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#112818 - 03/26/02 12:34 PM Re: It has to be said
Josie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2949
Loc: Arkansas
I think it kinda looks like Final Fantasy and I dont care for that game so thats why I didnt get Josie:)

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#112819 - 03/26/02 01:30 PM Re: It has to be said
aberfoyle Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 327
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Hi, long and thoughtful posts are just fine. People who don't want to read them don't have to. laugh laugh

I went to the LadyStar website a while ago and left it having not been moved to purchase anything. Heavycat has posted a few times in the last couple of weeks and it got me to go again and this time I purchased the game. (It wasn't easy to find out how, though).

So far, I am a bit disappointed in the play, but based on what I had heard I am expecting it to "pick up".

As for selling the game, the website is confusing and needs a major overhaul. Even if it just copies the sites mentioned above, it will help hugely.

The comments on the ratio of people looking versus people buying reminds me of the shareware industry (at least as it was several years ago when I was more aware of it). When the first programs were offered for sale, they were often fully featured and merely asked for a 'registration' or even a 'contribution'.

I believe that many great programs never supported their authors. "List" comes to mind.

Now, I think 'shareware' authors are much smarter. I have many that I have used for quite a while and they are sold by making the product available for a limited period of time (say 30 days usually) and then they no longer work.

If the product is good and worth using, then it is worth paying for. This model works well for me. There are many programs I have used a couple of times and then forgotten, but the ones I use or will use in the future, I pay for.

How this relates to an adventure game is harder to see. I like the idea of a demo or maybe have the first few episodes for free and then expect payment.

However, the first episode is not going to sell the game. Take 'The Longest Journey' as an example of a fast start to get interest and then into the story we go. I suggest Ladystar take the most exciting and entertaining part of the game made so far and find a way to get it into the beginning of the first episode!

As for distribution, many people cannot or don't want to download large files. Maybe a subscription where Ladystar sends out a CD every two or three months with the latest episodes.

Personally, I find the web lacking as a distribution medium. The programs I have bought over the internet always present a problem in that disks crash, registration codes get lost and it just never seems permanent to me. A CD in a box sitting on a shelf seems much more like I really own the program (or have a license to use it if its Microsoft).

Anyway to make a long post longer I hope Ladystar is successful. It will be uphill I'm afraid, though, because the changes that have been suggested (and which are really needed) will take a fair amount of work I'm afraid and it sounds like time is too short. frown

Regards, Aberfoyle happydance

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#112820 - 03/26/02 02:07 PM Re: It has to be said
Lundar Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 12/09/00
Posts: 890
Loc: Texas,USA
Thanks aberfoyle for those great comments. You ring true with your first comment and I do appreciate them and I am sure heavycat does as well.

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#112821 - 03/26/02 08:57 PM Re: It has to be said
heavycat Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 184
We do appreciate all of the comments. The feedback received here will be very valuable, and we're already working on improving the web site first, and then the game.

There will be an announcement soon with an update on what we've accomplished. One of our goals as a company is to be responsive to customers and potential customers and to listen.

We realize that the vast majority of what we have done so far has been 80-20 mistakes to brilliance, but the one thing we do know is that we're doing something right. With thousands of episodes downloaded and numerous registrations (which began, interestingly enough, days after we released our demo, which was about 1/4 of the first episode), LadyStar, at the very least, has a lot of people's attention.

Now our job is to improve it even more. Thanks again, everybody. smile
_________________________
Scott
Heavy Cat Multimedia Ltd.
www.ladystar.net - Your Magical and Mysterious Adventure Awaits
www.heavycatweb.com - Only the Gameplay Matters

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#112822 - 03/26/02 11:31 PM Re: It has to be said
MWW Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/05/00
Posts: 470
Heavycat, I am very interested in your game. I love animated adventure games very very much, but I also am unwilling to download with my glacially slow and sometimes unreliable internet connection. If you ever release the game where I can buy the completed game on a disc I would buy it and probably pay more for the game. I understand that this is difficult and may not be possible for your company presently. I do regret that I may miss what looks like a very enjoyable game.

I wish you and your company the best of luck and hope that you succeed.
_________________________
Sanity is still just an excuse for not having fun.

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#112823 - 03/27/02 12:29 AM Re: It has to be said
Advpuzlov Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/05/99
Posts: 2027
Loc: USA
HOLYCOW said it for me.
Quote:
Also traditionally we adventure gamers prefer our games on disc (CD-Rom or, now DVD). We want it for our collections or 'librarys', if you will. Downloading episodes is again not traditional for us.
I have downloaded puzzle games such as SNOOD, but to download an Adventure game in little segments seems to me to be absurd. If it is enough of a game to be interesting, it is too much for me to download. There may come a time when it might work, but then I would feel compelled to burn a CD of it so I wouldn't have to leave it occupying space on my hard drive, but still be able to play it at a later time. My investment in Adventure games is up in the kilo$ range and I don't mind paying for a CD or DVD which I can then reinstall, but being only on my hard drive is much too precarious for me to accept.
_________________________
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

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#112824 - 03/27/02 12:44 AM Re: It has to be said
heavycat Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 184
Well, we try to keep the episodes at or around 5MB. Even on a dial-up connection, this would take about a half hour to download. Some of the larger episodes (like episode 3) are about twice as large.

