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Muz



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8th June, 2008 at 23:57:41 -

I think it's about time that we set down some 'procedures/rules/techniques' about what we expect in a klik game. Basically, it's things that everyone expects to see from a klik game. It's common knowledge. It's the little things that both noobs and experts miss and we hate them for it. It's the little things that everyone should know just to. So I want to write an article about this and I'd like for you guys to add to it as well

1. Don't use installers.
2. Instead of using a RAR, make it a ZIP file. That way, people don't need winRAR to open it.
3. The minimum timer counter should be 0.03 seconds (as of MMF 1.5, I have to recheck it with MMF2 to see if it still applies)
4. If you're going to use INI files, put them in the same folder as the game. Not the Windows folder! If you really want people not to read it, encrypt it.
5. When testing your game, try to keep the maximum amount of objects at 500. Always keep the frame rate above 30!

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Pixelthief

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9th June, 2008 at 00:06:15 -

1: Never, ever, under any circumstances, use an installer
2: WinRar does not exist to us, and your .rar file is about as useful as a load of turds on my desktop
3: Just don't use timer events for anything, really. Use values and counters, please!
4: $appdir goes a long way, folks!
5: Make that 40 frame rate.

 
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9th June, 2008 at 01:04:33 -

No ball shaped characters. It's so noobish. Give your character a head and a body.

And anything with Blob in the title is really unoriginal.



 

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9th June, 2008 at 01:06:51 -

http://www.create-games.com/dcimg.asp?img=http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/4220/bqimg12hh.jpg&ID=6205&n=0
but he looks so cool *sniffle*

 
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9th June, 2008 at 01:16:36 -


Originally Posted by Matt Gayles
No ball shaped characters. It's so noobish. Give your character a head and a body.

And anything with Blob in the title is really unoriginal.




Kirby doesn't like your opinion.

 
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Deleted User
9th June, 2008 at 01:22:10 -

Kirby wasnt made by in amatuer using klick team products in 2008. It was made by pros in 1993. Thats 15 years. The trend needs to die. Unless you add some really good rolling animations your circle dude just looks lazy. No offense Pixelthief. Im sure your blob game is awesome.

Even I made one a long time ago. It was called bill the blob.

 

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9th June, 2008 at 02:06:21 -


Originally Posted by Matt Gayles
And anything with Blob in the title is really unoriginal.



I politely beg to differ
http://create-games.com/download.asp?id=7157


It's less related to making the games and more related to posting it here, but writing up a good description needs to be something people start doing.
It's not that hard to make a nice looking paragraph or two out of even the most simple of games.

 
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9th June, 2008 at 02:13:23 -

1. I will continue to use Rar files so more people can download my game before my server cuts me off
2. Games need good instructions. Too many supernaff text files that just tell you the important things. Give us HTML manuals!

Limit objects to 500? Hmm! I'm running up to 700-1000 objects and I haven't got Tormi to drop below 55fps on my machine (just a 2ghz C2D). Speed set at 60fps. It's a very optimised engine though.

 
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Muz



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9th June, 2008 at 04:08:16 -


Originally Posted by Dr. James
1. I will continue to use Rar files so more people can download my game before my server cuts me off
2. Games need good instructions. Too many supernaff text files that just tell you the important things. Give us HTML manuals!

Limit objects to 500? Hmm! I'm running up to 700-1000 objects and I haven't got Tormi to drop below 55fps on my machine (just a 2ghz C2D). Speed set at 60fps. It's a very optimised engine though.



Good point, but I don't see why you can't use ZIP instead of RAR. And you can host it on googlepages or some other free host. I think the frame rate is more important than object limit, so I take away point 5.

 
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9th June, 2008 at 06:56:27 -

Yea frame rate (or rather a consistent frame rate) is ultra important to me, I worked my bum off to get the lowest FPS rate to 55. It might be slower on older systems but thats where graphic limitation options kick in.

And I don't want to use external hosting. It likely wont, but what if in a few years Google is gone but all my pages still link to that file? I like everything self contained in 1 place, and for 75 for 2 years hosting it's almost pennies.

 
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9th June, 2008 at 06:58:03 -


Originally Posted by Pixelthief
3: Just don't use timer events for anything, really. Use values and counters, please!



Aw, they're not THAT bad, depending on where they go, or what they're for.

 
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9th June, 2008 at 06:59:42 -


Originally Posted by Muz

Originally Posted by Dr. James
1. I will continue to use Rar files so more people can download my game before my server cuts me off
2. Games need good instructions. Too many supernaff text files that just tell you the important things. Give us HTML manuals!

Limit objects to 500? Hmm! I'm running up to 700-1000 objects and I haven't got Tormi to drop below 55fps on my machine (just a 2ghz C2D). Speed set at 60fps. It's a very optimised engine though.



