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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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Zephyr_DragonLord
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Re: VLDC9 - vermiform lookalikes deciduous circuses 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

Levels so far... have not been that great. Quite a few trainwrecks compared to the last SMW (but not the last VLDC) contest, even with disqualifications.
SIMPLE PATH was a terrible secret exit. All I can say about that one.
Flipstacks was a level that I hoped would follow the naming scheme better, but alas.
Unamed level was okay, except for that one really odd jump.

And then we get to Zyglrox's level... and it's not RADICOLA. (I appreciate the reference, though) Thinking about it, the level kind of feels like a personification of Startropics, and then ratcheted up a few notches. Which is to say, there's far too little leeway. It's a bit of a tragedy, actually. The lava walls were far too close, forcing Mario to submerge himself partially in lava. There's no way that's safe. ...Or too much fun, really. The level concept was good, but the execution was poor. And then there's that last part where there's apparently a P-Balloon... I'm sorry, but I can't excuse that. If it had more leeway, this would have been really cool, but as is, it's just too much for 98% of people* (and that's being generous).

*People are typically quite bad at video games. What did you expect?
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

something something reset doors just kidding

it was cool to see that even the skip room was a themed part of the level
Well it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

I'm glad for Koopster's judge comments because I feel like they completely nailed what this level is, moreso than the other comments here and on the video. The only thing I would disagree with is the 7/10 Aesthetics score for that eye-searing red colour.

raocow also missed more than he initially thought with the last Dragon Coin. It's not just a slightly different jump at the end. You basically have to throw the key at the ? blocks to get a P-balloon and use that to navigate through the level in a completely different manner. That is why raocow thought that there were several obstacles in that part that weren't really in the way; they were intended for the second route. Also of note is that raocow solved the rope puzzle and the puzzle at 21:15 differently from me. My solution for the first was convoluted in comparison and involved riding the rope backwards and forwards again, but it was no more difficult to execute. My solution for the second involved sacrificing the key from earlier to hit the block at the top, which was easier to execute, though I took longer to find any solution. It's interesting that there are multiple ways of doing these obstacles despite the level's precision.

I also got almost all the Dragon Coins on separate runs of the level. I didn't bother getting the first one until I did my second playthrough for the normal exit because I didn't want to waste time before every run collecting it. I think this saved a lot of time overall. I did the first half of the level three times to collect everything, which sounds painful until you remember what raocow said about this being primarily a puzzle level. It only takes 2-3 minutes to get back to the midpoint once you've figured it all out.

Overall, I found this level significantly more fun than the *other* really hard level in this hack. >.>

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Re: VLDC9 - vague little drolly cases 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

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.
is that the level that I gave a 60/60 that SNN questioned me on?

i gave it that because I genuinely enjoyed the gimmick and assumed that the penalties would counteract my score. in hindsight, I should've just judged it as I felt (with a bad aesthetic score since it did next to nothing aesthetically), but hindsight is 20/20.


I'm genuinely not looking forward to the OTHER level where my score is controversial. Not looking forward to seeing all the hate thrown my way.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

Oh, so you can skip P-Balloon only if you press Green Switch Palace, now that I tried to make a video of me getting that secret exit without a P-Balloon.

That said, I'm not going to do this level again just to do it the intended way. The level still hurts my eyes.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby 10204307 » 2 years ago

I liked that level a lot. It's very punishing, but I feel like it could be a very fun postgame level in a full-length hack. It's really rare that you see a puzzle level that doesn't rely on items, but rather on platforming, and figuring out which order you need to handle each obstacle in. It's just a shame that it had to be vanilla, because it could've really benefited from instant respawns like that one MAGL3 level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

I feel like raocow should mention in a video about the reason why penalties exist in general (late, asm, or revealing who made it) because I was really confused about that until I came to this thread.
Well it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
Blood Ghoul wrote:Sometimes it seems my blood spurts out in gobs, as if it were a fountain's pulsing sobs. I clearly hear it mutter as it goes yet cannot find the wound from which it flows. Before I met you, baby, I didn't know what I was missing.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Reecer7 » 2 years ago

Man, Zyglrox, how do you keep making levels like this??? With all your experience of having made so many levels, you just keep managing to make highly controversial, extremely difficult levels that rank poorly and apparently very few people like (not that I could say either way myself, since all I know of your levels is what raocow plays, so judging that is a bit unfair). It's a thing of taste, I know, but does your taste really conflict that heavily and consistently against everyone else??? I don't get it!

