Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! Very happy to hear and very excited to play it as soon as I get a chance!
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There's a lot of good things I can say about this one. I'm a fan of visual novel as a storytelling format and have been for quite some time. It shouldn't surprise anybody that a large number of VNs tend to have much in common:
- Focus on visually defined characters,
- Playing as a POV character that is directly involved in the action,
- Heavy inspiration from Japanese culture.
This VN does away with those trends entirely. You never see what the characters look like, your POV remains unclear for much of the title, and the story has its roots in Scotland. As a disclosure, the bullet list elements are not bad--they are tried and true--but after so much exposure to VNs that do embrace those elements, it is beyond refreshing to see something so different.
Difference from the crowd alone does not make a title worthwhile, but Dear Devere does not fall into the trap of being different for difference's sake. The title wholeheartedly embraces decorated letters not only as the primary form of delivering prose, but as the primary visual element, too. Beyond their visual appeal, these letters are part of the story and many subtleties exist in each that certainly can't be immediately gleaned from an initial singular playthrough. The narrative enhances the visual designs shown, and the visual designs enhance the narrative.
Dear Devere is a fantastic experience. I would gladly recommend it to anybody remotely interested in digital storytelling experiences, even and especially those who shy away from visual novels in their entirety. Well done on the title, and I am extremely excited to see whatever projects the future may hold for you!
A friend linked this to me today! I felt the sale price was too low (you'd lose a lot of money from charging below $1 due to fees) so as a fellow dev I was inclined to give a little extra. I played through one route so far, Gwen's, and I really enjoyed how cute and chill the whole experience was. I particularly enjoy that you could specify pronouns at the start of the game for She or They. Each character has a great sense of fashion, even the disaster pants, and the style's very cute. Definitely worth the purchase!
Sometimes I win against Goddess Kagami, sometimes I lose, but every time I praise her smarts and beauty. Really fun little mini-game here that is surprisingly hard, but fun! I have learned that I am bad at coming up with nouns that begin with the letter W. I ended up going with wok in one instance, which I was pleasantly surprised to see the game recognized!
I like how it teases you with a fun little introduction to what is certainly an absolutely insane event that nobody realistically should want to witness, but then ends abruptly because you can witness it. Good job on putting it all together for the jam!
I liked the simple pace here. You had a minimal idea and executed it very well. The lack of background added to the experience as well, I found, to help you focus more on the character at hand. Good job, M!
Super creepy, and the eery but captivating voice acting elevated the experience immensely. I'm down to try out more games with a similar style to this one. Great work, will definitely be following you to see what you make in the future!
Hi, I do. In fact, it's uploaded on this very itch account! https://marimodev.itch.io/terminal-love
I'm glad that I made the original Terminal Love. It's what started my whole gamedev journey. To hear that somebody remembers it and wants to experience it again means much more to me than I think you might realize. Cheers!
I see two distinct issues:
- The current NSFW tagging option is not being used as much as it should due to it being hidden as metadata
- The current NSFW tagging option, regardless of its visibility, is too vaguely defined, as people have different definitions for what constitutes NSFW content
To me, both these have individual answers. Let's look at the first one. I went to a game that I believe should be marked as NSFW, which was You Must be 18 or Older to Enter. Nowhere on this page is a warning flagged for NSFW content, nowhere in any expandable section is this apparent (the developer did include tags for Erotic and Porn, however), and nowhere on the page when I download the game am I warned of its potential content. Only in reading the game's description and its title am I made aware that this game might not be appropriate for all ages. To me, that is an issue on the front-end design and the user experience, but that is a bit out of scope for this comment.
I propose we move the current NSFW checkbox from metadata to the main page where you edit the title, description, etc. For now this would be a simple checkbox, just as it is already. In making this move, though the definition of what constitutes NSFW may still be arbitrary, it should at least lead to more developers selecting the option, thus increasing the set of games on itch tagged NSFW.
After some time passes, statistics can be aggregated. How many new games uploaded were tagged NSFW versus before? How many older games that were not tagged NSFW had updates and then were tagged NSFW as a result of the change in visibility? To me, this is useful information in understanding how developers currently interact with the tools that already exist. While on this thread we have some limited insight and suggestions, I think I am most interested in understanding why a developer would click the NSFW button. What content did they feel defined NSFW? We can speculate on the obvious ones like nudity, but perhaps in probing the developers who do have games marked NSFW, we can better understand their decision making process. We can similarly probe users (with accounts) who play NSFW games, and survey them as well. Naturally, the surveys should be anonymous.
