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Phoenix Online Studios => Cognition => General => Topic started by: KatieHal on September 19, 2013, 06:46:59 PM

Title: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on September 19, 2013, 06:46:59 PM
Let's hear it! This is official thread for your feedback and thoughts on Episode 4 and/or the season as a whole. Favorite puzzles, characters, the development of the story...what the future might hold! We'd love to know, so let's hear it!

And, obviously, SPOILERS WILL ABOUND! So you have been warned. :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: jen on September 20, 2013, 12:43:37 AM
Well, knowing I was going to get to download the last installment after work made my go go by faster, and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome.  The game was superb and the music was divine.

Kudos to the entire team!
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: exegete on September 20, 2013, 08:42:56 AM
I totally loved the first three episodes.  Spent many hours enraptured.  Would have happily paid double for them.

I posted here (http://www.postudios.com/blog/forum/index.php?topic=13529.msg357586#msg357586) about my thoughts at the end of the third episode.

The fourth didn't really do it for me.  I still don't really understand what drove Cordelia to kill Davies (with such an elaborate setup!) and to form a desire to kill McAdams, only to be so easily talked out of it later.  I still don't really understand why Cordelia kept her half brother chained up in a basement for three years, including after he suffered extensive second or third degree burns.  I appreciate that it's possible that a person can become that warped - and somehow arrange things so that no one asks any questions - but I wasn't convinced by what was shown to us that Cordelia underwent that transition and made those arrangements.

I liked the intro scene with Jetta; that involved a new form of gameplay.  I didn't understand the kiss at all.  (Was that even referred to again?  There just didn't seem to be any foundation for it.  This isn't some kind of straight gamer prejudice - I'm gay, and it seemed totally out of place.  Bizarre.)  I also really liked how we could switch between Erica and Cordelia at will during the middle portion of the game; a great way to bring those two together.  The puzzle with the buttons and the trap pieces was nifty, but that was about the only challenge, and unfortunately largely the extent of the dual Erica/Cordelia gameplay.  The dialogue options at the end, where Erica's dad was on the line, were pure guesswork, which was a bit anti-climactic.  Why Keith would turn around at 'dad, do it!' and not at 'McAdams, use the gun!' is beyond me.  Her dad had been physically strapped in by Keith.  It's at least plausible that (the unbound) McAdams could have regained consciousness.

I encountered a number of bugs, but I didn't really care about that.  It was also really short.  Given the time that has passed since the third episode, nothing much would have changed had we been asked to wait a few more weeks.  I think that is more of a matter of managing expectations - I played this episode having formed expectations based on the previous three episodes.

Nevertheless, on the whole, an enjoyable series.  Please take the above as constructive rather than purely negative feedback.  I remain a happy customer.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on September 20, 2013, 09:18:59 AM
Thanks exegate!

Re: Cordelia & Erica's kiss, we've been slowly building their relationship with the intention of there being a subtle flirtation in it from the start. No doubt some people have picked up on that more than others since it was never overt. So in this episode, knowing what the ending was especially, we decided to go for it. Though, you're right, no one refers to it directly, but it's meant to support Erica's statement that she's conflicted on how to feel about Cordelia overall.

Re: Cordelia, well, yeah, she's kind of messed up! After what Keith forced her to do to Max, serving time for it, her attempts to get help and almost no one believing her, she did indeed snap. Her trap for Davies was intended to give Davies one last chance to follow a lead, but she didn't and so to Cordelia, she failed yet again. No one's saying she was right to do so--Cordelia's a very intentionally grey character. The reason she locked up her brother was, as she tells Erica, because she couldn't bring herself to kill another brother, and due to her visions, she was convinced that was Erica's task, not hers. Throughout this Episode and their interactions, obviously, things changed for her.

And that's a lot of what Erica is talking about in the end as well--Cordelia's visions, and the lack of support she had when she saw Max dying, are what drove her kind off the rails. I don't think I'd call her fully insane, but it definitely screwed her up. It's not the first time in the world this has happened either, as shown by Bao Thanh's story. And Erica wants to do what she can to stop that from happening to others if she can, at the end of the game.

Oh, and turning around for saying her dad was the one with the gun, to me it was because her dad being the one with the gun would be the most shocking one of all. :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: jen on September 20, 2013, 12:48:35 PM
I do have a question, is there going to be another soundtrack?  I love the music from all four games, and honestly, I would love to use some from #4 as ringtones for my phone
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on September 20, 2013, 12:57:46 PM
We are working on a "Best of" soundtrack to release at some point later this year. :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on September 20, 2013, 12:59:02 PM
I already posted my thoughts, but Exegete reminded me of two things I forgot to mention.

1.  Unless I heard it wrong, the conversation between Erica and McAdams in the car seemed to imply that Jetta was killed in that mission at the beginning, when I seem to recall her getting away.  Were they referring to a different mission?

