The background music just enhanced the experience overall. Beautiful.
I liked this game. I enjoyed the graphics, and I liked the mix of pixels and texture, though at times the graphics made my eyes hurt. The slow movement was a major pain though. I really enjoyed the music as well!
I am transgender myself, so, personally, I believe I got the symbolism you were going for. Sometimes transitioning seems like its as difficult and distant as traveling to the moon. Sometimes you feel isolated and lost. Even when you have gathered the things you need to finally be who you are, the people you once thought to be your friends have left you behind. You still feel so isolated because they don't seem to understand. But at least you finally are yourself.
Thats what I got out of it anyway. I usually am not one to throw around "you just don't get it" but I feel that maybe a lot of the negative comments on the story are actually because they don't understand what you're trying to say. I'm not sure why some are saying this is a parody of dys4ia, as its just dealing with similar subject matter.
Great game! The whole breaking the mirror thing is really deep, but I was confused when you are the girl at the end.
the music does a great job of making you feel lonely, yet keeps the player moving.
Bad Stuuf: Slow movement, Confusing Storyline
Good Stuff: Great Concept, Great Music, Ending Storyline Dialouge.
It's difficult to review this kind of game. Art games, as it were, are a niche that have a lot going for and against them at the same time.
As people have mentioned, the gameplay was lacking - what carries the game is the consistent gritty quality, the incredibly novel mix of pixel graphics with detailed textures, and the sense of longing that the main character has, for identity, for closure, for companionship, for escape. The fact that I've gotten all of that really is a testament to your ability as an artist.
But you need gameplay. You need something beyond artistry. As you know, there are many games with great graphics, jaw-droppingly beautiful scenes, spine-tingling music, etc etc that fall flat on the actual reason most games are sought out: the entertainment value. My recommendation is to research game mechanics, or to work with someone else, allowing your creative process to fuel the flavor of the game and the mood, but allowing them to sketch out how the game will actually function.
"Swimming through the sky" and "using mirrors" for example were great ideas, but could be fleshed out so much more than what you did. Now I realize a collaboration for this particular game would have been a bit grating, as it is so intensely personal. I do hope for future projects and career decisions you'll consider what I've said though.
You're a beautiful artist. And given the lack of glitches and smooth gameplay, probably a good programmer as well. However, when it comes to execution of your vision, I must say with all due respect that you fall short. I think another review said it too: with a great concept comes great expectations, and the actual game doesn't live up to the environment it is set in. It's like a slower, early form of Mario Bros set in the lush storyline and graphics of Final Fantasy X. There's a disconnect.
Thank you for this really detailed review. I like reading those the most and most often they really give much insight.
Regarding your criticisms I completly agree with you. I do a lot of research on game design in my spare time and know how to make an entertaining game (at least I hope so). And I do realize that the gameplay of PTttM is... well, boring.
I don't know why that is. Maybe I wanted the gameplay to feel protracted, empty and "calm". Or maybe I do actually not know how to do it properly (see Aether for a good example) :).
Some parts I really don't like about the game. For example the ending where the player looses control and has to basicly sit through a cutscene with text. I wish I could have done this part differently.
But I do actually have 2 different projects in planning which involve a somwhat more richer gameplay (Okay, my recently released game The Guardian doesn't have that great of a gameplay either). But the problem for me is in all honesty the programming. I'm really bad at programming, I get stuck often and only release decently playable games because I obsess about every single detail and problem. That's why my games take a lot of time.
One of the projects (spoiler: A puzzle game) I had to put on hold since I couldn't code all the physics logic stuff (Which is really sad because I really like that game idea). I wish I had a programmer to work with. I think concentrating purely on the game design (and also visual design) instead of having to worry about implementation would really aid my work. But for now I guess this will have to do.
But your right, gameplay wise I still have a lot to learn and hope I can expand my skills through my future work. Sorry if I rambled on a bit. I just wanted to give you a detailed answer since you put a lot of effort into your review. :)
I think that this game is great, I love the dark atmosphere, the plot and your visual effects, the only things that I donÂ´t like are the speed of the game and the fact that the game is very short.