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24hoSMW #13 ~ RESULTS!!
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - 24hoSMW #13 ~ RESULTS!!
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I entirely agree with NerDose's assessment. Unless a trick or gimmick is completely intuitive on its own, a well-designed level will ease into said trick; introducing it in a way that a player will understand, in case they're not familiar with the mechanic.

...

For those who are curious and weren't in the Discord, one particular level required the use of glitches and generally "unusual" mechanics that almost none of the judges were familiar with. I've been playing SMW hacks and contest entries for over six years, and I was totally lost at certain points. The people who defended the level repeatedly cited a level from JUMP1/2 that used the gimmicks and "should" have made us more familiar with them, but I (and most of the other judges) have simply never played JUMP.

However, even if I knew everything about the tricks beforehand, I don't believe I would have judged the level any differently. It's not just the judges who might potentially be playing the levels, and most of the other players will likely run into similar issues.


Sancles:

In regards to the creativity thing, that's a much trickier and more subjective issue. I'm aware that the quote you screenshotted was from NopeContest's feedback notes, but here's the way I personally see it; the requirement to include an explanation was more or less to cover all necessary bases in case a couple of the judges happened to miss the point. However, that doesn't mean the level's connection to the theme should be so vague to the point where you're practically required to read the text to understand what the connection is at all. There were plenty of levels (including that one, I believe?) where the judges had to communicate with one another to understand the level's thematic connection, even after reading the text files.

This type of thing is also why it's necessary to have multiple judges. I actually liked your level a lot, and the way it connected to the level's theme was super impressive to me - it seems that some of the other judges did not agree. I think it's a bit unfair to claim this means that some judges were unfit to judge, it just means that we all interpreted the thematic connections in different ways.
RE: Glitches

A contest level should not require the player to *perform* glitches that aren't properly introduced by the level itself. It's not exactly fair to require all of the judges to be familiar with all of the obscure quirks of SMW's code that you may want to use. A good judging team is one with a wide variety of playstyles and backgrounds, and this includes familiarity with glitches. Also note that contest levels don't just exist for the benefit of the judges; the general userbase and even people outside of the site may want to play these.

"Passive" glitches that don't require player input or knowledge (e.g. the water physics glitch used in previous VLDCs) are fine. They get introduced automatically.
Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
3. I was a bit confused about the judge interpretation of the theme, like Sancles. I was originally under the impression that levels that adhered to the theme would receive full points for theme adherence, and creativity would be based simply on how creative the level is and how creatively it implemented its theme. However, it seemed like a lot of levels received low points in theme for not having a strict enough adherence to what the judge's preconceived notion of what the theme was. I noticed firework factory, Sancle's level, and Jupi's level received less points because they used "fire", whereas levels that used light in the literal sense received more full points. Would be nice to have some consistency or at least break out the creativity rubric by theme (perhaps 15/15 for level creativity and 5/5 for theme creativity?)

Resurrecting from my eternal smwcentral slumber to bring up a little thing in this regard because it's a very interesting topic.
I recently judged a themed contest (by myself) with a similarly vague theme ('solving a problem') where I initially set out to try some new judging formats and whathaveyou. My initial idea was judging /10 without an explicit separation of theme score from the rest, but when someone submitted my favourite level of the contest without following the theme at all, I felt forced to make a subdivision to more fairly judge the rest of the levels (going by how prevalent any of the interpretations were in the level). Throwing in that anecdote in support of your idea.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
4. Difficulty: this was a hot topic the other day but personally, I didn't find it as much an issue as the theme interpretation issue. I think only a couple hard levels got shafted, but also this is just something that hard level designers have come to expect. However, I still think that being a judge does require a bit of objective reasoning, as well as clear and concise use of the categories. For example, if a level is clearly well designed, but you didn't have fun with it, does it deserve a 2/20 in design? Or a 3/20? And in addition, should enjoyment affect the creativity score? In my mind, a level that is well designed but too hard for you to enjoy should receive at least a few more points than 2/20. I think the same could be said for levels with creative gimmicks that didn't execute them as well as they could. You can't change the way you feel about a level, but I don't think that should hinder the judging process from a purely technical/level design standpoint.

