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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)
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Author Topic: MASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)  (Read 47952 times)
nnyei
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« Reply #280 on: August 02, 2015, 05:01:32 AM »

I really like the trailer. I also think it's good that you included some intense visuals because then people won't have any false expectations wrt the general imagery of the game and its level of gore.

All the negative things I might have said (for example that I think "Oldblood" is a second too long on screen because the eye has nowhere else to look at after reading it once, which personally made me a bit impatient) are negated by the fact that it's this way because the visuals have to be perfectly in sync with the music. Which I really like btw.

But one point of critique:
I agree with Prinsessa that the choice of font isn't optimal. I'd recommend either a sans serif font (though, that might clash with the image of the game you want to portray) or a typewriter-esque font similar to the one you use in the game itself, or at least something that is distinctly different from your logo, Masochisia. Because it cheapens the logo when people can clearly see that it's basically taken wholesale from an already existing font. Not to mention, apart from the fact that its size is bigger, nothing about it screams "title of the game" if it looks exactly like the other text.
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oldblood
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« Reply #281 on: August 02, 2015, 05:41:12 AM »

Great feedback nnyei. Yeah the idea of the font and style was supposed to be clean and simplistic throughout but I can see how that could negatively impact, particularly with maintaining it throughout. A modified version of this will be used as the final trailer but for now-- will use this for the GL trailer just so I can focus on getting back into the work...

Agreed on the intense visuals. Primarily why I kept it in, more memorable but also sets the expectations. The title logo is a tad long but it was timed with the intro to the music so I kept it going to, as you said-- keep it all in time with the music.

DEVLOG 66.

Wasn't much reason to hold it off at this point so I went ahead and let the Greenlight page run off into the wilds.

Give it a vote here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=469997356

Feel free to spam it across the social networks if you feel so inclined.

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Fenrir
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« Reply #282 on: August 03, 2015, 04:29:19 AM »

Good luck on the Greenlight! And the trailer is amazing!
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oldblood
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« Reply #283 on: August 03, 2015, 04:38:41 AM »

DEVLOG 67.

For those curious about such things... I thought I'd share the "day 1" stats of the Greenlight page over its first 24 hours. I likely wont share these on a daily basis but I know a lot of the game's views come in during the first few days so I thought I'd share...

24 Hours In

Here are some of my thoughts on Day 1:

      ● 1,100 views w/ approx. 800 votes. Previous projects had around 1,600 & 2,400 views in first 24 hours so either Greenlight traffic is diminishing or it was a poor choice to launch on a Sunday...
      ● The mysterious and enigmatic game descriptions mixed with the "mood" trailer had mixed results. Some people seemed to love the mystery. Others demanded to know more about game before they could vote. Personally, I wouldn't change it. I like swimming upstream with it...
      ● The percentages are fairly good. You hope to hit that illusive 60-70% that leads to getting greenlit in a few days but, I can't complain if the majority of votes are Yes.

I'm very curious how the organic views will hold up over the next 24-48 hours as I'm sure that will be key to how quickly the game gets Greenlit. A surge outside views from press could also help but I don't have many expectations there.

As much as you want your game to appeal to a broad base, overall- I'm really happy with the early feedback. The game itself is clearly not for everyone. And even the trailer is fairly straightforward with the violence so I expected a bit more back-lash or negative votes. I suppose I will see what happens over the next few days...
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Zorg
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« Reply #284 on: August 03, 2015, 05:11:37 AM »

Thanks for sharing!

What leapt into my mind is that you are not showing any user interface in the trailer or screenshots on the Greenlight page at all. Your website only features one item view (in one of six screenshots) which shows that you can control the game with a keyboard (optionally?). A user asked "is this the gameplay?". Did you not specify the controls on purpose?
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oldblood
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« Reply #285 on: August 03, 2015, 05:31:44 AM »

Thanks for sharing!

What leapt into my mind is that you are not showing any user interface in the trailer or screenshots on the Greenlight page at all. Your website only features one item view (in one of six screenshots) which shows that you can control the game with a keyboard (optionally?). A user asked "is this the gameplay?". Did you not specify the controls on purpose?

No problem. I know theres a lot of GL data out there these days, but it doesn't hurt to share current stuff.

