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  #61  
Old 11-03-2011, 03:57 PM
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Yeah, I still say tone down that double white outline, but other than that you're golden.
Yep!
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  #62  
Old 11-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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Well there's still a bit of graphical work that needs to be done, a few more enemies need to be reskinned and a few tiles need to be edited, but I suppose the level is good enough to show off. Download Tatanga's Starbase here.

Don't have a World assigned yet since I'm not quite sure where it should go. Difficulty can be adjusted as needed.
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  #63  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:27 PM
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My take on World 1-1 (Or as I like to call it, World 1-1, tribute) is ready for testing. Aside from the gimmick which I won't spoil here, it's meant to teach the player all of the basic mechanics that SMBX shoved into one Mario game so they're all out of the way and explained before the player even leaves the first stage. Thankfully this feeds into the idea I had in mind. Let me know what you think!

Spoony, I love your level, but I haven't finished it because I only made it past the anti gravity area once, died shortly there after, and then I couldn't get past it again. The part where you squeeze between lava on the top and bottom is too difficult for me. I wouldn't suggest changing it unless I'm just dumb and other people have no trouble though.
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  #64  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:09 AM
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Dunno if this is the time to be really discussing gameplay issues, but...

Tatanga's Starbase:
Something felt... incorrect, about the hitbox on the boss. I'm not sure why, but I was "missing" five and six times in a row - extremely frustrating on a boss where there's no safe spots.

There are a few considerations.

First of all, I eventually cheesed it and just threw a hammer suit on. The hitbox then was a lot more generous; I think, therefore, since there's a fairly difficult level in between the midpoint and the boss, putting an extra path or challenge somewhere on the way with that as a reward would be pretty generous.

Second, given the number of things with this boss - no safe spots, your attack can only start with his attack, instant death lava - he strikes me in his current state as a boss that is built up over time. In other words, I think the difficulty with some slight modifications would be fine if he were also preceded by a number of largely identical bosses that slowly added on all the gimmicks encountered. Else, I think there's too many things going on in this boss battle. A lot could be gained by putting more things for roboyoshi to eat in the section, and maybe changing at least one of the conveyor belts to a stationary platform.

Third, I would consider the level in between the midpoint and the boss to be a pretty sharp increase in difficulty - I think this is another "safe spot" issue, seeings how it's instant death above, below, and beside you.

Fourth and finally, and this is quite a minor problem in contrast(and probably lends itself to the "sharp increase" problem), the skull ride in the first part of the level is both long and boring. I'm not really sure how to improve it without making it shorter or increasing the challenge(and challenge doesn't mix well with skull rides).

Oh, and as an aside... The seperate doors for Mario and Luigi

Just my thoughts, opinions, etc etc etc.

ETA:
I would like to add so I don't sound like a completely pretentious jerk that I did like the overall idea behind the level, and I think the palette is acceptable - the window borders seem quite clearly non-platformy.




I'll have to think a bit more on the above proposed World 1-1.


I would like to say though that on a general scale, I don't really like 1-tile-high grounds in SMBX. Maybe it's just a trick of the eye, but I think we end up with a whole lot of dead space in the sky above the characters. The underground will be wasted too, but I think if we at least give a few blocks for the ground it'll balance things out a little bit. (Notably, SMW tends to do this too. It makes vertical scrolling a little less jarring.)
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  #65  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:40 AM
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I gotta say, ASandoval, your 1-1 isn't looking so good. I think its biggest problem is that it just plods. It's very long, so it's no fun to die and replay, and it's kind of boring and doesn't do much to establish anything.

A good 1-1 needs to set the tone of the game and introduce you to it easy, but also make a splash and set up some key gimmicks.

So with Kayin's permission, I've tweaked his level, Moderately Green. It's short, it's got solid design, and this version now introduces two important things: NPC Kirby and the way he talks (though not with a proper sprite yet), and the standard end-of-level design.

