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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:02 am 
Writing Maniac
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 3290
Location: Germany
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Twitter: @TallTalesVN
First of all, thanks for the in-depth comment; I very much appreciate the time you took, and I am glad that you pulled no punches.
delta wrote:
* The art... well. The style doesn't fit. And the mismatch does not work for me as an effect at all, and the mood is there in spite of the art, not because of it (mostly, as said above, due to the music). Not much more to say apart from that I think that yes, it's good on its own, yes, you get used to it, but it would still have been better with another style. Apart from that, there are a couple of things that are not a matter of taste, even disregarding that the backgrounds will change (because they obviously clash in terms of look and perspective); for example, some sprites are drawn in completely different perspectives. Compare Danny and Julius.

You might want to reconsider your judgement on the art once it's complete, i.e. once everything is made to look good together. Much of the mismatch still comes from me releasing the game early, and it's LVUER's first attempt at art for a game. Maybe I should have aspired for more professionalism and a more professional look here.
delta wrote:
* The game is ridiculously hard. No, seriously. I think the whole binary tree has exactly ONE path that gets you the true end, and the choices are not obvious at all. I really do believe you're trying to be too clever here, what is apparent to you may not be so to most other people. Yes, it makes some sense, but only in hindsight, really. I only managed to beat it by setting the game into developer mode and tracing the variables, and even THAT does not help much without the hints you dropped in this thread and finally decompiling part of the game logic. I think it does say a lot about your writing that I even bothered with that, but it also says a lot about how hard it is. Not to mention that not getting the true end is totally not trivial, reading it is fundamental to getting the most out of the game, as you surely are aware. You're pretty much locking out a large part of the audience (as evidenced in this thread) for the sake of making some kind of statement.... not a good idea IMO.

I intentionally made The Dreaming much more difficult than my previous VNs, and intentionally so, yes. I wanted to avoid giving you a game where the correct solution is so obvious that people would achieve it during the first playthrough and then never try the other "paths" again. This actually happened in Daemonophilia, and it still leaves a sore taste in my mouth because I put as much effort into the "incorrect" scenes as into the true path.

However, I think the game can be beaten by playing it multiple times, adding up all the clues
especially those that suggest that Julius did something terrible
and then making decisions that support that idea. That will probably lead to Ending 6 in itself; the rest of the choices exist to steer away from an early game over. There's only one truly unfair choice in the game
and that is the need to choose the drawing scene as your first decision
- without it, Julius's condition cannot be therapied even with Gabrielle knowing everything else.
delta wrote:
This leads us nicely to....
* Spoiler territory.
The twist. I saw this one coming from so far away it isn't even funny. I groaned at the thought of a NO GABRIELLE YOU ARE THE HALLUCINATIONS ending about five minutes in, and bam, there it is. To the game's credit, it really leads up its twist well, and in itself the ending is as well-executed as the rest of the writing, but no work exists in a vacuum, and this type of twist is so common that you always expect it. In fact, I think the game would have fared much better with a deliberate anti-twist. This is not at all helped by the fact that the ending is so aggravating to get.

As the Developer's Notes explain, this is a story I've been waiting to tell for a long time. So please excuse me for finally submitting to my heart's desire. :)
delta wrote:
*
Back to the branching, timed choices you have to wait out without any indication that this is the case is really just nasty. So is having choices with no feedback that are extremely important. And DOUBLY so is blocking rollback on those and only those choices.

Yup, these parts were unfair. Intentionally so. This was me being nasty to my players, because I wanted to go beyond telling about a disturbing situation and into actually showing them. "Whoa, the game controls are suddenly different from what they should be. Anything could happen!" I believe it's an important mood setter, that's why I tried it.

delta wrote:
* Using mixed-mode NVL and ADV is fine, but you really should consider clearing the NVL buffer after showing ADV text. It's pretty confusing to see old text again, with no hint that ADV text came in between. Now this could easily be another stylistic choice, but if so, it's not a good one. Also, the NVL text ran off the bottom off the screen in a couple of instances. There's a chance that it's due to the way I ran the game (on OS X with Ren'Py 6.9.3), if so, disregard that.

