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Member of the Month ~ January 2018 ~ with the master of VLDCX
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Display Case - Interview Archive - Member of the Month ~ January 2018 ~ with the master of VLDCX
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Sorry for the delay, family and stuff is priority.
Erik: Our first Member of the Month for this hopefully wonderful 2018 is none other than the winner of the 10th edition of the Vanilla Level Design Contest, NGB. He's also placed very high in most other contests, such as the Kaizo Level Design Contest. How are you today?
NGB: I'm fine, thanks for asking
Erik: Great to hear!

Erik: As I mentioned, you've won VLDCX with your level, Tidal Temple. While I have yet to play it, I'm pretty sure some members among our audience have, and agree with your placement. What was your thought progress for this level, from coming up with an idea to its execution, as well as his ambiance and enviroment?
NGB: oh boy, that was a long time ago... As far as I remeber I startet out with a general theme in mind. I wanted to do a temple level and also wanted to use the climbing koopas. I ran into problems with those so there aren't that many in the final level, but the overall theme stayed the same.
NGB: Then I just thought of different things you could do with water and various enemies.
NGB: That's how I do it most of the time...I try to come up with a theme, find decoration and enemies for the enviroment and just build something and pray that it is fun to play
NGB: Oh and I search for a nice song! that's most of the time the first or second thing. If I have a nice song and I want to create a level with that song I try to find a theme that fits it. Sometimes it's the other way around and I have a theme, but most of the time it's the song that comes first.
Erik: We seem to have the same thought process. I always start by thinking on a gimmick or an specific sprite to focus on, then I search for a good song, basing the level about the ambiance this one gives.
Erik: Are you satisfied with the final product? Or do you think there's stuff, such as certain setups or maybe a whole area that would be better off redesigned?
NGB: Unfortunally I ran out of time and had to build the second half of the level in just two days. I think that there are a few areas in the second half that could be a bit more polished and I could have done more with the on/off mechanic.
NGB: But overall I like how the level turned out. It isn't a breathtaking masterpiece but I think it is fun to play and I hope other people can agree to that to some degree.
Erik: If, despite rushing it, you placed first, I can even imagine you getting closer to that perfect 100. Hard to predict, but we'll never know now.
Erik: Any thoughts on the contest overall? What would you like to see changed in a future edition of VLDC?
NGB: I really like VLDC as a contest, even though this one took very long to judge.
NGB: I think it has just the right amount of freedom when it comes to creating "custom" graphics out of vanilla tiles and there are a lot of cool levels that are created everytime.
NGB: This year had a good amount of really great levels, but unfortunally a lot of mediocre level as well.
NGB: So I get why we can't have a complete Compilation this year.
NGB: And I can understand it when people say that almost everything has been done with vanilla smw.
NGB: But I think that there are still levelthemes/gimmicks that haven't been done or have some potiential, so I guess I would be ok with VLDC11 just being more of the same.
NGB: We just need a new judging system, because this year was just to much (congrats to the judges to live through that)
Erik: Yeah, while I think that we'll have less entries should we have a VLDC next year, we still need a better judging system.

Erik: Let's move on to other contests. You seem to enjoy contests, as evidenced by the amount of trophies in your profile. Have you enjoyed all contests you've participated in?
NGB: Most definitely! Well I could say that the 24hosmw was quite stressful, but I guess you can take that for granted.
NGB: Since I'm quite busy when it comes to my real life right now I only have little time to create levels.
NGB: But whenever there is a contest there is a small extra incentive to sleep a bit less and instead work on levels.
NGB: So I guess contests help me to get a bit more productive when it comes to smw
Erik: Though I agree they're stressing, 24HoSMWs are my favorite. Good to see you enjoy them too.
Erik: Would you ever like to judge any contest in the future? If so, which?
NGB: Tbh I haven't really thought about that. Since I'm busy most of the time, it would really depent on my current schedule.
NGB: Probably VLDC, but any not kaizo ldc would be ok.
NGB: I think it is fun to judge a contest, but it takes a lot of time so I don't know if I would really do it.
Erik: Great to hear.

