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Posts by Doctor No
Doctor No's Profile - Posts by Doctor No
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The Romhack Races crew will be there for the whole week! Be sure to come say hi to us and get at least one, if not multiple, hi-fives.

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I'm not a doctor.

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I'm the opposite of Daizo - I don't want to get into the standard side of things, because that's not my wheelhouse.

Kaizo has come a long, long way from "Asshole Mario", in the sense that the people making the levels and the full hacks are making their creations in order to watch people overcome and succeed as much as to troll or embarrass them. I'm not saying the latter doesn't happen, but to classify Quickie World in the same bucket as Elephants and Snakes and Crocodiles does both a disservice.

Additionally, while "kaizo" is not shorthand for "stupid hard", there is still a sense that the easiest kaizo hack is still significantly harder than most non-kaizo hacks. That sense is not always accurate, though - there are several examples of hacks that, while not kaizo, are considered as hard or harder than their kaizo cousins. Sometimes that's because of bad design, but sometimes that's on purpose. We should allow creators and players the chance to voice their intent.

My suggestion would be to create one difficulty scale: Easy - Very Hard, and split "kaizo" off of difficulty into its own metatag of sorts. If this is a "kaizo" checkbox on submission or some other classification, it doesn't matter to me the semantics of it. Kaizo:Hard becomes something else (Tool-Assisted?), Pit and Troll stay as is.

Granted, I don't know how hard it is to just add a Y/N column to the database, so I understand if this is more than I'm bargaining for. My overarching point, though, is that kaizo is less a "difficulty" and more a "genre", and we should reflect as such.

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Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, I don't think you can just include "kaizo" as a tag in the same bucket as things like "puzzle" or "chocolate". A hack with 100 levels that features 99 easy levels and 1 kaizo level still needs to be marked as "kaizo." If we create these categories, they should be rigid.

Additionally, the type of kaizo obstacle matters. Are you asking players to do shelljumps? Double shelljumps? Precision cape? Massive regrabs?

A perfect "kaizo difficulty" scale would be tagged with different things that lend themselves to that difficulty. Two "medium" kaizo hacks can be very different experiences for a player if one is a cape hack and the other is an item abuse hack. Additionally, it would give players a chance to both see what awaits them from a gameplay perspective and seek out hacks based on the type of kaizo that awaits them.

I think this would be way too hard to implement now by the current kaizo moderators, even with Dode's kaizothon. To me, the most effective option is still to split kaizo off as a "category" or "type" and, as GBreeze said, unify the difficulty scale in a way that allows for everyone to have the same expectation of a hack's challenge.

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Originally posted by TheMorganah
"if it is not broke, do not fix it"


Speaking only as a passionate fan of the games and the community, I think many kaizo players and creators would argue that the difficulty system is, in fact, broken. That's why we're here.

Originally posted by StrikeForcer
Evaluating a hack's difficulty should generally be based on maingame completion in counting the critical levels required instead of a completionist run counting on the hardest levels appearing.


100% agree, but even this requires deliberate thought and is a great example of the differences between standard and kaizo:

Take Quickie World. Widely suggested as one of, if not the, first hack you should play if you want to start playing kaizo Mario hacks. With practice, players develop the skill and technique necessary to beat it consistently. Kaizo mods will have those skills in spades, and should be able to properly evaluate difficulty for experienced players. For someone new, however, "easy" kaizo may still be an investment of dozens of hours to beat (*cough* Sawfring Castle *cough*).

So, is it easy? Or is it hard?

It's both, but that is why easy in this case means something very different than easy in the "standard" way of thinking about it.

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I fully agree with you, Gbreeze. I think, then, the answer is a numerical difficulty scale that goes 1-10 instead of 1-6.

If we are going to create a universal scale that we can use to compare every SMW hack on the site to every other hack, then I think it will need to allow for more nuance than "easy/medium/hard/very hard" currently allows. 1-10 is simple enough to understand while allowing for kaizo hacks to find a more accurate place on the difficulty spectrum compared to non-kaizo hacks.

Unfortunately, this is a massive change to the structure of things, and I don't know how feasible it is. If we just take "standard easy" - "kaizo:hard" and make it "1 - 6" and leave Pit and Troll as their own distinctions, that may be a much more palatable change from a logistic perspective.

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MM102's New Graphics and Character Creation Kit

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MiniMawile303 - Super Mario World, but it's Celeste

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Mini, this is everything we imagined it could be and more. I'm so pumped to see it keep growing.

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Welcome to KLDC 2020! My name is Doctor No, and I'm a staff member for Romhack Races - a community and Twitch channel that hosts regular races of kaizo levels and hacks. I am honored to be the host for KLDC, and I'm looking forward to having the best seat in the house to the creative stuff you all throw our way!

For this edition of KLDC, SMWCentral and Romhack Races are joining forces to make this contest as big as possible. Kaizo has seen a lot of growth, both in popularity and in creativity, since the last KLDC, and we want to give the community the strongest platform to flex and showcase your creative skills in making kaizo levels. We are hoping for this to be one of, if not the biggest contests SMWCentral has ever put on, and you are invited to crack open Map16 and give us your best kaizo level.



TL;DR

Make and share with us a brand new, Kaizo:Light level.

You must use worldpeace's Instant Retry patch, but all other customization is allowed.

The deadline for entries is 17:59:59 UTC Monday, February 24.





Required Patch

For the sake of consistency, as well as the sanity of our judges, we are asking all entries to use Worldpeace's Instant Retry and Multiple Midways patch with infinite lives enabled.

Retry System (+ multiple checkpoints) v2.06a

Above and beyond the above patch, all custom graphics, sprites, music, and any additional patches (including SA-1) are fair game!

