Easy Level Designer

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Easy Level Designer

Postby bowser2007 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:09 am

Everyone knows that the sm63 level designer is far more popular than the LL one even though it is superior in every way. It appears to me that people are a bit overwhelmed by all the possibilities in LL and think that that it either is too confusing or that it will take too much time to do anything reasonable with the designer. I think there needs to be something to fix this if chapter 3's level designer is to become popular, so I've made the stupidly simple, Easy Mode! It's like the current level designer, but the more advanced options such as triggers and colour customisation are removed to make things much simpler! Here's a list of my ideas for changes for both modes:

Changes for both:
-more tiles + items (mostly tiles)
-in-game instructions on how to design (especially on making planets and other confusing things)
-preview how planets and blocks will look when created
-more sound effects/music
-weapon levels can be controlled from within the game and even set beyond the maximum level in-game
-create inside out planets (OJ's idea)

Easy mode:
-triggers limited to basic functions (eg. signs appearing, platforms starting + stopping, stuff like that)
-colour customisation system replaced with a simple panel full of 24-32 colours
-simple changeable variables created to customise HP and damage and such
-layer system removed visibly (still saved in-game)
-text HTML code simplified (added buttons similar to that when posting here), option to add pictures
-HTML code on signs is replaced with (large/medium/small) size indications that are not removable and invisible in-game
-new default font. Word changed it from Times New Roman for a reason you know (Shrooms idea)

Advanced mode:
-new move forward/backward tool to swap an item from one layer to another
-new move to back/front tool.
-many, many more triggers to use
-custom items/tiles with programmable AI and custom sprites that can be animated
-same thing for backgrounds
-add your own music and SFX
-music and SFX editor
-customizable SFX and music quality (included in editor)
-ability to animate turning/moving quicker and easier
-customise enemy drops
-change delta + negate orb range
-multiple triggers per item (eg. enemy mushroom has both onDefeat and onHit)
-built-in colour picker for text on signs
-text-to-speech with several different voices that can be used for NPCs
-customizable shops with controllable prices and stock
-make your own bosses!
-gravity can become stronger/weaker changing movement speed as well as jump height
-negative values in gravity strength cause gravity to become inverted (OJ's idea)
-manually type code for super advanced stuff (OJ's idea

EDITS: added shrooms idea and changed some stuff based on what others want
Last edited by bowser2007 on Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:21 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Supershroom » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:24 pm

I second most of these things for an easy version of CH3's designer, because indeed sometimes less is more.

First off, what I dislike the most of LL's designer is its stupid layout with the thin Times New Roman fonts. The thick Arial font of SM63's designer is so much more comfortable.

Next, I think we can have it the best for colour schemes if we manage to adapt the colour panel from the forums. Just like you use colour when posting, you open up the panel and click on that colour, and for brightness and monochromousness you can use roll bars, so you don't have to memorize any stupid numbers. This would go for colouring items only. For tiles I would actually propose a system that maintains the basic colour of all tiles, e.g. making snow not yellow or something.

For the auto-mixture of tiles - I don't really like that all too much, I would reserve it for advanced mode. In easy mode you do the same thing as in SM63. You have different tilesets for dirt, desert, ice etc. and you have no limit of 50 tiles for each tileset.

I don't think all triggers should be removed on easy mode. I would keep things like weather effects, signs and controlling platforms.

Gravity and planets is a thing which keeps bugging me. The way you create planets is so contra-intuitive. When creating a planet, the form of the tile group you choose should be exactly maintained, and after that you can customize how "round" your planet shall be. And for gravity you just define how far it reaches. Gravity strength should be unified everywhere.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Karyete » Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:10 pm

bowser2007 wrote:-triggers removed

Triggers are one of the key things that make LL superior. Removing them entirely is a big mistake.
At the very least, perhaps we could have some basic pre-assembled triggers (cutscenes, etc.) that can be edited.

bowser2007 wrote:-colour customisation system replaced with a simple panel full of 8-16 colours

Good idea, but 8-16 colours is way too little. I agree with not using the current system.

bowser2007 wrote:-text cannot be coloured and text size is limited to 3-5 default sizes

Not entirely sure how this simplifies things.

bowser2007 wrote:-removed the play test button from within the level designer

All this does is make it harder to see if something works or functions as it should. Again, doesn't really simplify anything.

