Feedback: Elemental Tango

Hi! This is my first time checking out a user game, so please forgive my noobishness, but I appear to be totally stuck on Monday afternoon. I think this is a bug, because certain events should increase my “Just another boring day” number, but it’s already at 5. The rollover says “raise this to 5 to move on with the story,” but it’s already at 5, and I keep just getting the same nothing cards. I have no qualities high enough to move forward now, so I’m forced to give up.

@Cochise Those ones will get cleared out after Wednesday is over, so just leave at least one space in your hand open before playing the pinned cards on Wednesday. Thanks all the same!

@ajlange I don’t think you are stuck, I will go back and double check but if you keep playing opportunities and doing the quality check branches, you should get at least one of your stats up high enough to progress.
edited by Kitsune on 9/26/2012

Day 2.

-“A Little Breakfast” card: You use “I” again.
–Also: It would certainly be a little easier to get along if you were, besides whatever happened to not talking to strangers That comma should be a period.
–Also: I never really liked it though but I guess that is the funny thing Needs a comma after “it”, and I’d recommend taking out the “though” – the sentence sounds a bit awkward with it.

-You seem to be making a distinct effort to avoid contractions, which seems a bit odd to me, as it makes speech sound a bit stilted in places. If you don’t already know this, a common writing tip is to say your dialogue out loud before you write it, to make sure it sounds natural.

-“A Cat in the Middle of the Road” card: Awwwwww it is a kitty-kat just sitting there. Can we go see him please?? “Aww” should have a comma after it, and that amount of Ws looks rather out-of-place. Generally, you don’t necessarily need to draw out vowels all the time, readers will often mentally read it properly anyway. Also, using multiple question marks is generally bad form. (You also lack a comma before starting the quote, but I already mentioned that before.)
–Also: You aren’t about to put your life on the line for some random stray cat but you feel like it is best if you move Emily away from here. Needs a comma after “cat”.
–And…hrm. The card lacks a choice for what I would do in such a situation, and what I think is the most reasonable option: try to shout at the driver to stop.

-“Another Street Performer” card: You have a feeling that there is more to this little girl than meets the eye and what better opportunity to test this? Needs a comma after “eye”.
No regular tricks up this performers sleeve. Missing an apostrophe.
–After dialogue is finished, unless it’s the end of a paragraph, you can keep writing along the same line; you don’t have to make a line break.
Emily said Tense trouble again.

-“To the Mall” card: Yesterday was the first time you have been here in a while and you didn’t really stay long so it is possible there are more toy stores since the last time you went. Commas needed after “while” and “long”. Also, it contradicts the previous sentence, so you should probably add something like “however” in front of it.

-“To the Park” card: How did she know where this park was, didn’t she say she was from very far away? Hmm. That comma seems like it should be a question mark – it feels like a separate thought.
There are a lot nearby of course so it is only natural to be confused. Commas needed around “of course”.
Emily never did say how long it was before she found your house either so a playground would be one of the first places a normal lost child would flock to. Commas needed around “either”.

-“To the Amusement Park” card: It couldn’t hurt right? Needs a comma after “hurt”.

-“A Little People Watching” card: if she was interested Tense trouble.
You sometimes wonder who the genius was that came up with the saying “kill two birds with one stone” but you would like to personally thank them. A comma is needed after the quote.
Emily does not like your suggestion one bit and you would not find it anywhere near as enjoyable if she is whining constantly. Comma needed after “bit”, and “would” should be “will” – tense trouble again.

-ok The correct form is “okay”, all four letters.

-“Go to the Pet Store” card:
The staff actually encourage people to play with the animals, they say it makes them happier and more fun to be around. Should be two sentences.
The only problem was, none of them wanted to visit Emily and some actually seemed afraid of her. Comma needed after “Emily”.
As you leave, Emily seems a little upset but you explain to her that they surely mustn’t take care of the animals very well. Comma needed after “upset”.

-“Work a Shift at a Restaurant” card: Emily suddenly started complaining about being bored so you ask her Tense trouble, also needs a comma after “bored”.
The little girl is not happy with this response initially but then her grey eyes widen with excitement as she grabs your hand Comma needed after “initially”.

