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Old 06-30-2015   #1
Prime 2.0
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Default March/April/May/June 2015 Voting

Welcome to the March/April/May/June 2015 SRB2 Official Level Design Contest voting topic!

Hopefully everyone will stick around so we don't have to defer for the next one again.

To vote, play a few games of each stage in a division and create a list of all the maps in the division, arranging them from best to worst with no ties. If you are voting on a division that includes your own entry, you should list your own map as the best regardless of your opinion on the quality of your own map. Although it's not required for votes to count, it's very helpful to make comments about what you liked and didn't like about the map, so the author can improve for future attempts. Please separate your comments from your votes, though, to make it easier for us to tally the scores at the end.

Voting will end July 15, 2015 at 7 PM local time in the Eastern time zone of the United States. Like the entry deadline, this counts the United States' daylight savings time between March and November. Votes submitted after this time will not be counted in the tally, so if you want to be counted, don't vote at the last minute.

After the voting period ends, the votes will be tallied. For each vote, the map they ranked first gets n-1 points, second place gets n-2 points, third gets n-3, all the way down to n-n (zero) points for last, where n is the number of maps in the division. Each map's points are added together to create that map's final score, and the map with the highest score wins the division. Should there be a tie, the votes are calculated again with only the tied maps included. If this still fails to break the tie, the tie stands and both maps are winners.

The entries are as follows:

Single Player
Flicker Lights Zone by Kevin
EGGMANWAY7:Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO by Zipper and toaster
Ghost Battle by Chi.Miru
Mother Lode Canyon Zone by Chaobrother
Emerald Flower Zone by Glaber


Match
Rocky Field Zone by *icefox*avp*
Seabound Ruin Zone by Knux576
Archive Stronghold Zone by Spherallic
Grift Relic Zone by Brawl


Capture the Flag
Dual Heavens Zone by *Icefox*Avp* and Speed-Roid
Magma Plant by Spherallic

As before, "reserved" posts will be infracted as spam.
Attached Files
File Type: zip scr_maraprmayjun15.zip (6.65 MB, 576 views)
File Type: zip mtf_maraprmayjun15.zip (1.07 MB, 363 views)
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Old 07-01-2015   #2
DrTapeworm
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single player:
Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights > Emerald Flower > Eggmanway > Mother Lode Canyon

wow.
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Old 07-01-2015   #3
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EGGMANWAY7: Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO > Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Archive Stronghold Zone > Rocky Field Zone > Seabound Ruin Zone > Grift Relic Zone

Magma Plant > Dual Heavens Zone


Truly the most spectacular single-player division I've seen in ages.
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Old 07-01-2015   #4
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Single-Player:
Ghost Battle > EGGMANWAY7:Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO > Emerald Flower Zone > Flicker Lights Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Match:
Archive Stronghold Zone > Rocky Field Zone > Seabound Ruin Zone > Grift Relic Zone

Capture the Flag:
Magma Plant > Dual Heavens Zone

I'd say "reviews later", but you know that's never going to happen.

Last edited by TehRealSalt; 07-01-2015 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 07-01-2015   #5
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EGGMANWAY7:Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO -> Ghost Battle -> Emerald Flower Zone -> Flicker Lights Zone -> Mother Lode Canyon Zone

And a few thoughts about those levels in no particular order.

Spoiler:
Ghost battle: It's a pretty interesting concept, and visually it's well-done, but gameplay-wise it amounts to "evade projectiles fired directly towards you and do not get crushed by the slow crusher floor". I'd suggest making the speed at which the character gets sucked into the head a bit higher, it takes a while if the player is too far away from it and I thought I was supposed to avoid it somehow. Also, I got crushed without warning by the red pillar around the... spirit ghost thing... inside the head after hitting it. Not pleasant.

Emerald Flower Zone: There's not much to say about this; it's flat and nothing special happens at all. It's also ridiculously tall, and unlike in GFZ2 the tallness feels awkward; it almost felt more natural when played with pancake.lua.

