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     Contest results! [JJnet Level Contest Season 13] | [q]2018-09-10 20:48
JJnet admin
Posts: 106
The level contest for season 13 has been concluded and the judges have selected their 3 favorite maps for the ladder mappool. The winners were determined by holding a voting in the 'council', where each of the invited judges could vote for 3 maps they deemed to be the best fit for the mappool. A total of 5 judges voted in the council, whom were Lahm, JellyJam, Ragnarok, SJ and Anubis. The results were as follows:

Butrinti - 5 votes
Orbital IV - 3 votes
Sparkling Illusions - 3 votes
Painted Garden - 2 votes
Nidavellir - 1 vote
Red Rose - 1 vote
Cleanse - 0 votes
The Crackdown - 0 votes

[6:06 PM] sn1ky: My top 3 would probably be xlmbut ezspark and ezpaint
[10:49 PM] Jelly Jam: Hi, I vote for xlmbut, ezorb and xlmnidavellir and I recommend the last 2 to be 3vs3 only.
[11:29 PM] Ragnarok: My 3 votes are gonna be (in order of preference), ezspark, xlmbut, and ezpaint - all of which can be both 2v2/3v3
[11:31 PM] SJ: In the meantime, I'll announce my own votes: Butrinti, Orbital IV, Red Rose
[11:48 PM] Anubis: My final votes are xlmbut, ezspark, and ezorb (last one as 3v3 only). I might have picked ezpaint as my 3rd vote if it had better layout in the middle area though

Thus the 3 maps that have been selected for the mappool are Butrinti, Orbital IV and Sparkling Illusions!

Congratulations for your victory Smoke & Loon! Your level truly impressed all of the judges. Also congratulations to FawFul and ThunDerDraGon for a tied 2nd place. The top-3 maps have now been added to the mappool, but Orbital IV as a 3v3 only map due to it's big size and complexity.

Overall we got a total of 8 high quality, creative maps that were fun to play in during the judging process! That is way over my expectations! Therefore I want to thank everybody who participated in the contest! Also thanks to all the judges who voted and helped in judging the contest entries.

Of course, we wouldn't want to leave others empty about why their maps weren't selected by the judges. So you may find a huge wall of text below stating the most essential things that the judges liked/disliked about each level:


+Well executed, versatile layout that suits both 2v2 and 3v3 games nicely
+Very interesting carrot area with a lot of strategic options
+Not too many camping spots
+Good choice and spread of weapons and power ups
+Well balanced open and closed areas
+Visually gorgeous and not too distractive

-Flow could use optimization; intuitive on one side, and bumpier on the other side

Orbital IV:

+Excellent CTF layout with plenty of room for a very diverse, strategic gameplay
+Movement and flow has been made easy to learn, yet hard to fully master
+Inspiring visuals and background, not distractive
+Excellent base design and fairly good vine placement to bring extra depth to the gameplay
+The RF-powerups offer nice, various way to reach, since it's possible to also RF-climb to them or shoot with gun9

-Not much exciting action in 2v2 games, due to the fairly large size
-There are some areas that are particularly campy, namely the top middle and the large horizontal spaces. Luckily the bouncer ammo helps a lot in the horizontal space, but requires patience.
-Some of the ammo placement and vines could still benefit from some optimization

Sparkling Illusions:

+Good, versatile layout that suits both 2v2/3v3 games, which encourages good movement
+Cool and creative measures to counter camping in specific areas, generally not too easily campable
+Good choice of powerups and well balanced, together with a suitable amount of ammo in the level
+Many places with room for RF tricks
+Visually impressive
+Original and interesting base design

-May be sometimes excessively visual, distractive; Particularly the visuals might make it hard to distinguish passable areas or solid platforms (as perhaps the level title implies)
-The graphics cause minor fps drops in 16-bit mode, 8-bit mode seems to be recommended
-Bumpy flow at parts, but is possible to get used to with some practice, potentially
-Minor dead ends where you get stuck for a second if you don't jump to the spring immediately

