We are two programmers and we developed in our spare time a website where you can play our new interactive novel, Choose Your Own Adventure style.
It's called "All Your Magic Are Belong To Us: The Legend of Green Lake" and is set in a mountain camping where strange things happens. You are Scott, a kid with a passion for investigation, determined to unveil the mistery of the Hand passed by word of mouth at the campsite.
You can play it for free right now at https://all-your-magic-are-belong-to-us.000webhostapp.com/?l=en
We built the database and the frontend from scratch, with original drawings, a curated soundtrack to highlight the mood and all the perks coming from having our game working as a website (multiple save files, inventory etc).
We are very proud of our effort and had some nice reviews on the italian version (we're from Venice).
We translated it ourself, and is now fully available in english!
We would love to have some feedback on the story, the platform and the translation, and we hope you are going to love it as well.
Thanks to everyone that will try it and let us know what they think!
Marco and Fabio
Thanks mizal for the heads up on the typo and your recap for other people!
We're aware of the CYOA branding issue, we're very careful to state that we're not part of it ind that our adventure is just in the style of a CYOA book. Hopefully that will be enough.
This looks interesting, love the backdrop. The transition in the soundtrack is great. I'd almost got used to the rain, so when the kids start talking about the hand the new music does make it feel more important/mysterious. I'm enjoying it so far, especially the element of discovering new locations, which promises a lot of exploring in my future.
*Very* minor things, just in case you plan to polish the translation and fix typos:
Page 114: I think "trees wall" can just be "tree wall," and "descend" should be "descends."
On page 142, "Suddenly" should have a comma after it. Better yet, just drop the suddenly. It's one of those weird things with the psychology of reading that the time it takes to read the word 'suddenly' makes the events following less sudden and surprising than just mentioning them outright.
Also, I don't really get using << and >> instead of quotes for dialogue - especially when you use scare quotes just a paragraph later. Is it because it is over the loudspeaker? I'm not sure that would mean quotes aren't used. Also, the period should go inside the endquote or >> or whatever you use.
Since their are two kids on the sign, "expressions look" would fit better than "expression looks."
Page 12, "jeans jacket" should be "jean jacket."
Page 118: The sentence about the canopy and reception is a little ambiguous, as it reads like the canopy itself is made of wood vs. the reception building. If you are using the oxford comma, there should be a comma after maps.
97: A semicolon would make more sense than a colon in the sentence about the kids talking to each other. Odd use of <<>> again. One of the dialogue lines ends with "its" - it isn't clear whether that was supposed to be "it," as if they are speaking of a mysterious object, or "its" and they just stopped mid-sentence (in which case, a dash or ellipses would clue us in.)
81: comma after "ends the other one," before looking. Comma after again in the last dialogue line. The colon seems odd here, but I'm not sure a semi-colon is quite right either. Maybe just use a period? "Their" story would be more clear than "this story." I'm not sure the page tag works here - telling me the "tension mounts" is actually less tense than just letting the tension naturally mount ;)
50: Comma after suddenly, or, as mentioned before, just get rid of the word "suddenly."
This line is a little fuzzy: " On the stage one of the guys that accompany you holds a microphone in his hand. " Perhaps "On the stage, one of the guys that had accompanied the kids earlier holds a microphone in his hand."
Typo - "fot that person" instead of "for." There should be a comma after "lake" in Mike's dialogue. Another typo, "fell" instead of "feel."
The page transition is also odd here. "Something at 147 catches your attention..." It might be better to mention something catching your attention, or that a sound or noise happens, etc. instead of putting it in the turn page blurb. Or just move to 147 and don't spoil the surprise that something odd will happen.
147: There's a paragraph here that reads strangely:
"In that exact moment a lightning illuminates the outside square. Close to a building, a motionless figure despite the rumble of the thunder, is watching you.
In a second the square turns dark again and in place of the appearance only a bright red dot remains, but one thing you know for sure.
That figure was lacking of a hand."
Perhaps try: "In that moment, a flash of lightning illuminates the outside square. Close to one of the buildings, a motionless figure is watching you, seemingly unphased by the rumble of thunder. The square turns dark again, and only a bright red dot remains of the being's appearance. But even though the glimpse was brief, one thing you know for sure: the figure was missing a hand."
