Review of ryan20fun's (unnamed) game.
How the scoring works: I score 0 to 5 points on each topic. Each point is equivalent to 0.5 points on the overall scoring. So each topic can contribute a total of 2.5 points to the overall score of 0 - 10.
A 0 in the field means it's not present at all. A 1 means it is present, but very badly done. A 5 means I can't think of a way to make it much better, it's good enough as is.
0 = Not present at all.
1 = Present, but very badly done
2 = Good attempt, but didn't work too well.
3 = Nothing to talk about, either good or bad.
4 = Really good, but a few flaws in execution.
5 = Excellent, there isn't many ways it could be improved.
Note: This is a harsh scoring mechanism, beause I'm doing it as a fellow developer to give critical feedback to help us all improve our craft, and not just say 'It was good' without explaining *why* it is good. Anything 6 or above is quite good!
"First Time User Experience" - How easy it is for the player to get rolling with your game. Covers installation and communication with the player on how to play the game.
I enjoyed the startup and shutdown audio messages.
I dislike how escape exits the program instead of returning to the menu. I can't return to the menu, except by exitting the game. Each time I exit the game, I have to wait 5 seconds while the exitting voice-over plays, and then I have to wait 5 more seconds when I restart the game so the intro text can play. It's funny once or twice, but not every time I wish to return to the menu.
The menus were rather empty and bland, and in the help menu the text was laid out poorly, so you had to read it at least twice before you understood what it said. The text also had alot of graphical artifacts that made it look visually ugly.
The instruction menu was alot better.
The 'unstable containers' didn't look like containers, bringing confusion to what the intructions were trying to tell me to do, though.
'First Time User Experience' score: 3
The instructions were clear, but the graphics didn't line up with the instructions, creating confusion. The help menu text wasn't intuitive.
"Graphics & Audio" - Pretty straight forward, do the visuals and sound contribute to or detract from the game?
The graphics didn't help visually explain what was going on. As mentioned already, the 'unstable containers' I was supposed to be avoiding didn't look like containers.
The graphics of the charactor I'm controlling doesn't visually look like anything, and thus doesn't help explain (plot-wise) what's going on. Am I a satelite?
It would have been nice if there was a background to the levels (and the menus).
There was no sound effects, and there was no background music.
The only audio was the humerous start-up and shut-down of the game.
'Graphics and Audio' score: 1.5
Graphics get a '2': Fails to contribute to the game.
Audio gets a '1': No real audio or musical contribution to the gameplay part of the game.
So the 'Graphics and Audio' combined field gets a '1.5'.
"Theme" - How integral is the contest's theme with the game?
There was nothing related to the theme - unless you can't not touching explosions.
The only mention of anything related to the theme in all of the game, including the instructions, was the titlebar of the game window.
"Theme" score: 0
"Fun Factor" - Is it an enjoyable gaming experience?
The game is enjoyable, but there isn't much to do. You avoid the explosions, collect the circles, and then you go to the next level where the circles reappear, and the number of explosions increase... but other than that, there isn't much to do.
Sometimes the explosions come so frequently, that you can't help but die... however, since each circle gives you an additional life, you have so many lives it doesn't matter anyway.
When I hit level 10, a bug occured where I continously won and moved on to the next level, and then the next level, and the next level, because no circles were respawning. When I 'won' like that 40 times, at level 50, the explosions disapeared, and the text turned into black blocks, and then after another minute or so, the game crashed.
"Fun Factor" score: 2
There was a lack of things to do, and the existing gameplay wasn't that fun.
Total scoring: 3.25
Due to the short contest time, the game is very incomplete. The plot (skynet trying to activate itself and the player trying to stop it) could make a fun game;