Level testing and discussion

User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4235
Joined: 9 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by KobaBeach »

Mirroring here.

Image
Name to be determined.
Ice blocks can be melted, I was inspired by three stages in Romancing Mario:
雪景色 (Snowscape), for its ice blocks and snowy vibes.
クリスタルケイヴ (Crystal Cave), for the RomaSaGa3 aurora background (borrowed from carol's hack in my case) and for the ethereal feel.
ナルシェ! (Narshe!), for the wintery evening feel, gave me a sort of festive vibe, which reminded me of Christmas, which reminded me of worldpeace's Money Money Money port from TalesWeaver, which I'm using rn.

Other inspirations include ポドールイの千の夜 (One Thousand Nights of Podorui) in VIP5, Unjust... from Luigi's Adventure: The Lost Levels (just the burning things part, not the stupid difficulty part), and the ice theme from A2MT, which I could have used since we do have access to the A2MT txt files... But I wanted to use the TW song.

Shout out to carol and StanTheMackiar for making the graphics... Which technically I kind of stole from the former along with the palette exanimation. Some crimes can never be forgiven

Also thought about making a town level with RPG tiles similar to Narshe!, the DQ5 stage in VIP4, R-ACK's Spiderman level... It'd be tough but it'd be a neat exercise in level design. just need to find a neat tileset, thought about Tales of Phantasia or Star Ocean, personally.

I'm pulling an all nighter because I woke up at 3:30 PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rao: :rao: :rao: :rao:

could really use som coffee w/ milk ;x;
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
:pride: :nb_pride: :pan_pride: Image
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

That looks neat!
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4235
Joined: 9 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by KobaBeach »

Nao wrote: 7 months agoThat looks neat!
i think i made the main gimmick avoiding losing your cactus and there's now a secret exit where you wrangle a fishin boo and it's Totally Not A Rip Off of anikiti's stage in aspe (ghost valley, 1-2)
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
:pride: :nb_pride: :pan_pride: Image
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

EllenHouraisan wrote: 7 months ago 3- I don't know how it happened or how to fix it, but one of the fence goopas on screen 09 escaped the fence and was climbing the air right on top of the lineguide. Probably not a big deal, since it didn't affect the platforming much and only happened exactly once for me, but... I dunno, I thought it was amusing, at the very least.
This happened to me too. It seems to occur whenever one of the generated Bullet Bills comes into contact with it as it crosses over:
Image

Here are some more level reviews. I wrote them before reading anyone else's comments on these levels, so I may be repeating some stuff that was already said. I played using this version of the base ROM.

James Turner by SAJewers (Level 103)
Overall thoughts:

This athletic level is quite eclectic, with lots of different elements thrown in (e.g., line-guided hamsters, surrounding Bullet Bill generator, Tofu block platforming, the inexplicable diaper rock, and the pencils at the very end). But, I thought it was fun to play. The hardest part was after the midpoint, when you had to ride the brown platforms and dodge the multi-directional Bullet Bills. Sometimes, when you need to jump between the two platforms, the Bullet Bills spawn right in your face, and you end up taking a hit. No major issues, but I thought that the 3-Up beet near the end of the level was a bit easy to get. This seems like mid-game difficulty to me.

Also, the background has cutoff at the very bottom. I used the same ActRaiser background for my MaGL4 level, and what I did was to shift everything one tile down (and add an extra row of solid blue sky tiles at the top). This is not an issue in the original game, because it's hidden behind the Sky Palace foreground tiles.

Time: 400
Difficulty: 2/5

Detailed comments:

ImageImage
I would move these two hamster ladders so that their ladders don't cross. If you're holding up while they pass in front of each other, you will transition over to the other one. If you're not holding a direction, then Demo will let go and fall to her death.

Image
If you go ahead and skip the brown platform here (which is possible to do), you won't find out until later that you needed it to proceed. Since it doesn't add much, I'd probably just remove the longer, checkerboard platform and make it so that you can jump to the brown platform directly.
matcha ampersand avocado by camwoodstock & Tori (Level 17)
Overall thoughts:

The aesthetics here are lovely, with the green-tinted color palette and the custom berries. Good choice of music, though I can't help but associate it with YUMP 2 now (it played in Gene's House). I don't see any major issues, nor do I have any qualms about the level design. I just thought it was a little peculiar to have certain enemies only showing up in one screen, and never again (like the Volcano Lotus and the Caped Goopas). But I'm sure the original SMW did this, too. The level was a nice romp, and I would picture it as one of the first levels in the collab.

A minor thing, but activating or destroying the turn blocks near the top of the screen will reveal a hole in the treetops.

