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Deep Deluge (revamped)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 11th Vanilla Level Design Contest - Deep Deluge (revamped)
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Edit: Level is now complete. See latest post for further details!

I weighed whether or not I wanted to enter this, as it would be my first level contest on this site. I know I will be competing against the best of the best, so I was a little nervous at first but I eventually found some inspiration.

This level will sport ghosts, and deep water. Though it doesn't appear that way yet, haha. I figure having an opening room without ghosts to portray shallower water before getting to deeper and darker would be a nice, realistic and aesthetic choice but of course I want y'all's opinion! And what do you think of the layout for this sub-floor?



original
I like the look you are going for with the mixture of cave and ghost house tiles, it feels very natural.

It's brave to go for an underwater level in a contest like this, but so far it honestly doesn't look very fun to play. The part in the screenshot already involves a lot of really slow-paced and uneventful gameplay, like swimming from left to right or right to left through tight corridors (or ducking from a blurp fish meanwhile). The Rip Van Fish looks a bit annoying to deal with in a tight space with spikes around like that, though it might be easy to kill by going underneath the blocks quickly.

Overall I think this concept has potential but you could try to give the player a bit more space, it works wonders for underwater levels.
Seems nice! Would like to build structures like that.
Originally posted by LethalBrownies
I figure having an opening room without ghosts to portray shallower water before getting to deeper and darker would be a nice, realistic and aesthetic choice but of course I want y'all's opinion! And what do you think of the layout for this sub-floor?

Too tight. You can do wonders with Lunar Magic 3.0 expanding the height a bit and making the corridors less tight. That two-block-high path is by far the blandest so why not add something to make it more eventful after you have done aforementioned thing.

I'd like to see more of this level, though! I like the concept by far.
I have a Discord server as well!

My KLDC2021 is out!

People are so shallow.
So I took you guys' advice about it being too tight, and entirely changed it aside from the pipe border. Now it's a lot more roomy, and allows much more room to swim, aside from the occasional obstacle.

And being able to increase the height of horizontal level screens is amazing.

(I expect to get criticism about the tight space above the + rock. I did this because aside from that, it's an empty area, and I didn't want to add yet another sprite there, so I figured if you wanted to take the easier and faster upper path, it'll feel slow, and painful)

Yeah, this looks a lot better. Good job!
Work has begun on the second area. The ghoooooostly area. It is an underwater vertical level, but I'll let you figure out what the other general gimmick is. ;3

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
I know this is unfinished, but I noticed something about your exploration-based design. Exploration is fine in a water level, but you should provide some sort of incentive for "exploring" the level. For example, in this screenshot, the player is pretty much gonna take the path of least resistance to progress, which is straight down. There are some boo rings to dodge, but that's really it. The first screenshot is better because it shows some backtracking at least, and there are multiple paths to obtain the p-switch. However, you should put some sort of reward in these spots, such as the one below (or the platform way on the left) to encourage exploration. That, or making the level to be more of a "maze" (not a literal maze lol) will encourage the exploration that you want the player to have.

This is unfinished, and that was changed to be entirely blocked off! In the end this will be more or less a straight shot downward with a few branching areas off to the side with collectibles. Those screenshots aren't a finished product of that area, more of a WIP.

I'm just getting the base terrain right now, will add extras later. Thanks for the feedback, guy!

Updated version of the previous screenshots:

This is looking pretty good so far. I like the mix of boo rings + underwater settings; however, I think you can improve your level quite a bit by just doing one single modification.

You see, in vanilla smw it's a lot easier and quicker to move from downwards to upwards, while the inverse can be quite sluggish. Maybe you csn place initial position for Mario in the bottom of the sea, as if it had sung along a ship, and make it go all the way to the surface, instead of it going down.
Originally posted by Darolac
This is looking pretty good so far. I like the mix of boo rings + underwater settings; however, I think you can improve your level quite a bit by just doing one single modification.

You see, in vanilla smw it's a lot easier and quicker to move from downwards to upwards, while the inverse can be quite sluggish. Maybe you csn place initial position for Mario in the bottom of the sea, as if it had sung along a ship, and make it go all the way to the surface, instead of it going down.

This is an option I've considered, and I can absolutely alter Mario's placement to make that entrance the exit! Although, the intention of the koopas is to make Mario's ride downward a little faster, does that change anything for you? Or do you still think it should be inverted?
Originally posted by LethalBrownies
Originally posted by Darolac
This is looking pretty good so far. I like the mix of boo rings + underwater settings; however, I think you can improve your level quite a bit by just doing one single modification.

You see, in vanilla smw it's a lot easier and quicker to move from downwards to upwards, while the inverse can be quite sluggish. Maybe you csn place initial position for Mario in the bottom of the sea, as if it had sung along a ship, and make it go all the way to the surface, instead of it going down.

This is an option I've considered, and I can absolutely alter Mario's placement to make that entrance the exit! Although, the intention of the koopas is to make Mario's ride downward a little faster, does that change anything for you? Or do you still think it should be inverted?

I still think the level will be better from bottom to top, but of course some playtest would be needed to see how your level plays. The koopa will still help the player during the ascension a little bit, and you can even design an horizontal part of the level just after the koopa in order to help the player going faster during that section.
I have ultimately decided that the level is going to comprise of both descending and ascending sections. This area you've seen thus will remain descending, but my theory is that the second half of the level will be an ascending portion!

