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moorflower

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A member registered May 31, 2019 · View creator page →

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I would love to be able to play, but the game seems to really not want to function on my computer (a Mac). What I've managed to access has been really intriguing and the art is beautiful, but the technical issues make it impossible to access most of the game. 

The UI randomly stops responding to my mouse (every time I try to change settings, save/load the game, or otherwise use the menu) and sometimes the normal story text just won't progress. Notably, I can't get past the part when you're in the lake during the Yellow segment; it just freezes. I know lots of people can't test games on MacOS, so I totally understand if that's the case -- just wanted to make a comment so you're aware there may be some weirdness going on!

If there's ever an update or anything, I would be excited to give BLANK another shot; I love the art and the bits of horror I was able to read before the technical difficulties kicked in.

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Hi there! I had a lot of fun playing Red-Handed Robin and I wanted to leave a comment with some feedback! :) 

It comes as no surprise that the writing in this game is just as intelligent and comedic as it was in Fetch Quest. The little dialogue "minigames" are mentally engaging and fun, the humor is on-point, the art is lovely, the little details that hint towards the reveal are cool as hell, and the characters are unique and well-defined. Also, I only saw one typo in the whole game (use of "affect" instead of "effect" at one point), so the editing is also great.

I think the only real constructive feedback I have (beyond "I wish it were longer," of course) would be that I felt confused about the intricacies of the plot and backstories -- a lot of the worldbuilding didn't create a full, clear image for me [*Elaborated on below; spoilers]. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the game and really appreciate the clearly vast amount of care that went into it. I wish we had gotten some more answers, but nonetheless -- Red-Handed Robin is clever, well-written, unique, and visually beautiful!! 

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*I'm mainly referring to the witches and occult elements, but I also found myself having unanswered questions and confusion about character backstories and general information as well. For instance,

  • How did Robin use deus-ex-machina life-saving magic once? What happened during that dream (?) segment?
  • What was going on with the B-plot about the folktale, the silver box, the green gem, the eyes, and just...most of what went on with the witches on the train?
  • Was there a connection between the "occult" serial killer and the actual witches?
  • What happened to Robin's mother?
  • What was the situation with Shay's family? They're following him?
  • What happened to the elegant lady and her husband?

Those kinds of questions sort of sum up my confusion -- most of it is fairly minor, but it built up over time. 

Overall, I really truly enjoyed the characters and their interactions, but the cleave between how deliberate and exacting the writing is around topics like Robin's lies versus how lax the internal canon's exposition and worldbuilding are was occasionally jarring to me. A minor example is: the game exclusively mentions and takes place in fictional countries, but the real-world English legend of Robin Hood is of central importance to the plot and characters. This sort of thing left me feeling as though I was lacking key information throughout the game, which made the good endings feel a bit abrupt and unfulfilling when it became clear that there would be no answers to the question of what was going on behind the scenes the whole time.

I couldn't find any warning regarding this in the forum or on the game page itself so I just wanted to put out there for other people: there are major flashing lights/colors right at the beginning of the game. I couldn't figure out how to navigate the menu, so maybe I did something wrong to trigger it, but I had to force quit immediately. It's way more intense than what the preview images display. 

Absolutely no ill will or anger towards the dev(s)/mod/anyone else; I just want to look out for any other people with similar sensitivities and issues who check the forum/comments! :)

As pointed out by other comments, the art and visual style here are both lovely. Personally, I found the overarching plot (vague to avoid spoilers) rather confusing, even as a fan of Shakespeare, but Ophelia's character writing in particular stood out to me as very sweet and kind in a soothing way. 

Also, just as a PSA for others: some characters are quite touchy and/or flirty, and you as the player don't get an opportunity to say no to or express discomfort with the behavior. The game, for example, railroads you into being attracted to/liking Oberon, whereas his immediate forwardness and touchiness, even when the MC shows as little interest in him we are allowed to, made me as a player very uncomfortable.  I just wanted to put that out there for anyone else thinking of playing this who has trauma/is touch-averse/prefers a slower pace.

Overall, this is a nice project that I'm glad is resonating with other players, even if it wasn't wholly my cup of tea, no pun intended. :)

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I played this game a while ago (through the Racial Justice Bundle, not $30) and left a negative but ultimately fair-play (given the game's status as a public commercial product) review -- I initially came back here to edit my post to give some props to Laws for listening to the multiple critiques of the excessive price tag on a bundle of pre-existing content, ....only to find that my review has vanished. And there are a lot of deleted posts in the comments, with the only critical ones regarding technical issues and the now-moderately-reduced price. 

If Laws is deleting critical comments, that is her right on a forum she owns, but I don't feel that it is professional to silence genuine, good-faith critique of a commercial product put in a charity bundle she surely knew people outside her bubble would purchase.

Anyways, think critically about the media you consume, as well as the people who make it (avoiding details since I don't want to be deleted).

Edit: Genuinely expected to be blocked or shadowbanned or something, but hey! Nice to be proven wrong. Props.

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I got this game through the mega-bundle, as specified above. Thank you for including this in the bundle; it's a really good cause and I'm glad there was some support for it. This is an old game and I'm sure it's not reflective of the programmers' and writers' current skill. i'm leaving this review for LongStory as a game and not as a fundraising tool and this review is directed at people who would be purchasing the game for full price.