Time: 350
Difficulty: 1/5

Detailed comments:

None! Nothing specific to point out.
Demo in thornbush scrumble by 4season (Level 15)
Overall thoughts:

This is one of the better levels I've played that are inspired by DKC2's bramble stages. I was worried that it was going to be too repetitive when I got to the midpoint, but then you did cool things like launching straight into the air and needing to guide Demo as she lands. However, I think it could use a bit of polish. The barrels are a bit janky (not your fault, though), and there's something going on with the hitboxes of the thorns. For example, there were some cases where, if I shot myself from a barrel directly up or down into thorns, I wouldn't take damage. And also, different barrels can apparently shoot with different velocities? Sometimes, when I shot myself straight to the right to another barrel, and shot myself backwards to the left, Demo wouldn't make the same distance. Another minor thing I found, is that if you scroll the screen while inside a barrel, Demo will briefly be revealed.

Here are a couple of level design concerns I had. Regarding the secret exit, I'm not sure that it adds much? You reach it by shooting off the main path a few screens after the midpoint, shoot diagonally upwards, and then you're already at the keyhole with a key. It's not super obvious to find, but I don't know... it seems like the secret exit path could be a bit fleshed out more. Finally, due to the nature of the level, if you get hit while shooting out of a barrel with a reserve item, then there are cases where you can't go back and retrieve it. There's probably not much you can do about this.

In addition, the status bar is missing from this level. I don't know if there's a technical reason for that, but I think I would prefer it if the status bar was visible for all levels, just for consistency. I don't know how others feel about that, though.

Time: None
Difficulty: 3/5

Detailed comments:

Image
The status bar is missing. Also, the background appears to be missing some tiles near the top of the screen, and the join between some of the brambles look messy (it's more conspicuous in other locations).

Image
A funny thing: if you go inside a barrel while a Chuck is chasing you, it gets confused.

Image
Here's one example where shooting down into thorns won't damage the player.

Image
This is what I was talking about earlier, with different barrels shooting with different velocites.

Image
Seems kind of jank, but if you shoot diagonally upwards from this barrel, it counts as Demo making contact with the brown blocks, and she'll go back into the barrel. This also happens in other places, especially at junctions between thorns. Probably not a big deal.
What the House?! by Nao (Level C)
Overall thoughts:

Very cool concept here, with the up/down booster arrows moving on Layer 2 in the first section, and then they're static in the next section with the rest of the level moving on Layer 2 instead. I was wondering how you do the first Boo Ring part without getting hit, but then I discovered that the ceilings and floors can push you out of the up/down arrow cage, which is necessary to proceed. That was a nice "aha!" moment. I think there are some sections where it's easy to box yourself in and get hit by enemies, due to how narrow the up/down arrow cage is. And there were some parts in the second section that I thought were a bit too tight. You kind of have to know in advance how to move through those parts without taking a hit. As for the boss fight, I guess you're meant to jump-grab the throw blocks in order to make it back inside the up/down arrow cage before the hurt block floor rises? I'm pretty consistent at it, but I don't know how much trouble that would potentially give other players. Out of all the submissions, this is definitely the hardest level I've played so far.

One more thing - I know that this is an artistic choice that you made, but I think those hurt blocks that are placed throughout the level should just be the Ghost House spikes or something similar. I never really liked it when the "used" block graphics are employed as hurt blocks in Mario hacks - probably because it makes me think of Kaizo or Pit hacks that use them extensively.

Time: 500
Difficulty: 3/5

Detailed comments:

Image
I thought that herding the Big Boos out of the way here was a bit annoying, because they were just so in the way with their large hitboxes, combined with the narrow corridors. I had to lure them pretty far to the left first before I could find an opening without getting hit. But I understand that that's part of the difficulty of the level. You can just cheese it though if you have a powerup, and it doesn't matter if you lose it because you get another powerup right away in the next section (in the midpoint room).

Image
Sometimes, it's easy to get yourself boxed in, due to the narrow hallways you have to navigate as well as the Big Boo's large size. This particular situation is difficult to remedy. You're stuck within the narrow space of the arrows and can't move higher or lower than the plane of the Big Boo to guide it away.

