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VLDC12 - Rules and Submissions (Base Rom updated to v1.1)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 12th Vanilla Level Design Contest - VLDC12 - Rules and Submissions (Base Rom updated to v1.1)
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 » Link - Thread Closed
Update 8/18 @ 6:00 PM EST: A fix for a long Line-Guided Rope bug was made available in this post in the Discussion thread.
Update 8/7 @ 10:30 AM EST: Added rule disallowing the use of the LM function that lets Map16 Page 2 become tileset-specific.
Update 8/2 @ 8:00 PM EST: Base Rom updated to v1.1. See this post for the changelog
Update 8/2 @ 2:45 PM EST: You are now allowed to edit Map16 Tiles 0x200-0x20A if and only if you are trying to take advantage of LM’s custom tide features. (Base rom v1.0 only) Reasoning here.
Update 8/1 @ 4:00 PM EST: Not a rule change, but added two images to the end of Graphics Rules to visually show what’s meant by Tile Recoloring and Tile Merging.
Update 8/1 @ 2:00 PM EST: Clarified Music Rules further.
Update 8/1 @ 1:45 PM EST: Expanded upon the Music Rules to be more thorough and clear. Also mentioned the included “uberasm” folder and its list.txt in the Base Rom section.

Welcome to the 12th Vanilla Level Design Contest!

We’re back once again with a new VLDC, this time in the middle of the summer! If you’ve never participated in a VLDC before, the goal is to make a level by only using and manipulating the assets found within the original Super Mario World.

This thread should be used for submissions only. If you want to ask questions or discuss the contest in other ways, please use the Discussion and Questions Thread.

General/Design Rules:

Please read the rules carefully, as we have made a couple of changes to the previous VLDC11 ruleset. New rules or major rule changes will be denoted with a “***” preceding them.

  • You may work with up to one (1) partner.
  • You can use up to 3 sublevels + main level, for a total of 4 levels.
  • You can use up to 24 secondary exits to connect your level and sublevels.
  • ***There are no time limit restrictions this contest. You are allowed to set the Timer to 000. Be aware that levels that are unreasonably long will see point deductions at judges’ discretion.
  • You are NOT allowed to have more than one (1) exit to your level.
  • ***That one exit can be of any exit type: goal tape, goal sphere, key and keyhole, exit direct to overworld, etc.
  • You can use one full map16 page for FG and one for BG, for a total of two full map16 pages.
  • ***You are not allowed to use the Lunar Magic function that allows Map16 Page 2 to become tileset-specific.
  • ***You are not allowed to modify Map16 pages 0, 1, 5, 80, or 81 to maintain vanilla Map16 compatibility.
  • ***Exception: You are allowed to modify tiles 0x200-0x20A if and only if you’re using LM’s custom tides features. This exception was granted after the contest began due to an oversight on our part. This exception no longer applies because the shared map16 was moved to Page 5 as of base rom v1.1
  • You are allowed to use custom palettes.
  • You are allowed to change the player palette to match your level atmosphere. However, you must change the player palette for both Mario and Luigi.
  • You are allowed to use ExAnimation.
  • You are free to use switch palace blocks, but if you do you should include a side level that allows the player to activate them.
  • You are allowed to include yoshi coins and 3-up moons, but they will not be required collectibles for judges.
  • You may alter the overworld map in your submission but doing so will have no positive or negative effect on your level’s score.
  • This is more a recommendation than a rule, but I recommend you don't include your name inside the level or intro screen message box, that way judges are less likely to know who made the level when they play.
  • ***Submitting a low effort joke entry may subject you to outright disqualification.
  • ***Submitting a Kaizo entry will disqualify you.

Graphics Rules:
  • You cannot draw new graphics. You must only manipulate what’s provided to you in the original SMW.
  • ***The infinity (∞) graphic we’ve added for infinite lives representation in the status bar can be used and manipulated like all other graphics despite not being vanilla. This is in keeping with a judgement call made during VLDC11.
  • You can use up to 10 ExGFX files, including layer 3 files.
  • You can mix tilesets together.
  • You can flip and rotate tiles by 90°.
  • ***You can recolor tiles.
  • ***You can merge tiles together.
  • ***You can merge recolored tiles.
  • You can use YY-CHR or another tile editor to convert 4BPP graphics (Layer 1/2 tiles) to 2BPP (Layer 3 tiles) by copy-pasting them. You may also do the reverse and convert tiles from 2BPP to 4BPP.
  • ***You can't merge already merged tiles. Merging is intended to be only two tiles being put together, not three or more.
  • ***You can't recolor tiles in a tile editor to adjust which colors are transparent. That goes way too close to straight up redrawing tiles if you're allowed to change around what's transparent in it or not.
  • ***You can't recolor tiles in a tile editor to reduce the number of overall colors it uses. Similar to the last point, being able to reduce colors on a graphics that much can basically give the same result as drawing new tiles.

