Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Vanillart Contest: Feb. 18 - Mar. 6 ----- Vanillish Contest: Mar. 8 - Apr. 9 -------- Let's make some awesome levels!

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Emral
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Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sat Mar 09, 2024 1:14 am

Image

Welcome to part 2 of this year's Vanilla Contest duology! The Vanill-ISH contest. In other words, the main event!
This contest doubles as a "mystery contest", having tons of changes to the contest format that I'm trying for the first time, so please read the rules and rubric carefully, and make sure to ask in this thread if anything is unclear.

There is no "theme". Make the best you can and show off your ability in making awesome levels!

THE DEADLINE IS ONCE APRIL 9 2024 HAS ENDED AROUND THE WORLD

RULES
Spoiler: show
ABOUT LEVELS
  • Submission is restricted to levels made for the newest version of SMBX2 (Beta 5, newest patch at the time of submissions closing).
  • Your level must follow the vanilla format, with some exceptions.
    • "Vanilla" is defined as "you may only use tools available to you through the level editor." That means no external files, like custom graphics, parallaxing backgrounds, shaders or scripts.
    • MUSIC CLAUSE: You are allowed to use custom music. Please, to the best of your ability, keep the filesize of any individual music file below 5MB.
    • CONFIG CLAUSE: You are allowed to use up to 10 Block, BGO or NPC config files (not 10 each, 10 total).
    • PARTICLES CLAUSE: You are allowed to use up to 2 particle descriptor files.
    • ACE CLAUSE: Arbitrary code execution is NOT allowed. This mainly concerns Grafs and Crates.
      • Graf logic is restricted to the v, x, y and t variables and may not define nested tables or functions.
      • Crates should use the list extra settings fields instead of the legacy text input field.
  • Your level may have a maximum of 2 exits. SMW stars count as 1 exit.
  • Your level may have a maximum of 5 unique Star Coin indices.
  • Your level must be beatable.
  • You may use the "level settings" window to set your preferred playable character, choosing from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and Link. Please specify secondary options in your readme.
META RULES
  • You may work alone or in a team of 2 people.
  • Up to 2 submissions per person/team are allowed.
  • Levels must be your own and may not be recycled from some other event.
  • Levels must abide by the forum rules. No NSFW, no AI, no harassment, no collaboration with banned members, etc. Simple stuff.
  • Submissions deemed to be in bad faith will be disqualified.
  • Please name your level something that can be displayed in a vanilla SMBX message box.
Of note:
  • We encourage you to post your level in this subforum for pre-submission testing, and/or ask friends to test the level
  • Please only showcase your entries on the dedicated platforms. (such as the contest's own channel on the SMBX Discord server, or the Contest Hub, rather than regular showcase channels) The primary purpose of this is to avoid spoilers for the judges.
  • Wrong start points, music paths and other oversights will not be corrected before sending levels to the judges. Test thoroughly!
JUDGING
Spoiler: show
Judges:
  • 55jedat555
  • Darkonius Mavakar
  • Emral
  • Saltlord
When the submission period ends, the levels will be distributed to the judges, who will then start reviewing the entries based on the specification below.

THE SPECIFICATION BELOW

Levels in this contest are judged by a dynamic set of scoring categories. Now, what does that mean?
When you submit your level, you can specify in your readme file a selection of 3 of the below categories that you would like to be judged on. The judges are encouraged to abide by your preference, but if they prefer other categories they may deviate from your wishes. Each judge chooses their own 3 categories for each level, meaning that if while I may judge a level on Aesthetics, Narrative and Creativity, Saltlord may think that the level puts a stronger focus on identity than narrative, and judge the level based on Aesthetic, Identity and Creativity instead.
Furthermore, one of the 3 categories picked counts double. This decision is purely at the judge's discretion.
Crucially, this isn't a selection of what categories your level would score best in, but rather a selection of categories that suit the content of the level best.
In addition to the 3 dynamic categories, Fun and Stability issues are always judged.

Below are all the categories, with plus and minus points to describe what they're about.

Dynamic Category 1: Player Communication
+ Necessary info is provided to the player in a concise and thematically appropriate way
+ Players can figure out how to overcome obstacles without too much guesswork (it may still take them a while to execute)
- The level is actively hostile to the player in a way disrespectful to their time
- The level is unfairly confusing

Dynamic Category 2: Identity
+ The author's style of storytelling/humour/decoration/design structure/pacing enhance the play experience
+ The level is memorable in a positive way
- The level exists in the shadow of another level
- The level’s identity is diminished by other aspects of the level
- The player associates bad memories with the level (tedium, abrupt ending, unfun boss) (ex. a hour-long difficult metroidvania level that took them over a week to beat)

Dynamic Category 3: Aesthetics
+ The level’s visuals and sound design are well-executed
- There are negative aspects to the visuals/sound that negatively impact gameplay, story or other aspects of the level

Dynamic Category 4: Creativity
+ The level amazes with well-executed, unconventional elements and ideas
- The level’s creative endeavours fall flat or don’t mesh with its other aspects

Dynamic Category 5: Narrative
+ The level’s narrative is compelling and well-done
- While the level is story-heavy, the execution contributes negatively to the level

Dynamic Category 6: Bonus Content
+ The level has a lot of options, optional paths or bonuses that encourage player expression and replayability
- The bonus content that is there lessens the quality of the overall package

Penalty Category: Stability Issues (up to -10 points before division)
- Softlocks or lag
- The level can throw an error dialog or crash

Wildcard Category: Fun (up to +5 points before division)
+ The judge's personal enjoyment of the level.

