The Nebula WIP (Long 45,000 word Demo)


#1

Hi everyone,

I have recently began turning a game I created in Quest into a Choicescript game. The original game is rather long (I am guessing around 90,000-100,000 words, though I was still expanding it when I found out about choicescript) and I have only just finished coding about less than half using choicescript (almost the entire first part, up to the first bottleneck at Bardra, round 45,000 words or so).

I thought than rather than proceeding further it would be better to start getting some feedback on the first half. I think the best thing would be to release it to everybody, and I will try to work on any suggested changes as soon as possible to avoid many people finding the same bugs, etc (I have run the random tests and playtested the game numerous times, but I am sure bugs are still lurking out there…). The original Quest game was reviewed by several people (who I will have to acknowledge somewhere in the game, how do people normally do this in choicescript?), but I am sure it will benefit from further and more in-depth reviews.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15954994/mygame/index.html

So, please fire away! Particularly, I am interested in knowing:

  1. What do you think about the writing style? Can it be improved? (any suggestions on where things drag on too much, boring bits, typos, grammar errors, etc, are most welcome!)
  2. What do you think of the combat system? (too easy, too hard? Other options that could be added?). There are 4 instances of combat in this demo (including 3 variations that allow for the player to fight with his laser or hand to hand vs an opponent that can do either of the two: laser or hand vs laser or hand, laser or hand vs hand only, hand only vs hand only)
  3. I know the character creation system is a bit lame at present, any suggestions for improvement?
  4. How do you find the exploration side of the game? I am aware this makes it rather different to other CoG, which are rather more linear… does it get confusing?]
  5. What parts of the game you found most interesting/boring? Which parts would you like to see expanded?
  6. Can everybody see the star charts? They are supposed to be embedded jpeg files that can be accessed when leaving a system, but I cannot see them after compiling... any ideas?)
    
  7. Anything else?

Eventually I am hoping to also have a space combat system, though some feedback on the current individual combat would help me think how to best implement the space combat.


#2

haven’t finished playing, but i do feel lost, not knowing where to go, are my choices the right ones an so one… maybe i’m just not used to this kind of free to go anywhere text games. :smiley:

Maybe if player put the stats in intellect, some choices have : (if you choose this it’s will benefit you with this or this. ) Little hints so players who are more used to linear games don’t fill so out of place.


#3

Yes, I fear that in a certain sense, I wanted to give more the feeling of a wide universe, letting people explore and not have to necessarily follow a linear path, but maybe that gives a feeling of confusion (although I never played grand theft auto, I wanted to create the feeling that I believe that game has, giving the player the freedom not to necessarily follow one path).

However, maybe I do have to make the clues more obvious. I thought that there is a sort of “bred crum” trail that the player can follow (though not yet to the end, as I didn’t code the second part of the game). However, maybe there is a need to make the hints more obvious?


#4

I did enjoy some of the openworldness but I agree with @dreamdragonhatchling about feeling lost. Most of my choices didn’t seem really informed and like I was just choosing at random. At one early choice, you hint that going straight back to the Imperial base would hurt my career which was good!. More stuff like that, please.

As far as character creation, maybe a name would be good? Unless, that’s what you’re going for. Personally, I think it wold be cool to choose something like gender or what type of human we are (Martian, Aldeon, etc.) The type of human could affect stats too, if you want. More people will come and give way better advice than me. x)


#5

Ok, I will make modifications to the text to make sure that I add some hints about possible ways forward, at least for the first time a player reaches a certain page.

The idea about letting the player choose race is also a pretty nice one (hadn’t thought of that one, but it would add a nice touch). So far the game is not gender-specific, it has been made in a neutral tone so that the player can read it either way, but I suppose I could add the option at the beginning to give a sense that the player can choose… I will start working on these changes tonight!


#6

Ok, so far I have already changed the character creation to include options on gender and race. So far the options are somewhat limited, but hope to increase the race options later and add any other that people think should be there?


#7

Very first screen: “However, first of all you can decide to customize your character to give, or you can start straight away with a balanced individual.” To give what?


#8

@adrao Well, it’s a little thing, but (and I can’t remember where exactly; I’ll probably replay again so yeah) there’s a point where you’re called “sir”. Which to me is generally male. Before that, though, I did assume gender neutrality.


