Round 1 Voting

Othius

[A person in a place]
Contest Winner🏆
OLDC 2021 Round 1 Votes


Singleplayer:
I hope this level doesn't feel as rushed to hell as it is. The wonders of a collab, all three of us worked together to help knock out this whole stage in a record time of EIGHT DAYS. I don't like tooting my horn about it too much but dammit I'm proud of that. It has a lot of fundamental issues, however, like the lack of a difficulty progression whatsoever. I'll fix this in a separate release, however.
Holy fuck dude. This level blew me away my first playthrough. The improvement you've had in level designing since Overgrown Heights is astounding. I was convinced you were going to win this contest, however seeing other peoples' votes I guess I was wrong about that.
InferNOr, you've successfully made the first good airship level in 6 years, and, IMO, the only good one to exist in the standard SRB2 platforming style. I absolutely love your approach to room design, as there were a ton of rooms with unique shapes that I haven't quite seen in SRB2 before. It was inspiring, to say the least.

There are a few issues I need to point out, however.
* Frustrating Enemy Spam: You place way too many enemies. It's really easy to get ganged up on with no way to avoid their hits. It's EXTREMELY frustrating when I'm jumping across a thin rope as Amy and get sideswiped from my blind zone by a fucking bee travelling at mach 2.
* Some untelegraphed and bullshit level design: The fans on the left path only bring you high enough if you aim your jump into the bottom of them. Anywhere else and it consistently kills you.
* Ring Placement: You place rings like it is a battlemod map. Ring placement is different in battlemod, where the main goal is to grab a group of rings and get out. This does not work in SRB2. Rings in Singleplayer maps are for guiding the player and adding a collectible to incentivize maneuvering while still keeping the stage flowing. You also place 10 ring monitors just... randomly on the ground, which feels really sloppy.

I think if you fix a few of the stage's glaring issues, you have a legendary stage on your hands. Great job, I'm extremely excited for whatever stage you have coming for the next contest.
You've got big balls to lay out every issue of your stage in a minute-long cutscene at the beginning. I respect that.

This level is really fun. I think it is the first axis2D level made in literally 2 years. I hope it'll inspire people to make more axis2D stages.
Your music choice is great too, Sonicesque pieces are always a jam.

I have a few issues though.
* When you have the camera at wacky angles and expect me to jump on polyobjects, it's hard to tell which direction I'm actually going in. Even something as simple as a transparent line over a pit showing which direction I'm moving would be helpful, because I never know WHERE on the polyobject I'm forced to land on.
* Some of the teleporters after the mikoportal area will send you in the wrong direction, sending you back through the portal at high speed. It's pretty funny though ngl.
* A lot of the background feels flat and undecorated
* A lot of the angle switches are super jarring and jagged.

Otherwise this is another high quality singleplayer map coming from you, I'm super excited to see what you make next.
Hot damn this is an immense improvement over Dark Marsh. You've really listened to the criticisms given for it. Gone are the cramped hallways and annoying enemy placement. However, the hallways here feel really bare. This doesn't really have the architecture of a TEMPLE... In fact, it doesn't have that much going for it architecturally at all. The walls are kinda flat and samey, try adding pillars or some repeated element to spice them up a bit. Look how levels like Castle Eggman 2 spices up its rooms, and that'll help you lock down that theme better. This felt more like a dungeon than anything.

* Those bone ladders are COMPLETELY non telegraphed. There's NOTHING indicating what I should do there. I think they should be replaced, or you should find a better way to signify what they do. As far as ladders go they're janky as hell too, you might be better off just replacing them with springs.

* The music change happened without a level theme change. This is very jarring to the player. If you have something that requires a music change, make it change up the stage's visuals extensively as well, or it will feel anticlimactic. Fortunately if you polished the final gauntlets to give it an entirely new theme, you have the added effect of making your stage feel like a bigger adventure, and have far more climax than just running through an area that exists. You have a great thing going on here, though!

This level has the most gameplay depth in the pack. I love it, I can't wait to see what stage you make next.
Hell yeah, another skateboard park. Your mapping style fits great when playing with momentum mods, which I assume is the point. Level design wise this was a Gigalopolis 2, outfitted with all the great things about Gigalopolis... and all the bad things about Gigalopolis too.

* Some areas are too flat! You have big slopes, but these areas very commonly become FLAT ground and hallways without any decoration whatsoever. I think you could definitely do with adding more sector decorations to your levels. They're minimalistic to a detriment. There are often massive areas without any height variation whatsoever.

* The ring drain water doesn't pose any threat. I think making it damaging or a death pit is a bit punishing, probably, but ring drain water is completely unthreatening, and entirely annoying and frustrating. When I fell into the big hallway full of it and had to trudge through it to the end, I let out an absolutely massive sigh.

