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The First Pure Vanilla Level Design Contest - Preliminary Discussion
Forum Index - Important - Announcements - The First Pure Vanilla Level Design Contest - Preliminary Discussion
Pages: « 1 2 3 413 14 » Thread Closed
Sorry for the delay.

Our very first Pure Vanilla Level Design Contest is coming in 8 days. If youíve never heard about it or want to read a recap: around 4 months ago, the user GbreezeSunset proposed on this thread the possibility of creating a vanilla contest that didnít allow graphical modification or any custom resource, kind of a new SMW-styled contest. After seeing the interest sparked by this idea, the staff and Public Relations team decided to make it an official contest. However, not all aspects regarding it were decided, including whether glitches and unintended behavior in the original game should be allowed, or if authenticity should be a factor in judging, like we saw in the 10th edition of 24HoSMW. Thus, the creation of this thread, to discuss these and other factors.
That being said, youíre allowed to come up with your own discussion points, including proposal of a new rule or judging factor, or something else.


Some main points for clarification regarding this:
- Judging wonít be anonymous. I donít see need for it because itís a really simple contest.
- The submission period will be 2 weeks, fair enough to make a simple, Ďtraditionalí level.
- The judging scale will be similar to the one used in the 10th 24HoSMW. Currently itís a 30/20 scheme, with 30 being for design, and 20 being for creativity. That being said, if a new judging aspect is brought up to the table, the judging scale will be modified accordingly.
- A collaboration hack will be made with the submitted entries.


For the principal discussion points I wanted to bring up:
- Should a Level Presentation category be added to judging? It would not have a large value, and would be an equivalent of aesthetics. I personally thought judging this aspect would be unnecessary but considering someone could just, say, submit a level with cutoff graphics or just made of cement blocks, and get no penalization for it.
- Should we restrict unintended or glitch behavior that was present in the original game? Thatís, for example, tile 1F0 or stuff like the Urchins in Morselís VLDC8 entry.
- Kinda goes along with the point mentioned above, should we make authenticity a judging factor? My original proposition was to give it an insignificant amount of score (5 points) but letís consider that some people believe that judging that factor would be subjective, while others feel that by not factoring it into the score this would just become an original game looking VLDC. Valid points were brought to each side, but in the end no general consensus was reached regarding this.
- Regarding judging, we havenít decided in any judge yet. Iím looking for three judges, preferably with the time disposition so the judging period goes by quick, and judging experience. Remember that judges are needed for any contest to happen, so if you want to see this happen but are not interested in participating feel free to PM me. That being said of course Iíll not pick the first three who ask to judge, Iíll consider each oneís abilities.


You have until 12:00:00 CDT (17:00:00 UTC) of June 11th (one week) to discuss. After this Iíll apply the changes based on the general public consensus (a la VLDC), so donít worry, your opinions will be taken into account.
I'm really quite excited for this contest. I believe authenticity should play a medium role in this, because having the essence of SMW but still trying something new is a good idea. If it's a really small role, the levels would have too many gimmicks and dull new additions that ruin the SMW feel, but have it play too large of a role and it limits creativity way too much because then you can't try anything out. Using unused objects and 1F0 should be alright to use.

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Hack progress: 6/8 exits
Play the demo right here!
Level Presentation: No. As long as it has an Nintendo SMW feel, levels won't need to be judged based on presentation. This is where the Authenticity score comes into place.
Glitch Usage: I'm against it. We want the 1st Pure Vanilla Design Level Design to be as pure as possible. You don't see actual Nintendo SMW levels exploiting glitches, so why should it be allowed here?
Authenticity: I kinda thought that was the point on the PVLDC, so yes authenticity of a level should be judged for a reasonable amount of points in this contest.
Layout by Erik557
Hi.
Level Presentation: Meh. I don't think people should be punished because Oh No Sinful Cement Block. I'm not really in favor of this.

Glitch behaviors: Allow them. Not having them, I feel, would make making levels a lot less fun and interesting. I feel if you did disallow them it would make the final package less interesting and creative overall, idk.

