Strategy for getting stars? What's worked for you?

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#1 Edited by WilliamFlattener (195 posts) -

I've got the bug. This game is fun as hell to play, but the "maker" side is super compelling to me, and now I crave stars and comments and feedback on my creations.

The Problem: SMM's built-in level discovery is a joke, and I suspect its level suggestion screen is completely overlooked by many. So, since I don't have a YouTube channel with a hochillion subscribers, I'm leaving it to that good ol' organic creep-up. So...

The Question: How are you going after stars for your levels? Posting them here? Twitter? When you've got a level you know is special, how are you getting exposure? What elements have been well-received? Is anything "hot" right now?

(The Caveat: Please don't just say "make a good level." That goes without saying, but my levels have been (slowly but steadily) accumulating play attempts and completions in chronological order--the first one I put up has the most, the next one a bit fewer, the most recent ones nothing. I'm really looking to find out what's worked for you so far. Y'all are a creative bunch.)

[Edit: Worth nothing, I'm not talking about boosting, at all. I realize it could have been misconstrued that way.]

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#2 Posted by Sogeman (1039 posts) -

I'm sure there's a subreddit where people post their levels.

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#3 Posted by ToySoldier83 (306 posts) -

I also want to know the secret (if there is any). I recently posted mine here and on twitter and gotten multiple runs on it but only one successful run and a star.

https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/courses/4688-0000-0158-7CEE

I myself I'm looking more for constructive feedback than stars actually since that would help me more in building better levels.

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#4 Posted by ToySoldier83 (306 posts) -

Do any of you know what's the requirement for your levels not to get deleted? A certain amount of stars? Successful runs? Cause that's my other worry.

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#5 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (1130 posts) -

@toysoldier83: I'll check your level out! I think the best option is to post on the Giant Bomb forums, the Mario Maker subreddit, etc. I only have 35 stars, but the majority came from getting my levels out on the Internet as opposed to just waiting around hoping people stumble upon them inside the game. Other people I've talked to have also recommended this route.

Here's my profile: https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/profile/QuidProBono

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#6 Posted by Bollard (8163 posts) -

Have you tried making a good level?

(Joking, I don't have the game so I have no idea).

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#7 Posted by Jeff (6054 posts) -

I'm getting the impression that easier levels get starred more frequently, since people are likely to star something upon finishing it.

The people playing 100 Mario on Expert seem to be getting in the habit of starring anything that seems like a proper level and not just gimmicky nonsense, so that might be a route as well (though that depends on you making levels that end up getting classified as Expert, I suppose).

Staff
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#8 Posted by ToySoldier83 (306 posts) -

@toysoldier83: I'll check your level out! I think the best option is to post on the Giant Bomb forums, the Mario Maker subreddit, etc. I only have 35 stars, but the majority came from getting my levels out on the Internet as opposed to just waiting around hoping people stumble upon them inside the game. Other people I've talked to have also recommended this route.

Here's my profile: https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/profile/QuidProBono

I've haven't tried the subreddit option, so I'll go and do that (which means finally giving in and creating a reddit account). And I've bookmarked your levels and will give them a try when I get home from work.

Anyway before bookmark were there any SMM fan sites with level sharing and are they still popular now? Cause I'll give those a shot as well.

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#9 Edited by Quid_Pro_Bono (1130 posts) -

@jeff: I think this is definitely true. I find myself getting very frustrated when dealing with a level that has no clear path forward or an obscenely difficult jump.

I think this has to do with the fact that I can't trust that the person who made it isn't insanely skilled at the game and built something very hard to pull off, or that I'm not just missing some bullshit invisible block.

@ToySoldier83: I don't know if there are other sites, I've just used the GB sharing thread and the subreddit. I think the GameFAQs forums are pretty active for SMM, but then you have to deal with GameFAQs so...

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#10 Edited by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Honestly I don't think about getting Stars at all. It's nice to get them but I don't do anything extra in the hope of getting some. Just try to put the same level of care into all of my levels.

