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[FAN JUDGE] quills says things about levels (requests done post-deadline at this point)
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [FAN JUDGE] quills says things about levels (requests done post-deadline at this point)
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Since some judges are quieting down in activity, I feel like I should do some, especially since the deadline is coming soon. However, rather than going from the earliest entry to the latest, I'm going in reverse, so that the people who don't have many reviews yet get prioritized. If new submissions comes along while I'm doing these, they will be done before I do earlier submissions.
I was also a judge in MaGL3 so I hope my feedback is useful~
(Scores are subject to change the more levels I play.)

Ranks:
95 - Agent Q
88 - Enjl
88 - snoruntpyro
87 - idol
86 - ToxicRave
85 - S.N.N.
85 - Blue Leaf
83 - Leiras
83 - allowiscous
82 - Superwario1999
82 - Spy
81 - WhiteYoshiEgg
81 - NGB
80 - Hinalyte and Mirann
80 - MM102 and Renhoek
79 - Hobz
79 - Grugi
75 - Prizm
74 - RZIBARA
74 - Sixcorby
73 - Pseudogon
73 - Teyla
73 - Erik557
72 - G.D.
72 - Sanct
72 - chineesmw
72 - PuzzelBreaker
71 - LHB
71 - levelengine
70 - Waddle Derp
70 - ZMann
70 - KP9000
70 - Falconpunch
69 - Dr. Tapeworm
69 - Dan and Wakana
69 - E-man38
69 - Kenny
68 - Nimono
68 - white_moth
67 - RussianMan and Pixel-Gon Gamer
67 - Matheus2653
67 - Super Maks 64
66 - ShUriK KiD
64 - Strikeforcer
63 - SomeGuy712x
62 - Level ASMer
62 - SilverSwallow
60 - GeminiSunfall
60 - MasterSkodwarde
58 - Mata Hari
58 - Forty2
55 - Impetus
55 - KamillBR
54 - Mr. Pixelator
53 - yoshifanatic
53 - underway
52 - Guiga
48 - JerryEris
47 - Quantix
47 - MarioFanGamer
47 - MarkVD100
46 - SMILEuser96
46 - Wii2
46 - YoungsVideos44
46 - space-goon
45 - PichuVsLink
44 - Fostelif
43 - RealMarioGamer
41 - Samario
40 - Blizzard Buffalo
40 - natnew
39 - kamekku14
36 - TheInsanity115
35 - MaxMaxMaxVidya
33 - moo_we_all_do
31 - PMH
31 - Wise Person
28 - Retronom
27 - SuperWeirdo
26 - Vantastic
25 - Galaer
15 - Master Lakitu
14 - Mushroom378
1 - Aristocrat

DQ - EvilMarioBot
DQ - IronFoxGaming
DQ - SMWizard
DQ - 2dareduck
DQ - M A R I O W O R L D
DQ - tomato jonson





Enjl - SWISS SPARKLES INC.
Design and Execution: 42/50 44/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 26/30 27/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20 17/20
Overall: 84/100 88/100

Design and Execution:
I really like how the level is designed around jumping across enemies in a quick-time like fashion. The layer 2 falls parts were especially cool, and very well done with 1F0. Nothing was too frustrating and the level was interesting and fun with its gimmicks throughout while staying focused.
My few gripes are that sometimes it's a bit difficult to parse what to do next in some quick-time situations, examples coming to mind being the bowling ball you have to follow across the room after the midpoint, the piranha plant part before the 1-up checkpoint where you have to react immediately to the low spike ceiling, and the part with the falling sparky where I personally felt is too unclear that you need to jump on the fishbone. There are also a few weird points where spin jumping on a bowling ball caused me to get hit anyway due to the floor being so close to the top of it, which might be due to the bowling ball hitbox.
Still, this level does a great job designing around player reaction and is a lot of fun as a result.

UPDATE: The changes are great, and a lot of the issues I noted are fixed.
I like how you added reset doors to some parts for dragon coins and other things, though it's not obvious as to what they look like.
Also, the player might spin jump down a hole in the vertical section, which is a bit of a problem where one part requires dropping onto blind shelless koopas.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The level is creative in both aspects, especially design wise. The layer 2 falls sprite is pretty underused already, and same with the bowling balls. Both are used in unusual fashions, and the enemy jumping parts were not that typical either.
Aesthetically, it is also pretty creative due to its use of stars as 1F0 and its mystical factory like environment, but it's nothing too amazing.

UPDATE: I love the turn block setups in the vertical section.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The palette is very cool, and the level overall has a very pleasant nighttime atmosphere. The indoor parts also looked cool. Unfortunately, the level didn't particularly wow me in terms of overall aesthetics, but it's all well done anyhow and almost nothing gets in the way. My only gripe is that some of the outdoor platforms blend in a bit with the bricks because they have the same highlight color, I think. It is also a bit unfortunate that the palette ruins the status bar, so it would really help if you could fix that or remove the status bar for this level.

UPDATE: the HUD is fixed, which is cool.







Leiras - VESTIGIA CAECA
Design and Execution: 44/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 83/100

Design and Execution:
This is well designed. At first I was worried that it would be a lot like All Hail Megamole from VLDC9, but I was pleasantly surprised with how extensive it got with its mega mole setups. There are a lot of neat puzzles that weren't too hard to solve, and all the sprites were very well positioned for the player to deal with. The moon puzzle is especially cool with its solutions, and I like how complex the setups got as well through using eater blocks, number platforms, 1F0, and throw blocks.
I don't really see any major flaws with this level, but I guess the environment could be a bit cramped sometimes.
Anyway, it's quite enjoyable and polished overall, but strangely enough, I feel like it could do just a bit more in order to get an even higher score here... Some kind of wow factor would be necessary though.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The main driving force in this level is its design creativity in the puzzles and use of mega moles. The environments it creates with the moles is very atypical, as mentioned before.
Aesthetically, it only goes so far as to put stuff in the dirt and simple torches + mega mole statues in the background, but that's not bad at all.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The colors are well done, and everything is conveyed clearly. There's nothing that blows me away, but it's all still great and nice to look at. The level is very polished.







