The Oval Office : New Update! (Half of Chapter 3) July 31st, 2018

young-adult-fiction
gender-choice
romance

#1199

Well, here’s what I have to say about it. While coming in and reading the description it seems to take things quite seriously, showing what one of the most important persons on the planet has to weigh in when making decisions that affect the whole world.

After playing it, I get the feeling that the game changes tones all over without deciding on one, and it ends up not working for any of them. There are interesting parts such as the 5 goals you can take for your campaign, the interview about the drone strikes and some others, but they change so quickly back into wackyness that they don’t even have the time to be deep and intriguing. I didn’t feel amused at the humor or parody either.

I’ve made a big feedback summary after playing the game again to bring up my issues with it. Still, I’m not saying that the way you are writing is wrong, but I came in expecting something and found something else. It wasn’t my thing (I prefer more serious stories) so I moved on.

But that’s just me, everyone has their preferences and it’s clear many others here enjoy it, so don’t feel like you need to change it unless you really want to. However, from your replies to @augustus27, @CaesarCzech and @Thfphen110, I feel like you didn’t really catch what they were trying to tell you. So let me try to clear it up for you.


Big feedback
Minor things

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This bit here is simplistic. There are Republicans who are for gay marriage. Such as the Log Cabin Republicans. The MC being in a same sex relationship also seems to cause no change at all here.


Glocks come in many calibers. Just by the outline of the holster it’s pretty difficult to tell what model it is. I suggest you just mention Glock; maybe tie this in for a President that has actual gun knowledge, such as past military.


I suggest a change for this choice, as it implies a political leaning.


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I recommend some name suggestions for the children instead of having to outright type it.


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A bunker with videogames? What for? This should be an option to the player if they want to have such things in their bunker.


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Here our spouse says they heard you talking to the General, but during that conversation it’s not explicitly said that you mentioned the password aloud, so how did our spouse discover it?


I don’t know any of these songs, best to describe them by genre.


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What do bugdet cuts have to do with whomever goes aboard the Air Force One? Do we need to pay a ticket for them? Doesn’t the government just selects who can go inside for the trip? They can just not use the amenities like rooms or whatever if budget is really the issue.

There is even another section explaining how big the AFO is, surely we can handle 4 more people in there.


Feedback:

The character creation is good; we can select our looks, our political party and even our state. Other details are relationships, children and past career. Extensive, I liked it.

The dialogue choices however, feel limited. Usually, interactions are divided in a “trident”:

  • Friendly answer (sometimes professional, sometimes not)
  • Flirting or humorous answer
  • Rude answer

Some varied options would be nice. A good example of dialogue was when the spouse goes into the secret bunker with you. In that scene you have more variety of options that mix your feelings about the password being discovered, if you want to having a good time and such.

Maybe have the options being more general dialogue instead of just the way you treat people; have some of them reveal a bit about the person you are talking to instead of just displaying their reaction.

Some examples of this "Trident" dialogue



Anyway, moving on.

Options here are too extreme. Needs an option that I’m not annoyed by the media and have no issues making interviews, even if we already had an interview earlier.

The “Yay! Attention!” one is when things start to change the tone in the game. It gives quite an unprofessional tone to the game to see it even if you don’t pick that option. It feels as if your character is a 10 year old.


After a while, you get to choose the government goals and I like this part. All options seem appropriate, even the ones who are quite over the top still feel realistic in a way, even if some feel totalitarian.

However, after picking them, we get to the Agent 47 scene. The Hitman mentioning is unecessary and way too blunt. It takes the player out of the game, damaging immersion. A better way to give the Hitman reference is not to explicitly mention it, but be subtle. For example just describe him and point out most important Agent 47 details (bald head, suit, red tie) and mention that it “reminds you of someone dangerous” or something like that. By mentioning Agent 47 directly you remove the realization for players who know Agent 47 and confuse those who don’t.