Flicker Lights Zone: [that is a silly level name]
I'm not sure how the lighting gimmick is supposed to affect the player.
If the player is not supposed to see what's going on when the lights are out, it's a major annoyance and potentially unfair if enemies are involved.
If it's normal that I can see my surroundings while the lights are off, then it's a pointless, minor annoyance. You should probably try a different
gimmick next time. As for the level design itself, it was nothing special. The rooms with the boxes didn't really mix well with the gimmick of not being able to see, because having to look for the particular box that'll let you escape the room with the lights going on and off is not fun.

Mother Lode Canyon: [that is a very silly level name]
The platforming sections were annoying, especially the rope hangs, and most of them are just a bunch of random things floating in the air. There's also no indication of how high exactly the fans can carry the player, which doesn't help matters. It at least tries to do interesting with polyobjects, but jumping from a rope hang to a horizontally moving polyobject platform is a very annoying task. Then there's the end section, which seems like it'd have some special gimmick after seeing that weird door, but doesn't have anything special going on in the end. As far as visuals go, that little intro looked pretty nice... which made the rest of the level feel even more barren in comparison.

Eggmanway7: Well, I didn't find it funny, but I liked the race. I seriously question those slow platforms that move up and down slowly at the beginning, which don't belong in a race at all. Also, that deton at the end was a terrible idea and it actually managed to kill me my first time through.
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Old 07-01-2015   #6
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Ghost Battle >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> > Flicker Lights > Eggmanway > Mother Lode Canyon > Emerald Flower

I had crazy amounts of fun with Ghost Battle. Playing against pumpkin man totally made my day. :)
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Old 07-01-2015   #7
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Worth the wait. million quotation marks

Single Player only:

Ghost Battle - chi.miru {5/5}
Flicker Lights - Kevin {4/5}
Eggmanway 7: Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO - Zipper & toaster {3/5}
Mother Lode Canyon - Chaobrother {2/5}
Emerald Flower - glaber {1/5}

Spoiler: review this

Ghost Battle - chi.miru

It's a fine enough boss, but it was only after I finished it that I realized it's fun to fight. The crushing sandpit-like area caught me off-guard the first few tries, so... well-made boss, then.

Emerald Flower Zone - glaber

Sorta what I imagined a scaled-up Greenflower Zone to be like. And Greenflower Zone isn't particularly interesting to begin with, so having that made huge... aye yai yai.

Eggmanway 7: Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO - Zipper & toaster

I'm not sure how to feel on this one. It's intentionally-bad storywise, but I found it to be kinda unintentionally(?)-bad gameplaywise. The entirety of it being a Metal Sonic race is also what led me to not liking it that well.

Flicker Lights Zone - Kevin

Unique.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone - Chaobrother

I knew what I was in for the moment I was being subjected to an automated railroad that held no purpose after I automatically got off it. Sure was a motherlode alright.
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Old 07-01-2015   #8
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Single player: (maybe not final review)

Ghost Battle > Eggmanway 7: blah blah blah > Flicker lights > Emerald Flower > Mother Lode Canyon

Spoiler:

Ghost Battle- Unique battle, interesting ideas good job!.

Eggmanway - A decent metal sonic race, was pretty good

Flicker lights - I wanted to like this, but a couple of things knocked points off. Ogl and software are completely different playstyles, I am guessing it supposed to be played in software. I guess I can't fault you with the way ogl and software handle lighting, but it does factor in. I was a bit confused by the whole lazer eyes hurting you thing. Maybe have it be a red semitransparent block.

Emerald Flower - kinda bland

Mother Lode canyon - Um kinda cheap uninteresting platforming over death pits.
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Old 07-01-2015   #9
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Single Player:
Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights > Eggmanway 7 > Emerald Flower > Mother Lode Canyon

My thoughts below:

Spoiler:

Ghost Battle - Super fun, although by the third round I started to question how long it was going to go on for. 2 probably would have been enough, at least for me. Loved the idea of hitting the ghost in its ghost brain...thing...

Flicker Lights Zone - Also a lot of fun, the light flickering wasn't so unbearably slow like in a lot of similar types of levels in various games to make the experience bad. I also, for some reason, really liked that tiny little pond at the very end of the level.

