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VLDC9 - vanilla level design contest 9

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Nimono
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

raocow wrote:
Nimono wrote: (Speaking of which, raocow, let me know if you want to play it- I can send you a .zip containing each ROM, labelled in order of submission and stating who made the level!)
very yes please. It won't be the next project obviously but I super want to do that eventually!
Alrighty then! I'll get ya that .zip pronto! Slight change, though- I'll order them by placement instead of submission order, since I just remembered you like to play contest entries that way.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Kowkarot » 2 years ago

raocow wrote:also people who said today's level is the worst level in the game are crazy. The worst is Flash Back by a landslide.
Objectively speaking, yes, while Sky at the Weird had some good ideas that just failed because of the execution and bad decisions, Flash Black was doomed to fail from the start. The secret exit by itself is the worst thing ever. I just tolerated it a bit more since my soul was already dead by then, since Sky at the Weird killed it earlier.

Also, I kind of feel bad for Square Land. Which, while it didn't do anything groundbreaking, it didn't really do anything that bad either. It's a kind of ok level that was sandwitched between two of the most hated things in the hack. Sometimes I even forget it's there.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby nothobz » 2 years ago

raocow wrote:very yes please.
my custom music version crashes every minute or so :oops: so you might want to play this one https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/548 ... dchobz.bps

It'll still crash when you run out of time :oops: so maybe leave a savestate on the overworld.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Wind Fish » 2 years ago

Nimono wrote: (Speaking of which, raocow, let me know if you want to play it- I can send you a .zip containing each ROM, labelled in order of submission and stating who made the level!).
Please don't suggest LPing CLDC 2016. I want to forget how terrible I did.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Pyro » 2 years ago

raocow wrote: also people who said today's level is the worst level in the game are crazy. The worst is Flash Back by a landslide.
I told you there was a level in abstract world that was impossible to like :P
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Unlike Matterhorn, which is fun for people who like difficult levels, this level really, really isn't fun for anybody. I definitely don't think it's the worst level in the contest, but I also think the scores in the Design category were way too high (mine would be 5-10ish). I found the lakitu in the last room to be incredibly luck-reliant and the bullet generator in the midpoint room to be unnecessary. Generators (I'll count the lakitu as a generator in this level) are really unfun when your movements are so restricted because you can't place yourself in a way that allows you to react to all the different things that could happen. There's a lot of comments on YouTube saying that raocow could have manipulated the lakitu, but I question how many of those players have actually played the level; it's really hard to do any manipulation when you only have a handful of movement options. Maybe some of them can do it though, IDK.

I don't think enough thought was put into the scrolling room. I'm not even sure the designer had a strong idea of what path(s) could be used to get through it, as it appears to just be a mostly random collection of stuff, jumps that don't quite work right, and parts that require psychic abilities.

The one saving grace this level has is the secret exit, which is actually a pretty fun swimming level (and the only reason why my imaginary design score isn't below 5). Like in the other areas, your movement options are limited, but here it enhances the level by forcing you to manipulate the fish and chucks carefully and think through your actions. Unlike everywhere else in the level, you are given the tools and the time to make the correct decisions. Given the rest of the level though, I'm not sure how much of this was intentional design and how much was a broken clock being right twice a day.

I also think this level is worse than Flash Black, although not by much.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Divemissile » 2 years ago

i'm glad rao is gonna play the cldc '16 entries, my level in there is a LOT better than the ones i made in magl3 and vldc9

also, wow the level today was really bad. i liked the overall land aesthetic but the sprite edits reek of "hey i discovered yy-chr today and i wanna be abstract!" it doesn't help that some of them just make no sense gameplay-wise (why are dolphin tails munchers and rip van fishes spinies?). and, like everyone else has said, it's designed horribly as well

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby ft029 » 2 years ago

To all Youtube comments section people: Manipulating an offscreen lakitu while doing precise jumps off vines is as hard as... wow, I can't even think of a good analogy because it's just that difficult.

smh
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Kowkarot » 2 years ago

ft029 wrote:To all Youtube comments section people: Manipulating an offscreen lakitu while doing precise jumps off vines is as hard as... wow, I can't even think of a good analogy because it's just that difficult.
They are either godlike good at smw or they just assume things by watching. Most likely the latter.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Mad Zookeeper » 2 years ago

i'm... honestly having trouble understanding the problems with the dolphin tails. if you just pay attention to the way they're placed and used, it's obvious that they're going to hurt you. i mean, i knew as soon as i saw the first one, oh... munchers. k. the spiny fish though... yea. that one was just mean.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby TRS » 2 years ago

I didn't have a problem figuring out what everything did in the level. I guess that's just me though, as that's a common complaint.

