Author Topic: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts  (Read 33401 times)

Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 01:14:14 PM »
I was watching too much Dexter when writing Ep1. Erica ended up being closer to Debra than she did to Scully. hehe.


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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 02:25:52 PM »
I was watching too much Dexter when writing Ep1. Erica ended up being closer to Debra than she did to Scully. hehe.

Yeah, I can totally see that comparison, actually.  Lol

Offline centauri2002

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2012, 09:32:18 AM »
I've just finished the first episode and I thought I'd stop by and leave my thoughts and impressions whilst they're fresh in my mind.

Firstly, the story - it had me hooked and was very well written, which is especially nice since most games I try these days tend to fall down in that department. The characterisation was also handled well and each of the characters in the game come across as very individual and memorable. So, well done there. This is, of course, helped by the good quality of voice acting in the game, as well.

The puzzles and investigation were both logical and thought provoking, whilst not being too difficult as to frustrate. Although, I have to admit, I did spend a little time at one point in the game wandering from scene to scene looking for inspiration for a puzzle, but that's all part of the fun. ;)

Another outstanding aspect of this game is the music. I absolutely loved it. Atmospheric and moody. Nicely done!

Graphics-wise, I was a little put off by the style initially. I suppose we're spoiled with all the shiny graphics in AAA titles and, as such, I've grown used to it and find it a little difficult to accept anything which doesn't appear to match that 'standard'. That said, the story and genre of the game was more than enough to lure me in and get past those initial reservations. As it turns out, they actually grew on me. I liked the graphic novel style of the cut scenes and the minor issues with in-game graphics, such as lip-syncing being a little off and some clipping issues, did nothing to hamper my enjoyment of the game.

One little gripe I have with the game is some of the loading times, particularly between some lines of dialogue. It seems to hang a little as I waited on a character replying, or when I was waiting for Erica to perform an action.

My only other gripe would be that it ended. Now I have to wait on the second episode!

So, overall, I found this game to be excellent and thoroughly enjoyable. I'm very happy to be able to finally add another good adventure game to my collection. :)

Offline Big C from Cauney island

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2012, 09:41:55 AM »
OK, just finished playing it all thew way through. Overall, I loved it. For the sake of constructive criticism, I'll list some possible changes. But just note that my overall impression is positive!

Some things to look at:

   1) Some minor graphical hiccups like clipping, or Erica pausing for a little longer when interacting with something.
 
   2) There were a few instances in the game where there was some "repeating". Best way I can describe this is that I was able to get a duplicate of an item I should have gotten once.  Same with certain conversations.

  3) I took me a minute to get used to the new interface, in particular combining items. But this is probably my bad.  I tried to use the selected item when combining, not knowing that you select 2 items actually in the inventory.

  4) I definitely would like to know more about the supporting characters, but this is only episode 1. I'm sure this occurs later

  5) As far as police work is concerned, taking things and breaking and entering probably aren't kosher. But for the sake of a game, it's understandable. Just getting law enforcement technical here, not really a problem.  I mean this isn't police quest, some of that stuff got irritating.

 6) I only heard the boston accent here and there.  But the voice acting was good.

Now, the good and overall impression:

    
     You guys did what you are suppossed to do in a game.  First and foremost, in my opinion, you must create a universe in which one wants to be a part of.  And you have.  I probably played for about 3 hours straight befoe taking a break, and I wanted to continue but I had a headache.  You definitely have created something that I want to play more of, real interesting concept. I liked the abilities, and the depth of the story. More mature than anything I've played adventure wise, but I like that. A good change. Downright creepy at points. When the flashbacks hit was dead on, right when neccessary.  So bravo for creating an interesting new world for the series, because this is crucial in adventure games, and you hit it off the bat.

    Some of the upclose graphics are a little dated looking, but good enough.  The backgrounds and animations are amazing!! And obviously, Austin has done incredible things with the music again. Dead on accurate. And I liked that scarlet furies song as well.  Puzzles overall were good.  In particular, the interview was an excellent puzzle.  My only complaint would be in the beginning, being given 2 items by the same person at the same time. A little more work for those items would have been better. Maybe in future episodes, limit stuff like that to one item.  I don't like being given much in adventure games, I like to work for it.  Most of the puzzles were incredibly difficult, but then again I am an adventure game pro of sorts from the old school. I literally click on everything and talk to everyone, so that's probably why.  I actually did use the hint system twice, because of some brilliant puzzles that had me stumped for a while, so great job.

