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Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Happy New Year!!

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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Grounder
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- A one and another

Postby Grounder » 1 month ago

"poorly made kaizo good, quiz bad" is certainly a combo of takes
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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ft029
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- A one and another

Postby ft029 » 1 month ago

(thanks *lion for the music)

I knew barely any of the questions. I suppose jeopardy is next, or maybe wheel of fortune.
Last edited by ft029 on 27 Oct 2019, 16:24, edited 1 time in total.
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KobaBeach
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- A one and another

Postby KobaBeach » 1 month ago

ft029 wrote: (thanks leod for music)
don't confuse me with that pedo
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who cares:
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FourteenthOrder
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FourteenthOrder » 1 month ago

I kinda wasn't big on either of today's levels. -_-;
Atmosphere was neat, though.
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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

76th, SWEET DREAMS, by Thales Mangaka
53.75/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 48/60
Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics: 10/10

Total: 82/100

Comments:
Hoo boy, I'm not really sure how to judge this level. Is it even a level? It feels more like artistic expression that just happens to use SMW as a medium. As an experience, it was unsettling and atmospheric in part to the dreamlike palette and music in a way that I can't recall ever seeing done in an SMW level.

I guess I'll try to write some words on the design itself, though there aren't many I *can* write. The level is very short and doesn't actually have much to it. There's pretty much just one fish that swims by anywhere near Mario's path through it. There's a bit of swimming and Yoshi Coin collecting, but that alone doesn't make a strong traditionally-styled level. It's very short overall, overstuffed with powerups, provides no challenge and ends very quickly. It's not really a great "level" on the surface, but...

You know, it's funny. I think this level would be stronger if you completely stripped out all the coins and powerups and enemies and just left the level design, the text, the music and everything else that's trying to tell a story. Basically, make the level into a non-level and focus on the atmosphere and storytelling. Dive fully into how you can use the engine to tell a story like this.

It'll probably look insane of me to rate this as high as I'm going to in a contest that's ostensibly about "level design" but I suppose level design doesn't always have to be physical, traditional Mario design elements. It can be just a vehicle to tell a story sometimes and I think that's what was so strong about this level. It feels like a deeply personal level, like something we're not meant to be reading, or something that the author has worked up the courage to write about.

I don't know. This level just hit me in a way that I didn't expect any level to when I set out to play stuff today. It actually made me sad. I think it deserves some recognition for that alone.

And to the author: I hope you're doing okay, pal.
Ryaa:
Design: 5/60
Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 34/100

Review:

Before I get into detail, I just want to say that I don't think it was very wise at all to include the suicide section at the very beginning. When you first enter the level, the atmosphere makes you gain a calm feeling, and you don't even have enough time to understand what's going on before going into that room if you decided to. That entire room should have been axed for the sake of the plot and the sake of whoever is playing the level.

The level itself is very short and messy, but the colors and music make it feel soothing to working through. There is nothing that's really out to get you and the way you go is linear and harmless. To keep it short and simple, there isn't much actual design here other than the plot since the entire section is just you walking forward and jumping pretty much.

I think the plot itself is very incomplete. It would have been nice to see an actually developed emotional story since that seems to be what the creator was going for. Executing a suicide story in a short plot is very risky because that is a subject that's hits the hearts of a huge amount of people. So like I said before, it wasn't wise to throw it in at the beginning like that. It almost seemed like it was meant to be a suicide joke due to it showing up way too soon.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 20/60
CREATIVITY| 24/30
AESTHETICS| 10/10
TOTAL | 54/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
deep

Quite the peculiar level. This level is relying entirely on setting, atmosphere,
and story for enjoyability rather than overcoming obstacles. The presentation
is incredible and the tone is intriguing.

It's difficult to rate a level like this since it isn't really a level in
typical terms, but it's possible to rate these experiences through enjoyment
or satisfaction. For me, there is some fulfillment in the story, but it feels
underdeveloped with how short the level is.

Furthermore, there really isn't much challenge to the level. Even a few puzzles
or enemy setups here and there could really bring this level to life. The dragon
coins did help a little though.

While this level is definitely going to bring up gameplay vs experience discussions
yet again, it does a great job presenting a story that could have had more content.
morsel:
5
30
10
45/100
Not a level. There is one enemy you have to avoid (the rest are too high up to matter). There are a couple of jumps you have to do to get past very small gaps. Perhaps you may even enter the water and have to leave it again. There are two munchers that may be dangerous.
75th, Underworld Chapel, by Minimay
54.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 32/60
Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics: 9/10

Total: 55/100

Comments:
This level has a great morose, dangerous aesthetic to it with its sound and graphical design. My big problem with it is that every corridor is so cramped and full of enemies that move in patterns that are made more dangerous with low ceilings. It feels like there's always an enemy coming towards you, leaving the player little time to sit and get their bearing. It's a little overwhelming at times. I can tell that every single Eerie is placed and you never rely on a generator, which is good, but I think you could've afforded to let up slightly with how many avenues are covered by Eeries and other enemies. Additionally, it seems like while there's an abundance of powerups, every single one of them is dangerous to get, either requiring a shell kick or dealing with a high-jumping koopa in close proximity to the ? block.

There's three different paths through the level, two of which skip over the midpoint entirely for no good reason. The "correct" path to the midpoint isn't really marked either. It was by complete chance that I stumbled upon it. The design gets better in the glowing lava cave because of its more straightforward platforming but difficulty remains a little higher than necessary at times. All in all, I think this level stumbles by letting its difficulty get the better of it, and its early non-linear design hampers the experience by hiding the midpoint on one of the branching paths with no forewarning to the player.
Ryaa:
Design: 25/60
Creativity: 16/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 48/100


Review: There is so much going on at once to the point where I could barely process my thoughts while playing. The placements of enemies is so extreme to the point where you can't really take a moment to breath because there is always something coming right at you. Throwing 500,000 enemies at the end of the bottom path before the intersection was not a smart move as you can't even focus on the platforming due to how many respawning enemies you have to dodge constantly if you mistakenly move a little too far in one direction. What I really don't understand is why there is a completely disconnected path that leads to a midpoint. This path is easily skippable and also adds an extra layer to the enemy convenience as you can barely move through the high amount of things trying to kill you just to get to the midpoint in the first place.

