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Vanilla Level Design Contest X - 1he First place entry...well d0ne to all.

this is the place where lps are being talked about. it's important to talk about games being played on the internet.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - with death with fear with kill

Postby xfix » 1 month ago

75th: Perilous Paintings by Twoka
Koopster
DESIGN: 19/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 51/100

This concept is really neat but this level looks rushed. It doesn't do anything with the gimmick and with each enemy beyond the basics, and it ends very suddenly (the midpoint is very loopsided too). The bowser statue room was quite annoying, and getting to the two dragon coin room was specially painful. The hole in the ghost room also glitches out very easily. The visuals can sometimes be confusing, the pipes for example I thought were solid, and I didn't notice 1F0 at all in the first setup, so I got hit by the thwomp.
Moon is neat!

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 23/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 53/100

I felt a little underwhelmed, because the ideas presented here aren't developed to their full
potential, and the level ends before it starts getting anywhere. btw I had a hard time distinguishing what
was solid and not.

Noivern
DESIGN: 31/50
CREATIVITY: 19/30
AESTHETICS: 13/20
TOTAL SCORE: 63/100

I really like the idea behind the level, but it drops the gimmick after the first room in favor of standard, but fun, design. It doesn't stay consistent with acts like settings: columns are passthrough until the second sublevel when they're solid, and the brick tiles are solid until the end of the level where some of them act like ledges instead. There's some glitchiness with the moving gap sprites where you can fall through the wall directly to the right of the dragon coin. The level looks interesting, but could use more color.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 17/30
AESTHETICS: 13/20
TOTAL SCORE: 58/100

The painting concept is super clever, and I wish it was developed further, because it felt like it ended just as it was getting interesting. What's here is pretty nice, straightforward but fun, but it definitely is begging to be longer. The interior of the castle felt a little bit monotonous æsthetically, could have used some more color outside of the actual paintings.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 26/50
CREATIVITY: 12/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 53/100

Looks pretty nice and plays reasonably well, though there's a few awkwardly high jumps at places. The painting gimmick is fun, but feels as though it could be a little better developed. The inclusion of 1F0 felt a bit perfunctory and not entirely needed. The level also just kind of ends as opposed to building to a proper conclusion. On the whole not bad for a start, but could be taken a little farther.

+ Not a bad-looking level
+ Painting gimmick is nice
- Painting gimmick could be better developed
- Level just kind of ends

Other: The Mario and Luigi portrait really does highlight how weird they look on the ending screen.
74th: Plundersome Pyramid by Ivy
Koopster
DESIGN: 21/50
CREATIVITY: 19/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 55/100

A pretty sweet level, but it makes a few questionable design decisions. The secret exit path is kind of a cramped mess - some setups with pencils are super hard to get through, and that part with the moving blocks around the megaspikes can actually be impossible without proper timing (by the way it's kinda silly how it's possible to ignore the key thanks to the 1-up checkpoint lol). I also have a problem with the bat and spike top after the bit with the throw blocks in the second half, it's really hard to predict and react to that jump. Then there's a half a minute wait for a shell to travel down between turn blocks...
Design-wise, not a lot was done outside of the secret exit (although it has its issues, I think it made clever use of gimmicks). The first half feels like just a lot of enemies thrown around, and that becomes a bit glaring when you just give the player a starman. The second half feels a bit unfocused and has a bunch of random setups that don't have much to do with each other. I had some fun exploring it, though, I'll give you that. I think it looks really nice, but the inside areas have kinda gross palettes...

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 39/50
CREATIVITY: 21/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 74/100

Decent level, but I wouldn't say it's that engaging, it was still not an awful experience. I wish
there was a bit more to it.

Noivern
DESIGN: 23/50
CREATIVITY: 19/30
AESTHETICS: 6/20
TOTAL SCORE: 48/100

This level suffers a lot from cramped and disjointed level design, especially in the vertical section. The tiling is really sloppy, and nothing quite works the way you think it will. The aesthetic suffers from this, as well as the messed up background in the main level. Sliding through the pokeys would have been a great way to end the level in the vertical section; too bad you can't get a 1up from it.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 20/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 49/100

The first half of this level is pretty underwhelming. It doesn't feel like you put much thought into the enemy placement here, and playing it is more of a chore than it is enjoyable. Luckily, the part inside the pyramid is much better, being more coherent but also actually being moderately interesting. Still far from great, but it's a big step up over the first half. The secret exit path is decent too, though it could have definitely been less cramped.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 22/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 53/100

I have to admit, I'm not too fond of the outdoor section here. Æsthetically, it doesn't quite match up up to the other two sections (though it still looks good), and spiky Pokey heads actually being footballs which are safe to jump on is an odd choice. Design-wise, between the footballs, hopping flames, and later the Lakitu, it all feels a touch random, with things that bounce around unpredictably strewn haphazardly around the place as a substitute for proper design. Inside the pyramid is generally better on all fronts and more fun to play all around, but it feels a touch short and insubstantial in comparison.

