Heirs & Graces 0.8.5 beta

A fantasy yaoi dating sim set in the world of Aravorn
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jack1974
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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 13, 2016 12:31 pm

Updated to version 0.8.4 that should fix the Kamal/Borges jealousy issue.

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by wwfan16 » Fri May 13, 2016 3:39 pm

There is a continuity issue in Marcel's ... work clothes sprite? when he changes from facing left to facing right that is quite noticeable. I'm not sure if I've noticed before that they just flip around the vertical axis. But because of the mysterious leg wrapping on Marcel's right -- or left -- leg, my attention was drawn to it when he flips facing toward and away from Eloy in the first main scene with him, in the library. Of course then I have a "hey, wait..." moment and check and see that the shoulder pad is also changing shoulders, but that I didn't notice. Well I suppose that all is just the way things are w/o custom left and right graphics. The leg wrap just jarred me into noticing.

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 13, 2016 3:54 pm

Yes unfortunately that's the only way to have left/right sprites without custom artwork :oops:

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by fabulaparva » Fri May 13, 2016 9:51 pm

Gotta catch 'em all! :D
Spoiler:
Image
Image
I reset all the achievements before playing through the game in normal mode, version 0.8.4, so it looks like they all definitely work now. Kamal's sexy scene and the Bad Reputation achievement are the trickiest to get, in my opinion, lol. I'll post more comprehensive feedback later. :)

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 13, 2016 9:54 pm

Good job! :lol: I'm curious to hear why Kamal's sexy is the trickiest, as well as Bad Reputation - it's enough to make a mess from the beginning to be fired, so why you say it's tricky? :o

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by fabulaparva » Fri May 13, 2016 10:16 pm

I had to re-read the beginning of the walkthrough for the Bad Reputation and put some thought into it, because if I wasn't purposely doing the wrong activities (instead of just doing whatever and switching between them), I started "accidentally" passing the skill checks. :lol:
I think I was just having bad luck with the physical skills on two different playthroughs.... ie I got more +1s than +2s, so I actually had to reload a save to get the skills to 90. (instead of just hitting 88 when the scene started :P) This, for some reason, didn't happen with Borges, Eloy, nor Vincent, go figure... (Kamal was obviously just playing hard to get!!) Plus the main storyline skillchecks for strength and diligence +20 are on the average earlier than for the other sexy scene-related skill pairs, so I might have...ahem, forgotten to transfer back to raising strength and diligence after I got everything else closer to 20... :oops: OF course, if one keeps the walkthrough ready through the whole thing, this wouldn't be a problem...

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by jack1974 » Sat May 14, 2016 6:36 am

Haha OK no worries :)

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fabulaparva
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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by fabulaparva » Sat May 14, 2016 10:10 pm

Promised feedback. A bit on the long side but maybe some of this will be helpful. :oops:

Jealousy scene triggering

Although much improved since the disassociation syndrome, I find there are still problems with the jealousy scenes triggering, as they are launched now by scene number only...so they pop up even if the relationship values are 0% or close to it. I'd suggest the setup for the scenes to be slightly more complicated (and hope this won't break the game, lol). Logic would go approximatively like this:
Player has seen 3 scenes with all the 4 characters. The relationship values would be 0% and 7% for, say Eloy and Borges and 10% and 16% for Kamal and Vincent. After scene no 3, there wouldn't be any more scenes for Eloy and Borges at all, as Marcel has made the 'wrong choices' with his answers, aka is not interested. Jealousy scene would play between Kamal and Vincent ONLY as the percent for both >=10%. If Kamal was the only one with relationship percentage 10% or more, then no jealousy scenes would play, further scenes for the other 3 guys would just stop playing and only Kamal would get to scene 4 and beyond.
The point in this would be to a) limit the number of heartbreaks you have to browse through, if player has shown no interest to certain characters and to b)save some of the scenes to next playthroughs -- because right now you'll end up seeing over half of them in one playthrough whether you are actively going after multiple characters simultaneously or not.


