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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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Ryrir
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Re: VLDC9 - vespertine lyrebirds detecting chapeaus 9

Postby Ryrir » 2 years ago

So why wasn't the double sprite glitch patched out like in JUMP?
this is getting laundromatic

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Re: VLDC9 - vespertine lyrebirds detecting chapeaus 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

^The compiler didn't think to add it (you can't think of everything). It's still the level designer's fault. If you play your level you should notice this happens and either request the patch or change the obstacle.

I thought the satellite was supposed to be Earth too, but what land masses are represented? Not North and South America, because they're round the wrong way (e: of course!). Perhaps an alternate reality world where New Zealand occupies an entire hemisphere.
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Re: VLDC9 - vespertine lyrebirds detecting chapeaus 9

Postby Ometeotl » 2 years ago

Ah, the ol' "If you take into account the constraints of vanilla and squint a whole bunch, it might pass as this recognizable thing for most viewers". I respect it.

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Re: VLDC9 - vespertine lyrebirds detecting chapeaus 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

Ryrir wrote:So why wasn't the double sprite glitch patched out like in JUMP?
It was simply overlooked. The double spike set-up seems to be the most common occurrence of it, and I think this is the only level that really uses that gimmick to any degree - or at least, I can't recall any others, so it was pretty easy to miss.

The patch was one of the first ones added to the list for the next VLDC though, so it'll be fixed there.

also: one level video warning tomorrow (most likely)

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Re: VLDC9 - vespertine lyrebirds detecting chapeaus 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

Ometeotl wrote:Ah, the ol' "If you take into account the constraints of vanilla and squint a whole bunch, it might pass as this recognizable thing for most viewers". I respect it.
Reminds me of the Atari water from RTTC. Those were... days, of some kind.

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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby Ivy » 2 years ago

If that's Earth why does it slither in from the top of the screen for a few seconds on the overworld?
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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

I still don't think tomorrow's level is that hard. And if it's a one level video, it's gonna be a short one too... level that follows it is pretty nice. Guess that's worth mentioning!

50th: STORMCLOUD CITADEL by Roykirbs
Nimono
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 11/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 34/60
Cool level, but the secret exit is really obtuse. There's no warning at all that one of the Yoshi Coins actually HIDES A DOOR, which will only appear if every Yoshi Coin is collected in one go.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 18/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 48/60
The only negative thing I can say about this level is the section with the layer 2 wasn't clear at first that is was lava but other than that it's a great level.

Eternity
DESIGN: 17/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 35/60
It's a nice level, but it doesn't have anything particularly interesting. The "small path" through the small yellow pipe near the middle of the level isn't as fun as the main path, and I feel it would be better if it wasn't in the level, actually. The layer 2 at the second half could be a nice addition, but it wasn't used well enough, in my opinion - as it is it pretty much only adds some unnecessary waiting to the level.

OTHER: Just noticed how smooth the dark room spotlight animation looks with SA-1. NICE

Koopster
DESIGN: 19/30
CREATIVITY: 13/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 38/60
A nice rompy level. Other than the lasers in the second section, this is a pretty regular castle level, though I do like the small Mario-only room (you can actually get in there big though :p). I found the secret exit kind of silly to find and I don't know what ted has to do with anything??? Graphically, I like the ideas you had and the effort put, but ultimately the level looks a bit cluttered and weird. The colors could use some work.

74th: MOON TEMPLE by msi810
Nimono
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 8/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 26/60
Iffy enemy placements marred an otherwise good course. The second half really feels way too difficult to complete without using the semi-hidden Cape you provide.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 18/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 40/60
This level was pretty great, at first I couldn't figure out how you did a Mario only block but then realized you used that weird ground tile that makes enemies slide in midair. The aesthetics as a whole aren't the best mainly using just the plain original graphics with a basic level but it had enough personality to shine through.

Eternity
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 30/60
The level started out well, but the second half has pretty much nothing to do with the first and the gimmick feels like it came out of nowhere. The difficulty spike throughout also didn't help, as the level gets insane pretty fast with the whole spinjumping in enemies gimmick. Sure, the "slide blocks" (I'll be calling them that from now on) were introduced in a rather nonthreatening situation, but still that's a fairly huge difficulty jump, specially on the section right before the end.

