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BLDC - Feedback + Opinions
Forum Index - Important - The Base Rom Level Design Contest - BLDC - Feedback + Opinions
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BLDC's submission period is over now and I want to hear from all of you what you thought of the contest and what we can do better for next time. It was the first time we've hosted a contest of this kind so I know it was rough in places. Please feel free to tell me your honest opinions about the contest format, the resources we included, what resources we should have included that we didn't have in the base rom this time, or anything else relevant to the contest.

I've already been taking personal notes about the contest, so let me address some common feedback I've already heard.

-We will set up all custom foregrounds next time, and not just the backgrounds. This will probably be achieved by setting them all to use Map16 pages up to 0xF and then restricting that space for editing by participants
-We'll try and get the files needed for the Custom Collection of Sprites window to work properly included by default
-We need to add a generic shooter/spawner of some kind so people don't have to use hacky setups with the powerup spawner.
-Sideways/Reverse Thwomps, Venus/Sideways Piranhas were accidentally left out
-We're going to attempt a custom status bar of some type that would be more compatible with all the stuff we have going on, without needing to rely on Layer 3 to Subscreen.
-Making sure all the sprites we're including are properly SA-1 compatible
-Allot much more time to base rom testing, so we can better test how everything works together.

I value your opinions, so please share them with me. I want to make this contest be something we do again in the future, and I want it to be bigger and even better.
Well first of all, I commend everyone that helped put the baserom together and everyone that lead the contest for trying something different, and putting a lot of clear effort into it. Even with the hiccups, it was fun participating. And thank you for seeking feedback as well!

So first of all, myself and many others agree that the selection of resources were probably the primary thing that could be improved upon. And before I explain, I mean no offense to anyone who contributed to the resources of this hack: they are all really fun and awesome as standalone sprites on SMWC. However, the main problem is that they just lack versatility.

I'll try to give an example by comparing two resources: a sprite-only water block and a boomerang bro. The boomerang bro is what we'll call "independent" in that it operates independently of the vanilla elements/sprites of SMW. No matter what you do, or place down, it does the same exact thing: throws boomerangs. Now, conversely, the sprite-only water is what we'll refer to as "co-dependent". Meaning, it does absolutely nothing on its own. However, it can be combined with nearly every sprite to make all sorts of setups, and is thus incredibly versatile. You can plaster it all over the level to create a "low gravity" chamber, or make fish swim out on land. Both the boomerang and the sprite-only water are fun to use; however, the sprite-only water can be combined with other enemies to change they way they act, but the boomerang bro can't.

That is obviously an extreme example, and most resources fall somewhere in the middle. However, I will say that BLDC's resources absolutely fall on the "independent" side, rather than the "co-dependent" side. Stuff like mosaic thwimps, nipper, fire magikoopa, rounding boo, ceiling thwimp, flying pokey, fire swooper, fire chuck... none of these mesh with vanilla SMW, they sorta just exist and do their own thing. As a result, the only thing you can do with them is use them exactly for their intended purpose.

Meanwhile, there are some resources that meshed very well with vanilla SMW. An example would be punchy: it punches nearly every sprite, but each one has a different effect. Rather than only creating a hazard, it can also speed up platforms to allow for quick maneuvering. Another example is the bubble powerup: it has 3 independent functions (turn enemies into platforms, activate blocks, and kill enemies). Even still, punchy and bubble flower are limited compared to some stuff on the site.

Another thing I should mention is that we should be avoiding any resources that, while cute or fun, are too similar to something that already exists in vanilla. There's a number of sprites in the baserom that are like this, where a vanilla version of the sprite exists and it does almost the exact same thing.

When looking at BLDC on a large-scale view, it's clear that you guys were trying to go for stuff that felt like it "fit in" with SMW, and didn't seem so "romhacky". Unfortunately, I don't think this worked out well. Trying to use enemies that seem "familiar" to SMW, but not quite, will not work well because they will just be too similar in functionality. Yet, I also understand that you want to stray away from "romhacky" stuff. I think there's a nice middle ground somewhere.

