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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 31, 2015 1:54 am
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SDHawk wrote:
There was some call to disqualify Charbile's okedoke review. Between the review itself and the supplemental log there are more than 3 paragraphs directly relating to the game, even if most of it is spent trying to understand (and inquire about) the appeal it has to other people. Part of the inquiries are comments about how he sees the work himself. So it remains qualified.


I won't dispute this since it's your contest and you certainly can decide what qualifies and what doesn't. I definitely agree that combining that initial post with the rabid discussion that's followed (something that more games need, in all honesty) gives players more than a snapshot of what Okedoke is, so perhaps the non-review nature of his post serves a greater purpose than the snippets of review that he gives.

But, I can dispute something...

Charbile wrote:
Hawk, to even humor disqualifying talking about what a game is, is getting pretty silly. We're not reviewing tabletop or cards, where it's all numbers and probability with some flavor pics and text. Not all the games are Wizard Blocks or Slimeomancy.

I think a lot of reviewers and commenters are too busy looking at their feet (or waist down) wanting only to focus on game mechanics or pretty pictures or grammar mistakes, choosing to ignore the big picture (the face/mind). Quite literally in an engine where most everyone is restricted in the same ways. You stand out with context, tone, the promise of your own imagination--it's getting stupid to pretend like that kind of stuff isn't design, or doesn't have its own mechanics, or somehow isn't the one and only thing that really matters.

Maybe next contest, I'll just make a template with checkboxes so I can copy and paste the same boring ohr related design mistakes review after review, and ignore all the spicy meatballs of topics that people feel like they have to defend because it's real punches with real weight to it. To me it's just talking about games. I know my tone seems harsh, but try to picture the grin plastered on my face if it helps.

The irony of saying the point of the community is not to live in bubbles or wanting to know what others think is not lost either, i hope.


Focusing mainly on what you say about authors having context, tone, etc. beyond simple design mechanics, these are very important things to talk about, and no one here, especially I, will tell you you shouldn't mention them in a review. Absolutely you should, especially if you think you've figured out what the tone, context, etc. are. My problem with your review, and why I don't think it should count (even though SDHawk has already ruled that it does, so it doesn't matter what I actually say in that regard, other than to comment on this post in particular) is that you don't actually review anything. You just ask a bunch of questions related to another person's review and expect other reviewers to answer it for you. You're basically the project manager of a review project, where you delegate the topics for others to investigate.

Nothing in your initial post on Okedoke suggests you have an opinion on the game yourself. In fact, nothing in that review, other than maybe the screenshots, suggests that you've even played Okedoke. Now, I'm sure you have. But if so, what did you think about it?

Because you talk about pop culture in your review, I'm supposed to assume that you have played it. But my review, which you so generously base your arguments and questions on, also talks about that stuff. How do I know that your entire argument isn't just based on what I've written rather than what you've played?

Just to be clear, the 2014 in Review thread is, to my understand, a review contest about the games you've played, not the reviews you've read.

Charbile in his Okedoke review wrote:
What is the social commentary?

What is the humor?


You should've answered those questions yourself instead of relying on me (a guy who has already devoted more than enough time to reviewing this game and really has nothing else to add on his own) to answer them for you. The point of analysis is to come up with your own conclusions.

I'd have rather you'd spent your "review" telling us what you think the social commentary or the humor is, or, if you think it has none of either, then I'd rather you'd spent your review explaining why that's a false claim. I have no problem with you disputing my review or proving me wrong about something I've written if you can do so using your own opinions and analyses based on your own playthrough of the entire game. I'm okay with being called out on mistaken thinking. I think Spoonweaver already did that in his follow-up comment, which I'll reference here in a moment. But you don't do that. You just ask questions in hopes that I will clarify something that you make no opinion about yourself. (I say "I" instead of "other reviewers" on account that you focused primarily on my review, but I think this issue could extend to any review you might've read and questioned.)

No one but the author of the game cares how harsh you get on this one. Really. I'm not even sure why you're addressing it. What matters is that you review honestly. If you wanted to start a discussion (OHR Book Club style) with those questions, or even with my ridiculously lengthy review as the basis (yes, I admit it's unnecessarily long, but it's what I chose to do for one of the OHR's rare completed epic games), then you should've opened a new thread and generated those questions there. That would've been cool, actually. And I wouldn't have minded that you basically used my review as a basis for your own. If there's a reason to call out my faulty logic, however much of it you might find, then that would've been the forum to do it in. Not this one.

