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Offline geoo

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Level design contest #1 - results!
« on: March 13, 2013, 12:08:51 am »
The contest is over, thanks everyone for participating!

If you missed the contest, here is the main topic:
http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=726.0

Solutions and statistics are attached to this post. The levelpacks and level archive can be found here: http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=726.msg15908#msg15908

Though it was a bit of work for me, I enjoyed the contest a lot. I think the levels produced here were really great. I'd like to post the pack with the levels on the levelpack database in a bit, once the remaining backroutes have been fixed (I think Gronkling's, Akseli's and Crane's levels still have backroutes, and I hope I'll get Crane's intended solution soon.)

ccexplore also suggested:
Quote
Overall, like you said, there are no bad/trivial/Tame levels, everyone's levels provide a little bit to a lot of challenge in their own way.  It would be worth considering getting as many of the levels into the Lix community pack as the level authors are ok with, as they are all pretty high-quality levels.

I think that's definitely a good idea, if there are no objections.


Anyway, on to the results. First off, who solved how many first and how many final versions, respectively. (A * indicates I didn't receive the corresponding replays, a # indicates that I'm not entirely sure whether I got all levels solved, i.e. I might be missing that some more levels have been solved.)

We have a 5-way tie at the top with players who managed to solve all levels from the first version pack. For the final versions we have the same five players who've manage to solve at least 8 level, but only ccexplore (and geoo, the author) manage to solve the remaining level, 'Stroke at Retirement Age'. Detailled data on who solved what are in the stats spreadsheet.

First versions solved
nameamount
Akseli9
Gronkling9
ccexplore9
Clam9
geoo9
Pooty7
Proxima7
Steve6
Crane#4
möbius*#3

Final versions solved
nameamount
ccexplore9
geoo9
Akseli8
Gronkling8
Clam8
Pooty5
Proxima3
Crane#2
Steve2
möbius*#2


Next, prettiest and most fun levels. If you're wondering about the fractions in the following two tables:
ccexplore came up with the wonderful idea to distribute fractional votes (wish I had thought of that myself, would have made things a lot easier. Turns out they also serve as tie breaker now, breaking a tie by 0.01 point. :P) Crane also told me which levels he'd have put his other votes on (that I received a bit too late), which is reflected by the (+1) (one of them indicating the alleviated -1 penalty).
But now, without further ado, best looking and most fun rankings (individual votes again in the spreadsheet):

Best looking
levelauthorpoints
Stroke at Retirement Agegeoo11.99
Evacuating a Retirement HomeClam10.93 (+1)
The Isle of SkyeGronkling10.11 (+1)
Prize CatchCrane9.24 (+1)
A sea of purest greenPooty6.11
Tres Hombresmöbius5
Feel the PressureAkseli1.62
The "Hole in the Head" GangSteve0
Brute FoursProxima0

Comments:
Quote from: Steve
3: geoo (this is better than any of the dirt levels in Lemmoings or ONML iirc, well done)
1: Crane (Like the theme, wish the solution were as cohesive)
1: Gronkling (again, a nice looking level in a style I never use, good work)
1: Clam (if only for the design idea)

Quote from: Clam
3 votes: Prize Catch. Exquisite and imposing.
2 votes: The Isle of Skye. This deserves points for tileset choice alone, but also really excellently done.
1 vote: A sea of purest green. Cool boat, and the dock really completes it.

Gronkling almost went with 3 votes for 'The Hole in the Head Gang' here.
For me, having one last vote available, it was a toss-up between Pooty, Akseli and Steve. I really love the dock in Pooty's level at the right, and the thematic design really stands out, just the ship looks a bit messy (which is I guess why it ended up scoring lower than I expected in the end). I like Akseli's design for its simple elegance. And Steve's design, at least the last version, is pretty unique. I ended up giving a vote to both Akseli and Pooty, at the cost of one vote for Gronkling (so only 1 vote instead of 2), which is a really nice level with beautiful details, unlike most dirt levels in L1 that just look slapped together. 2 points from me go to Clam's thematic design, nice idea and cleanly realized.

