THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

Train a little vampire to restore her power as she chomps her way through the town!
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hanako
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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#16 Post by hanako » Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:43 pm

Bloody Vikings wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:23 pm
Also, would it be possible to draw up your current stats by clicking on the girl, or a mirror, perhaps? Something to let people get a quick stat check before choosing a path.
Technically possible yes, but I'm not quite sure when and where you're thinking about having the option. Do you mean, like, in conversation scenes where there might be choices? Any scene in particular or just in general? It probably requires slightly different code to have it available during a scene vs during a choice, so if you mostly want to check RIGHT at the moment of making a choice I can look into adding an option on the choice screen.

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#17 Post by Bloody Vikings » Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:46 pm

Before a choice would be the most pressing time, of course (schedule setting, conversation between vampire and the caretaker, et cetera,) but in Princess Maker-type games, I often stop to look over my child's stats intermittently, just to verify how things are shaping up.
So, I suppose, NEW BOOBS are a strong draw, but over time, better story wins out. -Hanako

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#18 Post by q_3 » Sat Jul 03, 2021 9:54 pm

I qualified for the Hunter's ending the first time I beat her, FWIW.

Early on the game seems very punishing if you aren't balancing Body and Mind evenly, with the weaker of the two being easily exhausted unless you rest a lot. It makes sense to encourage some degree of balance, but maybe the jobs/classes that focus more on body should consume less mind and vice versa?

Having to pick an activity for the entire week can lead to some frustration. Early on it's often necessary to have one or two rest periods, but having to dedicate the entire week to rest is costly. Later on if a class increases in price mid-week it can cause you to unexpectedly run out of money. If you don't want to allow day-to-day micromanagement, maybe at least have like a "rest one day" option? Or maybe "stay home but don't sleep" activity which would recover less body/mind but provide slight stat boosts instead of penalties?

The event illustrations are very easy to skip. Maybe require an additional click to continue past them?

Burglary seems either too difficult or not rewarding enough. It requires a wide range of skills but rarely yields more money than you can get (much more easily) from arm wrestling. At minimum maybe if you bail on a house early enough you'll have time to try a second?

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#19 Post by Bloody Vikings » Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:08 pm

One more small request, when you fast forward, if you aren't careful, you can end up at the "burgle or not" choice for a burglury without seeing which house you are in front of and can't scroll back to check. Possibly add a label so that you can tell?
So, I suppose, NEW BOOBS are a strong draw, but over time, better story wins out. -Hanako

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#20 Post by hanako » Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:33 pm

I don't mind making it more visible, but you should still be able to scroll back from the Break In / Go Home option to see the building description. At least when I'm testing, the scrollwheel and PageUp both still work at that point.

(It's also recorded in History, but that's awkward to get to.)

Being able to pick a different house if you bail early on was in my list of features to consider at some point, so I may bump that up a bit. :)

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#21 Post by q_3 » Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:30 pm

Suggestion: an activity (Fortune Teller?) that hints about whether vampire is on track to be restored and what ending(s) she is leaning toward.

One of the computer use class scenes ("Ready to talk about basic programming?") seems to be bugged, it doesn't display the background or sprites, just the dialogue over the weekly stat changes screen.

Sometimes during battle the vampire's sprite gets stuck as semi-transparent. I think it happens if you click too rapidly during an animation.

The movie option seems weak compared to other activities. Maybe add some Mind/Body recovery if vampire really likes the movie? Add a chance to bite a moviegoer in the dark? Add popcorn to the list of things you can bite?

One other thing that would be helpful with burglary is when you're choosing what to search for, either displaying your current stats or colorizing each option to reflect chance of success.

The last third or so of the game can feel too easy as long as you did reasonably well up to that point. Would it be feasible to add high-level challenges similar to the Hunter to other activities? I really like what she adds both in terms of building tension as you play and then having a satisfying payoff once you're strong enough to beat her. Like, maybe as you do more burglaries you notice more police activity, and you eventually get caught and have to break out of jail (which plays as a burglary in reverse). If you charm many people at balls you start to hear about an elite secret society and eventually receive an invite to their masquerade ball where you'll be unmasked if you fail. Win too many arm wrestling matches and you're pulled into the dangerous world of illegal underground arm wrestling tournaments (?!).

Alternatively, maybe just have an even tougher fight available toward the end of the game?

