Very beautiful and fun! I always enjoy these different types of games that make you think about it's meaning.
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The true ending reminded me too much of Red vs Blue, of Tex, of Allison, of the Alpha, and Epsilon, of course. And congrats, you made me cry.
Though I will say one thing- it felt very fitting. "Never say goodbye. If you don't say goodbye; then it's like you're never really gone. You... just aren't here right now."
This game broke me. It blew my mind. It was so surprising. The twist got me especially well for a few reasons. When I go out to download dating sims, I look for them and then download like twenty at once. Then usually I leave most of them (if not all of them) for weeks. When I finally come back, I remember nothing about any of these games, except for a few certain ones.
So I opened this expecting a normal dating sim. I WAS VERY WRONG. The ending was so shell-shocking, so "WOAH", I literally closed the game and had to get up from my computer. So props for having broken me. ;P
Alright, so, I played this a while ago. And I have to say: while the actual romance storylines are good (didn't particularly like Pierre as the protagonist for the second part), the actual plot- well, it- it just doesn't make sense.
So the plot line is: these guys are from an alternate universe that for some reason- runs on love. So they have to make real life dating sims or whatever in order to get that love. So then we see their private life as they interact.
Okay, so first thing about that: if it was too complicated for you in that exposition dump, and you just didn't get what they were talking about- it's okay! Because it NEVER comes up again. Ever. There was a certain part in the actual game where I ACTUALLY forgot about that weird plot, and it would've stayed that way if Pierre-Kyle or whatever-his-freaking-name-is hadn't of said something about another universe running on the phobia of spiders. And that just brings me into my second point!
Why arachnophobia? I mean, how? Why SPECIFICALLY the fear of spiders. Wouldn't the power come from fear itself? Why spiders? Because only the people who have a fear of spiders are gonna be scared of that. Everyone else is just gonna smash the spiders. And if they're making it into a game ('cause that still makes sense) how would that even work? Haven't you ever met someone afraid of spiders? They're kinda pansies. I doubt they're going to play a game specializing in their worst fear. And if someone who's not scared of spiders plays the game, they're not really gonna be scared! And Pierre-Kyle said they run on arachnophobia, so someone without the fear wouldn't be useful, right? HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK? HOW DOES THIS "POWERING WITH EMOTIONS" THING WORK? Because that isn't explained either!
Leading into point three: Seriously. HOW does it work? It isn't explained at all! How is Love going to save the alternate universe anyway? The sun is going out, right? Well, it's only going out in one of two ways: 1.) A giant fiery supernova that's going to destroy everything in the alternate universe's solar system, and guess what? No amount of love is gonna save you from that! 2.) It's going to eventually burn out by first swelling into a giant, where it will then engulf the entire solar system. And again, no amount of love is gonna save you. Okay, let's say theoretically, the sun does burn out and it doesn't destroy their planet. Fine. It would then send the entire planet into an ice age, with ice covering the planet. How is love gonna fix that? Everything will be covered in ice and snow, forget about going outside without freezing to death. Not to mention EVERYTHING will be COMPLETELY dark. No light pretty much whatsoever. How is love gonna fix that? If you say, "oh they're going to make lights or something." then I counter it with HOW? How exactly did they manage to use love as a power source? I'd understand it better if it was that they converted love into power, but that's never explained. In fact, nothing is explained.
With that, we go to point four: Nothing is explained. At all. Whatsoever. It gives you the basics, and then runs off. But that's okay, because it never comes back again. They set up all this stuff, and it never comes back. They had a lot of potential with that! Explain it a bit more, explore the whole alternate universe thing, and you could do a lot with that! Maybe they have a different way of speaking, or a different culture, or something like that! But no, they act like normal everyday humans. They were from an ALTERNATE universe, right?
Point five: Why was the whole "we need love to power our planet" thing needed again? I mean, it looks like they're actors, they act like they're actors, why weren't they just actors doing a movie? Oh and another thing: Why did they need to be there? Like they're alive inside the game? Why did they need to do that? Why couldn't they have actually made a movie or something? Or better yet, they have anime visuals: why not just just take pictures of them and make an actual dating sim? Or even better yet, they could do motion capture or whatever and then have that animated into an actual game. BAM! The coolest dating sim out there (fully animated) and it frees up so much time. So then why do they choose to make it the most stupid and inefficient way possible to get love?
Point Six: I mentioned it before and then got distracted. Why was the whole "we need love to power our planet" thing needed again? I mean, you could've swapped it out with a "they're actors" storyline and it would be barely any different than the original plot. I mean, it's not like you went into detail with the whole alternate universe thing. I suppose maybe you wanted to do a "What do the dating sim characters do when they're not in a dating sim", but you didn't do anything special with it. They're apparently normal people and then it turns into a regular dating sim. The only reason I could think of that made you do this plot is that you had two different stories that you wanted to do with the same characters, so you cobbled together this weak link in the story so you could do 2 in 1. There wasn't any indication of the real story in the page. So why was it kept a secret? It's nothing that special. I honestly feel click-baited. Why did you do that? Did you think no one would want to play a dating sim with gay options (now when I first played the real story I thought the only two choices were Liam or Ethan, but I assume the other two girls are options too)? Seriously, people love this stuff. Did you think no one would want to play the real story?
