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tepples
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Subject is a required field

Post by tepples » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:58 pm

This is the description I had planned to use for Star Evil in the multicart.
Your craft has crashed!
Now explore the wreckage
of the world you once knew.

+ Move
ⒶⒷ ???

Inspired by a game by
Active Enterprises
I'm treating the entire A52-inspired part of the game as the opening cut scene because that's what it is.

M_Tee
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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by M_Tee » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:48 am

I think a lot of Star Evil's appeal is the initial confusion of trying a few times to get past the obstacle and eventually being shocked to realize you can move the O, even further surprise once you try to walk offscreen with it.

Having a write-up that reveals that would remove a lot of its appeal.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by FrankenGraphics » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:31 am

I was just about to write the same. This is just my experience and opinion so take it for what it is, but thinking that the top-down is the game is the game is part of the experience, and more importantly, realizing what the actual game is was a pleasant experience when i realized it on my own. It's a great plot twist and i think it's core to the whole concept.
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tepples
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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by tepples » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:38 am

If describing an event that happens less than one minute into a game is an inexcusable first-episode spoiler, think about it from the perspective of someone who has played Action 52, tries a familiarly named game in Action 53, and concludes that Action 53 has even worse quality control than Action 52. And even if players do get past it, you run the risk of players remembering the game only for the twist.

What other games' marketing has successfully pulled off hiding everything past the fake-out opening?

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FrankenGraphics
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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by FrankenGraphics » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:34 am

Hm... Not meaning to be contrarian, but i feel as though simplifying it as a first episode spoiler does the mechanism no justice.

1)In star evil, the scenario is crafted to cause grave disbelief in the user. This will either
a) fuel the incentive to fool around with the controller/try different things, which will ultimately lead to the revelation. Blunting down that mechanism beforehand by instructing the user will deprive the user of that experience.
b) make the user resign to the idea that it is a reference joke, which the user will get if they already know about action 52 (which you ought to, given action 53:s reference if not other things). Which is fine all on itself, even if you don't get to play the "real" game.

I think of it as an experience as much as a game. Or as separate but associated subgames. One game is figuring this stuff out. The other is what follows if you do.

2) once they know, a new metagame appears: hand the controller to a friend and say "hey, try this game.."
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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by toggle switch » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:53 am

isn't this pubby's choice?

pretty sure it was meant to be opaque, and to reward players who actually figure it out, but ultimately it should be up to pubby.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by tepples » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:07 am

Say you purchased a copy of a video game and read through its manual, including how to control the main character. But once you play it, you realize that all the control description in the manual was related to a scene of controllable helplessness in the opening cut scene, as are the box, website, and trailer. The actual game is completely different. Would you feel justified in your purchase? Or would you instead feel justified in never buying from that publisher again and telling your friends to do the same?

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by FrankenGraphics » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:28 am

As it happens, both the first game and the second have the same controls, actually. D-pad = move. A/B = actions. Start = start game. So i think there ought to be a way to eat the cake and have it too.

For the question:

probably the former if:
-its a compo anthology of several small or mini games made in the spare time by enthusiasts with varying ideas, ideals, expressions, styles and ends.

probably the latter if:
-i had spent a considerable portion of that months' entertainment budget on one single big game
-the game was actually unplayable without the manual

I think that if you're buying action 53, you probably know you are buying the former.

isn't this pubby's choice?
I agree! The discussion shouldn't hurt, though. If someone makes a game with an unorthodox design next year, this discussion could serve as a knowledge base.
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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by M_Tee » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:41 am

As was pointed out while I was typing, the comparisons are not equivocal.

1. Unless we're considering naming vol. 4 "Star Evil: Action 54 Vol. 4" like vol. 1 was named for Streemerz, this is one of what will be many games on an anthology.

2. The ROM will be available for free. Anyone who does purchase it has the ability to play it first.

3. The decision should absolutely be the developer's, especially considering the developer is not getting paid for the work. And the experience is obviously intentional, as is evident by pubby's description.txt.

4. Games as an experience is a worthwhile endeavor, and even if it "known for its twist", the twist still makes it better than--not a disappointment from--the expectation that's set up by it.

And to reiterate, revealing the twist beforehand greatly diminishes the experience of playing the game.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by pubby » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:53 am

I can see arguments for both sides, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I would prefer the original description ("A remake of the Action52 classic!") and have the screenshot be of the space section.

Cheers :beer: :)

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by tokumaru » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:42 am

Most games don't need manuals. Growing up in a country where game piracy was rampant and few kids could read english, I hardly had access to game manuals until I got a Sega Genesis and started buying official TecToy cartridges (a lot of people I knew kept buying pirate carts during the 16-bit era though). Even without manuals, I still managed to play tons of games just fine.

I don't see any problem in using a deceptive description for Star Evil. I believe that not knowing what's happening and figuring out stuff is the whole point of this game, and that includes figuring out the controls.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by toggle switch » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:12 am

Say you purchased a copy of a video game and read through its manual, including how to control the main character. But once you play it, you realize that all the control description in the manual was related to a scene of controllable helplessness in the opening cut scene, as are the box, website, and trailer. The actual game is completely different. Would you feel justified in your purchase? Or would you instead feel justified in never buying from that publisher again and telling your friends to do the same?
say you purchased a copy of empire strikes back and it said "Luke Skywalker discovers he's the son of Darth Vader!" on the cover.

the beauty of star evil is discovering it for yourself. if you're too damn lazy to figure it out, you don't deserve it anyhow.

just my opinion.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by lidnariq » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:26 am

Since apparently everyone else except tepples disagrees... I'm just gonna say that my initial reaction was "This looks like a particularly lame practical joke".

Now that I've beat it? I still think that the introduction doesn't help it at all. Barriers to entry and misrepresenting what something's about make for a worse experience.

So, IMNSHO, the manual text should not explain the controls at all, just give a hint that the game starts with a deception.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by calima » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:38 am

I think "there's a second game" surprise is a good thing, but only when both games are good and complete.

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Re: Star Evil and F-FF

Post by gauauu » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:29 pm

pubby wrote:I can see arguments for both sides, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I would prefer the original description ("A remake of the Action52 classic!") and have the screenshot be of the space section.

Cheers :beer: :)
I'm also in favor of listing it however pubby prefers. If people are confused or miss the point, well, that's ok.

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