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#22 Post by hanako » Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:02 pm

Suggestion: an activity (Fortune Teller?) that hints about whether vampire is on track to be restored and what ending(s) she is leaning toward.
This is currently planned as an event that will trigger in the second half of the game if you take the Lore class, but not written yet. We don't have an extra fortune teller character so this probably has to be something the vampire does herself via Occult skill. I don't know yet if it should become an activity she can do at will after that event or not.
One other thing that would be helpful with burglary is when you're choosing what to search for, either displaying your current stats or colorizing each option to reflect chance of success.
The reason those options aren't colorised is that it's actually WAY more complex than just your skill ranking, so any coloring would give a false impression. The related skill affects whether the vampire is likely to recognise a valuable item if she sees one, but doesn't affect whether there are likely to be any of those items in the house in the first place, or how valuable any individual item hidden in the house is. You could have a huge skill in technology and be really good at spotting valuable tech goodies, but if there aren't any there to begin with, your skill is useless. So I don't want to color the Tech option green based on your skill and falsely suggest 'this is the easy option, pick this one' when it might be the worst option to make money on.

However, the update I'm working on at the moment adds 'View Stats' to the quick menu at the bottom, so you will at least be able to check your skills.

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#23 Post by q_3 » Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:45 am

Suggestion: Move the Endurance and Temperance stats to the top of the list in their own group to emphasize their importance. It took me way too long to figure out how Mind and Body are calculated...

Somehow these stats got me the "heal the world with vampire vitamins" ending, which didn't really make sense to me. I'd maxed the urban spelunking class and was mostly committing burglaries and expected something more like the crime boss ending.

The final computer class is also missing the background and sprites.

I found the Lore class hard to max, completing it just a few days before the end even when it was my main goal. The stats it trains are the least generally useful, so you're pressured to do multiple other jobs/classes to compensate. Maybe that will change once Occult has more uses? I do think it would make sense for the class to train a mind skill, maybe. (And I really like the relationship with the Lore instructor so far, she might be my favorite. I wonder if the house you can burgle that's protected with runes is hers...)

The antiques trader and content creator jobs seem less lucrative than they should be. Content creator does eventually turn a good profit with very high stats, but it takes so much of a time investment that it seems better to just stick with modeling. And antiques trader never seems to do much better than the other second tier jobs even with high stats. Maybe they could get bonuses for repeated success like the other jobs? Content creator accumulates more followers over time, while antiques trader develops contacts with other buyers and sellers to get even better prices.

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#24 Post by hanako » Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:10 pm

WHOOPS one of the late level debate scenes is missing entirely... Okay looks like there's something else I need to fix before pushing this update!

(I have a lot of fixes coming shortly but was trying to finish a run and ran into that.)

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#25 Post by hanako » Mon Jul 05, 2021 2:49 pm

Patch 0.7.1

This is mostly a feature patch, though a couple of new scenes may have also slipped in here and there. Details, exciting or otherwise:

Rest no longer shows all the down arrows

Because the Rest action was coming across as too daunting to many people, even though you actually lose very little from resting and the main downside to it is that it takes up so much of your schedule. The display now only shows the increase to Mind and Body. Stat decay via Resting still happens (do nothing but rest for all three slots and you'll see all the losses tabulated at the end) but it's no longer emphasized.

Rest distribution slightly tweaked

There were a few stats which never decayed due to resting. This has been fixed. This also slightly adjusts how likely any skill is to decay, given that there are more options now.

House description visible on break-in-or-not screen

Not very important but if you were skipping wildly ahead you can now more easily see what you're doing when you start.

History accessible directly from right-click menu

This is mostly useful if you've accidentally skipped through a scene and can't roll back. 'History' is now an option on the central menu from escape/right-click/whatever so that you can more quickly get to that screen and see what you missed.

When choosing a house to rob, you can now hunt for a different target if you don't like the look of the place from outside

At the moment this only works before you start breaking into a building at all. If you really didn't want to go for a store, you can hunt for a different target instead, but the alarm level will increase.

View/Hide stats added to quick menu

In dialog scenes when you can normally see fast forward / quicksave / etc, there's now an option to bring up your list of stats. Also works during choices. Click it again to make the stat panel go away.

