Black Closet - Alpha Testing

Solve mysteries by ordering your Student Council minions into investigations. A schoolgirl noir RPG-style adventure!
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Oki
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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#46 Post by Oki » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:05 am

I am so frustrated. I've sunk hours into this game and i seem to get nowhere. I can never solve anything, I always end up overwhelmed, and I have to restart. FML
I've been here so long even Hanako is sick of me

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hanako
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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#47 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:33 am

Maybe... describe some of what you're doing, and how/why it goes wrong? (Because without knowing what the problem is, I don't know if I need to add more hints or adjust something or what)

Do you have a strategy for identifying traitors, and minimising the damage they do?

Are you always running out of reputation rather than karma? Are you being too 'nice'?

Are there certain kinds of cases you find harder than others?

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Oki
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Re: General Hints / Tips / Strategy

#48 Post by Oki » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:31 am

Posting your requested feedback here,

Basically my problem is the same thing. So many new cases come up with URGENTS that the ones I'm already doing make me freak out. So I try to do all of them at once and it fails, my problem usually ends up that even if I send the girls I'm specialized at they can't do the job. Getting everything done requires skills I don't have. But if I reload, I'm on a new case entirely and I cant just keep going from the night before.

What usually happens is I'm working on a huge case, I finally get somewhere, and the very next day I run out of time. I never know when I'll run out of time, and I always fall short. When I dont? There is suddenly a new very important case that loses me 10 reputation if I don't do it. I feel like there is no forgiveness in the game, all the cases are worth about the same (sans the drug dealing / large scale ones which give greater decreases over time). I never know what I can give up or not do because there is no real 'scale'. Some give you dates but those are few (like the art exhbits). Which is a fair thing to do because I guess you'd never really know, but even worse is there is a traitor and say you want to give bonus points, well what if you give them to the traitor?

And what if you dont? I lost a character for dating another character so I wasted all those points and the only really good intimidator on my team. And because I cant save day by day, I never feel in control and always seem to lose my cool. I don't want to cheat, I just want to feel like my trial and error gets me somewhere but it really doesn't- I've stumbled into romances, fallen into plots, and basically have no idea where I'm going. I wish there was a calendar system where I could see all of my stuff instead of just at the end of the week

Even worse I never feel like I can get something done. . .and maybe with the patch you guys took out the detection or likelihood system because I can't see it anymore? And it made the go completely impossible for me. I enjoy when I am challenged so I keep playing, but the more and more I play with the less ability growth I just feel stupid.

I tend to do the following, every week I examine my cases. I nervously try and push the remaining ones and usually, I'll get caught up with nothing happening. By the time its november I need at least 2 girls to successfully accomplish things so guess what? Nothing gets done. If I fail one day then two girls are wasted and tired. Like in LLTQ I felt challenged and died a ton but I learned and I still have a ton to do...now I'm just. . .I'm lost! When do I search for items? When's a good time to conserve my people? Why is it if I send a whole squad I cant get anything done? Shouldnt an entire team of girls be able to search a room so I dont lose my precious research?

In short, I love this game, but I f suck. I'm going to cry now
I've been here so long even Hanako is sick of me

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Oki
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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#49 Post by Oki » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:35 am

hanako wrote:*rappels down from the ceiling and hands Oki an orchid, then disappears in a shower of sparkles*

True answer, though, it depends on who the traitor was, why they betrayed you, whether or not you choose to make them your Queen, whether or not you try to pin their actions on someone else, whether you insult them... I am addicted to alternate outcomes and variations so there isn't a simple answer.
ps this answer is acceptable
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hanako
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Re: General Hints / Tips / Strategy

#50 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:13 am

(If any of this sounds like I'm picking on you PLEASE know that I don't mean it that way at all. I'm trying to work out whether there's anything I can do to help without outright telling you what to do, because if I tell you what to do that will not fix the game.)
Oki wrote: Basically my problem is the same thing. So many new cases come up with URGENTS that the ones I'm already doing make me freak out. So I try to do all of them at once and it fails, my problem usually ends up that even if I send the girls I'm specialized at they can't do the job. Getting everything done requires skills I don't have.
I'm guessing here, but - are you trying to do too much all at once?

