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- Mad Harlequin
- Eileen-Class Veteran
- Posts: 1068
- Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:55 am
- Projects: Emma: A Lady's Maid (editor)
- IRC Nick: MadHarlequin
- Location: Gotham City
- Posts: 41
- Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:51 pm
- Projects: Dreams of Anabelle, Forget [not] That Flower, Murder Express, Libr
- Organization: Stellar Orb
- Location: United States, New York
Keep it stellar.
Maybe I can help......?
If I have the time though lol XD
Enjoyment of literature is ultimately subjective, but we've got a gist of what was originally wrong, and hopefully we're heading towards the right direction. If you have more specific suggestions, that would be perfect!
Please do!Omniknight wrote:Hmm...
Maybe I can help......?
If I have the time though lol XD
Good luck with the KS. ^_^
- Eileen-Class Veteran
- Posts: 1078
- Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:31 pm
- Projects: WtRF
- Organization: Harmonic Dreams
- IRC Nick: Rinima or Charlie
- Deviantart: Emlindes
- Location: England
I wish I had more money to help you ;~;
I could of course, continue to gush about how much I loved your demo. But I'm assuming you get the point, and you've come across heaps of people who think the same way >w< So I will stop about that. And the thing is, I really want to help you with this game as just your average fan, and yet because I'm still a leech off my parents and a income-naught high school teenager, I can't help fund the game. And because I'm not very active on social forums and inherently afraid of talking to people or promoting things, I'm not comfortable with doing that either. So I figured I'd make an account and give you a detailed feedback on what I thought was great and what bits could be polished even further for the purposes of perfecting your game. I'm hoping that it at least helps you a little bit.
Ok, so first things first, about the general impression of the game, an impression from just playing once. I haven't read over anything in detail like a proper editor would, but I'm not a proper editor anyways so I hope you can accept this review is only based on a first time game experience.
The concept and world: great. That's all I can say. The world, the scenery, the way he talks about the 'old world' and his seemingly futile desire to revive his beloved sister. However, there are a few 'info dumps' that could be separated to make things go smoother. I admit that I'm not the most focused reader around; if something isn't interesting fully to me my brain blanks over and I don't know anything anyone has said. And it's even worse of a problem in visual novels because I can't go back and reread what someone said, or at least it's hard to. At one point I remember the sober guy in the bar (sorry, I'm bad at remembering names as well) was directly explaining something the 'real' Yu would already know about the world but the player would not, and he said something along the lines of. 'remember?' as if he's reminding Yu of facts. Sorry, my memory is fuzzy and if I had more time I would totally take the effort to go back and find what I mean. But that directly told me 'infodump' and for that one moment I was detached from the actual storyline to think about the elements of storytelling and deliberation in feeding players information. It didn't feel natural. Also, I remember at one point in the game I spotted a spelling error. I'm actually not very big on the tiny details like spelling at all; I feel it doesn't affect a player's experience at all unless it's absolutely atrocious. But if you seek perfection, then maybe you could go back and look at that.
Art: Beautiful. Professional. Moving on.
Sound: The background was good as well, although I wasn't paying much attention to it. I guess that's good in a way too, because it doesn't take my focus from the actual story. The only thing I had a problem with was the typewriter-like sounds when the text came up. It was just very high and it hurt my ears, so after a while I sped up the texts so that I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore. It's very sci-fi and fits your world, but I just personally didn't like it and it was distracting. It could be just me though.
Life lessons: This is a weird title for a topic I'm providing feedback for, but this game actually taught me something. In that scene with the two thiefs(freaking murderers) the first time I just handed over my knife without a second thought, and just wholeheartedly wanted to help them. Dumb right I know. The second time, I went up to the same point and then refused handing over the knife because I thought I'd still be able to help them as long as they didn't find me too gullible and easy to kill. Well, needless to say I died that time too. It taught me that if I really were to live in that kind of world, I'd die haha. Jk. It did teach me that being trusting is a flaw, and I can assuredly say that if two thug-like guys ask me to hand over my only knife in a real life situation, I wouldn't anymore.
