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Super Talking Time Bros. 3: Yes! It will happen! And YOU can help!

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
So while the project has been a bit idle the past two-ish months (my bad, I got sucked into FFXIV again) the birth of the new forums is the perfect time to rekindle interest and hopefully get more people helping out! So, where do we stand, and how can you help?

First and foremost, make sure you have the latest version of SMBX 2.0 which you can download here. Make sure to select 'Full Download (includes all patches and hotfixes)'. Install it to whichever folder you please.

Next,
download our Devkit (Latest update: November 20th 2020) and extract its contents to the worlds folder in your SMBX2 location (which is in the data folder, so it would look something like SMBX2/data/worlds). If you want to make episodes, use this devkit to do so (be sure to first save any new levels to the devkit folder so that the editor will acknowledge our little custom additions).

If you want to test our levels, you can either download them individually from
the STTB3 Wiki page or you can download the latest Level Pack which has all levels created up to the time of posting (August 25th 2020). While you can test in the editor (and this does help to see how things work) I do recommend any serious testing be done by launching the actual episode, which will bring you to a functional beta map (not at all indicative of how the final map will look). When you launch the SMBX2.exe you will see a splash screen with a list on the left showing all the currently available games in the worlds folder, you should see STTB3 there if you have already downloaded and extracted the devkit. The level pack is not strictly necessary to launch the game this way, but if you do not have it none of level nodes on the beta map will work, but they shouldn't give an error either.

Speaking of errors if you do ever encounter anyway, please try to screenshot the error and post it here so I can suss out what's wrong. I'm, like, 90% confident the latest devkit and level pack should work without errors but SMBX is still weird and so is the lua scripting language and they're both especially weird together. Don't let that intimidate you, though. If you're only familiar with the old SMBX from the STTB1/2/2.5 days the new editor is so much easier to use it's laughable. And I'm happy to answer any questions about it, either here in the thread or in the #smbx channel in the Discord. Any and all discussion happens in the Discord channel, but we want to keep level reviews/feedback in this thread. So even if you don't feel you can make levels, we would highly appreciate any feedback on the levels themselves. The more varied views we get the better.

If you do want to try making levels, then please don't hesitate to do so. If you want some direction we do have a spreadsheet of the current levels as well as some suggestions to what we need. The most notable are bosses, which are the most complicated things to create, but no worries if you don't feel capable. There's still plenty of room for more stages.

General rules to keep in mind:

  • Our main playable characters are Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, and Rosalina. Link and all of the other newly added 2.0 characters will not be used in non-special world levels. This means they CAN be used, but they have to be isolated to a specific level, and character filter blocks or lua code will be used to keep them in those levels. So if you really want to make a Mega Man or Samus level then by all means do so, but those levels will not appear on the main level progression path.
  • Normal levels should have three star coins in them, don't forget to set each coin's ID (from 1-3) so that they'll be tracked properly.
  • Challenge levels only have one star coin, and tend to be bite-sized challenges with specific gimmicks, or expansions of gimmicks from other levels.
  • We aren't using SMB3 or SMW power stars this time around, except as boss rewards.
  • Levels can have multiple checkpoints now, so don't be shy about using them.
  • Standard levels end with a SMW goal tape, and usually an SMB1 castle, look at existing levels to see how they're put together. Bonus points (not actually points) if you can pull off an amusing gag with the castle.
I think that covers it for the main intro post. A little later I'll add a post about resources and tips and other info, but I wanted to get this one finished first.
 
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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Helpful Resources

Probably the #1 useful resource to link would be Enjl's video tutorials. Some things, particularly some coding info, might be a touch out of date now but overall they're still a great starting point for SMBX 2.0. Start with the first one in the series which gives a good overview of the SMBX2 editor.

