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Official CSTSF Mirai Modding Contest Discussion Thread (Over)

Dec 4, 2018 at 8:00 PM
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I never thought I would be saying "yes! I won" and "not like this" at the same time after the results are in, but That's just how it turned out I guess.

I think Wintertime is just a bad time to hold a contest tbh. It's messed up that it's the only time of year that I can participate, but It is what it is. Everybody I've talked to over this was considering entering but dropped out for reasons related to school, or some other thing that just, happened. I realize that a lot of things just happened to align improperly with a lot of people but I guess that's how things just happened.

With that I have some commentary on how the contest rules were laid out, not really to complain, just to kinda glance over it all.

I do like the 15 map limit, I think it should personally be a soft limit, because you have things like house interiors or save rooms and things like that in play. But with a soft limit being rooms bigger than X would work well. (and obviously you could get after people that tried to get around this making a ton of small rooms)

What the 15 map limit does is force people to put points into all aspects of the mod instead of running off with one or two. You're capped at 15 tilesets, about 20 ORGs 15 levels no bigger than X, and well the only real other thing that can get out of hand is assembly (and tbh I think it REALLY did in tidewalkers, but other areas didn't really pull through because of reasons everyone already knows).

With a 15 map limit and a time limit of about 8 weeks, It's enough to make a good mod on a one man team, but Not so much that you're actually going to hit 15 tilesets, a good story, 20 ORGs (unless you take them from the MASSIVE archive of them now) I think you would hit about 3/4 of that and implement it properly in a playable state. BUT with the power of teams I think hitting that cap would be more possible, making team play a lot more valuable where you would have one person working on two aspects while another person works on another two.

Of course the problems with this is that the contest rules favor an ability to make:
art (or use already existing art you made)
assembly (especially if you have backlogs of it from X years of making hacks)
ORGs (if you don't want to use already existing ones)
and have reliable people working with you.

If you think these are good or bad things I'll leave it up to whoever hosts next years contest but that's about what I've figured out over the course of the modding campaign. These rules also apply to other modding contests such as the yearly Sonic ROM hacking competition, but they allow you to submit works that you've been working on for multiple years, so It's more of a "who's the best" instead of a "who's the most organized, can guess the theme the best, and can have as many assets prepared ahead of time" contest.

I realize that with only 3 entries it's kinda pointless to be talking about such meta things, and I'm somewhat rambling but I don't know how else to wrap this up except for a "GG" and a "see you all next year" so there.

See you all next year! :pignon:
 
Dec 4, 2018 at 10:36 PM
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These rules also apply to other modding contests such as the yearly Sonic ROM hacking competition, but they allow you to submit works that you've been working on for multiple years, so It's more of a "who's the best" instead of a "who's the most organized, can guess the theme the best, and can have as many assets prepared ahead of time" contest.
Ehhhh, submitting works from before the contest can really fall under "who's the most organized, can guess the theme the best, and can have as many assets prepared ahead of time" as well, specifically for working on a CS mod, where everything can just be copy/pasted on a new mod folder, giving things an unfair advantage over rom hacks.

For resources such as orgs, sprites, tilesets, backgrounds, Seatone, premade ASM hacks (via hex patches or DouA scripts), I do think a universal, accessible archive for it all should be a thing so everyone can just have a place to drop by if they can't make the time to do it themselves. Not to mention, it takes anyone to slap premade assets together, it takes skill to make sure it all works together (Can't really guarantee that a mod with Hotondo style graphics would match well with Tpcool's music, but it's worth a shot)
 
Dec 4, 2018 at 11:14 PM
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next time can we actually do a contest when everyone (other than BLink and australians) can participate without being overloaded in work

that'd make it easier on us all

@DoubleThink the orange enemies in task force aren't that hard if you have the uhhhhhhhh big red gun or the proton gun as long as you know how to actually dodge

each character's weapons make it easier or harder to face certain enemies (yellow dudes are a pain with geoffrey) to add more balance and replay value. same goes for bosses. the variety of weapons and characters creates many different styles of play. Taylor is better for platforming and speedrunning thanks to the power pistol, but he's not as powerful attack-wise which makes him harder to play as.

as for your post about the map design it's all pretty linear. you just go right for room one, then up and right for room two to get past the tall building, fight the boss, then go up and left to get to the final boss, which, if you listened to the recordings, you would know. it's not a maze and the more you play it, the more you get better at it thanks to the multiple characters and replayability along with the landmarks.

Your comparison with TFL doesn't really work since that mod is mainly linear and heavily plot based.

tbh Sliptouch should have won; also
how did it not fit the theme

it was futuristic prison escape

how is that not the theme

please explain someone everyone says it isnt theme
help
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 3:32 PM
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I want it to be clear to you all that zxin does not wish for the results of the contest to change


Check the rules:
, while any outright technical errors, serious ongoing issues, rule infractions and incompleteness remaining after the cleanup period will have to be severely scrutinised.
I'm not going to outright disallow mods that don't put this [bonus item] in, but I highly recommend it for purposes of winning. See below for more details!
 
