"Skipsqueak Gardens" Utopia 1-1 (Update)

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"Skipsqueak Gardens" Utopia 1-1 (Update)

Postby Squishy Rex » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:25 pm

I just recently decided to re-design 1-1, you may have seen this level before in the GFX section for the NES Fire Mario, but it has changed a great deal. There's a couple of secrets, a Music Box and Yoshi. There's even a fake wall like in NSMBWii.

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Last edited by Squishy Rex on Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby JupiHornet » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:00 pm

Looks nice! Review will come momentarily!
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Eternity » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:02 pm

The level looks great! Might review it as well for a second opinion.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Squishy Rex » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:05 pm

Thanks guy, I appreciate it. Also, I will mention that if and when you find the fake wall, it doesn't close back up after you leave it. I'm still trying to make one work perfectly without the player getting hurt or stuck in the process. I did have a working one, but closing them causes others in the level to open and heaps of other crazy stuff. So for now it is what it is.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby JupiHornet » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:11 pm

Review might not come because my computer will apparently take a day + 4 hours to download this :(
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby PROX » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:41 pm

Squishy Rex wrote:Thanks guy, I appreciate it. Also, I will mention that if and when you find the fake wall, it doesn't close back up after you leave it. I'm still trying to make one work perfectly without the player getting hurt or stuck in the process. I did have a working one, but closing them causes others in the level to open and heaps of other crazy stuff. So for now it is what it is.
you can attach another invisible ax to the invisible wall layer. Just make another one appear after the blocks disappear.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Squishy Rex » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:49 am

PROX wrote:
Squishy Rex wrote:Thanks guy, I appreciate it. Also, I will mention that if and when you find the fake wall, it doesn't close back up after you leave it. I'm still trying to make one work perfectly without the player getting hurt or stuck in the process. I did have a working one, but closing them causes others in the level to open and heaps of other crazy stuff. So for now it is what it is.
you can attach another invisible ax to the invisible wall layer. Just make another one appear after the blocks disappear.
That was what caused other fake walls to open or the one that was supposed to be open would close with the player still inside, causing instant death or getting stuck in the ground. I'll figure out a foolproof way eventually.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby crusher169 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:11 am

playthrough made:
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Squishy Rex » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:39 am

Thanks for the video crusher169. You seem to have found your way around the level fairly well.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Eternity » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:55 am

Now that was a great level.

Review - Skipsqueak Gardens

Simply fantastic. The attention to detail through the level was amazing - it has no impressive gimmicks or creative design, but the level is filled with secrets (usually very well hidden) and is a lot of fun, both exploring and just simply playing through the level. The landscape and NPC placement are both well done, making this simple but very fun - perfect for a first level. There are no real issues I can point out, either - it has a nice flow to it (which I find lacking on most SMBX levels) and plays nicely overall. It doesn't overwhelm the player by introducing too much concepts at once, but still manages to have a few interesting ideas (such as the berry blocks and the baseballs).

At first I was a bit surprised because I couldn't find Yoshi on the level, which is surprising considering the berry blocks, but it was actually hidden on a pipe, which makes sense considering how most of the secrets depend on having him. The level end was a nice hint of where the level's "star" is - I couldn't find it at my first playthrough.

The aesthetics are also really neat - very vibrant and colorful, it feels a lot like a Nintendo game. Nothing special or super creative,The graphic selection was good, and the level was visually appealing. Decoration was fine; very simple, but a level doesn't really much to be aesthetically pleasing, so limiting it was a nice decision. but it works very well.

Not much to comment on the music selection. It wasn't what I expected but it surprisingly fits with the overall atmosphere.