Aside from that, the SMBX forums are (generally) a good place to look for answers. Or for unique custom NPCs, there has been a lot of handy things created by SMBX users already that aren't part of the main package, but can be added to levels or episodes much like we could swap in replacement graphics in the OG projects. In fact a couple levels have already used some resources created by others. Some notable ones in particular:

Helmets, by MrDoubleA: Do you like the helmets from Super Mario Maker? This package adds them.
Water currents, by 9thCore: Getting this sort of thing just right, especially with water physics, is trickier than you'd think, but this package has it all done for you!
Celeste Red Orb, by Core: If you're familiar with Celeste then you already know how this works.
MrDoubleA's NPC Pack: A bunch of NPCs in one thread! Including
  • One way gates from Super Mario Maker
  • Seesaws
  • Stackable NPCs
  • Mechakoopa variations
  • Chain Chomps
  • And more!
This thread alone is worth looking at, MDA has been one of the more prolific creators making stuff. Hell, the Seesaws alone function as semi-solid slopes!

Using these or any other flashing add-ons are not at all necessary to make levels, but they're there if you want to give them a shot. And please don't be shy about asking for help on how to do any of this if you're interested. Either here or in the #smbx channel in the discord.
 
Alexa, play Super Mario Brothers 2:

Amazon Fire

I figured we needed more SMB2 content (shoutouts to Din, if you're reading), so here's a mid-game SMB2 level. I went back to look at some OG SMB2 levels so that I could really make an SMB2-like level, rather than just "SMW with SMB2 enemies". So, there are several discrete "rooms", a little bit of non-linearity, and some potentially valuable buried items.

One interesting feature of SMBX's implementation of Phanto is that you can set him to guard any NPC of choice, rather than only a key. In this case, I have him guarding the flamethrower block, which I thought was an interesting way of balancing an otherwise powerful item. Besides that, I tried to make this level light on the gimmicks, and focus more on careful and interesting NPC placement.

The Albatosses are by SMBX forum user Boingboingsplat; all other Lua stuff is by yours truly.

The background here is (by intent) similar to Rainforest Crunch, so they should probably go together in the same world.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok, first of all the pun in the level title and in Kirby's text nearly made my eyes roll out of my head (I love it).

Before I get into comments on the level itself, I have to question the structure of the secret exit room and the use of an unfinished NPC, unfortunately. We really shouldn't be using unfinished NPCs because how they work could be completely changed (or they could be removed) in future builds, but also because unfinished NPCs are not available to select in the tabs normally for good reason.

But with that out of the way, I do like the aesthetics of the stage (and the aforementioned wordplay), and I also like the code that causes a POW effect when a bomb touches lava, it's a nice touch (and it primes the player for the obstacles later where Albatosses are dropping POW blocks).

The Phanto-guarded flamethrower feels like a bit of a swerve in the latter half of the level. It's thematically related because it spews fire, I suppose, and it's good for finding the last Star Coin, but I think the last section would be better if it took the challenges from earlier in the stage.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
There's a new patch out for SMBX 2.0, which you can download at the same link. If you haven't downloaded it at all yet then the normal full download includes it, but if you have you can just download the patch (Patch 3 w/hotfix) and extract and overwrite the files in your SMBX2 directory.
 
Amazon Fire v3:
  • Replaced the magic carpet in the secret exit route with my own lua-based NPC instead of a reskin of Redigit's buggy airship piece. There are still a few little tweaks I wish I could get working with it, but I feel like this is good enough
  • Fixed a section that had the wrong music
  • As far as the Phanto section ... I guess I'm going to push back a little because I feel many original SMB2 levels have several disparate parts, and I was deliberately trying to echo that. But, I did reorder some of the rooms to try to make the level feel more integrated. Now, instead of the juxtaposition of one section without Phanto and then a long section with Phanto, you have a Phanto room -> the Albatoss/POW room -> a Phanto room. That way it should feel more like challenges from earlier in the stage are recurring. Give this version and tell me if it works any better for you.
Ok, first of all the pun in the level title and in Kirby's text nearly made my eyes roll out of my head (I love it).

Hah, thank you :p Glad you enjoyed!
 
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A new day dawns:

Daybreak in Block Land

New puzzle-based Challenge level, advancing and expanding on the mechanics of "Midnight in Block Land."

The color palette here is meant to evoke the early morning, when the sun is still struggling to rise over the horizon, and you're not sure if it really qualifies as "daytime" yet.
 
Getting spooked isn't hard when you have a library card:

La Boo-blioteca

"It's a Ghost House, but..." ...it's a library!

