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MaGL 3 results: moral of the story: laziness always prevails

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Re: MaGL 3 results: meow

Postby SAJewers » 3 years ago

How was the Fog opacity effect done in Enjl's level? I was looking at that for my level.

EDIT: NVM, I tried again, and it's not 100% opaque now. Odd. Oh well.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: meow

Postby Divemissile » 3 years ago

what is it with people in this contest having pretty good first levels? my first level was a crappy cave level with tides and lava. maybe i was just dumb but i'm jealous of these lunar magic prodigies

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Re: MaGL 3 results: meow

Postby FrozenQuills » 3 years ago

Divemissile wrote:what is it with people in this contest having pretty good first levels? my first level was a crappy cave level with tides and lava. maybe i was just dumb but i'm jealous of these lunar magic prodigies
To be fair, several of them (Enjl, TaviTurnip) have experience in SMBX level design, while others have studied a lot of good levels beforehand I guess.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: meow

Postby nothobz » 3 years ago

you know raocow I've never seen a tie-dye shirt that was just one solid colour before. ;)

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Re: MaGL 3 results: meow

Postby TaviTurnip » 3 years ago

FrozenQuills wrote:
Divemissile wrote:what is it with people in this contest having pretty good first levels? my first level was a crappy cave level with tides and lava. maybe i was just dumb but i'm jealous of these lunar magic prodigies
To be fair, several of them (Enjl, TaviTurnip) have experience in SMBX level design, while others have studied a lot of good levels beforehand I guess.
To be fairer, my MaGL X2 entry was my first complete SMBx level out of just two attempts. At the risk of bragging in some way, I'm not some kind of prodigy. I'm not a level designer and I never have been. I just have common sense and know how to use a computer and I still don't know why this is enough to be in the top half, generally speaking. I don't consider it an accomplishment to know how to complete a structure and make some landmasses not a flat plain. All I did was build a level and put effort into it. Lunar Magic or SMBx or Game Maker doesn't matter.

I had so many shortcomings this time around because I had too much real life to deal with and wasn't able to focus on my actual level ideas, and the concepts I did get in were weak due to lack of focus (and a critical error in adding the bonus gimmick as a main obstacle by accident) and I couldn't really get them together. I just refused to go without submitting something in the end, and as I've said I phoned in the last like 75% of the level and that's why I'm not really defensive about it. It's the skeleton of a cute idea that could be complete and awesome if my heart wasn't miserable all year.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Reecer7 » 3 years ago

It's getting that time where I stop posting and commenting on levels because 1. it's harder to note good things than bad things, and 2. I'm losing the excitement of a new contest finally being announced, and thus my interest falls like an anvil.

But regardless, I still had something to say about Sasquatch!

"That’s a super nice, charmful level! It’s got a good theme, an onslaught of good custom assets, more-challenging-than-average, continuous level design, and a simple secret exit. I don’t know what else I could ask of from this. Also, I’m a big fan of that overworld tune."

also i'm constantly amazed by how much better someone can be at a video game. it took me over half an hour just to get to one exit here, probably longer.

I have to say, I'm not too impressed by Enjl's level? I mean, I appreciate the Fish Out of Water visual gimmick, but I don't feel like it does anything for me to elevate it beyond a regular level, like The Mario's New Clothes did.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby S.N.N. » 3 years ago

JUDGES' COMMENTS AND SCORES FOR 26th AND 25th PLACE:

26th: Sasquatch
-FROZENQUILLS-
FUN: 17/30
DIFFICULTY: 5/5
CREATIVITY: 6/10
AESTHETICS: 8/10 (4/5 GFX + 4/5 MUS)
FUNCTIONALITY: 5/5

TOTAL: 41/60

COMMENTS:
Nice enjoyable beach level.

I really like your use of moles and pokeys with the level
terrain so that you have to deal with certain obstacles in sorta
unique ways. It felt rompy but it was also quite fun.

The wall traingle parts were also pretty cool, and I really
liked that blue koopa and shell placement with the two wall
triangles by the midpoint.

The secret exit requires finding a p-switch and going
underground. While not much happened down there, it was still
pretty alright.

The only suggestion I have is that it could have been more
creative/engaging with the player with some of its sprite
setups.

Anyway, pretty good beach level overall; good job.

