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A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

The second SMBX collab!
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby WasabiJellyfish » 1 year ago

Okay guys I think Pumpernickle should really be considered as leader of the Uncles for a couple of reasons.

1) The fact he's the only nonbipedal ABCD is something that could be had a lot of fun with, like that he's actually not an ABCD at all or that he's resentful of everyone else that their classifications actually describe them. You could also make him an AQCD and that he wants to destroy order in the universe so his classifier isn't out of order cause it really annoys him.
Like I don't really mind what I just think that him not being bipedal can give him a lot of options.

2) He looks like a final boss/super rad villain dude, he's huge, he could speak slowly and deeply, his eye is a gemstone rather than everyone else's normal eye (again making him different)

3) This one is more just against Broadsword being the leader but what we could do is have Broadsword have a redemption moment where he realises what the Uncles are doing and decides to help demo, maybe with a scene where he holds them off as their base is exploding or a fractured universe is imploding or something like that. You could even play as him in a climactic battle against him and the remaining Uncle. Because he does seem to genuinely like Demo and Broadsword is a pretty rad dude it'd be nice to see him come back and be a good guy in the end.

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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby docopoper » 1 year ago

It would be super cool to get to play as broadsword. There could even be lua shenanigans to give him an extended moveset.

Also we could make the plot of this episode be specifically that it's a retcon of the previous episode. I feel like that would be in character for this game.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:Just a note that we may not even use that level, since there was talk of another idea that uses the tutorial.
Just to clarify, you're talking about this, right?:
Hoeloe wrote:

There was an idea bandied about a while ago to have an intro level, which starts with Sheath returning from the time travel at the end of episode 1. From there, Sheath would progress through the level and meet up with the other characters. The interesting part was to use LunaLua to do a "character switch" - by which I mean have the characters as NPCs in the level, and essentially "posses" those NPCs, rather than transforming. That could be a really neat way to teach specific mechanics of the characters (off the top of my head, for example, requiring Kood float over a gap to press a switch to allow Sheath through a door).

This old video has an idea of what I'm getting at (obviously would need to be less terrible than this):



If so, I have an idea: my level is still first, but after the "Post Post-Production Void" cut-scene, everyone except Sheath run off to the tutorial level (which, in-game, is like one of those carnival obstacle-houses with the entrance and exit right by each other). Sheath tries to warn them that it's just a tutorial level and will just bring them right back to where they are, but they ignore her. The music switches back to Modri - Shades (in the rain), and Sheath, noticeably saddened, has a brief introspection about how, no matter what she does, she'll always just "be there." The cut-scene ends, leading to the map, which opens a path to the tutorial level (which plays basically the same as conceptualized, except without Sheath). At the end of the tutorial level:

raocow: Aww, what? We're right back where we were!
Sheath: I tried to warn you--
Demo: I can't believe nobody warned us about this!
Sheath: ...*sigh*...
Kood or Iris: Well, there's nothing we can do about it, now. Let's go!

Then the tutorial ends and leads to the first main level.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Rockythechao » 1 year ago

Sorry for the incoming wall of text, everyone!

From the graphics thread:
Imaynotbehere4long wrote:
SAJewers wrote:Just a note that we may not even use that level, since there was talk of another idea that uses the tutorial.
Where was this talk at? I'm sure we can work out some kind of compromise that uses the tutorial, but still lets my level be first.
raocow wrote:well, like, if there is work done in the levle [sic], even if it's not used as a tutorial maybe it can be turned into a level level !
Unfortunately, I made my level too plot-focused for that to be easily doable. My reasoning was that if I made a heavily plot-focused level, it would be more likely to get attention (and, by extension, reviews) than a level that could easily be moved to Episode 3 in case of a surplus. It looks like that might backfire on me, though.
The discussion in question -- if you're referring to the one I'm thinking of, SAJ, apologies if not -- was mostly me being confused on what the current status of the tutorial was and whether we would be using your level or not.

To be honest, you've kind of been setting yourself up for potential disappointment by trying to push this level through reviews and make it the first level in the game. When you set off on your own and make a story-heavy level dependent on specific plot points so early in a collab game's development, you risk conflicts with other levels or making something that isn't received well by others, and then it becomes this big kerfuffle of a thing.

And, well, I'm a bit of a hypocrite for saying this since I'm the one going around being all "ooh this plot twist would be really awesome/funny and I'd really like to see it happen" and impulsively making boss fights and including specific details and dialogue in my dev videos and so on. As it is, my plan is to submit my own stuff with complete cutscenes/etc, but I'll be doing so with the understanding and expectation that if my levels do get accepted I'll have to change most of the story-related stuff -- if not all of it -- to accommodate the final plot, not the other way around.

With that said, I personally enjoyed your level (at least, the version I played, may be outdated now). Don't take this as a proper/official review or anything, but
Overall it has solid production values and the perma-timefreeze gimmick allowed for some neat gameplay. It was a pretty thorough exploration of Sheath's mechanics, though I don't recall if there were any signs or stuff explaining some of the less obvious stuff and SMBX is currently being a butt so I can't check at the moment... if not, there should be (assuming you still want to make this a tutorial level).

As for the story elements, I can see what you're going for with Sheath's angst over her running gag of "being there too", but it seemed a bit forced and could potentially become a subplot that would be introduced at the beginning of the game and never revisited. The monitors showing the status of the siblings were cool, though, and the ending was pretty funny.

I'm guessing the memory transfer thing for Kood that was on the wiki was in an earlier version but dummied out? I thought it was a neat idea and it inspired another idea for a potential intro cutscene.