Also having the VP analyze your goals based on his political views can give them some character. Just tie each choice with Republican, Democratic, Independent etc and at the end see how many match their political views. Make them react differently based on that.


So after that we eat a bit and then our spouse asks for some good time. Our responses here are badly worded. “HELL YES” and “HELL NO”. That’s too extreme, especially when we are still inside the kitchen. It makes our MC feel like some super happy kid. Options to politely refuse or accept, or maybe even flirty options to accept would be more interesting than imagining our MC acting like that.


Moving on, while getting ready for the interview, we have the infamous option of selecting clothes. It didn’t even need to be an option to be fair, the content of the interview here should be the focus. Among them there is a silly option to go naked while doing the interview. I’m not American, but I don’t think any US President ever took things with takes so trivially, even Trump. Just seeing that option there made me change my opinion in the game, even If I didn’t select it.

So I pick the option for the suit. Justice comes with a strange request which I feel is quite an unprofessional request. We are preparing for an important event and he then brings up his personal issues, this isn’t the time for it. So I pick the third option.


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And then he takes it super seriously; a president is getting ready for the interview and ignores some unprofessional question at the time and thats enough to really “hurt” someone who is a White House official? Where is his maturity to drop the issue or understand that now is not the right time? It would be better to have an option for him to ask this later.

In the same moment, we have another example of the trident dialogue.


Right after that we get a very, very extensive callout to Choice of Games. This sort of thing should be either way shorter or some kind of easter egg to the game. The way it goes on for so long takes the player out of the game and breaks the fourth wall. I’m not even sure what its supposed to accomplish; it’s not funny or tells us much about the assistant (other than he likes text games, which would suffice with a much shorter callout).

Like the Hitman reference, if you want to make references don’t be explicit, be subtle. Try to fit some sort of nod to each of these games without referencing directly.


Okay now for the interview, we have the trident dialogue again, but the reaction here is what I dislike.


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I pick number two, and she is disappointed? I go for a handshake and she is disappointed? Why? She really expects starting an interview with a hug? Not only that, but a hug with a President?

A handshake is an entirely appropriate greeting for an interview.


Anyway, the rest of this scene is a big contrast shift.

First it starts wrong, with the handshake disappointment I mentioned above, right after that the cameraman, Daniel, sticks out his tongue? Why? That’s very unprofessional behavior.

Then we receive a message on our phone, which we should leave for after the interview. Also why mention its in our favorite ringtone? This detail is trivial and it draws away the focus out of the interview.

Then we get Choice of games mentioned once again as in the popular tweets. Then the story for the drone strike. It asks me to respond but the reporter didn’t ask this question directly to me, this is what we saw on the phone. There is a continuity error here since we see the story in the phone but we reply to the reporter, who didn’t say anything but “A pleasure to see you again…”. The whole phone thing can be removed here and have her directly explain the story and ask what we think of it.


So no matter what option you pick here, you get to this. After such a serious and grim topic your options are to high five and hug? The reporter doesn’t even follow up with another question based on your previous answer.

This moment feels even more serious and has a lot more impact because the whole White Hourse journey was so wacky before. As if they weren’t really experiencing what the president job is really like, but now they are going to. Finally making the player step back and realize “wow, this is really serious”.

It ends up as quickly as it showed up, not developed further.


Even checking out the code it’s clear to see that there is little effect besides changing something later on.


Thankfully, it’s brought up on the second interview right after so at least it’s not quickly forgotten.


This is a great moment in the game, because you actually feel like a leader, like a President, instead of some kid hanging out in the White House. But once you pick an option, you get just a very short reaction and then it’s quickly forgotten again.

This is probably the moment that the game tries to take itself seriously but then it doesn’t go deep on it so it doesn’t fulfill the potential this scene has. We are once again dealing with another trident dialogue. At least have the reporter say what they though about our reaction to the ISIS story instead of just saying goodbye.


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And another trident dialogue. But at least this time she was okay with just the handshake.

