|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Alleyway article.|
|Alleyway is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.|
|This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on April 21, 2009.|
|WikiProject Video games||(Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)|
|WikiProject Spoken Wikipedia|
- Fix grammar issues
Locate EGM issue #3 for review content Add VGChartz comparison info regarding game sales and verification of their methods.Ruled out Query: Anyone with an original GBA and the game...try playing it in it. It looks like from here anyway the paddle locks to the left, making the game unplayable. I'm curious if anyone else has that happen and if it occurs on the newer GBAs. Would be interesting to cite if it does.
On the offhand chance so I don't have to purchase it, does anyone have the manual for this game so anything useful in it may be cited here?--Kung Fu Man (talk) 19:27, 12 March 2008 (UTC) Found a writeup, no need for this now.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 18:54, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Hello, this one must be difficult to write about, so well done in getting it this far. I'm leaving the article at start class mid importance, here's some suggestions which may help:
- History might as well be called development, could it go behind gameplay?
- Is the levels subheading within gameplay necessary? Considering it's a breakout clone the core gameplay doesn't really need splitting up. Because of the way it splits the text beneath the screenshot it looks a bit sliced-off (the lack of a lower playing field and colour in the image means it visually slides away).
- There's a lot of commas throughout the article, I've snipped a couple but I'd suggest reading through and removing a few more.
- Is recycling the right word for the reuse of the game engine?
- The punctuation and inline references need checking, there's at least one cite coming before the full stop, the end sentence in the first paragraph of reception is lacking a full stop.
- Rather than listing each different block movement behaviour, would it not be possible to tie this facet up in a descriptive sentence or two? Let's look at the paragraph:
When all bricks are cleared the player progresses to the next level, where the same pattern of bricks appears but behaves differently. In a fixed cycle, the bricks behave in the following manners: the bricks are either stationary, move left and/or right depending on the stage, or progressively move down the screen at an increasing rate. In the last version, bricks will remove themselves if they progress below a certain point, and won't directly interfere with paddle movement. The levels are all generic in design with the exception of 16 through 18, which are modeled after Mario's head as it appears next to the remaining lives icon. Additionally, some later levels incorporate indestructible, square bricks into the pattern, akin to the encroaching bricks in the third form of every stage. As these cannot be destroyed, they do not have to be cleared to finish the stage.
Something that flows a little better, just as a quick example:
When all bricks are cleared the player progresses to the next level. The pattern of bricks remains the same, but the bricks move in different directions, dependant on the stage. As the player progresses through the levels, the bricks increase their speed of movement until eventually removing themselves from play if they descend beyond a certain point of the play area. In three later levels the bricks are modeled on Mario's head as it appears next to the remaining lives icon. Some later levels incorporate indestructible square bricks within the pattern.
The above isn't perfect by a mile but it's the kind of direction you could look at taking when describing the bricks' curious habits.
- The volume of citations is surprising considering that a) it's an old game and b) it's a breakout clone. The citations themselves need bringing into cite web format, they're currently raw references.
- Gathering any more sources will be difficult, all I can suggest is keeping an eye out if you visit any garage/car boot sales etc. for old game magazines. Online or offline sources may publish details about old games at any point, so one thing that can be done is an occasional google sweep to look for more, even if it's once a month.
- Could the image captions be tweaked? The first one just states what it is, the second one doesn't compute with me. If the second screenshot just displays the game played through the super game boy then words to that effect (with the wikilink) would be fine.
- The article lead could easily be expanded with a few choice details, like how it was used for the Kirby Game, one of the first games for the system etc. Currently it doesn't state the genre or give the reader an idea of what gameplay involves. The lead is something which usually can't be built until the rest of the article, but since this is pretty much it until more sources are available, I'd suggest tidying up the article then hammering out a decent lead before moving onto another project.
Do my best to follow up on your work:
- Software is either a plural term or an opposite to harware, you wouldn't normally describe anything as 'a software' or 'a hardware'.
