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Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

19 days ago
Commended by mizal on 8/28/2019 2:38:38 PM

 

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.) 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

19 days ago
Perfect. A chance to redeem myself for my last mess of a story. I'll join now and probably forget about until the last minute!

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Not to put a damper on anyone's fun, but since this isn't a site contest but a bloody and glorious battle for the honor of House CYStia, I'm gonna request that you guys not do the usual rushing out a half assed story at the last minute. I though this is practically an honored tradition, but this is the one time it's better to not enter than to enter something sloppy and bad.

Not that I'm singling anyone out here..... @JACODER23 .

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Yeah, @JACODER23! How dare you take my name and slander it with capitalization!

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

17 days ago
I... I... I'm not sure that's possible. How dare you attempt to mess with tradition!

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Oh man, I love this idea.

This might be the greatest idea anyone has ever had. The theme is brilliant, too. And using IS will force Time Cave style stories, so that should be interesting, it will automatically make for more branching.

I hope you can find some CoGites up for the idea, but I know some of us will be there either way. Two months is a very generous deadline, and this just sounds fun as heck.

InfiniteStory editor is the easiest thing in the world to use, this might even draw a few new authors out from both sites who are intimidated by scripting and such.


Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Also, you guys be nice to the CoGites. Anybody entering this will have proven they genuinely enjoy writing and have a sense of fun, so show R E S P E C C even as our tanks roll over them.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

You used a cooler picture on here than in the CoG thread.

I approve.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I guess I should ask, how open to interpretation is "battle"?

Also, is it only one entry per person or is it okay to use a second idea too if feeling inspired? We've got two full months here...

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

"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.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
You make this very difficult for me.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Not that anyone cares, but I am currently announcing my intention to enter the contest mentioned above.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

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.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

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?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

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.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I'm sorry, but you're not old enough to enlist. This is a real war, not your girl's dodgeball tournament.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

Pls

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

Just realized that the deadline is also my 1 year anniversary of being on this site.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Those of you who have expressed interest really should post. Like, here, in the thread.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I'm interested in writing a story for the contest. Am I too much of an unknown factor to join this inter-website battle?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Didn't you say you liked to just download CoG games for free off that one site? They already hate you plenty then, just grab a sword and a horse and you're in.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Haha true. I could be used as cannon fodder so CoG gets complacent and then you guys go in for the kill.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

Yeah, notice this is a *space battle* and Mizal just told you to get a sword and a horse.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I guess when she said "get a sword and a horse" she really meant "grab your sippy cup and baby crib".

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I'll join.

Quick question Gower, can there be any people left alive in the ruins and can the battle be between them? If so, I've already got a setting.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago

Sure, I don't see why not.   The theme is a jumping-off point.  Feel free to create variations.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
Just created an Infinite Story account. Count me in.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

18 days ago
I'm in.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

17 days ago

I will also be participating in this.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

17 days ago
Gower, I'm not seeing a lot of life in the Mirror Universe thread. Just a couple people expressing mild interest, with no promise to enter.

Have they no sense of patriotism? If you haven't yet, maybe you should tell them we already have nine people eager to commit.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

17 days ago
I'm sorry, did you mean to type "be committed" right there? I think that's what you meant to type.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

17 days ago

Oh, I might join this one. Probably, although I'm a huge flake. 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

16 days ago

I'm in.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

16 days ago

I am so impressed with this turnout so far.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

16 days ago
Lots of people saying they'll enter isn't *necessarily* the same as lots of people actually entering, as the SHAME pit can attest.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

16 days ago

Count me in

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

16 days ago
new phone who dis?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago
Just wanted to mention, I don't have any objection to Mara using a co author to help her with grammar, if she can find one.

Although Darkspawn is in this too, and maybe he would think that was unfair....

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago

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...

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago
Well that does fit the choice based format.

1) Fuck
2) Marry
3) Kill

....not necessarily in that order.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago

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!

Um no wait...

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago
I see this has become personal for you. Good! Let the hate consume you and drive you on.

I mean, you're already on Dark's side.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago
Cool, Mara is writing about cannibals too! Now we can be friends.

And someone named Nocturnal_Stillness might join.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago

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?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

15 days ago
"as long as you stay reasonably in the theme of “Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization” you’ll be fine–feel free to interpret that theme freely, though." --Gower in the Mirror Universe thread.

He also says the theme is just a jumping off point, etc.

Also, just noticed they have a Will1 there. I presume no relation to 11.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

14 days ago

Oh, a battle against CoG?

Sharpening my ladle, count me in!

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

14 days ago
I approve of this edit.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

14 days ago

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?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

14 days ago
If you win, sure. Although I figure you'll be doing good just to finish a story at all.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
This might have come off as unnecessarily harsh. For what it's worth, I'm not singling you out, the exact same thing goes for most of you in this thread.

In fact, just to keep this fair, I'll offer Ficsean_Chef to the winner of the contest, no matter who it is. Either the account or the poster, you can pick.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

14 days ago
I highly recommend you guys read the Mirror Universe Thread. It is a fascinating look into the psyche of the average CoGite. Mission of understanding and peace though this may be, they are still so very, very different from us in ways that are hard to understand.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
Yep. I forgot how much they talk about genders in my months of absence from CoG.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
It's just really strange to me that everyone's first thought is "well I guess I have no choice but to make the character gender neutral!" instead of just like, telling a story as you would with any other kind of fiction once it's clear the site's not set up that way. It just seems like they're making it unnecessarily difficult on themselves while hamstringing their ability to develop their protagonist.

