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[SRB2 Riders] Aquatic Park WIP

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Alice

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
I thought I try to take on making an MK stage on SRB2riders. It's not often I actually upload maps that I've done. So here are screenshots of a work in progress of one map I'm doing.

srb20028.png

srb20027.png

srb20026.png

srb20025.png

Made some custom textures for a better feeling, the level was based on Sonic Color's Aquarium Park.
Any suggestions? Comments? Much of this will be appreciated :)
 
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Kitoko

Member
This is looking awesome :D the custom textures look pretty, this asian theme looks awesome! And the colormap looks incredible and beautiful :D but you already knew that!
 

VelocitOni

KartKrew Dev
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Finally, a map that uses beautiful custom textures and conveys a unique atmosphere. I hope the level's long though, we have too many short and repetitive Mario Kart maps, with little to no extra paths or secrets currently. I hope you address those issues.
 

Charybdizs

>WTB lamp oil
Administrator
Kart Krew™️
Judge
Wow! Nice job Hinote! That looks pretty amazing! I'm looking forward to playing it, especially as Aquarium Park was always my favorite Sonic Colors level. I hope you can manage to give the level that majestic undersea feeling that the original aquarium park had.
 

Fawfulfan

The Tortured Planet guy
Reminds me vaguely of Banzai Bonsai from Crash Bandicoot 4. Anyway, your use of custom resources looks pretty stunning. I can't wait to try it out!
 

rocky

Kay
It is possible to do a water slide that leads to a special power-up?

With some spikes and things falling from the celling.
 

Shiron

Member
PROS: Level design, custom texture use, visuals.

CONS: Sonic Color's Aquarium Park Act 1 Music is stuck in my head now. X)

Good Job!
 

Alice

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
It is possible to do a water slide that leads to a special power-up?

With some spikes and things falling from the celling.

You mean.. Is it possible?
I'm not quite exactly understanding your question though. Do you mean like just making any water slide that would lead you to an place with a special power-up?

If so, yes it is possible. With spikes and debris and things like that falling, if you are talking about mapping.

---------- Post added at 04:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:17 PM ----------

PROS: Level design, custom texture use, visuals.

CONS: Sonic Color's Aquarium Park Act 1 Music is stuck in my head now. X)

Good Job!

Thanks! Well, after making this stage (and still going.. Too many things slowing me down) the music is stuck in my head, I could practically sing it if I wanted to. :P
 

Sergeant Brown

An Eggman Fan
Actually, I thought this was based of the water level in Riders ZG until I saw the pics.

I still like it anyways. Keep on going.
 

Fawfulfan

The Tortured Planet guy
Okay, I've got a lot to say about this level.

First of all, the lag isn't restricted to the start; in fact, it's not even the place where the lag is worst. That honor goes to the zoom tube. Furthermore, I doubt that the houses are responsible for the lag; I think a much more likely culprit is that giant, extensive network of glass tubes.

Now, on to the level itself. It's extremely long, but it's also so gorgeous that that isn't a problem for the most part. Your theme is incredibly original and captivating, and the scenery is positively jaw-dropping in places. Unfortunately, however, there are also some pretty serious issues with how the level plays. To begin with, driving underwater is...weird. Being slowed down like that makes me feel sort of impatient. The good news is that there's a glaring bug in SRB2Riders that causes you to revert to normal speed while drifting underwater; I've got to go and pester CZ64 about that.

Another pretty serious flaw is that parts of the level are way too open and way too tall. The sections you chose to fill with scenery were amazing, to be sure, but there were a bunch of areas that were neglected in terms of both visuals and gameplay, so that there are long stretches where you aren't doing (or looking at) anything interesting. The part before the underwater village is a pretty good example of this; it's just a flat, empty path with a couple of curves. And it's insanely big, too; I think I see one or two HOMs above the water line. Another such place is the giant, deep canyon just after that same village; it takes way too long to fall all the way to the bottom.

As for gameplay, I thought that for the most part you executed your gimmicks competently, but there were two of them that I didn't really like. First, the collapsing bridge above the aforementioned canyon. I'm not saying that it's automatically a terrible thing to try and trick the players, but you need to be very careful about how you do it. Any player who thinks they have to cross that bridge will find themselves in a very inconvenient position with regard to the real path. You might want to rework that area. Second, the zoom tube. I love how it looks, but it takes control away for an awfully long time; it might be better if it was shortened...especially since, as I said, I think it might be causing a lot of the lag.

Aside from those changes, what this level really needs is more effective use of its space. I'd advise you to pull in the walls for some of your rooms, and make the drops shorter. I'd also suggest you take whatever unused space is left and fill it with ledges, divots, and maybe even a couple more setpieces. Anything to minimize boring flatness.

Let me close off by saying that I have very high hopes for this level. It's an awesome start, and you've got a great idea here. Tackle the critical issues, and it could end up being one of the best Mario Kart stages for SRB2.
 
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Charybdizs

>WTB lamp oil
Administrator
Kart Krew™️
Judge
I am in awe of the thousands of FOF's in this level. How did you even manage to make that all in one lifetime?