If the dialogue here says hug is reserved for romantic interests, why would she expect a hug when we met? Even then, I think the romances and flirts move too quickly in this game; I know nothing about her other than she’s a reporter. This rushed romance pace persists with all characters. Show us more about them instead of making things go so quickly. Do they have a family? Do they agree with your political views? What do they expect from you, the President, to change in the US?

Make them grow on us first, then make us want to romance them because we liked what we saw.

I can understand the way it is if we are married already, since then we can make up our own story, but try to make the romanceable characters be more than their roles; as of now I can barely describe anybody besides the VP, the personal assistant, the bodyguard, the reporter etc. Even as I’m typing this feedback I already forgot their names.


So at chapter 2 we start with a fake fight, which is an interesting twist to the situation, although I have no idea why they would need the President to be on a training exercise. Anyway, I’m disappointed with Brian’s protection and his reaction is pretty ridiculous.

Anger? Hurt in his eyes? Isn’t this what he signed up for? When you’re protecting someone and screw up and that person gets angry with you, why the hell are you almost tearing up? Are you really a Secret Service agent? Own up to it.

At least he stops being childish and does later in the scene.

Also this part seems to have glitches with the pronouns all over, as well as (Brian -10) which is the first stat indicator I’ve seen in the game.

The nerf gun thing was mentioned before but I didn’t even knew what it was. I’m fine either way but it would make more sense if they looked like real guns, but since this is a text game this really wouldn’t make a difference since it’s not necessary to keep the suspension of disbelief that this is not a real fight with visuals before revealing it, since it’s a text game. We can’t “see” the guns before this is revealed to be a fake fight, so to me it’s fine.


Another example of the Trident dialogue.


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We meet the pilot but then the game makes too many assumptions on how we feel about him. There is no need for that, let the player form their own opinion based on what they just experienced.


Okay, so choosing were we travel now. I am Brazilian by the way.

I have to say, I like some of what is in here. To me this is humor done right (in most places in this scene), by using context the player may be familiar with (in this case national stereotypes) instead of forced wacky moments that I find unfunny. Still, there are some things I wanted to raise.

First, it’s Colombia, not Columbia. Second, what does the Colombian Cartel have to do with Brazil? They are totally different countries. We have plenty of local drug cartels and factions here. Besides the stereotype of being a nation with very high crime rate (which is fine in using it, I don’t feel offended), another one if you want is Brazilian’s love of Football/Soccer.

For Great Britain having tea and the queen being mentioned is enough. No need to mention a breakup with the UK, never mind the exact date which makes the joke too forced.

The others are funny and I did laugh from reading them, especially Russia (since it points out that the Russian ambassador would like his own country) and the France one. But since North Korea and Saudi Arabia had the same, the assistant could say “If you go to North Korea you might end up becomming a communist!” (also these should be different based on the political views of the MC)

However, even if I liked this bit it’s perhaps the most clear indicator that the game does not take itself seriously. This could still be used in some joking banter with someone else on the ship, but the reason to travel to these countries is not clear, all that is written before we decide is the jokes. The game needs to explain the pros and cons of having these countries as friends or enemies. Even if it’s something the player might know from real world politics, it’s something that the player would have to weigh-in since they can only visit 3.


So then we come to the end, thanks for reading through all of that. Like I said before this is not the kind of game for me. There’s nothing wrong in having humor, but to me there’s the right time, place and kind of humor. I suggest you change the description of the game in a way that more explicitly says this is a parody or humor oriented game, as I had the wrong impression when coming in to play it. Or at least make it more obvious at the start of the game.

With this being a political game, I suggest you focus on political humor, not just random wacky humor. By using the context present in your game, you make your humor both stronger and immersive. Like for example the MC making jokes about a rival political party or about another country (which is why I think the nation jokes fit well). To me, too much wackyness that hurts the authenticity of the game also hurts its immersion.

This took me 4-5 hours, I hope you appreciate it and I hope you make your game the way you want it to be, these are just my suggestions and feedback.


