Length of the VN?

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#1 by formis
2016-03-05 at 16:36
< report >So, I read some reviews on Steam and a lot of them seems to be complaining about the game's length which is supposedly around 4 hours. Can anyone verify this so that the length here can be changed if needed?

And yes, the length is gonna vary depending on the difficulty you choose for the battles, but if we say the supposeds 4 hours are on easy I don't think you'd get much over 10 hours even on the highest difficulty. So Short (2-10 hours) would still be valid.
#2 by kiru
2016-03-05 at 16:43
< report >Doesn't seem like anyone really added any length yet and the current one is from way before the VN was released and probably just a place-holder or whatever?

Looking at the reviews on steam it feels like you'd need to argue for 10-30 hours, rather than for 2-10 hours anyway. Ideally it's changed by someone who has read the thing, but..
#3 by zwiebel
2016-03-05 at 17:02
< report >Oh, yeah. This was supposed to come out yesterday. I haven't gotten around to playing their other two games on steam. But I had the impression that this might be on the better side of OELVNs? Too bad on the length, but then not many OELVNs are very long.

Ehhh.. maybe not. Just read a few of the reviews and was reminded of the price. Few choices, some consistency bugs, short, and kinda on the pricey side for an OELVN.

*edit* It's list price is actually 5 bucks less than their last game. It's just that the older game is on sale so much... like it is now for 80% off.Last modified on 2016-03-05 at 19:25
#4 by formis
2016-03-05 at 18:15
< report >@Kiru: Well, the current placeholder was probably because people assumed it was gonna be of similar length as the prequel, which I think was round 15-20 hours, give or take few hours depending on difficulty.

Anyway, I do plan on buying it eventually, just not right now, I procrastinate enough as it is. Unless someone changes it before then I'm gonna change it after I play it (if it turns out genuine).

EDIT:
@Zwiebel: Also concerning the price, considering that the prequel was free I kinda take it that those 20€ or so are for the entire... duology (I guess?) which would give you up to about 30 hours of gameplay total. That's not bad for a VN, and it's more than some AAA titles which are usually for higher price.
But it's just my own moral standpoint here, not forcing it on anyone.Last modified on 2016-03-05 at 19:31
#5 by zwiebel
2016-03-06 at 07:45
< report >@4 Yeah, I know the prequel to this is free. I have both games in my backlog just haven't gotten to them. But they didn't release the prequel for free as an apology (it came out long before after all). Considering this release stand alone seems fair to me.

That said it seems they plan a "massive" patch containing an after story of sorts. So, to be fair they seem to be trying to respond to the complaints. I just fear it will be too little too late. Granted my outlook is slightly biased by recent OELVNs that have failed miserably in the push for post release content.Last modified on 2016-03-06 at 07:46
#6 by kiru
2016-03-06 at 08:58
< report >If they publish a 4 hour VN (including gameplay) and want over 20 bucks for it in the first place, no "additional content" patch will really do much. It's another thing, if an episode approach would've been planned and this would be just the first quarter or something. But that's not the case.

But well, OELVNs in a nutshell. They are either super unpopular and nobody knows about them, or are in some way attracting drama and aren't good while people get to know about them that way. The first kind can actually be surprisingly good and worth your money too.
#7 by dk382
2016-03-06 at 09:14
< report >This game was in a beta period for a while, so I assume the person who added the length did so based on the beta. If they did it just as a presumption, then that would be all kinds of wrong.

So you say 4 hours for a single play through on the easiest difficulty. Are there multiple routes or endings that warrant multiple playthroughs? How substantial are they? Our FAQ says that game length is based on obtaining all endings, but I also don't think that necessarily means it should be the time required to 100% it, but in my mind it's the time required to see all major storyline stuff.Last modified on 2016-03-06 at 09:17
#8 by kiru
2016-03-06 at 09:34
< report >As far as I've heard it's linear. Almost no choices which don't matter anyway. Not even on steam you'd call a game "4 hours long", if there are multiple other routes that long.
#9 by zwiebel
2016-03-06 at 10:23
< report >@6 Yeah, that was what I was implying. "Massive" was the term they used. Probably the only thing massive about the project was over spending. Which I can only assume since they massively low balled people's massive expectations. Not quite as massive as two massive robots wielding galaxies, with super massive black holes at the center of each, pitched in an epic battle over some meta construct loosely resembling the battle of good and evil.. *deep breath* More like, "Oh my, it's really massive! Teehee!", despite the heroines eyes not hiding her disappointment in another limp d*** protagonist.