Koopster
DESIGN: 19/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 37/60
The first half consists mostly of dodging some incoveniently placed fish. Sometimes they make for a nice challenge, but some of their placements ask for a bit too much precision. The second half is different. There's some neat usage of the glitchy dirt tiles there. Though again, some obstacles are a bit finicky, and the first thwimp that goes fast to the hole is kind of hard to anticipate. Overall it was a fun level, but I think the gimmicks could've been exploited more than they were, even if you've done neat stuff with them, especially the second one.


Roykirbs kind of dropped a lot - he got 2nd place in VLDC8!
And eh, I guess I like Moon Temple a bit more than a 37. Second half is not that bad besides some stuff that's hard to anticipate.

Also, while the double-sprite glitch seems negative during most of the second half, that setup where the thwimp jumps on 1F0 while you're spinning on spikes seems to take advantage of it?
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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

I'm not sure that I liked the way that yellow pipe was hidden as much as other people did. I was usually big when I went down there (it is hidden in a rather out of the way place to boot) and it looked like decoration to me, especially since there are other yellow pipes used as decoration in this level. This Dragon Coin sticks out as being really hard to find when compared to the others. I can actually knock this level for Dragon Coin placement too, as the Dragon Coins are necessary to get the secret exit. Speaking of the secret exit, there really needed to be some indication that it was related to the Dragon Coins, as players not playing the compilation have no apparent incentive to get those.

As it stands, in order to get the secret exit, it felt like I needed to jump in a gap that looked like a hole and go in a pipe that looked like decoration in order to accomplish the seemingly unrelated task of getting the Dragon Coins. Now this is what a puzzle that "lacks clarity" looks like IMO. >.>

Secret exit aside, the level played alright for a castley romp level. I liked some of the platforming with the lasers in the second half, but I wish there were more obstacles like the one for the Dragon Coin around there.

The second level had some neat ideas for obstacles, but the difficulty curve was very janky. From one obstacle to the next, the difficulty in succeeding the obstacle and the punishment for failing it were all over the place. I liked the bone fish walls though. The (presumably Earth) planet in the background looked goofy as well, but it made me smile. :) There was also the double sprite glitch to contend with. Honestly, I prefer stuff like this not being patched out so we experience the level with the flaws that the judges had to.

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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:I'm not sure that I liked the way that yellow pipe was hidden as much as other people did. I was usually big when I went down there (it is hidden in a rather out of the way place to boot) and it looked like decoration to me, especially since there are other yellow pipes used as decoration in this level. This Dragon Coin sticks out as being really hard to find when compared to the others. I can actually knock this level for Dragon Coin placement too, as the Dragon Coins are necessary to get the secret exit. Speaking of the secret exit, there really needed to be some indication that it was related to the Dragon Coins, as players not playing the compilation have no apparent incentive to get those.

As it stands, in order to get the secret exit, it felt like I needed to jump in a gap that looked like a hole and go in a pipe that looked like decoration in order to accomplish the seemingly unrelated task of getting the Dragon Coins. Now this is what a puzzle that "lacks clarity" looks like IMO. >.>

Secret exit aside, the level played alright for a castley romp level. I liked some of the platforming with the lasers in the second half, but I wish there were more obstacles like the one for the Dragon Coin around there.

The second level had some neat ideas for obstacles, but the difficulty curve was very janky. From one obstacle to the next, the difficulty in succeeding the obstacle and the punishment for failing it were all over the place. I liked the bone fish walls though. The (presumably Earth) planet in the background looked goofy as well, but it made me smile. :) There was also the double sprite glitch to contend with. Honestly, I prefer stuff like this not being patched out so we experience the level with the flaws that the judges had to.
Ironically enough, the compilation made that first level's secret exit EASIER to get- the reason you needed all of them at first was because that makes them all not come back, but the compilation does that automatically when you get the midpoint or clear the level. So, now all you have to do is get that one specific Yoshi Coin, clear the level, and now the door appears. But that doesn't really make it any better...

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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby TaviTurnip » 2 years ago

91st, though...
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Re: VLDC9 - vigilant leviathans dedicated craters 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

TaviTurnip wrote:91st, though...
It deserved worse.

Anyways, the two other levels from yesterday, and then I'll get to why I hate it so.

