Ends 04/01/2012 12:00 AM

Judges
halibabica

It's finally here! The much-anticipated third installment of the RMN community series! And this time, halibabica's in charge!

WHAT IS THIS

Super RMN Bros. is a community collaborative game where everyone uses the Super Mario Bros. X engine to create Mario levels! The stages are made and submitted by members of RMN, then compiled into one big game at the end of the event. Huzzah!

WHAT YOU NEED TO PARTICIPATE

Super Mario Bros. X v1.3, available at the Download link. This is the latest version of SMBX. It has everything you need to get started from the player, the editor, and a sample world.

You can also download the SMBX Graphics Pack by Red Yoshi here. It has a ton of Mario Brothers graphics that you can use in your level with a simple copy+paste!

JUST WHAT IS SUPER MARIO BROTHERS X?

Super Mario Bros X is a freeware game engine by Redigit geared towards having the gameplay features and physics of Mario 3 and Super Mario World while adding a ton of cool features and not having to deal with the restrictions of the old (S)NES hardware. If you want to see what SMBX can do, check out the games here on RMN or watch these videos showcasing SMBX's capabilities!

Games are distributed as a world with levels package they can add to Super Mario Bros X and play from the main game. There is no way to make a self contained game so all players will need to download SMBX in order to even play the game. The game does come with a large set of graphics and sounds like the RPG Maker RTPs so everybody at least has a large number of platformer resources to work with (and it'll keep the download of the actual game itself small).

You can view the RMN engine page for SMBX here.

HELP!

The editor can be tricky to use, especially for beginners. You can ask questions on our SMBX Help thread on our forums! If you have any questions go there for some tips or helpful links.

We also have a tutorials section on RMN for SMBX.

SUBMISSION RULES

  • Levels must be made in SMBX v1.3 .
  • I don't know if you've ever made Mario levels before. There are dozens of hacks and roms out there, so it's possible you've played custom levels or created your own. However, this project is being made specifically in the SMBX engine, so if you want to contribute, you have to use that. You can download it here.

  • Levels must be made FOR THIS PROJECT
  • So, you've used SMBX before, huh? Hey, you can just submit levels you already made! Right? WRONG. If you didn't make the level specifically for RMN Bros. 3, you're not allowed to submit it. Do not just zip up the levels of your personal project and dump them in here (Davenport, I'm looking at you). Everyone has to start from scratch. And if I catch you trying to submit a pre-made level, ooh, I'll, I'LL- ...deny it. Simple as that, really.

  • Levels must end in ONE SMB3 STAR
  • Starman doesn't work in SMBX like it does in the Mario games of yore. Each one you collect instead adds to your star count. There are two kinds of stars in the engine: SMB3 stars and SMW stars. The latter adds to your star count, but doesn't end the level. The former concludes the stage when collected. Each level must have ONE and ONLY ONE level-ending star. However, you can have any number of SMW stars (covered later).

  • There is no limit to the number of levels you can submit.
  • Beyond these four rules, the sky's just about the limit. There are a few other criteria your levels must meet for them to be accepted, but they're nothing huge, and are as follows.

LEVEL CRITERIA

  1. Checkpoints
  2. Theoretically, every level should have one of these. It's the SMW checkpoint object that lets you continue from partway through the level. Unless your level is extremely short, it should have one. If it can't have one for specific reasons (auto-scrolling, switch block/character shenanigans, etc.), it's recommended you not make the stage too long. Also, SMBX can only support one checkpoint per level, so placing multiples doesn't work.

  3. Power-Ups
  4. Your stage should have a good balance of items that are helpful to the player. ? Blocks should never contain lone Mushrooms; don't be afraid to give the player a Fire Flower or Leaf. On the other hand, exceptional items like the Tanooki and Hammer Suits should not be easily obtained. Use discretion with where you place items. One at the start and one after the checkpoint would be the least you could do. Also, pick items that the player can put to good use. A Fire Flower in an area with monsters immune to fire does the player no good; maybe an Ice Flower or Yoshi might be better instead. On the subject of Yoshi, he's a power-up like any other, and no restrictions are being placed on his use. Similarly, all styles of Kuribo's Shoe are allowed. Just remember, these things are very helpful, so choose carefully where you make them available.

  5. Banned Objects
  6. Your level must not contain any of the following items. If it does, you will be required to remove them.

    • SMB2 Crystal Ball, SMB3 Roulette, SMB3 ? Ball, SMW Keyhole, SMW Exit Gate
    • All banned for the same reason; they end the level. All levels must end with an SMB3 Star. No other exit type is allowed.

    • SMW Bowser Statue
    • Banned due to its glitchy hit box. You can still be hit by its fireballs while standing on top of it. Use the SMB3 Bowser Statue instead!