The secret path...well, it looks good, that's for certain, and I love the Fighter Fly hieroglyphs. That said, in terms of obstacles, it seems to rely mostly on cheap tricks and elements being hilariously and often unpredictably in the way. Like, this would work if you were designing actual booby traps for an ancient tomb, but as a level meant to be played for fun, it doesn't make for the most enjoyable experience. The powerup blocks in this section also don't appear to have been at all designed with the idea in mind that Mario would ever hit them while big, and some of the obstacles don't seem to take tall people into mind either. I'm also not sure why upon a bed of gold and jewels, Mario considers a nasty old skull to be the ultimate prize, but I'm not gonna judge (weirdo).

+ Looks good, especially in the interiors.
+ Pyramid interior not too bad.
- Exterior section feels sloppy and chaotic
- Secret path takes booby traps way too seriously

Other: You can't just make up words like "plundersome"! That's redoopulish.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - 2 Exits are desired

Postby Ashan » 1 month ago

I can't help but feel like in the pyramid level that the author didn't spend much time testing. Most of the obstacles, especially in the secret exit seem just haphazardly thrown together without any concern for how they'll combine or interact. And the theory seems even more likely with that shell ricochet reward at the end of the normal exit where it kinda breaks because you can only have 4 turnblocks active at once. You'd think that would be caught and fixed if he just tried it once.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - 2 Exits are desired

Postby Ivy » 1 month ago

Ashan wrote: I can't help but feel like in the pyramid level that the author didn't spend much time testing. Most of the obstacles, especially in the secret exit seem just haphazardly thrown together without any concern for how they'll combine or interact. And the theory seems even more likely with that shell ricochet reward at the end of the normal exit where it kinda breaks because you can only have 4 turnblocks active at once. You'd think that would be caught and fixed if he just tried it once.
It's certainly janky, but on testing and even on video it worked (slowly). None of the judges called anything out on that, either (apart from how long it can take haha).
The claustrophobia is definitely valid, and inconsistent loading with vertical levels does mess with the secret exit obstacles at times. It's probably like a 60% chance overall for things to go as smoothly as they did on camera here lol.
If nothing else, I'm proud of "Plow through pesky prickly pears with prowess!". I had forgotten entirely about that message box
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - 2 Exits are desired

Postby xfix » 1 month ago

73rd: The Night Garden by ZMann
Koopster
DESIGN: 32/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 19/20
TOTAL SCORE: 65/100

Got some vibes from FrozenQuills's and SNN's entries from last year.
It settles that it is an exploration level and stays an exploration level to the end, something I appreciate. For the most part, it is really simple in what it does, be that the gameplay, obstacles or even the complexity of the exploration itself. It doesn't really feel progressive gimmick or difficulty-wise and some bonus areas feel really disjointed. But considering what it set to be, it is enjoyable. Quick and not too overwhelming. I really love how it looks and how it feels to play it thanks to the atmosphere.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 15/50
CREATIVITY: 6/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 36/100

Beautiful colors, but missing two more piece to make it anywhere interesting (design and creativity).
The entry is heavily missing a gameplay focus and just feels like a simple romp through the forest (with pointless non-linearity).
I really don't think you need this many foreground btw.

Noivern
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 57/100

Aesthetic-wise, I didn't really get why there were two main colors of ground, but it looked good. Loved the bonus rooms, loved the secret exit (though you can skip getting the p-switch to get there). The main level itself felt generic though.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 35/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 64/100

This is good stuff. It can be tough to make more open levels that are still fun to play, but you've definitely accomplished that; and while it doesn't bring much new to the table, it executes what it does have pretty well. It's intuitive and enjoyable.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 29/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 59/100

This level provides two drastically different experiences depending on whether or not you're going for the dragon coins. If your goal is merely the goal, you can just sort of effortlessly race through it in no time flat, which makes for something of an underwhelming experience. If you're going for the coins, on the other hand, things get a good deal more interesting, and this seems to be the heart of the level. The level seems designed to encourage exploration, and there's usually multiple ways to reach a particular area, making the level feel more like an environment to wander freely in as opposite to a simple obstacle course. On the reverse side, this exploration tends to be purely optional and off to the side, and there's really not that much to the main path at all.

The secret exit struck me as a bit odd, as well. If ever a level was meant to have a secret exit, it was this one. And yet...it still feels a bit tacked on compared to the dragon coins? All you really need to access it is a Yoshi hop; there's a mini-puzzle with a shell and P-switch, but this is purely optional, and the way the switch is used to find the secret area is actually somewhat less obvious than the Yoshi-hopping exit. The small Yoshi-flight section to reach the key looks nice, but feels odd; the flying part is brief not all that substantial, and also doesn't quite feel like a climax to the secret path, as you still have to fall down a bit to one side to find the keyhole after reaching the top. Almost as though the level wanted to hide the keyhole, only without the actual hiding part? It's curious, in either event.

