Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kooperhorn 1

ID: 47C3-0000-007E-14C0

Style: NSMB Grassland with Underground sub-world

Concept: Taking my normal design style (lengthy levels, rewarding exploration, puzzle-platforming) and trying to make a gentle but still entertaining hypothetical 1-1 out of them. This also functions sort of like a subtle tutorial for the game, though that matters less for anyone playing Mario Maker or reading this blog, I guess.

Difficulty: 1-1. You can die, but the level doesn't encourage it.

"These are a few of my least favorite things"

Found on Reddit (in one of the better corners) on the Mario Maker sub:

Instant-death doorways and blind leaps off ledges
Thowmps hidden slightly outside of screen edges
Quick moving platforms on tracks with Boo rings
These are a few of my least favorite things!

May post another level later today.  I've got like four WIPs, none of them seem good enough to upload yet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Came To Stomp Bombs

ID: A09E-0000-007B-C466

Difficulty: Mid-Expert

Here's a bomb-heavy level with lots of unpredictability and ways to move ahead. I spent more time creating this than any other level to date. It was originally far more difficult, requiring an advanced bomb tactic that even I had yet to truly master - I could only get it right about 10% of the time. So I changed it, and now you have the option to try that route, but if you fail there's at least two other ways to move on. I think in total there are about 6 or 7 sections in this level. It's unlikely you'll visit all of them, but I'm glad they're there to stumble upon. Not for the faint of heart, but I'm proud of the labyrinthine, destructible nature of it...

"P" Is For Peril

"P" Is For Peril: A063-0000-005E-5504

A gimmick level with no enemies.  Instead, all the challenge comes from getting through a field of blocks and coins, your only tools a Mushroom and respawning P-Switches, suspended over a pit.  Be careful lest an expiring timer dump you directly into the void.  My favorite thing about this level is how the player's own actions can remove the very platforms he'll need to stay alive.  Some effort has gone into trying to prevent the player from creating situations he won't be able to escape from, but of course with all these sorts of levels there might be some way I couldn't account for.

This is the second take on the idea.  The first one was twice as long and had fewer P-Switch respawns, and required the player run back and forth between the start and the end of his range, where he'd try to chip away at a few more coins than last time.  I'm still not satisfied with the current version and may revisit the concept eventually.  P-Switches are something I'm amazed Nintendo hasn't done more with.  I mean, they're pretty much tailor made for puzzle levels!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Airship to Heaven

ID: 69D0-0000-007B-977D

Style: NSMB Airship

Concepts: Climbing! Exploration. Divergent paths.

Basically, I wanted to create a massively tall level using warp pipes. Turns out there's a limited number of those available, so I had to shift some stuff around. This level is still pretty long, but to be honest it's mostly fun (I hope) to explore the different paths and how they intersect.

General feel of it inspired by Twilight Princess' "City in the Sky."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Turtle Valley

Turtle Valley: 0F72-0000-0029-44B5

A few days into making levels, while I was still waiting for all the tools to unlock, I discovered that hopping Parakoopas will pretty reliably bounce three spaces forward and one block up.  That was the observation that inspired the first third of the bottom route through Turtle Valley.  There are two main ways through: the bottom you're pestered by Green Parakoopas and Goombas, the top Red Parakoopas, Fiery Pirhanas, and Flying Spinys for good measure.  It's probably a bit too crowded with enemies honestly.  Oh well.  The top route is much easier than the bottom, despite having all the jumps.  And: there's a big secret area near the end. 

Note 1: Green Parakoopas are my favorite enemy.  They're comical, but also challenging.  You can tell the poor Koopa doesn't have the hang of those wings.  (For more on the plight of the video game minion, I refer you to Homestar Runner's Brothers Chaps and their "Two More Eggs" cartoons starring Eggpo:  New Job and Waiting.)

Note 2: It's fun to, frequently, have a way to gain a random Mystery Mushroom near the exit.  So many costumes have their own clear music, taken from their original games, that it feels good to showcase that.  This is extra fun to provide at the end of Castle levels, if you can find a way to do it without upsetting the desired challenge level, because some costumes make Toad or Peach say something different if you beat 100 Mario Challenge with them!  BTW, the last level in 100 Mario Challenge seems always to be a castle.   (Or, once in a while, maybe an Airship...?)  Anyway, play around with Mystery Mushroom costumes when you get one.  Some have special noises they play when you jump, land from jumps, or even just idle (like the Mario Kart costume).  Most also have special music or sounds that play if you fall off the level or get crushed while wearing them!