-“A Mysterious Garden” card: You and am Emily are walking along, lost in conversation about the events of the day Lacks the closing comma.
–Typo: My parents and I use to
you are in a far off land where you couldn’t hear the city noises That should be “can’t”, I believe.
you hear a low, menacing growl, seemingly right next to you Ominous!
You immediately open your eyes only to see Emily with her eyes closed still and the silence from before. Commas needed after “eyes” and “still”…actually, I think that should be “eyes still closed”, come to think of it.

-“Go See a Movie” card: As you and Emily are walking along enjoying the crisp night air Comma needed after “along”.
It has been a while since you sat down and enjoyed a movie though so if nothing else it will be a nice change of pace. Needs commas around “though”.
–I notice that there is no “discard” option that costs nothing – this could be a problem if players do not have 20 Cash on hand, as the card will become stuck in their hand.
–The narration slips into first person again in the result text.

-Having to slog through cards to get the proper quality needed to advance is rather irritating, since many cards don’t even give you any increase…I’d advise giving more stat upgrades at the very least.

-“Heading Home” card: No of course not. Comma needed after “no”.
You walk along as if you are by yourself, you seem to have gotten used to little Emilys’ presence. Should be two sentences, also, it should be “Emily’s”.
presence as you are more focused on what happened today. Comma needed after “presence”. (You’re also missing a period at the end of the branch text.)
Is she mad at you for something or just lost in her own thoughts? Comma needed after “something”.

-“A Crash of Thunder” card: You get up out of your bed and head to your window but just as you are about to open the blinds Comma needed after window.
to see if she is hiding under the covers but notice her Comma needed after “covers”.
You run after her but she is too quick and Commas needed after “her” and “quick”.

…And that’s that. Wednesday tomorrow.

Sorry if I sound terse when pointing out the grammar errors, it helps if I don’t have to type out quite so much all the time. Anyway, story thoughts:

[[color=#ffffff]I felt kind of…disempowered by the narrative, I guess? My avatar seems to be doing things that I would not. I despise young children and, not only would I not want to put up with one for a day, I feel I would not be a good caretaker either. The first thing I’d do would be to contact the authorities to see if I can return her to her parents. That’s where she should be anyway. (Tricking her into getting soaked on the water ride is not something I would inflict on her, either.) She also seems awfully trusting, though perhaps circumstances are different if I’m not An Aware Heart. My avatar also seems dumb as a bag of rocks – two cards (as well as, you know, the entire circumstance surrounding Emily…) show, rather obviously, that something is very unnatural about Emily, yet he just brushes it off as “must be my imagination”. That would not be my response; I would be extremely suspicious if I saw her eyes suddenly change colour, or heard her making snarling sounds.[/color]]

Well then. Looks like the climax of the story is going to be on the next day, I’ll see what it has in store.

I do truly appreciate you being so critical on the grammar, every author needs a person who thoroughly dissects their work.

I was always actually taught that it is poor form to use contractions when writing, unless it is in dialogue, so I do make a distinct effort to avoid them. The extra Ws are to give personality to Emily as is the extra question mark for emphasis. Most kids are usually very energetic and over-emphasize everything, so it would be unnatural (unrelated to your comments on the story itself) for a 12 year old girl to have perfect speech, as the reader imagines it.

Every challenge action that is successful should give you a stat increase, and I don’t feel like the difficulty is too high that it is unreachable. I was very wary about this throughout my whole story and would appreciate hearing players thoughts on that matter, positive or negative.

On your story comments: For me, writing isn’t about tailoring your experience to fit an individual person, but writing in such a way that everyone enjoys your work. It would be a different story if I was trying to write in first person, because that automatically makes it more personal for the reader, but writing in second person means you have to apply it to a wider audience. Appealing to at least a large audience, if not everyone, as best as possible is what any writer depends on to be successful. If you base your writing entirely off of the choices you, or any individual person, will personally make in a given situation, you alienate a lot of people. That is why SN is such a powerful tool, you have to write numerous choices into the story and give life to a myriad of possibilities.
edited by Kitsune on 9/27/2012

Aaah, finally I can rest a bit now that I’ve seen what the future holds :D

Ah. No, actually. That only applies to formal writing like essays; in creative writing, you can use them. Keeping to the vernacular is especially important with second-person.

