I’ve been promising this for a while. I normally do a lookback for my sake one month after a game as been released. While this may only be an Alpha version, it is still the longest IDHAS work released to date, so it gets a lookback. Since I haven’t done anything on here lately, I am going to put up my thoughts. Today, I will be doing the major lessons we’ve learned. Tomorrow, I will be putting up our reactions and changes we will be doing to Rising Angels. After that, I think we’ll do some sort event for the Dreams of the Skies anniversary. As our first game released to the public, I like to do something to remember it.
Well, let’s get this started!
Lesson #1: Just because documented evidence proves that people love the shy girl doesn’t mean that she should be the ONLY character available for the first release.
-Okay, an addition to that statement should be that Lenna Edeck should NOT have been the first release. As a reoccurring main character, I’ve seen how the audience has reacted to her before. It’s always been night and day. One person hates her guts with an undying passion, the next thinks she’s a wonderful character. Either way, she shouldn’t have been sent out there to stand on her own against the audience. The original plan was for Lenna, Jade, and Kika Act 1s to be released as a group. That would have been the SMART plan.
Lesson #2: While I hate descriptions and what I refer to as fluff, everyone else likes knowing the backstory of the universe. Dropping them in cold turkey is bad, m’kay?
-A sign that you’ve been working in a series too long is when there’s nothing more you hate than having to reestablish the setting. I know it. I’ve wrote it for nearly a dozen other works. However, you all don’t read my works, so I need to do it again… and again… and again… and again… it annoys the hell out of me. But… I’ve got to do it. I doubt I will ever really like writing setting over character interaction, I think I can try it one more time.
Lesson #3: The audience has no clue what they want.
-Half of you hate the cast, you find them mean and annoying. The other half finds them interesting and diverse. Half of you hate the art style, the other half adores it. One person says the females are undersexualized and boring while the next one says they are oversexualized. Every single time I start trying to develop trends in what everybody wants, it gets thrown in complete disarray. Almost every aspect of the game went 50/50 with people’s feelings. I could accept that, if it wasn’t for the crowd wasn’t perfectly divided hate/love on all aspects. Nobody liked/hated the same things. In the end, I feel it is safe to conclude that there are almost no trends I can draw from the audience.
Lesson #4: But the one trend I DID find was that everybody hates kinetic novels.
-I don’t know why everyone dislikes kinetic novels so much. To me, it is just like a play. To all of you, I’m committing a major sin of interactive fiction. Let me be quite frank: I don’t like the standard choice options most visual novels give you, mine included. 99% of you will only give the answers you think the character you are trying to romance wants to hear. What’s the point in giving options in a story if I already know which one you are going to pick?
Lesson #5: File size is going to hurt.
-It is. It has always been pretty staggering due to the resolution I work with, but I’m starting to think that other distribution methods might be needed for the final release.
Lesson #6: Don’t talk about expenses.
-The only person who cares about my costs is me. While this information could be useful to others, this will be the last time I talk about studio expenses. My forecasts were used against me, and I do not intend to let that happen again. IDHAS always has budget problems due to artists bailing out with money in hand, but I’m going to try and minimize how often you hear of it.
Lesson #7: WIPs early on are a bad idea because things are always changing.
-Anyone who has followed us since our initial start-up in June of last year knows that this project has undergone so many changes. There was one point where we were working on an RPG setup. Then we had mini-games. Now, we are falling back to a traditional visual novel. I have my reasons for everything I do, and I accept that I can’t do everything I want to do, but it hurts the fans. I suppose many of you thought I was going to do a traditional otome, despite deciding against that very early on. Some thought it was going to contain high amounts of sci-fi, despite that the Foxes of Luck series has always been light sci-fi at best. The sad fact of the matter is that the way IDHAS operates doesn’t permit any sort of public display until late development, after we’ve worked all the bugs and bad ideas out.
Lesson #8: Update
-Yeah, I need to do my updates more often and keep information up-to-date. The fans would have less jarring surprises if I helped them understand more about what the story is about. The reason I don’t do it too often though is that I get more comments from spam bots than I do humans. Heck, sometimes all I get are the spambots. That is NOT motivational gotta say. Still, I need to push past that and do it anyway.
That’s it! Basically, I need to start timing when I shut my mouth and when I open it. See you all tomorrow for what we are going to do to make Rising Angels the best damn story you’ve ever played!
And the video of the post is a good one.