Most fun
levelauthorpoints
Feel the PressureAkseli10.67
Evacuating a Retirement HomeClam10.66
A sea of purest greenPooty7.71
Prize CatchCrane6.57
The "Hole in the Head" GangSteve4.78
Tres Hombresmöbius4.48
Stroke at Retirement Agegeoo3.66
The Isle of SkyeGronkling2.9
Brute FoursProxima1.57

Comments:
Quote from: Steve
2: Akseli (any level I can spend this long on without actually getting to work is a winner for me)
2: geoo (any level that's intended route stumps everyone  :P)
1: mobius (It's easy but not terribly so and there's a couple ways to do it, I kind of like the idea really)
1: Clam (I have to assume all that stuff isn't just there for background. I think, anyways)

Quote from: Clam
3 votes: Feel the Pressure. Really simple design, but so many things to try, and surprisingly difficult.
2 votes: A sea of purest green. This wins my prize for Best Red Herring. Simon can draw that one up :)
1 vote: Stroke at Retirement Age. Lots of things to do, and (clearly!) not many that lead to actually solving the level.

Quote from: Akseli
Voting is much harder than I initially thought, because I find the levels very equally enjoyable and pretty-looking. Originally I wanted to give votes for the three best levels like 1, 2 and 3 points, but that was too hard. I also thought of giving one point for six levels in both categories due to many good levels, but perhaps that would have been a boring choice. I decided to compromise with my votes.
I concur, I pretty much enjoyed all of the levels as well. I ended up distributing 1 vote to 6 levels each, but order-wise among these I guess things would be Steve >= Akseli > Clam >= Crane > Pooty > Proxima


On a short notice, I asked players to rank the levels by difficulty. 6 players gave me a ranking (I excluded the level by the respective author from the ranking). I assigned 1 to the easiest, 2 to the next easiest, and so on, and took the average.) Here are the results:

Difficulty
levelauthoraverage rank
Stroke at Retirement Agegeoo8.2
The "Hole in the Head" GangSteve6.67
The Isle of SkyeGronkling6.2
A sea of purest greenPooty5.17
Feel the PressureAkseli4.2
Evacuating a Retirement HomeClam4.2
Brute FoursProxima3.5
Prize CatchCrane1.83
Tres Hombresmöbius1.6
Some people ranked their own levels:
möbius considered his level the easiest, Akseli considered his the third easiest ('Tres Hombres' Taxing, 'Prize Catch' and 'Feel the Pressure' Mayhem, and everything else above Mayhem).
Quote from: ccexplore
Pooty's was also interesting, I think he manages to hide the intended solution very well by making it seem like there are a lot of other more straightforward alternatives to try first (ignoring some of the backroutes that needed to be eliminated, though even then it only got to v3).

Special Prizes (names and ideas courtesy of Steve, picture courtesy of Simon):

Brickout Memorial Trophy: Gronkling - The Isle of Skye (8 versions + known backroute by Akseli)

"haha, this won't be so hard at all! ... wait, nothing I try is working WHY?!" award: Akseli - Feel the Pressure
Quote from: ccexplore
I concur with Steve how surprising Akseli's level was, it looked so deceptively simple but not that easy to actually get a working solution.


Finally, the list of backroute finders:
nameamountlevels
geoo22Gronkling v1, Gronkling v2, Gronkling v3, Gronkling v4, Crane v1, Crane v2, Crane v3, Crane v4, Crane v5, Crane v6, Crane v7, Akseli v1, Steve v1, Steve v2, Steve v3, Clam v1, Clam v2, Pooty v1, Pooty v2, möbius v1, möbius v2, möbius v3
Akseli18Gronkling v1, Gronkling v8, Crane v1, Crane v2, Crane v3, Crane v4, Crane v5, Crane v6, Crane v7, geoo v1, Steve v1, Steve v2, Steve v3, Steve v4, Pooty v1, Pooty v2, möbius v1, möbius v2
Gronkling13Crane v1, Crane v7, geoo v1, Akseli v1, Akseli v2, Steve v1, Clam v1, Clam v2, Clam v3, Clam v4, Pooty v1, möbius v1, Proxima v1
ccexplore12Gronkling v1, Gronkling v6, Gronkling v7, Crane v1, Crane v7 (confirm), geoo v1, Steve v1, Steve v2, Steve v4, Pooty v1, möbius v1, Proxima v1
Clam9Gronkling v1, Gronkling v7, Crane v1, Crane v7, geoo v1, Akseli v1, Akseli v2, Steve v1, Pooty v1
Pooty7Gronkling v1, Crane v1, Crane v4, Crane v7, Akseli v1, Steve v1, möbius v3
Proxima6Gronkling v1, Crane v1, Steve v1, Pooty v1, möbius v1, möbius v2
Crane5Gronkling v1, Gronkling v2, Gronkling v3, Steve v1, möbius v1
Steve5Crane v1, Clam v1, Pooty v1, möbius v1, möbius v3
lyygak2Pooty v1, Pooty v2
Luis1Akseli v2


Discuss the levels, results, things you liked and things that could have been done better, and things that should be done differently in future contests, below!

