Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

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Crocosquirrel
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#16 Post by Crocosquirrel » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:43 am

applegirl wrote:I'm glad to see it being updated (the sprite size and background really did break immersion for me as well) and I think it is impressive to have finish a VN in a day. However, I think a lot of potential was missed by rushing this VN in terms of story/choices.

One example being when the main character was waking up and the resulting choices:
I don't quite understand why the main girl would automatically switch to a new partner (resulting in a bad end) just because I gave the less nice answer. Considering their long partnership of five years, it really threw me off because it was such a minor thing to say and such a big overreaction (in my eyes) to just ditch someone like that. I had expected her to get mad (maybe drag out the main protag from the bed and laugh as he complains (but in a friendly manner as though this has happened in the past 5 years they spent together). So when she ditched him completely, I was surprised and had a rather unfavorable view of their relationship.
Admittedly, I didn't choose that option the first playthrough (because it was an easy decision to make), but I would almost rather it didn't exist if it ended like that. It made me feel like she either valued him that lightly (to react in that manner, thus cheapening the relationship) or it was just meant to be avoided.
More on the line of breaking promises. There's a little bit of her history that I didn't have time to explore well enough. I may dig a little more into that in the update, and give him a confirmation choice with a warning. Nearly everyone has some strange zero-tolerance line.
applegirl wrote:I think it would be a much richer experience if this was longer and the choices more difficult. Heh, to want a more difficult VN is unusual (I'll admit that), but I think my issue was that I kind of:
expected the main protagonist to make either a big gesture (think Say Anything with the boombox scene) or to at least ask her to reconsider their relationship. When she finally confessed, I kind of thought "Ah, he was just dense." Which kind of made me feel like he was never just a friend to her (since she was apparently crushing on him for some time) and I was kind of expecting a situation where the main girl first considered him a friend but his actions in the visual novel changed her opinion. Instead, it turned out to be just the revelation, which was sweet, but didn't bowl me over since it was so easy to earn. I think if the buildup was there, the romance would feel more effective.
I haven't read Say Anything, but I will tell you that his fears about destroying what is played a huge role in this situation shaping up the way it did. I may poke at it a bit and see what works. I'm not sure that much more difficult or a lot longer are in the cards for this particular game, but There are others planned, with more time budgeted for writing.
applegirl wrote: Again, I do think it is a well done VN for the time frame it was made. I also think the interactions/dialogue was cute and charming at times. But I hope the update will include a richer story/choice pattern to make the happy ending even more satisfying.
Thank you, and just maybe. We'll see how it goes when I revisit the script here in a few days.
applegirl wrote:EDIT: I do hope my comments don't seem harsh, I just see potential here. I think your group could make a truly amazing visual novel with time and a richer story, so I probably was a bit harder than I would be if the writing was poor or seemed like it had reached its full potential.
Not particularly. I keep hearing that a 24-hour VN is impossible with a team (and a lot say that nothing of quality can be done solo), so it was time to test the theory. Thanks for looking and providing some feedback. When we finish v1.1, we'll probably leave the original up alongside it just for contrast.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#17 Post by SvenTheViking » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:11 am

I'm just going to respond to the parts I have business discussing, so don't feel like I'm trying to avoid something; I don't want to step on anyone's toes by speaking out of place.
applegirl wrote:I'm glad to see it being updated (the sprite size and background really did break immersion for me as well) and I think it is impressive to have finish a VN in a day. However, I think a lot of potential was missed by rushing this VN in terms of story/choices.
Being a 24-hour project, including time for sleep (and I went out with family for a few hours for part of it), there was a lot that we wanted to do, but couldn't due to the time constraint. Personally, I would have been happy spending hours making sure the sprites were all the right size, but the lack of time required sacrifices, and as I am the programmer, that was my first priority.
applegirl wrote:I think it would be a much richer experience if this was longer and the choices more difficult. Heh, to want a more difficult VN is unusual (I'll admit that), but I think my issue was that I kind of:
expected the main protagonist to make either a big gesture (think Say Anything with the boombox scene) or to at least ask her to reconsider their relationship. When she finally confessed, I kind of thought "Ah, he was just dense." Which kind of made me feel like he was never just a friend to her (since she was apparently crushing on him for some time) and I was kind of expecting a situation where the main girl first considered him a friend but his actions in the visual novel changed her opinion. Instead, it turned out to be just the revelation, which was sweet, but didn't bowl me over since it was so easy to earn. I think if the buildup was there, the romance would feel more effective.
I can completely relate to how you feel; there's nothing worse than expecting a build-up and catharsis, and not getting either. I do think, though, that this will be improved in the updated script, as will the length of the game. Personally, I'd like quite a bit more back story on the MC and Cori. However, not being Spartan, I can't make any promises.
applegirl wrote:EDIT: I do hope my comments don't seem harsh, I just see potential here. I think your group could make a truly amazing visual novel with time and a richer story, so I probably was a bit harder than I would be if the writing was poor or seemed like it had reached its full potential.
Not at all. As I said before, there was a lot I, personally, wanted to do, but couldn't because of time, so that goes into the update. We are currently working on another project, very hush-hush at the moment, but I hope you'll check it out when we do go public, as it will have had the proper amount of time and energy put into it to ensure that we get the best quality product we can manage.
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#18 Post by Crocosquirrel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:40 am