Eggmanway 7 - This level was good, and looked great. However, some of the level design made me scratch my head. It was too based around platform cycles; the only real way to beat Metal Sonic was to get one platform cycle ahead of him then it was a cakewalk. Also, that enemy at the end was just...bad design really, there is no way of dodging it unless you already know it's there, and being right at the end I lost to Metal just because of that, which was some bullshit.

Emerald Flower Zone - Once I found the "Hedgie Radar", this zone actually became really fun to play. I really love the "Emerald Hunt" types of levels, so this was just a really big emerald hunt and some of the locations were pretty interesting. However, it was a little TOO big. Some of the rooms I found looked nice, like the initial indoor area with the spiral staircase and the water on the ground, but some (like the first room), were just way too tall and large.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone - It looked fairly nice, and had a decent atmosphere due to the seemingly endless bottomless pits. But besides that, there wasn't enough variation in level design (a LOT of platforms over bottomless pits), and some of the gimmicks were difficult/impossible to get to work (hanging sections, for example), causing a lot of trial and error gameplay.

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Old 07-01-2015   #10
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EGGMANWAY7 > Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone > Emerald Flower Zone

Spoiler: Reviews
EGGMANWAY7
A short but sweet race level with comically harmless Detons and charmingly bad old-style cutscenes. There was one place near the beginning of the level where I once got turned around and wound up so far behind Metal Sonic that I had to restart, but it wasn't a big deal due to the level's brevity, and there's not much to complain about other than that.

Ghost Battle
This level had high production values, but why make me fight the same two bosses three times each with no perceptible differences? Also, the fact that the moving/crushing platforms in the second ghost's room have a sand-fall texture on their sides was confusing enough to get me killed once. I'd recommend just changing them to ordinary rock.

Flicker Lights Zone
The titular gimmick was mildly interesting, but it was wearing thin by the level's end, even with the introduction of the evil eye-lights to spice things up a bit. The level is also pretty inconsistent with how it marks death pits: throughout most of it, all pits have striped warning textures around them (which completely trivializes the 'invisible' path section, by the way), but there are a couple of areas where pits surround even unremarkably textured platforms, and that threw me off a little.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone
This level alternates between solid, if linear, platforming challenges and wide open vistas of nothingness. Both types of area are pretty bare aesthetically, with little scenery and lots of large mono-texture planes, but at least the former is interesting to play through. There's also something weird with the big gray doors in the second half and when and why they open, but I'm not entirely sure what, and this being a half-complete demo does not excuse you from not adding an exit sector at the end. As a side note, part of the reason why Fan Particle Generators are helpful is that they let the player gauge how high a fan will carry them, and it's confusing when the particles stop so far short of the top of the fan's range like they often do here.

Emerald Flower Zone
I rated Mother Lode Canyon higher than this because I got some enjoyment out of its challenging parts despite its flaws, whereas this is just rather boring. Most of this level's rooms are way too empty and devoid of challenge, and sometimes they get so big and tall that the player loses their sense of direction and has to effectively guess which exit is the way forward. The most entertaining thing about this level was the tall room at the end with all of the springs, if only because most SRB2 levels don't let you climb so high so fast.
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Old 07-01-2015   #11
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Ghost battle -> Eggmanway 7 -> Flicker lights -> Emerald flower -> Mother lode canyon

MP:
Rocky Field -> Archive Stronghold -> Seabound Ruin Zone -> Grift Relic Zone
Dual Heavens -> Magma Plant

Reviews: LOLWUT?
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Old 07-01-2015   #12
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Mother Lode Canyon Zone > Flicker Lights Zone > Ghost Battle > EGGMANWAY7:Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO > Emerald Flower Zone

My thoughts on the levels in the order I played them:
Spoiler:
Ghost battle:
This was very well scripted custom boss fight. It was very involved and challenging. I really liked the intro scene.

Emerald Flower Zone:
This was a simple map with a generic theme. It did not seem to try to do anything interesting; as such it just came off as a very vertical GFZ.

