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Misery
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20 Oct 2015, 10:21 pm

Neotenous Nordic wrote:
Misery, I gave all your levels ago, gave them all a star and follow you.

They were all excellent. I especially loved the SMB3 underground level. There were many good twists and turns and I got lost at one point but found the way out eventually.

You nailed the difficulty too, although the average player will probably give up in frustration.

I did not complete all the levels, but I'm going to come back to those that I didn't complete later.


I'm going to check out the levels from the creators in this chronologically from the start of the thread and give feedback and stars as I go along. Will follow up with posts as I check out each creators levels.


Ah, yeah, I tend to make levels that are a bit difficult.

With Mario Maker I'm actually forcing myself to hold back quite a bit; I'm used to a high difficulty in games, and this applies to design work I do, of any sort.

LittleBigPlanet, for instance. One of my creations in that, and which shows the sort of thing i'm used to, is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAa7Um6-nZA

That horrible mechanical nightmare took THREE FREAKING WEEKS to make and was pushing that game to it's breaking point. But the difficulty level of it is relatively typical for me; future boss monstrosities would be more complicated and harder (and more efficient).

I cant make big bosses like that in Mario Maker, but the game sure does let me do some crazy challenging stuff anyway.

Though, I do have certain levels that'll be more towards beginners; that "Traditional Grasslands" one sure is (yet it STILL manages a clear rate of less than 40%), and my upcoming one, which will be the next "traditional" entry, is also pretty easy (probably). Buuuuut, I know I always underestimate the difficulty, so.... maybe not as easy as I think.



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21 Oct 2015, 5:59 am

One of the very highly rated self-playing levels, the "Star Wars Cantina Theme" has a clear rate of 70%.

That means 30% of the players did not manage to walk through a freaking pipe from a conveyor belt before the scrolling screen caught up with them. That's literally the only thing that could keep you from completing that level.

This goes to show what we're dealing with, so I wouldn't worry too much about clear rate.


I like difficult levels. I'm yet to complete your level with the stars and spikes. I got the impression everything is intentionally measured out. It never seems like you've just arbitrarily drawn stuff out of boredom, which is an epidemic in levels. Every object has a purpose, and that's the key to good levels not relying on spam or cheapshots.

I did like the bullet hell airship level too.

Going to get back to the ones I didn't complete after I have checked out the other creators levels too.

Nice LPB creation too!



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21 Oct 2015, 7:10 am

As a test, I created a Castle level where there were 3 giant Bowsers, a solid wall blocking the Goal/Axe, and no Items to help you.

You win by just walking out the Door to the other side of the wall.

I called it "Know When To Fold 'Em."



League_Girl
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21 Oct 2015, 12:49 pm

AlanSmithee wrote:
As a test, I created a Castle level where there were 3 giant Bowsers, a solid wall blocking the Goal/Axe, and no Items to help you.

You win by just walking out the Door to the other side of the wall.

I called it "Know When To Fold 'Em."



If you haven't posted any of your course IDs here, you should post your course ID so we can play it.


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AdamAutistic
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21 Oct 2015, 1:16 pm

just got 2 new level ideas last night during sleep. (i do dream about this game a lot, but usually i forget what the idea is, but i remembered these and i want to make them.)
still "inspired/recreations/whatever" of other video games.

i won't go into any details here as League_Girl posted "i don't want anybody stealing my ideas" :P


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League_Girl
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21 Oct 2015, 1:23 pm

AdamAutistic wrote:
just got 2 new level ideas last night during sleep. (i do dream about this game a lot, but usually i forget what the idea is, but i remembered these and i want to make them.)
still "inspired/recreations/whatever" of other video games.

i won't go into any details here as League_Girl posted "i don't want anybody stealing my ideas" :P




I came across a level where you had to pick a pipe and it seemed easy peasy but then it got harder and harder. They had more and more pipes after I kept going down the right pipe and I didn't know which one that lets you go down in and enemies come out of pipes and you have to try and press down on each one to find the right one. Enemy spam it is.

I guess this pick a pipe thing can work if you can be very creative about it.


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Misery
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23 Oct 2015, 2:24 am

Neotenous Nordic wrote:
One of the very highly rated self-playing levels, the "Star Wars Cantina Theme" has a clear rate of 70%.

That means 30% of the players did not manage to walk through a freaking pipe from a conveyor belt before the scrolling screen caught up with them. That's literally the only thing that could keep you from completing that level.

This goes to show what we're dealing with, so I wouldn't worry too much about clear rate.


I like difficult levels. I'm yet to complete your level with the stars and spikes. I got the impression everything is intentionally measured out. It never seems like you've just arbitrarily drawn stuff out of boredom, which is an epidemic in levels. Every object has a purpose, and that's the key to good levels not relying on spam or cheapshots.

I did like the bullet hell airship level too.

Going to get back to the ones I didn't complete after I have checked out the other creators levels too.

Nice LPB creation too!