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Dec 5, 2018 at 4:23 PM
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I want it to be clear to you all that zxin does not wish for the results of the contest to change
I'm missing your point here then.
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 4:25 PM
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Dec 5, 2018 at 4:26 PM
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The post rather than the results themselves.
That's not an answer. Are you trying to slander dt or trying to show he's wrong or something?
 
Dec 5, 2018 at 9:50 PM
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Because the two mods were considerably equal in all regards on release, and making a judgment call based off the silvers pear implementation would be irresponsible because of the lack of entries; DT's final judgment call was made based on the results of previous contests being, more unfinished mods with higher quality content rank higher than finished mods with lower quality content.

Why is this so hard to understand?
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 2:17 AM
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Because the two mods were considerably equal in all regards on release, and making a judgment call based off the silvers pear implementation would be irresponsible because of the lack of entries; DT's final judgment call was made based on the results of previous contests being, more unfinished mods with higher quality content rank higher than finished mods with lower quality content.

Why is this so hard to understand?
Task Force's quality was pretty dang good from a gameplay and musical aspect, especially considering all the work that went into the aesthetics, guns, enemies, and other additions like the character select. Tide Walkers' quality was mainly in its' artwork and major assembly advancements that also led to major bugs you were unwilling to fix, that should have deducted far more points than they did. Task Force was generally bug free as a whole, since whenever someone mentioned a bug, zxin actually made it his top priority to fix them and add the to quality other than rush in way more areas and ideas than necessary to create a good mod.

I'm going to give DT the benefit of the doubt and say he wasn't entirely sober or really reading into what zxin was saying in the DM, but you can't say that zxin acted like he had this contest in the bag when BLink did as well. At one point a few weeks before the deadline BLink said in the CSMC that he'd probably win if he left his mod as is, and proceeded to not listen to anyone's advice. I feel like DT mainly chose BLink's entry over zxin's because BLink acted nicer towards him and is a better representation of the community as a whole where zxin is kind of out there, which is just an assumption on my part, but you can't look that this contest and say there isn't some bias. Next year we need non-CS community members to judge the entries.

Plus you can't say this in the rules ", while any outright technical errors, serious ongoing issues, rule infractions and incompleteness remaining after the cleanup period will have to be severely scrutinised. " and then do a complete 360 and say BLink wins. As someone who was on the Task Force team and could see how much work was being put in from the different people, this just feels insulting.

But then again "muh quality be subjecteeve"
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:02 AM
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Task Force's quality was pretty dang good from a gameplay and musical aspect, especially considering all the work that went into the aesthetics, guns, enemies, and other additions like the character select.
The gameplay is mediocre at best, the sense in direction is so open it looks linear in a "go left to right" directive most of the way through. No one would think of talking to the communication stations at first glance, and no one would think there's more after the first boss, making them easily lost in such a mod like Task Force. Of the weapons to use, only two of them can be considered good. Two though, not so much, one has a huge knockback which is hugely annoying to kill enemies with, especially if you're in the more aerial areas, and one has a function that I doubt players would be able to use right. Both would make killing all the bulky enemies (so basically all enemies in the game) such a chore you're better off with the tractor beam or the unlockable character's weapon. I shudder at the thought of using the worse weapons at the bosses.

Just because there was work put into everything in Task Force doesn't mean they're always worth their reward. And it shows that with Tidewalkers, with two dedicated modders carefully planning everything out from the gimmicks to the core gameplay. While Task Force can be seen as impressive in its own right, the organization with the devteam behind the scenes was probably a mess, so some parts came out more rushed than polished. Even if BLink and Seasons were to use the vanilla gameplay, I could imagine their mod still holding the upper hand to Task Force. And what I'm saying is all into the gameplay and flow of the mods, the graphics can be ignored, the music can be ignored, those are entirely subjective in the modding scene, y'all are only lucky that they've been encouraged in the past four modcons.

Sliptouch is for those who love to speedrun and have the patience to practice exploits religiously. That's all I can say about this in contrast to the Task Force/Tidewalkers debate.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:13 AM
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The gameplay is mediocre at best, the sense in direction is so open it looks linear in a "go left to right" directive most of the way through. No one would think of talking to the communication stations at first glance, and no one would think there's more after the first boss, making them easily lost in such a mod like Task Force. Of the weapons to use, only two of them can be considered good. Two though, not so much, one has a huge knockback which is hugely annoying to kill enemies with, especially if you're in the more aerial areas, and one has a function that I doubt players would be able to use right. Both would make killing all the bulky enemies (so basically all enemies in the game) such a chore you're better off with the tractor beam or the unlockable character's weapon. I shudder at the thought of using the worse weapons at the bosses.