That would be the problem. I tried the “An Exemplary Heart” challenge 3-4 times I believe, and I never got anything out of the deal, because with no points in it, the challenge has a very high chance of failure. In FL, qualities always increase, so even if you fail, you can slowly work your way up. I would advise either doing that (just because the cat saved itself doesn’t mean I’m not exemplary for trying) or lowering the difficulty, to allow players to succeed a bit easier.

Well yes, this is a good point, but in StoryNexus, isn’t the point of it to explore choices? If players don’t feel like they can be “themselves” it can jar them out of the experience.

…Huh? That sounds like it should be the other way around. Second person is talking to the audience directly, first person is a separate character, isn’t it?

Well, anyway, I still haven’t seen the full story yet. I’ll have to give you my final thoughts when I see the complete scope of the plot.

[color=#009900]I don’t want to speak to the specifics of playtesting Syn, but I do want to address the ‘point of StoryNexus’ bit.[/color]

>Well yes, this is a good point, but in StoryNexus, isn’t the point of it to explore choices? If players don’t feel like they can be “themselves” it can jar them out of the experience.

[color=#009900]The point of StoryNexus is to let creators use choice, consequence and complicity to achieve the creative result they want. Highly customised consequences are one way of using interactivity in a story - they’re popular and effective (and I enjoy them), but they’re expensive and they’re not the only tool in the box.[/color]

[color=#009900]And the player doesn’t need to be ‘themselves’. Again, this is a popular and effective CRPG approach, but not the only one. There’s a good piece by (inevitably) Em Short on different player-agency-protagonist setups here: [/color]

Ah, I see. I wasn’t stuck, but I had to roll in challenges that I had zero points in to progress. That was a little unintuitive for me.

Alright all thank you for play testing and now I want to get some final tweaks and polish in over the next few days. To achieve this I am going to post some structured feedback I would like all players on here to please answer, preferably without visible spoilers.

  1. Overall, did you like the set up of the game as a whole?
  2. Was it a reasonable progress of story, or did it seem to move too slow or too fast?
  3. How was the difficulty of the quality checks throughout the whole game?
  4. On Wednesday especially, was the pacing done well?
  5. Was the difficulty of the final stretch of the story enjoyable, too easy, or too hard?
  6. Were you sufficiently interested enough in the story to replay it, or replay it later?
  7. Did anyone play the epilogue? If so, what are your thoughts?
  8. Did anyone get and have the opportunity to use the rare fighting option in the final stretch?
  9. How was the writing of the final stretch? I had a really hard time writing all the action because I don’t usually write like that, and really want as much feedback as possible on that section.
  10. (To be answered privately) Does anyone have an idea about who or what Syn was originally? I did give hints to a particular person or type of person, and this is more of an easter egg or mystery than anything.
    edited by Kitsune on 9/28/2012

A few minor things throughout:

  • “Lacking in sound” is spelled “quiet”, not “quite”.[/li][li] “Decimate” means “reduce by one-tenth”. You might mean “devastate”.

As for the questions:

