“This Game Is Not A Dating Sim”: a post-mortem

Congratulations to all the winners!

Congratulations to all the winners!

I would’ve been happy to be another nominee again in this second jam, but to actually be one of the winners..! Wow!! Absolutely blows my mind! You guys are amazing! Thank you!

Fortunately this game was not ridden with as many bugs as “Compendium” did, aside from few I will mention anyway because there’s no such thing as a perfect game (everything can always be made better!). The feedback was still just as astounding though, and it is very obvious that people love adorable talking fruit with crazy personalities.

It was fun to hear that a lot of fans liked the characters, such as good ol’ Apple here.

Pros:

  • Lots of thumbs-up about the story and all of the characters. Players hoped to see some of them come back in later into the route, and learn more about them. Most stuck through to the end.
  • Overwhelming positives on the audio! I admit even when I play visual novels, sometimes I will mute or skip audio and lines if they distract me or don’t do much to add to the game. Some players reported waiting until the dialogue on the screen finished appearing in the textbox in order to hear the silly voices, or pick certain routes to see other characters and hear their voices. Of course I owe this to amazing license-free artists out there, as well as talented friends (I did voices too but only today did my first high-quality microphone get in the mail.)
  • Artwork! Unlike “Compendium” where I largely wanted to focus on code, the type of art style seen in this game is more typical to what I actually do, both graphically and for gamedev. It was a lot of fun showing others what I do, and seeing the feedback from that. If you also dig it too, I am free for collaborating or supplying assets (either as a contractor or via asset trade for another gamejam), so check out the jam thread for details.

Cons:

  • Lack of gameplay was a defining fault to this submission, and understandably so. Unless it’s a point-and-click adventure puzzle (like of Nancy Drew or Monkey Island), visual novels are largely passive compared to other forms of interactive media. (I discussed this theme already with my Animal Crossing article.) Most add routes and branching paths to circumvent, and I myself had 4 endings planned. But that gets me to my second bullet –
  • Math in Python. It should be easy but for some reason I couldn’t even get basics to work! I’m still scratching my head at how it could have compiled errors when I was making the game. All I know is that it’s a syntax issue and I was unable to find the solution by the deadline, but I plan to resolve it when I continue this game, as well as for my other visual novel (which is still sadly nameless and on the back-burner). I have a feeling that if I did get the math and the endings to work, the rating could have easily been higher, and it’s pretty high as it is.
  • As much as everyone did like the audio, the levels were off on some. One song was louder than another, and since I only upgraded to a better microphone just yesterday, my audio I recorded was also noticeably lower than my friend’s. I will have to readjust so everything is even with their levels, and I also plan to go back and rerecord mine to a better quality. Insert HD bundle deal with pre-order swag marketing campaign here.
  • A minor but still important detail, but oddly the end credits didn’t play in the order I wanted to. It only shows one of the slides and that’s it. Good thing I did a Read Me file this time! That covers me with credits either way, but I would still like to also properly credit in the end of the game itself too. That at least is an easy fix, but the past week and a half have been nuts and I failed to get to it earlier while the jam was going on.

Another thing I would like to mention as a neutral point, was that some noticed the large file size. To be honest, I just went and compiled to all the major OS’ available to be safe (Windows, Mac, and Linux), and uploaded that to my Dropbox so it wouldn’t hog space. I know now that I don’t have to compile all of them like that, and that I can just do them individually based on whatever OS the player has. So in the future when I make something from Ren’py again, it won’t be a large size!

I would list it as a con, however others had no problem downloading regardless, and I think at that point it’s a matter of the player’s Internet settings and issues. I do apologize for those that had a hard time playing or opening the file however; it’s not a fun thing to go through!

Again, thank you everyone for playing, voting, telling your friends, and so on. If you want a full list of the songs used and where you’d like to see more of their work, please let me know and I can dig it up (until I get the credits properly working). They are also in the Read Me file though. Thanks and take care!

EDIT (8/29/16): The game’s files have been moved to Google Drive download here. As explained, the file size is large due to it having installers for a variety of OS. Thanks and enjoy!

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5 thoughts on ““This Game Is Not A Dating Sim”: a post-mortem

  1. Pingback: Updated download links for my games | Vectors and Syntax

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