December 2015 Create Competition - First Impressions
We often judge a book by it's cover even though we know there might be more to it than first meets the eye. Taking advantage of this, advertisers don't make bad covers for books they know are dreadful, or dull posters for awful movies, or boring commercials for second-rate movies. No of course not! Can you do the same for your level?

Your job is to create a level that sounds good and looks good at first impression. It does not have to be a poor level, (in fact I'd prefer if it was great), but the ranking for the competition will be based on these three things:

  1. What you say about your level here in this thread before I play it. Advertise!

  2. What I think of your level after looking at it for 1 minute in the editor.
  3. How I feel about your level after playing it for 1 minute or till I die, which ever comes first.

How does that sound? Hopefully this will get you thinking about how a player experiences your creation more than before. If you feel you need a tighter restriction to get you going, consider these things that I enjoy in levels:
  • Chip's Challenge is about puzzles, not just walking around doing stuff. That can be fun too, but even a small puzzle will be better.

  • Use symmetry. Not just repeating an area, but changing something in it to highlight the difference.

  • Keep it simple. If your concept isn't simple, at least keep it elegant. This is not the same as easy necessarily.

  • Think about the playing and solving experience more than just drawing something in your editor.

  • Throw in something Christmassy, it is December after all Wink

When I have the time, I will play through the whole level after the competition and compare my thoughts on the level design with my initial reaction to the level, to see how they line up. (This just might take some time, and I want to provide the results quickly.)


-Submissions are open as long as it is 2015 where you live! I will accept submissions until I judge the competition.

-The level must be new; it must not have been released earlier. Don't share the level before the competition is over.
-Remember to promote your level before people see it. You can start that even before starting the level.

-It would be nice if your level is solvable in either MS or Lynx, preferably both. If it isn't, just hope I don't notice while I'm judging, and when I do notice, I will ask for an update so that the level can be enjoyed even after this competition.

-Please give the level a cool name, time limit and set a password.

-You may submit more than one entry, but please keep the levels distinct from each other. Your best two entries is recommended.

-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 or wacky things you come up with.

Email and attach your submissions to valeosote at hotmail dot com. I will strive to reply with a confirmation that I have received your entry, even though I will only look at the levels all at once. I prefer if you use your username and this competition in the subject. Keep it short and simple, something like: "December Create - Kylo Ren"

Now get to work! (On the levels, not real work. I don't expect you to do that.)

Are there any levels that come to mind that you've played that fit this requirement well?
My CC1 levelsets: (25, 150, 149, 149, 149, 149, 60, 149, 43, +2 = 1025 total)
25 levels.dat | Ultimate Chip.dat | Ultimate Chip 2.ccl | Ultimate Chip 3.dac | Ultimate Chip | Ultimate Chip 5 | Ultimate Chip 6 Walls of CCLP4 i^e
IHNN-Ultimate: 147 of my best levels (through UC5), plus 2 entirely new ones. May be overhauled soon.

My CC2 levelsets: (100, ???)

My CC score tracker. Has lots of cool automated features!
Twitch | Youtube | Twitter
So is this create competition mostly being based off aesthetics from the viewing in an editor? That's what I'm understanding.
JoshL1 / JoshL2 / JoshL3 / JoshL4 / JoshL5 / JoshL6 / JoshL7 / WoCCLP3 / ???
JoshL / JCCLPRejects

Total: 1,356+

Flareon1 / Flareon2

Total: 75+

Flareon Flareon Flareon Flareon Flareon
" as long as it is 2016..." That gives us plenty of time!! Raised eyebrow

I will be entering this competition with at least two levels. I think I will make them before adding a description though. But, I will tell you they will be smaller than my usual. I will also tell you that they will be more difficult puzzles than my usual. You will enjoy them immensely.
It's not 2016 yet? Fail

Yes, basically make a level that looks good in an editor, but I will also test the levels before ranking them. Honestly, this theme comes from not wanting to spend hours upon hours judging the competition, but it doesn't mean I don't think it will result in some cool new levels.

To give you more of an idea what random stuff I might be judging, I looked at CCLP1 with this sort of judging in mind, and here are a few levels that stood out:

#7, Under Pressure
: This looks very simple, but the button placement and single glider intrigued me to wonder how it all might work together. After playing it, it did not turn out to be quite as exciting as it was in my head at first.

#10, Graduation
: It's quickly clear what this level is about, going linearly through simple tasks. Understanding that this is meant as a review of the game mechanics (partly due to the name), I know this level fulfills its purpose even before I play it.

#13, The Monster Cages
: The monsters here are confined but not knowing exactly what interactions Chip can have with them gets me excited to try. Note that they are still placed in a way that isn't too chaotic to scare me away.

#22, Repair the Maze
: I see it's a maze, but with a twist. It's a puzzle, I love those! I quickly count the number of keys and where they are absolutely required and am a bit disappointed that only a couple are extra, but still know this to be a fun level on many levels. I get some of the same initial vibe from Sapphire Cavern
(#46), but after playing them this one feels more interesting as the use of space fits better with the challenge. It would be hard to say that without playing through the two levels.

