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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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FrozenQuills
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Yeah the rest of these worst world levels aren't too bad. Purple Plains is even kinda nice.
I don't know why ninja boy gave Short Cave such a relatively high score though; it's higher than a lot of other scores he gave that placed a lot better, and it didn't really do anything special.
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Well, as far as monochromatic levels go, I'll take purple over red any day. :P

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

MoneyMan wrote: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.
I thought it looked pretty BLEGH. If that's what he was going for, there's way better color choices.

EDIT: Just realized you meant the foreground. Foreground was too dark for my tastes, especially compared to the background, which I thought was REALLY bad. It's what my comment above was about.
Last edited by Nimono on 29 Dec 2016, 15:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

Leet wrote:
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.
If you don't make a level for people to play there's no reason to make it in the first place.

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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Divemissile » 2 years ago

here's the backstory behind FLOODED VOLCANO:

i was messing around with lunar magic, and when i checked smwcentral it just happened to be having a contest start up soon!

so i open lunar magic, and think "what am i gonna do lol"

i look at 117 and decide to make a cool level about lava and tides, so i pull an all nighter and finish it.

the next morning i test it like once or twice and then i uploaded the patch and called it a day!

i stand by FLOODED VOLCANO as a concept and aesthetically, but yeah i could've done better. I've thought about remaking it since i'm marginally better at lunar magic and some of its problems are really basic stuff that i could fix (disabling vertical scroll, less cutoff, and make it so that beating it on one life isn't impossible)

also fun fact about my level! in the original release the palettes were a lot less pleasant and frankly ugly, because i edited the global palettes instead of the individual level palettes. i wonder if it had anything to do with the low aesthetic score

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Stink Terios wrote:
Leet wrote:
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.
If you don't make a level for people to play there's no reason to make it in the first place.
there's already no "reason" to make anything, it's not about "reason"

the point is that nobody has any obligation to make anything that people actually like. it's totally fair to make something self-indulgent. it's possible to heavily dislike something that has no flaws just because it wasn't made for you.

i guess this is what i wanted to say about my MAGL3 level but didn't cause it was mine. but when discussing levels in general i can speak with less reservations.
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 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

99th: SHORT CAVE by Master Lakitu
Nimono
DESIGN: 10/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 14/60
Very short level. Not much content to it...

ninja boy
DESIGN: 18/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 35/60
Man why'd you have to make this so short athletic levels like this are some of my favorites. I will say though that the skull raft portion should be taken out of it since it breaks the pacing so much but the rest of the level was really good.

Eternity
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 24/60
There's... not much to say about this level, unfortunately. What we have is not badly designed, but the level's really small and it doesn't do anything interesting. As a whole, it even feels a bit rushed, to be honest. Definitely needed some more work.

Koopster
DESIGN: 7/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 13/60
This is not a speedrunning level as I thought it would've been for the low time limit, it's just... a cave with a few enemies, lava and a skull raft. Super unfocused, doesn't really do anything special and just ends out of nowhere.

98th: FROZEN MIRAGE by GabrielJohn
Nimono
DESIGN: 9/30
CREATIVITY: 8/20
AESTHETICS: 3/10
TOTAL: 20/60
Odd level. A lot of cutoff everywhere, and the level really didn't feel very inspired...

ninja boy
DESIGN: 7/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 3/10
TOTAL: 15/60
Well this was a level. Nothing really special about it but it, it used a standard concept and just punished the player really hard for choosing the wrong door which in retrospect it tells you, you have to think and pay attention but a lot of the spots where you'd think you'd need to go to continue just puts you back at the beginning.

Eternity
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 28/60
I like the idea, but right now the exit involves more trial-and-error than actual thinking, as apparently there isn't much (or any) indication of what leads to where. Otherwise the level's decent, and I feel it could actually have worked out better as a regular level than a puzzle.

