Kaizo Level Contest (THAT'S ALL FOLKS!)

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Kaizo Level Contest (THAT'S ALL FOLKS!)

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:10 am

Welcome to the Kaizo Level Contest!

With the Spring Vanilla Level Contest rounded up more or less, it's time to start something new--a Kaizo Level Contest. This contest will be a chance to submit a real tough level you've made to be judged by our team of judges listed below. We don't want people submitting bullet spam levels or levels that are just normal levels. However, World 8 type of stuff isn't the goal here either. Although gameplay will be focused on in the judges’ reviews, your level should still be visually appealing and not have poor design. LunaLua is allowed for this contest, but not SMBX 2.0 Beta nor the Chinese build of SMBX referred to as 1.4.1. Collabs will be allowed, so you can sign up with a partner to make a level too. Without further ado, let's a-go!

Judges:
Their names will be bolded after they have submitted their reviews.

PixelPest
glitch4
Mivixion
Backup: MECHDRAGON777

Contestants:
Their names will be bolded after they have submitted their level.

PixelPest
glitch4
Mivixion
MECHDRAGON777
RoundPiplup
Mario_and_Luigi_55
ParmaJon
diamantico21
MosaicMario
Camacho
Dominodalek
SnoruntPyro
Akyuu
RhysOwens
Nerx
Spider
(unlimited space)

The Process:
After the contest opens, you will have one month to sign up and later submit your level; make sure it abides to the rules presented below. After the submission period ends, the judges will have two weeks to submit their reviews. Reviews will include a score from zero to 10 out of 10 as well as a difficulty rating out of 20 that will not directly influence the level's score.

Rules and Guidelines:
Violation of a rule in red will have you diqualified.
Violation of a rule in orange will reduce your final score by one point per rule broken.
Not following a guideline in black will not directly affect your score, however the judges will likely mark you down for not following these.
  • Your level must fall within the Kaizo genre.
  • You may not share any information about your level: This includes posting screenshots, download links, videos, discussing gimmicks or features of your level, or any other means of giving out information that could give away which level is yours to the judges.
  • You may not use the Chinese build of SMBX referred to as 1.4.1 or features not included with the most recent LunaLua package, such as features from SMBX 2.0 Beta.
  • You may only submit one level: If you would like to send an updated version of your submission before the deadline, that is acceptable and you will not be marked down.
  • Your level must be completable and finished.
  • Your level may not force the player to exploit any of SMBX’s glitches other than the following: (1) Ducking into a space shorter than the player, resulting in the player moving through a wall (2) Spinjumping into a player block resulting in the player to continue to spinjump, even if the new character usually cannot (3) Spinjumping while falling and holding an object with playerblocktop = 1, resulting in the player being able to jump again.
  • You must provide player blocks to specify what characters the level is completable with: Unless the level is completable with Mario, please include character blocks.
  • The level must end in an SMB3 star: A custom graphic of the SMB3 star is allowed, but anything besides that, such as a roulette exit, is not allowed.
  • The level cannot end the game.
  • Don't put the level file in the graphics folder: If you use custom graphics, make sure they are in a seperate folder from the level file.
  • Don't use any music files that by themselves exceed six minutes in length.
  • Don't include more than one secret star.
  • Just because your level is hard, doesn't mean it shouldn't be visually appealing and be good from a design point-of-view as well.
  • Although your level doesn't need to be completely fair, your level will likely not score well if you use poor design elements such as enemy spam, random NPCs or lava spawning out of nowhere, etc.
  • It is highly not recommended that you submit a joke level.
  • By submitting your level, you agree to have your level included in a likely-to-happen contest episode containing all of the submitted levels: If you have any issues with this, please send a message to PixelPest via PM.
  • Don't forget to test your level!
Submitting Your Level:
  • Post in this topic that you want to participate.
  • Put your level, custom graphics folder if you included one, music, ReadMe if you made one, and Lua scripts (put them in your custom graphics folder) in a .zip or .rar folder as shown below. Do not submit a folder or use .7z or any other file types.
  • You may include one ReadMe with tips, but don't put credits in it.
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...and it turns into...
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  • After you have archived your submission as shown above, send a download link to PixelPest via PM.
  • Make sure your level and song(s) have a unique name that will not cause issues with duplicates. Instead of naming your level "Grassy Level", name it "Galoomba Hillway Adventure" for example.
  • Don't put your name in any of the files.
  • Name your .zip or .rar file the same as your level file.
  • When the submission period ends, all of the files will be sent to the judges.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post them here or PM one of the judges. Good luck and may the best designer win.

