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Old 01-03-2006   #1
Mystic
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Default Official Level Design Contest Voting: November/December

Welcome to the November/December 05 contest. This competition looks to be much better, with 3 single player stages and mostly decent match entries.

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 January 10th at midnight GMT (January 9th, 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 - 4,103 KB

The single player levels are:
Molten Mountain Zone - Ree-c
Grass Highway - ST218
Incomplete Xmas - Shadow Hog

Match Contest Level Pack - 315 KB

Match Pack contains the following maps:
MAP01 - Lava Dome - Tailsonic
MAP02 - Tree Ring - Some guy
MAP03 - Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c
MAP04 - Emerald Beach - Cyan
MAP05 - Ice Summit - Mikel
MAP06 - Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter
MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel
MAP08 - Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox
MAP09 - Four Seasons - Oogaland
MAP10 - Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland
MAP11 - Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218

Please make sure to play the levels in the intended gametype, and above all, have fun judging!

Edit: I obviously don't know what frikken month it is. ^_^()
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Old 01-03-2006   #2
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Alright, here's what I've thought so far:

Moten Mountain - 5/10
I really want to like this one. It's pretty wide open and is rather ambitious. And yet... it's VERY linear. And forces you onto paths way too narrow, above pits you can NOT recover from. Heck, one of the first lava pits is impossible to escape! Also, some odd texture choices: the floor is the normal platform texture, but the walls are lava. Eh? The worst offender, though, is the constant glitches in Software mode. Are there any one-sided linedefs in there? It would appear not; there are all sorts of ugly rendering problems very frequently occuring towards the later parts of the stage. That's no good. But, again, I kinda like the stage otherwise. It's not all that bad, really. Just needs improvement.

Grass Highway - 6/10
A little more likable, personally, but there are still some glaring flaws, IMO. First off, Thing placement is pretty lousy. Be prepared to fight large amounts of Jetty-Syns and those wasp thingies at the same time! Not to mention the Detons, which really shouldn't even BE there, personally. Then, there's the thok barrier. Not the lack of it, fortunately, but more the fact that it obscures your actual path until you actually reach the turn. It wouldn't be an issue if the walls were tall; then you'd EXPECT to not see what was up ahead. However, invisible walls don't get the same treatment. Then there's the level design; it's pretty good overall, but it's a tad bit linear, and at times makes no sense (like the lava blowing you up, or the purple trampoline thing at the very end - which, BTW, comes after the first Starpost a bit too quickly, but since my WAD's guilty of that too, I'll cut you some slack). So, overall, needs some adjustment. Pretty good even still.

Incomplete Xmas
Okay, so here's what's wrong with the WAD so far:

* The stage, as a whole, cuts off abruptly. I know this. I actually had this nice castle thing at first, but then DoomBuilder crashed and I lost that. Then I made a quick maze... and DoomBuilder crashed and I lost that. So, running out of time for the 7:00 PM EST deadline, I just tossed the end in there and called it a day. It'll be removed when it becomes a COMPLETE Xmas zone, I tells ya. I have every intention of taking my cute little alphabet blocks and making a VERY large segment with them, but I was lazy and time constraints proved otherwise for the time being. Oh well.
* The laser walls in the path leading to the Emerald Token, while nice in theory, look like ass. I'll remove them and replace them with unclimable walls instead. Much nicer, I guess.
* OpenGL users might notice some REDWALL in one of the little skyrooms toward the end, if you miss the jump or otherwise take the wrong path. Software users will notice just a flat ceiling. Either way, I forgot to texture something. Or rather, RE-texture something, since that was lost in the DoomBuilder crashes too. Shouldn't be too bothersome, but it's still kinda lousy.
* I left some green grass on one of the platforms early on, instead of my new shiny snowy grass. That's easily fixed.
* The opening area has some rendering errors. It'll have to be fixed (you know, insert some one-sided linedefs in there somehow), although I'm currently unsure HOW.
* The water has no colormap. D:

So yeah, it's nowhere near perfect right now. Hence, "Incomplete Xmas Zone". But hey, even in its incomplete form, I think it's showing signs of being a good stage... it just isn't there yet.
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Old 01-03-2006   #3
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Mystic, December 10th already passed. :p

