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Dilettante's Achievements


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  1. That's great! I'd be very much interested in a sequel. I did think of one more improvement: when dealing with challenges, I always look for the cards that have a specific bonus first (e.g. when dealing with a Strength challenge, a card with +1 General, +4 Strength would be my first choice over a card that was +5 General). Would it be possible to mark those cards with a symbol or colour, at least on Easy mode?
  2. I just finished my first game of Scheherazerade. I really enjoyed it! The storyline was really interesting, and I am looking forward to playing through some other endings. Compared to Academagica, it is much more user friendly and less complicated, but there's still a learning curve involved. A few suggestions for improvement: 1) At least on easy mode, it would be nice if a challenge in a caper had some kind of way of telling you that it was a make-or-break one which would end the caper. I see this when hovering over the caper itself (showing the make-or-break ones in red), but there's nothing during the caper itself. 2) The game does a good job of telling you when each journey is scheduled to begin and end by using the journal and through clever events. However, it would still be nice to have some kind of note at the top of the screen saying something like '3 days left in India'. 3) While in India, I somehow managed to mention that Ahmose could turn to dust BEFORE I had gone through the other India adventure which revealed that Ahmose could turn to dust in the first place. This probably shouldn't be there, as it's a pretty major reveal for that storyline. 4) The game shows you which location has a rest (-15/-20 stress) effect, but it doesn't mark down the locations that have a -5 stress effect. Once I found one, I started hunting for them as they were more useful than the rest ones. However, it was hard to remember where each was. Having a similar symbol for them would be nice! 5) It would also be more user-friendly if the symbols of each caper/rest were found next to their symbol on the map, rather than mousing over them. That way, you could follow a caper more easily. It's a minor complaint, but making the game more user friendly can't be bad. 6) My biggest complaint: sometimes I left a caper - occasionally because I was journeying to another country - and then came back to it later. When looking at the list of challenges for it, there was no indication of which ones had already been completed. It would be nice if completed challenges were shown in some way (faded out, perhaps?) or simply removed from the list, so I could see that one caper might be only one challenge away from being completed, while another might be five or six away. 7) A minor complaint: sometimes I found myself clicking through the text a little too quickly. There doesn't seem to be any way to go back and see the last thing said, which is a shame. I see it in visual novels; not sure how hard it would be to have in the game. Things I really liked: 1) The storyline was fascinating! I loved the feel of it, and the many tips of the hat to history. 2) I liked having more than one option when dealing with challenges. It made me feel like I could use my strengths. 3) The characters were fascinating. I was not aiming for Ahmose, but ended up with him. I'm very interested to see both Felix and Nigel - and Anna and Aunt Evelyn besides. 4) The way the map is used for locations is much nicer than the menus of Academagia. I'd love it if even more of the icons were similar to the buildings in New York, though, rather than being stamps (?). 5) The ability to click on a skill and then have it take me to the activities that increase or inspire it is a huge time saver. Thank you! (I would like to see the base abilities highlit more, though) Overall, I really enjoyed the game, which makes 2 out of 2 Black Chicken Games for me. Looking forward to the next one!
  3. Just picked it up on Gamestop, although apparently I have to wait a business day for my payment to go through. Oh, well! I had seen it on Steam Greenlight and thought it looked interesting, but what convinced me to buy it was hearing on Reddit that it was from the same company that made Academagia. Looking forward to playing.
