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Old 03-01-2006   #1
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Default Official Level Design Contest Voting: January/February

Welcome to the January/February 2006 contest. The levels appear to be pretty decent this time around, so let's get right to it.

The voting works as follows: Play a few games of the stage in question, in the intended gametype for judging, and give the map a vote from 0 to 10. You can not vote on your own map. To encourage voting, if you are an author and you judge all of the competitor's maps, the lowest score on your map will be dropped. Please be as unbiased as possible for the author or the look of the map. It's all about how good the map plays, nothing else.

Although it's not necessary, it's very helpful to make comments about what you liked and didn't like about the map, so the author can improve his skill for future attempts.

Judging will end March 8th at midnight GMT (March 7th, 7:00 PM EST). The scores will be then averaged, and the person with the highest score is the winner.

The maps follow:

Single Player Contest Levels - 217 KB

The single player levels are:
Aero Shrine 1 - Tets
Storm Ruins 2 - FuriousFox
Golden Sands - Mystic

Match/CTF Contest Level Pack - 215 KB

Match/CTF Pack contains the following maps:
MAP01 - Devil's Factory - Match - RoboAshura
MAP02 - Tundra Shoreline - Match - Senku
MAP03 - Sunset Arena - Match - ree-c
MAP04 - Skyline Heights - Match - Blue Blur
MAP05 - J Valley - Match - JJames19119
MAP06 - Crossfire Chaos - Match - Alexmonk0
MAP07 - Octagonal - Match - Oogaland
MAP08 - Isolated Canyon - CTF - Neo Chaotikal
MAP09 - Metal Star - CTF - FuriousFox
MAP10 - Techno Hill CTF - CTF - Mystic

Please make sure to play the levels in the intended gametype, and above all, have fun judging!
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Old 03-01-2006   #2
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The link doesn't work for the CTF and Match one.
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Old 03-01-2006   #3
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*gigantic sweatdrop*

I was intending on sending them in earlier, but Real Life interfered-I just mailed my submissions and it turns out Mystic's freaking on time for once?
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Old 03-01-2006   #4
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Well I always said being late was at your own risk. I assume they're entries in the next contest now ^_~
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Old 03-01-2006   #5
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For the Single Player levels:

Aero Shrine- 8. I loved this level. It uses the rule of balance fairly well. The only problem I found was a slight Hall of Mirrors effect, but that was it. GJ.

Storm Ruins 2- 8. A nice sequel to the Storm Ruins act. I was instantly reminded of the Sonic Adventure opening them, Open Your Heart, when I first played it.

Golden Sands- 5. The map itself is really good. But there is no balance. Add a little bit more robots and a little less quicksand, and you should be set.

For the Multiplayer levels:

Devils Factory- 6. The lighting. Other than that I'm half tempted into tricking someone into netgaming me just to frag their shadowed butts in the darkness.

Tundra Shoreline- 7. A nice layout with a substantial amount of rings.

Sunset Arena 3- 7. A nice sequel to all of the other Sunset Arenas that screams, "I need a 35 player deathmatch played on me"

Skyline Heights- 6. A nice in the sky match level that provides enough rings for everyone who dies to have at least 5.

J Valley- 6. The more walls to hide behind the better.

Crossfire Chaos- undecided :oops:

Octagonal- 7.

Isolated Canyon- 7. Finally, I can shoot someone off the edge of the brdge while using a homing ring.

Metal Star- 7.

Techno Hill CTF- 9. This CTF level is sure to have you playing for hours.

Well that's it for me. If I didn't give an explanation, I apologize for any inconvenience.
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Old 03-01-2006   #6
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Aero Shrine: Waffles/10 - I can't vote on my own level, but it's totally awesome. For seriously.

Storm Ruins 2: 8/10 - I was fairly impressed with this level. I can't say I'm liking the long fall in the beginning. It would look better if the player's character were actually in some kind of falling animation. Otherwise, this is standard platformer fare, and done well at that. I really liked the last bit, being propelled through the waterfall into the world outside. Rather epic.

Golden Sands: 7/10 - A rather simple and short level, which is odd coming from Mystic, but I'm hip. Fine work for the first sand-based single player SRB2 level I've played. Unfortunately it's difficult to discern where the normal floor ends and where quicksand starts because the animation is so subtle. I feel that a lot more could have been done with this level, but obviously not in just a few days. Not that I mean to imply that it's bad for a level to be short, I'm just used to Mystic's levels being xbox hueg and severely difficult.
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Old 03-01-2006   #7
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Golden Sands: 6- Don't try to play this one as Sonic, you will get continusly stuck, but Tails and Knuckles like this level so you'd be better off playing as them.

