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Whaddaya get when you blend obsolete Steampunk with Zelda, Secret of Mana, & Megaman?
An Action-RPG focused on exploration, deep puzzles, and a mystical story.
An Action-RPG focused on exploration, deep puzzles, and a mystical story.
5,909 backers pledged $242,309 to help bring this project to life.

New Year For You All, Same Kinda Day For Us!

Guest Illustration preview by Alex Ahad
Guest Illustration preview by Alex Ahad

WOOOO! It is 2014!!! We wish that everyone had a hyper-safe holiday season these past few weeks! We don't have a lot to share on today's update, but we'll give you a general rundown as to how things are progressing. A lot of text coming up!


Terrestrial Woods Layout
Terrestrial Woods Layout

We haven't made much progress since our last informational update in terms of content creation. Alan and Rob are still tweaking things in the game's design before moving on to creating art assets again. Design should never be taken lightly; the outcome of it can either make or break the game; it also leaves us mentally exhausted every day, although its very fun! (Though we'd prefer just making sprites and backgrounds in a perfect world.) We feel before we move on to getting back to creating animations and environmental assets, we want to make sure that everything is 100% solid so we're not forced to make changes later down the road. 

The issue here is that we can't just design one area, finish it and then move on to designing a new area, finish that, and rinse and repeat, as much as we'd like to. Since this kind of game has no "stages", we have to design on a broader scale and all elements of the world need to rely properly on each other. One error in design and it can break the whole flow of the game. The other issue is that we want to show stuff but can't relatively show much without spoiling it, since Cryamore is pretty story-driven. 

We're close to finishing and laying out each area, however. Once everything is throughly checked, we can get back to work and making the gameplay solid and visuals pretty. We're finally zeroing in on this, and we reckon that in about another week, we'll be finished with this phase of development and can finally start showcasing more actual fun things to whet your appetite again.

Programming Side of Things

The greatest news here is that we've figured a lot of the more complex problems out, and since Cryamore is a relatively huge game, that is what has taken up most of our time; figuring out the most proficient method(s) to making the rest of the game. A lot of what you've played in that GDC demo has been scrapped and reworked from the ground up, to be better. 

Cryamore utilizes what we call a "World Object Hierarchy", where each object in the game has its own unique ID. Our system can call to each of these IDs and can be manipulated via our other systems. It gives us a way to maintain the state of our scenes (rooms/areas in the game) and the world objects within them (What doors have been opened? How many monsters and what variations of them have been killed? What shop is open at this or that time? What switches have been pressed? What puzzles have been solved? etc.). We don't have to manage and keep track of an index of system checks ourselves for each different scenario, puzzle, item, and cutscene. Each object has its own ID we can just reference through any other system. If this is confusing, we apologize, but basically this just means that level, event, and content creation will be a breeze from here on out.

We also pulled an additional programmer, Felipe Ramos, to help out on the more lighter systems we still need to code in, like shops and AI (of which AI is his forte!) Welcome, Felipe! But as a whole, things are going smoothly in this area. We also can't champion Unity enough, as it has made a lot of things easy thus far and we're not looking anywhere else when it comes to game development. 

Gameplay Queries

We also want to get some input from our backers and our audience as a whole. If you can answer or give your thoughts to the following questions, we'd greatly appreciate it. It'll help give us further thought as we're finalizing this aspect of the game's development. 

  • Do you prefer to have a bit of control when it comes to directing your narrative or do you not care? How much do you weigh "choice"?
  • We're following a puzzle system to where a puzzle progresses the game indirectly (in the later parts of the game, as the second half of the game is completely non-linear). If you're stuck on a puzzle, you can leave and go to a different area, and come back and try again later. With that said, how frustrating do you find difficult puzzles? Does it turn you off from a game? Do you like the challenge? 
  • How meticulous are you when it comes to management? For example, we have our Fatigue system, Cryamore Currency Exchange system, and Ability (Learning and Organizing) system to manage, all at once. Do you find this overwhelming, or do you welcome it?

Please note that we do not cater to a general populous as we've set out to do what we've already lined out, but we do take these kinda viewpoints into account, and will help us make necessary changes to our game if the need arises! 

What's This?

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

Certainly something we can't say much on! We've posted this little tiny snippet on our dev blog a bit back, and we'll let you guys speculate as to what it could be. =)

With all that's said in this post, we're coming up close to a full year since we've launched our Kickstarter, and we're no where near to where we thought we'd be at this time. We call it ignorance, as we've never made a game of this scale before and our estimates were off. But alas, Ignorance is Bliss! We're not too worried about it since we still have a firm hold on everything! Things are finally going to pick up a constant speed, and as much as we'd like to hit the end of March for near-completion, it's probably not going to happen. We apologize in advance for those who were looking forward to the game's completion closing in around that time. However, as we move further along, you will continue to be in the know as always, and a lot more often than it has been now that things are speeding up!

We end this update with a new piece of music from Aivi!

Remember to follow our dev blog for more content and our Facebook, and continue to share the word! 

Another thing: we've been getting a literal storm of emails and messages from those who have found our Kickstarter late and would like to show their support for the game. Please know that we definitely would appreciate that you want to help out any way you can, but we're focused on the game and haven't found time to set up a method for you to contribute yet. But it will be up soon and we will definitely announce when you're able to preorder the game!

Again, here's to a great 2014! We're personally pretty excited ourselves over here. =)

-NostalgiCO Team


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    1. Bombastuss on

      Choice: I love choice. Even if it's really only perceived choice or something maybe only changes some small detail without any major impacts it still makes me more engaged in the game and it's world.

      Puzzles: I started to try and formulate my thoughts on them here but then I read what Andrew Ernster wrote and it pretty much fully sums up what I feel about them too.

      Management: Done well management is a lot of fun and generally something I will spend a lot of time on.

    2. churien on

      - Control/Choice: Anything's fine by me.
      - Puzzle: I love puzzles. As long as it doesn't make me sit at a spot trying to solve the problem for over 4 hours, I welcome the challenge.
      - Management: I don't know.

    3. Missing avatar

      Andrew Ernster on

      1. Choice is great if its effects are real and have meaning to the narrative. I like a story that feels like my own and I enjoy making tough choices and seeing how they play out. They can also add replay value by significantly changing the story. It seems like implementing a narrative with meaningful choices and divergent story lines would be a huge amount of work compared to a single, well-written, linear story, so if the option ends up being between some illusory choices and an awesome linear story, I'd go with the linear story. However, if you are willing and able to put the time into making an awesome story where the character's choice have drastic and meaningful affects that actually change the story, then I'd love that.

      2. if I have to travel from one part of the world to another to get a specific item and go back to solve a puzzle, I'll probably end up forgetting about the original puzzle and missing content. If you had good map markers and reminders and maybe some well-worded humorously derogatory hints, then I'd be perfectly happy with whatever you throw at me. If a hard puzzle is preventing me from progressing in the game, I'm equally likely to quit playing or look up things on the internet. If your game is awesome, I'm more likely to look up things on the internet, but that kind of defeats the original purpose of the puzzle.

