Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

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How should Free Play Mode be "unlocked"?

It's an option from the start (you never have to actually play)
7
7%
It's unlocked when you successfully finish the game once
64
68%
It's unlocked when you get all of the achievements
16
17%
Other (please explain)
7
7%
 
Total votes : 94

Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby tlaero » Wed, 17May10 06:17

I've been thinking about adding a mode to my games that lets you easily go back and revisit scenes without having to play all the way through them. I'm picturing a page in settings with thumbnails for each of the scenes. You click on one and it takes you straight there and puts you into "Free Play Mode" where points and variables don't matter, and you can click through and revisit the scene without concern for having enough points to continue, etc.

The question I'd like people's input on is, when should you be allowed to use Free Play Mode?

My first thought was that I should make it a reward for people who have gotten all of the achievements.
Then I thought, "What about people who want to revisit scenes but aren't completionist enough get those last few hard ones?"
Then I thought, "What if there are people who don't really want to play the game, they just want to read the story or look at the pictures?"

I'm wondering if I make this available right away, so you don't have to play even once, will that make people not bother to try to play the game? That's kind of like "cheating" but I don't do anything to prevent you from cheating now. Change one number in one file, and you go into debug mode where you can set any variable you want to whatever you want.

So I'm running a poll to see what you folks think. I'm interested both in votes as well as explanations, so feel free to do either or both.

Thanks!
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby L1nk1980 » Wed, 17May10 06:33

Tlaero

this is a good thing to do.

I think you have to unlock this when you completed the game once. in this way you have too earn it, but if you can't fond the last achievement, you can visit all the scenes.

by the way, have you ever thought too make a sequel with Christine like you did with keeley?

I like those game and I know you make tem with phreaky and not with mortze.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby benedict » Wed, 17May10 09:33

If you do that when you finish the game once, then very few people will play the game twice.
I voted for when you do all the achievements. My reason for this is in your games it's easy enough to get the achievements, you don't have to go out of your way to do so, just play the game a few times. This is in stark contrast to Wolfshadowe's BEW, where it's extremely hard to get all achievements unless you use a walkthrough or look at the code.
To summarise:
Finish the game once - too easy.
Get all achiements in a hard game - too hard.
Get all achievements in a Tlaero game - golden middle.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby yahoo » Wed, 17May10 09:59

Three other possibilities:
1. Revisit only the scenes you have completed already, and the option to revisit them only works if you finished the game at least once.
2. Get half the achievements and finish the game at least once.
3. Finish each path in the game at least once. As an example, for Finding Miranda that would mean you'd have to play both results of your wife's loss (pick up lots of girls and close up completely) and go on all four dates.
--
What would these revisits entail? Going back to your early games, you had Easy and Hard, or sometimes Easy, Medium and Hard levels, where the sex scenes were different. I found anything but hard boring, but it also meant that some scenes were impossible to get. I'd still like to see them, but without having to play through the easy game.
That would mean my proposed option 1 would be annoying since you'd have to play through a number of times and on all levels.

Come to think of it, I have a fourth possibility:
4. Finishing the game on Easy (if you intend to have difficulty levels) only gives you access to scenes you have completed plus one scene you haven't completed. Finishing the game on Medium gives you access to scenes you have completed on Medium (plus one scene you haven't completed) and 50% of scenes on Easy. Finishing the game on Hard gives you access to you have completed on Hard (plus one scene you haven't completed), 50% of scenes on Medium and all scenes on Easy.
That way, if you complete the game on Hard twice, you get access to all scenes on Easy and Medium plus everything you have unlocked on Hard and if you play through enough times, you also get a chance to see other content that eluded you.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby NickNKVD » Wed, 17May10 10:18

yahoo wrote:1. Revisit only the scenes you have completed already

I agree with this one. This is how it is done in almost every Japanese visual novel.
And apart from the bonus scene, all the others are easy to find in your games so far.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby kessie8dn » Wed, 17May10 12:45

Great idea - I get incredibly bored playing the same scenes, over and over again, trying to remember the exact sequence needed to trigger a certain event, only to find it was something I'd done almost at the beginning :)
Obviously some events are either/or, but giving players a chance to save a game at each optional point, try option A and then load the game and try option B without it ruining the stats for future events would be a great idea.
Waiting until all the achievements are unlocked would make it a redundant function, surely?
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby montybet » Wed, 17May10 13:46

NickNKVD wrote:
yahoo wrote:1. Revisit only the scenes you have completed already

I agree with this one. This is how it is done in almost every Japanese visual novel.
And apart from the bonus scene, all the others are easy to find in your games so far.


When you do that you also should incluede an skip-until-choice function to unlock the remaining scenes without spending tons of time.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby vkalvkal » Wed, 17May10 15:24

I voted for "other".

As the big fan of Japanese visual novel that I am, I'd like the option to revisit a certain scene after I'm able to see it.

No need to get all the achievements or even reach an ending. As soon as a scene was seen, I'd like the option to view it again on some kind of gallery (just like in visual novels).
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby fleet » Wed, 17May10 16:49

I voted for "Other"
Give the player multiple save slots, so the player can save at many points in the game.
It is entirely possible I misunderstood the original question.
Check out my latest adult visual novel "The Night He Met a Sidhe"
at http://the-new-lagoon.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4060&p=107663
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby nezumi69 » Wed, 17May10 17:43

vkalvkal wrote:I voted for "other".

As the big fan of Japanese visual novel that I am, I'd like the option to revisit a certain scene after I'm able to see it.

No need to get all the achievements or even reach an ending. As soon as a scene was seen, I'd like the option to view it again on some kind of gallery (just like in visual novels).


