Beta Testing / Discount Copies

An American university student takes a semester abroad in England seeking fun and romance in this visual novel.
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hanako
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Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#1 Postby hanako » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:05 pm

At last, England Exchange is complete and ready for testing!

A quick overview if you haven't been following development - you play an American college student doing a semester's study-abroad in London. You stay at a hostel with a bunch of other students, get a part-time job, take classes, and date! You can play either a male or a female protagonist, and each protagonist gets six romance options (four opposite-sex, two same-sex). There's a preview of the different character art in this thread - I don't have a full game webpage up yet, though that may change shortly.


This is a Hanabira title, which means that I did not write the original script. However, I do have the rights to edit it! That means it is okay to make requests and suggestions. Really want more information about British TV licenses to somehow work their way into the story? Think that a particular character needs more screentime?
Ask for it! Not every request may be granted but right now is the last, best time to make your opinions count. Storylines in some games have had heavy rewrites during beta!

Romance paths in this game generally have multiple endings, though not every character has the same number of possible outcomes. These endings are NOT currently labeled with any sort of 'best end' 'neutral end' kind of thing - you just get to the end and that's the end you got. When you play, please let me know if this bothers you at all. Do you feel uncertain whether you got the best outcome? Are you confused about why you got the result you did? (If so, please describe what happened during your game and how it all turned out, and what parts you were confused by and so on.)

Obviously, report any bugs you encounter as well. Including if purchasing the game fails to give you a download file or something! :) I am capable of screwing things up and I won't know unless you tell me....

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Franka
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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#2 Postby Franka » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:29 am

Quick feedback, did one playthrough, yuri romanced Peggy. Happy with the outcome, though I did miss an ending CG of some kind.

It felt like there were a good amount of events, but at the start of the game it also felt like there were too many very short events. I appreciate setting the tone, but sometimes it was like reading the abbreviated version of the game.

I like that the characters don't seem like one note people, but at the same time, I did not find myself wanting to date anyone other than Peggy, Ashley and possibly Danny. Everyone seems so high maintenance and generally offputting. I particularly had issues with Ji Hyo, whose interactions left me pretty much bewildered. She kind of felt like a character who had wandered in there from a different game with a different tone, and it didn't feel like there was any basis at all for starting a romance with her by the time the choice came up.

It seemed like there was a farewell scene with Peggy missing when I left. It felt odd that she was never brought up when leaving, after I had been romancing her; until the epilogue of course.

Found a grand total of one typo, missing an "I" somewhere in this sentence:

Image

Now, Persona 5 just downloaded, so apologies for abandoning you in favor of that, but I'll be back eventually..?

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#3 Postby FantasyFan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:14 pm

Yesterday I played through the Mark path (playing female) and I LOVED it. Mark is so adorable. I was wondering, does he have autism or something like it? Cause that's what it felt like to me (having trouble being too blunt, not picking up nonverbal cues, etc.). I know his backstory kind of explained his difficulties with social situations, but I couldn't help but thinking that autism could also have a role in it.

PS: I would very much like to have an ending gallery so I could keep track of how many endings I still need to get.

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#4 Postby hanako » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:35 pm

In this case your guess really is as good as mine. :) I don't know what the original brief was for any of the characters, I had to read their scenes as written and try to figure them out in order to add more dialog in keeping with what was already there. But yes, being somewhere on the autism spectrum is a possibility.

PS: I would very much like to have an ending gallery so I could keep track of how many endings I still need to get.


There is a gallery for the CGs and a checklist for what character routes you've done. What sort of ending gallery are you thinking of? Something like in TRT where it showed good/bad/neutral hearts for each character? The original problem I had with this idea is that it could be a huge spoiler to find out ahead of time that certain characters have very different ending numbers than others... However, I can possibly work with that by hiding the number of endings per character until you get at least one ending for that character, and by that point you've seen their route so you have more idea of what you're getting into. Would that work, do you think?

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#5 Postby FantasyFan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:24 pm

Something like that could work. What can I say - I'm a VN completionist who likes to go for all the endings. :)

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#6 Postby MillaMaxwell » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:34 am

I just played through one route as Malia pursuing Peggy and one route as Flynn pursuing Ashley and Mark. I noticed a few small errors along the way.

