INTRODUCING: THE 2021 KAIZO LEVEL DESIGN CONTEST JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARDS
First, a quick expression of gratitude from myself and the judges - it has been a very involved few months for all of us outside of Super Mario World, before even considering how strong and demanding the overall entry pool of levels was. Thank you all for your patience as we put the final touches on the full scoresheet, and I promise you the full results are coming soon.
Individual judges are encouraged to talk about their scores and their favorite levels once the contest is over and results are posted. This year, while judges were discussing their plans to do just that, we found a common desire to showcase levels in ways that didn’t fit the normal category of award or trophy, but that judges all agreed deserved to be mentioned in some way. Even though we designed our scoresheet to recognize overall level design, we can’t help but take stock of the work on things that we can’t directly assign points in our rubric and try to celebrate them.
To that end, all four judges decided to come together and create the JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARDS. Think of it as a “shout-out” from the judges on something that otherwise wouldn’t have been mentioned in their comments.
A few clarifiers before we reveal:
These awards were determined by consensus of the judges
Awards were chosen on a purely qualitative bases - score was not a factor in the selection of these awards
Judges were free to submit as many categories and submissions for consideration as they wished
Individual judges are free and encouraged to recognize additional categories and levels of their own choosing as they see fit. These are just the ones that were consensus picks.
And now, presenting the 2021 KLDC Judges’ Choice Award recipients:
FAVORITE LORE Recognition of the theory-crafting and worldbuilding behind the level
Nirv - JerryWest 60 Footer
Daizo Dee Von and Farolicious - Mario’s Spike Trek
FAVORITE BRAIN TEASER Recognition of level design and creative efforts forcing the player to apply lateral thinking
MiracleWater - Gate Crashers
Lazy - 810TOXIN
FAVORITE BOSS Recognition of creating an end-level fight of unique design and execution
Gutawer - Khizome
KevinM and Dogemaster - Extended Athletics
FAVORITE "WTF" MOMENT Recognition of singular events within levels that demand attention and defy explanation
xHF01x - Not Cataclysm
Heraga and TheBiob - Virtual Insanity
FAVORITE NON-LEVEL PRESENTATION Recognition of excellence in title screen, overworld and credits design
MistaX88 - The Bee’s Knees
AmperSam - Brutalism, or...
THE POGYO AWARD Recognition of excellence in unique usage of cape in kaizo level design
DJLocks - Flipper
idol - Hand of Metamorphosis
THE VALDIO AWARD Recognition of excellence in introductory-difficulty kaizo level design
ShaoShao - Water Castle
FerpyMcFrosting - Mono No Aware
Kitikuchan - Wario’s Kaizo Mine
THE CHRISG___ AWARD Recognition of excellence in intermediate-difficulty kaizo level design
elusive - Yellow Switch
CircleFriendo - Magic Library
FYRE150 - Filtration System
THE ft029 AWARD Recognition of excellence in advanced-difficulty kaizo level design
FrozenQuills - the state of indiana
NerDose - Columnae Herculis
MDBattlefrog - Constellation
Congratulations to all of the recipients, and thank you all again for your hard work! Stay tuned for final results soon!
Before we get too deep into the numbers, I want to take a moment and give a huge word of thanks to our judges: ThirdWall, Margot, GlitchCat7 and katun24. They have gone way above and beyond to not only ensure you get the fair judging and feedback you deserve, but also to come up with new ways to recognize, celebrate and showcase achievement in levels across the entire board.
Additionally, I want to give a special thanks to Cartesius, who started out as a judge before having to step back due to personal commitments. Not only did Cart help contribute to a strong and collaborative judging experience, they helped shape the contest from the beginning with strong feedback and contributions to format and rubric.
And now, here we go:
The Top 10
10th - Domains by quietmason - 87.75
9th - Whirlwisp Grove by HamOfJustice - 88.00
T7th - Water Castle by shaoshao - 88.25
T7th - Filtration System by FYRE150 - 88.25
6th - Constellation by MDBattlefrog - 90.00
5th - Gate Crashers by MiracleWater - 91.25
4th - JerryWest 60 Footer by nirv - 92.75
IN 3rd PLACE, with 95.50 points -
Mono No Aware by FerpyMcFrosting
In 2nd PLACE, with 95.75 points -
Extended Athletics by KevinM and Dogemaster
And receiving 1st PLACE, with a score of 97.00 -
810TOXIN by Lazy
Congratulations to our winners, and to ALL of the creators. The judges were blown away by the overall quality of entries this year, and I don’t want to understate how much respect I and the rest of the team have for everyone who contributed to the event.
Trophies are en route for all ranked entries, and the Top Three should reach out to the site admins for access to the Prize Vault!
