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BROK the InvestiGator - Point and Click X Beat'em Up!

COWCAT

COWCAT
Developer
Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Messages
33
Location
France, Saint Etienne
Yes there's hints but also many players who prefer to not use ads because they're afraid to not have enough ads later on to get hints ^^
Players are complex entities, you know :p
Saying "you can skip all fights" sounds more reassuring than "you're able to skip most fights if you do the right thing..."
Originally I wanted to offer the option to skip fights ONLY after losing a few times, but I was clearly told by two adventure gamers that they hated this and wanted the option straight away sp they don't have to worry about getting stuck due to.
Yes, I'm dealing with very varied types of players with this game.

And yes I always add a lot of interactions in the rooms. Including things to break and jump on. I even went overboard with interactions for my previous game Demetrios and it was daunting for some :p
 

V_K

Arcane
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
7,714
Location
at a Nowhere near you
Originally I wanted to offer the option to skip fights ONLY after losing a few times, but I was clearly told by two adventure gamers that they hated this and wanted the option straight away sp they don't have to worry about getting stuck due to.
One option would be to have a HP penalty for skipping fights. That would incentivize finding non-combat solutions, and also save money and food from irrelevance.
 

Darth Canoli

Arcane
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
5,711
Location
Perched on a tree
If I want to sell Coke, I don't advertise the fact that Coke can be enjoyed warm so as to not alienate the coffee drinkers.

I get out there and I put Coke in its magnificent form, ice cubes dropping into it from the netherworld, glistening drops of sweat running down the length of its glass.

I never knew you could do ice coke...
As for the selling part, I thought it sold itself, just put a ****** in a street corner and customers never stop to flow.

About the game, the mix seems interesting but the animals protagonists, hum, with all the furry shit that has been released, i don't even want to click on the link to read any more.
 

Modron

Arcane
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
10,206
This finally got a release date:


Looking forward to it enjoyed the prologue demo.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
An investigator crocodile... Now I suddenly realize: Will there be a reference to this guy, who's a similar case and predates Brok?

proxy-image

iu

EDIT:

Fixed broken pic.
 
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LarryTyphoid

Scholar
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Messages
2,233
I like beat'em'ups, and I like adventure games, so I guess I'm the target audience for this. Looks good and polished. Not really a fan of the furry-looking shit, but whatever, I'll give it a shot anyway.
 

V_K

Arcane
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
7,714
Location
at a Nowhere near you
I like detective, but i dont normally like beatemup game. Will i like this?
IIRC, at least in the demo, all of the fights can be avoided by solving puzzles.
And then there's an easy difficulty that just lets you skip fights. But don't use it, it's much more fun to figure out alterantives to fights.
Choosing to solve situations via brain or brawn does have consequences down the line though, so for a 2+ playthrough you might want to learn to fight (or use easy mode) to explore different story branches.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
Judging from some videos I checked around, this one has multiple endings and proper C&C, making it more of a RPG than many games of nowadays that consider themselves so. It also looks fun. No idea if there's a gag about the Chaotix Crew and/or Vector, another cartoon crocodile investigator that began in the 90s (as a Sonic character).
 

Modron

Arcane
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
10,206
There a lot of nods to other animated series in it such as Kit's boomerang skysurfing board from Talespin.
 

agris

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
6,876
TLDR: COWCAT suspected that he was being asked for review keys by shady actors who wanted to sell those keys. He doesn't have a separate steam app setup for the prologue (demo?) versus the full game, but he does have distinct keys. So he sent these shady "curators" the key for only the prologue, which they likely sold to unsuspecting customers. Neither the key resellers nor the customers thought they were getting a limited demo, but the whole game.

Since the key sellers are getting hit by a bunch of angry customers asking for refunds, they're taking it out on the game in the form of Curator bombing it.

I think this is a huge win for COWCAT that he could cause so much financial pain to these scum. Bonus: all the curators bombing the game are essentially revealing that they're the front for a key selling operation. Their opinion can be easily dismissed.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
Sounds like a case of corruption, bad business practices and thuggery... So, perfect for a detective game!
 

