Ok, I know this has been a long time coming. I think I've started, scrapped, and restarted the sequel to my Secret of Daphne at least four times. I'm finally happy with how it is turning out and everything is slowly fleshing out and turning into a deep story line like I originally promised.
Anyways, the reason I'm posting is that I would love some constructive criticism on some of the functions and features of the original game so that I can improve or scrap them as I start to finish up the sequel. Basically, I just need to know what you did and didn't like about the way the first Secret of Daphne worked and I'd like to get opinions now while changes are easy to make concerning scripts and variables. So far I know for certain I am getting rid of the time variable, it is too easy to get loops with that script.
I would love any suggestions. Also if you have some questions that the first Daphne left you wondering about that you would like to see answered in the sequel's storyline, let me know in comments or PMs.
Hopefully I'll have it ready for beta testing and proof reading in the next couple of months.
Thanks in advance,
How's the military going?
^I don't think she's allowed to tell, you know, being a translator...
...or is she? O.o
Unless she's a secret officer, saying "It's going well" is perfectly fine, ha ha.
Heh I'm a crypto linguist and I can't go into details about what I'm doing or where I am stationed. But, yes everything is going very well. I really love my job now that I'm finally done with all the training xD. And even better I actually have some fairly routine free time now. Hopefully I can put that to use on this sequel.
SHE'S A SECRET OFFICER. EVERYTHING'S GOING FINE FOR HER!
The name's Bond... James Bond. Er I mean, who me? A secret officer? Pashaw!
Oh wow, you're back! (I realize you won't recognize me, but Aman showing me your game was really what brought me to the site. So thanks for that haha.)
Awh, I loved the time aspect of the game. I did notice the loopings though, so maybe it's not worth it. I dunno.
As a question, I may have missed this, but when did the PC and Blaire suddenly become friends? I know when we first met in that bus ride she seemed to dislike me. Then, a little while later, it says that she's the reason why you're somewhat happy in the town (because you're friends). Been a while since I read it, so I may have just forgotten something key.
Anyhow, really glad to hear that the sequel is underway.
Oh boy, I'm embarrassed to say that it's been so long since I wrote that part I am a bit hazy on what I was thinking when I wrote that in. Originally I was planning on a deeper, more fleshed out friendship between Lydia and Blaire. I had also wanted to use her in one of the endings, but I decided what I had written was a bit too... edgy and cut it out. Unfortunately I don't think I realized that I had accidently left a few small gaps in the plot when I cut the related pages out and so the parts with Blaire seem a bit frazzled in my opinion.
Pretty much, after I rewrote some of that part of the plot I left the start of their friendship a bit blank, planning on it being sort of a 'use your imagination' time lapse sort of deal. Looking back, I'm fighting the urge to go back and add some pages, but I'm afraid if I did that I'd end up changing way to much.
"You even get to know a few other kids your age. Blaire is your age and, although she might be a little uptight for your taste, you can't help but sort of like her. It did take several days of forced conversations on the bus ride to and from school, but you had finally made yourself a friend."
Oh wow, thanks! I knew I must have missed something.
Still, I hold by what I said earlier, it wasn't really explained thoroughly. Which is just as well, the story was great :D (And Sabley's reply makes sense)
Ah, I just got to a part where it looped.
One of the first things that happened right after I got to Daphne was "weeks pass" where blaire told me about the church, so I went there, then to the library. Then I spent a while exploring home, and suddenly I got the "weeks pass" page again and found myself repeating the church scene.
Yeah, with the way I'm doing the new one that looping issue should be eliminated completely. :)
I really liked the time passing, but it was (maybe intentionally) impossible to tell exactly when it was, or how much time I had left, or whether or not a given action was going to consume time.
That actually was done on purpose. :P
It was meant to add a little suspense, even if the player didn't realize it. I was hoping that not being able to predict the time variable would also keep people from just clicking through for the best ending and actually have to consider each playthrough and what they should do and when.
I said "maybe intentionally" :p
Knowing that there is a time constraint element, but not knowing when the actual deadline will fall was a good idea.
Not being certain if a given action had advanced the time or not made the game harder.
I want to consider what actions to do at what times, but the lack of time indication makes it nearly impossible to do so. The only frame of reference I have to go by is the order in which I did the actions. (Does that make sense?)
THE BELOVED WITCH WRITER IS BACK! SHE'S BACK!
Insert bawling here
Oh wow, hi guys xD. I wasn't even sure if anyone would remember me heh.
