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 18, 2018 at 3:34 AM
The Preacher
"Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-BLEIUP"
Join Date: Feb 20, 2011
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Age: 29
About your current rubric:
Playability, I think it's too broad a term. I'm going to try and define some more precise categories below.
Consistency is a good category if not a good name I'd say, of course we're not judging how hard a mod is but only the difficulty curve and balancing problems.
Mechanics sounds weird to me. If there's technically impressive stuff in the mod and it doesn't fall into one or more of the other categories, then that means it doesn't look good, feel good, or improve the gameplay, so what is it doing there?
Aesthetics: I like your idea of using a notion of "aesthetics", implying you could make something that scores high in that domain with vanilla assets. I'm keeping that.

So I'll try to take note of the differents aspects of modding we could be judging:
- aesthetics
- general idea/theme behind the mod (whether it's well-defined, whether it's interesting, whether it goes in random directions or stays consistent and focused on the important parts, whether the theme feels reasonably well-explored and complete...)
- gameplay (how it feels playing the game, how new elements of gameplay compare to good ol vanilla CS...)
- plot and storytelling (plot points and how helpful the storyline is in driving the player forward, if there is any)
- level design (how levels, maps, monsters, etc. are designed and put together to serve the gameplay, according to the player's movement and fighting options)
- difficulty (the difficulty curve of the mod, bosses, etc, or in this case, since mods will be short, whether it stays at the same difficulty throughout)
- balance (whether there's a weapon that's way better than another, whether an enemy is way stronger than the others, whether there's a threat to the player that's way more important than the rest...)
- realization (lack of bugs, design oversights aka "holes" in the concept, etc.)
Of course the story category (as well as the gameplay category if a mod plays like vanilla CS) is not always relevant, depending on the mod. I consider story to merely be a game design tool, one more reason for the player to keep playing and have a direction in which to go.

To conclude, I'd suggest something like:
- Aesthetics (graphics, music, mapping, smooth cutscenes, etc.), (10 points)
- Design (gameplay, level design), (15 points)
- Difficulty/balance (10 points)
- Polish (general consistent theme behind the mod, realization, lack of bugs, etc.) (10 points)
- Entertainment value (the mod is fun to play, is challenging, has an interesting story if there's one, etc. anything that makes the player want to keep playing). (5 points)
(total: 50)

To note: my goal, in the mod review thread notably, is to judge a mod rather than a modder's skill. For this reason, I have a storytelling category there, and I don't judge the contents of TSC scripts and other internal files. I don't think we should do that here either. For the same reason, I'm not judging technical prowess because, as impressive as some of the mods may be out there, the fact that something is hard to make only affects me as a modder and not as a player, and so I shouldn't care about it. Plus, if your mod is that good, then it probably got many points in the other categories anyway.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:41 AM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4485
yeah that's a fair assessment, i'm down for those categories. though i do think that modder's skill is something to be considered, as long as it affects the game in some way (enjoyment or stability) and isn't just the unseen internals. just a matter of semantics in your analysis, really.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:45 AM
The Preacher
"Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-Wacka-BLEIUP"
Join Date: Feb 20, 2011
Location: lost in translation
Posts: 336
Age: 29
Oh yeah that was definitely my point in my previous post. If it affects the game in some way then since it's going to be taken into account in the other categories, there's no need for an additional "modding skill" category.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:47 AM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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It really does sound more balanced than the other version of the rubric I made. I'm definitely more than happy to use it. I do think we should still talk about what can be improved upon in the written evaluation, since the modders can learn why they got the placement in the results, and what they can do better on to keep aiming higher.
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 3:54 AM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
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Location: Lasagna
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honestly the judges probably don't really need guidelines for their written evaluation, it'll probably feel more natural if they don't have a checklist of things to mention (and with the scoring rubric, they'll probably be thinking and talking about those elements anyway). maybe a word count guideline, but even then it seems somewhat unnecessary.
 
Mar 19, 2018 at 4:41 AM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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Due to some talks and an accidental argument over a misunderstanding in one of the bullet settings, the Blade's weapon data has been fixed and an emergency patch is now available to make up for the thing:
https://files.catbox.moe/4io6f6.zip
Just copy and paste the items in their respective folders.
 
Last edited:
Mar 20, 2018 at 4:02 AM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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Hey um, in case anyone here was curious about whether there would be any prizes to be given out for the top 3 entries, the status for it is now currently unknown. It sucks, because I really wanted to give out prize money for this contest, but due to urgent recent events, I can't even do it anymore.

