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Old 03-01-2004   #1
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Default Official Level Design Contest - February Voting

There were only three submissions to the February contest. They are:

MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone - Mystic
MAP02 - Carved Barracks - foxUnit01
MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone - Tets

As a reminder, the voting will involve copying and pasting the level list above, and giving each stage a rating from 0-10, 10 being highest. You may not vote on your own stage. Voting will end March 8th 0:00 UT (March 7th, 7:00 PM EST). The level with the highest average wins.

You can download the contest level pack here: http://mystic.sepwich.com/mta_contest-feb04.zip (75 KB)

Lets hope March produces actual results, as this month was quite pathetic. At least the three we got were decent.
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Old 03-01-2004   #2
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Link is broken.
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Old 03-01-2004   #3
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http://mystic.sepwich.com/mta_contest-feb04.zip

No idea how the srb2wad/ ended up there XD;
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Old 03-01-2004   #4
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I fixed it.
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Old 03-01-2004   #5
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I... I don't really know what to say. You know what? I'll let you guys decide for yourselves on what I thought:

MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone - Mystic
4/10

Don't get me wrong, the design was absolutely excellent! It provided for a whole lot of fun and the music pumped a bit more into it. Heck, I loved the gameplay aspects of it. It was all peppy and everything, lots of areas to explore yet the level's compact enough to find some energetic Sonic to hit at.
But what severely hurt this map the most? Its design in terms of decoration and architecture. Most of the pillars (specifically the ones holding the diagonal springs and the 10-ring monitors) look way too weird in a "UGH, HATE HATE HATE" way. From a lower perspective, it looks as if the pillars were part of the wall of the main ground; just like Type B wallpaper overlapping Type A; really ugly stuff. I'm more used to seeing pillars of those types opping up like, 64 units out of the main ground walls. That alone would've earned this map a 7, maybe even an 8, out of 10.
So yeah. Gameplay was excellent, decoration was painstakingly horrid. You know I'm a graphics freak, so I expect at least the best of people :E. Decoration really does matter to myself :O. I can probably guess that the pillar bit was done because of framerate problems, but framerate is sort of second-nature to me XD;.
You know, right now I bet a441'll be dissing my judgement. The freak ;P. *Shot*

MAP02 - Carved Barracks - foxUnit01
7/10

Right from the start, I knew I'd rate this map such a score. Dem1_4 was used so sharply that it added a lot to the map. I loved its use. It was just... inexplainably cool.
The rest of the map was also tidied up quite nicely. Everything's aligned to the point where I can't really complain (other than that Floor0_3 block in one of the bottom floors that bothers me). Design's also really nice. It's kinda weird, actually; at one perspective, it all seems far and wide (bottom floors in the dark GFZROCK room), but at another, it seems way too cramped (near the entrances to the bottom floors). I'll say this: You've created a map that mutates graphical thoughts at every corner XD;.
It was a bit hard to navigate, and that's what really gave it a 7. Recreation of your first map, fox? Nice work :D!

MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone - Tets
6/10

Design's way too spread out, boring layout, not much to say here. The three-floor layout kinda' makes it hard to reach players, and it could've been easier to navigate throughout the floor levels. The rather huge spaces were also very boring to run throughout; there was little decoration whatsoever and there was little variety. Sprucing up the center area alone'd bump this map up a point, but its main fault? It's boring. Very boring.

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

Overall, this month's maps were absolutely pitiful, despite what I've graded them. I've seen better. Lots better.
I'm a bit and quite disappointed with these talents, and especially yours, Mystic; I've known you to create better maps. I was actually hoping better from all of you, and those who didn't enter in the first place.

Worst contest ever. My two cents :O.
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Old 03-01-2004   #6
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MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone - Mystic
N/A - I really like the way it looks, myself, but that's just me. My only objection to my own map is that I couldn't make the framerate better and that you can hear shots through the ceiling.

MAP02 - Carved Barracks - foxUnit01
6 - I dunno what to say. there is something missing I can't really explain. I do really like the way it looks, and all of the comments I said before, obviously, it's just it seems so average, I guess.

MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone - Tets
7 - I love the way this looks. There is one major problem with it: It is too hard to get around. The moving platforms could be replaced with yellow springs, and the level would seriously rock. Also, as a personal taste, the floor would do better as THZFLR08 than THZFLR01.
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Old 03-01-2004   #7
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MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone: 7/10
Graphically, Sun Shrine Zone is totally sweet. In terms of gameplay, it seems just a bit lacking. I personally found it somewhat hard to get around. In addition it's easy to lose your opponent. Still, it provided me with a solid ten minutes of entertainment.

MAP02 - Carved Barracks: 8/10
This map has an interesting and refreshingly original layout. The underground areas are excellent for avoiding the opposition; just drop down into one of the holes if you find yourself in danger. On the other hand, you need to be careful crossing them at full speed. Moving on, the collapsing ground areas on the outside of the map are absolutely evil. The music really doesn't fit, in my opinion.

MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone: muh
My best level design ideas usually come to me when I'm trying to go to sleep. Which really pisses me off because then I have to get up and write it down or draw it before I forget it in my sleep. This was no exception. Originally this one was designed with windows in the outer parts as opposed to the fences. The fence texture was used only on the FOFs leading to the central structure. Of course the extensive use of 3D floors ended up destroying the translucency in OpenGL, so I just used the fence in place of the windows. I think it turned out, graphically, very sexy. Of course Digi places too much emphasis on the graphical portion of the scoring, so I = pwnd :[
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Old 03-01-2004   #8
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MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone - Mystic
7 - I like how this map was made. Plus the music fits right along with the map. The designe is really great, but its a small map.


MAP02 - Carved Barracks - foxUnit01
8 - This is a really cool map foxUnit. I like how it was made and playing this lvl on a netgame is really fun. The textures go good with this map.



MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone - Tets
6 - Sorry Tets. The textures are good but i really dont like the gameplay.
the song goes good with it.
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Old 03-02-2004   #9
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MAP01 SSZ 5/10
This level was boring. But it seemed good.



MAP02 CBZ 9/10
This level is very fun, need less to say.



MAP03 AFZ 7/10
The gameplay sucked. But the level is good none-of-the-less.
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Old 03-02-2004   #10
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MAP01 - Sun Shrine Zone - Mystic

Unplayable. The framerate was so bad I could hardly move, even in 320x200. I suggested lowering the pillars to the bottom of the level, based on an earlier version of this map, so there would be fewer FOFs and the framerate would be somewhat better. Apparently, though, Mystic would rather make a pretty map than a playable one.

I'm so appalled he would submit such an impractical level, I almost want to write a long speech about it, but I'm a busy man, so I'll let these statistics, which I swear I am not making up, speak for themselves:

Average framerate, Vacant Rocketship Zone, 800x600: 30.8246
Average framerate, Sun Shrine Zone, 800x600: 29.0968
(from FRAPS 1.9D)

MAP02 - Carved Barracks - foxUnit01

Based on the beta test of this map, I wanted to give it a 10. The layout is awesome, and while it does get a little dull with only three players, it's probably the best map for big games that I've seen yet. It had an interesting layout that made it look really big, while it still wasn't much of a problem to find people to shoot at, and it gave everyone space to run around in, while allowing Tails and Knuckles to use their aerial abilities.

Unfortunately, the version entered in the contest contains two annoyances I don't remember from the test session earlier. One, the pits at two of the corners of the map containing Explosion rings on narrow platforms. It was pointless an Explosion ring is not worth risking one's life for. It was also very possible to hit the spring without getting the ring, something that happened to me twice. It's true that after falling in the pits the first time, I was able to ignore them, and not make the mistake of going in again. Still, just having them there was very unprofessional. I also feel it betrayed the level's "green" theme, since it hinted at some sort of piping or chemical deposit underneath the hills, which didn't fit and made me feel less comfortable enjoying the lush scenery.

Second, the fans. In the test version I played, the fans did not push up at all. This was a mistake later fixed. However, the fix involved having the fans push up so high they interfered with my jumps over them. When there aren't any fans in sight, I shouldn't have to be thinking about fans.

Despite those two flaws, foxUnit01 did a fabulous job on the map, especially considering his relative inexperience (though I bet level designing experience with other games helps). Without the annoyances I mentioned, this would definitely be a 10 out of 10.

MAP03 - Abandoned Factory Zone - Tets

February's is the second contest in a row where a map has used chain walls to conceal the fact that its layout is closed-in and hard to navigate. I hope that won't become a tradition.

