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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytesting[Feed. Req.] Social Satire RPG
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Author Topic: [Feed. Req.] Social Satire RPG  (Read 8995 times)
Musenik
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« on: July 07, 2007, 12:30:09 PM »

Hi,

Mousechief Co. has some new mischief for your mouse. Please try this extended demo, and help us make a better game. I added a list of our questions and concerns at the end of this post.

About the game: This is our fantasy RPG of social satire. The interface metaphor is a vintage, parlor boardgame. I like to think it's something you found in your great-grandmother's attic. I also hope you'll forgive your great-grandmother if she ever did anything like what happens in this game.

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble!
(In the 1920s, small town USA was never this fantastic.)







FYI: PC version probably doesn't work under VISTA!
This extended demo goes beyond what will be available in the trial version. The game expires at the end of July. Expect a little rough reading. We can't afford proofreading until near the end of development.

Download Links: expired



Please help us with the following, after playing the game:

Did you have fun?
How far did you play?
How comfortable were you at learning the various, little games?
Were the goals clear and compelling?
At what point were you drawn into the story? Never?
Is this your kind of game?
Could it ever become your kind of game? How?
What do you typically play for interactive story goodness? (yes, RPGs, platform adventures and even FPSs like Half Life counts... :-)

What did we do wrong?
What did we do right?

What do you REALLY want to tell us about 'Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble'?


thank you,
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 08:48:45 AM by Musenik » Logged

Guert
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2007, 01:43:29 PM »

The download link doesn't work, it looks a bit messed up and I can't figure out what is the real url. I checked on your website but can't download it from there either...

I'll be glad to give you some feedback once I get the demo!
Later!
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Inane
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2007, 02:18:46 PM »

Deciphered url:
http://p4.hostingprod.com/@mousechief.com/DangerousPC.zip
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real art looks like the mona lisa or a halo poster and is about being old or having your wife die and sometimes the level goes in reverse
Musenik
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 02:21:32 PM »

Links fixed.

That's what I get for copying and pasting from a different forum post!

sorry,
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2007, 05:36:44 AM »

I've heard of this game, I think originally from Patrick Dugan, who I believe was impressed by it. I'll try it out later and let you know what I think then.
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Kon-Tiki
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2007, 06:15:55 AM »

Heeheehee, this's so fun :D After trying to expose that girl in the library (after deciding to frame Maximilian) and losing, the game froze, though. When I went to Windows (using the Windows key), I saw this message:

Quote
Errors occurred:
See the logfile 'D:\games\dangerousPC\prog\brigiton.exe.log' for details.


When checking that log, it says this:
Quote
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "main.py", line 74, in ?
  File "main.py", line 29, in main
  File "main.py", line 64, in gamemain
  File "faceEngn.pyo", line 68, in RunFaces
  File "explore.pyo", line 402, in Core
  File "fnfEvents.pyo", line 80, in PumpEvents
  File "fnfEvents.pyo", line 89, in HandleTimedEvents
  File "encounters.pyo", line 104, in PopUpEncounter
  File "faceEngn.pyo", line 155, in UpstageFaces
  File "encounters.pyo", line 454, in Core
  File "fnfEvents.pyo", line 81, in PumpEvents
  File "fnfEvents.pyo", line 135, in HandleTheEvents
  File "faces.pyo", line 159, in DoLitAction
  File "encounters.pyo", line 774, in ExposeConfront
  File "faceEngn.pyo", line 174, in UpstageFaces
  File "resolution.pyo", line 175, in TransitionIn
  File "dangerCentral.pyo", line 625, in AdvancePlot
NameError: global name 'exit' is not defined
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2007, 08:20:45 AM »

Kon-Tiki,

I updated the game files with a fix for the crash bug. One of the scripts would fail if the player lost the expose game against Clara in the library.

I look forward to more feedback!

thanks,


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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2007, 05:43:55 PM »

Why did you put the Setup.exe in a zip? Seems counter-intuitive.
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Musenik
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2007, 05:57:17 PM »

Just a bad habit. I'm use to emailing the app to my co-workers, and a lot of email systems don't like EXEs. (for some reason :-)

It'll be an .exe when it ships.


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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2007, 07:30:43 PM »

Okay, played through it to day 11. Impressions:

- Very fun game, original game systems etc., very impressed.

- The fib game was too boring in comparison to the other games; perhaps add more variation (more shells?).

- On Day 11 it got stuck: stoolie girl appeared everywhere and there was no way to progress the story; literally every single person I talked to was either stoolie girl or a teacher who gave me an A+, and there was nobody to talk to other than those, so it got stuck. Perhaps it was because my team was empty (someone had sent all of them away, so I only had the queen remaining) and there were no other girls to recruit. As for the point in the story that this was, I had just beat the Nurse at Gambit (after losing 3 times, where she sent the other 3 of my characters away) and after that there was nothing to do; the help box didn't say anything either except 'walk around and talk to people'.

