• 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!

Kwiin

[A person in a place]
🏆Contest Winner🏆
hHNtjgz.gif
 

yfyfyfyfyfy

The dumbest man
̶I̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ ̶i̶d̶e̶a̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶3̶ ̶a̶.̶m̶.̶
Now, having a bright mind, I remember that such cases are really isolated.

---------- Post added at 12:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:26 PM ----------

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.

Hey, hey, man stop. I am not someone professional and it is better to wait for the opinions of people who are more experienced than me. Don't have to do something for me.

Finally, you don't have to adjust to someone. Just do as you see fit, but relying on people's opinions. No need to apologize for something.
 
Woa, Alabaster fountain is impressive. More complex then I realized.
Maybe I should change my votes a little...


Asking for Fang/ Amy levels is fine.
Only squeecky wheels get the greasin.

Was just saying it can be a challenging circus act to keep all characters contained, not that the desire for Fang levels was unreasonable in and on itself.
Since contest levels are self contained, they are a good oppurtunity for exploring things I wouldn't do in my bigger level packs anyway.
 

MK.exe

The one and only!
I just checked the rules and sadly, theres no rule about All characters must be able to finish the level.

Regardless, i still feel like all the maps here work with all characters.
 

GrayAngel

Member
Looking through these early votes, it's funny how people can have completely opposite opinions of the same levels. I think some of you need to give these levels a second try, with different characters.
 

Kwiin

[A person in a place]
🏆Contest Winner🏆
Yea Alabaster Fountain, upon repeat playthroughs,.went from 'depressingly unpolished' to 'the most massive and path-rich stage in the pack', while a lot of stages that wow you on a first run like Emerald Aether end up losing their replayability when you realize that's it. Play through stages multiple times before making a vote, folks, because there's more to a stage than its first impression.
 
Looking through these early votes, it's funny how people can have completely opposite opinions of the same levels. I think some of you need to give these levels a second try, with different characters.

While I agree using diffrent characters can change the experience a lot and we should do that before voting, I'd argue another reason for the extreme diffrences in opinion is simply because most levels go for an entirely different quality. It's a lot of comparing oranges with apples this round, so often it boils down what's important to each individual reviewer.

How important is speed and pace, how important is replayability, how important are graphics and story, how important is challenge.
Everyone's got a different opinion on those.

Maybe in the future we can judge levels on seperate qualities rather then as a whole, to make voting a little more linair again. Instead of the more murky "Do I rank awesome speed level or awesome puzzle level higher?" situation we got now. It was extremely often the levels were so different in focus I couldn't really make an objective opinion and had to default to "what's the most fun to play". And that's a very unstable and unfair qualification.

That, or the competition gets more strict with more clear goals what contest levels should try to achieve, altough that might just stiffle a lot of creativity.
Then again, I suppose by the end of the day, the level that managed to pull off most qualities at the same time will likely win, in which case it still works out.
 
Last edited:

yfyfyfyfyfy

The dumbest man
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I will never participate in OLDC ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

...or maybe not..?
 
Last edited:

Riolucariolu

absolute Chad
"Do I rank awesome speed level or awesome puzzle level higher?"


Anyone remember "Myriad Memories" from the Summer OLDC? I gave it first place in my ranking because it just had nice puzzles, great atmosphere and was original as hell. God I'm still bummed by the community leaving it at 16th place or so.
It was extremely often the levels were so different in focus I couldn't really make an objective opinion and had to default to "what's the most fun to play". And that's a very unstable and unfair qualification.


I neither have the time nor the will to play all stages more than once or twice, it really takes a long time. And since I only play as Sonic, it sure can be unfair. If people at least said what character was best for their stage, I'd get the best out of it.
But yeah, just like you I end up judging them on the fun that I had which often favors fast paced linear levels like Pagoda Park or the Emerald one (though they had other qualities too).
 

GrayAngel

Member
I heard at least one of these levels has a theme the author made themselves. Is that true? One thing I wish we had was a brief description of each level, telling us the basic idea of what they're going for, what custom assets they use, and if the level is based on something. I didn't even know one was based on a level from Sonic After the Sequel until I saw someone's review.

Personally, I especially like to consider custom assets when voting, as it takes a lot of extra effort to make new flats and such, when you could just be using Green Flower Zone assets instead.
 

RoyKirbs

they/them frien
Moderator
Hey guys. This OLDC pack got an update to address minor issues and changes with some levels. Nothing that outright changes how the maps are played but the following maps got updated:



  • Knothole Coast Zone
  • Shadow of Aztlan
  • Fatal Factory
All maps have also been enabled to use Record Attack as well as the Competition and Race modes, as well.
 

Kwiin

[A person in a place]
🏆Contest Winner🏆
Well well, that's embarrassing! I had a message here, but it appears that I am stupid and did not fully read the message above me.

In place of it, enjoy this footage of Foliage Furnace, which is now accessible in record attack!