Ahem, sorry I'm currently playing Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiruchiru Michiru. Sachi must be rubbing off on me a bit.
#10 by formis
2016-03-06 at 13:16
< report >@9 Zwiebel: Well, speaking of over-spending, I skimmed through the Kickstarter and Patreon updates.

(Pure speculations on my part from here on)
For one, they collected only 44.000$ for the first Sunrider (technically two storylines, but within one game). It was originally intended for the entire trilogy/storyline and obviously was nowhere near enough. They even admitted as much after the release of Sunrider Academy (SA). That was probably the main reason they even made it in the first place. Supposedly it made up for the losses of the first Sunrider, not sure about actual profit.
Well, they also launched their Patreon at least a month before SA so some at least some money was coming from there, though probably not that much at the time. Right now they have about 6.600$ per month there so about 79.200$ if they got that much each month from the start. If we take linear growth of 550$ per month then we're looking at about 42.900$. Somewhere in between that is likely the actual money from Patreon + whatever profit they made off SA. So a little over two, or at best three times the money they originally requested on Kickstarter I guess. In theory that should be enough to produce a game of at least similar length and quality as the first one.
Well, the biggest difference between the first Sunrider and this were the Japanese voice actors, so how expensive would it be for an indie project like this to hire professional Japanese VAs? In Japan VAs are not exactly paid handsomely for their work, but of course I don't know what kind of deal Love in Space made with them. (Purest of speculations)If they made a deal depending on the amount of lines the VAs would be acting then of course the longer the game the more expensive the VAs and less money left on other things. That could explain the length of the game but not sure how plausible it is. If it in fact were the case they should drop the VAs and focus on the story, the first one was good even without voice actors.

Also, I couldn't find the supposed post where they stated that Liberation Day is not going to be the final installment, and before that they advertised it as the "final part of the trilogy" for quite a while, so people being disappointed with the possibly 'Mass Effect 3'-ish ending is understandable.


All that being said, I'm an optimist and rather forgiving guy, so I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt with this (rather significant) hiccup and wait what they're gonna do with it and possibly rectify all this in the next game if it ever comes to that.
I gave one to BioWare after Dragon Age 2 and they squandered it with Mass Effect 3, hope this is not gonna be the same scenario.Last modified on 2016-03-06 at 13:18
#11 by zwiebel
2016-03-06 at 16:31
< report >@10 You.. you did get the part that I wasn't being serious, right? Well, I do doubt that the patch will be of much help. But the rest of it was just BS.

So, I guess serious it is -
TL:DR - Business is hard. If you're a creator w/o business experience in your industry then hire someone that does.

BTW, imo overspending has nothing to do with the magnitude. Well, I did use massive so I can understand your assumption. But I think in terms of percentage. If the budget calls for $100 on a line item and you spend $300, you've over spent by $200 or 200%. From a management perspective that means that either the budget itself was unrealistic or the funds themselves poorly used (perhaps both). From your story I'd guess it's largely the former. Their projected costs and time frame were probably vastly inadequate.

That's not to say it's the end of the world. It happens in business and there are options if you still can realistically forecast a profit. Meaning convince a lender that you can turn a profit. A traditional lender is going to look at your business plan, industry norms, etc and give you a decision. Depending on the risk they assess and the possible stake they already have in the business they will often times have their own conditions. Sometimes going so far as to dictating new personnel, with a track record they know, be added to the project and be given executive control. I've seen it happen with plenty of small to mid size businesses. The bank wants their return and will give the fixer attractive incentives to turn a business around. Granted this sort of thing is reserved for companies with millions on their balance sheet.