V_K

Arcane
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
7,714
Location
at a Nowhere near you
Btw, I progressed further in the game, and it continues to impress. The puzzles are ramping up in difficulty too. I was on the verge of using the hint system a couple of times, and once got impatient enough to give in to temptation :oops:
Great job, COWCAT - and good luck fighting off those fuckers.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
Lol, it seems I was onto something with the Sonic joke. Look what I found. Check minute 4:44:



I didn't expect this game being part of the SAGE thing.
 

LarryTyphoid

Scholar
Joined
Sep 16, 2021
Messages
2,233
You made a risky move releasing this game in the same week as Tribal Hunter; the market's saturated right now :smug:
 

Galdred

Studio Draconis
Patron
Developer
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
4,384
Location
Middle Empire
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
TLDR: COWCAT suspected that he was being asked for review keys by shady actors who wanted to sell those keys. He doesn't have a separate steam app setup for the prologue (demo?) versus the full game, but he does have distinct keys. So he sent these shady "curators" the key for only the prologue, which they likely sold to unsuspecting customers. Neither the key resellers nor the customers thought they were getting a limited demo, but the whole game.

Since the key sellers are getting hit by a bunch of angry customers asking for refunds, they're taking it out on the game in the form of Curator bombing it.

I think this is a huge win for COWCAT that he could cause so much financial pain to these scum. Bonus: all the curators bombing the game are essentially revealing that they're the front for a key selling operation. Their opinion can be easily dismissed.
Also, that went viral. I wonder how it translated regarding sales.
Unfortunately, the conversion rate is usually very low, but that was quite a cool move!
https://www.pcgamer.com/developer-suspects-negative-steam-reviews-were-written-by-vengeful-scammers/

Developer suspects negative Steam reviews were written by vengeful scammers​

By Morgan Park published about 16 hours ago
When it comes to Steam curators, it's hard to know who to trust.

brok the investigator

(Image credit: Cowcat games)



Indie beat 'em up Brok the InvestiGator, released this week on Steam, wasn't on my radar until its official Twitter account pointed out something strange about the reviews coming in from Steam curators. In a thread(opens in new tab) posted on Sunday, developer Cowcat claimed that it was targeted by fraudulent curators who wrote bogus reviews after not even playing the game.
After looking it over, the studio's reasoning is sound. Of the 150 user reviews of Brok the InvestiGator published as of this writing, 99% of them are positive. As of yesterday morning, the only negative reviews had come from Steam curators(opens in new tab). In the case of several of these curators, Brok is the only negative review the account has ever given out of hundreds of games. It sure looks like a handful of Steam curator reviews, possibly posted by the same person, were written in retaliation to the developer. A day after Cowcat's thread was posted, Brok's negative curator reviews had turned into positive ones. Here's how it all went down:
Prior to Brok's release, Cowcat said it received "tons and tons" of requests from Steam curators asking for a review code. This is a standard practice for legitimate curator pages, streamers, and gaming sites alike, but it also opens the door to scammers hoping to score a free Steam code they can resell on gray market sites like G2A.
brok the investigator

Of 204 games reviewed by this curator at the time, Brok was the only negative score. (Image credit: Cowcat Games)
Cowcat hoped to weed out the scammers with a clever workaround. Instead of sending codes for the full game, it sent codes for Brok the InvestiGator's free prequel chapter, the idea being that legit curators would redeem the code and follow-up to ask for the full game while scammers would unknowingly sell the useless code on the gray market. Cowcat reckons this might have worked a little too well. According to the dev, "very few" reached out wondering why they'd been sent a code for a demo, suggesting that "most of those emails are from scammers who did not even activate those keys on their account before posting a review."
If that is the case, these scammers might've had to issue refunds after reselling the code, and then proceeded to write curator reviews with generic criticisms like "broken gameplay" and "lack of polish" to get back at Cowcat. It's circumstantial evidence, but it all started to sound less far-fetched after reading Reddit user darklinkpower's analysis(opens in new tab) of the Steam curators in question. They point out that the nine curators who left negative reviews share some pretty suspicious similarities:
  • All of the curators share a common admin user who can control what's posted
  • All were created on or near the same day
  • All share a similar number of followers (averaging 23,000)
  • All had just one or two negative reviews (including, at the time, Brok the InvestiGator)
It wasn't long after Cowcat and darklinkpower's posts gained traction that the curators edited their negative reviews to be positive. The same curator who previously stated Brok "lacks polish in all areas" apparently now believes(opens in new tab) Brok is a "wonderful cartoony detective adventure" with "perfectly integrated beat 'em up mechanics." Cowcat said it has reported the curators in question to Valve.
It strikes me as strange that this practice of revenge reviewing is even, in theory, possible. Individual Steam users can't actually publish reviews unless they own and have played the game in question, but curator pages don't have that limitation. That sounds like a loophole that should be filled, though it's worth noting that curator reviews don't seem to be weighed as heavily by Valve as user reviews. Curator reviews are actually sectioned off from user reviews with a small link that I'd never noticed until today and don't appear to factor into the overall score visible at the top of store pages.


