It's already out on steam! :D
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I have no words for this act. At least nothing that seems coherent. Finished my first play through about ten minutes ago. Just kind of leaned back and went "well, f---." Very few games have ever taken me on such a roller coaster of emotions. I can't really go into details without peppering this with spoilers, but dear lord my heart's in a million pieces.
To anyone reading this, do yourself a favor and get this game. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you might yell at the screen (i did, repeatedly), and you'll probably feel like a terrible human being at least once. It really put me through the whole gambit of human emotion and any story that can do that is one worth experiencing.
My heart is screaming over this chapter., especially the end. The build up of tension in this chapter is amazing. Played through August's route first. So yeah, my heart is in pieces on the floor. I'm about to go play through some of my other favorite routes but I really need to ramble about this chapter! ***SPOILERS BELOW***
I so wanted to be wrong about Harry. I started suspecting something was amiss rather early in the game, but man. I wanted to be wrong if only for August's sake. Choosing to lie to Harry and seeing August's reaction, my heart actually dropped out my chest until he nodded in understanding. Being in a very small room with a mental unstable and dangerous man? Yeah, we're taking the cautious route. sdkjhfkdsfg
And talking with everyone about what to do? I've never felt so conflicted about my own decisions in a VN. I bounced back and forth on what I wanted to do in the beginning before finally settling into a firm decision. Actually getting to talk to people about it, though, and see their honest reactions was wonderfully immersive and hit me in the gut a few times when it seemed like I'd disappointed someone. I had thought maybe there was hope to bring him back to some semblance of reason but after that? Wow, angry and disappointed and sad and all of the emotions. Bravo on wonderful story telling and managing to breathe so much life into all the characters. I really do adore all of them. Well, maybe not Aurora but I have a hunch that feeling is probably mutual. XD
1) Physical awards don't generally interest me. I'm always more interested in early access or in game perks but I would be hard pressed to say no to a plushie of Screech. Also a keychain of the protagonist's butterfly brooch might be cool?
2) From most to least interested: Thrace, Kadan, Roxas. Iandir, Aiden.
3) 5 years is definitely a /long/ time, and I'll echo others about being leery of funding a project with that time frame. I've been burned in the past with promises of less development time. I can appreciate you guys being upfront about a long wait, though! I'm going to infer through your post that each route might take us to vastly different places (or at least different locations within the same area), and if that's the case, my usual suggestion of trying to reuse a bg a few times becomes harder to pull off. Perhaps a good compromise would be to get the /most/ important bgs for a route done. Reuse what you can in a route and then update with less important ones as they are finished? You could also go with a placeholder image for similar locations. I know in a lot of games, general outside scenery or travelling BGs are reused a lot. I personally very rarely notice this, as I'm far too focused on the characters or what's happening. You could also perhaps add a stretch goal with an appropriate amount that would allow you to hire another or multiple artists to help?
I have played a lot of otome games over the years, and let me tell you, I have never been so completely charmed as I have been by one Mr. Ezra Lyon. He is a witch, indeed, because there HAS to be some sort of witchcraft involved. XD
Honestly, all of the LIs are charming in their own right and that's hard to pull off with a diverse cast. Kudos to you guys for such awesome characters!
Story is very interesting, especially with the recent chapter addition. As the saying goes, the plot thickens! I have some suspicions about what's going and while there's one obvious culprit I think the situation is far more convoluted going on behind the scenes. I want to put it here, but if I'm somehow impossibly right, I don't want to spoil anything.
Although, of all the hundreds of questions I want to ask, there is one I'm hoping you guys won't mind answering? If not, I understand, but it's killing me. Please, please, tell me we as players can help Ezra and August be friends again. Or at least influence them in some way to stop being silly and talk to each other? They're my two favorite characters at this point. It's killing meeee.
On that note, I love being able to talk to everyone and getting little surprise insights into other characters through them. And that despite whoever we're flirting with, ALL the other characters are there and have meaningful interactions. It's something that's lacking in other games that would have made a good game great.
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this! It really shows, and I am HOOKED. Hook, line, AND sinker!
Just got done playing through this, and was a little disappointed by the lack of choices up til the end of the demo. Even just a few "cosmetic" choices placed here and there can help make it feel like the player is playing rather than just reading a story. That said, I /did/ enjoy the demo and what little we got to see of the story! The character interactions were very entertaining and the group plays off of each other very well.
