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Phoenix Online Studios => Cognition => General => Topic started by: KatieHal on May 16, 2013, 02:13:17 PM

Title: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 16, 2013, 02:13:17 PM
Episode 3: The Oracle is out and it's a doozy. Packed with twists and revelations and a hell of an ending. We want to hear your thoughts on the episode! What did you like, what didn't work so well, what you saw coming and what totally shocked you, we want it all! :)

Warning! This will be a spoiler-filled thread!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cathenah19 on May 16, 2013, 10:04:30 PM
I truly thought it was impossible to top the tension at the end of Episode 2, but I was wrong.

Thank you Phoenix Online Studios for putting out such an awesome game.

The way I felt at the end of Episode 3:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! You did not just end the episode there! It was too short.

Now, I can't wait to chase down the Cain Killer.

The only problem is waiting impatiently for the last episode to come out and see
the Cain Killer's lair
(as mentioned in the post-credits Episode 4 preview).

(And I'm still jealous of Erica for having Episode 5 of "The Silver Lining" ahead of the official release. )

On a side note, maybe it was my computer, but after Cordelia took the documents from the dining room table, the game started to repeat the dialog for taking those papers over and over. I had to use the cognition sphere to break the endlessly repeating cycle and get control back of the game.

Athena
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: JadesFire on May 17, 2013, 04:36:05 AM
Apart from a nasty bug that stopped my game (i was able to take the necklace before using my powers on the jewelry and thus couldn't get the journal  :-\ ) this episode was awesome.
i really liked the idea of seeing the past through Cordelias eyes. hope to see more of her and Erica working together in the future.
Who the Cain Killer is was a bit predictable imo but the finale was gripping nonetheless, thanks to the tight atmosphere you built.
And the background art was really gorgeous. Especially the painting in Cordelias bedroom and the one with the phoenix. No wonder that Skorobeus stares at them for hours^^

Thanks for making a game with focus on storytelling and atmosphere. I really love it.

Greetings from Germany
Jade
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 17, 2013, 06:54:04 AM
Thank you so much Athena & Jade, and welcome to the forums as well! So glad you liked the episode! And sorry to hear about those bugs, but I'm glad they didn't break the game for you.

The artists really did a great job on making the Towers look fantastic, I agree. Those paintings are really stunning!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 17, 2013, 06:55:41 AM
hopefully I have time to play ep 3 today, then I an read all the dpoilerrific info  ;D
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Göran on May 17, 2013, 03:38:56 PM
Ok, finished the episode and wanted to give some feedback!

+ The second part of the episode is brilliant, great conclusion and cliffhanger!
+ The Enthon Towers = Lots of fresh content! Many episodic games reuse old locations to death. You worked your asses off here and it shows!
+ Liked the puzzles where the Oracle and Erica have to work together. And I also liked the safe puzzle.

- It was hard to buy the setup of this episode. No press or other people found out that a guy has been thrown off the roof? Police can get away with removing everything from the crime scene? McAdams just tells Erica to stay out but cant give a good reason why (the Wise Monkey case was hers after all). Terence sends Erica some football scores out of the blue? So much strange stuff happened that it felt more like a dream. Maybe that was the point but its hard to swallow right in the beginning.
- Weird animations at times.
- Inital crime scene deviation puzzle was silly.
- Glitches found, though nothing game breaking.

Overall I liked it, especially the second part. It was great to get some answers but I think the Wise Monkey is still my favourite episode so far!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 17, 2013, 03:41:16 PM
Glad you liked it Goran :)

I still have to play ep 3, I'll probably do it on the weekend :P
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 17, 2013, 03:53:04 PM
Thanks Goran!

The opening part is meant to be that way--something is clearly off and Erica's not about to buy anyone's excuses.

Although the lack of people is more about (a) the time it happens (all during the evening/night) and (b) Erica is in one apartment for the majority of her time there, and the person who lives there is very much not home right now.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: ReldonBrimstone on May 18, 2013, 10:11:51 AM
Just finished episode 3. Amazing job again with the tension and suspense rising to yet another high point.

I only encountered a few minor graphical glitches, such as cordelia walking over the trash can to the east side of the room once, instead of around it. Also, when I wanted to put the tracking pen on the countertop, I had to exit the memory and re-enter it, because cordelia was stuck in place and wouldn't move.

I had a quick laugh at the magically shrinking (and regrowing) orrery model.

Other than these minor little picky points, I really enjoyed it. Wish it would have lasted longer, but that's just because I love the story and the games, never want them to end  ;D
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on May 18, 2013, 08:23:43 PM
I just beat it and enjoyed it overall as well.  Particularly the whole thing with Erica and Cordelia working together.  But I did see a few little glitches, like McAdams' notepad flying around while talking to him.  And Cordelia's subtitle saying "I'll just take this.", while her voice clearly said "I'll just take these."

And speaking of Cordelia... using cognition requires the person to touch an item, right?  So how was Cordelia able to use it on the keypad and camera, while her arms were restrained?  Did she slip her shoe off and touch them with her foot or something?

And man... that John... I'm not sure whether to hate him or feel bad for him, but I know I'll never look at him the same again.  Same thing for Cordelia.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 18, 2013, 08:40:31 PM
Thanks Jack!

While Erica's power requires touch, Cordelia's isn't restricted in the same way. Here can be used by simply focusing on an item or person.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: CriticalDamage on May 19, 2013, 12:06:16 AM
Well, there were really big glitches but moving on..

I've just finished it....and it's just feels like one of those days haha why did I had to play this on a saturday?!  :-[

It was a really bittersweet episode! just when you think everything is cool you can sense a ****storm coming that trows everything you thought away and leaves you in complete solitude and sitting in dark thinking things through like a certain character... WHICH IS A GOOD THING! (but, again...why a saturday!? xd).
I dare to say that Cordelia is such a profund and well done character that (in the MUSTDO second season) is going to be the ambiguous ally..the one that you don't know if you can really trust but it's there now and then in her own way (despite the whole thing with Sully). If I have to be honest..I can't be mad at her, at least not completely..again, a bittersweet thing (on a Saturday)..that I was expecting in some way, but you guys have outdone yourselves with how you've done it. Amazing.

There's one thing that left me hanging...In the visions the body of the shooter belongs to a guy everytime, so John was actually going to be the shooter or something happened? and where is Keith? He was almost done, no way he could beat McCoy and run away!...right?

In the end, and despite everything, i trust Cordelia above everyone else..

Thanks for the amazing experience!!  :D
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Göran on May 19, 2013, 05:01:44 AM
There's one thing that left me hanging...In the visions the body of the shooter belongs to a guy everytime, so John was actually going to be the shooter or something happened? and where is Keith? He was almost done, no way he could beat McCoy and run away!...right?

Just wait until the next episode and find out!  :suffer:
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Krymson on May 19, 2013, 04:48:40 PM
Thoroughly enjoyed the episode!

My favorite puzzle was definitely cracking the safe combination. It's the first time I've had to "sleep on it" since some obtuse Space Quest puzzle. Kudos!

I'm a little fuzzy on what Erica or Cordelia was able to accomplish that changed Erica's vision of her own death into what occurred in the Ep3 ending, but I am excited to see how it all wraps up.

On the technical side of things, there seems to be a strange hitching after a scene loads each time Erica enters a room. The cursor and UI return to an "active" state for just a moment and then return to an "inactive" state where either a scripted event will occur or nothing at all will occur for just a moment - after which control is again returned. I'm assuming this is part of scripting system your designers are using, but regardless it takes me out of the game for a moment each time it happens.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 19, 2013, 04:56:14 PM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone, it's great you're enjoying it! :)

Hmm, let's see--well, what happened to change the end of the vision Erica had of herself dying will come up in Episode 4. So I'll have to just give you a  :suffer: on that one, CriticalDamage & Krymson. :) I will point out that a lot of people assumed the Hat Killer/Oracle was male before her identity was revealed, though. What makes you sure the person in Erica's visions beforehand was definitely male?

