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  • Personal thoughts on the reveal.

     MidnightPearl updated 1 year, 5 months ago 7 Members · 8 Posts
  • Ashes

    Admin May 20, 2020 at 3:15 pm
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    Hi! I’m sorry, as this will be lengthy. I would first like to mention that, yes, I am aware that this is still “work in progress” and things can change, but it is why I want to share my thoughts about it with some constructive criticism. With that out of the way, let’s get to it 🙂

    I don’t really like it, personally. Don’t get me wrong, it has potential, but I think that it looks unfinished, and that they should have polished it more before revealing it. It is such an important part of the game, and it will make or break it for many people. I do not wish to come out as harsh, but it overall looks like a concept art to me rather than the actual product/design. I’ll try to explain why it feels this way to me, and how it could be improved when possible.

    Let’s start with the environments. We’ve seen them get better and better with each reveal, and I genuinely liked them, up until now. I dislike the outlines they’ve added, though my understanding is that it will be able to be op-out which is a good thing to me. But, more than the outlines, I think it took a massive step back in general, just because they tried to adapt it to the style of the characters, yet the characters still don’t feel like they belong with said environments anyway. This is where my main “concept art” vibe comes from. As shown in JP’s article, it becomes extremely apparent with some objects, and it makes everything looks flat and weirdly proportioned to me. The colours of some things seemed a bit more dull as well, and I wonder if it is because of the lighting or the change in aesthetics. Overall, the character still often felt out of place with its surrounding, almost as if photoshopped in there, and comparing it with different things made a lot of the proportions feel off.

    When it comes to the potential with the gameplay, I do like it. The small details such as leaning against the railing or siting on the cupboard is neat, and can help many people with their story telling. That said, the animations themselves felt a little bit awkward and not quite right yet. It can definitely be improved, and it’s a good thing that they’ll be getting someone dedicated to that. Small interactions can make the game seem much more in-depth and alive, but if they look strange it can also make it unappealing to some extent. I’d also like to mention that the UI seemed nice, and I like the simplicity of it, though it can still be improved to help make it feel less “bland” in a way. Maybe a possibility to choose the colour for it? On a side note, the cat looked really cute, and I hope we get to see more of it soon enough.

    Now, onto the main topic. PAM and Maggie. I think it’s nice that you can seemingly access the PAM without needing to enter a code for it, but I wonder if it would be better to have a separate option to just be able to change the clothes, make-up and hairstyles without risking to mess up your character’s proportions. The wheel is definitely a good thing, as it will allow people to really have the character looking the way they wish when it comes to the colours. The “push-and-pull” function is pretty nice too, but some people would still prefer to have the sliders showing, which as far as I remember will also be a possibility. Although I do have one slight concern with the width of the sliders in general. Having a range that is too wide can results in very odd characters showing up, especially if there is a randomizer for the townies, which has been shown to become an issue in the Sims 4 for example. It was a bit of an issue with other entries, but it wasn’t as noticeable. Note that I am only bringing it up as an example of what I mean, and in no way want to start a war about which one is best.

    The clothing seemed nice, but I do hope for more variety in styles in the future. I am aware that they probably don’t have much done yet in that category, don’t get me wrong, I just mean that I would like to see different styles showcased in the future, simply because I think it would be sad to limit it to styles that they feel comfortable with (personal preference of the devs) and/or that would appeal to most, and would also reassure your community in the fact that other styles are also being considered. Not a critique per se, as I do think they look nice, but rather a suggestion for the future if/when they will showcase more of it.

    The height sliders are a good idea that I am happy to see introduced, but it is poorly implemented I think, though I do like that it gives you the actual height next to it. It seems to scale it as a whole, rather than shorten/lengthen the limbs. I’ve seen people assume that it was because of the animations, but I don’t think that it is the case. If they do use procedural animations, it wouldn’t be much of an issue, and if they don’t, the scaling system would still mess up your animations to some extent as your character is scaled down after all. The issue with scaling the thing down as a whole is that it messes up with the proportions and accentuate that feeling that the character don’t belong with its surrounding. I think it would have been better to really exploit that feature by giving multiple sliders instead for it, such as a possibility to lengthen the torso and the waist, and also the thighs and the calves, all separately from one another. This way, people can really recreate themselves, and it would feel less odd. As of the height being told, I think it could just be written on the side of your PAM without being tied to a slider.

