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[Non-Level] What made you want to make your VLDCX level like it is?
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [Non-Level] What made you want to make your VLDCX level like it is?
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Pretty much a clone of this thread because I felt it was relevant. It was also a good time to make this thread since, well, everyone has the final version of their levels out and judging has begun.

I for one just wanted to use everything I learned in the past year + 3 months in one single level to make a vanilla level as fun as possible, and I had a really good time. I didn't do anything too crazy, but I did want to make something that was challenging. All the fan judges helped me improve it greatly, too.

But enough about me, I guess. What made you want to make your VLDCX level like it is?
i was going for MOST MEMORABLE LEVEL

My vldc level was based on an idea for an atmospheric exploration based level where you traveled through a crystalline city of the dead (well, of elementals/spirits, I was going for a sparky/etc. aesthetic originally) above the clouds. Originally, this was going to be the second half of a level, after riding up through the clouds in the cage sprite. However, the cage's crappy behavior in-game lead me to decide to focus on the city part.
The original concept of the city was to have multiple tiles which triggered events in the level, not just the creating/eating stuff as well - but due to janky eating block behavior where it'd eat other blocks, I ended up having to disable sprite interaction on layer 2 to make it work. This inspired the design of the level with patrolling sprites, but to be honest, I could have done a lot more with better sprite choices.
And, well, other kinds of block triggers didn't work out. I couldn't really do the "layer 2 x when touched" trigger anymore (which would have looked cool with the ground sliding out), and in general all of the little level gimmicks didn't work well on the same screen. (for instance, if layer 2 moves, I can't use the semitransparent layer 2 overlay).
Speaking of which, I didn't use that well in the level at all, outside of it looking cool. The waterfalls used to block mario jumping while inside them, but that behavior was super janky so I ended up cutting it.
The level was also originally planned to be daytime normally, and have a secret exit where you change the level to night. This secret exit would utilize a reskinned swooper death ceiling, and rising layer 2 which pushes the player up into danger. No idea what it would have been like.

I uh. I didn't actually manage to pull any of the original idea off, and the end result is a little embarrassing sadly. I can only hope I clean my act up by next year.
Blarggs are underused as hell
I wanted to give Dragon Coins purpose.
Layout by Erik557
Because scale platforms+layer 2
A long time ago...

The results to VLDC7 were posted.

It was my first VLDC. How'd I do?

81st. out of 82 entries. SECOND TO LAST.

I was pissed off, though they were right- The secret was next to impossible to find if you didn't know where it is, and the timer was way too short (200 seconds! I meant to set the timer to 999, but I submitted the wrong version!) So... yeah.


Really? I get that I got world worst, but... You couldn't have picked a better overworld? It's insult to injury. The ear-splitting music doesn't help matters.

A few months ago...

VLDCX was announced. I had missed VLDC8/9, but I would not miss this one. It was a milestone, and I was determined to make a good level. I would redeem myself.

I was determined to make a unique one, one that no one else would think of making Vanilla. I am extremely familiar with what can/can't be done vanilla (I don't do chocolate), so I knew that'd work to my advantage.

It would have to work with map16. But, I couldn't edit pages 1/2, so I'd have to keep thinking.

That night, an idea hit me... AN RPG LEVEL! I had recently figured out a bit about sprite memory, so I knew how to do it. I knew no one else would try to do something so unorthodox, if they even thought of it, so it was the perfect idea.

Early february?

Contest opened. But, I was busy with school. I decided to put off starting it, as I had 2 months. But, I didn't put off planning.

Eventually, I planned to include cut scenes, because I planned to make Mario fighting Yoshi, and that needed a reason. I needed it to stay serious, so I created a plot about a famine on Yoshi's Island, leading to Yoshi making a deal with Bowser.

The rest of the level would complement that.

two weeks before deadline

I had no choice; I HAD to start making the thing. I was busy... but I had to find time. I put the ROM in the custom music folder, so I could add custom music later, though I would work with the vanilla music ATM to create it.

The level was mostly planned out, though the lack of sublevels and map16 caused me to conserve wherever I could.

I've had bad experiences with secondary entrances, so I wanted to avoid them if I could (though, I know how to use them now). That left only the main and midway entrances of each level to work with.

However, I discovered a small bug: if the level is set to "00 no music", it plays the music from the previous room. That meant that I could have two areas share a sublevel, and have different music, which was a huge help.

By now, I posted the thread.

A few days later...

I got the minimum submit-able level done. One attack, few bumps, but it worked.

Though, I never officially submitted this version, I only put it in my thread; even I knew it was unfinished.

One week before deadline

The submission thread is filling up. But, I did submit my level. I had fixed some issues, and I was proud of it.

Next, I would try to get fan judges to test it, because that was a big problem back in VLDC7- had I gotten even one judge to test, I would've caught those issues beforehand. I would not make that mistake again.

Glad I did- They caught that the attacks were boring & it wasn't clear how to advance cut scenes. I would've lost points had I not fixed that.

deadline approaches...

Final version submitted.


Looking at the list of entries, I think I'll do well. Not exactly World Best, but far from World Worst.

I'm happy with my submission. :)

EDIT: it's 097 if anyone's wondering.

Want to see my Super Mario Timeline?
I used the spring glitch as the main gimmick in my level because:

1. The spring glitch is very underused. I've never seen a level that put the spring glitch to its full potential before, so I decided to make one.

2. I wanted my level to be unique in the contest. (Though, worldpeace and SomeGuy712x's entries also have a clever usage of that).
In my case, it was an attempt to make an interesting absurdly hard level (something you would see in VIP endgame). I really liked "woah radicola" (especially its puzzle level aspect), but I felt like it was too punishing, so I made it possible to experiment with everything in a level without having to die.

I don't expect most people to enjoy this level, but there are people that liked that level while testing it.

Legacy ports zip (now that those went down because Dropbox)
i was really into my level concept
Wanted to make a steampunk sorta level and threw underwater physics at it because why not tbh
My level´s story in a nutshell:

my aim:
a miserable little pile of secrets.

my level:
a creative little pile of Mega Moles.


I wanted to try something more athletic, and when I listened to the music I used for my level the idea kind of just came to mind and I thought it'd be lots of hype. I got even more excited when I thought of the boss and how well it'd fit my idea.

Edit: oh yeah, and after judging for 24hosmw 10 I grew quite fond of some of SMW's level design philosophies, so I wanted to try something out with them in mind.
Hina's previous year entry (applies to every year)
I tried to make a level based on Ganbare Goemon, hence why it's called Twistical Shinobi = Mystical Ninja


Have a frost day~
Puyo Maguro World Creator
I always wanted to use RednGreen's Celestial Fight in a level I always had the atmosphere already set for. While I'm not particularly fond of how the level itself turned out . . . I think I at least managed to do what I wanted atmosphere-wise.
LINKS Twitter | YouTube | SoundCloud | Fortaleza Reznor
to hear birds and see none.
Mostly wanted to see how people (read: judges) would react to a level that has basically no design at all.
I wanted to use the buoyancy glitch, but I had a few other gimmicky ideas in mind and the best way to utilize it was space, plus spaceships are really cool.
I wanted to make something harder and more eventful than my VLDC9 level.

I also wanted to prove that it is indeed possible to make crystals, waterfalls and water bubbles that don't look terrible within the graphical restrictions imposed by The Rules™.

The level may be trash, but I'm certain I succeeded in the doing latter.

Implying I planned my level design in advance instead of just placing random garbage everywhere at the last minute

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [Non-Level] What made you want to make your VLDCX level like it is?

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