Funspiration - SCG

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by rabid squirrel on Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:37 pm

Ooookay so I'm finally reviewing this thing.

Can I start with the stuff I didn't like? Just because I feel like this track has gotten praise to the ends of the earth and nobody feels like they can ever top it, and I am totally confused as to how that happened? Okay. Actually I'm going to go from the top of the track and work through it. But that means starting with this.

I don't know how to say this nicely, and I've been struggling with how to say it nicely for a long time, but I've decided I'm just going to say it and not worry about whether I am being nice. The scenery at the start is the #1 reason why I don't show this track to everyone I know (and when I do want to show people the track I just skip to the kramual cannon). I think it's also a #1 reason why this track isn't going viral right now. The scenery is - again, no way to say this nicely - really, really bad. Putting dots/dashes/squiggles on something does not constitute shading, which is supposed to give things shape and lighting and texture. In this case it just makes it look sloppy, and like everything is covered in dots and squiggles. The dragon's proportions are just grotesque, the line at the back of his mouth goes straight through his "teeth", which are just two lines each, and his teeth are laid out in a way that just looks like the way a small child would draw teeth on a monster. And the titles is for some reason tattooed onto the dragon? Bosh rides on two unscened lines that come from his mouth and inexplicably become the side of a floating platform with houses on it? Part of this look blatantly unfinished, and we see the edges of the scenery as he goes through the flatsled section.

I'm not saying it should have been drawn better - I am saying, why is it there at all? The track would be so much more watchable as a whole if this scenery was just... not there. And it just really, really bugs me that you thought it was good enough to start the track off with it. It takes away so much from the track as a whole.

0:10-0:19
I think this section is pretty good for what it was supposed to be. I feel like maybe the recycling was a bit forced, and I don't think it needed recycling at all, but eh. Oh well.

0:19-0:28
This section is great. The speed stays consistent and the mix of manuals and flatsled works well. The space recycling works well with the music too.

0:28-0:51
This part is quite weak in my opinion. Two things that look really nubbish happen over and over - low-rotation airtime in a gentle arc (aka what all airtime looked like for manual tracks in early 07), and flatline manuals (aka the laziest way to make manuals). I know, I know, you were rusty, but if you couldn't do this style very well maybe something else entirely would have been better. The pressure is all over the map and the result is that it just doesn't flow like the music does. Slow manuals are not easier than fast manuals, but it looks like you didn't spend much time on this section, and the result is the previous section flowed far better than this section.

0:54 - 1:13
This section is okay for what it's trying to be, and it fits in nicely between the two sections around it. But there are a few things that bug me. One, why are we recycling gravity wells? Isn't this supposed to be simple and stuff? It just feels really weird and out of place. Two, I don't like the manuals in this section, since we just got done with a whole lot of manuals and the music feels like it did a pretty big shift here. And three, the little bits of airtime also feel odd because they don't line up with the music at all, which isn't really very dynamic in this section, and I really wished they weren't there.

1:14-1:32
This section was great! It felt like you were struggling a bit to keep the speed, but you really did quite a good job keeping the movement of Bosh interacting with the line interesting the whole time. And it fit great with the music.

1:33-2:01
This section was good too. It wasn't super powerful and in my opinion that matched the music perfectly, setting us up for the next section, being a new style, without drawing focus to itself from being really good, or from not being good enough. And the tumbling lines into the next section were great for building the tension.

2:02-2:20
I only have one complain about this section. Why does it stop three seconds early and just give us airtime? It just doesn't line up with the music at all, and you must have known that. Otherwise, this is the style that is home for you and it all looked good. Starting it off with whatever that signature loop thing is was perfect.

2:21-3:17.
Okay, so the XY is 2:21-2:40. The 45 degree is 2:40-4:49. The XYZ is 2:49-2:58. And the quirk is 2:58-3:17. It feels weird to me to have the two shorter sections in the middle, because when we get to the quirk section it feels really long - and the quirk is pretty close to what was just in the section before this buildup. I love the structure you have in place but I think 2:40-2:58 45deg, 2:38-3:17 XYZ would have been better. Or maybe 2:40-2:58 45deg, 2:38-3:08 XYZ, and 3:08-3:17 quirk right at the end. This is especially noticeable because I can tell you feel like the quirk is taking too long at 3:09 when you do some fancier quirk and then have a kramual for no reason. The sections themselves, though, are really stellar. Great density throughout, great flow matching the music, and I love how they get more and more animated throughout this build. This music was a bold choice because of this section because it really worked.

