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

In general, the worst just kept happening as to why the judging took so long. We could talk all day about how a deadline should have met, etc, etc, but you know we aren't just going to purge already like 100+ hours of work; it's unnecessary. Especially when you got like 3 judges bailing out (for fair reasons) and have to find others who were competent and available, that was practically 3+ more months guaranteed to wait before results. The entries were also a lot more challenging to go through than you may even think (fuck your secret exits holy shit). Everyone kept getting fatigued.
Originally posted by lolyoshi
In general, the worst just kept happening as to why the judging took so long. We could talk all day about how a deadline should have met, etc, etc, but you know we aren't just going to purge already like 100+ hours of work; it's unnecessary. Especially when you got like 3 judges bailing out (for fair reasons) and have to find others who were competent and available, that was practically 3+ more months guaranteed to wait before results. The entries were also a lot more challenging to go through than you may even think (fuck your secret exits holy shit). Everyone kept getting fatigued.


It is what it is now, and I'm happy it's pretty well done. I didn't mean to come off as an asshole and don't want to be one. I was just expressing what I felt and wanted to give my input (especially to try and help for next time).
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
Originally posted by StrikeForcer
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.

Yeah, but I don't want people to be just as condescending as the people they're aiming at. The middle schooler comment really isn't okay.
Originally posted by RZ1
Considering how much time went by since then an update on what the he'll was taking so long would have been nice.

It was pretty obvious that it was the judging that was taking long (and at this point you know the reasons) and the collab can't really start without the results. Also, actually quite a number of update posts have been made in this thread: [1] [2] [3] [4]

And then idol made the post that sparked this discussion not much more than one month after lolyoshi's post. Aside from a timeframe between September and October, all of you had access to these updates, and lolyoshi even went as far as giving a prediction in that last linked post of when the results would come out that ironically turned out 100% accurate.
Not gonna argue or discuss any possible accusation, insult or blame on me. It won't help anything on this project nor clear the negative image over me aside from everything I did in the past 8 years.

I'm around 10 days, I'm done with the current university semester (summer break) and as well gonna take a 30 day vacation from job.

Is it too late to make the real VLDCX happen?

Cheers,

Vivi.
GitHub - Twitter - YouTube - SnesLab Discord
It's not too late because judging is just getting wrapped up and now is pretty much exactly the time we would've begun work anyway, but as it stands we don't have anyone capable of making the real VLDCX happen.

We can't entrust you with it because you've already quit it once, leaving us to pick everything up without warning, then came back and promised you'd be able to handle the ASM and assured us that yes, you'll stick around and handle it and I made sure to ask multiple times that you're 100% sure you can and will handle it, and then just disappeared for months without warning again.

So basically, if we were to go ahead with the real VLDCX and you vanished in the middle, we would be right back where we started, except with more time lost and less accomplished.


I dunno, there's probably ways it could work out safely but I don't think we really want to wait on that to work out? Like, if you were to just knock out all the ASM before we put any other work into the compilation process so we can be 100% sure that it's all in working order then I'm sure it could happen, but uh... that'd be a lot of waiting, on top of the already late ranking results.
Probably should've gotten this all prepared while VLDCX was going on and you were here without issues, earlier in the judging when you were here without issues or during the time in which you kept reassuring us that you'd be able to handle it, in which you seemed to have some freetime instead of literally at the last minute.
Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by leod
Like, if you were to just knock out all the ASM before we put any other work into the compilation process so we can be 100% sure that it's all in working order then I'm sure it could happen, but uh... that'd be a lot of waiting, on top of the already late ranking results.

