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A jam entry

Heart StringsView game page »

A Otome-styled romance simulator for the IGMC 2017.
Submitted by MoonlightDaemon with 10 hours, 16 minutes before the deadline

Play game

Visit Heart Strings's game page

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • Theme 

    The game is about a school that somehow marries it students for some reason to graduate if you don’t you get a random person? How is this legally possible? But I’ve seen dating sims doing crazier so I guess this isn’t that surprising of a premise.

    Gameplay 

    The gameplay feels too early in planning and as a dating sim game it lacks some aspects and some odd choices. Things I noted:

    • You have 107 days. Time limits like this are good!
    • Going to school, you can only take one class or hang out. There is no warning.
    • You can’t get any “points” if you fail a series of choices (e.g. Cosmetics). The problem is that there's no material in the game that seems to explain these concepts? What about people who don't use Cosmetics, do we have to google search some beauty tips?
    • Hanging out with dudes (e.g. Rin) results no scene or whatsoever to get to know them giving you no reason to get into them. It makes you ask why bother?
    • There’s no routine for all the characters or the use of calendar. Everyone is in school 12/7.
    • You don’t get tired, ever. You can just continue studying.
    • The game isn’t clear when is night and day to go to school. You just have to remember it.
    • The Janitor minigame is alright.
    • There needs to be a quick travel mode.

    Presentation 

    Super big maps that needs to be tighter so you can go to places you need to go faster. The intro sudden and feels like the pacing isn't just there. There’s no “romantic” moments for a dating sim game. Shit just happens out of nowhere. There's some typos here and there. 

    Engagement

    I was excited to play a dating sim and was sorely disappointed.

    Total – 33/80

Engine
RMMV

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Comments

(+1)

Ah I was kind of excited about this game but tbh it needs some work... you need to live it up!
In a dating-sim game you expect there to be some romantic events.. something cute to do with the characters and after spending about 20 minutes in the game I was kind of bored.
The walk from the dorms to the school and vice versa is so.. tiresome. You could make it a little easier on us by putting the door for the dorms somewhere closer to where is our room. I spent more time walking back and forth than actually going on dates or classes in the game.
The classes - the mini-games - were fun to do. No issues there that I noticed.
The dates didn't really do much for me. You should at least randomize a short description of the date. What they did, what they said, where they go, etc.. just something interesting for the players to want to keep going on these dates. Because it's always the same no matter who you are dating.
I would like to talk with the other students in the school too.. or at least have some more interaction with other people in school. School life is not all about learning and dating, it's also about communication and having fun with your classmates.. this game lacks that.
I'm a bit curious about what we can sew in our room, I didn't really see anything in game that suggested how I would go about getting some dress/outfit recipes.  This was honestly the only thing that kept me playing the game a little more but I was left with no answers too.
I would also love to see more alternatives to gaining money in the game. Collecting trash is nice (recycling is cool!) but having some other ways would be good too. After a while that "part-time" job got kind of boring too.. :(
I found a typo in English class.. "possessive" XD (The teacher is super hot though so I forgive! haha Why can't we date the teachers too?! :P)

Overall: I thought the concept for the game was good, you just need to make it more interesting and interactive. Adding more dialogues and events would be a good place to start! :) Good luck!

PS: I came across a bug when I tried to go to the 2nd floor in the school from the stairs in f1-e
I got in the stairs stuck. I showed up in f2-e but I was stuck in place and couldn't move around. Only option was to restart the game.

Developer(+1)

Thank you for your review! This was my first game, so I apologize for the bugs. As this was for IGMC, I accidentally overshot my deadline and had to submit early. I will fix this game and make a full game soon. Consider this a demo for now.  A new version should be done by February 14, so stay tuned!

PS: I’m glad you like the English Teacher, he is pretty hot. The Head of Students is currently romancable though.

Submitted

So, I like the concept of this. A school where you have to get married to graduate is kinda wacky but fun. I liked the idea with the stats, lessons and the mini games, but I just felt like it didn't really live up in the execution.

I didn't play for long, so I didn't see any holidays or events that might have combated some of this criticism, but if you can't hook people from the start it doesn't matter what cool stuff you have later game, so here goes with my feedback;

You go on dates with characters, but you don't actually see them. You don't get to talk to the characters or learn about them, you just have to pick who to start romancing based on the intro. With all of the stats, it does feel more like an rpg than a romance sim. (I haven't played a lot of otome games, but I'm pretty sure they're based a lot more around character dialogues and choices.)

I found it incredibly tedious to walk back to my dorm, sleep or study, then walk out of the dorm and back to school each day. Sometimes, that took longer than the actual days events. Your maps are a bit too big and boring (or a sample map,) so it wasn't interesting to travel, and that's the main reason I quit playing. I wasn't having as much fun as I thought it should be.

Some quick fixes you might want to look into;

The tiling error on the walls above all of the doors can be fixed with shift click mapping. (Tut is Vx Ace but it's the same method.)

Tsukiko and Miku have the exact same face apart from their hair. You might want to change the eyes/nose to make them more unique.

In the fortune telling class I was awarded a B and a C.

I went out with Rin and Miku too, but my relationship only went up with Kazuki. 

So, I'm sorry if that came out a little harsh. I can see what you were going for, and I do like your ideas. I think you might just need a bit more experience in making a rewarding player experience, and the best way to do that is to just keep making and getting feedback! If otome games are something that interest you, you might want to look into the visual novel genre instead, I think it's a bit better suited to developing deep character relationships. 

Hope this helps :)

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

Thabk you for your comment! I will take your suggestions into consideration and see what I can do, but as it is in the 2017 IGMC I can’t do anything right now. This was also my first game, so I apologize for anything I could’ve done better