Nice to see you all again ^.^
Another question -- What's the premise of the sequel? I mean, there were a lot of endings to the first.
Well, I don't want to say too much because some of the plot is still in development obviously and nothing is concrete.
But, it's a completely different main character. Whereas in the original, the player is Lydia Snow, a teenage girl targeted by the cult, the sequel will have you playing as one one of the police detectives assigned to the case once the cult was exposed. The story is set four years after the original game and since the MC has experience with the original case, he is put back on it when reports of unusual activity start showing back up in Daphne.
All the characters from before, assuming you had a good enough ending to survive with your free will in tact, have moved on with their lives as far away from Daphne as possible. Although there will be cameos from these characters and plenty of information on them and what happened, it is in a sense a fresh start character wise.
Whereas in the original, I focused on the plot being that you, the MC, have to solve the mystery in order to save yourself and your family, the sequel is more the case of 'from the outside looking in'. In depth info about the cult, it's origins, and actions from a detective's point of view is what I'm going for this time around. You still have to solve the mystery, but the circumstances have changed. The cultists aren't just rural townsfolk giving in to the control of a demon to save themselves, it's people coming out from the woodworks to converge on the last known site where the demon was summoned and served. People who have dedicated their lives to serving in this cult. They are organized, smart, and very well hidden(plus a hell of a lot more dangerous). Just like in the last one, you will have increasingly frightening nightmares the more exposed you become, you'll experience increasingly heightened paranoia throughout the story, and eventually all of your choices will lead you to one of the 9 endings.
Obviously, this is all just the bare basics I have so far. The choices, variables, and some of the fine details of the plot are still being mulled over. That's the main reason I was wanting some criticisms. I want to know what people did and didn't like about the original so that I can make the sequel an even better(and more frightening) experience.
Sounds interesting ^_^
For some reason I really liked playing as a bitchy teenager though haha.
Yeah I won't lie, it was very fun to write from the point of view of that character in the original.
But, I'm hoping everyone will like the new MC. I'm working really hard to make him a very dynamic character that the player can get immersed with and really make him their own character during each play through.
I'm trying out a new script and variable system, which I originally wanted in the first game, but never got around to actually implementing(I didn't know half as much about scripting and variables back then as I do now). The variables and their corresponding scripts will track player choices in social situations with each NPC that will cause each interaction with that individual NPC unique based on your past conversations and displayed interests with them socially. I also have a scripted system set up that is loosely based on the Codex concept in the help files. Throughout the game NPCs will actively email the MC if a)you have met them and b)are on their good side. Of course, you can go the entire game without reading these correspondences, but you will miss a ton of information and interaction if you do.
So far, for every social choice the player makes in the game, I have nearly 6 variations of each page depending on how the player has scored in past interactions with the NPC. That number may go up or down as I continue through the story, but at the moment that is the average. So far, the unfinished game is only about half way complete and has more pages with nearly triple the amount of variables than I had in the original.
I'd love to offer my services for beta reading and testing, if it would be helpful.
I would really appreciate that when the time comes. I'm dyslexic and I'll need all the help I can get with grammar and typo fixing.
On that note, I've noticed a few mentions of being able to read people's storygames without them having checked for a sneak preview option. Right now, the entire game is in pieces so if someone tries to do that, I'll go ahead and apologize for it not all connected. Though I would prefer that nobody pull that until I set it up for sneak prevoew... >.>
Naw, Alexp fixed that bug recently. I think.
Oh good... I saw that in the forums a bit ago and thought 'oh no someone will ruin my plot twists' xD
Sorry for the late reply and ... really? I would not have guessed. Though I've met more than one talented writer with dyslexia, I've also met quite a few people who--if you'll pardon me--just do not have the same talent for working around it as you seem to have.
Well, would you prefer linking me to the story or adding me as a co-author briefly to go over it from inside? (I promise I wouldn't reveal anything to anyone, even with torture, and I wouldn't dream of tampering with an accomplished writer's work--no one here would ever forgive me. >.>)
Thank you, that actually makes me feel pretty good. I get pretty self conscious about it sometimes. It's more a matter of learning where my mistakes usually happen and checking them over and over to see if I'll catch something later on. I usually have to proof read each page about five separate times to catch all my mistakes. I frequently skip small words like 'the, an, as, ect', I also switch words or phrases that look or sound similar, like 'hear and here'. I have both audio and visual dyslexia so I literally don't see those mistakes without looking very hard, and I definitely don't hear them if I read it out loud to myself(though anytime I read out loud I typically sound like a kid just learning and still needs to stop and sound out words). If I get to talking to fast with someone I will usually start making the same mistakes in spoken language as I do when writing it. On a really bad day I may skip over entire parts of a sentence or put half of one sentence and then the end of the next sentence together (ex. Susie said she was seashell by the shore going selling). I haven't done any proof reading yet and I can guarantee that what I have written so far will look like gibberish.