  4. A few more things I forgot to add to my list. 27) For quests, please divide them into "quests I have begun" and "quests I have not started." It is frustrating when I have begun a quest and want to continue it, only to have to mouse over a dozen quests to find the one that lists a history. This could be as simple as giving unstarted quests a special colour (grey or white, say) or having two sections for them, but it would be nice. You could also put a "NEW!" icon on quests that had not been started. 28) Similarly, a "NEW!" icon of some kind would be a great idea in general. As a player, I am ridiculously easy to manipulate: put a 'new!' icon next to each action, and I will systematically try out each one. This could be a good way to encourage players to explore and try new things instead of sticking to one tried-and-true strategy. 29) When I am trying to train a skill, it is very frustrating to use the skill groups. I acknowledge that they are very useful at times, and they certainly help keep the number of visible skills down, but most of the time I just find it awkward to remember that patience is in malice (and I still can't remember where observation is). The ability to change the skill list to an alphabetical skill list would be greatly appreciated. 30) When I click on skills I have learned in the daily report, it tells me what level I have them at, and how close I am to improving it. When I click on study levels, however, it tells me about the skill - not what I have achieved with it. It is a small thing, but it would be nice to see. 31) Right now, it seems that parental involvement is limited to sending allowance...it's possible that I've missed out on a great feature, but if I haven't, then it would be nice to see a slightly bigger role for your family. What about having a "mail day" every couple of weeks in which your family might send you an allowance, a letter (+ or - stress, or mood change), or a present, depending on your parental approval rating? Ignore them, or be a black sheep, and maybe you'll get ignored while everyone else gets letters. Be a favoured child or send regular letters home, and maybe you'll get that wand you've been asking for! 32) Speaking of parental approval, it would be nice to see it work in other ways, too. How about -1 approval for every detention you get? -5 for failing an exam? Perhaps winning college points (outside of compete) ought to get you +1? I very rarely see parental approval change one way or the other, except for correspondence and the rare 'golden' emotion. It would be amazing if you could "get rid of" your black sheep heritage by proving to your parents that you're worthy of their love, or have a delinquent, mean spoiled child lose their favour. But now I'm really getting into new features more than improving existing ones. Oh, well.
  5. I thought they might have - but 102 pages of previous suggestions was...uh...a little much. Awesome! Do you have a mailing list to tell us when the new game will be available for pre-order? I see my list as a wish list, and not at all a "must have" list. If a couple items make it into the 2nd game - and it sounds like some will - I will be very happy. Thanks for the comment!
  6. Warning: long post ahead. I am a fan of Academagica. I picked it up almost randomly from Impulse, and it was one of the best Indie games I've ever bought. Academagica isn't one of my favourite games, but it is a good game that I come back to again and again. It's well worth the money I paid for it, and in many ways it's unique. You can tell that the designers put a lot of hard work into it (and still do). I love some of it more than I can say - the adventures, the random events, the sheer number of places, the concept, the creativity, it could make it an all-time favourite - but every time I play, I get frustrated, too. Rather than complain, I've been thinking of how I would try and change the game to make it more fun for me. Here are my suggestions, in no real order. COMPLEXITY 1) One of the biggest problems I have with the game is its complexity - there are far too many people, skills, memories, etc. This makes the game rather unforgiving to a new player...or even someone playing for the 6th time. One of the easiest ways to fix that would be to use a different font type for different things - use font A for phemes, font B for skills, font C for places, font D for characters, font E for professors, and so on. I would normally suggest using colours, instead, but they're already in use and we don't want to confuse players. Still, it would be so much clearer to me when reading the daily reports! 2) The ability list is difficult to navigate. That's mostly because the actions aren't sorted by place (e.g. "Library of Longshanks") but instead are sorted by the action you're taking ("Study at the Library of Longshanks" vs. "Tidy up the Library of Longshanks"). This means that I often go looking for one activity, only to remember a few seconds later that I'm looking for "observe" instead of "study" or some other term. It would be much easier for me to sort this list by places. 3) On a similar note, it would be even better if the ability list was changed to a "place" list and an "ability/item" list separate from each other. 4) This is controversial, but I find the option to do an everyday activity (like "train") in a particular place to be adding a needless layer of complexity to the game. I would prefer if the special bonuses from places you discover would be changed to an ability unique to that location instead. That would cut down on the number of choices I would have to make in order to do one day's activities. 