As for keeping your level in the game, I can think of a few ways to make it work without it being the first level:

  1. Have the characters all show up in the new universe with no explanation and no idea why they're all still alive, then later have your level as a flashback of some sort. It may still need some changes to work with any conflicting story details we've established at that point, and we'd have to figure out how to bring it up without disrupting the game's pacing too much... perhaps a collection of bonus levels that cover stuff that happened off-screen in A2XT1 or other past games (we could have a level with the Key boss preparing for the final confrontation, whatever Demo and company were up to while Sheath was off having her adventures in other games, stuff like that).
  2. Change everything except most of the layout and the core gameplay -- remove the current story stuff but keep the ideas aside for potential future use in the final tutorial or other levels/cutscenes, change the setting from the PPV to another setting, like a castle or ghost house or cave or something, and replace the super leeks with keys or some other kind of macguffin. This would require a lot of extra effort, but the end result could be something fantastic.
  3. If we go with the idea of the Weird/Abstract world being the result of the uncles/Cronot(r?)ons' plans failing or backfiring, or some similar thing, you could rework your level to act as the intro level of that world. It could even still take place in the PPV, but the initial premise and the end goal/result are different; perhaps after A2XT1, Sheath just escaped into the next reality, but this time around she's determined to try and reconstruct this reality; she then finds Science's reality stabilizer machine from Ep. 1 and sets out to reboot existence as per the level. Her efforts aren't enough to completely save the universe but she manages to restore it to a stable-enough emergency state: the weird world.
  4. Similar to the above, but instead, through some as-of-yet undecided plot stuff -- maybe she's given the mission and means by the Chronotons -- Sheath travels back in time to salvage stuff from the dying Ep. 1 'verse. Perhaps the Chronotons need the Super Leeks to power the R.E.T.C.O.N.? Ooh, maybe they need Kood's ring! Maybe they need Kood, and that's why he disappeared at the last moment -- because future!Sheath time-napped him!
[/spoiler]

...er, I mean. *ahem* The above options do all still hinge on and/or or impose their own plot conditions, so to be safe we should talk them over and wait a bit longer for the story to be developed further.

TL;DR version:

For what it's worth, imaynotbehere4long, I personally like your level and appreciate what you're going for, but imo you're being a bit too rigid about its' placement in the game. If you're willing to be a bit more flexible about it and accommodate the game and story instead of vice-versa, we can make it work and the story could end up that much stronger for it.

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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

Rockythechao wrote:To be honest, you've kind of been setting yourself up for potential disappointment by trying to push this level through reviews and make it the first level in the game. When you set off on your own and make a story-heavy level dependent on specific plot points so early in a collab game's development, you risk conflicts with other levels or making something that isn't received well by others, and then it becomes this big kerfuffle of a thing.

And, well, I'm a bit of a hypocrite for saying this since I'm the one going around being all "ooh this plot twist would be really awesome/funny and I'd really like to see it happen" and impulsively making boss fights and including specific details and dialogue in my dev videos and so on. As it is, my plan is to submit my own stuff with complete cutscenes/etc, but I'll be doing so with the understanding and expectation that if my levels do get accepted I'll have to change most of the story-related stuff -- if not all of it -- to accommodate the final plot, not the other way around.
Yeah, I admit that I knew the risks going in, but I also did my best to make its plot as malleable as possible. The only long-term effect (I anticipated that) my level would have on the plot is that Sheath, Demo, Iris, Raocow, and Pandamona (and maybe Calleoca) are from Analog Funk, Kood has other Kood's memories (so levels made for Kood that reference Episode 1 wouldn't be auto-non-canon'd), everyone else is from Episode 2, and the rest of Episode 1, along with all of its loose ends (besides Pandamona), don't exist anymore (and as such, couldn't be revisited, even through time travel; heck, maybe, at some point, someone makes another Ep 1, and that would explain the Ep. 1 Lua update in-game).

The way I saw it, pretty much any plot could work with how I made the level, as it basically restarts the plot on a clean slate while still allowing references to the previous episode; I didn't anticipate that the plan was to have Sheath be the sole survivor of Episode 1, among other things (like there being plans for a different tutorial to be at the start).

Besides, wasn't the plan to build the plot around the levels that got accepted, not the other way around? :D
SAJewers wrote:To be honest, we should kinda wait until levels start getting accepted, then work the plot around the levels. I wasn't a huge fan of the disconnect between the plot and the levels in Episode 1.
*shots fired*
Rockythechao wrote:With that said, I personally enjoyed your level (at least, the version I played, may be outdated now). Don't take this as a proper/official review or anything, but
Rockythechao wrote:

Overall it has solid production values and the perma-timefreeze gimmick allowed for some neat gameplay. It was a pretty thorough exploration of Sheath's mechanics, though I don't recall if there were any signs or stuff explaining some of the less obvious stuff and SMBX is currently being a butt so I can't check at the moment... if not, there should be (assuming you still want to make this a tutorial level).

Yeah, I added the signs after Pyro's review. I also had to change the custom song since Shades is ©.

Rockythechao wrote:
As for the story elements, I can see what you're going for with Sheath's angst over her running gag of "being there too", but it seemed a bit forced and could potentially become a subplot that would be introduced at the beginning of the game and never revisited.

I fully anticipated this. If anyone asked, I would just say that the subplot was "there too."

It would be fitting. :D

In fact, my main worry about that subplot is that it would be revisited, but in a way I didn't intend.

Rockythechao wrote:
I'm guessing the memory transfer thing for Kood that was on the wiki was in an earlier version but dummied out?

Actually, my intent for that cut-scene was that it would be in its own level (maybe even made by a different user), hence why it's called "Post Post-Production Void" on the wiki; it's what happens after the player beats my level. After all, I didn't want to spend too long on one level that might not even be accepted; I just included everything I felt was necessary.

