LomL has a walkthrough mod. I hate it!
(posted this rant on F95Zone, but since it also goes into some of the design of the game and choices behind how things are done, I'll put it up here as well if you don't visit there).
So, a little while back, a walk through mod appeared, and I was sort of flattered that people would like this game enough to go through such lengths to create one. Strapped for time, I didn't try it. I did now. I fucking HATE it...
I mean, I don't hate the concept of a walk through mod. We've all played that game where you had to pick the right choices or GAME OVER! Or even more fun, it first let you play on for another 30 minutes and then GAME OVER! Or it's cousin, pick the right arbitrary choice or it's NO LEWD FOR YOU!. Even more fun if that has a delayed action because you'll never know why you never got that scene.
Like goddamn monkeys in a lab
So, we've all been trained by these poor designs, as they are staple to the genre. You pick the right choice, you get a lewd. Pick wrong, you're not gonna like this...
Like a monkey in a lab, the machine says “1+1?”, and the monkey presses “2”, and he gets a peanut. He presses “1” or “3”, and he's treated to a nice electrical shock to the balls. Ouch. Good monkeys quickly learn to press”2” when the machine says “1+1?”
So, when making LomL, I made sure there were no such choices in there. You pick the answer you think is right for you, and the game tries to react to that. But it's not gonna fuck you out of content because you didn't say “That soup is delicious”. I mean, c'mon, do you think that in a normal conversation, your partner is gonna make you sleep on the couch when you tell them it's a nice first try, but it could have used a little more salt? Well, Light of my Life doesn't do that, anyway.
So, LomL is doing it's best to not be that game. But there are choices in there that have consequences, and that includes consequences that you might want to avoid, but the player next to you doesn't.
Please follow the instructions to attach the electrodes to your relevant sensitive body parts
So, along comes the walk-through mod, and it is presented as “Highlights the best choices.” by the author.
For real? My game, the one that I wrote, has Best Choices? That's news even to me.
Because most of the time the choices in there are there give your MC a voice in stuff, even if in the end it changes fuck all, at least you got to open your mouth and say something.
Then, there's quite a few choices for the player to indicate their own, personal preference. Which is your preference as a player, and there is no right or wrong to any of that, that's just bullshit.
It's like we strapped the electrodes to our relevant sensitive body parts yourself, and now you're sitting there, clicking through the game. Hoping for a peanut but dreading, dreading the jolt of electricity.
Only there's no goddamn jolt coming. There never was. For Light of my Life, the machine is a lie, it won't hurt us. LomL wants us to enjoy ourselves, not jolt our privates (unless you're into that, you perv).
But like a good little monkey we keep pressing green to avoid the jolt. Maybe get a peanut, even if it tastes a little like machine oil from coming out of that contraption instead of a nice and clean tasting one we foraged ourselves. And we just tell ourselves we need to machine to tell us how to get the peanut, and not the jolt, no not the jolt, even if there's not gonna be a jolt, ever.
Just let me have my training wheels, okay Naughty?
Right. They give you a sense of security, even if you don't really need them. I get that.
But it's worse. The walk-through mod is pretty dumb, the mod maker wasn't very thorough and didn't look at any of the code they were touching, and my scripts and dialogues are pretty convoluted.
And that means that the walk-through mod is giving you green on choices that are Worst Choice.
I could start to list them, but I'm not gonna bother because there's sooo many. Here's what I found:
Green for no reason
Most choices the mod considers green have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the game either way. They make the conversation flow this way or that, and give your MC a voice and a personality for you to define, but that's it. But you don't know that, so you click green and wonder why this game has so little personality to it. Luckily no jolts so far, but, hmmm.
Insincere chikenshit MC
I did notice a distinct pattern to the green choices though, and it's pretty awful. When given the option, they always pick the choice that doesn't make Macy roll her eyes, or doesn't made Denise look puzzled. Quite often, you're prompted to keep your mouth shut and miss some funny or endearing dialog because of that. Goddamn waste of my time that was, writing that up!
But why, why isn't GREEEN always Best Choice?
Presumably, that's because the mod maker thinks that anything that puts a wrinkle in your wards forehead means they won't put out. It's utter bullshit of course, and I should know. But it leaves your MC a spineless wimp that avoids even the slightest chance of confrontation and goes around telling everyone what he thinks they want to hear to suck up to them.
I get the comments about the non-entity MC on the forum now. Fucking hell, I wanted to punch the MC that the walk-through mod made me be in the face, for being such a weaselly chickenshit.