  1. Things seem fairly clear, but is there a reason to have the early-game qualities instead of just going straight to Aware, Exemplary, Stained, Naive, Guiding, and Cautious?
  2. Progress goes too slow, especially given that cards to advance the Heart qualities don’t show up nearly as often as cards to advance the day quality. On that note, Exemplary and Stained don’t seem to advance as quickly as the others, even if you’re on Stained’s specific path.
  3. Quality checks have good difficulty, but as others have said, you should get quality advances on a failure except in the endgame.
  4. Pacing has some minor issues: Heart qualities aren’t pulled as they should be, especially with Heart locks in place; both forms of progress are repeated a lot. I’d suggest, for one, lowering some of the branch unlocks.
  5. The endgame takes a lot of early luck to avoid having to repeat at least once. Not sure if that was the intent.
  6. It seems like an interesting story; especially given that it sets up plot hooks for ET.
    1. Evil Incarnate doesn’t need to have numbers that big. 2) Evil Incarnate shouldn’t be advanced at all, unless you’re becoming more evil. The Final Stage of The Plan should be used for progress instead. 3) It mostly seems like stereotypical Evil Overlord stuff. Unless you want the Syn character to be uninteresting, that part might be a good place to touch on “Syn wasn’t always evil”.
  7. The “auto-success in exchange for going a bit more insane” part was good, but 1) at that point, you’ve got almost-automatic success on most fights anyway (your X Heart has to be 5 by the time you can get the thing), and if you play sensibly, there’s not much risk to raising a menace that automatically progresses and has no harmful effects past a given point, after which it causes instant loss (“It’s below 4, so I can use it safely”/“It’s at 4, so I can’t use it at all”). The special attack should instead be available earlier (so that there’s usually an actual reason to risk it) and should also have progressively worsening effects [unlock new monsters that don’t drop Seeking the Truth] and/or be a random chance [chancy challenge that damages Soul if failed, or auto-win with a chance of damaging sanity? Hmm…].
  8. It was pretty fast-paced. Nicely exciting.
  9. Some vague ideas. Not going to mention them because I don’t know how to do spoiler tags here.
    edited by James Yakura on 10/14/2012

Where did you see these errors? I will change the quiet and quite around if I know where it is but decimate also means to heavily destroy something, so it fits.

The early game qualities were mostly me playing around with SN initially, and to add pacing to the story but that will all be changed with ET.

I don’t know how long ago you first played, but about a week or two ago, I changed the distribution of all the cards to be the same. Initially, FBG said the distribution didn’t matter for smaller decks and it was depreciated, then they came back and changed it so that there is a visible difference, and I just noticed it when I was playing through last.

Quality advances for ET will be very different in deed.

I did intentionally make the endgame a bit of a challenge and am glad you only had to repeat once. Before, people were losing all the time but I think an occasional repetition is a pretty decent difficulty.

The epilogue is suppose to be more silly than anything while still giving a glimpse of what is to come and what Syn was isn’t important to the story, but more an easter egg or secret.

I have an idea to make the endgame a special event or possibly Nex-locked content with expansion and filling out and will definitely expand on the going a bit insane story. I will definitely be carrying it over into ET in some way, I just don’t have a solid idea yet.

I’m glad you enjoyed the endgame and vague ideas is all I wanted to give, but with some outside sources, I feel people will be able to know for sure.

One was in the “Sneak in” option for entering the amusement park and I forget where the other one is.
I think I started about Wednesday. It could have just been that my own draws were odd, or that some of the qualities (Exemplary, Stained) are harder to advance than others (Guiding, Cautious, Naive), especially on Tuesday.
edited by James Yakura on 10/14/2012

I think that all goes back to luck of the draw because all the distributions are the same. I also split the cards in half for ones that increase qualities and ones that are the daily grind.

Ahh, so sorry, I completely forgot about this! I’m doing Wednesday now, hopefully I can finish this up.

“You Have to Find Her” card: No, that’s impossible but you can worry about that later, Emily needs you. This is a run-on as-is; I think a better phrasing would be No, that’s impossible…but you can worry about that later. Emily needs you. If you want to maintain the urgency by keeping the last bit as part of the previous sentence, I would advise simply plonking a period down after “impossible” and splitting that quote into two sentences.

“Ask Around” card:
-You will never forget what she looks like and perhaps someone here saw her running. Needs a comma after “like”.
-You try and ask everyone you see, but they either push past you without a second glance or a single word, not even bothering to turn around and talk to you. This sounds a bit awkward. “Either” in this format seems to imply the verb is part of the "either’, not the second part, which is what you seem to be going for, I think? Maybe just remove it, but they push past you without a second glance or a single word flows pretty well.
-No one is even giving you so much as a nod yes or no. Nods are only for yes. Perhaps just remove the “nod”, “so much as a yes or no” is fine.
-They just keep living their mediocre lives and wandering aimlessly, don’t they realize there is a little girl missing!? Run-on; comma should be turned into a period, I believe.

