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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Riverbed Canopy had some obstacles with thought put into them, but it felt pretty flat IMO.

As somebody who has played more Kirby Super Star Ultra than is probably healthy, I noticed the Kirby reference in about three seconds. But to its credit, the level doesn't shove it in your face, either. This level looks good and plays well too.

Nightswimming was well done. Personally, I would have liked a tad more difficulty in this level, but I'm not sure that would have helped its ranking.

I'm not sure why there's a green door in that level either. Hogwarts and Hotel were both significantly harder IMO, and the secret exit in Simple Path was more obtuse if that was the issue. I think I died more on random levels like Triangle Ship out of sheer carelessness.

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:die [...] out of sheer carelessness.
Yep...

and now the Swiss authorities ban the use of pavement/half sticking out cement blocks
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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby lolyoshi » 2 years ago

password hint:
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In the second message box.

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby ztarwuff » 2 years ago

Not sure why Morsel called that level Swiss Hotel.
lolyoshi wrote:password hint:
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In the second message box.
So I guess that's three different number combos to try.

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby BobisOnlyBob » 2 years ago

ztarwuff wrote:Not sure why Morsel called that level Swiss Hotel.
lolyoshi wrote:password hint:
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In the second message box.
So I guess that's three different number combos to try.
Four, if you're pedantic like I am, but it's blatantly the first.

The explorer Christopher Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby ztarwuff » 2 years ago

BobisOnlyBob wrote:
ztarwuff wrote:Not sure why Morsel called that level Swiss Hotel.
lolyoshi wrote:password hint:
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In the second message box.
So I guess that's three different number combos to try.
Four, if you're pedantic like I am, but it's blatantly the first.

The explorer Christopher Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502

Oh, in that case, make it six number combinations, because I was thinking

1451 (Birth Year), 1492 (year he set sail for America) and 1506 (year of death).

Although to be fair, I don't think anyone would use the last number in my suggestions.

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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

I think I was the only one who figured out the password immediately with the hint :V

Also, to tell the truth, I think the reason it got green door is because aesthetics. Unlike hotel,

cutting in line

and some others Swiss hotel doesn't have any pretty aesthetics as a distraction and so it's just raw gameplay, and people are less willing to give it any leeway? Idk. It's just my guess because it seems pretty weird how the really hard levels with pretty aesthetics got ignored while Swiss hotel which isn't even that hard but has simple ("ugly" for some people) aesthetics got targeted...

I guess a better way to put it would be Swiss hotel has no pretty aesthetics to "distract from the difficulty"...? This makes more sense in my head than when I actually try to put this in words lol
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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby BobisOnlyBob » 2 years ago

Oh, and to share my thoughts on Swiss Hotel - he successfully made a challenging and interesting Mario level that absolutely minimises jumping. I would even go as far as to say the powerups and coin guides are generous - but the coin guides really do make the end result of half-tile dodges absolutely beautiful. It may not have creative aesthetics, but that is some amazing use of vanilla interactions like the spinning platforms, dropping platforms, dolphins, porcupuffers and rip van fish in ways which seem gratuitous and unfair at a glance but are tightly controlled in actuality. Basically, it's mechanically beautiful even if it is visually plain. The elevators remind me a little of the "no jumping" sections at the end of JUMP.

Not sure about those noteblock rooms at the start, midpoint and boss. I get that they mix things up and create a sort of "breather" between the elevators, but they don't feel anywhere near as well-refined mechanically as the vertical sections, even if they do have the infinite vertical sprite respawn gimmick in the opening and mid.

The overall feeling I get from the level is a successful experiment in jumpless vanilla verticality, bookended by more conventional bounding around with weirdly vertical things.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

The first room and the midpoint room really brought the level down, in my opinion. Especially the midpoint room. I cannot for the life of me figure out how you're supposed to get all the way to the door without taking a hit. <_> I loved every other part of the level. Yeah, you die a lot, but once you figure it all out... Well, it's kinda tedious. But fun! :D

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Hydraulic Hideout is pretty good; I like the sublevels using unusual aspects of layer 2. Unfortunately raocow missed the grey pipe in the midpoint room which led to a really cool fast layer 2 section. If the level didn't have a choice there I think it would've gotten higher scores actually.

Swiss Hotel is my favorite of the 'really hard green door levels', and there is even some discussion that it shouldn't be green doored. Yes, it's really hard, but it's one of the most creative levels in the contest in how its executed. The main downfall of it is the falling-platforms-and-doors room (no pun intended), which took me forever to complete. I still really enjoyed the level overall though.

Also raocow needs to pay more attention to them message boxes (I figured out the secret dragon coins immediately).
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby TaviTurnip » 2 years ago

Morsel's level is amazing and looks extremely unironically fair. Really like it.

