AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome]

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Questions 8/3

#46 Post by Onionchan » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:00 am

What do you think of the game concept - do you think both otome and mystery players would be willing to play it?
Yes! I think it would be fine if you are able to find a balance between the two genres i.e. not too much romance, or not too much mystery in certain parts of the game. I've played a mystery otome game before where they totally abandoned the romance aspect, and focused too much on the mystery ^_^" A lot of otome fans were definitely not pleased, and I also felt that the tiny otome moments of it was completely unnecessary. I for one, am so glad to see an otome game with a mystery storyline, since they're pretty rare to come across nowadays. Since I'm so used to playing generic high school based ones, with weak heroines - a mystery plot line with a strong, smart protagonist to boot is pretty much a dream haha.

Which character(s) do you think are the most interesting so far?
Remy. For sure. I always have at tendency to lean towards characters/bachelors who are unsociable or give the vibes of an enigma, since it just makes learning about them in their character path so much more worthwhile. And of course, the main protagonist is the greatest mystery of all, is she not? :D

Do the gameplay mechanics sound reasonable?
To be honest, I was a little confused at first at the process, since from the mystery otome games/visual novels I've played so far, they mostly involve talking to the suspects, and from choosing certain dialogue - the clue appears in a notepad of some sort. And from these discovered clues, it allows new dialogue to be unlocked or new places to be explored. Although the mystery gameplay of these games were quite simple, they were surprisingly effective. I'll have to play through the demo first to give a proper opinion, but from what I can see so far - the gameplay dynamics of Axiom sound very interesting! It's quite complicated, but if pulled off well - it'll definitely make a fantastic mystery solving visual novel ^_^

Make cases skippable later. This is only an option for the first case, since the later cases span multiple days and events.
I think this isn't a bad idea if the first case is only a tutorial case.

Offer incentives for finishing cases faster/more efficiently
I think this is the best idea out of the three ^_^ Or perhaps when you finish a case, you can get a "ranking system" of some sort such as your level of speed (how fast you solved the case), accuracy (the less hp you lose, the higher accuracy or something like that). And from these, you can have a title of some sort, such as "Novice Detective", "Amateur Sleuth" or "Sherlock Holmes II". LOLOL just a harmless suggestion ^_^

Have different scenarios for a case (e.g. the victim changes on your previous choices). Or have multiple solutions with different results, depending on which clues you present.
I feel like this would be more difficult for both the player and you guys haha. For the mystery lovers (not so much) but for people who are playing more so for the otome aspect, then perhaps it may not be as enjoyable of an experience. The plot line itself, would become quite complicated or maybe lost on some people.

Other than that, then I love the idea of this game! It's so rare that I find an otome/mystery visual novel, so it's pretty much the best of both worlds. The concept sounds very interesting, and I can't wait to play the finished product. The GUI looks great (very sleek and shiny) and I like the idea of the main menu with the bars/additional wallpaper depending on the character. The only thing that I do have to comment on is that I noticed the sprite's hands looked a little... strange? They just didn't seem realistic in their posture, how they were drawn etc.

Or maybe it's just me ^_^" Another idea I might suggest if you're worried about otome/mystery lovers not enjoying the dual-genre, is perhaps allowing the player to choose a level of difficulty at the beginning of a game e.g. easy and difficult mode. Whilst some mysteries are easy to finish for some players, for others it can be quite challenging. I also have a few questions of my own about the game.

- How are the affection points going to be monitored with each bachelor? Is it going to have like a little separate menu, or none at all?
- How many hours would you say is the complete game going to be? Or, how long would it take approximately to solve each case?

