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[FAN JUDGE] Mad Lad's mega lazy fan judging thread - REQUESTS WELCOME
Forum Index - Important - The 11th Vanilla Level Design Contest - [FAN JUDGE] Mad Lad's mega lazy fan judging thread - REQUESTS WELCOME
Pages: « 1 2 3 »
Thanks for all the new requests, I'll try to get to them as soon as possible. I'll try to get as many done before the end of the submission period so you still have time to update your entries.
As promised here are the next reviews with one of them being my biggest one yet and the other one an update of one of my previous reviews. Enjoy!

051 Kusrry:


Design: 33/60
One of the most creative and unique entries I've played yet. Sadly the execution isn't always up to what I'd wish for. But when it comes to potential almost no level comes close. With the right changes made I can see this level scoring very highly. One aspect I thought I'd mention before I talk about all the section individually is that the level unfortunately rather feels like a collection of interesting ideas with a lack of focus. While I love the behind all four gimmicks sometimes it's better to work with just one or two main gimmicks because you can't unleash the true potential of all gimmicks. In this level I feel that two of the gimmicks are cut way too short/barely used. Let's discuss the individual sections in more detail:
Golden block lock room / transition sections:
For the most part a decent section that works well as a transition to the more gimmicky rooms. While this section also has a gimmick it doesn't really effect on the gameplay becuase there is only ever one way to go. Using urchins outside of water and most of the setups with them are really creative. However they are often placed in a way in a way that involves a lot of waiting (example). Especially after playing through this section multiple times these jumps are not difficult just time consuming. At times I found this level to be too empty especailly the short section after the midpoint (example).
Reversing room:
What a lovely idea. I've got mixed feelings on the level design though. Like the gimmick of the first section I think it would work best in a more puzzle oriented design. As of now the gimmick rarely effects the gameplay as long as you enter the pipes you come across. The setup where you had to grab to springboard before you could progress to the right was one that stood out to me. I have a few problems with some of the setups and enemy placements though. One problem that I came across multiple times throughout the level was that you don't always give enough time to dodge the enemies when you come out of a pipe (example 1, 2). Also I'd consider removing the pargoomba sections as both of them are much more difficult.
Dark room:
Yet another awesome idea. The execution is alright on both sections but I feel you're still missing out on quite a bit of potential. Especially the first section is over before it even started. I'd recommend extending the section a bit and work with all different kinds of enemies that indicate platforms differently as long as they can't be killed. ECS gave you some great suggestions already on how you could spice up these sections. While I'm glad you brought the gimmick back for a second section it's much more difficult to recognise the shapes in it. For me the "safest" way of getting through it was to just go for it an spin from one fuzzball to the next (especially when you're under time pressure).
Time stop room:
By far my favourite section. Here you not only had a brilliant gimmick but also came up with many interesting setups. What I loved most is that you went for a non-linear / more puzzle oriented approach. Some of the memorable setups include the one with the bowser statues where you have to activate the conveyor belts or the large gap that you either cross with the moving platforms or through spinjumping on spinys. I have a few minor complaints though. The falling spiny in the very beginning that ECS already mentioned is very unfair, you could for example replace it with flying parakoopas. Sometimes sprites don't spawn e.g. these two saws here. The last few jumps are also really out of place difficulty wise especially if you're big.
Since the level is very long it's very possible that you can run low on time. I finished my first playthrough with only 18 seconds left.

Creativity: 27/30
No doubt, this is where the level truly shines. Pretty much every single section offers an enjoyable gimmick that one could build an entire level around. Out of all the gimmicks I found the time stop room the most intersting. It's section prooved how many interesting setups you can pull off with this idea. I also enjoyed the puzzly elements in that section e.g. throwing a throw block up to the conveyor belt to hit the diggin' chuck rock.

Aesthetics: 5/10
The first room looks neat for the most part. I like the tileset mixing especially the trees used as decoration. I'd recommend giving the trees a black outline though. The yellow dirt on the grassland tileset doesn't look very appealing, a different shade of green could work well. Also I'm not a fan of the golden blocks. You could for example replace them with switch blocks.
In the reversing room I love the yellow arrows you made because the gimmick is clear right of the bat and they look neat too. Not sure if I like both the light blue and pink colors together in the background.
The dark room pulls of a very decent atmosphere but some of the colors feel a bit out of place for me for example I'd consider changing the blue in the background (see example). I like the foreground palette quite a lot but would recommend a little more contrast on the dirt of the castle blocks.
The time stop room is quite simple aestheticly but I truely love the gradient in the background. Not the biggest fan of the cement blocks and cutoff ropes though.