To add insult to injury, I will say that I'm not too certain why the aesthetic of this level led to a crazily flashing section. I feel that the aesthetic of the level gave the feeling that something actually spooky was going to happen, but instead, the player was thrown into yet another section with the same enemy issue. The first mushroom in that section is placed in a way where you can accidentally skip it if you kill each koopa before noticing that it's actually in the second block and not the first. The platforming alone itself in that section was pretty solid, though like I mentioned earlier, you can't focus on what you're trying to avoid when you have to avoid so many things consecutively.

Moving back to the first section. I spent a bunch of deaths trying to figure out where I was actually supposed to be going. Due to the strange mix of too much space and too little space, I instantly noticed that the paths seemed to stretch out in ways that made little to no sense.

Overall the level itself isn't something I would have fun replaying again. I'm gathering that much more care was spent figuring out the aesthetic portion rather than the level design.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 33/60
CREATIVITY| 17/30
AESTHETICS| 8/10
TOTAL | 58/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
the green parakoopa is the scariest enemy here

An alright level sort of plagued by enemy saturation issues. The beginning area
doesn't give enough space for the player to dodge enemies, so it's either a waiting
game or a try to kill everything game.

The level opens up after that, but the top path is way more beneficial than
anything else. The secret sublevel path is cramped and makes you miss the midpoint,
and the bottom path has too many enemies to avoid and has you potentially miss the
midpoint. I don't like how super hidden the p-switch is.

The level gets way better after the midpoint though. The layer 2 sublevel has
this flashing bg gimmick which makes platforming interesting but not frustrating.
The block boos and parakoopas are placed better. And the bright hurtful layer 2 is
good aesthetic and obstacle design.

Basically, I'd say this level has a bad first half but good second half, so it
sorta cancels out.
morsel:
35
15
5
55/100
The level is very cramped, but it gives you a cape or two to help deal with this. There are often a lot of sprites about, some of which feel misplaced since they have been repawned from the other direction. It is quite easy to miss the midpoint, but perhaps you could consider that this encourages exploration. There are various paths to the flashing room; again, perhaps the obnoxiousness of some of these paths encourages you to look for other ones. The initial area is a little too dark. This is another level where the look of it changes drastically. Mario's palette is tied to the exanimation, although he lights up and does not dim down. The ghost blocks being black here was not good. It seems that capes spawned from blocks high above you may be easily despawned with this smart sprite loading. Bouncing koopas could also despawn easily.
SWEET DREAMS has the highest Max-Min score in the whole contest with a 48. There was a 48 point difference between my score of 82/100 and Ryaa's of 34/100. I guess I should try and explain myself, though a lot of my explanation is in the judge comments.

I was going through a kind of rough time mentally when we were judging these levels. The contest was a good way to occupy my time and keep me busy. Then I played this level and there was just something about the level that just hit me in the gut and stuck with me. I've felt a lot of things playing Mario hacks before, but I think sadness is a new one. Like everyone mentions, it's not really a level at all. There's basically no traditional "design" to speak of in it, almost no enemies to dodge. But I just couldn't let the fact the level actually got me emotional not reflect that in my final scoring. By no means was it perfect, but it was just an experience that stuck with me. A beautiful level that made me stop judging for the day because of how I felt coming off it. (And all the better too, because Mountan Castle was the very next level in our randomized list)

I can't fault the other judges for scoring it low. I basically just explained that the level really stuck with me and that I'd defend my huge outlier if need be. I think I'd really be interested in seeing a contest where people use the engine to tell stories like this though. Storytelling isn't usually done well in SMW for many reasons, but sometimes you don't need many words, like this level, to get a feeling across. I'd like to see people try it more.


As for Underworld Chapel, it does actually have a midpoint but you can miss it very easily because it's hidden away. To get it, you have to go onto the upper path by the door to the blood room, then stay on the upper path all the way. You can also find a P-Switch and cape and go to the upper path that way, but I'll be honest, I never found the P-Switch in any of the runs I did of the level. Making the midpoint optional really hurt this level more than I think the creator realized it would, because all four judges mentioned its poor placement.

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Mandew
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Mandew » 1 month ago

FPzero wrote:
I feel like I need to say this, since I've read each judge comments on the level. Despite the sheer difference between the scores and point of views, I think all of them are fair and valid.
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Mata Hari
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Mata Hari » 1 month ago

Guys MArio hanged himself. That's pretty dank

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Leet
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Leet » 1 month ago

Mountan Castle and SWEET DREAMS are the best levels so far by far and I'm saying that both of them win this contest now. Ok thanks
Well it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
Blood Ghoul wrote:Sometimes it seems my blood spurts out in gobs, as if it were a fountain's pulsing sobs. I clearly hear it mutter as it goes yet cannot find the wound from which it flows. Before I met you, baby, I didn't know what I was missing.

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby SAJewers » 1 month ago

if anyone wanted to know the music for frozen grassland, the daytime music is
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FrozenQuills » 1 month ago

The average level quality is better in VLDC11 than other VLDCs imo, so I'm happy that raocow is already considering these entries as great level territory.
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SMBX Tileset Compiler and Separator
The boss entry that made me eat a shoe.
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5th place counter: 5
(SMBX Forums CC11, SMBX Forums CC12, Endgame Madness Contest, SMWC Kaizo Contest 2016, SMWC 24hr Contest 2018)

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konaa
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby konaa » 1 month ago

Mata Hari wrote: Guys MArio hanged himself. That's pretty dank
"you know what my mario romhack really needs? a dark storyline" ~ smwcentral 2005 - 2019

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

74th, Frozen Grassland, by yoshi9429
55.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 42/60
Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 69/100

Comments:
I liked how you have to go through the level forwards and backwards, but with differences in enemy placement and pathing via those yellow and blue blocks and staircases. Difficulty felt moderately high to me and I can't say I liked the spin-jump required segments in the night level. The first one was ok because it was right at the midpoint, but the second was right at the end of the level and the bullet launcher there refused to cooperate and would always fire as soon as I hopped off it to make my jump. I died a couple times to that bullet messing up my jump and dropping me in the pit instead of on the saw. I'm also not sure the final room was required, since it was a completely different type of platforming over a pit with timed platforms all of a sudden. And while it wasn't long it was just very different from everything you'd done previously. Not sure why you chose to do that. Lastly, the level is probably too long, and time can definitely run short here.

