Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

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Aashtarsrain
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Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#1 Post by Aashtarsrain » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:33 pm

Truce for a Moment is a short (20 mn) dark post-apocalyptic underwater war "huis-clos" about choices, memories and betrayal :wink: with a twist... or maybe two ! :lol: And It's been made between March 1st and... tonight ! (pictures, tips and download links below)

subwar2bis.jpg
cockpitavantfull.jpg
noriaendef.jpg


WHAT TO EXPECT :wink:

- 3D CGs and characters
- dark sci-fi story (16+, adult themes)
- mini-mini-games using numbers, letters and... a French voice (mine) though the game is in English of course. (NEW ! Tips : For the minigame with the colours in French, use this site with the words and their pronunciations http://french.about.com/library/begin/bl_colors.htm ).
- some hypnotic music
- picture galleries

DON'T EXPECT :oops:

- moe girls, fanservice nor hentai (only a couple of naked shoulders maybe :lol: ), light and fluffy stuff (Edit : I have nothing against those, but next time maybe :wink: )


Only half of what was planned made it, but it's complete as it is and that's the best I could do in one month from scratch !!!
I hope you will like it !
The windows xp version has been successfully tested on several different computers, but Mac and Linux versions are available too, plus another Windows download on rapidshare.

http://rapidshare.com/files/215860226/Truce_for_a_moment.zip
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Last edited by Aashtarsrain on Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:27 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#2 Post by Taleweaver » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:21 pm

Ha, first!

The good:
The mood. Everything is SF as I like it - dark, gritty and cold. The graphics work nicely in that context, the music even more so, and the narrative draws you into that special "future war atmosphere". Really impressive!

The bad:
The same game with very minor changes for both characters? Meh. Plus, after the first run, the surprise was spoiled.


The ugly:
The intro sequence keeps repeating each time you access the main menu, even when coming from the Preferences. You can skip it early, yes, but why force the additional skip when you can just auto-skip it and keep a main menu slot for "Replay intro"?

All in all: a VN with a very unusual setting and mood. Definitely an interesting ride.
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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#3 Post by BCS » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:58 pm

Sounds like fun. I want to give this a spin.

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#4 Post by DaFool » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:44 pm

Very intriguing, if a tad a bit frustrating. :D

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#5 Post by papillon » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:11 pm

Overall atmosphere and polish, music, visual effects and so on are great... lots of neat stuff making the game feel like a unique entity.

The puzzle bits varied a lot in difficulty. The math stuff was easy (to me), but I suck at word scrambles and didn't even TRY to do ones longer than 5 letters. No amount of watching Countdown has ever gotten through to me, I jumped straight to a webpage for solving such things. The last puzzle
was quite difficult even though I *do* speak French (a bit). The distorted voice was quite hard to make out, and at least a few times I swear it was saying a color that wasn't even on the panel. Since this one can't be cheated by looking up the answer, and not everyone speaks French, and not everyone may even realise this IS French, it might be slightly unfair. I got an AWFUL lot wrong before I could finally get past it. Does it ever eventually recognise when the player is hopeless?


As for the plot, at least on my first playthrough, the elements didn't quite all gel together by the end. Some of the character revelations, I didn't understand even IN the ending, and others were introduced too late in the story for them to have the right emotional impact, IMO. I would have liked to get to know the other characters a bit more at the beginning.

Anyway, thanks for making it!

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#6 Post by Aashtarsrain » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:37 am

:D Thanks to all for playing it, for the kind and instructive comments and essential feedback !!!

The same game with very minor changes for both characters? Meh. Plus, after the first run, the surprise was spoiled.

Thanks a lot Taleweaver for the "Good/Bad/Ugly" review :D Actually, when I first imagined the story, the hero was definitely supposed to be a man and the game would be played only from his point of view, but I thought it would add some replay value to play it as a woman too with another ending and more pictures to unlock in the gallery. But yes, you're so right when you say
the surprise was spoiled for the second playthrough!


As I wrote before, more than half of what was planned for the final version of the game was left out beause of the deadline and that includes more scenes
with the characters on board, more memories from the past and different dialogues and side-stories
.

Maybe that was too ambitious for a NaNORenO game ! I must confess I write very slowly in English and not, by far, as skillfully as I can sometimes achieve in my own language (which is quite normal, but quite a drawback actually in that case...) :oops:

That also explains a lot of what Papillon has perceived, too many parts of the narrative were not ready for release so I guess it changed the pace of the events which may not have been for the best.

At the end of credits, I announce the release of a complete Long Director's cut Version for this summer !

The intro sequence keeps repeating each time you access the main menu

Yes, I will fix this in the Long version. :idea:

Papillon, thanks for the feedback concerning the mini-games cause that's something I can't really anticipate and which is essential to know.
Indeed, I was looking for something original and not too easy (but that could be done in this Internet age with a little research
because earlier on, the enemy "writes" French and that can be looked for and give an hint, especially for something as simple as colours
) for the last puzzle, but I had no time to elaborate on the concept...
I must admit it's quite experimental and I'll have to reconsider a few things and improve it :lol:
Does it ever eventually recognise when the player is hopeless?
Hum... The answer to that question is... no :mrgreen: (for the moment !)

In a nutshell, this game chose me more than I chose it :lol: :lol: :lol: I had to do it !!! Now that it's been released, I feel relieved and I might even start thinking of putting more effort into the narrative itself rather than in the effects and even... draw eventually. :wink:

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#7 Post by usul » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:53 am

Just finished playing.

