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Exogenesis - Perils of Rebirth [AA-inspired post-apoc game]Topic%20Title

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-EXOGENESIS-
The Perils of Rebirth


“All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy.”



Background


Image


As tensions continued to escalate between the major powers during the first half of the 21st century, Japan began building an underground structure to protect the nation from the threat of complete annihilation. In 2020, the world was thrown into complete chaos. Protected by its anti-ballistic missile systems, Japan's metropolis withstood the flurry of nuclear warheads launched upon its soil. However, bioweapons were unleashed on the Japanese people, eradicating millions in a short span of time. Nuclear weapon engagements elsewhere caused a global disaster known as The Nuclear Winter.

In 2035, unforeseen problems led contingency supplies in the underground network to dwindle at dangerously low levels. A charismatic young man led a small band of survivors outside the underground shelter to assess the inhabitability above ground. Several years later, one man from the original group returned to the shelter and rallied a selected few to the outside, claiming dangers still existed and the new group will be the vanguard of mankind’s survival.

It is 2071 and a religious group called Sanctus Ordo Lumina has an iron grip on Novus Tokyo, the only city in the wasteland formerly known as the Japanese archipelago. Smaller settlements outside Novus Tokyo struggle to survive as Sanctus hoards the majority of resources. This stranglehold gives birth to a rebellious faction - the God’s People Army. However, the founding of the GPA is shrouded in mystery and the truth behind its intentions to liberate may be beyond what meets the eye.

Story


“We’ll save you!”

“We’ll get help!”

“Just stay there! Hang on tight, okay?!”

“It’s impossible… haha… Yu…”

Yu holds her hand

“No, no, no, no, NO! Don’t say that!”

“The place is rigged. If we touch those metal arms holding her, we’re all going to blow to smithereens!”

“SHUT UP! There must be something we can do!”

“Please, leave me. I don’t want you guys to see me go. It’s a… girl’s request… ok, Yu?”

The young girl smiles, notwithstanding the pain from her bleeding arms and the contraption that entombed her to apparent doom.

“No!”

Yu lunges to her, but he is stopped by Eiji’s big arms.

“Get a grip, Yu. Don’t you want to honor her dying wish?”

“She’s not going to die! Miho, I’m going to save you!”

“Bad news. The control panel ain’t working. Sorry to say, but there’s not much we can do, bud.”

Yu glares at Hisoka with fangs of a beast enraged.

“You heard him, Yu… Please, I don’t want to burden you with the memory of my… death… let me pass on in peace.”

Yu starts kicking and throwing about in Eiji’s arms, but it was no use. The older, stronger man started pulling him away from the contraption and towards the exit.

“No! Miho!”

“We’ve done everything we could. Let’s get out of here!”


It's 2069. Yuudai Sayashi’s ragtag club of “treasure hunters” (referred to as looters by those who know them), Durchhalten, was closer to real treasure than they’ve ever been. Overly eager, Yu’s sister Miho ran carelessly towards the vault and triggered a deadly trap that proved to be fatal.

Two years later, Yu comes across a startling discovery. The mythical Noah’s Ark, borne of legend by those who believe the old world can be restored, turns out to be a real thing. With the help of genius kid Toshio, he learns about the existence of the Lazarus Protocol inside the Ark – a system that can recreate anything from the past – a machination developed during the time when humanity’s survival was uncertain. Using the Ark, Yu believes Miho can be brought back to life.

Before setting out to find the Ark, however, Yu wants to bring the Durchhalten back together. The group had disbanded two years ago after the tragic incident, and he wants everyone to be there when Miho opens her eyes once more.

Main Characters


Image


Yuudai Sayashi

“It doesn’t matter which path I have to take. I will save my sister.”

The story’s protagonist and leader of the Durchhalten. He is street smart and charismatic, having had to learn how to survive the hard way after he and his sister were abandoned when they were young. By nature, he enjoys helping others the most, and that’s why the members of Durchhalten were attracted to him.

GUNTHER

“Most interesting. Let’s see some anarchy!”

Being a trickster, he looks deceptive the moment you see him. Although well-meaning most of the time, he enjoys watching and occasionally partaking in chaotic situations. He harbors a confused feeling of rivalry towards Yu, but is mostly concerned with his traveling metal band Ardent Scenery, which he plays lead guitar for.

Eiji Tadashi

“Use your damn head, hear me?”

With a hidden past which tailored him into the hardened survivor that he is now, Eiji is the oldest and plays the role of the mentor in the group. He is the voice of reason when things turn sour and the Durchhalten relies on him to make the right decisions. His appearance is mature and demands respect, standing at 6 feet tall and wearing clothes fit for a bar owner. Despite being only in his mid-20s, he is mocked about his old age because of his terrible sense of direction.

