Zake, The Contributor

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9/21/2017 5:48 PM

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Hello! I am Zake. Welcome to my profile.

Writing is fun.
Feel free to message me.

Would anyone mind answering a few questions about inserting images not hosted on the site?
Also would anyone mind helping me out with a few ITEMSTATE questions?

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Recent Posts

Scripting this time! on 8/23/2017 3:22:44 AM

Thread about Variable Upper Limit:

"2,147,483,647. Any higher and it wraps back around to -2,147,483,648." - BradinDvorak

This means 10123024809270562018 is too big a number.

The thread is pretty old, so not sure if anything has changed, but if it hasn't you are gonna have to find another way to track how people played your game.

BeepBox (8-bit music maker) on 8/2/2017 3:24:27 AM

Huh pretty cool.
(Yeah, I forgot how to embed links).

Just something I made, try to guess the song it is loosely based on (the earlier parts especially, can't really hear the 'inspiration' deeper in).

Just putting in a hint to help people guess easier. This one follows the proper song a lot better, but only 1 hand. Gives it away if you ask me.

Looking 4 feedback on pieces I have written. on 7/25/2017 6:05:47 AM

I'm glad to be of some use.

Ah, sounds good. Good luck writing/polishing it (and the main project too).

Oh, and I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for those tidbits!

Looking 4 feedback on pieces I have written. on 7/25/2017 3:38:53 AM

I am no expert on flow (struggle quite a bit with it), and seeing as mizal is already going to help you out with that, I figured I'd give my opinion on the other questions.
Hopefully you get something out of it, even if doesn't really help in regards to the flow.

First of, your choice of vocabulary definitely has an impact on the way this reads. The sentences are also rather detailed, giving a good impression of the setting and even the character.

Thinking about whether it is clear the Bromwin is looking out the window makes me think he is looking outside the window, so my opinion is a bit biased now.
Anyways, I'd say it is pretty clear, or at least made clear when he turns away from the window.

Seeing as he is in what I take to be an Inn (it has an inkeep after all) and the fact you mention that "From his vantage" strongly suggest that what he is seeing is being done so from within the Inn. And unless there is a large hole in the wall (which would have been mentioned earlier) a window is the logical thing to think of.

However if you are worried about this, it can be a good idea to just mention the window more specifically. That is unless you feel mentioning it specifically would detract from the quality/style you are going for.

I should mention that this definitely appears to be some very high end writing, to me at least, and as such I feel a little weird trying to evaluate it, since I get the feeling you would be able to do it a lot better then me, despite being the one who wrote it.
However I'll still finish writing my thoughts here, since a view of someone who has a pretty simple writing style might help you out with something.

mizal mentioned Lovecraftian style, which is something that didn't come to my mind right away. However having re-read the post I can totally see it now. I like to think that I would have drawn the connection on my own if I had more of this to read.

As for the paragraph's transitions into one another, to me it read well. Each paragraph seems to be pretty focused, and as such they fit together well with each other. Further since they aren't completely separate either, ie. "sweeping view of the capital." => "From his vantage," and "great feasting ground fit for hell." => "Grimacing, the Master turned from the window.", they still feel connected.
As such I'd say you done a pretty good job separating the writing into paragraphs.

Honestly I can't really comment on what you could do better, to me this all looks great to me. I feel the main thing you should worry about is keeping this level of quality throughout.
Also do pay attention to what mizal mentions in regards to flow, as with this level of writing you really do want good flow, otherwise the whole thing becomes very difficult to read, specially the more of it that you read.

What I mean with this is: I can't really point out mistakes in the flow, however that doesn't mean none exist, and even small ones can end up adding up throughout the whole story which would end up greatly detracting from the quality of writing, which would suck, since the writing is definitely great.

As for other critiques I'll just try to answer the questions you used as examples (thus less work for me):

I found this rather interesting, the setting is established with great detail but doesn't drag on forever, also the exposition levels feel very minimal which leaves me wondering about a lot of things, and as such makes me want to read more in the hopes of getting some answers.

