The Official CSTSF Discord Group and CS Modding Community Modding Competition! (MODCON '17)

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Sep 5, 2017 at 10:51 PM
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noxid when im horrible at the mod and die and then check my inventory im unable to attack unless i restart the whole mod
 
Sep 5, 2017 at 11:10 PM
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Started with Critter TD 2, and it's pretty fickle to get working.
Couldn't get it to start with Windows XP. Windows 8 worked. Windows 10 worked.
Cave Story exe edits love to trigger antivirus. Virus Total looks fine, so created an exception for Critter TD 2.

If it starts to lag too much, hold down escape until the menu appears, then hold down F3 until transparency cuts off.

-The game runs around 65 fps without DXGL installed and transparency disabled. If it starts to lag, turn off transparency. I am running a solid 65 fps at a scale of 400 (1280x720?). You can turn on transparency occasionally on stages without water and see some neat effects like rainbow critter's teleport.

-If you want to run the game with transparency effects... or if nothing else works for you: I recommend reducing the scale to 100. Then install DXGL (maybe avoid Dcom registration option during install), Configure DXGL -> add the game EXE. I got about 40 fps by doing this. It's still too slow, but it runs with transparency effects going. Though it might only last a level before effects might break, so you'll have to restart to get transparency back. (Or just turn transparency off and on, and it'll probably break and likely run fast.
You might use something like OBS to capture the monitor or game and use the preview window to act as a makeshift way to increase the size as desired.

Once the game is running fine, I am quite impressed with what I see so far! Will have to give it a full play later.
 
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Sep 6, 2017 at 12:20 AM
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noxid when im horrible at the mod and die and then check my inventory im unable to attack unless i restart the whole mod
this is a known issue but yeah esc-F2 is the workaround i believe
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 12:48 AM
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Sep 6, 2017 at 12:50 AM
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the deadline is over, though, so I dont think it can be considered for your submission
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 12:51 AM
Catz R cool
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the deadline is over, though, so I dont think it can be considered for your submission
Well I'm removing content, not adding content
Started with Critter TD 2, and it's pretty fickle to get working.
Couldn't get it to start with Windows XP. Windows 8 worked. Windows 10 worked.
Cave Story exe edits love to trigger antivirus. Virus Total looks fine, so created an exception for Critter TD 2.

If it starts to lag too much, hold down escape until the menu appears, then hold down F3 until transparency cuts off.

-The game runs around 65 fps without DXGL installed and transparency disabled. If it starts to lag, turn off transparency. I am running a solid 65 fps at a scale of 400 (1280x720?). You can turn on transparency occasionally on stages without water and see some neat effects like rainbow critter's teleport.

-If you want to run the game with transparency effects... or if nothing else works for you: I recommend reducing the scale to 100. Then install DXGL (maybe avoid Dcom registration option during install), Configure DXGL -> add the game EXE. I got about 40 fps by doing this. It's still too slow, but it runs with transparency effects going. Though it might only last a level before effects might break, so you'll have to restart to get transparency back. (Or just turn transparency off and on, and it'll probably break and likely run fast.
You might use something like OBS to capture the monitor or game and use the preview window to act as a makeshift way to increase the size as desired.

Once the game is running fine, I am quite impressed with what I see so far! Will have to give it a full play later.
Thanks for adding some help. The compatibility version has transparency off by default and the water transparency removed.
 
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Sep 6, 2017 at 1:03 AM
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sounds more like bugfixing to me
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 1:03 AM
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txin I really wanted this to work but my PC wouldn't even let me open up the zip folder containing the mod's files. I wish I was joking.
I had a similar issue until I opened it through 7zip and extracted that way, so I rezipped it myself for the [all] folder. That one should... at least unzip.
Well I'm removing content, not adding content
It's still up to decision on if this can be allowed. All of us have broken submissions and wish we had a few hours to fix it up, heck above all I wish I could remove a single TSC command, a single command in my head.tsc file that accidentally unequips the booster and invalidates entire sections of my mod. Posting updates even OUTSIDE the competition might affect the community vote and whatnot, and everything unfortunately becomes complicated with having exceptions to the stated rules.

