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M11k4

April 2017 Create Competition - The Five Rooms

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Get out your map editors and turn on your design instincts! This time we are making a collaboration task like none other!

 

Your job, should you accept it, is to outfit five rooms with something interesting for Chip to adventure through. The rooms are given in a template form in the file below (levels #7-11). Each one has it's own shape and item restrictions. Once I have rooms from all several designers, the idea is that we can combine any of the rooms with each other to make a larger level. In essence you are designing several pieces of a jig-saw puzzle that can be combined with the designs of others! You may enter with just filling in one of the rooms, but of course I would love to see what you do with each room, and how these all combine to make the level with all five rooms.

 

Here are some guidelines of what you can do with each room:

 

Room 1. This is the starting room. Use four chips and a blue key. The time allotted for this room is up to 30 seconds.

 

Room 2. This is the next room and it is visited twice on our journey. Include five chips, a red key, a yellow key and a yellow lock (which is opened after losing the red key). If possible, make it so that Chip leaves the room on the first visit with a yellow key and that this is obvious to the player. You may include toggle doors in this room, but note that their state will be swapped once Chip returns here. The time limit for this room is about 70 seconds, but as this is the most complex room more might be needed.

 

Room 3. Include five chips and a red key. You may use tanks and a tank button here. The time estimate for this room is 50 seconds.

 

Room 4. Include six chips and a blue key. Please include a toggle button that may or must be pressed an odd number of times. You may include toggle walls and teleports. Forty seconds might be enough in here.

 

Room 5. This is the ending room and it's shape is the simplest. Is it the simplest otherwise? At least it does not require any chips, but the rest is up to you. You may move the exit. Be careful in including items that are parts of mechanisms elsewhere. Is thirty seconds enough to reach the exit?

 

For each room, be mindful that you include the correct amount of chips. Keep the time limits the same as they are unless you really need to adjust them. You may edit the name and passwords if you like. Only edit the contents of one room at a time, meaning you may move the items in the room, but the mechanisms leading to the exit should still work. You may move the locks that lead to the next room, but be careful not to allow the wrong keys to be taken out. (It's safest not to move these doors.) Don't use some items in other rooms that are reserved for specific rooms, like the teleports, tanks and even toggles. Please don't allow any boots to be taken from one room to the next and be careful with other items as well. Basically, keep in mind that your rooms are supposed to work in conjunction with the rooms from other designers too, so making mechanisms that hinder this is permitted but might not work well in the bigger picture. Comment below on any unclear situations or for any cool ideas you may have that we should all do!

The file you submit to me (by sending it to my email valeosote at hotmail dot com) would ideally have six levels, one for each room and possibly one where they are all combined. I would like it if all these levels were solvable. I will accept up to two versions of each room from a participant, but please take into account that this will increase my workload as well, so have some restraint on which ideas are your best. I think I will accept levels that work in just one of the rule sets, but would prefer that they work in both MS and Lynx. You may send in name suggestions for the combination levels that result once I combine rooms from several sources.

 

I fear this one will be a hard competition to judge, but I'll figure out some way to evaluate each participants efforts. I hope to combine my favorite versions of each room into a level I like a lot, but it will also be interesting to see how each designer's rooms all join together by themselves. In any case I am sure we will see some cool creations! I hope you aren't scared away by this high concept but rather take it on as a challenge.

 

Let your creative juices flow! Enjoy!

 

-Miika

 

Notes:

-Submissions are open through May 7th where you live!

-I like it when you keep things simple but not simplistic. It's a tightrope act, I know.

-The level(s) must be solvable, but do(es) not need to work in both MS and Lynx.
-The level should preferably be new, and I'd be amazed if it had been released before.

-Please only submit your best ideas. If this is hard for you to judge, then I'll accept at most two versions of each room.
-Points may be deducted for late entries, but will be accepted until I judge the levels.

-Entrants receive the normal prizes: the "You're Winner!"-award, Chip Cup points, and "Tool Box"-award for first time entrants.
-Please ask about other unclear situations.

-Some more clarifications in posts below!

Edited by M11k4
some clarifications

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Alright, questions!

 

Can we include more chips than allotted to a given room if some can never be obtained? What about if certain chips are mutually exclusive?

How strict are the time limits for each room- does a casual solve have to be within the time limit? Is the passage between rooms counted too? Is a 1 (-.9) bold time acceptable?

