The new MSX Level Editor compo kicked off for every one to join in. This compo challenges you to create custom original levels for existing MSX games that have a level-editor on board. The MSX-LE match runs until the end of 2021. Game on.

Ever since the early days of MSX, developers have understood how to increase a game's replay value. Good level design, playability and challenging game play were important factors. Level editing was also one of those elements; let the users expand the gameplay themselves. Even early MSX games like Soukoban and Lode Runner have an editor built-in.

In Japan - and probably in other countries as well - contests for level design were created to promote these games. Think of games like Lode Runner, Eggerland, King's Valley II, and Mole Mole. Some of these contests even resulted in new game and level releases. With or without contests, levels for these games got made and shared with like-minded MSX friends never the less.

The MSXTranslations group brings back this fun time with the MSX Levels and Editor contest (MSX-LE). Just for the fun of it, and anyone can join-in. You don't need coding skills, just use your imagination. Get creative, get cracking, boot up your favorite game and start mapping away.

Game categories
The following six game categories have been selected for the MSX-LE contest:

  • King's Valley II
  • Brisk
  • Daisenryaku/Great strategy series
  • Bombaman
  • Eggerland
  • "Free for all"

All other game levels than the five mentioned games will participate in the 'Free for all' category. To inspire you even further, have a look at the MSX Translations User level archive.

Editor category
Besides the mentioned games, there's an extra category for new game/level editors. Any editor released during the course of the MSX-LE compo can enter this category. These editors can be built-in game editors, or separate programs. Note that submitted level editors don't have to be an MSX-LE exclusive and can even compete in another contests like MSXdev for example. This category is meant to promote level editors or game editors in general.

Important dates
Start date: May 6th, 2021
Deadline for entries: November 30th, 2021
Results: (before) December 31st, 2021

Prizes
All entries are valued! Whether it is big or small, simple or complex. In the end, all the entries for each category will be used to create a competition level pack. This will be freely downloadable on the site. This is in honor of the level contests that were held back in the day. Each category will also have a cash prize for the winner. The organization will provide the prize for the contest. If there are donations for prizes, these will be added.

For more information, the rules and how to submit an entry visit the MSX-LE web page. So, boys'n girls, on you marks an get ready to rumble!

relevant link: MSX-LE web page

Comments (24)

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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20-05-2021, 15:43

As deadline is so generous, I might enter making some levels for Perfect Fit Smile
I was doubting they know what that is, but then I found a picture of EatBLue! on their site, so... Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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20-05-2021, 16:31

@MsxKun: It would be nice if you make levels for Perfect Fit (and/ or other games). I was not aware there was an editor or edit option in that game. That is nice to know!

By tfh

Prophet (2971)

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20-05-2021, 16:41

We need a Boulder Dash Editor...

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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20-05-2021, 16:49

@tfh: Yes I agree. I am busy translating the Finnish editor that is on the website, but I don't know how well that one works. So...

By wolf_

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20-05-2021, 17:11

Making an editor (let's say: a generator, as there's randomness involved) for Boulderdash isn't that hard, but how are you going to hack those levels back it into Boulderdash itself?

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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20-05-2021, 17:33

Randam wrote:

@MsxKun: It would be nice if you make levels for Perfect Fit (and/ or other games). I was not aware there was an editor or edit option in that game. That is nice to know!

Yes, cartridge version has level editor built-in. You can save/load using disk.
The free version on the web I think didn't have it, and I'm not even sure I ever updated it to the full version Tongue It was so long ago, can't remember... Maybe it's time for it (if it's not done yet).

By Briqunullus

Champion (403)

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20-05-2021, 18:05

Cool! I have already done some work on a project that fits the contest. This is a good reason to see if I can complete it before the contest ends. Smile

By Randam

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20-05-2021, 18:20

@msxkun: Perfect Fit has been added as a game that has an editor (not the game itself of course). So the omission has been corrected.

By ro

Scribe (4473)

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20-05-2021, 18:20

Waiting for Wiebe Slootstra to check in...

By ren

Paragon (1868)

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20-05-2021, 21:25

That's nice Ja, und wow, that's quite an extensive list there..!

