Thank you so very much for taking the time to review my game!
Tatty wrote:So, first thing's first. This plays fast and loose with the Firebird in a way that some people who are looking solely for an adoption of the ballet might not expect.
My personal opinion was that the ballet didn't tell enough of the tale. There should have been a wolf, at the very least!
Tatty wrote:...I salute this, as that is what fairytales are; my own grandmother told me stories that vary drastically from the ones I devour in books. And none are wrong, or even in competition; they are simply stories, set a long time ago in old Russia - when all the little gods might still have been listening.
You never know, the little gods may be listening still.
-- Which is why I worked so hard to keep the story as close to the old tales as possible. Just because we don't notice them doesn't mean that they are not there.
Tatty wrote:The art is fantastic. The combination of original work and the older works is something I'd love to see done more often - with the same amount of skill, that is! - and one way I've been musing over doing stuff myself.
-- I really wanted to make the characters closer to Bilibin's style, but my skill isn't quite up to snuff, yet.
Tatty wrote:Backgrounds are rich and vivid, character animation is lively and amusing, and of course, the ability to nerd out and recognize things wasn't half-bad either. To say nothing of seeing classic costumes from a by-gone time!
I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the mix of old and new. I really enjoy bright colors and vivid patterns so the old Russian style was a lot of fun to play with.
Tatty wrote:Character-wise.... Ivanushka, Ivanushka, Ivanushka! I couldn't get over how perfectly you wrote this fool. Of course, he's so foolish he's almost pretty wise - but I suppose that's the lot in life of one such as him.
I always felt that Ivan was never as foolish as the people around him seemed to think he was.
Tatty wrote:Elena was also fantastic and reminded me very much of Vasilisa in Alexander Nevsky (the film); how long-suffering she must be to put up with Ivan, but then again, in her wisdom was just enough foolishness to enjoy life, I think.
The classic heroine; Vasilisa the Wise was Elena's model! Unfortunately, I haven't run across many stories about her. Anyway... I just didn't want my 'princess' to a Prize, I wanted her to be a person
with her own ideas and goals in life.
Tatty wrote:As for Ivan's brothers, villains the lot of them! Hopefully they'll reflect on their ways, but -
They'll have plenty of time in Baba Yaga's ovens to think on their crimes.
Sound and music were fantastic (obviously, with the choice of music! Though I noticed a rather... Familiarly unfamiliar song during Dolmat's feast.
I'm just glad matters didn't unfold like so.
When I saw that The Firebird
ballet's music was 'public domain' I snatched it up right away, but I just couldn't help adding that 'other' piece of classic Russian music specifically because it had been used in a very classic game.
Tatty wrote:...the story was satisfying; the alternative ends ranging from humorous to melancholic, as appropriate for a fairytale. The proper ending felt wonderfully well-earned, though, ... - not quite bloody enough. xD
I know, I know... I just couldn't figure out a way to make proper fight scenes to give it the blood it needed. I am however, working on a way to do just that.
Tatty wrote:What you did with Baba Yaga was absolutely perfect - I felt it was a wonderful tip of the hat to the trend of witches being a source of wisdom and adventure in the oldest chronicles, Baba Yaga herself being a creature of caprice, and finally her appearance by actors in relatively recent films. Her dry wit and constant observations, the nod to her multi-purpose oven, just perfect.
Baba Yaga has always been a favorite Russian character of mine. While she is cranky and rather blood-thirsty -- literally, she's always shown a core of kindness for those in real trouble. Besides, you can't have an Ivan tale without her.
...although he didn't get quite as much time or development, I grew quite fond of suffering-in-silence
who felt so at home upon the steppes and went through so much.
Sadly, there just wasn't enough room to develop him as a person, not without taking time away from the main story.
Tatty wrote:...there's really only one thing I can figure, and that is if you do future dungeon-crawlers/mazes, perhaps binding movement to WASD, the arrow keys, or numpad. This maze was hardly long enough to warrant it (and quite fun, apparently our princelings have no taste in old-school gaming!), but it might be something to keep in mind.
I just couldn't figure out the code to do so. My apologies...
In short, since I've rambled far longer then intentional - it's charming and refreshing and heart-warming to see others take a look at old tales, all the more so to see them done right.
I loved the Adventures of Prince Ivan; thank you for sharing it with us.
Thank you so much for doing such a thorough review! I truly do appreciate the time and effort you put into it. I shall take your tips to heart and see what kind of improvements I can make on the next game I create.