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Episode 2 Discussion Thread

The second SMBX collab!

Name

Poll ended at 1 year ago

A Super Mario Bros X Thing Episode 3 (PTTS = Ep1)
0
No votes
A Super Mario Bros X Thing Episode 2 (PTTS = Ep0)
1
7%
A Second Mario Bros X Thing Episode 2
11
73%
A Third Mario Bros X Thing
3
20%
 
Total votes: 15

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shaman
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Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby shaman » 2 years ago

Hey there guys and gals.

I think it's about time we started to organize better and separate development from Episodes 1 and 2.

This thread is 100% for discussion about Episode 2:
- What should be new?
- What changes should we make?
- Make more questions!

Again, we're using the wiki for compressing information http://asmbxt.wikia.com/wiki/ASMBXT_Wiki

Soon we'll start organizing the leftover levels from Ep1, accepting new submissions and starting reviews. It's a new cycle, it's a new life.

It's A2XT Episode 2!
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pholtos
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby pholtos » 2 years ago

Would you guys like me to review the full episode once you guys have gotten to that point?
Also, if so, should I go more in depth about each level, like try to beat it with every possible character?
(Course, I might have to do it with sound disabled... maybe. That really aggravated me.)
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby docopoper » 2 years ago

Ok. I updated the wiki to be more ready for episode 2 stuff. This is going to be a thing guys! :D
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby SAJewers » 2 years ago

pholtos wrote:Would you guys like me to review the full episode once you guys have gotten to that point?
Also, if so, should I go more in depth about each level, like try to beat it with every possible character?
(Course, I might have to do it with sound disabled... maybe. That really aggravated me.)
I'd actually like to see you review levels as well, if possible.
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Head over to the ASMBXT Forums and join the discssion, or submit levels!
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Hoeloe
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Hoeloe » 2 years ago

The only major change I'm hoping for is LunaLua, alongside the cutscene system Rockythechao is working with. It really streamlines the development process, and with some proper libraries set up for boss and cutscene development, the game can be even more epic.
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shaman
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby shaman » 2 years ago

pholtos wrote:Would you guys like me to review the full episode once you guys have gotten to that point?
Also, if so, should I go more in depth about each level, like try to beat it with every possible character?
(Course, I might have to do it with sound disabled... maybe. That really aggravated me.)
Please do.
Also great work on the wiki, docopoper.
I've been following lunalua and I sure hope we can use it, the possibilities are great.

This time I also promise to submit a full level!
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Hoeloe » 2 years ago

shaman wrote: I've been following lunalua and I sure hope we can use it, the possibilities are great.
I've been looking into it in the past couple of hours, and it's certainly something else. I've been working on the opening cutscene to a level that I've had an idea for. I'll show it when I've got it in a presentable state.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby TheVulpineHero1 » 2 years ago

When things get to the point where levels start needing to be playtested and reviewed, I'll do my best to help out. I haven't touched the SMBX engine before, so it should be a good indicator of 'noob got ahold of our game' perspective. (And, given the results of this thread, I should be able to talk in enough detail.)
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby docopoper » 2 years ago

I may be planning to see if I can create an entirely separate platforming engine within the game for one single level. Haha. That sounds like a fun challenge. I wonder how powerful this lua version is going to be. It sure sounds nicer than having to hack into the DLL the way I did in episode 1.

Also don't forget about Wohlstand's dramatically improved level editor. I haven't used it yet but it sounds kind of amazing.
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Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Demolition » 2 years ago

Me and darkychao are working on a story bible to outline what our plans are plot-wise. This will help everyone be on the same page and and allow them to make suggestions to the overall story.

I would like to hear some feedback on the cut-scenes for episode 1, like which ones were the worst or the best etc. It would be great if in episode 2 we could have some people review cut-scenes, for episode one the reviewers only went over the spelling and grammar.

I think Rockythechao's cut-scene tool should totally be used along with some voice acting. It would be great if someone could make an easy way to play a sequence of full screen images using Luna Lua, I want to included a lot more, smoother, full screen animations in episode 2.



Edit: It would be interesting to hear what shaman and SAJewers have to say about the episode 1 cut-scenes
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Hoeloe » 2 years ago

docopoper wrote:I may be planning to see if I can create an entirely separate platforming engine within the game for one single level. Haha. That sounds like a fun challenge. I wonder how powerful this lua version is going to be. It sure sounds nicer than having to hack into the DLL the way I did in episode 1.