The Graphics Rules this year are basically the same as those found in BLDC and, by extension, VLDCX.

The Shared Map16:
Update for base rom v1.1: The shared map16 page has been moved to Page 0x5 to allow for compatibility with LM’s custom tide functions.

We are using the exact same shared map16 page that VLDCX, VLDC11, and BLDC all used for their base roms so if you’re familiar with them you’ll know exactly what you’re doing. To save time and another explanation on my part, I’ll just copy what was said about the page from those contest threads:


You should be familiar with what most of these tiles are - and if you don't, check their "Act as" setting and play around with them -, but it's worth noting a few things:

The highlighted part uses BG3 and palette 1 instead of the usual FG3 and palette 2 the ground tiles and a few bits from the ghost house tileset use. So if you want to mix two different tilesets, please prioritize utilizing BG3 so you can make use of this page instead of doing it in your own page and filling up space unnecessarily.

Also, the purple triangles are there to indicate that every tile in the two bottom lines is tile 1EB, the tile that you put below a triangle to make it function.

Music Rules:
  • As in the past, custom music is allowed. You can use up to 4 different songs in your entry.
  • ***AddMusicK 1.0.6 is the only acceptable music insertion tool for this contest.
  • ***You cannot edit AddMusicK’s asm files.
  • ***You cannot replace original SMW songs in the list.txt, except for the title screen music and the Nintendo Presents.
  • ***If you wish to enable sound effect echoes, you may use UberASM Tool to do so. If you choose to do this, you MUST use the included list.txt located in the uberasm folder of the base rom archive. A file named “Sample Echoes.txt” has been included with the sample code that will enable sound effects echoes. This will be the only acceptable use of UberASM Tool allowed in the contest.
  • ***We are disallowing the use of MSU-1 for this contest. MSU-1 has grown in popularity over the last year or so, but we don’t want to put unnecessary burden on judges or players regarding setting up their emulators to use it.

Here are the soundtracks from VLDC7, VLDC8, VLDC9 and VLDC11 if you wish to use any tracks from their soundtracks in your level.

The Base ROM:

Submitting a level that was made without using the base rom will result in disqualification!

Like VLDC11, we’re providing a base rom to work from. It includes a variety of fixes and patches to make a more stable level-building experience. Special thanks to Major Flare for putting the base rom together. This year we’re also including a variety of Layer 3 SMW backgrounds that were approved for use with VLDC11 as part of the base rom archive, so that everyone has access to them at the start of the contest.

>The following Layer 3 Backgrounds have been

The base rom also includes the SA-1 Pack to make the game run faster and allow more sprites to exist at one time. Remember, you need to set the sprite header in #lm{sprhead} to 0x08 so that you can use the More Sprites Patch, which increases maximum sprites on screen to 20.

>The following fix patches

We are also including Infinite Lives in the base rom to make judging and playing levels easier.

There is an included “uberasm” folder this time. The list.txt in there is needed for the Layer 3 To Subscreen fix to work. The only reason to edit this file and use UberASM Tool is to enable sound effect echoes, as outlined in the Music Rules section. A file named “Sample Echoes.txt” has been included with the sample code that will enable sound effects echoes.

Download the VLDC12 Base ROM Archive (v1.1) - Updated 8/2/20
You must use the latest version of Lunar Magic with the Base ROM to avoid major glitches. [LM is currently at version 3.11]


The five judges for the contest will be FPzero, Teyla, Medic, Sixcorby, and Sinc-X. We also have a backup judge or two if they are needed.

Scoring and Prizes:

Design: 60 Points
How well-designed is the level? Is it overall fun to play? How well does it execute its theme, gimmicks and level setups? Is the difficulty consistent or is it frustrating or boring? Does the level function properly or are there issues such as unintended slowdown?

Creativity: 30 Points
Does the level present any unique or interesting ideas using SMW’s resources? Does it have any original, nice setups? Is the theme/gimmick innovative?

