Errant Heart - Settling In

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Voight-Kampff
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Errant Heart - Settling In

#1 Post by Voight-Kampff » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:58 pm

Here's the next demo.

Actually, it wrapped up quicker than I expected. Primarily, that's due to one of Mysterialize's comments about the last demo, which was missing one of the scenes that s/he enjoyed in the original demo.

I've done SOME editing to this section of the story. Primarily just to pair down some extraneous details. But all of the original scenes that were in this section to begin with are still here. If any of them in particular strike your fancy, then let me know.

Likewise, if there's a general consensus about certain sections being too long, or too boring, I'll be more than happy to go back and start chopping away.

At any rate, this demo picks up right after the end of Errant Heart - Arrival at San Moritz. Where it stops represents the end of the introductory branch. Well, not exactly. It ends about three scenes after that point—three scenes into the "Salima branch".

None of the sprites are final. All of the interior BGs are just place-holders. All of the exterior BGs are pretty close to the finished products. There is (place-holder) music in key spots, and sound effects peppered throughout. The menus remain unchanged. So if you navigate somewhere and the game crashes, don't be surprised.

All that being said, I do hope you enjoy this installment.

PC:
http://www.errantheart.net/pre-pre-alph ... -win32.zip

Mac:
http://www.errantheart.net/pre-pre-alph ... In-mac.zip

Linux:
http://www.errantheart.net/pre-pre-alph ... 86.tar.bz2

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#2 Post by Voight-Kampff » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:24 pm

Already found a glitch...The game starts over once you reach the end. Whoops. :lol:

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#3 Post by sayuri » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:06 pm

This is just a comparison of the two demos, but there weren’t any dialogue text box scenes. Everything was in the narrative text box which obstructs the sprites and BG. I personally prefer the old fashioned text below the characters, just something to keep in mind.

I’m not sure if it’s a personality quirk of Lira’s but she often goes “Haaaaaaa” and rubs her temple. It was a little distracting when I started counting how often she did that, lol.

I know I already mentioned this, but please do not begin a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’.

There is a lot of “I see, I notice, ect.” going on. Since the narrative is in first person, we can assume Lira is speaking. The story would read smoother if certain phrases omitted the I (insert verb). For example:

“Thankfully, I notice the door is ajar.” or “Thankfully, the door is ajar.”

A big factor is the pacing. The beginning scenes where Lira is going to the bathroom and grabbing her purse are redundant. There isn’t much insight into her character, like the everyday scenes with Lira and her sister. Instead of spending all this time describing the actions, it can all be stated after the fact. “I feel more like myself after freshening up. With satchel in hand I head towards the kitchen.” I really found my attention drifting away during these scenes.

After Mrs. Hinze asks for new flowers there is an extra set of quotes. “I look up from the envelope and ask.”

If you choose to find where the post office is instead of bringing your plate downstairs there is a small inconsistency. When she meets Nina the second time Lira says “Great. Now the entire building thinks I’m a drunkard.”. Her drinking was never addressed in the post office path so Lira’s comment doesn’t make sense.

If an ellipsis is in the middle of a sentence don’t capitalize the next word. “A-anyway… The driver?”

I was wondering if the final sprites would have multiple expressions. If so, some of the sentences describing a character’s expression would be omitted later on. Similarly, descriptions of the city can really be taken out since we are seeing the city in the background.

I thought the flower shop scene was too drawn out, personally. I’m guessing it is supposed to be a comical scene introducing Noel and Eva but the descriptions of the antiques were a bit dull.

Last thing, in the save menu the spaces for saves blocks the return button. You can go to “preferences” and it returns but it took me a while to figure that out :P.

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#4 Post by Voight-Kampff » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:15 am

sayuri wrote:This is just a comparison of the two demos, but there weren’t any dialogue text box scenes. Everything was in the narrative text box which obstructs the sprites and BG. I personally prefer the old fashioned text below the characters, just something to keep in mind.
We've already decided to go with NVL mode for the majority of the game. There will be more spots that switch back to ADV mode, though.
sayuri wrote:I’m not sure if it’s a personality quirk of Lira’s but she often goes “Haaaaaaa” and rubs her temple.
It is. I'd like to use it as plot point. You know...one of those little details that slowly changes as the character advances.
sayuri wrote:A big factor is the pacing.
As I expected it would be. This installment was written at the same time as all the rest. Which is to say, before getting any feedback from LSF. I suspected there were going to be swaths of the story that would end up being too inane. It's good to hear from others just where they started losing interest.
sayuri wrote:If you choose to find where the post office is instead of bringing your plate downstairs there is a small inconsistency. When she meets Nina the second time Lira says “Great. Now the entire building thinks I’m a drunkard.”. Her drinking was never addressed in the post office path so Lira’s comment doesn’t make sense.
And I missed that completely? HA! I've been over that sequence a bajillion times, and never spotted that. Good catch.
sayuri wrote:I was wondering if the final sprites would have multiple expressions.
Yup. Actually, out of all the sprites in the game so far—despite the fact that all the sprites so far still aren't complete—only Cassandra and Salima have nearly-complete sets of expressions.

