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(1 edit)

We appreciate the feedback!

For Let Go., we didn't want to explore why the boyfriend must die. The focus is on the two characters and how they interact with each other, rather than the world around them. We feel that any focus on the 'why' of the situation would detract from what we felt was most important: the two characters. It seems artificial because it kind of is - it's a situation there to explore the characters, rather than for the characters to look at or solve. More of a character study than a game about a world. 

For If in Your Dreams; the Flood,  it's similar to Let Go. Background isn't as important because the feeling of impending dread is so common, that we don't have to establish a why behind it. Another case of 'characters and their interactions trump the need for background information'. 

For Beyond Yesterday's Grasp, we didn't insert a trans character - he's just trans, just like the MC of Let Go. is a straight African American male, and the MC of Flood is a young white girl. BYG isn't telling the story specifically of a trans character who experiences what they experience, it's about a character who just so happens to be trans. 

I hope that helps you understand our perspective, and we'll be sure to take your comments into consideration in our future projects! This game was made in a single month, and there are obvious flaws that we'll be addressing in the future (a lot comes from the lack of time). Thanks again!


Wolf, Watercress Studio Director.

(4 edits) (-4)

>We feel that any focus on the 'why' of the situation would detract from what we felt was most important: the two characters.

I don't know how it worked for your other players, but for me personally it made hard to relate with the main characters. And it's condsidering that I DO have tragic episode in my life when the person whom I loved the most was slowly dying from cancer and I could do NOTHING to save her. I didn't need time loop in order to understand it.

>Background isn't as important because the feeling of impending dread is so common, that we don't have to establish a why behind it.

At the least for me characters without background are swallow. Considering what you said it look like lack of background is cowardice on part of the writer(s). "What if I will provide background, but players will consider problems of the main heroine insignificant? Better make it abstract and vague". As player I can understand that the heroine is afraid of something, but it's impossible for me to relate to her when I lack her background. For different and better approach look at https://watercress.itch.io/our-home  (Congratulations on good storytelling here, by the way!) The characters have much more specific background (we don't know anything about them from start, but learn more during the story) and it helps to relate to them more (or at the least have some feelings toward them rather than indifference. Even if said feelings are negative).

> we don't have to establish a why behind it

Let me tell you short story. A boy loved a girl. And the girl loved the boy. But their families deeply hated each other. The girl's family was forcing her to marry a man with whom she wasn't in love, so she faked her death in order to avoid the marriage. But the boy thought that she died for real and commited suicide. After discovering that her loved one killed himself the girl commited suicide too. The end.

Does it feel like the most tragic love story of all time? There are so many blank spaces where the reader can use his/her imagination to fill out details. But I think that for the most readers it's "no". At the most it looks like promising premise that can be expolited with different degrees of success when a writer will add details (what basically Shakespear did). This is also why people can be cold-blooded when they hear news reports about tragic events in life of real humans, but cry about cruel fate of fictitious ones.

>we didn't insert a trans character - she's just trans

This is not just about apperance (like having black skin, although being black can also play big part in psychology of some people): it's part of personality of said character. Does it serves purpose of story to have character(s) with such personality traits? My friend once told me that in stories of great writers, unlike in stories of ordinary writers, every single detail serves some purpose and I agree with him. For example, take look at the ending of "1984": it's not clear if the main character was killed or spared. Why was such seemingly important part of story left behind? Because, from psychological point of view, the main character ALREADY DIED. The party broke his will and made him love the Big Brother. It doesn't matter what happened with him next, he became a brainwashed puppet of totalitarian regime. Another example, the very first sentence from "1984": "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen". The very first statement symbolically hints that it's both fantastical (clocks don't strike thirteen in our world, at the most they can strike twelve. Except maybe digital clocks, but it's not the case here) and unfortunate place (because thirteen is associated with bad luck).

>like the MC of Let Go. is a straight African American male

Also, trans people are quite rare. And not all of them are open about fact that they are transgenders. To give you analogy, if I wrote a story about place where I live (Kazakhstan) it would feel very strange and awkward if I just randomly introduced a black person without a good reason (Example of good reason: I could use the fact that they are black in order to highlight that said person is a foreigner, to emphasize how alien s/he is to this place). Black people in my country are extremely rare, I have seen only three of them in my entire life and all of them were, most likely, foreigners.

>I hope that helps you understand our perspective, and we'll be sure to take your comments into consideration in our future projects!

I understand, everybody makes mistakes. As Jake the dog said "Dude, sucking at something is the first step of being GOOD at something".

(+4)

Being trans isn't a personality trait, it's just a human aspect. There's literally no need to have a reasoning for a character being trans, or a reasoning for a character being black, or anything like that, because people of all kinds exist everywhere. Even if they're only a half a percent of a given place's population, they still exist everywhere, and there doesn't need to be some special reason for them to exist. One of my best friends is trans, for example. There's no underlying reason he is, he just is. One of my other friends is black. I don't live in Africa, I live in North America, but he's not considered weird. He was born here, raised here, and is treated no differently. He's just a person who happens to be black. There's no need for a reason for a person to be a person.

Also, I noticed you accidentally said "she's" there? Caelum is a man, so it would be "he's".

(-4)

"Being trans isn't a personality trait, it's just a human aspect."

I believe it to be a mental illness, this is why I called it a personality trait.

"Even if they're only a half a percent of a given place's population, they still exist everywhere".

There are also people who were struck by a lightning several times. Several times, Carl! But as people become of rare type and events become more improbable the whole story becomes less realistic (even if it DID or COULD happen in the real life. For example, it's totally possible to win lottery seven times in row without being a fraudster or buying all tickets. But it's very improbable). Don't get me wrong, I'm OK with unrealistic story if lack of realism leads to more interesting story (like story about a person who cries with tears of gold, for example), but it's not the case here.  In "Beyond Yesterday's Grasp" I expected to get slice of life with a hero trying to overcome ghosts of the past. Instead I got story with REAL ghosts.