Anyhoo, my crappy connection is downloading the single player levels right now. As for Grass Highway, by the time I got to the "optimizing" point of it, I didn't want to mess with the thok barrier anymore, because it's just annoying. I had enough with trying to deal with the HOM effects due to how software handles the thok barrier. As for the lava thing, it's actually a trend in my levels that lava is hot enough to create super air currents that can blow you up at three and a half times the force of gravity. :p. The purple tramoline thing was basically like "Okay. I want to bounce. What color bounces?", and purple came to mind from my temporary Pocket Tanks obsession.
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Old 01-03-2006   #4
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ive been fixing up the molten mountains, changed the shape of the thok barrier to the same shape as the level and added more one sided linedefs, i should've done that before i sent it, oh well...

more optimising for the mountains.

ok then, i'll do the match stage voting when i actually play them against someone.

Grass highway

Its a good level, good for sonic users and is still good for tails and knuckles users as well, since all characters can use there abilitys at points during the level, but the amount of errors ive seen in opengl is alot, i have yet to play it in software. There is also the end of the level with that purple trampoline, its a blind jump for most people, i couldnt actually see the "trampoline" until i was at the edge of the platform, but the level overall was pretty good, 6/10.

Incomplete Xmas zone

This is a good level, quite big in a few cases and an interesting level design, i liked the part near the end when you see the end level sign, and the floor collapses, but i wasn't particually fond of the maze following, and what was the part with the flashing room and damaging platforms floating above the death-pit about? still, this level is pretty good, and its still not finished? 6/10

EDIT: never mind about that "what was the part with the flashing room and damaging platforms floating above the death-pit about?", i know now.

Molten mountains zone

Still improving!
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Old 01-03-2006   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic
Please be as unbiased as possible for the author or the look of the map.
Um...you didnt really word that sentence all that well.
How about:
Quote:
"Do remember that you should be grading these maps on how well they play, not on who made it or how the map looks."
Also,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic
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.
Ick, you cant word things well :P How about:

Quote:
"To encourage voting, if you made and submitted a map to this contest, and you vote on all the other maps in this contest, the lowest mark on your map will be dropped."
I will vote on the actual maps after I get a chance to play them in a few netgames.
EDIT: sorry about the double post.
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Old 01-04-2006   #6
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ah yes, after playing a few rounds against people here, and with some of my real friends, im ready to vote.

MAP01 - Lava Dome - Tailsonic - 8/10
This map truly had a good idea to it, but it was overly spacious, and needed a few more rings. Overall, it was a nice map to play.

MAP02 - Tree Ring - Some guy - 10/10
I need to hug you. After playing ten minutes with 7 people on this map, im still in awe at how well it plays. the ring box underwater in the middle was an unique touch, and the map was very even throuout, as it threw people all around it. Some Guy, you outdid yourself here.

MAP03 - Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c - 6/10
It was large, moderatly fun, but unfortunatly, buggy. I saw tons of OpenGL errors, a few redwalls, and missing textures. Other than that, it might of been TOO big.

MAP04 - Emerald Beach - Cyan - 3/10
Ick. Small, isolated, and a bit confusing.

MAP05 - Ice Summit - Mikel - 1/10
0_0()... very flat, all spawns in one area, too many rings, ick ick ick. Lets not remember this one.

MAP06 - Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter - 5/10
Ok, im going to be honest. If you made a few changes, added some enemies, and extended it, it would be a decent single player level. Other than that, it was a bit confusing.

MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel - 2/10
...I think we all know whats very wrong with this map.

MAP08 - Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox - 7/10
This map was very interesting, combining a THZ theme with a snowy theme. Although it was fun to play, it looks EXACTLY like another older contest map, I think it was called April/May Flowers or something, and I think Bigboi made it. I couldn't give you a higher mark because it looked almost identical.

MAP09 - Four Seasons - Oogaland - 9/10
Smart idea Oogaland! Plays well, uses key features like sky changes, and is overall a great map to play. Good work!

MAP10 - Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland - 6/10
This map was...unlike your previous map, awkward. I dont get why its only one side of this factory-type thing, and what the name has to do with anything :P. Overall, its was par, but needs some definete work.

MAP11 - Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218 - 5/10
Strictly par. Im sorry, but it was a bit too long, and repeditave. With no boxes, it really lacked.

In conclusion, this contest match pack was all over the place. From 10's to 1's. Good work to all of you, though.
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Old 01-04-2006   #7
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Darn OpenGL errors..
Can you PLEASE Zennode the maps next time, Mystic? >_>
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Old 01-04-2006   #8
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Alright, time to vote!