- "A clone of breakout", Breakout clone. Ditto for the genre in the infobox.
- "The game served as one of the Game Boy's launch titles." I don't get how it can 'serve' as one, either it's a launch title or not, or there's some other meaning, clarify please.
- "When all the player's paddles are depleted, the game ends." > The game ends when all the player's paddles are depleted. Commas are good for breaking up sentences, but repeatedly breaking up sentences when there are ways around it impacts on the flow of the article. Try to make reading as easy as slipping on a baggy old sock, let the reader slip through the article effortlessly and absorb the info.
- The gameplay subheadings take a dive in terms of readability compared to the rest of the article. The writing in these sections really needs to laid open as you have done in the first paragraph of levels.
- "When the ball hits a brick, the brick disappears if destructible and the ball ricochets in a different direction at the same angle except in cases of a loop." Needs some clarification. "the brick disappears if destructible" is an empty statement, "it's either one thing or the other" is what's being said in effect, the ball richochets regardless of whether or not a brick is destroyed in the process. "except in cases of a loop" this took a few reads and needs clarifying. What is meant by loop and why does it change the degree of movement?
- "If the ball becomes locked in a repeated loop of ricochets, the vertical and/or velocity will become randomly altered at a random point after the second cycle, traveling in a slightly raised or lowered angle depending on its current trajectory. This prevents an infinite loop from ever being possible." Huh? I get that this is the mechanism which prevents the ball from being stuck in an endless loop, but it's written too technically, particularly for a single sentence with a small qualifying sentence after it. Clarity and readability, again.
- The way you've changed the block behaviour info is good, much more readable.
- "After each pattern trio," does that mean after every three levels?
- "Also from this point on, the third stage variant will have hidden bricks above the ceiling that progressively come downward" Kill 'also' (redundant), will have > features, progressively come downward > descend progressively.
- "After the twelfth stage, the indestructible bricks will be occasionally incorporated into the design as well." After the twelfth stage indestructable bricks are incorporated into the brick patterns.
- The last couple of sentences under the levels subheading can just as easily sit at the end of the paragraph above, tidier. Ditto the last sentences of scoring, avoid hanging sentences (whether one or two) if at all possible.
- Development, there's an external link used instead of citation, cite please. On that subject, "Yet while Mario is shown on the box art and cartridge for all international versions, the Japanese version's artwork shows an unknown person in a spacesuit in his place.", yet while is redundant, try and find something that reads better than 'an unknown person in a spacesuit'.
WP:VG assessment - the sequel
In response to the request on the assessment page, I'm upgrading the article to B class mid importance. Here's some suggestions, hopefully between them and further responses on peer review they can help:
- "North America and Canada followed on August the same year, while Germany and later the rest of Europe received the game in late 1989/early 1990." - could you separate the Europe and Germany release dates, they're two different dates and using the dash to separate them looks messy (believe Gazimoff already suggested this on peer review).
- "At the start of each life, the player is given a choice where to position the paddle to fire the ball and start the round (the ball will always start off at a downward 45º angle midair aimed at the center of the paddle)." Could the opening shot be reworded? I'd describe the start of levels in this way, but not the pause option given after losing a life. Something more along the lines of "when a life is lost, the player can reposition the paddle before play recommences". The bracketed information seems like overkill, the previous statement is not clarified or empowered by it and loses nothing with it removed.
- "If the ball happens to become locked in a repeated loop of ricochets, the velocity will become randomly altered vertically or horizontally at a random point after the second cycle. As a result, the ball will travel in a slightly raised or lowered angle depending on its current trajectory. This prevents an infinite loop from ever being possible." Technical and awkward with little pay-off for the reader, could you reword it with an emphasis on "the ball cannot be stuck in an infinite loop because.." and give a short, clear description of the game altering the ball's movement?