Blue Leaf - Subterranean Shrine
Design and Execution: 46/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 24/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 85/100

Design and Execution:
I see someone's trying to nab 1st with the Subterranean naming gimmick again.
That aside, this level is really cool. The difficulty curve is perfect and the platforming setups are all very well done in combination with layer 2, grinders, and rotating platforms. The secret exit route is probably my favorite part of the level since it plays with player reactions very well.
I can't really find anything wrong with the execution nor the design. It's all great and as a result the level is really fun to play.
I guess it could be a bit longer, though.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
What's weird with this level though is that the design creativity... isn't really pushed so far as to what Fortified Cavern did in VLDC9. A few things are different such as the number platforms and scrolling layer 2 instead of smashing layer 2, but it wasn't THAT impressive. The boss is also too similar to that one area in Fortified Cavern. Luckily, it has the saving grace of that really neat and creative falling section in the secret exit, where the platforms and layer 2 interact very well.
Its aesthetic creativity on the other hand is very well done and thought out; the falling rocks, boss animations, and progression of the ruins after you beat the level (where the entire starting environment changes since you got the star thingy) adds a whole layer of immersion to what the level presents, which is very neat.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Pretty nice looking ground aesthetics, with an unusual but nice color palette to boot. My only suggestion is to darken the rocks in the falling rock segment since they can be a little bit distracting. The level looks really nice while keeping itself simple.







Blizzard Buffalo - TWISTICAL SHINOBI
Design and Execution: 5/50 17/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 9/20
Overall: 28/100 40/100

Design and Execution:
This level certainly has a unique aesthetic, but its execution is lacking, especially with the second half and the secret exit. The first half consists of typical ninji, volcano lotus, and baseball chuck setups, and the second half is more of the same except with a weird difficulty jump where you need to bounce across baseball chucks with ninja stars flying in your face. It's not really all that fun, probably because there's a lot of waiting involved. I suggest giving the player more advantageous terrain so that he can deal with the enemies easier. I will say that baseball chucks and volcano lotuses are some of the hardest sprites to use correctly in levels, though, and their placements are ultimately what makes this level not play well.
Also, your midpoint doesn't work; when mario respawns at the midpoint, he respawns in the midpoint entrance of the first level he enters, which is a huge problem because apparently this means the beginning of your level. Fixing this would help your level substantially.
The secret exit is a bit of a mess; first off, it's in the second half, so the player needs to beat the first half twice in order to get both exits (not a lot of fun). Second, it requires going back and forth in a ghost house sublevel 3 times due to item babysitting, which is boring. The eerie generator can also be a bit nuts since vertical scrolling is enabled, allowing you to drop onto one unfairly, and the boo ring only adds waiting. I suggest redesigning this entire sublevel.

UPDATE: The midpoint issue is fixed, but not much else has changed. I also noticed that this part is out of place for being too hard.
The secret exit is also pretty much unchanged.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The design creativity is lacking; you can jump over a lot of the enemies fairly simply, and not much is pushed in terms of obstacle variance. It's jumping over enemies, then jumping over enemies and spikes, and then jumping over more enemies. The puzzle for the secret exit is just go back and forth, and hit these blocks with these blue blocks, which isn't that exciting either. The overall aesthetic creativity though is good; I don't think I've seen a bamboo forest in vanilla SMW before, so props with that. The lanterns and oriental houses are also really neat.

UPDATE: The changes aren't enough to constitute an update to the score here.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The foreground bamboo colors blend WAY too much with the green bamboo in the background, and as a result, the green platforms are way too hard to see. I suggest either making the foreground bamboo color pop out more or make the green platforms a different color. There's also this weird issue where scrolling the camera up causes the green bamboo in the background to also scroll up, so it looks like its... growing and shrinking with mario's position, which is quite awkward and distracting. The palette at the very end of the level where it's nighttime looks really nice though.

UPDATE: I still think the bamboo platforms and foreground blend into the background too much.







yoshifanatic - Urban Jungle
Design and Execution: 20/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 53/100

Design and Execution:
A very simple, aesthetics focused level. The design involves a lot of jumping over rexes and around volcano lotuses, with the occasional chuck here and there. The environment varies a bit with the wood buildings, but not much was done with them aside from simple platforming.
I like how the hanging vines encourages you to explore the level. It was a bit cool since you could discover different paths, aesthetic features (the burnt building), and dragon coins. Speaking of dragon coins, I really don't like how the blue switch is needed to get some of them.
Overall though, the execution is pretty average, and it didn't really push boundaries in design or obstacles. Not much changed from the first half to the second half, and I only had a decent amount of fun.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
This level is going full on aesthetic creativity in the way it presents itself, with the stone and wood buildings in a jungle environment. The burnt building is a nice touch. But aside from those features, not much else was creative. Design creativity is not really there, with the most creative part of the level being the vines + piranha plant part. I guess some of the chuck herding to get the dragon coins is alright though.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The palette is vibrant, and the little details in making it a true urban jungle are great. Though I find it strange that the stairs are not solid...
It's too bad that this is the only strong suit of the level.