This was originally part of a different level, but I decided to spin it off because I thought the gimmick could use some space to breathe in its own level.

I'm suggesting this for early game (maybe even world 1?) because I don't think any of the puzzles is actually particularly difficult. There's also no checkpoint on the main route through the level because it's short enough that I don't think it really makes sense to have one.

The secret exit is a little trickier and does have a checkpoint en route ... but, hey, it's a secret exit.
 
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Another level that I can post now that the basegame bug fix (in this case, to Mutant Vines) is in place:

Arboreal Acropolis

Early-game Challenge level, using a gimmick that I felt wouldn't work well as a full level for a number of reasons.
 
Aside from the aqueducts, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Royal Aqueducts

As subtly implied by Kirby's dialogue, this level is a loose tribute to one of my favorite episodes from SMBX1: Super Mario Star Expedition. You've got a mix of horizontal, vertical, and boxy areas, with some detours into small side rooms to activate a switch. And the backgrounds are rich and detailed.

This also uses MrDoubleA's seesaws! It can still be a little easy to slip off the edges, so I was careful to place them where falling off wouldn't hurt you.

The "aqueducts" are my creation; I was looking for some new ways to use the aquatic NPCs.

Lastly, I used some of Spoony's squeak-family enemies. I know Spoony was hoping that they could be more gently introduced in an easier level, so here they are.

Appropriate for world 2 (the water world) or maybe even in world 1.
 
Royal Aqueducts v2:
  • Improved the AI of the Wild Piranha Plants (originally by SMBX forum user GtW) so that they also go dormant if the player moves away from them vertically, which makes them play nicer with the vertical section
  • Tweaked the enemy placement in the vertical section
  • Fixed some very minor graphical issues
 
Everything's better down where it's wetter:

Aquatic Acropolis v1

Another new challenge level! This one uses the player-controlled mutant vine, so depending on the final level ordering we may (or may not) need to include an explainer Kirby if the player won't have seen that yet.
 
New full-length level!

Super Carrot Scramble

The carrot countdown platform is a favorite in many SMW hacks, and I was watching one when I came up with an idea for an SMBX that interacts with it--and a new level that features it. I used the Super Carrot visual from SML2 (even though this NPC doesn't actually turn you into Bunny Mario, heh).

So, the Super Carrot is by me; the Silver P-Switch also featured in this level is by WhimWidget.

Definitely late-game difficulty (although a couple of the Switch Palaces can help you out here). It should probably go in the same world as the Dangling Gardens since it shares some of the same visuals and NPCs.
 
And a challenge level for today:

This is How We Grrrol

I just had this vision of having to dodge around a Grrrol that kept rolling back and forth, and this little Challenge level was the result. Pretty straightforward, but could serve as a soft introduction to Grrrols if desired.

Partially shares a tileset with Twisted Root Tunnel, in terms of world placement.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok I'm way behind, but let's run through these real quick:

Amazon Fire: Updates look good, the new carpet NPC seems to function properly. Reaching the secret exit area I still find to be a bit tricky since you just get one shot at it, but since it's right in the first section it's not too bad.

Daybreak in Block Land: Looks good. I know it's not your code, though I think the extending blocks shouldn't play SFX when you leave the section. Shouldn't be too hard to suss that out though.

La Boo-blioteca: Really clever gimmick here. It took a bit for me to figure out what connection the bookshelves had to anything but the level opened up once I did. I'm not sure how you're meant to get to the secret exit path, I just flew up to the pipe with the powerups the level provided for me once I found the room, not sure if another way is intended. One weird thing, in the top left corner of the main bookstacks room there's a ghost house railing BGO just kinda sticking out.

Arboreal Arcopolis: Cool challenge stage, I like the interaction between the BGO switchers and the mutant vines. Not really hard but just what a challenge stage should be.

Royal Aqueduct: I like the look and feel of this stage. It's very chill. I had more trouble with the second Star Coin room than I think I should have, though, I just had a hard time getting the timing down for those platforms. Oh and regarding the expanded Piranha Plant NPCs from MDA, there's an update in its thread which corrects an issue where they render behind everything, it's just not added to the main download yet.

