Virtual Date Games - Betsy

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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby TheGreatJoeGargery » Thu, 16Jun30 20:55

Maurice wrote:@ ThegreatJoeGargery

I really like your analysis about what a good game should contain.
I also value agency a lot.
But I do feel you have to decide if you are evaluating an art or a craft.

Right at the border between a game and a book is a visual Novel.
I have not played this game yet, but I do believe it leans towards the visual novel.

In this commentary you appear to appreciate games more than visual novels. So a tendency to be critical at the lack of agency in the game is only to be expected.
I think your point of view is perfectly legitimate. But i have my doubts it warrants the harsh points of (constructive) criticism you give.

If the game is considered a craft, then unevocably yes.
I for myself consider it more of an art. And then your criticism is not very to the point.

The point being the thing that the artist is trying to convey.
That doesn't necessarily has to be a sexual fantasy at all.
It can also be a sexual fantasy with certain constraints. You don't have to like the constraints. But saying that it would be a better game without them is saying you think a game would be better with less intentional and more accidental parts. If you take away the intentional parts then what is left is no longer a work of art (a thing the creator wants to convey) but has become a craft (a thing the player wants to consume).

I think your feedback is very valuable to Chaotic for keeping tabs on what his audiance wants.
But I disagree on the points you make in your criticism sofar as them leading to a better game. Because that is (primarily) dependent on what the creator intends to convey.


What do you feel the author is trying to convey in Betsy?

(Also I just want to note that in the post you quote of mine I state that I didn't expect Betsy to have the features I was talking about. For a free game it is fine and with the addition of being more flexible regarding which order you do the dates in I have no issues. If it was a paid game though and I actually gave the author money to play it, I would expect more along the lines of what is in my post. I'm of the attitude that if the author is providing the game for free they can do whatever they want.)
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby dauner » Thu, 16Jun30 21:33

I have to agree on Gandalfs statement. I like story based games like the next one, but a simple but well made choice game that focuses more on the sex part is something that got really rare. And chatoic excelled at those type of games.
Of course if he wants to keep making story games then i don't mind but i miss the days of good old "Maddison - Final cut".
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby TheGreatJoeGargery » Thu, 16Jun30 21:41

dauner wrote:I have to agree on Gandalfs statement. I like story based games like the next one, but a simple but well made choice game that focuses more on the sex part is something that got really rare. And chatoic excelled at those type of games.
Of course if he wants to keep making story games then i don't mind but i miss the days of good old "Maddison - Final cut".


Maddison was awesome. I agree with you there.

I really don't want to single out Chaotic in my criticism. It just so happened a comment was made on a thread to his game which allowed me to say my piece and then I used his game as an example. The criticisms I have are more of an industry wide thing. I have enjoyed many of Chaotic's games and I am sure I will continue to enjoy his games in the future. I just finished reading his blog and I would be excited to play any of the new projects he is contemplating.

I just think there is currently an attitude in this genre that games that have elaborate stories are somehow automatically superior to games that don't and lately everyone seems to be cramming short novels into their games to be part of the superior story driven game developer upper crust.

I should change my profile picture just to confuse everyone so they ask "who is Gandalf...?
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby tlaero » Fri, 16Jul01 01:36

TheGreatJoeGargery wrote:I just think there is currently an attitude in this genre that games that have elaborate stories are somehow automatically superior to games that don't and lately everyone seems to be cramming short novels into their games to be part of the superior story driven game developer upper crust.


I don't think this is true at all. I'd say "erotic games with a non-trivial story" are a tiny niche. The vast majority of games in this genre are variations on strip poker (strip tetris, strip memory, strip solitaire, strip pong, etc). Full agency, no story. Even among the erotic games that have a story, there are probably 10 "MeetNFuck" games for every "Redemption for Jessika." People who want nudity unencumbered by story complexity are extremely well covered here. Browse through the games on PlayForceOne, and you'll find a ton of ones that meet your desires. That said, for whatever reason, the people who play and rate the games there seem to rate games with a story higher than the non-story ones you like. That doesn't mean you're wrong, though. It just means THAT audience prefers something different than you do.