2.  I'm kind of surprised at how easily Erica was able to pull her feet out of those leg restraints, before grabbing Cain with her legs.  And why would she put them back in after he left?
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: LordBT on September 20, 2013, 01:11:53 PM
Episode 4:

I agree with exegees post about Cordelia. I just don't get why she did these things. I feel a bit of her motivation is just missing from the story.  Same thing about the graveyard scene and kiss as well.

I liked the trust-mechanic. But I wish it could have been used a bit more in a cooler more interesting way. It almost did it for me, but my impression in the end is that the idea was somewhat better than the execution of it.

Rose is boring. Even the most interesting Rose sequence in the entire game didn't engage me.

McAdams finally came true as a believable character. Liked his dialogue this time.

The episode had good flow. Something was always going on. It could at times feel a bit railroady (because it was), but all in all a good experience.

Meeting McAdams at the end after Keith and Cordelias deaths was one of the absolutely worst parts of the entire game. It was like an old  console game "YOU WIN, CONGRATULATIONS!"-screen. I so wish that entire scene had been dropped or rewritten.

Didn't like that John was mentioned what felt like a gazillion times, without anyone telling us what happened to him. It was so obvious that you wanted to keep us wondering if he was dead or not.

Puzzles were a bit straightforward. Not all of them that engaging and fun as in the previous episodes. Especially the regression puzzles disappointed me.


This post came out mostly negative, but overall i liked and enjoyed the episode. It was fun that the drive in it was totally different than the rest, it was suspenseful most of the time, like playing through a thriller. I just wish some of the details were better done.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: jen on September 20, 2013, 01:16:55 PM
Awesome :D  Thanks, Katie
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Cez on September 20, 2013, 02:54:42 PM
1.  Unless I heard it wrong, the conversation between Erica and McAdams in the car seemed to imply that Jetta was killed in that mission at the beginning, when I seem to recall her getting away.  Were they referring to a different mission?


It's all part of the choices made in the game. Jetta's destiny is pretty much in your hands. Just as other stuff towards the end. The trust system is not just an empty addition, it controls some pretty big choices and outcomes.

Also, for your second question, it was Cordelia who tied Erica up. And she didn't, really :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on September 21, 2013, 11:14:20 AM
I really liked episode 4!
But it has a lot of technical problems and glitches, please try to fix this in your next games - especially in Moebius :)

The story was amazing in my opinion. I feel like I'm in Erica's shoes, having all the worries she had in this episode.
I think that Cordelia isn't a believable character, I don't really understand all of her motives.

As for John:
You shouldn't have him killed :-[
I was very sad at the end of the episode because it revealed that he died from the shot.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: SilverBall10 on September 21, 2013, 02:43:22 PM
Sully's lunch bag says "IL barboncino rosa", which means "the pink poodle (dog)".
I noticed those italian words there, but I don't know that place  :rofl:
Italy rules!  :suffer:
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: ePavinato on September 22, 2013, 04:51:50 AM
That's true, SilverBall10, and it was completely intentional.

The Pink Poodle watches us all.
All hail!
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: SilverBall10 on September 22, 2013, 06:22:10 AM
The Pink Poodle watches us all.
:sweetheart:
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: smoothsailing on September 22, 2013, 11:26:51 AM
Hi everyone,

Just finished episode 4.  I'd like to say first and foremost that I have really enjoyed the game overall. I'm really glad I backed your project and I would LOVE to see a season two for Erica - I liked her character, the puzzles and innovative gameplay. Given how Cognition ends, I have the feeling the door is somewhat left open and I'm hoping I'm right :)

Now, that being said... I'm afraid I'll have to agree with some of the comments posted above and more particularly by exegete. There are a few things that I have really enjoyed, but overall, I'm a little (only a little really) disappointed.

I really liked the introduction scene, and the different choices which were given throughout the game (ha, that old thrill you feel when you know things are about to get awry - without having to frantically  save every second  ;)). The interaction/collaboration between Cordelia and Erica in real time was awesome.

But the overall feeling is... I don't know, it felt somewhat rushed compared to the other episodes. I felt some transitions between some scenes were missing and some aspects of the story are left with some questions marks - Skorebeus, McAdams, John, even Keith... I guess I expected some more development on their characters. The only exception being Rose (I may be the only one but I love Rose and liked her story very much!).