Anyway, with crowd funding this oversight and scrutiny just isn't done. In other words the risk is high even if the individual investment is relatively low. And fortunately or unfortunately it has a tendency to give creators with little or no business experience access to funds for projects. There are exceptions. The most likely to succeed are already established companies with successful products outside crowdfunding. They have experience. It can also be a boon to experienced indie developers that lack the brick and mortar tangibles that banks like to put liens on (aka collateral). Hard to get a bank to take you seriously if you're working out of a apartment in your PJ's. I'm sure there are lenders that are changing with the times but they'll still do their due diligence and be looking for long term returns.

I think people who back games are faaaar to forgiving. There's fandom's, fandumbs, and then there's crowdumbs - a hybrid of fandumbs and crowd sourcing! A fool and their money...

Bottom line - You can only ever really speculate as to why a project went wrong. Even when the developer gives you details you can't necessarily trust that they've given you the full picture (let alone the truth). But a project has goals and a budget and if they meet neither I wouldn't call that a success. Hopefully they learn from it and move on.Last modified on 2016-03-06 at 16:34
#12 by formis
2016-03-06 at 19:38
< report >@11 Zwiebel: Well I got that most of it (if not all) was not serious and/or over-exaggerating, but it got me curious all the same so I looked into it a bit. That being said, experience has proven that human ability to detect sarcrasm and such is rather limited. :)

1) I actually never mentioned anything about "massive" over-spending. Percentage is obviously the only way to go since project with buget of 1.000$ over-spending 500$ is a completely different matter than project with budget of 100.000$ overspending 500$.
2) I was indeed mostly implying the former (unrealistic budget), at least in the case of the prequel. With Liberation Day they likely had some profits from SA and the Patreon set up to help finance the project so it's possible it was also a bit of the latter (poorly used funds).

Though I do find unfortunate some of the decisons that possibly contributed to this.
One being making the prequel avaiable for free, since it was definitely worth at the very least what they're charging now for Liberation Day.
Second, that the already underestimated budget for their kickstarter encompasses the entire (for now) trilogy (excluding SA). Not sure if it was the original intention, but the 42.000$ stretch goal for a new story arc 'All Hail the Emperor' (later renamed to 'Rebirth of the Holy Empire' and then to 'Liberation Day') pretty much set it in stone. So counting just Kickstarter funds they essentialy had to make 3 (2.5?) games with a budget barely sufficient for one.

But yeah, like you said it's pure speculation (from someone with next to no business experience at that), and that's all it's ever gonna be.
Hopefully they're not only gonna learn from it but also get enough money to fully make up for it in the next installment (Yeah, I'm one of those faaaar too forgiving people).Last modified on 2016-03-06 at 19:40
#13 by zwiebel
2016-03-06 at 20:45
< report >@12 lol, yeah I know you didn't say massive. I did. Just figured that's why you mentioned their relatively small budget and AAA games in the same post. My bad.

Well the thing with crowd funding is commitments. So many over commit and under perform. If they're lucky they might be able secure additional funding. But most seem to rob from peter to pay paul and eventually paint themselves into a corner financially.

Yes, I agree funding three games off one campaign seems pretty foolhardy. Well hopefully they don't fool you twice and make good on the next one.
#14 by lonerprime
2016-03-13 at 13:20
< report >How is the game overall? I dropped MOA because of the money being scarce due to handful of side missions only but I was liking the story. So how does this one fare? Still limited missions and income or something new was added?
#15 by seraphic
2016-04-14 at 07:04
< report >@12 I'm a hopeless optimist, too, so here's to hoping they manage to make a next one and make it well.

@14 Limited missions and income, but they split up the way you pay for things in the store and the way you pay for research, which helps somewhat.

Though if you liked the story, you may be disappointed. I personally enjoyed it, but hot damn, it gets weird. Let's just say...nope. There's no way to say anything about it that doesn't sound like a joke.Last modified on 2016-04-14 at 07:17

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