Image
This section is very tight. The player has to realize that they need to start running to the right as soon as Demo's feet are planted on the ground. If you dawdle even a little bit, you won't make it. Even if you realize that you would be too late to dash to the right, you can't recover to a safe position unless you run back towards the left where the Big Boo is. It's possible that I'm doing some things wrong, though.
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoAlso, the background has cutoff at the very bottom. I used the same ActRaiser background for my MaGL4 level, and what I did was to shift everything one tile down (and add an extra row of solid blue sky tiles at the top). This is not an issue in the original game, because it's hidden behind the Sky Palace foreground tiles.
Gonna fix in baserom, nice catch. I'll leave the rest to SAJewers since it's design-related.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoHere are a couple of level design concerns I had. Regarding the secret exit, I'm not sure that it adds much? You reach it by shooting off the main path a few screens after the midpoint, shoot diagonally upwards, and then you're already at the keyhole with a key. It's not super obvious to find, but I don't know... it seems like the secret exit path could be a bit fleshed out more.
I actually think the secret exit is neat, as you need to observe the enemies to find it.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoIn addition, the status bar is missing from this level. I don't know if there's a technical reason for that, but I think I would prefer it if the status bar was visible for all levels, just for consistency. I don't know how others feel about that, though.
It can't be visible because of the layer 3 (which still needs to be fixed as you pointed out), unless we would use sprite status bar which apparently doesn't work well with SA-1 and takes a lot of sprite tiles away.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoI think there are some sections where it's easy to box yourself in and get hit by enemies, due to how narrow the up/down arrow cage is. And there were some parts in the second section that I thought were a bit too tight. You kind of have to know in advance how to move through those parts without taking a hit.
It was my intention to make it so the player needs to execute specific timings and facing the right directions to affect big boos, etc. I tried to make it clear enough with coins, but this is supposed to be the main challenge of the level.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoAs for the boss fight, I guess you're meant to jump-grab the throw blocks in order to make it back inside the up/down arrow cage before the hurt block floor rises? I'm pretty consistent at it, but I don't know how much trouble that would potentially give other players. Out of all the submissions, this is definitely the hardest level I've played so far.
The boss is doable by just standing on two blocks and grabbing one, that way you don't need to jump-grab. If you mess up (like losing one block) you can still jump-grab though (or tank a hit at the bottom) to still beat it.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoOne more thing - I know that this is an artistic choice that you made, but I think those hurt blocks that are placed throughout the level should just be the Ghost House spikes or something similar. I never really liked it when the "used" block graphics are employed as hurt blocks in Mario hacks - probably because it makes me think of Kaizo or Pit hacks that use them extensively.
Nah, I really like how it looks. I think the outline being colored instead of white makes it look super cool.
PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months agoThis section is very tight. The player has to realize that they need to start running to the right as soon as Demo's feet are planted on the ground. If you dawdle even a little bit, you won't make it. Even if you realize that you would be too late to dash to the right, you can't recover to a safe position unless you run back towards the left where the Big Boo is. It's possible that I'm doing some things wrong, though.
You're supposed to let yourself get pushed out of the arrow corridor again, as indicated by the coins.

Thanks a lot for testing! :3
Jongseok
Posts: 358
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Seoul, Korea

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Jongseok »

PSI Ninja wrote: 7 months ago Demo in thornbush scrumble by 4season (Level 15)

Image
The status bar is missing. Also, the background appears to be missing some tiles near the top of the screen, and the join between some of the brambles look messy (it's more conspicuous in other locations).

Image
Seems kind of jank, but if you shoot diagonally upwards from this barrel, it counts as Demo making contact with the brown blocks, and she'll go back into the barrel. This also happens in other places, especially at junctions between thorns. Probably not a big deal.
Hello, I'm 4season. I changed a Layer 3 BG setting. Therefore, the status bar is hidden and some bg tiles are glitched. The great engineers will make a patch for this. "She'll go back into the barrel" -> That's my purpose actually. =) I know barrel sprite's properties. Yes, it's really janky and unstable.
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

Status update: 16 levels have been inserted into the base ROM, and 41/95 level slots have been claimed. For those of you who might want to make a level but haven't reserved their spot yet, there are still plenty of openings! Here's the spreadsheet again: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1122672625

Since this post, Levels 19, 14, and 11F have been inserted. Level 106 is pending insertion.

Some of the newer submissions haven't gotten much feedback yet. If you have some free time, you can download the latest base ROM patch and check them out: https://github.com/lion65816/aat/blob/m ... ck_bps.bps
Nao wrote: 7 months ago I actually think the secret exit is neat, as you need to observe the enemies to find it.
I didn't have a problem with how the secret exit was hidden. I meant that, once you branch off the main path, I was kind of expecting there to be a bit more content. To be fair, the original SMW does this too, with the key and keyhole only being slightly off the main path in some levels (e.g., Vanilla Dome 1 and Star World 3). I guess I was a bit surprised at how short the secret path in 4season's level was, because I've gotten so used to hacks that make the secret exit such a big deal.
Nao wrote: 7 months ago It was my intention to make it so the player needs to execute specific timings and facing the right directions to affect big boos, etc. I tried to make it clear enough with coins, but this is supposed to be the main challenge of the level.
Yeah, I acknowledged that it was part of the difficulty. I just thought it would be worth pointing out the stuff that gave me some trouble, because authors are usually not aware of these things when playtesting their own levels. I'm pretty happy with the level overall.
Jongseok wrote: 7 months ago Hello, I'm 4season. I changed a Layer 3 BG setting. Therefore, the status bar is hidden and some bg tiles are glitched. The great engineers will make a patch for this. "She'll go back into the barrel" -> That's my purpose actually. =) I know barrel sprite's properties. Yes, it's really janky and unstable.
Ah, I didn't realize that was you. Good to know! Regarding the brown blocks, I'd probably put one or two more of those blocks over that barrel so it makes a bit more sense (as long as it doesn't break anything).
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

