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Level Testing and Reviews

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Dragon Fogel
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Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

This is going to be the thread for giving feedback on individual levels when they're done.

Update: We have a wiki for this purpose now.
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Dragon Fogel
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

Well. With our inaugural level comes our inaugural review, I guess.

Mission: Proud Star by KingTwelveSixteen
This is almost exactly what I expected from the title. The differences were enough to make it funnier.

There's one significant glitch: the "Proud Star" disappears after you clear the level. It should be a graphic replacement for something else rather than an NPC star.

Also, is the axe supposed to be visible or did you mean to replace it with blank graphics or something? Not that it makes a big difference.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby YelseyKing » 2 years ago

My review of Mission: Proud Star by KingTwelveSixteen
Nailed it.

Amusingly, I actually managed to die. I mistook the scrolling blocks for some kind of obstacle course, and got killed by the Rex when it popped up... and I missed the Energy Tanks outside. I am dumb. :P

What does the axe do, though? Didn't seem to trigger anything. (Never mind. Fogel figured it out by looking in the editor.)
Last edited by YelseyKing on 21 Mar 2015, 07:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby KingTwelveSixteen » 2 years ago

Thanks for the testing, I have updated my level to fix those two issues!

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Quman » 2 years ago

Before you fixed your level I had already started working on my own fix, which I'm going to go ahead and upload here. I used Horikawa's fake star as a base (it sparkles and moves up and down,) but changed its palette to look different from the real star (I used a Super Metroid Palette.) The version with the standard palette is included as well, you just need to delete npc-252 and rename npc-252-alt if you want the fake star to have the same palette as the real star. I've also moved the invisible axe someplace where the Rex can't bump into it, and moved Mario's start point to be directly above the center.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdwY4 ... sp=sharing

EDIT: realized there was a problem with using NPC 252 as the fake star and reuploaded a fixed version.
Last edited by Quman on 22 Mar 2015, 06:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby KingTwelveSixteen » 2 years ago

Quman wrote:Before you fixed your level I had already started working on my own fix, which I'm going to go ahead and upload here. I used Horikawa's fake star as a base (it sparkles and moves up and down,) but changed its palette to look different from the real star (I used a Super Metroid Palette.) The version with the standard palette is included as well, you just need to delete npc-252 and rename npc-252-alt if you want the fake star to have the same palette as the real star. I've also moved the invisible axe someplace where the Rex can't bump into it, and moved Mario's start point to be directly above the center.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdwY4 ... sp=sharing
Nice! :)

New version is now being used, with cool looking star!

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Mystick » 2 years ago

So, umm, UHH, Yellow Switch Volcano by Pikabread is practically impossible to win because the warp at the top of the volcano is completely inaccesible.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Pikabread » 2 years ago

what

I swear I got it to work

Well I know how to fix it I guess, I'll probably have it done by tomorrow or later today
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dog In Da Grass » 2 years ago

Mystick wrote:So, umm, UHH, Yellow Switch Volcano by Pikabread is practically impossible to win because the warp at the top of the volcano is completely inaccesible.
Yeah, the warp needs to be below the smaller pipe, not ontop of it. (And the exit warp needs to be above the other pipe so you're not clipped into the ground :P)
Other than that it was a pretty solid level and completely doable within a life or two.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Pikabread » 2 years ago

Dog In Da Grass wrote:
Mystick wrote:So, umm, UHH, Yellow Switch Volcano by Pikabread is practically impossible to win because the warp at the top of the volcano is completely inaccesible.
Yeah, the warp needs to be below the smaller pipe, not ontop of it. (And the exit warp needs to be above the other pipe so you're not clipped into the ground :P)
Other than that it was a pretty solid level and completely doable within a life or two.
alrighty, thanks. Just FYI, that is the end of the level. You come up into a single-screen room with a star. Again, I should have it re-submitted by the end of the day.
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Dragon Fogel
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

Review of Yellow Switch Volcano by Pikabread. (Edited the warps myself to see what it was like.)
The concept's good, but there are some issues.

First off, the moving platform near the start. At first I expected to have to run to the right and hit a switch and completely missed the switch goomba among the other enemies. It might be good to use a graphic replacement to make it stand out more.

A bigger issue with the platform is that it's somewhat inconsistent when you'll hit the switches, and therefore where it will be in its movement pattern when you're on it. On one run, it started moving down and as far as I could see, I had no chance of getting away from the lava in time. I'm not sure if there's a good solution here, but it was pretty annoying when that happened. Maybe there could be a platform a bit higher up, so it's not onscreen when you're hitting the lower switches, and the first platform is mainly there to help you jump to that one? That feels like it would require the least change to the layout.

I'm not a fan of the part where the Koopa shell hits the switch, but it wasn't all that hard or anything so this is just personal preference.

Finally, there's not really much in the way of obstacles after the Koopa shell part. There's some jumps you might not make and some Goombas that don't move and that's it. It's really easy as a final stretch, which is better than being unreasonably hard but it feels like it went a bit too far in the other direction. The fence might benefit from having a few minor obstacles, too; nothing big, just things you have to be aware of.

