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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingHomelost - A Point&Click Detective Game - Need Some Impressions!
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patchuby
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« on: September 25, 2019, 07:05:23 AM »

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum so if I'm breaking any rule, please let me know.

My team and I (Pierre Feuille Studio) have been at work on this project called Homelost. It's a point&click detective that borrows from Papers Please & Ace Attorney to try and put the player at the center of the investigative work.



We finished a build that lets you play through 2/3 of the 1st chapter of 4, and in the final release the player would have been through a prologue introducing the protagonist.

A few important notes :
          - There is no save function currently in the game, if you quit the game or it crashes (sorry  Beg), your progress won't be saved!
          - We're currently still in alpha, the game is one and half year away at best.
          - We're not big on social media but we do have a newsletter you can subscribe to over at pierrefeuille.studio


Here is the link to the download, enjoy !
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Ordnas
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2019, 08:55:41 AM »

I will probably download it and write what I think about it!  Smiley
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patchuby
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2019, 12:56:24 PM »

Thanks man, eager to see what you think!  Grin
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jbarrios
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 07:27:45 AM »

patchuby,

I played your game.  I recorded it and my thoughts:


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patchuby
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 03:47:47 PM »

Thanks for playing!
Did you see the readme in the download folder? There's no proper tutorial in the game yet so it might alleviate some of the gameplay mystery Grin
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FancyZZplant
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 07:36:52 AM »

I like the art style, i hope it will have really great story. Nothing really to test there, everything that is available running good on my pc.

I wish it was just zip archive, i dont like install stuff. And after installation is is not in my windows 10 "Apps" menu to delete it. You need to go "Program Files" to actually delete it.
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Sesame
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 08:30:33 AM »

Hi there, I played the game!

First of all, it looks and sounds really nice. The setting is also promising, so I think you're up to a good start!

I managed to learn that the passport is forged  Noir  However, I can't do much about it, it's not a dialogue option etc, so I'm not sure whether I'm stuck or it's how it ends right now?

Anyway, here comes the critique.

The most important part is that I think right now you're not communicating all the necessary information to the player. As a player, I'm not told clearly:

1. What's the main goal of the investigation? What mystery exactly are we solving? Is it Victor's health condition, or something fishy in his past, or something else? As we're told, the main client is Catherine. However, she never tells us her suspicions, her motivation to even hire a detective. There is a safe we want to crack – why? Because we just want to look through all the character's stuff? Or do we believe it contains something we're looking for? What, then?
Why as a player do I need to know this: because otherwise I don't really have an objective, so I don't know what to do. I just do random things that the game allows me to, waiting for it to play itself. I can't use my own logic in the game and have to tag along with the game's own obscured logic instead. That is a feeling of detachment from the game that you really want to avoid for your player.
2. Names and roles of the characters. It's like the protagonist knows who his interviewee is, and the player doesn't. You can do it on purpose, not narrating the story to the player explicitly and let them figure everything out by themselves, but then you should craft it carefully to avoid all the disambiguation. It was puzzling to learn the name of the character from my own dialogue logs. So I don't think it was intentional?

Then, I got a feeling that there were some uncertainties about characters' motivations and the logic of investigation.

1. I didn't get final impression on who initiated the investigation. The telegram was from Catherine. But then we're told that the real initiator was her father. But then we're told the real client is Catherine and we have to play along. Why do you need her to send the telegram then, if she is so reluctant to tell us her reasons to do so? Wouldn't it be easier for Victor to send it?
2. Catherine's attitude gives me mixed signals. At first she is pleasant to us, then when we start the interview with her father, she starts bullying us. It doesn't look organic, is it because she wants to behave like a bully in front of her father? If so, why isn't our protagonist in the least surprised by that drastic change? Then she tells us she will come along with us to the Uni, but when we come she is not there. I thought at first I got to go find her. But then she kind of spawns in the office the second we find a passport?
3. Why do we learn the passport's forged by checking the place of birth? Maybe the passport is ok, but Victor only misinformed the authorities about his place of birth? Also, in the modern world you can't just call a town hall and inquire about some random person. So if you want your player to get that it's OK in France of 1970s, you have to slip it in some way, I think.
4. If we are officially hired by Victor, why do we get scared when someone (Martin) comes into his office when we're investigating?
5. Etc etc

It looks like you as a writer know much more about this world that you let on, so you end up not communicating it to the player, because for you it already makes sense. I think the best thing to do is to create a timeline of when you introduce what, and to make sure everyone and everything (including characters' motivation) is indeed introduced.

I also got a bunch of technical issues if you're interested but since it's still a prototype you probably know about all this stuff yourself.

Hope it helped! Wish you all the luck! Feel free to ask me anything.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 10:10:35 AM by Sesame » Logged
patchuby
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 02:42:41 AM »

Thanks you so much for this extensive feedback ! It helps a lot and pretty much everything you said makes sense and formalizes some instincts I had but couldn't put my finger on, and explains them nicely.  Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right

I am interested in the technical issues, there might be some I'm not aware of  Wink
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