I don't really have much to say except... I'm sorry. If the others agree to allow it then it will be replaced, but I can only express how I see it playing out.
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 1:08 AM
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I had a similar issue until I opened it through 7zip and extracted that way, so I rezipped it myself for the [all] folder. That one should... at least unzip.

It's still up to decision on if this can be allowed. All of us have broken submissions and wish we had a few hours to fix it up, heck above all I wish I could remove a single TSC command, a single command in my head.tsc file that accidentally unequips the booster and invalidates entire sections of my mod. Posting updates even OUTSIDE the competition might affect the community vote and whatnot, and everything unfortunately becomes complicated with having exceptions to the stated rules.

I don't really have much to say except... I'm sorry. If the others agree to allow it then it will be replaced, but I can only express how I see it playing out.
I actually don't want it to be replaced, but rather added, as the original version is still preferred. This whole thing was due to some weird bug in the Windows functions themselves, not involving my mod at all. In fact, I haven't fully fixed all the bugs yet. Again, I'm trying to remove content in my mod that doesn't work in some versions of the OS. It has nothing to do with the code being broken in itself.
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 1:15 AM
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imo if cave story works in windows, and your mod doesn't, then it's on you to have figured that out before the deadline. because it's what you've changed that has caused the issue, not ghosts in the machine
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 1:41 AM
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I had a similar issue until I opened it through 7zip and extracted that way, so I rezipped it myself for the [all] folder. That one should... at least unzip.

It's still up to decision on if this can be allowed. All of us have broken submissions and wish we had a few hours to fix it up, heck above all I wish I could remove a single TSC command, a single command in my head.tsc file that accidentally unequips the booster and invalidates entire sections of my mod. Posting updates even OUTSIDE the competition might affect the community vote and whatnot, and everything unfortunately becomes complicated with having exceptions to the stated rules.

I don't really have much to say except... I'm sorry. If the others agree to allow it then it will be replaced, but I can only express how I see it playing out.
All of us have broken submissions and wish we had a few hours to fix it up
Honestly, outside of wanting to mess with a few skipflags mine is relatively stable as far as I and the others know. Even if some people might want those couple hours to fix things, the deadline was already extended for that last bit of bugfixing and polishing; another extension or last chance is a little too generous.

Just giving my two cents on the matter.
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 2:00 AM
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The only reason someone should be allowed to update their entry (if even under this circumstance) is if a bug that makes it literally incompletable got through testing. (I think that was the policy last year)

Txin's issues are the result of using, abusing, and then nuking the CS engine, and he should have done more testing to make sure it actually worked on hardware other than his own. I don't even know how you managed to make it not work on OSes other than windows 10 and 8/8.1 unless you did it on purpose, and I have even less idea how or why you managed to make the transparency not work on Nvidia GPUs, which are by far the majority nowadays if I had to guess.
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 2:18 AM
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Looking forward to playing the others later, but I did make a video just to show Critter TD 2 original release in action, in case people aren't able to try it. (Transparency effects off, no DXGL). Still figuring it out, but it's fun. Some differences in this one: like improved aiming turrets or that you can launch as many waves at once as you want. Too bad there is no timer, it would be fun to compete for best times...
00:00 to 01:28 is information
01:29 to 02:15 is the intro
02:37 to 11:45 is tower defense lvl 1
the rest is playing as the critter
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 3:10 AM
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Looking forward to playing the others later, but I did make a video just to show Critter TD 2 original release in action, in case people aren't able to try it. (Transparency effects off, no DXGL). Still figuring it out, but it's fun. Some differences in this one: like improved aiming turrets or that you can launch as many waves at once as you want. Too bad there is no timer, it would be fun to compete for best times...
00:00 to 01:28 is information
01:29 to 02:15 is the intro
02:37 to 11:45 is tower defense lvl 1
the rest is playing as the critter
You should've showed the level 4 spur :)
 
