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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 6 months ago

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I'll let the description of this hack do the talking, since it is quite a thing:
SMWCentral wrote:The 9th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest Collab Hack of 2016 features 108 contest submissions, along with various staff, judge, and post-game levels. There are a total of 152 exits spread across 117 levels.

While the levels themselves remain vanilla, we included various other ASM features such as score displays with reset functions, as the point of this collab is showing off the individual levels, and not to be restricted by the switch palaces one has already pressed.

The overworld also features ASM shenanigans en masse, creating an experience you are sure to have never had before in a Super Mario World ROM hack.

Taking all of these aspects into consideration, this is now the largest SMW hack ever made (more than 96 levels that would not fit into a regular 4MB ROM!).
The judges in this contest are Nimono, ninja boy, Eternity and Koopster. The judging was also anonymous as a sort of experiment, and some levels lost points because they revealed who made the level (-2 points).

Speaking of which, some levels in the contest were also penalized for either being late (-6 per day), or having ASM (-7). As a result, some placements in the normal worlds are lower than in worst world purely because of penalties, but the level quality is still good enough for them to not be in worst world.

I was quite involved in the project, from the submission period, to the results, to the (absolutely insane) overworld being made, and to even beta testing it at the end. But man, this VLDC is going to be quite different from the last two VLDC compilations we've seen.

VIDEOS AND JUDGE COMMENTS:
1 - Brave New World
Comments for Pixel-Gon Gamer (104th), ForthRightMC (103rd), Flyingcape (102nd)

2 - Only Just Begun
Comments for danwaleby (106th), Proto Man (101st)

3 - Kiss the Demon
Comments for Zyglrox Odyssey (99th)

4 - リニア
Comments for Master Lakitu (99th), GabrielJohn (98th), Divemissile (97th) Ambureon (96th)

5 - Like That
Comments for DaSpongeBobMan (108th), Reggiamoto (71st)

6 - Possibly Parsons Green
Comments for Christian07 (59th), MarkD (69th), Minimay (95th)

7 - Desire
Comments for lolyoshi (32nd, Koopster's favorite), Retronom (66th)

8 - Never Too Far
Comments for yoshi9429 (79th), Sockbat Replica (55th), hammerguy (36th)

9 - Nine
Comments for Coolmario (59th)

10 - Sleep Don't Weep
Comments for Prizm (36th)

11 - Il ne manquait que toi
Comments for FrozenQuills (24th), Pedro156 (69th)

12 - The One
Comments for SokobanSolver (79th)

13 - Fire and Rain
Comments for LucasRCD (57th), Najeraldo (93rd)

14 - 花霞
Comments for chineesmw (35th)

15 - Non ti prometto niente
Comments for switchpalacecorner (94th), Medic (88th)

16 - Game of Life
Comments for PokerFace (36th)

17 - Heavenly Tale
Comments for GammaSlap (74th), eXcavator (63rd)

18 - Sand Castles in the Snow
Comments for Sayuri (88th), Hinalyte (18th)

19 - BLUE FLAME
Comments for MegaMarioMan9 (23rd)

20 - Desire ­[2]
Comments for SomeGuy712x (19th)

21 - Grey Room
Comments for Kenny (42nd), a hick (44th)

22 - Rags and Old Iron
Comments for waffledoctor27 (79th), PuzzelBreaker (63rd)

23 - Dil Nange Pair Jaise
Comments for Frost (24th)

24 - Polly on the Shore
Comments for Falconpunch (30th), Skewer (13th)

25 - Ti vorrei rivivere
Comments for MercuryPenny (79th), yogui (28th), WhiteYoshiEgg (11th)

26 - Architect of Fortune
Comments for IDidMakeThat (55th), Morsel (59th)

27 - Let the Good Times Roll
Comments for mario and luigi (59th), Wakana (11th, Nimono's favorite)

28 - Le Tour du Monde
Comments for KDeee (27th), Nin (85th), Renhoek (46th), slakkmichael (54th)

29 - Yesterday & Today
Comments for LucasGamer3000 (92nd), glitch4 (65th), Paperdomo101 (44th)

30 - Is There No Rest for the Weary
Comments for Leiras (50th)

31 - House on the Hill
Comments for Grugi (41st), G.D. (21st)

32 - Rootless Tree
Comments for WarFlare2 (29th), Erik557 (58th)

33 - Happy?
Comments for cyphermur9t (49th), imamelia (48th), MandL27 (87th)