Atmospherically, the level is nice. The only real graphical repurposing is the torches (which look nice); everything else is done purely via palettes and interesting combinations of terrain types and colors. Restrained and tasteful, and gives a pleasant nocturnal feel which suits the wandering.

+ Good atmosphere using restrained elements
+ Encourages exploration well
- Neglects the main path for non-explorers.
- Secret exits feels like a bit of an afterthought.

Other: The night garden guards the night.
71st: Note Blocks!!! by YoungsVideos44
Koopster
DESIGN: 26/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 9/20
TOTAL SCORE: 61/100

Note blocks are certainly underrated, but boy, how much else could you have done with this! Level has a pretty nice start, seems like you'll have to dodge line guided hazards while constantly bouncing and not being able to spin jump which is super cool, but it never really evolves. The "duck or jump over" tip after the midpoint is almost useless, I never had to duck and only had to jump over stuff a few times. Also ends very abruptly. I think this level needed more time.
I don't diss on vanilla looks, but this looked a bit unorganized here and there, but it's mostly ok.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 38/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 68/100

Adorable and straight to the point. Unfortunately, it doesn't stand out immensely in each
categories.

Noivern
DESIGN: 32/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 9/20
TOTAL SCORE: 55/100

Good, short length. Played like a standard athletic level but with note blocks, which is not really a bad thing (athletic levels are my favorite). Good dragon coin placement. I think it could have used a bonus area or two but the level but the lack of them doesn't really hurt the level that much.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 25/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 55/100

I'm surprised that you've managed to make a noteblock-heavy level that's actually pretty decent. It doesn't stand out much, and you definitely could have done a lot more (especially considering the level's length; i would have loved to see this a lot longer). But what's there is inoffensive and enjoyable.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 23/50
CREATIVITY: 12/30
AESTHETICS: 9/20
TOTAL SCORE: 43/100

This level looks and feels very Super Mario World-esque. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the upshot is that it doesn't really do all that much to stand out. Despite quite literally shouting its central element in the title, it doesn't really do anything all that unusual with the note blocks. That said, they're not exactly used badly either, and a few of the bouncing-over-saws setups in the second half are mildly interesting. Again, it just feels like it could take things a little farther. The message blocks are so weird and obvious that I can't help but wonder if they're intended as parodies of the points of advice in the original SMW. The little bounce at the end was a cute touch.

+ An OK if short and simple level which wouldn't seem all too out of place in the original SMW.
- Doesn't really go out of its way to build a strong identity for itself.

Other: I have a strange fondness for that italicized oval line guide next to the goal.
71st: One Effort Mountain by yogui
Koopster
DESIGN: 30/50
CREATIVITY: 21/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 66/100

There was really a lot of potential to this level, but a lot of it just reuses the basic "hop on stopped enemies" plain setup. I wish you had done a lot more with the other elements you had. The behavior of goombas on water, for example, was totally forgotten after the first half. It was still a nice experience, though.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 26/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 52/100

The first half feels weak in comparison to the second half, as it feels unexplored and monotonous.
The whole level has it's moments, but it's just all hastily done.

Noivern
DESIGN: 31/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 58/100

This level would have so much better without the second section. It's such a huge difficulty spike and requires considerably more precision than the main level. Your dragon coins were placed rather well and complemented the design nicely. Gimmick-wise, 1F0 doesn't hold up on its own, and chucks/rocks doesn't cut it as a secondary gimmick. The bg stalactites used in the level don't really fit, as the whole level feels like the top of a mountain rather than the inside of a cave.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 23/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 11/20
TOTAL SCORE: 49/100

The use of 1F0 is decent here in places, though it makes no sense in this setting. Bricks shoved in the sides of cliffs look pretty ridiculous, and those bricks having 1F0 behavior is even more out of place. While the design is decent at times with some creative setups, it mostly feels like a tacked-on gimmick--most of what's done with 1F0 here either could be done just about equally with ordinary ledge tiles, or hardly serves a purpose in the first place. In the end it really just doesn't stand out, but it's by no means terrible.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 17/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 57/100

A strange level largely based around weird physics. Everything, including the visuals, feels just slightly off here, albeit in a very deliberate manner, giving it an atmosphere of being just a hair off-kilter--a sensation which suits the central gameplay gimmick rather well. The setups themselves largely consist of weird interaction between sprites and 1F0/water, and are generally amusing without going completely off the deep end. On the whole it shows a respectable amount of restraint without seeming boring.

+ Fun and strange atmosphere
+ Generous use of physics wackiness without crossing over into jank's twilight kingdom.
- Maybe could have pushed the envelope an teensy bit further as regards setups and atmosphere.

Other: The jagged edges on some of the landmasses were an unexpectedly nice touch.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby Daizo » 1 month ago

I'm slightly busy today due to it being my birthday so I thought I'd update the thread first then watch the episode (usually I do it the other way around).

I'm 22 on May 22nd. That will always be funny to me.
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Links above if you want to check 'em out... or not, since these are overlooked.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby CrappyBlueLuigi » 1 month ago

it's your golden birthday! congrats!
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i'm gonna be just like my mama!