Erik: I guess it's time to broaden up to Super Mario World hacking in general. Do you currently have any projects going on?
NGB: yeah kind of. I had a big full scale 96 exit hack, but when I started it, I didn't add all the patches I want now and trying to convert it to sa-1 was a nightmare.
NGB: So I recentyl switched to a new project, which is a smaller. I haven't decided on the amount of exits yet, but it will use a patch by biob to create an open overworld with different levels you can go to.
NGB: There you will get different items you can use to progress to new worlds and levels. I also plan that they have an effect on different levels to make them easier and only one or two items are actually required.
NGB: I already have a finished overworld and most of the patches are inserted and running but there are no levels done yet.
NGB: I was inspired by Mushroom Kingdom - Under Crimson Skies to make a hack like this, because I think that the idea is really cool, but it didn't feel open enough to me.
Erik: I wish you luck with your current project. Is it all a secret yet or have you released teasers such as screenshots?
NGB: well I just told you, so it isn't a secret anymore ;)
NGB: There are no screenshots or teasers right now, but I hope I can get something done till c3.
NGB: No promise though
Erik: I'll look forward, then!
Erik: You said you were inspired by MK:UCS, which is kind of story oriented. Do you particularly enjoy hacks such as these, or would you rather play something that drops you straight into the action?
NGB: Usually I don't like story focused hacks, at least when it done with cutscenes.
NGB: MK:UCS was unfortunally no exceptions, I skipped through most of them :D
NGB: But if the player is given a choice to speak with NPCs or the story is told within the level (without words and just by progression, like opening a sarcophagus causing ghosts to release in other levels) , then I really really like it.
NGB: So action
Erik: I see. I personally like story oriented hacks when you can actually make your own choices.

Erik: Widening even more now. Have you ever tried making custom resources, such as graphics, music or ASM?
NGB: I would really like to contribute something to the community, but I can't draw and can't compose or even read sheet music.
NGB: ASM is really interesting and I already dipped into it quite often, but I wouldn't say that I'm competent enough to produce something submitworthy.
NGB: I made a few small patches like a new goal reward (3up with 50, 2up with 40 and 30 and 1up with above 25) for my own hacks, because I often remove bonus stars, but those patches need a bit more polish before I submit them.
NGB: But I really like using ASM and if I ever make something useful, I guess it would be coding something
Erik: ASM is quite fun to make and so rewarding once you get something to work.

Erik: Have you made levels for collaboration hacks? More in particular, do you look forward to any?
NGB: If you leave out the VLDC collabs then I didn't make any levels for a collab hack.
NGB: A long time ago I created a level for Collab2, but it was canceled, so that level was never used.
NGB: #collab looked interesting, but I was busy at the time and now there are no levels left.
NGB: But I don't think I will join a collab in the near future since I want to use the little time I have for my own project.
NGB: I'm really looking forward to #collab so pls hurry k ?
NGB: oh and smwcp2 but I guess I have to wait for that one
Erik: Collab after C3.

Erik: Alright that should sum up the hacking stuff. Now onto the site. How did you find out about SMW Hacking and SMWCentral?
NGB: Back in the day I used to watch people play viewer-made custom mario world levels on youtube.
NGB: After some time I also started to create a few levels and since smw was the first game I ever played it also was quite fun and nostalgic.
NGB: While trying to figure out lunar magic I googled various questions I had, which brought me to SMWCentral.
NGB: So in the beginning I was one of those people who made bad youtube levels
Erik: Better than those who made levels only to have a LPer play through them, probably!
Erik: What are your thoughts on the website and the community, overall?
NGB: Unfortunally I'm not that active in the various threads we have on our site, but I think it's great that there is a place with so many helpful people!
NGB: I don't like the drama we get everytime we have the mosts or some of the meme/shitpost lords out there, but maybe I'm just getting old and boring ;)
NGB: I'm glad that we have SMWCentral and I hope I can be a part of the community for a long time
Erik: You should try and engage more in the community; not necessarily by posting, just randomly posting around the nar and grill or on our Discord. Our community will sure welcome anyone with arms open.
NGB: Well since I have discord now, I'll defintely try to do that ;)

Erik: Anything you want to add before The Random Questions?
NGB: Nope, let's a go
Erik: That's the attitude!

