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Brasas: snippety snip
Ah, I get what you were saying. Yeah, we have several angles we can approach promoting our game. Story and characters is one. Unique game mechanics that express story is another. We use something along these lines for talking about the characters and story:
Nick Connor just got dumped. His girlfriend of four years has left him behind. Explore the wreckage of their relationship by uncovering the memories scattered throughout their apartment. Venture outside to visit his neighbors: a displaced loner, a lost daughter, a widow, an uncertain newlywed. Strangers living within a single apartment complex.

Enter their apartments - their lives, their relationships, their innermost thoughts - in a series of surreal, textual, poetic vignettes.
I can go into even more detail about our characters since they're all very fleshed out. (Even more than what we show in the game, actually.) My initial pitch here on GOG was pretty complete, talking about Nick and the characters as well as the gameplay, but I edited it down because it was just a massive wall of text and no one wants to read that much at the start of a thread. :P I'll pass your thoughts on promotion to the rest of the team and we'll see what we can come up with.

I agree about minimizing the catharsis aspect of the game - that's why I didn't go into that in the original post and I'm a little reluctant to talk more about it. In fact, you won't find that in any of our promotional material. The narrative arc will take its course and people have said that the ending is satisfying. (A lot of people who played the demos asked if there WAS an ending, which is interesting. Yes there is!) We hope the demo does a good job of teasing what the game is like. Promoting this kind of game is tricky because we have so few references to go by (and our game is quite different from those too) and it's very different from what most people think when we say "game".

I think the Kickstarter page is the best way we've told our story yet, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. We'll keep thinking about it though, for our final release.
Bravepower: snip
I just rechecked your KS, pretty much halfway there huh? :) Cool to see. I think you have both aesthetic and technical appeal, and looks the $$ in support is coming in.

I think you're doing a pretty good job as it is. You have a demo, you have a video. You're putting yourself out there and engaging potential audiences. You're covering the basics pretty much. I see people asking you if there is an end to the story as good, it means they want to keep "reading" ;)

I'll insist on characterization, though it's not a major flaw in any way. You realize that right?

In your summary pitch, notice how you're defining Nick only by what happened to him. The others are that: widow, displaced, lost, uncertain. But they're also: daughter, loner, newlywed. These are closer to character, the earlier is mostly circumstance. Give us more about Nick's character, about his agency. He got dumped, but who is he? Comic artist is a start (a very good one, also in how it introduces the player to his drawing, which is part of the game mechanics/exposition). What else? How about one adjective?

You don't need to spoil what happened with Madison to answer that. Though it should obviously be the case that his character contributes, or causes, whatever arc you will be exposing in the story.

PS: Going over the KS character descriptions I find it interesting how little characterization is present. What's there is subtle and requires reading between the lines, which is fine, enticing even for certain audiences: Jim is ambitious, maybe bold. Rose is loving, maybe generous. May is romantic, maybe adventurous. Anne... maybe introspective? Nick... I got nothing really... or am I missing something?
Bravepower: ...
Ha. I've stumbled into a trap. I should have twigged that much of the emptiness was just waiting to be filled in as the story progresses. I'm obtuse at times! I may have noticed a new rectangle appear on the drawing table at some point, though it was subtle. I didn't realize the apartment was being populated, I instead thought that was merely a hint that the drawing table was worth investigating again (i.e., I'd unlocked something new). Also, I imagined that the lights came on in the apartment, but then I figured it was just me confusing the regular lightening and darkening that occurs when I step into that weird text dimension.

It looks like you've already dealt with much of my criticism, but I couldn't progress far enough to see that you had.

I take your point about easing the player into the experience, but I don't think that should limit your early text to fluff. If I wind up forgetting something interesting, so be it. At least it was provoking as I experienced it. It looks as if the story will slowly build, but I still like to be hooked early. Perhaps your curious text mechanic is enough to do that. In my case, though, I'm hesitant about the subject matter from the outset, and when the initial experience validates my doubts, you lose me early. (Even though that may prove to be my loss.)