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby raocow » 1 month ago

I should probably put this here since *this* woudl be the game impacted, so have a sweet copy-paste

so I'm considering making d-side official, and with that I'm thinking of changing the timeslot to something that is not 'just the mario slot but a bit earlier'. My goal is to make the time between videos as balanced as possible. I'm thinking somewhere in the afternoon est ?

What are people's thoughts.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happiest Birthday, Daizo!

Postby Awoo » 1 month ago

raocow wrote: I should probably put this here since *this* woudl be the game impacted, so have a sweet copy-paste

so I'm considering making d-side official, and with that I'm thinking of changing the timeslot to something that is not 'just the mario slot but a bit earlier'. My goal is to make the time between videos as balanced as possible. I'm thinking somewhere in the afternoon est ?

What are people's thoughts.
Is the "A-side" still ending in that case? Could always transition to this being the new A-side
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby raocow » 1 month ago

the idea of the 'd side' is a place to play whatever I want which would sometimes not be mario games though. but yeah it's likely to be a time where mario could happen
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby Awoo » 1 month ago

raocow wrote: the idea of the 'd side' is a place to play whatever I want which would sometimes not be mario games though. but yeah it's likely to be a time where mario could happen
It's your channel, you should play whatever makes you happy :pal:
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby xfix » 1 month ago

70th: Elemental Heavens by Impetus
Koopster
DESIGN: 19/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 13/20
TOTAL SCORE: 50/100

Kind of a messy, very compact level, kind of stretched by the two dragon coin rooms that need to be redone constantly, which gets very boring. The first half feels quite randomly designed. The second half flows a bit more nicely but it can get really cramped sometimes. Level has a lot of tiny issues - broken/cheeseable setups, arbitrary stuff (long pointless waits and enemies that you won't ever reach), and sometimes visual overwhelmingness. I'm not the biggest fan.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 35/50
CREATIVITY: 23/30
AESTHETICS: 16/20
TOTAL SCORE: 74/100

Satisfying level. Though there isn't much to it's novelty as it's mostly just there (going through
walls). There are minor flaws to the design but it's decent at best, same kind of goes for the visuals.

Noivern
DESIGN: 19/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 17/20
TOTAL SCORE: 56/100

Loved the aesthetics, loved the gimmick, didn't like the execution. The second half is so much harder than the first, especially because you don't know how much time you have (and as it turns out, it's not much). There are a few sections that lack polish, notably the cutoff around the door underneath the midpoint, but also the first dragon coin that can vanish to item memory and just the general design of the second to last section of the level. The bonus areas that have dragon coins are considerably harder than the rest of the level, which would have been somewhat okay if all of the dragon coins are in bonus sections like this, but some are in the actual level so it makes no sense.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 11/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 43/100

Nice concepts but bad execution. While the block snake use is clever and the level is mostly æsthetically pleasing, it really suffers from having way too many things in close proximity. Almost every setup with saws or Hotheads was much too cramped to be enjoyable, especially when it's required to traverse them quickly to keep the platform from despawning, and speaking of the platform--it's not totally obvious at first that you have to keep the platform the whole way through that section, and once you get to a certain point without it there's no option but to kill yourself, which is really not good design. In terms of visuals, the colors are nice but maybe a bit too bright, and the background is a bit too similar to the foreground. It's also not made obvious enough where the ground isn't solid; the thin outline it has is almost unnoticeable if you don't know to look for it. It would have been nice to at least have given the dirt there a slightly different color.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 62/100

The use of the graphics-shifted eating blocks as gates and switches here was interesting, and I thought the concept as such was pretty good. The execution, I felt, could have been a little better, though. There's quite a lot of cases (especially in the second half of the level) where it's not at all immediately clear what you need to do to proceed, your time limit for doing it is typically somewhat brief, and you generally get one shot, with no resets (dragon coin doors excepted). As such, there's a lot of learning-by-dying. On top of that, while figuring out the challenges, you generally have to deal with a lot of deadly thing moving around in cramped areas, and sometimes synced up in variable ways with the platforms, which feels a bit annoying combined with the first. The overall concept is solid, but I feel the individual setups need some refining in order to allow it to be realized in a more satisfying way.

Æsthetically, the level looks pretty nice. I love the floating islands and waterfalls, and having the background consist of more of the same is a great idea. I feel like the terrain feels a -touch- flat texture-wise (doubly so the BG) which I think was in part intentional to make it look unreal, but I wonder if there is not perhaps a better way to achieve that effect. That the land disappears causing Mario to walk through a sea of stars in the fadeout is sublime.

+ Pleasing graphics
+ Good concept with the gates/switches
- Too trial and error
- Could use less crampedness (especially for a sky level!)