34 - Namaste
Comments for Losoall (79th)

35 - Aye Fiza
Comments for Roykirbs (50th), msi810 (74th)

36 - Tangerine Dream
Comments for Daizo Dee Von (91st)

37 - the Arc
Comments for snoruntpyro (46th), Gabriel Yanni (85th)

38 - Bring 'Em Down
Comments for TheInsanity115 (84th), Rockythetigre (36th)

39 - While You're on Your Way
Comments for levelengine and StrikeForcer (31st)

40 - L'homme qui n'avait pas de maison
Comments for Guilherme F Santos (34th), tcdw (74th)

41 - Buried Alive
Comments for K3fka and Eevee (19th), GST_Bass (67th), Gloomier (17th)

42 - The Animals Were Gone
Comments for Hypershadic (109th), dax (107th)

43 - The Grave
Comments for Luks (15th), ft029 (42nd)

44 - USL.S. 1
Comments for Gamma V (32nd), GBreezeSunset (14th)

45 - Blues on the Ceiling
Comments for MaiK (74th), Ruberjig (68th)

46 - O Sahibaa
Comments for darkdlp02 (16th), Centipede (21st)

47a - Person to Person
Comments for nathanrayman1998 (36th), Eminus (24th)

47b - Pleasure and Pain
Comments for Lazy (88th)

48 - The Rat Within the Grain
Comments for Carld923 (52nd)

49 - Insane
Comments for Wind Fish (78th), Chill Pingu (73rd)

50 - Worry
Comments for yoshifanatic (71st), Pseudogon (52nd)

51 - ハロー、ワールド
Comments for Dr. Tapeworm (10th), worldpeace (9th)

52 - Rumble Fish
Comments for Aquamentus (6th)

53 - Judge and Jury
Comments for Blue Leaf (6th), Lui37 (6th, Aeon/Eternity's favorite)

54 - Last Rites
Comments for Magiluigi (5th), S.N.N. (4th)

55 - Solo ieri
Comments for NGB (3rd)

56 - Apocalypse [It's not the end]
Comments for Agent Q (2nd), Impetus and Noivern/TRS (1st, ninja boy's favorite)

POSTGAME CONTENT:
57 - Heart (Accessing World X and Koopster's level)

58 - Sold My Soul (ninja boy's level and Nimono's level)

59 - Armada (Eternity's and Gloomier's level)

60 - 9 (Starting STAFF INVASION)

61 - FINAL - Last Goodbye (Finishing STAFF INVASION and credits)
Last edited by FrozenQuills on 24 Feb 2017, 15:03, edited 97 times in total.
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The boss entry that made me eat a shoe.
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5th place counter: 4
(SMBX Forums CC11, SMBX Forums CC12, Endgame Madness Contest, SMWC Kaizo Contest 2016)

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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby S.N.N. » 6 months ago

It was a different experience for me as well, as I went from leading the last two to simply participating in this one. I'm echoing a lot of sentiments about the overworld in particular - it is likely the best I've ever seen in any SMW hack, and there are a lot of things done that I didn't even know were possible.

The levels .. well, they're your usual contest fare. You have some really terrible ones, some really amazing ones, some really questionable rankings, and everything in between. Looking forward to this a lot all the same!
Last edited by S.N.N. on 25 Dec 2016, 17:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby raocow » 6 months ago

yeah what little of the map I've seen is something else.

also worst secret exit I've experienced in a long while to end the first video, best times.
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby Koopster » 6 months ago

hype!

EDIT: unless Quills was already willing to I could help out and bit by taking care of posting the judging commentary after each video~

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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 6 months ago

Koopster wrote:hype!

EDIT: unless Quills was already willing to I could help out and bit by taking care of posting the judging commentary after each video~
considering the super bold title gimmick I'm attempting, that would be neato (I can also link to your posts from the first post)
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby Pyro » 6 months ago

Hooooooooooo boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy this game is a thing!!!!! Most of my posts will probably be complaining about the results for this because holy SHIT. :v

The overworld is kind of amazing though.
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby GlitchMr » 6 months ago

I believe SIMPLE PATH would be rated lower if judges would actually know about this secret exit. Let's say it that way, existence of that secret exit was discovered late in testing.

