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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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MegaMarioMan9
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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby MegaMarioMan9 » 2 years ago

S.N.N. wrote:Today's level: it slipped my mind that this was the Somber Sepia guy. He's definitely improved dramatically since last year.
Yep, that's me. I took into account a lot of things people said, including the judges words and some of the comments on raocow's VLDC video. I knew that I managed to make a better level because of it, but I wasn't expecting to jump from 69th place to 23rd. That was quite something, I'll tell you what. I'm happy that people seemed to enjoy my level so much this time around, and I'll use the new feedback I got to make something grand for my next entry.

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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

One of the most well-designed levels in the contest besides that slight flaw with the method to get the secret exit (I personally used two springboards). Some places could have been spiced up a bit more, but other than that, this was super solid. I hope the rate of improvement from Somber Sepia is linear.
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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

I felt that the way the hot/cold gimmick was implemented was interesting. Usually people go for outright "flames and fire and everything's burning" at one end, and "super snowman world" on the other, so this was a neat take on things. I also liked the little observation puzzles when it came to the Dragon Coins. I forgot about the one next to the midpoint on my first run though, which makes me feel pretty dumb... For some reason using the P-switch was the first thing I tried when looking for the secret exit, but I still agree that it wasn't well hinted at.

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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby nathanisbored » 2 years ago

some of the throw block tunnels you had trouble with, you can actually kick them from one tile lower while hugging the wall, and they will automatically go into the 1-tile space. when you release something from mario's hands while against a wall, it will actually get boosted up one tile, because it's just enough off the ground for the game's collision to eject it upwards. this even works with throw blocks without breaking them (which is a mechanic that's actually explained in 1-1 in JUMP for some reason).

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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

With the SA-1 patch, blue koopas don't correctly catch things travelling from left to right. I suppose this level was made in normal rom and just submitted anyway with the blue koopa near the key remaining as a delightful red herring.

The moon is incredibly inane. If you explore the level more thoroughly, you will find a room that doesn't seem as though it could have anything to do with it, but one of those pop-up messages will tell you it does and what to do (it will seem like black magic if you don't understand item memory): then you go back and collect the, now accessible, moon.
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Ice Block Cavern is an unusual exploratory level. Similar to Someguy's entry last year, the level does a bunch of weird little things with ice blocks and smw physics, and as a result it's rather busy with its design. It's pretty cool to see all the neat little tricks though.
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Re: VLDC9 - varying landmasses dried components 9

Postby Kowkarot » 2 years ago

morsel/morceau wrote:The moon is incredibly inane. If you explore the level more thoroughly, you will find a room that doesn't seem as though it could have anything to do with it, but one of those pop-up messages will tell you it does and what to do (it will seem like black magic if you don't understand item memory): then you go back and collect the, now accessible, moon.
Basically this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wo3ULt0njY
And yes, it was pretty much black magic to me.

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby nathanisbored » 2 years ago

Objects that trigger the 'object memory' flags:
- yellow coins
- purple coins
- dragon coins
- coin snake coins
- POW coins
- brown blocks acting as coins from hitting a p switch
- 1-up blocks
- yoshi blocks
- green star blocks (only after collecting 30 coins)
- all of these things will also trigger the flag if inserted as map16 tiles

Objects that react to the 'object memory' flags:
- yellow coins
- purple coins
- dragon coins
- yoshi blocks
- 1-up blocks
- green star blocks
- these will not react to the flag if inserted as map16

There are 4 bytes worth of flags per screen in the level, per object memory index. Each bit represents 1 flag, so there's 32 flags per screen. Instead of having a flag for every single coordinate in the level, essentially every column of tiles per subscreen gets its own flag. So collecting just one coin in a column of coins will erase the whole column on that subscreen when you reload the area.

Yoshi blocks, star blocks, and 1-up blocks also use this flag to check if you've hit them already, and they will be empty next time you load the area if the flag is set. This is to prevent you from farming 1-ups. Since both coins and 1-up blocks use the same flag, you can trigger the flag in one room with a coin, and have a 1-up block react to it in a different room which uses the same memory index. I've actually seen this used in a puzzle hack before, where you had to guide a coin snake to a certain coordinate in one room to empty a 1-up block in another.

Moons don't use this flag, but they do have their own flag that gets saved globally for each level until you go back to the title screen (similar to 1-up checkpoints and dragon coins).

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Lockirby2
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

This was a very technical level. The number of secrets was great, and I figure that if unmarked glitches are going to be used in a level, using them for optional content is a reasonable way of doing it. There were some secrets both for people that know the glitches and for people that don't.

