Alright everyone, it's time to address a little problem called complexity
. Most modern maps have this and to be honest, it isn't always a good thing.
Alright, so there are people who like to pretty much just add everything they can into a map. They abuse every single layer, they use all four pages of the tileset, they use as many interactive blocks and platforms as possible and fill up every tiny space of the map. Some people like this. Some people...don't. However, there is one majority rule with this complexity and I will explore it in depth with you right now.
This is just crazy. It's fairly blinding just to look at the screenshot. You can't even tell what is going on, you cannot develop any sort of strategy or anything. Sure it may look pretty; but that's about the gist of it. Look, you can barely move. You can't tell what tiles are what types without having to test it for yourself. Which gets frustrating fast. It's hard to really get around and the computers definitely do not like this map either, as would be obvious.
This can get confusing quickly. The amount of warps in by far unnecessary, the pipes constantly moving are very annoying, and the map is just so extremely cramped. Then again, overall, this isn't a very good map. Let's move on.
Maps like this one in general should be avoided. Splitting the map into more then two sections so harshly is a huge mistake many mappers make and should be avoided. Unless you map is purely for novelty, doing this will NOT make it fun. It'll be cramped, it's ruin the AI, it'll be totally unfun all around.
Here's another blinding map. You can't tell what's ground from air here. Everything just pretty much overlaps everything else and it's hard to determine right from left. While it's not overly cramped, it takes a lot of play throughs to get used to, despite it's beauty.
You see one general noticable thing with all these? They all have one thing in common; while they may look good at first, they do not play well at all. Visual obstructions hinder the map in favor of beauty, giving it that air of "make up" which damages skin to make girls look prettier. Maps that attempt to fill every tile become hard to move around in, cramped, and generally unplayable. And maps that try to use every single little feature that the game offers often tends to be too "full" and feels bloated, and cramped, and again, other problems we've already discussed.
Now, let's move onto the brighter side of things; simplicity.
This is a nice simple map. Granted there isn't much to it, but surprisingly, it lasts longer then much more feature rich maps because it offers easy pick up and play freedom and offers lots of possibilities not possible with a very cramped map. It's very easy to get yourself lost in this map with the right settings because it's just so fun.
This is an example of beauty combined with simplicity in the perfect way. Being able to do this consistently means you have very great skill with a mapping tool and are able to generate the world's best maps. The visuals are just enough for it to look beautiful without it obstructing your view of the map or making you unable to tell what's ground and such. What achieves this is the fact that SMB3 and SMW did this the same exact way; simplistic beauty and being as close to it's predecessors as possible is exactly what Super Mario War is all about, and these maps do it in the best of ways.
And finally, the king of all simplicity...symmetry can be good too you know. This map may be lacking in the looks but it's godly fun when put to good use under the right settings. There are endless amounts of strategies you can employ here and endless amounts of things you can do to raise the fun factor of this map. You just need to be creative, ze.
That's about all I have to say. I guess the moral here is this: Don't abandon simplicity. You'll find you can build much better maps if you can keep an air of simpleness in your map. After all, why do you think Jared started his "Simplicity Map Contest"? He wanted more maps with simplicity in it.
Tip: Simple maps get high ranks and even get into official packages by the SMWar staff themselves. Don't forsake simplicity; that's what this game is all about! Pure, simple fun. :D
Now go out there and make some maps.