The total score is calculated as: (2x Category1 + 1x Category2 + 1x Category3 + Fun - StabilityIssues) / 40
For a total score between 0 and 10 points. Ties are broken first in favor of higher fun score, then in favor of fewer stability issues.

The judges may also hand out medals for each level's unique quirks, to reward participants outside of their placement. There are 3 medals which each judge is required to hand out: "Overall Favorite", "Biggest Surprise" and "Most Inspiring"
Resources: Submission:
For details regarding the submission of your level, please head over to the submission thread. However, if you've got any questions, please ask them in this thread!

Reminder:
THE DEADLINE IS ONCE APRIL 9 2024 HAS ENDED AROUND THE WORLD

Pings Round 2:
Spoiler: show
MrNameless wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:37 am
DeviousQuacks23 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:56 am
Ness-Wednesday wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:04 am
ElectriKong wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:09 pm
SuperAlex wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:57 pm
WinterSweater wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 6:55 pm
computerfan0 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:04 pm
FutureNyanCat wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:32 am
hennyburgr wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:01 pm
deice wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2024 2:15 pm
Alagirez wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:58 pm
MarioChallengerX2 wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2024 3:28 pm

Ness-Wednesday
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Sat Mar 09, 2024 6:55 am

How does the particle clause work since custom graphics aren't allowed? Do we use the graphics available in the base game to utilize new particle descriptor files?

Emral
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sat Mar 09, 2024 7:05 am

Ness-Wednesday wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2024 6:55 am
How does the particle clause work since custom graphics aren't allowed? Do we use the graphics available in the base game to utilize new particle descriptor files?
You can reference basegame files in the particle descriptor file, or set texture to nil and have simple untextured rectangles using width and height.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby MarioChallengerX2 » Sat Mar 09, 2024 5:47 pm

- The level exists in the shadow of another level
So, wait. You mean I can't reference my Vanillart Level here?(the reason why I would do that is for lore purposes of the level I plan to make)

Emral
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sat Mar 09, 2024 11:20 pm

MarioChallengerX2 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2024 5:47 pm
- The level exists in the shadow of another level
So, wait. You mean I can't reference my Vanillart Level here?(the reason why I would do that is for lore purposes of the level I plan to make)
The plus and minus points for the categories exist as examples for what would compel a judge to up/downscore a level. For example if you just made The Invasion 2's Mole Hole but worse, then that level doesn't really have a strong identity. Like unless you're literally like "let me do the same thing x other level did" you should be fine on that front. Just keep in mind that it may be the case that by the time players of the episode encounter your level or your vanillart level they may not have encountered the respective other yet.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Alagirez » Sun Mar 10, 2024 3:13 am

Are SMBX2 characters allowed?

Emral
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sun Mar 10, 2024 3:18 am

Alagirez wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2024 3:13 am
Are SMBX2 characters allowed?
Emral wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2024 1:14 am
You may use the "level settings" window to set your preferred playable character, choosing from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad and Link.
In other words, no.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby KurttheKing » Sun Mar 10, 2024 1:54 pm

Hey! So I didn't participate in the Vanillart contest. Am I still aloud to in this one?

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby SuperAlex » Sun Mar 10, 2024 2:06 pm

KurttheKing wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2024 1:54 pm
Hey! So I didn't participate in the Vanillart contest. Am I still aloud to in this one?
Yes, You can

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby TurtleDude » Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:19 am

If you don't mind, I just want some clarification. There are the SMW stars are collectables but there are also the SMB3 stars that actually end the level. When you said the SMW stars count as an exit, did you mean the SMB3 stars or you saying that even though the SMW stars function as just collectables they're going to be counted as exits anyway?

Emral
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:58 am

TurtleDude wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 10:19 am
If you don't mind, I just want some clarification. There are the SMW stars are collectables but there are also the SMB3 stars that actually end the level. When you said the SMW stars count as an exit, did you mean the SMB3 stars or you saying that even though the SMW stars function as just collectables they're going to be counted as exits anyway?
The latter. SMW stars don't end levels, but for the purposes of the contest rules they contribute to the exit limit. Limits on collectibles mainly serve to make sure levels don't end up too huge to reasonably judge.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:35 am

Roughly a week remains! Go, go, go!

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Cat king » Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:18 pm

Can we use costumes (So like SMW-Mario) as that's vanilla?

Emral
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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:12 pm

Cat king wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:18 pm
Can we use costumes (So like SMW-Mario) as that's vanilla?
Yeah

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:42 am

It's the final weekend... the time of reckoning draws near.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Mon Apr 08, 2024 11:13 am

A bit under 2 more days! Time to wrap up, everyone!

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:57 am

There is roughly an hour left, but I actually have to run an errand at that time. So instead of making the deadline all dubious and stuff, I'll tack one hour at the end of it. The deadline hits 2 hours and 3 minutes after the making of this post. Let's submit these levels!

E: Gonna need a bit longer. Let's add 30 mins.

E:
I've sent the levels to the judges! In total there are 18 submissions. Thank you all for participating, especially if you went for the double and went for Vanillart AND Vanillish.I'll aim to get reviews for both contests out in early summer. Please stay tuned.

Level pack will be available tomorrow. Stinky Spyder, if you see this, please log in and read my PM and resubmit your level.

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Wed Apr 10, 2024 7:12 pm

And here it is! The merged level pack of all submissions for the Vanillart and Vanillish contests. If there's anything wrong with your submission, please contact me directly. If not, have fun playing the levels! I'll post about judging progress at some point down the road.

Download level pack

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Ness-Wednesday » Sun May 19, 2024 8:21 am

How's the judging process going?

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Re: Vanillish Contest - RULES & QUESTIONS

Postby Emral » Sun May 19, 2024 9:13 am

On-track for the initial target I set for early june.


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