Author Topic: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"  (Read 42819 times)

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Just Lance

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2010, 02:44:16 AM »
I must agree. This games is realy "kawaii" ^^
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Forgotten_Bard

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2010, 07:18:42 PM »
Oh weird, I came here to comment about Mirror Lied and I see another game that I helped test all of one week ago :P
Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
I am a bit confused with this...  The story is a little above par... Sadly I can predict most of it before it happens =S
The story is actually very good.  I'm helping Laura test some of the mid to end game material that hasn't been released yet and it's amazing.  I guarantee that you won't be able to predict the core parts of the story, which is basically what the first part of the game sets up so well.  I hope I'm not violating anything by saying this, but Aero and Liele's background will blow you away.    I actually enjoyed the first part of the game because the dialogue was so well-written; I think she nailed both the serious foreshadowing and the humor.  But anyways, that's just my two cents. 

And as other posters have mentioned, the music and graphics are fantastic!

many authors forge such claims but remember a solid story throughout is better than any surprise given to a flimsy start of a story.
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foxwatcher

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2010, 04:13:23 AM »
Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
many authors forge such claims but remember a solid story throughout is better than any surprise given to a flimsy start of a story.
Here's the thing, I don't think Melolune's story had a flimsy start at all, I thought the beginning was actually very good and here are some reasons why:  The dialogue was very well written, the quality being definitely above average.  The character development is smooth and natural, there is sufficient foreshadowing, and the pacing is good.  Additionally, I think there was a good mix of serious moments and humorous ones... neither detracts from the other.  The humor is subtle (the talking signs, the high-class zombie, the drag queen equipment vendor, all things that made me laugh because of how they were integrated).  The new intro (the one with the child talking in the beginning) was very well done.  It introduces Achaius' childhood world in such a way that asks a lot of questions and builds curiosity; the build up to the title screen was quite artistic and left me wondering how and why the protagonist ended up in this Leeble village.  The first couple hours felt very balanced and polished, and really pulled me into the story... I felt invested in the Leeble village by the time I left, I really wanted to know more about why Achaius was separated from his twin, I was excited to find out more about the characters.  These are all characteristics of good story writing, especially in the context of an rpg.

I don't think Laura intended for there to be any major revelations in the first hour or two of gameplay; she says on her website that Dominic is a former soldier, so it's not meant to be a huge surprise.  Andy's friend was only a minor twist which was more humorous than anything.  I can't think of too many rpgs that have major revelations in the first 1-2 hours of gameplay.  Although Quintessence has some surprising elements, it certainly doesn't have any major built-up plot twists in the first couple hours... that early part of the game is spent establishing the characters and their relationships.  The reason is because major revelations have a much bigger impact once the story and characters are firmly established and the player has invested a lot of time.  Saying that you predicted parts of the first hour or two of the story doesn't make the story "flimsy" or bad, because most good authors don't put major twists into their rpgs that early because it wouldn't be as effective (and in a lot of cases would feel contrived).  There will be light twists, and surprises that don't require much build... but in order to really be effective, a good twist requires investment and established character relationships first.  I think the first part of the game was very solid, I enjoyed it a lot which was why I wanted to test later parts of the game for her (so I could find out what happens, hehe ^^;).
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 05:26:37 AM by foxwatcher »

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2010, 07:44:36 AM »
foxwatcher has pointed out a lot of points that I truly agree with.

Lunarea

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2010, 12:07:36 PM »
Another thing that needs to be brought up here is Laura's intended audience. Laura is planning to share this game with people who may be very new to games - particularly the roleplaying genre. Some of her intended audience might also be younger. So, those of us who have played a ton of RPGs and those of us who aren't as young might find the story simple. That in itself doesn't make it bad. When you're used to an advanced game, something simple might be boring. Just keep that in mind when reviewing.

Also, every good game gives the player the opportunity to get used to the controls, the characters and the plot. This time is proportional to the time the player spends playing the game. So, if Laura's game is 10 hours long, it's not unreasonable to have that first hour be rather simple and slow to start. It's doing all the necessary setup (as foxwatcher noted: character introduction, controls, definitions and environment significant to the plot, etc) so that once the action does start, the player is more invested.

This isn't flimsy, it's normal. Books, movies and games follow the same formula. Laura just happened to release the demo of just that: the setup. So, yes, it will get better. And no, it doesn't make the story any less solid.

Legacyblade

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2010, 01:30:42 PM »
Forgotten Bard is a bit of a story snob, don't mind him. :P (I am too, but I only give my criticism when it's asked for). I haven't played the game yet, but I wish to know the battle system before I try it. I am a big hater of turn based battles (unless they're animated side view and look very pretty), so I'm hoping it's an ABS (or at least not the DBS). I couldn't find a description of the battle system, anyone able to enlighten me?