The word "the" appears twice in a row in this sentence:
Image

I was able to do both Ashley and Mark's routes at once, which I'm not sure was supposed to be the case. It does come across as a bit awkward that Flynn is wondering whether his opera outing with Mark is supposed to be a romantic date, while at the same time clearly expecting Ashley to only be dating him... Either way, this line from Mark's route seemed pretty odd, considering that Flynn had already been on "proper" dates with Ashley by this point:
Image

And this is a really tiny thing, but as a New England native, I have to point out that New York isn't actually part of New England so this line is kinda funny:
Image

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#7 Postby hanako » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:59 am

Huh, it isn't? Okay, that one was my bad. I'm Southern, I assume all you Yankees are the same. :) Will switch it to Northeast then. Thanks!

(And no, you're not supposed to be able to do both routes at once, a variable must have slipped somewhere. Whoops!)

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#8 Postby Naiomi666 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:15 am

I just played Angelo and Danny's route. It's funny how Angelo is the traditional guy, but Danny seemed to be way more old fashion in how he feels about his girlfriends. Angelo's route was very good and showed a lot of sensitivity on the opinions of both the main character and Angelo.

Danny is hot as hell and he scares he. I almost feel like the best ending for that route is to ride that train and the get off before your in too deep. Maybe it would be a good idea of Danny mentioning about going back to anger management for the protagonist.

I don't know if we can post spoilers or how to hide them so ill be a little vague. On Danny's route when I got that offer it felt anti-climatic afterwards. I would expect the roommates to be told the exciting news, or at least the best friends in America. It didn't feel right when the MC's best friends ask about your romance when you come back,and you say "we'll see how it goes." It just doesn't fit the route.

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#9 Postby nightshadengale » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:52 pm

The beginning of this game was...a little too real for me. XD It's probably that I myself have social anxiety, but all lot of stuff at the beginning--like Malia standing awkwardly unable to ask to join everyone for dinner, conversations ending awkwardly because she didn't know what to say, Angelo and Brendon making me kind of uncomfortable* and me feeling like I had to be nice--it all hit a little too close to home! I don't really think it's a bad thing, it was just a much more emotionally intense experience than I was expecting.

*In different ways, but both ones I've experienced in real life--Angelo made me "guy with very traditional views on gender roles approves of you and it's nice to have people like you so you respond in a way he'll approve of even though you don't agree with his views" (?) uncomfortable, and Brendon made me uncomfortable in a "This guy seems like a jerk and is hitting on you in a way that makes you uncomfortable but you feel like you have act nice" way.

So far I've romanced Danny and Peggy (both as Malia)--they were the two I was most interested in from the character previews, and ended up being the two I was most interested in in-game as well.

Danny: Whoah. His route was...intense. Not at all what I was expecting, but in a very memorable way. It didn't seem very healthy, but I play VNs for nothing if not to vicariously engage in extremely unhealthy relationships. He's like...trying so hard not to be yandere, it's oddly endearing. This was the first route I did, and that playthough ticked off every checkbox in the left column except "Worst Ending" and "Gallery Complete."

A few suggestions on his route:
-The route didn't mention if he has any sort of required therapy or person he has to check in with occasionally, and I was curious about that. Did they really just let him free with no monitoring?

-I chose to exercise over break, but the first thing that happened after break was the date scene with Danny where Malia complains she should never have stopped exercising. It'd be a nice touch if that line were slightly different if you chose to exercise over break.

-When everyone accuses you of theft and he's on your side but won't stay with you and comfort you, it seemed odd. It wasn't entirely clear why he'd be too focused on sex to be in the same room with you right then. Is it supposed to be that he's feeling jealous after you ran into Brendon in the hallway?
I'm not sure whether this relationship is supposed to come off as in any way healthy, but it'd feel more functional if he did manage to stay with you and comfort you (even if he does so in a kind of creepy, intense way).

-After Brendon practically threatens you when you turn him down, I was expecting him to react if you end up with someone else, particularly one of the other guys (seems like it wouldn't hurt his ego as much for you to end up with one of the girls). I can see how an immediate confrontation with him after you start dating someone might be hard to fit at least in Danny's route in a way that didn't throw off the pacing (as I can't imagine Danny would react well), but after you get accused of stealing, the comment about Peggy being single hits a much stronger "creeper" note than the scene where you bump into him in the hallway with Danny.