And as for Keith...who knows? Maybe he was faking it.  :suffer:

Krymson--yeah, that sounds like an engine-related thing happening.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: CriticalDamage on May 19, 2013, 07:54:55 PM
I will point out that a lot of people assumed the Hat Killer/Oracle was male before her identity was revealed, though. What makes you sure the person in Erica's visions beforehand was definitely male?

And as for Keith...who knows? Maybe he was faking it.  :suffer:

Well I was convinced that the oracle was Cordelia, but the figure in the visions had (or at least i think it had) a bigger body than hers. So i thought that the shooter was the Cain Killer and not the oracle..But after the the final scene I thought that because of the body size and clothes, the shooter in the vision could be McCoy after all...but why? And Keith....Keith....i don't know anything anymore  ??? hahaha
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on May 19, 2013, 09:46:15 PM
I always thought that scene would be saved for episode 4 and that in order to prevent her death, you'd have to do something different.  Like throw the gun at the shooter to catch him off guard and then tackle him or something.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 19, 2013, 09:52:42 PM
Well, she DID do something different--she shot first!

There will be some more discussion of that, what happened and why it was different than her vision in Ep 4, though, I can tell you that much.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: HitBattousai on May 19, 2013, 10:00:16 PM
Positives....

Since Cordelia as the killer was pretty apparent since Episode 1, getting her perspective and actually playing as her for her backstory was a very good decision.  Learning about it secondhand would have made the reveal cheap and lessen the impact it has.

Again, the ending sequence in this episode was executed very well and was the highlight of the episode in my opinion.  It ratcheted up the intensity of the game nicely with the transitions between Cordelia and Erica.

The overall use of the Cognition powers was done the best so far in this episode.  Puzzles were probably the most balanced in terms of difficulty as well, nothing too easy or too frustrating.

The art style of the game continues to be a strong point, particularly in the cut scenes.

The music is excellent and the voice acting is getting better in general with Holmes as the standout....

Negatives...

...But while the voice acting is in general improving, there are some moments that could have used an extra take or two.  John's revelation sequence to Erica near the end is the biggest offender.  To some extent that might be unfair depending on his motivations, which are questionable at this point.  However, at this moment it wasn't very good.

It's also kind of hard to buy that Erica wouldn't have put together the identity of the Cain Killer immediately when she sees the bandaged and burned Keith, since she had just been talking and thinking about the subject a second before.

Waiting for the finale  ;D

Thanks, was fun as always. 
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Allie on May 20, 2013, 03:40:15 AM
I just assumed Erica shot first this time because she'd had the vision to warn her of what was to come. Knowing she was about to get shot caused her to not hesitate to shoot, which caused her to shoot John. John, however, was probably not who was originally in her vision. I think it was Cordelia due to Cordelia's journal saying "I need to make sure I'm gone when Erica gets here. If I'm not here then the events in the vision can't come to be." She's referring to a vision she's been having, but I think it was the same vision Erica had or something similar. Maybe she was seeing Erica shoot her in John's place. Hard to say, but I think it was probably related.

Watch Episode 4 come out and this be completely off base.  :P

I stayed up all night and played Episode 3 from beginning to end. I'm still reeling from everything that happened. I love that we are given confirmation of Cordelia being the Oracle at the beginning of the game (instead of the end) and playing as both Cordelia and Erica. It was very cool to see how their abilities worked together.

I had read a review that mentioned being confined to one building in this episode and wasn't sure how well that was going to work out. It definitely worked. The scenery, story, puzzles... I think Cognition as a whole is my new favorite adventure game of all time. Sorry fangirling a bit here.  8)

Anyway, the game continues to be amazing, and I thank you all for this experience. I hope this is somewhat coherent as I really need to sleep.  ;)

Oh, I almost forgot. Forgive me if this is something covered in the next episode, but I was trying to figure out when Cordelia was being attacked by Keith. The timeline for that confused me. I'm thinking it had to be how he got her into the room before Max died? I just remembered Max saying something about how she needed to survive so that she could kill him. They must have known that it was Keith who put them there?

Alright, I'm going to bed! <3
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 20, 2013, 08:01:56 AM
Welcome to the forums Allie, and thank you! Haha, no worries, fangirls and boys are always welcome here :)

And the vision and what changed etc, will come up again in Ep 4. :) Good questions to be asking!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: drusain on May 20, 2013, 11:23:21 AM
Yeah I think that's definitely something that will confuse people if they aren't paying close attention. In the journal Cordelia heavily implies that she's seeing the same vision that Erica is, and so Cordelia writes that as long as she doesn't show up there at all, she can't possibly shoot Erica, and so she chooses not to be at the Towers at ALL.

If you were to look at the two visions together (the normal recurring vision and the one in the ending) you'd see one main difference between the two frames: one has the shaded figure holding a gun and the other one a shaded figure not holding a gun.

Recurring vision:

(http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/473/visionrecurring.jpg)

Ending:

(http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/9097/visionending.jpg)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: drusain on May 20, 2013, 11:30:39 AM
Also major props for Cordelia's voice acting this episode. I thought she had a fantastic range.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Allie on May 20, 2013, 11:59:56 AM
Thank you for the warm welcome, Katie! <3

 I love that Cognition actually has us thinking instead of finishing an episode and walking away like many adventure games these days. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about this storyline for awhile even after episode 4 concludes.

Thank you drusain for posting those images. That's actually something I wanted to go back and review last night but was too tired to do it. You saved me the trouble.  ;) I also agree with you on Cordelia's voice acting. I think that's another reason it's so easy to immerse yourself in this game. The voice acting is incredible.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Mr_Nabby on May 20, 2013, 12:24:06 PM
First of, I'd like to compliment you on a part of the story:

I'm a real sucker for the ironic twists, so I love the fact that Cordelia indirectly created the Cain Killer. If she wouldn't have had that vision of Max and Skorobeus fighting, she wouldn't have asked for Keith's help to "save" Max. And that means Keith wouldn't have gotten the thrill of planning and executing their little scheme, which lead him to become the master-planning Cain Killer and kill Max. Masterful.

I like that we got to stay in one location and explore this mystery, with both Erica and Cordelia. It presented a lot of interesting puzzles. And they were very well balanced!

The only real complaint I have before I have spent any real time to reflect on this, is the Le Pondu. I remember that I was annoyed by this back in episode 1- I wasn't sure at which letter the name was supposed to begin. It's probably just me, but it could have been nice to have some kind of clear indicator...
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: wilco64256 on May 20, 2013, 02:23:55 PM
Note that both times you mess with a Le Pendu, the first letter is the first one you're looking at on the front. In Episode 3 there's even an empty slot after the last letter / before the first one.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: LordBT on May 21, 2013, 09:16:51 AM
+ Really liked the last part of the episode with fast changing scenes between Erica and Cordelia.
+ Good mood for the entire episode, with good cutscenes.
+ Cordelia and Erica solving puzzles together. But I feel this could have been done a bit better. I wanted something more and a few larger "change in time-puzzles", like in Day of the Tentacle, which did it brilliantly.
+ All new locations! No driving around in Boston, yeyy!

- A lot of the scenes with Cordelia, Max and Keith just seemed to drag out. Thought a lot of the dialogue was boring and unnecessary.
- Didn't buy into the "Cordelia is an evil b****"-thing. Never got convinced that she was a bad person.
- The way the police acted was a bit cheesy. Did the cover up need to be that obvioius?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on May 21, 2013, 12:25:38 PM
- Didn't buy into the "Cordelia is an evil b****"-thing. Never got convinced that she was a bad person.
I think that was somewhat the point of Episode 3 - to make her a sympathetic character. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Mr_Nabby on May 21, 2013, 01:41:33 PM
- Didn't buy into the "Cordelia is an evil b****"-thing. Never got convinced that she was a bad person.

