Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

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ludeshka
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Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#1 Post by ludeshka » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:48 am

Ten years ago, Utrecht, God of Justice, disappeared.

Nobody knows if he’s dead, lost, or in hiding.

Utrecht’s followers, his Knights, first lost their magic and then the respect of the people.

Some Knights left the order and joined the worship of other gods. Others joined the army and fought for reasons other than their faith.

Some stayed loyal. They fought and died for Justice. All that remains of them now are their names carved in stone.

Some remain, like scattered embers of a fire that once lit the world.



-----------------HIEROFANÍA----------------------


This is the BETA version for my first game.
The sprites are there, the music is there, the bgs are there, you can reach all the endings (7 in all)

I don't think of this as the "Complete" release, because I would really like some input first, to fix the glaring mistakes I'm probably missing.

Constructive criticism will be really appreciated, as this is my first game.
Please give me a chance to make it better. :)

It can be downloaded from here

http://hierofania.weebly.com/downloads.html


Oh my god, I'm so nervous. It's the first time I do anything like this. ^_^

Please help me out? ^^
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Last edited by ludeshka on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#2 Post by night_serenade » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:49 am

This sounds really interesting!
Downloading now, and will be back later with feedback and critique :)
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#3 Post by ludeshka » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:52 am

Thank you so much for giving it a try, Night Serenade! :)

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#4 Post by YonYonYon » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:13 am

Oh sounds interesting oAo *downloads*
I'll back with feedback and critique~
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#5 Post by Boniae » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:33 am

Oooh, I think I saw this on deviantart! The artwork is so splendid...O.O I'm going to download this. *runs and downloads*

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#6 Post by JamesH » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:50 am

Played through and got the 'unlucky knight' ending, going to try and get another ending

I thought it was great, great sprites, background, music and story :)
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#7 Post by SusanTheCat » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:17 pm

I downloaded and started the game.

Unfortunately, a cold has settled itself in my face and I'm going to go lie down.

First impressions: I really really like the art. It's a little rough in places, but I like the feel and the colours.

I found it hard to read because of the pattern in the say box. Maybe if the lines were darkened a bit?

The intro has a good balance of action and exposition.

More to come

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#8 Post by night_serenade » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:48 pm

I'm baaaack~ haha

Thanks so much for sharing your VN with us!

I was only able to get 4 of the endings, couldn’t figure out how to find the other 3 unfortunately.
I really wish I could play through them all though!

One little thing I was disappointed in was that even though you're able to get to know Douglas, you don't get to talk to Deedra in a friendly way as much (unless that happens in the endings I was unable to obtain?)

The ones I played through were really good! I loved playing your game, found it interesting and compelling. I loved the whole feel to it, the mystery and everything else made it very fun to play. Here are some of the things I found good and some of the things I found bad, and I found some mistakes that I’ll PM over to you instead of writing down here :)

Good
~ The artwork is really unique. I’ve never seen someone draw in a style like yours, and while sometimes I disliked it slightly, overall I really liked it. It was something new and original, a change from games I’ve played/edited in the past.
~ The music was really beautiful, and matched well with the scenes and the whole theme of your game. I thought that was a really good thing about the game.
~ I liked how you had a variety of positions and expressions for the sprites. It made them seem non-repetitive, and more realistic, because they moved around a lot. It must have been a lot of work, but I think it was worth it :)
~ The plot was really unique! I found it very interesting, and the paths I played each had significant differences but all made sense in the end, which I really liked. You’ve got good ideas, because at no time was I able to think “oh, this is boring, I know what’s going to happen next”. You kept surprising me with the plot, and I really enjoyed that.

Bad
~ This isn’t a bad thing, really, but after I downloaded it and went to play, I found two different files for the application. It was a bit confusing, as I wasn’t sure which one was the actual full game. But they both seem to work, so no harm done.
~ The sprites tend to disappear and reappear randomly, especially when there are more than one of them on the screen. Sometimes you’ll make one appear when their speaking, but other times they’ll stay there even when they’re not speaking. I think you should choose one method and stick to it, it’ll look better.


Again, thanks for sharing!! :)
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#9 Post by Lotus » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:24 am

I downloaded this and I just wanted to tell you so far I am loving it! <3 I'm only to the part right after you and the stranger start your journey, but it's got me hooked. I especially love the music you chose for this section, and the art style of the game as a whole. I'll post some critique after I finish it.

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#10 Post by Lotus » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:55 am

I finished it, I got probably 4 of the endings. I loooooooved it. The music is awesome, the art is awesome, the story is awesome. The only nitpick I have is the way certain sentences were phrased; they were phrased awkward so it momentarily drew me out of the story while my brain tried to sort out what the sentence said. I can't remember a specific example, so that probably doesn't help any >< There were only a few sentences that did that, but I thought I'd mention it.

Other than that small nitpick, this was absolutely wonderful! Much love <3

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#11 Post by Arithra » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:15 pm

I played it and I really liked it.
I actually really liked this starnger guy, so when I got the true ending I was more than just a little suprised.

I think it's a shame that there are no CGs and you have no ending pictures to look at, but otherwise I really liked it.
The music was fitting and I like your drawing style.