But yes, this thing is terrible, there is only one worse secret exit in the entire thing, and it's so bad that the ROM hack just lets you skip it.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm talking that there is a worse secret exit in a game, and it is skippable. But if newest patch did make SIMPLE PATH secret exit skippable, than that's a good thing :).
Last edited by GlitchMr on 25 Dec 2016, 19:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby S.N.N. » 6 months ago

Yep, the one exit worse than Simple Path is atrocious. I was so thrilled it was made skippable.

Pyro: 95% of the questionable results are thanks to that one judge (and I'm sure I'm just as pissed as you are regarding his thoughts on my level). He's a nice guy outside of this, but I'm just happy he's not judging again.
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby Grounder » 6 months ago

oh boy, sounds like we have another take 1 horikawa on our hands

no offense btw, hori
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby idol » 6 months ago

the longest lp in the history of forever
must b love on tha brain
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby S.N.N. » 6 months ago

Actually I only expect it to take two months or so. He blew through the 8th contest way faster than I expected, so unless there are some nasty hurdles along the way, this shouldn't be more than 60ish videos.

or it could be longer idk ballparking yo
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby RegiGiygas » 6 months ago

I've only played through garbage town so far, but this hack is fantastically amazing.
Waaa.
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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby GlitchMr » 6 months ago

By the way, about goal orbs.

The goal orb levels aren't as insane as Kaizo levels of VLDC7 and VLDC8. Like, they can be feasibly done savestateless (like, they feel more or less like endgame JUMP levels, and I think they are all easier than Variety Path). So feel free to try them.

There were actual insane Kaizo levels submitted to vanilla contest, but they aren't in this collab.

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Re: VLDC9 - very large driven commencement 9

Postby ft029 » 6 months ago

Ohhhhhh boy.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy.

I want to say something about goal spheres, but I'll shut up for now.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 6 months ago

One of my beta test bug notes for the worst world overworld was: "Worst world is the best thing ever". Still hasn't been fixed I see.
Anyway I suggest saving super famicom world for last (before best world), as it has one the coolest looking overworlds ever.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Grounder » 6 months ago

best sekrit evarrrrrrrrr
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Pyro » 6 months ago

I died when you reset the DCs in ForthRightMC's level.

Every level name is in uppercase because ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!. I do not like this decision, sam I am.

But uh, yeah, you're right, pretty sure they just replace all vanilla music with their own remixes. iirc there's only ONE level later on that has vanilla music

(lolyoshi's level)

and that only happened because the creator directly asked the guys working on the hack to not have the admittedly very not so good Here We Go remixes in his level :p.

Also, heh. The worst is not in the worst world. Judging is pretty great! Btw, there were numerous levels like really bad joke and kaizo levels that were just straight up disqualified and not included in the hack, including a level by famous maker of Disarray, DesRie ;p
Last edited by Pyro on 26 Dec 2016, 14:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby GlitchMr » 6 months ago

I suppose now that I've beat Vanilla 9, I can put some of my own commentary (or I suppose reviews, although I'm not going to rate levels, because for me everyone is a winner :)). Feel free to ignore it, there is nothing important in it, just my opinions about levels.

The level names are oddly enough all uppercase. I wonder what was cause of this decision - consistency of style, or just lack of space on Layer 3 for all the decorations (other submaps do make use of Layer 3 for their effects, but worst map doesn't). I suppose however problem with lack of space on Layer 3 could be solved by dynamic tile loading, so I guess it's just a stylistic choice.

The worst world has the worst levels in order, but here is a catch. Their positions are using an order before penalties were applied. I suppose it makes sense, but it also means the worst level by position is not even in the worst world. This is also why FLIPSTACK isn't in order with rest of Worst World levels (as it had a penalty due to 2 days late submission). Although I suppose putting a level that has worst position due to using ASM would be confusing (yes, the worst level got a penalty due to using ASM, even if it wasn't used for anything important, and the final collab ROM didn't even apply ASM included with a level)?

Also, some of the worst levels weren't simply inserted into a collab ROM, which is why worst world doesn't feel so bad. Sorta unfortunate, because I enjoyed VLDC8 troll levels such as Epic Nothing. Oh well.

Anyway, going into my level reviews.
VLDC9031.png
VLDC9031.png (6.33 KiB) Viewed 6076 times
(there is no real good place for a screenshot, due to how plain the level is)

FUNGUS FOREST - This level feels a lot like "2 Bros Make a Level" from Vanilla 8. Like, it's a sort of level that just happens, is short, and suddenly jumps into an unrelated forest part. But at the same time, there is nothing offensive about this level, no sudden invisible coin blocks that stop you in middle of a jump while laughing "hahaha" (I think you can actually make blocks laugh in Mario Maker, but never bothered to buy that game).

