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Overworld Design Contest 2023 - Rules and Submissions

Submissions OpenOverworldEvent

honk honk I definitely didn't recycle the previous contest's rules post. Welcome to the Overworld Design Contest where you, yes you, design an overworld.

The rules are a bit different this time around so read up! To make things interesting, for this OWDC we are restricting the use of ASM and adopting the graphics rules from VLDC, which means you are only permitted to manipulate the original SMW resources to create new things!

General Rules

  • You may work with one (1) partner.
  • Your submission must be anonymous. Don't put your name anywhere, pseudonyms are allowed.
  • Only submit new work. Do not submit an overworld that was finished or worked on before the start of this contest. Please start fresh!
  • Your entry must be playable without additional setup and not require emulator-specific settings.
  • You must apply the Overworld Event Debugger patch for ease of judging (even if you have no events).
  • You cannot add any ASM or other custom resources to your entry, with some exceptions.
  • You cannot draw new graphics, see Graphics Rules below for details.
  • You can use AddMusicK to add custom music.

Allowed Patches

In addition to the Overworld Event Debugger, a small number of quality of life patches are permitted for you to use in your entries:

If you need assistance with any of these patches don't hesitate to reach out on the Discord in #overworld2023-showoff or to me directly via site PM.

Graphics Rules

  • You can create new ExGraphic tilesets out of other tiles. No limit on the number of ExGraphics.
  • You can flip tiles and rotate them by 90°.
  • You can recolor tiles, but only to swap color values.
  • You can merge two tiles together, but only once.
  • You can merge recolored tiles, again only once.
  • You are not restricted to the Overworld tilesets as source material. Using any of the original game's extracted graphics are permitted.
  • You can not merge already merged tiles. Merging is intended to be only two tiles being put together, not three or more.
  • You can not use a tile editor to assign transparency to pixels that weren't already transparent.
  • You can not use a tile editor to reduce the number of overall colors a graphic uses.

"merge"? "recolor"? What do these terms mean???

If VLDC-style restrictions are new to you you can check out this tutorial from Samie Zuccati that goes into detail about them.

Tips & Tricks

  • Events are not required for your entry, but we encourage you to use them if you feel you have a cool idea!
  • Level names are also not required, but their use will be judged if you include some.
  • You do not have to use all the submaps in your entry, but we encourage the ambition!

If you decide not to use events, all of the submaps, or level names, it won't negatively affect your score but if you do, their effectiveness will be judged alongside everything else. In any case making use of all aspects of the overworld that is available to you is strongly encouraged.

Judging & Scoring

This year, the judges will be revealed right now! Deeke, Major Flare, and margot are our judge roster and will be roaming your overworlds with their expert eyes. But remember, your entries must be anonymous, so please do not share your overworlds with these people!

Despite the new rules change for graphics, scoring is the same as last time, and broken into two main categories:

General Design (40 Points)

  • Functionality - Does the overworld work? Do the paths connect together? Does any placement of Switch Palaces, secret exits, bonuses, etc, make sense?
  • Connectivity - Do the warps and worlds work well together? Is there a logical sense of progression?
  • Events (if used) - Do they benefit the overworld created? Do they cause any substantial change to the elements of the overworld?

Aesthetics (60 Points)

  • Visuals - Do the palettes work well together? Are decorations present and used well? Do the graphics used clash or fit well together?
  • Shaping - Does the overworld look interesting? Does the terrain have varied and interesting shapes? Is there any cutoff?
  • Atmosphere - Does the music used fit the world? Does the overworld accurately evoke what it intends to represent (i.e., does the beach look and feel
  • like a beach?) Do the decorations contribute to the atmosphere?
  • Perspective - Does the overworld work as an actual space? Is the perspective of the terrain all harmonious?
  • Level Names (if used) - Do they work towards the theme of the world?

Scores in both categories will be combined for a total out of 100 points!


For the top three there are the gold, silver and bronze trophies and of course the participant trophy for all other participants!

Submissions & Deadline

Contest submissions are accepted as replies to this thread with a link to your entry. If you are making an update edit your post instead of making a new reply. Duplicate posts in this thread will be deleted and your earliest post will be your submission.

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

To avoid being disqualified for patch errors, make sure your patch 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!


Please submit your entry to this thread by Monday, June 12th, 20:00 UTC, which means you have this much time left to submit:

Remember, this thread is for submissions only! For discussion and questions on the contest, please use the discussion thread. We also have #overworld2023-discussion and #overworld2023-showoff on our Discord server for you also.

Good luck and happy overworlding!

My Entry

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YT CH1 | YT CH2 | Music CH | Archives CH |
Github | Denviantart | Soundcloud

© 2016-2023 MarioFan171

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Upcoming Hack:
The Tengri Chronicles 1: Scarlet's Vengance

Upcoming SMBX Episode:
A Periodic Adventure

I Enjoy Playing SMBX and Super Mario World.

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Here is mine, I hope you will figure out what the gimmick is (no, not the names). #ab{:)}

Edit: Fixed two errors thanks to some feedback.
i came back after 5 months
i came back. hello world.

You are challenged by Champion Daisy!


Submissions OpenOverworldEvent