TLDR:
+ Good rompy level with some fun, unique parts
- Could have been more creative/engaging with its setups

OTHER:
i thought the intro screen was the level for a second


-PYRO-
Fun: 14/30
Difficulty: 2/5
Creativity: 4/10
Aesthetics: 7/10
Functionality: 5/5
Total: 32/60
Comment: Funny aesthetic gimmick, and the level was fun enough. There were some nice setups with kicking koopas, monty moles, pokies, etc. and I liked the illuminati pokies ;p. The secret exit was funny but I'm not sure if it was neccessary, especially because it's right at the end, and it's one short section and then the goal tape. Still a nice little rompy level though.


-KOOPSTER-
FUN: 17/30
DIFFICULTY: 4/5
CREATIVITY: 4/10
AESTHETICS: 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY: 5/5

TOTAL SCORE: 38/60

Pretty creative backstory and looks. The level itself is kinda repetitive and really really linear, but it's still a nice little romp! I have no idea why it had to have two exits though.


-S.N.N.-
FUN: 23/30
DIFFICULTY: 4/5
CREATIVITY: 6/10
AESTHETICS: 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY: 5/5

TOTAL: 45/60

COMMENTS: A cute level with some neat little graphical touches. I felt like the design was fairly safe, but you had a few interesting set-ups that reminded me of Cookie Mountain from the original game. One thing I noticed was a distinct lack of coins in the beginning and not too many ? blocks/other incentives to look around your level throughout (until the last third or so). That aside, a solid - but not something that really stood out - experience overall.



25th: Enjl
-FROZENQUILLS-
FUN: 13/30
DIFFICULTY: 5/5
CREATIVITY: 6/10
AESTHETICS: 9/10 (4/5 GFX + 5/5 MUS)
FUNCTIONALITY: 5/5

TOTAL: 38/60

COMMENTS:
Pretty good first level!

The setting for this level is pretty odd, but I liked how it's
designed. There were some interesting setups with the "rocks"
and "koopas/galoombas" with the glitchy tile, and the water
parts were alright. I also enjoyed your use of the fishing fish
guy in the second half.

The aesthetics are pretty weird, but I found them charming and
cool.

However, I felt like it wasn't as interesting or creative as
some of the other entries in the contest in terms of level
design. Luckily, it conveys the nonsense environment of a fish
sauna well.

TLDR:
+ Nonsense environment works well
+ Pretty good design
- Could be more creative and fun in terms of obstacles

OTHER:
i find it adorable that both your first SMW contest entry and
Pyro's first SMW contest entry are abstract fish levels that
use weird quirks of the SMW engine


-PYRO-
Fun: 17/30
Difficulty: 2/5
Creativity: 5/10
Aesthetics: 8/10
Functionality: 4/5
Total: 36/60
Comment: Daaaww this was cute~ I'm sad that it ended so soon though because I really liked what was there!! Some of the sprite replacements were amazing (dolphin fishing boo) and the level was super strong in the aesthetics department. I feel like it could have used 1F0 more though, like, having more dangerous setups with spinjumping on the rock fish and the rip van fish. In its current state it's just a rompy fun time with a few neat setups. Still a good level overall though.


-KOOPSTER-
FUN: 19/30
DIFFICULTY: 4/5
CREATIVITY: 5/10
AESTHETICS: 8/10
FUNCTIONALITY: 5/5

TOTAL SCORE: 41/60

every villain is fishes. Besides the main gimmick and decent looks this level really had something going in the first half and introducted and used new mechanics very well! But the second half felt uninspired and wasn't as much fun. The final dragon coins are a bit hard to get with a flower so maybe you shouldn't have given me one??


-S.N.N.-
FUN: 20/30
DIFFICULTY: 4/5
CREATIVITY: 7/10
AESTHETICS: 7/10
FUNCTIONALITY: 4/5

TOTAL: 42/60

COMMENTS: This is actually quite nice and rather charming for your first level. It's fairly intelligently designed, and you've used some interesting set-ups (e.g. the sprite-only blocks). There are two crucial flaws that this level has - first, there are a few annoying blind jumps early on, such as that first lava pit + the Yoshi coin. Secondly, when you reskin everything to be fish, it's not always obvious what you can jump on and what you can't. As a result, I was hurt by a couple of sprites that I thought were safe to land on (like the green stationary fish). Oh, and you forgot to replace the Yoshi coin in the second room with a fish coin. Overall, a solid first level with a few flaws.

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » 3 years ago

It is weird to Enjl score 25, even for a first level. It was great to play though.

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 3 years ago

...Yeah, I'm kind of slipping here. But I still have stuff to say about these levels.

TaviTurnip's level was good, and looked very nice, but that secret exit and that one jump were kind of tragic. You still did well, though! Those chickens look very nice. Also, nice Undertale reference.

LunarNeedle's was simple and fun. That gimmick was pretty refreshing.