The level doesn't do too much fancy, but it looks and sounds good, and the simple gimmick works well enough. Just, maybe make it a little shorter next time.
Ryaa:
Design: 28/60
Creativity: 8/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 41/100

Review: This level doesn't sit well with me at all. It's one of those where it has no clear goal and uses ideas that either aren't properly explained or they are just not fun to work through at all. I think that the entire concept of the night and day variants of the level wasn't executed too well. It was made out to seem like the switch block gimmick was going to be a very important feature of the level, but it's not significant at all. To put it simply, it seems more like the level is way too open and this eliminates a lot of possibility to actually condense the gimmicks so that there is a clear focus. To be completely honest, I think that the day variant of the level should have been completely scrapped. The P-Switch challenges near the end of the level aren't my favorite either. They seem more like things that could have been taken out as they add nothing productive to the level. The fact that there needs to be reset doors for these challenges despite them not being tricky or anything is a little questionable to me. Especially with how the last second P-Switch challenge doesn't even give you a clear path to follow when you press it so there's a chance that you could get slightly lost before finding the reset door. Basically this level just heavily suffers from having way too much space.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 35/60
CREATIVITY| 15/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 57/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
the most anticlimactic ending ever

I'm not sure what to think of this. There are a few enemy placement issues where
you're suddenly bombarded with a bunch of them, but it's manageable. The day/night
gimmick is creative, and it helps when you're backtracking through the level, but
ultimately not much changes when day turns into night.

I think the level is a bit too long. It didn't really need that timed platforming
section at the end, as there's a lot to redo if you mess it up. It didn't help that
not much changes throughout the level aside from aesthetic.

All in all, the design is mostly ok, but I think the backtracking and long length
hurts it.
morsel:
35
13
5
53/100
It was not clear that the grey box the message spoke of was the ghost house stair, and this led to some confusion foe me. Day and night levels are always hard to pull off. This one is not bad, but I think a lot of the obstacles are not different enough or interesting enough backwards--even though the level 'cheated' with changing objects, I did not get a sense of development (the stairs in particular were not used to any effect). (Perhaps this level suffers in my estimation because I played it directly after 'Dimension Traveling', which also involves changing the same level and manages it much more effectively.) It seems fashionable to require spin jumping on a ground grinder (no one is bothered by its hitbox, apparently). The background stars have a bad palette. The final message is unnecessary.
72nd (tied), The red ghost house, by Hayashi Neru
55.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 43/60
Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 69/100

Comments:
This level was pretty good, and went through a number of ghostly elements. Honestly it kind of felt more like a castle with all the layer 2 stuff and the layer 3 smasher! I especially liked the small rising layer 2 segment where you had to find the P-Switch in a room with a diagonal boo laser, but that was just one small portion of the level. Unfortunately, the midpoint felt lopsided and I'm not sure if it was just because there was that bonus path for the dragon coin or because there was the slow autoscrolling layer 3 smasher part. I didn't run out of time or anything, but I know that by the end I was expecting the goal tape around every corner. I also felt like the first half was loaded with powerups but around the time the layer 3 smasher entered the scene they started drying up. Granted there wasn't much danger after the smasher room was done but I was still looking for a powerup when I saw there were more rooms to go through.

It sounds like I'm being kind of negative here but honestly I liked the level a fair bit. I think maybe instead of going for a wide variety of ideas like you did, focusing more on a couple of them would've been good. You had a theme going with different types of smashers, but that was only half the level, with the other half being mostly open rooms with ghosts. Just a bit more focus would've made this level a lot stronger.
Ryaa:
Design: 27/60
Creativity: 13/30
Aesthetics: 3/10

Total: 43/100

Review: This is another one of those levels where the ideas are good but aren't executed very well. I believe that a lot of this level functioned as if it were an actual Ghost House. Though it makes no sense that there is so much emphasis on the color red but it plays no part in the actual level other than being in the background. This is where the problems start. The background itself is very unfitting and I believe the entire level could have functioned much better without the red backgrounds. If they remained the same color scheme as the ghost house tiles then I think it would have made the level much better to look at.

The real problems however lie with the actual level design. The first section was a bit questionable with the placements of the enemies, though it wasn't a bad start to the level. Once entering the level though, it became apparent that the slight enemy spam was going to be a problem. There are way too many eeries present in the first part and with it being the first real Ghost House section, it really takes down the feeling of the level. While thinking about this, I died because I wasn't aware that the ceiling was going to come crashing down due to no warning being present whatsoever in case you didn't see it happen on screen already. The true problem is later on in the level when you reach the portion where the ceiling slowly falls. If the ceiling falls completely before you run under it, the level will softlock and you will end up being trapped and forced to restart.

As the level went on, I really noticed how random the design started getting as if the creator either ran out of time or ran out of ideas. This is especially the case at the last section of the Ghost House before you actually exit it.

Overall, this level is one of those where it's a mess mainly because there isn't enough attention being put into the things that actually count towards the level's design and atmosphere. Even with the negative points there are present here, I do not believe that this level is a complete bad experience. I just wouldn't want to replay it after beating it.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 36/60
CREATIVITY| 14/30
AESTHETICS| 6/10
TOTAL | 56/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
suddenly layer 3 smash

This is a pretty typical level. I like how it uses layer 2+3, but it doesn't do
anything amazing with them. Nothing else really stands out, but the design
doesn't commit any atrocities. The dragon coin paths were simple yet enjoyable.

However, some parts felt empty, like the midpoint area, and others had some
waiting like the layer 2 elevator. It can be occasionally be a bit boring.

