Thank you everyone for responding. o.o Sorry, I should've replied more consistantly. I'll try to reply to everyone, please look through this post for your comments! To Kura:
First of all, congrats on finishing this! Been keeping an eye on it for while and it's really exciting to see it done.
Second, I apologize for the length of this post. I analyze too much.
Thanks so much for following it.
And never apologzie! XD It's enormously flattering that you'd look at the game so in-depth.
I don't even know that I have words for how Jude's destruction scene affected me. Just so powerful, and so grotesquely beautiful, and brilliant, right down to the fact that it was a metal baseball bat (I love the reciprocation that that implies). The way Jude was so dedicated to her without even having the chance to bond over time like Elly had, what it said about Autumn's dedication to Elly, the sense that her assenting to Jude's backup was something of a breakthrough in Autumn's ability to love... It was a gloriously climatic as I could have wanted. And it left me wondering if Jude wanted to be a real boy.
I'm glad you liked the repeat of the baseball bat. I was afraid that seemed unrealistic or dumb. ^-^;;
That's a good question! Whether he wanted to be a real boy or not... I don't know what the answer would be, since being an android got him killed-kinda.
Elly's interrogation scene was another one that floored me. One more thing I loved: Autumn's commentary on "programming". Jude might be saying he loves her because he's programmed to flatter clients, but all the same Elly might have said she loves Autumn because she was programmed to care, and Autumn's programmed to feel good whe she's told she's loved.
Glad you liked the programming stuff. XD I had a lot of fun with those concepts.
I loved the art. Sprites were spectcularly expressive (I love Elly's shocked face/pose so much~), and as for the CGs... the snuggly ones were all super adorable (the pizza one actully made me "Bawww"), and that one last CG, wow. I seriously just stared in awe for a minute. Such a powerful, fascinating image.
I will admit I have a morbid fascination with the image of half-dissembled androids. In one of my own works, an android takes herself apart after her creator dies, and it's one of my favorite scenes.
I had a great team of artists. 8D I <3 them quite a lot. My lineartist, Leaux, especially came through and drew everything better than I had imagined.
And while I do agree that authorial intent is fairly irrelevant, I really appreciated the notes (I love to analyze, but I'm dense, and don't always look close unless I'm told to).
I'm very glad to hear you liked them. XD I was afraid that my notes were just self-indulgent and me taking myself too seriously.
Also, will you be willing to write my notes for my next game? You're analyzing my game more eloquently than I did. XD
Lastly, thanks for pointing out that the title can refer to multiple things. I fell too easily into the trap of "it means love!" but I really like the idea of humanity--or rather, that perhaps-mythical unique and quintessential "human-ness"--as cheap in that it can arguably be manufactured (I certainly feel that if there is such a "human-ness", Elly and Jude both achieved it), but sacred in that people put so much stock in it and want to believe that it can't be mimicked.
We're the same. XD Secret: I came up with the title as a vague way to refer to love. XD And thankfully it was so vague that I realized there were more themes in the game that could also make sense in the title. Especially the "cheapness" of humanity, as you mention. You can ask BCS or Morhighan, the game originally began with a strange ramble where Autumn described humanity in robotics terms--"I was manufactured in a small unit that grew and relied on units that were of the same make as myself and my unit increased in size with time" but it was so vague and confusing (and perhaps out of character, compared to her later rejection of Jude because he's a "slab of plastic and metal," as she/I like to say.) that I changed it.
So all in all, thanks for making something so amazing. This has actually given me something to aspire toward with my own WIP. Also definitely going onto my little list of VN recommendations.
Thank you so much.
I'm very honored to hear that it inspired you. And thanks for recommending it!! XD Pimp this sucker!!To everyone else:
This story actually reminded me a little of I Robot, which was a movie that I liked, so it was a plus. xD <3 I'm not going to comment too much, since I feel like the past reviews pretty much say exactly what I would like to have said. Good job! <3
Also, for some reason, Elly reminded me of a dog, especially a pit-bull. Mostly because that all dogs love their master more than anything in the world and want to protect them if needed. I remember watching and episode of the Dog Whisperer, where he was training a pit-bull who had a 'weak' owner. So, the dog really felt compelled to protect her no matter what. So, even after weeks and months of training, when the owner came to see the dog and was sitting next to Caesar Milan, Daddy(his pit-bull) approached the owner just out of curiosity. Her pit-bull thought that he was going to hurt her and instantly attacked Daddy. Later, when they got them separated at first, the dog was in a cage, just like Elly was. She didn't feel anything bad towards Daddy, as later they showed them being alright with each other, but she simply felt the need to protect her master no matter what. It was a factor in me feeling sad at first as I read the story, as it really reminded me of this case. >_<
First comparison to I Robot! I actually haven't seen it (and/or read it) yet. o.o I may have to do change that.
I love your pit-bull comparison! XD That is strangely apt. Love and protectiveness makes dogs/robots/people do strange things.
I very briefly skimmed over the majority of the other posts but didn't fully read them.
I found the story really touching. I didn't cry, and I usually don't, but it did inspire a decent amount of contemplation. I enjoyed the bonus section with your thoughts, I didn't read them until a day after finishing the game though so I could think about it on my own first. Stuff like attachment to inanimate or digital things, beliefs about sexuality in regards to what does it mean or signify to different people, and some more metaphysical topics involving spirit/soul in regards to bonds/attachment and feelings of fulfillment in a relationship. Good times both playing through it and the feelings/thoughts it inspired after. Thank you for making this game, it has brought a little more joy to my life ^_^
I'm starting to think that it is a good idea for developers putting out free games to put up donation options. If people feel inclined to give you a little money in thanks to show their appreciation then you can always put it towards your next project, buy yourself something nice, or if nothing else give it to your favourite charity. Consider it.
I would be interested in a sequel too ^_^
I consider inspiring contemplation and joy a complete win! XD
Woah, reading your thoughts list kind of blows my brain. o.o
I actually didn't think about spirit/soul in regards to the body and relationships. Like, I never carried that metaphor back to the humans. Your thinking is making me think. XD
I'm glad you liked the bonus section. o.o As I mentioned to Kura, I was afraid it was too self-indulgent.
Do you think I should? o.o I'm not sure how that would work especially because my artists all worked for free. Are other free game makers doing this? How do they sort this out?
I'm happy to hear you're interested in a sequel! XD We'll see if that comes about.
I've been watching your progress eagerly, and I'm happy to say that the final product doesn't disappoint. It's a beautiful and thought-provoking story, and I really enjoyed reading it. I especially appreciate the fact that her friends all had distinct and likable personalities rather than being just "the friends." The character designs were interesting, and the CGs were especially lovely.
Thank you very much to everyone who worked on this.
"Doesn't disappoint" is a huge compliment. XD
I'm glad you though the friends were likeable rather than creepy. XD
Zoe's abusive, Nadiya is a regular AmorBot user, Rick's participation with Operation Jude is a little strange...
Though it was important to me that her friends were real-ish. It sounds like I suceeded!
Also, I'm honored to hear your comments on TCAST.
Like everyone else, I'm a huge fan of Re:Alistair++ and I was actually playing Summer Story while waiting for the Comcast guy to turn the internet back on so I could upload the game files onto the forums. XD (I know, I'm behind.)
It would be both, carosene. I'm sure even professional VN circles release doujin stuff on the side, under their official names or not. (lol)
And why do it if not for the love of art?
I really need to get back to playing it... maybe tonight, but I doubt it :<.
I see... XD That's a good point. Yay for art love!
Lol, you know the game, you've seen the backgrounds, no point in rushing. XD