-When you get back to the US at the end, I was really expecting Nene to notice your engagement ring and flip


Peggy:
I loved her so much holy crap.
I do think I liked her better off her route than on it, though. In the ending I got, it didn't seem like we got married, but we were travelling together.

Maybe it just happens to be the two routes I picked, but it feels like the girl romances are getting the short end of the stick a bit.
-All 4 of the guys can directly ask you out before you pick a route, but the girls don't (and at least Peggy had apparently never thought of you in that way)
-Danny believed me about not stealing, Peggy didn't
-The ending I got with Danny involved engagement and marriage, Peggy's didn't


As for the others:

-Aasi -- I found her pretty interesting, and ended up liking her quite a bit by the end of playing as Malia (I think I got the best outcome with her, she confessed to everyone that it was her who stole the money?) I can see why romancing her as Malia wouldn't really work (except perhaps as some sort of New Game +), but I reaaally want to.

-Angelo -- Cute, if problematic. Definitely interested in doing his route, though I hope you get the opportunity to change his views on gender roles a bit and don't just need to play along to do his route.

-Ashley -- She's nice, but I don't find her all that interesting.

-Brendon -- After the way he reacts when you turn him down, I would feel so dirty actually romancing him. When I reloaded a fairly early save to go for Peggy's route, I tried being more standoffish the second time you meet him in the bar to see if I could avoid him asking me out, but he did anyway. *shudders* I'll probably do his route anyway for completions sake, but...ugh. (Also, the spelling of his name seems odd--normally I see Brandon or Brendan, not Brendon.)

-Ji Hyo -- I think her sprite is adorable and was really excited about romancing her from the previews, but she was just a bit too weird and I didn't really feel any interest in romancing her. Maybe if there were a few more scenes with her studying you intently and a bit less of the odd glasses thing, I'd have been more intrigued? (Still plan to do her route anyway to see if the weird glasses thing is ever explained...)

-Mark -- Wasn't a fan of his sprite, and his personality didn't win me over. He's interesting, but I'd feel weird romancing him.

I'm also interested in re-romancing Danny and Peggy as Flynn to see what's different.

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#10 Postby hanako » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:57 pm

nightshadengale wrote:
Peggy:
I loved her so much holy crap.
I do think I liked her better off her route than on it, though. In the ending I got, it didn't seem like we got married, but we were travelling together.

Maybe it just happens to be the two routes I picked, but it feels like the girl romances are getting the short end of the stick a bit.
-All 4 of the guys can directly ask you out before you pick a route, but the girls don't (and at least Peggy had apparently never thought of you in that way)
-Danny believed me about not stealing, Peggy didn't
-The ending I got with Danny involved engagement and marriage, Peggy's didn't


(Spoilers for multiple routes)

Danny's best ending is the only ending where you are actually married at the end, so the contrast would be most obvious there. The other routes with engagements are Angelo, Mark, and Ashley.
Most characters won't believe you about the theft at first. Danny is unusual because of his background.


As for the others:
-Aasi -- I found her pretty interesting, and ended up liking her quite a bit by the end of playing as Malia (I think I got the best outcome with her, she confessed to everyone that it was her who stole the money?) I can see why romancing her as Malia wouldn't really work (except perhaps as some sort of New Game +), but I reaaally want to.


The best you can get with Aasi as the femalePC is if you get the scene where she comes to your room drunk in the middle of the night and explains her backstory, and if you ticked all the checkboxes you hopefully got that. If this game is actually successful, I would love to add some sort of secret Aasi route as an update, she's my top choice to expand. The second one would be Ashley, who is canonically bi but her route is currently too connected to the male PC's job, so she'd need a lot of changes for a female option.

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#11 Postby nightshadengale » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:17 am

hanako wrote:The best you can get with Aasi as the femalePC is if you get the scene where she comes to your room drunk in the middle of the night and explains her backstory, and if you ticked all the checkboxes you hopefully got that. If this game is actually successful, I would love to add some sort of secret Aasi route as an update, she's my top choice to expand. The second one would be Ashley, who is canonically bi but her route is currently too connected to the male PC's job, so she'd need a lot of changes for a female option.


Yep, I did get that!

