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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsReturn of the Obra Dinn [Releasing Oct 18]
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asra
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« Reply #840 on: October 19, 2018, 10:35:58 AM »

I'm at 33 fates, and finding it very difficult to stop thinking about the game and do other work, which has not happened to me in a while. Really excellent work.

I'm kind of curious, how was development time split across all the different tasks you had to do? Like was it engineering 30%, story/design 40%, art 20%, music 10%, etc. I'm particularly interested because you've mentioned multiple times how surprised you were by how long it took, and I'm wondering what tasks in particular ended up being such time-sinks.
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« Reply #841 on: October 19, 2018, 10:40:25 AM »

I'm excited for the game's release, but also a little sad for the end of this devblog  Coffee

Definitely not the end. I plan to post a bunch of stuff in here about the run up to and through release. Plan.

Nice
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« Reply #842 on: October 19, 2018, 12:28:47 PM »

Just started the game and it looks fantastic.

My only problem, which is becoming more and more upsetting, is that it moves forward automatically too much, I was taking my time reading the first screen and bam!, company letter, didn't even read the rest, then bam! again.

Now I'm on the "face tutorial" and it just keeps going without me pressing anything.

It feels terrible! I want to take my time and observe everything.
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« Reply #843 on: October 20, 2018, 12:39:45 AM »

So now that it's released, I'd like to know about its content from the perspective of a parent. The Steam listing describes the content thus: "Passively depicts death and violence in freeze-frame 3D scenes." Obviously, being a murder mystery, there are dead bodies and scenes of violence, so I would imagine it's not appropriate for little kids. But how strong is it? Would it be appropriate for, say, a pre-teen, or does it get really grisly? Is there other content I should know about, such as strong language or nudity/sexual situations?

Well, since you're mentioning "pre-teen", I'd have to say that the game is not suitable for your child(ren?). It's not really a murder mystery as much as a "death mystery" - not all people on the ship are murdered in the classical whodunit novel style, many die very gruesome deaths which are shown with as much detail as the art style allows. There's complete dismemberment, heads/faces being blown straight off and such - scenes that would even make (sane) adults uncomfortable.

I don't know about the strong language - there's probably some cursing here and there but that's not the main issue I'd bring up. There's also partial nudity with pixelated breasts but presented in a completely asexual way, so whatever.

The actual issue besides the gruesome deaths is that there is some stuff going on that could be very scary to smaller kids - can't say more without spoiling the game.

In my opinion as a non-parent in the EU I'd say the game would be OK for (certain!) children starting at like 15, perhaps a bit younger if you're a parent who would actually actively monitor the game being played.
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« Reply #844 on: October 20, 2018, 12:59:19 AM »

So now that it's released, I'd like to know about its content from the perspective of a parent.

As a parent, I'd say it's not appropriate for anyone under 16, maybe 18.


I'm kind of curious, how was development time split across all the different tasks you had to do? Like was it engineering 30%, story/design 40%, art 20%, music 10%, etc. I'm particularly interested because you've mentioned multiple times how surprised you were by how long it took, and I'm wondering what tasks in particular ended up being such time-sinks.

I doubt I could break down a percentage like that. The thing that took the most time was the modeling and scene creation, along with all the custom tools to support it. Also, the game's design is one of those "not clear until it's done" sorta things. I spent a while wandering around and spinning my wheels before seeing enough of the whole picture to nail things down.


My only problem, which is becoming more and more upsetting, is that it moves forward automatically too much, I was taking my time reading the first screen and bam!, company letter, didn't even read the rest, then bam! again. Now I'm on the "face tutorial" and it just keeps going without me pressing anything.

There's an issue with the initial release where moving the mouse will skip some text too quickly. I'm fixing that. Otherwise, you can go back and repeat any of the book tutorials by clicking the "?" on the fate popup.
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« Reply #845 on: October 20, 2018, 01:00:31 AM »

Just started the game and it looks fantastic.

