Elsa

Solve mysteries by ordering your Student Council minions into investigations. A schoolgirl noir RPG-style adventure!
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hanako
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Elsa

#1 Postby hanako » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:11 pm

What do you think of your protagonist?

How do you feel about this method of directing conversations (with everything being a choice), as opposed to the more standard way of interacting with people in most VN/sims?

wendymarlowe
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Re: Elsa

#2 Postby wendymarlowe » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:57 pm

I do like it, although it does make me feel less "in character" than the more story-based ones do. I do wish some of the conversational choices were more clear - in particular, the difference between the "I'm romantically interested in you" and "I like you as a friend" and "You're just my minion" when it comes to those conversations. Especially since it's not easy to just save ahead of time - I've led someone on more than once by mistake :-\

surreal_chameleon
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Re: Elsa

#3 Postby surreal_chameleon » Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:42 pm

The main problem I have with the choose-every-response style of interaction is that the protagonist's responses are usually limited to a single sentence. It's difficult to describe one's feelings or experiences within such a small space and providing more choices doesn't necessarily solve the problem.

I also have a personal dislike for this interaction style because it's similar to a problem I often encounter in real life when I'm conversing with overly talkative, interruptive people: I'll get one or two sentences out, pause for a split second to take a breath, and then the other person will jump right in with their opinion or change the subject entirely. A transcript of one of these one-sided conversations would have me speaking in sentences and the other person speaking in multiple paragraphs. This isn't as annoying in a game as it is in real life, but it is a bit alienating.

I do think that this style worked better here than it did in Dragon Age: Origins because some of Elsa's minions shared a long personal history with her. Their reminisces about that history provided some detailed characterization of Elsa that overcame the shortcomings of the interaction style. I also appreciate the fact that I wasn't limited to the usual selection of good, evil, or sarcastic responses. Every now and again, I also had the option of being shy, playful, reserved, intellectual, etc.

Given a choice, I prefer having fewer choices with long term consequences over having lots and lots of superficial choices. Then again, I'm perfectly happy to play protagonists with a distinct personality over one that I define myself. Other people's mileage may vary.
Last edited by surreal_chameleon on Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FantasyFan
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Re: Elsa

#4 Postby FantasyFan » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:36 pm

I like it. I enjoy being able to make lots and lots of choices in VNs - it feels more interactive that way. It keeps things fresh. Plus, it means I can choose different personality types each time I play.

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Franka
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Re: Elsa

#5 Postby Franka » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:55 pm

I like it, but I prefer it when more of the choices are meaningful, rather than flavor. For this game that would necessitate a bit more feedback on the impact of choices though.

Yuki
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Re: Elsa

#6 Postby Yuki » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:34 am

wendymarlowe wrote:I do wish some of the conversational choices were more clear - in particular, the difference between the "I'm romantically interested in you" and "I like you as a friend" and "You're just my minion" when it comes to those conversations. Especially since it's not easy to just save ahead of time - I've led someone on more than once by mistake :-\


Yes, it was hard to tell at times how far some of the friendships were actually going or the sexuality of the characters (including Elsa). It felt a little railroaded in the G+G direction and the choices didn't feel especially meaningful, but I'm not overly concerned about that. Not that it spoils the game or that I want to start a religious debate, but for a catholic school, the school's authorities seems to be improbably tolerant of girls sleeping together bed, because IIRC, it isn't grounds for any sort of disciplinary action. (I was the influence of alcohol while playing, so I could be wrong. :lol: )

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hanako
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Re: Elsa

#7 Postby hanako » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:02 am

My religious school required us to share beds with other girls - on field trips, that is. I didn't attend boarding school. But we were definitely two-to-a-bed on certain overnight trips, and sharing beds sleeping over at someone's house wasn't weird. Is it weird elsewhere?

We also weren't Catholic, despite the school having a 'Saint' in the name. I don't know what things are like at real Catholic schools. :)

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Franka
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Re: Elsa

#8 Postby Franka » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:03 pm

I was at a boarding school for two years, and when you share rooms, it's not like anybody's weirded out if you also share a bed, or pushed two beds together. Sleepovers weren't weird either.

Yuki
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Re: Elsa

#9 Postby Yuki » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:08 pm

I've never been to a religious school, although I know someone who did and they had a hard time from the teachers because they weren't of that religion. I'm not going to divulge the details, but I was under the impression that religious schools were pretty strict. Whatever, I guess they're all different. :?

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zeru57
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Re: Elsa

#10 Postby zeru57 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:46 am

hanako wrote:What do you think of your protagonist?

How do you feel about this method of directing conversations (with everything being a choice), as opposed to the more standard way of interacting with people in most VN/sims?


I'll answer the second question first. I like how the game is set up. It doesn't feel all that different from Summer Session, which is really all I have to compare it to personally. And it's enjoyable.

However, in regard to the first question, I don't feel as though I know the character of Elsa as well as I could. I think there's a balance here of letting the player immerse themselves in the game vs. crafting a strong protagonist that hits you over the head with who they are. While at my first play throughs I struggled a little to put myself in Elsa's shoes, after playing a bit I think she could be fleshed out a little more.

For example, things like the college choice seem pretty sparse. We know there are colleges with weird names, we know Elsa has applied, but we don't have any back story to the schools beyond the most superficial information. The player gets to decide what's most important to Elsa, but we don't get any further context as to why she might have made those decisions. And when she decides, the text is just "Well that's done." And I'm like, no! It's a way bigger decision than that! There's got to be more!

So yeah. I think that could be fleshed out. And I don't feel I've learned anything about Elsa's family - we know lots about the other girls, so why not Elsa?

And when she's reacting to things like Vonne's game, or Althea's advances, or Rowan's survey, I feel like there could be some more context for the character, either in reaction to or in support of the choices the player makes.

This isn't Elsa related, but in the end Ms. Talmadge's motivations seem somewhat sparse, too.

The game talks a lot about Elsa's dedication, but it doesn't often show us - there's a little bit of reaction of sacrifice on her part to do the student counsel work, but we don't see things like school work intruding except on the first midterm week. And while that's fine, I'm not sure there's the day-to-day demonstration of Elsa as a hard driving achiever. We know nothing about how she became President, other than Althea could have been if she'd wanted to do it.

Which leads me to this - the biggest impression that I got of Elsa's character, other than her identity as an African-(American?) is that she has a bit of a kinky side in her interactions with the other girls. It's interesting. Perhaps it deserves to be explored more in dialog - or maybe it's been overplayed more than our developer would like. IDK.

Montoya
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Re: Elsa

#11 Postby Montoya » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:51 am

I feel like I gained some amount of insight into Elsa as the game progressed, but it was more through the way other characters reacted to her than through the choices themselves. There are a lot of choices, like deciding what beverage and snack to serve the first time you socialize with a minion on the weekend, that feel extremely arbitrary and don't do much to shape their relationship.

I do also wish that the romance/flirtation dialog was more clearly marked: when starting Althea's route, for instance, I actively tried to encourage her to flirt with me, but many of my choices either irritated her or turned the conversation in unexpected directions.

Finally, while this might be subjective, but it took me a while to figure out how to interact with Rowan, because even knowing that she liked direction, a lot of Elsa's responses that made her happy sounded less authoritative and more plain mean in a way I didn't want to be towards my minions.

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hanako
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Re: Elsa

#12 Postby hanako » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:51 am

About Rowan - if you're doing the dark path, 'happy' might not be the right word for what you're making her...


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