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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
ACStriker
windows 98 second edition
 
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Default ACStriker's votetastic voting post

So in another fashionably late apparition, here's my dollar and 50 cents for all the maps in the OLDC. Now not only there's the plain list of my best to least favorite, but also there's reviews/comments for each one (and for sake of convenience, I reordered them from the best to worse order in the aforementioned list).

On my text file I had split up some of my favorites in tiers; this is pretty much somewhat superficial (and renamed the expletives), but of course I still numbered them to keep count of them.

My own map
1.Hectic Harbor

My top favorite choices
2.Rustic Templar
3.Metallic Madness Good Future
4.Aqua Paradise
5.Oasis Palace

Great maps
6. Wild West 2
7. Snowflake Ridge
8. Myriad Memories

Pretty good maps
9. Toffee Tor
10. Cluttered Caves
11. Concordian Coast
12. Shadow of Atlantis

Need their polish but still a good starting point
13. Wasteland Wilds
14. Crystal Cave
15. Anteggtica
16. Cyan Heights

Least pleasant experiences
17. Overgrown Heights
18. Heroes Hall
19. Valley Falls
20. Hypertower

How about n o
21. Magma Falls


And now, the reviews...this might wind up a bit long.

Hectic Harbor
Spoiler:

Ahh...yes. My own map. Already had poured my thoughts about from the ambitious ideas I had in store despite being conceived a week before the deadline, to how I essentialy got cut off from some particular wishes I had for the map (namely, a longer layout, bigger bounds at the top of the areas, and visual polish); though never failling to know how there still was some good reception thanks to the starting solid layout (which in itself and the music track used, sometimes got people comparing it to Sol Sestancia; in a good way).

About the music track, it is NOT by Hideki Naganuma but was clearly composed in his style. I probably pointed it out before but the music track is "Funka Seatown" from the game Freejack, an online game that I found out about (but currently defunct) because of a mashup someone did between one of its songs and another one from Jet Set Radio. Yes, it did work well if you wonder.

So with that said...I think there's not much else to say that hasn't been said before (outside of that I wish to fulfill the lacking areas with completion in a future update), outside of how I have to say THANK YOU to all the SRB2 staff for their work, as well as reviving the OLDC, and of course...sparing my existence when I submitted my entry almost riding on the deadline. Yes, I think I'll be looking to not do that again (both the submitting at last minute and the crunch I had to make the map in first place). And of course, THANK YOU SO MUCH to everybody that actually enjoyed my map; to see this actually was such a positive surprise that I'll be very glad to try bring more in both that future update for the map, as well as if I get on any other original map follies. But enough self-inspection, you want some fresh bone-zone details and opinions about the actual list, don't you?


Rustic Templar
Spoiler:

Okay, this one just got me hard.

It struck me in my biggest weaknesses:
+Super cool guitar/rock music (it reminded me of a certain Mario Party 8 song but much cooler)
+The visuals are extremely solid with defined colors for ground flats and platforms
+The map is slope-filled but also fun-filled
+There are nice platforming challenges but there's absolutely nothing intrusive
+Aaaaand if you are feeling like Indiana Jones today, the map has 5 emblems (plus Rings + Time) so good luck with that

So even though my impression is so short in here, it was SUCH a good first impression. This is my definite favorite, and my absolute respects for LazyMK/MK.exe/MK for such an amazing, solidly-done, solidly-designed, piece of work that is this map. Shut up and take my rings, that's all I have left to say.


Metallic Madness Good Future
Spoiler:

Not gonna lie, this was one of the very first maps I played in the OLDC pack, as well as one of the maps that I was expecting the most from Kwiin's previews, so I'd say that it deserves this second place from all my toughts (only behind Rustic Templar because I played that later on and, amidst some frustration other maps and all my previous thoughts, was the only one to outclass this).

If you play it with sloperollangle (with cameraroll on), you can easily see why Kwiin intended to include it with the map (but was removed from the package due to issues), as the experience is so much fun when these are in effect with this slope-filled gargantuan map.

