I'd have really liked to complete this one, but it's a little too frustrating. I understand wanting to keep the pace fenetic by having a death state after idling too long, but that in combination with unskippable FMV's, and no clear signposting of a) interactable items, and b) frame exits, means that it's more than likely you'll die before you figure out what to do. If you want the player to have to replay the game over and over before winning, that's fine, but include the option to skip forward so you can run through what you already know. If you want the player to be able to get through in one hit, make it clear where you can exit the frame (I died in the TV room four times trying to exit the frame because I couldn't find the sweet spot) and increase the death state idle.
Incidentally, my best run ended because I was opening the box to get the key and that set the idle timer off. You can't kill the player for experimenting with their items if you build the system like a point and click. I wouldn't have minded so much if I could make up that progress again without sitting through every segment, but alas you're forced too.
Also, just a thought, but consider adding some internal monologue - for example, using the flashlight on the dark area yielded nothing, but it wasn't entierly clear, so I went to check my inventory and got killed because she idled too long. A quick 'nope nothing in there' could have helped that. This was the case with the entrance door too, I wasn't sure if she was fighting off an assaliant or trying to open it. Maybe a simple 'it's jammed from the outside?" would fix that.
That all being said I love the concept and wish their were more games like this, I would really love to give it another go in the future and love to check out your other games, this is just a little too mechanically broken at the moment for it to be a rewarding experience. I will probably try it again tho.
Hey! Really appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience with the game, so let me address the issues you mentioned. I agree with you regarding the signposting of frame exits, a clear visual indicator would come a long way helping people navigate the house, however the pixel hunt aspect of finding the useful items was by choice since that was the way most FMV games the game is paying homage to were, Also is a very very short game and as you said, meant to be replayed until you get a perfect run.
I tried to balance the time you get until the killer finds you to keep you on your toes but you still have time to perform the actions you require, most point and click games have a leisure pace and this is not the case, sorry if you felt annoyed by dying, do you think the timer should be longer? if that's the case how long without losing the frenetic aspect?
Regarding skipping forward well, the game is so short that it would barely be a game if you could skip all the FMVs, since basically that's what the game is, I don't want to break the suspension of disbelief if you can skip skip skip everything, it's supposed to be a real person moving around a house if you get what I'm saying hehe.
You are right on point with the internal monologues serving as feedback for the player, I'm taking note on that one! totally missed those !
Again thank you for the feedback! truly appreciated!
Thanks for replying! I actually went back an hour later and realized the game ended two frames after where I had died in my best run, so you're right about it being short enough that the FMV's don't overstay their welcome too much. I think it was more frustrating early game because exit frames weren't marked and I felt I didn't have the time to explore a frame to find the exit points without dying (And you hide the cursor during FMV so I couldn't even prepare my cursor in advance), so I died a lot (and watched the intro sequence each time as well since I didn't realize ESC skipped the intro, since it didnt work on the others). But honestly that might be the experience you want to sell, and it was overall good so I guess these are just some thoughts heh ^_^
I think you could basically leave the game unchanged by simple putting a watched/unwatched flag on each FMV and let the player jump to the next idle frame only if they've watched it AND died (including the death scene for that location).Then pixel hunting the exits is fine, and dying is just part of it, because you can quickly make up your lost progress. I know you want the game to be longer but I think the player would get more satisfaction out of expanded gameplay itself and not artifically inflating it with inconvenince. Since it's all already been shot, simply having more items per room to interact with would be a neat idea, provided I can skip to idle, since this would increase the fenetic pace by looking for the right one. Giving in game achievements for finding every death is another idea, because then at least you feel like you're still moving toward the end of the game even in death.
But the other option if skipping to idle is a no go, is to clear up the exit sweet spots (maybe just make them a little larger) and extend the idle (I'd consider adding enough time to hit each item and sweet spot at least once if you know where they are, plus a little bonus inventory time, before death state fires - that way if the player comes in to a frame fresh, they can use that inventory time for more exploration, and if they know what they're after, they have enough time to mix). You might have already done this but some players are slower than others so extending a little can help, just knowing you might overstay your welcome and hit the death state is enough to keep that pace up, even if it's a little more chill in how quickly it fires. For me an extra second would have made a huge difference, at least reflectivly that's how it feels, but it's hard to say. You could also have the first death fire at the same rate and each additional death scene/ location takes a little longer, so the player still feels like IT COULD HAPPEN AT ANY MOMENT. Another idea is for every death each death idle extends by a second, so that the game curves you down to finish it, the longer you player. The illusion of random times would also increase the panic.
With the internal monologues, I misinterprete both sections because of it - I did actually get an item from the darkened area but didn't realize because there isnt any player feedback on it (that I remember) so maybe just adding a rolldown effect on the inventory after you get an item, so the player can see they've picked up something, would be good. Also, with the door FMV I'd just do a dumb 'it's locked' msg which I think fits the homage angle and also lets the player know what they're looking for to finish the game. I was kind of just stumbling blind even with the final item, thinking maybe I'd use the kitchen item by clicking during the death state xD
Sorry for the essay, I really dig the game and look forward to potentially more in the same vein, playing some good horror FMV games sounds like a dream come true ^_^