A civilization, once mighty, has fallen. Twisted ruins stand crumbling, a testament to what once was. Its ways were strange and unknown to us. They strove, and struggled, flew too close to the sun, tottered, and collapsed. The statue of their great leader, made of a shining green element unknown to us, stands shattered in their cratered town square.
This is the Ruins of a Dead Civilization.
Well, that was exciting! And that lovely flavor text is my introduction to a contest. But it's not the kind of contest where you win anything. Just glory and fun.
My fellow CYSers are invited to submit interactive stories on the theme of "Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization."
I'm inviting people from both Choose Your Story and Choice of Games to submit interactive stories for a friendly contest, because a lot of times there's friction between sites for no reason, when, at the end of the day, we all just love to write and read branching stories.
The Twist: If you want to play, you must submit your story to a third, now largely-defunct IF site, Infinite Story (infinite-story.com). Infinite Story is, in a very real sense, a civilization, once mighty, that has now fallen. It is a strange, primitive place. Variables are unknown. Scripting is unknown. Here, stripped to the bare bones of interactive literature, all there are, are pages linked to one another. It will be painful coming from our sophisticated core worlds. But it is the only way to explore these ruins.
The Prize: Glory, fun, constructive interaction with another site, and almost certainly a deeper appreciation for CYS.
Theme: "Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization." Feel free to interpret this theme as you like.
Deadline: October 31, 2019, 11:59 EST
Where to Submit: As usual for CYS contests, announce that you intend to enter. Submit to Infinite Story (infinite-story.com) but also post here with the name of your story so I can track it more easily. I'll be judging the stories (along with a few more suitably neutral or neutral-posing people.)
You used a cooler picture on here than in the CoG thread.
"Battle" is *very* open to interpretation.
I would say pick the best of your two ideas and use that one; then use the other one to write a storygame on CYS. Probably one entry per person would make it most manageable for the judges.
Since this is a CYS and cog contest, taking place on infinite story, does my story have to follow any particular guidelines? I’m in either way, I just want to know beforehand.
Aside from following the theme, being an interactive story, and maintaining, let's say, an "R" or tamer rating, I'm trying to think what other guidelines there would be. What do you have in mind?
I just wanted to know if mature stories were allowed. I’ve never been to cog, but I’d assume if we incorporated their rules, most of the stories that we’d produce wouldn’t follow them.
Well, I may have encountered a bigger problem. Infinite story is blocked for me, and I have to use a proxy in order to bypass my schools block, so the site is a little wonky looking. Idk if it works completely, but I’ve managed to successfully sign in. This may affect my ability to turn it in, but again idk.
Just realized that the deadline is also my 1 year anniversary of being on this site.
Yeah, notice this is a *space battle* and Mizal just told you to get a sword and a horse.
Sure, I don't see why not. The theme is a jumping-off point. Feel free to create variations.
I will also be participating in this.
Oh, I might join this one. Probably, although I'm a huge flake.
I am so impressed with this turnout so far.
Count me in
Darkspawn and Mara could team up like the way the Spanish and natives of the Mexico area did back in the old days!
Um no wait...
Writing a dating sim with a goddamn Spaniard has always been a secret dream of mine. We get along fine, just ask all of our remaining native Mexicans!
I am going to enter this, the twist makes it 100% more cool. It's a good inclusion (._.)b
I'm assuming no, but just in case: does the story have to fit with the contest introduction and include the statue of the leader made of a shining green element and the ones who strove and struggled and tottered and collapsed?
Oh, a battle against CoG?
Sharpening my ladle, count me in!
Ah, it's more than a casual CYS skirmish; CYStian pride is on the line! I have to treat it as such.
A real pipe dream, I know, but can I get Ficsean back if I win?
What's the 20 questions format? Like, what's your name, what's your sex, what's your sexual preference, what's your hair color, that sort of thing?
I have never understood this at all. Isn’t it obviously ridiculous to allow anyone to be the protagonist in your story? I thought it was so clear that they’re meant to occupy the head space of the character that the author created, not transplant themselves into the story. How do they handle all of the other non-gender characteristics? Do I get to make the protagonist of the same ethnic and family background? Age? Socioeconomic experience?
I think it depends on the story. Obviously the only condition in which literally anyone can be the protagonist would be a situation in which the customization affects very little flavor text to the point of meaninglessness. I don't think anybody would seriously argue for that situation. On the other hand, there's been some absolutely amazing IF written with some serious PC customization, like "Tin Star" which has lots of different routes and dialogue depending on sex or race, which makes perfect sense in an Old West setting.