I'm not trying to put you down here, so I apologize if it does; I'm just baffled, I guess! More at contest placement than actual design. You're an enigma, is all.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Ryrir » 2 years ago

I did not like this level at all. I beat it legit with all dragon coins and no switch blocks, both secret exit and normal exit, and I had a pretty bad time with it all around.

It's just way too unforgiving, and also really unclear at times. It's basically learning by dying: you never really know whether you want the lava to go up or down, so you die and have to try again.

I legitimately enjoy hard levels/hacks (I still defend Depraved Sronghold to this day), but this is just terrible
this is getting laundromatic

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Grounder » 2 years ago

ziggy

my boy

my man

some self-restraint
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Le Neveu de Rameau » 2 years ago

Confirmed: Zyglrox Odyssey is actually Mike from StarTropics.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Ninja Steve » 2 years ago

Leet wrote:it was cool to see that even the skip room was a themed part of the level
I actually managed to die in the skip room for exactly this reason due to the way the room scrolls.

That being said I couldn't even get past the initial area of the proper level, even with savestates. So....

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Ryrir wrote:It's just way too unforgiving, and also really unclear at times. It's basically learning by dying: you never really know whether you want the lava to go up or down, so you die and have to try again.
I don't find learning by dying to be a huge issue here because the level is so short. To me, learning by dying makes the level significantly less fun if there's a lot to redo, or if there's nothing gained in the first place in terms of design (for example, if you have to choose one of three unmarked pits and two are simply death holes), but neither was the case here IMO. It's not really a good move for a contest level, but I doubt Zyglrox was aiming to do well in the contest.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Ryrir » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:
Ryrir wrote:It's just way too unforgiving, and also really unclear at times. It's basically learning by dying: you never really know whether you want the lava to go up or down, so you die and have to try again.
I don't find learning by dying to be a huge issue here because the level is so short. To me, learning by dying makes the level significantly less fun if there's a lot to redo, or if there's nothing gained in the first place in terms of design (for example, if you have to choose one of three unmarked pits and two are simply death holes), but neither was the case here IMO. It's not really a good move for a contest level, but I doubt Zyglrox was aiming to do well in the contest.
There is a place right after the rope in the first half of the level where there's a switch that you don't want to hit (otherwise you die). What exactly was "gained in terms of design" by putting that there?

You have to make a decision early in the level (press switch / don't press switch). You don't have any information about what comes later in the level, and if you choose wrong, you die. Surely you have to agree that that's objectively bad design?
this is getting laundromatic

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

raocow did that part differently from the intended way. You can press the switch and still survive. In fact, everything past that first rope I parsed first try, although that rope part took me a long time to figure out, like with raocow.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Ryrir » 2 years ago

ft029 wrote:raocow did that part differently from the intended way. You can press the switch and still survive. In fact, everything past that first rope I parsed first try, although that rope part took me a long time to figure out, like with raocow.
Fair enough then. Maybe I'm making it out to be worse than it is, but still. To me the level was very unclear, very punishing and very unfun. Of all the levels with green doors, it was by far my least favorite.
this is getting laundromatic

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Zygl » 2 years ago

Okay wow raocow that was legit super impressive, I had full confidence that you could get the normal exit but I didn't expect you to bother (almost) getting all the dragon coins. Kudos and congratulations and all that, man.

Anyway I apparently did a lot of words here whoops

To everybody here and on the YouTube saying my level's 'too hard' and 'bullshit' and 'wtf is this palette' - yyyyyep. This level's basically 'butts.zip 2: zip harder' in spirit; I wanted to make a hard but short level with a unique gimmick, except this time it was harder and long enough to warrant a midpoint and the gimmick is kinda inherently madness if you wanna make a level that does anything interesting with it. Altogether it makes for a level that's somehow even more excessive than usual coming from me. :p I'm glad some peeps seem to like it though.