StrawberryFlower

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2010, 03:21:54 PM »
It's a side-view battle system. There aren't any pretty animations, though. :(

The game is cute and good, but the battle system was lacking. I'll play any battle system, but I was sad about the lack of animations (they just move forward, and BAM! enemy gets damaged). No one physically attacks.

Your comment about hating turned-based battle systems reminds me of Star... >.>

Legacyblade

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2010, 04:03:56 PM »
Ah ok. I might play it, but I just really don't like turn based battles (D&D is an exception, because it's a Tactical Battle System)

Forgotten_Bard

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2010, 06:01:03 PM »
Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
many authors forge such claims but remember a solid story throughout is better than any surprise given to a flimsy start of a story.
Here's the thing, I don't think Melolune's story had a flimsy start at all, I thought the beginning was actually very good and here are some reasons why:  The dialogue was very well written, the quality being definitely above average.  The character development is smooth and natural, there is sufficient foreshadowing, and the pacing is good.  Additionally, I think there was a good mix of serious moments and humorous ones... neither detracts from the other.  The humor is subtle (the talking signs, the high-class zombie, the drag queen equipment vendor, all things that made me laugh because of how they were integrated).  The new intro (the one with the child talking in the beginning) was very well done.  It introduces Achaius' childhood world in such a way that asks a lot of questions and builds curiosity; the build up to the title screen was quite artistic and left me wondering how and why the protagonist ended up in this Leeble village.  The first couple hours felt very balanced and polished, and really pulled me into the story... I felt invested in the Leeble village by the time I left, I really wanted to know more about why Achaius was separated from his twin, I was excited to find out more about the characters.  These are all characteristics of good story writing, especially in the context of an rpg.

I don't think Laura intended for there to be any major revelations in the first hour or two of gameplay; she says on her website that Dominic is a former soldier, so it's not meant to be a huge surprise.  Andy's friend was only a minor twist which was more humorous than anything.  I can't think of too many rpgs that have major revelations in the first 1-2 hours of gameplay.  Although Quintessence has some surprising elements, it certainly doesn't have any major built-up plot twists in the first couple hours... that early part of the game is spent establishing the characters and their relationships.  The reason is because major revelations have a much bigger impact once the story and characters are firmly established and the player has invested a lot of time.  Saying that you predicted parts of the first hour or two of the story doesn't make the story "flimsy" or bad, because most good authors don't put major twists into their rpgs that early because it wouldn't be as effective (and in a lot of cases would feel contrived).  There will be light twists, and surprises that don't require much build... but in order to really be effective, a good twist requires investment and established character relationships first.  I think the first part of the game was very solid, I enjoyed it a lot which was why I wanted to test later parts of the game for her (so I could find out what happens, hehe ^^;).

Look, you want 'flimsy'?

In the very beggining the parents say to the two boys, "We are going to the mine your older sister will look after you..."  right there screams the parents will die.  That ruined it for me cause one, I no longer felt the emotions but two, it is a generic and uneventful start for a game... sure it is hard to be original these days but they way the dialogue went was as strong as soggy paper. 

DOn't get me wrong there are wonderful bits in it but if the story isn't solid throughout many lose favoritism with it.  Also, the tragedy also instantly shows that *gasp* both boys have separate reactions to it, as we follow one that goes to Leeble village and, "surprise surprise", has forgotten about the power he has been trained in until *gasp* a voice suddenly reminds him at a point in time where someone is in danger.

If you aren't picking up the details of the story that sag the entire story might be the best thing on earth and the music is high but, unless intentionally hinted, such events should not be so predictable anyone can pick them out.  As the story goes on the story gets stronger, the fact Dominic was an ex soldier caught me slightly off guard (though i got the Circo attack unlocked right before this fact so it got me thinking...) The zombie bits were funny though I thought talking to the zombies was dry, over done humor that it could have done without.

The guys with the blue case, while id didn't suspect he worked for Hawk right off, I knew had some shady dealings considered he was quick to guard the case but then offered his services at the next turn.  I can blandly go and point out all these little faults in the story but I think I made my point and now I am just ranting.  Since it is a demo I can understand things being changed, and even if it doesn't I will still play this game for the music...

I'm just saying, for those rare breed of us out there, with a hollow beginning... Our heart is just not there in the game anymore...

So please... before you assault me with another wall of text let me say this.  I am not talking about how fancy or polished some things are, and I understand some of these details can't be fixed... My main upset was how at event changing times the story rang hollow.  Sure I think Quintessence even had a few that did that as well, but it kept its points covered, Intro, proceeding body, and I hope end.