My only problem, which is becoming more and more upsetting, is that it moves forward automatically too much, I was taking my time reading the first screen and bam!, company letter, didn't even read the rest, then bam! again.

Now I'm on the "face tutorial" and it just keeps going without me pressing anything.

It feels terrible! I want to take my time and observe everything.
There's a bug (?) with the tutorials that they are advanced by mouse movements alone. Most likely a coding error related to using the controller axes to advance the tutorials otherwise. Should be changed to button presses - I believe Lucas is working on a fix.
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« Reply #846 on: October 20, 2018, 02:40:19 AM »

Oh, good to know it wasn't intentional. Smiley
Because it really felt like the game wanted to match certain beats when skipping those scenes automatically.

But I should point out that I was playing with a gamepad.

Mine does have some analog stick drift, so maybe that's what was giving out some input at random times, not sure.
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« Reply #847 on: October 20, 2018, 04:44:18 AM »

Purchased as soon as I heard it was available (I'm subscribed to Scott Manley on YouTube).
Now I haven't even clicked Begin and I'm already paralyzed by choice:
Smooth or Sharp?  SMOOTH OR SHARP?

Edit: Ok, just got onto the deck of the ship.  Sharp is clearly superior.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 04:50:45 AM by ReverendTed » Logged
Lim-Dul
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« Reply #848 on: October 20, 2018, 06:17:04 AM »

Oh, good to know it wasn't intentional. Smiley
Because it really felt like the game wanted to match certain beats when skipping those scenes automatically.

But I should point out that I was playing with a gamepad.

Mine does have some analog stick drift, so maybe that's what was giving out some input at random times, not sure.

Yeah, I wasn't playing with a gamepad but I have two of them connected to my PC at all times. This random drift because of too low deadzone settings happened to me in other applications (e.g. photos were zooming in some viewer apps - LOL!) and freaked me out to no end. :D
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« Reply #849 on: October 20, 2018, 10:15:40 AM »

So, I now finished the game with a little push in the right direction on the Steam forums from you, Lucas (I hope Lucas is OK without creating a false sense of familiarity Tongue). Now I'll take the discussion back to the TIGForums.

To make my point short: I really think you should work on an in-game developer commentary mode after all the hype, interview requests and spoiler-risks have blown over. Perhaps a developer playthrough on Youtube or Twitch if a whole mode is too much work?

I used to be a video game journalist back in the day and thus feel the urge to pepper you with questions about the game's design. This devlog laid out a lot of technical stuff and some basic mechanics but as for the design of the overall experience and some crucial details when it comes to the puzzles you kept understandably quiet to not spoil anything.

You see, as a side-effect of my old job I still experience games kinda on two levels - the personal, where I judge how enjoyable the experience is to me subjectively and the objective, where I pay close attention to the design and the mechanics of the game regardless of whether I find the it any fun.

Return of the Obra Dinn scores perfect marks for me on both ends, you'll be glad to hear. However, I mention this because I didn't enjoy Papers, please on a subjective level: I simply dislike games with multiple endings, unexpected failure states and especially ones that require multiple replays (in single-player!) to get the full experience. I always feel as if I might have missed something and get bored by the repetition in trying to get the desired outcomes - but that's just personal preference. Having said that and putting on my journalist hat, I still thought Papers, please was a brilliant game from an objective standpoint.

However, the points above are also why Obra Dinn resonated all the more with me - the goal is clear from the beginning and even though the timeline of the events is completely non-linear (don't tell me you haven't been inspired by Memento in this regard Smiley), the overall package is completely self-contained and book-ended with a clear start and finish.

When I began playing I immediately noticed some subtle pieces of brilliant design that are perhaps small in the grand scheme of things but help the player so much that they would probably be lost without them. And all of that without resorting to some kind of meta "Press X to pay respects" or "*ding* You found a clue! You now know Mr. X killed Ms. Y!" B.S.