Rockythechao wrote:As for keeping your level in the game, I can think of a few ways to make it work without it being the first level:
One thing: because the level uses SMW stars to track progress, the message where Sheath says that she got all the Super Leeks will pop up if the player revisits the level, and it will throw off the intro text at the beginning (since it's timed to the song). It was this that reminded me to even put the restriction of it being the first level and inaccessible afterward on the Wiki at all, and it's another reason why I have the "Auto-Start Level or bust" mentality. I could probably fix this with Lua, but on top of the fact that I'd basically have to learn a whole programming language, I've been getting a lot of school work recently (plus, finals are coming up in a couple weeks), so I don't exactly have the time for it right now (I find myself barely having time to fix the vanilla SMBX related issues, but maybe I just suck at time management).

Also, don't forget about my idea to make the tutorial work without making my level not-first; it's in the post directly above yours.

Rockythechao wrote:
Have the characters all show up in the new universe with no explanation and no idea why they're all still alive, then later have your level as a flashback of some sort. It may still need some changes to work with any conflicting story details we've established at that point, and we'd have to figure out how to bring it up without disrupting the game's pacing too much... perhaps a collection of bonus levels that cover stuff that happened off-screen in A2XT1 or other past games (we could have a level with the Key boss preparing for the final confrontation, whatever Demo and company were up to while Sheath was off having her adventures in other games, stuff like that).

That actually did cross my mind, but pacing was the same issue I came across, and I don't think a "flashback world" would help with that. It might work if we still have beginning of the world cut-scenes (like Ep. 1) and have it lead to the level from there, but why not just make it the first level then?

Rockythechao wrote:
Change everything except most of the layout and the core gameplay -- remove the current story stuff... change the setting from the PPV to another setting

That also crossed my mind, but only as a last resort if I can't get it to work as is, especially since the level is so heavily involved in story stuff.

Rockythechao wrote:
If we go with the idea of the Weird/Abstract world being the result of the uncles/Cronot(r?)ons' plans failing or backfiring, or some similar thing, you could rework your level to act as the intro level of that world. It could even still take place in the PPV, but the initial premise and the end goal/result are different; perhaps after A2XT1, Sheath just escaped into the next reality, but this time around she's determined to try and reconstruct this reality; she then finds Science's reality stabilizer machine from Ep. 1 and sets out to reboot existence as per the level. Her efforts aren't enough to completely save the universe but she manages to restore it to a stable-enough emergency state: the weird world.

A lot of that stuff seems to hinge on as-of-yet undecided plot points, so we'll see how that goes.

Rockythechao wrote:
Similar to the above, but instead, through some as-of-yet undecided plot stuff -- maybe she's given the mission and means by the Chronotons -- Sheath travels back in time to salvage stuff from the dying Ep. 1 'verse. Perhaps the Chronotons need the Super Leeks to power the R.E.T.C.O.N.? Ooh, maybe they need Kood's ring! Maybe they need Kood, and that's why he disappeared at the last moment -- because future!Sheath time-napped him!

That won't work since, if the goal is to get Kood, all Sheath would have to do is go right from the starting point and boom, there's Kood, mission accomplished.

Also, one of my ideas that I didn't type out on the wiki because I forgot is that the ring Kood got is actually just a placebo; Koods naturally have the ability to travel between realities by themselves. In fact, if two Koods are in the same reality, they can telepathically share memories, but they forget those memories when one of the Koods goes to another reality. However, they can be psuedo-transfered by connecting said memories to a placebo, like an ordinary ring. This would also tie up the amnesia subplot of Episode 1, as the telepathic link between the Koods formed and immediately broke when they both transferred universes at the same time, making Analog Funk Kood think he lost his memories when, as Feed said, they were the memories of the other Kood, the one introduced in the Post Post-Production Void cut-scene.

Like I wrote earlier, my intent was to begin Episode 2 on basically a clean slate, tying up every unexplained subplot from Episode 1, or making it cease to exist by having the reality collapse. If most of this won't work, no problem, they're not actually in the level.

Rockythechao wrote:TL;DR version:

For what it's worth, imaynotbehere4long, I personally like your level and appreciate what you're going for, but imo you're being a bit too rigid about its' placement in the game. If you're willing to be a bit more flexible about it and accommodate the game and story instead of vice-versa, we can make it work and the story could end up that much stronger for it.
TL;DR version:

Like I said: I'm only being rigid because I believe my level to be malleable as is, even if the reality is that this isn't the case. Plus, the level was made under the impression that the plot would accommodate the levels instead of vice versa. However, I'm aware that these things change, and I'm willing to see what I can do to get my level accepted in this ever-changing world in which we live in.

P.S. You just pinged raocow in the "no raocows allowed" thread (quotes within quotes still trigger the user's Notifications).
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Rockythechao » 1 year ago

P.S. You just pinged raocow in the "no raocows allowed" thread (quotes within quotes still trigger the user's Notifications).
oh fffffffffffff

Mr. the cow, if you see this please unsee it I'm so sorry

(Will edit with responses to the other points in a bit, for now just gonna ffffff it up here)

----

Okay, let me start off by saying that I realize I probably came off as pretty high-and-mighty with that post. I could've phrased some things a lot better, a lot less harsh and all that. My apologies for that.

Spoilering most of these responses due to length:
Imaynotbehere4long wrote:
Yeah, I admit that I knew the risks going in, but I also did my best to make its plot as malleable as possible. The only long-term effect (I anticipated that) my level would have on the plot is that Sheath, Demo, Iris, Raocow, and Pandamona (and maybe Calleoca) are from Analog Funk, Kood has other Kood's memories (so levels made for Kood that reference Episode 1 wouldn't be auto-non-canon'd), everyone else is from Episode 2, and the rest of Episode 1, along with all of its loose ends (besides Pandamona), don't exist anymore (and as such, couldn't be revisited, even through time travel; heck, maybe, at some point, someone makes another Ep 1, and that would explain the Ep. 1 Lua update in-game).

Most of these details aren't that big of an issue, and the bit about preventing levels from being auto-non-canon'd is actually a fair point. The problem I saw wasn't so much that you're imposing any big plot threads things (aside from Sheath's subplot, but I've changed my mind about that, see below) but your level sets in stone all of these little things that folks haven't completely agreed upon yet (which is something you pointed out about one of my suggestions further down). That said, I made it out to be more than that, and for that I apologize.

