Welcome back to the 4th Annual SMWCentral Level Design Contest. We're restarting the contest this year because things were getting out of hand and frankly, the contest was straying too far from its original roots. So I've decided that we should go back to them.
Before I start, if you submitted a level already to the other thread, your entry is now nullified because we're changing the rules and you will most likely need to redo your level.
You will have until March 6th at 11:59 EST to submit your level to make up for the 6 days this contest went on in its previous format.
So here are the new rules:
-You may only use Lunar Magic 1.82 or lower for your level.
That's it? Well, yes, that's it. This means you are not allowed to do/use the following:
-Lunar Magic's 8x8 editor to redraw graphics (This one has to be specifically disallowed because I know people will see "LM only" and think they can use this to edit graphics)
Let's be honest here, before 2006 or so, there was none of this stuff or if there was, it was very minor. And yet people were able to create fun and enjoyable hacks. In this age of custom everything, why can't we place limitations on ourselves and still create fun levels without all those things? I believe we can.
If you're turned off by the strict limitations imposed here and don't want to compete anymore, I'm sorry but that's how it will be. If you have to remake your level because of this, I'm also sorry, but that's how things are.
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.
If you're worried about having points deducted for glitches and inconsistencies the original SMW included, don't worry. Since I'm disallowing Patches, judges shall not score down a level for something that cannot be fixed without a patch or hex edit. Unfortunately, this means you cannot use the Classic Piranha Plant since it requires tile and hex editing to make work correctly, sorry.
So if you're suddenly restricted to just LM, what CAN you do?
-You can use custom palettes
-You can use map16 manipulation
-You can use BG2 and BG3 in LM 1.7x and later to add more GFX (not ExGFX) files to a level.
-You can use Layer 1 and 2 for overlapping and pseudo-layering
-You can use the Exanimation dialog.
That's plenty of leeway for you to create levels. The first contest was like this for the most part and we had plenty of great submissions based around creative and fun levels.
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. The only case in which you can avoid using a midpoint is if you are using the "Midpoint collected" checkbox on the overworld.
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.
So now that we know what you can and can't do let's get back into the rest of everything.
You may still partner up with one other person if you so wish.
The following list is a list of things that you can change that will not affect your overall score:
-Editing the Overworld
-Editing the Title Screen
-Editing the Intro and its message
-Adding and editing a Credits sequence if applicable
Judging will remain the same as in the other thread:
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?
If you applied to be a judge, you do not need to resubmit your application. If you still want to judge, 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.
When you're done with your level, upload it to your File Bin and post it in this thread. Do not post anything but submissions or revisions in this thread. If you are posting a level revision, please make a new post instead of editing your original post. Do NOT PM me your submissions, they will be ignored. Levels not submitted to the File Bin will not be counted because we cannot guarantee link stability if you are not using a link from your File Bin.
Any levels submitted after the March 6th deadline will not be accepted.
Do not use this thread for discussion purposes or you will be warned via PM and have your posts deleted.
Hopefully these changes will make this contest better and return it to its original purpose: Fun and creative level design.