Have an imaginary thumbs-up from me though, this is a really neat concept for an issue that needs solving.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Runouw » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:19 pm

I think I'll keep a close eye on this thread. Keep the suggestions coming.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Oranjui » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:21 pm

I just posted this in a separate thread but realized it could probably go here.
in 'Revamped Planet/Moving Block Designer', Oranjui wrote:Oh boy my first post in ages here. Anyway, I think planets and moving blocks have potential to be really powerful, but they're missing a few things and could be a lot more interesting.

First of all, for planets: I'd like to see some way to create "inverted" planets or something like that. Currently, it seems like the planet creator wraps the selection around the bottom edge, which means planets can really only be convex. Adding options to wrap around the top edge to create a concave planet, or around the left or right edge to make something even more interesting, would help a lot to make more interesting terrain with curvature and stuff.

Next, concerning gravity, and going along with the idea of concave planets: Would it be possible to add some sort of "negative gravity" option for planets and moving blocks, which repels rather than attracts entities? (so I guess it's more of like magnetism than actual gravity.) It would push entities away from the center of gravity of the object, so that it can keep them on the edges as they move around something like a concave planet.

Finally, I'm not sure how feasible this one would be, but for moving blocks: Custom shaping. Warp the terrain/tiles you've selected to whatever shape you like to allow for all sorts of sharp edges, dynamic slopes, and the like. People have been asking a lot about "slicing tiles" as was seen in SM63's story mode on the runouw chat, and I think some sort of tile sculptor like this could potentially accomplish that, if it's not too heavy.

I guess if none of this is possible, then so be it. But I think that at least a concave planet option would benefit the designer a lot and make for a ton of new possibilities.

Thanks for reading n stuff


If the suggestions in this thread get implemented somehow, then I'd assume these kinds of things would probably go with the Advanced mode?


Otherwise, I agree with most of the stuff in this thread. I do have a few qualms, though:

- "First off, what I dislike the most of LL's designer is its stupid layout with the thin Times New Roman fonts. The thick Arial font of SM63's designer is so much more comfortable." I agree that the font choice is a little questionable and not really pleasing to the eyes, but I don't think the Times New Roman font should be replaced with Arial, because personally Arial looks a lot worse than TNR and would honestly feel really out-of-place in LL's designer anyway. Maybe try something else more eye-friendly, like Open Sans, instead? PT Sans or PT Serif? Droid Serif? I don't even know but there are a ton of way better font choices out there. Honestly, if it really becomes an issue, there could just be an added setting for selecting a font to be displayed the designer in Settings somewhere.

- "Easy mode: [...] -triggers removed" I don't think triggers should be removed or "simplified" at all for Easy mode. Maybe hide the Math/variable features, and maybe the camera/cinema stuff too, at most, but otherwise hiding more stuff would kind of destroy the purpose of triggers.

- "Easy mode: [...] -colour customisation system replaced with a simple panel full of 8-16 colours" Replacing the currently giant colour customizer with a palette of all of the web-safe colours (which I believe is what's shown on forums and such?) plus an opacity slider seems like the easiest way to simplify that to me. Don't make the process of simplifying that more complicated than it has to be; it's already done for you.

- "Gravity strength should be unified everywhere." I don't really like that idea very much. Dynamic gravity could make for a far more interesting experience if it functions properly. If we could set default gravity to 0 and then have planets that obey realistic gravity laws (maybe just add a Mass setting for planets instead of a setting for "gravity", and then literally just use F=GMm/r^2 to determine the strength?), it would be really cool. // Also, negative gravity (see quote above)? Or electromagnetism, even? :3333

- "Easy mode: [...] -remove the play test button from within the level designer" As others have said, not really necessary and I feel like it's pretty useful anyway just for quick testing without loading the full level.