#1200

Dang thanks a lot man. I really really wanna discuss this game with you, more in depth perhaps. You have a lot of knowledge about how things are supposed to be, it’s a big help all that detailed information you just wrote. And to dedicate 4-5 hours to one topic?? I REALLY appreciate that, you really have no idea.

I do have one bit of concern about something you said. I know you mentioned that this game isn’t for you, due to all those things you mentioned, but I wanna interject real quick and ask you NOT TO LEAVE/GIVE UP ON THIS STORY. I am a first time writer, never published, and I simply don’t have the raw experience others on this site may have. Not making excuses, my point is perhaps I can change your mind? All that you wrote can do me big favors, and that kinda detailed review doesn’t come very often, that being said, I encourage you to stick around and see if I took your advice and turned it into the kinda game you can enjoy. I really don’t want someone to psych themselves out of a work in progress that can turn into a really good story, based on first impressions. This isn’t a first date :joy::joy: you can stick around. So I officially ask you to stay and see how this lil project goes. Please?

And I WILL respond to your review, here, however I am not near a computer right now, and my phone is running low on power.

Also, I wanna shoot you a PM to see how else this story can improve. You have no idea how badly I want this game to succeed, so I want all the help I can get.

Once again, thanks so much, and I’ll talk to you soon.


#1201

Like you, I’m a first time writer, never published anything and have no experience. That was just my opinion as a reader/player.

But making something is a continuous process, I am rewriting much of my game as I have issues with how it is now and I want to change some things. You can always improve your work; those things I pointed out were my suggestions but they could end up changing what you want your game to be.

Don’t worry about changing the game just to please me, you can’t please everyone. As you can see you have plenty of people that like the game as it is right now. Everyone has their own preferences. Make sure to go for what you want for your game. If you want it to be of a more parody theme, go for it!

But yeah I’ll keep an eye out for progress as I do find the concept of the game interesting. I usually hang around discord mostly. Just look for me in the CoG channel or ask me in PM for my discord ID if you wanna chat.


#1202

I’ve been thinking… It’s not an official poll yet, cuz I wanna see the type of response I get first. But I’m thinking of changing how romance works in this game.

In retrospect, due to my personality, I’ve rushed a lot of potential romances in this game as a whole. I’m thinking maybe I should tone down the romance for now?
Focus on more “presidential” stuff right now and gradually bring along more developed relationships? I am sure most of you guys would be in favor of something like that happening, as opposed to the current situation. With that being said, if there is that one person who may be perfectly fine with how the game is taking romance, then by all means speak up and let me know.

Also! I want to tentatively consider the possibility of gender specific romance??? Like one character is written for males only, another girl’s only, while there are only one or two that are bi/you pick their orientation… That would be a much easier load on me because I don’t have to write female and male scenes for the same person, AS WELL as developing a more memorable character for the story. I think that would be a good idea in the long run (and I would be happy to explain why further) but above all else, before major changes I like asking all of your opinions on the matter. Thanks so much.


#1203

Also, in addition to writing the chapter, I’m compiling a list of my favorite achievements you guys shared with me! I obviously can’t fit all into the game due to conflicting text/story arcs, but I will definitely make sure I make a personal list of my top ten, and I’ll even explain why. So it’s not to late to submit your most creative achievements you can get in this game. I’m aiming for like 40-50 MAX. Let’s go!


#1204

Yeah. I fully agree with the presidential stuff taking precedence over romance.

I mean, I’m the President of a country. A powerful country. Surely I could deal with love after a term in office (4 years, right?)?

Also I’m just itching to do my duty and make my mark on history!


#1205

Romance? Who said anything about romance. It’s all lust baby!


#1206

LMAO, I wonder if Pandini can ever be unlocked again :joy::joy::joy:


#1207

You are right.

@Spyder depends if you could achieve immortality


#1208

Smoother than Bill- Talked your way out of a sex scandal
Air Foursome- Had a foursome with your VP, an reporter, and your secret service agent
Can’t Shame the Shameless: Released blackmail on yourself to the public


#1209

The beast from the east- Get nuked by Russia.


