SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

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SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:42 am

SMBX Newsletter - Example

Hello, and welcome to Issue #N of the SMBX Newsletter! This is a monthly compilation of all things SMBX! Let's get straight into it, shall we?

SMBX2 News!
SMBX2 Beta 4 Patch 1 is the latest version of SMBX! Download it here: (link)

(if a new blog has been released since last time)
A new blog update has been posted - read it to find out more about upcoming SMBX2 features! (link)

SMBX2 Beta 4 Patch 2 is expected to release... soon! As usual, no release date can be given yet. This patch will fix a number of bugs found since Patch 1, so when it does finally launch, be sure to download it!

Upcoming / Current Contests!
Chocolate Contest X1 is planned to launch sometime after Beta 4 Patch 2 releases. Stay tuned for more details regarding this upcoming official contest!

Level of the Month!
Next, let's view the results of the last LOTM!

A visual graphic with all the placements

Congratulations to winning entry for winning Level of the Month!

Also, make sure to submit a vote to the current LOTM: Link to the current LOTM voting thread

Episodes and Demos!
Next, let's take a look at the episodes released over the past month!

Episode / demo name
Screenshot from the episode, can just be the logo or main screen. The screenshot will have a link to the forum topic (or download page if no topic exists)
Authors
What the gameplay is like
Link to the episode incase someone didn't work out the screenshot was a link

Project Spotlight
Time to give a spotlight to some promising episode concepts and, ofcourse, to highlight the works of newcomers!

Episode name by Author / team name
Short description, such as "a charming project that is pretty far into development. With a vast array of fun, unique gimmicks, this episode looks like it'll be very enjoyable! Stay up to date with the project's thread here: (Link to thread)"

Something made by newcomers, it can be levels, project threads, graphics etc.

Meet a Veteran: (name)
This segment will be a short-ish interview with someone who is good / has experience with SMBX level design, graphic design, lua usage, etc. Could also be an interview with people who have been around for a long time (the OGs), or perhaps even the developers of SMBX (aside from 38a).

In other news...
Just a few interesting things that might have taken place over the past month. Interesting .gif of a cool level gimmick? Check. New graphic packs / updates released? Count us in. Basically anything cool that happened that doesn't really fit in any of the other categories.

And that concludes this month's SMBX Newsletter! Until next time! :)

Please note that, due to not always being available, the New Episodes, Newcomer Highlights, and the SMBX2 Dev sections will not be applicable for every issue.

Please discuss this format, as this is the first draft for what will become the monthly SMBX Newsletter (as suggested by Enjl in this topic: viewtopic.php?f=99&t=25324)
Last edited by Taycamgame on Fri May 08, 2020 11:34 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eclipsed » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:52 am

I feel like the Meet A Veteran Section could encompass more than level designer, which should be the main thing, but it’d be nice to be able to have interviews with major past community members or people who aren’t that involved in level design but are in involved in development of the game such as Joey, Rednaxela, or Wohlstand.

Also, by episode releases is it only including episodes that are fully done without any updates to add more levels or is it also encompassing demos. And are 38A episodes included in that area since I know that most of the areas surrounding it don't include it.

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:09 pm

Eclipsed wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:52 am
I feel like the Meet A Veteran Section could encompass more than level designer, which should be the main thing, but it’d be nice to be able to have interviews with major past community members or people who aren’t that involved in level design but are in involved in development of the game such as Joey, Rednaxela, or Wohlstand.
Great idea! The original plan was only to interview people who were good with level designing, but obviously that's only one part of SMBX. Interviews with some of the people who are devs would be great to see what kind of things really goes on when... well, developing stuff. Some major past community members might be a bit hard to get ahold of however.
I think it might also be worth interviewing people for other things too such as graphic designing etc. Basically, the Meet a Veteran section is open to interviews with a wide range of people, not just the level designers. However as mentioned I would like to get a few level design related interviews done in the early days, as that's one of the most major parts of SMBX.
Eclipsed wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:52 am
Also, by episode releases is it only including episodes that are fully done without any updates to add more levels or is it also encompassing demos. And are 38A episodes included in that area since I know that most of the areas surrounding it don't include it.
I think it would be very beneficial to the creators for this segment to encompass demos. Basically anything that has been released over the past month that falls under the category of "level packs" (this section isn't intended for standalone levels) would be good to have here.
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Enjl » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:30 pm

Seems very hastily typed up from that bullet point list I made a while ago... but promising. Lots of room for improvement:
- Get the reader's journey down. They'll read top to bottom, so sort stuff in a way in which it flows well. Community and engine news at the top (including upcoming events), episode-specific stuff below, current events below, then the random other news.
- If interviews appear as part of such an issue, they should be contained in a spoiler tag, because if they are thorough like the SMWC ones, they can bloat the thread extensively.
- "Promising concepts and newcomer highlights" sounds very condescending.. It feels like picking favourites and just isn't a catchy title. Naming it something more generic and catchy like (but perhaps not word-for-word) "The Project Digest" could go a long way in making the category more open (featuring stuff not strictly from newcomers, or projects that have been around for a while but will soon see completion, etc...)
- From the rushed examples you provided... Your episode descriptions definitely need work. The goal of highlighting things would be to get people excited, and you won't get far by reciting generic blurbs that will be the same for each element posted about. I'd like to see some concrete examples for both the episode and project synopses. Do keep in mind that an episode/project's strength might not be its gameplay, but rather its core premise and idea. Selling that is what will ultimately become important. Who is the episode for? Why would you want to play it? Questions like these are what needs answering.
- The filler sentences under some headlines don't add anything.
- If you wanna do any kind of visual, you have to make it into a format that is easy to read. What will work well is small images that can be put close to text so that one can read the text while peeking over at the image from time to time. The whole reader journey would be a lot cooler if we had some funky image plugins, but that's a separate idea... If worst comes to worst, the description can always be embedded into an image next to the actual screenshot(s) to create a more stylish display.
- I recommend getting sprites for the headers of each section. I think it would be nice.