Painted Garden:

+Custom roller weapon that fits the level design very well, giving players the ability to shoot upwards the slopes
+Good general placement of pickups
+Sold layout with a reasonably good flow

-Some parts of the level are a bit boring, particularly the middle area
-Some areas under bases can get particularly annoying in 2v2s against camping flagholders who may require 2 players to hunt down, like the carrot areas that are fairly easily campable
-Level could benefit from more seeker ammo
-The level might be slightly overdecorated together with the very rich colours


+Original layout
+Well placed full NRG carrot that can be sent down
+Interesting choice of power ups

-The map is too big for 2v2, considering there are 3 carrots and the overall size of the map
-Top area is probably only for camping
-A lot of items of interest particularly at the bottom of the level
-Gameplay seems too vertical and is mainly focused on going up and down different floors
-The ropes above the bases make it so that you can camp a lot

Red Rose:

+Fun and fast-paced map with a small layout that is easy to learn and remember
+Flow is particularly nice and well balanced between all characters
+The carrot area is well executed and camping there is counterable from above with bouncers

-Might be sometimes a bit too chaotic in a 3v3 game, due to the small size of the map
-The layout is pretty bouncer biased, and the thin walls and platforms the bouncers can go through only make this feeling stronger
-The bottom level is slightly too cramped and linear
-Some areas might be generally too campy, like the vines above bases together with seeker and bouncer ammo


+Very original, inspiring gameplay that rewards high skill together with the custom energy blast-weapon
+Can be a lot of fun to play with other people who haven't fully learned or mastered the level yet
+Well executed and inspiring alternative way to reach base (through the top)

-Massive in size, although very open at the same time
-Very punishing gameplay for players new to the level, with all the hazardous scenery (although it manages to crop the otherwise so large playable area a bit)
-Long learning curve
-Contains two full NRG carrots that are very separated from each other, which means that each team basically has their own full NRG carrots. This makes it very hard to kill the opposing, dominating flagcarriers (especially in 2v2).
-Contains a laser shield in an area that is hard (but not impossible) to reach out alive. Enabling /noshields neither stops the shield from spawning, but just makes players using that shield to get kicked off for using an invalid shield (apparently due to a JJ2+ bug). That would be too much for the ladder.

The Crackdown:

+Very original gameplay and impressive visual side
+Solid, tactical layout that has room for numerous tricks, like RF-climbs
+Offers some nice strategic possibilities with TNT ammo

-Too campy and slow-paced for a 2v2-game
-Might be too gimmicky, as the antigravity plays a big role in the map and may be too difficult for most players to get used to
-The trigger scenery closing the top entrance to the base greatly limits movement in the map, although it is there for a reason
-The bases can get very campy and challenging to reach against heavy defense, as the TNT backdoor isn't too easily accessible
-Would benefit from more ammo
JJnet user
Posts: 321
#1 | [q]2018-09-10 21:54
Congrats to the winners! Butrinti is a nice companion piece to TDE, Sparkling Illusions (really digging the SI abbreviation) seems fun, and of course Orbital is another cracker from my favorite author Fofel.

Also, thanks for the detailed feedback, even though I didn't end up getting in, it was still a fun adventure to make a level from scratch and submit it AFTER the original deadline.

I also have to tip my hat off to SE for Cleanse - this may well be spearheading a new era in CTF, even though it's not one we're yet prepared for.


Jazz 2 Online
JJnet user
Posts: 470
#2 | [q]2018-09-11 01:26
What a nice contest! I love the feedback for every map and it means a lot to me. Now I know what to avoid, what to change and how to make a better level. I am really happy with the outcome, even though my map didn't make it. I wasn't hoping to get in the mappool at all because my level was really huge, and people play 2v2 more than 3v3. I feel really sorry for Painted Garden. I expected that level to be in the mappool. At least 2 other levels that I expected to be in are in. Butrinti and Sparkling Illusions. It's been a while since we had this amount of good and quality levels in JJ2, and I think that this was one of the most successful map contest. I believe it was really hard for everyone to pick 3 maps.

