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Testing and Development: Deadline-one week after comments

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Pheonix
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Pheonix » 8 years ago

You know, I'm really really iffy on how my level is going so far. Maybe it's the fact that it's 3 AM or something, but it seems to be lacking a certain 'something' that'll help make it interesting.
I only have up to the (very early) midpoint made, so it's not all that much at all - but could someone play this and see how this is shaping up?
Here's the IPS.
pheonix/feenicks/ffeenicxkcs/[indistinguishable from just slamming down on the keyboard]
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

It's really nice up to now, Pheonix.

It's already interesting because of the tileset and the messageboxes and the music, it's some kind of theme, even though I couldn't give it a name.
It will probably look better as soon as it has some background, I, personally, really wouldn't miss anything more "special" then.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Fireyblaze » 8 years ago

Pheonix, I thought the level was nice atmospherically, but it didn't really JUMP out at me. I think a good name for the level would be Iceolation because it gives a feeling of calmness and loneliness.

Anyway, I changed a few things in my level even though no one commented on it.

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

It's a really good level up the the point I played to.
But why are the eye blocks used as !-Blocks? Also, they aren't really the eye blocks that have been made for the sprite-only/demo-only blocks, they look slightly different...
You should make sure there is no cutoff with rope-blocks when you press the P-switch.
Yeah, don't have much more to say, it's good.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Wyatt » 8 years ago

fireyblaze: I like this level! You actually managed to make some fun item-babysitting puzzles. Would love to see this cleared.

First half - 17 deaths
-A different port of the outdoors song is already in the baserom, slot 47. Use that and give up your music slot since there aren't many of those free. (There's another music related problem but it might fix itself when you change song so I wouldn't worry about it yet)
-Glitched graphics upon hitting coin blocks.
-The solid-to-demo and solid-to-not-demo blocks look too similar. Use the standard gold graphics for the solid-to-demo ones.
-The lava frog jump is disproportionately difficult. A fine solution would be to make the floor below him safe instead of munchers.
This interior area has a really nice atmosphere and really awesome music. Love it!

Second half - 8 deaths (unfinished)
It's neat how you can slowly farm for lives by doing a couple extra loops in the yoshi area.
-There's some slowdown at the start of the outside area; removing one of the clapping chucks would probably fix this.
-Oddly, the load times are a little long. This becomes a problem when going between rooms all the time, any idea if it's fixable?
-I actually have no idea what's expected of me at the p-balloon part. Do I really have to just dodge all the projectiles? Because there's a ton of them, and you only get like 5 seconds to think things through since you're on about-to-expire p-switch blocks. I actually gave up at this part (it's probably easy to savescum through but I don't like doing that) so no comments on the rest of the level.

So yeah, really your only problems are some minor aesthetic things and a couple difficulty spikes. Hope you can finish up before the deadline!

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

Fireblaze: I also liked it a quite a lot. While I found it to be really challenging, the abundance of power-ups made it possible for me to play it without tools for the most of what I played once I learned the layout (even though I'm not that good at platformers), except for some particular spike placements, which I couldn't get through without a couple of rewinds each.

The ones above the second balloon after the mid-point made me stop playing. I just got launched in the spikes every time. Then, there's those in the second area (cave) above the side-way twomp where you need to bring back a P-Switch. It's quite easy to make it empty-handed, but it would be nice to be free to bonk the ceiling when juggling with that P-Switch IMO, especially since the twomp goes faster in that direction. Earlier in the first area, there's those above the football kicking Chuck which I found to be superfluous.

In all those cases, you're already dealing with either random stuff or have no control over the obstacles and it would be nice to have more vertical room to breathe in. I personally would do a big cleaning on those critical ceiling spikes. But that's just my opinion and congrats on the level design in general, which is awesome.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

I completely remade the first half of my level as limepie20 advised me and I really would need some opinions.

No secret exit here [1.2]

It's super short if you just run through it, but it's designed this way since the normal exit should either lead nowhere or create a shortcut back. It is also not so much action oriented and it rather emphasizes on exploration, which is the opposite of everything I played of A2MT yet.

I mainly would like to know if you thought it was an "enjoyable" experience. If you test it, please make sure to find the second area which is quite different from the first and which I haven't received any comments about.

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

It feels very comfortable, almost snadbox-like.
It's good to have an exploration/puzzle level like that.