Yep, I never place anything at all, block, item, or enemy, unless I have a purpose for it. And even one block out of place can make the level not as good as it potentially could be... thus the extreme amount of testing I do (and how long it takes before I put a level out). This is an approach I learned mostly from playing LBP and seeing what players reacted to in levels I made (either giant bosses, of which I made many, or actual full levels) and levels that others made. Not to mention paying attention to the design of various games as I play through them.

What I *dont* do though, is plan things out. I've never been good at that, so I dont bother. I'll make a section, and then have an idea for another section, and then make that, and so on. I'll often have a somewhat general theme when going into it... such as the "Castle of Pain and Transformations" using every possible type of powerup and even Kuribo's Shoe in order to pass various obstacles. But I had no idea what the structure of the level was going to be, when going into the design of it. Just kept plodding along as I always do.

When I think about it, that may also be somewhat influenced by a developer (indie type) that I'm very familiar with. Alot of major developers and alot of small ones too will use pre-planned design documents, that are made up WAY in advance, and are never deviated from.... even if things appear to be out of whack. It's like they get stuck in that mentality. This developer though, doesnt do that at all. They'll have sort of a general plan, but then just sort of roll with it from there, sometimes changing or outright replacing entire game mechanics halfway into the testing process. As a result, they've made some of my absolute favorite games. I'm currently working a design contract with them (my second time!), and basically the idea is that I'm designing enemy ships and their attack patterns for an action-roguelike. But there werent any specifications like "Okay we want an enemy that does THIS sort of thing, and another that then does THIS". Instead, it was "Okay, make some things, we know you can keep it balanced so just go wild with it", which is exactly what I do. Allows for alot of creativity, and can really keep things interesting, rather than following a stale document that never can change.

So that sort of approach helps, I think, with things like Mario Maker. IF you can do it; it's not for everyone, of course. Everyone needs to find their own style, but I do think that type of approach is better than alot of people assume it is.

As for the clear rates bit, I wouldnt be surprised if a good number of those people that didnt finish an auto-scroll level are people that encountered it in 100 Mario Challenge, said, ARGH ENOUGH OF THESE, and skipped. Apparently more and more people are reacting to the damn things in this way, since the novelty wore off, and many want to play REAL levels, instead of those.

....but yes, there's always PLENTY of people that just genuinely die in fantastically stupid ways, over and over. And of course mainstream games have taught them that they dont NEED to increase skill to win...



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23 Oct 2015, 7:51 am

So I finally got my second medal and could upload a course I've been tinkering with.

It's a classic SMW plains level. I got inspired by your Traditional Grasslands level, Misery, to try to create something that is not very punishing but still entertaining. So I came up with this level. It has some classic cliches as well as my own ideas. I just created freely and tried to make my course more open, since I tend to cramp things together too much.

ID: AF58-0000-00BB-FAFD

There are some "secrets". They are not hard to find, but provide a little reward for those who want to seek them out. Otherwise, it's very straightforward and simple.



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23 Oct 2015, 10:55 am

Is there a way to tell if your levels are skipped?

How can you tell the difference between just someone not being good enough to play your level and your level just being poorly made?

I say if you notice that only very few people or no one at all has ever completed your level, that could mean your level is poorly made. But it can also mean that is how difficult your level is. Super Mario World had special levels that were very difficult and if you completed them all, special things happened on other levels and on the over world map and the enemies change too. But hard to tell if your level is just bad vs the player not being good enough.


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Misery
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23 Oct 2015, 12:13 pm

Okay, firstly, I have something unique for you guys this time. This is NOT a level made by me. I repeat, this isnt my level, nope nope nope. But this one is special, yes...

Allow me to show you one of Youtube's greatest classic videos first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in6RZzdGki8

If you've seen that... you can probably see where this is going.

Someone went and made a pretty darn accurate recreation of that infamous stage, which to me is pretty special, so I thought I'd share it here. Only try it if you're looking for a MAJOR challenge.

I'll put it this way: the clear rate is 0.08%. Over 11000 attempts have been made (you can see number of actual attempts in the bottom left, if you havent noticed that yet). *10* have cleared the stage (amusingly, I'm one of those 10; I've very clearly been playing this game WAY too much). Tons of stars for the stage already.... it's pretty good.

Though, it adds one rather unexpected little twist at the end of the level... if you try it, the very final part isnt going to go QUITE like it does in the vid.

But yes, it's pretty fun. Experts only though. This is *hard*. You have to seriously know what you're doing to make it anywhere in this. Just clearing the second major jump (the one after the "HIT THE BLOOPER, IN DA HOLE!! !" jump) is a major accomplishment. Since you're likely to die many times, and there's NO checkpoints, the only way through is to be able to clear each individual spot CONSISTENTLY, which is part of what makes it so hard. It can be done though.

But yeah, if you havent seen the video, you might want to have a look at least to see where the hidden death blocks are. Might prevent some irritation. Well, a bit of it anyway.... you'll be hitting that first one often regardless.

Quote:
Is there a way to tell if your levels are skipped?

How can you tell the difference between just someone not being good enough to play your level and your level just being poorly made?