–At this point I am honestly wondering if Emily is exerting some kind of mind control. This is a really extreme reaction. o_O If that’s not your intent, try making the narrative a little more neutral. Narrating the player’s thoughts and emotions for them (or adding value judgments) is very jarring in an interactive narrative like this. Give the player some breathing room to come up with their own emotional reactions and thoughts on the situation.

-Soon, you are standing in a fog so thick you could cut it with a knife and there is only the occasional passer-by to ignore you. Comma required after “knife”.

“The Park” card:
-You get a very eerie feeling but all you care about is making it to the playground. Comma required after “feeling”.
-You squint your eyes looking for any of the shapes you saw from a distance and end up running smack dab into a child Needs commas after “eyes” and “distance”.
-Why did you do that daddy? When used in place of a name, “Daddy” is capitalized. Also, under normal circumstances, there should be a comma before it (personal address), but you can bend the rules here if you want to show that the kid is really stressed/scared and talking fast.
-20 Inexact numbers less than 100 or so are generally supposed to be written out as letters in writing.
-increasingly faster This sounds awkward to me – maybe just say “faster and faster”?

“The Mall” card:
-You start to recognize your surroundings as you drive along and remember that the mall is nearby. Comma needed after “along”.
-As you enter the parking lot, you can’t help but notice the surprising lack of cars, and even people in general. I think the lack of people is more significant than the lack of cars. o_O Though it would make sense that he might notice the latter before the former…
-over night Single word.
-You go through the main entrance into what should be the food court but all you are faced with is the echoing sound of the door closing behind you. Comma needed after “court”.
-Not only are there no people here, all the stores have been boarded up and either looted or destroyed. Wow, that’s really ominous. Not only have people mysteriously disappeared, it looks like there’s some degree of societal collapse as well if people are looting supermarkets.
-You know you have to find Emily though Wow, the protagonist sure is unflappable. Also, commas should be surrounding the “though”.

Good job on the atmosphere in that passage in general.

“The Toy Store” card:
-The door is boarded up but you can clearly see through the windows. Comma needed after “up”.
-Before you have too long to think, every single toy you can see turns and looks straight at you, with glowing red eyes. I think this is a bit heavy-handed and almost comical in its attempt at horror, to be honest… The other cards are subtly unsettling in atmosphere, yet this makes absolutely no attempt to veil that something’s gone wrong.
-Their numbers will easily overwhelm you and who knows what else they might be hiding? Comma needed after “you”.
-They must be protecting something or someone right? You have to know if it is Emily, besides how hard could it be to fight some toys? The protagonist sure has a one-track mind, don’t they? Also, comma needed after “someone”, and that comma should be a period (the sentence is a run-on).
-it takes you a while to get your bearings but you manage to get back to your car. Comma needed after “bearings”. Also, I thought I was viewing the scene from the car in the first place? Why does my character run instead of driving away? o_O

“Finally” card:
-You peer through the thickening mist and fog and see a familiar dark figure Either a comma should be added after “fog”, or the second “and” should be “to”.
-Heeeeeeeyyyyyy… You have two extra periods in the ellipses here.

“Read her a Book” card: “Her” should be capitalized in that title, also:
-You have had it since childhood and your parents always read it to you whenever you were upset. Comma needed after “childhood”.
-Don’t worry I’m not asleep yet I just like to The lack of commas make it sound like she is saying this all at once without taking a breath. If that was not your intent, commas should be added after “worry” and “yet”.
-I just like to listen to your heart and your reading at the same time …Creepy.
-Why have you not had any kids before? o_O Yeah I’m going with mind control. There is no way I would ever think this.

“A Game of Chess” card:
-Sure but you will have to explain the rules to me Comma needed after “sure”.
-You hope it will at least be a fun game but you think you will take it easy on her, since it is her first time and you can’t help but smile as a flash as bright as day fills your living room. Comma needed after “game”. This sentence also seems a bit overlong; maybe try rewording it to split it into two?
-You have a feeling this will be a very interesting game and will be sure to give it your all as your walls shake with the booming thunder. Comma needed after “game”. My previous comment applies here too; I would advise making the “as your walls shake with the booming thunder” a separate sentence somehow.
-A […] challenge for your An Aware Heart quality. That seems a bit strange. How does going hard on her (and possibly making her unhappy about losing) for my own personal amusement connect with “worry[ing] what will happen to [my] fellow human beings”? That sounds like it should be the domain of one of the more selfish Hearts.
-you actually plan out how extend the length of the game Sounds like you dropped a word here; there should be an “is” after “game”, I think.
-You are both neck and neck through the whole game, do you blame it on beginners’ luck? That comma should be a period.
-No chess is not a game of luck, she is just a very good strategist. Comma needed after “No”, and that comma should be a period.

