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VLDC Feedback

-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?
The single ROM idea seems to be the way to go for the future. That'll make it much easier to play each entry rather than having to separately patch a bunch of them.

-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?

I think I'm somewhere on the fence. While designing the level, I felt quite restricted being limited to vanilla resources. Then again, if I had endless freedom, I probably wouldn't be able to settle on an idea. Somewhere in the middle (e.g. create a level with this theme, these sprites, etc.) sounds like a decent compromise.

-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?
I really like the collaboration hack idea for this contest, I think we should do it again, yet expand on it past simply vanilla.
1: I think the concept of getting all the levels in one ROM is sort of exciting. It'll probably make this kind of contest more memorable too, I believe.

2: Endless freedom is endless freedom, but the limitation of resources wasn't a problem for me at all, so in the end I don't really mind. Doing the ROM collab thing pretty much means you need to assign resources like that anyway. Although next time, if there's any, we should probably put more stuff in the global MAP16 page, e.g. palette 2 pipes. I know I could've suggested that earlier, but I didn't realize..

3: I'd certainly like to see another one of these. It was really fun and I'm looking forward to play the final ROM!
1. I've always advocated combining the levels into a ROM, even before this contest, so I'd prefer the combined format.

2. Definitely do assigned resources if you're going to combine them all into one ROM. Plus, if you give out "just enough" for the average person, it'll stop people from going overboard trying to make their level look good instead of play well.

3. Would love to see this again.
<Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money
The combining of levels into one ROM is an amazing idea. It means that everyone's work doesn't entirely go to waste after the contest and judging is over (btw, I hope the patch will go up into the Hacks section so it doesn't get lost when the Contest sub-forum is put away).

I think restricting resources is a good idea, because you'll prevent entries from becoming too ridiculous - besides, I do not think that anyone will need all the resources of a ROM to make one level.

However, I do find the amount of Map16 tiles allocated to be very small. I think making more available would be great.

I want these to become the standard for the Vanilla contests. I think having one contest per year like this will make them like mini "SMWCProductions," and will show how the community changes and evolves over the year. I believe it would certainly make people more interested in these contests.

- BlackMageMario
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-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?

To be honest, this is the only reason why I took to take part in this contest. "24hosmw The Fourth" was supposed to be the last contest I took part in on this website. No, sixth level design contest doesn't count (my level was pretty much a joke here), NSMB level design contest doesn't count either (I took part from NSMBHD side, not SMWC, where I'm sorta active member), "24hoSMW: 6th edition" may count, but only because the level took 20 minutes to make (so, I was like, why not).

However, the idea of seventh VLDC seemed interesting enough to join, even if I pretty much decided to leave the website a year ago (my account was inactive before this contest). The problem with old contests is that nobody bothers to play them, aside of few bored Let's Players, and judges. Why I would want to create something that nobody wants to play?

What I didn't like are preallocations. Perhaps it could be possible to remove them somehow, even if it requires more work. But I guess this is necessary considering current state of SMW hacking. I allocated a level without even knowing if I would have time or not to finish it by February.

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-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?

The allocated limits were reasonable, perhaps with exception for Map16. My opinion is that it's level design contest, you shouldn't need to do extreme tileset mixing everywhere. I also wasn't a fan of having ExGFX files - why somebody would want ExGFX in level design contest, I don't know.

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-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


Sure, why not. It will let more people actually play contest entries - previously, only crazy let's players played those entries.
Legacy ports zip (now that those went down because Dropbox)
Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?

I've never bothered to play any contest entries in the past, from any contest, because I've never had the desire to sort through a bunch of single-level ips's. The convenience of a single ROM definitely changes that. However, I still think it should be treated as a contest foremost in regards to certain collab-like aspects such as world themes. I got the sense that certain people got too hung up on elements that really shouldn't be a factor. If 100 people enter and 80% of them want to make grass levels as it's in their comfort design zone, I say let them.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?

However the VLDC, or any contest, is carried on in the future, assigned resources should follow. I believe it restricts designers in a good way. It forces outside-the-box thinking for those of us who typically enjoy unlimited resources.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?

The idea of all the entries dropping into a single ROM is what grabbed my attention. I've never been one for contests but the idea intrigued me enough to give it a go. Despite this, I was a bit discouraged that the sense of competition sort of fell by the wayside with the individual threads and feedback among contestants. Now, this may not necessarily be the case, but I think it crosses the line far too much from competition to collaboration. Maybe I just misconstrued what the spirit of the contest was from the start.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?


in a only rom is probably play all levels otherwise stand-alone submissions is probably play only the best or a few

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?


assigned map 16 is good specialy if you want fit in a rom
but other resources (like Exgfx and secondary exits) (i don't use all) but is good (for the next contest (if you want)) make a resevation post for those who did not use all the resources

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


this is a good change for a normal contest but only if you want
ESPACIO EN RENTA
I'd say I don't really care if this is a collab or not, since it doesn't really change anything for me besides the resource restriction of course. I also wouldn't mind the next contest being like this again cause of that.