Aero Garden: 8.5- this map is awesome, I got used to the fact that the level was filled with jetty-syns, so I just ran through. Great map though :)
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Old 03-03-2006   #8
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Aero Shrine 1 - Tets - 9/10
Uh. Wow. This map totally blindsided me, to the point of beta testing this making me want to enter the single player contest. I REALLY liked this map. The only real issues I have with it are the anticlimatic ending, which I hope is an omen of what's to come. The only room for improvement I really see is perhaps a few more secrets and hidden areas, and maybe less emphasis on springs in your next map, because you have a LOT

Storm Ruins 2 - FuriousFox - 8/10
Wow, another great map. I didn't quite like this one as much as Aero Shrine, but the variety was absolutely great. I really liked the room with the chains holding up the platforms, and the crusher room was awesome. I do agree with sentiment that you need to decorate more consistantly, though. There are areas of the map with great detail, and then you come across a passage with no decoration at all, which really breaks the illusion.

Golden Sands - Mystic - N/A
I'm pretty proud of myself for this one, not because of the end result, which I consider rather average (I'd probably score it at a 6-7), but the fact that I went from concept to finished product in 3 days, one for concepting and two to make it, which is a record for me on a single player stage. Just so everyone knows, it is possible to get out of all the quicksand as Sonic, you just have to find the exit area, which isn't always easy to find, I agree. This needs tweaking in general, but I'm considering making an act 2, as I have a few ideas for where to take it from here.
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Old 03-03-2006   #9
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It is indeed possible to get out of the quicksand while playing as Sonic in Golden Sands. It should be immediately obvious to anyone who has ever played Mario 64.

It was difficult to end Aero Shrine, eventually I decided to just settle for something simple. As for secrets, I figure there are plenty. But they mostly consist of breakable walls with shield monitors hidden behind, and you probably wouldn't notice a lot of them unless you pay close attention to texture changes, so I don't blame you for passing most of them up in the beta testing. There's also a special stage token I'm not sure if you ever found, as I wasn't paying very close attention.
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Old 03-03-2006   #10
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Since I'm around, I thought I'd throw my 2 pennies into this voting thing - I'm normally not big on assigning a numerical value on how much I did/didn't like the level, but as this is the system here, I'll do that at the end. I would've also commented sooner, but the Message Board imploded the last time I tried to post this and seems to have just come back up.

When I play through these levels, I play once through on Normal just to get a feel for the level, then try the map with Tails (on Normal) to see what sort of secret areas were added. After that I play through with Sonic on Very Hard skill to see how the enemy balancing works and then again on Sonic/Normal to see how quickly I can beat the level. I throw in a few extra plays with other character/skills here and there, but I aim to at least do all of the above.

AERO SHRINE - Good, fun map. Interesting use of the castle textures and some decorative work there (I especially liked the windmill), so the level gets high marks for prettiness, which is one big advantage of large, outdoor levels; also, as a result, the level had a decent flow to it, so you could fairly easily blast through the stage as Sonic or take a little time to explore the nuances of the zone. Perhaps I wasn't being particularly perceptive, but I noted a few missed opportunities in regards to hiding away a few extra items here and there, especially as the other characters. There's a chance I was being particularly dense, however. =D

I'd say the enemy placement was about perfect for the level it was, although the 'big area after the windmill' got a bit chock-a-block with enemies, forcing you to spend a few seconds to clear it, but otherwise, it was about right, considering the level's overall difficulty was (assumedely intended) to be rather low.

This level was good fun to time attack - although I actually found myself beating the level slightly more quickly with Tails (flying over everything ftw!), which was a refreshing change.

STORM RUINS - The problem with having challenging levels is that you run the risk of frustrating the player, which gives them a rather more negative experience - I try to take into consideration that hard levels are -shock of shocks- supposed to be to hard and annoy you a little.

