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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby zagesaw » 2 years ago

Oh boy Abstract World. This was by far the most painful world to play in the contest. The dolphin house level is my most disliked level in the contest. Not surprised that the cave level took you 90 minutes to complete. I outright skipped that one. There is also judging shenanigans going on due to the difficulty.

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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Both of these levels well deserve their positions. It's nice to see a level use autoscrolling so elegantly, and my thoughts on the level are the same as... basically everybody else that mentioned it in this thread.

The second level used physics in cool ways.

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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby Reb » 2 years ago

Lockirby2 wrote:It's nice to see a level use autoscrolling so elegantly
Yeah, this was a really fantastic reminder that autoscroll levels can be great, as long as the person working on the level knows what they're doing.
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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby AUS » 2 years ago

Vaporworld is definitely best designed world that I've seen thus far.

Looking forward to Best.
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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby tirakai » 2 years ago

I'm surprised raocow didn't sit on the map for a bit at the end and let the singing music play briefly after having mentioned it in the description of yesterday's video. It would've pushed the video past the 7 minute mark.

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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby Grounder » 2 years ago

vaporware

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vaporwave




Learn the difference; it could save your life!
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I am perfectly tasty...

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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

I don't think warning about levels in aesthetic world is worth it, because there aren't that many of levels that should NOT be warned about to do now (the ones that don't need a warning are: one marked with cube blocks and right side of a castle).

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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby Stink Terios » 2 years ago

Everybody dump vaporwave now tia

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Re: VLDC9 - vats leaked dockyards conveyed 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

really liked the creative use of vanilla aesthetics in both levels in this part
and yeah the only levels that don't require a difficulty warning at this point are the cube one and the very last level in this world. have fun :D
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Re: VLDC9 - vaporish lagoons delightful chucks 9

Postby morsel/morceau » 2 years ago

BobisOnlyBob wrote:The explorer Christopher Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain: in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502
It's funny raocow said that about Columbus to-day, because in the third voyage he thought he'd found not the Sea of Eden but one of the four rivers of Eden (it was actually the Orinioco, of course) -- see the novel The Earthly Paradise by CS Forester.
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Re: VLDC9 - vats leaked dockyards conveyed 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

May as well post the comments for the first two levels of the day right away before discussion shifts completely!

36th: SEA OF EDEN by nathanrayman1998
Nimono
DESIGN: 20/30
CREATIVITY: 14/20
AESTHETICS: 5/10
TOTAL: 39/60
Very cool level, although the last two segments were a bit eye-searing with the full-black blocks and the bright background... Still, the level was really fun, and I liked the idea of the boat!

ninja boy
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 9/10
TOTAL: 40/60
I really liked this level very creative with the boat but the only thing I wish is that you didn't slide off of it, I took a couple cheap hits and a cheap death because of that, not your fault though byproduct of the original game.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 13/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 35/60
I think the ship could be used more creatively, not many areas actually required the player to use it. The fish generator also doesn't really work well as an obstacle in this level, mostly because it's not really fun to avoid - it usually works better when used with a star or somethhing like that. The obstacles overall were also a bit too static and didn't provide much of a challenge, other than the Volcano Lotuses. The level was super nice graphically, though.

Koopster
DESIGN: 24/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 50/60
This is one of the best levels in athmosphere I have seen in a while. The slow-paced music goes really well with the shadow effect in the later sections. The level design goes perfectly with that setup. It is very simple, but it offers as much danger as you should expect from the pace at play. A very chill and relaxing experience~

24th: FABULATORY by Eminus
Nimono
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 16/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 41/60
Wow! Really enjoyed how the enemies were combined, fitting the whole laboratory theme! Found it kinda unsettling...but in a good way! For the gameplay, though...there wasn't much to it! Really wish it had been something more than just simple left-to-right with enemies' heads swapped.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 13/30
CREATIVITY: 19/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 39/60
This level was just odd… I mean it was a decent level well built a little short but just odd…

Eternity
DESIGN: 26/30
CREATIVITY: 18/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 54/60
Aesthetically, this is simply mindblowing. It doesn't even feel like a vanilla level at this point, to be honest, but it still looks really nice. The level's also really fun to play through, even if a bit simple. I do feel it's a bit short, though, there are a lot of sprites used and they could be used a bit more.

