Digiku

Member
Great pack! Here's my single player comments, in alphabetical order:

Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip

You have the foundations of a good level, here. The platforming was basic but not at all boring. I will say that the sharp fences reduced my enjoyment a lot. I think they're a cheap obstacle. For me, they hurt the pacing because they force me to slow down in areas where I want to go fast. Challenge would be better implemented by being more creative with your platforming terrain.

Also, you have to share what music track this is! What a smooth banger!

Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz

You have some interesting puzzle layouts here. The visual theme is creative. The texture effect is nice, but since it's used everywhere, I felt a little dizzy.

Regrettably, I couldn't figure out how to finish the level. I got stuck in this room where there are red and green blocks. You spring to the top of the room and rise above a yellow platform in a corner. Then I'm trapped on the yellow platform with no way out?

Work on projecting your layouts more clearly to the player. I do like how puzzle-oriented the level is, and it would have been an interesting contender if it was more clear how to advance to the end.

Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit

I had a tough time placing this level. I appreciate that it's very clearly ambitious. I also enjoyed the underwater platforming a lot.

But once you get above water (starting with the big ring hoops), it's clear that platforming went out the window in favor of racing against enemy spam. It makes sense that you rushed towards the deadline. I'd love to see how you build a level without rushing, because evidently you're capable of building an engaging experience!

Dark Marsh by Vixuzen

The terrain here tries some interesting things. I enjoyed going up and down buildings and their rooftops, and it did feel like the player was diving into the heat of the battle.

That said, I did find the layout to be unfocused and perhaps too open. I got a little lost at some points. It appears to lean heavily on enemy spam. As a result of all these, the fun factor suffered a lot. Work on directing the player with stronger hints.

Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs

The terrain here is a lot of fun! Nice job on the level length -- the platforming challenges were executed at a good pace and nothing overstayed its welcome.

The ramp at the very end was confusing, as it took me a few lives to figure out I would not be propelled far enough towards the end goal. Some indication would be helpful to slow down and jump on the moving platform.

Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11

This level amounts to a series of flat rooms and hallways, so there's not much platforming to be had here. Try varying your terrain. But for what they were, the layout was pretty interesting. Those ziplines were fast and fun!

There's an area where you dive into a fish tank that I thought was confusing. It took me a few laps around there to figure out how to advance.

Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna

I was so tickled to see this fan level of a fangame! Well polished visually and very well done.

The best strength of this level is that the terrain layout gets very creative. There's not a dull moment of platforming here. Very effective use of polyobjects, and they moved fast enough to be a challenge yet not unfair.

Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo

This one was fairly good -- the layout was very clear and obstacles were projected sufficiently.

I felt the starposts were too far apart; maybe one or two more starposts would have helped. The visual theme was also a bit boring to me, but not unpolished.

Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig

Presentation-wise, it's very polished. In terms of level layout, I feel there are design choices that are unclear to the player. I'm not sure if this level is completable as Sonic alone? There's this area after the three-level platform room with Castlebots that you jump down and you land on some bramble spikes then die in a bottomless pit. It's good that you place a warning sign to project the spike danger, but it's unclear how I need to avoid the spikes without trial and error.

Later, the maze grinds the pacing to a halt, and I feel the level would have been fine without it. It felt cramped, and the constant turning made me feel a little sick.

The level otherwise has the underpinnings of a good foundation. I would work on projecting your obstacles more clearly to the player.

Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel

Compared to Heroes Hall, the gameplay and presentation here are better polished. Nice improvement! I appreciate that you try something different with gameplay.

I do feel the level dragged on too long, although not as badly as Heroes Hall. I would have liked if the level ended before the dojo fights. The dojo fights and the boss were long enough that they could serve as an Act 2.

Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon

I appreciated how accurate this was to the SRB1 Remake! Very well polished visually.

The platforming was solid, albeit too unchallenging. The level was also very short -- I enjoyed myself to the point where I said "that's it?!"

Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr

Very well polished level and solid platforming.

I do think the midtexture plants from Red Volcano were obstructive visually when placed in big numbers. Besides this, well done!

Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger

This level suffers from cramped rooms and hallways in some areas. Despite this, running through it was very fun! I enjoyed the visual and music presentation a lot. I appreciated your hand-drawn art assets; they were rather stylish!

Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog

This is a very strong level thematically. It has hidden depths that compel me to chew into its mysteries. Why are these buildings here? What's the origin of all these dolls and monsters? Why is there a computer room and a portal to an acid trip? What the hell is Rasputin plotting???

The platforming also does not miss a beat. Very competently designed, direction was clear, and it flows like butter.

Square City Zone by Riolucariolu

Some interesting terrain going on here, well done! The platforming has a solid foundation here. It looks like you're capable of trying crazier layouts.

Per NerfPlayeR135's comment, the two checkpoints confused me a lot. I wasn't sure whether I was backtracking for a good minute or two. Had they been fixed, the level layout would have been a lot more clear to me.
 

Lamibe

Member
Didn't understood the aquatic port puzzle too. The level itself is great but that path made me quit as if we put both bottom we just cannot jump high enough to get on the upper plateform. I didn't tried the second up but it's weird if that the solution.

Also the hub is way less confusing than the last OLDC and thanks for that


Edit : I tried and that actually the solution. Nice than no spin character jump higher then


Edit2 : Nevermind I got stuck in the water current part where I got stuck in a place where I jump too low to continue and cannot go back.
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These feel like some of the best levels I've played for SRB2 in recent memory, I'm not much of a critic so I can't really offer in-depth reviews but I really like the scale, the gimmicks, the themes and the use of slopes in these levels.
 
Awesome pack everyone. All levels had value to them. Alas, there can only be one winner eventually.
My thoughts on the single player levels, in order from best to less best:

1. Pagoda park.
Eh, this wasn't that good. Oh, I have to rank my own level the heighest? Well.
It's perfect, awesome. Basic level structure with little to no advance level hazards going on at all. The rush job where some of the emblems were marked in the wrong level, the water animation at the end had no mirror image and one of the pits had no Death asigned to it elevates this level to the top of pefection. The fatal mistakes gives it it's lovable charm, the motto of my entire career.

2.Foliage Furnace Zone.
Oh, great level choice, favorite level from after the sequel and you use that mix between nature and industry very well.
Nice graphics, very detailed, the level has a great flow to it. Solid direction Great fun to play. Good direction indeed.
And you manage to get horizontally moving platforms, moving in a circle even. Top points for advanced use of level design tools.
Even a text intro. Neato.

3.Shadow of Aztlan Zone.
Why, hi there HUB room neighbour. I wonder if the Hub designers put you right next to me on purpose, that Wild West town with the silly interiors is right up my alley. Nice to see what my level design sensibilities look like done by someone with an actual mastery of the SRB2 level tools. Great foreboding atmosphere, good level direction, tons of fun little decorational sections. Custom enemies. Oh, rotating platforms, points fo advanced game design.
Would have been nice to have gotten a more clear warning I had to kill all enemies to advance in the evil church area. But I forgive you for sending me on a nice vacation in Florida at the end. I love the Nasa space base. Top marks.

4. Hakuryu Dojo.
And speaking of more competent people making the type of levels I would have, hi there fellow ancient Japan level theme user.
Mighty fine level theme you got there.
That teleportation maze was a neat little gameplay twist I've never seen before. Custom enemies. I love the level is a series of Kung fu challenges you go trough, very neat idea.
It's long tough. Phew. And that boss at the end is nasty. But hey, custom boss, points for effort. Good stuff. I guess you have to opposite flaw that I have, tough, more pleasantly open spacey area's, but a little empty in scenery some times. That's the problem of having some specific rooms very richly decorated, it makes the more empty locations immediatly stand out. Oh well. Still appreciate the little decoration touches whenever we do get them.