The last paragraph you have posted definitely grabs my attention the most, and again the levels of detail are high and while there is some exposition (if that is even the right word in this case) it isn't crystal clear and still feels rather minimal. This leaves me wanting to keep reading.

I highly hope you keep writing, heck posting more stuff for me to read would be appreciated, even if I get the feeling I won't really have new feedback to offer (if you can call what I wrote here feedback to begin with).
I feel my usefulness is reaching it's end, so I'll end this here. If I suddenly think up more stuff I'll post it later.

P.S. This is all just my opinion, so don't worry about it too much. However hopefully you manage to get something out of it.

Very high quality writing here (in my eyes). Hope you write more. Listen to mizal's advice on flow, flow is very important! I liked this.

Rangers of Lindenvale OR the Assassins of Dunkirk on 7/18/2017 4:13:01 AM

Keep in mind ambition isn't bad, it's the fact that it often comes with a lack of motivation to finish writing millions of words on thousands of pages.

Planning ahead can really help diminish the troubles that come with taking on large projects, as they help you stay focused.
The thing is that if you set some limitations you can stay focused on the parts that matter most. As an example of something your story probably won't need: A fishing minigame which lets you unlock dialogue options with some old man. A Time Wizard who sends you back to before the first war, so that you get to live through it.
With those examples given, I should mention, those things happening isn't bad in of itself, just if you do put them in they add a lot more work for something that maybe really wasn't needed.

To go further:
The fishing minigame could be put into a standalone short story.
The Time Wizard thing could be put into another story as well.
Then again, these could still be implemented if you feel they are important, after all it is your story and you know how well they would fit into it overall, and how necessary they are for what you want to write.

Main thing is, try to have some idea of what you want to explore in your story, what are the main things you want the characters to get to (try and) do.
Know that you don't have to have absolutely everything that comes to mind happen, this would leave you never finishing the story or just having a lot of low quality events stapled together.

But do keep in mind that you can write as much as you want, this is just my opinion, but hopefully you manage to get something useful out of it. (Even if that something happens to be: "Add in a fishing minigame.")

Staying focused can help you finish bigger storygames, and planning ahead can help you stay focused. At least that's what I think.

New draft for my storygame on 7/18/2017 3:57:29 AM

Firstly, an extract from the Nightfall page: "Those cunts like to tell themselves that what's dead can't die. Well, I say that what is dead is already fucking dead,..."
I like this reference, even if I am looking at in the opposite order to which it will be in.

Now for my thoughts, Chapter 1: What Is Dead Is Already Dead

Opening Paragraph:
The description is detailed but also gives us some insight into the character along with why we are here. It also tells us what our role is and leaves the reader (or me at least) thinking that there will be a fight soon.
Honestly pretty surprised by how much you managed to tell us about the protagonist and the situation they are currently in with just the opening. Great job.
I also feel like mentioning that the sentence structure seems to be sufficiently complex, as in it isn't all just single lines with no commas and what not. I might have explained that pretty poorly, and I am no expert on the whole thing, but just know that it makes reading the paragraph a whole lot better than if the lines weren't structured like this.

Exposition, Dialogue and Pacing:
We learn quite a bit about the protagonist here, which is good and to be expected from opening page. We also get to learn more about the world, namely about the 'good guys' and 'bad guys', or at least the current ones (this is based on Game of Thrones after all).

I quite like that you mentioned the mother and sister (and father too) but didn't drop their names. This is good since despite this being the opening page, bombarding the reader with a bunch of names isn't always the best idea as it isn't that likely that they will remember them all.
The names you do mention are followed by information, so the names can actually be applied to something. Like the ironborn.

It is worth mentioning that you do mention the names when the protagonist enters the tent, however this is done well and again, the reader isn't bombarded.

The pacing of the scene feels rather slow, mainly due to the exposition, but (to me at least) it doesn't drag on and the protagonist is still doing things. The exposition seems to fill the gaps of walking from one point to the other, while also looking around.

Page End:
There is a minor cliffhanger here, namely your father needing you HERE!, but due to the exposition it is pretty easy to guess why.
I would like to mention that this makes it seem like something is about to happen, as in, the people in the war tent 'can finally get on with this'. This suggests a form of action is coming up (as in dialogue, seeing as they are all gathered in the war tent after all). What I'm trying to say is the scene seems to be setting up for something.

