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Beta Tester Impressions
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Sleuth Admin
Sleuth Admin
Tale Spinner

Jan-26-2008 16:43
(sticky post)


We've officially lifted the non-disclosure agreement for testers who have been taking part in the closed Sleuth : Shades of Mystery beta tests. I'm hoping a few of them will post here with some of the impressions so you can all get a picture of where the game is and where it is headed.

I'm sorry it was necessary to ask them to keep their mouths zipped up until now, but I didn't want anybody to get wrong impressions about what the finished game will be like by basing their opinions on an early version.

Also, we will be switching to an open beta test very soon, so everyone who is interested won't have to wait much longer before trying things out.


Replies

croesy2002
croesy2002

Feb-13-2008 02:19

Well said, Sunny :)

detectivehappy
detectivehappy
Old Shoe

Feb-13-2008 20:05

Let's all throw rocks at Ben.




Secret_Squirrel
Secret_Squirrel
Safety Officer

Feb-13-2008 20:18

lol ooh please!

As much as I like like to gather my nuts unto myself, I'd be willing to toss 'em about a bit for such a worthy cause:

10 pts if you knock his fez off
20 pts if you're accurate enough to break his glasses
50 pts if you can bank shot and hit Sunny :)

sunny
sunny
Lady of Shadows

Feb-13-2008 22:30

hey, only 50 points?

Secret_Squirrel
Secret_Squirrel
Safety Officer

Feb-14-2008 01:32

Oh yeah sorry that was a pre-baby points scoring system. Now you're less of a target that's of course 100 pts :)

detectivehappy
detectivehappy
Old Shoe

Feb-14-2008 16:08

lol, those glasses are hard to break. maybe we should up it to 25 points

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Feb-16-2008 18:56

I've been looking at SOM for a couple of days now, and I've got mixed impressions about it. I will be the first one to admit, I make a lousy computer guinea-pig, which is why I didn't bother signing up for the previous rounds of testing. Admin should be ecstatic I haven't blown anything up at SOM yet....;-)

First off, I have to say I'm incredibly impressed with the sheer amount of effort and work they've put into the project. Overall, they've done a great job, and the people at Hypoware should be congratulated for their accomplishments. I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to even begin trying to do some of the stuff they've done, so they deserve to be proud.

There are a few things I'd like to see improved on SOM. One of the biggest is the character generation at the start of the program. While there are around 30 choices to choose from for each facial feature (facial type, eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc.) when you create your detective at initial login, most of the actual choices are very similar. Most of the eye choices are either squinting or angry (and I'm not particularly fond of creating a myopic or menacing detective); the nose choices are mostly overly large, crooked, or just plain ugly; and the hair choices are mostly dark and short for men and dark and long for women (there's one blond, one gray, one bald/hairless in mens, and no redheads anywhere). By the end of it all, the character's more likely to look like a cartoon or caricature than anything resembling a lifelike face. I have no idea if previous phases of testing had different options to work with, or if the final SOM will be different, but I was very disappointed with this aspect.

A second thing I'd like to see improved was in the crime scene area. I can see why some people may have a problem with vertigo and the camera angles here, but my problem deals with the colors. I had serious trouble distinguishing some hair clumps and fabric swatches when they were shown against a similarly dar

Breitkat
Breitkat
Pinball Amateur

Feb-16-2008 19:16

dark-colored background. I admit, I have a VERY, very slight red-green color-blindness, but I can see 99.9% of all colors (and yes, I've been tested repeatedly for that). Red-green colorblindness is actually a fairly common condition, especially among men, and I have a feeling that someone who's more affected by it would go nuts trying to find stuff on SOM simply because the shades of things they're showing are too close together. It's something for Admin to consider.

A third aspect deals with finding suspects during cases. I had a number of cases that had the first two suspects name each other for possible suspects, and noone else. I spent upwards of 45 minutes realtime per case looking for another suspect to interview, and in one case, never was able to find anybody. These were ALL beginner and easy cases. If I'm running into this problem at such a low level, I shudder to think what would happen at an advanced level. I have serious doubts that many people would have the patience to be willing to put up with it. Again, it's something for Admin to consider.

SOM requires a great deal more time, patience, thinking, and note-taking than Noir does. I have a strong feeling there's not going to be many hard-and-set 'rules' that people can live by in SOM, which many of us like here in Noir. In some ways, I like it. In others, I'm happy with Noir. I have a feeling I'll prob'ly be spending my time mostly here because I've developed relationships and have more invested here, but SOM will be fun to explore.

Again, Congratulations to Admin and Hypoware for all their hard work!! ;-)

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
Well-Connected

Feb-16-2008 20:44

One of my problems with Noir is that, fun as it is, it does after a while feel like a bit of a grind. Your standard case had a pattern you could follow for completion, then after a few you would get a favour where you did the same and so on. When I drifted from the game last it was because I wanted to go to the Cairo but to do that I would have to do lots of similar missions to get enough XP to get the skill I needed to get there, plus I needed to do treasure hunts to get the island blue item because I needed an item to get in with the Tea Steepers and couldn't hold both, and then when I get to Cairo I could end up doing the same thing.......I didn't find it fun to do on an intense level after a while.


From my initial SOM impressions, this might be less of an issue. Although it's still similar mechanics, it felt less repetetive to me. I feel like I need to pay attention, while in SN I start to feel like I can autopilot at times.


I can think of some negatives, but nothing major. The character creator is a really good piece of work, but I think it needs more variety in the details. Not the eyes/nose/mouth as such, more the other stuff. I get the impression that as it stands a lot of people will have quite similar looking characters.

Not so much a game problem, but I do kindof feel a bit overwhelmed in SOM. Not as sure what to do as I seem to recall being when I started SN.

Finally since I haven't yet noticed factions, equipment or the like I do wonder if there is as much to explore long-term. Having said that this is pre-release, I doubt SN was how it is now at the start.


Overall, neither game is bad, and I can see myself playing both. Depends on what you are looking for really.

Sleuth Sindy
Sleuth Sindy
Bounty Hunter

Feb-17-2008 04:13

I find that I don't need to take notes on SoM. The case file is right there handy to click on and look at at any time, and opening the case file doesn't disrupt your game play (meaning that when you close the case file you're still on the same screen you were before you opened it). I'm not disagreeing wtih Breitkat here, I'm just making the point that different people think and work differently.

There is one particular carpet that is rather dark and I'm always leery that I'm missing something there because it WOULD be hard to see a piece of evidence against that background.

I like the character generator, but there ARE a lot of Avatars on SoM that look pretty much alike except for just a few small details. That IS rather disappointing. (I like to think I'm rather unique) :) But I like the fact that you can change your look (glasses/sunglasses, hat, background, etc.).

At first I felt very disorganized, like everything was scattered all over, but now that I've been playing for a couple of days (and playing more than one detective [shhhhhhhhhhhh]) and know everyone's role and where the people I need are and how things work, I really enjoy the game.

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