That being said, I gave LongStory two stars in my rating for three reasons:

1) the plot

The conflict feels to me like a manufactured nonissue, and you're railroaded into making stupid, drama-fueling decisions with such unyielding constancy that even the other characters get pissed about it occasionally. The game as a whole gives off a vibe of trying to be welcoming and kind, but the main character has, in practice, so little respect for the boundaries of others that the attempts at inclusivity and creating a friendly environment fall flat. In short, it radiates a feeling of moral self-importance while not meaningfully substantiating those professed values. Like, sure, you have demographically-diverse characters, but they all...suck, to put it harshly. They're all obnoxious people, most of whom treat each other poorly to varying degrees. Of course, they're children, but children can be sympathetic protagonists too, and I didn't feel compelled by any of the characters or motivations here. The sort of...cheeky rose-tinted vibe just feels wholly unearned to me.

2) the app itself

I don't know what the backend of this app looks like, but while playing, it feels like it's holding on by a thread. I could only interact with  the game at all by going into the game files and manually launching it through the terminal. It loaded as a tiny ~200x400px rectangle I couldn't interact with. Forcing it with menu commands to fit to full-screen made it function, but I use that term loosely. The UI only seemed to work intermittently and the skip function in particular functioned seemingly by the grace of God. The texting segments of the game were full of what I assume are corrupted images of emojis or something -- lots of random symbols and gibberish.

3) the price

This is really expensive for a game that a) barely functions on a platform it is sold for and b) certainly can't make up for technical issues with its plot. I would have been a hell of a lot more forgiving if it were cheaper -- fifteen dollars is a perfectly reasonable price for a game, but not for a game that often feels like it was written and programmed on a graphing calculator hooked up to 2015 tumblr. I'm especially bugged by this since I remember when this was a mobile game still coming out episodically and each episode was an additional chunk of cash. By all means, get that bread, but I feel the need to be transparent about the issues and frustrations I experienced given the lack of a comments page and pretty much any community discussion.

I definitely did not realize the slow-burn pace you were going for in regards to relationships, just because of how quickly players are given the option to actively flirt. Most of the response I would have given is now void given your decision about the ages, but I will say that I'm sorry my comment presumably had to be what pushed you to make a decision that is now giving you more editing work! I know the pain. Nevertheless, I'm definitely in favor of the change.

In regards to your question about specific scenes, I think Zanetta's flirtatious teasing currently comes off as slightly over the line in the scene where the MC can ask her about her family. As a 20-year-old, I know I wouldn't ever assume a high-school-aged kid was trying to come on to me, nor would I (even jokingly) engage in teasing one flirtatiously. In my opinion, this is essentially absolved by changing the MC's age to 18, but I figured I would mention it specifically just in case you still wanted to know. It's definitely not egregious, but I for sure had the thought of, "Excuse me, ma'am? This is a high-school-aged child!" 

I didn't see any other red flags in my speedrunning all the romance scenes, though! Ajmal's freaking out when confronted by a perhaps overly-forward MC feels very realistic and reasonable given his...rather complicated situation, and I think that attitude could easily carry over to an 18-year-old MC. After all, they're still a ruler (and probably somewhat intimidating as a result) as well as a slightly-younger childhood friend, which in itself presents all kinds of delightful possibilities for emotional turmoil.

But, overall, I'm really glad my comments didn't come off the wrong way. I'm looking forward to the update, and I wish you good luck with writing and editing!! I'm really loving the story so far, and while I don't go on the interactive-fiction side of tumblr much, just to avoid all the behind-the-scenes character spoilers, I gave your page a follow and I'm excited to be along for the ride. :)

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I genuinely don't think I've ever seen a setting that blends cultures and fantasy races/tropes quite like this one -- I'm really looking forward to getting a clearer picture as the story continues. Your interpretation of the typical fantasy dwarf tropes has been interesting so far and I’m hyped to see what you’ve thought up for your interpretation of merfolk! 

I was also pleasantly surprised by how different some of the dialogue tree options are — you could see completely different things if you play a certain way, according to a certain personality trait or another.

Okay, I have some constructive feedback to go over as well — I really hope it isn’t overwhelming. I’m going to all this effort writing this up because I like this story so far and I want to be as helpful of a reader as possible, especially in these early, formative stages of the project.  If at any point this isn’t feedback you want, please feel free to just delete my comment or block me or something. I spent a long time going through the demo and writing this up with the best of intentions — if anything comes across as rude, that is by no means intentional!

——

This is the most important piece of feedback I have, so, while it’s a bit serious, I’m going to put it first: the age gaps. If my comprehension based on context clues is correct, Sir Mansoor is an adult, while the PC is a child. A potential romantic pairing between two individuals aged sixteen and nineteen (if he was assigned at 16, 3 years ago) has a bit of a gross feel to me. It also presents some potential legal issues re: sex, grooming, manipulation. (Same with Zanetta — her age isn’t specified, but to me, she seems closer to thirty or so than sixteen.) 

I think it’s worth being careful about this — 16 and 19 isn’t pedophilia, but for people who notice it, that age pairing is still likely to come off poorly regardless of the fantasy setting. I’m not saying you have to make the PC older, but I will say: it doesn’t look like it would affect the plot negatively to have the monarch be ambiguously a young adult of some sort (i.e. 18+) instead of explicitly underage. 

