Manna for Our Malices [Mystery|Horror|Time Loop][Beta available][Testers requested]

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enkiv2
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:14 pm
Completed: Manna for our Malices
Projects: Manna for our Malices, Trilogy, Book of the Damned
Organization: Double Mojo
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Manna for Our Malices [Mystery|Horror|Time Loop][Beta available][Testers requested]

#1 Post by enkiv2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:04 am

Premise
Our protagonist dies unexpectedly on her way home from school, and finds her consciousness transported into her body from that morning. She must negotiate with her past self & investigate the many shady goings-on in her home town in order to discover why she keeps dying and why she goes back in time whenever she dies.

Unbeknownst to our protagonist, most of her friends are involved in at least one of the various conspiracies happening in this town (ranging from government psi experiments & illegal biomedical programs to occult rituals).

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I've been working on this on and off for a couple months, based on an idea I pitched a couple years ago. It's on github and I have periodic demo releases on itch.io. The WIP thread is here. While I can play through the entire game in less than an hour by skipping content, I expect most players to take several hours to get through it, even with a walkthrough.

The philosophical basis of this game idea is: many VNs expect players to save-scum and play through many routes in order to unlock canonical plot details; however, aside from leaning on the fourth wall, these habits are rarely integrated into the story completely. The most natural match for that play style in terms of a story is a time loop, where dead ends provide clues that unlock paths elsewhere in the game. The genre that takes best advantage of that kind of story structure is conspiracy.


Questions
1. Currently, the first iteration (in other words, everything before the protagonist's first death) is fully non-interactive. I'm taking that opportunity to introduce all the characters in their 'normal' state and give basic context. However, I worry that if playthrough time for that section is too long it will scare off players who think the game might be fully non-interactive. Is that section too long?

2. I'm not sure how clear my pitch/premise is. I've also used the pitch "Groundhog Day in a town where all conspiracy theories are true", but that's a little more misleading. Do you consider the pitch to be understandable? Alternately, what would you look for in a better one?

3. Are the puzzles understandable and solvable? Would they be too frustrating for most VN players?

4. Are the characters amusing and likable? Are they memorable?

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