Author Topic: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)  (Read 48468 times)

Offline razor436

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #260 on: January 08, 2011, 12:21:30 PM »
There was one thing I forgot to mention. Although not exactly necessary, it would be nice to have a true pause feature, i.e. the game, music, and cut-scenes pause as well as narrator and character voices. I just hate it when something comes up that forces me to leave my computer during an important cut-scene.

Offline Graham Cracker

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #261 on: January 27, 2011, 07:55:46 PM »
...
For some reason, when ever the fountain is upon my screen in the market place, my game slows down considerably.
...

I get the same problem.  It's almost too slow to play at this point.  Once I walk off the screen, the game speeds up again.  I even dumbed down the resolution to 800 x 600, 16 bit color, and unchecked all the graphics options, but it's the same choppiness happening there.

Love the game, by the way ... especially, "What can you tell me about ... voodoo"... hahah

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #262 on: January 27, 2011, 09:26:46 PM »
Have you guys tried lowering the graphics level?

The Green Isles market slows down even on my computer, it's just such a big scene with so many animations going on.

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Offline Johnrl21

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #263 on: February 04, 2011, 05:14:21 AM »
Hey guys....Thanks for doing the project and considering it's volunteer work, it's damn good.

Things I really liked:

The quality of music, voices, and artwork.  Great stuff

The teaser puzzles which lead me to believe some really clever ones might be forthcoming in ep. 3 and so forth.

Bringing the story back and making the character believable.

Things I didn't like as much:

It might be just a bug on my part, but the graphics on my map don't really work sometimes.  It will just be sections of color instead of the item lists.(but that's minor)

My main negative feedback so far is the amount of exposition there is.  There are A LOT of long conversations which isn't really characteristic of the series so far.  I was trying to think back to any game where there were this many long conversations about not-so-relevant things in a KQ game.  I don't want to skip them because I'm afraid I'll miss the important part. haha


Overall, great job so far.  I can't wait for the next episode!

Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #264 on: February 04, 2011, 09:11:58 AM »
I like to think of it as King's Quest with Gabriel Knight length conversations.  ;)

Offline dark-daventry

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #265 on: February 04, 2011, 10:17:22 AM »
My main negative feedback so far is the amount of exposition there is.  There are A LOT of long conversations which isn't really characteristic of the series so far.  I was trying to think back to any game where there were this many long conversations about not-so-relevant things in a KQ game.  I don't want to skip them because I'm afraid I'll miss the important part. haha

If you go into settings, you can turn on short narrations. Doing so will cut down on all the exposition. You still get all the juicy plot stuff, but the amount of other narrations have been shortened.
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Offline Lambonius

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #266 on: February 04, 2011, 02:28:43 PM »
My main negative feedback so far is the amount of exposition there is.  There are A LOT of long conversations which isn't really characteristic of the series so far.  I was trying to think back to any game where there were this many long conversations about not-so-relevant things in a KQ game.  I don't want to skip them because I'm afraid I'll miss the important part. haha

If you go into settings, you can turn on short narrations. Doing so will cut down on all the exposition. You still get all the juicy plot stuff, but the amount of other narrations have been shortened.

I honestly didn't notice much of a difference with Short Narrations selected.  But then, I didn't go out of my way to click on extraneous stuff my second time through.

Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #267 on: February 04, 2011, 05:11:49 PM »
I like to think of it as King's Quest with Gabriel Knight length conversations.  ;)

That's probably a good way to think of it :)

I honestly don't know where I stand on this issue anymore. I tend to believe it's very "fan-service" to get a chance to talk to these characters and learn a little more about them and the way they think about the things they went through. They work to me in the sense that you do learn about the story through them. Episode 3 delves into the past of the series, so it's good to have a refreshment of what happened for those that don't remember well.

One thing I would have fixed is the fact that some of these characters are just conversation, and you don't do anything puzzle wise with them. This is actually one of the things Katie and I are fixing with Episode 5 since we are writing the whole thing just now, fresh after all the feedback, and with almost 10 more years in our bags (The majority of this stuff was written in our early 20s, and Episode 5 is being written in our early 30s). We are dropping the fan service for episode 5 and making it about just the necessary things that need to happen. There's still a lot of exposition because this is where we reveal most of the stuff that's going on, but it will be centered on just what's important to talk about to understand the story, and some minor character development.

Episode 5 to me will be more centered on the adventure, and the exploration of the lands with the necessary cutscenes interloped with the gameplay in order to wrap the story up. But we are trying to keep our conversations (and narrations) more revolved around the actual gameplay.


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Offline dark-daventry

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #268 on: February 04, 2011, 05:25:05 PM »
I like to think of it as King's Quest with Gabriel Knight length conversations.  ;)

That's probably a good way to think of it :)

I honestly don't know where I stand on this issue anymore. I tend to believe it's very "fan-service" to get a chance to talk to these characters and learn a little more about them and the way they think about the things they went through. They work to me in the sense that you do learn about the story through them. Episode 3 delves into the past of the series, so it's good to have a refreshment of what happened for those that don't remember well.

One thing I would have fixed is the fact that some of these characters are just conversation, and you don't do anything puzzle wise with them. This is actually one of the things Katie and I are fixing with Episode 5 since we are writing the whole thing just now, fresh after all the feedback, and with almost 10 more years in our bags (The majority of this stuff was written in our early 20s, and Episode 5 is being written in our early 30s). We are dropping the fan service for episode 5 and making it about just the necessary things that need to happen. There's still a lot of exposition because this is where we reveal most of the stuff that's going on, but it will be centered on just what's important to talk about to understand the story, and some minor character development.

