The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

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Unknown68D
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The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Unknown68D » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:29 am

The Spooky Skull Coaster (World 8-7 in The Epic Quest)


Hello, SMBX community! Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Unknown68D, and I'm ecstatic to create my first ever post on the SMBX forums! I have been playing this phenomenal game since the early 2010s, and I could not be more grateful to have watched such a great community grow and develop over the years! Of course, that's not what this post is primarily about by any means. I just wanted to have a formal introduction to reveal my presence in the community.

Speak of which, with this being my first level ever uploaded, I set out to ensure that I would make a great first impression. Thus, I introduce to you all a level that will be featured in my latest 9-World episode The Epic Quest titled The Spooky Skull Coaster. I'm pretty sure you can guess what the title implies. That's right! I have successfully re-created the skull coaster featured in the New Super Mario Bros. series!

I have been attempting to create a level based around this concept for quite a while, and have seen many methods of doing so in various episodes/levels, whether it be using rails or otherwise. However, I wanted to create a system that would best reflect that sense thrill that Nintendo created. I pondered what system I should use for a while, experimenting with rails, shells, etc. However, I've finally found the perfect mechanism to do so:
Spoiler: show
SMW Ninjis
Essentially, the intelligent programming of this NPC combined with speed multipliers, quicksand/water, and the modification of the flame NPCs into platforms is what allows this experience to be possible. I won't get into all of the minute details in this post, however, I may decide to in the future someday, whether it be in a post or otherwise.

See if you can survive jumping over the many lava geysers that shoot up into the skull's path until you reach the goal, just like in NSMBWii! For an extra challenge, try collecting all of five A-Coins to reveal a star that will appear right before the goal as well.

I hope you all enjoy playing this level as much as I enjoyed making it using the glorious PGE MAGLX3 editor! This level, much like the entirety of "The Epic Quest" is compatible with SMBX 1.3 or higher.

Apologies if the formatting of this post may not use all of the proper conventions such as headings, spoilers, links, etc. I'm still trying to get used to forum posting, so please bear with me!

I encourage you to reply with any suggestions or feedback that you may have regarding this level or otherwise. I'll try my best to respond to as many as I can once I figure out how!
Screenshots:
Spoiler: show
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Video:
Spoiler: show

DOWNLOAD: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tjKKb ... Q8n00ENZOE

Thank you all once again. Lots of love, Unknown68D ~ 💙 ;)
Last edited by Unknown68D on Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Cedur
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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Cedur » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Is The Epic Quest supposed to become an NSMBWii spinoff?
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iphtechnologies wrote: NEO super mario world x is a really nice game. This Episode is 2,7 GB large at the moment.That`s crazy!
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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Unknown68D » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:24 pm

Cedur wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:24 pm
Is The Epic Quest supposed to become an NSMBWii spinoff?
Overall, The Epic Quest is heavily inspired around the NSMB series as a whole, with elements from the classic 2D Mario platformers integrated within. But yes, the majority of the levels in this episode are based around NSMBWii, so you could say it's a spinoff of sorts.

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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Murphmario » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:03 pm

I'd reccomend making the ninjis invisible, that way the illusion is made less apparent. Also, super neat way of doing this.
Now taking graphics requests:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1urWpFq ... #responses

My graphics pack:
http://www.supermariobrosx.org/forums/v ... t=1960/url

Nothing is coming on Christmas. Why? Because I missed my past promises and should stop putting release dates on my stuff.

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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby cato » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:50 am

That random segment for the second-last dragon coin just looks really clash.

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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Unknown68D » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:10 pm

cato wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:50 am
That random segment for the second-last dragon coin just looks really clash.
I see what you mean. This coin requires that you first collect the 8 red coins via the P-Switch, then use the platform to fly up to the lava section, glide down, use the propeller block to get to the pipe and enter it. I do have another section in mind where I could place this, essentially removing this process entirely. I sometimes go too over the top with some of the Dragon Coin placements. This level would be better if they all revolved around the ride itself in some way.