Regarding UI and controls. I actually dont ever specify in the game how to specifically do anything which is why I went with vague in the GL page. Perhaps to the detriment of the campaign but-- I want the player to learn on their own and I also provide a link to download the Alpha prototype if they're curious as to how the game plays or feels.

In the game itself, for example, there is no tutorial or instructions. It simply begins. Instinctively, the player will either: 1. Hit the arrow keys or 2. Move their mouse. Either way, it works and they understand how to move. An item is placed in plain view in the opening of the game. Mousing over it, it highlights. Once clicked, it has a description and tells you the hotkey that makes inventory appear. Other than that-- it's mechanically a very simple game and I tried to set it up so that in the first 30 seconds of the game starting, you've got all the basics down without ever being told what to do.

I dont encourage anyone to be deliberately vague with details about their game when they promote it, but-- I'm just embracing the crazy on this game and we'll see what happens... But generally, yes. This is a bad idea.
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ZeroTec
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« Reply #286 on: August 03, 2015, 05:34:32 AM »

Good luck with the Greenlight. I just logged into Steam and voted for you. Trailer looks great and it's cool to see how far you've come after moths of development.

Somehow we are in the same boat....very few games dare to explore darker themes. Hard to tell if people like to play games like this, but if it's done well there is definitely a market for it Smiley.
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oldblood
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« Reply #287 on: August 03, 2015, 11:41:07 AM »

Good luck with the Greenlight. I just logged into Steam and voted for you. Trailer looks great and it's cool to see how far you've come after moths of development.

Somehow we are in the same boat....very few games dare to explore darker themes. Hard to tell if people like to play games like this, but if it's done well there is definitely a market for it Smiley.

Thanks for the vote! Yes, this is what I remind myself with every "no" vote. I knew it was a niche' market game from day 1...

But I'm not looking to stir up controversy. If I wanted to, I could have included a bunch of controversial stuff in the trailer and probably gotten some press coverage from it. Games like "Hatred" did this by showing every single "controversial" thing they had in their entire game into their first trailer, and to their credit-- it worked.

But, I'm not here for that. My objectives for this game have always to make the "game" I wanted/needed to make without any thought to what was normal. But also, to get the player thinking. Thinking about their actions, their choices... and maybe, making the first game that makes you actually feel bad about what they're doing... Will have to wait till people are playing it to know if that goal is ever accomplished.
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Greipur
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« Reply #288 on: August 05, 2015, 03:33:52 AM »

Just voted for you, I hope you get on there soon! For reference, we needed about 4000 yes votes to get Crest greenlit. Even less for Among Ripples. So yeah, the entry isn't as steep as it used to be.
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oldblood
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« Reply #289 on: August 05, 2015, 12:39:17 PM »

Just voted for you, I hope you get on there soon! For reference, we needed about 4000 yes votes to get Crest greenlit. Even less for Among Ripples. So yeah, the entry isn't as steep as it used to be.

Thanks for the vote! Yeah everything I've read the number of votes has fallen a lot in the last 2 years and sometimes games not even anywhere near the top 100 get greenlit. Who knows... Well-- technically Valve does.

In Greenlight news...

The Greenlight Views Cliff

You forget how steep that fall-off is till it hits. Views went from 480 yesterday to 77 today... Not surprised. It's the nature of Greenlight and the first fews days being the majority of views (short of press coverage) but it seems there aren't a lot of bodies roaming Greenlight these days... Makes you wonder how much longer can they keep Greenlight going? But that's another discussion...
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Greipur
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« Reply #290 on: August 06, 2015, 01:13:10 AM »

If you're not in a hurry getting Masochisia on Steam I think you can "wait it out" if you have some good word of mouth going. Since as you probably are aware of the greenlight process is relative to all others participating. Among Ripples was up on Greenlight for half a year (April, 2014 to January, 2015), and in our last two months we went from 2500 to 2600 votes, or some such, and we got greenlit. My guess is that when Valve did that specific greenlight round nothing else had climbed up, and the games with more votes had already been taken further.