SvenTheViking wrote:Not at all. As I said before, there was a lot I, personally, wanted to do, but couldn't because of time, so that goes into the update. We are currently working on another project, very hush-hush at the moment, but I hope you'll check it out when we do go public, as it will have had the proper amount of time and energy put into it to ensure that we get the best quality product we can manage.
I can field this. We have a couple of projects coming up in the next couple of months, including an otome game. More on this later ;)
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#19 Post by pkt » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:23 pm

Hmm, I liked it. It was short and sweet. Kudos for completing the game so fast. Also, will there be a sequel?
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#20 Post by Crocosquirrel » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:27 pm

pkt wrote:Hmm, I liked it. It was short and sweet. Kudos for completing the game so fast. Also, will there be a sequel?
A sequel? No. There will be a series of related games out once a month or so (with the occasional bonus game). There's also a thought working to allow for the current pieces to be connected to a framework for a more freeform experience.
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#21 Post by Patty » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:48 am

Finished playing! :D Congrats on releasing.

Here's my sort-of-review of Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

Writing

The characters' dialogue flows well. They talk like real people, like they use contractions and some slang. It can also be a reflection of their personalities. Makes me able to relate to Kevin to some degree, and I find Cori cool through the dialogue. She's someone I'd probably be friends with, IRL. :mrgreen:

Characters were cool. None of them really annoyed me except
Jorgan, who I think was annoying on purpose. :))
Although Cori's reaction at the instant Bad End felt a bit abrupt and OOC... Though it's due to her having zero tolerance at broken promises, it still felt a bit weird because even the choice seemed like Kevin was just joking, or at least it did to me ^^;;
The events leading to the final were okay as well. There was build up, like
the restaurant, park, and shopping before the end
. The events didn't feel abrupt
except the instant bad end. No warning, and very dramatic music. :))
And I think the "Good" ending was a bit...lacking. It kind of lacked closure. The call at the end was an awkward way of ending it. ._.
The story was delivered with lots of dialogue, and character interaction. I could tell by the writing that he can show the readers what happens. He mixes showing and telling, and it manages to liven up the narration. I wasn't bored by the dialogue, which is good. :)

Art

The art was free resources. What matters though is how they were used, and if they all go well. :)

The backgrounds, personally, don't clash with the sprites. There's variety in the locations.
Restaurant, park, Kevin's home...
Although I'll also be happy if you decide to make the backgrounds in a style that's more consistent with the sprites, too.
The sprites are also fitting (although some of them have size issues?). Jorgan's size doesn't match much with the others. The server/waiter was also a bit awkwardly short. However, Cori's sprite fit her character. I could easily identify her character, and I think her character stuck onto the sprite. If I saw the sprite in another game, I'd probably go "That's Cori from Troubleshooter Tales! :D " (No offense, Kingv ^^;; ).
Although Cori's sprite and some others clashed a bit in style, it's gonna be fixed for v1.1 so I'm anticipating it. I like Selena's character design the most for the glasses, hehe.

Music


The music was contributed well to setting the mood of the scenes. Two tracks stood out for me the most:
the one at the restaurant, and the bad end track. The restaurant track was something I'd likely hear at an actual establishment. The bad ending track was dramatic and improved the impact of the scene, as well as the "I screwed something up" feeling.

The music was taken from free resources, although DarkSpartan chose carefully and made sure they contributed to setting up the mood of the scenes. :D *claps*

GUI

I cannot comment a lot on GUI and programming stuff since I myself am not very good at this. ^///^;;
First off, the font is was easy on the eyes, except when it goes to the center of the screen (part with no textbox), the white there was a bit hard to read at times.
However, I felt the title screen's menu and the save/load/preferences menu's color scheme was a bit hard on the eyes. The black, red, and green was a bit hard to read at times... ^^;;

Other Miscellaneous Comments:

I'm glad there's an ALL version. I use Windows, but I especially like that the game's compatible for all OS, and you don't need to go through several download links to find the version for your OS.
I'm also impressed by the amount of time it took to make this. It doesn't look like it was made in just 24 hours. :D Go, Spartan Build Team of Polymorphic Games!

Conclusion:

I'm looking forward to version 1.1. Would love to see some improvements for some stated above, and maybe some additional content? :D
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#22 Post by orochiwolf » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:04 pm

Really short, and I got the good ending on the first playthrough. But, for 24 hours, that was, like, WHOA! And in a good way, too! I mean it! :shock:

The story did feel a bit dry though, maybe because of the duration of the time it lasts. It didn't exactly give me enough time to attach, or "feel for," the characters, but of course, there's the 1.1 update that I'm totally looking forward to (maybe put some multipersistent data in there for those who played the demo lol).