Something else I recall from one of the contest judging formats I tried in the last year (SMBX CCX1) was splitting the creativity score into Creative Concept/15 and Creative Execution/30 (in a rubric of 30/15/30/15/10 for design, cc, ce, aesthetics, functionality (lags etc)). I think the execution of this idea as such was rather unrefined in that particular instance, but it succeeded in rewarding a baseline of points for putting in the effort to make something fun, even if it didn't turn out that well.

That said, I'm a bit so-and-so on the idea. It does a tremendous job at steering judging more towards an objective and consistent quality, but at the same time I feel like the judge's taste should also not be undervalued (as it gets balanced out by the co-judges). One thing I feel strongly about in this particular contest rubric from CCX1 was that I felt unable to express my feelings toward a level, when I reluctantly put down 84/100 for my least favourite level of the pack.

I think there is a balance to be struck here, as giving power to the judges leads to harsher scores while putting a lot of power into the judging rubric may make catering to it too easy, leading to scores that may leave the judges that gave them unhappy.

So much for my 2 cents on the discussion. Last thing I'll say is that I think all interpretations are fundamentally valid even if you don't know one of them before reading the readme. What matters to me is how creatively they define the level itself.
Originally posted by K.T.B.
I think it's a bit unfair to claim this means that some judges were unfit to judge, it just means that we all interpreted the thematic connections in different ways.

I don't believe this is what Sancles is saying in the slightest. She's saying that she felt the points applied for theme were inconsistently awarded. She's not saying that the judges were unfit for judging.
First of all, congratulations to the winners. Overall, I did enjoy the levels that came from this contest. That said, I guess I'll say my piece here.

About theme adherence, in addition to what Sancles posted, I did kinda raise my eyebrows at a particular comment I saw about my own level (Spittin' Straight Fire, a level where the main gimmick is certain blocks that both you and enemies can light on fire):

Originally posted by K.T.B.
Most of the obstacles are fire-based, and since fire produces light, there's your connection to the contest theme. It doesn't feel like a very strong connection to me though, since the level's theme ends up coming from something that's tangentially light-related, rather than being *directly* based around a definition of the word "light".

I have two issues with this:
1) Bending the definition of "light" was literally encouraged in the rules, and
2) The TXT file for my level had one of the exact definitions of the word "light" in it:

Originally posted by Google
5.
a device that makes something start burning, as a match, lighter, or flame.
"he asked me for a light"

My level is not about fire being a light source, it's about the action of lighting things on fire (which is explained in the text box at the beginning), so I don't think it's fair for the level to be penalized for "not being directly based around a definition of the word 'light'" when it...quite literally is.

As for Gbreeze's post, I think he brought up a lot of interesting points, so I'll talk about some of those.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
I think the vague themes we've had for 24hr #13 and #12 have been nice and all, but I kinda miss the creative 24hr contests of the past (i.e. make a level with an original smw level's sprites intact, or make a title screen using vanilla movements). I think it would be a good idea to alternate between the two types of contest as it goes on. Perhaps one year we can have a more vague, one-word theme, and the next year have a specific challenge we have to take on?

I kinda feel like 24 hour level contests should be a separate thing from this suggestion...maybe have themed level contests stay like this one and then have stuff like the title screen idea be called "24 hour challenges" or something, and then host one of each every year?

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
I think it would be nice to experiment with a 48hr format. Just a thought; I know it reduces some of the thrill of finishing a level in 1 day, but it may raise participation and allow some much needed polish. Curious what people's thoughts are.

How about 36 hours? I think allowing from noon on one day to 8 PM on the next day allows for a lot of leeway already; a lot of people don't get to do much on the second day because they have to go to school or work, or they just don't wake up early enough to take advantage of the time before noon that day. Allowing 8 extra hours could help fix that while also having more thrill than a 48 hour contest.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
Would be nice to have some consistency or at least break out the creativity rubric by theme (perhaps 15/15 for level creativity and 5/5 for theme creativity?)

I think a 10/10 split would be better (that's how Sancles did it and it seemed to work well).