Results:
Disqualified Levels + Places 8-4:

DQ. diamantico21 - A level that doesn’t look like a kaizo, hard or simple level
  • Disqualified for reason: Not completable; exit is not reachable.


DQ. RoundPiplup - Colorless Forest with Boiling Oil
  • Disqualified for reason: Not a Kaizo level.


8. Spider - Friends ‘til a Certain Part
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 4/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 4/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 2/10
Difficulty Score: 1/20

Well then. Although this level had some okay ideas, it was just a mess and too short. It pulled some stupid tricks on the player such as what appears to be a secret way that kills you when you enter through the door. It wasn’t very challenging and didn’t look very appealing nor was it overly fun to play.
Mivixion wrote:Score: 5/10
Difficulty Score: 9/20

This level had some really fun parts and some really awkward parts. The bullet bill and flying part seemed really weird but I figured out a way to complete it. The rest of the level was pretty fun. There were some random sections that weren't part of the level but for what it was I liked it. My favorite part was the very end. Atmosphere wasn't the best, and some parts of it were really random, but overall I liked it.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 5/10
Difficulty Score: 2/20

A casual kaizo level, which isn't that hard. Not really a fan of floating munchers, the design is sort of meh, and the trap where you enter by destroying the blocks was pointless.
7. Mivixion - Sky Switches FINAL
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 4.53/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 4.33/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 5.6/10
Difficulty Score: 4/20

Although well made and almost completely lacking errors, there really wasn’t much to this level. It was pretty well designed and interesting, but just too short. The SMW elements didn’t really fit which wasn’t a big issue in this case though. It had some tough features, such as spitting a springboard out of Yoshi’s mouth and jumping off of Yoshi’s back and onto the springboard, but all of these features were abandoned after they were used once. The level did have pretty good variety for its short length though and wasn’t bad overall.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 4/10
Difficulty Score: 8/20

A simple short P-Switch run level in one linear section, nothing special.
MECHDRAGON777 wrote:Score: 4/10
Difficulty Score: 1/20

This easy level has not much going for it besides a P-Switch run, and a Lava Spring jump. You do not need to know much to be able to beat this level as well. It looks like a generic grassy plateau that has metal spikes set on top of it (which causes cutoff with the ground) and a lava fountain randomly just being held up by what? There is a lack of coins, where the only NPCs are the enemies and items needed to progress through the level. (Except for a random unneeded Springboard. On the bright side, it is fun and the "SMW Yoshi Athletic" theme is quite good, too bad this is an SMB3 style level.
6. RhysOwens - Spiky Rinka World
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 5.33/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 5.67/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 3/10
Difficulty Score: 2/20

This was not a great Kaizo level. Although it had some interesting ideas there was very little challenge, most of which came from enemy spam, often in the form of Rinkas. This level wasn’t aesthetically pleasing either, with cutoff, blandness, and unfitting block choices (such as wood pillars in the castle). There was also music missing from the boss battle. I did however enjoy playing this level to an extent which is why I gave it such a generous score.
Mivixion wrote:Score: 6/10
Difficulty Score: 10/20

It had its moments. Boss fight was a little sketchy in terms of enemy spam with fireballs and such, and there were definitely some areas with potential Rinka overload. There was also a part you could skip by going over the top. Overall it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 7/10
Difficulty Score: 5/20

Easy level if you know what you're doing. There's lots of gimminicks, which most of them are creative here. There's a boss battle with spikes coming out from the ceiling, which is not bad.
5. Akyuu - Pink Castle of Despair
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 5.37/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 9/20
  • Lost one (1) point for reason: Didn’t end in SMB3 star.
PixelPest wrote:Score: 7.1/10
Difficulty Score: 6/20

This was quite a good level. It had some very clever ideas and challenges and was really enjoyable to play. There were some spots, such has with the Koopa spam, that really took away from my enjoyment of the level. Some areas were also a bit bland, but overall this level was quite well designed.
Mivixion wrote:Score: 8/10
Difficulty Score: 5/20

I loved the gameplay here. Lots of traditional platforming with fun twists. A few parts were frustrating. Sadly it didn't end in an SMB3 star. Challenges were fun, especially the autoscroll room.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 4/10
Difficulty Score: 16/20