#28, The Last Starfighter
: This doesn't look too special in an editor, but once I start playing it, I realize it is a level about the experience. The sound effects alone are cool, which is an aspect often overlooked in design.

#31, Quincunx
: I quickly see this is a level I won't like. Sure the topology is a bit interesting, but it is only used to collect chips, instead of say a item swapper. At least it's quickly clear that this is a level for a different audience than me, so I am not as disappointed when I do play the level. (Would still rank it low, but would understand if someone else liked it.)

#41, Descending Ceiling
: The map tells you exactly what's going to happen. It gets me excited to try how far I can get on each cycle. I won't find out if this is annoying or not until I play far into the level, so the initial impression is pretty positive.

#49, 49 Cell
: This looks annoying. Will the monsters be a nuisance? It's hard to quickly tell how the forcefloors restrict Chip's movement between the rooms. At least it has some symmetry, but nothing here excites me to try the level and find out that it actually is pretty fun.

#59, Asterisk
: I like pop-up wall mazes and puzzles, so this initially excited me. After playing for a minute, I'm a bit disappointed that the solution was pretty easy. Finding/creating a difficult yet elegant puzzle like this is not a given, so I it's not a bad level though.

#68, Flames and Ashes
: I see that it's a puzzle where I need to lead the fireball to the bomb. Such a clear goal and am eager to try the execution!

#75, ToggleTank
: This also feels like a dynamic puzzle. Playing it ultimately has me feeling it could be developed further to find more interesting arrangements of toggles and blocks, but the concept definitely got me interested.

#102, Frozen in Time
: The levels in this set are getting more complex, so it's harder to form clear impressions of what's going to happen in the level when played. In those cases, most often the impression of the level is "ok so Chip goes there and there and there and does this but I'm not sure what the actual challenge is or if there are some huge complications on the way". It doesn't mean the level will be bad, it's just hard to know this quickly from the map. This level however, manages to surprise me within the first seconds of playing it especially after looking at the map, or even just the starting screen. In that sense the first moments with this level stand out from many others that look similar.

#114, Comfort Zone
: This looks really fun. In a way I'm afraid to say that because all the entries to this competition will just be littered with similar setups, but this combination of dodging and logic looks like it could have the makings of something truly awesome.

#122, Jeepers Creepers
: This looks like a fun way to build a maze. I can see it provides both reward for being careful and chances to be adventurous with the teeth. I'm a bit scared it fills the whole level, but it would still stand out from a set as a level I'd like to try.

#126, Peek-a-Boo
: The symmetry first catches the eye and the use of space has me wondering what type of item swapper this will be. I try to map it out in my head, but miss something and get confused. The complexity is just right to require actually playing it and I know there won't be any big surprises or dodging, so I will feel comfortable I know what I am getting into when I try it.

#130, Dynamite
: The objective is clear at first glance and there seem to be more than enough blocks. I know before playing it that I will need to think some, but not be too absolutely optimal, which feels nice.

#140, Automatic (Caution) Doors
: This looks like a mess. I mean I don't have a clue what playing this will feel like just by looking at the map. The mechanism is just a bit too complex to really grasp without testing it. Ok, so I test it for a minute. I get it now! But if this was all I was judging the level on, I wouldn't know what puzzles lie ahead. I think my assessment of the level would end up being pretty cautious and I wouldn't be able to appreciate this as a masterpiece.

Hopefully that gives you some idea on what I might be thinking when I first see a level. Granted, these were all levels I already knew, so my perspective with the entries might be very different Tongue At least I tried, so you should try and send something in too!
I have now sent in 2 levels I made in late November for completely different reasons, that both fit the requirement well but also for different reasons. I already cleared this with Miika and it's acceptable to send these in.

Anyway, advertising time!

The first level is a teleporting itemswapper between identically shaped rooms, where every room has a different type of tile as the boundary. One of these rooms is exits that seem inaccessible, and another has bombs- I wonder how these are connected? This level was also made in the span of 15 minutes as a part of a challenge from my younger brother to see if we could make 3 good levels in a half hour. I'd say it succeeded here, but then again I'm not the judge of the competition Wink

The second level has a much more interesting tale behind it. In September I noticed the lack of create competitions being run, and realized some of the most successful restricted the design in some way beyond designing a level with a given theme. These usually meant building a level within a given set of walls- I believe Walls of CCLP2 had the most unique levels created for it of any create! What I noticed was that none of the creates restricted the allowed tiles, so I wondered how that could work out. The first idea was allotting every tile (or group of tiles, in the case of keys/locks and clone buttons/machines) a point value, and then the level would have to be designed within a given total point value. Unfortunately, this ran into a lot of problems without grouping (monsters trumped everything else, mazes trumped other gameplay types, blocks were either too useful or useless for the cost) and with grouping (itemswappers were basically impossible to create, still herding towards maze types but better). Then I had the breakthrough a few weeks ago.


