Project Sense - A Nice-Looking Cyberpunk Game
Project Sense is a game that has a team and a project lead that sacrificed a lot of money to create a game with a unique suspenseful story of mystery.
A Look At The Project:
Project Sense has a nice look that reminds you of olden days of the streets of China (or similar). The project leader of the game states that he made incremental progress doing what he can, and that already shows that he actually does want to make a really good video. Onwards, the game will be published by Top Hat Studios, which mostly have published retro style games and visual novels. They are also a start-up, which doesn't seem to be a stable foundation for a start, as far as costs go, but they seem to be stable at producing and helping developers finish their games.
The project details from their KickStarter are possible to do since the actual core mechanics of the game don't require knowledge of battle-oriented programming and dealing with many kinds of class structural designs. Instead of the usual fighting, the game focuses on your perception and keen eye to the environment in exploring the world for clues that lead you to uncover bits of the story.
One thing the project does mention is having risks and failures. The only thing you can really do in these types of games is by adding trial and error and randomized events that incur difficult choices to the player to die in. That limits the amount of difficulty to the game, but by adding too much-randomized events, it could frustrate the player into continuing the game. With that, this means the story has to be equally as good for the player to be mildly interested to continue through the trial and error-like game-play.
My Demo Gaming Experience:
Playing the demo it states that everything represented is, of course, due for a change. So critique wouldn't really be necessary at this point. One thing I already don't like is that the options menu doesn't work... I checked some of the source files, and I believe the game is made on Unity game engine(just from the file structure). Anyways, below will be some pictures followed by an explanation of what I think so far about the game.
All are in-game screenshots from the demo.
The opening scene of the game could have been better by adding some special effects and a more in-depth description of the main character (unless exploring herself is part of the story). When I was prompted to do a task, it was simple enough but didn't have any challenge at all since all you do is move and press e to interact with things. Aside from the comic-like scenes to illustrate the setting and convey the story, the transition wasn't that smooth because it felt like it took you out of the gaming experience and then back in. They could try to use the game engine to create cutscenes and adjusting the camera to be isometric since the game is 2.5D.
Another thing I immediately noticed that the girl characters were all stacked, which was kind of funny! Like wow, this game might only appeal to a certain demographic (just joking though). Now the real part begins after that bar as shown above...
Now, this is where the game promises to be challenging and such, but with just interaction and walking around, there were not many environmental obstacles at all. They could add some platformer elements and still keep the simplistic mechanics of the game, but that would be shooting for a bigger budget. For what the game has to offer as a demo, I think it's pretty decent. I did notice some dynamic light flickering, animation stutter, and sometimes interacting with things has to be at a certain spot. Some of these slight hiccups can be seen in the bar scene.
Finally, I was kind of spooked with the creepy background music and noises going on the game.
For this section, I have no idea what I'm typing about. I'm going to share my opinion on how the development process will be like and how the game will progress.
This wall of text is from their itch.io page, click here.
Under the neon lights of a cyberpunk dystopia, the ruins of the Chung Sing building hide a bloody mystery illuminated by both the traditions of Chinese folklore and the innovations of the industrial future. If there is any hope of escaping this nightmare, Mei-Lin must explore this complex, be piecing together the stories of 14 lost souls, and discover the truth of her own family curse. With careful attention to pacing, atmosphere, and storytelling, Sense hopes to return the horror genre to its roots; celebrating the slow, fearful creep of dread instead of turning to action and jump scares. Mei is not a trained agent; she is a programmer and not a soldier; the ghosts - the glitches of reality - are spirits and not spectral zombies; and the scares are from within, not from the horrors around.
Since the game does have a clear plan on what is coming next, it's all about the execution now. Many of the people commissioned to work on the project have good talent, but now it's up to how they incorporate it into the game.
As far as I can tell, the direction of the game will be focused on the story and it's going to have to really make the player feel part of the experience of the main character. I kind of wish they added some sort of interactive choices or more to the game to make me feel more involved.
Conceptually, the game has promise, but it's going to take a lot more than just plain-storytelling (these days) to actually attract an audience to actually buy and play the game.
Is This Game Worth It?:
We haven't had many cyberpunk themed games in a while so seeing one now stands a high chance of being received well. I kind of like how the developer is going for a Fatal Frame inspired look and game-play. Wait... Does that mean there will be some horror elements and possible... Jump scares? I actually hope they add some, and incorporate the use of the interactive like exploration with lots of choices. However, if the story is linear, you cannot really expect any choice to have significant meaning, except for instant death, to actually make a difference or outcome.
For now, I like the unique art and style of the setting the game has. I will think about backing the project as well, because of how much effort has already been thought about for the game.
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