SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Unacceptable

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 8, 10 6:57 AM
I don't know. I think people are actually being too generous with their comments. This is easily the worst game I've played on this site. Obviously the rest of the comments here support this to a certain degree, but my heart still sinks a little when people say they quite like the story, or they were 'just getting into it'.

Crime is one of the most popular fiction genres and it's perfect for computer games, because it's already a game. You're playing against the author to solve the crime before the end. But crime stories are woefully under-represented here. Even the good ones rarely rise above the level of a mediocre tv episode.

And Jane Croft is just.... there are no words, really. There's no coherent plot. There's not even a pretence of police procedure or legal process. You go somewhere only to be told that it was a 'red-herring' (1. This sort of unintentional fourth-wall breaking is just clumsy. 2. Maybe it wouldn't have been such a waste of time if you looked for clues instead of detritus! 3. Yes games like this are often padded out but to so blatantly admit that you've wasted the player's time is just insulting.) Heck, the game makers don't even seem to know what year or city the game is supposed to be set in. Why bother mentioning Baker Street at all, if the crime is just in some alley? The surpise culprit is stupid and the tacked on motive doesn't even make sense, because just being related to someone doesn't mean you'll inherit after their death. The dialogue is full of non-sequiturs and odd capitalisation like it's Winnie-the-Pooh.

This is an unnacceptable standard, and even damning it with faint praise is too good for it. If people who make these sorts of things are given the slightest encouragement that this is a reasonable standard then we're just going to be fobbed off with more rubbish.

Sorry for the rant. I just want a good mystery game.

Edited on 11/08/2010 at 2:44:11 PM PST


 
HasNazir
Pufferfish
Pufferfish
1,264 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by HasNazir on Nov 8, 10 7:07 AM
Welcome to Bigfish SoManyCrimes,

Thanks for taking the time to write this thread,very good. . I agree that when a game is rubbish that people should not be adding comments which deem it acceptable-I am not aware that people here on Bigfish do that though-of course there are people who may like the game and even brought it. If its not popular, lets home they don't waste their time making another one, sometimes it feels they don't know their audience -what we want out of a game.

There are many other crime games for you to try, I've heard James Patterson's various games are very popular and I have dowloaded "Special enquiry detail, the hand that feeds!, i get so bored that I am willing to try anything. So happy gaming


Edited on 11/08/2010 at 7:08:35 AM PST


 
zoomer
Jellyfish
Jellyfish
10 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by zoomer on Nov 8, 10 7:30 AM
Thanks for your great review for this game. I am surely going to avoid it!
I think that so many of these games are geared for children, as I guess that is the biggest audience here after all.
I wish they had more challenging games and a lot less hidden object games.
I guess we all have to be careful of the reviews we see here!

 
ADTech
Herring
Herring
374 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by ADTech on Nov 8, 10 8:04 AM
This is your opinion and are entitled to express it. It is very well written we greatly appreciated, but do not forget that everyone has their own opinion of games and therefore should try the free download and make up their own opinions. someone has previously suggested this and I think this is excellent advice. Please keep giving your opinions on games as this is also very helpfull. We also appreciate the time and effort that people put into writing reviews, they are very helpfull. Please excuse my mistakes, I should have corrected them but have a dreaded migraine/cluster headache and my typing/computer skills are lacking. Tlme to take my medications and go back to bed.

 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 8, 10 8:32 AM
@HasNazir Thanks. I've played the Patterson games and they're fun enough. The production values are high and the voice acting is pretty good (very rare!), but they're pretty humdrum mystery plots. There'll be a twist or two and probably a hazy understanding of mental illness/the occult along with a very shaky presentation of lab work/police procedure/journalistic technique. How much that matters I can't say: a game that dutifully represented police procedure would be very dull! But there's certainly none of the "oh it was so obvious!" retrospective realisation that you find in a truly great mystery plot; all the clues slotting into place and the whole picture suddenly snapping into focus.

But I do have fun playing them, and "it could be better" isn't much of a criticism. Things could always be better. But I just get the feeling that there isn't the ambition to create really great plots; that people are just happy with something 'good enough'. It seems a shame, when there's no reason that you couldn't create a mystery to rival the classics in this medium.

@ADTech I suppose I should have put all the usual disclaimers, but I sort of take it as read that people will make up their own minds and not just accept what I say. And constant qualifications along the lines of "of course this is only my opinion" are pretty tedious when they're basically redundant.

But, and I think this is important, a lot of it isn't just opinion. The motive doesn't make sense. The actions in the game don't resemble real life police, forensic or legal work. There is no concrete reference to the setting of the game, in time or space and the items come from a jumble of different time periods and cultures. The capitalisation is incorrect and inconsistent.

These are just facts.

It is, of course, up to people to judge for themselves whether or not these things are going to affect their enjoyment. I play mostly for the story, but of course other people may regard the story and writing as much less important and so these facts won't impact on their enjoyment in the same way they did for me. And of course, as a first time poster, my word carries little weight and people should check whether I've got my facts straight, since it's free.

