Wow. Thanks so much for the feedback guys, this has been really great. It's really helped me to get pumped up about everything again. Now, I'd love to talk about it with you as well. Please keep the feedback coming, it helps me to make better games.
.............................. I don't know what to think.... I loved the game, its nice, characters were interesting enough, PC parents where funny, but cliche, mother old fashioned and father not approving. But as it started to get interesting... it ended, i need more
it felt like a slap across face in the end. Okay, its only THE first ''episode''..... (i hate episodic games, thy take too long between games.)
Will have to wait to get the real meat....
Good luck to you!
BxB in next episode XD please!!! (just joking....not.....XD)
I'm glad to hear that you loved it. Like I said before, this is my first release and I wanted to make sure that there is in fact an interest in seeing this completed. It would be very hard for me to want to work on another VN if this one flopped.
I'll see what I can do for you with Dante.
I realize now that I posted in the wrong thread...! I just played through the game again and have some specific pieces of feedback. I'll spoiler plot-related stuff.
1. In the opening scene with Paul, the MC says "I look around the room for a moment to gather my thoughts", but it seems more like they're outside? Like at a market?
They are indeed at a market, but it's an indoor one. A little confusing though, I may change it later.
2. I like how the class begins with the professor asking if people are in the right room - it's one of those small details that makes it feel authentic.
3. When Emily talks about how it's management's job to make sure there are customers, and the chefs just make food... I'm not sure I understand this, really. Is this some sort of idea that you get drilled into you in culinary school? There seems to be a few points in the game where this chef / management dichotomy is talked about, but I think the average player needs a little more of a backgrounder on this. Maybe the MC could explain it quickly the first time it is brought up?
It's partially due to the fact that in the next game, you're managing the restaurant and creating recipes, and you have a chef that actually cooks it for you.
4. I feel a bit the same way when the two of them discuss 'fusion' - again, maybe there's some sort of way of explaining the things they are referring to. Maybe I'm just saying that this game could also be an interesting opportunity for people to learn about the culinary arts?
5. I have no idea why I'm numbering this continuous rambling... What if every time a concept that the player could use background info on came up, a little button appeared top-left that opens a relevant entry in a 'Culinopedia' or something?
11. Again, when they are talking about Americanos and Espressos and soy milk, it would be cool to understand the nuances of the jokes they are making... Some sort of explainer.
That is a good idea, I'll probably do something like that in the full version.
6. Once Lisa is introduced, I realize that I don't actually know if her and Paul are in the culinary school as well. I think Paul is, because there's a quick reference made to it earlier on, but maybe it would make the whole thing feel cohesive if all of the characters talked a bit of shop?
Paul and Lisa go to the same college, yeah but they both work on other things. I think this will be clarified more later.
7. "Neatening" may be a word, but it's so uncommon that I think it's a bit jarring.
8. I really like the character art for Lisa... She has that inherently serious look about her, and this supports her character well.
9. In Paul and Lisa's fight, I think one thing that could make it stronger is if a specific incident had sparked her sudden concern over her future. I mean, she shows up and just starts to flip out. Maybe she just got informed that she didn't get a job she wanted because she didn't have any previous experience from the summer prior? And that would be the summer that she spent all her free time with Paul? Something like that would connect all of the dots.
You'll be seeing more of Lisa in the next game (a lot more if you choose to) and I'm sure there she'll explain herself.
10. If Paul is going to take over and one day own his family's business, I'm not sure why Lisa characterizes the whole thing in terms of poverty. Is it not relatively prosperous to own a vegetable store? And if Paul wants to take it over and grow it, couldn't it potentially be very lucrative? Maybe the MC could add in something like, "Paul has big dreams, but the reality is that his family's business is tiny, and big grocery stores have been making it smaller and smaller."
Also good points.
12. Part of this feedback is definitely just wanting to see more great artwork, but I think you should consider doing illustrations for the MC's mom and dad. I just find it hard to connect with them without seeing them, and I feel like the effectiveness of the entire scene sorts of depends on that.
The reason that I didn't do that is that I wanted the player to feel as if they actually are the player and having parents that didn't look like you may hurt that. I also didn't want to show the player at all so it didn't matter what skin color or race you were that you could see feel as if it was you that was playing. I may rethink that though for the future release especially when CGs come into play.
13. I get that MC's parents are supposed to represent a sort of traditional perspective on gender roles, but I think it would actually be more effective if it were less heavy-handed. Just having the mom mention how wonderful it is that she is an amazing cook would be enough to make the atmosphere clear, I think - having her come right out and say that women should be 'focusing on their husbands and their homes' seems like overdoing it a bit. It makes their characters seem very two-dimensional compared to Emily and the MC... And it makes the revelation of their softer attitudes later in the conversation feel less believable.
Yeah, I feel you; we tried to make the parents as believable as possible and in the second game you'll be working with them a lot too so we'll see what we can do.
14. There's something about Emily's desire to use the MC's parents money to open the restaurant that seems like it could be stronger. I think you should consider establishing somewhere earlier in the game that not only is the MC's family upper middle class, but that Emily's family is actually quite poor. Maybe she's at culinary school on some sort of scholarship. And I think maybe you treat that revelation with some type of twisty reveal that shows the developing trust between Emily and the MC... Like at first people think she's on scholarship because of her talent, but she privately admits to the MC that it's because of her economic position. I think you need to do more to make it clear that she's not some cold-blooded gold digger, because I definitely don't think she is, but the whole desire to use the MC's money feels like it comes out of nowhere a bit.
Actually, if you argue with Emily beforehand you learn about it. The "twisty reveal" should only happen if you made it clear that you didn't want to upset her. That being said, also a good idea.
All that being said, the whole package is really strong, and I really dig it. Great job! Looking forward to playing more as it develops...
I hope that one of the later episodes gives the MC the opportunity to reconcile with Emily
Yes, you will have an opportunity to do that and more.
That was fun. Definitely left me wanting more, so looking forward to what comes next. The art is clean and attractive, the setup is interesting (especially with the way the stats work), and I adore the GUI. I don't know if it's just because I have an old computer, but the custom cursor really slowed down on the main menu screen. O_o Also, the sound effects are significantly quieter than the music. Both minor things, but I figured I'd pass them on.
Thanks for the kind words! Hmmmm... I'll have to look into the slowdown. The sound effects were added very late in the game's development so I think my custom preferences were already set when I was adjusting everything. I'll go back in and adjust things later.
Interactive Ratatouille here I come. =D
Congrats on the release! Can't wait to play this. ^^ (<3 food)
Looking forward to Hands in the Kitchen. You have my support.
Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.