Welcome to the SMB3 Level Design Contest! This is definitely a first for SMWC, and we're excited to collaborate with our friends at SMB3 Prime to bring you a new contest.
The rules for this contest are similar to OLDC rules, minus some quality of life requirements, so take a seat and listen up!
- You may submit only one (1) level with one exit.1
- You may work with a partner, but only one (1) submission is still permitted for the two of you.
- Please include an infinite life patch to prevent game overs (see instructions below).
- All assets used must be from the vanilla game. No insertion of custom assets or applying of external patches are allowed (with the exception of an infinite lives patch).
- No custom graphics or music (with the exception of palette editing, which is allowed).
- No deliberate hard locks, soft locks, or crashes. Entries that are unable to be completed or are made in bad faith may be disqualified.
- Entries must be non-kaizo. Despite the past few contests being hybrid, our judging panel isn't assembled with kaizo submissions in mind. Submitting kaizo may get you disqualified.
- Entries must be beatable in under 5 minutes assuming perfect play. (i.e. a deathless, start-to-finish run can be completed in that time-frame)
You may edit the title screen and the Overworld in this event but they will not be criteria for judging, but you are not permitted to put your name on either. When saving your level simply overwrite level 1 on the World 1 Map in your submission so your level is immediately accessible. Unless, of course, you plan to edit the overworld.
1 What this means in the context of SMB3 is a single level with one (1) Goal object. You may still use Jumps (the SMB3 Foundry equivalent to screen-exits) to add sublevels to your submission.
Making a level requires at minimum a clean, revision 1 (PRG1) Super Mario Bros. 3 NES ROM (which as usual you will have to own or acquire on your own)–using a rev0/PRG0 ROM will also work but it's not recommended and Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 cannot be used–and an SMB3 Editor, we recommend SMB3 Foundry.
"SMB3 Foundry" is the essential, recommended editor for SMB3. You can download it, and the accompanying overworld editor: SMB3 Scribe, from the project's GitHub page:
Both tools also come with manuals that are essential reading:
If you have more familiarity with other tools, such as SMB3 Workshop or NoDice, you are free to use those, but the same contest restrictions apply.
Infinite Lives Patch
For use in your entry we provide a quality of life patch for infinite lives. Applying this is mandatory.
- Infinite Lives (for rev0 ROMs) provided by Joe Smo.
- Infinite Lives (for rev1 ROMs) provided by Joe Smo.
Patching SMB3 is different from using Asar to apply assembly, this patch is in IPS format and is applied to your ROM using Flips.
Since hosting an SMB3 contest is new territory for us here are a few external resources to help you get started:
- The folks from SMB3 Prime have provided a getting started video tutorial: "SMB3 Level Editing Basics: Your First Level". Check out their YouTube Channel for more helpful videos.
- Reference a rundown of all Super Mario Bros. 3 Enemies from Super Mario Wiki.
- We will have a channel in the SMW Central Discord, but you are free to join the SMB3 Prime Discord to get assistance also.
If you are familiar for making a BPS patch for submitting to SMW contests, the process is exactly the same for making one for an SMB3 submission. You can follow the tutorial for creating BPS patches here if you are unfamiliar.
- Ensure level is immediately accessible on the Overworld. Failure to do so may result in a disqualification.
- Submit your level as a BPS file, not doing so will disqualify your level. Do not submit a ROM or you will be hit with a site infraction, according to the site rules!
- If you wish to include one, write your level name in a text file with your submission, as SMB3 levels do not have names in-game.
- Make sure your submission is anonymized for the judges (i.e. name does not appear anywhere). Pseudonyms are allowed.
Judges and Scoring
For our lovely judges, we pulled out all the stops to find some truly phenomenal SMB3 players and some friends from SMB3 and NES hacking community! Our contest judges for this event are: K.T.B., BradBrains, MitchFlowerPower, Fiskbit, and BlueFinch!
The contest scoring will be out of 100 points based on level design and creativity of the levels, and does not include aesthetics in the final scoring similar to OLDC. Our scoring is as follows:
- 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: 40 Points
Does the level present any unique or interesting ideas using SMB3’s resources? Does it have any original, nice setups? Is the theme/gimmick innovative?
Total: 100 points
At their discretion, the judges can choose to not complete your entry or use tool assistance to help complete 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.
Our trophies are currently being worked on, so we don't have the visuals currently. However, trophies will be rewarded for our top 3 contestants, as well as participation trophies, and trophies for our judges! Once the trophies are ready, we will edit the post to share them with you.
All levels must be posted to this thread by November 27th, 2023 at 4:00:00 PM GMT (12:00 PM EST).