Toshio Taro

“The only thing that won’t lie to you is science.”

Kid genius who remembers absolutely everything because of a medical condition called hyperthymesia. He loves technology, and you can tell by the homemade gadget with the LCD screen that he wears on his arm. Being the youngest in the group, he is one to force himself in the shoes of an adult only to fail at it. He invented the “D-phone” which is the radio devicethat the Durchhalten uses to communicate. He is also quite fashionable thanks to his dotting parents who want only the best clothes for him.

Hayami Koto

“Why don’t you die already? You’d look wonderful dead.”

She has this mysterious air around her, like a bona fide Goth girl. Hayami wears skull and cross accessories. She likes to speak of death nonchalantly but she fears it the most after a tragic event that made her look at life in a very different way – a secret that she keeps from the group.

Midori Suzuki

“Will he ever look this way?”

The group's mood-maker. She tries to cheer everyone up in the darkest of times, but she actually has manic depression which turned her into a recluse during her childhood. She does everything she can to put away her past under the rug, including singing cheerful pop music in Yoyogi Park every day.

Themes


Exogenesis is set in a lively backdrop – or at least, as lively as a post-apocalyptic Earth where people are barely making ends meet can go. The game world has a story of its own, laden with the dread of having survived a largely nuclear World War III, as well as the threat of another gargantuan conflict because mankind is never without dividing differences. The themes below help define the game not only as one man’s pursuit for his beloved dead sister, but also as a tale of characters struggling for survival in post-apocalyptic Tokyo when the great city is only starting to get back on its feet.

War the Destroyer. No matter what the motives are behind it, destruction is always the ultimate result of war. War waged with modern day weapons, including WMDs and bio-weapons, can push humanity back to the dark ages.

Everyone has something to hide. In this game, every character lies to someone at least once. Healthy relationships are based on trust and understanding despite differences. This is reflected in the conflicts and resolutions of subplots between characters.

Death separates. Yu spends the entire game trying to revive his dead sister and witnessing how death separates people in many ways. Families are broken, relationships come to an end, and survivors are more detached from the world around them as a psychological defense mechanism.

Nothing is ever what it seems. The story of Exogenesis thrives on twists and turns, keeping players on their toes for there is self-serving deception and death at every corner.

It’s never a war to end all wars. Unhindered by mutual assured destruction, World War III erupted prior to the events of Exogenesis. Like the war of global scale before it, WW3 was said to be the war to end all wars, given the breadth of such modern conflict. However, history proves to repeat itself with the birth of new organizations that vie for control and power as humanity rises from the ashes.

No one-trick pony. There is always more than one way to get things done. Just because a certain approach worked on a character doesn’t mean it will work on another, especially since the Durchhalten is a mixed bag of personalities after all. Moral choices are also often ambiguous, so players need to anticipate what their decisions could lead to.

May God have mercy. The Sanctus Ordo Lumina organization represents how life after the end of the world could be controlled by worldwide religious organizations, the same way civilizations were reigned over and pitted against each other during the Dark Ages. Another religious group, the God People’s Army (GPA), schemes to stop Sanctus from establishing an oppressive new world order.

Evil is easy. Choosing to do good is often more difficult than lying and cheating your way to success.

Music


The music of Exogenesis is composed by a talented young musician whose track record includes writing music behind the scenes for several AAA video game studios and major TV networks. If you live in the US and watch a lot of TV (even commercials), you've probably heard his music.

Here's one track that will be in the game:

https://soundcloud.com/exogenesis-game/heroes-instrumental

**

Hey guys, I have always been in love with visual novel adventure type games like Ace Attorney, 999 and Hotel Dusk, so I've decided to make one. Exogenesis is still in development, but we should be able to release a solid full chapter (running at over 30k+ words now!) as a demo soon. I hope you peeps do like what we're able to show publicly so far. You can find us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/exogenesisgame.

Thanks!


Last edited by ktalkimist on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Re: Exogenesis - Perils of Rebirth [AA-inspired post-apoc gaTopic%20Title

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Interesting premise.

Then i listened to your sample music track...

Not interested anymore.
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Huddini wrote:
Interesting premise.

Then i listened to your sample music track...

Not interested anymore.

Hmm, really? I respect your opinion but I wonder if there's anything specific you dislike about the track aside from it not being your cup of tea, because most people seem to like it.
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It sounds like a generic anime rock track ripped off straight from Guilty Gear/Blazblue.


The sound direction and even the riffs used give that feeling.

If you're going for a 999/Ace Attorney vibe...and if it's a visual novel no less, do something much more unique and much more electronic (ie. the tracks found in those games, moreso Ace Attorney) without it being degraded into a typical rock song.