As for what game designers do, we write games that are the style that we want to play. I write story based games because that's what I enjoy. I know of people who write similarly styled games because they enjoyed mine, just as I was originally inspired by Ariane. But, as I said, I don't see "games with a short novel crammed into them" pushing aside everything else in the genre. There's too much variety for that to happen.

I encourage you to write a game the way you like it. You'll find your niche and fans just as I've found mine, and that's cool. There are billions of people on the planet. Even the smallest niche can appeal to a lot of people. Come down to the Projects boards and ask any questions you'd like about how to do it. We'll be happy to help you. We'd also want to get into a discussion there about why agency is so hard to create in these games. That kind of technical discussion is probably more appropriate there than here.

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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby TheGreatJoeGargery » Fri, 16Jul01 05:42

tlaero wrote:
TheGreatJoeGargery wrote:I just think there is currently an attitude in this genre that games that have elaborate stories are somehow automatically superior to games that don't and lately everyone seems to be cramming short novels into their games to be part of the superior story driven game developer upper crust.


I don't think this is true at all. I'd say "erotic games with a non-trivial story" are a tiny niche. The vast majority of games in this genre are variations on strip poker (strip tetris, strip memory, strip solitaire, strip pong, etc). Full agency, no story. Even among the erotic games that have a story, there are probably 10 "MeetNFuck" games for every "Redemption for Jessika." People who want nudity unencumbered by story complexity are extremely well covered here. Browse through the games on PlayForceOne, and you'll find a ton of ones that meet your desires. That said, for whatever reason, the people who play and rate the games there seem to rate games with a story higher than the non-story ones you like. That doesn't mean you're wrong, though. It just means THAT audience prefers something different than you do.

As for what game designers do, we write games that are the style that we want to play. I write story based games because that's what I enjoy. I know of people who write similarly styled games because they enjoyed mine, just as I was originally inspired by Ariane. But, as I said, I don't see "games with a short novel crammed into them" pushing aside everything else in the genre. There's too much variety for that to happen.

I encourage you to write a game the way you like it. You'll find your niche and fans just as I've found mine, and that's cool. There are billions of people on the planet. Even the smallest niche can appeal to a lot of people. Come down to the Projects boards and ask any questions you'd like about how to do it. We'll be happy to help you. We'd also want to get into a discussion there about why agency is so hard to create in these games. That kind of technical discussion is probably more appropriate there than here.

Tlaero


I don't recall ever saying that what I was looking for was more nudity and sex in games yet everyone seems to think that is what I mean by story not being absolutely important. What I do look for is player agency, which is what can I do in the game. I'm also not saying writing is not important. Writing is very important. In fact bad writing is a definite deal breaker for me. That writing may not have to be for a story though. A well written character could be enough to center a game around without any story (again, like in Date Ariane). I feel that if story impedes that then I think that is a bad thing. What I think people are having difficulty separating erotic games from visual (movie) porn. If you tell me what is wrong with visual porn today I would say it is a lack of story. But as I mentioned before, video games are interactive. They tell a story by having players do stuff and go through an experience. I want to be able to interact with the experience as much as possible. I don't know what in my posts would lead you to believe that strip pong would be to my taste.

Actually, I take that back. Could you tell me where I could play strip pong please. I am just insanely curious to see it now...

Quite honestly Brad's Erotic Week is almost a perfect example of what I'm talking about. It does have a story but the story is from the point of view of the player. I'm not being dragged through someone else's story. It is broken down into several smaller stories which can branch out which means I have a significant amount of choice in how the story unfolds. Of course I don't expect everyone to make a story on that scale since I don't want to wait 10 years to play a game, but Brad's Erotic Week shrunk down to a smaller scale would be a nice trend I'd like to see. It has a story but the story is in service to the game, the game is not in service to the story. The story also elevates the game, it doesn't impede it. I still feel I'm playing the game and not just watching the game. So you have Brad's Erotic Week on one end of the spectrum and Date Ariane on the other end of the spectrum. I love both games for the same reasons. One has a lot of story and the other has barely any.

In regards to the list on Playforceone, I'm just going to say that popularity and quality don't necessarily correlate. Michael Bay movies tend to preform well at the box office but I would have a very hard time justifying the latest Transformers movie as being very good. That's about as far into that conversation as I am willing to get. However I do have to say that I enjoy many of the games on the top 10 list at playforceone.