      3.I like learning how systems work and how to maximize their parameters to fit my ideal play style. If you have reasons for your management and they make sense and I have some tools to help me figure out exactly what they do, I will enjoy them. If you barely explain them once and don't have good tooltips or stat changes that I can see, then I will find them frustrating and useless.

      Hope this helps and good luck in your endeavors!

    4. TheChosenOne on

      All of it depends on how much it is focussed or implented. Having choices options is great if it is done well and much attention is payed to it. Otherwise focus on the gameplay itself and just have a more rail/scripted kind of game which can be great or even work better.
      Same for management, which Dan below touches on well, clicking a button to recharge something every 2 minutes can be realistic on paper but is just downright annoying while playing.

    5. Missing avatar

      Dan Harms on

      1) Choice in the main storyline is detrimental to its own narrative and usually illusory. Each decision should blossom into its own set of consequences which, unless severely limited, is impossible to manage with consistent characterization. Artificial morality scales only compound the problem. They range from lawful stupid to mustache twirling villainy. Any chance for nuance is dashed right out of the gate. If you have a story to tell, then just tell it.

      On the other hand, that doesn't preclude you from expanding it. Optional areas and meaningful side quests are a great way paint a deeper and richer world. No one will remember that time they found ten wolf pelts, but I'd bet good money that everyone who played Chrono Trigger remembers the first time they stumbled into the chance to rescue Lucca's mother. These are the moments of discovery and decision we crave.

      2) There's a huge difference between difficult puzzles and obtuse puzzles. The former are wonderful. Stepping into a room, the player immediately can see something that drives them forward; a glowing gem just out of reach, a mechanism of mysterious import, runic tiles with a deeper meaning. Drop subtle environmental hints if certain abilities are needed. Let each step along the way indicate continued success. If the answer is there to be found, the player will revel when they finally do.

      Then there's the latter which is terrible; bomb every wall and burn every tree on the original Zelda map until you happen to get lucky, use fish with window to attract the never-before-seen pelican, wait two hours for the imperceptibly moving cloud to get within jumping range. These aren't puzzles. They're wastes of time. If there's no way to figure out the solution or work towards that solution, it shouldn't be in the game.

      3) Management without purpose is all stick and no carrot. It grabs you by the collar and yells "STOP HAVING FUN!" Hunger in Minecraft is by far the worst thing to happen to the game. Before you could spend hours building gigantic and elaborate structures. Now you can go for a while before being arbitrarily interrupted as long as you don't jump or run too much. The health regeneration in combat is by no means worth the aggravation of being stopped in your tracks at regular intervals. Needless to say, I have concerns about fatigue.

      Currency and abilities on the other hand can have many actual benefits to the player. You've got the chance for great profit and new paths depending on what cash and abilities you bring with you. Management should be all about new opportunities. Sometimes you have to choose what you're going to go for, but every option has the potential to be a boon. If one path doesn't work out, you can always head back to town and try a different option.

    6. Steve van Weelij on

      1) Breath of Fire 2 or Terranigma. Take those as an example and you would have what I love most.

    7. Banni Ibrahim on

      For the first question, I really am not a fan of the whole push to make games all feel like sandboxes and the word "linear" being thrown around as something negative. I feel linearity can help tell a better story. Of course, there is a difference between complete and total linearity to the point where the game basically forces you forward and abandon past areas as you advance, but I hate how every game is pushing to be like Skyrim and acting like a more linear design is a bad thing. Not that sandbox games are a abd thing either, but it dosen't fit every style of game, a game that does better if ti is more linear is a good thing personally. Don't be worried about making the game so open ended that it is more a sandbox than a story, some control is appreciated (I hate it when a game basically closes off or bars me from returning to past areas as I progress) but it shouldn't come at the expense of trying to go for a sandbox.

      As long as the puzzles aren't hidden to the point of you barely knowing they are puzzles, or provide no indication or hint whatsoever of what solving the puzzle did, I don't mind how hard they are. The only kinds of puzzels I hate are the incredibly obscure ones in some very oldschool (or oldschool-designed) games like La Mulana, where you literally have to stab a wall several times in one random area to open a door in a completely related area... and a million other such "puzzles". Puzzles that are too easy lave no sense of accomplishment when you solve them, its not so much how hard the puzzle is, but how obtuse and random it is (or rather, how it is NOT obtuse and random).

      I don't mind management too much, but I seem to have a higher tolerance for it. It's more if the management either constantly requires you to pause or otherwise delay the game all the time to work through it, or if its r4epetitive and tedious. The water and weapon breaking in the first Dark Cloud is a good example. While I didn't mind it too much, it was annoying that the water/thirst level essentially acted as a timer where you had to keep going into your inventory to drink water to refill it. Weapons breaking was also a huge pain because your characters themselves didn't really level up or gain abilities, they essentially were their weapon, and one mistake or not noticing your weapon's damage (especially since some enemies could practically break it instantly) and you are essentially reset to Level 1. Again, frustrating and tedious. Both of these were fixed in the sequel (Weapons breaking were temporarily weakened until you repaired them, instead of just disappearing, and the thirst thing was removed completely).

      Basically, its not so much about difficulty and management as it is about if its too obscure/random, frustrating to the player, or constantly breaks the flow of the game to repeat repetitive tasks.

      At least, that's my personal opinion on it, I'm not a game designer or anything, heh...

    8. Matthew on

      1) I'd prefer a single, strong story over having some narrative control. If you can ensure the optional choices also provide a strong story then the choice is only worthwhile if it affects the way the game plays or the ending.

      2) I do like difficult puzzles, I think it makes it more challenging and entertaining. I hope there won't be time limits placed on them as I like to think and solve it rather than be rushed. It would be good if the puzzles and solutions fit properly into the story so they do not feel contrived. i.e. if they don't fit into the story then take them out.

      3) I like managing my abilities but it will come down to the game interface. Keyboard shortcuts or quick links to each system would be very useful. Will there be mockups of each system so we can get an idea of how they are presented and managed?

    9. Missing avatar

      TC on

      * As nice as they are, I enjoy different story routes only if 3 things come of it, those being new Changes to locations (both new and old), viewpoints to characters, (both how they see you the in game character and we see them as the player) and endings, and quite the number of them as well so each time we start again we can look for even more in the game.

      * Professor Layton fan here, so give me the hardest puzzles you got!

      * This PURLEY depends if rare drops expands these gameplay mechanics. I know that sounds odd but I've run into games that do this, like if to decrease the speed the fatigue system reaches zero (or to increase the size of your stamina, whichever route your taking) and not in one of those temp boost ways, you'll need some item, dropped by a rare monster with a 0.005% chance you'll get it. I don't mind grinding but I don't want to spend forever working on that last ability if it's the item needed for it is so unreasonable. Other than that go nuts.

