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Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Happy New Year!!

this is the place where lps are being talked about. it's important to talk about games being played on the internet.
Implo
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Implo » 1 month ago

Dude, Jill is the last very hard level that needs assistance of savestates to be beaten. First section looks promising, but in second is presented the gimmick - fast land. And that's really annoying gimmick. It may be weird, but the worst part of the level for me was also the safest. At the end of second section you need to run and jump on pink land at full speed to the pipe. There is no danger there, but it's very hard to perform it. I had few time outs before I finally make it.

It's a very creative level. Out of the hardest levels it also looks the best. But it's just too hard for me to enjoy it. Also never knew that there was a midpoint.

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Rex Ganymede
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Rex Ganymede » 1 month ago

ahoy, mateys!
i've been trying for some days, without any luck, to find out the identity (and download location) of daizo's "meh" BGM from his super mario bros? entry

might anyone be able to help me, or point me to where i can go, that's a solid lead?
i haven't even been able to find where the level entry ROM is!

S.N.N.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby S.N.N. » 1 month ago

Rex Ganymede wrote: ahoy, mateys!
i've been trying for some days, without any luck, to find out the identity (and download location) of daizo's "meh" BGM from his super mario bros? entry

might anyone be able to help me, or point me to where i can go, that's a solid lead?
i haven't even been able to find where the level entry ROM is!
This one?

Classtoise
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Classtoise » 1 month ago

This level was technologically impressive but it feels like it was hard-carried by Morsel.

I think a good description is this feels like that one level raocow played for I believe GRAPE? Where it felt like it was made for the designer, not anyone else. So anyone not ready to play at that level is just...out of luck.

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Rex Ganymede
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Rex Ganymede » 1 month ago

S.N.N. wrote:
Rex Ganymede wrote: ahoy, mateys!
i've been trying for some days, without any luck, to find out the identity (and download location) of daizo's "meh" BGM from his super mario bros? entry

might anyone be able to help me, or point me to where i can go, that's a solid lead?
i haven't even been able to find where the level entry ROM is!
This one?
https://youtu.be/l8cVwcT2cww?t=14

that one there

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Daizo
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Daizo » 1 month ago

Rex Ganymede wrote:
S.N.N. wrote:
Rex Ganymede wrote: ahoy, mateys!
i've been trying for some days, without any luck, to find out the identity (and download location) of daizo's "meh" BGM from his super mario bros? entry

might anyone be able to help me, or point me to where i can go, that's a solid lead?
i haven't even been able to find where the level entry ROM is!
This one?
https://youtu.be/l8cVwcT2cww?t=14

that one there
Came from this package, titled "Koopaling Steals Wand" from SMB3
My YouTube channel - P-Switch... - 100 Rooms of Enemies: The Nightmare Edition
Links above if you want to check 'em out... or not, since these are overlooked.

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Rex Ganymede
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Rex Ganymede » 1 month ago

bless you, daizo — that's what the doctor ordered

(meh™)

i never played the 4th advanced super mario, so i would have never figured the source, on my own; now, i figured that BGM was gonna be a short one too, but at least a part of my soul can be at rest, with the knowledge you've given me

(p.s. — i never saw rotating munchers before. i appreciated that one, daizo.
:mrgreen: )

Implo
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Implo » 1 month ago

Another really good level that should be ranked higher. Vertical section was much worser. It's slow, long and very demanding at the end. But it's also very creative and it's optional challenge.

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Mandew
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby Mandew » 1 month ago

if the elevator part got scrapped, this level probably could've gotten a few more points

it was nice job overall, though
video games

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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Today, Twice

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

42nd, STALWART RAMPARTS, by Quantix
67.50/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 43/60
Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 73/100

Comments:
I really liked how you were able to use the flying platform in so many different ways both to help and hinder Mario's movement through the level. You used them to go left, right, up, in an elevator, to block passages... tons of creative uses for them. I especially liked how you used them to block Mario in the second half.

Don't think I've ever seen someone use the flying platform in an elevator before, and maybe for good reason since that path was MUCH more difficult than the other path at the midpoint. It was pretty fair up until the point where the spikes got really plentiful and were placed asymmetrically from one another. I made it through not by thinking, but just by acting and getting lucky.

Another big thing I noticed was that for as long as the level was it felt pretty starved for powerups. It wasn't particularly hard overall, but it was long enough that I was very careful to avoid hits when possible. An extra mushroom in each section would've gone a long way to helping avoid this dread feeling of a potentially long trek back through a level. But overall this level is really solid and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Good work.
Ryaa:
Design: 38/60
Creativity: 12/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 57/100

Review: I have a few things to say about this level. At first I was very interested in the usage of the flying turnblocks and how they were used in ways that kept you on your feet. Though as the level went on, I started to see myself getting more annoyed at the usage of this mechanic if anything. What I don't like specifically is the autoscroll section. It felt like that autoscroll took longer to beat that the other sections of the level combined. Personally I think the entire level could have went without it due to how time consuming unfun it was to get through. Moving back to the main level though, there is a portion where you have to dodge both a thwomp and a thwimp while there are spikes above you that are offscreen until the level scrolls up. I'm don't like this. The only way I would have known to dodge that the first time is if I already knew that the spikes were there to begin with which isn't very thoughtful in a design aspect.