I say if you notice that only very few people or no one at all has ever completed your level, that could mean your level is poorly made. But it can also mean that is how difficult your level is. Super Mario World had special levels that were very difficult and if you completed them all, special things happened on other levels and on the over world map and the enemies change too. But hard to tell if your level is just bad vs the player not being good enough.


Actually, the level I just dropped up there is a good example of how to tell. Over TEN THOUSAND attempts, yet only so many different players actually trying it. If someone hates something enough to skip it, they wont keep going over and over and over again; that "attempts" number wont really rise, if people are just immediately going "well this sucks" and leaving.

....that and you'd get a bunch of plays but no stars or whatever. Good levels *will* generate stars, once you can get people to notice and try them. And yes, levels can be starred from INSIDE the level.

My own levels are often pretty freaking tough... a couple of them being down near 6% completion... but they generate stars frequently. I'm not even at 10 uploaded levels yet (but I'm about to be) I've got my third medal, and am at about 227 stars.

Quote:
So I finally got my second medal and could upload a course I've been tinkering with.

It's a classic SMW plains level. I got inspired by your Traditional Grasslands level, Misery, to try to create something that is not very punishing but still entertaining. So I came up with this level. It has some classic cliches as well as my own ideas. I just created freely and tried to make my course more open, since I tend to cramp things together too much.

ID: AF58-0000-00BB-FAFD

There are some "secrets". They are not hard to find, but provide a little reward for those who want to seek them out. Otherwise, it's very straightforward and simple.


I gave that a go, it's pretty darn good! I think you did quite a good job here. That level should earn you a good amount of stars. Already got one from me at least. Pretty sure I found all the secret stuff too.



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23 Oct 2015, 2:20 pm

Okay so my Pick a Door Level has 3 clears and under it, it says 20 play attempts. But I have 0 stars and it says only three people have played it.

What does this mean? Does it mean 17 other people have skipped this level without playing it? What about people who play it and then skip it after they die once?

Then in Heads UP Mario has 9 clears and 25 play attempts but it has one star and it says 13 people have played it. How do I read this?

I am at 16 stars now and at least someone is playing my levels every day because I will get more than one notification. I decided I will delete my levels if no one is playing them so I can make room for a new level if I run out of uploads. But I have two levels up I really like, The Mario Bros. Metro and Vine to the Exit.


My son got pretty pissed when he was playing a Splatoon level made by someone and he got trapped because he made the wrong turn and I told him to just start the level over. Then he wanted me to play it and it took me five attempts after I started counting the pathways so I could remember the right one and the rest of the level was easy. But he was mad when he got trapped. At least it wasn't in Mario Challenge because I would have just skipped it than wasting lives.


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Last edited by League_Girl on 23 Oct 2015, 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

League_Girl
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23 Oct 2015, 3:45 pm

I notice that sometimes it will say what user player played your course and lot of times it will say "Someone played your course" and the player is anonymous because the game doesn't tell you who played it and they don't always show up on the play list. Does this mean that they tried your level out and quit it also known as skipping it?


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AdamAutistic
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23 Oct 2015, 5:01 pm

League_Girl wrote:
I notice that sometimes it will say what user player played your course and lot of times it will say "Someone played your course" and the player is anonymous because the game doesn't tell you who played it and they don't always show up on the play list. Does this mean that they tried your level out and quit it also known as skipping it?


no. there is an option in one of the settings to disable that. like "notify creators when you play their level." and vice versa.

but i think that only hides you from their notifications. like if they go in the "who played this level" of a specific level, you would still show up.

but it doesn't seem to work properly. i set that i don't want to see who played my levels, but sometimes it tells me anyway.


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AdamAutistic
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26 Oct 2015, 5:16 pm

just 5 more playthroughs of the hell that is "expert" mode and i have unlocked all mystery shrooms.


after seeing some of Misery's screenshot posts on miiverse of his "expert" playthroughs and seeing his lives get so low (some shots as low as 25), i wanted to share a "trick" i have been using:

hold your finger on the touchscreen BEFORE the level loads. this will prompt a skip when the level loads (but don't tap that skip just yet.) this will give you a heads up on what the beginning looks like, which you can then make your decision without sacrificing any lives.
i highly recommend to tap the "skip" if you see something that will instantly kill you. it usually means the entire level is "trolled".

using this trick, i am able to save my lives for levels that are actually intended to be cleared.


some trolls seem to be "getting wise" to this trick though. i have recently run into some levels that the creator puts down a conveyor belt at the start and pushes you into a pit.

and of course, the level skip only works while you are on soild ground or in the process of death, so you loose a life anyway.


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League_Girl
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27 Oct 2015, 12:15 am

I can never make it past level one on expert. The levels are just too darn hard and abstract.

Also someone on Reddit is wanting to make a satire level doing all the annoying stuff and troll stuff users do as a way to show how not to make a course.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MarioMaker/com ... rst_level/

I can't wait to play that level. I bet it will get lot of stars because parodies tend to get more positive views and people actually like it when someone deliberately makes something bad.


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