Stormcloud Citadel is a level that had the potential to be really amazing, but just misbalanced the sections. The sections with the light should have been longer, as they were some of the most unique parts of this level. That tiny pipe should have been somewhere where you didn't have to take a blind jump. This level doesn't really seem like an exploratory level, but it goes ahead and does it anyways. This hurts it. But despite all that, the music is good, and the obstacles are interesting. Not as solid as last time, but still a good showing.

Moon Temple has some really cool ideas, too. It's rather difficult, but I think I'd enjoy these spinjumping puzzles. I don't know what's up with the differences between the first and second halves, but I like that second part more, even if it is more difficult. The double sprite glitch is pretty sad here, but it can be worked around... Waiting for bonefish is just a flawed idea in general, but this does several aspects of good levels well, so good job.

As for Moontop Metonymy, it deserves Worst World. It's the only overworld level so far that I feel actually deserves it. The first problem is that fugly cloud... I can see why raocow likes the concept, but that's left for a far better level using custom graphics. Secondly, and most importantly... there isn't an easy way to speed up the cloud. This is far and away the biggest problem of the level, and it makes the bullet bill death chambers and the very beginning pretty dismal to play through. This is like one of those strange NES games; the controls are finicky, and the gameplay doesn't really justify that awkwardness. If the cloud controlled better, I would be far easier on this level. As it is... it's not great. You made a good effort, but cloud levels are not the place for hectic gameplay on the base game. At least it tries to explain it to you, which is a plus...
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

91st: MOONTOP METONYMY by Daizo Dee Von
Nimono
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 41/60
Something went wrong with your message box, giving me no message at the start, which lead to much struggling in figuring out what to do in order to even PLAY the level. However, thankfully, I was able to find your advice, and I must say- very interesting idea! I quite like this. It's a little on the difficult side, but it really made me feel like I was playing a shmup, and OH MY GOSH I LOVE THAT!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 2/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 2/10
TOTAL: 16/60
I will say this level was creative but I had no fun with it at all, it used the same gimmick over and over again and then had a few areas that required forced hits that I found in poor design.

Eternity
DESIGN: 1/30
CREATIVITY: 5/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 13/60
unfortunately this is a level design contest (!!!)

OTHER: nice aesthetics tho

Koopster
DESIGN: 14/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 36/60
Lakitu cloud levels are usually slow and a bit tiring, but this one is very action-filled which helped the fun factor a lot. Though it is quite flawed in design. Sometimes it's not very obvious where you want me to stay in the screen. If I'm too far behind, I'll get hit by the saws chasing me, and if I'm too close to the right, I'll get ambushed. This uses coin trails well, but I think it could have more in a couple sections. I never figured out the bullets near the end... also, there's a few aesthetical oddnesses. The cannon smoke when a fireball hits a wall is kind of funny lol. Also congrats for managing to make sprites disappear with SA-1, I guess.


I personally don't think this level is even close to the worst ones. It wasn't even in my green doors list (which is why it has only been added in the update, and I heard the door doesn't actually work? lol)

EDIT: uhh, I think I put my score wrong in my chart??
Last edited by Koopster on 30 Jan 2017, 22:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Voltgloss » 2 years ago

I watched raocow's whole playthrough of Moontop Metonymy and I *still* don't understand what the message box was trying to convey about how to speed up the cloud. I also searched in vain for any actual metonymy.
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

Voltgloss wrote:I watched raocow's whole playthrough of Moontop Metonymy and I *still* don't understand what the message box was trying to convey about how to speed up the cloud. I also searched in vain for any actual metonymy.
I think it's a real roundabout way of saying that clouds transfer your airbound momentum into it, and by holding forward in the air in the right way, you can push the cloud forward. Also, it would be incredibly difficult to make the concept of metonymy within a level in the first place. I have never even heard of that word before now.

But to clarify on my critique now that I have had time to think, this level is not a pile of garbage. Just deeply flawed to the point in which the good intent of the level can be deeply ruined. There are elements of good level design in there, such as the coin trails. But the level so blatantly ignores the horizontal limits of the Lakitu cloud that it alienates a good portion of the Mario-playing audience...