I might make it so you just need to stand on the edge of the skull platform when the skull coaster is travelling upwards instead, as shown here. Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

Image

Added in 3 minutes 32 seconds:
Murphmario wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:03 pm
I'd reccomend making the ninjis invisible, that way the illusion is made less apparent. Also, super neat way of doing this.
Thanks! I'm unsure right now if I want to have them invisible, as they act as a guide for where the skull will go next, whether dipping down or jumping up. By making the ninjis invisible, it may be a little more difficult to sight read, and I want to avoid trial and error where players have to remember each section as much as possible. I'll think about it. ;)

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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Cedur » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:12 pm

I see the ninjis are attached to the skulls, I kinda expected it to be the other way round. How do the skull coasters work, and is there any way to mark their path with lineguides or such? I died a few times at the end of the first ride when I jumped before the skulls dropped down.

Also I would appreciate if the skulls just went at a slightly slower speed. The ace coins are pretty much unforeseeable on first playthrough, and the springboard for the 2nd ace coin should be easy to grab (not requiring an early precise jump).
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Still using the legacy editor? Get SMBX2 and PGE, it will improve your experience significantly. Here's why.

iphtechnologies wrote: NEO super mario world x is a really nice game. This Episode is 2,7 GB large at the moment.That`s crazy!
Please find similar post:
[ads]

If you're not smart enough to plan ahead, then DOOM ON YOU!

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Unknown68D
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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Unknown68D » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:21 pm

Cedur wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:12 pm
I see the ninjis are attached to the skulls, I kinda expected it to be the other way round. How do the skull coasters work, and is there any way to mark their path with lineguides or such? I died a few times at the end of the first ride when I jumped before the skulls dropped down.

Also I would appreciate if the skulls just went at a slightly slower speed. The ace coins are pretty much unforeseeable on first playthrough, and the springboard for the 2nd ace coin should be easy to grab (not requiring an early precise jump).
I'm glad you asked! Here is my detailed explanation, separated into headings!

The Skull Platforms:

To start, all Skull Coaster blocks are 2x1 or 2x2 semisolid platforms. This is to prevent any potential clipping or instant death of the player. Each platform, consisting of two of these blocks (4 blocks wide) is assigned a specific layer and is attached to one of six SMW ninjis. This produces an overall reasonable platform width for the player to stand on and jump off of, especially when the platform compresses at the slower bits. This is essentially all there is to the skulls. Rinse and repeat for all five skull platforms systems in the level. You can see how the setup with a Ninji being assigned to its corresponding layer below.
Spoiler: show
Image
The SMW Ninjis:

Now we get to the core of what makes this skull coaster system possible: The beautifully programmed AI behaviour of the SMW Ninjis. As I'm sure you know, they are capable of jumping up 2-block high walls and over gaps as well. Knowing this, I simply added a speed multiplier to the Ninjis (5.00) and set them to "friendly" so that they could jump SUPER far, travel fast, won't hurt the player and allow them to occupy the same space without colliding and changing direction. Then, simply line them up, attach them to the skulls and you've created the entire system! One important thing to note here is that the way SMBX loads NPCs is quite inconvenient, meaning that if the Ninjis are off-screen for a few seconds or are too far away from the camera border, then they despawn and the platforms essentially disappear. After many attempts debugging, I've created this ideal setup that should almost always ensure they stay onscreen at all times. Please take note of how many tiles they are placed above the platform, as well as the platform I placed the Ninjis on.
Spoiler: show
Image
Controlling The Ninjis' Speeds:

With this setup complete, I then proceeded to extend the platform, creating the path that the ninjis will follow. Determining their path relies on several factors. With the speed multiplier at 5, they are moving at their maximum speed by default. However, this speed can be decreased by making use of water and quicksand areas. Essentially, Ninjis can have one of three speeds: Slow (Quicksand), Medium (Water), Fast (Air). The placement of these areas was meant to be as realistic as possible, slowing down on hills and speeding up at the drops. Take this section after the first A-Coin as an example.
Spoiler: show
Image
How The Ninjis Move:

