A Victorian Tale [Released]

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by minenschacht, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. minenschacht

    minenschacht Villager Member

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    "It is the mid-19th-century. In the turmoils of war two young soldiers flee from the battlefield. Trying to hide they stumble upon an old mansion. Have they found a safe place, or is the true horror only beginning?"
     
    A Victorian Tale is a horror adventure inspired by such games as Silent Hill, Myst or the infamous Ao Oni. Make your way through the old mansion an unravel a deep plot about fear, regret and the eldritch horrors lurking the place. I made this game for the 2014 Indie Game Contest. There is a dedicated licence file crediting all the asset creators (please, forgive me if I forgot anyone in the hurry - or even better, drop me a line in this thread; I'll update the licence file asap). Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to include a lightweight RTP, so you will have to download that separately. It is a RPG Maker VX Ace Project. You can find the required RTP in the in link section. Any feedback is more than welcome!
      
     
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    * A unique, lovecraftian setting
    * Challenging puzzles
    * A complex plot that unravels the more you explore
    * Thrilling action sequences
    * Five different endings
     
      
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    Download (v1.01)
    RPG Maker VX Ace RTP
    Submission Page (v1.0)
    Walkthrough
     
      
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    Known Bugs (v1.0)
    * If you go back after crawling through the hole in the boilerroom you will get stuck (luckily you don't have to go back)
    * You can pick up Page 3 of the diary twice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
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  2. minenschacht

    minenschacht Villager Member

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    I updated the linked version a bit (version from the submission page is of course still the same)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
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  3. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    Here's my very quick and sketchy take on the game (link for info on why it's so short and all that jazz)




    +The location map was nice enough

    +Good atmosphere (tho it doesn’t go anywhere)

    -Has no introduction hook, story isn’t gripping.

    -All characters look the same, with no faces or anything to tell them apart.

    -What can be investigation and what can’t is very ambiguous.

    -Quite playing due to lack of interest.

    -I have to manually use items form the main menu? Why wouldn't it automatically react as soon as I have them?

    To the developer: If you want to tell a story, make sure you have the players INVESTED early on. If it’s a horror tale, make sure something actually HAPPENS at some point. I don’t know exactly what was the intent of this game, but it doesn’t work well.
     
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  4. minenschacht

    minenschacht Villager Member

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    First thanks of course for your feedback!

    However one question:

    You were mentioning a hook in the story. Can you elaborate on that? 

    The thing with the characters and ambiguous exploration is true though. Both of which have been cut due to time issues. About the latter though: The important things are highlighted (like the firepoker), so you won't miss anything that is required to progress. This was more or less a last minute solution.

    There is only one tiny bit of criticism I have to weasle myself out of: 

    Using items from your inventory is an integral part of any challenging adventure game. I did not want people to go up to stuff and button-mash their way through the game. The firepoker is just a hint that it is done this way. It is so very obvious that you would realize it in a second and carry the lesson along for the rest of the game.
     
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  5. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    Story hook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrative_hook

    Basically you need somehting to make the player INTERESTED as early as possible.

    Aboyt the items: with a different sistem i would agree, but the default rpg maker menu is really not the same thing. I'd recommend looking into a much more simple menu with ONLY the items rather than a status and all the jazz (tho I understand that takes scripting/time). I'm jsut sayign it does not feel very "adventure game" style in the current state.

    Or maybe I'm just being nitpicky. THat could be true.
     
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  6. minenschacht

    minenschacht Villager Member

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    Well I understand the concept of course, but this is a very subjective matter, isn't it?

    The question I should have rather asked was: In what form should the story grab you in that very instance? Or what would you change in order to keep the attention up?

    At the end of the day story is a matter of engaging motives arranged in a proper sequence of events, right? But what I'm wondering is: Is it the motives or is it the sequence of events that messes things up?

    Maybe let me explain it with an example:

    You were mentioning Resident Evil in the video so I suppose you know the intro to that one. Now let's just think for a moment, what motives are present in the beginning of RE1:

    * People escape some sort of dangerous situation

    * They are locked in a place

    * The main protagonist is attacked

    * People start to go missing one after the other.

    Now I'll admit that I have switched places for two of these in AVT (you can probably guess which ones) but in a very abstracted sense: How is the story hook much different here? Maybe one could argue that the sequence of events creates a too slow start, however isn't that more a matter of pacing then?
     
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  7. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    It doesnt matter HOW, the issue is that there is nothing at the intro to make us care about the game.

    The characters are all blended together: they have no distinguisihign features (heck, they all look the exact same) or are likeable. The situation could be tense (a war) but sicne we don't know the poeple in question it lacks any real impact.

    The situation/story itself is not necessarily bad, but it goes nowhere in the first 10 minutes, which means the time for the hook is gone. Even if it's good later on chances are the player will stop before that.

    A big point is that I have NO IDEA of where the game is going. Is it an horror-ish game? Is it a story game? The game doesn't want to tell me and it moves alogn slowly bogged down by cutscenes about people who all look the same and I don't give a sheep about.

    Suggestions would be to speed up the intro (cut off those long scrolls and characters talkign too logn when we don't know or care) and jsut get to the mea of the game, whatever it may be. Make SOMETHING interesting happen early in the game. If it's a horro game: a scare or somethign creepy. As it is it's way too slow and not really creepy or mysterious, since it takes too long for anythign to happen and it lacks an oppresive and frightening environment. (Some work on the sound design could help there, I don't know).

    Players by default are IMPATIENT. No one wants to wait for the game to get interesting, they want it to be interesting NOW (heck, there are 400+ games in this contest). Also I'd say enable the run speed because the walk was ridiculous and totally not justified.

    PS: Actually I have not played resident evil, I just know they have silly puzzles with doors and shaped locks.
     
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  8. minenschacht

    minenschacht Villager Member

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    Not really sure why this is such a big issue though.

    If you know where the adventure is going it's not really an adventure, isn't it?

    What if it is both? What if it is one thing first, the other thing later?

    I'm not saying AVT is necessarily a genre mix but I don't see a reason why you shouldn't incorporate different tones in one game.

    So that is one point i still don't really get.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2014
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