Probably should've gotten this all prepared while VLDCX was going on and you were here without issues, earlier in the judging when you were here without issues or during the time in which you kept reassuring us that you'd be able to handle it, in which you seemed to have some freetime instead of literally at the last minute.
Honestly I think getting the core framework down is always the best thing to do in any big project. A building doesn't stand without a foundation and a game doesn't function without its necessary code. Still though, there's been more than half a year to get this all done, and because it's not done, my vote goes for what we can do right now instead of the complete VLDCX. Not because we're running out of time for it, there's always time, we're not on a hard schedule; but because I have zero faith the real VLDCX will happen.
Originally posted by DarkMatt
neither derogatory nor opinionated

I'm sure that it isn't anyone's intention, but boy oh boy do some of the posts in the previous pages sound derogatory. I will say that they do contain valid complaints though. For all I know, it might just be me misinterpretings things, I'm known to do that.

Otherwise I agree with most of the things you said in your post. Specifically:
- project was too ambitious
- in the end VLDC is about the levels and not the overworld and asm and all that fancy stuff
- levels that literally everyone says that they're bad and skippable will probably get a low ranking, and so including top ?? levels isn't really unfair, it might even create a better-quality product in the end, who knows
- it took an absurd amount of time to finish this project and a lot of things went bad, oh well
- maybe more things i dunno

Originally posted by DarkMatt
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.

I wanted to quote this for some reason but my brain errored when I was trying to formulate a reply so for now this will do: *insert reply here*

Originally posted by RZ1
If someone has a deadline it should be met, regardless of the matter.

[...]

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.

Let me walk you through the math/logic for this.

You see, having more entries being submitted to a contest means that the judges will need more time, but it doesn't mean that the people participating will need more time.

Each person works on one entry alone, that means that all the entries are being done simultaneously by different people. Having one more entry means that the one person working on that entry will need to put a little more time into it, but it doesn't mean anything for the other participants, so it won't change the time needed for everyone to finish their entries.

With judging, every judge needs to play through all the 180+ entries in sequence. They can't play multiple entries simultaneously, neither can they judge multiple entries simultaneously, so it's unfair to compare them to the people participating who each could create their levels separate from one another, aka simultaneously.

With this, it can be concluded that having this amount of entries won't be a problem for the people submitting, but it will be a problem for the people judging. That's exactly what happened. I know that the deadlines should've been planned better, but they weren't, and now we're seeing exactly where that lack of planning is being reflected, a project that isn't going to be finished in it's original form, and a lot of judges who are probably very very tired from all this and just want it to end already. Probably. Maybe.

Originally posted by Vitor Vilela
Is it too late to make the real VLDCX happen?

I think it's best for all of us to abandon it. The top ?? collab seems like the best way for us to finish this in any reasonable amount of time. Maybe the real VLDCX could be done at a later date, but as a complete side-project, secondary to any other contest or work needed in SMWC. As it is, I feel like this already took way too much time and like leod said, we don't want to end up back where we started if things go bad again.

I'm using a lot of "we" when I'm not even sure if my opinion represts anyone else's. I would change it but I'm too lazy to change it right now.
1) Brace yourselves, a wall of text is coming

First I want to say Vitor handled criticism maturely and seems to have intent on getting this done as he originally envisioned it, but I would like to discuss a couple of different things. Most notably, if it's worth it, and if he should be given the chance.

2) To dual rom or not to dual rom, that is the question

At this point we can agree that a full collab would be a lot of work and a good chunk of the submissions are garbage that was made by people who have since left SMWC shortly after joining. It's a lot of work, it derails from what VLDC is supposed to be, and overall doesn't feel worth it.

...At least, that's how it entirely would be if that was everything being considered. As VLDCs went on we expected improvement after improvement, cool overworld ASM, etc. VLDC9 seems to have been the peak of this ASM theme, or at least close. There was controversy over whether the overworld should have ASM, and we decided sure let's go with that, with the necessary things being released. So clearly at some point, more than a few people thought it was a big deal. But the overworld is not the only thing to consider here, especially when a collaboration isn't supposed to be the purpose of this contest. There were many submissions that, yes, contained a lot of trash levels. Trash levels that are better off not even being played. But these shitholes have always been in the collabs, the only difference (albeit a big one) is the amount of them there are. I'm not sure how the judges would feel about this, but I think it gives a feeling of a hollow victory that most of the results that the judges worked hard to produce will be omitted from the final product.

