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Ruby Island Expo

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Hi everyone. So, I wanted to post some screenshots for this hack that I have been working on for a good while. It's called Ruby Island Expo, it is an intended sequel to Super Mario World, but is slightly more story-based but nothing insane. With that, the game includes cutscenes (most of which are skippable), but they relatively simple so (assuming I finish this), experienced players can come back to the game and have the option to not watch them.

The game takes place roughly 4 years after the original, Dinosaur Land has sunk into the ocean and everyone relocated to an island chain called the Ruby Islands located north. You control a new protagonist named Clayton, who visits the Ruby Islands with his friends (brother, girlfriend and neighbor) with hopes to climb to the summit of the tallest mountain in the Ruby Island resort. Along the way, you meet Yoshi who has similar motives to get to Aurora Mountain himself (perhaps find out why if I create a demo?) so off y'all go on an adventure together!

Personally, I want this game to have a similar set up to Super Mario World but not identical, in that there are no crazy new elements but its not vanilla either. My prime example is how Pokemon Gold and Silver have very similar aesthetics, all of which are improved, to that of Pokemon Red and Blue. The art style of this game is one is inspired the original SMW, Kirby's Adventure and Earthbound, also including many great ExGFX additions created by other SMWcentral members, all of whom will be credited within the game. Overworlds and level backgrounds will be more interesting to look at but try to follow a style not too far from the original. Hope this makes sense.

I have included some screenshots, showcasing some levels and overworlds. There is still much I have to work on, so take some these screenshots with a grain of salt. I work on this only in my spare time. Regardless, I would love everyone's feedback.



mariofreak4500
That looks very cool. I like what you've achieved with only a few graphic tiles per screenshot. The backgrounds are beautiful.

This might be a crazy question, but in screenshot #4 are you creating a fake Z coordinate effect to imply 3D movement like in Animaniacs, or is that just a parallelogram with 2D movements?

Also, how did you do the cutscenes? Custom blocks for auto movement and MAP16 pages or some kind special tool?



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Thanks for your comments.

Not a weird question at all, so that level on screenshot 4 is part of the intro level which is the docked cruise ship. I didn't want to use the usually SMB3 airship tiles or anything like that because no matter what colors I used, I was never happy with the result and it never truly looked like a cruise ship. The 3D effect was to finally make it look like one and because the level is so small (just 3 screens), I figured I could just go nuts with it. If you turn off Layer 1 or Layer 2, you'll see how much of a MAP16-manipulated mess this level truly is, but I like to think it paid off.


The cutscenes are MAP16. No automovement, and pressing Y or X will take you to the next room of text. So a custom block was added to allow that. Otherwise, they are very simple.
mariofreak4500
Looks pretty impressive with all the custom content that you have shown in this hack.
I quite like the Overworld & Map designs. My fave is probably the moon because of its shape.

Nice work and be looking forward to seeing more from you. #smrpg{y}
Thank you so much. I will try to get a demo out sometime so everyone can try it out.
mariofreak4500
Here are some more screenshots, including the animated overworld ones. Currently, I only have a handful of levels completed so I tried to make the most of the screenshots. An abundance of custom sprites are yet to come. I would certainly love more feedback.


mariofreak4500
Originally posted by mariofreak4500

That would happen if we can predict how Super Mario World has changed in 30 years. LUL

Anyways, great job, sir! Keep up!
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Thank you so much. I'll try to add videos of some of the levels too when I figure out what music will go in. I am hoping to add original custom music, just have to eventually get to composing. But I'll try to keep this thread updated.
mariofreak4500
Progress is looking good.

Really liking the colour of that forest themed map as well as the look of that sandcastle themed level.
Are those humans in the cave level enemies or friendly NPCS?

That said keep up the good work. #smrpg{<3}
Originally posted by 1UPdudes
Really liking the colour of that forest themed map as well as the look of that sandcastle themed level.
Are those humans in the cave level enemies or friendly NPCS?


Currently, the NPC's are just layer 1 tiles that don't serve any purpose other than making specific sublevels seem more populated with actual humans. Eventually, I'll see to getting an NPC sprite that would allow me an alternative to using message boxes for quick, not-cutscene-worthy, dialogue. Thanks for your interest and kind comments.
mariofreak4500



Here is the completed overworld, both regular palette and "Completed Special World" palette. For those interested, the island on the bottommost right of the map is in fact the Vanilla Dome from the original game. Yes, part of the story has the player revisit it for one level. Hope this is a fun idea for y'all. Would love more feedback, thanks so much.
mariofreak4500
Wow! What you've done looks awesome! There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the overworld, but it's just the right amount. I also love the little lighthouses that are working at night and the inclusion of the Vanilla Dome from the original game. What inspired you to make this? Keep up the good work! I hope you make a demo because I'd love to try it!!
Graphics and overworld look great!
Only thing I can see wrong with this is that gthe sprites' outlines and colors are a tad too bright. Other than that I'm looking forwards to this!
Originally posted by Nicolada
Wow! What you've done looks awesome! There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the overworld, but it's just the right amount. I also love the little lighthouses that are working at night and the inclusion of the Vanilla Dome from the original game. What inspired you to make this? Keep up the good work! I hope you make a demo because I'd love to try it!!


Thanks, Nicolada. :) Well, I have been making hacks for SMW for over 10 years, with only being completed and that was a vanilla hack that is now lost. I wasn't really into ultra 3D Mario hacks as a preference but I did feel the original lacked bright environments in the way SMB3 implemented them. So I wanted to make a hack that follows a colorful world of different themes and also change the story to where the Princess isn't kidnapped. After playing Pokemon Red and (later) Silver on the gameboy color, I was inspired by the stories having serious tones and connecting between the games through different protagonists. So I put myself in place of Mario and added some other significant people in my life into the game too. It's a fun little project to work on but there is a push for me to finish it now that I have gotten such nice responses from you and others so far.

Originally posted by Mystery Cornucopia
Graphics and overworld look great!
Only thing I can see wrong with this is that gthe sprites' outlines and colors are a tad too bright. Other than that I'm looking forwards to this!


Hi and thanks for your comments. Would you mind clarifying which sprite outlines are too bright? Thank you!
mariofreak4500
A big innovation has been added, custom powerups! I have been experimenting with Lx5's custom powerups patch, trying to find a balance of new powerup additions, balanced gameplay/difficulty progression. Not all powerups in the patch will be included in the final game, but it'll add a nice innovation! Currently ironing out any issues and I'll start posting screenshots.

Stay tuned!
mariofreak4500
mariofreak4500
Really liking what you've got going on here. Just noticed the lighthouse in the Completed Special World version of the map, neat touch.
Layout by RanAS, modified by yours truly.

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