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toseethesea

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A member registered Oct 12, 2017 · View creator page →

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I only just got back from finally getting a new computer. On that note, Windows 10... I hate it. I didn't know I could truly hate an operating system, but, Mint it is, I guess.
Uh! On that note!

This is mostly me postmarking this space so you know I'll post here too, d'you want somebody to go stubbornly trying to break the game and find bugs? I'll keep my eyes open for them as I give it a replay! :D

Sorry for the delay, whew! Actual thoughts to come SOON-ish...
Also: I really like your plans on your blog. Sounds very appropriate.

You did a great job, and yeah, it actually ran fine! (The computer itself ran hot, but not so hot that it was in danger... Probably...) Not that I'd recommend players follow my route; it just made the tension feel increasingly, uh, tense..? :P 

I'd actually talk more about why the ending was satisfying, I think how you used foreshadowing well, even where I missed it (uh.... Dang, the whole Winner's Squares - they were there the entire time? And wait, does that mean they're essentially... A circle... Of squares?! HOW DOES THIS TIE BACK TO PIERRE THOUGH - ), but...

Really, it just was a great experience from start to finish. Being able to be part of a project throughout was fun too, and I'm glad I could give back a bit. :)

From the moment that the ending hit...

Okay, first thing's first. Vanja? Oleg? Amazing work. As a contract guy myself, mad props to the other contractors out there - hearing the real instrumentation sent chills down my spine.

This isn't gonna be a particurlarly long review, because I really want to leave what happens up for a bit.

You covered so many little notes, how a certain plan probably wouldn't have been able to work with just a 'small' amount of money, relatively, how certain other characters got where they were, and that final thing left unanswered... Perfect.

And I think that 'I don't trust you, but I believe you.' is one of the coolest lines in the series. Obviously, what that fellow is scared of is... The Kinyats clan, but that's another story, for another time.

I think we're far down enough that the auto-cutoff'll handle spoilers, but seeing how certain detectives looked in the past - Kane, Larika, GREG - was really cool. I also liked some of the 'casual' clothes at the end. 800 sure did pick a humorous outfit, huh..?

This was a fantastic ending; I think you'll remember that one of my previous few big things was that I was left unsatisfied 'cause I wanted more. Well, this time, I feel satisfied, even though I still want more, ahaha; it's a small difference, but I think you get it.

Although the experience was exhausting, I feel like you could mix it with your normal strategy, find a good balance where you use certain times to refresh yourself, then keep a 'marathon' method (aha) for your full releases?

Either way - this was a fantastic journey from beginning to end. Those ending farewells were a real golden-age curtain call, and that was a real fun fact.

The entirety of chapter 100, too... 

Yo, okay, one last question.
Throughout the story, it feels as if the world is kind of the 'ours-but-familiar-but-different' that's cropped up in several of your works. I don't know if it's because it feels like there's a very low level of unexplainable elements underneath the surface, some things seem more or less advanced, technologically... It just gives this really familiar-but-not feeling, and I dig it.

But I really really wonder just what that final 'puzzle' is. Poverty? Human nature? Something metaphorical like that? The heat death of the universe? Alien invaders? Alien invaders who really like puzzles?? No, space wouldn't be safe, uh... Dang. Point is...

Great job, LockedOn. It was a pleasure to be here throughout the release. :) Fantastic job, mate!

One last note, though there's a lot more I could and probably will say; I had to re-download and play Methods on a Win 2000 computer (!) that initially didn't have enough HD space to match the 150 MB Methods required(!?!), and somehow it made the experience even better.

One last time - great job making it this far, and thanks so much for the kickass story. All the best!

I can't believe we're almost there. And speaking of twists, hoooooo...

No matter what comes next, you better believe I'm excited for it. I hadn't anticipated the possibility of that particular imitation, gonna leave this blank because it's pretty important for what happens these chapters... I did have some thoughts on Porroby,  and having picked up on something felt pretty neat!

There's actually loads I want to say, but I feel like saying too much would almost be distracting... Really good work especially chapter 97, and I'm glad your motivation is high up.

Don't overdraw too many ideas, but do keep riding it high - it's really cool to have been here for the whole project, and to have seen it build up so well..!

I'll miss the closing card in the game, and almost want to request it be preserved as a CG or something - as a treat! - but I think that might be pushing things. Anyway. Congrats on meeting your deadline, feel free to take what time is needed for the last three chapters, and I legit cannot wait to read them!

(The BTS on mysteries was excellent; I tend to agree that the best way to imagine them is to - well, write them! And I've got a few ideas about how a scoreboard in-game could work in similar projects, but I feel like I'll discuss that after Methods is finished.)

Fantastic work.

Woah, a LOT happened.

I didn't much expect the first chapter, and the second... I probably should've been able to, even though it ended up taking me completely by surprise. Which is great. I think the way Catscratcher's character has shown off different facets of his personality throughout the game is another thing I'd point to as being how you can do really strong character pieces.

And I really liked Roel's reasoning for - her reasoning. 
It made sense, even while I did chuckle at her back-and-forth with the speakerphone.

(Oh, and at Mr. Wreck being but a poor, innocent CEO, who knows nothing of these vulgar 'murder' things!)

Punished Greg, doling out the punishment, though...
Oh, no, be careful, criminal GMs...
I hope Greg doesn't banish them to Office Supply Game Hell. :x
(Although, hmn - at this stage in the story, a lot could happen, huh..?)

Finally, introspection just knocked it out of the suburbs.

And, that's a perfect time to segue - thanks from me, personally, for going on about the music. It was so cool to read your process and actually feel like I wasn't, uh, lessay ten mysteries behind, ahahaha! I could probably write a whole bunch in reply to it, but I'll stick with saying that the key to develop a broad taste is to listen to lots of stuff - it's amazing how easy it is to miss some really good tracks because of a pre-conceived notion or idea.

(Before the whole quarantine situation, I'd actually been getting new age instrumental cds from the library; it's not exactly my favourite genre, but I finally ended up finding a name to a composer I've been trying to re-find for ages, Isao Tomita. Stepping into the unknown can be good!)