5. Fatal Factory Zone.
Your stupid factory keeps killing me. So uh, points for accurate naming.
Stop having more impressive aquariums then I had in my level.
Oh, Sonic Adventure music.
Points for using a factory level, I don't see those too often.
Woa, working moving ropes? Top marks for advance level tool usage.
Stop having better sliding sections then I had.
Good use of the snail enemies, love the tension of you seeing the projectiles coming at you in advance.
Love the straight forward action hazard level design, came as a breath of fresh air after playing trough several more puzzle orientated levels.

6. Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2.
Plenty of foilage, so it's overgrown alright, good title.
Nice atmosphere. While I prefer the more bouncy upbeat atmosphere of act 1, you do a good job creating a more somber and mysterious atmosphere here.
More calm and confident level design compared to act 1 too. Act 1 was throwing everything and the kitchen sink at me, this one is more calmly handing out the punishment.
Oh, nice skybox.
Ah, I like the floating ball gimmick. Nice use of it here.
Yeah, good platforming here. One point of note tough, the traitorous springs. While I'm not quite as strict on trusting springs as others on this forum are, but having to move the camera 180 degrees before even seeing you're about to fly past your landing point and into danger is kind of nasty.

7. Dark Marsh.
Oh, Rayman 2 art? Cool.
You got rotating chains to work? Couldn't get these $#*%& things working after 2 days of struggling. Well, bonus points for you.
Straight forward platforming, but still intense because of enemy and platform placement.
I found the open wide atmosphere refreshing.
Oh, jumping on Pirate ships, nice.
Uh, not much to say. Straight to the point fun.

8. Aquatic Port Zone
Why, hello other HUB room neighbour.
And welcome back, you got quite a beating last time, yet here you are with a fresh new level. Points for perseverance.
Huh, a remix of 8bit labyrinth zone. Used one myself in the past. Wonder if it's a coincidence they put you in the same room as me. Either way, nice music.
I like the water pillars. Could make for a fun level gimmick. Too bad you don't do much with it in this level yet, still noted.
Oh, a horizontal moving platform. Points for advance level tool usuage.
I love how the enemies follow you too, makes for a fun dynamic danger.
Visually, the level isn't easy on the eyes tough.
More strategic color usage could have been your friend, especially in directing players toward the puzzles. Because you sure love throwing players in an intimidating puzzles with little to no visual cues about what's happening.
I love the idea of turning water into goop for a puzzle, good thinking.
Would have been better if the walls, exit and other elements were better indicated trough color
Puzzles got me stomped for a bit, and am afraid couldn't beat the stage, no idea what to do with the streaming water section, fighting my way into a diffrent direction just ends in a deadend I can't escape from. Yeah, some levels beneath you were more fun to play, to be honest. Still, so many new and creative ideas were used here, got to give you some bonus points for that at least.

9. Emerald Aether Zone.
ARGHH, Green Hill Zone agaaiiiin. Points for the pointy mountain scenery tough, that looked neat and unique.
Oh, horizontal moving platforms. Points for advanced level tools.
The slope launchers are fun.
Level has a nice pace and flow to it, altough it can be a little chaotic at times, visually. Tough it's no big deal, it doesn't interefere with the level enjoyment at all, just a minor visuial nitpick.

10. Galactic Facility Zone.
Hmm, wood textures in a space station? Or am I seeing it wrong?
Nice music. Thought it was Megaman Battle and Chase at first, but appearently it's Megaman 8 for the Saturn. Close enough.
Thanks for giving the player a warning about the upcoming Space vacuum challenge in advance.
Boy, the level goes from harmless and mellow to straight up nightmare as soon as we get the outside area's.
You did a smart thing by using colors properly to indicate gameplay change, making the outside very brown and the interior more blue/ purple green. Good thinking....And then you use a lot of brown floor tiling inside anyway. Oops. I wouldn't use any brown inside for better color communication.
Well I'll be, it ain't just Megaman music, there's Megaman style dissapearing blocks too. Points for adding a gameplay element I've never seen before in SRB2.
Low gravity platform hopping is fun.
Very solid and well made level. Tragic fact is that I found it a little slow and low energy for my liking, which lowers it in score, altough I would like to add that that's entirely because of my personal taste in gameplay rather then any mistakes of the level in an on itself.

11. Gate Garden Zone.
Oh, lovely color palette. Oh, custom enemies and custom objects.
Is the toy knight from Clockwork Knight? Can't tell.
I love me some point collecting.
Oh, working chains. Points for advance level tool usuage.
Rgh, darn these cauliflowers.
Oh, pretty animation of the fence opening.
High quality solid level. Only scores low because the level flow wasn't really there and I felt a little confused and lost too many times. Starts giving me a Doom engine headache. Other then level flow, it's top tier quality here.

12. Square city.
Oh hey, a city level, that's rare. Probably because it's challenging to come up with proper platform level design while still making it look like a funcional city. I see you took a page from Sa2's city escape in how to do it here.
Love the sloped hilly streets. Nice decoration too.
Yeah, fun and decent level, tough short and kind of missing in a sense of purpose in a way. But I had a good time.

13. Azcant Ruin.
Underwater maze? Oh, you have guts. Creating an uphill battle to win the competition with those.
Love the fancy intro camera effect, altough since it's playable, Sonic always moves awkwardly trough it. Kinda reminds me of Sonic 06's automatic sections. Still, points for the effect, I rarely see it done.
Oh, and text prompts too. Points for the effort.
Spinning spikes? Points for getting those to work.
The first underwater section is a pain, phew.
But then I figured out you can skip the entire first half by rolling down the slope during the start cutscene. Suck it, submerged maze.
The open Ocean section is fun at the end. But boy, does the second half of the level have a completely diffrent atmosphere then the first half. Perhaps using a change in music would have indicated it's a stylistic choice, now it feels a bit weird.

14. Alabaster fountain.
Well, there's a relaxing atmosphere.
Hmm, white/ blue coor palette. Usually I dislike that combination with the usual ice levels, but here it kinda works being more an exotic palace temple. Altough by the end I do wish there was more color usage, if only more of the blue sky.
Shame about all the graphical glitches. These are always a pain and hard to stomp out, I know. Never seen it as persistant as here, tough.
You get a lot of mileage out of the same mechanics and rooms. Impressive, does give your level a more specific theme then most other levels have, and all rooms do have a unique look and direction to them. And you get a lot of use out of them moving fences. That was a nice level gimmick too.
But in the end, it doesn't quite have the energy I like in my Sonic levels, even if that's by design.

15. Knothole coast.
Oof, sorry this one ranks so low, there's nothing particularly wrong with it. Graphics are nice, it's a neat tip of the had to SRB history.
Moving chains, nice advance mastery of tools.
It's a decent litle romp. Just really short, the 2d feels kind of pointless and would have been nicer if it imitated the original SRB gameplay more. And the start section looks a bit claustrophobic.
It's a fine level, but unlike the others, there isn't anything particularly unique I can point out from it, hence why it's low.
Altough it seems I missed some easteregg.

I also checked the circuits;

1. Electric Avenue Zone
Love the level theme.
Nice rhytm to the track.
Smart use of shortcut for the other characters.

2.Caldron Cavern Zone
Another fun theme, tough less so.
Nice texturing.
oh, rotating platforms. Well done making those work.
Might have been a better level then Electric Avenue, but I fear you made it a little too complicated, where missing your marks would punish the player too much.
 
