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Coding a Graphical Bar, with Base ASM (v3.16) by GreenHammerBro
Forum Index - Valley of Bowser - Moderation Questions - Documents - Coding a Graphical Bar, with Base ASM (v3.16) by GreenHammerBro
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File Name: Coding a Graphical Bar, with Base ASM (v3.16)
Submitted: by GreenHammerBro
Obsoletes: Coding a Graphical Bar, with Base ASM (v2.4)
Authors: GreenHammerBro
Platforms: SNES
Games: SMW
Type: Tutorial
Language: English
Description: This contains a template for displaying a value of something as a graphical bar on the HUD. See readme on how to use.
Ok, I'll be blunt with this, as there were roughly thirty-eight updates, more or less. I'll reject this document, considering this staggering amount of revisions because of one thing, and only one thing: if I get to read the document and follow its step s alone, I cannot make the inference that your codes do not work with the vanilla status bar. It took me a really closer look at your asm files in order for me to discover this tidbit of info. Why don't you put something like this, I say, in the actual document?

Also, let's start on the document, shall we?
The first thing I noticed: your document is not too well structured, for starters. I mean, in some parts you were really descriptive, like when you discuss the tilemaps involved, but... for the rest, it lacked some information here and there, including the necessity of using a previous status bar hack. How I discovered this? By reading your example codes. Is the FreeRAM $7FA000 familiar? Because I didn't find any reference to the RAM addresses of the vanilla status bar, like $0EF9 and beyond. So, I assume, just by this, that your code does not work if I don't install, previously, a status bar patch like the Super Status Bar. My theory got stronger when I found this:

;Status bar stuff
 !StatusBarFormat                     = $02
 ;^Number of grouped bytes per 8x8 tile:
 ; $02 = Super status bar/Overworld border plus [TTTTTTTT YXPCCCTT, TTTTTTTT YXPCCCTT]...

Before you say anything, consider this: I actually tested your codes in a ROM using the vanilla status bar. Why didn't you, for starters, say anything about a thing like this? Let's pretend we're the average ASM users, for a moment: if we'd gotten in this kind of situation, how would our reactions have been? There would be a significant possibility we'd probably have given up on using the resource in question, as it'd have been frustrating to discover why the codes didn't work.

Another thing: Your document's structure, as I saw it, is kinda like this:
-> Brief Introduction
-> Heavy ASM Explanation
-> Tilemap Explanation
-> Actual Usage
-> Notes
-> Credits

Do you agree with me that, reading in this perspective, your document has its structure a bit jumbled? Also, you introduction, in my opinion, seems to be kinda lacking; you could always state some examples of how you can use graphical bars to measure, for instance, your HP, a boss' HP, some counters like coin, exits and whatnot, and several more examples that I won't list here. With this additional info, let's try to rearrange the previous structure, like this:
-> Brief Introduction
-> General Purposes
-> Tools and other Resources Needed
-> Insertion Process (with the example codes)
-> ASM Explanation
-> Tilemap Explanation
-> Notes
-> Credits

Let's judge this new structure; in my opinion, seems more solid than the previous one, since you'd have to include some much needed info of how you insert it, right after you state which additional resources you have to install, some general explaining of what your codes can do and the introduction. Only then you can go to the more technical aspects, like the ASM involved, the tilemap settings, and so on. The big picture of all my rambling: your structure, as it is now, lacks of an adequate "difficulty curve"; in other words, it does not follow a difficulty line so the start of document seems inviting to the user in order to encourage further reading. I'm saying this as a person that, in real life, deals with scientific, technical texts, academic articles, high-level and low-level programs' readmes (from others' homework), etc., so please understand my reasons to be a bit rough with this particular resource of yours. I gave an actual structure as an example in order for you to understand how it affects the general readability of a text.

All being said, I'll warn you about this resource, in particular: I actually counted the number of updates you made, so the '38' is not an over-exaggeration of mine; if I have to moderate another update of this without some kind of improvement in the document about this particular issue of requiring external stuff, among other things you might forget, I'll remove it immediately; also, if I ever discover that you did this kind of mistake after several updates again, I regret to tell you that I'll blacklist this particular document, no excuses. The only exception I'll make for you is a removal reason based on small ASM issues.

Again, sorry to be this blunt with you. I admire your resources, I really do, but... I have to impress on you the necessity of making them more user-friendly. Please do not doubt, ever for a moment, that I am writing this long essay in order to further instill on you the idea of user-friendliness in general. It's a good thing for you to consider when submitting new resources; as I keep saying to you, they're quite remarkable and useful.

With regards,
Major Flare.
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