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Community Playthrough #53 Whispers of a Machine

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Perhaps I should explain why I am not liking the game, rather than say I"m not liking it. It’s problem many games have. Puzzles have solutions that are straightforward, but then take a turn to the nonsensical. Example: In the dorm room there is a vent that needs to be opened to find what is behind it. Now our protagonist has an augment that should allow her to simply rip off the vent and find what lies beneath. But no! Our protagonist must use her super-human strength to remove a coin from the vending machine in order to unscrew the vent screws. That’s nuts!

And then we get, finally, after far too many dialog trees, to the autopsy room. Yes, we discover that the same knife killed both people. But that leads us where? An outdoor garden where we find a bed of saffron! In Norway!

There comes a point where a game loses me because it loses credibility. Saffron is not a plant. Saffron is harvested from the stamens of crocus flowers grown, primarily in the northern Mediterranean, specifically Spain, and in the Middle East, primarily in Iran and the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.

Not sure what to make of this. There’s a difference between suspension of belief and suspension of fact. (For anyone living in the US, you live with this daily when reading out president’s tweets.)

I just don’t think this game is for me.

     

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they toll for thee.

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rtrooney - 04 June 2019 10:39 PM

Perhaps I should explain why I am not liking the game, rather than say I"m not liking it. It’s problem many games have. Puzzles have solutions that are straightforward, but then take a turn to the nonsensical. Example: In the dorm room there is a vent that needs to be opened to find what is behind it. Now our protagonist has an augment that should allow her to simply rip off the vent and find what lies beneath. But no! Our protagonist must use her super-human strength to remove a coin from the vending machine in order to unscrew the vent screws. That’s nuts!

I haven’t played the game but it seems reasonable that a detective would not want to destroy a piece of property or potential evidence and take a gentle approach. Going around destroying things probably wouldn’t go down well with her superiors.

And then we get, finally, after far too many dialog trees, to the autopsy room. Yes, we discover that the same knife killed both people. But that leads us where? An outdoor garden where we find a bed of saffron! In Norway!

There comes a point where a game loses me because it loses credibility. Saffron is not a plant. Saffron is harvested from the stamens of crocus flowers grown, primarily in the northern Mediterranean, specifically Spain, and in the Middle East, primarily in Iran and the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.

This game is set in the future, right? Global warming? Although a ‘bed of saffron’ is fairly comedic Laughing

Edit: Actually, upon further research saffron crocus is the name of the species which produces the spice. So I don’t see anything wrong with calling it a bed of saffron.

     
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Luhr28 - 04 June 2019 10:59 PM

I haven’t played the game….

When you have, let me know what your think.

     

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rtrooney - 04 June 2019 10:39 PM

I just don’t think this game is for me.

Probably not, but just to respond to your points of criticism:

When attempting to open the ventilation panel using her muscle boost, Vera explicitly says that she’d rather not use brute force, since that might destroy whatever evidence is inside. She can then use a screwdriver, or as an optional solution, a coin.

As for this:

But that leads us where? An outdoor garden where we find a bed of saffron! In Norway!

There comes a point where a game loses me because it loses credibility. Saffron is not a plant.

First of all,

The autopsy doesn’t itself lead to the cultivation patch, the traces from the victim’s boots do.

Second:

The game never says “bed of saffron”, or claims that saffron is a plant in itself. The hotspots reads “crops”, and Vera describes it as “I’d say those are saffron crocuses”. Her scanner even displays the correct latin term for the plant. And as someone has suggested, the idea that this type of crocus is being cultivated here can be read as a comment on climate change, although we performed enough research to ensure that Crocus Sativus is fully capable of tolerating our type of climate too (it’s actually quite resistant to harsh winters).

Luhr28 - 04 June 2019 10:59 PM

Although a ‘bed of saffron’ is fairly comedic

Just to reiterate, those are Rtrooney’s words. The game either uses “crops”, “Saffron Crocus” or the scientific name “Crocus Sativus”.

     
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Thanks for taking part in this playthrough Faravid!