- Levels subheading - bonus stage is wikilinked twice. The bonus stage is briefly introduced in the first paragraph, but in the third paragraph it's introduced again. "Every fourth round is a bonus stage, using patterns based" could that be written along the lines of "Bonus stages feature patterns based".. or something similar?
- "Promotion of the title by Nintendo was very limited, with articles on the game in Nintendo published material taking up only a small portion of the page they were on. No singular advertisements were produced for Alleyway either, instead the game was grouped with advertising for the Game Boy itself. It wasn't until years after its initial release that the game recieved a full article, a two page section in the Super Game Boy Nintendo Strategy Guide bundled with the Super Game Boy accessory, which gave advice and color codes for the title." This part doesn't sit very well with me. I would like to hear what promotion they did use, in terms of what the sources you've located actually show, but not that the promotion was limited - it's an opinion rather than something which has been quoted from a source. It's one thing to tell the reader what information you have to tell them, another thing to interpret that into something. Likewise, how do you know that the Super Gameboy game guide is the first full article? What's the definition of a full article? Would you be able to describe what's in the strategy guide rather than just its size? "articles on the game in Nintendo published material taking up only a small portion of the page they were on." could do with rewording, as well as a description of what it is - a half-page/quarter page article?
That aside, the article is continuing to progress well, far beyond what I'd thought possible, very well done. If you're interested in further feedback please let me know. Someoneanother 03:34, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh no.. more video game assessments
Seeing as the aim is to push for GA, I'm going to try and be as detailed as possible:
- Needs restructuring into two separate paragraphs, one for release information and gameplay, the other for development and reception. Currently gameplay is tagged-on as a second paragraph whilst the rest is in the first.
- "The game was first released in Japan in 1989, and was later released North America as well." "and was later released in North America during the same year".
- "It was eventually released in Germany, while the rest of Europe tailed behind, with the game being distributed there in early 1990." When was it released in Germany? A date would be better than 'eventually'. "tailed behind" sounds kinda like slang. Please use the European date rather than "early 1990".
- Wikilink Breakout, I know Breakout Clone is linked but that's the genre as opposed to the game itself.
- "one of these paddles" "a paddle".
- The Ball Behaviour section is still too technical (particularly in reference to the infinite loop-breaking mechanism), it needs to be aimed at a general audience who should be able to 'get it' on first or second read. I think you need to take a long look at this and consider a) simplifying it and b) merging it with the main part of gameplay.
- The other impression that I'm left with is that the entire section could do with some trimming, and that a little too much hinges on what can only be discovered by playing the game through first-hand. The effort you've put into it is Herculean, but considering it's a bat and ball game there seems to be too much information, particularly under scoring.
- Unwikilink Breakout - should be linked in the first instance.
alsomarks" try to eliminate these 'linking' words unless seriously needed.
- "a person in a spacesuit" "an unidentified character in a spacesuit" Describing a fictional character as a person is what was bothering me, couldn't put my finger on it.
- "Nintendo did not mention in any printed public material that Mario was the pilot until..." Does the source itself say that? Something like "we can exclusively reveal"? If not, making a definitive statement like that is something to avoid. Just list that he was mentioned in that particular source.
- "taking up
onlya third" The word is being used as a judgement. "of the page they were on" Of a page.
- "No singular advertisements were produced for Alleyway" That's not something that has been verified, again please describe what information you have rather than making definitive statements bordering on original research.
- "for the most part" mostly.
- "the Breakout format" needs italics for Breakout.
- "However, The two reviewers" The however isn't needed, two upper-cased first letters.
- "Player reviews on GameSpot.." ..are completely unreliable. I know you're struggling for second-party commentary on this one but they're just not usable if you want this to hit GA. You've dug up some magazine sources, why not use them for more detail?
