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HonoreMike

Suggestion and Feedback Thread

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Just a quick note that you can press Esc to pause or get the quit option. We didn't get a chance to do a quit/restart, but that is definitely a feature for the final version, as is the branching save system like that in Papers, Please.
Sorry, for a while I got you confused with Mnemonic which does not have a quit option in its help (esc does do it in that prototype though, but it's not listed)

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I was having a lot of fun, but at some point things simply stopped happening. I guess I ran into a bug... Several days passed while I ordered my secret police to spy on every single one of my cabinet members just to pass the time, until I eventually quit. I'll have to try it again and see if it works this time around. Despite that, it was really entertaining while it lasted and I loved how the art style turned out.

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Sometimes it was hard to tell what edicts did, like the search edict puts reports behind older ones. I liked the gameplay but something about the tranistions and day cycle made it feel like the game was forcing me to go "fast". It's all minor stuff.

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This is quite an insane amount of work to do in two weeks. The look of the game is great (I'm partial, of course) but I also want to point out that writing is very solid and has an authentic feel. The balcony scene + music = awesome. Great job all around!

Insofar as suggestions for a full game, I think it'd be great to define end-goal(s) that a player tries to accomplish; perhaps, something like Civilization where there are multiple ways to "win" a game and then at the end we'd get a screen that shows how good/bad we were (maybe even something like The Walking Dead where our choices/stats could be compared to others).

Anyway really hope this become one of prototypes made into a full game!

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I was having a lot of fun, but at some point things simply stopped happening. I guess I ran into a bug... Several days passed while I ordered my secret police to spy on every single one of my cabinet members just to pass the time, until I eventually quit. I'll have to try it again and see if it works this time around. Despite that, it was really entertaining while it lasted and I loved how the art style turned out.

The same thing happened to me. I've dealt with the counter-revolutionaries (or, well, I think so, they've disappeared from the list of targets at least), and some time later I received a call about naming a city... and that's it. I kept sending out random propaganda messages for days and absolutely nothing happened. The game really needs a "pass the time without doing anything" option, by the way.

Otherwise, though, I liked Dear Leader quite a bit. The art style was great, the characters were awesome, the story was enjoyable. With a bit more depth and options it could make a terrific full game, I think. :)

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As it stands, I feel like the game is a bit too vague about the consequences of your decisions. Having to rely on transcripts of news reports and whether the crowd is cheering or booing doesn't tell a whole lot about WHY these things are happening.

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Well this is prototype, so you can't really expect it to actually have that much cointent. But it does give a very good idea of what the actual game could be like. There's a lot of stuff that could be put in the actual game, like war time administration, deeper foreign affairs, home and foreign propaganda, taxes, political conspiracies. The way I see it, the final game, mixed with randomizer would be hard pressed to run out of things to do, this proto hardly scratched the surface of the actual potential.

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I just played the prototype and found it pretty fun. I really like all the little customization aspects (all hail dictator Big Leg) and the record book built up a really interesting story over the course of a playthrough.

I did get a bit stuck in the game when many of my edicts disappeared. I thought that might have been because of the traitor, but I kept playing for quite a while and no one killed / overthrew me, I just wasn't able to do much. I never actually got the search edict, despite it being mentioned a bunch of times. I also did have the issue where I was prompted to kill someone a few times after I killed him. Those issues aside, the prototype was promising and I could see this being good as a full game.

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As I played through again I found myself thinking more about the writing for the game. I know this is a two week prototype so the writing perhaps won't be as good as the writer wants it. I had some ideas about the characters.

Character wise I don't think most of the characters stood out as much as they could have. For instance during AF it was said that the secretary would have a sort of German heritage to where his sentences are broken. But I didn't get a sense for any of that happening.

There are a couple ways to fix this, if you do something have him occasionally drop a German word in the conversation instead of in English. Things like if he were to say verboten instead of forbidden, they sound similar when said and you get a sense of he isn't from this country.

Another way to possible deal with establishing character is by having them talk about themselves. The secretary can talk about the old country or how and why his parents left the home country. It's a small thing but it creates a fuller world with those little details.

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I also didn't get access to the search edict and got messages about the counter-revolutionary causing trouble after I killed him, but the game overall looks great. I think the music adds a perfect touch to the feel of the game, and the art is amazing. Thematically, everything fits together perfectly.

I'll be trying different things in additional play-throughs, but really enjoyed my first look at Dear Leader!

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Each department on the intercom needs it's own tone when you press the button or get a call.

Also, it would be really helpful if people's faces were included in ANYPLACE where their name is mentioned. I found I couldn't remember the names, and it was too much of a hassle to go and try to figure out who people were. I don't even know who I was sending to jail.

I found it really hard to read those bits of text where you can see the balcony scene in the background (the end of act follow up stuff, I guess). They were just so overly complicated that it just kind of turned into blah.

Maybe it's just not my type of game.

