Submissions period is over! Let the judging begin!
Update 2/24: Due to real-life shit, I'm extending the contest until 11:59 PM on Friday, the 27th. It'll make things easier on me. Sorry for the constant delays. Feel free to use this time to polish your levels, or if you've already submitted it, make a few quick changes you may have forgotten before.
Update 2/21: The deadline for submissions has been extended to 11:59 PM EST on the 25th.
Update 2/14: PLEASE UPLOAD YOUR IPS TO THE FILE BIN TO MAKE THINGS EASIER. SUBMISSIONS NOT UPLOADED TO THE FILE BIN WILL BE IGNORED. FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE ALREADY PROVIDED LEVELS, WE WILL REUPLOAD THEM TO THE FILE BIN FOR YOU.
Welcome to the 2nd annual SMWC Level Design Challenge! I'm your host, FirePhoenix! If you're interested in competing for the shiny golden trophy that is "Best Level Designer (SMWC:LDC 2009)" then look below to see the rules of the contest!
You have 2 weeks (14 days) starting today, February 11th and ending on February 25 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time to make one level that you believe is a showcase of your best efforts. However, like last year's contest there is a big catch:
These levels must be completely made using original SMW resources.
Yes, this is a "vanilla" level contest once more. This means that the following are forbidden in your submission:
Inclusion of any of these in your level will result in immediate disqualification of your level. If you feel that we unjustly or accidentally disqualified your level, let us know with your reasoning and we'll review your level to see if we should allow it back into the running or not.
Exceptions: These are exceptions to the rules.
Classic Piranha Plant Fix Patch
Fade Fix Patch
"Time Up!" Fix Patch
Lightning Generator Custom Sprite (version 1 or 2)
This may sound strict but remember there are still plenty of things that you are allowed to do, even with SMW's original resources. It's all a matter of how creative you can get. You can make any type of level you want, be it a ghost house, switch palace, layer 2 gimmick level, underwater castle, forest in the sky, puzzle in a volcano, you name it, you can do it if you figure out how to do so with only the original SMW resources at your disposal.
Basically, anything in Lunar Magic is fair game for making your levels. That means that you can use things like the 16x16 editor, Super GFX bypass (only for exgfx containing original SMW graphics) and ExAnimation (again only for original gfx) to your heart's content. The one exception to this is using the 8x8 editor's built-in graphics editor to create new graphics.
So now that you know the basics of what you can and can't do with your level here is a breakdown of how the judging of the levels will take place. Your levels will be judged in five categories, each worth up to 10 points:
Creativity: Did you take the original SMW and bend it to form new, creative puzzles, clever areas, and tricky obstacles
Difficulty: Is the difficulty just right? Is it not insanely tough, but at the same time, not insanely easy?
Appeal: Does the level look nice? Are there any graphical glitches?
Functionality: Does the level work properly? Are there any retarded places that are unfair/can kill the player too easily?
FUN: Is your level FUN OVERALL?
A new thing to keep in mind this year is that these levels should follow all of the hack guidelines in the Hack Submissions Guidelines 2009 thread located here: http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=thread&id=15391
Failure to follow these guidelines won't result in disqualification or rejection of your level, but it will most certainly affect your overall score depending on severity of offense.
Here are some tips to help get you started or perhaps give you an idea or two for your level:
-Use Custom palettes: Custom palettes can really make a level look pretty. Having nicely done palettes will definitely gain you a higher score in Appeal. By the same token, they can also hurt you if you have clashing palettes so be careful.
-Combining ORIGINAL SMW tilesets: Have you ever wanted a cave level with a line guide challenge? Have you ever done one with an ExGFX set? Well since you can't use external ExGFX this contest, you'll have to make do by combining the original tilesets. This means that you are only allowed to use an external graphics program to combine tileset, nothing more.
-Map16 manipulation:The 16x16 editor is a really powerful tool in creating tiles to use. Feel free to use it as much as you want to make your level look better or to avoid tiling errors.
-Unique ideas: Again, feel free to make any type of level that you wish. But know that having a really cool idea or gimmick in a level can definitely raise your creativity score.
-Multiple exits: Feel free to add as many exits to your levels as you want. Since this is a one level thing, events aren't really something to worry about. If you want to hide a whole bunch of exits carefully and have the player try and find them all, go right ahead! Last year we had a level with 7 exits!
Finally, there are a few things that you are allowed to do that won't affect your judging score:
-Editing the "Nintendo Presents" logo
-Editing the Overworld
-Editing the Title Screen
-Editing the Intro and its message
-Adding and editing a Credits sequence if applicable
How to submit your level:
When you believe that you have the perfect level, make an .ips patch from your level and upload it to the File Bin
and then post a link to them in this thread. DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR LEVEL TO THE HACKS SECTION. If you post your level and then find out that you made a small mistake, or want to change something, you have until the deadline for the contest, 2/25 at midnight EST, to resubmit your updated version. ANY LEVELS SUBMITTED AFTER Midnight EST on 2/25 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Additionally, do not PM me your submissions. They must be posted somewhere in this thread or they will not be accepted.
After the submission period closes, judging will begin. Judging will last from February 25 to March 4. This date is subject to slight delay depending on how busy the lives of the judges are during this time. If the judging goes past the scheduled time, please bear with us.
One last piece of business. You may discuss the contest here, ask questions, and post your works, but you must NOT discuss ANY of the other submitted levels besides your own. Doing this will result in disqualification from the contest.
I hope that you have fun with this contest, and I hope to see lots of awesome submissions from you guys! If you have any more questions about the contest, feel free to ask here. Good luck!