Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

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Chasing Summer
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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#46 Post by Chasing Summer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:35 pm

I’ve been planning on downloading the demo for a while now, but my internet’s been really slow lately.

Internet’s back and faster now though, so I’m downloading the demo right now! I’ll drop a comment later. :)
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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#47 Post by PsychoEmoVamp » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:59 pm

I've played quite a few GxB games, most I've had to pay for. I can quite honestly say that this in comparison to many I've payed for, this is far superior. The story is interesting and the humor is great. Most GxB games I play that implement humor I may smile or something but that's about it. In this demo I found myself giggling hysterically and laughing until it hurt. Even with the humor, the game still shows the serious atmosphere when it counts which I'm very impressed with. I love all the references and little puns the characters exchange with one another also. Playing this I didn't know what to expect next, it always kept me surprised by how things transpired.

I love all the characters, even Alice, the main female which I found odd since I don't normally like any lead female in these games cause people have a tendency to make them completely useless and dependent on others. Even with how much I like Alice though, Cath is still hands down my favorite.

The only part that I'm not the fondest of still resides with Alice though.
I still like her more then most female leads but she still seems alittle weak, like she can't do anything on her own. I did notice though that she was aware of how dependent she was on others, judging by that I get the feeling you'll most likely make her alittle more independent. Even if you don't, she's still one of my favorite female leads in a GxB game.
I loved the music and effects, they were well done and implemented very nicely. To be honest though, I almost never play game demos from this site anymore because I've found that a demo will be put up then the people making the game have a tendency to drop it, that's why right now I'm alittle skeptical. I love GxB games and I've always been someone who likes creepy, darker atmospheres and situations but most games of this type are no where near my personal preference. That being said, this game blew me out of the water and I hope that it will be finished. The whole thing is intriguing and I've seen alot of games on this site that catch my eye get dropped. I hope you find the encouragement to finish and release this amazing game some time in the near future because I am most defiantly looking forward to it. From here on out I'll be keeping a very close eye on this thread. Enough so that I just had to make an account to tell you how much I enjoy your work.

The demo was a great experience, so much so that I would quite literally pay about 30-40$ for it. I found it better then other commercial games of it's genre so please keep at it. I look forward to it's release and I know I'm not alone waiting for it.

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#48 Post by Chasing Summer » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:56 pm

Finally finished the demo~ Whilst I did enjoy the art, the character’s personalities caught my interest the most. I think Alice makes an awesome protagonist.
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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#49 Post by DaR » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:38 pm

I just played the demo and I have to say, it's fantastic. I love the music and I think the humor is pretty great; I burst out into giggles many, many times while playing. I really like the characters, too, especially Alice. Her actions make sense considering what she's going through and I don't find myself questioning what she does. I am very much looking forward to the completed game. :) Best of luck!
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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#50 Post by LliiraAnna » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:43 pm

I want to say that I just played the demo and it was absolutely AMAZING and fantastic and... I just don't have words to describe it, really. Definitely waiting for this game to come out, good luck with working on it!

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#51 Post by Neyuks » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:46 pm

Well,i liked the story line and it definately left me want to see more of it. I love the artwork and music, the game lives up to the expetation. What would be great though, would be if the gallery also contained the music( in my opinion), and maybe some more special moments with the guys and definately a little bit of more choises( cath seemed to be lacking of them, but im not sure) and maybe the possibility to skip demo in the full version. Anyways, that's just my opinion and i really admire your work. I hope you can keep up the good work.

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#52 Post by LliiraAnna » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:13 am

So, alright, now that I'm past my fangirling phase, I just might write a serious comment :D

About Alice's narrative - I actually quite enjoyed it. They say first-person narrative is harder to write then the third-person one, and I think it came out pretty well.
The only problem I had with the demo - is that sometimes, some parts of dialogue seemed... insignificant. So yeah, I skipped them. It's just, when you read a story and you totally get into it - you want to know what happens next, how the events will progress, etc. So you read, read, read... and then, there is a scene where the characters are, say, just idly chatting over breakfast. There is a 50 percent chance people would skip it cause it doesn't contribute to the plot. Just my opinion, though.

Otherwise, great work with even greater potential. Good luck with working on it ~

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#53 Post by SheerGlade » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:32 pm

I wanted to drop in again and profusely thank everyone who has taken the time to play the game and provide your thoughts and suggestions. Each piece of input has gone so far in helping me evaluate and re-envision the project, but it's meant so much to me emotionally, too. Each time I look over my work thus far I realize how (ridiculously) flawed it is, so your encouragement truly inspires me to make Essence as good as I possibly can.

