Once again Id like to congratulate you on another completed episode, this now marks episode three. Like before it is clear that you have taken some criticism and used it in this episode but yet is still has some pratfalls that plague this series.
In most cases a viewer only watches the first 2 episodes to tell if they want to continue watching the series.
Ep 1 = 14,605v (no awards); Ep2 = 5,346v (5th place Daily) ; Ep 3 = 1,453views (5th place).
Ep 1 I believe to be the only featured episode on Newgrounds.
Meaning that, you seem to have lost your majority of your audience. From what I've seen this is mainly due to your presentation and lack of apparent directive to the viewer, which episode 3 in this series also suffers from.
Like its predecessors after initially watching episode 3, it almost seemed like "a waste of time" because the story once again seemed to go nowhere. All that is taken from this episode is that there is a test that Adam has to deal with in order to join an alliance but for some reason that is an issue, and secondly this Amy character wants to see the people who killed her mother dead. The rest of the episode boiled down to a Mech-fight that was unnecessary, wash away chatter between people, and kiss that was so out of left field that it served no effect to even happen, which ultimately lead to this episode dragging on losing the attention of most viewers.
This problem stems from the presentation problems.
The fact that majority of the episode is propped up with walls of dialog thrown at the viewer.
The fact that there is no sense of progression so in turn we learn nothing aside from something’s that can be said in 2 sentences, and the episode goes nowhere with it.
The fact that the characters don’t do a thing to develop themselves aside from talk, and do simple actions like look left, walk forward, turn back, thrust at camera. So in turn your characters feel flat.
The fact that there is no backing information other than subjective dialog to realize the world/situation taking place. So the episode becomes unimmersive.
The major fact that since the main character isn't mysterious, hasn’t given goal and or drive, and hasn't been thrown into a rabbit hole makes watching pointless outside of one’s own personal interest. Since the show then has no purpose the majority of viewers have no reason to come back to this series. Why should they care about this show out of the many Mech-shows out there looking for attention, especially now that we're on episode 3 and nothing is happening?
In addition to these things there are other things, like the vocal issues. Where characters sound dead and sometimes don’t even match what’s on screen. Most notable are Adam, Amy and Mike. Adam for being emotionless, Amy for being off center in comparison to what we see "you know nothing about it" is a prime example, and Mike the character that seems he’s either always angry or acting outside of his voice range. Then there are the visual issues with your shots and framing. I couldn't understand what I was looking at when Amy was talking about a tool. The shots switched very often and didn’t help emphasize, or show anything but faces to watch them speak. Also the Music implementation was poorly done, with mismatch themes like in the beginning or music that is barely audible and doesn’t bring out the scene displayed.
Firstly I suggest you tone down the dialogue and reconstruct it. The series up to this point has been nothing but walls of dialogue. You might say that it’s for character development, but much of it is rambling and fodder that is dismissed, none of it has seemed important to the task at hand, and is off putting. Compress your conversations.
Move your story along. Up to this point in the series the only important piece of information apparent to the viewer is the application form to take an unknown test, and even this falls on its face because none of it is expounded upon in this episode. Each episode should have a subject and development of that subject that falls into the bigger picture. Stop dropping subtitle hints and progress your story, because (b/c) most of your hints are lost within the walls of conversations, it becomes fruitless, and seems to spoil the story b/c there isn’t much substance other than that. No sense of progression is found b/c characters and events aren’t doing anything to forward what you were just talking about. Have and episode focus, and develop that. We shouldn’t be waiting over a group of episodes to see basic information unfold.
Have these characters do things other than talk, sit, stand, and fight.
For example have a character go to X location b/c Y is here. Automatically showing that said character has interest in X. Show the animation, seeing some one place there hand on someone’s shoulder is different than it already being there like the father did. Was it a pat, soft and loving or was it cold and mechanical? Leaving people in an empty space of assumptions is a sure way to loose attention. Scratching, patting, kicking, folding arms, arm on cheek, raising hands, etc. make sure you show mannerisms. A character worried about a test? Have X person take a long walk, show said character DEALING with the situation no matter how. Always ask yourself what are all the things your character is dealing with at said point in time, how doesn’t benefit the episode to show this? Don’t dialogue about it, unless it’s Mandatory. Which leads right into backing information. The way a character dresses vs another character, the way they stand vs another, the way they speak the terms they used. If you introduce a character as Shifty put mannerisms to support that. Karin is the main offender, since we didn’t learn who she was, commander, chef commander, cadet trainer, test proctor, division leader, etc. For a while I had her confused with Amy b/c Amy previously mention having a tool, and when we finally get to Karin in the flash black, her dialogue states her to be a caring, unthreatening, unshifty, and an unstern person, which makes the conversation about her pointless. Adam is the next offender b/c since the series started Amy is the only one who showed any remote interest in Adam. If the whole group knew how desperate he was come we didn’t, simple b/c he never did anything to show he gave a crap about Amy especially with is depressive demeanor. Not little looks, no special treatment, nothing. Back your statements up with your events, characters, and stage dressing. Little things go a long way.
Now that its episode 3 we should know by now what the hell the main character wants to do. What is the purpose for this story. You need to have this in the next episode, If you don’t have this your story lacks focus. Why are we watching is a question that needs to be answered. What the heck is the plot?
As for the additional stuff. I don’t know how to say this but your characters need life, they all sound either dead or mismatched it’s clear that the vocals were recorded, separate from the animation. You’ve got to direct your people so that the notes you want to hit, hit the mark. The blond hair girl accosting the Mike is the only one that sounded ok, and worked well with the visuals. You have a great cast I just doesn’t seem like the potential is being used. Have some lines be redone to fit the visuals if you need to, energy needs to be inserted into these characters everything is so muted. Like your voice actors use your music to sway emotions of the viewer and enhance the moment. Actiony music for action, Fear music for fear, thing of your audience and how they will be affected by what sounds you place down, please make sure its audible too. And your shots , you can make or break scenes with that, notably 8:37 was like the perfect time for a scrolling shot to show Adam’s face, but your screen cut to Adams face destroyed the sensually of that shot. Plan out your shots and what they are showing and why they are showing it, and restrain from flipping the shot. First we’re viewing the left then now we’re viewing the right, then the front; unless you got a reason for doing it restrain yourself.
All in all not many could do what you’re doing, and I hope to see how this series progresses. If you have to explain to your audience that this is development of any sort you’re not fulfilling your job here. Every episode should have progression and every episode should have essential things happening. This series is good but it needs work. But hey we’re all learning here.