The art style was on-point though. Really neat.

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Each department on the intercom needs it's own tone when you press the button or get a call.

That might be helpful. An audio fanfare wouldn't make sense on that old style intercom though. I'd definitely like it if the ministers would say when you meet them, "you can always reach the X division/me on the red line." It took me a little while to figure that out.

Also, it would be really helpful if people's faces were included in ANYPLACE where their name is mentioned. I found I couldn't remember the names, and it was too much of a hassle to go and try to figure out who people were. I don't even know who I was sending to jail.

This would be nice too.

Putting the results of the discredits in public places like on the radio or in newspapers and showing them to you, I imagine, is more satisfying than reading a report on it. Of course, you need one of these:

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If you have the radio on and are at the office to hear it in time, there is a news report that plays about discrediting on the radio. It's the thing that starts as *Fanfare*. Or it should, anyway. :D

If you miss it, you can read the transcript in the Reports.

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Oh thank you. Sometimes I would discredit and then go directly to the reports instead of picking up the intercom where the cabinet member would tell me the result, so things didn't technically get out of order, but it wasn't as exciting.

E: I will say I did a whirlwind tour through it. Will play absorb it slowly again later.

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I constantly felt overwhelmed, with much less time to do everything that I wanted to get done than I had in the day.

Yep, me too. You know when you're playing Sim City, and suddenly Godzilla shows up, and it completely puts you into a reactive situation where you lack all agency, and have to try and fix the problem? Playing Dear Leader felt like playing Sim City without all of the gameplay elements except Godzilla. I felt like I had no agency, and was only reacting to whatever the game was throwing at me, suffocating under an avalanche of issues of widely varying importance.

It's possible that this was absolutely intentional. If the goal was to make a game that gives you an impression of how stressful it would be to be a dictator, then it was a huge success (no sarcasm intended — it's a valid goal for a game).

But I think the game would be a lot more fun to play if there were fewer events, and if the actual simulation was exposed to the user. After each "day" (which, to me, felt more like a year, given how much happens in the game during that time frame), I would love to get an overview of how the country is doing: economic growth, press freedom, happiness, etc. And I would like to see more ways of influencing these things (e.g. setting tax rates, specifying subsidies, setting import taxes, entering trade agreements or preventing trade, currency manipulation).

Despite of my criticism, I enjoyed the game. For a two-week project, the polish — from writing to gameplay to music to visual design — was pretty astonishing. Of this year's AF games, this one feels like the most promising and interesting. Fantastic job.

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Yep, me too. You know when you're playing Sim City, and suddenly Godzilla shows up, and it completely puts you into a reactive situation where you lack all agency, and have to try and fix the problem? Playing Dear Leader felt like playing Sim City without all of the gameplay elements except Godzilla. I felt like I had no agency, and was only reacting to whatever the game was throwing at me, suffocating under an avalanche of issues of widely varying importance.

It's possible that this was absolutely intentional. If the goal was to make a game that gives you an impression of how stressful it would be to be a dictator, then it was a huge success (no sarcasm intended — it's a valid goal for a game).

But I think the game would be a lot more fun to play if there were fewer events, and if the actual simulation was exposed to the user. After each "day" (which, to me, felt more like a year, given how much happens in the game during that time frame), I would love to get an overview of how the country is doing: economic growth, press freedom, happiness, etc. And I would like to see more ways of influencing these things (e.g. setting tax rates, specifying subsidies, setting import taxes, entering trade agreements or preventing trade, currency manipulation).

Despite of my criticism, I enjoyed the game. For a two-week project, the polish — from writing to gameplay to music to visual design — was pretty astonishing. Of this year's AF games, this one feels like the most promising and interesting. Fantastic job.

Dear God no. It sounds like you were expecting something more like SimCity or Europa Universalis, and I don't think daily hyperaccurate stats like "economic growth, press freedom, happiness, etc" would be available to a dictator of a country like the USSR.

The point of the game is to simulate the experience of being a part of the system, not really to grow a country a la Tropico.

Anyway, I didn't find the game stressful at all.

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But I think the game would be a lot more fun to play if there were fewer events, and if the actual simulation was exposed to the user. After each "day" (which, to me, felt more like a year, given how much happens in the game during that time frame), I would love to get an overview of how the country is doing: economic growth, press freedom, happiness, etc. And I would like to see more ways of influencing these things (e.g. setting tax rates, specifying subsidies, setting import taxes, entering trade agreements or preventing trade, currency manipulation).

Dear God no. It sounds like you were expecting something more like SimCity or Europa Universalis,

It's not really about my expectations. I'm thinking about what would make the game more fun to me, and I think having better insight into what actually happens, and what kinds of consequences my actions have, would help do that.

There's a term in psychology called "learned helplessness". It is caused when a situation teaches a person that he or she can't control his or her own life (i.e. whatever the person does, the results seem to be unrelated or negative). Learned helplessness is probably a major cause of clinical depression.

