NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

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NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby Austin » Thu May 23, 2013 1:04 am

No more separating the threads by week. We're just gonna discuss the whole thing in one thread. For those playing along, thank you! For those not... you should!

I'm not terribly far in the game, but I'm already stuck. I recently found that guy's dead body and gave him water, and then haven't really done much since. If anyone knows how to progress, let me know!

Beyond that, my general thoughts:

Not too enthused so far. The very beginning I enjoyed thoroughly, and I felt like (despite the atrocious art style) they were doing a pretty good job of making a fairly organic environment feel somewhat realistic, having you debug the computer and figure your way around with no tutorials, as though you truly do just have amnesia. The problem is that amidst this really organic-feeling experience are these parts where they try and jump you with cheap scares (like when you find the first body and the camera sort of "swoops" into it with dramatic music-- anyone else think it would have been scary to just stumble upon it non-cinematically?) or add really cheesy "depth" to the characters. Like with the way-too-obvious bottle of whisky that is supposed to show how "Bobby" (again, ridiculously generic name) has some sort of inner demons he's battling, but really it just comes off as middle-school level writing where the author couldn't think of a more interesting way to add depth than "Oh yea, give him a really obvious drinking problem! That'll make him seem like a real person!". It's just so canned so far.

And the audio design is terrible. There's no ambient noise, the whirring of the robot's motor is super repetitive and loud, the music is really hammy... augh. I hope it improves, because I'm not digging it so far.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:24 am

Did you find the key card on the body? If not check out his legs.

As for the scares, it will make sense later. But I know what you mean. It kept making jump. I also would keep looking all around me for the ghost girl, like she would pop out at an second.

I know what you mean as far as character's not having any depth. However in this game I don't really think they need any. You don't meet the crew, as most seem to be dead. There is a bio of the characters in the main menu, under the miscellaneous section or whatever it's called.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby oshualewis » Thu May 23, 2013 7:21 am

I personally really liked the game. And felt the sound to be great because there isn't a lot of sound in space. Always check legs for ID cards. I always jumped whenever things would fly at you. I think you need to grab the cookie can and fill it up with oil and warm it up in the common room. The cookie can I think is near the body you just gave water to.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Also, having no music makes it more realistic(since we don't have music playing everywhere we go) and more frightening. It makes you feel you are actually actually exploring the ship.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby oshualewis » Thu May 23, 2013 12:16 pm

Good point Cadjr. Have you beaten it yet?
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 12:47 pm

Yes I did.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby oshualewis » Thu May 23, 2013 12:50 pm

Alright I guess its just you and me that have beat it so far. I enjoyed it greatly. Although I feel as though it should be at least cheaper than it is.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:06 pm

It should have been a little cheaper, but I don't regret buying it. Btw, I sent you a message.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby Austin » Thu May 23, 2013 3:05 pm

cadjr2003 wrote:Also, having no music makes it more realistic(since we don't have music playing everywhere we go) and more frightening. It makes you feel you are actually actually exploring the ship.


It's not about having no music-- it's about not having any ambient sounds. No creaking of the ship, no hum of the engines (unless you're right next to them), no hum of a ventilation system, etc. Sounds like that are the reason why games feel atmospheric, and this game has none of it.

oshualewis wrote:I personally really liked the game. And felt the sound to be great because there isn't a lot of sound in space.


I'd argue that whether there's sound in space is irrelevant. Star Wars adds sounds literally into the vacuum of space because the movie would suck without them, and this game doesn't add creepy ambient noises inside of a dark and empty ship that could scientifically have noises. It doesn't feel like a broken ship floating through space-- or really even like a ship at all-- because it's just dead silent.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby oshualewis » Thu May 23, 2013 3:20 pm

That's true Austin. I feel like the creators wanted the spaceship to have an empty feel kind of like a "ghost town". It reminds me of the Tagline from Alien(I think) "no one can hear you scream in space." I did get a kick out of the Assist Robot, he reminds me of a mix between R2D2 and Wall-E although less lovable. Also this game is very similar to a chapter in an old Japan only SNES game called Live A Live. It features a robot named Cube and is in a spaceship too.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby C.Olimar788 » Thu May 23, 2013 4:41 pm

I didn't have any problem with a lack of sound myself. I didn't really notice it to be honest, and felt the ship was fairly ambient as it was. I agree it could've been improved, though - this game's clear goal was atmosphere and in that regard it only really... kind of succeeded.

This is the part where I discuss the game, and since I've beaten it this WILL HAVE SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Heavy endgame spoilers will be marked separately, though.

One thing that I think did a lot for the atmosphere was the limited movement. This was especially interesting coming right after the podcast that discussed Resident Evil's deliberately tank-like movement. The whirring sound the robot makes gets grating sometimes, but otherwise I like how they limit you in the way they do. I just wish they had kept it that way for cutscenes... it never really succeeds in adding as much dramatic effect as it should, and there's never a time where you REALLY wish you could move with less limitation. The scene in the medical bay, in particular, I feel could have really benefited from the control issue if they had played it differently.

Another thing that this game did very interestingly was the general lack of direction. This does a LOT for the story of the game, pushing home the idea that you're an amnesiac, but also deters from the pacing somewhat. Case in point is where Austin is stuck - I also had trouble around that part because, quite simply, it wasn't clear what to do next. Most of the game manages fairly well, but there are definitely times that it suffers.