* There's not enough to DO. I often find myself running without anything else to do, lots of this map feels unfinished, or only blocked out. You should go back in and add more depth and polish.

Other than that, this is definitely another Rexeljet level, and I'm super happy to see that! Your mapping style is super fun, especially with dashmode characters, or a momentum mod. Great job!
Fuck you Zaxel.
...That being said, damn dude this is your best level yet! Other than your questionable secrets and stupid ass fucking troll exits, gameplay wise this is pretty great! You introduce a gimmick, you challenge the player with that gimmick, I love how you tie all the thunder related things here, and most importantly the level has some MEAT on its bones. It feels like I've gone through a whole ass adventure by the time I'm done. There are some glaring issues, though, ones that have plagued all three of your OLDC maps.

* Your hallways are too small!! It's hard for my camera to move in these hallways, and I can get hit by an enemy I can't see. Make your hallways at least 512 units wide to give the player enough space to comfortable move their camera and character.

* Your level feels a bit short. No, not in length, I mean in height. You really could do with giving this place some vertical scale. It appears to be a thunder FORTRESS, so make it feel dauntingly large. Make it a castle only fit for the prince of thunder. This will also help you bring gameplay upwards instead of outwards, which helps conserve grid space.

As always, I can't wait to see what you make next! This level very much addressed some of the biggest issues with Heroes Hall and Hakuryu Dojo, so if you can address this stages issues to, I think you have a golden stage on your hand.

...Also PLEASE don't do the troll exits again. I personally have no issue with them, but god dammit I told you TWO WEEKS BEFOREHAND that the troll exits would TANK your score, and look how other people are rating your stage. You did this to yourself, Zaxel.
This level made me very happy. It was an extremely cute first attempt at a level, and it does a lot of things right, too! The aesthetic is on point, and the platforming and slope play is really solid. It has some fairly big issues, however.

* The noclimb walls! God damn it is frustrating to completely lock off a character's main way of nobility. There are a few levels in this pack that noclimb EVERYTHING and I absolutely hate it. Noclimb everything didn't really make sense either, it gimped my ability to explore whatsoever. It surely didn't prevent me from getting around, one good glide after a badnik bounce and I find myself right at the ceiling of the stage. It's pointless.

* Way too cramped! There are so many hallways and platforms here that are super tiny, it made it feel way too easy to slip up, as well as catching my camera on areas.

I'm still super impressed you knocked this out as fast as you did. And it's your first map too??? If this is the quality you can do under those circumstances, I think your next attempt is gonna be fantastic. Good job!
My god is this your first stage? Some of the FOF setups you have and the linedef effects you are using are VERY impressive. The general progression of this stage is good, however there are quite a few issues when it comes to telegraphing your obstacles. This level is plagued by very unclear and unappealing visual design.

* This colormap is very bad. It desaturates the stage into this awful gray midtone. It looks awful. I guess it's cool as a blizzard effect, but the way it makes everything the same color of gray is too much of a compromise for clear gameplay.

* That brick texture is very bad. It is very small and turns into a moire effect very quickly which is hard on the eyes. Replace it with CEZBIG textures.

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Look how much more readable your stage is by just replacing the CASTLEH texture with CEZBIG1, and removing that goddam colormap. It looks less like a Blizzard, sorry, but that effect you were going for is not a good one.

* Bad telegraphing. Lots of breakable walls in this map are very hard to see, the ice in the water on Knuckles' path is nearly invisible, and the turret room doesn't really tell you where to go. Don't use arrows! Manipulate the level geometry itself such that it leads you in the right direction.

* Despite all the good ideas, there are 3 rooms specifically in this map that are horribly designed on a fundamental level, and that you really should remake in a separate release.
- * THE TWO MAZES: There's a maze on the main path, and one on the Amy path. Mazes are horribly unfun, frustrating, and non replayable. They kill the flow of the level, no matter how easy you make it to figure out how to progress. Give these rooms platforming or something.
- * THE TURRET ROOM: Oh dear fucking god this must have taken a long time to make. Too bad it's completely unfun to play. My camera gets caught on the conveyors, I get randomly sniped, I get pushed into a wall without any visibility, I'll slide slightly off the edge of the conveyor. Holy SHIT this room gets on my nerves replaying it.

* There's one other thing I noticed. The bastion itself is all squares! It feels straight out of 2.0. Look at Castle Eggman 2 to see how you can use circles and different polygons to make your stage pop out. You should also slope some areas, like doorways and windows, to give them more shape. This will help it feel far more believable.

