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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)
You can change background options with an ini file, most of our levels use them if you want some examples, but I was able to put this together with those images you provided which should do the trick.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok so a couple things:

First off, MaGLX3 (remember that?) has FINALLY been completed. Ok the relay level still isn't done, but that'll come shortly. This contest ran a few years back, and I threw my proverbial hat into the ring. This time, though, it was a contest with many entrants that knew their way around lua code. As for how I did, 23rd place is respectable, honestly, considering how friggin awesome the top ten are. Still, it's a bit of a tumble since my first place win in the first MaGLX, and even my 14th finish in MaGLX2 (which had far more entrants than this did!). But I ain't complaining.

Second, lua guru MrDoubleA, who we should just make an honorary dev at this point, has done it again and created a custom world map system. This gets around the harsh limitions of SMBX's wld files by recreating world map functions in a lvlx file. Here's what I've put together thus far, basically recreating my test World 1 map in the last build:


Though this video doesn't explicitly show it, the coin counter does use our Odysseycoins code, and I had to tweak things to allow for a star coin counter and showing the stage's author.

I really can't stress enough how much this world map code opens up for us, it even allows for things like wandering hammer bros! And the fact that it's in a lvlx format instead of wld means we can basically inject whatever code we'd want, so things like an inventory system or elaborate map events are possible.

The downside, of course, like a lot of lua is that while it has so many possibilities it also takes longer to put together. It is, however, worth it, I think. But we will need to think about exactly what we want to add to our world map now that the sky is basically the limit.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
It's been a bit. I'm still at work on the world map, and I've even shaken off the cobwebs and finished a new Challenge level. Hats Off!

This one uses MrDoubleA's helmets lua, which recreates the various helmets you can use in Super Mario Maker, as well as a few new ones.

I'm also wondering if we should change some of the guidelines we're going by. Like, maybe not every regular stage needs 3 star coins, maybe we go by overall length, so longer stages have 3, but we can have somewhat shorter ones with just 2? (probably best not to go higher than 3 though)
 
Finally back in the saddle after a very busy couple of months.

Sunburnt Savannah v3:
  • Changed the backdrop to the 2x2 pixels one that Spoony provided
  • Replaced the textboxes between the day/night transition with some Ocarina of Time sound effects. This way, the action never gets interrupted by textboxes.
  • I didn't slow down the speed of the day/night cycle. I've tried it with a slower speed but my experience is --you just spend , and waiting is never fun. I hope that

My reason for thinking this would be better as an early-game level than the special world is that the gimmick isn't that interesting. If you evaluate it as a high-concept special level, it's kind of underwhelming; but if you evaluate it as an early-game level, it's got a twist to spice things up. But I'm flexible.
 
re: world map -- all of the new stuff that MrDoubleA (and Spoony) have created seems super cool. Our World 1 map looks great.

I love the idea of the Wandering Hammer Bros.-type encounters. We'd definitely need some branching paths on the map for that to be meaningful (otherwise you would always encounter them in the same spot), but it would add some flavor to the map.

Another idea I had: I've been playing Baba Is You (which is excellent!), and I've appreciated the fact that several "worlds" are open at a time, so if you're stuck on a puzzle in one world, you can go try something else. What if we did something similar where, after clearing World 1, the player could complete the subsequent worlds in any order, and then move onto the final world(s) afterwards? (y'know, Mega Man style) I think you also had that idea for the Peach game, Spoony, and it would mean we don't have to worry quite as much about exactly matching the difficulty level in each world.

One last thought: I hate to harp on this, but I, personally, still feel that Languorous Nimbus Lifts is much too difficult for World 1. Don't get me wrong, the level itself is totally solid; it just seems out of place in World 1--especially knowing that some of the levels we've created for World 2 or 3 are quite a bit easier. I'd hate to have people hit a difficulty spike so early on that stalls their progress. But that's the last time I'll say my piece about it.

I feel like I've left it way too late to contribute. Sorry.

Nah, not at all; if you've got an idea, go for it! (but don't feel like you have to do anything)
 
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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
After giving it another playthrough I'm inclined to agree. I still think it might be too easy for what will likely be our cloudy world (5?) but it doesn't belong in World 1, at least not along the main path. I'll see about where else I can put it. I'm also thinking of moving Wooden Waltz, it'll stay in World 1 but I think it'll go towards the end instead of being the second level.

