Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Visual Novel / Simulation game set in a zombie apocalypse setting
highcliffe
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by highcliffe » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:11 am

Hi, I am from the team that developed the game.

Wow, that´s some cool feedback, thank you. A big thank you also goes to everyone who already bought the beta. You can be sure we'll consider every suggestion. Because it´s easier to read and some might want to use it for reference, I used several headings in my posting. I hope you don´t mind.

HOW DOES THE SLOT MACHINE / COMBAT WORK:

You can press F1 to get a description of each icon on the screen.

At each combat turn both sides run their slot machine. The result of the slot machine gets added to the chosen characters combat rating (close combat [fist icon] or ranged combat [target cross]). You can choose to use guns by clicking on the target cross and switch back by clicking on the fist). You can also choose between different characters available by clicking on their icon at the top left. The one with the highest result (combat rating + slot machine result) will win.

Only the player can influence the outcome of the slot machine (and should do it), by using the breaks at the bottom of the slot machine to stop the wheels / columns. This way the result is not so much random, but depends on your skills. It´s been intentionally designed that it´s very risky to try to get a "6". It´s a lot easier if you try to get a lower number in between. You might have to use guns and spend ammunition to boost your result.

I think we add a text popping up on the slot machine pointing to the breaks when the player does not use them. Like "Use the breaks to stop the slot machine!".

AUTO-RESOLVE vs. SLOT MACHINE:

This game has two alternative combat systems. I invite everyone who does not like the slot machine to try the auto resolve combat (button at the bottom right of the slot machine). This isn´t just auto resolving the combat, but you get access to a couple of thousand words of mini stories (diary popups). At some of the more difficult combat parts (usually against heavily armed bandits), it might be easier to influence the combat by using the slot machine. If you plan to only use the auto resolve combat and play the game like a visual novel, you should consider switching the difficulty mode in the options menu.

STARTING THE GAME / TASKBAR:

When the taskbar is hidden, the game is launched and usually comes up within a couple of seconds. If it doesn´t, try restarting the computer. Maybe another program interferes in the background.

OTHER SUGGESTIONS:

The game intentionally starts right in the middle of the action, like many movies or books. You will have a chance to get to know everyone through the story. You can also try reading the diary at the camp (every click you get to see the entry of one day). There are many more characters to join your crew, which you'll get to know in the more "classic" fashion by meeting & introduction.

We'll add an option to proceed the story only by clicking, so you can progress at your own pace.

At the camp (and in other screens) you can press F1 to get a description of the displayed game elements.

We'll make the zombies in the first combat easier.

THANK YOU!

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ValHallen
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by ValHallen » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:55 pm

I already restarted and nothing happens, always the same thing, the taskbar vanish and the game doesnt run.

Grodul
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by Grodul » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:32 pm

This time I played a bit further than last time and managed to meet the paranoid doctor Gerald before zombies overran my group. Here are additional suggestions to the game:

Is it possible to add more text to character description for every character as the player spends time with them. For example: As the player and the their romantic partner in the game become closer there could be entires about what they have been doing together recently. I for one would like reading such entries. Another example could be about the interactions between other characters. Like something in the form of: "Day XX - Dear diary, Today Eric helped Steve reach
Spoiler:
the ultimate facial transformation.
It was horrible. The end." :lol: By the way, why is there no entry about Emily, the player character's daughter.

I noticed that the during the first meeting with Dr. Gerald the doctor himself speaks out the line "We heard you have been helping people." I don't think he is the one who's line that is considering that it was Caroline who wanted to find the doctor.

About the zombie battle again: Why doesn't the player character have a chance to hit/shoot the zombies. All the VIPs can and even the common survivors can, so why not the pc himself/herself? Oh, and it was a bit annoying when I couldn't retreat from a battle. Can this be adjusted? Maybe with a cost of few recourses?

I believe I am stating the obvious here, but the quotation marks are really all over the place. Sometimes I see two right besides one another. I think this game could do well without thme in the dialogue entirely.

When I'm in the camp and I press the F1 key the screen looks like this:Image
I assume this is only a temporary structure, right? I mean, I can't even see what is written on the right because I'm out of monitor. I'm playing the game with a laptop, by the way. The developers may also wish to add a big yellow question mark with an F1 key next to it in the lower corner, so that player might grow curious about the presented button and try pressing it.
"Now, hold on a minute. I'm currently speculating."

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jack1974
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by jack1974 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:00 pm

Thanks again for the suggestions. I know they're working on an update right now, adding more in-game help, I'll tell them to check also the new ideas :)

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ValHallen
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by ValHallen » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:55 pm

Tried to reinstall and it didnt work, I think I should just drop this game because it doesnt work :(

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Franka
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by Franka » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:25 pm

I'll wait for an update before passing judgment.

pizzaboxes
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by pizzaboxes » Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:32 am

Hi, I just finished the beta. I had a good time. I think there are some good suggestions here. I don't have much to add, but I noticed these "bugs":
-The last fight was very laggy, and so it was very difficult to tell how fast the slot machine wheels were really spinning.
-I had the feeling that many times the character approval was not working. There are moments when I really pissed off Steve and he still remain "best friends" with me. I was very nice to Lucy--she even opened up about her backstory to me--but her approval of me never improved. When I played the game the second time, I noticed the first decisions (where I noticed gaining Caroline's approval and losing Steve's approval, and vice versa) didn't have any change. Many times when I loaded a save over, something that had an approval change would not apply one any more.
-Once on the map an error message popped up, but the game continued with no problem (applied changes to supplies after a delay when I returned to camp).
I hope this helps. Keep up the good work.