Earlier I said I support this shorter collab, but that's when we didn't have all the cards on the table, or at least hopefully have all the cards on the table. I also hadn't considered all of these factors at the time since it wasn't one of my most relevant points. Either way, that brings me to my next headline:

3) The return and redemption

I explained many things that were far from being in Vitor's favor (even saying dick a few times) but it takes balls to make a return even when a lot of people are criticizing you, especially in the mature way he handled the criticism. Putting mistakes aside, he's not even bothering arguing when he can be doing. He's also shown that he's more than capable of doing crazy shit with ASM (the man made the SA-1 patch, literally remapping all the RAM addresses and optimising SMW as a whole) and that's just for starters.

I already have said I respect his work and maybe I didn't say it enough, but if he is truly free and ready to dedicate time to this, I say we shouldn't take away his one chance to prove he can do this. His hosting was far from perfect but if there's one thing Vitor can do, it's crazyass ASM that blows everything else out of the water.

The subject of a third chance is up to the people who have directly worked with him, though. I don't know the guy on a personal level. He went AWOL when he worked on VLDCX again but that could have been because of schooling or work even if it wasn't too great to not let everyone know this beforehand. But now we do know the details and the schedule, we do know he has an interest in this shit again, and we do know that he's capable of doing insane things with ASM. Stop me now if it looks like I'm sucking him off, but putting aside me not knowing him on a personal level and putting aside what he says, actions speak louder than words, and what he has done for the site already proves he speaks very loudly when he says he wants to make the real VLDCX, the real 10th and ultimate VLDC, to happen.

4) With all that shit in mind...

It really all comes down to if it's worth it and if you're willing to give him a third chance. He's already provided more details about how long he's free for than the last time, he's the only one capable of doing it as far as active people go, and he's proven his skills. If you ask my dumb ass, I say it again, I don't think he isn't 100% to blame in this, and unless someone pulls some crazy shit I probably won't be changing my mind. I don't know how crazy of an argument I have to make to change your minds, but between this being the hyped up 10th VLDC and Vitor's return most likely changing the entire game, I believe your opinions should be leaning toward Vitor's third chance.

Is it worth it? That's ultimately up to the people working on this to decide. It's 179 submissions with a chunk of it being trash. I can't force a bunch of people to say "yeah sure" to this. There's also the matter of VLDCX already eating up other contests like...contest-flavored cake. And being that I'm mentally exhausted from writing these pretentious-ass walls of text I really would rather let literally everyone else discuss this.

5) The final tl;dr I'll make on this thread probably

"Guess who's back, back again"; Vitor can probably do this and make a true VLDCX happen, and as much shit I have personally dumped on him before I still think he should be able to redeem himself since he's an amazing ASMer, but there's a whole deal about it being worth it in the first place since it's only as worth it as how much others want to work on it, also a lot of the levels suck donkey balls, double-also those fuckin ninjas are back at it again with their flying machines
Originally posted by DarkMatt
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.

Reading this, I feel like you're under the incorrect impression that we tried but failed or something. There has legitimately been no work on the VLDCX collab portion so far, and Vitor didn't, like, attempt to handle the dual ROM thing and fail, he just never even started, just like nothing else has been started yet because, due to the nature of how the dual ROMs work, we could not begin level insertion until we knew each level's ranks and their themes, as levels had to be in the ROM with their respective overworlds (which means we had to know their themes for the worlds and their ranks for worst/best world).
I have no doubt that Vitor would've been able to make it work if he had tried, he's got the talent.

It's not a matter of "we aimed too high and didn't reach it despite our best efforts", it's a matter of "the person who was handling this disappeared so we are reassessing how to approach it before any work begins". So really, we didn't take any risks at all so far. It'd be a risk to still attempt it now, but we've evidently decided against that and are aiming for the more realistic result.
(And when you say it's a "mistake everyone made, from production team to community", I'd just like to point out that again, Vitor was the singular member of the production team until he disappeared, minus the judges who obviously have no hand in the actual compilation part.)