- A taunt that you use on someone should not immediately be used back at you, it makes no sense. Perhaps make a rule that each taunt can only be used once in each taunt-battle (regardless of who uses it). It'd also be more fun to have the full (or at least a much larger) list of taunts and retorts available to you when choosing.

- The word guessing game was too easy. I'm not sure how you can make it harder, but what I would do would be to make participles and parts of speech and pronouns automatically uncovered, and increase the cost of uncovering a word to 2 or 3 tokens rather than 1. That seems like it'd be better balanced and more fun.

- The music that appears when you talk to someone seems almost randomly selected; it'd be nice if each person or each type of person had their own music instead.

- The scrolling of the map was extremely slow, it was very annoying when searching for people. Increasing it 2x or 3x wouldn't hurt I think.

- A lot of the GUI suffered from slowdown; this seems to be a Python game so its an interpreted language which is necessarily slow, but even Game Maker is faster than this in most ways, I don't like the mouse freezing and the frame rate going to like 10 when a textbox or an instruction page scrolls in. It could also just by my relatively low-powered computer though (2.0GHz AMD, 64MB GeForce4 MX).

- The central four characteristics of each character didn't seem elaborated on enough; it wasn't clear which one was which (for instance, I couldn't tell you offhand what spade represents and what club represents, despite playing the game for 2 hours or so and paying attention). It'd be nice to have a reminder as to which of those 4 suits applies to which of the 4 traits, perhaps a mouse-hover pop-up when you hover over one.

- In general the game needs more mouse-over help; for instance it's be very useful if, when I move over a character, their name and stats and items should pop up as a hover summary, instead of using a separate screen that takes seconds to move into place.

So in general I think it's a brilliant game with a few easily fixed issues (which I named above) and what seems to be a fatal story-flow error where I could get stuck and have nowhere to progress.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2007, 07:33:05 PM by rinkuhero » Logged

Musenik
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2007, 08:48:47 PM »

Rinkuhero,

That is fantastic info! I'll definitely be working with your suggestions. It's too bad about the Fib game. It used to have the option to REVEAL a shell to remove eyes, but there was a risk. That added a nice tactical depth to the game, but almost nobody 'got it' during user testing. So, last week, literally, I rewrote the game for simpler play. I'll be tweaking it.

The word guessing game gets harder as we begin to use more complex sentence structures and language. Also, they get longer. User testing showed this game to be just right for casual players. This first part of the game is meant to be easy and instill confidence in the player.

To continue playing, you'll need to revert to a saved game and beat the nurse again. After her, return to administration and get a clue from the secretary. HINT: After that, you'll need the crowbar.

The music is determined by location, not person, and the little games have their music. This may not have been a good choice. Will think about it.

I'm sorry, about the speed, and a little surprised. PyGame on PC uses hardware acceleration. I was counting on it to keep things smooth. My workbench is a 1.4 MHz G4, Mac Mini. My test bed is a 500MHz G3, iMac. My PC is a tad faster than yours, but has a better graphics card, so I guess I was fooled. Are you saying it's unplayable or just annoying? Sounded like the latter.

Mouse-over help has to be done extremely well to avoid confusing casual gamers. I stuck with one consistent source of info. There are some shortcuts. Click directly on a girl to see her stats and inventory.

When choosing an encounter, click the i button for a description of talents and their uses.

I'll look into the taunting issue. I agree, but we'd have to treble our taunts, and that would probably cut into their quality. We're still trying to replace some of the weaker taunts. Wish us luck.

Thank you again, for your excellent feedback!

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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2007, 04:47:02 AM »

Perhaps difficulty levels might alleviate the casual player vs hardcore player (or less skilled and more skilled player) problem and appeal to both; I've resorted to that in my own games. Perhaps even dynamic difficulty adjustment.

I saved *after* that event though, so I guess I'd have to start from the beginning again; it'd be a good idea not to allow you to save if you're in a dead-end situation.

It's playable most of the time, it just gets slowdown when GUI elements move or when large backgrounds appear, which probably subconsciously makes me dislike playing it a bit more than if everything worked at a steady frame rate.

I thought the writing for the taunts was one of the best parts of the game, so I think it'd be worthwhile to increase their number substantially, if the quality can be maintained. You might want to buy a taunt collection book to get ideas, there are a lot of forgotten ones that could fit.

Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but I posted up a preview here: http://indygamer.blogspot.com/ -- if you want me to review the full game there when it's released, send me a review copy then ^_^
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Guert
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2007, 05:07:37 AM »

Eh he good job Rinkuhero Wink
I'll see what I can add to your comments... I took some early notes and most of the thing I noticed, you already posted.