Scarfley wrote: 7 months agohow eerie, an eerie
Some observations from watching Maks play the level:

On screen 0B, the goal arrow implies that there is ground under it (seen multiple people run into this issue). Maybe you could either place it a tile higher and have ground under it, or put an upside down arrow on the ceiling instead (it's on map16 page 5 if you need it).

On screen 1C, it would be nice to remove the 2 eeries at the top, since the screen is already quite crowded with enemies and it feels slightly unfair how it is now.

Let me know what you think :D If you're gonna make changes, make sure to use the latest baserom version.
User avatar
Scarfley
Posts: 80
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronouns: he/him

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Scarfley »

Nao wrote: 7 months ago
Scarfley wrote: 7 months agohow eerie, an eerie
Some observations from watching Maks play the level:

On screen 0B, the goal arrow implies that there is ground under it (seen multiple people run into this issue). Maybe you could either place it a tile higher and have ground under it, or put an upside down arrow on the ceiling instead (it's on map16 page 5 if you need it).

On screen 1C, it would be nice to remove the 2 eeries at the top, since the screen is already quite crowded with enemies and it feels slightly unfair how it is now.

Let me know what you think :D If you're gonna make changes, make sure to use the latest baserom version.
Thanks for letting me know about the things that I can improve. :)
I fixed the things you mentioned in your post, so here is the new version.
Also thank you to everyone who tested my level!
Attachments
how eerie, an eerie (V2).zip
(603.99 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
Image
Image
User avatar
EllenHouraisan
Witch of Starlight
Posts: 311
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronouns: she/her

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by EllenHouraisan »

Some more testing:

Fishing Grounds:
Simple, easy level, which is good. The DKC3 music + background puts me in a good mood, and the level design is pleasant enough to carry it. The second Dragon Coin with the rip van fishes I found strangely hard to get considering how easy the rest of the level is, though it's not a huge deal since you do get a powerup right before it to tank. One issue I do have is that on screen 0D, it's a bit awkward getting through the cheep-cheep if you're big (the fact you can kill it isn't obvious when you're not as familiar with SMW), so I'd suggest raising the ceiling a little bit (or lowering the ground) to give you more room. Also, the first goomba will fall through the floor if it reaches the edge of the screen. Not a big issue, but just letting you know. Otherwise, pretty enjoyable little romp! (Most of my issue comes from always forgetting how weird SMW water is, lol)
Chrystal Caves:
Hmm, kind of a weird level. The yoshi path feels significantly easier and shorter, though I found the pond starting at screen 5 a bit spammy (I now realize you're suppose to use the P-Switch to cross it). I do enjoy the way enemy placements in the second half, especially the bats, are pretty smartly used. The upper path definitely gives off the vibe of being the main event, what with it being much longer and having all the Dragon Coins. It's also much more open, which is certainly something I haven't seen in other levels so far. Can't say I have a problem with any particular setup, but I just found it a bit odd how much longer the upper path is compared with the lower one. Then again, maybe that was the intent and I'm just being silly.
Lucifer's Lava Lamp:
Oof, hard level! Not being able to land on enemies while falling with the donut blocks is awkward, but I guess that's the nature of the beast. For the first half, the first few spiketops you meet don't really do much and are pretty easily avoided, so maybe try to make a more interesting setup there. Also, they interact weird with slopes later on, so perhaps it would be better to use a diffrent enemy. The second half feels a bit scarce with powerups (there's like, one extra beet, but it's kinda annoying to get), but considering most of the threat is from instant death, it doesn't matter too much. I don't like the lava tunnel at the end, though, it's pretty awkward to get through and dying there is very punishing. Kind of a mean last obstacle in my opinion, but considering the level is pretty hard, maybe it's not too much out of place.

