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Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Victor Sthang
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Default What makes good SRB2 level design for you?

As we all know, 2.2 is not that far from us, and seeing how much it's going to add to the game, This inspired me to start making maps for it, but making levels is way harder than it should be, aside from the complexity of the builder.

But anyways
Does anyone have some tips to get me started?
What makes a level good/fun for you, and how a level should be structured to be passable at SRB2.

I'll be pretty happy to hear any good answers.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
CobaltBW
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Try to inspire the player's curiosity through your level design.

For instance, if there's a path or a plateau way above the player, and the player doesn't know what's on that upper level, they will instinctively want to reach that path to satisfy their curiosity. Interactive terrain, gimmicks, and secrets are all good ways to inspire and reward curiosity.

Also an easy way to make your level pretty to look at is to decorate your walls with layered sector heights and colors/shades of textures, then sprinkle scenery objects around the perimeter for some added flavor. Basically just keep your thok barrier from looking like giant boxes.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
MascaraSnake
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You might want to read this if you haven't already: https://wiki.srb2.org/wiki/Level_Design_101
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
Rumia1
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Some tips to remember:
-Don't do button hunts, they slow down the gameplay and make things terrible for race.
-Use slopes liberally, I know they're hard to learn how to use properly (especially the 700-713 ones, they only cleanly work by doing squares) but they are the most recent addition to SRB2 and can really give the level a lot of depth.
-Test your level from each checkpoint and sit there and wait, make sure the player has enough time to react to whatever's coming at them. I know this should be obvious to most people but it's amazing how many times I've gotten killed when starting a level from a checkpoint either due to misplacement of enemies or having one set of detons right behind the player's spawn ready to kill you.
--On the same note, always put rings around the checkpoint, it should be very obvious why.
-Don't cut off a downward slope with a wall, while vanilla SRB2 doesn't increase your speed when going down a hill unless you're spinning (which locks you into the direction you're going even if you jump), some mods remove this limitation and it still feels fun to run down a slope unimpeded.
-On a similar note, if the player is going fast, adjust your turns to match. The player will slow down when turning naturally so if you give them a wide birth, they lose less momentum. In contrast, If you have a bunch of hazards coming up that the player wouldn't see when making a turn, try tightening the curve or adding an uphill slope to naturally slow the player down so they don't run into things.
-Never, EVER, put midtextures before a place where the player has to jump down over a pit. Make sure that if the player has to jump over a pit somewhere or do platforming, make absolutely sure they can see it. Fun and function always comes before aesthetics.
-Put a few secrets here and there, players like to be rewarded for their efforts for searching for things and getting to difficult areas. Don't put too many secrets around though because that will make your level too easy, distract the player, and possibly slow the pace down.
-Playtest your level with not only all three vanilla characters, but also custom ones. Including secrets that specific characters can get to is a fun way to get people to play other characters besides Sonic. Custom characters can help you notice things about your level you might not have thought about otherwise: "Is this level too difficult?" "Do I have too many/not enough monitors lying around?" "Does this one character totally obliterate everyone else's times in this stage" < (optional when it comes to custom characters), Etc.
-Always make it clear, even subtly, where the player is supposed to be going in the level. Having enemies face towards where the player will be coming from, funneling them out from other paths, and placing checkpoints before splits and after merges in paths all help the player to identify where they are even if you don't have memorable setpeices.

-Personal prefrence here, but test your stage with analog mode. Cramped corridors can make it hell for a person with this on to navigate and sometimes respawning at checkpoints will point your camera in the wrong direction.
-Another personal thing but if possible, check your level once over in the opposite rendering mode from what you use, you can run the game in OpenGL by making a new batch file (name doesn't matter), edit it and put in this line:
Code:
srb2win.exe -opengl
saving it and running it.

That's about all I've got, I'm not creative enough to design my own levels but I'd like to think I know what makes a fun one.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
RomioTheBadass
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For me a good level design is a level that doesn't look ugly / is pleasing to look at, and also has plenty of clever platforming and gimmicks, linear or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Sthang View Post
making levels is way harder than it should be
It's so much simpler than nowadays true 3D level modelling however.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
toaster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Sthang View Post
As we all know, 2.2 is not that far from us,
please stop saying this, especially because it isn't true. please.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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I mean

you're assuming "not that far" means "within the year"
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
toaster
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i'm not, it's just that i specifically had to call out that thing in the original topic; the rest of the post is still relevant either way. victor was previously hoping for it to come out in early 2018, and didn't manage to be dissuaded from this. but whatever
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Victor Sthang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toaster View Post
i'm not, it's just that i specifically had to call out that thing in the original topic; the rest of the post is still relevant either way. victor was previously hoping for it to come out in early 2018, and didn't manage to be dissuaded from this. but whatever
Yeah, that was really an mistake
Just hope it comes out some time or another anyway.

---------- Post added at 04:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:03 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by Potatosack View Post
I mean

you're assuming "not that far" means "within the year"
Yeah, i was thinking about mid late 2018 or at the end of it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
Mystic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CobaltBW View Post
Try to inspire the player's curiosity through your level design.
This is probably the best single-sentence level design advice I've ever seen. While it's fun to dash through stages quickly, there are a lot of players, myself included, that really want to be interested in what's over there. Level design that encourages exploration and actually has some payoff for doing so is by far my favorite.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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I love grassy GFZ clones for some reason. I also like open levels with a good mix of indoor and outdoor areas, so caves with holes in the ceiling where light pours through warm my heart.

I don't like levels that pepper slopes everywhere and they end up serving no purpose. Especially if they're the square, single-sector kind. Those stages always feel so messy!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Before you move into Zonebuilder and start drawing sectors, it's important that you actually know what you want to make. While deciding on a theme is probably the first thing you'll think of, you want to decide what your level will acomplish before anything else.

Ask yourself these questions:

-What is the goal of this level once completed?

-What do I want the player to experience during this level? (Speed? Tight Platforming? Exploration?)

-What type of pathing route will benefit this level the most? (Split? Sonic 3 Style? Maze-Esque?)

-What enemies will I use? (This ones is very important, it can really make or break how much your level stands out from the others. Even going with just crawlas, you can push them to do some creative things.

-What gimmick will I use and why?

Moving on to personal preferences, I enjoy levels that have a sense of progression, and tell a story. There doesn't need to be any set of cut-scenes or special events happening, good geometry can tell a great story. Think of climbing a mountain, and as you go higher into the level, the time of day on the outer sections begins to change, or you use subtle teleports to engulf lower portions of the level in a thick layer of clouds. That kind of soft immersion can go a long way into make your level stand out even with a simplistic theme.

Weather Factory in SRB2 Top Down is a great example of what I like to see in a level. The geometry all feels like an airship, and you start at the very front tip, and progress towards the end within the level.
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