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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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raocow
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby raocow » 2 years ago

FPzero wrote:Well I hope you have fun with this raocow. Tyty are I actually planning a co-commentated LP of this over on Something Awful just as a way for us to both play the game and talk about level design a lot. Since we're going into it blind we probably won't be watching anything past where we've recorded (which is a good dozen levels or so at this point). Thanks for figuring out where that secret exit on Simple Path is though, we gave up after looking for a while and wanted to just keep going with the intention of coming back to it.

There are a number of judge scorings we've questioned so far. Seems like every contest has at least one.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

I just spit the key inside the wall, but it was too high, so I had to tongue it back down after flying back over the wall... used savestates... blah blah... had to ask around to find the yoshi and the pipe... boring...

Also, I'm going to have to so much to talk about during this contest. Oh no.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby FPzero » 2 years ago

raocow wrote:oh man, say hi to sa from me!
Forget your password? :lol: Can do. I think I'll probably mirror the LP in its own thread over here too. Wouldn't take much effort to do it and if nothing else it would give a different perspective on some of these levels.

Anyway, this thread is not about my playthrough so I won't talk about it anymore. We haven't decided when to post ours yet but keep a look out in this subforum (or on SA if you read it) for our thread.

Hope you have a better time with some of these "worst" levels than we did. I've discovered I'm not good at Mario at times.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Ivy » 2 years ago

FPzero wrote: Forget your password? :lol: Can do. I think I'll probably mirror the LP in its own thread over here too. Wouldn't take much effort to do it and if nothing else it would give a different perspective on some of these levels.

Anyway, this thread is not about my playthrough so I won't talk about it anymore. We haven't decided when to post ours yet but keep a look out in this subforum (or on SA if you read it) for our thread.

Hope you have a better time with some of these "worst" levels than we did. I've discovered I'm not good at Mario at times.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Le Neveu de Rameau » 2 years ago

It's odd yet somehow vaguely appropriate that the obscure and finicky secret exit in SIMPLE PATH should use, of all things, the "Kingdom of the Deedle-Ball" track from An Super Mario World Central Production as its BGM.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

FPzero wrote:
raocow wrote:oh man, say hi to sa from me!
Forget your password? :lol: Can do. I think I'll probably mirror the LP in its own thread over here too. Wouldn't take much effort to do it and if nothing else it would give a different perspective on some of these levels.

Anyway, this thread is not about my playthrough so I won't talk about it anymore. We haven't decided when to post ours yet but keep a look out in this subforum (or on SA if you read it) for our thread.

Hope you have a better time with some of these "worst" levels than we did. I've discovered I'm not good at Mario at times.
Link it here, LP has like a billion pages to trudge through :v

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

I think even listing the amount some levels are penalized on the OW (such as by putting "(-6)" for a 6 point penalty) would go a long way to making that less confusing, although it might clutter the OW screen as well. But I feel that using ASM should be a disqualification instead of a penalty. It breaks pretty much the whole point of the contest.

I found the hidden pipe right away, but the Yoshi took me a while (and several accidental level completions).

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

Oh man I wish I had known that this was a thing so I could've made a janky level and have my name said on video by raocow-senpai.

The next time something like this happens y'all gotta PM me because you'd better believe I don't pay attention to anything at all basically.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

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FLIPSTACK - This level is weird. It claims to be somewhat of a puzzle level where you use pipes to change environment. It is also extremely linear with only one way to go, so essentially speaking it works like a regular level. There is nothing really notable about it, other than rather cheap Urchin placement (although, hey, Urchins are tricky, 8th place in Vanilla 8 had that problem too).

Missed Dragon Coin is actually reachable (the level has six Dragon Coins), but the method of obtaining is dumb.

Essentially, there is one block that is actually a turn block you can spin jump through.
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Then you pick up a throw block.
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Then there is a coin.
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-UNNAMED- - What a silly level name. Following the success of Night of Semiramis Fire, Proto Man made a sequel to it with just as confusing backgrounds, moon available by following coins. I don't know much time was spent making -UNNAMED-, but from what I heard, Night of Fire did take 2 hours, and this level is surprisingly similar to it.