Other: I know -my- idea of heaven certainly was always filled with saws, maces, living balls of electricity and bone-throwing skellingtons.
68th: NEW FUNK CITY by MegaMarioMan9
Koopster
DESIGN: 35/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 17/20
TOTAL SCORE: 72/100

Very nice looking (although I'm not a big fan of all the colors) and the concept of climbing on building walls is really cool. Doesn't go very far with its gimmicks though, it's some pretty basic net action and classic platforming, but it's pretty solid, although sometimes it feels a little empty. The end of the level is destroyed by the slot machines, grabbing either a cape or a star obsoletes the setups that follow up, which is a pity cause I think the tight corridor with net koopas looked pretty cool.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 25/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 56/100

I don't think it tried hard enough. It was a bit too mundane in the beginning. Though it
picks itself up in the second half.

Noivern
DESIGN: 25/50
CREATIVITY: 13/30
AESTHETICS: 11/20
TOTAL SCORE: 49/100

Kinda rompy and doesn't go anywhere with its theme. Feels like a random forest level but with city tacked onto it. Why can you climb the side of a building?

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 15/20
TOTAL SCORE: 59/100

This has the foundations for what could be a pretty decent level. The net platforming is pretty good, but what I really wish was expanded on was the springs. With the ideas laid out here already, you probably could have done a lot more with them, and made them more of the focus, rather than leaving the level more scattered as it is now. Of course, what's here isn't terrible by any means, but there's definitely room for improvement.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 24/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 51/100

First off, the background of this level is pretty snazzy: That is one fine moon. The foreground, on the other level, doesn't quite live up to the same standards. The use of ghost house bricks as the main building material, along with the pane-less windows, heavy use of wooden parts and slightly off palettes makes makes everything feel kind of shabby and worn down, as though this were actually Old Funk City given a new coat of somewhat garish paint, in a manner distressingly similar to the way they handle renovated Plattenbauten in the former DDR. As far as the design goes, most of the setups are pretty solidly constructed, but don't really feel all that interesting or distinctive. The Net Koopas climbing around the towers is sort of neat, but being able to punch them on the other side of what is presumably several brick walls seems sort of weird and counter-logical. On the whole an OK and solidly constructed level, but it could have done more to distinguish itself.

+ Solid construction of setups
+ Fine-looking moon
- A bit non-distinctive in terms of setup type
- Repeats the worst mistakes of Soviet-influenced architecture

Other: It bears repeating that that is one fine moon.

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BobisOnlyBob
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby BobisOnlyBob » 1 month ago

Rameau's Nephew wrote:-Repeats the worst mistakes of Soviet-influenced architecture
feedback like this is why RN is the best judge for any contest of anything
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - D-Side Discussion

Postby xfix » 1 month ago

68th: Dark Cloud Castle by Roberto Zampari
Koopster
DESIGN: 36/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 17/20
TOTAL SCORE: 67/100

A solid platforming experience. It's really gone for variety and as a consequence it ends up not expanding on any of its ideas much at all (except for extensive usage of sparkies) and ends up not standing out so much. It's just a regular castle level.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 30/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 60/100

Inoffensive and simple, there are a couple issues with the design but overall it's average.

Noivern
DESIGN: 36/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 68/100

You've got some really cool setups with the megamoles and basically everything involving sparkys. The inner castle is the best part of the level. Outside, there some setups that just require waiting, like the turn block bridges. The outside has a good combination of tiles and the palettes are good all around. The sublevel containing the last dragon coin was really bland looking and really should have been changed or condensed into the inner castle.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 13/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 11/20
TOTAL SCORE: 38/100

I'm not sure I really get what you were going for here. There is evident effort to be creative but everything feels scattered a bit aimlessly; there's no real sense of flow or progression, and it's just not very enjoyable. The individual block spam is not the nicest thing to look at either.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 28/50
CREATIVITY: 17/30
AESTHETICS: 9/20
TOTAL SCORE: 54/100

The first part is a bit of a hybrid level; the æsthetics are a castle/ghosthouse mélange, and the obstacles a mixture of castle and cave, with a dash of Rex thrown in for good measure. It's reasonably well-done, if nothing ground-breaking. The second half is pure castle on both fronts, though it throws in the darkness and disco ball gimmick, which actually makes more of a difference that one might expect, and surprisingly adds a touch of atmosphere. On the whole, it feels noticeably more difficult than the first half, if not necessarily in a bad way, though there's one or two points I find a bit questionable, like the somewhat-too-crowded corridor with the two golden statues, or the section where waiting on the one-tile-wide space for the bouncing platform to be in the correct position can cause you to be caught by just the very edge of the platform and hurled in to the spike ceiling. Speaking of ceilings, there's a few points towards the end where the darkness gimmick obscures the fact that there is one, allowing Mario to easily bonk his head and fall in to the abyss. We end with Roy because, well, why not?