Koopster
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 7/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 19/60
This Doesn't Require As Much Thinking as it's just like, kind of going for the most obvious path, which is a bit of a weird, perhaps badly made decision. I don't know why you give me a P-switch to carry around in the beginning if it's only there to mislead me... also, this is a bit reminiscent from the original 105 at times. Overall this looks like a newbie level, but keep trying! That's how we all start.

97th: FLOODED CAVERN by Divemissile
Nimono
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 7/20
AESTHETICS: 3/10
TOTAL: 18/60
Level really didn't work out too well. Ya gotta remember that the tide will not stay put if the screen scrolls vertically, which can be done quite easily in this level! On top of that, the level's pretty much impossible to beat on the first go, needing to be done from the midpoint for the tides to be at the right positions at the right times... Overall, you really needed to do way more testing on this.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 10/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 26/60
Well I have to say vertical scrolling and layer 3 cause a death due to the water suddenly falling when I jumped down to meet it. Another big downfall for this hack is between the beginning and the midway point depending on how fast or how slow you are you have to die to progress as the rising and lowering tide will either lower all the way past the lava if you're too fast or lower and be past the lava right before jumping out onto the next platform. Another not as big thing but the palette is fairly horrendous with the red and black and just made the level hard to look at.

Eternity
DESIGN: 5/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 20/60
The idea of a water + lava level is definitely interesting, but right now it just doesn't work. The level's fairly empty, and it's really easy to mess up in the autoscroll path depending on when it stars (the rising + lowering timing can cause a forced death fairly early on).

Koopster
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 25/60
This level's idea seemed rather promising the moment I saw the water rise and slow me down, but the level does nothing other than that! It seems to focus on the water states and time them well with the pace of the level, but there barely are any enemies and it takes very little effort to beat the level. I could mention the midpoint is unbalanced, but overall the level is also extremely short. Could've had waay more of this!!

96th: PURPLE PLAINS by Ambureon
Nimono
DESIGN: 4/30
CREATIVITY: 4/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 12/60
Level was not good. First half was strange, with all the enemies on the ground posing little to no threat, then the second half only had one enemy at all! Also, the palette wasn't very good, either.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 8/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 25/60
Though the purple doesn't look that bad the semi-purple dragon coins look awful. The level itself was ok but didn't stand out at all.

Eternity
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 30/60
This is basically a generic grass level, purple edition(tm). It was fairly decent early on, but the second half of the level is very bland - in fact, it's pretty much completely devoid of sprites (or alomst any kind of action other than walking right + the occasional jump). The first half also wasn't particularly interesting, with a lot of enemies not really being a threat (some dying before the player even reaches them). I'm also not a fan of this kind of monochrome palette, they aren't really interesting to look at - you could at least have used more different shades of purple, similar colors or something.

Koopster
DESIGN: 11/30
CREATIVITY: 7/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 22/60
A weird level... it starts fairly alright, just being very linear and not doing much. Then there's the second half, which to me seems obviously rushed since there are no enemies and it lasts like two seconds. o.o Always unfortunate when that stuff happens! Also, you could have benefited from using colors other than purple.


Short Cave is pretty much nothing but ninja boy had a different view lol. I noticed he has some biases regarding some specific types of level, and even if they're not executed well at all he gave these fairly good scores. (Maybe you didn't notice yet but he's the wacky judge of this year, a really wacky one at that)
GabrielJohn's level I'd say is the equivalent of P is for Pandemonium of this year, except it's easier and shorter. Just a lot of "stuff" as you said, and the structure doesn't make a lot of sense.
Divemissile's I remember not liking the colors. I didn't remember those palettes, I thought it originally had the default palette look of the first release, but I had a look at the ROM we judged and it did use this color. In hindsight it's really not that bad, I think I thought the red hurt my eyes?? I think some of the level's structures look ugly though. Yeah, the concept is interesting but it didn't go in too many places!!
Ambureon's has a second half with no sprites, that's saying something.

Glad you're finally out of the worst world, and honestly I still stand by grassland being rather boring, especially the bottom row. But maybe that's just cause I've played all of those levels like thrice by now lol.