Edit: I realize the target audience may be different but it should still hold some facts for those 'veterans' who want to check it out... I'm not saying go out blazing in a form like Quintessence but the story has to be solid throughout.  Without the little side bits to throw in and make it better.

Second Edit: (At Legacy)  If you don't give criticisms, unless asked then you are letting those that do certain works to possibly believe that everyone is okay... It is when faults and strengths are pointed out that the creator can go back and see what was done right or wrong, since in the end... when one woks on something for so long... they may become attached to it.  So I would like to say, before you push what I say out of mind consider that even some of the most childish games can have little bits that can snag anyone, only if you get them right.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 06:06:21 PM by Forgotten_Bard »
A letter, a word
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A book, a novel.
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They all mean so little when you can't take time to put your soul into the work.

Lunarea

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2010, 06:26:11 PM »
The whole point of foreshadowing is so the player will guess how things will turn out. As was mentioned, there are no major revelations in the beginning - or to be specific, there's nothing in the beginning that's supposed to shock or surprise the player. You're supposed to figure it all out. And there isn't a rule anywhere that there has to be a major shock from the get go.

Some games start you in the middle of action. They're exciting, they might even have surprising elements. Other games start slowly and save the surprises for later. There's nothing wrong with this approach. It's just different and valid - even if it isn't your favorite. Though I think this should be understood before things like plot strength is criticized.

foxwatcher

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2010, 07:53:09 PM »
Quote from: Lunarea
Some games start you in the middle of action. They're exciting, they might even have surprising elements. Other games start slowly and save the surprises for later. There's nothing wrong with this approach. It's just different and valid - even if it isn't your favorite. Though I think this should be understood before things like plot strength is criticized.

This is a very good point.

@Forgotten_Bard: I'm guessing from your explanation that you don't really have all too much experience with writing (especially not with game and or screenplay writing) because the examples you give of why the story is "flimsy" don't hold up at all and reveal nothing but your personal preference; they reflect nothing universal.

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
In the very beggining the parents say to the two boys, "We are going to the mine your older sister will look after you..."  right there screams the parents will die.

I can think of so many decent movies and games where there is a brief introduction that reveals a significant part of the protagonist's past in order to frame the rest of the story.  Often times it's obvious what is going to happen, which is good.  The subtle foreshadowing helps create the tense feeling that the characters might feel... many people have reported "sensing" something bad was going to happen before it did.  These types of introductions aren't meant to shock you or surpise you, they're just meant to give you a glimpse into the character's past.  Furthermore, this type of understanding and ability to predict the outcome is actually a writing technique; it creates a sense of familiarity and understanding.  If the introduction were too cryptic and gave nothing for the audience to grasp, they'd have a difficult time recalling the event later, which would preclude effectively executing the real twists and revelations. 

Any good writer understands this.

And rather than calling my posts "walls of text" you might try actually responding to what's written inside.  Merely calling my posts a "wall of text" is a cheap and immature way of getting out of a legitimate discussion... and this does nothing but further my belief that you have very limited writing experience.

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
The guys with the blue case, while id didn't suspect he worked for Hawk right off, I knew had some shady dealings considered he was quick to guard the case but then offered his services at the next turn.

I guess I should point out that you're actually completely wrong here.  The blue case has nothing to do with Andy being shady, and is related to something important that happens later in the story (my apologies to Laura if she doesn't want me revealing this).  And as I said earlier (if you had taken the time to read what I wrote you'd have seen this), knowing that Andy was tied to Hawk wasn't a huge twist, it was more humorous than anything.  Good stories often hide the real secrets underneath something else that's far more easy to figure out.

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
My main upset was how at event changing times the story rang hollow.

Can you please clarify this sentence, I'm not sure what you mean here.  The sentence is grammatically incorrect and doesn't make much sense.

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
I realize the target audience may be different but it should still hold some facts for those 'veterans' who want to check it out.

I believe that it does "hold some facts" (by which I can only assume you mean "have something in store for"... because "hold some facts" doesn't really make sense) for veteran players.  I'm in my 30s and I've been playing games since the Atari days; I loved the Final Fantasy series as well as many other old fashioned rpgs.  I'm definitely what you'd call a "veteran player" and I enjoyed the story just fine.  It's not an easy task creating a deep story that is light-hearted enough in the beginning to attract younger players, but has enough foreshadowing and character development to make veteran players curious about what happens next.  I can definitely come up with things she could improve to make the game itself better, but I would not call her story or its execution flimsy. 