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
For example, if a level is clearly well designed, but you didn't have fun with it, does it deserve a 2/20 in design? Or a 3/20?

This kind of thing is exactly why a lot of level contests I've seen (especially MaGMML and MaGL X) have a Fun category in the rubric. I think it's definitely worth considering for these contests.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
Category consistency: I mentioned this a while ago in the discussion thread, but I don't really see why the weights of the categories can't be the same as VLDC, CLDC, or any other contest we have on the site. I get that the 50/50 score is easier to manage, but if we wanted to reflect VLDC's weights, we could just make it 30/30 for design, 15/15 for creativity, and 5/5 for aesthetics. Or perhaps split up the creativity category so it's 10/10 for level creativity and 5/5 for theme creativity (for 24hr contests that have themes).

I agree with this, although tbh I prefer having scores out of 100. Probably just a personal thing, though.

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Check out my WIP romhack!
I agree with the extension to 48 h. It's not that big of a deal and will allow not only an increase of participation, but also more polish. At least is something that should be considered.

Regarding the stance in difficulty, I feel like the difficulty was only part of the problem really. If one creates an easy level with few or not a single checkpoint, nobody is going to complain. But if you go ahead and create a very hard, decently long level, you should at least add enough checkpoints so that the level feels confortable to play. For example, I liked Miraclewater's setups a lot as individual obstacles, but when put together as a single level with only one checkpoint... that's another story altogether: I didn't enjoy it at all, it was just frustrating to play. Adding one or two checkpoints to key points of the level would have made it a lot more enjoyable to the general public.
Originally posted by JupiHornet
Originally posted by K.T.B.
Most of the obstacles are fire-based, and since fire produces light, there's your connection to the contest theme. It doesn't feel like a very strong connection to me though, since the level's theme ends up coming from something that's tangentially light-related, rather than being *directly* based around a definition of the word "light".

I have two issues with this:
1) Bending the definition of "light" was literally encouraged in the rules, and
2) The TXT file for my level had one of the exact definitions of the word "light" in it:

Originally posted by Google
5.
a device that makes something start burning, as a match, lighter, or flame.
"he asked me for a light"

My level is not about fire being a light source, it's about the action of lighting things on fire (which is explained in the text box at the beginning), so I don't think it's fair for the level to be penalized for "not being directly based around a definition of the word 'light'" when it...quite literally is.

Looking over my notes again .. I concede this point. You're right, this was a mistake on my part, though it didn't actually affect the final score. Your level was actually one of the (very few) submissions where I didn't read the text until after playing the level and writing down my first thoughts. There were several other entries I'd played where the theme really was just "fire produces light", so I originally assumed that's what yours was. I then read your text and realized "oh wait, that's what he meant", and changed my scores to reflect that.

I could've sworn I edited my comments as well, but the line you quoted shows that I clearly missed this while proofreading. It looks like I forgot to change what I wrote for "final thoughts" as well. The miscommunication here was 100% my bad, and I apologize for the misunderstanding.






As for the comments about the "creativity" rubric in general, I do think it was a little confusing at times. I think every single one of the judges had an entirely different philosophy on how we scored that aspect; Some of us only cared about whether or not there was a theme connection at all, giving nearly 0/20 if the level was unclear with its theme, or a near 20/20 if the theme connection was even present. Some of us incorporated the actual design into the creativity score, arguably making it slightly redundant with the "design" rubric. Personally, I went for a mix with all of the above: I gave 20/20's under creativity only if the level was unique or "creatively"-designed as a whole (regardless of the theme), and had its design/aesthetics served in some way by its adherence to the theme.

This is something that was admittedly a challenge to keep consistent, and we debated about it a couple times over the past few weeks. It's also where I'm tempted to agree with the people talking about how vague the theme was, as it probably would've been easier to keep all of this straight with a more clear and focused theme.
I am going to try to address every issue that’s been presented both here and on Discord yesterday. If I missed anything or misconstrued something, please let me know.