   Game took between 5-6 hours to beat, and the ending was great. Some good plot twists I didn't see coming, I just don't want to leave spoilers here. Good episode length, good introduction, good voice acting.  At some points, I was reminded of laura bow and police quest, in a good way.  But like I said, in order for an adventure game to work you MUST create a world you care about investigating, and want to see more of. And you did it. My sincerest congratulations on an episode well done, and I eagerly await episode 2.













Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2012, 09:44:16 AM »
Thank you guys! So glad you enjoyed it!

Yeah, the "police work" is fast and loose. We tried to include it here and there so Erica wasn't completely violating procedure, but like you said, this is a game and not real life (or a Police Quest game).

Big C: someone else also mentioned getting an item twice. Do you mind saying which one it was? I'm curious now.

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Offline robboten

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 09:51:17 AM »
Oh, I'm so proud of being a backer for this! Just played it through and it's beyond all my expectations!

Beautiful graphics (stunning really), excellent story and well written dialogues, good balance between scary, hard, funny, brutal and sad, good characters with human qualities, soundtrack with the right moods and the right mixing, a real heroess/heroine with feelings as well as courage and bravery. The whole game feels fresh and modern without losing touch with it's ancestors. It's intuitive to play and the 3D-2D-comic-look really works (although I must admit that I was a bit sceptic at first). One of the best thing with it all is that I already feel a connection to the characters and the game. I want to learn more about them and all the time I felt curious about how it all developed. So many times I've felt that games leave me careless about all of the characters in it. Like they try to rub my nose in some made up story and with made up characters with no life and no mysteries about them. That for me was different here, and that is what makes it for me. So remember, leave the mysteries and the questions in there, make me long for answers before I get them! Make me curious and wondering, as in this episode!

I have played my good share of adventures (beginning with the old interactive fiction games zork and the sierra classics) and I must say this one is in my top spot now, along with Gabriel Knight (it's almost impossible not to see the connections here, in a good way!), The Longest Journey and such great ones. Good work team! Keep up the good work and many thanks from me here in the cold evening of Sweden!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:57:40 AM by robboten »

Offline centauri2002

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2012, 09:53:53 AM »
Out of curiosity, are you thinking of improving the small amount of hanging between actions and dialogue for future episodes? It's certainly not a game-breaker by any means, but it'd make for smoother gameplay, in my opinion.

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 10:04:00 AM »
We're always looking to do what we can to streamline the game. I don't think for Cognition we'll make as many changes between episodes as we did for TSL, but that's in terms of gameplay interactions. Making the game run faster is something we're interested in doing if we can.

That said, I am not a programmer, personally, so I've got no idea what's involved in doing that!

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Offline snabbott

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 10:16:06 AM »
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.
This would be really nice to have, especially since you generally can't repeat conversations (without going back to a previous point in the game). I thought GK2 handled this nicely.

(Posted on: November 02, 2012, 10:13:41 AM)


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.
I've noticed Hollywood seems to have this kind of attitude, too.

Steve Abbott | Beta Tester | The Silver Lining

Offline centauri2002

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 10:16:34 AM »
We're always looking to do what we can to streamline the game. I don't think for Cognition we'll make as many changes between episodes as we did for TSL, but that's in terms of gameplay interactions. Making the game run faster is something we're interested in doing if we can.

That said, I am not a programmer, personally, so I've got no idea what's involved in doing that!

Well, it's good to know you're interested in improving it nonetheless. Whether that minor gripe is addressed or not will certainly not affect my enjoyment of the game, though! :)

Offline wilco64256

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2012, 10:22:19 AM »
Yeah we're talking about developing an entire suite of tools and a new development pipeline from the ground up WHILE making Episode 1, which was a pretty insane undertaking. So there are definitely some things we still hope to smooth out a bit for future episodes, but rest assured there was a really incredible amount of work that went into getting this thing done and we are super happy that people are enjoying it.
Weldon Hathaway

Offline Big C from Cauney island

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2012, 10:39:27 AM »
Thank you guys! So glad you enjoyed it!

Yeah, the "police work" is fast and loose. We tried to include it here and there so Erica wasn't completely violating procedure, but like you said, this is a game and not real life (or a Police Quest game).

Big C: someone else also mentioned getting an item twice. Do you mind saying which one it was? I'm curious now.

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

When is episode 2 out? If I backed kickstarter, do I also get that?


Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2012, 10:41:09 AM »
Episode 2's release date is still TBD; with the holiday season coming, we've got some strategic thinking to do on that one. But the episode is well into the alpha stage. :)

And yes, if you're a backer (above $20) you get the whole season! As it's released, of course.

