November/December 2011 Voting

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Up Down, All Around!
Running Special Stage Act 1 by ZarroTsu - 9/10

This map bewildered me to the fullest extent that one could be bewildered to. A magnificent attempt at a running stage executed quite well I must say. The music was a nice touch as well.

City Area by Internet Explorer - 2/10

Well, what can I say about this one? Well, abhorrent, and dire, in fact. I could not make out the theme of this map exactly. I mean, what is it? A city? Hmmm, no. A sewer? Nah. Also, the chain gimmick was messed up. It was hard to jump from chain to chain. Also, once you've made it to the top, you then find out that nothing happens! But no, you've got to push a button.

Polluted Plains Zone by 742mph - 7/10

The cutscene was quite nice. The Metal Sonic boss wasn't too bad. A quite challenging level I must say. Also those robots in the background as I assume being a assembly line was a nice touch.
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I'll Begin


Polluted Plains Zone - 6/10
It's pretty hard for me to rate this fairly when I can't even complete it. (was that your plan all along? To void people's votes?) The cutscene is stupid and the level design is just a little too brutal. I like where it was going before I gave up, but it's just too hard to be fun. Maybe I'll come back to it later, with the unlimited lives cheat.

Running Special Stage Act 1 - 7/10
I like seeing unique special stage ideas in SRB2. Keep working on it, because you've got something going there.

City Area - 4/10
Cramped, ugly, confusing. It took me ages to find the button to that door, and even when I did, the map was anticlimactically short anyway. Leaps of faith into the dark only to find they're concealed pits is not fun. I'm not sure there's really any redeeming qualities of this.
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Locked User
Running Special Stage Act 1 by ZarroTsu 6/10

Out of all the SP levels this OLDC this has to be one of the ones that isn't either too unorganized or is completely annoying to play. It was simple and short but at least the concept worked out well. It did get kind of boring 10 seconds in due to the repetitive scenery with little changes in the level to keep hold of my interest. I'd suggest you add more to the background, like maybe a few structures that give a theme or such to the level. OVerall this was level I most enjoyed this OLDC in the SP catagorey.

City Area by Internet Explorer 2/10

This level is one of your worse levels; the layout was cramped, there was no clear direction to go at times and the textures either clashed with eachother or didn't even match the city theme you were going for. It felt more like some random level wad you'd find on a co-op server that someone made by throwing a bunch of stuff together and calling it a day. Some aspects of the level felt tacked on or not needed such as the zoomtube which I don't get why you would use the dark brick instead of the brick you used for the rest of the level or something that would fit with the theme. Plus after seeing you post that it was a practice level to train your level design skills and was made over a year ago I really don't think you should've entered it as is or if you did touch it up, enter it half-baked. It was really a 'meh' entry.

Polluted Plains Zone by 742mph 4/10

This level was a pain to play, not only was it unforgiving with it's nerfing of the thok but some of the gimmicks and enemy setups were cheapshots. I'll give you points for the interesting opening, nice music choice (Sonic CD :D) and interesting aesthetics like that conveyor belt thing in the beginning. Also the Metal Sonic battle was an interesting boss to face. On to the bad points of the level starting with the goop. I can let it slide that it's instant death and if there was a reasonable enough space to get across it would be okay but combined with the nerf'd thok and small platforms along with how you'll be bouncing off the enemy you'll more the likely end up in it and die. But you also seemed to make the water instant death with a pit to do so, in shallow water though, when you could've made it the same as the goop before since players are more likely to think they'll be able to recover if they slip up. Another problem although minor is the second zoomtube after the instant death water because it spits you out too close to the edge, sometimes over to your death. Also the checkpoint beforehand shouldn't have that pop-up turret nearby since if you respawn as you reorient you'll be shot by the pop-up turret. Texture-wise they fit the level but sometimes it lacked diversity, you might've wanted to use a variety of textures especially the room with only THZBLOK1 made it feel bland and a bit boring. Overall this level could be better with some improvements and fixes.


Training my mapmaking skill
Finally finished on the MP maps(except for Race, which I'll get to real soon)
Here I go..


