Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

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netravelr
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#16 Post by netravelr » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:55 am

NeonCowboy wrote:
NeonCowboy wrote: 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.
netravelr wrote: 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.
I was in a very similar position recently while working on my game, but in the end I felt like the gain wasn't worth the damage, and after I took the plunge I definitely found it was the right decision.

When I asked myself why I really wanted my character to be such a 'Man X' type, I realized that the answer was really only that I wanted to make him more sympathetic - ironically, this was exactly what I was preventing by failing to define him and the people in his life with just enough precision to make it clear who they are without it becoming burdensome.

Here's an idea: Maybe their character art is one image of the two of them together... It will save screen space, and it will have a subtle effect of reinforcing their characters as inseparable, for better or for worse. It informs how the MC views them, supports the inherent tension that you talk about with dad having no choice but to go along with mom once her mind is made, gives a contrasting sense of dread and hope for what may be in the wings for the MC and Emily, etc.
I'll keep that in mind, thanks for the idea!
CheeryMoya wrote:I-I feel bad if I'm the only person who expected more. I mean, I knew this was only the first chapter and I was waiting to get sad at the fact I probably wouldn't be able to buy the second part of the game, but... that didn't happen? The game felt like it ended abruptly and without much of an incentive to buy the second half to resolve things.
No worries, I'm glad to hear all sorts of feedback, after all we want to create the best game possible and make you feel you're getting the best bang for your buck.
CheeryMoya wrote:I think it was mainly due to the quality of the writing. I was expecting something like a VN version of Good Eats or something with the characters going on long spiels about how great the combination of these two ingredients are, the difference that occurs when you substitute margarine for butter, how using canned or dry ingredients compares to fresh stuff, etc. You know, that kind of thing only food geeks would notice and get really fired up over.
That would be really cool, and I'm totally a huge fan of Alton Brown. For the most part, my focus for the second game is on letting the player be able to create whatever restaurant they want without needing a degree to do so.
CheeryMoya wrote:Instead, I got Wacky College Life Adventures: The Game (Also Bad Pizza). Yes, you have your story. Chris (whom I did name something else)
That made me laugh so hard.
CheeryMoya wrote:is rebelling against his parents by pursuing his dream of running a restaurant, and he hangs out with his friends along the way. Also snags himself a cute girlfriend.
Then they break up over their differences.
By itself that's not bad, but the way it was executed wasn't anything remarkable. I could replace their major with anything else and it wouldn't affect the story much. There were plenty of times when the narration felt shoehorned in for the sake of increasing wordcount and towards the end there are a lot of typos. "Noone" for example, and then there's some spaces between the quotation mark and the text, even an extra quotation mark just for kicks. Minor grammatical errors aside, the characters were just too distant to sympathize with.
Here's Paul your friend and he's a cool guy, had a girlfriend, lost his girl, doing all right but still trying to get over the break-up. Here's Emily your cute lab partner. She wants to do something different. Other than that I don't know. Lisa really didn't get enough screen time, but her ideas about romance are meh. I'm really sad I didn't get to interact with Professor Silver :C
If that's how the characters are, that's totally fine; what didn't happen is depth though. All the characters felt flat for me and they changed topics on a dime as if they were trying to stall for time. They talk about one thing and suddenly they get into arguments, and they're all pretty stubborn. It's like they don't really hear each other to begin with.
The narration was also kinda meh. Instead of going into how the MC thought about stuff, we get "I ruffled her hair" kind of stuff the majority of the time. Actions, and not enough thought. Sometimes it felt redundant, like "He looks at me with a frown" because I can already see that in the sprite. I know you wanted to make it so the MC wasn't defined and the player could step into the game, but I dunno :/
Random thing: Thanksgiving with the parents pissed me off a lot, and if that was the intention then it really worked. They were coming on really strong with all that "Emily will be your wife and stay home because women shouldn't work and they need to take care of the family" speech.
So for the most part the only thing you didn't like was the writing per say. I know the writer is pursuing these as well, so I'm sure she'll be keeping this feedback in mind as she continues to write. And yes, the parents being parents was intentional. :-P
All in all, it wasn't bad per se but it wasn't what I was expecting from a game with a culinary setting. I'd need a demo of the Hands in the Kitchen to convince me to buy it as if I could in the first place, when am I ever going to get a PayPal? Are you going to get extra poses for the sprites? It'd be sweet to get an updated version of this later if there is.
I've asked the artist about doing a lot more art, and hopefully she'll be up to doing more poses. In terms of a demo, right now this is my plan of what to offer (could change) but I will have videos of what the game play is like and may release a demo of sorts of just the gameplay parts without story, but we'll see how that goes.

