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#1 South Spartan

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 04:29

Hello people from Red Thread games!

My name is Leonidas, I'm a graphic designer with some minor knowledge in Unity and I'm one of the many backers of this game. This might be a late feedback report for book one, but I still feel I should share my thoughts an impressions on the game (I think being a backer makes me feel part of the development team in some sort of way, hehehe). I hope this might be helpful and useful somehow.

 

First of all, I would like to say I'm very satisfied with the game. The graphics and atmosphere are gorgeous, the soundtrack, sound design and voice acting is also of the highest quality. The writing / plot is interesting and fun, and the gameplay is good and simple as I expected in a very story driven game. I also really like the decision making feature : )

 

But, there were some other things that I didn't like that much, and I would like to share my thoughts on them. As I said, I really like the game, so don't take this list of mine in a bad way. They are suggestions from a fan and backers who played the previous games in the series more than once and that really enjoyed reading more about it in forums, wikis, etc. (I even e-mailed FUNCON years ago asking about a continuation from Dreamfall: TLJ). The list includes suggestions, bugs, and minor problems. So here we go:

 

MAJOR STUFF:

1- BUG: and a big one. After I did my tasks in the Pandemoniun, I decided to head back to the Hand that Bites to talk with Sully (since i read online that he had a lot of dialogs that i had missed). Well, as soon as i started to talk with him his 3d model disappeared and zoes dialogs and his began to overlap like crazy seeming out of order and completely out of timing.

 

2- OPINION: I was a bit disappointed with one thing in the story recap / game intro. They gave us answers that the previous game haven't and I think that's not how this answer should come up. For example, at the end of Dreamfall: TLJ we are left with doubts about the Azaris intentions and connections with the problems in the world, but as soon as you see the game intro this whole mystery is solved in 20 seconds just saying: "oh yea, for the whole last game you guys where trying to figure this out, but don't worry the Azari are really the bad guys and they know what they are doing, so don't bother thinking about this anymore". This really disappointed me.

 

ok, the next 3 items are a bit harsh (sorry for that):

 

3- UNDERDEVELOPED PARTS: ok, so there are 2 things here that I must say:

First, everything that happened between the end of Dreamfall TLJ and Chapters regarding Zoe in the Storytime feels underdeveloped, I don't know if you plan to explore this a bit more, but it sure feels like there is a chunk of story missing between the 2. What happens after she wakes up and moves out of Casablanca, etc. seems too fast, but I can still buy, but i would really like to see more about what happened during that coma.

Second, I really disliked how the story went when Zoe was supposed to wake up. As soon as I saw the Vagabond saying "you should wake up", and Zoe answering with responses that felt like "oh yea, maybe I should" I got sad. If it was this easy to wake up, why did she stay all that time in coma anyway? And even if we suppose that at some point she decided she didn't want to go back, you have to agree that at least in the beginning of that coma she really wanted to awake. Seriously, I was expecting she would get REALLY mad with the Vagabond for not telling her that she could go back, but that never happens. And as a result, the whole "going back thing" feels non emotional and flat.

 

4- ZOES PERSONALLITY: I still don't get why the games portraits Zoe as a bad person and her past as something shameful. That's NOT the feeling we get from Dreamfall TLJ. The whole discussion she has with the Vagabond and specially the one with herself before waking up, pictures her as a bad person with a shameful past. This makes no sense to me. Dreamfall TLJ pictures her as a Hero, who did all she could to save the world, and this part of Dreamfall Chapters shows something completely different. I really don't like this.

 

5- THE GAME IS MORE MATURE: This is another thing that upset me a bit. This game is not only darker than the 2 other ones in the series but it's more mature or should I say, "less innocent", "less friendly". Sure we had some dialogs about sex and some bad words once in a while, but in Chapters this is way more present in the game. This "mature" things make such a strong impression that I almost feel that this is not the same world I played in the 2 other games. I would have no problems giving TLJ or Dreamfall TLJ to a 10 year old, but I'm not so sure about Chapters. And I really feel that's something negative when we are talking about 3 games that are supposed to tie up to each other continuing a story. Chapters not only is darker, it is focused in a public with another age and because of that the connection between the 3 games and the story itself suffers.

 

6- I felt the game is getting a bit politically preachy, I hope it doesn't go to far with that.