1 -- Lazy -- 810TOXIN -- 97.00
2 -- KevinM and Dogemaster -- Extended Athletics -- 95.75
3 -- FerpyMcfrosting -- Mono No Aware -- 95.50
4 -- Nirv -- JerryWest 60 Footer -- 92.75
5 -- MiracleWater -- Gate Crashers -- 91.25
6 -- MDBattleFrog -- Constellation -- 90.00
7 -- shaoshao -- Water Castle -- 88.25
7 -- FYRE150 -- Filtration System -- 88.25
9 -- HamOfJustice -- Whirlwisp Grove -- 88.00
10 -- quietmason -- Domains -- 87.75
11 -- NerDose -- Columnae Herculis -- 87.00
12 -- Sweetdude -- Fly for Fun! -- 86.50
13 -- CircleFriendo -- Magic Library -- 86.25
14 -- DJLocks -- Flipper -- 86.00
15 -- Gutawer -- Khizome -- 85.75
16 -- TheBourgyman -- Floating Point Trail -- 85.50
17 -- FrozenQuills -- the state of indiana -- 85.00
17 -- sio_kedelic -- A Day of Sliding -- 85.00
19 -- idol -- Hand of Metamorphosis -- 84.50
19 -- Sixcorby -- Bootleg White Palace -- 84.50
19 -- Kitikuchan -- Wario's Kaizo Mine -- 84.50
22 -- AmperSam -- Brutalism -- 82.50
23 -- MassPunishment -- Boreal Forest -- 81.75
24 -- BabaYegha -- Raging River -- 81.50
25 -- TheBiob and Heraga -- Virtual Insanity -- 81.25
26 -- algae5 -- SM World -- 80.25
27 -- Kerfuffle -- Selective Follower -- 80.00
28 -- Mithrillionaire -- Necromania -- 79.75
29 -- MistaX88 -- The Bee's Knees -- 78.50
30 -- Sping Bot -- Tacxes -- 77.75
31 -- Sammmoo -- False Colosseum -- 77.25
32 -- detdu -- Potaboo Waltz -- 76.75
32 -- Praseodymium -- Mesozoic Menagerie -- 76.75
34 -- Daizo Dee Von and Far -- Mario's Spike Trek -- 76.00
35 -- containercore and Selicre -- Sine Qua Non -- 75.25
36 -- elusive -- Yellow Switch -- 74.25
37 -- 7 Up -- Shut up and Fly -- 72.75
37 -- Alex_X8 -- Gotterdammerung -- 72.75
39 -- BlooberryPi -- Mario In the Human Windmill Experiment -- 72.50
40 -- OEO6 -- Fish Kicker -- 72.25
41 -- jirok -- The Sailfish -- 71.25
42 -- Sariel -- Curaçao Casino -- 70.75
42 -- RussianMan -- Bomb Thwomp Beach -- 70.75
44 -- Jead -- AutoMarioMusicVideo -- 70.50
45 -- Typell_Mound -- Up in the Crib -- 70.00
46 -- singlepat -- Blocks of Buoyancy -- 69.75
47 -- xHF01x -- Not Cataclysm -- 69.50
48 -- kjitmno".pqr -- Cidade do Crime -- 69.25
48 -- ECS.98 -- Mah Vem Pra Ca -- 69.25
50 -- SolveForX -- Multihit Pit -- 69.00
51 -- TomatoPhalanges -- Funky Factory -- 68.75
51 -- Magmatic -- The Forbidden Fruit of Blinding Speed! -- 68.75
53 -- Lizstar -- Dr. von Boo's Seasonal Slamjam -- 67.00
53 -- JWDragair -- Hickory Dickory -- 67.00
55 -- yogui -- KAIZO MAN -- 66.25
56 -- Para_0 and Erik_the_Swift -- Below freezing -- 64.50
57 -- HD_DankBaron -- Melancholic Waltz -- 63.00
58 -- yoshi9429 -- Castle of Gravity -- 62.50
59 -- RandyMarsh4108 -- Sloppy Seconds -- 61.00
60 -- Redwykelz and Segment1Zone2 -- Eerie Summit -- 59.50
61 -- oyok -- Spark and Sanctuary -- 59.00
62 -- Anorakun -- Wario in Japan! -- 57.25
62 -- eduard11 -- Turn or Propel? -- 57.25
64 -- Big Brawler -- Distant Thunder! -- 54.50
65 -- Jibjig -- These Sprites Suck -- 53.50
66 -- bebn legg and NopeContest -- Hazy Halls -- 52.50
67 -- Sgt.Pepper -- Palindrome -- 52.25
68 -- GAFN SMW -- Entry of the Palace -- 50.75
69 -- Infinity -- Jump or Spin -- 40.75
HM -- mikairanutshack -- RAIZING HELL
HM -- Magikey -- How to be STUNNING
Two levels were determined to be uniquely unscorable as “Kaizo: Light” levels by the judges. While we recognize that this normally would result in a disqualification, the judges wanted to recognize the effort and creativity in these works, as the reasons they are unscorable do not relate to the breaking of any contest or site rules.