As for the resources I believe you should either allow more map16 space or go for less possible ExGFX because I had a whole bunch of unused ExGFX space but my map16 space was packed full.

I'd like to add, though, that the recoloring that was allowed was a bit too much imo. I wouldn't really call that vanilla anymore cause it opens up far too many possibilities and is pretty counter-productive if you want everyone to focus on "level design".
It feels a little weird posting here considering I didn't get the chance to finish my entry, but...

Originally posted by S.N.N.
Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?


I think collaborative ROMs are the way to go!

Having them all into a single ROM changed the general atmosphere around the contest. See all the threads with people giving level feedback? A product of the whole ROM collaboration, I'm sure.

I think it helped the overall level quality. I enjoyed all the levels I've played so far and I haven't come across a bad level yet, so the feedback certainly helped! I also usually only play (high-ranked) contest entries after they're judged, while this new contest format makes me want to try them all. It does feel a little less like a competition though, but I don't really see anything wrong with it. I would call it a natural evolution of the contest format.

Originally posted by BlackMageMario
I think having one contest per year like this will make them like mini "SMWCProductions," and will show how the community changes and evolves over the year.


A good point made earlier in the thread. It would be fun to play the 2014 ROM, 2015 ROM, 2016 ROM etc. and see how the community changed over time. P-Swtiches and Springboards, for instance, fell out of style. But that's going a little off-topic. In closing, collaborative ROMs are a good idea.


Originally posted by S.N.N.
Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?


I don't know how it would be possible to have endless freedom with only one SMW ROM. There has to be an upper limit to prevent someone from using a million Map16 tiles. Unless you're talking about the "ROM 1 ROM 2" business? Imagine if someone had an entire ROM to their self!

Anyway, I think assigned resources are the only way to go in this type of contest. The resources that were given felt like enough for the most part, but the Map16 space was a little low, I feel. It probably helped users focus more on their level design, though.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


I don't know if I can truly answer this question until we have the VLDC ROMs all finished up, but right now I think we should have another one of these!

As I mentioned before, it feels like a natural evolution of the vanilla contests. I don't know if I can put it into words, nor do I know how everyone felt about the contest, but seeing that it would all be in one collaborative ROM made me feel like I had to try my absolute best, and I'm sure a few others felt that way too. I think that's why I didn't finish my level though. The pressure of being as good as some other levels. #ab{:(}

Other thoughts:

I don't know how the logistics would work, but I'd also like to see a chocolate contest that's similar to this one. I think that would be a lot harder to manage, though! What if someone wants to insert a gigantic custom sprite? A bunch of .brr samples(as we're finding out in this contest)? You would have to enforce byte limits, and that would probably be a headache for everyone involved.

To comment on the VLDC contest in general, one misstep was the idea of a "worst" world. It sounded funny when it was proposed, and I thought we'd have some poor levels, but I dunno... While I don't think there would be any objections to placing a stacked muncher gray lava flat level in "the worst", it's kinda... Mean-spirited, I guess? I'm not asking others to name bad levels for me, but so far, I haven't seen any really poor-quality levels submitted. Nothing that I would label "the worst", at least. That might change as I go through the entries.

Plus, a few people felt like they'd be placed in "the worst" and I don't know if that's a good way to feel while making a level. I think the contest was managed very well otherwise.

I admit that I want another VLDC like this so I have another chance hahahaha

This post showed up while I was making mine:

Originally posted by Underway
I'd like to add, though, that the recoloring that was allowed was a bit too much imo.


Tough question for me. It doesn't feel nearly as "vanilla" when you recolor a tile so much that it becomes something else. Personally I was avoiding that kind of recoloring in my unfinished entry. I think recoloring was fine, but it's probably because I was making extensive usage of it for shadow tiles. #ab{:P}

How does everyone else feel about it?
User: Hinalyte / ID: 1553 ~ loading kotori.css
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-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?

I prefer putting them into a single ROM. I know the hard part is that putting them together (because along the way, some may haven't followed the rules, etc), but it gives everyone playing the ROM a chance to see all the entries, and results in pretty much one of the hacks made by the userbase of the site.

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-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?

I'd say the former. Having a limited resources is good, it would prevent a user from using it too much, and it's challenging considering you only have a few tiles to work with (for Map16 tiles).

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-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?

Either directions work for me.

... though most points were already said by a few people from here.
I'd prefer B, B, and A, respectively.
I really need a layout. :<
I've sort of alluded to these answers in the VLDC discussion thread, but to reiterate my points:


Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?


This year's setup by far was a huge leap forward for the VLDC. It makes levels more accessible for the players who want to play them afterwards, and the additional option of level showcase/feedback threads creates an atmosphere of cooperation where the majority will want the finalized hack to be as good as it can get.

That's not to say I didn't like the competitive nature of previous contests, but I prefer to see designers learn from the feedback of others to improve their level design. Otherwise, we'll continuing to watch designers delude themselves into thinking their bad design choices are good ones, and believe me: I've seen really bad choices in this contest.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?


