Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Classic VN/RPG, all romance combos, social talent system https://www.winterwolves.com/cursedlands.htm
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DarkWolf
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Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by DarkWolf » Wed May 30, 2018 6:01 am

So I finally got to play this this game and finish all endings/routes I am interested in and I thought about providing feedback.


So first about stuff I liked:

- Story was pretty interesting and I really liked the political part of a story around council. I thought it really was a nice addition to a story that added something more then a simple war against evil undead and made a story richer and deeper. It also made a story more unexpected, when you play a game and fight war against evil, you know you will win, but when it comes to in game politics you don't know what to expect and thinking about witch choices will be best to help you rise to fame/power was pretty fun.
- While I liked some characters more and others less I generally did liked character set in this game and thought all characters had unique and interesting personalities, views and beliefs, and I thought their views ware nicely represented. In fact the only character I outstrait disliked was Jasper and his constant judging as if he is a sole morale compass in a word and his "I am better person then you" attitude. My favorite characters ware Leena for being probably the most amazon-like amazon we saw up till now, Nuala for being friendly and positive playful kitten, Enok for being a sweet and funny guy and lastly but not least Sylrissa for being so sweet and deadly at a same time and for really being the character you could trust in most that would never turn on you. That is a short of it at least.
- I am not sure how this would be for people who didn't play your previous Arvaron games, but I thought Cursed Lands was a really nice addition to Arvaron word/setting. It was really fun to learn more about those re-appearing characters from your previous games as well as to learn more about the world of Arvaron.
- Many choices really made a game more interesting and helped to get in a story deeper. As well as ware just fun to build your protagonist and think about and speculate about all possible outcomes of your choices.
- I thought game had a very good balance between story (VN part) and gameplay (RPG part). Also I am not sure if it is just me but it seemed to me that scenes ware generally longer in this game then in many of your previous games, and I find that to be a good thing. With one longer scene you can get into them more then with a few short ones.

Now onto the less positive parts:

- There was a lack of interactions between characters. For the most parts all talks are between protagonist and a single character. That made it feel less like a group of allies/friends and more like a group of people that are just solely connected true protagonist and otherwise have no connection with each other. And besides it would be really fun to see characters interact with each other and to hear what they think about each other, what kind of connection would they have, who would get along with who, to see their reaction after protagonists gets in romantic relationship with someone etc.
- Romance, for the most part wasn't very romantic and didn't have much feelings to it. For example romance with Nuala, there was no romantic implication at first and then it suddenly jumps into erotic stuff, rather then love it seemed more like just a fling or something, durning her whole "romantic" route there wasn't a single actual romantic scene, there was just no feelings to it. Sure they did get along really well, but that's as friends, romance is just not there at all. In fact without a jealousy scene where she says that she loves protagonist you could have easily convinced me that you ware going for just friends with benefits. For Leena it's not much better, there ware some implications on her route before they actually got together, and when they do get together it was made clear that she actually likes protagonist (at least) but feelings are just not there. There's still not much in a mater of actual romance there, it's still mostly just erotic stuff. Sylrissa is the only romance-able girl that actually has some romance there (Like that scene when they watch a sunset of Grimoare) and while that scene was pretty good, and generally her romance until the point, once they actually get together that's ware romance disrepairs and every scene after that is just erotic stuff. I really liked those characters and was looking foword to their romance routes, so I was very disappointed that when I actually got to that point there was no romance there, no feelings. This also made the endings feel pretty empty and unsatisfying.
- The Amazons in general seemed to have lost their way when it comes to their treatment of man. In Loren they treated man a lot worse and while things might have changed after time of Loren this game is set before that so it was pretty weird to see Amazons treating man nicely. I really liked Amazons way of thinking "Yuri utopia, no man allowed", so I was pretty disappointed to see this unjustified change.
- Lastly, gameplay was just too easy, even true I played on hard the game was walk true a park, I had to check several times if I didn't accidentally choose easy level instead of hard, no single battle posed any challenge at all, I didn't even need to make any strategies. I guess this might be due to availability of all strongest to buy weapons right from beginning of a game.


