• The Official Level Design Contest is back! For those not in the know, the Official Level Design Contest (OLDC for short) is a contest held multiple times a year, accepting maps of all kinds, from all users, to compete against one another. During the voting process, voters are encouraged to leave feedback on every level they have played, which makes the contest a very effective way to get constructive criticism on your levels, allowing you to figure out what you might need to do in order to improve.

    Basically, if you want to get into level designing, if you're already an experienced designer, or if you're somewhere inbetween, join the contest! Show your work, get enough eyes on it, let people give you ideas and feedback, and you might even win the coveted title of Contest Winner!

    Please read over all the rules carefully, even if you were around during previous contests. Some rules have been changed, mostly for more leniency, and you may be happy to see some of the changes, especially if you're a fan of creating custom content!

    ENTRY RULES:

    1. Make sure that the level works properly, that it is normally accessible, and that it does not interfere with other levels. This means that:
      • Single Player levels need to be completable, and show up as the first level when starting a new game.
      • Multiplayer levels need to have enough player starts, and need to be accessible via level select.
      • Existing resources (textures, objects, sounds, music, etc.) can not be overwritten.
      • Any scripts present in your level must not interfere with other levels. If your level contains significant gameplay changes, please ensure that they are contained solely within your level slot using a MapLoad hook. In this case, please notify us in your submission post.
    2. Previously released levels are not allowed. Private testing is allowed (and encouraged!), but the level must not have been released on the MB or elsewhere.
    3. The level has to be your own work. This means that ports, remakes and edits of existing levels are not allowed, unless the original level is yours. In such a case, the level should be sufficiently different from your original level.
    4. Aside from the Single Player division, the following Multiplayer divisions are present in the contest:
      • Circuit
      • Match (with support for SRB2 Battle's Control Point and Diamond in the Rough gametypes)
      • Capture the Flag (with support for Battle CTF)
      • SRB2 Battle's Arena
    5. Each participant can submit one level to the Single Player division, and up to three levels to each Multiplayer division. Collaborations are allowed, but fall under the same entry limits.
    6. Custom assets and scripts are allowed! Custom sound and music is also allowed. This sound and music must be under 3 MB total. This filesize limit is shared between all of your Multiplayer entries.

    To submit your level, create a new thread in the Contest Submissions subforum. If you submit multiple entries, each one requires its own thread. Entries are due twice per year, at 23:59 UTC (18:59 EST), which means the deadlines are as follows:
    • OLDC Round 1: June 1st
    • OLDC Round 2: December 1st
    After each deadline, all entries are gathered into two files. One contains the Single Player entries in a small hub world, with a map voting system courtesy of the SUGOI series. The other contains the Multiplayer entries, reorganized into a map rotation per division. Within one week, these files will be compiled and uploaded for the public to play through, which kicks off the voting period of two weeks. During this time, a discussion thread for the contest will also be opened. Once the voting period is over, the votes will be counted and the results will be made public as soon as possible.

    VOTING RULES:
    1. To vote, make a thread in the Contest Voting subforum. It will be private during the voting period, and will be made public alongside the results.
    2. The actual voting is done by ranking all entries of a division, from favorite to least favorite. You don't have to vote on all divisions!
    3. Participants voting on a division they have entered are required to rank their own entry first.
    4. When providing comments or reviews, remember to keep it constructive!

    Now get out there and get mapping! Don't be afraid to show off your progress. Good luck and have fun!

SeventhSentinel

STJr Team Representative
Administrator
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️
Judge
Welcome to the Autumn 2020 SRB2 Official Level Design Contest discussion topic! We've got another great round of maps for you all to play.

As mentioned in the rules, the actual voting process will be done in the Contest Voting subforum, where you will create a thread to list your votes. To vote on a division, play all of its maps, form opinions on them, then rate them from your favorite to least favorite. An HTML tool to help you vote is available here: https://srb2oldcsorter.neocities.org/. If you have submitted a map, you must rate it highest for that division.

We encourage you to share your feedback and reviews in your voting threads, which will be made public once the voting period is over. Feel free to discuss the levels in this thread, too!

Voting will end January 2nd, 2021 at 6:59 PM EST (23:59 UTC). This deadline is strict, so please make sure to cast your votes before then. Any vote submitted after that exact time will be rejected.

After the voting period ends, the votes will be tallied. For each vote, the map that ranks first gets n-1 points, second place gets n-2 points, third gets n-3, all the way down to n-n (zero) points for last, where n is the number of maps in the division. Each map's points are added together to create that map's final score, and the map with the highest score wins the division. Should there be a tie, the votes are calculated again with only the tied maps included. If this still fails to break the tie, the tie stands and both maps are winners.

