Author Topic: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts  (Read 33983 times)

Offline GrahamRocks!

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #80 on: November 26, 2012, 07:37:14 PM »
And if Lambonius likes it, then it MUST be good!

Offline agewisdom

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #81 on: November 27, 2012, 09:40:34 AM »
Hi all,

As a long time adventure game fan, I was starving for a good mystery/thriller adventure games like Gabriel Knight and Laura Bow. I didn't know what to expect when starting to play Cognition but it was so good, that I had to post here and say GREAT WORK! Although the amount funded via Kickstarter was quite modest, you've done a really fantastic job! I really hope we'll get many, many, many episodes to come...

However, even though the game was great - for future episodes, my own personal wish-list would be as follows:

1. Time Progression

For episode 1, it's fine that the entire investigation takes place in a single day. However, it would seem very forced and ridiculous if this happened for episode 2 as well. Breaking up the investigation into segments like days would be more believable. To avoid potential dead ends and endless backtracking, something similar to the system used in Grey Matter would be ideal.

2. Deeper level of investigation and legwork

Most of detective leg work was done by the "Wise Monkey"(guessing here!) in episode 1 and Erica mostly just followed up on the clues left by her.

I suppose if Antony Longmore wasn't killed, Erica would have done a lot of investigative work to correlate all these different cases together and find out who was the serial killer. Hopefully, future episodes will have Erica actually working on a single case and finding out the links to other unsolved cases and discovering a serial killer. This could involve trying to narrow the different suspects and pinning the culprit with various pieces of evidence obtained. I definitely got a Laura Bow vibe from the final conversation with Sully. :)

3. Companion NPCs and relationships

Hopefully, there are more flashbacks or a deeper level of conversation with the companion NPCs. Understandably, since episode 1 takes place in a single day, there's not much space to flesh out these characters. But for future episodes, I think more can be done to make the player care and be concerned about these characters.

4. CSI tools
Hopefully, future case investigation makes use of other forensic tools and autopsies as well. This could be slightly more in depth. Erica's cognition abilities could be used when there's a gap to be filled but it should be used sparingly.

5. Cognition lore

The whole psion lore could be explored further similar to Gabriel Knight's Schattenjäger heritage. It would be great to find out why Erica has these powers and whether this led to her younger brother's death. Perhaps dad can shed some light on this. This could permeate throughout future chapters and explored in depth in one of the final or latter chapters. Perhaps the Cain killer is a psion as well and Erica needs to find out how to combat his powers.

6. Journal/Diary/Case File system

Since episode 1 was a simple investigation, the lack of this system wasn't really felt. However, if Erica gets involved in a tough investigation with multiple suspects and witnesses, things could get a bit dicey. Having a system to organize these facts will be a necessity if the cases (hopefully!) get more complicated.

They could comprise of:
(a) A relationship diagram of how they are related to the case
(b) Short bio and facts of each witness/suspect
(c) Evidence or clues pertaining to each suspect

There's a Japanese visual novel Kara no Shoujo that had a system like this which was quite useful at times.

7. Scale system on Investigations (vs. Binary)

Hopefully, there will be a scale system for future investigations rather than just a forced fixed path. By this, I mean if Erica picks up most of the clues and correlates most of the evidence correctly (say >80%), then her investigation will be successful. If she gets between 50-80%, she gets a less than ideal ending. If she gets less than 50% right, she should get a bad ending. This would be better than forcing the game to stop and asking players to retry until they get a correct solution. More organic, don't you think?

Anyways, these are just some of my thoughts whilst playing this great game. I just think that if future episodes grow more complex, some elements of the interface and game design needs to change to cater for this.

All the best and eagerly awaiting episode 2!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 09:58:44 AM by agewisdom@gmail.com »

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2012, 10:54:00 AM »
Thanks agewisdom! That's some detailed feedback there :) We do play a little fast & loose with how much time passes during the episodes, and there are a variety of reasons for that--from plot reasons to budget ones--and in some cases, how much time is passing matters a little more than at others (and with that I'm referencing future episodes as well as Ep 1).


Also--did you intend to have your username be your email address? If not, I can change that for you. Let me know in a PM if you'd like it changed and what to change it to if so.

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Offline snabbott

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2012, 02:59:15 PM »
LOL, we'll take it. Maybe use it as a selling point. "Even Lamb likes it!" :P
...and sales shoot up by orders of magnitude... :P

Steve Abbott | Beta Tester | The Silver Lining

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #84 on: November 27, 2012, 03:23:26 PM »
I'd be happy to sign on to POS as the official back-of-box quote writer.  Just let me know.

