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Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:42 pm
by papillon

You can probably guess what that's in reference to. :) Not all direct, though. Still, sometimes I wish I could clone myself so I could put out games a little faster... I have so many more ideas to play with!

edit: 80 now. A certain other community that likes anime games has found its way to me. :) So this should provide you guys with reassurance that you really can sell a VN...

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:21 pm
by Guest
BellosTheMighty wrote:...And that's it, all finished. Collected missed endings amongst the other three paths, then ran through the Top path from the start, making a point of building trust with both Randy and Lucy. Not very hard, once you know what you're doing. Of this last collection of endings and outcomes, most were pretty good. Having seen pretty much all of the plot now, I can venture the opinion that it's pretty damn good- as noted before, the many different paths complement each other nicely, so that they all contribute to the overall story. The continuity, however, is not perfect.
One notable problem is that things tend to drop out of the plot without warning. The cellphones are a prominent example- we never find out exactly what was up with them. Another one is Elizabeth, who Papillon tries to develop as a character but who ultimately turns out being little more then a plot device with a pulse. Some of the endings are abrupt, too- the game generally closes up and goes to epilogue after the main conflict is resolved. Most of the time, that's no problem, but a few of the endings- most prominently "Judas Kiss"- demand a bit more. Others just come out of nowhere. "Sacrifice" and "Childhood" are the most egregious offenders- the former just blokes the heroine for no real reason, Whereas the latter is thematically justifiable but massively anticlimactic. And "Fresh start", though consistent with at least Lucy's character, seems thrown in just because it could be.

On the subject of coming out of nowhere, I have to say Katie is another problem. I liked that revelation at first because it revitalized the story- after several playthroughs- by upending the entire basis of it. But in retrospect, that's not necessarily a good thing. For one, by giving the player four major paths, and putting a plot twist of that magnitude along only one of them, you're naturally making each of the other three plotlines sub-optimal. You can work that to your artistic advantage in several ways. The standard is to anoint the path with the twist the "true ending". Another might be to do something like put an equally major but entirely different rug-pull along the other paths, thus ensuring that the hero NEVER knows entirely what's going on. But Papillon didn't really do either, and so it sticks there laughing at the thirteen other variants of Christina for having no clue what the truth is. And it leaves the player wondering how Christina got involved in this anyway- just blind chance?

(It also makes the bad guys look like putzes- they're so convinced that Lucy is the one they're searching for, and then when Bastian tells them no, they kill people to work a major divination with black magic and STILL get the wrong girl...)
I've registered a lot of complaints about the plot, but that's not at all to say I didn't like it- it's just that I frequently find the bad more productive to discuss then the good. Simple ego-stroking is for seducers and fanboys. ^_^ In fact the plot is very well organized- each path plays up a different aspect of the story, yet at the same time they all fit together (with the exception noted above). There are decision points that do nothing or little of significance, but help contribute to the definition of Christina's character. Some people don't like this- they want a more streamlined tale- but I prefer to be made to consider what kind of a person this is that I'm guiding. It's not perfect, but I'm well satisfied.
I agree with you generally, but I didn't have too many complaints about the story, given the scope of the game. In fact, I thought it was a damn sight better than most of the commercial VNs I've played.
The puzzles are a bit of a mixed bag. Most are enjoyable, though I stand firm on my complaints against research puzzles and clues that you have to reload to find again. However, a few are embarrassingly easy, especially near the beginning, and a few others suffer from finicky controls- especially the car chase and the cooking puzzle. Some seem integrated with the story via paper clips- cleaning house, for example, is a fun puzzle but completely irrelevant. Ditto playing Joust with Lucy. The cooking puzzle is not as misplaced as I first thought, but it's tedious and obnoxious. (Also- I've cooked dried pasta, dudette. Many times. It's not that hard. It's actually quite easy. ^_^ )
Ah, now this is was the low point of the game- the puzzles.

Most of them were well behaved, but :
-It wasn't clear in the car chase puzzle where the exit was.
-I agree with your comments on the safe cracking puzzle.
-I broke the piggy bank puzzle and had to restart. I somehow managed to jam the hook and the money near the slot at such an angle that the collision detection was going off like a machine gun (don't ask me how I managed this).

The two puzzles that really got me, was the flour measuring and the magic sign.

You're supposed to put 1 2/3 cup of flour into a bowl. You have a 300ml cup and an 800ml cup.
First question: "1 2/3 of which cup?" I guessed the first one, as 1 2/3 of an 800ml cup did seem like rather excessive quanitity. Easy, eh? 1 2/3 of a 300ml cup is 500ml, so you just fill the 800ml cup, put it in the bowl and then just fill the 300ml cup out of the 800ml in the bowl.