    When it comes to Maggie, I don’t really like what I see. I don’t mean that I dislike the character itself, or how she look in general, but I think it could have been better. Some part of the model seemed off to me, such as the hands being really strangely shaped, or her chest looking rather flat and texture-less if that makes sense. Nothing to do with “people don’t look the same” and rather that to me, her chest looks like a some kind of plank. The only reason it is clear that it is her chest is because of its location, which seems rather off-putting to me. I think that adding a little bit more details such as different kind of cleavages could really help this. People mentioned her shoulders/chest seeming too wide, but I think that this could be fixed with sliders up to personal preferences, and that the issue really lies in the lack of details for her chest. As aforementioned, I think the possibility to have different overlays and options for the cleavage could help it a lot. As a side note, the lashes looked pretty nice already. They seemed defined, and could allow for multiple variations to make the characters unique and diverse. From up close, the textures used seemed really low, and it became even more obvious when the hair colour was changed to something lighter/more vibrant. The same issue is true with the skin, and I do hope that this won’t be disregarded as it does feel unfinished and unpolished.

    Overall, I think that it definitely has some really good concepts and functions, but that it can still be improved realistically without an excuse that it is a small indie team. I do not expect ultra realistic characters or environments, but I still think that the textures shouldn’t look noticeably blurry or unfinished. I am happy for everyone that like what has been shown so far, but also, I think that criticism is always good to take if constructive. As long as it isn’t simply hating on it with no actual ways to point out why or how it could be improved, I think it can be helpful and informative feedback. Feel free to comment with your own opinion of it, but please be respectful of one another and stay kind. Have a nice day!

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Ashes.
  • amandac

    Star Hubkin
    May 21, 2020 at 7:32 am
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    I am so happy you posted this. It took me a day to reply to Maggie’s reveal because my first impression was “I don’t like it” and I felt really bad about that. I know they are a small team and I know how hard they have been working so I didn’t want to say anything even remotely negative so I just concentrated on all the positive things that I saw. I agree with all the points that you made and I love that you expressed yourself in a respectful, professional, constructive manner. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

    • Ashes

      Admin May 21, 2020 at 12:10 pm
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      Thank you, I really tried to word it as best as I could. I do understand that you didn’t want to say anything, especially because of how defensive some might get about it. I’m sure you aren’t the only one feeling that way, that is partially why I felt like I should share it for everyone else that couldn’t. 🙂

    • MadDan

      Admin May 21, 2020 at 2:19 pm
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      Constructive criticism is to be welcomed! Definitely not to be shunned. In all aspects. Glad to have the hub!

    • crabwhatalad

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      May 26, 2020 at 3:26 pm
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      I’m also glad you posted this and honestly I agree with most of what you said. I have also only been focusing on the positives, however there are a lot of things still to be improved. I think that this should be a little bit of a wake-up call of fans of Paralives, not to say the game is bad in anyway, but to give constructive criticism when it is needed. I genuinely think the dev team listens, and although they will not completely re-design the parafolk I believe if more people bring their worries to their attention in a respectful manner, they will take steps to fix it. The team cares about the community and want to make this game the best it can be. We must bear this in mind. I also think that if they created the original “Maggie’s Loft”, they are more than capable of that sort of design for the future of the game.

      Now I’ve heard this from others in the community I hope more people take this up with the developers in the same respectful way you have. I can’t wait to see leaps forward in the game instead of backward. I’m sure they will come 🙂

  • Tini96

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    May 26, 2020 at 5:55 pm
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    Thank you for expressing my thoughts, I see it the same way. I just didn’t dare say anything negative about the reveal, even if it’s just constructive criticism and that I’m sure they will improve it over time, but it just didn’t catch me yet.

  • justarandomgamer300

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    May 30, 2020 at 2:34 pm
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    I personality like Maggie so far I heard from someone its a work in progress not a complete version. I have a feeling Alex wanted to show what they done so far and try to get some constructive critism.

  • MidnightPearl

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    June 15, 2020 at 12:59 am
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    I completely agree with you, when I first saw Maggie, I was expecting a realistic person to match all the other realistic buildings and when I saw Maggie, I was disappointed and sad but I know it’s only in Alpha stage, it could get better once it’s finally done and ready to buy and I know that could take a bit of time to iron out the crinkles, yeah, I’m loving the build mode side of things and the environment so I’m hoping the parafolk gets better in time.

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