I present to you... Super Mario Island.
It's about time I made a Projects forum post about SMI.
Super Mario Island logo made by FyreNova. Thanks, FyreNova!!
World 1 is almost done. Two levels are left that needed to be finished, that being Peridot Secret and the castle level.
What is Super Mario Island?
Super Mario Island is a 100% Super Mario World styled episode with choconilla SMW ROM hack themes. The level design early on is intended to replicate the feeling of actual Super Mario World levels while moving later into the game presents more "SMW ROM hack" vibes. The further you go into the game, the harder & longer the levels become, culminating with the final few worlds.
This project is being built with SMBX2 Beta 4.
Is there a story?
No, and I don't plan on creating a story. I feel that while having a story in a Super Mario game is nice, I don't feel that it is essential for Super Mario Island. You are Mario / Luigi. You are put onto an island. Bowser do bad. You stop Bowser from doing bad. End of story.
I want to focus on the platforming & structure of Super Mario Island. If I divert some of my focus to planning a story, I feel it will detract away from the main focus of the game.
Is there a dev team?
While I do need a small team going forward with Super Mario Island, SMI will be basically a one-man project. I'm a person who enjoys working alone more than with others, and with a one-man team doing most of the work, I feel there will be two benefits that come out of it:
The game will have a more consistent feel with it.
Example: each level will be designed by me, not by anyone else. This will keep all the levels equal with each other, as I feel when all levels are designed by one person, they fall in line with each other easier than if there's a 5-man team just doing levels.
The only thing I'm not confident in doing myself is custom .lua coding.
I will drastically improve as a game developer.
Taking on this project mostly by myself will improve my skills as a level designer, graphical artist, .lua programmer, and overall as a developer. I won't be able to rely on people too heavily, forcing me to "git gud" instead of asking someone else to do it.
With this said, I still am accepting a small dev team for some tasks I literally cannot handle by myself [due to a lack of skill]. They are as follows:
I would like to have at least one skilled SMBX programmer on-board with this project, to help me optimize some of my own code, as well as writing / coding things that I am physically unable to, such as custom bosses. Two programmers would be ideal.
- Graphical Artist
To be specific, I need someone who specializes in the arts of Super Mario World styled graphics. I'm not a very good artists, and I don't think I would accurately be able to replicate the style of SMW with any custom tilesets. Only one graphical artist would be required, but the more the better.
The most required type of people I need on my team. I need people to playtest my levels so I can get multiple opinions on how they play, how they feel compared to other SMBX episodes, SMW ROM hacks, & SMW itself. The more constructive feedback, the better the final product will be.
What will be the size of Super Mario Island?
So I looked back on my plans for how big I want this episode to be, and I think I should dial it back a little bit. While I still do want a big episode, each world will most likely contain 8 to 14 levels, which I think is a sizable amount. Levels will usually not be longer than 5 minutes each.
Plans for the worlds?
Currently, ten total worlds are planned.
- Eight "standard" worlds required to be completed to finish the game.
- Star Road, a world with challenging levels, also granting access to later worlds faster. This world will most likely be enjoyed by speedrunners.
- Lost World, a world only playable after 100%ing the rest of the game. Features the hardest & longest levels in the game [not Kaizo difficulty!!] to test the skills of the most determined players.
You've brought up speedrunners a lot. Any more information that speedrunners would benefit from knowing?
Yes, and I'm going to state this right off the bat.
Fuck the Super Leaf.
It will not be included with Super Mario Island, not even as a secret power-up. I feel the state of the Super Leaf in SMBX makes flying through levels all too easy. I feel that speedrunners should have to rely on raw platforming skills most of the time, instead of "press right to win". While some levels that aren't as linear as "traditional" Super Mario levels may be harder to use the Super Leaf efficiently on, most of the levels with SMI will be traditional levels, ergo allowing them to be easily "skipped" with the SMBX Super Leaf.
However, don't fret, fellow speedrunners!! I will try my best to develop Super Mario Island with at least a slight mindset of speedrunning, big examples including how Star Road functions [allowing entire world skips], split paths in worlds allowing the player the ability to skip certain levels within a world, and other things not revealed yet.
Any screenshots / footage of anything that's been designed so far?
Mhm! I have videos of the first two levels, as well as the map of World 1 & World 2. Everything is WIP & subject to change.
World Map [WIP] Level Footage [WIP] Anything special that's been planned but not finished?
Yes, a few things.
- The Cape Feather.
- A few other custom power-ups.
- Custom bosses for each world.
- A "time trial" mode for each level.
Other than the Cape Feather, everything listed is not 100% confirmed, and may change at any time.
Any more information?
Yeah. There's a Discord server that you can join. It'll allow you to keep up-to-date with the project more easily. [I try to post daily updates!!]
If you looked at the "Dev Team" section and thought "oh wow I would like to apply", the Discord server is the place to do it.
There's also a detailed design document located in the Discord, meant to explain & detail my thoughts & processes on Super Mario Island. Currently it's unfinished, but has a lot of information about worlds on it. It's available in a .pdf format.
Any questions you have about Super Mario Island, you can ask here.
It'd be faster to ask them on the Discord, though!
This post itself will become more graphically impressive as I create custom graphical headers for each topic, as well as for other things. It might just be a text wall now but I plan to make this post more vibrant in the future.
Thanks for reading the entire post, and taking interest in Super Mario Island. My goal is not to make "the best Episode ever!!", but to craft an experience for all of you that could be considered "pretty damn good".