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VLDC Feedback

Originally posted by GeminiRage
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.


Interesting.. Now I'm actually kind of curious about that; It was my first time in a long while to make anything in SMW.

Anyway:

1. I like the idea of one giant ROM; it gives people more incentive to play all the levels rather than playing the ones they expect to be good. I didn't mind this, but this can give some potential attention to lesser-known hackers out there.

2. I preferred the assigned resources, honestly. It was a good challenge for me to fit everything in there, but a little more map16 space would be nice. That was the only part that really felt too restrictive.

3. I'd go for this again, it's a great system, and it keeps people interested in what's all going on with the levels, so we can also see what our "competition" is up to (however, that is only if they chose to make a thread for their level. I myself didn't because I'm horrible at updates, and also because I felt like people would overwhelm me with all the feedback as I was designing).
Originally posted by Shog
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)

You mean 512 KB. You made SMW 1024 times bigger game than it is. Well, Lunar Magic hacks already take 200 KB, so the space for levels is more limited. Lunar Magic doesn't save much in original 512 KB area, so original levels stay here, even if inaccessible. Therefore, 2 MB would be realistic... if not custom music and graphics, which will make this 3 or 4 MB for sure.
Legacy ports zip (now that those went down because Dropbox)
Originally posted by FPI
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.

Yeah, it definitely was. In fact, SLBros and I shared a row of map16 as well as an ExGFX.

Quote
-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 like them being integrated into a single rom. Makes the whole thing easier to play rather than having to deal with a lot of effort and many roms if someone wants to say, play the top 20 / 12 specific entries that sounded interesting to him (or heck, the entire thing)

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


I like the "limited freedom" format. While not as strict as some previous vanilla contests, it still signals "You cannot go too overboard on stuff" without limiting the contestant too much.

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

I do not know. I have one major complaint against the way it was set up this year: There is a limited number of signups. The collab idea is cool, but I feel like we're missing out on entrants! Signups were full in about TEN DAYS. Any less active, temporarily inactive, or just new user that wanted to start out and enter in the more than a month after that completely missed out on the chance to enter at all!

Words.
[22:25:05] <%andy_k_250> Turkey and Grease will one day be reunited - that day will be... Thanksgiving
Originally posted by Pat
I do not know. I have one major complaint against the way it was set up this year: There is a limited number of signups. The collab idea is cool, but I feel like we're missing out on entrants! Signups were full in about TEN DAYS. Any less active, temporarily inactive, or just new user that wanted to start out and enter in the more than a month after that completely missed out on the chance to enter at all!

Man, this, so much this. I didn't have my PC in my home during the signups (it's a desktop, btw), and I got a bit upset with this. If there is any other contest like this, I highly suggest a much longer signups period. The VLDC happens once a year, and is one of SMWC's greatest contests. Missing the chance is plain distressing...

Anyway, I loved the idea of putting the entries in a rom for reasons stated 1337 times in this thread, but I don't think it should completely replace the original, free-for-all style. Perhaps creating another annual contest or alternating the style in each year, like Maruhai suggested, so we could participate in both styles more often...
I definitely enjoyed this year's rendition of the VLDC.

Having all the entries in one ROM makes the whole thing feel almost like a sort of collab, which is neat. Having resources assigned to us also made plenty of sense, and I would definitely prefer that over the possible pitfalls endless freedom in resources could have. I also enjoyed the aspect of us making threads about our entries in advance, allowing us to give feedback on others' entries if we wanted to do so.

I'd definitely be up for another VLDC like this one next year. This one was undoubtedly great.
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I'm probably retired tbh
Question 1 - I prefer all the levels to be putted into 1 Rom organized in world themes and so while the winners with best levels putting into a special world after completing the final level.

Question 2 - As far as I can understand this question, it's related with my first answer a bit, so I think you should play level by level and not have freedom to play them which you want first...

Question 3 - Yes of course I prefer a contest like this, though I never participated in any contest, I followed this contest cause it's Idea seemed the best idea ever organized in any contest! So my answer it yes I expect more contests like a similar style/organize to this one!


Next time I may take part If there exists such kind of contest! Either way.
Oh, on a note of something someone brought up on the previous page:

Please don't allow tile recoloring again. I feel that breaks the spirit of vanilla, since it would become easier to make a tile look like something else entirely if you change the palettes the right way. I mean, you could easily recolor a tile to where with the right setup, it looks like it originally did, but changing the palette makes it look like Luigi's head on a black background...
<Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money
Allowing recoloring was likely a mistake, I agree with you (and the others who have said the same). I was trying to find a way to prevent people from finding loopholes, but I think I may have made the rules too lenient in the process.