The game kind of sounded like a prequel to something really big, like in fantasys books but for now I'm looking forward to the final version.
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#12 Post by IonicMomo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:41 pm

Yay! I know I've said this before, but congrats Ludeshka, on releasing this beta! :D I've gotten five of the endings, I think, including the true ending, so my comments are based on that much of the game.

I loved the story. It's not especially unique for your typical LotR-esque fantasy novel, but it was interesting to see a well-designed fantasy story executed effectively in a VN format. Oftentimes I see fantasy plots applied strictly to RPGs, and even those are more about quests and missions than plot and character development. So it was really awesome to see a good, epic fantasy written as a VN.

I also thought that, overall, the story was well-written. The pacing was a bit off at certain points, but I liked the way the story and characters developed slowly, the truth was revealed little by little. A lot of stories like this will start with massive infodumps at the beginning, and I'm glad that you dove into the story rather than wasting time explaining everything to the invisible audience. You assumed your readers were smart enough to pick up the hints and gain a sense of who the Knights and the gods were over time, and I liked that.

In terms of characters, I adored Douglas...I thought you made him quite human, and he also managed to make me crack a smile a few times with his know-it-all ridiculousness and feelings of inadequacy. And unlike Deedra, he was sympathetic, and there were times when he reached out to Crocket. So he was my favorite. I would've liked to know more about Deedra too, but I suppose there's only so much you can do in one game. Also, Douglas had some great one-liners. (And Deedra, too.)

I really liked Crocket as well. I remember when I was proofreading the first half of your script a long time ago, I was convinced she was a boy until Douglas and Deedra arrived. And I sort of like the idea of having an androgynous female knight--gender isn't really important here, after all. But fantasy games and novels have a notable shortage of female warriors that don't simply exist to be female and represent their sex, so I liked what you did with her here. At first, I thought she would be annoying, but she grew on me. Even if she isn't the smartest tool in the shed, she's noble, courageous, determined, and adheres very strongly to her values, which a good thing! And she was very believable.

The Stranger was interesting. I finished the game feeling like I didn't know much about him as I would've liked to (such the exact motives behind his "crime"), but in a way, explaining him too much might have taken away from his purpose, so I understand why you decided to use him as you did. The true end was a bit unclear to me, though, in terms of what exactly happened with the Stranger. (I vaguely understand what he did, but how and why?) I liked the rest of the cast, and how you played on some older tropes (like the wise blind sage, and the childhood friend). And I sort of had a crush on Murphy too. :)

I loved some of the details you included in the story, such as a truth mirrors (or whatever they were) and the
vampire princess. Although I would've liked to known more about her, since she was apparently the driving point of the plot for most of the game. And the zombies seemed a bit random to me. I think that part of the story--the relationship between the vampires and the zombies--could have been explained in fuller detail. Also, how did the vampire acquire the Stranger's spell book? Did I miss something here?
I really loved the art, and it fit so well with mood of the story. The costume designs were creative, and I liked that the sprites for the Stranger was always sort of twisting to look away from you, and you never got to clearly see his face. Very fitting. The backgrounds were likewise very well done. I have to concur with previous posters that it would've been nice to see some CGs, or ending scenes. (The NVL mode at the end, with the black background, suddenly made everything seem very bleak. But maybe that was your intention.)

I also have to agree with Arithra that the ending of the game felt like a prequel, especially with the true end where
Crocket is assigned to go on a quest to resolve what has been done, and the Stranger's threat suddenly seems much greater than ever before.
There is a very epic feel to it, and there are a lot of directions to expand. This ending felt very open-ended to me. (Not that I was unsatisfied, but there's so much potential here! I fully expect you to make a sequel. :P)

The music was also well-done. It fit the mood well, and for the most part I didn't notice it, which is a good thing. It meant that I was so invested in the story that the music didn't distract me or slow me down. :) There were also a few typos and some awkward phrasing of sentences, but nothing that bogged me down enough to me lose interest in any way.

This is one of the few VNs I've played where I honestly wanted to power through it just to find out what happens at the end. I'm glad that that's not as easy to do as flipping to the end of a novel and reading the last page, or I would've ruined it for myself. But anyway, excellent work on completing a compelling work. I look forward to seeing the finished product, and let me know if you ever need help with your projects in the future. :D
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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#13 Post by YuukiCrossPudding » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:40 am

Love it!
hehe, finally I can play it :D
Well I got 4 or 5 endings I suppose? with the true ending too xD
I'm a little sad with the true ending and the epilogue, poor crocket and poor the stranger, I hope this beta will have more story to it when the final game released? :3 the story is great, although english not really my first language so I read it twice to fully understand it XDD. It have twisted feeling in it, and I don't know why but I love the stranger, and the way he's in pain. Crocket is a good girl too, I hope she can be friends with him? :)

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#14 Post by ludeshka » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:19 am

Thank you very much, everyone!