Overall, I liked it and thought it was a decent warm-up level, but it also felt a bit sparse.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Sorel » 2 years ago

Oh, uh, oops.

I'm the one who told you to place it on top of the pipe... ehehehe.

I assumed that you meant above the pipe, not literally on top. Oh well, it's not like you gave me any context. ;)
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Minus » 2 years ago

Mission: Proud Star
The buildup to Mother Rex made it for me.
Yellow Switch Volcano
Definitely a lot of neat ideas here! I loved the fence toward the middle of the level - it slows you down just enough to keep tension without actually being terribly much of a threat in its own right.

But, I feel that this might need to be expanded and ironed out a little bit more, warps aside. Gameplay wise, a lot of what's here feels like it needs a little bit more polish. The trail of enemies at the start, for instance, would seem to indicate that you'd want to bop the enemy and kick the shell at the trail behind it, except its nigh-impossible to pull it off that way for a couple of reasons: first, there's a slope and tightly packed enemies, which can make even getting to the koopa over the goombas difficult, and second, in the rare event that I did get it, the platform often got out of reach before I jumped on. I eventually found it easier to hop on the platform and wait for the switch goomba to boil, but that then defeats the purpose of the whole thing.

The switch segment also got a little bit irritating for me - often I felt that the switches triggered far too quickly for me to make it from one "floor" of blocks to the next without getting got short and shuffling to my doom inside a row of blocks, which felt more like blind luck than anything else.

It's a good start, but feels just a little bit rough for me.

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Pikabread » 2 years ago

Okay so considering all the reviews posted thus far, I have edited Yellow Switch Volcano and improved it!
I took in most, if not all, the criticisms, and of course fixed the pipe. :P

So have fun reviewing the stuff I changed, I guess?
(download still in the submissions thread)
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Quman » 2 years ago

Yellow Switch Volcano
It's a pretty short and to-the-point level. I expected to have some trouble playing as Link, but this level actually works surprisingly well for any character. Anyway, on to my numbered list.

1. We should probably follow the [designer name]-[level name] naming scheme that MaGL X uses. So the level shouldn't be "Yellow Switch Volcano.lvl", but "Pikabread-Yellow Switch Volcano.lvl".
2. The start of the lava flow is very sudden, and possibly unexpected. My reflexes were fast enough to not be killed by surprise, but it might be beneficial to give the player just a little bit more time to see the lava rising before it kills them.
3. If the player brings a yoshi or boot into the level they will be forced to abandon it at the net section. This isn't really a big deal, but it's generally nice to precede sections that vehicles can't be used for with a warp that denies vehicles (this will take away the horse for the level in question, but give it back when the player exits.)
4. Is Mario's tendency to repeatedly hit his head on switch blocks when climbing into them supposed to be part of the challenge? If not, I would suggest changing that part so there isn't a net directly below the switches. Trying to hit the switch without double-bonking it can be kind of frustrating.
5. Right after the nets is a section where the player must go either left or right and then climb up to a spot where a blue koopa will kick a shell. The koopa is so far to the left that it won't spawn if the player climbs up on the right side of the screen and fails to walk to the left. I don't think this section is meant to punish the player for going right instead of left, so the koopa should be moved a few blocks to the right to ensure that it spawns.
6. Is the intended solution to the criss-crossing yellow blocks to wait for the lava to catch up to the shell? Because as it is it's incredibly difficult to do until that happens. Even if the player manages to get a handle on the timing, the shell is either going to despawn after the player climbs a certain height or get destroyed by the lava, which stops the blocks from switching and destroys whatever rhythm the player has just gotten used to. It seems like the only proper way to handle this section is to wait for the shell to be removed in some way, and if the purpose of this section isn't to give the lava time to catch up with the player I suggest moving the ground where the shell is bouncing back and forth down a bit so the shell despawns earlier. Waiting around for the boxes to stop switching isn't exactly fun, and the player shouldn't be forced to do so without a reason.

As usual, I've uploaded the version I've been messing with. I've made an attempt at solving every issue listed above, but I'm uncertain of what you are going for in some places, or how important you think certain issues really are (forcing the player to drop their stupid horse into the lava isn't exactly a heinous crime,) so there may be some edits you disagree with. Even if you completely agree with all of my edits, you might want to redesign the level intro I created to be a bit less minimalistic.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwdwY4 ... sp=sharing

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

Just tried the version with Quman's revisions. Obviously the final call on those goes to Pikabread, but I'll add my thoughts.
For some reason I was having a lot of trouble with the Koopa shell section. Maybe I was just playing badly. I don't really know a better way to do it, though, and you have plenty of time to attempt to get up there so it's not too bad.

The level is still very easy after the Koopa shell. The bullet shooters won't hurt you if you just stay still on the platform, which is admittedly pretty funny. But there's still this gap between the Koopa shell and the bullets where you're not doing anything except jumping. I'm not sure what a good way to liven it up without overdoing it would be, but I like the deceptively-easy bullet passage more as a finale after something tricky.