I know Necromancer especially has been read by at least a few of them. Somebody even brings it up in that thread so they're not short of examples.

One of the various series' of actual CYOAs would also not be bad for a source of inspiration.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
Don't get me wrong, I consider lack of scripting to be a major handicap. I just wasn't expecting them to have the specific problems they are. If anything I'd have thought not having to follow the 20 questions format would be a relief; I doubt having to get through that before starting the actual story is at all entertaining to write.

Judging by the responses, I'm going to guess that most CoGites wound up on COG through playing COG games, and don't have the varied backgrounds in choice based whatevers that a lot of us do.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago

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?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
The character's backstory, which must start out every story and be given in the form of a quiz.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago

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? 

Bizarre.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago

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. 

 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
It's not a discussion really feel like getting into in any kind of detail right now, but there's something about the sameyness of these stories that are supposed to be about endless options that just rubs me the wrong way. I can't necessarily speak for every game, but I used to browse the demos over there, and somehow it's become ingrained among the authors that every story must begin with a quiz. Gripping intros are becoming a lost art. The equally common "Pick X number of skills and then for every choice just pick whichever uses the skill you're best at" structure gives me similar feelings, but that's for a different thread. Back to the contest a moment, I just think this could potentially be really healthy even as an unintended extra challenge for them, and also that they should read more Endmaster stories. But of course, that last bit goes for everyone.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago
Okay! Got called in for five hours on my day off. Had breakfast. Had a three hour nap. Now it's time to win this contest! ....along with a few other things, including a suspicion I will be called in tomorrow morning too. All exactly why I need to finish this thing well in advance. The universe is and always has been envious of my computer time and desires to take it for itself.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

13 days ago

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!

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
I'm adding a note to my introduction page basically just saying that my story will only ever appear on IS, or CYS under the same username.

I know anything anywhere on the internet is equally at risk, so I don't know why IS in particular feels shady enough to make me want to take that extra step I'd never bother with here.

Probably all the furries.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
Reposting what I sent on the COG thread, ho! Something something glory to CYStia, greatest of interactive fiction. In all seriousness, I’m glad this contest is happening. I’ve made it no secret that I find a decent chunk of COG and Hosted Games mediocre (mostly due to the “delayed branching” choice structure making most choices seem fake in the BioWare sense) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some competent writers there alongside some kickass games. So a contest between the two sites is a cool way to build bridges. I won’t be entering on the CYS side because I’m busy with my own story over there that will obviously be way cooler than whatever any of my comrades and enemies not comrades whip up. Plus, I definitely won’t join up on the COG side because I’m a CYStian at heart. But, if I get the chance, I may write something up for fun. e: wait I forgot to edit some stuff. Also, note the use of the word "some" competent writers on this thread. I had to suck up over there to continue my operations as a ◼◼◼◼◼◼◼ ◼◼◼◼◼.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
You are going to cause a fight in their thread over branching now.

Everyone grab a branch of your preferred style and prepare to go for the eyes. (Dammit, where's Mayana when you need her...)

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

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. 

 

 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

"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.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
I, uh, had to look up foment.

Now I just need to work it into a sentence five times for the vocabulary test.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
It's a WORD?

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

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

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

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.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

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

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
Hi Mara, how are the cheetahs coming along?

I'm writing about lizards, so with just a couple more this might unintentionally turn into the furriest competition yet.

It's a shame IS doesn't have a forum, I've been trying to message anyone there with names I recognize but I'm not sure how many are going by something different there.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago

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. 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

8 days ago
I go by the name Xx_PussyDestroyer420_xX on there, feel free to message me anytime.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

7 days ago
Unfortunately I won't be able to enter into the contest this time around. I've been having to deal with some real life problems/issues, and I would feel guilty with making a promise to have a finished story by the deadline, when there's a big possibility that I won't have anything finished by the end of October. Hopefully this doesn't cause me to enter the Shame ranks haha, but I understand if that's what happens to me. I hope everyone else has great fortune while writing their own stories, and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

7 days ago
Nah I don't think we're SHAMING people this time around. Like I said this is the one time I'd rather people just opt out if they think they have to rather than rushing out something half finished.

There's still a lot of time though so maybe you'll decide to pick it up again after all. Hope things IRL work out for you, and I hope you stay active on the site even if you don't have any writing time.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

4 days ago

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.
 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

2 days ago
Welcome aboard! The IS editor is pretty simple to pick up, but yes you're going to want to do some planning. If you can't finish a story in time, it's still good practice and you may be able to salvage something of it for another project. Don't rush or release something you're not happy with, and make sure you plan to leave yourself time for proofreading too. If you've never written a CYOA before it can sometimes become overwhelming if you try to take on too large a project at once.

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

3 hours ago

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. "

 

Contest:Battle in the Ruins of a Dead Civilization

9 hours ago

I'm in.  Don't quite have a name yet, but I'm workin on it.