If I'm misinterpreting context clues, then I'd respectfully suggest maybe specifying the love interests' ages -- the fact that PC is a child warrants extra transparency, in my opinion.

-

Okay! Now with that out of the way, I’ll get into the grammar stuff.

So, this is kind of hard to explain, but there are some intricacies around plurals when specifying people's age that I noticed got switched around some in the demo. You use the phrasing "a sixteen years old" a few times, but this is slightly off -- I've written out a couple of explanations below. 

  •  "I am sixteen years old." /  "I was to be coronated at seventeen."
    • (The “years old” is implied in casual dialogue, but either way is fine.)
  • "I am a sixteen-year-old." / "You're rather intense for a sixteen-year-old kid." 
    • (When age is specified as a singular noun or adjective, everything is hyphenated and no 's' is needed on the end of “year.”)

Finally, here are some other, smaller things:

  • The first sentence of Ch1 was unclear to me — “You remember the….” I just… don’t know what this sentence is talking about. It’s also in a different tense to everything else (present). I think maybe some further setup would help clarify?
  • I’m a bit confused about the technology of the setting — they have complex hearing aids and prosthetics but also use typewriters and, seemingly, bladed weapons as a standard? Is this going to be clarified as a magic system thing later or something?
  • The phrasing of this sentence in particular took me some labor to understand: “The knight who was assigned to you to act as your bodyguard was still very young, but his water green eyes were already hardened by battle.“

There are a lot of minor mistakes throughout the demo, but it isn’t practical for me to go over everything, especially considering this is an early draft. I gave some corrections for the ones that stuck out to me the most below, but I’d definitely consider hiring an editor down the line if I were you. Your work has good bones and I would love to see it thrive. I'm rooting for your progress!! :)

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Assorted typos and miscellaneous notes: 

    • “…draping his shoulder”
      • Should be “draping over/across/atop/along/etc his shoulder.You need a preposition there.
    • “…rows afer rows of stalactites…”
      • Missing letter in “after.” Also, standard phrasing is either “row after row” or “rows upon rows,” but “rows after rows” is not typically used.
    • “If I can be blunt”
      • Should be “if I may be blunt”
    • “the ginger grip of his hand”
      • Did you mean “gentle”? Or maybe you were trying to make an adjective out of the adverb “gingerly,” in which case, that's not possible. “Ginger” as an adjective exclusively means “red- or orange-colored.
    • King Pace the Twenty First“
      • Should be “twenty-first” or “21st.” If you’re feeling official, “King Pace XXI” is the most correct but least conversational writing.
    • “Him or any official will never speak of your presence here.”
      • Odd phrasing and grammar. Could say either “He and his officials will never speak of your presence here,” or “Neither he nor any official will speak of your presence here.”
    • "My people, who has been..."
      • Should be “who have been” — ‘my people’ is plural
    • “bring the luggages upstairs"
      • “Luggage” is already plural.
    • Candle light
      • “Candlelight” is one word

There's an account following my page that I find pretty...personally repulsive. I blocked them, but for whatever reason, that doesn't remove someone from following you. I think blocking someone should not just block you from seeing their stuff, but also block them from seeing/interacting with your page at all. (If there's already a way to do this, please let me know!) Blocking also takes a lot of clicking through pages to access -- I would love if we could block creators just from their game's page. 

As a follow-up, is there a way to dismiss recommendations or block creators from being recommended to you? I'm okay with mature themes when handled tastefully -- hence why I haven't disabled mature content from settings -- but my homepage keeps becoming populated by suggestions for 3D-model porn games, and I am just...not even remotely interested in seeing that. I wish there were an option for 'stop recommending this game/creator to me' on the game's preview tile, like there is with 'add to collection.' I also personally feel like games that feature mature themes (not just sexual themes, but violence, coarse language, etc.) and just straight up sidebar-ad porn games are different categories entirely and should not all have to be filtered by the same wide-net blacklist tag, but I understand this may be complicated behind the scenes.

If anyone could point me towards features that remove followers or dismiss recommendations if they already exist, then I would be very grateful! If not, then I think these issues are worth considering at least; I hope what I'm saying makes sense. It would make the use of this site a lot more comfortable, in my opinion, to have more comprehensive filtering methods and a more robust block system.

Thank you so much!

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Adding to the hype pile : OL's release has been keeping me going through the  past few months of pandemic hell, and I cannot wait to play the game and finally be able to support you guys with DLC purchases!  :)

Also, as a rare friendship/family route stan, I'd like to give some enthusiastic appreciation for the awesome family scenes -- Lizzy is so fun and spunky, and Pam and *Noelani (autocorrect is a cruel mistress) are the cutest couple I've ever seen (the casual wlw rep is also so appreciated!).  The wholesome but realistic family dynamics are probably my favorite part of the game; non-romantic relationships get so neglected in games, especially visual novels, and I'm delighted that you guys aren't neglecting that area of the story!!

Hi Daria! 

It's no problem at all! I know that constructive feedback, no matter how well-meaning and kindly-worded, can hurt and that it's anyone's instinct to defend the people they care about. I take no offense.

Like I said in my response to the first response, improvement comes through practice and mistakes! There are a lot of intricacies to English grammar and syntax, and you're already infinitely more competent with a second language than I could ever be. I hope I didn't discourage you; that was the opposite of my intention!