But anyway, here are some random ideas that might be cool.
- Every type of venus piranha with customizable fireball speed
- Kicked shell, spawns kicked
- Disco shell, spawns active
- Poison shroom (the non-powerup patch version)
- Mad thwomps
- Conveyor blocks, customizable speed
- Sprite respawner (not powerup respawner)
- Inverted ? blocks
- Sprite-activated on/off switch
- Sprite-only water
- Water with customizable speed (enemies and mario)
- Blocks that destroy yoshi, blocks that kill carry-able items
- Sprite morph blocks
- Limited spawner block
- Block that disables/re-enables vertical scrolling
- Powerup blocks
- Unique SMB3/YI enemies, such as bumpty, trouter, buster beetle

Sorry for the literal novel
basic uberasm commands
most okayest
just a small input for now - considering secret exits are banned, and yoshi coins / 3-up moons are no longer taken into consideration with judging, maybe next time it'll be worth considering the removal of the timer limit. maybe something to look at after judging bldc, just to see how long the levels ended up being and whatnot?
What I'm going to say now is more for a suggestion (that you don't really need to make it). I will begin to talk about the news (that are the BLDC). The Baserom Level Design Contest (or BLDC) is really a good contest that, different of VLDC, you have a chance to use graphics, sprites, powerups, blocks (and other things) that are aren't just in the Original Game, but having more choices and more freedom to make your levels. I have to say that I participated of this contest to see what I can do using the Originals Graphics with the things that are implemented on the Rom (and citing that this is the first time that I participated of a Contest). I'm not saying that this is just a VLDC+, and this is due to the fact that (and for) the Creativity of the peoples that will make the levels (their styles, their designs, on what they were based, etc). In short, it's very good and could have more (in my opinion).
Now for the things I saw (and they were like, A LOT) are that, since that this is new, he didn't get much attention.
Honestly speaking, I know why all that trouble happened on the last day. First of all, I have to say that some peoples wanted to enter on the contest but, they are peoples; they have go to work and study. I know that it have 2 months (and even a extended deadline), but they have a social life, they have to live their lifes, or our life just depends to Hack? obvious that's not. there is a catch about what I just said right now. There are also some people who, besides not paying attention and or reading the rules, make joke, simple or purposely bad levels. that's the thing I hate the most, because, some people who tried to make a good and decent level, end up suffering unnecessarily by that person that not even tried to make it.

Sorry if what I talked right now are useless. Now I will talk what I really want to talk, that are my Opinion and Feedback (which, as I had said, can only be used for a suggestion).
Sorry (again) if what I will say right now can be a bit (or super) rude (please don't see me for a bad guy), but when you are making (or updating) make sure of test, not just one, or two, but three times before you send something. I saw two things (right now) that, since they were not deepened, left the heads of the participants confused, that are the unmodified Mario colors and the SMB3 to SMW Powerdown. I won't even talk about it (because this has already been discussed) and, before you ask, try to install the rom again (if don't have been deleted) and you will see it by yourself.

Now what I want for the next BLDC (if has) is that have

- More graphics with SMW styled.
- More super mario maker 2 tilesets.
- And even SMW Beta Graphics would be good.

As I said, you don't need to listen to me, these are just my suggestions and my opinions, they are not worth much.

short feedback from mine. I didn't dig too much into the resources, nor into my own level design.
Sure, I've got a bit confused at first when the custom sprite data was only delivered in txt, and also for the missing FG tiles. So I've read the .txt extensively and ended using the standard castle FG tiles. I never care too much about decorum.

I had a lot of fun with the powerup pack, since I've never tried to understand how to insert a powerup.
I enjoyed the custom blocks. Except for the screen-scrolling pipes, which I didn't dare to touch. I have an irrational fear of messing thing up with screen scrolling pipes.
The BGs selected were pleasant. I do have a thing for All-stars graphics though.
I didn't even use too much the custom sprites, except for some I really like (the circling winged Koopa, the Rotodisc and the Boomerang Bro from SMB3). Who would know the Boomerang Bros are a tougher obstacle when using a level with a low ceiling?

I think I have very low standards on what a baserom should contain anyways, so I could totally use the exact same baserom for a future contest. But overall, I'll be happy if I find more SMAS sprite content and maybe more bug-fixing patches.

I second @BootaNoBijuuu about the poorly designed or troll levels made by our competitors. But don't worry pal, we will not suffer from their poor levels, it's more like a free higher ranking. I've only suffered the moment I've played them. I've also found a selection of pleasant levels, which is super nice. I'll follow the path of some contestants.
I'm gonna share my opinion about usage of resources in BLDC and the contest itself. But I want to start with what I think of BLDC, though. I find that this should be more important not only to contest organizers and judges, but also to the whole community in general.

All right, I enjoyed the new format even despite some problems, and I hope it'll be hosted many more times in the future. I love how we had similar restrictions to past VLDCs but with more choices we could make. I hope more contestants will participate next time because it's been one of the most interesting LDCs yet.

Also a compilation would be nice, but considering that progress on VLDCX or KLDC2017 collabs was extremely slow despite the fact even VLDC7 was planned to be bigger than VLDCX, it's not certain that it'll happen. Undeniably some people would like a hack with this contest's levels. Whenever the new way to compile a ROM hack for a contest gets invented, someone will be more motivated to make a BLDC collab.