Note: By action I mean the character actively doing something / being involved in something. Not just fighting.

I'm given the idea that the protagonist rather cares about Elyssa, due to the description and wanting to be with her, but when she is summed up as a 'Stone mason's daughter" this is sorta distorted.
Just figured I'd mention this, but do note this isn't really something bad. The fact that the protagonist called her that in this situation could mean a whole host of things: Cracking a joke. Actually doesn't like her, just likes to bang. Said it due to the people in the room. The reader will get to choose whether they like her or not, thus it isn't that concrete yet. Etc etc etc.

I mentioned this just so you keep in mind how character relations are portrayed throughout. This can vary depending on who is in the scene, what happened and stuff like that. For example, it'd be pretty weird if on the next page the protagonist professes their eternal love for Elyssa to the council... So I guess just be careful not to jump a whole lot between the character's outlook on others (without a reason).
Again, you haven't actually done this, one shift in tone (maybe tone isn't the right word), which isn't even in the same medium (as in thoughts vs dialogue), isn't something bad, in fact it can add depth to the character's relationships with others, by showing they don't always act the same way.

That's all I really have for grievances, I could probably try to dig more up but they wouldn't really be that reflective of what readers would think while reading, and would probably just end up being pointless nitpicking (as in, it wouldn't lead to you changing the writing or story for the better).

Further Comments:
I feel that because I read the other two pages, some of the things I might have complained about don't hold any water anymore. This is good, because it means that it doesn't need to be changed, as it is addressed (in a sense at least) later.

If you would like further 'feedback' on something a bit more specific, I could probably try and give my thoughts in a more structured manner (but I must say that I feel as if I rambled a little less this time).

One more thing, if you manage to keep this quality of writing throughout the piece, along with adding a few meaningful choices (how many really depends on you) this story game will be great.
Choice wise I can't comment too much, as I haven't actually seen options that branch the story to any great degree. I don't know how much impact the combat choices will have.

But I should mention that it does sound like you have plans for some major choices, at least that's the vibe I'm getting.

So again, I highly encourage you to keep writing, you could make something pretty awesome with this level of writing. Oh also keep in mind this is still just my opinion, but hopefully you manage to get something useful out of it.

Quality writing here, looking forward to see where this story will go. I highly encourage you to keep writing!

New draft for my storygame on 7/18/2017 3:05:22 AM

Before I comment on Chapter 1: What Is Dead Is Already Dead I would just like to mention a few things:

War Council 1-5: All this gets rid of the worries I expressed earlier, definitely sounds like you know what you are doing in regards to the finer details and backstory, which will go a long way to making the story and world feel a lot more concrete.
Also do note that while I pointed out some of those things (stuff like capitalisation/7 hell's/Ser Ronwald) they weren't really 'bad', as in even if you didn't just explain it to me it wouldn't have made the story worse or anything. The fact that you can explain it is what really matters (in my view), as it shows that you aren't just throwing random stuff in there, it fits. What I mean with all this is that explaining everything isn't necessary, just make sure it makes sense to you. (With that said, not explaining anything likely wouldn't end well, so I suppose a balance is needed?).

Nightfall 1: The circumstances don't necessarily have to be explained better here if the previous page already covered it, after all the way the whole story fits together is what really matters, rather than how the pages look when looked at individually.

2: Ah I remember a bit about that now, definitely makes sense (and as mentioned earlier, you knowing what you are doing regarding the finer details is important and great).

3-6: To be fair, cavalry being used could be explained by the fact that the Rivermen were expecting to catch the enemy unaware, in which case having horses suddenly running around you just as you wake up would be pretty demoralising, also cavalry would be useful in catching any of the enemy who tried to run away.
In regards to the way you are going to handle combat, sounds pretty interesting but as you aren't using the advance editor I'm slightly curious how it will go (as not using it could make it more difficult, but depending on how you go about it implementing it the advance editor might actually cause you more trouble than if you weren't using it). So mainly, good luck, also sounds like it'll be engaging.
Finally it's good to hear that you have plans for Josephine's character ("wild personality to boot", sounds fun!) as such it will be good to see what you manage to do with her.

