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Legate of Mineta

Introducing Scheherazade!

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OK, it cannot be just praising comments, so I'll write some criticism here! :D

 

Of course it's impossible to really judge a product just by a couple of minutes of trailer (which is, by the way, way TOO fast! it could have been double the duration with no problems), so these are just first impressions.

 

I start from what I do not like: above all, the graphic style. I am not at all into this manga-like "kawaii" aesthetics so for me this is a big letdown. I think it distracts from the real experience and that it does not fit the setting (the '30s) nor the theme (pulp adventure). I also think it does not allow the game to really stand out: there are many character-managing games based on japanese-style graphics and role playing videogames, so Sheherazade risks to be perceived as "another one of many".

Something that strengthens this impression, and which is the second thing I am perplexed of, is what it seems to be the treatment of romances, at least for what it appears in the trailer. Perhaps Sheherazade is aimed at a different kind of public and age range with respect to Academagia, but the romance part seems to be very conventional -again in the trail of japanese character managers.

 

But there are many things that I find attractive! First of all, the epoch. If one manages to convey the right atmosphere, it can be very exciting! I also like very much that the skill part seems not to be "washed out", with added nice and more user-friendly touches with respect to the "drier" Academagia. I am also very curious to see how the Inspirations concept is going to be implemented. Also the Adventure system and skill testing seems to be interesting. All in all I'm looking forward to see the final product!

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I start from what I do not like: above all, the graphic style. I am not at all into this manga-like "kawaii" aesthetics so for me this is a big letdown.

I agree with this, it feels like it would limit the game's graphic appeal to certain demographic and also seems to be the part of the complain over at greenlight comment. Although I do feel it is slightly fitting (on a few parts) for the 30s western feel, I think it might look more fitting with esurance's western cartoon style.

 

Not that this isn't pretty and fun looking as it is.

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Nyaa and Fortis;

 

And now, a word from the Team:

 

"On the one hand, this is a matter of expectation and preference- obviously, we really enjoyed the mash-up of anime with a 30's setting, and we feel it works very well...but we've noticed, as you two have, that many people have the view that the anime art style is suited for a certain kind of story, genre or 'feeling'. We ran into a similar problem with Academagia, actually, in that people tended to classify the gameplay in a way which didn't do the game justice. Obviously, you all know how we feel about that. ;)

 

We think this is a problem that has to be overcome by exposure, and since a lot of anime relies on a set of cliches it's natural to approach this with regard to one's own experience. However, we think you'll see that Scheherazade doesn't really make strong use of those tropes. In fact, we'd go so far as to say it doesn't make use of them at all, except that some western storytelling conventions have their equivalents in Japan. We think it's a good thing that we're all human. :)

 

It's going to be a challenge to persuade people to see that the anime art style is good for...well, any situation, as few people have been exposed to it outside of a narrow set of animations or games. But we're all about busting up perceptions here! But you know by now we like to try different things in our games, and that includes the artwork (although I have to say we love the Scheherazade artist- working with her has been a dream!)

 

Shag and retro-cool is an awesome art style that we've actually considered for Secret Project ^2, by the way. Not sure we'll use it, but we *love* it. We actually went to so far as to make use of it in Secret Project ^-1, although that hasn't seen the light of day. Yet. ;)"

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It's going to be a challenge to persuade people to see that the anime art style is good for...well, any situation,

I agree, it's just my personal opinion that certain art style can better bring out the 'flavor/feeling' of certain genre better, but I should be more open minded I guess.

 

Speaking of Academagia art style, I actually thought about modding the portrait with anime pictures once secret project^-1 secret project secret project^2 secret kickstarter DLC 15 is out, so I guess I am just judging too early.

 

And here I told myself not to criticize the game until I actually play it first, I blame you Fortis.

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It's going to be a challenge to persuade people to see that the anime art style is good for...well, any situation

 

I respectfully do not agree... I speak in very general terms here, but every style and every graphics makes the little grey cells of the brain start working and associate that style to an atmosphere, which in turn allows the correct immersion in the story... or not.