Authenticity: No. While it fit for the last 24hoSMW because the entire point was to make a SMW-styled, Nintendo-y level, at least in my eyes it seems like this contest is just a VLDC with all of the fancy graphical stuff disallowed. Putting in an authenticity category could possibly come off as punishing creativity because it could be said that 'Nintendo wouldn't abuse glitches like 1F0' or 'Nintendo wouldn't use floating Blurps' or whatever.
In my opinion, if you disallow glitch usage then authenticity should definitely be added, and viceversa. They're kind of mutually exclusive.

I'll agree that glitch usage would make for more interesting levels, but we have the VLDCs for that, and uh, it's kinda missing the point of this contest I think. There are some really clever gimmicks you can pull off and interesting levels you can create without using glitches anyway.

Level presentation depends on whether authenticity exists. If there is no such category then you should be allowed to make your level look as you please ('cept for, you know, glitchy graphics cuz that's just bad design choice in of itself).
- Yes to Presentation category (ensures effort)
- Full restriction of glitches (destroys the "pure" in "pure vanilla")
- No judging of Authenticity (too subjective)
If glitches do get disallowed, a very clear line has to be drawn, which is probably difficult.

There is a distinction between tile 1F0 and the spring glitch versus blurps and torpedo teds out of water, I suppose.
I rather wanted to have a SMW-styled or Traditional LDC rather than a "pure" VLDC (btw, let's do a drinking game where you take a shot everytime I bring up this point). Not that I don't want create a such level (I went even) but the point is that it is too similar to VLDC. The last 24hoSMW wasn't (pure) vanilla either, but actually allowed a couple chocolate stuff (including your level, Erkk).

Originally posted by Erik557
- Should a Level Presentation category be added to judging? It would not have a large value, and would be an equivalent of aesthetics. I personally thought judging this aspect would be unnecessary but considering someone could just, say, submit a level with cutoff graphics or just made of cement blocks, and get no penalization for it.

While the emphasis on aesthetics is less emphasised as on the VLDC, due to being limited on purely vanilla graphics, it is still an important factor. Minor cutoffs, especially these which you can't fix without any custom graphics or even Map16 tiles, shouldn't be penetalised but obviously ugly aesthetics like cement block spam, christmas tree decoratedô levels, missing end pieces or even flunchers really shouldn't be in this contest.

Originally posted by Erik557
- Should we restrict unintended or glitch behavior that was present in the original game? That’s, for example, tile 1F0 or stuff like the Urchins in Morsel’s VLDC8 entry.

Unintended usages includes glitches should be generally disallowed. I mean, if the main point of this contest is to create a traditional level then unintendiesô have got no place in this contest.
That being said, some unintendies could fit into the main game. Of course, the better question is what unintendies should be allowed.

Originally posted by Erik557
- Kinda goes along with the point mentioned above, should we make authenticity a judging factor? My original proposition was to give it an insignificant amount of score (5 points) but let’s consider that some people believe that judging that factor would be subjective, while others feel that by not factoring it into the score this would just become an original game looking VLDC. Valid points were brought to each side, but in the end no general consensus was reached regarding this.

See above: This contest would be (and is) too similar to the VLDC and disregarding authenticity wouldn't help at all.

Edit: Of course, we first need to decide what defines "SMW-like" but you get the point, the authenticity is an important factor in this contest, especially since this is otherwise a stricter VLDC.

tl;dr I'm disappointed that the TLDC ended up being just "another" VLDC, albeit a more stricter one. In fact, we don't need a second VLDC, regardless on how strict the rules are in comparison to the primary VLDC.
As such, I'm not really sure whether I should participate or not and if authenticity doesn't play any role at all, the chances stands rather low if I participated in it.

Yay, first layout!
Originally posted by snoruntpyro
this contest is just a VLDC with all of the fancy graphical stuff disallowed.
this is exactly what I don't want. I think it should be more unique than just VLDC [good level design and no aesthetics edition]

Level presentation: Yes, but it shouldn't affect the score much, and points shouldn't be reducted because of cutoff or issues like that - this should be scored depending on whether the level looks like it could be from SMW or not. So cutoff shouldn't be a reason to reduct points for example, as it was in the original SMW too
Glitches: Yeahhhh nope.
Authenticity: Yes. I really don't think this is too subjective, a good judge should be able to reasonably score levels on this.
e: sorry, I see what you mean with too subjective now. I had thought it was agreed to judge whether the level would have felt out of place in SMW or not, which meant you could use ASM as long as you were able to design an SMW-like level. I wasn't aware authenticity meant punishing the creator for doing anything the original didn't in the last 24hosmw. If the former is accepted, then yes, authenticity should be judged.