One more thing to think about: When it comes to these types of rpgs, you can't just throw out plot twists and surprises with no build.  Rpgs are about creating player investment and gradual integration of the player into the virtual world.  The better established this is, the more effective the response will be later.  I don't think you seem to understand this, but it's good to know that there are others here who do.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 08:03:02 PM by foxwatcher »

Forgotten_Bard

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2010, 11:53:08 PM »

@Forgotten_Bard: I'm guessing from your explanation that you don't really have all too much experience with writing (especially not with game and or screenplay writing) because the examples you give of why the story is "flimsy" don't hold up at all and reveal nothing but your personal preference; they reflect nothing universal.


Look I have my own damn opinions and I will state my mind how I want but don't think you can assume you know my basis for writing by taking the negative view point.  If we just debated this out I would be fine.  But don't you Dare say my writing experience is sub-par.

I am just saying the intro didn't do it for me can we please leave it at that.

"My main upset was how at event changing times the story rang hollow."  Too flowery for you?  I'll put it in common words if you can't puzzle it out. "It was under my expectations and left a void in me."  Shall I explain void to you or is that word understandable?
A letter, a word
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A sentence, a paragraph
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A page, a story
...
A book, a novel.
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They all mean so little when you can't take time to put your soul into the work.

Legacyblade

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2010, 02:01:16 AM »
Actually bard knows a good deal about writing. I was just saying that if your audience really likes your story, then you don't have to change the story. That being said, taking Bard's advice into account in your own way could be a good idea, but just try not to take the harshness of his criticism to heart. It's the tenancy of us story snobs to be a bit scathing in our reviews.

foxwatcher

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2010, 03:48:39 AM »
@Forgotten_Bard: Impressive.  You've managed to once again fail to discuss any of the points I've brought up. 

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
If we just debated this out I would be fine.  But don't you Dare say my writing experience is sub-par.

I'm sorry, but writing a poem that wins a random contest with ambiguous publishing aspirations does not make you an experienced writer.  Do you have any other credentials?  Have you ever actually had any of your work published?  Have you ever made a living off of your writing?  Have you ever received any noteworthy awards (something that people would actually recognize, or something that holds water within professional writing circles)? 

Snobs usually have some credentials.  What are yours? 

And in all honesty you don't even seem to be able to "debate it out"... I've listed a number of reasons for my views, and you clearly don't seem interested in responding in a mature manner.  The first time you dismissed my post as a "wall of text"... and now you're just getting mad and again, surprise surprise, not responding to anything I've said.   

Quote from: Forgotten_Bard
"My main upset was how at event changing times the story rang hollow."  Too flowery for you?

Your statement wasn't flowery, it was just entirely incoherent.  Another reason I honestly doubt your writing experience... you have to be able to form coherent sentences in order to write.  Perhaps English isn't your first language, and that's fine... but keep in mind that your sarcasm is especially ludicrous given your apparent inability to form coherent sentences.

Now, if you'd like to have a mature discussion than by all means please address the points I've brought up in my earlier posts.  But if you're going to just get mad and act like a child, then I can't really do anything about that.  I've not only responded to everything you've said, but there have been a number of excellent points brought up that you've failed to address.  This one in particular:

Quote from: Lunarea
Some games start you in the middle of action. They're exciting, they might even have surprising elements. Other games start slowly and save the surprises for later. There's nothing wrong with this approach. It's just different and valid - even if it isn't your favorite. Though I think this should be understood before things like plot strength is criticized.


Now, if your personal opinion is that you didn't care for the intro, then that's your personal opinion.  Just keep in mind that your unfoundedly snobbish attitude does not make your opinion universally correct.  Can we at least agree on that?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:01:17 AM by foxwatcher »

Forgotten_Bard

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Re: Laura Shigihara's "Melolune"
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2010, 03:58:32 AM »
Unfortunately publishers don't publish works by unknowns but the fact that four of my works have made it that far and I have one best in show for short story in a few art festivals would be as far as I go... Alas I don't have age on my side since I am only 19 but I am still striving to push all 10 of my books to publishers and no I don't do fan fiction... Everything I do is for my own amusement or others, but apparently that isn't good enough for you.

So don't try to stick me with others and if you want to read some I would be happy to point you towards them as a few are saved on forums.

In the long run you can rip this post apart for your amusement but I'm done with this as you constantly keep pressuring me to go further into this and I won't be drawn in again.  I am sorry we got off on the wrong foot and the best of luck to you and the production of Melolune, as I will still play it when it comes out since the music was beautiful.

Edit: yes I know my opinion isn't universal and I am sorry if I made it sound like it is... what friends I have are mostly writers and text based role players so we always take the story to heart.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 04:01:11 AM by Forgotten_Bard »
A letter, a word
...
A sentence, a paragraph
...
A page, a story
...
A book, a novel.
...
They all mean so little when you can't take time to put your soul into the work.