Can we use a tank clone machine in the first room or fourth room, either as part of a puzzle or a limited cloning setup, as even though tanks are "called" this method of using them is independent of tank button presses, unless a monster is hitting them elsewhere.

Can we add more keys than the given keys?

Is there a limit to the number of trap or clone connections allowed in a given room, to avoid issues with hitting that limit in a combined level?

In the same vein, how should paramecia/bug/teeth cloners be handled? Trap releases? Are we allowed to build these mechanisms in the walls outside of the rooms?

Are we allowed to add additional walls to the rooms?

Can we include additional sockets to divide up the second room further between visits?

 

There are a lot of restrictions here, and though they usually breed creativity, I think this one might lean too far on the restricted side. Still a worthy experiment, though... and I do have a create in mind for next month that's much simpler than this ;)

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All the questions I had, were asked above :)

 

I agree this create competition has a bit too many restrictions, which may or may not make this a fun one to enter, compared to previous ones.

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Alright, answers! I'll try to highlight the important parts so you aren't forced to read everything.

 

Yes to pretty much everything above.

 

You can use extra chips, if only the allotted amount is collectible. The point with the chips is to make the rooms feel connected and not completely isolated from each other. In the same way, you may include more keys as long as you get rid of them within that room. Also, I guess you may also not use a key needed in that room to get out of it if you feel that is too restrictive and the recessed wall between rooms is enough to keep the structure of the level intact.
 

The time limit is more of a guideline than a strict rule. I would like the whole level to be casually solvable. The idea behind pretty short time limits was to discourage very long puzzles like block pushing for three minutes before getting out of the first room.

 

Using Tanks like asked is fine. However, it is possible that messing around in this area will create mechanisms that break, so it is safer not to do so. What if some other designer's room with the Tanks starts them off as moving back and forth? You can also use the space available outside the rooms themselves for mechanisms, but what happens when several rooms happen to utilize the same space? Break any and all rules at your own risk. :)

I don't think we need a limit on number of connections. If several designs use too many, I just won't be able to combine them into one level. Adding a rule for this would seem reasonable, but I don't feel it's worth the trouble for everyone to keep track of exactly how many there are. Sometimes it's simpler to go with the simpler rule and deal with the consequences later.

Yes, you may add additional walls and sockets and even exits in your rooms. I didn't say anything about restricting them, but it's good that this is clarified. I also didn't say anything about using twenty blobs, but hopefully you won't.  :blob: 

If you feel that there are too many restrictions on your creation, you can adjust stuff to fit your needs. I'm not sure how this will affect the judging, but for me the main goal is to make fun levels! The basic concept is to have several small rooms that can be fitted together with rooms from other designers. It doesn't matter if you don't follow the specifics as long as your rooms work in this regard. Don't use the keys or chips if that feels bad. Adjust the room shape if necessary. Have a time limit of 500 seconds! What do I care? Ok, just kidding :P The point is, I if I added too many logical hoops to jump through with the keys and toggles and everything, which I thought would serve to tie the level together nicely in the end as well as provide variety between the rooms, then consider those things secondary to the main objective. Am I making any sense?

Keep the questions coming! And if you ask about something questionable ahead of time, I am more lenient when judging it. (Y)

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I was asked if you're supposed to leave room 2 carrying a yellow key. Yes, this was the intent but I did not remember to mention it clearly at first. So please include this in your level if possible, but if you do not, it's ok too. :)

 

 

 

Original quotes from Skype:

"Finished room 2, although I'm a little confused.  Are you supposed to leave room 2 carrying a yellow key?"

-geodave

 

"Good question. Looking at the small rooms I made, this seems to be required but in the combined room and in the thread I made no mention of it. So it would be good to include, but if someone omits it, I'll try to not punish people for it. In hindsight, this is perhaps one of the extra complexities in the requirements that could have been cut, but now it's hard to change it without a trace."

-Miika

 

 

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Results... are postponed! Because the deadline is extended! Let's make it May 28th where you live, which will still be before the deadline on the new (and awesome, or am I obligated to say a-maze-ing!) May create competition. I always intended to extend this deadline because I feared people would have been working on their votes for CCLP4 and I want to have a bunch of different takes on what to do with these rooms :)

 

I do have an update on the already submitted stuff. I think I'll award an Early Bird Bonus of one Chip Cup point for all the people who got their levels in before now. They are, in no particular order, except that in which I saw them:

  • M11k4
  • Ihavenoname248
  • geodave
  • RB3ProKeys
  • rubenspaans
As everyone submitted five rooms, we currently can connect them to make 3,125 different levels :) But let's not stop here and aim for 100,000+ :) So to help in this, for the rest of this competition any participant can also score an extra Chip Cup point by referring a new participant. For this to count, the new participant must name the person who referred them in their submission email. Let's try this out and not make it too complicated.
 