    10. Missing avatar

      Veronica Brodsky on

      o I like having a bit of control in narrative only if there is some weight to it. Else, there's not much point to it, and it's just better to have a strong narrative.
      o I am not a puzzle person at all. Nope. Screw puzzles. I'd rather not have them be completely mandatory, and if they are, not to have them be hard. You have no idea how frustrated they can make me. Uuuugh....bad memories...
      o Management... Um, it depends, honestly. If there's a lot to manage but the system is intuitive, I'm fine, but just gets messy. In my opinion, if you're worried about it, have it be tested by someone who's not familiar with games or the genre. If it's not too confusing, then good!

    11. Sally Rose on

      I like extremely hard puzzles the harder the better! make me work for it! im no brain dead simpleton.

      i love extremely complex and intricate systems to manage in games, i love the wonderful feeling of choice and responsibility they breed in me and the depth they can add.

      as for choice i love choice but its not make or break for me sometimes i just want a straight up dungeon crawl and i don't care about making my pc the pity princess in all the land who sleeps with the hottest guys. sometimes im fine just being Linkette and saving the day.

      skyrim vs zelda

    12. L B on

      I enjoy some high management to my character. Adds some customization to them.

      Alundra-level puzzles turn me off from a game. You have to make puzzles flow and make sense, and the tools should be there to help you. I think Link Between Worlds has had the best level of "puzzles that can be hard but will make sense once you know them" that I've experienced so far.

      Choice comes and goes, it really depends on what kind of impact it'll have.

    13. Missing avatar

      Sergio on

      Please put a lot of obscure, challenging, think-WAY-outside-the-box puzzles in the game. And by challenging I mean Alundra level puzzles at least, Water Temple is for sissies.

      I don't care if I get stuck, I never hold that against a game.

      Plenty of dumbed down streamlined focus tested games already out there, don't want to feel like I helped fund yet another one :P

    14. A_B on

      Q1)Do you prefer to have a bit of control when it comes to directing your narrative or do you not care? How much do you weigh "choice"?

      A1) Dialogue choices aren't absolutely necessary to me or anything, but I still enjoy them. The story is more important to me, but when a choice system is combined with a good story in just the right way that can be really fun. I really like the chaos vs lawful vs neutral alignment system in the Shin Megami Tensei series for one thing.

      But as for choice in general? Letting players leave a puzzle and try a different area like in the next question is a good example of "choices" I like. That's one of the better things about the robot masters in the mega man series is you can take a break and try a different one. And being able to explore a game's world is fun too.

      Sandbox type exploration as choice is fun too as long as there's enough conveyance about how to play the game.

      Q2) We're following a puzzle system to where a puzzle progresses the game indirectly (in the later parts of the game, as the second half of the game is completely non-linear). If you're stuck on a puzzle, you can leave and go to a different area, and come back and try again later. With that said, how frustrating do you find difficult puzzles? Does it turn you off from a game? Do you like the challenge?

      A2) I remember being completely stumped on a few riddles and puzzles in wild arms, and getting somewhat frustrated. As far as I remember I'd take a break if I got frustrated and try later.

      Nowadays we have the internet for that though haha.

      Q3) How meticulous are you when it comes to management? For example, we have our Fatigue system, Cryamore Currency Exchange system, and Ability (Learning and Organizing) system to manage, all at once. Do you find this overwhelming, or do you welcome it?

      I'm very meticulous about items and money in video games. I tend to hoard the best items thinking "but what if I need them later?".

      As for managing the different systems it all just depends. If the fatigue system is like the one in Brave Fencer Musashi, where you have to go through one or two day/night cycles before it effects you too badly. I would probably still enjoy the game fine. I wouldn't enjoy it if I had to return to town every 10 minutes though.

      As for ability/point systems I tend to get anxious about making the "right" choice when leveling up particular skills and such. So it's a nice touch when the game lets you "respec" and fix it if you made a mistake and got a skill you didn't end up needing. Although I don't really know how this one will work I do like seeing my character grow and get stronger.

      I don't think it would be the amount of systems that would overwhelm me though. It would be how simple vs complex they are that would affect that.

    15. Missing avatar

      Nubcakes on

      To follow up on complex management, if you look at melee damage in the MMO of Final Fantasy XI you'll find that it was pretty darn complex yet really fun to play around with. To keep it as simple as possible I am not going to bring equations into it.

      If your Job(class) focused on melee damage dealing there was 2 ways you did damage: Auto Attack hits and Weaponskill attacks. You can only use Weaponskills when you build up enough TP. TP is built through Auto Attack hits based on the speed(or delay) of the weapon equip. A faster weapon won't necessarily build TP faster because as Delay goes down(faster attacks) so does the amount of TP gained from each hit.

      Attack and STR are stats that effect Auto Attack damage and Weaponskill damage(Actually other stats are involved but I am trying to keep this simple!) Attack mostly influences Auto Attack where STR mostly influences Weaponskills.

      Accuracy and DEX are stats that effect the chances to hit with Auto Attacks and Weaponskills. DEX is around half as effective for increasing the chance to hit an enemy, but it also increases the chance for a critical hit on Auto Attack hits and some Weaponskills.

      Haste will speed up Auto Attacks but contribute no bonus damage. It will help generate TP faster which translates to more Weaponskills, but the Weaponskills won't be anymore powerful. Store-TP increases TP gained per Auto Attack hit, but nothing else. This obviously translates to more Weaponskills for the same number of Auto Attacks.

      Trying to balance everything above with what the game offered and finding what worked best for a given situation is what kept a good amount of people in FFXI for several years. What was ideal for one bossfight/scripted encounter was not necessarily good for everything else!

    16. Missing avatar

      Nubcakes on

      1) As others have said it depends on the impact of choices. I don't think its absolutely necessary to have game/story changing decisions, but it would be more enjoyable if a game like this offered minor choices where the story would split off for a quest or two and then converge back at the same point. Maybe try to make the branched quests come up at other points in the story if possible. I would give choice a 5 out of 10 on from "No importance" to "Extremely important" scale

      2) I do not find difficult puzzles frustrating. They may make me turn off the game for a day or two, but I will ultimate come back if the game has been mostly fun. I do enjoy the challenge of difficult puzzles. I like it when you actually get punished for screwing them up too!

      3) I can be very meticulous about managing things in a game if it feels like the details/items/stats/systems/ect I am managing have a noticeable effect on the game. I find the systems mentioned to be intriguing and I whole heartily welcome them. Understanding complex systems in a game and trying to exploit them for your own personal benefit is one of my favorite past times!