I also feel like having the background be a bit darker might fit the aesthetic better. Your call on that, though.
This Cave is no Ghost House!:
Uh... I don't really get this level at all. Generally it's pretty easy, but then you have a strange puzzle to get to the exit that I really don't know how you're supposed to solve. I actually had to look at the Discord for the solution. The only hint seems to be that cypher, which I can't solve because I don't know how you solve those. Add to that a very tight time limit and it becomes kinda stressful. To be fair, I'm extremely bad at puzzles, but I can't help but to feel like I was given nothing to solve it. Plus, if you're raocow and you always try to go back the way you came, the level solves itself, which is weird. I dunno, if anything, I'd at least increase the time limit or remove it altogether.
Image
Image
Image
:trans_pride: :bi_pride:
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

EllenHouraisan wrote: 7 months ago One issue I do have is that on screen 0D, it's a bit awkward getting through the cheep-cheep if you're big (the fact you can kill it isn't obvious when you're not as familiar with SMW), so I'd suggest raising the ceiling a little bit (or lowering the ground) to give you more room.
Thanks for the review. Nao also mentioned this on the Discord. If more people have trouble with this particular section, I'll see about extending the height/width of those corridors by one more tile. In the chat, SAJewers thought that the time limit was too low, and I agreed, so we should increase it from 300 to 400.

Here are some more level reviews. Changes to levels pending insertion happen too quickly on the server for me to test them in time. So I've decided to only do these reviews once the levels have been inserted into the base ROM. I played everything using this version.

sttlimimvdkm-lmwiw9 by Sam Deluxe (Level 14)
Overall thoughts:

Pretty straightforward level themed around pipes. I imagine this being in World 1 due to its low difficulty, so it would probably be the first level to introduce the scrolling pipes. No major complaints, and not much to say, but there are a couple parts of the level that can be broken (mentioned in detail below).

Time: 500
Difficulty: 1/5

Detailed comments:

Image
To reveal the vine block in this room, the player can simply take a shell or Furba from the outside (which are nearby) and use those instead of using the shell inside of this ? block (which is awkward to get). As pictured here, if you wall-run all the way up, Demo partly goes into the wall thanks to the weird interaction with the sloped ceiling. Not a big deal, but just wanted to point that out. Finally, it's a little strange that the pipe exits you into the main level further back than where you originally entered from, despite being the same pipe.

Image
You can skip this part of the level if you take a Chuck and use it to jump over the pipes here. Most players probably won't realize they can do this, but still, that part should be plugged up somehow.
This Cave is no Ghost House! by raekuul (Level 107)
Overall thoughts:

Umm... is the first pipe in the level supposed to lead you straight to the goal orb? Whenever I test these levels, one of the things I do is to try going into every single pipe that I can. Since this was the first pipe in the level, I was taken to the ending right away. But, assuming that's not intended...

I never figured out the meaning of the first message box. Is the second message box an allusion to the Silver-to-Blue P-Switch glitch? If so, then it would probably be too cryptic for someone without that knowledge. When I saw the row of brown blocks and Muncher saws above the goal orb, I was able to make the connection right away and knew what I had to do. But even then, I still ran out of time, which is too low for a puzzle stage like this (only 400 SMW seconds). It should be increased to max time (my personal preference), or have no timer at all, especially since there are a lot of fakeout doors and pipes.

By the way, here's what I did to reach the goal orb:

Image

Was this the intended solution? If so, then I think it's pretty neat. Otherwise, I have no idea what I'm missing.

Regarding the game's difficulty curve, I think it would be interesting to debate where this level should be placed. Currently, it's ranked at 1.5/5 difficulty on the spreadsheet, but I actually think it's harder than "baby catnips get tragic concussions" (which has a 2.5/5 difficulty rating). I'd probably put this level in the 3/5 difficulty class, because it's more open with a lot more things to try out, and contains numerous red herrings, too. Meanwhile, Nao's level consists of rooms that are more self-contained, so I'd argue that it's easier to eventually figure out what you're supposed to do.

Finally, it was inevitable for someone to mention this, but there's a lot of cutoff in the level. For example, the background comes through where the water meets some of the ground tile corners, and also where the water is adjacent to the pipes. This should be easily fixable with custom Map16 tiles, though, and it'll make the level look much nicer.

Time: 400
Difficulty: 3/5
Horse Adventure by Lord Ruby (Level 106)
Overall thoughts:

The basic idea of this level is to get a Yoshi and use it to help clear away enemies to make the platforming easier. But I soon noticed that it was never required to keep your Yoshi throughout the level, and that it was possible to do some of the platforming without it (though it's more difficult). You can even clear the final section of the level (with the columns of ? blocks) without the Yoshi, contrary to what the message box says. I feel like that ruins the punchline, though. Unfortunately, there's really no way to force a player to keep a Yoshi throughout the level without making really contrived setups, which is the antithesis of what you were going for. This level has really nice vanilla aesthetics using custom Map16 tiles, and has a fairly easy difficulty, since you're encouraged to bring a Yoshi along to help out.

Due to how enemies were placed throughout the level, I was curious to see if I could beat it without ever getting a Yoshi (it's possible). In the chat, the author confirmed that this was intended, which is really cool and it makes a nice self-imposed challenge for the player. Come to think of it, it might be neat to somehow tie a secret exit or 3-Up beet into this.