Match Map Contest

MAP01 - Lava Dome - Tailsonic - N/A
Haven't played this one yet.

MAP02 - Tree Ring - Some guy - N/A
Ditto.

MAP03 - Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c - 7/10
This map was alright, but it had one really big flaw. It was too much like SH, with platforms over a giant pit. I dropped the score a bit because of this. Otherwise, it's alright. Fun, but there's too many pits. As for the upside, it was pretty balanced, and there weren't too many rings in one place. 7/10.

MAP04 - Emerald Beach - Cyan - 7/10
This map wasn't bad. A bit odd looking, but yeah. I got crushed under the X-shaped floor numerous times. It was kinda hard to stay above land, too. Like Ree-c's map, it was well balanced. 7/10.

MAP05 - Ice Summit - Mikel - 4/10
This map had way too many rings and was way too open. You didn't even have any raised platforms. There were few special rings among the hundreds of normals, and it was incredibly bland. It wasn't very good, really.It was unbalanced, as well. At least there weren't any graphical problems. 4/10

MAP06 - Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter - 4/10
This is a really good concept, but it just doesn't work as a Match level. way too cramped, and I got lost more often than not. I hardly got to shoot anyone, as I was constantly turning. 4/10.

MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel - 1/10
Okay, this map just sucks. First, it's based off of a Sonic Battle map, which is nothing like SRB2 DM mode. Second, it's completely unbalanced. The concept sucks, the level sucks. 1/10.

MAP08 - Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox - N/A
Haven't played it yet.

MAP09 - Four Seasons - Oogaland - N/A
Ditto.

MAP10 - Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland - N/A
Ditto.

MAP11 - Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218 - N/A
Ditto.

I'll get to the better maps later, I had to quit the netgame. I'll edit this when I play them all.

SP Map Contest
Molten Mountain Zone - Ree-c - 9/10
This level is pretty good. It's hard, but fun. I see no errors, and it's made well. The only problem is that it's slightly Sonic Heroes-ish and that there are odd textures in places. Good job on this one, Ree-c. 9/10.

Grass Highway - ST218 - 8/10
I'm not gonna count off for the rendering errors, because you can't help it, but I'll harp on other stuff. First, there are WAY too many enemies. You put too many in one place. It doesn't make it harder, just annyoing. Lots of enemies are okay, but you put a ridiculous amount. It's a bit laggy, too. 8/10.

Incomplete Xmas - Shadow Hog -10/10
It may be incomplete, but it's incredible. I can't wait for the block maze. This has superb thing placement, and the textures are well placed. It's got a simple difficulty level, and it doesn't seem like it cut off at all. Plus, there are no errors. I can't wait for it to be finished. 10/10.
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Old 01-04-2006   #9
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Single Player:

Molten Mountain Zone - Ree-c - 5/10
The main thing is map needs is some one-sided linedefs. It's desperately in need of them for the software renderer's sake. It also could seriously use some details. It's pretty much all gigantic sectors that are perfectly flat and devoid of any "life", so to speak. I do like the size, but you could use more multiple paths and less tedious jumps. Falling from the upper floors really sucks, too. Overall a solid effort. Much better than your previous work.

Grass Highway - ST218 - 4/10
This map suffers from what I like to call "Thing Overuse Syndrome". There are WAY too many of certain objects in neat little squares. How many Buzz were in that room? 50? Other than that, it also suffers majorly from the sky as a wall and many blind passages. Could also stand to be a lot longer and have multiple paths.

Incomplete Xmas - Shadow Hog - 6/10
Despite being incomplete, I liked this map better. It, like the first map, is in desperate need of some detail, and is painfully linear. However, there are some nice ideas here, and the fake exit is just awesome. I suggest making it longer and adding more ways through the stage, personally.

Match:

MAP01 - Lava Dome - Tailsonic - 6/10
This is an average execution of a solid concept, but somewhere something just doesn't feel right. First off, the bobbing platforms aren't tagged individually, which leads to some weird effects. Also, the lava is too deep, making it frequently death should Sonic fall in. I do like the abundance of Inferno Shields, it makes the stage more interesting. Add a few more rings as well, and maybe a weapon somewhere, and this could really shine.