Um...she killed Antony Longmore and Joey Goethals (That can be interpreted as evil, even if they were serialkillers).
She hanged Davies (Cordelia thought this was justified because Davies ignored her warnings, and because of that people died.)
She cut of Sully's ear and eye (Same deal, Cordelia said Sully didn't understand when she tried to tell him.)

So...whenever Cordelia is an evil b**** or not is up for debate...
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 21, 2013, 01:46:43 PM
She's very much intended to be a grey character. But yeah, in Ep 3 our big goal was to reveal not just WHO the Oracle is, but WHY she ended up like this. Whether it's justified or not is your own call!

Hell, Cesar, Nick, and I have debated at length about whether Cordelia is an evil person or not ourselves. And we don't necessarily all agree on an answer, either. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Mr_Nabby on May 21, 2013, 02:15:46 PM
She's very much intended to be a grey character. But yeah, in Ep 3 our big goal was to reveal not just WHO the Oracle is, but WHY she ended up like this. Whether it's justified or not is your own call!

Hell, Cesar, Nick, and I have debated at length about whether Cordelia is an evil person or not ourselves. And we don't necessarily all agree on an answer, either. :)

I wouldn't want to have it any other way!  :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: drusain on May 21, 2013, 05:58:44 PM
She's very much intended to be a grey character. But yeah, in Ep 3 our big goal was to reveal not just WHO the Oracle is, but WHY she ended up like this. Whether it's justified or not is your own call!

Hell, Cesar, Nick, and I have debated at length about whether Cordelia is an evil person or not ourselves. And we don't necessarily all agree on an answer, either. :)

Of course she's evil. In any way you look at it. If you look at it in D&D terms she's textbook neutral evil. If you look at it in archetypes, Cordelia fits in several villainous archetypes and not really the other way around. Hell, even Dexter's "code" kept him from killing people who weren't authority figures. Cordelia will actively kill authority figures just because did some crappy investigations.

It's not really about whether or not she's evil, because she is. She's not justified in what she does either. But can she be written to make an audience sympathize with her? Yes. And I do sympathize for her :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: drusain on May 21, 2013, 06:03:05 PM
Though if Erica doesn't stop stealing evidence and forgetting that there are laws against "breaking and entering" she might end up being more evil than Cordelia ;)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 21, 2013, 06:57:25 PM
Well--she's done evil things, yes. I guess I mean more the question of, is Cordelia innately a bad person when you get down to it? Or is she someone who went horribly astray? Some truly awful things happened and were done to her as well after all.

Personally, I'm with you, drusain. :) But Cez doesn't think she is a bad person underneath it all, but someone who got caught up in these horrible things, and...well, more of this is discussed in Episode 4 as well, so I don't want to say TOO much about it. But, I do like that it's something that can be honestly debated about the character!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: drusain on May 21, 2013, 10:27:25 PM
From what I see from Ep1-3 (ignoring Ep4) she's broken and irreparable. Any further relationship or discussion between the two women would have to be real ordeal for Erica. While they have a connection by being psions and having their brothers killed by Cain, this is also a woman who butchered Erica's love interest Sully, murdered her boss and father's friend Davies, and put Erica through mental torture when she had nothing to do with what happened to Cordelia.

I think it's funny to realize that, chronologically, the timespan between visiting crime scene in Ep1 (2 AM) and ending Ep3 is less than 2 game days. I'm surprised Erica hasn't fled the country yet with all she's been through.

Cordelia might not have been a bad person 6 years ago. 6 years ago she was younger, passionate for her family's well-being, and also a little naive. But 6 years is a long time to digest certain things, like shooting your brother point-blank (knowing that it would happen), locking Cain in chains, and knowing that it would take 6 years before anything could be resolved. Could you imagine knowing exactly about something that happens in 2019 and you're just waiting and waiting every day for it to happen so you can finally do something about it? Even knowing that you were going to have a shootout with the woman that day, and knowing where to shoot so that it would always miss her?** It would drive someone insane beyond repair.

In the two days that Erica's known Cordelia 6 years later, we know her as someone who deceives/uses Erica, is directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths/mutilations of her co-workers, and is mentally screwing Erica up. The Cordelia we saw 6 years ago is not the Hat Killer we see now.

Back when I was being introduced to Ep1, I mentioned (before I knew the story) that I thought Rose would be the opposite archetype that she is in the game, and I had originally imagined Rose as a femme fatale living in a seedy apartment. A balance between her life of order (FBI agent) and her life of chaos (learning to be a psion). I thought that Erica would grow to become increasingly insane as she continued to train with Rose and kept using her powers more and more until she broke. A "rose" is a nice thing to look at, but if you toy with it too much, you'll prick your hand on its thorns (in this case, using your powers too much).

But it turns out that in this story, it's Cordelia who goes insane, not Erica (and under different circumstances). "Cordelia" doesn't exist anymore. She's just the Hat Killer now. Broken, but redeemable.

**The dichotomy between this and Ep2 where Cordelia can run Erica over in a car has always bothered me. Maybe Cordelia figured if Erica's stupid enough to stand in front of the car she deserves to die I guess :P
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cez on May 21, 2013, 11:29:20 PM
To me the definition of evil, or the various degrees of it, depend ultimately on the goal of a person. And really, it all comes down to the perspective upheld and the morality of each person. Could we say, for example, that the governments that have waged war to defend whatever stance are evil --knowing thousands of innocent lives will be lost in the process ? That's a loaded question (in this country especially) and so I think that while I wouldn't agree with Cordelia's methods, I personally wouldn't necessarily call her "evil". She's damaged, and has a twisted sense of morality at this point, but definitely, to me, she's not evil. Just very damaged.

Real evil would come from the pleasure and enjoyment of the act of killing, for the sake of killing. That's definitely not Cordelia. I sort of think of Catwoman when I think of Cordelia :)

But don't worry, we have a few unexpected turns in Ep4 that will continue to have you debate on this topic ;)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 22, 2013, 08:08:07 AM
Not shooting Erica while she's most under cover is something Cordelia can 'control'--Erica deciding to not get out of the way of a speeding car heading towards the only exit is indeed on Erica to avoid more than Cordelia. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: AlexeyT on May 23, 2013, 08:50:22 AM
Hi. I'm from Russia, near Moscow. I paid for the Ep 3, $10 in Paypal, and received it. I can't play OK yet coz i can't make slower speed of EN subtitles. Can u pls add such option?

Speed option (slowest-slower-fast) or maybe just a pause on each subtitle until i press Space.
Maybe some key exists to pause the game?

 
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 09:22:42 AM
Hi Alexey, welcome to the forums!

Sorry to hear you're having issues though, I'll bring up your issues to the team :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 10:08:36 AM
Thank you for your feedback agewisdom! :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 23, 2013, 10:21:55 AM
Sorry... some problem with earlier post

***

Just finished Episode 3 and think this one was the best one yet. I like the fact that Cognition (Ep1-3) brings out the following issues

1. Is the Cognition ability a blessing or a curse?
From Cordelia's perspective, it can be seen as a curse. Arguably, if she did NOT have the ability, she would not have asked for Keith's assistance and precipitated the incident at the basement. From Erica's perspective, without this ability, she wouldn't have shot *** without hesitation as she was acting in anticipation of being shot. From both ladies view, it would have been better not to have these abilities.

2. Does the ends justify the means?
Cordelia may seem like a monster, but from a wider perspective - she has arguably done a lot of good. Eliminating and neutralizing 3 serial killers which the police had failed to catch would have saved countless lives. Sure, she killed a FBI agent and hurt another but isn't this outweighed by the good she's done. Consider the possibilities of her powers in the future.

