The Hand-Drawn Level Contest

This is where you can post your Commander Keen related stories, artwork, or other stuff that is related to Commander Keen but otherwise doesn't belong in another forum.
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Commander Spleen
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The Hand-Drawn Level Contest

Post by Commander Spleen » Wed Apr 18, 2012 13:29

Draw a Keen level and email it to jimage@gmail.com

It can be any style you want, as long as it is side-view 2D platform style and has Commander Keen (or a character you can convince me is somehow associated with him) and a level exit somewhere.

You can adhere to the limitations of an existing Keen engine, imagine something even more advanced with more interactive level elements or vector-based platforms instead of tile-based ones, or just go crazy and draw a silly childish crayon blueprint or Eschery mindfucl that breaks all the rules.

Include as much or as little detail as you like. But try to include at least some minimal degree of level structure, eye candy and non-player characters. The drawing can span multiple pages if necessary.

Entries close: THE FUTURE 23:59:59 UTC

That's two and a half weeks.

The entries will be judged by myself and a couple of others I'm yet to choose, and there will be a public choice vote for the most Keenish level.

There will be a set of awards, as follows:

Best design

Interesting use of interactive level elements, creatures and general platform structure, while keeping a good balance and flow of gameplay.

Most atmospheric

Fascinating scenery and visuals. But still has to have a degree of level design involved, rather than a straight landscape drawing, even if it's a very simple or abstract design.

Most interesting location

Originality of the setting. A cool new alien planet, intriguing creatures or items (annotated behaviors would be bonus points), well themed level elements (regardless of how they fit into an overall design).

Mindfucl

Bizarre and confusing design, or surreal, possibly psychedelic visuals. Preferably both. Again, there is a balance here. Drawing a couple of lines and calling it an abstract work isn't going to win.
Last edited by Commander Spleen on Mon May 07, 2012 4:59, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Keening_Product » Wed Apr 18, 2012 13:33

Excellent, excellent idea. I'm SO in!

Keen brothel level it is!

When do entries close?
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Post by elecdude33 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 14:12

I'm doing this.

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Post by ckguy » Wed Apr 18, 2012 15:10

This is amazing. Why did no one have this idea until now. I am totally going to do this.

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Post by Benvolio » Wed Apr 18, 2012 16:20

Yeah! An 'Escher' Keen mod would be the greatest thing in the world!

But more seriously, this is a good idea Spleen. Please clarify, do you mean 'draw' literally as in get out the oul' paper and pens and scan in whatever you draw? Or can one do it on-screen?

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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Wed Apr 18, 2012 16:32

I think I'll draw a level for Keen Rescue 2! Believe me, it won't be like what you're expecting, and it will be a mindfucl.
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Post by StupidBunny » Wed Apr 18, 2012 17:07

I love you spleen. I'm in too.
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Post by Gridlock » Wed Apr 18, 2012 20:30

Oman I used to draw tons of awesome (but ridiculous) levels when I was a lot younger. Wish I still had (or could find) more of them.

I think your definition of what constitutes as a good entry is a little vague, though. Levels drawn on paper tend to be rough and, when they get complex, difficult for anyone else to understand. From my modding experience, stuff in a level, especially Galaxy, tends not to work well on paper. A paragraph or more of explanation would almost be necessary. Because of this, I don't think judging will be easy.

Nonetheless, it's a neat idea giving the creator the freedom to do whatever they want. Maybe I can submit one of my old levels if I ever find them.
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Post by Bubbatom » Wed Apr 18, 2012 23:40

I'm in!
And it's very surprising that this is the first drawing competition.
I'm reckon I'll draw up a level design for a galaxy mod I'll be working on after Suburb Shenanigans.
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:37

Here comes my entry. Get some bandaids for your bleeding eyes, you did say this is a HAND DRAWN level contest (I did it fast and sloppily at that, but I at least took the time to make a grid).

It's a small level, but the scanned paper is huge, so

My level entry.

It's a Keen Rescue 2 level! (or unofficial Norp 5) Marta Mcleran used a nanobot to brainwash Keen into having endless tea parties and shrunk Norp the yorp down to the size of a barbie to be imprisoned in her barbie dreamhouse mansion! Norp must escape the dollhouse, unshrink himself, and save Keen from the evil clutches of Marta! Paramultart wanted the character to be Bleen Jr., but I thought Norp would be more fitting. Well, that's who I drew in this picture, anyway!

He starts off by a door, there's a drawer with a TV on it and a kitchen. A huge window show's Marta's giant eye keeping watch on Norp. There's a door that requires a pink heart key, so go upstairs and you'll meet your first enemy, the barbie bot. Marta put some wires and a CPU inside her barbies to make them sentient, you see. There's a really crappy drawing of a unicorn flying down a rainbow for wallpaper. I kind of regret trying to draw that in, I should have just left it blank. Over a bed of thumbtacks is the pink heart key you can use to exit the level.

edit: The M&M's are points :foot
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Post by tulip » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:20

vbb you are disqualified: Spleen wrote:"Draw a Keen level and email it to jimage@gmail.com" ;)


I'm in too. brings back memories of when I first drew levels before there was modding.
Image You crack me up little buddy!

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Post by Commander Spleen » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:54

Please clarify, do you mean 'draw' literally as in get out the oul' paper and pens and scan in whatever you draw? Or can one do it on-screen?
I considered allowing a certain degree of computer involvement, but it would be too difficult to define the boundaries. So all entries must be drawn without the aid of a computer.
I think your definition of what constitutes as a good entry is a little vague, though. Levels drawn on paper tend to be rough and, when they get complex, difficult for anyone else to understand. From my modding experience, stuff in a level, especially Galaxy, tends not to work well on paper. A paragraph or more of explanation would almost be necessary. Because of this, I don't think judging will be easy.
This should only be an issue for the Best Design entry. It is expected that the entries will have a lot of "tiny bubbles and imperfections", and this will be taken into consideration. In fact, it's half the idea. I don't expect perfect technical accuracy for Best Design, and it could easily come down to something that simply has a very technical look to it.

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Post by elecdude33 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 15:48

I have an idea based on combining Keen with another DOS platformer in a bifurcated level design. Is this permissible?

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Post by Commander Spleen » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:07

Definitely. Go for it.

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Post by Keening_Product » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:53

Spleen, will you be entering a level for the popular vote?
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