      I really like what I've been seeing so far. I cant help but feel that too many games these days are dumbed down for and simplified for a broader audience while the publishers try to say: "Oh we 'stream-lined' the game to make it more fun!" Complex systems in games that force you to think about how to play or plan things can make for a more engaging experience, but they will reduce your audience size

    17. Trevor Florence on

      1. It depends on the impact your choices make.
      Bad examples:
      * If the result of saying "No" to accepting a quest just results in the character asking again until you say "Yes".
      * Choosing different narrative paths results in the exact same fate for all the characters.
      In other words, either have choices and plan it in advance to the game to allow for multiple endings or scenarios or leave them out altogether.

      2. It's a bummer when a hard puzzle prevents you from progressing in the game. I don't have a lot of hours and hours to play games but if I have to turn to a Walkthrough to make progress, I don't enjoy the game as much. Hard puzzles are good but hints should be discoverable after encountering the puzzle (for example, a ruin, picture, or sign could give a hint in a semi-hidden area discovered after the puzzle).

      3. Fatigue systems can get kind of old and don't do much to improve the fun-factor of a game IMHO. Annoying example: Skyward Sword. Multiple systems are fine as long as they don't take too much babysitting.

    18. Missing avatar

      Lukas Daniel Klausner

      1.) I'm a bit of a completionist, so *too* many game-changing choices are actually a bit of a hassle for me (forcing me to save-reload a lot to see all there is to see). Additional content that can be unlocked by fulfilling certain things is more appealing to me than branching out too much.

      2.) Puzzles should be hard on occasion, yeah. :)

      3.) A bit of management is okay, as long as it doesn't distract from the narrative experience of the story too much.

    19. Missing avatar

      J on

      I fully expected a delay. In all the projects I've backed and/or followed, every single one of them has vastly underestimated the amount of time it takes to pull everything together. Anyway...

      -Choices in the narrative only matter to me when a) they're worth taking, and aren't generic responses, and b) in the case of a character that has their own personality and isn't a stand-in for the player, are possible choices they, within their own personality, would possibly take.

      -Challenge in puzzles is good, but balancing them to be appropriately challenging and not frustrating is an incredibly fine line to walk. I've always favored especially hard puzzles for post-game areas, or optional areas in dungeons where you can get a small but non-essential bonus for your efforts. Also, another possibility would be to have puzzles have a second, more difficult solution that nets a bonus of some kind, ala Lufia II.

      -As long as all the systems can mesh together well and flow well, such that the gameplay isn't constantly interrupted, I say, bring on the complexity. A good (but difficult) way to handle it would be to allow players to be able to get by without using the more complex systems, but using them would give a player a significant edge.

    20. Missing avatar

      Paul D'Elia on

      Being able to have a protagonist that can be influenced to your own liking is fun, I really enjoyed the freedom you had in a game like Steambot Chronicles. But I think it would take too many resources and too much effort to have enough content to allow everyone to have their own unique version of Esmy.

      Also puzzles are awesome and being OCD about game systems is the best.

    21. AbandonedRocketship on

      Good luck, all! Glad ya'll seem to be enjoying the work--we'll surely enjoy the fruit of that work whenever it's ready.

      1) I don't care a bit about choice. It's your guys' effort and story here, and that's what I'm interested in experiencing. If I wanted to impact a story in some big way, I would go and play D&D or write my own. The only choices in a game that have ever felt meaningful to me are the choices at the end of Bastion. In everything else I've ever played, the choices felt meaningless-- boring, or split between two extremes that make the choices feel disconnected from how someone would realistically act.

      2) I love a good puzzle, and a challenging one is always welcome!

      3) Sounds fine by me!

    22. Karashata on

      First off, that track is awesome! This game's soundtrack is going to be sweet... (I really do like a good game soundtrack!)

      Second, to answer your questions:

      - I do like a little bit of choice when it comes to narrative, like dialog options that get different responses or reactions from people you're talking to but don't ultimately affect the overall plot. This could be obvious things like NPCs asking you a question and giving you a different reaction based on your response, or during the story, where you're presented options that might get a different reaction or response from people but don't ultimately change the core of the conversation.

      I don't really like multiple endings based on choices I might make throughout the game, but bonus endings for things like collecting every collectible item in the game or finding a super-secret hidden item or something can be somewhat enjoyable, since they don't ultimately affect the core gameplay

      - I don't mind a challenging puzzle once in a while, but they can't be too complicated if they're integral to making progress through the game, otherwise if can become frustrating when one is stuck on one and can't make any further progress until it's completed. (However, if it's a puzzle hiding a secret area or item that's not integral to the plot or advancing the story, then go ahead and make it tough, since it'll just be all the more rewarding once it's finally solved, just remember to make sure to balance the reward to the challenge.)

      - I can't say I'm a fan of management systems for the sake of management systems, but if they're done right and explained well, and fit properly with the rest of the game's mechanics, then I suppose I might be alright. What you've mentioned in the update doesn't seem like it would be too complicated to keep up with.

      All in all this is a good update.

    23. Shazam on

      1. choice can be cool but isn't necessary....2. puzzles can be hard but give the option to have hints for some of us simple minded folk....3. i welcome management as long as it doesn't become too tedious

    24. Kevin Griffin on

      Personally, I've never cared about choice-and-consequences as a game mechanic. I actually get turned off by how popular it's become amongst Kickstarter games, and I suspect that many of them only add it in based on the false pretense that it's what all gamers want right now. Or, of course , to add more replay value to the game, but for me, getting different endings based on my in-game choices actually takes away from the replayability of a game. Then whenever I replay the game, my entire goal is just to get the different endings, and all my choices simply become about that, and not about having fun again and playing the way I want to play. It adds the doubt of "what if I made the wrong choice," and although that sentiment can be profound, it's not what I look for when playing a video game.

      A minimalist approach to branching paths is fine, say if the player has to choose one of two paths through the same dungeon, which both lead to the same place, but with different sights/puzzles along the way. Or choose between one of two treasure chests for a secret item, and you can't get the other one. Or even different dialogue conversations for doing the dungeons in different orders, but which don't change the larger story.

      As for multiple endings, I'm generally not a fan, but I do enjoy getting multiple BONUS endings based on how much I completed in the game. That makes me want to unlock as many secrets as possible on subsequent playthroughs.

      So yeah, a minimalist approach to branching paths. Having none would be more preferable to me than having it be a core mechanic.

      (Love you guys <3)

    25. Nathan Topousis on

      Do you prefer to have a bit of control when it comes to directing your narrative or do you not care? How much do you weigh "choice"? -
      If the game is built around it, then I like having my decisions change the narrative. If it's just added on, or only changes the ending, then it always feels pointless or forced.

      We're following a puzzle system to where a puzzle progresses the game indirectly (in the later parts of the game, as the second half of the game is completely non-linear). If you're stuck on a puzzle, you can leave and go to a different area, and come back and try again later. With that said, how frustrating do you find difficult puzzles? Does it turn you off from a game? Do you like the challenge? -
      This is a weird gray area. I enjoy difficult puzzles, but make it too difficult, and it destroys all enjoyment of the game.