As for what the second stage would be, I've started on an underground stage that I think will make a good 1-2, and it should hopefully make some more elaborate use of the clear pipes.
 
OK, all sounds good. Maybe Langourous Nimbus Lifts could go in the aboveground portion of the over-/under-world level? IDK, I'm just tossing out ideas.

Looking forward to the clear pipe stage!
 
Hats Off!: Looks really solid; I don't have any suggestions.

I like the frame of being given a powerup and the level is about getting rid of it (as suggested by the title)--it doesn't introduce any unnecessary gimmicks to the gameplay but does make the level feel fresh and novel.

The level itself provides a nice introduction to some of the helmet powers and a variety of challenges with them. I also appreciate the clear pipes to reset the propeller section as needed. Overall, another great example of the polish I'd expect from a SpoonyBard level.

Beanstalk Tower: Missed this one when it was posted, but it also looks really good! A good challenging level for later in the game and fits nicely with some of the other sky/garden levels we have. Thanks for making this level, Kzinssie!


edit: also, I was tickled pink to see that both of these levels incorporated my Warp Box NPC. It makes me really happy to see that other people want to use something I created!
 
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New level submission!

Molehill Mountain

Earlier, Spoony mentioned a need to introduce the blue & pink bumpers somewhere earlier in the game. This level was created with that mind. The second indoor room in particular is meant to explicitly show the player the difference between the bumper colors and make sure they understand it.

Another goal to provide a light, early-game "preview" of some of the other NPCs that I have used, or plan to use, in other levels. I wanted to provide some continuity across levels to counteract my habit of using NPCs in a single level and never again.

The tileset is by user "Flagpole 1up" on Mario Fan Games Galaxy and converted into SMBX format by yours truly.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Molehill Mountain: I like it, though it perhaps feels a touch long? (ironic coming from me, I know) The only real bit of criticism I have is that it seems to have a few too many gimmicks? It seems to primarily be about the bumper blocks, and that's great, but then you have things like the SMW scales, the arrow platform, and the single seesaw at the midpoint. I'd recommend cutting the seesaw since it feels the most out of place, and honestly it's still really jank thanks to how SMBX tries to handle semisolid slopes (which is why I've never used them in a level yet, despite desperately wanting semisolid slopes to be a thing), and its jankness gets REALLY weird:

Aside from that, I found the first Star Coin really difficult to get compared to the others. Trying to rebound off those bumpers isn't easy, and eventually I just backtracked when I found a leaf a bit later in the stage.

Haven't given Monty Mole day a look yet, I'll do that soon.
 
Thanks for the feedback--I find that it almost always improves my levels.

Molehill Mountain v2:
  • I took what used to be the route to Star Coin #2 and divided it into two smaller pieces--one that still leads to SC #2 and one that now leads to a new Star Coin #1. This makes the level slightly shorter overall since there is less you have to do to earn all of the Star Coins.
  • Simplified the bumper setup that used to lead to the old Star Coin #1 and put a powerup there instead. (I still like the setup I had previously, and I may re-use it a later level where its difficulty would be more appropriate.)
  • Switched out the seesaw for another Piston Lift. I like this because it now introduces the Piston Lifts to the player in a completely safe environment where you can't fall into a pit.
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible for a second Mega Mole to fall into the first water area and make it impossible to get through without taking damage. That can no longer occur.
 
I'm opening the floodgates and trying to finish all of my prototypes and drafts. Here's another:

Stonebridge Shoreline

My starting image for this level was the idea of a large stone bridge or gateway overlooking a beach. Consistent with that, I tried to create some environments where the player needs to traverse both under and over the stonework to advance.

There are no major gameplay gimmicks, only my attempt to keep things fresh by mashing up some classic level themes--in this case, "beach" and "fortress".

Also, this isn't really an end-of-world BOSS level, but there is at least a mini-boss at the end (a Boom-Boom) because it's a fortress.
 
The Downward Spire v5:
  • Changed the music so that it won't get DMCAed on Twitch. (The SMW Fortress music can't be played on Twitch.)
  • Since this looks like it will be a mid-boss level rather than an end-of-world boss, changed the end of the level from a star to a ? orb.
  • Removed some extraneous objects from outside the level bounds.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok, new level:

The Undernet

(EDIT: Already I noticed some errors with the level I had to fix, so the zip has been updated in the like 30 minutes since I first made this post, haha.)