Aquatic Arcopolis: Another good challenge stage. I like the focus on the controllable mutant vines (we'll see if an explanation is necessary, dependent on its placement in the game). Main criticism I have is how warp pipes to the next room can appear on top of the player. You have it set up so that you can't just be zipped out of bounds, but maybe doors would be more elegant?

Super Carrot Scramble: Really dig the look and feel of this one too, though it needs some polish. The gimmick is really clever, though I feel the carrot platforms go a bit to fast in a couple of places, even accounting for late game difficulty (I'm mostly thinking of where you have to get ahead of it, either jump ahead to grab a carrot below it or the part where you have to dig through sand, the timing is pretty tight). Also, a lot of the enemies in the sub-section near the end seem to be placed in a weird way and fall through the blocks. Maybe this was done to account for the Silver P-Switch somehow, though I missed that on my first run and saw most of the hammer bros and moles just plummet offscreen. And the Venus Fire Traps seem to float way above the pipe too, but they look placed properly in the editor.

This is how we Grrrol: This challenge stage is definitely a bit on the harder side, so it'll have to be placed late. But it's a good usage of the Grrrol enemy. I wonder if that Podobo is really necessary? The main conciet of the stage is to make use of and also avoid the Grrrol, so that one Podobo takes away from it, I feel.


Alright, I think that's all of em. I have to make sure I don't let a backlog like that happen again.
 
Royal Aqueducts v4:
  • Revised the room with the 2nd Star Coin, making it shorter and easier. Since the original version wasn't buggy, just too difficult for this point in the game, I saved a copy of the original room and may use parts of it later on.
  • Added the fix to MDA's Piranha Plants that fixes their interaction with backgrounds
Royal Aqueduct: I like the look and feel of this stage. It's very chill.

Thanks--that was definitely the vibe I was going for. I like to think that a level can be a compelling place to explore and discover even without something trying to gank you at every turn
 
Aquatic Arcopolis: Another good challenge stage. I like the focus on the controllable mutant vines (we'll see if an explanation is necessary, dependent on its placement in the game). Main criticism I have is how warp pipes to the next room can appear on top of the player. You have it set up so that you can't just be zipped out of bounds, but maybe doors would be more elegant?

Durrrr, why didn't I think of that? You are right that I took care to place the pipes so that they won't zip you, but I have no idea why I didn't think of just using doors.

So, Aquatic Acropolis v2:
  • Changed all of the forward transitions to use doors
  • Set the 1-Up Mushroom to "Don't Move" so it's easier to pick up
  • Removed the "underwater" property in the final room because it felt jarring
  • Removed some unused graphics from the level folder
 
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Super Carrot Scramble v3:

I made several sections of the level easier. SpoonyBard suggested that carrot platforms moved too fast. That is their basegame speed, and I'm reluctant to mess with it, especially since they already have been used in at least one other level. What I did instead was to make the surrounding territory easier to navigate, by adding more space to move. Since you no longer have to line up such precise jumps, it's easier to stay ahead of the carrot platforms.

Also, the weird stuff in the bonus area (which I'd missed in testing, my bad!) was due to a limitation of the Silver P-Switch NPC I downloaded. It doesn't like when you cross sections after hitting the switch. I put in a kludgy fix for now--it doesn't support two players, not that that matters for STTB3--and may take a more extensive look later if I want to use this NPC more.

This is How We Grrrol v2:

Removed the Diagonal Podoboo and moved to late game.

This is how we Grrrol: This challenge stage is definitely a bit on the harder side, so it'll have to be placed late.

Wow, really? I certainly didn't mean it to be that difficult, but fair enough. I can reskin the level if needed to fit into a late-game level.
 
La Boo-blioteca v2:
  • Fixed a broken BGO
  • Added some P-Switch coins explicitly cuing the player to fly up towards the secret exit path--so, yes, Spoony, what you did was the intended solution, but I wanted to make that more clear
 
And, now, a new level!

Aa! Lava!

I created this level to use some of the new fire NPCs. I also included the red shoe--as an optional power-up in the first half, and a necessary part of the level in the second--because I find it especially interesting to play with: It turns what's one of the deadliest obstacles (lava) into a helpful platform.