Whoever your music director is needs to be fired immediately. Whoever's done your music has talent, but his/her talent is being wasted doing this (as in, that genre of music).

--------------------
As for the other people who've given you positive opinions about it, I wouldn't trust what they'd have to say. I want to feel like I'm playing a good video game, not a stereotypical anime/JRPG
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Huddini wrote:
It sounds like a generic anime rock track ripped off straight from Guilty Gear/Blazblue.


The sound direction and even the riffs used give that feeling.

If you're going for a 999/Ace Attorney vibe...and if it's a visual novel no less, do something much more unique and much more electronic (ie. the tracks found in those games, moreso Ace Attorney) without it being degraded into a typical rock song.


Whoever your music director is needs to be fired immediately. Whoever's done your music has talent, but his/her talent is being wasted doing this (as in, that genre of music).

--------------------
As for the other people who've given you positive opinions about it, I wouldn't trust what they'd have to say. I want to feel like I'm playing a good video game, not a stereotypical anime/JRPG


I see where you're coming from now, but to say we should disregard people who like the music is frankly rather needlessly arrogant, and sadly we cannot dismiss the opinions of a bunch of other people for the sake of one.

Heck, there's nothing wrong with Guilty Gear/Blazblue music. Comparing our opening theme to that music is a compliment. :phoenix:

Since our setting is vastly different from that of Ace Attorney and Zero Escape games, you can expect the soundscape to be different as well. Once we have the vocals for the opening theme, you will understand how it fits.

The track you've listened to just plays in the game's intro anyway. You will not be hearing it all while playing the game. We have other tracks for that, some of which have also been uploaded to our Soundcloud.
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-Based on personal experience seeing how other fangame developers fail to capture the right kind of music for their scenes because they simply want to go for a safe, "nostalgic", or in this case, safe "genre" route, I will always remain skeptical of feedback on music provided by said other "people". There is a confirmation bias that they go with something THEY LIKE to hear, not what actually WORKS for a game.

Music is not as simple as cherrypicking your genre and implementing it in a game like 1 2 3. It CAN and WILL break your game if you don't capture the right kind of atmosphere your game is going for. And based on your premise, it feels like that music does not capture such an atmosphere at all.

The first thing that came to my mind in 5 seconds of viewing your thread was that I was going to get a Fallout kind of vibe (the Ark is something I can easily associate with the EDEN device or w/e it's called in Fallout). You should be having music inspiration from that game, since it incorporates all SORTs of genres into a coherent soundtrack.

-Oh no, there's a lot of things wrong with Guilty Gear/Blazblue music. They're meant to be intense and fast-paced because the music is meant for a FIGHTING game. Comparing this one track you have to those franchises is providing criticism, not a compliment.

-I expect the soundscape to not be battered and littered with the generic rock music you have going for it. It just doesn't work, and i'm talking from a developer standpoint :X

-I will have a listen of your other tracks then to see what you're offering.


Oh btw, I know you said it'll only play in the intro, but a song meant to introduce the game world sets the tone for the rest of the content. Take consideration of that.
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First of all, thank you for the thorough feedback. It is much appreciated.

Again, I see where you are coming from. I understand your point of view 100%. However, a good portion your argument boils down to "this is how I like it and other people are wrong". You have an idea of what you want to hear from a game, and I respect that, but you cannot presume others would share the same tastes as yours.

With that said, you are judging the game's music direction based on one incomplete track (it's missing vocals). Your assessments, while I understand where they're coming from (more like jumping the gun), are founded on shaky ground. No one is treating music as "as simple as cherrypicking your genre and implementing it in a game like 1 2 3". It is unfortunate that you arrived to the conclusion that the music does not set the right (in your opinion) atmosphere, but you are basing this on a single track - an opening song that is missing its lyrics, no less.

I cannot stress out enough that players will not be exploring the world and unraveling the story of Exogenesis with the opening song in the background, and that while it may not match your personal expectation of what a song for the game should be, the full track will be coherent to the game's setting and themes. To be on the same level as highly revered games in terms of music is still a compliment as far as I'm concerned.

Rest assured that anything as basic as the opening song setting the tone has already been accounted for. Personally, I am very particular about game intros and I think people will love how we'll do it. :godot: Your advice is appreciated, nonetheless.

Also, I'd love to see the games you've made that reflect the philosophies and understanding of music direction that you seem to be very certain of, since you've brought up being a developer.
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Check out this WIP transition screen. :)

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This looks like it's being made with a lot of dedication and talent. It looks like it could fit excellently into the anime-like visual novel genre. The background image, the character designs and the music all look and sound great. And the story sounds unique and interesting.