#9

Depends, military often calls women “sir” so that could be it.


#10

Thanks everybody for the comments, I have updated the game according to this

@LordOfLA I corrected that error, probably a bit that remained after a copy-paste.

@pyla8 I think that bit is when you reply to the admiral (who is a sir, I have checked but cannot find anything else, but please do let me know)

@dreamdragonhatchling I have now included a new character, the ship’s first mate, who can provide some additional suggestions (at three points so far) when asked. I think that broadly following these 3 comments should put the player on the right path (should they choose to follow), though please let me know if there is still a feeling of being lost (I am really concerned about this, I want to maintain a nice balance between having a sense of direction and being able to explore, and at the moment it seems this balance is not very well kept!)


#11

It’s really small and I’m just showing this so you know I’m not stupid:

The clerk looks at you with a look of utter boredom, and responds quietly.

“Not really sir. Is there anything else I could help you with?”

You realise you are wasting your time, and decide to return to the main spaceport area.

It’s on Vala(rest of planet’s name) Prime when you talk to the clerk in the Guild or maybe the Bank after speaking to Drassir. If you add a gender option, you could just flip that to ma’am since the clerk’s a civilian. It might be a cultural thing, but I have no way of knowing that so it just sort of forces me to start thinking of my character as a man. Which is fine, but not my personal preference.


#12

@pyla8 thanks for that (and sorry, I meant no offence, I had forgotten about that bit of text, I was doing a CONTROL +F through most other chapters but somehow must have missed that),

I will change it tonight, let me know if you find any others (I think there shouldn’t be any more as I have consciously been trying to avoid writing the text in a gender-specific way, but this was indeed a very old part back when I started writing about 6 months ago…).


#13

No problem. I get the feeling that you’re going for making the game world feel very big (which is reasonable, since it’s in space) and personally, I think you’re succeeding there. Openworlds are always really fun and are good replay value, I think, so I like this game. My tastes go towards something with character customization and a character that is (or feels? maybe I’ve just been tricked by good writing xD) distinct, but your vague character has still been pretty enjoyable. The writing’s strong so that might be why.


#14

Yes indeed I am going for the giving a sense of a vast world that can be explored… but I have to balance that against the feeling of the players getting lost. I am hoping that the additions I made this morning will direct players (at least those who want to follow a certain “path”) along the mission.

Essentially my game so far is to some extent the product of the previous engine I was using (Quest), where it is more difficult to do character customization. However, I have read a few of the CoGs and I like this idea of character customization, which is why I incorporated your suggestions this morning (there are now 4 playable races, gender, etc, any other suggestions are welcome!). These influence stats, which in turn will greatly influence the game (slightly different possibilities open depending on whether character is a strong fighter or has other abilities). Again, any other suggestions on how to improve things are welcome!

:smile:


#15

When I first played through this I found it strange at how things escalate immediately after I finish with character creation. Maybe a bit of an intro could be useful? You could probably integrate it with the character creation in a way so that it is only one sequence. (Think of “Sabres of Infinity’s” character creation, for example)


#16

@RagEgnite Thanks for those comments. I also felt it was a bit abrupt (originally the character creation wasn’t there), but you are right that I should work to integrate it better. I will check “Sabres of Infinity” for inspiration!


#17

You’re welcome. I hope my advice helps you out. I haven’t gotten through much of the demo yet, (playing on a phone is a bit awkward) but I’m planning to do it when it’s not as late around where I live.


#18

@RagEgnite Thanks, I look forward to other feedback!

I was just checking sabres of infinity now and started turning it in my head a bit (I know the beginning of my game is not the best now and I need to make it better, sabres clearly has a very thought out beginning and I need to think about how to do something similar that fits into my story). But eventually in a few days I might develop something similar (once I can figure out how to best integrate my first chapter into it, sabres already gave me a few ideas!)


#19

@pyla8 I have now made that dialogue gender specific, plus another dialogue I also just added (also in Valusios). While I think it is a bit too much work to change all dialogues I will try to introduce some degree of “gender specific conversation” in whatever new dialogues/situations I add. But, if you find any situations in which there is a problem please let me know and I will modify!