The level is actually a relative improvement, however. First of all, palettes were fixed to not be as ugly as they used to be. Second, level gave up on item babysitting, it's now a straightforward level (I suppose the reason why Night of Fire was so confusing is that it was intended to have two exits, but both of those were normal as a level was rushed).

The odd part of this level is how tricky the Hammer Bros platform jump is. The level actually provides two ways to enter on a platform, but both are fairly crazy (the other way would be going above). I can however imagine something like that being missed by an author - while I had lots of problems doing that jump, now that I revisit a level, I did a jump in question on a first attempt or so. This is one of reasons you may want to ask someone to test your level.

Also (I don't know what this word refers to in this case, but whatever), one of level problems is having to explain how trees work. As it happens, that's just a lazy design - a level shouldn't require reading message boxes (at least that's my belief). I believe this could be fixed by making upside-down treetop solid or better, not trying for graphics and just using regular ground.

As you may have noticed, the status bar is translucent. This is not unique to this level, this will be seen later too. Vanilla collab happens to use a trick to allow Layer 3 behind Layer 2 while having status bar above Layer 2. This patch has side-effect of causing Layer 3 to become translucent when Layer 3 in a level is translucent. Now, the level doesn't use Layer 3 for decorations, but that doesn't stop it from marking it as transparent.

Anyway, looking forward to Zyglrox "One Level Video" Oddysey level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

One particularly obnoxious thing in -UNNAMED- is all the random elements. Getting up the Hammer platform is really obnoxious and could use a powerup.

But the bubbles are the worst since they can make some jumps impossible in an unpredictable manner. You're midway through a jump and suddenly a bubble shows up. Surprise! You're hosed.

Also, loved the completely warranted backdown after seeing Zyglrox's name. Though I'd be surprised if raocow actually played through the level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

You'll notice this in Nimono's judge comments but Flipstack was originally a level called Tremor Tower, which was based around climbing a tower with thwomps, but the author wanted to replace their submission for some reason... Perhaps they thought they needed a better gimmick.

Also that red level is obviously going to be a thing.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby ztarwuff » 2 years ago

I thought Flipstack was going to be an outdoor version of a level I submitted to A2XT. That would have been really cool. Mind you, it was a pain making that level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

HUGE THANKS to GlitchMr for script-parsing all the judge commentary in a ready to post format! My life is suddenly a million times easier.

106th: FLIPSTACK by danwaleby
PENALTY REASONING: -12 points for using 2 days of the extension. As Quills mentioned, he used that to make something entirely different... only Nimono played the older version, which is noticeable by his commentary.
Nimono
DESIGN: 7/30
CREATIVITY: 0/20
AESTHETICS: 3/10
TOTAL: 10/60
Level didn't really match up with its name. Seeing "Tremor Tower" made me expect to see a lot of Thwomp usage, but there were precisely 5 in the entire level, all at the beginning. It really was more like "Potpourri Tower". On top of that, the design felt...uninspired, with random masses in places. The flashing yellow background wall at the end didn't look very good, either. I'd advise you to focus on just one idea at a time, instead of trying to put multiple ones in a single level, like yours feels like. That would definitely turn out a lot better! :) Then you submitted an update which is an entirely different level. I don't even know how to judge this anymore.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 2/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 1/10
TOTAL: 5/60
I have no words on what to say about this one since the gimmick didn't make much sense beyond somehow the world is changing when entering pipes and the level design was just bland and felt rushed at the end.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 31/60
That was not bad. The gimmick had potential, but I don't think it was used as well as it could have been - as it is, it's not that different from just going though different sections of the level. Some of the palettes were slightly messed up and nthers just aren't very visually appealing, but otherwise the level's also decent aesthetically.

Koopster
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 28/60
What a... weird level. I thought the pipes would make me have to go back in the level where something would be changed, but most of the time they just make the level follow forward, essentially adding almost nothing to the level, which is otherwise really unfocused! There's a ton of sections that don't really make much sense and most of your ideas don't seem to have been developed upon. Also, this has some really odd aesthetical decisions.