Eggmanway 7:
Setting aside the fact that I don't know the context of the cutscenes or the theming, this was a very challenging Metal Sonic race map. My only issues with the map were the Detons (even if they did not cause you to lose rings, they are still annoying to have in open spaces) and the relatively small platforms. The size of the platforms is not the issue, it is the fact that you to be constantly moving in order to beat Metal Sonic as well as the fact that one missed platform means that you fail the race. I liked the ending theme.

Flicker Lights Zone:
This level reminds me of that one part in AAZ from Tortured Planet. I really enjoyed this map, you took a gimmick that can be incredibly annoying if done wrong and made it fun. Even when the lights were out the player could still see their surroundings. By doing this you made the level playable instead of making it “Wait for the Lights to Come on Zone”. Beyond that, the level had no glaring flaws.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone:
I released this map in the state that it is in just to make sure that there were enough entries for the contest. I appreciate all of the criticism given about this map. I am working on addressing and fixing everyone’s complaints for a final release down the line. The level is at its full length, it just lacks a huge amount of detail. Gimmicks will be modified to be more forgiving and dummied out content (namely the area at the end will be modified to work properly for the future release).


Below is an in depth analysis of my level which addresses some criticisms raised by the reviews.
Spoiler:

  • The level name: I was never good at naming my levels (Scale the Earth Zone, Midnight Caves Zone). Even though MLCZ seemed to fit to me (given that term mother lode refers to huge veins of ore; namely gold or silver), it seems strange to others. As such I will change the name down the line. The level name was originally going to be called Sandy Canyon Zone or Ore Canyon Zone.
  • Fans and Fan particles: I need to figure out how to set fan particles to a certain height. For whatever reason only certain angles work for the fan particle generators. Other angles make the fan particles go nowhere. If I am unable to make the particles work correctly I will replace the fans with springboards.
  • Scenery: The most complete area of my map (the beginning) is a good indication of what the level will look like down the line. Caves will have exposed pockets of glowing crystals as well as glowing crystal outcrops. Outdoor areas will have ACZ aesthetic to them with erosion due to past waterfalls as well as standard ACZ enemies and decoration. The empty voids of nothing near the end of the level will look more canyon-like down the line. Rope hangs will also have supports stemming from rock above them to look more realistic. Pits (Namely in the right path at the beginning of the level) will have gradient brightness for the floor and ceiling.
  • Rope hangs and poly objects: The main gimmicks will be modified to be more reliable or easier. These difficult gimmicks were added to make the level more difficult than levels I made in the past.
  • Mysterious doors and the end area: Its very obvious that the end area of the level is seriously dummied out. The end area was dummied out content due to time constraints. The end area will have the player do a challenge in an allotted amount of time or else they will have to do a more difficult (and longer) out doors section.
    The first area will have the player defeat enemies in 10 seconds. If they succeed the door to the metal tube will open if this happens the player will not be able to access the harder area blocked off by the door on the right. If the player fails they will have to do the harder section and the shortcut door will not open.

    The second area will have the player complete a lights out puzzle (either by getting all red or blue tiles) in 20 seconds. Should they succeed the shortcut will open. If the player fails they will have to do the long difficult route.

    The third area has a player press a button within 30 seconds. Should they succeed, the door will unlock and a secret will be made available somewhere at the end of the level. If the player does not press the button in 30 seconds it will disappear, the secret will not be made available, but the door will still unlock. Then end of the level in the glass dome at the bottom of the end area.

    The strange doors near the middle of the level which do not open are for an incredibly difficult secret route which should take less time to complete than the normal route.



Overall the Single Player division was slightly below average. I think (at least in my case) levels were submitted just to show that there is still interest in the OLDC. Hopefully the next contest will have incredible levels!
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Old 07-01-2015   #13
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Can't play the other maps yet, so I'll just say that toaster is supposed to have a lowercase t. Good job at matching the formatting on the level title though! :D

EDIT: After talking to Zipper, our expert votes are (and we independently agreed on the order of all but the last two maps):
EGGMANWAY7: Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO > Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Spoiler: Reviews
EGGMANWAY7: Quest for Eggmanways 1 through 4 - REVENGE OF FINAL DEMO - 1.09.4/10 - There were two aims with this map- make something that played well but which was coated in a veneer of shit presentation, and save the OLDC and buy myself two more months to work on Flipside Frenzy. I'd like to say that both of these were resounding successes.