The typical endzone this time around is as follows: a Giant Gate with the tape starting at ten blocks off the ground, with a striped "finish line" floor like Yoshi's Island and Super Princess Peach, a small SMB1 Fort at the right edge of the screen, and enough space for Mario to walk away leaving the gate near the left edge of the screen when he's gone. This design was deliberately laid out to look as visually striking as possible, given the limitations of the engine.
The height of the Gate can be increased, too, depending on the level. The goaltape NPC is placed in the editor at the topmost position, and during play it goes down until it hits the floor. It scales quite well. But I recommend a minimum height of ten blocks. Also, you should always provide some way for the player to hit the goaltape at the very top.

A typical Red Star is placed inside the SMB3 Star Box from last time. Eventually, we'll re-skin that box (and perhaps the Star itself) to something more appropriate.

Download 1-1: Moderately Green here and please post any feedback you might have.

Last edited by Zaidyer; 11-04-2011 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Quick version update!
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  #66  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:54 AM
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Length was my one big fear before I put anything on paper, considering its supposed to be a World 1-1 medley, so that's noted (And would also be nice if you could have more than one check point, but that's an engine limitation). You're going to have to be more specific about what I could do to spruce it up, though - the idea was to establish different game features, like unique character powers, picking up and moving enemies/objects etc., and each section does that to some degree based on its section.

Moderately Green is a good level, though, so I wouldn't be too butt hurt using it instead. Though I don't understand the huge pit at the very beginning of the level, nor could I find Kirby in the level (and I looked using the editor); did you upload the correct version?

EDIT: Nevermind, playing correct version now; ignore above.
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  #67  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ASandoval View Post
Moderately Green is a good level, though, so I wouldn't be too butt hurt using it instead. Though I don't understand the huge pit at the very beginning of the level, nor could I find Kirby in the level (and I looked using the editor); did you upload the correct version?
I uploaded the wrong version the first time. Download it again, I've corrected it.
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  #68  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:08 AM
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It takes some ingenuity, but early ice flower + infinite koopa spout = extremely easy lives.

Is this intended?
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  #69  
Old 11-04-2011, 02:48 AM
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I'll get around to testing out the levels that have been posted thus far just as soon as I can!

In the meantime, here's my leftover level from STTB1. I made one small change just now, but it's otherwise unchanged since February, so any and all feedback would be much appreciated. Hopefully it's fun!
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  #70  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by papasmurf1038 View Post
I'll get around to testing out the levels that have been posted thus far just as soon as I can!

In the meantime, here's my leftover level from STTB1. I made one small change just now, but it's otherwise unchanged since February, so any and all feedback would be much appreciated. Hopefully it's fun!
I want to stress that everyone read the rules list on the wiki for STTB 2. You need to change the goal, add your name to the filename, and pick a world.

Anyway, this level is good in concept, but there are a few issues:
  • What's the theme, here? Scaffolding? Airships? There's wood everywhere and it seems to be there just for the sake of being there. There's a good idea here somewhere, but I would say it needs a little cleanup.
  • Propeller Blocks can only be picked up from the sides, and so they're hard to grab when they come out of a lone Prize Block. Give those Prize Blocks some buddies so the player is able to stand next to the Propeller Block and pick it up more easily.
  • I feel like the "Terra Tubes" segment at the end would be better served as its own unique zone of the level, rather than sharing with a huge room full of loads and loads of other things.
  • Random lone spikes in various places are kind of annoying and they almost never look good. You can go with spike beds, or spike-studded obstacles, but never leave a lone spike in the path just to be there.
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  #71  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:30 AM
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Also regarding ASandoval's 1-1, the Banzai Bill right at the end was kind of a dick move, especially if this was going to be a World 1 level. But at least it's a much better take on the 'every 1-1 in a row' concept that Super RMN Bros had.

Also, is the striped floor for the goal gate necessary for every stage? I used a gate to end off the Starbase, but only because I wasn't sure how we were going to be ending boss stages yet (and whether or not this was going to be a world boss stage, or a mid-boss or what).