Katie Hallahan
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Offline godvaku

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2012, 03:16:09 PM »
Loving the game so far and decided to make a 20 minute or so gameplay video with some commentary. Hope I am allowed to post youtube videos.
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUnCA8phvhA

Keep up the great work, slight spoilers obviously! :D

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2012, 05:27:54 PM »
I watched that earlier today, in fact! I love LPs--especially of our games, hee :)

Katie Hallahan
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Offline Stoibs

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2012, 11:29:04 PM »
Just finished the Episode. First of all absolutely Brilliant! Reed's voice actress is quite talented, the strength of the emotion in the Regression scene at Rose's with her "..who the hell forgets to bring flowers.." line was almost a tearjerker.  :-[

Loved the Interrogation scene and mechanics of how the Cognitive abilities worked there. I've always been a fan of point'n'click adventures that do more than just use x on y as puzzles, similarly to how Sam'n'Max Devils Playhouse had another layer of 'abilities' for example.

Though as per this thread, a few nuggets of constructive feedback:

- Alot of unnecessary clicking here and there. For example a few of the doors, the elevator buttons, locations on the World map etc shouldn't need the radial menu brought up on the first click, then another "use" command to travel.
Considered differentiating Left/Right click to use/examine? Plenty of other adventure games do this and it seems the right mouse button is completely unused so far.  

- Load times on the above mentioned world map were slightly annoying, several seconds between expanding to the "downtown" area and back, also when choosing a location there was an unneeded delay.

- Unskippable Dialogue Boxes every so often; When Learning the Regression power tutorial and doing the 'trial and error' of picking Scott's Jacket and face for example, the tutorial popup would appear after each attempt for several unskippable seconds.

- A few wonky animations throughout. For example when someone, John for instance was meant to walk over to me in the beginning and start digging; he instead stood still frozen for a time while the loading cursor appeared, then instantly 'teleported' to where he was supposed to be to start the digging animation. This occurred about 2 more times in various other instances.

- "Self Use-able" or "Combinable" Inventory items could be a bit easier to distinguish from the items that aren't. At the moment they gain a bit of colour as opposed to the rest which remain black and white - perhaps a background or border outline for each inventory slot which also glows and/or the cognitive glow effect could be used to make these easier to notice.

- I wonder how many other players were trying to scroll up/down on the various FBI Computer/Phone menus with the mouse scroll wheel to no avail... :(

- Graphical glitches which affected game-play. End game puzzle Spoilers
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

Apart from that though, I'm proud to be a backer and can't wait for Episode 2!  :D

I was watching too much Dexter when writing Ep1. Erica ended up being closer to Debra than she did to Scully. hehe.
Look forward to hearing Erica blurt out "Holy FrankenF***!" or telling Sully to go "Sh** up a rope" if he asks her out to lunch one more time  :yes:
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 03:50:46 PM by Stoibs »

Offline HitBattousai

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2012, 05:49:32 PM »
Just finished it, and it's definitely one of the best adventure game experiences I've played in recent years.  The voice acting is solid(with Holmes being particularly good as Erica), soundtrack is great, the art style is very appealing, the story is good so far, and the puzzles in general strike a good balance of being hard enough to be challenging but not enough to be frustrating.  And the length of the game is pretty good for an episodic series.  My only knock on the game is that I think the "major" regression puzzle in the game lasts a bit too long, and it would have been a little clearer to complete if you could confirm with the power that the individual segments are correct or not instead of having to have the whole group correct.  An excellent first episode.

Offline Blackthorne

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2012, 06:07:23 PM »
Episode 2's release date is still TBD; with the holiday season coming, we've got some strategic thinking to do on that one. But the episode is well into the alpha stage. :)

Now that's awesome!  Cool.



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Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2012, 12:14:44 AM »
BTW, Lamb & BT, keep an eye out in the FBI Main Station for a little easter egg. It won't catch the eye of most people, but hopefully you two will find it. ;)

Katie Hallahan
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Offline inm8#2

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Re: Episode 1: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2012, 01:19:30 AM »
I'm not very far but...I LOVE IT! The characters, the story, the atmosphere, the visuals, etc. It all works really well together. When I finish the episode I'll try to have more to say, but I just feel drawn into everything. Really well done!

On top of many positive comments so far, one thing I want to stress is the interface. It's very intuitive, sleek, and clean. It reminds me of Daedelic's interface, but in those games you need to hold down the mouse to bring up the interaction submenu. Here it's a little easier with just a click to bring that up.

Back to playing...that extra hour from ending daylight savings fall back couldn't have come at a better time.