The lack of enemies is a nod to Good Future zones in Sonic CD not having them either, but also allowed you to focus in the breathtaking sights and fun sections without having to stress from a badly-timed badnik ambush. There were some great platforming concepts as well (un-punishing BUT rewarding; like obtaining an optional Whirlwind Shield), and the Amy path was a blast to behold with the details poured in there on top of that.

Overall it is probably one of my highest favorites because of the way it plays and feels, and using the sloperoll mod gives it that finishing touch of great. One of my top favorites in here, congratulations to you two Kwiin and Kanna :D


Aqua Paradise
Spoiler:

A very nice surprise: The map is quite fun to traverse, there is a lot of open terrain but you can progress the ways you want, getting a invencibility box never was so satisfying for getting rid of certain enemies, and while there's a bit of a nitpick with most of the stage sections somewhat...meshing with each other, I didn't get lost (the tornado sections had some useful ring circles in the air that showed the path) and was rather enjoyable!

Another plus is that it has emblems for rings and time (no emblem hunt but imagine trying to find stuff in here lol), so you can go for the fastest time or try to beat the level with more than 310 rings (which may be a challenge with the pesky air birds going near you). Congratulations for all the work you've done here Twins; the map is visually great, the music is sound, and overall good to traverse!


Oasis Palace
Spoiler:

A very nice surprise: The map is quite fun to traverse, there is a lot of open terrain but you can progress the ways you want, getting a invincibility box never was so satisfying for getting rid of certain enemies, and while there's a bit of a nitpick with most of the stage sections somewhat...meshing with each other, I didn't get lost (the tornado sections had some useful ring circles in the air that showed the path) and was rather enjoyable!

Another plus is that it has emblems for rings and time (no emblem hunt but imagine trying to find stuff in here lol), so you can go for the fastest time or try to beat the level with more than 310 rings (which may be a challenge with the pesky air birds going near you). Great job So2ro!



Wild West Act 2
Spoiler:

The music was quite fitting for the stage and that was something that really helped; not only the stage layout is quite fun, but there's also several minecart sections (and who doesn't have a soft spot for minecarts) that also have explorable areas if you get there without one.

The areas are either tight but fair (and fun) platforming, or open ACZ-esque roads. I think one thing that I did quite like was the second half of the stage where you trigger a ruins/temple door to go BOOM and continue through the level.

You made a quite solid map here Dead, and I'm looking forward to anything else you want to make :D


Snowflake Ridge
Spoiler:

You know, a fun Spyro is a good Spyro in my book; and this is no exception. While I had to play in 320x200 to have a stable framerate, I really commend the effort here with the amount of detail in both what's decorative areas AND playable areas.

While trying to hit the Snowman enemies near fence-less edges and Banpyuras was nerve-wracking (specially when trying to break some jars for gems), I liked the open layout for exploration and looking for gems, with the only tiny *tiny* nitpick is having to stop to either jump on each jar and go through them, or spin through the jars (which can be risky at times).

I liked the extra whistles like the HUD, the fact that you have to get gems and Sparx is both like an weaker gem magnet and a lifebar (just like in Spyro), the Fire gate (though I still have to find where you use its power lol) and the way the exit looked. Very nice "RETURN HOME" indeed.

...and yes, all of this was previously pointed out in the discussion thread, but overal lthis was a quite fun map! It is a quite solid map and one where you can sink a good amount of time searching for all the secrets (so far I got the Red Diamond emblem). So I have to point out that the only reason why it is under "Great map" instead of "Top favorites" (even though it might be as well) is because of the nitpick with hitting jars to grab enough gems, and the previous framerate folly. However, if I can get to ever upgrade to better hardware and experience this map with a framerate bump (or gets optimized enough for my laptop to get that), I'm sure that I will have a bigger blast than now! Hats off to you Tatsuru and TrickyTex!


Myriad Memories
Spoiler:

Okay now I love this map lol
While it still would be better that it had some lightning adjustment for Software (it looks weird and the second gargoyle hallway thing would have been a problem if I didn't know from it from the last run), I really like how you were going for something inventive and rather clean on that matter. For context, I think I had previously expressed some thoughts about the lightning and gargoyle hallways in the discussion thread (before I completed it), but I gained some new appreciation after the gargoyle hallway was a non-issue (and just coped with the lightning for the sake of completing the ma).