      How meticulous are you when it comes to management? For example, we have our Fatigue system, Cryamore Currency Exchange system, and Ability (Learning and Organizing) system to manage, all at once. Do you find this overwhelming, or do you welcome it? -
      I've played so many games, especially RPGs, that this feels a little light in comparison to a lot of games. I'd welcome much more management, but as it is now is great too.

    26. Missing avatar

      Erin on

      1) Choice. I'm not really a fan of having the story controlled by choice. Mostly because I don't really have the time to re-play a game a half dozen times to follow all the "paths." The date scene in FF7 is probably the absolute worst kind of "choice" in a game. Its significantly far into the game, affected by many many actions performed before it, with no indication of what action does what and the only way to see the other branches is to start from the very beginning and play through to that point again. You can't even save scum it because the choices affecting the scenario start almost from the beginning of the game. Its only saving grace is that the choice of date scene has no larger consequences to the story. Lets just say this sort of "choice" is not only annoying but also irrelevant in the age of the internet where everyone will just look it up on Google or Youtube if they care enough.

      "Real" choice is, in my opinion, only a good thing if it can either be changed (possibly not until the post-game for example) or has some way to try alternate paths short of starting from zero and pre-planning your entire game play (which almost certain will require following a guide unless you're one of those absolutely meticulous people who make the guides.)

      FF13-2 has done this the best so far (of the games I've seen that is!) The game was broken out into relatively small scenarios and each scenario could be replayed individually, allowing you to try varying choice patterns with only minimal effort. Kind of like a NewGame+ but without having to start from absolute zero.

      For an alternate viewpoint on choice, consider visual novels. These "games" are essentially choose your own adventure books turned into a computer program. If you compare a modern one to one from say 10 or 15 years ago there's two UI features that really stand out. First is the autoscroll. What that one does is let you skip through all scenes you've already viewed up until the next choice prompt. The second is that the choice prompts change colors for choices you've previously viewed. Combining those two and your player can fairly quickly and easily find and view any scenes they've missed (its still not perfect of course.. if there's a scene that's 47 choices down and only appears on a single path through all of those choices, its still going to be hard to find! But its a hell of a lot better than the old style of having to manually record every choice you made with pen and paper in order to get 100% completion.)

      Anyway the point of the VN ramble is that they, a medium built on choice, has recognized the impact of choice on replay. That is, people don't really want to have to replay 90% of the game just because they missed a single scene. Its much better if I decide to replay the game because its good than because I feel I _have_ to in order to satisfy some arbitrary completion requirement.

      2) Puzzles are great. Main story puzzles should be fairly solvable. Yes I realize that equates to "easy" for the puzzle masters out there but even the least of us should be able to progress the game without having to tab over to GameFAQs.

      Side quest puzzles are completely free. They can be as easy or challenging as you feel like designing really. The nature of a side quest is that it doesn't have to be completed if you can't figure it out. There's one important caveat though: I'm referring to side quests more in the old school FF sense where its just stuff in the world that you can do if you happen to know its there with perhaps the odd vague hint from an NPC dropped here and there. This is in opposition to something like a quest board where they're thrown in your face. It gives a feeling that you "have" to do it, even if you don't. If you do have something like a quest board for optional quests, they should be significantly easier than the random discovery type side missions. Basically the more in-your-face the quest, the easier it should be. Unavoidable main story quests the easiest while the most well hidden quests should be where the challenging ones reside.

      Of course this question was about puzzles specifically but the same concept applies to any quest (and a well designed boss encounter can be pretty much a puzzle in itself, having to figure out what gear, consumables and strategy work best to defeat it.)

      3) Managing distinct systems is fine. There's no real mental overlap between knowing how to craft items and how to select battle options (or whatever.) When the systems collide though is where things can go awry. For example if you have a general "skill" point system where you have to choose whether to assign each point to crafting, combat, magic, juggling, banana peeling and seven other things you can often find yourself in a situation where you end up assigning it to whatever you've been using recently even if one of the other systems could use it more just because you've forgotten that you were planning to do that when you got that point. This is especially relevant if the available skill points (or money or whatever other shared currency) are limited and non-refundable (bringing the choice of skill point assignment up into my discussion of #1 to some degree.)

      For an example of a bad set of interacting systems, think of FF8's junction system. Your optimal play style ended up being never using magic because using magic decreased your combat ability (again, especially for the end game quantity-limited spells.) That was a completely broken interaction between the stat system and the magic system.

      The card game in FF8 had both a good and bad example. On the good side, you could choose to turn your enemies into cards instead of killing them. This had benefits both to your card game and the main game (carding an item gave zero experience allowing you to game FF8's scaling-level system if you knew what you were doing.)

      On the bad side, you could also break down the cards into various items. On the surface that sounds fine but again it hits that limited quantity issue -- the only cards that gave useful items were for the most part your best cards and were also not re-obtainable. Who would ever want to do that? The main game wasn't difficult enough that you NEEDED those items so why throw away something you couldn't ever get back?

      So cards/leveling -> good interaction. Cards/items -> bad (or at least useless) interaction.

      Regarding the three specific systems you mentioned.. I'm going to have to take a bit of a guess what they'll actually do but:
      - Fatigue. Of course, I haven't seen how its implemented.. but from the little bit I recall of its mention, it sounds to me like its only purpose is to force you to go back to town every few minutes. If that's the extent of it, then all it will end up being is a frustrating interruption of play regardless of anything else.

      CCE.. this one is the least transparent as to its purpose based just on its name.. so I don't have much to say about it at this point.

      Abilities/learning. Some form of ability increase is almost a necessity in an RPG (its an "action/adventure" if there's little or no power gain from start to finish.. or something like that.) I personally like the little rush of leveling up and seeing what my stat gains are and getting new cool abilities and so forth. On the other hand, the sort of "learning" that comes about by having to scour the land and put hours into grinding out a pattern/recipe that you've usually out-leveled by the time you finally get it is just annoying (WoW used to be bad for this prior to the Cataclysm revamp -- almost all quest reward gear you obtained was around 5 levels lower than your character by the time you were sufficiently powerful enough to complete the quest.. probably a failed attempt to force socializing/grouping..)

    27. Christian on

      I think choice is more important in Western RPGs than in JRPGs. Don't do it just because everybody's currently all into "choice and consequence". If you had some vision involving this all along, by all means, do it. If you feel you somehow have to cram it into the game because people want it, please don't.

    28. Blitztavia on

      -Depends. If there is an entire set of new dialogue or alterations in gameplay relating to your choices then hell yes, but options with no effect or one altered line of dialogue just don't seem to be worth it.

      -I would love to see challenging puzzles.

      -Sounds great, I do welcome it

    29. Missing avatar

      Jeff Dishman on

      Thanks for the update!