Good point, but I don't see why you can't use ZIP instead of RAR. And you can host it on googlepages or some other free host. I think the frame rate is more important than object limit, so I take away point 5.



That's because Dr. James has stock in WinRar!

 
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9th June, 2008 at 08:19:32 -

Have a tutorial! I hardly ever read readme's because no-one wants to read before a game - tutorials are nice but only if they're skippable etc.

I'd say the most frames you ever want to lose is 5 to 10 in testing because SOMEONE out there will have a worse PC than you even if yours sucks. Also, custom controls and joystick/joypad/whatever you guys call 'em support!

Max objects isn't a real indication of slowdown unless they're all on screen at once - I don't ever go over 300 unless it's for a super special purpose. Processing that many objects (if they have lots of events etc) is where slowdown hits big time.


Originally Posted by Del Duio

Originally Posted by Pixelthief
3: Just don't use timer events for anything, really. Use values and counters, please!



Aw, they're not THAT bad, depending on where they go, or what they're for.



Yes, they are. Only use them if your game never drops a single bit in fps or if you're doing things that need to be in real time increments.

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10th June, 2008 at 14:20:35 -


Originally Posted by Muz
I think it's about time that we set down some 'procedures/rules/techniques' about what we expect in a klik game. Basically, it's things that everyone expects to see from a klik game. It's common knowledge. It's the little things that both noobs and experts miss and we hate them for it. It's the little things that everyone should know just to. So I want to write an article about this and I'd like for you guys to add to it as well

1. Don't use installers.
2. Instead of using a RAR, make it a ZIP file. That way, people don't need winRAR to open it.
3. The minimum timer counter should be 0.03 seconds (as of MMF 1.5, I have to recheck it with MMF2 to see if it still applies)
4. If you're going to use INI files, put them in the same folder as the game. Not the Windows folder! If you really want people not to read it, encrypt it.
5. When testing your game, try to keep the maximum amount of objects at 500. Always keep the frame rate above 30!

Image Edited by an Administrator.



1.Agree
2.LOL! Winrar is 10 sec download and 1 min install... Last time I used .zip files was, when I had windows 3.2. That time .zip files were good, but not anymore
3.I prefer trigger objects more accurate
4.Roral agreement, but nowadays I havn't seen them in games.
5.Classic framerate is 32, because then you can't see so darn big lag.

 
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2D > 3D

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Muz



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16th June, 2008 at 03:45:04 -

I was hoping that you guys would add a 6,7, etc to it. Oh well

To comment, WinRAR can open ZIP files, but Winzip and Windows can't open RAR files. WinRAR also makes perfectly fine ZIP files. Obviously you can download it, but that means that people who don't have winrar would just toss your game in the recycle bin because they're too lazy to do a search for WinRAR. Serves you right for being too lazy to click on the ZIP option instead

I'd disagree on timers. I find them to be the most reliable method if combined with counters. Frame rates will bounce up and down throughout the game. ED, heck all the Blackeye Software games used extensive amounts of Always events and as such, I was able to beat ED's bosses by slowing down the computer. Also many of the earlier BES games were unplayable when computer speeds reached 1000 Mhz. A good Always event now could be ridiculously fast in 4 years. That's sloppy coding Timer events may run a little with a dip in frame rates, but if you made your game properly, there shouldn't be any dip in frame rates!


6. Avoid putting transitions in every frame just because you can. If you REALLY have to, keep them short, below 5 seconds.
7. Avoid using library objects, musics, etc. Sound may be forgiven. Why? Because everyone has seen them. Using a single library graphic is as ugly as a movie using a stunt double.
8. Don't use the built-in MMF random generator. It is not completely random. You'll find it skipping some numbers and leaning towards others.
9. On your first game of a certain type, don't be too ambitious. Focus on finishing the game as fast as possible. By the time you finish it, you'll learn a great deal of things about creating that type of game, including what shouldn't even be there. Then you create the sequel properly.
10. It's tempting to use editors, but don't rely on them. As 9 above, editors are better used in a sequel, once you figure out which variables you've overlooked and which were redundant. Also, editors are very inflexible.

 
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16th June, 2008 at 04:39:52 -

I never knew that about the random function!

 
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17th June, 2008 at 03:01:57 -

11. Dont make 3000x5000 frames, make editor instead.

 
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2D > 3D

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18th June, 2008 at 03:06:18 -


Originally Posted by Muz

I'd disagree on timers. I find them to be the most reliable method if combined with counters. Frame rates will bounce up and down throughout the game. ED, heck all the Blackeye Software games used extensive amounts of Always events and as such, I was able to beat ED's bosses by slowing down the computer. Also many of the earlier BES games were unplayable when computer speeds reached 1000 Mhz. A good Always event now could be ridiculously fast in 4 years. That's sloppy coding Timer events may run a little with a dip in frame rates, but if you made your game properly, there shouldn't be any dip in frame rates!