We'll need all of the episodes rearranged in order to provide a complete install image for CD-ROM, and it will probably be quite a bit more expensive. The time/resource structure needed to support CD-ROM distribution is far larger, slower and more expensive compared to electronic distribution.

Electronic distribution will only become more popular, because it allows companies like ours to compete on price far better than if we were required to spend $8 to get a CD-ROM to one customer.

As far as backups are concerned, you're more than welcome to put your downloaded episodes on a CD-R for backup purposes. Not a problem. smile
_________________________
Scott
Heavy Cat Multimedia Ltd.
www.ladystar.net - Your Magical and Mysterious Adventure Awaits
www.heavycatweb.com - Only the Gameplay Matters

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#112825 - 03/27/02 07:44 AM Re: It has to be said
Mary Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 11/02/99
Posts: 3653
Loc: New York
I'll just add my two cents here. I'm one of those who have only a dial-up connection. I don't download demos, ever, since they take so long, and I wouldn't download your game since I wouldn't want to take up precious hard drive space. It seems that no matter how large a hard drive I get, I'm always running short.
I'm also one of those "collecters": ask my husband. I've got the games all over the place. If you ever develop a game on a CD, I'm in!
Good luck to you in any case.
_________________________
The answer is....chocolate! Who cares what the question is.....

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#112826 - 03/27/02 08:58 AM Re: It has to be said
Anonymous
Unregistered


As an adventure game player I would like to add my comments. After reading this thread I went to your site and looked around.I agree with most about the site being confusing. I clicked on Play New Girl. It looked like a slide show to me with lots of reading, no movement with the character and no sound. It kept saying error in script.After a few minutes I just lost patience with it and clicked out.
I have some Cartoonist games like Monkey Island, Broken Sword, an Jack Orlando games and I love them, there is plenty of adventure in them. Lots of different characters to talk to and plenty of movement.
If this game was on cd-rom I probably would buy it cause I buy every adventure game that comes out.BAAG's you know!
As for downloading it, I wouldnt because even if I could play it and I liked it, I wouldnt have the patience to wait for the next episode to come out. And also with my computer saying there is errors on the script,
wouldnt that be also downloaded and make the game unplayable?
Anyway that is my opinon of this game,maybe a little mystery in the game, would have caught my eye.

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#112827 - 03/27/02 10:26 AM Re: It has to be said
Betty Lou Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 07/29/00
Posts: 11334
Loc: Sacramento, CA USA
And then there is the teenage boy who, while not attempting to sell thousands of copies to get 'rich' wrote and made his game Passages, The Betrayal and sold it to many of us here at GB and he did a terrific job. His game was on a CD and he even created a manual he included with the game. He did it all by himself! Downloading games or playing online is not for me, ever.
Love, Betty Lou
_________________________
I am 'the HAT lady"! and "who loves ya BABY?!"

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#112828 - 03/27/02 03:30 PM Re: It has to be said
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35483
Loc: southeast USA
Quote:
Originally posted by catsmom2:
As an adventure game player I would like to add my comments. After reading this thread I went to your site and looked around.I agree with most about the site being confusing. I clicked on Play New Girl. It looked like a slide show to me with lots of reading, no movement with the character and no sound. It kept saying error in script.After a few minutes I just lost patience with it and clicked out.
I just checked out the online version of LadyStar. I didn't get any javascript errors, but then my browser is set to not display any script error messages.

But the game was dead silent. No wind howling, baby crying, clock ticking, or any other sound referred to in the game's text description. Is the online version supposed to have sounds or music? Is this silence normal? Does the downloaded version have sounds? Even old DOS games had midi music. If I'm not getting sounds that I should be getting, I'd like to know.

Last year many Gameboomers played an online game called Faradise. It had a lot of interactivity and was suitable for slow modem connections. There were also sound effects which added a lot to the ambiance. So it seems like it should be possible to have an online version of LadyStar which includes sound.

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#112829 - 03/27/02 03:46 PM Re: It has to be said
heavycat Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 184
Thanks for the comments about the on-line version of LadyStar.

LadyStar has no soundtrack.

There are several things we, as a game company, do well: Character design, story, setting, background images, browser-based game engines, etc.

There are several things we don't do well (yet): Soundtracks, FMV in-game cutscenes, background music, animation, voice-overs, etc.

