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JustABeautifulGuy
Post Posted: Sep 02, 2021 3:18 pm 
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I've never felt this mixed about a Bokumono title ever since I've become a fan of this series. I feel like I played an alpha version of a SoS game.

At first, I was really dissatisfied with everything. The visuals felt "dry" and unpleasant to me, as did the pre-teen style with big heads, the lack of any agricultural festivals, the automation of ranching, the lack of character pictures, being forced to utilize sluggish and time-consuming manufacturers, and, on top of that, uninteresting candidates. I initially assumed I'd developed these difficulties because everyone else was complaining about it, so I tried starting again with a fresh set of eyes. The more I played, the more I felt like I wasn't the intended audience this time. Yes, there were some redeeming qualities, such as mining (which wasn't very distinctive) and villager events. However, the few positives cannot simply outnumber the drawbacks.

The marriage candidates were the weakest in the series' history. They all appeared to be clones of one another. They don't even adhere to the cliché for which they appear to be designed. It felt like they were simply some uninteresting NPCs with uninteresting occurrences and dialogue. The villagers, on the other hand, piqued my interest. Their activities were more personalized. Their relationships became noticeable. With the candidates, it felt as though they were background characters, which is a first for this series. Marriage was, to be honest, a joke. I just couldn't get into the romance. Each candidate had only a few moments when we could see romantic dialogue. That's one of the series' most important elements destroyed.

The ranching and farming... I'm at a loss for words. Growing crops was enjoyable as usual, but there was no reason to do it in the first place. I couldn't figure out why I did it. It's not like they were a good source of income; mining had taken over and covered everything. I really like the current playable festivals; they're a great touch, but what were they thinking not to add a farming festival at least once a year? Furthermore, I despise ranching automation. I experienced the same problem with OW. I despise continually hitting the A button and letting the game handle everything. Why don't the animals have any tools? It doesn't make sense because they advertised ranching as an enhanced feature, yet the only thing intriguing was that we could tame the animals in the wild. I, too, despise the pet variety in this game. Other than the dogs and cats, where is the diversity in this console game? These developers built so many animal models, but we only get to see them when we photograph them for the worthless museum. (What exactly was the museum's purpose? It was completely pointless, adding nothing to the game; they could've made it work if our presenting items to the museum really helped with tourism or something...)

The art style struck me as strange. I've never played this series because of the visuals, but the whole look and feel of this game felt wrong. The atmosphere was just dry. One thing I'd like to mention is how strange it is that we have so many performance issues when the graphics aren't really that advanced.

After being disappointed twice, I decided to give the game another shot after all of the patches. The story camera is great (though it's strange that all the characters have the same animations) and the upgraded makers are less of a pain, but everything simply seemed the same, and these changes couldn't make up for the aversion that was created in the first place.

With so much competition in the farming simulator these days, this one does not stand out at all, and I might even rank it lower than the other farming games. Trio of Towns was fantastic. Why didn't they take it from there? They seemed to be aiming for easy FoMT mechanisms, but it just didn't work.

I don't know what's next for this series. I just hope they get back on track. Our next title will be probably yet another remake which I'm not really excited about honestly so I hope the developers are making a solid title instead. There is so much potential to get back on track now. You've made two Switch games already, you know the system. Collaborate with more talented developing teams since you've sold so many copies and have a bigger budget.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 02, 2021 5:46 pm 
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It's a shame that the updates were either too little or too late for so many :( I wish Xseed themselves could make the games...I think they'd do a great job if they were the devs rather than the localizers. You can tell how much they know about the characters and how much work they put in, studying old files just to voice the characters well in the DLC and stuff like that (there was another localization blog today...or maybe it was yesterday?)

Three Rings had never worked on a life sim or any kind of farming game before they landed this gig with Marvelous. Maybe it's a wonder it turned out as well as it did? Well...I hope that the next new game will take everything they learned about what fans care most about, and really dive into it.

I'd still like to see some people say that this is their favourite Bokumono game, though. It's strange to me that I've yet to see even one person say that...tastes are so diverse, there must be some!
 
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Shan O 123
Post Posted: Sep 04, 2021 5:49 pm 
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Well, I don’t know about this would be my favorite, but I’m still going at it. I just completed the Mystery Files event and it was worth it…at least it was for me.

I can bet that the game would be amazing if XSEED designed it.
 
