19 users online: Connnnair, Darcin, Devazure, grisu, HammerBrother, Humpty Dumpty Magazine, Ice Man, isaix, JetWing34, Jonah_, Justepic,  K.T.B., NixKillsMyths, Odyssey K., OEO6, signature_steve, tari, yaraso, Zavok - Guests: 111 - Bots: 207
Users: 62,806 (2,616 active)
Latest user: skittles

Contest Ideas / Theme Suggestions Thread

QKLC. Questionable Kaizo level design contest. It’s essentially what it sounds like, a kazio version of QLDC as long as the levels are RTA viable there acceptable. I’ll let you decide the rest
Puzzle Level Design Contest #lm{16x}

Non-Mario Level Design Contest
You have to make a level based on a game other than Mario, using ripped and custom graphics
Every dream is but another reality, never forget…

My In-Progress Hack

I'm fairly sure this has been suggested already (in some capacity), but I've always thought a great 24hoSMW gimmick idea would be requiring a user to create a level based off a level name from a fake ow/collab/full hack/ect. Talkhaus' MaGLX1 and 2 (and 3 too I think?) played with this in their contests in a more simplified way (simply giving users a random list of level names to use as inspiration for their level), and I think it fits the theme of a 24h contest.

On the topic of contests, it'd be nice to see more 72h contests in general (and potentially phase the 24hos out in favor of it, because I think more time in general raises contest participation and output). Other contests that I think could potentially work would be a 72ho Submap making contest (with similar gimmicks/rules/stipulations to a normal 24ho contest), or a 72hoOLDC (but that's also just my personal love for OLDC speaking, lol).

I think having a 24ho/72ho format should also be utilized moreso for contests that don't run on a given year. IE - if a year doesn't have a CLDC or an OLDC or OWDC, then a 24ho/72ho would run in it's place. This would also go for other contests too, though for non-level design contests making it 72ho would probably be more feasible.
MLDC - Music Level Design Contest
Length could be a type of 72hour contest or a month long one.

Levels have to use their songs to drive a narrative motion and theme. The flow of the level should consider with the song chosen. If a song starts out guns blasting then later on becomes more mellow and melancholic, users have to work around that. Ofcourse this would be impossible to get perfect, but the beauty would come from how it could be seen in different perspectives. Maybe people can make player actions sync up with music. Only one song will be allowed per entry however. Besides Boss music.

This would probably be a pretty unpopular contest and I honestly ran out of ideas once I realised this can be done in any style of level but I'd be neat to see once as an experiment.
Current Projects:
Super Mario 𝓥𝓸𝔂𝓪𝓰𝓮
“If you are not able to be wrong, you will never come up with something original”
I don't know why but this gives me a bit of Geometry Dash vibes
Not sure if this has happened before but how about an RLDC Random Level Design Contest, everyone gets random stuff like sprites/music and so on and then has to design a level. This could be quite funny
I was thinking maybe sometime in October of 2023 there could be a second Old School Kaizo Level design contest, for those who are unaware or forgot this was a contest that required you to design levels that felt like they were from the Kaizo trilogy. I think It'd be interesting if it came back.
- TLDC -
Too Long, Didn't Care

nope, this is "Tweaker Level Design Contest". It's OLDC (or VLDC), but you're allowed to use this tool to basically completely change up vanilla enemies.

That's it.

Simple, but could create some insane levels. Could be a good 24/72hosmw theme.
Originally posted by Daizo Dee Von
- TLDC -
Too Long, Didn't Care

nope, this is "Tweaker Level Design Contest". It's OLDC (or VLDC), but you're allowed to use this tool to basically completely change up vanilla enemies.

That's it.

Simple, but could create some insane levels. Could be a good 24/72hosmw theme.

funny enough i had that same idea earlier today at work
thinking about how overwhelmed i was at the amount of options you have at your disposal just trying to [REDACTED JUDGES DONT CLICK], that it could be fun to use it as the base of a level that has an excuse to be chaotic
ask me if i give a f*ck...
I haven't used Tweaker in many many years. I think a nonsense contest based around it would be entertaining but difficult to judge because of the vast possibilities that it provides.
Most of my memory of using Tweaker is making galoombas unstompable and instakill, haha~
   ---> Magic: The Gathering Legends <---   
HLDC (hard level design contest)
Type: Kaizo

Quality or fun do not matter anymore. It is about the challenge. The most difficult level wins.
Would require participants to post convincing proof that they beat their own level.

