In 2009, PangaeaPanga created the Kaizo Level Design Contest. This had made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
In the years since the very first pirate contest, we have worked together as a community to push the boundaries, expand our skills, and go bigger, bolder, and better in our designs.
Only VLDC has been run this many times. Now, almost 15 years later, we honor KLDC the same way we did VLDC in 2017 - by marking the year's event with a very special distinction.
It's time for KLDCX. Bring your best, and let's make some more history together.
And, no. There won't be a compilation.
- Original levels only
Do not submit a level that has been included in any past races, compilations, or accepted/pending/rejected hack submissions to SMW Central. Please do not use your submission as advertisement for future, upcoming projects.
- Anything goes for additional resources
All custom graphics, sprites, music, and any additional patches, including SA-1 and MSU-1, are allowed. Entries that use MSU-1 must provide non-MSU-1 compatible versions of their level if requested by the judges.
- One entry per person
You can work with a partner, but an individual is limited to collaborating on only one submission. You can't enter both a level on your own and one with a partner.
- Anonymize your submissions
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t, but we greatly prefer for judges to be blind to the author of each entry for the sake of transparency and to avoid all possible bias.
- Gaming over is not permitted
There is no required method to prevent this, either through enabling infinite lives, giving lives at the start of sections or using a retry system. As long as lives are maintained when the judges/player begins the level, you are good to go.
- Range from Kaizo: Beginner to Kaizo: Expert
Submissions may range between those two difficulties but still must be reasonably completable without the use of tools.
- Glitches are permissible
Provided they are clear to the player what the intended strategy is and the glitch is reliably executable without savestates, you can use glitches.
- Do not exceed a reasonable demand of the player
Judges will have the final authority to determine whether an entry is excessive as it relates to difficulty, and any such decision will be made unanimously.
- Must be beatable within 500 in-game seconds
While there is leniency in this rule, we expect all entries to respect the time and efforts of the judges. Judges will have the discretion to play levels for as long as they feel appropriate while reserving the right to not stream their playthrough if a level is not conducive to a positive stream experience.
- Please include a clear video
You may link to these as unlisted videos on YouTube, link directly to video files, or however you wish to share. These videos will be used to assist with the judging process, as well as to help better promote the contest and the contest entries going forward. If you do not provide a clear video, one will be made for you by a contest volunteer. Clear videos for all entries will be secured before entries are provided to judges, so by providing one yourself, you help speed the process up for everybody.
- Indicate if your entry uses SA-1
Out of a courtesy to judges and other players, and because SA-1 isn't widely compatible, please note if your submission uses SA-1. Additionally, be aware if any patches affect emulator and/or console compatibility and include that info in your submission. This will not affect your score, but will make life much easier for our judges.
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION:
- Posting an .smc file or any other form of ROM file as part of your submission. This will result in deletion and a site warning!
- Posting an .ips patch instead of a .bps patch
- Posting a corrupt patch file
- Submitting a level that is not compatible with bsnes and SNES9x.
- Submitting a level in bad faith, either by being blatantly low-effort or a level that seeks to troll the judges rather than exist on its own merits
- Submitting a level that is not reasonably beatable without tools
- Not enabling infinite lives
- Including content within the level that violates the rules of SMWCentral
- Engaging in harassment and/or aggressive behavior, either on or off-site, towards judges or other contest entrants
You must submit your entry as an unlocked .bps file, created in FLIPS off of a clean SMW copy. Submitting an .ips file will result in disqualification! You can put your .bps file in a .zip or 7zip archive if you want.
Upload it to your personal File Bin on the site (click on Files in the SMWC site menu), then link to the file in this thread. If you edit your level, edit your original post (double posts will get deleted).
You can talk about your level in the contest subforum and on the Discord server, but in order for it to count, it needs to be linked here in this thread.
Before we hand the entries to the judges, we will again be taking an extra step this year to aid judges and add contest transparency.
All entries will be anonymized and randomized, as usual, and divided amongst a group of volunteers. These volunteers will review each entry, as well as watch all clear videos provided by authors.
Each entry will have the following questions asked:
- Does the entry conform to the rules of the contest?
- Does the entry require SA-1?
- Does it have a clear video?
- How long is the clear video?
- Does the clear video show signs of being manipulated or of tool usage?
- Does the level appear to have any broken or unviable RTA setups or requests of the player? (Please describe in notes if so)
- Do all of the midways and level transitions work as intended, to the best of your perception?
- What is the perceived difficulty of the level, based on the SMWC system of categorizing kaizo levels?
- What major elements should the judges be aware of when playing this level? (Level type, technical requirements, etc.)
- What notes do you have for the judges that you feel they should know before playing this level?
This process will not affect scoring and is only to serve as a resource for judges. Results of prejudging will be released following its completion.
This year will feature four judges: GlitchCat7, LouisDoucet, shovda, and StayAtHomeStegosaurus.
Judges will score levels on a 100-point scale, using the following criteria in their evaluations:
55 points: Level Design
- Structure (20): The ‘bones’ of the level. Is there a cohesive idea being communicated, and does the level have a point and purpose it is trying to accomplish?
- Execution (20): Does the level communicate its ideas and its structure effectively? Is the technical precision of the build sound, or are there errors in the construction quality?
- Polish (15): Does the level feel good to play, and does everything come together to create a memorable and enjoyable experience?
35 points: Creativity
- Does the level bring something new to the world of kaizo design?
- Did the level use new or existing resources in a way that creates a unique experience?
- Will others use this level as inspiration for their own creation?
10 points: Aesthetics
- Do the graphics and music enhance the gameplay experience?
- Does the level look and feel complete?
For this contest, the judges have determined that aesthetics will be evaluated on a level-by-level basis and will not set a baseline score.
If a level is determined to be outside the scope of the contest by the judges, but in a way that does not break any rules or go against the spirit of KLDC, the judges reserve the right to award Honorable Mention status to an entry. Such entries will not receive a score, but will still be counted as a participating entry and receive a trophy and recognition on the site.
Trophies will be awarded to the Top 3 and all participant entries who are not disqualified.
Additionally, the Top 3 entrants will get their choice from the SMWC list of games codes. They also will receive the distinction of having podium ranking in a contest with an X in the name.
Judges' Choice Awards
In addition to scoring levels, judges will confer following the completion of their numeric scoring and may choose to award special Judges' Choice Awards. These are determined by the consensus of the judges, and can include recognition of level design in the respective difficulty categories, achievement in technical or non-scored areas, and other awards that the judges may specify.
All levels must be posted to this thread by 11:59 p.m. GMT (7:59 p.m. EDT) August 21, 2023.
As someone who cares about the legacy of this contest, it is an honor and a privilege to be your host. I'm excited to see what comes next, and I look forward to everyone's entries.
For the tenth time - show us the best kaizo you can make.
I'm not a doctor.