 

7- The fact of Zoe hitting her doctor so early in the game feels weird (specially if the player didn't read the journal, what is distinct possibility). I think he whole reason for this is because of the "rushed" parts that I talked about. I understand the game is long and funds are not infinite, but not giving us almost anything about what happened between Zoe waking up and she moving to Europolis really "takes its tool" (specially) here.

 

OTHER THINGS:

1- In the second dream Zoe goes into: I tried to walk to the end of the road and ended up hitting the wall with the light "light" we can see from the distance. That doesn't seem good, it simply seems like a black wall with some yellow pixels in the middle of it instead of a small portal. Also aiming the lamp posts can be quite hard since sometimes the mouse buttons ends up showing the eye icon instead of the cog (this is a problem a ran trough a couple of times during the whole game).

 

2- the design of the dialog options throughout the game: I think that they could be reworked a bit. That white font with the "funny" going round and round effect really feels a bit cheap and inconsistent with the rest of GUI choices made for the game.

 

3- Dialogs and cutscenes almost overlapping each other: This can be noticed specially in the beginning of the game. The dialogs and cutscenes sometimes almost overlap each other, giving us, the players, no time between the 2. It just feels unnatural and too fast, people don't talk like that, they say something, they pause and then continue. Maybe some fades between the cutscenes and a more spaced timing for the dialogs would do the work.

 

4- Dialogs overlapping: this one happened sometimes throughout the game. Instead of a new instance of a dialog to cancel the old one, they simply overlap (for example, let's say I looked and clicked at 2 different objects one immediately after the other.) I might be wrong but code wise this seems simple to fix by simply running a check if a dialog is already running and before allowing another to trigger).

 

5- Sound problems in cutscenes / longer dialogs: I had this issue more than once. Sometimes the sound of their voices would drop a lot depending on the angle of the camera (this happened to me in kian first section, and with zoe in the hand that feeds). In Kians prison cell there is also a odd sound effect (i think it might be reverb), that makes it feel like he is inside a metal box instead of a stone building (i had this feeling in somewhere else in the game but I can't remember where).

 

6- Subtitles, when occupying 2 lines overlap a bit (running all visual options on max).

 

7- The font and background for Zoe's journal, from a graphic design point, feels like an uninteresting block of text that is hard to read. I think that font doesn't work that well in higher resolutions.

 

8-  The fact that the journal updates in the same entry without a clear division from what was there before make it a bit hard to find what is new.

 

9- The arrow pointing at the hand that bites pointed me to the wrong direction 4 times. I'm not sure if I was the only one with this problem, but only when i carefully looked at it I than noticed it was a hand and that maybe I should go to where the fingers were pointing.

 

10- I'm quite sure I bumped twice into that girl saying I'm the hero from here dream (i might be wrong, but I really think this happened).

 

11- some minor and rare path finding and shadow issues

 

12- a couple of camera issues: quite often the camera would randomly jump from third person perspective to first person view and back. I really don't know why this happens but it happened pretty often when i was in small spaces or really near to objects.

 

13- first room of the baby level: I could go trough the things on the floor. Their mesh colliers were off I guess.

 

14- the ghostly figure talking to the baby annoyed me a bit. I didn't really like that fluid, weird waterish ghost. In my humble opinion a regular NPC model with ghostly colors would feel better.

 

15- Rushed changes in the dialogs: how can I put this... sometimes trough the game a character would begin talking about something and soon immediately change his opinion. Look at the last dialog of the game, for example: The mom says that she feels that there is someone in the house and seems worried about it. One line of dialog later and it is as she is completely not worried anymore like "yea, your right, there is no one here". Yes, I know she will still say something like, "I really felt like there was someone here", but that whole fear she had simply goes away way to fast.

 

I hope I don't seem like someone how is just complaining because that is not what I'm trying to do here.

As I said, I hope this feedback can help this game get even better 9and i would be really happy if someone form the dev team read this).

: )


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#2 Morten

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:12

Thank you for the feedback.

 

As far as the minor quarrels you have with the game's story and direction, and how things are played out in different sections of Book One; I'm sure there are a lot of other players here on the forums that are willing to discuss this with you and share their experience which might change some of your feelings towards them. ;)

 

Other than that, yes there are a few minor technical bugs, but I really need to emphasize that, with regards to the story and content of Book One, we didn't rush it at all. It was exactly how we envisioned it, and it had to be for us to release it.

