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Milestone 1 Analysis

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Bad Things

The following is a list of defects in Milestone 1. These are not bugs, but rather things that are annoying, missing or otherwise out of place and should be changed or fixed in Milestone 2 or later.

  • Bitmap backgrounds look very boring, not only do they not parallax scroll (meaning multiple background layers scrolling at different speeds), but they also simply repeat the tileset that is used for the foreground.
  • Mr Bomb is poorly drawn.
  • Tux lacks a dedicated run animation.
  • The black outline surrounding Mr Ice Block looks out of place.
  • The pipes are poorly drawn.
  • The green grass tiles are out of place, and the large one is too large.
  • The tiles are separated in different files; besides other things, this causes slower load times.
  • The level header information loading process is rather slow (ie. launching the worldmap).
  • In some cases, bumping against a bonus block leaves the image in place.
  • The goal bars should be replaced with something more creative/original.
  • The snowflakes do not really match the style.
  • The bonus blocks are poorly shaped.
  • Stalactites should shatter via particle effects.
  • The physics of the game are too simple; making the game too easy in many areas.
  • Many enemies do not align properly to the tileset.
  • Many levels lack difficulty.
  • Most enemies simply fall into a hole without ever being a danger to Tux.
  • The grey blocks are poorly drawn.
  • To indicate that Tux entered it, the igloo should raise a flag, etc.
  • The death animation for the flying snowball enemy is the same as the normal snowball.
  • The music played on the worldmap is out of place.
  • The worldmap lacks water animation.
  • The enemies move too slow in relation to Tux; make them able to easily dodge Tux.
  • The main menu background should be redone, with a superior AI (perhaps showing different levels: one from each world?).
  • Save-game slots should not be limited to five -- "Create Slot", "Copy Slot", and "Delete Slot" buttons would be better.
  • The pause effect should be redone.
  • The menu fade-in effect should be redone.
  • More abilities for Tux are needed.
  • The time continues to decelerate even in the end sequence. All UI should fade away in cutscenes.
  • More font effects are needed, ie. the active menu entry should wobble, etc.
  • Breakable blocks are randomly covered with snow.
  • The particles that get thrown after Tux hits a breakable block are poorly drawn (not reacting to gravity, etc.).

Fixed in Milestone 2

  • There is no back/horizontal/vertical scrolling.
  • The reset points are invisible.
  • The coins are very poorly drawn.
  • Monster generators (objects that constantly spawn new enemies) are missing.
  • Tux's Fireflower ability (item and shooting fireballs) is poorly drawn.
  • The invisible blocks have collision; even though they're invisible.
  • One-tile gaps are handled pretty badly.
  • Worldmaps have basically no alternative paths.
  • The worldmap is inanimate.
  • The enemy's stay-on-platform option is questionable; it should be indicated by the enemy's color.
  • There is no special sound effect that plays when you die.
  • The starting point (igloo) on the worldmap cannot be entered.
  • Pipes cannot be entered; we thus had no bonus rooms.
  • Clever enemies are missing (ie. the plants which come out of pipes only if Mario isn't standing on that pipe).
  • Mr Bomb's explosion should have particle effects.
  • The "excellent" sound sample should be redone.
  • The keyboard configuration via the menu is very awkward. It is only navigatable with the mouse (not the keyboard); it's kind of non-intuitive.
  • Besides the blocks, the environment is completely inanimate; this causes the game to be slightly less exciting.
  • Bonus blocks don't indicate at which side they where bumped
    • MatzeB: IMO being able to bounce ? blocks from 2 sides to affect direction of the egg was a pointless feature anyway...
    • Grumbel: it was pointless without backscrolling, with backscrolling however I consider it pretty essential, it should simply be a bit more obvious (block jumping/rotating into the direction it was bumped).
  • There are no fade-outs/ins when you either die or complete a level.
  • There are no half-tiles/unsolid (unstable?) tiles.
  • The coins and other things should have particle effects or some other animation when they're collected (not just disappear).
  • Many secret areas are poorly made and therefore may look like bugs.
  • The flying snowball enemy needs more animation (moving eyes, smoke coming from an exhaust pipe, etc.).

Good Things in Milestone 1

This is a list of things that are good in Milestone 1 (compared to most other games or where we managed to hit our goals).

  • The project was finished in a relatively short time, thanks to few plans and acceptance of compromises and not optimal solutions (for now). This was also boosting developer motivation and activity.
  • The graphics in general are very nice and neat and in a uniform cartoonish / hand-drawn style which matches the game nicely. (The game physics and story is cartoonish and childish.)
  • The game has a good soundtrack.
  • The game doesn't crash and compiles and installs nearly everywhere out of the box because of few dependencies and portable code.
  • The game just works without any additional options/config tweaking (this is true for 90% or more people I think).
  • The game is similar to old Mario Bros. making it easy to get into it.
  • The first levels are easy, giving beginners early successes.
  • Control is direct and straightforward.
  • The short intro cycle before a level starts is nice providing a relatively smooth transition from worldmap/death to the beginning of a level.
  • You get some reward for solving the levels by seeing Tux walking into the igloo with TADA music in the background, another form of reward is moving forward on the worldmap, the world map is especially nice since you can see the final goal the castle early and can at least a bit the way to it. (You see that after around 7 levels you'll beat the current world, no wondering if this game has 100 levels and will go on forever).
  • Saving/Loading is automatic and instant, makes the game simpler and not frustrating when the computer crashes or the dog pressed the power button. You can always continue the game where you left it last time.
  • The game switches theme from snow to cave levels at some point, and later to a mixed style (wansti levels vs. grumble levels). This keeps interest in the game and is also a little reward for moving forward in the world map.
  • Built-in level editor animates people to play around and create their own levels (this resulted in enough material for 2 bonus islands).
  • A bit of story to provide you with a "reason" to move forward in the game, this also details the character of Tux and Nolok a bit so that they are a bit more familiar to the player.
  • Tux is extremely cute!