Playing custom levels from other Gruntz players is fun. From easiest levels to the most frustrating ones. The activity on this forum noticeably decreased since like 2015.
At this point; if you make a level, not a bunch of people will play it. And your hard work will be seen by only dozens of people at best. If it's still like this, is it really worth the time and effort to add your level for a small community?
First of all remember that we have the Gruntz Mailing List, which has dozens of e-mail addresses. Even though they may not frequently visit the forums, they still might be playing the levels created by the active part of the community.
However I truly do understand you, since I'm the creator myself. I'm not only designing custom levels, but also some utility applications for Gruntz, discover some unknown and interesting facts about the game and articles about reverse engineering it. The intensity of my work is hindered however by the real life - the university of mine, work ... I wish there were hundreds of people, ready to comment and criticize my work. However a small community is not making me abandon anything Gruntz related, no way! Partly the reason why this community still exists is people like me - enthusiasts, devoted Gruntzaholics and aficionados who will do this stuff no matter what! Making Gruntz related stuff is still a lot of fun for me, mainly because I have really fond memories of the game, even when there's not as many community members as there used to be.
What I think? If you have fun being a part of the community, if you love the game and love creating content for it, keep on doing that!
If the size of the community is a priority for you, you may switch to other gaming communities, like Minecraft, Skyrim and others. They will surely last for years to come. Bigger communities have however one disadvantage - it's hard not to stay anonymous. Unless you create something extraordinary and totally unique, you may surprisingly find yourself struggle to get more attention. Our Gruntz community is small enough for everybody to know everyone. We're like a small family. And I shall not abandon my family, not for too long anyways
=-.-= ToMaLlA - General Modder in games with QuaKe 3 and DooM III EnGiNes =-.-= datashenanigans.pl/
You'd need to answer the question why are you creating levels in the first place. If you are looking for extensive fame then working on a small game like Gruntz will of course not give you anything. This forum has been declining since far longer than you suggest: a lot of people started quitting around 2010 (from my experience of reading various old threads) and it's only been getting progressively emptier, I think in 2015 it already was similar to what we have today - only a small group of active users. Though there is more activity right now than there was 6 months ago, as we got to play some multiplayer games.
I don't care all that much whether someone plays my levels because I don't have an impact on that. Creating and playtesting them myself is enough fun, I always wanted to do that when I was younger. Though it's a good idea to keep making something new from time to time, to keep the forum fresh.
'Life' certainly has an impact on our activities! Events outside our control (as operating system migration) puts stumbling blocks in our way. I was removed from active play and CL design for over a year by the loss of the computer (and OS) that supported the game of Gruntz very well. Thankfully, other "young bucks" had the skills to produce work-arounds that made the game playable once again for me ... even though with some annoyances, such as game lock-ups.
When my schedule allows, I am trying to create CLz in a small size, for graphics sets without titles for certain letters of the alphabet, and with a decided lack of talent, to make them look good. Gaby showed incredible talent to create visually pleasing maps, and once I translated her effort into another graphics set in a smaller size (see Griffin Island). I plan on further plagiarizing her work by selecting one quadrant of a Gaby map and converting the tiles (as 3TT to 1RR, for instance). Oddly enough, the last four graphics areas (High Rollerz through Gruntz In Space) are the most difficult due to the frequency of squared-off image tilez. (Gamer proved to me that even Gruntz In Space can have some variety.)
I have posted about many of the 'holes' I would like to see filled in the indices. Hopefully even that small effort will provide some impetus to designers to create new Questz. And with new distributions, I am now including linkz to thread where it is demonstrated how to get Gruntz working (again!) under Windows 10. I have seen a few Gruntzerz that were inactive for a long time that have visited in the past couple of weeks, after my humble efforts were sent out to the Gruntz Fanz. Perhaps some of them are back to playing the game, with the work-arounds restoring their interest in the game.