On Normal skill, the level was fairly well put together - I liked the water rising room (and the hidden Chaos Emerald within it) and the innovative use of a single crushing block for the top and bottom of the room. Water bubbles were well placed.

some of the item box placements puzzled me slightly such as the invincibility at the end of the level - it takes a long time to jump up those pillars (as Sonic at least) and you don't particularly need the powerup - the end of the level is but a stonesthrow away. I feel a 1up TV would have been far more practical here. I was also somewhat dubious about the placement of a speed sneaker box uh, 'in the bit where the water tries to push you off the platform' as that's a somewhat tricky room to get to - but I realise going that way can really pay dividends if you're trying to Time Attack the level, so I acknowledge the use of it. Perhaps replace the ten ring box with a shield?

On Very Hard skill though, the map is uh, very hard. I generally think there's been a good attempt to make the map a challenging experience, but I think the enemy placements border on cheap in a number of occasions that spring to mind:

- There are way too many flying enemies in the water rising room. If you hit the spring, you're pretty much guaranteed to take a hit by the time you get to the top. You can sort-of-kind-of-maybe-sometimes avoid them by moving around slightly as you ascend, but more often than not, you just have to accept the hit.
- Four turrets in the upper 'rising/falling crusher' room seems a little overkill to me, even on Very Hard - I appreciate the idea is that you should be jumping from one 'safe spot' in the middle of each crusher section rather than hiding where the guns are, but you're pretty likely to get shot on the way through, and as such I generally favoured the lower route.

...but on successful completion, I did feel a lot more satisfied for beating it than I did Aero Shrine - this is something that you can only really benefit from with harder levels, and is the upshot of running the risk of frustrating the player.

In terms of a time attack, I found this level still had some good tricks and optimum routes for doing such a thing, but I'd be going nuts trying to TA this stage on Very Hard - especially with the tricky jumps towards the end of the stage, but then, the stage was designed with the purpose of being more challenging.

GOLDEN SANDS: This map deserves some credit for using that yellow block texture, which was a change. Unfortuantely, I think it was rather OVERused, especially for the 'inside' bits, which made the map somewhat less fun to play - it's perhaps a little cruel to punish a map for texture choice, considering that there's a choice of about 8, but I'm certain there were other variants that could be used to break up the monotony... ;)

I'm not so sure about the level being particularly 'short'; as Sonic, I reckon if I'd really optimized my time attacking, I could bet the level in under 50 seconds and as it was, I couldn't quite get to 55 seconds. The quicksand offered a unique challenge to the Time Attackery and I had to make special effort to avoid it in the first two 'pit' rooms.

Which brings me to the next thing - it isn't intially made particularly clear that those are pits (as I think someone else has commented on), but nonetheless, the thing that irked me was the fact that the later sand pits have those helpful orange platforms which scream "I am an escape route!" as opposed to the earlier rock textured ones which blended in with the wall rather.

That said, I think the enemy choice was excellent for Very Hard, and makes the stage a fair bit more challenging - obviously, the harder enemies generally work better with a more sinister stage layout, but considering this is probably an Zone 1 replacement, I'd have been somewhat irked by their inclusion, so harder enemies were definitely the way to go.

--

The maps all succeed at what they set out to do and they were an excellent way to spend time before having to go to campus to do more of this 'work' nonsense; unfortunately I imagine selecting a draw isn't valid, so I'm going to have to give it to Aero Shrine for the advantage of having the technical excellence award. Storm Ruins would have possibly pipped it to the post had it not been for the enemy placement which I felt was rather cheap; likewise with Golden Sands and the texture usage.

Ergo:
AERO SHRINE: 8/10
STORM RUINS: 7.5/10
GOLDEN SANDS: 7/10

Good job to all three map designers though. =D

--
Johnny
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Old 03-03-2006   #11
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Is it me or do people love over-using the most annoying flying enemies?
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Old 03-03-2006   #12
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Single Player

Aero Shrine Zone 1 - Tets
I absolutely love this map. It has both main components of a successful Single Player stage: looks and gameplay. The visuals are possibly the prettiest ever I've seen in SRB2, as the soft combination of silver tiles and green grass bode extremely well. As for the gameplay, I wouldn't say it's the best, but it's very fun, and as Johnny has already referred, it's easy to blaze past but also fun to look for secrets. I too feel you missed some good oportunities on hiding secrets, but hey, it's your map =P 9 out of 10

Storm Ruins Zone 2 - FuriousFox
Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed with this one. It's not supposd to be a fun level to frolic around, but yet it's not difficult enough to present a challenge to the more experienced players. Visual appeal is scarse aswell, but when it does exist it's crammed all into a single spot, like the corridor with the gargoyles on the sides and the flight over the lake. However, the "gimmicks" that do exist in the map work rather well, such as the giant two-way crusher and the U-shaped watefrall. I feel that had this been worked on for a longer period of time, the result would be one of the greatest stages ever. As it is, it's rather incomplete. 7 out of 10

