Concerns about this game

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blulapis
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Concerns about this game

#1 Post by blulapis » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:34 pm

I know that this game is still being tested, so I thought I'd let you know my concerns.

I love all of Hanoko's other games, and I really like some things about this game. The set-up is interesting, the mystery is compelling, the graphics are great, and the game design is smooth and easy to learn.

But there are some real problems with this game that make me feel disappointed. It will also make me look at any future games from Hanoko carefully. I wasn't expecting to feel disappointed about this one.

My concern with this game is the design. It punishes frequently and rewards very little. That is just not fun after awhile. The reason the other games were more fun is any combination was likely to get you somewhere. There were several joint storylines. This game's storyline is rigid. It's just too easy to die, and it's not fun to keep retrying and retrying each choice with almost mathematical precision. In addiition, every choice is disappointing in some way, and that's not fun either.

But I think you could make some improvements, and with the goal of being helpful, I do have a few suggestions, for what they are worth.

a. Most Important: Be sure that people buying this game know it is very hard to succeed. They also need to know what type of game it is. I'm not sure how you will do this, but people expecting a multiple storyline like Cute Knight will feel disappointed, and they may even be mad. Make sure people know what they are buying.

b. Consider adding a weekend day. Also consider adding a second skill choice mid-week, or letting people learn skills faster. There are too many skill options, and it moves too slowly to allow players to feel a sense of accomplishment. It's not fun to feel constantly frustrated.

c. Consider adding more options, that include other things than dying. It's frustrating to have to continually re-start from the beginning.

d. Consider adding an in-game tracking system for choices. Something that logs for the player. Having to take notes outside the game is cumbersome.

e. Consider adding an encyclopedia of knowledge that builds through multiple game plays. This will aid the player in making choices.

f. Consider adding multiple endings for dying. (We will miss her, but at least she helped spread a love of reading). Players will feel a sense of accomplishment even if they die, if they've gained a different ending.

g. Add more rewards and gifts more frequently. If a player makes a right choice, they shouldn't just AVOID something, they should GET something, too.

h. More romance.

i. In game mentor. Have a character who advises the player on their choices. Maybe the player can earn this mentor early on, or maybe they have them from the start.


Okay, hope those are useful. I wouldn't have bothered to post all this if I didn't really like Hanoko games, so I hope this post isn't too harsh - but I wanted to give honest feedback in the hope it would be helpful.

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HoshiGiniro
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#2 Post by HoshiGiniro » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:47 pm

there is already an in game tracking system its the log feature ...and if you get a bad ending you can say save game and it will load up a page that has notes on what you did for that play trough


but the rest of it i agree with


i think she should start with a skill set depending on a Q&A at the beginning of the game .... cause she just came home from boarding system its silly that she knows nothing about anything

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sayuri
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#3 Post by sayuri » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:08 pm

I think the game would greatly benefit from having multiple difficulty levels. Some people enjoy the challenge of the game, but it's frustrating to me. Maybe having an easier difficulty with lower stat requirements for events? It's also annoying how there is no way to know what stat will be tested each week. How could I know archery would save me in this trial instead of polearms or swords? Maybe a calender that gave hints at least each week? I know it'd probably be too difficult to consolidate the stats at this point, but it would solve a lot of problems for me at least. I think we should be studying Medicine, Intrigue, Expression, ect. instead of poison OR battlefield OR herbs. It really breaks any immersion when I have to keep notes for future playthroughs since it is almost impossible to have one continuous game and reach an ending besides death.

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hanako
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#4 Post by hanako » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:12 pm

This game is about dying all the time, and that's repeated in all the advertising. The wallpaper on the game page is covered in skulls. It is NOT a relaxing sim and it is NOT a romance game. Dying horribly over and over again is the selling point. :)

(And no, it isn't still being tested, it is complete. Ish. At least until/if we add any expansions.)

Anyway, I definitely don't mind you giving your feedback, but much of what you're suggesting just isn't appropriate for this particular game. This game is evil.

Don't worry, the next few games I'm doing are not going to be anything like this. It wouldn't be fun to be this evil all the time!

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perch
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#5 Post by perch » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:52 pm

There was a period there when I was testing the beta where I got really frustrated because the game wasn't behaving like Cute Knight 2.0 for me and I had that feeling of 'Can I trust Hanako again after feeling like throttling one of her games?'

Then I set it aside for a week and when I played it again I got a lot more into it and the whole experience could be summed up by one stupid internet meme for me.

Elodie Gurl, you in danger. Run!


And the game got way more interesting and less frustrating. Everyone wants to kill her, or take over her throne with or without her consent. This is a time capsule of her life which is roughly the eight months before she made it on the throne or died tragically. It's not about her happily ever after or true love it's about an isolated period of her life leading up to her getting the throne.

No one has her back. Even the people she can more-or-less trust all have their own agendas and secrets and while everyone is telling her to hurry grow up, a lot of the adults still treat her as a child, or more, like someone they're not sure is going to make it. There's no prince charming to save her either. Elodie has to depend on herself and what and who she's paid attention to, her decisions and her actions.