Four sections that you clear in here: Gargoyle pushing puzzles, platforming, slope platforming and...pulley platforming. However, you can do so in any order you want, and not only I like how falling in a pit in any of the sections just...wooshes you back in the beginning silently (a big refresher from falling in water pits and going back to springs to go back to platforming in certain levels), but also you clear those, and boom: a shiny new area that was nice looking (even in Software since there was no lightning shenianigans), even if it was for the ending. Overall I have to admit that I garnered a taste for the approach you had here, and I'd be waiting to see more from you ManimiFire!


Toffee Tor Act 1
Spoiler:

kirb

The music is a quite nice remix, and the layout is open and fun. While there were some sections where I was a bit aimless about where I had to go to progress, I liked the amount of slopes as well as the sections where you used the boulder balls to roll over the water! Visually, most of it is RVZ1 which is a bit disappointing (though it looks good, and I can't really talk about custom texture stuff when I didn't make too much myself either), but the purple areas felt quite nice. On that note, it does look much more improved than your entries in the SUGOI trilogy (though after all, 2.2 standards and assets are a thing now). Overall this is pretty solid stuff!


Cluttered Caves
Spoiler:

The music choice is quite nice and fitting, and there are some nice alluring sections (like the underwater ruins, and that beach-like area with the Shadow markings on the floor), though some few others like the lava cave could use some tweaks (visually, adding a colormap, and also some optimization with the lavafall objects).

...there's a BIG caveat though. The checkpoints were not properly setup so you have exactly ONE functional checkpoint; wherever you hit one (be it one near the beginning or later), that's the only one that you will get to use since the rest will behave as if they were hit. So...yeah, you gotta beat the stage with one checkpoint (mostly like if the map had none).

Also you can end up going back from the sand/shadow-marking area to the beginning without knowing it, because that's what exactly happened to me after I went there instead of the lava cave :l

But I happened to stumble with something interesting because of that: With a whirlwind shield at the beginning of the stage, you can breeze quickly through the first sections; and by getting a fire/elemental shield early (there's one in one of the rooms before the lava cave), you can make the lava cave MUUUCH faster...which makes you realize that it was the last section of the stage before the signpost.

Oh yeah, and a funny thing: Spinning to hit the signpost means that your character (Sonic in my case) will go WHEEEEEE into the outside pit as the animation finishes playing :P

So...I'll forgive the checkpoint because of being specifically a weird mistake (since there were checkpoints placed around the stage, unlike...certain other stage that we'll get to later on), and take it for the ambient design as well as the level itself not actually being a drag because it ends quickly under the right conditions. Best of luck on your next map!


Concodian Coast
Spoiler:

Nice starting map with music and a beach setting. A thing that caught me somewhat off guard was the cave with the spiky thorns and small platforms (along with an Unidus): It would be preferable to make the starting cave entrance longer so that you don't blindly run in the spiky pit; and change/relocate/remove the Unidus since having a enemy with spiky balls stuck in a small platform with tight walls is...not very intuitive. The platforms with 3 rings are quite small as well :p

The fences are not solid (a bit jarring in the beach bridge section, but easily leads you to run off the pit in the right path bridge after that), and this is a bit of a nitpick but having to backtrack to the blue spring at the beginning of the bridge if you fall in the lake (though not too bad really).

However, this is quite good for being a beginners first map, I liked the way slopes were used for decorations and the end section (which had some sunbeams on top of the signpost); just comes off somewhat short and linear (path-wise). Looking forward to more maps from you too though!


Shadow of Atlantis
Spoiler:

An interesting setting with an interesting beginning (and a quite alluring name) is a good start. Also I found the...secret exit entirely by accident lmao

So splitting up in general, negative and positive (from my experience; objectively it can be anything else):
*The name and setting is interesting (with potential)
*You indeed end up exploring most of the level being underwater (as in the sunken city of Atlantis; or something inspired on it at least)
*Open starting area, a mysterious door, a yellow switch and a single emerald token are what I found in my first run.
*A slight chance that you may end the stage rather early due to tripping with a...hidden easter egg secret exit.