Quantix - Eerie Presence
Design and Execution: 25/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 11/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20
Overall: 47/100

Design and Execution:
This is a weird one. The level doesn't present much of anything new in terms of enemy setups but it's still well designed in them. Nothing was frustrating yet nothing was boring either. I like how it utilized the holes and stairs with the eeries in the second half, though I don't like how there's a random set of solid blocks underneath one of the holes that you can still go through for some reason.
It's too bad that because everything is so focused on eerie setups, the level drags inevitably and feels repetitive. It's still kind of fun though.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Design wise, it only has moving hole + eerie setups going for it. Art wise, it only very minor graphical edits. Overall, not much of what it presents is new or unique.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The yellow grass does not fit well in the level; I suggest changing it. Otherwise, it's decent; nothing is overbearing and the aesthetics are very simple. The level is polished too.







MarkVD100 - The Moon-Everest
Design and Execution: 15/50 22/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 13/30 15/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 10/20
Overall: 38/100 47/100

Design and Execution:
The design isn't good. There really isn't a consistent theme or direction, and it's mostly super cramped corridors and enemy sprite replacements. I don't like how the footballs, spinies, and pokeys are all resprited to the same rock. Meanwhile, the second half has some item usage where you just use items in the most basic ways, which isn't exciting.
Some of the sprite placements were either ineffective (super koopas near the beginning, the mole lakitus, etc.) or annoying (puntin chuck + baseball chuck in a very tight area right after the midpoint) as well.
Finally, if you're not fast enough at the end, you're greeted with a million pokeys on a staircase, which just adds waiting for yoshi to eat them.
I suggest giving the player a lot more room, and giving the enemies and items more of a purpose in the level.
(Also, why is there a p-balloon in the moon route..?)

UPDATE: Some sprites have better placements and have more meaning, though there are still some issues.
This part can benefit from not having invisible note blocks since they get in the way of jumping.
This part is so easy to die in if you're small mario, since if you mess up the jump he runs right into the muncher on the ground.
There's no good way to get past this unless you go back and forward, and then rush it, and even then it's awkward.
The second half also has this major issue where fog obscures everything; I got hit by an unseen bony beetle here.
The moon route is a LOT easier, though I guess it's because you also have the secret exit there, which is ok.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The level is aiming for aesthetic creativity with its yoshi-moon-environment-thing and sprite replacements, but it's nothing that special. Design creativity isn't really present aside from using yoshi in the second half and dodging enemies in the tight corridors.

UPDATE: The new chuck puzzle added some design creativity.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The aesthetics are decent, though the gray outline in the cloud background bothers me a lot. The way things are arranged can definitely be better too.

UPDATE: The aesthetics still feel messy, and the second half is too dark.







Prizm - Missing Cleft
Design and Execution: 41/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 18/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 75/100

Design and Execution:
This level makes a lot of good yet subtle design decisions. I like how it introduces the invisible note blocks, though I have to say I think they're probably TOO hard to see sometimes. Luckily, hitting those are only necessary if you want the dragon coins in the sky.
The difficulty curve is very well done as it introduces each obstacle, and then expands upon each one in the second half. The muncher jump with the noteblocks, the rotating platform segments, and the triple chucks are great examples of this.
All in all, I personally really like this level. It's not the most exciting level, but I had fun with it, and it's very well done in how it presents its obstacles.
(also please make the purple clouds at the end solid because it's not obvious..!)

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The level only presents minor creative things to the table in terms of design, and some have been done before. Nonetheless, it's all still well presented, and the invisible note block thing is pretty neat imo.
In terms of aesthetic creativity, it's smw but with nice clouds, creating a good atmosphere overall.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Wasn't this the same palette as your VLDC9 entry's palette? Nonetheless, it all looks great, simple, and clear. It's not incredible but still nice.

Sweet, nice to see you fan judging :D

I personally liked Leiras's level better than Blue Leaf's, but both of them are super awesome levels. Haven't played Enjl's yet but I plan to soon.
Thank you for your fan judge.

I know that my level doesn´t do anything amazing aesthetically.
Also you may be right, that the "wow factor" is missing in design, too, but if i want to be consistent with the moles + platform setups it´s hard to come up with anything that "wow-ish". Also i hoped that the Moon-Puzzle would somehow be a adequate compensation for that, but since you called it cool is guess i souldn´t re-build it?

So, thank you for your review. It would be nice if you had made any suggestions how i could improve the level is terms of aesthetics, but your review is already quite fine the way it is #tb{:j}

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SMWizard - N/A
Design and Execution: DQ/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: DQ/30
Aesthetics and Polish: DQ/20
Overall: DQ/100

Got "Patch not intended for this ROM" error, no matter if I use a clean ROM or the VLDCX base...







Dan and Wakana - Nightmares Temple
Design and Execution: 30/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20
Overall: 69/100

Design and Execution:
This was hard to score. The quality flunctuates and the design is unfocused since it has too many different gimmicks and ideas. You have coin block bridges, light gimmicks, 1F0 key and springboard puzzles, water buoyancy puzzles, eater block shenanigans, random rompy areas, behind-the-net usage, etc. As a result, some parts were very meh (the invisible coin block bridging in general and the skull raft where you can just do nothing to bypass it), but at the same time, others were really cool, such as the L/R shell puzzle and the spin jumping light gimmick parts. This also leads to a level flow that's also all over the place, since some parts you can do quickly/easily while others are a bit of slow tightrope walking. It's also unfortunate that the ending area looks threatening but isn't complex or that interesting really.
I suggest focusing on fewer gimmicks and developing on them more; for example, I don't think the coin block bridges and some of the 1F0 key item babysitting puzzles are really needed as it's really not that impressive or fun. The water buoyancy parts are also not needed.
The secret exit route is a bit questionable since the eater block isn't that much of a threat, and there are a few too many bowser statues at the end. The way you need the block in the net area is cool but that's the only saving grace of it.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
I will say that because this level has so many different ideas, it's pretty creative design wise. At the same time though, due to this, it doesn't have enough space to develop each one of them, which is too bad. Aesthetically I will say it's pretty creative with the palette glow and architecture, and I like how both of its ending areas are presented.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The outside area looks great imo, but the indoor areas are still muddy in its colors. The detailing is also a bit much in the inside areas but it luckily wasn't that distracting. The dark areas in the secret exit are too dark though.