I also have to say that I do have an immense amount of respect for game developers. I understand it is a lot of work and requires you to pour a lot of your emotional resources into producing something you want to be proud of. I give my opinions because I hope to share new ideas, even unpopular ones, in the hope that the collaboration eventually results in better games for everyone. You have every right to think I'm wrong and ignore everything I say. You may think I'm 99.9% wrong, but even if you get that 0.1% out of it then it's worth it. I don't think any artist aspires to stagnate. If you put that much energy into creating something, I feel that you want to constantly be improving and make your newer creations better than the last.

I do have one question for you though. At the end of your post you encouraged me to make my own games. My question to you is do you think my opinion is less valuable as I have not made my own games? I enjoy playing games, and I often use the term "as a player" or "from a player's perspective" when I write posts. Is that something you outright disregard or do you consider that to be valuable feedback and use that as influence when creating future games?
Last edited by TheGreatJoeGargery on Fri, 16Jul01 06:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby Maurice » Fri, 16Jul01 05:56

TheGreatJoeGargery wrote:What do you feel the author is trying to convey in Betsy?

(Also I just want to note that in the post you quote of mine I state that I didn't expect Betsy to have the features I was talking about. For a free game it is fine and with the addition of being more flexible regarding which order you do the dates in I have no issues. If it was a paid game though and I actually gave the author money to play it, I would expect more along the lines of what is in my post. I'm of the attitude that if the author is providing the game for free they can do whatever they want.)


I still have not played the game yet so I think it would be unfair to tell you what I feel the author is trying to convey in Betsy.

If you are paying money for something I consider it perfectly reasonable to expect a work of craft in stead of a work of art. (I agree with you on that)
I am of the attitude that even even when something is a work of art you can still expect a certain level of craftmanship within the art.

Tlaero just offered to engage with you in that discussion. She is a game developer (and I am not) I think the insights you will gain from that discussion will pale to any I can offer.

(If you'd like to continue this discussion with me in particular though, I'd feel honored by your interest/curiosity in my opinion, I think we should continue this discussion on a different spot. I feel it would be more about gameplay in erotic games in general than about Virtual Date Games - Betsy)
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby Hoboy » Fri, 16Jul01 06:35

I agree - this is diverging seriously off-topic...
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby TheGreatJoeGargery » Fri, 16Jul01 06:41

Hoboy wrote:I agree - this is diverging seriously off-topic...


Actually I agree too. If anyone wants to continue this conversation they can send me a pm or we can open a thread in another forum. I apologize for side tracking the thread.

On topic though, Chaotic talked about his opinions of Betsy on his forum at vdategames. Does anyone have anything to say on that?
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby muttdoggy » Sat, 16Jul02 03:12

Chaotic said that he really liked the Violet character and was considering adding a day to the Betsy game to increase the realism or immersion factor. On both points, I'm in complete agreement. I'd love a game with Violet in it. [img]images/icones/icon7.gif[/img]
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby Hoboy » Sat, 16Jul02 04:30

I agree that an extra day would make sense - it feels rushed to do 2 dates (with Violet added) and then we're running around naked. I also see where the confidence requirements for the best ending have been cut - man, it took me a few tries to get to 41 in the original. Don't care - the ending was worth it...
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby EscapeEvade » Sun, 16Jul03 02:11

Overall, I liked the game a lot. This was definitely Chaotic's best result, I think. It shows what years of practice have made. Betsy's character design was really good. I loved the small side story of April struggling with grades and the player character helping her. While I'm cynical about things like that, it was a nice touch in the grand scheme of the game.

