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Super Talking Time Bros. 3: Yes! It will happen! And YOU can help! (Feedback requested, See Page 4)

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Hey no worries, the project is a slow burn as Isrieri said.

Please feel free to ask for help if you run into trouble with the devkit or anything else.
 
Testing the waters there, how do we feel about subtle changes to stages that only appear on a per-character basis?
Seems fine to me. I don't think we'd want to make vastly different stages, but this is a really subtle tweak that most people won't even notice.
Mangrove Cavern: Tweaked the timing of the rotary lifts as well as added spawnzones to hopefully fix the syncing issues and make things a bit easier.
Great, I think this is a really helpful change since I struggled a lot with those lifts too (and I know this was not intended to be placed as a late-game level).
Return to Cheese Mountain: Added a second checkpoint in the final bonus room, since it's a long tough stage and getting to this coin in particular is challenging. Still not sure if this is the most elegant solution, but we'll see how it feels?
Seems fine to me, too; I know I've done that at least in one of my Star Coin rooms.
I really want to make levels for this and I'm so sorry that I haven't been
No apologies needed, as Spoony said -- although I would love to see what new stuff you come up with, if you feel inclined.
 
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Spoony provided a lot of helpful updates on Discord, so here's Go Chuck Yourself v2:
  • Chuckster Kirby now animates, courtesy of Spoony!
  • Since the animated Chuckster Kirby doesn't turn when he is talked to, I adjusted the platforms slightly so that he can now only be talked to from one side on each platform. This shouldn't affect the gameplay either
  • Added sound effects for the other playable characters and adjusted sound effect volume
  • Because Peach and Rosalina are two blocks high even in "small" form, there is one jump that was previously impossible for them (thanks to Spoony for catching this). I added a character-specific tweak that removes one layer of bumpers if you're Peach or Rosalina.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I like this stage a lot, a simple funny gimmick for a single Star Coin. (I went and posted another update in the discord because I figured out the directional frames thing, derp)

But shifting gears a bit, I'd like to ask for some specific feedback on the world map. Particularly, whether World 1 as I have it is too linear. STTB2 gave you a branching path after the first level, and STTB2.5 gave you two World 1s at the start so you had even more of a choice. My first go at World 1 just gives you a single path and I'm wondering if that's the best decision.

Now I'm thinking having the secret exit from This is Cannon branch into a second path, and have the secret exit from One Night in Pipe City lead to the Diamond Switch Palace. We might need an additional level for World 1 have that flow smoothly, on top of the ones we already need, though.
 
Go Chuck Yourself v3:
  • Spoony posted an update on Discord that allows the animated Kirbys to face either direction, so I've added that here
  • Reverted some of the changes to the level geometry that were made to force you to talk to Kirby from a particular side
I will look at the world map in greater detail tomorrow, Spoony. Sorry, work's just been super busy :[
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok, here's an end of year update to the Level Pack with all levels and level updates since the previous pack.

Also, I'd like to once again ask for some feedback about the world 1 map as I posted above. To make it a bit easier to look at it at a glance, here's an image of it from the editor (explaining the paths-over-scenery thing):



Though I'd also welcome comments on the visuals (there's a couple visual additions from the map in the last devkit, mostly little touches no major changes), I'm mainly concerned about the linearity, especially compared to STTB2 and 2.5 which both offered a split path in their world 1 early on.
 
OK, my New Year's resolution is to do a better job of actually finishing my stuff & posting in the thread.

I sat down and played through the current World 1 to give Spoony feedback on the map.

First off, I wanted to say really like the richness of the world map. There's a lot of little details that make it come alive and feel like a world, not just a collection of levels. Good job, Spoony!

Also, I feel the level sequencing is quite good (although I do agree that an underground level would be a good addition to the mix). The first level largely stays on the ground, then the second level moves into a more aerial/athletic ground, and then we start mixing it up more with secret exits, and (Baby) Yoshi gets introduced before the end of the world. I particularly liked how the level that unlocks the Diamond Switch Palace is immediately followed up by a level where you can put the Diamond Switch to use (if you found it). There is good variety in level creators, too.

I didn't personally find the map too linear as I was playing--although it wouldn't hurt to add more routes! I am about to post a level that I think would be a good fit for a secret-exit level for World 1.

Maybe we could use the secret exit from One Night in Pipe City to lead to an alternate route, and then put the Challenge level (Midnight in Block Land) somewhere on the main path. That way, all players would be introduced in world 1 to the concept of Challenge levels.