 

I'm not going to go rambling about in the small issues here, but thank you very much for your feedback. It helps us going forwards. :)


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#3 South Spartan

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 21:15

Thank you for your reply. : )

As I said, all I'm trying to do here is help since I love this series so much : )

 

And I agree that most of my "issues" might be something personal, but still I think it was worth sharing. The only point that I disagree is the fact the this game really feels dark and specially more mature then the other 2, and how this doesn't seem, in my humble opinion, to fit well with the other 2 games.

 

I still liked the the first episode, and I still trust you guys will make an awsome game. No regrets putting 75$ in the kickstarter ; )


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#4 Morten

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 10:57

:D

 

Thank you for the support, once again. We'll love to hear your opinions on the upcoming books as they release as well.

And thank you for the kind words and constructive feedback, it is very appreciated!


Red Thread Games PR0grammer & Naturally Selected Part-Time "Keep Track of Forum"-person / Community Overseer


#5 Idinyphe

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:59

@SouthSpartan

 

I started a new game least night and kept your posting in mind for that replay.

 

 


They gave us answers that the previous game haven't

 

I do not trust the intro and would not take anything said there as the "truth". Let us say the intro is increasing some of the feelings the storytellers think we should have, but we should be aware that this could be a misdirection.

 

 


First, everything that happened between the end of Dreamfall TLJ and Chapters regarding Zoe in the Storytime feels underdeveloped

 

There are a lot of things not clear. I expect that there will be story relevant parts referring to those events. I speculate that things happend that are better left untold... for now. To create some tension.

 

 


why did she stay all that time in coma anyway?

 

I don't know what answers you picked but in the answers I picked (or maybe it is a bad translation to German) it is very clear why she stayed:

 

There is nothing left on the outside:

* She lost all her friends

* She has no trust in her father.

* Her mother tried to kill her

* Her boyfriend is a bad guy

 

She has the feeling in storytime she can make a difference. What would you choose? Being a nobody with no future or the hero in a land where you got incredible power.

 

 


Zoe as a bad person and her past as something shameful

 

I think this is the completion of the "coming of age" story arc of Zoe. To accept your younger self, who you were, is, in my opinion, a part of it.

 

 


THE GAME IS MORE MATURE: This is another thing that upset me a bit

 

If you read the posts in the forum a lot of people share your way to see this topic. There is a thread about swearing. My opinion is that times in reallife did get darker, that reflects in the storys. I would think about the 1980ies as "dark", the 1990 as sanguine, the 2000ers as sobering and the 2010 again as dark. Like fashion that changes :)

 

Edit:

 

 

Quote from IGN ( http://www.ign.com/a...longest-journey )

 

"

The Longest Journey goes even farther by given you the development, as well as realistic dialogue -- that means adult content, harsh subject matter, and some big time swearing mixed in with all of the classic stuff you've come to love about adventure games.

"

 

 

 


I felt the game is getting a bit politically preachy, I hope it doesn't go to far with that.

 

Very interesting. I hope for the contrary. Seems like it is not possible to make everything right for everyone ;)

 

 


The fact of Zoe hitting her doctor so early in the game feels weird

 

As many things this is an option. I had the feeling it is up to me... if that is OK... or don't do it if not. There are many different "Zoes" around... depending on your decisions you may get a swearing and darker Zoe or a nicer one.

 

 


it simply seems like a black wall with some yellow pixels in the middle of it instead of a small portal

 

That white font with the "funny" going round and round effect really feels a bit cheap

 

I agree. There are a lot of texures and details not matching todays AAA - title standard. Depends on the money you have :)

 

 


Instead of a new instance of a dialog to cancel the old one, they simply overlap

 

Sound problems in cutscenes / longer dialogs

 

These things are bugs in my opinion.  I did not see them in the german replay yesterday (And I stopped dialogs a lot). I thought they had fixed this.

 

 


The font and background for Zoe's journal, from a graphic design point

 

I agree... the diary is made ... without passion. May be a money/time issue.

 

 


a couple of camera issues

 

I could go trough the things on the floor. Their mesh colliers were off I guess.

 

On my search for

Spoiler

I crawled into every pixel of the game. You are right, there are some spooky effects going on if you hit the wrong angle or explore some parts of the game.

 

 


I didn't really like that fluid, weird waterish ghost

 

That is true. Whats more is that the voice of the ghost in the german version is done like the actress wanted to sound mysterious, but failed. It sounds as she has to stifle her giggling about that ;)

 

 

In my opinion most things in your list are minor issues :) Would you agree with that?

