[text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

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sake-bento
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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#31 Post by sake-bento » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:23 pm

mysterialize wrote:Just because you're Sake-bento, it doesn't mean I can't write up a wall of text about your game! No VN is safe!
I...hope so? Did I miss something? D:

A decent portion of the feedback from the first incarnation and the beta testers actually wanted more romance between Takeshi and Maya. I didn't really wanted to make it a full blown romance, but I did experiment with making their conversations lean more in that direction. Some people like it, some people think it was unnecessary, and some people think it still wasn't enough romance. I like getting all the different reactions and feedback. Keeps things interesting.

I did try to make the endings correlate to the actions in some way, although the camping ending does wind up looking like a catch all. Initially, it was a way for the uncle to take Maya away because he suspected she was learning too much. Exploring the shrine doesn't make you closer to Takeshi, but talking with him more about his picture does just because the two of them get to know each other better that way. Turning off the phone makes him think you're trying to ignore him. which irks him even more.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#32 Post by mysterialize » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:36 am

The problem with the romance isn't that it's there at all. It's more just that it happens so quickly that it seems kind of creepy and unnatural. If their conversations were a little deeper, I'd be a little more willing to believe it, but for the most part they just talk about the things going on around them. There seems to be no real reason for him to be attracted to her.

As for the shrine issue, there's still no way to know that you would find the photo before you make the choice. You can't put thought into the choice because of that. The phone thing does seem reasonable on one hand, but on the other, considering that you don't have a charger, and you can just receive messages when it's off, it's a bit of an over reaction on his part.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#33 Post by Jake » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:42 am

sake-bento wrote: A decent portion of the feedback from the first incarnation and the beta testers actually wanted more romance between Takeshi and Maya.
I hope I don't come off as too scathing here (and I've not had time to try the remake, although I remember the original fairly well), but... a decent proportion of the beta feedback from the first incarnation of Blade Runner wanted a happy ending where Deckard drives off into the country with Rachel. It kind of sucked, and the later reversals for the Director's Cut/Final Cut versions are far superior.

Most people don't know what makes a good story, and that's why good writers are special. Often, people saying that they wanted more romance between two characters who you've implied might like each other but can't get together for Story Reasons is a good sign that you got it right rather than that you should put more romance between those two characters...

Feedback is useful, and it's definitely worth listening to critique and suggestions, but... you have to bear in mind that the majority of people will give you suggestions based on what you made them feel with your story, not based on what they think would make a good story. The Blade Runner test audiences had been deliberately set up for an implicit tragic ending, and when it came it made them feel depressed - as intended! The feedback the workprint got should really have been interpreted as "we've got a powerful ending here, guys", but instead a consumer-focussed studio enforced a crappy ending which doesn't gel with the rest of the story because they didn't want people leaving the theatre depressed, even if they really enjoyed the movie as a whole. If you act on all your feedback directly, you'll end up with something bland with little power left in it.
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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#34 Post by sake-bento » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:29 am

Jake wrote:
sake-bento wrote: A decent portion of the feedback from the first incarnation and the beta testers actually wanted more romance between Takeshi and Maya.
I hope I don't come off as too scathing here (and I've not had time to try the remake, although I remember the original fairly well), but... a decent proportion of the beta feedback from the first incarnation of Blade Runner wanted a happy ending where Deckard drives off into the country with Rachel. It kind of sucked, and the later reversals for the Director's Cut/Final Cut versions are far superior.

Most people don't know what makes a good story, and that's why good writers are special. Often, people saying that they wanted more romance between two characters who you've implied might like each other but can't get together for Story Reasons is a good sign that you got it right rather than that you should put more romance between those two characters...