Speaking of stepping into the unknown - glad, and impressed, you've got here.
I do hope there've been parts that are fun, and remain inspiring, to you.

Looking forward to whatever remains to come!

.
..
...

Hand-washing Hackett may not have won the contests, but he does win in social responsibility, and that's both a little unexpected and a little encouraging. Good job, Hackett. Let's all keep it up.

It really is - I'll probably have more to say on that later, when I get around to reviewing Methods as a whole, but I feel like you've handled that exceptionally well. :)

Roel, nooooooooo - never giiiive up -

First thing's first, you're doing a stellar job of making this case stand out. The actual interviews with actual people make it feel higher-stakes, y'know? Catscratcher being able to get his two cents in, both as a passive observer and as himself adds a lot of tension, too.

Porroby is pretty interesting, too; both because I can't get a read on how much he knows, and how much is on his mind, and because he adds a whole 'nother layer to the case.

This one is definitely a stumper, though I feel like the 'excess' dummies aren't just for show...

Also. Cutting your arm? While slicing fudge? Hmn...

In other news, rushed or no, the writing felt especially solid this chapter. The tension and emphasis on how serious things were really clicked - not that I didn't chuckle at Wisht and Porroby interacting.

Both tracks were great, and I don't think I can just choose one this time around.

On to steam, which I need to get on at some point, June sounds like a healthy goal; hopefully by then, it'll be possible for me to do more than just cheerlead, but so it goes.

... I actually checked the interviews, too, just on the off-hand that Porroby's rejected interview was present. I'm worried I'm gonna be not too far behind Roel, this round... Or wait, maybe incredibly far behind..?

Since I didn't respond to it directly last time, by the way, thanks for dropping that supplementary material re: Greg. Did he end up Orphaned, I wonder? Wait, I'm probably focusing on the wrong things again?! Aha, that's probably my method, then!

greg c'mon lad, step it up

The watching room after-parties are just great, but, the meat... There was all sorts of tension here, at first I'd made a note to remind you of a glitch, but.. Whew. When I realised what was happening, my jaw practically hit the floor. I think the mastermind might have betrayed themselves juuuust a bit towards the end, but I think you even foreshadowed this in one of the interviews? 

Just - fantastic. Wreckoning really set the tone, too. That part where it kind of 'flutters' for lack of a better word... Awesome.

As for the 'sitting', seemed fine to me? I don't know if anyone is going to find it distracting, but I kind of doubt it.

There's a lot I want to say about the mystery, but mostly I'm just on the edge of my seat. And (naturally) the watching room segment is awesome. Greg... Man. Are we sure Greg isn't a (former?) mastermind? 'Cause I think forcing criminals-turned-criminal-voicemasters-into-repositories-of-dead-pop-culture-reference-spouting-machines is one of the most evil things I've ever heard of.

Anyhow, self-isolation gang for life. Between work and hobbies, it's not like I've got any spare time, anyhow; but I do hope you take the time to take breaks, drink water, maybe tea now and then, stretch your limbs.

Ten chapters, huh... Looking forward to all of 'em!

First off, and unrelated to this topic - thanks for the support, again. I'm tempted to agree; even if things don't go as best as I'd like, I've never been more energised to do more. We've only got the one planet, after all - anyway! All is well, back in action! Things went even smoother then expected! ^^ Now, the dreaded waiting game, ahaha! Is this what they call a Cast Party, wait, getting ahead of myself -

Now, I don't think my results factored in, yet; I'm the poll with Office Games at the bottom for music. Not because it's a bad track, but because Boredom cannibalises it beautifully, ahaha.

It was really hard choosing some of these, mostly the music; I thought I'd go over my reasoning, 'cause a straight poll isn't always helpful.

For mysteries, I trended towards one that were appealing to my style or sense of plot. Oh, also, RAIL GUN.

Ranking the detectives, I decided on ranking them by those who'd overcome a 'weak' method to fight on. As characters, I liked everyone; the reason that detective is in last place, is...

In terms of methods, Osmosis is crazy good. It's obviously the 'strongest' method, so far as they actually work. So even though I ranked certain detectives highly, a lot of my favourites methods are, uh, probably not what you wanna go into a case with... Or maybe it's more impressive when you, you know, fun fact -
(I actually thought facts were a pretty handy method, potentially.)

Music... Oof, where to start?

Generally, I notice my taste on re-listening leaned towrads leitmotifs. A lot of the 'backbone' themes of the game are just too good. I'd say my top thirty are all my personal faves. Just talking about the main theme, for example, I hear the opening notes and immediately think: Methods. That's a good freakin' theme.

Similarly, I figured Tocks and Ticks is bundled in with Ticks and Tocks, and yeah, they're both great. Murder Crew, too. But - a lot of my top-rated tracks were either the ____ investigates series, or certain pieces that really stood out for a character or personal Methods Moment. It hurt to put Cat Claws and Witnesses so relatively low, for that reason. Investment is a powerful thing! (Similarly, Invisible Man is a great little leitmotif; it's low position is actually praise for how much it made that scene work. I think you'll understand?)

A lot of the music hit a sweet-spot, kind of echoing 70s/early 80s euroheist music, not even sure if that's a genre, point is, it's good. Which is why... Obviously, there's a mistake and every answers is actually supposed to be Lord Loomy (investigates), obviously.

... one last thing, I just realised that 795's mystery was... Fishy...
Ritsker Blashy, oh, oh damn, oh geeze, oh geeze, oh damn.
Sometimes a herring stares you right in the face, with tiny little fish eyes!?

Two tracks which really ranked highly for me and I didn't expect were Ether's theme and Trigger Chain. Both are - legitimately, really calming in their own ways.

Hopefully the data is interesting and I didn't bork my quiz results. Peace, see you next mystery!

Warms my heart hearing that. It's all we can do in this Reiwa era? To stand together? All of us? And on that note - trying to do the same, here. Feeling weirdly optimistic, actually - damned if I can say why, though.  :P

Oh, and because I forgot! Looking forward to that poll, whenever it comes around! 