Just because there was work put into everything in Task Force doesn't mean they're always worth their reward. And it shows that with Tidewalkers, with two dedicated modders carefully planning everything out from the gimmicks to the core gameplay. While Task Force can be seen as impressive in its own right, the organization with the devteam behind the scenes was probably a mess, so some parts came out more rushed than polished. Even if BLink and Seasons were to use the vanilla gameplay, I could imagine their mod still holding the upper hand to Task Force. And what I'm saying is all into the gameplay and flow of the mods, the graphics can be ignored, the music can be ignored, those are entirely subjective in the modding scene, y'all are only lucky that they've been encouraged in the past four modcons.

Sliptouch is for those who love to speedrun and have the patience to practice exploits religiously. That's all I can say about this in contrast to the Task Force/Tidewalkers debate.
You can't just assume how the development process went. It wasn't rushed at all, and we had an extra week after it was created as well. Parts weren't rushed at all. Plus, Task Force's gameplay is actually fun and the enemies are placed in tricky areas designed to make you think, whereas Tidewalkers feels like the enemies were just rushed and tacked on the the giant maps. The only part where the enemies were actually well placed was in the sunken lab, and by then I was already far too tired to think straight because you didn't have to do so at all earlier in the mod with all the rushed and tacked on enemies and huge maps.

Your main gripe with Task Force is with Taylor, and you not being able to read basic directions the com. boxes not being flashy enough. Taylor was designed to be harder to play as, hence her title. Personally I had more fun playing with Taylor than any other characters solely due to them being far too easy once you know how the enemies and level layouts worked. Taylor's loadout is not only challenging but also works better for platforming and going fast. I thought the final boss was going to be a nightmare to fight with her, but due to the birds I could easily form a strategy (shoot boss with power pistol, spam bounce ball to act as shield against bird so bird drops xp or health) just by, guess what, actually using my brain. It also seems like you didn't even try playing as the other characters, but that's the main meat of Task Force. The com. boxes, yes, could be more flashy, (which they are in the upcoming update) but even as they are they work relatively well, as they're the only thing with flashing lights on them, plus they aren't even necessary to play the mod.)
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:14 AM
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I don't disagree with any of what you're saying but this requires an assumption:
DT's results of "equal" is taken BEFORE the "severely scrutinised" deduction from Tidewalkers instead of after.

Cyberslash said:
major bugs you were unwilling to fix
All the bugs in the earlier demos were fixed, The trigger leaving the village, the improper land collision, the only thing I didn't get to fix wasn't even a bug, it was a better drowning notification when you were out of the water, that Zxin, of all people requested I make.

The only bug I remember existing in the final build is the collision not working properly in tight spaces. And that was intentional because I liked it where when swimming through small areas barely as big as your body you would get caught on stuff, It fit well imo.

Again referring to any problems that exist, I LITERALLY could not have made the mod any better than I did. I put all the time and energy I had into it that I did, and I wanted to make as many changes that would cater to make DT like the mod as best as possible. I think finishing the laboratory was more important than fixing a collision "bug" that I had no idea where to start on. (that again I still think is a "feature")

And what I'm saying is all into the gameplay and flow of the mods, the graphics can be ignored, the music can be ignored, those are entirely subjective in the modding scene, y'all are only lucky that they've been encouraged in the past four modcons..
#1 I guarantee the inner working of Tidewalkers was an absolute disaster with me being sleep deprived as fuck most the time and nobody else being able to contribute more than 30 hours to the mod.

#2 What would happen if I decided to go with the Idea we had at week 3 and completely just not have combat at all then?? I was going to have the butter smooth controls, the art, and the music carry the entire mod at one point, but then seasons actually got some time to work on things. (yes, nobody did any contribution to the first submission other than myself, even the ORGs used were made by me)

On top of this I went to DT 72 hours before the deadline and 100% seriously just wanted to just drop out but he said I couldn't because I already made a submission, (this honestly really pissed me off that people were going to see 0.2 as the final submission instead of just dropping out as a nothing) so I thought I would try my best to patch together what I had and make it work.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:26 AM
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Task Force's gameplay is actually fun and the enemies are placed in tricky areas designed to make you think,
Having LGM that walk as slow as molasses or having the Chargin' Chuck reskins partially immune to the Tractor Beam aren't considered intellectual, even the guy who reviewed Cuphead would know they just need to be killed immediately because they don't look like good guys. I'd advise playing Mega Man or even replaying Cave Story if you wished to include enemies that make you think.
Your main gripe with Task Force is with Taylor, and you not being able to read basic directions the com. boxes not being flashy enough. Taylor was designed to be harder to play as, hence her title. Personally I had more fun playing with Taylor than any other characters solely due to them being far too easy once you know how the enemies and level layouts worked. Taylor's loadout is not only challenging but also works better for platforming and going fast.
If you wish for a hard speedrun, then put it all in the level design and make the enemies attack you in a way that makes you think (like in my previous point), as long as you can kill them fast enough with a good loadout. Encouraging speedruns with an intentionally bad loadout is bullshit and it mocks the player for even wanting to try. And since the enemies are so bulky because that's apparently smart mechanics to the untrained eye, there's literally no point in using Taylor, meaning there's already a huge deduction in your score.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:31 AM
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Having LGM that walk as slow as molasses or having the Chargin' Chuck reskins partially immune to the Tractor Beam aren't considered intellectual, even the guy who reviewed Cuphead would know they just need to be killed immediately because they don't look like good guys. I'd advise playing Mega Man or even replaying Cave Story if you wished to include enemies that make you think.