Overall, the main suggestion I had is that Languorous Nimbus Lifts seems much too difficult for the first world. Don't get me wrong, it's a good level, and I like it! But on my playthrough, it felt too difficult to come before we've given the player the satisfaction of clearing a "world," especially knowing that many other, easier levels have been designed. Aside from introducing Yoshi, I wonder what the motivation is for including it in W1?

One other thing is that we might want to start thinking about is if World 1 is going have a "theme" beyond just being the first world. I still like the idea of a day/night theme for W1, especially if Sundown Saunter shows up here. Clear pipes (or just pipes in general) would also be a good fit since most of the levels use them.
 
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New level!

Sunburnt Savannah

I made a "time of day" Lua library a while back, but I had a tricky time finishing a level with it--obstacles that seriously require a specific time of day aren't very fun because they require the player to stand around waiting.

So, instead I tried to use it a little more lightly to spice up a relatively easy-to-play World 1 level (as well as advancing the day/night theme I've been kind of aiming for).

As in post above, I think this could be a good level to put behind a secret exit in World 1. It's not meant to be very difficult, but it has an unusual twist that seems to belong off the beaten path. If you think it's too difficult for World 1, I'll try to adjust it so that it can fit in.

The Angry Sun NPC is by IAmPlayer whereas all the clock stuff is by me.
 
Spoony informed me on Discord of a bug in my new level when restarting from the checkpoint, so here's

Sunburnt Savannah v2

fixes the bug, and also makes the level gimmick play more nicely with the warpTransition script
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Sunburnt Savannah: I like the gimmick, it gives the level a unique flavor. Though I think its implementation could use a little refinement? The sudden pause with the message box and the instant switch feels like it could be smoother. Some sort of visual effect to show the transition, though I'm not sure what that would be or how tough it could be to implement.

Maybe how jarring it feels is partly due to how quickly the day/night cycle passes. Though it seems like the level is designed around it passing quickly so I'm not sure what the solution is.

I'm also not sold on it being a World 1 stage, on the whole it's not overly tough but it still feels like it belongs a bit later, and its intense gimmick (with the cheeky Castlevania II reference) might make it a better contender for the special world?

Also the BG in the first (and last) section, while nice, is kinda jarring and sticks out, not least of all because it's at a different resolution than the rest of the graphics (the ol' 1:1 vs 2:1 pixel thing). This edit is at the right resolution.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Also, regarding world 1, here's another proposal for the map structure:



Max MSPaint skills yo.

But, I'm thinking a path split after Fettuccine Foothills, with the stage on the south path maybe being plains or beach (or perhaps Sunburnt Savannah if it does indeed go in World 1), a new stage on the island where the Diamond Switch palace was previously, leading to Langourous Nimbus Lifts. The normal exit from This is Cannon would also go to Langourous Nimbus Lifts, with its secret exit going to One Night in Pipe City. ONIPC's secret exit would go straight to the world 1 boss, while its normal goes to LNL, and there's one final stage after LNL before the world 1 boss, with a secret exit leading to the Diamond Switch Palace.

So we'd still need three new stages (two with 1 exit, one with 2) and the boss stage. Thoughts?
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
I've been picking up SMBX again, and by god I'm going to actually contribute to this. I'm thinking of a sort of cloud castle level structured like a Kirby tower level - where would that fit in with the progression as established? How difficult should it be? Is this even something I should worry about this early into the project?

EDIT: Relatedly, has anyone converted the beanstalk tiles from Mario Maker 2's SMW sky theme to SMBX? I feel they'd be a great fit for this premise.
 
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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Hey Kzinssie, glad to hear you're interested. We're in a bit of a lull right now, but by all means don't let that stop you.

Honestly, I recommend making the level you want to make and then we can see where it might fit. Themed worlds are not hard and fast rules, and even if the Sky 'n Clouds world ends up being, say, 4 and your level fits more at either the beginning or end of the game then it will be easy enough to add a cloudy portion on the world map for it. If you make a level we'll find a place for it!

As for the aforementioned lull, I won't pretend I haven't been distracted by other things in the past couple months. My work on the world map has halted largely because I've been eyeing one of Mr.DoubleA's new mini-episodes he's working on and in it he's devising a custom world map system which I would love to repurpose for STTB3 if possible. SMBX2 development as a whole has been in a bit of a holding pattern as two big projects are closer to wrapping up: MaGLX3 and A2XT. MaGLX3 should be done first and once it is I'm hoping it rekindles interest in SMBX overall.

