Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming!
1) Character creation: I love details. I even love details which are referred to later in the game more, so you get the impression the things you choose are really important. You did this in a few cases: having campaigners as parents is giving the action to increase two war talents. Or the prodigy: couriosity with the action "study until you drop" being available. Perfect would be if the background of your parents or the other choices would trigger some events: perhaps another student has a similar or opposite background, resulting in the opportunity to raise the relation level or leading into a path of hatred. If you chose a parents background why not let them visit you and see if the character can live up to their expectations?
There are some great ideas here. Some of the items raised here will be addressed in the sequel (which begins at the end of this one: during summer break.) The remainder we may try to play around with in DLC.
3) The skill overview: At first: ok but later on a nightmare. I understand the difficulty of the problem, and the list is good for checking up on the skill-levels while in an event or adventure, but there has to be done something. Perhaps keep the list at the bottom left corner but construct a new ledger (like "inventory" or "command") with the parent skills on top of the screen and the subskills below. And when pointing at a parent skill the subskills get highlighted. If the subskill list is to large to see all the highlighted ones, just click on the parent skill, lock it in and use a scrolling bar below to find the subskills.
Skills are a problem for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Even a matrix such a suggest might be unwieldy- but it's an interesting idea to explore. Before we consider it, can you describe to us how you would like to use this screen? In other words, during gameplay, when would you want to see it?
4) friends + npcs: Making and keeping friendships in the game is easy. It shouldn`t be. With two weeks of training i got from being a social abdomination to a relatively fine befriender. Another 2 weeks later i had two members in my clique . I was eager to see what you could do with them now and what I could learn about their background. But there wasn`t more than a (-granted - powerful) buff and a new ability and the advantage in an adventure (or at least I just haven`t found more). I`d like to learn more about their background, their character, trade secrets , plan actions together to keep a relationship running (right now I haven`t spend time with my friends for about two months - without consequences), help each other to increase skills or to learn spells/phemes. I had hoped for a "buddy" or "best friend feature", through which you could solve some school or city events with one designated best friend, just to give you the feeling that your character is hanging out nearly constantly with the best friend.
It's funny the back and forth we had on this topic during design- in a (much) earlier version of the game, there was Relationship decay and Emotions really affected Relationships in powerful ways. The overwhelming feedback we got on this was that people did not like their Relationships eroding- they either wanted to be able to deal with it immediately (not having to spend Actions to maintain the Relationship) or they wanted no decay at all. As I read over what you wrote, though, I think we can summarize in three ways:
a) You would like more Adventures related to your Friends.
You would like more Actions related to your Friends.
c) You would like to have a 'Best Friend' designation, and have that choice be meaningful.
...this is a great area for expansion, and some are more difficult than others. As the designer, I do not want to solve any of these in a trivial way -I want them to be special and interesting- so I feel these are more likely to be dealt with in the sequel. Still, I'll ponder if there is something we can do.
5) Class overview: I`d like to know who of the students is in which class with what professor, just to know which npcs my character constantly shares time with.
Good point. Maybe we can put something into an information window.
6) Map: Throughout the game I tried to imagine the academy, the grounds and the surroundings. And with so many places to discover I got confused. Perhaps a map might help. It wouldn`t have to be animated professionally, just a pencil drawing my character could have made would suffice. Just hint at the areas of the game and draw a few different signs on it for the discovered places with the explanation text popping up when clicking on it. Just something to get a better impression of the area.
There will be a map in the sequel, but I do not believe we will be able to address this in the current form of the game. That said, if you would like to see the unfinished map we had originally planned to use in the game, you can see it here:
8) Lore: While I like the little stories and poems and the atmosphere they add to the game I felt like they should be organized in a few books. Like "Poems" or "Legends" just to help keeping the lists shorter and clearer.
A sound idea.
9) Events: Try triggering more events, this can be done with in a wide variety of cases: For example: If your character is the best at incantation in the class, wouldn`t your classmates be asking for help or advice? Wouldn`t the professor give you a few extra difficult tasks just to see how talented the character really is? Perhaps a professor would take a certain interest in supporting you or obstructing your path to perfection because of envy (fitting to the professor's character)? When the character scores a perfect score in the mid term exams, being the best of the class is there really nobody who cares? A professor or parents being proud of you, students being impressed, the second best feeling green with envy (especially if it`s a character being used to being the best)?
