonus content
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C3!?!?!?!

That means it's time for my life's work, my magnum opus, the game I've wanted to make my entire life (and I've been around awhile).

Welcome back to Ganymede!

This thread will be updated throughout Day 1 so check back for more information. There is now a trailer, screenshots and a lot of text.

Please bear in mind, I've spent whole days refining the hack as much as I can. You'll still experience the odd graphical anomaly, wonky palette or other such things which are not acceptable in a finished product. I tried to keep these at a minimum but there was a shit ton of ground to cover. I know about almost all of the things you'll encounter which need fixing.



Ganymede is a hack I've been working on since late 2013. It started off as a 'choconilla' hack which was all about taking level design seriously and creating a big hack full of fun levels. Then I heard an album and I fell in love with it, and from that, the seed of something much bigger took root. Thoughtful Mario World became Ganymede sometime in early 2016, Mario became The Man on the Boat, and a hack which was to have zero focus on story has grown into something which is really not like any other hack you'll find on this site.

Ganymede is still far from done, as the vision I have for it is extremely ambitious. But even now, there are few hacks as large, as complex, and as unique. I'm seeking to make this an experience you'll never forget, and it's not just the story and the graphics. Ganymede also features extensive gameplay changes and enhancements that seek to take all the elements of Super Mario World that are considered frivolous or pointless, and assign them attributes that make them absolutely vital to success. 1UPs now drive a custom health system. Coins power both the timer and a roulette reward system. Dragon coins are now food, which ties into all of the above.

Which is good for you, because Ganymede is a hard game. It is not hard like kaizo hacks are hard. Nothing in this game is (intentionally) unfair or punishing. You have infinite 'lives'. You won't lose whole levels of progress if you fail. But you have to be good, because Ganymede will test your Super Mario World skillset to the limit.

Join the Man on the Boat as he runs away from the world we all know and takes a harrowing, and often times frightening, journey across an island no one ever heard of, and faces all kinds of dangers and threats which are all suspiciously tailored to the darkness which has taken residence in his tired heart. It's a dark story full of Reality Corner style elements, with four unique endings, almost 70 levels and almost 90 exits.

This C3 demo features 12 playable levels. Five of them are the first five levels, five of them are sneak peaks at levels which are found later in the game, and one of them is a special level which recreates the entire first world of Super Mario Bros., which thanks to the special mechanics of this hack, is a lot more challenging and difficult than you're expecting. Bonus levels still have some vanilla elements, and maybe a graphical resource or three I didn't make. All the rest of the graphics are my own original content. No two levels look alike.

Without further ado, give it a try today. If you've played previous versions of the hack, there's still plenty for you to experience anew in this version. I know there is a great deal of other great hacks and submissions vying for your attention this C3, so I am very grateful to you for giving my work your time. I promise you'll be glad you did.

Now, here's a ton of screenshots. I'll try to have a video walkthrough up at some point.

INTRO AND WORLD MAP




LEVEL 1: RED STEPS


LEVEL 2: THE DYING LIGHT


LEVEL 3: UP TOP AT TWILIGHT


LEVEL 4: DUNKE'S WETWORKS


LEVEL 5: BACK OF MY EYELIDS


BONUS LEVEL 1: A STEP OFF THE EDGE


BONUS LEVEL 2: THE EPHEMERAL EAVES


BONUS LEVEL 3: FEAR FOR THE WORST


BONUS LEVEL 4: CANOPY CAUSEWAY


BONUS LEVEL 5: HALLS OF SCISSION


There's also the super bonus level, WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. You can check that one out for yourself!


SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
I'll get the less positive points out of the way first and say that, not really having been exposed to this hack before, the graphics are a little hard to parse. (there was also that one time where I almost got stuck in a landmass because the edges were solid but the top, bottom and insides weren't.)

That being said, oh boy, have you done your homework when it comes to atmosphere! The intro and the scenery are oozing with mystery and melancholy, and I love how effortlessly you made the intro text rhyme. It's nice how much flavor you managed to add to simple explanation message boxes, too (though I'm starting to think the story is a little darker than would match my tastes #ab{^^;;;}).