Total: 65/100


023 JP32:

Design: 34/60
A definite improvement. Most of the new setups play decently with the pokey setup being a new favourite. They add some much needed difficulty to the first half. If there is one new setup that I dislike though it's the note block one. It's way too tight and when you're big I honestly have no clue on how to get past to the two munchers without getting hit. Also there are two things I should have mentioned on my last review: You can mess up the section before the midpoint if you lose your shell in any way before getting rid of the chuck. After playing the very last setup (with the note blocks) multiple times now I gotta disagree with what I said previously. I stil love the idea but feel like the note blocks make it way to hard to maneuver around the baseballs. Giving the player more room and time to react would help a lot. You fixed two previous issues though. The difficult feels much more balanced now with the first half now being quite tricky too and you are no longer able to break the section at the end. Good work there.

Creativity: 20/30:
Almost same score as last time as the new sections add very little new elements but rather build on previously established ideas and sections. I'm glad you made another setup with the extending block sprite though, both of them are super fun. The pokey setup is a great new addition though, very clever.

Aesthetics: 4/10:
No changes made on the asesthetics as far as I know. I gotta say I love the pokey reskin though xD.

Total: 58/100

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Check out my new hack thread:
Thanks for the re-revew, I fixed those problems and now I feel like the level is pretty much as good its ever gonna be#ab{:)}.

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Well, this mega lazy thread seems to have quite a lot of work! xD
So let me help you a bit there and give you even more work! haha
I've updated my level!

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My Youtube Channel
I'm all about instant gratification. Try Loopy Labyrinth out if you'd like. If not, that's cool too, I'm not a pushy fella.

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I made a standalone game once, look for Seabug Stampede on Google Play.
I'd appreciate some input on my level.
Thanks for detailed feesbacks!!
I'll try to fix the problems as far as time and my idea permits for me!

Originally posted by Mad Lad
One problem that I came across multiple times throughout the level was that you don't always give enough time to dodge the enemies when you come out of a pipe


That was intentional frankly. My intention was to make player to predict the reversed room with terrein, coims, enemies before entering the pipe, but it seems that the indication lacks. I'll try to find the better way!
I know it's awfully late, but could you also play my masterpiece.
Play mine, pretty please?
R.I.P. eXcavator... You will always have a place in our hearts...
I know that it is very late, but here's my level
Play #tb{:)}

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YT: Ins4n1tyGamer.


TheInsanity's SPC Thread - ;)
Have you played my level yet? I had had a couple updates, but this time it's a lot better!
How do you call an animation about cars? A car-toon!
Wanna make sure this would at least not finish at the bottom of the barrel.

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Hack progress: 5/8 exits
Play the demo right here!
Finally I can present the next three reviews to you. These took me a very long time to finish once again (sorry about that!).
I hope I can pick up the pace to be able to post a lot more reviews before the submission time ends.

058 Fullcannon:


Design: 21/60
While the level is fun to play it isn't particularly memorable and comes with various issues that brought your design score down by quite a bit. First of I found the level to be a little too long. After knowing how to play it I still finish with only about 50 seconds left when I attempt to collect all yoshi coins.
Other than that the level has unfortunately two bigger issues recurring multiple times throughout the level:
1. You need to watch out for blind jumps. Especially in the first section quite a few of them are unavoidable and can easily lead to death. Examples include the section in which you have to bring the p-switch (see here) and the way to the second yoshi coin in which the coins at the top are very misleading.
2. The second bigger problem is the at times very questionable and random enemy placement. Reasons for that are for example enemies that cannot hurt you at all (example given in my comments on the cave section) or only rarely because they for example fall of the platform. What's worse though are the enemies that fall from the sky at random leaving you no time to react. This especially accurres in the first section.

Grassland section:
Overall I think this section is ok but suffers the most from the previously mentioned errors out of all sections. I liked the non-linearity (climb the mountain to get the item you have to use at the bottom the section) and exploration bits. Not sure if it's intended but you can skip a part of the level by using the boost of the paragoomba in screen 16 instead of having to grab the springboard. Also if you lose your items (p-switch, springboard) there is no way to reset the level you might wanna add in a reset door for that.

Cloud section:
Other than the yoshi coin placements I didn't find this section all to interesting. The third one requires you to do some simple but fun koopa jumps to get it. For the fourth one you have to climb the cloud tree to the top which would be pretty fun if it wasn't for the unnecessary diagonal bullet generator. Also your way down after getting the yoshi coin is full of blind jumps. Also that might just be me being dumb but I struggled for a bit to find the exit of the section. Sure the green coin gives a decent hint but since the route for the yoshi coin is actually easier to get to and find I thought that would be your usual path to the exit.