3. Is the future preordained or malleable?
Was the creation of the Cain killer due to:
(a) a fixed determined future that would take place irrespective of any actions taken by Cordelia; or
(b) paradoxically, due to Cordelia's actions in trying to prevent Max's death which leads to the Cain Killer's birth.

Overall, I think all 3 episodes taken as a whole is extremely intriguing and I am not too sure how episode 4 can top it. Well done!

As to some suggestions:

1. Case Files
It would be great if some of the case file details were full sized. Not too sure about other people's experience, but I had to squint to read some of the case files, which was a bit disappointing. It would be better if the case files were higher definition and full screen for ease of reading.

2. Tablet or notebook
It's a bit disappointing to have hints and/or information too conveniently being sent to Erica by the IT guy all the time at just the right moment. Something that's slightly too convenient and breaks the believability. This may because of the problem with the hand-phone UI. Perhaps next time, Erica could be using a tablet, which could simulate the PC UI which was being used to access the case files and to hook up to the FBI database. Some of these information could have been very useful during the case.

3. Lone Ranger again(?)
I understand in order to keep things simple and to ramp up the tension, Erica has to work solo most of the time. However, doing this too many times makes things seem a bit silly. After all she's been through, surely she should be able to get call some backup rather than going solo and getting caught in all these nasty situations?

4. Time issue
I think it would be good if Episode 4 takes a breather. All 3 episodes appear to have happened in a span of 3 days, which is a tad unbelievable, if you ask me.

5. Summarizing entire Episode 1-3 in Episode 4 FBI database
In order to refresh most player's memory, it would be great if the FBI database could be updated and we could read Erica's report about what exactly happened. Some of the information and correlation between all 3 episodes might not be spotted. Or have a semi-quiz like in the beginning of Ep2 to see how sharp the player is in spotting all the relevant issues.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 10:30:07 AM
Sorry... some problem with earlier post

***

Just finished Episode 3 and think this one was the best one yet. I like the fact that Cognition (Ep1-3) brings out the following issues

1. Is the Cognition ability a blessing or a curse?
From Cordelia's perspective, it can be seen as a curse. Arguably, if she did NOT have the ability, she would not have asked for Keith's assistance and precipitated the incident at the basement. From Erica's perspective, without this ability, she wouldn't have shot *** without hesitation as she was acting in anticipation of being shot. From both ladies view, it would have been better not to have these abilities.

I think it's interesting how Cordelia sees it as a curse, considering her power is arguably more useful than Erica's
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 23, 2013, 10:39:02 AM
I think it's interesting how Cordelia sees it as a curse, considering her power is arguably more useful than Erica's

From what I gather, Cordelia's abilities give rise to a difficult dilemma. She can foresee the future but does she dare to change it? To what extent can she actually change the future or is it inevitable?

If the future is inevitable, then her powers are not only useless, but worst... since ignorance is bliss, especially in her case. It could be that Max's death was a certainty, but by her actions, she may feel even worst, because not only does she feel responsible for his death, but for her FAILURE to respond to her visions and change his fate.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 23, 2013, 10:40:01 AM
Thanks for the feedback, agewisdom, and welcome to the forums :)

Interesting thoughts you've got there, too. I think I'll refrain from commenting much on them since some are things that will be brought up in the next episode. :) But I like reading them!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 10:45:57 AM
I think it's interesting how Cordelia sees it as a curse, considering her power is arguably more useful than Erica's

From what I gather, Cordelia's abilities give rise to a difficult dilemma. She can foresee the future but does she dare to change it? To what extent can she actually change the future or is it inevitable?

If the future is inevitable, then her powers are not only useless, but worst... since ignorance is bliss, especially in her case. It could be that Max's death was a certainty, but by her actions, she may feel even worst, because not only does she feel responsible for his death, but for her FAILURE to respond to her visions and change his fate.
It's hard to guess really. I suppose that moment where she and Erica "connected" would become a fixed point time, though I'm not entirely certain if the same applies to her brother
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 23, 2013, 10:50:24 AM
Thanks for the feedback, agewisdom, and welcome to the forums :)

Interesting thoughts you've got there, too. I think I'll refrain from commenting much on them since some are things that will be brought up in the next episode. :) But I like reading them!

Hi Katie,

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Glad that you'll be addressing some of the issues in Ep4. I'm sure your team should have some tricks up your sleeves. A bit of thinking back makes me feel that the antagonist should have some Cognitive powers of his/her own since the prologue in Ep1 makes it clear that (s)he was aware of Erica's powers.

I was a tad disappointed with Ep2 but Ep3 was just fantastic! It really tied up a lot of the loose ends and questions. Glad your team resolved them nicely but maybe a bit too nicely. Hope you manage to leave some goodies for Ep4...  8)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 23, 2013, 10:59:07 AM
I think it's interesting how Cordelia sees it as a curse, considering her power is arguably more useful than Erica's

From what I gather, Cordelia's abilities give rise to a difficult dilemma. She can foresee the future but does she dare to change it? To what extent can she actually change the future or is it inevitable?

If the future is inevitable, then her powers are not only useless, but worst... since ignorance is bliss, especially in her case. It could be that Max's death was a certainty, but by her actions, she may feel even worst, because not only does she feel responsible for his death, but for her FAILURE to respond to her visions and change his fate.
It's hard to guess really. I suppose that moment where she and Erica "connected" would become a fixed point time, though I'm not entirely certain if the same applies to her brother

Oh, the cognitive powers and "connection" across time periods between Erica and Cordelia is quite intriguing. If you think about it, irregardless whether Cordelia actually communicated with Erica or not, the Cain Killer would still be born.

In the 1st timeline, even without Erica's help, the Cain Killer still managed to find his way to the basement. Otherwise, how could the events in Ep1 happen?

In the 2nd timeline, Erica's assistance may have made it easier for the Cain Killer to access the basement. So theoretically, the only significant in Erica's use of cognitive powers in Ep3 was for her to understand the horrific experience that Cordelia faced and the motivations for her subsequent actions.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 23, 2013, 11:04:35 AM
Well, it is clear that Keith's had some secrets Cordelia was not aware of! That much is certain. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: jfrisby on May 23, 2013, 11:15:26 AM
So much strange stuff happened that it felt more like a dream.

Finished Episode 3, and I think this pretty much sums up my thoughts :D

It was a very dream-like experience, I'm not sure I have a very good idea of what is actually going on...   The posts here have cleared up some of the "is Cordelia the bad guy" stuff, and other basics, but that's only one of three or four plots running through this, all of which I probably solved in a weird order.

I'm not sure this was entirely intentional, but it ended up with some really awesome vibes because of it -- I think it kind of works as a standalone piece of crazy surrealism.  Definitely my favorite episode so far. 
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 23, 2013, 11:15:26 AM
Well, it is clear that Keith's had some secrets Cordelia was not aware of! That much is certain. :)

Extremely interesting! You know, I actually have a sneaky suspicion that the trauma that both these ladies are going through aren't actually just sadistic acts per-se. From Ep3, the trauma of seeing a loved one i.e. brother killed dramatically increased the scope and intensity of cognitive powers.

In Cordelia's case, her powers grew exponentially after the basement incident. Not only could she see the future but apparently she can know detect serial killers just via touch alone.

In Erica's case, we can see even more clearly the dramatic expansion of her Cognitive powers. Sadly, this increase in powers only occurs when she's placed in extremely stressful situations in which her loved ones are placed in dangers and her Cognitive powers are her only hope in rescuing them.

Perhaps, both ladies are just experiencing 'tough love' from a secret organization which intends to recruit them for special assignments once the full potential of their Cognitive powers are realized. The fact that 'Rose' is there is too convenient and then there's the Psion symbol that makes it appearance in all 3 episodes. I wonder...
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 11:39:28 AM
I think it's interesting how Cordelia sees it as a curse, considering her power is arguably more useful than Erica's

From what I gather, Cordelia's abilities give rise to a difficult dilemma. She can foresee the future but does she dare to change it? To what extent can she actually change the future or is it inevitable?