Anyway, if you need any help please ask away!
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
As mentioned, I'm mostly looking for good tilesets/assets right now - the SMBX2 forums' assets section is a bit of a disorganized mess, and I couldn't find the SMM2 tiles I'm looking for in my search.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Have there been any plans for boss levels? As I build this it strikes me as a good place for for a Larry or Ludwig fight.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
There has been a couple of boss levels made, but no long term plays beyond those yet. I do have ideas for the final boss and special world boss, but otherwise no claims have been staked.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Hey, here's a little something:

Beanstalk Tower

Definitely still rough around the edges (that includes the name, by the way - never had much of a sense for level names, so if anyone has any suggestions they're welcome), but it's "complete" enough that I'm willing to put it out there. I started with the music for the first section and a very clear aesthetic in mind, and I like to hope it realizes that well. There's also a very mean trick I'm quite proud of...

Incidentally, I specifically gave the level a bit of an ambiguous opening so that a first section can be added down the line to better tie it in with whatever world it ends up in. I can also swap Ludwig's graphics for another Koopaling.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Beanstalk Tower: I like the aesthetics this stage is going for, though the stained glass windows are maybe a touch too saturated and stand out too much. I've also gotten hit by stray Snifit bullets more than once because they blend it a bit with the BGO bricks.

It is definitely on the harder side of things, and even if it goes into the late-game I think a couple of problem areas should be given a second thought. The path to the first Star Coin is really saturated with enemies, and there's no gaurantee the player will find the hidden Hammer Suit. I'd at least get rid of the Nipper plant at the very bottom, I don't think it adds much.

The second Slime you encounter also feels kind of cheap due to how easily it can fall on you with how the screen scrolls, maybe move it a few tiles to the left?

The Panser + Diggin' Chuck combo is a lot to deal with. I even took a hit from the Chuck because I couldn't quite land on top if it when I tried to jump up from the slanted vine below, and the Panser was still sitting on the ledge. Having to time yourself around the projectiles from these two enemies is a good challenge, but the level geometry on top of that adds too much frustration, I think, especially if the player hasn't found the hidden Hammer Suit.

And with the non-hidden Hammer Suit in the second half it kind of feels like the stage is balanced around having it.

The gag with the second Star Coin is funny, though honestly I think most people will try to jump to it from below anyway? I'm not sure how to best handle it, though.

I do like the judicious use of checkpoints and for all its difficulty the stage isn't very long. After smoothing out some rough edges it would be a fine addition.

And don't forget SMBX2 can use Looping OGGs, instead of needing MP3s.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
I think the solution to the aesthetics thing is just to brighten up all the castle tiles a bit (except the stained glass windows).

Believe it or not, the path to the first star coin was even worse in earlier drafts - working on the level in a screenshare with Discord friends as I toned it down was the inspiration for the gag in the second part, in fact (that entire section is designed to be absurdly hard, I've yet to successfully no-damage it - it might actually be TOO easy in that respect?)

I think the best solution to the Panser + Diggin' Chuck thing would be to widen that little vertical section a bit? I'll workshop it, along with the other things you mentioned.
 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
i have yet to sit down to work on this yet because my motivation has been at an all-time low of late but i did find this and would be remiss not to post it here:

 

Kzinssie

(she/her)
Hey, what do you know, posting that is exactly what it took to motivate me. Here's Beanstalk Tower v2.

Changelog:
  • Removed an enemy or two from the first star coin area, and made the Muncher static. It's still not much of a challenge, but it now at least keeps you from just grabbing the coin.
  • Second Slime moved left a bit, as suggested.
  • First area widened, and Diggin' Chuck + Panser section given a bit more breathing room as a result. It's still tough, but it's more manageable now. Also added a powerup shortly after it, so if you take damage it's less of an issue.
  • Fake route to the second star coin ratcheted up to outright comedy levels of difficulty. It should now be much more obvious that it's not the true intended route, although I'm pretty sure it is theoretically beatable. (Also, I accidentally discovered an interesting quirk of vertical Paratroopas placed so that they touch slopes - they start moving around diagonally in weird, unpredictable vectors, which might be fun to build a level or challenge around if anyone else wants to take a crack at it. Here it's just an extra part of the absurdity of that section.)
You mentioned the second area being designed around the hammer suit, but I don't entirely see the issue with that? The area is designed around a powerup the game gives you. Maybe I'm missing something? I'd appreciate some clarification, but for now I left that bit alone.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
i have yet to sit down to work on this yet because my motivation has been at an all-time low of late but i did find this and would be remiss not to post it here:

I realize that a karaoke version, but the fact that it's also missing certain sound effects really weirds me out. Though it's not like my brain doesn't just immediately re-insert them.
 
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