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A jam entry

CaterpillarView game page »

Can I be a good brother for her?
Submitted by Blue Elixir Games with 2 days, 13 hours before the deadline

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Ranked 36th with 6 votes

CriteriaRankVotes
People's Choice Vote#366

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • PRESENTATION
    Visually, most of the game is custom graphics. There's a lot of nice little bits (like the slack rope vs the taut rope) that add a bit extra to scenes but for the most part the graphics work quite well. What RTP there was is used interestingly, off the grid and at angles or clumped into groupings. It also fit the custom graphics quite well despite being two different styles.

    Lighting and fog effects are pretty well done and lend a lot to the atmosphere of the game. There are some times when the fog isn't shown until a few seconds after a fade in to the next screen, which isn't likely to be intended.

    Writing is, sadly, the biggest let down of this game as it is incredibly obvious that the writer is not English. Thus there are a lot of stilted sentences, grammatical issues and words out of place. That said, it does get across the intended information, even if it has a negative impact on the emotions that the story tries to sell you on.

    The story itself seems interesting and I would have liked to have seen more of it. The characters are pretty basic - a generic family going on a camping trip. They don't really expand much beyond that point (or as far as I could see before I got stuck.)

    Sound is quite well done. There's background noise which works well in the forested setting, and the music that does play works to enhance the atmosphere, being peaceful but mysterious.

    GAMEPLAY

    Gameplay consists of walking around, talking with the other characters, collecting items and using them, searching on-map areas and making choices. There was also a lost maze type area where a flame gave you hints as to which path you needed to take.

    You cannot grab items before you need them which is mildly annoying. The items are also easy to tell when they're collectables.

    The puzzles have issues when it comes to being able to figure them out. Some are better than others, but a few of them seem broken due to the eventing messing up. The biggest example of this would be the father event, which I explain a bit more in Engagement.

    Some of the passability is weird, since the game adheres to grid but has background that doesn't, meaning that walking close to certain map areas are weirdly blocked and it does make it a bit annoying at times to run around.

    ENGAGEMENT
    Reloading saves is never fun when it's a puzzle that causes you to have to do so. The puzzle in the house ended up ending my playthrough due to the impossibility of figuring out what you were supposed to do. I tried the choices over and over again, searched the house over and over in case I missed something and still could not get the right combination (if there even was one). My wire broke, my spoon dropped, my water ran out and the bottle was still impossible to get. At one point I was just wishing I could punch or kick the vase over. The fact is that it should have been easy to just reach in and grab the dumb bottle since I'd been able to do so in the past with rope and wood, and in this case it was floating on water and should have been even easier to pick up. It led to a lot of frustration.

    In fact, most of the puzzles were frustrating in their own different ways. The lost forest puzzle is never fun, though funnily enough it was the least frustrating of the puzzles since you at least got a hint of some kind to let you know which direction to go to.

    The father in a hole puzzle was incredibly frustrating due to father asking after healing herbs when he wanted another leave instead... leading to my collecting a ton of the herbs to give to him (yes, he'd take them every time, then ask for even more). I was incredibly close to just counting that as a bug until I accidentally found the hard-to-spot area I needed to go in order to get another leaf.

    Also, waiting for father after that was tricky because you could keep going back and waiting for him didn't seem to do anything. I'd get the choice to wait or go (and choose wait because I'm not mean... but it was getting close to my just up and going after a while) and then go south to see if he turned up. After a while I'd go to the southern exit hoping that waiting made a new map teleport instead of putting me back at the top of the same map. I did finally find out I could go forward by just going north after saying I'd wait, but it was still annoying.

    THEME
    Since I couldn't finish the game, I'm basically left guessing what the game is about based on what it started as. What story and characterisation I've seen so far has led me to believe the game overall theme is about responsibility and growing out of the cocoon of childhood into an adult. The missing sister, the loss of parents and having to find your own way forward points to this. The name of the game as well as the cocoon that was shown in the game hints at this as well.

    Mechanics-wise, the story focuses on interacting and putting puzzles together, focussing on intelligence and thought over over aspects. That said, it's very confusingly done and requires you to go in a very specific order, making it a bit hard for the player to jump ahead in logic (for example, there's a box and a ladder that is off the ground. You think right away that you should need the box but you have to first interact with a locked door and the ladder before you can do anything with the box. Same with a lot of puzzles at the very start where you need to know that you want the items before you're allowed to pick them up).

    This forces the player to be dependant on the game to do what is needed, actually working against the theme of independence a bit. There's more of this in the puzzle of the lost forest where hints are given to allow you to move forward, or waiting for your father to tell you what is needed before you can give it properly.

    With a bit of tweaking, though, the mechanics could definitely reflect the theme a bit better, allowing for the taking of items before their needed (independence in the way of planning ahead) and being able to give items to father that you think will help (and phrasing it like that - "Dad, here's some sticks. I remember in first aid class you need to support a broken leg. They should help!")

    Score: 43/80

Engine
RPG Maker VX ACE

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Comments

(Edited 1 time)

Art, design and puzzles were good, especially the art and design. What I don't like is when a way is open, but the character talk to himself so I should not go that way.

SPOILER

Although I didn't see any difference between choices, selecting left and right was the best of the choices, in a foggy place and an injured person, simple choice is better. the biggest down point in story is I didn't get exactly when, where and how he died.