5) Even more ambitiously, it would be amazing if there were a map in the game, and when you chose to go someplace, you could actually click on places on the map! I imagine the kind of map that would fill the screen, and have icons over buildings, clearings, etc. of note that you have discovered - greyed out if the area was inaccessible to you, growing increasingly red for places forbidden to you (by chance of discovery), or just invisible if you haven't discovered them yet. This would make the world seem so much more real and alive, and convince me to try exploring more often - plus, it would be cool. 6) Back to complexity for a minute: when I play, I usually feel very isolated from the professors and students around me. The only ones that ever seem to stand out are the bullies! My wife was playing the game just today (I was introducing her to it) and one of the events said "Oh, well, I still have lots of friends" and she said incredulously "I do?? Who??" The game doesn't need more events for each character...but a few generic events to let you know you're making friends, enemies or crushes would be nice, and it would give me more goals when playing. A simple event having someone ask you to hang out or thank you for being so nice to them or say how much they admire your knowledge when you reach +5 relationship with them would work, for example. 7) There is a little too much information in the daily reports. One solution to this would be to make a few things a separate weekly report - I recommend college standings. You could have a screen showing the colours of each college and their current house points, along with the changes listed underneath them ("Charles successfully used compete: +3"). This would also be a great time and place to bring up the merit awards for houses...I find that I sometimes miss them, even when my college wins! 8) The section of the daily report just after your daily achievements but before rumours (sorry, the game isn't on right now) seems to be about the actions of other characters...and the effects of actions you took during random events. As much as I hate to say it, I'm egotistical in the game - I want to be able to see everything related to me right away before I look at what other characters have achieved. WARNINGS/HELPING NEW PLAYERS 9) Stress is too subtle in the game. I would prefer if the colour used to show your stress number changed colour as you got increasingly stressed. If my character is bitter, depressed and upset, why is my number still black? This seems especially odd since my vitality turns red as soon as I stub a toe. 10) Speaking of which - if I have 10 vitality, then going to 9 probably shouldn't turn it red. It would be nice to see my vitality listed as "9/10", or to have it turn increasingly bright red as I get increasingly wounded. A character who has only 2 vitality to begin with should probably be bright red at 1, but a character who has 10 vitality shouldn't be as concerned by suffering a 1 point loss. 11) For both stress and vitality, it would be nice to have a "warning" icon in the game. It is sometimes very easy to forget about these two stats, as I'm often looking at the skills page instead. If a special icon appeared at the top of my screen when my character was above, say, stress 5, or below, say, 50% of vitality, it would be nice. 12) Another warning I would love to see: pop up an icon when you have an item in your inventory that you have not researched, and another icon when you have an empty slot in your inventory that you could fill with an item from your knapsack. I have spent entire games with items in my backpack that I forgot about - and one game where I never knew I had an inventory (yes, really). 13) One more warning that would be nice: a countdown on the calendar page telling me how many weeks to go before exams. I know I can flip through the weeks, but surely my character knows when exams are? APPEARANCE 14) The menus are not always easy to read. I'm not sure if it is just my computer or not, but text gets cut off in menus after a certain number of letters, which makes it hard to distinguish "Study at the Library of Lo" from "Study at the Library of La" (slightly paraphrased, but not by much). Having the menu boxes be longer would be an easy fix. 15) There isn't enough space devoted to other parts of the menu, too. When I click on a character's name, for instance, I always have to click on that section and then scroll down past their face to read the text. It would make me feel more immersed to be able to see their face AND their description simultaneously. 16) Luckily, there might be an easy solution. At least on my desktop, there is a lot of wasted space - especially to the left and right of the game, it's blank. Having the ability to play full/wide screen would make up for a lot of problems, graphically. 