Yo Sasquatchii. Finally got around to playing this. First off, the questionaire:
1. Did the game make you laugh or smile?
The storytelling not so much, but the visuals did. The bread face is adorable.
2. What did you think about the voice acting?
Was fine, but it suffers a little from an emphasis problem. Ever since I saw the video where Ira Glass
talks about amateur voice actors and reporters underlining every third word or so, I find that I spot it very easily now.
3. Did you play more than once? If yes, how many times?
Enough to see everything.
4. What were your first impressions on the art style?
It's nice! I guess it's expected, but the UI/design is cohesive and slick (and cute).
5. Was anything in the story confusing or weird? & 6. What ending(s) did you get? How did the ending(s) make you feel?
All of them. No particular feelings, though I guess it's mostly because of the role-playing thing. The bread either doesn't have personality or acts in very strange ways. The disparity between choice prompts and what happens in the actual branches is also strange and follows a mostly random approach, which I find hard to care for as a reader. Also might be me but I find "go left/right" options to be incredibly uninteresting, as they do absolutely nothing to influence your decision-making and are essentially a coin toss.
7. & 8. Do you have any other critique/feedback/suggestions for me?
Alright, the second part, here we go:
- Please for the love of goodness convert your audio files to ogg. Out of the entire game which is 165MB, 137 MB is just audio files. That is crazy. There's even a 72 MB Flac, aaaaaaaahh!! /o\
Get Audacity, open up each track individually on it, and then save as .ogg. Try this out and then gasp at the size reduction. This is industry standard for a good reason.
- Your bird ambience track is 6m37s long, which is several times longer than it needs to be. You shouldn't need more than a one or two minute looped ambience track to get a totally natural background atmosphere. You can also use Audacity to loop tracks.
- The first audio track that plays in the game, when you're revealed to be a piece of bread, is much too loud. Even putting the narrator volume 15% louder than the BGM volume, it's still kinda muffled by the music. I'd suggest in cases like this you artificially lower the volume of a track (once again Audacity can do this. Or you can put it in a separate renpy audio channel and reduce the volume of that).
- I am not sure if you grabbed existing tracks or had someone custom make them, but if its the latter you should have asked for a perfect looped files. Unlooped files are very jarring when looped and just give an air of laziness, in my opinion. The aforementioned track suffers from this.
- Change the default text speed to not be 100%/instant. I assume since you give the option that it wasn't intended to be instant. Personal preference but I enjoy default text speed to be at around 85% or so. It gives me enough time to see the animation, but it's not so slow that I feel like I'm waiting for text to scroll.
- Allow players to back out of menus with the standard visual novel command for that - the right click. You can achieve this with a "key "game_menu" action Return()" line inside screens code.
- "Screw this man, I'm going back inside." What did the man do? And who is this man the bread is talking about? Punctuation please. >:)
- "[...] even equally swanky [...]" ?
- From what I can tell there is absolutely no difference (aside from he/she/they) between assuming that the hotdog cart person is a guy or a girl, or just not deciding (in which case there is an extra scream, but otherwise the same). Did I miss something or is this indeed the case? If so, why? It's so pointless to have this branch cloned three times.
- 3 save slots per screen, especially for how often you're prompted with choices, is a bit too little. I'd say you should contain at least 5 per page. It's just a hassle to have to hop through the pages when working back through saves.
- It's not a problem for people who have played proper visuals novels before and are used to expecting it, but for people who don't know, not having any visual indicator (or instruction) telling you that there's a way to access the menus from in-game is a problem. I believe one playthrough video I saw of it the person didn't even realize it existed. I get that this makes the UI cleaner, but it's still not a good solution.
- How come you're not in the credits screen? :p And yet random people from SFX are. Should be the other way around, no?
Hope that didn't sound too harsh! Congratulations and good job on finishing your first VN. With all the feedback you've gotten, I'll be expecting the second game to be a few notches better. :p