November 2021 Create Competition - Eleven
#1
The sound of the gong ringing through CC Zone indicates that it's time for another create competition. Come one, come all to showcase your fabulous design skills.

This competition will be for cross-compatible CC1 and regular old CC2 levels and is based around these two (II) restrictions:
  • The level must be 11x11. If you're submitting a CC1 level, draw an impassible square border around the contents of your level such that the area inside the square is 11x11. Everything outside the border must be entirely composed of either floor tiles or the same tile type as the border. If you're submitting a CC2 level, set the map dimensions to 11x11.
  • The level must use exactly 11 tile types. Yellow character floor tiles (i.e. "B", "9", "$") are not allowed. Here are 11 arbitrary, non-obvious rulings I've made on what tile types do or don't count as separate tile types:
    1. Chip, Melinda, floor, wall, hint, computer chip, socket, and exit tiles all contribute toward the tile type count. I figured they were worth mentioning because they are so fundamental that I suspect they would be easy to ignore when counting tile types.
    2. If you're submitting a CC1 level, the tile type you use for the border must be on the list of tile types used within the border. For example, if your level uses blue walls instead of regular walls, the border of the level should be real blue walls.
    3. Clone machines are separate tile types from the mobs cloned in those machines. For example, if you have a bug cloner in your level, your list of tile types would include a clone machine and a bug.
    4. The same goes for "no signs": if you have a "no hiking boots" tile, the no sign and the hiking boots are considered two tile types.
    5. Tiles with directional variants are not separate tile types for the purposes of this competition. Some examples: a north facing force floor is the same tile type as an east facing force floor or a random force floor; a south facing teeth is the same tile type as a west facing teeth; all 16 variants of directional blocks count together as one tile type; and all ice corners and ice tiles count together as one tile type.
    6. If a tile has a fake/real variant or can otherwise have multiple states, those states do not count as separate tile types. Some examples: fake and real blue walls count together as one tile type; toggle chips and toggle bombs count as one tile type; every possible counter value counts together as one tile type; and all powered and unpowered railroad tiles count together as one tile type.
    7. Each color of key and door all count as separate tile types.
    8. Key thieves and tool thieves count as separate tile types.
    9. Custom wall and floor tiles are separate tile types from standard wall and floor tiles, but the different kinds of custom tiles are not separate tile types from each other.
    10. Wire and wire tunnels count together as one tile type and all logic gates count as another tile type.
    11. All bonus flags count together as one tile type, and time bonus, penalty, and toggle tiles count together as one tile type.

Submit no more than two (II) levels with a list of the tile types used in each submission to me via PM or Discord (snacksforsale#7212) by Tuesday, November 23 at noon UTC. That'll be 7am Eastern and 4am Pacific because DST will be over by then. I don't intend to grant extensions because I'd like to post the results before American Thanksgiving. This probably goes without saying, but unsolvable levels and levels which ignore the restrictions will not be considered in judging.

I don't have a hard and fast rubric for this competition, but I will be taking into account these three things (11 in binary) when judging your submissions:
  • How fun was the level? I will do my best to approach every level with an open mind, but I generally prefer clever puzzles over monster dodging challenges. Do with that information what you will.
  • How well does the level adhere to the spirit of the competition? As a counterexample, if your level only uses 7 or 8 tile types as part of the level and the rest are hidden away like the boots in Old Frog, that would not adhere to the spirit of the competition.
  • Does the level have a good aesthetic? I think this one is self-explanatory.

I tried to explain these rules as clearly as I could, but writing is hard. If you have any questions about the competition, feel free to reach out to me for clarification. Since I help moderate the bitbusters.club Discord server and never post here, I would prefer you ask your questions in #competitions on our Discord server or via DM if you're not on the server, but I will try to check this thread and my PMs regularly as well.

That's it. Good luck, have fun, etc.
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#2
One update has been made to the rules:
- For CC1 levels, everything outside the border must be entirely composed of either floor tiles or the same tile type as the border. (Previously it was just floor tiles)

IHNN also asked this: "for CC1 levels how do the two layers count? For example, if I have every tile filled so there's no floor, there's still technically floor on the lower layer of most/all tiles." My answer is that I will leave it up to you to decide whether you want to count floor tiles in this case, if any are technically present within the bounds of the actual level. In general if there's an edge case I haven't covered in the OP, I'll leave it up to you to decide how to interpret the rules around it.
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#3
Apologies for the delay in putting together feedback and results.