Erik: Favorite YouTuber?
NGB: Jerma or Andrew JRT, I can't decide sorry
Erik: it fine
Erik: Have you visited any other countries? Which would you like to visit?
NGB: Well I made a few short trips to Spain, England, Hungary and Turkey, but I didn't stay longer than a few weeks.
NGB: If I could choose I'd like a trip to the USA, there are a lot of things to see there. Japan and Australia would be nice as well
Erik: ha. Hungary sounds like a nice place to visit.
Erik: What's your favorite school subject?
NGB: When I still was in school I really liked History.
NGB: Right now in University I really dig neuro-informatics. It's quite different from your usual programming stuff and there are a lot of different areas to study
Erik: Sounds interesting.
Erik: What are your favorite music genres? Any particular song you'd recommend to your audience?
NGB: Most of the time I listen to videogame soundtracks and remixes of them.
NGB: It really relaxes me.
NGB: I don't have a recommendation, so just listen to something you like
Erik: Last one. To our members that still have the game: do you have any design tips for them?
NGB: If you play it and it isn't fun you did something wrong. If your level is still fun to play for you after all the testing, then you are good. If not, find the areas that annoy you and change them.
NGB: Pretty basic, but I hope it is helpful
Erik: The basic tips are sometimes the most helpful. That's why I ranked low in VLDCX: I uploaded a level I didn't like, and it reflected in my score.

Erik: Alright. Anything you want to add before closing?
NGB: Thank you for your time!
NGB: Huge thanks to the community as well.
NGB: It wouldn't be as fun to hack smw without you all!
NGB: Happy New Year and have a great 2018
Erik: You too have a great year, and same goes for our dear community. Happy new year! And thanks for having the time to make this interview possible. I hope you had fun.
Congratulations !
ngb is a fantastic level developer who definitely deserves to be our member of the month. What a way to kick off the year!

Great job, and congratulations!!

That was an interesting interview. Congrats both on that and for winning VLDCX.
Congratulations... your'e better than me.
NGB never disappoints.

congrats on your motm.


Congrats NGB! Keep making awesome levels #smw{:TUP:}

(discord emotes ftw)
Layout made by MaxodeX
2021 TRENO vibe check thread
I completly forgot to mention it, but it is probably helpful to get one or two beta testers for your levels.
Most people only do this for hacks, but if you can share your contest level with a few persons to get different oppinions it can really improve the end product, especially when it comes setups that are too unfair or too difficult.
If you don't want to publish your level before the contest is almost over then you could pm it to someone.
For VLDCX I got feedback from Sariel and Gebreeze and it really caused a lot of changes.
Could you believe that this piece of shit was in the first draft of the level? #tb{XD}
So yeah another pretty basic tip that's maybe helpful #tb{;)}

My Youtube channel

Currently working on:
Project C

Finished project:
NGB's works always caught my attention due to how polished and well done they are. I've even predicted some of his 1st places in contests as well, haha. So, congratulations, NGB! It's absolutely well-deserved!

Also I'm glad to hear that MKUCS is an inspiring project, despite its flaws. Thanks for playing! #tb{^V^}

good interview and a great hacking!
That was a nice interview. Congratulations NGB on getting MOTM! Judging by how well you've done in several contests, you definitely deserve it!

Formerly known as nick 139
My YouTube channel
Congrats NGB! The stuff that you do is some of the most inspiring, please don't stop to do stuff
[slowly claps]
Not sure where to put here... or is it? (Also: Yay! Old layout!)
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Display Case - Interview Archive - Member of the Month ~ January 2018 ~ with the master of VLDCX

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