How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Discuss level design, whether in general or related to your levels
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Zephadus
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How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by Zephadus » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:22 pm

HOW TO CREATE A MEGA MAN CAMPAIGN:
This tutorial assumes that you are making a campaign using your own levels.
Most images in this tutorial can be clicked to open a larger version.


First, you need to make all your levels (obviously).

After that, you'll need to mock up a level select screen.
Don't worry too much while making it, because it's only for player reference.
It should look something like this:
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All it really needs is to show each of the bosses (levels) that are available in your campaign.
If you have more or fewer bosses in your campaign, make adjustments where necessary.

Next, add an "armory" to all your levels, and start Mega Man there.
In conjunction with your level select mockup, this room allows the player to pick up any weapons and utilities owed to them from previous levels, as well as re-collect any missable utilities (eg: Mega Man 1's Magnet Beam) and E-Tanks they collected previously. As I'm sure you've guess by now, this works on an honor system.
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You may design it however you wish, but for sake of clarity, it's recommended that your armory layout reflects your level select mockup, with weapons and utilities arranged to fill the spaces where a boss portrait would go, as illustrated in the following animation.
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note: the typical level select screen has been compressed for this example

In my own levels, the player drops down from the ladder below into what would traditionally be the first screen of the level, right onto a checkpoint flag.
This helps keep the player from having to collect their weapons again if they die early in the level.

If the screen above your start position is already in use, you can always put a one-way teleport, or alter the armory layout and use a boss door, as seen here in Crash man's level:
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MINI HOW TO: One-Way Teleport
If you just can't fit your armory in a screen adjacent to your start position, you can make a one-way teleport.
Simply place down a teleporter where you'd like to come out of the armoy, then immediately right-click to erase it.
The game will still expect you to place the second teleporter, which you can place in the armory.

Updated 04/04/20 -thanks to Staffy for pointing out that the guide still used an old method with extra steps.


You probably won't need a full armory in "fortress" levels, because the player must have beaten all the Robot Masters to reach the Fortress, and thus, must have all the weapons and utilities, however, it may be good to include one to carry over other collectables, like missable utilities (eg: Mega Man 1's Magnet Beam) or E-Tanks.
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note: no larger size provided

It's recommended that your levels be named so they're listed clearly in the level select menu in Mega Man maker.
For example, my Bubble Man remake level is named "MM2 L1 Bubble Man".
The "L" is for "Level", and the number is an index number related to the level's position on the level select mockup, so the player can easily find and select their desired level using the mockup as reference.
Following with Mega Man 2, that makes Air Man level 2, and Crash Man level 8, etc.
Of course, this can also come in handy if your campaign is meant to be played linearly, or if your levels are grouped, like in Mega Man 7 and 8 (eg: first 4, last 4), limiting which levels are available to the player from the start.

The last thing to do in Mega Man maker, is to test your levels, and make sure they're functioning as expected (I can't count the number of times I've accidentally changed a screen scroll type), and are beatable.

Finally, navigate to your Levels folder
(usually located at C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\MegaMaker\Levels)
You can also get here by opening the Run dialog (Windows Key + R), and entering:
%LOCALAPPDATA%/MegaMaker/Levels

Add all the levels and supplementary material for your campaign to an archive (zip or rar), and upload them to the internet somewhere.
Copy the link, and paste it into your thread to share with the world!
Explaining how to install levels is also recommended.

Example Campaign:
Mega Man 2 (remake in MMM)
Last edited by Zephadus on Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DSN001
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Re: How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by DSN001 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:48 am

sorry, I cannot open or see images, is it because of the website you sended from, or just me don't see them?
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Staffy
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Re: How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by Staffy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:03 am

you are adding extra steps on your one way teleport tutorial.

it actually works like this:

Your exit will be your entrance. When you place your teleporter, put the first one where you want the player to end up, then while it is still the "active object" (you are hovering over it, now holding the "exit") right click to delete it. You should still be holding the exit teleporter. Now place the "exit" where you want the player to enter the teleporter. At this point you can select colors if you wish. The practical upshot of this is that if you go back to the spot you placed the (now invisible) entrance, and you can place tiles over it, even other gimmicks in some cases. This will give Mega Man a cool "popped out of the floor" effect.

Just a pro tip.
My Levels
(not all levels may be available due to upload limit)

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311989
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Tyler-bot
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Re: How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by Tyler-bot » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:16 am

- This isn't a very good method IMO. I've already made a series of levels that showcases a much better way to make your own 'fan-game'. The armory is a bad idea. Try this level and you will see. https://megamanmaker.com/?level=382437

It's called Megaman Rebooted and has a RM select screen built right into it. In addition, it has a 'vault' where additional equipment can be acquired by collecting 'security-keys' that are hidden in the RM sections. This 'armory' thing is just so... bad, :lol: . My way is way better. Just do a 'beginning' level. A 'middle' level. And finish it off with a third level that functions as the 'Wily fortress'. Oi!


