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Level Construction Advice

#1 User is offline Kharen 

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:04 PM

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I thought I'd try making something in Game Maker. (To be more specific, I'm using Studio) It's a bit of a stupid idea, but I wanted to see how far I could take it. The idea is, how good of a Sonic game can you make without any of the Sonic-style physics. No 360-degree engine or anything. At most, I've got a gradual, 45-degree, and steep slope for each direction, and pre-set calculations for each one for what happens when Sonic is standing on them. Each slope would have set a state for Sonic when he stands on them, marking things like if wall-running is possible yet. Basically, I want to do something more like the Game Gear games, and not just a simplified-looking Genesis clone.

Since I'm still in the process of putting things together, I was looking at level construction. How should I go about putting these together? My first thought was to copy how the Genesis games worked. I got a list of all of the 256x256 chunks used to make Green Hill Zone, and started replicating them with my custom tiles. I figured, I could make a tileset in Game Maker and just place chunks down as though I were building a level in a ROM hack. The thing is, like I said before, my game is more Game Gear inspired. I'm using modified Sonic graphics from Sonic Pocket Adventure, and these chunks feel like they're absolutely massive with the smaller scale. I haven't gotten to building the actual level yet, but I'm getting the feeling that this might be a bit awkward, with oversized levels that aren't fit for the player.

Does anybody have any suggestions on how I should handle this? Should I go with building the levels by hand with 16x16 tiles, or stick with the chunk-design method? Would smaller chunks be more appropriate for a smaller Sonic, and what sizes should I be looking at? Is there anything in particular that I might be overlooking that I need to take into consideration when I start designing these? While I have some incredibly basic programming experience, I've never actually finished a project in Game Maker.

#2 User is offline Ell678 

Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:52 AM

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While making a layout hack for an existing game, using the existing chunks and just diving right in is very easy, as the majority is already done, and you can create new ones should you need to. However, I feel if you are going for some original content, it may be more prudent to physically sketch and draw your level designs out, come up with some ideas, and then start making the chunks.

Making the level by hand with the 16x16 tiles would be pretty taxing, but would give you a massive amount of creative freedom. Compare the disassembly of Sonic 1 that uses 128x128 tiles to the original 256x256, you will gain a lot of creative freedom, but it is generally more time consuming to work on (and to make some of the graphics match up. I haven't worked on a hack in almost 10 years though (damn, I feel old) and I don't work on pixel based stuff right now, so someone else could over rule me. Hope I've been of some use.

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