DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

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DarkStem
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DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#1 Post by DarkStem » Tue May 17, 2011 10:47 pm

I've finished my visual novel "City of Lost Hope" and have posted it to my website. It's available for free at the links below.
Here is the summary cut from my websites description -
Welcome to the City of Lost Hope. The first Visual Novel game written by Dwight Sanchez Jr. You play as Jaron Mathis, a Private Investigator who recently left the Sector 3 Security in Lost Hope. Unravel the mystery that surrounds his past and dictate his future.
Roughly 7,000 words, and 9 endings.
All art, music and script were created by Dwight Sanchez Jr. ©2011
Available for free on 3 popular platforms and soon the Android phones. Click the link below to download your version. Powered by the Ren'Py Engine.
I've tested and have had it proofread, but if you come across some errors, please fell free to notify me via the contact form on my site or through this forum. I would appreciate it.

Image
Here are the version links:
Windows - http://www.dwightsanchez.com/games/city ... -win32.zip
Linux - http://www.dwightsanchez.com/games/city ... 86.tar.bz2
Mac - http://www.dwightsanchez.com/games/city ... pe-mac.zip

Check out my website for other games or to just view some artwork as well.
http://www.dwightsanchez.com

I hope you enjoy

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Wolfzau
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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#2 Post by Wolfzau » Thu May 19, 2011 5:11 am

Okay, review time.

First off, loved all of the aesthetics you used in your game. The backgrounds and CG's were beautifully drawn along with the characters who were unique and easy on the eyes. However, the use of sound effects and music were what made me like this game, they created a great sense of atmosphere and the only one I found a problem was the sound effect of breaking glass (it sounded a bit tinny and rather than help immerse me in the game I found it had the opposite effect and jarred me out of it instead).

Now, the story was interesting enough (if a little cliched) however I would really recommend that you get an editor/co-author (there are loads of nice people on the forums who I'm sure would love to help :mrgreen: ). You're not a bad writer but I found that the story just didn't flow very well, some of the dialogue felt rushed and there were a ton of grammar mistakes that an editor would've picked up immediately. Also, you've commited the cardinal sin of writing about your sound effects.
For example:
(Sound effect of door closing)
*thunk*
Mathis: I closed the car door and headed towards the building.

You also do it a couple of times with your backgrounds, which isn't so bad but both are kinda redundant. The reason you have sound effects and backgrounds is so you don't have to worry about writing that kind of dialogue.

I'm really not trying to rag on you or your story (which overall, I enjoyed) it just bugs me when simple things like that reduce a VN to "Meh, it was okay," rather than, "Hey, that was pretty fun.".

The game itself is short, I'm not sure whether or not this was intended (eg, so people could play it on their lunch breaks) or if that was just the way it turned out, but because it's so short the story feels rushed. You could've used more scenes of actually investigating and a lot more character development. If you had it would've padded the story more and made the flow naturally better.

Despite all this I would play another one of your VN's :D

Ayways, keep trying and you'll definitely improve.

Overall Score - 6
Art - 7
Writing - 4
Music - 8
Sound Effects - 7

Pros: Nice art, atmospheric music, interesting premise
Cons: Story feels rushed, grammar mistakes ruin immersion, not enough character development, cliched story
Last edited by Wolfzau on Sun May 22, 2011 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#3 Post by SilentWolfie » Thu May 19, 2011 8:50 am

Edit: I see what you mean lol. He described the sound effect with a *thunk*! Yup, bad thing to do...

Edit 2: There's really a lot of difficulty in reading the story... you really need someone to proof read your script.

-About the story... it was kinda weird.
It starts out as a mystery but there's no evidence gathering and in the end the choices you pick leads to the murderer. That's... really weird.
-I think there's a bit of noise distortion on one of the music tracks (too loud for the microphone). It fits the game, and it's good as well.
-Art is pretty good.