The things I actually did like however were the music and palette choices, the aesthetics, the first part of the first section and the last part of the non-autoscroll second section. My advice here is to not include design choices that are only convenient for the creator and inconvenient for people playing for the first time. A lot of things in this level suffered from this and that's what really threw the entire thing down for me.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 44/60
CREATIVITY| 20/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 71/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
heard you liked winged platforms

A solid level focused almost entirely on the winged platform sprite. The level is
kind of massive, but each thing it does with the winged platform is pretty creative
and interesting. I like how there are two paths after the midpoint, but the right
one is more tolerable than the left autoscroll one, even if the left one is pretty
rad in how it's designed. There is a clear difficulty curve throughout the whole
level too.

The only issues I found are a sprite limitation problem with a hammer bro and the
autoscroll room being janky in that you can't really run across all three platforms.

I think the level could have brought in these new ideas on a less massive scale,
but the gameplay is solid and the winged platforms were used well.
morsel:
45
17
7
69/100
A supporting player takes centre stage. I am not sure the hammer bro platform was able to carry the level as well as he carries the hammer bro. One nuisance is that you almost always have to wait for the platform to swing back. The level was nicely built if conventional for the most part. The level felt a bit drawn out and might have benefited by being more compact. The horizontal row of platforms is a bit wonky as you cannot run freely across it (the contiguous platforms double the effect on player speed--perhaps you could have explained the 'still jump', where you do not move left or right); still, it was a pleasing idea, even if that particular section felt a bit long and repetitive (indeed, I am not sure how many people would choose to play this section over the other one). Some of the colours could be better (background; foreground bricks). Coins are placed haphazardly and often seem to be contending with the decor. A block was used as solid and as not solid. Thrown hammers went behind a pillar at a couple of spots.
I think I avoided dying, or at least didn't die much, in the elevator room, because my commentary doesn't reflect having to sit there slowly going through the whole thing over and over. This is an instance of a split path level where the split path really didn't help. I feel like this happens often, where someone will make split paths to double up on ideas and stuff, instead of using that time to really refine one path. The elevator is a case of that, where if it hadn't been there I think it would have done better. Instead it was a really long, boring, and yet surprisingly dangerous autoscroller, as compared to the nice continuation of the first half of the level's idea in the other path.

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Mandew
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby Mandew » 1 month ago

the ties get a bit crazy here
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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

41st, Timber Tower, by Sokobansolver
68.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 45/60
Creativity: 21/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 72/100

Comments:
I think it took until the second half of the level, particularly the last quarter of the level for it to really start shining. The hint to run through the upcoming segments as the level slides back and forth was appreciated and those little racing bits were the best part of the level overall. But unfortunately much of this level has a very slow and plodding pace to it, with many powerups and other side paths requiring lots of waiting around for the Layer 2 to finish another cycle. And up until the second half the waiting wasn't particularly interesting either, being mostly composed of simply waiting for the path to open up.

But the second half had cool ideas like climbing up vines quickly and avoiding bubble enemies while the layer 2 wall is trying to shove you off the vines, as well as the aforementioned race towards the end. The level even opened up a little with less solid walls and more sliding, pass-through log platforms allowing some freedom of movement and platforming. Had the whole level had these more inspired setups it would've done better overall but as a whole the level is only just good. It was the slow pacing in the beginning that really brought it down for me.

Special shoutout to the brief part before the midpoint where you have to jump up platforms with angry wigglers to contend with. It was a surprisingly nice platforming challenge.
Ryaa:
Design: 40/60
Creativity: 19/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 66/100

Review: When utilizing slow layer 2 scrolling, it's not very wise to have the player wait for constant long periods of time. I think this level does about half the job in regards to preventing this issue. I feel that the level design here is not as clear as it could be. Even though we gave a limit of 500 seconds for level times, I don't think this level utilized that to the fullest. I found myself running out of time during my first playthrough which was due to me trying to explore and figure out which way I actually needed to go. The only other things I don't feel should have been included are the bubbled sprites and the bill blasters. It seems more like they don't function in any productive way other than at single points which makes them easily forgotten as you move on. I do think that this level makes interesting use of the things that it includes other than the faults that I mentioned.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 42/60
CREATIVITY| 18/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 67/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
there are windows and bricks in this tree...

Layer 2 sidescroll vertical levels are difficult to create, and this one fell into
a few traps in making them. There are a few areas in the level which require
foresight, because otherwise you'll take an unexpected death by actual tree
"hugging". It's easy to accidentally go up at the wrong time or take the wrong
path. It's also easy to make yourself wait, which isn't as bad but pretty boring if
it happens. I'm not a huge fan of the 1-up lakitu near the end since you're
too limited in movement to dodge the mushroom or spinies.

This level does present some creative ideas though. I like the moving munchers, and
the vines are well placed with the how the layer 2 log structure moves. The level
has an apparent difficulty curve, and the dragon coins were used well too if you
want more challenge. The running part at the end is pretty fun.