Perhaps a nice idea to link to e.g. Gen. MSX and/or YT vid (MSX Wiki / other) and/or the official product page (if any) as well?

(Talking for myself: I'm unfamiliar with quite some of those titles :))

And oh yeah, perhaps a bit annoying/lame to click a title only to find out here are no levels (yet) :) Perhaps a nice idea to show the number of levels available (like you're displaying the date updated (btw would be nice to tell what's updated?)) on the index page.

And check your link for Bomberman 2 ;)

- edit: oh, I just (accidentally) found out some game pages have clickable titles to external site.. :p (not sure how intuitive/clear that is.. and black, like your text, may not be the best color)

By Randam

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20-05-2021, 22:08

@Ren: thanks for the feedback

All of the games have links to Gen MSX and/ or Tagoo on the titles if they are on those databases. But it is a good idea to have YouTube videos on there; will try to add it if available.

Recently a lot of pages/ games were added to the index as inspiration for the contest (lot of research needed since it is not commonly known what games have editors). I will add a counter for the number of levels; a lot of levels will be added yet.

Will look at some layout things as well.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3471)

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23-05-2021, 15:11

Wait, what! Yazzie MSX Remastered is not amongst the categories? What a shame! Crying

Wink

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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23-05-2021, 17:24

@sd_snatcher: Has Yazzie Remastered got an editor? I didn't know. I will investigate and add to the site (first without levels). But there is a "Free for All" category. So levels for it still can compete in that category! Funny that I didn't see an editor because I think I checked and was disappointed there might not be one... So if you are interested sd_snatcher: levels for it would be very welcome.

@Ren: number of levels has been added on the pages and on the individual pages updates are listed by date. For instance a few new KV2 levels have been added (not that were for the competition) and some levels that were unfinishable are fixed. Will add some levels for other games later today...

@Hamlet: I think I haven't thanked you for the nice picture yet; It is really nice and fitting!!

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3471)

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25-05-2021, 00:34

@Randam

Like Warroid, Yazzie MSX Remastered supports to load user stages but doesn't have its own built-in editor (no room for that on a 32KB game).

But the manual (TXT file) explains how to use Tiled to edit your own stages, and even provides empty templates for the 3 themes available in the game.

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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25-05-2021, 08:38

@sd_snatcher: I have added Yazzie Remastered as a game with user level support and the instructions how to do it. Thank you for telling me, because I really didn't notice before. I saw there was a bash script to convert those levels to a format specifically for the game. Is it possible to make it work on a windows PC?

Your mention about Warroid made me check how it is done and I saw your comment about it on Generation-msx. The loading functionality I got to work with both the msx fan version and the cart version. I did see that the actual editor is not on the MSX Fan (or i must have missed it), but it is a listing in the Monthly Login magazine from January 1986. Sadly I don't have that issue (my first is may 1986)... Will have to keep an eye out for that one for now. Unless someone else has Login January 1986.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3471)

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25-05-2021, 16:08

@Randam

Tip: gyabuneko seems to have typed the editor, as he has posted many videos with custom Warroid stages on Twitter. Maybe you could try to contact him to get the editor?

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3471)

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30-05-2021, 01:44

Randam wrote:

I saw there was a bash script to convert those levels to a format specifically for the game. Is it possible to make it work on a windows PC?

AFAIK, on windows either WSL or MSYS2 can be installed to provide a bash shell that can run that script.

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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30-05-2021, 20:07

Thanks for the suggestion sd_snatcher. Will add it on the page. Also tried to contact Gyabuneko.

@Ren: have started to add videos to the games for those that don't know them. Will be expanded upon.

By Randam

Paragon (1393)

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02-06-2021, 21:12

The first entry for the contest has come in. A nice KV2 level.

I have made a forum post for people who want to check this and future ones out:
https://msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software/entries-for-the-msx-...

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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07-06-2021, 00:53

Randam wrote:

The first entry for the contest has come in. A nice KV2 level.