What I mean by that is stuff like (only a few examples and I'll keep them as spoiler-free as I can):

  • One of the first death-within-death scenes leads you between decks to scream at the player "Hey! Don't focus solely on the immediate surroundings of the dying person, there might be important stuff happening all over the place!"
  • The "X others were present" mechanic - which leads you to some revelations like in chapter VI, where one person is always listed as present but is never seen. Until, in another brilliant stroke of puzzle design you're forced to watch the surroundings through some eyeslits and are gently guided towards this person's hidden location.
  • Embracing the initial design choice of 1-bit graphics and turning a limitation into a gameplay advantage: all important clues have this "particle glow" around them, which would probably look weird or too obvious in another graphical style but is immensely helpful once you take notice of it (by the way: a certain somene's bag and pipe should probably also have this "glow" Tongue).
  • Using people's realistic accents and foreign words as genuine clue mechanics.
  • The freedom of pacing: Allowing the player to either take a careful route through the game, slowly and analytically uncovering people's fates or just rush through everything with only minimal deductions until everything has been uncovered and ready to be connected. Unlike many games I've never felt being held back or overloaded with useless information.
  • The small details like the watch indicating the chapter and part of a person's death but being closed if you haven't visited the corpse yet.
  • How all the puzzles are actually quite logical and straight-forward once you understand what you have to pay attention to [spoiler]damn you hammocks![/spoiler] and yet adequately difficult to solve. And all of that without resorting to the "Use the broom to fish out the octopus out of the toilet" logic or dry and complicated "There are three houses, in one of them lives a brother *snore*..."

For the past two days I've been running around and gushing about this game in a similar fashion to everyone - talking about the game design and not the actual game content to keep it spoiler-free. But outside of game designer or perhaps video game journalist circles it's hard to talk to people about such things since thy don't usually think about them.

Which is precisely why I would find your thoughts on a scene-by-scene and mechanic-by-mechanic basis during a playthrough so damn fascinating.
How did you finalize a given design choice? How did you guide the player towards the solution of a certain puzzle?
Just like your devlog but now as a post-mortem. Smiley

Even when I was stuck at the topmen and seamen identification stage I wasn't frustrated, just anxious to see what part of cool puzzle design I've missed. In the end, after the hints, it did turn out to be something brilliantly simple but with an avalanche of further deductions once you got it. A bit like the puzzles in the Witness.

You apparently joined a small circle of game auteurs who, in my mind, count as having never released an objectively badly designed game. And Obra Dinn also confirms that Papers, please wasn't just a one-hit wonder. In this regard one can pretty much buy any future "Lucas Pope title" not because of marketing hype or preorder culture but because you know there will have been SO much thought and effort put into the game design to make it good.

In this regard you can count yourself among the ranks of people like Jonathan Blow, Mike Bithell, Terry Cavanagh, Derek Yu or anything by Supergiant Games (Amir Rao/Greg Kasavin) to name a few. Not to say that all of you share the same principles, goals or character traits but the end results - brilliantly designed games - are the same.

Looking forward to your next title, whenever it'll come out and whatever it'll be. Smiley

/end of mad rambling; it's been a while since I wrote articles and English is not my native tongue Tongue
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 07:36:51 AM by Lim-Dul » Logged

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« Reply #850 on: October 21, 2018, 11:38:48 AM »

Return of the Obra Dinn scores perfect marks for me on both ends, you'll be glad to hear. However, I mention this because I didn't enjoy Papers, please on a subjective level: I simply dislike games with multiple endings, unexpected failure states and especially ones that require multiple replays (in single-player!) to get the full experience. I always feel as if I might have missed something and get bored by the repetition in trying to get the desired outcomes - but that's just personal preference.
I enjoyed the heck out of the Papers, Please! demo - I read quickly and never had a problem making ends meet - and bought the game pretty soon after release.  However, I knew there would be difficult decisions to make and multiple endings, so I was paralyzed by the thought of having to deal with "screwing it up" and possibly missing a chunk of content if I didn't resort to a walkthrough; all this before even playing.  To this day I've not been able to bring myself to play the full version.