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Kuba11

^Avatar made by VOLT!^
Hey everyone, thanks a lot for participating and providing a lot of feedback! I'll post mine here and update from time to time, so have a look every now and then.
It looks like that the Fatal Factory Zone isn't the latest version I have created, I guess something went wrong during the upload. There were some fixes related to lag reduction (waterslide section) and extra decorations, but it's no big deal I guess. Pardon my spelling, but there's just too much to write.
EDIT: All reviews done!

Reviews in no particular order(SP):
Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna
The level is extremely pretty, the use of decorations and textures was great. The platforming sections were really enjoyable, though in the beginning I felt that there were too many slopes everywhere and I ended up struggling with my controls for a bit. It was very fun with Sonic, but a bit tideous with Amy. It's not a flaw, though, just a feature that is unique to this level. The flow was very nice. Both alternate paths are balanced and fun. There are some polyobjects without flats near the end (I guess it's a technical limitation?), which isn't good for precise platforming, I'd prefer another workaround, if it can't be solved. The section after the last chackpoint was just a bit confusing to navigate through, when falling into the lower level of the map I kept coming back instead of progressing, but there was some ring gudance that I missed. The level doesn't really have any flaws and has top level gameplay value, my feedback is just keep it up :)

Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr
The level has a very nice atmosphete, the player is surrounded by numerous decorations, but they do not interrupt the gameplay, creating a very unique and likeable ambience. The platforming I found quite enjoyable. The 'floating ball' sections weren't very nice, though. The first one is just an introduction, in the second one you just wait to rise to the surface and the last one has more problems. It's not always obvious you must get on a ball (colormap + darkness are guilty, you could try ptting a torch there), you can also dash through them without giving too much attention to them. And the you have quite a long way back. The pools in this section do not seem to have any springs (at least the smaller one in the middle, it's not so big and I checked everything), resulting in at least 3 forced drowns for me. Put way more springs here, going back after falling to a water pit is annoying enough. Also, having to change directions on diagonal springs is very unpleasant and confusig, given how little control you have on your character and even the camera. Nevertheless, the level was pretty with very much effort put into proper decoration and very decent platforming sections, so solving mentioned issues would actually make it a very memorable and high quality stage.
Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit
For me, the whole level was very laggy, especially during the platforming parts, making my whole experience oviously not so pleasant. The starting 2d section is very confusing. The first right alternate path has a nice rope hang gimmick, but the it suddenly gets super hard with those spiked columns moving up and down. It's a competely new mechanic and has to be introduced, especially that it results in death if you fail and you have to start from the beginning of the level. Checkpoints are a must in such situations. Left path is ok, but not super interesting, the whole area needs more air bubbles. Just where the 2 paths join before the 1st checkpoint I ended up going the wrong way and backtracking with the alternate path (and drowning), I think it could be more clear where you need to go. The first ruins section was actually quite pretty, very nice job on that. The area after the camera bug just makes you fall into the water and wait to be pushed to the edge. Metal Sonic fight was pretty generic, lack of any boudaries made it a bit too easy to die. In general, I praise the unique rope hang gimmick idea, this section should have at least 1 checkpoint and those spiked square columns could be modified somehow. In my opinion all other sections should be reworked.
Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz
The level's decorations are quite unusual. The moving light blue textures on the walls are nice and unique, but regular water textures on the walls are a wierd choice and don't seem to represent anything. Some rooms are quite bland due to the fact that the same textures are used in them. It's not always obvious where to go, in the room with the 1st checkpoint I actually went back to the start through the zoom tube, as the checkpoint directed me this way. In the same room, it's not obvious that the 'falling' platform unlocks the next section. The switch puzzles weren't hard for me, but it looks like it's not clear that you need to look through the glass in order to make progress and know what you're doing. Floating blocks of water and waterfalls don't look nice in my opinion. Section where you have to step on the platform to rise the goo level wasn't providing too much fun. My advice would be to focus on feedback you get from people and analyse what they liked and disliked, but take it easy and try to enjoy it :)
Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon
The level decorations are simple, but look very nice, good job on that. The level platforming is quite basic and I found it to be not very memorable. Few slopes to run through and a few jumps are not much for such a short level, the 2d section wasn't that much enjoyable for me. The level's very simple and quite pretty, not a bad start for a level pack :)
Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs
The level is pretty short, but each section has so many routes that you can mix up while playing with physics, that level can be replayed a lot an you'll still have plenty of fun :). The gameplay and platforming is quite unique, not suited for every character, but you cannot limit your cool ideas with that and try to please everyone, since that's impossible. The level shows a novel approach towards mapping, which should be investigated and discussed a lot, which I believe is happening right now. It is, though, quite short and simple, sometimes forcing you to struggle with controls and go back to gain momentum again. I'd say that what we see is very interesting, but we didn't see that much yet - a longer level with more challenges would improve this experience gratly.
Dark Marsh by Vixuzen
The level has a very interesting atmosphere and is quite challenging, props to that. The texture use is nice, but the fatal swamp idea should be introduced and made obvious somehow. There's a lot of jumping, especially with non-flying characters, which becomes tideous with time. Especially that robo-hoods are shooting all the time, becoming quite annoying. There are some very small sections whre you can get a bit lost and those numerous knight-bots charging at you all the time just make everything, again, annoying. The texturing was nice, but in the dark rooms it was very difficult to spot the platforms in the swamp, resulting in many deaths. Speaking of which, enemy placement on such difficult sections make the level very cahllenging, borderline frustrating, which not everyone will appreciate. You constntly need to be on the run and the further you go, the more you just get hit because the swarm of enemies leave almost no space for safe jumps. Nevertheless, I like the level, it beats ou with a stick constantly, but when you hit back, it's very satisfying :)
Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog
What.
I didn't like this level at first, with time I grew to see the effort and quality in it, but I still don't think I completely buy the unorthodox feeling and the enemies. Atlanis felt mysterious, this one is more unusual. Custom enemies don't really look like a good fit, subjectively. The decorations are solid, but I wouldn't call them pretty. The level structure is also pretty solid, with some simpler platforming and hazards, but not boring. I feel that some backstory would make the whole experience more fulfilling, rather than making you scratch your head every half minute. It did give me some goosebumps and out of this world experience, I think I want more :D.

Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger
Wow, I should be reviewing your level, but I just wanted to say that I watched your parodies when I was a kid and it really helped me to relax during the stressfull schooltime, thanks ;)
The main feature of the level, custom art and textures, provide it with a very unique look, but not everyone will like it and some things may look out of place. There's some of the best 'organic' level design approaches I have seen: very 'organic' looking alternate paths, houses that seem they're in the just right spots, bridges, parks, all decoration is placed in a way that seems natural, something I now realised is very unusual for SRB2. The part after the music change is beautiful, we should be given even more time to just run and watch :). Climbing narrow paths, roofs and steel beams gave me an amazing feeling, again, very cool. Robo-knights in confined spaces are annoying to deal with, please avoid. Nice usage of the colormap in the rooms. The sliding section wasn't that bad, but those circular saws weren't very pretty and their hitbox was unobvious. Given they were the only obstacle, it became repetitive. To sum up, the custom art gives the level a lot of value, but your 'lazy' artstyle also works against the good decorations, the platforming is also pretty simple at times. Nevertheless, running around and just exploring the stage is very fun in this case :)
Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip
As mentioned many times, the opinion on this level can change strongly after a few replays, but still, some points remain unchanged. Numerous parts of the level are unfinished: waterfalls with still textures, floating water blocks and even missing textures drastically reduce the level quality. This is OLDC, many maps are rushed to meet the deadline and some bugs are expected, but it's definitely better to have a smaller map with more polish. Speaking of which, I believe the level falls victim to it's own greatness. There are so many things to see that a single player might not be able to explore all of them, even after a few replays. The level's theme is clear, it should be alabaster white, but just after a while it gets really bland, especially that the water is also white or light blue. Some grass and gardens were a nice addition, but more are needed. The difficulty was pretty inconsistent. he beginning was fairly easy, while near the end suddenly there were death pits, some quite surprising. The platforming is very solid and quite fun, but the bland texturing and lack of basic polish hinders the experience significantly. Still, if those issues are addressd and fixed, the stage is top quality. It could be split into 2 separate acts, but I'm sure some people will appreciate replayablility.
P.S. The waterslide on (Amy's?) path near the end is hard to deal with: the sector needs a slippery property to ba able to turn easily, ald the lasf line of moving 'fence spikes' is not always possible to avoid.
Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel
Quite interesting theme, with not so much regular platforming and more unique challenges instead. The level looks ok, the outside parts are quite pretty, while the dojo gets bland pretty quickly. Custom enemies look nice, but they have basic behaviour. The first spirit challenge (invisible lanirynth?) gets a bit tideous, given that srb2 is a bit faster-paced game and you need to carefulle step through the given path. And it's not obvious that next you just need to walk by that labirynth (not a big deal, but worth mentioning). Fire challenge room looks basic, but the challenge is very nice. Those fire spirits get you out of nowhere, though. Water challenge area looks pretty nicely, we get some classical platforming, but still a bit basic. In general, some in-between sections are too long with repetitive decorations. The first 2 dojo fights are a bit pointless, the third one is chaos, but not a bad one :). The boss has major pros and cons: having to use slopes to hit it is a fantastic idea and I had a lot of fun with it, but the projectiles were to fast. Especially after hitting the boss you were hit instantly, without any chance of dodging and a very big knockback. In general, the level was fun, unique and with some more interesting ideas and decorations it can get even better.
Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig
This is by far the hardest level for me to review. The scenery is pretty, lots of effort put into decorations and texturing, plenty of custom assets. I'd say that something in the gameplay is missing, the platforming is there, but it's never seriously introduced to the player. There are 2-3 jumps per section and that's it. Most of the time you just go forward and explore. More demanding section, where you have moving platforms over a death pit, have too many robo-hoods. Unlike Dark Marsh Zone, you have to wait pretty long before the platform gets proper height and you have very little space to dodge the arrows. The mazes in SRB2 are evil, some people appear to like them, other despise them. Especially with knight-robots in very cramped spaces, might result in big frustration. Still, the level has well worked on structure and look, it just misses some interesting challenges I believe, but it presents yet another approach to level design which some people will definitely appreciate :)
Square City Zone by Riolucariolu
I quie like this level. It has basic decorations and platforming, which ere executed with a certain idea in mind and don't get completely boring. City theme mixed with park and a beach give a nice refresh. There are extra decorations around to discover when you explore, it's quite nice, seems a bit like a hangout map. It nieeds to be noted that the level is still quite short and simple, more platforming challanges could be added, also extra decoration in the road/city part, just a bit more work in general. Definitely a nice and interasting attempt :)
Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo
The level plenty of big areas which require a lot of running around without much going on, unfortunatelly. The rooms are a bit bland, with not so many decorations and sometimes only green/purple textures are used, but they don't look very bad, there are just some thhings missing. It's not very intuitive to have space countdown in outer space without any barrier from the 'inside' sections, you should probably use some translucent intangable layer like ERZ. Noot to much platforming in the inside sections, the gravity gimmick was cool, though. The outer space sections were more challenging, I think they required you to turn around a lot and it wasn't clear where you need to go, which didn't work well with the very short timer. The level does have an idea and executes it decently, defnintely not bad :)
 