MAP02 - Tree Ring - Some guy - 10/10
My god. It's happened again. I really don't know what to nitpick on here. The only issue I have is that it's possible to see into the monitor in OpenGL and a few minor graphical issues with the tree textures, for instance. Otherwise, this is a shining example of all the correct things to do. This is the kind of map I'd love to come back to again and again.

MAP03 - Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c - 4/10
This map suffers from a very bad item balance. There are very few rings scattered around the map, yet it's an Automatic-Infinity stage. It's just not fun to have 3 rings and have some guy coming at you with Auto-Infinity. Heck, it's not even that fun to be the guy with Auto-Infinity mowing down targets that can't fight back. The fact that you can get the Infinity Ring right after the Automatic just seals it even worse. You also need something on the upper floors in certain areas, because you don't have anything at all on many platforms.

MAP04 - Emerald Beach - Cyan - 5/10
Unbalanced. By staying on the outside edge, I can have Rail-Explosion and about 50 rings, and then hit springs to rain death and destruction from on high while the players in the game can't do anything at all about it? That's not fun, really. This map seems like it would play awesome with just plain Explosion with ring pickups everywhere, though, since it's quite cramped and close quarters. But Rail is just too powerful for it.

MAP05 - Ice Summit - Mikel - 3/10
Apon my first impression, I saw this as amusingly crap. Apon playing it though, despite being horrible in all senses of the word, I actually had a bit of fun. Look at the rest of the maps for suggestions on how to make a real map, but for garbage, this is at least kinda fun.

MAP06 - Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter - 3/10
This stage is cramped. WAY too cramped. It's hard to find someone to fight, and when you do, you have way too few rings to use to fight them. Also, even if they ARE on opposite ends of the map, Automatic and Explosion in the same map is a big no-no that should never be done. You need to open the map up a ton more so people can actually run around and see each other. When camping the central hallway with Rail is the best strategy, there are issues in the level design.

MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel - 0/10
Unplayable. Please at least play some match before making stages. Playing one game on this map would tell you why it's bad.

MAP08 - Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox - 7/10
This is another solid entry by FuriousFox, but really, it's just that. We've already played this map. It's yet another symmetrical box with some rings, a random monitor, and an Infinity Ring. It plays pretty much the same as every other map like this, and reminds me a lot of Green Upheaval Zone in layout. 2 years ago, this would be the second coming, but nowadays this style of layout just feels kinda dated in comparison to some of the newer stuff other designers have been making.

MAP09 - Four Seasons - Oogaland - 7/10
This map has one major issue. There is no real motivation to move between the rooms. One can stay in one room and do no worse than someone who is running through the entire map. You need to split up the powerups so that the player has a reason to move around. Say, put a few Rail Rings in one room, with the random monitor on the opposite side of the map. Each room individually is a fine design, but it would just play better if each room was a part of a more cohesive stage.

MAP10 - Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland - 4/10
That slime pit is annoying. No way out, might as well be a bottomless pit. Other than that, this stage has a major issue with having no place to run at all. The design just destroys Sonic in general, because a thok generally leads to a suicide, and a painful, slow one at that. Also, why in hell can't we go into the factory? That would have added so much to this stage. Having every relevant powerup at the top of the stage totally ruins any concept of game balance as well.

MAP11 - Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218 - 5/10
One word: Boring. There isn't anything particularly WRONG with the layout here, but there's just nothing on the stage at all. No monitors at all, no ring lines, just a few torches and springs, and that's pretty much it. Add some stuff to DO in here, please X_X
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Old 01-04-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboashura
MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel - 1/10
Okay, this map just sucks. First, it's based off of a Sonic Battle map, which is nothing like SRB2 DM mode. Second, it's completely unbalanced. The concept sucks, the level sucks. 2/10.
Robo, you gave the same map 2 diffrent grades :P
Choose one.
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Old 01-04-2006   #11
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TYPO'D
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Old 01-05-2006   #12
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Incomplete XMas Zone - my thoughts on that are it's a bit too short, but otherwise, pretty nice.

I was underwhelmed at first, seeing just snow and blue blocks; lots of winter but not a hint of Christmas outside of the music. The mountainous design though was really nice. Then I saw the exit.

Then BAM - the floor breaks under my feet, and it turns out the exit was fake! The underground part was pretty well made, and the glimpse of a sky that resembles the inside of a giant toy shop was REALLY artistic and well done. Nice job. The building blocks themed area was cool, but sadly, that's when it ended.


