Samurai: A Warrior's Path -In Progress-


#1

After a month, this is all I have to show for it: http://corbiugeisha.webs.com/Samurai/mygame/index.html

Outrageous, I know.

Samurai is set in Yamato, a parallel feudal Japan from a parallel Earth where patriarchy and matriarchy doesn’t exist because some of us do want to play historical fantasies without the casual sexism. As a result, lines of succession has changed and now we have all these provinces and clans whose names or characterisation somehow resembles their actual historical counterparts, but not completely.

Now with that bit of overview explanation done, a little more on the experience: Players take control of a samurai, starting from a point in childhood and then progressing to adulthood where their destiny is to carve a name for themselves in a conflict between two powerful warlords. The ultimate goal is to be remembered favourably by history, whether through securing victory for their daimyo, becoming a warlord, retaining their honour, or simply making a strong impact.

So, while I do purposely make the segment in the demo largely linear, I sometimes do worry if it is too linear. I would like to hear your opinions on that. Also, feel free to sound off what you would like to be able to do.

That is all.


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#2

First, you seem to have an unparalleled sense of pacing and, although the starting is a bit slow, I supposed that can’t be helped for playing a six year old properly.

First, you may want to change the email at the bottom of the page to your own for the moment (or change it to a link to the forums).

As for comments, IIRC there is little evidence of the no-dachi seeing practical field use, and what evidence there is of their use indicates that it was exceedingly rare.

Also, the cultural differences are never highlighted, but come rather naturally, and show through excellently. Particularly during the conversation during the duel and what T??? (I just read their name too) said right after it.

Enma-O could be referenced as “…, the judge of the dead, Enma-O.” (or something similar). That is entirely discretionary though, based on how much you want to teach verse how much you want to show, and what it means is perfectly clear without it.

Also you have the sentence: “But the time he could be carried out of the battle, it was too late.” I think you meant By instead.

You could also include a bit on name suffixes too. (I always have to reference something to get them right.)

Finally, I hit an error when I choose to study under T??? (Damn it, I just read their name again.) Which I’m assuming is the end of the game.


#3

The no-dachi is simply used for training. There is a part where Tomoe explains the logic behind it.

Also, the part where you choose your master is still in progress. The demo is supposed to stop before that.

Thanks for pointing it out!


#4

Update: Fixed the ending and the sentence.

Umm… How do I change the link at the bottom?


#5

This looks like it could be very good. I do hope it becomes less linear later though. I found an error where if you save the duck as a pet the game will crash later on when you arrive at the castle and it mentions that you made it comfortable.


#6

And fixed.

I do plan to have it open up gradually.


#7

To change the email address, go in the index file (same place you changed the name of the game) the id is: <p id="emailUs"> (just use ctrl+f). Change both emails to your address (or whatever address you want it to point to). You can also point it to a web address (change the part that says ‘mailto:address@address.com’ to ‘http://www.website.com/whateverelse’) just be sure to change the second email address to a 2~4 word description of where you’re pointing them.


#8

Alright. Thanks for the tip.


#9

I liked the action and ideas. You established the three tutors fairly well (though memorable physical/verbal traits would be useful). I enjoyed the contrast between the father’s ideals and the mother’s quiet influence. The dad drawn into a duel – very cool.

You switch from present to past fairly frequently. Also, some weird grammar, like “I’ll fight with you if I weren’t joining General Ishi’s campaign.”

Remove words and clauses to make sentences punchier. Edit down, use concrete descriptions and details. Show, don’t tell. Travel and bathroom breaks can be summarized, but use details, action, or dialog to vividly imply an afternoon’s activity. Don’t use passive voice or “to be” verbs unless unavoidable, or for effect (e.g. “The man’s face is unflinching as his bowels are spilled upon the courtyard cobbles.”)

Give the intro a hook. A clumsy description of scenery and the fact that night follows day doesn’t exactly grab the reader. Perhaps Taru is looking at something on the sly during his lessons, or whatever. Emphasize his boyish nature barely constrained by the mores and traditions of ancient Japanese society.

