Author Topic: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks  (Read 2638 times)

Unnamed

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Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« on: March 21, 2011, 04:24:47 PM »
Dear Laura,

As I was wandering around on your forum, seeing hundreds of references to Melolune, I couldn't resist starting to play it again. :P I've always would have liked to play it anyway. As I've mentioned, once I've started it in January 2010, but I stopped at the Star Night, if I remember correctly. I don't know the exact reason why I didn't continue from there, but it wasn't the game's fault. Actually, I'm glad to play a game now, because a long time has passed since I played something. I just need this, it comes good for my life now.

A few things to note:
- I haven't finished the demo yet.
- Though I've been playing it for 4 hours now - WOW, it's really a long demo! (Or maybe I'm just too slow. :P)
- For others: THIS THREAD MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
- As for my feedbacks, I hope I will provide some you're interested in. Maybe sometimes I'll seem picky... like complaining about minor things... please always keep in mind that I don't do this to jerk around, I'd just like to tell you my thoughts.
- I post questions, bugs, suggestions as well.


1. Question: Do you put up updated versions of your demo from time to time?

Though I've downloaded your demo again, I just wonder whether the package I downloaded is the exact same I fetched a year ago. I don't see version numbers, so I can't track your releases. For example, if the package you published is a very old snapshot of your game, maybe it contains bugs you've already corrected a long time ago. But we still detect and may report them needlessly. After all I suggest you to use version numbers and/or release dates whenever you publish a new demo. For instance, it is a common practice to use version numbers starting with 0 (like 0.90) to denote betas, and mark the first complete release as 1.0 or something like that.


2. Question: Where does Melolune store its saved games?

I've tried to find it out on my own. Finally, I've tried to monitor the files the game opens, but I've received the error message below. :P Ooops!



It would be nice to know how to transfer my saves between computers. :) Maybe the saves should be in the registry, under a key with an unexpected name (not "Melolune"). I've tried to find them in %USERPROFILE% first, but neither I found them there.


3. Bug: "I'm not supposed to get there"? o_o

Sometimes I can walk to areas I'm not supposed to reach, I guess. I've found 2 of such occasions.





On the second one, I'm in the trees at the rightmost of the screen.


4. Bug: Keeping track of events - Aero goes to sleep?

I know very well that an adventure / RPG game like Melolune may have so many states regarding the player's decisions that sometimes even the developer can't keep track of all the possible game states. Like the developer doesn't expect the player to do this after that, still the player is able to do this.

I guess this is the reason of the following phenomenons.

On the Star Night, once Aero talked to me - she said she's very sleepy, so she goes to sleep, even though I may stay if I want. Yet she stayed with me regardless. Although, sadly I can't reproduce this. I even reloaded the game to observe it again, but I couldn't, it just didn't happen the second time. But I've made a screenshot where I encountered this the first time. I was standing like there when Aero was talking to me.




5. Bug: Keeping track of events - Pilots?



This Suby guy wishes good luck on our journey - too early. This guy kept telling the same even before the Star Night, I didn't get why he says that. But after the Falcar incident involving Aero, it made sense. I guess you've forgot that the player may encounter him earlier in the game.


6. Bug: Keeping track of events - Should I talk to the wooden sign again?

In an inn, there was a woman with a baby who suggested to sleep outside, but first of all I need to talk to a wooden sign to be allowed to do so. After I've slept there, I went back to the inn, and the woman was still suggesting me to talk to the wooden sign to have a sleep... I guess you didn't expect the player to go back there after the sleep, because the story has suggested to leave the town. (Note that you may expect me to detect such inconsistencies. :P I'm always trying to try all possibilities.) I was lazy to create a screenshot this time.


7. Interesting: I don't have Achaius in a save game



I don't think it's a bug... I guess it's because you may organize cutscenes by setting the focus on the character that's moving. I guess the Leeble there is Mrs. Bogi, who rushes in to tell bad news, immediately after you load the game...


8. Maybe bug: Why is she happy when she's telling terrible news?

It's cool that your characters have different faces to use in dialogs. It seems you've forgot about it at this point. Mrs. Bogi is talking with her happy face when she's informing the player about a terrible incident.




As for now, that's all for my technical feedbacks. I'll also give a storyline/gameplay feedback soon. Later I may post additional bugs I detect as I progress. I hope you find my feedbacks useful, because I really like your game!


Live long and prosper,
Unnamed

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 04:24:56 PM »
Dear Laura,

Now I shall continue to list the bugs I've found throughout your demo.


9. Bug: Switching to and from full-screen mode

It is possible to run the game in a window, or in full-screen mode. When the game starts, it starts in the mode it feels like to. It doesn't save the window state from the previous session, it just decides whether to go to full-screen or run in a window randomly. Though in most cases, it picks full-screen, that is preferable for me.