The difference here is that MMF games frame-rates are capped at what you set so they can never run faster - timer events make bosses impossible sometimes because they create projectiles more often than at full fps etc. So there is no advantage to timer events at all except for things that actually need to use seconds like play time and such-like.

I disagree on editors being inflexible - you can very easily make an ace editor system and changing things is pretty simple too. All aspects need planning - so that's all it really takes.

 
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18th June, 2008 at 03:33:49 -

12. Unless you are planning on using it, remove MMF's default menu
13. Don't go full screen without asking the user's permission first

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18th June, 2008 at 07:17:21 -

These aren't really techniques, but "guidelines" :/

I still don't understand why some people can't install Winrar. Don't forget that some of us are on slow connections, and a rar can be 25% smaller.

 
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18th June, 2008 at 10:18:30 -

Not this Winrar thing again. In most cases people don't of about it. Also there are better compression algorithms than Rar.

Here is a tip 14 for you guys,

14. Don't expect people to have the same knowledge you do. This works for your game too.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 01:31:28 -

We don't use RAR because it reduces the possible audience for your game. Sorted.

15. Get people to actually test your game - it tells you a lot about it you don't notice.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 01:57:50 -

#16 When uploading, please don't use jpeg for your screen shots. They look like crap and take up more bandwidth than png.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 02:11:16 -

^that depends on sooo many factors. Usually the JPEG will be smaller but will destroy your artwork. PNG is best for pixel art yus.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 02:57:22 -

I prefer .bmp files to be honest.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 03:50:26 -


Originally Posted by alspal
I prefer .bmp files to be honest.



Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

 
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19th June, 2008 at 06:47:15 -


Originally Posted by alspal
I prefer .bmp files to be honest.



Why would you prefer BMP to PNG? PNG is lossless compression. It's the same as BMP but smaller.



#16 When uploading, please don't use jpeg for your screen shots. They look like crap and take up more bandwidth than png.



Uh, how will it take more bandwidth? JPGs are generally always smaller. Also for games that might be very detailed you really need to use JPG. For instance I have a game who's backgrounds are edited from photos.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 07:07:21 -

PNGs are smaller for screenshots. JPGs are meant for photographic images and will not compress screenshots well, either by quality and ratio.
Read http://www.create-games.com/article.asp?id=1865 .

 
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19th June, 2008 at 09:13:30 -

It depends on what kind of graphical style you're using. For more "oldschool" looking games PNGs will be better. But in games that use a lot of detail or colour gradients JPGs will be better.

I might upload the game I was working on for my FYP in college so you can see what I mean.

 
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Originally Posted by Roseweave
It depends on what kind of graphical style you're using. For more "oldschool" looking games PNGs will be better. But in games that use a lot of detail or colour gradients JPGs will be better.

I might upload the game I was working on for my FYP in college so you can see what I mean.



Sorry, no. JPG will never be better than PNG. It may be smaller but never better. (unless you use 256 color PNG)

 
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19th June, 2008 at 10:30:56 -

JPEG is nice and dandy for all them 3D games out there but I wouldn't trust it anywhere near low res or pixel art games, with or without gradients (which is fine so long as they're banded and not rotated). JPEG2000 is nice but I'm unsure of compatibility with Windows systems.

 
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19th June, 2008 at 21:39:48 -


The difference here is that MMF games frame-rates are capped at what you set so they can never run faster - timer events make bosses impossible sometimes because they create projectiles more often than at full fps etc. So there is no advantage to timer events at all except for things that actually need to use seconds like play time and such-like.


That's why I link a timer to a counter. I make all movements follow that counter, not any timer. Hmm.. good guideline, though. But I have seen a few old games not run on my computer because my processing power made it too fast.


I disagree on editors being inflexible - you can very easily make an ace editor system and changing things is pretty simple too. All aspects need planning - so that's all it really takes


True. That's why you should only put it in a sequel to your game. By the time you make a sequel, you know every single aspect of the level design and don't have to make a tiny tweak that renders all your previous levels invalid just because you changed a major feature. Inflexibility comes with every tool. If you make a level editor with tiles, you're bound to only use tiles, but often you don't really need the flexibility.


Originally Posted by Roseweave
These aren't really techniques, but "guidelines" :/

I still don't understand why some people can't install Winrar. Don't forget that some of us are on slow connections, and a rar can be 25% smaller.



Lol, they started off as techniques OK, good point for RAR there. 1.5 MB vs 2 MB is nothing, but 15 MB vs 20 MB is a lot.

 
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20th June, 2008 at 02:25:35 -

I use rar's internally for projects and they are life savers - instead of sending back and forth my current 8mb mfa I can send a 1.5mb rar.

But for actual release? Most people won't care over 5mb difference.