So yeah, this ends up being an okay ghost house.
morsel:
35
13
5
53/100
Usually when we call a house red, it is the outside we are referring to. What if the boos hired an interior decorator? Just something to think about. The level is not bad, but it could have used more focus and more careful placing of sprites (some areas felt empty). You can get stuck if you do not run forward as the layer 2 descends but instead wait (thinking it will rise afterwards). The layer 3 smash is not set up properly and can appear in variable positions. A koopa killed himself on a shell.
72nd (tied), VLDC11 - getthefish, by getthefish
55.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 42/60
Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 64/100

Comments:
Wow the tonal shift between the two halves nearly gave me whiplash. The second half is definitely the star of the level even if I did enjoy the simple variety platforming in the first half. The Layer 2 water with a special scroller just made for an unpredictable, but enjoyable ride. It was pretty tricky to predict how you needed to avoid the Thwomps. I wish the first half had more to do with the second instead of being a simple platforming section without a big central theme to it. At least it introduced the floating water right before the second half. Last note, I liked the little visual touches in the first half with the pipes being suspended from the ceiling. It was a cute addition.
Ryaa:
Design: 24/60
Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 46/100

Review: So what I'm really unclear on is why this level is two different levels. The grass section and castle section have absolutely no correlation to each other. I didn't really like the first section because there was no real goal there. It was just basic platforming with every Map16 tile imaginable. But what's even weirder is that the random castle section felt like the more significant part (possibly due to it being an autoscroll section). The fact that the castle portion is much more interesting and fun than the grass portion is what really bugs me. What was the reason that the creator decided to just throw these together with no in-betweens or anything to actually connect them?
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 36/60
CREATIVITY| 15/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 58/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
aesthetic whiplash

This is basically two okay mini levels. The first half is average with a sort of
interesting water section near the end. The second half is a dank castle autoscroll
with thwomps and water, which was a bit slow yet kind of interesting to navigate.

It would be better if one half of this was expanded as it's own level, preferably
keeping the castle segment and leaving out the plains since there's potential with
the layer 2 autoscrolling water idea. That way the level won't feel super jarring
after the midpoint.

In the end though, both halves did nothing majorly wrong and were pretty alright.
morsel:
33
15
5
53/100
The level began innocuously enough before the second half terrified me with its Way of the M era levelengine look and gimmick. Fortunately, it was short and not too hard. Again, the strange sprite behaviour with this new lm is visible when I was under a thwomp and it stayed where it was (see some other levels in this contest). The level might have done better to have focus and the unusual castle theme and dispensed with the more generic grassland.
morsel's score for each of these levels was 53/100. Funny how things work out.

Speaking of judge scores, I noticed that Ryaa generally had lower scores for levels than the rest of us did, but he was consistent about it so it wasn't really a problem in the end. It was his first year judging a contest, but I picked him after I tested his reviewing capabilities on some of the previous year's CLDC entries and I deemed his reviews excellent.

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Mandew
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Mandew » 1 month ago

we got some fairly ambitious levels today, huh!
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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

71st, Olivine Pass, by Giftshaven
55.75/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 37/60
Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 61/100

Comments:
I know you were trying to make some big trees using the graphics available to you, but surely there was a better way than having big chucks of cutoff in the upper "branches" of the tree? The level makes ok use of tall levels to accentuate the feeling of being in a giant forest and going up, down and over big trees was neat. I did encounter one or two blind jumps though, watch out for those when building.

The cave, on the other hand, felt really weakly designed to me. It has nothing to do with the first half, has an arbitrary P-Switch section, some big slope that went on forever with nothing but sliding koopas, a random banzai bill, and then some oddly precise and tricky vine jumps to get out of the sublevel. It just didn't feel like it fit with the rest of the level at all and I would've greatly preferred it if you stuck with the forest theme and kept expanding it for a second half.
Ryaa:
Design: 28/60
Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics: 2/10

Total: 40/100

Review: It kind of bugs me that the trees have cutoff that is this unsavory. Immediately I wish that the creator would have used the wood tiles that are in the 8x8 editor as those probably would have made for much more interesting tree graphics. The level design itself is not good at all. It's very messy and not well put-together. I'm not fond at all of how the cave section basically feels like a completely different level and has no connection whatsoever to the first section. I was seeing a lot of blind jumps and random enemy placements (ex: Banzai Bill in cave) throughout the first section of the level and those could have been properly labeled with something as simple as coins. I can't say that anything here made me actually like this level other than the palette in the cave section which was pretty nice. I do appreciate that the person who created this level actually made an attempt to do something different with aesthetics. I just think that more should have been done to actually make these aesthetic choices feel unique and new rather than how they look now.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 40/60
CREATIVITY| 16/30
AESTHETICS| 8/10
TOTAL | 64/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
them funky trees

First off, I kinda dig the outdoor aesthetic and music choices. Yeah there's some
cutoff, but the level is well organized.

The design is pretty cool as well. The moles were used decently, and there's some
nice platforming with the springy things. The level is very open and it definitely
benefited from that.

The cave goes in a different direction in terms of design and has a few cute
puzzles. I particularly enjoyed the climbing section at the end; the player has to
hit blocks in an unusual manner while climbing vines.

While this level doesn't really push boundaries, I appreciate what it does with the
simplistic design and aesthetic.
morsel:
40
10
8
58/100
A pleasant enough level. The second half was less distinct than the first visually. The level was not all that inventive and did not seem to go anywhere with any ideas it had (e.g. the trees are there as part of the scenery, for all you go on top of one at some point). Some of the jumps felt out of place among the other obstacles of the level (e.g. hitting the vine block over the munchers at the end).
70th, Koopa Kaboose, by Mogu94
56.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 32/60
Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 57/100

Comments:
I don't think I've ever seen someone make a train level with vanilla graphics so that was pretty neat. I just wish I could say the same about the level itself. Enemies exist in it, but they feel really sparsely placed in mostly non-threatening ways. The physical level design is also limited by the train car aesthetic, meaning that you can't go very vertical, and have to deal with obstacles in a mostly confined space. Pipe Lakitus and Bowser Statues seemed like good choices here, but for whatever reason they just didn't feel very effective or dangerous. The level felt pretty much like a breeze, with the only reasons I was taking damage being my own fault as I chased Yoshi Coins. Would've liked to see you use enemies and other setups better.
Ryaa:
Design: 20/60
Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics: 10/10

Total: 50/100

Review: I'm in love with this train setting. The music and everything just works so well with it. What really upsets me is that the train is all that actually catches your eye in this level. The level design is consistently with a lot of other autoscrolls where you're just waiting and jumping and that's it. There's nothing going on here other than things that you'd see in a pretty below average level. This is another one of those that lacked a lot of things that could have really helped the creator achieve the potential that this level had. I actually hope to one day see this level constructed in a more unique and engaging manner.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 38/60
CREATIVITY| 15/30
AESTHETICS| 8/10
TOTAL | 61/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
where's the engine

What a cute little autoscroller. The level makes good use of lakitus and bullet
cannons, and while the cars are a bit small, I didn't feel cramped. The dragon
coins helped by giving me extra tasks while waiting for the autoscroller.