Just tried Aasi's route as Flynn--I think I got her bad ending, though I'm not sure what I could have switched to get a different outcome, so I'm not sure she has a good one? I tried reloading and switching the choice in the restaurant, but regardless, Flynn goes back to NY angry and distrusting everyone.

I really wish there were a way to help her heal a little!

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#12 Postby hanako » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:39 am

NEW VERSION UPLOADED - 0.91

You should probably be able to use the download links you already have to get the new installers. If not, contact me with your order details and I can refresh your download links.

Things changed:

There's now a route endings list available from the checklist. You'll have to go through endings again to add them, though, previously played ones won't count. The number of endings per character will not display until you get at least one, and for some characters it is possible to get their 'bad end' scene while pursuing someone else and getting their 'good end'
A new scene and a couple of slight alterations to Ji Hyo early on
Some tweaks to the later bits of Danny's good end and the hiking scene if you exercised
Fixed the missing I, the double 'the', one missing facial expression in a Flynn/Aasi scene, New England -> The Northeast
Blocked Ashley's route if you agreed to go out with Mark

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#13 Postby nightshadengale » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:00 pm

The updates to Ji Hyo definitely do make her a lot more intriguing! (At least to me.) Just finished her route, and it was adorable.

I have noticed that some of the routes feel like they're missing a goodbye scene at the end. It's less noticeable on the ones that have a scene towards the end that brings up the subject of you leaving, but it does seem like the person you romanced should see you off on the last day with everyone else.

I also tried Angelo's route earlier--it was cute, though it felt like the physical aspect escalated a bit too quickly. I was really surprised when Malia started trying to unbutton his shirt immediately after the confession scene, given how awkward-virgin she is on a lot of the other routes. XD I was also expecting his route would shed more light on the scene where you bump into him in the hallway and knitting supplies drop out of his shirt. I had assumed that meant he had some hobbies he was embarrassed about because he considered them too feminine, but it never came up on his route.

A couple typos I've noticed:
Danny's route: "Danny sat down next to me and gently took my feet in his." -> presumably his hands?
After you walk in on Danny and Peggy: "Then again, I had never seen him like that,, either."

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#14 Postby nightshadengale » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:48 pm

I think there may be a bug with Brendan's rivalry--when I did Aasi's route on the old build, he came to my room drunk like Aasi does when playing as Malia, but both times I've tried Flynn since then (Ashley and Danny), he didn't come to my room, even though I picked the same "Try to understand" option in the kitchen. I get a scene where he gloats in the kitchen about getting away with it, and then it immediately transitions to the scene where he confesses. After he confesses, I don't have an option to forgive him, I automatically say that James will deal with it. (Loading up a save as Malia, the same thing happens if I help her to her room instead of hearing her out. Is it a bug that they confess right after gloating about getting away with it? James lurking with a tape recorder would be a satisfying resolution to the "they gloat about getting away with it" outcome, but I'm not sure why they'd confess unless they had some guilt about doing it, which only seems to be the case when they come to your room drunk.)

Played through Ashley's route as Flynn, and had some trouble getting her good ending--I'd figured from the way she reacts to the mugging scene that saying that everyone was definitely good at the very beginning was the right approach, but I had to go back and switch that choice to get her good ending instead of her neutral one.

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Re: Beta Testing / Discount Copies

#15 Postby hanako » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:22 pm

Brendon is less lovable than Aasi is and getting his insight scene is trickier. Just picking 'try to understand' isn't enough. IIRC you also have to hang out with him and Aasi at the beach. (Aasi has either the beach scene or the one yardwork scene to get an extra point from) With both of them, you don't get the option for forgiveness unless you've made friends-of-a-sort. Not a bug, the random confessions are in the original script, I guess largely to tie up loose ends so the player doesn't feel angry that their name was never cleared.

Ashley's choices are a little weird but it was written that way in the original script, with no notes as to why. I don't totally understand the intent, but in a way it's more interesting than just picking blind faith all the time. I can invent ways in which it sort of makes sense, with a bit of head-scratching, and she does seem upset if you choose that everyone is definitely good. Perhaps she wants reassurance that some people (like Brendon) really do make not-nice choices, while at the same time not wanting you to jump to conclusions about people who haven't been proven bad yet? I don't really want to cut the original writer's legs out from under them there.


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