Although lava levels are often designed as apocalyptic hellscapes, I designed this one more to resemble a volcanic island, with a certain kind of stark natural beauty. In line with that, it's targeted more at early-to-mid difficulty than endgame.

The title is a reference to the fact that--as every player of the board game Scrabble knows--"aa" is a kind of lava.
 
New level submission:

Emerald Ridge

On Discord, Spoony suggested the idea of revisiting some of the level gimmicks from previous STTB games. So, this level combines mechanics from two of my STTB2 stages: Cloudy With a Chance of Coins, and the bonus area of Chocolate Quik Sand. Plus, Spoony already made a nicely parallxed version of the Cloud With a Chance of Coins background, and I had to use that somewhere.

SMB1 aesthetics here, mostly because I was using some of MDA's new piranha plants (don't worry, Spoony, it uses the updated AI), but also just for variety.

Early-to-mid difficultly (I hope). This level was kinda designed with the idea of slotting into the "aboveground" portion of Spoony's idea for a combined above/under-ground world, but if it's too difficult for that, it could go later in the "mountain" world.
 
Maybe Black Mesa / That was a joke, haha, fat chance

Block Mesa Research Facility

Since Din has registered on the new forums, I decide to make another set of portal-pipe puzzles in his honor ;) . This set focuses on the ability to carry held items through the pipes, as well as their interactions with special block types (hence the title). These might be the trickiest test chambers yet! But hopefully not too tricky.
 

Isrieri

My father told me this would happen
I wrote all of this in notepad and tried to just play a few levels every evening. Time is something I'm short on right now so I couldn't get too in-depth, so I apologize if my comments aren't as helpful as you guys would like.

Even though we're not done yet we really really could use a few playtesters at this point. Going through the backlog all on my lonesome you run out of constructive things to critique pretty fast, especially with older stages. I planned on properly sorting through the stages into categories but I haven't even gone through all the levels. I'm just gonna post what I have for now.

Sorry that its unformated but I really gotta eat something I've been living on nachos all week!


==========================================================
General Comments

--Our music tracks keep varying in volume. Some are loud, some are too quiet. On occasion they'll even reduce in volume on section transitions???
--Remind me to make the star coins save upon collection.
--SMW 1up mushroom doesn't go right.
--Coins eaten by yoshi don't add to the coin counter.
--If I'm gonna make any levels they are now going to all be iterative levels. I can't go making my own original concepts when there's so much to already explore right here. I only had like 2 original ideas anyway.
--Personal note: I didn't have a problem with these pipe transitions at first but I didn't realize how much they'd slow everything down. I hate them now. Same with the ASMT dialogue.
--Cherries don't work.

==========================================================

Curse of the Mummy - *****

--The first star coin is just finding an invisible vine at the start. I would make that coin need a P-Switch instead.
--Dying in the first area of the temple sends you back to the start which isn't terrible but adding a checkpoint at the entrance would streamline it more.
--Great boss!

Frosting Crossing - ****

--First star coin should be clued in better. I knew to look for it this time so it made more sense, but that's why first impressions are so important.
--The stage isn't too hard if you take it slow, but that first jump in the caves where you need to land on the trouter is pretty tough. It was pits that killed me every time.
--Having an ice flower is also very very helpful. Without it things get hectic very fast.

One Night in Pipe City - *

--I really love this stage and its music.
--The only thing I can think to comment is that the two goombas at the start could be removed to no detriment.

Wooden Waltz - *

--Pretty much everything I said in my first review still applies, but I will emphasize that the stage feels a little bit crowded with enemies.
--There's a hidden 1up that made me fall to my death cuz its right next to a ledge! You've already got one upstairs, just get rid of the one below.
--I actually really don't like that third star coin. That would be better if you put it up high or required bringing the Kuriboh shoe along to get it.
--Once you hit the rail the skys are barren! Some clouds up there with coins that let you skip the rail would be ideal. Maybe a second rail. Its up to you, but it needs something.

Challenge: Beeping Blocks

--You still need to put a wall on the right side to prevent players from exiting accidentally.