Maker's Mark 1

Hey! I'm naxuu (naju on Metafilter), and I'll be using this space to share a few of my levels and highlight some of the better levels I've come across. Hopefully from undersung creators, not the ones clogging up the "Popular" section with tens of thousands of stars.

Here's my inaugural post in the Maker's Mark series I'm doing on Medium:

Maker's Mark 1

This first post is an introduction, and includes some advice on curating your Mario Maker feed. It seems like an obvious topic, but I'm not sure most people have figured out how to approach starring, following, and discovering new levels yet. Nintendo doesn't make it all that easy. So a few words on the topic seems appropriate before I dive in with level recommendations. Enjoy!

Someone remade Super Mario Frustration in Mario Maker

This isn't one of ours (probably), but I saw it in Mario Maker's "Featured" section.  Someone remade the infamous level featured in the video Super Mario Frustration in Super Mario Maker, with subtle differences to make it finishable without taking advantage of quirks in present in the original game's engine that aren't in SMM: Someone remade the infamous "Super Mario Frustration" level in Mario Maker: DF24-0000-005A-7740.  It currently has one completion out of 295, or a 0.33% finish rate.

The site with the original video no longer seems to host it.  <a href="">This</a> is the Metafilter thread discussing it, though, and <a href="">this</a> is a edit of it to provide humorous commentary.  (As far as humorous commentary goes it's pretty good, but I still think it's best experienced first without commentary.)
Behold! The Level I've been dreaming about making since before I was able to pick this game up!

Lakitu Mineshaft Finale (9806-0000-0076-ECD4)

Style: NSMB Underground

Concept: I should have called it Mines of Mario, as it is epic. This is the final leg of the someday-will-be-concluded journey to the heart of the Lakitu Mining Facility, where they, you know, mine enemies and powerups. Expect tunnels, diverging paths, conveyor belts, incinerators, and parts that might still need a little clearing.  Be glad you're wearing your hard-hat!

Difficulty: NSMB World 7 or 8, maybe, or like a Dr. Wily stage from Mega Man 2.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

JHarris level #2: No Shelter From The Goomba Rain

ID: AEA9-0000-0023-E7AF

This is my hardest level, but I also think it's my most fun. At least, I can enjoy playing it too! It's of the school of design where I threw a strong, but very difficult, concept against the wall, then added other things to make it easier until I was, once in a while, able to finish it myself. There are some tricks to it that I shouldn't spoil. Just trust me, there are some little aids to the player throughout.

Well there is one thing I think I should mention: there is a Star pretty early on that I really think you should get. It's not hard to find, there are no invisible blocks anywhere in the level.

You might consider this to be a roguelike Mario level, it's of that kind of random difficulty. Well, it might be as close to it in the Mario style as you can get.

(EDIT: Added linebreaks, for some reason this got entered in HTML mode in Blogger.)
The two I'm most happy with so far are:

Hot Foot's Castle Run - BBB0-0000-0067-50B8

Style: NSMB Castle

Concept: Long but quick castle with some secrets if you choose to look for them. Warning: the secrets are a lot more difficult to deal with than the level itself!

Difficulty: Probably a World 1 or 2 NSMB Castle.

geisthaus - DCCF-0000-0071-7F8C

Style: SMW Ghost House

Concept: Episodic ghost house challenges. Fairly linear, but disorienting by design. Attempts at a classic feel. More problem-solving than survival-platforming, though it definitely has both.

Difficulty: Cookie Mountain-ish SMW Ghost House, I think.

Sorry for no screenshots. At my GF's and away from the WiiU for the evening.

Metafilter Mario Maker levels

That's what this is. It's just a list of Super Mario Maker levels Metafilter members have made. Posted by the makers themselves. If you're a Metafilter member and want to post, just shoot me a MeMail (JHarris) or email (address is in my profile). I don't know about you guys, but my own levels I'll probably post a title and code. Maybe a screenshot too -- I know you can upload Wii U screenshots using the system web browser upload facility, but I don't know how that interacts with Blogger. I suspect I'll be trying to do something along those lines soon. I'm thinking it'd be nice to do it one post per level, but if you've got a ton of them you could go ahead and put them all in one post. This is meant to be really low-key, y'all.