Thanks to James H, Boniae, YonYon!
If you eventually play through it and find something that could be fixed, please tell me, as I really want to do my best. ^^

Thank you, Susan the Cat, The text being readable is a big priority, so I'm toning down those lines in the dialogue box before I release the game. Thank you so much for pointing it out. :) I'll wait to see if you have more to say when you finish the game. :)


Thank you SO much, Night Serenade (and thanks a lot for the pm as well).
I'm copy-pasting your corrections and taking them to my script.
I'm not a native english speaker, and I guess it shows, but I'd like to tell my story the best I can.
night_serenade wrote: One little thing I was disappointed in was that even though you're able to get to know Douglas, you don't get to talk to Deedra in a friendly way as much (unless that happens in the endings I was unable to obtain?)
Hm, there's an ending in which you do get to talk a bit more with her, but nope, you don't really get to be "friends" with her the way you get to be friends with Douglas. It's because Deedra is quite indifferent towards Crocket's fate. XD
night_serenade wrote: Bad
~ This isn’t a bad thing, really, but after I downloaded it and went to play, I found two different files for the application. It was a bit confusing, as I wasn’t sure which one was the actual full game. But they both seem to work, so no harm done.
~ The sprites tend to disappear and reappear randomly, especially when there are more than one of them on the screen. Sometimes you’ll make one appear when their speaking, but other times they’ll stay there even when they’re not speaking. I think you should choose one method and stick to it, it’ll look better.
I have NO idea of what to do about the two application files. I`ll take that to the Ren`Py Help section and see if they can tell me what to do. O_o

As for the randomly dissapearing styles...I didn't know which approach was better. I still don't! Do you have a preference? It IS something I'm looking forward to fix for the definitive version of the game. T_T
Arithra wrote: I think it's a shame that there are no CGs and you have no ending pictures to look at, but otherwise I really liked it.
The music was fitting and I like your drawing style.

The game kind of sounded like a prequel to something really big, like in fantasys books but for now I'm looking forward to the final version.
I don't have ending drawings or event cgs yet, but the finished version will have both, I promise. :)

As for the "prequel feeling", I'm Guilty as charged. I'm a fan of epic stories and epic rpgs (say, like the Suikoden games), and since I like those so much, I have trouble thinking up of short stories.
So Hierofanía is written as if it were the first dungeon of an rpg. :D
...Hierofanía's sequel (Only exists as a draft in my head so far) would go as far as "the end of Disk One" XD

I know, bigger games have less chance of being finished, but, If I divide it in smaller games I should be fine, I think. ^^
Thank you so very much for giving Hierofanía a chance, Arithra. ^^
IonicMomo wrote: The Stranger was interesting. I finished the game feeling like I didn't know much about him as I would've liked to (such the exact motives behind his "crime"), but in a way, explaining him too much might have taken away from his purpose, so I understand why you decided to use him as you did. The true end was a bit unclear to me, though, in terms of what exactly happened with the Stranger. (I vaguely understand what he did, but how and why?) I liked the rest of the cast, and how you played on some older tropes (like the wise blind sage, and the childhood friend). And I sort of had a crush on Murphy too. :)
There is stuff about some characters, like the Stranger, and
the Princess
that looks like it has no explanation. The thing is, it does, but Crocket is not asking the right questions. (Tried to hint that with Gillan being so mad at her at the true ending) However, the explanation about
the zombies
is not so hard or misterious that I shouldn't add it. It just takes a few lines of editing. I'll work on it. Thank you so much for pointing it out. ^^

Thank you for paying so much attention to my game. ^__^
I like "straight-forward" fantasy, you know, like LOTR, or FFstyle games, so yeah, that's pretty much the feel I want for this game. and it feels like a prequel because there IS a sequel on the works so....yeah, you caught me on that one. :D

I...kind of tried to make Crocket's gender unimportant, as it's not like it's an otome or something (her dating prospects are kind of poor XD). I don't know if I'm too little or a feminist, or too much of one XDDD . I was much more concerned with trying to write her as naive but not annoying enough for people to hate her and drop the game because they couldn't stand being five more minutes in her fictional shoes...

I've got to run now, but I really wanted to tell you how much I appreciated the time you spent looking at my game. Honestly, thanks a lot.

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Re: Hierofanía (Beta version) (Critique? Please? ^^)

#15 Post by night_serenade » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:38 am

Yeah I'm not too sure about how to fix the two files thing either, but seeing as it's not a big problem or anything, don't worry too much about it :)

Hm, well personally I think it's best to always have the main people of a conversation on the screen for the whole conversation. So like, when Crocket is talking with Murphy, Douglas, and Deedra, have them all on the screen, not disappearing. I think it makes more sense. And then if someone leaves the conversation, have them disappear.

I'll definitely play the final version of your game, only it's done, and hopefully I'll get all the endings, hehe. And I'm looking forward to the CGs too! :)
.:.Alice here~!

Writer, Proof Reader/Editor, Programmer, and Artist ;; always willing to help in whatever way I can, so don't be afraid to send me a message! =]

Here are the public projects I’m currently involved in (you should check them out =D)!!
Strings of Fate | Turnip in Love | Soul & Heart

My Deviant Art~ [I just recently created a new account, and am learning how to colour digitally, so right now there's only a limited and poor show of art XD]

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