Anix

Root Double- Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition Kickstarter

81 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Anix said:

His stories aren't formulaic, but they all have the same general feeling and many similar ideas. If you don't think you'll like it, thanks for backing, but don't waste your money. 

I am willing to give anything a chance to surprise me and this amount of money isn't really a concern for me.

I find the main thing that bugs me about this writer is his tendency to unnaturally shove in infodumping regarding research related to the supernatural as a means of justifying some truly bullshit supernatural twists at his stories end. At least with Ever17 and 999 that really bugged me.

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I don't know about infodumping, but to me those were some of the best parts of those games. To each his own I guess.

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Sounds like the upcoming update will be a big one:

Spoiler

yzHAzDa.png

Very clever of them to hide the hint inside the letters like that. Hopefully this helps the campaign take offby all accounts Root Double is one of the best-written visual novels around, and it would be an absolute shame for it to miss out on a proper western release.

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15 hours ago, Anix said:

They said they wouldn't be able to do Linux without getting the game engine's source code, which is pretty much impossible.

Aw... What a downer... Thank you for the explanation, @Anix ... I was going to promote Root Double on Linux gaming sites, but it doesn't make much sense now.

I know GNU/Linux is a niche OS, and visual novel is a niche genre, so it's hard to justify making native ports (or pseudo native ports, like SteamOS games or the preconfigured Wine launcher for each "Linux" game in GOG)...

But, as someone mentioned in the Libra KS Comments section, there are more Linux enthusiasts than we think willing to pay big bucks for Linux AAA games (like Battletech or Indivisible), or even indie but cool games (like Warlock of the Firetop Mountain or The Letter).

Believe me, I'm pretty sure there's at least one GNU/Linux evangelist between the Muv-Luv major sponsors... ;)

Also... Sekai made several VN avalaible for Linux via Steam, so there's hope.

TL;DR: Wine doesn't know how to handle many Japanese copy protection systems, so I'd love to see Linux versions of those VN I paid dear money for.

Speaking of that, I asked during the KickStarter if Muv-Luv would have a SteamOS version (since it's going to be distributed via Steam), but I got no answer.

Could any of our gentle TSF Pilots tell me if @The Muv-Luv Team said if there would be a SteamOS Muv-Luv port or not? Thank you!

Edited by THN

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2 hours ago, THN said:

I know GNU/Linux is a niche OS, and visual novel is a niche genre, so it's hard to justify making native ports (or pseudo native ports, like SteamOS games or the preconfigured Wine launcher for each "Linux" game in GOG)...

Linux is not as niche as you'd think in the past couple years (and I think VNs are rising as well, or maybe with all the kickstarters they're just getting more light). Especially with the number of games that have native versions, it's been picking up a lot of steam lately (no pun intended).

On the plus side, I've found that visual novels are one of the most easily wine'd types of programs (though most of them were from the early '00s or doujin games), though I couldn't get Muv-Luv to work past the title screen. That game's got way too much going on. Some others like the When They Cry games and Tsukihime (idk about Fate/Stay Night) use onscripter which has a linux version but you have to drag and drop the files and do babby's first scripting.

Honestly in an industry where 3000 sales is considered good, I can understand their reluctance in even trying to get source code for it, though I suspect in this situation there would be a higher than usual Linux base. Also, somehow I get the impression that Linux isn't popular in Japan, though I have no idea why I think that.

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Hey, @Anix, good to see I'm not the only penguin around here!

I've managed to play several Visual Novels on Wine, like Bible Black and Discipline... (I know, I know, I'm a perv... But the main villains were pretty cool!!!) But most of the time, I gave up and run other games on a virtual machine (I have a Window XP image just for that). The problem is, the newer the VN, the less likely it will work under WinXP, and when I buy new computers, I try to avoid preinstalled Windows machines, buying instead from ThinkPenguin and other FOSS-friendly sites (otherwise, even if you wipe the hard drive after first boot, it still counts as a Windows sale).

Of course, if the VN was developed using RenPy or the Unity engine, it should work under Linux as is, no conversion necessary!

About Linux popularity... I doubt there's a place where Linux is popular (maybe in RMS' house... But no, because he would quickly point out it's GNU/Linux, damnit!), but you're right, people use it constantly (including this very own site), just they don't know it.