I was equal parts relieved and a little disappointed when Obra Dinn "validated" my first set of three Fates.  On the one hand, it's nice to be told "yes, this is right and you haven't made a screw-up that will compound itself into a tangled mess of intractable contradictions further on", on the other hand it's nice to be trusted to be "smart enough to figure it out".  I felt a little dirty abusing it by brute-forcing a few identities, but still got to feel smart enough to have narrowed it down.

Lukas: I know there was discussion of the title earlier - did you consider "The Fates of the Obra Dinn"?  Don't get me wrong, I think "Return" is a great title, and probably the best choice.
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« Reply #851 on: October 21, 2018, 12:32:30 PM »

Return of the Obra Dinn scores perfect marks for me on both ends, you'll be glad to hear. However, I mention this because I didn't enjoy Papers, please on a subjective level: I simply dislike games with multiple endings, unexpected failure states and especially ones that require multiple replays (in single-player!) to get the full experience. I always feel as if I might have missed something and get bored by the repetition in trying to get the desired outcomes - but that's just personal preference.
This sounds more like a failure to suspend disbelief and stop metagaming to me, tbh.

It is a story-based game that is all about making moral choices with and confronting you with the consequences of it, while Life Happens While You Are Making Other Plans.
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« Reply #852 on: October 21, 2018, 09:05:42 PM »

Just noticed that there's more than one possible voice for the player character.  That's a neat little touch.
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« Reply #853 on: October 22, 2018, 01:09:41 AM »

I enjoyed the heck out of the Papers, Please! demo - I read quickly and never had a problem making ends meet - and bought the game pretty soon after release.  However, I knew there would be difficult decisions to make and multiple endings, so I was paralyzed by the thought of having to deal with "screwing it up" and possibly missing a chunk of content if I didn't resort to a walkthrough; all this before even playing.  To this day I've not been able to bring myself to play the full version.
Yeah, this "analysis paralysis" and feeling as if you're forced to play the game is what I felt too and feel in the case of similar games. I would call it "narrative grinding" - you don't have to kill dozens of goblins to level up but you need a dozen playthroughs with all kinds of tough decisions to experience the whole extent of what the game offers.

Quote
I was equal parts relieved and a little disappointed when Obra Dinn "validated" my first set of three Fates.  On the one hand, it's nice to be told "yes, this is right and you haven't made a screw-up that will compound itself into a tangled mess of intractable contradictions further on", on the other hand it's nice to be trusted to be "smart enough to figure it out".  I felt a little dirty abusing it by brute-forcing a few identities, but still got to feel smart enough to have narrowed it down.
I actually feel like the fate validation system is a brilliant middle-ground. It gives you some kind of feeling of progression. Sure, it can be abused if you're smart but then what fun is it? The brilliant thing about this game is that literally 0 fates and identities have to be guessed randomly. There are assumptions to be made for sure but not unfounded ones.

Return of the Obra Dinn scores perfect marks for This sounds more like a failure to suspend disbelief and stop metagaming to me, tbh.

It is a story-based game that is all about making moral choices with and confronting you with the consequences of it, while Life Happens While You Are Making Other Plans.
Wow, cannot believe that out of my huge wall of text two people only took away that I didn't enjoy (not disliked - and actually found brilliant) Papers, Please.
I don't think it's about my problems with suspension of disbelief. For the first few playthroughs I was completely into it. But then you repeat the first chapters over and over, just making different choices - how can you remain "suspended in disbelief" if you're literally doing Groundhog Day type gameplay? Like I mentioned above I found it to be what I would call "narrative grinding" and lost interest and along the way the enjoyment in the game soon after. Not to say I didn't find it brilliant otherwise! Just my personal experience!

Back to questions to Lucas in a shorter format:

  • When did you finally decide the game was finished and it was time to wrap up?