Guiga - UNFORSEEN CONSEQ. 1 (updated)
Design and Execution: 15/50 21/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 16/30 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20 14/20
Overall: 42/100 52/100

Design and Execution:
The design felt pretty typical. It's a rompy cave area followed by a series of skull raft rides. The vine part with the torpedo teds was kind of neat but too tight, and the part with the springboards and big sparky is too hard without taking a hit due to the ted generator. The sprite placements were alright overall though; I only suggest giving the player more space in the first half.
You kind of have a broken midpoint as well, since the midpoint entrance puts you in immediate danger of hitting the ball n' chain. It's also WAY before the actual midpoint.
The second half is pretty boring and empty, and only has spurts of fun here and there where it suddenly has a lot of things for you to deal with (first puntin' chuck comes to mind here). Skull raft rides are pretty hard to make fun all the way through I have to say.
The secret exit was decent since you need to feed a baby yoshi with all of the available enemies, but it was also a bit boring due to the backtracking. I also don't like how it's hidden behind invisible coin blocks with no super clear indication (the coins don't really help).
So yeah, I suggest giving more space in the first half, cutting the long stretches of nothingness in the second, and making the secret exit more interesting and easier to find. Also fix that midpoint entrance cause it's really hurting the score. Giving better indication of the podoboos also wouldn't hurt.

UPDATE: The midpoint issue is fixed, and the first half has not changed much. The big sparky area with the springboards is a lot better.
The empty lava room has drastically changed into a spotlight puzzle for the secret exit with a minor p-balloon segment. It's only slightly better than what you had before, though, since now the secret exit has problems.
It's a bit unfair that using the p-switch opens up brown blocks under the thwomps, where I jumped down thinking it's safe when it's not. It turns out that you need to find a shell to hit a vine block and THEN use the p-switch in order to create a thwomp bridge, which is probably too much item babysitting. I suggest putting light switch blocks under the thwomps and making the shell more accessible since it's finicky to transport it right now. It would also be better to use the shell sprite instead of a shell block so you don't have to wait for the koopa to pop out of it.
The spotlight effect is mostly for limiting your field of vision, which is a little bit interesting but not that impressive.
I did not like the use of a boo cloud in the secret exit. Boo clouds are VERY hard to use right, and if used wrongly just involves a lot of waiting. There were some areas where I could power through a bit, but it still felt too much, especially after all the trouble of going through the secret exit puzzle beforehand. The drop onto the key and keyhole is also kinda blind.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The most creative part of the level design wise was the baby yoshi segment, yet some of the sprite placements were a bit interesting. The skull raft segments were very typical though.
Aesthetically it feels like a poison mist cave, which is an alright atmosphere I suppose.

UPDATE: The spotlight cave puzzle is kinda creative and better than the yoshi puzzle since it encourages exploration, but it's not a big improvement here.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The lava is way too bright and does not contrast well at all with the background, and same goes for the podoboos (though it may be that the background is too bright anyhow). The secret area is nicer but the ghost enemies are a bit hard to notice since they are transparent. The detailing in the rocks and overall environment is okay and not distracting.

UPDATE: The green palette is a lot better, and the lava and podoboos look better too. It's not amazing but it works.








Master Lakitu - YOSHI'S ISLAND 1
Design and Execution: 8/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 4/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 3/20
Overall: 15/100

Design and Execution:
This didn't really do much. The first section has almost no threats while the second section is just jumping over a lot of enemies. The rock chucks don't add anything, and the only interesting part was the series of fire spewing piranha plants.
I guess the low time limit helps in making the player rush, but this whole level needs to be developed more.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Empty first part and a lot of enemy jumping in the second part doesn't lend to a lot of design creativity. The only thing it has going for aesthetic creativity is waking the souls of the desert..?

Aesthetics and Polish:
The orange foreground rocks look really bad and is missing shading. Everything feels hastily put together (giant cement block wall and weird palettes come to mind).








2dareduck - aerophobia
Design and Execution: DQ (10/50 with what's given)
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: DQ (22/30 with what's given)
Aesthetics and Polish: DQ (9/20 with what's given)
Overall: DQ (41/100 with what's given)

Design and Execution:
This is tragic; there is a dev door at the beginning of the level that leads to the exit, but after going through the main level and sublevel, the exit pipe leads to an endless bonus game. I can't really score it if the level is incomplete, and it would probably be disqualified if it were to be judged as is.
Taking what you have so far, this is actually kind of neat. No one uses those flying platforms, but you had some interesting setups with it with the level structure, saws, and parachuting enemies. However, the main drawback of this gimmick is that it's slow enough to necessitate a midpoint before the sublevel. Some of the actions you have to do is kind of tight as well due to the dirt block obstructing some jumps.
Speaking of the sublevel, it's a cool concept since you have to navigate around the falling environment using a flying block, but it's difficult to tell when to land and use the flying block even with coin guides. It's creative, but it's really hard to execute correctly. Maybe add some leniency here with go throughable platforms instead of solid platforms and remove a few munchers.
If the pipe at the end of that section led to the exit, and if there was a midpoint before that section, this level would be rated higher and not be DQ'd. But as is, it's way too hard to do in one go (and impossible because of that broken exit pipe).