Otherwise I really love how this map feels like a big adventure. It's surprisingly solid for a first map, despite its shortcomings. I think it's crazy how many different effects you played with. Please make more stages, I'd love to see how you improve from here!
(An update of this map would be really cool as well, because it has a lot of good ideas.)
This level is definitely a vibe. It plays a lot like Wasteland Wilds in that the gameplay is super solid, albeit a bit flat, and it's lightly decorated. This level was super fun to play as Metal Sonic, Modern Sonic, XMomentum, any character or lua script that makes you go fast the longer you run on flat ground. It was super exhilarating! There are no bad rooms in this map, although a lot of them feel really bland. This map does nothing wrong, so don't let my 50% score here fool you. It just doesn't do that much interesting. I know exactly why, too, you were talking about how you rushed this, and how you had a months-long dip in motivation for working on it.
Don't let your scores here dissuade you, I think getting a remastered and polished version of both this stage and Wasteland Wilds would be a treat, as they all have tons of potential for visual updates, and don't do anything wrong gameplay wise. You have some solid levels on your hands, keep going!
This map was fairly insubstantial and boring. The black rocks are pretty, cool, and so is the music, but the stage has too much running without much to do, the aesthetic switches around constantly, and it ends before it really gets going. There isn't really a main gimmick to speak of, and instead just an assortment of random challenges. However I think your usage of slopes for platforming is really cool, do more of that! It's a fun way of spicing of regular flat platforming.

Here's some tips for your next map
* Make a set of gimmicks and challenges to design your stage around, start them off easy and simple to understand, and then progressively make it get more difficult as you go. It's a level design tactic from Miyamoto himself, and it is a good way to give your level a sense of progression.

* Tone down the ring placement holy fucking shit. Rings serve two purposes.
1. Leading the player to the intended path
2. A fun collectable off to the side, not too much of a hassle to collect.
Your ring placement has a few issues. First of all, the ring trails are way too long, it feels less like they're hinting me towards a place and more like one of those shitty Mario Maker speedrun levels where they hold my hand the whole way with rings. Your ring circles, on the other hand, entirely break the pace. If you're trying to collect all rings in a path as you run by, you can't with how large the circles are, and you have to either ignore the missing ring in a super unsatisfying way, or slow down to a crawl to walk a tiny circle every 2 seconds. Not to mention the way the rings are placed feels really sloppy.

Despite this I still quite enjoyed this level, you have a lot of potential, this was a lot better than my first go :v. I can't wait to see how the rest of your maps turn out.
This level was tremendously hard to rate. The biggest issue is that, because it is an entirely different game style, I can't rate it based on how it does SRB2's standard platforming gameplay. Instead, I have to rate it off of visuals, clarity, graphics, music, how it all ties together etc., in which case there are literally no errors, so it's a theoretically perfect map, but the game style is completely uncomparable to the rest of the maps in the pack, and the game style isn't really replayable either so I have to rate it so low just off of being a fundamentally less engaging gameplay style. And that really sucks! I don't like having to place such a solid map this low.

Here's what I have to say, I love the music, I love the aesthetics, I love the charm you put into everything about this. You should turn this level theme into a full Singleplayer map, seriously, people will love it :v.

(P.S You should've submitted this as an Arena map or a Match map, seriously. You shot yourself in the foot by making it an SP map.)
This level was very mediocre. It surprised me how... amateur this felt from someone who has been making SRB2 maps for literally longer than I have been alive. Your gameplay was fairly alright and simple, however it struck me odd how there was absolutely no decoration on the walls at all. Every wall is flat, and only has a single texture. There are 3 slopes in the entire map. The MIDI music could have easily been replaced with a higher quality

Also I can't believe you wanted TWO brak fights here. Putting a vanilla boss in a custom stage immediately kills all replay value. It adds nothing new and thus makes it a slog to go through. I think natural maps are your forte, and I'd love to see another stage that plays like Sky Top for next contest. I know you're able to!
...Ow.

Wasif, I need to address something with your maps right now. Please, for the love of god, use real locations and themes as a basis for your maps. You've gone for the wAckY AbSTRact map 3 times now, and you've made something completely unenjoyable 3 times now. Your linedef executor play is great! I know you know what you're doing technically. Your puzzles are creative! Unfortunately, I can't enjoy that when your textures and music are this horrid sensory overload that actually hurts my head. I can never understand what any of your levels are, except for maybe hypertower, because none of your level themes are actual places that could ever exist or that I could ever imagine existing.

I want to look past the goddamn bright colors and midi music, and rate your stage based on its gameplay. I truly do, but dammit I can't because this stage gives me actual headaches. I don't care if your gameplay has improved much since hypertower. It probably has, and good job on that. I physically cannot bring myself to play through this.
Wasif, you're able to make real themes and real locales, rooted outside of abstraction. You're able to use a color scheme that doesn't use every single primary color at maximum saturation. That's absolutely possible, so please do so, and your maps will be better because of it.
My god this went through the same steps as Hollow Hill.
-Rushed out
-Custom palette
-Rush music
-secret sector art

That being said. This stage has... nothing to it. The two big rooms here are relatively well made! I like what you did with the slopes at the beginning. The two hallways here are stupid as hell. Those bumpers are near impossible to avoid. It just makes me frustrated.