    • SMW Dry Bones
    • Banned for its stupid hit box. You may place Dry Bones in your level, but all Dry Bones in the project will use the SMB3 sprites instead.

  7. Unbanned Objects
  8. These are objects that were disallowed in the past. I'm permitting them for the reasons stated.

    • SMB3 Lakitu
    • This was banned in RMN Bros. 2 because it behaves erratically. You may use them in your levels, but be very careful when you do. They aren't impossible to deal with, but they can make situations extremely difficult. You'll definitely hear from me if it's a problem.

    • SMW Star
    • These were formerly banned because they didn't end the level. You may now use them as bonus secret stars in your stages. The player can collect them on alternate paths, but must be able to return to the rest of the level after grabbing them. More on these later.

  9. Different Characters
  10. This is, first and foremost, a Mario game. Mario will be the only character available to play as, but that doesn't mean you can't use the other characters. If you want to make a stage involving Luigi, Toad, Peach, and/or Link, you must specify so. Include the appropriate character block at the start. If you don't, I'll assume the stage was meant to be played as Mario. You don't have to switch back to Mario at the end of the stage, though. I will manage character swapping in the hub area.

  11. Player 2 Start
  12. SMBX has the option to play with a friend by sharing a keyboard and crowding around a monitor. There is no way to disallow a multiplayer game, so be sure to include both P1 and P2's start positions in your levels. HOWEVER, this is all you need to do to accommodate the second player. Making a balanced one-player game is difficult enough, so don't sweat it if something doesn't quite work for multi-mode. I'm not checking two player compatibility; you don't have to either.

  13. Secret Stars
  14. Each stage must have only one SMB3 level-ending star, but you can have (almost) as many SMW stars you want. Before you go throwing secret stars everywhere, though, you should understand how they work. The most important thing to know is that you can only have one star per section of a level. That's not my rule; that's a quirk of SMBX. It can only register one star per stage section, as it flags all stars in that section as 'collected' if one of them is found. Because this is the case, any secret stars you place must be in different sections than the star that ends the level. Incidentally, this also means the most stars any level can have is 21. Don't worry; if you mess it up, I'll tell you about it!

  15. Water Must be SWIMMABLE

    You can set waterfalls to either be swimmable or not, but ordinary water must always be. Don't fill your pits with water if they're supposed to be bottomless.

  16. Misc. Stuff
    • Pipes, Doors, and Carry Items
    • By default, all entrances in SMBX are set to disallow the player from carrying an item with them through the portal. If your level has objects the player may want to bring with them, be sure to set your entrances properly.

    • One-Tile Passages
    • Avoid making paths that are only one tile high. If Mario stands up in one, he zips through the wall in the opposite direction he's facing. In some places, this isn't a problem, but in others it can break the game. Spare my telling you to fix it and avoid creating such circumstances.

    • Ceilings
    • If you're making a water level or Mario is able to fly, you may want to block the area off the top of the screen so the player can't soar over everything. In aquatic stages, one could swim past everything from up there, so it's extremely important to include (same goes for underwater pits, actually). Of helpful note: one block placed above or below a level's boundary will create an impassable wall.

STORY AND TUTORIALS

Nothing too complicated here. Mario, Luigi, Toad, Peach, and Link have fallen into RMN's Pit of Challenges, where they must collect the stars from our levels if they ever hope to escape. The main villain is not Bowser, Wart, Kamek, Aristocrab, or anyone seen yet in the world of Mario. I will be making the final level myself, and the final boss is...me! Because by the time this is over, you will all want to kill me.

I will also be making a tutorial level that explains the mechanics of SMBX, covering both the basics and the advanced stuff. So don't bother explaining to the player how to break blocks with their tail or spin jump on Thwomps. I've got it covered!

TESTING AND FEEDBACK

This iteration of RMN Bros. is going to put greater emphasis on play testing and providing feedback for levels. I will be playing each level personally and leaving feedback the developers can use to improve their stages. My feedback will be divided into three categories:

  • Deal Breakers
  • These are things you MUST CHANGE or your level WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. These include all variety of game breaking errors and poor balance/design. I will provide thoughts and ideas on how to fix these, depending on the complexity of the problem.

  • If-You-Don'ts
  • These are things that, if you don't change them, I will. These include things like levels without checkpoints, blocks containing only mushrooms, or levels with unfitting power-ups. If you don't make these corrections, I'll see to them in the end.

  • Nitpicks
  • These are small complaints of low importance. Things that would make the level look or feel nicer, but aren't really a problem on their own. These will most likely be aesthetic in nature, and they don't have to be changed for the level to be accepted.

    Although I will be testing each level thoroughly myself, I strongly encourage others to do the same. You don't have to follow the same methods of providing feedback I am (in fact, you don't really have the authority to!), but every bit of criticism helps.

