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NissaRed

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A member registered Nov 12, 2016

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(8 edits)

Interesting.

My setup is not that much different than yours, except that it's much smaller for a while still. For some reason, my game stalled, and I couldn't reach concert stages.

Anyway, I think the best and probably only viable way to start the game (without going neck-deep into debt) is :

L0 - PRODUCER  - MANAGER - MANAGER - REST ROOM

This keeps the costs lowest, since you won't have to spend money on spa to give your idols some well deserved break. You also get and need (!) two managers to fetch business proposals, given how much they can fail at lower levels of their "deal" skill, and one of them will also need to assist you with producing or researching.

After that, I'd recommend to acquire financial stability (through ads) before even considering dancing or recording studios.

Below that, I built the following, in order :

L1 - MANAGER - DANCING (cheaper) - RECORDING

At that stage, I could finally produce Singles for the idols, and the real game seemed to begin.

I managed to build :

L2 - AESTHETICIAN - DOCTOR

and recruit 10 idols before my time gauge stopped progressing (and the game stalled).


(45 edits)

Thank you for your diligent and extensive reply. It motivated me to purchase your game yesterday. I have since gotten around to play it, and it has been enjoyable so far, if a bit chaotic. I would like to provide you with some feedback.

What I've learned is that the game balance currently seems to punish the player for rushing, unlike other sims. It's much safer to multiply manager offices than to set up actual dance or recording studios, which could seem a bit contradictory in an idol sim. That is fine, it just takes time adjusting.

Second I thought it was fairly questionable that I could fulfill higher level "skill achievements" before their lower level. To provide some examples : with the Performance skill, I can easily get 1000 fans before ever releasing a Single. With the Promotion skill, I can rather easily have my idols appear in magazines before launching an Internet show, or get advertisement payments before launching a radio show.

This brings me to my next observation regarding balance : releasing a Single is probably the most difficult task in the whole game (I couldn't get to concerts, but more about that later). It requires 4 different characters to achieve and more money than we start with. Yet, this goal sits extremely early in the Performance skill tree, at level 2. This essentially blocks income for the beginning of the game, which forced me to create 3 manager offices, to generate enough money to survive, before even thinking about setting up a dance studio.

I think the balance is fine if a financial challenge is what the player is a looking for in an idol sim. It can be easily overcome with some thought, and experience of other equivalent sims I guess. However, if the player is only in the game for the story and idol management, which I initially was, then maybe a difficulty setting like normal/hard would be welcome, especially since some (most?) events seem to be linked to the most "iconic" (and expensive) rooms used by the idols, and not managers/producers or other financial considerations. It takes a fairly long time to get to the events while keeping a healthy game progressing.

Next, I would like to share some observations and suggestions, not necessarily in order of importance. Please keep in mind that I've only played for a rather short time, so they may or may not be adequate to what you have in mind for your game.

1/ It would be cool to be able to queue interactions, to avoid having to pause the game each time a task is finished. I know some tasks can be set on auto for some characters, but others cannot. I'm more particularly thinking of the "dating" task, but also of some tasks which I'd prefer to keep handling manually, like focusing on the repeated and accelerated training of a special idol : dance, sing, dance, prettify, etc. The "auto" feature doesn't allow me to do this.

2/ I noticed one of my girls got bullied. I had no idea how to counter that, so I summoned her to my office, and did the only reasonable thing I could think of, which was to ask her about the group (life). Despite a reasonably good affection gauge level (>80%), she told me that it was none of my business. I do think it was my business actually, as it's of any decent manager, and would have liked more options how to look into the issue.

3/ Managing contracts right now is not the most user-friendly task in the game. There is a list, but I can't sort it, by $/day ratio and by descending expiration date most importantly. More generally, it would be good to have stuff that matters appear directly on the idol in the UI : how long till I can summon her again, how many contracts she has, when do they expire or in which shows/media she participates. Once launched, I couldn't find a way to list the cast of a show/media either. It would be helpful to get a clearer overview of what idol does what, not to risk overworking some of them.

4/ I think talking to idols ("dating") should restore some stamina, as some kind of extra motivational push to her in her job, especially if the player takes the well-being of the idol into account, like asking for and granting her wishes, paying a decent salary and filling her affection gauge. This should be especially true for idols that are interested in the producer. I do not know if it currently happens in the game, since all the idols who I could flirt with in-game rejected advances.