Now for some suggestions, I'll go for time limit extension, making custom sprites ready to use, and custom FG tiles included as well and... maybe a remix contest.
The former comes from the fact that a couple of entries ended up being long for a 600-second time limit since this format allows for more enjoyable experience that makes you want to play a level for longer. Although forcing to get close to the last seconds of the time limit shouldn't be adviced.
Having files in the base ROM for custom sprite collection repository isn't only good for anyone who doesn't have enough lust for learning to use PIXI, but also for more convenience.
Map16 tiles for custom FG would also be a profit for anyone who wouldn't like to add to create a new map16 page for the sake of using them.
The last suggestion is inspired from VLDC11 remix contest and is just a random idea brought up by anyone who has next to no knowledge of creating custom music.

Now for something that's not as important, but still, while some of the resources were nice additions that complement vanilla SMW mainly because they're from Mario games, some of them were lacking.

Some examples of good resources are Bros who allow for a bunch of creative setups on their own and are a great addition to vanilla and it's quite a shame they didn't appear in SMW. Screen-scrolling pipes, ON/OFF blocks, and one-way blocks provide a new experience to SMW.

Due to dynamic nature of powerup patch, you can't use standalone standard powerups on the same screen with an entrance without glitched graphics. If there's any way to make it so they can be used on the same screen with an entrance without graphical oddities while still using LX5's patch, it'll be appreciated.

Here's also a list of ideas that could be used next time:
- More YI/SMAS SMB1/SMM2 graphics and expanded SMW tilesets
- Item Filter
- Fuel-powered Platform
- Controllable Carrot Top Lift
- Celeste - Controllable Platform
- ON/OFF-Controlled Platform
- Thwimp Thwomp
- Switch-Controlled Grey Rotating Platform
- YI Exploding Platforms

I hope my post was helpful to anyone and any of my suggestions will be considered. That's all, folks!
Calling Tim Follin a musical genius would be offensive to him.
My feedback is coming from the perspective of a rushed person who made a level in about 4 hours. I personally had almost no issues with any sprites, and enjoyed the ease of inserting things quickly.

There were many things outside the organizers' control. An example is the firebars sometimes not spawning in big Lunar Magic 3.00 levels. I also had an issue with not finding graphics for the sideways springboard, although I suppose I could have done that in YY-CHR given a bit more time.

The sprite selection wasn't ideal, although I saw it as a challenge to create something, given some difficult constraints. I think that no matter what sprites are put in the baserom, someone will complain about something missing.
Prefacing with the fact that as a judge and pr member I was somewhat involved with organization... Next time I would like to do something a bit more in-depth with the graphics and map16. Particularly, I'd like to make it so that all the same/mm/smb3 graphics used are easily interchangeable and eliminate The majority of tileset-specific tiles. i.e. rearrange the gfx files so they line up, and take advantage of an extra map16 slot so everything that would be tileset-specific is now usable regardless of base tileset used.

This would mean a lot of re-arranging and building new objects, etc, but ultimately I think it would make using the resources a lot easier. Potentially I think we could get everything onto page 2 with the custom blocks... With maybe only the animated sloped lava needing special treatment.

If a user wishes to use the extra gfx slot they could choose themselves which elements they do/do not want to use from it when building their gfx. Barring something this in-depth, I feel like we could at least make steps to rearrange things to be easier to swap interchangeably.

first of all, thanks for using the custom powerups patch! i loved watching people having fun with the powerups in there and breaking my stuff lol

it was already mentioned in the discord channel, but having more people to help building and test the base rom would greatly help bldc2.

something that could be useful is a post/html page included in the zip with every resource linked to their respective download page/github page to see some previews of the things included in the base rom, the rules post had the major resources(tm) listed with links, but everything else wasn't. i feel like that would greatly help people to know what stuff they have without having to open the rom and test themselves everything, text descriptions sometimes aren't enough information.

and as i've said in the discord server, i'm up for helping/assist you to handle the base rom creation/custom powerups insertion if needed (and if i'm still active and have free time)

Originally posted by 7 Up
Due to dynamic nature of powerup patch, you can't use standalone standard powerups on the same screen with an entrance without glitched graphics. If there's any way to make it so they can be used on the same screen with an entrance without graphical oddities while still using LX5's patch, it'll be appreciated.

that caught me off guard on the discord server, as i thought that i fixed those bugs and added some other features that people were requesting (powerups blocks for example) recently... and then i was told that the contest was using a somewhat old build, the actual latest release doesn't have such issues and it's likely to be used in bldc2 if people really want the powerups back ;)
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Forum Index - Important - The Base Rom Level Design Contest - BLDC - Feedback + Opinions

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