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Ever17 demo

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  • Brandon Van Every
    ... I don t know what the game / full visual novel is actually like, but this demo does not work as a game. I clicked the mouse 100..200 times without making
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 4, 2009
      On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:16 PM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...> wrote:
      > On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 5:54 PM, Rainer Deyke <rainerd@...> wrote:
      >
      >> Ever17 is probably the best Japanese visual novel that's been translated
      >> to English, although it may be hard to find at this point. None of the
      >> original English language visual novels are really good enough to
      >> recommend at this point.
      >
      > It seems to have a non-interactive "demo" available so I'll look at it.

      I don't know what the game / full visual novel is actually like, but
      this demo does not work as a game. I clicked the mouse 100..200 times
      without making any decisions at all, just advancing the game. This
      had the effect of making me1`
    • Brandon Van Every
      ... Silly cat!!! That s what Ms. Louise had to say about my typing... I clicked the mouse 100..200 times without making any decisions at all, just advancing
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 4, 2009
        On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 1:40 AM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...> wrote:
        > On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:16 PM, Brandon Van Every <bvanevery@...> wrote:
        >> On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 5:54 PM, Rainer Deyke <rainerd@...> wrote:
        >>
        >>> Ever17 is probably the best Japanese visual novel that's been translated
        >>> to English, although it may be hard to find at this point. None of the
        >>> original English language visual novels are really good enough to
        >>> recommend at this point.
        >>
        >> It seems to have a non-interactive "demo" available so I'll look at it.
        >
        > I don't know what the game / full visual novel is actually like, but
        > this demo does not work as a game.  I clicked the mouse 100..200 times
        > without making any decisions at all, just advancing the game.  This
        > had the effect of making me1`

        Silly cat!!! That's what Ms. Louise had to say about my typing...

        I clicked the mouse 100..200 times without making any decisions at
        all, just advancing the demo. This had the effect of making me think
        primarily about how tired my finger was getting. I can't imagine
        presenting a near-movie by making the player / audience click a button
        1000..2000 times to receive a single line of exposition or dialogue at
        a time. It's a total loss over other forms of passive entertainment,
        much more laborious than turning the pages of a book.

        I seemed to be suffering instead of getting to play anything. This in
        turn made me notice the good and the bad elements of what I was being
        shown. "Filler" elements, such as corridors that are reused for
        multiple scenes, are readily noticed. Quality of dialogue is noticed,
        but sympathetic readership is eroded when I can't do anything and the
        apparent "plot" doesn't make any sense. First I'm on a ship, then
        they're showing an island that looks a bit like the Pentagon. I guess
        then I'm inside the island. Or rather, the game's characters are.
        For some reason, they're looking at a sandwich stand. Then they're
        looking at some other place. Somehow this base is underwater. For
        some reason initially I thought we were in a sky fort, but ok, I guess
        we're underwater. Something about the impatience of clicking the
        mouse and receiving little bits of dialogue made me miss that. Ok ok,
        I get the idea, everybody's gone for some mysterious reason and now
        the whole place is flooding with water. I don't know why some new
        girl character is introduced, but at this point I've clicked the mouse
        way too many times and I put the game down.

        This does not demo well. I think "non-interactive" demos are an
        exceedingly poor marketing idea. Make a playable demo, or don't do
        one at all, at least for us stoopid Action Jackson Americans who don't
        know anything about this Visual Novel stuff. I cracked the game
        instructions at one point to see if I had misunderstood how to
        interact with the game. The instructions talked about right-clicking
        for some blah blah blah reason. But right-clicking didn't offer me
        any additional control over the game, it was just the means of saving,
        loading, etc.


        Cheers,
        Brandon Van Every
      • Rainer Deyke
        ... Well, yes. It s not a game, it s a visual novel. If you go in expecting gameplay, you re bound to be disappointed. ... I find the keyboard infinitely
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 6, 2009
          Brandon Van Every wrote:
          >> I don't know what the game / full visual novel is actually like, but
          >> this demo does not work as a game.

          Well, yes. It's not a game, it's a visual novel. If you go in
          expecting gameplay, you're bound to be disappointed.

          > I clicked the mouse 100..200 times without making any decisions at
          > all, just advancing the demo. This had the effect of making me think
          > primarily about how tired my finger was getting.

          I find the keyboard infinitely superior to the mouse for this purpose.
          Most visual novels also have an auto-play feature, but I rarely use it.