--
As for the other two levels, well, they both have cool ideas, but both fall flat IMO in different ways - basically the same ways Shadow Hog mentioned. And since OpenGL locks up on me (and I got a new computer for Christmas that is a lot more powerful than my old one), I have to use Software mode, thus exposing me to the many glitches. Considering graphics glitches like that seem to arbitrarily appear in Doom-engine games anyway, I'll cut lots of slack for that.


Votes:
Incomplete Xmas Zone (7/10) - cool ideas, but really could have been longer. Then again, it IS "incomplete"!

Molten Mountain Zone (5/10) - some fun paths, and I really like the cave part, but many flaws with the narrow walkways and some nasty jumping sections.

Grass Highway Zone (4/10) - some fun running across open fields, but really bad enemy and object placement in my opinion. The trampoline part was confusing and could have been done better. I saw the rings leading down and I knew I was supposed to go somewhere, but I think a down arrow would have been more helpful.


Those are my thoughts.
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Old 01-05-2006   #13
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Molten Mountain: The platforms are too small. Seriously, I was playing as Tails, and I'm a pretty good flyer, and I had trouble landing on those platforms. Secondly, the lava. While it wasn't so bad in some areas, having a floor and every wall around hurts the eyes big time. Also, was Zennode even run on this map? I got renderer errors up the wazoo in software, and I know those weren't from a high draw distance, because I know how for you have to look to get those-this was either not Zennoding, or not making sure your sectors were airtight. Eitherway, that's laziness right there. While the fact that the path branched was nice, it wasn't really a different experience. That is to say, taking a different path through the level doesn't bring much. There's no variety really, at all in the level. It's mostly vanilla. Additionally, your rings weren't deafed. Now, I appreciate the effort that went into this map, but is it really that hard to select every ring and check the Deaf box? DoomBuilder has a find function, and I'm pretty sure WA does too. While there was a lot of effort, like I said, you also cut a lot of corners, and I don't think you had anyone test this, or even yourself test it, and if you did, you didn't try to fix your errors. 4/10

Incomplete Xmas: First off, lag. Seriously, the only way the framerate was playable in the slightest was by turning my resolution to 320x200, cutting the filtering down to Nearest, and just in case, putting the quality at 8 bits. For the record, not in the worst map in the main game or in Mystic Realm do I have to do that. However, this was made up for the fact that the map was very well designed. I know you have other things on your plate Shadow Hog, but christ, you should put more time into levels, because they turn out well. The fake exit and sky change were a nice touch. My only complaint is addressed in its name-it's just too short. I know by doing this, I'll likely kill my chances of winning, but oh well. The design's great, but the fact that you didn't try and prevent lag on lower end machines doesn't show well. 7/10

Grass Highway Zone: I probably should have toned the things down a little, but I assumed people would just run past them. Oh well, you know the saying. As for the trampoline, I put the rings there because there isn't a down arrow texture, and I don't like making new textures or flats or such. It's a quirk of mine, but I like to see how well I do under limited resources. There's not really much to say, considering this is the third time I've typed up comments on this level. :p

Volcanic Highway: Okay. I think I did well considering that I made it in about four hours the day of the contest, and forgot that player starts have bitsets multiplied by 32, not 16. It was only the grace of god (or the fact I have no life) that let me be in the chatroom at the time Mystic was compiling the maps. I didn't put moniters in, even though I should have, but hindsight in twenty twenty, and I thought the map would work better without them at the time. Oh well.

Haven't played the match maps yet, and I may or may not, depending on circumstances. Nothing's guaranteed, but if I can this weekend, I'll get to them, but it all depends on whether or not I get to use the cable modem at all and if I can play a game at the times I can.
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Old 01-07-2006   #14
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Due to lack of time and interest, I feel I'm not able to consistently, fairly, and honestly rate these maps, so I won't. However, I'll be happy to analyze them. I'm also happy to say this batch was more or less good!

Single Player Levels

Molten Mountain Zone - Ree-c
I can tell you really tried on this one. A+ for effort!
I had a lot of fun running through this map - I had little gameplay-related vibes when playing it. One major problem with this map, however: the sky (ceiling) levels. This especially affects the end sign sector - they're all inconsistent, and they hurt especially when one sky is lower than the other. If I hadn't been alert, I would've lost a life at the end. More rings would've been nice. Layout is a bit on the confusing side (it loops at the beginning - I hate loops). Overall, though, most of the level was good and speedy to keep my attention. Nice work!