Golden Sands Zone - Mystic
Yes, it's a little short and empty, I realise. But what I appreciate of this map if the fact that even though it was made in such a short period of time, the map screams "Mystic" all over, like the tricky rock-to-rock spindash jumps to get a power-up. It's these little extras that I feel some of the other Single Player wadders are forgetting sometimes. While they don't necessarily add (or subtract) that much from gameplay, they count as a "I did it" trophy. So, basically, the gameplay is scarse, but where it exists it's fun. 7 out of 10


Match

Devil's Factory Zone - RoboAshura
What could have been an interesting concept to develop turned into a major flaw in gameplay. If your display settings are colormetrically correct, you should have a rather fun time on this map. However, if that's not true, you just won't be able to play. And while a map that forces you to change our computer settings is a bad map, I feel that the players who can experience what's intended will find it a cool concept. 5 out of 10

Tundra Shoreline Zone - Senku
Before submitting maps to the contest, you should check it for bugs and test it for gameplay flaws. Complete with incorrectly made water below ice, a too-short thok barrier, a random REDWALL/HOM and no deathmatch starts, this is probably one of the oddest experiences I had to go through in my still short netgaming career. Why on earth would Senku submit this without even adding starts? Other than that, the level design is mostly solid, with the exception of little things here and there. But Senku, please, next time finish your map befor submitting it. It would have been so much cooler if you had. 5 out of 10

Sunset Arena Zone - ree-c
The field is really large and simply yet nicely architectured, so it would be a good map for holding a large amount of players. However, the abuse of Homing makes it rather cheap. Also, it wouldn't hurt to change the ring placement around a bit, so that you don't have huge straight lines of rings throughout the center of the bridges, which may hinder your vision. 6 out of 10

Skyline Heights Zone - Blue Blur
I'll be honest. I didn't like this map. The design idea is great, but some of the architecture isn't all that good. Most of the times your vision is hindered by some obstacle such as a higher ledge or a railing. Other than that, pretty good. 6 out of 10

J Valley Zone - JJames19119
This map is all fun and nice if not for the self-explanatory mental shout of "damn teleports". The design is pretty nice, but you can't really see it all if you get your butt teleported back to the bottom plains every 5 seconds. 6 out of 10

Crossfire Chaos - Alexmonk0
Again, I'll be honest - I originally thought this was a joke entry. I mean, I think we can all see what's wrong with this stage, it's a random amount of pits and cliffs with some rings, monitors and springs added to the mix. Try studying the existing maps and figuring out why they work, then try and reproduce some of the concepts. 2 out of 10

Octagonal Zone - Oogaland
One question - why is the center platform square? =P An overall nice job, not as nice as some as your previous work, but still one of the best in the pack. 8 out of 10


Capture the Flag

Isolated Canyon Zone - Neo Chaotikal
Okay, I'll try and explain things a bit. First, keep in mind that this is my first wad ever made for netgaming, aswell as my first CTF map. What I originally wanted was a simple concept of a fortress in a desert, but I eventually decided to make it a CTF map so I doubled it up and made it into a canyon. I tried my best at copying my favourite aspects from the internal CTF maps, and while I did some of them right (base on a FOF, pit between bases, rail sniping from base to base, for instance), some of them I utterly failed and I'm aware of it, such as a secondary path to take, or some obstacle preventing you from going directly from one base to another. However, I'm quite happy with the design of my little fortress, even though it gets a bit cramped with too many players.

Metal Star Zone - FuriousFox
As I had referred previously, this map is pretty great. It's as simple as they get, with two sets of stairs, two towerettes, two FOFs and a center platform, but it does the job nicely. Makes me realise what good and thoughtful design really is. 9 out of 10

Techno Hill CTF Zone - Mystic
Well, what can I say? It works. It's also a great addition to SRB2, as we needed a good mechanical CTF level. And boy do we get our "wishes" answered. Good show, Mystic. 10 out of 10
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Old 03-03-2006   #13
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Single Player

Aero Shrine Zone 1 - Tets 9/10
NICE! This level is overall a pleasing experience. Nice visuals, an accceptable amount of enemies, ETC. Only problem I really have with it is that sometimes I randomly vanish when near a wall. Great job tets!