Meh level. Jumping over everything method in most parts, especally over the munchers isn't the best idea to do, since it can be annoying. The only thing I liked here is jumping on the platform then on npc pipe to move the progress.
4. MECHDRAGON777 - 破壊と混沌の放射線虐殺 (Radiation Massacre of Destruction and Chaos)
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 7.57/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 17.67/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 7.2/10
Difficulty Score: 17/20

This was a good level. Although it seemed a little bit too busy and cluttered at times, it had a good atmosphere and used some neat concepts. A bunch of glitches were used in this level and other things as well made it intriguing and fun. The boss battle at the end was very innovative, but overall the level was pretty short and a bit disappointing because a lot more could have been done with each of the gimmicks and characters explored throughout the level
Mivixion wrote:Score: 7.5/10
Difficulty Score: 18/20 (20/20 would have been requiring the spingrab chain during the boss fight)

Oh boy, where do I start? This level was fun for what I actually got to play of it. I had to mess around with my settings and stuff (since I played it on my laptop on a day trip) and it lagged out my computer multiple times. I played it with frameskip disabled so it was in super slow motion. With that in mind, this was probably (even without the lag) the hardest level. I wasn't the biggest fan of the execution for some of the tricks. What I really liked (and this is the only part of the level that ran at a somewhat normal speed) was the boss. Very fun concept and it worked well too. I actually tested it out and you can do a really funky spin-grab chain and avoid using the clock for a decent period of time but that's pointless and just me being a kaizo nerd.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 8/10
Difficulty Score: 18/20

A pretty good level. The radiation api isn't necessary, since you have to drain your time until it's empty again. The stopwatch gimmick and boss battle was pretty neat tho.
Top 3:

3. PixelPest - Yoshi's Spiky Citadel
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 7.97/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 9.63/20
Mivixion wrote:Score: 10/10
Difficulty Score: 13/20

This was my favorite level. Intuitive, interesting challenges and definitely not too easy or too hard. You had to think fast and come up with plans for many of the challenges and it was super fun. I loved this level. Very modern-styled kaizo (more on the SMM side of the spectrum than the SMW hacking side).
glitch4 wrote:Score: 6/10
Difficulty Score: 9/20

A casual kaizo-type level. It's really short, idk why don't you extend it more, the boss battle, hovewer, was p. neat.
MECHDRAGON777 wrote:Score: 7.1/10
Difficulty Score: 6.9/20

Okay, this SMW castle is quite fun, and the entrance with the Rainbow Shell where you have to hold "Run" until you bounce, then half hold Jump and right to land on Yoshi, turn to the left 1 frame later, and hit "Run" again to eat the shell before you and Yoshi get smacked in the head with a Kamikaze Shell or fall in the lava (on or off Yoshi) was quite exhilarating and this is the are (Sektor 1) that used the red spikes (which I can not tell is lua or not) quite nicely. I also question why you did not do this throughout the entire thing? The music is Vanilla and the tileset is a darker variant of the vanilla tileset, but I will say the boss is quite nice—although the cheep kill when you enter the room is not a good way to start a boss, even in Kaizo levels. This level is truly exhilarating and I can say that this is the best level I played in the contest; however, the secret star seems out of place with the level. What is the point of putting it there (since it does not offer that much more of a challenge than the actual level, it is easier than the rest of the level actually).
2. SnoruntPyro - SPINJUMP ON EVERYTHING
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 8.33/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 14/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 7.5/10
Difficulty Score: 15/20

Although not overly visually appealing, this level had a really unique gimmick that was twisted and pulled in a variety of ways to make the level intriguing and fun. The last part of the level seemed a little bit rushed though. It was very enjoyable and clever.
Mivixion wrote:Score: 8.5/10
Difficulty Score: 11/20

This level had some cool funky Lua stuff going on, which made it more interesting. It felt really long and took quite a while to beat. It was definitely one of the more fun levels but it went on maybe just a little too long. The atmosphere was decent and the challenge was definitely there. I also tested it in a non-lua environment and that really shed light on exactly how much Lua this level relies on. Super fun.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 9/10
Difficulty Score: 16/20

Really tricky level, but at least it's fair. The length is short and there's lots of good gimmicks with spinjumping.
1. Nerx - Violent Grotto
Spoiler: show
  • Overall Score: 8.47/10
  • Overall Difficulty Score: 15/20
PixelPest wrote:Score: 8.9/10
Difficulty Score: 11/20