The edits made by Sasquatch's level were great, and being in a relaxing beach is... relaxing. Not terribly much to it other than that, but it didn't need to be.

Enjil's was good as well. (yeah, I'll be saying this every time. Get used to it) Those clouds are a little confusing, but all of the fish and varied challenges make up for it easily. Solid level. Also, is that a good fishing fish guy spoke of in legends?!?
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Sasquatch » 3 years ago

IIrc, my method for clearing that jump in TaviTurnip's level was to jump at full speed off the upper ledge, land on the upper solid branch, and then jump the gap. Her level looks very interesting, but would have benefited immensely from for development time.

I was pleasantly surprised with my level scores. Honestly expected to place somewhere in the 40s. I originally intended to draw the Chucks in their underwear, but I wasn't really sure how to draw them without their gear. It's a shame, raocow's reaction would have been fun.

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby FrozenQuills » 3 years ago

Looks like we went from "raocow missing some unmarked secret exits" to "raocow finding secret exits that none of the judges knew about".

I didn't bother getting all of the dragon coins cause I thought the "secret door" it mentions would lead to a bonus easter egg or something. But had the author mention the secret exit in a more direct fashion, I felt like it would hurt the level more than help it, unfortunately.
(I had plenty of other issues about this level which are explained in my judging comments)
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Mata Hari » 3 years ago

There was a little point on one of the sinking platforms that looks like something you can trip on BUT IT ISNT@

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Le Neveu de Rameau » 3 years ago

Huh, raocow's impression of this level was pretty much the exact opposite of mine. I quite liked the first section be a fun if rompy vertical mountain-climbing section, with a simple but effective vanilla æsthetic and a pleasing autumn palette. The cave, in contrast, looks ooglay, in my opinion--yeah, some of the landforms are nice (though I'm less sure about the pointy bits lying atop flat surface), but the land contours on the interior holes (and abrupt cutoff thereon) looks awkward and the palette in the third section is exceedingly unpleasant (especially the brown in the layer 3 background). On top of that, the level undergoes a huge and jarring difficulty spike in the cave, and suddenly switches from a romp to a much more unforgiving and ambush-based style of level design. I'm surprised raocow had so little trouble with the sinking platforms--having to maintain top speed while still avoiding the bullets gave me considerably more trouble. On the whole, the outdoor and cave sections feel like two completely different levels, and the latter doesn't feel especially thoroughly tested.

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby FrozenQuills » 3 years ago

Le Neveu de Rameau wrote:Huh, raocow's impression of this level was pretty much the exact opposite of mine. I quite liked the first section be a fun if rompy vertical mountain-climbing section, with a simple but effective vanilla æsthetic and a pleasing autumn palette. The cave, in contrast, looks ooglay, in my opinion--yeah, some of the landforms are nice (though I'm less sure about the pointy bits lying atop flat surface), but the land contours on the interior holes (and abrupt cutoff thereon) looks awkward and the palette in the third section is exceedingly unpleasant (especially the brown in the layer 3 background). On top of that, the level undergoes a huge and jarring difficulty spike in the cave, and suddenly switches from a romp to a much more unforgiving and ambush-based style of level design. I'm surprised raocow had so little trouble with the sinking platforms--having to maintain top speed while still avoiding the bullets gave me considerably more trouble. On the whole, the outdoor and cave sections feel like two completely different levels, and the latter doesn't feel especially thoroughly tested.
This pretty much echoes my sentiments.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby raocow » 3 years ago

oh man tomorrow's there's a Judge Favourite TM
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby FPzero » 3 years ago

Man raocow you gotta stop jumping over the ceiling.

I say this having hid a bonus that can only be accessed by going over the ceiling in my level.


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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Pyro » 3 years ago

Okay what the fuck if I had known that there was a secret exit my score would have been like a 24 instead of a 36. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate those kinds of secret exits. They're HORRIBLE. Also in hindsight why did I let those dirt formations slip by in my aesthetics score....?
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Mata Hari » 3 years ago

OK real talk the fact that none of the judges were curious enough to bother with the dargadons says something about either them or the level, probably both, to varying degrees

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Alice » 3 years ago

Mata Hari wrote:OK real talk the fact that none of the judges were curious enough to bother with the dargadons says something about either them or the level, probably both, to varying degrees
It was enough to even pique raocow's curiosity which is saying something because he's criminally lacking in curiosity at times.