As it stands, I don't think you did your job as a reviewer here. Not initially, at any rate. I think that adding to the discussion helps your case, and with the supplemental responses, I think you've maybe got enough to justify your viewpoint of the game. But that was not evident in the first post, and that's where it should've been the most evident.

Spoonweaver wrote:
My main complaint, and I wasn't going to say this originally because I don't think it will help the developer, is that the game expects too much of the player. You're thrown into a massive town FULL of nooks and crannys and have to basically explore the whole thing to move on. The level of complexity in the towns is higher than a lot of commercial games. This seems like a good thing, but it's actually not. Towns are generally boring and players want to venture out into the wilderness. There's also the battles, they're long, sometimes, epic length. There's also the resource management, it cuts things kinda tight.

Normally these are the sorts of things you'd want in a game, but it's not the case here. We're not the audience for that. Indie game players tend to give a game about 10-15 minutes of their time. Which, considering the nature of most indie games, is very generous. OkeDoke is a game that in my opinion isn't able to interest a player past that first 10-15 minutes thus the fact that it's long and drawn out work against it. Also, this type of town complexity, as well as the drawn out battles and resource management, don't match the nature of the game at all. Which is why the comments of the game's crassness come front and center.


As I said, Spoonweaver makes a great arguable point that probably contradicts what I've said about Okedoke's gameplay and presentation. Personally, I think this is more the opinion of a particular user than the community as a whole, just because I'm part of the community, and I prefer exploration to straight-shot navigation (hence the reason why the maps in my games are so large and dense). But I imagine that most players feel this way, and that alone would make me fit into the minority, and that would make elements of my own review or opinion faulty as representative of why the community should like this game. At any rate, it's a smart deduction of why most players might respond the way they do, and I'm glad Spoonweaver brought it up. Analysis makes arguments better.

Good job, Spoon, by the way.
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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 31, 2015 4:04 am
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Winged Realm

I've been waiting this entire contest to play a game I might actually be excited for, and it actually happened here. Winged Realm is a great NES-style RPG just waiting to happen, and aside from a few minor hiccups, it's off to a great start.

It's important for a game going 8-bit to have a killer style, and Winged Realm does. It's a game about Harpies, and it has a vaguely Gothic look to it that works well with the setting. (Yeah, I know Gothic isn't the right word. I'm not an artist, ok?) The music, while ripped from Megaten, fits in well. Hopefully something original can eventually surface.

The game mimics its retro ancestors well, while still feeling pretty fresh. What story we have here is minimal, but the dialogue is kept to a minimum in turn and gets across your basic objectives effectively. Winged Realm's difficulty is pretty brutal, maybe a little too much so, which is saying something coming from a guy who just finished Dragon Quest II recently. It makes up for that by having some legitimately interesting character designs, including a character who steals attack power from enemies in addition to items. (Dayang would be proud) With its creative setting, engaging battles, and neat touches like being able to fly over pits, I think we may have a winner for 2014 here. Looking forward to seeing a complete game out of this.

Leaderboard
1. Winged Realm
2. Megaman Sprite Game
3. Spy Game
4. Slimeomancy
5. Zero: Secret Pasts Collide
6. Dungeon Cards
7. Troll Over
8. Wizard Blocks
9. Samanthuel's Lovely Home
10. Ramble Planet
11. Invasion of the Mantle Dwellers
12. Okedoke
13. James Doppler's Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Quest of Space Time Adventure for the Mind
14. Batman & Robin
15. Carcere Vicis
16. The Pumpkin Warriors
17. t4r4d1ddl3
18. Dragons
19. Doom Tactics
20. Graffiti Goose
21. Mr. Triangle's Adventure
22. Stand
23. Orange Monday
24. The Location
25. pH
26. Iron Galaxy
27. Munch-Meow
28. table
29. Elephants Most Wanted
30. Poot-Poot Rocket
31. Tetsuedo Demo
32. Rogue Demo
33. Fart
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 31, 2015 11:32 am
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I reviewed Winged Realm
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 31, 2015 6:25 pm
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Gramfeld Cat Goes to the Moon

Garfield is a cat who loves lasagna. He lives with an owner named Jon Arbuckle, who is brain damaged enough to feed his cat lasagna. The two of them have never been to the moon, but Gramfeld has.