Sep 6, 2017 at 3:25 AM
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Sep 6, 2017 at 4:00 AM
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Ah yes, the type of projectile that'd cause the game itself to explode.
I have since fixed the lag it causes lol
But anyway, I *think* I've fixed the issues in the compatibility version
 
Sep 7, 2017 at 1:39 AM
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Went into this without seeing the screenshots...  So hell yeah!  I was impressed when I booted it up.
In terms of presentation, BAM, this game mod is pure gold.  (Whoops slipped there...)
Sat on the title screen just admiring the scene presented while enjoying the pleasant music.  I was actually expecting something a little more outrageous.

The opening dialogue had me smiling.  I could almost hear the voice acting x)  Kind of a stereotypical anime character with great $_$ sense.  TREASURE.  It's great.  Inspires a sense of adventure.
And then you see the first screen...

Wow.  This reminds me of a classic arcade game...  It doesn't even resemble Cave Story!  And quite the interesting looking main character...  So yeah, first impression with this game is pretty darn impressive.

I think I should have done a let's play...  well anyway, let's cut to the bottom line.  Let's rate this treasure.
+Music is catchy and I want more of it
- There is not more of it... not many songs
+GFX is pretty darn professional.  Well done!
- Cave Story monsters actually don't fit as well here imo.
+Gameplay is pretty entertaining.  Best Cave Story melee yet??
- It's not mind blowing fun though...  You collect treasure, but it seems to have no real impact on the game.  No way to spend it, probably no change at the end?  I should replay with a minimal treasure run...  See if I can get a sad face...
+Hunting for treasure was a great concept...
- I suck at clues?  95% of the time I just went out exploring and decided to dig at conspicuous spots. And got something usually.  I solved clues before I got the clues!  I did try to follow the first clue, but ended up visiting all the other islands before going to the one that was intended...
+Most of the battles were fun.  And that final battle *should* have been fun too.  Except she dies in one hit.  Lol... Why???  Intentional?  One whack with the shovel and she's flat on her back...  Damn... SMACK
+++Final treasure get... It's raining gold... <3
- Ended too fast!  Was kinda hoping for some twist...  Also I returned with the jump power up, expecting to reach some new areas in the locked pirate cave, at least it looked like you could reach them...  Were there planned extra secrets?
+Main character's personality, the treasure memes nods... You did well. <3
- Replayability is lacking... unless there are other treasures to find!  I did find one secret treasure... not sure if there was a clue for that one.

Overall, this mod is really hard to beat.  Very professional work... It certainly might be the best...
My big issue is the sense of aimlessness I felt, and maybe a desire for a more overarching story.

@Shipwrecked - I already stated my opinion earlier.  Haven't replayed the new version, but really fantastic story.  Maybe I'll re-review it when I have time.

@Beach Cave - Off to a great start!  Ends quickly though...  The mood it set is kind of enchanting.  Puzzles are pretty straight-forward but that last jump I kept trying to water jump... *hits head*
I would be interested to hear what changes a longer/final product would have had?

@Sushi Strikes Back - This one is kicking my ass.  I forget to breathe sometimes.  That's an issue.  ;-;  A proper blurb will come soon.

@critter TD 2 - This seems to have the best replayability of them all.  Not surprising with this type of game.  I still need to play through everything before I comment further.
EDIT:
ctd2win.gif

I did it!  I'll comment on it tomorrow after some sleep...

But the critter levels ended up being far more challenging imo.  Tower defense is awesome, but far too easy with machinegun lvl 4, spur lvl 4.  That's basically all you need to win everything except the final mission.  Still was fun though ;)

@Polaris - That mod does sound like fun... I want to try swimming x)
 
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Sep 7, 2017 at 8:30 PM
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@Sushi Strikes Back - This one is kicking my ass. I forget to breathe sometimes. That's an issue. ;-; A proper blurb will come soon.

