For clarification on my judging of aesthetics I took 5/10 as vanilla.
If it was normal and functional it was 5/10. If it had palette swaps, more minor custom graphics, and functional it was moreso a 6/7, and if they went above and beyond with custom GFX it was like 8+.
I honestly don't think there were any less than 5 because off the top of my head I can't recall any stages where visuals were unclear, impacted the player negatively, etc.
he schlee is straight up vanilla, hence why it was a 5. I honestly haven't delved into who did what but at a 7 I would guess Naro's stage had custom GFX but not as much as an overhaul as something like Circadian.
I was over the moon when I was asked to participate as a judge and certainly felt like I was a choice based on my position in the community - that position essentially being a nobody. I'm just some dude that started getting into kaizo a year ago and loved it. I hold no special spot in either RR or SMWC, so I hold no bias towards folks. I assumed it was this combined with my years of playing platformers & me being game QA were all potential reasons for the ask
If you have issues with me judging, or questions about why things are the way they are, you could have reached out to inquire, but why seek clarification when you can simply be critical. I streamed my entire judging experience and did no play offline so nothing about my thought process was kept from the public. I vocalized my feelings about all levels while playing trying to remain objective to ensure the why was clear, without petty stuff getting in the way or people's feelings being hurt.
I honestly take pride in the fact I received multiple compliments that my judge streams were so chill opposed to me getting mad, or people in chat tearing levels apart. Take it for what you will, just my 2 cents.