In probing for this information, we can then better learn what filters for NSFW should exist. As stated before, nudity is an obvious one, but I believe some not-so-obvious options exist in this space, too. Once an encompassing set of NSFW filters/tags is determined, then the developer dashboard can be updated such that those fields are available.
I would rather have a static set of NSFW filters, ones that the developer cannot add to, unlike the freeform and very arbitrary tagging system that exists currently. This is because if I want to filter out certain NSFW games or books, I wish to do so rigorously. If everybody can tag things arbitrarily, then somebody can tag something with a typo, or include a specific tag that I may not have heard of, whereas rigid filters like "nudity" or "drug use" are more universal.
I do not think specifying age guidelines like ESRB is a good idea unless forced by law. If the law forces this decision, then a much more rigorous process must be taken, akin to Google Play's questionnaire all developers must fill out for their games. The resultant ratings that emerge differ by country, sometimes in surprising ways, and the entire process is slow and not great to go through. It already is daunting for a developer to update their game and fill out every field that exists, but I would not want to introduce too many changes too quickly, as I do not wish to burden the developer with more noise they must work through when their end goal is to simply release their game.
So much to comment on! First, I'm extremely pleased that I am not the only indie game dev to feature the Oakland Athletics in a video game. This "review" will be long and personal, but I wanted to share it a bit since this game made me think a lot more about my upbringing and past than I expected to, going in.
Spoilers for the game below this point! Look out, folks!
Similar to many of the protagonists in this game, I grew up in a bit of a strict setting where I was expected to always do well in school and expected to not date during high school. This is pretty much akin to Noelle's experience: the entire sequence where she gets an A and her parents berate her reminded me of the time I got a 100% on a test and was scorned for not doing better (there was no extra credit for me to do better even if I wanted to).
The political backdrop of the game is pretty interesting as well, and served more to make the characters feel real than it did to distract from the plot. Obama's 2008 win and the Prop 8 debate play tangential roles, and I like how it was handled. The only thing to break realism for me was that some of the character dialogue felt more 2010's than mid-late 2000's, but it wasn't enough to distract me from the game.
Let's talk baseball, now. I already mentioned how excited I was to see the A's in a game. When I went in I didn't expect a game that would actually involve baseball, more of what I expected was baseball as a background setting. I grew up with a love of the game (my most stereotypical American trait) and, unfortunately, a love for my local Orioles team. I wish my high school did have a baseball team when I attended, but alas, I wound up in tennis.
Finally, and this is probably the most depressing point to end on: seeing this group of fictional girls be friends among one another and having a common experience with regards to their ethnic background left me deep in contemplation. From my name on here I'm sure you can guess that I'm of Arab descent, but funnily enough, I never grew up with anybody of a similar background. The game talks about how the characters, living in the California Bay Area, didn't realize that outside their bubble not many Asians existed. I guess it was something I never had, and it did get me wondering just what my childhood and high school life would have been like if there were others like me. At the very least, this game let me live vicariously to catch a glimpse of what that might have felt like.
Definitely recommending this to people. Thanks for making such an original work!
This is the best movie adaptation I've seen in this jam. Some small points that could really solidify this game:
- Switching between Space to start an interaction and Enter to continue one is a bit confusing (and hitting Space multiple times causes a bug) so I'd recommend just one action button for that.
- Diagonal movement would be sweet.
- Some basic audio assets, like a crackling fireplace, would go a long way.
Overall, this is a complete entry and I enjoyed it. Extremely wholesome, family-friendly entertainment.
I've played about half of the games for this jam and so far you're the only one to get perfect ratings in every category. Really enjoyed this and loved the fast-paced minigame-fest you included. Great work!
I actually really enjoyed this. At first I tried the arrow keys to move but was pleased at finding WASD worked just as well, especially since R was bound to reloading. The chill music in the background as you popped folks was pretty nice and definitely my style of humor.
Gave multiple attempts to load the game, but my browser (Firefox) kept forcing the process to close due to it taking a long time to generate a level. Is there a way to play a version of the game with a preloaded level?
This is really cool to look at! I did find a few minor bugs that might be helpful to know for future work:
1. I'm using a keyboard with a volume scroller, and it seems like scrolling the bar counts as a valid input, same as clicking the mouse.
2. I hit N to get the next song but I think it ended up playing all the songs at once.
Really cool stuff overall! :)
Downloaded this because a [bug on itch.io](https://github.com/itchio/itch/issues/1558) specified it didn't run on the Windows client. Didn't have a problem installing this through the app, so I tried it out. It's really cute and I love what it's doing. My only thing is that I wish there were more so I could see the other endings. :)