« Horses and heroes | Main | Ancient Warfare »


Crystal Voyager

Entry 1339 posted in: e. Adult Oriented Games

Crystal A couple of weeks ago Chaotic placed the following message on the Shark’s Lagoon forum:

Virtually Date Crystal is a game I've made myself and is similar in many aspects to Virtually Date Ariane (ArianeB). This seems to be the place to give it a public test run.
It isn't quite as technical, more a direct maze of events to navigate through. There are five different endings, and if it's popular enough, I'll probably add more content.

The game can be played (or downloaded, update: broken link) at two different locations, but as the server often is overloaded the best thing is to download the package and to play it offline. Just like ArianeB this is an html based point & click adventure. To start the game you need to unzip the package to a directory of your choice, locate the helloworld.htm file (in the VDC folder) and double click it. The browser of your preference will open and show you the catchmatch opening screen.

The introduction offers you 3 different persons to meet and greet but for the moment only the Crystal character works. Before the simulation starts catchmatch does a personality test and if you give a wrong answer the game will not start. I like these useless game introductions; they remember me of that Larry Laffer episode where you actually had to prove that you were old enough to play the game. Which is quite stupid as:

Like many "mature" rated games, Leisure Suit Larry is best experienced (a) if you put yourself in the mind of a 13-year-old, or (b) if you are, in fact, actually a 13-year-old, and the concept of seeing naked boobs still totally blows your mind. (Taken from Classicgaming @ Gamespy.)

The catchmatch introduction shows us the weakest point of this simulation, if you have given the wrong answer all you need to do is press the backspace key until you arrive again at the question, and try another answer. Virtually Date Crystal does not use Javascript triggered parameters that will influence the game later on and the backspace trick can be used throughout the game. This also means that you can start the game on whatever web page you want, if, for instance, you want to skip the introduction quiz, you can just start at knock.htm. No harm done.

Anyway, the Shark’s Lagoon adult gaming community jumped on Crystal as Sir Austin Danger Powers did on Felicity Shagwell and as they came to about the same conclusions as I did I will just copy and paste some of their comments (with thanks to AngryH, Blaman, TheBrain, Bonhomie, Palladium and of course Erana…):

Some great idea here and there, and finally a threesome!

Some impressive graphics (but also some other ones, see below).

Some situations are exactly the same as in ArianeB. Crystal also has its Truth or Dare game, a strip show in a night club, a photo shoot, a Jacuzzi scene...

There are too many run-through screens. They only allow you one click and merely lead to another image.

Some of Crystal's facial expressions are too plastic and the rendering could have been better in places. In some situations the persons seem to be floating or don’t fit with the background.

Decisions early in the game have no impact later on. This is mainly a ‘hit or miss’ game that doesn’t lead to subplots like ArianeB does (in ArianeB drinking, kissing and the choice of lunch all have an impact later on).

An example of this is the casino scene. You can play the roulette but the outcome of the game has been hardcoded in the script. The first time black will always win and whatever colour you choose the second time, it will always lose, what is not realistic, even for casinos owned by the maffia. A small Javascript randomizer would have made this situation much more interesting.

Some bugs are still present in the game and the end scene does not always show the proper image, especially in the downloaded version.

Crystal Chart Walkthrough

On the other hand the above comments may sound a bit too harsh. This is a first attempt and comparing Crystal 1.0 with ArianeB 5.5, made by a professional 3D artist who has years of coding in his hands, is not honest either. But this criticism may help Chaotic when he decides to program the other dates in the game. The choice is up to him.

In order to write this post I created a flowchart with the possible paths in the game. You can call it a walkthrough if you want. If you have got, by any chance, Diagram Designer you can visualize the chart by downloading Crystal.zip. Otherwise you can open a very big PNG image (1419 x 2766 pixels) and do with it whatever you want to do with it. Update: new (upgraded) walkthroughs for version 1.1 have been made and will be published on this blog in May 2009.

If you liked this (adult gaming) post - you might be interested in this one as well: Secret Fantasy Dreams