Storm Ruins Zone 2 - FuriousFox 9/10
Whoa...Nice level design. Very hard for Sonic, but OK for tails and knuckles. The rising water room and the two floored crusher were great ideas. And what's this about a hidden Chaos emerald (goes back to look). Nicely done!

Golden Sands Zone - Mystic 7/10
Eh, it's ok I guess. The guicksand gets on your nerves, and it isn't fun to be stuck in one room trying to jump from one platform to another...but I don't see anything horribly wrong. It's actually kind of fun if you play as someone not blue and fast.

Match

Devil's Factory Zone - RoboAshura N/A
I can't grade whatI can't see! sorry!

Tundra Shoreline Zone - Senku 8/10
It's good. XMAS music XD. Well done.

Sunset Arena Zone - ree-c 10/10
huh? Flowers spawning out of mid-air...well, that's the only bad thig I can say about the map. the music got me amped up, and the level design was excellent! Keep it up!

Skyline Heights Zone - Blue Blur 9/10
This is the one on a skycraper, right? I love it. A little hard to navigate with sonic though...

Crossfire Chaos - Alexmonk0 3/10
Hmmm...sorry I really didn't like this one...it just lacked the Fun Factor. Sorry man.

Octagonal Zone - Oogaland 8/10
XD Cool map. The nice sky image is a bit ruined if you look too high up, of fall down the big pit in the middle though. A fun place to have a match.


Capture the Flag

Isolated Canyon Zone - Neo Chaotikal 9/10
W00t! A great map! I noticed a lack of a secondary path, but meh, whatever. And you mentioned a lack of obstacles? Um...Let's think, Aren't Snipers with Rail-homing tough enough? Very good work here Neo C.

Metal Star Zone - FuriousFox 9/10
simple design, and not to hard to play...Unless the snipers are good. Excellent stuff. I'd MAYBE lower the gravity a touch though.

That's all for now.
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Old 03-03-2006   #14
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Single Player
Aero Shrine Zone 1 - Tets 7.5/10
Tets is at it again. However, regardless that he used uber textures and uber music, theres one large flaw: theres too many springs, and not enough gameplay. Its very straightforward, but other than that, works well.

Storm Ruins Zone 2 - FuriousFox 9/10
Now this was an improvement from the 1st act, right there, thats hard to beat. I loved some od the sections in it, and the only reason it wasnt perfect was that I saw a few odd REDWALL and that at times...it was a bit easy :P Overall, good one.

Golden Sands Zone - Mystic 8.5/10
For 2 days work, it really stands out. It had some interesting sections, but, like I said above, it was a tad easy =P Good work, however.

Match

Devil's Factory Zone - RoboAshura - 4/10
I was in OpenGL, and at times, this map was brilliant, with a great new concept. Unfortunatly, it needs major tweaking, and ring weapons. It also lacks for players in software, having the whole upper section impossible to see in.

Tundra Shoreline Zone - Senku 5/10
OK, Ill be honest....make this into an SP level, and it wouldnt be as bad. =P
It was a tad too stretched and scattered, and I saw a few REDWALL.

Sunset Arena Zone - ree-c 6/10
One of the best Green Hill renditions i've seen to date. A few noticable errors, like THE LACK OF GOOD WEAPON RINGS! Basically, it was "whoever gets homing first wins!" Other than that, no notiable errors.

Skyline Heights Zone - Blue Blur 9/10
Loved it. Had some great sections, and always kept me interested with all its parts. My only suggestion would be to make it more sonic-friendly, regardless if I play as knuckles.

J Valley Zone - JJames19119 7/10
It had a good idea behind it, some very nice sections, and I loved the translucent little "room", but you totally ruined the experience with all the teleporters. 1, possibly very high up, like zims base had, would of been good to have, because its impossible to actually take a good look at the map when yer always being tele'd to the bottom. Overall, a mediocre attempt.
Crossfire Chaos - Alexmonk0 1/10
Large. Spacious. Weird. Lack of rings. Needs work, basically.

Octagonal Zone - Oogaland 8/10
Quite a unique map, and had no real flaws. Whats with the funky camera in the pits, however? Great map to play.


Capture the Flag

Isolated Canyon Zone - Neo Chaotikal 8/10
Great map! It had great flow, and the gameplay was great. The only noticable flaw was the fact that you used the evil ring weapon combo of rail-homing, and as knux, theyre only 3 seconds apart! It was instant pwnage.