Especially in the beginning of the game, there's a lot going on. It may not be possible or practical to solve everything. It may be better to focus on one case at a time in order to be sure you do a good job on it rather than trying all of them and failing all of them?

(Others, feel free to chime in. This advice may not be best!)
I never know what I can give up or not do because there is no real 'scale'.
That's fair. You could try focusing on the cases that look most likely to be solvable with the skills you have, maybe? If you have to triage, focusing on where it might make the most difference could help.
Which is a fair thing to do because I guess you'd never really know, but even worse is there is a traitor and say you want to give bonus points, well what if you give them to the traitor? And what if you dont? I lost a character for dating another character so I wasted all those points and the only really good intimidator on my team.
So - it might be more useful to focus harder on being really sure you know who the traitor is and how to deal with them, maybe?
I don't want to cheat, I just want to feel like my trial and error gets me somewhere but it really doesn't
Lowering the difficulty is not cheating. Really. We promise. (We don't even HAVE a way to cheat at the moment!) It's a game and it's meant to be fun, not to give you ulcers. Part of the point of playtesting is helping us to figure out where the balance should be. The lower difficulty setting just makes the dice rolls more reliable. You can still lose!
- I've stumbled into romances, fallen into plots, and basically have no idea where I'm going. I wish there was a calendar system where I could see all of my stuff instead of just at the end of the week
I'm not sure what you mean here. What stuff do you want to see?
Even worse I never feel like I can get something done. . .and maybe with the patch you guys took out the detection or likelihood system because I can't see it anymore? And it made the go completely impossible for me.
I don't think it should have stopped showing them... See, if so, that's a bug, we should fix that :)
By the time its november I need at least 2 girls to successfully accomplish things so guess what? Nothing gets done. If I fail one day then two girls are wasted and tired. Like in LLTQ I felt challenged and died a ton but I learned and I still have a ton to do...now I'm just. . .I'm lost! When do I search for items? When's a good time to conserve my people? Why is it if I send a whole squad I cant get anything done? Shouldnt an entire team of girls be able to search a room so I dont lose my precious research?
Okay, this shows one area where there might be a possible misunderstanding and I might need to make it more clear. Do you know how it works when you send multiple people to do a task?

If you're trying to do, say, a Harass roll, which uses Social + Intimidate, then it would pick the highest Social stat that any assigned girl has and the highest Intimidate stat that any assigned girl has.

Girl1: Social 20 Intim 30
Girl2: Social 40 Intim 10
Girl3: Social 35 Intim 25

The best social score is added to the best intimidation score to get the final result.

So if you sent three girls to do that job, one's skills would not get used at all. It would be a waste of time having three people there. You don't get any bonus for having three. And if one girl had the highest values in both stats, then both of the other girls would be wasted.

You should not be needing to send two girls all the time in November, unless you're having really, really bad luck with the random number gods. Most assignments should be doable by just one minion.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#51 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:23 am

Odds not showing - Have you checked in the options to be sure that 'Show the Odds' is selected? And then even when you have both action and minion selected, it's not showing any information? If so, Spiky would like to look at your savegame to see what's going on there.

(But first, be sure that you didn't accidentally set Chance of Success to 'Hide the Details')

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#52 Post by Spiky Caterpillar » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:54 am

hanako wrote:Odds not showing - Have you checked in the options to be sure that 'Show the Odds' is selected? And then even when you have both action and minion selected, it's not showing any information? If so, Spiky would like to look at your savegame to see what's going on there.

(But first, be sure that you didn't accidentally set Chance of Success to 'Hide the Details')
On the missing odds: Are you getting 'Odds Unknown' or just nothing at all? If the odds are hiding and Chance of Success is set to 'Show the Odds', I'll want to look at your persistent.dat file as well (it's in the save directory) and see if there's anything weird there.

