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By golly, this was absolutely boring. But, it works...
SOUND ASSETS: nearly non-existent. If they were there, I couldn't hear them. Very few bits of media outside of books can get away with not having sound, or...some kinda audio track. This is probably a large part of why I thought it was boring...but far from the only reason.
OPTIONS MENU: There was none. Then again...aside for maybe fullscreen, borderless, or being allowed to resize, and maybe being able to adjust gameplay features, what options would you really need? It's a 2d game with no sound nor animation, except, maybe the tutorial, if you count fade-in/out. Regardless, there are sticklers for menus.
WIN/LOSS CONDITION: Basically: don't go bankrupt while competing with a bunch of AI companies. There is no direction for the game. Just spam movies every month or 2, and you'll not lose, unless you make it an unaccepted genre for the time of release. And yeah, it takes a long while from creation to release, as high budget movies tend to, so, I'll give it props for that. So...what are you shooting for in this game? To get the hall of fame? One can only assume that's it.
TUTORIAL: Pretty piss-poor. Not the worst I've seen, but for such a complicated game, you should certainly have a separate game mode (called tutorial) that would hold the person's hand for the first, pre-scripted scenario. Not to mention, it seems determined to block your view of the screen. (sometimes it's inconsequential, but
You don't even get hints when you first turn to a page, unless it was in the specific order of the "tutorial's" instruction. And considering that some of these are quite complex and, as I found to be quite unintuitive, this would have been helpful.
HELP ICONS: By attributes on actors and directors/producers ( it doesn't distinguish between the roles of director and producer, aside for...will be the next topic), it has these help icons that explain the stats. Not very well, but they at least give you an idea. For instance, if you skimped out on the writer, you should hire someone with high improvisation skill...but aside from that, I couldn't tell what they meant.
One skill description was "flair with complex sets" or something along those lines...does that mean it's only useful with high set budgets, or does it simply improve the set? What?
Not to mention, these aren't even formatted. You would have one skill description bleeding onto the line with another. (because they are all in the tool tip box)...but know what? that's a minor complaint.
DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS/ACTORS Very little depth is given to them. They are just names with a price tag and a set of points in their skills. To be fair, there's a pretty large variety, it would be kinda a nightmare to write a whole biography on all of them, but they didn't bother with anything, and some still have place holder photos...so... But, the ones that do have a picture kinda makes sense with the skills...but.... If I held up a picture of a random guy, and told you he has a score of 1/5 in creativeness...how would you tell?
And not only did the people not get depth, but neither did the roles themselves. What is a director, and why can an actor be signed up as a producer/director/actor all at the same time for the same fee? It doesn't even tell you in summary the importance of a director or producer.
I would just assume here: stick as many people in there as possible to make a better movie...I guess...
OVERALL CLARITY IN WHAT'S HAPPENING: Horrible. What does my out of date sound equipment do? What penalties do I face for having such sound? I don't know. You assume you get a penalty because it says it's out dated... Is there a bonus to views from the country I film in? I don't know. OK, awesome, so effects budgets are useful for action movies...anything else? I would only guess so.
Optimization: Not a huge deal, but it didn't exactly run smoothly on my computer, and I edit/create fairly precise music videos on YouTube. And sometimes, it would like place the game window behind my other windows I had open, for a brief moment as it loaded...I didn't much appreciate it, but it was minor.
STATISTICS TRACKING (UI) : Not exactly user-friendly, gotta say. And considering that you need to make movies based on popular demand, you probably want ready and quick access to it. You have to go to the top menu to open the folding menu to get the the stats. And then from there, you must use a drop-down menu to select each country you want to see, one-by-one. It's inconvenient to use.
It would be quite nice to also have an "aggregate favor" so you didn't have to keep selecting each country individually.
Even having it quickly available in the news section (where you are taken to at the beginning of each month), would be so much better.
FILE IMPORTING: There is a part in the movie production where you can import images for the poster for your movie, and this gives you a +7% bonus to ...something... Needless to say, I tried this...many times...Each time it said the image I was trying to use was not supported...and it did not say what file types were allowed... AGAIN! It has no clarity!