--------------------


 
Yes, this is definitely not a cheery hack. It would probably skirt an M rating, though not because there's any nudity or such. But two of the four endings are going to be happy ones, so the bleakness will not be unrelenting.

Thank you for your feedback WYE, if you wouldn't mind to tell me which part almost got you stuck so I can evaluate it?

SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
Really looking forward to playing this, been eyeing the hack for a while cause I'm a sucker for dreary atomspheres and anything unusual in general. Sticking with it for six years really shows some determination, good on you!
Originally posted by Ondore's Lies
if you wouldn't mind to tell me which part almost got you stuck so I can evaluate it?

Sure; I think this was the spot:



--------------------


 
I don't really know anything about this hack, but I've seen it pop up every now and then for a long time. It gives me a vibe I really like. It seems dreamlike somehow, with some strangely sad undertones? I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's the vibe I'm getting. I'm gonna have to play this and return with some more in-depth feedback.

We’re looking for level designers to work on Extra Mario World!
Thank you and I hope you find it enjoyable!

I finally have a trailer up at the top of the page. 47 minutes of me playing it. Check that out if ya like.

SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
I've had my eyes set on this for a while, so I decided to play the demo.
First off, I really like the story and the way you present it, it's quite innovative and nicely executed too. I think the boat scene, where you need to fall constantly to advance, is a little weird. I also like how the levels were designed: the first two are somewhat linear, but there are lots of secrets and they reward exploration. The third one contains less exploration, but I guess it makes sense since it seems to be a memory of the protagonist.
Unfortunately, the low point of the hack, in my opinion, are the graphics: half the time I couldn't distinguish what was solid and what was not. Here's an example. Also, not related to the graphics, but while I appreciated the hack's ASM modifications (such as the coins adding to the timer or the roulette), at first I was confused by how they worked. They need to be introduced better.
Also, I don't think I was supposed to get here...
Anyway, try fixing everything I've mentioned and I'm sure this'll turn out to be a great hack.
Its really charming to see this hack still going.
The new additions and improvements are making this hack look really nice.

I hope to this finished whenever that'll be.
The intro is pretty moody but its so different from the norm.

:D
Not enough hacks really go for a melancholy tone like this one does. Maybe the' off the top of my head, but it's not common. Hopefully Ganymede can really take off and make me feel absolutely miserable.

Some minor points - the 'flame' sound effect for the jump is an odd choice. It's not awful to listen to or anything, but it doesn't sound anything resembling ascension. It fits the tone better than the cartoony leap from the original game, but then the cape spin sounds out of place in return.
Hopefully sound effect design can have a big presence sometime in the future so that none of these are issues that I care about and no one else.

--------------------

Currently working on Æther: The Infinite Library!

Other Submissions of mine:
SNES Controller Graphics
Thank you all for your feedback. Here come replies! I had spent C3 on vacation, but I had to go back to work Monday morning to a giant pile and by 10 AM Wednesday I had worked 34 hours getting back to normal.

Originally posted by Christian07
I've had my eyes set on this for a while, so I decided to play the demo.
First off, I really like the story and the way you present it, it's quite innovative and nicely executed too. I think the boat scene, where you need to fall constantly to advance, is a little weird.


Thank you, and I'm glad it gave you some delight. I went with falling, as you saw it, as a thematic exercise. I wanted the player to know the sensation of trying not to drown while lost at sea. It also gives you the chance, if you are totally new to Super Mario World, to try out the ability to swim.

Quote
I also like how the levels were designed: the first two are somewhat linear, but there are lots of secrets and they reward exploration. The third one contains less exploration, but I guess it makes sense since it seems to be a memory of the protagonist.


I'm glad you liked them. If you've ever played Kid Chameleon, on the Genesis/Mega Drive, that game was a powerful influence on how I approach level design.

Quote
Unfortunately, the low point of the hack, in my opinion, are the graphics: half the time I couldn't distinguish what was solid and what was not. Here's an example.