It is a necessary evil of collabartion-hack setups to impose reserved Map16 space for entrants. You can't just pray everyone will be generous with their tile usage and that someone won't go hog-wild with decorations if you don't impose some form of a limitation.

We also must remind people this is a design contest, not an aesthetics one. What do you think the "D" in VLDC stands for?

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


I'd definitely like to do this sort of thing again next year.
I definitely think it's a much better idea to combine all the levels into a ROM. It should be much better than going through and patching a bunch of IPS files, and it's definitely gonna be a cool experience to play a full SMW custom game with levels from all different users.
I certainly enjoy the assigned resource method. It's nice to forget all the custom stuff for a bit and rely on basically what the original game has to offer. It will make the final ROM much more like a sequel to the original.
I would love another contest like this, for the reasons I mentioned above; also because I didn't get a chance to sign up for this year's contest, unfortunately. I hope to see another contest like this soon!
Merging the levels into one ROM is something we've wanted to do since the first contest in 2008, and I think it's great that we're finally reaching that point now. I don't see much reason to stop. Like people have said, it's much less tedious to play all the submissions this way.

I also like how feedback was more common with this setup. There's less arbitrary pressure to do everything on your own, and more incentive to improve your work based on critiques. I was happy to see people like GeminiRage going through a bunch of entries at a time and genuinely trying to help make them better.

The resource allocation might feel a bit limiting, but I think that encourages designers to solidify their fundamentals instead of depending on fancy tricks. To me, that's part of what the contest is all about in the first place.

So, yes, I'd prefer this format for the future.
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I didn't participate or pay any attention (because I don't much care for vanilla hacking) but I can say that I'm at least interested in playing this ROM, which would not be the case if it weren't merged like this. I'm still annoyed by the general description of "vanilla", but at least restricting the resources should make it less hilarious. Not knowing yet how it is going to turn out, I can't say whether I think it was a good idea or not.
Originally posted by AxemJinx
I also like how feedback was more common with this setup. There's less arbitrary pressure to do everything on your own, and more incentive to improve your work based on critiques. I was happy to see people like GeminiRage going through a bunch of entries at a time and genuinely trying to help make them better.


To be honest, I tested about 70% of the total entries in this contest, but I only gave feedback for less than half of those (which is still over 20 levels!). If I didn't give feedback for a level, there were probably several reasons why.

-You probably didn't have a level thread, which meant I would've had to PM you regarding your submission... which makes me feel rather intrusive when I'm giving feedback that way.
-You did have a level thread, but provided no .IPS for me to actually test your level. I'm sorry, but it seems fishy if you're hiding your .IPS from us and asking for PMs before we can test.
-Your level had already gotten plenty of feedback before I got to test it.
-You submitted on the last day. If I had to suggest redesigning portions of your level, you would've been out of luck by then.

Or, there was the rare case of a level like Harumi's... where there wasn't exactly anything bad with the design yet somehow, something felt like it was missing from the whole experience, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. A response such as that would only be more confusing than helpful to the designer.
-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?

--honestly, I prefer the rom, because one rom is much easier than 50 hacks

-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?

--as long as the assigned resourrses are not extremely limiting, I don't care

-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?

--again, either way is fine with me.
Want to see my Super Mario Timeline?
Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?


I prefer levels integrated into a single ROM, just because I don't have so much time to check and play every entry, so having all entries in one ROM would be time-saving and more comfortable (at least for me)

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?


Well, I think I'd like to have endless freedom. My level has no custom map16 decoration just because I didn't have enough time, and enough map16 space. Expanding map16 assigned to user would be great, but it will also decrease number of users, just because all resources has been used.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


I'm new here (registered in November) so I can't answer this questions. But I definitely like the idea of collaboration.
Currently working on: Mariadventures.

back from death (again!)
Originally posted by S.N.N.

-Do you prefer the levels to be stand-alone submissions, or do you prefer the idea of them all being integrated into a single ROM?


Collab is much better, I mean seriously, it only has advantages in my opinion: All hacks are played, they are easier to find, and it is a simple way of restricting resources.

Originally posted by S.N.N.

-Do you prefer the assigned resource method, or would you rather have endless freedom?


Honestly, SMW is a kickass game with 512 MB, in other words limited resources seems to produce pretty damn good games, or in our case good levels.
Assigned Resources is pretty awesome :)
(We could allow more Map16 space for everyone eventually, even if this means less ROM Space for Levels. And what I also don't get, why couldn't we share Map16 stuff? I know it is a contest, but meh)

Originally posted by S.N.N.

-Would you prefer another contest like this, or would you rather go back to the way it was before?


Definitely like this again.


Oh and before I forget that, Recoloring is bullshit. I mean...why? That was so pointless, seriously.
Originally posted by Shog
And what I also don't get, why couldn't we share Map16 stuff? I know it is a contest, but meh)


Where did you heard that? Sharing ressources what allowed, and was actually done by some people.