Time: 700
Difficulty: 2/5

Detailed comments:

Image
You might want to add a ceiling here. The player can easily Yoshi jump over the top and fall through the passable dirt. It's also possible to get softlocked if you travel a bit further, because you can't jump back out.

Image
This part seems a bit like item babysitting that doesn't add much? You have to take a detour up here to get a P-Switch, and then go back the way you came with less of a challenge, since you will likely have killed most of the enemies on your first pass.

Image
It's possible to beat the level without needing Yoshi at the end, which kind of ruins the punchline. You can either shell jump using the Red Goopa's shell, or get the feathers from the ? blocks and fly over the barrier. Also, it's funny because even if you do the Yoshi jump like intended, it might not even fall down into the pit (shown above), despite what the message box says. To increase the chance that Yoshi will fall into the pit, you should make it much wider.
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

Since raocow is LPing an official Touhou game for the first time, let's mark the occasion with a review of a Touhou-themed SMW level. Only one level review this time, because I haven't had a lot of free time lately. I played the level using this version of the base ROM.

Who put Touhou in my hack? by 4season (Level 136)
Overall thoughts:

The main focus of this level is to dodge Touhou-like projectiles, but it's a lot less scary than it sounds. Each stream of bullets fires at a predetermined rate with a set amount of bullets, so it mostly boils down to learning the timing. The streams that fire in a single direction are the easiest to dodge, but when you're forced to contend with projectiles that home in on Demo, those are the hardest parts of the level. This stage never quite reaches danmaku levels of madness, which I think is for the better since we're restricted to the SMW physics and don't have the free movement available in a vertically scrolling shooter.

I thought that the "clock" section where you have to wait out the P-Switch with the long, rotating firebar was the coolest part of the level. Also, there has got to be a better graphic for the projectile generators instead of the rotating turn block. You should probably use one of those Touhou spell circles or something.

Time: 450
Difficulty: 3/5

Detailed comments:

Image
I'd perhaps use the Super Mario Maker one-way walls here instead of a rope that can be misinterpreted. But I understand if this was an aesthetic decision.

ImageImage
Nothing wrong here, but I wanted to point out that these were the hardest parts for me to dodge without taking a hit.

Image
Immediately after the "clock" section, you're treated to this rather uneventful line-guided section, where you don't encounter any Touhou bullets for about 10 seconds. After spending an entire level dodging projectiles, this feels a bit out of place. I guess it was intended to let the player rest a bit?
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

I have two new levels ready for testing:

https://psininja.talkhaus.com/smw/Thwom ... ilding.bps
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/smw/Coast ... s_A3MT.bps

The first is my "high effort" level that I've been working on since the very start of the collab. The second is a modified version of my OLDC2 contest entry. Be warned, though - these are not friendly like my fish level.

Read after testing:
Yes, these levels are supposed to be hard. I just want to know if they're fair. For the first level in particular, I'm not sure how well the concept works in practice, so I'm depending on feedback from blind playthroughs. I don't think either of these levels are Kaizo, and I hope that no one else thinks so either, because it was certainly not my intent to submit one.

Known issues for Thwompire State Building:
(1) The Gen #5 Thwomp looks bad. It was my hasty attempt at porting over the A2XT graphics replacement. I will need someone to help me fix the colors later on.
(2) The BG candle sprites in Level 6 have some priority issues when overlapping Demo and other sprites.
(3) I wanted to install the UberASM Retry System, but I was afraid of introducing potential conflicts with other UberASM and patches. The "Press R to restart" mechanic is not a temporary fix, and was meant to be there to supplement the quick retry.
(4) Some of the Thwomp tiles are missing in Levels 2A and 2B because of sprite tile limitations. Besides reducing the number of Thwomps, is there any way around this? Or am I just out of luck?
(5) Sometimes the offscreen indicator "!" symbols flicker. I Frankensteined together a bunch of ASM (with some modifications) to make this work, so I'm probably doing something wrong with writing to the OAM tables. Or I probably have way too many sprites onscreen (despite using SA-1).
(6) The boss in Level 2D is a placeholder. I'm intending this to be a world-ending castle level (hopefully).

Known issues for Coasting Redwoods:
(1) Sometimes, there's a weird glitch with the music (a high-pitched beep that sounds like a sine wave plays).
(2) Do the custom Octobros throw their hammers faster if the level is on a submap? Right now, the throw speed is pretty slow (I didn't touch the ASM file).
(3) The large bushes have the wrong corner graphics. Since the bushes are a global object, I don't know if anyone was planning to fix this.
(4) Sometimes, not all coins spawn for some reason. Is this because there's an object limit, similar to how there are sprite limits?
gbreeze
Posts: 122
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by gbreeze »