I hope you feel better soon! Migraines are a nightmare

Edited on 11/08/2010 at 9:52:11 AM PST


 
rgogescu
Squid
Squid
66 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by rgogescu on Nov 8, 10 1:12 PM
Hello guys,

I am the Producer of this game. This was our first attempt of making a HOG and I can tell you that was pretty hard for us to finish this project. We learned a lot from this experience and we all thank you for your feedbacks.

Raul

 
ritchieprod
Squid
Squid
73 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by ritchieprod on Nov 8, 10 2:01 PM
Raul:
Thanks for owning up to being the producer and accepting the criticism. Better luck next time. HOGs are fairly common and one of the things that sets them apart from the rest is a good story and clever dialogue. If you're going for Baker Street, you really need to capitalize on the Holmes connection right away or you've missed your mark. If a game doesn't grab me in the first 10 minutes, I'll pass unless comments tell me to give it another try.

 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 8, 10 2:14 PM
Hi Raul. It's good to hear from you. Since it seems like these comments may actually have some influence I feel I should qualify some of the things I said in my posts above.

First, I'm afraid I'm going to have to stand by the title I chose for this thread and my assertion that it's the worst game I've played on this site. I really don't think it should have been released in the state it's in, although I accept that maybe you simply had to release something. Having said that, there are two things I should say:

1) I've only played about 50 of the games on this site, so my experience is hardly exhaustive.

2) It's not that much worse than some of the other bad games I've played here, although it's unfortunately not within spitting distance of the best ones.

Secondly, I should talk about the writing, since I can't really offer any help on the technical side. I imagine that you wanted the game to be longer, so some of the deficiencies of the plot may be due to last minute cuts. Having said that, though, you really need to get someone who is a dedicated writer. (I'm assuming you don't have one, although I didn't actually stick around for the credits after I'd finished. If you do then, I'm sorry, but they're not up to sratch. Some of it I can put down to translation errors but not much.)

The story and the dialogue just fail to pass the basic tests that every narrative should. The player can't tell when it's set, or where. The characters have no consistent voice. The plot bears absolutely no resemblance to the real world, with no particular justification for why it shouldn't. The identity of the culprit is both unsurprising and nonsensical. People are used to mysteries now. They suspect every character who gets given a name and then eliminate the ones who are actually suspicious. You aren't fooling anyone.

Mysteries are difficult to plot. They need to be carefully controlled and well-thought out in advance. You can't just make up police procedure and forensic medicine, and you can't have a character who's willing to assert her way into a premises using her official authority and then decides to change character entirely and play a game of cups and balls, if you want her to be taken seriously.

(continued....)

Edited on 11/08/2010 at 2:20:51 PM PST


 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 8, 10 2:19 PM
...

The stories in these games shouldn't be an afterthought. Even mediocre gameplay (and in my opinion, hidden-objects and recycled puzzles is the very epitome of mediocre gameplay, although I imagine most people on this forum will take issue with that ) can be salvaged by good writing. And writers are so cheap! I don't know how much it costs to make a computer game, but I'm fairly confident that a writer will add a minuscule amount to the budget. Professional writers don't bring in the big bucks. Most are counting themselves lucky if they've got enough to eat. I should know.

I'm sorry if this all seems harsh. I don't want to discourage you from making games and it seems like you're going to learn from this mistake. But I love mysteries, I love the idea of mystery computer games and I'd give my back teeth to be the writer on a mystery game project, no matter how feebly it paid. So it makes me so sad when game after game has a lacklustre mystery because people think it doesn't matter, or that it'll 'write itself', or that anyone can just chuck a simple plot and some dialogue together and it'll pass muster. There's just no need for it.

And it isn't just you. Or even just casual games. Look at Starcraft II: an astronomical budget and yet campaign dialogue that sounded like it had been written in half an hour on a bus. It baffles me.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope your next project is a great success!

Edited on 11/08/2010 at 2:32:58 PM PST


 
luvtoread
Manatee
Manatee
4,081 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by luvtoread on Nov 8, 10 2:28 PM
SoManyCrimes, just wandered in here, have not downloaded the game.
I must say I appreciate your critique of the game. You expressed it well, made your points and offered suggestions.
Alot better than those that say "Terrible game, do not buy"
with no explanation whatsoever.
Looking forward to more of your game reviews!!
And Welcome

 
Retiredmom
Starfish
Starfish
40 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by Retiredmom on Nov 8, 10 4:44 PM
I wish that I would have read the forum before using one of my bonuses for it. I was disappointed in the play and the length of the game. I am grateful that Raul listened to all of the comments and hope he has better success next time.

 
cnmoore
Lobster
Lobster
80 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by cnmoore on Nov 8, 10 8:51 PM
Actually, I was rather enjoying it. I like the heroine's appearance very much and the game seemed fine - UNTIL - I exited from it and when I tried to resume it the next day the scene was totally frozen.

Naturally I'm not going to buy it since it stalled on me - but I did think SoManyCrimes was a bit overly harsh. So many games are so much worse. Stil, thanks to SoManyCrimes for the long detailed critique.