Originally posted by DarkMatt
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.

The incentive thing is probably an issue with how this is simultaneously a contest and a collab.
The incentive for doing your best is obviously supposed to be scoring high in the contest, but a lot of people don't really care much about the fact that it's a contest, so they just make their usual.
I personally think that making it clear that the collab will be a best-of in the future would make for higher quality entries, but at the same time it'd also be less entries, so I guess it just depends on which of the two we prioritize.

Originally posted by DarkMatt
And I'm gonna really stick this to the community: you're arguing about whether or not you should include the best 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?

You're confusing "a big chunk/the majority of the submitted levels suck" with "all the levels suck". The ones that do suck are made by people who registered to join the contest and then disappeared, people who have no real experience or stake in the community.
I think we're all aware that there's a big bunch of really really good levels in this contest, which is why a best-of is something we think would be good.

Originally posted by DarkMatt
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.

Nobody is really tearing themselves up (other than the judges who again, we're all aware now that it's not realistic to expect people to play and judge 180+ contest entries). As I explained above, we didn't fumble about and come to a breaking point or anything, this is just our decision before we even start, because we know we don't have the assets to make the original full collab any more, as well as because, hey, look at the calendar. VLDC11 would be planned to start next month, but we don't even have the results for VLDCX yet. VLDCX' existance as a large scale site project has swallowed up a large amount of smaller contests we could've had in this time, without even having begun, just because we knew we would not be able to support both those contests and VLDCX at the same time were they to coincide.
We would rather make VLDC assembly a simpler process permanently and be able to run more events than spend the rest of our time on SMWC making VLDC after VLDC.

This is something we lowkey knew all along while Vitor was in charge too, but then our mindset was just "Vitor will handle it himself", because that is what he said and did (by force for the most part). So now that that is out of the picture, we have to actually turn it down.
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For future VLDC events, maybe there should be some form of revised judging methods.

Or better yet have secret exits cut out. I feel like they probably had a big part in how long judging took considering the types I've seen in the submissions from previous years. Considering VLDC is a level design contest anyways and everything on the overworld is unlocked from the get-go, I can see this helpinf streamline the contest from a judging, playing and designing standpoint all at once. Maybe leave the secrets solely to dragon coins.

Just my two cents on how to improve for next time, as it may be helpful from all aspects
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
Yep, already planned.
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Originally posted by leod
Yep, already planned.


Actually pretty glad to hear that. It's a much better way of going about it than splitting up entrees between judges (which would mean inconsistent results), while still reducing work load.
Super Mario World 3: The Koopas Strike Back
Super Mario: Grand Journey
Well, changing the judging approach in general is what I meant.
I don't think we'll entirely remove people's ability to have secret exits, but I think everyone who made an obnoxious one this year will think twice about it next time cause that likely cost them some score. That and the honestly ridiculous length that even some of the best levels have, they never know when to stop.

We've been thinking about ways to reduce length in general on our end as well, though.
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Something that can contribute to reducing length of levels is reducing deadlines, too. In this year's contest, people had almost like 2 months (including post-deadline submission time) to make a level. And, for a contest such as a VLDC, where the participants shouldn't worry about patches and other external resources, there's no need for a deadline to be that big in my opinion. A single month to focus on simply designing a level is more than enough.
MK2TDS
Originally posted by RanAS
I'm sure that it isn't anyone's intention, but boy oh boy do some of the posts in the previous pages sound derogatory. I will say that they do contain valid complaints though. For all I know, it might just be me misinterpretings things, I'm known to do that.

That's mainly why I said most, but I still believe that, on average, the critique has been civil. But I can't really back that up, I did the thing where I scanned posts to get a general consensus instead of doing a case-by-case study. So you probably have a better idea of that than I do.