It is possible to switch between windowed and full-screen mode by pressing F12. And here comes the problem. For F12, the game always steps back to the main menu, where you need to load your game again - that means, you lose the progress made after the last save, without any prior warning.


10. Bug: Melolune speaks

After you fought Mola and his melons, he says a sentence. But erroneously, instead of "Mola", the string "Melolune" appears in the dialog's header.




11. Bug: Empty dialog boxes for Aero

In Dabonet, there are several occasions when Aero says something, but no characters appear in the dialog box. For example, there is such an occasion in the ending scene. Sorry that I didn't note the other cases.


12. Suggestion: Why do I need to buy an additional cup of milk tea?

When I need to bring milk tea for a guard, the game should take into account if I already have milk tea in the inventory. Maybe you don't expect the player to buy milk tea on his own... but hey, I liked that they restore MP, and I had a hell lot of money, so I thought I buy some, prior meeting the sleepy guard. But still the game forced me to buy yet another cup of milk tea for the guard. I think it would be nice if I could offer to give one of my existing milk teas to the guard. Still there would be an option to buy an additional one, if the player would like to.

Anyway, this milk tea stuff is made by mixing tea with milk? Because some teas are really delicious with milk, just check it out, if you've never tried! ;)


13. Bug: Tile mistake

There is a wrong tile at the corner of the bridge. Tell me if you don't notice it, because then I'll mark it - for now I'm lazy to do that. :P Moreover, the guard mentioned in the previous point can be also seen here.




Meanwhile I've finished the demo, as you may have guessed, and I really liked Melolune, and I'll be sure to play the complete version after it gets released! :) And as I've already said, I'm going to write feedbacks on my gameplay experience as well.


All the bests,
Unnamed

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 02:45:53 AM »
Hey Shigi! I've started a new game just to get sure about point 5, concerning Suby's sentence about making fine pilots. I didn't see anything wrong this time... actually, I suppose I made a mistake... I know I didn't get what he means when I read the sentence for the first time; and one or two days later when I composed my report, my memory tricked me... So I thought that I've read the sentence more times in several game states, when in fact, I must have read it multiple times in the same game state...

All in all, don't debug point 5 for it is reported by mistake, sorry!

supershigi

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 05:35:26 PM »
Oh my gosh, wow, so much good information, thank-you!  And thanks for taking the time to write all this up, I really appreciate it :)  I'm going to go through everything that you wrote about here during my next playthrough!  You managed to catch a lot of little things that I never would have found, too... so awesome ^_^

Squall83

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 10:44:35 AM »
That was well done! ^^ I betatested, too, but I missed most of what you found. I focused mainly on grammar and spelling as well as tiles where you could walk through even if you're not supposed to be able to. A lot of wondrous things happen if you try to walk into all those objects you encounter. ^^

About your points:
1) I found that "secret area" you mentioned under 3), too, but it was about a year ago, so I guess there weren't any updates even before that.
2) I'd like to know that one, too -  especially since there are only 4 savestates. The RPG Maker 2000 had 15 and each one was a separate file which could easily be backupped. But I asked Laura already and she doesn't know, either. A short Google search didn't yield any useful results, but maybe a thorough search would help. :-/
6) I move away from the story, too, whenever I can. E.g. I finished that cake-sidequest long before I was supposed to go into that town to get the pass for the town with the guys who poison Achaius. And yes, it was a long time ago since I last played the game, so I forgot the names of all places except for Leebleforest. ^^
9) I always switch by using Alt+Enter. When I played games from the RPG Maker 2000 I think that hitting F12 only got you to the main menu, without switching from window to full-screen mode. Therefore I never used that F12 key on Melolune.

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 09:14:24 PM »
As I'm replaying the demo for the excuse of find tropes, I've found some additional bugs. :)

Before I address them, I revise some of my points posted above, since I have more information on them.

2. Question: Where does Melolune store its saved games?

Here they are:

Code: [Select]
C:\>dir "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Melolune"
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 6806-ABBD

 Directory of C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Melolune

2012. 02. 19.  21:24    <DIR>          .
2012. 02. 19.  21:24    <DIR>          ..
2012. 02. 20.  00:12            71 612 Save1.rxdata
2012. 02. 21.  02:20            79 071 Save2.rxdata
2012. 02. 19.  21:17           153 109 Save3.rxdata
2012. 02. 21.  02:39            76 519 Save4.rxdata
               4 File(s)        380 311 bytes
               2 Dir(s)     561 844 224 bytes free

I really didn't expect them to be located in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%. Why do you put them there? I think simply %USERPROFILE% would be better... or the game's installer (which I guess doesn't exist yet) could ask it (like Total Commander's installer asks where would you like to keep the config files).