Besides, wasn't the plan to build the plot around the levels that got accepted, not the other way around? :D
SAJewers wrote:
To be honest, we should kinda wait until levels start getting accepted, then work the plot around the levels. I wasn't a huge fan of the disconnect between the plot and the levels in Episode 1.

*shots fired*

Shots deserved! Like I said, I'm a hypocrite for scrutinizing you about this stuff when I'm just as guilty of it, if not moreso. I generally try to reel it in, but if you or anyone else thinks I'm starting to go a bit too far with anything, please don't hesitate to call me out on it!

Rockythechao wrote:
With that said, I personally enjoyed your level (at least, the version I played, may be outdated now). Don't take this as a proper/official review or anything, but

Overall it has solid production values and the perma-timefreeze gimmick allowed for some neat gameplay. It was a pretty thorough exploration of Sheath's mechanics, though I don't recall if there were any signs or stuff explaining some of the less obvious stuff and SMBX is currently being a butt so I can't check at the moment... if not, there should be (assuming you still want to make this a tutorial level).

Yeah, I added the signs after Pyro's review. I also had to change the custom song since Shades is ©.

Cool beans. I haven't watched her review yet but I'm definitely going to do so after finishing this post.

Rockythechao wrote:
As for the story elements, I can see what you're going for with Sheath's angst over her running gag of "being there too", but it seemed a bit forced and could potentially become a subplot that would be introduced at the beginning of the game and never revisited.

I fully anticipated this. If anyone asked, I would just say that the subplot was "there too."

It would be fitting. :D

In fact, my main worry about that subplot is that it would be revisited, but in a way I didn't intend.

Okay, now part of me wants to see the subplot intact and that explanation used in the final game somewhere, and another part is slapping the first part vigorously and telling him to cool his jets. A third part looks on unamused, but also no longer has as much of an issue with that subplot being in the level.

Rockythechao wrote:
I'm guessing the memory transfer thing for Kood that was on the wiki was in an earlier version but dummied out?

Actually, my intent for that cut-scene was that it would be in its own level (maybe even made by a different user), hence why it's called "Post Post-Production Void" on the wiki; it's what happens after the player beats my level. After all, I didn't want to spend too long on one level that might not even be accepted; I just included everything I felt was necessary.

Ah, gotcha.

Rockythechao wrote:
As for keeping your level in the game, I can think of a few ways to make it work without it being the first level:

One thing: because the level uses SMW stars to track progress, the message where Sheath says that she got all the Super Leeks will pop up if the player revisits the level, and it will throw off the intro text at the beginning (since it's timed to the song). It was this that reminded me to even put the restriction of it being the first level and inaccessible afterward on the Wiki at all, and it's another reason why I have the "Auto-Start Level or bust" mentality. I could probably fix this with Lua, but on top of the fact that I'd basically have to learn a whole programming language, I've been getting a lot of school work recently (plus, finals are coming up in a couple weeks), so I don't exactly have the time for it right now (I find myself barely having time to fix the vanilla SMBX related issues, but maybe I just suck at time management).

Also, don't forget about my idea to make the tutorial work without making my level not-first; it's in the post directly above yours.

Ah, okay, that makes sense. And not sure how I missed that post, sorry about that! Adding that cutscene would certainly help smooth things out. Even so, to me all this extra stuff to make it work as the first level still doesn't seems like the most practical solution compared to possible alternatives.

But I can understand the school stuff; I have trouble with time management myself and it's been a been a bit of a thing this semester as a result. I wouldn't mind helping you with the Lua fixes and any changes that need to be made.

The intro sequence was pretty cool, very well put together. Even if your level didn't end up accepted, that's one of the bits I would've liked to see salvaged and used in the opening cutscene.


Rockythechao wrote:
Have the characters all show up in the new universe with no explanation and no idea why they're all still alive, then later have your level as a flashback of some sort. It may still need some changes to work with any conflicting story details we've established at that point, and we'd have to figure out how to bring it up without disrupting the game's pacing too much... perhaps a collection of bonus levels that cover stuff that happened off-screen in A2XT1 or other past games (we could have a level with the Key boss preparing for the final confrontation, whatever Demo and company were up to while Sheath was off having her adventures in other games, stuff like that).

That actually did cross my mind, but pacing was the same issue I came across, and I don't think a "flashback world" would help with that. It might work if we still have beginning of the world cut-scenes (like Ep. 1) and have it lead to the level from there, but why not just make it the first level then?

I mean, a mandatory flashback world would definitely cause pacing issues. I was thinking more like making it bonus content in the same vein as the library in Ep. 1, optional unlockables that expand upon on the story/lore. If it were done this way, and I'm not saying it has to be, but we could keep the scrolling text intro sequence as the beginning of the game's opening cutscene with the lead-in at the end of it changed, and in Post Production Void we could include a shorter blurb in its' place giving the level's premise.

Rockythechao wrote:
Change everything except most of the layout and the core gameplay -- remove the current story stuff... change the setting from the PPV to another setting

That also crossed my mind, but only as a last resort if I can't get it to work as is, especially since the level is so heavily involved in story stuff.
[/quote]
No argument here.

Rockythechao wrote:
If we go with the idea of the Weird/Abstract world being the result of the uncles/Cronot(r?)ons' plans failing or backfiring, or some similar thing, you could rework your level to act as the intro level of that world. It could even still take place in the PPV, but the initial premise and the end goal/result are different; perhaps after A2XT1, Sheath just escaped into the next reality, but this time around she's determined to try and reconstruct this reality; she then finds Science's reality stabilizer machine from Ep. 1 and sets out to reboot existence as per the level. Her efforts aren't enough to completely save the universe but she manages to restore it to a stable-enough emergency state: the weird world.