Point Seven: Okay, this one isn't so much about the story not making sense, but whatever. Okay, so Pierre was kind of insulting when the twist in initially revealed. Something about the people playing Lily* was stupid or annoying or something. How we just bothered the characters and that the love was never mutual and stuff. And I mean, we all KNOW the characters don't really love us. They're fake, just programmed to love us for the most part. We're playing these games to FEEL loved (in my case), so then flipping the script and having the characters that we liked say that we're just annoying and intrusive and stuff kinda hurt. Like no one plays these games thinks that the characters genuinely love us. Also Pierre looked like a total douche. Seriously, wife beater shirt and stuff?
Now, I definitely ripped this thing apart. But the game was actually fine. It's not the worst dating sim I've ever played. The actual romancing people section was fine. It was good. It was just the actual plot stuff that didn't make sense. It could've benefited from actual explaining of a lot of things, but y'know.
Uh, if I may ask, why do you like Snow? He was honestly my least favorite, and I strongly disliked him, so I just can't wrap my head around it. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, I'm genuinely curious.
I just played through what's in the Ellis route, and I didn't know what drew me to him. Until I realized- he reminded me so much of a human version of Wheatley! Oh man, once I realized that, it- it was just over. No question, no competition, nope, just Ellis. I love characters like that so much. Though now I've just completed what's in his route, and you did it. Now I'm dying for the full release. Aw man! What the heck! This is why I don't play demos! Now I have to wait to get back to my little cinnamon roll. *cries*
Also, if I may ask, is there any planned release date for the full game?
There were multiple things in the new demo that I was like, "Hey! That's new!" I was honestly taken by a bit of a surprise each time. Though one addition I'm not sure about is Tabitha. She seems like a tad more aggressive version of Nicholl. They're almost like the same character. Was she really needed? Though I suppose I haven't seen much of her, so I can't really say too much. *sigh* (Also, I have seen the comment you made about how Charming needs "pushy" friends in order to not scare them away, and I suppose that makes sense, she just seems a lot like Nicholl somehow. Pushy, kinda sassy, likes to tease, fierce, a good friend, etc.)
Yeah, the funny thing is, right after I posted that, I went back to the game to give it one more go, and I got it immediately. All I needed to do to unlock Toffee was complain about them haha.
Aw! The tailoring system looks great, though! Hard work does always pay off in the end! The game definitely looks great so far, and super fun looking at both the tailoring system and the game combined. It would be an honor to help on the project.
And sure! It's email@example.com Don't judge please, I made it years ago, and now I just kinda can't part with the name :)
Oh, wow, you have a programmer? So I imagine then that you work on the writing. Cool.
As for the other thing, that's what I thought, but I forgot to mention that if you ever opened a position for it, I'd be happy to apply! :P
Awesome! Just about to play it.
Oh, alright. Ah, I think I didn't explain it good enough. I have no doubt that it will be fine, just if you have to raise $3000 dollars just to see one short chapter, and then you have to raise $5000 for the next, and maybe the process is kind of tedious. If it's more like raise $200 and then $300, then it'll be fine. But I guess you've already got this all planned out. Sorry, I'm no good at explaining. I guess I'll see when I play the beta.
I bet it'll be super fun, if not just from the screenshots. And I'm sorry if I implied that Neil is JUST tolerable. He's charming. I was just saying usually those characters aren't tolerable. I'm not sure if that's an offer or just a general comment, but I think it's a good idea. Not only will it help you with progress for the game, but it'll also give you a chance to interact with your fans. Maybe you can even find someone to help you with other assets of the game.
Hey! You were asking for feedback, and so I decided I'd give some. (There was also a glitch the first time I came to this page, so it made it seem like there was no comments.) But whatever! I'll try to remember everything about it that I liked and disliked, and I'll also try to answer all your questions.
1.) They were alright, almost seemed out of place (probably only because I usually play these games either low volume or silent, so that might just be me). It adds atmosphere though, makes it seem more alive.
2.) Yes, they were very unique, very polished. It fit with the characters well and blended in with the style of the game. (Lowkey impressed with the ball scene backgrounds)
3.) (Didn't play the first beta)
4.) You don't have to, the silhouette of the Grandma serves it's purpose, and since she plays such a small role (where her sprite is onscreen), you could definitely do without the full sprite, and having the silhouette doesn't subtract from the game, but you could probably get brownie points if you did.
5.) About an hour and a half, I think. I wasn't particularly paying attention to the time. You could probably benefit from making the chapters longer, or even just give them the illusion of being longer by merging a few.
6.) I got 10 fierce points and 8 kind points. I think that's mostly because I was trying to be nice to him at first, then I was like, "yah naw, bruh." It probably also helps that in dating sims, I always seem to choose the more crazy option, like "YEAH LET'S SLAP THIS B*TCH!" Mostly because of my super shy and awkward personality in real life, I'm sure, but still.