It's my hope this would be a suitable 1-2 type level, so I'd like some feedback on difficulty especially. A few times I had to pare back what I was doing, and I'm still worried it might be a bit too tricky. It's a clear pipe/skipsqueak focused stage with some extra elements, borrowing the gimmick from Metronauts and simplifying it to only one toggling layer pair.

With the Star Coins I'm a bit concerned all three are gotten in a similar manner, doubling back a bit after hitting a switch, though the third one does have a way to cheese it if you're observant.

Aesthetically, I made this tileset by extrapolating a full tileset out of a single Super Mario Maker 2 sizeable, helped along by a new application that makes importing tilesets so much danged easier. For the outer areas I made the first screen use the background from Fettuccine Foothills, and the last use the background from This is Cannon. It may or may not lead to that stage but I felt it was a good transition.


Now about the project more broadly, we may need to start thinking about if we still want to go full-steam ahead with the current plan. For a few reasons I'm starting to feel uncertain about this actually being Super Talking Time Bros 3. Not that these levels won't be released in an episode, but maybe some rebranding and scope adjustment is in order? Like, does it need to be a full eight worlds, does it even need to have the typical sort of progression with all the possibilities Lua allows us, could we get away with calling it something else (Super Talking Time Land?).

Right now I'm just spitballing, but since at the moment this project is over 90% made between me and Qu_Marsh I feel that the name 'Super Talking Time Bros 3' gives a certain impression of a familiar, large community project when it may end up as something different.
 
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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Made another tiny update to The Undernet, not an urgent one, just a tiny mistake.

Also I updated the Level Spreadsheet with all the levels that were added since I last tweaked it. I moved some around, took Languorous Nimbus Lifts out of World 1, and put Royal Aqueduct and Emerald Ridge in its place for instance. I think Emerald Ridge is a good fit for W1, but it would need its difficulty toned down a bit.

Aside from missing boss stages stages we're kind of set for the early game. We need more mid-to-late game and postgame stages.
 
Right now I'm just spitballing, but since at the moment this project is over 90% made between me and Qu_Marsh I feel that the name 'Super Talking Time Bros 3' gives a certain impression of a familiar, large community project when it may end up as something different.
I'm fine with a title like "Super Talking Time Land" if you prefer. I do think that "Talking Time" should be in the title somewhere, both because the project is still originating fro this forum and because I've always thought of the game as taking place in the TT "universe" with NPC Kirby and the like.

Made another tiny update to The Undernet, not an urgent one, just a tiny mistake.

Also I updated the Level Spreadsheet with all the levels that were added since I last tweaked it. I moved some around, took Languorous Nimbus Lifts out of World 1, and put Royal Aqueduct and Emerald Ridge in its place for instance. I think Emerald Ridge is a good fit for W1, but it would need its difficulty toned down a bit.
I like your idea of putting Royal Aqueducts in world 1 since it was a pretty "chill" stage.

I can do another pass through Emerald Ridge to make it suitable for world 1 if you'd like to use it there (a better fit than Molehill Mountain?).
Aside from missing boss stages stages we're kind of set for the early game. We need more mid-to-late game and postgame stages.
Yep. I still have like a couple of early-ish levels (W2/3) that are essentially done and just need to be cleaned up and posted, and then I plan to move entirely to mid/late stages.
 
Sliding into the DMs:

The Electric Slide

A rather quick and silly challenge level. It uses the same tileset as Molehill Mountain and should probably go in the same world

Features a callback to one of Spoony's levels from STTB2.5!

Will check out The Undernet next!
 
The Undernet: I still haven't found the second Star Coin here, but I'm going to go ahead and post my interim comments!

The aesthetics of this level are fantastic. Your new tileset turned out great, and I like how the background combines the SMB3 pipes with the SMW cave further in the distance. The Rogueport Sewers track provides a bumpin' soundtrack (and that's an impressive port to SPC).

I also appreciate how you used the intro & exit areas to segue between tilesets. I've been thinking about doing the same thing in some of my levels once the sequence is finalized.

In terms of gameplay, I like that the level is pretty short. That's a good way to keep the level from being too difficult and to introduce different mechanics in a bite-size fashion.

It's smart that this level is introducing and highlight the Skipsqueak family that you spent so much time on. With that said, I felt the different varieties of Squeaks could have been introduced more gently. A lot of the different varieties (Para-squeak, Strutsqueak, Spiny Squeak, etc.) show up only once each and it might be going to challenging for a new player to keep track of what each kind does. (I felt like Return to Cheese Mountain, even though a more difficult level overall, was a little more transparent in that respect. Perhaps you could borrow a few setups from there?) In particular, I didn't really get what you were aiming for with this room. It just feels like four different kind of Squeaks are dumped on you simultaneously and it's kind of chaotic.