Koopster
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 43/60
Haha, this was so neat! Took me a bit to realise this was some sort of crazy laboratory where living things get merged and created or something and I really dig that concept - very original. The graphical work to replicate a lab is also amazing. Though the level is really short and doesn't do much, but it did feel it was going somewhere since you introduced a lot of mechanics that might have gone well together.


Both are levels that rely heavily on aesthetics. I feel guilty for scoring the first one so high.
Second one is especially flat and simple for what it could've been!!
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Re: VLDC9 - vats leaked dockyards conveyed 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

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Re: VLDC9 - vats leaked dockyards conveyed 9

Postby Ivy » 2 years ago

Props to raocow for staying in character while all these nerds try to impress vaporwave upon him
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Re: VLDC9 - viridian landscapes drizzly coagulations 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

QubicTom wrote:
raocow wrote:and there will be a second, much longer video with a level that took an hour and a half to beat in the evening slot.
Wait, a level taking an hour and a half to beat is the exception, not the rule?! :lol: Can I borrow your skills please? :D
But seriously, you made today's two levels look easy when I'm sure that they're supposed to be on the difficult side. Getting all the dragon coins in that autoscroller on the first try was fantastic. I wish I could play like that!
With your current skill, I think you can beat Parachutist Plains in one try. The level is made in such a way that it is very difficult to mess up, so props to Darkdlp. It's probably one of the best levels in pure design, even if it looks messy. It's just such a beautiful use of autoscroll.

Matterhorn is certainly a thing. I found it quite fun except for a few of the minigames, but after I had overcome the frustration, it was pretty awesome.
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Re: VLDC9 - vats leaked dockyards conveyed 9

Postby Grounder » 2 years ago

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leaked picture of matterhorn sequel
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Pretty much what everyone thinks of matterhorn:
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

I loved Matterhorn (one of my favorites in VLDC9, I loved playing this level despite its insane difficulty), and I think that if this level was any reasonable for average person, it would be easily Top 10 (source: Lazy did get third place in VLDC8 and first place in MaGL3).

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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

88th: MATTERHORN by Lazy
Nimono
DESIGN: 0/30
CREATIVITY: 2/20
AESTHETICS: 3/10
TOTAL: 5/60
Way too difficult for the average person.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 6/30
CREATIVITY: 13/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 23/60
This level is creative I will give it that but it more than over stayed it welcome with all the minigames and just horrendous platform portions. This was just not fun to play and the palettes were pretty eye searing.

Eternity
DESIGN: 26/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 9/10
TOTAL: 55/60
Man, this one was... a bit insane difficulty-wise, but still incredibly fun. Most of the difficulty is fair, but the level length might be a bit extreme which can make the player repeat a fair bit of the level in case he dies. Other than that, the setups are brilliant and aesthetically it's awesome as well.

Koopster
DESIGN: 4/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 31/60
This level's most obvious problem is that it's either twice or thrice the length it should be, or it needed at least three or four more midpoints (considering the creativity of the level in general, I'm sure you'd be able to pull that off). It's EXTREMELY clever in general, and the minigames are super interesting, and to an extent, fun (the first and last two minigames were super finicky though). The level portions, however, do not correspond to the length of the level and the amount of content that has to be redone if you die on them. This goes especially to the areas after the minigames. I think they are well designed, but many obstacles felt as they were the "die to learn" type (too little reaction/thinking time), which as you could guess, does not help to reduce the stress in the slightest!

And for the grand finale, I discover that the moon actually belongs to Switzerland. Good.


FUN FACTS ABOUT THE HORN OF MATTER

As the judging was anonymous, we got the levels in the form of numbered ROMs. I very well remember Matterhorn was 040.smc. I was playing the levels in a random order, but for the others who weren't, it must have been fun to face that and 041.smc, woah radicola, right next.

I left those two levels for last in my judging - radicola first, and then this thing. I had played up until the bit after the first minigame and got so overwhelmed I decided I'd not play it at that point. Still, I haven't completed this level without tools.