7.) I was fooled by the green-eyed double. I thought he was being a jerk or a freaking moron, by not noticing us. Almost makes me think Neil and him had planned this- more or less- just so that Neil could sneak off and do what he wants, but of course, the clever cousin saw through his pathetic disguise.
8.) At first, I did not think it was Neil at all. I thought for a moment that it'd be like SisterZoned (another game on the site) and like this was some other branching path, going for this mysterious stranger. But then I wondered what that'd be doing on STRICTLY NEIL'S route. So I was like, "huhhh...", so then I thought maybe he'd be a useful character later in the game, or maybe this was some other character making a cross over. But then while interacting with him, I was like, "Huh. What if this is Neil? Looks completely different, but that's all part of his rouse. Didn't really believe it that much though. I tend to have a habit for calling things early, or noticing small details that play into a later, big plot twist. Then I'm always like, "I CALLED IT!" So maybe that's just me figuring things out. I swear, I have my own premonition.
9.) It's cool, unexpected, but cool. I have no real opinions on it, since we only saw it for a short while, but yeah.
10.) I DID! I wasn't paying attention much to the background, when suddenly, it catches my eye, and I'm like, "WAIT NO THERE WAS A SHOOTING STAR", and I just peered into the screen, waiting for it to show up again. Spoiler alert. It didn't. This is my power.
11.) Yeah, the CGs were pretty cool, and it's clear that a lot of work was put into them. Kudos. I don't know if any were really my favorite, I don't usually have much of a preference, but I liked the last one the best, I think. It looked very elegant and pretty, with the lanterns and soft colors. Very nice. Though the one I liked the least was probably the first one. It just kind of looked awkward, but that's alright.
12.) Yes, it did.
13.) I suppose I do like him more now, he's cocky and arrogant, but not too cocky, almost knowing when to reel off a little before getting a horseshoe in the teeth (reference. Applause if you get it) Most times, the arrogant cocky character is almost never redeemable (at least, in stories that I've seen. I don't believe it's because the character is a bad character, it's just fault on the author's part), but you did it really well. I liked him, and having the MC have a way to get back at him was a good thing that helped alleviate frustration. In other stories, there's no way to get back at them at all, and they're stupid and always one step ahead of you, and you want to slap them half the time. He also is legitimately charming (at least as the mysterious stranger) and does care about you. (Since he gave you the invitation anyways, as part of his devious plans) Well, at least a little. I don't know how else to really describe him, he's definitely not as infuriating as other stories make these characters, so perhaps it's just a welcome reprieve.
14.) Of course! It was rather fun! Definitely excite to see the other characters too.
Now, other general concerns, praises, or remarks. Perhaps- and I know this may be kind of hard- but maybe make it easier to lower the volume. Like I said, I'm used to playing with no volume, or just lower volume, and it was a little... I don't know, bothersome? I was trying to also watch something simultaneously, so, perhaps that was it. I figured out how to turn it down later, when I was exiting the game, but still. Also, if you have to do a lot of sewing and doing the tasks before being able to read a small chapter, that might be kind of tedious and take a toll on some readers. I don't know what it's going to be like, but just a heads up. But praises, you certainly seem to have passion behind this, even going the extra mile to draw new sprites of them in new outfits. It definitely has a lot of potential, but like I said before, the early chapters are a little short. It was fun, and I was enjoying myself. This game could be potentially on my list of spectacular and recommended dating sims, y'know, once I see the full game. Very excited for the full game! =D
Aw, I'm a little disappointed that Varg didn't get more love in his ending. I actually really liked him. He's mysterious, and kind of a jerk, but it's easy to see that there's more layers to him. All of the really bad things he's done has been on an order. He tried to kill the siblings because the queen told him to. He's like a puppet; being tugged around with (seemingly) no real choice. I mean, if he were to disobey, he'd probably get annihilated pretty easily. But anyway, left to his own devices, he's actually pretty chill and nice. Like, he stays with you for the entire week you were injured. And he stands up to the queen for you and your friends. Plus, it's obvious that he does really love your character. Hell, he even *SPOILER* erases himself in the end. I always saw it as there's pieces of Fritz in Varg, as there are pieces of Varg in Frtiz.
I dunno, I guess I just expected a part where we tried to turn Varg over to our side. The main character seems mostly 100% against him. It's like she didn't really try at all. Where's that power of love at, huh? It's proven that it works, with the "Aduiza" thing. Like, I'm sure Fritz and Varg could learn to get along eventually, right? Share their body or whatever? Just, I don't know, I just ended up liking Varg a lot. You spend most of your time with him anyway.
How would you feel about a spin-off ending for Fritz? Y'know, for Varg? Where they get along or- I imagined like a "split" thing, where like his hair has half white, half black, and he's like half Varg, half Fritz- or something. Or maybe just a spin-off ending for Varg? Though I guess you wouldn't go back and update it, haha.
Well let it be known, that I love Varg! Even if no one else does!