Anyway, I made some tweaks to the Starbase. I shortened the skull ride, shaved off some of the Dark Matter in the anti-gravity section to make it more forgiving, and gave you some stable footing for the Tatanga fight.

I'm not sure what issues you're having with his hitbox though, Kadj, in my tests if a vegetable so much as grazes his sprite when he's firing it hits him. Like Wart, he's only vulnerable when his 'mouth' is open, but unlike Wart in this engine the bubbles don't destroy the 'vegetables' (which I'll eventually resprite to random bits of spacejunk for this stage).

Updated stage here.

Or you can just download the lvl file here if you already downloaded it earlier and have all the music and graphics.
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  #72  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:17 AM
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Striped goal floor worked pretty well in Yoshi's Island. The Gates are striped the same way, and they're based on finish-line gates anyway, so why not run with that?

Boss stages can end with the "?" Ball from SMB3. (I'll add it to the Rules list.)

Also, the problem with Tatanga (aside from the incredibly unforgiving room layout) is that you're not specifically told he can only be harmed while he's shooting at you. It took me a minute to remember Wart's gimmick was forcing him to eat the veggies you threw at him, but Tatanga has no such gimmick here.
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  #73  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:36 AM
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One of the signs (which I intend to re-tile as a computer) mentions the Roboshis can exploit a flaw in Tatanga's cannon, and they're the only other thing in the room with the boss. I'm fine with making it less obtuse, but we have to allow the player some time to figure it out on their own without holding their hand completely. Next time I get at the editor I can make the room less dangerous, though, that's easy enough. Part of the reason I made it so deadly is because of the reliable supply of Roboshis, which give you a free hit available pretty much at all times. In a situation like that, instant death is really the ONLY threat.

In one of my earlier designs for the stage I had a puzzle that required you to use a Roboshi to hit an enemy on the other side of a solid wall to open a door, hence the infinitely spawning Roboshis and Shroob Rexes in that one part of the stage. But it felt so sloppy and forced I decided to scrap it and just let the player play around with it on his own.

I suppose I should mention that this idea came from me wanting to find SOME use for the Pink Yoshi, which converts almost everything into Vegetables. Wart was the natural choice there, and since I had already sprited Tatanga out of Wart, it seemed like the best thing to do. But balancing the boss room so that it's hard enough to be challenging (due to infinite Yoshis) but not so hard it's impossible is tough.

I suppose one other thing I could try would be to remove the Dark Matter from the main floor (only leaving it on the boss's platform to keep the player from getting behind Tatanga and cheesing it), giving the player only one Roboshi to use, and adding one or two other standard obstacles (Rotodisc or a Podobo or something) to still make it kind of dangerous, but not instant-death dangerous.
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  #74  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:44 AM
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Hello.

This is a standard haunted puzzle house level, but the clues as to where you should go are slightly more visible than in my previous works. But, still, don't stop until you're sure you've gone as far as you can.
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  #75  
Old 11-04-2011, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Also regarding ASandoval's 1-1, the Banzai Bill right at the end was kind of a dick move, especially if this was going to be a World 1 level. But at least it's a much better take on the 'every 1-1 in a row' concept that Super RMN Bros had.
Noted, however I'm thinking we should just go with Kayin/Zaidyer's level. It's a fine level and I'd rather spend my time making new ones rather than tweak something when we already have a a perfectly serviceable one.

Now if you guys want, we could throw mine into World 9 and I can make necessary tweaks (remove Kirbys, tweaks etc.) nearing the end of the submission deadline.
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  #76  
Old 11-04-2011, 07:49 AM
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Hello.

This is a standard haunted puzzle house level, but the clues as to where you should go are slightly more visible than in my previous works. But, still, don't stop until you're sure you've gone as far as you can.
I solved this one by remembering to walk through the floors. It took me a while to realize that the floors were also being used as ceilings, which the player can jump through, which he can use to go above the screen to find the real exit. If he pushes hard enough on the edges of the screen up there, that is.

