Author Topic: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks  (Read 1923 times)

Unnamed

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Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« on: March 26, 2011, 06:48:46 PM »
Dear Laura,

As I've promised, I shall give feedbacks beyond the technical feedbacks I gave. Since the structure of this forum requires me to create a separate thread for these, I created this new thread. Note that in some cases it is not evident whether something should be categorized as gameplay, technical, or storyline related feedback.



GAMEPLAY FEEDBACKS


1. Enemies reappear very soon

Several enemies reappear after the player has defeated them. It's OK, the only thing that's annoying is that they may reappear very soon. For example, you've defeated a group of soldiers, just move off the screen for any reason for a few seconds, and the soldiers are waiting for you again. It has an advantage, though, that it is much easier to look for battles to increase your experience. For example, I've sweeped the soldiers next to the Leeble Village again, after I've already saved Aero, before moving to the world map. But overall I've found the frequent rebirth of enemies annoying. I think it is nice to have enemies respawn, but I suggest them to reappear after longer periods of time. It's just not fine to fight the enemies again after I moved in and off a screen for 2 seconds. I think at least you should have a minute passed to respawn them.


2. Jumping characters are very cute

There are occasions when characters jump up, mostly because they are excited about something. I really like that! :) First, it expresses their excitement well; second, it makes them cute. But really, even soldiers are cute when they are jumping. And Leebles especially, of course! :thumbup:


3. Characters tell to press keys

Sometimes characters tell hints how to do certain operations in the game. Like "stand in front of the Silaberries and press ENTER to collect them", "sometimes you can find useful things in vases if you press ENTER when you are standing in front of them", etc.. I think they shouldn't say things like that, because characters are supposed to live inside the game's world - i.e. they don't know that actually there is a player with a computer that has a keyboard... they only know about the characters they interact within their world.

Also it wouldn't be strange, if all kinds of such hints came from characters. But it seems you use several other ways to give hints to the player. Like in the very beginning of the game, when you tell the player that "This is only a sample pedestal...", there you use an untitled dialog box (note that this particular hint could be said by the teacher as well). In other case, you fade the screen to tell the player how to save. I think you should always use these methods to tell something to the player that is related to the usage of the game interface; and never have characters to say such things, for they don't even know what ENTER is.


4. Capitalizing the names of races

You consequently write "Leebles" capitalized and "humans" not capitalized throughout the game. I don't know why do you capitalize one, and not the other, since both are common names and denote races. So they should be written the same way. According to the grammar, you wouldn't capitalize any of them (i.e. write "leebles" and "humans" consequently), but because you want to put attention on them, you may rather capitalize both. The point that they shouldn't be written differently.

How do you pronounce "Leeble" anyway? Please say it in your next video. ;)


5. Going back to Leeble Village

After I've adventured through several areas, I thought it would be just funny to visit back to our sweet home, the Leeble Village. Not like I was expecting to do anything useful there, I just wondered what happens. All the Leebles was nice there, but it was a bit strange that they were still saying farewells, as if we have never ever left, while in fact we have spent several days away.

First of all, it's obvious that the player is not supposed to go back there, therefore I don't suggest you to define new states for the Leebles to behave appropriately after you visit them after a long time. It would be more clever, if the player physically couldn't go back to the village for some reason. Not immediately after you left, though, because the player should have the chance to change his mind, and go back to the village for a little time. I suggest the divide should be the first night you spend elsewhere - particularly, the night you spend in a little farm where people are unfriendly, where you meet Andy. Before that night, you could walk back to the Leeble Village without any problems, but in the morning you couldn't go back there anymore.

Also I wonder what would happen if I decided to go to Basho or Dolby's place before I went through the small farm. Or go to Dolby's before checking in Basho and getting poisoned in Dabonet. But I didn't try these scenarios so I can't tell anything about them. :P


6. Leeble school - reading books

I've found the Leeble school pretty cute. I must have made a screenshot of it, I remember this was the very first screenshot I've made.



Just an idea - it would be fun to read those books (maybe the homeworks of students?) on the tables. It would be just cute, like "My dream about the Hornback Turtles", "How I met the tallest 'Leeble' in town", "My frog ate my homework yesterday", and things like that.

Though in that case you should consider making all other books readable throughout the game. But it works for many games to spread little backgound informations on the storyline... though you already have enough channels for such informations... Well, just think about it, you must know it better.


7. Battles are too easy

I must confess I'm not so much into battles. Well, yes, as I said, I've sweeped the Ciro soldiers next to the Leeble Village twice to increase my XP, also I've run into more-than-necessary battles in Dolby's cave, then I realized that I win all battles anyway. After all, I think I wasted my time with them.