Metal Star Zone - FuriousFox 8/10
Also a very solid map. SRB2 really does need some sorta star-trekish spacy CTF map. Had some very good ideas, too.

Techno Hill CTC Zone - Mystic - 7.5/10
My god, first problem: WHAT IS WITH THAT NAME?? =P
It was a good map, but I would suggest cutting out the conveyers for most of it. If you dont remember, THZ had purple plasma, crushers, and lazer beams as well, so if you were able to implement those, this map would really shine.

Overall, the map packs were pretty good this time around.
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Old 03-04-2006   #15
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Meh, here I am to vote on the maps because as you know, I entered this contest and it's only right that I vote. :roll: Really though, I enjoyed playing a few of these. Let's get down to buisness though.

Single Player Maps

Aero Shrine 1 - Tets

Wow, this level looks impressive. A bit empty but that adds to the whole "Castle in the Sky" theme. Reminds me of some of the air levels in Bomberman 64. =P Terrific enemy placement and the geography is excellent, not one flaw in the design. Although it's not totally perfect, this shows no real flaws. 9/10

Storm Ruins 2 - FuriousFox

Quite a bit harder than the other two I've noticed. I like the beginning with the rising water, I had a hoot trying to outrun it. The path can be a bit confusing at times but this is a great water level with nice outside visuals. 8/10

Golden Sands - Mystic

A sand level, not many single player levels like that. Like a desert though, this level is quite empty...not much to it really. There were a few places that were nice touches but otherwise it was just sand and quicksand. Sorta bland but otherwise alright. 6/10

Match/CTF Maps

Devil's Factory - Match - RoboAshura

Uhm...darkness? >.> Me no likie. I got to wondering who turned out the lights. Someone hand me a flashlight! Alright, enough of the bad lighting jokes, I could not see a dang thing. Honestly. Of course, I use Software mode so that probably attributes to it, people who play in OpenGL will probably find this a great map. However, for software players, this map truly is unplayable. 4/10

Tundra Shoreline - Match - Senku

Not a bad map. Everything's where it should be. I liked the bridges and nice effect given to the ice here in some points. I'm wondering why there's so many Ring Moniters on that house, it's not a hard place to get to...aside from the slight lack of ring weapons, this isn't half bad. 7/10

Sunset Arena - Match - ree-c

You would think that there would be a sunset but I'll chalk it up to the match rules since you can't have custom textures in your maps. =P Anyways, this isn't half bad either, or, well, the architechure isn't anyways. I'm heavily reminded of Green Upheaval when I play this...that's not a bad thing though, that was an awesome match map. However, there are too many rings in a line, Sonic players would monopolize them all. Now only that, it's a tad bland. Put a bit more stuff in and this would be a nice level. An extra point for effort as well. 7/10

Skyline Heights - Match - Blue Blur

Is the reason why there's Metal Harbor music because you drop from the sky? ;P I like the general outlook on this map, nice concept coupled with great architechure. I get this vague feeling there are one too many rings. They're everywhere! Though I did like the industrial roof. Not bad I guess. 7/10

J Valley - Match - JJames19119

For anyone wondering why there's such weird landscapes here, I modeled this map after my room. ;D Didn't turn out too bad though I can spot a few flaws:
  • Teleporters. I just sorta threw them in there as a last minute thing to populate the area more, because I hate bland areas. :| T'was a mistake however, it's quite annoying.
  • The "shelves." I took the idea for climbing them from Zim's Base. Maybe not the best idea...they tend to slow things down a tad and seem very unoriginal.
  • For such a good prize, the middle top area is too easy to get to...two infinity ring weapons and invincibility. I should've lessened the stuff up there.
  • Some grassy FOFs have no sector borders. :\

Meh, not my best work yet, I didn't expect it to win but it was something I was planning on entering in the Winter Contest that didn't make it in time...