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The level's design is very creative in its use of both flying platforms, saws, blocks, and enemies. Nearly every sprite had an interesting purpose. Aesthetically, it's a simple nighttime flight concept, which is alright.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The foreground dirt texture doesn't look that good, but I like the background and mushroom stalks. Some palettes on the wood need some work too.

Hey FrozenQuills, I really appreciate that you played my level and gave such good feedback. But that level is outdated, I completely reworked it. I posted the new version two days ago, but I didn't update my submission post yet, so I guess that's kinda my fault.
Originally posted by Guiga
Somehow I became dissatisfied again with the music (maybe because I played it too much while testing) so I might change it anytime I find a better one*¹, which is the reason why I'm not editing my submission post yet.

I got the new patch here for you if you wanna play it, it addresses all the issues you stated before except for the aesthetic concept. Link!
Originally posted by Guiga
Hey FrozenQuills, I really appreciate that you played my level and gave such good feedback. But that level is outdated, I completely reworked it. I posted the new version two days ago, but I didn't update my submission post yet, so I guess that's kinda my fault.
Originally posted by Guiga
Somehow I became dissatisfied again with the music (maybe because I played it too much while testing) so I might change it anytime I find a better one*¹, which is the reason why I'm not editing my submission post yet.

I got the new patch here for you if you wanna play it, it addresses all the issues you stated before except for the aesthetic concept. Link!

I've updated my judgement of the level, and added another one~
I have a couple of ideas on how to make my level a little more unique (biggest one being to nuke the shitty moving floor gimmick), but I doubt that I can win much creativity points. I'll try to fix the palettes too.

Thanks for the feedback!
Please review my level!
Broken Bridge Way

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*Insert witty footer here*
WhiteYoshiEgg - On The Bayou
Design and Execution: 40/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 22/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 19/20
Overall: 81/100

Design and Execution:
The design is well done. I like how the level is centered around moving platforms, and it manages to use it pretty well with baseball chucks of all things. However, I felt like there were too many baseballs around sometimes, but it's not a big deal.
The difficulty curve is also great as the 'piranha munchers' get more threatening as the level goes on, but nothing was too difficult. The dragon coins were also fun to find.
As a whole, there is not much majorly wrong with the design here, and it was all quite enjoyable. Great job.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Some of the platform setups were pretty creative, and the swampy environment itself is also creative. I felt like some of design creativity could have been pushed further, though; nothing was really wow worthy.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The palette work is beautiful. I also really like the canopy and foreground bushes, and nothing was in the way in terms of aesthetics. Awesome job here.








Wise Person - Broken Bridge Way
Design and Execution: 14/50 15/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 8/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 8/20
Overall: 30/100 31/100

Design and Execution:
The design is a bit mediocre. There were some platforming and enemies, and some of it was a bit interesting because you need to react after your jumps, but it was all pretty standard fare. I like your use of vines with some of the flying enemies, but it doesn't really get developed or revisited.
The second half has an eater block segment that doesn't really do much unless the player wants a dragon coin; I suggest making it have more of an impact. There is also a huge difficulty spike because you suddenly have fire spitting piranha plants and a hammer bro to deal with, which is very hard to overcome without taking a hit. I would redesign this part.
After that there are some turn block bridges and bullets which are just there, and then the level ends. The secret exit doesn't add anything new unfortunately.
So yeah, the design is unfocused and the difficulty progression is awkward. I suggest developing your level on a central gimmick, whether it is a certain enemy, the eater blocks, the vines, or a combination of them that get more complex as the level goes on. Right now, it feels pretty forgettable.

UPDATE: Well, you sort of got a focus now, but now the level is too short for the vine gimmick to be realized. The hammer bro part is still a random difficulty spike btw, and the secret exit still doesn't add much. Not much else has changed.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The vine and enemy combinations have potential design creativity but aren't really realized. The only aesthetic creativity are the bridges, which is not much to note.
Everything else is pretty standard.

Aesthetics and Polish:
It's vanilla SMW, so it's pretty average overall. Some of the level structure is a bit weird though.








levelengine - ROOM 1F0
Design and Execution: 28/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 28/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 71/100