-Its easy to spend 3 minutes roaming around the first area thinking that you have to do a button hunt with a yellow switch seemingly lowering a yellow door (along with a red and blue door), but not being able to find it. Finding out the path to progress in the stage (at least through the upper cave) is a bit...aimless to find at first lol
-Speaking of the upper path, when I got there but fell through the pit (as I didn't see the fences at first), I noticed that it put me at the beginning underwater section. I just let the beginning piston stomp me and spawn at the starpost instead of going there all over again.
-no custom music is a small and stupid nitpick but still a thing
-The underwater sections (outside of the structures) feel a bit...lacking in something more than sand?

+Now the non-underwater sections were quite nice looking!
+To the credit to that area where I fell back to the starting underwater area, moving polyobjects are crazy to see like that IMO
+The stage at least didn't feel like a drag; after the upper cave section it was surprisingly straightforward, so I ended up clocking in like 4-5 minutes
+And about that "hidden easter egg", it looks pretty good :) (and had a good chuckle out of it when I found it; but there was detail in that you could go to several places)
+So yeah this is good stuff, just needs more polishing and that, but I can trust in that you can bring much better things from this :D


Wasteland Wilds
Spoiler:

Seems to be another starter map, and has some stuff going for it. However, I think it shows a bit on the way the map is decorated (some gray caves and...lack of decoration actually), and the spin path hole being so wide makes it easy to miss when you get your attention drawn to the yellow spring instead (which leads to a nospin path), so I would recommend maybe shrinking the hole and having something stand out (like a texture/flat around it so that it can be more noticeable).

The music used is somewhat okay though feels a bit on the flat side, and the map has open areas though feel a bit like 2.1 with the lack of ground variations of decoration. Not too bad though, and has some length to its credit :)


Crystal Cave
Spoiler:

The map itself is short but solid, and Diamond Dust (from Sonic 3D Blast) is an...okay(?) choice (though not the best one for the map). I don't have too much to comment as it is brief but pretty playable, though it would really benefit from using bigger textures than that (I think the way the preview looks is a way I can say that it needs a rework).


Anteggtica
Spoiler:

Now I see what does the "empty" part mean on other mentions: While the stage itself has open paths and some interesting setpieces, there's barely anything to distract you (no enemies except some Aircraft Birds at the end, nor any single rings), and unless you go your way to grab the monitors (which feel a bit jarring when there's not much decoration and they are the only thing on sight), it can be completed around or less than 30 seconds.

There is some potential here with the use of slopes and geometry, and there can be so much more done with an ice/egg setting...but there needs to be some more put on the stage itself or expanding it length aside there's not much in path diversity (for example, the ice castle area with the bridge could have been an entire different path instead of just having a 1-up; and all three possible paths at the beginning end up quite shotly in the same place). I did give it some few runs instead of just one but the lack of stuff still was clear.


Cyan Heights
Spoiler:

So...this is what they meant with the size. Well, the idea is fascinating and the way the level looks reminds me of Sonic X-treme (and Game Gear). A Hill Top zone-based level is not a bad idea at all, and the usage of gliders (?) is neat. However, the size can make some stuff a bit jank (like getting yeeted off the stage by hitting a spring in the wrong way), and is somewhat brief. Visually (and in the way some few things are explored in the map) however, it is pretty nice and consistent.


Overgrown Heights
Spoiler:

...*sigh.* This will be a long one.
*Big map
*There are A LOT of rings, a perfectionist nightmare but a fun sight to see (though sometimes it feels like bad temptation to gun for all the ring boxes), and maybe...a way to compensate for punishing sections? (Like, its relatively straightforward to grab 100 rings so essentially you could have free 1-ups).

+It looks fantastic
+The sound reminds me of Super Monkey Ball, funky jungle music; good music
+There are some good platforming and design ideas here and there...however...

