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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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Lockirby2
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Re: VLDC9 - violet lumber dark conservatories 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

I thought Midnight Arbor was brilliant. I disagree heavily with the second half being "excessively difficult", as I found it fell squarely in "hard but fair" territory. raocow made it through the entire thing (including bonus content) in one try, after all. There were a ton of clever obstacles in that level, and it looked great too.

I think that it was perceptive of raocow and Koopster to notice that there was supposed to be a P-switch run in the second level. I was confused about that bit.

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Mata Hari
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Re: VLDC9 - violet lumber dark conservatories 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

IDK where the music in this level is from but I'm hoping it's from the Harry Potter games because otherwise it would damage my immersion significantly.

e: Of course I said that before the Pokemon music started

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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

This level is clever but very stressful at times; it needed another checkpoint before the boss, and it has design issues such as the "magic following" gimmick near the end where the player isn't aware that the magic can suddenly go through blocks.

Magikoopas are very hard to work around too.
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Rezanator
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Rezanator » 2 years ago

In lunar magic is it possible to make magikoopas not to damage the player from the sides? That would save a lot of lives.

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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby zagesaw » 2 years ago

I don't know how I feel about this level. I respect the creativity put into it, but the level was really frustrating with how Kamek works. Sometimes I would die because Kamek instantly spawns where I am. Loved the ideas but not the execution. Also the music got grating after awhile.

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Nimono
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Re: VLDC9 - violet lumber dark conservatories 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:I thought Midnight Arbor was brilliant. I disagree heavily with the second half being "excessively difficult", as I found it fell squarely in "hard but fair" territory. raocow made it through the entire thing (including bonus content) in one try, after all. There were a ton of clever obstacles in that level, and it looked great too.
*shrug* I can't exactly remember what went through my mind. I just remember that I found it way tougher than the rest of the level? raocow had a way easier time than I did somehow, and a lot of people keep telling me I'm good at games (which I vehemently deny)

edit: Oh, and as for HOGWARTS? I never got past the first two screens after the midpoint. In the interests of time for my streams, I quit playing it. I just could not take it anymore, and I refuse to use savestates because I figure that if I HAVE to use those to finish a level without losing my sanity, I can already give a review to it. There were interesting ideas in it, but I felt they were executed HORRIBLY. The secret exit is pretty much trial-and-error!

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Voltgloss
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Voltgloss » 2 years ago

Was there a reset pipe in the secret area room of today's level, so you could try again if you got all Thwimps (or otherwise failed to feed your Yoshi enough)?
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Nimono
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Voltgloss wrote:Was there a reset pipe in the secret area room of today's level, so you could try again if you got all Thwimps (or otherwise failed to feed your Yoshi enough)?
No, there's just a door past there that puts you below the secret exit door, to where you can no longer get it, IIRC. You have one chance per run.

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Pyro
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

This level is honestly super sad. I really like most of the setups but it's one of the levels where the concept just isn't good. Magikoopa is a pain to work around. You're at the mercy of RNG when designing a level around him. Also layer 2 not being translucent......ugh
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby warpio » 2 years ago

The first half of this kamek level did not look hard at all. The deaths where kamek spawned on him weren't really his fault, but other than that, most of those early deaths looked very avoidable. I would blame most of his struggles with the first half on sloppy playing more than anything.

The 2nd half looked very challenging, but in a good way. Overall I think it was a very nice level. The first half sort of eases you into dealing with kamek so that you are well practiced for the 2nd half where you need to be at your A game.

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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

raocow's playing today wasn't too sloppy. It was just horrible luck near the beginning, and despite awful luck at the boss fight, he managed to stay alive for a very long time.

Failing the secret exit brings you to the midpoint, but I don't think it's trial and error. You have way more than enough time to feed Yoshi, as getting 2 yellow koopas in about 17 seconds is extremely probable. If you get all thwimps, please exit this forum, walk outside, and wait until you get struck by lightning as probability completely gives up.
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Koopster
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

I've been recovering from a migraine for those past few days, thanks again Quills for covering me!

79th: HOGWARTS by Sokobansolver
Nimono
DESIGN: 5/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 12/60
Too difficult. Puzzle after midway unclear how to solve. Puzzle for secret exit leaves little room for error with the timing.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 37/60
Well this was creative but towards the end where you have to have Kamik shoot at you then run a gauntlet to make it hit the glass blocks wasn't that intuitive at all since you have a no Kamik sign but no good indication that you need him to shoot magic first before running all the way through.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 38/60
There are some really neat ideas, but their execution is not always the best. The Magikoopa + P-Switch "minigame" in the secret exit path, for example, is super hard to do correctly (I actually couldn't), and some of the later obstacles in the main path are pretty insane as well. The boss is fine, but it's a bit awkward at first and I honestly thought I had to keep randomly throwing shells until they hit (luckily that's not the case). Other than that, this has some of the most interesting uses of Magikoopa I have seen, so great job with that.

Koopster
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 38/60
This level is an odd bag of extreme creativity and weird execution! Makes it hard to judge man. While I was a bit annoyed about the unpredictability and lack of indication of a bunch of obstacles (to name one, in the final magikoopa's magic run, there's no real indication that the magic goes through those specific blocks), and the arbitrary solution to some (leaving yoshi to hit the blocks and get through the bridge with the turn blocks blocking my way, as the wizard will never hit them while I'm riding; having to L-scroll in the beginning of the second half so the wizard will not destroy the blocks being eaten; having to respawn the gray platforms also felt a bit arbitrary)... I was also super impressed by how cleverly used the magikoopa was! I really love the final boss. It's a gimmick I have never seen used in so neat ways before, but sadly, it has been executed better.