I divided up the tiles into 4 palettes that I thought had a lot of flexibility in how the levels could be designed, with some duplications (exit is allowed in all 4 of course, but chips are only allowed in 3). My brother, mom and I all designed one level with each palette, all going a completely different direction, which showed that interesting and varied concepts and levels could be crafted from these restrictions. Of these, one of my levels stood out from the rest, as everyone I showed it to had a visible reaction upon seeing its design, even those who had never played CC before.

The design takes cues from a pair of J.B.'s levels: one intentionally, and the other noticed after the fact. I will not be describing the design any farther than this, as it would ruin the first impression of the design, but it will leave an impact, of that I can assure you.

End advertising.

So yeah this is also an announcement of sorts that I'll be running a create with the above theme in January (possibly as another super comp, remains to be seen). Should be a fun time Slight smile
My CC1 levelsets: (25, 150, 149, 149, 149, 149, 60, 149, 43, +2 = 1025 total)
25 levels.dat | Ultimate Chip.dat | Ultimate Chip 2.ccl | Ultimate Chip 3.dac | Ultimate Chip | Ultimate Chip 5 | Ultimate Chip 6 Walls of CCLP4 i^e
IHNN-Ultimate: 147 of my best levels (through UC5), plus 2 entirely new ones. May be overhauled soon.

My CC2 levelsets: (100, ???)

My CC score tracker. Has lots of cool automated features!
Twitch | Youtube | Twitter
Alright I sent in my entry for this create competition. Thank you Miika for hosting this one, I've been dying to enter one that isn't hosted by yours truly for a long time Tongue

As for the promoting part of the competition...

The level I have made wasn't actually for this competition at first, but I decided to work with the original idea I had and make some adjustments to it for the competition. A couple days ago, I decided to continue working on my most recent CC1 levelset - JoshL6 instead of making levels for my CC2 set, due to a lack of interest it is getting as well as I myself have lost interest in the game (actually it's more of the former but the editor is annoying to use still) Anyway, the level I submitted - it is christmas themed and has no real concept, other than pure collection, which I don't make enough of. Upon completion of crafting this level, I decided to add a bit more to the aesthetics, since it looked too bland with just floor tiles. I wanted more color to the level and a variety of other different tiles, to keep the gameplay of the level fun and not as boring. I also chose to give this level a bit of leeway and provide a vast of possibilities for optimization. Even though I don't optimize myself, I still like to provide this for the ones that love to optimize. Slight smile

If you know me well, you know the levels I make look amazing in the editor and this is no exception! Hope you like it!
JoshL1 / JoshL2 / JoshL3 / JoshL4 / JoshL5 / JoshL6 / JoshL7 / WoCCLP3 / ???
JoshL / JCCLPRejects

Total: 1,356+

Flareon1 / Flareon2

Total: 75+

Flareon Flareon Flareon Flareon Flareon
All right, so advertising my levels...

There are two of them. The first one was actually created without the competition in mind as an effort to bring another set I made to 500 levels (really, it has about 450 right now) but I think it still fits the requirements well. It originally began as an attempt to tell a story through a single level, without resorting to CCX files and such. It is a mostly open level with several ways to handle it, and several surprises, none of which should be too cruel.

The second one was actually created with the competition in mind. I already had a rough idea of how I would handle the concept, but I slightly modified it to fit the map (I was slightly getting used to the CC2 resizable map) and fit the Christmas theme. The level itself is not very complex and most of the work was done to make it look good and feel Christmas-y. Pretty much the only thing I am dissatisfied about this level is the title. I really should have come up with something better than that.

Also, this was written after the levels were designed and submitted.

Um...that's it.
CC is awesome!

CC2 sets (still being updated): C1059-CC2 --- Walls of CC2

CC1 sets (all complete): C1059-2 --- C1059-1 --- 1059PG01 --- C1059-Christmas --- C1059-INSANITY --- C1059-CCLP4

My Youtube channel --- Fiver's Honeycomb ---

Good posts don't cost too much, yet many go unwritten.
The visual impact of a level's first few seconds of play can have a big effect on the overall experience of playing through the level, and monster movements can greatly add to that visual impact. A quirky, whimsical title that goes along with the aesthetics also plays a vital role in how the level is experienced. With these statements in mind, I designed my level for this competition. I tried to keep it fairly simple and flexible, but also challenging. Chip will need to keep his wits about him in order to get through this level.
About my level for this competition:

Titled "Yet", think of it as kind of a spiritual successor to "Still" (which I consider to be the hallmark level of KWests.dat).

It originally started out as a longer concept named "Time to Kill", but during an earlier Create competition which called for levels with a time limit of 60 seconds, I decided to bring it down to a one-minute level. I couldn't quite decide where I wanted to take the concept then, and so it was never made; but it seemed like it would make a good entry for this comp.

I should mention that the level will be disappointing to solve, and is not amusing but is rather a musing on the "playing and solving experience".


Unfortunately, I didn't get around to clearly deciding how I wanted to make the level this time either, and it is already 2016 where I live, so I have only this advertisement to submit and no actual level to go with it.

- Madhav.

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