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 Post subject: Nevermore
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:59 pm
Posts: 160
Location: USA: New York City (school) and Massachusetts (home)
Introduction
I announce "Nevermore", a fully voiced, moderately short kinetic novel about insomnia. You can watch a short video preview demonstrating the art used in this project. For the sake of completeness, you can view the development thread.

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File comment: Screenshot from "Nevermore".
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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Yossha! I played this with headphones for full sound effect. Totally worth it. XD In an attempt to be a more useful contributor, I am actually leaving more than just a few comments this time. Let's see how well that goes.

Plot
The story was simple and unadorned, but presented well. There wasn't much exposition, but you still explained what was going on, and I think the way the mystery is revealed is very nicely done. It's also very nice how you took the premade graphics and managed to weave a coherent story around them. I actually was pretty cool with not knowing the test results, but having them at the end does open the door for a lot more now. I always find your stories to be interesting and a nice break from the norm. I'd love to see you work on a longer story with a more developed plot.

SFX, Music
I think the music you chose was spot on. It gave a lot of atmosphere, and the final piece was especially well-suited. SFX were good for the most part, but I feel like the knocking on the door was a little heavier than I imagined a "rapping" to be. Small nitpick, there.

Voices
-Kazuki: You have a nice, clear voice, but you sound a little bit bored. The quality of your lines feels as if you a reading aloud rather than acting. This is most evident during the narration at the beginning. I think you got more comfortable with your character later on, especially in the quieter scenes. Major props to you for voicing your character.

-Usagi: Your voice is very mature and fitting for both your characters, but watch your enunciation. The nurse, especially, needs a much clearer voice. I also feel as if you brought a little bit of "anime dub" to her when she should sound more realistic due to the nature of the story. I like the voice you chose for the doctor much more. Very straightforward and matter of fact. For some of the lines, they could probably have sounded more authoritative, since she is a doctor, after all. Good job differentiating two characters with similar voices.

-Flamezeron: I like your voice, and the delivery is pretty solid for the most part. The first few lines had a nice tone to them, but I think when he's talking about his wife, he shouldn't be so matter of fact. This is the woman he loves, and she's gone now. I think the father would struggle a bit with his emotions when talking about her, especially since he thinks his son is now suffering the same thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:15 pm 
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Location: USA: New York City (school) and Massachusetts (home)
Thank you very much for the in-depth review, sake-bento.

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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:37 pm 
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Posts: 701
Between the voice acting and the animation, this felt more like an short anime than a written story. Kudos for that. Both the art and the voice acting felt amateurish, but that didn't really bother me.

What bothered me was the ending.
I had to look up FFI. I found "fatal familial insomnia", which seems to match the story. Using an uncommon acronym for a disease I've never heard of seems weird and deliberately vague here. Why not spell out the name of the disease?

More to the point, the story feels unresolved. I know that Edgar doesn't have FFI, but I don't know what he does have. I'm not ready to make the mental leap that if Edgar doesn't one specific rare genetic disease that normally affects only much older people, he must have some insignificant condition that'll go away by itself. For all I know, his real condition could be as bad as FFI, with the added bonus of being undiagnosed.


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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:54 pm 
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Wintermoon: I'm glad you liked the story in general. I can see why you find the ending frustrating.
When I first compiled the story and began voicing it, Ed's test results were never displayed at all, leaving Ed's fate a complete mystery and leaving everything in limbo. Then I had this wacky idea: to display randomly generated test results for Ed at the end. What the doctor says to Ed's father implies that if Ed tests positive (indeed for fatal familial insomnia), death is almost certainly imminent, while if Ed tests negative, he may at least have a fighting chance. This seemed to me a rather arbitrary mechanism of fate, so I thought it might be somewhat appropriate to make the ending of the story just as arbitrary. It's a cruel and obscure joke I decided to play on readers like you. I hope you don't hate me too much for it.


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Kazuki Mishima

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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:53 am 
I decided to give this one a try. Here's my impression:

Voice acting: most of the characters sounded rather bored. Because of that I started skipping it early, simply because I felt that I was getting more out of it imagining them myself. ^^'

Plot: I thought it was interesting but it feels rather choppy. A lot of parts felt 'cut-off' and could benefit from being longer. A lot of times I wanted to hear more, but the story simply moved on to the next scene. I feel like it has a lot of potential but doesn't make full use of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:35 am 
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Projects: TK(ten kara), Resent0
Uhm, I tried Nevermore a few days ago and I was really amazed. The story was confusing at first, honestly I was disturbed by Lenore's close-up there ( :mrgreen: ) but generally it was good. I think the "why Ed sounded boring" there was because he did not get good sleep. I understood that sort of remark because I myself sound bored at that kind of situation. What a concept.

I introduced this to my other friends and I replayed it for them, but there seemed to be a problem. (following is prone to deletion)
When we were at the white screen part and the findings are indicated, it suddenly said "FFI: Negative". We did not do anything actually, we just watched it (as I learned from the experience, Ren'py automatically shows the next set of texts after some time), and then we got that "FFI: Negative" ending. Then I tried to save this for future reviews, then loaded my previously-saved "FFI: Positive" ending file. When I tried loading it, however, my laptop did not respond, then a new set of three save files were shown. I tried loading these files but the laptop seemed stuck, so I tried the usual... Ctrl+Alt+Del... but without doing anything yet, the program suddenly terminated. A "traceback.txt" popped, telling that there was an "uncaught exception" in the script. It says something like, "_restart is not defined".


I really thought that this has only one ending, but it seems that I should explore more. :D

EDIT: (for not reading previous posts)
Oh, so there are multiple endings, but I hope you'd still read the spoiler part. Gomen.

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 Post subject: Re: Nevermore
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:46 pm 
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@Mirena: Thanks for giving it a try, and for the feedback. I've since been working on my storytelling skills, including exposition and pacing. This and other Ren'Py stuff I wrote is particularly unrefined, as my writing goes. As for voice acting -- I think I understand why I came off sounding bored (as Ed), but I thought the other people I recruited put quite enough energy into it. (And yes, I know it's odd that I'd reply over a year later. Sorry 'bout that.)

@lazuli: I've really no idea why you couldn't load that save-file. I think I occasionally had that problem myself, but it seemed to happen almost at random, and I never really got to the root of it as I recall. And thanks for writing; it amazes that people sometimes actually enjoy some of the stuff I wrote with Ren'Py. And maybe I'll be persuaded to write something with it again, if I can figure out the new language, pull together some artistic resources, and write a strongly visual story I'm not ashamed of.

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