If you wish for a hard speedrun, then put it all in the level design and make the enemies attack you in a way that makes you think (like in my previous point), as long as you can kill them fast enough with a good loadout. Encouraging speedruns with an intentionally bad loadout is bullshit and it mocks the player for even wanting to try. And since the enemies are so bulky because that's apparently smart mechanics to the untrained eye, there's literally no point in using Taylor, meaning there's already a huge deduction in your score.
If you get the perfect loadout every time with no challenges why on earth would I even play the game? The characters have different weaknesses to different monsters, as I've explained many times before. Plus as I already said in my post, Taylor was literally added for a challenge, and once you beat the mod with him, it feels like you've actually accomplished something, which is a much bigger feeling than what Tidewalkers gave. I suggest you reread my first post.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:37 AM
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If you get the perfect loadout every time with no challenges why on earth would I even play the game?
If you put in actual challenges, and not make the platforming against the physics and have the enemies actually do a damn thing, will you then ask me that question again?
and once you beat the mod with him, it feels like you've actually accomplished something,
The same can be said if you played games like Jekyll and Hyde on the NES, or Kaizo Mario World, because yes, these are games Task Force deserves to be compared to, but you'll also feel a greater amount of regret all over a stupid decision you made playing the game. There's a reason why no one wants to use only Nemesis level 3 in anything because it's not worth it at all.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 3:55 AM
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If you put in actual challenges, and not make the platforming against the physics and have the enemies actually do a damn thing, will you then ask me that question again?

The same can be said if you played games like Jekyll and Hyde on the NES, or Kaizo Mario World, because yes, these are games Task Force deserves to be compared to, but you'll also feel a greater amount of regret all over a stupid decision you made playing the game. There's a reason why no one wants to use only Nemesis level 3 in anything because it's not worth it at all.
That's why Task Force has more characters than just Taylor?? Your comparison literally makes no sense.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 4:04 AM
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Dec 6, 2018 at 4:54 AM
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Then that means it's better off with the other three.
For you maybe. Playstyles differ across different people. Some love spike hells, others hate them. Just because you're in one group doesn't mean you can denounce the other entirely.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 5:46 AM
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the unlockable character's weapon.
All of Mina's weapons are that of the other characters. She doesn't have a weapon of her own.

The com. boxes, yes, could be more flashy, (which they are in the upcoming update) but even as they are they work relatively well, as they're the only thing with flashing lights on them, plus they aren't even necessary to play the mod.)
Nope, the latest release (1.0.3.0) has the newest terminal design. Tell me if you think I should make the exclamation mark on them actually flash though!

(that again I still think is a "feature")
Dude, you can't call that a feature.
Just look at how the player's movement works, since the player can climb slopes without a hitch.

Encouraging speedruns with an intentionally bad loadout is bullshit and it mocks the player for even wanting to try.
The loadout isn't intentionally bad. The more accurate title -- "oddly equipped" -- better describes Taylor, but that wasn't really enough of a warning to the people who probably wouldn't want to play as her. (i.e. people who won't think "hmm, how do I use this weapon that seems completely inane")

Here's some advice for using Taylor:
-Avoid using the pistol as a weapon if you can. Use its recoil to your advantage instead.
-Face away from your target using the bounce ball.
-Be careful with missing with the bounce ball. Its shots last forever because it's designed to allow you to block projectiles. (Maybe I'll add a superficial ammo counter for it next update?)

have the enemies actually do a damn thing
Okay I'll add an enemy just for you then.
 
Dec 6, 2018 at 6:36 AM
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Dude, you can't call that a feature.
Just look at how the player's movement works, since the player can climb slopes without a hitch.
But, I did.
So,
I don't really understand how you can say I can't when I did, just now in my last post.

Also are we REALLY going to talk about this, Where are all the other bugs that exist? If this is all you two can pick on then I think you're just really trying to make your mod seem better than mine.

On top of it there's like a >1% chance you're actually going to change DT's mind on this, so what is the point even?
 
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