These two levels have been awarded Honorable Mentions and will receive a trophy and recognition in the official results:
RAIZING HELL - mikairanutshack - Determined to be too far outside the scope of a Super Mario World level to be fairly scorable
How to be STUNNING - Magikey - Determined to require too much intricate knowledge of SMW mechanics to be fairly scorable
Six levels received disqualifications:
TheKazooBloccGosh - Vines - Level is broken when played as creator intended
zanian - Boomuda Triangle - Broken patch
Dispace - Trial of the Chaos - Determined to exceed reasonable demand of the player by the judges
HLXY - Shell in a nutshell - Determined to exceed reasonable demand of the player by the judges
EternityLarva - Spring Season - Determined to exceed reasonable demand of the player by the judges
foamywubba - Gambit - Determined to exceed reasonable demand of the player by the judges
Here is a link to a spreadsheet with all of the judging, as well as individual judge score breakdowns and comments for all of the creators.
Our judges wrote, no joke, hundreds of pages of feedback for the community, and each level received attention and explanation. Even if you didn't enter, you will be able to learn something from the writeups each judge contributed.
Point of Privilege
This has been a wild ride for all of us on the planning end of things, and I won't pretend like we don't already have a lot we want to explore and consider for next year's contest. Between the quantity and quality of entries this year, the kaizo community has shown life, growth and achievement that I'm not sure anyone could have dreamed 12 years ago.
We appreciate everyone's passion and commitment to their work, and I hope you can feel the same passion from the judges and from me in these results. Between re-approaching the scoring setup, creating Judges' Choice Awards, video highlights, and the Kaizo Wiki's evolution into a historical archive of KLDCs past, we have worked hard to make this the best contest possible for the community. We aren't there yet, and we have a long way to go to perfection, but thank you for trusting us to provide you this opportunity.
All of us love this genre of game, and we want it to grow.
Congratulations, one last time, to all of the creators!
Happy C3 everyone! Find something you like yet? Then help us showcase it!
Here you can nominate C3 threads to be placed into the Spotlight up at the top of the page. Once we have a fair amount of nominations, we'll get the actual Spotlight plugged in and start featuring the threads that you've submitted!
A few things to keep in mind before you nominate anything:
Please don't nominate your own thread, unless it is really being strongly ignored!
Explain why a thread you're nominating is worthy of the spotlight!
Try and nominate threads that are getting too little attention for how good they are!
When you nominate a thread, be a friend and link directly to the thread, or at least post a URL for it. It helps us get threads added to the box faster.
Can i submit Pit / Hardcore Kaizo levels that are impossible to play without savestates ?
From the rules post:
"Entries must be either Standard: Easy, Normal, Hard or Very Hard. Avoid making Kaizo levels as they are not appropriate to the contest criteria. Ignoring this may result in exclusion from contest placement*."
So no kaizo level, light or hard, would be considered appropriate for this contest.
I find these rules a bit confusing. First there is difficulty rule. It disqualifies kaizo difficulty. But when you encourage using questionable gimmicks to create bad levels, you should be aware that difficulty will increase a lot and players will classify your non kaizo level as kaizo. For example: making dolphin generator above lava with floating munchers is by many players classified as kaizo level even though it's not kaizo. That's why I feel it would be better to allow kaizo light difficulty for this contest.
Two things to this: there are plenty of ways to make a level difficulty without using kaizo design philosophies. Also, of the judges, two of them are active kaizo mods on the site who are very experienced at navigating the difference between standard and kaizo, so this rule was not installed out of a lack of respect for kaizo. It's just not for this contest.
Originally posted by Galaer
Another thing is discrepancy between rules and scoring. So in rules it's mentioned that you need to create questionable level without caring about any aesthetics (cutoffs are allowed). But in scoring is mentioned that quality of level will be judged (but we are meant to create bad levels, so about what quality you are talking about?). It also mentions that overworld and aesthetics will be judged, but first - there is no mention in rules that overworld will be judged, you just need to create level, that's all. And how are you gonna judge aesthetics when you encourage people to not caring about it?
Here is how the first of this contest described aesthetics:
"Some of the best bad levels have way too much going on. Design your heart out."
If you aren't certain what type of levels we are looking for, I highly suggest checking the various videos posted in the #qldc-discussion channel on Discord, or searching "Bad Level Design Contest" on YouTube to see last year's judging. A beauty of this contest is that it transcends the English language, so you truly do need to "know it when you see it."