I really have no excuse for those mushroom decorations; that was a problem pointed out to me a long time ago and, while fully aware ever since, I simply neglected to address how frustrating they were just being there. Please accept my apology.

If you would care to point out other locations where the graphics made the gameplay confusing, I'm all eyes and ears.

Quote
Also, not related to the graphics, but while I appreciated the hack's ASM modifications (such as the coins adding to the timer or the roulette), at first I was confused by how they worked. They need to be introduced better.


That is useful feedback as well. I do have an idea about how to go about it.

Quote
Also, I don't think I was supposed to get here...
Anyway, try fixing everything I've mentioned and I'm sure this'll turn out to be a great hack.


You weren't! And, thank you very much for taking the time to try it out!

Originally posted by 1UPDudes
Its really charming to see this hack still going.
The new additions and improvements are making this hack look really nice.

I hope to this finished whenever that'll be.
The intro is pretty moody but its so different from the norm.


I still think it will be years yet. There are so many things I want to do.

Originally posted by Deeke
Not enough hacks really go for a melancholy tone like this one does. Maybe the' off the top of my head, but it's not common. Hopefully Ganymede can really take off and make me feel absolutely miserable.


Things are going to get miserable indeed. What you're seeing is a guy finally breaking. But, it is not relentless in its sour disposition, and of the four endings, two of them could be considered positive outcomes for the man on the boat.

Quote
Some minor points - the 'flame' sound effect for the jump is an odd choice. It's not awful to listen to or anything, but it doesn't sound anything resembling ascension. It fits the tone better than the cartoony leap from the original game, but then the cape spin sounds out of place in return.

Hopefully sound effect design can have a big presence sometime in the future so that none of these are issues that I care about and no one else.


I really want to ditch all the vanilla SFX and I just don't know how to replace them with different ones. I chose the flame sound simply because I found all of the other possibly suitable SFX to be either less appropriate or more obnoxious to hear all the time (Ganymede requires more jumping than vanilla SMW). One day, this will all work out.

SMWC members who have helped make Ganymede the hack I want it to be
Great work! The art is very interesting.
I don't know why i haven't commented yet on this hack. There was so much effort put into its graphics, it's amazing. Even if it takes a while to get accustomed to them, they are absolutely well made. #tb{:]}

I also appreciate the idea to make this a more "dramatic" hack (or at least "not cheery" as you said). There are already some "dark" hacks in the section, but it's certainly a way to make your hack a bit more outstanding compared to the generic, happy platformer hacks.

Overall i'm glad to see you're still making progress on this. Working so long on a hack must get pretty tiring sometimes, i think. But as long as you nonetheless make progress we can eventually look forward for its release! Keep up the good work! #smw{:TUP:}

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Originally posted by Ondore's Lies
f you would care to point out other locations where the graphics made the gameplay confusing, I'm all eyes and ears.

Alright. I'll go in order by level:

-The intro level had no issue as far I remember.
-The first level had only a slight issue with the background and foreground. Here I'd suggest only slightly changing the colors of either the background or the leaf tileset (since they are the same color).
-The second level doesn't have issues with BG and FG, but I did notice some weirdnesses in a fewplaces.
-The third level has those mushrooms I mentioned in my first post. Also, this is just my opinion, but I couldn't tell exactly what this was at first glance.
-In the first secret level I noticed this little issue, it's fine otherwise.
(Actually, I should mention this... I never went to search for secret levels while playing. Indeed, I never even thought any level had secret exit! That might be just me being dumb, though)
-The fourth and fifth level are the levels with the most issues, in my opinion. The fourth has a lot of dark tileset (such as this) which blend with the BG. In the fifth level, the solid library tileset is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the non-solid one (for example, this place, where I always thought I should go up instead of left)
- Lastly, in my opinion, the status bar can be difficult to clearly see sometimes.
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Winter 2019 - Ganymede: Six years and still going strong, and a brand new demo with story and bonus content

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