Here is a project of mine that I haven't really shown publicly until now. A couple summers ago I was extremely passionate about making my own Super Mario Kart hack and so I started one, but because of school I only managed so much. So now I'm pulling out all my notes and designs from then and getting back to work!
I grew up on this game as a kid and would love to one day release my own version of the game as a hack.
Now, I may not be an ASM expert, but coding is only one aspect of making video games.
Even though I can code somewhat, I'm far better at designing things. In fact the designing aspect in many ways is just as important as the coding aspect.
You can have excellent coding, but without good level design the game suffers and you can have excellent level design, but without good code nothing is going to work right.
Both are very important to a successful game or hack and thankfully us designers are grateful that there are programmers out there who make editors that enable quick editing of roms, like Super Mario Kart.
So after deciding to make a SMK hack I then downloaded the available editors for it and started playing with them.
I wanted to design all of the tracks first before I did anything else. It's a somewhat daunting task because the tracks are what make or break the game. The tracks have to be fun, interesting and have replay value and maybe sport a small secret or two.
Almost all of my design work starts on paper in the form of sketches. I find it very hard to just use an editor alone to create something meaningful. It's not impossible to do it that way, but I find it much easier to make a quick sketch before I start laying down the tiles.
Here is my first completed level/track that I made in one of the editors. Interestingly its a battle track.
This track is the result of me drawing out about 40 sketches of battle tracks and painstakingly test playing them and then deciding if I liked them and whether they were fun or not.
Out of the 40 something designs that I made........... this is the only one that I was happy with.
Talk about dedication... a lesser designer would have settled on other designs, but not me. I value the fun factor that the original games bring and if you make something as a hacker or designer and its not fun then what is the point to releasing it for others to play?
So here it is... and its just as fun as it looks!
I've also sketched out several of the actual race tracks too, but they all exist on paper to be later recreated in an editor. I will probably take some photos of those and post them in my next post.
One thing that I'd like to end this post with are some tips for anyone else designing a SMK hack or any type of racing game for that matter.
While designing the SMK tracks I would get inspiration from rubber bands! What rubber bands??? Yes, take a rubber band and just stretch it, poke it and bend it on a table. The rubber band represents the path of the race track and this is an easy and quick way to get ideas for your tracks flowing!
Just look at these rubber bands in the image. Instant race tacks!!! Now its not always as easy as just trowing some rubber bands down on the table when creating your tracks, but it sure does help the ideas get sparking when your getting started.
One thing that I found that was better in some cases than the rubber bands were the ball and chain straps that usually come attached with pens. Rubber bands are nice because their flexible and curve well, but they always bounce back unless you have them tied down. A closed ball and chain strap however, is nice because you can manipulate it without it deforming back into a standard loop. You have more control in terms on getting down a permanent design that you can still make changes to even hours later. Plus its just super fun to play with these things!!!
I don't yet have a name for the hack yet, but that will come with time. The main thing I'm focusing on is just getting down the designs for the tracks. Once I have those I can then make them in the editor and go form there.
I'll post images of the other tracks that I've sketched out next time.
May 18, 2014, 06:29:02 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
can someone please tell me why my super mario kart hack thread got moved to the idea section.
clearly this is not a stand alone idea and it is a real project since my level was created in a real editor for this game which took me many hours.
also clearly there is nothing offensive nor am i breaking any rules in my super mario kart thread post.
i would really like an explanation on why i can not have my mario kart hack thread in the projects section.