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Discussion and Questions
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Discussion and Questions
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Coming from a dude who loves cool looking levels, I second Snorunt's notion. Neglected level design may be a real risk.
I think the "aesthetic creativity" means that points can be rewarded for creative atmosphere of the level, meaning, a level like Interplanetary would score highly on creativity, since it was creative with its tileset? Idk, but I do agree, I would appreciate the "aesthetics" part being taken out of "aesthetics and creativity". I think creativity alone is far more important than how nice a level looks. Theoretically, if you design a well put together level with beautiful aesthetics, but zero creativity, you can score a 100?? Seems off to me.

I wouldn't worry too much though, since we have a lot of judges who heavily emphasize design over aesthetics. Also, a 50 isn't too bad, if the judging is done well and discussed. I would appreciate if the scoring had some sort of general guideline, like this:
40-50 excellent design, fun to play with hardly any flaws
30-40 solid, average design, good flow, not too difficult
20-30 decent design, difficulty spikes at times, lack of flow
10-20 uninteresting, bland, flat design with uninspired and lackluster enemy placement
0-10 non-existent flow and zero attention to design
Originally posted by Wavee
Originally posted by snoruntpyro
Essentially this means a level focused solely on aesthetics could theoretically already get an automatic 50 even if the gameplay is nonexistent.


and 50/100 is supposed to be a good score?

That's assuming 0 in design and perfect in all aesthetics. A level could easily just get like a 25 in design if 25/50 is average romps level, giving a pretty looking romp around like a 75 or 80.
I don't really feel like being creative with my entry because for all I know 29 of these 30 points could flow into "aesthetic creativity".

May I just rant about that a bit?

I think splitting the rubric of a contest into clearly defined segments is important to prevent bleeding from one category into another. It sets defined borders for each aspect of a level's design and gives the judges clear and unambiguous guidelines to follow.

The "Design" category of this ruleset is well-defined and stands by itself. Whether or not a level is creative, whether or not it's pretty and polished, the level will still get points for its design and execution here.

The other two categories is where it kinda goes downhill in my opinion. The creative use of assets provided to the designer is already pretty much 90% of the score that flows into "Aesthetics", so why is there a need to let it bleed into the "Creativity" rubric?
Not only does this give "Aesthetic Creativity" 2 segments of the rubric to influence, but it also means that, if your level is "aesthetically creative" and supremely polished, it can get up to 50% of the score without being any fun to play, eventually sticking out like a sore thumb in the resulting game and probably turning into a joke amongst designers who actually focus on design and making their levels enjoyable.

I also agree with Pyro that large numbers make singular steps between scores pretty worthless. I've judged several contests with large numbers where I was tempted to "just kinda bump that level up by 6/30 in this category" because every point isn't as important as if it were if there were only 10 points to hand out total.

As it stands, I read the rubric as:
30/60 Design
18/60 Creativity + Aesthetic Creativity
12/60 Creative use of vanilla assets to create a certain aesthetic

If the "Aesthetic Creativity" part wouldn't bleed into "Conceptual Creativity", then this would be pretty balanced, in my opinion. The small numbers similar to VLDC9 are pretty good, too, I think. (though reducing them to 15/9/6 or 15/10/5 might be worth it)

tl;dr can't wait for an unfun level to get a high score cause it was "aesthetically creative" and "polished as fuck"
It's (design) creativity and aesthetic creativity, not aesthetic creativity alone. Assuming it's 15/30 for each, that would be a 35/100 max for a level with perfect aesthetics but nonexistant design. Sounds fine to me.
Originally posted by snoruntpyro
My other issue is the weight towards aesthetics. Specifically, the "Aesthetic Creativity" part. Essentially this means a level focused solely on aesthetics could theoretically already get an automatic 50 even if the gameplay is nonexistent. VLDC stands for Vanilla LEVEL DESIGN Contest, not Vanilla Graphics Contest. The majority of the weight should be towards level design and allowing aesthetics to seep into creativity like this would give far more weight towards aesthetics than I (and other people I'm sure) are comfortable with. Aesthetic creativity can go towards aesthetics.


Being creative with your aesthetics does not equal your level looking aesthetically good. The reason why "Aesthetic Creativity" was separated in the first place is due to the fact that while some people are creative with vanilla graphics, they don't look great at all. Specificity was a key in clarifying the categories, which is partly why judging in the past vldcs was weak.

Creativity Category is something completely separate from the Aesthetics category, as much as each category is completely separate from the others. Us judges will make it sure that one category does not affect the other, so that the ones who excel in this contest are those who actually put effort in all three categories.