    Were there still some things you wanted to change but they were either so small or so unfeasibly difficult that you just didn't bother?
    I've seen many comments about chapter VIII, that it feels disappointing as the final reveal, so is this perhaps a sign of trying to wrap up the game? (I too found the chapter unspectacular but didn't feel that it even needed to be anything special. It's all about the journey and in most films the very last scenes are used to close things out.)

  • Sassy question: Did you feel that spending two weeks (or so, if I recall the timelapse) on the hand/arm animation paid off?

    I'm sure you learned a lot of stuff about Maya and Unity along the way but you, know there are only two things in the entire game you pick up and very few doors on the ship. Even fewer that you actually need to open to progress (just two, if I recall?)

    I replayed the GDC demo after finishing the game and back in the day (when you were still picking up the journal later) there was this optimistic tutorial message that you will be picking up things (which you totally don't).
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« Reply #854 on: October 22, 2018, 08:55:29 AM »

Quote
Wow, cannot believe that out of my huge wall of text two people only took away that I didn't enjoy (not disliked - and actually found brilliant) Papers, Please. I don't think it's about my problems with suspension of disbelief. For the first few playthroughs I was completely into it. But then you repeat the first chapters over and over, just making different choices - how can you remain "suspended in disbelief" if you're literally doing Groundhog Day type gameplay?

Ok, first: the only reason I'm ignoring the discussion of the merits of Obra Din is because I have not played it myself yet, so I'm avoiding spoilers until then.

And my response was also not trying to tell you that you were wrong to dislike the game experience. I was trying to point out that this experience follows from one's own expectations almost as much as what a game offers to meet those expectations. Those expectations come from somewhere. They are not set in stone, to some degree one can even choose them if one is aware of them. In academia we call them "interpretive frames" - literally the mental framework within which we interpret things.

A sentences like "I simply dislike games with multiple endings, unexpected failure states and especially ones that require multiple replays (in single-player!) to get the full experience" misses an explanation for why those qualities are disliked. It is just assumed we all agree on what a "full experience" is and that it matters. Similarly, you state that you evaluate games on two levels: your subjective experience, and the objective experience. That's great, but you forget to define what this "objective" experience is and what makes it objective.

Basically, you seem halfway between stage two and three of Parson's Model of Aesthetic Interpretation. It only takes a little bit of effort to reach stage three/four at this point

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtp-pkkDjK6HCh1p-Up34BIdSuKe9piBM

"Oh boy," some of you will think at this point, "it's that guy again. He did this in the Papers Please topic a few years back too, you know? And in some other places." Yes I did, and I still think Papers Please is one of the best, most accessible examples for teaching people how to be more aware of their own aesthetic judgement in games.

And I care about it because as long as one is blind to their own interpretive frames, they are bound to them. Becoming aware is liberating. It gives the freedom to step back, evaluate and choose to change those expectations, to enjoy and appreciate games more fully than before.

Quote
Quote
I enjoyed the heck out of the Papers, Please! demo - I read quickly and never had a problem making ends meet - and bought the game pretty soon after release.  However, I knew there would be difficult decisions to make and multiple endings, so I was paralyzed by the thought of having to deal with "screwing it up" and possibly missing a chunk of content if I didn't resort to a walkthrough; all this before even playing.  To this day I've not been able to bring myself to play the full version.
Yeah, this "analysis paralysis" and feeling as if you're forced to play the game is what I felt too and feel in the case of similar games. I would call it "narrative grinding" - you don't have to kill dozens of goblins to level up but you need a dozen playthroughs with all kinds of tough decisions to experience the whole extent of what the game offers.

Let's take a moment to realize that a computer game actually lets us replay the same situation over and see what changes, unlike real-life. Isn't it strange that this of all situations gives you choice paralysis? We face countless of choices in real life that we never get to make again, because "you cannot step twice into the same rivers". Some people get choice paralysis from that, and of course some real-world choices are very difficult because of this, but most people get by most of the time. So what is different?