EDIT: fixed a few things
Last edited by Koopster on 30 Dec 2016, 01:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby FPzero » 2 years ago

When we played Flooded Volcano, the palette was different so I was surprised to see the colors in it today. Was there an update to the hack in the last week or so? If so, I should probably look to grab it before Tyty and I continue our playthrough.

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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

FPzero wrote:When we played Flooded Volcano, the palette was different so I was surprised to see the colors in it today. Was there an update to the hack in the last week or so? If so, I should probably look to grab it before Tyty and I continue our playthrough.
The hack was updated around a week ago, yeah. Some levels were fixed.
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

'Footballgeddon' is one of my new favourite portmanteaus

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

Leet wrote: there's already no "reason" to make anything, it's not about "reason"

the point is that nobody has any obligation to make anything that people actually like. it's totally fair to make something self-indulgent. it's possible to heavily dislike something that has no flaws just because it wasn't made for you.

i guess this is what i wanted to say about my MAGL3 level but didn't cause it was mine. but when discussing levels in general i can speak with less reservations.
So, why share something to an audience that is not going to like it? The level really should be released as part of a kaizo pack or standalone, because the contest uses completely different standards.

Thankfully, the green door sort of works as a "don't even bother" warning.

The level is just bad conceptually. Waiting is hella boring in a platformer and the level is very cryptic about what the hell you're supposed to do, which just isn't fun at all. A fair death is one where you know you made a mistake. Here, you die without knowing what you did wrong or what you were supposed to do, until you die enough times to brute-force it.

And then again, all of those problems are only problems in the context of a contest. In the context of a kaizo contest this would probably be fine.

In other words, butts.zip was my favorite level in VLDC8 and I wish this was more like it :(

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Stink Terios wrote:
Leet wrote: there's already no "reason" to make anything, it's not about "reason"

the point is that nobody has any obligation to make anything that people actually like. it's totally fair to make something self-indulgent. it's possible to heavily dislike something that has no flaws just because it wasn't made for you.

i guess this is what i wanted to say about my MAGL3 level but didn't cause it was mine. but when discussing levels in general i can speak with less reservations.
So, why share something to an audience that is not going to like it? The level really should be released as part of a kaizo pack or standalone, because the contest uses completely different standards.

Thankfully, the green door sort of works as a "don't even bother" warning.
as a brutal bonus level? the green door means you can skip it if you want so i don't see the problem. it's an optional bonus for those who like it. the game as a whole isn't any worse for optional extras. nor should the game as a whole even be judged as a game as a whole because it isn't one.
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 Giant Ninji » 2 years ago

Leet wrote: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.
It is a contest that is going to be played by someone else other than you, the person who made it. You are being judged. There is a perfect balance between making a level that shows you as a level maker, and making a playable level under the limitations of said contest. You will never become a good level designer if all you make is levels for yourself and yourself only. In fact, it defeats the entire purpose of a video game.

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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

Giant Ninji wrote:You will never become a good level designer if all you make is levels for yourself and yourself only.
I learned this after I made my VLDC9 level. It's true.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Giant Ninji wrote:You will never become a good level designer if all you make is levels for yourself and yourself only. In fact, it defeats the entire purpose of a video game.
Sorry to break it to you, but quality is a subjective illusion. You will never "become" a good level designer because that's not a goal that can actually tangibly be reached. You'll always be good in some hypothetical eyes and bad in others. And the "purpose" of a video game is as case-by-case as the "purpose" of a book, movie, painting, drawing, song, or any other such thing. You obviously wouldn't compare Kitty Horroshow or Lilith Zone's games' purposes to those of Suda51 or Hideo Kojima. They all make games, but the goal - the purpose - is completely different between the former and the latter, even though both categories involve weird games and adventure games. Similarly, the goal of people to make interesting levels that appeal to their tastes will be completely different than the goal of someone who just wants to win a contest, even though both of these categories are Mario levels. None of these contrasting categories are "good" or "bad".
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 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

