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VLDCX - New Leaders, the Overworld, & World X.

thats why i said that the community should voice their own alternative ideas for dealing with judge levels #fim{>:)}
i know i dont personally care about progression at all and will always start best world at first place and work my way down because im looking for the optimized best experience possible, which naturally shifts to a front-heavy bias (this is also likely why i give up on vldc comps once best world is done and im left to play the rest of the levels). I admittedly dont have a good answer for the best way to deal with judge levels; the idea i feel strongest about is placing them in the overworlds their themeing would place them if they entered the contest.

People using the judge's levels as a way to balance the validity of their scores is something i am absolutely against, and dont see a way to work around beyond educating every single player on the difference between objectively analyzing art and being expected to objectively create on those same standards. That's why I'm okay with them being separated by the contest, while also addressing the hypocrisies of doing so. bleh
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madeulook
Veck, I'm not sure what you mean (if that was directed at the judge level topic). Levels that the judges have made shouldn't be treated as "better" than the other levels by default, but locking them away kind of creates the sense that they are.
I'm super down with having a "best of" compilation. There were lots of great levels, and it would be sweet to have them all in one rom.
Judge levels should be included, I mean, they put tons of work into this contest and they should have the opportunity to take part in level design as well. To me, it doesn't matter if you have to unlock them, or if there is simply a "judge world".

Honestly the idea of having only top tier levels sounds pretty nice. Flashy overworld and stuff isn't necessary imo.
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Originally posted by white_moth
I'm super down with having a "best of" compilation. There were lots of great levels, and it would be sweet to have them all in one rom.
Judge levels should be included, I mean, they put tons of work into this contest and they should have the opportunity to take part in level design as well. To me, it doesn't matter if you have to unlock them, or if there is simply a "judge world".

Honestly the idea of having only top tier levels sounds pretty nice. Flashy overworld and stuff isn't necessary imo.


The issue? Where do you draw the line between a "good" and "bad" level? Too strict, legitimate good levels are lumped with the garbage. Too lenient, levels with little effort could sneak their way in. And that's assuming design is linear good/bad, which it's not. Plus, there's no way of knowing which until the results come out, but selecting the cutoff after that will get some people (particularly those *just* below the cutoff) pissed. So, I don't see a great way to do this.

I'm not sure "top 50 scores/top 90 scores/top 30 scores" is a great idea. It's possible that OK levels which are worth playing could fall below (for reasons such as bad aesthetics) while meh levels could make it into the compilation for the opposite reason.

So, just use the level design score? Even then... The point is, if we're going to do a "Best of," we need to be careful how we pick who gets in and who doesn't.

Also, keep in mind that everything I said would be void if we told everyone from the beginning that not everything would make it into the collab; because the criteria for the collab were changed retroactively, we need to be careful how we do it.
Want to see my Super Mario Timeline?
Originally posted by natnew
The issue? Where do you draw the line between a "good" and "bad" level?
We've judged the contest to answer this question. Maybe we'll be the one to decide a good region.
Originally posted by natnew
I'm not sure "top 50 scores/top 90 scores/top 30 scores" is a great idea. It's possible that OK levels which are worth playing could fall below (for reasons such as bad aesthetics) while meh levels could make it into the compilation for the opposite reason.

So, just use the level design score? Even then... The point is, if we're going to do a "Best of," we need to be careful how we pick who gets in and who doesn't.

... no? Aesthetics and anything else are all a part of a level experience and will absolutely all stay a part of it.
It's going to be top x scores and nothing else. What number x is can be discussed of course, but might not be very viable until results are out and judges can give us an estimate for where levels stop being amazing.
Of course, 50 is a nice round number so we could just go with that as well. Would be the most "objective".

Originally posted by natnew
Also, keep in mind that everything I said would be void if we told everyone from the beginning that not everything would make it into the collab; because the criteria for the collab were changed retroactively, we need to be careful how we do it.

This would moreso be an issue if we had a choice. If we had a choice and chose to cut out the majority of entries after the full collab being advertised, yeah, that'd be unfair and I would understand complaints about that.
But it's not a choice, so we'll just have to handle it how we think it'd make for the best result pretending that this was always the plan.
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Judge levels should be mixed in with the entries in each world. The climax of the game should be 1st place, not some hodgepodge of above average quality levels
Originally posted by natnew
Also, keep in mind that everything I said would be void if we told everyone from the beginning that not everything would make it into the collab


Originally posted by Vitor Vilela in the rules thread
Participating in this contest does not guarantee that you will also make it to the final collab hack. We may remove any level from the collab or make it skippable as we see fit.
I'm alright with the idea of top xx levels collab. Simple and at least it means we end up getting something to play out of this. Boo-hoo your level wasn't good and didnt make the cut. Mediocrity doeesn't always have to be rewarded people.