* Oh yeah... even though the level takes a little longer to load, I experience absolutely 'no' lag due to the fact that I built the entire stage modular. so if you try the link above, don't close the application thinking the game froze or something. The stage is 65 screens after all, :lol: .

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Zephadus
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Re: How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by Zephadus » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:43 am

Staffy wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:03 am
When you place your teleporter, put the first one where you want the player to end up, then while it is still the "active object" (you are hovering over it, now holding the "exit") right click to delete it. You should still be holding the exit teleporter. Now place the "exit" where you want the player to enter the teleporter. At this point you can select colors if you wish.
Just discovered this by accident the other day!
Wish I knew this to begin with. I might update this post to simplify the instructions.

Tyler-bot wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:16 am
- This isn't a very good method IMO. I've already made a series of levels that showcases a much better way to make your own 'fan-game'. The armory is a bad idea. Try this level and you will see. https://megamanmaker.com/?level=382437

It's called Megaman Rebooted and has a RM select screen built right into it. In addition, it has a 'vault' where additional equipment can be acquired by collecting 'security-keys' that are hidden in the RM sections. This 'armory' thing is just so... bad, :lol: . My way is way better. Just do a 'beginning' level. A 'middle' level. And finish it off with a third level that functions as the 'Wily fortress'. Oi!


* Oh yeah... even though the level takes a little longer to load, I experience absolutely 'no' lag due to the fact that I built the entire stage modular. so if you try the link above, don't close the application thinking the game froze or something. The stage is 65 screens after all, :lol: .
Yup, I have played, rated, and reviewed your level already. :lol:
I like what you've done, but I disagree that your way is "better", at least not objectively.
It may be better if you're doing a game in a Mega Man 7 style, where you have to beat one chunk of levels before tackling the next, but even then, the player has no way to "continue" if they stop playing after one or two levels - it has to be beaten in one sitting, or lose progress.
This may not be much of an issue, unless a player is running out of patience and wants to try a different "sub-level" first.
They would have to either tough it out and beat the current sub-level, or restart the stage and lose potential progress from a completing a previous sub-level.
On top of that, keys aren't ideal for what I'm trying to do.
Don't get me wrong, they work great for your particular use case, but let's look at an example...

Let's say I beat Cut, Elec, and Bomb Man, I collect the M-Tank and E-Tank, but I don't use in the final boss fight of the above level.
Now let's say I go into your next level, to fight Fire, Guts, and Ice Man.
In an actual Mega Man game, I would retain my M-Tank and E-Tank, as I have not yet used them, but the way your levels are set up, I simply lose those items.

That being said, I'm not saying my way is necessarily better, either.
Let's do some pros and cons:

Tyler-bot method:

Pros:
Entire game fits within 3-4 levels (less upload slots used / less downloads if importing levels manually)
Less loading (player does not have to load a new level file for each "sub-level")
Weapons do not need to be re-collected in an "armory" at the beginning of each level
General ease-of-use (no manual downloads or extra effort on the player's part)

Cons:
Collected items do not carry over between level "packs"
All "sub-levels" have to use the same music track and bg color (on screens that the bg color is visible)
x levels have to be beaten in one sitting (where x is the number of "sub-levels" contained in one level file)
Levels 1-3 must be beaten before levels 4-6 are even accessible (non-traditional, although not unprecedented)

Zephadus method:

Pros:
Weapons and items carry over via an "armory" that works on the honor system (functionally replaces passwords)
Levels have their own music and background colors
Players can quit playing between levels without losing progress (provided they utilize the armory)
Levels can be tackled in any order, such as in most traditional Mega Man games

Cons:
Large number of files (not enough upload slots for a whole game - must be downloaded manually)
More loading (player has to load the next level to play after each level)
Weapons and items must be re-collected at the beginning of each level
Not user-friendly (player is required to manually download and import levels, and load them in the editor)

I've presented these as being "equal but different", depending on the needs of a particular level builder.
To be crystal clear, I do very much like the way you do levels, and I appreciate how the work.
They are pretty close to what I'd consider a de facto standard of Mega Man Maker multi-level design.
That being said, my guide is centered more on making a game in a more traditional style, with 8 robot masters, and a handful of fortress levels.

Regarding the armory specifically: it is intended to be a stand-in for a password screen.
While it does indeed depend on the honesty of the player, who may very well cheat, the very same thing can be done with older official Mega Man games, using their password system.
There is nothing stopping a player in this modern era from loading up any official Mega Man game and looking up passwords, or using password generators found on the internet.

Anyway, broadening the conversation, I am wide open to constructive criticism about any of the rest of the process, keeping in mind that my goal is to facilitate an approximation of a traditional Mega Man title.
Last edited by Zephadus on Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tyler-bot
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Re: How To: Make a Full Game (campaign)

Post by Tyler-bot » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:45 pm

- You make extremely good points here. Thank you. Sorry for citing my way as 'better' as it's really not applicable. The pros/cons all make sense.

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