1. Beam - cool concept, puts you on your toes and is also pretty impressive.
2. X-Ray - same as above but for blocks. i'd honestly tie them.
3. Elementary - interesting idea, but held back by the requirement of a black background. such is limitations.
4. Time - doesn't seem too hard to code if you know color math basics
5. Dual - extremely basic and this isn't a gimmick contest so its usefulness doesn't make it automatically better.
absolutely refusing on voting on it based on how useful it is in hacks because that's dumb
1) Elementary - cool color math application
2) Dual - simple but effective
3) Beam - potentially good, but janky
4) X-Ray - looks cool, but unfortunately doesn't work with sprites
5) Time - looks nice i suppose
I didn't have time to participate this time, but hey, that means I get to vote
(sorry for making a fuss about the rules on a round that i ended up having to skip oops)
Might dig into the entries with a debugger later to prove my points if I see any terrible opinions
This round was very lopsided in my opinion, with really only one good entry. Still, huge props to everyone that entered! Whether I'm impressed by your entry or not, a contest like this is a great learning opportunity! I hope to see more from everyone in the future for sure! So, no hard feelings, ok? Take it as encouragement
Without further ado, let's goooo
1. Beam and it's not even close. Polar Bear Fact: if you don't think this is number 1 you're either trolling or don't know what you're talking about. This thing has proper windows that don't clip or flicker in any weird way. On top of that the windows are defined well enough that sprites can interact with them. If you look closely at the platforms you can tell that the window isn't actually a clipping mask, but rather the platforms check whether they're inside the window or not to determine whether they should be drawn. To me this indicates that the window system is robust enough to easily make it work with other resources. What about a beam that acts like water? Doable. What about a beam that acts like lava? Easy. You can also have beams interact only with sprites or only with mario, and you can actually make them do whatever you want, not just the lame examples I suggested. This sort of flexibility programming-side is very valuable and one of the reasons I'm actually impressed by this one. Good effort and good presentation.
-- POWER GAP --
2. Time. Doesn't look very ambitious, and... I guess it actually isn't that ambitious. My biggest criticism is that with how much time you have between each color update you could afford to make the transitions way smoother. The effect is also very subdued, and I think it would have done you well to exaggerate it a bit. I'm putting this above 3 and 4 because I think it has more potential, which is very important for an open-ended ASM resource like this.
3. Dual. This has a very stylish presentation but it's very hard to tell how good this is ASM side. One way this could have been done is through a hijack to make everything within a certain area behave a certain way, and if that's the case then I don't think it was done very well (why are the fishes randomly falling?). Edit: I actually read the readme now, turns out this is correct. Finally you have the status bar getting cut off by the black color, which doesn't look very nice. With such a simple color scheme there should be no reason to mess with layer 3. Seems very messy for such a simple concept.
4. Elementary. What I'm about to say is honestly true for everything except beam, so sorry author of elementary if you feel pointed out. This is an ASM contest, and I don't see hints of any impressive programming. There are some moving hitboxes. The visuals are all hardware side, and they're very impractical. I don't really see a way of improving on them either, which is why this one is 4th when time is 2nd. Maybe try to hax something together with windows, and maybe swap layers 2 and 3? I dunno, this just seems like a really weak concept to me.
5. X-Ray. Doesn't even look finished. It's unclear what it's even supposed to do, other than slightly reduce your vision. Maybe you're actually sitting on something sick that you just couldn't get done in time, i dunno. As it stands I really can't put this above anything else though.
1. Elementary (Simple idea, but I like it a lot. There's tons of potential with the spotlights, and I particularly liked throwing in Magenta as an option to mix things up. The Magenta/Yellow combination looks a little too pink to look harmful, but it still works for me. Very nice idea!) 2. Beam (It's a really cool sprite, and I can imagine it being used for a lot of interesting scenarios. Would be interesting to see how it affects other sprites also. You would probably need some kind of explainer before the level, though, since it's not entirely clear what each light does at first. My main issue, though, is that I really don't like how the white light beam functions; it feels like it would make more sense if it would reveal invisible platforms, rather than the platforms only existing within the beam. Other than that quirk, though, it's really neat.) 3. Dual (This was a great showpiece, but the end results feels limited in use. Like the boss last round, it feels like everything this code can do has been shown off here; maybe you could make a more complex level out of it, but that's about all I can really imagine. Having the mushrooms kill you as small Mario is also a little weird, but I guess conceptually it works? Still, it's a cool level, worth checking out at least once.) 4. X-ray (Really neat effect, though feels a little limited in usage. I feel like it should've been the opposite, where the level is revealed by the "x-ray" circle; instead, it's just an aesthetic change, and the real level is outside of it. It also would've been cool to have the sprites also change, like the Dry Bones turn into Koopas. I guess it's not fair to judge the entry by alternative ideas, though, and there is probably some neat things you can do with it, but I'm having a hard time picturing them.) 5. Split/Time (Not much to say for this one. It's neat, I suppose, though I hope you're able to slow down the clock a lot more. Even then, this feels like a weird thing to add to SMW, unless you're making some really long levels. Maybe there's a way it can affect other sprites, but that's not what was actually shown off. It's a nice aesthetic gimmick, but that's really all it is.)
