Construction Zone is a game mode in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series that allows the player to create and save their own levels, as well as exchange custom levels with other players. It is introduced in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, and returns in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!, and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, where in the latter it is known as the Workshop mode. In Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, a similar mode known as Create & Share makes its debut. Prior to the discontinuation of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service in 2014, players could utilize the service to distribute their own levels online.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis
The Construction Zone game mode is introduced in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, allowing the player to create, play, and share their own levels, as well as receive levels from other players.
If the player selects Play Level, they can play certain levels made in the Construction Zone.
To create or edit a level, the player must select Edit Level, then select one of 8 slots to edit. Slots with a blue outline indicate a level which has passed the play test, while all other slots use a yellow outline. To erase a level, the player must tap Erase Level and select a level to erase. If the player chooses an empty slot, they must select a construction kit to begin creating a new level. Before selecting a construction kit, the player can toggle the Template button to create a sample level instead of a level with only one Mini and the exit. There are a total of 11 construction kits.
The level creation screen features a Full View on the top screen, allowing the player to view their entire level. A toolbar with several buttons is displayed on the top of the Touch Screen:
To share a level created in the Construction Zone with other players, the level must pass the play test. To test a level, the player must tap the Play Test button in the End Menu. The player must save their level before testing it. To pass the play test, the player must direct all of the Minis in the level so that they reach the exit within 600 seconds; otherwise, the level does not pass the play test.
Before Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection was discontinued, players could use it to send or receive levels from other players.
Two players, each with a copy of the game and with Nintendo DS systems close to each other, can locally send and receive levels made in the Construction Zone.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!
Construction Zone returns in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!, with similar functionality that allows the player to create, play, and share custom levels. Its menu has been simplified from its previous appearance, with only three buttons present:
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!
Construction Zone returns in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!. To start using features in the Construction Zone, the player is required to create a user name.
Level Creation 101
Before the player can design their own levels, they must first complete a short tutorial in a mode called Level Creation 101 (or simply Tutorial in the British English version). The tutorial is presented in four short lessons, each of which brings the player in a nearly finalized level where a specific type and amount of elements must be placed in order to make the level possible to pass when play-tested.
When play-tested, these lessons function as actual levels where the Minis can collect M-Tokens and Mini Mario Cards, and the player can earn a score based on their performance. Once all of these lessons are complete, the player can begin using all features of the Construction Zone.
The Create feature represents the level editor, which is grid-based. Before starting a new level, the player must choose a Game Rule and Template Type for the level. The Game Rule refers to any of the four level types, whether they are Normal, Multi-Door, Key, or Magnet-based. Template Type refers to the default proportions of a level, designated as standard, wide, or tall. The dimensions of a level can later be adjusted in horizontal, vertical, or all directions (depending on the Template Type chosen) by dragging a special cursor on the top-right corner of the editing space. Preferences for Game Rule and Template Type are unlocked as the player progresses through the game; for example, the "Key" and "Multi-Door" Game Rules become available after completing Coaster Hills. After choosing a preference, the player should tap "OK" to begin editing.
Building starts out from a floor of ground tiles, where two Mini Marios, a Mini Mario Card and an M-Token are ordered before an exit door. These elements cannot be removed, as they are mandatory to exist in each level. There are ten sets of elements that can be used to build a level, eight main and two extra, based on each attraction of the game. These sets include objects and background themes. The Coaster Hills set, which includes ground tiles and Red Girders, is accessible from the start; more sets are unlocked once their corresponding attractions are completed. Completing Final Ferris Wheel grants access to both the Rainbow Summit and Secret Storage sets.
The player has a number of editing options to choose from a toolbar at the top of the screen. In order, the toolbar contains:
In addition, the toolbar features a blue bar that drains as more elements are placed on the screen. When the bar is completely empty, no more elements can be placed.
In the process of saving a level, the player has to give it a name. After play-testing a level, the player is given the option to retry it, edit it, create a new level, or exit.
Play & Edit
The Play & Edit feature lists the player's own levels, as well as levels downloaded from other users. Levels that had been uploaded online and those that were downloaded are marked accordingly as "Uploaded" or "Downloaded". Selecting a level from the list on the bottom screen allows the player to view its layout on the top screen. Tapping the level a second time opens a window where the player can see its name, creator, high score, number of downloads from other users, and type of level. Here, the player can also choose to play, edit, or delete the level. If a level has not been completed in Play mode, then it will be marked as incomplete. The levels can be sorted by latest, name, creator's name, and size. Up to 160 levels on eight pages can be found here. The topmost level of each page is viewed on the top automatically after a change to the page number or a change to the sort type.
In addition, the Online Share menu would link to the Challenge Center menu.
Finally, the Challenge Mode feature allowed players to take part in level creation contests run by Nintendo every two weeks prior to the termination of the Nintendo WFC. Each competition had a theme that was announced by Nintendo via the newsletter in the Challenge Center. To enter a competition, players had to download a template issued by Nintendo and create a level based on the template, then submit their entry and wait for other players to vote them. The candidate that garnered the most votes would win the competition. Players could only participate with one entry per contest and could download up to sixty Challenge Mode levels overall onto their system.
Below is a list of all items that could be selected in the Challenge Menu, accompanied by a description of the action they allowed.
Additionally, the Challenge Center menu featured a button that linked the player back to the Online Share menu.
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move introduces a mode known as Create & Share, which features similar functionality to the Construction Zone modes from previous games; however, because Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move features significantly different gameplay from other games in the series, the Level Editor in Create & Share is accordingly distinct. The Create & Share menu features options similar to those found in Construction Zone:
In the Level Editor, the player can build their own level by placing tiles into a grid. All custom levels follow the rules of Mario's Main Event. Each new level starts from a grid with a start tile, the goal, and three M-Tokens. These elements are required in every level, and cannot be removed. A variety of buttons are available on the right side of the Touch Screen:
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
As Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars returns to the gameplay style of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!, it also features a game mode similar to previous Construction Zone modes, known as the Workshop. Like previous games in the series, the Workshop allows players to design, store, and share custom levels. A total of 50 custom levels can be stored, but only up to 20 could be shared online. Levels can be transferred between both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U versions of the game.
To start building a level from scratch, the player can select an empty level slot labeled "New" and choose an Edit Mode between Single-Door Mode and Multi-Door Mode. The player can also edit and finish one of the three built-in template levels. Selecting a level slot with an existing level allows the player to either play, edit, or share the level. The player must complete a level before sharing it.
In the Workshop menu, the player can enter the Workshop Store, a section in the Workshop where stars that the player has collected or received can be used to unlock objects and other elements for use in custom levels. The Workshop menu also allows the player to view their Stamp Collection, a gallery containing stamps awarded for tipping stars to other players. There are 72 stamps in total.
Creating a new level or editing an existing level opens the level editor, known as the Workshop Editor. If the player creates a level from scratch, the Workshop Editor starts out with a Mini Mario, an M Coin, and a Goal Door lined above a plain ground floor, elements without which a level cannot be created. As with most other parts of the game, the Touch Screen must be used to perform any action within the editor, while the top screen is reserved to show the entirety of the level, with a frame highlighting the part of the level that is currently shown on the bottom screen. The editing space is navigated using the direction pad or the analog stick. It is grid-based, and its size can be increased by dragging a cursor located in the top-right corner.
There is a toolbar at the top of the Workshop Editor, which contains, in the following order:
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