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Darkslayer's collection (old)
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Hi there !

I did not see any rules stating I cannot post an unofficial release? The bps file here is shared directly from my smw central bin.

Well, very long ago, I was refining what would become my collection of old levels. I took all my failed or unfinished hacks from 2008 to 2013, and remastered the levels into something more palatable. I even had opened a forum topic about it, btw please do not post into this old one, it's just for context, there you'll find all the relevant pictures.

I would love to share this experiment here and get some critic about my quirky, messy, seldom a tad unfair level design. I am currently moving on to new projects, but this one, well it is the only completed one I have so far. Unfortunately, credits are missing because I lost my file insertion tracker and my assets, the bps is the only survivor. But all my assets were taken here, on SMW Central.

If you want to give it a try, you can do it easily, since the map is not constrained by event pathes. There's about 20 levels. I'd classify the game as hard, but it is nowhere close to Kaizo, so still doable. It is hard mostly for reasons quoted in AxemJinx's tutorial, yep, I did not read it back in 2008, so : unstable difficulty curve, surprising jumps, surprising enemies, some rare try & die areas. Most levels are more simplistic and pleasant, the hardest ones wear a name containing the word "ordeal".

Here is the download link. Thanks again to nt61 for testing this hack back in the days.

Thanks for passing by! Any comment is appreciated.
All right, I finished playing through all the levels. I can tell this took a while to make, since honestly almost all of the levels are pretty solid overall. There were some moments of bad grammar in the text blocks and some jumps and such in the levels that were arguably unfair, but nothing too major.

A few more specific/general comments:

- I like your use of ExGFX and music, they always blend together really well to create a perfect atmosphere for all the levels.

- I found myself enjoying the "coin hunt" levels a surprising amount. They never felt unfair or ridiculous, and were put together pretty well, so they were pretty compelling to play through.

- Wasn't a big fan of Golden Plateau - compared to the other levels, it felt kind of bland and was really flat. Then again, I suppose that's to be expected from a plateau-based level...

- Oh yeah, and that level where you had to throw a shell around to get through the on/off switch maze was pretty fun as well. Puzzles like that are always a blast.

So yeah, it was cool to go through. Even the levels that didn't have unique "gimmicks" per se still felt well-designed, so you evidently have a handle on good level design. I know you said you weren't submitting this, but I feel like if you added events so that the levels weren't all accessible right from the start then it would be accepted pretty easily.

--------------------
Science teachers are too afraid to teach their students about the element of surprise.

Believe it or not, I actually am (attempting to) work on a hack. Just very slowly.
Originally posted by K.T.B.
I like your use of ExGFX and music, they always blend together really well to create a perfect atmosphere for all the levels.


Thanks a bunch. I hope I will be able to keep this touch in my next project. I really like SMB3 Mario graphics.

Originally posted by K.T.B.
I found myself enjoying the "coin hunt" levels a surprising amount. They never felt unfair or ridiculous, and were put together pretty well, so they were pretty compelling to play through.


That's good new to me, I sometimes feel lost with the coin hunt, because of the "intelligent" design needs, such as reset pipes and checkpoints, as well as the problem of coins disappearing or reappearing. Finally, my method of cutting the level in two parts sounds like it gets the job done.

Originally posted by K.T.B.
Wasn't a big fan of Golden Plateau - compared to the other levels, it felt kind of bland and was really flat. Then again, I suppose that's to be expected from a plateau-based level...


Yep, in fact this one was a blatant edit of some Donut Plains level. It does not add much value.

Originally posted by K.T.B.
Oh yeah, and that level where you had to throw a shell around to get through the on/off switch maze was pretty fun as well. Puzzles like that are always a blast.


Cool. Glad you liked it. I often feel shy or lazy to put together puzzle levels, so if I know I can make one that's pleasant, I'm satisfied. Did you try also the invisible Mario alternative to this level? It is an invisibility sprite from the starsw pack if I remember well, I am not sure whether I can still find it around, or apply it using PIXI.

Originally posted by K.T.B.
So yeah, it was cool to go through. Even the levels that didn't have unique "gimmicks" per se still felt well-designed, so you evidently have a handle on good level design. I know you said you weren't submitting this, but I feel like if you added events so that the levels weren't all accessible right from the start then it would be accepted pretty easily.


Thanks, that's nice. nt61 and other commenters were pretty enthusiastic about a submission, too. It is quite comical that I had to abort the project after just not being able to finish the credit rolls. I did not track my assets that well, though. Also, at this time, I've become enrolled in the workforce, in a foreign country, after having 3 monthes of unemployment at mom's, haha.

I did not know, that a submission fails to pass the jury if there are no map events. I must say I've never learned too much to make use of asm to develop some sort of story or unique boss fights, my main focus is the level design : I love testing my own levels until they make me sick. Of course, without story, it's more difficult to come up with a consistent map.

OK, so if you could say it's solid overalll, I will definitely gather the favourite levels, and some sprite/blocks ideas for my next project.

...And yeah about unfair levels, I would say the worse one is the (!) HILL... Man, these Clappin' Chuck jumps were so awful, how could I think it was a good idea! Haha, good ol' me. If I make a moderate use of this, it can be fun.

Thanks for your review Mr. K.T.B!
Originally posted by Darkslayer
Did you try also the invisible Mario alternative to this level? It is an invisibility sprite from the starsw pack if I remember well, I am not sure whether I can still find it around, or apply it using PIXI.

I gave it a shot, but eh... I didn't think it was worth it. At first I was just spamming the fireball / running back and forth when I could so that the dust graphics clue me in to my position, but a lot of the spots in that level are in tight spaces, so instead I eventually found myself rewinding a lot until I gave it up. I think a challenge where the player is invisible could work somehow, but I don't think that particular level lends itself well to that gimmick personally.



Originally posted by Darkslayer
I did not know, that a submission fails to pass the jury if there are no map events.

Erm, well, I can't say that for sure myself. Maybe it would get accepted if you just title it as a "level collection" or whatever - I'm just thinking that it will feel much more like a game if you went from level to level.


Quote
...And yeah about unfair levels, I would say the worse one is the (!) HILL... Man, these Clappin' Chuck jumps were so awful, how could I think it was a good idea!

Yeah, that was one of the examples I had in mind of potentially unfair points. I admit, I'm biased though because in general I'm not a fan of levels that outright require you to have the switch palace activated to get through it. That's just me though.

--------------------
Science teachers are too afraid to teach their students about the element of surprise.

Believe it or not, I actually am (attempting to) work on a hack. Just very slowly.
Okay, thanks, I'll keep this in mind.
Not sure to be a fan of mandatory (!) Switch setups either, let's call it a youth mistake :)
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