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December 2014 Level Design Contest

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sky_lark

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:43 am

December 2014 Level Design Contest

Prepare to half lots of fun
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Announcing the December 2014 Level Design Contest! Put on your thinking cap, slip into your inspiration pajamas, and let's roll.

--CHALLENGE--
Your challenge for this month's contest is to build HALF of a level. After all levels are received, each half will be randomly paired with another half to form a complete level. The server rotation will include multiple combinations of your half paired with other halves, so you're not out of luck if you get a bad partner. ;) Attached to this post is a level template -- download it and follow these instructions:

    • You must build within the existing wall and not delete it, but you may decorate it so long as it keeps its fundamental shape.
    • You are not required to fill the entire space. You may reduce the playing area with barriers inside of the existing wall.
    • You must not barricade the points of entry (designated by white lines) or block access to a flag or goal zone.
    • You may create a
    1-flag CTF or a 3-flag Retrieve level. In CTF, you may position the flag anywhere. In Retrieve, the flags are already placed for you and must not be moved.
    • Level time:
    5 minutes. Score cap: 12 points. Engineer? Nope!
    • Note: I might flip your half to pair it, so be wary of level text. If you add text, I'll try to keep it unflipped, but no guarantees.
    • Note: Level halves will be judged individually, but voters may be influenced by how the level adapts to other halves. Try to
    avoid crowding your level or making it frustrating for enemies.
Levels will be judged for creativity, competitiveness, aesthetics, and fun. Be sure to read about the Bonuses posted below before you begin! Lastly, note that authors must remain anonymous.

--FORMAT--
Editing: You may edit your level(s) throughout the contest as many times as you'd like and submit them to me via PM for inclusion. The final edit deadline is Saturday, January 10th at 4:00pm EST. Edits after this deadline will not be accepted. Update (1/11): Due to the voting period continuing for quite some time, edits will now be accepted until Wednesday, January 14th at 11:59pm EST sharp!

Voting: You may submit as many levels as you'd like, but only 1 level may be eligible for prizes. In the first stage of voting, users will vote for multiple levels. The highest voted level from each user will advance to the next round. (If a user submitted only a single level, that level will advance automatically.) This will ensure each participant only has 1 level in the running for the second round.

Feedback: You may PM me during the contest if you'd like to respond to or request feedback and I will post on your behalf in the discussion thread. I may change your wording slightly to ensure anonymity.

--GENERAL TIMELINE--
» Wednesday, Dec 24th | Contest announced!
» Sunday, Jan 4th at 11:59pm EST | Early bird deadline (see below)
» Wednesday, Jan 7th at 11:59pm EST | Levels due via PM to me
» Thursday, Jan 8th | Contest server and discussion thread go up
» Friday, Jan 9th at 9:00pm EST | Contest party (1/3)
» Saturday, Jan 10th at 4:00pm EST | First edit deadline (see above)
» Saturday, Jan 10th at 8:00pm EST | Contest party (2/3)
» Wednesday, Jan 14th at 11:59pm EST | Final edit deadline (see above)
» Friday, Jan 16th at 9:00pm EST | Contest party (3/3)

Update (1/11): Added third contest party and new edit deadline!

--VOTING TIMELINE--
» Sunday, Jan 11th - Tuesday, Jan 13th | Stage 01
» Wednesday, Jan 14th - Friday, Jan 16th | Stage 02
» Saturday, Jan 17th - Monday, Jan 19th | Stage 03

--PRIZE BONUSES--
The top voted entry will receive a digital cash prize of $10, payable through PayPal, Amazon, Steam, or iTunes. But wait... there's more! The second place entry will receive a digital cash prize of $5, payable through the same outlets. But wait... there's EVEN MORE!