Everything up to the shell-kicking part is fine, in my opinion. I liked the addition of the bullet shooters on the nets; they weren't too tough to deal with but required you to be cautious as well as fast. There's just one little thing; I had a bit of trouble with the switch goomba and feel like it would be good if that could be made a bit more consistent, or if there were a way to get on the platform even if you jump on the goomba on the right side of the chamber. Maybe donut blocks or a falling wooden platform. It's not too bad as-is because it's right near the beginning, but sometimes I got a little stuck there and I feel like it would be better if there were a last-resort option, preferably something tricky enough to be worth avoiding.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Pikabread » 2 years ago

I've looked through the changes Quman made to my level, and ultimately I do think this makes it a bit better. Personally, I agree with all of them.

I don't know if you'd rather have me append these to my file, or should I just use your download link in the submissions thread?
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Quman » 2 years ago

Pikabread wrote:I've looked through the changes Quman made to my level, and ultimately I do think this makes it a bit better. Personally, I agree with all of them.

I don't know if you'd rather have me append these to my file, or should I just use your download link in the submissions thread?
I've noticed that I created an issue when I was editing your level, so you can go ahead and fix the problem then reupload (probably without having my name in the zip file.) The issue I created is this: when I extended the screen boundary at the beginning of the level I forgot to add to the bottom of the lava flowing from the pipe since that layer was invisible. Most players probably won't be observant enough to notice the cutoff, but it's really easy to fix, so you may as well.

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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

I think as general policy, I'm in favor of the original level creator uploading the most recent version of the level. Just to make it easier to keep track of things.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

Mushroom Kingdom Sky Desert by FrozenQuills
This was a pretty good level. The one thing that struck me as odd (other than the things that were used for clearly intentional jokes) was the pipe in the first section that lead backwards for no reason.

However, I felt like the jokes about the Touhou music and the "big Mario discrimination" were tacked on. They're not really the basis of the level, so it comes across "oh man, there's this one awkward spot if you're big, but here's a joke so it's okay" and "oh man this level uses Touhou music for no real reason but it's okay because I joke about it". A level built around those sorts of jokes could be funny, but this one ends up as a perfectly good level that just has them kind of tacked on. Similarly, the "boss fight" was silly, but again, the level didn't particularly need it.

So, my overall opinion: this is a solid level, but the jokes about "design mistakes" should either be played up more or moved to a different level that focuses on them, and my personal preference would be the latter because this level is quite good as it is.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Alrighty, I'll lean a bit more on the good-looking-level side then. I wasn't sure how funny I should make my level for this collab seeing as the plot could relate to MaglX in some parody-like fashion, but if serious levels are fine and encouraged then I'll make serious levels.

Still might keep the last small joke at the end there though, but I'll reconsider all the other ones.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dog In Da Grass » 2 years ago

Very solid level, FrozenQuills! I loved the aesthetics you got out of just mostly vanilla graphics. the angsty orikawa at the end made me laugh a bit though that was kinda harsh of her last year :P The level felt pretty fun to explore, I liked that elevator and the ladder that showed up after the midpoint, those were good touches.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Dog In Da Grass wrote:Very solid level, FrozenQuills! I loved the aesthetics you got out of just mostly vanilla graphics. the angsty orikawa at the end made me laugh a bit though that was kinda harsh of her last year :P The level felt pretty fun to explore, I liked that elevator and the ladder that showed up after the midpoint, those were good touches.
Thank you!
Just updated my level with feedback about the jokes and such, but yeah I kept Horikawa at the end there.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Mystick » 2 years ago

Hahaha yeah, Frozenquill's level is pretty good.
I wouldn't really change anything, except the Mario desert music that's at the first area. I HATE SM64 music, so I'd probably change it to another desert-y song.

Also, RenaTurnip's level uses pretty much the same 'oh no Touhou Music' joke - or at least that's what I remember from the video he/she (?) posted a few days ago.


That use of Horikawa is considered to be harsh? Because MY Horikawa was going to say something among the lines of “I'm a bitch in some of these!”, which I'm pretty sure she said in the Yacht of Opinions.

Btw I had to manually change the music from None to Custom in Section 3; I'm guessing FrozenQuills forgot to change it.
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Re: Level Testing and Reviews

Postby Dog In Da Grass » 2 years ago

Mystick wrote: That use of Horikawa is considered to be harsh? Because MY Horikawa was going to say something among the lines of “I'm a bitch in some of these!”, which I'm pretty sure she said in the Yacht of Opinions.
This is what I'm refering to:
Horikawa wrote: (in responce to RPGfan4)
I never want to see your name attached to a level again. Leave level design until you learn to playtest your own levels with god mode OFF. And I don't care what you say - you didn't do that. Obviously. You have to retry from the midpoint every time you die against the mega-boss?! And the bowser statue bit needed to be cut entirely. What a piece of garbage. It could have been so fun too - it looked great and the first half was really good!
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