The entries are as follows:

Single Player
Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz
Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna
Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon
Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger
Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo
Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog
Square City Zone by Riolucariolu
Dark Marsh by Vixuzen
Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel
Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr
Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11
Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs
Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip
Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig
Azlant Ruin Zone by Gambit

Circuit
Electric Avenue Zone by Joe Mewstard
Caldron Cavern Zone by JABSphere94

Arena
Garden Arena Zone by Chuckles trollface
Magma Management Zone by InferNOr
Sacred Debris Zone by InferNOr
Techno Convoy Zone Act 1 by The Real Inferno
Flower Factory by Apollyon
Stupid Facestabber Zone by Krabs

Battle CTF
Canyon Stronghold Zone by InferNOr
GFZFLR01 Zone by Krabs
Mario Meadow Zone by Apollyon & Entropy

As usual, "reserved" posts will be infracted as spam.
 

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D00D64

Probably Responsible
Moderator
Kart Krew™️
Judge
M7Vt2zZ.gif
 

Chezi

Chili Dog
Time to bust out the Google Docs and the good level design notes! Time to play another set of awesome levels!
 

Gambit

Member
Some notes about Azlant Ruin:


If you find your camera getting locked in place, open the console and type ` cam_speed 0.3 ` to reset it. My apologies to anyone that this bug negatively affects. It can sometimes happen as a result of a console script I used in my level.


So, where to begin... This level was very much rushed by the tail end of it. It represents about a month's worth of on-and-off work. Though, the fortress at the beginning represents the lion's share of my time spent; everything after the fortress was made in the span of 2 days. Creating Azlant Ruin was as much an exercise in time budgeting and focus as it was a practice in map-making. As of this post, I haven't yet opened the OLDC pack, so I don't know if there's any conflicts that I need to be made aware of. I hope everyone finds something to enjoy about my level.

If you like it, let me know, and tell me why/what you like about it. If you think it's hot garbage, let me know that too, but also tell me why.
 

GrayAngel

Member
Some notes about Azlant Ruin:


If you find your camera getting locked in place, open the console and type ` cam_speed 0.3 ` to reset it. My apologies to anyone that this bug negatively affects. It can sometimes happen as a result of a console script I used in my level.


So, where to begin... This level was very much rushed by the tail end of it. It represents about a month's worth of on-and-off work. Though, the fortress at the beginning represents the lion's share of my time spent; everything after the fortress was made in the span of 2 days. Creating Azlant Ruin was as much an exercise in time budgeting and focus as it was a practice in map-making. As of this post, I haven't yet opened the OLDC pack, so I don't know if there's any conflicts that I need to be made aware of. I hope everyone finds something to enjoy about my level.

If you like it, let me know, and tell me why/what you like about it. If you think it's hot garbage, let me know that too, but also tell me why.

DBMAbXj.jpg


Nah, but seriously. I took some notes, including some pictures to go with them. I'll send more detailed notes in the future. The main thing is, though, the forced camera angles are very nice and cinematic, but they jank up the level. For example, in the opening section, Sonic is moving to the right, but pressing right makes him turn on the breaks. You have to press forward to go right, which is very counterintuitive.

I also figured you must have hidden a bubble or elemental shield near the beginning, because the parts that come after, particularly on the path to the right, are not fun to do when you have to worry about running out of air. And I was right. Found the shield behind a breakable wall. lol
 
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Kwiin

[A person in a place]
🏆Contest Winner🏆
Foliage Furnace was definitely Kanna and I's "Learning from Metallic Madness" stage, where we took the critique from last contest and funneled it straight into our stage here, making an overall better experience.

God, it's hard to even play our old level now. I plan on remastering it at some point (Kanna's actually already got Metallic Madness revamp started and it's looking really good :>).

We also plan on polishing up and releasing Foliage Furnace as an MB release sometime in the near future. There were quite a few things that had to be cut for deadline, ('deadline' actually being a week prior because I got myself grounded xddd) like the intended ending, that would set the stage for an act 2.

I added a copious amount of polyobjects at the end. It feels kinda out of place but it won't when the intended ending is there I swear (it'll have more movement than just circles)! I had a lot of fun making them, and I hope you have fun riding on them as well, they really help the stage look more lively in my opinion.

Anywho I know there are a lot of issues with the stage in it's current form, as I wrote in the note at the beginning, please give me a review! I want to get as much useful feedback from my stage as possible, it'll help me make better stages in the future.
 

NerfPlayeR135

Just call me Nerf.
I took notes using a plain text file while playing through the OLDC, and I'm sharing them here, just like last time. I've already submitted my vote, so I'm simply making it public. Thanks to everyone who participated!

NerfPlayeR135's Ranking for OLDC Autumn 2020's Single Player Levels

(01)[Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna]
-Great level with great aesthetics and quality level design. I will say, however, that some of the textures look odd when in motion, likely because of the 1-pixel checkerboard patterns on them. The giant slope that encourages you to roll and pick up speed for a huge jump was the perfect way to end the level. Since there was a polite request for feedback from Kwiin & Kanna, I will go into a bit more detail and say that there were some linedef misalignments at the beginning of the level that stopped my momentum a couple times.