    • If EIGHT+ users enter, the 1st place prize increases to $16!
    The number of entrants will be updated as users submit levels.
    • Add a HOLIDAY THEME and win 1st place for a $3 bonus!
    Some ideas: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, snowflakes, evergreens, ornaments, candles, feasts, presents, santa claus, desserts, cozy fireplaces, family, cider, lights, decorations.
    • Add a LEVELGEN and win 1st place for a $2 bonus!
    Please be sure a levelgen only affects your half. Slow-mo script affecting players in your half? All good. Slow-mo script that affects players in both halves? Not okay.
    • Be a EARLY BIRD and win 1st OR 2nd place for a $1 bonus!
    This deadline is Sunday, January 4th at 11:59pm EST. You may still send edits to your level up to the edit deadline, but for your level to qualify for this bonus it must be mostly complete.
So work hard, think big, and make some awesome levels!

dec2014contest.zip

Disclaimer: The format of this contest is subject to change. I reserve the right to edit levels and/or disqualify levels or authors if suspected of cheating and/or breaking the veil of anonymity.

edit: RESULTS! Posted June 17, 2015
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by sky_lark on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Fordcars

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:12 am

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

AWESOME! THIS IS AWESOME!
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raptor

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:28 am

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

WOW! This is great!

Might I suggest one thing: Choose one-word or partial-word titles, so your level mixes can be named easier. For instance, if I submit a level named 'angry' and fordcars enters a level named 'gelatin', you could name the combined level 'angry gelatin' or 'gelatinous anger'.
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amgine

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Ill try my best!

I think levelgens should be barred from contests those who dont know how to program ( like me) would be at a significant disadvantage proof of this is the fact most contests have been won by levels with level gens.
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sky_lark

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

@raptor Great idea! I hadn't considered how I would combine level names, so if y'all make it easy on me and just choose one noun or verb that would be swell. :)

@Amgine I saw your input in the survey and thought about it a bit. I feel your frustration as I too have virtually no idea how to make levelgens. But at the end of the day my main goal is to encourage creativity. I love seeing what people make and I think levelgens are the future of Bitfighter. So yes, levelgens pose a slight advantage, but I'd hate to disallow them and curb creativity. Does this make sense?

Also, one of the interesting side effects I've seen is how we in the absence of levelgen knowledge work harder to accomplish the same goal. Level designers like you and I don't want to feel left out of the innovation madness so we strive to build without the aid of scripts. We develop complex machines and while they may not look quite as pretty, the process of building those machines definitely propagates creativity which like I said is a good thing.

Colossus is a good example of this, while it's certainly quite ugly I'm really happy with how I was able to create a spawn ticket system similar to Battlefield without using any scripts. But if nothing else, hopefully by offering an incentive I can encourage people like you and me to take the time to actually learn how to make levelgens! :) And if you don't have the time to do so no worries, just get creative and maybe that effort will land you first place.
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raptor

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:32 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

One other issue I forsee: if you're combining two levels with levelgens, you'll have to watch out for at least two things:

  1. Same-named functions. This means that if both scripts use a function called onTick, you'll have to put the contents of both onTick functions into a single onTick function. Same with main(), etc.
  2. Object ID collisions. Levels *must not* share the same object IDs or really bad things can happen if those are used in the levelgens. ID's are stored in the level file with a '!' like so: TestItem!2 (this is a TestItem with object ID of '2')
sky_lark, I am willing to help merge levelgens, if necessary. Levelgeners, please make sure you use object IDs that are likely to be unique from all levelgens. For example, I might pick 5 IDs starting with 343, which would have a low risk of colliding with someone elses IDs.
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Fordcars

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:07 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Also, keep in mind that if the levelgen uses coords, and that you flip the level around for the other side, they might be messed up.
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raptor

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:39 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Oh yeah... if levelgen, we need to make sure that coordinates are relative.

Another idea might be to detect which half of the map we are (in main() ) and adjust all coordinates accordingly. Like create a 'reverseX' variable that muliplies all X coordinates by -1 if it ends up being on the other half of the map, otherwise multiply by 1.
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amgine

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Post Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:16 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Problem is if we ever get a bigger userbase a very large nubmer of poeple wouldnt know how to use level gens over those who do.
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:53 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Excited to announce we already have ONE level submitted by an awesome user!! That's one step closer toward raising the cash prize. One down, seven to go...