I'll understand if there shouldn't be any prizes, but it would've been nice to give rewards to the top entries. I've been asking for this before, but this is more serious, now. If anyone has any suggestions for prizes and/or wants to pitch in, let me, miccs, or either of the contest staff know what you all would like. I apologize for the inconvenience, and I really wanna thank you all for your support for this contest. The contest will continue until April 8th, like planned. We hope to see what levels you guys can come up with!
 
Mar 20, 2018 at 4:46 AM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4485
Change of plans; I'll be supplying the contest prizes. I have purchased three games, and Serri is providing a fourth. These games will be distributed across the top three judge-voted entrants. All three entrants will receive one game, with the first place entrant receiving a second. Game selection will be determined based on placement - first place will choose first, second will choose from the rest, third will choose from the final two. The remaining game will be given to the first place winner as well.

The games up for grabs are:
- Night in the Woods
- Cuphead
- Hollow Knight
- Skullgirls (provided by Serri)

If you end up with a game you already have, we can discuss that once the prizes are distributed. If this happens, I will decide what to do with the rejected prize, which may end up going to the next entrant in line. If you already have ALL of the games, and you get a choice between them, don't pick any of them - tell me right away so the entrants under you can get their pick, and we can talk about it afterward. I will not change the prize if you simply don't want that game though. If you really don't want it then you can give the code away or sell it to someone else on your own time.

Once the contest is over and the prizes have been confirmed, I will privately send steam codes to each of the winners in whatever way available.

Please realize that I am doing this out of the kindness of my own heart. I don't want any angry responses if you don't get the game you wanted. These are games I picked (besides Skullgirls) because I feel that they represent good game design, and I want to share their experiences with other people.

Oh, and since I'm competing as well - if I place high enough, I'll just pass my prize down to the next entrant.
 
Mar 20, 2018 at 4:59 AM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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Thank you so much, Slither! I really appreciate your time and help you've been providing for the contest! :heart:

Just remind me what i can do for you in return, even if you don't want it.
 
Mar 20, 2018 at 5:12 AM
Senior Member
"Fly, Fly, Fly!"
Join Date: Nov 3, 2015
Location: Westminster, Colorado, U.S.A
Posts: 128
Change of plans; I'll be supplying the contest prizes. I have purchased three games, and Serri is providing a fourth. These games will be distributed across the top three judge-voted entrants. All three entrants will receive one game, with the first place entrant receiving a second. Game selection will be determined based on placement - first place will choose first, second will choose from the rest, third will choose from the final two. The remaining game will be given to the first place winner as well.

The games up for grabs are:
- Night in the Woods
- Cuphead
- Hollow Knight
- Skullgirls (provided by Serri)

If you end up with a game you already have, we can discuss that once the prizes are distributed. If this happens, I will decide what to do with the rejected prize, which may end up going to the next entrant in line. If you already have ALL of the games, and you get a choice between them, don't pick any of them - tell me right away so the entrants under you can get their pick, and we can talk about it afterward. I will not change the prize if you simply don't want that game though. If you really don't want it then you can give the code away or sell it to someone else on your own time.

Once the contest is over and the prizes have been confirmed, I will privately send steam codes to each of the winners in whatever way available.

Please realize that I am doing this out of the kindness of my own heart. I don't want any angry responses if you don't get the game you wanted. These are games I picked (besides Skullgirls) because I feel that they represent good game design, and I want to share their experiences with other people.

Oh, and since I'm competing as well - if I place high enough, I'll just pass my prize down to the next entrant.
That's really generous of you. We all thank you, as contestants.
 
Mar 21, 2018 at 11:32 PM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4485
Two important notes for entrants making levels:

For the event for collecting the element in your level, please use the following tsc as a template:
Code:
#9999
<KEY<WAI0050<FLA<SOU0029<HMC<WAI0050<FAO0004<TRA0000:9999:0000:0000
You can probably play with this as you wish, but keep the event number and <TRA as written.
 
Last edited:
Mar 24, 2018 at 2:05 AM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4485
Sorry for the late guidelines update. Things in this contest are very much in progress and there continue to be things that force the rules to shift.

Here are the guidelines for IDs in your level. When submitting, you will need to change the IDs to assigned VARs, so that we do not have to sift through each of your levels and fix things. This is out of respect for the entrants, and so that we don't screw anything up by changing something.

V080-V089: MyChar IDs
V090-V099: Song IDs
V100-V103: Map IDs
V110-V112: Facepic IDs

You can use these var numbers, including the 'V', in place of an argument in a command. For example, if you want to create a <TRA to your first map in your level, you would use <TRAV100:XXXX:YYYY:ZZZZ. The second map would be <TRAV101:XXXX:YYYY:ZZZZ, and so on.

You are also only allowed to set and use variables 0-50 in your levels. This is so there's room for the assigned ID variables, and for any variables the dev team needs on the backend.