-Why the water pit that's below the two FOF platforms (one is sandy and another is grassy) happens to be a death trap, I fell there and had to wait to drown out because there was no springs for Sonic to get out >:(
-Sometimes framerate is fine, sometimes it gets punched on the guts as hard as it can; I don't know much about optimization but if that's a possible thing...it would really benefit from it (specially if someone has the bad luck of a lagspike in a dangerous platforming section)
-Not sure how to catalog this but I had to use first person view to actually see how to land on that thin pillar with a red spring from the other diagonal red spring in order to get to the cave in the other side on 3rd try; failed first because of how hard it was to tell to land on it right without the FPS view (and lagspike), and second failed because of trying to see if it landed there without moving (like in GFZ); didn't work. Not a game breaker at all but...
-And maybe related to optimization, the amount of grass object stuff sometimes can be obscuring to see where you are actually treading; or more importantly, if you are going to go straight off a ledge or not.
-I wanted to put this higher but there was a CERTAIN SECTION WHERE I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO FOR A SOLID 5 MINUTES BECAUSE Sonic can't jump high enough a ledge and I just couldn't find out WHERE did you have to go to get up it. Like 7 minutes in, I saw that the right path was at a leftside small ramp in that area, but the spring that was in the sector in front of it was barely visible with the grass objects in there. No fun.
-why is it so common to run off ledges and die

The frustration from (tight) platforming with lagspikes is a sad thing considering how some of the issues are about design choices; everything from the ideas and visual decoration (outside of need for optimizaton) to the way you bring the level to flow. And there's not much wrong with trying to add a side of challenge, but there's a fair share of things here that...are either not well done or just annoying. Again, I really wanted to put this one higher but the suffering I had from that section really made this a non-favorite for me. I'm sure you can actually get to improve quite a lot your stuff though! :D

Oh, and of course this is above the last maps, which have some...big flaws for my taste.


Heroes Hall
Spoiler:

Well...I didn't want to put this one so low because I wanted to see how it ended and there was some legitimate effort with both the setting, the music, and of course the theming of a decorated castle with hero portraits around the level. However, this had a BIG flaw for me, one that not I could fully mitigate using as Tails, to the point that I couldn't complete the stage: A long-button hunting oddysey.

Not going into much babble about the concept itself, this is basically a very, VERY weak point for me since while the concept of going through other self-contained areas is nice to me (see Myriad Memories), the fact that these are always for button hunting (and that sometimes you either have to look too deep or can just miss out that there even were buttons to press to open the door) is a thing that just...didn't motivate me in keeping to play the stage. I got a bit far with Sonic, and I decided to use Tails to find the end as the flying exploits would help somewhat in skipping stuff (and the only other time I EVER used Tails for this voting process was...for the map that's in very last place; more on that soon).

However, the section where, one of the two being a church-like setting where I couldn't find a button at all, I went to the other where I DID find a grass maze...but that was very dark in Software (and some framerate dips that I was unexplainably having didn't help at all) and the grass maze itself being the low point where I just dropped the map. (some walls were solid, some weren't; and there were spiky pits waiting behind the non-solid ones most of the time)

With all of this said, I can't put this any lower because of, again, the effort that went here (like, I'd just have to think about how much it took to make a map this long; button hunting padding aside) as well as the maps below this one having way bigger glaring issues making this one be on top of them. Now, I just can expect that Zaxel can bring a fun map in his next endeavor however, filling it with more interesting ideas and taking the right cues done here in this map (but ditching the wrong ones, of course), and perhaps later on I'll actually get to see if I can complete the map. So please don't feel discouraged; its just that the biggest gimmick of the stage was such a turn-off for me; but I guess that there was some better reception with other players :)


Valley Falls
Spoiler:

So I'll try to be concise with this one (the bad and good):

-The underwater maze is a terrible idea; while I knew that there was a trick to complete it withoug getting lost, not only it is still using the water in a bad concept, but also it would have been MUCH worse if I didn't know already...so imagine things going wrong (or long) in a blind run.
-2D-mode jank itself aside (except for that you can end up in a wrong angle/softlock if spinning into the holes), there is a clear design for Sonic with the holes; as you can thok to reach the other side easier. However, the holes are still a leg-pull mainly because they are specifically waiting for where you would land from a ramp (and the way they look makes it hard to notice they are even pits at first).
-With the two elephants in the room addressed, the platforming sections over big water pits could get some improvements.
-There should be a bigger waterfall texture at the beginning (the current one is small and can be an eyesore), and there are some textures that need aligning.
-The section with the yellow springs and the red spring (in a narrow climb) was somewhat nitpicky; had to land into the platform with the yellow spring WITHOUT touching it to hit it in a way that gave me enough momentum to hit the red one.
-Already mentioned this but, again, having stuff like blind pits (the way they are in 2D mode) and underwater mazes is a rather bad idea, and I only was aware of these two because of previous gameplay/commentary about these big flaws.