24-Hour Contest Format: Personally, I wouldn’t mind doing away with the 24-hour restriction entirely and making future contests 48- or 72-hours instead. While I know part of the point of these contests is to try to make something special in such a short period, I think expanding this period by another day or two would allow more people to participate and let people polish their work just a bit more. Of course, judges should still be considerate of the short time entrants have to work with (which admittedly was something I struggled with).

Theme and Theme Adherence: I agree that the next one of these themed contests should be more restrictive on their theme, like it was for previous 24ho contests. That said, I feel like the idea for this contest worked out pretty nicely, so I would like to see more of these broader themes used in the future. Like I said in the discussion thread, we should consider how viable these themes are in a vanilla setting, though I at least feel like people didn’t have to code their own gimmicks for this contest and could’ve relied on resources from the site. (Although I appreciated the entries that did original work!)

For theme adherence, I tried to be lenient about it; if the level was plausibly light-related, had a more interesting spin on it, and applied it to the level design, it would get a really high creativity score. For the most part, the entries had an arguable, if not plausible, use of the light theme, so they usually got at least 10/20 points. I admittedly had some trouble scoring this category due to also having to tie it in with general creativity, but like I said I just don’t prefer to use scores at all. (I will defend all the scores I gave though, since they were all tweaked after my initial reviewing.)

Scoring: Haven’t seen this brought up as much as other topics, but I should say I found the scoring distribution for this contest was fine, considering it was a “chocolate contest”. (Again, wasn’t around for last CLDC so not sure why the scoring there was 60-30-10.) Staff have talked about scoring defaults for contests though, so we are keeping this in mind.

Difficulty, Technical Knowledge and Judge Standards: This was the biggest part of discussions from what I’ve seen, and I don’t think there will be a satisfactory solution to this. For what it’s worth, I think the judges were reasonable when reviewing the hardest levels of this contest; the ones that scored low by-and-large suffered from long lengths, checkpoint starvation and too precise movements. Others (Accelerate and Light Sleepers come to mind) hit this balance much better, so I don’t think it’s unfair that other levels (Desert Sunlight, A Light(ning) Storm) lost a lot of points in the design category.

That being said, I would not be opposed to aiming for a greater judge variety and making sure contests like these have at least one or two judges that enjoy these harder levels. The problem with that is we may not always be able to find someone fitting this criteria whenever it comes time to judge a contest; we don’t really have a list of people set aside for judging contests (that I’m aware of anyways). Idol suggested yesterday to simply say to not submit “Very Hard” levels, but I would feel kind of bad if they were excluded entirely, since I think if pulled off right these levels can be very entertaining. Not to mention, I assume they’d be too easy for KLDC, putting them basically in limbo. In that case, the best compromise is to try for judge variety, and otherwise have entrants consider that making a high difficulty level, even if it’s not Kaizo, is gonna be a risk. (Although, I think it is a fair point that, in the case of 24ho contests or similar, it should be considered by the judges that balancing out difficulty is hard to do in a short period of time.)

However, I do want to push back against the idea that all judges need to be aware of every kind of technique used in SMW if it’s not explained in the level; I stand by my statement that, with few exceptions, all a player should have to know before playing an SMW ROM hack or level is what the original game asked them to do. I want to be able to go to other communities and announce that we have a contest going on (moreso with VLDC and similar than a 24ho contest) without them being stumped by having to play with obscure maneuvers they are not likely to know about. Maybe that’s asking for too much, but I feel there are ways to incorporate these tricks into your levels without forcing players or judges to do research beforehand.


Also, while I understand this topic is deserving of a broader discussion, I feel it’s worth pointing out that this issue of obscure maneuvers only applies to Blue Mystery Data; all the other very hard levels (or Brutal as I defined them) had their difficulty from precise platforming or, at worst, confusing puzzles solutions (Calciferol) or enemy behaviors (The Cheap Lamp). I don’t want to pull another Swissotel because snoruntpyro has already gotten a serious amount of flack for her level that she doesn’t really deserve. I just think it’s worth mentioning because I wonder how much of an issue it is for judges to be aware of these techniques if only a select amount of levels will use them without explanation in non-Kaizo contests.