Also is there gonna be an OW contest for this?
*Presentation: No. If a level is full of ugly cutoffs and glitched sprite graphics you can remove points in creativity (or authenticity if you go with that, since there's no giant cutoffs in SMW), but we don't need a separate category for that.

*I'm neutral on glitch/1F0 allowance

*Regarding authenticity it should be only for glitches and aethetics, it shouldn't include (non-glitchy) level design aspects. So no "I removed points in authenticity because you used boos in a castle and no levels in SMW do that", or "You lost points in authenticity because the level required the player to kill a hammer brother with a shell so they can stand on his platform to cross the gap which was never required in SMW" and things like that.
So before I give my complete opinion on the subject, there are two main categories that most people are leaning towards.

1. Nintendo-styled level design contest with authenticity and no glitches.

2. All level design and no aesthetics, VLDC without the heavy focus on aesthetics and atmosphere.

1 as its advantages as being a new and exciting contest, easier to create, and with less pressure. It allows for us to use a different part of our imagination, instead thinking of a level that could fit in a real game and doing our best to design that way. The disadvantage is that this stifles creativity... maybe.

2 has advantages in that, theoretically, without the aesthetics to worry about, people will focus their full attention on designing high quality levels. The disadvantage being, the similarity to the VLDC (and I'm just waiting for someone to come along and say that this option is for those that "can't be bothered" to try with aesthetics, which is super lamo [don't do that]).

After getting some opinions from others, they made me realize that option 2 wouldn't actually increase the quality of design all that much. People who aren't experienced at level design will just create a more plain looking design contest. I can understand how you would like doing this contest Pyro, since you are skilled at design and consider that your strong point. However, there are lots of others who join the VLDC's and are more skilled at presentation, for example. They are not going to miraculously become skilled at design, since they can no longer work on aesthetics.

A third option (option 3) also came across my mind from stuff that others pointed out in that old thread. What if we went with option 2, but significantly reduces glitches and basically required designers to focus on lolyoshi-styled good design, rather than worldpeace-styled good design, or morsel-styled good design. I hope you guys can realize the distinction behind these design styles. Lolyoshi makes good levels that, while they don't always resemble Nintendo style, they don't rely on vanilla trickery. Most of the time, they are simply good level through design only. Worldpeace and morsel, on the other hand, focus heavily on creativity. Worldpeace designs brilliant levels that use both level design and creativity, while morsel seems to focus extensively on how creative his levels will be, sometimes ignoring whether some people will "have a bad time". Option 3 would aim for something similar to what lolyoshi designs. It would be like option 2, except people can't go willy nilly with glitches and tile 1f0 (yes, tile 1f0 is completely possible without making any map16 changes, it can be used as an invisible tile by using the mushroom tileset). Relying on good ole SMW sprites along to make good design.

Now, here's the issue with option 3. It stifles creativity for those that could make even better levels with vanilla trickery, and it succumbs to the same problem that option 2 had in the first place, except now it is exacerbated. If you are not an experienced level designer, designing in a VLDC style without the added advantages of vanilla gimmicks and vanilla trickery, such as glitches, makes it even more likely that 80% of the submitted levels will be boring grassland "romps" (for lack of a more descriptive word). Like it or not, but 1f0 kinda allowed for inexperienced designers to have an easy gimmick at their fingertips, to make their level more interesting and creative.

So maybe it seems like option 1 is the best option? I can see that most are leaning towards that option, and I think we should go with what the majority wants. However, it's gonna need some tweaking to be a good contest with a consistent judge scoring.

-Authenticity is an awful category, at least the way it was handled in the 24oh smw. Like Najeraldo said, I really don't want a category where judges are free to dock points for using dragon coins in a castle level, or rip van fish outside of water. That would be ridiculous, and would realllly stifle creativity.