Koopster wrote:
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

You hit the block with the key, which in a full dragon coin run requires catching it after bopping the switch before the fourth one with it. But raocow just kinda casually did it at one point in the video so that part wouldn't have added that much time to the recording session, I don't think. :p

ancara22 wrote:
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.

Probably true tbh, but as I recall I made it that close so that the ceiling lines up with the top of the screen at its peak and the floor lines up with the bottom at its, uh, bottom. Subtle thing, evidently raocow never caught it going by the video, but right or wrong that was the intent.

Reecer7 wrote:
Man, Zyglrox, how do you keep making levels like this??? With all your experience of having made so many levels, you just keep managing to make highly controversial, extremely difficult levels that rank poorly and apparently very few people like (not that I could say either way myself, since all I know of your levels is what raocow plays, so judging that is a bit unfair). It's a thing of taste, I know, but does your taste really conflict that heavily and consistently against everyone else???

Yes, actually. :p Uniqueness and difficulty are generally the most important things for me in video games - not just the Marios, even - so that kinda naturally comes out in my own levels. Not even by choice, sometimes; if I actively try not to make a hard, gimmicky level I outright get bored of my own level and scrap it. >_>

Ryrir wrote:
There is a place right after the rope in the first half of the level where there's a switch that you don't want to hit (otherwise you die). What exactly was "gained in terms of design" by putting that there?

If you don't go for the second dragon coin you do have to hit that, the lava would still be going down. As for how you're supposed to know not to hit that on a blind dragon coin run - why are you doing a blind dragon coin run? :p You'll notice all but the first one involve some degree of foresight; I considered this okay and acceptable on the grounds that there's a lot of learning involved in the level and trying to get all the dragon coins in one run before you've even learned how to do it normally is just not sensible - especially since we weren't actually told they'd be saved at the midpoint in the compilation. Heck, as I recall I don't think it was decided that they'd even be counted until after submissions ended; I'm pretty sure I went into them with the midset of them being an optional challenge for lunatics.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby MECHDRAGON777 » 2 years ago

Zyglrox Odyssey wrote:Okay wow raocow that was legit super impressive, I had full confidence that you could get the normal exit but I didn't expect you to bother (almost) getting all the dragon coins. Kudos and congratulations and all that, man.

Anyway I apparently did a lot of words here whoops

To everybody here and on the YouTube saying my level's 'too hard' and 'bullshit' and 'wtf is this palette' - yyyyyep. This level's basically 'butts.zip 2: zip harder' in spirit; I wanted to make a hard but short level with a unique gimmick, except this time it was harder and long enough to warrant a midpoint and the gimmick is kinda inherently madness if you wanna make a level that does anything interesting with it. Altogether it makes for a level that's somehow even more excessive than usual coming from me. :p I'm glad some peeps seem to like it though.

Koopster wrote:
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

You hit the block with the key, which in a full dragon coin run requires catching it after bopping the switch before the fourth one with it. But raocow just kinda casually did it at one point in the video so that part wouldn't have added that much time to the recording session, I don't think. :p

ancara22 wrote:
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.

Probably true tbh, but as I recall I made it that close so that the ceiling lines up with the top of the screen at its peak and the floor lines up with the bottom at its, uh, bottom. Subtle thing, evidently raocow never caught it going by the video, but right or wrong that was the intent.

Reecer7 wrote:
Man, Zyglrox, how do you keep making levels like this??? With all your experience of having made so many levels, you just keep managing to make highly controversial, extremely difficult levels that rank poorly and apparently very few people like (not that I could say either way myself, since all I know of your levels is what raocow plays, so judging that is a bit unfair). It's a thing of taste, I know, but does your taste really conflict that heavily and consistently against everyone else???

Yes, actually. :p Uniqueness and difficulty are generally the most important things for me in video games - not just the Marios, even - so that kinda naturally comes out in my own levels. Not even by choice, sometimes; if I actively try not to make a hard, gimmicky level I outright get bored of my own level and scrap it. >_>

Ryrir wrote:
There is a place right after the rope in the first half of the level where there's a switch that you don't want to hit (otherwise you die). What exactly was "gained in terms of design" by putting that there?