Offline Proxima

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 01:45:21 am »
It was a good contest -- I'm glad I managed to find time to enter, and I hope I will have time to have a serious go at the remaining levels :P

Big thanks to geoo for all the organisational work. I hope it hasn't put you off the idea of a second round ;) though it will be tricky to think of other themes that were as good as this one. It was restrictive without being too much so, and I was astonished by how much variety there was in the levels -- especially considering how many 1-of-each levels there already are out there.

I found it extremely difficult to decide on votes for "most fun". The first versions, because of backroutes, were mostly too easy, and the final versions too hard. :P I mostly gave votes to the levels that fell in the happy medium (Akseli's and mobius' got 2 each), but I was conscious that I might have enjoyed the hard levels more if I'd had more time to work on them.

I would definitely remake my own level for Lix -- it will be easy to substitute for the one-way walls -- but judging by the votes, maybe you don't want me to?

I've also put Luis' PSP remake of my level up on my YouTube channel.

Perhaps it might be worth trying out a different voting system, as it's kind of depressing to get a zero, even though it was an off-hand effort made very quickly (as well as being my first attempt at using Lemmix!) I mentioned to geoo that the DROD forums were also having a level design contest. Their voting system works as follows: you give every level a score from 1 to 10, and these scores are averaged. That way, you're not just pointing out your favourites -- if you feel all the levels are good, you can give them all a score of 6 or higher, and still differentiate your favourites from the others.

Either way, it's worth stating up front that fractional votes are permissible :P

Offline Proxima

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 01:57:25 am »
Just noticed that you want me to confirm which solutions to "Brute Fours" v1 are backroutes.

The solution found by ccexplore and Gronkling, while I like it, helped me realise it was possible to do without the steel, so it retroactively counts as a backroute. Clam's solution does not; it's an extra challenge that I'm leaving in. It works on both versions, and so far is the only way to save more than the required 90% on v2.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 02:19:57 am »
I would definitely remake my own level for Lix -- it will be easy to substitute for the one-way walls -- but judging by the votes, maybe you don't want me to?

I wouldn't worry about the votes too much, I suspect the results might not be as bad as it looks now, if a different voting system was used (like the fractional votes thing I did precisely because no level deserves a 0 for fun in my mind).  And according to the spreadsheet geoo did actually give you a full vote on that level. ;)

I think considering the little amount of time you had to come up with the level, it's pretty good.  Maybe somewhat less of a wow factor compared with some of the other levels, but by no means bad.

Quote
Either way, it's worth stating up front that fractional votes are permissible :P

Yeah, I'm pretty sure no one (including geoo) expected that, I just decided to surprise geoo with it (ie. didn't even bother to consult geoo beforehand when I submitted my votes). ;P Had no idea how geoo would handle it but apparently he agreed with my reasoning.  I didn't think about bringing it up first on the forums beforehand, but then again I submitted my votes relatively late and on a busy day.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 02:44:51 am »
ccexplore came up with the wonderful idea to distribute fractional votes (wish I had thought of that myself, would have made things a lot easier. Turns out they also serve as tie breaker now, breaking a tie by 0.01 point. :P)

The extra .01 I gave to Akseli's level for funness is definitely intentional.  That it actually turns out to break a tie is of course beyond my expectations. :o

In case people were wondering:  for the most part basically I aome up with fractional voting as a way to force my votes to add up to 6. ;P I started with votes for each level that are in the range of 1.0, 1.1, ... to 2.0, and then I simply scale the numbers afterwards so they add up to 6.  (There were also some 0s for the pretty category, not necessarily that the level is ugly as that other levels put more of an effort in comparison.)  I rounded the numbers to 2 decimal places via the normal way of rounding, so the .01 might have (memory a bit fuzzy on this part by now) originated from the rounding leaving the total at 5.99, which I then added the "missing" 0.01 on to one of the levels I felt has a slight edge over other levels with similar score.