5/ I do not have extensive knowledge of the idol business in RL, but I thought that the salaries of the staff assisting the player with the idol management are way too high, and uninterestingly so, since as a player I can do nothing about preventing them from rising higher and higher with time. One could argue that skill deserves higher pay and I would agree with that, except that my most essential employees, the idols, get (and request!) peanuts compared to others of the team. The doctor/nurse for example is woefully inefficient and slow compared to what it requires to set them up. Sound engineers and dancing instructors are equally lazy, raising the skills of the girls 1 by 1 only. Only the managers really deserve their pay, but I need several of them and wait for the mid/end-game, for my business to stabilize, because they keep failing in their job by quite a large margin at the beginning.

6/ It seems that rebuilding a room elsewhere, to save some on the rent and costs (which is very important at the beginning of the game), is not possible in the current version of the game. In the same way, it doesn't seem very wise (and almost impossible) to fire staff members (which has a severe price and consequences in reputation) to look for other people (say replace a coach by a producer), because by the time one could afford to pay the allowance, the employee already has the best skills as both. Finally, failing a single contract sums up to a death sentence, because penalties are so dire that the whole business would go under over night. What I'm trying to say is that all this doesn't make the game feel very dynamic. Penalties should be so bad that the player would try everything to avoid them, but if worst came to worst, they shouldn't compromise hours and hours of gameplay in a single event.

This brings me to the more glaring issues I'm currently having with the game :

1/ I had to stop playing the game around March 2019 because the time gauge would no longer progress. If I quit the game, and reload it works again for a short while, then stops like before. I have no explanation as to why this happens (maybe some kind of Unity memory leak?).

2/ I can't cancel radio shows it seems. Contrary to other medias, it seems that the game wants me to wait for some time to go through with that, but once I reach expiry date, the show is not cancelled and another deadline is created. This keeps my idols busy participating in a show that should no longer exist, and of course draining stamina.

All in all, and despite my feedback above which might seem negative, I'd like to say that the game keeps my interest.

It's true that I expected many more interactions with the idols than I got : some related to their personality or wishes, some to their current task (dancing/singing), some about the group life, some maybe about seeking advice about professional or personal questions as they grow up in age. However, I also expect this to be added to the game with time as it was planned during the kickstarter.

The UI could be a bit more efficient in conveying crucial data, but that might be personal preferences. It's functional as it is, and one isn't lost for long if one has played simulation games before, even without tutorial or documentation like a user manual.

It's my opinion that a difficulty setting would be welcome to tweak the current stamina losses and contract incomes, as they make the game unnecessarily frustrating if the RNG doesn't cooperate. Some contract offers/penalties can be ridiculously low/high after playing for a long while, for experienced idols with thousands of fans.

What really stands out to me is that game tries to breathe some fresh air into the dating simulation/idol management games. What I could find of the events already implemented with the game were very enjoyable and had me really thinking twice before answering, wondering about the consequences. I wish we could get more of them, so that no month passes without something happening, to motivate the player to further go through the "grind".

The art is fine and even sweet looking for some of the idols. I wish the game would have let me reach the concerts, where I suppose the biggest of the jaw-dropping and kawaii-inspiring "fireworks" are awaiting me, to reward me for my "hard work". I hope that in a future version of the game we will be able to dress the idols, which seems like a major feature to an idol game to me, complementing their own style but also the style of their group and finally of the company.

Finally, as I said, I don't mind supporting original and promising games, and this one indeed seems to be original and promising. If you allowed me one last small observation it would be about its current price. It seems like the game could benefit from more testers, and generally more people showing a potential interest in buying the game in the future. As it stands, the price seems too steep to me to attract such a crowd. It was an impulse buy for me, because of your reply to my post, and because I thought you showed some passion and intelligence in doing what you try to achieve with this game. This is very commendable, and enough for me, but may not be enough for most.

Now that I've bought the game, I eagerly look forward to the next versions, hoping to contribute again if I think I can do so in the future, and I feel it's welcome of course. Please keep up your good work, and may the game reach Hatsune Miku levels : the sky is the only limit.

(1 edit)

Game looks very interesting to me.

