Meet the Judges
A panel of four judges scored and reviewed each level in the contest, with their average scores determining the order of levels in the final game. The scoring rubric consisted of 100 points: 35 for design, 15 for creativity, 10 for functionality, 25 for fun, and 15 for aesthetics, with possible penalties for late submission and catastrophic functionality issues. Here's a little bit of info about each of the judges.
Hi! I'm ParmaJon and I've been with MaGMML from the start. I got into it because I have been friends with Pyro for a good number of years. I've been pretty involved in the series, as I have submitted entries to both MaGMML 1 and MaGMML 2, submitted two postgame sections for MaGMML 2, and hosted MaG24HMML, the Pit of Pits in MaGMML 2, and now MaG48HMML. I've been a Mega Man fan for nearly my entire life, starting with Mega Man 3. I've always loved how tight the controls are and the array of weapons.
Reviewing has always been something I've been intrested in, and personally, looking at things numerically has always made sense to me. I try really hard to have a fair mix of objectiveness as well as what really is my taste. When concieving this contest, I was really interested in seeing how creative people could be with their assets (think about constrained writing, if you have ever done that). I love when something new is made from existing assets. My other main love is when you finish a section and you get that feeling of satisfaction, like, "Yeah, I just cleared that!" For my scores, those two things are what differentiates an amazing level from a great level.
I've generally tried to be positive with my reviews and to point out something about the level that I enjoyed. Even with a rough level, there's usually a good takeaway. With bad aspects, I've tried to point out what was wrong and sometimes even offer ideas of how to make it better. I know this contest had a time constraint and that these levels lack a degree of polish that other contests have, but there's a lot of really good stuff in here! I'm so proud of what this contest turned out to be, and I hope you have a great time playing it.
Heya, its me, the PK! A fellow judge, who really likes Touhou.
As far as level design goes, I really enjoy when gimmicks are well used, but I'm also quite adamant that they get a good introduction, because not everyone will understand how something works immediately, you know?
I can be critical at times, but honestly, if something was fun and enjoyable, it's still a win in my book! (But don't think I won't scold you for the mistakes; that's how you learn from them, after all. :p )
Hi! I'm Mecopisthes Jacquelinae, but you can call me M-Jacq. I was on the devteam for MaGMML2, where I made two levels that I will politely call "polarizing" and leave at that.
I've played a lot of Mega Man titles, both official and fanmade, and the one trait they all share is that the Wily Castle always ends up being a letdown. It's only in judging this contest that I realized why: it's because there's no sense of place to these levels. Robot Master levels have a clear theme to them - the forest! the volcano! the pirate ship! - and get to build gimmicks and enemies around that top-down set of video game tropes. Wily stages are stuck reusing those levels' assets, and thus struggle to justify why the monkey, the lava tide, and the sentient sea mine are onscreen simultaneously. Because, of course, they weren't meant to be.
This is the challenge every single contestant faced with their respective box: how do I make something coherent out of assets that weren't meant to go together? It's a real puzzle even with ample time to focus on aesthetics; that so many entries did so in just two days is astonishing. Of course, more people failed in that goal than succeeded, but that's not to say these levels were bad. Mega Man can be fun even when you're shooting through a nondescript factory! But in judging these levels, my number one concern was whether there was an internal logic to each stage beyond the enemy and gimmick requirements imposed upon them. "Did you think outside the box?", you could ask. How on-brand.
My hope is that you the player come away from my comments with deeper thoughts about what makes platformer levels (or even art in general) good - a high bar that my limited writing skills will likely not permit me to clear. Honestly, I'll settle for just making you laugh once or twice.
Hey everyone, it's Freems (or Freeman, either works). I usually end up dancing around various Mega Man-related things in the background without actually doing a whole lot. Though most notably I was the project lead on Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch Version 6, so that was a good time. In the context of MaGMML, I was one of the two people who made Haunt Man's stage in MaGMML2 and also a level that I can't say out loud yet in MaGMML3.
I always like me some Mega Man, and usually what's most important to me when playing a level is whether or not it feels like, well, a Mega Man level. Super creative gimmicks and beautiful aesthetics are well and good, don't get me wrong, but levels that feel ripped out of the games themselves will always make me have a good time. And what's more important than having a good time?
Stage length combined with checkpoint placement is definitely one of those things I look out for the most. Even the tastiest of desserts will go to waste if there's too much on the plate. But it's all too easy for someone to assume that Mega Man is meant to be super difficult and long, and just keep piling dessert upon dessert. A perfect cake is a combination of good ingredients and the right portion, after all.
Hopefully for the both of us, that will be the last dessert metaphor you see in relation to this contest ever.