     
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cyfoyjvx - 04 June 2019 09:42 PM
Detective Mosely - 04 June 2019 07:12 PM
Jdawg445 - 04 June 2019 01:35 PM

are you playing whispers or unavowed

Whispers.  Did I say something wrong?

A little joke, I think. Unavowed has no voice for the protagonist.

Correct lol.

 

As far as rtooney goes i agree this game is not for you. The game world and puzzles make complete sense to me. The dialogue trees are kind of like broken sword, you can ask everything to gain backstory, or just want you need to ask to move the story forward.

     
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I already got through the whole game (sorry, couldn’t resist it Smile plus, I was already on day 3 when WOAM won this CP vote). And I have a lot of overall impressions that I’d like to state but will save them for the end of the CP. I’m just gonna say that I really liked the game. Way better than Kathy Rain (which I also liked). I’d really like to try The Samartian Paradox as well. I haven’t heard a comment about it in terms of comparing the three games. I guess fewer people have played it. Back to WOAM: I think the game has its minor issues but they didn’t ruin my overall good impression of it. I’ll address some of them when the time comes.

As I’ve already played the game and still want to participate I’ll start a second playthrough using different skillset (man, those augs are a really nice trait for an adventure game. Well done.) and that would help me refresh some of the details in the game I wanted to mention. I tried to play kind of analytic last playthrough but each time I got emphatic skills. I used a mix of choices I would make along with choices my version of analytic Vera would use. Oh well, I guess what’s logical to one is emphatic to others Smile I’ll try to be more harsh I guess. Off to Day 1 and will be back with comments and questions for the designers.

     
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Well, I took up rtrooney’s suggestion and got the game. Very impressed so far after finishing Day 1 - it’s way better than Kathy Rain in pretty much every way.

Well done devs, I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes. It’s different enough from most of the AI plots I’ve seen and the small amount of information we got on the Conduit’s ideology was enough to get me interested in where this is headed.
The only minus might be the clunky animations, but the rest of the game is good enough that those are forgiveable.

Here’s my early prediction:
I’m going to guess Andersson is in on this Conduit thing somehow. Or Stina. I do hope I’m wrong though.

     
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I’ve been wanting to get back into playing adventure games again for a while so I digured I’d jump in on the community playthrough for a bit of an incentive.

Just finished the first day and liking it so far, only silly thing i found with the vent puzzle was that she had to rely on the luck of finding an antique coin in order to get some evidence from the scene, you’d think a hi-tech agent would have a simple multi-tool as part of her kit Tongue

Another thing I was curious about was doesn’t doctor patient confidentiality stoo beingna thing when the person is dead? Especially when they are part of a murder investigation?

I’m curious how the trinity thing will effect things, currently my personallity is pretty far into the empathy area.

Looking forward to day 2, my prediction so far is the little robot puppet is gonna be a real ai Grin

     
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FaravidInteractive - 05 June 2019 03:04 AM
rtrooney - 04 June 2019 10:39 PM

I just don’t think this game is for me.

Probably not, but just to respond to your points of criticism:

When attempting to open the ventilation panel using her muscle boost, Vera explicitly says that she’d rather not use brute force, since that might destroy whatever evidence is inside. She can then use a screwdriver, or as an optional solution, a coin.

As for this:

But that leads us where? An outdoor garden where we find a bed of saffron! In Norway!

There comes a point where a game loses me because it loses credibility. Saffron is not a plant.

First of all,

The autopsy doesn’t itself lead to the cultivation patch, the traces from the victim’s boots do.

Second:

The game never says “bed of saffron”, or claims that saffron is a plant in itself. The hotspots reads “crops”, and Vera describes it as “I’d say those are saffron crocuses”. Her scanner even displays the correct latin term for the plant. And as someone has suggested, the idea that this type of crocus is being cultivated here can be read as a comment on climate change, although we performed enough research to ensure that Crocus Sativus is fully capable of tolerating our type of climate too (it’s actually quite resistant to harsh winters).