Maple Lake Zone - 5/10
A bit too wide for my taste(with lots of open spaces)
Some places have ringspams over. Some places, that actually
needs ring, has none, in my opinion. Other than that, this map
is somewhat decent. In my opinion you should pick a better tune :P

Blissful Grove Zone - 6/10
Somewhat decent, not too cramped and not too wide,
Quite Creative, in theme. And there's somewhat an amusing
thing for me as some emeralds spawns in mid-air(notice difference from FLOAT tag).
I've never seen anyone makes any map with mid-air emerald.
However it's good that you can develop a new place for an
emerald, that's reachable. Although I admit, some places for the emerald are hard to be reached by Sonic users... Some are not reachable except by jumping and aiming and TRYING to get the emerald, not come by like the others(If you know what I mean)

Aquatic Egg Zone - 6/10
Alright, first off, this place is quite small. Not in overall, but most of the

places here are cramped for me. Decent interior decorations, though. A bit
more ammo could work here IMO.



Castle Flagman Zone - 5/10
...Nice, compared to the beta you lent me.
Not much comment, the only thing that's bothering me is it's size(too big), and some of the complex areas. Try making it less complex? Complex thing won't get higher grade from me, remember that. I prefer better looks rather than complexity.
It looks A BIT good nevertheless. Great work (finishing) on it~!

Spacebound Fortress - 7/10
Have I told everyone that I like this kind of map? :P
Seriously though, this kinda map might get HIGHER, or LOWER grade from me,

depending on the touch of the map.
~~Enough about me, let's see what I think of this map~~
The song fits the map, I admit, next up, the texture. It looks good like this.Yeah, pretty nice. Except for the fact that Sonic players can't get to the higher grounds. If there's a way, care to tell me how? Next up, the place MIGHT need to have less pits on the way. And to tell you the truth it'll be better IF you could manage to make the pit on the other side, which is larger than the other, the same size.. Check screeny below.


RACE and COOP coming up soon

Some Screenies...
Not Far...
SO FAAAAAAAAAR! Unreachable when you're carrying the flag
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Maybe out of retirement?
I've been designing levels for about six months, and from what I've heard from the rest of the community talking about their personal accomplishments, their levels were much more widely liked after six months of practice than mine, although that could be because the community's standards were lower back when they started, or they could be exaggerating things for bragging purposes.
Most of the people who say that are lying. The top level designers all had their period of learning, longer for some, shorter for others. Take Fawfulfan for example. He started mapping in 2008 and didn't make his first universally liked SP map until 2011. Take Blade and KOTE, both developers, who also went through a series of failures back in the 1.09.4 days before finding their foot as mappers. That's the way it is for everyone. Becoming a good mapper, especially for single player, takes time. This is just the second map you released, you shouldn't be surprised you aren't making masterpieces yet.

The most profound reason that SOCing appeals to me more, though, is that there just aren't many people who are good at it or actually bother to do it. The fact is that so much attention on the MB is aimed at levels that nobody really recognizes the potential of SRB2's other customization capabilities (this is obvious because the only official contest we have is for levels only)
SOCs aren't paid attention to because they're rarely more than small diversions that lose their appeal after a few minutes. Good levels, on the other hand, can provide you with hours of entertainment.

and that makes the few especially active SOCers unique while causing many newbies to simply go with the flow and compete with the hordes of other MB members in a great level design race which they can never truly win, because even if they're paid attention to, they're rarely well-liked.
Who says they can't win? The ones who are coming out on top at the moment also started out as newbies. I can see you becoming one of them if you take our feedback to heart.

I hear people on #srb2fun talking about Tortured Planet a significant amount of the time, but everyone seems to think it's mediocre at best. They even regularly diss Mystic Realm for whatever reason. If people like you and Mystic are barely taken seriously as level designers, then what chance do I have?
Both Mystic and Fawfulfan are taken seriously as level designers, but Tortured Planet and Mystic Realm are simply far from their best work. Mystic himself freely admits that a good bunch of Mystic Realm ranges from awful to mediocre, and I hope Fawfulfan also realizes that the same holds true for Tortured Planet as well. But both of them have also made maps that are cherished by the community: Aside from tons of Match maps, Mystic made Neo Aerial Garden Zone, which is as good as universally beloved by everyone. Fawfulfan made Pipe Towers Zone, which received a score of 8.10 and was liked by almost everyone as well.