Again, I wish you both the best of luck!! Writing is an eternal journey, even for native speakers, and you're doing great.

I just want to make it clear that I DO NOT think that TND is a waste of anyone's time and I DO NOT think that you should stop making games. That is the furthest thing from the truth of my intentions. Improvement in anything, including a second language, comes from critique, evaluation, and practice -- as I'm sure you know. I was trying to give feedback, as a fluent native English speaker and a fellow writer, in an attempt to provide help in that process.

There's no need to defend yourself from me; I think quite highly of you both for making a game, and in a non-native language. That's very impressive!

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Hi there! I wrote a review for the latest build of TND and posted it below. It includes some constructive feedback, but it is all given out of a desire to help and contribute beyond just playing the game. Even if you decide not to read my whole review (which I totally understand; it's long), I wish you the best of luck!! There's also a TL;DR at the bottom.

(Edit: Also, would you perhaps consider putting an 18+ flag on the game or adding a disclaimer at the top of the description page? It would be unfortunate for any minors or people who just don’t want to read explicit sex to get blindsided.)

--

Overall rating:

As of WIP build released Nov 7, 2020: 2.25/5


One-sentence review: 

While the character and cutscene-graphic art is lovely and I have the utmost respect for the effort and tenacity that have doubtlessly gone into this project, I feel that The Neptune Diaries’ writing and story have ample room for improvement in the areas of technical correctness, purpose, style, and voice.

Completion:

Partial; dropped.

--

Detailed feedback and TL;DR below!

--

Summary:

I deeply apologize if any of this comes off as harsh/rude — I genuinely admire both of you for creating a game and putting it online; that’s such an insane accomplishment! I’m offering this feedback as an editor/writer and visual novel enthusiast out of a desire to help. The rest of the comments section does not seem to be putting forth any critique, but this may be because you have a feedback form somewhere else -- if so, I apologize for misplacing this post! 

I imagine you’re still very much in the process of writing and editing -- as a player, I just wanted to offer some thoughts on some things to potentially consider on your next read-through. Of course, feel more than free to ignore my comment if you’re just enjoying yourselves and you don’t want some chick getting all ‘English major’ in your comments section. I won’t take offense at all!

Anyways, I wish you both the best of luck! You’re very tenacious to have come this far in such an ambitious project, and I’m excited to see how you continue your development. Have a good November; make sure to stay safe and wear a mask! :)


Writing:

It’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into this project, and I genuinely respect and admire that immensely. However, the most integral piece of any story is its writing, and I think that happens to be TND’s greatest opportunity for growth. The writing in the game is riddled with grammatical errors as well as what I felt was a plethora of clunky phrasing and repetitive sentence structure, which was amplified by vague worldbuilding and exposition. There were also many instances where things were worded in a manner that was just slightly off. The first time I noticed this was in the use of the phrase “people trafficking” by the police authority in the first chapter. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone use that phraseology and it stuck out to me that an authority would misname that crime.

The style of writing makes me feel uncomfortable when reading intimate scenes. With all due respect, it feels to me like a story written by (and/or for?) a demographic a good few years below the age of consent, and the injection of explicit sexual activity into that environment makes me feel some...very unpleasant cognitive dissonance. Most of the characters are purportedly 20+, but the writing doesn’t evoke the way adults think and speak; to me, it sounds much more like a young teenager narrating the story, which adds a layer of distinct discomfort to the sex scenes.

Tangentially, I do not care for the first person semi-omniscient narrative framing in general. I feel that it, in this case, contributed to my age and repetition concerns, and it, in general, weakens the players’ abilities to immerse themselves within their own version of the MC. 

So far, based on what I have read, it is my best guess that TND has not gone through many comprehensive revision sweeps — I think pursuing revision by an editor, a critique partner, a beta reader, or even a proofreader would be helpful. Someone who is experienced in writing but who did not work on the game could help point out grammatical and potential story/clarity issues that it would be harder to see for the person who wrote the text originally.

Story:

I’m so sorry to say this, but I did not feel terribly invested in the game's plot, due to both my feelings about the writing and a lack of compelling stakes for the main character. I don’t feel like I...know what’s going on when I read TND. The world-building feels a bit...floaty? undefined? For instance, beyond an inexperienced detective, who are we? What has our life been like? Why is a rookie assigned to a high-stakes human trafficking case (and, if it's abnormal, why is the main character not concerned at all)? I feel like I wasn’t able to get a grasp on the main character as a person, so it was difficult to empathize with them. However, I love the founding idea behind the story and I think there's a lot of potential there!

This isn’t a huge point, but I think it warrants some mention -- I don’t think the BDSM etiquette in Ren’s route is handled as well as it could be. I can’t endorse a lack of communication preceding any kind of sexual activity, but this principle applies triply when a participating party is planning on whipping out a deadly weapon during sex. The game doesn’t give you the option give fully informed consent beforehand or the option to withdraw that consent during the scene, both of which I think are important, especially given the…knife involvement.


Art:

As I mentioned earlier, the art is quite nice — especially the cutscene-graphic pieces, which are downright lovely. I think there’s a bit of a style mismatch between some backgrounds and characters when framed together, but the sprites themselves are good and have personality! The digital painting on Ren’s and Emer’s respective sprites especially stuck out to me as visually pleasing — very clean. Genuinely, I love the CGs; they're stunning. Kudos!


