[Group Play 10] Trapped

A weekly event where a random games is played and discussed.
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Auro-Cyanide
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[Group Play 10] Trapped

#1 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:46 am

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Group Play is a weekly event in which one game is selected to be promoted within the forums to be played by us as a group. It provides an opportunity to promote some smaller games that would otherwise get lost, promote discussion and promote creativity. This isn't just about the creators of the games, but also us as a community. It acts as a way for us to analyse work as creative people and for us to develop the necessary critical language to develop and pursue our work.

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This week's game is "Trapped" by GlassHeart!

You can find links to the game here: Trapped

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There are some rules to follow in the following discussion about the game.

- In your primary comment on the game, please try to mention one thing you liked and one thing you think could be improved. This is in the spirit of giving both encouraging and helpful comments to the creators. You may of course go beyond this with praise or critique. I can't enforce this rule, I'll just silently judge you.

- Please try to do one play-through or enough of the game to develop a solid opinion. Some things can be commented on early on, but things like plot might be best left until you finish the game.

- There is no rule as to whether you post here only or in the completed game topic. Feel free to do as you like. This is just a space to discuss this game while playing it at the same time as others.

- Please try to think about the game play as a whole, as well as the different parts that make up the game.

- Please be respectful to the game and creator. You don't have to like a game, but you should be respectful to the effort.

- Please follow the forum rules.

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If you would like to make your own suggestions and haven't already, please feel free to PM them to me.

These are the current guidelines for suggestions:

- Anyone can send me 3 games (VN, KN Sim, whatever, just from these forums or related to) that they think are worth playing by PM.
- There can only be three suggestions per person and if a game gets suggested multiple times, they still only get one draw.
- You may suggest your own games.
- For now they must not be 18+, just because we want to encourage everyone to join first up. If it goes well, maybe something can be arranged for the big kids.
- Please try to make sure the game is short (around a max of 30,000 words). It isn't a hard and fast rule, but it's easier to make time for smaller games and it will give this a greater chance of success.
- They must be free and preferably available on all 3 platforms, again for easy access.

And with that, let the games begin!

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#2 Post by Arelune » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:43 am

I really liked this one. It was rather tenseful, and the mystery aspect was handled well.
I got the 'bad' end first, but I have no preference for either one. The 'good' ending seemed a bit rushed though.

Also liked the main menu, but maybe add another button for preferences? You can still do it when you're in the game itself, so it's not that a big deal. But adding one is handier.
Loved the bgs of the cell. It had such a paintery feel to them.
The sound and special effects were also handled well.

One complaint is that the font is a bit too small for my liking. Luckily there are no sprites I should focus on, so I can just keep staring at the text, but otherwise it might have become a hassle.

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#3 Post by SusanTheCat » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:37 am

Very interesting VN. A good example of a short VN.

I really liked the art style. The colour palette was well chosen. I liked the differences between the painterly background and the photo backgrounds.

I liked the writing. The writer did a good job of hinting at the mystery but not giving away too much too soon. I did think the MC was a big hypocrite. She asks for Mark's name but doesn't give him her own.
Ok, maybe she didn't give out her name because it was all in her head.
See my Let's Play here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtkPHrYmpUA

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#4 Post by saguaro » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:26 pm

I got the good ending my first playthrough. I've never played a game that randomly selected the ending for you, and for a short VN like this, it works. I'm impressed that it was made in three days.

This game has very good pacing and atmosphere. It makes excellent use of limited graphic and sound assets and the few bits of ATL are a nice touch. The writer did a great job of parsing out the clues, as Susan said. I liked the use of colored text instead of say labels.

I think the good ending is a bit weak, however.
Seems too much like All Just a Dream link.

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#5 Post by TheTourist » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:37 pm

Haha, I won't write as much as I did in the game's thread, but I have to admit: for something made in three days, it's quite solid. I like the idea of random endings for a VN. I played through two times without having read the introduction, so I was confused at first, but I think it's a clever way of creating different user experiences. Whichever ending you got first (I suppose I got the "bad" one), it would color your second play through.

The minimal art assets are used very well -- the dialogue's good enough I didn't miss the lack of character art too much, and the backgrounds and subtle animations were great.

(I also think the minimalistic main menu helped out with the atmosphere...)

I didn't like either ending, however; the "hallucination" explanation that the bad ending proffers didn't use any "Occurence at Owl Creek"-style clues, which felt cheap, and the "good ending" just turns the entire episode into a holodeck test. The endings could provide the basis of intriguing stories in their own right, but the beginning -- imprisoned with a strange and dangerous man due to her innate "power" -- is strong enough to be explored on its own.

But now I've written too much and should shut up.
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This Is Not A Game - a posthuman mystery and all-too-human love story
This Is Not a Love Story - three high school students intersect over the course of a Friday night

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#6 Post by kkffoo » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:33 am

I played this due it being featured in group play so review on this thread.

Wonderful atmosphere created, the tension really built for me, and it was amazing how I could almost see the things described in the shadows.
The artwork used was, at times, stunning, I felt like I was right there in the story.
A great achievement.

I'm not sure about the endings, it seemed to take me out of the story that there were two different endings for 'no reason'.
If I had been given the choice to do this, or do that, then I could have attributed that choice to the character and stayed with the story.
Or I would have accepted the one ending, if I hadn't subsequenntly known about the other.
I think there needs to be a reason for things to be different?

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Re: [Group Play 10] Trapped

#7 Post by cuttlefish » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:48 pm

I got the 'bad' ending first and liked it much better than the 'good' ending, which felt forced and not thought out.
I thought it was interesting how the rollback could change the ending.
I was intrigued by the story. I liked how the writing revealed details slowly, and how other elements of the VN (sound effects) allowed the reader to fill in details as well (ex. footsteps in the beginning sound like high heels --> female protagonist). The music, backgrounds, and sounds gave a nice atmosphere, although the piano sound effect distracted me a little since it was something I've heard used somewhere else before.

For suggestions, I wish Mark were easier to see in the background, even though he was in the shadows. Everyone was a silhouette, so it shouldn't have mattered if he were a little more obvious in later scenes? If there had been another background with Mark's silhouette lying down, that might've been good too.

It was a good read (-◡ -)

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