[Self-Contained Unfinished Release] Geomancer Chronicles Ch1

Finished games are posted here, once they've been tested and are ready for wide release.
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Megaman Z
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#16 Post by Megaman Z » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:40 pm

monele wrote:About midi : the good thing about midi music is that given the appropriate Sound Bank, you can export something that sounds just as good as a regular MP3.
and if that fails, send the midi my way and I'll see what manipulation I can pull off to get it to sound the same (or better) on my end in MP3 format. (I have FL with too many synth's anyway)
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#17 Post by mikey » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:00 am

First of all, I think that this game doesn't belong in this section. Same goes for a few others, in fact, so I'm just taking this opportunity to suggest a cleanup. C'Est Lavie for instance... Anyway, this has nothing to do with the games as such, it's a systematic remark.

To the game.

I quite liked it, even though it seemed to move quite fast (still, not so fast that I wouldn't really have anything from it). In many aspects it is similar in its condensed style to lordcloudx's Dual Hearts... a similar narrative pace. So you need to mentally switch over to this form of storytelling and from there it's okay, I was able to enjoy the game very nicely.

The small things that matter the most - the skirt and car discussion (she always says romantic things) - are really great and as was suggested, they should be just a bit more detailed, so people can enjoy them (although maybe not the car discussion, that would probably be interesting for me only - but the platform sharing, how true - it's so hard to buy a car that's truly individual these days, unless it's a kit car or an expensive hand-built Italian job. Well, I guess I drifted off a bit...) But I also think that the ^_^ was not necessary.

The graphics style is unique, and especially the BGs are done with a technique that's very interesting in its composite character - you can see the individual elements, but the whole still has a certain atmosphere, very reminiscent of a collage and as said, very unique. I'd even say it was the best thing because it was so unusual. It still had a high abstractness level, so it didn't feel anything like filtered photographs. Day/Night, the "camera work", all very refreshing.

Particularly the train ride with the mirroring... an excllent visual. Also, the transitions were done very nicely and luckily were not overused and didn't slow down the pace (which happens a lot in Japanese productions). The character was also done nicely, blinking eyes are always so full of life, a nice touch.

Maybe I should criticize that the graphics aren't exactly professional-looking, but I actually don't necessarily care about that. The point I have here is more on the proportions side - melinda's sprite is small and often clashes with the BGs, because it's not put into the right perspective - for instance when she is closest to the player, it's still as if she was just pasted into the picture... she would probably need to be zoomed in a bit more. Also, there are several nice perspectives in the BGs, notably the train station. But the sprite doesn't fit in there because it has a different angle of view - When I Rule The World has similar issues - I should note that some people don't notice this and don't mind, but I am quite sensitive to the view angle and perspective. So that's the comment

However, the parts where Melinda was "inside" the picture, a bit more away from the player, leaned against the walls or behind the bushes, they were all done great - it was just the full-on sprite that seemed a bit off at times. BTW, the in-picture Melinda was a great comeback, that I haven't seen since eclipse's games *I think*... Amgine Park or Kykuit had them.

As for the narcissu-ish style, I think it's more the typical onscripter thing than specifically narcissu, and only because it had the movie stripes and the font in the main picture. Also, I take it that the menus will have a different color scheme once everything is done.

Storywise it is hard to comment... because nothing really significant happened. But actually, if this was just an intro, the game could easily stretch at this pace for 1 hour. If this intro was longer, I would be afraid how long the finished game would be... so I take it as positive that it was this short. In fact, just rouding up the pace a bit, and I think the current script is quite well done.

The music/sfx... I think this is probably what needs a bit more work, but it depends on how you want to design the audio for the game. I know Renesis works with a MIDI keyboard, but of course the samples are not MIDI ones... then again his studio has all these pro music programs, so... Anyway, a good compromise is to use free samples for tracker programs {madtracker for instance), they have more depth than MIDI, often they are even converted from waves... but those are just suggestions. For sound effects MIDI works fine even though it has this unmistakable flat sound, for the main music I would avoid it if the game is longer than 20 minutes... IMO the human (or at least my) ear needs the depth to be comfortable when listening to music for a longer period of time.

And that's it, I really liked the way the game is going production-wise, even though the story wasn't my style - sc-fi and fantasy is not for me, and anything with -mancer is something like that in my book. But I always enjoy it when romance is involved, so I hope there will be a love story somewhere... even if not, I still wish you a lot of luck with it.

And... for a one-man effort, this is really very good work.

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#18 Post by monele » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:16 am

mikey wrote:and anything with -mancer is something like that in my book. But I always enjoy it when romance is involved
What happens with a game called "Romancer" then? ;)

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#19 Post by DaFool » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:43 am

mikey wrote:First of all, I think that this game doesn't belong in this section. Same goes for a few others, in fact, so I'm just taking this opportunity to suggest a cleanup. C'Est Lavie for instance... Anyway, this has nothing to do with the games as such, it's a systematic remark.
Thanks for the comments btw, really appreciate the detailed review, even if typing it up may actually take longer than the actual game :oops:

I just read somewhere that PyTom gets a beta version about a week before public release. I see now how the system works, and will consider it next time.