Tries to look surprised... Wink

I was working on a bunch of Perfect Fit levels. Will make more some other day.
Also, I wanted to make Godzilla Kun levels. I ended ignoring the in-Game Editor and the Save to CAS feature, and ended having fun using TiLED and making a custom export to .CAS. This way I can edit with mouse and make a .CAS file directly, and load this file on the game (on emu, to use on MSX then I'll have to convert to wav, of course). It's handy, tho you quick and direct way to PLAY STAGE in-game as you edit it. (Still I didn't manage to cancel game if the level is impossible to finish)

By Randam

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10-06-2021, 22:54

King's Valley 2 levels were to be expected; that is also why they are in a separate category.

I look forward to seeing some Perfect Fit levels; I am interested to look into it myself seeing I didn't know that was possible until recently.

I am very interested to hear about your process to work with a different editor for Godzilla Kun!!! Is it working reliably? Do you feel that editing is working better in this way than the in gme editor (if some last things are ironed out)?

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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15-06-2021, 20:09

I have a disk with some KV2 levels I made ages ago on my 20P with an external floppy drive. Never released them, cause there are many already.

PF has editor since day1, when it was released Smile

About GKun, it's handy to edit levels on a tile editor where you can use mouse, copy paste, undos and so. All you need is tiled, the really tiny tileset from the game and a little javascript code to export data from Tiled directly in CAS format, loadable on the cartridge (at least on openMSX and WebMSX, to load on real MSX you'd need to convert to wav or maybe use TRCAS on a TurboR).
But I wanted to edit & test and I though.. to hell, I could disk save/load to the original game. So now the in-game editor can save/load using floppy. This way I can TEST PLAY directly.
I could still use Tiled to edit more easily and just use openMSX to load and test the levels on the .CAS, if you get the .CAS from a folderasdisk... it's almost direct.
But of course, that won't work on a real MSX and the disk save/load will Smile Without need to convert to wav. So I'm using disk better. But don't worry, it's still a .CAS file! So it still can de loaded on emu or converted to wav to use on MSXs with no disk.

Lol. I hope I explained it well... (maybe not)

Btw... when editing on the game editor, and you are on TEST PLAY, SELECT+STOP at once gets you to edit menu.

By Randam

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15-06-2021, 21:32

@MsxKun: also old levels that have not been released can be entered for the contest. I for one (and probably other people) would be very interested to play these levels for fun and/ or the challenge.

I didn't know PF had an editor since always; Will probably try and make some levels soon as well with it (and will share the levels of course).

Your method/ improvement for GodzillaKun sounds really interesting. The in game editor being able to save and load from floppy is a really welcome change. I hope you are interested to release these improvements/ tool(s) to edit it more conveniently for the editor category itself when it is finished aside from possible levels. Does the disk load also work on Turbo R if the files are still .CAS files in that case? And thanks for the extra info about the key combo! Very useful.

By MsxKun

Paragon (1030)

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15-06-2021, 22:54

Randam wrote:

@MsxKun: also old levels that have not been released can be entered for the contest. I for one (and probably other people) would be very interested to play these levels for fun and/ or the challenge.

Well, floppy is well located and 2 of my MSX's disk drives still work (as they are PC drives). So, if not already dumped (and I think it is) I can dump the content.

Randam wrote:

I didn't know PF had an editor since always; Will probably try and make some levels soon as well with it (and will share the levels of course).

I had fun making some levels and solving them, so solving other one's people will make me feel like when I played the GP2X version Smile

Randam wrote:

Your method/ improvement for GodzillaKun sounds really interesting. The in game editor being able to save and load from floppy is a really welcome change. I hope you are interested to release these improvements/ tool(s) to edit it more conveniently for the editor category itself when it is finished aside from possible levels. Does the disk load also work on Turbo R if the files are still .CAS files in that case? And thanks for the extra info about the key combo! Very useful.

I can release an IPS patch of it. Never make an IPS but seems easy. But I want to maintain the TAPE feature. It's still there, but for now it just jumps to the floppy save/load (and I got some error after I edited 18 leves, but I can figure why). I want to make it a choice TAPE/DISK and maybe SRAM on FMPAC but there's not much room left and I don't want to cut any original code. Also never used SRAM so I'll have to check. But it's a challenge, and I like the game!