For those who are interested, I wanted to announce a few things:

* I foresee the complete game taking at least two years to complete - not saying that's my ultimatum for release, or that it couldn't be finished before then. With 7 guys for whom to write branching paths and create CGs - and not wanting to shortchange a single one of them - I have a lot of work cut out for me. I need this much time not just to create the actual content, but to allow for growth in my vision and skill. I apologize for the amount of time and don't blame anyone for losing interest in the project - but I will be spending that time making it as good as I can.

* The complete game will also feature a revised version of the demo content. It will retain its essence (//shot for not thinking of a different word), but after reviewing it and further developing the story in my mind, I can't read the demo anymore without wanting to punch myself and torch it.

* The demo has truly been a wonderful opportunity for me to learn how to make my story and art better, and I can't thank you guys enough for that. You are thoughtful and kind and the best ever so I'm going to stop emotioning now.

Thank you again, everyone... <3

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#54 Post by Josteinn » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:21 am

Hi! We talked a bit on dA, and I promised a review. :D Soooo, I just finished playing the demo, and I must say... double thumbs up. d(*w*)b If I had more thumbs, they'd definitely be up too.

First off all, that logo is just so freaking fantastic I can stare at it for hours. I love logos, and yours is just utterly bamf.

Haha, I just really needed to get that out of the way. So, as for art, it's really funky and fresh. I admit it did take some getting used to, but once I started playing the game, I definitely appreciated it more. It suits the theme of the story really well, and it blends nicely into the filter of the backgrounds. I still feel that Alice's side sprite is a bit too big and distracting, but I really can't see it any other way, lol. I love the textures you use; it definitely brings more life to the art. It makes the sprites look super bright and funky against the generally muted backgrounds. It stands out really well, and it's pretty consistent with the CGs, too. I personally have some issues to nitpick with the anatomy, and the CGs could use some adjusting of angles and compositions to make them better, but I like how it defines the style.

As for the GUI, I feel that the text is too narrow. :I IDK, I actually read from far away because looking too closely for too long at the computer screen really hurts my eyes, so maybe that's why I feel like it's too narrow. Also, since the text box is semi-transparent, when the text goes over a bright part of the background or the character sprites, it messes with the readability. The screens are all nicely designed and pretty functional. I think you should expand the number of save slots, though, since you only have seven pages. If you plan on making the game quite long with multiple paths, I suggest that you use that function for the unlimited pages. (LOL, IDK. It's that arrow thing that lets you keep going for as many pages as you can. I'm still not an expert on Ren'py functions, OTL. I just really, really save a lot. Like, at practically every choice.)

Now, story-wise --- applause goes here. Just, wow. I really love how you've woven everything together. I even like how you time the interruptions, though it does get a tad bit annoying. I can live with it, but I really want to ask you to just use wait instead. ^^" I'm a bit OC, so I have to read every single word, and I get paranoid if I miss even a comma or period, and when it's all timed like that, I have to roll back over and over again because it's too fast for me. I like the idea though. I suppose it would be fine for short stuff, but when it gets too long --- yeah. Especially Acer's lines. God, that kid.

I also love the character designs and characterization. For some reason, they all really look the part (except Steven, but it's obvious why, lolol).

I can't write action scenes for shit, so I really like how you've handled those parts. The first parts were definitely the best. I kind of 'LOL wut'-ed when they met up with the others, but it was still within the area of my willing suspension of disbelief. I found the sudden pop culture references to be a bit abrupt though. Like, I get if they're from one of the others, but suddenly coming from Alice? I feel like you strayed away from Alice's PoV when they arrive at the safehouse. Since everything seemed so serious in the beginning, the sudden influx of comedy was kind of unexpected. Maybe a bit more transition from the serious to the light-hearted and vice-versa? I just really feel like the story's see-sawing between those two moods and there's not enough transition/preparation for the reader. I won't usually mind because it does make a point for the story, but maybe it's just going back and forth too much? IDK. The sudden shifts just make me a bit uncomfortable. Or maybe it's because I didn't really finish this in one sitting? Well, actually, my main problem really is just the feeling that I lost Alice's PoV in certain scenes (especially that card game scene...). I feel like she's suddenly a whole new person when they arrive at the safehouse. But, anyway, the character relationships are handled very well; they stick to their mold, and I really look forward on how you plan to develop them. I don't have a problem with anyone at all --- not even the Malware grunts. Ivan's speech tends to be a bit inconsistent at times, and there are a few grammar mistakes, but it's nothing some more thorough editing can't fix. Also, uh, I actually pride myself for having a big vocabulary, but sometimes, I feel that some of the terms you use are a bit hifaluting... I won't usually mind if it's just a word or two, but, yeah, maybe you can tone it down a bit more for readers like me.