Originally posted by leod
Reading this, I feel like you're under the incorrect impression that we tried but failed or something. There has legitimately been no work on the VLDCX collab portion so far, and Vitor didn't, like, attempt to handle the dual ROM thing and fail, he just never even started, just like nothing else has been started yet because, due to the nature of how the dual ROMs work, we could not begin level insertion until we knew each level's ranks and their themes, as levels had to be in the ROM with their respective overworlds (which means we had to know their themes for the worlds and their ranks for worst/best world).
I have no doubt that Vitor would've been able to make it work if he had tried, he's got the talent.

It's not a matter of "we aimed too high and didn't reach it despite our best efforts", it's a matter of "the person who was handling this disappeared so we are reassessing how to approach it before any work begins". So really, we didn't take any risks at all so far. It'd be a risk to still attempt it now, but we've evidently decided against that and are aiming for the more realistic result.
(And when you say it's a "mistake everyone made, from production team to community", I'd just like to point out that again, Vitor was the singular member of the production team until he disappeared, minus the judges who obviously have no hand in the actual compilation part.)


First off not to be a downer or anything but I would really like it if this community just got VLDC11 out in a timely matter than working on VLDCX instead. I don't know the exact logistics, but if work on VLDCX takes longer than Janurary then I would really, really like it if SMWC just focused on next VLDC. This is an opinion and you can freely regard or disregard it at your leisure, but I don't want to feel like VLDCX put a stop on contests...well, more than it already has according to some.

Originally posted by leod
The incentive thing is probably an issue with how this is simultaneously a contest and a collab.
The incentive for doing your best is obviously supposed to be scoring high in the contest, but a lot of people don't really care much about the fact that it's a contest, so they just make their usual.
I personally think that making it clear that the collab will be a best-of in the future would make for higher quality entries, but at the same time it'd also be less entries, so I guess it just depends on which of the two we prioritize.

For this I want to take a quick note of Sturgeon's Law, which has plenty of interpretations but the way I'm gonna phrase it today is "90% of any creative medium is going to be subpar."

And I hate to have this sort of attitude because I don't want to further convince people to not try, but for VLDC, if people are just throwing out whatever and it's objectively not good, then that's seriously a problem, especially if they do it for multiple contests. I squarely don't have interests in kaizo or pseudo-kaizo levels but respect the interest in it. I'm talking more about the levels that are still struggling to express themselves, if that makes any sense.

I mean the ideal should be that people give it a nice honest try without feeling too much pressure and turning out something good.

And just a quick suggestion I know there's a theoretical limit for how many levels you can cram in one rom. Instead of including a percentage of the submissions you can easily just include up to the best X levels. If there's a lot of submissions there'll be a lot of competition, but if there's less submissions then there'll be more people who do get that exposure, for better or worse. Tricky territory for the most part because I can't really argue one way or the other, there's tradeoffs no matter how you handle this.

Originally posted by leod
You're confusing "a big chunk/the majority of the submitted levels suck" with "all the levels suck". The ones that do suck are made by people who registered to join the contest and then disappeared, people who have no real experience or stake in the community.
I think we're all aware that there's a big bunch of really really good levels in this contest, which is why a best-of is something we think would be good.

Really? Because several people have clearly suggested that VLDCX wasn't much. I started playing them myself and I've found a couple gems already but this is something like 3 out of 15 that caught my interest, and the same number being loathsome levels I played. So far, I'd have to agree with that notion, because the other 9 were average or uninteresting.

I can find specific quotes for evidence but I just need to look over the whole thread again.

Originally posted by leod

Nobody is really tearing themselves up (other than the judges who again, we're all aware now that it's not realistic to expect people to play and judge 180+ contest entries). As I explained above, we didn't fumble about and come to a breaking point or anything, this is just our decision before we even start, because we know we don't have the assets to make the original full collab any more, as well as because, hey, look at the calendar. VLDC11 would be planned to start next month, but we don't even have the results for VLDCX yet. VLDCX' existance as a large scale site project has swallowed up a large amount of smaller contests we could've had in this time, without even having begun, just because we knew we would not be able to support both those contests and VLDCX at the same time were they to coincide.
We would rather make VLDC assembly a simpler process permanently and be able to run more events than spend the rest of our time on SMWC making VLDC after VLDC.