Aside from that above paragraph, I will be crossposting this in the inevitable staff thread regarding how we handle contests, since there’s clearly some issues we need to resolve. For everyone else, I encourage you to post in this thread if you have something to say; it’s important we get a lot of perspectives about this if we want to better handle contests in the future.

Which isn’t to say this contest was poorly handled at all. There was a different set of judges than usual, but I feel confident we did a great job as a team deciding our rankings and making sure we were consistent in our own thinking. We also were able to get results in rather quickly considering there were six judges. (For comparison, my last 24ho contest I judged had 3 judges and took a few weeks longer to go through all the levels, and there wasn’t that much more submitted than in this contest.) I would be more than happy to judge with any of the others on a future contest.
Originally posted by DeppySlide
However, I do want to push back against the idea that all judges need to be aware of every kind of technique used in SMW if it’s not explained in the level; I stand by my statement that, with few exceptions, all a player should have to know before playing an SMW ROM hack or level is what the original game asked them to do. I want to be able to go to other communities and announce that we have a contest going on (moreso with VLDC and similar than a 24ho contest) without them being stumped by having to play with obscure maneuvers they are not likely to know about. Maybe that’s asking for too much, but I feel there are ways to incorporate these tricks into your levels without forcing players or judges to do research beforehand.


I believe that, while this is an ideal goal to strive for, it is an inevitability in a community as old as ours with as storied a history of contests as we do that designers, especially ones who have been around for many years and participated in many contests, naturally gravitate towards more technical and obscure mechanics to challenge themselves in their design. To an extent, VLDC12's general level complexity is evidence of that. We continue to push the boundaries of vanilla in VLDCs, and doing so bleeds into contests without vanilla requirements. The "meta", so to speak, of SMW Hacking keeps changing and gets less and less strictly vanilla each day.

To strictly require that levels cannot use more knowledge than the original game plus a few exceptions limits what those veteran designers may find themselves able to do, and may not participate at all. This could be argued that I'm favoring veterans over new hackers, but this isn't my intent of course. Contests are often areas where designers can completely flex their creative muscles because the levels they make are divorced from a hack as a whole. They are a level created in isolation, with no expectations before or after, and can lead to some of the most interesting examples of level design and ideas we see each year due to the relative freedom of making a single unique level.

Because of this tendency for contest levels to almost be a genre of their own, I believe that in order for judges to do their best work now, they need to be at least somewhat aware of the whole cross-section of SMW hacking. That means playing some levels from previous contests, trying to understand why high scoring levels scored the way they did, being aware of the general state of submitted hacks, or even scenes you're unfamiliar with just to know where designers may come from. That's easier said than done though; even someone like myself isn't as knowledgeable as I'd like to be, and I've played way too many contest levels to count. But it's a good goal to shoot for when looking to judge, or improve your judging skills if you're doing so for a second or even third time.

This is not to disparage anyone, of course. The only way to get better at judging is to judge more, and understand where you may have faltered. Goodness knows my VLDC1 judgments were absolutely terrible, and had I not been the contest host I should've been barred from ever judging again. But I improved over time, and so can everyone who ever judges a contest here.

24 hour contests are secretive by nature, often involving few in planning out of respect for staff and PR members that wish to participate. And we've generally felt comfortable with that because this is a contest type with a long history. That said I think some general criteria, like the scoring rubric, may be due for another discerning look before we host the next one.

Congratulations once more to the winners and thank you to the judges and host.
I still can't believe that I'm 12th place. I thought I was going to have a lower place for being my first contest, i never posted a level/hack before and because my level was kinda esay, maybe too much.

At least i got some feedback that i can apply to my hack/next entrys. Like polish the Neon Koopas with time (haha) and make levels a little more challenging.

Thank you so much for everything, see you the next time #smw{^_^}

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Fight everyone for everlasting peace!
Note: My computer is now broken, I'm now using another. I'll probably be less active until it is fixed.
I'm just happy I didn't get last place.
I've been keeping an eye on this thread and the discussion thread, as well as the Discord channels, and while most points have been covered, I still have a few things to add onto them.