Some people like to create themselves in IF, but that's not really something I'm into as a reader or a writer. But from the point of view of an ambitious writer who wants to think about interesting ways to fork, I like the notion of customizing to a certain extent as an option. (And anyone who's played the start of Dragon Age: Origins gets that--the two dwarf origins for example, or the ways the male/female city elf origins go).
Some players want you to ask them about eye color even if it never comes up in a game. To continue the CRPG metaphor, you also often make your eye color (and jaw thickness, and nose bridge width) there even though you often look at your character from behind in a third-person game or never see them in a first-person game. Personalizing your character helps you feel like your character.
But you make a really, really good point about head space. Is it your goal to help players get into the head space of the main character, or to be like a novelist creating a character, and you are along for the (interactive) ride? I lean towards the latter, but it's only a lean--I think lots of great writers of IF use both of those goals at different time, both wanting players to have the story experience and also to be moved personally and emotionally by the storygame. I agree that it is odd to have players who can't play any character but themselves in a game, but that feels like a pretty corner case, and that person probably can't consume much other media anyway in that case.
If you think about a game that's going to have some sex scenes, and you can pick who the sex scenes are going to be with, do you pick a pairing that matches your preferred orientation to enjoy? I would guess most people would, because there's some blurring going on between the reader's experience and the character's experience.
I am NOT entering. I want to focus on a different story in this time that I am free.
I did have a great idea I am putting here incase anyone wants to steal it:
The story takes place in modern times. Two factions are brought together, and can not coexist without determining which is the superior race. They decide to enlist a third faction, and have a battle to see who can write the most epic decision based story! This story battle takes place in the ruins of a website whose name was long forgotten. You must choose a faction, and decide on the perfect story to claim victory for the faction you choose.
I am still working out the details, but that is the short version.
On a more serious note, the theme looks awesome! Good luck you all!
Hi, I want to wish you luck to all of you for the contest. I thought like is about to foment communication between Cog and CYS fans I should come here and Mingle with all of you.
"Foment" is the *exact* word I was thinking of, actually. Like, Mizal, I wonder how the folks at the CoG forum will take Chris's claim that delayed branching creates more fake choices rather than less. Seems like a good opportunity for a pointless and angry argument to me.
I think is a fair criticism. In my own fanfic that is Character fixed and with no stats I felt compelled by the way cog should do to have choices that are USELESS because people expect them.
Most choices are objectively useless. They are there to give an illusion of choice and an illusion of interactivity. A good writer in Cog is extremely clever Hidding that fact. It is sincere criticism and could be considered a flaw in the system if you consider Cog literature. I consider them Games so under different rules
I don't quite agree that most choices are objectively useless. If there is a robust stat system, delayed branching creates an accumulation of small stat increases that collectively combine to make forks happen down the road. Delayed branching makes choices in a long game more important and meaningful, not less, in my opinion.
Are useless as they don't factually direct the story and do more than rich the background and the illusion of agency. Great authors as you with works with million words of course with the delay branching cause real changes.
But the average story near 100,000 don't, and most choices are cosmetic, That are necessary for the Gamebook flow and player feelings and agency as game but as literature that choices are useless to storyline
Main Character is a cougar of the feline Tribe in a cannibal war against The Octopus people empire. But yeah. It is sad there is no more communication between the two pages.
I'm interested in entering. I'm looking over their how to make a story FAQ now. This might be a good opportunity to play around with the plot/outline of a novel I'm planning for NANOWRIMO and do some worldbuilding.
Edit: Going to enter. Just hope I have time to finish it in a reasonable manner as those 'rooms' add up fast.
It's coming along. I'm up to about 10,000 words and 30 choices or so, and almost finished with the first main segment which collapses everything back down into two main storylines. I think I will be able to finish it in time, but even if I don't I have some good content already to base my planned novel in. (And I assume I can finish it even if I don't meet the deadline, though it won't be as fun.)
My current story intro for Blade of the Hollow:
" Aeron Silverhand is a thief. In the ruined lands of Vala, it is enough to survive, even if that means a life of crime and pain. When a sorceress takes his broken body and transforms him into a Hollow warrior, Aeron is given the power to fight the scourge of wyverns and reshape the shattered continent in her name. But the price of his power is his freedom, and the price of his new body might be his soul.
Battle your way through the the ruins of Vala. Wield the legendary Void Blade. Journey as Aeron into a voyage of deadly beauty, horrific truth, shattered hope, and unlikely redemption.
Become the Hollow. "
I'm in. Don't quite have a name yet, but I'm workin on it.