As time has passed since I first played through and have started working through the other Date Nights options, my initial enthusiasm has waned a bit. Like I said, I think the game is really good and I like it a lot. But my initial very high level of enthusiasm has been tempered by a few things that have bothered me more as I've seen them. First, Chaotic billed Betsy early on as a truly shy and reserved girl, unlike Kelly (coincidentally, my favorite character by Chaotic), who appears shy but is really open underneath. I didn't quite see that in Betsy. Yes, you have to work on building her confidence, but I feel like things move a bit too fast and that Betsy has some traits early on that I wouldn't expect. Like unless she Amazon Same Day'd some of the stuff she has by the night of the photo shoot, I think she was more out there than apparent earlier. Not that this is really a strong complaint, I just kinda didn't buy some of the storyline. I think adding a 4th day would've helped, but, alternatively, the story could've taken place over as many dates as there were but with time gaps in-between filled in with some dialog, like, "I'm glad we went on that date last week where we did X, Y, and Z." To me, if this was over several weeks with more dates not shown but discussed, I would much more readily buy Betsy's apparent transformation.

Another thing was that there were some writing choices that kind of bothered me, but those are story elements rather than anything about the game. I'm not even sure why some of the story choices bothered me as much as they did, but I know if I bring them up here I'm liable to start a small scale flame war, sooooo.... I'll just say there were a few elements of the story that I felt could've been different without losing any of the substance.

As I've said on Chaotic's blog before, I'm a bit disappointed Cass wasn't a more interactive part of the game. Rachel and Cass are obviously very alike. I would've loved to have seen more of the relationship between Betsy and Cass considering how different they are and considering Cass is my third favorite character of Chaotic's behind Kelly and Miranda.

But, to end things on a higher note, I think this game has had some of the best decision points of any of Chaotic's game. I know from the walkthrough what path to take to get the best ending, since I used that on my first play-through since I just wanted to speed through the game on some limited time I had before exploring the other options. But even so, I think Chaotic did a really good job of not making choices obvious. There are a lot of really tough choices, and they can lead to some unexpected results (and not in a bad way). I really like the challenge that has offered.
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby TheGreatJoeGargery » Tue, 16Jul05 06:44

EscapeEvade wrote:Another thing was that there were some writing choices that kind of bothered me, but those are story elements rather than anything about the game. I'm not even sure why some of the story choices bothered me as much as they did, but I know if I bring them up here I'm liable to start a small scale flame war, sooooo.... I'll just say there were a few elements of the story that I felt could've been different without losing any of the substance.


The whole point of the thread is to give feedback. I'm curious as to what bothered you with the game.
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby john milton » Tue, 16Jul12 14:27

I really enjoyed this game Chaotic. I'd say it might be one of your best! Thanks for it.

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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby Spluts » Fri, 16Jul29 04:22

Hello Chaotic! I've been a fan of your work for several years now! ^_^ I must admit, when you first announced and showed samples of Betsy I wasn't too keen and had my doubts. I had my heart set on more Maddison (sorry, I know it gets said often enough but obviously I am a big fan of hers), and was even hoping for a small miracle that you'd make an updated and longer Maddison/Lisette game (hint, hint :P). Not only did I find Betsy plain-looking, I didn't think too much of the concept either.

I take that all back. ^_^ Your work has improved once again, setting a new bar. Betsy was awesome! ^_^ For a free, one-man-labor-of-love game, I could really see the effort you put into this. The erotic pacing was very reminiscent of Tlaero (who is a master of this erotic buildup genre), but distinctly in your style. I loved both Betsy and April, though wasn't too keen on Violet (sorry!). I loved how Betsy looks like a mix of a younger Cassandra (how did you do that?!) and her sister Rachel. I also loved how the dialogue, design, animations, and poses of Betsy evolved as you went along the story (ie. her fashion, facial expressions and gestures were timid at the start and got more expressive as you played); the attention of detail you put into this game was just awe-inspiring. April was such a beauty too, very different from your other characters. I loved Violet's persona, though I wasn't too keen on her looks (personal preference sorry). And maybe I'm wrong, but the interaction/dialogue in Betsy felt more natural than in your other games.

Anyway, I think I type too much. Bottom line is: Thank you for making such an awesome game Chaotic! Please keep up the good work! ^_^

PS. Is it just me or did anyone else think that photo session was a "prequel" to the photographer character? :P
PPS. Chaotic, what else can we do to support your work aside from monthly subscriptions? Not a fan of that kind of payment option... ^_^
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Re: Virtual Date Games - Betsy

Postby master110 » Fri, 16Jul29 13:27

The next game is out its online only so its very laggy right now.
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