I was pretty worried I wouldn't be able to get to this during the week, because - I'm also going into the wonderland that is medical stuff in America. That's the real mystery, ahahaha...

But, hoo. Actually being here...

To say that it's pretty exciting to have been through a multi-stage project from the beginning until the end is underselling it. I can still recall a time I was trying to tie Hackett's chances of success to my own fevered theories!..

Loved these preludes. The way you transitioned Roel's method into the setup for the mystery was just...

Good outfit, good dog, good mystery.

(And having this one broken into chapters, potentially with suspect interviews, really makes it feel higher-stakes.)

When Mr. Taffy showed up...

Yeah, anyway, whatever happens from here on out, I'm excited. Though, I do have one complaint, and that is that Gottina Wreck is an amazing name, definitely the kind of name you could imagine being... Embarrassing enough to create an elabourate suicide attempt to hide, utilising all your experience as being a trophy wife for the CEO of Skull Druggery, Inc?! Aha! Send, 100%, no bonus question.

I'll be here Wish(t)ing that Roel's investigations proceed smoothly.
Best new track, Witnesses. Definitely captures that dome-stage-set feel.

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This was gonna be an unusually short review, then I reviewed it. Uh. Leaving the title for novelty's sake.

The winner's spritework was fantastic.
I know you've said you worry about your characterisation and dialogue sometime, but I really want you to look back at these chapters when you doubt that.

Even if you disagree, it was an incredibly powerful few chapters.
And I'm happy, because one of my favourites did it...
Though, perhaps the 'winner' isn't going to be too happy with what comes next.

All the congratulations, both silly and kind, were really nice and in-character.

Most interesting outside of that, however, was the GM conclave in chapter 85. One, because it was nice to see Mellie having some fond memories, but also - mmmn. I might as well get my theory out there, huh?

Understand that I'm somewhere between Hastings and Erika Furude in terms of detective skill. I don't have any. So, uh, let's do this.

  • The GMs and Conver have conflicting goals. The decentralised nature of the contest means that no single GM is fully aware of the others' secrets.
  • Furthermore, the contest itself is secondary to the larger goal of... Conver, probably? And while certain individuals want answers or revenge (Larika/Haney, Catscratcher), none of them have caught up to him yet - or those beyond him.
  • Even fairly on, there've been allusions to needing certain people (a certain detective?) for reasons. It's why today's finalist was selected. I'm rooting for them.
  • However, these reasons are not necessarily the reasons the contestants of either team, or we, the readers, would appreciate.
  • Therefore, to get a 'happy' ending, there will be the need to oppose or disrupt the contest. At this point, that may prove impossible, since there must be a victor, criminal or detective... And it's a zero-sum game.
  • Unless, that, like the 'justice' system, is a manufactured challenge, too?
  • I am guessing that the 'best' ending will involve a 'tie' or mutual knockout.
  • While saying that, I do not pretend it will be a perfectly happy ending. Though of course, I'm a sucker who - hopes for the best, even given all the rest of it.
  • Lastly - house always wins, winner take all. I'm fully expecting some things to remain unanswered, in case we return to the world of Methods, or it's referenced in other works by LockedOn.

Whew! That's the bulk of it. 
Now that we're buried down here...
Good job, Roel.

I think I mentioned before she was hella sympathetic, and I loved the reasons for Red July losing out. (Speaking of... Her method really is crazy good, when it works.) Contrarily though, isn't a pointless sacrifice sometimes better? Knowing you'd do the right thing, even if it means nothing...

Ah, it's a bit like a generic snack cookie. It doesn't mean anything at all, but when a friend gives you one, it suddenly means a lot.

Oh, and Red July's theme was, as per usual, excellent. I really liked the return of the leitmotifs from Red! Just excellent.

Seriously.
That spritework, the fading of the other detectives...
84 probably just became my favourite chapter, edging out 54. 
Amazing work.

hope Noman makes some good $$$ selling novelty crime dummies

Thank you so much - I thought that might be the case, but... I try to consider myself an unreliable reader, and assume I'm either missing something, or potentially stumbling towards answers through sheer luck. Either way, I don't like the idea of accidentally spoiling stuff for other readers, even if it's entirely by mistake. If Mellie is as Watson to 795, and Nell is to Mellie as Mellie is to 795, I'm Nell divided by eight.

Also Indigo's middle name/patronymic is somehow even cooler than I'd thought possible. I want to play through a few times before settling on my prediction, but I'll try to post it before the lull.

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Eizouken already is like... Dang! 2020 had to start out strong in at least one way! Like, it's something I've wanted in an anime for ages - anyway, I have no idea if the anime adaptation of Dorohedoro is good, but it's a very interesting story; sometimes super violent and just plain weird, mind! But in a way that's incredibly compelling. And I kind of wish there were at least a few more hours in the day... ;_;

But since you mentioned, here's my one main question; all prior competitions mentioned so far as to only have had one winner, right? Detective or Criminal. 
The secondary question kind of related to that is one that might be outside of the scope of the game so far, so... 

Outside of the limited realm of crime-afficianadoes, the competitions aren't widespread in the public knowledge in-world, right? They're available, people are aware of them, but they'd be more famous for a weird event or turn of circumstance than the victories, losses, or even the prize money themselves.

Sort of 'oh, it's those publicity contests that one rich security scion puts together'. If even that?

Feel free to re-direct or answer vaguely. I may even be barking up the wrong tree as it were, but I'm gonna try to think my hardest as we near the end!

edited to note hadn't even heard of darwin's game looks absolutely my jam. hopefully there's more breaks in work during march! :o thanks for the recs!

Now I'm excited for XXXIII and XXXIV. Which is to say, thirty-three and thirty-four!

Way to go, Heck.
I couldn't be happier with his decision, hehe.
Although - I'm very curious to see where this ends up...
I couldn't help but Conver said something about the final results not being in his hands...? Hmn...