GOAL SPHERE
Design and Execution:
This level starts off nice, but then the difficulty sorta snowballs in the second 'half'. Right off the bat we have some difficult obstacles with sparkies and dolphins which were sort of cool, and same with the platforming/rope segments in the sublevel after. It looks like you were trying to make a disco koopa in the first sublevel but it's very inconsistent and usually doesn't work, lol. I also think the design should be modified so that the ropes and platforms don't just immediately disappear after falling off the 1F0 tiles, which can be a bit unfair.
The second half is where things start getting cutthroat and long. The midpoint isn't really even in the middle of the level but rather the first third of it.
The first wall running part is questionable since you can barely see the kicker koopa on the bridge above that can get in the way.
The dolphin and layer 2 sublevel after is pretty strict in how it's supposed to be approached, and any mistake means getting hurt. The part before getting the p-switch is especially tough since there are hidden layer 2 spikes that rise up under the two dolphins. You should probably remove the layer 1 spikes and foreground in that part.
After that room the player needs to immediately react to the super fast platforms and stuff underneath it. This is also a bit unfair since you can only see the coin guides for a split second as the camera pans upward when you leave the pipe.
The vertical scrolling layer 2 room is pretty cool, but also difficult. I like how complex it gets, but I think after this part there should be a 1-up checkpoint since now is about 2/3rds of the way through the level.
The falling room is probably my favorite; trying to land on the various platforms while the autoscroll is falling is very cool.
I really don't like the wall run afterward though. I can see you want the player to stop and land on the falling platforms and then jump to get rid of the kicker koopas in the way, but no one's going to think to do that that fast. I also don't like how if you forget to keep running you need to backtrack through the rising and falling sections again.
The part with the number platforms afterward was kinda cool but too strict. Luckily it's easy to redo.
So yeah, the level starts off hard and only gets harder, and there are a few problems with the design. If this level had a 1-up checkpoint midpoint after the vertical climb I would rate this higher, but as is the second 'half' is too long and precise.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The design creativity with the dolphins, 1F0, line guides, and layer 2 sections are all incredible, really, even if it is all very hard. The falling section in particular is amazing. Furthermore, the super abstract diamonds, foreground, and background are also very interesting. Great job in terms of overall creativity.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The foreground looks really good, but the background feels too saturated. I think the background in the first half is way better than in the second 'half', but that's mostly because the bg in those sections are too bright and distracting with all the objects in the background. But overall, it's still pretty nice.


Review my level pls.
Use my level in Rules and submissions, don't use it from Youtube's link

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Click here to check out my CLDC entry (video)
Layout by Koopster
Mata Hari - Lava You Lots
Design and Execution: 29/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 17/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 58/100

Design and Execution:
This is a pretty nice level. I like the different paths you can take in the first section, and the level ramps up in difficulty appropriately with the skull raft rides, ball and chain placements, and tricky platforming. It's pretty rompy overall, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun.
The level can probably do a bit more in terms of obstacles in the first half since it feels empty right now. It could also do more with the different elevated paths so that the choices are more meaningful.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
I really like your use of parakoopas and chucks on the slope lava combined with the skull raft ride; I wish that was more developed. Otherwise, it's pretty typical in terms of design creativity, with a few level elements being a bit interesting.
The aesthetic environment in the first half is kind of creative due to all of the manmade structures over lava, and I like that concept a lot, actually.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The palettes in both halves of the level are only okay, and I think they could be improved with more experimentation. There's some cutoff with the wood columns but it's no big deal.








PMH - Area 51
Design and Execution: 16/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 7/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 8/20
Overall: 31/100

Design and Execution:
This is a pretty short rompy level. The enemy placements are mostly ok, with some even being a bit ambush-y and interesting, but the lightning guy and baseball chuck can easily be skipped over due to the cement blocks surrounding them. Unfortunately, there really isn't anything that stands out here except for the spotlight room, which doesn't really develop itself in terms of design or complexity.
I can see where you're trying to go with this level, but it just feels kind of there and unmemorable. I suggest trying to put in more meaningful enemy placements and making the level longer so you can develop more on a certain gimmick or design idea.


Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Some of the enemy placements were only very minimally creative (volcano lotuses, moles, flying platform + parakoopa), while the only thing that contributes to the area 51 feeling is the spotlight area. Both aspects of this can definitely be improved upon.

Aesthetics and Polish:
As vanilla SMW as you can get, so it's only average. There's blatant cutoff at the end of the spotlight room.








Hobz - CLAUSTROPHOBICLIMB
Design and Execution: 39/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 25/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 79/100

Design and Execution:
I've kinda already seen the earlier version of this with all the sublevels, but this works well without them.
The level presents a unique challenge of dodging fuzzies with the rope air climb glitch. It's very well done for the most part, and I like how new fuzzy elements are presented in the second half.
However, there are a few areas that I think are a bit much.
This part in the second half I think is harder than anything else in the level, because not only is it difficult to time, but if you try to go between the fuzzies where the cloud is, you risk standing on the cloud and getting hurt anyway.
This other part has a sorta blind muncher when approached from the top, even though the level trains you to drop down to get past some fuzzies, so it's a bit questionable.
Finally, this part when you try to get out of the water can be a bit awkward, since you climb a lot slower in the water than in the air. The speed change can catch you by surprise and it might be a bit too much to react. Jumping is also a bit strict here.
But besides these points, I really like how the gimmick and difficulty is executed, and it's fun to play as a result.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Almost no one uses the air climb glitch, so the design creativity is a given here. The water section in conjunction with the air climb glitch is also creative. I really like all the fuzzy replacements too, which contributes to aesthetic creativity.
The foreground and background is just vanilla smw, but it's still nice.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Colors and level structure presentation are great. The aesthetics are not amazing but they present the level's elements clearly.








moo_we_all_do - CAVE ISLAND
Design and Execution: 26/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 11/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20
Overall: 47/100

Design and Execution:
This is just like a normal SMW level, only that it encourages exploration for the dragon coins and moon. Interestingly, nearly all of the sprite placements have a significant purpose (the shell at the beginning makes the following koopas easier to overcome, the bats get in the way of marios jump, the spike tops allow you to get a dragon coin, etc.) which is quite neat. It's too bad that the level is pretty short and underdeveloped if you just run through it, but it's still kind of fun.
It's a very World 1 level, but it's nicely designed in terms of exploration.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
I like how some of the dragon coins are to be obtained; some are guarded by enemies while others you need to explore a bit to find. It's very simple design wise, but not too creative.
Aesthetics wise, I like how it feels like "SMW in review" with the sky, cave, and pipe sections, but it's kind of minimal.