Unfortunately, the autoscroller is slow and the level only gets a tiny bit harder
after the midpoint by utilizing bowser statues. It would help if it changed things
up a bit more in the 2nd half.

Nonetheless, this is pretty alright.
morsel:
33
15
8
56/100
This looks quite nice, particularly the first three rows from the bottom and the background (the rest of the foreground being a little miscellaneous). The level is not the most exciting to play, being a slow autoscroller sparsely populated with sprites. (This is a common problem with train levels.) It felt like it ended a bit sooner than it started. The koopa seems to be in the title for mostly alliterative purposes.
69th, Linear Farms, by Dakras Hayashi
56.25/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 35/60
Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 54/100

Comments:
I can tell this level had a ton of effort put into its graphics, but it comes at the expense of the level itself being pretty boring. There's an alternate path in the first half, but it doesn't do much either, just allowing the player to get a few 1-ups. It doesn't really explore any different ideas than the main paths, which mostly revolve around a few bubble bob-ombs and pipe lakitus. Pokeys show up on occasion, and I liked how you used them on the 1F0 beams as obstacles. But the biggest idea the level had was in the second half when you did the layer 2 sinking section. After that though, it was back to the pipe lakitus and bobombs and not much else to say about the level before it ended.

I think you focused too heavily on making the level look unique, and not enough on finding a good idea. Large pieces of the level are populated with very few enemies, and the ones that are there aren't usually very threatening by themselves: Pokeys are slow, bubble bob-ombs aren't dangerous until they pop and have been placed really high up so you don't even have to worry about hitting them most of the time. The Jumpin' Piranhas weren't even the fire-spitting ones, making them even easier to deal with. Pipe lakitus can get annoying if you sit around long enough for them to throw a Spiny, but with as few enemies as there are in the level there's almost no instance where you can't stomp the lakitu before he throws a Spiny. You had some grinders in the first half but they disappeared immediately, and you were trying to use 1F0 as beams for enemies to move along but that didn't get used much.

Lastly, the level's palettes were so monochromatic and the foreground was such a dark combination of dark red and dark gray that it was hard to tell what was something I could stand on or not at a quick glance. Better color balancing would've gone a long way to not making the foreground look messy and monochrome. I did like your Layer 2 and 3 background though. They were really nice.
Ryaa:
Design: 27/60
Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 49/100

Review: I'm going to keep it real. I'm not too big of a fan of this level's design. The aesthetics have waaay too much attention put in them in a way that actually makes it feel unfitting in a Super Mario World setting. It feels like a big mess of tiles basically. The 1F0 tiles don't make much sense either as they don't contribute anything to whatever the level design was trying to offer.

There seems to be two different paths the player can take though neither is significantly different than the other so it serves no real point to want to take one path compared to the other. The distance between the beginning of the level and the midpoint itself is incredibly short. Too short, if you will. The second section's layer 2 usage was neat but the aesthetics made it slightly weird trying to navigate because the bright background. The 1F0 tiles became a problem here because they made it a bit hard to differentiate what was solid and what wasn't. It wasn't until this section that I also noticed the checkerboard graphics. I'm not too fond of them but I don't think they are necessarily bad or anything like that.

At this point I'm unsure if there was actually a level design goal here. I'm pretty sure most attention in this level was put on the aesthetics and that's where this level fails in that aspect.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 36/60
CREATIVITY| 16/30
AESTHETICS| 10/10
TOTAL | 62/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
not really linear

This is an impressive aesthetic, but it messes up the design a little bit. Those
1F0 blocks are very hard to notice and can be mistaken for normal blocks.

Aside from the 1F0 issue, this plays decently. Most of the gameplay involves
jumping over enemies or jumping on enemies on 1F0. However, the level doesn't
really amount to more than just that, with the one exception being the falling
layer 2 section near the end. That was pretty nice. I also like how the level gives
out capes for much of the platforming provided, though I feel it may have made it a
bit too easy.

Basically: creatively drawn, but could have been more creatively designed.
morsel:
30
20
10
60/100
While the graphics here are extremely impressive, there was not much to beating the level itself. The first half was a very simple run forward; the second half was a bit more interesting with the plunging ground, but ultimately was another simple run forward. Some of the enemies are changed to fit in to the level; some are just pokey. There is some inconsistency at the edges of platforms, with some being slopes and others squares (perhaps both are strange, for different reasons). The graphic for the 1F0 probably looks too solid.
Giftshaven and Dakras are both SMWC staff members. Gifty is a Music Mod and Discord Mod, and Dakras is a Graphics Mod. It's always fun seeing where our staff members place in these contests.

If you didn't know, olivine is a mineral and has a shade of green associated with it similar to the greens used in the first level's semisolid platforms.

I really love the train aesthetic, but wish more had been done with the design itself, as it's not super engaging. Trains are hard levels to make exciting, but they always seem to make for memorable set-pieces.

I remember Dakras talking about her level afterwards. I believe she said the graphics were inspired by the Rainworld series of games. I can't deny they're impressive, but I found them to be too busy and muddled in places to give a high aesthetics score.

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SpoonyBardOL
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby SpoonyBardOL » 1 month ago

Apparently the music from the first level today, with the built-in birds singing, is from Quartz Quadrant in Sonic CD, but only in the JP/PAL release.

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Awoo
Wolf girls? In *my* area? It's more likely than you think!
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Awful French puns that don't really make much sense

Postby Awoo » 1 month ago

Bread? In a Mario level?
What a "pain" :ehh:
ワンワン :pal:
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Mata Hari
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Mata Hari » 1 month ago

Aesthetics is a half-buried block

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Grounder
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Grounder » 1 month ago


Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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FPzero
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

68th, Deep Soda Sea, by Kit
57.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 38/60
Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 62/100

Comments:
Bold decision of you not to include a midpoint. I suppose it wasn't really necessary because the level wasn't too long or difficult, but it was definitely something I noticed by the end. The level wasn't too bad, keeping difficulty pretty good overall and giving the player enough tools to deal with underwater threats, such as fireballs and throw blocks. I think the main thing is that the level could've stood to have a midpoint and be longer. Maybe transition the level into a second sublevel and change up an idea. Because good as it is right now, when you get right down to it this level isn't all that different from, say, original Soda Lake in execution. It just has a bit prettier graphics and a bit less of a focus on Torpedo Teds. Could've used a bit more ambition, but wasn't too bad.
Ryaa:
Design: 32/60
Creativity: 10/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 50/100

Review: I feel as though the "I hope I win" joke was taken to an entirely new level here. While the palette choices are definitely pleasing to look at, the rest of the level lacks heavily. The actual design aspect is about as up to par with a regular SMW water level and doesn't do anything unique. The music choice completely takes away whatever atmosphere this level was trying to go for. Not saying that water levels should have calming music or anything like that, but when you have this very energetic music matched with slower swimming movements, it takes away a lot of the feeling from what this level could have been.