This level wasn't totally unenjoyable. Still, it's hard to think of many good things to say about it. The elevators are a pointless way of slowing people down, and the slime trap with the Infinity, like the pits with Explosion rings in MAP02, makes it hard to get to a bonus that isn't worth the trouble. To top it all off, the map gives the impression of being blatantly unfinished, especially in the barren lower area in the center.

I did have some fun here, but come on, Tets, you can do a lot better than this.

Scores

MAP01: 0/10
MAP02: 9/10
MAP03: 5/10
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Old 03-02-2004   #11
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Once again, a441 has shown what an ass he is. I'm convinced that's what the a means. I didn't use the chain fences to 'conceal' anything aside from the room beyond them, I used them because that is essentially what I first imagined the map looking like. While some of your comments really could help me in improving this level, you could have gone about informing me of the flaws in a more tactful way. At the moment, I feel terribly insulted.

I'm probably not a great authority on this, but I really think that sometimes people here are too critical in reviewing these levels. We're not making multi-million dollar movies here, we don't need multi-million dollar movie critics pointing out the smallest flaws and making a big deal about them. These are fanmade levels for a fanmade game. I'm not getting paid to make these levels and I don't imagine anyone else here is. If you're going to offer comments on my creations, be respectful about it. Otherwise, sod off.

Msonic, you're on the complete opposite end of the spectrum here. Those comments... really don't have any value. "The level was boring." How was it boring? Elaborate! "The gameplay sucked." How so? I'm quite in the dark here concerning your comments.

And that's the end of my speech/rant/angst-driven outburst.
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Old 03-02-2004   #12
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I have to agree. Lets have some constructive criticism around here. It's not helpful to say things like that, a441.

Also, for some reason, I have just a slightly worse framerate in Sun Shrine on the craptop than I get on Airborne Temple. I think something quirky is going on, because it shouldn't be worse than Vacant Rocketship, which was plain unplayable on the craptop.

It's also perfectly practical to play for 90% of the players. Even if you can't run it right, there are definitely other people who can play and enjoy it. It's not a map I intend to put in srb2.srb, so it doesn't have to adhere to the standards for framerate I abide by, where I make sure it runs at Techno Hill 2 or better.
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Old 03-02-2004   #13
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If you don't want criticism, don't enter a contest where your work is going to be judged and rated. The point of this is to get better.

I didn't read the other posts until I finished mine, so I was surprised to see no one else even complained about Sun Shrine. Maybe the slowdown is less noticeable in OpenGL. In any event, I could've stuck in some points for effort if the pillars had gone down to the bottom of the level, but making them FOFs was just silly.
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Old 03-02-2004   #14
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I did each of these levels in a 2v1 game, so in terms of gameplay my ranting may be a little off, as it was about 5:30 AM. =P

Map 01 - 7/10

I have mixed feelings about this one. There's two parts of me - the one that hates springing around and getting the crap blown out of me by my friends, the other is the one that loves springing around and blowing the crap outta my friends. =P

What I'm trying to say is with 4+ people, this level has that 'cramped insanity' feel that I love so much, yet is still a decently sized level. The fact that it's a 'vertical' level is pretty cool too. However, this for some reason just doesn't work as well with something like Nightmare Ring, which was a great vertical level. I guess it's the fact that each floor is bigger, and so if you see someone it's do or die. But again, that's kinda good, kinda bad. Muh. Dont hurt me. *shot*

And a441, what're you talking about? The FOF's is a painstaking process when yer stacking them (I get very disorganized in Wadauthor), and so effort points should go for that. Also, ever play Q3DM17? That Quake 3 test level, where it's one big platform? Now, step off that thing, and yer given time to smack yerself over the head when trying to beat a superior who doesn't miss a rail (no, not Mystic. ;P) while falling to yer do0m (accomanied(sp) by your guy going "AAARRRrrrgh! *splat*")

Map 02 - N/A

I'd have to agree with some of the other posts on this one. Since it's mine, I'll just kinda rant about some of the things I'm concerned about..

The floor0_3 texture on the falling platform just screams "Stand here and get a prize!" rather being very subtle and having new people to the level notice it by others. Then again, it _is_ very easy to see when yer actually trying to _find_ the Rocket Ring, so I guess it's alright. ;P

I got lazy with FOF's. I could'a done some better texture work, definitely on the bottom of some of the FOF's where grass is on the floor. I dunno.

