Constructive Criticism and Feedback on White Island

by Lusarusrex posted Apr 02, 2021
I read over the latest announcement and am pleased that Visual Shower is continuing to work on and improve White Island. I feel at this stage it is important to provide honest and thoughful feedback to the development team. As i said above, I've been a fan of the series for quite some time now. I originally found the app by accident back in 2016-17. I was in Highschool at the time, this series seriously helped me get through a lot of pain and heartache that I was going through at the time. I can honestly say this game has a special place in my heart, and it always will.

That being said, there's a few things about White Island I have feedback for. Every game needs feedback and criticism from its players to suceed, so I hope my contribution here will be helpful towards the development of White Island.

From here on out I shall be referring to White Island as W.I. and Visual Shower as V.S..

1.) Timeline confusion and missing points on the timeline
Im pleased to hear seasons 1 and 2 are being reworked. I thoroughly enjoyed the story being told and replayed episodes several times over; however, I recognize there are a few confusing moments throughout both seasons. I would often find myself confused on how events fit into rhe timeline after a POV change, or some other event occurred. It wasnt very frequent, but the moments still occurred. As V.S. reworks the episodes, i encourage the development team to take care to communicate the storyline clearly to the players. The first part of season 1 had a clear vision that was communicated well, in my opinion. Even the POV transitions were smoothly done. I was able to keep pace with the storyline and timeline. After the final episode with Ji Hoon (in season 1), the issues mentioned above begin to occur. I feel the time skips dont help much. At this point as a Player, I had just spent hours trying to get all the characters off the island safely, so im really invested in whats happening to them and where their story is going. It's disappointing to miss out on what occured in between time skip episodes. Especially if the events were huge and changed the story/character. (For example, Jay and Sunny getting involved with some sort of group? Or Gina getting involved with her group) Even if we only get a flashback, I would love to see these events unfold.

2.) Manda
So much time, effort, and money goes into creating a game. V.S. is no stranger to this. So from this perspective, their decision to end the free episodes is a reasonable decision. After all, they need to pay their bills and earn a living off their creation, it's not crazy to request money in exchange for their game. However, I don't think this was the smartest move for V.S. at this time. W.I. has been on an indefinite hiatus for years now. Originally there was a decent small fan group. Now only a few of us remain. The W.I. fanbase is too small to expect to make much money off of manda sales. It's also safe to guess most of the remaining fans relied on the free episodes as they cannot afford manda at this time. So now the small fanbase will grow even smaller. Which will kill W.I. in the long run. After all, what is a game without the players? Now, I understand V.S. needs to be making some form of monetary compensation from W.I. My compromise is for V.S. to include ads on the app. Not during episodes, but perhaps in between playing episodes and a few showing as you navigate the main menu and forums. Free episodes would not need to be brought back, instead, players could watch ads to earn small amounts of manda. After a few ads they would have enough to play an episode.

3.) Lack of players
Due to the limited reach and small fanbase, im concerned about the survival of W.I. in the longrun. The forums are dead and have been inactive for quite some time now. The long hiatuses lead to many players and long time fans abandoning the game. I doubt there's many new players nowadays. I myself found the app on accident one day. Which is currently the main way people find W.I. to begin with. By accident. That will not help the game flourish and gain new players in the long run. W.I. is essentially invisible to the world as most potential fans and players do not know it exists. That needs to change. W.I. has so much potential, and I'd hate to see it go to waste. My recommendations are to advertise the app (Youtube, Instagram, etc are good places to start) and to expand platforms. By allowing players to play W.I. on different platforms, the game will have a greater reach towards new audiences. Playing W.I. on PC would open the game up to streamers, which would then lead to the game gaining attention from the stream's audience. Which will lead to new players. Theres always streamers and Youtubers looking to test out new and unknown games. If W.I. was featured on even just a few streams and videos, the game would gain a decent amount of growth. (Personally, I'd love to play W.I. on PC through Steam. )

4.) Interactivity
The interactive gameplay of W.I. allows players to help the characters along their journey and give the feeling of being there in the game. Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy the game, I must pose the question: "Do these features truly matter in W.I.?" The reason i ask this is because W.I. is a singular storyline that the player follows. What's the point of being able to interact with everything if in the end the players actions are meaningless? Occasionally we get a game over from misteps, but even those pose little consequence.
I propose the addition of different storylines, ones that are determined by the players actions and choices. This would make players feel more involved in the story and add more risk / danger to the game. (For example, a wrong decision could get a character killed early on while another decision would lead to rhe character living and fulfilling some sort of role in the story.) Circling back to the "lack of players issue, having multiple storylines to discover would not only draw in more players, but keep them playing. To experience everything the game has to offer, players would have to replay the episodes. Adding this would take longer to implement, but i believe the benefits would be worth it in the long run.

That's all I have for now. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how dear W.I. is to my heart. I mean no ill commentary towards V.S. or W.I., I know the devs are doing their best to provide us with quality gameplay and content. But quality games still need heartfelt feedback.
I encourage others here to also add their own thoughts and feedback in the comments. As players, it's important for V.S. to know our thoughts and feelings about W.I..

With that being said, have a great day everyone.