Ghost Battle - 9/10 - hi chee!!! :3 i love it, it's a really nice boss!! it's well designed, clearly choreographs its attacks such that a skilled player understands what it's doing, and is just plain old adorable. if there's anything i can suggest to improve it, maybe one less outdoors-indoors phase cycle. good job!! <3

Flicker Lights Zone - 7/10 - Great concepts, poor flow. Lots of times where I was uncertain where to go. Perhaps make rings permanently fullbright in this map at a minimum, and use guiding trails to help direct the player. Additional suggestions include new badniks and more seperate paths. Quite nice on the whole, though!

Emerald Flower Zone - 2/10 - A regression from the last OLDC you entered a map in. The only reason we're not giving you last place outright is because at least your map is only inoffensively bad.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone - 2/10 - This is just ridiculous. I mean, I can't fault you for trying, but judging you on the content you've produced, it somehow manages to both be empty and overuse its gimmicks. I mean. I don't even know. Words kind of fail me on this one, sorry. Keep trying, I'm sure you'll do great things one day- the road ahead is a long one, but I see the seeds of creativity in here that will get you far.
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Old 07-01-2015   #14
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Hey look! SP reviews!

Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights > Eggmanway 7 > Mother Lode Canyon > Emerald Flower

Spoiler: Reviews

Ghost Battle, by chi.miru

It was actually interresting. I guess I can't say much about it, sadly, because I didn't see anything really wrong with it. It also definetly beats pretty much everything from my standpoint.
...Also blame me, I used Moonblast a bit too much in the video I'm gonna upload.

Flicker Lights, by Kevin

If it isn't some interresting gimmick you got there!
There was nothing really wrong with the level itself, but I gotta say it actually lacks a secondary path and all. I was also constantly jumping on the lights to avoid eventual holes on the not- lighted parts, but you apprently didn't put a lot, which kinda ruins the concept of fellowing the lights IMO. The fact that it has an actual interresting gimmick makes it deserve the 2nd place, for me at least.

Eggmanway 7 and all the long title that I'm lazy to even write, by toaster and Zipper

I have to admit that I was excited at first, like, a lot!
...But this quickly turned into some disapointement, like... a lot, too.
The thing with that level is that it's a Metal Sonic race, so well, I guess I can already put off my head any idea about exploring the level, but it's also really short and pretty damn easy (I failed the first time on the vid I'm gonna upload because I'm blind, but the second attempt was pretty much cheesecake) I have to say that the visuals and the level structure in general were good however.
Even tough it was completly useless, I liked the story, and I'm looking forward to see if you two will eventually continue this.
Also that end of level music is my new one in my music.dta.

Mother Lode Canyon, by Chaobrother

It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good either. The level has a lot of empty areas with nothing to do aside of running in them. The level kinda lacks visuals and texture diversity, and the part where I felt the level was getting interresting was nothing else than... idk? Some steel with red and blue squares on them? I thought this was something like a platform pattern to memorize, but it's nothing like that, and that's sad, because it would've been a far more interresting gimmick than magical fans floating in the sky IMO.

Emerald Flower, by glaber

Sorry to say it like that, but... Another GFZ clone from you?
Didn't you take in consideration what people said at your other GFZ clone attempt at the OLDC that just happened a whole year ago?
I tried to turn back and look for something, even some Rings boxes to find by exploring, but there was litterally nothing, it looks like some empty failed GFZ2 clone, and I preferred Emerald Lake 2 in all honesty.
The good thing with it is that it still has different pathways, but lacks a gimmick or even fun to play in.



Videos coming soon. I guess.
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Old 07-01-2015   #15
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Flicker Lights Zone > Ghost Battle > Eggmanway7 > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Flicker Lights Zone - This level is scary. Everytime I make a jump, I have the feeling I will miss it. But it was fun, and the gimmick worked pretty well. There were some cases were there is no point to have the lights switch because you could still see the platforms.