Also, I'm sorry and I understand why the wait time has been so long, but 8 months of waiting for results is just ridiculous. You guys had somewhat of a deadline and it wasn't even remotely met. If people submitting entrees have a deadline their supposed to meet than I at least expect the judges to meet their to a reasonable degree. At this point I have barely any interest in even seeing the end result.
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
The initial judging deadline was ridiculously short considering how many levels there were to play. I personally think it's understandable that it took this long, specially considering two of the judges started playing later on.
Originally posted by RZ1
If people submitting entrees have a deadline their supposed to meet than I at least expect the judges to meet their to a reasonable degree.

This is an atrocious comparison. Nobody would have given a shit if you had missed your "deadline". Judges are actually under pressure and have a tremendous amount more work than anyone entering.
I understand that the original deadline was short. That's why I said a reasonable degree.

I mean 4/6 judges were done judging 2 months ago, and the other 2 were fairly close. The lack of communication and random holdupa just make for an annoying wait on a lot of people, and I stand by my points.
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
What kind of communication did you expect to see other than the one already provided ("one more judge just finished")? Did you like, want to see judges' entry count periodically so that people started annoying the shit out of them for taking too long when they got irl matters to deal with let alone the already immense pressure of going through 180 levels full of mediocrity and unreasonable length all in a timely manner?

By the way, there are 5 judges, of which 2 were replacements. If we still had 4 judges remaining back then in the first place we wouldn't have gone looking for replacements, but as you can see, the amount of stress and work was so gargantuan that it killed not 1, not 2, but 3 of our initial 6 judges.
Originally posted by RZ1
I stand by my points.

I mean sure you do you but I have to say I want to understand what thought process could have possibly led you to believe that designing 1 (one) trash level is at all comparable to playing through and writing coherent and meaningful comments about 180 of them.
The same kind of thinking that a lot of people who lack understanding have; the kind of thinking most middle schoolers have because they're currently under the impression that the world revolves around them, not that they revolve around the world. Some people do not think before asking a question, they refuse to read the rules or take a look at the FAQ, which for the most part will answer most questions a person will have. Other's don't take the time of others into consideration with this or that.

It's reasonable to ask, yes; but if something isn't being shown, it's also reasonable to assume that a problem or hindrance has developed.
So as someone who regularly plays VLDC and has no interest in this community nor its interests or politics, can I toss in my two cents? I haven't read the entire spiel but I've read enough to know what's going on. Feel free to let me know if I repeat anything.

First off I'm neither surprised nor disappointed VLDCX is not coming out. But as someone who has been playing VLDCs since the 8th one (or the 7th whatever) I do appreciate the effort that goes into them. However, it is not the main reason why I've had an interest in them, or VLDCX. The compilation is just a nice delivery method for me to play all the levels with no fuss or effort, and the aesthetics that go into making the compilation hack special is something I do like, but is ultimately secondary to the submissions themselves.

So if there's one thing I was not happy with, it's how long it took the guys behind VLDCX to make up their mind on what to do with their contest. And so begins my takes on the many points of interest this cancellation has brought up.

First off, I understand perfectly that a strong development team made up of a bunch of hobbyists is very rare. It's even rarer to take a group of people and make a productive team out of them. I mean that's all skills that just making and/or moderating a level design contest doesn't just magically grant to people. However I can't be completely accepting of how this went. I mean come on. It's been how many years? 5? 6? Everyone has a life to tend to but that's not the point. The point is this has been done 9 times before and I was hoping there'd be a progressing understanding of what's needed to bring this together. Maybe there is though, because I can't tell with VLDCX since its ambitions were shot through the roof this year.

As for Vitor, maybe he isn't the devil but one thing to understand is that he was the cause of a LOT of grief, and though most of it was just him overestimating, he was still responsible for the contest's progression. If he's at fault for anything, it's his management skills. I really don't get the people coming in here to preemptively whiteknight for Vitor because so far most of the posts I've read have been valid points, neither derogatory nor opinionated. Also, I'm sure there's a couple other reasons why this contest fell flat besides Vitor, and I too will say he shouldn't be the scapegoat, but if lessons need to be learned we need to start with the biggest issues first, and just from a little bit of reading I can tell the first issue to confront is how management played a lot in this failure to launch.