See more
Cowcat is similarly skeptical of how much curator reviews ultimately matter, but thinks Valve could take steps to mitigate scammers. For one, Cowcat suggests Valve "stop forcing us to rely on keys and instead open Curator Connect for everything."
Curator Connect is a feature on Steam's backend that allows devs to send games directly to trusted Steam curators. Currently, devs can only send up to 100 copies of their game out. That, and the fact that curators have no way to request codes from devs, limits its usefulness.
I've reached out to Valve for comment and will update if I receive a response.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
10,253
Gave this a spin, I was greatly impressed. The puzzles are not too hard, and having to combine brawns and brains by doing stuff such as moving boxes aside to create platforms makes it more dynamic than most adventure games. In fact, the protagonist is quite agile compared to the usually barely mobile players protagonists of other adventure games (although Brok suffers from fall damage quite arbitrarily). There's a Spanish translation (and other languages) that is quite good so far (I played for 1h and some more and I only found some typos and one minor untranslated sentence). The art style is okay, although there are some characters that are definitively UGLY. Chief amongst them is the OC do-not steal character of the creator, whose ugly mug greets you everytime you start the game.

CC3099A4A50C9495E4DECA68A6415744B15A77F4

The game has C&C as mentioned multiple times, 10+ endings and mutually exclusive paths. The protagonist is a former boxer-now-detective with potential brain damage that still has fights from time to time, a fact that justifies the former.
I like how the game lets you do dumb stuff and will react accordingly, such as jumping on beds or tables and having the NPCs make fun of you, punch people for no reason (in some cases you can kill them, causing game overs or locking you out of certain events), and so on. The voice-acting is good too.

In short, this one looks like it will be much better than the incoming Monkey Island with that horrid art-style.
 
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Darth Roxor

Royal Dongsmith
Staff Member
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,878,586
Location
Djibouti
I've been playing through the free demo, and so far I much appreciate being able to wreck random props in every screen

However, I have a big problem with the game's dialogues and general tone. The dialogues feel much too dry and uninteresting than they should be, and the best way for me to describe them is just BLA BLA BLA. It also doesn't help that the voice acting is almost irritatingly bland - this might just be one of those games that would be better off without VA.

As for the tone, I have the impression that the game can't quite decide whether it's supposed to be bleak or comedic, and the end effect is jarring. On the one hand there's "hoho the cleaning bot almost electrocuted me to death how wacky" and then there's Brok being emo about rubble in every screen "zumg everything's falling apart how sad". The weird thing to me is that the bleakness is actually prevalent here, especially with how every character is sad and downtrodden, but the colourful/zany visuals and the like work completely against that.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
1,468
Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath
I disagree about the dialogues. I think they are written decently. They give a good sense of the characters' personalities. Although sometimes it is a bit noticeable that English is not the developer's native language.
As for the uncertainty of tone, I rather agree. I don't really have a problem with it, though. Actually, it's a bit like Deponia and Beneath a Steel Sky, which also had a similar ambiguity between the comedic and the bleak, but in the former it was resolved more in favor of the comedic and in the latter in favor of the bleak. I would say that Brok is closer to BASS.
 

Darth Roxor

Royal Dongsmith
Staff Member
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,878,586
Location
Djibouti
finished the demo, didn't grab me much tbhbbq

I would say that Brok is closer to BASS.

I had a similar feeling while playing, and I also disliked BASS for similar reasons, so I guess das it.
 

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