To be fair, I don't think myself this level is really bad. In fact, it has some interesting set ups in it. The problem really is that other levels, even the worst ones managed to somehow distinguish themselves, while this is just a level, nothing special about it. There were worse levels than that, but as I said, they were disqualified.

One of things interesting about this level, although on a meta level is that this level serves as a baseline for Eternity's ratings. As in, it got half of maximal score from all categories. From this point on, most levels other a few really badly designed ones that somehow managed to get higher positions will get higher ratings from Eternity than 30/60. Other judges did not set baselines, and just graded on the entire scale.

The level did get a penalty (for a leaked author on title screen). However, the level was rated so poorly that the penalty didn't have that much of a meaning (I suppose it would beat TURQUOISE BULLET FOREST, if TURQUOISE BULLET FOREST did stay with its penalty however).
VLDC9032.png
VLDC9032.png (8.06 KiB) Viewed 6076 times
TURQUOISE BULLET FOREST - Turquoise isn't a color name you see often. That said, the color choice does work, the level palette looks quite nice. Underground palette doesn't look that different to vanilla palette, but looks nice (although I want to report illegal advertising - the cave is purple, not turquoise).

The biggest problem with a level is decision to make it work around Bullet Bill shooter (other enemies in a level do pretty much nothing (in fact pointlessness of Clappin' Chuck did confuse raocow into thinking that there is a secret hidden here), and the level could as well not have these). This is a dangerous obstacle to use, due to Bullet Bill speed (I think they are one of fastest sprites in Super Mario World, but correct me if I'm wrong)). Essentially, this way you get Bullet Bill shooter waiting game.

To highlight that Bullet Bill shooter in a way is one of trickiest obstacles in a game, it's only used in one level in a game (that is arguably the hardest one), Outrageous (EDIT: and Sunken Ghost Ship, but it's not that they are any threat here due to being out of the way, thanks anyway Pyro).

There is also a flying Koopa generator, which feels a lot like an artificial way to increase the difficulty of a level, as the level doesn't feel like designed with it.

Interestingly, the first Bullet Bill shooter is the most interesting and hardest obstacle. Mario is on note blocks, so he cannot just wait for Bullet Bill to shoot. However, I believe that beginning of a level should introduce an obstacle, not go with its hardest version. This could be an interesting evolution of basic Bullet Bill shooter challenge, but oh well.

Cave part of a level feels lazily designed, by just copying and pasting the same obstacle over and over. There were attempts to make an obstacle very slightly different, however it feels like done for sake of it, as it changes pretty much nothing important about it (changing Chuck type doesn't change much, because Chuck is placed here badly, as player will just bounce on it).

The later challenges oddly enough replace lava with water, making ending of a level oddly easier.

The level in question used to be unbeatable when originally submitted to a contest due to a minor technical issue (I wonder why people submit levels without testing them), however this was fixed in a collab.
VLDC9033.png
VLDC9033.png (7.16 KiB) Viewed 6076 times
SIMPLE PATH - Oh dear, this level is SO bad. I bet that the only reason why it was rated so highly is that judges were unaware of existence of this terrible, terrible, terrible secret exit.

... and yet I think there is a worse secret exit in a collab. I will get to that later, much later. Thankfully, that one can be actually skipped.

Anyway, the good. Normal exit is reasonable enough. There are some gimmicks that you could make an interesting gimmick with. You don't see climbing nets often, for instance. Even in theory you could make a good level with jumping fish generator.

The bad. There is too much variety, so pretty much no gimmick in a level is used well. Like, jumping fish part overwhelms player with enemies, while leaving the obvious path (that feels a lot like breaking a level) to dodge obstacles by swimming below a level. The net part is quite empty.

But that besides. This level is a troll. This isn't really noticeable when doing normal exit, but when you do the secret exit. Oh dear... Take this area for instance.
VLDC9027.png
VLDC9027.png (7.45 KiB) Viewed 6076 times
If you jump right from here, you will realize that there is "warp right" sprite making this easily one way path if you aren't aware of this thing being here. Why is it even here, I don't know.

But that besides. The secret exit is really obscure, and the author was probably like "haha nobody will ever get that one". And considering that it was discovered late in testing (the original VLDC collab release had yellow dot for this level, even), the goal was met. Like, it's so troll.