Out of the LIs I think Thrace and Kadan wound up being my favorites. I'm also interested in learning more about Roxas. Aiden... I wanted to punch in the face. This isn't to say that he's a bad character. He's just not the type of person I personally would ever get along with. Iandir... was bizarre. Although I think that might have more to do with how blase he was about being /owned/ and used for transportation. Cultural shock on my part, lol!
I see you were asking after the voice acting below in another comment, so I'll put my thoughts down on that too. The voice acting threw me for a loop in the beginning. I didn't realize it was voice acted until the Dad's lines started playing. His acting was pretty good. Aiden, Thrace, and Roxas all have voices that fit their character sprites, and were pretty good as well. Kadan's voice was not what I was expecting at all, but after the intial surprise it seemed to fit by the end. I think that was more influenced by the type of voice that usually gets assigned to characters with similar designs from other games I've played. So I will say he passes with the others. Maybe a bit more inflection in his voice? As I said, I did wind up liking it by the end of the demo. Iandir's seems to lack... something. I'm not sure what. I feel like maybe in trying to make him sound like a very calm and friendly sort, too much emotion is being left out??? I definitely think there needs to be more inflection.
My only other critique, I think, is sometimes the voices seemed to play at different volumes. There were also a few times the voices got low on purpose, as part of the acting, but it made it harder to hear them. I had the music volume pretty low and everything else left at 100%. I was also not wearing headphones, so it might not be as noticeable if I had been. Still something to look at, I feel.
So my final thoughts: looking forward to seeing this funded and finished! I will try to chip in what I can when the campaign goes up as I enjoyed the demo quite a bit. I hope I didn't come off as harsh, because all I want to do is offer helpful criticism. Good luck and keep up the good work!
For your sanity, I'd vote to release it all at once. Yes it'll be a longer wait for us, but I know from my own experience I always catch little things when I'm adding routes or I want to tweak a certain chain of events. It's harder to change once it's out in the wild.
Looking forward to it whenever it comes out though! :3
There are few VNs that capture me quite like this has. All the characters are charming and I look forward to playing all the routes. The end of chapter one came far too soon! Looking forward to the rest of the game. Do you plan to release it slowly by chapter, or will there be one final update with the entire game in the future? Either way, I'll be keeping a close eye on this. :3
Had a fun time going through the demo! I like the characters, with the trio being my favs. Zen was certainly interesting, too. Not sure who I want to go after first now that I know a bit more about the characters. It was going to be Malik pre-demo based purely on the info blurb, but now I'm very tempted to focus on Altair first. I also kind of want to help the poor guy out with Fatima. XD
I loved a lot of the choices given as well. One of them took me by surprise, but it had me laughing. Was not expecting it at all. Can't wait to see where you take this!
1. What did you think overall?
Really enjoyed the demo! I'm supposed to be in bed because I have work in the morning but I put it off for this instead. Played through twice and some change. Once as a Reaver and once as a Shika. I already commented on the dialogue symbols below, so besides being a little unsure of what they all meant, I did enjoy that style of dialogue.
2. Which character are you most excited about romancing?
Rafael! Although, I had a heck of a time trying to get his picture to light up as a Reaver. I could only get it to light up when I ran through as a Shika. Are the romances race locked, because if so that's a bummer. :c
3. Did you find any bugs/typos?
I had a error screen pop up once when I tried to save but I haven't been able to get it to happen again to copy the error message.
I also had an odd bug where I went back to the main menu while waiting for the interview and the tavern crowd background music did not end like it should have.
4. What would you like to see most in the full game?
Hard to say without knowing more about the game? I definitely enjoy the humor sprinkled through out, so more of that. Plus, romance. The sappier the better, because I'm a huge romantic. XD
5. Other comments or suggestions?
The first time I went through the demo I almost named the guild "The Guild" because I literally couldn't think of anything. XD The second time, I nearly died laughing because I changed my dialogue choice during that scene and got Rafael's suggestion. Had me rolling! I went with his suggestion that time. You should totally sneak in an extra bit of dialogue there if the player goes with "Guide" as the guild name.
Really looking forward to the full game!
I'm only part way through the demo right now, and came back here looking for an explanation on what the different symbols meant. I would definitely say some sort of tutorial or even just a descriptor displayed with the icon would help a lot. That being said, what /do/ all the symbols stand for?