Make a Good Cave Story Level contest thread

Which level is your personal favorite?

  • SeasonsofDestiny - "Introspection"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • X-Calibar - "Cursed Lands"

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12
Mar 12, 2018 at 12:25 AM
Best Cow
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Good news:
zzsne9.png
http://tlinkan.x10.mx/magcsl.html
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 3:54 AM
Indie game enthusiast
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Do you know what exe change is causing Clownacy's graphic_enhancement mod to crash on the devkit v1.2's New Game title screen?
It worked fine with the v 1.1 exe, and fine with v1.2.1's assets (except the exe...).

Since it crashes on the title screen I was wondering if it was something non-critical like a title screen beauty hack that is crashing it.

I found that Cave Story was running smoother on huge demanding levels where just Cave Story began choking. I'll probably just have to... find a way to deal with it for compatibility, but it would be great if the contest mod worked with the Clownacy mod. :heart:
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 4:57 AM
Best Cow
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Huh, I thought I said ".dll hacks aren't allowed" the contest rules. Whoops!

Fixed. I'm so sorry for this being sudden, but I really thought this was an established rule at first.
1. Custom Assets
All kinds of assets aside from ASM will be usable and you are free to use what you want to use.
We will also be holding polls for all sorts of things ASM, so please keep an eye out for those!
We’ll also be accepting suggestions for asm hacks which we’ll then consider.

Also, .dll hacks are not allowed, meaning no NICE, no Mod Loader, no .dll injections.
 
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Mar 12, 2018 at 5:10 AM
Professional Whatever
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serri i think xcal wants it for their own modding sake, not for any sort of level designing purposes. they just want to put it in the devkit so it runs better
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 5:13 AM
Best Cow
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serri i think xcal wants it for their own modding sake, not for any sort of level designing purposes. they just want to put it in the devkit so it runs better
If it's the graphics enhancement mod that he's using, it's incompatible with <IMG.
 
Mar 12, 2018 at 4:30 PM
Deliverer of Sweets
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The judge results are in! There has been some discussing and some very close calls! We'd love to include everyone, but sadly we still got limited spots (that already had one added to!) but eventually, we have decided to include the following to the juding team:
• Bubbler
• Hiino
• Noxid
We will get into contact with them soon.

Additionally, I will be going into documenting the changes done for the devmod, to make sure that everyone gets to know what they're doing, this may take a week or so.
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 11:27 AM
Best Cow
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I apologize for this post being a thing, but in case anyone plans on using <ZAM, please use this hex patch in the devkit mod (this will be hotfixed later on in the upcoming mods for this contest!)
Code:
0x4228A8
E8 A3 72 FF FF
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 5:37 PM
hi hi
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The judge results are in! There has been some discussing and some very close calls! We'd love to include everyone, but sadly we still got limited spots (that already had one added to!) but eventually, we have decided to include the following to the juding team:
• Bubbler
• Hiino
• Noxid
• Bubbler
• Hiino
• Noxid
• Hiino
Hiino still exists?
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 8:56 PM
Deliverer of Sweets
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Possibly a bit too late to note by now but every level has to end with collecting an 'element'. Use Alt Direction for the Santa's Key (NPC014) and instead of the key, it'll display such an Element.
 
Mar 16, 2018 at 9:37 PM
Senior Member
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Aw fuck, I didn't realize this had already started :/
 
Mar 17, 2018 at 12:53 AM
Professional Whatever
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it's still going, you've got about half a month if you wanna enter
 
Mar 17, 2018 at 3:46 AM
Best Cow
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This is sorta late as well, but I hope everyone here is a smart enough cookie for this. Please create a list of flags and vars for organizational purposes. While everyone is granted to use whichever flags they have in the limited amount we have, we do advise to save these slots for the devteam to use:

Flags 5500-5999
(Note: because VAR is installed, the flag count was reduced from 7900 to 5900)
VARs 100-123

Thank you for being patient with us, this contest business is a lot on our plate to handle, so we really do appreciate the cooperation!
 
Mar 17, 2018 at 4:50 AM
Eevee Enthusiast
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This is sorta late as well, but I hope everyone here is a smart enough cookie for this. Please create a list of flags and vars for organizational purposes. While everyone is granted to use whichever flags they have in the limited amount we have, we do advise to save these slots for the devteam to use:

Flags 5500-5999
(Note: because VAR is installed, the flag count was reduced from 7900 to 5900)
VARs 100-123

Thank you for being patient with us, this contest business is a lot on our plate to handle, so we really do appreciate the cooperation!
Good thing I always write down lists of my flags and skipflags on principle! Haven't been as descriptive this time around with some of them, but you should get the gist of it.
 