Slight adjustment to when jobs get a pay increase

Jobs whose base pay is more than 10/day now take longer to get a raise, with the actual delay affected by how much the job pays.

Fixed some missing bite_intros on Computer Class scenes

(this is why the stat screens weren't being hidden so you couldn't see the characters)

In combat, fighters resetting position for a new round should also now reset transparency

It's still possible to get weird animation if you are clicking and skipping furiously, but it will at least try to correct itself.

Debate level 3 scene now appears properly

This scene was accidentally missing and would roll over into an intro psychology scene instead, oops. Now appears as designed.

Income calculations for Antiques Trader job adjusted

This should result in an overall income boost for the job and steadier progression as skills increase. Max income for this job is now 50/day.

Divination now available if unlocked in Lore class after New Years

This is a paid weekend activity which provides some feedback about whether you're powerful enough to avoid the bad ending and what career you're likely to get. Because this only unlocks after New Years, it can be missed if you max Lore entirely before that date.

Divination allows ending the game early in some circumstances

If you've passed the spring equinox and your skills are past a certain threshold you can choose to go adult and end the game immediately.

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#26 Post by Bloody Vikings » Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:41 pm

This update looks great. Thank you, Hanako.
So, I suppose, NEW BOOBS are a strong draw, but over time, better story wins out. -Hanako

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#27 Post by q_3 » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:14 pm

I like the debate instructor, she's fun. Probably my favorite of the non-romanceable characters. Galaxy brain idea: she should have two romance routes, one for each class. And a secret harem route where you complete both classes and learn she's actually identical twins. :wink:

(Speaking of which, I'm curious how Ms. Vampire will choose between multiple brides. I know it's possible to complete both dancing and spelunking in a single run, and possibly even have time for a third. Maybe she picks based on who's most compatible with her ending?)

Suggestion: have Content Creator use Technology instead of Science, and Fact Checker use Science instead of Technology. I think that would make sense for both jobs (scientific literacy is important for reporters!), and it would improve balance a bit. Content Creator would be easier to train for due to more synergy with the Computer class, while the Lore class would become more practical with more synergy with the Fact Checker job.

The Psychic job could probably use a buff too, given that the Endurance penalty can be a hassle long-term and it only pays around average for a second tier job. I kind of think it should be another variable wage job, it's weird to think of "psychic" as an hourly wage position.

These stats got the farmer ending (via divination), which seemed weird because I hadn't done any animal or horticulture jobs/classes. I'd maxed debate and psychology, got partway through Lore, and worked most as file clerk and psychic. I was on track for the politician ending but used alchemy to reduce my etiquette and law stats. Then some more tweaking got the vampire queen ending, which made sense. (Is that ending supposed to only be one page of text? It does seem a little bit like a bad ending.)

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#28 Post by Bloody Vikings » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:35 pm

I'm not sure about the twin harem, since that's a little creepy, but the twin thing would help explain how you can interact with one, and even attack her and have prices affected, without the other class actually being afffected.
So, I suppose, NEW BOOBS are a strong draw, but over time, better story wins out. -Hanako

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#29 Post by hanako » Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:54 pm

how you can interact with one, and even attack her and have prices affected, without the other class actually being afffected.
Are you speaking theoretically? Because that shouldn't be possible, in MULTIPLE ways.

You can't actually bite the debate/psych teacher - she sees your mood and pre-emptively cancels the class on the grounds that you're clearly too tired to concentrate. You don't actually bite her and the class price shouldn't actually increase. And it DOES cancel both Debate and Psych classes for the week.

Really, you can't bite her, there's not even art for that.

Then some more tweaking got the vampire queen ending, which made sense. (Is that ending supposed to only be one page of text? It does seem a little bit like a bad ending.)
At the time that I was writing them I couldn't think of enough interesting variations for that ending so I left it there. (Most of the time, later pages are for variants based on the stats other than the stats which triggered the ending in the first place. Not all endings have variants at the moment, though most do, and more may be added later as I come up with ideas.)

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Re: THE BIG BETA THREAD!!!

#30 Post by Bloody Vikings » Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:05 pm

Uh, I thought I'd done that in a run. I can try running again to see if I misread it. I was under the influence of allergy meds during that run, but I could have sworn that the price spiked.
So, I suppose, NEW BOOBS are a strong draw, but over time, better story wins out. -Hanako

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