https://bin.smwcentral.net/u/17388/gbreeze_a3mt.zip

Sorry if this is the wrong place to submit my levels, but I wasn't sure where to do it. Patch is also included in case anyone wants to test. If you have feedback, it would be helpful to post it here, as I am not in the discord. Thanks
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4235
Joined: 9 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by KobaBeach »

gbreeze wrote: 6 months ago Sorry if this is the wrong place to submit my levels, but I wasn't sure where to do it.
Any place is fine. Thanks for submitting <3
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
:pride: :nb_pride: :pan_pride: Image
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

gbreeze wrote: 6 months ago https://bin.smwcentral.net/u/17388/gbreeze_a3mt.zip

Sorry if this is the wrong place to submit my levels, but I wasn't sure where to do it. Patch is also included in case anyone wants to test. If you have feedback, it would be helpful to post it here, as I am not in the discord. Thanks
These are great. I'm not sure if the Key Exit in the Goal Post level is needed as it just adds some tedium (that has to be repeated when getting the third exit) but then again, it could be viewed as the Normal Exit while the 3rd one is the Secret Exit i suppose (and the 1st exit is going to be essentially useless since it's trivial)
User avatar
Super Maks 64
Just your usual SMW hacker
Posts: 360
Joined: 5 years ago
Pronouns: he/him/his

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Super Maks 64 »

Weird Teal House
-The Mushroom palette is incorrect
-If you respawn from the checkpoint, then the 2 Fire Flowers are free
-The No Yoshi intro is actually the athletic one instead of the Ghost House one due to the level number being above 12D
gbreeze
Posts: 122
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by gbreeze »

Nao wrote: 6 months ago
gbreeze wrote: 6 months ago https://bin.smwcentral.net/u/17388/gbreeze_a3mt.zip

Sorry if this is the wrong place to submit my levels, but I wasn't sure where to do it. Patch is also included in case anyone wants to test. If you have feedback, it would be helpful to post it here, as I am not in the discord. Thanks
These are great. I'm not sure if the Key Exit in the Goal Post level is needed as it just adds some tedium (that has to be repeated when getting the third exit) but then again, it could be viewed as the Normal Exit while the 3rd one is the Secret Exit i suppose (and the 1st exit is going to be essentially useless since it's trivial)
Thanks. Yeah that was the idea, secret exit is the "normal" exit while the normal exit is just trivial. If others agree that it's tedious, it can be removed.
Super Maks 64 wrote: 6 months ago Weird Teal House
-The Mushroom palette is incorrect
-If you respawn from the checkpoint, then the 2 Fire Flowers are free
-The No Yoshi intro is actually the athletic one instead of the Ghost House one due to the level number being above 12D
I can't say I particularly mind the no yoshi intro not being a ghost house. If it's absolutely required that I fix it though, I can fix it. I can fix the others, thanks for the report.
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

gbreeze wrote: 6 months ago I can't say I particularly mind the no yoshi intro not being a ghost house. If it's absolutely required that I fix it though, I can fix it. I can fix the others, thanks for the report.
I inserted your levels to the baserom, and fixed the mushroom palette. If you want to fix the powerups and/or entrance, just send an update for the .mwls.
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4235
Joined: 9 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by KobaBeach »

World 1 - Alberta (like florida? bayside/island):
sttlimimvdkm-lmwiw9 - pretty good intro stage, but the length is a bit too much. not bad though
matcha ampersand avocado - simple chill stage. i can vibe to it
Fishing Grounds - i like the pier log in water tiles, very good. again, simple stage for world 1
THE OBSTACLE - slight increase in difficulty, wonder if it's not best for world 3... i still felt anxious despite knowing the podoboos and bullet bills were signposted
This Cave Is No Ghost House! - i don't get this stage. it's meant to be a non-puzzle but it's not fun or engaging or fun to play. it just feels like a troll stage. i guess it fits the vip vibe but. i don't really like it at all. sorry raekuul (star world material)

World 2 - British Columbia (mountain):
The Feeling of a Freshman - throwback to newbie hazing in smw yeah... I like the rambunctious feel really puts the "romp" in "romp level". really fun to play
Chrystal Caves - Tokyo Crystal Mew representation. a bit too long, but overall kind of fun if a smidge unfocused, not bad
Horse Adventure - i really like how the focus wasn't on catnip at all. poor thing, never to have top billing in a broadway special... anyway the fucking seed cannon (bullet seed if you're a pokemon fan) bonanza that happens twice in the stage is completely bonkers and i can't believe it's on world 2. mario newbies are gonna go through hell with that lmao.
Demo in the Sky (no diamonds) - cute breather stage. i really didn't do much with this
Warning! It's A Red Radish Morning - i like how it's a completely different stage with the red blocks. super cute and kind of tough, i really like this one despite it feeling a bit weird with the platforming. thumbs up!
The Castle of Spirits - really precious stage. i do feel lao khao, as I call the boss, is a bit jank? i'd remove maybe one podoboo. earthquakes are annoying so you gotta adjust for them. that's true for architecture and boss design. i'd also suggest a second midpoint at the boss door? just so you don't have to do like five screens after you die at the boss. i'd also tone it down to like three shots?
baby catnips get tragic concussions - extremely clever puzzle. still love it (star world material)