I feel like some of the gimmicks should have been expanded upon though. For example, when it comes to kicking the ice blocks against the steep walls, 2/3 of these instances had a tutorial right next to them, and the third was a bonus room. I think more could have been done with this.

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

19th: ICE BLOCK CAVERN by SomeGuy712x
Nimono
DESIGN: 27/30
CREATIVITY: 18/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 53/60
COOL level. Enjoyed the multiple uses for the throw blocks! The puzzle for the Key seems to be messed up- I never got the Koopa to kick the block back, it always killed it before it could, though the P-Switch you offer at the start after reaching the outside allows one to bypass the puzzle, so it's still possible.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 18/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 40/60
This was an interesting level with the messages but I'm not sure how I feel about using more than 2 it does encroach on other levels.

Eternity
DESIGN: 20/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 43/60
Fairly nice level design, the turn block use is interesting overall and there are some nice setups here as well. The cave section feels a bit out of place in the level, but other than that there isn't really anything I could point out as an issue, it's just not as memorable as other entries.

Koopster
DESIGN: 26/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 51/60
You got me stunned for a while because of the big amount of messages, but you managed to pull that off in vanilla...? Good job guy! So, I really dig how varied this level is. It settles on a gimmick and uses it very well, but doesn't limit itself to that. The sliding detour, while not having too much to do with throw blocks, is a refreshing experience to have in the middle of the stage in my opinion.

Uhhh... how do I get the last dragon coin without glitching through the turn blocks?


I personally like how much "stuff" there is to do in this level, even if it makes it pretty unfocused (and I was a judge who cared about focus a lot). There's like two rooms in this video I didn't even know about...
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Divemissile
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Divemissile » 2 years ago

weird how two levels almost next to each other both used cirno's theme, but i know i shouldn't be surprised


the levels today seemed like their dragon coins were added as an afterthought. that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes kinda evident when the game makes it a 100% completion thing

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby 10204307 » 2 years ago

Hey, the second level used the music from the title screen! And it's pretty groovy!

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Koopster
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

Dragon coins ain't actually required for anything... which is a bummer honestly. Old "there's 2 levels with impossible dragon coins sob sob" excuse which could've been easily solved by simply not making dragons required in them. I've even marked some levels as "no DC" in my original scores sheet but I wasn't SMWC staff at the time so my voice wasn't as relevant during the development of the collab

42nd: ICE CAVE ATHLETIC by Kenny
Nimono
DESIGN: 20/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 40/60
Cool level, though pretty basic

ninja boy
DESIGN: 19/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 40/60
While this level was nothing to really look at it was really fun to play, I feel face pace levels tend to get overlooked more often than not but this was a good example of one done right.

Eternity
DESIGN: 17/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 37/60
Fairly average level. The design is fine, with some solid enemy placement, decent muncher use (no artifical difficulty for the) and it was surprisingly fun for a >slippery level focused on platform sprites<. There's a lot one can do wrong here, but this level pulled it off pretty well. Aesthetically it pretty much follows SMW's style so not much to comment.

Koopster
DESIGN: 24/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 44/60
cirno jokes because its vldc9 LOL. This level was not as cohesive as it could have been the way it presented a ton of possible gimmicks and developed a bit too little in them. But in practice, this was really fun. More challenging than it looks, but still really fun! Maybe could stand to be longer though. That would definitely give you room to do more creative things with it. Also, I really like the shades of the background!

44th: DEATH WATER by a hick
Nimono
DESIGN: 20/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 41/60
Loved how the Statues were used! I had no idea they could do that! Just wish you'd used them a bit more, in more and more special ways.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 14/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 31/60
The use of the statues was really creative but was the only thing that stood out for me

Eternity
DESIGN: 24/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 49/60
Great level! The Bowser Statue gimmick is super neat and the level actually uses it pretty well throughout. Some areas were a bit cramped, but thankfully it managed to avoid throwing in hard to avoid obstacles in tight tunnels for the most part (the disco shell was surprisingly easy to deal with). Visually it's also good, the palettes are pretty good and the layer 3 + layer 2 background works surprisingly well with the transparency effect.