TL;DR:

Setting: Seems quite interesting once you manage to suspend your disbelief! I would love of the worldbuilding in the opening were more in-depth, but so far you definitely have a cool tidbit.

Story: Some logical inconsistencies and a lack of balanced exposition hinder my engagement with the concept some. However, in elevator-pitch form, the ideas at work seem interesting!

Writing: The many grammatical errors and the unyielding first-person narration made my reading experience a bit difficult and lacking in engagement.

Art: Lovely! Art style differences between backgrounds and sprites stand out occasionally, but nothing too jarring. The CGs especially are beautiful!


OK, you made it! Thanks for reading, and I want to emphasize again that I have absolutely no hate or other hard feelings towards the devs or fans of TND. All feedback is given out of benevolence and love for the art form. Best of luck again, and stay safe! :)

as a fellow evacuee from fires in california, i totally empathize with what you're dealing with. it's horrible, and i dont think anyone can reasonably expect you to be working at Maximum Efficiency.  Like everyone else has said: please take your time and prioritize your health and happiness! we'll be here eager to play the game and get that sweet sweet dlc whenever it and you are ready :)

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I think this game has some potential! The art is cute, I appreciate your efforts to be representative and diverse (although it may be easier to follow if you specified the characters' info in their bios instead of having flags that not all players will know/know how to look up), and the concept is interesting and pretty unique. 

I have some constructive criticism about the game, which I'll go into below, but I want to say that everything is said out of a desire to help and provide genuine, in-depth feedback. Anyone, please feel free to ask any questions/dispute any points I make/etc (civilly, of course)! I'm sorry in advance for the long comment ^^;

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Writing

Speaking as an editor, the primary concern I have regarding Repurpose is its writing quality. I feel that the script and its style are a bit clunky and unrefined. There are a LOT of grammatical errors and typos, the way the plot and characters behave feels unrealistic to me, and I found the cast rather unlikeable.

Some elements/instances that particularly stuck out to me are as follows:

  1. This may just be a stylistic preference, but I don't think the use of slang works. For example: Kalei saying "bruh"/"cuz" once or twice didn't seem to mesh with the way he normally spoke, the narration using the slang "lowkey" made the writing feel dated and unrefined, and the DJ saying "lol"/Ramón saying "kthanxbye" aloud felt less like a character quirk and more like the writer perhaps forgot that it was supposed to be a verbal exchange?
  2. There are a few instances in which the characters seem to be used as mouthpieces for the writer's beliefs. Despite agreeing with these views, I feel the dialogue included is too intense and glaringly out of place. There's nothing wrong with including politics in games, of course, but I felt it was really heavy-handed and didn't feel like a natural, compelling way to discuss these issues (especially since it was the demon who seems rather pro-torture who was getting so passionate about it).
  3. Often, it felt like things were happening because the script said so, and not because it makes sense for the characters' professed personalities.
    1. The way Ramon and Kalei are so cavalier about airing these people's personal death information in front of a crowd of strangers seems a bit strange, as does the fact that most everyone is so calm about the situation. Isn't Kalei supposed to be kind and straight-laced? Why would he choose to do this in such a chaotic and potentially upsetting manner?
    2. Everyone seems to blindly accept that they're actually in the afterlife and not in some kind of cult or dream or experiment or anything more rational. It doesn't feel believable that nobody tries to leave, asks for proof, faints, has a breakdown, etc. and doesn't make any kind of noise at all until the named cast gets through their intros. Every unnamed character is completely silent and unmentioned to the point I forgot there ever was a crowd. And it's not just the ensemble cast -- Michelle's main concern after all this is "find scrap," of all things. The way people behave in this game really tests my suspension of disbelief.
  4. This brings me to my final writing point: this is a very dialogue-heavy script. This isn't always bad, of course, but I think Repurpose could benefit from some more explanations, descriptions, introduction on the setting/PC, etc. before jumping into introducing a whole cast of characters and whatnot. It feels like the plot just really wants to get going without building any expositional foundation first.


Character Designs/Depictions

Overall, I think the character art for Repurpose is good! It's clean, with a mostly-consistent visual style and mood. However, there are also a couple of character designs that, when combined with the way the characters are written, strike me as potentially a bit...sensitive.

  1. I feel that the exaggerated, stereotypical accent/speech pattern that the character Kalei is written with makes his dialogue both confusing and a bit uncomfortable to read, and his outfit (stereotypical Hawaiian flower crown + tattoos), when combined with the exaggerated written accent, just feels like a bit...much. A bit too stereotypical.
  2. The same goes for Rosita, in my opinion. The combination of her waitress' outfit, her exaggerated hourglass body type, her low-income background, and her "airheadedness" just feels a bit off to me. Edging too close to stereotypes about Latinas for my personal comfort.


Lastly, and this is a much smaller thing than anything else I've brought up, but I just wanted to let you know that the interface is not accessible to some disabled players. The yellow-on-yellow text/background combo for choices and the font the game is in can make the text difficult to read and process for those with dyslexia, visual impairments, processing disorders, etc..

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Overall, I wish you the best of luck with development! I think you have an interesting idea as well as some lovely art here, and with some refinement and maybe a beta-reader/editor for the writing side of development, you could have a good, fun game in the making!

