Author Topic: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts  (Read 34022 times)

Offline KatieHal

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Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« on: October 30, 2012, 10:21:37 AM »
Give us your thoughts on Episode 1! What did you love? What was your favorite puzzle? What made you tear your hair out? What could use improvement? Got a favorite character? A least favorite? Someone you love to hate, or someone you can't wait to know more about?

If you've played the game and have thoughts on it, we want to hear them!

And warning--there will be spoilers in this thread!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 10:25:34 AM by KatieHal »

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Offline Haids1987

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 01:34:02 PM »
My biggest gripe: IT'S TAKING TOO FREAKING LONG TO DOWNLOAD!!! :P

I'll get back to you on the others. ;)
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Offline Say

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 01:57:12 PM »
Congratulations team!
Got a 9/10 review!
:D


http://www.futuresack.com/index.php/news/554/56/Halloween-2012-Gaming-Special-Day-6-Cognition-An-Erica-Reed-Thriller-Ep-1-The-Hangman-PC-Mac.htm

"Phoenix Online Studios’ first episode The Hangman is both an achievement in mature storytelling and great puzzle design. It is the spiritual successor of the Gabriel Knight series, but with its own unique ideas. Even if it has some technical hiccups and the graphics are dated, it has more substance than many other “serious” adventure games of late. The game also sets a new standard of episodic content with a long playtime of at least 5-6 hours and unlike Telltale’s The Walking Dead (which is without a doubt amazing in its own right, but less a game than a cinematic experience) demands a lot of cerebral thinking with its successful implementation of investigative work, cognition abilities and overall involvement in a believable game world.

Rating: 9/10"


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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 01:58:04 PM »
I was just about to kick-opff the reviews thread with that one. Yaaay!!! *dance*

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Offline Haids1987

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 02:00:24 PM »
You guys, that's great! Congratulations!!! !!!

(Still waiting on my download....;))
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Offline Mr_Nabby

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 10:02:37 AM »
One thing that I thought was hilarious was when I looked at Gallager in the morgue. Erica started narrating about Gallager (out load!) right in front of her!
Yeah, it's a goof-up, but I couldn't help to expect Gallager to react to it.
There's so many movies/games/books/comics that I don't know where to start!

Well, better start with the classics and work my way forward...

Offline Mike the Wino

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 01:40:52 PM »
What an awesome game! Not that the "puzzles" were easy or anything, but this is the first game in ages where I didn't want, or feel the need to seek out a walkthrough. Admittedly, I did get stuck enough to ask for a nudge in the Hints section of this forum, but the subtle reply was just enough to get me back on track.

I thought the voice acting was superb! Great job all the way around.

My favorite section of hurdles was in Longmore's apartment. My only quibble with the game was that it crashed to the desk top twice....don't know if it was the game or my (admittedly) "barely meets the minimum requirements" computer.

One question: The "actress" who voiced Rose....Arabella Grayson....any chance she's the woman who had the broken leg (?) in that bank commercial, waiting for the loan officer to come to her house, and said something like, "She reminds me of someone else I know"....?  If she's not, she has a clone in the voice department!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 01:45:23 PM by Mike the Wino »

Offline Borracho

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 04:33:32 PM »
I was VERY pleasantly surprised by Cognition.

I was pretty damn wary of the whole project but the graphic-novel style cut-scenes and excellent musical score sold me. This felt like a game crafted by people with a deep and profound understanding of what made the old Sierra adventure games so great.

What I loved about Ep.1 :

-The voice acting was top notch. Reed was dead on and so were Cordelia, Davies, Robert and John.

-The puzzles. f****** brilliant stuff. The whole Robert Goodman interrogation was terrific.

-The way Erica's powers are seamlessly integrated in the gameplay. There were so many ways you could have gone wrong on these but you didn't. Power to you :)

-The background art and cutscenes are f****** BEAUTIFUL.

-The soundtrack kills.

-The overall story is actually intriguing and pretty well set up.

-The different approaches offered for some puzzles and situations.

What i did NOT like:

-Sully seems like such a token Half Assed Love Interest Dude. He needs to either be scrapped or improved with some proper depth and allure instead of "Yo, I'm generic NCIS dude and I don't really know what I'm doing, but hey, listen to my accent!"