If the future is inevitable, then her powers are not only useless, but worst... since ignorance is bliss, especially in her case. It could be that Max's death was a certainty, but by her actions, she may feel even worst, because not only does she feel responsible for his death, but for her FAILURE to respond to her visions and change his fate.
It's hard to guess really. I suppose that moment where she and Erica "connected" would become a fixed point time, though I'm not entirely certain if the same applies to her brother

Oh, the cognitive powers and "connection" across time periods between Erica and Cordelia is quite intriguing. If you think about it, irregardless whether Cordelia actually communicated with Erica or not, the Cain Killer would still be born.

In the 1st timeline, even without Erica's help, the Cain Killer still managed to find his way to the basement. Otherwise, how could the events in Ep1 happen?

In the 2nd timeline, Erica's assistance may have made it easier for the Cain Killer to access the basement. So theoretically, the only significant in Erica's use of cognitive powers in Ep3 was for her to understand the horrific experience that Cordelia faced and the motivations for her subsequent actions.
that's a good point, when we think about it, Erica's powers are pretty much useless in the grand scheme of things, she's more like a pawn in all of this
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: br305893 on May 23, 2013, 12:16:47 PM
So much strange stuff happened that it felt more like a dream.

Finished Episode 3, and I think this pretty much sums up my thoughts :D

It was a very dream-like experience, I'm not sure I have a very good idea of what is actually going on...   The posts here have cleared up some of the "is Cordelia the bad guy" stuff, and other basics, but that's only one of three or four plots running through this, all of which I probably solved in a weird order.

I'm not sure this was entirely intentional, but it ended up with some really awesome vibes because of it -- I think it kind of works as a standalone piece of crazy surrealism.  Definitely my favorite episode so far.

Definitely agree. I will say Cordelia seemed suspicious since when you met her in episode 1.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on May 23, 2013, 02:43:37 PM
Regarding timelines and causality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY_Ry8J_jdw
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on May 23, 2013, 03:07:19 PM
I really liked EP3! I think it was very interesting and intense.
But in my opinion, I think that you ruined the tension for Episode 4 :-[

Not only we know the identity of the the Oracle, we also know the identity of the Cain Killer - I think that his identity and motives should have been left for the last episode of this amazing game.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: br305893 on May 23, 2013, 03:13:10 PM
Not only we know the identity of the the Oracle, we also know the identity of the Cain Killer - I think that his identity and motives should have been left for the last episode of this amazing game.

Slightly agree here.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 23, 2013, 03:54:54 PM
snabbott: yay! :D

Granted, I know something you don't know, but trust me, there's plenty of tension in Episode 4, but it's a different kind of tension. After all, we've certainly not yet resolved everything--there's not one but two killers out there now.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cez on May 23, 2013, 06:05:49 PM
Episode 4 will have its own vibe. For one, it's a rollercoaster from beginning to end as we fly through the different events it present to us. There will be complications along the way including a new future vision that will have you guessing till the very end. Decisive moments between McAdams and Erica, And who isn't excited to finally see Erica and Cordelia side by side, now that all has been revealed? And to really dig deeper into how much the Cain Killer affected both their lives, who's right, who's wrong, is there any kind of answer to all of this?

Who lives, who dies, what is Cain Killer's next move?

Is John alive or dead? What is Rose hiding?

Yeah, episode 4 will pack a few punches of its own :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 23, 2013, 06:29:45 PM
ooooh cannot wait! :D
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on May 24, 2013, 04:52:51 AM
Granted, I know something you don't know, but trust me, there's plenty of tension in Episode 4, but it's a different kind of tension. After all, we've certainly not yet resolved everything--there's not one but two killers out there now.
You have a point, but Keith is almost dead... I don't think he can hure anyone anymore, after what happend to him with the fire. But in this game nothing is expected :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 24, 2013, 06:38:05 AM
We could just give Keith and Max a "come-back-to-life" pill! Everyone loves a Deux-Ex Machina, right? right?... *runs away before anyone starts throwing rocks at him*
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 24, 2013, 06:42:50 AM
You have a point, but Keith is almost dead... I don't think he can hure anyone anymore, after what happend to him with the fire. But in this game nothing is expected :)

Hmm, that's a good point...unless he was playing possum, of course. Guess we'll find out in Ep 4!  :suffer:
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Utritum on May 24, 2013, 11:46:21 AM
2. Does the ends justify the means?
Cordelia may seem like a monster, but from a wider perspective - she has arguably done a lot of good. Eliminating and neutralizing 3 serial killers which the police had failed to catch would have saved countless lives. Sure, she killed a FBI agent and hurt another but isn't this outweighed by the good she's done. Consider the possibilities of her powers in the future.

Cordelia really has no moral highground in this.

Her notes makes it clear that she has developed a full-on Light Yagami complex, except that she has taken that step that Light himself only toyed with the thought of taking; namely killing people for being "lazy".
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 24, 2013, 12:00:45 PM
pardon my ignorance, but what's a Yagami complex?

edit: Also,welcome to the forums :D
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 24, 2013, 12:02:17 PM
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/DeathNote?from=Main.DeathNote

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AGodAmI

Here you are, stika!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 24, 2013, 12:05:24 PM
Ah, it's anime related, no wonder I didn't get the reference, not an Anime fan in general :P
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 24, 2013, 12:19:09 PM
It's a bit more complicated than them being "lazy", at least to Cordelia. From where she stands, she tried to get their help to save her brother, they did nothing, and he died.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Utritum on May 24, 2013, 01:25:27 PM
Yeah, her motivation for targeting Davis and McAdams is pretty clear cut: she is out for revenge. But John? Besides talking to her that one time John was not involved with the case, and she even notices that he was helpful, but in her notes she mentions she is tempted to go after him because he is kind of a slob.

Any ways; Thanks for the welcome :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 24, 2013, 01:58:11 PM
Well.. John was a bit of a jerk to her, he was more distracted watching the game than he was in actually helping her
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: leovor on May 24, 2013, 06:25:15 PM
Just finished episode 3, i just recently learned of cognition, and played all 3 available episodes. I have to say its one of the best games of this type i have played in recent years, and i will definetely get ep 4 and will be now keeping my eye for games from POS. In fact I hope Erica Reed gets more cases to solve in the coming years! Way to go guys. P.S. I already greenlighted you in steam, despite i got ep 1 and 2 from adventure shop and 3 directly from you.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 24, 2013, 06:31:11 PM
Great to hear you loved the game, leovor  ;D

And welcome to the forums! Hope we get to see more of you
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 24, 2013, 07:23:42 PM
Thinking about Cognition again, I find Rose highly suspicious. There are several hints that point to this:

1. Extreme accuracy in nurturing Cognitive abilities
I don't see how she's able to do this unless her Cognitive talent is to an A+ skill in teaching. Most likely, she herself has wide ranging Cognitive abilities. Only someone with such abilities would be able to mentor both Cordelia and Erica on controlling and expanding their Cognition talents within the spans of a few sessions on the couch. Either that or she must be involved in a Psion Group that have documented their shared experiences over decades.

2. Cordelia post-release
Currently, what happened to Cordelia after being released by the police and present time is left for Ep4. Presumably, she must have gone after Max's killer and managed to subdue him not long after a certain incident. What's left unsaid, though more than likely to happen would be more sessions with 'Rose'. I'm sure that during these sessions, Cordelia would have mentioned Erica many times. For 'Rose' to just conveniently forget to tell Erica about Cordelia means that Rose is hiding something.

Further, wouldn't have Rose continued to keep in touch with Cordelia? Since she has some knowledge of cases in Ep1-2 from both John and Erica and was asked to help out with the La Pendu and some other matters, it's hard to see how she's not involved in the whole mess. In fact, isn't it funny that the hint system not puts Rose in the driving wheel? How could she know so much, if she was an innocent?

