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Discussion and Questions

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Reminder though that there are still right ways and wrong ways to use vanilla graphics. Plastering your screen with cement blocks will still give you a lower score than if you can properly balance your layout (look at SMW's use of symmetry and graphical motifs for example). Different judges will have different ideas about this, but things like clutter and bad aesthetic flow will cost you points. This is kind of where design and aesthetics mix in my eyes.
Originally posted by Torchkas
Reminder though that there are still right ways and wrong ways to use vanilla graphics. Plastering your screen with cement blocks will still give you a lower score than if you can properly balance your layout (look at SMW's use of symmetry and graphical motifs for example). Different judges will have different ideas about this, but things like clutter and bad aesthetic flow will cost you points. This is kind of where design and aesthetics mix in my eyes.


Agreed. Continuing on from Wind Fish's comment in SNN's fan-judging thread so it doesn't go too off-topic, there are of course, people who have different opinions on good level design, creativity, and aesthetics, however, despite what SNN said and the "VLDCX memes" going on about all design, no aesthetics, that doesn't mean you should just go plain vanilla or just use really ugly blocky aesthetics.

The point of this contest is to try to make levels that stand out, look and feel unique and creative, and plays well with its design and gimmick all executed well to be fun, amazing, and memorable, in hopes that maybe we'll win or get a good score. While several people like me are not all that fond of people going with pure vanilla SMW palettes and aesthetics and prefer people making newer, more unique-looking stuff, others may find it to be as good as newer, unique-looking aesthetics, and as long as something looks good and isn't disorienting, the aesthetics score for those who aren't bored of vanilla SMW stuff will be as rated high as newer-looking aesthetical levels, maybe higher.

Every single point counts. You'll want to try to impress as much people as possible with your stuff, and while vanilla SMW-looking stuff (be it aesthetics or level design) may not bother people as much, it may not feel too memorable or brand new to other people. So therefore, in my opinion, I feel like we should try to make our levels stand out, one way or another.

Yes, level design is important, but if you're aiming to win or get a high ranking level, you should try to be creative with your level and perhaps try to make a cool or unique looking aesthetical look to the level. In my opinion, doing pure vanilla SMW levels or just focusing all design, no aesthetics will not work.
I have nothing else to say now. Huh...
I always thought aesthetics criteria were there just to deduct points from bad-looking and/or really weird scenerios (cutoffs, bad palettes, and so on).
For instance, compare Streamside and Aperture Laboratory aesthetics from VLDC 9. Apparently, Aperture Laboratory did a better job, but Streamside was restricted by its theme. The aesthetics fit the main theme and gimmick on both levels. How will someone evaluate it?
Originally posted by Impetus

I'm spoilering this because it's a detour from the topic but I think it still needs to be adressed as a general note on "inspiration":
Note how I said "forcing the gameplay to come to a halt". The gimmick of Flash Black Galaxy isn't just "add flashing to an otherwise normal level", since everything else in the level is designed around this central mechanic. And if you look at the footage you linked you can see the player moving through the darkness. How is this possible?

Notice how the player has a larger field of view, how there are always enemies or coins that help you find your way around in the dark, how the first half has no bottomless pits, how the camera occasionally pans to show points of interest. The level is designed to let the player move forward even in the dark. I, too, like the way it is used in this level. I do not, however, like how it is used in levels like Flash Black or Subterranean Glow, as in those levels the gimmick feels slapped on and is clearly not at all designed around.

Of course, camerawork is something levels like Flash Black or Subterranean Glow cannot incorporate in their gimmicks, but providing a sufficient amount of always visible sprites, keeping the player safe from pitfalls until the end of the level (hardest part, mutation on previously established rules) and keeping the time between illuminations short are the least designers can do in order to incorporate a gimmick better into their own piece of work.

Point is... I'm giving you examples of bad aesthetic and you fire back with an example of related VISUALS done right. Aesthetic isn't visuals on its own. It compliments gameplay to strengthen the experience. We're still designing videogames here after all and want players to have fun. Waiting in the dark, I stand by my point, is not fun.
Subterranean Glow stayed dark for like, .3 seconds though. Nothing about that is punishing or hard to navigate around, it's literally bright again before you reach the apex of your jump.
Unless you went out of your way to ignore the central P-Switch gimmick I guess, in which case yeah, you get the softest punishment in the history of ever of maybe having to wait a whole second on your way to the next P-Switch, depending on where the light cycle is at.
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Falconpunch
Yes, level design is important, but if you're aiming to win or get a high ranking level, you should try to be creative with your level and perhaps try to make a cool or unique looking aesthetical look to the level. In my opinion, doing pure vanilla SMW levels or just focusing all design, no aesthetics will not work.

While you're right that it's important to make your level stand out in a contest, you can actually make your level stand out by having amazing level design as well. I always use worldpeace as an example, but lets look at a different example. Blue Leaf's vldc9 level, lolyoshi's vldc9 level, and a lot of others used completely vanilla gfx and palettes and stood out because of the gameplay. So it's not impossible to stand out with vanilla looking levels.