101st: A LEVEL THAT LITERALLY HAD NO NAME GIVEN by Proto Man
Nimono
DESIGN: 1/30
CREATIVITY: 4/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 7/60
This level did not work very well. Sprite memory was overloaded often, causing many sprites to vanish, INCLUDING MARIO AT ONE POINT when a Banzai Bill appears. This is a massive, MASSIVE no-no!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 2/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 13/60
This level wasn't to bad but it suffered from really bland level design but also a lot of graphical issues with disappearing sprites and invisible Mario. The main thing it has going for it is it looks nice.

Eternity
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 28/60
There are a lot of flat stretches of land without any enemies on this one, and most of the setups aren't particularly interesting, either. The background can be really confusing as well, FG tiles + black outlines isn't really a good combination for backgrounds.

Koopster
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 8/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 27/60
What a weird level! You change theme every three screens or so. The sections are often good but the level as a whole really doesn't know what it wants to do and just does a bit of everything. Some of the sections are really tricky to play, like the beginning and the end, but everything in between is oddly easier. The sprite memory issues present in the ROM submitted are also a drawback, which is unfortunate, since they were obviously an overlook/lack of testing!


danwaleby's level... makes no sense, to summarize my thoughts.

Proto Man's level doesn't have any penalties (they're marked by a blue P in the chart). It doesn't really stand out from the rest imo, it's really frustrating in a few specific parts (you didn't do the intended zigzag at the beginning and skipped the lakitu nuisance), and the aesthetic is less than stellar (but I wasn't as bothered by the background as others)

Tomorrow... this goes without saying, right? :D
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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

with tomorrow: just remember that green doors exist for a reason and there is no shame in using them :ugeek:

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby FPzero » 2 years ago

I used it. (We'll go back and give it an honest try later)

Man, you made -UNNAMED- look easy. We spent a good 15 minutes or so on it due to bad luck at the beginning and with those swooping gray platforms at the end.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Tyty » 2 years ago

Those canopy platforms after the midpoint in -UNNAMED- actually have a couple holes in them, they're missing some of the inside corner tiles on slopes so you can fall through randomly. The whole level basically has all these little problems that a bit more testing would've ironed out. Platforms being in bad sync if you don't time it right and stuff like that.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Sometimes raocow talks about how he gives levels a bad rap, but I think he gave -Unnamed- a good rap. That level had a lot of silly issues with falling through the trees randomly and jumps being impossible due to offscreen objects that are badly timed and in the wrong place. I'll note that I had no issues determining background from foreground in this level though, and I actually liked that aesthetic. Most of the issues were in the second half IMO. I liked the first half more.

I recommend giving Zyglrox's level an honest go. It presents itself as Evil Mcdeathville, but it's reasonably doable. Most of M/M's levels in JUMP took me more time to beat.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Divemissile » 2 years ago

S.N.N. wrote:
Divemissile wrote:i haven't taken a look at all of them yet (my snes9x doesn't agree with this game) but the ones i have are crazy
Are you using the newest version of Snes9x, 1.54? Anything older than that won't work correctly.
no, i'm not. i use 1.52 for some reason and i never thought updating would matter, but i guess it does haha

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

The main issue with Proto Man's level seems to be the first hammer brother platform, but because I tend to rush through levels, the first paragoomba just happened to line up well with the hammer bro, and I was satisfied in making that jump. Overall, I liked that level (even before raocow's playthrough, which was much more careful than mine).

Despite everything said about Zyglrox Odyssey's level, I didn't think the normal exit was too bad, as it only took 16 minutes back in March, when I was worse at smw (I still hacked kaizo, which may explain things). About 6 of those minutes are there because I couldn't get into the final pipe. A lot of other levels that I've played in this hack took longer than 16 minutes. It did look intimidating at first, but the level is short, so you can learn each obstacle easily. I didn't try to go for the secret exit and yoshi coins because they looked like they required switch palaces, and none were given with his entry.
Lockkirby wrote: recommend giving Zyglrox's level an honest go. It presents itself as Evil Mcdeathville, but it's reasonably doable. Most of M/M's levels in JUMP took me more time to beat.
Yep.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

He actually did it, the absolute madman.
Yeah, this is a level made for savestate abuse. Thank God for green doors.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

99th: WOAH RADICOLA by Zyglrox Odyssey
Nimono
DESIGN: 1/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 5/60
Possibly kaizo????

ninja boy
DESIGN: 10/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 31/60
Well this level was a thing which I did not enjoy, as far as the base of the level it looked good had a good atmosphere and fit it's theme, what I got annoyed with and found more tedious than anything else was the super limited space you had to work with when it came to the lava. Yeah I get that that's the gimmick but giving the player just one more tile would of made this so much more feasible as a concept.