Raptor, thanks for the heads up about potential levelgen problems. It might be a non-issue if we only get a few levelgen levels and lots of non-scripted levels. I'll also try to not flip levels with levelgens. But in the event it is an issue I'll definitely try to follow your advice and if I run into any problems contact you. Thanks for the help!

Keep making levels folks! Even if you're not interested... spread the word and let's make this contest awesome.
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amgine

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:46 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

I have no ideas atm im running out of time.....

one problem I forsee is a script giving a teams side a unfair advantage say if there is a 1/2 or x2 speed on either side....
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:51 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

That's the fun of such a contest! One side probably will have an advantage due to the nature of an asymmetrical levels. But with multiple combos for each half, players will get a ton of opportunities to play on different teams and I'm sure it'll work out in the end.

Also, don't stress about time. You have more than a week and a half which is plenty of time to come up with and build a level! Remember, you're only making half a level so in theory, that should be half as much work. :)
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sky_lark

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:15 am

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Thrilled to announce we are now up to TWO entrants! Keep on churning out levels, folks, and we'll get to the eight entrant bonus in no time!
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amgine

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:09 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

I will not be able to make it that day a shame ;(

question would putting a teleporter that goes into a enemys half of the level be considered building out of the boundaries i wanted to put one in but was not sure if that broke the rules or not.
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sky_lark

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Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:43 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Yippee up to THREE entrants now, four entries in total! You guys are on fire. Just five more individuals needed to enter the contest to bump up the prize limit. Spread the word! Ask your friends! Let's keep this rolling.

@Amgine Teleporter input and output must be contained within the barrier. It'd be a problem if the output ended up on top of a wall or something in the paired half. Thanks for asking!
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thread

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Post Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:56 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Sorry, just saw this. I'll make one if there's still time.
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Invisible

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Post Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:46 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

This could be a very interesting contest!

(what if there is an odd number of people?)
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sky_lark

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Post Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:13 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

It shouldn't matter, because there will be multiple combinations of different halves paired with different halves. For example:

Round 1: A paired with B
Round 2: B paired with C
Round 3: C paired with D
Round 4: D paired with E
Round 5: E paired with A

In this instance, there are an odd number of levels (5 total) and each gets 2 play-throughs. Now hopefully there will be lots and lots of levels and in the event there are so many levels that each can only get 1 play-through for the sake of time, then I will contribute a half to balance it out.
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sky_lark

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Post Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:51 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Woohoo! We're up to FOUR entrants, which means we're halfway to elevating the cash prize. Keep on chugging folks!
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Jan 02, 2015 2:59 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Five entrants down, three to go! Just a friendly reminder that early bird entries are due this Sunday, January 4th at 11:59pm EST. You still have a full 72 hours after that to publish a level, but you'll be eligible for a prize bonus if you meet the early bird deadline!
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amgine

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Post Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:30 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

sounds fun we need mroe entrys!
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sky_lark

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Post Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:03 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

We've got SIX entrants now and are that much closer to reaching our goal! Excited to announce that we've DOUBLED participation from my last contest. It may not seem like much, but every little bit counts! :)

There's still an hour left before the Early Bird deadline to add final touches to your masterpiece, or if you haven't begun yet, whip up something really quick! Remember, if your level wins the contest and meets the Early Bird deadline, you'll get a prize bonus!
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sky_lark

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Post Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:34 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

** This is your 24 hour warning for the Level Design Contest! **

We need just TWO more users to enter to raise the cash prize. Remember, you're only submitting half of a level, so in theory, it should be half as much work! :D Submit something even if you're not totally thrilled with it, because you can edit your level(s) up through Saturday the 10th at 4:00pm EST!

Already submitted a level? Consider submitting another level! Only two cool people have submitted more than one level. Create another level and increase your chances of winning!