Thanks for being patient with my comments. Their friendly intent isn't always apparent. I'll give the game another whirl soon.
grimwerk: snip
Haha, perhaps our game is a little TOO subtle. :) Also just to be clear, when you enter the white courtyard, that's not the end of the experience. You didn't comment about what happened after that, so I thought I'd let you know. Hopefully you enjoy the further content that's available.

We'll continue thinking about our intro section. Apartment is a game that unravels slowly and sits with you over time. We didn't want to hit people over the head with the intro (that would be problematic in the opposite direction). We wanted to avoid melodrama. Again, I think it's a fine balance. Great to hear your feedback though, we'll take it into consideration when we continue development after the Kickstarter campaign is over.
Brasas: snip snip
Yep the Kickstarter is doing well. We're a little overwhelmed and really happy with the interest our weird artsy game has received. :)

Nick is a laid back guy who still hasn't fully grown up yet, despite being in his early thirties. He's spontaneous and enjoys making himself and others happy. You'll find out more about him in one of our future updates if you're a backer. :)

Expect a lot more characterization to be revealed in our backer updates. From the start, we've been planning to go into further detail on all the characters in our updates, since there's a lot to say that doesn't belong on the main page. We've got some interesting stories to tell everyone. (And some things that aren't even in the game itself!)

A lot comes out about Nick and Madison over the course of the game. For the purposes of a short pitch or the Kickstarter page, we needed to capture people's attention quickly. Again, there's a need for brevity or else we're just presenting walls of text that people will ignore.

To me, it sounds like you should to play the game to get the answers to your questions. ;) There's a point where the game needs to speak for itself – especially since the play experience is all about discovering the characters.

I'm happy to talk more about the characters (spoiler-free), if you have any other questions about them.
Bravepower: snip
Thanks. I favorited the thread and maybe will even dload the demo someday. I just got too much stuff happening irl right now and already promised another forumer to look into his game, which im overdue on in fact.

Re Kickstarter, I never have and not sure I ever will. Not for games surely as my backlog is an avalanche risk already. Anyway keep us posted.
We're in our final 30 hours!

We plan on releasing DRM-free so when the campaign is over we'll be contacting GOG about distribution!
Congrats on getting funded. No smiley though, I just played your demo and you might be happy to know it was effective, hence I'm not in the mood to smile. Kind of...

I'll PM / Chat you some comments tomorrow after work or something. I think you're onto something.
Thanks for playing our demo Brasas. I'm really looking forward to reading your thoughts. We thought hard about how to turn everyday stories into playable experiences, and ways to get our players to step into the shoes of our characters. I'm glad you found it interesting!

By the way, we made a wallpaper for our backers this weekend. I thought I'd share it with you all. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing Bravepower. Hope it all goes well for you guys. +1
Bumping this to make a general comment. If you like narrative games, or not games, or whatever you want to call them... then you really should give this one a try. I'm not going to comment on the themes, because I think their mechanics are very innovative and want to focus on that.

What they seem to me to have achieved, is an alternative way to diversify and decenter the experience of player to avatar *. Let me describe it like this. You know how in actual literature 1st person puts you closer to the character, but removes a lot of context. Whereas 3rd person omniscient narrator is very revealing but often heavy handed?

Then do you know how internal thought gets presented as dialogue (well monologue really) in the style I associate mainly with Frank Herbert's Dune? Similar to how authors like George Martin and Lois Bujold achieve a kind of multicharacter 3rd person narration where the narrator is actually kind of in character? Well, I think this is the closest I've seen to those type of techniques in game form.

Anyway, I'm not a connoisseur of these type of games. Anyone more into these genres can confirm the innovation? I suspect Bravepower's VR background contributed to hitting upon these, but who knows... and they seem to be so broadly applicable techniques, my mind reels.

Thanks again for the demo.

PS It's interesting to consider how 3D First Person never went into changing the environment based on who you are playing **, therefore the introduction of introspection was what achieved the narrative coupling/decoupling (because when you break something apart, putting it back together gains a lot of meaning). Whereas in written form, separate internal dialogues were long present, and subtly changing the more classic reliable and omniscient narration, in style or in perception, is what achieved a similar enrichment.

* Alternative to what you may ask? Well to tunnel paths in games, or to party RPGs / multiple units to control for example...

** Any examples anyone knows?