The powerup placement is also something I'm not really liking the powerup placement either. This level is much too short and abrupt to actually have any sort of long lasting fun.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 41/60
CREATIVITY| 12/30
AESTHETICS| 9/10
TOTAL | 62/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
i am utterly disappointed at those half ? blocks

A pretty nice effort on a soda lake sequel. It has tighter spaces, but that also
makes the enemies more engaging. I like that you provided throw blocks for the
occasionally different swimming experience.

However, I think the level could have been more ambitious with its design, since it
just feels like harder soda lake. Nothing is wrong with what's present though; it's
surprisingly well restrained on the enemies despite the small spaces.

Also, the palette is very nice I have to say.

So yeah, this is a simple and pretty level.
morsel:
38
10
6
54/100
Another water level. This was a bit more straightforward than the other one. A bit short and conventional, if competently enough constructed. There were half blocks of blocks I can normally hit that I could not hit; yet torpedoes come out of their quarter boxes quite handily. I could swim under much of the level. A whistler wakes up exactly one fish.
67th, DEEP DELUGE, by Plasmodium00
57.75/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 36/60
Creativity: 16/30
Aesthetics: 6/10

Total: 58/100

Comments:
There was something kind of strange about searching for keys to enter pipes here because the keys were almost never far enough away to be considered proper "searches". And I'm not sure why you felt the need to add that little sign for the second time it happened to let the player know that a key was needed. I mean, the player has already seen that exact setup once before just to get to the point where the sign shows up, haven't they? They should recognize the setup. The P-Switch also felt similarly unnecessary, since it was just slightly above where you need it, and it was just used to get through two quick walls. The beginning and midpoint sections felt almost entirely unnecessary to be honest. It feels like you should've just started with the haunted underwater section and maybe made each one a little bit longer to compensate. Despite the abundance of boos, bullets and spikes, the level felt kind of unthreatening. I think it's because you can take your time and carefully navigate basically every section as long as you're not carrying an item.
Ryaa:
Design: 28/60
Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics: 7/10

Total: 49/100

Review: Leaving my own personal tastes out of this, I will aggressively argue that this level takes everything about water levels that isn't desired and magnifies them by at least 250%. I'm not sure if the creator ran out of time or anything of the sort, but what I'm noticing is that this key gimmick is very underwhelming. You'd think that something that important that's needed to progress would have a bit more depth rather than searching around and hoping you find it. The Ghost House enemies and Bill Blasters tend to clutter the level a lot and make it so that you can't move around too much or else you risk getting hit way too much. This is not a wise design choice considering it seems that the idea in this level is to be able to swim around in a more open space. If your open space is very cluttered and condensed then it makes no sense to have the space so open in the first place. I won't complain about aesthetic choices as I think the music and simpler palettes work well together.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 41/60
CREATIVITY| 15/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 63/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
soda lake and sunken ghost ship had a baby

This is a pretty okay water level. It seems partly inspired by sunken ghost ship
from SMW, but this plays around with boos more. I'm not sure why it gives away so
many throw blocks when there's nothing to hit them with.

I like the fetch quests since swimming with an item is different from swimming
without one. The rest of the swimming sections weren't as creative though, as I was
mostly waiting for boo rings and dodging fish, urchins, bullets, and boos.

Basically, this level doesn't do anything wrong and it's a little bit interesting,
with the design, but it may be too safe of an effort.
morsel:
40
15
6
61/100
This was quite well done. You have to move around the level in many directions and it never felt cluttered or empty. Perhaps this new lm will be a boon to water level enthusiasts. Boo circles work better under water when you have to actively tread; however, some of them here allowed you to stand still. I could go above the screen at one point to no purpose (there is a blue coin there and blue blocks and I cannot tell what any of it is for). doyou havekey. Why the need for a key is underlined later rather than when it is first required, I do not know. When re-playing, I noticed some sprites despawned easily (the urchins at the start; a p-switch from a block despawned--is it no longer a permanent sprite in this cursed ROM?--the key from the block is also easily despawned (in the dark area, not, seemingly, at the beginning)). There are blue blocks scattered about--if they are meant to help me swim more quickly, they do not help me swim more quickly downwards, which is the way I am going). Fake coins appear for no discernible reason.
66th, Sky Castle, by N450
58.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 38/60
Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 61/100

Comments:
I think the designs tarted to fall apart a little by the end. It seemed like you were running out of ideas, so you just started adding in all the various castle sprites. Because up to that point you were mostly using Thwomps, Dry Bones, Wooden and Falling Spikes, and line-guided Grinders. But at the end you suddenly threw in ball n' chains, moving blocks, diagonal fireballs, bowser statues, hotheads and a mostly pointless P-Switch all with one use each and in rapid succession. This isn't a huge deal but I found it noticeable because usually the end of the level is where you want to "remix" how you use the elements previously found in a level to create a final challenge.