I'm not sure I want to invest 25€ in a beta, especially since the game will be sold for significantly less once finished, but I wouldn't mind supporting a promising indie developer if their production(s) are of quality.

My question is : what kind of content is there already in the game, how many characters, stories, gameplay features, etc. ? How long does a typical game run last at the moment ? How long should it last once the game is ready to be released, and will it be content rich enough to be replayable?

I know you've released a new video on reddit (which is how I discovered your itch.io page), but I'm afraid of spoilers if I watch it till the end, which would deter me from playing and hopefully enjoying the game in the future.

Thank you very much for your insight and time.

Best of luck in your endeavours in any case.

(10 edits)

I see. To be blunt, and without wanting to be in any kind offensive towards game authors (you included), I think that games are not more challenging or even interesting because of constant RNG. They are just more boring.

Not more difficult thanks to save scumming, more boring because I as player no longer care about making sound tactical decisions, knowing that RNG can screw these up no matter what, and that the load button is just a click away. It just becomes a game of patience that extends over time.

When I played your game, I immediately noticed a quick succession of misses (5 or 6 in a row) during several forest battles, which is why I invested in +hit traits for both heroes as soon as I could at level up. This I can see as good and fairly standard CRPG design, forcing the player to make sometimes choices : make sure everyone connects their hits, or pick better average damage, or better criticals instead, etc.

However, even with the aforementioned traits, my two heroes kept missing/missing/missing/etc. as they levelled up, the noble guy in the front row constantly out of mana (stamina?) and using single attacks, and the mage in the back row constantly replenishing mana to heal. Having to pray the RNG gods and waiting out to get the right combination of dice rolls does not make an interesting CRPG. Of course there will always be some part of luck involved, but it should be possible to find a decent middle ground for everyone (maybe by modulating difficulty options).

I dislike your game design, and unfortunately this game doesn't seem to be made for me, but I will of course respect your game design decisions. I know first hand how much effort can go into fulfilling projects, and also that no developer can ever please everyone. Again, I wish you the best of luck on the road toward success.

(4 edits)

Is it possible to get the game without that annoying and constant over the top miss mechanic ?

Melee attack missing is rather common in RPGs, and I could see it working in this game as well if toned down, but magic missing is quite rare in most games and unwarranted.

I just don't think it's fun to play your game if the heroes, even boosted by relevant traits (+hit and such) keep missing over and over again because of RNG.

As a minor nitpick, Rosa gets a mana restore that probably shouldn't need a second click for the target, since it only can affect herself.

Otherwise, it looks like a nice Rance spin-off to me and worth watching its progress.

Thank you for your consideration, and good luck with your game.

I've tremendously enjoyed playing the first game, so imagine my surprise when I received the announcement in my mailbox that the sequel is being prepared. Thank you very much for sharing what is already there, it looks very promising to me.

A small observation from me playing though to what I believe is the current end of the game :

[spoiler]After saving Rinnie and returning from the mine, I was left wondering for a second what I should do. A small helpful hint, like "let me watch the sun setting" or something could maybe be added, but on the other hand I don't like games that hand-hold us from beginning to end either, so I am torn. Mostly I'm just grateful and wanted to encourage you with some feedback, I'm sure you know how to create a great game.[/spoiler]

Very much looking forward for the next version... moar please and thank you again ^.^

(1 edit)

I had tremendous pleasure and fun reading/playing this visual novel. 

The art is, simply put, gorgeous, and I surprised myself several times stopping the flow of the game to zoom in on the screen and check out the details. Is the artist a painter ?

The story is, equally so, "worth telling" as my grand-parents used to say, because one can feel it was beautifully crafted. It's intriguing, surprising and... well, of the kind that I want to see everywhere in VNs, because it's everywhere in books, in tales, in legends where I live. It's very refreshing compared to the usual tropes of the genre.

Thank you very much!

I hope there will be more in the future, please do let us know when time has come! Wishing you all the best et Merci!

(1 edit)

Rating this 4 stars, as it's too short. I know it's not fair and probably deserves more, but it's a kinetic VN which I don't like, and so much more could be done with the awesome art, music, character and story-telling (all of which I really, really enjoyed) >.<

I guess it will be for a next time. I'll keep waiting and watching (following) till then.

MOAR please, and thank you very much!