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Garrean

Member
Alright, I finally finished the OLDC, so here are some of my thoughts that I wrote up while playing through the levels.
Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz
  • OK, first of all, I have to say, this seems like a HUGE improvement over Hypertower, which was by far my least favorite level in the last OLDC. There’s actually some interesting and fun platforming and a lot more direction, even if it’s still a bit awkward and times. Glad to see that you finally got your footing when it came to level design.
  • Also, I’m not sure if that’s what you wanted, but I feel like the texturing is kind of weird, with the water texture everywhere. It makes me feel like I’m somehow underwater? But for some reason the water is solid? It’s kind of strange, but nothing too bad though.
  • Also, I’m not a fan of the final room, sludging around in circles through goop was kind of annoying.
  • Overall, I think this was a solidly okay level. I liked the ways you used some of the gimmicks and the platforming was relatively fair. I’m looking for
  • ward to seeing how you might grow as a level designer from here on out.
Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna
  • LMAO THAT EGGMAN MONITOR
  • Damn, I’ve seen this level in previews but this is damn PRETTY in person
  • Ok, DAMN this level is good, it has some really solid and engaging platforming that’s fun and also IT’S SO FUCKING PRETTY HOLY SHIT
  • I really like it, it feels really nice and open to run around in, and in a good way this time. One of the problems I had with Metallic Madness Good Future was that it was really open but it didn’t have much substance, it just felt like a lot of padding where the texture scaling just tricked you into thinking the level was big and deep but really it was a little bit basic and empty. But here, the space is excellently utilized, it doesn’t feel too big or too small, and there’s enough decorations and obstacles to fill things up.
  • Also I will always be impressed by any decent poly object usage because that’s just amazing, especially here, I like how you use them as challenges in staying on the upper path, it’s pretty engaging
  • Overall, I’m REALLY impressed by this level, it was really pretty to run through and it was really fun to play, great work!
Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon
  • Oh it’s SRB1, that’s cool. I’m really impressed on how the SRB1 textures translate to 3D, they work surprisingly well and makes the level look really nice.
  • The level seems a little bit basic and hallway-ish at times, like that area right before the end where it’s just a bunch of curves that are otherwise pretty empty.
  • It’s still a good stage though, it was fun to play through, and I liked some of the ideas in it, especially that swing chain area to get to the emblems. I just think the gameplay has room to be more engaging.
Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger
  • Oh wow, this level’s art style is unique, and definitely in a good way, it looks really nice and makes the place feel alive in its own way.
  • I do think the gameplay leaves a bit to be desired though, the level looks really nice and there’s a lot to explore, but you don’t actually have to do anything, you’re basically just running down glorified hallways and stairs while you admire the scenery. The difficulty is mostly just running around badniks, while the actual level design is kind of flat. And the few times the level does try to provide a challenge, the platforming is still kind of cramped and awkward to get through. (I did enjoy the final waterslide section though, that was pretty fun.) Overall, it’s a pretty alright level.
Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo
  • Huh, this level sure has an interesting palette. I don’t think I’ve seen something like this in an SRB2 level. It looks nice.
  • Alright, this level is pretty nice, I really like the gameplay, it feels really smooth, the obstacles are all engaging and challenging in a fair way. If there’s one complaint I have about the level, it’s just that I feel like there could be more done to the level. Like, there’s a lot of space in the level, and while it doesn’t feel OVERLY empty to the point of feeling bland, in fact, I think it uses space pretty well, I still think you could fill up the space with decor or maybe a bit more level design and stuff.
  • Also, I feel like it should be better indicated when you are or aren’t in low gravity, because it was kind of confusing to jump and suddenly realize you were in low gravity. Also there should probably be indicators of where you can and can't breathe like Egg Rock does, because that got confusing at times too.
  • Overall though, I still like the level and thought it was pretty fun to play through.
Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog
  • OK first off this opening platform is trippy lmfao.
  • Man, this level is really pretty, it has a simple yet pleasing aesthetic going on.
  • There are a few areas in the level that feel kind of hallway-ish, but that’s actually not a bad thing here because there’s fun obstacles and level design in the pathways, and the geometry doesn’t feel flat, it feels rather organic, which makes it look nice.
  • But otherwise, the level is actually pretty nice. My problem with Shadow of Atlantis was that it felt like it was split up into open pretty areas where you don’t do anything, and cramped areas that have some interesting platforming, but it seems here that you’ve manage to merge the two and have open pretty areas with interesting platforming, and it comes together really well.
  • (Why does it keep SIGSEGVing though)
Square City Zone by Riolucariolu
  • Huh, I like this level’s aesthetic, it feels kind of like City Escape.
  • This level is alright, it sort of feels like a level out of 2.0, what with the blocky architecture and the gameplay feeling somewhat simplistic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s still pretty fun to play, and it has a few fun ideas as you run around and do some basic platforming. Overall, it’s a pretty average level.
Dark Marsh by Vixuzen
  • Rush Adventure music instantly puts me in a good mood
  • I do find it funny though how the music is super fast paced, but the actual level is full of treacherous platforming that you have to slowly and carefully make your way through. Which isn’t a bad thing of course, I just thought it was ironic.
  • The gameplay was pretty alright, if a bit basic with some blocky platforming, but I still enjoyed it. My one major complaint though is that everything feels a bit cramped. I keep running into walls at every turn and it always feels like I’m being suffocated by the level geometry and enemies, and in the outside areas, it leads me to falling into death pits, and in the indoor areas, it just gets annoyingly claustrophobic. Otherwise though, I thought the level was pretty interesting.
Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel
  • The level is pretty good, the entire level looks really pretty, and there were a lot of fun little rooms to go through. I especially like the areas with the retracting spikes, that was some fun platforming.
  • It did feel to me though that the level felt like it was stalling at times, with a bunch of open hallways and rooms where you don’t really do anything but waste a few seconds running through them to get to the next area, and especially some of the ones that were underwater. But otherwise, I still liked the other areas that the level had to offer.
  • The end of the level was kind of weird to me. You start off by fighting through a gauntlet of frustratingly tiny enemies that swarm around you like flies, which was kind of annoying. And the boss was pretty basic, but the arena was kind of annoying because it can just zoom to the other end of the map and hide behind the trees and you have to run around looking for where the hell it just ran off to.
  • Overall, it’s an okay level with some flaws that I think could be ironed out.
Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr
  • I really like the atmosphere here, the decorations and the music give a really foreboding aesthetic which is really cool.
  • The level itself was pretty cool, a marked improvement over OHZ1, it seems like you cut out some of the bullshit and streamlined some of the platforming, which made it a lot more fun. There were a few punishing sections that felt kind of unfair at times, especially that one diagonal yellow spring that launches you WAY past the platform you need to land on.
  • Also another note is the water sections, which I feel are kind of cheap, because once you fall in them you just run around a flat area until you find a spring to back track and try again, which is kind of annoying and boring. Maybe you could make the water shallower and put another path there? (Also I’m pretty sure there was one pond that didn’t even have a spring to escape from, I had to switch characters to escape)
  • Still though, I thought it was an absolutely beautiful level that was relatively fun to playthrough, definitely one of my favorites.
Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11
  • I really like the Cannon’s Core aesthetic you’ve got going on here, it’s really cool.
  • This level was actually pretty cool. It’s pretty simplistic, it’s just a straightforward gauntlet of challenges without much room to explore or anything else to the level, but that’s fine, because I still found the challenges pretty fun to go through. They were hard, but not to an unfair extent, and it was pretty satisfying when I got through some of them without getting hurt. Definitely a pretty great level that I had a lot of fun with.
Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs
  • holy SHIT this level is gorgeous. Like, WOW. You have so many overlapping paths that you can run around and explore, and they all play really beautifully both in gameplay and filling up the landscape with something that looks really nice and fun to play through.
  • If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that maybe the level is a bit too concise? Everything kind of blended together and it started to feel sort of monotonous. This isn’t really a glaring issue, it’s just one nitpick I could come up with a level that was otherwise stunning.
  • (The mandatory custom physics are kind of lame though)
Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip
  • The visuals you have in this level are really nice, I really liked the clean white palace aesthetic, it makes it feel fresh. Though one complaint I have is that it starts to feel a bit monotonous with the floors and walls kind of blending together into a bunch of white tiling, but it’s not too terrible.
  • The level itself I really enjoyed. It was a little bit cramped at times, but it still had some interesting gameplay sections that were a fun challenge. They were a bit awkwardly punishing at times, but overall, I still think it was pretty solid.
Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig
  • Another level with a uniquely pretty aesthetic. The level is jam packed with scenery which encourages you to walk around and explore a bit, which I would normally roll my eyes at, but here it's actually pretty nice because the level is a wonder to walk through just for the visuals and decoration alone.
  • It does feel a bit cramped at times, and the direction you have to go in isn’t always too clear, which gets a bit annoying, but still, though, the slower, more thoughtful gameplay was actually something that was done relatively well here.
Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit
  • This level was definitely… interesting. My first takeaway from this level is how completely confusing the direction is. Like, on my first playthrough, I went on the top path, but then I somehow backtracked to the bottom path, where I got lost in the maze of what the fuck is going on down there and couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to go.
  • Which is kind of a shame, because I actually liked a lot of what I saw on the bottom path, there were a few interesting challenges like the hanging bars, but everything was so cramped and messy that I had no idea what I was supposed to do. If the gameplay down there were cleaned up and more streamlined, I think it’d be pretty good.
  • Also, what’s even the point of the lower path when you can just skip most of it by going to the top path? There’s a lot of interesting ideas down there but there’s almost no point to it if you can just fly over it.
  • The rest of the level was kind of basic, you’re just running down a highway with enemy spam, which wasn’t all that interesting. Also the Metal Sonic fight seemed kind of random. It’s a level with a lot of interesting ideas, but it gets all clogged up in messy direction and not knowing exactly how to make the level cohesive.
Every level this time around was pretty good honestly, great work from everyone!
 
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WasifBoomz

Member
I just played the levels and marked my thoughts.
1. Aquatic Port Zone - I made this.

2. Emerald Aether Zone - OOOOOOOOOOH. This level is SO FUN to move in just because of how fast and thrilling it feels!

3. Pagoda Park Zone - This is one of my favorite looking SRB2 levels, this level is really fun to travel and just feels really cool to explore the environment!

4. Fatal Factory Zone - I love ERZ type levels and this is no exception! It has a lot of fun mechanics and generally looks really cool!

5. Square City Zone - This level is so fun and fast but it's also SO short! The slopes were just really cool!

6. Galactic Facility Zone - I loved using the thok in low gravity which generated absolutely INSANE velocity. The level looked nice, and the puzzles were fun!

7. Shadow of Aztlan Zone - Simply MOVING in this level is really fun! Besides a buggy poly-object and getting a little lost, I really enjoyed it! I would suggest doing more with lighting though.

8. Foliage Furnace Zone - This is a really nice looking level and it's fun to move around. I did notice a lot of annoying and specific platforming.

9. Dark Marsh Zone - This level was alright. Some parts of the level felt very unclear but I did have fun using the thok to bounce around the level.

10. Knothole Coast Zone - It's really short but it was alright while it lasted. Nothing happened though. At all. It's kinda pretty?