Gramfeld is also a cat who loves lasagna. He is in a terrible joke game made for the OHRRPGCE, in which one looks for lasagna on the moon. The jokes are terrible, and so is Gramfeld.

Orange Monday is the obvious comparison here. It's a dumb joke too, but it takes up far less of your time, so it's a much more tolerable Garfield experience. I hate Mondays.

Leaderboard
1. Winged Realm
2. Megaman Sprite Game
3. Spy Game
4. Slimeomancy
5. Zero: Secret Pasts Collide
6. Dungeon Cards
7. Troll Over
8. Wizard Blocks
9. Samanthuel's Lovely Home
10. Ramble Planet
11. Invasion of the Mantle Dwellers
12. Okedoke
13. James Doppler's Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Quest of Space Time Adventure for the Mind
14. Batman & Robin
15. Carcere Vicis
16. The Pumpkin Warriors
17. t4r4d1ddl3
18. Dragons
19. Doom Tactics
20. Graffiti Goose
21. Mr. Triangle's Adventure
22. Stand
23. Orange Monday
24. Gramfeld Cat Goes to the Moon
25. The Location
26. pH
27. Iron Galaxy
28. Munch-Meow
29. table
30. Elephants Most Wanted
31. Poot-Poot Rocket
32. Tetsuedo Demo
33. Rogue Demo
34. Fart
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSat Jan 31, 2015 6:28 pm
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Closing Thoughts

I wasn't impressed with the crop of games this year. I don't have much else to say, but as a guy who had basically ignored these forums for 8 months or so, I came back finding little of value. Props to the authors for continuing to put out games, and I hope you guys learned things from your misadventures if nothing else.

Final Leaderboard, with scores for reference
7/10 - A good game
1. Winged Realm

5/10 - Nice game to play once then forget about
2. Megaman Sprite Game
3. Spy Game
4. Slimeomancy

4/10 - Good ideas, lacking in execution
5. Zero: Secret Pasts Collide
6. Dungeon Cards

3/10 - Pretty bad, but not without merits
7. Troll Over
8. Wizard Blocks
9. Samanthuel's Lovely Home
10. Ramble Planet
11. Invasion of the Mantle Dwellers
12. Okedoke
13. James Doppler's Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Quest of Space Time Adventure for the Mind
14. Batman & Robin

2/10 - Bad games
15. Carcere Vicis
16. The Pumpkin Warriors
17. t4r4d1ddl3
18. Dragons
19. Doom Tactics
20. Graffiti Goose
21. Mr. Triangle's Adventure

1/10 - Terrible and/or incomplete games
22. Stand
23. Orange Monday
24. Gramfeld Cat Goes to the Moon
25. The Location
26. pH
27. Iron Galaxy
28. Munch-Meow
29. table
30. Elephants Most Wanted
31. Poot-Poot Rocket
32. Tetsuedo Demo
33. Rogue Demo
34. Fart
My website, the home of Motrya:
http://www.jshgaming.com
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 02, 2015 8:51 pm
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Pepsi, feels weird even having to say this, but like... a question can be a statement. You can talk about someone else's thoughts on something to give your own about it. Sorry for putting you on the spot like that.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 02, 2015 9:02 pm
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Untitled-1.png
figure B
ohrbingo.png
The Pumpkin Warriors

Tried to get into Earthbound, couldn't. So there's little hope for a game that wants to go for that with me. It's properly labeled as an alpha. Not much to it.

Maybe with some work it can bluh bluh. Some pointers:

Don't present a close to unwinnable battle as the first thing after leaving the house. Died the first time. Chase-you, on-touch NPC enemies are frustrating to players, especially when they know one has already found them and will trigger after advancing a text box. Worse when it's more than one. Chase-you can be used to good effect to give the player a sense of urgency. I question the casual use of it at the start. Boring, sterile statements. I know and I'm sorry.

Figure B - dry opinions on the use of a single text box

a) be careful when another character calls someone else by name. it's a common tipoff to bad writing. There are times where it can make sense, sure. If two characters already know each other, it's jarring to the reader if they have to use each other's name just for the sake of introducing their name. If you have to, make it seem more natural. Or trust the player can see speaker's names.

b) unnecessary details 'they turned evil', 'take your friend', 'get some equipment'. If you feel you just have to explain to the player the Blobsters were good once, maybe this isn't the best place to start the game. Maybe you should rethink having the hero start in his house. Why do we always have to start in the house? I think for the tone of the game, you really don't have to tell the player to find equipment or his friend. Assume you'll present the needed info piece by piece as they play.

c) if you must, break it up. Unless you're making a visual novel, or a heavy literary work, text boxes are dialogue. When a character talks a lot and tells all, it turns into monologue time, like what i'm doing right now. Dialogue is brief and back and forth, usually. Blowing your load in the first text box means you'll be repeating yourself for the next several scenes. Learn to tease, less is more, have a little mystery about yourself.

