Aducan, The Contributor
Writing sounds fun.
Recent PostsIs this idea too...faggy? (Yes) on 2/22/2019 8:39:03 AM
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Standalone or sequels? on 9/6/2018 3:42:51 AM
Chris's New Motivation Thread on 6/10/2018 5:39:38 AM
Cool, I'll repost the "big old post" then, for the sake of transperancy.
Wasn't sure if I was giving unwanted feedback, haha!
Anyway, like I said, I like what you're doing with the story. Looking forward to more!
Thank you for you hard work!
Feedback previously posted:
A few quick disclaimers: I haven't read Outrun 1, so I'm coming in with that perspective. I'm also not published, so feel free to take from this what you will. Lastly, I'll try not to focus on stuff like spelling and word choice too much, as I feel stuff like that is more useful later in development. Onto page one:
1:"After a while one gets used to the perpetually gloomy atmosphere within the City, bolstered by the never ending starless night sky and looming inky black clouds, the threat of acid rain always there. But this time there was no rain, just snow. Winter was here. You walk along the sidewalks of Beaumont Street, collar flicked up and covering your mouth to protect it from the freezing air."
F: Seems good to me for the most part. Only thing I'd like to point out is more info on the City would be nice. Is this a cyberpunk, Shadowrun-esque setting? With huge skyscrapers and industrial buildings making up most of the city? Is it a more modern day city? I started reading with the assumption of cyberpunk, and that seems to be reinforced by song choice (nifty trick, that!), but re-reading I'm not seeing anything that points to cyberpunk or high tech. Basically, if your setting is cyberpunk, I feel you could do more to establish it as such in your description of the city. Tech level is also unknown. Could be modern, could be future tech. I'd try to make it a bit clearer.
2: "This job should be fairly easy, and not dissimilar from a job you pulled about three months back at a club called TechNOIR. Your contractor, Brett, had given you the details in his thick Irish accent. "He's at this lounge called Stardust. Popular spot for business types, more high class than that dingy club ye hit way back when. Yer target's a high-rankin' HexCorp official, linked to the kidnapping cases in the Outer Circle of the City. Word 'round the campfire is that HexCorp is abductin' 'em for experiments and the like. But ye don't care 'bout that none, right lad?"
F: Good job on not going overboard with the accent. Having too many words written phonetically makes the passage difficult to read, and not having any can make us forget the accent altogether. One small change I'd make is using a phonetic spelling in the first line of text (eg. "Yer man's at this lounge called Stardust."). I feel if you mention the accent off the bat like that, it's easier for the reader to project it onto the rest of the conversation.
3: "Indeed, you really don't. A job's a job, and the sooner you blow a hole in the guy's brain and get out to get your money, the better."
F: That second sentence seems off. Bit awkward to read, imo.
4: "A few streets later you've arrived at the club, bright red neon sign like a beacon guiding you towards it. The building is two stories, and from what you remember your target's on the first floor in a VIP section. This is already reminding you of TechNOIR. No hope of getting in through the front this time, though; the way you're dressed, they'd kick your ass to the curb. Instead, you slip in through the backdoor, which is unlocked. Thank God for small miracles."
F: Good. Two things I'd have a look at: a) you mention this job reminding us of TechNOIR. How? Is it the line of patrons lining the street outside? Is it the building's cracked facade, sloppily covered up by fresh paint? If you've already addressed this in text with the "red neon sign" and "two stories" "target's on the first floor in VIP", feel free to ignore. b) Why can't we get through the front this time? It's cuz we're dressed poorly, right? Well, why? Why didn't we come dressed nice so we could just walk in and save ourselves the hassle of finding a secondary entrance? This is more a nitpick than anything on my part. Good job on just cutting straight to PC getting into building.
5: "The room you come in through is a supply closet, with various crates full of who-knows-what. Slipping through the maze of boxes, you find the exit and enter into the club proper. It's much nicer than TechNOIR, with fairly decent lighting that basks the room in a red glow. Music fills the air, a smooth and calming beat that seems to pull those shimmying around on the dance floor into a trance. It seems that the club's house band is playing."
F: The use of the word exit throws me off here. The way you've phrased it, it sounds like you say the PC's found the club's exit, which would lead back outside. It's a minor point, but changing this so I didn't have to do a double take would work better, I'd think. I'd also like to see a more thorough elaboration of "much nicer". The details of the "red glow" "basking" the club and the nod towards the "house band is playing" are two nice touches that paint the scene. I'd also suggest to describe the patrons more. How packed is the dance floor? Is this even a club for dancing? Maybe it's a jazz or hookah bar or something: I find it hard to tell (that's prob just me tho). The music clears it up for me, but I'd find a way to set the scene even without it. Mostly tho? Good show (music in CYOA is awesome).
