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Matthew VanDevander

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About Matthew VanDevander

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  1. Not sure what's going on but apparently the missing SIDEQUEST episodes are still not on VHX? Any word?
  2. Nah man this is an AWESOME idea. I love it! The documentary series has been amazing and non-backers have really been missing out on it. It'll be really cool to just be able to publically share the series with people, and hopefully some of them check out the game while they're at it!
  3. Both were very good. The Justin Bailey sidequest was really good though. Enlightening to hear more about the business side of the industry.
  4. I think this prototype was probably the most successful of the whole AF at proving the concept. It already felt like a real game after just two weeks. Sure it was a bit buggy at times, (My stamp got stuck on the pad and I would sign edicts with an invisible stamper) but I really could feel the core loop of the game already. And it was quite compelling. I constantly felt overwhelmed, with much less time to do everything that I wanted to get done than I had in the day. I was pretty scared at the end that I would get overthrown before I had investigated everyone in my cabinet, simply because it took so much time to do each individual edict. I wonder if the overwhelmed feeling was part of your intention? It's easy to just kill someone at the slightest hint for the sake of expediency. The main gameplay complaint was the lack of feeling like the 5-year plans and propaganda had a tangible effect on anything. Perhaps this is still an acceptable aspect of the game, since as a despotic tyrant, you would have little connection with the lives of your people. But in the full game it would be nice to feel as though subsequent events were at least related to the focuses you had chosen earlier. As an example, by focusing on industry, you get complaints about pollution or something. Maybe going down this path it ends up a bit too simulation heavy, since the game seems more to want to be a dynamic role playing tool, rather than a sim. So, overall I'd say that the game is kinda "there." There are a few interface issues in the prototype that would need to be addressed in a smart way: Of course I share the common complaint about getting the edicts screen to not feel like a chore going back and forth. Even though I think the time as a resource should definitely stay a core of the experience, there is no cool transition that stays cool when you see it 100 times. Obviously it would be immensely helpful to have the pictures of your cabinet members show up in the edict screen when you're selecting one to assassinate or what have you. Perhaps there are some who are good enough with names, but I was constantly having to cross-reference with the summaries to know who to select. Well, great job to Anna and the rest of the Dear Leader team. It really is a special little game I think.
  5. I am glad you did as well. The whole prototype is definitely buggy, but without that bizarro ending the whole prototype fails to prove out the value of the idea. The chat script stuff working better is just a matter of having more dialogue and events written and put into the game. That takes time, as does ultimately making "all roads lead to potato," so to speak. So that part doesn't get proven out totally in the prototype, but the fundamental mystery behind the whole thing is a core concept as well, and I think that is undeniably compelling.
  6. I actually disagree that dialogue trees would be acceptable. I think it is a core part of the concept to be able to talk to the buds however you like, and I really think the only issue with the prototype was that it didn't properly prove out how this part of the concept would work, due to the inherent limitation of not having the deep well of lines to draw from. There's a lot in there, but it's hard to tell what's there and much of the game has been rebuilt around funneling you towards a critical path. It's kinda hard to prove out both the story concept and the chat concept in two weeks. The story is ultimately more important to have working, because without it you just have an incomplete thought. You have a cute field with some best buds in it, without any mystery. I suppose that's a long and rambly way of saying that I don't think dialogue trees have the same "feel" as just typing out things naturally. One is prescriptive, the other isn't.
  7. Not as far as I'm aware. I think the idea for a full game is to have many different but similarly weird endings and to expand out the day that you spend with your chosen bud.
  8. I would absolutely love to see more of Pen's warped imagination in game form. And I don't see anything wrong with the chat system. It just didn't really have the time to be fully developed with enough responses in two weeks. I would have a suggestion for the full game though. Time should either stop or slow when you are typing, I think, because typing in the prototype seems to take longer than the buds are willing to wait.
  9. Should be able to get away by running backwards as soon as the house potatoes.
  10. SPOILERS FOLLOW: Run away. The mouth is important. You know what to tell him.
  11. It appears to me that ultimately Pen made the call that having the whole story in there and accessible was more important than having the game be interactive past the first "act." If it were totally open the whole way through while still being so underdeveloped, it would be super easy to break it. It's already very possible to break it if you don't behave very narrowly, but it would've been so bad that absolutely nobody would be able to make it through to the credits if they had kept chat script active through everything.
  12. Since I imagine not everyone will figure out this crazy games ending sequence, through all the weirdnesses and brokenness. I will just say, if you haven't seen the credits, you haven't seen the end.
  13. I would second that idea. Pendleton had some real off the wall ideas all of which would be challenging to make into something concretely playable in two weeks, but it will be exciting to watch I'm sure.
  14. I am totally stoked to be able to play Act 1 now DRM-free without waiting and putting off my documentary watching too. Thanks so much everyone on the team. However, I didn't seem to receive an email notification that it was available. I found it on the Humble Store for sale and then started digging to find out if it was available to me. Did I just miss the email somewhere? Thanks again and keep it up!
  15. I'm sure they will make a super deluxe version available. There is also going to be a normal feature length cut of the documentary. I do feel sorry for those of you who didn't get the word about the documentary earlier. It really has been one of the most fascinating pieces of documentary work about video games. And I second the call to back amnesia fortnight 2014 and watch the documentary for that from last year, it was totally separate and equally amazing. Better than the prototypes, IMO. https://www.humblebundle.com/doublefine
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