ADDITIONAL STAFFERS

This is a big project, and it's very bold of me to be managing it alone. That's why I'm leaving open two spots for other users to join me in running the show. But you can't just sign up and say "Hey hali I'll be your game management bro." You have to PROVE YOUR WORTH. How, you might ask? By playing levels and leaving feedback! The more in-depth, the better. Show me you have what it takes to contribute to this project, and I'll let you in. If you can't handle the work, I have no reason to hire you.

Duties of these staffers would include testing others levels and leaving feedback, as well as helping refine my own stages, tutorial, hubs, and so forth. I'm a tough critic, but even I can't face my own work alone!

PROJECT TIMELINE

Signups begin NOW, and EVERYONE is free to join! The project will run for one month (thirty days), and levels may be submitted for testing during this time. When the month is up, no more levels will be accepted. Existing levels may still be updated based on feedback. I will do my best to have the whole thing compiled just one week after the event ends. Then we can download and enjoy!

Registration

You must be logged in to sign up for Super RMN Bros. 3.

Posts

I plan on contributing three levels. Will brainstorm this week.
Here we go again!
GreatRedSpirit
After this I'm gonna teach you my secret for mashed potatoes!
6129
TheRules
Levels must be made FOR THIS PROJECT

This is because I reused the RMNBros 1 hub world in 2 isn't it
kentona
Any idiot with a computer can be a site admin.
18888
That was his tactful way of saying that he wasn't going to accept the top Mario's Mansion levels.
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
from GreatRedSpirit
TheRules
Levels must be made FOR THIS PROJECT
This is because I reused the RMNBros 1 hub world in 2 isn't it

You mean the level that can't be accessed in the normal version because of a typo and the excluded stage? ;P

from kentona
That was his tactful way of saying that he wasn't going to accept the top Mario's Mansion levels.

No, I totally am. This is my slightly not-tactful way of telling Davenport not to submit half of Mega Mario Deluxe to the event.
GreatRedSpirit
After this I'm gonna teach you my secret for mashed potatoes!
6129
It worked when I tested it! I... just don't know what happened that broke it
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
Marrend
Guardian Angel of the Description Thread
13476
Do I want to join in on this? Like, at all? I'm leaning towards "no". The amount of stuff I know how to do for this engine has not increased in the slightest since last time an "RMN Bros" collaboration was suggested. Nor, I must note, am I particularly interested in learning, either.
I've been waiting for this the 2 and a half minutes I have been reading the rules.
FINALLY I can sign up and use my SMBX again.
I hope this is going to be even half as fun as making Mario's Mansion levels.
Ratty524
The 524 is for five-hundred twenty-four
11200
So will my involvement in this collab project count as my return to this community?

And Marrend... Cool story bro! :)
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
from Marrend
sour grapes


Well...that's your choice. :fogetshrug:
Shall we hire Brickroad as a consultant?
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
I'm not even telling Brickroad this exists. It can find its way to him however it does.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
You guys certainly seem to have a great time with your SMBX(envy no, just regret!), I know: cool story bro. Anyways, needless to say, enjoy.
Count me in! May I be a judge? I think I was a key player in RMN Bros 2.
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
from Desmo360
Count me in! May I be a judge? I think I was a key player in RMN Bros 2.

from me
...you can't just sign up and say "Hey hali I'll be your game management bro." You have to PROVE YOUR WORTH. How, you might ask? By playing levels and leaving feedback!

Sorry, but you are not above the rules. You want in, you best be playin' some levels and postin' some crits, mister.
What things can we do about levels being all hodge-podgey? Say we can control the quality of an individual level. How will we control the quality of the levels fitting together? Not having big strings of long, grueling puzzle levels together, or strings of fast flashy levels, strings of precision jumping levels, or strings of davenport levels, etc.

The successful mario formula for a given world is sort of like this:

-You got a world (eg 1-8 or whatever)
-You got a good balance of level types, some are rare, some are frequent
-lots of 'normal' levels compared to the few 'gimmicky' levels sprinkled throughout

-All levels in a world are related in some way and many LOOK similar (we need consistency)

Yes we have desert worlds but having a custom desert level followed by a smb2 desert level followed by a sandy level followed by something thrown together followed by a custom art complicated pretty desert level followed by a standard smb3 sand level followed by a brown level = hodge podge

(RANDOM ASIDE) Mario 2 style levels (ESPECIALLY WITH DIGGING) are a pain let's ban them all

Lets talk about TYPES of levels. I believe a good definition of a type of level is the emotion it creates when the player plays it.

