2/4, 4:03 PM EST:
addendum on level resubmissions.
2/1, 11:40 PM EST:
addendum on Partners.
2/1, 2:26 PM EST:
addendum to screen limits, please reread that section.
Four years and still running strong!
Welcome to the 4th Annual SMWCentral.net Vanilla Resources Contest! Formerly, the SMWCentral Level Design Contest, the name has been changed this year to reflect the true nature of the contest, and hopefully stem any confusion over the contest's true intentions.
There's a few big changes this year so read carefully.
Pay attention yo!
You have until February 28th, 2011, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
to make one level (NOT A HACK IN A LEVEL) that you believe is a showcase of your best efforts using the original (vanilla) resources that SMW provides. It is your responsibility to have submit a working level by the deadline. There will be no late entries accepted. You are responsible for making sure your hack plays properly. You may not submit updates to your hack after the deadline.
If you so wish, you may team up with one (1) partner to make a level together. If you do this, remember that you can only submit one level between the two of you.
In your entries, you are NOT allowed to include the following external resources:
-ExGFX that were not a part of the original SMW
-Importing music/sfx samples
(not custom music)
Inclusion of any of these in your level will result in immediate disqualification of your level when the judging period begins. I will not be notifying you this year if you included any of these.
If you feel that I unjustly or accidentally disqualified your level, let me know by PM with your reasoning and I'll review your level to see if it should be allowed back into the running or not.
Like last year, you are also not allowed the usage of more than 2 exits in a level
due to exit abuse in previous years. If you use a switch palace in your level, it counts as one of your exits used. Max 2 exits.
You must include a midway point in your level unless for some reason your level is short enough that it does not need one.
This also means that your level needs to be short enough where it doesn't take 5 minutes to reach the midway point without dying and 5 more to reach the end. Think original SMW levels or a little longer. To complement this, I am also instituting a 75 (4B) screen limit on submissions
. This is to prevent "hacks-within-a-level" like we got plenty of last year. A screen that counts towards the limit is one that Mario interacts with. Having blank screens between areas does not count towards the limit. Cutscenes however, DO count.
Instead of going into full showcase mode, you should be focusing on making on cohesive, thematic level, that uses creative level design and nice resource usage instead of length as the main attraction. You don't need hundreds of screens to make a decent level. Judges WILL be checking this and notifying me of any levels that break this rule.
I'm not that big a tightwad.
These are exceptions to the rules. Some of these may be outdated patches, I'm simply carrying these over from the previous year. There may be some new patches this year that could be added, let me know in the discussion thread and I'll make a decision to allow its inclusion or not.
-Classic Piranha Plant Fix Patch
-andy_k_250's SMW Fix-All Patch
-No Sprite Tile Limits patch
-Yoshi Coin fix patch
-The use of SMAS+W's SMW Luigi Graphics to replace SMW Mario's graphics.
-Roy's [xkas] Dark Room Fix patch.
-(More to potentially come on a case-by-case basis)
Don't forget that while you can add custom music to your levels, it's purely for aesthetic purposes. Custom Music will have absolutely zero effect on your final score.
You have been found guilty of making a good level!
Judging is different this year!
Pay attention! Your levels will now be judged in four categories:
Level Design (10 pts): How well is your level designed? Is it creative and interesting?
Appeal (10 pts): Are your palettes nice overall? Did you use SMW's resources in creative ways?
Functionality (10 pts): Does your level function properly, i.e., no glitches (an easy 10 if it does!)
Fun (10 pts): Is your level fun to play?
The previous system of judging was determined to have some major flaws in it, primarily no category solely devoted to level design. Difficulty was scrapped since it's a rather subjective category. Creativity and Appeal were combined into just Appeal.
The following list is a list of things that you can change that will not affect your overall 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
-Adding custom music (see above explanation)
After the submission period closes, judging will begin. Judging will last the entire month of March and winners will hopefully be announced the first week of April.
Judges will be chosen in a new way this year. Read the next section to find out how.
You too can join the fun!*
This year I'm opening up judging to you, the users. I do not have the time to judge this year, and SNN is busy wrapping up the Winter Contest. Instead of asking Hack Moderators to judge like I normally do, you can now be judges. So how do you become a judge? We're going to use an application process.
First and foremost, being a judge automatically disqualifies you from entering the contest.
If you are applying to judge this year, Download this .zip file
, and score the .ips file inside using the Scoring Application I've provided. Note: The level is from the 2008 contest and is definitely old and flawed by today's standards. Please judge it as you would a contest entry submitted this year. You have until February 8th to finish your application and PM me the .txt file.
I will choose three applicants to be judges for the contest. If we receive a very large number of submissions, I will call upon the next three judges and you will form two teams of 3 judges and split the entries between the two teams. This may very well happen this year considering last year we had 124 submissions and we only get more and more every year. If you are called upon to be an extra judge but do not wish to judge because you have instead entered the contest, you may pass your acceptance to the next person.
Judges will receive more thorough instructions from me by PM once they have been chosen.
Judges will need to have all scores into me by March 31st, 2011.
Results will be posted around the first week of April.
*I am not liable if judging turns out to not be as much fun as you hoped it would be and/or makes you want to drink yourself to death.
Here are some tips from who-knows-what-year's contest 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.
-Fake HDMA: HDMA isn't allowed but who says you can't make fake HDMA? As long as it uses SMW graphics (i.e., the squares of color located in gfx17), go for it!
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 your personal File Bin
and then post a link to it 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 to resubmit your updated version. Any levels or updated levels submitted after the deadline will not be accepted, no exceptions!
Additionally, do not PM me your submissions
. They must be posted somewhere in this thread or they will not be accepted.
LASTLY, this thread is to be only for Submissions. Do not use this thread for discussion purposes, only submitting your work. This means so not post here if you are not submitting a level or an update to a level.
You will not be disqualified for doing so, but you will be warned via PM and have the offending post(s) deleted. Use the Discussion Thread for all contest-related discussion and questions you may have.
If you are resubmitting a level with an update to it, PLEASE make a new post in the thread instead of editing your original post. I cannot guarantee I will see your new patch if you simply edit the old post since I only check this thread when it has new posts in it.
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!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a test in a hard class tomorrow at 9:00 AM so I should be getting to sleep.