-The nerdy references of Fatso the Morgue boy were cute in their self-consciousness of geek/adventure game culture, but ultimately dorky and out-of-place with the game's serious tone. Kill him off quick. Fat smarmy nerds piss me off to no end :)

-The character models and animations were adequate but jarred badly with the amazing quality of the hand drawn backgrounds. It would have been better stylistically if you had gone 2D all the way, but I'm fully aware of the limitations and budget of a small studio.

-John has so much potential as a character and bruised n' blue love interest for Reed. Either have Sully step up or stereotype John less. There's something really good waiting to happen there. Get him out of Mosely mode.

I quite enjoyed the game, a very solid 8/10 for me. With less dorkiness/geekboy pandering and more commitment to a balls out, original and emotionally challenging experience that has nothing to do with NCIS mediocrity, you're going to have an absolute gem in your hands.

Congratulations to you Phoenix Studios. I'll be spreading the word ;)

« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 04:36:07 PM by Borracho »

Offline tessspoon

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 05:05:47 PM »
I really liked it! Originally got it as much to say thanks for all the work on TSL than anything, but if I hadn't already payed for the rest of the episodes I would get them for their own sake now. :D Her powers are more involved are fun than I was thinking.

-The nerdy references of Fatso the Morgue boy were cute in their self-consciousness of geek/adventure game culture, but ultimately dorky and out-of-place with the game's serious tone. Kill him off quick. Fat smarmy nerds piss me off to no end :)
Aww, I liked him. Autopsy on a cockroach! XD Rose was the one that annoyed me. If she calls me my dear one more time... :P

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 06:22:09 PM »
Thanks Borracho! We love detailed feedback :)

Haha, and while not EVERY supporting character will get their time to shine (or die) in the game, we will see and learn more about a number of them as Cognition continues.

Good or bad, though, it's neat to finally hear the reactions of others about the characters we've known for so long already, but only between the team members.

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 10:58:47 PM »
I will reserve my detailed thoughts for a full review once I finish the episode, but, I must say, having played through the prologue and a bit of the main narrative so far, the one thing that irks me the most is actually the controls.  And believe me, I was prepared to HATE on the dialog, which hasn't really been too bad, outside of a few forced sounding lines and an overuse of expletives.  ;)

Obviously point-and-click works fine here, but the controls feel like they could have used a few more passes to streamline the AMOUNT of clicking and mouse movements you actually need to do to perform any one action within the game.  I'm not sure if it's any different on PC, but playing on a Mac it feels like I am constantly dragging my mouse all the way across the screen to click things, be it the inventory, cognition icon, etc., and then dragging my mouse ALL THE WAY back to the hotspot, clicking again to bring up the action icons, accidentally mousing off of the icons so they disappear, having to click AGAIN (#@%$!!!) to bring them back, etc, etc, etc.  It's not terrible, but a click-hold-release system similar to Full Throttle or Curse of Monkey Island would have been MUCH more intuitive and improved the flow of gameplay.  As long as you're holding the mouse button, action icons would stay visible.  Move the cursor over the chosen icon, then release the mouse button to select it.  No fuss, no muss.

Even worse is the amount of unnecessary mouse-dragging and clicks necessary to perform cognition abilities on an object.  So first, I have to drag my mouse down to the corner and click the Cognition icon, then I have to drag my mouse all the way to the hotspot and click again, THEN I HAVE TO DRAG MY @#$%^&* MOUSE BACK TO THE GOD-DAMNED CORNER AGAIN TO ACTUALLY ACTIVATE THE ABILITY?!

YAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Why??  Obviously if I turned the cognition power on, I want to use it on the hotspot!  Why the extra step of dragging back to the corner to click the eye??  And if there are multiple abilities that eventually get learned or whatever, why not just use a similar action icon wheel like for normal interactions so I don't have to drag my mouse away again?  It just feels clunky and bogs down the actual action of playing the game.

Anyway, I really do mean this little critique constructively, even though I'm jokingly exaggerating my irritation level.  ;)  I'm enjoying the game so far, but the controls do feel a bit unrefined.  It seems like some streamlining could make the whole experience a bit tighter, and wouldn't be too hard to pull off.  Then again, I know nothing about the engine you're using, so it might be something totally beyond the realm of possibility.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 11:15:09 PM by Lambonius »

Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 01:21:33 AM »
For Cognition, it's because of later powers. We wanted consistency among them, and later powers require the extra click :)


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 07:48:37 AM »
For Cognition, it's because of later powers. We wanted consistency among them, and later powers require the extra click :)

Yeah, that's what I figured.  It's really not that bad; I just couldn't shake the feeling that it could have been streamlined a bit further.  It works well enough though, and the game as a whole looks and sounds great.