Here's what you might want to do:
  • Put coins along the "fake" ceiling and widen the stepping stone by one more block, to encourage players to think of jumping through the ceiling. As is, players are expected to look for a darkish brown thing in a brown place at the edge of the screen and hope their HUD isn't in the way, and recognize it well enough to remember it's a platform they can pass through.
  • The Red Star puzzle really toes the line of the "never make it invisible" rule. An invisible door doesn't necessarily break it, because it's a classic puzzle, but in Super Mario World those were always pretty well telegraphed. Here though, the block you need to get the P-Switch is invisible, hidden behind a platform you have to move sideways through to reach. And the only hint you get that the door even exists is finding more invisible blocks.
  • The Red Star room itself is a death trap, because the door doesn't work.
  • There's a solution to the dark vertical room that you can feel clever for discovering, until it just dumps you right back to the start. You should probably convert this to the real exit, and change the current "hidden pipe in the ceiling exploit" to a Secret Exit. Because come on, punishing the player for solving that room just feels like a romhack jerk move. And besides, what's a ghost house without a Secret Exit?
  • With a Secret Exit added on, we can make sure that finding it will grant the player a major shortcut, as they usually did in Super Mario World. Keep in mind that it's entirely possible your level could be in the way during a normal playthrough this time, because we're using a world map where you can't progress except by beating levels. Enhancing the rewards are therefore vital.
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  #77  
Old 11-04-2011, 10:53 AM
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I hadn't noticed that secret exits were a possibility this time around. This opens up some more ideas for me, especially given that the keyhole is involved...

Anyway, I'm going along with that proposed hierarchy of exits. Regarding the ceiling path: rather than put some overly flashy coins up top, I've put a Fire Flower inside the ?-block, which, at the least, encourages the player to jump on top of it.

The P-Switch's location has been changed, and now reaching the red star room is a sort of race rather than a search.

I don't know if the red star exit door really was broken... testing it just now didn't find anything wrong.
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  #78  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:22 AM
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Man, I was excited when I saw you guys were doing another TT Bros but I don't understand anything about this setting/universe.
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  #79  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:17 PM
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On review, yeah, I probably wasn't actually throwing the veggies while the boss was vulnerable.

In fact, it was pretty bad - I had not only just previously watched a video of someone fighting Wart in SM2, but I read the sign.

The following things play against beating this boss, if you don't instantly connect him to Wart:

1. Lack of obvious "vulnerability" frames. The cannon's front turning red and the little dude looking angry is not really a strong sign that he can be damaged.
2. With the above, it's extremely difficult to focus on his sprite with all the moving going on. The new version of the level appears to have fixed this(but now that I know how to beat him, I'm not sure I can say everything fairly).
3. The sign is not directly relatable to the boss. Is "Dark Matter" supposed to be the purple lava? If so, it's hard to say those notably non-dark spheres the boss fires are really anything like Dark Matter - something you'd expect a "Dark Matter Cannon" to fire. Furthermore, I feel it comes too early in the level - there's a whole extra gimmick in between the two.

Proposed fixes:
• Make the boss sprite so that the cannon actually appears to open up somehow on the sides, so it looks like the armor is weaker. Furthermore, I think the average player would try to focus too much on the guy operating the cannon - maybe open up the glass for some reason too. (I'm not sure how to justify this, though.)

• If you can change the appearance of the spheres he's firing, it may be helpful to make them look more like "Dark Matter."

• The sign placement is technically okay, but I think a bit of repetition would go a long way to help make the connection between the boss and "Dark Matter Cannon." Right now there's a whole extra gimmick in between the Roboyoshi sign, and a midpoint besides, before the boss - there's a lot of room to forget about it. If a player sees the same sign twice, I think it would help them consider "Hey, maybe this is important."

