Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

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jack_norton
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#61 Post by jack_norton » Tue May 10, 2011 6:59 am

Right now the only way is to redownload the game from my site, I put on the main menu of each game a version number and I keep it a release history in my forums, like this: http://www.winterwolves.net/viewtopic.p ... 5176#p5176
The update I made last night doesn't count since I reverted it back to 1.2 :)
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#62 Post by jack_norton » Tue May 10, 2011 12:37 pm

About the game difficulty, today had this review:
http://www.gamertell.com/gaming/comment ... er-wolves/
I don't care much about the rating, but about the difficulty thing. I thought that with the Normal (easy) level, everything was much easier, also considering you get bonus stats on the next playthrough. So was wondering if anyone think is still too hard, or maybe know people used to casual games (like the reviewer) who thinks it's too hard?
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#63 Post by Elze » Tue May 10, 2011 1:11 pm

To be honest, I also found it quite difficult. I can't imagine anyone having passed the advanced level.

During my first few playthroughs, I was too busy grappling with the game and stats to bother about the emotional content. Which..isn't really that great for the romance genre. But once I got the hang of it, it was fine, and I can then concentrate on the story. I think another issue was that you can't choose the wrong choice for any of the events. One event done wrong and you're out of the game. It'd have been better if that bit was more lax, since most female players would rather concentrate on the story and characters than spamming stats mechanically to get the desired results.

Just my two cents. Overall I enjoyed the game, but it does come across as a bit trying for the best endings.
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#64 Post by jack_norton » Tue May 10, 2011 1:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I spoke with the reviewer and she said that what was mostly confusing was the actions - in particular the associated text, so I'm thinking to change it adding a percentage to each one. Like:
watching TV:
increase culture 5% chance
increase romance 5% chance
increase creativity 5% chance
increase morale 50% chance
and so on.

But if you find the right path/combo to do, is not like you say "One event done wrong and you're out of the game". You can make some wrong choices and still win the game (since the characters relationship is easier to raise than the stats).
Anyway, thanks again for the feedback, balancing a niche game like a dating / life sim to appeal everyone is hard. The next one I'm working on will have a really easy play mode :)
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#65 Post by chensterrain » Tue May 10, 2011 2:33 pm

I didn't think the game was especially hard, but I did think there was a little too much trial and error for my liking, which was a problem I had with Spirited Heart, too - namely the fact that you can succeed at an action but still not get the stat increase you need. Sometimes I'd do a task successfully three or four times and still only get a measly one point increase in the stat I was trying to raise, which makes the game a little frustrating even if it's not actually that hard to max out each particular stat.

Not sure if spoiler, but:
(That, and actually triggering the events for each guy seems pretty random - I got both of Lawrence's endings easily, as I just happened to trigger all of his events and got 5 or 10 relationship points each time, and Hugh was pretty easy too, but I still haven't been able to get Aaron - looking at the event list you posted on your forums, I apparently somehow missed out on half of his events despite clicking all over the place and raising my romance stat as high as I could, and since it's difficult to raise his affection even one point per day because of Abigail / general failure, missing even one of his special events makes it difficult to fill his relationship bar. I thought it was a little strange having one of his events trigger at the gym, as since the only stat that matters to him is romance and it can be difficult to raise anyway, there's really no reason for you to go to the gym at all if you're going after his endings. It would be fine if it were just a fun optional event, but when every point counts, it can get really frustrating!).
That all sounds overly negative, though - I really did enjoy the game! I loved the intro song, and the whole thing is really nicely presented. Looking forward to Winter in Fairbrook, too!

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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#66 Post by jack_norton » Tue May 10, 2011 2:51 pm

Haha I definitely see the problem, most people haven't found the "tricks" I put inside the game. Probably wrong choice on my part - once you understand what you need to do for each character is quite easy. In specific case of Aaron:
you can get books for free going in library Monday/Friday, then you go early as soon as job is finished and you have the option to read books to him, that action will increase greatly both relationship and in some cases even romance. Then you get the plushie from the Mall, hop another big increase. Just by doing those two things you can get his normal endings easily even if you miss completely the gym event or others.
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#67 Post by chensterrain » Tue May 10, 2011 2:58 pm

