Falrika the Alchemist [Official release date: 2024.2.1] [Official demo available!]

To @reniere and @Arsene_Bellerose

I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve dived deep into the IF game quite late, and the titles you’ve mentioned were made before standards for IF, especially here in this forum, were set in stone. But for you to state outright that my pride and joy will fail big-time because it doesn’t comply with the standards of what truly makes an IF an IF, especially to someone who comes from a VN pedigree (and is also a broke developer)… it’s a little too much. But then, I have to swallow my pride a little because, as you’ve pointed out, there’s quite a minimal engagement in this thread.

But the silver lining in all this will come when I’ll eventually finish this next month and the public beta phase will come not long after. Prospective beta testers will not just point out the little inconsistencies and other things that go against the intended tone of my work, but will also suggest what others here in this forum are clamoring for – more choices – without sacrificing the narrative integrity and intended tone (again, I reiterate: no bad endings).

And yes, while I used AI art for the cover (and the basis is an old real-life photo), maybe someone will create a 100% human-created artwork for the eventual retail version’s cover.


I understand your harshness, hammering down what sells and what doesn’t, but what you perceive as arrogance is me just being confident, pouring my heart and soul into my work.

For beta testers, I will certainly listen to their criticisms and recommendations. And I am very certain that they won’t go “Don’t release this at all because it won’t sell” because it’s immature and disrespectful, especially to an IF newbie like me.

And I’m sure there’s a much larger audience, especially who are fans of the Atelier series but are not familiar with IF, who will take a gander at this. Furthermore, there are also audiences who are getting tired of grimdark, drab-brown stories that pass themselves off as “mature” and “realistic”, and want to get optimism back into their systems. We both know that there’s a much larger realm than this forum, right?

Let’s not get into an eventual debate, and let me finish this WIP in peace.


OK, I stand corrected. My bad.


…Alright i do not wish to add more harshness to this, it does feel like kicking a man who’s already down at this point…but…

You put a lot of stock on this ‘future beta’… but it’s not exactly the cure-all you think it is. You already received feedback here that pointed out the lack of choices, you seemed to dismiss that. The format you have can work for VNs but people expect different things from IFs than they do from VNs.

You are of course free to ‘finish this wip in peace’, nobody can take that away from you. And yes, there’s more to the world than this forum. But this implies you have some mad strategy for marketing, do you?
Nevertheless, for your own sake… I hope you prepare yourself for the likely possibility that you just won’t get the sudden surge of audience out of nowhere that you’re banking on.


I respect your personal opinion but it literally is not theft, you might not like AI art but the author is free to use AI art without unsubstantiated naming calling, you can call it lazy but it is not theft, morally or legally


Whew, no kidding. Turn the hater dial down a few notches, Arsene.

It’s true that on all evidence so far, a game with as little choice as the current draft of Falrika is likely to get a lot of one star reviews and sell poorly. But we can say that without trying to bludgeon the author into submission.


Why his post is not flagged by the community but mine was is beyond me, because seems to me that he just wants to bully the author


It’s one thing to give…constructive (If we’re calling it this) criticism. It’s another to shutdown someones basic idea entirely. I agree for the most part that the potential numbers for the current game aren’t going to be good when compared to other games offered through the Hosted Games selection. However my personal playthrough was not something I would consider entirely bad by any means. There is a basis for a good story here, and there is a level of creative passion. There are stories that are currently being sold that are appealing to a singular niche and still sell decently well, if he receives proper advice towards the aspects he is needing it in as he himself admitted.

This could be a good story that is fun to play because it’s a “feel good” game. You trying to point out that a “Bubbly” protagonist doesn’t sell well is disingenuous at best, there are plenty of people on this forum itself who play some games/wips for the feel good moments, just as there are people who play for the dark and gritty. It’s an individual preference and just because the popular opinion seems to lean towards the dark and gritty doesn’t mean there isn’t people who enjoy the more lighthearted and feel good.

This is more Personal

On a more personal note, It’s not your place to shutdown his idea and try and tell him that he can’t work on something he is passionate about, especially when you compound it with the “Advice” that any business decision is not “a place for dreamers.” You’re inherently wrong, any new project and work created by anyone is exactly a place for dreamers 99% of any project relies on that exact thing. The ability to dream of a project you want to create and pour the passion and motivation towards that dream is the inherent core of creativity and to try and push for the complete disregard of that is disheartening truly.


I feel like if you`re at a point where you’re dismissive of a game’s idea as a whole, then maybe you should acknowledge that it’s not your cup of tea and move on. Constructive criticism is “how can you make this better”, not “stop writing this, it’s not going to sell”.
Let people write what they want, and let them learn and draw conclusions from their own experiences.

@Havenstone: I’m not disputing the lack of choices. But it was pointed out, several times, and nothing will come out of being rude to the author about it. In the end, whether the author chooses to take this into account fully, or discard it, or try for some sort of compromise, is up to him. Even if he doesn’t go for what’s mainstream, that’s hardly a reason to bash him over the head because of it. Let him make his decisions and learn from the consequences; maybe he’ll realize he’s fine with being a niche author, or maybe he’ll see the numbers/response and make changes. That’s what I mean by learning from one’s experience. Just my opinion, of course :woman_shrugging:


I personally don’t think Arsene’s level of harshness should be read as rule-breaking, even though I also think it goes well beyond what’s helpful. And I’m glad the flag on your post wasn’t upheld; even as someone who doesn’t think the current methods used to generate AI art should be treated as fair use, I wouldn’t treat the opposite view as flaggable.