Slakes (+Sekals! good job on the improv case, mastermind) had a lot of interesting stuff going on in their chapters. Slakes coming up with a plan like that out of the blue... If there's gonna be further rule-bending, chances are my feeble mind won't be able to come up with any interesting solutions, ahaha. Hmn.

By the way, that was red paint, right? Naturally, it was red paint.

Part of me wonders what happens if something crazy goes on in the round vs. Catscratcher. Well, I've had a lot of questionable theories, but c learly this all ties back into the Kinyats being the actual GM group, and the whole thing being an elabourate surprise party. Also, since you gave some good recs, potentially Dorohedoro might be up your alley. It's also finished now, and the ending is very satisfying - to me, at least. Mostly I'm just a Hayashida fan, though  - since Maken X, at least.

Back to Methods - urgh, so, there's a lot I wanna ask about that I also don't want to spoil for myself, not that you've ever revealed your hand too early. I'm glad Greg didn't fight 795 + and then -1's choice, but... Does that mean Red July has to essentially resolve the mystery, or..? 

Well, just take it as me being invested, and I'll keep my curiousity under wraps.

One last thing; I'm glad you're gonna beat yourself up less. I don't just say 'hey, good work' for no reason. It is very hard to keep up a schedule, even in an 8-5. I find what you do impressive; it encourages me to try a little harder.

Thanks for letting me figure out if I was missing something important; it was Ether that, or doubting myself forEther, and I'm glad it didn't come down to that!

Haha, I was going to make another joke about... Fading away from the world by immersing myself in Methods, but, no room left for jokes, are there... (Sad 796 noises ensue.)

That being said, this was a fantastic update. I love the criminal GM room gang discussing their ideas on what made mastermind choices pop. It's always interesting to see what the cast of a series thinks about its elements, right? At least for me, anyway. Plus, I really like it when characters are allowed to change their opinions - watching them chew it over was just really neat.

I'm very impressed with what you managed to do for Ether, too. Even if elephants, uh, not right now, please... On that note, I completely stumbled at it, and can't seem to get 100%, even after guessing through it. You've come a long way in terms of CG, by the way. The nightshade berries especially had a kind of nostalgic old game vibe.

Roel's mystery was one of my favourite we've got, hands down. Such a cool method, and a nice twist, too. I actually aced this one (first one in awhile!) on the first try, but that didn't decrease the enjoyment of it in the slightest. 

Also, I really loved the fade of her action CG to the watching room. The GM commentary is just the best.

It's a hard pick for which track works better again, but I'm gonna have to go for Ether investigates. It's nice and peaceful. I relate to Detective Ether. Napping sounds nice. Let me sleep.... zzz....

Schedule-wise (and the fact I can't join twitter or it'll consume my life, but I'll bookmark yours), that sounds like a good plan. I'll try to remember to evangelise a bit before 85 hits, ahahaha. And I can kind of imagine how the Conservatory was a hassle to get done, and how - there's a lot on all our plates right now.
Still. We endure, eh..?

One last note - congrats again on largely adhering to your release schedule. I know that clipping a day here and there seems significant, but to a mere mystery fan, seeing a fairly regular release schedule remains something special. I'll be looking forward to the next update!

But, hmn, Slakes and Red July, huh... I wonder what this bodes...

Fantastic update, as usual. I feel like you've been just killing it with the music for this round; both Mackle and 795 got themes that were just - really good. Music is one of the things that stands out most to me. I'd never go so far as to say that bad OST ruins a game, but a good one really makes the highlights stick; and Methods has one hell of a score.

On to these mini-review-things, not sure what to call 'em? I usually agree with you about eccentric characters, it's like - pulling a layer of the mystery back. I really enjoy when the mirror between how a character presents themselves and how they think/think about themselves is entirely different, and I remain resolved that 795+1 is one of those characters... Or not, but I like him all the same.

First, though, Mackle's mystery. Not spoiling the conclusion because it beats the stuffing out of an ice knife. It is the first mystery I have ever read where that turned out to be the solution, but I /felt it coming./ Fantastic. Excellent. Also, interesting that cell signals still work..? My little grey cells feel I'm missing something obvious, but my method is - missing obvious clues. Also, a REALLY fun method.

795's mystery might have been simple, but I feel like how his method works... Kind of lines up with how I see the guy. I struck out on all the jokes my first go, and it felt kind of right, especially with the ending text. I'm gonna feel strongly, and nobody can stop me! And yeah, that means staying in his corner.

Also, though I stink at humour, I laughed pretty hard at his conversation with Greg.

One last thing, not related to the update proper - it's really interesting reading about how you use backgrounds. A pal of mine gushes endlessly about this one VN, we haven't spoken in ages and I can't find it right now (terribly long night) - anyway, it goes the exact opposite approach, using super-2D backgrounds, like - watercolours.

Then, instead of fullbody sprites, the sprites are drawn to scale, e.g. sitting down at a diner, getting close to the screen to adjust a light in a failing lamp, drawn at opposite sides of a train crossing... My vague descriptions isn't doing it justice, but I feel like how you work with 3D in Methods hits the same endgoal, from a different angle.

Also, I feel you about having a solid foundation to build off of; not fighting your tools is a very underrated part of any craft.

Beth's re-do turned out great, and I'm curious to see what you do with mysteries coming up. Maybe keep it dreamy? Ahaha, I understand that for a lot of authors, dreams are probably kind of a cop-out, but I always find them fun. Either way,  great update!

.... is it buried here? no first-timers are gonna spoil themselves? okay. just once.

RAILGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN

:o 

That actually isn't mine, though it's very aesthetic. And kind of melancholy. Even though I'd love to place a claim on it, I'm even happier seeing other people out there who love the game and setting as much as I do. And I definitely agree with the editors' note at the end. It's quite powerful.

But it goes to show that even when seem small in number, uh, us die-hard fans are unbeatable! 

Nicely done; I know you try to keep to your schedules, but I think it's even more impressive to pull yourself back into one after missing a few. Keep up the good work!