General Gameplay
I have to say that I prefer this type of stat raising with skill checks way more than the traditional stat-raising where you have to concentrate everything on one or two traits just to get the relationship you want. I think it has much less aggravating clicking about than Nicole or even Roommates, so it's definitely an improvement and it's nice that some of the other skills matter, too. For further improvement in future games, I'd like the requirements to be even more evened out and maybe have the relationship percent or 'right type of' answers dominate all the relationship aspects and have the skillchecks branch out the main story more. For example, for darker options, enough decorum and some other skill like scheming/facade could lead into Marcel backstabbing Lady Rosalynn in the end... I can just see Vincent and Marcel plotting some evil ways to actively taking her out instead of just getting prepared to counter her derogatory attacks on their character/relationship. :twisted:


Visual
I found the game to be visually very appealing and polished, including the menus and GUI. Kudos to the artist for the character sprites especially! They remind me actually of Chagall paintings (it must be something in the eyes...). The only thing that bugged me was the contrast between the character sprites and the characters in the backgrounds...mainly the market scene. The backgrounds were fine otherwise, but the difference between the characters was rather noticeable...as if having Peanuts' characters standing in the middle of a page from the graphic novel The Crow.


Slightly odd outfit choices in these scenes:
-First time meeting with Kamal, when Vincent introduces him to Marcel during Prologue, Kamal is wearing his gladiator outfit...but he is gardening, so it would make more sense to have him there with the shovel ensemble
-In Scene 2, during his first visit to meet Lord Sandor, the tray and can stay in Marcel's hands – even after he's supposedly supporting his father. They drop only after Marcel starts to want to storm out of the room...a few screens too late, imo
-In Kamal scenes 3 and 4, Kamal continues to stand around with his shovel even when the guys are supposed to be practising with tree bracnhes/training swords. Not sure if changing the outfit to the gladiator style would work better in here as that doesn't have a sword on it, either....
--In scene 8 with Rosalynn, it would make more sense if Marcel would have if tunic outfit instead of the 'outdoor getup' with the shoulderpad.
-Vincent Scene 6 – Marcel falls sick and imo should wear tunic after he hits the bed in that scene, not the shoulderpad thingy when Borges comes to check up on him.


Of and by the way, there's a lingering typo in the Prologue:
Vincent: "First, never begin a conversation..... Only speak to them when spoken too and be sure to give them your full attention.”


Soundtrack/Audio
Soundtrack fits the game very well. :) Also, most of the audio effects work in nicely. However, I was playing this game with headphones on and I guess this is why even tiny imperfections stand out, mainly:
1) The nighttime audio is way too loud and 'wild' considering that Marcel is in his rooms... It sounds more like his in the wilderness at a campfire more than him being in his room with window slightly open
2)Watering plants sounds the same as pouring water in a glass (or taking a leak in modern toilet). Kamal scene 1.
3) And the nitpick of the year goes to....
Spoiler:
Image
-The screenshot says three times, but in the audio he knocks four times! :P



All in all, I enjoyed the game a lot, the main plot line was quite emotional in the end in a good way, and I think it's awesome that enough of the focus actually stayed on Marcel and his father's relationship so that it didn't turn into just a fluffy, inconsequential setting for pointless romance to play out on. As far as the romances went I found them to be on a pretty even level. My favourite characters would be Kamal and Vincent, but on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd have to give 'H' for Borges in scene 9. :lol: On the other hand, Eloy definitely wins the category of most entertaining dialogue. :P

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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by jack1974 » Sun May 15, 2016 7:04 am