However, from what people have posted on SOC topics in Releases, it seems like SOCs are treated much less harshly, mostly because they're rare, a case of significant demand but barely existant supply, and, like a small business, I see a perfect opportunity in filling that demand.
Don't kid yourself. There is no demand. All SOCs that I've seen posted here got a few replies at most and then sank into obscurity. Did you ever see anybody use your Stomp ability with a character? I don't think so.

Perhaps my reasoning is rediculously flawed, but I just don't see a point in level design when I don't find it that fun and I know I will never be taken seriously as a level designer, especially lately when it's become clear to me that there are other types of custom content that people enjoy using just as much and I enjoy making more.
Just to summarize it once more:

  1. You will be taken seriously as a level designer. What you have here is a very good start. As I said, if polish your level and fix all the major flaws, I can see it becoming a very enjoyable level.
  2. Don't be so impatient. Making levels takes time, but it pays off because what you create can offer a lot of entertainment. SOCs are easy and quick to make, but they don't have anywhere near the same entertainment value.
  3. People don't enjoy using SOCs as much as levels. Trust me on this one.
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There is one particular entry in this contest that I would like to discuss. ‘Polluted Plains Zone’ by 742mph

The so-called ‘story’ in this level was a pathetic piece of narrative that shamed my name as an evil villain and a genius! The opening where I ambushed Sonic and shot him in the face at point blank range then took over Green Hill I can approve of, as a matter of fact if any of my peers in the villain union tried a similar strategy I would applaud them. But as soon as Sonic wakes up from a six-week coma because the writer of this story decided that the great and powerful Robotnik would spare his life to be ‘fair’ I was livid with rage! The hedgehog was unconcious in my base for 6 weeks and I built a chamber specifically designed so he could easily escape and destroy my base when he woke up? This also means I kept him on life support and had robots feeding him nutrients while he was asleep!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the value of sport, after all I partook in the occasional spot of fox hunting in my youth and hunting the hedgehog is the ultimate prize game. But I had already faced him directly earlier in this story and won, it’s a foolish ploy to keep him alive during his 6-week coma so he can destroy my base immediately after being revived! At the very least, I would have rigged the prison chamber (a proper prison with electric fences, not a small platform over an easily avoided pit) with explosives, used screens to show Sonic that I have successfully defiled his precious Green Hill then destroyed the prison chamber. I would have won and satisfied my irresistible urge to gloat all the while!

In short, I would have finished the job and made the hedgehog get a load of this by killing him in the opening sequence.

There is however nothing wrong with the fact that destroying the main computer caused my entire base to explode. This happens all the time and is the fault of black market dealers sabotaging my work.
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My work is never done yet
@SpiritCrusher, I'll listen to your much-appreciated advice and keep making levels for now, although I might want to start releasing them more often in order to get more suggestions for them and for future levels. Is that a bad idea, and should I only release the levels that I think are the most entertaining?

@Dr. Ivo Robotnik, I sincerely apologize for mocking you so severely in my level's story. If I ever submit an updated version of Polluted Plains to be placed in Releases, I will make sure that there is in fact no level at all and the player is immediately killed by a laser from one of the emitters when the opening cutscene is finished.


Maybe out of retirement?
@SpiritCrusher, I'll listen to your much-appreciated advice and keep making levels for now, although I might want to start releasing them more often in order to get more suggestions for them and for future levels. Is that a bad idea, and should I only release the levels that I think are the most entertaining?
It's probably best to only release your levels if you're 100% happy with them. If you need advice during the mapping process, ask people to beta test. Most of the "professional" mappers in this community use the IRC channel to get feedback on in-progress maps. Doing beta tests instead of releasing unpolished levels has the advantage that people are much more ready to accept flaws in a beta that they wouldn't in a finished contest submission.