Ultimately the more I tweaked the votes, the smaller the differences become (basically the thought of "oh this level is fun/pretty so and so, but that level is fun/pretty in so and so other way, maybe the difference shouldn't be that big" repeatedly came to mind as I review and re-review the levels).

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 03:20:03 am »
An excellent contest all around, some nice work from everyone overall, and a huge thanks to geoo for organizing it all.  :thumbsup: I wish I had more time to both flesh out the aesthetic (and some of the more obvious backroutes) of my level and to play the vFinals looking for solutions but working full time is a little rougher than I thought at first. Ah well, there's always another day/contest for that.

Round 2 gogogogogogogo (or maybe a less formal level jam first, that may be a good way to prevent this idea from going stale)
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Offline Luis

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 04:30:12 am »
My number of levels beaten should be two. There's also Proxima's latest version of his level, hence the PSP remake and I only played two levels.
Mr. Lemmings PSP user.

Offline mobius

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 08:27:29 pm »
I agree with everybody, great contest. I think everybody outdid themselves. Regardless of the votes, there wasn't a single level I didn't like or enjoy playing even if I didn't solve it.
Everybody's level was unique and different. I liked the retirement themes and Akseli deserves a way-to-go for an excellent level, considering it's his very first.
I hope you make more Akseli!  :)
I think Proxima and I were at a slight disadvantage on design for being late. But I had thought the forum was just about ready to close up back in December. So I went away but I'm glad I came back and participated.

 :party:

I didn't know you had a youtube channel Proxima  :)

note: I will likley edit this post after watching the replays to say  :o  >:( %&$# why didn't I see that???
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 03:28:29 am »
Finally got around to watch the replays of backroutes to Clam's levels.  Neat. 8) Some weren't all that glitchy or weird, I feel a little lame for not even seeing small parts of those backroutes when I worked on that level.  And geoo's backroute to v2 features a neat trick I haven't seen before (I love how after all these years there are still new things I can learn about the game!). :thumbsup:

I'll go through more replays later, it is unfortunately slightly cumbersome right now to load the various versions of each level and then hunt down who has which replay for what version.

For round 2, sounds like a poll may be in order to see what the theme should be about?

Offline geoo

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 04:15:51 am »
I just realized that I forgot to add the late submission penalty. But whatever, I guess that's fine, the only difference would have been that mobius' level would have been surpassed by mine in the fun ranking.

Yeah, I think for voting next time, it'd be better to just rate each level on a scale from e.g. 0 to 1 (for any category), instead of only giving points to the favourites, which has more lopsided outcomes.

The backroute fixing jam, or something of the like, should definitely be made part of the contest. In the end, no-one really cared about finding as many backroutes as possible (which I think is good, because to some extent it was just a category about who would put in the most work). The thing is, people should be motivated to try to solve the levels right away, and not just wait until the final version (though it worked pretty well here). I was thinking of having three stages: each consists of 5 days of solving, and 2 days for a level author to fix backroutes, and the scores everyone gets at the end of each solving stage get added up. Though I'm not sure whether I like such a fixed pace, it might also be an issue if competitors have a busy week. So perhaps keeping things like they were with regards to backroute fixing is fine.

As for new themes, I think before having a poll, we have to come up with some possible ideas to vote on. :P
Only one I can think of right now is "Design a level where the save requirement is exactly 1 lemming (out of however many you wish)".


Though I think we should also discuss when to have the next contest. Proxima and Steve said we should have one right now, I feel I wouldn't mind a cooldown period of one or two months (as otherwise this idea might become a bit stale, as Steve said). Of course, we could also just organize everything (the theme specifically), and then have the level design deadline in 2 months or so, as a hybrid solution. Either way, for another big contest like this, it'd be nice if someone else volunteered to organize it, so I can just lay back and participate. :)

Another option might be having a longer break, and just a light level design jam in between. Something where there's less work involved, and a slightly more restrictive theme. E.g. a theme "Design a level in your least favourite style whose solution employs the nuke", and the aim is just to come up with an original idea, so no backroute fixing or trying to make things has hard as possible, but just a poll on originality (and perhaps looks, because yeah, make a pretty level in your least favourite style).