Some of the tiles look very confusing, the climbing stones at the wall are really hard to see (and don't look that nice).
The pillars are sometimes platforms, sometimes solid objects. It isn't very easy to distinguish them.
Some objects look bad with the coin palette, like the parrot coins and the ?Blocks.
The tofu/note blocks push you to the left weirdly (I see no point to that), also they use the original tofu block animation when. you use them (can be found in SP2).
I like the use of the penguin graphics.
If you want the player to start out small, make sure there is some filter in the beginning.
Even though it's hard, it is possible to jump onto and off the blue P-switch without touching the munchers.
You really have no chance to guess that you're supposed to get under the springboard before it falls, if that is what you want the player to do.
Screen 8-9: You have to scroll the screen to make the grey platform respawn to go back from under the muncher field.

In the second part, things are REALLY hard to recognize, especially since everything is so fast-paced (the lava, the bubbles, the net... why are there two keys?)

Man, that's a lot of critizism, but I really like your level.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

Thanks.

I'll rework all those confusing graphics; Pillars, scalable stone and blue lava/grid palette. Not sure about the coin palette. The idea was to make those darker since it's a "night" level, but I'll still try fiddling with it.

I didn't think it was possible not to see the springboard fall so thanks for that. The new BG pillars should make it clearer that there's something under, but I'll also try to make sure that the player is closer when it falls.

The two keys is kind of a trap where you can't jump when mario is on two keys. But if you didn't get it, I guess it could mean that some players could just pick-up a key as soon as they them, which makes the trap useless. I'll rework that section, perhaps with different bullet heights instead.

Thanks again.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Argumentable » 8 years ago

spitznagl wrote: No secret exit here [1.2]
I played this, too. I won't repeat points Paralas said, I do agree with most of them, but I will point out why some of those things don't work

Firstly, I'm pretty sure a2mt already has a filtering system built in to each level I don't know why Paralas would say to make your own
The solid pillars and the pass through pillars seemed noticeable enough to me, but you may want to darken the one a little bit more. Also the dark ones should be the ones you pass through, not the ones that are solid. You have them backwards in my eyes
The noteblocks... well, I'll just say the easiest solution would be to remove them/the other block on the same space with them
There are a few spots where you can run right through the ground
a2mt - no secret exit_00002.png
a2mt - no secret exit_00004.png
The flowerpot where the P-Switch is at totally loses its head sometimes (if you remove the falling platform this may fix it, or it may be sprite memories?

It almost feels like there should be more to explore. Like, I got the feather, but it serves no purpose? There's a lot of nifty areas, I don't know, I want more exploration (unless I somehow missed a bunch of stuff), I think right now it's good and has potential to be great.

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

The filtering system we agreed on only filters out the Fire and Feather powerups, you can still start out Big.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Argumentable » 8 years ago

I definitely started out small when I had the feather. Unless you mean it just doesn't filter when you are big. Either way that's stupid

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby 7TC7 » 8 years ago

So, dropbox is ok? Wonderful~
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48607961/A2MTLVLFIVEnew2.ips

Did some changes, including what limepie suggested. Play and test, pls~
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

Argumentable: The feather does have a purpose. There's a hidden pipe in that hole in the ground under the four turn blocks (seen in the second picture you posted). It leads to the second half of the level where the "good" exit is. I'll make the pipe visible under the two lower blocks. I'd like to had more places to explore in the first half, but I'm kind of limited space wise. Thanks for the stuff you pointed out. So many things I didn't think about.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Argumentable » 8 years ago

I broke those blocks and tried to figure out what was going on there then just left. SO I guess I'm saying it wasn't obvious enough for me, but I'll check it out after bit

EDIT: Yeah it seems not as un-obvious now that I'm playing it again

Edit 2: Yeah I do not like this secret path, too many dick moves. The lava, the green koopa, the disco shell (I can't get by that part)

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

Argumentable: :| Not liking that the first area is too short and that the second is too hard (in a dick way)? I have to agree with both aspects when though of separately, but the "concept" of the level is to have it lie to the player (no secret exit here + text box), make it really short and add a couple of hints showing that there might be more than just that one screen and then make the hidden area really hard, kind of a gauntlet/security system thing where the player should feel like he's not supposed to be there.

I think that both aspects are justified when though off in that way, but if it makes both parts not fun, I'm not going to try imposing my level to the game.

No bad feelings here ;). I was wondering if it would be fun to play by someone who's not aware of all the traps. BTW, the trick with the disco is to get it to flip the turn block, get the mushroom hidden next to the purple coin and slide through the hole.