I think my biggest hurdle in learning to get into the game is acknowledging this is not Cute Knight: The Thron-en-ing with prettier graphics.

Though I'd also love some ending death graphics. Maybe done in a silhouette style that's almost comically cruel?

And having been a big fan of pretty much all the other titles here and a huge fan Cute Knight and Cute Knight Kingdom I was instinctively expecting this one to be like those and then having a vague starting disappointment when it wasn't. That's not really something that advertizing can fix though. It's engrained player expectation.

Maybe because I subconsciously expect to have a game where the heroine shows ingenuity or guts or passion and her dreams are rewarded by hard work! Where as here, it's really really dark and being the best, most passionately kind hearted princess ever, simply gets Elodie killed more often than not.

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hanako
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#6 Post by hanako » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:55 pm

I am thinking about having some death graphics done, yes. :) Little dead chibis with X-ed out eyes! (Maybe.)

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perch
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#7 Post by perch » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:57 pm

Being an ending collector I would gleefully send Elodie to her death to get chibi death sprites, especially if they had their own corner of the gallery.

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JackMackerel
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#8 Post by JackMackerel » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:13 pm

HoshiGiniro wrote:there is already an in game tracking system its the log feature ...and if you get a bad ending you can say save game and it will load up a page that has notes on what you did for that play trough
The logs are somewhat messy, though. I'd like it to be streamlined and contain all info learned.

And yeah, I've love a mentor figure (I am annoyed that there is no Cube equivalent here >:C)

blulapis
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#9 Post by blulapis » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:47 pm

Where can I find the log feature? I'd love to take a look at it.

Hanoko, thanks for listening to the feedback. And I hear the game is done for the most part.

But I do need to let you know that I read the description before buying. What I saw was a pretty princess in pink who looked like a fairy. There were no skull and crossbones over her head.

:)

I had no idea this game was so hard or evil. I really would have liked to know that!

Thanks again for listening, and once again, I really love your other games alot!

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sayuri
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#10 Post by sayuri » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:09 pm

I think I'll wait to get into this game once someone writes up a walkthrough so I can, you know, not die so much.

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Anarchy
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#11 Post by Anarchy » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:44 pm

I looove that this game is all about dying horribly in many, many different ways - it's a level of challenge I don't often see in games seemingly targeted towards female audiences (cute sparkly girlie protagonist? of course it's for little girls - NOT). But to maybe make it a little more palatable to people who don't like dying all the time, I agree that it would be awesome to have custom cute-grotesque CGs for each death and maybe an achievement that requires you to get all the deaths available in the game? I feel like it would become like The Sims where people kill their Sims off all the time in various sadistic ways just to see them suffer. So dying would be more like a reward, not a punishment :D

^On that note: Hanako, are you planning to release an official walkthrough at any point? Or are you just going to let the fans do their thing XD

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#12 Post by Hicks » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:00 am

It comes across cute at first due to the art style but is at heart a deceptively cruel survival-(almost)horror.

Perhaps it would be a handy concession for some to have a mode where by skills increase a bit quicker or skill check requirements are lowered. It would just be that though - a concession. The difficulty and challenge, the knowledge that there are going to be things that you fail at make it all the more intriguing. Dampening that down would just feel wrong. Rather than have the game submit to the player, why not retain the need for the player to up their game and meet the games requirements.

Surviving at a hostile court surely isn't meant to be easy.

Then again I'm ok with this game kicking my ass from time to time. It just means I look for a new way of getting round it. Can I build a skillset and a personality for Elodie, while still having her be a strong and functional ruler to match the games demands, while still having some control over who I want her to be? Sure.

Do I get to make her a master of all things. No. All the better for it though.

Perhaps a slightly more indepth prologue to set the scene for just how much of a threat there is against you would help? Then again that would lessen the impact of taking the valuable time to learn about the history of the realm and foreign lands.

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Anarchy
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#13 Post by Anarchy » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:53 am

I like that at first we don't get much hints as to just how often we'll die in this game- Elodie IS a fourteen-year-old fresh out of boarding school after all. Her being naive and not paranoid makes complete sense story-wise. I mean, if you think back to how you were when you were 14...

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hanako
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#14 Post by hanako » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:02 am

On that note: Hanako, are you planning to release an official walkthrough at any point? Or are you just going to let the fans do their thing XD
I can do a walkthrough to one specific super-hard goal if people want it, but there's not just one way to win so I prefer to tackle individual questions separately.

Also it may be better for someone other than me to write things up because players see things from a different perspective!

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HoshiGiniro
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#15 Post by HoshiGiniro » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:00 am

hanako wrote:
On that note: Hanako, are you planning to release an official walkthrough at any point? Or are you just going to let the fans do their thing XD
I can do a walkthrough to one specific super-hard goal if people want it, but there's not just one way to win so I prefer to tackle individual questions separately.

Also it may be better for someone other than me to write things up because players see things from a different perspective!
i think a walk through for the final out come anf the best way past the hardest parts would be a good thing to have....and who better to write it then the one that designed it

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