So yeah, there are a few flaws in the level, but they don't break the design and it
ends up being pretty good.
morsel:
45
15
7
67/100
A quite well done level with a strong focus on the moving layer. I value this level for being very different in approach to many others. There were a few parts which involved passive waiting which were not the best thing to replay. Some parts of the level had set-ups that were easy to misread (e.g. a hole where you had to wait for the layer 2 to be moving right or you were dead). Perhaps the moving parts could have been coloured differently from the stationary parts. SMW being itself, wigglers do some strange things. The double throwing lakitu was evil; I loved it.
38th (tied), Vanilla Valley, by Pink Gold Peach
68.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 44/60
Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 76/100

Comments:
Man, why'd you have to add a bullet generator to the second half. I can tell all the rest of the level's design was carefully considered and placed, but that bullet launcher just adds a random element to the design that messes with timings and jumps and overall just hurts the experience. They just kept randomly firing in all the places I was trying to go. It's a real shame too, because I think this level is really pleasant otherwise. Enemies and platforms are placed in tricky but manageable ways, and the ice physics are somehow not that annoying or hard to deal with. Bullet Bill launchers and hopping chainsaws make good complements to the moving floating platforms, as did the few Diggin' Chucks that were hanging around the place. And I gotta say I thought the patches of snow on the platforms was a really cute touch. In general the level looked really nice and played great, but that final inclusion of the bullet bill generator really hurt the end of the level's design.
Ryaa:
Design: 30/60
Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 57/100

Review: This level gives such a beautiful first impression. The graphics, while simple, feel executed very well alongside the palette. I'm in love with how the glass tiles are used as ice while also giving a faux-visualization of light reflecting off of ice thanks to the Layer 3 usage. Unfortunately, after the first couple screens, this is where the level begins to lose its spark.

What really felt felt weird to see is that the glass tiles ended up being used in a heavy abundance which heavily reduced the impact they had at the very beginning. It probably would have been cool to see some sort of blue outline around the glass in order for it to actually feel more like ice throughout the level. The actual level design itself doesn't feel very good to play. Since it feels like more of a messy assortment of tile usage. There are a lot of places where you can pretty much slip off due to ice physics if you aren't too careful though this isn't too much of a problem. However I really didn't like seeing how weird the ice block formations were as you continued.

The one the that absolutely upset me is that this level doesn't use custom music. By no means am I saying that custom music is a requirement but I feel like the vanilla Athletic theme is way too unfitting with this setting.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 47/60
CREATIVITY| 16/30
AESTHETICS| 9/10
TOTAL | 72/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
athleticism at its finest

A well designed ice level. The slippery physics, moving platforms, bullets, and
line guide obstacles may appear to be a bad mix, but this level used all of them
well. The combination brings a good engaging challenge.

The fact that the bullet generator was used in the second half and it made the
level better surprised me to be honest. It's rare to see a generator used without
making the level worse. The second half is longer too, making it a bit more
difficult.

I managed to find all the dragon coins on my first run, and they were all decently
placed.

So yeah, I cannot think of anything that's bad in this level, and this was a solid
effort. Good job.
morsel:
44
14
10
68/100
It felt as though the level ran out of steam before it got going. The first half was more on point than the second, which ends with a bullet generator (with an exit forcing you to the side of the screen). Another extremely pretty level.
38th (tied), BRAMBLE CLIMB, by MarioFan22
68.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
This level really evoked that classic DKC2 bramble level feel, and not just because it had the right music. I think you really used big levels well to capture the feeling being in a maze, even though the path through the level was straight. Being able to see other parts of the level before you got to them helped in that way. Mixing in the "pink" blocks to force the player to navigate the backside of a fence is a welcome addition to a climbing level, and I think you used the climbing koopas well with them. The conveyors were a nice mixup in the second half too. Aesthetically the level looked pretty brambly which is impressive for something using pieces of vanilla SMW graphics. If I had one complaint about the visuals though, it's that all the spike tips everywhere did make the level look a little busy. Timer felt a bit short even though I was moving pretty quickly through the level but I still beat it with ~80 second to spare. Nice work.
Ryaa:
Design: 40/60
Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 63/100

Review: I want to first start by listing the positives that I had with this level. I think that the usage of the gate Koopa Troopas was executed in a way where it wasn't annoying at all to move past them. I believe that the music choice and palette give this level an atmosphere that makes it feel very spacious and calming to play. However, this is where my problems begin.

The level itself is very condensed in a way where there are areas that you can accidentally take damage from due to the low amount of space. One of the biggest issues I have with this level so far is that the gimmicks don't feel like a blend of seasonings in a single cooking dish. I noticed through all of my playthroughs that the gimmicks don't feel very combined at all and are a lot more on the random side and could have been fleshed out a lot more as the newer gimmicks were introduced. The only other issue I have is that the dragon coin placements could have either been taken out completely or placed in a way where you actually feel like you accomplish something by getting the coins. Right now they basically seem to be there for no reason other than aesthetic or area filling purposes.