7TC7:

-I liked!!!!!!

-The water/ground checkerboard pattern is a neat touch. Have you considered playing with different dither patterns?

-The only section that felt boring to me was the one with the different characters and figures floating in the water. It's a great idea considering your tileset, but I personally would add more of those objects in that area and make them intersect together, without making it a maze though. It would still be a swimming section with not much to do, but with more to look at, it would certainly feel more complete.

-I really liked the transitions from water to ground and vice versa. It feels like pressurized rooms under the sea or something. It would be really nice IMO to have those more present, but I guess that you might not feel like making this kind of change at this stage.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Argumentable » 8 years ago

I just think the second area would be better if everything was telegraphed a bit better. I didn't know to watch out for the lava (twice) until I fell in it. I didn't know to jump up and stop the green goopa until it fell on me. Et cetera. Hell, I almost killed the disco shell except I had a feeling I was going to need it

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby spitznagl » 8 years ago

Alright, I'll try to make the traps more predictable. The easiest one to correct would be the green koopa with an upward arrow, but in all cases, the players would most certainly still get the initial death from not knowing the exact timing or placement. I guess it would still remove a bit of the "dickiness" so I will follow your advice. Thank you for your relevant opinion and tips.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Kopasznyaku » 8 years ago

So far I've made about half of a level (I figure this will probably be the second half). However, I seem to have some sprite problems with the background...dunno what's wrong since it looks perfectly fine in Lunar Magic. But the level should still be perfectly playable, the only problem is that the background may be a bit distracting. Also, for what it's worth, my level is where you start on the Yoshi's House

http://depositfiles.com/files/300qnmtkf

Curious to know what you guys think of it.
Last edited by Kopasznyaku on 09 Nov 2011, 02:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby 7TC7 » 8 years ago

spitznagl wrote:-I liked!!!!!!
Thank you!
spitznagl wrote:-The water/ground checkerboard pattern is a neat touch. Have you considered playing with different dither patterns?
I tried a few different things. The checkerboard is the only one, that really seemed to look right. The transition to the big water part is actually a bit different, but it's really not very obvious.
spitznagl wrote:-The only section that felt boring to me was the one with the different characters and figures floating in the water. It's a great idea considering your tileset, but I personally would add more of those objects in that area and make them intersect together, without making it a maze though. It would still be a swimming section with not much to do, but with more to look at, it would certainly feel more complete.
I think you ment something different, when you said "intersect them", but I changed them. They no longer are a lot of single pictures but now try to tell a little story. Thats nice, I hope. Also, they do intersect a little!
I didn't want to make that part of the swimming section a maze of any kind, as you have to go through it twice (or trice) to get the chest of the stage. I actually put the two blue goopas at the beginning of the water part there, so that it is possible to steal their shells for faster swimming (or getting rid of those pesky Rip-van-fish).
spitznagl wrote:-I really liked the transitions from water to ground and vice versa. It feels like pressurized rooms under the sea or something. It would be really nice IMO to have those more present, but I guess that you might not feel like making this kind of change at this stage.
Yeah, it's a bit hard to change many big scale things like that at this point. Anyways, happy you like it.

New ips here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48607961/A2MTLVLFIVEnew3.ips
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Septentrion Pleiades » 8 years ago

http://www.mediafire.com/?co719mz6g4d1hp0

It's a bit of a Brain using type of level so I don't know if it is really fair. I did test it with none of the switch palaces so the game play should be easier.

Edit: Will the backgrounds be changed to standard A2MT backgrounds in the final game, because I don't have the knowledge on how to do that.
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby limepie20 » 8 years ago

Septentrion Pleiades wrote:Edit: Will the backgrounds be changed to standard A2MT backgrounds in the final game, because I don't have the knowledge on how to do that.
If you can't make one, an easy solution would be to "steal" a background from another level. You're welcome to use resources from other level unless for some reason, the creator of the level doesn't want anything taken from it (which we haven't had any of). If you see a background that fits, just use the poison mushroom to see what gfx they used for their background and then use that gfx file in the same slot for your level and use the "Copy Background Image..." button under the Level bar at the top and type in their level number.