Meanwhile, I have played all the submitted rooms and I wonder if the four of you who already made yours would like to see the others as well? There's also the option of updating your submission after hearing some feedback, you know, just to smooth out some rough patches and iron out some corners. :) We also should come up with more names for the levels that will be created by combining rooms from several designers.
 
So that's it for now, but there is clearly more to come in just a couple weeks!
 
-Miika
 
P.S. one more guide line that I hadn't touched upon... it's hard to use hint tiles in several rooms, so don't overdo them. They aren't strictly off limits but just be aware that they will complicate combining rooms so don't use them too wildly. Also, I do now see that some of the inter-room instructions with the keys and toggles was not as clear or simple as it could have been, so I'll try not to judge too harshly on those aspects when the time comes.

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Results and levels released! ;)

 

It took me a bit to release these, but I think it was worth the wait. From the first few levels in the set you'll get a good feel for what types of rooms everyone made. After that, you can even peek in an editor if you want to avoid playing the same rooms in different context. Or you can try the first few levels and then come back to read my comments, and then go back and examine the rest of the set yourself. Though this competition is over, if you feel inspired to make your own new challenges in these rooms, you can still send them to me and some day I may update this set.

 

This turned out to be a more difficult competition to judge than I had planned. I wanted it to be more of a 'let's create something together feel' than something overly competitive, but of course I had to end up with some sort of ranking of the creations too. Everyone submitted something for every room. Should I rank the resulting level from each participant, or just their best rooms? There was no absolutely even way to do this. I noticed myself that it was easier to come up with maybe one or two decent ideas and ended up filling the rest of the rooms with something a little more mundane. I chose to pick my two favorite rooms from each designer and rank those up against each other.

 

You can deduce the ranking of the participants in the download or the summary at the end of this post, but if you'd like some reasoning behind the ranking, clicky click below.

Last place goes to myself. Since I made some levels I think I can rank myself here but didn't feel comfortable claiming my levels were any better than someone else's. In all honesty my rooms fell victim to being too complicated. The concepts I had just didn't turn into fun levels. My own two favorites were the second and third rooms, with a Teeth trapping puzzle and some Tank manipulation, but neither of these worked well together with other rooms in the mix.

I did have fun with combining the rooms by everyone else though! There was just one case where the logic between rooms from different designers prohibited them from being included in the same level. I picked which versions of each room I liked the most and managed to combine them into two levels in a way that nobody got two of their rooms in the same level. I then mapped out the rest of the submitted rooms and similarly combined them to make more levels with some sort of theme. This isn't the best way to end up with awesome levels, but it was a fun exercise and every room got its fair attention. Tell me what you think of the results and if even the first ones are worth playing!

 

Fifth place goes to Ruben, congrats! You had the clearest theme throughout your rooms, dodging. However, none of your rooms jumped out as being gems in their own right and due to the way I compiled this ranking, this hurt you more than the others. My favorite room from you was the fourth one, a standard monster dodging area with a hint of a puzzle. Your third room squeaks into second favorite, even though it is a bit monotonous and there is room for innovation with this concept. Your second room was relatively easy but the idea is sound and there is a reason for why visit here twice which I like. You last room is a concept that could work nicely in a bit larger space, if one just had any tolerance for blue walls :)

 

Dave, you are in fourth, well done! It was hard to pick between you and the third place finisher, but some small details helped me make the call. I loved your second room. It's just a thin wall maze, but the combination of clone buttons and collecting chips gives it two reasons to travel to the same places. (I'm going to steal this idea and use it somewhere myself some day.) Your third room is my second favorite and it has the most going on from what you made. The dodging there is a pleasant but not too difficult a challenge while the real objective is reaching the chips. This long shape for the room was hard for most people to find something interesting to do with, but I think you succeeded. Your fourth room is a bit difficult, but in turn I enjoyed the simplicity in the final room.