With a level like this, it's hard to necessarily say that it's a bad level because it's not. It just feels incomplete. I would have loved to see more challenging variants of the pink block and flip-gate gimmicks in different setups. Some of which could have even rewarded dragon coins since as I mentioned, the coin setups didn't feel very interesting to me. The level itself isn't very difficult either which fits the setting.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 45/60
CREATIVITY| 19/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 71/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
abandoned brambles

Solid bramble level. I like how the level is just right in terms of space; it's not
too open yet not too cramped when navigating the brambles. The conveyor belts
brought in some nice variety as well, and the level is pretty long. I actually
enjoyed the challenge in precision jumping/climbing quite a bit. The dragon coins
were a plus in that it allows exploration.

However, while it did change it up a bit during the second half, the obstacles felt
a bit repetitive at times. Luckily it's not really the same thing over and over
again since the climbing arrangements are not all the same. But the
go-behind-the-net barriers weren't really that creative after a while, and there's
only so much you can do with net koopas.

Overall, this is a pretty good bramble gauntlet.
morsel:
43
17
7
67/100
The final level I played. Another level with under-the-net activities. The way it is used here seems rather pointless. It is explained in a message, but I think most people would be able to work it out for themselves; the same goes for the conveyor behaviour from the second message. The bramble graphics worked out surprisingly well, although there are instances where you can get hit by the empty air (carelessly arranged sideways brambles), or the sides of seemingly safe tiles. Some of the sprite palette changes seem a bit off. On the whole, not a bad level but I felt it was missing something to make it stand-out.
Bramble Climb was level #00 in our randomized order. This meant that Ryaa and I played it as our very first level, and morsel played it last since he was going in reverse order. FrozenQuills played the randomized order in yet a second randomized order, so who knows when he played it.

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raekuul
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby raekuul » 1 month ago

I was about to make a Spirit vs Letter of the law post wrt whether levels could be disqualified or not for not using the baserom and instead using vanilla that boiled down to "Baserom is Improved Vanilla while not using the Baserom implies you're using Vanilla Vanilla" but then I realized that I was a week behind on the thread. Again.

Maybe I should participate next year? Worst I can do is get disqualified, worst I'd probably do is last place.

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FrozenQuills
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby FrozenQuills » 1 month ago

The emoji judgement thread on SMWC shows the order of what I judged, and I played the bramble level near the end.
Fun fact: I played mountan castle last by pure chance lol
Image
Image
Image
SMBX Tileset Compiler and Separator
The boss entry that made me eat a shoe.
Image

5th place counter: 5
(SMBX Forums CC11, SMBX Forums CC12, Endgame Madness Contest, SMWC Kaizo Contest 2016, SMWC 24hr Contest 2018)

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Eleven can *never* be backwards

Postby Awoo » 1 month ago

raekuul wrote: Maybe I should participate next year? Worst I can do is get disqualified, worst I'd probably do is last place.
I hope you win! :catplanet:
ワンワン :pal:
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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

38th (tied), TO2LLY TERRIBLE, by hobz
68.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 50/60
Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 78/100

Comments:
I was really worried once the Lakitu showed up and I died to him a couple times that he was going to tank the level's score with his movement patterns, but he wasn't that difficult to bop on the head while ballooning, and it was basically the end of the level anyways so thankfully he was a danger that could be dealt with.

P-Ballooning levels must be hard to build since you have to make sure they're full of things to avoid at all parts of the screen, but also that it's fair to the player since they only have one hit even when big. And I think this level did a pretty good job of threading that needle. Parakoopas and Parachuting Bob-ombs were two really good choices for enemies with threatening movement patterns, and I liked how you kept the bob-ombs until the second half of the level to act as a remix. I didn't realize the gray platforms worked like that while ballooning, so that was another neat way to incorporate more elements into what's usually a pretty restrictive ballooning level design. Pipe Lakitus and hopping flames were also well placed to be threatening, but not too deadly. All in all I just think you did a surprisingly good job with a ballooning level. It wasn't TO2LLY TERRIBLE after all.
Ryaa:
Design: 42/60
Creativity: 19/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 66/100

Review: I will say that the creator of this level is really brave for submitting a P-Balloon level. I like the usage of it throughout the level and how the falling platforms are utilized to change the physics of the powerup. What I'm not very sure about is the lack of energy in this level. The mechanic itself does what it wanted to do, but I feel like the level itself is a bit on the boring side. It almost feels like if the Special World level "Tubular" was extended which really shows the lack of interesting level design.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 42/60
CREATIVITY| 20/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 69/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
totally tubular

This level took a risk with utilizing the p-balloon, but it's pretty well
restrained in the design. I like some of the unusual enemy dodging with the pipe
lakitus and parachuting bombs; those are a lot better than footballs and baseballs.
I also had no idea that the balloon falls with the falling platform like that,
which is an efficient way of bringing Mario down.

I'm not a fan of the sudden lakitu near the end. That plus the jumping flames is
too big of a difficulty spike compared to everything else in the level.

