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MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

would you like to participate in some fun contests? would you like to create some fun contests? well ^_^
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Zha Hong Lang » 2 years ago

Lespna01 wrote: So is this one for SMW like the one last year? What are the dates for it?
You're correct, sorta. MaGL X is more or less a MaGL for SMBX, although it has different expectations due to the way it's been specifically done, and will be done in the case of MaGL X3.

MaGL X3 won't be happening for a little while, so you won't have to be worrying about dates yet. That'll be something to think about in Q3 or Q4, perhaps, but not now.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ohmato » 2 years ago

i'm gettin that gold this time and ain't none of you clowns stoppin me

also i didn't know there was voting going on but i'm glad out of all the clowns sturg won top clownarooni

good job
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Sturg » 2 years ago

Heyo, just a couple of quick questions for y'all, as I am curious about the general opinion of the current gimmick:

  1. Does the current gimmick feel a little too restricting or complicated with having to utilize five lists?
  2. Is there any list you feel needs tweaking and/or clarification?
  3. If you could get rid of any list, which one would it be?
I was generating the full lists today and became suspicious that the gimmick might be a bit overwhelming. Although it is only 1/6 of the total score, is being encouraged to use five different elements a little too much? Just fine?

I already have some alternative solutions in place to remedy the gimmick if the general opinion does sway heavily one way, so feel free to answer these openly.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

I feel like the most questionable list is the second Location. I'm not saying there aren't good ideas that involve combining two locations, just that a single location might work better for some peoples' ideas. Enough that it does seem worth asking the question "should using two locations be an automatic four point bonus".

To be clear, I don't strongly object, and combining locations is a cool idea. This is just the main doubt I have regarding it.

Since people will get more than one word per category, perhaps the last category could be "Your Choice", and participants who use it can pick a second option from any of the other categories? (They can also use more of the options if they want, but they have to specify which ones they want to be scored on.) Just an idea to toss out there.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Ignoritus » 2 years ago

I'd say ditch the verbs. From your example, having words like that seems restrictive and open to way much interpretation. What I perceive as "exploring" others may not, or vice versa.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Sturg » 2 years ago

Dragon Fogel wrote: Since people will get more than one word per category, perhaps the last category could be "Your Choice", and participants who use it can pick a second option from any of the other categories?
This is one of my top alternatives that I've considered.
Ignoritus wrote: I'd say ditch the verbs.
While I don't necessarily fully agree with your point (peeps can explain their reasoning via their explanation file), the Verbs is the list I am currently considering taking to the chopping block. It currently feels a little unnecessary that feels too similar to the adjective list, but again, this is why I'm asking to see what y'all think.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby sedron » 2 years ago

I agree that chopping off the Verb category makes the most sense. The Adjective category covers that well enough. I don't think leaving it in would necessarily make the current gimmick too restrictive but going from 5 lists to 4 makes perfect sense for complexity's sake.

I disagree with the idea of cutting the second Location list. The combination of two locations is I think the most interesting thing about the gimmick as a whole. As long as we have a solid mix of general locations and more specific locations I don't imagine there being any problems with it being restricting.

Beyond that I don't think the gimmick needs much tweaking.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

I'm with Dragon Fogel in saying that the contestants should not be required to design levels with at least two locations. It's odd for Location to be listed twice when the other categories aren't like that. I like Dragon Fogel's idea of a choice category in which the contestant draws an additional term from existing lists, or otherwise having a potpourri category.

Verb does seem to overlap with Adjective, as a verb can easily be turned into an adjective (participle).

Honestly, I prefer bringing back the Thing category, with objects outside the NPC roster for category items.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Ignoritus » 2 years ago

To the contrary I'm going to mirror Sedron's sentiment that double locations creates the most unique and interesting possibilities.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Willhart » 2 years ago

I really like having multiple locations too. That alone makes for bit of a story, since you have to figure out how to move between them.

