It has come to my attention that over the years; we have had a distinctively large amount of hacks with poor layout and object positioning. It has reached a point where even the most common sense of layout positionings are ignored without a sense of shame. Rather than point the finger and complain, I'm going to be more productive with this by providing a few tips and tricks to help reduce obvious layout mistakes. And when in time that we see a hack with poor layout/object positioning, we can direct them to this thread to help them improve on level construction. I don't claim to be a brilliant layout artist here, but that's the deal entirely, you don't have to be brilliant at it to avoid the common mistakes. I'm going to use Green Hill Zone here as an example, as it is the most obvious level people make mistakes on, and with that in mind, I'd like to bring your attention to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTQw4oFj1j0 This here (By DAGarden) is an example of one of the most brilliant and well thought out layouts you will ever see to date, what makes this even more brilliant is that it is technically a "binary hack" (by that I mean, it was not made via a disassembly). Only layouts, object positioning, palettes and title card names have been changed, and yet the layouts look almost unique without looking out of place. So, what are the commond mistakes you're likely to make which the hack above seems to fix quite easily? Let's start up a list: >>> The Green Hill Zone walls >>> Here I have placed two chunks together, I would like these chunks together for a specific cause, but let's open our eyes and look. What do we have here? That does not look right, remember, walls don't just end, they bevel out, the left side bevels out light, the right side bevels out dark. So how do we fix this? We fix this with the wonderful object 44: This object can place a temporary wall design (with or without solidity) on chunks to hide the areas that do not look right, under each one is a subtype ID, we can use this object to fix our messy looking layout: I have used the dark one here because it is on the right side, and my doesn't it look so much better. >>> Rocks And Spikes >>> Another common mistake is placing the Green Hill Zone Rock object and spikes out of place, we'll have a demonstration: This rock object has a grass design at the bottom, what this means is that you need to ensure it is placed correctly on the ground, and ONLY on grass. This isn't right, the grass pixels simply do not match, this is how it should look: You can see the grass aligns up correctly with the rock, and it now looks like it is part of the level, the player will never notice! Another example here, you can see this set of 3 spikes placed here, two of the spikes don't touch the floor, it doesn't look right, a very simple idea would be to lower the spikes down a little enough so that all three spikes are touching the floor at least: >>> Waterfalls >>> Here is another thing I've noticed some people do: Look very carefully at the top of the waterfall: You can clearly see that waterfall comes out of nowhere, realistically speaking here that's not how waterfalls work in Sonic The Hedgehog, now to be fair, there are no objects which can help fix this mistake, you could make one which would be a fair notion, but of course, if you lack the ability to do that, then why not choose a different chunk? I'm most situations, if you were to choose a chunk with a top water ripple piece, then you'll most likely choose this combination: Although this does fix the water issue, we now have another problem: The walls cut off, and the water seems to end randomly, so these chunks are no good, let's find another combination: Well, there seems to be nothing wrong with this, nothing is out of place, everything fits, perfect! Now we just need one more thing, we need to place object 49 in the middle of that waterfall for the special waterfall sound effect, to make it feel more realistic. >>> Objects that float, Objects that don't >>> Here are a list of objects that do NOT float in the air in GHZ: The Rock Spikes Crabmeat Motorbug Monitors and Springs (if not placed behind in a tree) These objects MUST be on the floor, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure a set of spikes don't just randomly stand in the air, remember, KEEP THINGS ON THE GROUND PEOPLE: It's where they belong, Enemy objects only load when they reach the floor anyway so placing them in the air is no trouble, the only advice there is the closer they are to the ground, the quicker they will load. >>> Anything Else? >>> As time goes by, I'm sure I will notice more common mistakes, when the time comes I'll edit the thread and add corrections for them to it. And remember, these are here to help, if you want a super cool layout that people can praise, start following the above rules and don't make the same stupid mistakes everyone else makes.