11. Overgrown Heights Zone - This is a frustrating level. It's gorgeous and has fun mechanics but I didn't have much fun.

12. Alabaster Fountain Zone - Eh. Many graphical glitches and forgetable level design. Does have some cool moments though!

13. Azlant Ruin Zone - You know... The beginning is really annoying but I ended up accidentally skipped it with a spin. The rest of it is kinda ok but bland.

14. Gate Garden Zone - I got lost for 96% of the level. There's a maze that I almost found a way to bypass by using nothing but strategy and there was an invisible wall. I don't like this level.

15. Hakayru Dojo Zone - AAAAAAAAAAAAA. This level drags, it looks bland, it's really annoying.
I like a lot of the levels here!
 

Steelie

If I keep moving, they won't know
So I skipped the last OLDC's voting purely because by the time I got through half of the stages I felt like I ran the marathon. I did eventually play them all but didn't have the energy to give my thoughts on them and then the deadline kind of flew past, unfortunately.

Not today, though. Here's some minor insights as I was playing through them, ordered alphabetically. I finished them all in SP playing as Sonic solo.

Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip
  • Length: 4
  • Gameplay: 2.5
  • Visuals: 3
This stage is actually quite pretty to look at. Gives me some early PS1 vibes and Renaissance. The numerous graphical glitches and using two wildly different textures for water really take away from it, unfortunately. The gimmicks and gameplay were solid. Engaging and somewhat challenging platforming, and the utilization of side springs was unique and quite fun. Although the lack of direction is an issue. I got lost a few times, one time when the way forward was... straight forward, mainly because of the pathways above that lead monitors and such.

Overall, a very solid stage with interesting ideas and neat visuals. - 3.0/5

Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 1
Well this is an odd challenge stage. The puzzles are pretty cool and it felt nice to solve them succesfully. The pacing was okay, mostly just solve this, platform here, next room, etc. The biggest mishap I can find is how bland it is to look at. Mostly just water, square rooms and pipes. Then come the actually pretty awful animated textures on most walls and floors. Normally I wouldn't be so harsh about things, but it did give me a headache when I spent too long on my first playthrough.

It's an interesting little puzzle stage. Could be shorter, but has an okay pacing. Some sections are really confusing, though, and the texturing is certainly not my favorite - 2.2/5

Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit
  • Length: 4
  • Gameplay: 2
  • Visuals: 2
Hoo boy, this is a weird one to describe. The music was very flash game-esque, so I'm wondering where you dug that up. The gimmicks themselves were interesting and utilized in an engaging way. The architecture of the stage is fairly cramped though. That's all just the water section though, the outside section did a complete 180 with everything. Everything's massive, long, bland and not very interesting. The enemy and hazard placement on the giant bridge reminds me of Final Demo. Your stage would also benefit from some checkpoints here and there, although it's quite short. Also not a fan of the Metal Sonic boss at the end. But I'm not a fan of the Metal Sonic boss in general, so what can I say?

In sum, interesting ideas, nice visuals from the get go, but goes the exact opposite on everything past the half mark and ends on a very unfun note. - 2.4/5

Dark Marsh by Vixuzen
  • Length: 4
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 3.5
Is this a Rayman stage? Feels like a Rayman stage. Why does it have Rush Adventure music, though? Bluster aside, this stage is fairly nice. It's generous with starposts and monitors and the pacing is really nice. My biggest gripe would be the enemies. Good god, the enemies. There's just way too many of them. I used Armageddon shield in one area and jumped forward by 30k points. Not to mention that using vertically moving platforms is not fun when you have 5 Robo-Hoods shooting you in the back. I will also assume the insta-kill mud is faithful to the original stage, so it's hard to judge that. The stage has it in abundance, so I reckon it'd make some platforming trivial if it were just hurtful or plain old mud. When it comes to visuals, they're pretty bland, if I'm being honest. It's nice to look at when you enter the stage but gets very boring after a few rooms of pretty much the same.

An okay stage with fun gameplay, albeit kinda dull visuals. - 3.4/5

Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs
  • Length: 5
  • Gameplay: 3.5
  • Visuals: 4
This stage is a spectacle to look at. It's massive with naturally intertwined paths that makes it very easy to switch between them. It may make me feel a bit too small, however, with how massive everything is. Not much to complain about when it comes to the gameplay either, it's very solid platforming and slope fun. But as someone mentioned earlier, the custom physics are JANK. The shortened thok actually killed me in various situations because I failed to calculate it properly. The last moving platform before the exit is painful as well with how absurdly speedy it is.

Solid, very very cool to look at, but has technical issues. - 4.2/5

Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 2
Sonic Adventure music? Geometric architecture? Evil creepy water and crushers? Oh dear I think I've gone back in time again. Anyway, jokes aside. This is another fairly solid level. One that would be clearly praised during both 2.0 and 2.1, although it's a bit basic nowadays. There's nothing much I can quite criticize, aside from maybe some of the crushers being very hard to see in the tiny hallways somewhere near the first third of the stage which led to a few cheap deaths. Nothing much to praise either, like I said it's solid, but basic.

It's just okay. - 2.6/5

Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna
  • Length: 5
  • Gameplay: 4
  • Visuals: 5
Holy hell this a sight to behold. The visuals are stunning, the length and pacing are adequate for this game and it's full of fun ideas and challenges. Really the only thing I could probably criticize is that while the moving platforms are a marvel they're very tight to jump across, but it didn't lead to any cheap deaths so I'll give it that. The visuals as well, while beatiful and vibrant, managed to get even my PC to drop FPS, which surprised me, but otherwise:

Very cool stage, very cool to look at and play, After the Sequel mod when??!!? - 4.8/5

Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo
  • Length: 4
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 2
Interesting concept. The stage itself was pretty fun to fly through, especially with the low gravity. Although I'm not too sure how a random cave in outer space can have oxygen, but I reckon I'll let that slide. The blue disappearing platforms could've been set to cycle a little more often. I actually left a room where I needed to use them to progress because they didn't appear for so long so I assumed I went the wrong way. The way the stage looks is really quite bland, though. Not much of a galactic facility zone and more of a random-tunnels-in-an-asteroid zone.

Gameplay-wise pretty neat, visually very dull. - 2.8/5

Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 4
  • Visuals: 4
This stage gave me a feeling of old PS1 collectathon platformers. It was really neat, although I did get lost quite a number of times. I actually went what I believe was a Fang path with Sonic using a lightning shield because no other way was open anywhere. No idea how that happened, missed a button I guess? I didn't like the hedge maze, though. It was relatively easy, small enough to make a mental map of it. What I didn't appreciate were the Lance-a-bots in tight corridors.

Ovarall a pretty cute map, I'd give it a go with other characters someday later. - 3.8/5

Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel
  • Length: 1
  • Gameplay: 2
  • Visuals: 4
Oh wow, where do even begin with this. Well, I know, it's too long. Way too long. My first playthrough took me whopping 16 minutes. Speeding through it afterwards was still solid 5, excluding the arenas and the boss. The boss itself was an absolute chore. It doesn't telegraph its attacks, flies too high up most of the time to hit it conventionally (had to use the ledges or slopes) and has way too many hit points. Bosses really should only have 8 or less hit points, unless they're final bosses for a whole game or have multiple different phases. The various tiny enemies with varying amount of hits are a strange choice as well. Altogether the theme, the enemies and the layout style felt very niche, like it would fit a specific mindset. I've seen similar tropes in your stage from the last OLDC, too.

