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Old 05-10-2009   #81
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Good job reading, Chaobrother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWarrior
Guys, this is supposed to be fun and entertaining, not a bullshit drama-fest.
Next time, please take the time to actually go through and READ what people are saying. Enjoy your week off.

Let's not have that happen again, shall we? Now please, let's get back to what we were doing.
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Old 05-10-2009   #82
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Updated Water Leaf's score as it was legal. I apologize for the misunderstanding, it is updated in the SP score post.
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Old 05-10-2009   #83
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I updated my score too. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 05-10-2009   #84
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My score was restored yesterday.
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Old 05-11-2009   #85
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Water Leaf Zone
10/10

Good secrets.
Only 1 player start?
Has lots of buzzes. :-(
Uses LWATER + BFALL.

Does it use 2 music slots?
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Old 05-11-2009   #86
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First time I've judged a contest in a while, so this will be interesting to see.

Single Player:

Dusty Desert by Chrome: 4/10
One of CHROME's levels getting a 4? Unthinkable!
And yet deserved. As Sonic, gameplay is too easy in some parts, and in others... well, I would say they're not too hard, but really time consuming. Also, a long drop into a bottomless pit is still a bottomless pit/ not necessary. With Tails and Knuckles, it's too easy as usual. Music's pretty sweet, though.

Beach Factory Zone, Act 1 by Chisuun: 4/10
This level would be okay in a mod, though probably as one of the first few levels. It's simple enough, yet it has some length to the level. There are three big problems, though. 1.) There's no point to the conveyors; they only lead to a cheap death. 2.) the last set of red springs is a real annoyance because it's so hard to get up to each platform making it a time killer. 3.) The big issue is that when you get hit by an enemy, there's a possibility of you falling between the fence and the glass into the bottom, and there's no way for you to get out; you're basically stuck there.

Darkvile Castle Zone by Simsmagic: 5/10
Well, it's OK, but I kinda thought it was too easy. Find the switch, move on, beat the enemies at the end... not the Simsmagic we know and love.

GS Poloy Forest by Glaber: 7/10
I'm actually impressed with this one. No Glaber Syndrome this time around, effective alternate paths, and good secret placement. It's not an eight because you went overkill on the Jettysin Gunners.

Vibrant Vendetta Zone by SonicMaster: 8/10
VVZ = vibrant pwnage. That is all.
Well, not really. Anyway, there was lots of excellent pathing done here. And you came with new gimmicks, too! How did you figure out that two currents going against each other make you fly out? Neat little trick thar. I actually thought the level was going to be different colors as you progressed through the level, but oh well. Pink's... good. BTW, what's the joke about this? I have no clue what joke is being killed here.

Aqua Caves Zone, Act 1 by Blade T. Hedgehog: 8/10
Pretty much the same as Magma Cavern except there's no lava, and MCZ didn't have the fish. Are they a different type of SDURFS or what? The spiky crushers are unique to the level, plus there's a lot of sweet Sonic secrets. About as good as Eggman's underwater factory from Mystic Realm.

Eggmansion Zone, Act 1 by Knockout the Echidna: 4/10
Tip #8629: EVERYONE HATES DETONS!
The level design was good, but two Detons in particular were very cheap and not too avoidable, so when I got hit by the first one, I got too uptight and couldn't enjoy the level like I wanted to.

Floating Gardens Zone by Kyasarin: 0/10
I can hear Mystic groaning right now; it's basically AGZ: The N00B Version. WAY too big for a level, WAY too easy, and the platforming with the clouds was annoying.

Frost Mountain Zone, Act 2 by HyperKnux: 6/10
Just another... level. It was fun to play through, but there was nothing to make it stand out. Also, a cheap death can result from the diagonal yellow springs. (you have to brake to hit the second spring.) Side note: I thought the music sounded like LoZ: Majora, but that's not it, is it?