And that's it. Vitor is at fault for that one thing, and though I can't confirm this because I need it straight from horse's mouth, he had an attitude about it which didn't help with motivation for anyone. That's a problem, and if we really care, we should really think about that instead of defending him from criticism, because this is a time for criticism. However, so far, that's the only thing, so we should focus on that specifically instead of assuming it's all his fault. And not as a "We have to do something about Vitor." way but as a "How can we learn from this?" way.

Also if anyone still has doubts about whether or not VLDCX's goal was possible, do you understand how very unlikely it was to get this whole compilation done? It was, a new concept, known by one guy, and I'm led to believe it was virgin territory even for him. And in addition to having to administer the contest and get it all working? In essence that was a high risk high reward scenario, and when Vitor couldn't do it, well, that's what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket. It's a mistake everyone made, from production team to community, so I'm not going to point the finger at anyone for getting their hopes high. I won't blame people for aiming high.

But I wanted to play something, so I really wished a compromise was made. Some people did good suggestions: just a level select hack or multiple hacks housing all the levels. I also did not want to see people feeling like they needed to go 150% after going 140% the year before and 120% the year before that with their overworld. Technology has its limits, and if you hit that you should keep in mind there's still creativity. Just because you can't innovate further doesn't mean you can't release something. Hell, the only thing about VLDC9 I was disappointed with was World X. I thought the rest was fine, overworld and all. Even then, I think the first priority should've been to get something out instead of get the super best thing out. Status quo and all that. If you wanna do something ambitious, prep for it in advance. Measure out how much time it'll take before committing to it.

And I'm trying to sound neutral so far but seriously, as someone who plays your contest entries, can I just play the better entries? Please? I do not accept "But then you're alienating the people who aren't that good" or "Some levels might cross that line and get into the good levels and vice versa" as excuses to not do this. Because, hello, we have this happen already when we include everything. We already have petty arguments about why X level is at Y place. I don't see why including everyone will just magically make everyone happy. Furthermore, and I'm going to really stress this, if we truly trust our level judges to do a good job judging and if they do a good job judging, there shouldn't be any complaints about ranking. I'm not trying to undersell the judge's efforts. I am really thankful for their time and effort. I'm trying to convince you that you shouldn't arbitrarily argue with the rankings as it suits your needs.

And another thing, there SHOULD be an incentive for people to make good levels. Recognition and approval can be great motivators for people to really think about level design. If people get sad over not clearing the bar, then whatever. If they still care they can try harder next year. What does it matter in the grand scheme of things? I'm not one of those players who feel obligated to play the community's levels or anything like that. I just play video games. I want to play good video games and not bad video games. I really hope this is elementary to this community and I really hope this is what people go for when they make levels, at least for this contest.

And I'm gonna really stick this to the community: you're arguing about whether or not you should include the best not-as-good levels when we already have people going "the levels suck, you aren't missing out on much"? Seriously? It sounds like people are already disappointed with this year's turnout and wants better level design anyway so uhh, is that a legitimate problem or not? Is it something this community should fix or has this community already given up on the inside?

To wrap up, I do like playing your levels, SMWC, and though there's good times and bad times I still appreciate it enough to come back next year to play some more. Buuuuut, it pains me to see you tear yourselves up just to even get something out. I was really hoping I could get your honest try at making entertainment instead of squabbling over how to technically appeal to me. For me, at the end of the day, I'm not that wowed by technical achievements in Super Mario World. I'm here for Mario levels first. And some of VLDC9's and VLDC8's levels did really impress me to the point where I tried my best to find more work by those authors.

I mean this is opinion territory but I see the VLDC, and probably all major contests, as a stomping grounds to flex your entertainment muscles. Technological breakthroughs are great to use but for someone like me, I'm here to enjoy the art of level design. That's what this contest...this vanilla level design contest, should be about. I mean, having played the past 3 or so iterations I'd imagine I would have an idea of what I like and don't like about VLDC. What I like about VLDC are the people who really come forth and bring forth entertaining Mario levels. I just want this community to do that however it pleases, because I still hold hope that SMWC can do that with vanilla assets and gimmicks, even if I've played several VLDCs already.