---

No idea where the story is going. You're a pencil mage, trained by a frog, game's called pumpkin warriors and there's pumpkin npcs. You find some friends and no idea what to do in the town after the dungeon. Not sure I saw everything.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 02, 2015 9:10 pm
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Charbile wrote:
Pepsi, feels weird even having to say this, but like... a question can be a statement. You can talk about someone else's thoughts on something to give your own about it. Sorry for putting you on the spot like that.


It's cool. No harm done.
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Slime Knight
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 PostMon Feb 02, 2015 9:51 pm
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@charbile I don't know why everybody starts their reviews to Pumpkin Warriors with "it tries to be Earthbound" or something like that... Sure it was one of my inspirations, but I know that I can't replicate that game, and currently I'm actually making it more Zelda-ish than that Earthbound-ish... It could be because of it's current music but geez this isn't supposed to be Earthbound, it's Pumpkin Warriors. Anyways thanks for the review. I'll try to improve that story stuff a bit but I can't promise anything. Also, due to the fact that I'm not actually american or british, and more of an artist than a programmer I'm probably not the one to win a "best games of the year" contest, because I'm just not qualified to do that. I have some really rough times right now so I'll probably ain't fixing anything on the game for the moment and in the near future.
Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Feb 02, 2015 10:38 pm
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I'll be adding my own review of the Pumpkin Warriors shortly.

The exit from the first town was far too hard to find, it's a certain tile on the edge of the map which is almost unmarked!

Froginator wrote:
Also, due to the fact that I'm not actually american or british, and more of an artist than a programmer I'm probably not the one to win a "best games of the year" contest, because I'm just not qualified to do that.


That has nothing to do with it! Being a programmer have little to do with being a competent game designer. *cough* neither does being an pixel artist *cough*

I know that you're not a native English speaker, but honestly that's not much of an excuse. It's not the grammar, spelling and wording that's the problem. The good news is that rewriting the dialogue is relatively easy and it's greatly improve the game. I hope that you will when you can continue working on it!
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 03, 2015 7:42 pm
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It's a bit of the visuals, but mostly guessing based off the music. For example, when you hear Final Fantasy music in Okedoke, it makes you think of when you played it and calls forth unflattering comparisons.

I think the story can be fine without needing to be 'English, especially if you're going for classic Zelda. Short, cryptic, or goofy text can work very well. It's dangerous to go alone. can be used like: Froggy has been kidnapped. Take this! I'd trust your visuals to tell most of the story.

TMC reviewing games?! Say whaaat
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 03, 2015 7:54 pm
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ohrbingo.png
wouldn't it be funny if i uploaded some ohr porn accidentally
Iron Galaxy

Previously it was an alpha, now we have a pre-alpha. What's next, some bitmaps and a text file pre demo alpha beta? And before I get to it, want to cover a part of Giz's review where he has issue with naming the hero at the start. While, yeah, it's annoying to pick names before any context, I think here it's minor. Yeah it's a lack of polish, but it's a pre-alpha contest game. An option given to the player because it's a feature of the engine that's easy to turn on. Only the cool ohr games are doing it. Need to lighten up, Gizzz

Looking through the folder, I do indeed have some bitmaps and a text file with chapter 1's story. It's like a sixth sense. Let's review that, why not.

Advanced dialogue lesson

"Lt. Desiree: An unmarked ship has been spotted near your location, Sensei Tokiko... It's not responding to our signals and according to our radars it has just deployed a number of mechs."

'Just' is just one of those words to be careful when using. You can insert just in just about any sentence. It's just another bad writing tipoff. It's okay to use it, especially if it's the speech quirk that you want to define a character with, but be careful. Usually people have some 'just'-like words they like to use a lot, and lazy writers tend to insert their own speech mannerisms into all their character's text. Leading to all characters sounding the same. In this example, would definitely edit it out, along with trimming down the overall wonky construction.