To end on a positive note - this time I played the game through Steam (yay!) and appreciated the fact that you could jump to episode 4 right away without having to replay everything (which I intend to do at some point anyway, but I was too eager to play episode 4 ;)). I liked the achievement notifications popping in ;)

Just like exegete said, I loved the game, just expected maybe something more out of the final episode. And, I'll say it again - if there is a sequel to the game, count me in :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on September 22, 2013, 12:20:42 PM
Just finished the final episode of Erica Reed. Overall I have quite a lot of mixed feelings about it:

1. Pacing issues
Overall, I think Episode 1 & 3 were the best. I feel Episode 4 suffered a lot in terms of pacing. There wasn't a lot to the story and it felt quite a bit like a mop-up operation. My feeling was that it was more like an extended epilogue.

2. Mystery and Revelations
There was too little in Episode 4 in explaining what Cordelia went through and why she turned into a serial killer herself. Fleshing out her more thoroughly, perhaps through flashbacks as to why and how she tracked and eliminated the serial killers in Episode 1 & 2 would have been interesting. It would also be a great incentive for players to go back to Episode 1 & 2 to replay the game to gain a better insight.

Also, since the game was so short, it might have been better to extend the game to answer some questions like:
(a) When and how did the Cain Killer realize about the Psion's powers?
(b) Have more dialog between Cordelia and the Cain Killer to explore their relationship after the Max incident?
(c) Expand a little more of the Psion organization that seems to be monitoring Erica and Cordelia.

***
Overall, the entire 4 Episodes forms a great and mature adventure game. I guess there's only 2 problems I have:

(a) Lack of cohesiveness of game-play
The episodic nature and the lack of an overarching game mechanic really shows. Whilst it was great to bring something new to every episode, this resulted in earlier cognition powers being ignored for ones introduced in later episodes. In the final Episode, yet another mechanic was introduced which had nothing to do with Cognition powers. Whilst interesting, I didn't feel it added a lot to the game. Perhaps it would have more gravitas if it was introduced earlier all the way back in Episode 2 or 3. And, the indicator wouldn't really be necessary since it's more or less obvious what sort of responses would find favor with the characters or otherwise.

(b) Too tightly focused and lack of buildup
Perhaps this was due to a tight budget and the episodic nature of the game. It might have been better if there were some side activities such as a slower buildup in the game. For instance, in Episode 1, if Erica started investigating the Cain cases and was interacting with her Dad and brother in the course of the game, the shock of him being kidnapped by the very Cain Killer she was investigating would have a greater impact. Bringing Cordelia and the Cain Killer, with a bigger role in earlier episodes would also be interesting. Although the prologue for Episode 1 really grabbed me by the neck, it would have been so much better if the context was set-up properly first.

Still I'd rate the entire series an A and hope you'll continue with the Erica Reed series :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Rinu on September 22, 2013, 04:11:52 PM
(a) When and how did the Cain Killer realize about the Psion's powers?
Cordelia told him about them already when Max lived.
I assume that he found out about Erica's powers thanks to Cordelia because Erica asked Cordelia at the basement about previous murders and Cordelia admitted that Cain Killer helped her with plans. And since some of these were based on Erica's abilities...
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: agewisdom on September 22, 2013, 08:06:10 PM
(a) When and how did the Cain Killer realize about the Psion's powers?
Cordelia told him about them already when Max lived.
I assume that he found out about Erica's powers thanks to Cordelia because Erica asked Cordelia at the basement about previous murders and Cordelia admitted that Cain Killer helped her with plans. And since some of these were based on Erica's abilities...

Ah... yes, now I remember, thanks! Still, since these plans were quite intricate - I would have preferred it to be fleshed out more. Also, the Cain Killer turned out to be one dimensional. Somehow, I was expecting episode 4 to show more about him and his motivations via flashbacks rather than a relatively short conversation pieces.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on September 22, 2013, 08:20:06 PM

It's all part of the choices made in the game. Jetta's destiny is pretty much in your hands. Just as other stuff towards the end. The trust system is not just an empty addition, it controls some pretty big choices and outcomes.

Err... you misunderstand.  What I mean is... I kept Stelios from shooting Jetta, and yet McAdams says, "You did your best to protect her."  Maybe I'm just being picky, but that sounds to me like "You tried, but she died."  No, she didn't.  I saw her run away with my own eyes.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: doctor_kaz on September 24, 2013, 06:59:07 PM
Here are my thoughts on the season:

I really liked how it worked in Episodes 1 and 2 when each episode was sort of a self-contained story that fit into a larger whole.  It must be really hard to do this, as almost no other series (outside of Sam and Max) has managed to pull it off.  I liked how those episodes had a compelling murder mystery that was only tangentially related to the Cain Killer case.  It was fun solving those cases.  Erica has a personal connection to the story, but she also has her job to do.  When the series deviated from that format in Episode 3 and 4, I got a little less enjoyment out of those.  I liked being able to travel around the city map in Episodes 1 and 2 also. 