+ Pretty decent and varied setups overall
+ Darkness gimmick meaningful without being too annoying
- One or two wonky setups
- Low ceilings sometimes not visible

Other: This is a castle, and it is, indeed, Roy's one. The clouds bear his colors, after all.
67th: Colossus Autonomous by SMWizard
Koopster
DESIGN: 8/50
CREATIVITY: 16/30
AESTHETICS: 19/20
TOTAL SCORE: 43/100

This level is a chore.
The first half is long, stretchy and boring. It's devoid of any development of gimmicks and it's filled with split paths whose existance feels pointless. The platforms make it much slower than it needed to be with its huge length and uneventfulness. The second half takes a turn to the frustrating and becomes ridiculously sprite spammy - after a long and slow climbing segment, it splits into an ascent with sky ambushes and a descent with blind drops that more often than not, seem to deliberately lead to getting hit or to death (it's -impossible- to predict that you need to wait for the platforms to line up right before the southern pipe in the outside room that splits). In the secret exit path, the level forces a dragon coin collector to take three long autoscrolling segments in a row, which feels as stressful as it can get, since death in any of them means redoing a LOT, but they STILL don't lack the most dangerous enemies that you could use.
The level put a ridiculous amount of effort into its tileset and I won't hesitate to say that it paid off in the sense that it looks really pretty, but it really didn't in the sense that very often it looks extremely overwhelming and it does inflict negatively into the gameplay. It also didn't pay off in the sense that it wasn't used to craft a good level, which is really too bad.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 20/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 17/20
TOTAL SCORE: 52/100

("wow this whole entry I was doing wasn't recording the whole time, I played it for like 40+ minutes")
I have a love-hate relationship with this. I admire how well the tileset has been built, and it's couple moments of
neatness. But I despise it's length, it's confusing visuals, and it's flawed design (a lot to point out but I
don't have the dang recording). It was so tiring. The second half was mostly the only engaging part of the
whole thing, while still irritating.

Noivern
DESIGN: 20/50
CREATIVITY: 21/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 55/100

This level goes on for far too long and is filled with cheap hits and inproperly conveyed bullet bill and torpedo ted placement. The level develops slowly, and something that would have fixed this and a few other problems is just condensing the level some.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 32/50
CREATIVITY: 19/30
AESTHETICS: 19/20
TOTAL SCORE: 70/100

Love the æsthetic and the theme here; they complement the design really well. There are things to love and things to love less, but overall it's a good level. It's a tad on the long side, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, some of the manoeuvres required with the saws are a bit unintuitive and there are some other odd setups throughout, including the vertical section having a few too many things to avoid. On the other hand, a lot of what's presented is very fun to navigate, and the progression throughout the level is handled well. In the end, it's an enjoyable level despite its flaws, but it's definitely far from as good as you're capable of, judging from the better parts.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 29/50
CREATIVITY: 21/30
AESTHETICS: 18/20
TOTAL SCORE: 68/100

Jeez, this level is -massive-. And sprawling. There's almost (and by "almost", I mean "definitely") too many paths and too much to explore, though mercifully, it has the sense not to put too many of the essential things (dragon coins, secret exit) on the non-essential paths. The powerup distribution is also surprisingly good--it seems to know exactly when to give you a pick-me-up to prevent things from getting exhausting. Still, the length nevertheless makes death rather punishing, and the inclusion of lot of potential insta-death-by-falling adds an unfortunate counterpoint to the rather good powerup distribution.

One thing that strikes me is how much more difficult the normal exit is than the secret exit; indeed, it's the one part where I though the difficulty got to be a bit to much for the length, making the level drag a bit. On the other hand, if you're aiming for the dragon coins, completing all three rooms for the secret exit in one go is no mean feat either, so in any case, trying to 100% this level is going to be a trial of patience.

The level looks great, in any event--the green color of the ship is kinda gross, but gross in precisely the way one might expect from military hardware. And the construction of the various mechanical pieces is extremely detailed and impressive, and clearly a labor of love. That said, there's a few constructions where the solidity of various pieces is unclear. Most confusing in practice was perhaps the rails for the platforms and saws--they look really fantastic as a piece of machinery, but its honestly a touch difficult to predict exactly how the platforms will interact with the various constructions, which isn't ideal for the precision platforming sections. The interactions between the saws and those strange robots was particularly odd and unintuitive, and this probably caused me the greatest trouble of any particular element in the normal exit. There is ultimately a reason why SMW's line guides are as simple and abstract as they are in practice All around a clearly impressive piece of work which functions far more effectively than one might expect for a level of this scale, but ultimately, it can't help but buckle and sag under the weight of its own ambition.

