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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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idol - Sandy Seafood
Design and Execution: 42/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 27/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 18/20
Overall: 87/100

Design and Execution:
Hahah this was pretty great!
The dolphins and urchins were used amazingly, and everything flowed well with a clear difficulty curve. I also liked the use of autoscroll and thwimps in the second half.
My few issues are that this part seemed a bit tight and difficult to do early on in the level, and that this part seemed easy to mess up if you're not fast enough (also those two thwimps on the left can nick you sometimes when you're trying to get down).
But none of the issues I had were major issues, and everything is well done. I also enjoyed the sublevels for the dragon coins.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Diagonal urchins, dolphins in lava, dolphin lakitus, those silly thwimps... there is obviously a lot of creativity here. I also loved the background and foreground aesthetics, which contributes to aesthetic creativity.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The tileset and colors look super nice, and I love the foreground iron bars. I think the clean cement blocks could be a bit more defined from the background though.

SuperWeirdo - Mario's Relocation
Design and Execution: 9/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 13/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 5/20
Overall: 27/100

Design and Execution:
You probably shouldn't change the default message text from the VLDCX base rom in the intro, since that's the only way the judges will know if the level has a secret exit, dragon coins, or moon.
But anyway, this level is kind of a mess. It's very easy to accidentally kill yourself at the beginning with the shell, and the cramped spaces don't mesh well with the bullet generator. It's also very easy to lose your powerup or throw block, both of which are necessary to progress.
The sublevel after has a lot of awkward jumps like this where it's very easy to die, and the "mini challenge rooms" are either too cramped for it to be fun or too easy to cheese, where you can just sit in a corner and wait. The spike tops parts were a bit boring since the bullet generator and enemies aren't much of a threat, and the ending rush with layer 2 is a big mess: there's NO time to react, and the saws can get you super unfairly since they fall so fast.
So yeah, this level has difficulty spikes all over the place, and felt very awkward to play overall.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The falling platform segments and challenge rooms have some creativity, but it's not really that noteworthy.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The colors are bad, and the aesthetics are very messy overall. Details don't help if they are not organized well e.g. the background.

Design and Execution: 32/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 14/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 16/20
Overall: 62/100

Design and Execution:
Pretty typical but atmospheric water level.
It's not really memorable in its setups, but it pulls off a SMW-like level well. It really reminds me of Vanilla Fortress actually, with better aesthetics.
There aren't really any issues with it; it's just that in a contest with a lot of unusual and neat entries, it will likely have trouble standing out. The p-switch run with the throw block propeller is probably the most interesting part of this level.
Nonetheless, great job pulling off a pretty nice water level since no one tries to make them nowadays.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The sprites were placed pretty well, and I like the p-switch run.

Aesthetics and Polish:
I really like the blue colors, and the aesthetics don't get in the way of the design.

Design and Execution: 11/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 11/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 3/20
Overall: 25/100

Design and Execution:
This level is extremely unfocused and not well executed.
I never understood what was going on with the level. It has torpedo ted + shell setups that don't do much, nonsensically placed dolphins, glitchy sprites, a messy tide level where all you have to do is spin jump on porcupuffers, a castle where you need to babysit a mushroom, a bunch of goal points you need to avoid, and finally a really annoying dolphin spawning section with blind sections due to the camera scrolling upwards.
As a result, the design is pretty nonsensical, and while most parts were playable, the last section is pretty bad. I suggest focusing on fewer ideas and having a more central theme.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
It strangely has some design creativity, but it's not much.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The aesthetics range from 'vanilla SMW' to 'glitchy sprites and bad palettes'.

Vantastic - Secrets of Yoshi
Design and Execution: 7/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 8/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 11/20
Overall: 26/100

Design and Execution:
Note: Your level doesn't actually have a secret exit and there are only 3 dragon coins.
This is a very short and rompy level overall. There isn't much to note in terms of design and setups except for maybe feeding the blue yoshi so that you can find a moon, and while the level doesn't do anything wrong, it's too short and underdeveloped to be average or good.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
Not much is there in terms of creativity all around, except for maybe the yoshi.