If you don't go for the second dragon coin you do have to hit that, the lava would still be going down. As for how you're supposed to know not to hit that on a blind dragon coin run - why are you doing a blind dragon coin run? :p You'll notice all but the first one involve some degree of foresight; I considered this okay and acceptable on the grounds that there's a lot of learning involved in the level and trying to get all the dragon coins in one run before you've even learned how to do it normally is just not sensible - especially since we weren't actually told they'd be saved at the midpoint in the compilation. Heck, as I recall I don't think it was decided that they'd even be counted until after submissions ended; I'm pretty sure I went into them with the midset of them being an optional challenge for lunatics.
When do you plan on doing a video of your own level?

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

I can respect Zyglrox's design style, and the spoilered portion of his post seems to indicate that he has a thing for hard levels in video games. I'll admit I never gave today's level a fair shot because I wrote it off as borderline Kaizo, but watching it all the way through made me a bit more lenient towards the design. I agree with one of the earlier posts - if it had just a tiny bit more leeway, it would probably be a great level that's genuinely fun (especially at that last pipe).

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Giant Ninji » 2 years ago

Zyglrox Odyssey wrote: Yes, actually. :p Uniqueness and difficulty are generally the most important things for me in video games - not just the Marios, even - so that kinda naturally comes out in my own levels. Not even by choice, sometimes; if I actively try not to make a hard, gimmicky level I outright get bored of my own level and scrap it. >_>
But you gotta learn how to make a level playable for the people. You can make all the difficult levels you want, but it's integral to the level's quality to know how to execute difficulty. It goes both ways: if you make an easy level and it's boring or a hard level and it's frustrating, then you've done something wrong. Consider the limitations of the contest (or anything really) and know how to make a level that works perfectly within its rules.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Zygl » 2 years ago

Giant Ninji wrote:
Zyglrox Odyssey wrote: Yes, actually. :p Uniqueness and difficulty are generally the most important things for me in video games - not just the Marios, even - so that kinda naturally comes out in my own levels. Not even by choice, sometimes; if I actively try not to make a hard, gimmicky level I outright get bored of my own level and scrap it. >_>
But you gotta learn how to make a level playable for the people. You can make all the difficult levels you want, but it's integral to the level's quality to know how to execute difficulty. It goes both ways: if you make an easy level and it's boring or a hard level and it's frustrating, then you've done something wrong. Consider the limitations of the contest (or anything really) and know how to make a level that works perfectly within its rules.
I mean, you're not wrong. I wholly acknowledge I went overboard this time - did so earlier in that post, in fact. :p
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Money » 2 years ago

Flooded Volcano actually had a p neat concept in it (avoid being pushed into lava magma by tides), it just really needed to develop it a bit more over the level, as well as be a bit longer. Also I liked how it looked aesthetically? The black rock was p obviously supposed to be hardened magma? Idk what those fairly low aesthetics scores are about.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Giant Ninji wrote:But you gotta learn how to make a level playable for the people. You can make all the difficult levels you want, but it's integral to the level's quality to know how to execute difficulty. It goes both ways: if you make an easy level and it's boring or a hard level and it's frustrating, then you've done something wrong. Consider the limitations of the contest (or anything really) and know how to make a level that works perfectly within its rules.
I know that zigglerocks agreed with you but i don't really see why he or anyone else has "gotta" make levels for "the people" actually.
Well it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

Flooded Volcano and Purple Plains kind of suffer from the same thing - interesting architecture/object placement, but next to nothing in terms of sprites. I think both of these could have been a lot better had the creators given more consideration to their enemy placement.

Also, I wouldn't call the grass world boring per se - it's definitely stronger than last year's grass map, and there are one or two levels that stand out as being really fantastic (one is a judge favorite). However, I would agree that compared to every other world, it offers the least in terms of level variety and map uniqueness.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

Friendly reminder that ninja boy gave Short Cave the same score he gave FrozenQuills' level

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