From a personal standpoint, though, I'm afraid all I'm seeing is a generic anime visual novel with better-than-average-sounding story and characters (their background, no their design, which does look quite generic). I'm probably not your demographic for this, but I can tell you I'm a huge fan of both Ace Attorney and Zero Escape games, and they stand out prominently from the rest of visual novels for a reason. They have something, I don't know if I can describe it, that makes them unique. They stayed away from the "typical" visual novel, but not just in story (I believe your story is the most unique part of what you present in the opening post). They stood out by their audiovisual presentation. Their character design, the look of their setting, the color and tones, the ambient music, the character themes, the sound effects, the art style, the little visual quirks... I think you get what I'm trying to say :P

I don't have any pedigree to show off or anything, I'm just a huge Zero Escape and Ace Attorney fan who doesn't seem to be able to like a lot of the other anime visual novels, due to them not looking unique enough. Maybe they are unique, but that's why I said they don't *look* unique enough. Visual and sound presentation are hugely important, IMO. If your game continues to look and sound like this, it'll certainly appeal to some people, maybe more than I think, but if you make it stand out, presentation-wise, it'll appeal to those people and a ton more.

Just my humble two cents. Wish you the best of luck, and despite all I said, I'll certainly keep an eye on this :)
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DeMatador wrote:
-snip-

I think that both Ace Attorney and 999 have extremely strong hooks. AA's is the murder whodunnits (although they tend to be more howdunnits, I suppose), and 999 has the great "What is going on and who are these people."

While Exogenesis' presentation looks fantastic and its story interesting, it doesn't really have a hook like that. Ace Attorney and Zero Escape are mysteries; this seems more like a story.

However, I think a lot of the quality and charm in both Ace Attorney and Zero Escape is in their execution, rather than just their premise, so... who knows? This game certainly looks promising, at least.
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I don't think the hooks in ZE and AA are that strong. They are good and unique, but not that strong. If they were generic anime-looking with generic music and the same stereotypes every single anime visual novel has, they wouldn't appeal to me. They would appeal to AVN fans, definitely, but not to the extended demographic that ZE and AA appeal to.

Objectively, Exogenesis is very well done. The art is excellent and the music is great. But I would definitely not play it in its current state, because its presentation and its characters don't interest me, because I feel it looks and feels like hundreds of other games. Zero Escape feels only like Zero Escape, and Ace Attorney feels only like Ace Attorney. They are distinct. This is not. I say this as a guy who thinks the story is very interesting, and wants to be more interested, but can't because of the reasons I've mentioned.

If you ask me, this needs a more unique design, and like BP said, a good hook, be it through story or gameplay, or art. That's how I would be interested. Of course, maybe you don't care if people like me are interested, because maybe I'm not your demographic. Maybe you are not that ambitious, and simply want to do a generic AVN for the AVN audience, doing what ZE and AA avoided to get so successful. In that case, nothing I say should matter to you guys. So feel free to disregard this opinion entirely if you so wish.
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ktalkimist wrote:
First of all, thank you for the thorough feedback. It is much appreciated.

Again, I see where you are coming from. I understand your point of view 100%. However, a good portion your argument boils down to "this is how I like it and other people are wrong". You have an idea of what you want to hear from a game, and I respect that, but you cannot presume others would share the same tastes as yours.

With that said, you are judging the game's music direction based on one incomplete track (it's missing vocals). Your assessments, while I understand where they're coming from (more like jumping the gun), are founded on shaky ground. No one is treating music as "as simple as cherrypicking your genre and implementing it in a game like 1 2 3". It is unfortunate that you arrived to the conclusion that the music does not set the right (in your opinion) atmosphere, but you are basing this on a single track - an opening song that is missing its lyrics, no less.

I cannot stress out enough that players will not be exploring the world and unraveling the story of Exogenesis with the opening song in the background, and that while it may not match your personal expectation of what a song for the game should be, the full track will be coherent to the game's setting and themes. To be on the same level as highly revered games in terms of music is still a compliment as far as I'm concerned.

Rest assured that anything as basic as the opening song setting the tone has already been accounted for. Personally, I am very particular about game intros and I think people will love how we'll do it. :godot: Your advice is appreciated, nonetheless.

Also, I'd love to see the games you've made that reflect the philosophies and understanding of music direction that you seem to be very certain of, since you've brought up being a developer.


If I can help you get more folks to be interested in your project, I'm always willing to provide feedback (even if they're nitpicks :P)

I'm going to respond to your replies, but I'm going to drop it because it's a nitpick on my end (although music is still important that shouldn't be treated lightly). I'll accept your directions (with reservations)

-I understand I don't have the same tastes as everyone else. But then again, who's your demographic supposed to be? If it's a 999/Ace Attorney vibe, I expect your music to capture that kind of essence (or at least mimic such a style/genre).