It isn't. Actually, I wasn't sure about that as well, but I thought "what's the point in using NVL mode if you only have two lines at the top of the page"? So I didn't delete the NVL buffer whenever there were only one or two ADV lines.
delta wrote:
* Seeing how close to completion this is, I really wonder why you would release it nearly, but not quite, finished. It's not like you seem to be open to general suggestions regarding the concept at this point.

Actually, I am. I guess I may be making the game a little easier, or give a few more clues at the choices that are significant for Ending 6.
delta wrote:
* Minor miscellany: The UI is stock. This in itself is okay, but you should at least consider using a different background for main menu screens. Also, I don't really like how easy it is to skip the credits by mistake, in a game where you're going to skip a whole lot due to the number of tries a certain ending will take to get. And there is no "the" Creative Commons License, there are several to choose from; to make sense, you have to specify which one.

Heh, you're the first one to notice the thing with the Creative Commons License. You're right; I need to change that into the same license statement Jamendo uses. As for the UI, I unfortunately suck at Ren'Py - I'm a writer, not a programmer. Also, if you have any advice on how to make the Credits harder to skip (harder, not impossible, though), I'd be happy to hear it.

delta wrote:
But all in all, really quite an excellent piece that could have been among the best OELVNs ever (and to be honest, probably still is). However, somehow this only makes the above flaws all the more disappointing (especially considering some are by design). It's great, but could easily have been much better still.

Well, there's always my next game, so I can still improve, can't I? My next story will be an H release, and after that, I want to do a sequel of either Daemonophilia or The Loyal Kinsman. If you'd like to help on any of these, you're welcome.

_________________
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman

Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming

Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year

Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift

More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira



Last edited by Taleweaver on Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:42 am 
Epitome of Generic
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:59 pm
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Taleweaver wrote:
You might want to reconsider your judgement on the art once it's complete, i.e. once everything is made to look good together. Much of the mismatch still comes from me releasing the game early, and it's LVUER's first attempt at art for a game. Maybe I should have aspired for more professionalism and a more professional look here.

I'll look at it, but I'm sceptical. At best, you can hope to remove most of the wtf factor, but the style will never really take advance of the writing's strength.

Taleweaver wrote:
I intentionally made The Dreaming much more difficult than my previous VNs, and intentionally so, yes. I wanted to avoid giving you a game where the correct solution is so obvious that people would achieve it during the first playthrough and then never try the other "paths" again. This actually happened in Daemonophilia, and it still leaves a sore taste in my mouth because I put as much effort into the "incorrect" scenes as into the true path.

However, I think the game can be beaten by playing it multiple times, adding up all the clues [/spoiler]especially those that suggest that Julius did something terrible[/spoiler] and then making decisions that support that idea. That will probably lead to Ending 6 in itself; the rest of the choices exist to steer away from an early game over. There's only one truly unfair choice in the game
and that is the need to choose the drawing scene as your first decision
- without it, Julius's condition cannot be therapied even with Gabrielle knowing everything else.


Really, you need to change something here. You have many options in addition to just making it easier to achieve by game logic; If you just want to prevent people from ignoring large parts of the game, an enforced ending order (requiring endings 4 and 5 before 6 even becomes available) is much more sensible. Or actually devising some way to show the stats that influence the endings. You probably don't want to use a simple stat bar, but I can imagine that there are several interesting ways to do it visually. Or just ANY kind of feedback, and more hints.

Taleweaver wrote:
As the Developer's Notes explain, this is a story I've been waiting to tell for a long time. So please excuse me for finally submitting to my heart's desire. :)


Not really a problem with the story, but with selling it as a twist in an ending that is practically impossible to reach.