HALF ASS LEVELS (frequency: never)
-very subjective, player thinks 'wow this is lame'
-usually are banned anyway
-example would be one screen with random stuff everywhere, enter pipe with wrong animation, end up at the end of level, player goes 'ugh'
-main emotion here is NONE

FRUSTRATION LEVELS OF UNFAIRITY (1% per world, never in early worlds)
-broken levels that are mostly impossible to pass
-levels designed entirely around the goal of frustrating the player
-cheap traps
-many levels that attempt to be difficult fall here
-mostly bad, but can be humorous if used very sparingly
-my favorite level to make but should be banned anyway (except maybe 1 or 2)
-main emotion here is FRUSTRATION

DIFFICULT CHALLENGE LEVELS OF MOTOR CONTROL (10%-20% of world, more in late worlds)
-beating one of these levels creates a feeling of achievement
-can also cause frustration, the player may continue if they feel their skills are being challenged as long as the level is FAIR
-when done correctly, the player sweats
-this is where a scrolling level would go
-main emotion here is CHALLENGE and ACHIEVEMENT with small amounts of FRUSTRATION and ANGER

HAPPY ADVENTURE (frequency: 50% of world, more in early worlds)
-in standard mario games, the majority of the levels are (and maybe should be) this.
-moderate difficulty
-just mario cruising along, looking at the scenery, doing whatever
-usually take place outside
-swimming levels
-pretty levels
-main emotion here is FUN, maybe RELAXING

PUZZLE LEVELS (frequency: 10% to 20%)
-ghost houses
-switch mazes
-main emotion here is ... um... thinking? what to call it

GIMMICK LEVELS (frequency: 10% to 20%)
-these levels have a unique feature that would usually appear only once in the game
-can be adventure or challenge or maybe puzzle
-should only be 1 or 2 per world, too many will feel like a hodge podge
-examples: silhouette levels, jumpy levels, that sun level in mario 3, raising water levels, thing-chasing-you-levels, Link levels, etc
-might break the tone of the world
-memorable

CASTLE LEVELS (frequency: 5%)
-remind mario of the reason for his adventure and the bad guys hes up against
-often serve as story endpoints
-not as difficult as CHALLENGE levels but more difficult than ADVENTURE levels
-main emotion here is EPIC

did i forget any

-so we have a mario world. A world 1 would look something like this:
THEME: GRASSY HAPPINESS :)
Level 1: ADVENTURE (intro, theme setter, not HALF ASS!!!)
Level 2: ADVENTURE (like 1 but tougher, longer)
Level 3: ADVENTURE/CHALLENGE (now let's get a little serious)
Level 4: CHALLENGE or CASTLE
Level 5: GIMMICK (give player a breather and also something new)
Level 6: CHALLENGE (we are in the guts of world 1)
Level 7: ADVENTURE (give the world a decent aftertaste, a tough level here would distract from 8 rather than build up to it, and the world has to say 'goodbye' in a way so a brutal assault here would ruin flow)
Level 8: CASTLE (wrap up the world, have a boss fight of sorts)

No puzzles in world 1 its probably too early. All these levels should more or less look like they were made by the same person. All CASTLE levels should look similar, All ADVENTURE levels in the same world should look REALLY similar, GIMMICK and PUZZLE levels can deviate but need to maintain their connection a little.

This is an example of what to avoid:
THEME: GRASS
Level 1: HALF-ASS (what a joke! ---happens to be easiest level so just thrown here)
Level 2: CASTLE (already? should have some kind of buildup)
Level 3: GIMMICK (i just want to play mario already!!)
Level 4: PUZZLE (ugh, boring)
Level 5: ADVENTURE (finally! also the only level that looks like its from GRASSLAND)
Level 6: FRUSTRATION (ok skip this! has a bug that makes it hard to pass)
Level 7: CHALLENGE (i'm just... tired now)
Level 8: CASTLE (let's get the hell out of this world)

It's all balance. Too much challenge is frustrating and tiring. Too much adventure gets boring. Too much gimmick is a hodge-podge mess and screams LOOK AT ME I'M SPECIAL. Too much PUZZLE is slow. There needs to be intros and ends and buildups and rests.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed my babbling about Mario worlds.
halibabica
the failed sequel to Casa Blanca
10501
from AncientNoob
CONSISTENCY AND BALANCE
The reason I chose RMN's Pit of Challenges as the setting is so we don't have to make things consistent. It'll be my job to distribute and balance the stages each world features when I make the hubs. A hodgepodge is expected, and I'm taking no countermeasures whatsoever. The end result will be random as hell, but it will definitely be playable!

So I appreciate your concern, but we're not gonna worry about any most of that.
kentona
Any idiot with a computer can be a site admin.
18888
The Super Mario 2 digging levels were some of my most memorable and favorite levels in SMB2. (Toad is the best!)
GreatRedSpirit
After this I'm gonna teach you my secret for mashed potatoes!
6129
AnicentNoob
GIMMICK LEVELS (frequency: 10% to 20%)

B-but these are the only levels I know how to make!