Falrika the Alchemist (WIP) [2023.9.1 update: Public beta ended, 173K words] [Poll closed]

What kind of Feedback do you want?

Would you be OK with feedback even If it is mostly negative?

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OK, I’m down with any kind of feedback, as long as it doesn’t clash with my intended vision.

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Alright. This is another weekly update, with Chapter 11. Here, the first feralkin soldier of the kingdom, Sgt. Hershey Aedoll, gets to hang out with Falrika and Neroko.

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Ok lets go.

I really like the idea and the concept of your WIP.

Your writing matches your idea, it IS bubbly and lighthearted.

I really wanted to like your Story, but sadly it is not my cup of tea.
The main problem I had with the story is, that for me it does not really count as IF.
There are not enough choices, you always have to read several paragraphs without any choice.

You could for example insert choices for the fights so that the player could choose the attack the characters use.

Most choices that we’re implemented were If I wanted to pet an animal, I always like to pet animals, so that was OK, but they do not feel like they have consequences in game, so they feel meaningless. I personally am quite fond of Fake_choices as they give a different flavor text, but when there are no “game-changing” choices they start to feel shallow and being there just to have choices at all.

The next point is about the writing in general. In the beginning there is a lot of info dump what makes it hard to remember anything since there is sooo much Info at once. A possible solution to this could be to make the info part of a choice, so people that want all the info could choose every bit but people who would like to skip that part after the vital info would have the choice to do so.
When you choose your path as an Alchemist I would put the info about the different paths AS flavor text after the choice and then another choice to confirm the path. So people who already know which path they want to choose can skip the other paths easily.

You might want to look after the Connection/flow between the paragraphs, sometimes is seems to be quite sudden, so that I thought I might have skipped a page.

The last point is a bit harder to mention, because it is just a personal feeling but I want to share it. The mentioning of the sexual abuse in the past of one char and the reference towards breast cancer in the part of the pink ribbon paragraph felt quite offensive and out of place for the Kind of Story you want to tell. The sexual abuse seemed to be just a trait for the character and not taken seriously enough.

Thats my Feedback, I hope your writing goes well and good luck with your story

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Had a stroke trying to pronounce this lmao

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I suppose that this is quite a recurring problem that the readers have on this site, but in the end its just a medium through which the author can narrate their story.

You are in the right to point this out, I honestly had the same problem, but its just something that I can always look past if the story is that good, ofcourse I am not speaking for anyone else.

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I honestly can’t overcomplicate things with too many choices that may annoy a player. As someone who is weaned on visual novels, I focus on the choices that really matter, like favoring an RO.

Well, I implemented a positive effect of petting a certain number of animals in chapter 10. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s an additional scene where the arc villain gets owned.

OK, will keep that in mind once I’m done writing the entire thing and have to do revisions, like you’re suggesting below.

OK, I’ll revise these once I’m done with my WIP before it goes into public beta, because I know potential beta testers will also point out those uncomfortable parts.

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I have to agree with Kaelyn here. As much as I like the lighthearted feel and the “anime vibes” I have a hard time getting myself immersed in the world. Having a set protagonist is already a bold choice and will likely scare off a bunch of readers, but that fact combined with having very little input is even more of a niche in interactive fiction (looking at the most popular published/WIP games on this site).

Don’t get me wrong, your formula can work, but I personally feel that it requires a good balance between allowing the player’s input along with realizing the author’s vision. For example, Samurai of Hyuga (people here either hate it or love it) is one of my favorite games and it can feel quite railroaded sometimes, but it also gives me the feeling that I’m following “my” character on their journey while I’m reading.

You know, it’s funny you mention that. I’ve almost never seen people here complain about having too many choices, and when they do it’s usually about character customization. I’ve consumed visual novels (mainly otome games) for around a decade now and I’ve grown a little tired of them. All the choices force you to behave a certain way to get the route and ending you want and the main character is usually a damsel in distress (with few exceptions). This is what made me get into interactive fiction and indie otome more, simply because these allow you to play mostly how you want, and without having to worry about bad ends. In short, if you’re worried about being “annoying” to players - I don’t think you should be. People appreciate having choices in interactive fiction.

In the end, it’s your story and you should do what you want, but if you want to try to accommodate a wider audience I won’t tell you it’s a bad idea. Good luck with your story!

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Well, despite some choices that are obviously favored towards an RO, Falrika still acts in character – the cute, kind, and bumbling but highly determined alchemist. And never once she is a damsel in distress nor acts like one. Plus, never there will be a bad end here, since it will go against my intended tone.

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The weekly update continues with chapter 12. Here, Falrika and company return to Tsukuba, this time to capture a youkai. Plus, if you make the right choices, a supporting character from another story set within the same world makes an appearance.

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The text lacks clear paragraph breaks, which can make it challenging to read and follow the flow of the story. It would be beneficial to separate the dialogue, descriptions, and action into distinct paragraphs to improve readability.