Now the saves are shared between users, so one user can overwrite another user's saved games, which is probably won't be appreciated by that user.


4. Bug: Keeping track of events - Aero goes to sleep?

I managed to reproduce that. You need to talk to some characters - don't know who actually, maybe there's just a counter - and then go to that arch, Aero will say her sentences. (If not, just keep going and talk to some more characters, then go back.)




5. Bug: Keeping track of events - Pilots?

Just to emphasize again, this bug doesn't exist, it's my mistake!


I'll continue with the new bugs later.

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 01:30:40 PM »
14. Bug: Dominic gets cloned

After we saved Aero, we wake up. Achaius, Aero and Dominic are in my party. As I go out, the Chief tells terrible news... then Achaius asks something like: "Does Dominic know it yet?" - I had a strange WTF feeling: "How the hell he wouldn't know? You just told him!". It turned out the characters act like they wouldn't see Dominic in my party... and then I went in the hut, and... met a Dominic clone! :P





He's in my party, but he's still there and I can talk to him.


15. Bug: Two scripts triggered at once

When I stand there, talk to the zombie, the lobster script also triggers. The zombie tells his sentence, and when that dialog box goes away, the lobster caption pops up.




16. Bug: The weapon vendor is armor vendor

In this dialog, the exclamation mark shows up above the weapon vendor, while the dialog box is captioned as "Armor vendor". When you go to one of them to start a conversation, it turns out who is who.




17. Bug: Invisible wall

I can't go to the right from that position. It's like an invisible wall blocks my way.




18. Spelling mistake: "Not interesting in learning"

Though the English language still surprises me day to day, I'm berry much suspicious that "Not interesting in learning" is not correct. I think you meant "Not interested in learning" instead. Though I'm not all-that-sure... all in all, if it turns out that the first one is also correct, I'll be surprised.




19. Suggestion: Why do I must sleep?

When I talk to Dolby, he immediately puts me in bed. What if I haven't talked to someone yet, and would like to? It would be nice if I had an option to stay awake just for a little.




20. Bug: "I'm not supposed to get there"? o_o




21. Bug: Phantom objects

I can go through certain objects. Actually, there are more of them than I bothered to take screenshots of. I think it's OK with chairs, for example, because it would be inconvenient if you had to walk around them, and it's reasonable that you can step over a chair. But in these cases with the chest and the vase, it looks weird.






22. Bug: Chasing the guard

I talk to this guard, he steps one step upwards. Then I talk to him again and he steps again. :D I chased him to the wall.




23. Maybe bug: No captions in my menus

I played the second half of the game on my workstation, while I was not-working at night. (This is what I love in this job! You don't have to work! :P) For some reason, on this machine, many of the captions weren't show up in the menus. I don't know why, and I also don't know it it's a problem with my workstation or with the software.




I hope these findings were useful, and they are still in time so you can correct them.

Meanwhile I was taking berry lot of random screenshots, anyone may find them here. Some of them may be spoiling, so be careful! ;)

Strawfairy

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 02:21:07 PM »
I think for 14, it's normal for characters to stay in your party in RPGs so you can set them up - even if they're physically not in the party.

In fact (sorry to bring my own game up)... In Ghost Shards, when you arrive at a town, everyone will split up, but if you open up the menu, you'll still see them in the party.

I hope this makes sense. ^^


Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 06:41:14 PM »
I see. I've never seen such game which used this convention, though I haven't played RPG games, so I can't really tell...

Regardless, I think a game should keep the conventions it established for itself. Before and after this phenomenon I described in point 14, Shigi is always strict to keep only those members in your party who are really there. Moreover, she removes Achaius from the party when he gets poisoned, so that time I can't tune him up. And it is really not that relevant to let the player to tune Dominic, since this state lasts for like one minute. When you go into the other hut, you'll have Dominic back again... And (I don't know if it's really possible there), if you'd go away to fight some Ciro soldiers (instead of going into the hut), you'd see Dominic in battle (I suppose), which would be obviously confusing, since theoretically he's not accompanying you at that moment. (Oh, why didn't I test this?... o_o)

So I think it's still unintentional and so it's still a bug. But I hope Shigi will enlighten us. ;)

And don't worry about mentioning your game... actually, you mentioning it so many times made me curious about it. ;)

supershigi

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 05:35:50 PM »
Thank-you again for such detailed feedback, Unnamed.  Because of work and other things going on in my life, it's been an awfully long time since I've had the chance to really work on Melolune... But yesterday I finished off a bunch of quests in the 2nd to last area of the game and started a full playthrough (I'm about 2 hours into it).  I took about a page of notes, and then came back to your thread to try and fix the bugs you had mentioned earlier ^_^