Crossfire Chaos - Match - Alexmonk0

Wide open space....very little rings....big no no. This area is so incredibly bland. There is NOTHING here! Just a few springs and a lot of....strange ledges. There isn't enough rings either, you'll go so long just looking for some. This really isn't a good map. 3/10

Octagonal - Match - Oogaland

Whee, this level has some great symmetry going on here. I'm loving the huge pillars and stuff. At first I thought that this was one map where snipers would rule all but I looked around...no rail rings! =D Freedom for the Tails players! If there was a rail ring, it was well hidden and most likely, not too many would be using it. I'm also loving the tier-based gameplay of this level, going from one level to the next with the aid of springs. Great work. 9/10

Isolated Canyon - CTF - Neo Chaotikal

Whoo, this reminds me of that desert rock-like map in Halo, though I can't remember the name of it at the moment. I love the geometry....impressive, I loved it. Eye candy. The item placement is wonderful too. This looks like it would be a really fun map in CTF. 8/10

Metal Star - CTF - FuriousFox

Woah...impressive. The layout of this map pwnz on so many different levels. I like the look, the style, the feel, everything. The ring placement is right on and the moniters are in good places. My only gripe is that Snipers would have total control of this map. Sorta makes playing as Tails pointless. :\ Otherwise, wonderful job. 9/10

Techno Hill CTF - CTF - Mystic

When I first saw the name, I thought all you did was take the level and turned it into a CTF map. =P The conveyers here get really annoying for Tails players and even a bit for Knuckles players. It's awfully small and cramped too. This isn't a bad map really, it just doesn't seem to fit CTF that well. 6/10

There's my two cents.
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Old 03-04-2006   #16
Digiku
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My thirteen-or-so cents. I didn't vote this time around either, because I don't have the time nor the commitment to do so. I still tried to give comments where I could, though.

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

Single Player Match Entries

Aero Shrine 1 - Tets
Wow. This is, like, AGZ2 good. I mean it! Multiple paths, consistent difficulty, sound visuals (I'm still in love with the whole square/rectangle thing).
Not much to say about this map, though I feel there was a bit of an over-reliance on the springs in some paths. Others were very streamlined though. The map overall was pretty awesome, and well-designed in general.

Storm Ruins 2 - FuriousFox
This too was well-designed! It certainly made up for SRZ1's shortcomings - it was quite consistently active.
Not much to say about this map, either. Though, I didn't really like the water current with the waterfall in the first outdoor-ish section. It seemed more decoratory than genuinely challenging, which irked me a little bit.
I thought the starposts were well-placed though (which is surprisingly a rarity o_O) - whenever I died, the starpost was only a bit behind. Clever use of the crusher, too!

Golden Sands - Mystic
Yep, this definately looks like a map made by you.
This level is a nice, easy stroll, but it has multiple paths and notable gimmicks (such as the area near the beginning where you hop on rocks to avoid quicksand, and if you fall into the quicksand you have to go back to the beginning). I thought the one part with the diagonal spring going right into a wall, with two pathways to the left and right, was on the unfair side. It did get a chuckle out of me though.
Also, sand + daytime. That's new. Maybe it was a bit difficult to differentiate from normal sand and quicksand, but I attribute that to texture artists rather than you (even though there probably was something you could do to remedy that).

This was a great set of entries, but then again, I wouldn't have expected any less from these three!

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Match Contest Entries

MAP01 - Devil's Factory - Match - RoboAshura
Sorry, man. This map's not even remotely fair, especially coming from a Software player.
Even with the brightness jacked up, I couldn't really make heads or tails of the layout. Mostly unplayable, I'd say.

MAP02 - Tundra Shoreline - Match - Senku
Gee, a bit huge for a Match map, don'tcha' think? Though, with all these "14-player netgames" I've been hearing about these days, the size might not really matter :P.
I can't really put my finger on the design - I don't think rating it alone would give an honest opinion. I saw some nice level design points, though. Hmm.

MAP03 - Sunset Arena - Match - ree-c
Quite a simple, spartan design. There are nice, open spaces for Sonic players to run around, Tails players to rail, and Knuckles players to... um.
Well, Tails players could've railed had there been Rail rings.
If you ask me, the excess of rings might've worked as an interesting point (adding a "I have so many rings!" feel to this map), but the God shield sort of ruins it. Sure, it adds strategy (wait, what?), but it takes away from the carefree feel of having so many rings. Also, Homing was a pretty bad choice. If I remember correctly, Homing only works close-distance. Seeing as this is a pretty open map, I'd imagine players being far-distance most of the time. Rail might've been better.

MAP04 - Skyline Heights - Match - Blue Blur
Interesting map in concept, but the execution fell a bit short in parts.
Transportation from building to building might seem fine in single player play, but in the heat of battle, I'd imagine springs wouldn't be the best way to go. It's hard to hit them, and if you hop from one, that leaves you aggrivatingly open to attack. I'd imagine that bottomless pit being annoying.
I also thought the layout itself was a bit cramped in parts. Doesn't really give Sonic players a lot of leeway to dodge and escape.