(02)[Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon]
-Good level design, good art, great easter egg. Solid level overall. Note of warning: Considering one person's response to a particular part of the easter egg was to shoot up the picture as Tails Guy and post a GIF of themselves doing it, I'd suggest investigating any vote submissions that put this map in last place, because they could have been made by trolls or discriminators.

(03)[Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11]
-Great level design - it's difficult, but checkpoints are frequent, letting you learn from your mistakes. Appearance is good, too. I especially appreciate making the shield monitors gold for co-op players. This level's good enough for me to overlook the lack of capitalization for the word "factory" in-game.

(04)[Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel]
-Amazing level and art design, with well-done custom enemies and a custom boss to boot! There are some issues, though. The "elemental spirit giving you their shield on defeat" mechanic should not activate if the player already has a shield, and should play the shield's sound when it does activate. Additionally, the custom boss seems rather unfair to fight, seeing how it has little to no visual cues and no audio cues - which is jarring, because the issues with the custom enemies from Zaxel's last OLDC entry were all fixed.

(05)[Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger]
-[DISCLAIMER: I've seen and enjoyed Roger's animations on YouTube, but I haven't played any of his levels before this one.] Roger's trademark artstyle and humor shine, and the level design is fairly good, but there are some issues with the latter, such as many of the stairs being too big to climb. (I did see someone on the forums teach him how to rectify that, though.)

(06)[Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo]
-A neat level with nice graphics, good level design, and good usage of its main gimmick. Plus it uses Tengu Man's theme from the Sega Saturn version of Mega Man 8. I didn't factor that into my decision, I just wanted to say the music is awesome.

(07)[Dark Marsh by Vixuzen]
-This level is very well-designed and looks amazing, but the massive amount of enemies makes it feel like a Doom slaughter map. The difficulty is off the charts, and it often feels punishing rather than challenging.

(08)[Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr]
-Good level design all around, and looks nice too. Magma Falls from the last OLDC has been redeemed in my eyes.

(09)[Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs]
-Solid level design, nice aesthetics, and a nice laugh to be had upon finding out that the level's using the old ERZ3 header to make everything (except you) HUGE. There's no custom music, though.

(10)[Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig]
-This level looks amazing. The level design is decent, although I'm confused as to whether the purple gems are supposed to give points or not. The feathers I saw at the start of the level didn't seem to do anything either.

(11)[Square City Zone by Riolucariolu]
-A well-designed level with a decent appearance that, nonetheless, suffers from two issues: both checkpoints are connected to each other even though the level is completely linear, and the music doesn't loop properly.

(12)[Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog]
-This level is designed well, but it fares poorly in terms of presentation and polish. Plus, there's a chance for the game to crash upon reaching the town at the start of the level. (I have told akira about the crash and shared a possible cause for it.)

(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.

(14)[Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz]
-Feels more like a bad acid trip than a functional level, what with the overuse of animated textures and some very questionable level design choices. On top of that, one section where two platforms must be lowered has a necessary jump that I'm pretty sure is too high for Sonic.

(15)[Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip]
-This one's full of nonsensical level design choices, the same bland textures over and over again, and so many texture-related errors that I switched from OpenGL to Software at one point to see if they were renderer-exclusive... and some of them aren't. The console also recorded two warnings and three red-text ERRORS upon loading the map.
 
Last edited:

WasifBoomz

Member
I took notes using a plain text file while playing through the OLDC, and I'm sharing them here, just like last time. I've already submitted my vote, so I'm simply making it public. Thanks to everyone who participated!

