I really enjoyed this demo. I love the ability to choose to be either a grizzle old detective disillusioned with the world to a bright eyed new recruit.
For romance, I do not believe it would fit particularly well in this kind of setting. Of course that’s just my opinion, and you, as the author can do as you please. Only issue is that books that lack romance don’t sell nearly as well as ones that have it. So I fully understand if you attempt to include some for the popularity incentive.
As for some critique, I personally would enjoy some more diversity in the dialogue response. More neutral options towards the state of the world would be appreciated. Also, some extra options that allow you to be more tired and experienced without being too asshole-y would be nice.
Hello hello! I’m loving the interactions that the squad has with each other, especially between Mouse and Carrington. Their back and forth bickering is very amusing and relatable. I hope to see more of that in the future!
High Lands, Deep Waters is a great game that has high reviews in Google Play, it didn’t have romance. I’m confident that the author can pull this off. Best of luck to him and also to you. I haven’t read your updated demo yet lol.
Great demo. I loved that I got to play as the grumpy old man I secretely am.
Though I felt like the last part, with the gang at the corporate HQ and then talking to Mari, drags on a bit too much. To me the only personally meaningful choice in those two scenes was to refuse to sign the contract ; most of the other stuff felt unnecessary to me, since it didn’t seem relevant to the investigation. If there were any important clues to pick up, they went completely over my head. As a more detailed explanation of the world it works quite well, but at that point I felt like there already was too much of that… and I guess the scene with Mari is not even finished?
I’d also like to vote for Stillwater and Chaska to become ROs.
Regarding the romance options, I think I’m going to wait until the “base path” is done before doing anything about it. At that point I’ll have a better idea of what the story ended up looking like in practice. I have it planned out in detail, but you never know how it turns out until it’s done.
In other words, no promises to either direction. Might end up including them, might not, but I’ll be focusing on other things until I’m satisfied with the core experience. Sorry for the people who enjoy romance sub-plots, but I believe this way the overall experience will be better. On the plus side, if I do end up adding ROs, they’ll be of a higher quality since they’ll be integrated to the story rather than being separate. In all likelihood I will include some sort of romantic content, but whether they’ll be entire sub-plots or just a scene here and there is the real question. In any case, I’ve made some notes based on your suggestions.
I’ll go over the dialogue options again at some point and see if I can add more variance. In general I try to always include any extremes as well as a neutral option, plus other options I think feel sensible. It’s entirely possible that the more neutral options are missing in the “how you view the world” parts, so I’ll check those out in particular.
Agreed. As mentioned above, I’ll be focusing on the non-romance stuff until the main stuff is ready, then I’ll give it some serious consideration.
One-night stands might be more possible than entire romance sub-plots, especially since in general they’re a contested issue in law enforcement organizations and so on(if you’re working on the same case or hierarchy anyway, I think?). It adds for some interesting drama possibilities and such. But we’ll see.
Glad you enjoyed it. There will definitely be more of that in the future, at least if you happen to choose the relevant dialogue options.
I’m surprised at how popular the old retired cop route seems to be.
I’m kinda interested overall as to what background options people chose, so I might do a poll about it at some point later on. Since they can be a bit laborious, I might have to cut a few of them out by the time the story is complete. Hopefully not, but I’d rather have a handful that feel relevant than a large number that are shallow.
As for the corporate stuff, I can accept your criticism. The overall flow of the segment is more linear than the segments before it(in a sense), with less choices overall, so I can get how it feels less meaningful, since it’s mostly “corporate setup”, and Mari telling you about the case. I’ll make a note of it and see if I can spice it up later on, but that might have to wait until I’m doing a polishing run after the core stuff is complete. If more people agree that it feels lackluster compared to the rest, then I’ll do something about it earlier. Part of the reason why I feel it isn’t a high priority right now is that one of my original readers said that the corporate part was when it got really interesting and that the very beginning felt weaker. In the end it may be a question of taste, and that I can’t do anything about. In short, the more opinions I get about things, the better of an idea I will have on what needs priority or attention.
It’s a tough thing to balance the narrative. Some readers want more breathing room and grounding, others want things to proceed without filler, etc. Originally some of my readers thought the corporate scene was too linear and fast, so I added some stuff to it to make it more “relaxed” pacing wise, which may be the reason you feel it drags on a bit too much. Sometimes the balancing act means that finding a compromise that everyone likes is impossible and I’ll have to choose who has to suffer(whether that is the case here or not is another matter entirely).