17) Especially when I'm tired, I find myself wishing that the default font size in the game were just a bit bigger. I know this would make the problem of space even worse, but it would still be nice to have the choice to change it. MISCELLANEOUS 18) A nice little feature I would appreciate would be the ability to hover over/click on a holiday's name and get a short description of what it is. The Festival of Pixies? Guild Day? I find myself very curious about them...but unable to prepare for them. I know that I don't really have to prepare for them - my character always seems to have enough pims to give a tithing at the right time, and always seems unprepared for the prank/love day no matter what I do - but even so, it would be nice to know about these days in advance. (Even better would be a mention of one or more skills that might come into play on those days - that way, I might actually cast a spell the day before, which would make the spells seem a lot more useful) 19) The quests and random events are the best part of the game - seriously, I love them. However, they are sometimes too abrupt - several times now I have been on a quest and reached the end of a stage, then immediately gone on to a random event/second quest, and it's taken me a while to realize that I'm not still on the first quest. Having a special icon to designate the end of an event/quest portion would fix that confusion. 20) Competition between the colleges is a great feature, but not always clear. I would love to know a little more about it. Just saying "So and so successfully used compete, 3 points for Hedi" isn't very colourful, even though it is very clear. It makes sense to keep that, but I'd still love to see some more points thrown around in events - even ones you have no chance of winning. Make them part of classes ("Today, Beatrice was the fastest to brew her potion, so her college wins 1 point") and occasionally describe how a character won or lost them due to a random event ("Tobias was caught sneaking off campus, -1 points to Hedi"). This would also be a great place to add some rivalry between the colleges, such as having a character from the winning college insult another college, or having your college encourage everyone to try harder. 21) The "Rumours" section from the daily report is bizarre. I often find that the only thing it lists is a particular student going to six different classes. Really? That's a rumour? I was hoping for things that tell me more about interactions between characters (someone is getting bullied, a friend needs some encouragement, etc.), upcoming events (exams are in 2 weeks, they say you'll fall in love with the first person you see after you do the dance of the pixies, etc.) and adventure hooks/places to explore (they say there is a library hidden in the city, your familiar has been acting strangely - time to adventure!, etc.). 22) This is ambitious, but I notice there isn't as much replayability as I had first thought - the quests all follow the same script. It would be very cool if each adventure actually had two different scripts, and randomly loaded one per game. Perhaps in one game, the three wizards trapped in the book are really evil necromancers trying to get free from a well-deserved trap...and perhaps in another game, they're legitimate and the scholar is evil. Perhaps you need to go to a baker, rock band and graveyard in one version of the quest, while you need to go to a banker, blind woman and child in the other. Or perhaps all you really need to do is change the order of the tasks a little, so that in one game you meet the rock band first, and in a second game you meet them last. I know this would mean a lot of work, but I'm convinced it would make people play the game more. 23) In the daily report, it often says I have gained +1 or +2 relationship with another character. It would be great if I could see a quick note as to why, e.g. "You studied Zoology with Petros and gained +2 relationship with him" or "You have impressed Beatrice with your knowledge of Glamour, +1 relationship with her". This wouldn't affect the game, but it would make me feel like the other characters were a little more...human. 24) New players (well, ME) don't always 'get' all the features of the game. As I already mentioned, it took me more than one full game to realize I had an inventory, and another full game to realize I had to equip items. I'm still not very good at understanding phemes and spellcasting. It would be great to have events, early on, which showed you how to use these. Your mentor could teach you how to use a wand, for example, which your college gave you - a simple +1 to one type of magic, perhaps. There could be a first-day test to see if you knew magic, asking you to cast a spell. Something. 25) Speaking of the first day - I know it's a trivial issue, but the game's best feature is its random events. I have played through a couple of games where I did not get a random event on day 1, which meant I was left with a slightly negative impression of the game as being about numbers and facts more than story or characters. Furthermore, when I did get a random event, I have sometimes gotten an event that didn't make any sense - today, my wife's first event (on day 1) was one involving brewing potions...when she wasn't even in classes yet and had never met her teachers! I would love there to be a guaranteed random event on day 1 of the game - perhaps you could add a quality to events called "first day OK" and have five or ten different events be possible. 26) On a related note, it would be nice if each class had an event related to it soon after starting the game - to get to know the teacher, and perhaps a rival or friend in that class. This would make the classes seem much more meaningful! I do not mean to come across as entirely critical here. I certainly could not produce a game as good as Academagia! I am stunned by the sheer scope of it and constantly impressed by the writing. I'd just like to improve it - and end up with a game I could call my all-time favourite. Thanks for reading.
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