Cave section:
A mostly decent but also forgettable section that gets really crowded in the end (three chucks on one screen is way too much). In comparison it feels really short, I would have like to see more of it. Some of the sprite placements should be changed like the bats on the skull ride that are unable to hit you.

Creativity: 11/30
You make great use of the new Lunar Magic 3.0 features and offer some neat bits to explore. Especially the yoshi-coins were always a treat to hunt down. Other than that I'm unfortunately having a hard time finding aspects in which the level stands out as it lacks unique and clever setups that stick with you. Memorable sections often come down to interesting sprite placement. My biggest recommendation is therefore to rework the sprite placements (along with removing the blind jumps) as that would not only make your level more fair but could also make it all the more memorable.

Aesthetics: 6/10
The first section has a very neat background. I really enjoy the decoration as well but at times it feels a bit too much (especially the berries).
Section two looks mostly decent but some of the cloud platforms are cutoff and I don't know if there is an easy way for you to fix it. Big ups for the idea of the sky trees though.
The third section offers some quite unusual decorations for a cave level. The grass works really well in my opion but I don't really like the monty holes and berries and would have prefered the usual lava palette instead.

Total: 38/100


035 Tweyxx:


Design 32/60
This level offers some super clever setups however quite a few section are very tight or tedious to play. A problem that goes hand in hand with it is the difficulty that is all over the
place. For the most part I'd say it's medium and very fair. Some of the jumps however I still can't beat damageless after attempting them multiple times.

First section:
00-01: The very first dolphin jump is already super tight and not a nice way to welcome players. I'd suggest to build up the difficulty throughout the level instead of having one of the trickiest sections at the very beginning. The second dolphin jump is way more fitting but it's easier to just ignore the dolphin instead and just jump over the spike on your own (not sure if intended).
02: The piranha plant fire can go behind the trees which could lead to unfair hits.
03: I like the way the urchin were used here, very clever.
04: This section has one spike (marked in red) that is way to difficult to avoid (screenshot).
05-06: These screens feel quite empty in comparison if you don't go for the bonus route.
07-08: Both dolphin setups are fair, fun to play and offer multiple ways of getting past these sections. I like that!
09-0A: Now we finally get to the section I've been wanting to talk about all along. This section took me incredible long to figure out as I didn't think it was safe to stand on the dolphins. And now that I know on how to do get past the section it's still very hard to pull of as there is very little room for error.
The rest of the room is much easier and not all too memorable, the bowser statue was used interestingly though.

Second section:
It's a super short section that I like quite a lot. The jumps are quite difficult to do but all very much doable on your fist try. Thumbs up!

Third section:
One of the very first setups in this section contains my biggest issue with the level. I'm talking about this jump here (screenshot). It's a very minor aspect that has a massive impact in my opinion. If you look closely at the screenshot you can see that I'm currently falling. This happens on every cycle when the platform reaches it's highest spot. You fall for a very short time in which you're unable to jump and that is exaclty where my problem lies. You're expected to jump to the other platform on a very short time frame when the platform is at the top position. Most of the times I try jumping I end up just running off the platform. To beat the section I wait for about 5 or 6 cycle to get a chance to safely make this jump and even then I still don't get it very often. Please note that this might be a very personal issue that only I'm having as I didn't have anywhere as much trouble with any of the other sections. The rest of the level has some great platforming going on that I had tons of fun with.

Creativity: 18/30
The fist half offers tons of clever ideas and setups. I especailly dig that you decided to use dolphins as they are rarely used (creatively / outside of bonus rooms). While their setups are often the most difficult ones of the entire level, I can't deny that the setups are very clever. Also I enjoyed that you put a lot of effort into hiding 1-ups to encourage exploration. The second half offers tons of creative sections as well with the moving platforms with the neat idea of having the line guides be invincible.

Aesthetics 7/10:
The level has a beautiful atmosphere supported be fitting music and unusual palettes (low (first half) or very high saturation (second half)). I also love how much effort an thought you put into the decorations. This would easily be a 9/10 if it wasn't for the spikes that are way to hard to see. Every thread should be clearly so I'd advice against hiding them in the ground or behind decoration.

Total: 57/100

022 crm0622:


First of I'm sorry but I'll skip giving a rating for this one. It's pretty clear that your level goes way above the normal difficult scale of a VLDC level. It is to be expected that not all VLDC judges are casual kaizo players and could therefore struggle a lot with this level savestateless or even with savestates (maybe even to the point where they will give up).

