The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be.
Évaluations des utilisateurs : Plutôt positive (621 évaluation(s))
Date de parution: 10 déc 2013

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"Recommended for gamers who love tough choices and multiple endings."

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8 mai

The Novelist for $5 During the Humble Spring Sale!

Hey, everyone, just a quick note to let you know that the Humble Store is doing its Spring Sale for the next two weeks.

The Novelist is on sale there for a cool $5.09, and it comes with a Steam key so it's a great way to pick the game up for your Steam library. If you've already got it, tell your friends or gift it to them. :)

Have a good weekend!

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23 février

Trading Cards Come to The Novelist! Plus 40% Off Sale!

Players have been requesting this for quite some time, so I’m very excited to announce that trading cards have been added to The Novelist! There are 6 cards, 3 profile backgrounds, 6 emoticons, and of course 6 badge levels.

It was really fun revisiting the game after a long time away from working on it, and while I’m not sure achievements will ever be the right fit (they might clash with the story content), I think trading cards are a nice addition to the experience.

To celebrate the new feature, I’m also putting the game on sale for 40% off ($8.99). So if you’re looking for some new cards to gather and trade, fire the game up and start collecting!

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Articles

“The Novelist affected me, deeply and painfully ... I frequently cried at the outcomes of the decisions I made for the Kaplan family.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“While it arrives on the heels of other notable non-combat, story-based games, it still manages to feel fresh and emotionally resonant. This is thanks to sincere, realistic writing and an inspired approach to player choice, which has you picking sides and making difficult compromises in the context of family conflicts.”
Polygon

“The Novelist is the most personal and beautiful game I have ever experienced. The creator, Kent Hudson, has quite plainly poured his heart and soul into this game, and the outcome is genuinely something to behold. Never before have I felt so emotionally involved in the characters, their situation and potential future, as in this truly player-driven story.”
10 out of 10 – GameGrin

À propos de ce jeu

The Novelist asks one central question: can you achieve your dreams without pushing away the people you love? The game focuses on Dan Kaplan, a novelist struggling to write the most important book of his career while trying to be the best husband and father he can be. The Kaplans have come to a remote coastal home for the summer, unaware that they’re sharing the house with a mysterious ghostly presence: you.

Read the family’s thoughts. Explore their memories. Uncover their desires and intervene in their lives. But stay out of sight; you can’t help the Kaplans if they know there’s a ghost in the house. It’s up to you to decide how Dan’s career and family life will evolve, but choose carefully; there are no easy answers, and every choice has a cost.

Dan’s relationships – to his work, his wife, and his son – react and shift in response to your choices. With a different sequence of events in every playthrough, The Novelist gives life to a unique experience each time you play.

The decisions you make will define the Kaplans’ lives, but they may also tell you something about yourself.

Configuration requise

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or higher
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM video card
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X Lion (10.7) or higher
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM video card
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM video card
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Built with Unity 4.3.4, tested in Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.10
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM video card
Évaluations intéressantes des utilisateurs
6 personne(s) sur 7 (86%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
3.3 heures en tout
Posté le : 26 janvier
The Novelist n'est en rien semblable à un autre jeu à ma connaissance.
On suit ici le déroulement des vacances d'été de la famille Kaplan avec leurs envies et leurs problèmes. Le père est écrivain et doit parvenir à rédiger son nouveau roman, la mère décide de se remettre à la peinture et cherche à savoir ce qu'il lui plairait de faire, l'enfant, lui désire s'amuser mais doit faire face à des problèmes à l'école.
A vous, joueur de faire des choix en lisant les lettres, regardant les dessins ou parcourant les souvenirs des membres de la famille. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=382061371 Chaque décision plaira à l'un et décevra les deux autres, à vous de doser.
Le jeu est donc très original, seulement voilà il est aussi très répétitif. Durant les 9 chapitres on parcoure la même maison en lisant les journaux tenus par la mère et le père, en cherchant des lettres, cherchant des indices dans les souvenirs...etc jusqu’à faire un choix principal puis faire un compromis pour un second membre de la famille durant la nuit. Comptez environ 20 minutes par chapitre. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=382061430
Le scénario et les personnages sont convaincants mais je m'attendais à un peu plus de surprise. Le jeu nous laisse entrevoir un mystère autour de la maison et on en apprendra plus en lisant des journaux tenus par d'anciens résidents dans les années 40, 50 et 60 mais au final et c'est mon reproche au jeu, on ne suit que le quotidien d'une famille normale et banale. Pas de twist ou de révélation, seulement la découverte des conséquences de vos choix, souvent sans surprise : vous avez choisi d'isoler le père afin de l'aider à mieux avancer sur son roman? Eh bien sa femme se sentira délaissée et l'enfant triste car son père n'a pas pu jouer avec lui. En gros c'est ça...
Vous pouvez pimenter le gameplay en adoptant le mode de jeu Stealth dans lequel vous devrez vous déplacer incognito car la famille pourra vous voir, contrairement au mode Story. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=382061545
J'ai apprécié le jeu pour son originalité, la qualité des doublages (mais seuls les écrits de la mère et du père sont lus par une voix-off), le système des choix et pour la possibilité de reconfigurer les touches pour les détenteurs de claviers AZERTY mais je lui reproche son manque de surprise, sa répétitivité et malheureusement le manque de divertissement qu'il procure en conséquence.
Il s'agit plus d'une expérience que d'un jeu, je vous recommande d'essayer mais ne vous attendez pas à vous éclater non plus.
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5 personne(s) sur 6 (83%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
5.2 heures en tout
Posté le : 23 mai
The Novelist ne brille pas par son gameplay répétitif, ni ces puzzles inexistants, mais est sauvé par une histoire originale, qui vous rappellera que la vie est toujours faite de choix.

