I am now attempting my first hack of SMB3 (NES), code-named "Wind Walker" (somewhat arbitrary, not referencing any function or theme of the hack).
I am using the Title Screen Editor by ???, Map Editor by Beneficii, and SMB3 Workshop by Hukka (I would love the source-code for this program if possible. I know it was available a few years ago, but those links are now long-expired). Thanks to those who have made these programs, which have made hacks like mine possible.
SIZE AND CONTENT:
This hack will include 5 worlds, which i think is appropriate for my lack of experience, and desire for some personal affirmation of accomplishing this in a quicker time-frame. I will use the worlds which have the larger maps to include lost-levels into each world (and levels from unused worlds as well), lengthening the play-time of each world, and compensating somewhat for the "shortness" of the game in regards to its number of used worlds.
I am sticking with original level parameters, and not toying with custom offsets, since that is beyond the scope of my ambitions and abilities right now.
Most of the levels are complete redesigns, but i have kept a few in a similar state, just more challenging. (don't hate on that! this is an homage to an amazing game, designed by masters!)
This hack, like many others, is towards the end of being a little / a lot more difficult than the original game: Jumps are tighter, platforming has to be more precise, you're gonna die before you get past certain places.
I am fairly generous with the invisible 1-ups since I'm not giving "infinite lives".
I've put a little more emphasis on over-world activity as well, so there are more hammers and occasions for using them to access different places on the map.
I am not changing the graphics-out like some hacks. I have subtly modified some of the graphics, though. It's going to "look like" SMB3, because i am trying to retain that look!
I would like to include a different power-up, perhaps to replace Mr. Green Leaf Racoon Mario (maybe with what some have referred to as "Firefox" who is the mix between Fire and Racoon Mario). I don't know how to do this, so i would love some input. I saw it done in the "Some Usual Day" hack.
I would like to know what 3-byte object causes the ceiling to descend and ascend (dungeon levels with spikes), or the floor to go up or down (water levels with the Bertha fish), since i have some great ideas on really employing this concept in creative ways. (In SMB3 Workshop, i couldn't identify any object after i deleted all the visible objects, even though there were still apparently 2 3-byte objects present and 1 enemy???)
Is there a way to embed a certain object in the item inventory so it can never be exhausted. Such as, always have a warp whistle. (why? read on the next one)
Is there a way to make levels playable again after they've been beaten? I would like to make it so they are passable after beating, but also re-playable. Currently, it deletes the pointer for that level and replaces the tile with the M or L. I would like it to instead: change the tile to an alternate tile bearing the level's number but maybe with a check-mark at the bottom of it or something; leave the pointer in place; allow player to pass over it if they want to, instead of blocking them from moving on... If all of that is not possible, then i would just as soon make it so that all levels are passable (except for where locks or hills are present) from the very beginning. After all, the point of this hack is the journey, and enjoying the levels; not as much "beating the game".