My scoring for this level is probably the one I still agree with the most, other than I would have given at least one more point for aesthetics and docked one more from design. I wanted to keep a good balance and a deserved score, but I love how it looks too much for a 7.

This level has the biggest score discrepancy in the contest - a 5 versus a 55! The second biggest discrepancy is in this world too, and it's between the other two judges. That will be interesting (but not really)

I'm dumb and because I didn't know Matterhorn is a mountain, I thought I was on the moon instead

Lazy is still my favorite level designer
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

Oof, that's a level where the designer needed to keep in mind the concept of moderation... It was really creative but it was doomed to not do terribly well in the contest since it's so difficult plus so long.

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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Lazy_ » 2 years ago

So this! I have nothing to say in my defense, so cast your stones please.

This is what happens when you refuse to let go of flawed ideas and neglect to get playtesters. Sorry to everyone who had to suffer through this! If I had known about hidden 1up and moon midpoints at the time, I would've added them in an instant, but alas.
Despite everything, I wouldn't say that I regret making this because a) it was a learning experience and b) this contest was so badly judged that I don't even mind placing low. I also like to think of this level as a turning point im my level design career; I've been getting a lot of feedback over the last year and my design skills have improved a lot.

I can assure you that this year, the Swiss prerogative will be a different one. (e: or should I say the Swedish prerogative?)
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Zephyr_DragonLord » 2 years ago

I like how all of you are still going on about this world being vaporware/vaporwave... it's clearly Dream Land.
Ah, the Swiss prerogative.. I'll look forward to seeing that.

Levels today are:

Sea of Eden is nice. The background and the moving ship work together to create a very nice atmosphere of the ship flowing through the sea... The gameplay is slightly above par, but that's good anyways. I can tell that there were a few minor sacrifices made for variety, which is nice. There wasn't too much to the level, which is fine. Nothing was wrong here, and it presented a solid gimmick. Good job with this one.

Fabluatory has a GREAT aesthetic, in my opinion. It feels just like a mad scientist's laboratory, and the green vats suspending the enemies and the bizarre enemies push this forward. It's very short, but what's there is top notch. Very nice work.

Matterhorn... someday I'm going to compile all of these nightmare levels and make one huge mess. But that's for another millennium. For now, there's this. It is certainly not bad due to a failing in ideas... this level had plenty of those. However, the common man is pushed asunder here. There is very little safe space, and some of the most unique obstacles to come out of a SMW level are present... in high doses. This is rather like awesomeness poisoning; too much of a good thing is bad. We saw that here. The structure and design of this level was great... but there's too much of it. This could easily be split up into three very good levels. But you know... I'm glad this was made.
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Ashan » 2 years ago

Okay, so sure. The level was too long for the lack of midpoints and had a lot of trial and error, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. I personally probably wouldn't enjoy playing through that blind without any savestates, but can we all agree that Nimono giving it a 2/20 for creativity is wrong? Can we say that that's crossing the point of an opinion being objectively wrong? If you don't like the level, whatever, but a 2/20 for creativity? I've followed SMW hacking for almost a decade now and that's one of the most creative uses of the vanilla engine I've ever seen. So many sprites and layer shenanigans used in ways I've never seen used before. Sure, dock it heavily in the design section for the actual gripe, but that 5/60 score seems like a big personal "fuck you" because it was too hard, so he/she just gave zeroes across the board, which I think is bad judging. I find that a hundred times worse than ninjaboy docking points for an unclear puzzle level.
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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

With your current skill, I think you can beat Parachutist Plains in one try.
Yeah, I think if Tom is going to be beating levels quicker than an hour and a half, he needs to borrow raocow's video game, not his skills. :P

The first two levels are held together by their aesthetics providing a common theme.

Sea of Eden is calm and relaxing, which works to an extent. However, there were some parts that I felt like I was doing absolutely nothing. It's a great concept that was pulled off decently well.

The second level was fairly standard and rompy in terms of design, but the use of the test tubes and hybrid enemies made the level feel a lot more creative and fresh.

