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Community Playthrough #53 Whispers of a Machine

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TimovieMan - 28 June 2019 02:48 AM

Stina missing a shot from 5 feet away, however… Grin


Yeah, I’ll admit this one’s a bit hard to swallow, hehe Smile but our explanation here is that Stina is suffering from a really tough withdrawal syndrome, and moreover, just as she is about to aim at Vera, she accidentally knocks over a bottle, which breaks her cloak. This in turn causes her to panic, shooting wildly and missing. Let’s also not forget that she’s retired and well past her prime…

     
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Just finished it last night, I agree with the others saying the ending felt rushed. Well the endings themselves seemed fineapart from not getting the option to inject huldra into vera but the climax and endgame just seems to suddenly come upon us once we have a reason to suspect stina then in the final act we clear our names after 2 puzzles and defeat stina after one more

also I don’t think there was any use for Amnesia in the final act

Overall it was an enjoyable game though, would be interested in seeing more stories set in this world.

     
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Once again I looked it up, Saffron flower is grown out doors TODAY in Norway. It is a “special flower” with special properties.

Admin - unpin this game. You can still play, and post accordingly if you have not finished.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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TimovieMan - 29 June 2019 03:11 AM

Why would fantasy get a different “suspension of disbelief” treatment than cyberpunk for you? (Genuine question, no criticism. We’re obviously not seeing eye-to-eye on this so I’m trying to understand your viewpoint better.)

Other Tim - That is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. As a Justice on the US Supreme Court once said when trying to define pornography, “I know it when I see it.”

If, as in the Vampyre Story I mentioned, you are unable to suspend belief to recognize that a major protagonist is a talking bat, then you probably should not be playing the game.

If, on the other hand, you start playing a game that is supposed to have some factual elements to it, and those factual elements don’t make sense….(And the lack of making sense is my opinion only)....then you’ve lost me. 

I don’t consider that suspension of belief.

Other, other Tim

     

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Thanks everyone for playing!
I thought I’d offer a little afterword before this thread vanishes further into oblivion. I’ll assume that whoever reads this post isn’t bothered by spoilers at this point, so I’ll discuss the game events and plot elements quite freely.

Many people have reported that the ending feels rushed. As for the general brevity of the game, the core issue is that we had to sacrifice length for width. It goes without saying that with a given amount of time and resources, a game that branches and offers parallel gameplay will be shorter than one that doesn’t. I’m personally still not sure whether it was a smart move or not; while it did give the game a certain depth that some people find fascinating, most casual players still only plays it once and therefore only notes its short length before moving on.

Creating puzzle scenarios that can be solved with many different augmentations, not to mention various combinations of said augmentations, was a real hassle, meaning production pace slowed to a crawl towards the end. Just consider the puzzle of getting the guards out of the clinic - this was done by combining one level-2 augmentation with one level-3 augmention (except, for certain reasons, Mimicry, which offered a standalone solution). What for a casual gamer seems like one puzzle solution and maybe 15 minutes of gameplay, in fact is 7, with months of development behind them.

Having said that, we didn’t really truncate the ending (except for cutting some alternative epilogues based on personalities, but these were essentially designed and finished before we scrapped them, so it was a design choice rather than a time saving measure) so the game has the content we planned for it, just without a lot of padding towards the end.

A lesson to learn here is that players expect longer, meatier endings…

What didn’t make it into the finished game despite our hopes that it would, is more optional gameplay, or “side quests”, which would let Vera interact with the NPCs and use her augmentations just to earn achievements, or to increase a certain personality, withouth advancing the plot. We had several such intermezzos planned, but had to cut almost all of them due to lack of time. Only a few simpler ones, like the Poet and the Painter, were included.

Okay, that was a few reflections after having seen this playthrough, feel free to ask more questions if you have any. Joel will surely chime in if he feels I haven’t covered everything or if he disagrees with certain points…

Otherwise, thanks again and I’ll try my best to participate in your next CPT, if I can find the time Smile

Karmillo - 29 June 2019 07:16 AM

also I don’t think there was any use for Amnesia in the final act

 

It’s true that with Mimicry, there’s no need for Amnesia during day 4. The other two level-3 augmentations will let you use Amnesia, should you own it.

 

     
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I think it’s great developers participate in CPT’s. It’s the best way for players to really know how the game was cooked, and for developers to learn from constructive critiques.

     
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Absolutely. The best part of this CPT was how much I learned about saffron.

     
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Look, developers, DON’T listen to everyone. Many people loved your ending and didn’t feel rushed at all.

To me , the ending of the game was the best part, one of the best - IF NOT the best ending I have got in a game.

If I could give an Aggie for best Cyberpunk game of the year, you would get it.

Keep developing, a Truely lovely game.

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FaravidInteractive - 03 July 2019 07:39 AM

most casual players still only plays it once and therefore only notes its short length before moving on.

Going from other peoples experiences in the community playthrough it doesn’t sound like theres enough of a difference in the story between choices to really warrant another playthough, at least an immediate replay. While you get different augments that result in you having to do different sollutions for some puzzles it’s still the same story you’re going through with the same choices for you to make at the end.