Mill Citadel Zone by Ezer.Arch: 7/10
This was pretty good and quite realistic. Using the grain texture as a current was pretty clever, and the wooden bars as crushers was pretty genius. Milled grains drawing you into a bottomless pit has been done before, except it has only been water. There's gotta be a good secret after the platforming. Great level!

Water Leaf Zone by Mr. Thompson: 4/10
The level is too wide open in a lot of places, thus making it really easy. The alternate paths don't yield much either. Underwater sections are good, though; they make you speed through and that's potential to hide secrets.

Quite a few pitiful, below average levels, though there were some quality levels in here. Coming up is multiplayer! (after I find a netgame for it! =_=)
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Old 05-12-2009   #87
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All levels were played in Software mode.

Floating Gardens - 5/10

This map was utterly average, upon first entering it, I thought it was pretty complex, but instead it was littered with long bland runways, give or take a few crawlas which could be ran around with little to no effort. The cloud gimmick should have been used much more often, it was the most interestnig part of the map. The transitions between the castle theme and AGZ theme are random, and not very memerable. There were also no hidden passage ways or shortcuts in this level, so I played this twice at the most.

Beach Factory - 5/10

I personally thought that the hitting the switch, then heading back inside was a clever idea, untill I saw the end sign, and not another beach are or more factory, that dissappointed me. The level itself had a few good gimmicks, and interesting usage of springs, but nothing really caught my attention.

Vibrant Vandetta - 8/10

There isn't much criticism I can give here, except for the fact that using that Hidden Palace texture for the floating blocks was rediculously ugly. Most of the gimmicks were pretty interesting, but I had hoped if some one was going to make this level, they would have gave the level a more laid back tone.

Aqua Caves - 7/10

The difficulty was high, I liked that. Unfortunately, it was rather cramped, and there wasn't much flow in my opinion. I thought the fish were simpley there to make the water seem more sceneic, but they were actually eneimes. The spike gimmick was fast even for Sonic, and trying to thok through it could be difficult at times.

Frost Mountain Act 2 - 5/10

Okay, first off, it looks like a lot of the textures were scattered from place to place, it makes the level seem really ugly. Secondly, your sector scenery usually gets in the way of the gameplay, and breaks the flow. The area with the twisting springs would kill you if you didn't adjust your speed. Also most, if not all, of your levels are really cramped, but simply widening them isn't going to solve this problem.

Poloy Forest - 3/10

The idea of using an invisible block and scenery behind it was a bad idea, I was constantly using it as a crutch when I got into trouble, only realising that it wouldn't help after I started falling. Most of the level was really cramped, and I was easily ambushed by many enemies, on top of that, a lot of the paths were confusing. I think you also put the chaos emerald on the main path.

More later....
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Old 05-12-2009   #88
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Strafe-jump through the spikes in Aqua Caves. It makes it a lot easier.
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Old 05-12-2009   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini Spark
Floating Gardens Zone by Kyasarin: 0/10
I can hear Mystic groaning right now; it's basically AGZ: The N00B Version. WAY too big for a level, WAY too easy, and the platforming with the clouds was annoying.
If I may interject, aren't 0s supposed to be reserved for unplayable levels?
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Old 05-12-2009   #90
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It doesn't really say. I believe 0 can be used for the worst thing or unplayable levels. There is no official scale to go by.
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Old 05-12-2009   #91
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A zero, huh Gemini Spark? Really now.


I played it, and it was far from being anything near unplayable or bad. It deserves nothing less than a 5. And that's not even an opinion.

I had a few more choice words, but I'll leave it at that to avoid generating even more drama in this thread.
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Old 05-12-2009   #92
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Eh, alright. Played it again; decided to raise score from 3/10 to 4/10. Five, though, just...doesn't feel right for me. I just find it too bland to give it a 5.
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Old 05-12-2009   #93
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Found a secret exit and re rated VV.
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Old 05-12-2009   #94
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Beach Factory Zone, Act 1 by Chisuun - 4/10
Ugh, button hitting. I really don't like the backtracking you do in this stage, and some areas of the level just don't have much to them. Also, a lot of the pits felt cheap in that you can't really see them until you've fallen in, especially after the conveyor belt. This stage isn't horrid, but there's nothing here that really felt good either.