I didn't have access to the forum at the time but I heard Soko sparked some drama for people not liking his "creativity style" or something lol
The level is nice but it's extremely disjointed and it's not very self explanatory at various parts (glaringly the rocks the magic passes through). Also annoying unecessary obstacles like the podoboos. I don't think the wizard is the culprit for making this level not that good - some things could've been executed better.

Since I missed a few days of this thread:
Prizm's level I was rather underwhelmed about, since if you ignore the dragon coin challenges it's a very short and kinda uneventful item babysitting level.
Fun facts about Quills' level: it was 000.smc in our numbered ROMs pack, so it was the first one I and at least two other judges played (I eventually moved to going in a random order though). I made a .txt with guesses of who made what level and I originally thought it was SNN's level lol. I like SNN's level design, so that's saying something.
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Nimono
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Koopster wrote:I've been recovering from a migraine for those past few days, thanks again Quills for covering me!

79th: HOGWARTS by Sokobansolver
Nimono
DESIGN: 5/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 12/60
Too difficult. Puzzle after midway unclear how to solve. Puzzle for secret exit leaves little room for error with the timing.
wow did i really give it that little of a description????

i have no idea how I failed to solve that puzzle, then??? still didn't like the level and given the ending I never got to...I would give it only +3 design and +5-8 creativity. aesthetics, I still stand by. Aesthetics? WHAT AESTHETICS???

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Lockirby2
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Re: VLDC9 - versatile legerdemain directing classes 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

The blocks that Magikoopa can fire through definitely should have been marked somehow. It doesn't even have to be explicit that Magikoopa can fire through them; they just need to look at least a little different from the ones around them.

I pretty much never take hits from Magikoopa spawning on my face unless I'm dealing with other obstacles. I'm not entirely sure why. Either I'm just really lucky, or something about my playstyle tends to avoid those cheap shots (but I'll be darned if I know what it is).

In the room where you have to prevent Magikoopa from interrupting the snake block, I prevented him from firing at all by scrolling the screen a lot. I love how often there are multiple solutions for puzzles in SMW even if I'm entirely convinced that there's only one solution.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Grove of Seclusion I felt was only ok; it's a typical romp that sort of dragged on for too long. I agree that it would be better if it was just the bad future.

Misty Swamp Cave is pretty unfortunate due to the super obstructing mist in combination with sprite saturation which doesn't really lead to good times.
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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

Yeah, the mist completely ruined it, hence the almost-worst-world score. The second half wasn't even bad at all really, but by that point, you're just so annoyed with the first half that the bad vibe kind of carries over.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

You could always scroll the porcu-puffer offscreen :v

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

I found that second level incredibly boring to watch. One of the few times I've actually found myself skipping ahead in a video to at least get back to progress.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Alice wrote:I found that second level incredibly boring to watch. One of the few times I've actually found myself skipping ahead in a video to at least get back to progress.
I have to agree- and I JUDGED the thing! Was not fun watching raocow die over and over and over, especially to the hide-all smog.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby ztarwuff » 2 years ago

Nimono wrote:
Alice wrote:I found that second level incredibly boring to watch. One of the few times I've actually found myself skipping ahead in a video to at least get back to progress.
I have to agree- and I JUDGED the thing! Was not fun watching raocow die over and over and over, especially to the hide-all smog.
I just let it play in the background, muted, so that raocow could get his full watch minutes. Need to give him good retention time figures, otherwise Youtube gets a little bit weird.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Personally, I think that removing the gimmick from the first level would just make it more generic. I think that either the reason for the time travel choice needed to be explained in some way, or that something extra would need to be done to reach the good future. The first half before the midpoint would really benefit from the trick FrozenQuills pulled in his level with the 1-up allowing you to skip it on the second time through. The past and both futures all needed to be shorter as well. Even a shorter version of the good future still needed more interesting obstacles, although what's there isn't the most plain level in the contest.

I liked the second level a lot more when playing it myself. Although I think raocow would have enjoyed it more if he was in a better mood, I agree after thinking about it that the level would be unfun to play through multiple times. I don't think that the mist ever entirely hid obstacles in a way that made me get hit, so I'll give it props for that, but the extra care required to get through the level every time would become painful.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Classtoise » 2 years ago

That first level seems to have no cohesion. Why are the two future doors? Why is the good future pink? What the hell is even going on? It feels like he had three level ideas and refused to decide, so we get this schizophrenic level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

Grove of Seclusion is basically bootleg Tragic Revolution from 8 tbh hey it rhymes
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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby zagesaw » 2 years ago

I felt like Grove of Seclusion overstayed its welcome, especially with the Good Future section of the level. Thought the level was decent overall. I actually liked how the Bad Future path looked and played, but Good Future was mostly flat with a ton of Charlie spam.

Misty Swamp Cave was really frustrating to play. I was kinda disappointed to see the level turning out the way it did considering AJ has made good levels in the past. I understand the mist gimmick obfuscating the first half of the level, but the obnoxious enemy placement and all the stuff thrown at you made it a chore to play. I actually had a harder time with the cave portion of the level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vacillating lignification damp coves 9

Postby Voltgloss » 2 years ago

My opinion: both of today's levels would have been vastly improved by cutting their length by half.
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