This is something we lowkey knew all along while Vitor was in charge too, but then our mindset was just "Vitor will handle it himself", because that is what he said and did (by force for the most part). So now that that is out of the picture, we have to actually turn it down.

This community shouldn't be taking almost a year to release something due to countless instances of internal conflict and strife. If that isn't tearing itself up trying to get the ball rolling then I don't know what is. Especially the "cancel smaller contests just to work on VLDCX" part. I mean, if you are skipping other things to work on one big thing honestly it better pay off.

Which is why I'm gonna throw out the criticism that you should've trusted your gut more. You should've really questioned if it was still worth it to devote that much time to VLDCX. This might be hard to argue postmortem because attitudes were different back then, but I do want to point out that it helps to be realistic, especially when you have to decide which contest gets axed. This veers into what the judges were doing in their time and I really don't wanna argue about that because that is a very fuzzy topic. So I'll stop here.

---------------

Anyway, the thing I'm getting is that I made it sound like decisions were made. Might've implied that sure and I do understand that not much has been done yet, just judging wrapping up. But I want to explain again that I really hope VLDCX is done soon, because I'd rather 11 starts and gets done on a timely matter as apposed to get stalled because of X. This is coming from someone who sees VLDC as a, well, contest. (It says so right in the name.)

Also hey RZ1, your level was really good and I really liked it. I would love to play more by you~
Originally posted by DarkMatt

Also hey RZ1, your level was really good and I really liked it. I would love to play more by you~


Oh hey thanks! I am working on a small scale hack made of levels with similar design philosophy, but I'm taking my sweet time with it. You won't see much from me for a while unless it's a VLDC11 entry (or another contest entry for that matter)


Originally posted by leod
Well, changing the judging approach in general is what I meant.
I don't think we'll entirely remove people's ability to have secret exits, but I think everyone who made an obnoxious one this year will think twice about it next time cause that likely cost them some score. That and the honestly ridiculous length that even some of the best levels have, they never know when to stop.

We've been thinking about ways to reduce length in general on our end as well, though.


It may cost them some score but for anyone new who creates entrees they probably won't even know or care. Personally I think it is just easier and better to remove secret exits altogether, but then again who am I to make that decision ahah (would maybe be worth voting on actually).

Also I like the idea of reducing the deadline window. 2 months was way more time than anyone needed. Obviously some people work at different speeds and some put more effort than others but I can't see the submission time period needing to be longer than 2-4 weeks (4 being like MAX).
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You forget that some people have a full time job/ university and a part time job (like me) and don't have much time at all to create an entry.
I worked on it every weekend in the 2 months and even worked on my level after I came home until late in the night (which was really stressful).
I can see that 2 months are a bit much, but you can't tell me everybody can make a level in just two weeks, especially if they try to polish it.
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Originally posted by NGB
You forget that some people have a full time job/ university and a part time job (like me) and don't have much time at all to create an entry.
I worked on it every weekend in the 2 months and even worked on my level after I came home until late in the night (which was really stressful).
I can see that 2 months are a bit much, but you can't tell me everybody can make a level in just two weeks, especially if they try to polish it.


I'm mixed about this, because there's one thing that I think people here take for granted way too much:

Free time.

Not everyone has it in truckloads. Some people do not sit there slaving away at Lunar Magic every day. In fact last I checked most people do this as a hobby, and further still some might not even do it as their main hobby. I can tell you as a matter of fact using myself as an example that just because it's a contest doesn't mean you make "creating a level" your top priority.

I'll agree that 2 months is a bit long, especially when the judges wait for all levels to get submitted before even touching them. But the thing is you get less free time the older you are, and even that's not an absolute; some kids might be busy and some adults might not.