Some of the things you mentioned that I will fix:
-Mrs. Bogi's "happy" portrait does look strange given the serious news she's delivering.  When I put in the new faceset art, I'd like to include a different picture to better match the situation.
-During the playthrough I also managed to notice how Aero was the only one in the party after the Star Night flashback dream (and how Dominic was in the party even though his sprite was separated for the cutscene).  I think I will probably change this for the purpose of being consistent.
-Thanks for pointing out Hilda's post-Verda Grove dialogue, I somehow managed to overlook that and will go back and change it.
-Good point about the milk tea.  I'd like the player to still interact with the cafe owner, so I'll probably make it a special item that the owner will give to you after the quest begins.
-Aero's empty dialogue boxes are because I wanted her to respond without saying anything (but I want players to see her expressions from the portrait art).
-Thanks for finding the grammatical errors and the Weapon/Armor error.
-I still have to fix the group of people in Debonet (the ones that look strange when you walk around them).  I might just put some stationary folks there later.
-I'd like to put in something that lets the player toggle full screen mode at the beginning. Alt+Enter allows you to toggle it the rest of the time.  I'll ask around to see how other rpg maker users handle this. 

Quote from: Unnamed
I really didn't expect them to be located in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%. Why do you put them there? I think simply %USERPROFILE% would be better... or the game's installer (which I guess doesn't exist yet) could ask it (like Total Commander's installer asks where would you like to keep the config files).

This is a good question.  I'm not sure if this was the default location set by rpg maker, or if it was something I had changed at some point for a reason that I've since forgotten.  I'll try to look into this.

Quote from: Unnamed
1. Question: Do you put up updated versions of your demo from time to time?

I haven't, but I will in the future.  The game's content is almost complete, however there are many things that need to be fixed internally: balancing (items, battles, gold, etc.), writing new dialogue for NPCs because events occur that would change what they say, implementing certain systems (allowing you to change the battle party), fixing broken things (there is a boss battle where one of the summoned enemies is malfunctioning), improving a couple critical cutscenes in the post-demo locations because they feel anti-climactic, changing some of the art assets, etc.  I'm probably not going to release another build until alpha for this reason, but I'll be sure to let people know as soon as it's ready for another test!

Quote from: Unnamed
When I talk to Dolby, he immediately puts me in bed. What if I haven't talked to someone yet, and would like to? It would be nice if I had an option to stay awake just for a little.

Ah, this is actually planned... In this room, when you talk to Andy, Dominic, Mola, and Dolby, it adds +1 to a variable counter.  When the counter reaches 4, it will trigger the message where Dolby tells the player to go to sleep.

Quote from: Unnamed
23. Maybe bug: No captions in my menus

Hmm... Unfortunately, I don't have an explanation for this :( I'm wondering if it has something to do with fonts and the OS you were using at the time (perhaps on certain systems, the game tried to call fonts that are installed in Windows, but maybe not elsewhere?)

Thanks again for such great feedback.  I still can't believe you caught all of those things!  In my current playthrough I've come up with some new questions about the game's balance, so I might post them here later if that's alright.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 05:39:22 PM by supershigi »

Strawfairy

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 05:58:01 PM »
Hey, I thought of something for Aero's empty dialogue boxes.

Maybe you could say "..." in the text box, and it would still show his portrait? o.o I dunno. (I'm bored, so I'm posting everywhere, hehe).

Also, as for full screen, I think asking before anything starts would be better. Like Reives did in Quintessence. For example, I prefer playing everything in windowed mode as I multi-task. When I play your demo, I also try to minimize it (I always forget the buttons, haha).

I was going to ask you a question real quick and to avoid starting a whole new Melolune thread, I'll just ask here - are you going to give Melolune a title screen song? XD It's kind of random, but I just realized the demo didn't have one and it was all silent and stuff. O_oa


Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 06:48:39 PM »
Hey, I thought of something for Aero's empty dialogue boxes.

Maybe you could say "..." in the text box, and it would still show his portrait? o.o I dunno. (I'm bored, so I'm posting everywhere, hehe).

Hehe, this is exactly what I wanted to suggest! :D I just couldn't take the time to compose my detailed reply yet.

supershigi

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Re: Unnamed's Technical Feedbacks
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 12:24:56 PM »
Quote from: Strawberry
Maybe you could say "..." in the text box, and it would still show his portrait? o.o I dunno. (I'm bored, so I'm posting everywhere, hehe).

Hmm, this is a good idea, thanks!  I know there are a few places where it says "..." so I'm not sure why I didn't do that... I'll check and see if it fits.

Quote from: Strawberry
I was going to ask you a question real quick and to avoid starting a whole new Melolune thread, I'll just ask here - are you going to give Melolune a title screen song? XD It's kind of random, but I just realized the demo didn't have one and it was all silent and stuff. O_oa

Yes, I definitely want to compose a theme for the title screen^^