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 08:15:10 AM »
I eagerly await hearing what your least favorite line is, Lamb :)

In the meantime, thanks! :D

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 09:02:43 AM »
I eagerly await hearing what your least favorite line is, Lamb :)

In the meantime, thanks! :D

Haha...I bet you are!  ;)  So far no specific line has stood out to me, but I felt in general like the use of expletives, particularly in the prologue, was overdone.  I dunno, I get that the scene was supposed to be tense, but I'm not sure it was the best introduction to her character.  You'd never see Dana Scully, for example, pointing a gun at Mulder and telling him to "step the f*** back!" no matter what kind of tense situation they were in.  For me it broke the believability of her as an actual law enforcement professional, and made her sound more like a petulant, troubled teen.  Ultimately, I think that sort of thing undermines, rather than enhances, the tension of the opening.  But like I said, I'll have more detailed thoughts once I finish the whole episode.  :)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 09:05:38 AM by Lambonius »

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 09:09:50 AM »
LOL. Yeah--though Erica swears as needed, it came up more in that scene because of what was going on. It's an individual thing, but I know I at least tend to swear more when I'm tense or angry.

Kinda funny, we've had debates at times about how much she swears and when, and amusingly Cez & I each notice it more in the other's writing than in our own. Also fun was recording a "T for Teen" version of the lines, although most of them we'll never use I'm sure. But just in case, we did different takes. :)

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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 10:32:27 AM »
LOL. Yeah--though Erica swears as needed, it came up more in that scene because of what was going on. It's an individual thing, but I know I at least tend to swear more when I'm tense or angry.

Kinda funny, we've had debates at times about how much she swears and when, and amusingly Cez & I each notice it more in the other's writing than in our own. Also fun was recording a "T for Teen" version of the lines, although most of them we'll never use I'm sure. But just in case, we did different takes. :)

I think that particular line I mentioned being unintentionally funny is partly to do with the way the voice actor places all emphasis on the word f*** when delivering the line.  ;)

Offline snabbott

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 11:30:04 AM »
LOL. Yeah--though Erica swears as needed, it came up more in that scene because of what was going on. It's an individual thing, but I know I at least tend to swear more when I'm tense or angry.

Kinda funny, we've had debates at times about how much she swears and when, and amusingly Cez & I each notice it more in the other's writing than in our own. Also fun was recording a "T for Teen" version of the lines, although most of them we'll never use I'm sure. But just in case, we did different takes. :)

I think that particular line I mentioned being unintentionally funny is partly to do with the way the voice actor places all emphasis on the word f*** when delivering the line.  ;)
This was one of the first things I commented on when I played one of the early builds. I figured it was just me being overly sensitive, since I don't swear. (I'm not judging those who do.)

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Offline ekaterina2

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 11:34:20 AM »
I just installed the game and finished the tutorial, and by now I'm loving it!  :D

The music is very nice and creates a thrilling atmosphere, I like Erica's voice and everything of John's character

I need to continue the game to give a complete feedback, but I already have a suggestion: since English is not my native language, what I find very very useful in adventure games is 1) the possibility to pause the game during dialogues 2) more important, a "diary" menu where all the previous dialogues are recorded. This way if you didn't completely understand a sentence because you didn't know some words you can open the diary and check that sentence again with a dictionary.

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 11:59:58 AM »
LOL. Yeah--though Erica swears as needed, it came up more in that scene because of what was going on. It's an individual thing, but I know I at least tend to swear more when I'm tense or angry.

Kinda funny, we've had debates at times about how much she swears and when, and amusingly Cez & I each notice it more in the other's writing than in our own. Also fun was recording a "T for Teen" version of the lines, although most of them we'll never use I'm sure. But just in case, we did different takes. :)

I think that particular line I mentioned being unintentionally funny is partly to do with the way the voice actor places all emphasis on the word f*** when delivering the line.  ;)
This was one of the first things I commented on when I played one of the early builds. I figured it was just me being overly sensitive, since I don't swear. (I'm not judging those who do.)

I swear all the time, and I still think it sounds a bit awkward and forced here.  Sort of an "adult game is more adult with adult language" type thing.  It's like the dialog equivalent of a 3 year old trying on her mom's makeup, if that makes sense.  ;)  But it's a minor eyebrow-raiser, not a major complaint.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 12:03:24 PM by Lambonius »