Hyped @CLDC eventually.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Lockirby2 » 2 years ago

Mad Zookeeper wrote:i'm... honestly having trouble understanding the problems with the dolphin tails. if you just pay attention to the way they're placed and used, it's obvious that they're going to hurt you. i mean, i knew as soon as i saw the first one, oh... munchers. k. the spiny fish though... yea. that one was just mean.
I figured that the fish were spinies right away given that they were red and that you can't normally jump on fish. I wasn't sure about the dolphin tail, but I jumped into it deliberately anyways to know for sure because I couldn't care less about a death right at the start of the level (so that didn't bother me as much as the level's other flaws).

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

GlitchMr wrote:Yeah, normal exit of FLASH BLACK is garbage. I didn't want to mention that, to not suggest things.

But the secret exit is much worse than that. I'm not even sure how it managed to do so. This is why I put many uppercase requests to not play the secret exit. I don't think many people want angrycow for 4 hours, and then use the goal room to get it. No, that's not a joke.
So for those of us who haven't played it, can someone explain why the secret exit is actually so bad? Basically everyone has simply said it's trash, which seems likely, but haven't bothered explaining why that's the case.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Money » 2 years ago

Two colors. If the flashing was between two colors and not three, the level might be halfway salvageable. At least that way you'd have at least SOME form of idea where you are at all times. But no, because it's three colors you're always playing at least 1/3 blind (assuming you know the general layout of what's around you with the color off and the color that's on). Add to this being forced to do really janky platforming that is predicated on not knowing where everything is in relation to you and having to wait ridiculous amounts of time for everything to line up juuuuuust right, and yeah. Just a bad level all around.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby S.N.N. » 2 years ago

Alice wrote:So for those of us who haven't played it, can someone explain why the secret exit is actually so bad? Basically everyone has simply said it's trash, which seems likely, but haven't bothered explaining why that's the case.
I don't know if raocow ended up showing it (haven't watched the video yet), but if not:

You have to bring a key from halfway through the first area all the way back to close to the start. The key is hidden above the ceiling in a spot you wouldn't think to jump, and once you actually have it, you have to do a lot of very awful-feeling maneuvers to get back to near the start, where you have to press a P-Switch at a spot that has no indication whatsoever to make a bridge to a keyhole. You're basically juggling two items around not knowing what to do with them.

It's quite literally the definition of guessing blindly.

edit: the switch is used at 7:55 in the video, at the two vines.
edit 2: and the key is over the roof past the cement block at 9:48
Last edited by S.N.N. on 12 Feb 2017, 13:57, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Alice » 2 years ago

S.N.N. wrote:It's quite literally the definition of guessing blindly.
Well I guess it at least had the level's gimmick in mind, lol.

This level really is unfortunate because it's an interesting idea but I get the feeling that even if it were executed well it still would be pretty unpopular. And it definitely wasn't executed well in this case.
Last edited by Alice on 12 Feb 2017, 14:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Nimono » 2 years ago

i didn't have fun judging this level at all! and i had to look in the editor to find the secret exit, too! i gave up when i saw that :D
Wind Fish wrote: Please don't suggest LPing CLDC 2016. I want to forget how terrible I did.
Uh? You don't want to remember your pun that was so awesome it gave me hiccups? :p

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Divemissile » 2 years ago

i like the concept of FLASH BACK. making a more strategic mario level, where you have to think before you leap, sounds cool. however, the only real way to do it right would be to make the level short and not as much janky platforming in it. like, after playing it on my first shot i was like "wow, this is a cool and pretty level!" and after a couple deaths i got the feeling that it was just going to be a lot of waiting. i was right. if there was a better way to tell where you're going, like say taking the yellow color and putting it in either the red or blue, i could see this being a good deal higher and better.

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

I think I know what's going on with the scores: Jack grabbed old versions of our judging files for the official scoring, and in my case, he released an updated commentary file with updated scores. I can tell because the .xls of my scoring that I have matches up with the scores in the commentary. So I suggest paying attention to my commentary scores instead since that's what I would actually have given the levels... (for example, ft's level would be a 37 rather than a 41)
Now I wonder how much the contest would've changed if my updates went through. Probably not much, though.

78th: SQUARE LAND by Wind Fish
Nimono
DESIGN: 21/30
CREATIVITY: 15/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 40/60
The level is fun to play, but aesthetically, it leaves a lot to be desired... I don't feel the blocky look really works out.

ninja boy
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 12/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 28/60
The enemies looked really good with a neon theme but the level itself was just ugly and hard to look at with all the dotted outlines.

Eternity
DESIGN: 12/30
CREATIVITY: 11/20
AESTHETICS: 4/10
TOTAL: 27/60
Not the best level concept, and the execution is... average too. It could be a pretty fun level if done right, but the red blocks end up not being much different from muncher spam, adding a fair bit of artificial difficulty to the level. It's fairly short too, and ends before it could do anything interesting with its gimmick (which ended up being only a visual thing, unfortunately).