A lot of that stuff seems to hinge on as-of-yet undecided plot points, so we'll see how that goes.

Rockythechao wrote:
Similar to the above, but instead, through some as-of-yet undecided plot stuff -- maybe she's given the mission and means by the Chronotons -- Sheath travels back in time to salvage stuff from the dying Ep. 1 'verse. Perhaps the Chronotons need the Super Leeks to power the R.E.T.C.O.N.? Ooh, maybe they need Kood's ring! Maybe they need Kood, and that's why he disappeared at the last moment -- because future!Sheath time-napped him!

That won't work since, if the goal is to get Kood, all Sheath would have to do is go right from the starting point and boom, there's Kood, mission accomplished.

Also, one of my ideas that I didn't type out on the wiki because I forgot is that the ring Kood got is actually just a placebo; Koods naturally have the ability to travel between realities by themselves. In fact, if two Koods are in the same reality, they can telepathically share memories, but they forget those memories when one of the Koods goes to another reality. However, they can be psuedo-transfered by connecting said memories to a placebo, like an ordinary ring. This would also tie up the amnesia subplot of Episode 1, as the telepathic link between the Koods formed and immediately broke when they both transferred universes at the same time, making Analog Funk Kood think he lost his memories when, as Feed said, they were the memories of the other Kood, the one introduced in the Post Post-Production Void cut-scene.

Like I wrote earlier, my intent was to begin Episode 2 on basically a clean slate, tying up every unexplained subplot from Episode 1, or making it cease to exist by having the reality collapse. If most of this won't work, no problem, they're not actually in the level.

Okay, seriously, credit where it's due: you have a lot of neat ideas! That'd be a nifty way to clean up those plot holes and give us stuff to work with for future episodes or other games, but it doesn't seem like something that could be explained without a lot of text.

But yeah, when I come up with ideas like the ones in that post, they're not so much "we should totally do this in this exact way" but more "oh, this is/these are interesting things we could possibly do to tie together these seemingly-unrelated ideas". I'm not really hinging on any of them being taken super-seriously or making their way into the game, I just like connecting the dots and having a ton of options to choose from.

In fact, while I was writing this response I came up with another conditional potential plot thread idea thing in skype, which I will make a separate post because this one's already long enough as-is.



Rockythechao wrote:TL;DR version:

For what it's worth, imaynotbehere4long, I personally like your level and appreciate what you're going for, but imo you're being a bit too rigid about its' placement in the game. If you're willing to be a bit more flexible about it and accommodate the game and story instead of vice-versa, we can make it work and the story could end up that much stronger for it.
TL;DR version:

Like I said: I'm only being rigid because I believe my level to be malleable as is, even if the reality is that this isn't the case. Plus, the level was made under the impression that the plot would accommodate the levels instead of vice versa. However, I'm aware that these things change, and I'm willing to see what I can do to get my level accepted in this ever-changing world in which we live in.
The big "TL;DR version" text was as much for you as anyone who didn't want to bother scrolling through all of that text, but looking back it probably seemed really condescending >_<

Sorry again for all my confusion, misunderstandings and rudeness. I hope there's no hard feelings, and as I've said several times now, I'd be happy to help you with those Lua fixes if you'd like.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

Imaynotbehere4long wrote:
SAJewers wrote:To be honest, we should kinda wait until levels start getting accepted, then work the plot around the levels. I wasn't a huge fan of the disconnect between the plot and the levels in Episode 1.
*shots fired*
What I specifically meant when I said that was that I did not a huge disconnect between the making of levels, and the making of cutscenes/the plot. The main base of the plot can be made outside what levels come in, and later levels can be made to fit in with that base story. The meat of the story, though, should revolve a bit around the levels. Why have "Demo's Journey Through Time" be just a level and be done with? Why not work that level into the plot?

What I want to avoid is something in the plot being set in stone, and then forcing levels to fit in to that without compromise, like the siblings in Ep1 (we could've done so much more, but didn't). Conversely, I don't want the opposite either (levels outright dictating the core plot, and forcing the plot to fit), but that's something I'm less worried about.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:Conversely, I don't want the opposite either (levels outright dictating the core plot, and forcing the plot to fit), but that's something I'm less worried about.
Like I wrote in my previous post, I did my best to take into consideration what other people might make, and try to work out my level so that almost anything could work with it, though I didn't anticipate anyone to make something as ambitious as what I did until after the levels were set in stone and the specifics of the plot were being worked out.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Rockythechao » 1 year ago

Still writing the responses to that post, but here's the tl:dr before it gets lost in the continuing conversation:

Sorry for the confusion and sorry for being a butt to you. I hope there's no hard feelings, and if you'd like I can help you with those Lua fixes.

EDIT:
Forgot to post that other idea I mentioned.

So there was talk of replacing the current boss of Hope Rides Alone with a robot Raocow and...
skype!rocky wrote:Ooooh, okay, okay, gimme a sec here
So the Kering stuff from the beginning of Ep. 1, y'all remember what Darky and Dem were planning for that?
If not, google the name and look at the second result
"(Previously PPR)"
Their original plan for Episode 3 was for the antagonists to be evil versions of talkhaus members led by PPR, who went by the codename "Kering"
Kering can be this robot Raocow
and we can get rid of that plot thread so we don't have to worry about for Ep. 3 and 4
two birds, one stone

<LATER>

Okay, another super-specific fanfic-ish idea pulling together a bunch of different stuff, feel free to disregard this, but...

The chronotons need a mission done by someone not originally from this reality. They want Raocow for the job since he's not from the ASMT continuity but can't get him to do it for whatever reason, so they build a robot version of him and send him back in time or through a portal or something. The robot goes haywire or becomes self-aware or something and becomes Kering, who you then fight at the end of HRA.

