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AG Community Playthrough #61: Anna’s Quest

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Sefir - 26 July 2020 10:19 AM

As I said, Anna has a comment for everything. And don’t be afraid to use spacebar for indicating the hotspots! Smile

I’m using the middle mouse button for that. I’m playing mouse-only.  Innocent

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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I’ve reached Chapter III, and patiently await August 1st to continue.

The game has excellent production value. The cutscene near the end of the second chapter is beautifully animated. And not only that, but it’s just the kind of scene that feels like an actual reward for advancing in the game and I LOVE that in a game!


Having a Joringel and Jorinde (and Jorinde being his ‘nightingale’) in the game as well as a Reynard the Fox proves more than a passing knowledge of the Brothers Grimm’s tales and of folklore, and I’m very much expecting more references in the rest of the game now.
I’m absolutely impressed by the game so far!

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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I’ve also reached Chapter 3. And was pleasantly surprised to see Bremen Town Musicians right away - almost didn’t want to quit at that spot. Smile

I like the game so far. The visuals are very inviting, perfectly styled for a fairy-tale themed game. The animations are splendid, and just in general - I feel like using the words - cute, adorable, fluffy - to describe the game. In the beginning I thought it might be a bit too easy, but the story seems to get slightly more complex (and therefore - fun), and I hope it will continue to do so. The puzzles were entertaining and some - a bit gross Smile. I’d say medium to light difficulty. I enjoyed them and the game’s overall logic. Anna’s ability is a nice touch to bring some variety to solutions. This is done very well.

The voice-over is a hit and miss for me at this point. As much as I liked Winnifred and, say, Reynard or Mirror, Anna (and especially Ben) doesn’t really resonate with me. I think Anna’s VA is doing an overall great job; I just think her voice is a bit too high-pitched and has this frail quality that doesn’t really mesh well with the resourceful, quite determined girl I see her as. Ben could be pretty annoying at times, but it partially might be because his dialogue is always full of uncertainty and tons of interjections that makes it very hard to even let him finish. This is a matter of a personal preference, of course. I usually notice not just the overall sound quality but if the voice “matches” the character in my head, especially in the games I like. I’m the kind of person who didn’t finish “A Vampyre Story” because the main actress’ voice was driving me nuts, amongst other reasons.
Said sound quality, on the other hand, is solid, and I enjoyed “spooky fairy-tale”-styled tracks that fit into the game very well.

Overall, I’m looking forward to continuing this adventure - I want to see the story developed further, more cute/silly puzzles and delicious graphics. Hope we can start earlier then Aug 1st, heh

P.S. My favorite moment so far was when Anna got excited over thoughts on doing “some damage” to the doll she found really creepy, but then has to stop herself and get back into her “innocent character” Grin

     
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DCast - 26 July 2020 06:16 PM

P.S. My favorite moment so far was ...

Great idea!

My favourite moment so far (apart from the brilliant cutscene at the end of Chapter II), was the reunion between Joringel and Jorinde. That felt like a genuinely touching moment, which is no small feat this early in the game with so little relevant character development/interaction.

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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My favorite moment thus far was a part of dialog near the end of the chapter.

Anna: “Where did you just come from? I walked the entire tower! You were nowhere!”
Winfriede: “Pah! Foolish child! It’s witchcraft! I do not expect you to understand!”
Ben: “She is lying Anna! She came down the roof!”

Grin Grin Grin

Btw, for those who finished the chapter, in the timed sequence in the end, did you use your telekinesis on the wand before time run out, or your time run out and the protection spell warded you against Winfriede’s attacks ?

I would also like to point out that after you finish the game, it is totally worth it to just replay the game. There are many, MANY details, big and small in parts of the game where you will see them with a MUCH different perspective and understanding! It gives a whole new experience!

DCast - 26 July 2020 06:16 PM

Hope we can start earlier then Aug 1st, heh

We will if everyone finishes the chapter earlier than that. Smile

     
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Sefir - 27 July 2020 04:53 AM

Btw, for those who finished the chapter, in the timed sequence in the end, did you use your telekinesis on the wand before time run out, or your time run out and the protection spell warded you against Winfriede’s attacks ?