P.S. Again, just my opinion. Hopefully you get something useful out of it.

The reply you wrote gets rid of all my worries, which is great.

Rangers of Lindenvale OR the Assassins of Dunkirk on 7/17/2017 4:50:42 AM

Baah essays have good structure, this is me rambling.

Also read the TL;DR, it sums it all up very well.

Lots of words =/= essay. Also I put a TL;DR for a reason.

New draft for my storygame on 7/17/2017 4:48:53 AM

Sooo much... very good!
Disclaimer, this is all my opinion, just hopefully something I mention might help you make your story better. Also, you have a better idea of where this is all going than me, so some of the things I mention might be completely irrelevant on the next page (etc), just something you should keep in mind.

The War Council
Ok nitpicking. Paragraph 7 mentions the 'ironborn', I think it should be the 'Ironborn' as it is the name of the group. So capitalise the first letter. Worth doubling checking I am not being an idiot, the only reason I mention this is that if the Ironborn are who I think they are (I read the books a while back) they deserve the respect of a capital 'I'!

Paragraph 9, the 'Seven Hells', just make sure that in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' (or the tv show) the people believed in Seven Hells. Just figured I'd mention it... I don't personally recall, and heck you could add it in even if it isn't 'cannon', but figured I'd mention this anyway. Something to think about! Mainly, how much new stuff will you be adding, or will you try to stay as true to the source as possible. You already used names from the original which is why I am bringing this up. Pretty important to keep in mind when writing stuff based on other fiction.

Some minor comments. You used some good words in this, which is definitely a plus. Good to see it wasn't all exposition but also had some flavour to it. The line you end on worries me slightly, is there going to be a quiz segment!? Joking aside, it is good that you know your exposition is an 'info dump', but with that said it definitely is on the good side of info dumps.
Since you know what it is, I won't ramble on about exposition and stuff relating to it. However I do have a question, are you using the Advance Editor? Scripting/variables/items? Mainly, I am asking just because I'm curious.

Another thing to mention, when you mentioned the Ironborn(/ironborn) again you used lowercase again, which is good since consistency is very important. Just mentioning this since I might be wrong about capitalising the 'I'...

Oh another thing, it sounds like there is a page on which you pick between the info dump or plot continuation, what happened to it? Also, no one talked in the war council. Just mentioning these thoughts, you would know they are issues of any kind, as you know what happened before/after, which matters a whole lot really.
Come to think of it, is that 'first page' the thing you posted before? Because I should probably read it so I ain't pointing out stuff that is really irrelevant at this stage...

Anyways, moving along.

P.S. One of the Lords was a common foot soldier and through skill got to lead cavalry? Just seems a little weird to me, but I might have misunderstood. Then again he might get to lead them because his skill is more suited for it, namely being a good leader, as fighting really good won't really matter if you can't give orders, right? Anyways, just mentioning my thoughts.

Couple hours of silence sounds... painful to endure in formation. Anyway, going to finish reading before commenting on this more. Ok I lied, more commenting. A speech after silence seems to make the silence a little pointless, mainly mentioning because I saw some exclamation marks in there. Also, if they are fighting on land (they have cav) how will they send them to the bottom of the ocean? Is the town/place near the ocean? If so they will just rest in shallow water, also dumping corpses into water anywhere near your town could leave them washing up on your shores, which sucks for a lot reasons. Hmm I'm ranting without much direction, so just keep in mind I am giving my thoughts here. You definitely don't have to change things, the writing and all is still very good.

Ok I am an idiot, should have read the rest of it. Now instead of editing what I wrote above, I will continue on.
Ok makes sense now, you were defending. Inside the fort... in that case it makes much more sense, but now I have other (pointless) complaints! Why is cav being used through the main gates on a steep hill! I mean, I am no military strategist, and I guess they could be used well in this scenario, just mentioning this in case them being used here really is foolish move (and again, it might not be, this is really up to you, the writer).
A thing to keep in mind with pointless complaints, they can usually be solved with a single line that points out that no, it does actually make perfect sense. As a pretty bad example, say cav being used in this encounter on the hill. Their speed and force was necessary for the plan to work properly, despite the risk the hill poses. Boom, solved. Not the best, but still explains the use of cav on a hill.

