The Beastmaster Princess 1.0.2

Play as male or female nomad, find out what happened to prince Merril. With 4 female love interests, including an harem ending!
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jack1974
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by jack1974 »

OK thanks :)
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Franka
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by Franka »

So, having digested the game a bit, I'm going to put out some critique. Please note, before I get critical, that I didn't hate the game. It was mostly middle of the road for me, not terrible, not great.

First of all, I'm a fan of more mundane, less saving the world kind of stories. I do, however, need a story that grips me, or characters that do. I'm afraid this one didn't really deliver either, for me. The story was a bit of a mess to me. I'm confused as to what the antagonist's initial plot was, why it had to happen how it did, and what they hoped the result would be? (Keeping it spoiler free here.) Once the story kicks off, things just kind of happen out of the blue, and it soon starts to feel more like an engine to put Loren cameos in there, but either I don't remember Loren's characters very well, or they seem to have lost their personalities?

Speaking of, the love interests in this game felt very bland. Outside of their physical characteristics, they weren't all that distinct - especially Manila and Takara I felt were interchangeable in most scenes. Lyara definitely stood out the most, but felt like a bit of a missed opportunity (more on that in a minute).

As romance options, none of these offered any real tension though. They were all just a tiny push away from already being in a romantic relationship with the MC. There was nothing to fight for and no meaningful differences to settle or overcome. Just tiny conflicts easily resolved. As such, the outcomes didn't feel earned, but granted or guaranteed.

I feel that the story would have been much more interesting if Lyara had already been more involved with the MC (much more than just incessant flirting). Facing the realities of an arranged marriage, they would have a very real conflict to face. Maybe the groom was a really great guy and it would be all bitter sweet with no optimal outcome, or maybe he was a terrible villain and they had to find some way out of the arrangement. In either case, there would be larger and more personal stakes. It would of course also be a very different story than the one you wanted to tell.

Anyway, just my thoughts. I obviously hope this does well and that you're happy with it. Sadly, it just didn't really satisfy me. It didn't upset me either, like I said, very middle of the road.
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jack1974
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by jack1974 »

Thanks for the feedback. If I remember correctly you didn't like Hazel either. So I guess more romance focused stories and less plot-twisty aren't your thing? I mean I know you said romances aren't satisfying. Some people on Discord said they loved it.

I wrote only the storyboard of this game, since I didn't had the strength/time to write it on my own (used a ghostwriter who didn't want their name to show up). Not sure if that can be a reason. Thing is that between what I want to do, and the reality, there's all the process in the middle and when I'm lucky things go well, when I am not, it's almost impossible to get the result I want. I'm happy I finished this game, since was "secretly" under works since 2017 or something.

With the TFTU games so far I wrote the story FIRST and then commissioned all the art. With many other games like this one, I had a bit of art done, and I asked another artist do more (depending how the KS was going). I had some storyline already done, etc. In short I had already some things done that forced me in a certain direction. For example after the 4 Elenor/Saren spin-offs I'd never make again a game where you can play both as male or female, it's too much work.

Your ideas are good too, having MC already involved with Lyara for example. Sadly when doing a VN/dating sim with romance, stuff needs to be balanced. In TFTU After Midnight there's romance but is secondary to the main plot and I think worked well there. Probably this writer focused more on the flirty/romance aspect.

If I could I'd just take 1-2 years to release a game like other devs do. I did that with Planet Stronghold 2, has high review score, it's my biggest and more complex game, and yet as I posted many times if I had made another like that I'd go bankrupt because ROI was bad :D So I need to balance the "you must release GOOD games" with "you must release games FAST". I have already people continously asking me why An Elven Marriage is delayed, and I'd like to tell them "because I want to make sure I do a good job". Especially as now I'm alone, vs Loren when I had a coder and a writer to help me.