Matterhorn is creative and really fun to play – if you enjoy endgame difficulty JUMP levels. If you don't... you're gonna have a bad time. Honestly though, I think that if raocow cut the video off at the midpoint and finished the rest tomorrow, he would have enjoyed it a lot more. It's only after the midpoint where he started to misread every single obstacle (although I misread a lot too, the level isn't too friendly to first timers), missed the powerup (you have to throw the ice block upwards through the water in an arc to hit the switch block), and started playing carelessly overall (which is completely fair, as it's really hard to play well when you're burned out).

Overall, it's in the same boat as Woah Radicola for me in that I agree with its placement more or less because it wasn't a good fit for this contest, but I still enjoyed the level. The level was already too long, so I think the level would be better if he scrapped the parts between the minigame caves and the midpoint/end of the level. Because it's hard to die in the minigame rooms, having these come just before you save your progress means that you won't have to redo the long minigames again when dying afterwards. The length of the level would be cut down as well.

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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

Ashan wrote:Okay, so sure. The level was too long for the lack of midpoints and had a lot of trial and error, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. I personally probably wouldn't enjoy playing through that blind without any savestates, but can we all agree that Nimono giving it a 2/20 for creativity is wrong? Can we say that that's crossing the point of an opinion being objectively wrong? If you don't like the level, whatever, but a 2/20 for creativity? I've followed SMW hacking for almost a decade now and that's one of the most creative uses of the vanilla engine I've ever seen. So many sprites and layer shenanigans used in ways I've never seen used before. Sure, dock it heavily in the design section for the actual gripe, but that 5/60 score seems like a big personal "fuck you" because it was too hard, so he/she just gave zeroes across the board, which I think is bad judging. I find that a hundred times worse than ninjaboy docking points for an unclear puzzle level.
First off, he. Also, you missed the thing a while ago where I already admitted that what I did here was wrong.

also just for the record, i never even got to the end of the first section. that's how badly i suck at this level. and why my creativity score was so low. yes, the cave section was super creative- but I never got to that part. the first section just completely drained all of my patience, and I was streaming the entries at the time. I had to move on to not make my viewers lose interest, and I just never looked back because I genuinely thought it was a Kaizo level... In hindsight, it was a mistake, but how can you really know? I held (and still somewhat hold) an opinion that if you have to use savestates to realistically clear a level outside a contest meant for kaizo/extreme difficulty levels, you can already formulate an opinion based on that. But...this level changes that. The first section isn't that creative. Aesthetically, it's great. That's the score I purposefully fudged. But based on my first impression of the level? I genuinely thought that was all there was to it, just a stupidly hard level with little creativity. I was wrong and never found out until now.

It's less that I suck at gaming and more that I have no tolerance for kaizo-types entered into VLDC because we keep seeing people purposefully entering them for the sake of forcing the judges to play them (exact words from one person who did that), and that irritates me massively- this level just hit a raw nerve, basically. So did WOAH RADICOLA. It didn't help that one came right after this one. The minute I saw it? I instantly went "NOPE" and moved on. Didn't even try. I was super irritated at that point...

Also don't take any of this as justification- none of what I did was justified.

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Re: VLDC9 - valiant long diabolical colossus 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

Nimono wrote:The first section isn't that creative.
What are you even saying?

-the 1up puzzle
-thwimps through layer 2
-avoiding oscillating bubbles
-avoiding meticulously calculated spinies and lakitus and waiting for a spiny to push the red koopa far enough so that Mario can get through
-lakitus are still a threat afterward
-jumping underneath the jumping fish
-shell kicker destroys magikoopa magic
-using floating rip van fish to stall the player so that he or she has to run under the 4 thwimps
-using bouncing chucks, spinies, and charging chucks to blockade areas
-jumping on lakitus
-more calculated spiny eggs that will change the direction of the jumping fish
-green paratroopas going through layer 2 and water that helps slow their jumps down
-waiting on a platform while avoiding rip van fish, and then jumping off after the fish are gone and also because the lakitu eggs would hit Mario on the platform
-going back and forth on a floating platform while avoiding spiny eggs falling from the sky

I seldom / never see any of this done, and it's all extraordinarily clever in every single way possible. Come on man.
Thankfully the 5/60 wasn't justified, but still, your claim that the first section of this level isn't creative is just flat out incorrect.
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