3. Encouraging Erica to stay at the Enthon Towers
Rose specifically encouraged Erica to stay at Enthon Towers saying that John was in danger. Was this true? And how would she know unless she either had Cognitive powers of her own or was fully aware of how dangerous Cordelia had become?

Just some thoughts and speculations :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on May 25, 2013, 04:53:03 AM
Just finished episode 3, i just recently learned of cognition, and played all 3 available episodes. I have to say its one of the best games of this type i have played in recent years, and i will definetely get ep 4 and will be now keeping my eye for games from POS. In fact I hope Erica Reed gets more cases to solve in the coming years! Way to go guys. P.S. I already greenlighted you in steam, despite i got ep 1 and 2 from adventure shop and 3 directly from you.
I agree with you so much, I really like game and Erica is one of the best heroines in my opinion. I LOVE her :)
I would really like to play more games with her as a lead character.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on May 25, 2013, 04:58:39 AM
agewisdom - you have a point there. I also think that Rose is a suspicious character. She knows too much and keeps secrets.

But I disagree about the hint system - because if it makes her look suspicious, then Brian Reed is also suspicious because he also knows too much to help Erica in her quest.
In my opinion, Rose is a psion and has very stong powers. But she doesn't admit it.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 25, 2013, 05:42:44 AM
b-b-but she's momma Rose! D:
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 25, 2013, 07:08:14 AM
I know! What do people have against her all of a sudden?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 25, 2013, 07:11:05 AM
well they do say it's the one you least suspect, so.... IT MUST BE AGENT MARGO! SHE'S BEEN OUT HAVING BABY KEVIN FOR TOO LONG!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 25, 2013, 08:11:16 AM
What does that even mean anyway? "She's out having baby Kevin."
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 25, 2013, 08:29:29 AM
that she's expecting of course
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cathenah19 on May 25, 2013, 09:31:37 AM
What does that even mean anyway? "She's out having baby Kevin."


It was just another shout out to one of the Cognition supporters.

In this case it was a tribute to LPer Toegoff's mom, Margo. In his LP of Cognition, he talked about how it happened. His name is Kevin, so he got a passing reference in the game, too, when they mentioned "baby" Kevin.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 25, 2013, 09:40:07 AM
Oh yeah I remember hearing that in toegoff's LP

hey I want to be referenced in the game too! :o
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 25, 2013, 09:43:03 AM
Welcome leovor, and thank you!

I love reading all these thoughts. Not gonna comment this time apart from saying yes, those are interesting questions and observations. :suffer:

And yeah, that's Toegoff's mom's name and his. He backed at a level to have a name in the game and chose hers. :)

Well you are in the credits now, Gonz :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 25, 2013, 10:01:04 AM
Well, I knew who "baby Kevin" was, which I thought was such a sweet tribute! I just didn't know what they meant by Marjorie Vargo being "out having" Kevin. I've never heard it phrased like that.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: stika on May 25, 2013, 10:39:48 AM
Whoo! I'm in the credits!

Next up, we're going to have a character named "Gonçalo" :P
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: br305893 on May 25, 2013, 10:48:50 AM
Whoo! I'm in the credits!

Next up, we're going to have a character named "Gonçalo" :P

He could be John's replacement.  ;)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 25, 2013, 11:19:25 AM
Hmmm... buy the comic now or wait until Toegoff figures everything out and THEN buy the comic? Hmmm... waiting worked for The Silver Lining, because I watched his LP first and, going off of memory, was able to complete each episode pretty easily.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: AJBeals12 on May 26, 2013, 01:41:39 PM
This episode was great.  ;D The plot twists and the ending had me at the edge of my seat.  :takeabow: Can't wait for Episode 4!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 28, 2013, 08:23:41 PM
Okay, I just watched Toe's latest Cog episode, and I have one thing to ask for anyone at Phoenix who can/will answer:

How will The Silver Lining Episode 5: A Thousand Times Goodnight top THIS?!

Katie, you said somewhere that I would love the conclusion to TSL, and while I still agree, I'm still also at odds with your great suspenseful writing for Cog and am wondering how you guys can top the writing for Cog in TSL.

I mean, not many games I can say have made my heart pound in suspense without even having PLAYED it and, having gotten quite a few spoilers along the way despite that! Even though I have been spoiled on quite a few things already, when I see them in context, I still get goosebumps.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 28, 2013, 09:06:16 PM
Well, we didn't really create one game to try and top the other, in either direction. TSL and Cognition are two very different animals. From genre to tone to plot, even their appearance and sound are different. They have very different styles of writing as well. Personally, I'd measure the episodes of TSL against one another, and the episodes of Cog against one another, if anything.

A lot of the lessons in polish that we've learned from Cog will go into TSL Episode 5, but in a lot of other ways, Cognition is the game that came from the lessons learned during TSL. Though Ep 5 will come out after Cognition, it was designed before Cognition.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 29, 2013, 05:49:18 AM
So what lessons have you learned thus far?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 29, 2013, 07:38:16 AM
Well, we certainly learned about the economy of words! And especially from this latest episode we've gotten a lot of feedback about people liking the contained nature of the story, as opposed to the more open world of Episodes 1 & 2. When a game is so focused on story, exploration apparently feels like a distraction, or even detraction. Now that may not be true in a game like Mass Effect where everything you do effects that story, but that sort of thing is way out of scope and budget for us.

Cutting down on excess, keeping the game tighter overall and not having filler puzzles because you think the episode needs more in it. Better ways to drop subtle clues. Even trimming the storyline to focus on the main story--that's a big one that comes from the budget end of things, actually. When you're working within a budget, you have to cut stuff out and focus on the aspects that you need in the game.

Now, some of this is in Episode 5--I think overall we did trim it down and focus it more than the other TSL episodes. But we've also continued to refine that work for and during Cognition as well.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: frederic09 on May 29, 2013, 11:15:18 AM
Hi !

I've done the 3 episodes 'in a row" and i can say - well - it was impressive.

Now i wonder how Cordelia will "convince" Erika to work with her. After all, she's done so many "bad" things in Erika's view (the journal, Sully's kidnapping, the fact she played with her all that time, and the other stuff i don't say to not spoil, or because the list will be too long otherwise.)

I'm pretty sure at the beginning of EP.4, "Red" will be fired, messing with MacAdams is not always a good idea.

Usually, how much time it takes for an episode to be released?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on May 29, 2013, 01:40:24 PM
Well, we certainly learned about the economy of words!
:rofl:
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cathenah19 on May 29, 2013, 02:25:31 PM
Something I've been wondering since finishing the game:

Is it possible for the Cain Killer's machine to kill Cordelia if you wait too long to act at the end? The swinging pendulum with the spike on it certainly increased the sense of urgency in the scene, but I never waited to see if it would kill her.


Was the above the only possibly fatal situation in episode three?  I can go replay the episode to find the others if there are any. That should help to pass the time until episode 4 (or TSL episode 5 or Moebius or anything else that is next to come out.)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on May 29, 2013, 09:48:55 PM
Oh look, my hands are a'tremble again! That ending... Oh wow...! That ending! You guys certainly know how to tug at people's heart strings don't you?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on May 29, 2013, 11:03:29 PM
Something I've been wondering since finishing the game:

Is it possible for the Cain Killer's machine to kill Cordelia if you wait too long to act at the end? The swinging pendulum with the spike on it certainly increased the sense of urgency in the scene, but I never waited to see if it would kill her.


I seriously doubt it. If Cordelia was affected, then the entire current timeline would cease to exist. It makes sense that the visions are just that, visions of the past and it's impossible to change that which has happened.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on May 30, 2013, 10:03:49 AM
Welcome Frederic9 and thank you! :) So far, it's been about 3 months between episodes.