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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Zygl » 2 years ago

Verbs do seem to overlap with adjectives so I agree with trimming that, but double-locations can be done or not done as an entrant sees fit by just including a 'use an extra one from one of the lists' category so that could be trimmed too... leaving us with only three lists and a wildcard. Not sure if that's desirable, thinking about it, that might be a bit too simplified. >_>
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby pholtos » 2 years ago

I'm imagining like a volcano forest or an ocean lake... and it sounds nifty.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

I absolutely agree that combining locations will lead to a lot of fun ideas. But the flip side is, there are probably people who will be inspired by one location and then not any of the others, and some portion of those people will make a better level if they don't try to shoehorn a second location in for more points.

I don't feel that strongly about this, though. I just think it's something worth bringing up.

Also, if the consensus is for two locations to be the standard, they should probably be in one (possibly longer) list with the header marked "pick two". This way any combination of two locations is acceptable, rather than having N locations in one list and N in the other and having to pick one from each, giving the contestant more options.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby SAJewers » 2 years ago

To me, more than 1 location usually means the level is way too unfocused or way too long; just stick to one idea.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby sedron » 2 years ago

Having two separate location categories doesn't mean you need to make the level such that you travel between multiple locations. I think in practice most people will combine them. Take the sample chart Sturg posted before:

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Looking at the two location lists I'd personally be inspired to make an Iceberg Dance Club. It wouldn't be an ice level that eventually leads into a dance club, but rather the whole level would fit both descriptions. There are a bunch of combinations that I think would work well other than that one, too. Having the creator use only one location is safer and more open-ended, but also way less interesting. I err on the side of promoting interesting design that we wouldn't see otherwise over safe design. This mindset is what led to the naming gimmick of the last two contests.

As for people being inspired by one location but no others, as Dragon Fogel suggested, I think no matter what we do there will be some number of people who aren't inspired by the words they receive. That's okay though! Part of the challenge is you might need to really wrack your brain to figure out what you want to do. Same thing happened to plenty of people with the naming gimmick.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

If people want to get creative with two locations they can, but Dragon Fogel's point is that not everyone would want to do that and they shouldn't have to do that. Remember that the second locations category was originally there for the hard difficulty. And now the difficulty choice is gone.

It just seems strange to have an imbalance where only locations get picked more than once. A choice category or an extra category composed of elements of any type allows players a greater scope if there's to be one more category to spice up the contest.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby sedron » 2 years ago

They can take a hit in points if they don't want to use both locations. That's a legitimate choice to make. As such I don't think "they shouldn't have to" amounts to a good argument against a system that fosters creativity in design. You don't really have to follow any part of the scoring rubric if you don't want to, you just need to accept that your level won't necessarily score as highly as those who did.

The fact that the second location was a difficulty option seems like a largely moot point. Sturg removed the difficulties because it was unnecessary and figuring out what counted as hard was mostly arbitrary. The fact that the second location existed was not what made it hard, but rather what those locations were. If you're really worried about two locations being too hard, just take two lists of locations and try it for yourself. From the example Sturg gave us, it seems totally reasonable, and I'd imagine that being the case in other examples.

Of the categories that could be doubled, I'd argue that location is not only the most exciting option, but the only exciting option. Adjectives don't seem as inspiring as locations. A given location can imply a lot more than a word like "smelly," or "electrifying," would. Seeing as people were already expressing concern over using a single NPC from a list, I can't imagine two of them going over well. Plus, it's a lot easier to get two NPC's that don't really work well together in level design than the opposite.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

I feel I should point there were plenty of level names in the previous contests that involved two significant adjectives or NPCs. (Come to think of it, there was at least one set of titles that included two locations.) You're not obligated to use both NPCs as level obstacles, and maybe some available combination of the ones you get as options will be worthwhile for gameplay reasons.