+ A complex yet surprisingly functional and well-put-together labor of love
+ Surprisingly good powerup distribution for a level of its size and structure
- Nevertheless still too long and sprawling
- Platform/saw guides confusing (if nice-looking)

Other: All roads lead to Rhodes.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - D-Side Discussion

Postby Nimono » 1 month ago

That second level made me SO SAD! It looked SO GOOD, it had so many great ideas, but it just did not want to end! People keep falling into that trap every contest- they make a level that's extremely long because they know they have one chance to impress and think that the longer their level is, the more impressive people will find it and thus the better ranking they'll get. (Or they underestimate the fun of the level when it's shorter.) But it ends up the complete opposite... Right when this level's midpoint was reached, was exactly where the level should've ended. It had done SO WELL up to then. It had no need to introduce more ideas. It would've ranked SO MUCH HIGHER if it'd cut everything from there on, I'm sure of it. Could've also done the grinder-toss stuff earlier on, too, so a full implementation of setups using the special line guides could be achieved.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - D-Side Discussion

Postby kitikami » 1 month ago

If you don't finish your WizardBurgers, you don't get any VIP for dessert.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby Daizo » 1 month ago

Welp I know what I'm titling the thread today...

But honestly like, this would be a really good "final level". I wonder how much it could've benefited had it included a 1-up checkpoint just before the "3 sections" or the Reznor fight?
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby raocow » 1 month ago

that would have changed everything, yeah
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby Ashan » 1 month ago

The saw-throwing guys reminded me of something from Superstar Saga for some reason
The letter E's used for their hands was really clever
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Happy Birthday, Daizo!

Postby thatguyif » 1 month ago

raocow wrote: I should probably put this here since *this* woudl be the game impacted, so have a sweet copy-paste

so I'm considering making d-side official, and with that I'm thinking of changing the timeslot to something that is not 'just the mario slot but a bit earlier'. My goal is to make the time between videos as balanced as possible. I'm thinking somewhere in the afternoon est ?

What are people's thoughts.
I'm honestly against this. It's just too much. I'm struggling to keep up with 4 videos daily, especially when a lot of these videos can drag out for long periods of time. The first two sides today are already 45 minutes long. It'll be impressive if HL2 is under 20 minutes today, and there's little doubt that today's Sonic video will be in the 15-20 minute range. Recently, some days are over 2 hours for all four videos.

Now it seems counter-intuitive to suggest that raocow cut down the amount of content, given this is more content. But it's also a lot of the same content everyday, and it can take up a huge chunk of time. So I'm constantly struggling to juggle watching this and doing other things in my life. And then when I miss a couple days, it feels like I have to spend an hour or two catching up, and need to dedicate time at the expense of other things to do so. And it's not like raocow's a streamer in that he might just dedicate a day or two per week to specific games. It's the same four games day in and day out until they get finished and switched up. That gets overwhelming to process very quickly. On top of all this, I don't have that much free time, given I work and such (and this'll be exacerbated when the office reopens when the crisis abates, and I lose time to commuting).

Of course, some of you all might just say "you don't have to watch," but these are currently videos that I do want to watch. I've dropped out of watching series out of disinterest, but I don't want to drop out of series just because I can't keep up with these things (and more importantly, the conversations related to them). That feels extremely unfair.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby morsel/morceau » 1 month ago

I've been looking forward to raocow reaching my level, but now I've remembered I used some vines, the worst crime in the calender. :partygator:
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby raocow » 1 month ago

I mean I've fixed that issue a while back
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Wizard Burgers, 16 for 2.30$ CAN

Postby xfix » 1 month ago

65th: Cloudcandy Castle by Sanct
Koopster
DESIGN: 35/50
CREATIVITY: 17/30
AESTHETICS: 11/20
TOTAL SCORE: 63/100

It is pretty mindless, the difficulty of the obstacles is wobbly and there is no central idea to be found anywhere, but it is a quite fun little level to play. The midpoint in the (unmarked) secret exit path is broken though.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 36/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 70/100

Would have been nice if you mentionned about the time limit (although it's not that hard).
There's certain parts that are calculated to kill you for achieving an obstacle in a certain way,
otherwise you can react to most things.

Noivern
DESIGN: 38/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 7/20
TOTAL SCORE: 65/100

Started out slow, but ramped up really quick. I think a few of the spike jumps in the beginning are too hard for where they are in the level. The palette isn't very great, and the candy theme implied by the name has nothing to do with the level.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 26/50
CREATIVITY: 15/30
AESTHETICS: 13/20
TOTAL SCORE: 54/100

Why such a tight time limit on a level that doesn't need it? It's a bit repetitive overall, and there are quite a few unnecessarily tricky jumps. The problem with focusing a level on falling platforms is that it very much becomes trial and error to determine how to make what moves when with little reaction time, and it gets somewhat frustrating if not executed perfectly, which it is not here (though it could have been far worse). Still, though, it does have some charm and enjoyment factor.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 18/50
CREATIVITY: 12/30
AESTHETICS: 7/20
TOTAL SCORE: 37/100

This level feels a touch...slapdash. No powerups, no dragon coins, not that many regular coins, and lots of empty stretches. Most of the individual setups aren't necessarily -bad- per se, but they're blocked out and linked together in such a way that the only way to overcome many of them is to already know what's coming next. many of the obstacles demand an immediate reaction, but the reaction is not always the intuitive one, as what lies off-screen may well be different from what the player expects, leading to a heavy dose of learning-by-dying (some more coin guides could have alleviated this significantly). I also feel the severe time limit on the secret path could be better highlighted, as this is really the main obstacle here. Furthermore, the midpoint is setup improperly, and the player will be instantly moidalized upon reentering the level.