...but despite all that...
+There's a very solid idea going in here (despite that its mostly GFZ textures with a sunset sky); the Ristar-esque music (if it isn't from Ristar) is catchy and not only the ground sections were well decorated, but also the ending area was quite a treat.
+Some nice slope sections where you can spin and go wheeeeee
+Outside of 2D sections/underwater maze, the map itself is mostly solid; there are some small hiccups here and there but this map good sections show that there is some untapped potential waiting from this :)


Hypertower
Spoiler:

On the plus side, there's actually a MIDI version of the music that's included, and actually sounds alright (instead of the...very loud and grating music that plays in Digital that you would think that's MIDI), and there are interesting ideas as well as the fact that you did invest a lot of time to do several sections with FOFs. It wouldn't be wrong to say that there could be some potential from the concept and some bits from the layout...but that said, there are several problems here and there, both in design and technical.

Design-wise, the amount of FOF platforms that collapse...that's somewhat offputting and sorta annoying at best (at the beginning for example), and a annoyingly tight gimmick at worst: The section after a checkpoint where you have to jump through brown platforms that collapse...that you have to do a tight blind jump that you wouldn't see at first. Even if you do that or go through the other path, there's still a BIG collapsing platform that does not even make sense to be it because its gray brick textures and basically you cannot expect at all that it was a collapsing platform unless you die once or twice there.

It also feels a bit too tight in some platforming sections, and the visual design is quite bland (though as a first map, I guess it can be given a slight pass; it still used too much of the same texture in both walls and floors). There are some unpolished areas as well (like the spring after the 2D section making you hit a wall instead of going forward) and some untextured/HOM walls. Overall there's a LOT to be wished, visually, layout wise and the lack of polish; but for a first map (and as I mentioned, the amount of floating platforms present), there was some effort involved so that's something. Also, please either change the music with something else, do a new composition, or just make the digital music be the same as the MIDI file/version.


Magma Falls
Spoiler:

"I could beat the stage but had to read up about X, use Y and of course spend like Z amount of times dying because there was no real direction and this is unconceivable because you have to take like 5-10 blinds runs (and have the patience to stomach it) if not outright guided by someone else to even complete the stage)"

And this would have been my comment condensing my comments about the map itself and the amount of frustaration this level brought me...but I couldn't complete the map.

At this time I couldn't finish watching a GIF someone provided medue to internet issues so I didn't have any guidance and I still got stuck at the red door with a monitor and an arrow (and went back to a monitor in that area, hugged it, and still did nothing). I also noclipped before on that door and I found a wall with a Brak texture; I don't know what this means but that was basically what lead me to throw the towel after minutes of wondering in that cave and just wanting to find the exit.

So yeah, I could NOT complete this map, and while I left out a rant I had at first to favour the "constructive criticism" rule, there's:

-A lack of direction with the stage in general, both with no good spacial awareness and most of the stage looking same-ish.
-Too many linedefs can peg down the framerate. On that note, having to jump over like 15 ledges just to get to a next section instead of having the whole thing being slopes is...annoying.
-No checkpoints. NO. CHECKPOINTS. Die in any part of the stage (and rings are somewhat scarce, as well as some pits being lava liquid pits with no springs; essentially death traps) and you are sent back. This makes the lack of direction issue even worse because you gotta go back to the start if you die at any lava hazard.
-The aforementioned door: If it was supposed to lead somewhere else or do a more important thing (which I haven't found the answer to at this moment), the way to open it is...absolutely stupid in that its so criptic that finding out how in a blind run is nigh impossible.
-If that's not even the right pathway to complete the level (even though there's a good length of sections leading to that cave)...then WHERE IS IT?!?