LOLOL, ginormous block of text. TL;DR: good job, a couple of suggestions for some stuff, just ignore my ramblings, but really, I raise my thumbs to you. :D I look forward to your progress with the game. Good luck!

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#55 Post by ran36 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:57 pm

I love the BGM and the drawings which were protrayed nicely but I would like it if I can remove the convo box so I can see the whole background and the characters. Also another problem is that there was a glitch when I was having a canvo with the boy, Cath. I didnt click anything and went back to read what he said but the computer wont listen to me and just skipped over it when i didnt mean to. :(

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#56 Post by SheerGlade » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:56 pm

ran36, you can toggle the visibility of the textbox by pressing h while playing the game. (: Some lines of dialogue automatically advance, like when one character interrupts another, but I'm going to eliminate that in the final version; I may upload a version of the demo without the automatically advancing text soon. I'm sorry for the frustration...Thank you so much for playing.

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#57 Post by Doomzilla » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:53 pm

So I've been putting off your demo for some time now. It seems like all the games I'm excited about are in demo stage and it's beginning to drive me INSANE. I took one look at your story and artwork and knew I'd just be torturing myself by playing it. I was right. Two years... *sob* Just don't drop it. That's all I ask. I need to know the rest of the story someday.

You've already addressed my major issue, which was the too fast auto-text. I liked how it really made it feel like Acer was babbling, but at the same time I just wound up going back over and over until I read everything. I don't know if there's a happy middle option.

I love Alice, particularly her interplay with Cath. She has a lot of potential, and I'm very interested to see her grow throughout the rest of the story. Both of them, actually. All of your characters felt remarkably real, which is odd considering most of them are larger than life. They felt vibrant and I got the feeling there was so much more to each of them than we saw.

I'm trying to think of helpful critiques, but I keep coming up with glowing praise instead. I loved the humor, it reminded me a bit of Yo-jin-bo, probably due to all the breaking of the fourth wall. I was giggling like mad the entire playthrough.

I noticed you used filtered images from the Sims as a few backgrounds. I didn't mind it at all, but is that okay? I don't know the legality of it, but EA seems a scary bear to poke so I thought I'd mention it at least. If it's fine and you know it, disregard me.

I will be following this and waiting as patiently as I can. Very well done! =]

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#58 Post by SheerGlade » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:48 pm

Doomzilla, thank you so much ;o; I would only drop Essence if it became a serious burden - to the point I hated working on it - or some life event preventing me from finishing it. It holds an enormous part of my soul, though, and creating it is one of my greatest joys. I love working on it, and it means so much to me that I doubt I could stop if I wanted orz. Supporters like you inspire me to complete it even more.

As for the screenshots, I appreciate your concern. I'd never want to get on EA's bad side XD Those backgrounds are temporary, and I would never attempt to pass them off as my own or include them if I intended for Essence to be a commercial game. If it ever became an issue, even with Essence being free, I'd remove them immediately. I want to have hand-drawn backgrounds in the final game; while the filtered photographs are more convenient due to the number of environments, I'd feel much more proud of the finished product if it were all my work.

Thank you again...so much! <3

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#59 Post by Neyuks » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:16 pm

i also noticed- i dont know if it's a bug, i have seen it before on other Ren'Py games,- but there seemes to be some bugs in gallery. as in if i look at some pictures and click on them,it gives me an error and pretty much quits the game. It may be fault in Ren'Py though.

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Re: Essence [post-apocalyptic GxB] [scifi/dramedy] DEMO UP!

#60 Post by philip » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:34 pm

Downloaded the story a day or two ago and finished it today - was really engrossed in it, when it was over (for now). I look forward to your completion of this.

By the way, I am using a Mac, and there was no issue with downloading or opening. It appears that the problems surfaces only with the OS X Mountain Lion version software.
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