Heh, I think I'm just really bad at the game, tbh!
I actually did both of those things (though I think on subsequent playthroughs I might have forgotten to buy the plushie), but both times I tried I still didn't get Aaron's relationship above 70 or so (admittedly, the first time was before you introduced the easier difficulty level, but still). Even with high energy and morale, I ended up failing to get books on Monday and Friday; I'd go to the hospital each morning and read to Aaron, which would only succeed about half of the time, and then Abigail would show up and after a while I wouldn't even bother talking to him with her there (I think I succeeded maybe once?). Considering how hard it was to get the books (failing most of the time, usually only getting given one book, and then having that book wasted when the 'read to Aaron' action failed), I thought that action should maybe raise a little more relationship / romance when it actually succeeded, but hey.

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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#68 Post by jack_norton » Tue May 10, 2011 3:23 pm

But you triggered all the Aaron events? If you reply correctly to all of them you should get 70 relationship only with them :) I think with the new easier mode and the fact that if you fail you get bonus stats on next playthrough, I thought it was really easy! But I don't think you're particularly bad at playing, and even if you are it's still my fault since I should make games playable by anyone and not just dating sim experts (I have some in my forums that asked a "skip day" option because they would max all the stats needed 1-2 weeks before the end of the game time!)
Anyway, this will be the last game to be so heavily influenced by random events for sure!
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#69 Post by Elze » Wed May 11, 2011 1:29 am

Actually, I also maxed out my stats for Lawrence about 2 weeks before the end time. His stats are surprisingly much easier to get. Might also be attributed to the fact that he was the 3rd on my list, so by then I was used to the system. But despite that, Hugh and Aaron seem to be harder to pursue. It doesn't feel like I can answer to any of the events wrongly and still get their best endings. I had to get almost all their events and answer correctly to each one in order to come anywhere close to a best ending.

Another issue that got to me was that there are times when I appear to be successful at talking to Aaron, but only my morale increases while the relationship points don't change at all. Is that a bug or intentional? D:

Overall, it wasn't hard. You just need a few play throughs to get into the stats and figure out what you need to do. But the resultant is going about doing the 'chores' systematically to trigger events and raise the proper stats, which can be a little trying. Good thing the characters are very likable though, so it didn't really bother me.
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#70 Post by jack_norton » Wed May 11, 2011 2:30 am

Yes some characters are easier than other, that is intentional (like other games I made in the past). And about this:
Elze wrote: Another issue that got to me was that there are times when I appear to be successful at talking to Aaron, but only my morale increases while the relationship points don't change at all. Is that a bug or intentional? D:
this is what confused Gamertell review too. Each action has "chances" to increase a stat when you're successful. But is a random chance, like 50%, so in some cases could not go up. Is the same system I used with Spirited Heart, but probably there is less confusing since is what princess maker players are used to. My bad was using it for the relationship.
As you said though is not that is "hard", but you need to get used to the system, and also I think some people when see fail too much, get angry and reload, while it's normal even to fail 2-3 times in a row, because in the long run if you insist, you'll win 8)
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#71 Post by Muse » Wed May 11, 2011 3:24 am

jack_norton wrote:Yes some characters are easier than other, that is intentional (like other games I made in the past). And about this:
Elze wrote: Another issue that got to me was that there are times when I appear to be successful at talking to Aaron, but only my morale increases while the relationship points don't change at all. Is that a bug or intentional? D:
this is what confused Gamertell review too. Each action has "chances" to increase a stat when you're successful. But is a random chance, like 50%, so in some cases could not go up. Is the same system I used with Spirited Heart, but probably there is less confusing since is what princess maker players are used to. My bad was using it for the relationship.
As you said though is not that is "hard", but you need to get used to the system, and also I think some people when see fail too much, get angry and reload, while it's normal even to fail 2-3 times in a row, because in the long run if you insist, you'll win 8)
That reminds me; I don't know if this is intentional or not, but I noticed when I read to Aaron, it said with fail you still get the relationship boost, but I never saw it during the fail scenes. I am guessing that is random chance based as well, so that is why?