I mean I sure as hell didn't finish my VLDCX level in those 2 months and even then I didn't really care about the hows and whys. If I had any fun making the level draft that's still on my desktop today, it was with playing around with a gimmick I wanted to play around with. I had fun doing that, but I knew in my heart I was not interested in polishing the sparks I'm making into a full-fledged presentable level.

Not to mention there's not a lot of reasons to take level design seriously in the first place. It's a bit unfair in that regard to force people to care.

I'd go for 1 month personally but I'd rather back up my decision with statistics. There is a golden average somewhere but it should really be researched instead of assumed.

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Also I would be for limiting level length to reasonable amounts. Like I think the longest level in SMW was like 3 minutes tops? Simplest and I think most efficient way to do that is to set the level's time limit to a hard cap of 400 seconds and take points off if you can't finish the level with 100 seconds or more even if you attempt to blitz through it. That'd be a good way to cap level length and also keep it vanilla in a sense.
Some levels, like puzzle levels, just have a longer amount of time you spend in the same life, while another level might be 100 seconds long per-life but takes 500 attempts and 7 hours to beat.
These are extremes, but everything inbetween is viable and has been submitted, which is why in-game time capping is not a good idea.

If we were to hard-limit the number of screens, some people would just start to design their levels like a snake, going up and down every single screen and using up every last corner of every screen, so that is not good either.




Originally posted by DarkMatt
First off not to be a downer or anything but I would really like it if this community just got VLDC11 out in a timely matter than working on VLDCX instead. I don't know the exact logistics, but if work on VLDCX takes longer than Janurary then I would really, really like it if SMWC just focused on next VLDC. This is an opinion and you can freely regard or disregard it at your leisure, but I don't want to feel like VLDCX put a stop on contests...well, more than it already has according to some.

VLDC11 is already not planned to happen early next year, so it's too late for that one!

Originally posted by DarkMatt
And just a quick suggestion I know there's a theoretical limit for how many levels you can cram in one rom. Instead of including a percentage of the submissions you can easily just include up to the best X levels. If there's a lot of submissions there'll be a lot of competition, but if there's less submissions then there'll be more people who do get that exposure, for better or worse. Tricky territory for the most part because I can't really argue one way or the other, there's tradeoffs no matter how you handle this.

I've only seen a single person try to use percentages and I'm not even sure it was in this thread, the discussion has pretty much always been about nice clean numbers.
We just aren't sure where to put the limit, which the judges might be able to help us with once results are out.

Originally posted by DarkMatt
This community shouldn't be taking almost a year to release something due to countless instances of internal conflict and strife. If that isn't tearing itself up trying to get the ball rolling then I don't know what is. Especially the "cancel smaller contests just to work on VLDCX" part. I mean, if you are skipping other things to work on one big thing honestly it better pay off.

Which is why I'm gonna throw out the criticism that you should've trusted your gut more. You should've really questioned if it was still worth it to devote that much time to VLDCX. This might be hard to argue postmortem because attitudes were different back then, but I do want to point out that it helps to be realistic, especially when you have to decide which contest gets axed.

It wasn't internal conflict and strife, it was what was explained over the course of this thread and in one of my earlier posts to you. Cancelling other smaller contests was because we didn't know when results would be out, so we decided we'd rather not take up more than we could realistically handle.
Which may sound weird without context, but it's worth pointing out that KLDC and OLDC and their collabs are still things that exist, as well as up picking up some other projects that have been standing by for longer.

I didn't go into any detail for why VLDC11 is not planned to happen at the usual time earlier, cause I wanted to do it here: basically, we decided that we should be focusing more on actually engaging the community rather than having the same contest every year and then going into hiding for half a year (a year now) to poop out a collab.
It's not like we're so terribly overworked that VLDC11 just can't happen, we'd just rather do other things that aren't VLDC to take a break from the lack of non-VLDC related things.
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