FrozenQuills wrote:Yeah the rest of these worst world levels aren't too bad. Purple Plains is even kinda nice.
I don't know why ninja boy gave Short Cave such a relatively high score though; it's higher than a lot of other scores he gave that placed a lot better, and it didn't really do anything special.
I agree that this set of levels was pretty alright. Purple Plains is a bit too eye-searing for my tastes, though.
And I think why ninja boy gave a relatively high score to Short Cave was because there were some cool setups in there. ...It's just the fact that a third of the level is that skull raft section, and that it was so short that it's kind of hard to remember.

By the way, the way raocow ends that level makes me feel... something. That Koopa turning around inside Mario is funny in a most subtle manner.

Frozen Mirage could have done much more, but it didn't... still not really a terrible level.

Flooded Cavern was a good concept, but there were issues with the layers. It feels a bit out of place from the others, and in a good way. Probably my favorite out of the 'eaten cake' world.
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

Zephyr_DragonLord wrote:And I think why ninja boy gave a relatively high score to Short Cave was because there were some cool setups in there.
I feel the need to explain why ninja boy's scores are so wacky.

Each judge was given all of the levels in some order, so it was like 1.smc, 2.smc, 3.smc, etc. until like 110 or something. At the very beginning, ninja boy's judging was extremely harsh, but he got much more lenient later on. Short Cave was one of the last he played, which explains the relatively high score. ninja boy didn't bother to curve all of the judging afterwards, and now the scores are all crazy.

ninja boy also rewinds every single time he breathes. Some levels are much easier with savestates, but some other levels have a certain flow to them, and rewinds/savestates can break that flow.
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Re: VLDC9 - vermilion lairs dreadfully culling 9

Postby Giant Ninji » 2 years ago

Leet wrote:Sorry to break it to you, but quality is a subjective illusion. You will never "become" a good level designer because that's not a goal that can actually tangibly be reached.
Don't say "sorry to break it to you" when you don't mean a word of it.
Subjectivity does not equal to non-existence. Quality is a standard that measures the excellence of one thing by comparing it to others. Tangibility is not the mark of what a goal is, it's the existence of it.
Leet wrote:You'll always be good in some hypothetical eyes and bad in others.
Subjectivity is not an argument against whether or not playability is important to a video game designer. In the small world of VLDC, it is integral.
Leet wrote:And the "purpose" of a video game is as case-by-case as the "purpose" of a book, movie, painting, drawing, song, or any other such thing. You obviously wouldn't compare Kitty Horroshow or Lilith Zone's games' purposes to those of Suda51 or Hideo Kojima. They all make games, but the goal - the purpose - is completely different between the former and the latter, even though both categories involve weird games and adventure games.
The legitimacy of video games as an art form is not my argument. All art when released to others has one single purpose: to be viewed and digested by the audience. A book is to be read, a movie is to be watched, a painting is to be seen, and a song is to be heard. A game is to be played. Being happy with one's work is important, but that can lead to being blind to the voices of others.
Leet wrote:Similarly, the goal of people to make interesting levels that appeal to their tastes will be completely different than the goal of someone who just wants to win a contest, even though both of these categories are Mario levels. None of these contrasting categories are "good" or "bad".
Those who manage to make interesting levels that appear to their tastes and make their levels fun for the players are the ones who excel the most. Those who put passion in their work for only themselves will never grow to become better. This not only applies to game design, but in life in general.

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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

ft029 wrote:
Zephyr_DragonLord wrote:And I think why ninja boy gave a relatively high score to Short Cave was because there were some cool setups in there.
I feel the need to explain why ninja boy's scores are so wacky.