Grass Highway - ST218
It passes as an alright single player level, but that's all.
This stage seems really amateurish to me, I'm sorry to say. It's predictable, linear, and boring. I'll admit the Jetty-Syn wave at the beginning was slightly interesting, but it's much more aggrivating, especially in races, when one player dies and has to endure springing up with a bunch of Syns running after them. The waves, in general, were just lousy. Ring placement could've also been better. The end segment is also really similar to the last map you made (the sky metal factory, I think?), which was just... beh.
This seems a bit harsh, but it really isn't much more. Architectural detail would've made me appreciate it more ;) (though had I voted, such detail would have had little influence on my score).

Incomplete Xmas - Shadow Hog
The crumbling segment before the fake end level sign? I loved it. Had I not been playing as Super Sonic at the time, that would've given me a fright :).
I don't have much to say here. Maybe it's a bit bare. I did feel it was pretty linear. Enemy placement could've been more challenging, though the fact that it was a bit laid back gave plenty of speed for Sonic. The level does have a cute air to it - I liked the alphabet blocks. Had this been completed, I bet I would've liked it more.

Multiplayer Levels

MAP01 - Lava Dome - Tailsonic
I think the concepts of this map were really solid on paper. As much as I like the idea, I feel the execution was off.
My main vibe with this is the bobbing platforms. Since they're all tagged together, they all act together and not separately. While I like that this can really throw people off-guard, it's more annoying than shocking. The lava pit is also a bit "anti-Sonic" - Sonic players would not be easily able to escape out without a fire shield. This map, while interesting, does have room to tighten up.

MAP02 - Tree Ring - Some guy
This map's architecture is utterly, utterly admirable. I love it.
Tree Ring also looks to be as good a Match map as it is decoratively. It seems perfectly tight in all areas and really, really solid. I feel I can't say much more until I play a round in this myself.

MAP03 - Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c
This stage's layout is really interesting - I'll give you that. It's interesting enough for me to want to play a round on it.
However, I can't help but think it's a bit on the big side (my first thought: "Vacant Rocketship"). The ring balance is a bit thrown off too, though I'm not too sure. I can't really place my finger on this one.

MAP04 - Emerald Beach - Cyan
It seems symmetrical maps have lost their touch.
I do want to like this one, but 1: it's too cramped, and 2: it's too boring. I feel the action here would be a bit predictable. Barring ring weapons, I think the ring balance is good, though a ring box would've been nice in the lowest part, center. With the ring weapons, though, the balance is all out of place; Mystic's explanation echoes my sentiments pretty well. If anything, the level's visuals are pleasing to the eye in an interesting way :).

MAP05 - Ice Summit - Mikel
Oh boy, a Sonic Battle conversion.
The Shining River was just flat out bad. Your pyramid level, while vertically sound, is just tedious. This ice level, having plenty of horizontal aptitude, is just boring. I think I see a pattern here - if you incorporated vertical elements into this level and also made it smaller, it would've been more interesting. Tedious/Vertical (say, +1) + Boring/Horizontal (say, -1) = Challenge Balance (say, 0). It gets more in-depth than that, but that's a start.
As for the level itself, it's way too big and way too unbalanced. The rings are way too dense in small areas, not taking advantage of the size of this level. Since this level is more or less bare in most areas, it's also boring.

MAP06 - Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter
Really interesting idea. I felt the incorporation of the industrial theme into a cave was pretty solid.
As this map was made for CTF, I'm not really sure what to say. In Match mode, I didn't appreciate the dead ends. It was also really cramped, not giving Sonic much room to run. I think Tails and Knuckles would be alright moving about, but Sonic players tend to go all out - hence cramped spaces are bad for Sonic players. I also didn't appreciate the maze-like layout (at least that's the way I saw it). It really hurt the flow.

MAP07 - Eggman's Lab - Mikel
Oh boy, another Sonic Battle conversion. You'd think people would've learned from Nightside Rouge, but they didn't. Battle conversions are just bad, okay?
No sense of balance, no sense of flow. At least Ice Summit had *some* flow, but this has none whatsoever. Springs are really slow to the action, so the sense of speed here is almost non-existent. The level layout is also a bit of a turn-off, since I can't really imagine aiming up at people on the elevated platforms, nor down below, without sharp honing skills.
I admire your willingness to try - I really do. I also hope you make a decent map some day, but this just isn't it.