I am aware that this is a Vanilla Level Contest, but some levels work so much better with custom assets... This is one of those levels. So much so that I can see this level being in the top 30% of entries if it had the codes to make the cloud manually speed up, along with fixing those graphics on the cloud itself. Heck, it could reach the top 10 if those changes improved the other parts of the level. That's the degree to how much good controls matter; games live and die by how fluid the controls are. This is why some platformers feel so good to play; getting that feeling of responsiveness just right is not an easy task, but pays dividends.
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

Voltgloss wrote:I watched raocow's whole playthrough of Moontop Metonymy and I *still* don't understand what the message box was trying to convey about how to speed up the cloud. I also searched in vain for any actual metonymy.
I have thought extensively about what this metonymy may be since I first played the level, and my best theory is: moontop = top of the moon = crust = effrontery = what Daizo had to have to make this level.
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Really didn't enjoy this level. The way to speed up the cloud was painful IMO and barely even worked, and even though there's an explanation in the text box, it was pretty confusing. Even with the coin guides, it was occasionally unclear where to go. I never really managed to avoid the saw wall at the beginning either. It felt like this level was about finding the best two spots to tank hits and abusing the shortness of the level. Many obstacles were repeated more than necessary with little variation, too. This level is designed as if it is fast paced, but the sluggishness of the cloud really ruins that.

I still don't think it deserved worst world. I'm fine with the position it got.

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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

Voltgloss wrote:I watched raocow's whole playthrough of Moontop Metonymy and I *still* don't understand what the message box was trying to convey about how to speed up the cloud. I also searched in vain for any actual metonymy.
If I'm understanding it correctly I think it means that when you hold up+forward and tap jump it makes it so you jump and thus increase in speed but you almost immediately land back in the cloud which keeps that momentum temporarily so it boosts your cloud speed to higher than what it normally can manage. Seems like an extremely awkward mechanic to try and make use of though, especially in a hectic situation.

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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

Hey look it's my bad level!!!

This level is kind of a trainwreck. There's a lot of just random garbage thrown everywhere and it has the exact same aesthetic issues I complain about all the time (march 2016 me was even stupider). I regret not using those slide blocks more. I kinda just wasted what could have been a cool level.

I guess it was kinda rushed because my original level was kinda even worse, it was this gauntlet fortress thing, with even more just random ideas and not thought through design. I replaced it at the last second because I realized why it was bad.

I'm still salty over ninja boy's score tho because I guess short cave is a way better level
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

46th: FISH IN SPACE!!!! by snoruntpyro
Nimono
DESIGN: 21/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 8/10
TOTAL: 49/60
FIIIISH IIIIN SPAAAAAAACE! Loved the level from start to finish! Really liked how you used the clouds for power sliding, though the difficulty seemed off at times. Autoscroll didn't give much leeway at times, and the dolphins can be tough to jump onto at the right time. Overall enjoyable.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 27/60
The graphics in this level aren't anything spectacular but the acceleration blocks where a nice touch and creative however the acceleration blocks should of been a bigger focal point and included more long distance jumps that you need speed of more quick time like events. The design of the level could be more dynamic and the screen scrolling section just felt like it wasted the acceleration blocks as they just aren't needed to be used really and just slows down the level when it's main focus is speed.

Eternity
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 36/60
Some of these gimmicks are super creative (the accelerator blocks in particular), but I feel they could be expanded on a bit more. Some of them also don't really add a lot to the level - quite a few of the dolphins feel out of place, for example, and the fishing boo section also could be handled better. Other than that, it's certainly a pretty fun level.

OTHER: I love non-water fish levels, pretty cool to see someone actually did one.

Koopster
DESIGN: 23/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 47/60
This is a very interesting level! Good usage of sprites in general. The sliding sections are also super fun. I think you could've gone further with your gimmicks though. I mean, you did neat things with them at times, but at the same time the level felt a little too basic and straight-forward.

85th: HAUNTED WOODS by Gabriel Yanni
Nimono
DESIGN: 18/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 36/60
So spooky. This really felt like it could've been a real level from the original game! I kinda like that. At the same time, however, it felt a bit...plain due to it. That's not to say this is a bad level, though!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 10/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 25/60
Fairly basic level straight forward but felt a little short.

Eternity
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 35/60
Decent level, but it could (and should) have done a lot more with the haunted theme, as it feels a tad generic as it is. The Boo Ring doesn't really work as a final obstacle, either. It both wasn't used before in the level and adds some unnecessary waiting, breaking the level's flow.