This was a great level even though it was relatively short; definitely my favourite. It played like a classic SMW Kaizo level and had a really nice atmosphere even though the music file was missing. It was nice that the concept and graphics were rather simple compared to other levels, so it seemed very enjoyable and not as much of a task as other Kaizo levels were.
Mivixion wrote:Score: 9/10
Difficulty Score: 16/20

Oh man this one was tough. Lots of crazy platform action that reminds me of the original Kaizo Mario World. Atmosphere was good, challenges were fun and insane (I'd put the checkpoint a little later personally), and overall the level was a blast. I will say it was a little repetitive but considering you managed to stick to the theme throughout that's fine by me.
glitch4 wrote:Score: 7.5/10
Difficulty Score: 18/20

The level looks inspired by smw kaizo hacks, which is not bad. The kaizo methods are neat tho.
Deadline: May 18, 2016 7:00 pm EST
Last edited by PixelPest on Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:26 pm, edited 48 times in total.

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Enjl » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:21 am

How do you define that a level is difficult? Some judges might have a lot of trouble with a level while others don't. Where are you drawing the line for that first red rule, because from what I can tell I could submit a standard 1-1, because that still provides a bit of a challenge to some players.
PixelPest wrote:You should sumbit a level with more traditional Kaizo and/or hard platforming elements, however World 8 type of stuff isn't the goal here.
PixelPest wrote:Your level should not be unfair: There is a big difference between difficulty and fairness. Your level will likely not score well if you use poor design elements such as cheap deaths and enemy spam. Judges are by no means required to beat these kinds of levels.
Can you give an example of a kaizo level which is not unfair and actively trying to kill the player?

Also no collabs? I lost interest already.
Last edited by Enjl on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby RoundPiplup » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:22 am

Is this suppose to be something like for your project? Uh, I don't know if I can make some super tough level though.

I'll probably make a level anyways, though I cant tell if it will be hard at all(when compared to kaizo).
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:28 am

Enjl wrote:How do you define that a level is difficult? Some judges might have a lot of trouble with a level while others don't. Where are you drawing the line for that first red rule, because from what I can tell I could submit a standard 1-1, because that still provides a bit of a challenge to some players.
I've had an extensive conversation with the judges since January, so it should be fine. I've also specific "greater than W8 difficulty" and that was agreed upon as well as a valid determination of a difficult level
Enjl wrote:
PixelPest wrote:You should sumbit a level with more traditional Kaizo and/or hard platforming elements, however World 8 type of stuff isn't the goal here.
PixelPest wrote:Your level should not be unfair: There is a big difference between difficulty and fairness. Your level will likely not score well if you use poor design elements such as cheap deaths and enemy spam. Judges are by no means required to beat these kinds of levels.
Can you give an example of a kaizo level which is not unfair and actively trying to kill the player?
Mivixion's SuperpoweredX
Enjl wrote:Also no collabs? I lost interest already.
I was going to add collabs. Rules will be modified momentarily. Sorry I forgot to change that
RoundPiplup wrote:Is this suppose to be something like for your project? Uh, I don't know if I can make some super tough level though.

I'll probably make a level anyways, though I cant tell if it will be hard at all(when compared to kaizo).
As I said it doesn't need to be Kaizo, it just needs to have some kind of difficult element to it. That's why I called it a Challenge Level Contest instead of a Kaizo Level Contest
Last edited by PixelPest on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Mario_and_Luigi_55 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:30 am

I'll try. I'm in.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Enjl » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:31 am

PixelPest wrote:
Enjl wrote:How do you define that a level is difficult? Some judges might have a lot of trouble with a level while others don't. Where are you drawing the line for that first red rule, because from what I can tell I could submit a standard 1-1, because that still provides a bit of a challenge to some players.
I've had an extensive conversation with the judges since January, so it should be fine. I've also specific "greater than W8 difficulty" and that was agreed upon as well as a valid determination of a difficult level
That is still a very vague definition, since no two world 8's have the same level of difficulty. Are you going off SMB1, SMB1LL, SMB3 or SMW? Maybe World 7 from the SMW romhack JUMP? NSMBU World 8? Even when only looking at SMBX episodes, difficulty in World 8 is often different. Some episodes don't scale at all in difficulty while others just decide to start throwing random crap at you.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:34 am