"The level has cutscenes and a custom Sonic. It must be a Dumbventure clone!"

I agree, that's a silly presumption.

Okay, I admit that some parts of my post went a little too far, especially at the Dumbventure comment. For the record, though, I wasn't TRYING to make the map seem like a Dumbventure clone. I'll edit that part out, since I was being a jerk about it anyway.
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Graphic & Sprite Modder.
Time for the Single-Player maps.

Map: Running Special Stage Act 1
Author: ZarroTsu
Rate: 5/10
Comment: So I ended up failing this the first time because I didn't run, but I'm not dropping points because of that.

Some attmepts are needed in order to beat this then again... I did enjoy this level than the others here, but it does need some work. Perhaps maybe having different paths? Then again... that might be difficult to do in a way.
Map: City Area
Author : Internet Explorer
Rate: 2/10
Comment: What happened here? Cramped, confusing layout and dark areas where you think it's safe to run by but turns out it's a pit and so you fall to your death, also... I don't think this was a City Area as the level name says.

You might wanna make the chains less sticky as I couldn't get off them while jumping. Hello again old graphics from my GraphicX8000 wad.
Map: Polluted Plains Zone
Author: 742mph
Rate: 3/10
Comment: Hmm... a cutscene? Kill Crawlas to get rings?

Why is Sonic's Thok nerfed here? The minute I thok over a pit and I didn't make it because I didn't know that it was nerfed so I fall to my death. Why is it nerfed? Is there a reason why it had to be nerfed?

Another thing here is the THZ Water... everyone who has played Vanilla SRB2 will know that it deals damage... oh wait... you die instantly by touching the THZ Water here. If your going to do something like this, why not use the acid textures or something else?

Let's see... checkpoint at the boss, you die and you get to try again with no rings to help you. Also... I wonder who's Metal Sonic that is.
Now to go do the multiplayer ones.


My work is never done yet
Also... I wonder who's Metal Sonic that is.

That would be MY Metal Sonic, SOCed entirely by me. With Blade's sprites, of course. Don't assume that just because I haven't made a big show of it before this contest, it's not mine.


That would be MY Metal Sonic, SOCed entirely by me. With Blade's sprites, of course. Don't assume that just because I haven't made a big show of it before this contest, it's not mine.

He was obviously talking about the sprites. Did you even credit Blade?


I enjoy the secret shortcut you introduced, however with random item boxes on this can be rendered entirely meaningless if you can't get the elemental barrier.

You don't really need an elemental shield to use the shortcut, it's very easy to get out of the hot chocolate before you finish flashing. The Elemental Shield does shave off the time wasted by the hurt frames, though.

But yeah, that's why I made the rings so sparse, to make it harder to use the shortcut as the race goes on, meaning that the longer path actually gets used.


Randomly found avatar
I'll complete rating and write comments later.
Aphotic City Zone by ThunderNova - 1/10
The End of Circuit by akb778 - 0/10
Unstable Icicle Zone by Zipper - 7/10
Mountainside Greens Zone by Root - 1/10
CastleLand Zone by EternallyAries Red X -5/10
Black Magic Workshop by Internet Explorer - 2/10
Quartz Caverns Zone by glaber - 3/10
Requiem for a Soul by Boinciel - 3/10
Conveyor Climb Zone by Shadow Hog 1/10
Hot Chocalate Manor by Katmint - 2/10

Castle Flagman Zone by EternallyAries Red X - 5/10 It's funny that it takes forever to find out how to get to enemy's flag, but when you find certain path you can capture it in 15 seconds. Little bit too confusing for CTF map.
Spacebound Fortress Zone by ZarroTsu - 9/10 This one was real fun (though we lost 21:7) . Almostflawless. I would give it ten if roof Sonic would be able to get on roof somehow as well.
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You're missing something.

But it's easier to show than tell, so have a video.

Well, it appears to be fixed when I try it out, so yeah.

I guess I fixed it while working on the map after it was submitted.

To the staff or whoever watches over the voting, you can go ahead and disqualify my map, since only one person can fully complete the circuit. I guess I should've re-submitted my updated version the day before entering ended.
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