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ExGFX Contest 2023 - Rules and Submissions

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Welcome back to the Extraordinary Graphics Contest! (I think that's what that stands for #smrpg{:3}) It's been a while since we've had one of these, so I'm excited to see what kind of artistry will be drawn up this year. However, this year's theme is going to be something a little different than usual...#wario{O_o}


This month will be the 15th anniversary of our Vanilla Level Design Contest, and what better way to celebrate it than with a contest on its most important feature: the aesthetics! In recent years, however, those pesky VLDC hosts/judges only ever deign to give graphics a measly 10 points in scoring. I will stand for this injustice no more, so for this year's graphics contest: Design art for a sublevel (using both the foreground and background graphics) using the graphics rules from VLDC13.


General Rules:
  • You are required to submit both a Foreground and a Background for your entry. You can only submit one(1) MWL file with your entry.
  • You cannot draw new graphics. You must only manipulate what’s provided to you in the original SMW. (See the "VLDC Rules" section for all permitted graphic manipulations.)
  • You cannot use any ASM that is not already included with Lunar Magic.
  • You can only use up to 2 Map16 pages for each category.
  • You can use up to 3 different .pal files for your entry. You can also use a shared .pal file to change Mario's palette.
  • You cannot work with a partner.
  • You cannot submit graphics that were made prior to the contest's start (i.e. no graphics used in previous VLDC entries).
  • You cannot reveal yourself as the author in your entry files or in areas the judges have access to, since entries will be judged anonymously.

VLDC Rules:
  • You cannot draw new graphics. You must only manipulate what’s provided to you in the original SMW.
  • 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.

Submission Rules:

You must submit a post in this thread that contains a link to your entry before the deadline. When preparing your entry for submission, compile it into a ZIP file containing the following:
  • ExGFX files (.bin).
  • Map16 files (.map16) for your foreground and/or background.
  • Your single sample level (.mwl) utilizing your foreground and/or background. Your entry will be tested and judged in-game through the sample level! As such, make it show all that your tileset has to offer, make it have an adequate length (usually 1 to 4 screens), test it and make sure it works as intended!
  • If you are using multiple palettes or have changed Mario's palette, please include your palette (.pal) files and/or the shared palette for Mario's palette.

Judging & Prizes:

This year's ExGFX judges will be  AmperSam,  Anorakun,  idol, and  mason!

Scoring will be given under the following categories:

Overall Design: 40
  • Does it look good?
  • Is the tileset versatile? Does the foreground have decorative objects and various tiles to interact with? Does the background loop smoothly?
  • Does each tile of the tileset well convey how the player interacts with it?
  • Is the background subtle enough to not blend with any foreground objects?

Creativity: 20
  • Is the tileset theme original? Does it feel too rehashed from an existing VLDC level?
  • Does it have unique and interesting hazards or decorative objects that fit well with the theme?

Total: 60

Points will be deducted from your score if you are missing ExGFX/Map16 submission files. VLDC rule violations will also deduct points and possibly lead to disqualification depending on the severity of the rule break.

Below are the available trophies for this contest:

Deadline & Discord:

You have until Monday, March 13, 4:00PM EST to complete your entry.

In addition to the Discussion Thread, you can also head to our Discord server and visit our channels #exgfx-discussion and #exgfx-showoff.

Good luck!
I hope YOU Win :)
"Not all pie sitters cry."
-James Morgan McGill
Terraria: Granite Cave

Note: I forgot to add the background map16 file into the zip file.
Userbar made by Green Jerry

Lush Garden
You were expecting an actually original and creative signature but it was me, Dio!.

My hastily made entry, I've been pretty busy currently

Every dream is but another reality, never forget…

My In-Progress Hack

new record for most rushed contest entry
(and no there's no exgfx/map16 files)
embed fail!!

Time's Up! Be on the lookout for results soon, and thank you to everyone who participated!


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