Aesthetics and Polish:
It's SMW in all aspects, but well structured.








SilverSwallow - Dark Data Tower
Design and Execution: 27/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 62/100

Design and Execution:
There is a potentially great exploration level here, but it's marred by the aesthetics. It's very hard to see what's solid, what's a platform, what's a door, what hurts you, and what's empty space. The vertical 'windows' are the biggest offender of this since they look nonsolid, as well as the hurtful red lasers which don't look threatening enough (and it's kind of rude that they are right next to an item box). This level definitely needs more contrast between the foreground, sprites, and background.
I actually like the p-switch drop after the exploratory area; it's too bad it's only meaningful for a dragon coin though.
The sublevel after could use more space since it's difficult to manage the bony beetles and diagonal podoboos all together. The platform ride after, while it shows how you are bypassing the barrier, is kind of a waiting game.
I'm not sure if I like all the different types of projectiles coming out of those skull and crossbone boxes, and it can be a bit too hectic at times with all the baseballs, bullets, and footballs bouncing around.
The green dragon coin room is too cramped with all the gas bubbles and boos.
The elevator back up is ok, but it's not that exciting since you're mostly doing the same actions a few times.
And then the action music comes on and apparently the whole facility is being assaulted. Despite the music it all didn't seem that... exciting, unfortunately. It's more of the same climbing with the new projectiles and platforming added in.
The yoshi feeding area is hilariously easy to break since you can just stay in one place and toss yoshi up when the crossfire bullets appear.
So yeah, the quality kind of flunctuates but it's mostly just ok. I like the variety of enemies and the concept, but it's not well executed mostly because of tight spaces and hard to read aesthetics.
(BTW I can't find the secret exit anywhere, and looking in LM there is a keyhole but there's no good way to get to it..?)

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
There is a lot of aesthetic creativity here since the foreground, background, and sprites have all been replaced by other vanilla graphics. The 'story' with the blue yoshi is nice too.
The design creativity goes so far as the p-switch drop room, the projectile cannons, and the exploratory nature of the level, but it's nothing that impressive.

Aesthetics and Polish:
As I said before, even art wise, everything needs more contrast. Everything blends into each other right now, so even though it all looks potentially cool, it's not the best looking level.

Well SNN gave my level 60/100 so I guess I've got consistency on my side?? No but really I appreciate the critique.

I'm working on some tweaks which'll make it a little better hopefully. Hopeful Lee.
Thank you for playing! #w{=)}
Originally posted by FrozenQuills
Fan Judging My Level


Well, I tried to make the enemies have a purpose. About the same rocks, there is nothing I can really do about it, so it shouldn't that be a big deal. (Although, the mole-rock thing, maybe) Also, the second-half opinion you mentioned about item-baby-sitting isn't actually as annoying as you think or isn't actually item-baby-sitting AT ALL. It's suppose to be a couple puzzles. (Not actually intended to be a item-baby-sit thing) About the P-Balloon you either float below or above the Thwomps.

For the enemies have a purpose, I can't even tell other than just being obstacles.

The aesthetics score feels lower than it really should be for me. (I even been SMW Hacking for over 2 years now) I didn't work on my level daily.

--------------------
100% Orange Juice Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtA3xPP3TybfqSiEn1AcX2A

VLDC9 Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf1kPWkjcurtiP5de_-e6q0hSVrY37RB-.


can you hate my level pls?
Also you are a soft criticizer which I actually like, so keep it up!
Hi, I'm a signature!
Hack Thread
Hack Testing Status: Available.
Layout by Koopster.
Originally posted by MarkVD100
stuff
Looking back, I do agree that I was a bit too harsh there. I've updated the score so it's more consistent with the others, but I still don't like the design.






Strikeforcer - Lost Leafage
Design and Execution: 28/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 64/100

Design and Execution:
The design is alright; it feels rompy but there are a ton of brambles that the player needs to pay attention to in order to figure out safe spots. It's an interesting and different concept, but it feels a bit too overwhelming sometimes (the ending in particular is like this with all the enemies and tight spaces).
The branching paths in the first half are cool, but the vine route is a lot harder than the normal route unless you find the star, due to all the brambles everywhere.
Meanwhile, I like your use of conveyors, pokeys, and volcano lotuses, yet you tend to use the same setups over and over (throw blocks + pokey + volcano lotus on a conveyor), and complexity is only added with the bullet cannon placements, which can feel too hectic and precise sometimes. I suggest using fewer bullet cannons and focusing more on clever conveyor setups since they are VERY underutilized overall in levels, and tend to have a lot of potential.
I really question this part because it's very easy to hit the parakoopas with fire flower, the cannon is too 'in the way', and the bushes looks like there is ground underneath but there isn't. This should be redesigned.
Overall, the sprite placements are alright and the design is a bit interesting, but it could be executed better. TBH I really wished you focus on cooler conveyor setups because that has more a lot potential than the precise bramble-platform-jumping.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The aesthetic creativity is really neat; I'm not sure how you made the brambles, and the ruined city environment is amazing. The design on the other hand goes so far as the bramble jumps and conveyor setups which, as I mentioned before, got repetitive and ultimately not creative enough.

Aesthetics and Polish:
I think it wouldn't hurt to differentiate the foreground from the background more (especially the parts with the brick background). Overall though, I like all the structures you've presented and the palette is great imo. There are cutoff ropes but that's not a big deal.