Sound good? Hopefully because I'm gonna keep on chugging and post pictures/videos later.
Gotta say I truly love the aesthetic you're going for so far. The vanilla colors look great in this integration of cave, water and ghost house graphics and I think you shouldn't touch them.

Not much can be said about the design by these few screenshots, but it seems quite all over the place so far, which is to say there's not really a visible line of progression in setups and difficulty, just lots of stuff y'know.
Originally posted by Koopster
Gotta say I truly love the aesthetic you're going for so far. The vanilla colors look great in this integration of cave, water and ghost house graphics and I think you shouldn't touch them.

Not much can be said about the design by these few screenshots, but it seems quite all over the place so far, which is to say there's not really a visible line of progression in setups and difficulty, just lots of stuff y'know.

That really means a lot, man, thank you so much! I'm glad to hear that, because I wasn't sure whether I wanted to do anything more with the graphics when the layout of the level was complete. It's nice to know that it won't be necessary!

And also yeah I get that. It does seem kind jumbled from the screenshots. I could provide more because I've made considerable progress since then and you could more clearly see a slight difficulty curve if I did, but for now I'll leave these current screenshots as a teaser and just release a final video or some such when it's complete. It's likely I will be needing play testers as well so I might be calling on you, good sir, haha~
I had quite a bit of free time during my temp ban seasonal depression, so I decided to use that time wisely and largely complete my VLDC entry!

I am aware that around 2:08 there is some slight cutoff, and after I recorded the video, I fixed the issue. And also! I changed what is required to get the 3-up Moon. You no longer need to be small. ^.^



Download here
Don't worry about that cutoff at 2:08, I promise that no one will notice, and I can guarantee that the judges certainly won't care. it's very insignificant.


-Brown pipes are non-solid, which is very confusing. I suggest getting rid of them (personal aesthetic style is fine, as long as it doesn't misconstrue the properties normal vanilla tiles)

-Second half seems a little more fun than the first half, since it has less item management

-Maybe consider making the background palette black so that it looks like the sunken ghost ship in SMW? The blue sorta looks eh with the brown tiles. They don't go well together

-The level can sorta be "broken" because you can carry that first key through the pipe at 0:34

-Setup at 0:48 is really tight, huge spiked crate is also a bit unnecessary, since it can just be cave tiles

-On that note, I would suggest removing visual clutter a bit. Generally, you should want to use only a couple/few aesthetic pieces. For example, using the brown cave tiles, brown crates, and spikes in tandem (rather than using the entire ghost house tileset)

-Some ghost house tiles aren't particularly appealing either, such as those gross yellow logs

-Munchers at 1:17 seem out of place when the level typically uses ghost house spikes

-The setup at 1:02, while exploration based, seems somewhat iffy cause it is basically just item babysitting

-Typically, you'll want to fill the outer regions of your level with cave tiles. Or else, it looks a bit odd. What I mean by this is, at 1:43 for example, there is a ton of empty space outside the actual gameplay. I would fill that with cave tiles because it will feel less awkward

-1:50, maybe move the blurps a few tiles left cause the waiting may get annnoying in multiple playthroughs

-1:55 is a pretty cool setup, I like it

-The gap in the wall next to the bullet bill shooter at 2:27 seems like visual clutter. There's also another muncher below, which should probably become a spike instead

-Is it intended to swim downwards with a shell? That seems counter-productive. I actually find that swimming down is way easier without a shell, but when swimming up/horizontally, it's useful to have shells

-Instead of relying on shells, you could scatter some throw blocks around (I don't just say that because I'm a lover of throw blocks lol). For example, you could hide those dragon coin crevices behind a throw block. Then, the player can use the throw block to swim faster

-Big boo here seems to just be in the way, maybe extend the ceiling a bit at 3:09

-3:16 is a bit void of enemies

-Meanwhile, the swim between spikes at 3:17 seems rather precise

-Rest of the level seems fine after that, the moon seems a bit easy to grab but hey I like moons, so I'm not complaining
I have submitted a new version assessing some of the grievances in this ^ post aside from some of the very personal distastes. Therefore there have been major aethetic improvements, and a few gameplay and design changes (but the video is still largely accurate, and a good summary of the level).

Please do check it out!

side note: I decided to keep the part with the key in because A) Grabbing the key and getting into the pipe is very precise and would be difficult to do on a tool-less run (which I presume the judges would be doing), and B) even if they did get the key, it's not really breaking the level, because you'd have to take the key through the entirety of the level anyways which would only be a hassle.
So upon receiving a whole bunch of feedback about there being too many sprites in the level, I decided to revamp it a bit and tune down the number of sprites and even change up the gimmick slightly! I even went ahead and recorded a new play through video to highlight the changes. Ta-dah!



Also, one of the boos in this video was disqualified from the contest for sexual harassment. You won't find him in the patch.
Hey!
It's nice to see you're still trying to improve your level!

You did a great job, and fixed most of the issues i addressed on my review!
It's also neat that you decided to expand on the Key gimmick! Good job!

I haven't player it yet, so i'm saying this only based on the video: Isn't that last key setup a bit tight with spikes all over the place and the Boo Ring there?

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