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Critisism about the speedrunner background

A topic by Naughty Sparkle created Jul 27, 2021 Views: 482 Replies: 6
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I have now played through the content couple of times while I think the content is fantastic (I really liked the diplomat and the leader backgrounds), but I though the speedrunner background felt a bit off-putting, maybe ill advised.

I don't think the Chris-chan reference wasn't appropriate for this and I think speedrunning stuff could be fascinating concept in this story. Not everything is bad, the just whatever signing of the contract with Argos was quite funny, however it can be improved.

What I know of speedrunning and its community is quite limited however we are talking about dedicated community of people playing a game that they generally enjoy and want to experience it in new ways. Breaking a game within rules of a game is somewhat a scientific effort, for example someone makes a hypothesis how this corner could be exploited, someone tries it out with an emulator with tools that helps to break it down frame by frame testing inputs to test if it is possible and someone else may come up with a way to roll to the corner to get out of bounds. I have listened how usually breaking down a game is a community effort. Usually what sparks interest in finding new skips or new routes is tedious or really hard sections.

I do think there is plenty fruitful ground to this in the visual novel that revolves around contracts and a magical world. A character with speedrunner a could have unique responses for trying to find unintended properties of stuff in magic or maybe find an exploit in the magic system of the world or find a loophole in contract.

I don't think it is my place really to say how you should write this or even if you want to edit the background at all. I just want to say I think there is untapped potential there.


Hey Naughty Sparkle, thanks a lot for your feedback.

Here's the thing: the "name" of the Speedrunner background is completely incidental: it's an excuse to goof off. There's a lot of ideas we have for the game that end up not making the cut, but we felt like throwing in anyway. Since backgrounds are something that players pick at the very start of the game, it's a good excuse to make a separate playthrough that doesn't take the game too seriously.

Think of it like the Wild Wasteland perk in Fallout New Vegas:

Why did we go with speedrunner for the actual "profession" to give the player character for this background? I don't know, we just found it goofy. Jokes aside, speedrunning is really enjoyable to watch, both glitch runs that break the game apart and offer insight on how some aspects of the game were put together, or glitchless runs that breeze through games the way they were intended to be played as fast as possible. Shit, I've done speedruns myself on stream for friends. I don't think it's a hobby that is worthy of mockery.

So, yes, like you said, someone with experience with breaking systems apart and exploiting flaws in programming logic would probably do amazing as Master of the hotel- had we decided to take the background seriously.

Honestly, I came up with the player backgrounds idea very, very early in development and it's one of the few regrets I have with Minotaur Hotel. Out of the six backgrounds, four of them expect the player to have some sort of tertiary education, one of them flat out makes you Chad Thundercock, and the last one makes you kind of an idiot with no sense of object permanence. We could have used one or two more relatable options for average joes. I don't think I considered it at the time because I was thinking of gameplay utility first- I don't know a lot of people that are actual mathematicians, but Math makes perfect sense as a background for a gameplay perk that lets players see extra in-game variables and optimize their teams better.

In any case, we mellowed out a lot around 0.3 and decided to be more sympathetic and less mean when writing for this background. You can be a cringelord that makes crayola model magic medallions and thinks the best thing to show Asterion the moment you get internet access is Nostalgia Critic compilation videos, and still earn his heart.


If it makes you feel any better, I have a friend who's a math professor and is also a furry.

Though if we're on the topic on backgrounds, one critique I'd have is that Math and Technology could likely have been condensed into one background as I feel you'd need some skill with math to be good with modern technology. I'm sure you could have also condensed Leadership and Humanitarian into one as well. I read somewhere (the wiki probably) that you did want more layman backgrounds. Some similar backgrounds that don't necessarily require as much schooling but are nonetheless important and require a lot of skills would be some sort of business manager (lower down the chain like retail or restaurant) or running with Naughty Sparkle's idea of an athletic background, a construction worker or a foreman. 

I can see what you were going for in terms of coming up with these backgrounds and how to make it relevant to the game, it's story and making the player more customizable in a way that isn't just an aesthetic. I also understand being too deep to make major changes like combining backgrounds and adding new ones. That might be something more to do when the story and the game is close to or is pretty much complete from beginning to end so you can step back and see what worked and what didn't. If there is an opportunity to refine Minotaur Hotel, then maybe the team can refine the backgrounds. Either way, it's a good learning experience to take if you all  work on a new project in the future.



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Thanks for replying. I do think there is a place to goof off in this thing. Was kinda hoping that it could be made a bit clear in the initial choice, maybe professional "professional slacker/neckbeard/cringelord". For me personally I was expecting shenanigans about magic system or contracts and was quite blindsided, seeing that crayola medallion made me go "No, bad game." like I was scolding a dog but with a smile on my face.

I do know very well that feeling when making a poor decision early on, it is hard to change as development has picked up. I was also thinking that there isn't a background for someone with physical fitness or athletic person who could help out in the expeditions (or was it explorations). But regardless you have made an amazing VN and this has been joy to go through. 


An athlete background would have been really cool, yeah 

Shit why didn't we think of it? 

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Well there's always workshopping as the game goes along... Though I would had though Leader background would fit for the athlete background as well. Something like Captain maybe? After all people look up a lot to those in sports and a big part of team games is knowing when and how to follow and when to lead. 

The thing about the speedrunner background though. It's the most achingly human and modern of the paths. Here you/the player is flailing about socially and physically. Seen in a lowly light and causing wincing to other people you interact with. You have existences a lot older, gotten themselves together better or more refined than you wincing and considering you lower than human or just have bad taste. And yet (hopefully) you're doing your best, muddling through life like every other average joe. Meeting and bonding with Asterion seems more like a blessing to you the player. Somebody who has been degraded to be less than human all their life and afterlife finds somebody with similar enough circumstance and chooses as a person to bond with them.

Even as everybody involved cringes. Honestly I'm waiting for like even the narration to dunk on the Speedrunner master.