The patient shall inherit the store page.  Wink
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 01:21:01 AM by Greipur » Logged

oldblood
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« Reply #291 on: August 08, 2015, 07:29:23 AM »

DEVLOG 68

If you dont like spoiler-y things... go ahead and stop reading. This wont spoil anything to do with the "story" of Masochisia, but it will talk a bit about some of the mechanics.

I've viewed this game as a psychological test in many ways. I want to see what players will do when I ask them to do bad things. I want to see how they will react when they do them. I want to see when they will quit playing. I want to see how many will keep going...

The feeling of it all being a test is represented visually with the aesthetic of a television screen. Like you're just watching. Or being watched. The tv screen filter however, disappears when the game periodically pulls you out of the game and puts you in a psychiatrists office where you're questioned by a psychiatrist... (although this screen can sometimes "glitch", so maybe its on camera too?).

...BUT-- I also want to fuck with the player.

And how will you do this?

By attempting to unsettle or unnerve them. I attempt to achieve this in several ways:

      ● Letters on the Desktop: Throughout the game, Hamilton (the character you play) will leave the player "letters" on their desktop based on their actions. He will question you on what you've been doing... So a player who quits the game may find letters waiting for them on their desktop calling them out for their actions...
      ● There is No Choice: As you play through the game, the player can take multiple paths through many conversations but generally-- the player can choose to embrace the crazy or attempt to fight it. Late in the game, the "good" responses become more gray and in certain scenes, the ability to click the "good" responses becomes physically impossible. You're asked a question, you can see a good response and a bad response... But when you attempt to click the good response, its non-responsive... You see? Sometimes, despite our best intentions... we can't say what we know we should...
      ● Desktop "Hack" Can't Quit: My personal favorite, very late in the game-- you will be asked to do very bad things. I've always said the player quitting the game is an objective of mine. Shows they feel bad, or don't approve of what is occurring and they don't want to proceed. But if you go too far-- eventually you will be presented with very dark decisions. If you attempt to quit at that point... something will happen. You will quit to your desktop... but the voices in your head will follow you. And they will not be happy...

Messages begin to appear over your computer...

The game will ask you to kill someone, if you refuse and quit the game... then you will be returned to your desktop where the "voices in your head" will continue to haunt you "outside" of the game. Then the game is going to tell you that you need to kill the game itself. This is achieved with a (relatively) simple trick:

It begins by activating a flag inside of the finite-state machine. This flag essentially tells the game controller that the quit functionality is to behave differently, specifically by loading a separate and specially constructed scene. This scene, when activated-- transforms the window into being always on top, transparent, and clickthrough - essentially returning the desktop to the user. But behind a transparent version of the game...

...Then from inside of this "scene" (which looks just like your desktop) the player is sent some very dire commentary that comes literally from the game itself.

It's interesting that potentially only small percentages of players may ever even "experience" these things. Specific things have to happen for each of these to occur. But regardless, it's very liberating to get to bend or break the protocol of how a game should act...
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Greipur
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« Reply #292 on: August 08, 2015, 08:04:28 AM »

     ● There is No Choice: As you play through the game, the player can take multiple paths through many conversations but generally-- the player can choose to embrace the crazy or attempt to fight it. Late in the game, the "good" responses become more gray and in certain scenes, the ability to click the "good" responses becomes physically impossible. You're asked a question, you can see a good response and a bad response... But when you attempt to click the good response, its non-responsive... You see? Sometimes, despite our best intentions... we can't say what we know we should...

I don't know how far you've come with this feature, but I would strongly advise to think that through one more time before implementing. Thou Must is a staple as old as we've had narrative aspirations with games and something that can really frustrate the player. When I say frustrate I don't mean as in the aesthetic of "fucking with the player" since I really get that, I like the other things you are doing. I mean as in frustration with the medium itself, as if a song cut out in the middle. The delivery of the medium itself becomes clunky.

Of course, this is a big personal pet peeve of mine and I get that not all might be as fervently opposed to taking away the illusion of choice. But what I would suggest is to offer the player two equally bad decisions. You're not taking away their choice, but you're still fucking with them. That's what I personally find so attractive with The Witcher series (and am currently playing the third instalment), every choice is good and bad, and you've to live with that. What makes it powerful is the power of choice, if I can't choose there is no personal investment.