Then they discover Sheath, who they missed before because she's usually just "there too". She's from ATXS, so she's a viable candidate for the mission, so on the second attempt they send her.

And the mission could be the stuff I suggested in the story thread a moment ago. Not necessarily Post Production Void, but one of those potential plot points.
So yeah, again, just writing down these things my brain frankensteined together. Feel free to do what you want with the ideas or disregard it completely.

I just like connecting the dots; sometimes they make pretty pictures, sometimes they just result in a jumbled mess.

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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby WasabiJellyfish » 1 year ago

Imaynotbehere4long wrote: If so, I have an idea: my level is still first, but after the "Post Post-Production Void" cut-scene, everyone except Sheath run off to the tutorial level (which, in-game, is like one of those carnival obstacle-houses with the entrance and exit right by each other). Sheath tries to warn them that it's just a tutorial level and will just bring them right back to where they are, but they ignore her. The music switches back to Modri - Shades (in the rain), and Sheath, noticeably saddened, has a brief introspection about how, no matter what she does, she'll always just "be there." The cut-scene ends, leading to the map, which opens a path to the tutorial level (which plays basically the same as conceptualized, except without Sheath). At the end of the tutorial level:

raocow: Aww, what? We're right back where we were!
Sheath: I tried to warn you--
Demo: I can't believe nobody warned us about this!
Sheath: ...*sigh*...
Kood or Iris: Well, there's nothing we can do about it, now. Let's go!

Then the tutorial ends and leads to the first main level.
So she tries to bring them to the new universe but fails? I think that idea does kinda work and could give Sheath a bit of a character arc.
I mean I don't think anything should be cemented down but I think the idea could work alright.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

The tutorial level will be first. We need to let the player learn the controls and everything; the tutorial will cover everything.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:The tutorial level will be first. We need to let the player learn the controls and everything; the tutorial will cover everything.
My level is meant to be a Sheath tutorial, though; in fact, after Pyro's review, I added signs to show the player what he/she has to do to use some of Sheath's moves. It wouldn't hurt to have one tutorial for Sheath at the beginning and one for everyone else right afterward; in fact, doing this would help to emphasize how different Sheath is from the other characters.


@ Rockythechao:
Rockythechao wrote:
The problem I saw wasn't so much that you're imposing any big plot threads things (aside from Sheath's subplot, but I've changed my mind about that, see below) but your level sets in stone all of these little things that folks haven't completely agreed upon yet

...huh. While I knew that I was doing that, I assumed that the "little things" would be so little as to be practically insignificant. After all, the level won't affect the big-picture plot points (like the uncles, the chronotrons, the alternate universe siblings, or heck, even whether or not there are alternate universe player characters or what the alternate universe looks like from a distance), and the main characters already have well-documented personalities and motivations from the previous episode, so even most of the "little things," like specific dialogue, would still be up for debate. The biggest thing it does IMO is give Sheath characterization, but if this episode would be anything like the last, she'd only have, like, three lines, and would continue just being there, not even affecting the "little things."

At least, that was my reasoning. Sure, you could argue that the Post Post-Production Void cut-scene sets a bunch more "little things" into stone, but that was mainly me covering my bases so nobody would reject it on the grounds of "Okay, so what about Kood? He's a protagonist too, you know. Without him, who will be the Peach replacement? And what about other levels made specifically for Kood?"

Rockythechao wrote:
Adding that cutscene would certainly help smooth things out. Even so, to me all this extra stuff to make it work as the first level still doesn't seems like the most practical solution compared to possible alternatives.

It doesn't seem like that much to me. Just add a few extra lines of dialogue to the beginning cut-scenes and slightly rework Hoeloe's concept so that it doesn't require Sheath. It would even build a bit on Sheath's subplot.

Rockythechao wrote:
I mean, a mandatory flashback world would definitely cause pacing issues. I was thinking more like making it bonus content in the same vein as the library in Ep. 1, optional unlockables that expand upon on the story/lore. If it were done this way, and I'm not saying it has to be, but we could keep the scrolling text intro sequence as the beginning of the game's opening cutscene with the lead-in at the end of it changed, and in Post Production Void we could include a shorter blurb in its' place giving the level's premise.

Oh, that makes sense, though if we go with that, I'd want to bring back the level's initial "mid-late game difficulty" since it would be unlock-able.

Rockythechao wrote:
That'd be a nifty way to clean up those plot holes and give us stuff to work with for future episodes or other games, but it doesn't seem like something that could be explained without a lot of text.

Yeah, but to be fair, we wouldn't have to explain it all at once. In fact, we could still have a subplot where everyone thinks the Ep. 1 ring is special, but when someone finally gets it and it doesn't work, Kood is there to laugh in said person's face and explain the placebo effect.

Like I said, there's still plenty of room to work out the little things.
WasabiJellyfish wrote:
Imaynotbehere4long wrote:

If so, I have an idea: my level is still first, but after the "Post Post-Production Void" cut-scene, everyone except Sheath run off to the tutorial level (which, in-game, is like one of those carnival obstacle-houses with the entrance and exit right by each other). Sheath tries to warn them that it's just a tutorial level and will just bring them right back to where they are, but they ignore her. The music switches back to Modri - Shades (in the rain), and Sheath, noticeably saddened, has a brief introspection about how, no matter what she does, she'll always just "be there." The cut-scene ends, leading to the map, which opens a path to the tutorial level (which plays basically the same as conceptualized, except without Sheath). At the end of the tutorial level:

raocow: Aww, what? We're right back where we were!
Sheath: I tried to warn you--
Demo: I can't believe nobody warned us about this!
Sheath: ...*sigh*...
Kood or Iris: Well, there's nothing we can do about it, now. Let's go!

Then the tutorial ends and leads to the first main level.