I can't tell you how to improve battles, because I'm really more interested in the storyline. If the game wouldn't involve any battles, maybe I would have enjoyed it as well. Nah, I must admit, battles are necessary, because somehow you need to have a risk - otherwise you couldn't lose the game, and it's important that the player could lose sometimes.

The only thing I can tell, is that something is wrong with the balance. There were some lengthy battles, but I never ever lost any of them. I don't even know what happens when you lose a battle. For battles didn't mean challenge, I didn't really have to buy and use items, or equip new weapons. Actually, I've forgot about the "Equip" menu entirely, and noticed it in the middle of the game, and then forgot about it again. Funny thing, since Achaius was ill that time, I couldn't equip him anything, so as you see on the screenshots below, he still has the bamboo net equipped. :D

Since I didn't really need to buy things, I've managed to collect a hell lot of money. So because of the not-well-balanced battle system, the entire trade and equipment functions get unused, therefore you've made your awesome items in vain. :(

Here are the screenshots of my stats and inventory at the end of the game:







But please please don't make the battles so much difficult that I won't be able to play the game! :P Generally I'm suck at battles, really. (Actually, I tell it because it has already happened to FreeDroidRPG - once I've played it, it was nice. Then I started to play it a year later, it was much more designed, much more beautiful and all, but a dungeon was made too hard with hundreds of droids swarming it, and so I couldn't pass through it...)


8. Overall experience

I really liked Melolune, and I'm looking forward its release, or at least, the releases of further demos. It is fantastic, I really didn't regret taking the time to play it!

This "little" demo gave me 7 hours of gameplay experience! WOW! I really didn't expect it to be that long. I thought it would be 1 or 2 hours, or less, as average demos. I can't even imagine how long will be the full game then! After all, I hope it'll be more than 24 hours. ;)

What more to say - it is totally enjoyable, it has an interesting storyline, it sucks the player into its world. The music is also awesome, fits to the game well.


That's all for my gameplay experiences. I'll continue by evaluating the storyline tomorrow - wow, it's being late now. I'm sad that I couldn't finish it today. :'(


All the bests,
Unnamed

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 04:45:36 AM »
Dear Laura,

I'm going to list my thoughts regarding the storyline of the game - at least of the little fraction revealed in the demo. Sorry for the delay, I know I said that I'll post it days ago. At first, I'll list some minor things I have concerns about, then I'll evaluate my overall impression. The first part is a bit of hard, because I suppose the storyline is the most sensitive point for you. I mean, the story is a part of your inner world, it's created by your imagination, so it must be very close to you. Within it lies the message you'd like to convey. Therefore you may get hurt by even the smallest remarks. Well I just hope you won't, and you are going to welcome my feedbacks after all.



STORYLINE FEEDBACKS


1. Soldiers vs. kids

After the falcar, the first enemies our heroes fight are soldiers. Something is disturbing about it. How can kids (nah, OK, it seems Dominic is not a kid) defeat trained soldiers? Soldiers are especially trained to fight, while our heroes have supposedly only fought animals. Achaius has admitted that he has never fought anything bigger than the juvenile falcar. I know they may have received a lot of experience from defeating animals, but still the soldiers' training should be superior. Plus the soldiers have armors which our heroes don't. And the soldiers are usually grouped per 3, while our heroes are just 2 (Achaius and Dominic). But they not only defeated one or two soldiers by luck - they have managed to slaughter about a half of an army, in way to the falcar's nest. Seeing how efficient are the Ciro soldiers, the Orderian Ciro could have sent bunnies as well, they are almost as good in battles as the soldiers, yet they consume less resources. :P

Basically I say we should only fight soldiers after we became experienced like hell, plus we found armors. Though I don't think you could do anything with this, because the storyline really requires to fight those soldiers there, and I don't think you should do additional adventures with fights to the beginning of the game to prepare the player for the soldiers. All in all, I think it would be nice if our heroes would get some protection somehow. Because armored, trained soldiers against unarmored, untrained heroes really don't look fine, and it just seems ridiculous that our heroes can defeat them easily regardless.

Sorry for the hard words.


2. Sila berry footprints

I've noticed that the sila berry footprints are always there, even several days after the sleepwalking incident. A tidy little Leeble could have really clean it up. ;) Though it's really just a minor suggestion.


3. Dominic saw a frog

Again it's a minor remark. Dominic states he saw a frog down at the lake. I'm sure he really saw one, but frogs are not known to stay in the same place for a prolonged time... Dominic could only see a frog a day before. (He was staying with us all the time after he woke up, and during the night he was busy with sleepwalking, so he could only have a chance to see a frog yesterday.) As the saying goes, yesterday's frog has already jumped away. Achaius, on the other hand, really saw a frog recently, when he helped the Captain in the morning along with Aero. It is important to mention a recently seen frog, because maybe it didn't get far since then - maybe it's still there!