Thing is what constitutes a 'complete' game, if not 'complete' as the creator sees it and if it is moderately playable. Because if all comments are implemented, most games on renai.us could get a tweaking or two, whether it is character art, word phrasing, although I haven't seen anyone suffering from a technical glitch, mostly aesthetic. Like, is this a complete game?
http://www.renai.us/all.shtml#kiwival
Not to diss it or anything, and I don't intend really to sound anal. But the fact is, with the release of OOO, the bar has just been raised. The challenge is accepted..

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#20 Post by PyTom » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:35 am

DaFool wrote:I just read somewhere that PyTom gets a beta version about a week before public release. I see now how the system works, and will consider it next time.
Well, what I offer is that if people send me their code, I will go through it and see if there are any problems with it.

By and large, this is obsoleted by lint, which does many of the the checks I used to do by hand. But I often make suggestions as well.
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#21 Post by mikey » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:24 pm

DaFool wrote: But the fact is, with the release of OOO, the bar has just been raised. The challenge is accepted..
No, that's not what I meant - I just meant completed. You say yourself that the game is in dev and there will be more - and it's not finished as a result. Again, it has NOTHING to do with the game or its quality or its creator or anything else.

Take Blackspider's demo for example...
http://www.republika.pl/piotrkn22/th/
It's got everything, and it playes for more than an hour... - but it's not complete...

So again, I never meant to sound like now everyone has to have cool graphics and all that - in fact you probably know how fond I am of my (our) little projects like Kaori or Secretary... so it's strictly a forum-related systematic thing.

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#22 Post by Watercolorheart » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:48 pm

Yeah, remember Shifted and how it was released with a full set of graphics that could be used for probably the entire game, but I never got to finishing the story?

Even Chapter 1 of this series is more complete than most of my work. :| Expect for the art in O3, I mean ...

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#23 Post by BlackSpider » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:14 pm

mikey wrote: Take Blackspider's demo for example...
http://www.republika.pl/piotrkn22/th/
It's got everything, and it playes for more than an hour... - but it's not complete...
This unfinished game is still hunting me in my nightmares once in a while :oops:. I should update my website specifying that the project has been cancelled and leaving the game unfinished forever - maybe after correcting some of the text and writing a short resume on how it ends.

Anyway I just came out of nowhere after more than a year, but why not make another section on the forum for "games in progress"?. "Game-Maker's corner" has more topics not really related to a particular game.

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#24 Post by Alessio » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:37 pm

DaFool wrote:Besides, midi just doesn't have richness. I really want to have the feel of real musical instruments
Allow a MIDI nerd to be a bit pedantic and to give his comment on this one. MIDI files only contain controller messages (e.g. "play C# for 1.5 seconds") that are remote-controlling hardware (or software) sound modules.

Therefore the MIDI file's quality will depend on the sound engine/samples of the playback device. Musicians can get very rich tracks out of a MIDI file - on their equipment. But if you play the same file on a mainboard-built-in PC soundcard, chances are it'll sound less good.

That's the reason why I'm not using MIDI for VNs - I love the format, but it's impossible to know what the file will sound like on different users' computers. Even simple things such as the volumes in the mix can be completely different on some PCs.

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#25 Post by mikey » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:01 pm

BlackSpider wrote:Anyway I just came out of nowhere after more than a year, but why not make another section on the forum for "games in progress"?. "Game-Maker's corner" has more topics not really related to a particular game.
I was suggesting this as well, IMO it's a good idea... something like Announcements, Chapters & Demos... so new game-makers could have a dedicated thread for their game, a space for coments and so... but it's also true that it sometimes overlaps with a general discussion, still I think that a In-Progress Projects board would make things more clear.

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#26 Post by Watercolorheart » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:12 pm

mikey wrote:still I think that a In-Progress Projects board would make things more clear. [/size]
I'm all for that, because it's depressing to see my thread get pushed way, way down because some other threads are having heated arguments on multiple endings or sound quality or whatnot. Basically, things having nothing to do with actual demo games ...

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#27 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:33 pm

Intriguing choice of artwork. Music shifting between elevator muzak and bearable. Sound effects nice. Plot essentially too short :)

Okay, you've deserved a few more words: For a one-person-project, GCCh is impressive. Your art style has potential; it really carries the mood. Going public when you only have so little to show, however, feels like a mistake to me. Many people will be waiting for the rest to be released, and that can really put some pressure on you. I'm speaking from personal experience here; I'm guilty of the same charge with Foxtaile.

Take your time. Take all the time you need to make your project perfect for your needs. And when everything is there - publish. I'm absolutely confident you'll have a wonderful story to tell and all the tools to make it a memorable experience.
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#28 Post by teankun » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:55 pm

I am having trouble downloading the file. I click on the link and and a prompt coms up for downloading a PHP file.

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#29 Post by Guest » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:22 am

I have to say that felt more like an outline version of a narrative...there's no detail. The main character reflects on high school and his current life, meets with Melinda again and decides to go into business with her, but the whole thing only takes about three minutes.

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#30 Post by DaFool » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:03 am

>>Just rename the .php to .zip, then you can extract it.

>>Yeah, it really is outline-ish, it was the most I can do given couple of images and while practicing while not having a story yet. My future works will be revamped...with full stories.

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