I hope that my feedback is helpful in some way and doesn't come across as harsh or mean in any way; I genuinely have warm feelings towards this project and I want to hear the story you want to tell.

 Have a lovely rest of your weekend, and happy writing/coding/etc!

You're not harsh at all either!! Massive kudos to you for being so open to constructive criticism <3 (also, kudos for the best profile picture on this website)

My only further response to your response is to bring up what you said about using healing from trauma as justification for characters' actions. As a complex trauma survivor, I think that this is bit of a shaky line to walk -- trauma is not ever an excuse or justification for negative/antisocial/abusive behavior. Abuse, manipulation, aggression, et cetera -- while they are common responses to trauma -- are never justified responses. I think that it's completely reasonable and even admirable to want to display realistic (i.e. sometimes maladaptive) responses to struggle, it's important to also not put forth a narrative in which those maladaptive responses are portrayed as healthy to readers and characters. Of course, I'm not sure what your intentions are, but your wording stuck out to me and, just in case, I wanted to provide my perspective as someone who has dealt with these issues.  Even if psychological trauma isn't a major theme of your work (which, btw, I'm hyped either way; you're in no way obligated to make your art any darker or grittier or more psychological than you want to!!), it is a sensitive topic that I think it worth putting additional thought into while writing. Sensitivity readers are also a great resource!

Again, thanks for much for your kind and thoughtful response! I'm really excited to follow Scout's progress -- you're a very talented writer!! :)

I'm really enjoying this WIP so far and I'm excited to follow the development!! The world and stakes you've created feel realistic and engaging, and I'm looking forward to learning more about the background and circumstances of the Community!! So far, I'm getting sketchy vibes from Oliver and Sabine, but Ezra is a treasure (and so is Elise. mom goals). I really like the vibe of the community and the theme you're setting up of communal healing :)  Below I've left some (rather long, sorry) feedback and personal opinions; you're not obligated to slog through it, of course -- I really admire this project and your work ethic regardless of suggestions you take. Thank you so much for sharing your art with us <3

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In terms of critique, I did notice typos throughout -- e.g. "signficant," "physcial", and "unfortuntely" -- as well as a few grammatical/phrasing issues but I assume since this is a WIP, that will all get taken care of. I just wanted to point them out :)

Also, I didn't understand the scene in Ch1 in which Ezra and MC are...dancing? I'm unsure what you mean by "the miming in a mirror thing" and I feel that the actions described are hard to follow, especially with all the changing lefts and rights.

Something that I find a bit disorienting is the speed at which the relationships in the game move -- as a reader, I've just met these people, and within a few minutes of playing, your character is already, for example, engaged in a seductive tobacco rolling scene with this guy we know little-to-nothing about. It just feels a bit...too much too soon to me. I wish that we could have more time to become familiar with these characters before the game puts you into romantic scenes, since they're still practically strangers to me. I wanted to talk to Oliver more in that scene to see if we could get more information on the ruling or plans, but your character just immediately forgives him and it goes into this romantically-charged scene, which felt really jarring to me. I feel like that tone makes some sense with Ezra, since reading it, I believe that they have a long-term relationship, but I don't get that sense with the other characters. It feels unnatural to me.

Similarly to the previous point, this is a more structural concern -- I mentioned the theme of communal healing earlier. I feel like, while tackling this theme is a valiant goal for the story, at the moment it feels a bit spoon-fed to the reader, in my opinion. You mention or state outright that a character of the community is traumatized or healing multiple times throughout the first 2 chapters -- as a reader, I would much rather be shown this through characters' or the community's actions, facial expressions, behaviors, routines, etc than have it told outright to me after a scene via the omniscient narrator's version of the MC's internal monologue. There are so many interesting behaviors and struggles that could come from situations like this and i think it would be really interesting to have that explored more subtly and deeply. Again, this is a wonderful theme to be tackling, and I'm incredibly excited to see how you handle it. :)

Lastly, I played the Historian path, and I wanted to point out that, to me, the profession you're describing sounds much more like an anthropologist than a historian. I'm studying anthropology, and the processes you describe (visiting events, taking objective notes, etc) are pretty much exactly what anthropology is, whereas history is less of researching current events that will become history and more researching events that already are history. At least, that's my understanding -- it's a super minor point, but I figured it's worth at least bringing up!

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I hope none of this comes across as harsh! I really do love this WIP -- your worldbuilding is intriguing, I find the format interesting, and overall I'm hyped to see where the story goes!! I'm just hoping to give some impressions that I got on my read-through for the sake of constructive criticism.

Aaaah I'm so excited!!! Congratulations you guys!! The whole team is so dedicated and talented; it's truly admirable that you've made such a big and high-quality game in such a crazy short time!! I'm so hyped for the full game -- and the DLCs ;)

I left some feedback about this before the new update, but I wanted to come back since the new update. The new font is way more legible; still a bit eye-straining for me, but not nearly as difficult as the cursive from before.