Lets just say college algerbra was a nightmare... letters and numbers put together... yikes. E and 3 look the same to me when written down, so does 5 and R, M and V, 3 and B, 2, Z, and 7. I have to put a little dash in the stem of my 7 and Z to tell them apart from a 2 when I'm writing. And I can't read cursive writing at all, period. I can sit for hours trying to read a birthday card someone wrote a note and signed in cursive and not get more out of it than happy birthday. It all just looks like squiggle lines to me.
I'll make you a co-author when the time comes. It might be a few more weeks before I have enough content to justify taking your time to go through, but I also like to proof read everything at least once myself so that I can catch the worst of my mistakes. That way only the smaller errors will be left and you won't have to try and interpret what in the world I was trying to write when you find three sentences smashed into one.
Things I liked about the original Daphne:
Things I didn't like:
So the things I don't like are mainly little things that could probably just be sorted out with a little more polishing.
EDIT: Some of the earlier choices, such as clothing and who to sit next to in the bus, seem to have no consequences at all. I know they wouldn't exactly massively change the course of the plot, but it might be nice if it made some small difference.
Thank you so much, this list really helped me out.
Although I am going to run a playthrough of the original and make sure I didn't screw up some links on that ending you mentioned. A lot more than just the light from the phone should have effected it and it almost sounds like the 3rd version of that ending isn't even showing up, I may have to un-publish the game and make sure that is working correctly because it sounds like a script issue or perhaps I screwed up a variable with one of the choices toward the end and it is causing the scores to go to high up or to low on one link somewhere.
Also the the early choices you are talking about, while they don't affect any variables, they do give opportunities to either hear rumors/gossip about what is going on or give you a chance to read a diary entry that you wouldn't otherwise see. There are quite a few hidden areas that the diary item can be used to read entries that give some deeper insight. The only time I make the diary a mandatory use item is when it is critical to the plot that the player read it. All the other entries are sort of 'go places and see if you can use it' sort of deal. Also alot of these seemingly meaningless choices can lead to antagonist cameos, giving the MC to have a chance to later put two and two together on who did what in the past and present.
I've read some of the non-essential diary entries but I didn't realise there was so much depth behind all that. Looks like I might have to go back over the game.
There is a lot of stuff I hid in the game, the three different endings and their subsequent good, bad, neutral variations are based on how much evidence was found and how the player used the evidence to make their choices. I even have some stuff hidden in the items and even some directions for breaking the number code hiding inside what a lot of people seem to think is just a 'opps shouldn't have made that choice lets hit the back button so it doesn't waste my time for finding evidence' page.
Again though, when I made this game I was only just learning how to script and really take advantage of the advanced editor. BZ helped me alot with explaining how to write scripts for what I wanted to do in the game. Now I mostly understand how to do it all on my own or someone else has asked the question before so I don't have to bother anybody with my scripting questions. So it is pretty likely that the game has some script errors that aren't easily noticed. I'll have to do some playthroughs and write down what doesn't look right to me and possibly un publish for an update.
Ok I did some runthroughs and I think that the ending which involves Kyle Jenkins isn't bugged.
Because that ending is only triggered if you find less than the minimum amount of evidence and all the wrong choices, it's basically the default for if you don't qualify for the other 2 endings and their 6 variations. In order to get this ending, the player would have to go through the game without putting much or any effort into finding evidence and using it correctly. I actually had to play a few times to remember how little I actually needed to do to get this ending without getting my scores bumped up to the other two endings. It is supposed to be the least informative ending, which is probably why it seems a bit out of place, especially if you have played the game and gotten the other endings.
Without unpublishing the game and actually looking into the variables and scripts for it, my guess is that the diary score and non physical evidence score (2 hidden variables I use to determine the less obvious stuff affecting the endings) is what is making it seem like that ending doesn't allow a lot of wiggle room for the different variations. That ending is already running on minimum score requirements on the items found, physical evidence found, ect. that those two hidden variables pretty much are what seals the deal on the ending's variation the player will get.
