make mario levels make mario levels make mario levels make mario levels make mario levels

romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

do you like them video games? what about those there romhacks? well pop on in here and talk about them then! what are you waiting for?!
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

remember when i said i was gonna work on my MaGL4 because it's gonna have a lot of asm? well i've been working on a small kouhai/s mario/slurdgery styled 10 level romp (it has similar level design to s mario and kouhai though lol) for like two days, will continue later. it has chocolate enemies but they're not by me lol (imamelia and Mandew). i still have to clean up the graphics, at least the message box and various venuses. fg and bg will be up to whether i feel like it, but i'll probably change the cement blocks since i hate vanilla cement blocks lol. vip cement blocks save me onegai

the first stage, Alraune Plains, is based on Pipeville from S Mario, Artemisia Fields 1 from Hyper Mari World 6 and some stages Heraga showed me on Discord that he did, but it's a bit easier and shorter, especially on the fact that I've given powerups more commonly as well as having a powerup farm and laundromat in Detteiu's House. feel free to challenge without powerups if you wish, i like it a lot that way myself. i'm not sure what to do once i finish this, it's only done up to the midpoint, need to study more levels.

a few levels im thinking of are an Absurd Athletic 1&2 inspired segment in an athletic stage (name undecided) and a Maze Castle 1&2 inspired ghost house (name would be Ghost Trick, it's partially a reference to the sakura trick reference in ASPE), both beyrevia inspired but oops. my ethos for it is like, make something raocow/a 2009 hack lper would play.

as an extra there's two spcs i've been working on (so far they have like 3 channels somewhat done), petitemm has been helping a bit to fast forward the process, need to optimize them before releasing the mmls. area movement from arc the lad 3 (midi from vgmusic, sounds pretty 2008 ish) and feel so good from prophecy of the moonlight witch (midi from windows release, sounds somewhat less bad), some adsr was used but i don't really see the difference. i also have a sampled sophisticated fight port (midi from vgmusic's new releases, thnx google) from trails in the sky with chrono trigger samples from smwc but it hasn't gone through petitemm.

i've also thought about making a bad port of release of the far west ocean from ys 6 as the title screen, inspired by minitech/mikexp's work lol. a decent one could be the final stage's theme.

prototype title screen, still need to insert it vv
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might not be able to include the rip torahiko [thatcher's gravestone] bit in the title screen though so you can properly see carly and sam

enjoy ^^v
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

a good blogpoast from my friend narf

smbxers and smwers should take this into account when making a game
An aspect of this for me is that I'm most involved in fan communities, where work is done for free, but people still use these polished games as inspiration when deciding what they want to make. No one is making money off of Megamix engine projects, and certainly not off of rom hacks. Gamers, however, will always judge these games based on the best examples they can find, looking at the games that live up to and feel like professional works and saying that "finally, a fangame has been created that's worth respecting". In all these communities you end up with little hatedoms obsessed with the right and wrong ways to create games, fixating on showing off how bad the works of CHIKO are or how terrible Mega Man 42 is for content. It becomes this system of showing how games are a failure because they can't live up to the standards set by the originals, or by whatever is the popular game of the time. Why even bother making Rockman Hacks if you can't use assembly code to make something like Rockman 4 MI or MM4 Voyage? Why make a fangame if you can't make it at least as good as Mega Man Unlimited?

In my eyes, everything really goes back to the two cakes principle. Making a new game is better than not making anything. If it's not as pretty as you wanted it to be, you can always go back and make it prettier later. Things like assets and polish are far easier to update than the core mechanics of a game, and you don't have to get them all up to snuff before your game is worth looking at. I think it's better to prioritize figuring out what you want your game to be and making a strong structure so that you can release it as it is even if you end up not being able to polish it, instead of constantly estarting to try to satisfy the hopes of a nebulous caste of 'gamers'. Someone will probably like it.
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by TiKi »

i'm going to use two examples to illustrate this point, one of them being sort of a failure and the other being a success that shows what happens when you stop caring about conventional definitions of success.