Now that I can read the text, I want to say: I love the story! Your characters are all interesting and/or likable (either as characters or as people), and I find your approach to this kind of story intriguing, enjoyable, and immersive. The art has also really grown on me; I love the colors and the fashion and the environments especially. I'm really looking forward to following your progress!! Thanks for sharing your art with us :)

I'm glad the diversity angle is something you're considering and incorporating into your themes; I definitely didn't mean to make any demands, I was just curious what way you intend to take your story in regards to that, so thank you for the clarification! Again, I love the game so far, so thank you for sharing it and for all your hard work!

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I'm really excited for this game! Your plans for the way you're going to handle relationship and character-building sound really intriguing and quite ambitious! So far, Elodie is my favorite character, and I have a galaxy-brained theory that Mr. Worthington is going to be the villain. He's a bit scary.


No pressure to answer -- especially if I touch on spoiler territory -- but I have a few questions and pieces of feedback about your plans for the game:

Firstly, are you planning on including any LGBT+, racial, body-type, etc diversity? So far, the game seems very focused on straight white people, and, while I'm not demanding a female love interest or anything, I think that using a historical setting doesn't mean you can't implement more modern values of inclusivity and diversity in your writing and character design. I'm excited for the game either way, but I would love to see some that. A wonderful example of a period piece that includes phenomenal diversity without impacting the story negatively is Northanger Abbey: The Game by spiralatlas here on itch.io. It includes body type, race, dis/ability, gender vs. presentation, and LGBT+ diversity. If you're skeptical at how those ideas can fit into this type of setting, I highly recommend giving it a look! :)


Second, echoing the feedback of others, I found the font very difficult to read and understand, so I wasn't able to read a lot of the content to the demo. The font here on the itch.io page is quite straining as well, but to a lesser extent, thankfully. The art, however, looks lovely-- especially the backgrounds! I am getting some minor uncanny-valley vibes from the characters' faces, but overall, your attention to detail and your setting really comes across in the visuals! They're beautiful. My only criticism goes back to my question above about diversity in the appearances of your characters.


Thirdly, I just wanted to give a bit of friendly feedback on your use of French/one bit of French culture. 

  1. This is a minor thing, but when you use terms of endearment, you don't need to capitalize them -- the French language is kind of allergic to capitalization. For instance, Miss Fernside's mother could say, "Give them time, ma petite," and "Bien, allez! Make yourself ready."
  2. Also a minor thing -- in French, the name "Elodie" has un accent aigu over the first 'E,' like this: Élodie.
  3. French has some terms of endearment that sound a bit insane when directly translated, but that convey much more familiarity and just...warm soft love than ma/mon petit(e) does, if you want to consider them (if that's your goal). Some examples off the top of my head are ma bichette (my little dove), mon bijou (my jewel), ma puce (my flea), mon ciel étoilé (my starry sky), mon chou (my cabbage/my pastry)/chou chou, and the classics, like ma chère/chèrie, mon ange, etc. Just not mon amour -- it's super clichéd and only for romantic partners, which a lot of people don't seem to realize.
  4. In France, it is incredibly common and considered perfectly polite to greet others (less so between two men greeting each other) with a kiss or two on the cheek/s, as opposed to a bow, as portrayed here between Mme. Fernside and Mr. Worthington. I don't know how assimilated to English (I assume) culture you want Mme. Fernside to be, as she's using French phrases, but I figured that was worth pointing out just in case!


I hope none of that came across as pushy or know-it-all-ish! Feel free to ignore me if any of this makes me sound obnoxious; it is not my intention. Again, I'm super excited to follow development and am looking forward to the next build! I'm sorry for my super long comment (I'm just excited, I swear), and best of luck with this ambitious project!! I will be following along with bated breath. :))

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I've been a fan of your work for a fairly long while, but I've always been too timid to comment, so I'm just going to go for it. I love this "new" project!! The setting is really interesting and unique, the writing is snappy and clean and fun to read, and I am deeply invested in the 'reluctant buddy-cop' vibe I'm getting from Siruud and MC's "partnership." 

Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic work with us; I'm really excited to see where this goes!   <3   :) 

La fresque est magnifique!!! Restez en sécurité et en bonne santé, tout le monde, et merci pour tout votre travail dur.  :)

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Their most recent post anywhere is from 3 months ago on their Tumblr, and everything else has been collecting dust for 2+ years. The post provides no information on their general radio silence and just consists of a promo image and a mostly-general 'go check out our game on itch.io!' message. Based on the caption, it seems like they're still in the planning process...they're designing more characters to add, it looks like. This is really surprising (and discouraging) to me, given that this project has been under development in some capacity since 2012 -- that is, if the datestamps of early posts on the Lemmasoft forums are to be believed. If they're still that early in development after 9 years, then...well, it doesn't bode well for a release.

Their other game's dev process stretched from 2013-2018 (using the same markers), so they've clearly established that they are low-communication and low-speed, and working on their games is low-priority for them. They did eventually release a product the first(?) time, and, strangely, that was during the development of TPM. What that says to me is: they don't want to prioritize this project for whatever reason. I could be wrong about that last bit, but all in all, I wouldn't hold my breath for a release any time soon, if at all. :/

I hold no animosity for the devs at all; they're a tiny team providing free art to the public, and I understand why this may be low priority. This would be a different story if they were accepting donations in any way, but they're not (to my knowledge). Still, this radio silence is a bit absurd...I'm kind of concerned about them. Please be respectful: don't just demand to "know the date when it is done right now" -- it's pushy and rude.