Beautiful map, I can tell you put your heart into this map. I'm totally impressed by how fully you managed to catch the Aquarium Park feeling. Of course, the music, being my favorite Sonic Colors track, helped a lot, but it stands solid apart from that.
Lots of compliments I could lather on about it, but I'll save that for until the level is completed.

A few faults I'm gonna mention instead, so you can fix them. First, I was a bit stumped when I knew I couldn't get over the bridge. I was hesitant to go into the canyon, and the green lines on it were the only thing that convinced me. And then, at the end of this place, they led into what looked like a black wall, until it turned out to be the edge of the water. Now, I have to say, I was operating on pure instinct there, because my mind was telling me "stop! This isn't the right way to go!" That's probably not a good feeling people should get when playing your level. Do something about that black wall, because it really is a bit confusing.

Then, I know you already know of this, but the lag. And oh, the lag! I've never even seen anything like this. IT wasn't just framerate lag, it was seriously slowing my progress down to a crawl whenever I faced the main area. Some abundance of FOF's is most likely causing this, and I suggest you find something and do something about it.

One other real piece of advice I have about this. Now, some of the people here might take issue with what I have to say, it being more visual than technical, but I'm going to say it anyway.
The ocean is one of the most beautiful part of the whole creation, in my opinion, and being such a lover of it, this level would obviously hit home with me. I was a bit disappointed with this aspect when I first saw the underwater sections. They seemed very bland, and flat, not nearly what I would expect in such a submerged paradise. The technical, racing aspect of them is fine, but visually, they're a bit lacking. If I were you, I'd spend a bit of time touching up these areas a bit. Perhaps some custom coral, and sea life, and certainly some oceanic sector based scenery and landscape. Even better yet, perhaps some large jellyfish off in the background, like you see in the original Aquarium Park. Some large sprites would do the justice, I think... As long as they weren't too near the track, you wouldn't have any trouble with the sprite characteristics of them. Do a little more with the underwater environment, and I think it could be quite a bit more impressive to the player. If you need some inspiration... Just play Act 3 of Aquarium Park in Sonic Colors!

Now, mind you, I think above the water is pretty good, although it could perhaps use some decoration on the stone cliff ledges. Besides that...

Awesome level, Hinote!
 

D00D64

Probably Responsible
Oh christ, this game is unplayably laggy. Its like trying to haul a bus of elephants over wet cement with tires covered in molasses. I don't know how you propose to fix this, but at the way it is now, this is downright impossible to play in multiplayer. As for the scenery, its pretty nice at points, but others it feels really bland and only seems to reflect how flat the level is.

Also, considering drifting underwater is most likely going to get fixed, the level is pretty slow underwater. And considering this is a racing game with items, this boils down to everyone being a sitting duck for items and once those are used up, the action is reduced to a crawl. And for the zoom tube, I suggest scrapping that entirely, since its both uninteresting and probably causing a heap of lag.

As for the level design, the road is very boring. Barely any turns and far too wide with not much else to really make the level interesting, relying on the visuals to wrap you in. The track itself is pretty uniform, with only occasional things like the collapsing bridge and the one speed pad part to break out of the usual trend of "Wide road with a few turns" mentality. This combined with the length make the course feel really shallow. Its more like the kiddy pool than the ocean.

tldr; lag is unplayable, ditch the tube, scenery is great, track is not.
 
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Alice

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
Thanks guys for the criticism and suggestions! I really appreciate that as I'm trying to do this stage.

To be honest I didn't know how driving underwater would turn out like, I guess it kind of turned out weird for the most part. I know the level is flat, but that's because its a beta and I already planned on making custom Things and such scenic sectors, like a jellyfish and.. Fish.. But because I didn't want to give too much away, I didn't add it here.

I'm thinking of redoing Aquarium Park a little but with the same general idea, probably not going to drive underwater, as it did turn out weirder than I expected. This is why I send it out now for other to test, because I too felt the same at some points after I completed the circuit.

As for the lag, I honestly do not know how I could fix that. This is the first wad I actually went through with some effort (other maps I've done were just small practices and stuff.)

Back to the drawing board as they say, I'll give this another go with the suggestions in my thoughts.
 

Fawfulfan

The Tortured Planet guy
The lag might be an inevitability to some extent, but there are definitely things you can do to lessen it a bit. If it's ever possible to cut back on FOFs without compromising visuals, do it. Just shrinking that Zoom Tube would probably help a lot. And also, see if you can do any sector merging.

Oh, and one other thing I forgot to tell you in my review: your dripping water is synchronized, and this looks unnatural and ugly. Thompson also did this in Sparkling Icecap, and it was just as bad there. I personally give each of my dripping water spawns random angles, so that the drips are all different. This looks much, much better.
 
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Virt

Trollerskates
This map, it is good. But the lag, it is bad. Very much so. Well, actually, I only lagged mostly in the beginning and the Zoom Tube. So yeah. All I've got to say. I'm not really much into kart mode. .-.
 

Alice

Developer
Sonic Team Junior
I never knew changing angles of the drips would change the time they drop, thanks for the info! Now I thought about it I think I got an idea that would help lessen the lag and continue the course. I'll continue to fix up everything and change the course a little to make it seem less flat and boring.

I have heard that the speed underwater is going to be fixed. This I just heard and don't know for sure if that will happen.
 
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