I may not even allow YY-CHR next time. It seems to open up far too many possibilities.
Maybe you could do it similar to the 2013 contest and allow only using ExGFX to mix sprite sets (only using the original sprite tiles)? I thought that worked pretty well, personally.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
I may not even allow YY-CHR next time. It seems to open up far too many possibilities.
Yes, it does, and some users did some really annoying things with YY-CHR like make some sprites look totally different from how they behave (like, I've had some enemies turned into boxes that I assumed I could jump on, only to die. Keep in mind that almost every enemy in this level was turned into a box. Fun.)

I'm personally for a "no ExGFX" rule or an "ExGFX to mix sprite sets only but must use the correct graphics" rule just because I don't like these levels that focus on nothing but "trying to be as chocolate as possible with vanilla graphics" and being ultimately crappy to play through and that would get rid of almost all of them.

I would also like to see AxemJinx's system for rating reimplemented with the verbal ratings ("not for me"/"unfulfilling"/"ambivalent"/"enjoyable"/"favorites") rather than attaching a strict number to it because I don't think, for instance, aesthetics should have as much bearing as they do, or that points are to be given for following the rules (wouldn't not following the rules mean a disqualify anyways?) and that a level can have intricate design without being fun or have rudimentary design but be delightfully fun. From level to level, it all meshes together differently, and I think the taste it leaves in your mouth may not be reflective of the sum of its parts.

Just look above you...
If it's something that can be stopped, then just try to stop it!
Looks like I'm in the minority regarding tile coloring. My only defense is "it makes levels look prettier" and I realize that's a pretty weak point! I'll be fine if next year is "ExGFX for enemies only". Maybe I won't pick such a hard theme next time with the added limitations.

Originally posted by S.N.N.
I may not even allow YY-CHR next time.


If I remember correctly, isn't it really hard (or impossible) to tell if someone used the Lunar Magic 8x8 editor or YY-CHR? They both would perform the same function in these contests.

EDIT:

Originally posted by Counterfeit
I would also like to see AxemJinx's system for rating reimplemented with the verbal ratings ("not for me"/"unfulfilling"/"ambivalent"/"enjoyable"/"favorites") rather than attaching a strict number to it


I'd be okay with this, too.
Originally posted by UTF
If I remember correctly, isn't it really hard (or impossible) to tell if someone used the Lunar Magic 8x8 editor or YY-CHR? They both would perform the same function in these contests

If he's not allowing YY-CHR that means he's not allowing graphic editing/recoloring at all.
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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?


Well, it I would choose either or, but then again in my opinion, I'd prefer the individual ROMs because I was planning on inputting bunches of Map16 tiles.

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


I prefer endless freedom, even a lot of people will disagree and say "It's a Level Design contest, not a 'how pretty I can make my level' contest," I would still want to use a lot of aesthetics for my level. I would always have limited space, then I would have to delete some tiles that I need, but also don't need for extra space.

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?


Depends on what you mean by that, I would want the contest to be like this because we could manipulate the Map16 tiles and recolor. I would want the contest to also be like the way it was before because all of our submissions were individual ROMs.
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Originally posted by S.N.N.
Allowing recoloring was likely a mistake, I agree with you (and the others who have said the same). I was trying to find a way to prevent people from finding loopholes, but I think I may have made the rules too lenient in the process.

I may not even allow YY-CHR next time. It seems to open up far too many possibilities.

Yeah, people seem to want to find and exploit as many loopholes as they can in this contest... Honestly, I wouldn't be opposed to YY-CHR being disallowed, although if it weren't, it really should be solely for combining enemies into one tileset so you can use normally-incompatible enemies together.

It seems surprisingly common in this contest to use YY-CHR to change enemy graphics. Wouldn't that actually break the rules, since you're technically editing graphics by making something look like something it can't normally look like?
<Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money
Originally posted by Counterfeit
Originally posted by S.N.N.
I may not even allow YY-CHR next time. It seems to open up far too many possibilities.

..."no ExGFX" rule or an "ExGFX to mix sprite sets only but must use the correct graphics" rule just because I don't like these levels that focus on nothing but "trying to be as chocolate as possible with vanilla graphics" and being ultimately crappy to play through


That's completely ridiculous.

So what if a user made a terrible level using different tiles?
You know what matters?
Is that it's terrible.

Even with completely boring, restricted graphics, it wouldn't change the fact that a level that used the graphics poorly is still a terrible level. What is the point of making everything as restricted as possible, when it completely depends on the creator if they're going to create a good level. Herding contestants to a restrained (bland) ruling is just what it sounds like: it's limiting entrants to what they can do.