      1) regarding control of narrative via choice:
      This can be really fantastic when done well, but also awful when done poorly. I think it depends on a couple factors:
      - How far-reaching are the consequences of the choices?
      - Making a choice when I haven't been given a good idea of the consequences really annoys me if it means that I miss out on something with nothing in return (for example, missing out on a bonus scene in the ending when I couldn't have known that the decision I was making was going to give me absolutely nothing). Make the decisions equally rewarding if they are going to affect the story. The last thing you want is people regretting the decisions they made because there was a "better" choice.
      - How much additional work is it going to create for you guys to add in these choices?
      - One pitfall I see with choices that affect the narrative is that it can lead to branching storylines that don't work well, or being super inconsequential because (I assume) that the developer didn't take into account the extra work they were creating for themselves. I'd rather have you guys create a super solid narrative rather than one where I have choice but is crippled as a result.

      I like when there is choice in side quests because it can be rather self-contained (not drastically changing the entire plot), but still feel some agency. The reward for the side quest can then be different depending on the choice made, and/or be reflected with a tiny scene during the ending or something.

      2) Puzzles:
      I love some good challenging puzzles, as well as some easy to medium ones mixed in there. I understand though that not everyone likes having challenging puzzles if it then feels like it's gating an important section of the game. One thing that would be really cool (and I wish more games did this) would be to leverage NPCs in towns to offer hints and clues on puzzles that have been encountered. Doing that (or something like it) would allow those that have difficulty with the puzzles to have a way to solve them and still maintain the challenge for the players who want it.

      3) As long as the management isn't tedious, it's fine. I would recommend having a way to default or automate the management for people that don't want to tweak things themselves (recommended settings, or something like that).

    30. Ian on

      I only like having control over the story if the choices offered are interesting.
      Cryamore's nonlinearity will greatly increase my tolerance for difficult puzzles. Because like you said, I "can leave and go to a different area, and come back and try again later."
      There are some things I like managing and some things I don't. The number of systems is not particularly relevant.

    31. Erik Hedqvist on

      1. I prefer a story that is well made, whether interactive or set in stone. If you think interactivity would get in the way of the story you want to tell, then don't include it. If you think it would make the story better, then do include it.
      I would like to see you choose whichever gets you closer to the story you want to tell, because I like both styles as long as the story itself is made better by the design choice.

      2. It's very hard to say where the line between "challenging" and "too hard" goes. But I like a challenge.
      Logic puzzles are usually pretty ok, as long as you don't get to the point of old school point-n-click logic where "use everything on everything" was the only way to progress because there was literally no logical connection between puzzle and solution.
      Physical puzzles (running, jumping and so on)... Well, it depends on why the puzzle is hard.
      A hard puzzle is fun when it's only your own skill holding you back. When strange camera angles and unresponsive controls cause you to fail for the umpteenth time the puzzle is no longer a challenge, it's just a chore.
      Of course I don't see that being too much of a problem in Cryamore, so as long as it doesn't come down to pixel perfection and hundreds of a second timing I don't think there'll be any problems.

      3. I've played Dwarf Fortress for years. Nuff said. ;)

    32. NostalgiCO Creator on

      @Everyone: Thanks for your thoughts thus far! For others reading: Keep giving your thoughts! We like to hear these kinda things; they're helping us out a lot, believe it or not.

      @Will: Totally agree. The narrative in Cryamore is still going to be pretty direct, and that's something that we're not changing at all in the long run. You are definitely playing as Esmy, and it's kinda seen as a "guiding her along" kinda thing in the game, even more so than guiding Link along, for instance. We have no plans to have a major plot-altering choice to force the player to make (like what you've specified, picking which character to please, or good/evil). But we will have little hints/in-depth things like you've mentioned that expound on the game's characters through extra events/dialogue structures. We don't want to arrest the player when they miss certain events, but would like to throw in little extras that gives a hint of a character if explored in-depth.

      @Leewelo: Yeah, we can definitely understand your statements regarding Secret of Evermore. The whole utilizing ingredients to be able to use abilities constantly were a little too much. We can assure you that CCE is nothing like that. We'd say to just expect it to be like collecting multiple different kinds of rupees and then being able to do different things with the various 'kinds of rupees'.

      @Andreas: Yeah, we're totally not with the idea of "empty choices", as in, making alternate choices that have little to do with the flow of the story other than a different dialogue exchange.

      Overall, we think we're leaning on 'gameplay choice' over 'narrative choice' in Cryamore.

      @Alex the Gamer: You're in luck with that! (re:puzzles) We're trying to cover a wide range of puzzle types, but yes, it's really hard to find that balance! That's kinda exactly the kinda thing we were struggling with as we're talking about in this update, lol.

      @Tirithek: YES on Lufia 2. Lufia 2's puzzles primarily followed logic, and we can recall being stumped forEVER on the later puzzles in the game, but that sense of reward and accomplishment once figured out is like no other. We want to hit that harmony.

      @David Q.: Yes, when the non-linear section of the game comes around, you'd have 4 places to choose to go from, and quite the amount of abilities (and the foreknowledge to know how to figure things out at that point). So it'll pretty much the "playground" section of the game, and you'd still have things to learn and find when that time comes around. We'll provide thoughtful hints at that time too; it's not going to be as hardcore as Zelda 1 where you're just thrown into things without a sense of direction.

    33. Missing avatar

      bucen on

      1) Do you prefer to have a bit of control when it comes to directing your narrative or do you not care? How much do you weigh "choice"?
      I don't mind a linear story. If you through in some sidestories here and there a la Chrono Trigger or Zelda, that's great, but I don't need to have full freedom in the story, as long as it is a captivating story.

      2) We're following a puzzle system to where a puzzle progresses the game indirectly (in the later parts of the game, as the second half of the game is completely non-linear). If you're stuck on a puzzle, you can leave and go to a different area, and come back and try again later. With that said, how frustrating do you find difficult puzzles? Does it turn you off from a game? Do you like the challenge?

      I would like to say that I like a brain twisting puzzle here and there, but they need to be logical so one can solve it without a guide. If the puzzle is too hard a NPC can be somewhere to give a hint or two. difficult puzzles are fine, unfair puzzles are a sign of a bad designer.

      How meticulous are you when it comes to management? For example, we have our Fatigue system, Cryamore Currency Exchange system, and Ability (Learning and Organizing) system to manage, all at once. Do you find this overwhelming, or do you welcome it?
      3. I cannot answer that question without trying it out first. If the bare controls (like moving, attacking and ability using) are already bad, than even the greatest idea behing the management aspect can't rescue the system. Anyway, if the system is intuitive, I don't see a problem. It's just three things, and you probably don't need to look after all three at the same time. I can't see money being important while battling a monster.

    34. Anthony Miller on

      Those are good questions to consider with the game design. As a backer, hopeful game designer (it's going to happen) and a gamer for over 25 yrs I feel I can easily give great responses.