While it wasn't outdoors like the rest of the level, I think the line guided segment was pretty good and a decent challenge before the midpoint. I would've liked to see it used again in the second half somewhere. Overall I think the level needed a little more ambition and you need to make sure you don't lose steam by the end so we don't have situations where you throw a bunch of random stuff in at the last second.
Ryaa:
Design: 35/60
Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics: 4/10

Total: 54/100

Review: For a first level entry, I believe that this is a lot better than what one would usually expect. Of course there are different troubling things about this level which I will go in depth about right now. To start off, the level began normally as any other castle level would, but I was caught off guard by the Thwomp that leads to the first dragon coin. I think that the placement of the coin is pretty okay where it is. However, the Thwomp itself could have had more indication of its placement as the way the screen scrolls vertically makes it so that you don't have any idea initially that you need to slow down to avoid getting hit. The rest of the level progressed normally with slightly bland design. After making it towards the end, I didn't quite understand why the creator decided to start indicating sprite placements with coins at a random point where you can actually see where everything is. It would have made more logical sense to include these green coins throughout the level so that they wouldn't feel so out of place.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 43/60
CREATIVITY| 16/30
AESTHETICS| 7/10
TOTAL | 66/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
please refer to the level name

A pretty standard sky castle. It uses the castle enemies pretty well though there
wasn't anything outstanding in terms of creativity. Nothing felt out of place,
unfair, nor frustrating, so props to that. I particularly like the line guided
platform ride and the bowser flame placements.

The biggest issue this level has is that even if it's well designed, it's not very
memorable. There are many other castle levels out there, and this doesn't stand out
of them in aesthetics nor creativity. Having a bigger focus would help here.

That doesn't stop it from being pretty good though.
morsel:
38
10
3
51/100
The colours in the outside part were not that pleasing (the vanilla colours indoors show this up). The level also looks a bit empty outside. The indoor platform ride was nicely done (although there could have been more space in parts). The outside parts were less focussed but mostly fine. At some parts, things felt more cramped and awkward than elsewhere and sprites could spawn on top of each other making it feel haphazard. The second half seems undeveloped compared to the first.
We're in that part of the contest where you'll probably see a lot of similar comments from me. I really value "theme and development" when scoring levels. Theme means the ideas the level presents, and development means how the level takes those ideas and plays with them. This is especially apparent in my comments for Sky Castle, where I mention that by the end of the level it chosen to throw in one or two of each major castle sprite for seemingly no reason, instead of continuing to use the elements it had already been working with for the first 2/3 of the level. I grew up playing the DKC games and they loved to do this with level gimmicks and ideas. Take ideas and use them in many ways during a level. It definitely inspired my methods for designing and critiquing levels.

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Piesonscreations
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Piesonscreations » 1 month ago

raocow mentioning his not-editing of sneezes recently reminded me of the fact that we haven't seen a good ol' multicolor spinning screen slowed-down sneeze growl in a while.
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Implo
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Implo » 1 month ago

First level today had really good aesthetics and music. I also liked a lot it's design. I'm surprised it scored so lowly. On the other hand second level is just precision spin jumping on saw, which was very deadly. Yes, it's creative, but I didn't like it very much.

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Grounder
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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Grounder » 1 month ago

The biggest problem with the first level today is that you couldn't really tell what enemies were supposed to be reskins of just by looking at them.
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

Sorry for not giving a minor One More Level warning before this but I forgot about Fort Hoversaw's difficulty in comparison to Mountan Castle and a future level I'll give a warning for. That said, it wasn't too bad overall and you weren't going to put out a tiny one level video anyway, I'm sure.

65th, Caelum Coast, by Ruberjig
58.75/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 35/60
Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 57/100

Comments:
I think this level spends too much time trying to look pretty and while failing to offer a compelling reason to be a nonlinear level. There's a lot of up, down, left and right exploration to be found here but it's mostly for Yoshi Coins and in the end mostly just obscures the path forward. The actual path forward turns out to be rather short too and aside from the not very good enemy graphic replacements, only really has one interesting idea in needing to use a springboard to hop over some brambles. But that only happens one time in the whole level and the rest is just very standard Mario level stuff but with a little added verticality and ambiguity towards what's actually solid.

Those castle towers are not clear at all that they have holes to jump up in the middle of them and there's nothing really to suggest that the water at the bottom of the level is actually void. The bullet cannons look solid but aren't, except for the cannon itself, the brambles overextend their graphics and don't match their collision like mega castle spikes do. And while we're on the topic of graphics, why are the Goombas replaced with half Eerie half Bony Beetle things? they didn't look stompable at all at first. And why do the birds explode? It feels like you changed their graphics just because you could, didn't you?

Oh and it turns out there's an entire part of the level I missed and only found in Lunar Magic because I guess I didn't check all the paths in my two playthroughs of the level because I was too busy trying to figure out what the point of the P-Switch above the midpoint was for (still not sure even after looking in LM to be honest...). This level needed way more focus and expansion of ideas. I'd make it less vertical or put less emphasis on secrets and additional paths that don't actually add to the level design, and tighten things up more. Graphics can't carry a level on their own.
Ryaa:
Design: 30/60
Creativity: 12/30
Aesthetics: 8/10

Total: 50/100

Review: To start off, I was really hoping that this level would be one of those where it didn't follow the pattern of good aesthetics and unpleasant level design. When I entered the level, I was in awe with how different and unique the graphics were. Though as I began to progress in the level, I quickly noticed that there was no focus whatsoever. The main level itself basically feels like a bit of a mess especially once the spiky tiles are introduced. There's no real introduction to anything that was going on in this level which made it pretty strange to try to progress through. To generalize my thoughts here, I believe that it's clearly shown that the creator of this level spent way more time on aesthetics and other (specifically) unnecessary things which really covered the light that I was hoping this level would have.

The surprisingly short length of the level is what really caught me off guard. Though I think I can probably blame that and the lack of focus on the fact that the creator decided that including an entirely complete extra level in the rom under this time limit was a good idea???
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 38/60
CREATIVITY| 20/30
AESTHETICS| 10/10
TOTAL | 68/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
so pretty, so many secrets, and yet i end up perplexed

I love the little hints given through the Yoshis and friendly koopas; they helped
point out hidden paths and areas where you can spin jump to unlock powerups. The
aesthetics are also wonderful.

However, I find it unfortunate that most players will miss the level's nonlinearity
since the the structure is seemingly straightforward. If your goal is to only get
the exit, this is pretty much an average level with a few springboard and throw
block puzzles. But if your goal is to get all dragon coins, then the level's
creativity and design shines... until you realize it's impossible to get one of
them. Yeah, one dragon coin seems to require a cape, and I can't find it anywhere.
This is SUPER unfortunate, and the design took a hit from that.