I noticed that the random events were REALLY random. I mean, it was a bit strange to plan "Study until you drop - in the character`s room" three times on a saturday with exams being only a week away just to get a random event out in the woods or in the city. It just doesn`t feel right. Academy events I would understand, but not my character, who isn`t supposed to leave his room, fighting with squirrels in the forest. Perhaps you could try to link the random events to the actions you plan and the locations at which they take place. This would add a lot credibility to the day.
We agree. Another forumite had an event with a Pirate ship on her first day at class! Some of these we can address by changing prerequisites, but others (such as based on your Location), will have to continue occurring in the 3 phases that you do not plan for: night, midnight or early morning- or represent small breaks you are taking from your studies. In the sequel we may try to handle this in a different way, but I personally prefer the large communal pool of Events to the smaller, more focused one. Surprise can be a good thing, depending.
10) Spells: Try to help me keeping track of the spells with some colours or some other help. A colour for aggressive, harmful spells another colour for buffs... It get`s kind of difficult trying to find the right spell even if you remember there is one that helps. The topic of the phemes added to a spell has already been mentioned.
An interesting idea!
11) Adventures: Please tell me which choosable part of an adventure belongs to which adventure-chain. Sometimes I could easily spot the next part of an initiated adventure but sometimes it`s quite difficult because there`s only the title of the new part there.
Also, a good point. We can do that easiest by adding the original Adventure's name in parentheses to the right of the current name, but maybe there's a better way.
12) Room selection: Not every room should be available for every action/ability. For example: If i want to gather some herbs I shouldn`t be able to do this in my room but being forced to do this outside. Or the problem with the room of champions (raising your attributes by 2, if I remember correctly). It doesn`t seem realistic to being able to choose this room for every adventure just to get the attribute bonus when the adventure is taking place in the city or the woods.
While there is a little immersion breaking in the way that you mention, these locations are actually places you prepare from- to get inspiration or insight in your task. You then leave off to go to your adventure or other action. In the case of gathering herbs, while it is true you are off at a location doing that- the location is not memorable enough (or, perhaps, does not provide enough risk to you!) that you need specify it. I see what you mean, though.
13) Familiar: My tutor told me that it`s possible to find a new familiar (to get rid of my ghost Pamela)- I haven`t found out how yet. Especially when my character is a master of zoology and animal husbandry I would like to go out and search for a new familiar...
There is no Action to do that, but you can purchase new Familiars, which then replace your Forlorn Ghost. Poor Forlorn Ghost, always unwanted.
It's a fun idea, though. I think we'll add exactly that action to Zoology in the first content patch.
14) Public opinion: I often wondered what status of my character in the class or the academy would be, the public opinion. Is he seen as the hero of the class, whom everybody likes and respects or is he ignored, because he doesn`t do anything social at all - just studying and training? Or is he feared because he bullies constantly end extorts the classmembers? Why not implement a public opinion bar for each students and professors, with certain events being triggered when reaching a new degree of respect or contempt.
A broad concept that definitely deserves expansion. In the sequel there will be larger social groups mad up of smaller Cliques, and several social dynamics will hinge upon them. I like the idea of events triggering at respect or contempt, though. If we plan for it now, there may be enough time to get enough writing in to make that satisfying.
15) Exploring: I sometimes got the message that my character heard about a certain location. I was really keen on finding some of these I heard of, but you just can go explore for a random location in an designated area. How about giving the player the possibility to select one of these locations he heard of and giving a boost to the chance finding this one but decreasing the chance of finding any other?
It's an interesting idea. In the sequel there is already a concept of 'points of interest' which will *somewhat* address your suggestion here. I'll continue to ponder.
Thanks! It was a good read, and there are a lot of interesting ideas here.
@OK: There are some secret guilds you can join in the game, but we do not plan to make these kinds of organizations be strongly influential on gameplay until year 3, according to my timeline. That's the year when you become socially active in the city...or full of intrigues, perhaps.