      1) When it comes to "choice" involved in a narrative, most gamers (I would say all) would never admit or realize that more of a "Hindsight 20/20" deal as opposed to a lack of choice. Once you've made a choice while playing the game narrative, at some point you will think "I wish I could have made another choice" or "They should have given me more choices".

      2) Difficult puzzles are a turn off, but it's kind of hard to define a difficult puzzle IMO. The only difficulty of a puzzle in a platformer is usually being fast enough to reach a goal OR remembering that this switch operates that switch. For most RPGs they range from talking to this character after this happens or heading in this direction for this event to take place. CRYAMORE looks like a possible combination of both so finding that balance should be fun and more interesting. Just don't make that mistake of the dreaded Water Temple "puzzle" in Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Everybody should know what that is by now.

      3) All I can say about management in games is this: If I wanted to collect 1 of everything there is to get my hands on, why aren't there enough slots to hold 1 of everything? I'm currently experiencing this in Xenoblade Chronicles for Nintendo Wii.

      Good luck and can't wait to play this on my Wii U!

    35. Joshua Thomas on

      1) I think, for the type of project that Cryamore is intending to be, narrative choice isn't something that necessarily needs to be "shoehorned" in. You guys already have a solid structure in mind, and if that plan works best as a set experience, then that's what you should go with.

      However, I think it would be pleasant to have semi-dynamic portions of the story, given that you intend it to be non-linear. That is, if you do one event first, something in a different area may or may not have had alterations to it. For instance, if you were to conquer a very treacherous dungeon, word might get out that Esmy the Explorer tackled a dungeon that had stumped other, lesser explorers, and someone looking to use Esmy's skills for a quest might treat her differently, challenge her to do more, etc. Basically, giving weight to what the player as Esmy has already done to make the world more lifelike when it comes to NPC interactions. Thus, the order in which you tackle different challenges will at least have a finely-detailed touch on the world of Noka Island.

      2) As a mathematician and computer scientist by trade, I relish having to figure out problems. I might get angry when I can't immediately find a solution, but as long as the difficulty doesn't stem from requiring a 1-frame window to hit the correct button or some other silly problem, I don't think difficulty is terrible. Of course, you also don't necessarily want the problem that the Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden had where everyone complained that it was too difficult...

      3) As others have said, as long as it's not to the point of micromanagement, having to manage different types of resources shouldn't be a problem. After all, MGS 3 did it pretty darn well in my opinion.

    36. Leewelo Lorekeeper

      @Will. I agree. Minor choices with direct short term impacts (or minor post endgame impact as in CT) and a tightly controlled narrative. 1 to 3 major choices affecting the end but obviously so.

    37. Leewelo Lorekeeper

      1) I love choices, and seeing thei impact, however little. As mentionned they need not all be in dialog, but in what is done or not done by the player. But I expect a tight grip on the storyline from Cryamore.
      2) I like puzzles Lufia has been mentionned (SNES era) and I agree. As long as the puzzles are not: a.overly relying on arcade skills (tight timed/accuracy...), b. non integrated in the gameplay & narrative, c.tedious (by themselves or in resetting and reaching them again), d.unrewarding.
      Although most of Zelda's puzzles (N64+ era) are great and manageable, some always prove too much for me (the arcade ones) and being a completionist, I shamelessly cheat my way through them (mostly with cpu time manipulation). A puzzle well managed is tight in both time and place. And a companion can butt in if Esmy keeps failing.
      3) With the right interfaces and integartion, I can manage. I am a bit wary of the CCE. Secret of Evermore comes to mind... It always felt more like an incentive to grind. I' roleplaying Esmy, not a merchant.

    38. Missing avatar

      Will on

      Alright one more change to the narrative choice issue because now everyone here's got me thinking about it.

      Basically, I would say simply do not do it. The reason is that, based on your pitch and the accompanying video, it sounds like you have a pretty specific vision for the personalities and motivations for your characters. Meaning that this isn't a game like Skyrim where our character is a blank slate who believes whatever we believe, rather it's more like Final Fantasy where the character is defined by you, the writers, and we are just guiding them along their journey.

      So if we are playing the game and are suddenly presented with a decision that will have serious implications for how those characters are portrayed (e.g. a good/evil option, or a point where we have to 'pick' between two companions which will result in one of them liking us and the other one hating us), then it is guaranteed that one or both or all of the options available are going to directly contradict with your design.

      In short, if we have the option between a linear story with consistent character motivations but minimal replay value, or a nonlinear story with more replay value but characters who are not consistent, then I choose option A (see what I did there?). That Kickstarter video was exceptionally well-written and acted, and so I have complete confidence in you all to deliver a strong story without the need for any decision-making by us potentially mucking it up.

    39. Missing avatar

      jumpnett on

      1) It would be cool if Esmy had multiple dialog responses.
      2) I like challenging puzzles. Make them as hard as possible.
      3) As long as I don't end up spending more time managing than playing the game I'm fine. What I do know it the moment it becomes a chore, I loose interest. Skyward Sword's item check was great; FFIII's job system was laborious.

    40. Andreas Linder on

      1. I wouldn't bother too much with choice because you would probably need to completely change the story to make it work. If the impact of a choice is not significant enough, you're better off just not having it (although some minor choices in conversation that mainly just affect your tone are always fun). You don't have to be Deus Ex, just make sure you're not Invisible War, which had choices everywhere - but almost none of them mattered.

      2. I like puzzles, and I like the challenge of difficult puzzles. Just two important things:
      Keep execution out of thinking puzzles. "Thought puzzles" and "Execution puzzles" are fine, but mixing too much of the two will leave me either enraged that I can't solve the puzzle despite knowing exactly what to do or trying the same thing over and over and barely failing because I didn't realize that my thought process, rather than my execution, was off.
      And, more importantly, give me the tools and information required to solve a puzzle and make it clear that I have them. Nothing is more frustrating than realizing, after thirty minutes of trying all item/skill combinations, that some items interact in a way you never noticed before because it was never required or hinted at (which I call the "Adventure Game Puzzle Problem"). In the same vein, if I require some specific stuff to solve a puzzle and if it is possible I get to it without that stuff (assuming I'm not sequence-breaking or something), PLEASE just plop a sign down somewhere that says "Nope, you can't do that yet".

      3. Min-maxing is alright and can even be fun, but only if you are not forced to do too much of it. I like the way some Final Fantasy games and other RPGs do their management, where you can reasonably finish the story by just doing what seems sensible, but if you want to beat that optional superboss you will need to optimize you party to perfection to not get obliterated after two turns.

    41. Missing avatar

      Will on

      One addendum to the question of choice: The PS1 game Suikoden handled this very well, where often the choices you made in dialogues were more about being tactfully respectful towards the people you were interacting with.