One big issue I caught is that, near the end of the level, there's a pit of water where, if you fall in, you can't jump out and are forced to lose a life. I think for a 1-2 level, that's much too difficult. I would add a semisolid on the lefthand side of the water so that you can climb back out and try again.
With the Star Coins I'm a bit concerned all three are gotten in a similar manner, doubling back a bit after hitting a switch, though the third one does have a way to cheese it if you're observant.

Yeah, I can see that. Of the three Star Coins, I liked the first one the most. It requires a couple of steps to find, but the beginning of the level provides a powerful clue while also giving you that tantalizing glimpse that motivates you to search for it.

For Star Coin #3, perhaps could you do something where, instead of toggling the switch, you just jump into this pipe after riding the carrot countdown platform to the left? That's what I thought the solution was at first, and it would theme one of the Star Coins around the carrot platforms (another key component of the level) instead of the clear pipes.

I also wonder if you could base one of the Star Coins on the Skipsqueaks? IDK, just throwing out ideas since you mentioned this as a concern


edit: AHHH I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my original post but the end-of-level castle gag is amazing
 
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You know what a dire dock is, right?

Dire, Dire, Dire Docks

An autoscroller for the water world, and part of my ongoing effort to make water levels that aren't tropical-themed. I'm happy with how the aesthetics turned out here. The Heave-Ho and Skeeter NPCs are both by AndrewPixel, background by alucard, and tileset by Witchking666.

I don't think it's too difficult for world 2, but let me know how the difficulty feels.

This should be my last submission for the World 2 aquatic world, except maybe for one Challenge level that I might or might not finish.
 
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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Here's an update to The Undernet.

That pool of water where you could get stuck is an oversight, I thought I had added a platform in the version I uploaded but looks like I didn't.

I made that row of four different skipsqueaks all the same type, to be easier to approach.

I changed the third star coin to allow you to ride the second carrot platform back to reach it, but another way to get it is to swim under the preceeding area without having to toggle the switch so the pipe is ready to send you there right away.

Speaking of star coins, the second one is gotten by taking a koopa shell through a clear pipe with you in that area right before the checkpoint and tossing it up through the semisolid to hit the switch.

I'm pretty proud of that castle gag, though I had to ask Enjl for help with having npcs start inside clear pipes since it doesn't work without some scripting.
 
The Undernet looks really good now! I like how the level now pretty much introduces each Squeak type one at a time. Also, I finally found the second Star Coin, and the Kirby shenanigans in that bonus room were great.

Here's an update to Dire, Dire, Dire Docks (v3) that makes it so you can't (accidentally) kill the Heave-Hos, which are supposed to assist you through the level.
 
New level submission!

Storm & Stone

In this level, I tried to capture the feeling of being caught in a storm (as I certainly have a few times)--when you're looking for shelter and sprinting from one safe spot to the next.

I needed more enemies suitable for this theme, so I created the "mudman" reskin of the Stretch, which was also a way to use this NPC in more places.

Early-to-mid difficulty; this was built with the swamp and/or underground world in mind and uses much of the same tileset as Twisted Root Tunnel.

The music here is, of course, from a rather infamous DKC3 level that vaguely inspired this one.
 
Claustrovania

Pretty standard (?) "crusher" level, similar to Valley of Bowser 2 or others in SMW. But, I like the grimy atmosphere created by the tileset (attributed to PopYoshi), which seems appropriate for this type of level.

I created this for the underground world, but it might be too difficult? Fortunately, it's just a cave, so it could go pretty much anywhere, or i could tweak the difficulty.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I suppose so!

2.5 in particular has a few possible routes to take to the end and I'm interested in finding out which one the runner will take, hopefully there will be an archive of the run.
 
Quick Challenge level I put together because I hadn't personally experimented much with Snake Blocks yet:

Goodbye Green Brick Road

I'm not really sure where this should go difficulty-wise; I have it slotted as early-ish game, but I could be wrong?

I had thought about making the level even gentler by making it so that falling off the screen doesn't kill you and just drops you into another area, but you'd still have to leave the level and come back to reset the Snake Block anyway, so it seemed kind of pointless.

I'll try to post something more substantive tomorrow
 
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