Great work on this project so far, I'll be following the future updates ^_^

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Questions 8/3

#47 Post by Arowana » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:36 am

Hi, Onionchan! Thanks a bunch for all your comments – I found them super useful~! :D
I've played a mystery otome game before where they totally abandoned the romance aspect, and focused too much on the mystery ^_^" A lot of otome fans were definitely not pleased, and I also felt that the tiny otome moments of it was completely unnecessary.
Ooh, this is a good point. At first, I was worried about focusing too much on the romance, so I hope I’m not moving too much in the opposite direction now. ^^; Actually, what is the name of the mystery otome game that you mentioned? I should go see how they (failed to) handle the mystery/romance balance.
And of course, the main protagonist is the greatest mystery of all, is she not?
Ahh, you think so? I wonder what you have in mind? :D
To be honest, I was a little confused at first at the process, since from the mystery otome games/visual novels I've played so far, they mostly involve talking to the suspects, and from choosing certain dialogue - the clue appears in a notepad of some sort. And from these discovered clues, it allows new dialogue to be unlocked or new places to be explored.
Thanks for being honest! Yeah, I hope it is not too confusing once you are playing it. You will still have an inventory/notepad that records all the clues you find, and finding certain clues will unlock new dialogue options as usual. I think the main “new” thing we are adding is the deduction mechanic, so I’ll definitely be interested in getting opinions on that.
Or perhaps when you finish a case, you can get a "ranking system" of some sort such as your level of speed (how fast you solved the case), accuracy (the less hp you lose, the higher accuracy or something like that). And from these, you can have a title of some sort, such as "Novice Detective", "Amateur Sleuth" or "Sherlock Holmes II".
I’m totally stealing those rank titles (I especially like Sherlock Holmes II haha) – let me know if you think of any more! :) I think I could give players a score and rank based on total time taken (either by timing them or somehow counting number of clicks?), total remaining HP, and total clues found – does that sound reasonable?
The only thing that I do have to comment on is that I noticed the sprite's hands looked a little... strange? They just didn't seem realistic in their posture, how they were drawn etc.
Ooh, thanks for pointing this out – I always have trouble with drawing hands! ^^; If you don’t mind, could you tell me which sprite hands look weird? I am planning to redo the sprites at least one more time before I finish the game, so let me know if you notice any other errors as well!
Another idea I might suggest if you're worried about otome/mystery lovers not enjoying the dual-genre, is perhaps allowing the player to choose a level of difficulty at the beginning of a game e.g. easy and difficult mode.
This was something I was thinking about as well. For an easy mode, do you think people would want to completely skip the cases, or just have a lot of hints (e.g. all the clues in the hidden object parts could be highlighted)?
How are the affection points going to be monitored with each bachelor? Is it going to have like a little separate menu, or none at all?
Right now, the only way to look at affection points is during the cases, when you can go to the profiles in your suspect inventory, like this:

Image

However, your inventory is unavailable if you are not currently doing a case. Would having affection info accessible during the entire game be better, you think? I could add an extra button for it on the textbox or something, if people want.
How many hours would you say is the complete game going to be? Or, how long would it take approximately to solve each case?
Good question. I guess it depends on your reading speed and how long it takes you to figure out the cases. I’ll have a better estimate of the latter once people start testing (since I already know the answers to the cases, I can’t really gauge how long they would take someone else, haha).

In terms of wordcount, I’ve written about 50K words so far (goes up through the end of the first case and some events after that). I estimate that’s roughly a third of the way through, so hopefully that gives some idea of how long the complete game will be? I think if you play through once and figure out the solutions to the main cases, though, subsequent playthroughs will probably take less time.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply to all my questions + your kind support – I really appreciate it! :D
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Questions 8/3

#48 Post by Arowana » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:40 pm

Hey, quick question! Would anyone like Sylvia (the female best friend) to be a love interest, potentially as a unlockable bonus path? I don't mind adding a GxG path, but it's gonna be extra work, so I wanted to see how much interest there was first.

Also, GUI update! I'm proud to say I've finally got everything coded in now, so these are actually screenshots, not mockups (strikes a triumphant pose). All of the screens have some small animations, similar to the main menu, so I'll likely make a video later to demonstrate.

Save/load and prefs:
Image Image

CG gallery and music room (CG thumbnails are blue on idle, colored on hover):
Image Image

I don't actually have that many CGs so far, so I'm thinking about putting old concept art/sketches in the art gallery, too. Does that sound good to people? Let me know if you have other ideas as well!

Extras and quit screen:
Image Image

As always, feel free to leave feedback! :) Now to take a break from coding, haha...
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Questions 8/3

#49 Post by Victoria Jennings » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:44 pm

Arowana wrote:Hey, quick question! Would anyone like Sylvia (the female best friend) to be a love interest, potentially as a unlockable bonus path? I don't mind adding a GxG path, but it's gonna be extra work, so I wanted to see how much interest there was first.
YES.

...unnecessary post is unnecessary, derp.

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Questions 8/3

#50 Post by CheeryMoya » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Arowana wrote:Hey, quick question! Would anyone like Sylvia (the female best friend) to be a love interest, potentially as a unlockable bonus path? I don't mind adding a GxG path, but it's gonna be extra work, so I wanted to see how much interest there was first.
Just remember that it's more for you to do. For me, the extra path is just an extra path, so I guess this is up to other people's feedback to decide.