Actually, first I thought you've made a mistake by mistitling the dialog box. But then I saw that the dialog is still consistent, so you really wanted the sentence to be said by Dominic.


4. Translation of the title song

There are some songs for Melolune those are not in English. Meanwhile I have learned that they are in a made-up language... Still, do they have meanings? Could you translate them?

(Meanwhile I've received your reply for my e-mail - so the first question is eliminated, though the second one is still valid.)


5. Overall impression

Regarding the story in its entirety (at least what's revealead of the demo), and how you conveyed it, it's quite immersive. I was always curious, like "what comes next"? During those few days I was playing the game, I was waiting for the afternoon to continue playing it. And when I reached its end, I regretted that it ended.

Your characters are so much alive that the player even cares for them. Several events in the story have even made an emotional impact on me. For example, I felt sorrow for Mani, I really hope he'll get all right; and of course I was worried for the Leebles in general; also I found Della's birthday party kind of touching. You have perfectly enhanced these impressions with your awesome musical background.

In general, good stories stick with us. Also I always feel sorrow when I get to the end of a really good one. I even dreamt with Melolune. As for its music, there were occasions when some of the soundtracks were running in my head all the day. So I hope it helps to picture how awesome I found Melolune.


Finally, this was my last feedback concerning the Melolune demo - for now. Though of course I may post further bug reports and other stuff if I'll find mentionable issues on a future replay.

And I have a humble request: please feedback my feedbacks. I know you've found my technical feedbacks useful, but please evaluate this thread as well. In addition I'm curious whether you like my writing style, whether was it pleasant to read my text, or was it boring, too long...

I wish you all the bests regarding the further development and release of Melolune. Thanks for making it!


Love and virtual hugs,
Unnamed

Cheeseyx

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 07:09:04 PM »
Sorry to interrupt, but I had an idea that might make the beating of the soldiers in the beginning more plausible. They could be 'On Break' when they saw you, the first ones at least, and not wearing armor because of it. Secondly, and I don't remember if this is what happens or not because I haven't really had time to play through Melolune recently, but if this isn't already what happened, why not make the soldiers surprised at how strong you were, and go back to alert the other soldiers, who then go on patrol.

You could also drop in somewhere that these weren't the best Ciro warriors, and actually sent more to scout than to fight.

BradAric

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 10:31:47 PM »
Actually, as far as the soldiers go, isn't it mentioned that the ones that are further away from Ciro are poorly trained and have little to no structure? If I'm correct on that, then Dominic (an ex-soldier) and Achaius (who has special powers that we haven't quite seen the full extent of yet) could actually beat the soldiers with very little trouble.



 

Cheeseyx

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 01:49:15 PM »
Actually, as far as the soldiers go, isn't it mentioned that the ones that are further away from Ciro are poorly trained and have little to no structure? If I'm correct on that, then Dominic (an ex-soldier) and Achaius (who has special powers that we haven't quite seen the full extent of yet) could actually beat the soldiers with very little trouble.
I thought this might have been the case. Like I said, I haven't played Melolune in some time.

BradAric

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 03:43:23 PM »
That you did! I just wanted to throw in my two cents since I just played it all the way through last night myself haha.

I only noticed a couple of things (including two typos but apparently I wasn't recording like I thought I was so I'll have to play through again to find them) so that's why I haven't started my own thread yet :P

That does actually remind me though...do you think it's ok if we make fan-made trailers for the game? I want to help spread the word, but I also don't want to capture and use footage in a trailer unless it's ok with Laura...



 

Unnamed

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 01:02:50 PM »
I like your brainstorming here! :thumbup:

I'm curious what does Laura think, though. I just hope she's going to answer my feedbacks, and I really hope she didn't get offended because of what I wrote about this soldier problem.

Ahh, just got to my mind, I've dreamt with Melolune again! :D I don't remember much of it, but Melolune had mini-games like Plants vs. Zombies does, LOL. :D

And I've forgot to say that I've made more screenshots than I actually linked. You can check them out here. Needless to say, they contain spoilers. I should have put spoiler warnings above as well...

supershigi

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Re: Unnamed's Gameplay/Storyline Feedbacks
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 05:41:15 PM »
@Unnamed: Oh, no no I'm definitely not offended by any of your feedback :P  In fact I'm very grateful that you took the time to write all of it!  I haven't responded because I usually like to read through the feedback as I'm working on the game so I can make changes accordingly (otherwise I end up forgetting), and I haven't had much of a chance to work on Melolune these past couple weeks.  I could respond to parts of your feedback, but I figured it'd be best to do it all at once.  But rest assured, as soon as I get the chance, this topic will be open alongside Melolune so I can reference it!

@BradAric: Of course it's okay!  I don't mind at all, in fact, I think that would be really cool :)