Also don't forget about Wohlstand's dramatically improved level editor. I haven't used it yet but it sounds kind of amazing.
Pretty much everything you can do with Lua you can already do with LunaDLL. The reason it's so great isn't because of what it can do, particularly, it's just so much easier to use, in that it uses a high level programming language, with variable and function names, and reasonable syntax, rather than having to use what is very close to machine code as with standard LunaDLL. Things that would take days to work out, write, and get your head around in LunaDLL can be done in minutes using Lua. That's the major benefit, rather than power.
Demolition wrote: I think Rockythechao's cut-scene tool should totally be used along with some voice acting. It would be great if someone could make an easy way to play a sequence of full screen images using Luna Lua, I want to included a lot more, smoother, full screen animations in episode 2.
One of the things that's being looked into is a direct-to-screen renderer. This could potentially open up massive possibilities, including custom fonts, better animated cutscenes, and even 3D rendering. Fundamentally, what would be wonderful is the ability to make OpenGL calls on the SMBX canvas, but sadly I don't think this is possible. Something similar might be, though, but unfortunately it's unlikely to have the hardware acceleration needed for more complex tasks.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Demolition » 2 years ago

Is there anyway to change what graphic an NPC uses?
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Doctor Shemp » 2 years ago

The biggest thing I can think of is to not give anything a free pass: not the cutscenes, and especially not the bosses. They should go through the review process just like levels have to. If they don't it just makes much more work for people later when the beta test team has to fix something that may be fundamentally unsound. It's better to weed out bad ideas at the start than later when they're fully grown and people are emotionally invested in them.

In regards to the story and the cutscenes, I think the notable problem with Episode 1 is that the first half of the game (Worlds 1-3) have self-contained stories for each world, while the second half (Worlds 5-8) has a story arc. World 4 is mainly self-contained but sets up the arc at the end.

I think the story would work better if it did one or the other rather than attempting both. Either every planet should have a largely self-contained story (with a very small arc like each world's villain works for the big bad) or the entire thing should be an arc like Worlds 5-8.

Personally (and I would like this suggestion to be divorced from the earlier one, so that a rejection of this doesn't necessitate a rejection of the earlier idea) I think self-contained stories are the better option, since they explain the nature of each world better. In World 3 (in my and several others' opinion the best self-contained world) the whole world was explained and the boss made sense. Everything tied together. In Worlds 5 & 7, the story felt separate from the world: what did Mr. Roboto have to do with the city planet? What did he have to do with the bad siblings? This made the sibling battles feel like they were shoehorned in, and that the plot was largely just spinning its wheels until the next cutscene or sibling battle.

It's entirely possible to do self-contained stories centred around the main villains if you plan them early. For example, World 6 could easily have been entirely about Pily and her change of heart at the end. Wart in World 3 could have been a main villain who was Western-themed.

Besides, if each world is semi- or fully-self-contained and the player is defeating a villain at the end of the world, it's a bigger feeling of progress than going through worlds without a main villain. In Worlds 5-7 the end of world castles felt less important than the sibling fights. That just seems wrong.

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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Well if the plot continues directly from Analog Funk, with Sheath going to the beginning of a timeline, then we already have a major antagonist, that being Pandamona, since the goal (at least at first) would be to stop her from doing what she does. Even if only Sheath knows this and tells nobody, the players would still know.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Demolition » 2 years ago

Doctor Shemp wrote: In regards to the story and the cutscenes, I think the notable problem with Episode 1 is that the first half of the game (Worlds 1-3) have self-contained stories for each world, while the second half (Worlds 5-8) has a story arc. World 4 is mainly self-contained but sets up the arc at the end.
I don't think that was necessarily a bad thing, you start off the game thinking you're just traveling around grabbing leeks until halfway through Siblings! It was intentional, the characters are traveling around from world to world and just happen to stumble upon the plot only to mostly disregard it.

I think that both worlds 5 and 7 work because for the characters the story isn't about the siblings at all, it's about the super leeks and traveling through strange places to grab them and while the player may find the siblings to be the most interesting part of the story the characters only cared about science because he had a ton of super leeks.

I honestly don't think many people consider the world three cut-scenes to be the best by any stretch, from what I recall the other people were praising them as the best So far in the lets play.
It doesn't really matter what I think though, i'm going to start up a thread with a poll so we have some solid statistics.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Holy » 2 years ago

I think the worst cutscenes in ep. 1 were the first few. They seemed far too heavy on the dialogue, and in this kinda game even the funniest dialogue can get tiresome when you're just reading wall after wall of text. I think the EOW8 cutscene is a great example of dialogue done tastefully.

I'm trying to decide whether those continuous visits to Science's lair were a good or bad thing. On one hand, it was cool to get a "what's Science up to now" every world and it was an effective preview of the sibling fights to come, but it got repetitive at the same time.