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Somerandom
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 5:40 pm 
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I’m glad this game has been improved with updates, however most of the DLC feels tacked on and unnecessary, as they only featured outfits for marriage candidates, three bland half baked areas that are only there to house returning candidates, who are either hit or miss in my opinion. And most of the necessary updates wouldn’t even had to have happen if more testing was done and the game was released around this time as an actual full game. I don’t think the updated version of POOT is a terrible game at all. However I don’t like this game as much as Trio because this game talks down to the player sometimes, as if they were a child (I get that the games are targeted towards a younger audience but they don’t want to be talked down to either!) which is something the older games didn’t do. An example of this are the more fantasy animals such as the strawberry milk cow. In the 3DS games there were different breed of animals that gave out different products, most of which such as the Zebu and Jersey cows giving out a different sort of milk were interesting. Also not having the characters have hated or disliked gifts is pretty sad, as them not liking certain things made the characters more realistic and relatable as every human being has something they dislike.

From what I heard from the others of the forum is that three rings helped develop this game?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe they worked on a Sonic mobile game (I think Sonic Jump fever?) or the bad super monkey ball mobile game (the one everyone said was a peggle clone) that I can’t remember the name of before this (I honestly can’t remember which as they are both off the App Store and I used to play a lot of Sega mobile games so the memories I have of them kind of mesh together, but I believe it was definitely one of the two). I’m not trying to speak ill of the developer here, but they might have been out of their depth trying to create a large open world farming game like this. I hope they use this as an experience to improve in the future though.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 6:50 pm 
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They didn't really 'help' develop the game. They developed it. Flat out. The game was entirely contracted out. Matsuyama did the character designs, and Nakano over saw things (dunno what that even entails, tbh) but that's it...everything else was done by Three Rings Inc. And no, I mentioned this in...um...well, another current thread, but which one? The alcohol one, maybe? Anyway, I mentioned this recently, but Three Rings has never made any farming life sims, or life sims at all, or anything even remotely related to this genre. They made a One Piece game and a shooter and an Assassination Classroom game, I remember that much, and maybe one or two others in the same vein.
 
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Anna_Lynn
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 7:20 pm 
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Oh gosh, I never realized that Marvelous didn't work on/develop PoOT, but only published the game. For some reason I thought they did, or I just assumed they switched the lead director guy since he (and the majority of his team) were helping out with Rune Factory 5...I think?

Also I completely forgot that there weren't any "hated" gifts for villagers in this game! What the heck! Even if this franchise is aiming towards a younger audience, don't treat them like fools! A five year old has enough common sense to know that characters would not want to receive things like rocks and weeds. Making every gift neutral or higher is such a weird gameplay mechanic.
 
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Shan O 123
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 7:35 pm 
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Anna_Lynn wrote:
Oh gosh, I never realized that Marvelous didn't work on/develop PoOT, but only published the game. For some reason I thought they did, or I just assumed they switched the lead director guy since he (and the majority of his team) were helping out with Rune Factory 5...I think?

Also I completely forgot that there weren't any "hated" gifts for villagers in this game! What the heck! Even if this franchise is aiming towards a younger audience, don't treat them like fools! A five year old has enough common sense to know that characters would not want to receive things like rocks and weeds. Making every gift neutral or higher is such a weird gameplay mechanic.

I think I’m the only one who actually likes this mechanic…… Call me strange but that’s how my brain works.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 7:38 pm 
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Marvelous is technically the developer...they own that IP. So it was made under their authority, but they hired Three Rings to do the work...Three Rings is basically Marvelous' employee, in this...or a contractor. Not sure how I should put it. Basically they contracted a development group for it, and just used their own director and the traditional Bokumono character designer (Matsuyama.)

The director we've had until recently was Hashimoto, and he branched off into his own group (Hakama) under Marvelous but sort of...semi-independent? Not sure how to put that, either. They're part of Marvelous but not in-house, so to speak. Anyway, Hashimoto left with all his 'like-minded colleagues', which seems to be the entire Bokumono crew up to that point. Which is probably why Marvelous had to contract Three Rings to make Bokumono, since Hashimoto is doing his own thing with Hakama, now. I wish they took Bokumono under their wing, too, but I have suspicions about why Marv felt they needed to keep Bokumono while Hashimoto could go off and do as he liked with resurrecting Rune Factory.