When I thought about a 'free play' mode, this is what I pictured, so I also voted 'other'. If you haven't found/completed a scene within the normal gameplay, you don't get to unlock the gallery. If you want a 'reward' for achievement completion, you could alter any corresponding scene slightly (with a new picture or three), or have a bonus scene tied only to scoring a certain number of achievements before unlocking.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby Crane » Wed, 17May10 19:29

There are different kind of choices and they all depend on the genre. VN are too long (i`ve never managed to complete one) so a gallery maybe is a good choice. But erotic games are not that long.

You want to create a gallery of sex scenes. But what if the player want the scene to start from the beginning? I mean from the start of the date or a a decisive point?
Let`s say you have a game like DWE, where the real sex scenes are just a couple. Most of them are foreplay or softcore. So what`s the point of a gallery?

Your games (and Mortze`s) aren`t a JVN where a bunch of barbarian soldiers rape a bunch of virgin princesses after a bloody battle. The special thing in your games is the vibes and the atmosphere which leads to the sex scene. A sex scene gallery looks like those cheap RPG games that seems to be written by some teenager whose final fantasy is to bang his sleeping mom.

An option from the start? If you voted for this option you are in the wrong genre. The one you`re looking for is called Adult Comics.

I voted for the second option but my honest opinion: more saves or "decisive" autosaves.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby redle » Thu, 17May11 02:33

I voted for finished once. In these games there are almost always several scenes that I never see but would like to (other than looking through the image folder or some other variant of cheating). For the most part these games very much are an adult comic or visual novel. They are scripted from start to finish with little player autonomy. The player doesn't make the PC who he wants him to be. The PC is explicitly defined as personality A, B, C, or what have you by the first few choices a player makes and then the rest of the game is played out trying to guess which choice matches the predefined personality. If you guess right you get to keep playing, guess wrong too many times and you must start over (or worse, get to keep playing but get all the adult content stripped from your viewing).

There often is one or two points in the story (a date or some such) where the player actually gets open-world. The player gets to choose whether the action takes place at the beach, in a diner, in the mountains, etc. The choice doesn't matter to the plot and is there to add some variety to replay and give the player some content control. I do like having some choices, but at the same time I kind of want to do all of the dates at some point. That said, I do not want to need to earn the right to date all over again (yes, sometimes I like to start from the beginning again and do things differently, but I don't want it to be required). It's kind of like giving a book and saying chapter 5 has been rewritten 3 times. Read them all and see which you like best. Oh, but you must read chapters 1-4 once for every version of chapter 5. Saves are well and good in their own right, but as a solution for things like this put the onus on the player for no good reason.

I like these games. I like the stories. The main thing I dislike about them (or any visual novel type game) is the fact that it ceases to be a game after a few playthroughs and devolves into tracking and clicking every possible combination available to see all the content. As soon as I start choosing options not because it's an option I want to explore, but because it's the next choice sequence yet to be tried, I tend to walk away from the game.

If I were to choose a different option in the poll, other than completing it once, I would choose "from the beginning." It isn't that I want to skip the game. I'll play the game first whether there is a gallery available or not. Once I decide I'm done with exploring/playing, though, I'd like to be able to see what I missed or re-see scenes I want to re-see, regardless of how complete or incomplete my play was. Also, cache/cookie/file cleanup is an all-to-frequent blocker. I don't want things trying to work around my cleanup to make things persistent without me explicitly choosing to create that persistence and I don't want to need to re-earn content viewing because I cleaned up.

In contrary view to most of what I just said, I will admit that sometimes it is nice to see which areas/scenes are still locked to get an idea where to pursue additional play/content. I don't want to just see the scene. I want to be told just enough to know that there is more content waiting to be seen and enough of a hint as to which area within game has said content. This can help alleviate the feel I mentioned before where I'm simply exhausting all possible combinations, but back to making choices with a goal in mind.

The thought I have at the moment would be a gallery that's unlocked easier than harder, but add layers to the unlock process. The first lock is your poll choice: access to the gallery unlocks when player succeeds at accomplishing X (be it simply starting a game, reaching every possible event in the game, or some combination in between). Next, individual events within the gallery are unlocked when a player views them in any playthrough. Lastly, if the gallery is unlocked, but any specific event is locked, a player can click on it and choose to unlock it (with no more hassle than a verification warning or two asking if I'm really sure I want spoil my game play by jumping straight to this content rather than reaching it through due course).
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby scrumbles » Thu, 17May11 10:16

I agree with NickNKVD and vkalvkal.

But, if I am not mistaken, Mortze once said that some supporters of him do not even play the game, they just look at the renders. It does not make any sense to me, but who am I to disagree? So, even if I voted the 4th option, I suggest you to make them happy and opt for the 1st one.

Or: make a gallery where every scene is technically available with a click from start.
- visited scene: colored thumbnail
- missing scene: a lock
This gallery should also have a "spoil" button: if the player clicked it, lock thumbnails would be replaced by grey thumbnails of the missing scenes.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby noskcaj » Thu, 17May11 10:42

I also vote for other:

1. Revisit only the scenes you have completed already, and the option to revisit them only works if you finished the game at least once.
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Re: Thoughts on "Free Play Mode"

Postby Crane » Thu, 17May11 13:58

Another thought...

Why not release the game in two versions? As a game and as a VN. Everyone can choose which version wants to download/play.

I don`t know how practical this idea is. Just e thought. Perhaps the "free play mode" without playing the game at all is more convinient but i thought it wouldn`t make any sense to have "the ending you want" regardless your choices are.
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