Yeah, there's no real indication for when your air is getting low other than to keep a constant check on it, but it does disrupt concentration and I could imagine it rewards those who take it very slowly whereas speeding through it just overwhelms the player more than it should.

I'll be fixing it after the voting period.
 
Sep 9, 2017 at 2:39 AM
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At last, I have finished playing the other entries. My mod notes and thoughts on each entry are in the spoilers below. Due to reviewing five mods at once, I'm going to have to split my feedback into two posts. Pesky image limit...
Alright, let's do this. Gonna do it in alphabetical order based on author names, so up first is Dunc's mod, Beach Cave.
Seems like you forgot to change the .exe name, though the file image itself looks different.

Just a tad bit weird how you can start moving before the initial <FAI finishes.

Pressing Escape brings you to a black screen, though inputs like Escape and F2 still do their respective functions of Quit and Reset.

This is just a little pet peeve of mine, but it'd be nice if you were <MYD'd to look left upon returning from the second room to the first room given how it feels like you've been progressing from left to right.

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:o

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I flipped the lever multiple times (it stayed in the off position, though) and the water got so irritated that it up and left off the bottom of the screen.
It would've been better if the lever made a sound or something to show that it couldn't be flipped again once in the down position...

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... especially since flipping it multiple times and then falling down results in a softlock.

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door machine broke :o

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Flipping the switches multiple times here has equal potential of breaking the puzzles.

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Tiling is a little flat here, to be honest.

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yyyyyup, there's the softlock
Didn't even mess with the levers down here, either; this was pretty much inevitable once I messed with the ones further up.

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Gotta love the underwater momentum-saving trick.

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I'm winner!
...and this is also not centered properly.
A short, charming mod with relaxing music, its puzzles with toggleable water heights were interesting; a fresh breath of air... or water, if you will. I also liked the general color scheme of the mod; the cyan and pink were very easy on the eyes and combined with the music to give the mod an almost dream-like feel. I wish there was more to the mod so we could see where it was going, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Sadly, the aforementioned water puzzles also played a part in the mod's downfall.
Due to some quirk with the water level changing, it was entirely possible to lock yourself out of progress by permanently lowering the water too far, and this then led to minor design hiccups becoming major ones. In particular, the pause screen didn't tell you which buttons let you quit or reset the game due to being blank. The bigger issue, though, was the lack of save points. If you were curious like I was and ended up ruining the water levels, you were forced to restart from the very beginning. Neither of these issues affected me too heavily, although the latter one was a bit annoying, but the same might not be said for someone else.

Up next is Enlightened's mod, Sushi Strikes Back.
The opposite of Dunc's mod: custom file name but the same file image.

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nah

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wow, you sure got me

>using the same Ocean Man ORG I did
excuse me what the heck

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*judges you silently*

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The HUD's status bars appeared for a split second before this. A hiccup in the TSC, methinks.

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There should be a space before "can"

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understandable, have a nice day

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Now that's what I call convenient!

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Wow, who needs sushi when you have a Duck/Harpoon/Torpedo Launcher?

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What a generous skeleton, though this brings to question: why is this kid so nonchalant about there being wrecked jetskis and SKELETONS not too far into the beach?

Wowie, the boulder crab sure is strong.

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what in tarnation
Also not sure how to feel about these being in the same message box.

Oh right, this is the thing that can't be equipped thanks to a TSC error...
rip

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uh
I was expecting a bullet similar to the level 1 taser, but I guess this works too.

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Ohh, so it WAS intentional...
In semi-related news, BOULDER CRAB DOWN!

>level 3 taser can propel you upwards
We /machinegun/ now.

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I'm sensing a conveniently reoccuring theme here...

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:eyes:

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Also just want to mention that not only can you level up the air tank, but doing so gives you more bubble time and more Whimsical Stars
which is RAD

i am super not a fan of these invisible enemies, especially the ones that go boom

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why is this place so dangerous???

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n-nani!?

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Aw c'mon Enlight, where's your witty writing spirit?

Who needs a =Water Jet= when you have a TASER?

