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Questionable Level Design Contest 2023 ~ Rules & Submissions!

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Questionable Level Design Contest 2023 Banner
(yes we still don't have a banner)

QLDC IS BACK! #wario{O_o}

I hope you've been saving up your cursed ideas as it's time for another Questionable Level Design Contest! So close that level design youtube tutorial (though this is a good one), stop reading that "how to make levels like JUMP team" thread, open Lunar Magic and get ready to make some weird and wild stuff!

Like in every contest, this thread should be used for submissions only. If you want to ask questions or discuss the contest in other ways, please use the Discussion and Questions thread or the appropriate channels on the Discord.

Good luck!

Basic Rules

This is QLDC, a.k.a. bizarro CLDC, so anything goes resource-wise but there are still some basic rules:

  • You may work with up to two (2) other people making it a maximum of 3 people per submission.
  • You are free to use as many resources as you like. This includes all patches, graphics, blocks, sprites, music, etc. by other people both on and off-site.
  • Original levels only, no submissions of pre-existing levels. Submissions must be made within the time frame of the contest.
  • Only submissions that are Standard, at any level of any difficulty, are allowed. Avoid making Kaizo as it is not suited to the contest.
  • Try to include infinite lives or some form of life farm. (See here for instructions).
  • No more than one (1) entry per individual or group.
  • No more than one (1) exit per entry, and keep things within a reasonable total in-game time. (There is no sublevel limit.)
  • Submit an anonymized entry. We're keeping the author names from the judges but joke names or pseudonyms are encouraged.
  • No deliberate softlocks, hardlocks or crashes. Entries that are unintentionally incompleteable due to technical problems will be potentially disqualified.
  • Use of MSU-1 is not permitted for technical and copyright reasons.

Also, at their discretion, the judges can choose to not complete your entry or use tool assistance to aide in completing it. If an entry appears to be submitted in bad faith, is exceedingly difficult, or is blatantly low-effort and a deliberate waste of their time, the judges may not play it at all. This may result in disqualification or a poor performance in the contest.


The following are grounds for immediate disqualification:

  • Including a ROM file as part of your submission.
  • Posting an .ips patch instead of a .bps patch.
  • Submitting a patch file that is somehow corrupt, locked or broken. (This happens often so be sure to check your patch's integrity by reapplying it).
  • Submitting something incompatible with a current, stable version of bsnes (v115) or Snes9x (v1.61).
  • Including anything in your submission that breaks the site rules or content guidelines.

Helpful Hints

If you're new to QLDC and still don't know what this contest is all about, here's some potentially helpful pointers to keep in mind while making your level, what might make it a good fit (or not) for this contest, and what might contribute to it doing well (or poorly).

Eyy Boss :)
  • Have your level concept be coherent and understandable even if the idea is nonsense.
  • Funny moments, humour or a silly tone go a long way
  • As a chocolate contest adding onto the vanilla game is encouraged.
  • Break convention! Save normal level ideas for the other contests.
  • Make use of the unintended behaviour of things.

Mood Meter: |-O
  • Avoid making incoherent things for the sake of incoherence.
  • Making the hardest level you can think of can be detrimental if it's not fun.
  • Deliberately unfun sections won't win you any favours with the judges.
  • Making fake "low-effort" levels runs the risk as being interpreted as actually low-effort.
  • Don't paste a mess of Map16 tiles in your level or make unintuitive edits to tiles.
  • Troll levels (especially the progress-denying variety) are not advisable.

These pointers are just some guiding principles and not rules. QLDC will always be about unorthodox or silly design, so thinking outside the box is encouraged above all else. Also, levels don't have to be extremely high production to do well or get recognition so have a bit of fun. :)

Judging & Awards

We have a stellar line-up judging team for you this year, QLDC veterans authorblues, ThirdWall,  shovda, and Kezcade are returning but  Valentine,  Amethyst and  TheJavabrew will be joining them. These lovely folks will play all your questionable levels and through consensus crown the winner(s). As always, there is no point system or score rubric and the winners will be decided based solely on how the entries impress or live up to the expectations of the contest.

Some of the judges have plans to stream their playthroughs of your submissions which you will be able to tune into.


Our beloved cursed trophies are once again up for grabs this year:
Questionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - 1st PlaceQuestionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - 2nd PlaceQuestionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - 3rd Place

All other entrants will receive a trophy for their participation in the contest and the judges will receive a trophy for their contribution to the event. Disqualified entries will not receive any trophies.
Questionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - ParticipantQuestionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - Judge

In case you are new to QLDC, here's a reminder that entries that do something special or noteworthy will earn a distinction trophy, for example (hover for details):
Questionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - Put Yoshi's Tongue Where it Shouldn't Have
So if you don't make placement but still impress or our judges in some way you still have a chance to get one of these coveted orbs. :)

"Runner Up" Trophies

Based on feedback we've received about the contest we're revising how we highlight the "best of the best" entries of the contest, in addition to the Top 3 we will now be declaring 7 additional runner up entries to round out a Top 10 similar to how we do in VLDC. Importantly, these 7 still won't be numerically ranked but will just be declared part of the top ten and those entrant will recieve the special trophy seen below.
Questionable Level Design Contest #2 (Winter 2023) - Top 10


You must submit your entry as an unlocked .bps file created using Floating IPS on a clean Super Mario World ROM. Submitting an .ips file will result in disqualification! You can put your .bps file in a Zip or 7-zip archive if you want. For ease of submission and access, we suggest using your personal File Bin here on the site to host your patch or archive file.

To avoid potential disqualifications for patch errors, make sure your .bps is in working order by re-applying it to your copy of Super Mario World before submitting it. We will do our best to check your patch for errors, so try not to make last-minute submissions!

Submit your entry in this thread. If you need to update your entry, edit your post instead of creating a new one! Duplicate posts will be ignored/deleted in favour of your oldest post, so keep your entry up-to-date.

You are allowed to showoff things from your level in the contest Discussions thread or in contest channels on this Discord, but you must post your final level in this thread in order for it to be judged.

All submissions must be in sometime on or before Friday, January 27, which means you have about:

SMW Randomizer

Version 1.1: console hardlock fixed, minor changes
My first time participating in such a contest. Heads up it's a kinda rushed entry. I'm not aiming for top 3, but I hope you'll enjoy this level regardless.

I might win in "Most note-able use of a vanilla block" category, though.


I have a Discord server as well! (by joining, you agree to the rules)
Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.

Here is my submission (I added something VERY important to my yesterday submission)

Enjoy (^w^)

▬ Used 'BLDC 2022' rom
▬ Includes SA-1
▬ Tested with bsnes v1.15 and snes9x v1.61

super world easy standart demo exits 5
Now that I've started working, I won't be able to be as active as before. This is really very sad and depressing for me.

▬ good old days 4 (14/? level(s) completed)
▬ dumb 2 - strange levels in my notepad (22/62 level(s) completed)
By the way my Youtube channel
Strange Ruins complete.

- Ver 1.01 -
Changed the Yoshi ban block on the side of the door that can be reached with the P switch in the beginning to a P block.
Fixed an issue where message box contents were not visible in sub-levels when playing on SNES.

Last Updated : 2023/01/23
I am yoshi9429 enjoying Lunar Magic and Touhou Danmakufu ph3 and RPG Maker MV.
oops, looks like LunarMagic has gobbled too much NMI time again! Or is there simply Never enough vBlank for my projects?
My entry: Mega mole's cave.bps

Last edit: 27 Jan. 2023


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