Hopefully my rankings are more consistent in their explanations this time.
Two things to note: First off, "Split" is supposed to be named "Time" (Split is actually what the submittor of Dual named it). That's the lesser of the issue. A far bigger problem is how I forgot an entry, again! This entry is what I assigned X-Ray. Similar to last time, I'll send a PM if you don't correct the mistakes.
Anorakun SMW Graphics Moderator Mr. Game and Watch
Warrior of Sorrow
1) Dual: Interesting use of two tones to indicate gameplay changes. It's very neat how dynamic this ASM is. At first glance, the level didn't caught my eye, then I noticed the nuances about alternating between black and white. Great job, it's an awesome gimmick.
2) Time: While it's not something groundbreaking, I applaud the effort there, since making an effect like this in SMW is not an easy task. It reminds of one stage from Ganbare Goemon 2 who uses a similar trick. For the execution well done of this trick, I'm ranking this one a bit higher than Elementary.
3) Beam: A very creative idea, sure it must have took tons of work to code this insane stuff, but for me, it feels off. Way off. The platforms disappear too quickly, and the sample level left a bitter taste. With few more tweaks, I think it could have been number one easily, but, oh well, it's a good entry, but could way better in its application.
4) Elementary: It's a very neat idea, but I found it too basic. It's great for making some nice gimmicks, so yeah, it has potential still.
5) X-Ray: This one didn't impress me too much. But still, very solid and creative. I don't see many level applications with it.
1. Dual: I like this idea a lot, especially the parts that grow or shrink you depending on which side you're on. This has a lot of potential. 2. Time: Pretty cool idea. Well-executed, too. 3. X-Ray: I like the concept of this, but there's a bit of jank (namely the cement blocks still acting like ? blocks and the effect breaking when the key is used). Still, I could see some neat levels being made with this. 4. Elementary: Not bad, but the hitboxes on this are a bit wonky sometimes. Also, the yellow + magenta spotlights do not look red. 5. Beam: This falls straight into the typical technically impressive romhacking trap of "looks cool but is horribly unfun to actually play". I don't know how much of that is caused by the sample level's design, because I honestly think it does quite a bad job of making this look like a good gimmick. The vanishing platfoms combined with the beam's movement cause so many trial-and-error blind jumps that any level that actually uses this would wind up requiring a ton of memorization to beat.
1) Elementary: This one is personally the best of them all. I'm flabbergasted with how you can impact gameplay with this kind of color math.
2) Dual: Reminds me of COLORS somehow. This gimmick confused me at first because I didn't know what was what, but I got it eventually. I know this is just to showcase, but the second room does so in a much clever way.
3) Beam: Good, but yeah, it's wacky. Maybe it could be of some use in a level where everything keeps you on your toes.
4) Time: I like the realistic vibe this has. Not the most impressive imo, but at least it does justice.
5) X-Ray: While this one is 👍, it... doesn't appeal to me that much other than if you just want an aesthetic feel to your level.
1/ Elementary. I love them all, the movements, the circle shapes, the colours. Good gameplay.
2/ Dual. Lots of potential to this, either in Kaizo or standard gameplays.
3/ Beam. Love the visuals but the functionality seems a bit hard to play, catching the white platform or the blue water tile was way too fast in the proof of concept.
4/ Time. A pretty harmless change as it is, but I could see some uses like unlocking a certain part of the level at a certain time of the day, or allowing to replay a harder version of the level with a different time after an overworld event gets unlocked. Fun thing, I tried the other level at the left and ddin't understand a thing.
5/ X-Ray. Not sure about this. Is it supposed to be a power-up revealing secrets? But no, in this proof of concept it is more like the "normal" vision. I was able to see the ghost house tileset in the background of this circle so it could be impressive to have them both I guess.
- People who don't arrange their overworld accordingly with a level name and a location lock are my pet peeve. It literally takes 30 seconds to think about it.
- Will the third round, too, include a late entry coming after the voting time is declared. Still missing some votes on this one here.
-------------------- Previously known as Darkslayer (2008-2020)
- People who don't arrange their overworld accordingly with a level name and a location lock are my pet peeve. It literally takes 30 seconds to think about it.
Yeah...one of the entries here was in Yoshi's Island 2 when almost all of the others were in Yoshi's Island 1. It's not super fun to have to try to guess which level is meant to be looked at.. Please label your levels, people :C
1. Elementary - Interesting gimmick, I would really use it. I would tweak colors a little bit, but that should be easy enough for most users.
2. Time - This one is rather simple but I think many people would use it in hacks. I just think colors could be tuned a little bit further, specially because there is a long period of time during the daylight hours where no change seems to occur.
3. Beam - This one is pretty good. The effects are quite impressive, but platforms that become visible and invisible (and apparently non-interactive) spontaneously could turn level design into a very difficult task if you don't want to confuse the player.