Aside from the ending, this is a pretty good ballooning level.
morsel:
40
15
5
60/100
Every year, people make water levels and other people wonder why those people chose to make water levels. No one ever wonders why no one chose to make a p-balloon level. God bless you, you brave level-making pioneer. For what it is, it is quite well designed. It uses some atypical sprites (parachute bombs, grey platforms) which fit quite well into a balloon ride, although perhaps it is a little repetitive (e.g. the two set-ups with a lakitu plus a tunnel flame). It was suitably short and comparable to the infamous tubular. It is nice that you tried to do something different.
37th, Dimension Traveling, by Kusrry
68.75/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 38/60
Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 64/100

Comments:
While the vertically flipping room was neat, I didn't really like how you would occasionally place falling spinies right over an exit pipe. Yes, there was a warning in the message box that they start at their starting location when you flip, but they often fall before you can see where they are located. I definitely died to them falling on me a couple times. The dark room felt a bit out of place with the rest of the level too, since the other gimmicks all involved changing the level using pipe transitions. This one just used invisible tiles. It felt like an idea meant for another level more than anything.

Not sure how much the "main" section of the level was necessary. I feel like you could've just started with the flipping portion of the level instead of having this transition area to go through. Time got a little low by the end, and that final, unnecessary autoscroller almost timed me out. There's good stuff in this level--the main gimmicks seem pretty good in concept and decently executed. It's just that there are a few small decisions that pile up that lower the level's standing overall.
Ryaa:
Design: 47/60
Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 71/100

Review: The entire time I was playing this level, I was wonder when I was going to travel to another dimension. Not saying that there is no dimension traveling in place, but it feels like there isn't much depth behind the dimension traveling mechanic to give you the feeling like you're actually in an altered version of the area you were previously in. The platforming and whatnot is actually quite fun to play, but I will say that I think the first section with the green graphics and weird flashing cement blocks could have been taken out. That section seems more like a pointless edition with a bit of a misleading approach considering we as players may get the idea that the urchins and flashing blocks actually contribute something to the level (which they don't.)

My diagnosis here is that this level is a jumbled mess of multiple gimmicks that aren't blended together or give anything to the general goal here. With things as out of place such as the invisible block section or the entirety of the first section, I would say that the creator of this level could really benefit from making up their mind on what gimmick they're wanting actually feature.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 44/60
CREATIVITY| 23/30
AESTHETICS| 6/10
TOTAL | 73/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
everything and the kitchen sink

Very bizarre level. There are 3-4 completely different gimmicks that all managed to
fit in a single level, and yet it didn't feel too long. As a result, the whole
level feels unfocused and disjointed.

However, that doesn't mean the level is bad; the design is above average, actually.
Both the flip gimmick and time stop gimmick were pretty fun, and each of the
gimmicks had its own difficulty curve.

There are a few design mishaps in the level, such as the spiny + bubble galoomba
that's too difficult to react to in the flip section, and the fact that the diaper
rocks are solid if they're frozen in time.

Still, this is good, but would benefit from cutting the green urchin section
and the invisible terrain section so that everything feels more cohesive and
developed.
morsel:
42
20
5
67/100
I am curious as to the framing story for this level. Why does it begin in the Place of the Urchins? The part where you are going in and out of pipes is cool if clunky. It is not very clear that you will be dodging stuff when you exit the pipe. I remember an old level being made out of the invisible ground gimmick; it appears here apparently to make the level more miscellaneous. The net part later was an interesting twist, but completely undeveloped. The second checkpoint pipe could be more clearly marked in the midway area (remember people will forget what the area looked like). The level autoscrolls at the end. Flashing yellow stone blocks. Rock platforms solid when they are frozen (inconsistent with other frozen sprites keeping their behaviour). Ground grinders easily despawn at one part.
I found that TO2LLY TERRIBLE was a really carefully designed ballooning level, and it surprised me how much I liked it. The threats were generally slow moving or predictable, the gray platforms made for interesting ways to move around the level, and it was relatively short and compact. I just had a good time, and wish that it'd been a little more visually interesting. It was a risky move but it paid off among the rest of the judges. I was the high score, but everyone else wasn't too far behind me.

As for Dimension Traveling, I think it has a few neat ideas in it, but keeps having ideas until there are a few too many. It could really do with cutting some of the chaff from its design. The "hub" area with urchins is not particularly interesting, nor is the invisible platforms gimmick. The level-flipping and time freezing are the stars of the level, and it should have leaned into those ideas more. It's still good, but didn't quite reach its full potential.

Implo
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- It's like Elven, but with one more "e"

Postby Implo » 1 month ago

Dimension Traveling was very creative. Gimmicks were fun, but a bit undeveloped. Gravity gimmick felt a bit random at the end where I got to brown blocks by just using pipe randomly. And that really confused me. Invisible land section was short and it was just basic jumping, so it wasn't very interesting. Time stop section was better, but it was really tight at the end with very careful spin jumping above bottomless pit. I felt that difficulty rise up much higher than compered to the rest of the level.

Also I'm probably the only one that liked the most urchin forest. Not only design is most finished here, though it's short, but also I like the idea of urchins infesting the forest.

Implo
Posts: 154
Joined: 1 year ago

Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- onze

Postby Implo » 4 weeks ago

First level was tough for me. Especially second half where I got easily overwhelmed by lakitu, spinies and fast pipes. As for music - it was really good choice and not too loud for me.

Second level was really great. I had a lot of fun with it and it looks amazing. I just wish it would be twice longer.