“A Game of Hide and Seek” card: Ah a classic Comma needed after “Ah”.

“A Ghost Story” card:
-Sounds great but let me tell the story There is no way this will not end badly. o_o Also, unless you want her to sound like she’s saying it all at once, a comma is needed after “great”.
-He hehehee Looks like you put an additional space in here.
-a normal child going to a normal day of school but that quickly changes when Comma needed after “school”.
-You inform her that yes it will indeed keep you up, probably for days to come and secretly wonder if she is somehow projecting past tragedies. I would advise splitting this sentence in two. Maybe make the second one “You secretly wonder…”

“To Sleep by Candlelight” card:
-Your power is still out but it has been anything but boring. Comma needed after “out”.
-It doesn’t take much to convince Emily to take a hot bath and Comma needed after “bath”.
-Two simple words and Emily is sound asleep with you following close behind. Comma needed after “asleep”.

Hm, I almost took the “I’ve had enough of this!” option, since it’s what I’d do in real life, but I suspect that locks me out of a supernatural ending, and I am curious to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

“Are Your Eyes Even Open?” card:
-You suddenly hear Emily crying out but you can’t see anything in front of your face Comma needed after “out”.
-you can’t let anything happen to her and call out to the little girl. Comma needed after “her”. Hm…sounds a bit awkward, I think. Maybe “so you” instead of “and”?
-Talk about a wham episode! In retrospect it’s really kind of obvious, though. I’m too tired to pick out all the grammar errors, but they’re mostly copies of previous mistakes.

Uh…oh dear. While this format works for a climactic battle thing, it kind of screws over the player because it’s purely random. It’s impossible to raise the determining quality beforehand, and it only increases when you win, which is completely random. I am consigned to push buttons endlessly, hoping that the luck of the draw will claim me victorious. It’s very disempowering; there’s no strategy to it.

Sigh, yet another “necromancers are evil for no reason” cliche? That’s gotten really old. But oh well, it is generic evil monsters…

This comes off as kind of patronizing when, as I have said numerous times, I saw the warning signs a mile off.

Well, that’s a wrap. Interesting, I suppose, even if it was hampered by grammar errors. It does take a while for the plot to kick off, though, and once you do get there it’s still very confusing and ill-defined…though I imagine that Elemental Tango proper will answer some lingering questions.

Woah woah wait hold on

New Game+ content? I guess I’ll be replaying this, then.

Thanks again and all commas in place. I think what happened is where natural pauses occur, my brain got ahead of my fingers and I forgot to slow down to remind readers. Lessons learned though, and I will be much more vigilante with Elemental Tango.

The challenge tests in SN aren’t so much random as they are mathematical. Different levels of difficulty give you different percentages of chance, with the highest being 90% and the lowest being 10%. Random is a toss of a die or a spin of the wheel like luck challenges.

I hope most of your lingering questions are answered in the Epilogue, but if you could post or send me a few, I would appreciate it so I know for sure.

[quote]The challenge tests in SN aren’t so much random as they are mathematical. Different levels of difficulty give you different percentages of chance, with the highest being 90% and the lowest being 10%.[/quote]
That’s still randomness, though. The player has no real ability to influence whether they succeed or fail. In a “normal” game, whether you win or lose at a combat scene like that could be determined by things like player skill and reflexes. Here, though, you’re just pushing the same button over and over…and over. It leads to a “leaf in a river” feeling that can be pretty jarring. Once your chosen Heart quality increases, things get easier, yeah, but due to the way you have things set up, you still need to get over that initial hump, which can be difficult and is still completely random.