A few actions don't give out odds by design - Guard, Stake Out, and a few rare actions don't reveal them because doing so would tell you whether or not there is an opponent on any given day.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#53 Post by FantasyFan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:25 am

Got a traceback error when attempting to save. I attempted to upload the save, but I'm not sure if I did it right.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#54 Post by FantasyFan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:50 am

Got another traceback error when I reached the Game Over screen at the harvest festival. The game isn't allowing me to take screenshots.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#55 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:34 pm

Thing I'm considering trying to implement - moving case generation so that the next upcoming cases are already set when you save/autosave at the beginning of the week. THis would prevent savescumming (Sorry Franka!) but it would also make saves more consistent for finding problems - right now if you find a case with a bug in it, it's kind of hard to upload a save with it - and would also make it possible to back up and try different approaches to the same case, which may help with learning curve.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#56 Post by Franka » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:36 pm

Well, I'd say that would either cause a lot more game overs due to some of the way-too-time-consuming cases popping up at the wrong moment, or it would give way to a different kind of save scumming if all the parameters of the case are set before you save (actually making the game a lot easier, since you'd simply reload and go straight to the best solution once found). In the best case, I'd say this would lead to wasting more time save scumming since you have to back up a week, in the worst case, it will lock you into forced game overs since not every case can be handled successfully by every team.

I will say I'd hate to play the game with just four minions and no save scumming. :wink:

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#57 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:37 pm

.... when achievements are in and you see the entry for 'win the game with only THREE minions', will you cry? :)
it would give way to a different kind of save scumming if all the parameters of the case are set before you save (actually making the game a lot easier, since you'd simply reload and go straight to the best solution once found).
Except in cases where they failed the case horribly, would people really be likely to restart a week over just to improve the outcome of a case? Most cases require more than one successful action to close (not to mention dice rolls) so if you did solve a case, restarting the week wouldn't necessarily mean you'd solve it faster.

It would let you take a second crack at a case you'd failed, yes, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#58 Post by Franka » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:50 pm

hanako wrote:.... when achievements are in and you see the entry for 'win the game with only THREE minions', will you cry? :)
Nah, I almost already did this. With better planning, I have no doubt it could be done, though it would be hard, especially if you make this change to the game.
Except in cases where they failed the case horribly, would people really be likely to restart a week over just to improve the outcome of a case? Most cases require more than one successful action to close (not to mention dice rolls) so if you did solve a case, restarting the week wouldn't necessarily mean you'd solve it faster.
It would be really simple if you knew who to target right off the bat on some of the extensive cases. Those are the ones that usually screw you over since they're time consuming and new ones will pop up alongside them. So, you haven't actually developed a strategy, you've just taken a shortcut. Something you can't do right now, except if the case goes over several weeks.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#59 Post by wendymarlowe » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:02 pm

Generalized honest feedback here: I'd really like to see more of a guideline for what the school rules are, exactly. I'll frequently get to a point where I know someone did X, but I have no idea how bad X is. Occasionally I figure it's nothing ("Oh, they're just learning about witchcraft - hooray for tolerance and religious freedom, I guess?") and BAM I get penalized for not throwing them out of school. Or I suspend someone, assuming that will fix the problem, but then it doesn't and suddenly time has run out and I get a "mission failed" when if I had known their actions were bad enough to expel them for it, I could have done that in the first place. Or there's one main culprit and multiple girls who enabled her - do the enablers get punished, or are they done with just an interrogation? There's no "school rules" to reference, so I end up having to guess a lot.

ETA: the little tips on the weekly calendar screens are helpful, but they're doled out awfully slowly - could they be accessible in a "hints and tips" file or something? This game feels like it has a heckuva learning curve, and if I weren't already invested in you as a game developer (i.e. I know I've liked your other games) I'd probably have flamed out in October once or twice and then given up on the whole thing as too confusing.

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Re: Black Closet - Alpha Testing / Discount Copies

#60 Post by Oki » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:34 pm

That makes sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much sense. I'm going to try it, but yes, after the dance I stop being able to see the likelihood of success.
I've been here so long even Hanako is sick of me

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