Also forgive me for not keeping up with updates I'm behind on everything UGH. It all looks great btw

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/19

#51 Post by Onionchan » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:54 am

Arowana wrote:Actually, what is the name of the mystery otome game that you mentioned? I should go see how they (failed to) handle the mystery/romance balance.
It was Love & Order, by Winter Wolves. The art was great, and the mystery storyline was quite well done and rather interesting - but the otome part of it was definitely disappointing ^_^"
Arowana wrote:Ahh, you think so? I wonder what you have in mind?
When I read the character profiles, it felt as though all of them had secrets of their own, but Christie was the most ambiguous out of everyone. There's nothing we know about her really, and since we're playing through her perspective, it limits what we can learn about her character :) Which makes me wonder, does the game include a "true end" of some sort? I know a lot of mystery visual novels, or otome games like to include a separate unlockable path where if you've played through lets say every bachelor path, you can play through again and new options are unlocked. These new options leads to the "true end", which more often than not, answer all the unanswered questions left in the previous paths (particularly about the main character).
Arowana wrote:I think I could give players a score and rank based on total time taken (either by timing them or somehow counting number of clicks?), total remaining HP, and total clues found – does that sound reasonable?
That sounds pretty good to me :)
Arowana wrote:If you don’t mind, could you tell me which sprite hands look weird?
Sylvia's left sprite, her left hand looked a little... too square looking for me. And for Viktor, his hands seem a little too large/not proportionate for his body haha. The second sprite also, the neck angle seems quite awkward (making his shoulders look hunched). I think its more so because he's on a side on pose, instead of front on?
Arowana wrote:For an easy mode, do you think people would want to completely skip the cases, or just have a lot of hints (e.g. all the clues in the hidden object parts could be highlighted)?
I think a lot of hints would be easier, since completely skipping the cases would take away most of the fun from the game ^_^
Arowana wrote:Would having affection info accessible during the entire game be better, you think? I could add an extra button for it on the textbox or something, if people want.
I personally would like to have an extra button or affection info tab, since the text boxes already include so much other information about the characters/suspects, and it'd just be more convenient and easier to see. It's not really a big deal though, and it's completely up to you guys.
Arowana wrote:Hey, quick question! Would anyone like Sylvia (the female best friend) to be a love interest, potentially as a unlockable bonus path?
I think it'd be a nice bonus since it caters to more preferences (since some people like GxG haha) but it does mean more work. I myself, am not a fan of GxG and depending on how much I enjoy the game - I may or may not play it.

Great work on the GUI by the way :D It looks so sleek, and very modern! I'm pretty excited to see the final version of this game, with all the work done on it. Do you have an approximate release date in mind?

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/19

#52 Post by Arowana » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:58 pm

@ Victoria Jennings
Haha, duly noted! :)

@ CheeryMoya
Yeah, I have plenty of work as it is, so unless there’s a good reason for doing more (i.e. more people would enjoy the game), I’ll probably focus on other things. (Lol, no problem – hope your own game is going well!)

@ Onionchan
Yay, thanks for replying to all my questions! xD I’ve not played Love and Order, but I’ll go check it out now. :)
Which makes me wonder, does the game include a "true end" of some sort? I know a lot of mystery visual novels, or otome games like to include a separate unlockable path where if you've played through lets say every bachelor path, you can play through again and new options are unlocked. These new options leads to the "true end", which more often than not, answer all the unanswered questions left in the previous paths (particularly about the main character).
Yes, there is a “true end” of sorts! I’ve been calling it the “secret perfect ending,” because it has the best outcome for most of the characters, and you can only reach it after playing through the other paths.

Right now, Christie’s backstory is actually heavily intertwined with Cody’s and Sylvia’s, so you learn the most about her through their paths. I wonder now if I should give her more of her own story, hmm. You’re right in saying that, since she’s the MC, a lot about her can be hidden from the player. Maybe not to the extent of pulling a Roger Ackryod, but it would be interesting to have a bit of a twist. ;)
Sylvia's left sprite, her left hand looked a little... too square looking for me. And for Viktor, his hands seem a little too large/not proportionate for his body haha. The second sprite also, the neck angle seems quite awkward (making his shoulders look hunched). I think its more so because he's on a side on pose, instead of front on?
Thanks for the advice! Lol yeah, I remember someone else commenting that Sagan had “yaoi hands” hahaha. I’ll try to fix him and Sylvia asap (maybe not in time for the demo, but definitely for the full game!)
I think a lot of hints would be easier, since completely skipping the cases would take away most of the fun from the game ^_^
Oooh, I actually just played a hidden object game by OokamiKasumi that had a nice hint system (highlights one of the objects you are missing for several seconds when you press a “hint” button). I think I might do something similar, then!
I personally would like to have an extra button or affection info tab, since the text boxes already include so much other information about the characters/suspects, and it'd just be more convenient and easier to see. It's not really a big deal though, and it's completely up to you guys.
Yeah, I don’t mind. I was thinking I could just add a little “heart” button to the quick menu above the textbox that brings up a small screen.
I think it'd be a nice bonus since it caters to more preferences (since some people like GxG haha) but it does mean more work. I myself, am not a fan of GxG and depending on how much I enjoy the game - I may or may not play it.
Thanks for your input! Yeah, I’ll wait for a bit and see if more people chime in on this. I don’t really have a good sense of how many GxG fans would want to play a GxB game with only one GxG option, haha.
Great work on the GUI by the way :D It looks so sleek, and very modern!
I'm really happy to hear that! xD I was definitely going for the sleek and cool feel! I just hope it doesn’t come off like a horror game, haha.
Do you have an approximate release date in mind?
For the demo, I was originally hoping for the end of September, but I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to make it. I have 6 clue “photos” that I definitely need to do, and I’m notoriously slow at art. ^^; Smaller things, like a few CG backgrounds and some programming additions (I want to do that “hint” system, plus the “expandable viewport” thing for the choices), could potentially be put off until later, but I’d like to finish them if possible.
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/19

#53 Post by Arowana » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:50 pm

Hey, guys! Now that I've finally finished my GUI (I hope), I've made a short video to show the GUI animations in action.