I don't think Linux is very popular in Japan... But hey, they even made a manga about it! Have you read Ubunchu?

ubunchu01_top.jpg.8f0615f9d032be14cfae37

And For TSF Pilots like me who don't know Japanese beyond "sayonara" (and I should start learning right now, because at last I'll travel to Japan later this year), there's an English version, too!

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1 hour ago, THN said:

Hey, @Anix, good to see I'm not the only penguin around here!

I've managed to play several Visual Novels on Wine, like Bible Black and Discipline... (I know, I know, I'm a perv... But the main villains were pretty cool!!!) But most of the time, I gave up and run other games on a virtual machine (I have a Window XP image just for that). The problem is, the newer the VN, the less likely it will work under WinXP, and when I buy new computers, I try to avoid preinstalled Windows machines, buying instead from ThinkPenguin and other FOSS-friendly sites (otherwise, even if you wipe the hard drive after first boot, it still counts as a Windows sale).

Of course, if the VN was developed using RenPy or the Unity engine, it should work under Linux as is, no conversion necessary!

About Linux popularity... I doubt there's a place where Linux is popular (maybe in RMS' house... But no, because he would quickly point out it's GNU/Linux, damnit!), but you're right, people use it constantly (including this very own site), just they don't know it.

I don't think Linux is very popular in Japan... But hey, they even made a manga about it! Have you read Ubunchu?

ubunchu01_top.jpg.8f0615f9d032be14cfae37

And For TSF Pilots like me who don't know Japanese beyond "sayonara" (and I should start learning right now, because at last I'll travel to Japan later this year), there's an English version, too!

Fun fact: The native OS on my laptop was originally Ubuntu, but we decided to get Windows 7 installed instead because we'd been using Windows all the time until then, and most PC apps are made with Windows in mind. My dad likes to call it the "network effect"; the OS with the network of most popular and widely-used apps is the OS which dominates the market, which in the case of PCs is Microsoft Windows.

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20 minutes ago, PulakK said:

Fun fact: The native OS on my laptop was originally Ubuntu, but we decided to get Windows 7 installed instead because we'd been using Windows all the time until then, and most PC apps are made with Windows in mind. My dad likes to call it the "network effect"; the OS with the network of most popular and widely-used apps is the OS which dominates the market, which in the case of PCs is Microsoft Windows.

Exactly. As a proud Beta owner (not to be confused with the BETA), I know it was better than the VHS... But everyone had a VHS, so they were fewer and fewer Beta videos... Until Sony made the last Betamax videotape. On November 10, 2015. Right after the Muv-Luv campaign. Yes, you read it right. (So yes, maybe it was a BETA conspiracy. Insert X-Files theme song here.)

The Microsoft hegemony is not as solid as we usually think, as proven by the Windows Phone failure, the Windows 8 failure, Bing (the search engine used in every single Hollywood movie... because no one uses in real life) and many other mistakes (did someone say Microsoft Bob?)... But consumer inertia is very strong, and the fear of having "the wrong console" (something we, as gamers, totally understand) is very, very strong.

There are ways to stay relevant and even win market share, despite MS' monopoly... Apple sales are minimal compared to PC and Android, yet it's a very successful company simply because its niche is conspicuous compsuntion... Their products are luxury items, a symbol of status for those who can afford them and highly coveted for those who don't. It doesn't matter if they are far superior alternatives; they are not an iPhone, iPad or whathever.

But the network effect makes exponentially difficult to new players gain traction. Barring strokes of luck or divine intervention, when all your friends and relatives use Facebook, either you get a FB account (even if you just use it to stay in touch with them) or you risk to become a social pariah. A happy social pariah, in my case, but sometimes I'm tempted to create a Facebook/Twitter/whatever account, for a (remote) chance to win some prizes (like the Share the Luv contest!)

But so far I don't have one, simply because I don't have people to share and retweet that kind of messages... And yes, I know I could get a number for the raffle anyway, but it feels like cheating.

(End of rant.)

And now... New Root Double UPDATE!!!

And beware, because this time it has VERY BIG SPOILERS. (That's why I never put a link for the updates, by the way... Search and read at your own risk!)

Again, these are not "proper" spoilers, but explaining the game mechanics is a big spoiler in itself.

The only thing I can tell is that this game reminds me more and more to the best Fringe episodes. And I'm not saying this because I'm looking for excuses to post a photo of the lovely Anna Torv.. I just do it because I wanna make Tsukiyomi Maya (my waifu) jealous.

Anna-Torv.jpg.f7f14190e020220d1272c1ea5b

So if you want to avoid surprises... You know what you DON'T have to do!