I don't like the no-hated-gifts thing, either, though it's not deal-breaker level for me. But yeah, if you someone gave me pieces of trash all the time...rocks or whatever...well, that'd make me dislike them, for sure. Unless they were, like...3 years old, and could be easily forgiven for thinking that a rock makes a nice gift.
 
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Mikodesu
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 8:21 pm 
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Assuming Three Rings did the vast majority of the work on the game and Marvelous executives only had to sign off on their work...that would make Three Rings the developer and Marvelous the publisher, regardless of who holds IP rights. (To use a comparative example, the Hyrule Warriors games were developed by Namco, even with the amount of say Miyamoto had on the project, and Nintendo's holding the rights to characters/settings etc.)

I think Somerandom is right about Three Rings developing some...side project Sonic game, it sounds really familiar, like I heard it when I rewatched Super Bunnyhop's 'first level of every sonic game' video, but I can't find it to save me...

I did a quick search for Three Rings and...can't find anything about them either. They must be a fairly small, Japan only dev team. I honestly hesitate to look at the pedigree of 'companies' over individuals in game design because no matter what expectation you may have of them...the company is just a brand. :/ But seeing how I can't find any information on them... I guess that's all we've got. (Wikipedia has a page about a defunct studio that went by Three Rings and made a couple of licensed games some years ago, but that's it...)

If all they've made is licensed games...PoOT being as it is makes sense. It makes sense to me that a studio that focuses on licensed games would be best at cobbling together bits and pieces of what they perceive as popular about said licensed material. Which they definitely tried to do. :/ Marvelous would have been better off pulling a Sonic Mania and hiring passionate fans to make the game for them. At least we would have gotten something with love in it.

It's a bit sad that PoOT is the only Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons title on the Wiki without its own page...
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 8:25 pm 
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Three Rings Inc website. You can see the games they've done there, too. (Nakano wasn't only a consultant, though...he was the actual director, supposedly in charge of everything, though the situation is a bit baffling. Or...I may have the title wrong. I continually mix up director and producer. Not that I know the difference between them anyway. Which is probably why I can never keep them straight.)

For the role Three Rings played, I have been going by Cherubae's post from the start of April...where it says:

April 2, 2021 Farmin' Friday wrote:
Marv JP also confirmed the company intends to continue its relationship with Three Rings by forming a capital ($$$) and business alliance with them. Three Rings Inc. is the production company that planned, wrote, and programmed PoOT for Marvelous, as noted in the game's credit roll.


The information apparently comes from a Marvelous press release from the end of March.


Last edited by Kikki on Sep 05, 2021 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Mikodesu
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 8:43 pm 
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Thank you!

For the publisher/developer debate, it's all semantics either way. But the way I look at it...even with Nakano standing as the Director (Director is like a movie director, they have the grand plan for the game, make all the major decisions. Producer is more behind the scenes than actual development, they make sure schedules are kept, voice lines get recorded, are the first line of defense against the publisher, etc), Nakano worked with Three Rings, leading their staff. So the credit for developer would go to them (entirely imo).

I guess that makes sense they'd be hard to find... Small, Japanese studio that has only ever made licensed material. (Easy to bury name, too.) They might have gotten hired because they did so much work on 3DS.

Considering how much of PoOT seems to have been drawn from Stardew Valley, boy would that have been a twist and a half to even bring Eric Barone in as a consultant. (Didn't he get to MEET Hashimoto at some point?) Fan developers are certainly not as experienced as the pros, but...I feel like sometimes fans have a better idea of what makes a game special than even its creator. It worked for SEGA?

Unfortunately I think all we can do is wait and see with reference to Marvelous and Three Rings. If they're contracted again, did they learn enough to make a proper, unique sequel this time? Time will tell. With sales being so much higher Marvelous should have enough money to make the whole thing in house, but...from an executive perspective, third party developer made something that sold well, hire third party developer again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edit...whelp. :lol: I guess we'll see...?
 
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Somerandom
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 11:26 pm 
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Kikki wrote:
They didn't really 'help' develop the game. They developed it. Flat out. The game was entirely contracted out. Matsuyama did the character designs, and Nakano over saw things (dunno what that even entails, tbh) but that's it...everything else was done by Three Rings Inc. And no, I mentioned this in...um...well, another current thread, but which one? The alcohol one, maybe? Anyway, I mentioned this recently, but Three Rings has never made any farming life sims, or life sims at all, or anything even remotely related to this genre. They made a One Piece game and a shooter and an Assassination Classroom game, I remember that much, and maybe one or two others in the same vein.


