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Entrepreneur: The Beginning - Review & Video Impression 
 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 3:22 am
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This is a review of Entrepreneur: The Beginning.

I normally try to strictly limit myself to just the first 10 minutes of gameplay for these first-impression videos, but in this case, 10 minutes was only enough to get me through the intro, and having playtested this game a little, I knew the real rich and creamy coffee was to come, so I did the whole first day.

I gush a bit about this game, and when I think about it, I believe the reason is because I know this engine pretty well, and to see it stretched into a game like this is exciting to me. Making this all work takes some serious scripting, and although it may be less flashy than a sidescroller or other action game, I am no less impressed.



This is a good business simulation. I have been playing on beyond what you see in my video (although I haven't finished it yet), and this game fills me with genuine dread and panic. How am I going to pay my lease? Am I going to run out of ingredients today? How the hell am I supposed to run all my errands before the opening of the business day! I am just one man, gosh darn it! I can only do so much *shakes pixelated fist at the sky* And hanging over my head is the guilt of having stolen those styrofoam cups, and that guilt of crimes-past mixes with with the guilt of the temptation to do it again. It was so easy! I could do it again! Last time it was just cups, next time maybe it will be fancy gourmet garnishes. If I go down that slippery slope, how long will it be before I am stealing expensive expresso machines, using them for a day, and selling them at the pawn shop. Can I stay legit? Can I stay legit and not crash and burn and fail? It seems so hard!
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 4:59 am
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Hmm...the dash feature is a great idea. I'll have to put one in there.

I got a big kick out of watching you forgetting your cups. That was awesome.

Here's another protip: every once in awhile someone will mail you some cash. Be sure to check your mailbox every day--at least until Day 22. You won't have anything mailed to you from Day 23 on until I release the bugfixed update and instruction manual later this week.

But yeah, video was great. I'm glad you touched the doors. I was worried no one would discover that.

Thanks for giving it a half hour instead of the usual ten. Hope your business prospered since this video was recorded.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 5:10 am
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I can tell there's a good game here somewhere, but it's frustratingly aimless. I had to watch James's video to figure out where to open up shop, and I still can't figure out how to get my pot of coffee to finish brewing. It's been going for minutes now -- I could've gotten up and brewed some real coffee in this much time.

I think I messed something up in the menu -- I'm not sure it registered my coffee grounds -- but it's really frustrating to be stuck like this.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 5:58 am
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Quote:
I can tell there's a good game here somewhere, but it's frustratingly aimless. I had to watch James's video to figure out where to open up shop, and I still can't figure out how to get my pot of coffee to finish brewing. It's been going for minutes now -- I could've gotten up and brewed some real coffee in this much time.


Hmm...the coffee pot is only supposed to take about 10 seconds to brew. What steps did you take?

There are enough failsafes to each machine to let you know whether something is happening with them. Generally if it's still brewing, Buck will say it's still brewing. If it takes longer than 10 seconds or so, then you probably didn't actually brew anything.

You put in a filter? Then some coffee grounds? Then hit "Done?"

It should work after that. The only time it might stall is if the game is trying to load more than one script at once (TMC!!!!, Script Multitasking!!!!), and even then you're not penalized anything. It just means you gotta do it again.

Even though I didn't get the instruction manual finished in time, there is an in-game help available in the "Whipping Shed." New topics generally emerge whenever you experience new events.

And I can answer your other questions if you have them.

But yeah, the brewing is automatic. All you have to do is hit "Done."

Hint: The game is supposed to be a little aimless. Every player has his own approach to business strategy. For example, did you know you can make a living without ever having to brew coffee past the first day?

It's supposed to be a Sid Meier kind of game.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 6:28 am
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I tried doing filter, grounds, done, but somewhere in there Buck announced that he had changed his mind about using something. I'm not entirely sure why.

From then on, when I tried to use the coffee pot, Buck said it was still brewing.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 7:38 am
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I tried doing filter, grounds, done, but somewhere in there Buck announced that he had changed his mind about using something. I'm not entirely sure why.

From then on, when I tried to use the coffee pot, Buck said it was still brewing.


Oh, I think I know what happened.

Did you by any chance put in a quantity?

Usually when Buck says he changed his mind, it's because either the player backed out of the "transaction" by hitting ESC or he left the quantity at zero.

