Since the game is being done in Flash, antialiasing is being enforced with a heavy hand. I have noticed that if you've clearly got a bunch of razor-sharp antialiasing going on, something with jaggies just stands out even more. Especially if you're running in a lower resolution, like 800x600. My little dozer animation is made up of a series of bitmaps, but they've got a nice little PNG edge-fade, so they don't look bad against other vector-based Flash stuff.
Long story short, the black border will be gone. It doesn't fit in with the game, and it was just me bowing to the pressure to make my game a bit more "hip".
I've always gotta remember to trust my instincts and not just do something because it's trendy. I always have conversations like this in my head. . .
Me 1: Hey, I oughta do cel-shading for my animations. That's trendy in games that have the word "X-treme" in the title.
Me 2: Yeah, but do you really like cel-shading all that much?
Me 1: Actually, I don't. It just reminds me of cheap wireframe effects that they had to use for old DOS games before video cards had 3D hardware.
Me 2: I figured as much. How many times have you had success when you try to follow what you think others will want rather than your own instincts?
Me 1: Not too often. Certainly not as often as when I follow my own instincts. I've got a good eye for games, and I should trust myself rather than some "industry analyst".
Me 2: My point exactly. Let's go get a sandwich.
Me 1: Sounds good.
In conclusion, the black borders are out.
On the "I'm thinking way to damn hard about things", I'm still working on a title. I thought of a cute punny name, but I need to give you a bit of background. One thing I thought of doing was to replace the generic targets upon which you currently roll rocks with little boxes of TNT. Once you've rolled all the rocks on all the TNT, they all explode. That way you've got a little more "real world" motivation in the game. As it stands, there's always the big "why" question in the game.
Me: The object of Bulldozer is to push all of the rocks on the targets.
Me: Because. . .just because!
The exchange rather reminds me of me asking my nephews "why?" when they tried to explain that the entire Pokemon universe revolves around the theme "Gotta catch 'em all". They similarly couldn't explain exactly why it was important to catch 'em all, but they were also able to pile on the rudeness of thinking me a moron for not grokking that catching 'em all is a goal that requires no motivation other than the zen of catching 'em all.
Anyway, if I replaced targets with TNT boxes, I have the following advantages:
1. The game's now got a real motivation --to get rid of those big rocks, presumably for a construction project.
2. Every level would end with a cool explosion.
3. I could use my outstandingly punny name. . .
Bulldozer Deluxe: Construction Obstruction Destruction!
Okay, it's hard to say, but it's got three words with two-syllable tail-alliteration. That's gotta be worth something!
I'm still not married to "Bulldozer Deluxe", but I still can't think of anything better. I'd really prefer calling it just "Bulldozer" and letting the name supercede the original, but I'm worried that it'd cause confusion with the original game.
FWIW, here are the original names suggested a few weeks ago. If there's one you particularly like, lemme know. Be aware that this is a puzzle game, so any names that are particularly testosterone-fueled will just drive away women players (over half of my market) and make people think it's an arcade game.
Grand Slam Bulldozer
Super Crush Bulldozer
Bulldozers Gone Wild
Bulldozer: The Return
Bulldozer: Dig That Dirt!
Bulldozer: Fellowship of the Dig
Bulldozer: The Two Tractors
Bulldozer: Return of the Dig
Bulldozer: Construction at its Finest
Super Happy Bulldozer Fun
Realm of the Mighty Bulldozer
Bulldozer: Mission X
Grand Championship Bulldozer
Bulldozer: The Quest for Quintana Roo
Raiders of the Lost Bulldozer
Dude, Where's my Bulldozer?
Bulldozer in the 23rd Century
Push The Rocks Onto The Targets With Your Bulldozer
Bulldozer: Now with the Taste of Real Apples!
Bulldozer: Get a Snack, and Don't Make Any Plans Tonight!
Deluxe Bulldozer: The Earth Will Move
Bulldozer: Romancing the Tread
Bulldozer: Hydraulic Edition
Power Plow Bulldozer
Heavy Weight Bulldozer
Heavy Metal Bulldozer
Bulldozer: Livn Large
Bulldozer Critical Power
Mighty Metal Bulldozer