This is my one passing uninvited comment about this LP.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

I had mentioned this previously, but if the falling part would have been removed, it would have been a top 10 level in my book. I love everything else about the design, but that portion (for me at least) felt so out of place and a massive waste of time. Really good level.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Voltgloss » 2 years ago

S.N.N. wrote:I had mentioned this previously, but if the falling part would have been removed, it would have been a top 10 level in my book. I love everything else about the design, but that portion (for me at least) felt so out of place and a massive waste of time. Really good level.
I posit that if the falling section had coin guides, like all of the other ascent/descent sections, it wouldn't have felt so out of place. The other sections' coin guides show you exactly what you need to do - the challenge then becomes execution. With the coin guides suddenly removed, the falling platforms section becomes much more of a trial-and-error challenge of figuring out "what works" - and that's where tedium sets in.

Also, I expect the password is a Startropics reference.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby zagesaw » 2 years ago

Swiss Hotel was amazing outside of the falling room which we all know already. I can understand the difficulty complaints before the coin guides were added, but the level is completely reasonable now. I found every level of his in JUMP to be much more difficult, so the green door placement is puzzling me. Even Hotel was a much harder level to get through. There are other levels far more deserving of the green door treatment than Swiss Hotel, but it won't be for a while until we get to these levels.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Mochtroidprime » 2 years ago

Voltgloss wrote:I posit that if the falling section had coin guides, like all of the other ascent/descent sections, it wouldn't have felt so out of place. The other sections' coin guides show you exactly what you need to do - the challenge then becomes execution. With the coin guides suddenly removed, the falling platforms section becomes much more of a trial-and-error challenge of figuring out "what works" - and that's where tedium sets in.
I can only assume that the reason there weren't coin guides in the falling + platforms is because there's no fear of death, and retrying the room is fairly quick. As opposed to the others where you have to die, and then go back to the map, and then redo any previous room etc.

I will agree that it looked kind of annoying to do, but at the same time, seeing it done correctly looked pretty cool.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

I don't think it's the bad aesthetics. The colors are nice and the music is sublime. I would also like to point out that levelengine beat the second half of the level in one try.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby zagesaw » 2 years ago

ft029 wrote:I don't think it's the bad aesthetics. The colors are nice and the music is sublime. I would also like to point out that levelengine beat the second half of the level in one try.
Not surprising considering how fast he got through Depraved Stronghold. :?

speaking about aesthetics...the next level is certainly a thing...

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

I personally don't get why anyone would think that the reason it was green-doored was for its (lack of) aesthetics. o_O I don't even recall who decided what levels should get that applies to, all I recall is that I marked levels I recommended should be, with the expectation that they were just that- recommendations, and not guaranteed to happen. (Didn't even mark that level for one!)

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Lazy_ » 2 years ago

:aesthetics: incoming
ztarwuff wrote:Not sure why Morsel called that level Swiss Hotel.
Might be because there's a lot of holes but I'm not sure. Gonna need some Word of God on this!
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Grounder » 2 years ago

My best guess is that it's an esoteric reference to a Swiss army knife.
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

It is always gratifying when your level arouses interest, whether it tends to enthusiasm or condemnation. I cannot quote every one in one post so I will just reply generally.

I'm emotionally attached to the door room because it is the only reason the level exists at all. I had no ideas when I started other than "vertical level with dolphins". Noticing that Mario sticks to the dolphin when dropping gave rise to the rest of the idea, and then the other vertical shaft levels followed in emulation, with an Hotel theme to bind them together (so this, pace raocow, is why there is a boss, or manager). As an aside, there were two discarded shaft ideas, one a drop and one a fast rise, that I felt, since they'd been seen before, might be hackneyed: this did not stop others in the contest from using them (sorry lolyoshi and Koopster).

Bob (and I admit the boss room is very weak) shrewdly noticed the vertical theme linking the entry rooms to these shafts, but the jumping/no jumping contrast is secondary to the technical need the noteblocks fulfil (minute differences in camera position can mean the looping stops working, which a bounce obviates).

There is no reference to Startropics (I have no direct knowledge of this game), rather the code idea was a corollary of the 1-up trick I noticed when I discovered it some while ago -- there was never occasion to use it before the manager's safe needed a burglar deterrent.

The coin guides were a late addition (although it was always the intention to avoid the door guides in the drop: this was the intended way to play this part, falling down freely and memorising the pattern rather than trial and error while trying to keep on the dolphins) which I partly regret, not just because it is hard to convey that ducking or duck sliding is necessary sometimes, but because of an idea I had, sadly after I had finished the level and was sick of it, which was to have an ON/OFF switch controlled animation which served as a guide, thereby giving easy and hard modes for the level.

I wish I could claim to have made an aesthetic statement, but I cannot: it was because the level took rather long to design and I was fed up with it that the level makes no attempts to pimp itself out graphically, although I do think the blackness surrounding the vertical shafts is appropriate and there is at least the merit of simplicity.