First off, Noman's theme was fantastic. Selete's too, but Noman's was just - that combination of sour notes and pops/slaps... Absolutely a jam. On that note, are the earlier chimes supposed to be wine-glasses clinking? One way or the other, your music continues to knock it out of the park. And you know?

I'm glad he made a new friend. Reading and giants alone don't amount for much, because Noman is an island!

(Also, Kane's lil' introduction was great.)

As for... Uhmn...

The various text distortions for a certain detective must have been murder on you. I don't want to think about how many different {font} brackets and/or italicisation/bolding markup you used. But it was worth it. I was dying throughout the chapter. Also dying of fear. I'm 99% sure that special dialogue, you know the one, was the Spirit of the Interface pleaing to not be DESTROYED. 

Which is too bad, because Selete cannot be stopped. Or reasoned with. Anything, really. Fantastic, amazing, yes.

(Funnily enough, I actually went back; I hope Selete gets a chance to team up with Mane after the events of the case. I imagine they actually do work quite well together. somebody has to fix the spa remote i mean how else will the spa work???? maybe it can be eradicated into working again all right letsssss s goooooooo)

But finally, in defence of roman numerals; think, just think! With the power of them, you can remaster & release this update as Methods XxXTREEEEME EDITION FT. VR.

My recommendation is that the VR portion is entirely limited to one, completely arbitrary, screen. Anyway, you couldn't do that without latin, it's completely impossible, so, uh, that's why roman numerals are great.

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Oh, oh - a Methods update to obscure the nightmare drenched hellscape that is the real world. My method may very well be retreating to an allegorical cave or something, aha, aha, ha...

I gotta say, though, if this is the result of adjusting your schedule a bit, entirely worth it!

TWO mysteries, both of which are multi-step puzzlers (Everreaves' one, especially)! Some really interesting revelations, and FANTASTIC dialogue. Noman making it and being Noman! Seeing 795 again! (Missed ya, pal!) The Mansion of Legends (it's very symmmetrical. I'm glad Conver got a chance to use it)! Ens whole chapter being relatable... So very... Relatable...

Oh, and a mystery I nailed in one because, aha, I've got Carambola seeds stratifying in the fridge right now! Don't underestimate the power of gardeners! (Or do. Well, at least aeroponics might continue into the future...)

Really, the lineup of detectives for this section feels awesome. I was so pleased Everreave got a moment in the spotlight, such a fun method and a great method (heh) of implementation. It's hard enough in the latter bits to be real fun if you don't cheese it, and you could just bruteforce it if the mystery sections aren't your jam. (Or if you wanna see where the dialogue goes, like me.)

But seriously, seeing Red July, 795, Mackle, Ether... Selete, ah, Selete? Who's Sele - oh woah oh geeze, hey, LockedOn, uh, the other detectives are okay right buddy pal uh

(Don't think I missed that stealth bio, either! Bahaha!)

And that's without going into the tech stuff, that little flyover killed me. Remind me of some real classic adventure/FMV games, and really felt appropriate for a Mansion. And I mean, you have to have a Mansion, right? I'm even capitalising it!

Just so you know, I'm very much looking forward to the chapters to come. 

I can give some feedback about the new packaging, assuming the new bundle feature is the joint compile? It seems to work well (Win7) here. Uh, want me to dig out my linux box and see if it plays nice on Mint?

But it should do what you said it'll do. Naturally, if there are any issues, I can butt in with questionably useful advice, too! Gahahahaha!

Finally. Dunno if I can choose just one track for this update, but, if I /had/ to it'd be Ens investigates. It really hits the questionable smoothie of a lethal atmosphere with a pinprick of danger and a splash of style.

Edit, oh, one thing; the itch launcher now has a thumb/smiley emoji ratio thing, both at or near 50%. I thought they might be ratings-related, but the rating on-site is much better than that? Further, I see no option to rate them on my end. I guess they're an itch thing, but do you have any clue what they are?

Ahahahaha, S4R4 is a classic! But S4R5 feels like it could be absolutely crazy, in the best sort of way... Banana or no. And I'm always down for S4R3-style mysteries, because the solutions often make you second-guess yourself. Also, it's neat to hear you do have some storyboarding for these, and even cooler we might get to hear about them later!

Most of all - glad I can help keep you enthused. My pleasure! c:

Is February July? Ah, ahaha, ahaha... 
Also, Chapter 68's title, I'm laffin' so hard, I think these salty things might be tears.
(Also also: That's enough social commentary for today. Let's talk about Detexit instead. I'm gonna stop quoting your dialogue back at you, but... Fantastic. Greg really earned that cuppa this round.)

Greetings from a snow-covered snowscape. Though physical labour has me busy at the moment, you really went all out with these chapters; there was a lot of meat here, and though there wasn't a full mystery for us to 'solve', there sure was a lot of mystery. You do a very good job with rising/falling suspense, more on that when I talk about the behind the scenes stuff!

There was a lot of excellent incidental dialogue (King and his tea, Jaime and Indigo semi-bonding and then not knowing what else to say, Greg claiming dibs on office supplies as if anyone else would, Conver being Conver and people reacting Conver being Conver), but what really got me was the hint of some purpose beyond the contest, even if the secret is... Money laundering or something, pfffft, ahaha! 

I - kind of want to take a crack at Conver's unsolvable case. I feel like with it's incredibly lateral logic, I might have a chance at it, especially since it has multiple solutions. The problem is, my solutions almost certainly wouldn't be the same as his. Oh, well.

Nice stealth-editing, btw. ;P
I kind of want more glimpses of the outer world. Somehow, I feel as if it's entirely the same as ours, but even worse..?!

Anyway, I'm pretty much on board with all your charadev/art talk. I'll also proudly admit to downloading tons of VN entirely because of the character or art style. Some turned out to have crummy writing, but I also found plenty I really loved! I think it's okay to be drawn in by a captivating style or an interesting design. 

One thing I can recommend is creating aliases for spriteshows you're gonna be using a lot. It's still a pain, but skt1 for show killersoul talk is a lot less carpal. Ultimately probably not worth redoing at this point, but for the future..? Maybe.