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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

Septentrion:
I really liked the theme of the level from the moment I opened it and also the thought behind the gameplay, because those rooms are really huge and overwhelming at first.
Stuff:
Cutoff with a corner tile right at the start, there is also cutoff with pipes to the right.
There are some pipe junction tiles for that (ExGFX135, if you put it into BG2, you can use those from map16 page 0x2.
The BG is cut off as well, if you keep that.
Vines can also create cutoff.
The palette of some sprites aren't good.
The dinorhinos are just weird and the venus fire plants are plain black (you can solve this by copying the right half of palette A down to palettes C and D, use a custom palette for that).
I like the messageboxes a lot. (But correct the non-pokemon one please, grammer 'n' stuff)
Consider replaceing cement blocks with something that looks better, especially if you just try to paint over cliff edges with that, use map16 if necessary!
There are some wierd high pitched beeps at some times, i don't know if they're sound effects or part of the music, but that has to be fixed.
Your sprite graphics are messed up somehow, the bullets use different graphics (old/new) in different levels, the eeries flicker between two versions. The note block sprites are missing (in SP2).
The ghost part doors all lead back to the first sublevel so you have to go all the way back and get a new P, that's okay for a ghost house puzzle segment, but your time limit is very low, I recommend setting it to 0.
You are giving away capes, they are sometimes mandatory, sometimes they aren't, for example the first jump to the left over spikes in the ghost part requires a cape, try making that more consistent.
Phew...

About the background: The diagonal scrolling bars are actually pretty nice.
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Septentrion Pleiades
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Septentrion Pleiades » 8 years ago

Paralars wrote:Septentrion:
Cutoff with a corner tile right at the start, there is also cutoff with pipes to the right.
There are some pipe junction tiles for that (ExGFX135, if you put it into BG2, you can use those from map16 page 0x2....

....Consider replaceing cement blocks with something that looks better, especially if you just try to paint over cliff edges with that, use map16 if necessary!
I haven't used Map 16 before. I would have to GFX in the ROM right?
Paralars wrote: The BG is cut off as well, if you keep that.
Ice world right? I used a lot of secondary exits and I think it's likely there.
Vines can also create cutoff.
Replaced with inv coin blocks.
The palette of some sprites aren't good.
The dinorhinos are just weird and the venus fire plants are plain black (you can solve this by copying the right half of palette A down to palettes C and D, use a custom palette for that).
I'm honestly not sure if that would require claiming more parts of the ROM. Do custom palettes exist only in a level?
I like the messageboxes a lot. (But correct the non-pokemon one please, grammer 'n' stuf
noted
There are some wierd high pitched beeps at some times, i don't know if they're sound effects or part of the music, but that has to be fixed.
The only thing I encountered like that are the decoy goal posts. I thought they were suppose to be like that.
Your sprite graphics are messed up somehow, the bullets use different graphics (old/new) in different levels, the eeries flicker between two versions. The note block sprites are missing (in SP2).
I'll look into that
The ghost part doors all lead back to the first sublevel so you have to go all the way back and get a new P, that's okay for a ghost house puzzle segment, but your time limit is very low, I recommend setting it to 0.
Done.
You are giving away capes, they are sometimes mandatory, sometimes they aren't, for example the first jump to the left over spikes in the ghost part requires a cape, try making that more consistent.
Phew...
I wouldn't be to hard if I remove them all together, would it?
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Re: Testing and Development: Deadline Nov. 17th

Postby Paralars » 8 years ago

you don't need to remove the feathers (I think they are pretty helpful at travelling around that huge room), just change the parts where you absolutely need one to pass without taking damage.

And you don't need to claim any more resources unless you create your own map16 blocks.
Custom palettes are saved together with the level they are used in, just click the Star button, enable custom palette and the palette changes you make only affect the level you are in, that's the whole story. (you can copy and paste colors with Ctrl+left click and Ctrl+right click)

For using the pipe junction tiles, click the red poison mushroom button, enable GFX bypass.
Now you put the graphics file 135 into slot BG2 (labelled) like I mentioned.
That graphics file contains the pipe junction graphics.
Now you go to the "add objects" window or what it's called, choose map16 access from the dropdown menu, scroll to the third page there (page 0x2) and you can copy all the tiles you need off the tileset. (Left click/Right click)

if you don't want to use map16 to make your own blocks you don't have to, but you can still find something nicer for the cemet blocks in some instances.

With cut off background I mean the diagonal bars, there is just a tiny bit missing in the top left corner of the background image.

You don't absolutely need to remove the vines, you can just add a cement block to stop the vine from chewing all the way up through your landmasses.
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