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#5 Post by chensterrain » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:22 am

*Finally actually contributes to the forum, hoho*

I've got to say, I'm really loving this game's setting (and the completed backgrounds are just amazing)! The story probably is a little slow paced in parts, but to me that kind of fit the slow, sleepy image of San Moritz I got while reading (though as San Moritz is meant to be the big city, maybe that wasn't intentional? :wink: ). As sayuri said, though, some parts could probably do with being pared down a little - I'd also agree that the 'Haaaaa's were a little distracting, mainly because it looked to me like something you'd find in a Japanese translation rather than something originally written in English, and didn't really fit in with the rest of the text. Not really sure what a more natural sounding substitute would be, though.

I'm probably being a complete idiot, but, uh, where is San Moritz supposed to be? Italy? Or is it just somewhere in Europe? I think it's more me associating certain terms with America, but things like 'Ninth Street' and 'city hall' and paying in cents made me think of an old-fashioned American city, though obviously those things exist in other countries, too. I think it was mostly the 'cents' thing that threw me a little, as while most European countries use those now (as Euro cents) I don't know if they would have back in the 40s? (Though looking up cents on Wikipedia, it looks like quite a few countries do use them, and it's probably just my British bias kicking in, tbh :lol: I guess if San Moritz isn't in a specific country, using cents would be best after all. Looking up numbered streets only gives places in America and Canada, though, so I guess that's why 'Ninth Street' seems American? *rambles*)

Typos: (And again, I wasn't sure if any of these were just American spellings / wordings, so I apologise in advance! You mentioned in the other topic maybe switching to British spellings, but I'd definitely recommend sticking to what you're most comfortable with, especially as the game doesn't take place in the UK. But anyway...)
burry - bury
revorie - reverie
it's - its (I can't remember exact points where this happened, sorry! But there were at least two or three instances).
busses - buses
wacks - whacks
nick-nack - I wasn't sure about this one, but I've personally only ever seen it spelt 'knick-knack'.
an bench - a bench
sooth - soothe
wouldn't have come that - wouldn't have come to that
renascence - I was a little confused by this one, as it's not actually misspelt, but I'm guessing the character was referring to the Renaissance? I don't know if you can use that spelling to refer to the time period, but maybe that's just me.

Anyway, hope some of that actually helped, hurr :D Loving the game so far!

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#6 Post by Voight-Kampff » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:25 am

chensterrain wrote:I'm probably being a complete idiot, but, uh, where is San Moritz supposed to be? Italy? Or is it just somewhere in Europe?
While the setting is supposed to be completely fictional, many design elements for San Moritz are based off of coastal Italian cities. I suppose you could equate it to the Italian Riviera. So, while there are "large" cities in the Riviera, like Genoa, to me, those places seem like laid-back tourist sites—rather than massive metropolitan areas, like Rome or Naples.
chensterrain wrote:I think it was mostly the 'cents' thing that threw me a little, as while most European countries use those now (as Euro cents) I don't know if they would have back in the 40s? (Though looking up cents on Wikipedia, it looks like quite a few countries do use them, and it's probably just my British bias kicking in, tbh
I wondered about that myself. But I definitely wanted to steer clear of British monetary units. Pence, Quid, Pounds, etc. are too closely identified with the British Empire—which San Moritz is definitely not a part of.
chensterrain wrote:Looking up numbered streets only gives places in America and Canada, though, so I guess that's why 'Ninth Street' seems American? *rambles*)
It's interesting that you mention that. I think I defaulted to using numbered streets because I'm a bit obsessive compulsive and wanted to make sure I had the logistics ironed out in my head. In order to keep track of just how many blocks Lira might travel in any given sequence, I used numbered streets to help keep my orientation. But I suspect that's something that could be considered a bit irrelevant. Rather than point out in the text just how many blocks Lira may have traveled, I could probably just summarize her journeys.

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Re: Errant Heart - Settling In

#7 Post by chronoluminaire » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:45 pm

sayuri wrote:I know I already mentioned this, but please do not begin a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and’.
These are stylistic choices. Starting sentences with conjunctions is valid English, but has a more informal connotation (see 1, 2). For something deliberately casual like a first-person narration, I think the informal tone provided by initial conjunctions is completely fine.
sayuri wrote:If an ellipsis is in the middle of a sentence don’t capitalize the next word. “A-anyway… The driver?”
Well... Your rule is correct as stated, but speech often contains fragments, and the example you quote could be taken as two sentence fragments rather than one incorrectly-capitalised sentence fragment. This paragraph contains three sentences, but you could change the capital "Y" after the ellipsis to a lower-case "y" and it'd contain two sentences and be just as valid.

As for the currency, I think "cent" is a bit jarring, but I can see the desire to avoid English currencies too. How about something like "centimes" or "centimos"?
I released 3 VNs, many moons ago: Elven Relations (IntRenAiMo 2007), When I Rule The World (NaNoRenO 2005), and Cloud Fairy (the Cute Light & Fluffy Project, 2009).
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