A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

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masterspanker
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 8:34 am

A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by masterspanker » Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm

Fair warning, this is going to be long and all over the place.

Last time I played this game was some years ago, I was waiting some major improvements to arrive before I played again and arrive they did, but I wish I waited a little longer. (it seems some pretty cools updates coming our way sooner or later) But since I played it again I thought I would write a review of sorts (more like a few suggestions though) This review is based on the latest version of the game Steam offers at the time of this post.

To my surprise, game itself looks much much nicer. Lighting didn't improve as much as I would have liked, but textures of the house itself look much better and consistent. For a house party, house still seems a bit too empty. For example at one point in my game, the only person who was downstairs was Stephanie, who was dancing by herself like a weirdo. As I know a few more characters coming, it might not be as bad in the future. Leah for instance was a good addition in my opinion. Also, for a house party, there isn't many activities going on. There is not much else to do other than pranking people and seducing them. (only thing about the new textures that bother me, same ugly red painting(?) is both in the master bedroom and near the garage door. Please change the one near the garage door to something else, maybe a family picture would work better. And the mirror in the master bedroom is a fake. Not that it changes anything.)

Sometimes some characters go behind the house and just stare at the fence, like they are looking at something but there is absolutely nothing there. (which is weird) At first I thought there is a basement level accessed trough there (which would make sense and it would have been nice) but that just wasn't the case. They just get there and stand still for a very long time while staring at the fence like there is something there. (Just pointing it out, it might be something that maybe needs to be fixed is all)

I have a beef about how this game uses things you can usually pick up and use as static props at times. Absolutely worst example of that is the cabinet Frank is protecting. I tried to pick up the Natty Lite's there as I needed them, but when I noticed that they are not even interactable, I thought my save bugged out. Mostly because this sometimes happens even when it is supposed to be interactable. (After a while I noticed one of the Natty Lite's in the master bedroom, the one on the shelf, got stuck there and now you can't even select it. And it outright disappeared after a while.) I only figured out they were supposed to be static is when I started a new game and even now I am not so sure. Why on earth would you do that? It is just bad design. (a party could always use more beer anyway and some characters don't drink no matter what) Please either get rid of those static beer bottles or make them usable. It is just confusing the way they are now.

There are other inconsistencies that need to be addressed, but they are not as bad. Like every closet door in the house in interactable except the one near the front door downstairs and the one between two doors upstairs. It would be nice and consistent if those were usable as well. (even if they don't contain anything interesting. It is the exploration that counts) The closet in the master bedroom for example is packed, it is really full of stuff, but every other one is just empty. (Except the one in the laundry room, there is a single bottle there for some reason and while you would expect to see some detergent and other stuff there but they are just non-existent.) They wouldn't necessarily need to be packed with stuff like the one in the Madison's room, but you would expect something to be in them. I know the closet in the Ashley's room should have not clothes in it do to how the story goes, but should it be empty like that? There are no shoes, no safe, no other boxes of stuff? It just feels like no one lives in that room. Meanwhile there is a safe in the closet of the study room, but unlike the one in the master bedroom, it is just not interactable. (It would have been nice if that wasn't the case.)

While I complimented the new textures around the house, character faces in this game just creep me out a little. It is almost like they lack any discernible features. They are simply waaaay too smooth. I realize what you guys are going for but honestly it is not working. They look incredibly cartoony for what they are supposed to be. For a game like this, it would be the best if characters looked higher quality and more realistic. For example Frank looks like an android with flesh colored plastic skin. Most characters look like they are made out of plastic. Animations themselves are still really limited and they look a bit janky at times. When you try to grope someone your wrist bends in an unnatural way, when you are knocking boots with someone, it just doesn't align properly. There is no proper getting up animation. Characters just lie down and then they are suddenly up. Even then they bend in some pretty unnatural and weird ways.