I can only hope I'm missing something.
morsel:
35
15
10
60/100
While being confused by what a koopa was doing to a wall, I found a hidden passage and one of those dirt flowers I had seen at the beginning. I went in a door and was trying to hit a block with a throwblock when something that did not look like a bullet shooter shot a bullet in my face. A lot of time must have been spent making the background in this level. I am not sure what the point of the little castles are, as I tried to enter many of them and was never able to. Perhaps they are there to confuse me as to which parts of them are solid. There are moments in the level when sprites do not behave as I am used to seeing them behave; the trick is to spin jump on everything. This year's favourite switch block, the red switch block, makes his appearance as a warning indicator of some kind. An animated yoshi has an unsynchronised animation; it looks unfortunate. When exploring, I found a door which you are obviously only allowed to exit from, and then I went back the way I came.
64th, Fort Hoversaw, by Stairkase
59.00/100.00 points
Scores:
FPzero:
Design: 40/60
Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics: 5/10

Total: 68/100

Comments:
To say this was a hard level would be an understatement. The various ways of making the player do things while spinjumping were cool, but its main problem comes from how precise it demands the player to be at most times. Spinjumping is already challenging enough on quickly moving obstacles, but making them carefully time low and high bounces while transitioning from one moving object to another without hitting spikes? That's a recipe for a rough time even an experienced SMW player will find tough. But the main thing that stops me from scoring the level like I've scored very difficult levels like this in the past is that each section was very short and given a midpoint. Make it through, and you're rewarded with a checkpoint. There is no mega-endurance run here and the level is much stronger for it because a death doesn't feel that bad. It's only a few seconds back to where you died.

I think the first and third sections were the best designed parts of the whole level. The first had a bunch of interesting setups with the saws and kept the player on their toes. The third was the boss fight and while I didn't truly like the bullet generator I concede that it was probably necessary in order to add an extra layer of depth to the fight. The second section was basically one long segment but it felt a lot harsher and less tightly designed. I died at least 20 times before I figured out the timing and positioning to hit the turn block, and then died a bunch more at the end trying to position myself along the podoboos.

The level seems good overall but very hard and difficult to judge because of it. I honestly think the thing that saves if the most is the fact it isn't an endurance run. Without the short segments this would have been much more frustrating and scored much lower. So thank you for keeping the level mostly sane in terms of length and checkpointing.
Ryaa:
Design: 26/60
Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics: 3/10

Total: 54/100

Review: Before I even get into how I felt about this level, I want to make it clear that this probably wasn't as appropriate of an event to submit a level like this. I didn't think the level was bad by any means, but when a person has to spend over 10-15 minutes trying to beat a level for the first time then it starts to enter this weird territory where you can't really categorize the level amongst other VLDC levels. I love how clever some of the platforming was near the middle part of the level. Most ideas there are crafted in such a way where you could see what you needed to do without suddenly having random objects thrown at you from unknown places.

The placement of the boss however is what confused me even more. I don't think having the boss right after the midpoint and right before a section that's not that difficult was entirely necessary. Unless the boss door was there by mistake I don't see any logical reason to have it placed there when the actual boss door isn't that far away.

To move on to the boss itself, I this is what solidified my beginning statement where I don't think this type of level is fitting for a VLDC. The boss itself is difficult in a way where the average SMW player will probably not want to finish it. Not saying that the boss is bad or anything like that but it just isn't the type of difficulty one would normally expect to see in this type of contest. Perhaps something like this would be better suited for a KLDC since it seems to be reaching towards that category.

Even though I personally enjoyed this level after spending almost 2 hours attempting to fully complete it, I'm going to have to give this a lower score than others due to how specific this design is. There's more of a risk for this level to be unfun for people who aren't very fond of levels that tread into the Kaizo line and I believe that this level didn't do a very good job assessing that fact.
FrozenQuills:
-------------------
DESIGN | 36/60
CREATIVITY| 21/30
AESTHETICS| 6/10
TOTAL | 63/100
-------------------

COMMENTS:
much turbulence

The design teeters on the kaizo light side with the amount of precision leaps and
precision spin jumping you have to pull off, but luckily, the level has mercifully
short sections. I got a good feeling of accomplishment with each checkpoint, and I
appreciate the creativity in figuring out how to bring your ride along.

Unfortunately, I took a LOT of deaths, even if most were fair. It could have stood
to be more lenient, either with less cramped spaces or a mushroom at the beginning.
And as for the boss, it is unfortunately marred by the bullet generator, leading to
many unfair deaths; it could have done without it.

All in all, kaizo folks would enjoy this level, but I can see some despising it.
morsel:
25
20
6
It was not bad. We all know this is not the kaizo contest, yet this is another kaizo level, complete with saw bouncing and re-grabs. It is short, and therefore fair, and reasonably creative. I think I know why the other kaizo level exists; this one, I am less sure about. I applied the penalty from the other kaizo level to this one as well. This might have been a good level for the romhack races people. I loved its slightly janky presentation (the half wendy). The second half was shorter and less inventive than the first; the double dose of RNG (wendy and bullet generator) in the bos fight was a little too much.
I don't have time for random comments right now so I'll make another post later.

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FPzero
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Posts: 478
Joined: 10 years ago

Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby FPzero » 1 month ago

Those mid-contest commenting doldrums, eh?

Caelum Coast's background is beautiful, but the level itself just isn't very focused. I feel like this keeps happening where a level is designed really beautifully but then we score it low because the design is poor in places. VLDC-ifying your entry's graphics is a common past-time these days, and it's how we get the amazing graphical creativity we see these days. But in the past there was a tendency to see those amazing graphics and forget about a level's underlying design and score it higher than it might have truly deserved. I personally tried to remember to look past graphics and examine the design of the levels as best I could. To that end, I played the level a couple times and then gave it a look-over in Lunar Magic just to see all that I could. This doesn't mean I won't ever score a beautiful level high on graphics, just that I want to make sure every part of the level is of high quality, and we'll see examples of that later on.

Fort Hoversaw is acceptably hard because it's short, concise, and well midpointed. It's a big challenge, but it's a relatively fair challenge and that helped it score decently, as far as my score was concerned. That Wendy fight is really creative and took me a fair bit of time to beat!

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Kleetus
Posts: 189
Joined: 9 months ago
Location: Under a starless sky (due to light pollution)

Re: Vanilla Level Design Contest 11 -- Add a plus in there and you get two

Postby Kleetus » 1 month ago

My fovourite thing to do with this series is to look at all the "custom" graphics and try to figure out where they're originally from.


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