[12:11 EST] Added clarification about SA-1 and note about file bin uploads.
[12:13 EST] Added clarification about kaizo levels being banned from the contest.
[16:30 EST] Added clarification about no limit on secondary exits.
Shining greetings to all those bathed in lightness, whether from the relaxing air of the weather, or through the buzzy blue embrace of your monitor. Welcome to the 13th 24hoSMW, a contest where you harness all your "first day of the contest" hype and channel it into your level. Without further ado, let's illuminate you on the contest's theme and rules!
Each 24hoSMW comes with a very particular theme, with things that may be more extravagant or bizarre than regular contests. Keeping the trend going from last time, we have another very general theme. This time, our theme is
Light reflects off the snow in the Northern Hemisphere, while the sun shines brightly and directly in the Southern Hemisphere due to the upcoming summer solstice. Both hemispheres also have plenty of lights in their holiday decorations, whether they be colourful lights, candles, or more. Or, maybe people just feel light and happy because of the holiday season.
Either way, the theme of this contest is to somehow incorporate the idea of "light". This includes any definition for the word, so go with whatever feels most inspiring to you!
You may use any resource you like to make your level. Custom blocks, sprites, graphics, music, UberASM, etc. are all on the table. But 24 hours isn't a lot, so use your time wisely!
Levels will be scored on the following criteria:
Design: 20 pts.
How is the level designed? Is it fun to play? Does it feel coherent and accomplishes what it sets out to do?
Creativity: 20 pts.
How well does it fit the "light" theme? Does the level bring something novel or interesting to the table?
Aesthetics: 10 pts.
How does the level look? Do the music, palettes, and tilesets all work together? Is there significant cutoff or clash?
Giving us a nice, round total of 50 points.
Please note that submitting a level that is completely irrelevant to the theme could potentially result in a harsh penalty being applied. More on this below.
The last 24hoSMW had 4 judges, so it's only natural that we have 5 this time around. Their identities will not be revealed until after the submission period, in order to prevent designing levels specifically to appeal to a given judge's taste.
- Submit your entry as a .bps patch. Submitting .smc, .sfc, .ips, or any other format will result in an instant disqualification (and in the case of the first two, a warning and/or ban.)
- Integrate the "light" theme into your level somehow. Levels that do not adhere to the theme at all could receive a harsh penalty depending on the irrelevance. While "Theme adherance" isn't a category on its own, it's definitely considered within the "Creativity" category during judging.
- Include a .txt file with your submission indicating how your level incorporates the "light" theme. We ask this of participants because some of you may wish to incorporate the theme in ways that may not be immediately noticeable.
- Indicate how many exits your level has, either within your entry (such as in a message box, adjacent level's name, etc.), or in the accompanied readme. If no indication is provided, it will be assumed that your level only has one exit, and be judged accordingly.
- Make sure your entry works with either Snes9x v1.60 or bsnes v115.
- While not strictly mandatory since the lives counter may be used for gimmick purposes, it would be nice to include some form of unlimited lives, such as through a life farm or the retry patch, just so judges don't have to sit through the game over cutscene if your level is on the harder side.
- Use any custom resources you like (graphics, music, sprites, blocks, SA-1, etc.), both pre-existing or made specifically for this contest. There are no limitations to what you can add to the level, but keep in mind you only have 24 hours!
- Following from the above, you can also use MSU-1 for music. However, because of size issues regarding audio file sizes, as well as accessibility issues with actually setting up MSU-1 to work correctly, judges will not be required to play the level with MSU-1 enabled, so make sure you have a backup, MSU-1-less version of your entry as well.
- Make levels as long as you want. There are no timer restrictions in this contest.
- Add up to and including two exits in your level. However, be mindful that past contests have shown that secret exits often make a level feel more sluggish or confusing, so add multiple exits at your own risk.
- Use as many sublevels as you want.
- Replace global songs.
- Edit any Map16 pages or tiles.
- Use as many secondary exits and entrances as you like.
- Work with a partner. Each entry must be made by one individual. (Breaking this rule results in DISQUALIFICATION)
- Submit a level that has been made prior to the start time of the contest. Each entry must be made specifically for this iteration of 24hoSMW. (Breaking this rule results in DISQUALIFICATION)
- Make more than one (independent) level to be judged. Entries that feature more than one level with no clear of indication of which level is the submission may be disqualified. This does not refer to sublevels, but rather whole levels as a package. Not sure of the difference between levels and sublevels? Hover here. (Breaking this rule results in DISQUALIFICATION)
- Put your name in your entry in any way. Submissions must be anonymous. (Breaking this rule results in a 1-point penalty)
- Submit a Kaizo or Pit level (in spite of the obvious Kaizo: Light wordplay, haha.) This is not a kaizo contest. (Breaking this rule can result in DISQUALIFICATION)
As usual, anything outside of the submission level itself (such as title screen, overworld, life farms, etc.) will not be judged.
Our three entrants with the highest scores will receive a lovely trophy denoting their rank, as well as:
or if that's not your style, then
(from SMWC's list of game codes)
All other participants with non-disqualified or non-low effort levels will also earn a participation trophy.
You can see all the trophies here:
Submit your levels right here in this thread! If you want to update your submission, simply edit your post. Off-topic and double posts will be deleted without notice. If you want to discuss the contest, use the discussion thread instead. If you're uploading the level to your filebin, make sure that your file's name does not contain your level's name, as certain file uploads are logged internally, and could give away your entry.
Regarding updates, due to how the Cloudflare's cache works, it's good practice to make sure any updated files have different names so that the old version isn't mistakenly downloaded for judging. For example, if your first submission is named "entry.bps", then make sure that your update is named something other than "entry.bps". Otherwise, the site might not realize the file has been updated in time for when entries are collected for judging!
Also, this is the first contest that falls under the new "Contest Ban" policy. Long story short, repeatedly submitting levels that seek to get disqualified may result in getting barred from participation in future contests. Rest assured that this is only for extreme cases. You can read more about it here.
Submissions will be accepted for the next 24 hours! That's until tomorrow, 28 December 2020, at 9:00 PST, 12:00 EST, 17:00 GMT, 18:00 CET, and so on. Here's a handy timer to show how much time's left.
Best of luck to everyone, and most importantly, have fun! ♥
Feel free to DM me on Discord or to PM me on the site if you have any questions!