-There is no point in having a presentation category, but I would really like people to actually put effort into their aesthetics in this contest. That's because, c'mon, it's a vanilla contest. If you cannot be bothered to change cement blocks into grassland tiles, that is just annoying. I understand using cement blocks in switch palace levels, for example (since the tileset there sucks). But, I believe that designers should strive to have their levels at least look like levels that could be in SMW. And also, I strongly recommend not allowing custom palettes.

-Glitches can be pretty subjective, but I think that koopster is right. Technically, spin jumping on any water sprite outside of water is a glitch. Also, tile 1f0 is a glitch. More obviously, infinite climbing and invisible yoshi are both glitches as well. Do I think we should prevent people from using water sprites outside of water? Definitely not. But here's the tricky part. Invisible yoshi is actually easier to activate in the original SMW than spin jumping on water enemies, since they never appear out of water levels. So clearly, we cannot define glitches by their appearance in SMW or lack of. Clearly, we cannot define glitches by whether they are intended by Nintendo or not either. Then, we go back to an overbearing authenticity category, docking points for use rip van fish out of water. Honestly, I think we should say "no glitches" and let the dust settle, because most people can use common sense and realize that using a rip van fish out of water is fine. Another example I would say is fine is using bowser's bowling balls not in the boss fight.


So what am I leaning towards? I would like to see a contest where designers are encouraged to focus as much as they possible can on design. Creativity and authenticity should not be used together under any circumstances, as they are super conflicting. Designers are encouraged to make a plain vanilla level that focuses heavily on design. Not trying to make a level that could find its place in the original SMW. Rather, a contest where designers are making levels that might find themselves in a Nintendo sequel, a sort of "lost levels" for SMW. That means that we can focus on good design and go a little out of the box (using rip van fish outside of water for example, or layer 2 to create elevators). However, we don't want to go so outside of the box, that we are just making a sort of ROM hack styled sequel either. Does that make sense? Seems like the best compromise as well. I suggested this idea originally because I really like the idea of designing with intentionally, and I feel that there is pressure in the VLDC's to make the most over the top, insane level possible.
I feel iffy on the concept of this contest in general. On one hand, I like a contest where the goal is try to be traditional and pure vanilla. But on the other hand, glitch usage and overall jankiness feels like it would be poorly judged no matter what, as people might go overboard on looking like ass (to a perturbing level) but possibly playing good. I feel either directions aren't gonna end well due to the nature of the community's standards and philosophy.

The Authenticity category being an example of being way too subjective as no one really knows how the feel of SMW really is (besides some more knowledgeable and more studious). Though, we could just point towards RTDL and go "do something like that ok thanks", but I feel those kind of hacks achieve the SMW feel better when it's all connected and organic instead of playing a individual level, and I don't think you can fully appreciate SMW from judging it based on a single level, due to how the game is always making you learn things (new elements, mechanics, etc).
Don't allow MAP16.
I agree with some others that authenticity proved a bit too subjective in the 24ho level design contest.
I think bugs are okay, but only because I find it hard to imagine using any of the really bad bugs would give you a good level anyway.
No custom palettes.
Level presentation should be factored in regarding cut-off and just bad tileset usage, but not hugely, because there shouldn't be much to judge in that department anyway.
Make the contest about design, SMW gives you enough tools if you ask me.
Level Presentation: No
Glitches: No
Originally posted by Erik557
- Should a Level Presentation category be added to judging?


No, I think it's completely pointless since authenticity should cover that. In other words, a level that is made entirely made of cement blocks would lose points because it doesn't look like a traditional SMW level.

Originally posted by Erik557
- Should we restrict unintended or glitch behavior that was present in the original game? Thatís, for example, tile 1F0 or stuff like the Urchins in Morselís VLDC8 entry.


It depends on what we're talking about. If it's tile 1F0, the spring glitch, invisible yoshi, etc., then they shouldn't be allowed because I believe these examples are too distant from traditional SMW-like design. On the contrary, I'm okay with using fish out of the water and using sprites outside of their original environments, like ghosts in forest levels because I think docking points for things like that is pretty unfair. There's definitely a difference between the two sets of examples: the former involves using glitches, and the latter just involves using sprites and other things in places where you wouldn't normally see them in SMW.

