Magical Boutique

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absinthe
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Re: Magical Boutique

#211 Post by absinthe » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:10 pm

It was a fun game, lots of story, and not too gruesome. Well, except for the parts that had me covering my eyes... which isn't the smartest thing to do when playing a game where scary monsters jump out of sewer pipes and try to eat you.

But structurally it was nicely done. It was divided roughly into nights, and each night had a number of tasks that had to be completed to advance the main plot and end that night. There were also areas (Santa Monica, Chinatown, Downtown, etc.) that were unlocked as the main plot of the game progressed. Side quests could usually be solved in the area they were acquired in, although some required returning to areas you'd already explored or waiting until you unlocked a new area.

So there was a nice blend between following the plot and exploring -- since time didn't progress until you completed the night's main plot quests, you could always put off finishing those in favor of completing some of the side quests in your journal, or do some main plot stuff if you wanted to see what was going to happen next. And there weren't so many side quests that you started to wonder why your character was running around helping random strangers instead of actually continuing to save the world.

And the stats were extremely light -- nearly every puzzle had several ways to solve it based on different skills. If you were tough, you could fight your way through a guard, if you were sexy, you could sweet talk him, and so on. And the game experience was different enough depending on what stats you chose to increase that it was easily worth playing through several times.
monele wrote:The bar part, uh? :). Sadly, there wasn't much to do and the exits were very straightforward. I guess that the room system probably needs a minimum number of rooms and things to do to make you forget you're hooked to the storyline.
Yep, that's exactly what I meant! Well, the whole game, technically -- there's actually a complete "room" system with navigation in the game. I originally wrote in an entire complex of about fifteen or so rooms, but weeded them out as they weren't ever actually used for anything. So the whole system is complete overkill now! More of a demo of how a system like that could work than a real implementation of it. In retrospect, I just don't think that was the right story for that framework. Or maybe it could have been, with a bunch of side quests as originally planned, but there just wasn't time.
monele wrote:The second kind means you're limited to those verbs and interactions will always take place in the same way (lest you confuse the player). The first kind *might* allow a lot of freedom since all the actions are simple sentences that *you*, the author, make up and decide, again with freeform text, what they do.
Hee, or worse with the second kind, (if you're a bit of a perfectionist) you're stuck programming in tons of responses to what an inventive player might think to do/say/interact with. The rule of thumb for IF is "if you mention it, the player will try to interact with it" and you at least have to have an "it's not remarkable" response prepared.

Fortunately, with VNs, a lot of that is elided by the very nature of the medium; nobody will feel gypped if they can't click on the fern on the table or the lamp post, even if they're shown in the background or mentioned by the text.

The issue with the first method, though, is making it interactive without being too much of a hand-hold for the player, I think. One of the nice things about player-controlled input ("put x on y") is that the solutions to puzzles aren't always obvious, because the player can literally try anything... with pre-defined sentences, it's a lot harder as a programmer to keep the 'right' answer from being handed to the player without any effort on the player's part.
dafool wrote:The thing is, it is highly recommended that these sorts of room-structure thingies are visual... I mean, if I were presented with a plain menu that says "Go Up. Go Down. Go Left. Go Right." I would bang my head against the monitor in frustration. You really will need to design the place well so it is intuitive where a player can go next.
I agree 100%. Maybe it's Bard's Tale trauma or my own special brand of spacial inadequacy (yes, I get lost a lot), but I hate it when I can't actually see a map or at least have a general idea of how areas fit together. Even if it's just clicking on the edges of the current screen to move 'left' or 'right' as in the King's Quest style games.

But I think some of that can by mitigated if the navigation is text-based by either having a very small room complex, or by having an area map overlay or screen.
dafool wrote:I think I have discovered a way around this. Yeah, it was overwhelming at first when I first sat down and well "Aww, hell, now I would have to code all of this crap up."
But I did it step by step, and used modular programming methods... so that it is just a sequence of calls to subroutines (which represent certain situations).