I'll be back later this week with a more elaborated post...

Later!
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Lachie Dazdarian
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2007, 01:39:36 PM »

I don't want to be a party pooper here, but you ARE aware that you are testing a commercial product for free? I would never do that, out of principle. At least the developer could promise a free FULL version to all the people who gave constructive feedback. He did not do that. How nice.

And you know Musenik, ALL OF US are trying to make a living, not just you.
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Alec
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2007, 01:42:48 PM »

LOL

I don't think too many people here mind giving feedback for free.
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jeb
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2007, 01:58:13 PM »

I don't want to be a party pooper here, but you ARE aware that you are testing a commercial product for free? I would never do that, out of principle. At least the developer could promise a free FULL version to all the people who gave constructive feedback. He did not do that. How nice.

And you know Musenik, ALL OF US are trying to make a living, not just you.

Hehe! So you're a professional beta tester, eh? Making a living out of testing 20-dollar shareware games? Wink

I've received free copies of games when I've shared my thoughts about it. It's surely a nice thing to get, but not something I'd expect. Also, in all those cases the developers have emailed me or sent me a PM, how do you know Rinkuhero hasn't got his copy already?

It's fine if you think that it's unfair to ask for feedback for a commercial product, but you need to place yourself in the other seat. If you are going to offer a free copy of the game for "constructive feedback", you need to define what "constructive feedback" is. Suddenly you are no longer just asking for feedback - you are trying to make a deal.
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Kon-Tiki
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2007, 01:59:21 PM »

I don't want to be a party pooper here, but you ARE aware that you are testing a commercial product for free? I would never do that, out of principle. At least the developer could promise a free FULL version to all the people who gave constructive feedback. He did not do that. How nice.

And you know Musenik, ALL OF US are trying to make a living, not just you.
Who do you think deserves a full free version, though? People who did a testing like Rinku, or also people who did a testing like me? I don't even concider mine full testing, as I did one playthrough right up to a bug that made it impossible to go further. I wouldn't have gotten that chance if he'd go the way you described, though Wink
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2007, 02:55:48 PM »

I can understand why you feel this way Lachie Dazdarian. You take some of your time to write a comment about a work that is intended to be sold. Hence, this is usualy the definition of a pro tester: see if there are some bugs in a product and get paid for the sevrice.

Problem is, this ain't a job. Musenik came here and asked politely if anyone could help him out. I'm pretty sure that if Musenik had enough money, he'd already have some in-house testers paid to say what's wrong and what's ok. Problem is, just like and me, Musenik is trying to make a living out of this. When you start, you ain't got no money (unless you're rich before you start). He turned, like some many other indie developpers, to the community for help. As a member of the community, I answered. It's not a community if no one helps each other unless there are some money involved. 

I'd rather help a million indie without a penny who are trying to break out than get money from a couple of guys who are just following what is already there and making a quick buck out of it. It's alot more satisfying to me and it helps me with my job: the more I look and analyse other games the better I get at creating my own games. It's a clean win/win situation Wink

Anywho, we should steer the conversation back on Musenik's game. If anyone wants to discuss that last issue, let's do it somewhere else... Start a topic like "Why help out people with commercial games without asking money" or something.

Musenik: Just wanted to let you know that teh game ahs a nice vibe to it, like you mentionned, feels like this is an old board game found in the attic of my grand-parents house Wink
Later!
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Derek
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« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2007, 03:13:24 PM »

Quote
I'd rather help a million indie without a penny who are trying to break out than get money from a couple of guys who are just following what is already there and making a quick buck out of it. It's alot more satisfying to me and it helps me with my job: the more I look and analyse other games the better I get at creating my own games. It's a clean win/win situation

And believe me, Guert, your wonderful attitude will pay out in spades because people will respect you and treat you in the same way that you treat them. Smiley

This "indie" mentality that you have to squeeze every last dime out of every little opportunity is hurtful to everyone involved.  In the end, yeah, Musenik could pay us each $10 to test his game.  Hell, even if he was rolling in it and paid us $100... where is that $100 going to get you?  That's not a living.  That's chump change.

Look past the pennies and nickels and toward a long-term goal of having real friends amongst your peers and a career where you can make some real money with their help!
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Musenik
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« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2007, 03:38:24 PM »

Whew,

I go out for a haircut, and look what happens! :-)

Guert, Derek, you are my heros. Thanks. What you wrote should be sticky'd at the top of this section of the forum. I've been involved in a few developer forums. I'm not a prolific poster, but I try to help out where I can. I've beta tested other developer's works for nothing, hoping someday they'd do the same for me.

Guert, when you want help with your next game, please let me know.

The same goes for anyone else who gives feedback, even if its not for my game. Hell, it's true for anyone who posts here.
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