Offline Say

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #85 on: November 28, 2012, 11:36:58 AM »
Lambonius, always providing such fascinating flavor to threads. I may become a fan.


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Offline snabbott

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #86 on: November 28, 2012, 12:07:33 PM »
I'd be happy to sign on to POS as the official back-of-box quote writer.  Just let me know.

"It doesn't suck."
-Lambonius

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2012, 04:26:16 PM »
I'd be happy to sign on to POS as the official back-of-box quote writer.  Just let me know.

"It doesn't suck."
-Lambonius

Hahaha...how about this:

"Better than TSL!"
-Lambonius

Offline Say

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #88 on: November 29, 2012, 01:13:25 PM »
This is by far, the best input I've had so of course I'm sharing. This is one of the emails I got this week:

"The protagonist should be asian...with really big breasts...named Aiko or something. And she has a twin sister who goes to a private college that has uniform requirements."

I just love my friends :P. I sent him the Cognition email about a month ago and he finally replied to me with that thing. Well, on his defense the poor guy was shipped to China and there's the whole defending your country thing, and all. Details, details.

But it is very interesting how it's been accepted outside an adventure gaming genre. Most of the people I get to interact with have never even played one adventure game in their (short) lives, yet they seem to enjoy the game.


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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #89 on: November 29, 2012, 03:32:12 PM »
LOL! While I appreciate his playing the game and giving feedback, I suspect this was not the game he was looking for. ;)

Katie Hallahan
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Offline Say

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #90 on: November 29, 2012, 04:22:09 PM »
Crazy talk, woman.

Cognition is the game for everyone. It's the perfect Christmas present for everyone  <3


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Offline Big C from Cauney island

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #91 on: November 29, 2012, 05:54:50 PM »
This is by far, the best input I've had so of course I'm sharing. This is one of the emails I got this week:

"The protagonist should be asian...with really big breasts...named Aiko or something. And she has a twin sister who goes to a private college that has uniform requirements."


But it is very interesting how it's been accepted outside an adventure gaming genre. Most of the people I get to interact with have never even played one adventure game in their (short) lives, yet they seem to enjoy the game.

  If you make the game this person described, I will buy it. However, I think he was not thinking about video games.  On a serious note, I will say that you guys are getting great reviews.  Someone had mentioned in a previous post that it would be interesting to have some sort of an evidence notebook, kind of like dagger of amon ra.  I think you can already take notes in the cellphone in the game,  However, I do thinks it's cool to have to guess "who done it" and put evidence together. Again, great job on the episode. You deserve the credit and recognition you are getting.

Offline snabbott

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #92 on: November 30, 2012, 09:28:44 AM »
I'd be happy to sign on to POS as the official back-of-box quote writer.  Just let me know.

"It doesn't suck."
-Lambonius

Hahaha...how about this:

"Better than TSL!"
-Lambonius
Coming from you, wouldn't that be the same thing? :P

Crazy talk, woman.

Cognition is the game for everyone. It's the perfect Christmas present for everyone  <3
*waves hand* This is the droid game you are looking for.

Steve Abbott | Beta Tester | The Silver Lining

Offline billleeb1

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #93 on: December 15, 2012, 05:24:01 AM »
Just want to post my few comments. :) :)
I am a really big fan of the Gabriel Knight series since the first part.
I was totally fascinated by Gabriel Knight 2 and after that every adventure game has to compared against.
So if i read that Jane Jensen will assist story-writing i was very enthusiastic.
My expectations were very high for Gray Matter but even if the game begins very interesting it ends up a Little boring and my expectations for cognition fells down.
But what should i say... i bought the season pass and started to Play the first Episode.
I was totally fascinated... the first game that stands against my favorite adventure game :)
so congratulations for this fascinating first Episode. The Story and the whole athmosphere is nearly perfect and can't wait to Play the second part. And with Moebius in the development Phoenix Online will have my Support for the next time :-) ... last comments to the outstanding Soundtrack capabilities of Robert Holmes. He only creates such a deep athmosphere !!

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #94 on: December 15, 2012, 08:07:22 AM »
Thank you so much billeeb! As big GK fans ourselves, that really does mean a lot to us!