What parts confused me: I'm easily confused so you probably shouldn't relate this feedback to the majority of your players. Just a heads up though. In general all the complex information about nomads, herders, Sanctus, etc. confused me, but that's also my fault because I skimmed. I still don't understand the way your world works entirely, although I got the general impression of Sanctus taking people in seemingly out of goodwill and creating shelters but actually enlisting them in war and doing horrible stuff. And that people used to live underground where beasts roamed and some guy made it possible to come back to live in the surface again. So yeah, only a general idea of what I thought was interesting and what my brain decided to register. I probably will never be able to play the complete game, but if I did and you included plot points heavily based on trivia or knowledge of the world I'd be clueless. Also, at the first phone call I got confused what it was. I thought he was just talking to two people. At first sight I even mistook him for a short-haired girl, because I was not paying attention and the name that popped up was a girl's name and I assumed. Anyways, it was a bit jarring to see him on screen because I thought I was him and seeing me outside of a mirror felt weird. Which brings me to another point, of some points in narration where it's italicized and he is referred to as Yu. Like, Yu thought this, Yu did that, etc. I felt that extremely jarring as well, and probably the main critical piece of feedback I can offer. Using a visual novel as a method of storytelling is unique because it incorporates both the advantages of anime and books. Animes are good because you can visually see the characters and the scene, and 'a picture is worth a thousand words' Books are good because you can explore emotion in depth the way you can never do in animes or movies(which is why many movies feel never as great as the books they originate from). I strongly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a story is worth a thousand pictures. Storytelling is beautiful, and a visual novel gives you both worlds if you can do it right, which you have. But what's even more special about a visual novel, is that you ARE the character. Of course in books there is always second person, which I personally hate using, but it still makes you feel as if you're the character. But a visual novel takes it to a whole new level. You are the character, you see from the character's eyes, you make the decisions and you become this person you could never be in reality and become involved in a fantastical and fascinating world reality doesn't compare to for the most part. So long point is, that's why I found it particularly jarring to be reading 'Yu did this'. Because the storytelling leads me into the delusion that I AM Yu, despite being female and looking different and having a completely different personality, etc. But when I'm playing, I am Yu. For then some omniscient narrator to be referring to me in third person is weird, and so was seeing myself talking to a girl via telephone. Given, the telephone scenes weren't as bad and I got used to it in a while. But I could never get used to those narration bits. Also, the telephone scenes did give me an idea of what 'I' looked like, since I had no idea otherwise. But a suggestion if you want to do that is to have Yu as a face in a small box on the left of the dialogue box or incorporated into it. I've seen some other visual novels do that; it makes me aware that I am the character but still what I look like or what emotions I'm making. Of course, this is just a suggestion.
Puzzles: I loved them, had fun, and puzzle games are pretty much the only games I'm good at because I look for things very closely and leads are easy to understand for me. I didn't even know you could use puzzles in a visual novel. I really liked it; I thought your whole visual novel was ingenious with the question marks and getting to click on random objects and getting a commentary on it. Like 'it would be rude to switch that off right now' when I clicked on the lights. I found that hilarious.