 
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20th June, 2008 at 02:58:54 -

17. MMF has only 32 flags. Damn, why didn't anyone tell me that earlier!

 
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20th June, 2008 at 14:22:30 -

How long have you had MMF?

 
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20th June, 2008 at 21:35:48 -

Oh by the way Muz here is another little bit of info for you!

18. Making an object global means it's data is saved from frame to frame. Including alterable values and FLAGS

essentially giving you more flags to work with.

 
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21st June, 2008 at 05:44:07 -


Originally Posted by Phizzy
I have 32 000 fags.



That's more than 31 000!

 
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21st June, 2008 at 16:42:40 -


Originally Posted by Phredreeke

Originally Posted by Roseweave
It depends on what kind of graphical style you're using. For more "oldschool" looking games PNGs will be better. But in games that use a lot of detail or colour gradients JPGs will be better.

I might upload the game I was working on for my FYP in college so you can see what I mean.



Sorry, no. JPG will never be better than PNG. It may be smaller but never better. (unless you use 256 color PNG)



JPG will be better in terms of quality/file size.

For example check out the screens I posted from my game today:

http://www.create-games.com/project.asp?id=1213

The PNG shots were a huge 670k, but jpgs with barely noticeable quality drop were under 300. It was a no-brainer. Those are lower quality because my crappy connection drops imageshack after the first 100k or so. Not much I can do about that, but another reason why JPG is more useful.

Also, some people might not want to show exactly what their game will look like on your screen either. To get the full quality, you play the game.

 
Check out my Telekinesis'em'up Thread and the ALICE Machines -

http://www.create-games.com/project.asp?id=1213

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Muz



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23rd June, 2008 at 22:51:57 -


Originally Posted by Captain Andyman
Oh by the way Muz here is another little bit of info for you!

18. Making an object global means it's data is saved from frame to frame. Including alterable values and FLAGS

essentially giving you more flags to work with.



I have enough flags... I just don't like it how Flag 33 = Flag 1. Very buggy!


The PNG shots were a huge 670k, but jpgs with barely noticeable quality drop were under 300.


Lol, 670K? Might as well download the full game rather than load a few screenshots

 
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Muz



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24th June, 2008 at 00:28:15 -

Ok, some more controversial ones before I write an article on this:

19. Avoid using the Data store 2 object, especially in timed events. They seem to not work with fastloops.

20. Be careful with picking objects especially in cases that may involve a lot of different objects meeting the conditions. Use the alternative methods mentioned in this thread: http://www.create-games.com/forum_post.asp?id=222433

 
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28th June, 2008 at 17:53:35 -

flag 33 = flag 1? so does that mean you cant have more than 32 flags per object? Thats important to know

 
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Candy Cane
28th June, 2008 at 17:57:06 -

"6. Avoid putting transitions in every frame just because you can. If you REALLY have to, keep them short, below 5 seconds. "

Id say even lower than that. Unless a longer transition is required for an effect.

 
n/a

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3rd July, 2008 at 00:52:25 -


Originally Posted by -Adam-
"6. Avoid putting transitions in every frame just because you can. If you REALLY have to, keep them short, below 5 seconds. "

Id say even lower than that. Unless a longer transition is required for an effect.



Oh, yeah, thanks for that. Maybe 0.5 secs. I forgot how long 5 seconds were.

 
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Muz



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3rd July, 2008 at 01:03:20 -


Originally Posted by -Adam-
"6. Avoid putting transitions in every frame just because you can. If you REALLY have to, keep them short, below 5 seconds. "

Id say even lower than that. Unless a longer transition is required for an effect.



Oh, yeah, thanks for that. Maybe 0.5 secs. I forgot how long 5 seconds were.

 
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Dr. James MD

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3rd July, 2008 at 02:36:32 -

Triple post Muz! /milk

 
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3rd July, 2008 at 12:28:26 -

#19: Don't use custom platform movement.
#20: Don't make objects the same color as the background!


Image Edited by the Author.

 
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5th July, 2008 at 19:31:53 -


Originally Posted by Fish20
#19: Don't use custom platform movement.



Whut?

 
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Fish20



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5th July, 2008 at 21:42:26 -

Oops! #19 don't use Built-in platform movement.

 
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6th July, 2008 at 11:05:25 -

ew custom movement




I joke too

 
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7th July, 2008 at 03:24:05 -


Originally Posted by Fish20

#20: Don't make objects the same color as the background!


Image Edited by the Author.


Lol, that's just plain common sense. I think "Don't make backgrounds brighter than objects" is better

 
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Muz



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7th July, 2008 at 03:31:49 -


Originally Posted by Fish20

#20: Don't make objects the same color as the background!


Image Edited by the Author.


Lol, that's just plain common sense. I think "Don't make backgrounds brighter than objects" is better

 
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.

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