Just to simplify things a little, I'll add an example of how this
affects actual gameplay.
Many of the brickmania formations allow the player to relatively easily
create hole through the formation allowing access to the top of it. A
low angle ball can be maneuvered up these gaps early on leading it to
bounce many times against the formation on its way up, removing many of
the bricks on the side of the gap. Then when it reaches the top, if the
angle is low enough, it can often begin to bounce around above the
formation, dropping many power ups to the player and providing a strong
early start to removing the formation.
With the new increased vertical speed, but no increase in brick (and
gap) size, the ball will now skip over several more bricks along the
side of the formation, and once it reaches the top is significantly less
likely to stay above the formation due to its much greater vertical
movement relative to the gap above the formation (which has maintained
its original size). While the speed of the ball has stayed the same in
terms of "how long it takes to traverse from the top of the screen to
where the paddle is" it has changed in terms of "how many bricks it can
pass every second" by almost double since the bricks are the same size.
Also, it has increased the distance between the formation and the
paddle. Even though the vertical speed has been increased, since the
bricks are placed from the top of the field, their decreased height
relative to the field means the paddle is further away from the bottom
of the formation and so it alters that aspect of gameplay balance as
well, giving the player more time to respond to bounces off the bottom
of the formation.
To imagine this change on a landscape screen, start a game of brickmania
and imagine all of the bricks are half as tall as they are now, but all
other mechanics work the same, and the formation still starts at the top
of the screen. Though the height difference isn't exactly half, this is
a very near approximation of what has been changed in brickmania on the
portrait targets - instead of the bricks being shrunk by nearly half,
everything else (vertical speed, playing area) has been nearly doubled.
These are things that can actually be seen directly by the player. Even
Karl hasn't denied that his patch affects gameplay, his only dispute has
been that halving the effective height of the bricks relative to the
play area was worth it for the aesthetic gain of using the whole height
of the screen.
Received on 2009-12-18