-But the thing is, according to your OP post, the musician working on this project is someone that has worked for some AAA studios (it'd be nice to get a name, or some resume). AAA studios tend to be really great when picking the right composer to make music (hanz zimmer for Call of Duty, the Kidd guy for Assassin's Creed, Yuzo Koshiro for Shenmue, Sano DG for part of the Ridge Racer series, Yoko Kanno for Ghost in the Shell, etc.) Notice anything they all have in common? They all create unique, artistically beautiful pieces of music, without even having a need to rely on a rock genre, or a quiet piano style of ambience. In a post-apocalyptic world, my expectation of your soundtrack is high, nothing more, nothing less. It is disappointing to be treated by a "showcase" song that happens to be a boring, low-energy rock instrumental. Your musician's potential is not being utilized too well, and it shows from that opener (lyrics or no).
That's why I'm getting the impression that whoever is directing your composer is simply going for what they like/see from any other kind of anime show opener.
I mean, if you're going to follow an anime opener direction, at least go for the Fist of the North Star kinda direction. Everyone who has ever been exposed to that media falls in love with it, and I too with their old-school 80's rock opener :P

-But...that level, isn't really high, you see what I mean? xP

-Your opening track sets the tone for the rest of the content (you've acknowledged this). If I'm not hooked into a pleasant experience by the end of the opening, I'm calling it quits and automatically going to assume it's a generic anime type of visual novel (which they tend to go with this kind of rock tune xP). I can't speak for 999, but Ace Attorney deviates from such a trope a bunch. I don't want to see such an ambitious project to have such a detriment.
Anyways, I'll take your word for it (with reservation).

-I have produced a semi-complete Ace Attorney fangame called Turnabout Generations:
http://www.forums.court-records.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20045
It's set post-GS4, and I've continued the tradition of presenting "new" iterations of music (I don't have any AAA-experienced composer I can hire, so I rely on using tracks from other media franchises LOL).
The fangame is an experiment on how to make the player experience better than what the original AA games have had (be it UI, SFX, and even music). The game is an example trial with "intentional" mistakes here and there. If you're looking for my understanding of how music can be a great player-experience enhancement, you should go straight for Part 2, instead of 1 (Part 1 is a reference guide on music you should actually avoid). No criticisms on the music front on either Part so far in its 3 year life ;)
---------------------------------

Edit: Just saw the posts of DeMatador/BP. I dismissed yall's assessment, until you were talking about the art style. I thought what they had was fine, until I looked up and saw the characters art image...
The characters don't look like they're in a post-apocalyptic world at all :P

You should refer to Mad Max/Fist of the North Star for outfit designs (everything I see looks too clean/"fabolous" in your image, which is another turnoff since it's just following another generic anime trope I see nowadays)
--------------------

Oh btw, I'm a sucker of good UI, your transition screen looks great!
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Huddini wrote:
-I have produced a semi-complete Ace Attorney fangame called Turnabout Generations.


I'd hardly call this a "developer standpoint" to be honest. These guys are doing an original visual novel with AA influences, not an AA fangame. Any other dev experience? Because you sound like someone who has a lot of authority on this subject, so I suppose you have the work to back it up. Else, your opinion is just as basic and valid as everyone else's, not below them but definitely not above them either.

Huddini wrote:
Just saw the posts of DeMatador/BP. I dismissed yall's assessment,


...Okay? Was that necessary? Did you absolutely need to say "I saw your posts but I ignored 99% of them"?

If you'd read my posts you'd have seen that you and I agree on a bunch of things regarding this project. Let's try and be constructive for the thread's sake, okay?
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There's a lot of valid points in here so forgive me if I fail to address them all. Loving the feedback, though!

I have no excuse for the character design not being unique enough. I understand what you're saying, and even though Zero Escape does get flak for having sometimes inappropriate and outrageous designs, I see the value of standing out. The reality of being an indie dev though is you're not always in a position to do everything the way you'd like. Artists are like toilets - the good ones are almost always taken. You either have to be lucky enough to have friends with great art, or the resources to bid for those who are probably working full-time in a big studio already. Fortunately, we have character art that works and our challenge is to make full use of them. Maybe in the future we can evolve our art into something DeMatador would love. Uchikoshi had to start with Ever17, right? :will:

I can say we're working on some really nice character themes, though, and while we cannot be as comical as AA in terms of visual quirks because of our setting, we do have some sweet sprite animations that as far as I've seen are absent from most indie VNs.

