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 Post subject: Re: Fan mail I guess
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 6:07 pm
Posts: 360
Location: http://kittylambda.com
Ahh! Awesome thank you for the kind words and amazing feedback.

Esp re: quest log, yes! Actually the "write your own quest log" thing is something I will likely do for future games that I make in this vein.

At one point the game did have a quest log. However it was removed for various reasons, and actually probably the biggest one for me was that it felt very unnatural since Sam is totally silent. So you have this silent protagonist which is fantastic to insert yourself into, and then, oh, these are his notes, this is what he wrote; suddenly you don't feel like it's "you" anymore.

I'm also much more story- or setting-minded than mechanics minded. So I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it for that. I'll also let you know that the ending initially was abrupt-- however I had some fantastic feedback from a play tester (Allan O.) who let me know that the ending was not good. When I looked at it, I realized that I had rushed through out of desperation. So I took about another 6 months (!!!) and added the entire epilogue as well as (believe it or not) the entire segment where the town is sent to work in the mine.

The first "complete" version of the game did not have this at all, basically the townspeople just went directly underground when Hammon appeared (the town bunkering-it-out was planned from an early stage, but not the diamond mine segment.) The mine segment was important because in the initial draft of the game the connection between (spoiler) was not evident enough, so the setup to the final showdown felt totally random. Hopefully for most people by the time they reach the final showdown that connection is now firmly established by the mine segment. This is also why there is less interactive dialogue during the mine scene; these interactive dialog trees are excrutiating to write because if even one character says one thing wrong in a given circumstance it stands out like a sore thumb. So I limited it by putting in the device of having the cameras/etc., kind of lame but hopefully nobody noticed! =)

EDIT: Also the entire epilogue was added in too, but to be fair the epilogue is something I always wanted, just didn't have the energy to execute. The first complete version of the game had you transitioning directly to the very final "one year later" segment, only there basically after the sky falls you wake up in this kind of weird tiny area that was left of the town, where only Carrie is there. It was the same storyline, in essence, except that the town disappears immediately. Of course it's far more satisfying to have the town stick around in a kind of final state, so that, as you said, you can still interact with the townsfolk and experience the world.

Moral of the story is that good honest feedback from players can help you realize things you don't know, and also things you DO know but don't want to admit are wrong because you fear the work involved. =)

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