Wii2 - Golden Bone Mine
Design and Execution: 24/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 11/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20
Overall: 46/100

Design and Execution:
This feels just like a normal SMW level, only with way more enemy variety than usual. The sprite placements and platforming are all pretty typical and alright for the most part.
The autoscroller acts as added complexity in the second half but it feels empty sometimes; you can probably add a few more obstacles there.
The secret exit involves finding a p-switch for a p-switch run, but I don't like how being big mario makes it harder to get to the secret exit.
So yeah, this was a bit fun but very average in design. There's nothing really wrong with it but it doesn't bode well in a contest with more impressive entries.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Not much was creative design wise since a lot of the gameplay is just jumping over enemies. I guess the hopping fish was a bit interesting. The golden bones and minor details here and there are the only contributors for aesthetic creativity.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Once again we have normal SMW aesthetics, only with golden bones. Not much else to say here.








M A R I O W O R L D - #1 LUDWIG'S DOMAIN
Design and Execution: DQ/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: DQ/30
Aesthetics and Polish: DQ/20
Overall: DQ/100

wrong contest sorry
Everything is way too precise and kaizo-ish. It doesn't matter if you spam capes in the first section if the rest of the level is too hard.
Also I'm pretty sure those square cement blocks aren't vanilla. Well, IDOL informed me that it IS possible, but I highly doubt that you pulled it off here.
yo i'll trade you reviews
Originally posted by S.N.N.
yo i'll trade you reviews

(oh right, I need to update my level too)
Let me update my submission first, and I'll let you know when you can review it lol.
http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/30773/BBW.bps


Use V5 Now.

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*Insert witty footer here*
S.N.N. - Wetsuit Columns
Design and Execution: 42/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 28/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 15/20
Overall: 85/100

Design and Execution:
I've already played through a similar version of this, but I like the changes you've made. The first half is now easier and I love the springboard puzzle, and the second half can be quite hard and complex with the platform herding. I still think that the layer 2 variable scrolling in the first section is still a bit too tricky to predict with some of the bouncing chucks and structures (which can make jumps like this pretty deceiving since the water is farther away than it actually is), but I like how it's executed anyway.
This part in the second half might be too hard to figure out and execute without getting hit, since you need to jump from the vines onto a one block tile and then onto the already falling platform. I first tried to climb to the right side of the vines to make those jumps easier, but that causes the platform to fall down too fast. Maybe making that one block tile two blocks would help.
The dolphin rooms are still great, though the first one was more impressive than the second since the second one spells it out for you.
The secret exit is much better than what you had before, btw. Trying to get the goomba across while staying alive is very cool and interesting.
As a whole, this level is very well designed yet difficult all around, with only a few minor design flaws here and there.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Nearly every part of this level is very creative design wise. It's too bad that now the second dolphin room is the least impressive room, but at least the secret exit is fantastic now.
I like some of the structures you have aesthetics wise, which aren't amazing but it works. The majority of the score here came from the design creativity, really.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Is it strange that I think the colors you had in the first version were better? I mean, the graphics and colors are still ok and it's clear to tell what's what, but I can only call it pretty good overall.
I'm not sure if I like the different shades of blue and purple in the foreground when combined with everything else.








E-man38 - BUBBLY HEIGHTS
Design and Execution: 35/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20
Overall: 69/100

Design and Execution:
This is pretty well designed. The level introduces the bubble gimmick nicely and the enemies were well placed throughout the level. There is also a clear difficulty curve where the poisonous bubbles, fishes, spinies, and lakitus became more threatening as the level went on.
Sometimes when you enter a sublevel you are immediately swimming because you are in a bubble, but it's not obvious because the only easy way to tell are the bubble edges. It's a bit jarring, but that's a minor gripe.
I feel like it could have gotten more interesting and engaging with the obstacle/bubble setups, and it does get a bit repetitive, but what's present is moderately fun to play around. As a result, the design and execution overall is good, but not amazing.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The bubbles are an interesting way to have floating water mechanics. I really like how they were used in conjunction with the bubble fishes and spinies, but it was only moderately creative. The swampy graphics are kinda neat as a whole.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Foreground and background graphics are fine, the stuff in the dirt is a bit much but okay, and the colors are alright.








MaxMaxMaxVidya - Heavenward Plinths
Design and Execution: 7/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 14/20
Overall: 35/100

GOAL SPHERE
Design and Execution:
(I'm assuming the level is the left one)
This level doesn't know where it's going. It's very unfocused in terms of the obstacles it presents and it gets way too hectic and long in the second half.
I had to run and jump several times in order to reach the p-switch in the first half since I wasn't sure how else to get it. Otherwise it's only decent in execution overall.
The second half leads into a castle for some reason, with a blind drop onto a green springy thing. Near the end there's a net part, but if you hug the left wall trying to grab it, you can't due to how nets work.
The pink area is too hectic with the projectiles everywhere. There is also another blind drop onto a volcano lotus right at the beginning. I'm also not sure why the time gets reset to a low value here.
The red area is also too much to deal with. The player is inevitably going to trigger the fishing lakitu, which creates an offscreen lakitu if you go too far down (and we all know how well that can end up). The parabombs only add to how difficult everything is, and I don't like the almost blind one tile platforming near the end.
So yeah, this level has a lot of problems in execution, due to blind drops, unfocused direction, and areas that are just too hard near the end.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The dirt formations and bridge-like structures have some aesthetic creativity, but it's not well organized. The level presents a lot of variety in terms of design but it's mostly just typical sprite setups.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The palettes and backgrounds look really nice in the pink and red areas. The foreground is sort of interesting but it can be difficult to tell if you can stand on some structures due to all the dirt and bridge formations.
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [FAN JUDGE] quills says things about levels (requests done post-deadline at this point)

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