There's a lot of mystery in Exogenesis. Every chapter revolves around the character Yu is trying to win over, and these characters have intricate circumstances which will require tact to handle. We should definitely try to show this side of Exogenesis more... but right now our hands are tied to developing the game itself. :payne:

Music production can be a dirty, dirty world... that's all I can say regarding the music of Hans Zimmer or any other popular composer. But since our guy has already revealed at least one track credited to Hans, I can show you this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSyP98T8AD8.

Regarding the not so post-apocalyptic outfits, I'm not sure if I've said it before on this forum, but the character sheet posted is from a very early study and the characters will certainly look different in their final designs. :phoenix:
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DeMatador wrote:
Huddini wrote:
-I have produced a semi-complete Ace Attorney fangame called Turnabout Generations.


I'd hardly call this a "developer standpoint" to be honest. These guys are doing an original visual novel with AA influences, not an AA fangame. Any other dev experience? Because you sound like someone who has a lot of authority on this subject, so I suppose you have the work to back it up. Else, your opinion is just as basic and valid as everyone else's, not below them but definitely not above them either.

Huddini wrote:
Just saw the posts of DeMatador/BP. I dismissed yall's assessment,


...Okay? Was that necessary? Did you absolutely need to say "I saw your posts but I ignored 99% of them"?

If you'd read my posts you'd have seen that you and I agree on a bunch of things regarding this project. Let's try and be constructive for the thread's sake, okay?


-I don't think you have a clear understanding of the amount of work it takes to even make a fangame. Collecting assets, making the gameplay coherent, implementing assets at the appropriate times, conveying information to the player in a presentable, usable manner, ensuring a presentable, pleasant experience through the polishing of content and the squatting of bugs, etc. etc.
You make it sound like it's something easy thing to get into, when it's not (consider some of the biggest fangames that were brought into the AA community took years to develop and release to the public). You still have to have some understanding of coding/programming to achieve the best results of scene-setting, no matter the engine you use (and this doesn't just apply to AA fangame development). What, just because I don't create an original title means I don't have any type of "developer" experience? As someone who spent years on such a side-project, that breaks my heart to hear :P (not really, but I think you understand where I'm coming from now).

The principles of games development all lead to an end outcome: an enjoyable player experience (something devs tend to say a bunch in the gaming press), which I can see the OP is doing his best to shoot for (since like BP said, this VN seems to be story-based, rather than a mystery-base).

This all goes triple for someone producing an *original* game, since they'd have to actually create the assets themselves (from characters, to backgrounds, to even the UI, and if necessary, their own engine/learning another middleware engine).


DeMatador wrote:
Huddini wrote:
Just saw the posts of DeMatador/BP. I dismissed yall's assessment,


...Okay? Was that necessary? Did you absolutely need to say "I saw your posts but I ignored 99% of them"?

If you'd read my posts you'd have seen that you and I agree on a bunch of things regarding this project. Let's try and be constructive for the thread's sake, okay?


Sorry to offend you, I didn't word THAT correctly at all. I read the posts, and the things you guys pointed out seemed to be a given (meaning I agreed), it's just that I originally didn't agree the bit about the art style being a possible detriment (the only thing I probably "dismissed" ;P), until I saw the character art image. Then yall's post clicked even further with that particular part of the assessment.

Again my bad, I thought my point was clear and wouldn't have been misunderstood, but obviously it wasn't :x

ktalkimist wrote:
There's a lot of valid points in here so forgive me if I fail to address them all. Loving the feedback, though!

I have no excuse for the character design not being unique enough. I understand what you're saying, and even though Zero Escape does get flak for having sometimes inappropriate and outrageous designs, I see the value of standing out. The reality of being an indie dev though is you're not always in a position to do everything the way you'd like. Artists are like toilets - the good ones are almost always taken. You either have to be lucky enough to have friends with great art, or the resources to bid for those who are probably working full-time in a big studio already. Fortunately, we have character art that works and our challenge is to make full use of them. Maybe in the future we can evolve our art into something DeMatador would love. Uchikoshi had to start with Ever17, right? :will:

I can say we're working on some really nice character themes, though, and while we cannot be as comical as AA in terms of visual quirks because of our setting, we do have some sweet sprite animations that as far as I've seen are absent from most indie VNs.