6: "This isn't the VIP section, but you still keep an eye out for your target anyhow. Force of habit at this point. He's nowhere in the crowd, obviously, but you notice a waitress approaching a room labeled 'VIP'. Unlike last time, the door is unguarded. It'll be easy to get in there and blow your target into oblivion.
So how do you want to play this? Look for another way into the VIP area, or head in through the front?
1. Look for another way around. Through the kitchen seems promising.
2. No time for stealth. I'm gonna head in there and blow him away, along with anyone else who gets in my way."
F: Structure seems sound. Good segway into our first choice. Just one question: Why is there "no time"? I don't see it being logical here it pick the 2nd choice other than wanting to cause maximum carnage, or trying to blend in by acting like you belong. But that's not the justification given for our choice, the justification is time, and I simply don't see a reason for the PC to think that time is precious here. Maybe put in a throwaway line about how "Someone will notice I don't belong eventually, it's only a matter of time." But then again we come to that problem I pointed out earlier about why our Hitman didn't come dressed to blend in, when s/he was able to do it before.
In conclusion, very sound writing for the most part, good structure and length. Few grammatical errors that I won't address b/c, as I understand it, you're not in the editing stages yet. Only one real issue with the story itself (why did we come dressed as a bum :P). Also, would like to see the setting more clearly established at the start.
Good work! I'm looking forward to seeing more. And remember, I don't know jack, so feel free to give however much weight you want to my comments.
Chris's New Motivation Thread on 6/6/2018 12:59:25 PM
Hitman goodness is always welcome.Your idea about the game developing into different tones (genres?) depending on the choices made sounds very cool. Right now, I'm having trouble imaging the details of how that would work, so I think I'll just wait and see how you approach it. Overall, you've got my interest.
Quick question: I don't know how Motivation Threads work. Are you asking for feedback on the page you posted or are you just putting it out there to show your progress?
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 11:19:25 PM
Haha, clever! ;)
Seriously tho, I was considering just deleting everything and putting in "treat consistency of quality like grammar", but if someone asked "why" I would have to respond with what I've already written so I just left it anyway.
I do get your point tho, and I suppose there is a point to be made of sometimes needing to increase the word count just to get across a certain point. Ofcourse, I don't think forum posts and books are comparable in this sense, but the irony isn't lost on me.
Thanks for stopping by!
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 11:15:50 PM
Ah of course! Can't believe I missed that.
Know of any examples where a text focus on quantity over quality and comes out better for it? I think I said that you can't compromise on consistency or quality without making your work worse off for it (not saying you couldn't do it, just that you shouldn't).
I'm interested to see an example in text of "quantity [having] a quality all of its own".
Glad to hear we're on the same page, and sorry for wasting your time!
Is a thousand words too many? on 9/8/2017 6:06:54 AM
I just think it's a good thing to keep the reading consistent, especially in storygames, for the same reason I don't really like it when one chapter is longer than others in novels; I want to get on with the story. If I see a huge jump in word number, I'm going to assume that you're either a) dumping lore or unnecessary details on my head, b) building to an immediate or very close climax, or c) (in the case of a storygame) taking control away from me (which could be avoided by just providing a thing to click halfway through), and fair enough, sometimes those are necessary/fine/good/great.
Admittedly I might have been overzealous in stressing consistency's importance. I think I forgot we were talking about page length and word count per page rather than consistency as a general principal in making creative work, which I still think is extremely important.
My bad, and sorry for my lack of focus. I was wrong.
Especially sorry to OP for unfocused advice.
So revised advice to OP:
The page can stay a 1000 words, even if it's bigger than normal. Just make sure there's a reason for this and it isn't because you forgot to add a choice or because you suddenly started describing a ton of things in detail you haven't done before/ don't need to.
If you want to start adding larger levels of detail/longer pages, always first consider why and if it's adding to the experience, or just padding.
That's it for OP.
Going back to your post again EbonVasilis, I get "intimidated" for the same reason I get "intimidated" when I see a powerpoint slide black with small text all over. Intimidated was a poor word, fatigued may have been better? I don't know, but when I see text dumps (relative to the rest of the work) I always just sight and do a "here we go" even in things I like. Idk, prubs just my own quirk. A dump of text after you've shown me you could do good work within a certain boundary sort of gives the impression that you're wasting time since you probs could have written out the page just as well with a shorter word count.
idk, just makes me sigh. ¯\_(?)_/¯
Edit: RANT INCOMING, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE, REALLY JUST ME EXPLAINIGN SOMETHING THAT WAS PROBS UNNECESSARY TO EXPLAIN.