Each judge was given all of the levels in some order, so it was like 1.smc, 2.smc, 3.smc, etc. until like 110 or something. At the very beginning, ninja boy's judging was extremely harsh, but he got much more lenient later on. Short Cave was one of the last he played, which explains the relatively high score. ninja boy didn't bother to curve all of the judging afterwards, and now the scores are all crazy.

ninja boy also rewinds every single time he breathes. Some levels are much easier with savestates, but some other levels have a certain flow to them, and rewinds/savestates can break that flow.
That makes more sense than the explanation I gave (though there is a bit of truth in that). After judging 100 or so levels, people would be quite apt to subtly change their judging style without knowing it. I do believe I would be suspect to that as well, as a judge. (this is also the explanation for those few deviant scores not on a trend) It would be difficult for scores not to be at least a bit crazy in a contest of this size and scope.

I did not know about that bit of trivia, but perfectly agree on the use of savestates. It would also remove the lives limitation, which would otherwise get in the way of a good but highly difficult level that forgot a life fountain. (Not an issue in this contest, but was one in MaGL3)
Giant Ninji wrote:Those who manage to make interesting levels that appear to their tastes and make their levels fun for the players are the ones who excel the most. Those who put passion in their work for only themselves will never grow to become better. This not only applies to game design, but in life in general.
...I need to live by these words. Fun is terribly important in a level, which is why it tends to be the largest category for all of the talkhaus level contests. (Also, no offense given to Zlygrox for his levels, good or bad)
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Money » 2 years ago

I'm on Leet's side here. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with appealing to a narrow niche. Quality has always been a subjective thing, and saying something's only good if it appeals to the lowest common denominator (not using this term as an insult) completely discounts any pieces of media that are "difficult", whether they be video games (hard to beat), film/literature (purposefully complex/obscure/symbolic, etc), or any other form of art. It's honestly unfair to judge works while trying to be "objective" on anything but "how well did the creator accomplish what they attempted?". If the creator didnt try to make something digestable by most, it's unfair to judge it by how well it was.

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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

Yeah uh like, of course, you're free to do whatever you want under whatever standards you have - there's no "objective good", I don't like when people think that way. But a contest [supposedly] has a set of standards and expectations. Hence why this level is in the worst world! (hope I didn't fail to catch what you guys are even arguing about)
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Lockirby2
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

MoneyMan wrote:It's honestly unfair to judge works while trying to be "objective" on anything but "how well did the creator accomplish what they attempted?". If the creator didnt try to make something digestable by most, it's unfair to judge it by how well it was.
I think raocow's own levels are a nice example of this. When he made his MAGLX1 level in a legit attempt to win the contest, he was reasonably successful. But most of his levels strive towards goals that aren't winning MAGLX1. raocow's MAGLX2 level isn't poorly designed IMO because it wasn't designed to win the contest, and Zyglrox's level might be in the same boat here (I won't put words in his mouth though). I enjoyed the level, yet I totally agree with its placement at 99th.

I'm not really a fan of save states/rewinds being used liberally while judging (except in some specific cases). I think they mask/mitigate some major issues such as levels being far too long, and perhaps hide the value of some levels that are very good at guiding the player through obstacles (like Worldpeace's levels).

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ft029
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:and perhaps hide the value of some levels that are very good at guiding the player through obstacles (like Worldpeace's levels).
lolyoshi's level this year fits this description better imo
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Re: VLDC9 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Leet » 2 years ago

Koopster wrote:Yeah uh like, of course, you're free to do whatever you want under whatever standards you have - there's no "objective good", I don't like when people think that way. But a contest [supposedly] has a set of standards and expectations. Hence why this level is in the worst world! (hope I didn't fail to catch what you guys are even arguing about)
Yeah, I just think that its placement in the worst world should be the end of it, and people should appreciate it for what it is, or not. If it's exactly what the author wanted, then it's not flawed, it's just disliked. Cause there's a difference. That's my conceit.
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 - vistas leaving denatured colorants 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

I've come to significantly dislike ninjis thanks to their tendency to kill you when you jump on them because collision checks.

e: Extremely applies to footballs also, especially given how random they are.

ee: Dragon Coins save by default once all of them are collected, just start+select out!


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