#1210

Mongol Empire Rises Again- eliminate your two biggest rivals in favor of Mongolia


#1211

Do you know de wey? - Prop up Uganda to become a unifying force to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity in Africa.

Omae wa mou shindeiru - Make Japan the dominant power in Asia.

Nani - Have China drop back down to a regional backwater.

Two nukes weren’t enough - Pretty self explanatory

Deus Vult - Grant Israel Jerusalem + its biblical borders

Chemicals in the water - Be part of a massive government conspiracy

Cruisin’ down the street in my 64 - Promote American car manufacturing.

Saint Ronnie’s Successor - Be considered a new Great Figure in the Republican Party

Gin and Juice - Be known for your wild Presidential Parties

El BJ - Get legislation passed by giving opposition Congressmen the “Johnson” treatment

Country Roads - Transition West Virginia from a dying coal economy into a prosperous 21st Century.

L.A. is the place - Turn LA into the new NY for immigrants.

Last Christmas - Have your spouse or significant other leave you for someone else

Show me the meaning of being lonely - Become a widower (or lose one of your children) during your Presidency


#1212

Blasphemy and slander. NYC will never be replaced by LA.


#1213

We Come In Peace, And For Your Pop Tarts- Be the first president to greet extraterrestrial life.


#1214

They are the Greeks and we are the Romans- Lose a war against the UK


#1215

But the Romans beat the greeks @Hydrophobic_spider.


#1216

:eyes::eyes::zipper_mouth_face::zipper_mouth_face::grimacing::grimacing:
Uhhhhhhhhh


#1217

Vlad Meet Belmond- Cause Regime Change in Russia.
Suck It Communism- Archive Unemployent rate of 2%
Justice is Supposed to be blind even if We have to be Byzantine about it or Justice is Supposed to be blind even if We have to do it greek way (this is reference to Blinding)
Heir of Regan- Reduce Deficit to Zero.
ISWAS ALQUIET- Destroy Isis And Win in Afganistan
Wawe of Cool- Reverse Global Warming
Story Made for Hollywood- Have Dennis Rodman play Pivotal role in Korea Reunification
Oh The Middle eastern humanity- Somehow create Alliance between Iran and Israel.
Dont make me come over There, I Birthed and I can Unmake you - Be Defeated by France
Two Stubborn Old Ladies- have both Merkel and Queen remain alive and in power while Germany- UK relationship gets worse.
Rulers of the Air- Get Friendly Relationship in China.
Everything Happened at Tiamen Square- Cause Regime change in China.
No Nato Expansion they said, It Will be fine they said- Get Russia into Nato.
Breaking Bank- Legalize drugs and drive Cartels out of Business via the economy way.
We are Better in Capitalism and we are Better in Communism- Succesfully Implement Socialist or Communism regime with high economic prospherity and high degree of freedoms
Shut up Bernard: Shoot down every plan your advisors suggest
Now for extra Crazy ones.
Russian Reversal. Release blackmail on yourself and rise in Popularity

I did not Have sex with That Dictator- Involves Kim Jong.
FullMetal Presidental Chaos- MECHA
Smooth Dictator- Institute Dictatorship without Instituting censhorship in anyway
Ghost Division- Pull all Possible Secret Operations without getting caught even once.
Founders Called they want their ideas back- Have Your VP be from Opposite party than you are.
The Secret Conspirator known as 4chan- Somehow stumble into every meme situation possible in one playthrought.
I fought the Bear and i won- Win Judo contest with Putin.
It is not Far for the American Juggernaut to Melee with the Teddy Bear- Cause Total collapse of China
Saturnalia- Flip China and Russia into Democracy while sliding into Dictatorship yourself.
God Calls Me Sir Humprey- Receive Every Possible medal from other states.


#1218

Can somebody explain the party system in america i know nothing about it.