On the other hand, maybe I completely misunderstood what you meant, so it’d be nice if we could clarify that. Do you think it’d be better if I cut it shorter, or if I included more spots where you could react(thus cutting down the monotony of Mari talking for too long in a row without any choices), or if there would be more relevant choices to be made(so not just dialogue choices, but other stuff. If so, what sort of things?), or something altogether different?
The scene with Mari isn’t finished as such, but it’ll continue in a more “relevant” fashion. Less exposition, more investigation and progress. Maybe this in itself is enough to make it better, or does it come too late? Anyway, once I update the content(in a month perhaps), I’d like some opinions on how it feels.
I’d also like more opinions on the overall pacing/quality of the story so far. Which parts work the best, which drag on too long, which are too short, is one part noticeably weaker than the rest, etc.
Btw I really liked playing as the spy. The dialogue options gave me a chance to roleplay being one, I always pick the options that would throw off suspicions from me. If this could be implemented in the game where you have to be really careful on how you act or else your cover will be blown. Though it sounds like a great deal of work so no pressure.
Can you add some thing like nanomachine into heavily cyberized option ? Allows us faster healing, superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability,… ( basically just increase everything but not extremely as others ) and most important, it doesn’t change our appearance much, perfect for spying and stealth
Played through this yesterday and loved it — excellent job nailing the cyberpunk atmosphere.
Lore. There’s quite a bit of setting information, and FWIW I felt like it was integrated smoothly. I do think it would be helpful to have a glossary in the stats screen, if you have the time to implement one.
Pacing. Felt right to me, although I’m basing that on my impression that this is going to be a classic detective story with cyberpunk flair rather than a hardboiled noir crime pulp.
PC Customization. I thoroughly enjoyed the range of background options, especially the options to play an older character and a character with an unremarkable backstory. It’s rare to find a CS game with those options, so it was a nice change of pace.
For completeness’ sake, it would be nice to have a skin color/complexion option in the physical attributes section. While I personally tend to skip appearance customization whenever possible, I do find it a little strange when a game lets you set hair color and eye color but not skin color, especially if all three options are purely cosmetic.
Playtime. 1 to 2 hours sounds about right to me. My first playthrough took 1:17, going at a leisurely pace.
Minor infringements that are lawful in nature, such as throwing trash on the ground, cutting in line, annoying someone and the like deduce the social credit one has, while being kind, helpful and cleaning up after others raises it.
“Those damn cops and their facist ways!” the man curses. "Fight the power! I love my freedom more than anything, man!
There are dozens of them. In all likelyhood, they belong to the megacorporations as well.
Someone wanted to destroy the living room and they did. In all likelyhood the damage isn’t limited to the room either.
You’ve never heard of tanks being used by the police, so it’s possibly this one has never seen action.
The man, if you can call him that, is quite young, possible not even twenty years old.
I’m gonna say it I would like full body cyborg to be an option. I watch to much ghost in the shell and I think that would be awesome. Mostly because I fele that my character could have gone through some trauma. But seriously love this. I could see seriously restriction even more then heavy cyborgs being placed on them.
Seriously though Other then that I really like what you have so far.
I think I could, with relative ease, implement a suspicion meter. It would rise if you chose certain options, etc. I would like all the backgrounds to have at least 3 scenes throughout the game(the intro vignette, one in mid-game, one near the end). Then, for example, if you suspicion was high, the exact scenes would be different than if it were low(though realistically not particularly long). Also, I’m probably going to put some sort of “ending” related to the background(if you do your job poorly vs well, the description of what happens to you after the job is done differs). Something like that is very achievable, I think.
Something like this has been requested by enough people that I’ll have to do something like that. I’ll probably allow the player to choose whether their heavy cybernetics is a sleek, “japanese” model, or a bulky, “american” model. In practice it’ll mean that the sleek model will not have the bulky descriptive text associated with the bulky model, but will retain the “security” description and occasionally have its own unique descriptions. The bulky model will have all the “it’s in the way of your movements” descriptions, and you’ll probably be able to choose to be “extra large”, in which case your weight height will go beyond the normal limits(so height could be Very Tall, making you taller than Carrington in the descriptions, etc).