For example, my level in MAGLX2 had the adjectives "Imaginary" and "Abandoned" in the name, and that combination of adjectives was a big part of how I settled on my overall idea. Heck, "smelly" and "electrifying" can be used together in plenty of neat ways - maybe the level has a power generator designed to make everything stink and the goal is to shut it down. Or it's filled with Spark enemies that are emitting a stench. Personally, those strike me as things that can make a level every bit as distinctive as an iceberg dance club, just in a different way.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

sedron wrote: They can take a hit in points if they don't want to use both locations. That's a legitimate choice to make.
They can but then again, the gimmick didn't have to be structured like that. And honestly - rather than addressing a point raised about a gimmick, telling entrants to not use it - it's a poor excuse that should've ceased after MAGL2.
The fact that the second location was a difficulty option seems like a largely moot point. Sturg removed the difficulties because it was unnecessary and figuring out what counted as hard was mostly arbitrary. The fact that the second location existed was not what made it hard, but rather what those locations were.
On the contrary - Sturg's proposal wasn't meant to be location-centric. It was really just supposed to be a collection of different types of nouns (adjectives basically corresponding to ideas). Indeed, a second set of locations was only added for the hard difficulty, and now that that's gone, we don't need to stick to it.

If Sturg decided that he wants to center the contest primarily around locations after all, then whatever, but I'm just suggesting that it's not necessary.
Seeing as people were already expressing concern over using a single NPC from a list, I can't imagine two of them going over well. Plus, it's a lot easier to get two NPC's that don't really work well together in level design than the opposite.
I feel that this is an overrated concern that was mainly brought up by Mech, and I thought this was addressed already. NPCs are only overly restrictive if you treat them narrowly as sprites with coded behaviors, like a level that "uses Thwomps as ground-stomping enemies", rather than a level that "is about Thwomps" and can be expressed through means other than NPC behavior.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby sedron » 2 years ago

ano0maly wrote:
sedron wrote: They can take a hit in points if they don't want to use both locations. That's a legitimate choice to make.
They can but then again, the gimmick didn't have to be structured like that. And honestly - rather than addressing a point raised about a gimmick, telling entrants to not use it - it's a poor excuse that should've ceased after MAGL2.
Pretty sure I addressed the points made just fine, but for clarity's sake we'll go over it again. Here are the points that have been made against having two locations.
Dragon Fogel wrote:I absolutely agree that combining locations will lead to a lot of fun ideas. But the flip side is, there are probably people who will be inspired by one location and then not any of the others, and some portion of those people will make a better level if they don't try to shoehorn a second location in for more points.

I don't feel that strongly about this, though. I just think it's something worth bringing up.
ano0maly wrote: If people want to get creative with two locations they can, but Dragon Fogel's point is that not everyone would want to do that and they shouldn't have to do that.
Literally every possible gimmick is going to have some number of people who don't want to do it. Likewise, there's no gimmick that's going to inspire everyone. Obviously we want the gimmick to minimize the number of people who it doesn't work for, but we also want something that inspires new, creative designs. That's why these contests have gimmicks at all, and it's why the contest proposal that basically amounted to no gimmick did poorly in voting.

I firmly believe that keeping two locations is our current best option for this goal. I don't think it's super restricting and I think it will lead to some really interesting designs.

If someone says they shouldn't have to/don't want to follow the gimmick, my answer is going to continue to be "you don't have to if you're willing to take a penalty in score." Again, no matter what restriction you choose to put in place for the contest, someone is going to say that. I wasn't thrilled with my MaglX2 names but I made it work. It's part of the whole process.
The fact that the second location was a difficulty option seems like a largely moot point. Sturg removed the difficulties because it was unnecessary and figuring out what counted as hard was mostly arbitrary. The fact that the second location existed was not what made it hard, but rather what those locations were.
On the contrary - Sturg's proposal wasn't meant to be location-centric. It was really just supposed to be a collection of different types of nouns (adjectives basically corresponding to ideas). Indeed, a second set of locations was only added for the hard difficulty, and now that that's gone, we don't need to stick to it.