3:17-3:55
Okay so this is obviously the best part of the track. You stumbled on something really huge and I can't wait to see what people do with it. Obviously you had just discovered it and so you were sort of just trying things out and some worked better than others. However, I do kind of wish that when something didn't work (the ZOMG, or the triangles), you would have tried something else instead of just leaving it there. And I also wish that you had filled the whole time with animations, instead of leaving huge dead spots at 3:33-3:36 and 3:41-3:52. Yes the highspeed quirk is cool but there's no good reason not to have both animation and the highspeed quirk at once. Or maybe find a way to highlight it better with the animation? Obvs, the kramual cannon use was great, the first and last instances of animation mirror each other nicely, the exploding box was clearly the best part, and the end knocking him off sled was great.

I also want to say a word about the title. I've just gone through this whole thing piece by piece and talked about all sorts of things that could have been better, but I do realize that the theme throughout the entire track was to have fun. I'm really torn, because on the one hand, if you say "well I was just having fun" that kind of has a way of negating any criticism directed at a track. But on the other hand, it is a really good thing for all of us to aspire to - to have fun making our tracks. I struggle with it a lot. But on the other hand, I'm getting the feeling that everyone is discouraged right now because they feel like they can never make anything this good, so I feel like some in-depth criticism is needed, so we can see that when you pursue fun as the ONLY motive, that's the only thing your track can say.

"Line Rider is fun" is a good message, but we can say so many other things with this art tool, and I don't want the things we say to be limited to "look I'm having fun because Line Rider is fun" and "look at how awesome I am at making tracks". So for anyone who feels like they can never top this - think about what you want your track to say. And make it a more interesting message than how good at Line Rider you are, or how much fun Line Rider can be. That is what makes tracks stand out.

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by Conundrumer on Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:34 pm

rabid squirrel wrote:Ooookay so I'm finally reviewing this thing.

[...]

Thanks for making this in-depth review and explanation for your perspective. Whenever I show this track to my friends, I also just skip to the animation because the rest of the track is overall okay but not memorable.

As for "fun," I don't know if I'm the only one, but I've stopped enjoying playing Line Rider. It's not fun for me. Well, except when I knock Bosh off his sled and throw him around. That's really fun. But anyways, I don't get that much satisfaction in making Bosh do cool things for the sake of doing cool things. I "play" Line Rider because I have a track in mind that's fun to watch, not because I want to make a track that also happens to be fun to watch. In other words, I like the end result, not the process. I wonder if anyone else is like this.

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by Summoning on Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:07 pm

Conundrumer wrote:
rabid squirrel wrote:Ooookay so I'm finally reviewing this thing.

[...]

Thanks for making this in-depth review and explanation for your perspective. Whenever I show this track to my friends, I also just skip to the animation because the rest of the track is overall okay but not memorable.

As for "fun," I don't know if I'm the only one, but I've stopped enjoying playing Line Rider. It's not fun for me. Well, except when I knock Bosh off his sled and throw him around. That's really fun. But anyways, I don't get that much satisfaction in making Bosh do cool things for the sake of doing cool things. I "play" Line Rider because I have a track in mind that's fun to watch, not because I want to make a track that also happens to be fun to watch. In other words, I like the end result, not the process. I wonder if anyone else is like this.

I'm like that, except it's just not fun at all. I haven't opened my game in ~2 months.

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by SethComposerGuy on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:02 pm

@ rabid, Thanks for the review. I will be looking at this if I decide to do another music syncing track. Also, you pretty much picked up on all the spots in this track I did have some struggles with, (even to the point that you were right on by the fact I did struggle to keep the speed up a bit in the integration section.) and to be honest, shouldn't be all that hard to top this track as it does show I was a bit rusty during the first half of the track.

Also, at the 2:00 quirk part, ya I did kind of throw that bit of air time in there and tried to make it look cool, not so much though, because I just got sick of the time it was taking to create that style of quirk and ran out of ideas for it.

Be sure to check out the animation collab I started if you haven't yet and feel free to clean up the beginning monument, as I feel that once the collab is complete it could top this track.

On a side note, right now I'm having fun experimenting with line boosting bosh in weird ways. I've also been having some fun challenging myself to see if I can do some of the newer tricks with stacking. I've especially been having fun trying to see what strange positions I can get bosh and not worry about whether of not he crashes the next frame.

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by rabid squirrel on Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:48 pm

Conundrumer wrote:I don't get that much satisfaction in making Bosh do cool things for the sake of doing cool things.
This has been the case for me since the very start, which is why I typically don't make quirk. Or spend much time doing anything but scenery. Scenery is way more fun for me.

Scenery for me is usually 20% having fun coming up with cool ideas and planning, 60% hard and tedious work, and 20% being super happy and excited looking at what I made Smile

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Re: Funspiration - SCG

Post by Wizzy on Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:33 pm

Clearly you guys haven't tried flatsled Suspicious

Make a story-based track. Or do an edited thingy.

Way more fun than making manuals or flings.

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