[ LA PETITE VOIX DANS LA TETE ]
Vous êtes l'esprit de la maison. Cacher dans les lumières, vous observez la vie de cette famille lors de leurs trois mois de vacances. Cela ce passe en deux phases. La première, de jour, vous devez espionner leurs journaux intimes, lettres, pensées et souvenirs afin de forcer le destin vers un choix de l'un des membres de la famille. Ensuite, viens une phase de nuit, où vous pouvez faire un compromis pour l'un des deux autres.

C'est là que le gameplay devient répétitif. Vous devrez faire exactement la même chose à chaque scénario. Explorer les souvenirs, trouvez des lettres, lires les journaux, choisir un choix pour un membre, puis un compromis (ou non) et continuer.

La partie intéressante c'est l'histoire. Bien que banal aux premiers abords, si on prend le temps de lire chaque information, on y découvre une vie assez chaotique qui peut arriver à tout le monde. Chaque décision aura son impact. Allez vous priviligier la rêve d'écrivain du père, la vie d'artiste de la mère, le bonheur du fils, sauvez le mariage, sombré dans l'alcool, etc... Ce sont les mêmes choix que l'on fait inconsciemment tous les jours...

[ CONCLUSION ]
Je le recommande, car c'est jeu indé avec une histoire à choix et fins multiples, touchante et des graphismes assez uniques. On regrette cette musique complètement déprimante qui est là même dans les moments "happy" de la famille.

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Cette évaluation vous a-t-elle été utile ? Oui Non Amusante
67 personne(s) sur 75 (89%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1 personne a trouvé cette évaluation amusante
2.8 heures en tout
Posté le : 4 janvier
I was briefly torn about whether or not to recommend the game, but after about five minutes of reflection, I can safely say that this game isn't worth buying. Despite having a great concept and being superficially well-made for an indie game, for the brief and predictable story, the asking price is extremely steep. The enticing story-and-gameplay concept is, sadly, completely and utterly wasted. This game could have been made between fifteen and twenty years ago as a college project and would be expected to be distributed for free.

Most of the critique of the game will be about the story, so a bit about the gameplay first. As far as point-and-click adventure games go, this is one of the most simplistic. I've seen -more- simplistic games that I did play, but I can't think of any right now. There are no puzzles, nothing to figure out. You just find all the stuff that glows when you mouse over it, then sneak up behind everyone to see what they're thinking. Playing in stealth mode is a joke, no challenge (even for the minimally competent) whatsoever. The graphics are acceptable for the style (and one might assume, budget). The sound and music are pretty good, but they don't really seem to fit the mood of the game very well. It's sort of like matching up Silent Hill's music and sound with Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The main part of the game is its story, and while I'm not opposed to a cliche setting or starting scenario, sadly the story does not really progress beyond the starting situation. Which is a shame, because the voice acting was pretty good. I played in stealth mode, looked at every interactable object, viewed every memory, unlocked every story option, and was never seen by any of the family members. Finished the game in 2.8 hours, got an ending I would consider 'good', and I have no desire to play it ever again.

Instead of really giving you choices that matter that actually branch out the storyline, the three maladjusted characters are put on a sacrificial altar and the player gets to decide who will get to act all pissy/mopey/whiney this chapter. Some of the 'choices' offered are split between propriety and a non-sequitur option. Not chosing the non-sequitur option has the same level of consequences for the affected character as failing to fulfill social/societal expectations. Additionally, the choices are made for an entire week at a time, but most of the life-altering 'choices' are things that might take anywhere between fifteen minutes and a couple of hours in most of the chapters, or wouldn't be mutually exclusive no matter how you looked at it.

Minor Spoilers: Hilariously, despite being myself in a somewhat similar life position as Dan, I could not find him interesting or identifiable. He's mopey and non-commital, and if I think of Tommy's reading troubles as hereditary, that would explain Dan's writer's block pretty well. I found it so hard not to disparage Linda as a selfish, whiny bellyacher, that I kind of just did. Tommy is a static and boring character, even for a kid. He exists in the story to be the sacrifical lamb whenever you decide talentless Dan should do his job or do apparently incapable Linda's work for her, however more often than he seems neglected, he seems more like a spoiled and undisciplined crybaby with more cognitive deficiencies than poor reading comprehension.