I also feel that the choice to use prerendered cutscenes, or cutscenes at all, hurts the overall experience. The best parts of the game are the moments when you're in control but feel helpless (ie when the ghost appears in the doorway or when you're attacked by the robot), and if they had portrayed all the cutscene actions in a similar way I feel it would've worked in the game's favor.

Unfortunately, that would've taken away somewhat from another thing I think the game did well: injecting personality into its limited characters. The AI that dictates things has a lot more personality than I would've guessed from her being, well, an AI, and the robot you control also shows quite a bit more than I would've expected. The robot's personality would've been compromised if they had nixed the cutscenes, though... which I'm not sure would've been a bad thing in the end because ENDGAME SPOILERS, HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW that would've helped further drive the idea home that your character and the robot were one and the same, and thus would've pushed the resolution further into your hands and emphasized the twist. On the other hand, the fact that the robot "takes control" at parts also somewhat emphasizes a potential "canon" personality for your character... END HEAVY SPOILERS

Speaking of the endgame... SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS I really liked how they did the twist int he end and how it played into how you as a player were playing the game. I have all kinds of love for games that manage to use the player's own experiences to impact the story, and the twist played out exceptionally, really reminding me of a particular twist in 999. If you've played that game, you know the one. And if you haven't, um, GO DO THAT IT'S BRILLIANT. SPOILERS ARE DONE NOW

Overall, I quite enjoyed the game. It was short, but what it did it did fairly well. I just wish that it had pushed the possibilities for atmosphere and storytelling a little harder - it felt like a game that didn't want to have modern video game storytelling techniques imposed upon it, but did anyway. Also it could've stood to be longer for the pricetag, but I think it was fairly solid for what it was.

On a non-storytelling note, I wish they had done things a little differently with the space leech stuff. I liked that they were hidden about and the noise they made made them much less annoying to find than they could've been, but I wish they had given you some kind of tracker late-game. I beat the game and had two left to find, so I was left trying to comb the entire ship 9not a huge area, but still) trying to figure out where the last few were. Just having a hint telling you which rooms the remaining ones were in would've worked wonders, and made since in the context of the game.

On a side note, the atmosphere of this game really reminded me of the Zero Escape games. We should totally do 999 for a bookclub game sometime... what an utterly amazing game.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby oshualewis » Thu May 23, 2013 4:46 pm

Olimar I definitely agree with you on how the game does feel very zero escapeish and I have to agree with you on both being offered as choices for one of the book club games. I also agree with your spoilers.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 7:31 pm

C.Olimar788 wrote:On a non-storytelling note, I wish they had done things a little differently with the space leech stuff. I liked that they were hidden about and the noise they made made them much less annoying to find than they could've been, but I wish they had given you some kind of tracker late-game. I beat the game and had two left to find, so I was left trying to comb the entire ship 9not a huge area, but still) trying to figure out where the last few were. Just having a hint telling you which rooms the remaining ones were in would've worked wonders, and made since in the context of the game.

On a side note, the atmosphere of this game really reminded me of the Zero Escape games. We should totally do 999 for a bookclub game sometime... what an utterly amazing game.


I actually thought that not giving You anything to find the leeches was a good idea, even though finding missing ones were kind of annoying. It kept the game as one that you need to explore with no direction and finding the secrets yourself. I think it would have made the game even shorter.

I played 999 also. That was a good game too. The ending was so unexpected.
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby Dark Wing » Thu May 23, 2013 9:26 pm

i started this game off by playing all alone in the middle of the night with all the lights off during a thunderstorm (i thought it would help set the mood considering the type of game i thought i was getting into) and after i jumped the 1st two times it certainly helped retain a certain amount of tension throughout, tho i was somewhat disappointed by the end since the majority of which was gone since i hadnt had an ghostly figure jump out at me since the first half hour of the game. by the end i felt the game was somewhat lacking in gameplay and puzzle variety (i wouldve liked more computer sequences). even so i did find it entertaining enough, and the anti-gravity scene was rather amusing :) also a few more legitimate scares (such as when you leave the lounge area O_O) would have been nice
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Re: NEBC - The Starship Damrey (General Discussion Thread)

Postby cadjr2003 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:02 pm

Dark Wing wrote:i started this game off by playing all alone in the middle of the night with all the lights off during a thunderstorm (i thought it would help set the mood considering the type of game i thought i was getting into) and after i jumped the 1st two times it certainly helped retain a certain amount of tension throughout, tho i was somewhat disappointed by the end since the majority of which was gone since i hadnt had an ghostly figure jump out at me since the first half hour of the game. by the end i felt the game was somewhat lacking in gameplay and puzzle variety (i wouldve liked more computer sequences). even so i did find it entertaining enough, and the anti-gravity scene was rather amusing :) also a few more legitimate scares (such as when you leave the lounge area O_O) would have been nice


You're right. There wasn't enough puzzles. I would have been better with more of them. Also, there should have been more scares. The game starts off with a few and then stops. However, during the game I was always being cautious while moving around the ship. That could have been something the developers were trying to do.
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