** Entries due TONIGHT Wednesday, January 7th at 11:59pm EST. **

edit: Someone stepped up and sent in more entries! Reflected above :)
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sky_lark

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Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:17 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Drum roll please. We have reached the 4-hour countdown, and to help hype things up we now have SEVEN individual participants, needing only ONE more unique entry to catapult that prize denominator! Turn to your nearest friend and beg them mercilessly. Or ask them nicely, whichever works better.

!!!!!!!
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amgine

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Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:56 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

good luck everyone!
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sky_lark

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Post Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

** Deadline EXTENDED until Thursday, January 8th at 4:00pm EST **

Because I really want you guys to hit this goal and raise the cash prize, I'm extending the deadline by 16 hours! This should hopefully give y'all enough time to make something quick and send it in. You'll have an additional 48 hours after this deadline to edit your level(s) but you must have an entry submitted to do so. Make something simple and touch it up later! Good luck all.
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watusimoto

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Post Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Do you now have enough levels?
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:39 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Yesss! Thanks to some awesome last minute entries, we now have TEN participants contributing FOURTEEN levels! This is very exciting news as it means the 1st place prize will be receive a relatively large increase!

TONIGHT: First of two contest parties. It all begins at 9:00pm EST (6:00pm PST). Be there!

PS. Voting will be pushed back a bit to account for a minor delay, more on that later.
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:18 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Discussion thread up! viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2559
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:48 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Thanks to fordcars, little_apple, santiago, and ghostman who showed up ready to play! Unfortunately, my server issues persisted and only the former two were able to access the server. Will try to get that all sorted out by tomorrow, so definitely come and play! Saturday, January 10th at 8:00pm EST.
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sam686

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Post Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:58 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

sky_lark wrote:--VOTING TIMELINE--
» Friday, Jan 9th - Sunday, Jan 11th | Stage 01
» Monday, Jan 12th - Wednesday, Jan 14th | Stage 02
» Thursday, Jan 15th - Saturday, Jan 17th | Stage 03
I was almost going to question where is the voting? I see sky_lark edits and updates it to:
sky_lark wrote:--VOTING TIMELINE--
» Sunday, Jan 11th - Tuesday, Jan 13th | Stage 01
» Wednesday, Jan 14th - Friday, Jan 16th | Stage 02
» Saturday, Jan 17th - Monday, Jan 19th | Stage 03
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sky_lark

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Post Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:35 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

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sky_lark

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Post Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:02 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

I should mention that one of the reasons why I'm offering an upgraded prize compared to October's contest was because raptor generously donated his winnings from that contest to support this contest! So if you win give some thanks to raptor :)
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sky_lark

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Post Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:54 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Thanks to sam686, Fordcars, amgine, Little_Apple, raptor + sammy, and Yor3 for playing in the party last night! I had a blast and it was fun to sample all of the contest levels. Hopefully you'll now be able to make an educated decision when voting!

Contest Update: Didn't get to play with us? No worries! Since voting will continue on for a while, there will be another party Friday, January 16th at 9:00pm EST. You worked hard on these levels, you deserve to have them showcased! I will also be adding neutral loadout zones to the middle entryways to ensure each team will be able to modify their loadout properly.

Additionally, I will be extending the edit deadline until Wednesday, January 14th at 11:59pm EST. (Very strict deadline.) This should give you about 72 hours from the time of this post to submit any improvements to your level. I know at least a few of the levels could be exploited, and making those changes could mean the difference between your level making it to the finals and dropping out at the second stage. Good luck!
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sky_lark

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Post Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:46 am

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

First round of voting is over. I'm really happy with the results, looks like we had 10 voters at minimum. Second round is currently active: Go vote! viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2561
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sky_lark

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Post Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:33 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Contest party is TONIGHT! A bunch of levels were updated, so check out the new versions! 9:00pm EST
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sky_lark

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Post Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:57 pm

Re: December 2014 Level Design Contest

Last round of voting is live! viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2567
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