Luhr28 - 04 June 2019 10:59 PM

Although a ‘bed of saffron’ is fairly comedic

Just to reiterate, those are Rtrooney’s words. The game either uses “crops”, “Saffron Crocus” or the scientific name “Crocus Sativus”.

Sorry you feel so defensive. I didn’t intend my comments to elicit defensive remarks. But at least you have joined the playthrough, and are here to post them.

Re: The vent. Yes, when you try to use the augment to open the vent, our protagonist says that she is afraid of damaging what might be inside. Well why not tone it down a bit so you don’t damage what’s inside? I played a game recently where I was confronted with a glass bowl that had an object I needed inside. I had a hammer in inventory, but that wouldn’t work, for reasons I don’t know. So I needed to find a tuning fork to accomplish the same objective. To say the least, the logic seemed forced. And I don’t like that sort of thing. Although, to be fair, I see it everywhere.

Re: Saffron. You miss the point. Whether I found it on the boots, which I did, or heard it referenced elsewhere is beside the point. The game is located in Norway. If the game was located in Holland, where non-indigenous species are grown in controlled greenhouse environments, I could buy into it. But to find a plot of land that is producing saffron defies credulity.

And I haven’t even finished Day One, and find the game unbelievable. And unbelievable is not meant to be a positive comment.

I am sure I will continue to play the game. Just not as part of the playthrough.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

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I finished day one. I liked it. A true classic. The AUGs really add to the game. Sunday we start Day 2, can’t wait.

Hey we all should be wrapping up day 1 now and be ready to move on.

     

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

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rtrooney - 06 June 2019 09:00 PM

Re: Saffron. You miss the point. Whether I found it on the boots, which I did, or heard it referenced elsewhere is beside the point. The game is located in Norway. If the game was located in Holland, where non-indigenous species are grown in controlled greenhouse environments, I could buy into it. But to find a plot of land that is producing saffron defies credulity.

Saffron is actually successfully grown in Quebec, a subarctic climate like most of Norway. And if Nordsund is on the coast (the ocean is visible from the balcony) then it would be even warmer.

And this is putting aside the issue of a much warmer future, which going by what we know now isn’t even sci-fi…

     
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rtrooney - 06 June 2019 09:00 PM

Re: The vent. Yes, when you try to use the augment to open the vent, our protagonist says that she is afraid of damaging what might be inside. Well why not tone it down a bit so you don’t damage what’s inside? I played a game recently where I was confronted with a glass bowl that had an object I needed inside. I had a hammer in inventory, but that wouldn’t work, for reasons I don’t know. So I needed to find a tuning fork to accomplish the same objective. To say the least, the logic seemed forced. And I don’t like that sort of thing. Although, to be fair, I see it everywhere.

It’s kinda hard to do brute force gently, as far as we know the muscle boost augment just gives her more strength rather than any precise control over how much strength she could use so she would be risking either punching right through the vent and possibly destroying what’s inside or not punching hard enough and damaging her hand.

The game does seem to be about making choices though so I think that should have been a possible sollution to the puzzle with some sort of negative impact(Like how with the fingerprint scanner you can make a resin mold of karls finger or just (presumably) cut the finger off when the doctor isn’t looking). Still it’s not that far fetched for her to not wan’t to punch through it even if she could.

     
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smulan - 03 June 2019 01:58 PM

Well, enjoying it more this time. Som annoying things though, the game is prone to crash if I am a little to fast hitting the scanning device, the saving system is bad, any system that doesn’t allow you to save whenever you want is. More so of course when the game quits unwantingly.
Otherwise the game runs good.

Very sorry to hear this! Would you happen to have a screenshot of this crash? Do you get an error message of some kind?

     
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Sorry, don’t have that, but thanks for asking. I know you’re one of the producers and that sort of commitment is appreciated.
As for the silliness of the vent problem, me thinks it fits the adventure format just right including some of that kind of puzzles stuck in here and there. More or less a tradition. Monkey Island Broken Sword,  etc, etc.
In all thr variation in puzzles is good.
Some of the humor, specially the Valter Nisse dialogue don’t amuses me at all, quite the opposite, although it might have to do with my advanced age.

     

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