I am guessing there will be a choice regarding the guy swinging at you, or this is just where you stopped writing for the moment. Either way is fine, really, just if it is a choice I hope one of them isn't "Stand still and die". But I guess choices and their use is really a matter of preference, like I prefer if all choices matter, but that is a lot of work (as there would be no 'early game overs', which makes writing the whole thing soooo much more difficult). And again, death choices actually serve a purpose, they have their uses and can be great.
So my question is, what were you planning to happen next?

This scene gives me a feeling that my (characters) side will win rather easily, namely because a call to arms was answered, and the fact our plan involves charging at the enemy, from outside a fort.
However, depending on where the scene goes this feeling could easily be flipped on it's head, heck some guy is about to drop a sword down on me! That is pretty tense on its own, but again, depending on what happens next this might not be tense at all.

Overall I'd say the exposition is good, makes sense and it isn't forced onto the reader so it's fine that it is a bit on the heavy side. Just make sure character names are still mentioned outside of it, since if someone doesn't click it you don't want them being confused about some random kid suddenly calling you a bastard. That would be pretty confusing...

The Nightfall scene feels solid, and rather fast paced after the attackers are shocked by the gate opening. This is good, also I like that the player talks. Makes them a much better character in my opinion. I guess the 'mostly quiet' protagonist can work, but reading two pages of a 'mostly quiet' protagonist is certainly a lot less likeable than one who says things outside of player choices. Just my opinion.

So, overall, I quite liked this. I would definitely keep reading since I want to know what happens next! As such, I highly encourage you to keep writing. I also encourage you to post more of what you write, the more of it that you put up, the better the feedback I can give (if you can call it feedback anyway).
So far, I'd say you can write a pretty good storygame. Whether it can be a great one really depends on how the whole thing fits, but really, writing more will likely make it better, as long as you aren't just churning out words (unless you edit them later).
With that I'll mention that proofreading is great, just to make sure there aren't any mistakes. I am not very good at spotting them, so don't rely on me for that too much.

Do you have any specific questions you would like my opinion on? I feel there is more I could say about this...

EDIT P.S. I do feel like I might have read what you put up before, but I don't really remember it anymore (or if I even commented then, sorry if I did and forgot).

So far so good! Keep writing! The story has barely begun, but the backstory seems to all be there (with some blanks left to explore), so you definitely have directions open to take. So keep writing!
(Also this was all my opinion, try to find something useful among it if you can be bothered, but don't worry too much about anything I mentioned).

Rangers of Lindenvale OR the Assassins of Dunkirk on 7/17/2017 3:43:54 AM

EDITED my wall of text into paragraphs.

So I'll just give my thoughts on this, don't expect much and keep in mind it is just my opinion, no need to change your whole thing just because I might not like something.

Ok first, the second last paragraph "Now, years of they incited the Great War..."
I feel 'years of they' doesn't really flow well, so consider rewriting this sentence.
With that out of the way, I have nothing more to nitpick about the actual writing, but I still encourage you to reread it (proofreading is important!).

Another thing, overall, what you have here sounds great to me, you could write a great story about it.
The issue is that this is all exposition to the world, nothing really happens. Now, this isn't necessarily bad, as I haven't yet decided whether I start on a mountain or in some farmland. Obviously some world building is important, just personally I suggest you give some sort of action in the scene, heck introducing the player character would likely work great! I am just talking about what I have seen here, keep that in mind. Basically if you spend too much time just world building the 'story' will get dull pretty quick, mainly because there is only so much I can remember about your world at a time, and if it is all exposition it isn't really a 'story' either, more like history....(huh story)

So just be careful that you aren't just telling me about your world the whole time, have an actual story. Again, you definitely have a good premise for the story to take place on, along with plenty of places to go and even some characters to meet. This is great, the world sounds good, just try not to dump too much exposition on the reader too fast. As this is the beginning, the exposition tends to be on a higher level, that's fine, just be careful where you go from here. (ie, please don't spend a huge page talking even more about Lindenvale or Dunkirk based on the choice, considering the reader will be in that place you can make use of the 'show don't tell' technique, which will help get the story going).

