How to get better at making levels

Discuss level design, whether in general or related to your levels
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TheKingBahamut
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:31 pm

How to get better at making levels

Post by TheKingBahamut » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:50 pm

Hi,

So I have plans on making my own 8-bit game similar to Mega Man (more like the X games really), and I figured that Maker would be a good way to practice making levels for these types of games. I actually had a lot of fun making and playtesting my first level, but there's a small problem.

The first level I made got several negative votes soon after it was released, and I have no idea why. Admittedly I can't be surprised; this is my first time making a level in Maker, but the lack of feedback beyond the blunt "level good/bad" of votes doesn't leave me with a whole lot of an idea on what issues I might need to fix.
My best guess is that the level I made is too bland and easy, but I feel I need some more specific pointers on what things to change. I'd like to use this thread as a way to get advice, general and specific, about how to make better levels in the future, and what I could have done better in this one.

Level ID:
372504
Prison Raid

If readers could please play through this level and let me know what stuck out to them, both the stuff that did and didn't work, I would appreciate it. Please try to be civil in your critiques, and if you bring up a specific level section, I would recommend providing a screenshot so that I can better pinpoint the issue you bring up.

Thank you very much.

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14Protoman
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:24 pm
Location: Argentina

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by 14Protoman » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:28 am

I'm interested in helping you, King, if you want I can make you my disciple and send you private messages to give you advice. I am not the best, but I have a score of 85 positive points.
Tell me King, how old are you?

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Kun fu Cuts Man
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Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by Kun fu Cuts Man » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:47 am

First of all, do not trust the ingame liking system, most of the time it is not accurate to actual quality (see most popular page), while some real good levels get showered with likes, others are because they are simple and easy. It is better to ask for feedback on the forums or discord servers, like LMLWY or MMMCG.

As for your level, I see why it got downvoted: first, aestetics; using cut tiles for your entire level was a mistake, it makes it seem like you done it on the tutorial. Your gimmick introduction was ok, but exausted your gimmicks (aka not developing their uses). Also enemy usage, it seems to outspread, stick to 3 or 5 enemies and you´ ll be ok, just as the gimmicks, you have to develop their usage over time.

There are many guides for making megaman levels, similar to Mario, you have to limit yourself on some stuff, and stick to them on your stage. The main difference between a Mario level and a Mega one is that MM weeves it´ s gimmicks throught the experience, and varies from challenge to challenge using different stuff and sometimes conbining them; being different of Mario´ s " use A over everything, and put some relax points on top".

Mark Brown made a good analysis of what makes a Mega Man level, a Mega Man level:
Image
Does this count?

About my fangame, I made a new server and all the things related to it have been relocated there, join here
Finished it.

TheKingBahamut
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:31 pm

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by TheKingBahamut » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:54 am

Agree with the aesthetics part, but what do you mean about the gimmicks? I didn't really have any set of gimmicks in mind when I made the level, beyond the Crash lifts.

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Sphyria
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:38 pm

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by Sphyria » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 am

Best way is to play good MMM levels.
Image

My feedbacks only reflect my personal point of view. Also, as english is not my native tongue, sorry if I express myself weirdly.

CommanderShramp
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:02 pm

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by CommanderShramp » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:04 pm

I do honestly want to see this, and i honestly do agree that the liking system is not honestly the best thing to rate a level.
For the love of Talos, let's get this over with.


Also goes by ghostnappa

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D-Man
Posts: 563
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by D-Man » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:01 am

Sphyria wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 am
Best way is to play good MMM levels.
Do you know where I can find some?

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Royalguard
Posts: 3681
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:20 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada
Discord: RoyalGuard#1135

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by Royalguard » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:54 am

D-Man wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:01 am
Sphyria wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 am
Best way is to play good MMM levels.
Do you know where I can find some?
Looking up levels from the users Nickelasse and Tremic1 might be a good place to start, my personal suggestions anyways.
Nickelasse: https://megamaker.webmeka.io/directuser.php?uid=29608
Tremic1: https://megamaker.webmeka.io/profile.php?uid=95

Also consider reviewing Mega Man Maker's past contest winning levels for Ongoing Challenge Event, and Level Creation Content 2017 and 2019, which links can be found on the Mega Man Maker wiki.
Ongoing Challenge Events: https://wiki.megamanmaker.com/index.php ... enge_event
Level Creation Contests: https://wiki.megamanmaker.com/index.php ... n_Contests

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Sphyria
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:38 pm

Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by Sphyria » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:38 am

Let me also suggest :

ItsJustTrash : https://megamaker.webmeka.io/directuser.php?uid=28479
Daibuman : https://megamaker.webmeka.io/profile.php?uid=32

Oh, and I would not really recommend playing the official contest, I mean some levels are pretty neat but most of the time, even the winners are pretty average, due to judges being simply out of touch with what good level design is.
Image

My feedbacks only reflect my personal point of view. Also, as english is not my native tongue, sorry if I express myself weirdly.

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Brazencoronet17
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Re: How to get better at making levels

Post by Brazencoronet17 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:24 pm

Experiment with weapons, gimmicks, so on, layouts and everything

What feels good to play? What is refreshing, fun, not too hard or not too easy?
Are there several playstyles accomadated here, with a way to appeal to most players?
Does any of the placement feel sudden or cheap?
Most of all, when you share your level put it on the MMM forums, the feedback is very helpful

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