Author Topic: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2  (Read 46055 times)

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Logo98

Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« on: December 27, 2011, 11:18:35 AM »
Hey guys, new poster here. I recently downloaded "To the Moon" and finished it last night. First I'd like to congratulate Kan and Freebird Games for developing such an excellent title. Next, I'd like to start a discussion on what everyone would like to see in Episode 2 if it ever sees a release. Feel free to post any thoughts/wishes you may have for a sequel in here. I'm warning those ahead of time that this discussion might include *SPOILERS!*

In my opinion, story wise, "To the Moon" is nearly flawless. Regardless of it's short length, the story was so tightly woven and well written that it was difficult not to be drawn in. Kudos to the writers for pacing the plot and the revelation of clues so expertly.

However, there is room for improvement. While the short length of the game did ensure the story was tightly woven and always impactful, I believe Episode Two could be more a little more ambitious and drawn out. Like many people I talked to, I sympathized with River in the game. One thing I especially disliked was being torn apart from Johnny's memories while hearing Neil and Eva call her problems "none of their business". Yes, I do understand that Neil and Eva are supposed to remain emotionally constant in contrast to ups-and-downs of John's memories. And whilst I understand that changing a persons memories is their 9-to-5 and they should  be the experts on their subject of work, there was actually sufficient reason to pay attention to those who John was close to. As they found out later, she was the real reason he wanted to go to the moon. Yes, the story is about John first and foremost. But, the developers could easily develop a strong and interesting group of supporting characters to complement Johnny and deepen the plot. Plus, it can further open the door for thought about whether Johnny's perception of people is different from who they really are.

Also, character development between Neil and Eva was somewhat.. lacking. Especially so because their banter was often very entertaining but lacked any growth. Though I once again understand that we are supposed to see them in their 9-to-5 jobs, I still think the writers were rather conservative with their reactions to Johnny's memories. There were times in the game where I *almost* felt as if they were impacted by Johnny's life, examples being: the time where they stayed in Johnny's memories despite the risk of being hurt by him going into shock, Neil's possible painkiller addiction, and of course Neil trying to stop Eva near the end from being legally correct but morally wrong. Though these moments were good, once they happened they were quickly tossed aside by Neil and Eva (except the ending, of course). That being said, there's ample room for more discussion and growth of their personal character in episode two. And, of course, more banter and random Dragonball Z references =) .

Gameplay wise, there isn't much to be said. In my opinion, either improve the puzzle elements, or get rid of them. While I didn't really mind the easy puzzle you were forced to solve in between each memory jump, I felt it was there much more to remind me I was playing a game rather than to challenge me at all. I think that exploration wise, more could be done in terms of interaction with your environment, choices you could make, and clues you can gather. More interaction between Johnny's memories and the real world could also help deepen the game and its characters (though not too much, as it would ruin the immersive nature of the game.) Also, I thought the menu where you could review clues and incidents was a nice touch; adding on the depth of that for Episode 2 would be interesting. All said, I don't think gameplay really mattered too much in what was, in my opinion, more of an interactive novel than a game.

Btw, I enjoyed "To the Moon" immensely. Easily a 9/10 or better game, and it also set up an opportunity for a sequel perfectly without really damaging the impact of Episode One. I hope to see a lot more from the characters Neil and Eva.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 09:16:37 PM by Logo98 »

Reives

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 03:27:41 PM »
Many thanks for the post, Logo! I've fully read and appreciate it. Also: this is an awesome idea for a thread! Mind if I sticky it?

Logo98

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2011, 09:13:31 PM »
I wouldn't mind at all, Reives. Thanks for reading through it!

Raxus

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Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 12:26:15 AM »
Stickied~ :seraismile:

People talk this up! It'd be sweet to hear what you all want!

Merlandese

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 12:32:52 AM »
More urban-ness, as strange as that sounds. I think the most interesting backdrop this type of game could have would be in a city. Though, that's easier said than done with the current graphics and engine.



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Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 12:59:58 AM »
Ooh. I second that. It'd be cool to see that done. Maybe a dichotomous environment! Be in the city (restricted, character feels anxious) and in the country (free, character is relaxed and at ease).