There's a lot of mystery in Exogenesis. Every chapter revolves around the character Yu is trying to win over, and these characters have intricate circumstances which will require tact to handle. We should definitely try to show this side of Exogenesis more... but right now our hands are tied to developing the game itself. :payne:

<span>Music production can be a dirty, dirty world... that's all I can say regarding the music of Hans Zimmer or any other popular composer. But since our guy has already revealed at least one track credited to Hans, I can show you this: [url]<a class="linkclass" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSyP98T8AD8[/url]">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSyP98T8AD8[/url]</a></span>

Regarding the not so post-apocalyptic outfits, I'm not sure if I've said it before on this forum, but the character sheet posted is from a very early study and the characters will certainly look different in their final designs. :phoenix:


-Good point about the character artist thing. That can be overlooked a bunch from us normal folks.
Whoever the character artist is definitely has a firm grasp on making anime-like characters.
However, I'm curious to know who gave the instructions for the outfit design alone. I saw a concept sheet of one of the girls on there, and a majority of the outfit ideas were her showing a LOT of skin, nice way to protect yourself in a post-apoco. world LOL
It's clashing with the world you described in the OP you know? When I see the building ruins in your OP post, I was thinking "alright, the brink of humanity as we know it", and thennnn off to fabulousness xP

-Oh nice, sprite animations are always a plus. Can never get into the VN's that just have a mouth open/mouth closed for their poses. Then again, Ace Attorney spoiled my standards for VNs in this way (it's my first and only true VN I've ever gotten into, barring the debate of it being considered a VN aside).

-The whole "every character has something to hide" sounds pretty cool. I just hope I can take them seriously. I'm sure with many ruins unexplored could provide great tension for the mystery aspects of your game.

-Sorry OP, I'm not sure what you're saying regarding this music reply (everything after the dirty world part). Can you clarify more?

-Ah, you just explained the thing about the outfit. Well hey man, if you're going to attract interest and showcase your project, you gotta hook us up with the latest updates/revisions of progress. Don't give me real old stuff that's no longer a true representation of your project, you know?


Also may I ask, is this a game being made for free, or is this something you're going to Kickstarter up?
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We're trying to get by without external funding, but right now our programmer is sleeping on his computer chair (he and I share a flat) after implementing new UI assets so we could test them and has to go to work soon with a total of maybe 4 hours of sleep. Our artists also have side jobs. I am on personal savings good for a few more months of rent and paying everyone. It would be great to have someone do the marketing and customer relations stuff so I can focus on the game (story, puzzle design). We've also been offered voice acting, and while I am wary of any addition that could make or break the game, VA is worth exploring although we did not initially take it into account.

So Kickstarter is certainly a consideration. We're going for a commercial release and hopefully make enough to continue doing what we love. :phoenix:

I am sleepy now, but will definitely reply to your other questions later! (As a quick note, our latest character art are sprites for minor characters and the character artist did the transition screen, so I don't know when we can reveal finalized main character designs. We don't want to rush them anyway.)
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-How much progress have you made with the game? Can I get a percentage?

-Ohhh Voice Acting is definitely a tricky area to consider. Agreed on the whole make/break the game. All I can suggest is to go with what you think is best ;)

-Alrighty yo, I wish you good luck in your endeavor. The indie life is a hard one, I don't envy the struggles you and your team have :o

-Do you guys have a personal website up btw? I figure you can find a way to make some revenue somehow through ad generation. Though I have absolutely no experience in this kind of area. The site admins here might though.
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ktalkimist wrote:
He is also quite fashionable thanks to his dotting parents who want only the best clothes for him.


I have to disagree, his outfit looks outrageous! Although, I'm liking the idea so far. Good luck to ya.
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I'd like to say the story is 100% done, but we make a lot of changes as we go along. As for the game itself, the first chapter out of six is around 80% complete. Should be able to get a demo out soon!

It's very difficult to generate ad revenue from a website. You typically need a lot of niche-focused content and offsite optimization to pull it off. If you may notice, indie game devs very rarely even try to do this. We will definitely put up a site for the game as soon as we can, though!

Sorry about Toshio's clothes. Character designs are still subject to change. :redd:

For now, enjoy this little animation from the game. :phoenix:

Image
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Wow. Color me impressed. (well, aside from my issue of the really clean clothes the chicas wearing, but ill let it pass)
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Huddini wrote:
Wow. Color me impressed. (well, aside from my issue of the really clean clothes the chicas wearing, but ill let it pass)

This is many years after mankind started living on land again. I think they are allowed to find decent clothes and wash them. :yogi:
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For our weekly screenshot, here's a puzzle room we're working on. :)

Image
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Nice, keep it up, really liking how it's looking so far.
And yeah, double time it with that website.
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We'll get there. Soon...-ish... :gant:
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Puzzle room, eh? Could it be 999/Professor Layton?
"Oh holy father, holy Brother, holy master... My sacred mission is at last complete. With these two hands, mankind is saved. I am your will made flesh. In your name, I give thanks."
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BonnyMono wrote:
Puzzle room, eh? Could it be 999/Professor Layton?