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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#72 Post by chensterrain » Wed May 11, 2011 7:41 am

jack_norton wrote:Each action has "chances" to increase a stat when you're successful. But is a random chance, like 50%, so in some cases could not go up. Is the same system I used with Spirited Heart, but probably there is less confusing since is what princess maker players are used to.
I think the difference here is maybe that in Princess Maker, since each action runs for several days in a row, even with a random chance of each stat being raised, at the end of the week you would pretty much always get some sort of increase in the stat you wanted, making it far easier to plan ahead even with that slight randomness factor. For that reason, I never really found the PM games all that frustrating, whereas I found myself getting a little annoyed at Spirited Heart and this game when I didn't get the stat increases I wanted. I think maybe if you end up using a similar system in any other games you make, you could just vary the amount each stat is raised by rather than whether you get an increase at all, if that makes sense? (so on a good day you'd get five points, and on a bad day you'd only get two, something like that?). I'm just rambling, though, so feel free to ignore me! :wink:
jack_norton wrote:But I don't think you're particularly bad at playing, and even if you are it's still my fault since I should make games playable by anyone and not just dating sim experts (I have some in my forums that asked a "skip day" option because they would max all the stats needed 1-2 weeks before the end of the game time!)
That happened to me, too - with Lawrence and Hugh, I maxed their stats and relationship bars way before the game ended, but again, I think that's where the randomness factor comes in - I don't think the game is particularly difficult, but I do think the randomness factor can maybe turn a good playthrough into a failed one, as it can sometimes be difficult to plan ahead (as opposed to other dating sims I've played, which are still slightly random but not to the same degree?). That, and any game where I can't get my man on the first try is 'hard'! :lol:

Sorry to keep mentioning the difficulty, though - it must be ridiculously hard to balance a complicated game like this, especially with all the differing opinions. I'm sure I'll get Aaron next time! :wink:

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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#73 Post by jack_norton » Wed May 11, 2011 8:05 am

Muse wrote:That reminds me; I don't know if this is intentional or not, but I noticed when I read to Aaron, it said with fail you still get the relationship boost, but I never saw it during the fail scenes. I am guessing that is random chance based as well, so that is why?
I don't understand exactly what are you saying: if you get the failure, even with the books you don't get any relationship improvement (I just checked the code).
chensterrain wrote:I think the difference here is maybe that in Princess Maker, since each action runs for several days in a row, even with a random chance of each stat being raised, at the end of the week you would pretty much always get some sort of increase in the stat you wanted, making it far easier to plan ahead even with that slight randomness factor.
Wait, it's exactly like that. If you keep doing an activity for a week, the associated stat WILL increase. Some activities that require more money can also give more potential rewards (like the one at the mall during wekends for example, to boost culture/creativity).
chensterrain wrote:That, and any game where I can't get my man on the first try is 'hard'!
OK, then in this case yes, the game is hard :lol: you shouldn't be able to win at all on first playthrough, more get acquainted with the game world and try to discover the best tricks :)
I remember though I had lots of people which had trouble winning previous games like Summer Session (I was never able to get the Rachel ending myself). An user in my forums said that a common system is to require you to visit specific location, at a specific date (day of the game). I personally think that system is even worse since you really cannot know which day will be the right one, unless in the game you are given some advice/hint about it :)
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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#74 Post by papillon » Wed May 11, 2011 8:15 am

Wait, it's exactly like that. If you keep doing an activity for a week, the associated stat WILL increase.
Yes, but in PM, when you choose the activity it automatically does it for a full week.

Which means either you get a stat increase from your one choice, or if you are absolutely incapable of doing the job, you will fail the whole week and realise you need to do something else - repeating that job without raising your stats first is obviously a terrible idea.

Over the long-term there may not be a difference, but in the short-term, picking one action at a time, the player sees that they have chosen an action and failed to achieve anything. That is more frustrating than seeing a week's results all at once with win-some-lose-some. It's also more likely to give the player the impression that the action they chose was wrong and that they shouldn't do it again.

Again, just disclosing the percentage chances up front would make a difference, because then the player wouldn't incorrectly think they were doing it wrong.

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Re: Always Remember Me (VN/Life sim, commercial)

#75 Post by jack_norton » Wed May 11, 2011 9:30 am

papillon wrote: Again, just disclosing the percentage chances up front would make a difference, because then the player wouldn't incorrectly think they were doing it wrong.
Yep, I think by this weekend I'll add that to each action. Will take a while since I didn't code like that originally :? so I'll have to add them by hand, but will definitely add it since is a good idea.
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