Waist of Space (Sci-Fi Visual Novel)

Waist of Space is a sci-fi, furry expansion VN centering around a crew of spacers hired to recover the flight logs from an abandoned space frigate. Will they complete their mission, or succumb to the horrors within the derelict ship? Only time will tell…

Download: Waist of Space by Red Deer Studio

21 Likes

Oh, this looks cool!

1 Like

very fun story; your CYOAs have been very good!

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My only regret is that I wish it was longer. This is some really good stuff, though!

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A cool showcasing of characters! Within this small game they still managed to inject a lot of personality into the characters. It was a smart idea to have (mild spoiler) three branches exploring all pairings and the interpersonal relationships within the team.

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Good job on this one A.I route best route and true route, don’t @ me

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I have to said this was well put together and well made in fact I hope to see more.

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This VN was superbly written and presented. The writing developed characters and the hints of backstories that I am eager to see explored in a sequel adventure. At first, I was wondering if their should have been more story options, but you maximized each route with unique, divergent storylines. I actually found it more effective than some other interactive stories that have more choices but less true paths (since they quickly converge with the selection having little effect). The suspense was expertly constructed, with the split teams opening up more interpersonal dynamics than if we had to keep everyone together, sharing the spotlight.

But the pièce de résistance was the visuals. You had me at the blinking, but the expressions? *chef’s kiss* Magnifique. The motions were so fluid. The lighting and vpunches, coupled with the sound effects, lent action to the VN. The art style was cartoonish, but clean and complemented by the backgrounds and music. The bloating stages were cool to witness, and I adored the outfits.

I probably had more praises to sing, but I have a splitting headache right now. I may edit this later if I find more aspects to comment on. In short, I am glad that I have messed around with Ren’Py enough to know that this is a quality VN that brilliantly showcases the features the platform offers. I look forward to seeing more from you and your team in the future. In the meantime, I will delve deeper into the code. I must learn your secrets!

5 Likes

So I have the .RAR file from the download but I can’t just open/run it, do I need to unzip it or use some other program?

Right on the nose mate, .rar files need to be unzipped first.

Alright, thank you for your help!

Alright I’m having an issue, whenever I unpack the .RAR file I get nothing. The unpacked file is completely blank and I dunno what the issue is.

What are you using to extract the files?? I always use 7zip, but I know some people use WinRAR.

I used ‘RAR Extractor’ , though I’m trying a .RAR to .ZIP converter at the moment

Okay, so to be honest… I have no clue what you are doing. The .rar file is just the code compressed to save space and to make downloading quicker, so I’m pretty sure all you need is a program that can decompress those files/extract them. I don’t think you need to convert the file to a .zip, because I just tried extracting the files with 7-zip a few minutes ago and it still worked. Are you using a pc or is this something that’s up with macs that I don’t know about??

I’m using a regular PC, though I have not had much experience with .RAR files so I don’t know any good software. Will let you know if the .RAR to .ZIP method works

Okay, I’m interested to see how this goes. A simple Google search didn’t bring up anything called “RAR Extractor”, so if that doesn’t work, I use 7-zip and it’s free and easy to find with google.

Turns out the RAR to ZIP conversion method actually worked!

1 Like

!!!WARNING SPOILERS DETECTED! DO NOT CLICK ON THE REVIEW IF YOU WANT THE STORY TO BE FRESH!!!

My Personal Review of "Waist of Space" (Significant/Heavy Spoilers Ahead)

Alright so I just finished up with the story itself, so I figured I would give my opinion on them. I’ll try keeping it short and have sections for everything. Keep in mind I have not done that many visual novels so I am not an expert and again this is my opinion.

TL;DR: Having the best section of your writing locked behind mandatory ‘bad ending’ paths it a bad idea

Visuals:
Undeniably the best part of this VN; the artwork and animations are surprisingly well done. The expressions, character designs, even subtle details such as the characters blinking made it a joy to look at. I also found the use of lesser used species like alpacas, kangaroos, moths, lizards, ferrets, and chickens quite a pleasant surprise along with the obligatory cat and dog being from lesser used species as well. Granted some parts lack animation such as Cnazzk being kicked by Maddy, the explosions in the cargo bay, the shock tendrils in the cockpit, and other similar things. However I guess that’s just the nature of a visual novel; not everything can be animated. Another minor complaint I have is the cargo bay, the description is that the black fungus is covering the place yet the picture shows a completely pristine cargo bay. Other than those I really enjoyed the visuals.