Generally I would say it was a pretty decent game that had potential to be a lot better.

PS: I know you once said to people siding with Valery and Zachary that we will see that they are not really good once Cursed Lands is out..... Well I still don't see them as bad and find hate for vampires unjustified. Manipulative, yes, but evil, no. They didn't really do anything evil, they even helped stop actual evil, they might have their own reasons for doing so but those reasons don't seem as anything bad. So I still feel bad for having to kill them in Loren.

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jack1974
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 30, 2018 7:21 am

Thanks for the feedback :) Replying quickly to some points:
- yes the scenes are much longer on average. This is the biggest game I've ever written, 300k words. Loren + DLC was 240k -something, and has a bigger cast of character. That's why when some say that in Loren the characters had more screen time or were better developed, I smile and think "no, math doesn't lie :lol:"
- Amazons treating men "better". Where did you notice this? REMEMBER: Karen can't go around in Grimoire tell "ha you human sucks!" haha. I mean she very often makes comments even in front of Apolimesho about how incompetent are the men in the Council, Leena in the first scene talks badly about "humans", and so on. Then of course there's a big threat, and Karen is a sort of diplomatic for the Amazons and while maybe she thinks "Pff...men" she cannot tell this in their faces. If you remember in Loren she is also more calm and rational than Loren herself. Maybe more seasoned :)
- gameplay was too easy: I posted on Steam too, I can still do tweaks (raise the difficulty) in Hard/Nightmare mode. The main problem was how they were made the recruitment quests. If there are only 2 characters, there's the risk that at high difficulty the battles could become impossible (for example if someone recruits a character 3-4 levels below your MC). So rather than risking to have people complain because they're stuck, I choose the other way. I'd say that difficulty-wise it's like Loren, for sure easier than SOTW!
- vampires: I think depends how you see it. Yes they stopped a big evil but ONLY BECAUSE they want the castle back :mrgreen: they couldn't care less about human empire... or better, they care since that's their food supermarket lol. In some endings like if you run away with the MC from the battle of Grimoire, they don't think twice about killing you cold blooded even after all you did for them.

p.s. ask Franka about the vampires and you'll get a different opinion ! haha

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DarkWolf
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by DarkWolf » Wed May 30, 2018 8:23 am

jack1974 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 7:21 am
- Amazons treating men "better". Where did you notice this?
There ware 3 scenes where this particularly standed out

- When Karen made a feast for a group, man ware there too. In other words man feasting like a honored guests as equals in middle of Amazon's city where they are suppose to be considered as only good to be slaves.
- Galan said Karen invited him to train Loren to control her anger. Man allowed to train princes of Amazon.
- In the epilogue Karen allowed that man slave to be friends with Loren and even looked positively on it.

Based on my image of Amazons up till now I would believe that each of those would normally be a huge scandal.

In fact I can't remember even one scene where eater Karen or Leena explicitly said anything that would show they look down on man. The few scenes that you mentioned seem more of a critic for human empire and how they run things as country rather then looking down on man.


PS: Yea, I never got that ending ware Valery and Zachary kill protagonist. I wouldn't have expected that from them :(

Rebly82
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by Rebly82 » Wed May 30, 2018 11:56 am

jack1974 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 7:21 am
- gameplay was too easy: I posted on Steam too, I can still do tweaks (raise the difficulty) in Hard/Nightmare mode. The main problem was how they were made the recruitment quests.
LMAO! Are you sure? There are already 2 threads in your steam forum asking for cheats and hacks. :lol:

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jack1974
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:57 pm

DarkWolf wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 8:23 am
- When Karen made a feast for a group, man ware there too. In other words man feasting like a honored guests as equals in middle of Amazon's city where they are suppose to be considered as only good to be slaves.
- Galan said Karen invited him to train Loren to control her anger. Man allowed to train princes of Amazon.
- In the epilogue Karen allowed that man slave to be friends with Loren and even looked positively on it.
Yes I think in general the tone was down vs Loren. HOWEVER :)
Karen made the feast for the <group of heroes that rescued amazon prisoners>, they didn't invite random men from Grimoire or Council Members. Just the people who rescued a lot of amazons. I think they would make an exception for that :wink:

About Galan, that's true and probably that was a bit too much.