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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Zygl » 3 years ago

Yeah no gonna agree with Pyro on this one, the secret exit here falls into the same trap as like 99% of dragon coin secret exits - namely, being pretty much literally just 'oh man replay the level but this time IN ONE LIFE! :​O' - and this one doesn't even have the decency to only be on one side of the midpoint, in SMW, an engine where the only ways to un-midpoint are 'reload your save' or 'beat the level.' It's an avoidable midpoint, at least - it didn't fall into that pitfall - but it's still fundamentally just replaying the level.
Not only that, but the pipe to the last dragon coin is completely unmarked - I just re-checked the video and there's no indication whatsoever that there's a pipe there unless you're already just standing around waiting for it. There were a couple coins that came down before the pipe, had those been low enough that you could even possibly catch a glimpse of them as you start going through that sinking layer 2 section it could've been a neat and cool and good way of hiding a secret, but as it stands it's just needlessly obtuse.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby FrozenQuills » 3 years ago

Alice wrote:
Mata Hari wrote:OK real talk the fact that none of the judges were curious enough to bother with the dargadons says something about either them or the level, probably both, to varying degrees
It was enough to even pique raocow's curiosity which is saying something because he's criminally lacking in curiosity at times.
The thing is though, is that I made my secret exit level list by seeing if the author explicitly stated the amount of exits in the submission thread (this accounted for a lot of unmarked secret exits) or seeing if the level had a red dot. If a submission post said nothing regarding a second exit, I assumed it has one exit.

Roboslim's is very likely the only case where the original submission never stated it had 2 exits even when it does, and it's reasonable for me to assume that the secret door wouldn't really lead to anything worthwhile. Collecting all the dragon coins in one run is quite a lot of work and really not worth it to find out. (especially in regards to what zyglrox just said about that last dragon coin)

It's not supposed to be the judges' job to figure out every single nitty gritty secret about a level anyway. Saying the number of exits a level has should've been a rule for submission.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Mandew » 3 years ago

I'd be the first to say that it's the designer's job to make sure that what needs to be clear is clear, so I don't blame Quill for glossing over that secret exit on the list and I don't blame the judges for glossing over it as well.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Dragon Fogel » 3 years ago

There's a message block saying "oh man dragon coins!", I think that in and of itself warrants a serious effort to get them because it's a sign that the level creator thought they were important. Whether they lead to a secret exit or not is largely irrelevant - the implication is that the level is intended to be played with you going for the dragon coins, so that's something that should be done, and its effect on gameplay should be taken into account when scoring.

Think of it this way - imagine if it hadn't been a secret exit. Wouldn't raocow still have found it in today's video? Wouldn't the criticisms of how the dragon coins were hidden still apply just as much?

The only difference would be that there was less of a reward for it, and I don't see how that would really make things better.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby Mandew » 3 years ago

Dragon Fogel wrote:There's a message block saying "oh man dragon coins!", I think that in and of itself warrants a serious effort to get them because it's a sign that the level creator thought they were important. Whether they lead to a secret exit or not is largely irrelevant - the implication is that the level is intended to be played with you going for the dragon coins, so that's something that should be done, and its effect on gameplay should be taken into account when scoring.
Yeah well, here's my counter-argument:
The judges didn't bother to go after the Dragon Coins, so I'm pretty sure that a lot of other peeps wouldn't have bothered either.
They judge based on their own experience with the level as players. It's a mistake to assume that judges have to explore every aspect of something in order to properly judge it, as proper incentivism and conveyance of information is one huge part of what has to be addressed through design.
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Re: MaGL 3 results: first time's the charm

Postby SAJewers » 3 years ago

FrozenQuills wrote:
Le Neveu de Rameau wrote:Huh, raocow's impression of this level was pretty much the exact opposite of mine. I quite liked the first section be a fun if rompy vertical mountain-climbing section, with a simple but effective vanilla æsthetic and a pleasing autumn palette. The cave, in contrast, looks ooglay, in my opinion--yeah, some of the landforms are nice (though I'm less sure about the pointy bits lying atop flat surface), but the land contours on the interior holes (and abrupt cutoff thereon) looks awkward and the palette in the third section is exceedingly unpleasant (especially the brown in the layer 3 background). On top of that, the level undergoes a huge and jarring difficulty spike in the cave, and suddenly switches from a romp to a much more unforgiving and ambush-based style of level design. I'm surprised raocow had so little trouble with the sinking platforms--having to maintain top speed while still avoiding the bullets gave me considerably more trouble. On the whole, the outdoor and cave sections feel like two completely different levels, and the latter doesn't feel especially thoroughly tested.
This pretty much echoes my sentiments.
IMO it's one of those levels that would be better served if it were split up. Make the first mountian climb it's own level and expand it, then make the cave it's own separate level.
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