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Leet
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- onze

Postby Leet » 4 weeks ago

I Hope I Win count: 4
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: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- onze

Postby FPzero » 4 weeks ago

35th (tied), BLUE DABADI DABADU, by turbofa
69.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 41/60
Creativity: 22/30
Aesthetics: 4/10

Total: 67/100

Comments:
Ok first off normally music doesn't affect scoring too much but this track was just so loud that I could barely hear myself think while playing. I know you probably didn't make the track, but maybe you could've used something that was a more normal volume?

This level is a bit weird in that I found the first half to be way harder than the second half. The fast Layer 2 Smasher is something that usually only shows up as a final challenge, but here it was out in full force with some pretty tight setups right before the midpoint. And this level's both fairly long and kind of slow paced in the beginning, so it wasn't that fun or quick to replay up to those hard parts. There was a lot of low clearance jumps required too. I did like how Spinies weren't affected by Layer 2, which made them into decent obstacles when paired with the Layer 2 smasher pipes. Honestly, with all the level's focus on pipes I was surprised you didn't use the Growing/Shrinking pipe sprite at all. It could have been a real creative addition to the level, one that I don't think I've ever seen with Layer 2 before. As it stood, I think the Layer 2 in combination with spinies and Lakitus worked pretty well for the level, especially in the second half where the level design was a bit less precise and let the player breathe despite all the smashers.
Ryaa:
Design: 46/60
Creativity: 22/30
Aesthetics: 4/10

Total: 72/100

Review: What's weird is that even though I really liked this level, something about it is bugging me and I can't really put my finger on it. I think it was really fun to play and the palette actually worked well with what the main obstacles in the level were. I'm not too big on the palette itself but I think it does the job when it specifically comes to things like the rope platforms and knowing where some layer 2 tiles will be coming down. Overall I think this level does well despite having some gameplay that is a little tight for a player that is playing for the first time though this isn't too severe of an issue.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 35/60
CREATIVITY| 20/30
AESTHETICS| 5/10
TOTAL | 60/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
spiny heck featuring the most vogue color of this contest: blue

An action packed level with a fair first half and kinda unfair second half. The
first half I will say is quite fun; the spinies, layer 2, and pipe lakitus are a
good combo, especially since the layer 2 does not interact with sprites. The pipe
smashers near the end are a good challenge, and the only issue I found is that
there were a few moments of waiting for everything to line up.

I'm not a fan of the second half though. The lakitu is high up on the screen which
is better than being offscreen, but it makes it so that you cannot see the full
spiny trajectory when it throws one. This caused a lot of unfair moments where in
the middle of my jump I'm ambushed by a falling spiny. There were also spiny
saturation issues due to how the layer 2 is arranged with the pipe + flying
lakitus. I think the level would be better without the flying lakitu and more pipe
lakitus instead. It could also be a bit shorter with how difficult it can get.

In summary, this is an interesting and engaging level with some major flaws in the
second half.
morsel:
50
23
5
78/100
This level has some strange coin trails. There is one at the beginning leading over a pit of lava (I like to think I, unassisted, would have worked out how to get past this). It was a very focussed, tough and exciting (when you get to the end and do not want to die) level. My big complaint is that lakitu is so high you cannot always tell which way he has thrown. I think it would have made for a more dynamic and friendly level if you had allowed the player to get a fire flower to deal with spinies. There is a jump at the end of the first half that is rather terrifying big (if you hit your head you will get crushed dead) and there is no way to hurt yourself. The palette was almost ugly to me and the music was too loud.
35th (tied), bridge i guess, by Teyla
69.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 50/60
Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 83/100

Comments:
I died at the end, Clappin' Chuck's rope wasn't a rope :(

I think you did a real nice job of using the brown swinging platforms in combination with Rock placements and other platforms to make a nice athletic level. The brown platforms especially are a rarely used element in levels so it was nice seeing you figure out ways to use them. Placing them on the bottom of the visible level is an interesting tactic, since if you stay on them too long you'll get swing off into the pit. All variety of platforms were also used pretty well in the second half, where the tall level came into play. Setups started getting more complex, with the gray flying platforms acting both as obstacles and platforms to stand on. I do think the second half could've been a little longer, and felt kind of short and oddly a bit easier compared to the first half.

Visually, this level makes some simple and pleasant alterations to graphics. I especially liked the more decorated arch ledges with the ghost house bg tiles as bricks. Just a very fun and pleasant level to play overall. Good job.
Ryaa:
Design: 36/60
Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 58/100

Review: I think this was actually pretty entertaining to play. There wasn't much that was significant going on but to a general degree the gameplay was alright. I'm not liking that pillar at the beginning with the two sets of flying turnblocks. If the pillar was raised a bit then there wouldn't be as much of an issue trying to jump past it. As the level continued I noticed that it was very short. I was able to beat this level in less than 100 SMW seconds and that estimates to about a little over a minute of gameplay which isn't bad but is something to point out here. It feels more like this level was something quick that was thrown together rather than something that had a lot of thought put into the design ultimately.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 46/60
CREATIVITY| 16/30
AESTHETICS| 9/10
TOTAL | 71/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
loosely defined as a bridge

Pretty good level! It's short, sweet, and to the point with the platforming. I
liked how the swinging, falling, and winged platforms provided some enticing
gameplay, especially when aiming for the dragon coins. The great aesthetics is a
nice bonus.