Crusism

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 04:19:35 AM »
I still can't believe Neil couldn't do anything when Eva did that during the end. Technician specialist. Meh. :platquack:

There could be more time between the observed patient/character and anyone/anything important to the patient which could help justify the ending of the patient/character.
The reason I sympathise River is because it was sad on her side during John's memories and John didn't even seem to try. I get the idea that Eva and Neil were rushing to complete his dream so I wasn't bothered until the end but it still felt like the memories surrounding after the marriage pictured John at his worst moments. Also, more time around that could've given more breathing time to the protagonists or even character growth.

It would be cool if the next story featured around controversial/sensitive issues, hardships or families.

It would be nice not to pixel hunt though I didn't really mind even if it was sticked with a great story. The gameplay could be ripped out but I would actually like something of an investigation game.

Highlighting interactive objects in the game and solving a puzzle that could come in many varieties would be great.

Seeing more detailed and different places would be cool. But the setting should be built based on the resources and the story. You can't place a brick if you can't even give yourself authorisation to start.

If it's going to still be based on the same concept, I don't expect to see lively places(other than the outside world) if the protagonists are going to pause the memory and continue. Though seeing how the world is outside and the characters taking a break would be refreshing. It would be really interesting to see where Neil's painkillers bring him. Though I can't expect to see Eva and Neil to ever be in intimate relationship though I doubt I ever want to, it would be nice if they become closer just as friends or a better interpersonal relationship.

Lastly, I believe they need coffee.

Yeah, that's all I can think of at the moment.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 05:20:17 AM by Crusism »

"In life, we do things. Some, we wish we had never done and some we wish we could replay a million times. They make us who we are and, in the end, they shape and detail us. If we were to reserve them, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So, just live. Make mistakes and have wonderful memories. But, never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and, most importantly, where you’re going."

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 06:59:55 AM »
I think it would be interesting if the patient was more aware of the process, maybe even taking part at times. This could potentially result in unwillingness to co-operate on the patient's part, like refusing to grant access to certain memories.

I guess it being a controlled environment where the doctors are always in control was kind of established already, though.

Mackes

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 06:56:46 PM »
Agreed with Steelheart. Its always nice to see a new kind of things to put into episode 2.
 
Development between Neil & Eva is always nice to see...   :kardiansmile:

Also the ability to configure the sound and visual appearance on the game would totally change the way people played... Just my suggestion though

Crusism

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 08:01:50 PM »
I'd really love the ability to replay memories casually like in Do You Remember My Lullaby. But only that scene and after we win the game.

Haha, display settings would be nice but I doubt it's possible.

Having a few mementoes in one memory to lead to several subsections of the memory to make it more detailed before proceeding further into an earlier memory.

The protagonists could be bothered by activists who can't stand their actions, making the game harder in a way.

"In life, we do things. Some, we wish we had never done and some we wish we could replay a million times. They make us who we are and, in the end, they shape and detail us. If we were to reserve them, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So, just live. Make mistakes and have wonderful memories. But, never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and, most importantly, where you’re going."

Merlandese

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 09:57:21 PM »
Having a few mementoes in one memory to lead to several subsections of the memory to make it more detailed before proceeding further into an earlier memory.

I agree with this. There should be memories that help develop the story of the character but are dead ends for actual progression, resulting in a tree of memories rather than a straight path.

I also think that all memories should be re-traceable like the rooms in a mansion, but, upon entering them, the events don't activate. Rather, the core of the events can be re-watched by touching the memento; this would allow for the gathering of more subtle clues in the cases of really in-depth mysteries, but would not include the doctors' initial reactions to the event (mostly to keep the events short and smooth). If nothing else, a written synopsis of each event in an area--as written by the doctors--would serve the same purpose, especially if they were sure to use the program to transcript the dialogue from the scenes (interjected with their written narrative of the actions).



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My original compositions on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Merlandese c:
--------

Reives

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 10:04:27 PM »
Yep, totally. That was actually what the first mock-up of the game was like, but I forgot why I took it out. It'll definitely add to it, and also act like a maze.