4. X-Ray - This one is also impressive from the technical point of view, but in the current state I wouldn't use it. I think most players and hackers would expect the effect to be inverted (showing the right blocks inside of the circle and not outside).
5. Dual - The concept is really cool for level design, but I think the visual effect could be much prettier if the code respected original colors up to certain point at least. Only two colors can become a little confusing. I also took a while to realize that in the second section the right part turned the player into big Mario.
Beam: This sprite is awesome and well-integrated into the demonstration level. I think what makes it special is that the sprite presents the solution to the obstacle and you are entirely dependent on what its beam enables you to do or what it enables to appear, and until that sprite comes through, you really don't know as a player what you're doing until the last moment.
Elementary: A challenging gimmick comes from this and I like the variety of ways it can be utilized. Depending on overlap with quick movement is especially tense. In a level design sense, this creation is the most practical entry.
Time: This is maybe the third time I've seen such a thing over 13 years, but it's never been put out there for public usage. The cool part about this apart from the fitting palettes is it has a 24 hour clock in the status bar. What would make this amazing is if it also utilized background gradients. Slower, this would be incredibly useful. I'd love to have some events centered around the time.
X-Ray: I can see this being used for an underground interior view. The demonstration is really neat, showing how it could be used to surprise or deceive the player. Obviously, it doesn't jive well with other HDMA effects, so proper entry/exit to the room would be a good way to work around that.
Dual: Color inversion is neat, but it's hard to distinguish what is safe or dangerous with only two tones. I can't say I'm enthused by what amounts to a $19-altering barrier as this can be done with blocks and the layer 2 auto-scroll mechanics in Morton's Castle if it needs to move. As a level gimmick, I'm not sure: you're waiting a lot for the barrier to reach you when you need to spin jump and then you're completely safe if your powerup status is always big on the other side. It is quirky and has a memorable look, but I think it only serves the example it was created for.
Just look above you... If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Beam: I voted this first, because it has a lot of potential in level design, even though the sample level can be quite trial-and-error as the other people said, particularly the part after the checkpoint and the end of the level. But barring the level design aside, the windowing and the platforms appearing when scattered by the beam really caught my eye.
Dual: Very simple with the monochromatic look, yet very cool with loads of potential. The fact that the part of the player submerged in the white windowing changes and not their whole body is very interesting. The fact that the windowing itself moves at all adds to the potential.
Elementary: Again, another cool entry with a lot of potential and a great concept. I like how the colors mixing into red hurt you and the other colors are safe. One small thing I noticed is that the magenta-yellow mix isn't quite red, but other than that, great job.
X-Ray: Another simple yet potentially good entry. I like how the outer windowing reveals the actual blocks but the blocks in the inner windowing are completely deceiving, so the player should not be fooled. I admittedly was fooled a few times until I realized what was really going on.
Time: Yet again another simple yet aesthetically cool entry. The palette cycling is nice, and the cycled palettes themselves are beautiful. Nothing else to say.
this one is very cool and it looks very very polished. i really appreciate this one out of the whole bunch because to me it has the highest degree of customizability; you could really do all sorts of weird shit with this if you wanted, and that's really cool. sad that some people are voting it lower but i really have to condemn the sample level though, it's prettttty bad. i know you can argue that in an asm contest the sample level is the least important since the focus should be all on the asm item itself, but if the sample level does a shit job at showcasing what your asm item can do and instead makes it super frustrating to experience... well you can't really be angry about people being turned off. i really want to see a great level using this beam thing to the fullest.
this one started out very boring (switch between water and non-water with two static halves... i don't think you even need color math for that), but then it got a lot more interesting seeing how you had each half move horizontally and the behaviour now was something completely different (switching from big to small mario). that makes me eager to know what other sorts of cool things you could be switching with each half. as i'm writing this i honestly don't know if such a gimmick would still strictly require color math, but i still like it better than elementary.
i feel like this is a really average use of color math for a nice level gimmick, with a low level of customization. it is a cool gimmick, but in my opinion it uses color math in a very ... obvious way, i guess. not much outside the box thinking here, but nevertheless it certainly looks neat and polished.
idea is actually very good and at first i was kinda wowed by the effect itself, but the more i played the more i thought this looked very unpolished and just kind of there; it certainly didn't play out the way i expected it, in fact it kinda did the complete opposite (you'd think the circle would reveal the true world instead but it's the other way around in the level). upon finishing the level i thought that in hindsight this shouldn't be a terribly difficult or impressive thing to recreate with a slightly more interesting approach. i think you probably didn't have the time to make it into something even better.
aesthetically this is great and i'd love to see this everywhere since it adds so much to a hack's juice, but does this strictly require color math?? this was the least impressive use of it out of all these entries to me, i think out of all the cool things that color math can achieve in practice, a palette swap must be one of the least cool ones. the colors look very nice which leads me to believe they're hand picked and thus customizing this isn't very intuitive or efficient.