Definitely more 999 than Professor Layton. We're making sure our puzzles are very contextual and thematic. No random passerby is going to give you a math problem. :sahwit:
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Just a heads-up - we now have an illustration featuring all the updated character designs in the original post. :)
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THAT. Looks SO much better
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Definitely keeping an eye on this project. I'm loving the look and sound of it so far. I like the intro theme, but my favorite song for the game you have on Soundcloud is probably the new version of The Empyrean. It's just so smooth and atmospheric.

Best of luck to you guys on the project! I happily await more news or a demo from this game.
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It definitely looks a lot less ridiculous without the dude with the open shirt, but what happened to bartender guy?
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So it's been a while, but I want to let you guys know that we've been hard at work in the last couple of weeks and I kind of took a few days off to visit the place that got hit by the super typhoon in our country. Production is back in full swing, and although the demo's delayed a bit due to some technical problems and other little things we've added, we're pretty excited with what we plan to release.

For now, I'll leave you with this illustration from the game. :)

Image
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Just wanted to pass and let you know I love the recent updates. This keeps getting better and better. Will definitely keep an eye.
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Here's a question: Would you prefer that puzzles progressively become more difficult from very easy ones, or would you rather forego the throwaways?

And new art just because!

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ktalkimist wrote:
Here's a question: Would you prefer that puzzles progressively become more difficult from very easy ones, or would you rather forego the throwaways?

Well, it would be very interesting to have Puzzles go from easy ones to hair-pulling ones!
"Oh holy father, holy Brother, holy master... My sacred mission is at last complete. With these two hands, mankind is saved. I am your will made flesh. In your name, I give thanks."
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Wow. That looks quite nice.

As for puzzles? A steady curve is always best.
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Fate is made by クロス
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BonnyMono wrote:
ktalkimist wrote:
Here's a question: Would you prefer that puzzles progressively become more difficult from very easy ones, or would you rather forego the throwaways?

Well, it would be very interesting to have Puzzles go from easy ones to hair-pulling ones!

Dude, I love your sig!
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I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. Here's a trailer from us. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EClp0VfXrIA
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Im confused... will there be AA-style contradiction puzzles, or Layton-esque puzzles


Will there be "cases" like "You stole food-tye" ones?

I need to know :P
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Blizdi wrote:
Im confused... will there be AA-style contradiction puzzles, or Layton-esque puzzles


Will there be "cases" like "You stole food-tye" ones?

I need to know :P


The "cases" would be centered around the circumstances of the major character which the chapter focuses on. The player has to figure out how to recruit his former comrades, and these people all have their complex reasons why they cannot go with him.

For example Eiji, the central character of the first chapter, will tell Yu that he doesn't want to go on a wild-goose chase, but his reasons go deeper than that. Yu will try to unravel Eiji's secrets through what we call internally as "interrogation", in which Yu will have dialogue choices (unlocked through interaction with other characters) and items (whether picked up or received from other characters) at his disposal. Puzzles can come in various forms, one being the player is presented with a hacking puzzle - success means he will get information about Eiji, and a dialogue choice that is otherwise inaccessible will be unlocked.

These dialogue choices and every item Yu presents to Eiji will count towards either the "good" or "bad" (we try to make it not so clear cut) route/ending of the chapter. How each chapter concludes will have a bearing on the final ending, so the story can branch out quite a bit. :phoenix:

Phew! I was planning to write a concise response, but this happened. :redd:
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ktalkimist wrote:
Blizdi wrote:
Im confused... will there be AA-style contradiction puzzles, or Layton-esque puzzles


Will there be "cases" like "You stole food-tye" ones?

I need to know :P


The "cases" would be centered around the circumstances of the major character which the chapter focuses on. The player has to figure out how to recruit his former comrades, and these people all have their complex reasons why they cannot go with him.

For example Eiji, the central character of the first chapter, will tell Yu that he doesn't want to go on a wild-goose chase, but his reasons go deeper than that. Yu will try to unravel Eiji's secrets through what we call internally as "interrogation", in which Yu will have dialogue choices (unlocked through interaction with other characters) and items (whether picked up or received from other characters) at his disposal. Puzzles can come in various forms, one being the player is presented with a hacking puzzle - success means he will get information about Eiji, and a dialogue choice that is otherwise inaccessible will be unlocked.

These dialogue choices and every item Yu presents to Eiji will count towards either the "good" or "bad" (we try to make it not so clear cut) route/ending of the chapter. How each chapter concludes will have a bearing on the final ending, so the story can branch out quite a bit. :phoenix:

Phew! I was planning to write a concise response, but this happened. :redd:



God... I hope you put up walkthoughs... I'm too good for trying everything this game has to offer :larry:
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