Aesthetics: 10 Points
How does the level look aesthetically? Is it polished? Does it do anything interesting with the original game’s graphics? Does the music fit? Is the music a nuisance to gameplay? Are there any broken sound effects or samples?

The total score will be out of 100 points.

The Top 3 entries will receive the corresponding VLDC trophy (seen below) and a game prize of their choosing from our big list of game download codes.

The rest of the Top 10 will receive the following trophy:

All other participants will receive a brand new VLDC Participant trophy:

Please note that disqualified entries will not receive Participant trophies.


You must submit your entry as a .bps file. Submitting an .ips file will result in disqualification! You can put your .bps file in a .zip or 7-zip archive if you want. For ease of submission and judge access, you should upload it to your personal File Bin on the site. The .bps file should be created using a clean Super Mario World rom, using Floating IPS.

***This year, if you use custom music in your level you must include the .txt file and the samples (if any) that you are using in the same archive as your level. This is to help us out in the future in case we are able to compile this contest into a compilation like VLDCs 7, 8, and 9.

Submit your entry in this thread. If you're updating your entry, EDIT YOUR POST! Double posts in this thread will be deleted.

You are allowed to make a thread for your level in the contest subforum, but you must post your final level in this thread in order for it to be judged.


August 31st, 2020, at 15:59:59 UTC

Time remaining:


You are allowed:
  • to work with 1 partner
  • 1 main level and a maximum of 3 sublevels
  • 1 exit
  • a maximum of 24 secondary exits
  • to set the level timer to any time you want, including 000
  • to reset the Timer when changing sublevels
  • a maximum of 10 ExGFX files (for graphics and layer 3)
  • to use custom palettes
  • to mix tilesets together, flip and rotate tiles.
  • recolor tiles
  • merge tiles
  • one map16 page for your FG and another for your BG.
  • to use custom music
  • to create a thread to showoff your level

You are not allowed to:
  • modify Map16 Pages 0, 1, 5, 80, or 81.
  • to have 2 or more exits
  • use ASM of any kind, aside from the fixes included in the Base ROM
  • use the 8x8 editor, YY-CHR or any other tool to modify the graphics beyond what has been allowed
  • edit the original GFX
  • use MSU-1 music
  • submit an old level you released somewhere else previously
  • submit a level that was not made using the provided base rom
  • submit a Kaizo level

I hope you all enjoy participating in VLDC12! Happy hacking!
Wow, I'm the first !!

My entry:
Koopas' Village
Make use of the yellow switch palace.
First ever VLDC I'm taking part in, have fun!

haha cape goes nyoooom~

The HyperZone

I HOPE I WIN!1!1!1!!1!1!1

WARNING: The P-Balloon segment is very hard.
If you're on Firefox 70+, and you don't see the blur effect, go to about:config and enable layout.css.backdrop-filter.enabled and gfx.webrender.all
For the best aesthetics, use Chrome, or with some settings, Firefox.

Colour scheme based on the awesome ViM theme, Gruvbox.
My turn now:
link has changed
I did a change that should satisfy moderators:
-hack now works with Base ROM 1.1;
-you can now pick alternative paths.
There's 1 exit in total.
The Ice Age has begun.

-Just 1 Exit
-5 Yoshi Coins
-1 Moon


Have a frost day~
Puyo Maguro World Creator
Mario in Namek

Aesthetics are based on a planet from Dragon Ball Z.

V1.1: Replaced the music with a song from Super Saiya Densetsu, a SNES DBZ game, and also added a coin guide before the part with the eating block.

V1.2: The music is now slightly quieter and made some minor changes to the level.


My VLDC 12 entry, 'Enter The Volcano'.
(Updated) My VLDC 12 entry: Rainy Days v.2.

Some noticeable changes have been made to my level.
(Update, I added an overworld)
My first time participating!
VLDC 12 entry: Cumulonimbus Castle
Logic Science

100% Orange Juice Playthrough:

VLDC9 Playthrough:

My first VLDC entry. Took long enough!

Orange Spice


Click here to enter the world of mediocre!
First time doing one of these VLDC12! I had a lot of fun! #smw{:TUP:}

(edited because I'm a dumb dumb and forgot to take something out before uploading it)

(edited AGAIN because I wanted to make the level longer)
My entry.

The tall tree : Download
My entry:

kill yoshi

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 12th Vanilla Level Design Contest - VLDC12 - Rules and Submissions (Base Rom updated to v1.1)

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