Cathenah: Since we know Cordy didn't die there, no.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cathenah19 on May 30, 2013, 11:33:46 AM
I understand that she really didn't die in the sequence, but it would have added a little more tension knowing that she could. Just as it "really" did not happen that Erica got hit by the car or Sully died in episode 2, it could also have created a game over scenario where Cordelia died, which would not have been canon, just adding to the gameplay.

To perhaps justify the death it could have been a situation of Erica or Cordelia playing a "what-if" game with their conscious minds that affected the true outcome of the vision.  So more-or-less, Erica could have imagined that she saw Cordelia die in the situation, knowing that she did not.

It just seems strange to play an episode without any possible deaths in it, but I realize that this episode is not quite like the others. I guess expecting death at every turn comes from playing too many Sierra games. (If there is such a thing as playing too many Sierra games.)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Cez on May 30, 2013, 05:53:45 PM
There is no such thing as playing too many Sierra games.

I wish the last 14 years were filled with them :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: frederic09 on May 31, 2013, 11:02:45 AM
Welcome Frederic09 and thank you! :) So far, it's been about 3 months between episodes.

Ty !

After some thinkings, my mind had a kind of crazy illumination. Since Cordelia is able to see in advance what Erica will do, and since we're playing in an outside view, could it means what us the players are seeing are in reality Cordelia's visions "in real time" ? Ok ok, i know where the door is... But i need Reed's blood to pass it x)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Andchan on June 03, 2013, 04:04:24 PM
Hi, i just got here, hope not too late XD
Just finished Episode 3 a few hours ago. Mindblowing *_* I was hoping to see more of Erica and Cordelia and i got an entire episode of it \o/ great development! The focus on the apartment was interesting, i lost a lot of time going back and forward looking for clues in the map screen on ep 1 and 2 XD the more frequent use of the cellphone to talk to other characters was nice too... I had so many things to say now i forgot all of them XD I really liked it. The soundtrack, the art... The end. What was that? What was up with John? He was going to kill Erica? And Keith? And McAdams? And that "Reed Blood" on the ceiling? Cordelia wanna kill Erica?

Also i really like the comics o.o If you guys have to cut storyline from the game, do comics! And season 2!
Title: Hairs
Post by: AlexeyT on June 06, 2013, 06:44:55 AM
An issue with EP1..3 is "stone hairs" or Erica. Pls make em "soft", "natural".
Lookin not OK.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Rinu on June 15, 2013, 04:25:02 PM
I finished the game tonight and wow, where can I get your autographs? :P Each episode gets better and leaves me satisfied.

What did I like:

What didn't work so well / What I would like to see:

What I saw coming:

What totally shocked me (I like wording ^_^):

I enjoyed The Oracle a lot and I can't wait to see what you are up to. And I'm sorry for the wall of text and probably many typos!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on June 16, 2013, 07:03:32 AM
That was an awesome post! Seriously, thanks for all the breakdown on what you thought of the episode. It's really helpful for us to read everything people liked and didn't, what we hid well or what surprised you, etc. :)

Yeah, unintentionally the game got a little Caucasian heavy. We've tried to make up for that in the supporting cast somewhat. In a number of cases, though, people being related or needing to look similar made it necessary to not diversify as much as we would've liked.

Thanks again for the post & feedback!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Big C from Cauney island on June 29, 2013, 01:11:00 PM
Absolutely superb cliff hanger!!!! And all around great story. You are definitely proving to be a good adventure gaming team. Great story telling.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: riker1 on June 29, 2013, 03:55:39 PM
Great work again guys. I really love the story; it draws you right in. You really feel the emotion of the game as you play it and that is the strong suit to the Cognition series. The quality of the story and how it makes the player feel is top notch. The minor changes in the interaction between characters (phone options, Rose instead of Dad, etc.) and the graphics upgrades as well made this episode fresh and not just a continuation of the same exact game. The puzzles were much better this episode. Although they are still lacking a bit for us adventure gamers who really enjoy puzzles/riddles along the way (Keep working at them!). I at least had a page of handwritten notes for this episode, whereas the previous episodes I did not. I can't wait to continue to play games from POS. Keep up the great work and thanks for a great product.

General requests: Android, Linux, and stay DRM-free!
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: baltie on July 02, 2013, 05:00:42 PM
Just finished all three episodes. Cannot wait for the fourth. I have to say I have really loved these episodes. Thank you for your efforts!

I guess it might be because of the compressed time I played the game, especially the third episode, but I really didn't see the big revelation with Keith being the Cain killer until it suddenly clicked working on the Le Pendu. At first I didn't understand why it asked for five letters. Jeff had only four. Anyway, that would really have been too easy. Then I tried Smith. Thanks for having the option to enter that, nice touch. :) I actually thought that might be the answer. When that didn't work out, I pulled back a little, went over the documents, thought about it and suddenly it dawned on me. And with that, all the implications and I actually thought "DAMN, he's with John!". I was really into the story at this point.

At the last sequence, I just was saddened. I saw it was a different person than in the earlier visions, and I thought "oh no, she's going to shoot John... :(".

All said, in my opinion, the third episode was the best. I liked the first episode, especially the length and the different ways you could play it with regard to attitude towards Rose, etc. I liked the second episode, it was grittier and a darker story, also more tight. And I loved the third. It was focused, the story-telling was even better with some big surprises (for me). I hadn't even caught on to the fact that it was Cordelia who was behind all this before this episode. I did have a nagging suspicion, but I kept ignoring it. I liked Cordelia. ;)

I also loved the back and forth between Cordelia and Erica. It was a great way of telling her story. I hope there will be more of this in the final episode.

Really looking forward to the last episode now. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on July 02, 2013, 09:47:22 PM
Hello & welcome to the forums, baltie! And thank you! Awesome to hear you're enjoying the game so much, and nice work catching the differences between the vision and the ending cutscene. :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Annica88 on July 13, 2013, 03:58:38 PM
Hello. I'm a big fan of Cognition and I think this is the best episode, just after the first. My pros and cons.
Pros:
+ story
+ great continuation of some threads
+ possibility of playing another character
+ some new improvements to the gamplay
+ less bugs
+ soundtrack and voice acting
+ the ending!

Cons:
- still some problems with characters' animation
- not so many locations
- I must wait for the fourth episode and I don't want this to be the end :(
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on July 13, 2013, 10:43:48 PM
Hi Annica, welcome to the boards and thanks for posting your feedback! Great to see you're enjoying the game :)

I'm curious, by "not so many locations" as a con, do you mean there are too many or not enough?
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Annica88 on July 19, 2013, 07:08:07 AM
Hi Annica, welcome to the boards and thanks for posting your feedback! Great to see you're enjoying the game :)

I'm curious, by "not so many locations" as a con, do you mean there are too many or not enough?

Okay, maybe it's because of my English :) . I mean that everything is based on this one building. I know, this has it's own, great atmosphere, but maybe it would be a little better with some other locations. Can't wait for episode 4! I wrote this on facebook and youtube also, but I sincerely think that Cognition is one of the best (if not the best) adventure/criminal game of last decade. I hope there will be season 2.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on July 19, 2013, 07:57:29 AM
You're English is quiet good, actually :) It's a phrase anyone might use, I just wasn't sure which way you meant it. Yeah, that was definitely a big change in Episode 3, but it was what worked for the story--the plot's tightening in on itself, especially in that Ep.

Thank you so much! We all really hope we can do a Season 2, too! :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: smoothsailing on July 20, 2013, 05:43:13 AM
Just finished playing episode 3 (yes, i'm a little bit late to the party, but then it makes the wait for the next episode seem shorter :P).
What can I say? Back when I played episode 1 I think I wrote on the forum that I really liked how Erica's powers could be used. I thought it was pretty original and brought something I had never seen before in adventure games. What you did with this episode - getting Erica to not only see Cordelia but also use her powers - was really mind-blowing and took everything, again, to another level. I was impressed by all the "cognition within cognition" puzzles and really enjoyed them.