FaravidInteractive - 03 July 2019 07:39 AM

A lesson to learn here is that players expect longer, meatier endings…

The endings themselves were fine it just felt like it rushed into them pretty fast, stuff like learning that the third victim was the real killer and that Stina was originally working with him and that she killed him cause the killings weren’t part of the plan and he had just gone rogue could have been spaced out more.

 

FaravidInteractive - 03 July 2019 07:39 AM

It goes without saying that with a given amount of time and resources, a game that branches and offers parallel gameplay will be shorter than one that doesn’t. I’m personally still not sure whether it was a smart move or not

You shouldn’t give up on the concept, I think with a different approach in some aspects it can be done without sacrificing too much length or depth. Looking forward to seeing what’s next Grin

 

     

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I’d agree with Karmillo. Obviously I’m no (commercial anyway) game dev, so this is just a player opinion, but ... while the majority of the players will always play a game once, at best (heck, going by Steam achievements for most games most buyers barely play any game at all ^^), clearly “some”/“many”/“a significant portion”/... are willing to play through a game multiple times if they get the option to make different narrative decisions that lead to different outcomes.

I mean, the entire genre of visual novels is pretty much based on this. But you can also see the same with Heaven’s Vault or Life is Strange. And of course plenty of RPGs.

But p&cs; as far as I’m concerned for the most part at best do a “do you want A or B to happen?” at the very end, and that’s not exactly a huge incentive to play through something twice. Although it’s still nice to be give an option at all; but there’s not much of an argument for not just making a save right there and reloading and be done with it.

Obviously it’s all ultimately a question of resources, but for me:
- multiple-solutions to puzzles: should be available in the same playthrough so the player actually notices that the game has multiple puzzle solutions. Even if maybe due to earlier decisions you can’t actually solve the puzzle in a hypothetical-secondary way, if you can make the player aware that it’d have been possible, had they made different decisions previously, you are golden. For example, in an RPG, you might bash down a door if you have a high STR character. But you might also be aware that if you had a character with lockpicking you could have picked that lock instead.
(also, even small details help. In Captain Morgane, at some point you have flint and matches and need to make a fire for cooking. And you can use either of those. Great. At another point you have a whole bunch of sturdy stuff in your inventory but for some reason the only way to bash open a latch is the ... obvious ... pistol. Maybe not so good)

- multiple-narrative arcs: should branch at some point before the end so it becomes worthwhile to play through a game twice (or more) and experience a notably different story. It’d probably be tricky to do this without bloating a game to the point of effectively having to write two (or more) games, so I understand why few p&cs; do it, but if done right, I feel it can really get players to engage more with a game, play it more times to try all the different branches, discuss what they like and what they think is canonical etc. It’d probably get them to be more invested overall as it feels more like they are making their own decisions instead of just following a character.

Lastly, I absolutely love the idea of a quest-like structure with some optional puzzles here or there. Even small stuff adds a lot to make a game feel less like a linear tube you run through.

But, again, I understand, it’s also easily said in an ideal fantasy world where there’s infinite time and money to create a game and not so easy when you have to decide whether the overall play time should be longer or you’d rather have some branches in the narration and whether you’d rather have a longer epilogue or maybe a sidequest or two ...

     
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I have now finished the game a second time, following the analytical path. This time, I activated Fenrir, kept the baby and got a much more satisfying ending.

The differences in augmentations and how to solve puzzles was bigger than I had expected. Impressive!

     
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This is my favorite ending also.

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I’ve now played through WoaM and enjoyed it but not quite as much as I’d expected/hoped. It’s certainly a good game and well worth the time expended on playing it but I thought that the augs could be utilised a little more although I do appreciate that doing that would have added a great amount of time to the development.
I do have two main criticisms though. Firstly gaining access to Maja’s secret room was poorly clued. I knew it had to be something to do with the museum exhibit buttons following the chat with Alicia at the dump but I completely missed on the connection within the book.
Secondly the shoot-out with Stina. I had no problem working out what to do given the hovercraft was pointing directly at the door but getting the timing right was ridiculous. Got there after about 10 attempts!
On the positive side the concept was good, the story line reasonable if a little, needlessly, overwrought and a satisfactory conclusion. Would I purchase a sequel? Most certainly.

     

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Jabod - 01 August 2019 08:24 AM

Firstly gaining access to Maja’s secret room was poorly clued. I knew it had to be something to do with the museum exhibit buttons following the chat with Alicia at the dump but I completely missed on the connection within the book.

Come on. How long have you been playing adventure games? As soon as I read that part of the book I knew it would be part of a puzzle.

     

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Donuts McGee - 01 August 2019 09:33 AM
Jabod - 01 August 2019 08:24 AM

Firstly gaining access to Maja’s secret room was poorly clued. I knew it had to be something to do with the museum exhibit buttons following the chat with Alicia at the dump but I completely missed on the connection within the book.

Come on. How long have you been playing adventure games? As soon as I read that part of the book I knew it would be part of a puzzle.

Possibly longer than you’ve been alive Smile
I could just have said nothing and saved myself some ridicule but I’m pretty honest about things and, let’s face it, we’re only talking about a computer game here so, being a laid back kind of person, feel free to go again.
And I bet you’ve missed something in a game before that many people would have thought (had you admitted to it of course) how on earth did he miss that!

     

Life is what it is.

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