fabulaparva wrote: The point in this would be to a) limit the number of heartbreaks you have to browse through, if player has shown no interest to certain characters and to b)save some of the scenes to next playthroughs -- because right now you'll end up seeing over half of them in one playthrough whether you are actively going after multiple characters simultaneously or not.
I can do this, the only issue is that since the relationship value can increase based on the activity, you could trigger some scenes later. I mean right now each scene triggers in a specific order - doing the gameplay like this requires almost fixed "scene triggers" (I randomize the day slightly but the week is almost always the same).
In practice, even if I do a check based on relationship, is very likely that you could still trigger all the jealousy scenes anyway because of the value being raised by the activities. I think the only solution in this case is to use the on/off buttons to disable certain characters :)
fabulaparva wrote: General Gameplay
I have to say that I prefer this type of stat raising with skill checks way more than the traditional stat-raising where you have to concentrate everything on one or two traits just to get the relationship you want. I think it has much less aggravating clicking about than Nicole or even Roommates, so it's definitely an improvement and it's nice that some of the other skills matter, too. For further improvement in future games, I'd like the requirements to be even more evened out and maybe have the relationship percent or 'right type of' answers dominate all the relationship aspects and have the skillchecks branch out the main story more. For example, for darker options, enough decorum and some other skill like scheming/facade could lead into Marcel backstabbing Lady Rosalynn in the end... I can just see Vincent and Marcel plotting some evil ways to actively taking her out instead of just getting prepared to counter her derogatory attacks on their character/relationship. :twisted:
Yup, this is the "new scheduler" without grinding (tm) I was talking about in a blog post a while ago :lol: I definitely don't want to do anymore grinding games like Nicole (except for those already in the works). Roommates was still OK I think. I mean scheduler in which you plan the week and then press play, are good. Those in which you need to move around and choose which activity to do, become tedious after a while, inevitably.
And yes I also like the possibility to choose an ending, without a "right" or "wrong" choice. That's a bit harder though so for some games will still work like that. Amber for example has no right or wrong choices, they're all light/dark choices which will impact her behavior and how the game ends :)
fabulaparva wrote: Visual
I found the game to be visually very appealing and polished, including the menus and GUI. Kudos to the artist for the character sprites especially! They remind me actually of Chagall paintings (it must be something in the eyes...). The only thing that bugged me was the contrast between the character sprites and the characters in the backgrounds...mainly the market scene. The backgrounds were fine otherwise, but the difference between the characters was rather noticeable...as if having Peanuts' characters standing in the middle of a page from the graphic novel The Crow.
Haha because those backgrounds were done by another artist a while ago :)
fabulaparva wrote: Of and by the way, there's a lingering typo in the Prologue:
Vincent: "First, never begin a conversation..... Only speak to them when spoken too and be sure to give them your full attention.”
Are you sure? I thought "when spoken to" was ok. Shouldn't mean you should speak only when someone talks to you first?
fabulaparva wrote: All in all, I enjoyed the game a lot, the main plot line was quite emotional in the end in a good way, and I think it's awesome that enough of the focus actually stayed on Marcel and his father's relationship so that it didn't turn into just a fluffy, inconsequential setting for pointless romance to play out on. As far as the romances went I found them to be on a pretty even level. My favourite characters would be Kamal and Vincent, but on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd have to give 'H' for Borges in scene 9. :lol: On the other hand, Eloy definitely wins the category of most entertaining dialogue. :P
Cool. Yeah I liked the idea a lot. I think the base idea of the story is something VERY important, of course also the writing, art, etc but having a good solid idea for an interesting story in such kind of games is the best way to start and most likely to lead to a good title :)

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fabulaparva
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Re: Heirs & Graces 0.8.4 beta

Post by fabulaparva » Sun May 15, 2016 5:17 pm

jack1974 wrote:
I can do this, the only issue is that since the relationship value can increase based on the activity, you could trigger some scenes later. I mean right now each scene triggers in a specific order - doing the gameplay like this requires almost fixed "scene triggers" (I randomize the day slightly but the week is almost always the same).
In practice, even if I do a check based on relationship, is very likely that you could still trigger all the jealousy scenes anyway because of the value being raised by the activities. I think the only solution in this case is to use the on/off buttons to disable certain characters :)
Yea, I was a bit afraid that my suggestion might break the jealousy scenes again. :P I guess there's no way to prevent the scenes playing further later based on what the values *were* at the scene 3 checkup point regardless of later changes in the percentages? The checkup point value would only reset upon hitting 'start new game'... I guess that could cause problems upon reloading saves from before scene 3, though... Might be better to leave as is... :)
jack1974 wrote:
fabulaparva wrote: Of and by the way, there's a lingering typo in the Prologue:
Vincent: "First, never begin a conversation..... Only speak to them when spoken too and be sure to give them your full attention.”
Are you sure? I thought "when spoken to" was ok. Shouldn't mean you should speak only when someone talks to you first?
Ah, I guess I didn't explain it clearly enough. It should be 'spoken to', as you said, but it currently has 2 o's in there: 'spoken too'.

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