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Space to Grow

What kind of dad and farmer will you be on a space colony? 路 By Metasepia Games, Rachel Helps

Reviews and Feedback Sticky

A topic by Metasepia Games created Jul 03, 2021 Views: 228 Replies: 14
Viewing posts 1 to 6
Developer(+1)

Post reviews/feedback about the game here!

Omigosh!  YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!!!  That's so incredible!

(+1)

Simply fantastic. You took the original, which was great in it's own right, and expanded on it. The crop management system was easy to get into and didn't feel like a burden. The poem creator was optional which allows people to be creative but not forced to be. I felt like the story had it all: drama; humour; sadness; mystery. Great batch of characters both returning and new ones. By the end it felt like I lived a life. Not being able to import saves from the original; lack of things to spend money on (I bought it all and still had tens of thousands left); and a few scenes where my character was wearing "rain gear" but on screen still just had a t-shirt on are my only complaints.

Developer(+1)

Thank you! It would have been cool to have a store or something for money!

Hello, I have just started playing and I want to thank you for maybe two strange things that, to me, make a Visual novel a LOT more playable. That is a text box and the the ability to be able to change the text size! I really do not know why some developers turn the off? Because of my aging years, my eyes, sadly are failing (hence the bold text!,) too and there are so many Visual Novels that I cannot play very well because they have no text box and they use white small white text on a light backgrounds with also no ability to make the text larger or add a textbox! I have never understood it. I have played around with Ren'Py myself and I know these features are on by default, so they have to actually program in extra code just to turn these off! So, I was really pleased to see that you kept both those features in your novel! Thank you for that! OK I am going to continue on my new novel Journey!

OK, Update and I am sorry I cannot get into it. I find the farming page where you have to chose the correct plans very difficult to understand.  I don't even eat fruit or vegetables yet alone know how to plant hem and what to plant. It's a shame, because apart from that its very good. And it has taught me that I am SO GLAD I never had kids! There is a nice lot of options and the characters are quite fun, and if you could skip the farming page I would continue playing it, but, no, sorry. That farming page kills it for me.

Developer

Hey, thank you for your feedback! I am glad the accessibility settings work for you (you can also press 'v' to turn on self-voicing if you want a computer to read things to you).

I can see how the farming part would be difficult for you. If you'd like to continue playing, there's not really a way to lose the game by having a bad farm (but it's not very satisfying!). There is an Auto farming feature that turns on after you've beaten the game once... would it help if I added an option to turn it on from the preference screen?

(1 edit)

Hello. Thanks for the reply. Personally, I would like an auto farm feature, but, only to the bear minimum of getting through the game. I mean, if you are going to do the highest options available, I think it would kill the re-playability of the game. Also, having the Auto Farm option, would also give me hints on how the fruit and vegetables could be placed, but, always in my mind knowing that the options could be changed for a better outcome if you did it yourself. Apart from that an excellent Visual Novel! I am definitely going to play the first one after, which sounds a bit backwards I guess!馃榿

Developer

OK, the new 1.3 version includes better text-to-speech for many parts of the game, including descriptions of cutscenes and reading who is talking before each line. It also has the 'p' key as a shortcut to automatically place crops on the farming screen. I hope this helps!

I will have to take a look at Our Personal Space and see what accessibility improvements I can add there, too!

Thank you! I will download it now.

(+1)

Just finished playing the game and I absolutely loved it! This was a really good sequel to the first game. I enjoyed the farming mechanic and it never felt tedious and it was easy enough to keep a good balance of everything. I really enjoyed the story and the parenting mechanic and it felt like my choices were important for how the daughter would turn out. My only complaint is that I wished there was more chances to get to know the farmers or the miners because I wasn't able to feel much attachment to the miners or even some of the farmers. Overall, I really enjoyed the game and I hope you keep making more of these :)

Developer

Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to review!

I am glad you enjoyed the farming mechanic. I didn't have a clue about it. It made no sense to me at all. Oh well.

(+1)

Thanks for this lovely game! A very thrilled and interested game concept!

(+1)

This is a copy of the review I posted on Steam.

Overview

Full disclosure: I am married to one of this game's developers! That said, here is my honest review.

I feel that this game fills a really excellent niche that I haven't seen much elsewhere. It delivers a mix of visual novel, simulation, and choose-your-own-adventure elements, and provides a fun what-if romp filled with parenting decisions, space colonization struggles, farm management tradeoffs. I'll go over some of the main elements below.

Overall

We'll start with the overview, then get into the details further on down.