 

I am expecting from part 2 more glitches, graphic problems, strange pictures when trying to do something not so common ingame :)

 

But that is OK, what do you think?


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Unfortunately that's the story of revenge. It's messy. Never really works out the way you want it to.


#6 toremygg

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 12:05

[/spolier]

 

Spot the typo ;)



#7 South Spartan

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 06:05

Wow, thank you so much for such a detailed comment on my post @Idinyphe.

 

And yes, I totally agree. Most of the things I listed are indeed minor issues (and I think this shows us how good the game is). The better the product, more likely it is for people to find minor bugs/issues instead of big critical ones.

It might seem that I'm beeing to harsh about some of the minor problems, but believe me, I'm just pointing them out, I don't really expect them all to be fixed or changed. But I belive that letting the developers know what whe think might give them a help on what to focus.

 

And as you said, I am also expecting from part 2 a couple more of minor "glitches, graphic problems, strange pictures when trying to do something not so common ingame". I haven't experienced anything really game breaking in part 1 so as long as it continues like that I will have no reason to complain. And I'll be happy to continue pointing out the bugs / glitches / odd stuff that I discover, hoping that the ones that the devs deem more important might get adressed at some point. ; )


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#8 Tina

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 07:47

I just wanted to mention that we have a dedicated thread for bug reports. So if you find bugs (which you most likely will do) in Book 2 when it is released, then that's probably the best place to point them out :)


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#9 Nanoloque

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 13:21

4- ZOE PERSONALITY: The game doesn't portray it as bad or shameful. It's only the perception of Zoë herself about her own person before the events of Dreamfall Chapters. I don't have any problem with her personality in Dreamfall either.
 
5- THE GAME IS MORE MATURE: I don't think so. Think about the previous games.
 
The Longest Journey: your avatar lives in a city where the cops are owned by corporations and advertise for them before they read your rights. Also, it is implied that only rich people can live in upper levels of Newport in order to escape criminality and pollution.
Spoiler

 
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: Remember Arcadia, the land of magic and wonders ? Remember when magic was allowed? when people were mixed and lived together, regardless of their race or their use of magic ? when no soldier imprisoned you because of your "false" believes ?
Spoiler

 
In my opinion, The Longest Journey series always did very well by mixing dark fantasy/science-fiction and sense of wonder. For instance, despite the events in Propast, you still have Storytime, beautiful, and Arcadia is waiting for us in Book 2: Rebels.
 
Nothing too much mature or dark. Except if you are French and if the political climate of Europolis reminds you a little too much that the National Front got most of the votes in France during the last European Parliament election. But nothing to really worry about, right ? :) right ? :(
 
6- GAME GETTING POLITICALLY PREACHY? Fair question. Maybe it only reflects the opinion of Zoë Castillo. I think her relative engagement in politics is more a background element than anything else. And Zoë the Dreamer is more interesting than Zoë the militant. :P
 
7- Yes, I was confused when I learnt through the journal that Zoë was still with Reza. Oops, shoudn't have flirted with Dr. Zelenka.
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#10 Nancy Brown

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 20:01

It's interesting how always people start arguing without being asked to :)

 

South Spartan, just wanted to say that I find a lot of similarities in my POV about the plot with yours (to a little bit off-set those arguing moods).



#11 Crowboy

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 19:49

A bit late, but my view on (some of the) things:

 

1. Yes there are bugs. Remember that this is an indie developer with limited resources funding and personnel. As such you can't expect a bug free product. Add to that the fact there are so many divergences and paths you need to follow to completely test the game, that they released it with this high quality is a miracle, on my book.

 

2. Swearing: I think it makes the game more realistic. In real life, people swear and curse and get angry, so I like it.

 

3. Zoe's personality. I don't think she's portrayed as bad, but she is portrayed as lost, maybe still dreaming to some extent. I like it because I think that's how she should behave. She woke up from a coma, her life is completely changed, and she can't even remember the week that changed them.

 

4. Journal, I can't say for sure, but it feels to me that the journal's dullness represents Zoe's state of mind. She's coping and living, but she feels dull. From her relationship with Reza, to the campaign volunteering, and her work, she's sort of "going through the motions" she's there but she's not, and that is reflected in her journal. I could be wrong about this, but at least for now, it fits the general atmosphere the game is trying to create.







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