As far as the contest theme/duration/etc. go, I'm super in favour of going back to some stricter or more vanilla-y themes like the older 24hoSMWs. 24hoSMW #12's theme stemmed from the leap day gimmick, and it ended up being very well-received and well-executed, so we thought we'd give another vague theme a shot this time around to get a better idea of how people like this style of contest. Vanilla-y 24hoSMWs definitely aren't off the table. I personally love both types of them, and I'd love to see more of the "classic" ones as well. I myself feel indifferent towards extending the submission period, but I'm certainly not opposed. We did the same for 72hoSPC, after all.

As for the rubric, I get the idea behind standardizing a scoring rubric as a base, but I think each contest should still have some wiggle room in terms of point allocation, since each contest can evaluate something different. For this particular contest, we took the same rubric as last time since there weren't any major complaints, to my recollection.

Originally posted by FPzero
That means playing some levels from previous contests, trying to understand why high scoring levels scored the way they did, being aware of the general state of submitted hacks, or even scenes you're unfamiliar with just to know where designers may come from.

While I get the intention behind it, I'll have to disagree with this. While it's certainly important to look at previous contest results and judgements and see how judges went about their judgements, and if there's anything that can be learned from (both good or bad), I'm not a fan of the fixation on high-ranking levels, because there are so many factors at play, with the biggest one being the opinion of the judges. If we rely on each previous contest's scoring criteria and try to replicate it in the judgements for the current contest, I worry that leads us down a path of narrowing the kind of levels that are considered "good", based on the opinions of one set of people exclusively. I don't think it's necessarily good to constrain oneself to a preconceived notion of what makes a level "good" from a purely theoretical perspective. If the 1st place level in the last contest won because it used a really good cape setup, then that doesn't mean that a really good cape setup in a level in the next contest must result in it placing high, because there's a lot more to a level, and people can have different tastes, even when striving for objectivity in judgement, and that's the point of having multiple judges. And I'm sure we're all on the same page about this, but I figure it doesn't hurt to be explicit about it.

Judge variety can help in that matter, and I am in favour of it, but at the same time, I don't think we should be too strict in trying to figure out specific judges to fit specific niches (such as "we need two judges who play kaizo, one judge who only plays easy hacks, and one judge who plays pit hacks".) Obviously, there's the logistics side of making sure we actually have the judges we need, but also, I feel like it would just feel really constraining to do that. For this particular contest, I stand by my feeling that the judges' tastes were appropriately varied, even if we didn't have any explicitly kaizo-leaning judges (but this isn't a kaizo contest, so I'd argue it's not a big loss).

Originally posted by FPzero
To strictly require that levels cannot use more knowledge than the original game plus a few exceptions limits what those veteran designers may find themselves able to do, and may not participate at all.

I know it's been discussed a million times, and I second what Deppy said on the matter, but I think the original argument was specifically about mechanics not being introduced in the level correctly, and being scored accordingly, rather than barring the use of glitches. For this contest, Moonlight Teleport is an example of a level that uses an obscure mechanic, but introduces it clearly. I don't think the amount of "advanced" techniques/glitches a judge must know is really quantifiable, because even the most advanced hackers will keep discovering new mechanics within SMW, or possibly even forgetting about some that they used to know about. I think when we mention having played vanilla SMW as a base criteria, that's the one common baseline that everyone has. Otherwise, there's a million hacks both on and off the site, and of course, it doesn't make sense for a judge to have played them all. I also want to add that an explicit list of "must-have-played" hacks doesn't make much sense to me either. Maybe it's just my opinion, but I don't like the idea of unequivocally giving into a "meta", and I think this ties into what I said in the section before. The meta's meant to evolve, after all.

Originally posted by FPzero
The only way to get better at judging is to judge more, and understand where you may have faltered.

Definitely, and that's natural.

Originally posted by DeppySlide
There was a different set of judges than usual, but I feel confident we did a great job as a team deciding our rankings and making sure we were consistent in our own thinking.

I would argue a different set of judges is a good thing. If we're always picking the same judges, then the same styles of levels would generally win, which isn't particularly fun. It ties into the whole talk about judge variety from earlier.