Ghost Battle - It was really fun battling against that pumkin guy, but also quite easy. Also, I liked the little intro with that small room that floats up. Good job.

Eggmanway7 - It's a little too short, but nicely detailed and most obstacles require multiple tries in order to actually learn them and pass them before metal sonic. A fun map overall.

Emerald Flower Zone - This level would've worked much better if it wasn't so big and if didn't resemble GFZ2 so much, but there are parts of the level which are actually fun.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone - Again, unnecessarly big and overall empty. The rotating polyobjects are a bit glitchy and the game crashes everytime I die. Weird.


Seabound Ruin Zone > Rocky Field Zone > Archive Stronghold Zone > Grift Relic Zone

Dual Heavens Zone > Magma Plant
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Old 07-01-2015   #16
Zipper
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Since there's a rule over collabs now that only allow one person to vote, I'll let toaster handle that. I'm still giving reviews though. Singleplayer only for now, I just hate MP.

Spoiler: TOP SP

Ghost Battle
HNNNNG I was so ready to hate this because of how good it was going to be and I was going to be jealous for like at least 2 months because I can't code that well but eeeeeee THIS IS SO CUTE.
In all seriousness, it isn't the BEST battle there is, the cute pumpkin is too easy, and the Bowser's Inside Story phase has some REAL disorienting factors in it, with the wildly fluctuating platforms and whatnot, but it wasn't enough to make this annoying enough for me. It's simple, you can see attacks coming from far away if you've got a good eye for the tells(yes, even the crushers!), and it's creative overall. I love it!

eggs7
--A Lua obsessed Tag Team can't make a singleplayer level in 16 hours!
--WHAT? This one does, dummy! It's super powerful Eggmanway Sequel Zone! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!

(i have regrets in life)

Flicker Lights Zone
From the discussions I've seen, this'll be a polarising level, but hell if I'm not one of the ones that liked it. It manages to make simple things more threatening then they are, like crawlas and pits) and encourages you to watch your step, while STILL allowing room for a high skill ceiling for players who have good memorization of their enviroments.

Or, you know...


Anyway, my gripes with this level are, sometimes the pits are TOO well hidden, no matter how much I watch the lights themselves, I sometimes judge the borders of the platform I'm on improperly, and die. Which sucks, because the borders don't get ANY light, period.
This also causes some paths to be hard to figure out, parts like the box climbing rooms, where the rings in the dark are your only indication to move. Besides that, the whole level going in sync sometimes made things a bit...predictable, you know? New areas with slower/faster lights would be a nice breath of fresh air in my opinion.

Emerald Flower Zone

Remember the whole drama over making a GFZ1 Remake?

...yeah.

Motherlode Canyon
Oh sweet god, this is like erotic crossover fanfiction, except the main characters are questionable level gimmicks. You throw EVERYTHING in the book for the sake of having them, then rub them into each other
furiously while disregarding the level design AROUND them. It's an endless cycle of "empty literal nothing-gimmick OVER A GIANT PIT-checkpoint" and it's agonizing all the while. I'm sure you realised that punishing EVERYTHING with death is a terrible idea, considering you put extra lives right near the checkpoints. One thing I DID admire is that the level shows you were trying to learn things. Polyobjects, time based linedefs, fans, rope hangs, etc. Now if you use them in a stable level, with actual jumping and manuevering, and you introduce them to the player in a way that they can adjust to, you can mix and match them as deemed fitting to create good stuff.

Just don't let your maps take up half the blockmap next time.
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Old 07-01-2015   #17
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Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Eggmanway7 > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon

[Ghost Battle by Chi.Miru] I thought boss battles aren't allowed in OLDC? Well nevermind, fun to fight, edgy music etc etc, everybody already said it. Though the crusher boss' flames are almost impossible to avoid later rounds and extremely annoying without rings. And yeah, he sure has a lot of HP.

[Emerald Flower Zone by Glaber] This looks to me like GFZ4 on steroids. The rooms are incredibly huge and sometimes I had to backtrack. Secrets ain't that great either, the token is a blatant GFZ1 rip-off, though even more obvious. And this texturing is just odd.