Finally, my first thought when I saw Trigoto was ANGLES so I'm glad crooked was one part of his design philosophy, heh. Now - this was a pretty big update, so I won't tell you you can't move back to Thursday. But you're getting closer to the final stretch now, and I feel it's better to shift between the two if it gives you the time you need to get things the way you want them to be (even if that's not the same as 'perfect!' perfect should never be the enemy of the good, after all!).

Really satisfying arc, so keep it up. I can't send you a cheque for $million, but I'll continue to support you, ahahaha!

I won't lie, this arrived at a great time to take the ol' mind off some things.

First, I loved these chapters, GMs vs. GMs is something I'd hoped to see since we met the criminals' control room staff. Everything from that forlorn pudding to an equally forlorn Indigo, ah, just great. But things really have gotten out of hand, hrmn...

And I could probably talk all day about the Behind the Scenes segment! But since I don't have all day, I'll stick to a few things. Works on writing are generally written to sell a service, agent, or publishing house, and the more generic ones... My recommendation to new writers is always just to write more (and read, and consume media. You need to understand others, and understand yourself to write effectively, or so I figure)!

The other is - huh, I never would've guessed. Your characters are one of your strongest points in my mind! Also, your process is so different then my own, but I kinda relate? For me, aha, I guess my 'Method' is writing the ending first, and working my way backwards. My weakness is definitely dialogue and banter... I wonder if I should try to track down that book?

(And aren't mysterious books that don't seem to be listed anywhere, even on a shady ebay/craigslist/etc listing... They're kinda great, right?)

Most interesting was seeing the changes you'd 'planned out' and scrapped. Willingness to revise is good, the ability to keep going even when you want to revise is even better. It's all too easy to get stuck on that ooooone chapter..!

Hope you're feeling much better, and that even if the writing of those chapters ends up feeling like chores, you'll find yourself done with the trickiest bits before too long.

Personally, I'm still waiting on the advancements in basic human decency? That the Reiwa era should be seeing any day now? But failing that, does Mastermind Garden accept requests, I wonder... Maybe like a raffle, or a lotto, or something...

Hey there, cheers. 
I actually saw your earlier post, but couldn't reply because...

Holidays, y'know, they sure do feel busy, these days. Me, I just watch old shoujo more often than not, trying to catch up on my traditional book backlog. I thought I'd finally clawed some time back, but the new year started with a vengeance. I do have a game I've been messing around with, but it's from 2016, I think, and is the most recent thing I've played, so...

Not sure what to say about your plans, except that it sounds like you've put a lot of thought into the pros and cons of them. Stepping back and trying to be impartial, I feel like a staggered release schedule - slightly longer than the Methods release schedule, but maybe with update posts even when there's no physical release - could be good..? I trust your judgement. Just remember to try to treat yourself well, too.

The private release thing seems cool, I just don't know how itch, let alone other clients, handle invisible releases. Maybe create a test project and see how it works?

Anyway, hey, congrats; that's quite a journey. I'm hoping we get to see much more from you in the years to come!

Boring, eh? I'd disagree, and say that no excuse is even necessary...
But then again, I also found Boredom to the best of a great trio of new tracks, aha...

You weren't kidding about things ramping up.

First, I love the little tidbits we're starting to get about the world/setting that Methods takes place in. Locations and circumstances of other contests, just - it feels really well timed. Second, though I wasn't surprised by the motives of a cornered cat, I have to admit that pretty much everything that happened past that... Woah.

The criminal GMs are just great.  King's little witticism (and immediate redaction) were just fantastic. I think I said it in my review, but both of the GM-side sections are some of my favourites, and I love the main cast. And speaking of... It seems there's still (quite) a bit of detecting to be done.

Interestingly enough, these last chapters have made me want to revisit an older theory I had, one about the purpose itself. But I'll muddle that one out later before grasping at straws.

Really glad to hear that, once you took the plunge, it wasn't quite as daunting as you'd thought. And though I'm looking forward to this awesome new feature you've been thinking of, I'm stoked for whatever the next release entails.

p.s. fare thee well haney aka larika. your raw strength was too much for a mere contest. at least the kinyats family will forever fear your name possibly



Glad to hear it!

Hmn... If you haven't tried uninstalling-reinstalling, do that.
Otherwise, go to your install directory (example: C:\itch.io games\methods\Methods-1.0-win\game\BGS\chap62 ) and try deleting everything there. Then, in itch.io's client, go to your library, right click on Methods, and either check update or uninstall/re-install.

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Seems like it; the re-install (I accidentally fried my own installation while messing about) is going fine. And hey, it's the least I can do!

Feedback, 'cause I totally forgot - I never knew this novel was gonna hurt me on multiple levels; the gig economy, huh... Haha, hahaha, hahaha, ha... h e l p

You weren't kidding about everything coalescing, though. I was surprised to see the concept of Voice-Mastering coming back. I'd written it off as maybe Lewis messing with everyone, but... Hrmn. I feel incredibly bad for Beth, though. Sounds like a no-good kinda day.

And we finally get a name for Haney?! I mean, her name is Haney, of course, but - it feels like the dawn of a new era! I found that conversation incredibly interesting, though, and it was just as interesting to see her and Victor doing some actual detective-work. Detective-and-former-criminal-work. Whatever.

Some of your to-do list can definitely be added in after official release; I feel like the pace flows really well with chapter 62, especially, even without any CG you might want to add. I'll never turn down more CG, but - the pace is pretty intense, what with all the murderin' and schemin' going on.

I might be able to help out with the text history feature, too, if you can't get it doing what you want it to do. For now, though, sounds like a good plan; for now, I wonder if the prevailing theory is right... Or cat-astrophically wrong.

Edit, one last one: All works fine, and on that note, the new interviews... Esp. Mastermind Silence. Incredible. Also, Beth isn't just an interesting perspective, but has a great self-titled track.

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Okay, hope it's all right if I intervene, here...