I have a bit more to say but I think that's enough for now. For now I'll just quote this:
Originally posted by Skewer
The same kind of thinking that a lot of people who lack understanding have; the kind of thinking most middle schoolers have because they're currently under the impression that the world revolves around them, not that they revolve around the world. Some people do not think before asking a question, they refuse to read the rules or take a look at the FAQ, which for the most part will answer most questions a person will have. Other's don't take the time of others into consideration with this or that.

It's reasonable to ask, yes; but if something isn't being shown, it's also reasonable to assume that a problem or hindrance has developed.

and call out this person for lighting a touchy subject on fire. That ain't cool, yo.
Originally posted by Magi
Originally posted by RZ1
I stand by my points.

I mean sure you do you but I have to say I want to understand what thought process could have possibly led you to believe that designing 1 (one) trash level is at all comparable to playing through and writing coherent and meaningful comments about 180 of them.


I mean if you want to read what I said and take it literally be my guest. If someone has a deadline it should be met, regardless of the matter.

I'm not saying that making a level is the same in terms of length because anyone who thinks that is an idiot. I'm saying if the contestants have a deadline and are expected to meet it, then the judges should also be expected to meet theirs. It's that simple. Obviously issues arose and the deadline set wasn't realistic, But considering how long it's taken at this point it's pretty ridiculous.

Originally posted by Skewer
The same kind of thinking that a lot of people who lack understanding have; the kind of thinking most middle schoolers have because they're currently under the impression that the world revolves around them, not that they revolve around the world. Some people do not think before asking a question, they refuse to read the rules or take a look at the FAQ, which for the most part will answer most questions a person will have. Other's don't take the time of others into consideration with this or that.

It's reasonable to ask, yes; but if something isn't being shown, it's also reasonable to assume that a problem or hindrance has developed.


No one ever argued around your points. In fact if you read my original post youd realize I think quite like you
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
Originally posted by DarkMatt

Originally posted by Skewer
The same kind of thinking that a lot of people who lack understanding have; the kind of thinking most middle schoolers have because they're currently under the impression that the world revolves around them, not that they revolve around the world. Some people do not think before asking a question, they refuse to read the rules or take a look at the FAQ, which for the most part will answer most questions a person will have. Other's don't take the time of others into consideration with this or that.

It's reasonable to ask, yes; but if something isn't being shown, it's also reasonable to assume that a problem or hindrance has developed.

and call out this person for lighting a touchy subject on fire. That ain't cool, yo.



Um, Skewer's reply is aimed at the people who do feel entitled to judge progress and being owed that their level deserves to be in the collab without reading into the rules thread that it could change based on the discretion of the collab organizer and his or her team in charge of it tbh. I dont see his post being bad there considering they are the same people who had to be told by idol above to lay off of the Vitor criticisms and hate because it comes off as targeted harrassment.
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Originally posted by Gloomy
What kind of communication did you expect to see other than the one already provided ("one more judge just finished")? Did you like, want to see judges' entry count periodically so that people started annoying the shit out of them for taking too long when they got irl matters to deal with let alone the already immense pressure of going through 180 levels full of mediocrity and unreasonable length all in a timely manner?

By the way, there are 5 judges, of which 2 were replacements. If we still had 4 judges remaining back then in the first place we wouldn't have gone looking for replacements, but as you can see, the amount of stress and work was so gargantuan that it killed not 1, not 2, but 3 of our initial 6 judges.


Considering how much time went by since then an update on what the he'll was taking so long would have been nice.

Again no one is arguing the amount of work they had.
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
This thread, though closed for a long time, is a really good place to look at as to why and what was making them take so long. The reasons as to why they take so long is the same as they've always been: Judges were too busy, In Real Life stuff came up, the usual. Do you think they'd feel too good about having to say this over and over again? Or maybe they actually are judging, maybe they're judging one level a day or every other day? There are 365 days in a year, and 180+ levels every other day would almost make it a full year for judging, especially when they do have other stuff to take care of, and the fact that judging takes an extreme amount of focus because they can not be biased about the levels they play.

They can't binge play the levels otherwise they'd become fatigued. I remember talk that some have had to go back and replay/rejudge other levels because of this kind of thing. It's just over all not an easy task, and something that requires a LOT of patience. VLDCX was a lot larger than the other VLDC's, twice as large if I remember correctly, and some people don't have as much free time as others to sit down and play Mario levels all day.