I think that the point-and-click gameplay really shined more and more as more and more psychic powers were layered into the game.  I was kind of underwhelmed by the gameplay in the first episode, but it grew on me as the series went and the gameplay started to feel more like detective work.  The puzzles stayed on the logical side and they didn't require me to contort my brain to try and figure them out.  But the solutions also weren't so obvious that there was no satisfaction to solving them.  I am playing an adventure game right now called Memoria that I am not enjoying very much because it fails in this area.  If there is more Erica Reed in the future, I hope that you guys will still make the psychic detective, point-and-click gameplay the foundation for it and never forget your meat and potatoes. 

Episode 4 -- man, I have really mixed feelings.  On one hand, I applaud you guys for making some ambitious attempts to expand on the gameplay.  On the other hand, the new stuff in this episode failed badly (in my opinion).  There were so many scenes where it seemed like the dialog choices weren't really choices.  The interrogation of the scuzzy lawyer, for example.  Was there supposed to be a viable alternative other than making him pass out?  And the scene where Cordelia first confronts Keith.  Is there any viable alternative to choosing the empathetic kiss-ass option for every choice?  If not, then what's the point? And then the ending fight was a real clunker.   It goes against every instinct I have to say this, but this is one case where I think that the episode would have been better if you guys had stuck to its roots and emphasized puzzle-based detective work instead of the new stuff.  (But I'm glad that you guys err on the side of being unpredictable and ambitious.)

I loved the story and the characters.  They were very well developed and they had realistic emotions and flaws.  The art style was a huge asset in bringing life to them and also adding an extremely gruesome edge to the crimes.  I'm glad that you pulled no punches there.  The music was also excellent at setting the somber mood of the season.  The one persistent issue that I had with this season though was that the dialog was painfully corny and clichd in some places.  Like Erica's heated exchanges with her bosses.  Now that the season is over, I have to ask -- was this the intention?


Overall, I liked it quite a bit.  I'm really looking forward to season 2.  Maybe Erica will be a private detective solving cases that the FBI bungles?  Whatever you decide, take your time. 
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on September 24, 2013, 07:48:52 PM
Quote
The interrogation of the scuzzy lawyer, for example.  Was there supposed to be a viable alternative other than making him pass out? 

Actually, yes.  Once you've got him against the wall, you can exit the conversation and use cognition on him.  Much more fun in my opinion too.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Cognition1234 on September 25, 2013, 01:54:06 AM
I'm really looking forward to season 2.  Maybe Erica will be a private detective solving cases that the FBI bungles?  Whatever you decide, take your time.
I think this is a great idea  :)
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on September 25, 2013, 09:21:08 AM
Thanks for the feedback, kaz! I'm glad you enjoyed the game overall, even if Episode 4 was a mixed bag for you; and we do appreciate hearing what people think either way, it's very helpful.

We do have some ideas for Season 2 should we make one...but more than that, I won't say!  :suffer:
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: HitBattousai on September 25, 2013, 11:41:21 PM
Episode 4 - I'm with some of the others in that I think it's a bit too short and the puzzles are fairly straightforward for the most part, for better and worse.  The interplay between Cordelia and Erica is the main drive of this episode, and it comes across well.  Not a huge fan of the end fight, though seeing it ultimately play out is satisfying after all that's gone down.  I think the general resolution of the story is solid though Cordelia's move at the end seems kind of flimsy at that point, I'd rather it have gone a different route.  Her escaping and serving some kind of penance within the Psion community perhaps.  But overall a solid finish and it certainly leaves room for Erica to serve as your classic Supernatural PI or something to that effect in further games of the series(which I hope happens).

Full Series - The series on the whole is very good, with a well-told story, generally good puzzles, art style, and general good voice acting with Holmes as the lead critically being the standout.  I would say the 3rd Episode is the best of the lot, showing Cordelia's backstory, the puzzles, and the manner in which things are revealed in both the past and present was great.  The weakest element of the series was probably in Episode One with the fixing memory sequences, it was just tedious having to gather information from outside the scene and come back to change a part of the memory(the 4th Episode with Rose did a much better job with this).  Overall, a very good experience.  Thanks for making the series and look forward to the future ;D
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on September 27, 2013, 09:57:49 AM

It's all part of the choices made in the game. Jetta's destiny is pretty much in your hands. Just as other stuff towards the end. The trust system is not just an empty addition, it controls some pretty big choices and outcomes.