[Eggmanway7: motherload of unnecessary titles by Zipper & Toaster] I was hoping to avoid terrible fanfictions as much as I could and this thing's cutscene ruined it. Also, slow platforms, annoying hazards, dumb easy to backtrack. Yeah, had a few retries. Didn't have fun and didn't find it funny either.

[Flicker Lights Zone by Kevin] Well that was chilly. Though your eyes on the wall kinda screwed up the textures below them.

[Mother Lode Canyon Zone by Chaobrother] Woo zoom tube cutscene. Also the rooms are even bigger than in Glaber's map. How did you do that? Why even submit demos into contests? It was boring and empty. The railway cutscene looked aesthetically better than the whole level, and that's saying something.

Votes are all that matters, all the notes were written by a hermit with Christmas decorations still on his window. Feel free to ignore them.
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Old 07-01-2015   #18
MascaraSnake
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Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Eggmanway7 > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Spoiler: Reviews
Ghost Battle - 5/10
I'm not the biggest fan of standalone boss fights in the OLDC. Admittedly much of this is due to personal preference, but I also feel that a boss fight is always better as the culmination of a good level/zone than as a standalone thing. But I'm not going to hold that against you. I'll still take this over the rest of the competition.

I definitely liked how off-the-wall the concept of this was, although it would have come across better if you had made custom textures for the insides of the pumpkin-thingy's brain instead of using stock textures that only vaguely fit. As for the attacks, shooting projectiles at the player has been extremely overdone in bosses for SRB2, but you did put a neat twist on it with the crusher, which were a serious threat without being cheap at all. My biggest problem with this boss fight was how long it took. Two rounds are already stretching it thin considering this is a pretty slow-scoring boss, but by the third time I was sucked into the brain, I just wanted it to end already.

Flicker Lights Zone - 4/10
Don't you mean "FlickerING Lights Zone"? Anyway, considering how frustrating a gimmick like this could potentially be, you did a pretty good job at making it palatable for the player. You introduced it well, you had warning stripes at the edges of pits, and I never really got lost in the darkness. The problem is that it's just not a very good gimmick. Half the time was spent standing around uselessly, waiting for the lights to come on so I knew where to jump next. Without the light gimmick, most of these platforming sections would have been uninteresting, with it, they're tedious. The only platforming challenge that stood out was the section with the crates, and while it was decent enough, it really wasn't interesting enough to feature it twice. The red light gimmick didn't work too well either. Like the other one, it basically forced you to wait around for a while and wasn't of much consequence otherwise. You also should have made it clearer visually that the entire sector is damaging and not just the floor.

Overall, while I wasn't fond of the gimmick, the basic design seemed pretty solid. If you pick a stronger gimmick next time, I'm sure you can produce something good.

Eggmanway7: Blablablablabla - 4/10
Zipper, why would you withhold the perfectly decent Starry Sky because "the OLDC is dead anyway" and then submit something like this to keep it on life support? I don't see much of a point in giving detailed feedback since you're both capable of much better things than this, so let me be brief: Even though it was short, overly simple and coated in a thick layer of stylistic suck, it would have been basically okay if the flow hadn't been so awful. It felt like every obstacle and platform was placed just a little too close, so I always had to go a little bit slower than what would have felt natural. Plus, slowly moving platforms are pretty lame to begin with, but in a racing level they're just annoying.

Emerald Flower Zone - 3/10
I don't know why on earth you would rip off specific rooms from GFZ2 (and make them worse), but then again I also don't know how you can make something that looks so much like somebody's first map after dozens of tries. Please don't take the fact that I didn't place you last as an accomplishment (like you did last time). The only reason why it's more enjoyable than Mother Lode Canyon Zone is because there's nothing in it.

Mother Lode Canyon Zone - 2/10
Ouch. It's fine to enter betas into the OLDC, but this was in no way ready to be entered yet. I get that the map is so empty because you didn't get around to adding scenery yet, but no amount of scenery could ever fill up rooms that are THIS large and empty. Your map takes up more space than ACZ1 despite having maybe a third of its content. Yes, canyons are supposed to be large and spacious, but this is overdoing it.