Thanks so much for your feedback, I'd still love to hear from more people if they're willing. I can't make the game better or know what I should keep doing unless I hear. :-)
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#17 Post by natsumijam~ » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:15 pm

Congrats on your release!
The art and the interface looks good.^^
I will play this and will review it on my blog. :)

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#18 Post by netravelr » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:18 am

natsumijam~ wrote:Congrats on your release!
The art and the interface looks good.^^
I will play this and will review it on my blog. :)
Can't wait to read it! Please share the link when it's ready!
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#19 Post by sake-bento » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:19 pm

For the parents' sprites (which I did find a little weird to not have on screen), you could try for silhouettes? A lot of the less important characters in RockRobin were represented by expressive silhouettes. It gave the character presence, but allowed the player to fill in whatever details they wanted to.

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#20 Post by LieselSolo » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:13 am

I've played it once so far and I got the ending
where you break up with Emily.
The artwork is nice and there's some good use of zooming in and out. The time-jumps gave me whiplash sometimes. I thought you'd get to go through the process of restaurant planning, but then all of a sudden you finished the class, then all of a sudden it's Thanksgiving, then you graduate, etc. It felt like everything was on fast-forward. I would have also liked more choices.

Plus,
Emily's character seemed REALLY inconsistent. She seemed like this really understanding person for most of the game, then suddenly towards the end she's making wild accusations and expecting your parents to pay for everything and practically going off the deep end. I assume there's a better ending with her, but still, she seemed to turn into a completely different person for no apparant reason.
The game also ended really abruptly. I know it's the first chapter in a series, but I think you could have made it a little smoother.

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#21 Post by netravelr » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:36 am

sake-bento wrote:For the parents' sprites (which I did find a little weird to not have on screen), you could try for silhouettes? A lot of the less important characters in RockRobin were represented by expressive silhouettes. It gave the character presence, but allowed the player to fill in whatever details they wanted to.
That's a good idea! I'll see what we can do on that end.
LieselSolo wrote:I've played it once so far and I got the ending
where you break up with Emily.
The artwork is nice and there's some good use of zooming in and out. The time-jumps gave me whiplash sometimes. I thought you'd get to go through the process of restaurant planning, but then all of a sudden you finished the class, then all of a sudden it's Thanksgiving, then you graduate, etc. It felt like everything was on fast-forward. I would have also liked more choices.

Plus,
Emily's character seemed REALLY inconsistent. She seemed like this really understanding person for most of the game, then suddenly towards the end she's making wild accusations and expecting your parents to pay for everything and practically going off the deep end. I assume there's a better ending with her, but still, she seemed to turn into a completely different person for no apparant reason.
The game also ended really abruptly. I know it's the first chapter in a series, but I think you could have made it a little smoother.
Thanks for the feedback, I understand how you feel. I think most of your concerns will will be addressed in the next section, as that's when the restaurant planning begins and you'll have more opportunities to interact with whoever you want.
If you never argued with Emily beforehand, it is noted that it felt like it was coming out of left field. Also, it's not possible to get a "good" ending with Emily yet, but the full game will allow you to.
.

Thanks again, I think this should help out a lot!
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#22 Post by Nisey » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:11 am

I've actually been looking forward to this for a while, ecstatic to see that it's finally been released! Now just for Love At the Laundrymat, hehe... will download shortly. Thank you! :o

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#23 Post by Blane Doyle » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:35 am

I seem to be having a problem downloading this game. I keep getting a "The connection to bit.ly was interrupted." error for both Windows versions. I was looking forward to trying this out too...