Koopster
DESIGN: 16/30
CREATIVITY: 13/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 36/60
My first reaction was "oh boy"... I didn't think you could make anything look good with those blocks as the only foreground in the stage, but it did look pretty cool with the cave BG and the neon sprites. The first half was kind of cramped at times. The second half felt like it was going somewhere, but then... it ended. It's far easier than the first half, too. I feel there was more potential to this!

73rd: FLASH BLACK by Chill Pingu
Nimono
DESIGN: 5/30
CREATIVITY: 13/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 28/60
Tough level. A jump before the midpoint is very, VERY tough to make since there's no indication where the ground is, even with coins like every other area... And that's pretty far into the level! On top of that, the level is a marathon, and the Key location is very obtuse, as is the Keyhole. Who would think to bring them BACK through the level...?

ninja boy
DESIGN: 26/30
CREATIVITY: 20/20
AESTHETICS: 10/10
TOTAL: 56/60
This is an amazing level which challenges the player to take it slow and remember the surroundings. The only problem I had with it is going up the note blocks near the end since some of them become unreachable once they hit the left hand wall making you fall all the way down to start again.

Eternity
DESIGN: 15/30
CREATIVITY: 17/20
AESTHETICS: 7/10
TOTAL: 39/60
If this was done with just two colors it would probably work out a lot better, but right now it just involves way too much waiting to be fun. I'm not particularly against slow paced levels, but this one is just dragged down a lot by how it was done. It's particularly bad in the layer 2 sections later on (and even more in the blue note blocks part). The idea certainly has a lot of potential, but right now I don't think it was executed very well.

Koopster
DESIGN: 1/30
CREATIVITY: 10/20
AESTHETICS: 1/10
TOTAL: 12/60
Yeah, as blunt as this sounds, this gimmick flat out doesn't work. My biggest issues in the first half (which is about where I played without savescumming) were the blind drops and then that insane spin-jumping section where you also have to race the P-switch. The second half seemed to be doing better with the disappearing cement blocks, but then you added in more sections with layer 2 shenanigans and it just felt it would never end. The amount of attention, memorization and luck this requires is insane and just drained all the fun from me. That's really unfortunate; I think if you had designed this a LOT differently, this gimmick might have worked, but as-is, this is a no-no! :< Also, I have no absolute clue how I am slightly supposed to figure out that secret exit without peeking in Lunar Magic.


It's really kinda unfortunate for Square Land to be here, lol. The level starts out nice, but after the midpoint I think it loses focus. Chucks are green for some reason, which makes no sense with the color instructions given! Also, green blocks are quite useless. If they were made climbable or something it would be a lot nicer. I felt this idea had a lot of potential.
And that was a lot of endurance, raocow. I gave up on the P-switch part. I recently played the level up to the layer 2 section legit, but after dying there I decided not to continue. The level is definitely beatable, though.

For the next video: people have been warning you about the next level, but I honestly don't think it's very bad, it's just hard. On the tier of Funky Floats I'd say. Feel free to finish the world tomorrow, as the final castle is easy (not extremely easy, but it's not hard at all either)
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby jayScribble » 2 years ago

Alice wrote:This level really is unfortunate because it's an interesting idea but I get the feeling that even if it were executed well it still would be pretty unpopular. And it definite wasn't executed well in this case.
I think the execution didn't go so well because it did not flow so well as well as the random choice of colors for certain blocks and spikes. There's too much waiting and memorization for the player to do and in certain sections one of the colors were missing, forcing more waiting. Not to mention the slow frequency of the colors showing.

For example, at the one tile block jumps section, it would have been fine if the block colors appeared in succession for the next ones to see, but instead it's seemingly random colors for the blocks.
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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Grounder » 2 years ago

noot noot motherfuckers
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: VLDC9 - vast lookouts descriptive checkers 9

Postby FrozenQuills » 2 years ago

Even in beta test speedrunning I've never attempted the secret exit (and that was with savestates), because I keep hearing how bad it is.
Yeah. Flash Black has severe problems with its gimmick. Might be salvageable with 2 colors but still needs a full redesign.

Meanwhile Square Land is sorta neat and simple but at the same time sorta there.
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Re: VLDC9 - vast lookouts descriptive checkers 9

Postby Koopster » 2 years ago

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Re: VLDC9 - vertiginous latticework donning creatures 9

Postby Kowkarot » 2 years ago

Koopster wrote:For the next video: people have been warning you about the next level, but I honestly don't think it's very bad, it's just hard. On the tier of Funky Floats I'd say. Feel free to finish the world tomorrow, as the final castle is easy (not extremely easy, but it's not hard at all either)
I'd be surprised if raocow doesn't like that level. It's hard and all, but in a good way. And it'll probably feel even better after playing Flash Black.

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Re: VLDC9 - vast lookouts descriptive checkers 9

Postby xfix » 2 years ago

Please keep in mind while viewing secret exit guide that walking over a level in many levels was unintended (for a recent example, Sky at the Weird). In this one, there is no hint that you can walk on ceiling.


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