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Everything posted by Alyric

  1. I'm not sure whether I made it clear in my post, but I completely agree with you on this. I'm afraid I might not have explained myself well enough in my last post. I'm not sure I'll do much better this time - I'm really tired - but I'll give it a shot. (Before I get started, let me preface this by saying that whatever suggestions I make pale in comparison to yours in regards to NPC character development. That is, beyond a doubt, what Academagia needs most right now. It's not my intent to diminish that). I certainly don't expect the developers to give players time to do everything in a single playthrough. I do, however, think it's unreasonable to suggest that a student can't succeed (or even excel) at his or her academics while also having an active social life. (Many of us managed that even without magic!) The point I was trying to make was that, while it's probably possible to do both, in my experience you need to have an advanced understanding of the way the game works, and then really exploit the system through the use of spells, etc., to boost your results. Perhaps if I played through the game three more times or so I'd learn more ways to improve upon that, but it brings me right back to my problem. As I pointed out in my last post, I spent almost every single action my first game in my academic development, and my scores at the end of the year (compared to others in my class) were average to below average. Now obviously, there are game mechanics in place that make it unnecessary to spend your entire year studying to pass your exams, but until you've spent a few games learning them, it makes for playthroughs that are relatively dull by comparison. Once you do learn them, you've seen a good share of what the game has to offer (at least by way of random encounters) - I find myself clicking through certain encounters with a sense of 'been there, done that'. There are a few problems with this: The first, I believe a player should just be able to enjoy the game from the start without having to spend a few games learning the system. A free social action would help to draw the player into the game (and its cast), particularly if the developers take your advice about making the characters feel more alive/real. And, as someone else pointed out, many social actions really wouldn't take up much of a person's day. I wouldn't be opposed at all to limiting such a free slot to certain types of interactions (a date, for example, would take a bit longer than telling an anecdote). Making players spend one of their time segments to accomplish more demanding social actions is entirely reasonable. My other big problem with the way the it currently works is that - to me - it felt like I was being pushed to master the nuances of the game's mechanics just to get anything accomplished - to the detriment of actually just enjoying the game or my character's development. Once I'd gotten enough understanding of the mechanics, a good share of the immersiveness disappeared - in a way, it was just me wrestling against the engine and the time limit. It's not really anything I can quantify, and I realize it's entirely subjective, but that was my takeaway. On a final note, as someone else pointed out, my reasoning for the 'free' social action was simply that many of the social actions available would use very little actual time. The weekly 'free' adventure action - which, to be fair, I was never as set on as the social one - I considered somewhat reasonable as well, seeing as students (particularly at this age) might very well adjust their sleeping schedules to work in an adventure on most weekends.
  2. Wow. I don't think it's actually possible for me to agree with this post any more. In fact, I registered mostly just to say that. It's been a few months since I went through the game (I believe I picked it up on sale through Impulse), but I do recall feeling many of the same frustrations that you expressed. (Despite the fact that, like you, I truly enjoyed the game). I would also point out that it took me playing through two times just to get a decent grasp of most of the game's options. A steep learning curve isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it presents a few problems: The focus of the game is primarily achieving high test scores. It can certainly be argued that the sandbox nature of the game leaves it up to the player what goals he or she wishes to attain, but the test scores are the only real way the game is measuring your success, and as a result, it's what most players are probably aiming for. The problem here, of course, is that in your first playthrough of the game, (provided you don't do a lot of searching online for tips) it's likely that even if you spend every single one of your actions attempting to raise your academic results, you'll only achieve middling test results at the end of the year. It wasn't until my second game that I even cast a spell, and my third game before I had enough understanding of the way spells and phemes worked to use spells to boost my test results. Being forced to play through the game more than once in order to achieve a measure of success seems a bit harsh, though I'm uncertain how to get around this. Perhaps a more complete tutorial to introduce players to most of the basic, and some of the advanced options that may become available to them. The real problem to me, though, is that the way the game is designed is forcing you to do one of two things: either choose between exploring the game's social aspects, adventures, etc, or getting your education; or spend a couple of games learning to min-max and game the system to maximize every single one of your actions, so you (hopefully) have time for both. I do recall, while playing through the game, that I wished most days gave you a 'free' action that could only be used for socializing, and perhaps a 'free' adventure action once every week. Other than that, I'd suggest giving alternative success routes by tracking other player results - who had the most or best relationships with students or teachers? Who had the strongest clique? Did the player complete any adventures that gained him or her significant respect? Perhaps certain conditions could be met that would permit a student to continue on to Year 2 even with lousy test scores. There's plenty of other possibilities, of course, but I'd probably have to play through the game again to think of some of them. And, again, it's been a while - perhaps some of these things are already tracked and reported upon completion of the game.
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