Ars Harmonia

Sailerius

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Mere days after the serial killer who terrorized the city of Farpoint was found dead, a girl has gone missing. A nameless "detective" comes to town to put the case to rest - and to vanquish the demon at the heart of the mystery.

 

Six months after Vacant Sky, the first movement of a timeless waltz begins.

 

Contest entry is here. Ars Harmonia, built in Unity, is a 3D mystery/adventure game and also features voice acting.

 



 



 



 



 

 

Sailerius

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We'll be hitting feature freeze this weekend for the Unity contest submission, so any feedback you can offer before then would be great!
 

Mihel

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I guess there is a way to save progress because I can see that after playing there's a continue option in the title screen... except it is not immediately obvious just how to create a savestate. So a visible option to save would be a plus; and even though the game's really short, a scene viewer would be welcome.
 

Sailerius

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I guess there is a way to save progress because I can see that after playing there's a continue option in the title screen... except it is not immediately obvious just how to create a savestate. So a visible option to save would be a plus; and even though the game's really short, a scene viewer would be welcome.
The game mentions when you start the game that it automatically saves your progress. Currently, yeah, there's only a single savestate which automatically progresses with you. It's a desired feature to add multiple though, yeah.
 

Mihel

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I suspected it was stated somewhere, but it is only mentioned when you start the game the very first time. As I've been playing several contest games today, this little detail didn't register. I really suggest making this information available every time a New Game starts, people might not remember it if they only read it once, left the game for a while, and then resumed playing.

You know... humans and their fallacious memory...
 

Sailerius

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Actually, it reminds you as soon as you get to the hotel each time. :p
 

Sailerius

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Update: Here's a video of art director Kate Holden highlighting the game and showing a work-in-progress of the protagonist's battle model.
 

Indrah

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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)




[SIZE=10pt]+Presentation overall was good.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10pt]+No glaring flaws in the writing (of what little I saw).[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10pt]+Nice sound (I see you, Presence of Music >D)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10pt]-The blurring during the intro was a bit annoying because it made the text harder to read, and in a game BASED on text that’s not good.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10pt]-Could have used some event pictures for the big scenes (such as the intro…) though I understand this is a matter of resources and time.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10pt]To the developer: I can’t say much besides it looked like a nice visual novel from what I saw? I could not really tell much other than it wasn’t BAD. [/SIZE]
 

Sailerius

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Thanks for playing and for the critique! Admittedly, yeah, VNs don't make for great streaming material.
 

Sailerius

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Whew, finally got it compiling and running for Windows Phone. Now to get it into integer framerates...
 

Sailerius

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Long day spent porting and optimizing the game for mobile. Still struggling to get a Windows Store app running, though. We hit a huge milestone this afternoon when I managed to play the game from start to finish on my Lumia 920, so it's coming along well!

In celebration of our having reached first place in the People's Choice award, here's a behind the scenes look at the game:



This is an ambient occlusion render of the Laveau Household, before we added in some of the objects of interest (so you'll notice that objects like the calendar and family photo aren't in yet). In compositing the maps, this is used as one of the shadow layers and adds depth and visual interest to the scene. 
 

Ratty524

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So that's how all of the backgrounds in this game look so gorgeous.

EDIT: By the way, you know People's choice was extended, right?
 
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Merlandese

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I just finished this and I really liked it! There's nice universe building, and the characters only say as much as they need. There's plenty of room to add gameplay, especially by extending and expanding on the small portions you already have, but the story itself was a pleasure to tread through. Overall, a really nice visual novel. Glad to see this in the contest. Good luck, and great work on the sheer volume of votes! Well deserved. :)
 

Sailerius

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I just finished this and I really liked it! There's nice universe building, and the characters only say as much as they need. There's plenty of room to add gameplay, especially by extending and expanding on the small portions you already have, but the story itself was a pleasure to tread through. Overall, a really nice visual novel. Glad to see this in the contest. Good luck, and great work on the sheer volume of votes! Well deserved. :)
Thanks for playing and I'm glad you enjoyed it! We had plans for more gameplay originally but just didn't have time to make, implement, and debug the content. We'll be adding in combat in the final release, though.

So that's how all of the backgrounds in this game look so gorgeous.

EDIT: By the way, you know People's choice was extended, right?
Yeah, which is kind of annoying for us since we planned our PR strategy around having one week. Oh well, nothing ever goes the way you planned! Especially not in gamedev.
 

Sailerius

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I posted a roadmap of what to expect from version 1.1 and 1.2 of Ars Harmonia on my devblog. Should be submitting to the Windows Phone store shortly!
 

PixelLuchi

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This game needs more love...
 

PixelLuchi

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As in replies here. XD
 
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As in replies here. XD
Ah we're okay with it. Our entry has a lot of comments and votes, so really I think everybody else's entries are the ones that deserve more love and attention right now! I really need to make some time to play more of the other entries.

Thanks for the feedback, everybody!
 

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