At around 1:40, you can see the expanding viewport for the interrogations that was being discussed a while back. I like it a lot more than my old "sliding sprites" system, so thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions for it! :) Some screenshots of the new display:

Image Image

Now to go clean out all the obsolete sliding code. -_-
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#54 Post by Ginger » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:07 pm

...So beautiful.

Your GUI is much more clean and professional than a lot of GUIs in even commercial games. Great job on that!

And I quite enjoy the main characters to personality. I've personally always enjoyed a MC who isn't an airhead or ditzy. I prefer them to be intelligent. I also quite like Sagan. Tan and blonde? Yesssss, sign me up.

So yup, I am super excited for this and wish you the absolute best!

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#55 Post by chocojax » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:53 pm

Woooow, it looks amazing! o: Good job, and good luck with the rest of the work. :v

(Just a very small nitpick, the save file numbers are a little bit too bright compared to the save file description and stuff.)

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#56 Post by Arowana » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:38 pm

@ Ginger
Thanks for the well wishes! I’m really happy that you liked the GUI! GUI design is super hard for me, so I’m glad it turned out okay. Also glad to hear you like the MC and Sagan! I have a secret soft spot for Sagan, actually, even though the others seem to be more popular, haha.

@ chocojax
Yay, thanks! I’m gonna need that extra luck, ahaha.

Thanks for the suggestion on the save/load screen! I tried to lower the opacities of the numbers. Which of these (if any) do you think looks best?

original (25% opacity):
Image

20% opacity:
Image

15% opacity:
Image
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#57 Post by chocojax » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:07 am

You're welcome!

I think 15% is the best since the save file number isn't amazingly important, compared to the information of the save file. :v
(Just tested it out. Imo, anything between 10-15% is fine.)

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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#58 Post by bunbun » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:07 am

This is really amazing. I'm sure it'll be an amazing game *Q*
The GUIs are very professional. I love how you animate them as well.
As for the loading screen, 15% opacity seems the best as we wouldn't want the words to interrupt our saved data.
Info of our save data is more important than the number so...

Also if you still need help with clue objects I'd be willing to help (if they're not overly complicated or too much details) in exchange of some programming tips for GUI from you;;;
It'll be a good practice for me too to do some objects <3
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#59 Post by Arowana » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:47 pm

@ chocojax
Cool, thanks for checking it out! I think I’ll switch it to 15% then. :)

@ bunbun
Thanks, I’m really happy to hear that! (I think your GUI for Waxwing is super pretty, so it means a lot to me coming from you ^_^) Yeah, I think you and choco are right – the save number is not as important, so there’s no need to overemphasize it.

And thanks a bunch for your offer! I’ll send you a PM right away!

***

In other news, the hard drive for my laptop suddenly died. -_- Luckily, I backed up most of my files a couple days ago, so I don’t think I lost too much. Just won’t have access to a computer with graphics programs for a while. Of course, finishing the art is the last thing I had to do for the demo. ;_; This will teach me not to procrastinate next time!
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Re: AXIOM.01 [detective mystery][otome] - Update 8/26

#60 Post by Anarchy » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:23 pm

Yay for regular backups!

The GUI looks lovely, btw. 15% opacity works best for me as well.

Re: Replayability

Definitely make the tutorial case skippable on subsequent playthroughs. Offering incentives for finishing cases more efficiently works as well.

Having different scenarios for different protagonist choices immediately makes me go "no no no no no no no" while huddled up in a corner - I hate it when the universe magically rearranges itself around choices that don't actually impact it. Completely ruins suspension of disbelief and the sense that it's a real world you're inhabiting that will go on churning even without you.

About Sylvia, I would say definitely include a route for her even if not many people profess interest. I think it's really important for video games as a medium to embrace diversity and not shy away from representation of fringe groups - we're way behind on books, films, and other media when it comes to tackling LGBT issues in a mature way. I personally would like to see more games cater to underrepresented minority interests.

I also think Sylvia's really cute and she'd probably be the first or second person I'd go for if I was playing this game, but hey - your game, your story, your character. If you think it would be IC for both of them to be in a relationship, then... why not?

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