So she tries to bring them to the new universe but fails? I think that idea does kinda work and could give Sheath a bit of a character arc.
I mean I don't think anything should be cemented down but I think the idea could work well.
That...that isn't what I was saying at all. What I was saying is that she succeeds and they land near a carnival-obstacle-course-like building, and that's the tutorial level. Sheath was just trying to save everyone some time since, canonically, they all just went through Episode 1 and wouldn't need to go through another tutorial level.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

I'd rather one general tutorial that encompasses all characters. The first thing people should be able to do/see should be something like an empty room that visually tells the controls, and allows the player the ability o mess around and familiarize themselves with the engine a bit. Any tutorial stuff should be easy and simple, to allow the player to get used to things without much danger.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby WasabiJellyfish » 1 year ago

Imaynotbehere4long wrote: That...that isn't what I was saying at all. What I was saying is that she succeeds and they land near a carnival-obstacle-course-like building, and that's the tutorial level. Sheath was just trying to save everyone some time since, canonically, they all just went through Episode 1 and wouldn't need to go through another tutorial level.
Oh wow I really misread sorry, I thought you meant they went back to the start as in going through the level would mean that they wouldn't be able to go to the new universe (from your original script) or whatever and would be sent back to the "start" of the game. I am kind of a fan of the lampshading the tutorial for a sequel though. The void as a library like thing is neat too.

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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:The first thing people should be able to do/see should be something like an empty room that visually tells the controls, and allows the player the ability o mess around and familiarize themselves with the engine a bit. Any tutorial stuff should be easy and simple, to allow the player to get used to things without much danger.
Since my level starts off on an empty screen anyway (and the enemies are frozen, making them even less dangerous), would you be willing to accept it if I added the flashing keyboard from Ep. 1's tutorial to the level? That would meet all of your requirements.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

No. The idea I have is a bit more than just a keyboard graphic in a level.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:No. The idea I have is a bit more than just a keyboard graphic in a level.
Okay, I have another idea: the tutorial level can be first, but just like the one in Episode 1, it doesn't have any bearing on the plot and, at the end, leads to my level via a warp.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

Doable, but it seemed to me that people preferred the tutorial/prologue combo idea. It's up to what people want to do.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:it seemed to me that people preferred the tutorial/prologue combo idea.
...and that was what I tried to do in the first place, hence my suggestion of having mine be for Sheath and another level afterward be for the others.

Let's go back to this:
SAJewers wrote:The first thing people should be able to do/see should be something like an empty room that visually tells the controls, and allows the player the ability o mess around and familiarize themselves with the engine a bit. Any tutorial stuff should be easy and simple, to allow the player to get used to things without much danger.
Is there anything I can do to get you to accept my level as the Auto-Start Level (besides use Lua)? You say you want more than just a keyboard graphic, so what do you want?

Also, honestly, I think that having two (or more, if necessary) tutorial levels won't be that bad as long as we can mask them as being actual levels, like I tried to do with mine.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

it'll require lua.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:it'll require lua.
...okay, fine. Let me know what I need to do.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

First, you'd probably have to get rid of the entire introductory thing you have.

Show the controls, then fade into an empty level section where the player can not die. the player has to exit that section, where the main tutorial begins, and the player learns all the basics of smbx.

The tutorial for each character should be somewhat brief and not overstay its welcome at all, while teaching everything that the player will need to know. Whatever character is first has to include tutorial stuff on even the general things of smbx; the most basic stuff has to be in the tutorial area for the first character, while slightly more advanced stuff can be placed in other character's sections.

Might also need to include the setting stuff.

The entire tutorial and how it's done up is up for discussion, but that's how I'd like to see it done up: a simple, straightforward thing for the player to learn everything without worrying about dying.

Edit: also, we really shouldn't be talking about stuff like this right now. We should be focusing on making and reviewing levels, until get get a general base of levels to work with. Then we can start working about things like the plot, uncles/bosses, towns, cutscenes, the overworld, the tutorial, etc., collaboratively, and under a different system than the one used to submit general levels. Those important things should be using the same system,name should be open to everyone.
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Rockythechao » 1 year ago

@Imaynotbehere4long
Imaynotbehere4long wrote:
...huh. While I knew that I was doing that, I assumed that the "little things" would be so little as to be practically insignificant. After all, the level won't affect the big-picture plot points (like the uncles, the chronotrons, the alternate universe siblings, or heck, even whether or not there are alternate universe player characters or what the alternate universe looks like from a distance), and the main characters already have well-documented personalities and motivations from the previous episode, so even most of the "little things," like specific dialogue, would still be up for debate. The biggest thing it does IMO is give Sheath characterization, but if this episode would be anything like the last, she'd only have, like, three lines, and would continue just being there, not even affecting the "little things."

At least, that was my reasoning. Sure, you could argue that the Post Post-Production Void cut-scene sets a bunch more "little things" into stone, but that was mainly me covering my bases so nobody would reject it on the grounds of "Okay, so what about Kood? He's a protagonist too, you know. Without him, who will be the Peach replacement? And what about other levels made specifically for Kood?"


"Set in stone" was too strong a term, and in terms of characterization PPV's contributions really aren't a big issue (again, I don't mind the stuff with Sheath now). The siblings are one of the things I was concerned about, though, since I'm not sure where everyone generally stands on how many of them should be brought back, which ones, whether they will be from the old universe or the new one, whether they'll have the same or similar personalities/identities as the old ones or more divergent, how big a role they'll have in the plot, etc. But it ultimately isn't that big of an issue since if it comes down to it, it'd just be a matter of tweaking/replacing the text and/or images of those monitors.