One thing for sure... before anything else, make sure you have a navigatable room system that doesn't crash.
That's the worst part -- I always program using modules and with as much reusable code as possible. So I finish up the framework, it's there, a blank stamp, ready to be filled, and invariably something else has caught my attention. On the plus side, it does give me a lot of code to use for later projects. ;)

And I hear ya on the 'doesn't crash' bit. I thought my room system was just about done, and didn't realize that it just didn't work with rollback until I'd ported in about 10,000 words of text. Fortunately, I had a separate functions file and it was a relatively easy fix, but it was still unnecessarily stressful.
monele wrote:Actually, you're describing MB1 as it was supposed to be here ^^. But MB2 might steer away from that. As I said, I might abandon stats and focus on choices. If you take a scale with story on the left and game on the right, the current project would be quite far on the left.
I'm excited to see, it however you decide to proceed! MB1 is gorgeous. :)
My 2007 NaNo entry: Eidolon

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Moekki
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Re: Magical Boutique

#212 Post by Moekki » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:15 am

Just so you know, I enjoyed MB immensly, and am waiting for MB2 with great anticipation.
As for feedback... Can we date Framboise in MB2 :oops:..? Seriously, she's cute :3.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#213 Post by The curious downloader of the great game » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:49 pm

I want to first say that i enjoyed this game greatly. Next i would like to ask 2 randomish questions. The first is why didn't the game tell me that you could only buy 1 shelf and buying it twice in a row because i thought it would give me 300 spaces? And the second question is, "Did the apple pie and cookie part mean anything for the next game, such as a hint if you can find time to add in the romance elements so that a player of the first would know what to give the people? Or (and i know this is technically a 3rd question) is that part there just to add greater personality and point once more to the angel demon thing you went about in the game assistants? Thank you again and i hope you don't decide to do the sequel as the last of 5 as this game was very good at bringing a smile to my face after being happily moody after playing Winter Shard.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#214 Post by monele » Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:13 am

First, something kinda related yet not really :
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/58836604/

Awesome picture and very close to the mood I think of when thinking about MagBou ^^

It was divided roughly into nights, and each night had a number of tasks that had to be completed to advance the main plot and end that night.
nearly every puzzle had several ways to solve it based on different skills.
Classical western RPG concepts and that's really what I love about them ^^. It's actually amazing how they know a single player won't ever see everything... yet, the whole of players will, so it makes it all worthwhile.
One of the nice things about player-controlled input ("put x on y") is that the solutions to puzzles aren't always obvious, because the player can literally try anything...
Yes, I realize that and I'll really have to find a way to make the little puzzles not too obvious...
One thing I'm thinking of is not make the main path hard at all. I mean that you'd be given clues as to what to do... but if you nicely follow all that, you won't get the most out of the game. That's where exploration takes place : sometimes, thinking differently might lead to discovering other things.
It's only conceptual for now as I don't even have an example, but I like the idea of these multiple "secrets" that could lead to better learn about characters and such...
But I think some of that can by mitigated if the navigation is text-based by either having a very small room complex, or by having an area map overlay or screen.
We've discussed this in PM and it seems we agree that we either need a map or a very simplified layout.
and didn't realize that it just didn't work with rollback
Arg XD... I had that with MagBou too at some point ^^;... Rollback is a killer when you put something else than VN in Ren'Py ^^;...
Just so you know, I enjoyed MB immensly, and am waiting for MB2 with great anticipation.
Thank you ^_^. I hope I can fulfill this wish!
As for feedback... Can we date Framboise in MB2 :oops:..? Seriously, she's cute :3.
Haha ^_^... I always hesitate about this topic since I consider Framboise being something like 15 and the protagonist more than 20... but hey, I'm doing a H game, so dating should be okay uh ?
The first is why didn't the game tell me that you could only buy 1 shelf and buying it twice in a row because i thought it would give me 300 spaces?
Because it was rushed :/... I thought of putting warnings, or adding a way to give objects to characters after buying them, etc... But I never got to actually do it ^^;
And the second question is, "Did the apple pie and cookie part mean anything for the next game, such as a hint if you can find time to add in the romance elements so that a player of the first would know what to give the people? Or (and i know this is technically a 3rd question) is that part there just to add greater personality and point once more to the angel demon thing you went about in the game assistants?
It was mostly written in the spur of the moment and is really just to give them more personality ^_^. Though it could indeed be useful for later situations, who knows ^^
Thank you again and i hope you don't decide to do the sequel as the last of 5 as this game was very good at bringing a smile to my face after being happily moody after playing Winter Shard.
Eheh, I'm glad it complements the darker games the community has to offer ^^. And I do hope there *will* be a Magical Boutique II... and that it won't be too far in the future. But for now I'm mostly concerned about finding something I want to work on and know I can finish.
It's become harder since I've been absorbed into a new video game lately... but with summer coming and a vacation in August, I'll probably have time to think about my projects ^.^.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#215 Post by The less curious » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:03 pm