      For example, early in the game you walk into one of your companions room while he's sleeping, and the game gives you the option of waking him up or letting him sleep. Even though simply letting him sleep doesn't give you any bonus or reward, it was presented as the right decision because waking him up would be a jerk move. Little moments like that could help to add a little depth to the characters without detracting from the rest of the story, presuming the choices we're given in Cryamore are in line with the type of character we're playing (Esmy).

    42. David Quintana on

      1. I enjoy a bit of choice, but I don't like when games lock me out of seeing the whole story because I chose wrongly at some point.
      2. I like challenging puzzles, but I hate redoing things, so if I have to cancel my progress (redo it all later) because it turns out I was missing "something", chances are I would drop the game at that point.
      3. It sounds like a lot to manage, will a proper management of those systems be essential to finishing the game (without extras)? If so, then it may be too much for me.

      As a side-note, I do not like non-linear games too much. I like to have a clear idea of exactly where I have to go next. If there's more than one place to go, but it doesn't matter which order, but there's a clear list of places to go, then I'd be okay, but if I'm dropped at some point and the games goes "figure it out, you are on your own", then chances are I will quit the game. Not because I think the game is bad, just I don't like having too much freedom.

    43. Missing avatar

      Edward L. Wittlif on

      -I love making narrative decisions in games, but to echo some other comments here, those choices only draw me into the game when I feel they have a real impact on the story. Light surface changes might not be worth the resulting design headaches, but real substantial choices can make a good game great.

      -In general, if a puzzle feels remote from the gameplay I've already learned, I tend to get a bit frustrated. If the puzzle feels integrated into the world I've been playing in, though, a difficult puzzle doesn't bother me.

      -I'm an outlier here, because I specifically fall in love with the number crunching in my RPGs. Three systems to manage? No problem at all.

      Happy 2014 and best of luck making this awesome game!

    44. Missing avatar

      Will on

      As far as the narrative goes, having choices is not worth the trouble, unless you are specifically creating a story about something provocative or thoughtful.

      I guess I wouldn't mind a few puzzles as long as they were rare and not too complicated - just something to add a little variety. If you've got a few good ideas for puzzles I would say put them in. I do get frustrated when getting stuck on one of them because I won't look on the internet for the solution, but usually I would think of the solution eventually.

      Re: management, I would generally say the more complexity, the better. I wouldn't want to just mindlessly click-click-click through the whole game; it's nice to have to strategize when it comes to gameplay. A game like Sang-Froid where you had to manage fear, stamina, noise, and visibility during combat was very appealing to me.

    45. Gophersaurus

      1) I don't mind not having narrative choice. Not every game has to be a Mass Effect or Deus Ex. I'm more than happy for this to hearken back to games like Secret of Mana or Legend of Zelda where there's a huge world to explore but you don't have to necessarily be concerned about the impact of every conversation. Or even like Chrono Trigger where what you choose to do or not do can impact the ending but again, not every conversation is having to pick your options.

      2) Lufia 2 is one of my favourite games of all time and the puzzles in that game get seriously frakking hard. Puzzles in that game were required to progress through dungeons, with some being optional. I'm all for having challenging puzzles, as long as, like some others have commented, they're confined to a limited area (ie if you can get to the puzzle, everything you need to solve the puzzle is in the room/area with you.)

      3) I'm perfectly happy to have ability progression and currency to manage. The fatigue system will be something new to adjust to but I'm not expecting it to be a problem.

    46. Alex the Gamer on

      1. I agree that I want this to feel like a Secret of Mana or Zelda-type game, so I don't want tons of choices to make, but I do like when there are 1-3 big choices in a game that impact the game's narrative, especially towards the end of the game.

      2. I like puzzles that require you to do research in the game, like talking to NPCs, finding symbols on a wall and piecing things together. It's hard to get the balance right because some puzzles like this can be very challenging and frustrating when you're only missing one piece, but as long as hints are given in a smart way, they should be fine.

      3. I like systems in games and learning how to maximize them for my own playstyle, but I don't like when too much is thrown in your face at once. So maybe start with only the Fatigue system, then introduce the other two slowly after that.

    47. Bram van den Boomen on

      -I prefer to have some choices, as this will make a far more emerging experience out of the game

      -I love the challenge of a good puzzle though I'm usuall not one to give up and continue somewhere else until I've managed to finish the puzzle, or found out I need something I don't yet have to finish the puzzle. I'd be seriously disappointed if the puzzles were all so easy you could solve them in just a few minutes.

      -I also like management systems, as long as they add something of depth to the game. I've had games where you get hungry after a while, and you just have to get some food to fill the bar and then keep doing the exact same thing. As long as it's not like that I'm fine with it :)

    48. Andrew Ferreira on

      Answering questions:
      1. I don't really care how much narrative choice we have. I was expecting it to be more-or-less straight forward like a Zelda game - you just talk to people, read what they have to say, and then move on. However, if you guys want to throw some choices in there, even if they're just for flavor, that's fine by me.

      2. The most annoying puzzle I ever came across in a game (that I can remember) was the water temple in Ocarina of Time. I would suggest not making things that difficult. Otherwise, puzzling is cool.

      3. I think managing these systems will be fine. There's always a learning curve, and after the learning curve, it becomes second nature. I suspect you guys will tie in some kind of tutorial or walkthrough of how these systems work.

    49. Nick on

      I enjoy choice, if it's actually real and has an impact. I think it will be easier to say what is bad.
      Bad is when there's lots of choices with hidden +'s and -'s that might add up to something at the END of the game. If there's choices throughout there should be effects throughout.
      I also don't want lots of choices that don't do anything. Basically they're decoys and that's annoying.
      A little choice, lots of choice, whatever you can work in, so long as it has an effect.
      Tying in with that, I LOVE multiple endings! (so long as they aren't just palette swaps/etc)

      Puzzles are good, and I enjoy a challenge. Just avoid the tedious ones where it's easy to solve(or even a challenge), but requires you to push a set of slow moving blocks for 10 minutes. That's not the kind of mental challenge I'm looking for.

      I can take or leave the management. But again, if we're spending time on it, there should be a significant impact. Don't just give us useless busy work.

    50. joshua vyrostek on

      Great questions.

      - I prefer choice (such as found in games like mass effect), as I feel this creates a gaming experience that is much more personal, meaningful and ultimately memorable. However if the story is very good I don't mind and often enjoy linear narrative driven games. There is room for both, and both styles can lead to problems if done poorly, and they can even overlap if done extremely well.

      - I have never been a big fan of puzzle games, probably because I am not very good at them. Ideally a difficult puzzle (if needed) should block a side quest objective, not block the main story path as that can lead to major frustration and even putting the game aside for some people.

      - I welcome character management systems, probably my favorite part of RPG's. If a game is heavily story driven without choice (linear), a good character creation/management/building system can still give the "player" the feeling of unique identification with the character and the game, even though the story itself is the exact same for all who play it.