Robert did indeed do a fantastic job on "The Taking", though I must give props to our in-house composer Austin Haynes who did most of the soundtrack (as well as the soundtrack to TSL). He's such a talent!

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Offline Göran

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #95 on: December 19, 2012, 05:44:41 AM »
Hi, I'm a little late for the party but I completed Episode 1 the other day. Overall I had a great experience, so first of all I want to congratulate you on a job well done! From what I could see from your Kickstarter you were on a very tight budget as well which makes it even more impressive. I also wanted to give some feedback, so here goes:

Things I liked

* The music! What a composer you have, its some of the best music I've heard in a game! I also liked how he used some classical elements. By the way what is that classical piano piece he used in the morgue scene? I really recognised it but can't place it... Anyway, please dont let go of Austin ;)

* Intriguing plot! I loved the plot twist and how some elements (like where Cordelia fits in) are left for future episodes.

* Overall strong voice acting. Especially Raleigh Holmes was spot on as Erica!

* Cognition abilites worked really well. I love how Erica just started out with post-cognition and learned more as the game progressed.

* Detective puzzles! I loved the puzzles in this episode where I felt like a detective. They make me feel smart and I want more of that ;D For example:
  - Figuring out the combination for the safe.
  - Searching the FBI database for clues on old cases.
  - Searching Longmores apartment overall was enjoyable.  
  - Like Laura Bow, trying to make the correct conclusions at the end of an investigation.
  - Finding out the date for Roberts memory.

* Good hint system. Just enough nudges to point me in the right direction.
 
* Beautiful background art! The graveyard was especially atmospheric.

* I really liked Erica and rooted for her! And in defense of Terence, I liked him too! It's good to have a more light hearted character in such a grim setting.
    
Things I didnt like

* Some annoying puzzles. While most old Sierra adventures had them, I have never liked puzzles that dont make sense, puzzles which the character would never experience in "real life". If these puzzles are in the game just to increase game time then I'd prefer if you'd cut them out to create a shorter but more pleasant experience. Below are specific examples.

  - Robert does not want to talk, he is hungry. Donuts don't work for him. I leave to pick up an old egg sandwich by my desk. He then tells me he's not THAT hungry. I leave again to pick up crisps for him. After that he wants the donuts!! By that time I was ready to punch him in the face ;)

  - The police office has gotten rid of all their tape recorders!! Instead I have to leave my interrogation (again!) and drive to the morgue to steal a recorder from the coroner, since she's so stiff she doesnt want to lend it for a murder investivation! It just becomes ridiculous.    

  - Breaking into Davies' office just like that. Although I think it fits Ericas character to do whatever is necessary to solve the case, it should have been made more clear that Davies didnt answer her phone and that breaking into her office was the only option. When I tried to call her on my phone I only got "I don't need to call her right now" which was laughable.

* The game was a little rough around the edges. With some polish it would have been an even better game. People have mentioned loading times and such. But other, smaller things also add to the game experience in my opinion. For example I felt bad that I couldn't return the lighter to John after I had borrowed it. ;)

* Some plot holes. Why go through all the trouble of hiding the victim's identity when the killer left other clues and obviously wanted Erica to figure things out?

* Stiff faces. I guess I'm spoiled after playing games like Heavy Rain. It would be nice if you are able to improve facial animations for future games though.

Complaints aside I really enjoyed Cognition and look forward to future episodes. Keep up the good work, you've got a fan right here!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 07:50:45 AM by Göran »

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #96 on: December 19, 2012, 07:43:41 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback Goran! And welcome to the forums :)

Ahh, to be able to do animations like Heavy Rain...that's the dream! Someday, maybe. Though I really do think our Cinematic Artists (those are the folks who put together conversations, etc, by selecting emotions, expressions, animations, and so forth for the lines) have only gotten better as we've gone along and I think Episode 2 will show that improvement. :)

Katie Hallahan
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Offline Göran

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #97 on: December 19, 2012, 07:57:39 AM »
Thanks for welcoming me Katie!

I got Cognition since I'm backing Moebius and heard from Jane that you are developing it. As an old adventure fan I can't believe I've missed your games until now! I plan to rectify this mistake and play through the Silver Lining episodes as well  :D

Offline Say

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #98 on: December 19, 2012, 03:03:39 PM »
That name... are you from Steam, by any chance? D:


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Offline Göran

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #99 on: December 20, 2012, 01:19:38 AM »
That name... are you from Steam, by any chance? D:

Yes, Guran75 on Steam would be me!
 

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