As for what it would do “gameplay” wise, well, we’ll see. Given that the cybernetic stuff is currently purely cosmetic in practice(but I intend to make them occasionally matter), I’ll have to think about it. Having a sort of generic “slightly better at everything” is sort of annoying in the sense that I’ll have to take it into account often, as opposed to the currently implemented “super specialized” options where it’s easy to know when it would make sense to include them in the descriptions and choices(especially since I generally do “you either can do it or not” type of outcomes, rather than “percentile based” stuff where you add small things together to see what the end result is. It’s easier to say “since you have a minigun and a rocket launcher, this happens” than “since you have lots of minor adjustments, this happens”). I’ll give it some thought and think whether I can do it in a cool way or not. I’d rather not give the option if the end result is that I’ll just ignore it, since it’ll be too much of an illusion of choice for such a big deal. On the other hand, if I can think up of a cool variant(some sort of cloaking device or such?) it might be interesting.
Corrected the typos. The changes will be included in the next update.
As for a glossary in the stats screen, sure I think that’s a good idea. I’ll include it at some point, possibly next big update.
I guess I could include skin appearance customization, but I’d need some ideas on how to do it. I didn’t include it originally for a few reasons. It felt awkward to have a “default” skin color in place(like I have default hair, body, etc for the people who don’t care for that stuff). Also, I wasn’t sure what to offer in the first place(what words to use without being offensive, etc, since I’m not a native English speaker, and what sort of things people care about in the choices in the first place. Like, only color or complexion, or splotches in the skin, or how soft or dry your skin is, etc).
As you may have noticed, the only time I describe the skin(color, complexion, etc) of characters is for the Designer Soldiers, since I figured this’d allow the reader to imagine the characters however they liked. If I give the player a skin color/complexion option, I feel like I’d have to “set in stone” the same for the other characters too and I’d rather not do that. (On the other hand, I don’t think I describe the eye-color of the characters either, so…)
For the most part the hair color, eye color, etc stuff is purely cosmetic(that is to say they don’t matter at all), but on occasion I think I put some special handling for them. Although, now that I think about it, I think that only applies for the Cosmetic Cybernetic choices(weird cyber hair or eyes), rather than than the natural stuff.
In short, I don’t mind including a skin customization option, but I’d like some opinions on how to do it.
Thanks for the playtime estimation. It’s interesting to see that people go through it at such a drastically different rate. I’d like to aim the ultimate play-through time to be at around 6 hours, but for fast readers I don’t think that’s going to happen at this rate(maybe 4 hours is possible, though).
Allowing the player to choose to be a full body cyborg(just a brain in a full mechanical body) might be a problem from a “setting perspective”, since I’ve primarily thought to reserve such things for military and high-end corporate things(thus meaning they don’t fit for law enforcement work). Plus, it’d make it weird to include the stuff about consuming foods and so on, and I’d have to make lots of more text in many situations to include the appropriate flavor text(unless I was just going to gloss it over through some cheap trick like “your senses are just as good as normal so nothing’s different”, but then the distinction would be pretty pointless). I do get the appeal behind it, though.
In other words, sorry but it’s unlikely to happen in the near future. I’ll give it more thought once the “basic version” is complete, when I’m considering as to what to add to make the experience more interesting.
Unless it’s advanced enough like in Ghost in the Shell.
So I chose the gray war weapon survivor. I was thinking it might be a good idea to remove the no cybernetics option from this background, since we probably needed at least a few parts replaced to survive our injuries. Also, in the medium cyborg description it says that either over or near 50% of our body is cybernetics, can’t remember exactly. However, doing the eye thing certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near 50% of my body. Maybe for that you could include all the lower tier options with the medium options, and then let us choose 2 or more? And the for the heavily cybernetiked option the same kind of thing, but with the heavy options as well?
Wasn’t saying it wasn’t a nice option to have, I personally just didn’t think it made a whole lot of sense.
English isn’t my native tongue, so I’m pretty dazzled by amount of courses “from the roof”… I don’t know from where a lot of choises are taken at first investigation part. I’m overwhelmed by text, and I don’t know from where a lot of answers is going… Is like Detroit become human, but without proper investigation. Most of the time I don’t fkng know what the hell I’m talking about…
Am I “writing” story, or I’m missing something really hard…