Play this game if you:

  • Enjoyed the first game in this series (it's free, go play it).
  • Generally enjoy visual novels or choose-your-own adventure stories.
  • Think a game about farming and parenting on a space colony sounds fun!

Don't play this game if you:

  • Only like the very best AAA games with tons of action and eye candy.
  • Think visual novels are terrible and boring.
  • Played the first game in the series and didn't like it.

Gameplay

Most of the gameplay is visual novel, choose-your-own adventure style: read dialog and narration, occasionally make choices about how you respond in a conversation or decide what you want to do. (For visual novel nerds, the game was built using Ren'Py, which provides an excellent baseline visual novel implementation.)

Beyond that, each "year" of gameplay starts with a different interface, where you get to manage your farm, read community discussion forums, use a database to read up on information about people you know, and write poetry in a "magnetic poetry" style interface. (Occasionally,  other colonists comment on your poems.)

The farm management starts pretty simple, but later in the game gets a little trickier as you have to struggle to meet all of your nutrition needs while not ruining the soil, uprooting your plums, or dooming your kids to a life of working the fields when they should be doing their homework or playing with their friends.

However most of the choices in the game revolve around how you interact with your family, and especially how you choose to behave as a parent. Are you super strict? Super lenient? The game doesn't tell you what's bad or good, what's the right or wrong way to be a parent, but like real life your kids don't always behave the way you wish they would ...

Pros:

  • Mixing up different kinds of gameplay elements makes the game more fun and engaging.
  • I really liked being able to do things my own way; the game is made to roll with your choices.
  • Managing my farm was a lot of fun for most of the game.

Cons:

  • Like most visual novels and choose-your-own adventures, your choices are by nature sometimes pretty limited. Sometimes I'd get three choices and think "okay, but REALLY I'd do this different, forth thing". Oh well, suck it up and role play. =)
  • Near the end of the game, farming got a little tedious and rote. I mostly had things set up fine, and would just switch a couple crops around the same way back and forth. A small complaint, but it did take some of the joy out of farming. (Probably this is more like how real farmers feel about farming, so good job from a simulation aspect!)

Story & Setting

I felt like the story and setting were really good. I think the idea of space colonies and exploring the unknown are a lot of fun. Sure, you maybe could have told the "same story" in a different setting, but a sci-fi space colony setting gave some very interesting motivations.

Pros:

  • Very few stories (let alone video games) have a focus on relationships, especially between spouses and children.
  • Technology is super advanced! But we don't have that here, it's too expensive, too rare, only back on earth. (Kind of reminds me of the colony planets in Firefly.)
  • It's a colony, the whole point is to colonize! But ... is that what I want for my kids? Maybe they should grow up very educated and go have a better life back on Earth? But didn't we leave Earth for good reasons in the first place? (By the way, play the first game to get the whole back story, it's free!)
  • Again, it's kind of like Robinson Corusoe, but in space! Sci-fi settings in my opinion make things more fun. =)

Cons:

  • There were a few minor anachronisms and inconsistencies between the first and second games. But we'll just assume some of that is because of new shipments from different shuttles in the meantime. =)
  • The story is pretty much about the "real life" of a space colony. Other than, you know, raising a family, farming and staying alive on an alien planet, solving community labor and interpersonal disputes (and investigating a murder that one time) not much [i]thrilling[/i] happens[/b]. If you're the kind of person who isn't going to have fun until the hostile alien invasion, the game might feel kind of slow paced.

Graphics & Dialog

The graphics and dialog are the main ways a visual novel presents itself. How do these measure up?

The graphics are a mix of quasi-photographic backgrounds with anime-style sprites. There is of course no competition with a big budget commercial game, but I thought overall the graphics had a fun, quirky, and most importantly, consistent character. Most importantly, there was a good focus on facial expressions, especially for the main characters, which helped the dialog have some context (e.g. "are they saying that for real, or just being sarcastic?")

The dialog and storytelling are pretty good, and all of the characters had their own distinct personality. You can tell the authors tried really hard to give everyone their own unique perspective and point-of-view.

Pros:

  • Graphics are a little campy, but fun and perfectly suitable to the story.
  • Dialog and narration is pretty good. Nothing stood out, and I kept immersed in the story.

Cons:

  • Graphics can't compete with big budget games -- but that wasn't ever the goal of the game.
  • Although there was plenty of interpersonal conflict in the game, often people in general were a little "too nice" and "too reasonable"; there were pretty much no generally irredeemable, bad, trashy, vindictive, horrible people. No complaints for this story, unless you're looking for bitter realism. We'll just pretend that those kind of folks didn't get picked to be shipped out to colonies. =)