One of the unspoken changes in Super Mario Maker’s version 1.40 update on March 9th, 2016 is that the initial appearance of a Piranha Plant from a pipe had its delay cut by about one second. This applies to all game styles.
There are two rules to live by when placing hidden blocks:
- Do not place the hidden block where hitting it will knock the player into a hole.
- Do not place a block where hitting it will likely knock the player into an enemy.
The first rule is fairly ironclad. The second has a little bit of leeway, so long as the block is at a reasonable height. You can see these rules in play in the hidden block placement in Super Mario Bros.
The rule of enemy placement at the start of a level is that Nintendo never places an enemy on the first screen. If the player is not paying attention at the start of the level, there is no fear of being hit by an enemy.
The standard position for blocks is to leave three empty rows between the blocks and the ground, or another set of blocks, beneath. There are times when blocks may be placed higher or lower, but these are the exception to the rule.
Mario Clock for the DSi presents endless levels with coins to collect and no enemies. The different arrangements of coins can add variety to a Super Mario Maker level.
When adapting a level from New Super Mario Bros. into Super Mario Maker, there are often a few concessions that need to be made. It’s how those concessions are handled that can be for the better or for the worse.
When designing one-off levels, it’s good advice to give the player the first Super Mushroom in an easy and safe environment. If you number your levels so a player knows there’s a progression, it’s understandable to make later levels more difficult. If the player likes your level design, even if a bit difficult, they will want to check your other levels, and will play through them in order.
A level is defined by its first Super Mushroom. In Super Mario Maker, the placement is even more important, because the player will not enter the level with whichever power-up they completed the prior level using.
The original Super Mario Bros. introduced the idea of an underwater sub areas, spanning no more than four screens in length. It’s an idea worth using if you would like to make an underwater area, but do not want to design an entire underwater level.
When creating a sub area, be aware of the length of the level. This is especially important when a level has only one entrance/exit for the sub area.