I think having a whole contest about raw difficulty and technique could spawn some interesting levels. In some way it would be the antithesis to kldc which is all about innovation while discouraging hard and technical levels.
ELDC - Experimental LDC (or YLDC - YUMP LDC)
Experimentation is the objective of the contest.

No level time limit or sub-level limits so that judges don't feel pressured to rush through the levels, and the creators don't have to cut content.
VLDC-like rules, but no difficulty restrictions, no baserom.
(because some patches unnecessarily fix vanilla glitches, for example in the VLDC9 rom clipping through blocks is made more annoying and sometimes impossible)

Levels that do things that haven't been done before score the highest.
Levels that don't do anything special or that play it safe with level design (lack of any kind of challenge, designed for casuals) score the lowest.
To encourage new ideas, aesthetics will not be able to negatively impact the score.
Multiple entries allowed (or one submission with all the levels), because the only thing that matters is how unique the levels are.

A contest where the judging is done by the participants, and not selected judges
At the end of the submission period, each level has a number of randomized judges. They have to provide constructive feedback within a time period.
Each judge should have the same amount of levels to judge.
If a judge doesn't do their job, their own level scores lower.
If their feedback is not constructive or is just meant to bring down the score of an another level, that feedback does not count, and their own level scores lower.
People can judge more levels if they want to.
Originally posted by Somebody for sure

I know it's not exactly what you described, but "YUMP LDC" reminds me a lot of QLDC. Maybe that's the contest you're looking for?

Levels that do things that haven't been done before score the highest.

I don't think this is a good metric to have, at least not with this wording, because it's very difficult to really know what's been "done before" and what hasn't. More often than you'd think I've come across stuff in hacks that people thought was new/innovative, or even created something myself entirely fresh out of my own mind, only to learn it had been done in some mildly obscure hack a decade before. "Creativity" is a better way to put it.
It's easily the best thing I've done
So why the empty numb?
VKLDC (Vanilla Kaizo Level Design Contest)
Self-explanatory. A kaizo contest but with VLDC-like rules.

Strawberry Level Design Contest
Feel free to use custom sprites that don't need any custom graphics and blocks from the base ROM with their respective graphics. GFX can otherwise be only VLDC, however you can recycle those of the enclosed blocks, much like in BLDC. You're allowed to use custom music.
I have a Discord server as well! (by joining, you agree to the rules)
Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.

Originally posted by OEO6
Two entries can be made for a contest. There can be two entries in a hack. The given time could be two months or something. (For example Double Vanilla LDC, Double Old-School LDC etc.)

It may be tiring for the participants and judges, but still, this idea is here to stay.

It would make sense if one of the levels was eliminated. The inferior one could be not taken into account while judging.
I have a Discord server as well! (by joining, you agree to the rules)
Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.

Same Sprites But Kaizo
You have to select one of a few vanilla SMW levels as a base. Your task is to make possibly most enjoyable-to-play kaizo level out of what you've got. You can't add or delete new sprites and move any existing ones. However, you're allowed to change an existing level's orientation, may it be horizontal instead of vertical and vice versa. You can also change anything else.
I have a Discord server as well! (by joining, you agree to the rules)
Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.


The premise of this one being that you can use any custom resources, BUT the key twist is that the whole level (including sub-levels) can't take up anymore than a set number of bytes. I think that it would be pretty funny to see the lengths people would go to to keep everything within the byte requirement, but also to see how much they can make under pressure of not taking up too much space.
A random idea came up in my mind during OLDC so I thought it would be worth to share as a potentiel challenge for a 24hoSMW contest.

Same sprites and same objects:
Take one of the original levels from SMW: the goal is to create a new level by keeping all the foreground objects and sprites without adding or removing anything, the creator only being allowed to move them or send them forward/back them backward and using X position properties for some objects and sprites (e.g. question boxes containing either a 1-UP or a star or a vine).
Here's for example an image file of level 105 with all the foreground objects and sprites being sorted that may be used to create a new level.

Here's an Idea for a Design Contest.

Name: Look! I'm In The Playable Credits!
Duration : I Don't Know. The average for a contest of this type.
Description : Edits in the credits. Commotion in the recognition. Fun's not over till the credits finish rolling. This is a Design Contest where the goal is to make a Credits Screen that is playable and fun. Why are credits always left out of the fun? Minigames, platforming, challenge, anything to make me stay till the end, and maybe replay Credits for a better score.

Restrictions : Can't die. Also there could be a rule to have some type of counter or score box showing progress in the level, either the default score or some other type of counter.