Lucy1997
Clownfish
Clownfish
852 Posts

Advice for developers

[Post New]by Lucy1997 on Jul 7, 11 11:09 PM
I posted this in comments, but another player suggested that it might be a thread helpful to the developers and lead to some good suggestions for them.

The art work was interesting, but it was often too dark to find some of the items. This afternoon I realized (thanks to the hint button) that I literally couldn't see some of the items: one was in a black space that looked, well, just like a black space. I don't mind cleverly hidden items--they are part of the fun of hidden object games!--but items you literally can't see don't feel fair. I don't know how much individual computers make in the color tone of a game, but on my computer this game was much too dark.

The story in Silent Evil didn't make sense to me because it was totally disjointed: you start off with finding newspapers that seem to build up your hint button (though I'm not even sure about that) and then you are in scenes that have no apparent connection. The real trick for developers is to have a strong narrative that they can tell without too much blah-blah (which I hate) but that answers the question WHY we are playing the game. People hit the "buy" button because they want to see how the game ends. This story didn't engage me because I'm not even sure who Kate is, let alone why I should want to rescue her. (And, by the way, I think the male figure that you see in so many scenes is supposed to be the player, but, like a lot of BFG gamers, I'm female, so I kept thinking he was part of the "evil.")

I thought that a couple of the minigames were quite innovative: the tile game where you construct pictures was at first disconcerting and then fun, as was the "find the letter" game. But both games were less fun the second and the third time because I knew what the schtick was. I'm all for innovation, but repetitive innovation gets old too, so I think you need to have some variation in the mini-games. (By the way, I thought the correlation between the lock and the paintings was quite clever--although that's probably because I "got" it!) Also, listen to the request for different levels of play because experienced players don't want sparkles: we like to wander around on our own.

If the developers are following this thread, I'm sure that they would find many volunteers for a beta for their next game (count me in!): most of us are experienced gamers, and, although our criticisms can be harsh, our primary interest is in having great games to play!

 
shadowfax44
Orca Whale
Orca Whale
21,885 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by shadowfax44 on Jul 7, 11 11:36 PM
You have made very excellent points and suggestions here Lucy. I agree with everything you have said and would like to state that the hidden object scenes were too dark on my monitor as well and I have a monitor calibrator that has a gaming setting which lightens the screen up considerably. I can't imagine how dark these scenes must have been on monitors that weren't adjusted for gaming. About the beta testers... count me in!! I would love to be in on a beta test where we have the opportunity to provide feedback.

Edited on 07/07/2011 at 11:36:31 PM PST


 
DragonLadyOz
Shark
Shark
12,214 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by DragonLadyOz on Jul 8, 11 12:25 AM
Hi there Lucy,
Some very constructive ideas here, and I'm glad you set this up to be more easily noted by the developers (and others who would also like to add some constructive suggestions).
I would like to add another positive - the transitional stages of the H0 scene in the early part of the game) were a good idea and something that I hadn't encountered before. It was just a pity that there was no information (aka storyline) between the stages to make them more relevant for the player.
A good story makes for more interesting game play and lets the players identify with the characters more and want to know what happened to them and what they need to do to solve this/help them. This is especially important for some reason, when the main character is male.
So, maybe some more time and effort in developing the "story" between the scenes to explain what is going on/why we are performing these actions is necessary to make it more engaging for us all.
Cheers.

 
Poutoule
Archerfish
Archerfish
41,630 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by Poutoule on Jul 8, 11 12:27 AM
My monitor wasn't adjusted for playing (or may be just for this game ?) and it was dreadful, can't find black on black.

Lucy, entirely agree with what you said. I wish devs would take into account what players are trying to point at.

Edited on 07/08/2011 at 12:30:14 AM PST


 
Lerianis
Jellyfish
Jellyfish
16 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by Lerianis on Jul 8, 11 4:34 AM
I have to say having played this game that.... well, it stinks. I don't say that about many games on Big Fish Games, better than 99% of them are worth the price but this game was just horrible.

No real storyline, no real plot, and too many loose ends left at the end of the game.

Add to it those horrible 'hunt the piece' block puzzles (I personally hate them in all honesty) and this game warrants less than a 2 out of 5.... 1.75 at most.

This is a game that appears to be a 'money grab' from a developer who didn't really take the time to make a truly great game or even want to take the time.

 
Lucy1997
Clownfish
Clownfish
852 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by Lucy1997 on Jul 8, 11 10:24 AM
@Lerianis

I don't know the developers, so I can't speak to their motives for creating this game, but I did do a little research on the internet to find out something about the developer. Playarms Studio seems to have been founded in 2010, and Silent Evil appears to be the only game the studio has put out so far. So, I think we're dealing with a first attempt by a new development team.

The You-Tube video of the game has some Portuguese on it, so this new studio is probably located in Portugal or Brazil (could be Mozambique or Angola too, but I don't think many gaming studios are located in Africa). That the developers may be non-native English speakers makes sense because it may explain the lack of voice-overs or text in the game. I agree that that lack left gamers unclear about what was going on, but hiring native English speakers or editors is probably an additional expense for a studio.

I didn't finish the game because it froze my compute at one point, but you seem to have finished the game. Assuming that we're talking about a new firm, can you think of particular aspects of the game that made the game play unsatisfying and how the developers could have improved those parts of the game? This may be our chance to help new developers create a really great game!




 
mcurty
Dolphin
Dolphin
6,991 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by mcurty on Jul 8, 11 12:51 PM
@Lucy,
What a great idea to start this thread to help out a newer developer. Hopefully, it will contribute to better games for all of us.

Constructive criticism should be very helpful for future projects rather than just negative comments.

This game had such great potential. I was disappointed that it had some areas which kept it from reaching that potential.

The graphics in the first part of the demo that I played were very good. I liked the style.

The H0 scenes were hazy which I interpreted as being a part of the environment that the developer was trying to create. Which is OK. But the contrast needed to be greater to make the scenes playable. There were too many items which were dark on dark and impossible to see with my eyes even on my big monitor.

The intro cartoon graphics were a very good way to introduce the story quickly and I liked the way they were done.

The puzzle with the tile pieces was a bit tedious in my opinion. There were just too many pieces to match, and it interrupted the flow of the game. One puzzle like this was enough for me, and I quit the game when I encountered the second one.

After a break, I will go back in and at least complete the demo.

Audio - I liked the music, but the repetitive "Silent Evil" in the background was too much. It should not have been repeated so many times -- that distracted from the environment it was trying to create.

This game reminds me of one that should be in a beta test right now. I think many of us could have helped this developer make this game very good.

ETA: I believe Playarms is a Brazilian developer. They have a website.

Edited on 07/08/2011 at 12:52:24 PM PST


 
userfree
Guppy
Guppy
168 Posts

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by userfree on Sep 7, 11 7:45 PM
Excellent advise from the pond for beta testing. It's easy to slam someone for not making the grade (especially first time out), but to offer constructive criticism and a solution, speaks mountains! It's nice to see the old gamers (count me in) offering help for the developers. Here's hoping they're reading these threads and take our advice!

 

Re:Advice for developers

[Post New]by Underthebridge on Sep 13, 11 12:11 PM
this game froze on me...norton didn't come up to say it was safe, so I uninstalled it right away

 
 
 
 
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