Taleweaver wrote:
Yup, these parts were unfair. Intentionally so. This was me being nasty to my players, because I wanted to go beyond telling about a disturbing situation and into actually showing them. "Whoa, the game controls are suddenly different from what they should be. Anything could happen!" I believe it's an important mood setter, that's why I tried it.


That's all okay and a good thing in theory, but it just isn't balanced due to the ball-busting difficulty. These wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem if you weren't absolutely annoyed once you finally got it (for the ending), or wouldn't be forced to deal with it over and over and over again (for the choices).


Taleweaver wrote:
It isn't. Actually, I wasn't sure about that as well, but I thought "what's the point in using NVL mode if you only have two lines at the top of the page"? So I didn't delete the NVL buffer whenever there were only one or two ADV lines.


Running off screen is an error no matter what. If you're dead set on not clearing the buffer, I would suggest coming up with a way to insert ADV statements into the NVL buffer as well.

Taleweaver wrote:
Actually, I am. I guess I may be making the game a little easier, or give a few more clues at the choices that are significant for Ending 6.


Please do so, it really hurts the game a lot.

Taleweaver wrote:
As for the UI, I unfortunately suck at Ren'Py - I'm a writer, not a programmer.


Try (it's not that hard) or find someone to help you. These are the little things that make all the difference.

Taleweaver wrote:
Also, if you have any advice on how to make the Credits harder to skip (harder, not impossible, though), I'd be happy to hear it.


I guess you're using some kind of animation at the moment; change this to a series of show statements separated by a long skippable pause and a short unskippable one. This way, you can speed them up without accidently skipping them completely. Transitions will be disabled in skip mode anyway.

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The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:35 pm
Posts: 410
Location: Quebec
Projects: Teachings of the Buddha, System-Addict, Generation XxX
Was looking forward to trying this one out but Windows only?!? Why??

I'm running on Linux, btw.

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— Buckminster Fuller


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:34 pm 
Writing Maniac
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 3290
Location: Germany
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Twitter: @TallTalesVN
Linux and Mac users will be rewarded with the complete version. Windows users are already used to sloppy programming and incomplete software :)

_________________
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman

Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming

Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year

Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift

More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 3:01 am
Posts: 153
Taleweaver wrote:
Linux and Mac users will be rewarded with the complete version. Windows users are already used to sloppy programming and incomplete software :)


xD

Thanks for letting us know.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:56 am 
LOL, I am going crazy trying to find the true ending. ;;
Any hints to help me?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:42 am 
Writing Maniac
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 3290
Location: Germany
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Twitter: @TallTalesVN
Guest wrote:
LOL, I am going crazy trying to find the true ending. ;;
Any hints to help me?

Send me a PM and I'll send you the walkthrough.

_________________
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman

Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming

Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year

Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift

More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:14 am
Posts: 5
Great writing and atmosphere! I started playing this game last night, thinking of just trying it out, and ended click-click-clicking for all the endings long after bedtime. I love the psychological approach in the game and am positively creeped out at times!

(However, I'm finding it difficult to reach all the endings as well. So hard! I actually at one point thought I got the true ending but since no Developer's Notes have since appeared, I guess I was just too tired and imagined things :oops: suppose I'll have to PM for the walkthrough.)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:46 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Akasha
Completed: Right in Two
Projects: Alex's Problem
Another hit with this one. Creepy psychological thrillers seem to be rare here, but this one takes the cake. I've one got 3 of the endings so far but I'm still working on it.
I got a very strong silent hill vibe playing through it and when she faced that thing in the straight jacket, it was almost unbearable.
I may be late to this show but it seems that a lot of the VNs I like are made by you. Great work.

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[WIP] Alex's Problem
It's my first VN so I'm excited. :D
Character, BG, and CG artists are filled
Right in Two has been released. Download it today!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:02 am 
Writing Maniac
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 3290
Location: Germany
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Twitter: @TallTalesVN
Freelancer wrote:
I may be late to this show but it seems that a lot of the VNs I like are made by you. Great work.