So, in general, not every style is good for everything (I could also say that japanese mangas themselves are very differentiated depending on the story they want to tell: shojo and shonen and seinen mangas etc. use a wide palette of expression, between each other and within each category).

All this to say that yes, at least for me (it's all very subjective) the "classic girl videogames manga style" will hinder my capability of getting into the atmosphere of the game fully.

This will not be an obstacle for me to enjoy the game in itself, I'm sure I'll have plenty of fun! It will just miss that little indefinable something.

 

This, be it very clear, independently of the quality of the art itself which I find indeed very well done and pleasant - and I might add with some definite "character".

 

 

But actually my main objection was more aesthetic than conceptual, that is, I'm not very fond of this kind of graphics regardless of the content, it's just too mannered/affected for my taste ^^ (yes, I'm not a fan of the "kawaii" anymore, perhaps it's age ;) ).

And also I kind of fear that it will not attract the due attention because it will be put in the same basket of many similar games (similar, of course, just for the graphics style and certainly not for the content). But for this I can very well be wrong.

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Fortis;

 

We understand your point very well, but of course how any particular person associates an aesthetic with an atmosphere or story is mainly dependent on that person's experience. We tend to think that the anime style is really good for the purposes of Scheherazade (and hopefully you will as well!), but, your mileage may vary. :)

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I don't have any particular thoughts about the anime style (I think), but Scheherazade herself looks like a mannequin to me with her neutral face, her eyes being twice the size of other characters (and is composed of a single color).

 

The screenshots, on the other hand, are far more eye-catching to me :)

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Riidi WW;

 

The game will be out on 9/14/12, and you can purchase it (thus far) from GamersGate, Impulse or ourselves. :)

Hmm. I didn't notice it on gamersgate searching for "Scheherezade" and "Scheherazade" both. Is it in some sort of special section?

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Geez, I spend this last week away from Skyrim on a major Academagia binge averaging somewhere around 12 hours of sleep over the whole week and I come on to see if there is a new patch yet and find this. o_o

 

My initial knee-jerk response is much like Nyaa & Fortis' with a lot more WHAR SHADING! But after looking at the main site for the game, I can tell it (shading) is much more subtle and actually works with the style when viewed at HD levels compared to thumbnails or embedded video. Now as to how the art fits the time period, not sure, but I can get over it pretty quick. Especially with the video's previews of the UI doing things I was initially expecting out of Academagia. I suppose I'll have to pick this up in a couple of weeks after I get paid and get home from Con.

 

Nice to see something new from you guys and here's hoping for good things with Y2. Good luck.

-J-

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Jarod;

 

Thanks! I admit, we were absolutely surprised by the feedback on the artwork. We have a note here: '[secret Project^2]: add shading.' ;)

Ha!

 

Like I said, initial knee-jerk reaction. Besides, if the game has half the writing quality and attention to detail that Academagia does, it will by far be worth my money.

-J-

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Am I the only one who didn't see the release date in either the trailer or the announcement? I finally dug it out on page 2, but it's the sorta thing you should edit in for people to see right away! Of course, if I missed it, feel free to remind me I'm getting old and senile.

 

As for the game itself, I might not have tried it from an unknown developer, but given how much I enjoyed Academagia, I see no reason not to drop a few bucks here to see if you guys have done it again!

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I feel very ambivalent about the art thing - I'm a huge anime fan, so generally I have a pretty positive reaction to anime-art in games. However, I feel the art is a bit too bright - makes the game look very casual, rather then a mysterious mystery. admittedly, I just finished rewatching Black Butler, so my inner art-sense is all tuned into gothic lolita mode. I will withold judment till I see if you managed to make the faces properly animated - that style of art has diffcultes conveying emotions, what with the very simple facial features.

 

Also VERY VERY excited to play this - it looks down right addictive. There's better be some way to use cheat engine on this thing, I can spot the mighty random number god aura from here!

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