I have problems with the writing for the game, as the game's primary tension is the supposed marital problems between Dan and Linda, which are barely mentioned. The only problems I can see the two having are related to Linda being an implacable whiner who blames Dan for her lack of drive, focus, and ability for most of the game (for perspective, I still got what I would consider the best ending for their relationship). This is made worse by the half-hearted attempts to frame Linda's personality as creative and indepenent using her own words, which make her look hypocritical and even more selfish and listless. While this can be considered a negative personality trait written into the character, I can't help but feel the writer is tacitly implying that women expect their husbands to do everything for them. Personally, I can't stand her the way she is written.

There's never even an insinuation that Dan is writing the book to provide a living for his family, and given that zero of your decisions seem to change which or how the chapters play out, all the more reason for the player to never help him do it unless you think supporting his pride/hubris as a writer is important. The characters certainly never act like the book is at all important to their well-being. That said, Dan's choice is almost always about industriousness, the other two choices are usually about him satisfying the demands of his family, so it would make a lot of sense if you could 'lose' the game by failing to help him write a good book and meet deadlines. Several of the choices -seem- like they would be weighted to give you a better score with both the book and with the family, but that does not actually appear to be the case.

Finally, I did not feel any of the decisions were particularly hard or weighty, and I feel I would not ever have made different decisions at any point in the game. The fully linear chapters and extremely repetative gameplay made my stomach hurt with frustration as I wanted and tried to hurry up and finish. The ending (as with all of the chapter plots) was mundane and predictable. The character outcomes were clearly linked to a hidden score and had no relationship to any of the actual decisions made throughout the storyline.

If I didn't get this game with a bundle, I would be extremely upset about having paid any specific sum of money for the product.

And, there you have it, folks. A review that nearly took longer to write than the game took to finish.

Edit: Clarified the intro paragraph.
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11 personne(s) sur 14 (79%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
1 personne a trouvé cette évaluation amusante
7.9 heures en tout
Posté le : 25 février
The Novelist was an interesting concept. The idea that you are a ghost and you affect someone else's story in a good or bad way is really appealing. Unfortunately, for The Novelist, gameplay variety was lacking, the story (which is the main part of the game) was boring and predictable, and the voice acting was meh.

BASICALLY how the game plays out is this: there are three people in the house. The Father, the Wife, and the Son. The Son wants to do stuff with the Father. The Wife wants to pursue art and have more family time, and the Father must deal with that crap while also trying do his work. Every level, something each character desire changes a little bit, and it is your job to find out what everyone wants, and which two people will get what they want.

Also, you must never be seen by any of the residents or else you will not be able to make them happy. So you get to teleport from light fixture to light fixture. The problem is, you can almost get anywhere without going out of a safe-zone light. This makes the game TOO EASY. Though I wouldn't really expect it from a game like this, there is isn't any sort of progression for your ghostly character gameplay-wise, so your ghostly powers stay the same throughout the game.

The plot is boring and uninteresting as well. Half-way through the game, I realized I didn't care for the characters at all. Everyone is so unhappy all the time, and even if you fix all their dang problems, they're just sad in the next level with more problems to fix. It's honestly most fun to just "level up" the dad and make no one else happy. Then his after story makes him a world renouned author who drinks his nights away in misery because his Wife left him and took the Son. You can go through the game and try to make everyone happy by balancing out their wants, but the game part of it is dull, and the story is predictable.

And also, it doesn't look that great either. If for some reason, you are waffling between this and Dishonored, get Dishonored instead. It also has a predictable story where you can mildly affect the outcome, but the gamey side of it is just so much more fun and enjoyable.

Final rating: Meh/10
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6 personne(s) sur 6 (100%) ont trouvé cette évaluation utile
4.3 heures en tout
Posté le : 1 avril
The Novelist is, not surprisingly, a story telling game.

You’re a being, a spectre or ghost. It is never explained. There’s a family of three and the entire game takes place in a small cabin in the woods. The goal? Make decisions for the family.

Gameplay is.. lacking. All you do is move about the house while trying to avoid being seen. Each chapter you need to find a certain amount of items, over and over. Once you’ve found all the items, you can enter the memories of the family members to find three memory snippets, again and again. The items aren’t very well hidden, nor are the snippets which can easily be tracked by listening. This cycle repeats itself for the 9 chapters it counts. It’s mind numbingly repetitive.

The story is tailored towards the choices you make, a promise made in lots of games these days. This game does deliver. For the purpose of this review I’ve ran through the game twice, making different choices each time. I’m avoiding spoilers, but you can choose to truly neglect a family member, with devastating results. While this is pretty interesting, the final outcome is given in a typewriter animation, which fails to make you care about the results.

The Novelist has potential, but it doesn’t utilize a lot of it. It’s not a fun game and it doesn’t have a great story either. While the character are relatable they never really come to life inside the game – only in the diary segments which got narrated. That only leaves you with a tale with an interesting dynamic outcome, but sadly that isn’t enough to make this a recommendable title.


+ Your choices truly matter
+ Decent cell-shaded graphics
+ Fairly original

± Solid voice acting, but not everything is narrated

- Boring, repetitive gameplay
- Too easy
- Small scale
- Lacking conclusion


4+ / 10
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