Even though I "won" Dear Leader on my first play-through (i.e. I got a good ending), I felt like that. I felt that none of the actions I took had any positive effects, or, often, any effects at all. It made me feel sad and powerless. I kind of enjoyed trying to find the traitor, but after I killed the person I thought was the culprit, I ended up not being sure whether I got the right guy. People told me I did, but I wasn't sure whether they were lying to me, either because they were the traitor, or because they were afraid to say anything non-complimentary. I did not enjoy that.

Again, I will acknowledge that this might be intentional on the part of the game designers, which would be absolutely valid. My feedback is based on the premise that this is not one of these games that intentionally aims to instil negative emotions in its players. If that is the intention, then my feedback is moot, since the game then succeeds at its intended goal.

and I don't think daily hyperaccurate stats like "economic growth, press freedom, happiness, etc" would be available to a dictator of a country like the USSR.

I'm pretty sure the USSR had economists and statisticians and all of that stuff, but I don't think it really matters. I absolutely acknowledge that there has to be room for games that are not fun, and that it is okay to position Dear Leader in this segment. But if we are operating under the assumption that we want to make a game that is fun, then it doesn't matter what it is really like to be Kim Il Sung, and what kind of data a dictator really has access to. What matters is whether the game works as a game, whether people want to play it.

(Note that this is a general comment on the goals of the game, and of the constraints caused by these goals; I'm not saying that nobody can have fun with the game because I did not have fun. It's entirely possible that my own experience is not representative of what most people experienced when they played the game.)

The point of the game is to simulate the experience of being a part of the system, not really to grow a country a la Tropico.

I don't know if that is true, but if it is, I'll acknowledge that my criticism is pointless.

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I feel you. I think Steed should have been a point-and-click adventure game with no combat, but for some reason they made it a a brawler. Apparently there is a demand for games that just aren't fun, though.

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Of all the DF prototypes made available to the public this feels like the one closest to a full game (game breaking bugs and expected minimum content aside).

Double Fine would be foolish fools not to make this a full game.

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Congratulations to Anna and the team! I loved this game. This was always in my top three, and as expected you hit it out of the park!

I loved the customization ability, the artwork (so great!!), the music and sound, and the themes in the game. I thought the gameplay was very straightforward and fun, and could totally see this being an iOS game as well as on a PC or game system. But if I were you, I'd shoot for iOS or Android tablet...it really feels like it would fit that category of games so well.

Things that were confusing:

- I couldn't tell which button on the intercom I should answer, and sometimes I really did have a preference to talk to one minister over another. So I agree with other comments that some way to distinguish would be helpful.

- Also agree it would be great to enable multiple edicts in a row, or better explanation that this is a limiting factor, so choosing poorly or in a less optimal order will result in a poorer outcome.

- I found it frustrating that the ***fanfare*** would come on but I had already started to click on the edicts or reports folder, and was unable to listen to the radio broadcast. I know you could read the transcripts, but in a final game I'd really prefer it prevented you from doing that, and became an audio cutscene, if you will, (you can always enable 'spacebar' to skip of course). But I think this would better let me absorb the results of previous actions and understand how my choices affect the game.

I've played it through twice so far. To be a prototype that you can play multiple times and enjoy the different outcomes is really awesome.

Edict: Doublefine, make this game, or face the wrath of The Supreme Empress Of Murder Death And Also Happy Fun Time

I have sent my Minister of Public Enlightenment on the task to make it so.

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- I found it frustrating that the ***fanfare*** would come on but I had already started to click on the edicts or reports folder, and was unable to listen to the radio broadcast. I know you could read the transcripts, but in a final game I'd really prefer it prevented you from doing that, and became an audio cutscene, if you will, (you can always enable 'spacebar' to skip of course).

Better would be to just keep running the message even while in the folder, IMHO.

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There should just be a ticker or something that displays messages like that. Either the fanfare would come on just as you're clicking the edict folder or you'd stop in time and have to watch the painfully slow crawl of the on-screen text.

"Good-byeeeeeeeeeee" being a literal 3-second sound clip was also painful.

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Today I finally found some time to write some feedback on the prototypes. I will also add responses to the other corresponding threads. It was really interesting to see the games come together and it is really impressing what you did in two weeks. Also sorry if some of the things I write already were mentioned. I did not have time yet to read the rest of the feedback.

I think the prototype turned out well, but it is not really my type of game. I really like the music, sound and art style. A problem I have whith the game is, that there seems to be no obvious way to recognize the results of your decisions. Also it seemed to me that you sometimes have to create useless or unnecessary edicts to get to the next day (which is probably the time when new things happen, right?). I am also not sure when I should expect the edicts that do not create reports immediately to show some effect and how to interpret these effects when I see them. I think a full version would need to give more direct feedback to the player about how the decisions are affecting the game.

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