Also, regarding " Consistency is important, but does it really take priority over everything else he would be giving up to be consistent?", I think if we're talking in regards to page length, which we are, then you're absolutely right. Bigger fish to fry and all that, but it would be a nice thing to look at during editing (and given he's not working on a deadline, I don't see why he couldn't meet most priorities). However, in the context of me saying consistency is super important, blah blah blah, I meant that in the context of consistency in one's work in general, like a "design principle"? Is that the right way to put it? (I'm not trying to imply you misinterpreted me, I'm saying that I didn't express what I was saying clearly, so I just want to clear that up)
Anyway, again, like I mentioned, I failed to properly grasp the question of the OP, and if we were talking about page length balancing, then yeah, it's not that important, but if we're talking about consistency as a whole (consistency of quality, if you will) then I do think it's super important and I don't think that he would need to "give up" anything to reach it. The way I see it, you don't have to sacrifice the quality of your work to be more consistent throughout, because being more consistent in of itself improves the quality of your work. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and so by raising up the standard of your whole story to meet a certain expectation by never skimping out on a part over-indulging in something, you only serve to improve the quality of your work.
Furthermore, consistency isn't a "component" of your work that you modify or chose to focus or forget about in order to focus on another mechanic. It's a principle and something that is... just done? Hmm, hard to explain... basically I would disagree with you saying "why consistency is more important than other important story mechanics[?]" on the basis that it's not more important than other story mechanics because it itself is not a mechanic/feature.
Think of it this way: In a book, you can choose to focus on dialogue or descriptive language. You can make the conscious choice of going "Yeah, you know what? I think I'll do less dialogue so I can really focus on detailing what's taking place." Similarly in a videogame, you can choose to focus on aesthetics or gameplay over the other. It's perfectly viable to think "I'd rather this be a test of the players mastery of my controls rather than something that's visually appealing." Likewise, you could do the opposite of those statements on focus on the other thing. It's perfectly viable to make either of those decisions on the basis of you wanting to engineer a specific experience or based on your goals, artistic merit, or what you're trying to accomplish, and focusing on some areas over others that better represent the philosophy of your work is perfectly viable, as focusing on other, less related parts of your work may take away from the core aspects of your work (ie, using the game examples, spending time on graphics in a mechanical shooter instead of spending it on the mechanics can prove pointless or even harmful to the overall experience you set out to achieve if it draws attention from developing the mechanical side of the game).
However, consistency makes no such trade offs. There is no instance in which you think "You know what? I think I'll focus less on making this work good all the way throughout to focus on something else" when it comes to consistency. It's not a part of the work, it is the work (lol that made no sense). It's the same with spelling, you wouldn't ever go "Oh I'll focus less on spelling properly so I can do more intricate storylines," because spelling is the work. If you don't spell properly, your work will only get worse and worse, and it's not something you should be actively choosing to ignore in favor of something else. Same with consistency, and punctuation. It's not something you priorities, it's something you must do or your work will be just be bad. It's not an artistic choice or an acceptable trade off to have bad grammar in your books, and neither is it an acceptable choice to have your work fluctuating in levels of quality throughout.
You can release a story with poor spelling and grammar and call it finished, but it will be a bad story. You can release a story with bad consistency of quality, but it will be a bad story.
So no, I don't think that consistency takes priority over everything else a writer would need to give up to achieve it simply on the premise that it's not something where you need to give up something else to do it. It's simply a necessity and something that should be done well if you want to write a good piece.
So yeah, I do think consistency isvery important, but I don't think it's something your prioritise over other things. It is something that is prioritized because without it you won't have a proper story, it's something that must be done.
Phew, just realized that this is way longer and defending an argument that didn't even start. For all I know you agree with me. Might put a disclaimer in. So yeah, if we're talking consistency as in page length, then yeah, I agree with you. It shouldn't take priority. But if we're talking consistency in quality of your work, then yeah, I strongly believe it's important and that it's not something where you're doing it at the expense of another thing as it's simply necessary. Felt like just clarifying that and had the time to kill.
Again, sorry for whole lot of nothing, and I hope I cleared up my mistake. Hopefully the bold advice is more suited to what OP is trying to do.
Frustrating moments in Video Games on 9/7/2017 6:59:58 AM
As a Total War player, that's fucking hilarious!
On a related note,
DANCE WATER, DANCE!