Mar 17, 2018 at 11:30 PM
The Preacher
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Hiino still exists?

As a matter of fact, yes I do, whoever you are

Anyway so do we have any recommendations for judging? any areas we should focus on more, or format we should be writing in, or anything like that? Also, I doubt so, but will we be expected to open the script/tsc/etc. files and judge those as well?
 
Mar 17, 2018 at 11:49 PM
Best Cow
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As a matter of fact, yes I do, whoever you are

Anyway so do we have any recommendations for judging? any areas we should focus on more, or format we should be writing in, or anything like that? Also, I doubt so, but will we be expected to open the script/tsc/etc. files and judge those as well?
For judging, there will be two sections for this, the scoring based on a rubric that is based on four common aspects of level design, and a written evaluation on the level itself.
Here's the sample rubric so far, it's nothing
Playability: --/15 Whether the level is playable or not, and if it is something you enjoyed so much that you'd play it again.
Consistency: --/15 How difficult is the mod, and how fair is it when it as it progresses?
Mechanics: --/10 How well used are the gimmicks in the level, whether it's based on TSC (flags, clever scripting) or weapon usage?
Aesthetics: --/10 How does it look? Does it look good? Fine? Ugly? A glitched mess? Is there a given theme to the level that you can pick up right away?

Total score: --/50
I have gotten some reported issues with the rubric during the applications, but it was mostly due to skimming through/message not being clear enough on what the categories mean. A misconception I've gotten from one of the applicants is that they were supposed to all share one common theme altogether (much like in Modcon 2017). That will not be the case, the applicants are allowed to use whichever theme they desire.

For the written evaluations, I remember writing this in for the judge applications, but I guess it was my fault for not making it clear enough. The written evaluations do not need to follow the format of the rubric. Just write at least a couple paragraphs on your thoughts are to the levels you are judging. I haven't thought about judging the TSC directly from the script, though. If all the judges are down to it, as well as any other suggestions they'd like to offer, I'd be happy to listen and determine if we should include them, too.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 12:12 AM
Professional Whatever
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i don't really see why we would need to be judged on our game's internal tsc. if the game is fun then it doesn't matter how it's built, and if it's built badly it will show through the game.

i also have some objections towards the consistency section - it discusses difficulty, which i don't think should really be a grading factor in itself, and fairness, which you could easily discuss in the playability category. neither of these things i would consider fit with the term "consistency" anyway. i would recommend using the consistency section to grade technical consistency instead, and take away points in that category for bugs and general unprofessionalism within a level.
 
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Mar 18, 2018 at 12:25 AM
Best Cow
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So consistency should instead focus on whether the levels are debugged/playtested, then? I'm down with moving things around in the rubric if everyone else in the judging staff is.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 2:45 AM
The TideWalker
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I want to quickly mention some things about the scoring method.

Consistency: --/15 How difficult is the mod, and how fair is it when it as it progresses?

I find it very hard to graph consistency into a single level, let alone a target playtime of less than 20 minutes.

A technical definition of "consistancy" is one that says that the gameplay stays the same over the course of playing it. And at least in my opinion that's the last thing you'd want to aim for in a level, I'm not saying a clusterfuck of a train wreck for a level design is GOOD, but true consistency is requiring that things stay the same and since you're on a grading stale, a straight white line with an armored gaudi every 16 tiles would be the most consistent mod submitted by far. The ideas of a good level is based in variety and taking concepts introduced early on and changing them enough to be a good challenge but not overwhelming for the player to understand (just look at super mario 3D world for a great example of this) .

So the entire idea is you're making people sacrifice consistency points to get higher scores in other areas. It's a very... Interesting concept (and I mean that unsarcastically as possible) but I would think that people should be aiming to make the strictly best level they can and I'll be damned if the contest rules for "make a good Cave Story level" are hindering people directly with the ruleset to not make the best level possible .

If this gave like 5 points and it was a trade-off that you would "spend" to make better levels (or could save and still outplay everyone else with strong points in other categories) I would be a lot more for it but because it is such a major factor in scoring I'm strongly against how it is currently handled.