P37L5iI.gif
 
Last edited:

Chezi

Chili Dog
(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.

This is exactly why you should get someone to playtest your levels. You may think something is obvious, but that's only because you put it there. I see this problem a lot in Mario Maker and it translates here as well.
 
This is exactly why you should get someone to playtest your levels. You may think something is obvious, but that's only because you put it there. I see this problem a lot in Mario Maker and it translates here as well.
I will never forget the time I saw someone post a demo of their Super Mario World hack on SMWCentral back in 2009 or so, and they had a door hidden in a lava pit, only that specific lava pit was not a real one. There would be no reason for the player to jump in said lava pit because the game teaches you that they are bad, so having one be fake like that was cryptic and bad level design. Every time I see someone make a level in anything and it has something that only the developer would really know I always think back to that, in part because it was a rather extreme example of that sort of thing.
 

RoyKirbs

they/them frien
Moderator
Sorry guys, I had to post a new patch to address a very big, newly created, problem in Hakuryu Dojo that caused the map to be uncompletable.
 

Ace Dragon

Member
Was able to play many of the levels, but I will note that I haven't completed all of them yet. What I can say so far (in no order of quality)

Pagoda Park - Very nice design overall and a decent length, a lot of attention to detail and a decent level of challenge without being unfair. This level perhaps had some of the largest and the best set pieces in the pack, so it was fun.

Hakuryu Dojo - There are several custom enemies here and even a custom boss, so it gets points for trying to be original. However, some of the sections seem to slog a bit and the transition zones between the various gauntlets are nearly identical to each other. In addition, the water sections look like they could use a colormap. It is decent enough.

Foliage Furnace - Kwinn is becoming known for his prowess with slopes and poly objects, and it shows in abundance here. In addition, the detail is amazing, though the main path does feel like it hems you in at times with all of the geometry you pass by. You do have to consider the physics of SRB2 to pass some areas, but the level was overall pretty good in my opinion.

Overgrown Heights Act 2 - It follows the first one in design somewhat, with large, detailed rooms, and various challenges scattered throughout. It can be a bit tricky to hit the springs (especially with the rollout rock), but it is somewhat generous with checkpoints. It should also be noted that the level starts out being very generous with rings, as it is enough to get you an extra life before you hit the spring to exit the first room. The main issue though is unescapable water pits, causing the user to spend needless time waiting for the character to drown (if you don't just bring up the menu to hit 'retry').

Galactic Facility - I like science-fiction and space concepts, but I didn't complete this one because even if it supposedly contains starposts, the first one is rather far away from the start. I may need to get back to it

Emerald Aether - Very good use of slopes and overall appears to use a design similar to Sonic Utopia (which I've only seen videos of by the way). The only place it falls down though is when you need to cross the gap to the end area, it is not at all obvious that you need to turn there.

Gated Garden - Again, the use of custom content and enemies is always welcome amid the legions of levels that mainly use stock content. Some nice details here and there can be seen as well (like the halfpipes). However, the level seems to abuse the use of non-climbable walls, and the use of invisible walls purely to force a certain way of play (in this case the hedge maze) is not always a good design choice. Fang can also have a nightmare scenario as far as difficulty goes (if you die in the cave after the first checkpoint, you might have to jump up a series of steps while robo-hoods shoot at you, with no rings).

Alabaster Fountain - While it is one of the longer levels in the pack, the atmosphere and the spike gate mechanic is nifty while not being too punishing. It seems the layout gets a little more complex and detailed in the final third of the level, which combined with the lack of water animation appears to indicate it is unfinished. It would be great if the creator can complete this and release it (to the levels forum) sometime in the near future.

Shadow of Aztlan - Again, custom enemies are nice to see, though the design seems to be a little all over the place, but the design overall was rather interesting and made me want to see more. The emerging series also is getting a knack for throwing you into an unrelated scene at the end, will the third level explain it?

Knothole Coast - I didn't see the easter egg, but the rest of the level has some pretty design along with tight geometry. It is too bad it had to end so quick.

Dark Marsh - Maybe the big challenge zone of the pack (because falling into the swamp water is instant death). The building design had some interesting features though.

One thing I can say without spoiler tags is that with the returning creators generally improving on their level creation techniques, the OLDC is set to drop some nice high quality content bundles going forward. In addition, I wouldn't worry too much about what feedback you guys might get in places like Discord and Youtube, a lot of gamers in general can be notoriously hard to please, and pleasing everyone is all but impossible anyway.
 
Last edited:

Riolucariolu

absolute Chad
In addition, I wouldn't worry too much about what feedback you guys might get in places like Discord and Youtube, a lot of gamers in general can be notoriously hard to please, and pleasing everyone is all but impossible anyway.
Never read anything more true. I have extremely low standards for quality regarding games, so seeing others thrash stuff that I love an absurd amount for all the wrong reasons is heartbreaking.
Just keep creating stuff, and even if it should suck someone is guaranteed to get a kick out of it.
 
Top