Apart from the emptiness and general unfinishedness, there's one overarching problem: This is not a level, it's an obstacle course. All you did was take a few well-established gimmicks (rope pulleys, fans, moving platforms) and string them together generically. There's no real creativity involved in that, and for the player it's totally uninteresting. Your job as a level designer is not just to provide challenges for the player, but also to come up with interesting scenarios to use them in.

As for specific issues, have a list:
  • The swinging chains at the beginning of the left path are pretty much useless since I can jump to the platform without using them. However, if I stand in the center of the platform while it's moving up, I will automatically grab on to the chains without wanting to. I don't know if this is intentional or not, but either way it's annoying.
  • What's the point of the intangible wall right next to the crusher gauntlet at the beginning of the right path? If it's supposed to be a "secret" shortcut, then it's way too obvious (because, again, there's no scenery, so it stands out automatically).
  • The crumbling platform on the right path that you have to jump off at the right time is very cheap. Almost everyone will die there on their first try.
  • The big rock staircase in the room after the two paths merge has holes in it that are impossible to see before it's too late. To make matters worse, the steps right before the holes are smaller than the other ones, so the player is almost guaranteed to jump right into the pit by instinct.
  • The elevator before the room with the rotating polyobjects is so absurdly fast that it took me a while to realize it was moving at all. I thought there were some weird teleporting shenanigans going on.

Last edited by MascaraSnake; 07-02-2015 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-01-2015   #19
J-town
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Ghost Battle > Flicker Lights Zone > Eggmanway7 > Emerald Flower Zone > Mother Lode Canyon Zone

Spoiler: More in-depth commentary

Ghost Battle
Honestly, this was pretty fun, apart from the fact that - at first - I didn't understand what the whole mechanic of the inside bit was and got immediately crushed. (Guh, instadeath on a long bossfight, though?) -- I also felt it lasted a bit longer than it should, given that the three "phases" felt outright identical (ie: No new attacks in each phase) -- Though amusingly, during my playthrough, I recall going "How long is this gonna last?" and as I said that, I unexpectedly dealt the final hit to the boss, defeating it. Heh.

Flicker Lights Zone
One thing I really like here is the yellow-black markings around each bottomless pit. Makes them far easier to see and in turn - makes any time I do end up falling them feel like my fault rather than the fault of the level. Good! I never really had any true problems with the level (probably because I was playing in OpenGL, now that I think about it) and the "lights" thing was more of a "oh, that looks cool" thing rather than anything that actually affected my gameplay.

Eggmanway7
Honestly, with a name like "Eggmanway7", I was a little confused. I vaguely remember something about an "eggmanway" mod way back when.. but I absolutely cannot remember what it was. But this zone was short and sweet, and the whole Metal Sonic race thing added a rather interesting mechanic. (Although I managed to squeeze ahead right at the last second. Geeze, tension much!) I quite enjoyed it!

Emerald Flower Zone
Honestly, I feel like this falls into one of the "Sonic Level Traps" which I see too often - which is that the rooms feel too large. I felt slow and I was playing as Sonic, so I can only imagine how tedious it'd be for the other characters. Otherwise.. it just feels like a slow and gimmicky version of GFZ2. And honestly - while I would like to see a new-designed GFZ (simply for curiosity more than anything)... this isn't it.

Mother Lode Canyon
Honestly, I feel a bit bad putting this here, as I ended up quitting midway through the zone. Though from what I did play of it.. it seemed to be everything I hate in a Sonic level. Gimmicky jumps over bottomless pits, with occasional "normal" sections with bottomless pits you can't even see until you're right next to them. (Take a note from Flicker Lights Zone, yo!) And putting 1-UPs right by the checkpoints only lowered my expectations more...
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Old 07-01-2015   #20
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Ghost Battle > Eggmanway7 > Flicker Lights Zone > Mother Lode Canyon > Emerald Flower Zone.

Reviews later (maybe).
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