And don't get me started on ellipses... For starters, ask if a comma would work, especially if it's like "Sensei... don't you know a comma denotes a pause in speech too and is far more pro?"

Oh wait, there's a game too?! oh boy... let's open it up.

But first, I see in the summary it was for a Contest: Ultimate Challenge. Make a game that's difficult but fun, cash prize of thirty whole dollars. Meowskivich won? Amazing... did I already play his game? Is it even on the list? Reading through the thread, Willy rated Iron Galaxy pretty low, saying it did not follow the spirit of the contest. And damn, Willy hosted a contest? Who hasn't hosted one? Let's have a contest to vote on who will hold the next one.

Ok, the game. But first, isn't it kind of weird mixing difficulty with fun? I think the best examples of a game pulling that off are when it starts fun and builds toward a difficult end game, like Cave Story's final bosses and hell level. Or Mario games. It's clear in Iron Galaxy, the battles were made with the idea of difficulty being not knowing what attacks do what, poor feedback of whether you're being effective or not, and a general sense of stretching out a battle and testing patience. The problem is that's not fun. I would also put some blame on the idea of the contest, but that would be for a contest review contest.

Graphics are great. Blasted Earth has talent. There is some room to grow sprite-wise. And with anatomy, those leg muscles... Has potential. Would fire the designer and writer (sorry -_-). I like how there was some fun being had in chaining the attacks so the mechs can say YEAH! after a special attack. Funny mistakes which I assume were done on purpose like the text box not being at the bottom of the screen but over a drawn background's face.

Overall, would give it one review out of 25.
Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Feb 04, 2015 2:36 am
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The only reason I was pissed off so much about the name thing is that it was the 4th or 5th game in a row that did that and I was getting tired of trying to guess what kind of a character the main character would be. Doubly so for choosing your party essentially at random since you don't know anything about anyone and have no way of finding out.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 05, 2015 6:57 am
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It's a good point to bring up, one of those things I'm sure most take for granted and never think about.

I guess what I meant to say about it was more a general sense of how much it seems like we've been beating up on these games. At what point are we nitpicking? Felt like I've crossed the line at times. And I know it can be frustrating as an author to see people treat something that's clearly a rough concept or a disposable one-shot as something more than that.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 05, 2015 7:08 am
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ohrbingo.png
"It's quite possibly THE single worst thing that I've ever made." -- the author
That said, if authors put stuff out to be played, they have to suck it up that not everyone will take it like they want it to be taken. Hard knocks.

Gramfeldcat Goes to the Moon

Would you believe me if I said this was a contest game?

Apparently Game Jolt ran a contest called Garfjam, meant to honor Garf Day. What is that, you don't ask? It's "the day Garf rose from Monday and ate lasagna." There were eight entries for this: http://jams.gamejolt.io/garfjam/games

So it answers that age old question of are we alone in the universe of dumpy game making. Big world out there, huh?

I played it outside of that context and of course the main thought was why would someone make this. It's short, has a few encounters. Not the worst thing ever. The absurdity can be fun and it sure doesn't linger on longer than necessary, being so short.

I think there's a jab at one of James Paige's games about typing. Not a jab in that it's meant to villify him or his work, it at least gets that part right about the comic frame unlike others. But like others, it includes Seinfeld, Mr. T, and that kind of stuff, has no sense of its own character and is more lazy or helpless in terms of any real comedic value.

Though I did find the premise and opening bit amusing. Obvious Garfield knock-off goes to the moon for lasagna, and right at the top there's a vending machine with lasagna. It's like, wow, actual comedic work--a setup, bridge, and payoff--in something like this? It's pretty weak, but still. Above and beyond some of the other attempts I've had to play through that want to be funny without having any actual jokes.

The big mechanical flaw, so far as game design goes, was having maps bigger than they needed to be. It doesn't help with comedic timing, maintaining player interest, aesthetics, or anything.

I understand when you make a map in custom, the cursor moves fast, you can scroll around easily without running into walls, and you can press f1 to get a good view of the entire picture. So you make huge empty maps. Think in terms of the player being slow, they can only see one screen at a time--pack it into that size. Each screen's worth of view needs to have purpose. Can make the empty paths if there's a reason for it, be it pacing, visuals, a setup to who knows. You're not fooling anyone when you do this thinking we'll find it neat that you can hold spacebar down to lay tiles or that it isn't obvious padding to hide the lack of substance in your work.
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