Originally posted by Erik557
- Kinda goes along with the point mentioned above, should we make authenticity a judging factor?


As I said above, yes. After reading what others have said, I'm starting to think that authenticity isn't as important as I once thought, as it can be too subjective, but I still think the category should have a presence. As Najeraldo said, I think the category should only measure aesthetics and glitch usage. Furthermore, it should be worth 10 points, with design being worth 30 and creativity 20, adding up to a total of 60 points. Lastly, map16 and custom palettes shouldn't be allowed, as others have said.

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Formerly known as nick 139
My YouTube channel
Originally posted by Erik557
Should a Level Presentation category be added to judging? It would not have a large value, and would be an equivalent of aesthetics.

Only to the extent of discouraging large cut-off and glitchy looking sprites.
Originally posted by Erik557
Should we restrict unintended or glitch behavior that was present in the original game?

Yes.
Originally posted by Erik557
Kinda goes along with the point mentioned above, should we make authenticity a judging factor?

Not really.

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Legacy custom music


How am I so creative? I think taking walks might have something to do with it.
Every single level of every single ROM hack I've ever made is easier than Ultra Necrozma.
If you don't ban exanimation I will abuse the hell out of it.

Just saying.
♪♫♩♬
Quote
- Should we restrict unintended or glitch behavior that was present in the original game? Thatís, for example, tile 1F0 or stuff like the Urchins in Morselís VLDC8 entry.


What is unintended behavior? That's an issue. Let's begin with 1F0.

-Used to make a sprite act wierd? no.
-Used as corner tile? yes.

Clear. But...

-Say I decide to use 1F0 or similar to set the boundaries for a coin train. Technically the tile blocks the coin train- which it IS supposed to do- but 1F0 is not intended to be used like that. Is this ok?

-Now, say 1F0's "don't interact w/Mario" properties give it decorative use as dirt, and some objects do use it as such. But what happens if Mario can walf through that dirt with an item, and see its effects? that's clearly a glitch, but intended?

-Say 1F0 was used instead of normal dirt on a ledge. That's unintended, but not a glitch. Is it ok?

These edge cases need be accounted for. Let's keep going:

-Can a lava raft go over tiles that aren't lava?
-Can you use the unused-but-identical chargin' chuck?
-Normal Piranah plant ok? Glitches but acts intended.
-Furthermore, are unused tiles allowed at all?
-Always-turning-turn-blocks? The game uses them, can you?
-Keys as platforms?
-Warp hole blocks: These were used, but what is their intended usage?
-Stone blocks are never used for making entire levels out of. Is that banned? That would be unintended usage.
-Certain tilesets give ? blocks the "bonus room" effect, where hitting the blocks in the right order spouts a 1-up. Can there be switch palaces which sidescroll and use these? what about Castle levels that just add a bonus partway through?
-Yoshi coins are not intended to be used in Castle levels. si o no?
-Can I use a palette for a mossy castle? It's ok in grassland levels, but here?

Yeah, be very careful where you draw the boundaries.

Idk what to do, tbh.

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Want to see my Super Mario Timeline?
You can judge presentation while restricting the use of exGFX/exAnimation/custom map16 and even palette choices through good organization of visual elements.
(though if it were to be included it should be a very minor part of the rubric imo, like 5 points)

Regarding glitches (speaking in terms of using things for unintended use, like 1F0 or blurps out of water), I'm personally fine either way, but restricting them would inherently create authenticity towards the original SMW without needing to create a category for it.
(this sort of restriction would make it harder to make creative elements, but I don't think it would completely kill creativity)

Speaking of authenticity, I don't like a category for it unless it's REALLY clear and consistent with what the judges are looking for (unlike 24hrsmw).

Just my few cents.
considering that no one knows what authenticity is, and how no one knows what "unused behavior" counts as, that would mean judges would have no clue either.

Without good judges (I don't think any human on earth can properly judge this), we cannot have a good contest.

Therefore, I think there should not be a pure vanilla level design contest. (Also, we've already had lots of level design contests this year--give people a break.)
Pages: « 1 2 3 413 14 » Thread Closed
Forum Index - Important - Announcements - The First Pure Vanilla Level Design Contest - Preliminary Discussion

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