What I liked:

The graphics looks good, if a little overly flashy at times around the text bar. I really appreciated the variety of images on screen and the pace (most VNs stay on one image for a long time while you're reading the text). I like the work that's been put in to animating the background even if its only sliding a static image it still works.


What I didn't like:

The story. I felt there was just very little to get me interested in the characters. It's sort of the flip side of other VNs where the visual narrative lacks but the texts pulls you in to the story. In this one the visuals keep you in despite the lack or real depth to the characters. I would have changed the pace from time to time, it seems the whole game/story you are on high alert.


Also the puzzles surprised me. The math was easy, the anagrams got me to open a web page to go on and despite speaking french I had a hard time hearing what the color was and a lot of the times the colors weren't even right on my screen.


On the screen where all the ships float in space, I would have added some farther in the distance and other closer to give it more depth.

I hope you do another VN soon. If you put as much effort in the story as you do in the visuals I think you could have a really good game.
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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#8 Post by papillon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:41 am

(about that puzzle)

Yes, there is French shown earlier on, but I can't recall if the word French is actually used or just Crypto-Gallic. :) Which means that a player who speaks no French whatsoever may not recognise that what they're seeing is French, potentially. Also, if you don't speak French, then even if you look up the names of the colors you may not know how to pronounce them. My suggestion would be to have subtitles that can be enabled, either as a free-choice option or automatically if the player clearly totally sucks at guessing. One or two letters could be missing from the subtitled word to represent the bad connection - 'j*une', etc - and then people who look up the names of colors in French could get through it.

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#9 Post by Aashtarsrain » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:45 pm

The story. I felt there was just very little to get me interested in the characters. It's sort of the flip side of other VNs where the visual narrative lacks but the texts pulls you in to the story. In this one the visuals keep you in despite the lack or real depth to the characters. I would have changed the pace from time to time, it seems the whole game/story you are on high alert.


:D Well, I should really write in my own language next time and about more lovable characters than these ones (can you really love them when you know the truth :mrgreen: ?). The "high alert" pace was intended for the tension of the story and the deadline in the plot. But that could change in the final version. Thanks for your nice comments. :D

To Papillon :
Yes, there is French shown earlier on, but I can't recall if the word French is actually used or just Crypto-Gallic. Which means that a player who speaks no French whatsoever may not recognise that what they're seeing is French, potentially. Also, if you don't speak French, then even if you look up the names of the colors you may not know how to pronounce them. My suggestion would be to have subtitles that can be enabled, either as a free-choice option or automatically if the player clearly totally sucks at guessing. One or two letters could be missing from the subtitled word to represent the bad connection - 'j*une', etc - and then people who look up the names of colors in French could get through it.

:lol:
Maybe I like the challenge of a little guessing more than I should :wink: ... Your suggestion of optional subtitles is a great one and I will certainly use this for the final version... with a complete rebuild of the mini-game. Maybe I should post a version with optional mini-games actually 'cause I see it's not everybody's cup of tea (at least the way I set them :lol: ) :D Thanks again for the feedback, and I must add that I really love your works !

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#10 Post by BCS » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:18 am

Um, I just started this for good and I haven't read the above posts because I don't want to spoil myself. It's insanely stylish, but it kind of drops it for me with the realistic renders. I just can't get past "uncanny valley" rather— the characters aren't real enough. But that's a problem with any humanoid render that isn't toon and can take a long time to figure out how to overcome it. I know it's not something you can fix, so don't sweat it ...

Haha, I had to give up at the point in the game already with a series of numbers and it's just the beginning. I just can't do math this late at night on a timer. Can someone help me? I thought the answer was 60. :/

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#11 Post by Wintermoon » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:12 am

Let's see...

Artwork is good for the most part, except for the characters, who look freaky.

Scrolling backgrounds that periodically snap back are annoying.

The puzzle mini-games were annoying and badly out of place. Especially the word scramble. Thankfully the last puzzle doesn't reset when you make a mistake, so I was able to get through by persistence.

The writing was... clearly not by a native English speaker, and badly in need of proofreading.

As for the story, it worked up to a point, and even managed to effectively set the mood. Then the ending comes out of nowhere and ruins it.

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#12 Post by Aashtarsrain » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:24 pm

I already explained a lot of things in previous posts, but anyway...

except for the characters, who look freaky

:mrgreen: Yes, of course, I hope so ! But next time I'm going to draw, and it's going to be worse :lol:

so I was able to get through by persistence

:wink: That's the spirit !

badly out of place

I don't think so, but I respect your point of view.

The writing was... clearly not by a native English speaker, and badly in need of proofreading

:lol: :lol: Well, that's the funny part. And I always love a little teasing :wink: .

Then the ending comes out of nowhere

Well, absolutely not :mrgreen: But I can improve this even more, that's a good point.

Thanks for the feedback !

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#13 Post by BCS » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:54 pm

What feedback? :P

There was nothing helpful, unless you redo the whole thing in the style he prefers...

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#14 Post by Lachesis » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:26 pm

Seems the sound is not working. How do I solve the colour puzzle without sound? ^^°

Edit: nevermind, hacked renpy to display the name of the sound file being played as a basic "subtitle" =)

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Re: Truce for a Moment (NaNoRenO 09)

#15 Post by Aashtarsrain » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:53 am

Thanks for playing ! :D It's supposed to be working though. Which version are you using (I was able to test only the Windows one back then) ?

EDIT redownloaded it today on my brand new computer with Windows 7 and it works perfectly for me. Maybe I should add that sound debug command in the script... I'm thinking of reworking this as initially planned with extra content, more branches and transitions, and maybe new endings with some kind of sequels... :wink:

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