Enjl wrote:
PixelPest wrote:
Enjl wrote:How do you define that a level is difficult? Some judges might have a lot of trouble with a level while others don't. Where are you drawing the line for that first red rule, because from what I can tell I could submit a standard 1-1, because that still provides a bit of a challenge to some players.
I've had an extensive conversation with the judges since January, so it should be fine. I've also specific "greater than W8 difficulty" and that was agreed upon as well as a valid determination of a difficult level
That is still a very vague definition, since no two world 8's have the same level of difficulty. Are you going off SMB1, SMB1LL, SMB3 or SMW? Maybe World 7 from the SMW romhack JUMP? NSMBU World 8? Even when only looking at SMBX episodes, difficulty in World 8 is often different. Some episodes don't scale at all in difficulty while others just decide to start throwing random crap at you.
W8 from anything SMW + by Nintendo (I was kind of thinking NSMBDS, NSMB2, NSMBWii, and NSMBU when I wrote that) and it is just a guideline, it's by no means set in stone

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Enjl » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:37 am

Again, DS is 5x harder than 2 and U. But I guess that means SMB3 World 4 overall. Aight.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:41 am

Enjl wrote:Again, DS is 5x harder than 2 and U. But I guess that means SMB3 World 4 overall. Aight.
Sure. That sounds right. I actually didn't find W8 of NSMBDS very difficult, even though I played it before NSMBWii. Anyway, would you like to join or should I just leave you a bit of time to make a decision?

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby ParmaJon » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:38 am

Ehh, I'll try but I dont know what'll happen. Most of these references to what difficulty is acceptable are just blanks in my mind so I'll just go with my usual "hard but fun" strategy.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:43 am

ParmaJon wrote:Ehh, I'll try but I dont know what'll happen. Most of these references to what difficulty is acceptable are just blanks in my mind so I'll just go with my usual "hard but fun" strategy.
That's exactly what we're looking for. Added you to the list

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby ParmaJon » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:48 am

PixelPest wrote:
ParmaJon wrote:Ehh, I'll try but I dont know what'll happen. Most of these references to what difficulty is acceptable are just blanks in my mind so I'll just go with my usual "hard but fun" strategy.
That's exactly what we're looking for. Added you to the list
Aight, I apologize if I go overboard in difficulty but I say that for every contest.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby diamantico21 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:01 pm

I'm in, just because I have nothing to do :P
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Mosaic » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:10 pm

I'll join, who knows what'll happen?

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:47 pm

PixelPest wrote:
Enjl wrote: Can you give an example of a kaizo level which is not unfair and actively trying to kill the player?
Mivixion's SuperpoweredX
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What was that? I couldn't hear you over all of the unfair traps that are actively trying to kill the player in that level.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:50 pm

Imaynotbehere4long wrote:
PixelPest wrote:
Enjl wrote: Can you give an example of a kaizo level which is not unfair and actively trying to kill the player?
Mivixion's SuperpoweredX
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What was that? I couldn't hear you over all of the unfair traps that are actively trying to kill the player in that level.
You should have grabbed the shell. Then that block doesn't matter

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby as303298 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:52 pm

Will all of these levels be put into an episode?
I hope it'll be called Challenge Castle 2
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby PixelPest » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:54 pm

as303298 wrote:Will all of these levels be put into an episode?
I hope it'll be called Challenge Castle 2
Yes they will be. Why 2?

EDIT: Also, the episode will have nothing to do with my SMBX 50 Mario Challenge project

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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby Imaynotbehere4long » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:56 pm

PixelPest wrote:You should have grabbed the shell. Then that block doesn't matter
You mean the Kamikaze Koopa that is out of reach most of the time and the player only has a spit second to grab, assuming the player thinks to grab it in the first place, which may not happen since the level gives the illusion that it's possible without the shell? Yeah, that's fair.
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Re: Challenge Level Contest

Postby as303298 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:20 pm

PixelPest wrote:
as303298 wrote:Will all of these levels be put into an episode?
I hope it'll be called Challenge Castle 2
Yes they will be. Why 2?

EDIT: Also, the episode will have nothing to do with my SMBX 50 Mario Challenge project
Challenge Castle was an infamously bad episode from the olden days. People constantly thought I made it for like three years, but whatever.

I was just poking fun at your setup...but nvm.
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