Koopster
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 9/20
AESTHETICS: 6/10
TOTAL: 28/60
This is a forest level that uses the ghost house sprite tileset. Other than that, it essentially does nothing! Straight-forward and basic as it gets D:


Pyro's level is one example of "overdecoration" that doesn't really hinder gameplay that much. I stand by thinking the level is pretty nice, but perhaps not a 47 in my metric lol
And the other level happened
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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Mata Hari » 2 years ago

Fish In Space is very much my kind of level because I am very much about putting enemies in inappropriate settings. It reminds me of the SMM level I made about underwater moles. Good times.

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Re: VLDC9 - vendace lunacy discomposed copses 9

Postby 10204307 » 2 years ago

The fish level is cute and fun in the first half, but at the same time a bit confused as to what it's trying to do. More focus on the accelerator blocks would've been nice, because I found them to be the most enjoyable part of the level.

The cloud level would've worked fine in a hack where the cloud's speed was increased through hex editing or levelASM or something, but sadly, in a vanilla hack, Lakitu cloud levels are simply impossible to make fun. The cloud moves too slowly for Mario to successfully navigate through obstacles like that.

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Re: VLDC9 - vendace lunacy discomposed copses 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Fish in Space was a nice, relaxing level. It's one of those levels that manages to be fairly easy yet interesting and fun at the same time. I think the Fishing Boo was used fairly well, and the accelerator blocks were pretty cool. I would have preferred the first room to be extended with tougher obstacles with the accelerator blocks towards the second half of that room, and the third room to be cut out even though it was fun in its own right. Although more could have been done with the accelerator blocks, I still think the second room did a good job of making them less straightforward by throwing in "munchers" and scrolling. I also like this sort of aesthetic, despite some overdecoration.

The other level was a lot like a vanilla SMW level and it had — wait, everybody has already gone over this? I'll shut up now.

Weird how a world filled with castles doesn't end like one, unlike a lot of the other worlds.

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Re: VLDC9 - vandalized liftoffs dangerous cruising 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

Pyro wrote:Hey look it's my bad level!!!

This level is kind of a trainwreck. There's a lot of just random garbage thrown everywhere and it has the exact same aesthetic issues I complain about all the time (march 2016 me was even stupider). I regret not using those slide blocks more. I kinda just wasted what could have been a cool level.

I guess it was kinda rushed because my original level was kinda even worse, it was this gauntlet fortress thing, with even more just random ideas and not thought through design. I replaced it at the last second because I realized why it was bad.

I'm still salty over ninja boy's score tho because I guess short cave is a way better level
I feel like quoting you for some reason because I feel like I missed the boat and whatever.

Your level isn't bad at all. Fish in spaaaaace is a great and funny concept, and it was certainly realized here. Sure, there were things you could have done better, such as the water star section, but I really like the rest. You even made a Fishing Fish guy section I don't mind. And at least the rocks strewn on the ground have a purpose. The only other problem I have is that the golden stars paired with the water stars makes it a bit hard to concentrate, but it isn't neon flashing blue bad. I think you did good.

Haunted Woods has nice music, is a nice place, could have had a good gimmick and better dragon coins, and is overall nice. Yeah, it kind of happened, but there are ways to change that. These types of entries are the ones I like, though. It's better to blend in than to pop out in a rude manner. Some bad levels do that! How dare they... In a way, this level is just like Diddy Kong Racing... it ends as soon as it begins...
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raocow wrote:I know there is a population on Earth. They like to populate. I like to gesticulate. We're friends!
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(It was about time)

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morsel/morceau
Posts: 373
Joined: 10 years ago
Location: exotic horse island

Re: VLDC9 - vendace lunacy discomposed copses 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

These 'brown platforms floating on water' are often misunderstood. A common error is to continually jump on them when they are floating on lava, in the hope that this will prevent them from sinking (in fact it makes them sink further). A less common error (I've only seen it happen once) is to think that holding a shell makes you heavier and will help the platform sink further (in fact it doesn't).

The secret exit in Kuso Line is very obvious if you've seen the movie Sleepy Hollow (starring raocow as the voice of the horseman).
dont wanna jihad no more

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Voltgloss
The first story's end.
Posts: 995
Joined: 6 years ago
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: exploring the world

Re: VLDC9 - vendace lunacy discomposed copses 9

Postby Voltgloss » 2 years ago

raocow was secretly Christopher Walken all this time? That explains a lot.
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