I would say no to custom palettes. I would really like to see vanilla palettes used and see people come up with something nice looking using smw. Plus, the compilation hack would be million times more consistent looking and (in all honesty) probably better looking.
Direct Map16 Access: Yes
Levels should still try to look visually appealing to a degree. SMW levels in the actual game weren't cement block spam with floating munchers and jumping note blocks placed everywhere.
We should still be allowed to use direct map16 since it is more convenient than relying on standard/extended objects, but we shouldn't edit the tiles and change pallets.
Allowing unintended glitches like 1F0 would defeat the purpose of this contest. These glitches were really overused in both VLDC9 and VLDCX, so I would think most of us are sick of seeing stuff like this get abused. It is possible to make pure vanilla SMW style levels and still be fun. Allowing these glitches would just turn this contest into a stricter VLDCX.
I say no to custom palettes in the contest. The original palettes look great and several levels use one of the colors of FG, BG or sprites. Using in-game colors might make a neat level of it.How do you call an animation about cars? A car-toon!
In contrast to VLDC, I think the level entries should remain unnamed only being attributed to its author until it gets placed into the collaboration, where it would get a name based on its placement in the world. The Author's Name and Score being displayed somewhere. This assumes however that the overworld map would end up being structured similarly to vanilla SMW worlds; take the Pure Vanilla idea and stretch it all the way to the Overworld structure.
That's not a bad idea. If we go for some kind of naming convention similar to the original SMW in regards to overworld placement. Regarding the top 20 levels as the special world/star world. IDK what kind of placement the worst levels would get, but it's an interesting idea.