Some other things that have a high chance of being non-issues, but I think are still worth keeping in mind:

[*]The cosmology of the A__T continuity; the rules the multiverse of these games operates on have always been kind of vague and open for interpretation, but Ep, 1 got a bit more technical with that stuff. If we end up going with the time travel/reality reconstruction theme then that could be a larger area of concern.
[*]The nature of the turtle dove, which I guess kind of overlaps with the cosmology. Darky and Dem's original plan was to make it part of a series of related items with universal-destruction-proof powers, and how much of that is going to stick going forward is still up for debate as well as the role the turtle dove will/should play.
[*]Same with the ring as it was planned to be another one of those items, except it's not actually featured in your level, just the ideas and discussion we've been having around it.[/list][/spoiler]
SAJewers wrote:First, you'd probably have to get rid of the entire introductory thing you have.
Probably would be best to split it off into a separate level so we can still use it for/as part of whatever the opening cutscene ends up being. As I said before, I can help with that to save imay the time and trouble.
stuff about not dying
If we don't already have some sort of health/death system-related lua library, I can see about reworking a bit of infinite-health/knockback code I'm using for another level into one that can be plugged into the tutorial without hassle.
Edit: also, we really shouldn't be talking about stuff like this right now. We should be focusing on making and reviewing levels, until get get a general base of levels to work with. Then we can start working about things like the plot, uncles/bosses, towns, cutscenes, the overworld, the tutorial, etc., collaboratively, and under a different system than the one used to submit general levels. Those important things should be using the same system,name should be open to everyone.
I mean, I kind of agree, that's probably the safest way to handle it. Come Episode 3 we might want to make it clear from the outset that people shouldn't start doing story-related stuff until well after the base of levels is firmly established.

Yet my position has generally been that the sooner story discussion and brainstorming starts, the stronger the base of ideas we have to pull from will be when we get to ironing out the story proper. And as I've said way too many times now, having more ideas is much more preferable to having too few ideas as long as nobody's committed too strongly to any of them... but then, I haven't done the best job of practicing what I preach and reining in my own enthusiasm, have I? :lol:

Regardless, we've got the projected world themes now and folks are making towns and Uncle battles and stuff based around that, or, as in my case, have been working on them since before submissions even started. And I've been eager to share every other step of the Broadsword fight's development and gone on and on about my willingness to change/redo my stuff to the point it's probably obnoxious, but others have been more quiet about their own work (at least, to my knowledge).

I'll try harder to keep my what-ifs to a minimum. I do think we should be discussing the story-related stuff folks are already working on, though, to catch any potential issues before they develop into bigger problems and stuff like that. This discussion about imay's level was going to happen sooner or later; better it be addressed now than held off until a point when it'd lead to a bigger setback to the game's production.

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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby SAJewers » 1 year ago

Rockythechao wrote:
SAJewers wrote:First, you'd probably have to get rid of the entire introductory thing you have.
Probably would be best to split it off into a separate level so we can still use it for/as part of whatever the opening cutscene ends up being. As I said before, I can help with that to save imay the time and trouble.
Really, i think the meat of the prologue should be it's own seperate cutscene, like in Ep1. For me, i think how it should go is to have a tutorial (or set of tutorials), then have a cutscene that sets everything up plot-wise.
Rockythechao wrote:
stuff about not dying
If we don't already have some sort of health/death system-related lua library, I can see about reworking a bit of infinite-health/knockback code I'm using for another level into one that can be plugged into the tutorial without hassle.
I don't mind if players can die in the tutorial. I'm mainly thinking of SMB1 1-1 and the like.
Rockythechao wrote:
Edit: also, we really shouldn't be talking about stuff like this right now. We should be focusing on making and reviewing levels, until get get a general base of levels to work with. Then we can start working about things like the plot, uncles/bosses, towns, cutscenes, the overworld, the tutorial, etc., collaboratively, and under a different system than the one used to submit general levels. Those important things should be using the same system,name should be open to everyone.
I mean, I kind of agree, that's probably the safest way to handle it. Come Episode 3 we might want to make it clear from the outset that people shouldn't start doing story-related stuff until well after the base of levels is firmly established.

Yet my position has generally been that the sooner story discussion and brainstorming starts, the stronger the base of ideas we have to pull from will be when we get to ironing out the story proper. And as I've said way too many times now, having more ideas is much more preferable to having too few ideas as long as nobody's committed too strongly to any of them... but then, I haven't done the best job of practicing what I preach and reining in my own enthusiasm, have I? :lol:

Regardless, we've got the projected world themes now and folks are making towns and Uncle battles and stuff based around that, or, as in my case, have been working on them since before submissions even started. And I've been eager to share every other step of the Broadsword fight's development and gone on and on about my willingness to change/redo my stuff to the point it's probably obnoxious, but others have been more quiet about their own work (at least, to my knowledge).

I'll try harder to keep my what-ifs to a minimum. I do think we should be discussing the story-related stuff folks are already working on, though, to catch any potential issues before they develop into bigger problems and stuff like that. This discussion about imay's level was going to happen sooner or later; better it be addressed now than held off until a point when it'd lead to a bigger setback to the game's production.
Yeah, talk about stuff like that, but don't have anything firm until we have a solid base of levels. I mean, we can start now, but then we're making assumptions on levels that may or may not make the game. Just because I myself like a level doesn't mean it's going to be in the game, especially if i'm the only person so far who's reviewed it.
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Imaynotbehere4long
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Re: A2MBXT Cutscenes and Story SPOILERS (no raocows allowed)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » 1 year ago

SAJewers wrote:Really, i think the meat of the prologue should be it's own seperate cutscene, like in Ep1. For me, i think how it should go is to have a tutorial (or set of tutorials), then have a cutscene that sets everything up plot-wise.
Honestly, as long as the tutorials do a good enough job of masking themselves as actual levels (SMB 1-1, Shovel Knight's first level, Megaman X1's intro level, etc.), there shouldn't be an issue with having cut-scenes be in-between, or even part of (in my case), the levels. In fact, I'd think that would be a big part of the alternate judging criteria for the tutorial levels: how good a job they do at masking the fact that they're tutorials while still teaching new players how each character controls.

We can still have the meat of the prologue in its own cut-scene, but it shouldn't have to be after all the tutorial levels.
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