Episode 5 to me will be more centered on the adventure, and the exploration of the lands with the necessary cutscenes interloped with the gameplay in order to wrap the story up. But we are trying to keep our conversations (and narrations) more revolved around the actual gameplay.

OMG cez, you're making me want to play ep 5 RIGHT NOW! XD Any chance I could weasel my way into the writing process?  ::) (Wishful thinking, I know)
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Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #269 on: February 04, 2011, 07:05:22 PM »
let me correct something... There's actually a LOT of fan service in ep5, but it's there with a purpose :)


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Offline Nilan8888

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #270 on: February 09, 2011, 07:46:28 PM »
Just finished this last night. Last I had checked in Activision had shut down TSL so I'm so happy you guys got this thing off the ground.

Thoughts on what I've seen -- I mix the good with the bad in reviews: this is how I used to do it reviewing shortstories in my writing groups...

-The humor here is great, especially in Ep.II... but I think it deserves a mention to notice where most of it is coming from: Hassan, the Hole in the Wall, Graham's reactions... that is, the characters. Or rather, originating in-game.

This is my way of saying that yes, the complaints on the narrarator are substantiated, as no doubt has been heard. However I think it's not that narrator sequences go on too LONG, but that too many of them go on for too long. Some of the longer sequences would probably have worked great as they were, but there were too many pedestrian descriptions which went 2, or 3 lines. Even 4.

I'm wondering -- are you guys maybe working from a estimation on how much you should put in based on description lengths of past King's Quest games? Based on how your engine is working, I'm wondering if that's the best way to go: the original games tended to differ in two respects:

1 - In most cases the descriptions were not audio

2 - The descriptions when written were given to you more 'in-bulk'. That is, you could see to a greater degree how much text was forthcoming. There was probably fewer multi-box descriptions on account of that.

I think this is key based on your interface. I think what's going on is people are seeing what's written on the screen and the narrator is talking, but there's less on the screen then would have been in the original game. And much of what's written is self-contained. Therefore the player will often think a description is done... only to reveal there are two or three more lines to go instead.

So part of that makes it feel longer. Yes, it is partly that the descriptions could be trimmed: but ALSO it's that if you're reading along with the narration (and many do because otherwise they might miss something a lot easier), it can feel longer. The same way going somewhere feels longer when you don't know where you're going: since you don't know when the narration will end, it feels like a longer time when you get there.


- The conversations: I understand the reason for having these conversations, but the most in-depth ones didn't advance the plot. The Oberon and Titania one from the 1st episode is probably the key here: after going through it and looking back, I felt that I had not advanced the plot, nor come to view it in a different light.

The Edgar conversation did have something to it, so this was an improvement. I still think it was too long, but it became important when talking about Edgar seeing the scars on Alexander's back.

The Shamir conversation was much more key, but I did sort of find the plot crashing in suddenly and that Shamir had too many answers at-hand. We were being told too much of the story, and not shown. Mind you, it's not like this compares badly to the original KQ games: you guys are actually trying something those games never did, which is to actually worldbuild. I enjoy Roberta's series, but I'm not sure I would term what she did world-building: she laid down great places for her story to take place, but TSL is to King's Quest as is Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica to Star Trek TNG, where the former two are more closely tied together with one thing affecting the other, and the other more episodic: it's not a Tabula Rasa every TNG episode or every King's Quest game, but there's very little looking back or questioning by the character of what has gone on before unless it immediately affected what was going on.

A friend once put it to me this way. "In Star Trek they will find a great alien artifact with incredible properties that they will hand over to the Federation and you'll never hear about it again. In Babylon 5, they will actually remember that they have that thing, and use it later".

I was once lucky enough to have my writing looked at by Sherwood Smith, a skilled writer in her won right. As she told me, and as Stephen King correctly lays out in "On Writing" (and BTW, I'm not even a particular fan of Stephen King's work -- I get as bored as anyone with yet ANOTHER tale set in a small and sleepy town in Maine -- but this is bang-on educational stuff), always tell what you can in less words. Cesar, if you or Katie are reading, I would definitely recommend this book to you both. To anyone writing pretty much anything. He lays out his points very well on language, grammar, structure, and essentially developing your writer's toolbox, as he calls it.

- The puzzles are actually fine for how hard they are... I think what people are looking for is new and creative ways to implement them. I actually do not mind at ALL that the coin bag was used often. It was not used all the time, and frankly a bag of gold is a handy thing to have. Yeah, if it felt like every puzzle came back to that bag, I can understand frustration, but I think the ratio worked out well. I actually was quite tired of the opposite: every puzzle was solved with exactly one item which you then lost. I think it's fitting for inventory items to stay with you and be used more than once.

That said though, I think part of the fun will be putting players in innovative situations. EP II felt like a step in the right direction. let's see how it goes.

Most of the rest was fine or at times, really great. Water bottles and necklaces... eeh, it's an adventure game: I don't think much of anyone really notices. You definately SHOULD try to have as good explanations as you can for everything, but that's making a good game great using the ol' "Checkov's Gun" logic, not making a good game bad. As long as what you find lying around is something that would conceivably be there.

Good luck guys. Heh, I think I need an Phoenix Online studios of my own to make games out of MY stories...

Offline KatieHal

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Re: Episode 2 - CONSTRUCTIVE feedback (No fighting, please!)
« Reply #271 on: February 09, 2011, 08:18:41 PM »
Welcome to the forums Nilan! Thanks for your feedback. :) We always appreciate the support and knowing how we can make out games better in the future.

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