Candy Cane Clouds - ***

--The stage itself is challenging but fun. Eveytime I play its the star coins that keep bothering me.
--The star coin in the first section is probably the most involved and I fell down or died attempting it a lot. It doesn't necessarily need to be changed but if you made it more forgiving no one would complain.
--The second one just feels lame. If its gonna be a prize for the bonus room (which is hard to spot) you may as well have put it in there. Replacing the yoshi coin with the sumo bros would be more interesting, and the bonus room would give you some blocks or a turtle to knock them out from above. Alternatively, putting it above the smw plants would also be a good spot. Third one's fine but the coin trail combined with the rail are a little misleading. I would do it like this:


Hop Hop Bumper Blocks - *****

--I like this stage more and more each time I revisit it. Hard as balls.
--Its a deceptively difficult stage because of how chaotic the bouncing can get. Its incredibly hard to be precise on the springs in a stage that asks for precision. Man is it fun though.
--The autoscrolling is beautiful. I love the secret exit.
--There's a gusty-thing patrolling up and down the coin trail near the start that absolutely needs to go. I didn't get hit by him but, like, why is he there? I don't think there's another one anywhere else in the stage.
--Speaking of which when I was prowling in the editor I found Link! Excellent!
--Those spinies that bounce off the ghost springs are a good obstacle but they'd have been better served being later in the stage because the ghost spring set right after them are a much better introduction to how they work. I mean, we probably just need to introduce these concepts in an earlier stage.
--I found out that the ghost springs can bounce your fireballs!
--You realize this game is gonna be a completionist's nightmare, right? Anybody who so much as entertains wanting to get all the star coins is gonna have a bad time.

Mangrove Cavern

--I can't get the propellers to line up. Thus I can't proceed. Even cheating my way forward, whenever a propeller is offscreen, it never seems to sync correctly.

Petey's Playhouse - ***

--That first star coin has always bothered me but now I think I know why: Just move the dragon coin in the main castle to the left side.
--Still one of my favorite stages.

Rammerhead Reef - **

--I'd go so far as to say this is one of the best water levels ever. Maybe half of that is just my joy at being able to swim without needing to jam my finger on X the whole way.
--I got nothing bad to say about this. I love it.

Return to Cheese Mountain -- ******

--Still super hard. Still super cool. I love that they eat the cheese!
--Still need a checkpoint in the third star coin room.
--Still need someone other than us devs to playtest these levels. Seriously this stage is super hard I'm not kidding around with you all.

Seaside Shenanigans - *

--Nice and rompy. Solid.

Sunset Saunter - **

--I can blast through this stage like nobody's business now. Its very hard to place this stage because it has a dynamic difficulty where it gets harder the longer you take to complete it. That's really cool. Probably wouldn't want this in W1 but its a nice breezy addition to the game. This is probably my number 2 behind petey's playhouse.

Tapped Out - ***

--The hardest thing here, get this, is the camera. The fact that there's so many highs, lows, ups and downs, means its hard to see what's below you. The tap taps themselves are super fun to bully.
--Something genuinely strange happened here. You've got this high ceiling in your stage right? HUGE EMPTY SPACE just for one bonus room. So I resized the level and shaved off all of that. Suddenly, scuttlebugs. Scuttlebugs where there were none before. They didn't appear in the level until after I resized the stage. Those things are super finicky - they only appear when they feel like it. I don't know what to tell you with that one.
--One of the star coins is behind a wall with a jumping tap tap. Putting him behind the wall is a little cheap. Stick him on the ledge just before the wall, and some veggies to throw at him, and voila!

This is Cannon - *



Thunderhead Skyway - ***

--All my comments from my previous critiques regarding the star coins and the moon and all that still apply.
--This stage feels easier than Candy Cane Clouds. Or rather they're kinda comporable. This is not an issue, I just thought it was funny that the darker stage was the easier one to make things out visually.
--I love the aesthetic here. The rain lighting and music are all perfect.

A Number of Munchers - *

--Underwhelming. Yep its those munchers alright. There's nothing wrong with the stage its just kinda boring.
--I'd rack my brains to try to come up with a better suggestion but there's like a million more levels to review!