Finally, for the Creativity category, I agree that we could go about splitting it in a different way to see the results we get, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I don't think there's a perfect solution, since there were criticisms for when Theme Adherence was its own category in previous contests. So that's definitely something we'll have to think over for the coming contests. For this contest, I told the judges that the expectation is that it's a combination of creativity in design, and creativity in how the theme was integrated.

I think that's all I have to say that hasn't been addressed by other people. Thank you, everyone, for your feedback, it's very helpful for us.


All that aside, a big congratulations and thank you to all the entrants. It was fun going through all the levels!
34th place... meh. My main problem was how. I did try my best to make my level clear in the dark as well which is why I placed the coins which mark either a gap or ground depending on the shape. The main challenge about designing my level —especially the second half— is to get some beta testers—and J2DaBibbles wasn't exactly helpful in hindsight (only wrote "didn't die much") since I thought they would comment how I would handle the gimmick.
The good news is that my fireflies are almost ready to be released.

I also wasn't completely happy with the choice of a darkness gimmick since I knew it would come up so often but I had already created some framework with the fireflies so why not go along with it? My other alternative would have been Searchlight Sneak (5-8 from SM3DW) which I considered once for CLDC some years ago (and is more directly a light gimmick) but for that, I had to code everything from scratch since I removed the files, something I hadn't time.
(I also just figured out two more possible gimmicks about light.)

Either way, I definitively learned that when a gimmick requires some beta testers and the schedule is tight, it's a bad gimmick for that conte(c)st. *shot*

Now about a public feedback (some of which I already mentioned in the staff zone):

Re: 24hoSMW themes
In my eyes, 24hoSMW should vary between themes (which may be vague but also needs to be careful) and challenges. In fact, next one should be challenge

Re: Glitches in contests.
There are glitches which which very easy and almost everything including carry on spin jump and carry while climing (so much that fixing them will trip up most players). Others aren't well known and need to be tought to the players as the player is going to otherwise jumps into the deep end just like any other gimmick.

Re: Theme adherance
Sancles und JupiHornet's replies made me realise that if you need to look up into a readme to understand why a level follows a given theme, it can go easily go wrong, especially when the judges didn't read them (or at least, accused of not reading the readme). Last contest was about four which is abstract but has got only one definition there are few where four was more subtle unlike "light" which can either mean absence of darkness, weight, causing fire or just words which contains "light".
Either way, If there is a theme, theme adherance (theme itself and how it has been used in the level) definitively should be separated from raw creativity where creativity is about the level itself.

Re: Judges
Definitively necessary. I remember a criticism about VLDC7 that it had only two judges and KLDC's judges also were only streamers (though Katerpie, a non-streamer, was one of the original judges but he unfortunatelly dropped out). Having sometimes more, sometimes less experienced judges who prefer different styles (e.g. romp vs jump) is definitively necessary and it's unfortunate that two judges dropped out due to the levels' difficulty in VLDC12. The fact that Deppy even admits to have used savestates shows that even less experienced players. Remember, objectivity doesn't really exist so some negative points are less or aren't even seen as negative (e.g. I have got a higher bar of checkpoint starvation if a level well enough so I didn't consider MiracleWater's level as bad as Enan63's level) but difficulty is indeed something.
Having minor variations in judging styles is also not a major issue as see above, objectivity is not really given and some have it easier to consider the good points, others with negative points.

That being said, every judge should be familiar with the original game.

Re: Duration and day
The biggest challenge about 24hoSMW is to hit the right day. 24hoSMW (in UTC) often starts from Saturday (a day where not everyone works already) and ends at Sunday (a day were even fewer work, even required per law in some countries) and it got criticism that it started at Sunday instead of Saturday. However, the decision got defended that it wouldn't have made a big difference anyway when everone would have been exhaused. That's why 24hoSMW should be hosted aways from holidays.
Extending the time is certainly nice... though I don't think that extending the time is really necessary. Levels still can be short but sweet (see last 24hoSMW where 1st place was five one-screen rooms), though it can cause a gimmick to not be explored as well as you would otherwise.


Lastly, quotes:

Originally posted by yogui
Still, I could have got slightly better but two judges didn't get the gimmick that coins add light. I didn't wanted to explain the gimmick in the intro text, I wanted for the players to discover it themselves when they play the level but not every players are the same, it's understandable.

