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Milestone 1 Analysis

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Revision as of 07:48, 28 October 2005 by MatzeB (Talk | contribs)

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Bad Things

The following is a list of defects in Milestone1, these are not bugs, but things that are annoying, missing or otherwise out of place and should be changed or fixed in Milestone2 or later:

  • bitmap backgrounds look very boring, not only do they not paralax scroll, but they also simply repeat the tileset that is used for the foreground. Paralax scrolling means multiple background layers scrolling with different speed.
  • MrBomb looks sucky
  • Tux lacks a dedicated run animation
  • Run-sign should be replaced with an info block
  • keyboard configuration via menu is very fishy, ie. not navigatable via the keyboard but only via mouse, since otherwise one changes all the settings, kind of non-intuitive
  • MrIceblocks black outline looks out of place
  • pipes look ugly
  • green grass tiles don't fit very well into the theme, large grass tile is to large
  • tiles are seperated in files, this causes beside other things slower load times
  • loading of level header information is rather slow (ie. starting the worldmap)
  • environment is, beside from the ?-blocks, completly non-animated -> boring
  • bumping against a ?-block leaves the ?-block graphic in place sometimes
  • one-tile gaps are handled pretty badly
  •  ?-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)
  • goal-bars look kind of pointless (bad ripoff of MarioWorld)
  • Worldmap doesn't have basically no alternative paths
  • no fade-in/out when you enter a level or die
  • snowflakes, while pretty, don't really match the style
  • coins look shit
  • stay-on-platform is fishy, should be indicated by the enemies color
  •  ?-blocks are badly shaped (pixel dirt)
  • stalacticts should shatter via particle effects
  • lives are rather pointless, since one can continue as one wish, going through the Main Menu to do that however sucks, losing reset points as well
  • game 'physics' are to simple, making game to easy in many areas
  • many badguys don't align properly to the tilemap
  • level design rather uninspried, many screens are completly pointless and without challange
  • many enemies simply fall into the next hole without ever being any danger to tux
  • grey-blocks are super ugly
  • igloo should have a flag raised or something other to indicate that Tux entered it
  • no half-tiles/unisolid tiles
  • invisible blocks have collision even when they are invisible
  • coins and other stuff should have particle-effect or other animation when collected, not just dissapear
  • many secret areas look like bugs
  • flying snowball could need more animation, moving eyes, smoke coming from an exhaust, etc
  • no seperate death animation for flying snowball
  • music on the worldmap doesn't fit
  • worldmap is non-animated and lacks water animation
  • water in levels is pointless
  • 'excelent' sound sample sucks
  • fireflower-Tux looks shit, shooting fireballs looks shit as well (just poping out of Tux's head)
  • levels are to long, shorter more focused onces would be better
  • enemies move to slow in relation to Tux, make them to easily dodge able
  • MrBomb explosion should be particle effects
  • Main Menu background with the dumb auto-jump Tux sucks, should be a clever Tux
  • Slots shouldn't be limited to five, might be better to have a 'create slot', 'copy slot', 'delete slot' menu entry
  • the blinking pause effect is shit (epileptic fun), having pause at all seems pointless, since we already have a menu
  • the starting point, the igloo on the worldmap, is not enterable
  • pipes can't be entered and thus we had no bonus rooms
  • 'clever' enemies are missing, something like the plants which go out of a pipe only if Mario is not standing on that pipe
  • menu fade-in is so so, better than nothing, but not that great either
  • no die jingle music
  • you shouldn't be allowed to exit a level while you are jumping - this is only important if you consider lives to be an important game concept
  • fireball power isn't very interesting, and makes the game far too simple. Game could benefit from more powers, and more interesting ones.
  • Custom worldmaps are not visible in the Custom Level dialog, should probally have their own menu
  • Time continues to run in the end sequence, all UI should however fade away in cutscenes
  • highlighted menu entry is hard to figure out in menus with only two entries (ie. its unclear which color is the highlighted one)
  • game could need some font effects, active menu entry could woople or so
  • enemies should be animate when throw/shoot (rotate around z-axis or so)
  • lack of monster-generators (ie. objects that constantly spawn new enemies)

Fixed in Milestone2

  • no back/horizontal/vertical scrolling
  • reset points are invisible

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 does not 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 worldmap 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 ~20 levels the game will be solved, no wondering if this game has 100 levels and will go forever)
  • Saving/Loading is automatic and instant, makes the game simpler and not frustrating when the computer crashs 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 worldmap.
  • builtin 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.