What I think the heart of the matter boils down to is that I think our actions defines us, and our personality is formed and shown by the actions we've made and will make. A choice that was never a choice never troubles us with the need to think who we are.



The breaking of the fourth wall stuff is very interesting by the way.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 08:20:37 AM by Greipur » Logged

nnyei
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« Reply #293 on: August 08, 2015, 08:16:10 AM »

The Desktop Hack probably going to scare a lot of people. Cheesy
I like that you're going for more unconventional scaring methods. I don't know how many other horror games strive for that, but it seems really neat to me.

I agree with Greipur that the "there is no choice" gimmick might cause more frustration with the game's mechanics themselves than anything else. It's probably also immersion-breaking because the game is dangling something in front of your nose, but won't let you take it for some nebulous reason. While this game is essentially built around the concept that ultimately there is no choice, I personally prefer Greipur's suggestion as well.
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Greipur
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« Reply #294 on: August 08, 2015, 08:29:30 AM »

While this game is essentially built around the concept that ultimately there is no choice, I personally prefer Greipur's suggestion as well.

Yeah, and I think it's important to tie the no choice more to the narrative than the mechanics. I mean, take The New Ninja Warriors for example. Yes, I know it sounds totally inane in the context but basically you're a cyborg ninja fighting for the resistance to overthrow the evil dictator. In the end you defeat the dictator and you're treated to an end screen that says that the resistance movement created a new oppressive regime and the last thing you read is:

"Some things never change."

It's totally out from the blue, and comical, and kind of meaningless. But it gave you a sense of a pyrrhic victory, and at least partly made you feel that you caused that since you had fought through all those levels, so in a sense it was a non-choice that you chose. The journey is still meaningful even though you realised that it was for naught.

The same can be said about really dark brooding films, think of a film that starts with establishing that what the protagonist will do the rest of the film will be meaningless. That would feel like a slog I'd imagine. It can still end tragic or whatever, but the struggle in whatever form it comes in still builds up to the realisation that they had no choice.
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nnyei
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« Reply #295 on: August 08, 2015, 08:43:09 AM »

Yupp, you put it a lot more eloquently than I did. I fully agree with you.

The same can be said about really dark brooding films, think of a film that starts with establishing that what the protagonist will do the rest of the film will be meaningless. That would feel like a slog I'd imagine.

I once read a book like that and it was exactly as you said. It was ultimately very disappointing and I wished the author had handled it differently. It was also extremely difficult to build any sort of connection to the characters or feel involved with the story. It felt very fatalistic in exactly the wrong way.
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oldblood
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« Reply #296 on: August 08, 2015, 12:28:02 PM »

Thanks Greipur & nnyei. Definitely something to consider, you've definitely proven the point well.

To set the mood of when that would occur... The setting is when you're tasked with killing an innocent person. You're given the choice of continuing or not continuing. Obviously, if you don't proceed with killing, the story cant really continue narratively. By disabling the ability to not continue, this FEELS like I'm forcing the players hand. But I'm not...

They're still in control. How? Because they can still quit the game. Now, the game MAY get pissed off if they quit... but the player still has control (even if it doesn't feel like they do...). The game is trying to force them to do something they don't want to, but they don't have to obey the game just because the game says you have no choice...

Now, that may not be the best way to handle that scenario. You could prospectively break the 4th wall (which the game already does do in some ways) and literally tell them that if they wont obey they might as well just quit playing... In which case they could just select that they want to quit vs. having a "good" option that they can't actually use. Hmmm, something to think about...
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Chris MacAdam
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« Reply #297 on: August 08, 2015, 04:29:45 PM »

I really like the quitting-to-desktop feature you posted about! I think more games should do things like that. And the letters on the desktop are another great idea. I have a cluttered desktop so I admit it took me a while to find those in the beta, and I had no idea what it was at first..
I will also go vote for you on greenlight right now. Good luck!
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« Reply #298 on: August 10, 2015, 08:15:48 PM »

Some great art here and the quit to desktop feature seems hilarious. Good luck with the rest of development Smiley
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #299 on: August 11, 2015, 12:56:00 PM »

Not sure this game is supposed to be hilarious.

It'll be interesting to see how you deal with this issue in the end, Jon, especially considering I'd want to go for the opting out option, haha.
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