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#24 Post by PyTom » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:59 pm

bit.ly has been having problems today.
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#25 Post by netravelr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:37 pm

Nisey wrote:I've actually been looking forward to this for a while, ecstatic to see that it's finally been released! Now just for Love At the Laundrymat, hehe... will download shortly. Thank you! :o
Thanks for downloading! Let me know what you think!
Blane Doyle wrote:I seem to be having a problem downloading this game. I keep getting a "The connection to bit.ly was interrupted." error for both Windows versions. I was looking forward to trying this out too...
Blane Doyle wrote:I seem to be having a problem downloading this game. I keep getting a "The connection to bit.ly was interrupted." error for both Windows versions. I was looking forward to trying this out too...
Hmmm. Interesting. I think it should be working now though. Let me know if there are any other problems!
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#26 Post by KashyaCharsi » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:53 pm

The female characters were pretty obnoxious.
I missed a choice in the breakup scene to say "sweetheart, you may think I want to apply such an elaborate and wasteful way to get rid of you instead of a simple breakup, but if I want to accuse you, you sounded like a gold digger, trying to seduce my parents' money out of me" :evil:
Oh, and a gay option would have been good, since Paul was so likeable and lonely.

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#27 Post by netravelr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:39 am

KashyaCharsi wrote:The female characters were pretty obnoxious.
I missed a choice in the breakup scene to say "sweetheart, you may think I want to apply such an elaborate and wasteful way to get rid of you instead of a simple breakup, but if I want to accuse you, you sounded like a gold digger, trying to seduce my parents' money out of me" :evil:
Oh, and a gay option would have been good, since Paul was so likeable and lonely.
Thanks for trying out the game. I didn't mean for them to come off that way. I'd love to hear your ideas on improving the story in that regard. As for Paul, you'll get your chance to help him from loneliness.
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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#28 Post by KashyaCharsi » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:56 am

My way of thinking is too feminist for the MC's mother, but YMMV. Though I must admit, she was better than the self-absorbed father. My biggest problem were the fights. It would be okay to act a little irrationally now and then, being humans, and getting angry, but those delusional accusations and pure hatred on the women's part was a little too much. Especially if the men behave saintly but still too wisely to become doormats (however admirable they were). I loved that part, watching them being immune to the psycho girlfriends' manipulation, even if they loved them once.

Paul seemed to be a perfect BL base, the best friend who is always there, closer to me than anyone else, having him as a selfless adorer I can nurture to pay back his support. :roll:

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#29 Post by Miyuki » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:23 pm

Haha, well, the ever elusive writer is finally making an appearance to comment on things.

I know that the characters right now might seem a bit prone to random fits of anger and that kind of thing because of all the fights, but the main thing to keep in mind when playing this part of Culina is that this is intended as a prologue. There's enough in it that we felt okay with releasing it on its own but a lot of the deeper character traits won't show up until Hands in the Kitchen :|

I'm working on taking your thoughts into account for the characters. When I was writing The Spirit of Cooking the two main things I wanted to do was 1) Keep the MC from getting too much personality since I'm not sure how much the choices from this part will affect the second part and 2) That things didn't feel dragged out when I wrote about them.

I'm still getting used to writing pieces longer than 1k words (most of my creative writing experience is poetry and short stories) so I really worried about making things seem like I was just filling them in for word count. I guess I'm still looking for the right balance of too much and too little information :P Right now I'm going over my outlines for Hands in the Kitchen and trying to see when I'll need extra scenes so that the characters don't seem so random next time.

As for the BL... Originally, netravelr and I were thinking about having that sort of thing in an expansion, but there's been so much interest in it right now >.< I'm not sure if this is because half the dating options aren't introduced yet or that Paul is the only character who doesn't fight with MC in this release. Dante's social link is causing me a lot of grief at the moment because of all of this x.X

Oh! But in regards to a culinary dictionary for the next game... What kind of terms in this part needed to be defined for you guys? I tried to pick terms that wouldn't be impossible to figure out in context when I first started writing it, but since I spend so much free time watching the Food Network I get lost sometimes when it comes to what is and isn't common terminology. I think a dictionary would be a really cool feature, but I have to make sure that I know what terms need to be in it first!

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Re: Culina: The Spirit of Cooking [BxG][Modern Day]

#30 Post by KashyaCharsi » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:05 pm

The demo is only until the breakup scene, isn't it? Or was it like the Prologue in Ristorante Amore?

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