(firstly, this isn't an advocacy of phil vischer or veggietales. despite his series of humble blog posts being a good cautionary tale and quite educational about the industry [such as his story of how dreamworks ruined the made-for-video market by pricing the shrek 1 dvd, a theatrical release, as a loss-leader], he's still a conservative who has happily worked with douglas tennapel and silas robertson.]

does anyone remember the veggietales jonah movie? to hear phil vischer, founder of the studio behind it, tell it, it was indeed meant to be longer than any previous veggietales home video release - about 45 minutes to an hour. however, it still bears repeating that that still gave the project a limited scope. for example "restaurant framing story - 5 minutes" and then the jonah story starts, right? however, the main writer of the script, who was phil's friend on top of that (definitely making it hard to be objective), was going way over-budget in terms of writing. like, there were 15 minutes' worth of script and it was still in the framing story. that would have been almost a third of the project right there, and the writer hadn't even gotten to the actual titular character yet. so the issue at hand was that even though vischer knew it was wrong, he couldn't bring himself to cut anything because well, there wasn't anything WRONG with the material, and it would be a shame to throw it out. (i'd like to make that distinction because the guy had kind of conflated it in his head at the time where rejecting the material on the basis of "we can't afford this" sort of felt like calling the material itself bad.) why not just make the project scope bigger?

needless to say, that didn't really work out. as narf's blog post relates, this inflated the movie into having a really long production time and budget, like well... a movie. even though the veggietales company had already got dissolved a bit after the film released due to a lawsuit, their financial situation before that still wasn't great. over half the employees who had worked on "jonah" would be let go the very next day after the internal screening party for the movie - the actual wrap party would be cancelled too, and i think that's just about the most symbolic thing to take away from this series of events.

i haven't watched it in like ten years, but i recall the movie itself being a bit bumbling too. "After Jonah is denied entrance to the city, the Pirates appear, explaining they won the Mr. Twisty's Twisted Cheese Curls sweepstakes which grants them free access to Nineveh where they are produced. The group is soon arrested after Larry tries to steal the King's Cheese Curls and are sentenced to death.". what? and don't even get me started on the gospel song in the whale's belly. yeah, it's really clear here that no idea in this script was ever shot down.

and the lesson here to take away is how vischer recounts that if he'd really tried, he could have saved the studio by cancelling or turning the jonah movie back into a direct-to-video thing and just going back to releasing two or three small-scale videotapes per year. but just like owlboy, he got really attached to this idea of a BIG movie that could actually compete with disney on their level. so big that he had to do all these crazy things to try and fund the jonah movie, when it all turned out to be for nothing. veggietales live on stage? madness! and it didn't end there. i actually owned the jonah pirate ship playset, the jonah pc game, minnesota cuke and the coconut apes (a donkey kong country ripoff), the mystery of veggie island (an adventure game)... all because one guy couldn't admit that he couldn't compete with disney or dreamworks. now, i'm sure a lot of the people reading this won't have this specific hangup, but vischer mentioned feeling like backing down from a potential blow-up of success felt like not only betraying god by not giving him his own disney-rivalling franchise, but that it would just show a lack of faith in god. while that's not really applicable to most users here, i think it's still applicable to look at how he felt like he "deserved" to be competitive when that really wasn't true. and even though i'm not speaking in a religious sense here, i think it's still important to look at how a lot of companies (disney, dreamworks, nintendo, microsoft) got to be the biggest in the business specifically because of a lack of moral restraints, and that trying to compete on their level is going to either erode your heart or your wallet.

that doesn't sound quite as profound as it did in my head, but you guys get it, right? not being able to scrap ideas because they were "too good to not do" just lead to a project that was way too big, took way too long, and didn't make enough money. how are the studios mentioned in the article even doing, these days? i know axiom verge got a sequel, but are any of the other studios still making their own projects or have they disbanded/become mercenary now? that's one last thing i'd want to get across from phil vischer's blog posts - where if you make a project take too long, when you release it it has, HAS to justify the last [x] years that were spent on it, and you're well aware of it too, which even for a success isn't a great feeling
KobaBeach wrote: 1 month ago
In all these communities you end up with little hatedoms obsessed with the right and wrong ways to create games, fixating on showing off how bad the works of CHIKO are or how terrible Mega Man 42 is for content.
THIS THIS JESUS CHRIST OH MY GOD THIS. someone recently tried to make an lp of this zelda classic quest (the zelda classic term for a game, hack, episode...) called "ballad of a bloodline" on somethingawful. and my friend group didn't really like that that was happening because it was kind of insulting. a few spoilers ahoy but whatever