Tom B: Skeleton Head
I found this level very tricky. I ultimately had to look at your TWS, which means I am sentenced to 500 years in the shame dungeon. This level is an interesting extension of the recessed wall maze concept with additional sources of stress like clearing dirt on the way to other rooms to give you room to push blocks and managing inventory so you don’t trap yourself in a different way.

I like how all the blocks can be seen in the viewport at the start of the level and all the blue keys are just out of view. I think changing the blue keys and doors to yellow keys and doors may improve the aesthetic of this level a little, since the rest of this level is all red, brown, and grey. Can’t do much about the exit tile though, unfortunately.

Jeremy C: Forced Labor
This level felt the most sprawling and adventure-y of all the submissions, which is no small feat given the size restriction. It took a hot minute for me to figure out what I needed to do, but once I did, it still took a few attempts to slide everything into place. I thought the ice skates were unnecessary up until my second to last attempt. There are a couple of places where you can boost backwards to make the level a little easier in MS.

This level has a very utilitarian, organized chaos type feel to it. As far as I can tell, every tile is exactly placed to force you toward one specific solution. Maybe that’s the inspiration for the title? If I may suggest some avenues for improvement, I think the elements could be arranged to create a clearer sense of shape and it may be good to consider designing with multiple possible solutions in mind. I suspect the real challenge of implementing these suggestions would be figuring out how to avoid sacrificing difficulty for aesthetic, especially in a level this small.

Josh L: Fusion Core No.11
Ah, a teleport level from Josh!!! It took a while for me to figure out a sensible approach to this level. At first I was a little salty about the time limit, but, if I’m being honest, without it I could just screw around until I could scrounge together enough blocks to get all the chips in a non-sensible way, so ultimately I appreciate that the time limit is there to get me to think a little harder.

Ida R: Tic Tac Tip Toe
This was a neat little block rearranging puzzle. It’s a little weird that the solution requires pushing a directional block into a pink toggle wall as it closes; it felt like I was busting the level when I did that. Perhaps someone with more experience playing CC2 will disagree vehemently. I like how the thin walls act to reinforce the color palette of the level, but I would have liked to see them integrated into the level a bit more rather than just acting as a border.

Ida R: Yellow Pranks
I like that there’s just enough lack of symmetry that the level can’t be solved the same way in both directions.

VT: Creative Repetition
It’s unfortunate that the most difficult part of the puzzle is saved for last, since screwing something up or running out of time staring at the screen meant I had to do the first three puzzles all over again. I also had to look at your TWS which means I am now sentenced to 1,000 years in the shame dungeon. The solution is pretty clever, but there’s something VT does to solve the third room which he repeats in the fourth room. It never occurred to me to use that trick to solve the third room, which ended up being a problem because it was critical to solving the fourth room. Whoops!!

Dave V: Fool’s Gold
The layout reminds me a little bit of Puzzle Box from CCLP4. I was thinking you’d have to do some kind of nailing, but I noticed the SE exit was reachable without much effort so I went there instead.

Dave V: Fool’s Gold II
This level was submitted under all 3 rulesets (MS, Lynx, CC2). This is where nailing came in handy in MS. I’m not really a fan of the Lynx solution; if you play MS first like I imagine most people do, you’ll see a trap button in one version but not another, and then the solution is pretty much guesswork since it doesn’t use pedantic trap connections. CC2 allows for both solutions, but since there’s a separate sprite for open traps, the guesswork from the Lynx set disappears entirely. I’ll say I like the MS solution the most.

Results
This was difficult and ultimately arbitrary, but why else would one run a competition other than for those sweet numbers:

[Click to Show Content]

Thanks to everyone for your submissions, your patience, and your tolerance of my weird rules and restrictions which might have been way too complicated for my first attempt at running a create comp. Attached to this post are the submissions so you can play them yourself and decide whether my evaluation is harsh but fair or the ravings of a madman. Sorry for being a Mac user and making a zip file with DS_Store garbage nobody wants.


Attached Files
.dat   nov21_comp_cc1.dat (Size: 1.36 KB / Downloads: 17)
.zip   nov21_comp_cc2.zip (Size: 2.51 KB / Downloads: 11)
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