If Sturg decided that he wants to center the contest primarily around locations after all, then whatever, but I'm just suggesting that it's not necessary.
This whole response was confusing. At no point did I say or imply that the proposal was meant to be location-centric. I don't even really know how to respond to this, honestly. I argued that the fact that the second location was originally marked as harder difficulty was irrelevant to your argument that that having a second location is significantly harder than just the one.
Seeing as people were already expressing concern over using a single NPC from a list, I can't imagine two of them going over well. Plus, it's a lot easier to get two NPC's that don't really work well together in level design than the opposite.
I feel that this is an overrated concern that was mainly brought up by Mech, and I thought this was addressed already. NPCs are only overly restrictive if you treat them narrowly as sprites with coded behaviors, like a level that "uses Thwomps as ground-stomping enemies", rather than a level that "is about Thwomps" and can be expressed through means other than NPC behavior.
Let's dive deeper into this one.

The main reason to have NPC as a category at all as opposed to Noun would be the gameplay/mechanical implications. When someone picks "Thwomp" from their list of NPC's, I'm interested to see what they do with it from a gameplay standpoint. How can the NPC be used that it hasn't been before? What kinds of setups can you make? How do you interact with it? This is, after all, a level design contest.

If you only use Thwomps for story or aesthetic purposes, you're going to have to do a LOT to get a good score. Having a few speaking NPC's that happen to be Thwomps wouldn't cut it if you could replace those Thwomps with any other NPC and essentially have the same level. This all sounds pretty obvious, but I don't think it's being considered when people say "well just don't use them for gameplay purposes if it's too hard."

I am in agreement that a single NPC is not overly restrictive, but I do think that two is significantly harder, especially if the judges are looking for good usage of those NPC's.

Anyway it's 2:30 AM and I'm super sleepy so even though I'm not 100% satisfied with this reply yet I'm leaving it here as is for people to talk about.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

First off,
If someone says they shouldn't have to/don't want to follow the gimmick, my answer is going to continue to be "you don't have to if you're willing to take a penalty in score."
That's true, but that isn't a response to a point raised about a gimmick, it's ignoring the point. I've absolutely loathed that non-argument ever since it was in MAGL2. It's an excuse where the contest is saying that it's your fault for using the gimmick instead of taking responsibility over designing the gimmick correctly.

Anyway.
I argued that the fact that the second location was originally marked as harder difficulty was irrelevant to your argument that that having a second location is significantly harder than just the one.
Let me clarify:

I was responding to how you said, "The fact that the second location was a difficulty option seems like a largely moot point". I actually think it's relevant, since the reason there was another locations category in the first place was because of hard mode, not because the gimmick was intended to center on locations. No hard mode, no assumption of two locations.

To be clear, I don't think two locations would be hard necessarily, but I do think it's not needed and the insistence on this particular category is odd.
Literally every possible gimmick is going to have some number of people who don't want to do it.

...

I firmly believe that keeping two locations is our current best option for this goal. I don't think it's super restricting and I think it will lead to some really interesting designs.
Yeah but SAJewers & Dragon Fogel brought up counterpoints to that.

As you said above, we have different preference on gimmicks, so I don't see why we need to focus on locations in particular as your prefer, when that may not even be the intent of the proposal. If your preference for locations is also Sturg's preference, then so be it.
The main reason to have NPC as a category at all as opposed to Noun would be the gameplay/mechanical implications. When someone picks "Thwomp" from their list of NPC's, I'm interested to see what they do with it from a gameplay standpoint. How can the NPC be used that it hasn't been before? What kinds of setups can you make? How do you interact with it? This is, after all, a level design contest.

If you only use Thwomps for story or aesthetic purposes, you're going to have to do a LOT to get a good score. Having a few speaking NPC's that happen to be Thwomps wouldn't cut it if you could replace those Thwomps with any other NPC and essentially have the same level. This all sounds pretty obvious, but I don't think it's being considered when people say "well just don't use them for gameplay purposes if it's too hard."
Sturg did say this in the SMBX forums, though: "Judging this category will take into account the implementation of the NPCs appearance and/or AI."

And for this topic, rather than it being just discussed among us, I think we need further clarifications on Sturg. Despite people talking about it and comments from Sturg here and in SMBX forums there's still some confusion.