Water Leaf Zone by Mr. Thompson - 8/10
This stage is quite solid. The underwater areas in this stage really aren't interesting and drag the stage down, but the rest of the level, with the trees, springs, and clever use of FOFs (like the bobbing FOFs with the springs under them) really helped this stage. I quite liked the use of alternate paths throughout the stage, gave it lots of replay value as I tried to find other ways through the level.

Dusty Desert Zone by Chrome - 5/10
This has some good parts and some really annoying parts. In particular, you use springs way too much, and some of those springs are really fidgety and barely reach the platform you're supposed to reach with them, which leads to a large amount of repeating the same area over and over. I shouldn't have to thok directly at a spring to have a chance in making the jump. I did like the visual design and music choice, though, and the early area outside was well designed, with a second path directly above the first. You just need to try relying less on springs and use other forms of movement. Also, the teleport really felt out of place.

Frost Mountain Zone, Act 2 by HyperKnux - 3/10
Hmm. This really strikes me as a beginner's map, but it's an okay start. First off, the stage is really cramped throughout. Open it up a little and provide more space. Deaf your rings, because they look weird if they're not floating in the air. Also, one of your spring patterns doesn't work right, which isn't that bad until you realize that if you fail it you fall into a bottomless pit. Considering most people release the controls when they hit a diagonal spring, that's a major flaw in the stage.

Vibrant Vendetta Zone by SonicMaster - 8/10
Quite well done. I really liked the visuals in the outside areas, and the gimmicks were mostly well-executed. One thing I absolutely hated was the "hold spin dash to not die" gimmick. It slows down the gameplay, is arbitrary, and even with a CECHO it took me quite a while to figure out what you actually MEANT I was supposed to do. That was just horrid, horrid design and knocked the map down a rank in my book. Also, the indoor Hidden Palace areas don't look nearly as good as the areas outside. The hidden exit was cute, but I don't like the usage of teleports for secrets in general. This isn't Super Mario 64, standing on a specific platform shouldn't take you to hidden rooms.

Floating Gardens Zone by Kyasarin - 3/10
This map needs details and stuff in it. It's large and empty territory that really doesn't have much to see or do except thok repetitively to go faster. That's not interesting or fun. Add details to your map and make some of the larger areas either smaller or have more stuff in them.

Aqua Caves Zone, Act 1 by Blade T. Hedgehog - 5/10
There's some great ideas and some horrid ideas here. The moving spike crushers are awesome and I died several times to them legitimately to my own mistake. However, some of the rest of the stage is done in very annoying ways, with falling platforms that are basically unavoidable the first time leading to instant death, as well as enemies that move so fast that you can get hit from behind before you have a chance to react.

GS Poloy Forest by Glaber - 3/10
*sigh*. Really, do I need to explain? First off, you have invisible walls everywhere for "scenery", the stage is cramped, and you're constantly having to make decisions on where to go where the wrong decision leads backwards in the stage. There is no flow to the stage and the player constantly stops dead to make stupidly complicated jumps. This is retardedly horrid design and you've been at this long enough that I really don't know what to say. Seriously, look at other stages and see what they're doing that you're not. Open them up in an editor and map out the pathways and where they lead. Your stage is a maze, the other stages here are not. If I didn't know any better I'd think you were TRYING to make bad stages for a reputation or something.

Darkvile Castle Zone by Simsmagic - 2/10
Ugh. A button hunt. Not even a button hunt with interesting territory, the buttons are just used to force the player into rooms multiple times. Spending extra time just because I didn't choose the specific path you wanted me to is not enjoyable gameplay.