Story
Overall could use quite a bit work. The plot itself is somewhat refreshing; a team of scrappers being hired by a military organization to salvage information from a derelict ship. Though there are similar stories this one didn’t feel like it was copying or stole significant sections of it. One problem I do have is the “Evil Empire of Evilness” cliché and despite me also having issue with the “Professional Empire defeated by Scrappy Band of Heroes”, it does make sense seeing as how the the empire isn’t just incompetent for plot convenience but is incompetent in-universe as well plus the fact that it was only a small part of it rather than the entire empire. I found it refreshing how the story was kept relatively small and didn’t try going for massive (hehe) scale where they suddenly have to defeat the entire empire with maybe a bit of help from some additional characters. Speaking of which, each of the characters felt very distinct behavior wise and had fairly interesting backgrounds. The foreshadowing about Maddy being fairly old/out of touch made their clone reveal feel genuine along with the dialogue during the scene being overall well written.

The two branching options were in my opinion the weakest links when it comes to the story. The “Splitting up in a completely unknown environment” + “Radios conveniently don’t work” clichés along with the fairly cookie cutter dialogue made my eyes roll back to a point where someone seeing me would probably think I had turned into an undead. These drive me crazy above all else, it baffles me why people still use these clichés. It’s effective sure but there’s so many different and less cliché methods you could use. For example, instead of them initially breaking off into groups. In fact these were so bad I actually uninstalled the game…until I realized there was a third path only unlocked by completing these two paths and reinstalled it to try it out.

The last path was by far the best written in my eyes. The character dialogue felt organic, there were quite a few trope subversions and fun jokes, along with a lovely bit of fanservice at the end. I particularly loved this branch since it felt the most well written out of all three branches. For example: The spyware-infested tablet not only added a splash of realism and a bit of hilarity to the story, but it also made for a fun subversion of the typical ways of shutting down a rogue AI. Shut down the power? Rip apart the databanks containing it? Upload a virus SPECIFICALLY made to take down the AI? Tell it a paradox and watch the fireworks display? Nope, just use a computer already overrun with viruses and overwhelm the AI’s security to the point where it garbles out cheep spamware and spyware false adverts. Along with that the characters actually felt smart (aside from the whole splitting apart in foreign environment cliché) such as Darius using the blaster cores as a makeshift grenades and Beck utilizing the afore mentioned spyware infested tablet for primitive cyberwarfare. The action sections felt tense and overall I see this route as the best written out of all three paths.

[Edit]One thing that bothers me about the endings in general was how binary they were; you either got good or bad, nothing in between. No victories that felt like defeats or defeats that felt like victories. No mixed successes or failures, no good ending with lasting impacts or scars, no bad ending with a glimmer of hope, nothing. Just bad ending ending 1, bad ending 2, and a good ending that is a secret unless you complete both the other paths. More variety in the endings would have been nice, perhaps a character makes a sacrifice and has to be left on the ship, maybe the characters are trapped but send out a distress beacon that is answered, maybe they take down the fattening AI but are rendered too fat to do anything but sit helplessly, maybe the encounter leaves the scrappers fragmented and divided amongst each other, there’s plenty of room for potential endings.

“Gameplay”
One of my other big complaints is the fact that you get to make one choice and have to watch everything unfold. Something as simple as letting the player choose different dialogue options with different reactions would add greatly to replayability, even more so if dialogue opened up different paths. You don’t have to go extremely outlandish with 20+ endings, but something as simple as 1-2 extra endings depending on player actions would add greatly to the replayability value of the visual novel. Also repeatedly clicking the mouse to get from dialogue bit to dialogue bit got really repetitive, perhaps something like “press space to go through scenes, click different options to select them, etc.” Something so that it isn’t just clicking the same button over and over again.

Overall Feel/Rating
Personally I would give it a 5/10; it’s definitely not awful but it does have quite a few glaring issue in my eyes. Having the best part of the story locked behind two mandatory paths, said paths having no suboptions, and the stale player-to-VN interaction made for a fairly bad initial experience, but the stellar writing in the secret path along with the mostly great visuals throughout the entire novel being a joy to see. Overall a mixed experience but I would somewhat recommend. Could definitely use some improvement but it shows quite the fair share of potential.

If you have any objections, critiques, or your own opinions on my review let me know. Again this is my opinion, avoid taking it at face value and form you own opinion on this game before you read mine.

(Review was edited an hour after I posted it since I forgot something else in the review/opinion)

3 Likes

I’d honestly forgotten about this game until recently and was about to try it. However, it failed to download for me, for some reason. Not sure as to why.

Edit: reattempted download. Got as far as 26.1 MB, then the download stalled, saying it failed about five minutes later.