And if you want this game comes to the West (I do... Even without a Linux version!), you know what to do, too! (This is just a link to the main page, NOT to the Update.)

Remember, we have only 11 days left!

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I haven't played Root Double and didn't try to look too much into it to remain as spoiler-free as possible (but still curious about it :ph34r:).

However, I wonder how a game mechanics can actually be a spoiler. Are you supposed to learn how things go on-the-fly, as in "Learning From Mistakes" ?

There should be a gameplay video soon, showing how it works.

I don't know if I can watch it. I wouldn't want to be really spoiled, especially with a release in March that wouldn't give me enough time to forget about it.

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1 hour ago, THN said:

As a proud Beta owner (not to be confused with the BETA), I know it was better than the VHS... But everyone had a VHS, so they were fewer and fewer Beta videos...

Actually, it's usually determined on which format is cheaper and which has more tapes/discs. And porn was exclusively VHS, so it won instantly. 20 years later, Blu-ray was way more expensive but Sony had it on PS3s, they had exclusivity deals with all kinds of companies, and it was impossible to find anything on HD-DVD even if you wanted it. Shortest format war ever.

2 hours ago, PulakK said:

the OS with the network of most popular and widely-used apps is the OS which dominates the market, which in the case of PCs is Microsoft Windows.

Which is why the massive addition of games over the past few years thanks largely to Steam is a step in the right direction. Most other programs have a free equivalent that can get the job done just as well if not better, leaving games as one of the sole categories of programs with no alternative. Music studio stuff and 3d modeling as well, but even those have some okay substitutes.

13 minutes ago, cabfe said:

However, I wonder how a game mechanics can actually be a spoiler.

Life Is Strange is a good example, even if it's in the first 15 minutes.

Spoiler

You gain the power to rewind time and change your decisions/actions and use foreknowledge to get new dialogue trees.

Also any metroidvania-style game can have that. Especially when in the control settings it has buttons for things and when you finally get it you saw it coming.

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3 minutes ago, Anix said:

Actually, it's usually determined on which format is cheaper and which has more tapes/discs. And porn was exclusively VHS, so it won instantly. 20 years later, Blu-ray was way more expensive but Sony had it on PS3s, they had exclusivity deals with all kinds of companies, and it was impossible to find anything on HD-DVD even if you wanted it. Shortest format war ever.

Which is why the massive addition of games over the past few years thanks largely to Steam is a step in the right direction. Most other programs have a free equivalent that can get the job done just as well if not better, leaving games as one of the sole categories of programs with no alternative. Music studio stuff and 3d modeling as well, but even those have some okay substitutes.

Life Is Strange is a good example, even if it's in the first 15 minutes.

  Reveal hidden contents

You gain the power to rewind time and change your decisions/actions and use foreknowledge to get new dialogue trees.

Also any metroidvania-style game can have that. Especially when in the control settings it has buttons for things and when you finally get it you saw it coming.

Ah, that makes sense.

I'd better stay away from the upcoming video then.

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On 1/22/2016 at 10:53 PM, Anix said:

I think that was one of the things that the ML team didn't really understand during our Kickstarter. We had so many addons and stretch goals that only went to upper tiers that it was clear they had this mindset. I've noticed it's more common with Japanese projects, so maybe it's a cultural thing.

Indeed, I've come to the same conclusion based on past events. There's still a lot of misinterpretation about crowdfunding, why it came to be and how it's implemented. More than a couple of folks have opted out of the whole system because of « twisting the rules » even though its intended purpose should be clear enough or at least understandable, one would hope so at least.

Also, Linux is neat ! I wouldn't be as efficient on a Windows machine for work. I personally don't game on the distro I use but it's always nice to have a command line ready when you need it. Just saying ^^

Edited by Klashvorn

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9 hours ago, THN said:

The Microsoft hegemony is not as solid as we usually think, as proven by the Windows Phone failure, the Windows 8 failure, Bing (the search engine used in every single Hollywood movie... because no one uses in real life) and many other mistakes (did someone say Microsoft Bob?)... But consumer inertia is very strong, and the fear of having "the wrong console" (something we, as gamers, totally understand) is very, very strong.

Microsoft is getting worse and worse, and people is retard enough to follow them like robots. I laugh everytime I see someone crying 'cause they driver/games/software/device doesn't work in W10.
If Linux became mainstream and (by that time) have a good backward comp, I will buy it full price. Meanwhile I will keep pirating windows 'cause microsoft doesn't sell them anymore.