After looking at the above points, I'd strongly suggest listing this at peer review, or at least relisting it on the assessment page so another contributor can give it a once over. The inclusion of the magazine cites is what was needed to make a GA attempt possible, but I'm concerned that the writing needs some work beforehand, particularly in terms of readability and the depth which the article goes into. Some more experienced opinions would be if benefit there. Very well done for developing the article so much, I hope you'll push this to GA, the more varied examples there the better. Someoneanother 19:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
- Reception is now a vast improvement, there was one thing I noticed, this sentence: "Craig Harris mentioned Alleyway along the other launch titles in an article on IGN, suggesting the idea of a "retro-revival" for the games on the Nintendo DS." Rather than saying 'he mentioned it', why not just state what Harris was suggesting? IE something like Alleyway was one of several titles Craig Harris suggested could be.. etc. Someoneanother 10:09, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
This sentence no verb
"Alleyway released with limited advertising for it, and was additionally given moderate to low scores from reviewers and compared heavily to games like Arkanoid at the time." 126.96.36.199 (talk) 07:15, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Are you guys sure the article is ready for a FACanadacy. It just seems to me that it needs a bit more work. Note: If the article receives FA class it looses its GA class. That means that if the article is delisted it goes straight to B class. Gears Of War 05:09, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
- Truthfully I'd rather get it to A or FA at this point and move onto other articles. If it fails the FAC it happens, then there's just the assessment for A status left.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 06:15, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I looked on the official Japanese website, and it didn't officially refer to the breakable wall as the "Vid-Grid", it just referred to it as a wall. so it's most likely something employees of Nintendo of America officially made up for the North American release. Not calling it the "Vid-Grid" is like calling a video game character by its Japanese name instead of its localized name, due to the Japanese version being the original version. The "Vid-Grid" name doesn't have to be frequently used in the article. Parrothead1983 (talk) 03:45, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
- Um, even the manual doesn't use it. I don't see the point of including something that trivial, especially when it can confuse readers. Just leaving it as a wall of bricks is fine.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 04:01, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
There are some missing words in the Ball behavior part: "The ball's speed depends on the type of brick that it hits: gray and black bricks increase its speed, while white and square, indestructible bricks have no effect." Shouldn't there be something after "white and square"? --Mr. flopp (talk) 17:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
- I think from the grammar that "Square, indestructible bricks" are the same brick. Ironholds (talk) 18:04, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
- Yep, exactly what Ironholds said.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 18:15, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
- Just for clarification- look at it as "while white and square, indestructible bricks".
- The green words are the adjectives that describe the type of bricks with no effect (of which there are two).
- The crimson word is the noun modified by the adjectives. Another way to look at it is "white bricks and square, indestructible bricks".
- The confusing part is the comma between "square" and "indestructible bricks". The two words are acting as coordinate adjectives to the second type of brick with no effect. Meaning that both adjectives are equally modifying the same noun.
- (Guyinblack25 talk 18:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC))
- Just for clarification- look at it as "while white and square, indestructible bricks".
- Yep, exactly what Ironholds said.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 18:15, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
As a result the highest score that can be displayed is 39,999; however, the maximum score of 65,535 is shown as 35,565.
This is an exceptional case, then? If the game were just forcing the ten thousands' digit to 3 one would expect 35535, and the figure given looks like a plausible error of transcription. Could someone verify? 4pq1injbok (talk) 20:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
- Yep it's an error, thanks for catching it. Fixing now.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 20:17, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank God For This Article
Wow, a gameboy game from 1989 that received moderate to low score from reviewers. Thank God that Wikipedia is here to let us know all about it! For years, I was starved of Alleyway related information, longingly checking Arkanoid fact sheets, wishing they were about Alleyway. But now, thanks to everybody's hardwork, I now know that the original artwork featured an unnamed protagonist! Mind-blower! This has completely reshaped how I view Alleyway, which is easily one of the top seven Breakout-based Gameboy games from 1987-1989. Hats off, Wikipedia! -—Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs)
- If you like that, you'll love the equally mediocre Iridion 3D. Now shoo, troll. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 11:56, 23 April 2009 (UTC)