-a FF6-esque "seven years later" system that happens after the first three dungeons, with a ruined overworld (and many heart pieces, and magic/bomb capacity upgrades only being in the non-ruined overworld)
-complex "custom bosses" instead of the zelda 1 bosses, which were done using puzzle-room-like systems where using the correct item on the correct tile in one room would invisibly transport you to the next room/phase of the boss
-crossover elements, especially in the ruined world (mega man x reploids such as morph moth, dynamo, and sigma, final fantasy characters, the guardian from ultima???)
-an accompanying character that had a romance with this game's "link" (and also a pet)
-multiple endings based on what optional content in the game that you did

and all this in 2008 before zelda classic even had actual scripting (which was another reason we were against it being so publicly criticized - it's 13 years old!) you'll notice that while these ideas have quite the potential for bad execution (and they indeed had some, with the bosses in particular not having very great animation built around their structure, being compared to "powerpoint bosses"), that's only because the creator had actual unique and ambitious ideas and was willing to TRY and implement them without fear of them looking silly.

the "two cakes" thing is another thing i want to get across as to why i was so against this quest becoming something that people even today would know zelda classic for. the reason is that having an "anti-goal" (whether that be ballad of a bloodline, chiko hacks, mega man 42...) creates this really nervous and suffocating disposition where you start to worry too much about your project "using ideas that such-and-such would". it's really creatively stifling and i'd like to agree with narf that a bad cake is worth more than accidentally creating a community where people are scared to even try to make a cake. like okay, you can laugh at his quest but the dude's made like 10 quests, 4 of them being sequels to "ballad of a bloodline". a lot of the people laughing at it can't claim anywhere near that, and don't you think it's a little sad that they not only never felt the motivation that this guy did, but are quite possibly infecting other people with the same lack of excitement to create?
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

i hate clogging up the front page with my terrible garbage posts but back at it again at krispy kreme (in progress spcs)
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by TiKi »

this is the kind of thing narf was against
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

TiKi wrote: 3 days ago this is the kind of thing narf was against
that's my close friend but go off

edit: like roach isn't shitting on beginner sprites he actually encouraged many people to practice sprite work, he's deliberately making fun of garbage tier shit that you'd see being sold as like pop culture memorabilia and shit, stuff like the sonic movie credits. either way pixel art has specific rules and you're clearly not understanding that aspect of it.
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by TiKi »

KobaBeach wrote: 3 days ago
TiKi wrote: 3 days ago this is the kind of thing narf was against
that's my close friend but go off

edit: like roach isn't shitting on beginner sprites he actually encouraged many people to practice sprite work, he's deliberately making fun of garbage tier shit that you'd see being sold as like pop culture memorabilia and shit, stuff like the sonic movie credits. either way pixel art has specific rules and you're clearly not understanding that aspect of it.
Well, okay? It's not like I'm telling you to stop being friends with him over one post, or even that one bad take made him a bad person.

And while I definitely agree about the pop culture thing (the Sonic movie music video thingy), pixel art doesn't quite have rigidly-defined rules. Btoh Sonic 1 and Sonic 3 Sonic are different but equally-valid ways of representing his essential qualities - his blueness, his quills, his eyes, his muzzle, his gloves, his shoes...

And the thing I was getting at was (with the exception of the scale2x filter, which is rarely used as an artistic choice except by the Mario Forever fan level community) is that these are all subjective things for the artist to decide what looks good to them. Color combinations/lightness and hue-shifting, where to place light sources, how many specular highlights to have, how many shades to have, whether to use a palette or not... even the "references" thing goes out the window with stuff like Sonic Nebulous or Sonic and the Mayhem Master, which purposefully give Sonic different designs as an artistic choice.

The reason I mentioned narf's post was because the twitter post seemed to be using the frame of reference of "does the viewer enjoy viewing this? does it look good by consensus or look professional by consensus?", rather than "did the creator enjoy making it?", which as they mentioned can sap the enjoyment out of making and sharing creations. I'm not going to say that I ENJOYED the pixel art in Mega Man 42 or Sonic Robo-Blast (1), but it was still a net good that the creators had fun making them and the games were released. And for better or worse, SRB1 still sticks out visually amongst many fangames that would come after it BECAUSE it used unprofessional drawings instead of professional rips. SSNTails wanted to make a Sonic game as a kid and by God he did it.

I don't want people getting infected with the mindset of having to prioritize professionalism over fun when they're making Sonic stuff. It's all well and good to hone your craft, but not when it leads to the point of anxiety and self-doubt. And I don't want some impressionable kid seeing this tweet and worrying that they're not good enough when in reality, the internet points don't matter and they can do whatever they want.
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by Rixithechao »

Yeah, like... not gonna lie, this seems like a weird double standard to hold between level design/gamedev and pixel art. Regardless of the medium, there's never any one "correct" way to make a work, and the fun and personal satisfaction of creation should ideally take priority over some nebulous sense of artisanship or viability of commoditization.