Overall: 9/10

Great job with this! If all of Utopia's levels are as good as this one, I sure have to check it out when it's released :P
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:27 am

This level is okay. The use of the green bouncy platforms as bridges is awkward, but nothing that the player can't get used to easily. My biggest complaint would be that you have berry blocks blocking various split paths throughout the level, but the player doesn't get Yoshi until just after halfway through. It's not like anything in these split-paths is worth backtracking for whether this is a stand alone level or a level in a project, so they might as well not be there (the player can easily see that it's just coins and ? blocks from the main path). I recommend moving the pipes that lead to Yoshi to somewhere around the beginning of the level so that the earlier split paths can actually have a purpose other than decoration. Plus, it will also provide some distance between it and the second Yoshi so that the player doesn't get both of them practically in a row. Speaking of the Yoshis, why can the second one only be accessed if the player is already riding the previous Yoshi? It makes the only truly hidden secret pointless aside from some coins. Also, the pipe that leads to the music box is a bit too far from the end of the level because it unnecessarily drags out the level after the player gets the SMB3 roulette; you could easily remove half a screen from between them and still keep it a "secret" that way. Also, the exit pipe for that section is much further from its entrance pipe than the section it leads to is long, forcing the player to do unnecessary backtracking. I recommend moving the exit pipe closer to the SMB3 Roulette, at least after the final pool of water. Speaking of Section 3, the Skipsqueak you have at the right edge of the section won't appear because it's a pixel off-screen. Oh, and you had baseballs sprite-swap an SMB2 Veggie, which was kinda neat.

By the way, the music in Section 2 and 3 wouldn't play for me, and it also caused lag and sound effect delays. Does this happen for anyone else? I tried restarting SMBX and that didn't work (this doesn't affect your level's score; I'm just wondering why this happened).

Summary:
GOOD:
-Graphic choices aren't terrible.
-Music fits the level well (but I believe that you stole that track from The Great Empire and therefore don't know where it's from, either)
-Block placement is nice and varied, especially for what's supposed to be the first level in an episode.
-The secret in the level is indicated nicely without coins, which is quite difficult to accomplish.

BAD:
-Pointless initial split paths.
-Yoshi is required to get Yoshi.
-Pointless backtracking (if the player gets the music box; it isn't worth it to backtrack for the aforementioned initial split paths).
-The pipe after the SMB3 Roulette is needlessly a full screen-length away from it despite the fact that it's obvious that the section doesn't end right at the SMB3 Roulette.

In conclusion: This is one of the nicer first levels I've played, but it still has its fair share of flaws and oversights. I'd say this deserves a 5.5/10.

--EDIT--

By the way, why are the Skipsqueaks immune to fire? They weren't in SM3DW.
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Re: Skipsqueak Gardens (Utopia 1-1)

Postby Squishy Rex » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:24 am

Thanks for the review Imaynotbehere4long. I appreciate it a lot. I have now made a few changes based on your review:
- The Split paths now no longer need backtracking. The pipes have now been moved to the start of the level.
- Skipsqueaks are no longer immune to fire, not sure why they weren't before...
- Section 3 Skipsqueak has been moved back on-screen.
- The second Yoshi is no longer in the secret area, and is on the main path in the same area though as before.
- The Music Box backtracking has been moved to the Water Pool now and the cave it exited previously is now accessible from above.
- The End Zone has been shortened.

Not sure why the music was giving you grief though, I'll see if it's the mp3s themselves.

Here's the updated Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/be3ky ... yi/1-1.zip

EDIT: Also I should note that the SMB3 End Jingle still cuts too early, however, the custom theme I'm using for Utopia runs till your off-screen.
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Re: "Skipsqueak Gardens" Utopia 1-1 (Update)

Postby Snessy the duck » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:13 am

Awersome level Squishy, i just completed it and it was awersome!

For some reason, it reminds me of an wii game called Create.

The only flaws i found was that the 1-ups were a little too easy to get, espically since you get yoshi at the very start of the level.

Speaking of yoshi, the yoshi eggs is lacking an effect.

And the cave mp3 did not play propertly

Otherwise its an really amazing level, I cant wait to play Utopia when it comes out :) .
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