My tendency to “look” at all the new hotspots first, and then using my telekinesis on Winfriede herself instead of the wand made it so that the timer ran out and the protection spell warded me first. Smile

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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Sefir - 27 July 2020 04:53 AM

Btw, for those who finished the chapter, in the timed sequence in the end, did you use your telekinesis on the wand before time run out, or your time run out and the protection spell warded you against Winfriede’s attacks ?

 

I totally overpowered her with my “NNNGH!” first Grin . Do those two give different cut-scenes?

     
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I already love following this! Laughing Glad everyone’s enjoying it so far! Let’s see…

TimovieMan - 26 July 2020 04:20 PM

Having a Joringel and Jorinde (and Jorinde being his ‘nightingale’) in the game as well as a Reynard the Fox proves more than a passing knowledge of the Brothers Grimm’s tales and of folklore, and I’m very much expecting more references in the rest of the game now.
I’m absolutely impressed by the game so far!

I’m so happy to see someone pick out the details too! Before starting the game, I read through MAAAANY stories, and had an absolute plethora of amazing and interesting characters and situations to pull from. Sometimes picking what didn’t make the game was just as difficult! My partner recently came across this old artbook which had some of those early planning scribbles… (quite a few that appear in later chapters too though Wink), added as an attachment below.

DCast - 26 July 2020 06:16 PM

The voice-over is a hit and miss for me at this point. As much as I liked Winnifred and, say, Reynard or Mirror, Anna (and especially Ben) doesn’t really resonate with me.

Voice acting was a little tricky on the project, and I admit I agree some characters miss the mark a little. I was able to do my own casting for about… 60-70% of the game, and this I was happy with. Sadly I ran short of time to keep on top of this on my own, so Daedalic outsourced some to take the load off. Now some of these were some of my favourite (especially a final chapter character), but some I would have liked to have the opportunity to direct them.

While we’re on the topic though, I want to make a huge shout out to some of the actors I worked closely with who really made the game shine (and careful, some late game characters named here) - Karen Kahler (Narrator / Mill Witch!! / Weisse Frauen / Jannike / Dorothea), Holly Stevenson (Winfriede, and chapter 5’s cook), and last but definitely not least Nicholas Andrew Louie (deep breath… Joringel / Reynard / Bartender / Thieves Trio / Rinkrank / Royal Guard / The Devil / Gardener / Wedding Minister). I also appreciate that Sophie Le Neveu’s Anna hasn’t been for everyone, and I accept that, but I’ll always appreciate what she gave the game. She put in a LOT of work, and in my personal opinion brought out the gentle nature of Anna really effectively. I think voice acting will always be one of those things that will separate players!

Sorry for the long post, but one more nod - the magic mirror was voiced by someone who meant a lot to me growing up (a friend’s step dad). He introduced me to many films which partly sparked my joy of storytelling and just nerdy things in general, so having him participate was pretty special Smile

EDIT: Ok, not sorry for length, can’t help but comment on this…

TimovieMan - 26 July 2020 04:20 PM

The cutscene near the end of the second chapter is beautifully animated. And not only that, but it’s just the kind of scene that feels like an actual reward for advancing in the game and I LOVE that in a game!

Me too!! The first time I saw the clip between the pirate battles and Blood Island in CoMI (I know, I know, fanboy) I was blown away. Scenes like Gabriel meeting the gypsy in Sins of the Fathers, or Victoria suddenly in hot pursuit of the murderer in Still Life, these kinds of scenes stay in my mind long after the game ends. To bring that kind of narrative reward to players I feel is crucially important for a game that’s narrative driven. If I had my way, the cutscenes would be even bigger and better, but I’m proud of how far we were able to push the cutscenes on a tight time budget! This one I was able to do on my own prior to Daedalic, but the attention to detail that their animators were able to help bring to the later cutscenes (and of course game in general!) was really impressive.