Err... you misunderstand.  What I mean is... I kept Stelios from shooting Jetta, and yet McAdams says, "You did your best to protect her."  Maybe I'm just being picky, but that sounds to me like "You tried, but she died."  No, she didn't.  I saw her run away with my own eyes.
I noticed this, too.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on September 27, 2013, 10:00:26 AM
I finished the episode. This is the first one I've played without having done any testing on it. I liked it. I agree that it was pretty short, but I think it is a fitting end to the story. I have to say, I'm really sad that
John died
though. :-\

I must say, the timed portions were frustrating because I could barely get the cursor in place quickly enough. My computer is seriously under-powered. :( Now that I have a new job (:)), hopefully I can get a new one soon!
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on September 27, 2013, 11:49:28 AM
What kind of computer is it anyway?
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Mikeforte on September 28, 2013, 12:06:20 AM
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Cognition!  I've been following Phoenix Online for the past three years or so, mostly because of The Silver Lining... but once I saw Cognition Episode 4 come out... decided to check it out.  I just finished Cognition the other night... and loved the whole experience from start to finish.

The art, the music, the story, the acting, and the game play were all phenomenal.  I always love seeing indie games like this get finished!  I can only imagine how hard you all worked on it.

My favorite aspect of Cognition was the storytelling.  The comic book style fit really well for this... and the story you all told... was told well.  The game really had me guessing what would happen next... and reminded me very of Sierra games like King's Quest, and Phantasmagoria... in a good way.  Yet you had your own style, and succeeded with your own game and story.

Definitely a success I'd say.  Congrats on a finishing the "season", and thanks for a great game!

-Michael Cardinal
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Guyra on September 28, 2013, 08:26:41 AM
Episode 4 was, in my opinion, the weakest of the four. It had a lot of problems, and to me it felt like problems that were there due to it being rushed - because it felt like it was.

There are spoilers here!
And I really don't feel like going amok with the spoiler tags.


I'll make a small list:
1. The kiss. I didn't mind it, though I think it could've had slightly more build up in the previous episodes. But the actually bad part is that, aside for when Erica tells Rose that she's not sure how she feels about Cordelia - which was, what? A few seconds later? - it's never mentioned, further built upon, or in any way used later on in the game. It was basically a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. It had the potential to create some very interesting drama, but instead it was just forgotten about.

2. The pacing. Sadly, it was all over the place, and it made the game feel cluttered and chaotic.

3. Cordelia. She was a good character, up until this episode. Even though there were dialogue I liked with her in this episode as well, her reasoning for killing fell short. And that carried a lot of weight.

4. Death. "Get it right the first time, or die!" This was very annoying! I don't mind being able to die, but there was just too much of it here. And why on earth do I get the "Agent Reed: Killed in action" screen when I die as Cordelia in her flashback? That did not make sense at all.

5. Unskippable line of dialogue. During the puzzle with the levers, Cordelia way too often tells Erica to "keep at it," or something, in a long line of dialogue about how what Erica says can work together with her precognition. I think I heard that line between 10 and 15 times, and I could not skip it! Very annoying! It should not have come up that many times in the first place. But even that would've been acceptable, if I could've just skipped it every time. But no.

6. Areas. There were very few of them in this game! And the only free movement you had was when going between the cellar and the living room at the lake house, or between outside and inside at the same place in Cordelia's flashback. This is one of the things that added a lot to the game feeling rushed. It only had the bare minimum of areas to get the story through. But you could, for example, easily have had an extra 30 minutes of gameplay just in the police station alone. And that's an area which you wouldn't have needed to make from scratch. Or how about one or two more rooms at the lake house? That could've been used for some exposition, add some tension, or even build on the relationship between Erica and Cordelia. But instead, you went for only the very bare minimum, and that made it feel rushed and, I'm sad to say, lazy.

7. Key code. At the very end, Erica got the code while under the stress from the very real danger of being doubly skewered. But then she can't use her powers while out and safe to get the full code and open the door? Or if the three digit code she, herself, got was the full code, why didn't she use it? This just did not feel well thought out at all.

8. Terrence. Poor guy! Erica's apparently Erica's bestest friend, and he didn't even make a cameo at the end. Completely left out of the second half of the series. :(

9. Bugs. There were way too many of them. Especially for such a short game.


That's it for the bad, so let's move on to the good! :)
1. McAdams. He finally became more believable, and was better written in this episode than in the previous ones.

2. The prequel scene. It was very nice to see what had happened just before the intro to Episode 1.

3. Choices. You actually had choices that had an impact on the outcome.

4. Corridor 9. I really had a laugh when I saw the name of the author of this book, because it is one of my best friends in real life. Had to give him a call to tell him about it, as he hasn't gotten started on Episode 4 yet.

5. The ending. It was very good! I liked it a lot, and the part with John was done beautifully! (Though I have to ask, is that a new power of hers? ;) )


So yes, this episode had a bit too many problems. But it was worth playing, and the ending was worth it! But I wish the majority of the problems and flaws hadn't been there, so that the series/season could've ended with a bang. Sadly, it didn't.

But all in all, I must say that the games as a whole is very good, and absolutely recommendable to fans of the genre! I'm very happy to have played through it, and had a great time doing so! I am also very glad I backed this project on Kickstarter, something which seems a long time ago now.