Feedback is useful, and it's definitely worth listening to critique and suggestions, but... you have to bear in mind that the majority of people will give you suggestions based on what you made them feel with your story, not based on what they think would make a good story. The Blade Runner test audiences had been deliberately set up for an implicit tragic ending, and when it came it made them feel depressed - as intended! The feedback the workprint got should really have been interpreted as "we've got a powerful ending here, guys", but instead a consumer-focussed studio enforced a crappy ending which doesn't gel with the rest of the story because they didn't want people leaving the theatre depressed, even if they really enjoyed the movie as a whole. If you act on all your feedback directly, you'll end up with something bland with little power left in it.
I don't think you sound scathing at all. Actually, it's encouraging to have someone tell me that sometimes I should just write what I think makes an impact rather than build the story on public opinion. I still consider myself to be a newcomer to the scene, and I'm using feedback to try to change and improve. Some things I willfully decide not to include, but some things I try to experiment with just to see if it will work. A lot of people also wanted a good end where everyone could be happy, but I was pretty stubborn about leaving it without one. I figured I'd try the romance angle just to see what happened, and it doesn't seem to have increased the general consensus in a significant manner, so now I know.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#35 Post by littleramyun » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:12 pm

Well, for the romance thing:
It's not unnatural for a young girl to be easily flattered, and I thought her reactions to be very normal. In any case, I don't see a place for romance in this game, especially with some guy that's been dead in a pond for a year.
The uncle:
It's never said what is wrong with him, only that they are concerned for his health. We can't assume that he's merely "senile" or possibly has Alzheimer's, it could be something more severe, like schizophrenia.
A good ending: I think a "good" ending would ruin the feel of the game as a whole, because that's not the type of game this is.
I think it's a good, short, story driven game that will be helpful in introducing people to the visual novel genre.
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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#36 Post by tooaya » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:05 pm

To tell the truth, I rather liked the abrupt romance. For me it makes the story a bit creepier.
Takeshi's dead, his spirit's trapped in the pond. The poor guy's stuck there for a very long time before Maya came in and as far as I can tell, she's the first person he was able to communicate with since he was dead. This makes Maya extra special to him, I think, which escalates his feeling for Maya quickly. We also don't know much about Takeshi when he was alive, who knows, he could be the clingy kind of person who's quick to express his feelings to others. All in all, it seems pretty obvious that he's obsessed with Maya. One may question his feelings, whether they are genuine, but this obsession's oddly fitting for his role, a ghost, who's pretty much haunting the shrine and Maya and her uncle.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#37 Post by sporkysan » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:56 am

I agree with tooaya.
If you consider that Maya is not only the first person who he has been able to communicate with and in some endings, nice to him, it makes sense that he would get attached to her. And who says that Takeshi hasn't gone a little crazy himself. He was essentially murdered and then isolated for a whole year. I would probably go crazy too and cling to the first person who was willing to be my friend. Takeshi's motivation is that he doesn't want to be alone anymore.
Romance is always a plus (for me at least), but a good story doesn't always have romance. I like that there was some romance in [text], but not so much that it overwhelmed the main plot. In hindsight, I think I needed some kind of bond between Maya and Takeshi to really care about what happens in the end, especially for Takeshi. It didn't have to be romantic, but I couldn't see Maya caring about him if they weren't at least friends.

As for a happy ending, I'm actually glad that there isn't one. A happy ending would ruin the whole creepy factor of it. And I'm not even really sure how there could be a happy ending considering the situation. If there was one, people would probably label that ending as the "canon" ending. It would be a popular ending, but that doesn't mean it fits. I was searching for a happy ending, but after finishing all of them, I actually was glad that there wasn't a "good" ending.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#38 Post by Cain0425 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:01 pm

i like ending 4 and endling 6

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#39 Post by mysterialize » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:24 pm

Alright, Takeshi's reasons for falling for her in such a short time period are actually pretty reasonable. I'll agree to that. I still feel like Maya's reaction to his confession was a little too accepting and naive, though. Again, even assuming that she's easily flattered, it's just a bit strange that she doesn't even so much as consider any potentially creepy reasons for it.

Also, I wasn't suggesting that they not have any close relationship at all. XP I just thought friendship seemed a bit more reasonable.

Though, it's not really that big of a deal. In the case of the romance, I wasn't really meaning to point it out as a clear flaw. That bit was more just my personal opinion. I apologize if I came off as a little harsh about it. I was just trying to put some reason behind why I felt their interactions were a bit awkward.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#40 Post by sake-bento » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:45 pm

It makes me happy that everyone has different feelings about how it played out, and I'm very grateful for everyone's comments.