EDIT: Another thing, this time relating to triggers. Would it be possible to have an option to swap from the graphical drag/drop code editor into a text-based editor for trigger functions and have some sort of documentation for "trigger language"? Not sure if that should be Advanced Mode-exclusive or not, but it would be good to have.

also this isn't really that relevant to the thread, but on the topic of triggers, can we please get rid of using the numbers as reference markers? kinda talked a little more about trigger stuff in this post even though it's kinda sloppy and I haven't done much research


EDIT2: @Ven:
6:15 PM Oranjui: yeah you've pretty much convinced me that this is a terrible idea
Last edited by Oranjui on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Supershroom » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:38 pm

My biggest concern about the font is mostly it's thinness, and that it's not set apart very much from the background (e.g. on the grey-paleblue-ish item selection bars on bottom). If you choose Open Serif (is that the font from Discord?) it's also fine of course.

Also for triggers in both modes I'd like to see improvements in the way of organizing things like cutscenes (Cinema On ... Cinema Off) and branching etc. into loops (like the programming loops you can automatically generate in environments like Java, Matlab etc.) So you just e.g. click "Cinema On", and it automatically adds "Cinema Off" and everything in-between is slightly indented. Then you can't happen to miss out an "Cinema Off" function. Makes it easier, right?
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby bowser2007 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:10 am

ok, about the triggers I sort of agree with you guys and the fact that they shouldn't be entirely removed. signs, items dropping and platforms starting and stopping should probably stay as well as some basic functions like sleep. Those are essential for making a descent level. The other stuff involving variables, cameras, dissolving blocks, moving stuff and all the other things are just to complicated for easy mode. I get that this stuff is important for the game, and I'm not saying remove it entirely. I'm just saying there should be the option to exclude them. Of course you should still be able to use them if you need to do something like niicolas amazing trigger stuff but new designers need something to help them get used to the new designer before throwing all the complicated stuff at them. In other words, changing from easy mode to Advanced mode should be changing from super mario maker to Unity. SSM gives you tools to make simple level but Unity provides advanced tools for more creative stuff. Also the playtest button being removed was only supposed to leave more room for other buttons. It was kinda stupid so let me edit that one out.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Venexis » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:56 am

okay. To be honest I've put off addressing it even though I disagree because I can't think of a better solution

I wanted to actually bring something to the table if I was going to say no that's not a good way to do it


Kay so general disclaimer- I've read nothing about this except what appears on the Runouw.com topic. My position may be uninformed and I may just be reiterating things that have already been brought up, but I need to say this:

People who already know what LL is... these are the folks we don't really need to listen to right now. No offense, but if you know what LL is, what type of game it tries to be, have submitted a level or two before, you're not the people this change will affect. We need to hear from the people that WILL be directly impacted by this change.

Like all the new members the game hopes to attract. Like, well... like me.

Time for some background information. I'm very much against this, because "the basics" aren't enough to make a level worthy of competing with. You flat out can't make a contest-winning entry with just the simple features. You flat out can't make a portal-topping level with just the basic features. I absolutely agree that we need to change the community mindset on competition, because I've seen some members of our community react suicidally (god I wish this was a joke, but it isn't) when they don't get first place in a contest, or when their level doesn't get as much feedback as they anticipated. This is a massive problem, because it breeds an ideology of all or nothing- if your level isn't multipart, if it doesn't have a story to go alongside, if it doesn't have easter eggs, if it doesn't have top tier gameplay and graphics, if it doesn't have stellar triggerwork, well, it's not worth making at all. This is wrong.

But dumbing down the designer isn't the way to fight it. I can appreciate the sentiment of not overwhelming newbies, but it's actually putting up a barrier to those same newbies ever learning how to do the more advanced stuff, and I vehemently oppose that.

Let me share my experience with Last Legacy. I know what the game is supposed to be, I know how it controls and enough to make a guess at the underlying story. I did some tilework for the Survivor entry over a year ago (read: marginal participation, that covered exactly none of the advanced stuff), and did some bugchecking for the Runolympics. In short, I am the perfect candidate to tell you why this is a bad idea, because I am a complete noob. I've never submitted a level, never entered a contest, hell- I've never even given the game more than a passing "sounds interesting" when I was required to do so.