SPOILER ALERT


This was a cute story, but there's some stuff I think could be improved on to make it even better. The Engrish breaks the immersion really bad, and some of the choices don't make much sense (why was it bad to go back for the backpack? Why do I even need the backpack? Right or left at the ending? etc etc.). The biggest problem I had was how the ending just came out of nowhere. I'm the last person who should complain about a dead protagonist, but it was so sudden it was hard to be sad about it. It was more of a "Wait, wut?" and less of a "No, my worst fears have been realized!". A little foreshadowing would go a long way to making sure the ending breaks the player's feels with maximum impact.

This game was adorable and a sad story with an ending I definitely was not expecting! Atmosphere was nice, and I really liked the puzzle where you had to read riddles and choose the right path. But in the end the game fell a bit flat. I didn't feel like any of my choices really mattered (choose left or right is not a meaningful choice if player isn't given any reason why they would want to pick one over another.) Storytelling could also use a bit more polishing, also the puzzles could use more variety.  I also really recommend getting a proof-reader too, since there was some bizarre grammar. But overall there is a lot of potential in this game, and you had great amount of content in such a short time! Good job. I hope you all keep making games, since I sensed lot of passion towards this project. :)

Developer

Thank you for your lovely comment. And yes, we would like to improve this game in the future. More content and puzzle.

Uh....I am stuck at the part where you have to collect 4 woods and 6 ropes to cross the river....Where are the woods and the ropes....?

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Make sure you've check all area around there, it's not far away :D 

(if you still stuck, you can read a minor spoiler about the places at the following, don't read it if you won't be spoiled)


~


fyi there are two areas that you can looking for those items, first at the small house/hut at the bottom forest and the camp at the right side, check all corner to find those items.

I went there (the small hut and the camp site), checked the hut and the camps even cut off the rope from the tree using the rustic knife. But all I have is 3 woods and 5 ropes....

Developer

have you checked the broken box inside the hut? you'll got one different type of wood there  also the rope is inside the hut too. Make sure you don't missed it :)

I felt, resources wise, it seemed very astonishing and I was ready to be amazed however the story (disregarding the poor English) was very, I wanna say poorly executed.

Again I feel the game definitely had potential however the handling of the story, especially the maze puzzle was poorly executed.

Evaluation of the maze puzzle.

Some of the hints from the fire were ok I guess. When it said your path seems rough, I though ok then maybe that might mean I have to head towards a direction that had rough terrain. Then it said something about go towards the crowd. At first I though huh? There's no one here, but then I said maybe it's a metaphor. I saw a bunch of trees and headed in that direction because I assumed they had a crowd of trees if that makes sense? The first time I did it, it sent me right back to the beginning so I tried other areas and after almost quitting I tried the trees area again and this time it worked. I would been ok with redoing the loop if it just didn't send me back to the beginning every time. Then the next area said don't trust the lights, or something, so I headed to the dark cave. After doing so however I came right back to the same place. Thinking it was a bug I said ok I'll go back in to the cave but I came right back to where I was. So i said ok maybe it's left. Nope. Maybe back? That brought me to the beginning of the puzzle which sucked. Then finally I went to the lights and it worked so I guess I should trust the lights? Maybe it was poorly translated and it meant to say trust the lights. The last area before the maze ends was the most annoying of them all. Before you even enter the maze it tells you there is no turning back, or something about don't regret I don't remember. When the maze didn't work at times I tried going back because sometimes regardless of my direction it would loop. So out of frustration I would go back and surprise surprise I would be at the beginning. This isn't the games fault thought that's mine for ignoring the don't go back or regret thingy. The problem with the game was that it made it pretty obvious by the multiple trial and errors that going back was not a good thing so having to head back for the last puzzle to go forward almost made me lose my head lol. 

The reason I stopped playing wasn't because of that though. I stopped playing because the father part had a bug (or at least I think so). i got rope and I assume it snapped cause the father was heavy? So I got another one and it snapped too? Then it said get another and I did but the father kept telling me to get another. i checked the game and it said I had 3 pieces of rope but the father said I needed more rope. I clicked everywhere and nothing. I tried going back to the loop puzzle too lol. But nothing. So I saw the father said something about a counter balance. i clicked the rocks but nothing happened. I gave up at that point. I would've revisited the game to properly finish it but I didn't save after the maze so I just threw in the towel. Sadly I'll never know if my sister in the game was ok. i hope she was though lol.

Sorry for the huge amount of text just wanted to share my experience with the game.

The art was great. Sadly the game itself didn't complement it. 

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

Thanks for the comment, for the maze area, the mechanism is you must ask the blue fire for the direction as it said at the first meet cutscene when it said "TRUST ME" , so if you try to find the way yourself without asking it, you'll thrown back to the beginning, instead, if you had asked the blue fire but you move to wrong way (don't follow what the blue fire said) , you'll thrown back to the beginning but at same map (not at the beginning when you saw a skeleton). 

I currently working for the next update

Ahh! OK gotcha. No wonder even after I thought I understood the maze I kept being thrown about lol. Thank you very much for clearing that up.

(+1)

The art for this was awesome, overall - but actually playing the game was quite tedious. It shows that English isn't your strong suit - which wasn't the worst thing until I had to do the fog maze and there were a few directions that weren't super clear. I stopped playing shortly after the maze because the whole game seemed like "find this and return here, find this and return here...and this find this and return here" - it just wasn't fun any more.