 

That means bronze goes to RB3ProKeys! I enjoyed what you did with the third room. It played a bit differently between MS and Lynx, but for me that was just interesting and not a minus.I listed your first room as second best, but I think the concept you have in the fourth room was more interesting. Having monsters move through teleports like that is confusing but the pattern is clear enough that you can dodge it without too much headache. Your second room had me worried I'd cook the level, but it turned out fine; it would have been better if more of the path in there overlapped, but then again I personally will never fall in love with an area with so much boosting required for best performance. I think overall your rooms played nicely in the space and time limits given, and none of them spoiled the whole level when combined with other rooms.

 

So now we are left with two participants. This was another pair I had trouble ranking separately and not just calling it a tie. I let the levels sit for some time and when I came back I was able to make the split by thinking which rooms were more memorable to me.

 

 

Silver goes to Ihavenoname248, congratulations! You also had a theme of blocks in your rooms. You made my favorite finishing room, which I also marked down as my favorite room from your five. I like the symmetry and the way the solution comes together naturally. Your second best was the second room, which was a tough one to get right. This was a solid execution of the dirt and blocks, plus you had to be mindful that Chip will return here in the end. Though they didn't affect the ranking, your third room was a bit boring and some blocks there just filled up space, and your fourth room had maybe one teleport too many and I would have enjoyed flicking blocks off the thin walls if it had been possible. Your first was straight-forward. Overall you made some decent rooms which were a bit on the safe side and I'm happy to have you in second place. 

 

 

James, you take the cake this time! Your last room was also very good (and it can speak for itself), but my favorite turned out to be the cloning room. It was a weird shaped room to something interesting in and you hit it out of the park. Cloning gliders and directing them with the blocks to the bombs through a teleport was a different type of partial posting puzzle. The fact that the rows had different amounts of bombs and you could finish the job with blocks was just great. You didn't even have to blow up all the bombs, which made me feel clever as if I'd found a shortcut. As the time limits I gave were a bit too low I didn't take them much into consideration in the rankings, but I have to say that in this room a tightish time limit works nicely so there is some pressure to find a method that isn't too wasteful.
 

Your second room is clever but way too difficult to get right even with a couple of tries. It's a neat puzzle, but having to go through the other rooms while it's still unfinished is not the ideal place to showcase this concept. It is an interesting exploration of guiding two Teeth, and one you must have worked pretty hard on to get it working in the space provided. I believe your first room also did the best job of finding something useful to do with the room's shape, as this type of ice/invisible wall puzzle shouldn't be too big and deducing which tiles are not walls uses the shape of the room too. (I often prefer appearing walls instead of invisible walls, but this was a rare case where invisible walls suited the purpose better.) If I'm forced to say something negative about your rooms, it's that they were a bit on the complex side and work better individually than when they are grouped together or combined with others into a larger whole. They were memorable though, so that little bit pushed it over the finish line first. Well done! Oh, and I'd like to see the solutions to your extra final rooms!


There you have it. A few more comments on the competition itself. It turns out that having some restrictions on creating a level is good but this time the concept could have used some simplification. It wasn't way too much but when people are dropping out and the instructions are hard to understand, something has gone wrong a bit. It was a fun concept to try, but we can do better. I was hoping we'd have ten participants for a theoretical 100,000 different levels made from different room combinations, but we didn't quite reach that even with the extended deadline. (A quick calculation only gives me 6,336 possible levels, but it depends a bit on which rooms you consider incompatible and do we use the three additional final rooms or not.) As it was, I even messed up on giving you time limits that were too tight, so I ended up raising the time limits on many of the submissions (usually after contacting the designers, but of course the damage had been done). The logic with the keys and buttons and such was meant to make the rooms connected but the instructions had participants confused. I didn't even mention anything about hints. I think we ended up with a few nice levels to play so hopefully this can still be a net positive.

CCLP4 has been out now for a bit, so expect the return of more competitions next month. Whoo-hoo! Till next time!

-Miika
 
Summary of results:

1. James__________ 15pts One Hundred Candle Bonfire
2. Ihavenoname24812pts Unlicensed Archaeology
3. RB3ProKeys_____ 10pts Testing Room A: Subject #2357
4. geodave_________ 8pts The Full Dave
5. rubenspaans_____ 7pts Dodgy Dodging
6. M11k4___________ 6pts Miika's Five Rooms

 

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I'm a bit surprised I won against the calibre of competition, but I'll take it   :chipwin:  I guess this means I should design more levels. Well done everybody on their creations in this unique format.

 

The combination levels in the total set were nice to play and it's nice to have a detailed thought process regarding the results. Thank you for all the effort you put into these competitions :)

Edited by James
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