highcliffe
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by highcliffe » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:55 am

ValHallen wrote:Tried to reinstall and it didnt work, I think I should just drop this game because it doesnt work :(
Sorry to hear it still isn´t working out. What version of Windows are you using? Can you tell me what other programs you´ve got running in the background? Skype? Adobe cloud?

highcliffe
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by highcliffe » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:19 am

Grodul wrote: Is it possible to add more text to character description for every character as the player spends time with them. For example: As the player and the their romantic partner in the game become closer there could be entires about what they have been doing together recently. I for one would like reading such entries. Another example could be about the interactions between other characters. Like something in the form of: "Day XX - Dear diary, Today Eric helped Steve reach
Spoiler:
the ultimate facial transformation.
It was horrible. The end." :lol: By the way, why is there no entry about Emily, the player character's daughter.
It´s possible of course. We don´t know yet, but we'll consider it.
Grodul wrote: I noticed that the during the first meeting with Dr. Gerald the doctor himself speaks out the line "We heard you have been helping people." I don't think he is the one who's line that is considering that it was Caroline who wanted to find the doctor.
Yep. A bug. It´s fixed in the next update.
Grodul wrote: About the zombie battle again: Why doesn't the player character have a chance to hit/shoot the zombies. All the VIPs can and even the common survivors can, so why not the pc himself/herself? Oh, and it was a bit annoying when I couldn't retreat from a battle. Can this be adjusted? Maybe with a cost of few recourses?
Well, you see we would have to show a face for the PC then, but the original idea was that who the player really is, is decided only by the player him- or herself. I also liked the idea that the player is only leading his group. But this is not a final decision and I am happy to put this up for discussion. We could display a portrait not really showing any face, but maybe a question mark or something unspecific.

We intentionally didn´t added the possibility to retreat. Your group tries to avoid any conflict with zombies. Just if they can´t, they have to fight. Then it´s quiet logical they can´t retreat (if they could, they would have run and avoided it in the first place).

There would also be game balancing and story issues, which would probably not be solveable or enjoyable.For example if you try to run from zombies, you will most likely have to leave your wounded behind. This would very quickly end any storyline.
Grodul wrote: I believe I am stating the obvious here, but the quotation marks are really all over the place. Sometimes I see two right besides one another. I think this game could do well without thme in the dialogue entirely.
Actually if you´ve worked so long on a game as we have, you don´t see those double quotation marks anymore! I found 4 cases of double quotation marks, which are removed in the next update.

There is supposed to be a quotation mark at the beginning and end of a dialogue line. When a line doesn´t fit on the screen, it´s divided in different parts. This can make it seem like there is a quotation mark missing at the end, when the line isn´t really over yet though.

Reading your comment I think it might indeed be better to remove all quotation marks. Maybe except in the player choices, because there the quotation marks indicate direct speach. Anyone want the quotation marks to stay?
Grodul wrote: When I'm in the camp and I press the F1 key the screen looks like this:Image
I assume this is only a temporary structure, right? I mean, I can't even see what is written on the right because I'm out of monitor. I'm playing the game with a laptop, by the way. The developers may also wish to add a big yellow question mark with an F1 key next to it in the lower corner, so that player might grow curious about the presented button and try pressing it.
[/quote]

It´s a scaling bug. The tutorial lines are not correctly scaled to your screen. This will be fixed in the next update.

We´re working on additional tutorial screens and additional info marks. And an optional visual novel mode without any combat.

Currently this is the to-do and the "already-done" changes list:

- At the start of a new game you can decide to either play with combat or a visual novel mode without any combat.
- Autosave feature
- Add a text pointing to the slot machine auto resolve option
- Add a text to the "death" popup telling the player about how the combat works and about the auto resolve option.
- We'll make the zombies in the first combat easier.
- Autosave feature
- During the combat I blink a text when the player does not use the breaks for 5 (?) seconds. I am assuming he doesn´t know what to do then.
- I blink a text pointing to the slot machine level to press down
- I blink a text pointing to the auto resolve button.
- Additional tutorial screens + blinking info marks
(Plus the bugs mentioned here of course)

Changes:

- Added an option to make story dialogue lines proceed only at the player´s pace by clicking the left mouse button.
- Added a blinking text pointing to the slot machine level
- Added an info label on the lockpicking screen that you can skip lockpicking by pressing Alt + F4 (you won´t
be able to open the lock and won´t get any rewards this way).
- Fix: In 4 cases there were double quotation marks in the text
- Fix: When Gerald joins the team, there was a dialogue line wrongly associated to Gerald, but Caroline is supposed to say it ("We´ve heard you´ve helped people.")
Last edited by highcliffe on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:46 am, edited 5 times in total.

highcliffe
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Re: Dead But Alive 1.0d - beta

Post by highcliffe » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:20 am

Franka wrote:Ok, I understand the combat now at least. Tutorial needed here though.

Any way to play in a window rather than full screen? I'd like the graphics downscaled, that would make them easier on the eye too.

Any time there's a distraction, I'm missing a lot of dialogue, would really like click to proceed instead of auto.
Click to proceed is in the next update.

I am not sure if we can make the windowed mode due to technical reasons, but I'll promise we'll look into it!

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