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13 hours ago, FaceEater said:

Microsoft is getting worse and worse, and people is retard enough to follow them like robots. I laugh everytime I see someone crying 'cause they driver/games/software/device doesn't work in W10.
If Linux became mainstream and (by that time) have a good backward comp, I will buy it full price. Meanwhile I will keep pirating windows 'cause microsoft doesn't sell them anymore.

Windows drivers are actually pretty solid. Most of the time it just works, as Apple likes to say. The problems come from separate companies that don't keep up their support or expect their hardware to work with generic drivers and so problems happen because they just don't care. If it doesn't work in Windows 10, it's because they need to make a driver for it, just like they made a driver for 8, and for 7, and for Vista (which actually deserves all the hate it got), and so on. 

Linux is free, and always has been. It's one of it's main attractions. http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop is the most popular version if you want to try the Live CD/USB version that you don't need to actually install.

Oh, I forgot to post the biggest thing: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sekaiproject/root-double-before-crime-after-days-xtend-edition/posts/1473372?ref=backer_project_update

Vita version confirmed!

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Hi, guys! Thank you for all your comments! I'll answer you later properly, but here's the UPDATE you all were waiting for...

PS VITA!!!

So if you are a PS Vita fan (I am, and I don't even have one)... You know what to do! Pledge, like and share!

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I think I will pledge now, to support development of the Vita version. But I'm not giving $225.

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I'm glad that the Vita version is being made, despite not owning a Vita. Here's Sekai Project on the reasoning for the high price:

Quote

Hi All, just wanna say thanks for the support so far, and clarify something. The Vita tiers are at the price they are to ensure that development can take place, rather than dangle it at a stretch goal. Making the game work with an increased english script is very difficult, and the Vita tiers help cover the original team going back to work on it and guaranteeing a port at successful funding rather than letting many down for not reaching a certain amount. We work continuously to satisfy you all and love all the support we've gotten so far.

The Vita would never happen as a stretch goal, so I think their choice to make it available at a higher tier is reasonableit's more or less the only way development is affordable. My hope is that we'll see an add-on version in the next few days, so that people at lower tiers can still pick up a copy within their price range.

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Hi, guys! Sorry for the delay, I've been working all this weekend... Gotta pay those dakimakura!

10 hours ago, Anix said:

First of all, thanks to @Anix for including a link to the PSVita update. I was in a hurry and I just posted my previous message once I got the KS mail, so I didn't realize you were faster than me!

On 23/1/2016 at 10:19 PM, Anix said:

Actually, it's usually determined on which format is cheaper and which has more tapes/discs. And porn was exclusively VHS, so it won instantly.

Oh, no! You found my weakness! And now you're tempting me to put dirty pics again on this thread, just to lure more backers to the Root Double cause! Must... Resist... Before our benevolent overlords kick me out...

6 hours ago, Ian said:

I think I will pledge now, to support development of the Vita version. But I'm not giving $225.

I understand why this is too expensive for many PSVita fans... It's a pity, because a separate reward with just the PSVita game would probably be OK, but at least they managed to secure the Vita port, which is no small feat. (The good news is the 225 and 275 tiers have many nice goodies, so at least they put some sugar in the cyanide capsule.)

Also, making the PSVita as a separate reward via stretch goal seems to me too much of a gamble at the current fundraising rate. I guess many Vita fans would be pissed off if they backed the game just for that and Root Double got funded but no stretch goal was reached.

I'm glad Sekai was very open about the pros and cons of this move (including the huge delay compared to the Windows version).

The thing is, the project got a HUGE boost after the PS Vita announcement (almost 10K more!), so there's hope we can have a Root Double game in the making.

But we have to be quick, because we have only 10 days left! (Unless we start time travelling or something...)

On 23/1/2016 at 11:25 PM, Klashvorn said:

Also, Linux is neat ! I wouldn't be as efficient on a Windows machine for work. I personally don't game on the distro I use but it's always nice to have a command line ready when you need it. Just saying ^^

Wow! @Klashvorn, you're a GNU/Linux fan, too! I KNEW IT!!! My penguindar is always right.

No wonder why Yuuhi is so much in love with you.

Remember, brave TSF pilots... Your Raptor runs on Linux!

Edited by THN

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12 hours ago, THN said:

Wow! @Klashvorn, you're a GNU/Linux fan, too! I KNEW IT!!! My penguindar is always right.