Did this game story came out exactly as I imagined? No. I'm happy about the result? Yes. But like Curse Of Mantras, I'm mostly happy because I managed to finish a game that I started years ago in a totally different market, and that nowadays is a miracle to break even :)

My next game which I hope to kickstart next month or so, has a very different story (aliens!) and while even in that case I didn't write the story myself, I planned it better (also is smaller cast). I think the story is more interesting, then of course there'll be people who complain because there are only 2 love interests :lol:
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mastro
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by mastro »

I liked the game. Not your best game but had a fun time. Luna is... hot !
After Midnight is hard to compare since it's one of the best VN I've played, not just among your games. I prefer shorter stories with more crazy characters or unconventional situation so I'm looking forward to this alien game story.
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jack1974
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by jack1974 »

Thanks, what I wanted to explain is that:
a) it's hard to know what everyone wants. I just read a recent review of Volleyball Heaven saying "I've never played a game where all love interests were unlikable" :lol: and for me is really insane. Just because a game breaks completely from the classic dumb stereotype of "love interest instantly falls in love with you", doesn't mean is bad. But then, maybe is exactly what people want? And so I wonder, and maybe make a game like that to see what happens.
b) it's very rare, I think not just in games, to have a result exactly how you have imagined. Just think about one picture. You send artist references and a description. First, language barrier (both mine but also of artists which rarely are native speakers). Then, delay. Then sketches. Sometimes sketches aren't clear. You can ask to redo but artists obviously won't redo sketches 50 times. Sometimes the result wasn't as I imagined but I said "OK that's fine". This is ONE image. Multiply that for all character sprites, outfits, backgrounds, CG scenes. Include music. And then writing :lol: At least if I write myself I have no problem to rewrite a scene 2-3 times as happened with After Midnight or An Elven Marriage. But just asking to redo something costs a lot of time (and in some cases money) so you have to take shortcuts sooner or later.

Then to all this mess, add people asking you when something is out, which is a good sign because they want to play. But is still a pressure :) So it's not easy. Sometimes it works out, other times less well.
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Franka
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by Franka »

jack1974 wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 10:12 am Thanks for the feedback. If I remember correctly you didn't like Hazel either. So I guess more romance focused stories and less plot-twisty aren't your thing? I mean I know you said romances aren't satisfying. Some people on Discord said they loved it.
Hazel didn't leave much of an impression on me. Right now I'd say it's worse than this game, but then this game is fresh in my mind right now; I might have forgotten all about it in a few weeks. :wink:

I do love romance. The issue I have here is that your character is basically already romancing everyone right from the start, there is no progression to the romance other than, "and then they did it." That's unsatisfying to me, I like the wooing and seduction stages of a romance, and things like enemies to lovers and such. In this, there are plenty of cute interactions and lots of flirting, which is enough for some, but wasn't for me, at least not in this case.

Using a ghost writer might explain why Myrth and Rei felt "wrong", like they didn't really have personalities.

In any case, you don't have to explain your choices, I know you have to adjust to the market and your own schedule, just offering my opinion on the story and why it didn't work very well for me personally.
My next game which I hope to kickstart next month or so, has a very different story (aliens!) and while even in that case I didn't write the story myself, I planned it better (also is smaller cast). I think the story is more interesting, then of course there'll be people who complain because there are only 2 love interests :lol:
You'll never please everyone, but I look forward to seeing what it's about. :)
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jack1974
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.2

Post by jack1974 »

Haha yeah, tbh I think you and I have very similar tastes in stories. I mean I liked all the games I wrote, but if I had to pick 3, they'd be Bionic Heart 1, PS2 and After Midnight and I think you liked them all. I like too when there's some unpredictability, plot twist, when love interests don't instantly like you. Perhaps the idea to have harem ending influenced a bit everything, not sure.

The alien story will still be a short game, so not much branching and yes, ghostwriter again, but I think at least the idea at the base of the story is "original" (of course I haven't read all the stories about aliens, but I think is at least uncommon). Also, new artist, much more like classic manga, which I don't know if is a good or bad thing but we'll see :)
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Winkie22
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.3

Post by Winkie22 »

is alien game taking place in the same universe as stronghold games?
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jack1974
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.3

Post by jack1974 »

No it's not related, it's more like black-mirror style :)
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Winkie22
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Re: The Beastmaster Princess beta 0.7.3

Post by Winkie22 »

sooo different universe whats black mirror?
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