Interestingly, I didn't really find anything wrong with the level. I have to say
that it's not super amazing nor super creative with what it provides, but it sets
out to provide a solid platforming experience and does it well.
morsel:
45
10
10
65/100
This was very pretty. The level was not very adventurous with its obstacles. There were some nice uses of platforms (rotating and hammer bro), but the ideas were not explored much. It used stationary rocks for no particular reason. There were two instances of a parakoopa with a parakoopa inside of it.
The first level is a definite challenge, don't worry it wasn't just you raocow. It's cool but it's fairly lengthy and one wrong step is instant death by crushing or lava.

The second was just a really nice time for me. Ryaa's score was lower than I would have expected for it. Of course, one could also say my own score unexpected high for it.

Honestly the hardest part of the second level was that I had a pretty solid idea of who the level was made by just from some specific design hallmarks and it turned out to be who I thought when judging was over and we were matching names to levels. Teyla, also known as Tyty, and I have been friends online for over a decade now and we've made a number of levels together. We partnered up for VLDC6, I helped him a bit on his VLDCX level, and we also partnered up for our MaGL3 entry. I really tried not to let personal knowledge of whose level it might be affect my score in the end but it sure is tough. It probably looks like it did considering I was a high outlier, but I did my best and it helps that I just really liked his level's design. I would've scored it just as high had the author been someone else.

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Piesonscreations
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- onze

Postby Piesonscreations » 4 weeks ago

Can Modern Mario Magic recreate I'm Blue?
Image

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- tim horton's betrayal

Postby Tyty » 4 weeks ago

I actually ended up running into a lot of problems with the brown platforms. Despite using SA1, they still eat up a -ton- of sprite slots, so I was constantly running into issues with them or other sprites disappearing, especially in the latter half. I ended up making a lot of the setups simpler to compensate, so that probably is why the level ended up feeling pretty simple.

I probably could've made it longer/more technical if I relied on the grey platforms instead, but I was short on time and really wanted to rep the brown swingy boys again.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- tim horton's betrayal

Postby FPzero » 4 weeks ago

34th, BUSTER QUARRY, by GammaSlap
69.50/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 49/60
Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 80/100

Comments:
This was a really solid line guide level whose entire focus was grinders and line-guided platforms. Things were timed really well for it too. It was a rare example of a level where the delayed powerup at the start was actually not that big of a deal because being small helped avoid grinders anyway. Your saw setups got a little more complex as the level went on and the floor-guided ones were a nice mixup. I was hoping that the Torpedo Teds might get used more, but they were only for that one setup and getting into the bonus room. Would've been nice to see more of them. Speaking of the bonus room, it felt a little out of place since it really didn't have anything to do with the rest of the level, and was also really long and involved for just one extra yoshi coin. Felt a bit strange.

I liked your palette choices, and the music had a nice industrial tone to it which fit the whole grinder-quarry vibe. Really nice level!
Ryaa:
Design: 47/60
Creativity: 19/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 72/100

Review: I will say that this level has some pretty interesting setups. What completely throws the atmosphere off is the unfitting music though. Nothing against Crash Bandicoot music, but this song just makes the level feel a bit awkward to work through. The unfortunate thing is that the dragon coin section tends to break sometimes but this isn't something that the creator is at fault for. SMW has very awkward physics that can easily break and a lot of the time there just isn't any way to bypass this other than restarting a section where something messes up. I do really like the flow of this level though. None of the mechanics were annoying by any means and the length of the level was very decent. The palette choices were also a nice addition to the level. Generally this is a pretty okay level.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 44/60
CREATIVITY| 17/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 68/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
why are you using saws at a quarry-

This is pretty nice. The level is entirely focused around saws and line guides,
with a bit of a koopa herding intermission if you want to get all of the dragon
coins. The setups are designed pretty well, and it gets a bit more complex later on
with a platform ride and vine jumping.

After you get the dragon coin from the koopa herding sublevel, the camera stops
scrolling upward in the main level for some reason. Also there's a pencil at one
point that can suddenly ruin your jump.

Aside from these issues, this is designed pretty well. Wished it had done something
more interesting with saws, though.
morsel:
40
12
6
58/100
This does quite nicely without doing anything very innovative. There was some nice elaboration of grinder set-ups but some other things felt miscellaneous (e.g. the torpedoes). More proximity-defying piranhas (see other levels). This is one of those levels with a platform that descends on a long line from the sky instead of having one you can start moving yourself. There is one grinder hopping on its own at the side. There is a long detour for a dragon coin (there was a lot of waiting here and you could just run ahead to fill in the gaps and go back, so it did not feel that exciting). A pencil descended meanly at one point and I fell in a hole. Nice symmetry puzzle for a 1-up. The song did not bring out the level very well.
33rd, Grandma's Paradise, by Wind Fish
70.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 52/60
Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 83/100

Comments:
This level has a really simple premise and I greatly enjoyed it. You signposted things well using different colored coins to tell where you should probably jump on the parakoopa and which direction he was moving. I also liked the outline blocks being used to signal horizontal parakoopa flight paths before you ever saw them. This lets the player anticipate and plan what they'll be doing next. The turn block bridges were great dynamic additions to the mix, offering variable types of obstacles to jumping and progressing. And the setups the level asks the player to get through are never too difficult either. They always felt very fair, and messing up was usually bad timing or positioning on the player's part.