          > I can't imagine
          > presenting a near-movie by making the player / audience click a button
          > 1000..2000 times to receive a single line of exposition or dialogue at
          > a time. It's a total loss over other forms of passive entertainment,
          > much more laborious than turning the pages of a book.

          Compared to books, you have the addition of pictures, sound, and
          occasional decisions, at the cost of reading on a screen and having to
          press a button occasionally. I don't consider that a total loss.

          > This does not demo well. I think "non-interactive" demos are an
          > exceedingly poor marketing idea. Make a playable demo, or don't do
          > one at all, at least for us stoopid Action Jackson Americans who don't
          > know anything about this Visual Novel stuff. I cracked the game
          > instructions at one point to see if I had misunderstood how to
          > interact with the game. The instructions talked about right-clicking
          > for some blah blah blah reason. But right-clicking didn't offer me
          > any additional control over the game, it was just the means of saving,
          > loading, etc.

          For the most part, what you see is what you get. Reaching one of the
          endings requires 30-50 decisions (depending on which ending you get) and
          maybe 20 hours of reading, which comes to one decision per 30 minutes.
          Decision points tend to cluster, so it's not unusual to go for an hour
          without encountering a choice.

          That said, removing the decisions from the demo seems like a dumb idea
          when you're trying to sell not just a specific visual novel, but the
          concept of visual novels in general.


          --
          Rainer Deyke - rainerd@...
        • Brandon Van Every
          ... That wasn t occasional, that was constant. Maybe with a spacebar it would be more tolerable, but with a touchpad, my index finger was worn out from
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 6, 2009
            On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 3:44 AM, Rainer Deyke <rainerd@...> wrote:
            > Brandon Van Every wrote:
            >
            > > I clicked the mouse 100..200 times without making any decisions at
            > > all, just advancing the demo. This had the effect of making me think
            > > primarily about how tired my finger was getting.
            >
            > I find the keyboard infinitely superior to the mouse for this purpose.
            > Most visual novels also have an auto-play feature, but I rarely use it.
            >
            > Compared to books, you have the addition of pictures, sound, and
            > occasional decisions, at the cost of reading on a screen and having to
            > press a button occasionally.

            That wasn't occasional, that was constant. Maybe with a spacebar it
            would be more tolerable, but with a touchpad, my index finger was worn
            out from hitting the left click button over and over again.


            Cheers,
            Brandon Van Every
          • Rainer Deyke
            ... Wait, this is about your laptop touchpad again, right? Use the keyboard. All visual novels I know support either enter or the space bar for advancing the
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 6, 2009
              Brandon Van Every wrote:
              > That wasn't occasional, that was constant. Maybe with a spacebar it
              > would be more tolerable, but with a touchpad, my index finger was worn
              > out from hitting the left click button over and over again.

              Wait, this is about your laptop touchpad again, right? Use the
              keyboard. All visual novels I know support either enter or the space
              bar for advancing the text.

              I'll grant the clicking is more than occasional, but I don't think it's
              worse than a typical action-oriented game.


              --
              Rainer Deyke - rainerd@...
            • Brandon Van Every
              ... I haven t tried a regular mouse to form a basis of comparison. ... Next time I try a visual novel I will. ... I m having a hard time remembering what my
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 6, 2009
                On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 5:55 AM, Rainer Deyke <rainerd@...> wrote:
                >
                > Wait, this is about your laptop touchpad again, right?

                I haven't tried a regular mouse to form a basis of comparison.

                > Use the
                > keyboard. All visual novels I know support either enter or the space
                > bar for advancing the text.

                Next time I try a visual novel I will.

                > I'll grant the clicking is more than occasional, but I don't think it's
                > worse than a typical action-oriented game.

                I'm having a hard time remembering what my finger fatigue in other
                games has been like. When I judged in the IGF a few years ago, I was
                using a desktop and a mouse. I guess I should download something
                really clicky and see what happens.

                I will point out that I experience ergonomic pain in direct proportion
                to how boring a computer task is. If I'm playing a game I like, I can
                play for many hours before I notice how kinked up I've gotten. If I'm
                struggling with some programming work that I really don't want to be
                doing, I notice my bad posture or tired mouse finger almost
                immediately. So, the physical effort may be equal between touchpad
                and regular mouse, but the psychology of a visual novel is not equal.


                Cheers,
                Brandon Van Every
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