Mechanics: --/10 How well used are the gimmicks in the level, whether it's based on TSC (flags, clever scripting) or weapon usage?

No, no and no again. This is a terrible idea in so many manners because it brings on an incredible amount of subjectivity of "the right way" to do things. Is more complexity and workaround better? using more OOB flags or a simple TSC command with slight more limitations. Nobody should care how it's done, and should only care about the final product of the level design. You shouldn't have to look under the hood to determine what a good level is. [/quote]

Aesthetics: --/10 How does it look? Does it look good? Fine? Ugly? A glitched mess? Is there a given theme to the level that you can pick up right away?

Literally this category gives just as much of an edge to artist as you've tried to strip away from ASM hackers in this contest.

New tilesets are by far better than pre-existing ones, (provided you are a not terrible artist, even most people around here admit that pixel's art for CS was not necessarily the best and can be beaten by a decent margin with enough effort) and you've said that submitting modified CS levels are not allowed so how does this not apply to tilesets and vanilla enemies as well by extension of the same logic?

You're requiring past experience with art to get a pass in this category. If it's a level design contest make it about levels, not 1/5th about how good of an artist you are. Also orgs apply in the exact same manner. As well as assembly (wow you need to know coding to compete and make custom enemies now) I realize that this only make up 20% of the scoring but it's more than enough to determine where top 3 place when you remove these factors. (that again are unrelated to level design)

If you were really interested in a purely "level design contest" you should have restricted things a lot more or a lot less. only editing .pxm .pxe and tsc files, or allowing art, orgs and asm to put everyone on an even playing field. With art orgs and asm it allows some balance in it as you need to be good in at least one of these categories and there's ways to play around with these to compete with each other, but because you've restricted the most popular skillset (asm) you've just put a pretty good advantage to those who have decided to skill into orgs and art instead. Also the more *ahem* experienced assembly hackers such as myself have skilled so much into asm, that I don't even know what half the vanilla enemies are anymore let alone how to manipulate them to do different things. if I need something I just code it myself because it's easier and I can reuse the code later for other things with some modifications for what I need. So this in turn is a insult to injury because of the trade in for Vanilla fluidity for asm mastery.

That's really my two biggest complaints, the strong lack of balance, and a hard hit on the most used skillset (considering art, asm and orgs as skillsets you have to specifically put a lot of effort into to be good at using)

I should have said something about this sooner, but I wasn't quite sure how to put it into words. I do hope this contest can go off well, but something has to be done about the balancing issues at least in my opinion before it can see fruition.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:01 AM
Professional Whatever
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buddy i really think you need to get past this vendetta against this contest. the point is to develop and display new skills, not flaunt your dick by showing off your cool asm. coding skills are important, yes, but from our conversations you've displayed that you simply don't care about the other design components of making a game.

1. you're mixing up technical consistency and repetitiveness. obviously repetitiveness is bad, it's not fun and would be scored badly. that is not what technical consistency is. as i stated, it involves how professional your development process is. for example, do all your chests work the same way and use the same code? these kinds of things show the level of professionalism you should aim for.

2. i don't even know what you're trying to say about the mechanics criterion?? it's obviously based around how enjoyable your gimmicks are in game. if you make a cool gimmick but it sucks ass in the game, you get scored badly here. basically make a game, not a tech demo.

3. dude are you KIDDING ME of course there's an aesthetics criterion. first off, the whole point, as i said, is to develop new skills. if you want to stick with the original graphics that's fine, but it will probably not be as flashy as well-implemented custom graphics. why do you think this is a contest??
aesthetic proficiency doesn't even completely mean art ability. you can make a mod with stellar aesthetics with the vanilla assets, you just need to know how to use them - again, a skill you should be learning to design good games
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:20 AM
Best Cow
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Remind me again why there are complaints on "Make a Good Cave Story Level Contest" not being "Modcon 2018"?

BLink, you do not need to worry about any of this at all if you're not going to participate in the contest. If you're coming here just to bitch and moan about something you chose not to involve yourself in, then Neptune have mercy on your soul. Now, unless you actually have legitimate reasons to criticize this contest for, which everybody else in this thread has been doing by just simply stating it or asking a question rather than writing a goddamn essay, I'd suggest you to just let things be and don't be a showoff if something does go wrong.
 
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