Two things here: I'm not sure how much of a difference the ice physics actually made in the sublevel, despite the fact that I liked that you used it as a mixup. There weren't really any big situations where the ice physics did something you couldn't have made without them. At least they provided a little visual change. Secondly, I'm surprised to say this but I think this level didn't need mushrooms at all. Because of the focus on jumps and how the failure to perform them is instantly death, being small Mario is actually preferable due to his smaller hitbox. Otherwise you'll spend a bunch of time duck-jumping through things.

All in all, I quite enjoyed playing this one. Nice work!
Ryaa:
Design: 35/60
Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 59/100

Review:

This is one of those cute levels that has really nice music and a really cute gimmick but fails to truly expand the gimmick to its highest potential. Jumping across the Paratroopas was very easy to do even in the weird spots but it felt like I was just being given the same exact scenario over and over and over. It didn't get boring or anything but it was just way too repetitive. Throwing in the ice physics randomly was a bit weird too. I'm genuinely curious though, how exactly does the name "Grandma's Paradise" fit here? I guess the best way to describe this level is that it is way too simple and lacks proper development.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 47/60
CREATIVITY| 19/30
AESTHETICS| 8/10
TOTAL | 74/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
most dangerous level with grandma in the name

Pretty fun level! It has a clear focus on parakoopa bouncing, and it adds on to the
gimmick with ice slide timing puzzles in the second half. I really like how the
turn block bridges were used as a whole.

The main problem I see here is that I felt like I've done the same obstacle several
times, even if some setups were slightly different from one another. It would help
if the level design got going a bit faster, but this is still pretty creative.

So yeah, this is a simple but enjoyable enemy bouncing level.
morsel:
45
13
6
64/100
A level focussed on parakoopas and the expanding platforms. I thought it was pleasant to play, if not the most exciting thing. It did get zippier with the introduction of ice. Is making you want to duck jump all the time design flaw? (I have no idea what people consider a design flaw.) I suppose green coins represent the spawn locations of koopas in the event you lose one. A side exit is used as a reset mechanism for one obstacle.
32nd, dont climb mountain, by BlueZy
70.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 49/60
Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 80/100

Comments:
Nice Celeste reference at the start.

This level has some really interesting, winding terrain. I don't really know how to describe it, but I somehow didn't mind the numerous enclosed spaces, holes with munchers and cramped piranhas strewn through the level. I think I just kind of entered into a state of Flow while playing, and just had a good time. Interesting choice to use Piranha varieties exclusively in the first half, and mix them in with sprite athletic elements like wall springboards and falling gray platforms. The first half was lengthy and tightly designed, but the second half was a little more interesting in some ways because of the tall level being used. Lots of wall triangle use here made for some good upwards movement and platforming. Vertical levels can be really hard to do right, but I think you managed to pull it off here.
Ryaa:
Design: 44/60
Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics: 4/10

Total: 63/100

Review: I'm not too sure what was going on here but I don't think I had a bad time. So because of this, I'm a bit conflicted. I think that the level had a pretty open design despite paths being pretty linear in feeling. The aesthetics are very jumbled and it feels a bit weird. I believe a custom song could have fit very well in this level since the normal Overworld music is pretty bland. What I'm gathering is that this level lacks a design goal. It pretty much seems like a bunch of stuff thrown together to make something work. This doesn't seem completely bad in retrospect, but there could be a lot of things included here to make it feel more special and consistent.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 46/60
CREATIVITY| 18/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 71/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
eat plant

This is a pretty good plant-focused level. The plant setups are pretty easy and
fun, and I like that the dragon coins make the level a bit harder. The second half
is also great, bringing complexity through nonlinear design and kicker koopas.

I think there's more potential in the plant and kicker koopa setups, but what's
present is still good.

Overall, this level has no major design mishaps and it plays well.
morsel:
45
15
7
67/100
The first half was fine, but the plants were not enough to carry a level by themselves, although there were some nice set-ups. The wall-running was a great addition to the level. The way sprites spawn with this new lm is obviously very weird: small changes in what I did led to very different things happening or sprites not appearing. There was coin trail at a blind drop which you might have had to repeat without coins if you ducked out of the wall-running at first (not a huge problem).
The last level's full name of "don't climb mountains, especially if they're plant infested" gives me the impression that it was a rejected MaGLX2 level name.
Last edited by FPzero on 16 Nov 2019, 21:59, edited 1 time in total.

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xfix
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- tim horton's betrayal

Postby xfix » 4 weeks ago

FPzero wrote: 32nd, dont climb mountain, by BlueZy
69.25/100.00 points
Shouldn't it be 70.25?

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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- tim horton's betrayal

Postby FPzero » 4 weeks ago

Yes, I just mistyped it. Thanks.


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