If you try to use these ID variable numbers while modding in the devkit, you won't get the proper results, because the variables need to be set first. You can set them yourself so you can use the variables as you mod, or you can do it at the end when you go to submit. If you're doing the latter, I'd suggest copypasting your script into a word processor like notepad++, and using the find>replace tool to replace all instances of, say, <FAC0000 with <FACV110.
 
Mar 25, 2018 at 10:41 PM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
Location:
Posts: 2645
Age: 27
Two more weeks until the contest ends! Haven't built your level? You still have plenty of time to work on your entry if you still wish to join!

Submissions will be open starting next week, if you wish to turn them in early. You may send them through these methods:
  • This thread
  • The #submissions channel in the magcsl discord server
  • anonlevels@tlinkan.x10.mx (for those who wish to submit anonymously)
Don't push yourselves too hard and remember to test your levels to make sure they're in a playable condition!
 
Mar 26, 2018 at 7:52 AM
Professional Whatever
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Lasagna
Posts: 4485
As a followup to the previous announcement regarding variables for submission, keep in mind for the mychar variables that <MIM0000 counts as variable 0080. Because there will be an option to use a custom mychar from an unlocked pool, that custom mychar will be stored to V080. So if you want the player character to use that in your level, use <MIMV080. If you specifically want it to be the default Quote, keep using <MIM0000.

And of course, the next mychars, such as <MIM0001, follow along from V081 onward.

By the way, if you have no idea about this variable shit and just have no clue how to prep your level for submission, that's totally cool. If you wanna just note that you didn't do it in a memo when you submit, and are consequentially okay with me looking at your level, I'll fix it all up for you.
 
Mar 27, 2018 at 12:46 AM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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Age: 27
Correction on the post Slither made, because the engine used to hold the levels will be an updated version of the devkit, including a 16x17 Mychar sprite size instead of the usual 16x16 window. However, because <IMG is also used in the mod, there is a technical difficulty from it that prevents us from using <MIM0000, so it is advised to please use <MIM0001 for default Quote and <MIM0002 onwards for the next mychars. We apologize for this inconvenience, there were attempts on making it work through Enlight's method, but the title cursor kept sticking to MyChar.bmp rather than moving to PIXEL.bmp
 
Apr 1, 2018 at 9:13 PM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
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Posts: 2645
Age: 27
Happy Easter, everyone! Now, this is the part where I would say "One week remaining", but after some feedback by some of the participants, we now want to ask: Should there be a one week extension for the contest?

Vote in this poll and I'll be checking on the results tomorrow at 3:00pm MST! https://www.strawpoll.me/15412046
 
Apr 1, 2018 at 10:01 PM
Eevee Enthusiast
"Big Joe Tire and Battery Restaurant! Opening Soon! Eat at Big Joes!"
Join Date: Mar 26, 2014
Location: Somewhere with Wi-Fi
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Age: 24
Happy Easter, everyone! Now, this is the part where I would say "One week remaining", but after some feedback by some of the participants, we now want to ask: Should there be a one week extension for the contest?

Vote in this poll and I'll be checking on the results tomorrow at 3:00pm MST! https://www.strawpoll.me/15412046
I'm normally not one for extensions, but I honestly would appreciate a little bit more breathing room considering how hard my classes have been kicking my behind lately.
 
Apr 2, 2018 at 1:21 PM
lol
Modding Community Discord Moderator
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Location: Florida
Posts: 598
Happy Easter, everyone! Now, this is the part where I would say "One week remaining", but after some feedback by some of the participants, we now want to ask: Should there be a one week extension for the contest?

Vote in this poll and I'll be checking on the results tomorrow at 3:00pm MST! https://www.strawpoll.me/15412046
I'd have to agree, I didn't get as much time as I'd hoped during spring break; and school isn't helping much, so this extra week would be great.
 
Apr 2, 2018 at 11:08 PM
Best Cow
"Life begins and ends with Nu."
Join Date: Jun 27, 2013
Location:
Posts: 2645
Age: 27
Okay, let's check out the results of the poll and...
c43u0s.png


Damn, so it's settled, then. The new deadline is on April 15th, 11:59 pm MST (UTC-7)! So be sure to make the best use of your extra time that has been provided for you! For those of you who have already finished your levels and have them tested, debugged, and polished up, but don't wish to wait for another week, we will also be open for submissions starting on Thursday instead of next Sunday!
 
Apr 3, 2018 at 5:18 AM
Senior Member
"Fly, Fly, Fly!"
Join Date: Nov 3, 2015
Location: Westminster, Colorado, U.S.A
Posts: 128
Oh, joy. I finally have time to make my groundbreaking 1 block level!

What's that? You want context?
upload_2018-4-2_21-18-4.png
 
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