 
SoManyCrimes
Minnow
Minnow
214 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by SoManyCrimes on Nov 9, 10 4:47 AM
@cnmoore Really? Like what? This isn't meant to be argumentative, it's just that if there really are many games of a lower quality than this one on BigFish then my thread title of "Unacceptable" is manifestly false.

Three possibilities:

1) There really might be many games that have the same failings, but worse. I've just been lucky to avoid them. I do tend to only look at games that have been recommended to me, or which seem like they will have a mystery plot.

2) There might be many games that are broken and unplayable (which Jane Croft certainly wasn't in my experience but apparently was in yours) and I've just been lucky to avoid them. I'm happy to accept that games riddled with bugs are objectively worse than games that work fine but are shoddily constructed.

3) What you really mean is that there are many games on here which you've enjoyed less.

If it's 3), then I have the same experience as you. But I don't think that makes what I said harsh or untrue.

There are plenty of games on here that I've enjoyed less than Jane Croft. I played it all the way through to the end, after all. But the reason I didn't enjoy the other games is because I have no interest in them: I have no interest in matching 3 sea creatures to get a new accessory for my boat; I have no interest in a virtual tribe of castaways. But from what I saw of those games, the fact that I didn't like them was entirely down to me; they accomplished exactly what they set out to do with great skill. I just didn't want to play them.

Jane Croft, on the other hand, doesn't really achieve any of the things it seems to have set out to do. I agree that the character art for the heroine is appealing; the music is, too. The front screen created a vibe that I was definitely interested in. But the game hardly capitalises on the vibe that it creates when, for example, the interior for a hidden object round in a 'casino' is clearly a stock interior from a British pub!

It's these objectively low levels of professionalism and design competence which prompted my comments, rather than any personal level of enjoyment or boredom I derived. If it is the case that there are many other games on here with lower standards then I apologise unreservedly to Raul: I stand by what I said about how to make a better game in future, but perhaps I should have picked a better thread title.

Anyway. I should stop writing massive posts and actually go and play something!

 
Kalavinka
Clownfish
Clownfish
683 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by Kalavinka on Nov 9, 10 9:41 AM
I don't mind it. I am playing it as I am talking on the phone and burning photo cds. It is not too distracting and I really like the strong emphasis on hidden object screens. It is not the sort of game that I would sit and play-- but it is good as I am multitasking. I enjoy the style of drawing-- and the over all noir aesthetic. Not the best game that I have played-- but certainly not the worst. I may not buy it to finish it, but it is far from being the worst game that I have ever played (that was the Mary Celeste--I was bored stiff). It is actually a bit better than average IMO in that I am considering the possibility that I may want to finish it.

-Kala

Edited on 11/09/2010 at 9:45:35 AM PST


 
mcurty
Dolphin
Dolphin
6,991 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by mcurty on Nov 9, 10 7:42 PM
I just played the demo so cannot speak for the whole game. It is a straight HOG with some mini puzzles. I think this is a great game for beginning HOG gamers. Much better than many i have tried in that the items are not tiny, in dark corners or particularly frustrating to find, but yet challenging. The cursor timeout is annoying. Some of the disappointment in this game may be because it begins as a very promising story that apparently doesn't live up to the beginning?

After playing the demo I would buy it if I played HOG games, but I don't really like them that much. I prefer the IHOG or Large File adventure games. I just play some of HOG when I need a little relaxing mind numbing experience.

Raul, I think this is a good beginning game just take some of the suggestions to heart and your next one will be even better. thanks

Edited on 11/09/2010 at 7:43:38 PM PST


 
rgogescu
Squid
Squid
66 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by rgogescu on Nov 11, 10 4:26 AM
@mcurty: thanks. I can tell you the next game will be better than the first one.

 
Kalavinka
Clownfish
Clownfish
683 Posts

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by Kalavinka on Nov 11, 10 4:43 AM
I think that "unacceptable" is too strong a word. I liked many things about the game.

 

Re:Unacceptable

[Post New]by kris_cross48 on Nov 13, 10 1:28 PM
too strong a label, somany crimes. Looks like your looking for a job with Raul.

Anyway, in agreement with everyone else, this is a C game. not an F. If one is really into HOG games, just to squint and find, this is the game. It's harmless and if it were my first game I'd created and put on the market, I'd be pretty proud that I actually did it..lots of people just talk about it.

So Raul, keep at it. Work with your graphic artists a bit more so that items have a "feel" to them. There needs to be more depth of field to the visuals since we're playing in here for the visuals anyway...least most of us. Straight HOG's are pretty much getting boring to us now since games like the latest Holmes game came out and we're pretty appreciative of that level of gameplay.

You have to balance the story with gameplay. The story frankly isn't as important to me as the gaming itself. The more complicated the gaming the more rapt I am and I'll buy that game. Beause I'm in here to game, not to read. If I want a great plot, I'll hit the library.
Congradulations for getting into gaming world and take what we say with a grain of salt.
Chris

 
 
 
 
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