1. Does using another tile reskinned as Thwomp or made to mimick a Thwomp's behavior constitutes as using a Thwomp NPC, or does only using the NPC(s) with the correct ID count?
2. Do SMBX 2.0 NPCs (as opposed to the original hardcoded ones) have consistent NPC IDs that would allow enforcing this?
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Zygl » 2 years ago

Having seen an example Sturg posted over on the SMBX forum of what the Verb column is I'm gonna go ahead and recant my previous agreement with cutting it actually; the main argument I've seen against it is that it overlaps with the Adjective column, which I get - I get why one would make that mistake, because he effectively put adjectives in his example chart he posted here.
Consider what the chart - which I'm gonna spoiler here for convenience - would look like if the "-ing" were taken off the verbs to make them actual verbs rather than participles.
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"Electrifying," for instance, is a state of being to be applied to something - maybe there are a bunch of Sparks all over the place, those are pretty zappy. But "electrify" is something you do to something - personally I had the immediate thought of a lake overrun with exceedingly rude fish it's morally okay to zap. Maybe instead Bootleg Frankenstein's lab doesn't have the lightningrod or whatever extended and you've gotta get it up there to help him resurrect his buddy. There are a lot of possibilities, a lot more than you'd think when the given example instead just says "electrifying."

Now, yes, the Verb column can overlap with the Adjective column; we're seeing that right here in the example chart, you just have to apply the verb as a participle like that - take "jump" and put in a bunch of jumping enemies like Ninjis and Tweeters, for instance. But it doesn't inherently, and the Adjective column will rarely overlap with the Verb column itself; the Adjective column's gonna have, y'know, Adjectives - "hellish," "smelly," "glamorous," "blue," "windy," "loud," dark." You're not gonna get stuff like "accelerating" or "destroying" there, and even if you did it'd be less flexible than it'd be in verb form - "accelerating" is a state of being, "accelerate" is something you can do.
sedron wrote: Literally every possible gimmick is going to have some number of people who don't want to do it. Likewise, there's no gimmick that's going to inspire everyone. Obviously we want the gimmick to minimize the number of people who it doesn't work for, but we also want something that inspires new, creative designs. That's why these contests have gimmicks at all, and it's why the contest proposal that basically amounted to no gimmick did poorly in voting.

I firmly believe that keeping two locations is our current best option for this goal. I don't think it's super restricting and I think it will lead to some really interesting designs.
I mean I don't disagree with the notion that two locations will make for a lot of interesting possibilities, but so could two of any of the other categories. "Smelly" and "glamorous" gives me the immediate thought of a society where strong odor is a status symbol in some fashion - maybe they're flower people or something - and you have to help a dude out with getting his smell on. "Accelerate" and "destroy" from Sturg's example on the SMBX forum gave me the idea of being aboard a Bad Guy airship and overloading the engines in some fashion to crash it into a mountain. And how using two NPCs can make for interesting level design seems almost self-explanatory. :p

To get to the point, having peeps use two of a column of their choice like Fogel suggested a while ago, ano0maly and I agreed with and everybody else seemingly overlooked allows for even more potential creativity while simultaneously being less restrictlve than having everybody pick a second Location specifically.

tl;dr Verb doesn't overlap with Adjective actually, don't cut it. Also, let peeps use two of whichever column hits them in the inspiration gland hardest rather than restricting them to two Locations specifically.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Dragon Fogel » 2 years ago

I just read the last few posts and I agree enthusiastically with Zyglrox, he makes some excellent points with really cool examples.

For what it's worth, I'm now fully behind Verb, Adjective, Location, NPC, and Any of the Above, and I encourage anyone else who thinks this is good to speak up.

Or speak up if you think it's a terrible idea. Apparently, I love arguing about the rules before they're finalized.
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby ano0maly » 2 years ago

Hmm who would the verb apply to? Would it be interpreted as something the player is expected to do in the level?
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Re: MAGLX3 - Pre-Discussion/Feedback Thread

Postby Ignoritus » 2 years ago

if people can't agree on this why not just leave all five categories and make it a pick 4 sort of deal?
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