Yoshi was placed near camera boundary in a level without vertical scrolling. So essentially it's hard to find Yoshi block, because of invisible ceiling (that also makes it hard to get Yoshi once you hit its block).

The secret exit area is hidden in pipe hidden at bottom layer of blocks (which is almost invisible while playing).

Midway Point leads you to area AFTER Midway Point room, which means that if you want to get Yoshi after dying, you need to enter secret exit area which thankfully leads to Midway Point room.

The goal does have a Yoshi egg after it. If you look carefully, you will see that the goal doesn't go all the way to the bottom. This is a trap, trying to go here triggers goal anyway. I believe that Yellow Yoshi Egg is a red herring?

P-Switch is well hidden, I wasn't even aware of its existence. I thought this was an intended way of getting secret exit (by using Yoshi tongue to collect a key).
VLDC9004.png
VLDC9004.png (6.02 KiB) Viewed 6076 times
Thankfully, I was wrong, but does that help?

So far, all the levels are using VLDC remixes, so nothing for me to talk about music (like in QubicTom's LP thread).
Last edited by GlitchMr on 26 Dec 2016, 16:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby S.N.N. » 6 months ago

I kinda still think the penalty thing is more confusing than anything. It does make sense, but it takes more effort than it should to understand how it works. Like, there are already a lot of people wondering about the grass world level being 108th and on the grass map, as well as the strange ordering of the worst world levels. It's a great idea in that it gives participants a bit of leeway in terms of late penalties/etc, but when it comes to organizing levels on the map, it's a little less obvious how it works.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Divemissile » 6 months ago

my level's comin up in like 1-2 videos hoh boy

also jesus h christ those overworlds are amazing. 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

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby GlitchMr » 6 months ago

I suppose you could just consider penalties too in Worst World, but then you move the issue into another question: "why is that green meadows level worst i do not understand".

To be honest, the best solution is to not have penalties. But that does mean that if say, level was submitted late, you can only reject it or accept it without a penalty, which is limiting.

Although I suppose penalties are so restrictive that they in effect do remove level from competition (other than level author reveal penalty, which is so minor that it would change first place into second place), so rejecting delayed entries is an option (I mean, can you seriously compete with HUGE penalty for a delayed level). Or perhaps moving them to postgame?

There is an extreme example of a level that managed to get so many penalties that it got 60 points from one of judges AND is 105th place.

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby S.N.N. » 6 months ago

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.
GlitchMr wrote:There is an extreme example of a level that managed to get so many penalties that it got 60 points from one of judges AND is 105th place.
Haha, I forgot about that level. I tend to rarely question judges' rankings because of subjectivity reasons (plus I'd be totally hypocritical), but that's one example that really blew me away. Likely won't see it played for quite a while though.
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Koopster » 6 months ago

Funnily ninja boy's scoring and comments are a 404, but somehow I have it saved on my documents. The file probably dates from when he first delivered them, so I'm not sure how up to date it is.
As promised:

104th: FUNGUS FOREST by Pixel-Gon Gamer
PENALTY REASONING: Author leak, -2 points
Nimono
DESIGN: 3/30
CREATIVITY: 1/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 6/60
Bland, uninspired, boring level. There's no real challenge to this level, no real “Fungus” to speak of. There's a forest, but it's mostly flat and devoid of sprites... And what sprites do exist, it's a mishmash of various things, no coherency whatsoever. I'd recommend you try to focus on just one set of sprites first and foremost. For example, your level's name is “Fungus Forest”- why not focus on the Mushroom Scales? You could easily come up with something interesting involving those!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 3/30
CREATIVITY: 1/20
AESTHETICS: 1/10
TOTAL: 5/60
This was a very bland and boring level which only took me a couple minutes to beat. Nothing stood out about this level but I could see this being a world 1 level or a hack if it had a little bit more varied terrain.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
OVERALL: 30/60
This level has some potential, but it's fairly short and unmemorable, not doing anything particularly interesting or introducing anything new. With some more polish it feels like it could work as a level in the original SMW, but even then it fails to differentiate itself from the others.
Other than that, the design's fairly solid.