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F

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Sound advice, to be honest.

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Enlightened goodbye.

Exploring a bit before I finally give in to the sweet embrace of death, and I noticed something:
If you fight a Boulder Crab while in an open space, its projectiles can go on for quite a while, and in the case of them going straight up off the screen probably forever. A bit irritating to hear the sound effect they make play for so long.

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I CAN BREATHE
TAKE THAT, OCEAN

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owo

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Sweet!
... though that's a little less cool now that I can just taser up to the surface of the ocean.

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uugghh fine JEEZ

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Just noticed a couple things:
1. These foreground blocks use the same tiles the background does. Kinda weird.
2. The rising and falling water stops appearing this far down.

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don't think i didn't see this tiling error

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Awkward placement of a <NOD here.
It's a shame that the water jets weren't usable; this sounds like a neat mechanic.

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time to pose as a fish on the internet

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This also works.
It's a shame that the map itself doesn't work, though.

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I dunno, but I agree in that it is VERY convenient.

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SCORE
wait

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phew
For a second, I thought it was going to set it back to level 1.

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I guess I'll end off somewhere up above your skeleton.
Finally, an all-water level I could actually enjoy! On top of the increased air timer, the airtank was a unique concept that worked really well in the mod. If anything, I think you gave the player too many tanks compared to how much space they have to explore. Said space was adequate, however; just when I thought I found all the conveniently placed items, I'd stumble upon yet another one. You don't see these kinds of open levels too often. I also want to mention how satisfying it was to fire off a MAX charged DHT Launcher shot directly into the face of any enemy weaker than a Boulder Crab.
Of course, the mod has more than its fair share of flaws, mostly due to how little time you had to work on it. Questionable tiling and tiling errors abound, TSC errors locking less resourceful players (read: not me) out of "winning", and a bunch of other small imperfections that could've been potentially ironed out if given time. Some health hidden throughout the level would have been nice, too, considering how strong some of the enemies were and how luck-based getting health drops is.

Been eager to play this one. The only other mod that was posted by its own creator, Noxid's Treasure Islands!
Default file name AND file image?
shaking my smh fampire

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me too thanks

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Very nice title screen, though I think the title's font could've used a little more spice.

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There should be a hyphen between "mid" and "Atlantic".

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it's like i'm actually playing shovel knight

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I know I already said this earlier in the thread, but like
wow

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Could've cut down on the word count a bit to fit everything into the message box.

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The inspection question mark appearing so low and stopping in front of her face looks pretty strange.

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thinking face emoji

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Yep, figured as much.

In between the "Do you want to retry?"'s <FAO and the following <FAI, there were some text sounds and the sound of me landing.
i smell some problematic tsc

Unceremoniously throwing myself onto the spikes also let me experience the no-shovel glitch people've been mentioning, and I can confirm that both my shovel arms are indeed broken.

At least you included skipflags so selecting Begin on the title screen for a second time completely skips the intro.

Not being able to swing the shovel in midair feels strange after all this time with Cave Story's combat system, but I can appreciate it for what it is. You can even cancel the swing animation by sliding off a block.

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Knife goblin status: OBLITERATED
It probably would've been better if it was <CNP'd into some smoke or something, though; it blinking out of existence was rough.

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"you" should be capitalized.

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Wow, I just got DESTROYED.

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Now might be a good time to mention that having default Cave Story enemies in something this visually and aesthetically different is very jarring. These robotic Presses in particular stand out like sore thumbs.

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You're a big guy.

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Not big enough, though.

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The Jellies kinda fit, but that's still pushing it a little.

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Ah yes, I remember you from Doors' stream.

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Didn't get rekt though :^)

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It may just be me, but these light purple, flashing projectiles blend into the background more than they should.

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moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney

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what in tarnation

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There should be a comma between "Oh" and "these".

I also appreciate the ambient wave sounds on this Abandoned Fort island. It really helps give it an empty feel, and it's also a nice contrast to the same song playing for most of the islands that I've visited so far.

