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VLDC13 - Rules and Submissions (Rules Clarifications)

Link Thread Closed
EDIT: BaseROM updated to include FreeRAM fix for Layer 2/3 triangle patch; download the updated baserom here

EDIT: Rule about ExGFX file limit removed. Valid layer 3 backgrounds for use added.

EDIT again: Base ROM updated. Backup judge reveal.

EDIT the third: Clarified ruling on GFX and ExGFX usage.

EDIT never stops: Adjusted a rule regarding graphics and made a clarification with music.

EDIT please make it stop: Removed "You also may not recolor prior to a 2BPP conversion." from graphics rules.

Welcome to the 13th Vanilla Level Design Contest!

The classic contest is back for another year. If this is your first time hearing about it, the basic gist of the contest is to use Super Mario World's original assets to make a level.

General/Design Rules:

• You may work with up to one (1) partner.
• There are no time limit restrictions. However, keep in mind that a level that takes very long to finish on a deathless run may negatively affect your score.
• Only one (1) exit per entry allowed. It may be any type of exit (goal tape, goal sphere, key and keyhole, exit direct to overworld, etc).
• You may use any number of ExGFX files or overwrite the game's existing GFX files.
• You can use and edit any Map16 page, including pages 0 and 1.
• Custom palettes are allowed; this includes changing Mario/Luigi's palettes as well.
• ExAnimation is allowed.
• Switch Palace Blocks are allowed, though you must include a way for them to be activated in a side level.
• Collectables, such as Dragon Coins and 3up Moons, are allowed, but not required for judges to get.
• Overworld changes are allowed, but are not factored into judging in any way.
• Do not explicitly mention your name anywhere in your submission.
***An entry determined to be of kaizo design/difficulty will be disqualified.
***An entry determined to be a low quality joke or troll will be disqualified.
***An entry using Arbitrary Code Execution (ACE) will be disqualified.

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 is the only exception to this.
• 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 may only do one of these actions once per tile.
• 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.
• You can't recolor tiles in a tile editor to reduce the number of overall colors it uses.

Additionally, the following layer 3 conversions of vanilla backgrounds are allowed:

Hills 2
Ghost House
Starry Sky
Ludwig Battle
Castle Pillars
Big FG Bushes
Chocolate Island

Music Rules:

• Custom music is allowed.
You can replace the original music files.
• AddMusicK 1.0.8 is the only acceptable music insertion tool for this contest.
• You cannot edit AddMusicK’s asm files.

Base ROM:

This is the base ROM for SMW Central's Vanilla Level design contest. It has been made for building levels that use only the original game's assets but a minimal set of quality of life and bug fix patches have been applied to keep the process smooth.

This base ROM also includes the SA-1 Pack (version 1.40) to increase performance and allow more sprites to exist at one time. To take advantage of this you need to set the sprite header in to 0x08, which will allow up to 20 sprites on screen. A big thanks to  AmperSam for putting it together! The patches are as follows:

• $13FB Game Crash Fix
• Autoscroll ($1411) + L/R Softlock Fix
• Double Spinjump Antifail
• Feather Autoscroll Freeze Fix
• Layer 2+3 Wallrun Triangle Fix
• Line Guide Acts-Like Fix
• Line-Guided Rope Length Fix
• Moving Castle Block Offscreen Handling Fix v1.1
• Piranha Plant Stems Fix
• Time Up Fix
• Yoshi Sprites Interaction Fix v1.1

Additionally, through hex editing a number of small changes have been made:

• bug in hittable blocks (like ON/OFF) with thrown sprites has been fixed
• crash that occurs when trying to stop layer 3 smasher with generator D2 has been fixed
• bug in yoshi stomp has been fixed
• music no longer disappears on overworld when boss defeated
• horizontal pipes now play SFX when exiting
• infinite lives has been applied

As well as a number of minor graphical changes:

• chuck arm palette is now green
• magikoopa palettes are no longer weird
• layer 3 cave background tiles have been color-corrected
• a misplaced tile on the keyhole "iris in" effect has been fixed
• bat ceiling gfx is now usable without glitches
• the Dolphin tails will no longer show up when they're vertically off-screen
• the last tile of the Turnblock Bridge has been X flipped
• the S in "Mario/Luigi Start" now has the correct palette
• side Turn Block bounce sprite is using the correct tile now
• Wendy's bow tiles are fixed
• vertical level priorities
• the classic & upside-down Piranha Plant stems have been remapped to smiley coin tile (C2)

A new shared Map16 page featuring commonly used tiles has been made as well, as seen here:

Download the base ROM here!


The four judges for this contest are  Alex,  AmperSam, Darolac and  DeppySlide. In the unlikely even one of them drops out, we have Valentine at the ready as backup.

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?

Atmosphere: 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?
(Known visual glitches will not affect your score.)

The Top 3 entries will receive the corresponding VLDC trophies:

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

All other participants will receive this participation trophy:

Please note that disqualified entries will not receive participant trophies.

How to submit:

Your entry must be submitted in the form of a .bps file. .ips will not be accepted. DO NOT SUBMIT A ROM, it will not be accepted and lead to site punishment. It is recommended you upload it to your filebin on the site, then link it in this thread. Use Floating IPS to create your patch, using a clean North American NTSC Super Mario World ROM as a base. If you are unfamiliar with how the patching process works, we have a tutorial on that here.

You are free to update your entry up until the deadline. Edit your post to link to the new file if you need, but don't double post! Duplicate or offtopic posts may be deleted without notice.

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.


You have until May 30th, 2022 at 4:00pm UTC. From now that is:

Good luck and have fun!

Did not have time to polish beyond a few things, but I think it's pretty fun regardless. Thank you to Gbreeze, Jupi, Margot, and Icrawfish for testing.

Dedicated to Hobz, ToxicRave, and all the others insane enough to submit P-Balloon levels to a level design contest.
very exciting level!
Removed level name in the intro scene
Tonight.. tonight..

Join Discord server now: DT's SMW Hacking Server

My YouTube Channel: Dispace Troblex

Contact: DT Music and Gaming#8283
something playable
haha cape goes nyoooom~

Made this with  Segment1Zone2.
edit: trying to fix my lvl temporarily remove my submission
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