MAP08 - Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox
Again, I think symmetrical maps have lost their touch.
I felt I've played this map before. This design is pretty cliché'd - the action is predictable and boring. I think adding more vertical elements would've made it at least a bit more interesting. Spacing out the level a little more also would've helped - it's a bit difficult maneuvering as Sonic since the floors are a bit too cramped for Sonic players to run around in. The slime also breaks up the flow a bit much - I think adding a nice running segment would've been good.
I want to like this one too, but I'm sorry - it's too boring. I do love how you managed to fluidly combine THZ and snow themes. It's certainly unprecedented .

MAP09 - Four Seasons - Oogaland
I'm in love with the concept. You especially made good use of the sky change exec!
The major problem with this map, however, is that, as Mystic said, I don't feel motivated to move about the map. The four rooms each do enough to allow the player(s) to just stay in one room and still do well. There are also minor nitpicks I might have, but I can't exactly put my finger on them. I'd have to play a round on this map (and I am certainly compelled to) to find them out.

MAP10 - Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland
This map is very, very "anti-Sonic". Not even the decorative factory helps (which I do think is a sharp touch).
It's all vertical and barely horizontal. Maybe snug for Tails and Knuckles players, but definately not for Sonic players. Sonic players need to run and be fast - without that, they're pretty much helpless. This level doesn't allow them to do both. A major, major problem.
I also feel the slime pit is a way too slow way to die. Bottomless pits, while not really fitting the theme I'll admit, are much more suitable to the gameplay mainly because they're fast. Match games are supposed to be fast, so the slime pit can really piss off impatient players (like myself). If you allowed people to enter the factory, I think it would've added another interesting aspect to this map, and overall make it more enticing. If you ask me, though, it does pretty well as a decoration element. I really like that factory :).

MAP11 - Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218
Flat and dark - two elements I really dislike. Therefore, this map is a total turnoff for me.
There's really nothing interesting about this map. It's pure "throw rings at me while I run away!" type stuff, but Match maps usually have something to break that up in a good way. The CEZ torches, paired with the narrowness of the bridges, disrupted the flow of the map and really slowed it down. I saw myself being cautious.

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

If my comments seemed a bit harsh, I'm still delighted that this contest was much, much better than the last contest. Maybe this community's creative strides aren't starting to go downhill, as the last contest led me to believe, after all. I hope this trend continues.
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Old 01-07-2006   #15
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Digi, have we ever had some weakminded fool run out of the community crying because people said bad things about his map?

It's much better to be harsh, because then we get good ideas on how to improve my map. For designers, it's good to not just read comments on your own map, but on others too. See what works, and what doesn't.

Harsh is good.
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Old 01-07-2006   #16
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Very good.

the last contest, molten caves, to tight, without that the molten mountains would be worse than it is now, the errors on it i did not know how to fix, it was the second map that i made, i know now.

And because their is so many errors on it, i'm not even sure if i want to go and fix them... it would take a LONG time, but i might make a better map out of it if their is nothing else to do.
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Old 01-08-2006   #17
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SINGLE PLAYER
Molten Mountain Zone - Ree-c
I don't like this map very much. I'm sorry, I don't. It just doesn't play well. The first part is very confusing, and empty for its size. Later on, you have to do tricky stuff over lava pits, which is obviously frustrating, at the very least. There are tiny incoherences here and there, such as the side of a swimmable lava block having GFZROCK for a texture. Actually, why did you use GFZROCK as your main wall texture? It doesn't fit well.
However, there were some things I liked - the colormapped caves look GREAT. The steam below ceiling spikes is also a cool idea, but on the other hand for some reason my ears started ringing after hearing more than 16 synchronised steam samples bursting out of my speakers. What's up with that? 4 out of 10

Grass Highway - ST218
This map is very basic and linear, and apparently OpenGL is not very fond of it. And what the heck was that gravity thing going on near the end? 4 out of 10

Incomplete Xmas - Shadow Hog
A good general idea, but very incomplete at the time. The first room is very anti-OpenGL, due to its sheer dimension. Most of the times the SDURFS aren't even visible (and if you jump in the water, neither are you). As you climb up the mountain, you find the path very empty and basic. The fake exit, however, is sheer brilliance. The only problem is that if you die and restart from the Star Post below, running below the fake floor will make the thunder sound again. Then, the laser wall room is actually very cool - but how are you supposed to go through it? I didn't find out. Finally, the final part with the building blocks is wonderful - too bad it stops right there. A great show, Shadow Hog. 7 out of 10