We're going to concentrate on our strengths and not over-reach, and for good reasons (we think).

Adding sound and music will do several things: make the game more expensive, make it even more difficult to download (by increasing file size), limit (or eliminate) cross-platform capability while increasing technical support headaches (for customers first, then us), increase development time, and so on.

While a thrilling orchestral soundtrack and slick Hollywood-esque sound effects would add to the gee-whiz factor to the game, the expense of producing them far outweighs the potential benefits, not to mention the fact that browsers are VERY unreliable when it comes to sound, especially when you consider that over half of our downloads are for platforms other than Windows.

LadyStar seeks only to be what it is: a simple, humble adventure game which relies on a good, complex epic story and well-written characters to provide an enjoyable game.

We made a decision a long time ago not to over-reach and try to make it into a Hollywood-competitive blockbuster-ambitious multimedia extravaganza. This likely disqualifies a lot of potential customers who will assume that LadyStar is unworthy simply because it does not seek to replace substance with glitz, but I doubt we could have impressed those customers anyway, soundtrack or no.

I do appreciate the comments though, and recommend the third episode if you are looking for more traditional adventure. The first two episodes are more story intros than anything else. Thanks again.
_________________________
Scott
Heavy Cat Multimedia Ltd.
www.ladystar.net - Your Magical and Mysterious Adventure Awaits
www.heavycatweb.com - Only the Gameplay Matters

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#112830 - 03/28/02 06:59 AM Re: It has to be said
Josho Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 12/27/99
Posts: 88
Loc: Colonie, New York, USA
Heavycat,

It sounds to me, with all acknowledgement to the power of hindsight, that the biggest problem with the plan was in those 18 months you spent doing market research.

After all, this discussion board right here -- this is your market. And yet it doesn't seem as if the reactions of the people here are at all what you wanted/expected to hear.

The problem may've been with the research itself. Even when market research is performed correctly, which is overwhelmingly RARE -- it is minimally useful, otherwise the company with the best market research would dependably have the best sales, and that's not the case.

OTOH, the problem may've been with the way the research was handled afterwards: what was ignored, what was taken into account, what was followed slavishly.

The name Ladystar itself, so soft in its imagery, is not going to appeal to males. The roster of characters makes it clear that the game's main cast consists largely of females. (And if market research has proven anything in this area, it's that males don't generally like playing female characters, unless you go the "Lara Croft" shooting-and-big-bosoms route). While I think the attitude of male players is pretty Neanderthal, failing to acknowledge it -- or deliberately snubbing it -- is NOT the way to turn a profit in an industry where males are such a large part of the core audience.

On a slightly more philosophical note, you've expressed a desire to appeal to EVERY ADVENTURE GAME FAN ("and then some") simultaneously. That's a very good way not to appeal to anyone.

I support your ideas and your work, and I'll look into LADYSTAR to see what it offers.

Yours truly,
Josh Mandel

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#112831 - 03/28/02 07:12 AM Re: It has to be said
Skinter Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 4161
Loc: Herndon, VA
Ahem........I have enjoyed games where the main characters are female and I'm no neanderthal. One game that comes to mind that I enjoyed so much is King's Quest 7. Good story, great graphics and the music was wonderful.

However, for an online game. Let the software developers do what they want and just enjoy the game when it comes out. Of course there are some games out there that are not as highly enjoyable as others. Another game with a female lead that I enjoyed was the action game No One Lives Forever.

I just wanted to let Josho know here that there are guys out there who do enjoy games with female leads. I happen to be one of them. As long as they have a great story and graphics, I don't mind the sound at all. Sometimes I completely forget that there is any sound at all in the game. Of course, with games like Thief, you have to completely depend on sound in order for a successful run of the game. Well, there's my two cents about men enjoying games with female leads. Any other guys out there care to add in their ideas to mine?
_________________________
Lvl 55 Hunter in WOW

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#112832 - 03/28/02 07:42 AM Re: It has to be said
Holycow Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 290
Loc: Graham NC USA
I'm with you, Mac. I've played and enjoyed KQ7, TLJ, WoT, AM's Alice, NOLF, some TR, GK2 w/Grace, Drakan, etc. and have little to no problem playing female characters. It was the gameplay and stories that made these games along with the (and I don't mean to harp on this) grown-up sensiblities of these characters that interested me in these games. And I didn't have to download them piecemeal.

If, for some reason, the boomers who play into the game come back to report that it's a wowser and the storyline is worth the download trouble, etc. I might think about playing, but as far as I could see now with all the games out there I'm trying to play, Ladystar has not appealed to my sensiblities as a grown-up guy. But that's only my singular opinion. Good Luck, heavycat & co.! laugh
_________________________
Everything in moderation, even abstinence.

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