This shows how to remove the corners from palisades so check it out, rate it, comment on it. nething u like!
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Advanced Fenced Houses
Review by Luke Gevaerts
A word prior to this review: the exact utility reviewing guidelines are still being discussed. For the time being, I shall keep myself to the categories that the participants of that particular discussion have agreed on. If you find this review unfair, please e-mail me, leave a post at the AOKH Scenario Discussion Forum, or stop by at the PDHQ Official Forums.
Well - to start my review:
UTILITY: the Utility factor checks the following:
A: is the utility useful for the designer who downloaded it?
B: is this the first utility of its kind?
C: if not, is it different from the utilities that have been uploaded prior to the utility in question?
I must say yes, under certain conditions. deathdart's utility is meant to teach designers how to create walls without corners. For those who do not yet understand; wall corners are the wall parts that appear on the left and right, or top and bottom parts of a certain line of walls. The explanation is rather confusing, I agree, so the best option would be to download this utility, or another one alike. Back to the topic - if we look at whether the author has achieved what he meant to achieve, we must say he did. If we look at what point A is meant to look at, we will have to think deeper, following my first golden rule:
Is the utility useful for beginning designers? And for advanced designers? And for the most experienced designers of the AOKH?
This is were things go wrong. For beginning designers, this utility is supposed to be the most useful of its kind. But since the author has lacked to describe exactly how to create these cornerless walls, the beginning designer can look at it, but not copy it. I will not mark the lack of description here, since that will be done via factor 4, but this was just meant as an illustration why this utility is not useful for any designer.
Advanced designers usually know the basic tidbits of the editor, among which how to use the map copy function. As such, the advanced designer will start experimenting, and find out things that have long before been discovered by the pioneers of AOK. As said before, utilities alike this one have been released long before the author discovered the possibility shown in this utility. So if the advanced designer hadn't thought of it himself before, he must certainly have found utilities in the Market section of the AOKH. For the most experienced designers of the AOKH this utility is downright useless.
One would think that, after reading the first section of this review, I would mark the Utility factor with a 1. I regret to say I cannot, no matter how I would like it to be so. The point is that my reasoning does not cover the mark for the full 100%. For example, what would happen if there were an advanced designer who had never looked into the Market section before? If that were to be the case, this utility would prove useful indeed. Therefore, I will mark this factor with a 2.
CREATIVITY: the Creativity factor checks whether the utility contains new, refreshing ideas. Before you say anything - indeed, this section looks like sub-category C of the Utility factor. I for one think that this makes clear why the utility reviewing guidelines are still being discussed. I will stick to the agreements for now, but I cannot in clear conscience award a mark to this section. Therefore, I will stick to the mark I gave for sub-category C of the utility factor, which is a 2.
QUALITY: the Quality factor checks the following:
A: does the quality of the utility live up to decent standards?
B: is this utility better than utilities released before?
C: how effective is the utility when applied to a scenario?
For point A, I must regretfully say "no". Even though the author partly reached his goal, which is to explain designers how to create cornerless walls, the way this goal was displayed in the utility reminded me of something that I step in every once in a while. This may seem like cruel judgement, but I cannot do otherwise. Removing the corners of a wall is nice, but covering the holes in between with a single tree certainly is not. And I have not even raised my voice to talk about what other useless things appeared in the utility. A 1 for this sub-category.
For point B, I can be short. This utility is in no way better than utilities released before. I can be brief, I could make this a long story, but I will stick to giving a mark, which is a 1 for this sub-category.
Point C is the sub-category that saves the day. However wrong the author displayed the function in this utility, each designer will see the powers of a function such as this. For example, one could apply it to Pallisade Walls - remaking them into hedges in an instant. However, I cannot grant credit to the author for this, which is why I will stick to a 3 for this sub-category.
The total of this factor would be a 1.667 - the nearest mark is thus a 2.
INSTRUCTIONS: the Instructions factor checks if the utility is user-friendly. This factor is by far the easiest to judge. I look at the following:
A: are there any pre-game instructions?
B: are there instructions while the utility is running?
C: can I understand what the author is trying to say, i.e. does the author use proper English?
As said under Utility, this utility lacks proper explanation. There is one scentence to encouragre the designer to "check out the cool stuff", and there is a small section under "Hints" (now I ask you), with a very brief explanation as to how to achieve the meant effect. This explanation is by far not enough - I understand how to achieve the meant effect, but without trying to be arrogant, I tend to share me in the large group that occupies the space between "advanced" and "most experienced". The given description could never be of any use to a beginning designer. The author did use proper English. All in all, I will award a 2 for this factor.
If we do the calculation, we get 2+2+2+2 / 4 = 2. The final mark for this utility is thus a 2, which I think is the only fair mark for this utility.
A last word to everyone who decides to review a utility: when you do, try not to take only your own opinion into account, but instead, try looking at the utility from different perspectives. What would the greatest designer think of it? And what about an avarage designer? And what about the mere beginner, who has just learned how to fire up the editor? If you combine these views, you will see that it becomes much easier to deliver a fair review - even when you follow guidelines that have not yet been written into stone. ;-)
July 6, 2002
Luke Gevaerts (email@example.com)