And I also noticed that the programmer for this did an amazing job. A tremendous, hardworking fellow you have there. So good, that if all I saw was the raw coding from him, I'd still think this VN was great.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#23 Post by Crocosquirrel » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:13 pm

For the record: I much prefer to release a single 'all' version rather than separate pieces. I know some people (myself included) like to use various OSs depending on the needs of the moment. All in one download for the win!

If anyone needs a separate download to deal with super-slow interwebs, I'll be happy to provide them on request.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#24 Post by HigurashiKira » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:58 pm

I have to say, i really enjoyed the story, despite the fact the fact it was done in 24 hours. Though, I have to say, that new update should be...interesting...
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#25 Post by Crocosquirrel » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:31 am

The update is in progress, and we're starting to get things together. We have new sprites to cover the Free ones we used in the initial release. Version 1.01 and 1.1 will both be available when we're done, so you can see the difference a bit of extra time makes.

Without further ado...

New Cori--
Cori1.jpg
Art by Lux-Nero with thanks for the basic design to Kingv.
and...

New Walter--
Walter.png
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#26 Post by ludeshka » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:12 pm

Dark Spartan "challenged" me to play and review this one, and here I am.
I think the characters are likeable, but the story leaves me unsatisfied.

I know, I know, "It was done in one day!" and I openly admit I wouldn't have been able to program anything in a day. I'd say this is programmed very well, and if you hadn't stated you'd made it in only a day, I wouldn't have known. I do admire your hard work.
But I don't play visual novels to see how fast or well they were programmed. (Again, I do understand why you're proud of your accomplishment, I'm not saying you shouldn't be.)

I liked the characters. I think I could really like the setting (I mean, it was interesting to see them discussing it). I actually think I'd like to see these guys in action, you know, maybe on a mission or something.

But I saw no conflict.
The girl already liked him. He just had to not be a total dick to her FOR ONE DAY if he wanted a happy ending.
. Maybe I'm totally missing the point of the game. Like a person a few posts above me, I do like romantic comedies a la Say Anything where the guy goes to epic lengths to get the girl (or vice versa). I like conflict, and epic romances.

I'm so sorry if I got this all wrong. My opinion is just a player's opinion, you shouldn't take it seriously. I seriously apologize if this comment is in any way rude or too harsh. I didn't want Dark Spartan to think I didn't want to play this game, but I didn't want to post something I didn't really believe. -_-

I am very willing to give the Troubleshooters a second chance if a longer chapter of their adventures is released. I do think they're charming and would like to see them in a longer game.

I wish you guys the best on your next project.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#27 Post by Crocosquirrel » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:50 am

ludeshka wrote:Dark Spartan "challenged" me to play and review this one, and here I am.
I think the characters are likeable, but the story leaves me unsatisfied.

I know, I know, "It was done in one day!" and I openly admit I wouldn't have been able to program anything in a day. I'd say this is programmed very well, and if you hadn't stated you'd made it in only a day, I wouldn't have known. I do admire your hard work.
But I don't play visual novels to see how fast or well they were programmed. (Again, I do understand why you're proud of your accomplishment, I'm not saying you shouldn't be.)

I liked the characters. I think I could really like the setting (I mean, it was interesting to see them discussing it). I actually think I'd like to see these guys in action, you know, maybe on a mission or something.

But I saw no conflict.
The girl already liked him. He just had to not be a total dick to her FOR ONE DAY if he wanted a happy ending.
. Maybe I'm totally missing the point of the game. Like a person a few posts above me, I do like romantic comedies a la Say Anything where the guy goes to epic lengths to get the girl (or vice versa). I like conflict, and epic romances.

I'm so sorry if I got this all wrong. My opinion is just a player's opinion, you shouldn't take it seriously. I seriously apologize if this comment is in any way rude or too harsh. I didn't want Dark Spartan to think I didn't want to play this game, but I didn't want to post something I didn't really believe. -_-

I am very willing to give the Troubleshooters a second chance if a longer chapter of their adventures is released. I do think they're charming and would like to see them in a longer game.

I wish you guys the best on your next project.
I'd like to think she was maybe waiting for him to wake up and take notice. I'll likely be making some changes in the revision, and that one's up for consideration. Fear not! There shall be better conversation and a bit more information in a bonus section...
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#28 Post by HigurashiKira » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:45 am

I have to say, the game's update sounds great~
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#29 Post by Crocosquirrel » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:58 pm

Most of the art is done for the Omake, but I haven't yet found the right music. The new BGs have been assembled as well.
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Re: Troubleshooter Tales: Out of the Friend Zone

#30 Post by SvenTheViking » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:22 am

Progress, progress, we're making progress! We have updated sprites (more of them), improved code, and the writing for the Omake section will begin soon. Patch 1.1 is coming along nicely.
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