Don’t use “naginata” when “spear” works just as well. Don’t make me look up “ashigaru” when I’ll immediately understand “foot-soldiers.” These add confusion, not flavor. If you must, say “your father’s long katana sword,” or “naginata spears.” Foreign names are already hard for readers, keep the number of foreign words they must learn to a minimum. Name suffixes are also asking for trouble. Instead of a suffix lesson interrupting your story, I would just say “Mistress Tomoe” or leave them off completely.

The kanji for Taru don’t show up on my Mac with Japanese fonts installed.

You mention Jiru being born, then the next page is “Yet, for all the fortunes he has forged upon the deaths he had caused, he is not exempted from a meeting with Enma-O.” It’s not clear it’s your father. Also, Enma-o needs explained.

That Yoshimaru killed a peasant’s son unjustly and your father challenges him to a duel is clear, but your father said “now” and then without explaining he gets permission and then starts on a trip to the city. Also, Taru seems unaffected by it all, when I would hope he would be extremely tense, lose his appetite, etc. In general, Taru is too disconnected, not portrayed as a boy. The events are supposedly through his/our eyes, yet not narrated in a way a real person would experience them. Viewpoint also confusingly switches to omniscient (and irrelevant) facts.

Given how idealistic the father is, would he really kill the bandits right in front of his son? Or just turn them over to the guards?


#10

Well, Taru is not supposed to be a boy. I didn’t put the gender choice early to set the perception that it doesn’t matter, and also that people look upon the player character not as a boy or a girl, but just a child.

Naginata are more like glaives, but I get what your point is.

As for the rest, good observation. I’ll think on them.

Also, it looks like ANSI cannot encode chinese characters. Will have to do something about that.


#11

Silly me. It’s actually because I used unicode characters in an ANSI file. And I don’t think webs.com can accept unicode.


#12

@HoraceTorys It’s not Japan. It’s a fantasy land where men and women are ‘exactly-the-same-except-not-really’ that is strongly inspired by feudal Japan. It’s the typical method in fantasy for updating historical settings to modern politically correct standards.

I’m personally strongly against calling things something like Long Katana Sword. It’s really painful to read for anyone who is actually knowledgeable about the subject. They do add flavor, and if you’re confused it’s easily rectified by copy paste and Google. You’re playing this on a web browser after all. If you don’t want to learn then avoid things that force you to learn. Don’t demand that everything else come down to your level.

@ScarletGeisha Please don’t be afraid to be a little bit confusing. It’s not like your livelihood relies on this game’s mass appeal. There’s a big difference between something being confusing because it’s badly written and something being confusing because someone lacks easily available knowledge and doesn’t want to go to the minor trouble of gaining it. A good compromise might be to put the meanings of words in parenthesis where they are not otherwise explained.

Oh yeah, I found a Typo while choosing Shigeaki the third time.

"You are walking the streets with Tomoe, a lantern shared between the two of you. "

I’m fairly sure that should say that you’re walking with Shigeaki as he says later in the paragraph that he’s spotted Tomoe.

Another error occurs when you are returning home after the duel if you chose to attack the bandits earlier.


#13

I’ve decided that I’ll just call things like “naginata glaives” and “nodachi great sword” for the first time or two. It’ll tell people what those words mean if they don’t feel like researching, because that’s honestly fine. Then later, I’ll drop the descriptor all together. Sounds okay?

Also, not an excuse or anything, but I always read the weapons and terms in their native language. It feels more natural to me.


#14

That’s probably the most diplomatic solution. It works for Usagi Yojimbo.


#15

Also, I’m going to drop the kanji. I’m too poor at coding to know how to convert from unicode to ANSI.


#16

i love this game. made me reinstall Shogun 2 and play it again XD


#17

Are assassin geisha still in Shogun 2?

I’m only asking because I loved them in Shogun for reasons I will not divulge. (Clue 1: My username. Clue 2: There are swords in my game.) They were also hilariously anachronistic.

No, there will definitely not be assassin geisha in this game. But if you love Shogun 2, you’re going to find familiar elements.


#18

so scarletgeisha when do you think and update coming don’t have to be that specific :slight_smile:


#19

I’m not sure yet.


#20

I think Shogun 2 still has Geisha Assassins. I don’t own the game though since I’m waiting for a release that includes all the little odds and ends they felt the need to sell as separate DLC.