I downloaded the game using an internet browser - a manual download, as opposed to the itch.io client. It installs and plays correctly, and the file that itch is failing to recognise is there and visible. I'm not entirely sure why itch's automated client is failing to parse it, if that's what's going on, but - if you've got a decent internet connection, that'll let you play the update.

Edit: Since you're playing on windows, it still won't run 100%. I believe I've solved the problem, but it requires editing a game file. The solution should be fairly easy to patch in, though!

Edit the second: Should be working now, LockedOn seems to have fixed it. Try updating, lemme know if it isn't working on your end!

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Hi, I've got the same issue; I'm wondering if the file in question (com1.jpg) is marked as read-only, and getting in the ways of installs and updates? Either way, I tried uninstalling, and it won't even do a fresh install; I sent a report itch's way, just in case it's a problem with how the download is served.

In the meantime, I'm gonna try a non-client download, just to see what happens. I'll report back!

EDIT: Okay, I got to the section where com1/2 would normally display. The files themselves are fine! But I've noticed an underscore before each file, eg _com1, _com2, and weirder still, when I attempt to rename them I'm told that the device is invalid. At least it was, until I tried copying the contents into paint.net and making a duplicate...

Apparently com1/2 are reserved by windows. Hnuh, wouldn't have guessed that. Either you can slap-patch every instance of com1/com2 to be _com1/_com2, or maybe think of a different alias. I never would've guessed windows would be so specific about communication ports, but, windows.

Editedit: I hope it's okay that I hacked the gibson, but opening up chapter62, and adding the underscore before com1 and com2 has everything running right. I'd like to say I'm a little technically aware, but I never even knew communications ports reserved filenames. You'd think the extension would obviate that, yeah?! Crazy.

My pleasure! :D

Also, for those looking for a bullet list of things that might appeal to you about it, here are some pros.

  • The music is incredible. This is true of LockedOn games in general, but the jazzy, capricious score is just - really enjoyable.
  • Some of the themes present in other works, most notably Prison of Lies, are present. If you like those, I think you'll enjoy Methods.
  • Each character's art and personality stand out. It's very easy to let style override dialogue, but that doesn't happen here.
  • Humour is definitely subjective, but it's a VERY funny game, especially if you share the sense of humour. If you like peculiar, off-the-wall jokes that have punchlines several chapters on... You almost certainly do.
  • You'll almost certainly have a few characters that really make you smile.

And here are some counterpoints to consider:

  • The full novel will be pretty long. If VN aren't your thing, it may be harder to justify; but I think you'll also find it's a good gateway into Visual Novels.
  • You're going to need to keep track of things. Several of my guesses were wrong because of reader error, for example. May be a plus, if you like scheming/matching wits with the characters.
  • Waiting for new releases is hard, even when they're reliably weekly! Fortunately, the developer is a golden standard of consistency. But for those who want a complete product, waiting might be wise - though you will be paying more.

INCENSE, Killersoul is truly the hero(ic criminal) we need.
Lavender'd probably help. Let's go with lavender.

Getting called out by Mastermind Catscratcher of all people, though. 
I can finally die, happy... 
Ephemeral...
Like an ice dagger - 

On that note, the strands in the vending machine feel... Like maybe...
They aren't supposed to be hair? There, I mean. Hmn, I wonder, I've got - another leftfielder kinda theory, hrmn...

Also, and this is important.
The Mastermind Game Masters are amazing.
GM Indigo really gets Killersoul, I feel? Definitely an understanding person, though maybe I just feel like lead is an underappreciated modus -

Tocks & Ticks is an amazing track, although that's just me loving distorted reprisals.

I feel like you've been really pushing yourself recently, so please rememeber that it's all good to devote an update to your planned revisions, especially if you need a buffer. Normally, I wouldn't advise it; but most people get stuck on the past. You press ahead relentlessly; which is great, but just like a criminal coming up with an inventive crimescene, sometimes you've gotta just take it easy!

The cleanups for Greg and Kane really look nice, and I'm glad to see Everreave fit in more, even if I did like the extra shading. Also, I've got my first(?) bug report; you've got a crash when leaving the interviews, looking for variable schematic_on; I'm guessing this one might be on my end, as I imagine itch just installs VN over themselves. If so, it's just a matter of clearing persistents on release. If not, uh, define it early and all should be well?

Oh, and I added a small review. I wanted to make it more specific, but then I figured - it should probably reach out to newcomers, not just ramble on about what I liked. Hopefully, it helps some people take the plunge!

Not the plunge like a knife into Tendon's tendons, though. That'd be sad.

This is a short(ish) review for those interested in Methods. A full disclosure, I've followed LockedOn for awhile, but I'll try to do my best to be neutral - and avoid spoilers! 

On it's face, Methods is a story about detectives (and criminals!) competing for a cash prize - or freedom. Though it includes a heaping helping of mystery, the force of the story are the characters, interactions, and dialogue. If you've already experienced a LockedOn piece, you'll probably already know if it's for you.

For those new to the author, though, you can expect clever interactions, odd asides, and the occasional poignant moment. Methods is a mostly silly story, though that arguably makes the dramatic and tense moments more effective. 

The narrative switches regularly, and if you're the sort of reader that doesn't like stories that change perspective frequently, it may be a bit of a struggle. On the flipside, if you enjoy seeing things from a different angle, the changes in perspective are really well-done. Speaking from a personal note, the Game Master segments were near the bottom rung, and they're one of the pieces of the story I look forward to most, now.

Despite several jokes in-story about how the detectives/cast don't have time to stand out, I'd say that especially the focus cast stands out well. Further, as a LockedOn work, there is a lot of supplementary material, too. Bios will be familiar to anyone who's played Umineko or Higurashi, but also come with statistics charts that are usually worth a chuckle.

One of the reasons I feel the cast works so well, besides recognisable design and engaging dialogue, however, are the interviews. Though often funny, some of these provide a completely different take on the cast or their actions. To try to encapsulate how interesting they are to me, it's a bit like the difference between seeing someone's pre-recorded performance...

Then catching them behind the scenes, talking candidly with their staff.

