First of all congrats on getting this project started, doing stuff like this ain't easy but who am I telling this? Let me split this review into a few categories.
Glad to see someone using Cinema 4D, it's not a bad alternative to the more common 3D programs out there. I'm not sure if you actually need 3D backgrounds for this though since there were barely any shifts in perspective during single shots. You might as well build your backgrounds in 3D and then paint over them (or have someone else do that for you) to get more detailed and beautiful results.
Character designs could use some more variety (hair, eyes), I would've loved to see some changes from the designs you used years ago because the characters are mostly identified by their colors and clothing right now - if you lined up their sillouettes you'd actually see how similar they all are. The choice of names is also odd but I guess in this setting you can easily let that slide.
From a writing standpoint this was a pretty bad first episode. Almost no information on anything has been given and I can't even tell wether this is supposed to be an Eddsworld-style comedy show or a mystery show. By now I am not able to explain the show with anything more than "There are some guys and unusualy things happen for some reason."
The story in itself like mentioned above told me nothing and I felt like I was watching an episode 2 where everything has already been established (like why they have these Gears and hints towards what causes these strange phenomena).
In one of your answers to another review you said this episode was more about introducing the characters, but even this didn't really work out. All I learned from this pilot episode is that Swift will be responsible for all the over-the-top comedy and that two guys are into kendo because anime. Maybe you would've been better off introducing two charactes per episode tops while moving the plot along simultaneously.
Look at shows like Avatar: The last airbender and how their episodes are set up for example. They almost always have a good mix of plot/character development, action, comedy etc. and use no tropey anime episode distinctions like "character development episode", "story episode", breathers and fillers and all that.
Animation & acting:
I felt the characters could've utilized more body language while delivering their lines. This is especially noticable with red-hair person because his voice actor often spoke more powerful and it didn't line up with the acting. At many points you could've done more than just moving their heads. Especially with your amount of motion tween it would've been easy to move their arms and bodies around and use hand gestures.
Don't let this review discourage you! Barely any webshows/-comics start out flawless and you could always write this off as my personal opinion.
Thanks a lot. I really liked this critique and I agree with a lot of what you said. I'll consider all the points you made and we'll see what happens from here. :3
Obvious things I'll leave out of this review:
- Use of copyrighted material & sprites (The usual be original blabla talk.)
- Grammar (Get a native speaker to look over your script, I'm sure you'll find someone on NG.)
So far I have no idea what the premise of the show is. This first episode introduced me to nothing I don't already know (The Mushroom Kingdom). The whole movie consisted of scenes that set up possible subplots that aren't pursued any further. There is nothing to keep people hooked. I could type "Mario sprites" into google pictures and it would give me the same amount of story.
A pilot episode works best if it introduces world and characters in a compact simplistic way without drawn out dialogues. It can be annoying to figure out how to do this part but once it's off the table you can get the plot going within the same episode instead of postponing it.
Since you basically write a fanfiction people will want to recognize their favorite characters from the franchises. All characters that appeared so far are cardboard cutouts and none of their personalities come through. Another thing are the dialogues. You should probably seek another way to communicate the story instead of making normally mute characters talk.
Let the mute ones communicate in other creative ways and design dialogues in a way that still allows them to interact with other characters. I hate to say this but look at how Alvin Earthworm did it.
Right when I thought that something of importance should happen soon the movie stopped dead in its tracks. There were no credits or anything so I just assume that you mislabeled this as "Episode 1" instead of "Episode 1 part 1".
I hope this review didn't hit you like a sledgehammer, but me wearing plushie gloves won't help. I just want to help you become a more awemazing artist.
I'm honestly baffled at how much you improved in this episode.
- The new foreground-dialogue art and animation looks way better now - the shading colors could be better though, don't just pick the same color a little bit darker, experiment with warm and cold colors instead. I'm aware this isn't something you learn overnight and I'm in the middle of learning it right now too.
- You still re-use alot of the animations but I'm aware you do that to save time, just be careful not to let a character sniff their finger trice in a row.