Hmm vacation already came for me. I hope you can decide which of the 5 you wish to work on and goodluck.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#216 Post by monele » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:15 pm

I uh... I was kinda bored today and decided to try my hand at video editing >.>... So here's a trailer for ye olde MagBou ^^;;...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6f8buIMzk0g

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Re: Magical Boutique

#217 Post by Sed » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:59 pm

Not bad.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#218 Post by Kakurady » Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:46 am

monele wrote:I uh... I was kinda bored today and decided to try my hand at video editing >.>... So here's a trailer for ye olde MagBou ^^;;...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6f8buIMzk0g
It's OK, would be better if made shorter.
(I was expecting an animated CGI sequence or something <_<.)

Now you have me expecting a MagBou2 trailer...
No, I don't like Ren'ai games.
But Ren'Py is not only another Ren'ai game Engine.

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monele
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Re: Magical Boutique

#219 Post by monele » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:11 am

Animated CGI ^^;;;... I'll talk to my development team and see what they think about this ;).
Nah really, it was just quickly assembled for fun. Don't expect much more from this either... I could make a MB2 trailer, but without a game to back it up, you'd end up hating me ^^;

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Re: Magical Boutique

#220 Post by musical74 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:42 am

Well, the other possibilty is that you make a trailer for MagBou 2 and we all say *We like it!!! When can you make this?"

Noticed something rather interesting when I was playing it...it's a minor minor thing but realized it kind of made the game more interesting in a sense.
When you get the tax guy and you sick the Palace Guard on him, the guard removes his helmet...to reveal pointy ears. That implies that the King employs Demons from the West too...and makes the *get rid of this guy* even better =)
It adds to the feel of it, I think.
A friend is one that walks in when the world walks out.

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monele
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Re: Magical Boutique

#221 Post by monele » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:52 am

I'm thinking a trailer for MagBou2 might be mean ^^;... unless I'm 100% sure I'm finishing the game.

As for that particular part... I totally forgot about it XD... But I'm keen on these kinds of happenings, so I'm glad you liked it :).
Darn... just reading the script again makes me want to do some more, but wanting to doesn't always make things happen ^^;

Ren

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#222 Post by Ren » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:36 am

Nuuuuu;_;
I was having fun and everything but it seems I also ended up with an infinite loop!
Also, after installing both the patches, I resumed my game and got this:
traceback.txt
(4.33 KiB) Downloaded 99 times
Anyone can tell me what did I do?

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Re: Magical Boutique

#223 Post by monele » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:42 am

Oh, yeah, uh... patching makes old saves incompatible, sadly :/... Patching from the beginning should have avoided this :/

(at least that's what I guess from this, I don't have the code at hand)

Ren

Re: Magical Boutique

#224 Post by Ren » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:49 am

Mmh, then I should uninstall, reinstall, patch and play?
I tried beginning a new game, but it still gives me the same error...

...sorry to be a bother ._.

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Re: Magical Boutique

#225 Post by DaFool » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:05 am

There are two patches? :shock: AFAIK if you already have v1.2 you don't need the patch.

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