Another issue is Frank and how he behaves. When you do something he doesn't like, he just knocks you out permanently. It is just game over. Which is ridiculous and just not the case with any other character. (he can knock out both Derek and Patrick, in fact several people can knock Patrick out and Derek and Patrick can knock out Frank, but only the player can't wake up afterwards.) Also, there is something you can do with Frank which is kind of game breaking. Once he tries to attack you, you can just run and lock him up in the bathroom and continue playing. Which is a clever enough solution, but Frank just doesn't give up. He keeps running and trying to attack you against the door, even though he can't really get out. Being locked up just doesn't register. I feel like this should have had a different outcome, if you lock him up, after a while he cools down and apologizes to come out and warns you this wont work a second time. (Lets just say maybe he can't handle being locked up, which would add another layer to his personality.) If you try to do it the second time, he just waits for you outside of the bathroom saying "you can't fool me for a second time as*hole".


And there are some pretty artificial/superficial limitations that come with the story. They are so obviously nonsensical that they are just incredibly annoying. And they often have other disadvantages as well, like shortening the game by a great amount. For instance Rachael is absolutely plagued with them. If you want to romance her, that means Vicky will not be in your game (oh, internet is down all of a sudden and no mobile internet, how convenient!), because you have no other way of bringing her to the party. (which is ridiculous, no alternate way to do anything whatsoever) If that meant just not being able to get with Vicky, that would have been fine (not really fine, because it seems Vicky wouldn't mind at all, but it would have been less annoying), but it also means all the content that comes with her, all the story, is just gone as well. One less person in a house that has already too few people.

This causes characters to behave really strangely at times. For example, if you ask Rachael for her phone number she yells at you saying "we are not friends" but she casually asks you to suck another character junk for her own benefit. Hell no. (there is absolutely no way you would ask this from someone even if you were friends, seriously) Meanwhile I could think 150 ways this could play out differently. (You have a fridge with ice in the house and you have motor oil in the garage. You could get those keys without anyone blowing anything.) Also, being forced to choice between Kathrine and Stephanie makes no sense whatsoever. In the game, if you go for Kathrine that means you wont be able to go for Stephanie and the reason for that is superficial at best. You need to spike the rum you gave to Kathrine, which blocks her path off, and opens the path for Stephanie, but you should be able to spike someone elses drink (It could be anyone really) and same outcome (quest) should happen for Stephanie. Why is it exclusive to Kathrine? Also, same thing applies for Britney. She only comes down if Stephanie takes her top off. But during the course of Amy's quest at least two characters (both Derek and Vicky) takes their tops off. But that doesn't register for Britney at all. Makes no sense.

Having more option to do things differently, option to act like a good person for a change would have been nice. For instance, there is a piece of content with Madison where you can encourage her to drop the act and act more like herself. I liked it. I really liked it because it was different. Another layer you can add to your character. As another example, you could add the option to bring two sisters together (at least help them to be on more friendly terms) after the pranking phase is completed. Or you could help Patrick to act more mature like. (When you give him booze, he sometimes speak like there is another layer to his character, like he is more intelligent than he seems, but you can't do anything about that.)

Speaking of pranks between sisters, some quests doesn't seem to lead anywhere. Madison really wanted her phone back, but after the prank, she doesn't ask for it anymore and you can't give her back. You can ask for a bj, but she asks you to demonstrate your commitment to her (game gives you a tip about this saying, a grudge or a gift) but there is no gift that you can give her and there is nothing left that you can do for her, I tried everything.

Lastly, Derek can take your pants from you during a quest related to Madison, but if he is knocked out, you can't loot it back from him. At least with Frank, if he is knocked out you can take back a few things from him. (though all the alcohol you give him will be conveniently missing) But even then for example you can't return the camera to Kathrine for extra points.

If you made it this far, you are awesome. I did a lot more to say, but I just can't write anymore. :D All this makes it sound like I didn't like the game, but don't get the wrong idea, I really did. I just think it could be much much better. Thank you for reading.
Last edited by masterspanker on Sun May 12, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

peter980
Posts: 724
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:50 am

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by peter980 » Sun May 12, 2019 5:16 pm