A Salt Assault - **

--What a surreal stage, visually. I like it! I had a bad time playing at first because I didn't understand how to use Rosalina but with some practice its not bad at all!
--This is another stage where we're gonna need a lot of playtesters' opinions. Rosalina is what I'd call a "per-level character" so if someone's been playing Mario the whole game and now must switch to her their experience will depend on what rosalina levels they've played before they get to this one.
--I like the way you designed this. Two thumbs up.

Aa! Lava! - ***

--This was amazing! What a fun lava level! There's one big glaring problem however: You're giving players ice flowers, and you've made a podoboo crucial to progress. What if someone iceballs it? They're boned! A couple of semisolid platforms should shore that problem up.

Amazon Fire - ****

--You HAVE to take this level slow, there's no getting around it. This isn't a bad thing but there's some design choices that don't compliment that goal very well.
--For instance at the very beginning the first mushroom is all the way at the foot of the cliff. So you have to go pull it out then walk back and jump up the platforms. If you die a lot you have to do this every time. Its a time waster.
--There's so many enemies at the beginning that when those birds drop the enemies in on you its harder to notice what's about to happen. Even when you do know its hard to keep track when you're worried a beezo will come flying in any moment.
--The bridge of death is too high! When you have those birds at the top of the screen, there's a fair amount of time to react. Not much, but some. If you don't know they'll be carrying pow blocks, its a trap you can't possibly forsee. However its a really cool idea that I think would work better if you made that section purely about the pow blocks. Get rid of everything else and make it a challenge of platforming and timing. Maybe have a FEW beezos, but only one or two at a time!
--IF EVER THERE WAS A LEVEL where you could use a Yoshi its this one. Especially at the start. It makes a world of difference. If you don't give one at the start, then there should be an easy way to bring one here. It also could create for more interesting scenarios in the cave.

Aquatic, Arboreal, & Autumnal Acropolis - *

--Good stuff! I like these mini challenges, and its probably for the best that they're bite sized like this.

Black Mesa Research Facility, Conduit Science Labs, & Thinking With Pipes - **

--These pipes, if you throw them against a wall just right, will vanish. Its lame because other NPCs don't do that. *sigh*
--Now these mini challenges I wish we could make into a full level! These are amazing, its a real shame about that bug.

Bubbling Bog - *

--Quirky and fun! I think its pretty great.

Chocolate Donuts - **

--The buzzsaws in the second half seem to be the only way up onto the ledge to the left, but the saws are a little too low.
--Link keeps showing up!! No one told me!
--The secret exit is NIFTY.
--You've got a long wait time between the pipe maze and the halfway point. You could totally fit two little rooms down to give players some "target practice." What do I mean by that? Stress relief! Or who knows?

Circus Maximus - ***

--The thing with the switches is that they don't switch when you only hop a little bit, you have to do the full big jump for the switch to trigger. BUT when you spin jump it triggers right away as it should. This drives me insane. Why does it work that way!?!? This isn't a knock against you qu_marsh its me whinging about why we can't have nice things.
--Otherwise this level is damn solid. I loved it start to finish. Great stuff as always. Getting to take out all the hammer bros at the exit was fun!

Crumbling Crypt - GHOST

--Its increaingly getting harder to comment on all of these, especially considering I've played most of 'em already! This one is way better than the previous version.
--I've got a lot of admiration for good ghost houses. They are super hard to design. They're also kind of in a class of their own regarding difficulty because I can't measure them by the same metric. So we're gonna rate this one GHOST and move on.

Doki Doki Pinic

--Extensive! I played this a while back too, but didn't comment on it because I didn't have much to criticise. Still has this bug though: Potion door is broken.


Driftwood Docks - **

--Driftwood Docks more like wet flip flops

Emerald Ridge - **

--Hey I remember these stages! Go Mario! Pop the teeth!
--Its got that qu_marsh seal of quality. Remember Isrieri, you can't jump through the mushrooms. Don't worry about the thwomps just time your ju-AHHH YOU DID IT AGAIN YOU GOOF.

Eyepatch Isles - GHOST

--Still a lot of fun in both its secrets and theming.

Fettuccine Foothills - *

--I love how Kirby flies in.
--I should probably adjust that lettering at some point to make them pop up a bit more smoothly.