I also wonder how the uncles come to be involved in the second episode as it's ostensibly working with the same timeline as the first bar anything sheath changes.

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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

I'm kind of wondering why the uncles exist in the first place. Secret survivors from the old ABCDs?
ImageWell it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Doctor Shemp » 2 years ago

Demolition wrote:I think that both worlds 5 and 7 work because for the characters the story isn't about the siblings at all, it's about the super leeks and traveling through strange places to grab them and while the player may find the siblings to be the most interesting part of the story the characters only cared about science because he had a ton of super leeks.
Ok. I can see what you're going for then, but I think for that to fully work you still need to establish the worlds. If the focus for the characters is on the city planet and cloud planet itself rather than on their encounters there with Science, Nevada, Mishi & Garish, then why is no time devoted to the city planet or the cloud planet? You say they care, but there's no real indication of that. There's some exploration of the idea of a city planet in Mantreopolis, but what's a giant robot in a land of bizarre enemies got to do with it? What's the destruction of the world got to do with the cloud planet or Archwing Skyperch? They're both concepts that are never brought up previously. That was a problem in Worlds 1 & 2 actually as well - what's a castle full of Peaches got to do with the rest of the world? A few lines about an evil ruler of the land would have set it up.

I guess what I'm mainly saying here is that the plot of each world should explain the end of each world, otherwise it doesn't feel like a conclusive end. The only worlds that did this in Episode 1 were Worlds 3, 6 (sort of) and 8. EDIT: And World 4 whoops

Even if it's just something super-basic like the main villain saying "oh I know what disposable villain I could throw in the player's path! Go forth, End of World X boss!" (although obviously in actual writing). Don't just pull the end of the world out of nowhere. Have it mean something.
Last edited by Doctor Shemp on 11 Oct 2014, 02:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Actually, the archwings did talk about how they were preparing to have a war with a powerful enemy. Who do you think that might be?

Otherwise, I agree that those worlds definitely should have been fleshed out more as places with plots.
ImageWell it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Demolition » 2 years ago

Doctor Shemp wrote:I guess what I'm mainly saying here is that the plot of each world should explain the end of each world, otherwise it doesn't feel like a conclusive end. The only worlds that did this in Episode 1 were Worlds 3, 6 (sort of) and 8.
You forgot world 4. World 4 probably fits what you're talking about the best. Everything was hinting at stuff latter on and the last 4 levels even led into each other. Story wise I think world 4 was a lot better than world 3.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Doctor Shemp » 2 years ago

Demolition wrote:
Doctor Shemp wrote:I guess what I'm mainly saying here is that the plot of each world should explain the end of each world, otherwise it doesn't feel like a conclusive end. The only worlds that did this in Episode 1 were Worlds 3, 6 (sort of) and 8.
You forgot world 4. World 4 probably fits what you're talking about the best. Everything was hinting at stuff latter on and the last 4 levels even led into each other. Story wise I think world 4 was a lot better than world 3.
Actually, yes, World 4 is the best example. If the World 4 approach could be replicated for every world that would be perfect. Have it mainly self-contained but then tie it back to the arc at the end.

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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Demolition » 2 years ago

One thing we should definitely expand upon in episode 2 are the levels that link into the next one, like the descent/subterranean base and the aforementioned last 4 levels of world for.

Out of season ends with demo fighting some ghosts and then entering a castle. You then travel through the castle and fight the necromancer who supposedly summoned those ghosts. After that you leave the castle by skying away and you arrive and a communist battlement at the very end.

I thought that was so cool!
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Horikawa Otane » 2 years ago

I'm not sure if this is the place to do so, but I'd like to go ahead and reserve a town in A2XT Episode 2. I may also submit a level if I have time to finish my current WIP up to playable/fun status.

I'd also like to volunteer to do voice acting if you want any female characters voiced (or little boys I guess lol. Though idk how good I'd be at that).
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Septentrion Pleiades » 2 years ago

In the lunadll thread, a mercy mode was suggested. It would be a single power up at the beginning and midpoints, although it may involve design choice in extreme cases.

After a certain number of deaths(by demo counter), a specially marked block would appear so the player would have a choice to accept the power-up/mercy mode. It's quite a common thing in platformers and it would help up bring up the difficulty curve without throwing less skilled players under the bus.

It could also be triggered by a cheat, although we might require at least one death for the cheat.
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Re: Episode 2 Discussion Thread

Postby Kil » 2 years ago

Considering the main source of unfun experience with mario hacks and stuff is probably too much difficulty forcing you to relive a bad experience over and over, I'll again support that idea.
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