The stage ends before it can really kick off. This ended up fairly unmemorable. Give yourself more time to make a stage! This was short and sweet, but given more time I can assure you'll be able to make a stage with more depth and replayability to it.
This level has a chronic case of cramps... Not in a medical sense, LOL, but in that you don't give the player enough free space to MOVE.
Highlight the entire level in Zone Builder, press E, go to 'EDIT SELECTION' on the right bar, then input "*2" (asterisk included) into the X and Y Absolute Scale variable. This will make your level twice as long and twice as wide, allowing you to actually have space to move around. Other than that, there are a few other big issues.

* The invisible walls, holy shit. This breaks immersion so hard you can't even IMAGINE. I can never tell when crossing platforms if I'm gonna be cucked by a random invisible wall. That's not how you guide players. If you want to stop the player, then use an actual goddam wall.

* Metal goes PITIFULLY slow. I decided to play as metal and follow along directly behind him. He stops at random places, takes a long time to turn, takes his jumps slowly and carefully. It doesn't feel like he's racing, it wasn't a challenge to beat him at all.

Despite this, I think your decoration was pretty nice, especially that outer CEZ skybox place. The music definitely helped add to the vibe as well, unfortunately the level was just frustrating to go through. I hope you can take this into account when making your next level, because you're so close to making something fun here.
This level definitely is a level. It feels like you got the program and placed whatever you could wherever you could just to get a feel for it. That's great, however it ends up in a level that feels like... a test level. Use what you've learned to make a stage with actual gameplay in the future. It'll pay off.

Match:
This map is super well made. I love the way you do your details in your maps, MK. The cranes and ropes were a really nice touch. Your detail is on point, it's large enough to allow for freedom, while small enough that interactions will happen. This is an extremely good use of SRB2s vanilla assets, although maybe some custom music would help the energy, though. I loved this!
This music choice is fantastic. I was very close to rating this first, because while MKs stage is better technically and fundamentally, this place just makes me happy. The music is fun, the big slope jumps are fun.
This level looks really nice! It's decorated well too, I like the nod to Granite Lake. The detail is on point, the map is well sized, there are things to do. I can still scope out my area well. I had no issue with this map, so don't be bummed I put it in third! There's nothing done wrong here, but I don't think it does much to be truly outstanding or memorable. Even still, this was a great map, good job!
This is definitely Magmor. Despite the tried and true aesthetic at play here, I this map has a really bad issue of being too flat and too large. That outside area, that's just a big flat plane! It has a few rocks, but it's so flat. The aesthetic still holds up from 2.1.
There isn't much notable about this stage at all, sorry. It has no visually great setpieces, nor does it have that interesting of a theme. That's not to say it does anything wrong, it doesn't, it's an extremely solid map, you just don't... DO much with your theme at all, so it becomes quite forgettable.


Battle CTF:
This level was a really short and sweet CTF map, and it hits all the marks! The music and aesthetic changes for the time switching was a really cool mechanic that, after I saw Marcos do it, I've wanted to see more of. You've definitely scratched that itch in that regards. The map itself, while relatively unambitious, is extremely solid in the way it plays. It was super exhilarating and nerve racking trying to bring the flag back to base while being bombarded by the whole other team and the stage hazards. There are no stalling spots whatsoever either, I have no issues with this one, good job!
Okay, InferNOr, what the hell is that side path with the arched entrance for? There are a few rings, and then a dead end. Jesus, at least put a spring to bring it to the main path! It LOOKS like the main path, and that's caught me up so many times trying to get to the base. I get trapped there.

There was no telegraph that the oil was gonna be instant death, it has to be learnt by actually falling for it, and I think that's a load of bullshit. There should really be any kind of sign or warning that it's DEATH. I expected it to act like the oil in Arid Canyon (slippery quicksand), and it did not.

There's no reason to go to the outer edges of the center area. None at all, every player stays confined to the innermost side of the middle platform and completely ignores everything else. That's because it's just one large flat plane with a few oil holes. It's entirely pointless, except maybe as a way to stall the flag, and way too long. That leads into my other point, the map is far, far too long. I'm doing a lot of straight shot running, only needing to avoid the oil, like, twice, and it takes a full ass 40 seconds to get to the other base! That's way too long, it gets extremely boring, extremely fast.

All in all, despite being pretty, this map has a lot of really bad gameplay issues. I'm sorry, but I didn't really enjoy it. I really enjoy your other battle maps though, so I'm interested in seeing your next attempt. I hope you learn from the mistakes made in this map.
 
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