- The backgrounds are really nice. They aren't outstanding, but backgrounds aren't meant to stand out anyway. What I'm getting at here is that the earlier infamous "purple" backgrounds stood out negatively. Now they are not distracting at all (Safe for the grid with the huge lock near the end, I had to stare at it constantly.)
- Nylocke: There's nothing more to add to MasterAardvarks review.
- Fonts: I really didn't notice it until he pointed it out, but maybe you should really look for alternatives. Some of the fonts you juggle around with are hard to get accustomed to, especially with them changing every 1-2 text boxes. Try something more minimalistic here that isn't as distracting. People love pixels (but not sprites), so that game-interface idea might work out if pulled off right.
- One thing that still bothers me is the parodic use of anime cliches; take the stereotypical metrosexual villain raven guy near the end for example. Parodies are great and all but I feel the idea of parodizing television-tropes in itself is sort of sucked dry by now and maybe one day you'll regret putting those parodies in your show.
- Another thing is your female anatomy. The majority of your main cast is male (with the occasional non-humanoid) so in comparison to them the design of Flamegirl looks under-developed, mainly because she looks like a stick sometimes. I'm not saying she should have giant buttocks of fanserviceness - that would be the other extreme - I just think a little less-neutral more feminine build would do the character good.
In conclusion I can say I'm looking forward to the next episode. Not because I'm hooked up to the story or feel attached to the characters (I am not the target demographic), but because I love seeing other creators improve and since you release these in a regular schedule we can actually watch you improve faster than grass is growing. I am also forced to reflect on my own creations while writing constructive criticism and reading the (unusually) passionate and elaborate reviews of other ng artists helps me out too.
Looks nice and all but really didn't capture the awesome level designs you find in Nintendos sidescrolling Mario games. Theres always a way to beat the levels in these, but here I found myself stuck more than one time. There has always been a way to beat a level in old Mario games, but here I couldn't proceed because I couldn't break blocks(small), or because I couldn't jump high enough to escape a pit so I had to start over. And whats up with the Fireflowers everywhere? I'd rather see some 1-Ups instead of collecting 10 Fireflowers in each level.
Also you could just fire-spam through the levels. Many enemies running into your firespam don't replace fewer well-placed enemies.
Hope this critique helps you with future jump&runs!
Most rewarding game ending ever.
This game is quite addicting because it's so hard to beat and looks pretty neat.
I also liked the different weapon types with their pros and contras. (I always find myself restarting the game until I get a light blue weapon to hit the miners with) The amount of stamina is ok in my opinion; anything higher would be unrealistic for a lil dwarf like Larry.
The only problems I encountered were:
- Poison mage and large gnome medals are inaccessable for some reason.
- Mages in general are a tad too strong because you can't avoid the spells. (I managed to kill the lot of them in Day 19 though)
- Using wands is not very rewarding.
Will the main-game have this sidescroller gameplay too? Oh well I guess I'll find out.
Nice work! I love how the prominent beat is kept as a constant while the song is evolving.
Thanks man, glad you liked it. I kept noticing different samples that worked well together with the others I was already using so it provided for some interesting combinations
One of the greatest jazz pieces I've come across in the audio portal. It reminds me of a few old videogame music composers who loved to mix an organ into their work.
These wordless pages are probably my favorites out of your whole webcomic, just because they can tell a plethora of things without a single letter. Also great work on the composition!
Yeah, I like doing the wordless comics. It makes me play more with the composition and general feel, I think. Thanks!
I have no words for how flawless the composition is. That umbrella.
The proportions of this character aren't balanced very well. Her upper half is kept in realistic proportions while her legs/hips are incredibly exaggerated, making her look less human as a result.
I know from your other works that you generally like to exaggerate the pelvis area (so do I) but I recommend studying and drawing realistic proportions some more before you continue to do so. Getting a grip on realistic anatomy helps with exaggeration too and will aid you in keeping even exaggerated bodies believable.
Breasts physics could use some study, but I'm not an expert in this field.
Her neck area looks a little caved-in because of the shading.
Attend life drawing courses or look at stock/nude photography on the internet, it'll help you greatly especially with things like the shading in the neck area when both arms are lifted up.
Thanks for the advice it really help me. now I now what I need to work the most.
gonna try using references for my next works. :)
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