I really hope inspecting the ship saves the game. I know it heals you, but it doesn't even vaguely hint towards it saving.

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There should be a space before "What". "this" should also be capitalized.

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bamboozled yet again
Also, there should be a space before "unstable" and "i'll" needs to be capitalized.

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lodsamone

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"GOLD!" should've been on the next line to avoid forcing the cursor onto the next line.

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Even if they're finnicky to time, I like these orb things.
Same problem as the Knife Goblin, though; it should've made at least a little smoke like normal enemies do.

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You better not have included any handholding here. This is a christian modding contest, after all.

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The Behemoths are another particularly noticable example of Cave Story enemies not fitting in here. I guess they look sorta like boars, but they're also almost entirely white.

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I like how the further up I go, the more wind and less actual music there is.

Time to immediately jump off!

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Score!
"here?" also should've been on the next line.

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You improperly joined the sentence ending in "chest" and the one beginning in "It's" with a comma.

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Good thing I'm a certified taxidermist!
Also, the cursor once again lacks sufficient space.

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curses, cucked yet again

TIL: Hitting a Behemoth in the face twice will result in an unavoidable 8 damage.
when my current max hp is 6
thanks

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Why do I have a feeling that this lone spike is here to body anyone who decides to blindly jump off to the left after getting the Mimic Corpse?

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Secret get!

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I wonder what it could be?

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I think there should be a comma after "Yes".

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Thank you for your wisdom, wise chest.

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PSYCH!

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and to think that i almost didn't get a single money out of this

Given that the Mimic Corpse lacked skipflags, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that all similar money acquisition events do, too. Forgive me if my assumption is wrong.

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First try, though I appreciate the lack of death spikes or a long trek back if you happen to fall.

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This clue is a little too cryptic, even for me.

>die trying to get to a possible secret
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>autosave
I very much like this, yes.

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oh
well, uh
that's not good

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I am now convinced that there is an invisible wall here, but the real question is: why?

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Secret get!

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Very nice, though not as nice as the philosophical chest.

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[drools in treasure hunterese]

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Slightly weird placement of a <NOD, but I can see why it's there.

Continued in the following post.
 
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Sep 9, 2017 at 2:43 AM
Eevee Enthusiast
"Big Joe Tire and Battery Restaurant! Opening Soon! Eat at Big Joes!"
Join Date: Mar 26, 2014
Location: Somewhere with Wi-Fi
Posts: 541
Age: 24
A continuation of my previous post...
The rest of my mod notes and my thoughts on Noxid's entry, Treasure Islands.
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Gotta say that these dig spots are a wee bit finnicky.

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Why was there a <NOD before the <YNJ?

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Lesser secret get!

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I appreciate you, HUD message box.

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I wonder how much its armor will net me?

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Strike the bug!

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FLAWLESS VICTORY

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:eyes:

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WHOA! A Chaos Emerald!
Where's a plane when you need one?

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fug
willing to bet that it doesn't take AA batteries, either

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"but..." should be on the next line.

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But what makes it a PIRATE key?
thinking face emoji

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whom

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Now that I look at this again, it kinda looks like a face.

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Ohhey, neato.
That leaves every clue I have so far except for the "Bigmoney clue" solved.

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Needs a comma after "Alright", the first "this" on the second line, and a question mark instead of a period in my opinion.

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do not question ancient pirate technology, m'kay?

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I...
I think I just clipped out of the world.
ok

Time to walk all the way back to Rock Tunnel because it didn't autosave at the beginning.

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Yeah, if you jump in this alcove you just zip through the wall and can't go back into the level.

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i thought stone was supposed to be solid

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It was more windy than anything, really.

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i don't get it

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roasted

A slight bug with the orb switches used in the fan puzzle:
If you go back into the cave to mess around with the switches some more, you need to hit them twice before they'll turn off again.

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Not pictured due to being a static image, but she tends to have a seizure if you walk into the backs of these fans.

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I can't believe I found that as quickly as I did.