Koopster
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 14/60
Straight-forward level with random enemies that are really concentrated, leaving many areas flat out empty. This is not really interesting :|

103rd: TURQUOISE BULLET FOREST by ForthRightMC
PENALTY REASONING: The cave room was set to have one less screen than it was supposed to, so the exit pipe was unreachable. We fixed that to judge the level and took 1 point off.
I think that was it, or it might just have been using one extension day (which is a -6), I'll check that later! (at never)
Nimono
DESIGN: 2/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 6/60
Long stretches of flat ground, uninspired design, odd palette... This level really has a ton of problems...

ninja boy
DESIGN: 10/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 19/60
Well it wasn't going too bad until the cutoff and the end of the first section and then the bland uncreative copy pasta of the second half.

Eternity
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
OVERALL: 27/60
Not bad, but it's really flat and empty, specially at the beginning. There aren't many obstacles other than the bullet shooters, and the level ends up feeling really bland as a result. Definitely needed some more variety, both in the enemy choice/placement and the overall architecture of the level (tile placement).

Koopster
DESIGN: 9/30
CREATIVITY: 7/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 22/60
What baffled me the most in the first half was the coin action. Sometimes it felt like it was leading me to bullet jump or do some crazy shenaningans, but I never really had to? This level in general is very straight-forward. It also becomes very reminiscent of Yoshi's Island 2 at a certain point, so take care! I also did not expect it to have a second half. I liked the big bullet shooter idea (even if it doesn't make that much sense that bullets come out of the side of a box), but otherwise this section was even more linear and boring than the first - at some point, it felt you were just copypasting sections! Yeah, not the best you could do, I'm sure.

102nd: SIMPLE PATH by Flyingcape
Nimono
DESIGN: 2/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 9/60
Level felt kinda uninspired, short, and too easy. Normal exit is fine enough, just a quick, easy romp, but then you get the secret exit... I found Yoshi by accident, and getting onto him is a pain since his block is off-screen entirely.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 3/30
CREATIVITY: 1/20
AESTHETICS: 1/10
TOTAL: 5/60
I was more impressed with how you skipped the intro message than the level itself.

Eternity
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
OVERALL: 32/60
A few sections of this level are a bit too overwhelming with the enemy placement, while on the other side others are too empty (the nets at the start of the level being a nice example). I can see some potential there but right now it has too much variety - the level introduces a lot of different gimmicks and sprites but doesn't build upon any of them, unfortunately.

Koopster
DESIGN: 11/30
CREATIVITY: 7/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 25/60
If you would let me guess, this is one of your first levels, right? Cause new peeps usually like to do as much stuff as they can in their levels, since it all looks cool and great in the beginning. Unfortunately this makes for an unfocused level! Just a set of different sections that don't relate to each other in gimmick and also don't do anything really interesting. The level doesn't commit crimes other than this and also a few blind jumps in certain areas.

I hope nothing is broken! Looking forward to spend half an hour doing this everyday LOL (nah)


I'm almost 100% I did find that secret exit, but I haven't mentioned it in my commentary at all, so it might've been after the judging ended? Maybe I just saw it through Lunar Magic, I'm not sure. It's a pretty bad secret exit yeah, I'm glad the level placed that low somehow even if some judges didn't know about it :p

Capitalised names are a stylistic choice by Jack. I asked him about it and he just said they look cooler. Honestly I didn't argue, I think they do look nice, although yeah they make levels that were originally capitalised not stand out too much. Still there weren't too many of these.
Divemissile wrote:To be honest, the best solution is to not have penalties. But that does mean that if say, level was submitted late, you can only reject it or accept it without a penalty, which is limiting.
I agree, I hope we just have no penalties at all next year. Anonymous judging might get scrapped, so as long as we don't give people an extension, there should be no reason to give them out. If a level uses ASM it should just flat out be disqualified to be honest. But in the case of Green Meadows it was so subtle some judges didn't even notice it (Eternity did, I didn't). He used the SMB3 koopas patch so they stood in their shells when knocked. His reasoning is beyond me.

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FPzero
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby FPzero » 6 months ago

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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RegiGiygas
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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby RegiGiygas » 6 months ago

Simple Path's secret exit was not fun. I had some unsavory words to say after I finished it. Not only was it poorly designed, but I also shot myself in the foot by playing without volume. I discovered the Yoshi, but I didn't actually realize that it was there until replaying the level for the fifth time, since I didn't hear the egg hatching sound. Also flying fish generators are pretty much my least favorite SMW mechanic.

Also, I never found the P-Switch, so I had to throw the key over the tower by bullet bill jumping and then following with my Yoshi.
Waaa.
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