Characters: In a general sense, I liked them, even though I didn't feel any specific attachment or liking to any of them. Which I'm assuming is the point, so that's not a setback at all. I found Eiji very likeable, although was a bit offended when he kicked me out multiple times. Like, I'm only trying to get you as a friend back ok? I liked Bleu, if that was his name. In my mind he was nicknamed 'hilarious-joker-guy'. I loved his humor. It was my kind of thing; you can expect me to be repeating those jokes from time to time to myself or to any patient friends willing to listen. I think the main thing I want to say about the character though, is blatant APPRECIATION for so many drawn character sprites. Like seriously. That random guy I met for like one minute before he got shot even got his own sprite! Normally it's just told along the lines of 'some random guy got shot'. It was just amazing and I think that dead-guy was when I first started to really appreciate the tremendous effort put into this game. It's not normal, honestly, and I would like to say it was unnecessary but I felt it did improve my gaming experience a lot knowing that the people doing it are truly giving their all. Oh, and I just wanted to mention from reader Miho (I think that was her name)'s diary, I found her slightly psycho and a bit fake-moe, or tsundere. I don't know what gave me the psycho impression, but yeah just something about it. It didn't give me a big desire to want to bring her back to life, but since I'm Yu I just went along with it. I don't think it's a realistic sounding diary entry for a girl as well, and sounds as if it was written for the intention of someone finding it. It would probably be way too much effort and not extremely worth it to change it now, but just a general idea of what a girl's diary looks like. Or, at least from my experience. A diary is more...angsty and less cute. There are no drawn out sounds or bubbly-sounding talkative language. I get the emoticons though, because it shows her fascination with the 'old world' I found that really interesting. But yeah, a diary is often a form of therapy, when you're sad, or when you're happy you feel like it's a thing capable of immortalizing your good moments down on paper. Or the opposite; chain your pain down on paper so that it no longer burdens you. So therefore it's more realistic when there's more feelings written or musings or 'wishes'. I know I use to use my diary as a wish-granter almost. I believed that it was something that listened to me, and if I was good would fulfill my wishes. Like a paper-Santa haha. You may now laugh. >< I thought it was a friend too, so whenever I had things I felt no one living would ever bother to listen to me I'd write it down as if I were talking to my diary. Anyways, hoped this helped if you ever need to replicate a diary again haha. I think I can understand though if you wanted to show something about the girl's personality, but I'm unsure of your intentions so I just told you what I felt about it and how I interpreted it.
Effort: Well, you know that I vastly appreciate the effort put into this game. It's enough for me to put effort into writing this super long review! I actually even registered just to provide feedback. Well not entirely, because I'm producing a VN too and thought it was due time for me to understand how it all works, but my desire to help you in some way or form for producing such a wonderful work of art is the catalyst for why I registered. I must say after seeing your kickstarter page though, I think you put a tad too much effort in haha. In my opinion though, because like I said I'm a very minimalistic, impressionistic kind of person. Looking at your earlier designs of Miho, I don't think I would have liked her any less or any more if she had that blush or not, or this clothing or that kind of clothing. The overall quality of the artwork doesn't change in my eyes. Also, I don't know about most people but when I play visual novels I rarely look at the expressions after the first glance at how well the character is drawn. I just look, understand how they look and subconsciously comment to myself how good or bad the art is, and then the rest of the time I focus on reading the text. I rarely look back at the character again, the only reason they're still there for me anymore is to occasionally glance at their expression, appreciate/not appreciate the art again, and then gives me a quick message which character I'm talking to or if I'm talking to anyone at all. So yeah, little details pass me by, and at some points where the text was particularly interesting I don't think I would've even realized if one of them suddenly grew three eyes or an extra mouth. I think the only way I could tell is if I skip the stuff and everything fast-forwards. So yeah. In my opinion as a player (which you do not necessarily think is a valuable opinion to uphold because I may think differently) little details don't matter and it's all about the big picture. The time to fix such things could be put into editing text, creating new character and artwork, etc. I always thought the text is the more important in a visual novel because that's the bit that tells the majority of the story.
I can't remember if I had anything else to say. Probably not, but if there is I'll bring it back up. I'm sorry for not being able to give a thorough review of every single sentence or detail since the very beginning, but if you found this interesting or helpful in any way at all and you'd like something more thorough I'll be available in about a week after my exams are over. For the time being, feel free to contact me.
Once again, thank you for this demo! Good luck on your game and I hope you get funded! Wishing you the best
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