Eternity
DESIGN: 9/30
CREATIVITY: 8/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 23/60
This is definitely better than the low-quality Kaizo entries we usually get, but this is still not exactly the best contest for levels that insane... this is definitely Kaizo: Light at least. Well, it's still fairly decent design-wise, but I'm not a huge fan of all the waiting, even if that's pretty much the level's gimmick.

Koopster
DESIGN: 9/30
CREATIVITY: 11/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 27/60
This is the most frowned upon level of this contest for a reason. Would you have allowed more leeway for the player, this would've been a way more "accessible" level. However, if you are an experienced player and have some spare time, this is actually pretty fun to do legit. Of course, it's gonna be a trainwreck otherwise. The dragon coins and the secret exit seem like they are one level up in difficulty (I didn't do them), but I can appreciate how the difficulty of the main path flows consistently. The switches seem like they help a lot, but I didn't try activating them.

I'm not gonna criticize you further, because it is a good level under circumstances that are probably not suitable for the VLDC, but I'm pretty sure this was your goal and you managed to achieve it!

@ Nimono's commentary: he probably imagined we were going to disqualify this level. His chart also has a zeroed score, I got these from the hack.

I think you did just as much as myself actually. The final dragon coin involves one of those two blocks (with a P-balloon of all things!), but I don't remember how you hit them. Would've been an extra half an hour for you at least, lol

Hope we can move away from the worst world soon - most of the levels left are just romps with nothing but there's at least one more that'll make you "think".
Maybe do grassland next, it's the least exciting world, except for one thing I'm particularly hyped about.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby ancara22 » 2 years ago

And so continues Ziggy's trend of "levels that make raocow frustrated". Not surprising that it got that low, although had he made the lava cola floor/ceiling not so hilariously close to each other, this would have been much better of a level for sure. But maybe that's just something for them to take in for next time.

Either way, worst world's almost over, so excited to see how it goes once finally out of there.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Eminus » 2 years ago

ancara22 wrote:Not surprising that it got that low, although had he made the lava cola floor/ceiling not so hilariously close to each other, this would have been much better of a level for sure.
Dude that's exactly what I was thinking, imo this level got kinda wasted by that and could have gotten a good spot on the cave submap if the creator just made it easier.
Also I really like how raocow restrains from swearing even in these times of frustration. Except for va chier. But va chier is fine

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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

So Dragon Coins are actually possible without switch palaces. Good to know. (I blame ft into making me think otherwise)

You could have killed yourself by time limit, but whatever. Sorta disappointed you gave up so late in a level, but you made your point.
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WOAH RADICOLA - No.

Those colors hurt my eyes, I'm not going to repeat this stage just for a review. As it happens, bad aesthetics can hurt a level to a point where I'm not willing to talk about it.

Anyway, this is a neat Kaizo level, but aesthetics are pretty much terrible. Perhaps if the level wasn't as bright or lava wasn't red (I wonder, what color is radicola?) it would be better for me. So called "transparency" in Super Mario World is actually using CGADSUB hardware register, which is pretty much color addition (it can be also used for subtraction, for instance dark BG levels subtract their background color). Color addition is sorta similar to transparency when one of colors is dark, but when both are light, the result will look ugly.

If I remember corrrectly, this level does have some neat puzzle elements.

Obtaining last Dragon Coin is just a tricky jump, that's about it. I don't remember any P-Balloon in a level. Radicola needs to be moving downwards to be able to enter this pipe.

Also, I believe that secret exit is easier than normal exit. Although that may be due to shorter path which makes secret exit path seem shorter in terms of time spent on it.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

For some reason I had a dream where Zyglrox submitted a completely different level from this one.
Anyway, I also had to save-scum through this when it was first submitted, but it was actually sorta fun with savestates. The level name is a joke from raocow's Startropics LPs btw.
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