Thank you for making this game, and I do hope you'll make a second season! Would love to see what happens next in the life of Erica Reed! :D
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Gran on September 28, 2013, 10:09:03 AM
Well put Guyra, I agree with much of what you said. This episode was not bad, just not as good as the others. was there a path where I can use Keiths drugs or is that a red herring?
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Jack Stryker on September 28, 2013, 06:43:41 PM
Quote
was there a path where I can use Keiths drugs or is that a red herring?

I'm guessing that was just to explain where she got the drugs that she used on Tess and Sully.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Brain Stew on September 29, 2013, 12:05:37 AM
Finally got enough time squirreled away to play Episode 4 straight through. So I'll talk about that before summing up how I feel about the whole season.

First of all, I think the team should be credited for being ambitious. There's a lot of ideas in Episode 4 that didn't work for me, but I like that y'all just went for it. Kudos.

Things that worked:
Cain Killer toys with Psions. That was a lot of fun and something I don't recall ever seeing in a game. Here the puzzle makers know you can cheat to solve the puzzles and designs them to prevent it.
The Fire Room puzzle. Fantastic and intense. I wish there was more of this type in the final level.
McAdams. Finally started to seem both more like a person in charge of a government agency and like more than a stock character type. 
Switching back and forth between Cordelia and Erica. It was underused but it made for some interesting action.

Things that didn't work:
Cordelia. For me, the team never nailed her tone. I didn't buy her as a vigilante serial killer. There wasn't a strong enough contrast between who she was as a sweet patron of the arts and who she was as a killer. Too chipper even in the face of absolute horror. Scene with her brother in flashback should've been the lynchpin of the entire family drama but fell flat for me.
Rose scene. Why did Cordelia think it was so important for Erica to see Rose's memories? What did that accomplish that was so urgent in the hunt for the Cain Killer? Also, was it or me or did Rose's accent get a lot more Jamaican sounding?
Brian in jeopardy. Meh. The whole set-up to that ending felt contrived to me. I didn't like how we got there. If it was meant to echo Scotty and Erica it failed because Brian was passed out the whole time and the scene just stalled.

Things I was in the middle about
Sudden approval meter and variable choices. Sometimes it felt too gimmicky but sometimes it worked as intended. I personally, held Cordelia accountable for her crimes in conversation. The problem is... maybe that decision shouldn't have been in my hands. To me it's pretty obvious, Erica wouldn't see Cordelia's side of things despite seeing Cordelia's side of things.
The Kiss. It really wasn't earned. It was bold but not super well thought out.
The ending. Ghost wasn't super well done. That could've been accomplished with art direction or tone but as is, it was a little hokey. Also killing off another character, just didn't mean much at that point. More shocking if he's alive. The tease of more Erica Reed adventures is a win, but I can't help but feel that her leaving the force was a little underdeveloped.

Overall. The season was a win but I don't think the team stuck the landing. I think some bad design choices and underwhelming villain(s) whose performances couldn't capture the terror at its worst or the emotion at its deepest , hurt the whole. Bring on more Erica Reed adventures. She's a great character. 

Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Andchan on September 29, 2013, 08:34:27 PM
It took so long to download (errors... slow connection...) and when i played was so late and i was sleepy and tired... i'll play again soon. Whatever /o/
[fangirlmode]
I couldn't save Jetta, sad _ THE_KISS: was so nice *-* i wanna write so many fanfics about it /o/ I liked the puzzles... for the 1st time i didn't needed help o.o' My baby Cordelia died _ why? *cries forever* I wish McAddams had died instead of John When Erica met Sully i realised what an intense week that girl just had XD

The episode was fast o.o it felt shorter than the others... I didn't mind plot gaps, while i was playing i was just into it and didn't mind anything else XD I liked, i cried, the overall was good...

Season 1 was AWESOME. I'm just glad the game exist, please make seson2!
[/fangirlmonde]

I shall sleep now @_@/
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: snabbott on September 30, 2013, 02:21:14 PM
What kind of computer is it anyway?
It's the laptop that I got in 2007 or so, and it wasn't exactly top of the line even then. :-\
AMD Athlon 64 X2 TK-55 1.80 GHz, 4 GB RAM.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Soylent on October 01, 2013, 06:22:43 PM
I'm not sure if this has been brought up, but there is one part of the ending that I didn't really understand. How did Cain Killer get away from John?? He could barely even walk, and looked like he was near the brink of death (which makes sense for someone who was chained up for three years). Was John seriously that worthless that he was overpowered/outrun by a living corpse?
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on October 01, 2013, 06:42:26 PM
Cain was faking it--he'd been in the room the whole time, knew who he was dealing with, and played up his injuries.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: Uzzy on October 08, 2013, 05:25:04 AM
So, I bought this wonderful game on Steam the moment it became available, and stayed up way too late playing them to completion, finishing Episode 4 at about 2am last night. The story was that gripping. So kudos on that. I've really been appreciating the higher profile of point and click adventure games lately, and I'm certainly looking forward to whatever comes next from you guys, in the Erica Reed universe or an entirely different story.