Offline Clam

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 04:53:12 am »
If we're to have a vote, I'll suggest a theme of "I really wish I had builders". I've seen great levels along these lines, but they tend to be fiddly. Making them fun and good-looking too could be challenging :)

I'm in favour of a break of at least one month before the next full contest. That way I might be able to make progress on something else ;)

Offline mobius

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 01:05:30 am »
ooh ideas...
[Design a level where the save requirement is exactly 1 lemming (out of however many you wish)"]<<<<<interesting idea! So far I only know of 2 levels by Pieuw Dodo each like this. (both are similar)

Builderless levels can be interesting. The idea a few months ago inspired me to make a good level.
I think the crazier ideas might be more fun :D

What do you think about designing a level for the a challenge?
For example; a ‘the 1-skill-per-lemming’. the level, at first glance, may appear easy, but the rule when playing is you can only use 1 skill on each lemming. A whole contest could be themed a particular challenge.


I wouldn’t mind a new contest sooner than later. I’ve been making levels lately.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
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Offline Akseli

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2013, 01:32:46 pm »
What a great contest and great organization and levels and...! Some things which come on my mind right now:

If the 3 official category points are added together for each competitor, Clam Spammer would be the winner of the whole contest being the first in the main category, and the second in both best looking and most fun level categories.

I'm so happy that geoo's level won the best looking category ! :) My favourites were these dirt and rock levels by Gronkling and geoo, which both stood well out among the straight piece styles (notably the high amount of marble levels) ((the tileset choice of course wasn't the only reason, these both levels were definitely well designed!)). After all, geoo's level was less bothered with backroute fixes than Gronkling's one, which affects the appearance of the level.

geoo's Stroke at Retirement Age was also the most successful level when it comes to backroutes. Too bad that the first version was published a little bit earlier than the backroute was discovered, otherwise it seems that this level would have been extraordinarily backrouteless right from the first version! Also, the backroute fix which was made for the second version doesn't appear at all, like ccexplore mentioned a while ago.

I'm surprised that my level Feel the Pressure won the most fun level category! :O What on Earth were you guys thinking? :P No, thanks everyone! :) Though I feel that many people put more effort on their levels than I maybe, because my level is so small, so I probably used less time designing it. Probably that's why my level didn't do very well in the best looking level category, and I think that other people's levels really deserved more points because they made bigger effort with all those huge layouts and great decoration. (Okay, Gronkling's level is also small, but that was still one of the best levels in this competition both in design and by the actual puzzle in my opinion!)

I would have been interested in seeing ccexplore's and Simon's level, because I think I haven't ever seen a Lemmix level made by those guys. I guess ccexplore has made some levels for Lix but has Simon ever created a public Lemmings level? I want to know! :P

For me it's definitely ok to put contest levels in Lix and in a levelpack in the level database. The contest levels have been ordered in the pack by publishing date so far, but now it's possible to order them by difficulty to the new pack from the easiest to the hardest according to our poll, for example. Both ways are ok for me.

Some ideas for the contest themes:
- One type of skill
- No builders
- No terrain removal skills/Only terrain removal skills
- No steel, traps, liquid, oneway-walls...
- One minute time limit
- Single lemming level/Two lemmings/Three...
- Something from the challenge board? Release rate 99, undamaged levels...
- Combinations of some of these
Etc.!

Oh yes, and if someone still hasn't watched solutions too much and wants to solve my level, here's the third version of Feel the Pressure. Send me your solutions, please! :P

Offline Clam

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2013, 05:49:35 pm »
I would have been interested in seeing ccexplore's and Simon's level, because I think I haven't ever seen a Lemmix level made by those guys. I guess ccexplore has made some levels for Lix but has Simon ever created a public Lemmings level? I want to know! :P

Simon has made levels for Lix, but most of those are multiplayer IIRC.


Quote
For me it's definitely ok to put contest levels in Lix and in a levelpack in the level database. The contest levels have been ordered in the pack by publishing date so far, but now it's possible to order them by difficulty to the new pack from the easiest to the hardest according to our poll, for example. Both ways are ok for me.

Some might not be possible to remake in Lix because it lacks one-way arrows. I know you can improvise a basic one-way obstacle using steel, but I'm not so sure about the stack of arrows in Pooty's level for example.

And I agree with putting the levels in difficulty order, though I'm surprised how low mine turned out after some of the comments I got :). Anyone who hasn't voted on difficulty yet could still do so.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Level design contest - results!
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2013, 06:01:46 pm »
I won't vote on difficulty for the whole set as I've only solved three of the final versions, but to break the tie, I vote that Clam's level is definitely harder than Akseli's 8)