Really? I've only completed four VNs so far - MetBlues, Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia and Dreaming, and in terms of storytelling, MetBlues and Dreaming are the only ones with some similarities. Looks as though you like many different things :)

_________________
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman

Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming

Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year

Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift

More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:46 pm
Posts: 137
Location: Akasha
Completed: Right in Two
Projects: Alex's Problem
I may have been talking without knowing what I was talking about. I played quite a few VNs with an Art style similar to MetBlues (By that I mean the characters were similarly drawn) and I guessed I assumed they were yours. sorry. But still it seems I have missed only one of your works, Loyal Kinsman (which I will go look for right now) but all the rest I have played and liked. (Still working on MetBlues, I have a whole chart and desicion tree.) So I stand by my original statement of "Good work." And I'll be sure to download any of your future projects.

_________________
[WIP] Alex's Problem
It's my first VN so I'm excited. :D
Character, BG, and CG artists are filled
Right in Two has been released. Download it today!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:57 pm
Posts: 4532
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Completed: R.S.P
First, I want to say thanks to those who like art in The Dreaming. I'm the one who responsible in the art department. For those who don't like it, I will try harder next time. The game art is still not completed but I'll try to wrap it up in this upcoming Ramadhan holiday.

Freelancer wrote:
I may have been talking without knowing what I was talking about. I played quite a few VNs with an Art style similar to MetBlues (By that I mean the characters were similarly drawn) and I guessed I assumed they were yours. sorry. But still it seems I have missed only one of your works, Loyal Kinsman (which I will go look for right now) but all the rest I have played and liked. (Still working on MetBlues, I have a whole chart and desicion tree.) So I stand by my original statement of "Good work." And I'll be sure to download any of your future projects.

I'm the one who make all art in The Dreaming (TaleWeaver do the rest) and The Dreaming is my first VN.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Location: Earth
Projects: In progress: Meaning of Words. Other projects: Still in their 'blueprint' stages.
Well, I've played this game a while back and I'm finally taking the time to say, I really enjoyed it and thought it was a really nice piece of work. :D Personally I like the drawings. Good job LVUR and Taleweaver!

I've gotten all the endings except for the true ending... Most of them I've gotten at least 4 times by now and I'm beginning to think I need to make a list of all the possible combination of the choices in order to see what I've missed. xD Ah well, I'll try it for a couple days more before caving for the walkthrough.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:35 am 
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This game has been receiving such positive feedback, and as someone who ridiculously enjoyed both Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and its successor Umineko no Naku Koro ni, I would love to try this out!

But I'm a Mac!

So, please please please, say it's almost done? =D

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Last edited by AllegroDiRossi on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:39 pm 
Writing Maniac
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:51 am
Posts: 3290
Location: Germany
Completed: Metropolitan Blues, The Loyal Kinsman, Daemonophilia, The Dreaming, The Thirteenth Year, Adrift, Bionic Heart 2, Secrets of the Wolf, The Photographer
Projects: The Pilgrim's Path, Elspeth's Garden, Secret Adventure Game!
Organization: Tall Tales Productions
Twitter: @TallTalesVN
I wish I could.

Unfortunately, there's still no further progress with the artwork, which I was hoping to have completed by the end of September. I could - could, mind you - just send the whole thing as it is through the distribution maker once again and give you and the Mac community at least the unfinished, unbeatable-without-a-walkthrough version. However, I don't believe you'd be very happy with that.

As a compromise, I'll do the following: I have a day off work on November 2nd. I wanted to use that weekend for something productive anyway, so I'm going to use it to do some essential difficulty-tweaking and release a version 0.91 for Windows, Mac and Linux. How does that sound?

_________________
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman

Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming

Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year

Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift

More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira



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