That's all that stands out to me at a glance. Formatting's really gonna be huge with the delivery here, just like writing in a style that makes reading fun. They certainly won't be nailed from the start in all aspects, but I like the direction this is headed.
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:09 pm

Thanks, Enjl. This will all be taken into consideration. I have to admit that yes, this draft was slightly rushed but it's purpose was to get the idea on paper. It'll be improved :)
Things that will be different in the actual newsletters:
- Formatting will be more newsletter-like
- Headlines will use graphics as opposed to simple text
- Since there will be actual episodes featured, the description will be more in context (this was just a quick, basic example of something that could be said)

The other things you mentioned are simple changes that won't take too long to get implemented. I'll probably post another draft within the next few days with your feedback considered.

Thanks for the concept btw. I really hope for this to be successful and something that will last more than just a few months. I want it to be something that can consistently be created even years down the line. It all depends on how successful it is to begin with really :)
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby FireyPaperMario » Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:47 pm

I got a suggestion for the "Meet a Veteran: (Insert veteran SMBX member name here)" thing:

Can we NOT limit this in the monthly newsletter to just the expert level designers, contest winners, members who made some of the greatest SMBX episodes ever made, or members who won the LOTM? How about this section also includes community members behind not just the creative custom GFXs in the graphics forums, but the community members who made great community-based comics in the art board forums (Example: Kley's "SMBXbound", Whoever made "The Adventures of Knux")! :idea: :idea:

At least that'll add some sort of variety every month imo! ^_^"

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Cedur » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:05 am

I kinda started missing the monthly threads, I hope this becomes a thing.

(also Shin, these comics are pretty much a thing from the past, this newsletter focuses only on present stuff)
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eri7 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:19 pm

This sounds similar to what the SMBX Projects's server used to do and I like it however finding volunteers to do this can be tricky, but I would like to volunteer to help out with the newsletter. Im good at organizing stuff (I'm already organizing the monthly novaverse project's progress/showcase since 9 months) like this but my main problem would be interviewing people (the veterans) because I don't think I have the necessary reporter/social skills some might desire so if someone else could volunteer to do this who has good social skills, then this would fix the issue.

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Cedur » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:02 am

is the first newletter coming at the start of May?
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eri7 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:56 am

Cedur wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:02 am
is the first newletter coming at the start of May?
I don't think a team has been assembled to do that yet.

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eclipsed » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:00 pm

Eri7 wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:56 am
Cedur wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:02 am
is the first newletter coming at the start of May?
I don't think a team has been assembled to do that yet.
There is a team for the newsletter. It's TayCam, AndrewPixel, and me, basically the people who used to have social media roles.

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eri7 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:20 pm

Eclipsed wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:00 pm
Eri7 wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:56 am
Cedur wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:02 am
is the first newletter coming at the start of May?
I don't think a team has been assembled to do that yet.
There is a team for the newsletter. It's TayCam, AndrewPixel, and me, basically the people who used to have social media roles.
Oh I see, well at least I tried to volunteer to help.

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Fri May 08, 2020 11:41 am

The first issue of the SMBX Newsletter is coming....
At the start of June!

I have edited the draft copy of the Newsletter to include some of the suggestions made by you guys. Some things that I haven't added yet, but will still be in the final editions, are:

- Graphical Headings

- Visualised LOTM Chart

- Actual information rather than examples (duh)

If you feel anything is missing even after that, please mention it!
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Cedur » Fri May 08, 2020 11:45 am

What exactly do you mean by visual LOTM chart? Do you mean all votes from 2018 to 2020 tallied up?
If so, have you done that already yet? I actually did that for myself two or three days ago
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Fri May 08, 2020 11:47 am

Cedur wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 11:45 am
What exactly do you mean by visual LOTM chart? Do you mean all votes from 2018 to 2020 tallied up?
If so, have you done that already yet? I actually did that for myself two or three days ago
What? 2018 to 2020?

No. I mean like a visual graphic which shows the placements of each level. This would be more visually appealing than a text list.
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Cedur » Fri May 08, 2020 11:51 am

ah ok
I made that list privately for myself bc I'm aware that it shouldn't be considered a competence, but if people would be curious to see it, I'll be happy to post it
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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Eri7 » Fri May 08, 2020 12:14 pm

So we are not getting a Newsletter for the last month? Oh well...

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Re: SMBX Newsletter - Example. Please discuss the format and give any suggestions (This is NOT an actual issue!)

Postby Taycamgame » Fri May 08, 2020 12:22 pm

Eri7 wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 12:14 pm
So we are not getting a Newsletter for the last month? Oh well...
I was busy and ended up not working more on the draft...

Don't worry as hopefully there will be a release next month. Don't expect it to be a large one though.
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