Another <NOD before a <YNJ, too.

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what in tarnation
it even increased my life by 1

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It's probably still considered to be in mint condition by most slugs, though.

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Wew, finally.

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Oh boy, so THIS is where the rain gif came from.

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Not gonna lie, I'm really digging this music.

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Hey, at least it isn't as bad as purple Critters in enclosed spaces.

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LESS THAN FLAWLESS VICTORY
(some damage was already accrued by Beetles and purple Critters)

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you what

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oh baby

I pressed Z too fast to catch it, but in the text afterwards "Lets" should have been "Let's".

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Only the finest and most well-cared-for shovels are to be used on this quest.

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more oddly not-solid rock

Polish only gives +2 damage, but that makes a vast difference. This is what proper balancing feels like.

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There should be a comma after "Well".

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booty spotted

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oooOOO

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"it's" should be capitalized and there's not enough space at the end of either line.

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poor kid
Also, four lines of text were used here without a <NOD to break them up.

Time to backtrack!
... as soon as I open the game up again. (Crash count: 2)

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i am incredibly upset right now

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I can't believe it's (probably) almost over.

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Oh boy, family issues.
Also, not enough space at the end of the second line.

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How generous of her.
something something not enough space line 3

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i can't believe the glasses were a prank this entire time

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Time for an old-school sisterly throwdown.

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I almost wish that she had more than somewhere between 1 and 4 HP, but swatting her out of the air in one hit was pretty worth it, too.

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victory shovel

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nonoNO I DIDN'T GET TO SCREENSHOT HOW MUCH DOSH I HAD

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And thank you and the other members of the Hello Team for making this.

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sports
Holy heck, I don't know where to begin. The custom graphics were fantastic; if it weren't for the Cave Story enemies and what other few elements survived the transition from Cave Story to this, this would honestly look like its own game. The music was also pretty good, though it could've used a little more variety. I also forgot to mention it in my notes, but the overworld itself was very impressive; I have a feeling that you used that weird hack you made where Quote would freely float about, though I can't remember the name of the mod it was used in. Overall, this was a really wonderful entry and it honestly deserves first place for all the hard work that's been put into it.
Of course, it was far from a perfect submission. I ran into a myriad of text errors throughout my playthrough, most (if not all) of which being pointed out in my notes. The digging mechanic was a little touchy with how exact your positioning had to be, though it wasn't necessarily a big issue. That clipping issue I suffered in Rock Tunnel was rather irritating, especially because the game didn't autosave your progress upon entering the main portion of the level. I think the biggest letdown, though, was how the Turboots were utilized.
I immediately backtracked upon getting them to try to access any potential secrets that I couldn't reach before. All that I got for my troubles, though, were fake floors and invisible walls. The only purpose they served was giving you access to Final Approach. In the long run, it's not a TERRIBLE problem, but it did severely hamper my wonderment.

Shipwrecked by yours truly? I think I'll leave that one up to you guys, though I will say one thing:
Try looking up more often, especially around sand and splinters.

Last and theoretically not least, there's Critter Tower Defense 2 by Thomas Xin.
Since I'm one of the few people who can open this and is willing to do so, I guess I'm not free quite yet.

Given how I can't pause the game after clicking out of the window, this is going to be a bit of a chore to commentate on.

Before I start, though, a few things I've learned through a past playthrough and things others've said:
1. Transparency secretly saves if you swap it to OFF, but it will revert back to ON if you ever pause the game after closing it.
2. Placing towers in certain positions will still make it almost impossible to place a tower where you want; this is most noticable with tight groups of towers.

With that out of the way, onto the mod itself.

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Level 1 status: Barely Tropical

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it begins

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this just in:
level 4 towers are busted

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VERY ANGERY TOWER

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M Y
F R A M E S


Rainbow Critter status: PURGED

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FLAWLESS VICTORY

Well that was weird, I couldn't click on Start again until I paused and then unpaused.