I am leaving it entirely to the self-sorting randomness of the 100 Mario Challenge.

Most of my levels have about 3/4 stars but a couple are on around 30-50. Those are ones that were built around a concept that is present throughout the whole level. And they are challenging but not too difficult.

But again, I playtest and iterate all my levels to death and spend at least an hour on them. Some get starred and some don't.

Zero part of me wants to start posting codes online to get exposure but I guess that's a good way of getting hits

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#11 Edited by GunstarRed (6049 posts) -

@jeff: I actually thought that might be the case earlier and made a really, really easy level, but it hasn't gotten me any stars yet. I've had far more success with a short gimmicky level, but that's only gotten me seven stars so far.

The stars thing is really ruining a huge part of the game for me now. The ten level limit is a huge pain. I enjoy making levels far more than playing a lot of the auto/star spamming/masocore levels. I really want to make and upload more levels but I really like the ones I have put a ton of thought into. If I take them down then I'm limiting my chances of getting new stars. None of them are super hard, but they're not just go from left to right platforming levels, and most of them have really, really low completion percentages... which generally means they have very few stars.

Being able to upload 25 levels from the start or have a message that's like, "Oh, you spent ten hours in the creator, have ten more levels" or something is the way they should have done it.

I star any level I come across that isn't an auto level, just because I know how much of a pain it is to not get any stars.

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#12 Edited by jacksukeru (6775 posts) -

Make easy levels that have a clever gimmick, or have some easy-to-trigger, impressive looking stuff that's not full autoplay. Bonus if it's hard to die so you don't have to redo the obstacles over and over. Doesn't matter so much if it's relatively short so long as the mechanics are dense. Also end it with a pipe that drops you on top of the exit. The suspense of entering a pipe turned to relief when you realize the level is over, that's probably a good combo, assuming you've managed to build some tension up to that point.

At least, those were some of the elements of the two levels I've made that have gotten the most stars (17 and 18) so I figured that might be a successful formula. They're not really what I consider my best levels though.

Edit: That's 17-18 stars of about 200 plays each btw, so not really a lot either way. I eventually got to 50 stars by just taking some old stuff that wasn't doing well down and uploading some new stuff. Now that I have 20 upload slots it's a lot more to move around with, so much so that I could éven upload some dumb one-offs just to fill the space. It's nice.

I like replaying my levels from time to time, which softens the feeling that I don't really have anyone to bounce my harder levels off of somewhat.

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#13 Posted by WilliamFlattener (195 posts) -

@jeff: How does one get one's levels onto the 100 Mario challenge?

Interesting correlation you're seeing. I'm seeing (what looks like) a clear pattern of "the longer it's up, the more it accumulates," even on my first uploads which aren't as, err, user-friendly as my later ones.

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#14 Posted by Jeff (6054 posts) -

@jeff: How does one get one's levels onto the 100 Mario challenge?

Interesting correlation you're seeing. I'm seeing (what looks like) a clear pattern of "the longer it's up, the more it accumulates," even on my first uploads which aren't as, err, user-friendly as my later ones.

I suspect any level is eligable to be included, but I don't know how they work that part of the algorithm. You're also right that things that stay around for awhile seem to start accumulating plays. I wonder if that's saying that it takes awhile for a level to get rolled into 100 Mario selection or something?

Staff
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#15 Posted by Quid_Pro_Bono (1130 posts) -

Although, while looking through my levels, I noticed that the one with the most stars is my most difficult level. So, I have no idea what people like.

https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/courses/D91B-0000-0128-69DB

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#16 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

Another way of thinking about this is: what levels do you give stars to? What makes you decide to star or comment on a course?

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#17 Posted by Teddie (2137 posts) -

It was just Christmas so there are probably a bunch more levels in rotation now. I don't know how much that'd factor into it, but it must've affected discoverability somehow.