Some Best Choice is Worst Choice in another context
Sometimes in LomL, choice no 1 is best for low love situations and choice no 2 for high love, and no choice should be highlighted as best choice for middle love. But the mod doesn't take that into account, and happily steers you towards a choice that will gain you a Love Point if your love is already high, but lose you a love point if love is not all that high, because the character you're talking to thinks you're being inappropriate or presumptuous.
But at least I won't miss anything, right?
What I expect from a walk-through is that it's completionist, and takes me on a path that shows me everything in the game. But at quite a few points where you got to make a choice to engage in a certain kink or activity, none of the options were green at all.
That's the one point where it would make sense, but it's letting you down and possibly really miss out on something because you stopped reading dialog earlier as Light of my Life is the game where you press green and everything comes out Best Choice. So you think this won't matter because it's unmarked, and click something at random, and you miss out.
So arguably, the walk-through mod does in fact present you with some pretty poor choices. And on quite a few occasions, what I would consider the “Worst Choice”. And it doesn't offer you assistance with some choices that do matter. And it sucks the life out of it and makes you act like a spineless wimp.
But Naughty, I don't want Worst Choices, ever!
I know, I get that. But you know what? A worst choice once in a while doesn't matter at all. Let me elaborate.
Love points in LomL are capped at 10. They're capped at 10 for a reason. If you do a perfect run from the view of gathering points, Denise maxes out at chapter 2, Macy maxes out at chapter 3 I believe. Every love point gained after that is wasted.
It means two things:
- One: you can stand to miss quite a few love points and still max them out.
- Two: chasing them serves no purpose at all, as they go to waste after capping anyways.
Did you realize that already? Well, you do now.
So, why put them in in the first place?
Well, for one, I wanted a mechanism for you to gouge what your standing is with a love interest. If you're not having a perfect run, I wanted a way to let you know if you are doing sorta good or sorta bad. And not doing a perfect run is fine.
Secondly, I wanted to give you some feedback on how the characters felt about things you say and do, especially in those circumstances where the character might be acting all tough and indifferent, to hide their feelings (*cough* Macy *cough *)
Some more on love points (skip if you want):
- Love points (and negative emotion points) give feedback on how the characters feel about you. It lets you know if they liked or disliked something.
- It also tweaks the conversation in certain directions. Stupid example: high love points, they tell you “I love you sooo much”. Low love points, they say “Right, thanks. Bye.” Somewhere in the middle, they go “Hey, that's nice, cheers.” Or something like that but less corny.
- Extremely low love points will occasionally not show you a more intimate option in a conversation because you're not comfortable enough with each other, and it would be out of character to say that to someone you're not on the best of terms with.
- Love points will, at some point in the future, steer alternative endings in a certain direction. But not the main ending.
- I will always include options to fight yourself back from low love points, like with the office girls. If you mortified them in chapter 2, at the start of chapter 3 you can suggest you got off on the wrong foot and to start over, and they'll accept, reset to neutral, and that opens up all the options for them in that chapter again. Such a mechanic will be present in all cases where low love points might lock you out.
Naughty, are you some kind of walkthrough hater?
Fuck no. I made light of my life so you don't need one, but I worked together with my compatriot Een Vieze Vent to make one. It only shows you the choices that actually matter. But it's not yet updated to chapter 5 (that's on me).
Right, let's lynch the effin' walk-through mod maker.
Jeez, no! It's not their fault. They're only trying to fulfil a demand and provide a service to the community, and that's to be appreciated.
What's more, they've been brainwashed - same as us - into believing the way into a VN girls pants is though a combination of being an insincere sleaze sucking up to them by only telling them what they want to hear, and jumping on any, any first opportunity to lewd like a horn dog, so as not to miss a slight hint that locks you out of a major lewd scene. They also got punished same as us by horrible design with arbitrary choices being WRONG <BZZZZT>, and fucking you out of content as a consequence. So it's no wonder the walk-through mod comes out as horrible as it does, it's inspired by horrible games in that regard.
At the same time, they did do a bit of a rush job, to put it mildly, and I don't much care for how they arbitrarily sprinkled splashes of green all over something I spent seven months toiling on, and how it is sucking the very spirit out of it when you use it.
So now what? I need my security blanket.
Well, I'm gonna team up with ViezeVent again if he's game. I haven't reached out to him yet because it's been a madhouse, but I will. So there will be an official unofficial walk-through document again.
Also, I am more than willing to share the documentation I have about the choices in LomL and their consequences with someone seeking to make a walk-through mod. But I'd need their commitment that they'll spend more than two hours on it slapping green on some dialog choices without looking at the context of that choice, and won't steer you in choices where there is no particularly bad or good consequence to your choices.
But really, I hoped that by now I'd have talked you out of your insecurity when it comes to Light of my Life and jolts to your sensitive parts.