All in all, the level is mostly concerned with pushing the boat out, being overambitious and doing as many things as possible, rather than "doing well in the contest", which is, apparently, the Swiss prerogative (this will become clear in the after-time), and this is the only claim to Switzerland my hotel can advance. A more approprite name would have been H. H. Holmes' World's Fair Hotel aka Murder Castle.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

also "Swissotel" is some high-class hotel apparently

ON/OFF guides, or even ON/OFF controlling what the grinders do would have been so morsel-like. I want to see that.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

Hah, pretty nice to learn some of the backstory behind this level.

55th: HYDRAULIC HIDEOUT by IDidMakeThat
Nimono
DESIGN: 25/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 48/60
Level was fun and enjoyable. The super speedy spike segment was my favorite part, very, very hectic! The aesthetics were somewhat plain, but overall this was a very nice level!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 28/60
Very nicely made level with an interesting port hole look later in the level but other than that it's a fair basic level.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 37/60
Nice level. Design is fairly decent and some of these rooms are really fun to go through - all of the small gimmicks used worked fairly well. However, the moving water could be used a bit better I think, the chucks don't work that well with them. Nothing major, though.

OTHER: The layer 2 keeps scrolling after the door appears at one of the last rooms - graphically, at least. Also the Layer 3 occasionally goes behind the status bar causing cutoff, 0/10 entry disqualified and you're banned from real life forever ;)

Koopster
DESIGN: 19/30
CREATIVITY: 11/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 37/60
I'm still not too sure what you were trying to go for with this level, but I like the ideas in execution like the smaller camera areas and the vertical water segment. They just feel a little out of place with one another! Mostly a fun level to play, doesn't really get too inovative but still fun. The secret exit is rather pointless though.

59th: SWISS HOTEL by Morsel
Nimono
DESIGN: 8/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 29/60
Level was...interesting. While hilarious with infinitely-falling platforms and enemies, the level was not very fun to play. There was a small margin for error, even at the very start, and at times, it is unclear what needs to be done to finish. Great idea, not-so-great execution...

ninja boy
DESIGN: 7/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 26/60
I personally didn't like this level at all, yeah it's do able without taking damage and the coins show you the way but it's obviously on the Kaizo side of things and just flat out was more ridiculous then it needed to be.

Eternity
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 18/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 41/60
Okay, that was really neat. Definitely a unique concept, and it's fairly well executed too, even though it can get insane at times (the last challenge comes to mind, I honestly had to use savestates to complete it).

Koopster
DESIGN: 23/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 51/60
is that what hotels in switzerland are like?????? This is a fantastic set of extremely creative rooms. It requires some learning and a tad of precision in a few rooms, but because the level is mostly short and the midpoint is well balanced, this was still a lot of fun to me. I think the doors room was weak, though, because even with no punishment for failing, it still takes a lot of time to learn it and it gets a little boring. But otherwise, very nice level in my opinion.

Oh the dragon coin puzzle is a bit too silly :Y (I had to look in LM/ask around)


Hydraulic Hideout was okay but also very disjointed. Most of my memories from it come from the testing phase and that stupid dragon coin in the midpoint room - I couldn't find it and thought something broke in that level.
I have some things to say about Swiss Hotel...
Back when I was judging, I didn't have access to the VLDC discussion channel. That didn't beat some people from spewing out a few level names here and there, and Swiss Hotel was one of these very spoken about ones. I got to it not knowing what awaited me, other than that it would be some sort of memorable experience? And I absolutely loved it.
I gave it a 55
I told some of my friends about how nice the level was and got a quite shocking response - they all thought the level was horrible! I spoiled to them that I gave it a really high score and got backlashed - "no way this level deserves this much"
I let myself be influenced by their voices and slowly docked it down, to 54, 53 and then finally 51
And that's not the worst part - little did I know, the version they all were familiar with was an earlier version that had no coins!
So yeah, I should've had brought this one up a little bit more. I'm sorry for this and I hope to not repeat this mistake.
But I guess I can try and excuse it on the existence of the door drop room which I really didn't enjoy lol

And yeah, sure, the level was greendoored because of aesthetics. Haha good going smwc standards lul
The real backstory is that I added it in my green doors list exactly because of the general reaction I saw during the judging period. I was meaning to compare my list with Frost's, but I think I just forgot to do that outright - also explains why Moontop Metonymy wasn't originally made skippable (I never thought that level deserved a green door). But other than these and Flash Black which I also added myself, our lists matched.
Bonus fact, I think Swiss Hotel looks good.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby raocow » 2 years ago

honestly the aesthetics for swiss hotel are fine. They are minimal, but that doesn't mean they are bad. I agree that the stark blackness all around the shafts is perfect, the level itself is telling you to hyperfocus on what is going on.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertical lodges doling chaos 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

again this made way more sense in my head than actually going ahead and putting it into words :V. I really love the actual level and I think it looks fine, it's just I somehow got some conspiracy going in my head about it :v
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