What kind of put me off was that the start of the level gives off a very different impression as it's quite easy to play. And it was only at the first very tight required fish jump that I realised that this level is actually very challenging. About two screens later (see screenshot) was were I gave up my savestateless attempt as I didn't know how to progress and I didn't expect the solution to be that difficult to pull off!.

I did play through the level once though with savestates. For a kaizo level I'd say it's alright. Threre are some very nice ideas in there but the overall repetitiveness of some setups (constant fish-hopping) and lack of proper timing (e.g. fish-hopping requires you to stop at multiple times ruining the flow of these section) especially in the second half. To name some of the interesting ideas: I enjoyed the gimmick of the very last section. You also put in a lot of effort to hide yoshi coin and other bonuses.

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Check out my new hack thread:
Originally posted by Kusrry
Thanks for detailed feesbacks!!
I'll try to fix the problems as far as time and my idea permits for me!

Originally posted by Mad Lad
One problem that I came across multiple times throughout the level was that you don't always give enough time to dodge the enemies when you come out of a pipe


That was intentional frankly. My intention was to make player to predict the reversed room with terrein, coims, enemies before entering the pipe, but it seems that the indication lacks. I'll try to find the better way!

...I know it's been a while since your reply but this might help.
Sorry for not going into more detail in my explanation. I did actually expect that this was your intention. However as you already mentioned the indication could be improved and there is another problem that you probably should consider. The way it is right is more of a guessing game as there is no way to clearly tell where the enemys spawn as they can move before they are on screen. The goombas are mostly predictable. It's mostly the spinys that you don't know the spawning position off.
I gotta say I love the idea of predicting where the enemys come from and there is a way I think you could make this work really well (feel fair and still be fun to play). Have you thought about combining the gimmick of the reversed room with the one of the time stop room. In one of the rooms you have all enemys stay in place and you're able to analyse the spawning position. As soon as you enter a pipe the room not only reverses but also all enemys come to life.

Hope you'll have time to fix the other issues especially now that the submission time has been extended. I'll be looking forward to it ;).

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Check out my new hack thread:
First of all thank you for reviewing my Lvl, this helps me a lot since I want this Lvl to be fun for everybody, for me it's fun since I know where the spikes are and how to clear a section, but idk how other ppl see my Lvl.
Tho you played an old Version of my level, I updated it after getting another review and changed some problem parts you mentioned.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
00-01: The very first dolphin jump is already super tight and not a nice way to welcome players. I'd suggest to build up the difficulty throughout the level instead of having one of the trickiest sections at the very beginning. The second dolphin jump is way more fitting but it's easier to just ignore the dolphin instead and just jump over the spike on your own (not sure if intended).


I changed the position of the first dolphin a bit, so the jump should feel a lot better now.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
02: The piranha plant fire can go behind the trees which could lead to unfair hits.

Making this plant a normal one without fire, I also noticed this problem dying a few times, and you're right it kinda feels bad that way.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
04: This section has one spike (marked in red) that is way to difficult to avoid (screenshot).


Changed this section in my previous version by putting the ceiling on tile higher, making it less claustrophobic, idk if this also fixes the problem with the spike but it should help.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
09-0A: Now we finally get to the section I've been wanting to talk about all along. This section took me incredible long to figure out as I didn't think it was safe to stand on the dolphins. And now that I know on how to do get past the section it's still very hard to pull of as there is very little room for error.
The rest of the room is much easier and not all too memorable, the bowser statue was used interestingly though.


Same as before putting the ceiling higher, making it overall easier.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
If you look closely at the screenshot you can see that I'm currently falling. This happens on every cycle when the platform reaches it's highest spot. You fall for a very short time in which you're unable to jump and that is exaclty where my problem lies.


Making this Plattform not jumping anymore. I want everybody to have a good time playing my lvl and waiting for a long time is not fun.

Originally posted by Mad Lad
This would easily be a 9/10 if it wasn't for the spikes that are way to hard to see. Every thread should be clearly so I'd advice against hiding them in the ground or behind decoration.


The other review mentioned the same problem so I changed the color of the spikes and removed/moved some of them so you can see them easier.
Tho I'm not really sure about the color change since it looks too colorful and I wanted it to be more dreary, but it's more important that the gameplay is fun than that the optic is perfect.
Would be super kind if you could look at the new Version.
If you have the opportunity, I would love some feedback on my level, Grand Koopalopolis. It's my first official entry into a VLDC, so I'm eager to know where some improvements could be made. Thanks!
Want to give my level a shot?

Here's my entry.

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Uni<:3
Pages: « 1 2 3 »
Forum Index - Important - The 11th Vanilla Level Design Contest - [FAN JUDGE] Mad Lad's mega lazy fan judging thread - REQUESTS WELCOME

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