NerfPlayeR135's Ranking for OLDC Autumn 2020's Single Player Levels

(01)[Foliage Furnace Zone by Kwiin & Kanna]
-Great level with great aesthetics and quality level design. I will say, however, that some of the textures look odd when in motion, likely because of the 1-pixel checkerboard patterns on them. The giant slope that encourages you to roll and pick up speed for a huge jump was the perfect way to end the level. Since there was a polite request for feedback from Kwiin & Kanna, I will go into a bit more detail and say that there were some linedef misalignments at the beginning of the level that stopped my momentum a couple times.
(02)[Knothole Coast Zone Act 1 by Apollyon]
-Good level design, good art, great easter egg. Solid level overall. Note of warning: Considering one person's response to a particular part of the easter egg was to shoot up the picture as Tails Guy and post a GIF of themselves doing it, I'd suggest investigating any vote submissions that put this map in last place, because they could have been made by trolls or discriminators.
(03)[Fatal Factory Zone by Kuba11]
-Great level design - it's difficult, but checkpoints are frequent, letting you learn from your mistakes. Appearance is good, too. I especially appreciate making the shield monitors gold for co-op players. This level's good enough for me to overlook the lack of capitalization for the word "factory" in-game.
(04)[Hakuryu Dojo by Zaxel]
-Amazing level and art design, with well-done custom enemies and a custom boss to boot! There are some issues, though. The "elemental spirit giving you their shield on defeat" mechanic should not activate if the player already has a shield, and should play the shield's sound when it does activate. Additionally, the custom boss seems rather unfair to fight, seeing how it has little to no visual cues and no audio cues - which is jarring, because the issues with the custom enemies from Zaxel's last OLDC entry were all fixed.
(05)[Pagoda Park by Rogerregorroger]
-[DISCLAIMER: I've seen and enjoyed Roger's animations on YouTube, but I haven't played any of his levels before this one.] Roger's trademark artstyle and humor shine, and the level design is fairly good, but there are some issues with the latter, such as many of the stairs being too big to climb. (I did see someone on the forums teach him how to rectify that, though.)
(06)[Galactic Facility Zone by Mondongo]
-A neat level with nice graphics, good level design, and good usage of its main gimmick. Plus it uses Tengu Man's theme from the Sega Saturn version of Mega Man 8. I didn't factor that into my decision, I just wanted to say the music is awesome.
(07)[Dark Marsh by Vixuzen]
-This level is very well-designed and looks amazing, but the massive amount of enemies makes it feel like a Doom slaughter map. The difficulty is off the charts, and it often feels punishing rather than challenging.
(08)[Overgrown Heights Zone Act 2 by InferNOr]
-Good level design all around, and looks nice too. Magma Falls from the last OLDC has been redeemed in my eyes.
(09)[Emerald Aether Zone by Krabs]
-Solid level design, nice aesthetics, and a nice laugh to be had upon finding out that the level's using the old ERZ3 header to make everything (except you) HUGE. There's no custom music, though.
(10)[Gate Garden Zone by Ruberjig]
-This level looks amazing. The level design is decent, although I'm confused as to whether the purple gems are supposed to give points or not. The feathers I saw at the start of the level didn't seem to do anything either.
(11)[Square City Zone by Riolucariolu]
-A well-designed level with a decent appearance that, nonetheless, suffers from two issues: both checkpoints are connected to each other even though the level is completely linear, and the music doesn't loop properly.
(12)[Shadow of Aztlan Zone by akirahedgehog]
-This level is designed well, but it fares poorly in terms of presentation and polish. Plus, there's a chance for the game to crash upon reaching the town at the start of the level. (I have told akira about the crash and shared a possible cause for it.)
(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.
(14)[Aquatic Port Zone by WasifBoomz]
-Feels more like a bad acid trip than a functional level, what with the overuse of animated textures and some very questionable level design choices. On top of that, one section where two platforms must be lowered has a necessary jump that I'm pretty sure is too high for Sonic.
(15)[Alabaster Fountain Zone by BronsoKip]
-This one's full of nonsensical level design choices, the same bland textures over and over again, and so many texture-related errors that I switched from OpenGL to Software at one point to see if they were renderer-exclusive... and some of them aren't. The console also recorded two warnings and three red-text ERRORS upon loading the map.
(As the creator of Aquatic Port)
Why does everybody think that the puzzle section is impossible?
You lower the platform on the right, and raise the one on the left which opens up a gap you can roll through.
 
(As the creator of Aquatic Port)
Why does everybody think that the puzzle section is impossible?
You lower the platform on the right, and raise the one on the left which opens up a gap you can roll through.

Because it's hardly even clear what those buttons do. On my playthrough, I pressed the correct buttons entirely by accident and I still had no idea what I did or that I even moved platforms or opened a gap.
 

particle

particle
(As the creator of Aquatic Port)
Why does everybody think that the puzzle section is impossible?
You lower the platform on the right, and raise the one on the left which opens up a gap you can roll through.

it's VERY hard to come up with that solution for two main reasons:

1) you can't see the hole you're supposed to spin through from the active puzzle area (the buttons), and even on ground level it's pretty easy to miss as it blends in with the walls. On top of that, it's much easier to see that a path opens up when you press each 'down' button (the amy/fang route), so we assume that's the solution and try to brute force our way to it.

2) it's not clear that the second block raises itself enough to open a path in the first place. Obviously we see that the block moves up, but our eyes are attracted to the top part of the FOF because it moves significantly more than the the bottom. So in other words all we really notice is that the block got taller, not that it moved up as a whole.

i've thought of counters to these problems but i'm gonna leave it up to you because i̶t̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶v̶i̶o̶l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶u̶l̶e̶ ̶1̶5̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶i̶ ̶t̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ it wouldn't inspire creativity and diversity if i did
 
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