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Subject: Re: kkurbjun (r24062): Accept a form of FS #10561

Re: kkurbjun (r24062): Accept a form of FS #10561

From: Jonathan Gordon <>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 15:25:27 -0800

2009/12/18 Karl Kurbjun <>:
> On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 4:43 AM, Paul Louden <> wrote:
>> Alex Parker wrote:
>>> So can we/you/they/someone not just change the brick size to be
>>> relatively the same as before?  Would that result in the improved aesthetics
>>> + the game play remaining as was?
>>> Alex
>> It would, yes. But with the release coming up, and no clue when someone
>> with any aptitude at bitmap editing is likely to step up for such a thing, I
>> think the gameplay should be restored to what it was before at the moment
>> until the full fix is in.
> Now that I am a bit less frustrated with Paul for trying to make a mountain
> out of a molehill, let me explain the ways that this argument is flawed and
> the reason that his threats to revert the change if I do not are out of
> line:
> 1) First this argument started purely on principal without even trying the
> change.  The change was not tried before he started to complain about a
> minor gameplay difference.
> The complaint about a "considerable" gameplay change was made before he even
> tried the game with the modified screen height.  This argument is now
> continuing with a mis-understanding of what the change did and how the game
> works (currently and before) and how development works.
> 2) This gameplay "rule"  is made on an assumption that the game plays the
> same on all targets.  There is also the complaint about a general gameplay
> changes.
> This assumption is simply incorrect.  The game does not play the same on all
> targets, there are a number of differences that are just as small an
> insignificant as this.  Till all of those issues are fixed, the point that
> the game should play /exactly/ the same on all of the targets is moot.
> This includes a number of differences that alters gameplay.  For example on
> the Gigabeat F/X/S the images are not scaled properly for the screen width
> or height even before this patch was committed.  This significantly changes
> the gameplay (much more than this patch might) but no one is out there
> fixing the problem or even discussing it.  Fixing this could be done at the
> same time that the brick heights are scaled for this patch: the improvement
> is simple.
> On a number of targets the paddle widths are not properly scaled for the
> screen size.  This takes the same scaling effort that improving on this
> patch would require.
> The brick height ratios are not the same on all of the targets either for
> reasons beyond this patch.  In some cases this is unavoidable if you want
> bricks that are distinguishable from each other.
> In cases like the Gigabeat F/X/S the brick heights were not scaled properly
> even /before/ this patch was added (according to this "rule" that Paul
> speaks of).
> This means that the brick heights and widths were "wrong" (according to this
> supposed gameplay "rule") on at least 50% of the targets this effects before
> this change was made.
> Not too long ago someone added some new powerups that truly, significantly,
> changed the gameplay unlike this patch; where were the complaints then?
> 3) The fix that Paul wants just requires scaling the bitmaps for a couple of
> targets.  This is something that I (or anyone else; maybe Paul for example),
> could have done in all of about 10 minutes per target that requires it (only
> a handful).  Instead this discussion is wasting everyone's time on the
> mailing list based on a principal of how the game should work on a few
> select targets.  The collective effort reading this mail is more time spent
> than the minor improvement being complained about.
> 4) I would also like to point out that SVN is an incremental process and is
> a working copy.  This patch improves the experience on portrait screens and
> the minor gameplay difference is a moot point till all the other
> discrepancies are fixed.
> Furthering that improvement takes little time that a non-programmer can do
> now that this change is in place making it easier for /others/ to contribute
> to the project.
> 5) This patch has been in the tracker for 4 months.  In that time there was
> never any discussion about the brick heights.
> Paul, or anyone else for that matter, had plenty of time to comment on
> this.  Not once did I hear a mention of the brick height scaling.  The fact
> that there is now an attempt to make a big deal out of a small gameplay
> change seems inconceivable to me.
> 6) Development is done on: "Find an itch and scratch it".  Clearly this
> patch was submitted for an itch from another programmer.  I agree with that
> and feel that improves the game on portrait screens even if there is  a
> /minor/ gameplay difference.
> If someone else finds an itch to scratch they are free to do so by improving
> on what is already there instead of harassing development about minor
> issues.
> 7) There is no hard and fast rule that the gameplay or user interaction
> cannot change for plugins.  This is not the core that we are talking about,
> and there have been plenty of situations that the plugins have changed
> significantly.  Not too long ago there was a big deal about the Clock plugin
> with the user interaction changes that were made. The general consensus was
> that anyone is free to work on them as they see fit.
> 8) I am not disagreeing that scaling the bitmaps may add a minor
> improvement, but I feel that Paul's threats to revert a change on something
> that he has not contributed any significant development to is out of line
> especially since the crux of Paul's argument is flawed.
> Again, If the patch is reverted the bricks heights and widths will still be
> wrong (according to this supposed gameplay "rule") on at least 50% of the
> targets that this change effects.  If a fix is needed for those targets
> anyway according to this supposed gameplay "rule" then we are already at
> break-even with the patch in there.
> I still dispute the validity of the idea that the gameplay cannot be changed
> from what it currently is.  If that is the case maybe we should all just
> stop development since that would be a change in the user experience.
> -Karl

FWIW I agree 100% with Karl, and want to add that brickmania looked
stupid with the paddle sitting half way up the display which that
change fixed, no question making the game feel better.
Received on 2009-12-19

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