With the shift in perpsectives, methods, and motivations, I feel like you could give the story a try whether you're interested in following the story for the story, or just outfoxing the cast -as there are mysteries, several in fact! But I'd strongly recommend Methods for anyone who enjoys humourous VN, mysteries-as-a-setting, or just likes seeing unusual characters play off of one another.

Done!

For this one, certain characters carried the pairing forward for me. Also, given that one of the options is MEGA NEW, I placed it a bit lower than I otherwise would've, but... The team could easily be #1 for me, because I've got a villainous heart. Muahaha.

Even the pairing in dead last for me is still a good pairing, though; I just asked myself while sorting, who would you wanna read more of interacting off of one another?

And thanks for keeping it open a bit; I got here early, but my schedule has been crazy busy, and I wouldn't be surprised if there were lurkers or off-site readers who missed out on the first one. Keep up the great work!

I cannot begin to put into words what a healing experience hanging out with a bunch of villains (debateable) was.

Killersoul is just too powerful. Maybe he actually lives up to his name and has a serious bodycount, but anybody who loves jam that much, is so chill and easygoing, and takes prison reform seriously... That's a real Mastermind's Mastermind.

But I loved the entire Murder Crew. Chapter 56 might be favourite chapter, so far. Trigoto's snapped glasses and railing about 1996, Keyes being so done with all of this, Seebeck being the opposite of that about Keyes... And Killersoul being the jam that holds the whole villainous sandwich together. 

(And man, even more than Hackett, the similes and turns of phrases had me in stitches, here.)

I sure hope we get to glance into some previous Masterminds' lives, but - even if this is a temporary glance, it's shed a lot of light into how things roll. And 4 new tracks! Feeling kinda spoiled, haha!

(Between Modus and Plotting it's hard for me to pick a fave. Modus juuuust wins out though.)

It's fun and a real twist to see how the murderous sausage of the mysteries is made, and it's interesting to see that attendants continue to be the most feared people on both sides of the curtain as it were. Hmn... Could this be the elusive... Man-ey?

Anyhow, I can't say I'm one for the commercial explosion of the moment, but Cyber Monday appeals to my sensabilities a lot more than the consumer rush; sounds like the perfect time to recommend this to some people. : ) 

On that note, one last thing; so I'm finishing up a sort of halfway review, thinking of leaving it on the comments, here? I'll probably do a full-length one when Methods is over. Lemme know what you think.

...

Y'know, they may not have gotten off to the best start, but I think Ashdown would've been really awed by that bit of toilet lore Killersoul dropped. I mean, knowing how many lethal the ivory throne can be is an exceptionally fun fact!*

*I'm really disappointed, however, that an ICE DAGGER was not included in the dispensibles from the murder machine. It's even more of a classic than the spoon, I'm telling ya!

This is cool, one of the reasons I get so psyched when I see an update from you is that getting the methodology behind how Methods gets made is fascinating to me, from a gamedev perspective, and just 'cause it's neat.  On that note, it was really interesting seeing the spread of players fave' mysteries.

I nearly missed out on it because real life, but, it's crazy to see how much a certain mystery'll have it's followers. 

On thate note, it's cool seeing some of the original designs for the cast; I like the old cover a lot (feels like a superflat album cover), but I feel like you really ended up pushing your designs for what we've got so far. And I mean the most important details, like Detective Asper and his powerful floral print, have remained intact, so all's well!

(And 772 keeping the same energy throughout feels kinda right, if you ask me!)

I've got a little to take care of, but I'll proooobably update this with some thoughts later. And on that note, good to see you back in action so quickly; I would've taken longer off, aha, but my method is - sleeps in, doesn't solve the mystery, doesn't pass go, process repeats. Bahahaha!

Awesome! :D It's very low-priority, but something that's come to mind a few times. (And I can definitely wait; I'm still chewing over the end of the arc, and having some time before going into it again'd make the experience even better!)

A lot to say; pretty heavy spoilers, so if you're the sort of person who randomly reads comments before playing an update, uh, please reconsider..?

I actually had a theory it might have been Jenter (or possibly... 'Jenter?') early on, and completely discarded it. Looking back, you added a lot to this re-write that I could've picked up on. I don't know what the original chapter looked like, but...

Yeah, I found it very satisfying.

The ending showdown between the two wasn't exactly action packed, but that's very suitable for Ashdown. And the way it ended...
I liked both options, but especially choosing to leave.

Everything about it was - really good. 
Especially the end.

On to the chapters as a whole, I thought Facts/Feelings was hilarious, though that just might be my sense of humour being, uh, let's call it Game Master tier.  Also, Noman's method actually isn't that gross at all - well, it could be very gross, but for the insight gained, I imagine it's worth it?

And the GM car was incredibly interesting, moreso the fact we might be moving onto a boat?! I'll keep an eye out for shady islands that are essentially locked-room mysteries!

Finally, though I'm aware each arc has different focuses... I really liked how the ending of Ashdown's arc played out. I really enjoy protagonists who try their best, but aren't the brightest or most skilled, and what 'Jenter' said was somewhat true. In the option to leave, Ashdown realising that and finding what makes him happy... Yeah, I like that. And I like to think that even if the stakes are quite a bit lower, Dts. Ashdown & Woes have a lot of interesting, low-key adventures in that route.

On to technical stuff, should I wait juuuuuuust a lil' bit longer? I'm digging the changes you've made so far! Which reminds me -

When you're done with Methods, do you think you could add a function where clicking the character sprite'd cycle through seen sprites? You've done some excellent spritework, and I know I always appreciate those as much as CG galleries. It's a bit of extra work, so even if you felt like adding it, I'd recommend holding on implementation, but as I really dug Rows' touchup, figured no better time than now to mention it.

All right, pal! Enjoy your break, you've earned it.


oh geeze

See, this is why I'm currently just an ambulatory limb supply system for a certain shady detective agency, ahaha! Thanks, though - and one-note or not, they're pretty engaging to me. And I'll have fun seeing where my guesses lined up..!