I'll respond by giving corrections to couple of things.
masterspanker wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm
This causes characters to behave really strangely at times. For example, if you ask Rachael for her phone number she yells at you saying "we are not friends" but she casually asks you to suck another character junk for her own benefit. Hell no. (there is absolutely no way you would ask this from someone even if you were friends, seriously) Meanwhile I could think 150 ways this could play out differently. (You have a fridge with ice in the house and you have motor oil in the garage. You could get those keys without anyone blowing anything.)
Actually, if you got up to this point in story, she would give you her phone, if asked (giving Thermos to her makes you friend).
masterspanker wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm
Also, same thing applies for Britney. She only comes down if Stephanie takes her top off. But during the course of Amy's quest at least two characters (both Derek and Amy) takes their tops off. But that doesn't register for Britney at all. Makes no sense.
The path when Amy get naked publicly is only obtainable after Brittney comes out of the study, so it does not apply.
As for Derek being topless that is in no way on same level as having girl going topless.
masterspanker wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm
Or you could help Patrick to act more mature like. (When you give him booze, he sometimes speak like there is another layer to his character, like he is more intelligent than he seems, but you can't do anything about that.)
You can, in fact do this. Just don't side with Rachael scheming against Patrick and help Patrick instead. You will get to that end.

masterspanker
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 8:34 am

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by masterspanker » Sun May 12, 2019 6:08 pm

peter980 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:16 pm
Actually, if you got up to this point in story, she would give you her phone, if asked (giving Thermos to her makes you friend).
I know. I was saying, she said that like 10 minutes ago, and yet she asks for you to blow another dude for her goal 10 minutes later. Her warming up to you and giving you her phone number just doesn't compare to what she is asking from you in any way. It is just jarring. You wouldn't even jokingly ask something like that from someone, even if that someone is your friend. Not to mention, like I said in my original post, there should have been another way.

peter980 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:16 pm
The path when Amy get naked publicly is only obtainable after Brittney comes out of the study, so it does not apply.
As for Derek being topless that is in no way on same level as having girl going topless.
You are right, while writing the original post that part about Britney's involvement just slipped my mind. But still, my original point stands. It is not like Britney is topless herself, she just thinks that her top is embarrassing. Having someone topless, even if it is a guy (which is arguably embarrassing as well, seeing how Derek initially doesn't want to do it.), should be enough. Because like she says, she just needs someone to draw the attention from her top, Derek taking his shirt of would do that well enough.

Not to mention, Vicky is topless all the time when she is in the hot tub. (and she is often in the hot tub) That doesn't register for Britney either. (I will edit the original post to replace Amy with Vicky)
peter980 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 5:16 pm
You can, in fact do this. Just don't side with Rachael scheming against Patrick and help Patrick instead. You will get to that end.
I did in fact do just that because I refused to help him in my previous playtrough and I wanted to see what would happen, yet he didn't act any differently at all. Now I am wondering if it is a bug on my end. I will start a new game and try this one again.

redwings16
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:52 pm

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by redwings16 » Sun May 12, 2019 11:34 pm

you can create your own story for this game by getting the csc and unity for free and create your own story the way you want it i've tried to do this myself but can't make heads or tails on how to do it i'm hoping they release some help videos soon i've tried viewing the old one but it doesn't really help me at all.

masterspanker
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 8:34 am

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by masterspanker » Mon May 13, 2019 5:06 am

redwings16 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:34 pm
you can create your own story for this game by getting the csc and unity for free and create your own story the way you want it i've tried to do this myself but can't make heads or tails on how to do it i'm hoping they release some help videos soon i've tried viewing the old one but it doesn't really help me at all.
I just suggested a few improvements here and there, certainly not enough to create a new story out of. What they do with it is entirely up to them, frankly I doubt they will even read it and to be fair, if I saw this wall of text, I am not sure if I would read it either. (Hopefully, they will reach the same conclusion and do these fixes themselves even if they don't read it) Not to mention, you can't do some of the things I stated with just a story editor.

If I created a story, it would be something new, something different. I wouldn't just edit someone elses story. I simply don't have the time.

erasmus
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by erasmus » Mon May 13, 2019 11:59 pm

There's no winning points with Katherine. She's all about ends and means, and the camera served its purpose :P . Other than completely subjective stuff or a few things that I think you missed (Frank can in fact give you booze back with some degree of randomness, plus what Peter980 called out), a lot of this is just a matter of scope and resources. To be clear, there are valid points here. Yeah, we are going to go through additional polish phases and will improve on existing story as we move forwards, so some of these items will be touched upon. We also plan to touch up animations and graphics prior to a final release.