Wow! I honestly had no idea they basically developed the whole thing, I thought they were just contracted out to lighten the load. But were three rings, a studio that has no experience in life sims, farming sims or open world games the best choice for the job? Especially when they tried to create one of the largest farms in Story of Seasons history, which would require a lot of experience to see what works and what doesn’t. It makes me even more disappointed that they didn’t get more time to iron out problems since the developers weren’t experienced with this type of game.

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I think Somerandom is right about Three Rings developing some...side project Sonic game, it sounds really familiar, like I heard it when I rewatched Super Bunnyhop's 'first level of every sonic game' video, but I can't find it to save me...


It was bugging me for a while as to what Sega mobile game they helped developed, I just remember seeing their logo somewhere before and it turns out that they developed that bad super monkey ball game for phones, super monkey ball bounce. It was just a clone of another game and it didn’t have the traditional super monkey ball gameplay which was disappointing. The reason I don’t remember much about it is because it was pulled off the App Store years ago, probably due to poor reception from fans.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 06, 2021 2:34 am 
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Yeah, when Cherubae said that they 'planned, wrote and coded it', I wasn't really sure how else to think of it, but that Three Rings themselves were the ones to make this game, because what else is there, besides planning, writing and coding? (After the fact there's marketing and so on, but in the actual making, what else is there? Music has been the only thing I could think of that doesn't fit into that. Maybe animating? I suppose that could be considered separate of planning, writing or coding. Just trying to think of what work there may have been that doesn't fit under the umbrella of those three major things.)

Apparently for the 1.0.5 update (I think that was the one with all the extra dialogue, right?) they brought in a new writer, which I found a bit curious. Not sure if that means they blame Three Rings for people not being satisfied with what was already in the game, or if they just needed the extra help.

Well, Olive Town sold very well. But that doesn't indicate its own success, in my books, because nobody knew what they were getting. That indicates that people loved the games previous to it, so they were excited to try a new game in the series. To me, the NEXT new game is the one that will show us the impact that Olive Town really had on sales.
 
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Mikodesu
Post Posted: Sep 06, 2021 5:16 am 
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Somerandom wrote:
It was bugging me for a while as to what Sega mobile game they helped developed, I just remember seeing their logo somewhere before and it turns out that they developed that bad super monkey ball game for phones, super monkey ball bounce. It was just a clone of another game and it didn’t have the traditional super monkey ball gameplay which was disappointing. The reason I don’t remember much about it is because it was pulled off the App Store years ago, probably due to poor reception from fans.

Yikes... :shock: I've never played Monkey Ball myself, but I know a couple pretty big fans of the series, which is probably where the familiarity comes from. I do feel bad for Monkey Ball fans though...D: hopefully the new game turns out well.


I guess it depends on what 'planning' is. Definitely all the character design work. But not modeling and rigging (think puppet strings, for character animations), though that can easily be outsourced. And for programmers, all you have to do is give them the correct game files and they'll plop it into the game engine and they're off and running. So maybe everything besides planning, writing and coding was outsourced. (Now that I think of it...that would all be in the game credits, for the curious.)

As for sales being a denotation of success...only to executives. ALL they see is money. If you look at trends in the game industry it's very common for best selling titles to set the trends going forward (whether or not they were good). All of the backlash on social media MIGHT make them slightly more cautious, maybe bringing in a writer or another developer to manage a team at Three Rings, but... that's all I see. I suppose it depends on what Marvelous sees as the outcome of all the patches and such. Because BARE minimum, Marvelous knows exactly how much those patches cost, and they would like to avoid that situation again.

Whether or not social media is a proper indicator of a game's success is...tricky? People are so prone to screaming into the void, we'd need a social media manager to tell us what's what. I'm sure Marvelous has someone watching, at LEAST the Japanese side of things, but whether or not executives listen?? I dunno. That depends, but suits don't have the best track record.
 
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Sorry1
Post Posted: Sep 06, 2021 4:31 pm 
Pick Potatos, not boogers
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I think functionally the game is just fine. Here are my biggest gripes, however:

-Graphics
---Probably quite self-explanatory lol
-The general map & town could be bigger and more naturally laid out
---Felt very sterile
-The overall vibe/emotion is very hollow to me. There is little to no charm present that I've come to expect from Story of Seasons (HM) titles.
-The expansion packs are virtually useless
 
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