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#4 Post by Ellume » Sat May 21, 2011 7:12 pm

For a first run VN where you made pretty much everything I think you did a great job. The music worked very well to set the tone, although I would have liked some music on the main menu as well. I didn't have the same problem with the glass breaking sound effect as was mentioned by others, but I thought the gunshots seemed dull or quiet. That is a personal opinion and I wouldn't recommend changing it to something too loud as that can have the opposite effect and be jarring. The art was very well done, I especially like the pic of the security outfit. The story did seem almost too big for the short length though, things felt hurried. I personally liked how ever choice I took seemed to be correct, it is a cool way of doing a VN imo.

Bottom line is good music, good art, good background art, alright sound effects, interesting story, good melody between thing, but would have liked to see more story and depth. I enjoyed this and hope you make more VNs.

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#5 Post by papillon » Sat May 21, 2011 8:07 pm

Also, you've commited the cardinal sin of writing about your sound effects.
For example:
(Sound effect of door closing)
Mathis: I closed the car door and headed towards the building.

You also do it a couple of times with your backgrounds, which isn't so bad but both are kinda redundant. The reason you have sound effects and backgrounds is so you don't have to worry about writing that kind of dialogue.
On the other hand, some players will have sound turned off, and some players cannot hear to begin with. It can be just as problematic to give key information ONLY in visual/audio form and leave players lost if they couldn't pick up those cues.

It's something to be aware of, because you don't want to ploddingly spell out things that are perfectly obvious to most players. But something like the example given (sound of a car door, text briefly mentioning closing the door but focusing on the more important action) is certainly not a cardinal sin. :)

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#6 Post by Wolfzau » Sun May 22, 2011 11:57 am

papillon wrote:
On the other hand, some players will have sound turned off, and some players cannot hear to begin with. It can be just as problematic to give key information ONLY in visual/audio form and leave players lost if they couldn't pick up those cues.

It's something to be aware of, because you don't want to ploddingly spell out things that are perfectly obvious to most players. But something like the example given (sound of a car door, text briefly mentioning closing the door but focusing on the more important action) is certainly not a cardinal sin. :)
Huh....never thought of it that way. Interesting :wink:

However, I still stand by the fact that having one action referred to 3 times is a little over the top

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#7 Post by papillon » Sun May 22, 2011 12:25 pm

If you meant that it actually had

"sound of car door"

in the text, then yeah, that's a problem. :) I wasn't sure if you meant that was actually printed, or just that there WAS the sound of a car door.

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#8 Post by DarkStem » Sun May 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Thanks for the comments so far. I really appreciate the feedback.
In terms of the sound discussion - I did add them just in case someone didn't have their audio on (or the option). I sometimes play visual novels without sound and maybe just music, so I found it important for myself to have such visual cues of sound. I do see that it may be repetitious if I describe the action afterward.
The length is a bit shorter than what I had wanted to create, I agree. It wasn't my intention to make it feel rushed, but I can see how that came across to the end user.
I do appreciate the positive feedback of the artwork. That is my main skill and had hoped it would come across well. I was actually surprised to have generally good feedback with the music as well.
Overall, thanks again for the comments so far. I really appreciate it and intend to keep it in mind with my future projects. Please continue to post more - if you have questions or general comments/reviews. I'll be reading each one and respond when I get the chance.
Thanks again

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#9 Post by Esphirisa » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:34 pm

Yay, mystery! You have got a intriguing storyline there, but for a mystery, I believe that more depth is needed. CGs, character art and backgrounds were great, but you can develop more on the characters. Maybe reveal more of their background, personality... I liked the sounds. It made the story more... 'real'.
Grammatical error : "Sylvia then joins my decent to the floor" I believe you meant 'descend'.

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#10 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:41 am

This game is this week's Group Play! http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 13&t=16025

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Re: DSanchez's - City of Lost Hope

#11 Post by Crocosquirrel » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:11 am

The word he's looking for in descent. He missed the 's' in the word.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

Academy Daze- Back in production! Complete with ecchi-ness ;)

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