Not quite. Put 800ml in the bowl, and it says you've put too much in. So how's it done? I had to hit the walkthrough and it would seem that I was barking up the wrong tree.

A "cup" is actually a unit of measurement, 236.5ml. I'm not a cook, and according to wikipedia "The cup is not commonly used in the United Kingdom", so I found this puzzle a little unfair.

As for the magic sign (where you have to draw the magic sign in the air, like a "less-than" sign; not a particularly complicated one in other words), this one annoyed me so much that I quit and decided to follow a different story arc just to avoid it. I just couldn't do it. Okay, I was using a touchpad, although arguably that should have made it easier rather than harder.
The graphics are generally good, but as noted previously not all of them fit together just right. Dan River's work is excellent but a little "off"- It has more of a Superhero-comic vibe then the animesque style the other artists were shooting for, and so it doesn't really gel with the others- look at ending 14, "Crossfire", and compare with the similar ending 13, "Judas Kiss", and you'll see exactly what I mean. Yuna Kamizuki's paintings clash even more severely- though gorgeously human and emotive, stylistically they seem to be from an entirely different game. But being as so many would-be VN tycoons have trouble finding ONE good artist, I suppose it can't really be helped.
Oh I don't know, I thought the different styles added something special to the game. I can't fault the artwork itself. I suppose it's down to personal preference more than anything else.

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:55 pm
by papillon
About cups and mL - I know the cup is not commonly used in the UK. That's actually part of how this puzzle came about... You see, this sort of measuring puzzle in games usually feels quite arbitrary. People tend to have measuring devices tuned to the uses they have for them. Having to pour things back and forth to get the right amounts tends to feel silly most of the times that I've encountered it - why wouldn't they have the right tools available?

However, as a born-American now living in the UK, I was indeed faced with annoying cooking puzzles trying to translate some of my recipes into things that my mother-in-law's kitchen, which is NOT calibrated for cups, could handle. :) So I could see someone finding mL measuring devices when the normal tools were dirty and being a little confused by them. Any American trying to solve this puzzle first had to figure out how cups translate into mL. (luckily, google is very handy with this.)

IIRC the text indicates that the measuring 'jars' are not cups. But yes, I can see how this might not have been clear to someone who hasn't seen American recipes.

Anyway, the game has been selling well and is starting to leak out to a few more sales points. A review just went up today: ... eview.html

Part of it that this crowd might appreciate:

"I found it best to think of Fatal Hearts as less of a game and more of an interactive novel with some great descriptive passages, cool illustrations, well-placed sound effects and atmospheric music. And the best part is that you can read it over and over again and it's never the same twice."

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:10 pm
by Jake
papillon wrote:About cups and mL - I know the cup is not commonly used in the UK.
I find this kind of curious, since I'm English-born, and I have a relatively instinctive understanding of how much a 'cup' is... I've always considered them part and parcel of the old-Imperial way of measuring things. I don't like them, since I was brought up thoroughly metric, but I didn't ever think of them as particularly unusual or foreign...

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:27 am
by papillon
For anyone who wants to play and doesn't want to pay, I present a holiday fanart contest! :)

Play the demo, then draw pictures of the characters celebrating the holidays and you might win a free copy.

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:31 am
by Hotlips
I'm stuck, with the dead girl and police game.
Can you help me please?


Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:15 am
by papillon

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:34 am
by Julia109
Try this link for any problems with the game: ... e_id&3191/ :D

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:35 am
by denzil
Fatal Hearts are now available on Giveaway of the Day so you can get it for free. The offer is time-limited so don't wait if you want to get the full version.

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:20 am
by Samu-kun
Ah really? Was Papillion able to reach some sort of a deal with them? ^_^

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:36 am
by MoonlightBomber
Finally, I now have the chance to get the full game. Not having a credit card yet and being in the Philippines certainly barred me from getting it, but thanks to the guys at the Free Giveaway of the Day and I can breathe easy.

I'm also awaiting for the answer to the question Samu-kun asked just now.

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:44 am
by mikey
Got it. A nice present for Easter. :D

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:25 am
by papillon
Yes, I made arrangements with them. Hopefully they will actually pay me what they're supposed to. :)

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:15 pm
by Radhreni
I did a double take when I saw FH up on Game Giveaway of the Day this morning. Thanks, Papillon!

(Even happier to hear there's remuneration. I'd wondered about that...)

Re: Fatal Hearts

Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:33 pm
by Vatina
Ah, so you do get compensation? Then I feel better about taking it for free :P