However, it's a game, and speaking from both a technical and developmental standpoint, all games have their limits. Companies too; this is a business and we cannot focus on this product forever. So for all of those reasons, other items here may never be addressed, OR if they do get addressed, probably won't be addressed to the depth that some folks would like. That's where the other work we're putting into the HP CSC comes into play and, :crossing-fingers: sweet baby Frankus be with us, Steamworks or other modding options.

On the note of more things to do and the party being empty, we've been discussing that for some time. We do plan on finishing the mini-game system (although likely won't tie in "core" content to it), and bear in mind that three more (albeit optional) characters are pending.
Erasmus
Eek! Games LLC
Vice President, QA & UX

masterspanker
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 8:34 am

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by masterspanker » Tue May 14, 2019 5:55 am

First of all, thank you for replying :) I understand and it is not like I expected all of my suggestions to make it in. I just thought I would make a few suggestions while the game is still in early access (as I know it will be too late after that) I realize some of them could be a little silly and I might have missed a few things (when I looted Frank, he only had a camera and a condom on him, but now I realize that might be because it is random. And you can't even loot Derek, I really wanted my jeans back :D )

This game is already nice and fun, updating some of the graphic elements like you said would be lovely. Characters look a bit bland at the moment (like their faces missing shaders or something, their faces are waaay too smooth. Only face in the game with any level of detail is Derek for some reason. Frank's face on the other hand looks like a oversized newborn. :D ) but it is a fact that they look much better than 2 years ago and even without any updates on them, they are good enough. A mini-game system would be lovely as well. (It would certainly make the game feel more alive) But even without any of that, it is a good game.

I salute you.

erasmus
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: A Few Simple Suggestions to the Developers

Post by erasmus » Sun May 19, 2019 11:40 pm

The mini game/beer pong system is already mostly extended to take into account two players, but it needs more work before it's fully functional in stories. Also need to uh...move the table to make room for player 2 :P

I'm not the graphics expert on the team, but, I'll just say that graphics can be touchy. I know what you mean about...plastic-face. IMO I'm in love with sweet baby Frank :lol: We can tweak some things to bring out some additional fine details, play with various post-processing approaches and tech, try to decrease the downsides of changing graphics settings, but there's always a point that's hit where we start compromising optimization, introduce shaders or graphics features that run into issues with certain drivers or GPUs, or perhaps introduce a Unity add-on that causes problems for some folks. All I can say is we'll try our best to tweak and improve what we can prior to a full release.

Another big part of "how good are the graphics" is the context of the product. This may be a bit broader than what you were referring to, but, eh. This is a fully dynamic game developed in Unity (so, not "our own" core/base engine), started by one person, and now worked on by 5-6 people, with no cut scenes, no hard-locks/scenes that *aren't* initiated by the player, and everything has to recover in anywhere from a second or two to a fraction of a second, from any number of game events, emotes, transform modifiers, animations, etc. and be ready for any potential number of *follow-up* like events. This includes custom stories and all the possibilities they entail. So to make sure models, animations, etc. can do all that, in any permutation or location...we have to be careful with adjustments. And this isn't a blockbuster action game intended to compete with titles whose marketing budgets are an order of magnitude larger than all the revenue we've currently made...or will perhaps ever make. If the capacity to devastate people with the beauty of our game isn't going to be there due to certain constraints, there's no need to try to increase fidelity to the point where we start alienating those with lower-end systems or (and yeah this is a bit debatable) take our time away from things we KNOW we get more of an impact out of. It's all about tradeoffs. Not only that but the longer we take to finalize content and release the game, the more the art and graphics age when compared to other titles. Not that that's particularly relevant to the everyday observer, but it's relevant from a development standpoint.

All that being said, I think we can make everyone look as hot as Derek. Give em the D. ...D-treatment. You get it.
Erasmus
Eek! Games LLC
Vice President, QA & UX

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