Last edited by Kadj; 11-04-2011 at 06:50 PM. Reason: 6 hours between noticing I had named Wart as "Warp." Go me!
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  #80  
Old 11-04-2011, 12:54 PM
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I have been told I can maybe music a musics for this. Does anyone have any links to some information about this engine handles audio?
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  #81  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
Man, I was excited when I saw you guys were doing another TT Bros but I don't understand anything about this setting/universe.
Make a level anyway!

So many people are too worried about fitting the theme. The theme is "Mario." Make a good Mario level and you'll have made a good Super Squad level.
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  #82  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:52 PM
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Ok, buncha changes.

First off some more graphical additions. Tatanga's projectiles no longer look like bubbles (it was always my intent, just didn't get around to it before now), and I edited the Blaargs into Shrooblaargs. Hint signs are now hint computers. And finally changed the veggies into junk, with one being something of a cameo.

Tatanga's room totally redesigned. Made Tatanga stationary so he's a bit easier to predict. Level gate turned into a ? Ball.

Couple of minor edits here and there, a few more hints thrown around. Added a Toad/Kirby at the start to point out the lava is Dark Matter (and not the sunglasses-wearing space wizard kind).

Download it here, or download just the level file and graphics without the MP3s here.
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  #83  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:53 PM
Kadj Kadj is offline
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How is everyone else making their sprites and such? I'm trying to use a custom background tile, but Paint(win7) drastically reduces the quality every time I try to save the (unanimated) GIF.

And my copy of Photoshop doesn't boot up anymore, so I can't even try the next logical step. :/
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  #84  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadj View Post
How is everyone else making their sprites and such? I'm trying to use a custom background tile, but Paint(win7) drastically reduces the quality every time I try to save the (unanimated) GIF.

And my copy of Photoshop doesn't boot up anymore, so I can't even try the next logical step. :/
Use Paint.NET.
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  #85  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleck View Post
I have been told I can maybe music a musics for this. Does anyone have any links to some information about this engine handles audio?
I believe they are just MP3s, so be sure to use a long-ish clip since there is a stop/start to it.
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  #86  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McClain View Post
I believe they are just MP3s, so be sure to use a long-ish clip since there is a stop/start to it.
Or just make a seamless loop, if you're using FLP or another digital music program.





Bongo: Thanks! Works like a charm.
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  #87  
Old 11-04-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleck View Post
I have been told I can maybe music a musics for this. Does anyone have any links to some information about this engine handles audio?
The engine does mp3 only. It's really quite simple. Just output to that and you'll do fine. Be sure to bake in a 0.5-second period of silence before the song begins, the coding is dodgy like that.
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  #88  
Old 11-04-2011, 08:10 PM
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Failing up. I did this as a quick reminder of why I hate the SMBX engine. I end it with a question mark ball just because I'm not sure if I'm going to submit this as an actual level.

And because I'M DIFFERENT.

Last edited by Donny; 11-04-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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  #89  
Old 11-04-2011, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny View Post
Failing up. I did this as a quick reminder of why I hate the SMBX engine. I end it with a question mark ball just because I'm not sure if I'm going to submit this as an actual level.
A level that can be crippled by engine quirks (In this case, if you destroy an enemy they will never, ever return) is poor form no matter how many gimmes you throw in there.
You might be able to save this one if you switch the enemies to ones that can't be killed, such as saws, or by setting up generators that will always create a new enemy if the old one is displaced.
Also, regarding the choice of music: Did the "I'm so happy" song from STTB 1 ever set off the copyright alarm for Brickroad or Golbeeze's videos? I just want to make sure that anyone who can't play this game can still watch it without being hassled by The Man, man.
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  #90  
Old 11-04-2011, 08:49 PM
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Gonna get started on this tonight.

In other news, how would we go about making a respectable go-kart level? It's out of left field, but if we could make it fun we could sneak in a horse-skeleton-car reference in a really memorable way.

(And then have a Rainbow Road reprise in the bonus world.)

eta: No copyright flags on my end. That almost never, ever happens.
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