Just as an example, instead of mentioning that the Aurelay have "honorable men, proper women, fine wine and summer festivals of great renown", you could have the player character go there and see it for themselves. As Aurelay isn't a starting location, the information about it could be kept out, that way the player could experience these things when they go there (if at all). This helps spread out the information about the world, so you have less exposition right at the start. Also, you would have the potential of the people in, say, Lindenvale painting the Aurelay in a crap light so that the reader has a dislike towards them from the beginning, before they even meet them.

I should mention that is just an example that you could use in regards to giving more details about stuff in general. Show don't tell (as mentioned in brackets earlier). As such, what you did mention already doesn't need to be taken out or changed, it all really depends on the rest of the story. Heck knowing this about Aurelay before picking Lindenvale/Dunkirk could actually be a good move. I don't know what happens next, you do. As such you have a much better idea of what information the reader should know at this stage. There are positives to exposition, it isn't all bad, so again, don't feel that you need to change what you have here at the moment. I just want you to think about where, and why, you give exposition. That way it won't just be tacked on for no reason.

As an example of what not to do: Mentioning that the Aurelay's main leader has seven sons and daughters, all their names, roles, responsibilities, likes and dislikes. Stuff like that is where the exposition really doesn't belong, as it does nothing for the story at this point. The exposition you have here sets the stage, that is good. Just, make sure the reader gets to get on the stage at some point, preferably soon after all this setup.

If you happen to write an 'action' scene of some kind, please do post it as it will give me a much better idea of your writing, as such I can try to give feedback which might actually be helpful (rather than rambling about exposition). Heck, putting up your next page for one of the choices would be great too (even if it is more exposition, since I can give my opinion on if you handled it well or not).

Another thing, I said I wouldn't nitpick the writing too much, and I only read over it once, but when you are proofreading consider mouthing the words to see how they flow. Flow is pretty important as well. With that said, I don't feel you had any major issues with flow, as if you did you can bet I would be rambling about it.

Last thing I will mention is that the two choices you are offering here sound pretty huge. Like, two separate stories kind of huge. I am not sure how big you plan on making this, but if you find yourself struggling dropping one of the paths (and maybe adding it later or making another standalone story for it) could be a good move.
However, this really depends on you, and how much you can handle. Just keep in mind you don't have to write two separate stories in one (since to me it really does sound like the choice will have such a huge impact that there likely won't be much overlay between the paths (making writing it take a lot longer)).
With that said, you might have this starting location be little more than a prologue, again depends on what you plan to do with it. But considering the thread title is literally "Rangers of Lindenvale OR the Assassins of Dunkirk", I think it is safe for me to assume you plan on having to very different paths.

Well that's all I have to say (for now). Feel free to ask for my opinion on other things if you want. And just to reiterate, what you have here is a great start, but it depends so much on where you take it from here. So again, I encourage you to post the next page (either choice) as the more writing you put up, the better the feedback you can get will be.

Just some questions:
How big do you plan the choice here to be? Is it as huge as I think it is, or is it smaller? Just wondering. Personally, I find this is something worth thinking about in regards to any choice you put in. How big or small is it?
Are you using the advance editor? Just wondering because this can heavily effect the way you write your story.

P.S. Again, this is just my thoughts on what you have here. The more you give the better they will be. Also the thoughts of a random person who hasn't even published a storygame really shouldn't sway you too much, just think about the things I mentioned and whether there is anything usefulness among it, that could help you make your story as good as it can be.

P.P.S. People who haven't published storygames can still give great feedback, just in my particular case it does serve as a warning to how seriously you should be taking what I say.

This is a good start, keep writing, be careful with exposition, keep writing and this is all just my opinion.

Good luck!