Anyway, I wanted to point out a few things that should have been different from my point of view. Don't want to start the drama, this is only my opinion

It is voting. Even though I like the voting results, voting wasn't balanced and fair to the ladder players.
For example - we had 5 judges. Not all 5 judges played all maps both 2v2 and 3v3. That means that they didn't properly test them. Some of them are semi-active or inactive. And besides that I still think that 5 judges aren't enough.
If I was asked, I would do the voting process differently. Probably like the one we have at the end of each year on JCF where we vote for JCS awards. Everyone who has a clan, and who has played at least X games in the past X months / or in the previous season, would be able to vote. Even a thread with poll and 8 map options here on the forums would be enough. Also, level creators who took a place in the contest would be allowed to vote, but not for their map. Voting would be public and everyone who is active would be able to pick their 3 favourite maps. I think that option would be more reliable.

Ladder is a tournament with a lot of players and all active players should be allowed to vote.
JJnet user
Posts: 321
#3 | [q]2018-09-11 10:50
Yeah, it would have been interesting to guarantee a mappool spot to the winners, and put the others to a public vote like the one we had in 2016. Maybe that way I would have gotten at least 1 vote emo

Jazz 2 Online
Jelly Jam
JJnet user
Posts: 315
#4 | [q]2018-09-11 13:32
This contest had a truly strong selection of maps and IMO only little details decided the outcome. Congrats to everyone who claimed a spot in the pool, especially to Loon and Smoke who managed to get a vote from all of the judges! And to everyone who didn't make the cut, don't worry, I think you can easily get your maps in next season! emo
JJnet user
Posts: 181
#5 | [q]2018-09-11 15:29
@Toni It was a bit of a last minute vote. I believe 7 people were invited to the council in total, out of which 5 voted. I had played most maps in 2v2 and/or 3v3 except three of them, when I was invited to vote on Sunday, and the voting deadline was until midnight on the same day so I only had the evening after coming back home to play or look through all maps in detail. Other council members had already started testing the maps from the afternoon, though. One more person invited in the voting council seemed too busy to pick 3 maps on time that day, as he had only played two of them and was busy at the time. Giving a few more days notice might have allowed more people to participate in the voting.

I do like the ideas of cooba and Jelly Jam that would let more maps get in, either from this or next season, as it was indeed a difficult choice to pick only 3 maps out of all the quality entries we got. I don't really like the idea of completely replacing the voting council with a public vote, though. By picking a voting council it's easier to make sure only people who would vote based on objective criteria in accordance with the contest requirements are allowed to vote. Otherwise clan members or level making group members would coordinate their votes according to their own group's interests. I don't see how including some of the level creators would be doable either, as they could still vote in a way that would move their map in the ranking, even when not voting for their own map.
JJnet user
Posts: 470
#6 | [q]2018-09-11 15:41
Yet again, not all of you had objective criteria in voting emo

I don't see how would someone be forced to vote for a certain map if he doesn't like that map. For example, I wouldn't vote for Faw's map because I don't like it much. Even though he is in CC. I would vote for PJ's instead because I played games on both maps and I liked Painted Garden more than Orbital. And again it is only my opinion. That way, everyone who actively plays ladder would be able to vote what maps would they play in the current season. That's fair if you ask me. If they vote for Cleanse, they would then play Cleanse. That was their pick.

Posts: 119
#7 | [q]2018-09-11 18:30
Good contest. Good entries. Good picks.

Thanks for the kind words, cooba.

JJnet user
Posts: 216
#8 | [q]2018-09-11 23:23
Which players didn't have objective criteria in voting, and what makes you say that?

I haven't read most of this, since i'm a bit short on time, so it's a genuine question.

Player: Air!
Air: ?