But, when I was required to do so, I was forced to learn how triggers worked. I was forced to learn how to change item properties, and I was forced to learn how landscapes worked with the game physics. Not just in one tiny transition of a huge level, but throughout a level.

And I can say with certainty: It's because all those features were present that I did anything with them.

It's because I was thrown, headfirst, into a competitive LL scene, where my options were either learn how to do this stuff, or let everyone down, that I discovered it was something I actually liked doing.

It was because I had all the options right there to experiment with that I experimented with them at all, and realized that maybe this is something I'd want to do more of next time a contest comes up.

I don't have a better suggestion at the moment, but I am sure this is the wrong way to go about it. I'm all for having options- make two designers if you like, but DO NOT redirect newbies to the easier one, because then what will they become comfortable with? Only the basics of the game. I've heard that it will be like a door- when you're ready to move on, open the door to the more complex designer. Sounds good, but that's not how it will work... People will stay where they're comfortable- Ever wonder why big SM63 names stayed where they started? If you tell people to try the easy designer, the vast majority will stay there, never encouraged to try more complicated things because they're hidden.

And then, just like even the most amazing SM63 creations can't compare with LL's complexity, even the most amazing creations made with the easy designer won't compare with the full version. If the competitive scene is full of self-punishing users right now, imagine it worse.

I'm sorry if this is a mess because it was hastily typed but this is something I care about a lot and someone needed to say it.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby Niicola » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:55 am

bowser2007 wrote:Of course you should still be able to use them if you need to do something like niicolas amazing trigger stuff [...]

:mrgreen:
Venexis wrote:I'm sorry if this is a mess because it was hastily typed but this is something I care about a lot and someone needed to say it.

Whilst better when well organized, I think the message you try to convey is clear to everyone.

As a quite good LL level designer, I have to agree with most of what you say. I have the feeling that those who'll start the Easy way will rarely cross the border to the Advanced level designer.

Sure it will attract people, but in the worst case, it could divide the community. The best user of the Easy level designer won't even compete with an average user of the Advanced one. What do you think will happen ? When they'll realise they can't win any LL contest, they'll start creating their own, excluding those who use the complex version of the designer.

Venexis wrote:It was because I had all the options right there to experiment with that I experimented with them at all, and realized that maybe this is something I'd want to do more of next time a contest comes up.


I can very much relate to this. Actually, who doesn't? When I first read this, it reminded me of my first levels, of my poor level designing skills, of all my experiments, going through trials and error to discover new possibilities to make my levels better and better. Among the people here who plays or used to play LL regularly... who started otherwise?

Yes, I found out that it was incredibly complicated but it was also more exciting and so much more rewarding when I got feedbacks such as "Amazing trigger stuff" ; "phenomenally impressive level" ; "Genius" ; "Level-designing God". That's some feelings Easy users are never gonna feel.
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Re: Easy Level Designer

Postby ColdWater » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:22 pm

bowser2007 wrote:
Changes for both:
-more tiles + items (mostly tiles)


we already have enough items ,adding more tiles would be good even if we can make our own tiles with items and such.

bowser2007 wrote:
-in-game instructions on how to design (especially on making planets and other confusing things)

i think thats pretty much useless because for me ,creating planets is just clicking on one button. But I think a tutorial (in the forums) for how to make the good planet form would be so much useful.

bowser2007 wrote:-preview how planets and blocks will look when created
-more sound effects/music
-weapon levels can be controlled from within the game and even set beyond the maximum level in-game



why not ,for the music I just need the old ones (inspiritional rock ,overworld... those musics are very good for me ,I miss them.
you can change the level of weapons in your level ,change something in your levels code (actually i don't know how to do it ,Niicola already did it so ask to him hehe)


[quote="bowser2007"]
-create inside out planets (OJ's idea)

i don't understand this 8(

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