This is true. At the same time, “add roughly 10,000% more choices” is the heart of the criticism – not the aside about bubbliness – and that’s such a fundamental change from @MoonlightBomber’s approach that it’s not easy to make constructively.

The author seems to be hoping for beta testers to point to a few specific places where some minor variations would be nice, when the essential feedback is likelier to be that the Hosted Games audience wants to see a choice at the bottom of 3/4 of the story’s pages, with at least half those choices affecting stats that affect the story.

There’s absolutely an audience for happy, bubbly, non-grim stories. There’s much, much less of an audience for stories punctuated mostly by Next buttons. We’re not doing @MoonlightBomber any favors if we tell off his unkind reviewers without acknowledging their core point (which @Kaelyn made with vastly more grace upthread).


Absolutely agree. :slight_smile:

Maybe we’re at that point. But it might not be too late for @MoonlightBomber to course-adjust – not into writing anything against the tone of the story, certainly no bad endings, but to write in a bit more genuine variation in paths through the story. If he doesn’t want to, that’s his call, but I thought it’s worth trying to make that point without the unnecessary rudeness. :slight_smile:


Okay, we get it, you’ve made your point abundantly clear. He’s free to take your advice or not, and reap the consequences either way.


This dude lol, great exercise for my self control

Anyways, I’m buying this when it comes out either way so you got my money at least, one time payment is easier than patreon anways.


No we won’t stop ‘demonizing’ people who use the coat of harsh truth to cover Up the fact that they are just Trolls.

We want constructive critique, because that shows that you have read, understood and thought about something.

You can ignore what everyone else said as Long as you like, because you are a free person, but people normally do not take advise from people they perceive as mean assholes, no sane Person would do that.

And to make one thing clear, nobody said you should praise authors and stop telling them your true opinion, just to be more polite and show some respect for the authors, to treat them like the human beings they are.

Last advise from the old Lady:
Harsh truths work only with people, who know you and know, that you mean well. Strangers will just think you are a mean Bully.

The you in the Text above is 2nd case Plural, and Not directed only at the Person the Post replys to, just to make that clear.


@Arsene_Bellerose: This isn’t “obligatory niceness”; this game isn’t my cup of tea, either. I was merely defending another person’s right to write the story they want, because “treat others the way you’d want to be treated”.
You gave your opinion. Whether the author makes changes or not is up to him. Maybe the game will flop - then he will learn something from this experience, too. Who are you to take this from him?
This is all I’ll say on the topic since I don’t wanna turn the thread into a battlefield. Peace.


First off…
To everyone except that certain someone, I’m more than thankful that you stood up for me.
And yes, to clarify things, once the private beta begins not long after I finish this first draft, I will enlist the help of beta testers who are willing to point out places where I should put more choices.

Now then… the weekly update continues with Chapter 17. Falrika and her friends help gather ingredients for a mineral paint prototype.
At the beginning of the chapter, I’ve written a response to those who demand absurdly more choices than I can ever handle.
Furthermore, I’ve implemented a simple variable check that determines which RO has the highest affection levels so far. This is to ready myself for the RO character endings in the final chapter.


This time around, the weekly update comes quite early.

It’s now Chapter 18, and Falrika is commissioned to make a rubber duckie.
Fun fact: One scene is an homage to a similar scene in the 1995 Filipino film Father en Son, as someone tries to advertise whiskey. Here, we also learn which non-RO character can’t hold his liquor.


Now that the penultimate chapter is up, the release of the final chapter will be delayed by a few days, give or take, because I will be upgrading the rig where I’m currently writing this WIP on. But rest assured that the final chapter will arrive no later than August 15.

Alright. This is the latest update, Chapter 19.
Falrika and company will join forces with an adventuress to combat loan sharks who sent funerary flowers and a casket to her friend, just because that friend was almost defaulting on her last payment.
This is also the chapter where you will choose your RO and determine one of the four endings.

Fun fact: This chapter is the combination of a scrapped Shakugan no Shana fanfic (it never got beyond the concept stage) and a news article about online loan sharks who send caskets to borrowers.


Gender-locked female? Not for me.

But kudos for doing something you wanted to do.

Most people won’t ever try.


I have a suggestion for the choices: instead of simply text as Falrika’s dialogue, maybe have it placed as a choice instead? For example, if someone were to speak with Falrika, maybe we could choose how to respond (if we respond kindly, tersely, or if we reply with gestures or nods)?

Also, in the scenes where we eat, could we choose what exactly to eat?

I also admire the variety of real-life references: food scenes and certain vocabulary herein seem very inspired by Japanese culture, and I think Filipino culture (for example, while the monarchy with a parliament resemble Japan, and I think there is a Prefecture with ninja and samurai, the politics scenes with the journalists and election matters seem inspired by Philippine national politics).


OK, I expected that feedback, so I’m taking it to heart. Will implement those choices before the private beta begins.