Logo98

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 10:26:20 PM »
Having a few mementoes in one memory to lead to several subsections of the memory to make it more detailed before proceeding further into an earlier memory.

The protagonists could be bothered by activists who can't stand their actions, making the game harder in a way.

I like both of these ideas. The placement of multiple mememtoes can provide room for added depth to both the patient's life and to the story of things/people he or she was close to. Rather than activists though, I'd like Neil and Eva to have some contact out of memory contact with this "boss" character they talked about after Neil crashed their company car. Could make for an interesting character and some more comic relief if done right. (Here's a start: he doesn't like cats or dogs, instead his favorite animal is the platypus =P)

Here's a random question for you, Kan. How do you feel about casting a female protagonist/patient to the story? I know you've probably considered it before, but do you feel it could become an actuality?

SenorKaffee

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 01:28:25 AM »
Actually I'm not sure we need to see more of the outside world. It's a lot of mapping work and it takes away from the mystery of the background. There is only the house and the woods, everything else is fabricated from memory and fantasy. It's a little bit like the world of The Matrix - in the first movie there is that one lonely ship and we're only told what we need to know. The human city of Zion is more a concept than an actual place.

I'd love to see another team working on the next case, so there is also room for a new story arc for the player characters. Maybe Eva and Neil could come in as second team later, when the main team is stuck.

Another whish - that's most likely never going to happen - a more modern engine. I love the look, but the lack of scaling options (x2, x4) and widescreen support is antique, not old-school. Any idea how to make Enterbrain update their toolset?

« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 01:32:25 AM by SenorKaffee »

Crusism

Re: Thoughts/Wishlist for Episode 2
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2011, 03:50:52 AM »
Just thought of something during lunch.

How about in some parts, the machine gets stucked(the technical section of the company screwed up or something) in reading a memory so everything stops moving. One of the two protagonists are forced to help progress the memory by controlling the patient's movements and interaction, or to unstuck it in a way where it seems reasonable that everything gets back on track.

Or even crazier! The machine goes crazy and instead reads the memories of one of the protagonists for a short time before going back to the patient. I don't doubt the experts who made this contraption, I'm just speculating that funny things happen.

When both protagonists split up, we can choose which one we want to control. For an example, during the part where Eva and Neil found out nothing was changing in the memories, we could get to see what the heck Neil was doing to prepare that extravagant presentation instead of following Eva to the cinema memory.

As the patient's life span gets lower, memories could become distorted and misplaced; getting harder for the machine to read. What would be done in response, either fixing it back or et cetera, is up to whether it should be gameplay or story.

The patient could be related with a protagonist without them knowing they signed up for it.

Yep, totally. That was actually what the first mock-up of the game was like, but I forgot why I took it out. It'll definitely add to it, and also act like a maze.

Though, not too much of a maze to frustrate people. I don't think everyone would like to pixel hunt.


Actually I'm not sure we need to see more of the outside world. It's a lot of mapping work and it takes away from the mystery of the background. There is only the house and the woods, everything else is fabricated from memory and fantasy. It's a little bit like the world of The Matrix - in the first movie there is that one lonely ship and we're only told what we need to know. The human city of Zion is more a concept than an actual place.

Good point.


I'd like Neil and Eva to have some contact out of memory contact with this "boss" character they talked about after Neil crashed their company car. Could make for an interesting character and some more comic relief if done right. (Here's a start: he doesn't like cats or dogs, instead his favorite animal is the platypus =P)

Here's a random question for you, Kan. How do you feel about casting a female protagonist/patient to the story? I know you've probably considered it before, but do you feel it could become an actuality?

Oh... I'd love the irony if that was the next game's trailer.
"Neil, I don't care about the cat you saved! Besides, I prefer platypuses!"
Probably should've written this line better but I'm a little drowsy now.

And I know Kan will most likely have a female patient eventually. The true question is which installment and when.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 08:49:51 AM by Crusism »

"In life, we do things. Some, we wish we had never done and some we wish we could replay a million times. They make us who we are and, in the end, they shape and detail us. If we were to reserve them, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. So, just live. Make mistakes and have wonderful memories. But, never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and, most importantly, where you’re going."

 


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