Ultimately, enforcement of any craft's guidelines, principles, frameworks, techniques, etc. and fixation on the mastery of them is missing the point -- those things are potential tools devised to help creators more deliberately express themselves and convey the intent/purpose of the creation. Even then, the most fun and interesting art tends to come from creators who either don't understand these practices or who are familiar enough with them to purposefully defy them, anyway.

As for all the cheap shallow pop pixel art/"retro" stuff... eh. Sometimes that stuff is made for a lazy cashgrab, other times it's the result of corporate/executive meddling or an overworked and underpaid team trying to make a deadline or meet a quota. In lieu of knowing which is which with full certainty, I'd rather just take these things as a reminder that capitalism and the resulting creative cultures incentivize shovelware (and its equivalents across all mediums) as much as they do self-destructive ambition and perfectionism.
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

roach only did this for a dumb joke please stop taking it seriously thanks
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by Rixithechao »

I mean, I wasn't responding to the tweet alone but the combo of it and "either way pixel art has specific rules and you're clearly not understanding that aspect of it" + the resulting discussion. It seemed like a 180 from your stance about people being dogmatic about game design...?

I will say, apologies for the harsh and lecture-y tone of my post. I kept getting interrupted irl when writing it and I guess I let my frustration with that seep through :sanaeko:
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Re: romhack shack 改 (discord on OP, but don't abandon the thread!!!)

Post by KobaBeach »

Rixithechao wrote: 2 days ago I mean, I wasn't responding to the tweet alone but the combo of it and "either way pixel art has specific rules and you're clearly not understanding that aspect of it" + the resulting discussion. It seemed like a 180 from your stance about people being dogmatic about game design...?

I will say, apologies for the harsh and lecture-y tone of my post. I kept getting interrupted irl when writing it and I guess I let my frustration with that seep through :sanaeko:
im just really stressed because all of this is just. my friend roach was making a dumb joke making fun of people who do like shader overkill and other dumb shit that dilutes pixel art quality and tiki is taking it super seriously and im just extremely exhausted and stressed that people are derailing the thread over this

there's this one person whose art i was talking about on roach's dms the other day, who he and roach had a falling out over (purely because he made an innocent comment about a catgirl oc of theirs not looking very swat kats-ish when it was a swat kats oc, on deviantart) and i was just comparing their swordcraft story 1&2 fan sprites in the style of like tales of the world narikiri dungeon 3, to their new ones based on the same characters (cleru, pratty, edgar and aera)

and something i noticed is that instead of focusing on readability for the small resolution the new ones do a lot of noise and over detailing to the point that edgar from snss2's torso goes from like a red shirt with a white and blue vest to like a closed white and blue vest with so much noise you cannot distinguish what makes up the features and it's absurd, the highlights in edgar's hair literally shrink from anime highlights to two dots and a lot of noise from the darker tones. it's like vip sprites (660's artstyle) from hell, like 660/ebi knows how to do detail without going ham on noise.

but this person who i will keep nameless, i can show their sprites on pms though, they're on furaffinity, tends to stick to one thing and that's NariDan3 idle battle sprites with absurd detail that sacrifices readability and, unlike roach i do not give a single fuck that they only do one thing but the noise thing is like. please. this isn't traditional/digital, you can sacrifice detail for readability, that's the point of pixel art.

and i think that's the sentiment he's talking about with the retro masterpiece, people who do this thing but refuse to step back and like listen to criticism, which, valid, unwanted criticism is bad, but at one point you kind of need a guiding light to get out of a rut and stop fostering bad habits that end up hindering your art.

now i'd appreciate if we can just stop talking about this because this is a fucking romhack thread not the shoutbox. i'm seriously stressed the fuck out now and i could really be playing kingdom hearts 2 or farland story right now

EDIT: adding to this to say im not a good pixel artist, im just mentally ill so i'm very anal about aesthetics. you'd think this means i care about clash but no i think clash has its own charm. like i legit believe smw cement blocks or ghost house tileset on lion king simba's destiny backdrop has like a certain comfy mood that i can get behind despite the massive gap in detail

i actually prefer dumb fucking brutal mario shit over a plumber for all seasons shit honestly, it's that nostalgia angle
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