Anyway. Feedback questions:

I’m not 100% sure what this means. Do you mean the mechanics and plot/gameplay flow? I guess it was okay, but pretty grindy. It’s not clear when you’ve seen every card, or when new cards become available, and the fact that you need to do a lot of grinding to progress once you unlock the “advance story” card is kind of annoying.

As I said, I felt the early parts were definitely too slow. Wednesday was well-paced, though.

Waaay too difficult, as I said before, exacerbated by the fact that the relevant qualities only increase on successes, and sometimes it’s not even the quality being challenged. It’s very non-intuitive and needlessly difficult. I would really advise giving a quality increase even on failure – otherwise, players really get stuck in a rut.

I believe I answered this in question 2…?

It was a bit repetitive. Nothing is ever truly “difficult” in this platform in the traditional sense, though (unless you include some kind of Phoenix Wright-style logic puzzles…someone should do that, actually).

Yeah, I guess.

You mean the magic tome? Yes. I thought it was kind of pointless, though, since by the time you get it, you probably have more than a 50% chance of winning by using the normal option. It’s really hard to get, too, since it’s a “the odds are against you here” luck check.

It was written well. If anything, I think it was written better than the previous parts.

Edit: Oh, by the way, the description for A Speckled Heart says, “You have shown that you could really care less about what happens to your fellow human beings.” Shouldn’t that be “you couldn’t really care less”?
edited by Little The on 10/16/2012

Essentially though, when you look at it that way, the majority of true RPGs are luck based. The majority of successes and failures in true RPG combat are simply more and more complex formulas based off of DnD or other high profile systems, that all go back to dice rolls, even if it is computer generated.

Thanks for answering and I have already started to take a lot of your recommendations into account. Syn was kind of out of the blue and semi-rushed for the World of the Season competition, but also doubled as my experiment with the tools. I mean, I have been planning and thinking about Elemental Tango for almost a year and a half now, but I have no intention of there being a definitive end to it, like the competition called for. The idea for Syn, on the other hand was thrown together in, I want to say, about a week? I am glad I decided to enter, though, because either way it will definitely improve the quality of Elemental Tango. I would much rather have something like Syn, which I plan to lock off anyways, obviously be my initial experimentation with a new set of tools than my big picture be a failure. Not that I am saying it was as such, but silly mistakes were made that I learned from.
edited by Kitsune on 10/17/2012

[font=Arial, Tahoma]D&D is not a good model for RPG systems, for precisely that reason. See this for a more detailed explanation. Basically, luck mechanics are really annoying because players have no control over them, and people don’t like failing due to no fault of their own. Obviously, in this format, those are really the only mechanics you can use, but it helps if they’re a bit more user-friendly.

Oh, by the way, Tuesday is very wonky. I’m trying for the Overstimulated Heart route this time and it is literally impossible for me to raise the quality. The only ones I’ve been able to get are An Aware Heart and A Guiding Heart. There are a lot of useless cards in general on Tuesday, which makes things feel really monotonous and pointless. Could you add a few stat bumps to more of the cards? It would make things feel much less grindy.[/font]

Wednesday will give you more opportunities for An Overstimulated Heart. I wasn’t speaking either way on the DnD system, it is just the general idea that most RPGs are based off of. Even Fallout and Elder Scrolls have random number programs and formulas running in the background.
edited by Kitsune on 10/18/2012

[quote=Kitsune]I wasn’t speaking either way on the DnD system, it is just the general idea that most RPGs are based off of. Even Fallout and Elder Scrolls have random number programs and formulas running in the background.
edited by Kitsune on 10/18/2012[/quote]

The thing is, though, even in D&D, there’s some element of choice even if random numbers are involved. You can choose what skills to buy at chargen and level-up; you can choose between low-risk-low-reward or high-risk-high-reward actions; depending on what character type you play, you can use things like true strike to remove chance from a situation. Equivalents here would be to have 1) opportunity to replace the mid-game Heart qualities with end-game Heart qualities more than once, 2) different levels of difficulty for each monster available (with lower difficulties granting no Seeking the Truth), and 3) having the special attack available early, or even from the beginning.