I didn't enjoy the stage, it was too long, the enemies were too quirky and the boss was annoying. Bonus points for making it all fit the theme though, and the outside sections were terrific to look at, although bland to go through. - 2.2/5

Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 2
A very cute bite-sized stage. Nothing much to say here other than it's an okay length for what looks like a first zone styled stage. The texturing does eventually get a bit repetitive, and most of the rings in the stage don't float. The secret SRB1 recreation was a fun touch.

Nice and simple. - 3.0/5

Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr
  • Length: 4
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 3
A definite improvement over the first act. It's not so frustratingly hard and doesn't have paths leading to nowhere like before. The water ball was used very nicely and I liked bouncing around with it. There was some weirdness all around though. Most of the diagonal springs overshoot the platforms they're aiming for, which can lead to some frustrations. And the foliage really gets in the way of the camera. The water pits are still unreasonably deep in my opinion, and some of them are actually inescapable, leading to cheap deaths.

All in all, an improvement over last time, but still open for more improvement. - 3.2/5

Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 2
  • Visuals: 5
This is certainly quite gorgeous to look at. I really enjoy the hand-drawn style of the textures and various characters and references. A bit of a shame the gameplay is a bit bland, mostly just run from the start to finish with the only obvious gimmick being the water slide at the end. I'd definitely like to see more.

Very nice to look at, fun references and nods, a bit average to play. - 3.4/5

Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 3.5
  • Visuals: 4
Well this is a wham episode. I didn't know what to expect after your last stage, but this is is certainly better, if only for the fact I'm not drowning every 15 seconds. The starting town was a joy to explore with the various jokes and references. Only disappointing the cultists don't use the sounds from Blood.

A very fun experience, definitely want to see the "stunning finish". - 3.8/5

Square City Zone by Riolucariolu
  • Length: 3
  • Gameplay: 3
  • Visuals: 3
Hard to comment on it any other way than that this was a very okay stage. Probably inspired by City Escape and Skyscraper Scamper, though I wouldn't wanna live in either of these 3 stages if I were to own a car. A bit strange with the tables as those at the beginning are breakable, but never again in the rest of the stage. My dreams of vandalism have been raised and then suddenly broken.

It's an okay stage, although some of the roads are a bit wacky. - 3.0/5

That's a whopper of a post. I didn't expect to be able to write it all in a single sitting. Anyway I'll be putting my votes in the voting forum now that I'm finished with this. I'm quite amazed there was no Christmas stage considering the deadline. Probably because it's the "Autumn OLDC"?

Anyway, I'm curious about what the next contests are gonna be like, so I'll keep an eye out from now on.
 

Larz T

Siced
Judge
I did my first blind playthrough of this season's OLDC and I am really proud of everyone who contributed and submitted maps! I genuinely had fun with all the maps featured! I am planning on revisiting all the levels throughout the voting period to get a good point of view when I vote. I wanted to do this last season but due to time and the overwhelming amount of SP submissions in general, I wasn't able to finish but, I do plan to post reviews and critiques on every SP division map featured this season.

If anyone who submitted and who is curious on my first playthrough of the maps, I got you. I uploaded the complete stream archive to my channel including timestamps of each level for anyone's convenience! Once again, congratulations to everyone that submitted. Keep on mapping!
 

Riolucariolu

absolute Chad
My opinions on the maps Autumn OLDC 2020

This is not the order in which I voted them, but the one in which I played. I don't want to influence anyone else's votes.
Pagoda Park
It looked good, there was enough space to keep momentum, the lighting changes were subtle but charming (like, I think it turned from day to night theme within the stage) and it generally gave off a feel-good theme.

Shadow of Aztlan
What a fever dream. I liked the memes, especially the Mystic mugshot :) It had a lot of custom assets and was fun to play! The platforms themselves didn't have as many details as in other stages, but that really isn't of much importance.

Aquatic Port Zone
You know, I'm not a fan of puzzles. But none of them in this stage annoyed me, I felt like they were all manageable and thus I call this a nice puzzle stage!

Azlant Ruin
The water part in the beginning was absolutely not my thing. Too cluttered, too slow (I'm not saying it's bad, I just say I liked that the least about the stage). After one gets out of the water though, that's where the real fun begins. The most interesting of these out of water parts was the part where you can jump up from the ground of the ocean and leap up to the platforms that are too far apart from each other to reach them by normal jumping. I didn't feel like I really wanted to fight Metal Sonic afterwards, but that didn't go into my evaluation.

Foliage Furnace
It's getting a lot of praise. And that makes sense, given that it looked neat, played quite well and wasn't confusing. But I don't see why everyone seems to agree it was better than Metallic Madness. I absolutely loved Metallic Madness (it was my personal second place) and this can't hold up to it for me. I also didn't like the spinning platforms, but that doesn't neccessarily mean they're bad. Maybe it was just too hard for me.
Nonetheless a nice stage.
Emerald Aether
Damn. What can I say except I love this and that I would prefer it over the actual GFZ acts by far. The looks are great even though it just uses grass and GFZ wall textures, the slopes are among the cleanest I've ever seen and overall it's just a nice playground. Keep it up bro.

Knothole Coast Zone
It was a nice level, it was fast paced and had 2 paths. What more can we ask for? The textures were pretty detailed and the first few seconds it went on my eyes, but one gets used to that. No actual problem here.
Also I saw the Easter Egg. Made me smile.

Kakuryu Dojo
I for my part really liked most of this, especially the outside areas. But I didn't like the Dojo fights. They're not that big of an issue because they fit the theme, but they weren't really fun to me. Especially given red spiders had 3 life points. The boss afterwards looked cool, but you had to guess when he attacks and also he often revenge attacked after I hit him, which made for an unpleasant surprise the first few hits. But as I said: The outside areas were dashing. And the fire area was also really fun! With the fire shield you could get tons of momentum and without it it was a nice challenge!

Alabaster Fountain
Looked really good! Later on it gave me a little trouble differentiating platforms, but still it looked hella stylish. The platforming was fun and that one part where you hit the button and get kicked into what I assume was a well or fountain was certainly my favourite!

Overgrown Heights Act 2
I liked this so much more than Overgrown Heights Act 1. It was a vast and also fun platforming stage, where I wouldn't get lost like I did in the first act. I liked it a lot!

Gate Garden
Well, I think there were some mechanics, something with a gun. I couldn't get that to work. The maze I wasn't able to complete either so both times I used noclip. I guess that was no mistake on your part, so I didn't judge those aspects harshly. What I could actually play was good though :)

Fatal Factory
This gave so many Sonic Adventure 2 vibes (which surely was intended, it even had music from the game) and I love that game. I mean, even at the seond (?) checkpoint just before some stompers when I got robbed by not knowing there was a stomper at all I felt like I was playing Sonic Adventure 2! It looked great too and the hang sections were not as janky as I feared they might be! Exactly the kind of stage that I love.

Galactic Facility
The outside parts were fun (though I always get anxious over the timers), but I must admit that I got lost several times. The inside parts okay too gameplay-wise. Some other people already said that the stage looked a bit dull and I agree, but I also think that that is not the most important thing a stage has to offer. Anyways, I see a lot of effort went into it and I'm looking forward to your next one :)

Dark Marsh
What many mappers in SRB2 (also some in this contest but overall it wasn't a big issue here) don't understand is that Sonic is crazy, crazy fast. They make small rooms and expect you to not feel claustrophobic.
And this stage also has small rooms, but: It didn't feel awkward! Especially the stairs in some areas were really tight, but there were no enemies or anything so it wasn't a problem. The platforming tasks that were given indoors also had enough space to platform around freely, even though they looked tight in the beginning.
In the outside there was a lot of space to roam around freely (and at a very high pace), so sometimes I wondered what path I was supposed to go. But since there were so many ways to get to the area I was supposed to get to, I quickly realized I could go anywhere.
It definitely was one of the harder stages and I loved the tunnel with the circular platforms and the archers on top of them. It was more difficult than most that I've seen in this contest, but you could still dash through like a madman (and feel like you accomplish something at the same time). The fact that the mud water kills you suprised me at first since I expected it to only deal damage, but once you know that it just adds to the difficulty.