Hey, everyone gets stuck at something sometimes only to later realise how obvious the gimmick (or section) is.

Originally posted by GbreezeSunset
6. Category consistency: I mentioned this a while ago in the discussion thread, but I don't really see why the weights of the categories can't be the same as VLDC, CLDC, or any other contest we have on the site. I get that the 50/50 score is easier to manage, but if we wanted to reflect VLDC's weights, we could just make it 30/30 for design, 15/15 for creativity, and 5/5 for aesthetics. Or perhaps split up the creativity category so it's 10/10 for level creativity and 5/5 for theme creativity (for 24hr contests that have themes).

No. The different contests have different focuses. CLDC, for example, allows for a bigger variety of aesthetics than VLDC and 24hoSMW, particularly challenge types, are so varied, it is difficult to have unified judging weights.

Originally posted by JupiHornet
How about 36 hours? I think allowing from noon on one day to 8 PM on the next day allows for a lot of leeway already; a lot of people don't get to do much on the second day because they have to go to school or work, or they just don't wake up early enough to take advantage of the time before noon that day. Allowing 8 extra hours could help fix that while also having more thrill than a 48 hour contest.

You have been registered since May so this is your first 24hoSMW. As mentioned above, this usually isn't an issue as 24hoSMW are traditionally hosted from Saturday to Sunday (since I registered, at least). This one's just an exception because it was close to Christmas and Staturday was Boxing Day.

Originally posted by DeppySlide
That said, I feel like the idea for this contest worked out pretty nicely, so I would like to see more of these broader themes used in the future. Like I said in the discussion thread, we should consider how viable these themes are in a vanilla setting, though I at least feel like people didn’t have to code their own gimmicks for this contest and could’ve relied on resources from the site. (Although I appreciated the entries that did original work!)

That definitively needs to be avoided. xfix got second place last 24h simply by having small rooms with four seconds to beat each and few custom blocks and patches. This one pretty much requires a custom resource as a central gimmick unless you're using level mode 1F aesthetically, dark spotlight or fire and you can forget about "light" in terms of "weight".
Furthermore, four allows for bigger variety on its own whereas light requires you to stretch the rules, not to mention you can put four easily into gameplay (which goes hand in hand with the "vanilla" point) but light easily ends up going into visuals if it isn't thought as "weight" or is used purely aesthetically (though I think the proportion of levels which did that is the same as last 24h).

--------------------
Okay, my layout looks ugly.
44th: meh#smw{x_x}
(27th blackput factory by codfish1002)

I thought i was gonna get something like 60th place or something but 27th is pretty sweeet! :D


Also congrats to stivi far and nerdose :D

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This is my layout i plan on adding one soon

I have a discord server smwc users only


i have a few hacks that are currently in a wip state you can check them out here

Congrats to the top 3 winners and participants! I'm pretty satisfied with 22nd place, and the feedback on my entry from the judges is appreciated. I'll be sure to keep it all in mind the next time I try and make a level within a span of 24 hours.

(Note to self: Use a smaller amount of miscellaneous pipes throughout levels.)

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What is a Lunar Magic, and can I eat it?
FUCK!
Dead last this time. I'm getting worse and worse at 24-/72-hour LDCs. For reference:
  • 24hoSMW #13: 41st/66
  • 72hoKaizo #1: 39th/51
  • 24hoSMW #13: 46th/46

It looks like these aren't for me because whenever I try, I fail. I knew scores of my level were gonna be dispare, but I didn't expect to be the last one. I didn't have a better idea of what to include in my level in order to be good or I could've come up with something I wanted for my unfinished BLDC level. Fortunately, this placement couldn't have been any worse. I won't do worse next time as I won't enter the next short contest unless I can make a good level within my means.

I enjoyed making my level, though, and I'm glad some people liked it. Judges either didn't like it at all or kinda liked it, but they said it could be improved, but I don't have to be 1st. If I unexpectedly got 1st, I'd be particular. Speaking of this contest, that was lots of fun! See ya!
I have a Discord server as well!

Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
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