Regarding the epilogue, the man was Ryzom, a men Karen fell in love with. She could probably treat him differently from the others.
Rebly82 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 11:56 am
LMAO! Are you sure? There are already 2 threads in your steam forum asking for cheats and hacks. :lol:
I noticed and was surprised. Not sure if they're just lazy and want to skip combat or if there's another reason :)

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mastro
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by mastro » Wed May 30, 2018 2:27 pm

I saw your tweet so I went to look on itchio that review.
I'm baffled that someone would take so much time to write such a long review, purely based on his/her own tastes, about what is wrong about this game.
Personally, I think is your best game, maybe on par with Loren (but only because Loren had more romances). Here the choices really mattered, something that, forgive me, they weren't really on your past games. Like SOTW was full of choices who had no consequences (showing the wolf to sibling or not? didn't matter, story was the same).
I'm completely astonished that someone could think this game is inferior to SOTW, unless they only care about combat, then yes SOTW is better. But overall as game there's no comparison.

Anyway as you rightfully said on twitter the worst thing was that person assuming you put no heart on this project when anyone even remotely following you on social media or just reading the blog, know well how much of effort it was. One doesn't make a 300k word game just for the money.

Just wanted to say, keep going like this, and looking forward to PS2.

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jack1974
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 30, 2018 2:33 pm

Thanks. Yes I always try to put a lot of effort on all games I make, then of course sometimes you have to make compromises for various reasons (ran out of money, out of time, problems with external collaborators, etc. there are really a LOT of things happening behind the scenes that you have no idea!).
Then people are of course free to say that they didn't like this or that. As I already replied to that person, I have basically heard all the possible combos: Loren is better, SOTW is better, Cursed Lands is better, and so on :) The world is fun because is varied and different people have different tastes and even myself sometimes I disliked movies/books/tv series that were very successful. But not because I didn't like it personally, I even thought the authors only cared about the money.

If one day you see a "Sakura Wolves" porn game with 25 minutes of play time, then you know I am doing it only for the money for real :lol: :mrgreen:

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Franka
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by Franka » Wed May 30, 2018 6:34 pm

I'm trying hard not to get into vampire "debates", so I'll leave it alone.

I'd buy "Sakura Wolves" if the price was right.

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jack1974
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 30, 2018 7:04 pm

Franka wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 6:34 pm
I'd buy "Sakura Wolves" if the price was right.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
It's a SURE-HIT!! I should make it for real!! :o

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DarkWolf
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Re: Feedback, Positive and negatative about this game.

Post by DarkWolf » Wed May 30, 2018 8:35 pm

mastro wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:27 pm

I'm completely astonished that someone could think this game is inferior to SOTW, unless they only care about combat, then yes SOTW is better. But overall as game there's no comparison.
The funny thing is that I think the same but in opposite direction. The way I see it SOTW is clearly on a different level from other WW games, not saying other WW games are bad or anything like that but story and feelings in SOTW are simply way better. SOTW is the best OELVN that I had read and it is the game that made me start to follow WW work, and while there are many other good WW games I wouldn't say even one comes close to being quite that good as SOTW. In fact I would say SOTW is the best non-Japanese story I had read from across all story telling media. I honestly don't see how can anyone think SOTW is not the best WW game. For example SOTW might now have as many romances as some other WW games but when it comes to their quality none other romance is as good as Althea and Chalassa, definitely none from Cursed Lands.

jack1974 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:33 pm
If one day you see a "Sakura Wolves" porn game with 25 minutes of play time, then you know I am doing it only for the money for real :lol: :mrgreen:
Hopefully that day never comes :mrgreen:

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