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Level 2 status: Literally Not Tropical At All

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Level 4 Polar Star status: Surprisingly Useful

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this is critter abuse to be completely honest with you

wow, level 3 went by so fast that i literally forgot to take pictures
oops uhhh

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Level 3 status: Literally Not Tropical At All

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Level 4 status: Literally Not Tropical At All
the volcanos give this more of an underworld vibe than a tropical island volcano, to be honest

I can already tell that most of the difficulty in this level is going to come from not knowing which hole the Rainbow Critter is going to pop out of.

Couldn't screenshot it because can't pause by clicking out of the window haha but the Rainbow Critter popped out of one of the spawnpoints to the right instead of the huge one to the left.
I guessed wrong on where it'd spawn, and without my abundance of rainbow towers on both sides I would've eaten an instant kill for it.

And now for Level 5, the level you said was "Rise of Ballos" levels of hard.

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Level 5 status: Literally Not Tropical At All
also why did the critters spill so much strawberry jam all over their base

With everything the shade of blood red that it is, it all blends together.
With the framerate set to over 240, I cannot even begin to tell what's happening; it's actually impossible to look for holes in my defenses since by the time I get there the critters are either all the way through or dead.
This level is the exact opposite of game design fundementals.

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I have done the improbable.

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and now the title screen is having a victory seizure (check the framerate)
and so is any level i try to open
thanks

Might as well try at least one critter level so I can say that I did.

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At least it controls a little better than it did in CTD 1, but it's still not the best. For example:
- If you get caught in something that hits very quickly, it becomes almost impossible to see what you're doing through all the damage numbers.
- I swear that I've seen the critters jump almost vertically before, but it's extremely difficult to do while playing as one without curving forwards, which could potentially cause you to lose your footing and/or get shot by towers.

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>leaving the backsides of your slopes exposed
shiggy diggy

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screw these jumps in particular

okay i take it back
with some of these jumps you made, it's went from "not the best" to "anti-fun"
I tried to go into this with an optimistic attitude, but it just slipped away with each additional level. I think the only positive things I can point out are that it's ever so slightly satisfying to see increasingly large groups of critters evaporate under the fire of several rainbow towers, the Critter mode has some interesting concepts, and that I think this is the first mod ever to include achievements.
I think it will be easier to type out the mod's negatives in list format, beginning with the elephant in the room:
- IT'S NOT TROPICAL AT ALL. The only level that can be considered tropical is the first level, but as someone told me: "Water is not tropical on its own."
- The travesty that was the mod's release. It may run fine on my computer, but the version that was submitted to the contest did not run on a majority of the others' computers. I understand that you were busy around the end of the contest, but this could have been avoided by posting a demo or unfinished version literally anytime before the deadline.
- The ever-increasing game speed makes it harder and harder to plan out your actions and quickly plug up holes in your defenses. More on that below.
- The inability to tell where the Rainbow Critter will spawn. With only one spawn point, this is not noticable, but with the multiple spawn points in Levels 4 and 5 this becomes a big problem. Level 4 makes it look like it will spawn in the giant spawn point to the left, when in reality it spawned to the right. More on Level 5 below.
- Critter mode controls terribly in any environment where you need to do precision platforming (read: any level that isn't the first level). I took easily 100+ damage while trying to jump around an overhang and teleport onto solid ground. It'd help if you could tell where you were going to reappear before you become vulnerable again, but that isn't a feature.
- LEVEL 5. The quality of this level is so low that it brings down the entire mod as a whole in my eyes. Every single block in the level excluding the tower locations is a similar shade of blood red, and it all bleeds together into one mass of red unless you concentrate. The game speed goes out of its mind in this level, making it impossible to do anything other than place towers and pray that the next wave dies. The sheer amount of places where Critters can spawn throws all strategy out the window, and this also makes it impossible to plan for where the Rainbow Critter will appear; I frantically scrolled looking for it and couldn't find it before it died to my walls of Machine Gun towers.

I will wait until specific voting and related input guidelines are posted before giving any kind of rankings, though I do have a list of them in mind.
 
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