Originally posted by Torchkas
Reminder though that there are still right ways and wrong ways to use vanilla graphics.


This is so true, and I feel like when most people think of "vanilla graphics" they think of muncher spam and cement blocks. There's a difference between not putting any effort into aesthetics, and designing the aesthetics in a very smw-styled fashion, while making sure that things still look nice.

Originally posted by Grugi
For instance, compare Streamside and Aperture Laboratory aesthetics from VLDC 9. Apparently, Aperture Laboratory did a better job, but Streamside was restricted by its theme. The aesthetics fit the main theme and gimmick on both levels. How will someone evaluate it?

Streamside is a really special case cause it's just so... different, but I think that the aesthetics would be pretty good (in my opinion) since they really enhanced the atmosphere. But Streamside is like a huge exception to every rule, and I think for most levels the judges will have a clear idea of what to score it.
Originally posted by leod
it's literally bright again before you reach the apex of your jump.
Not when the lights cut out as you start your jump tho. Which happened a lot. Causing me to fall into a pirahna plant that jumped out of a pipe after the lights cut out. Notice how in the smg2 vid they enemies dont turn black when the screen does. Because if I don't know what I'm doing, I'd at least like to know what can kill me.
And it's not ignoring the p-switch gimmick when it runs out on its own before you reach the next one. I didn't outright dislike the level, but you can't act like its the players fault that they literally cant see what they're doing.

also spoiling because off topic.

I already said my thing on the aesthetics vs better aesthetics thing. I was curious on what is considered the official threshold regarding good aesthetics vs. great aesthetics, since great aesthetics need to be ranked higher for their creativity. Is tileset merging enough? What about merging more than two tilesets? If I merge tiles, will that count? What if I recolor tiles?
How many tiles do we have to replace before they're considered exceptional and worthy of bonus effort points? I'd like to know so I can get those effort points, every bit counts.
Even if there was a threshold and we knew exactly where the dividing line is, we wouldn't answer that question cause we don't want anybody pandering to us. #w{=D}
Originally posted by Hobz
Not when the lights cut out as you start your jump tho. Which happened a lot. Causing me to fall into a pirahna plant that jumped out of a pipe after the lights cut out. Notice how in the smg2 vid they enemies dont turn black when the screen does. Because if I don't know what I'm doing, I'd at least like to know what can kill me.

Don't jump over a pit when the lights are about to be off then? It's not a sudden WOAH ITS DARK, it's a really really really gradual dimming. Also I tested it and it turned visible again before the jump reached the highest point when I jumped right as it turned dark (during P-Switch).
It CANT be that disorienting cause then blinking would destroy your life.

Originally posted by Hobz
And it's not ignoring the p-switch gimmick when it runs out on its own before you reach the next one. I didn't outright dislike the level, but you can't act like its the players fault that they literally cant see what they're doing.

Okay yeah, that's true. It does slow down getting to the next P-Switch, you'll usually be caught in at least one clearly signalled 2 second darkness break between each P-Switch.
That's almost as bad as waiting for a chained platform to rotate around once so you can jump on it #w{=(}
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would we be able to apply this patch?

i dont think any levels take advantage of this? and it'd help out nameless n i's level a lot tbh
Originally posted by idol
would we be able to apply this patch?

i dont think any levels take advantage of this? and it'd help out nameless n i's level a lot tbh

morsel is using vertical proximity wraparound in his level for like 1 thwomp obstacle, so it's too late I think.
pee
I think Hobz had a patch disabled for his level specifically so you might be able to get the same thing done if you're lucky? (or more, you might be able to get the patch and it's disabled on any levels abusing the glitch.)
Originally posted by Impetus
I think Hobz had a patch disabled for his level specifically
nah i got that shit taken out of the base rom lol

e: btw i had no idea Proximity Wraparound was a thing. Looks really cool to play around with 0w0
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madeulook
Question: Do I have to create the thread first without needing to submission in the sends thread?


Have a frost day~
Puyo Maguro World Creator
You can make a thread whenever you want, it's entirely optional.
The only thing you have to do to submit your entry is put it in the Submissions thread.
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Can a level have a "No Yoshi Cutscene" or is that considered non vanilla due to not being on the original game?

Read my posted story here!!.

The Best Hack EVAR!!:



This layout good as my stories is made by Kagami
If you can do it with vanilla resources and following all of the rules, then I would assume it's fine.
It can have one, but you don't need one since there's no way the player can bring a Yoshi into the level in the entry and in the collab Yoshis won't carry over.
Your layout has been removed.
Good to know since my and Disco's level will use castle sprites, which yoshi is not compatible with.

Again thanks.

Read my posted story here!!.

The Best Hack EVAR!!:



This layout good as my stories is made by Kagami
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