Ghost Treehouse - GHOST

--Still love the use of the pop-out coin thing. Its awesome that you can put anything in there, moreso that it even makes an outline!

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SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
New update to the Devkit. I had hoped to also update the level pack as well as updates to my stages, but that'll come next week.

New to the devkit:

*Fixed Cherries (somehow, some way, the image files for the cherry HUD got misplaced)
*Fixed warp transitions for SMB2 potion doors
*Added all levels posted since last devkit update to the test map (hereafter referred to as Alpha Map)
*Added World 1 of the actual world map (hereafter referred to as Beta Map), accessed by the Star Road warp near the start of the Alpha Map

Known Issues:

*Occasionally when loading the game for the first time you may get an error suggesting the game can't find an image, this is due to the loading screen images and I'm still not sure how to get around it, but it doesn't happen consistently and even when it does it only happens upon starting a new game and loading into the Intro.lvl
*Leaving Subcon through the first door (adjacent to Doki Doki Picnic) will always bring you back to the Alpha Map, even if you enter the door on the Beta Map. This won't be an issue in the final game.

It's feedback for World 1's map I'm most interested in. I made use of the world map gfx from the prototype SMW that leaked awhile back to give it a different look to STTB2 and 2.5, though the overall construction is still similar. There are empty level spaces, the diamond switch palace, the boss stage, and at least one more normal level. Maybe an underground level? World 1s always have one of them. Though, with respect to Qu_Marsh, I'd really like to see some others contribute, and a World 1 underground level is as good a place to start as any!

And, as always, we really need more hands in general, either making or testing levels. You can download the level pack in the first post of the thread, or you can download levels individually on the wiki. Please post here, or in the #smbx channel on the Discord, if you have any issues or questions.
 
*cracks knuckles*

Been super-swamped with my day job for a while, but let's get back to it.

Thanks for such extensive reviewing and testing, Isrieri. Some updates:

Emerald Ridge v3:
  • Tweaked the beginning of the level to show that the mushroom platforms are solid and you'll hit your head on them
Aa! Lava! v2:
  • There's a point where you need to use the red shoe to ride a Podoboo upwards. Isrieri pointed out that you could get stuck here if you froze the Podoboo with an ice flower, which is a big oops. I changed some things here to use a respawning enemy instead.
Chocolate Donuts v2:
  • Isrieri suggested breaking up the long commute to the midpoint with two rooms of "target practice." I have to admit that I'm not sure what exactly you had in mind, but I added something that I thought matched the description. Lemme know what you think.
  • Changed the spot where you spin-jump off the saws to be 1 tile lower, making it easier
  • Replaced some of the coins with blue coins since they are SMW parlance for "spin jump"
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
One thing that has me puzzled is the audio levels. It seems as if the BGM on stage start is fine, but as soon as the BGM changes the audio is lowered significantly. I seems to be caused by one of the A2XT scripts, either Pause or Config, but I can't isolate it specifically. Hrm.

Anyway, stags! I finally got off my duff and made some edits to my stages based on Isrieri's recommendations.

Big changes:

Candy Cane Clouds: Changed each of the Star Coins slightly, the first one should be a bit easier to get, the second one has been moved into the bonus room (and the pipe for which has been telegraphed a bit more clearly) and the third one has been redone to something similar to Isrieri's suggestion. Looking back the whole 'bring the P-Switch to the end of the stage then follow the coins backwards' wasn't the slightest bit intuitive. I also added some blocks in the third room which only appear if you're playing as Peach or Rosalina since they can't spin jump. Testing the waters there, how do we feel about subtle changes to stages that only appear on a per-character basis?

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.

Smaller changes:

This is Cannon: I mentioned this in a previous post but for posterity's sake, the stage's lua now calls the right clearpipe script.

Challenge - Beeping Blocks: Stage is now OSHA compliant and has a safety wall behind the right section boundary.

Hop Hop Bumper Blocks: Gusty? What Gusty?

Petey's Playhouse: Moved that one dragon coin to better hint the pipe to the first bonus section.

Tapped Out: Lowered the section boundary to help with Scuttlebug spawning. Also moved the Tap-Tap near the second star coin out from behind the wall, and added vegetables to smack it.

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?
 
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