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I just blew through my first playthrough of this in a couple of hours and I just wanted to say, I had a ton of fun! The sections from the novel meshed very well with the additions; it never felt obviously, jarringly different.

I absolutely ADORE your Eleanor, especially the fact that she's plus-sized. It made me feel very good about myself seeing a fellow bigger woman as a love interest in a game, especially since her plot isn't based around that; it's just a small part of her. I plan on doing the other route and the gender-swap variations of both, but she was simply too lovely to not marry immediately. I think you struck a lovely balance between more period-accurate systemic oppression societal roles and more modern gender, race, sexuality, and body-type diversity.

The art style is also very cute; I agree with your notes in the unstable build that they could use a bit of polish, but I implore you not to change Eleanor and Edmund too much! I was, admittedly, rather disappointed that there was so much gender-customization of the main character but no ability to change their appearance or name -- I personally wanted to be a feminine-looking woman in a masculine style of dress, but you're locked into a very thin and androgynous-looking figure regardless of the biological sex you pick at the beginning of the game. Even so, it is a breath of fresh air to see a deviation from the anime styles that so often overpopulate the visual novel genre. Your backgrounds are also very pretty! So many VNs just have photos that have been put through a bunch of Photoshop effects as the background, but the paintings really tie together the scenes and the mood of the story.

The only real constructive criticism I have is that I think the game could be more engaging with more and more-polished sprites -- variations in poses, more emotional facial expressions, sprites facing different directions, et cetera -- and music/ambient sound. It was already very enjoyable and engaging as a story, but I think that some more motion and dynamism in the audiovisual areas of the game could make it even more so!

Overall, I think you did fantastically both in making a game and adapting a previous work of art. Thank you so much for sharing; I'll be keeping up with the unstable build in hopes that you continue working on the game in the future!

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Artists are more than entitled to charge for their art. You, on the other hand, are not entitled to free content. Calm down and stop being disrespectful.

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Ah, that makes sense -- I think it was definitely a misunderstanding with language intricacies and phrasing. I see, now that you've clarified, what you were originally trying to say, what with the distinction between personal preference vs. objective quality. I'm glad you've decided to give the game a shot, regardless! I think it's fantastic -- a genuine artistic achievement. I won't spoil anything for you, though. 

Also, I didn't mention this because it's beside the point, but your profile picture is really cute! It's kind of Rumiko Takahashi-esque.

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I know it's been a few days, but I have to jump in and defend Ebon Light here for a moment. 

Maybe the art isn't your preferred style, but it's rather rude to dismiss the undeniably phenomenal talent behind those intricate paintings (plus, a customizable MC with that level of painterly detail!?) as "not that great" or only worth playing because it's free and you don't have anything to lose. 

Regardless of preference, Ebon Light has visuals painted by an incredibly dedicated and talented artist. The lighting, color, proportions, expressions, composition, contrast, and style are not only consistent and consistently impressive, but serve as a perfect complement to the tone and feel of the writing itself. The wide-eyed, sparkly anime girls and bright bubblegum colors that you seem to favor would do massive damage to the integrity and evocation of that macabre tone that makes the project stand out. That kind of art has its virtues and its place, but a project like Ebon Light is neither the time nor the place.

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This is the cutest thing. Period. It ticks so many great boxes - relatable socially stilted/robot character, over the top campiness, genre/archetype subversion, and fantastic presentation and UI design. I also love the added bit of comedy where the names change as the android gets more info (Ey yo Jolene made me laugh out loud. Honestly, Angelo is just such a fun character all around.). I'm super hyped for any future updates you have planned!!! Thank you for sharing the game!

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are you allowed to lie in the title of your game like that??? because this was hilarious and literally the best possible use of the last 5 hours of my life ever. literally every character was so likable and funny (even thugs a and b killed me, and the 'i must maintain my one hand in jacket pocket and one hand in pants pocket pose' joke was perfect) and the cursor is a fist!?!? amazing!! also i want jikkanji to be my new dad please. 

literally the only semi-negative thing i can say is that most of the characters were really similar looking and it got a biiit confusing. like i was pretty sure there was going to be a plot twist that gesshin and etsuji were going to be like...estranged twin brothers or something, but needless to say, that didn't happen.

anyways, in summary, you're a fantastic writer (if i start getting into specific scenes and jokes that i loved, this comment will never end) and i would kill and die to see more from you; thank you for this gift!!

I felt that beyond the art, there really wasn't a lot to this game. Aside from the setting of the game being built seemingly completely on ignorant colonialist stereotypes, the game's quality suffered heavily from the writing. The characters have the personalities of a bunch of chewed-up rice crackers. 

For example, you know the male slave (I don't even remember his name; that's how little of an impact was made on me) is smart because the writers *outright say* he's smart. And because he knows what a trout is, I guess, but...what?? And the slaves are so bizarrely okay with being slaves. You don't get to see any emotional development beyond what is heavy-handedly narrated at you. No coping with being *owned,* no tangible shared moments between the characters, nothing. All there is is the characters saying things like "I've never felt so close to someone before," with no buildup or anything. The attachment the characters claim to feel to each other is completely unearned. It was infuriating to slog through what felt like the same 3 lines of dialogue for hours to get the various endings. I think the people at Cyanide Tea have potential, especially in the visual/design area, but I would not recommend this one.