MAP05 - J Valley - Match - JJames19119
Typical map, which isn't always a bad thing. I did like how the architecture seemed on the industrial side, though it all looked like rock and grass. It added an interesting air.
The design is too gimmicky - it relies on the Wind Shield too much. It sort of gives the player such a big advantage that it's kinda' unfair. I guess the teleporters even that out, but I can't really say for sure. Maybe the level overall was also a bit on the closed side, but again, I can't say for sure.

MAP06 - Crossfire Chaos - Match - Alexmonk0
Your first entry in the contests? Welcome!
This map is big, which gives an advantage to Sonic players. However, that's one of the big problems with this map: it gives an advantage to Sonic players. Especially when the rings are so scarce, Tails and Knuckles players generally don't have a standing chance in this map. The balance is extremely bad.
The level size is much bigger than it needs to be. Had you used a large amount of rings, it might've been able to compensate for the large size, but alas, the level size:ring count ratio was not even.

MAP07 - Octagonal - Match - Oogaland
The general omnipresence of the octagon shape was quite amusing, to say the least :P.
This map is pretty solidly built. Though I usually I find symmetry boring, the general size of the level (both horizontal and vertical!) really made the symmetry feel natural. Something bothers me about the pits, though. The center one especially - it seems a bit of a big jump for Sonic players to thok across (as possible as it is). I guess it adds difficulty to this map, which is always good. I'd imagine without it the map would be bland.

This batch of entries is more or less typical, with both high points and low points, but most of the layouts were pretty average and functional.
I think I'm losing the ability to make good Match maps, since I found it particularly difficult to jut out good comments. Or maybe I just need to play a Match game again :P.

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

CTF Contest Entries

MAP08 - Isolated Canyon - CTF - Neo Chaotikal
Interesting idea, not a bad execution for that idea.
Though, the bases seemed a bit cramped, and there wasn't much at all in the area between bases. I think this makes the gameplay an excessively simple "get flag, return to base, get flag again!". Good center areas allow for strategy to occur in them - in this map, it's only a straight bridge, really. Not much opportunity.

MAP09 - Metal Star - CTF - FuriousFox
"Death Star". ...I've got nothing.
The level is streamlined and very well designed! Not much to say here, I guess. The railing towers really adds a sense of strategy and teamwork, no matter if they would've been used or not.

MAP10 - Techno Hill CTF - CTF - Mystic
Just as much as a conveyor belt-fest it is as Techno Hill DM is a slime-fest! Is this going to be in the official level rotation?
This level has a bit of a learning curve to its layout, but I actually sort of expect that of THZ-themed maps. Something bothers me about the conveyor belts, especially with holding the flag while walking against the belt direction. Kinda' annoying as Sonic. Perhaps adding a non-conveyor path would help? It'd sure add a bit of variety, I think.
Also, I feel the lower conveyor belts should actually lead somewhere instead of into pits. Sure, they should be primarily used as an alternative route to get inside the enemy base, but I think players should be able to go out that way as well.

For the first CTF branch of the contest, this trio is nice and solid. There really weren't any terrible entries here!
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Old 03-05-2006   #17
Mystic
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I'd like to remind everyone that fractional numbers are not going to be used, and any ".5" votes will just be rounded, since it's a .5, they will all be rounded up. Remember, that you CAN use lower numbers. We aren't some game review magazine. 5 is average, 10 is perfect, and 0 is unplayable. Giving someone a 5 isn't an insult, that's like getting a C on a test. It should be better, but it's not BAD, persay. We don't have to compress everything into the final numbers, where a review of "8.8" is bad, "9.4" is good, and "9.9" is great. Use all the numbers, people =P
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Old 03-05-2006   #18
Spazzo
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Mystic, a 5/10 is a D, not a C.
Wait...grading schemes must be diffrent for you guys...
What happens in Canada:
-49 = F, or R.
50-59% = D
60-69% = C
70-79% = B
80-89% = A
90-99% = A+
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Old 03-05-2006   #19
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Yeah, down here grading is:

0-59: E
60-69: D
70-79: C
80-89: B
90-100: A

Regardless, game-ratings RARELY use high-school grading, and 5/10 really IS a C.
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Old 03-05-2006   #20
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Yeah, here anything below 70 is an F, but I still rate 5 as being Average in judging.

Speaking of which, I need to play the maps some more so I can get to judging them.
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