Be aware if any patches (such as SA-1) affect emulator and/or console compatibility and include that info in your submission. There will not be a collab planned for this competition, in part to allow creators to use whatever they desire in creating their level.

Optional Baseroms

If you don't want to deal with picking and choosing things to add to your level, Romhack Races has a baserom that all of our weekly kaizo race levels are built on. Disclaimer: The RHR baserom does not have SA-1 enabled.

Romhack Races Baserom

worldpeace has also created an updated version of the 2017 KLDC baserom to be compatible with recent updates and tools.

2017 KLDC Baserom - Updated



How To Submit


You must submit your entry as an unlocked .bps (NO .ips PATCHES!) file, created in FLIPS off of a clean copy of SMW.

Upload it to your personal File Bin on the site (click on Files in the SMWC site menu), then link to the file in this thread. If you edit your level, edit your original post - double posts will get deleted. You can put your .bps file in a .zip or 7-zip archive if you want.

You can talk about your level in this subforum and in the contest channels on SMWCentral and Romhack Races Discord servers, but in order for it to count, it needs to be linked here in this thread. Please create a new thread in this subforum for discussion and feedback about your specific level, and join in general discussions in the discussion thread.

To help ensure judging is as fair as possible, please do not include your name within your level design. Judges will not be provided creator names when entries are given. While we can't promise they won't find out, we want to make it as fair as possible.

The deadline for entry is Monday, February 24 at 17:59:59 UTC. All links must be live and pointing to the correct file by this time.




Contest Rules

  • Do not submit a level that has been included in any past races, compilations, or accepted/pending/rejected hack submissions to SMW Central.
  • You can work with a partner, but an individual is limited to one entry. You can't enter both a level on your own and one with a partner.
  • Glitches are permissible, provided it is clear to the player what the intended strategy is and the glitch is reliably executable without savestates.
  • No more than two exits. If you have a second exit, it also must be beatable without savestating.
  • Unless you feel it’s absolutely necessary, don’t use more than 6 sublevels.
  • Levels must be compatible with either bsnes or SNES9x.

THE FOLLOWING WILL RESULT IN INSTANT DISQUALIFICATION:

  • Posting a ROM as part of your submission
  • Posting an .ips patch instead of a .bps patch
  • Posting a corrupt patch file
  • Submitting a level that is not compatible with bsnes or SNEX9x.
  • Submitting a level that does not conform to the Kaizo: Light difficulty level
  • Not using the required patch and/or not enabling infinite lives
  • Including content within the level that violates the rules of SMWCentral




Judging


The judges for this year's contest are:
  • GlitchCat7
  • LinkdeadX2
  • white_moth
  • Katerpie
  • Strizer86


Judges will use the following 100-point scale and criteria:

Level Design (60)
Was playing the level an enjoyable experience expected from a kaizo: light level?
Is there a consistent difficulty curve to progressing through the level?

Level Creativity (20)
Did the creator bring something new to the table?
Does the level add something to existing kaizo elements?

Aesthetics (10)
Does the level have any visual or audio errors that detract from the gameplay?

Kaizo Elements (10)
Is the level demanding of the player in the style that kaizo levels are intended to be?
Does the player have a fair chance to beat the level without the use of savestates?
BeeKaay has written a fantastic explanation on the concept if you're confused.
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Total - 100 points


Each judge will do their evaluations separately and confidentially - judges who livestream their evaluation playthroughs will not confer on scores nor reveal their scoring until results are announced.

Once all judges complete their evaluations on all levels, results will be compiled and tabulated. Each level's top score and low score will be thrown out and final results determined by the average of the scores remaining.




PRIZES

The top 3 levels will be recognized with a special trophy, as well as a choice of games from the SMW Central games list. If more than 75 entries are received, a trophy for the rest of the top 10 levels will be awarded.

Top levels and level creators will be featured on stream for Romhack Races. This may include: level races, interviews, judge conversations and other types of content.

All participants outside of the top 3/10 will be awarded a participation trophy.




Please feel free to ask questions in the Discussion thread, as well as in Discord on either the SMWC or Romhack Races servers - both have dedicated KLDC channels that you can use to share works in progress and discuss levels.

Let's see what the kaizo community can do with the gloves off. Show us what you got!

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If you have any questions or general contest feedback and discussion, here is the place for you to share it

THIS IS NOT THE SUBMISSION THREAD. Make sure you link your level in the Rules and Submissions thread, because nothing here will be given to judges.

Two ground rules:
--No screenshots. Feel free to pass screenshots around of your levels on Discord and in private messages, but don't post them in a public thread where the judges will be able to see them.
--If you have questions about your specific level or are looking for individual feedback, please do so in a separate thread from this discussion

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FAQ:

Can I use [insert patch here]?
Yes, as long as it follows all the rules.

Can I use [insert graphics here]?
Yes, as long as it follows all the rules.

Can I use [insert custom music here]?
Yes, as long as it follows all the rules.

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Originally posted by 7 up
Can we post screenshots in our level threads? If yes, should they be collapsed or isn't that necessary?


Yes, and that's your call on collapsing or not, but do be aware that those threads are public. Our judges are all admirable people of honor and class, though, so no need to worry about sharing screenshots.

Originally posted by 7 up
Can we work on one level with a partner and the other level with an other person?


No. You are limited to one entry. You can work together with a partner on that entry or you can do it solo, but you can't do more than one.

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CLARIFICATION
You can use older versions of worldpeace's Multiple Midways patch (such as the one in the 2017 KLDC baserom) - the only reason the version is listed in the link is because it is in the name of the patch itself.

CHANGELOG
1/14/20: Added link to worldpeace's updated 2017 KLDC baserom.

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Doctor No's Profile - Posts by Doctor No

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