I'll agree with Mystic, there's something bugging me about this one. I don't know what, but I want to do _something_ to it. There's something missing.. O.o

And Carved Barricks was a recreation of my first map? No, my first is an Unreal Tournament map that would be impossible in SRB2, because I'm a slope freak when it comes to caving in a building and having fire everywhere (I had made a torn warzone-esque place, even complete with fog everywhere so make the fighting.. Errie). And the fact that UT level editing is _easy_, so I picked up and went. ;P

Map 03 - 7/10

Yep. Same score as sunshrine. I thought this level was pretty decent, the fence was cool looking, 'caging' everything in. *shot*

I had an interesting experience here. I like the infinity ring's placement in the ooze-y stuff, makes you just want to get it. XD

The level though is big, but it all leads down to the choke points of elevators. It's like a Doom or Tactical Ops map, where you'll have huge landscapes that are beautiful.. And it all goes to a two-doored hallway 2X as wide as the player. ;P

Perhaps.. Put in some lighting? When Digi made his ruined Techno Hill zone thingy as a DM level, I thought I'd see screwed up lighting and caved in parts and stuff. Of course, I didn't, it's Doom, but maybe some blinking or low lights here and there to add to atmosphere?

Yeah. Can't say much more about this level. I'm cought between a 6 and a 7, so I'll just slap on a 7 because it was pretty fun to play.

---

Map 01 - 7/10
Map 02 - 10000/10 *shot*
Mao 03 - 7/10

---

I guess this contest was good. I mean, the levels were pretty good, but we coulda used more submissions. =\

Now, if you'll excuse me, onos its teh school. XP
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Old 03-02-2004   #15
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I want criticism, but I want constructive criticism. Don't rant on things we already know. Don't say "It sucks" without explaining exactly why you feel that way. And be a little nice about criticism. A little bit of tact would go a long way.

The reason no one else whined about the framerate is simple: Everyone else has a better computer than you. This is something I'm quite used to. Remember, before this computer, I had a PII266, so I'm quite used to having everything suck on only my machine. However, I've since decided that I'm not going to let framerate ruin a perfectly good idea, which is what this was. There is something about being able to look up at the thing you were just on and say "Oh crap", as foxUnit said, because for a millisecond you know you're dead and there isn't a licking thing you can do about it.

Also, the reason I'm sorta irritated at you is because if the contest existed back when I had the PII266, I would simply have given it a score of N/A, since I can't judge what I can't play. Instead, you gave it a 0, which as anyone who has done badly in school can attest, REALLY screws up an average. Sure I already know that it's not going to win, but the least you can do is be fair, instead of letting your machine get in the way of your judgment.
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Old 03-02-2004   #16
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Lighting was an idea I wanted to incorporate into the level design of Abandoned Factory from the beginning. More specifcally, I wanted to include dynamic lighting. Unfortunately I was unable to get it working right. What you probably mean is simple sector lighting effects like in the original Doom. Surely enough I can add those in an update.

After playing a few real games in my own map, I'd have to agree that the elevators are terrible. I tried making them move faster but then it just became hard to get into them without being crushed against the ceiling. Future versions will include springs in their stead.

Also, has anyone tried playing my map in chaos mode? I have yet to see if it works well enough for that.
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Old 03-03-2004   #17
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Map 01-Sun Shrine Zone-8/10

Very nice job on the design. I have to say that it plays slow, but that didn't bring down my vote. The two floors were very cool, but next time, make something new. Sky zones are getting old.

Map 02-Carved Barracks Zone-8/10

Awsome! I loved the way those textures were used. The design made me somewhat unimpressed with the theme. It should have been mechanicaL, OR AT LEAST a cave. Those falling FOFs caught me by surprise. Evil...

Map 03-Abandoned Factory Zone-9/10

Good layout, but too spaced. That's what kept it from 10/10. The alarms in the sides were small, but they, like I said before, are graphical things. I don't grade on graphics. Sorry a441, but the fence was pretty cool. It was better than windows in my opinion.
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Old 03-08-2004   #18
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I'd like to change my vote, if I can do that, on MAP03, Abandoned Factory Zone by Tets. After some further consideration I've decided it deserves a 6. While it does have some problems, it was overall a fun level with good original ideas.
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Old 03-09-2004   #19
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Obviously, Carved Barracks by foxUnit01 won by a landslide. Nothing surprising.
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