Aesthetics and Polish:
Vanilla SMW pretty much.

yo can you rereview the aesthetic score in my level? That's the only thing I changed in the update but if you want to play and rescore all of it, go ahead. Thanks in advance!
MM102 and Renhoek - Down Monty Mountain
Design and Execution: 38/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 23/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 19/20
Overall: 80/100

Design and Execution:
Please be sure to include resources in your submission since there's only a bps right now (mwls, graphics, music, map16, etc.)
This was pretty fun! It's a bit rompy but I like how the mega moles and rotating platforms were used. I also like how there's a clear progression of both theme and design.
My few issues are that sometimes you can't see the spikes due to the scrolling fog in the background, and that getting on the moles after suddenly "releasing them" is a bit jarring, which might benefit from just showing the eater block releasing the mole anyway.
It also has a neat set of gimmicks, but doesn't expand upon them in incredible ways. I did like releasing the moles from hitting the turn blocks though.
So yeah, this is a very well designed level that could benefit from more engaging setups, but it's still quite fun and simple overall.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The aesthetic creativity is really nice with the pine trees, light rays, and snowy landscapes. Most of the design creativity came from the mega mole usage.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The tileset, background, and aesthetic effects are really beautiful. I only docked a point because the fog can hide the spikes sometimes lol.

Mr. Pixelator - Sizzle-Rock Cliffs
Design and Execution: 27/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 15/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 12/20
Overall: 54/100

Design and Execution:
This is a pretty typical and rompy level overall.
The first half is mostly jumping over gaps with a skull raft ride in a cave. The swooper placements are kind of interesting, and I like how the skull rafts got smaller.
The second half is a bit more actiony with the muncher fire everywhere, with most of the challenge coming from rock chucks and dodging parakoopas.
The thing is though, is that while all of this works as a normal level, it doesn't really do much in terms of design progression or have that many interesting setups.
As for the secret exit, I think you should point out where you need to use the blue POW better, because I had trouble finding where to use it. I also question the use of the boo cloud in the secret exit cave since it was a bit annoying to navigate.
Anyway, this had pretty much okay execution.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The aesthetic creativity is sort of there with the fire graphics and terrain, and the design creativity is a bit minimal. I think the skull raft part was the most interesting design wise.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The level looks okay overall, though the colors on the fire graphics look messed up. You also don't need to change the music in every sublevel; I think the fire theme works fine for most of them.

I don't wanna spam every fan judges threads but I am really desperate would really appreciate feedback for my level seeing as I'm super constrained for time now u-u'.

Impetus - Elemental Heavens
Design and Execution: 22/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 20/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 13/20
Overall: 55/100

Design and Execution:
This was a weird one.
So I get the whole hidden passageway gimmick, but the level is already pretty hard right from the get-go. There's some weird sparky hopping you can do at the beginning in order to get a 1-up and mushroom which wasn't really worth it.
The line ride has a few awkward jumps due to how things are arranged (dodging big sparkies above you is pretty hard, and the munchers require jumping at the last possible second). The dry bones didn't add anything to it as well since the bones fly by way too late.
Then you need to open a passageway and dodge some sparkies, but it's difficult to gauge where the ceiling is, and it's pretty hard to get out since it's unclear which blocks are solid and which aren't.
There are some cool looking saw setups with sparkies a bit later, but I managed to hit some invisible coin blocks with outlines you can barely see.
I'm not sure what was going on in the second half with the saw setups and platforms at first. Apparently you need the platform to follow you all the way through, which is pretty unclear since you give means to bypass the yellow blocks you need to step on. There are also like three saws and a bunch of lines that are difficult to see coming when you're escorting the platform.
I don't know why there's a star, but I guess it's to make escorting easier?
Then there's some simple positioning you have to do on the platform and one more barrier to remove, and it just ends.
I think the main problem with this level is that there's no good sense of direction or progression for the player. It looks like a jumble of landmasses, lines, and blocks with seemingly no rhyme or reason, but there are definitely things the player needs to do in order to progress. It's seemingly creative, but I don't think it's well executed.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The eater block gimmick sort of works, but it's a bit minimal since you're just removing barriers for yourself or the platform most of the time. The saw and sparky setups look interesting.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The level has the potential to look really nice, but the landmasses, blocks, and lines make it look messy. The background could probably be better distinguished from the foreground.
The MARIO in the status bar is messed up too.
That's... Fair. I really wish I hadn't left things so late so I could just start fresh with a new level idea but I'm all in on this one so I'll try to fix some of the issues for players as well as I can, thanks!

and then if i did leave myself with more time to make a fresh level maybe i'd have done as well as idol lol
underway - Forest Level
Design and Execution: 5/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 28/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 20/20
Overall: 53/100

Design and Execution:
This isn't a level, but rather an experience.
There are almost no enemies and the level carries its entire weight through a dark atmosphere and story.
Unfortunately, while this is all very interesting from a creative perspective, there's almost nothing to note in terms of interesting gameplay.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
The story and artistic details greatly contribute to aesthetic creativity, at least in this case.