You may have also noticed those black SMB3 Dungeon Block BGOs in the level. What way surprise you though is that these are not BGOs, but rather NPCs! Which NPCs have I replaced, and why? Well, I chose to replace the flame NPCs produced by Bowser, Ludwig, and Stone Statues. These NPCs are perfect to use because they are the most configurable without any issues with hardcoded properties, as long as you set nohurt=1. Two of these three NPC graphics were replaced by the black block to indicate that it acts as a BGO for the player. One of them acts as a solid block which the Ninjis will hit their heads on when they attempt to jump. The other acts as a semisolid only for NPCs. This was made use of heavily in the ending section, allowing for one set of Ninjis to pass through them while the other jumps on the tops them. The third flame NPC acts as an NPC filter block, blocking the player but allowing the Ninjis to pass through. These are mainly used to prevent the player from entering the path containing water and quicksand sections. As a general rule, the ninjis can walk in places that are considered non-existent to the player, resulting in no interference in gameplay. See below, keeping in mind that these all act as BGOs for the player:
Spoiler: show
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Answering Your Questions/Comments:

- Unfortunately, this system does not make use of line guides whatsoever, as it relies solely on the Ninjis jump/falling from platform to platform. There is no easy way to determine their path, which requires the use of trial and error. Still, once you find the perfect block arrangement, you can easily make note of it and duplicate it as needed. Here is a reference for a two-block-high jump and a one-block drop.
Spoiler: show
Image
- Regarding your concern with jumping as the skulls are falling, I'd recommend standing on the platform for a longer amount of time, up to around this point. Keep in mind that the difficulty of this level is intended since it will appear late into The Epic Quest, just like the original in NSMBWii!
- Regarding your concern with the speed of the coaster, I would have to decrease the speed multiplier of the Ninjis, which would result in the Ninjis not being able to jump as far. I would have to essentially restructure the entire level to accommodate for this reduced speed. I personally like this speed because it allows you to perfectly stay horizontally in-line on the platform when you jump provided you're holding the dash button. Again, I'm aiming for the difficulty to be on par with the original. Practice makes perfect!

- Regarding the placement of the Ace-Coins, I personally believe the 1st, 3rd and 5th ones are placed well. I do agree with you on the 2nd one though. I will make it easier to get, not requiring a precise jump. I also got another reply saying the fourth one was "clash", which I do agree with as well. It's a bit too precise compared to the rest of the level, which may be unappealing to first-time players

Conclusion:

Thank you for showing your interest in this level as well as providing! It really means a lot to me that you've shown so much interest in how the Skulls work, as you've provided me with an outlet to thoroughly explain and showcase my work. I really hope you enjoyed playing this level, and look forward to seeing you around the community! Thanks for staying patient with me as well. Have a great one! ;)

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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Cedur » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:59 pm

I'm really surprised that you used NPCs to guide the ninjis instead of, say, tanooki stone blocks (I tried to see if I could hit some but obvsly I found nothing).

Anyway despite the clever implementation, the skull coaster turned out to be a bit janky and too slippery sometimes. The double-coaster segment at the end also lagged a lot (which was kinda good to avoid jankyness but was also annoying at the same time).
Image

Supports: show
Image
Image
Image
Image

Image

Still using the legacy editor? Get SMBX2 and PGE, it will improve your experience significantly. Here's why.

iphtechnologies wrote: NEO super mario world x is a really nice game. This Episode is 2,7 GB large at the moment.That`s crazy!
Please find similar post:
[ads]

If you're not smart enough to plan ahead, then DOOM ON YOU!

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Unknown68D
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Re: The Spooky Skull Coaster [MY FIRST UPLOADED CUSTOM LEVEL/POST!]

Postby Unknown68D » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:42 pm

Cedur wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:59 pm
I'm really surprised that you used NPCs to guide the ninjis instead of, say, tanooki stone blocks (I tried to see if I could hit some but obvsly I found nothing).

Anyway despite the clever implementation, the skull coaster turned out to be a bit janky and too slippery sometimes. The double-coaster segment at the end also lagged a lot (which was kinda good to avoid jankyness but was also annoying at the same time).
I understand completely where you're coming from! Working with only 1.3 elements presents quite a challenge when it comes to improvisation. Perhaps I'll tweak and touch it up, try to reduce lag as much as possible and make the A-Coins more obtainable. Regardless, hope you enjoyed & found it interesting as a concept! I hope to see you around in the community! :)


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