Part of what makes a game a game and not work is that we choose to spend time on it instead of on something else. If one feels "forced to play the game" on repeated play-throughs, slogging through Groundhog Day frustrations to complete it, what does mean? Objectively, nobody was ever forced to play Papers Please (game reviewers excepted, and former design students I taught - muhahaha).

It not be taken consciously, but it is a choice. What leads us to that choice?

One option is wanting to find out the "best" ending. Games tend to have this problem that people think there must be a better or worse way to play it, and that you will be rewarded for playing it better.

Papers Please does not escape from this: there are obviously win and lose conditions, with different "better" and "worse" endings. However, in most games moral choices often boil down to being rewarded for doing the right thing, or becoming good enough to compensate for the cost of doing so. It becomes fun again because it is working for towards an achievement (notice a trend here?).

Did you spend time on asking people if they forgot that one form or just send them away?

Papers Please requires mastering the game part to make enough money to make ends meet, yes. But one is always just scraping by, and as soon as one is comfortable with the situation one day, the next day pulls the rug from underneath us by changing the rules. This adds a constant sense of dread of what tomorrow will bring (or relief, when a rule is dropped). Few games truly require weighing moral choices to economic ones like this.

That is why I personally consider my first playthrough is the only playthrough the only "true" experience of the game: when you do not if tomorrow will get harder to get by, when you might be fined for something unexpected with every choice you make, it becomes impossible to reason about whether you are good enough at this game to afford to do what feels like the right thing. The uncertainty about that was an essential part of the experience, greatly affecting the choices made.

Is that frustrating? Yes, but that is life under a tyrannical regime.

Even if you become so fluent that you are economically stable, does each choice have an objectively best one? No! Pros and cons of each choice may be nontransitive. Que? Well, if you have time you can read this:

"What’s the best option? It seems only logical: if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. Right? Not necessarily"

... but my TL;DR is that 1) there is no best choice in rock-paper-scissors, and 2) that there are moral choices are pretty much equivalent to rock-paper-scissors: there is no best option.

This too sucks, and this too is life.

So what do we have left when there is no objectively best choice to make? No clear prediction of what will happen? When faced with uncertainty and fear of what new complications that we could not prepare for will come tomorrow? In that case, we are thrown back to a moral decision. Which choice you make in that situation tells you something about yourself. Which can make it really, really hard to choose anything at all!

This is a much more complex experience than most games offer. There is a reason Papers Please caught the interest of people who normally don't think of games as significant or interesting. In discussions of this game I have read stories of people just following all the rules with a "not my problem" attitude, then at the end waking up to what kind of monster they had become. Or of people who took it too far in the other direction, sacrificing the well-being of their own family for others so much that they had an extremely hard time not perishing (note: it is not a coincidence that your family is never seen. Dukope knew what he was doing: making them faceless reduces natural feelings of allegiance to family to that of helping strangers in need, to balance the two).

So one explanation is wanting to find the best choice, the best ending. But this is a game that is all about having to reflect and decide for oneself what the best choice is. Feeling like you made the wrong choice and going back to replay it is one thing, but replaying the game to determine the "best" choice misses the point.

Another possible explanation for why a game gives choice paralysis where normal life does not, is that a game is finite. Unlike real life we can "complete" all of it. That can make us feel like we have to, like how we feel we have to finish a meal to not waste food - especially if we're dining at an expensive restaurant. But does it really make sense to approach games the same way?

Is it really important to experience all content? Is it worth the cost? Your choice! Let's say it is. Even then: is the "right" way to do experience all that content always playing the game ourselves? We can also look them up on the internet. Doing so clearly leaves people unsatisfied, or we would not feel obliged to play the game ourselves, right? So what is different? Well, in general: the fundamental difference between games and (most) other media is that games are interactive. It's so obvious we often take it for granted and think we have to be the ones doing the interacting. That is just an assumption though - people watch sports too.

What might be missed by not interacting with the game yourself? A feeling of achievement, "earning" it through "work", in a way. Achieving something can feel good, that's true! But is every achievement equally important? It's not, right?