MULTIPLAYER
Lava Dome - Tailsonic
This one actually works fine. Too bad it's a bit too linear - you could have added some floating platforms or something to spicen up the stage. 8 out of 10

Tree Ring - Some guy
Once in a while, this happens. One word - wow. My only complaint is the lack of wodden textures inside the intangible leaf blocks and the sticky stairs. 10 out of 10

Atmospheric Temple Zone - Ree-c
Um, no. Large level floating above giant pit never works. Also, I find no need to move away from the central platform. OpenGL glitches here and there, and such. Act 3? 3 out of 10

Emerald Beach - Cyan
ONOES TEH RIP-OFF NAME!! It's good to see that nothing else is based off Sonic Battle. Its a tiny little map, so more than 4 players and we're screwed. The springs bounce you too high, and rail is too powerful. And why is there a crumbling "X" in the center of the level? 5 out of 10

Ice Summit - Mikel
It's obvious he didn't even try. The rings spell "Ice Summit", nice touch. 1 out of 10

Chaotic Caves Zone - Furyhunter
A bit confusing, chaotic even! Not much to be said. 4 out of 10

Eggman's Lab - Mikel
Um, what? 0 out of 10

Acid Frost Zone - FuriousFox
Again, as it has been already said, symmetrical maps are losing their touch. That notwithstanding, it's a cozy little place. However, too many players and the rings become scarse. 8 out of 10

Four Seasons - Oogaland
Nice show, Oogaland. It's a great map. My only problems with it are the length of the corridors linking the seasons and, as Mystic has referred, there's no great incentive to move between rooms. 10 out of 10

Saturday Evening Zone - Oogaland
After Four Seasons, this basically kills the mood. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great map, but a bad SRB2 map. It's too small to have fun in with more than 3 or 4 players. Also, if Sonic falls in the goop while wearing a water shield, he has to wait until someone decides to kill him, otherwise he's stuck. Also, as Mystic pointed out, why no factory wacktory? 4 out of 10

Volcanic Highway Zone - ST218
It's ugly, it's poor, it's dark, it's impossible to play as Sonic and is the last one in the pack. 1 out of 10
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Old 01-08-2006   #18
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Single Player Stages:

Molten Mountains Zone: 4/10
Zennode, anyone? There are a lot of graphical errors in this map in software mode. The map also fails because you go from platform to platform to platform to platform... (repeat until dead) The bottomless pits look strange, and are also placed in seemingly random places near the lava. Also, there's annoyingly loud vents. The lack of item boxes drives this level down.

Grass Highway Zone: 7/10
WALLS MADE OF SKY! YAY! Seriously, the thok barrier is somewhat problematic. I've seen worse, though. Now, the level design. Large groups of enemies in one place is kind of strange. The first two or three Detons are very hard to dodge, but after that, it makes a fun challenge to escape them. The big trampoline at the end is kind of strange, but wasn't too bad of an idea. This level is kind of fun to play.

Incomplete Xmas Zone: 8/10
It may be incomplete, but it's the best SP stage of the lot. The block texture was well made, and the level design made this stage fun. The invincibility box just out of the way of the main path was a nice touch. Overall, this stage will rule when it's complete.
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Old 01-08-2006   #19
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What the hell is up with you people? Seriously, how is a bouncing floor or levitating lava so confusing? Do I need to put Omochao there to tell you what it does? Whatever happened to something doing what it did and that's that?

Sorry if I sound a little angry there, but you know, in the older games, if you didn't know what it did, there weren't any help icons or anything, you just had to try it and that was that. I think we've been spoiled by the SA era games, people just don't try things and do them anymore. They're all like "What was that about?!?!?"
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Old 01-08-2006   #20
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Dude, chill. I mentioned the gravity pit in your level. So what? You tell me, is it normal to be shot up in the air when you jump into a deep pit in the middle of a valley? I guess it must be, seeing as you're mad about our comment. I have nothing against you, or your map, but hey, it's unusual. I don't think I've seen any gravity effects on hill/valley themed Sonic levels, have you?

For the record, I didn't take that into consideration when judging your stage. It got a 4 for its simplicity, linearity and general untidyness.
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