     

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Sughly - 27 July 2020 06:55 PM

Voice acting was a little tricky on the project, and I admit I agree some characters miss the mark a little. I was able to do my own casting for about… 60-70% of the game, and this I was happy with. Sadly I ran short of time to keep on top of this on my own, so Daedalic outsourced some to take the load off. Now some of these were some of my favourite (especially a final chapter character), but some I would have liked to have the opportunity to direct them.

While we’re on the topic though, I want to make a huge shout out to some of the actors I worked closely with who really made the game shine (and careful, some late game characters named here) - Karen Kahler (Narrator / Mill Witch!! / Weisse Frauen / Jannike / Dorothea), Holly Stevenson (Winfriede, and chapter 5’s cook), and last but definitely not least Nicholas Andrew Louie (deep breath… Joringel / Reynard / Bartender / Thieves Trio / Rinkrank / Royal Guard / The Devil / Gardener / Wedding Minister). I also appreciate that Sophie Le Neveu’s Anna hasn’t been for everyone, and I accept that, but I’ll always appreciate what she gave the game. She put in a LOT of work, and in my personal opinion brought out the gentle nature of Anna really effectively. I think voice acting will always be one of those things that will separate players!

Ha, you gave shout-outs to everyone I felt “matched” perfectly Grin
As far as Anna - yes, I completely agree on “voice acting is very personal” view of the subject. I think it depends not only on the character in the game, but on our own experiences that are being brought up as we play. (Just the fact that we discussing it in depth is a great feat!) I’d like to reiterate what I wrote before - the fact that I didn’t quite “match it” inside my mind, doesn’t take from the fact that the job was done really well Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up

Question time!

1. How difficult was it to let go of some aspects of the project (which is pretty much your child, figuratively speaking)? Was there something you had to fight for (and has it been given/not given to you?). My question is more mental, I suppose. I’m not necessary asking about Daedalic specific regulations, but more about “creator is relinquishing some control” conflict. If there even was one.

2. What was the hardest part of making game and the least enjoyable? I haven’t met anyone who enjoys their job (no matter how creative it is) 100%, so there are usually moments people just have to get through. I know have them even when I work on something I’m absolutely stoked about.

3. What was the part that was an absolute blast,and if you’d have unlimited money and a large team you’d keep that one to yourself?

Thanks for being a part of this! It’s always fun to see the developer’s take on things we only experience as players.

     
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TimovieMan - 26 July 2020 08:51 PM

My favourite moment so far (apart from the brilliant cutscene at the end of Chapter II), was the reunion between Joringel and Jorinde. That felt like a genuinely touching moment, which is no small feat this early in the game with so little relevant character development/interaction.

Yes, I enjoyed that too, but mostly because she slapped him. Come on! He left Anna hanging there. I would too. Grin

     
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Re: voice acting

I quite like all the voices so far, even Ted Ben. I feel that if there is anything cringe-worthy or annoying about Ben’s voice, then that’s more to do with the bear’s insecure/scared personality than the voice acting.
And I think Sophie Le Neveu’s voice fits Anna’s character well.
I have no issues whatsoever with the voice acting so far.

Sughly - 27 July 2020 06:55 PM

Me too!! The first time I saw the clip between the pirate battles and Blood Island in CoMI (I know, I know, fanboy) I was blown away.

You’re preaching to the choir here. Curse of Monkey Island is my favourite AG of all time. Innocent

DCast - 27 July 2020 07:39 PM

Yes, I enjoyed that too, but mostly because she slapped him. Come on! He left Anna hanging there. I would too. Grin

That slap was an important part, and it conveyed its message perfectly. Even without words, it sounded like “How could you! She helped you, and you just left!”.
But frankly, that entire sequence works so well. First the slap and all that entailed, but also the joy and relief of the couple for finally being reunited and the sheer sense of gratitude towards Anna. Powerful stuff!

     

Last played: Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5 | Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds - 3/5 | Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5

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Quick note to report that Sughly is having trouble posting to the forums today for reasons as-yet-unknown. We’ll get that fixed ASAP, but answers to any questions directed his way will have to wait until then. In the meantime, relish the anticipation! Tongue

     

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I’ve reached chapter 3 and am eager to continue. It seems we have some great twists to look forward to.