That said, I feel I have to agree with some of the other posters who mentioned the pacing of Episode 4. It did feel a bit rushed. I think the episode would have benefited from a bit more time spent in the middle part of the story, between Erica fleeing from the FBI and Erica getting caught again. Perhaps Erica would have to accept Cordelia's help in laying low for the night, until they can go get the Cain Killer, or something? That would have allowed more time for Cordelia's motivations to become clearer, and for that kiss to built upon.

Still, as I said before, I'm satisfied with the game, and looking forward to whatever comes next. Hopefully that means more Erica Reed though!
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on October 08, 2013, 09:06:55 AM
Thank you Uzzy! Hope your late night didn't result in any nightmares (I've been told our visuals have done that to some!) Welcome to the forums, and I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the game! :) And thanks for the feedback as well.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: GrahamRocks! on October 09, 2013, 09:47:59 AM
Just watched Toe's last episode of Cog this morning.

Phoenix Online? I have one thing to say...

I LOVED Cognition! Just... Everything! :D
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: stika on October 09, 2013, 10:04:59 AM
Just watched Toe's last episode of Cog this morning.

Phoenix Online? I have one thing to say...

I LOVED Cognition! Just... Everything! :D

YAY! We should celebrate with Caek! :D
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: viperswhip on December 08, 2013, 06:35:23 PM
Well, I don't know why I took so long to get it, but I picked up Ep4 this weekend. I replayed all the episodes and am quite happy overall. I will replay them again at some point in the future.

Episode 4 did feel a little rushed in places, but it was probably supposed to, didn't this whole series take place over 3 or 4 days? heh

I didn't experience any bugs, but while I do appreciate the credits, I don't love alt tabbing and closing the game in that way to escape.

I felt Cordelia was sufficiently developed, as opposed to some people here. The Kiss also caught me off guard though because I didn't really see it coming, or that Cordelia leaned in that direction at all. I even went back to read her case files and didn't see any evidence there either. Even if it was just a special relationship with Erica I didn't feel there were any indicators. But it was a small thing.

The need to learn Rose's power wasn't too well developed. I suppose it was all to set up later adventures with Psions. I do like Rose. I get why were shuffled along here from scene to scene, but I miss having some more control over the case such as when we could choose where to drive.

You did improve the walking animation quite a bit, but it's still a ways from being nice looking  :)

Maybe it's the engine. I am also being spoiled by so many other games and it is hard to keep those experiences separate. The mouths moving when people are talking...uhh, I mean, I know it's a comic book style, but you do have the mouths sometimes moving, sometimes not, and it distracts me.

Anyway, I definitely enjoy checking out Season 2 if it ever comes.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: ShardofTruth on December 15, 2013, 12:06:06 PM
I just played through all four episodes and had a blast. What an absolutely stunning series with an really enganging story, excellent voice acting and some of the most clever puzzles I've seen in a adventure game in years.

I admit, I was not really interested in this game at first, even though I really like TSL, because I am not really a fan of crime-solving games. But the direction (dialogues, dramatization, cutscenes, soundtrack etc.) this game takes is such a major improvement over TSL, I should have never doubted you.

That being said the last episode felt like a dragged-out finale almost all the time, there was almost nothing new to learn here just a lot of action sequences after one another. I think the trust-building part between Cordelia and Erica was a good idea, but the execution could have been better, more like Episode 3 so to speak.

Also, before the end of Episode 3 I had a completely different impression on what Cordelia's original plan might be:
I thought with the exchange of thoughts/memories from the past to the present between Erica and Cordelia, Cordelia might have realized that she could use Erica to find a way to save her brother, to understand the connections before she realized them after it was too late. To do this Cordelia would have to push Erica on the path that would enable Erica to find all these secrets on her own and communitcate them back into the past, warning her of the things to come.
I know that one of the main themes of the series is that the future often can't be changed but in the end I didn't like the idea that she killed these people (and hurted Sully badly) just to get Erica's attention. Everytime she was talking and explaining herself she didn't really sound like the revenge-obsessed person that would do such horrible things against her conscience.