The things I didn't enjoy as much:
- Too short  8)
- I know some people liked how this episode took place in only one, new location. However, I felt a bit constrained by it (I love driving around Boston to different locations!) even though I enjoyed the new scenes to explore, of course. I missed the office. :)
- Minor bug with the telephone/usb camera (if I tried to plug in the camera first, it wouldn't let me press the button anymore. I  had to exit the screen, go back again and press the button first.).
- It didn't bother me in previous episodes, but this time I've found Erica's swearing to be unnecessary and a bit irksome. I even felt it had an impact on the credibility of some scenes, like when she  called Skorobeus "a******". It made her seem very arrogant and unprofessional, too. And this comment comes from someone whose mother tongue (French) is much more permissive of swearing than English  ;D
- Chronology - maybe it's just me but I was left a bit confused at times (I should take more notes, probably) as to when some events happened, going back and forth the different visions.

Story-wise:
- Love how everything unfolds. I need to play all the episodes again because my memory sucks though ;)
- For some reason I didn't expect Cordelia to be from a well-off background. This put me off at first because it really didn't click with the background I had in mind for her character. Didn't last long (was too busy inspecting every corner of her wonderful apartment ;))
- Didn't see the Cain killer's identity coming until the end (major *facepalm* to myself for not even picking up the obvious clues - hello, you've got someone who likes inventing weird, complex machines, maybe that should ring a bell?!!)

Questions, thoughts...
- I've read the whole thread and while it seems most comments focus on Cordelia (great character, still haven't decided whether I like her or not!), I wonder much more about John's motives and identity. Actually, I've been wondering about him since episode 1 (why did he need Rose in the first place? In each episode we're told he knows her because he's had to fix some "issues". What are those issues?) Now with all the information we have at the end of Ep. 3, it has got me even more intrigued. I don't know, I just feel there's still much to discover about him.  :)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Annica88 on July 20, 2013, 08:40:35 AM
You're English is quiet good, actually :) It's a phrase anyone might use, I just wasn't sure which way you meant it. Yeah, that was definitely a big change in Episode 3, but it was what worked for the story--the plot's tightening in on itself, especially in that Ep.

Thank you so much! We all really hope we can do a Season 2, too! :)

Oh, it's great then :) . Maybe now you can evaluate "my" work? I'm making let's play for polish players and one of my friend decided to make an intro for the rest of my work. What do you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_3cwrMSJ74
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on July 20, 2013, 01:21:20 PM
Very cool, Annica, I like it! :)

Hi smoothsailing! Thank you for the feedback & comments :) Erica's swearing does jump up in use sometimes, and I definitely understand that some folks don't like it much. For us, we found it realistic both for her personality in the first place, and also, she's a had really long few days that have gone poorly and she's barely slept. I know I tend to curse more when I'm in a bad mood and exhausted ;) But hey, to each their own. I'm glad it didn't ruin the story for you and that you're still enjoying the game overall.

As for John's issues, I always figured he was referring to just dealing with the things he sees on the job and also his divorce, but you never know, maybe there's something else we don't yet know about his background.  :suffer:
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: exegete on August 31, 2013, 11:04:51 PM
I've loved the whole series so far, it's been absolutely gripping.  Thanks for giving us such a great experience.  Don't let the questions in this post detract from that initial very positive feedback!

There are a number of things in the latest episode that didn't make much sense to me:

1.  Erica's vision shows her getting shot if she goes through the broken wall in the basement and picks up the gun.  Once she had figured out who the Cain killer was, why did she choose to go exploring down there alone when there was absolutely no need to do so?  (Unless this has something to do with whatever was inside the Le Pendu.)

2.  Once she'd ventured past the broken basement wall, why did she pick up the gun?  Why did she try to use it to shoot the intruder?  She doesn't know why the gun is there or where it came from; she knows it's not her own gun; she doesn't know whether it's loaded or calibrated or whether it even works; and most importantly, she knows she still has her own gun with her (which she'd brandished in the previous cut-scene with John).  I don't understand why a trained FBI agent who thinks someone is about to shoot her would ignore her own gun and randomly try to use a weapon she finds on a basement floor.  Sure, she picks it up in the vision, but given that in her vision she also dies immediately afterwards, you'd think she would not want to rely on that gun to protect herself.

3.  Why has Cordelia flipped out so badly that she is trying to kill FBI agents?  Based on what we've seen so far, it seems probable (although not certain) that it was Keith who trapped Cordelia and Max in the 'only his life can save yours' death machine, and that Cordelia knows it was Keith.  No doubt that is a terrifying and traumatic experience that resulted in a whole lot of PTSD for Cordelia, but exactly how does what she could justifiably feel against Keith at that point get transferred to the whole of the FBI force?  There seems to be a suggestion that it was because John initially didn't believe her premonitions, but Cordelia herself accepted that to be a reasonable response from John at the time, and we know from John's kitchen counter note that notwithstanding his initial scepticism he did investigate the case and took it as far as he could.  It also seems pretty obvious that there is nothing John could really have done.  I feel like Cordelia needs to be able to say with some conviction "John [or another FBI agent] should have done X", where "X" would (or even might) have saved Max.  McAdams' "deliberate" misfiling incident hasn't been explained but it seems unlikely that will provide a sufficient foundation, unless perhaps it forms part of some kind of systemic incompetence/corruption amongst Boston FBI officers, which Cordelia knows about and believes is connected with Max's death.

So as you can probably tell, I am not really sold on the 'Cordelia as evil mastermind' explanation.  I thought at the end of ep3 it remained plausible that all of the 'evidence' we had found against Cordelia (journal, files, etc) had either been planted by someone else (eg Skorobeus) or collected by Cordelia as part of her own parallel premonition-based investigation into the real killer (eg Keith, or Skorobeus, or someone else).  None of the visions from either Erica or Cordelia have definitively shown Cordelia doing anything bad.  But comments in this thread seem to confirm that she is a killer.  [Edit: And also in the theories thread, where the shadowy figure in the prequel comic is confirmed to be Cordelia.]

I suppose there is always the outside possibility of some kind of split personality disorder brought on by Keith forcing her to kill Max, but there would still need to be some basis for why the second personality feels so much animosity towards the FBI.

(Also, mainly because of the above, Keith's (apparent) involvement came as a total surprise to me, although I had guessed that Therrien might be a child or relative of Skorobeus.  I found the puzzles in this episode much easier than in the first two episodes, probably because there were fewer scenes in which the solution or parts of it could be hidden.  Still enjoyed though.)
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on September 01, 2013, 11:33:36 AM
Hi exegate and welcome to the forums! Thanks for the feedback :)

To offer what answers I can--more on Cordelia's thought process happens in Episode 4, so I'll stay away from saying too much there. As for Erica and the vision coming true--I'd say she isn't thinking as clearly as she'd like at the end of Episode 3. She's spent the lat few hours realizing what happened in the past, that Cordelia is the one who's been killing and harming her co-workers, that her trusted partner has lied to her and that maybe Scott could've been saved, and then she's just realized that the Cain Killer was in her grasp and she let him go. Then the lights are flickering, she knows someone here wants to kill her, and she's spent the last few days in some similarly stressful situations. And not slept much. I wouldn't be at the top of my game either! When she sees and picks up the gun, she tries to stop what she thinks she knows is coming--her own death. And Erica is reckless at the best of times to boot.

The fallout of this, too, will come in Episode 4--Erica has to deal with what's happened, her mistakes and the consequences of them.
Title: Re: Episode 3: Feedback and Thoughts
Post by: Huntress on September 04, 2013, 07:41:24 PM
Her notes makes it clear that she has developed a full-on Light Yagami complex, except that she has taken that step that Light himself only toyed with the thought of taking; namely killing people for being "lazy".

A gold star for making a "Death Note" reference.