Open source tech FTW ! Then again, development is part of my job haha :)

12 hours ago, THN said:

No wonder why Yuuhi is so much in love with you.

Oh I wish ! Alas, it is not to be… :(

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1 hour ago, Klashvorn said:

Oh I wish ! Alas, it is not to be… :(

You could always stage a marriage ceremony and pretend she's in love with you, people have done that.

And speaking of waifus, today I felt the urge to kiss the picture of Yui Takamura I have as my smartphone wallpaper. Goddamit Takamura-sama, why are you so hot and why aren't there more pictures of you in that pilot suit?! *salivate* *salivate* AHEM!

Edited by PulakK

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3 minutes ago, PulakK said:

You could always stage a marriage ceremony and pretend she's in love with you, people have done that.

I don't know about that… Rather, tough Luv I should say haha ^^'

Going back to Root Double, the timing could have been a little better based on previous VN campaigns running simultaneously or roughly around the same period at least. I get the feeling the majority of backers is centered around the same community and because of this, resources are stretching thin, no matter how willing and passionate we can be. Wants and needs will take over eventually.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying spreading the medium is a bad thing — far from it actually — but reaching out to noninitiates as well would be beneficial in the long run, especially since we have some great examples of VNs which can be consumed by anyone these days.

VNs are slowly becoming less niche in the West compared to a bunch of years back. This is a good time to bring down misconceptions associated with these games. Of course, different people have different tastes, whether it's about art style, presentation, themes, mechanics and so on. There's also the argument that most VNs are "just about reading through paragraphs of text with barely to no gameplay at all" but let's not get sidetracked. This doesn't change the fact that these are interactive stories and focus should be put on this fact for newcomers at least.

Bottom line is, while relying on your fanbase is good, you have to reach out further when undertaking such a project. A good product can go unnoticed because of lack of exposure. Gotta be proactive, especially in this day and age of fast traveling information through social media. This is pretty much marketing at its core, you can't expect the fans to do all the work, right ? :P

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On the whole Linux in Japan issue, you would be actually right that is not very popular there, though the cause is actually more complex. Basically, due to their singular development of Japanese phones (you can see more info here) they already had phones with e-mail in 2000 and had internet before anyone else. This basically made that instead of doing it with computers, most teens and adults in Japan use the internet through phone since the early 2000s. Thus, the only people tinkering with a computer enough to even go out of their way to use Linux are mostly otakus or similarly focused people. This "nichefication" of the computer as the phones expanded in Japan is also the main cause of the death of PC games in Japan.

Moving on Root Double, there's some spotty logic on the Vita port. I'm sure there has been a tremendously big amount of effort by Sekai Prokect, but the pieces of the puzzle don't fit together: if the PSP Vita port is so costly that you can only put it in the higher tiers, yet you're aiming at barely scrapping by the original goal then this means that either you never needed such a high base goal from the beginning or the Vita porting isn't as expensive. Or you're hoping that it will soar past the goal, but I find this pretty unlikely, and Sekai should find it too.

Everything I've seen in this Kickstarter however has looked a tad suspicious to me. One of my hypothesis is that this has simply been a glorified pre-order campaign the Japanese devs have forced on Sekai in order to see if the game had enough interest to properly license it. As @Anix says, it seems to be a particular misunderstanding of Japanese devs (though I would say that given that, instead of a whole new product, what's funded is only the license and translation this kind of projects would also be kinda different than the regular ones; if we insist on comparing it to an inversion it would be a "very-low" risk one).

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14 hours ago, Marx-93 said:

Everything I've seen in this Kickstarter however has looked a tad suspicious to me. One of my hypothesis is that this has simply been a glorified pre-order campaign the Japanese devs have forced on Sekai in order to see if the game had enough interest to properly license it. As @Anix says, it seems to be a particular misunderstanding of Japanese devs (though I would say that given that, instead of a whole new product, what's funded is only the license and translation this kind of projects would also be kinda different than the regular ones; if we insist on comparing it to an inversion it would be a "very-low" risk one).

According to Sekai, the use of Kickstarter rather than just releasing it using their own money is something forced by the Japanese side on this and previous projects. So a glorified pre-order campaign is pretty much literally all it is.

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They added a new tier. For $99, you can get digital copies for PC and PS Vita. The PC copy alone is only $30. Who in their right mind would pay $69 for a Vita game?!

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