In the end I'm satisfied with how all things turned out and I liked that you could choose to influence it a bit in one way or another.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on December 16, 2013, 09:24:43 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Shard & viper! I'm glad you both enjoyed the game! We are definitely planning on a Season 2 at some point, we'd love to tell more tales about Erica. :)

Yeah, Cordelia is definitely a little messed up--though in the end, the point was she learned that the future CAN be changed, if you choose differently. She was obsessed with the idea that Erica needed to be the one to kill Keith, but in the end, well...she realized it could be different.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: PCM on January 27, 2014, 05:57:07 PM
I didn't understand the kiss at all.  (Was that even referred to again?  There just didn't seem to be any foundation for it.  This isn't some kind of straight gamer prejudice - I'm gay, and it seemed totally out of place.  Bizarre.)

Well, I don't know if I'm right or not, but this was my perception about what you say:
To me, it was quite "implied" in Cordelia's diary her feelings towards Erica. If you can, try to read again her thoughts about Sully and why she felt the need to make him and her suffer. She also said she didn't like seeing them together. He was not considered to be her next victim until she saw him with Erica.
That's why I think Cordelia had feelings towards her. Might be wrong, though lol.

-------------------------------------

Just finished the game today I have to say I loved it. Especially the first two chapters. They were more about investigation, I really felt I was part of the story. The immersion was awesome. And what a way to start the second chapter, wow! loved it.
I didn't like as much the last two, as they are more direct, there's no freedom, no locations to go to, more emphasis in the powers than the actual murders... but I quite understand it was the way to end the story.

I've experienced some bugs too, but I don't wanna waste time about that. I came here to talk about the story of the game and some doubts I have  :D.

So I can get the reason behind killing Davis and the serial killers (to make "justice" and guide Erica to kill her brother) but if her real reason was to "force" Erica to kill him, why did she killed him in the end? why did she caught Erica's attention throughout the entire game then? lol. I don't know, the ending kinda "ruins" the big plan she had in the beginning and all the cold murders she comitted. The conversation Erica has with her to stop her from killing Mc Adams was a bit cheesy. I mean, so many years after him and it takes just 3 phrases to change her mind (I mean, a real serial killer like her). I know you can change that cutscene if you want but I just kinda felt the final chapter was a bit rushed. I really was hoping to hear the inner thoughts of Cordelia, explain the reason why she did what she did, how did she planned all we've seen. How she was transformed into a monster (in the end aiding Erica, she almost looks innocent.)

But overall, great work guys, the first two chapters kept me really intrigued. Since "Still Life", never played a game so good about serial killers. I just hope Erica keeps investigating murders, don't like the idea of her being the "new" Rose and quitting the FBI  :P
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: KatieHal on January 28, 2014, 07:44:20 AM
Thanks PCM! And welcome to the forums :)

Actually, Cordelia's decision there isn't solely affected by Erica's dialogue choices in that scene. Their relationship is affected by things in the cabin as well, so it's a little more of a long-term affect that Erica is having on her.
Title: Re: Episode 4/Full Season Feedback & Thoughts
Post by: CriticalDamage on July 05, 2014, 08:42:33 PM
WOW! It's been a while! I've been busy with a lot of different stuff so i was left behind after The Oracle  :P So, I played everything again and finished ep.4 (don't think even for a second that i didn't want to play the last ep. or that i had lost my interest!!! please!  :rofl: i loved this game from the very first second of it and I still do!  :D)
Anyway, this is what i think! (since this is for feedback and thoughts, SPOILER ALERT, but not really lol)

I've been looking at some comments and, even if it's true that some things maybe could use a better explanation (i've seen ideas about showing how Cordelia decided to follow this path of vengeance, how she captured everyone, how did Keith learned about the psions and what they could do, etc), i do think that everything was explained in previous instalments through evidence that you find, clues and using our own intuition or (totally intended) cognition, and that showing that sort of thing (nice, yes..) would have been explaining the, more or less, obvious! (A little insulting in my opinion!  :rofl:).The pace of the last ep. was very nice! I do believe that there's the same sense of urgency that you can feel in the previous episodes and that's not only cool, but hard to achieve! kudos to you, guys!
Now, about the ending itself. It's a shame! Cordelia was as important as Erica for the game (and not because of what she becomes later, but from the very first second of the 1st episode) IMO. Those were great characters but also a GREAT duo and, knowing that there's a second season somewhere (AWESOME NEWS!),  it would have been super to have them working together (keeping in mind were Erica seems to be heading) and, overall and without thinking too much about it (and now that i'm doing it, it makes even more sense if you really think about it  :rofl:) those two had more potential (as partners/romantic couple) than Sully o_O the relationship with Sully does feel a little..dull, maybe..pointless..hollow..not real...i don't know, but the girls had a WHOLE other level than that (not just because of the connection as psions but as elements of the story, also as individuals and so on) and it would have been more interesting too if the ending have had those things in mind and the future, given the outcome.  :-\ So yes, Erica/Cordelia FTW! lol
Apart from that aspect, the end of McCoy was hadled in a great way! Bittersweat, but great!  8)

PS: sorry for the english. I gave it my best shot! xd