It's not the graphics that make a level terrible. It's the level design. It is utterly dependent on the author if they're skilled enough to have a balance between eye-pleasing and fun yet innovative to play.

Take GoldenYoshiJacob's VLDC entry. It is a level that DEPENDS on enemies "disguised" as other objects.

Is it the same as that Block level you cited?

No. One is terrible, and the other one is actually good.

But hey! They do the same thing! All the Sprites aren't what they are! But you know what? Unlike the other guy, GoldenYoshi was actually good enough to pull it off.

You can argue that restricted rules will just get rid of the temptation to create a level like that Block level you mentioned. But really, will their ability to make a good level change if they only have overused, been-there-done-that a billion times already, to work with? It might cut the chances of making the spawn of the devil, but ultimately it will be based on the skill to make a good level. Having the ability to use ExGFX and being free in what to do with ANY of the graphics in the game will give EVERYONE, which includes the skilled level designers, a bigger palette to work with, leading to more innovation on the game. No matter how restricted you make things, there will always be shitty levels, and with restrictions like what you offered, there will most definitely be more of the "safe" and "uninspired" levels that we've all played before.

Do note, that I am not for the recoloring rule. I do believe it shouldn't have been allowed in the first place. What I DO think is that we should be able to create levels with what the game offers. I don't think anyone wants the VLDC to be a "Create the most SMW-like level possible." We already played SMW. We don't need to make more levels like SMW. What we need is to be creative of what we already have.
Originally posted by Giant Shy Guy
words

I hope you realize the use of certain graphics in a certain way influence how the level is designed. Also nobody is suggesting that we should stay completely SMW styled, there simply needs to be a boundary on where things become unacceptable.
Originally posted by Giant Shy Guy
Take GoldenYoshiJacob's VLDC entry. It is a level that DEPENDS on enemies "disguised" as other objects.

But why should a level in the vanilla contest DEPEND on a visual gimmick? By your own logic, the level should be just fine if the enemies weren't resprited. So the disguising is unnecessary and shouldn't have been allowed.
<Adam> I feel like smwc is a prostitute now, because we put up a porn ad for money
The entire purpose of the contest the way I see it is that you're supposed to make a level within the limits the original creators had.
This ultimately didn't turn out for some entries. Even though they might look very impressive, it kinda feels like it's against the grain.
I'm planning on playing the hack as a whole after it's put together and see how that turned out.
Originally posted by Everest
I hope you realize the use of certain graphics in a certain way influence how the level is designed.


Of course. I did say it depends on the player if they're going to make something eye-pleasing (you can replace that with "visually gimmicky") and fun (yet innovative) at the same time. So yes. It influences how the level is made, but it ultimate up to the creator's skills if they can make it work.

Originally posted by Everest
Also nobody is suggesting that we should stay completely SMW styled, there simply needs to be a boundary on where things become unacceptable.


I was actually implying that there's far too many "SMW-like" levels that are really safe and uninspired, and the most I played are simple, straightforward usage of existing graphics, for the most part, using graphics as they are. By giving this more lenient ability to use graphics FOR ANYTHING, there will be more room for the players to TRY and make something new. Even how Cou explained that Block level. It's something that's impossible to in normal circumstances. But, at least YOU CAN do it with exgfx. Doesn't mean whoever the author is made it good, though.

Originally posted by Nimono
Originally posted by Giant Shy Guy
Take GoldenYoshiJacob's VLDC entry. It is a level that DEPENDS on enemies "disguised" as other objects.

But why should a level in the vanilla contest DEPEND on a visual gimmick? By your own logic, the level should be just fine if the enemies weren't resprited. So the disguising is unnecessary and shouldn't have been allowed.


I explained myself on the IRC.
<GiantShyGuy> Why are you two looking into semantics?
<GiantShyGuy> By "depend" I meant that such a restricting no exgfx or replacement rule will make GY's level impossible to make in the first place

Which comes back to Everest's first point. GFX influences how a level is made. A limitation simply limits ideas that are not possible with "as is" Super Mario World resources. It would be for the best to see ideas and innovation with the game resources that PROVE to be fun.

P.S It is completely on a case-by-case if you like GoldenYoshi's level. I found it decent enough, and enjoyed it, so I used it as my example. Doesn't mean that if you don't like his level, that my argument has no stance. There ARE good levels out there that "exploit" the graphics in the game, and I know that most likely everyone has played a level like that.

Originally posted by Torchkas
This ultimately didn't turn out for some entries. Even though they might look very impressive, it kinda feels like it's against the grain.


We're not really making a collaboration hack here. It's a compilation. We're taking all these levels from different creators, with different styles, with different skills, with different ideas. Why do some people (it might not apply to you) think that it's supposed be all the same?