Although the game shouldn't be hanging on this, I have a feeling that's what happened to you (and subsequently something I need to hunt down in case other people run into the same problem). The remedy is to type in a number before finishing the powder entry.

I'll get back to you if I encounter the same problem.

And thanks for uncovering this bug if that's in fact what happened.

Also, I just finished the draft for the instructions. I still need to put in pictures, but I was wondering if Slime Salad had an ability to accept documents as attachments to games so that I don't have to ask people to re-download a 30MB file just to read the instructions (though, that will be recommended next week when the bugfixes are online).

EDIT: I just tested it with the zero quantity theory, but the coffeepot still worked as intended. So I don't know what you did, but I'd be real curious if you could get it to break again. I'd like to know what caused this.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 3:30 pm
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Pretty sure you can upload .doc files. If not, then just zip it and add it separately.

I'm not really interested in getting it to break again, since I have no way to save right before it happens and it really ruins my game. But I'll let you know if I do.

(edit) Re aimlessness: It's great to give the player lots of options. I feel like this game does that well. Unfortunately, while I get a good feel of what my options are, I don't really know how to go about doing them. A good example (the only one I have a problem with so far) is not knowing how to open up shop. I'm sure I would have found it eventually, but it would have been really nice for Buck to casually mention that there is a building for lease on the north side of town or something.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 7:07 pm
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(edit) Re aimlessness: It's great to give the player lots of options. I feel like this game does that well. Unfortunately, while I get a good feel of what my options are, I don't really know how to go about doing them. A good example (the only one I have a problem with so far) is not knowing how to open up shop. I'm sure I would have found it eventually, but it would have been really nice for Buck to casually mention that there is a building for lease on the north side of town or something.


I thought about this sometime after my last response. I remembered how easy it was to find the lease agent's office because of the direct reminders, and considered doing the same thing right after the "challenge" scene. Given the confusion you had (and other undoubtedly had), I'll definitely add that for next week's (or this week's) bugfix version.

And speaking of bugfixes, has anyone encountered other bugs that I might've missed?

I know the equipment repair / sales was full of them due to that being a last minute and rushed addition to the game. That's already been fixed for the most part (I still have to figure out how to get past the script interpreter warning). And I'm also wrapping up all my division by zero fixes and pretty much anything where zero isn't checked. And I know the sink is useless at the moment--that was literally last minute). But is there anything else that needs fixing that I might've missed?

I still haven't had the chance to fully test sandwiches, sodas, and the gold star challenge. Has anyone had problems with these? If so, what happens?

Again, thanks for giving the game a chance. I'm actively working to make it better and am happy to take suggestions/requests for making it more fun.

Please list everything you'd either like to see or like to see changed. This will also help for when I work on the sequel next year for a...well, you'll find out in time.

Thanks.

And I chanced the .DOC file when I finished the instructions, so they're attached in the same place as the game. All your gameplay questions should be answered now.
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 PostTue Jun 09, 2009 7:17 pm
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I'll definitely be coming back to this game, in spite of my negative initial experience, which says something. I really wish the full game were ready, but even this watered-down version (ha ha, appropriate metaphor) looks to have more depth than any other OHR game I can think of. If this is the game it looks like, then it's my pick for the contest.
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 PostWed Jun 24, 2009 2:14 am
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Pepsi's writing just keeps getting better and better. I really love the exchange about handing the keys over.

In some of his earlier games, the dialog was good but just seemed to go on a bit long. Here it's absolutely perfect, getting to the funny stuff and telling the story without one extra word.

I think the sense of urgency James mentioned is definitely thanks in part to the writing, like you really want to show that girlfriend-stealing dong who's boss.
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 PostThu Sep 05, 2013 6:47 pm
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Just wanted to remind everyone who has played and reviewed this game that I appreciate the comments, the feedback, the praise, and the bribes (ahem), and that I've listened and responded to the issues you had with the game. I'm confident that the newest update (version 1.2) has a much stronger delivery than the version these reviews refer to, and that if you even remotely enjoyed the last version, you'll love the newest one.

Having said that, I still have much more to do with this game, so I'm nowhere near calling it "finished." But what I've given you is quite complete in of itself, and it's good for several hours of solid gameplay. And, it does have an ending. Future updates will continue to enrich your experience and give you more options and deeper stories to play through, but you are able to meet the goals of the game and topple your opponent in this version, so there's no reason not to give it a chance.

(You probably won't need to play through all 60 days, though.)
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