Long story short, the variation of that ending you get is based off what you found that wasn't on any of the pages that you can't not encounter. Since the requirements for this ending are so low, if you find even a few more hidden items on top of the ones you can't miss you will get bumped up to one of the other two endings and their variations.
I'm about to check in on the other issue about story transition in the other ending now, hopefully I'll figure out what is going with that as well.
The storyline itself is about 1/3 of the way done. I'm planning/hoping to have it completed, beta tested, and ready to publish by/on Halloween day this year. It's already longer than the original Daphne is and much better scripted. The story line itself is linear, but the way the player approaches it, reacts to it, and how much they explore will make it change constantly. I feel like this will enrich the story itself, but will still have a huge amount of choices and possible outcomes to make it a real choose your own adventure.
At less than half way finished, Daphne II has double the amount of variables than the first one does. Thanks to this, I can script the game to track a huge number of factors that will essentially effect what text the player sees on most pages. I have an average of 3 versions of text per page thanks to the variables and scripting I can get done with them. Here's a breakdown of the types of variables I have so far and how they work.
Once again, this is an item heavy game just like the first Daphne. The player will have to explore everything and unlike the first one, most areas you visit in the game can only be visited once per play through. So it never hurts to test all the options before committing to one, you could miss a valuable piece of evidence. Unlike the original, there won't be "skill/ability" items like in the first one, I'll rely on variables to determine that. However, items can be used throughout the storygame for a variety of purposes. Some items might just be evidence, some might be potential weapons, and others may strengthen or weaken your ability to fight off the influence of the Daphne Cult.
Use of Page Scripts:
When I wrote the original Daphne I was still very new to scripting and story organization. Thankfully I had some great help in that department and since then have learned how to better script a game. Thanks to that, I'm much more comfortable and reliant on scripting in this storygame. I use a lot of the $PAGETEXT script variants now instead of having a different page for each version of an event like in the original. It has made the process of making the game worlds easier and better to organize. I'm also hoping it will help whoever wants to Beta test the game when the time comes. I'll also be scripting more puzzles in the future, like the numerology puzzle BZ helped me script in the first Daphne :)
Anyway, that's the update for now. As always, questions and suggestions are appreciated :)
This sounds really promising. ^_^
Hmm I thought I already commented on this, but I suppose I made that up in my head. Anyway welcome back Sabley I am glad to hear that you have regular free time to continue your work on this site. I haven't been this excited for a new game since Endmaster put out the last path for Eternal. I can't wait for The Secret of Daphne 2, and if you needed any play testers I would gladly lend a hand. Also is there any news on TSC? I would love to see that coming next.
Thank you! It's good to be back on regularly. There's not much to do on the base in my free time, so I pretty much just dedicate what time I have free to this site.
I have to say, I'm really flattered that so many people are excited about a game I'm working on. I haven't played the most recent addition to Eternal, but now I will definitely have to. I absolutely love that storygame and just about every other one Endmaster has written.
Anyway, after I finish Daphne 2(I gave myself a deadline of this Halloween), I plan to go back to work on The Street Children. I'll have to start over from scratch so that I can properly script and organize the game now that I actually know how, but I won't change any of the concepts. Hopefully I'll be able to give an estimate of how long it'll take me once I get to working on it again.
Don't get me wrong, I'm pumped for Daphne 2 and all, but if you don't ever finish Street Children, I will hunt you down, and I will kill you.
Yeah, I do plan to work on that after I finish Daphne 2. I'll have to basically start from scratch since I cringe every time I go to edit it. It is disorganized, has no scripting, and is... It makes me want to pull my hair out one strand at a time until I'm completely bald.
But, I do plan to do it. I'll just copy and past what I have written from the game into a word file on my laptop and start over from there. That way I don't lose any writing progress, but get to organize it and script it instead of... whatever in the wild blue yonder I was trying to do when I first started that game. The best way I can describe it is imagine someone who has ideas that require heavy scripting, but doesn't know how to script(at the time I wrote what I have I didn't even know how to script a basic page link) and instead uses all kinds of crazy jury rigged ways to make it happen despite not having any scripting.
Anyways here is the TLDR version of what I just said:
Yes, I will go back to work on the Street Children after I finish Daphne. So hopefully sometime after Halloween this year. I'm trying to request leave so I can go back home over the holidays or at least close to the holidays so at some point near the New Year, I'll have a good 3 or more days to really work on it :)
Ugh sorry for the extended absence. I've been very busy lately and haven't been able to get on and write.
Luckily I'm feeling a bit inspired, so hopefully I'll be able to keep the Halloween deadline. I'll update when I get the chance