+ A number of pretty decent setups, individually regarded.
- Too much clairvoyance required, taken as a whole
- Glitched midpoint and signs of rushedness

Other: I'm pretty sure that's just stripey plastic.
65th: Nocturnal Heights by turbofa
Koopster
DESIGN: 31/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 62/100

There are interesting setups ideas, but most of them are very disjointed with one another. The progression is very lacking in this level, as well as the difficulty curve which is really messy. The first half has a few quite awkward setups, especially that one with the pea spring and the saw which I only could figure out how to perform after many failed tries. The dragon coins are pretty mean, especially dragons 2 and 5, which you'll intuitively miss for hitting the koopa after landing and pressing the P-switch to grab that otherwise very nicely hidden 1-up bonus. It is a decent level overall, but it lacks better direction. The first half's palettes aren't very good and the music is very... not very fitting.

lolyoshi
DESIGN: 39/50
CREATIVITY: 18/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 69/100

Pure athletic platforming. Not the most creative, though it's fairly fun to play, even if it lacked an
idea behind it. It just has some minor flaws.

Noivern
DESIGN: 32/50
CREATIVITY: 20/30
AESTHETICS: 14/20
TOTAL SCORE: 66/100

A rather straight-forward, solidly designed level. You use both types of note blocks interchangeably, which complicates jump and makes areas harder where a saw or fuzzy is hanging around them. The level loses its focus towards the end. Very good dragon coin placement.

Sinc-X
DESIGN: 30/50
CREATIVITY: 14/30
AESTHETICS: 12/20
TOTAL SCORE: 56/100

Pretty standard fare; there isn't much noteworthy about this one. The background palettes are not the greatest, though the foreground is nice. The music is pretty unfitting as well. The first half was mostly fine, though not particularly interesting, with some decent saw arrangements. The difficulty has an odd shift in the 2nd half, being immediately bombarded with projectiles and then throughout the rest having some unfriendly jumps. Not terrible overall, but it doesn't stand out.

Rameau's Nephew
DESIGN: 18/50
CREATIVITY: 10/30
AESTHETICS: 8/20
TOTAL SCORE: 36/100

This level starts out as mainly ground-based Koopas walking on simple platforms. Then the saws come in, and this level gets a bit more lively...but proceeds to run aground in a far different direction. A lot of the saw challenges honestly feel pretty cramped and awkward, a feeling which only gets worse after the midpoint. The use of two-block wide platforms consisting of bouncy-from-the-side note blocks in some of these constructions was an -astoundingly- bad idea, as it tends to disrupt Mario's bounce in strange, awkward, and unpredictable ways, and when you fail as a result of these interactions, it feels less like your own fault, a far more due to the inherent wonkiness of these constructions. The fact that there's only one powerup post-midpoint (yellow switch block excluded) and that it doesn't occur until after the worst of these wonkstructions only makes matters worse.

The primary flaw of the second section is that it seems to think that the primary flaw of the first section is that there weren't enough Volcano Lotuses and Pitchin' Chucks in it. There isn't anything nearly as bad as the post-midpoint section of the first sublevel, but the horrible noteblock constructions do make a few more appearances, and the constant threat of having to replay the remainder of the first level due to getting it by a random projectile from one of the projectile spewers makes this part rather stressful, and by extension less enjoyable. The dragon coins tend to feel very not worth it, especially the on where you have to carry the P-switch over long distances.

+ Makes relevant use of switch blocks without relying too heavily on them.
- Poor powerup and difficulty balance
- The bouncy-from-side noteblock constructions are things of pure hatred.

Other: Bom-ba-ba-bom-ba-bom-ba-bom-bom-ba-ba-bom-ba-ba-bom-ba-ba-dang-a-dang-dang-ba-ba-ding-a-dong-ding grey moon.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Buttons Detect Weights

Postby Daizo » 1 month ago

Apparently in Sanct's entry, there's an "accidental secret exit" that was placed which wasn't meant to be there, and I had a slight chat to him recently about him worrying raocow might accidentally find it. Thankfully not, but if I had to guess where it was it was probably in that yellow pipe somewhere.

Fun facts galore!
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Buttons Detect Weights

Postby Sanct » 1 month ago

the level was made at 3 am in 2 hours and then I had nobody beta-test it.

still like that background though.

more fun facts: the bottom tile isn't present in the level and because I was testing in ZSNES at the time I didn't see the 1 pixel of cutoff at the bottom of the screen. I don't think I fixed it.
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest X - Buttons Detect Weights

Postby 10204307 » 1 month ago

There's something uncomfortable about how the music in the second level is extremely stereo separated... It's like there's nothing in the middle, not even the drums or bass (which are things you generally want to keep in the middle). It's otherwise a good bop but it's just mixed in a real disorienting way.


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