The Present

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chronic-spontaneity
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The Present

#1 Post by chronic-spontaneity » Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:33 am

Aaaah. My head hurts. :shock:

The Present.
'If you don't live your life to the fullest, you don't deserve to live at all.'
A short, 5-minute VN I came up with. More story than interaction.

I'd love to know what people think about it, and how I can improve. Constructive criticism appreciated.
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lordcloudx
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Re: The Present

#2 Post by lordcloudx » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:04 pm

Story: I think the story had a solid beginning, climax and ending, but unfortunately, you cheated on the middle part by not describing the relationship in detail and moving directly into the big revelation; so in the end, the story seems to have tear-jerker potential, but without that essential build-up to the climax scene, which is hinged on the relationship between the protagonist and cheery deji sprite Emily, it was hard for me to feel any real connection with the characters.

Also, the main character seems to be only experiencing a series of events rather than being directly affected by them. The divorce at the beginning didn't really have any significance than to sort of make a character profile for the protagonist and it didn't seem to have anything to do with his relationship to cheery deji sprite Emily except for a few brief mentions of the divorce just to remind us how sucky his life at home really is.

Technical Issues: The free graphics don't really work very well, in my opinion, since there's no consistency to them. The art style varies too greatly in both the backgrounds and the character sprites that in the end, this VN could have done better by leaving out the graphics altogether or going with just consistently filtered backgrounds.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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DrakeNavarone
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Re: The Present

#3 Post by DrakeNavarone » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:24 pm

lordcloudx wrote:Technical Issues: The free graphics don't really work very well, in my opinion, since there's no consistency to them. The art style varies too greatly in both the backgrounds and the character sprites that in the end, this VN could have done better by leaving out the graphics altogether or going with just consistently filtered backgrounds.
This is where I have to completely disagree. Sure, there IS a disharmony amongst the sprites, and one can easily argue the appropriateness of the mother sprite... a little too much perhaps, for such an innocent story... but this is in fact the piece's most endearing aspect.

In a culture now so focused on custom this and original that, the drive to actually complete something, disharmony and cohesiveness be damned, is really refreshing, thanks to its now uncommonness... Other creators might bark at you for this, but you have my admiration at least... pushing something out the door is a huge improvement over those bragging about the infinite polishing their works undergo while all they really do is sand down their monument into a pebble...

You do have a lot of room for improvement, but that's hardly a negative. And you've already taken two huge first steps --- Getting that all-important first game done and showing the proper "get done" spirit. Congrats on your first, and good luck with your future endeavors!
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chronic-spontaneity
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Re: The Present

#4 Post by chronic-spontaneity » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:14 pm

lordcloudx: Thanks for the advice. The Present was, from the beginning, meant to be a short and simple project, to see what I could do with Ren'Py. I'll be sure to remember what you said to improve next time. as for the techinical issues, I'm waiting for my more artistically-oriented friend to get back from China, but grew impatient. :oops:

DrakeNavarone: Thank you for your comments. :D
You do have a lot of room for improvement, but that's hardly a negative.
If you don't mind answering, could you point out what else I need to improve?

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Wintermoon
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Re: The Present

#5 Post by Wintermoon » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:43 am

I didn't like this story at all. I can't really say anything good about it, but I can be specific about what I disliked.

The inconsistent art style annoyed me.

The bad ending annoyed me more. Peter sinks into depression because he misses the one chance to talk to the one person who can rescue him? How pathetic can you get? Why can't he find or make his own happiness?

Overall the story really failed to connect with me emotionally. Partly because it is so short, but mostly because the emotional impact of the events isn't shown. For example, why does Peter even care that his parents are getting divorced? Or rather, shouldn't he be glad that the fighting is going to stop?

But most of all, what annoyed was the horrible clichéd pun referenced by the title.

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Aashtarsrain
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Re: The Present

#6 Post by Aashtarsrain » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:25 pm

Well, it's short but it moved me and I got interested in the characters very easily. Maybe the themes rang a bell somehow...
For example, why does Peter even care that his parents are getting divorced?
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Yeaaaah, why ? :lol:
Why can't he find or make his own happiness?
Because... because... it's Chronic's story, not yours... You can imagine different endings and not necessarily think it's a flaw if they're not in the game...
But most of all, what annoyed was the horrible clichéd pun referenced by the title.
:roll: I think it's a great appropriate and meaningful title.

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carosene
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Re: The Present

#7 Post by carosene » Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:35 pm

Hey, nice little story, thanks for making it. The "Oh my gosh, when he was so pissed off she was happy meanwhile dying of cancer!" moment is great. The different sprites didn't bother me too much. If you sat down and wrote out more into their relationship instead of just summarizing it, I think the impact of the story could be increased.
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