Sefir - 27 July 2020 04:53 AM

Btw, for those who finished the chapter, in the timed sequence in the end, did you use your telekinesis on the wand before time run out, or your time run out and the protection spell warded you against Winfriede’s attacks ?

I waited to see what would happen and let the protection spell do it’s job once.

DCast - 27 July 2020 07:39 PM

Yes, I enjoyed that too, but mostly because she slapped him. Come on! He left Anna hanging there. I would too. Grin

That specific part was my favorite moment so far too.

     
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DCast - 27 July 2020 07:36 PM

1. How difficult was it to let go of some aspects of the project (which is pretty much your child, figuratively speaking)? Was there something you had to fight for (and has it been given/not given to you?). My question is more mental, I suppose. I’m not necessary asking about Daedalic specific regulations, but more about “creator is relinquishing some control” conflict. If there even was one.

Definitely not! My producer made sure what I wanted to do in the game happened, the best ‘boss’ I have ever worked for by far! He helped sign me on with Daedalic and made MANY efforts to make things happen for the project, including any animators and developers in house he could get, the additional voice acting, a studio for Sophie to record Anna’s lines… the list goes on and on for what he did. He would of course make his suggestions as to how things could be improved, some I took on and some I didn’t, and he was always supportive of that. The only thing really would be that I didn’t get the time to do a number of finer touches in programming (the jump scares with Jorinde appearing randomly for instance were meant to be a lot more abrupt), but this is pretty small in the grand scheme of it (and something I could have done myself with better time management!). One thing I wish I took on board more - the advice to cut down exposition in chapters 1 and 2! It drives me a little nuts going back and seeing it now (and actually there was even MORE before, believe it or not!). I’m happy to call the producer a friend, and we still keep in touch Smile

DCast - 27 July 2020 07:36 PM

2. What was the hardest part of making game and the least enjoyable? I haven’t met anyone who enjoys their job (no matter how creative it is) 100%, so there are usually moments people just have to get through. I know have them even when I work on something I’m absolutely stoked about.

I LOVED so much of this job!! The only thing that stressed me was deadlines, but even these were very generous. The only thing that was a struggle was the writing - I had to fill out every interaction and line of dialogue for each chapter in a HUGE spreadsheet. As you can imagine, this is quite a difficult way to envision everything working together, so it took me many weeks to fine tune these spreadsheets before they were passed onto Daedalic programmers. Keeping it all organised this way was purely for translation reasons , but I am working much more happily now writing as I program on my new game in my own time. Gives me more space to edit and fine tune, test out scenes and make rewrites etc. The one chapter at a time spreadsheet approach means you can sometimes shoot yourself in the foot for not setting up plot devices as well as you could have earlier in the game, and only realising it once you’re at the end! Took some creative thinking at times.

DCast - 27 July 2020 07:36 PM

3. What was the part that was an absolute blast,and if you’d have unlimited money and a large team you’d keep that one to yourself?

If I understand right, something I loved and would want to have again with unlimited money? For sure it was the people I worked with there. I made some great friends, especially the animators that I would eat with, take the train home with each night, all the chats we had about adventure games, their own ideas, what we wanted to see more of in games. It was such an inspiring time! Meeting some of the big names at the company too, such as Deponia director Poki, was really special and led to many fascinating conversations. If I had unlimited money I would be getting back in touch with a lot of these animators in a heartbeat, I would absolutely love the chance to work with them again, to develop some of their ideas too which were genuinely exciting, original, and would come to life with the unique art styles they all had. It’s a shame that many of those ideas discussed won’t ever be made, but you never know Smile One great example (chapter 3 mini spoiler): The ‘old man’ appearing at the lake in chapter 3 was a suggestion of a programmer.

     
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I’m a bit behind but expect to get caught up tonight.  I’m not reading anything here until I do.

     

I’m not weird.  I’m a limited edition.

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