As for the 100 point system, there were over a 100 contestants last. Tie-breaking is incredibly hard with 50 points. The 100 points overall is to spread out the amount of entrants to avoid as much ties as possible.
The wide scoring is justified to break ties when needed, because there's situations that the scores are so tight that you can't make a clear difference between what level is better and what level is worser. It's not arbitrary because just like how GbreezeSunset, there will be general guidelines to determine how well or bad you went on each category.

Aesthetics creativity aren't literal. "ah, if i make a level without aesthetics i will score max 15". No, that's entirely false. See Aeon's post.

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Originally posted by Aeon
It's (design) creativity and aesthetic creativity, not aesthetic creativity alone. Assuming it's 15/30 for each, that would be a 35/100 max for a level with perfect aesthetics but nonexistant design. Sounds fine to me.


I'll actually add the "Design Creativity" part to the name
Is it me or does running into an enemy while big crash the game? At least in the base ROM.

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How am I so creative? I think taking walks might have something to do with it.
Every single level I will ever make in SMM2 will be easier than Ultra Necrozma.
There's one hugely important, absolutely essential thing we absolutely need from the judges this year, and that is discussion on the best world. Lack of discussion led to what happened at vldc9, where no one seemed to agree with the placements there. I trust that the judges will do a great job this year though :D

Edit: I also think that good judging is way more essential than a good rubric.
Everyone does make good points. I kinda had a kneejerk reaction anyways. I'm just kinda paranoid that the rubric will not be used well and then we get situations like the last contest. But I won't deny with good judging the rubric could work.

Maybe have a more clear divide between gameplay and aesthetics creativity, though? Like two separate categories so both gameplay and aesthetics clearly get equal weight?
I'm not sure, but I may have found a bug in the base rom.
If you are big mario and climbing on the net tile and get hit by a climbing koopa, the game crashes.

Does that happen to anybody else or is this because I messed something up?

Edit: it seems like the game crashes, if you get hit when you are not small mario, doesn't matter by what you get hit.
I guess I'll repatch the baserom and try again #tb{'_'}

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Originally posted by Aeon
It's (design) creativity and aesthetic creativity, not aesthetic creativity alone. Assuming it's 15/30 for each, that would be a 35/100 max for a level with perfect aesthetics but nonexistant design. Sounds fine to me.

I'm iffy on seeing levels that nail their visuals but didn't care about being fun at all next to levels that tried real hard to be fun and ignored the other aspects. I think making a fun level should be encouraged more than anything.
There isn't really anything guaranteeing the 50/50 split either. The categories are put together as one, so it's up to each judge to decide how they handle it. It could be easily made clear though by splitting the two creativity categories, as they're seperate things.
Originally posted by Enjl
I think splitting the rubric of a contest into clearly defined segments is important to prevent bleeding from one category into another. It sets defined borders for each aspect of a level's design and gives the judges clear and unambiguous guidelines to follow.


I was the one who wrote out the categories. I feel the same way as you do. I worried there was confusion with Creativity, so I'll see what I can do to clearly write it out more that it's completely separate from the Aesthetics category.

Originally posted by Enjl
The other two categories is where it kinda goes downhill in my opinion. The creative use of assets provided to the designer is already pretty much 90% of the score that flows into "Aesthetics"


Not at all. As I said to Pyro, Aesthetic Creativity refers to using vanilla resources to make something creatively. It does not mean that the level actually looks good or is polished well. The opposite applies. The clarified and new Aesthetics and Polish category does not focus on those who get creative with resource. It encompasses levels like Ruin of Cupidity by lolyoshi or Blue Leaf's Top 10 ranking level from VLDC9. Normal smw looking levels by their own standards, but due to their polish and general niceness to look at, in VLDCX's criteria they will score high on Aesthetics.
VLDCX base ROM bug confirmed. Investigating the cause.

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Originally posted by Sokobansolver
Is it me or does running into an enemy while big crash the game? At least in the base ROM.

lmao yes it does

it still does too

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By the way, Creativity is to split in two. A creative level without creativity aesthetics can still score a 30. The category has just been named this way to justify high scorings in levels like Fabulatory, which in my opinion is nothing but fair.

You guys really don't need to worry about aesthetics being overrated blah blah, trust me when I say that we all are more than aware of your concerns and thoughts about last year!
im also on the roster so if any of the judges disrespects the criteria, then i assure everyone that ill stab them C:
time to make use of my garbage-tier level design skills once more ;)
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - Discussion and Questions

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