Aesthetics and Polish:
The atmosphere and aesthetics are spot on, and it's very polished.

Thanks for the review, that was a lot sooner than I was expecting (also a lot more points than I was expecting lol).
Next year I really hope you make a level level. This & 'the are alright, but I personally feel you could do so much better if you put more focus on gameplay rather than story.
Layout by Erik557
Hey I updated my level once again, could you give it a replay? Very few of the original rooms survived.
Originally posted by FrozenQuills
Design and Execution: 5/50
This is something I was really interested to see. Obviously from the perspective of a platformer, yeah the lack of enemies and pits and other obstacles makes it poorly designed. But from a purely design-focused stance, it's hard to make the case that this level is a 5/50. I mean, the design decisions made are deliberate and the level's terrain is varied and offers a lot of different ways of getting to the end. It creates a coherent experience crafted with a narrative that's complimented by the gameplay. I think that objectively it's well designed, just not a very fun platforming adventure.

I'm curious if the judges will take the same stance you did on it.
Presumably they will lol

Originally posted by Wind Fish
Next year I really hope you make a level level. This & 'the are alright, but I personally feel you could do so much better if you put more focus on gameplay rather than story.

Fyi I only started doing this kind of work because I legitimately hate trying to make traditional hacks, plus it's not like there's not already an abundance of those out there, no need for me to add to the clutter [clarification: I'm not saying traditional hacks are bad or don't have a place, all I'm saying is that in my opinion there is already an abundance of them compared to more diverse kinds of projects].
If it was a contest that's more around "making a good game" rather than "making a good vanilla mario level", then underway's score would be quite different.

allowiscous - NEO REZTOPIA TOWER
Design and Execution: 40/50
Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity: 26/30
Aesthetics and Polish: 17/20
Overall: 83/100

Design and Execution:
The updates pretty much makes this a new level.
The level as a whole feels way more like a series of different trials now, and each room is very different from each other. I think it changed for the better though.
Even though it has less focus in terms of obstacles, it has a pretty apparent difficulty curve, and it's pretty fun.
However, there are a few issues:
The swoopers on floor 25 don't contribute that much, since the falling platforms make you jump over them anyway.
Floor 40 as a whole wasn't that interesting, since it was mostly just jumping over a bunch of janky pencils that can weirdly affect your momentum.
Floor 85 has too little time to react at the beginning (it'd be a lot better if you just move the spawnpoint higher).
I really like floor 80, 90, and 55 though.
So yeah, the level sacrifices focus for creativity, and I think it worked out well since it still plays well.

Design Creativity and Aesthetic Creativity:
While some of the rooms are creative, most aren't that incredible or leave room for complexity. Nonetheless, it has some creative design and aesthetics.

Aesthetics and Polish:
I still feel that the dark blue columns can blend with the foreground columns too well, but I like the aesthetics quite a bit.

Dude, you're fast. Thanks, I really appreciate the updated review!
I think aristocrat won the worst level contest.

*Insert witty footer here*
Originally posted by underway
Fyi I only started doing this kind of work because I legitimately hate trying to make traditional hacks, plus it's not like there's not already an abundance of those out there, no need for me to add to the clutter.

Thing is, with your visual style you could easily make a traditional level or hack unique. In fact, if you had ever finished RISE, I believe it probably would have been up there with the most talked about hacks. I find it a shame you don't like working on that kinda stuff, considering it all started with SMW, which is a very traditional game itself.
Layout by Erik557
hey sorry for being an annoyance but I updated my level yet again (link as usual) and I want to see if the changes I did actually improved it.

Thanks for all of the feedback you gave, btw. :)
Thanks for the review!

Originally posted by FrozenQuills

Now that I make a concerted effort to hit that ? block, it is indeed awkward. ? block removed.

A big problem I found was in the second half, where the brown blocks didn't appear after entering the reset door when the POW is pressed, which is strange.

That's strange, but I suppose it's not even necessary that they be coins that turn into brown blocks. I've replaced them with the blue dot platforms and it's fine now.

The skull rafts weren't that interesting as everything else unfortunately. The secret exit also felt tacked on.

Yeah, I think I'm going to get rid of the secret exit path and change the last few screens of the normal exit path.

I think I'm going to make some changes to to the palettes and make the ground more interesting. I knew about the broken background, and after a lot of struggle I was finally able to fix it.
User: Hinalyte / ID: 1553 ~ loading kotori.css
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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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