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#18 Posted by jacksukeru (6775 posts) -

After just firing up Mario Maker, one of my courses had been taken down, presumably for not getting any clears or stars for a while after being uploaded. This has happened with a few of my other levels too, only now it's listed in a way that says it can't be uploaded again. This must be a fairly recent change since it didn't happen to the others, probably a good way for them to sort out levels too?

Either way it's a bummer for me because now I know I can't keep uploading "become the wall rider" until someone finally clears it.

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#19 Edited by Quantris (1291 posts) -

My most starred level is this stupid one:

https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/courses/E0BE-0000-0083-0980

I haven't found enough time to get into making "real" levels yet (I was wiiu-less for the holiday). I didn't "promote" this at all so I guess people ran into it during 100 mario challenge. I know I got at least one star from a guy whose level I left a comment on :)

Online
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#20 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (1180 posts) -

Make a fun, interesting level? I don't know...I don't have social media, I've never put levels out there and one of mine has 70 stars and the rest of my levels have around 10 and I just put them up not really thinking about it.

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#21 Edited by TheMasterDS (2978 posts) -

Best way to farm stars is to go to twitch, find a streamer asking for levels and give them the code. Rinse repeat. I'd suggest going for lower viewer streamers, be less of a wait. That worked for me in the past when I simply wanted a lot of stars fast. It takes time though, and when I did it streamers expected you to be active when your level was up. Doing several streams at once can be done to increase the rate you farm.

That's for getting stars on a single level. If you want stars on all your levels make friends. Find someone whose output you like and comment on all of their levels. They may return the favor! I also like to see who stars my levels sometimes and play levels of theirs. Try doing that just to be nice and reward people who check out your stuff.

By the way I have 32 stages if you'd like a look at my work.

https://supermariomakerbookmark.nintendo.net/profile/TheMasterDS

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#22 Posted by MissAshley (634 posts) -

How are you going after stars for your levels? Posting them here? Twitter? When you've got a level you know is special, how are you getting exposure? What elements have been well-received? Is anything "hot" right now?

I don't design my levels with the intent of them being starred. I mostly make what I think would be fun to play based upon my experience with and understanding of Mario. And beyond the occasional post here, I don't promote my levels at all. Overall, my levels see star/player ratios from 1/10 to 1/4, which isn't impressive, but I'm fine with that.

Looking at my course data now, I can only make these speculations:

1) Easy is nice - The average Mario player isn't as good as, say, a person who posts on a video game website. Two of my three levels with the highest star/player ratios have the highest completion rates of all my levels: 13% and 51%. The last of the three only has a completion rate of about 7%, like many of my other levels, but it still pulled in stars because. . .

2) Fun is nicer - That level pulled in about 5 attempts per person. Another level has a clear rate of 3%, but it has a star/player ratio of 1/5. The level wasn't easy, but given the average of 6 attempts per person, people clearly wanted to see it through. Meanwhile, a level of mine with a clear rate twice that only has a star/player ratio of 1/8. Given the average player only put in 4 attempts, it's clear people weren't that into it even if they finished it.

Oddly enough, I have one level that has a clear rate of 0% and less than 2 attempts per person, yet it has 2 stars. I can only guess. . .

3) Novelty counts for something - The first regular ghost house in Super Mario World features a duplicate room to trick players into thinking they've entered same room when they really haven't. I took that idea and thought "Why not three duplicate rooms?" Despite believing I designed the level to slowly make the solution apparent as players wander around, no one has completed it. And yet despite not clearing it, at least two people thought it neat enough to star.

That's all I've got.

Good luck and merry making!

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#23 Edited by davidh219 (904 posts) -

The built in discovery is definitely a joke. I uploaded three levels around the time I got the game. They got five stars and fifteen plays combined before two of them just got straight up yanked off the servers. I haven't played in a while, so the third one is probably gone too now.

Nintendo, let me explain something to you. If you're only gonna show my level to five people, you can't then delete that level from your servers for not getting any plays, because it's your goddamn fault nobody played it! 1 out of 3 people gave me a star! Isn't that good? Didn't I do good, Nintendo? Why have you forsaken me?

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