OTHER: Woah, you actually managed to block the player until the P-Switch was over in a non-annoying way by giving it something to do, neat. More people should do that instead of just throwing coins and forcing the player to wait :v

Koopster
DESIGN: 17/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 38/60
The structure of this level is a bit weird, but I see cleary where you were going with it, and it mostly does work. Though for example I can easily skip the last "challenge" by taking the reset door, as I'll preserve my cape. Still! I think this level is really neat and it uses the bowser statue gimmick well, I just feel there's not much to the level other than those statue sections. They feel like "filler" if you get what I mean. Still, not bad overall~


Oh look, it's one of my meme comments posted in @vldc9_ebooks. Exclusive footage of how I became world famous
Both are good levels, but the second one suffers from having a somewhat confusing structure. I didn't have too much trouble with it myself and raocow didn't either, but I can see some people missing out on that fourth dragon coin for example. Also yeah, the cape puzzle is breakable.
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

Koopster wrote: Oh look, it's one of my meme comments posted in @vldc9_ebooks. Exclusive footage of how I became world famous
<3

calling it now, ft will meme about bowser statue gimmick because i never realized you could do that in his dumb puzzle >:CCCCCCCCCCC
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Two fun levels that were fun in totally different ways. I didn't notice any issues with cohesiveness in the first level when I played, TBH. I found that the fast-paced ice-based sprite platforming was enough to tie the level together for me, and that the varied obstacles kept things fresh in this case.

The second level didn't really seem to be themed around Death Water, as far as I can tell. I haven't watched any ProtonJon, so the reference is lost on me, whatever it is.

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

I can usually figure out how the wacky physics/gameplay gimmicks that people are vanilla, but the Bowser statue one is eluding me. What's the technical reasoning behind this one?

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby Ashan » 2 years ago

I was disappointed we didn't go back for the moon from yesterday's level. Still curious as to how you get that.
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Re: VLDC9 - vital lucent digs chilling 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Quite enjoyed both levels today. Ice Cave Athletic had some fun obstacle setups, and DEATH WATER is a very nonlinear but interesting puzzle level based around bowser statues. I liked how it's necessary to use the cape at the end since very few people really make use of it.

Both levels also had a lot more content if you're going for dragon coins, which I like as well.
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

S.N.N. wrote:I can usually figure out how the wacky physics/gameplay gimmicks that people are vanilla, but the Bowser statue one is eluding me. What's the technical reasoning behind this one?
I think it bumps the bowser statue slightly to the left, which changes its X-position enough for it to start breathing fire. This is extremely obvious, yet Pyro didn't understand it when I used it in one of the puzzles I created for JUMP1/2.
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Re: VLDC9 - vital lucent digs chilling 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

Alright, I've stayed away from this thread long enough. 4 levels. Let's review them.

Dry Ice is a cool twist on the whole fire and ice theme.... without the actual fire. The secret exit is the neatest part of the whole level, but getting there is not too clear... Nice job with this one.

Ice Block Cavern happens to be pretty confusing, but not bad at all. In fact, it's pretty good. There's some good puzzles in here, and some action, too. Shoutouts to that Dancing Dragon dungeon music. You did a great job, though that moon is really cryptic..

Ice Cave Athletic presents a short level with a bunch of fast-paced challenges... But that's what the main charm is. Not too much to say about this level right now. It is nice that the switches make this much easier.

Death Water isn't actually a meme level from the hinting in the title, but is solid in its own right. The music is real good, but is constantly reset by the usage of P-switches, which is sad. Aside from an issue with the Dragon Coin right above the midpoint, this level is solid. Great puzzles with the Bowser statues, too!
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

ft029 wrote:
S.N.N. wrote:I can usually figure out how the wacky physics/gameplay gimmicks that people are vanilla, but the Bowser statue one is eluding me. What's the technical reasoning behind this one?
I think it bumps the bowser statue slightly to the left, which changes its X-position enough for it to start breathing fire. This is extremely obvious, yet Pyro didn't understand it when I used it in one of the puzzles I created for JUMP1/2.
Actually the explanation is quite different, as this primary source testifies:
Month O, Day X
What the hell! That jerk Boon stuck his finger up my butt!
I felt so awful, I unconsciously spat out a fireball.
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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

morsel/morceau wrote:
Month O, Day X
What the hell! That jerk Boon stuck his finger up my butt!
I felt so awful, I unconsciously spat out a fireball.
This is the technical explanation I was hoping for. Thank you.

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Re: VLDC9 - vivified loudspeakers devised cubes 9

Postby lolyoshi » 2 years ago

morsel/morceau wrote:Actually the explanation is quite different, as this primary source testifies:
Month O, Day X
What the hell! That jerk Boon stuck his finger up my butt!
I felt so awful, I unconsciously spat out a fireball.
VIP5's explanation is always quintessential.

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Stink Terios
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Re: VLDC9 - vital lucent digs chilling 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

Ice Palace is the best level because the sound effects get all glitchy.

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Re: VLDC9 - vital lucent digs chilling 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

"I insist on not putting a midpoint in my level because I smell"
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