World 3 - Cypress Hills (mayoi no mori)
A Warm Welcome - so begins the journey to capture the jade duck... i ate a duck pasty from lidl today and yesterday and it was good. anyway really fun stage, appreciate the goemon graphics usage and how the foreground looks a lot like new super marisa land, but the "run full speed jumping above pits" part in the middle didn't feel too clear to me? i thought you had to jump on the parabombs. oh well it's minute, no need to change it
NO VEGETABLES, ONLY TREES - still a clever stage. really fun too, top notch. do feel the changkey hopping part is a bit rng though...
how eerie, an eerie - really simple ghost house, i like the use of the paralars (eerie) for the secret exit. very cool
James Turner (temp name, might keep it) - wah, things are heating up! really like the update this stage got, even if a hamster powered ladder despawned on me (had to finagle the l and r scrolling). very short though
Use of a Goal Posts - extremely creative level, as expected of gbreeze. i really like how everything is just cement blocks, however the stage is like really exhausting and any small mistake can set you back to the start. couldn't beat the third exit (star world material)
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
:pride: :nb_pride: :pan_pride: Image
MexicanCradily
Grass/Rock type
Posts: 2
Joined: 7 months ago
First name: Kiki
Location: Mexico

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by MexicanCradily »

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... vel113.zip

Here is my level submission, this is my first time using lunar magic, so feedback is appreciated.
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4235
Joined: 9 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by KobaBeach »

MexicanCradily wrote: 6 months ago https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... vel113.zip

Here is my level submission, this is my first time using lunar magic, so feedback is appreciated.
Thanks Kiki! If you want to make a second level, please include a link to the music as well for convenience and the ID number if you haven't yet! Haven't checked if you have custom graphics or not, but I assume not. Again, huge thanks. <3
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
:pride: :nb_pride: :pan_pride: Image
User avatar
PSI Ninja
Posts: 360
Joined: 7 years ago
https://psininja.talkhaus.com/

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by PSI Ninja »

One of my levels is ready for insertion: https://psininja.talkhaus.com/smw/Coast ... 3MT_v2.zip

Changelog:
- Fixed the bush corner tiles.
- Fixed the Pitchin' Chuck graphics.
- Fixed the disappearing coins issue (needed to change the Item Memory Index between levels/sublevels).

My other level (the Thwomp level) needs a little reworking. I don't think the first two vertical parts are fair, so I'm thinking of tweaking the mechanics a bit. Because of that, I changed the level status in the spreadsheet from "Pending" back to "In Progress".
MexicanCradily
Grass/Rock type
Posts: 2
Joined: 7 months ago
First name: Kiki
Location: Mexico

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by MexicanCradily »

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 3_ver2.zip

Took note of Nao's feedback in the discord and made some changes to the level.
Wanted to finish this days ago, but irl stuff sort of got in the way.

Changelog:
-Raised ceiling around 3 tiles.
-Removed and changed positions of the enemies.
-Changed locations of the 2nd and 3rd dragon coin, while the 1st and last one require spin jumping while big to get.
-Screens 8-9 were redesign into a chargin chuck room.
-Screen 0C was changed into a pool with an aggro rip van fish.
-Removed the springs.
-Redesigned screen 17.
-The cheep-cheeps in screens 18-19 were removed in favor of 3 rip van fish.
-The rip van fish and splitting chuck at the end of level were turned into just a singular charging chuck.
Nao
Posts: 90
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he
Location: Germany

Re: Level testing and discussion

Post by Nao »

MexicanCradily wrote: 6 months ago https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 3_ver2.zip

Took note of Nao's feedback in the discord and made some changes to the level.
Wanted to finish this days ago, but irl stuff sort of got in the way.

Changelog:
-Raised ceiling around 3 tiles.
-Removed and changed positions of the enemies.
-Changed locations of the 2nd and 3rd dragon coin, while the 1st and last one require spin jumping while big to get.
-Screens 8-9 were redesign into a chargin chuck room.
-Screen 0C was changed into a pool with an aggro rip van fish.
-Removed the springs.
-Redesigned screen 17.
-The cheep-cheeps in screens 18-19 were removed in favor of 3 rip van fish.
-The rip van fish and splitting chuck at the end of level were turned into just a singular charging chuck.
That is a huge improvement! Good job. I'm going to insert the level to the baserom
Difficulty I would now put a 3, although the level "feels" a lot more intimidating than it is because of the flopping fish filling the screen
Post Reply