I can only speak for myself, but as explained, for me Papers Please was more about deciding what I consider the right choice. Going through "the full experience" of trying each moral choice is missing the point. Sure, I wanted to know the rest of the content afterwards, but "knowing" and "achieving" are two different things. So I don't miss a sense of achievement by looking things up on the internet instead, because it would not feel like an achievement to do the opposite of the moral choice I made before.

In conclusion, let's go back to the expectations I am deconstructing:

1. wanting to know what the "best" choice is
2. wanting to do so through playing, giving a sense of achievement
3. wanting to experience every bit of content

My claim is that for Papers Please, it could not be changed to meet those expectations without ceasing to be what makes it Papers Please. It is a game where choices reflect on matters most to you, where that is almost more important than the experience that follows from them. Part of that is how in this game, like in real life, the best choice can be a fuzzy balancing act.

Having objectively best choices, knowing what the consequences will be, and wanting to experience all content by trying out each possible choice, all of that would undermine this. It removes the personal reflection, and reduces the choices to knowing what will happen tomorrow if one choice is made and trying what happens if the other option is chosen. That removes aspect that feels like living with constant uncertainty under a tyrannical regime. Because the game is fully knowable, we overlook that the world, the experience it is trying to emulate, is not.

And yes, I did just use 12000+ characters just to argue that it all boils down to letting go of your own expectations.
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« Reply #855 on: October 22, 2018, 09:20:03 AM »

Uhm. OK, could we continue discussing Return of the Obra Dinn in this thread?

I don't mean to be dismissive of all the things written above, which clearly a lot of thought and work went into, but they seem to be kind of unrelated and they drown out the other stuff.

I'll gladly remove any mentions of Papers, Please from my posts and move them to the related thread. Wink
Mentioning that game was an off-hand comment on my part, which is why I was surprised to see those reactions.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 09:29:59 AM by Lim-Dul » Logged

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« Reply #856 on: October 26, 2018, 12:37:32 PM »

Just wanted to drop in and let you know that I have been following this dev log for years, and I'm so excited to finally play the finished product this weekend.  Thanks so much for sharing all of your progress!
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« Reply #857 on: October 26, 2018, 04:16:37 PM »

I was reading back through the thread, and I saw mention of the mechanic's evolution, but I was curious about the decision to leave players in the flashback.

As a player, I appreciated the ability to explore at my own pace, but it did seem a bit at odds with the fact that the flashback had a minimum mandated duration followed by an "ending" fadeout...and then you're still there and free to exit through the door at your leisure.  I suspect that having the "corpse chain" mechanic contributed to the decision, but do you feel like the current implementation is a compromise?

Perhaps I missed it, but it seems like the corpse chain mechanic was limited to a single highlighted corpse per memory - were you hoping to have situations where multiple corpses were available, but worried that it would get too convoluted and lead to players getting frustrated as they searched multiple memories to figure out which held the extra dead folks?

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« Reply #858 on: October 27, 2018, 02:01:46 AM »

Hey Lucas! Long time fan, just wanted to say congrats on your release! The game is looking fantastic so far.
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« Reply #859 on: October 28, 2018, 06:53:27 PM »

I bought and managed to "finish" the game. I got stuck a couple times and couldn't find the next body to advance the game, but I managed to get past those quickly just by looking around a little. I enjoyed the story a lot, but I got 18 fates correct and then kinda just gave up on the rest.

That's more an indictment of me than the game; I didn't have the patience to rewatch all the memories and figure them out by trial and error. I watched the secret chapter on YouTube and instantly regretted doing so instead of unlocking it myself. But then, I don't totally get it anyway.

I really liked the music in the game. It was great to hear all the new tracks. The voice acting was really cool, and I was pleasantly surprised by the nice pixel fonts for non-Roman scripts. I also appreciated the sound design, not just while walking around the ship but in the little radio play intros. A lot of the time they were more sound effects than dialogue and I wasn't expecting that!
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