And In some instances, it’s unclear who is speaking. It would be helpful to include dialogue tags or attributions to indicate which character is speaking, especially in conversations involving multiple characters
The initial part of the story focuses on the protagonist’s personal life and a casual conversation, which seems disconnected from the subsequent discovery of the bromides and the involvement of the Royal Constabulary. Consider tightening the pacing to create a stronger connection between the introductory scene and the central conflict
While you provide physical descriptions of the characters, it would be beneficial to delve deeper into their personalities, motivations, and roles in the story. This will help readers form a stronger connection with the characters and understand their significance in the narrative.
Some sentences and descriptions could be rephrased to enhance clarity and flow. Avoid overly complicated sentence structures that may confuse the reader. Additionally, ensure that the transitions between scenes and events are smooth and coherent.

and the final decision rests with you the author these are just some humble opinions

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Tho you are very good at world building

The text effectively establishes the setting of the Kingdom of Lebenswasserheim, providing specific details such as the location, time, and atmosphere. This helps immerse the reader in the world of the story and creates a vivid backdrop for the events that unfold

And The mention of laws regarding dumpster diving and the public ownership of discarded items adds depth to the world and highlights specific cultural or legal aspects within the Kingdom of Lebenswasserheim. These details contribute to the immersive experience and enhance the believability of the setting.

And also you are very good at building relationship between characters The dialogue between the protagonist and Reycard showcases their relationship and provides insights into their personalities. It adds a touch of realism and depth to their connection, making them feel like genuine individuals with their own quirks and dynamics

I hop this small feedback help you in something
(´∀`):heart:

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@Elriwana

Thank you for taking an interest in your colleague – I am sure he will appreciate your feedback.

I am going to move this to his WiP thread… I’ll explain the reasons in my thread more later, when I am able to sit and post them.

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Sorry if my weekly update is several hours late. I’m still struggling with a cold, but nothing I can’t handle.

Anyway, here’s Chapter 13.
The premise is inspired by Law and Order mixed with Justice Bao, with a little bit of Ace Attorney mixed in.
This chapter was also originally meant to be a spin-off story set in the same world.

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Don’t worry if the weekly update is, again, several hours late. I was out for an errand this morning.

Here’s Chapter 14, and Falrika tries to make a love potion.
And yes, I’ve read the relevant TV Tropes page on that, and it’s the source of many lampshades on the things that might happen when one drinks this.
I also read an article on love potions that are still being hawked in front of a famous church in my country (Quiapo Church, to be exact).

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It’s another weekly update, with Chapter 15.

This chapter is rather heavy, as Falrika and company enter a country ravaged by civil war, but rest assured that no one on the good side is hurt, and the chapter ends on a happy note.
It’s also meant to close the book on two things: The aforementioned civil war, as well as the whereabouts of two minor supporting characters who made minor appearances in the backstory.

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Ooohh can’t believe I just now noticed this, love Atelier. Will make time to check this out soon.

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Another weekly update comes, and it’s time for Chapter 16.

After the chaos of the civil war, Falrika and company go back to their usual alchemy jobs, and they’re commissioned to make a special hat.

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So… do forgive the untoward question but… have you thought this through?

You seem to want to publish this IF to make money, but your IF, as it is, is unlikely to actually make much if at all. IFs that are gender-locked, name-locked, personality-locked simply do not do/sell well.

Sure you can point to Samurai of Hyuga and Infinity series as an example of gender-locked/ railroaded character stories that do well, but even they do not restrict the MC to the degree your story does. Not to mention they were created in a time where expectations and standards for IFs were very different.

I’ve seen you say you believe in the “You will find your audience” statement, hopeful as that is, just a cursory look at the state of your thread is enough to show that there’s no engagement and no audience. For a 130k words wip thread to have 40 posts and 70% of them made by the dev is… tragic.

You’re an optimistic fellow, good on you, but perhaps it is time to take an actual pragmatic look at the state of things, at the state of the IF market, because the course that you’re taking now will not lead to the outcome you desire.

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I’m sorry to break it for you buddy, but taking SOH and Lords as examples, will doom you before you even start.

I’m not gonna comment on the quality of those. But they were published in a time where IF were a new thing, and there was no much competition. So it was easier for them to get a following or get people to buy their work.
Right now, you are trying to compete in a oversaturated market, so I’m sorry to say, there’s a big chance your gig will fail.

Because now you work need to have something that differentiate it from all the other titles.

One thing that is confusing me, is that you don’t truly seem to be interested in making an IF. Like for what I read, your work barely has any kind of choice that matters. It’s all flavor.

You say that you come from the whole of VNs, but then I ask myself, why didn’t you go for making a VN then?

You need to understand that you cannot speak to bake a pizza on a microwave, and have people buy that pizza. With your explanation being “I always cooked with a microwave”

If you truly want to make the big bucks, you need to seriously reconsider what are you are doing here. Cause it’s not going to sell.

Someone did that a poll recently, that clearly reflected that people want choices that matter and customization in their IFs. So if you are going to the big bucks, you gotta adapt to the market preferences.

PD: AI art is theft.

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