Mill Citadel Zone by Ezer.Arch - 9/10
I really liked this level a lot. The gimmick of the moving grain or whatever it is along with crushers was cool and explored well, and the level had all sorts of clever uses of the few mechanics involved. The only real problem I had with the stage is some areas felt a little empty compared to others. I would also have liked to see more secrets, although the ones I did find were quite clever.

Eggmansion Zone, Act 1 by Knockout the Echidna - 5/10
Massive enemy spam. I'm assuming that was the intent, but the result is just thokking through everything, which lead to some cheap deaths as the pits weren't always obvious. I liked the use of crushers in the indoor section, and the spikes placed in holes in the ground so they look short was clever and I liked it a lot. Also, massive software issues throughout. Quickly cracking open the map in SRB2DB shows me that you didn't place any one-sided linedefs in the stage, instead making just a gigantic box. Those major software issues could be fixed if you make the thok barrier align up to the edge of the stage instead of just a box.
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Old 05-12-2009   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini Spark
Darkvile Castle Zone by Simsmagic: 5/10
Well, it's OK, but I kinda thought it was too easy. Find the switch, move on, beat the enemies at the end... not the Simsmagic we know and love.
I'm known and loved? This is a new development. Also, there's an alternate path that leads to a boss, if you haven't already found it.
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Old 05-12-2009   #96
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Altered a couple scores in my previous post. Played a few of the maps some more and have a few more comments to add...

Frost Mountain had several platforming situations that should have been simple, but weren't because the platforms were too small. One of the alternate paths makes this even more problematic when the spring changes things up on the player who expects the springs to keep him from dying. Another issue was in one area where a bottomless pit seems to be placed on the other side of a bend for the sole purpose of catching players that are moving too fast.

Water Leaf also had some unintuitive situations but instead of everything being too tight, the distance between platforms felt stretched. I also did not like being forced to use spindashing into the blue springs to progress through the level.

Eggmansion has a pit beneath the water in one area, whereas an almost identical area does not have a pit. This changeup does not sink in until AFTER the player has already fallen prey to it or otherwise not at all. Furthermore, one of the areas did not feel different enough visually from an earlier one, which may lead to some confusion if the player believes he has accidentily gone in a circle.

---

Also, there were a TON of arrows in this lineup. I want to say that if arrows are really that necessary to a level, then something is wrong in terms of design. Furthermore, because they need to stand out in order to make a difference, they often feel out of place.

Here are some easy ways to ensure the player is always going in the right direction.

A: Orient the junction between alternate paths so they are more or less parallel. The player's instinct tells them that they should always move forward, not backward. Never force the player to go backward without using a spring or another gameplay mechanic to force him backward.

B: Starposts designate progression. In T intersections, placing a Starpost in the path forward is a good way to make sure the player does not end up turning the wrong way.

C: Enemies, items, etc all help provide direction. A player will follow the line of rings, so use them to put the player in the right direction. Enemies that face the player are assumed to be coming from the player's next path, so do not allow any of your enemies to face an unnatural direction.

D: In some more complex layouts, the player may expect to go around in circles, so make sure that the visual progression is clear enough that the player need never assume that they have gone the wrong way.

E: Some alternate paths can come out in a point of no return, this way it is not possible for the player to accidentally go backward along that path by mistake.
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Old 05-12-2009   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic
If I didn't know any better I'd think you were TRYING to make bad stages for a reputation or something.
I think I already have one, it's called Glaber Syndrome and yes, I am fully aware of how people don't like GS levels. This is why I gave a warning in my signature and started up my current one.

Once SRB2ME rolls around, beware of the future level "Mock Speed, the sound of stupid"(A level making fun of what not to do)
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Old 05-12-2009   #98
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...you aren't supposed to make bad levels for a reputation. The last thing SRB2 needs is its equivalent of a foreign electronics knockoff merchant.
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Old 05-12-2009   #99
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Okaaaay, I didn't expect them to be THAT bad.
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Old 05-12-2009   #100
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Your previous OLDC scores speak for themselves. You need to concentrate much less on recreating old levels and far more on improving the skill of your level design.
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