Anyways, this is what I have to say about the maps.
So here a little note about my map Square City since some questions were raised:
One guy cheesed the stage with Fang (btw, Metal Sonic can just skip the second half of the stage entirely) and yeah, I didn't keep that in mind. It's the 13th stage of my mappack I'm working on since February and it's gonna force Sonic in the final release (who is absolutely cheese proof in here). So yeah, sorry about that.
To the guys that said that the checkpoints didn't work: That's true, I never checked because I pretty much never died. It's a really easy stage, I felt like enemies would disrupt the speed challenge too much.
Oh and the reason the stage is so short is just functionality: I don't know why, but when I create bigger maps they eventually start breaking down. I made sure this map would look as small as possible in ZoneBuilder and thus the map works really well. But while working on it I realized ZoneBuilder got slower continuosly, to the point where half of the time I was working just ended up being loading times. It's a bummer, but hey, I intend on creating 24 maps total and that should amass to quite some playtime when combined.

I hope everyone will be happy with the contests outcome, and may the best creator win!
 
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Gambit

Member
(13)[Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit]
-This level's visuals are bland and buggy, the level design is very questionable, and the fixed camera at the start is bugged because it uses a deprecated linedef type that directly changes the player's camera settings. I'd put this one at the very bottom for the last part alone if I was petty enough, because it directly affected me.

Once again, i'm very sorry about the camera problems. I tried my hardest to make it work, but maybe I should have just made it so there's no movement necessary by the player when that camera sequence occurs, and/or that it happens for as brief of a time as possible.

As far as visuals being buggy, yeah, the level was rushed, and I also cringe inside every time I see someone climb over the wall ><
But as far as them being bland, well... i'll be honest, i've never been good at art. Music's more of my thing anyways. And when it comes to level design, i'm more practical-minded.

But i'm curious as to why you call the level design "questionable"? Please elaborate?

Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit
  • This level was definitely… interesting. My first takeaway from this level is how completely confusing the direction is. Like, on my first playthrough, I went on the top path, but then I somehow backtracked to the bottom path, where I got lost in the maze of what the fuck is going on down there and couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to go.
  • Which is kind of a shame, because I actually liked a lot of what I saw on the bottom path, there were a few interesting challenges like the hanging bars, but everything was so cramped and messy that I had no idea what I was supposed to do. If the gameplay down there were cleaned up and more streamlined, I think it’d be pretty good.
  • Also, what’s even the point of the lower path when you can just skip most of it by going to the top path? There’s a lot of interesting ideas down there but there’s almost no point to it if you can just fly over it.

(wtf that's two people now that have called it a maze??? I DIDNT EVEN INTEND FOR IT TO BE A MAZE????)

At first I was wondering how it is that you were getting lost, but then I realized that it was because you ended up going backwards from the top path, since the tower is literally right over to the left.

Honestly, the real reason that top path even exists is because I wanted for there to be a practical use for that slope at the beginning. I guess if I gave myself more time I could've maybe made some side-paths that you could slope-jump onto instead.

---------- Post added at 01:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:08 AM ----------

Azlant Ruin
The water part in the beginning was absolutely not my thing. Too cluttered, too slow (I'm not saying it's bad, I just say I liked that the least about the stage). After one gets out of the water though, that's where the real fun begins. The most interesting of these out of water parts was the part where you can jump up from the ground of the ocean and leap up to the platforms that are too far apart from each other to reach them by normal jumping. I didn't feel like I really wanted to fight Metal Sonic afterwards, but that didn't go into my evaluation.​

Those platforms aren't too far apart to normally jump to; you just need to have enough speed going into them. That section is supposed to reward you for keeping your momentum up through the obstacles.

---------- Post added at 01:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 AM ----------

The music was very flash game-esque, so I'm wondering where you dug that up.

Actually, if you look in the Sound Test for the map pack, you'll find out!

(p.s. check out his Youtube channel ;) )
 
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Oh and the reason the stage is so short is just functionality: I don't know why, but when I create bigger maps they eventually start breaking down.

Ugh, yeah, tell me about it. It's sometimes terrifying making a big level, it's like building a card house. Every minor misstep can suddenly cause disasters. And often the cause of the glitch isn't even in the same space as where the glitch manifests. Joy.

Altough there's one thing I learned, confusingly enough;
Sometimes ignoring the glitches for the time being and just trucking on with level building magically resolves it.
It's uhh... Definitly weird. Zone builder is a strange animal to tame.
So I would encourage you to brave the terror and keep on marching in the future. Worse case senerio, you can always copy/ paste the extra level geography into a new level if the problem doesn't resolve itself.

Either way, yeah, neat level, I enjoyed it.
 

Riolucariolu

absolute Chad
Sometimes ignoring the glitches for the time being and just trucking on with level building magically resolves it.
It's uhh... Definitly weird. Zone builder is a strange animal to tame.
So I would encourage you to brave the terror and keep on marching in the future. Worse case senerio, you can always copy/ paste the extra level geography into a new level if the problem doesn't resolve itself.


Yeah, I can't tell you how many times I spent hours fixing a bug just for it to magically resolve itself after doing literally nothing.
The "making the rest of the map in a different wad and then copying it" is a nice idea! I guess I'll improve the stage a little, give it 30 seconds more gameplay. I just had no and still have no ideas on what I could do to prolong the stage. Kinda ran out of themes :/

Thanks for the feedback and the nice ideas! ^^
 

Flash Trickstar

Just another dingus playing vidya games.
Man what's with so many of these levels being abhorrently frustrating for non-spinners like Amy and Fang? Like really there's no excuse.
 

yfyfyfyfyfy

The dumbest man
Man what's with so many of these levels being abhorrently frustrating for non-spinners like Amy and Fang? Like really there's no excuse.

Yes. Despite the many paths and forks, these levels do not welcome Amy and Fang. I confess I was upset, because i love these two characters. But, I think the creators of the level could not please two fishermen. I confess that I was not pleased to play at any level for Fang. There were levels that I just... played. And that's all. No emotion. I just thought to myself "Well, I'm useless. I wish I was Sonic".

Although... the original srb2 is a pleasure to play as any character. You can go to any level and you will be pleased to play as any character. I don't know the reason. Or... I know
 
Sorry, designing levels for Sonic is difficult and multi task- ey enough as it is.
Heck, if the profesionals at Sonic Team gave up on making their levels work for anyone but Sonic, then we amateurs have quite a challenge.

I mean, not that I'm qualified in making statements about character specific level design, I'm a doofus focusing more on pretty landscapes then any kind of sophisticated level design, so I can barely even get Sonic specific levels right, but just sayin'.
Taking Tails and Knuckles into acount is already enough of a headache.
Vanilla SRB2 levels are in development for years for a reason.

Guess you folks have to hope for people to make Amy/ Fang focused levels from scratch, cause juggling all these different able characters in one level is a challenge few can conquer.

(Doesn't help it took me a long time before I even realized I could change the character to test levels with within the level editor too, but that's just me being an idiot.)

But hey, IF I decide to join OLDC Winter, I'll make a Fang/ Amy focused level, JUST for you. Or, try, anyway.
 
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