The only good thing that I can get from this though is about how Kwiin is working in reworking the map, so he could actually salvage this into a much more playable map. But with all those thoughts placed, this is hands down my least-favorite map in the contest. Lower than Heroes Hall because of being straight up confusing with questionable design instead of a long threading odyssey, and lower than Hypertower and Valley Falls because of some...intentions from Hypertower (and clearly being the very first map he made), and the solid platforming areas in Valley Falls; which were more excusable than the design flaws and lack of spotchecks (even THOSE had checkpoints, so why didn't this?!).

So...uhh...yeah...at least tripping with mistakes are a way to learn some lessons along the way, so this could be good in a sort-of roundabout way, as in now knowing what you need to take in consideration for a map. I wish you good luck next time though!



And that's all my thoughts about the Single Player division in OLDC...because yep, I still have to do some quick voting about the Battle CP/Diamond in the Rough division since I also submitted a map there. So, to wrap it up in a rather brief list:

1. Peach Castle
Spoiler:

My own map at the top again because of the rules; though in this case I do feel way more proud of the result since I actually started off this map as an experiment of how much geometry could I get to recreate from the original castle with vertex slopes, and had started it with a month ahead before the deadline. It was still a last-minute entry due to how I essentially added the BattleMod item stuff at the end.

Without going too in details with how I made it (I'd like to explain it in bigger detail one day though), basically it was a big undertaking but the results were VERY spot-on (in Software; there's a bit of weird bits in OpenGL for no real reason) and while I had to use shrinking sectors as I messed up the final scale (didn't know of OldBrak level type), it was satisfying to see the map taking complete shape.

The only things that left me a bit weird of an aftertaste was that I couldn't just put in that waterfall to the left of the castle in time (one of the only things that I...had not done before adding BattleMod stuff because of certain annoyances, and didn't have time to do so when I was about to submit it), a certain weird bug with a invisible wall somewhere that shouldn't even be there (and I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it because there even wasn't a linedef there; moving slightly the vertexes there for some reason didn't help either), and that I don't know if I may have placed little super ring bubbles/objects for players to stock on; didn't have anyone to test the map with after all. However, I think that this probably turned out to be a visual feast, and a playable blast; again that's a thing that I can quite feel proud of with the efforts I poured on the whole thing.

...Oh, and again, thank you so much DaveLite for the SM64 trees! They were such a nice extra touch to the whole stage after adding them.


2. SSN's Picnic
Spoiler:

So why did I put this one above Glimmer Gulch? Well, I gotta admit that it was a slim personal preference (couldn't just pick which one of two to put over the others); but then I started imagining about the Control Point and Diamond in the Rough distances being...much shorter in what could be a multiplayer game. That translates to easy chaos by having people duke it out close-quarters like from control point to control point (or in the case of Diamond in the Rough, run as much as you can but there's not a lot of places to run to!)

And while I don't happen to be a panderer for SRB2-nostalgia (the style and renders used are a nod to earlier SRB2 eras), I guess that the nice small structure leads to what I mentioned above. That...and the Meadow Match music. It sounded funny to want to pick a map because of its music but now that I have other reasons to do so as well, I'm giving the funny match the thumbs up.


3. Glimmer's Gulch
Spoiler:

Does that make this one a bad map then? No. It seems solid in how there's several areas where you can roam and get from with some tornados, and the control points/diamond spawns are spread out so there's more of a chase (or race, in case of Control Point) in this map. Overall it is quite solid and does the Arid Canyon setting okay; though I guess that's why I felt it didn't hit all the fun nitpicks from me: Having a rather vanilla take in the setting itself, and that it does not have any unique music (being ACZ2; Meadow Match is a unique case and a fun bop to hear while ramming others head on). Good job though!


And...finally my voting post is done. Thank you everybody for this season's OLDC; it was such a hypetrain when people saw the OLDC mappack finally release and everybody having their hands on it immediately (like, 2-3 pages of the OLDC Contest Discussion thread spawned around two-three days when it released). It also was such an experience (both good with the stuff I saw and my own submissions...and bad with the lesser choices and the crunch I went to get in here in first place) and I'm so glad to have been part of this event. This was specially lucking after taking in mind of how the OLDC was completely absent for 5 years before this one brought it back to life. I'll be looking forward to the next one, the new maps upcoming for them, and to try create then submit some completed stuff without almost dying in the process! :D
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