I think that some girls would definitely be flattered in that situation, while others would be completely turned off. Maya reacting the way she does isn't unusual, but some people could reasonably see it as a poor decision.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#41 Post by Esphirisa » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:59 pm

Now, that was interesting! Too bad I haven't tried any of Edgar Allan Poe's works... I love the storyline that borders on creepy, and how some of the endings made me feel queasy or uneasy(especially endings 4, 6 and 7). I think what really bothers me is the "faceless" Uncle... my imagination keeps running wild whenever I think of how he looks. The backgrounds are stunning, and the use of media was great, especially in tense scenes. While I would have liked to have an ending where Takeshi and Maya could end up happily together, it probably would have messed up the plot, and I might not have enjoyed the VN as much. I believe that there is enough romance in there to hint of what could have been, but too much would spoil the story.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#42 Post by Shogun144 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Oooh... Remake!

The original version of this game was one of the first ren'ai titles I ever played. Very nicely done, sake-bento, you tell a good story with minimal visual effects and sound. The ambivalence was very well done, I think. Now for the story:
As a voracious reader, I spotted the influence of Edgar Allen Poe fairly quickly. Creative re-telling, by the way. I think your story's greatest strength was its relative simplicity in conjunction with the creepy Poe-inspired atmosphere. Of the endings my favorites were 4 and 6 as the truest to the source. And it took me a couple of tries to get ending 6. Ending 7 was frightening for the implications of it, but did not flow as well with the rest of the game as 4 and 6 did in my opinion. Also good job on not making any happy endings, as that would spoiled the rest of the game, I think. Some games are better creepy.
Last edited by Shogun144 on Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#43 Post by Ren » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:07 pm

I essentially kept wondering why you would do a remake of the previous game - it didn't really add anything to it, in my opinion, and I didn't particularly think the addition of romance was a good idea, even more so if it was mainly done because your testers asked for it, rather than because you wanted to do it.

Generally speaking, I'm of the idea that one should do what they feel is "right" (particularly in a non commercial piece) rather than try to pander to your audience. It seems to me that a creative person really just wants their works to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, and there are two things to that: firstly, Lemmasoft is a small, insular community and not necessarily representative of the larger audience; and secondly, while it's tempting to appeal to as many people as possible, to obtain your goal to have your stuff enjoyed by as many people as possible, it's better to be thoroughly enjoyed by a few fewer people than it is to have a larger amount of people who think you're OK (which seems to me to be the risk when you are too ready to incorporate other people's suggestions). I, for one, wasn't particularly impressed.
I did think the uncle's "weirdness" didn't build up in a creepy way, and just made him look like an old man with some memory problems, rather than someone who may have been slowly going crazy. It would have been nice if some day to day particulars slowly gave away that something bad was going to happen and he would have been responsible for it. As it was, his killing Maya was a bit out of the blue and not set up properly.

As an aside, I was a bit surprised to see a photo with several buildings at the beginning of the game (if I recall correctly) when Maya clearly says there's only the temple on it - but this is just a curiosity.
Last edited by Ren on Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#44 Post by Blue Sky » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:45 pm

Hahaha, my favorite out of all of your games. Nice job.

Edit:
As an aside, I was a bit surprised to see a photo with several buildings at the beginning of the game (if I recall correctly) when Maya clearly says there's only the temple on it - but this is just a curiosity.
The ferry was riding away from the main town, towards the island, with the main character facing towards the island she just left.

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Re: [text] - A Summer Story (Remake)

#45 Post by sake-bento » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:55 pm

I think the remake captures the "feel" that I wanted from the game better than the first version. I also wanted to practice the new screen language without having to dump too much time into writing a story or making new resources, so I picked up an old story that I thought could look a little nicer.

Responses to the romance inclusion have been mixed, and I'm glad that I at least gave it a shot. I like to stick my creative juices, but I also don't want to be so stubborn that I ignore good advice. I'm still working on finding that golden ratio (and picking out "good" advice from "not good" advice).

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