Typo in the transition, "thee" instead of "the."
180: typo, "feets" instead of "feet." Should be a comma after small, and probably after sleep as well. There's an extra word "was" after stop. "His brother" should be "their brother." Should be a comma after "day" in the last sentence.
The transition here is also a bit meta. "If you have the green piggy, go too..." Ideally, the game would know or there would be some way to use the item without requiring the player to be honest here or taking them out of the story. That might not be possible, but if it is, try to do it in a way that isn't so obvious.
37: There should be a comma after "Luckily." "Slips" should be "slip." The transition is very meta again, asking me what I have in my inventory.
75: Comma after "instinctively."
179: It should be a semi-colon here instead of a colon. Comma after second. Typo: " auditorum" should be "auditorium," and there should be a comma after. Another colon that should be a semi-colon.
"You slowly go" should be "You are slowly heading back" based on the rest of the sentence. "Manage" might be more clear as "can turn."
139: Comma after suddenly, or drop the term. Also, the soundtrack continues here with rain and even ramps up with some storm and bird noises, which is at odds with "the rain stops..."
Complicated sentence fragment: " You realize being under an umbrella only when an annoyed voice at your back reproaches you"
130: "I Got You Babe" should be in quotes. "Dream where " is a little unclear, so "dream, one where" would transition the topic better. " tell them" doesn't follow with what you told them - "of the night's events" or "of the mysterious figure" or "of the hand" would be more clear. Needs a comma after everywhere and singing. "That kind of mysteries" should either be that/mystery or those/mysteries. "Out" could more clearly be "Once out." A comma should follow hall. The colon should probably be a dash or a period.
166: "Private camping needs" should be "private campsite need." "Applauses" should just be applause.
Anyway, I look forward to continuing this one.
Checking the leaflets at reception gets me an ad, and checking the ads gets me some leaflets. These seem a little mismatched.
74 - "Supervisors" needs an apostrophe.
The story says I "write all the numbers down in my notebook" - but there is no way to actually access this when I use the phone. I typed in what I could remember (since I hadn't wrote it down, since the game said I wrote it down) and got a woman. I was able to lie that I'd been asked about Martin and interrogate her, even though I'd never encountered that game event.
77 - I'm informed I've discovered the boathouse, but I think I already discovered the boathouse?
64 - After only asking one of my potential questions, the cabin is removed from my notebook and I'm told I have no reason to come back. This is a little jarring, as it presumes I know the future.
89 - Should be "Hand's" doing, with an apostrophe.
16 - typo, should be "mystery" not " mistery." Fun music change.
43 - "luggages" should just be "luggage."
10 - should be comma after "sound." Commas before and after "yet." Comma after Liam.
82: comma after "nonetheless."
16 - comma after "spine."
144 - comma after "exploration of the place"
132: comma after "crossroad"
72: I think this should be " building; instead, only" rather than "building, instead." There should be a comma after "Also."
100: Commas after "contraption" and "instant." Typo on "instant," it's spelled "istant." " being it" should be "it being.]
[Also, I know I'm just going through typos and incidentals here since I know you guys put a lot of work into translating this - but I like this a lot. Some of the description is great - a lot more than I expected in a story about a young kid going camping and investigating a camp story. And I've even learned a couple new words (redescends, which apparently is a word even if spellcheck doesn't think so, and delimits.) The soundtrack is very repetitive, but if I keep the volume low it is a nice ambience. Kudos.]
I am toying with getting back into editing, so I'm brushing up. I used to get about $2 a page to edit technical coding and database books, which were usually written by ESL authors. I wouldn't mind getting into creative editing as well, though as I understand there are several types of it (proofreading, structural editing, line-editing, etc.)
Camelon you're doing us a huge service with your feedback! We really appreciate that and we're going to fix those typos and such asap.
Regarding your bit on the phone numbers and locations, the inventory that is accessed by clicking the backpack icon in the top right corner should hold all the information you find on your journey. However, we might need to clarify some of the things you pointed out.
Ah! I see that now. I hadn't even noticed the backpack and notebook. It took me quite a while to get I could save the game. I'm getting too used to reading CYS stories that don't have nice user interfaces like this. :)
I should have said "Graphic" user interfaces. CYS stories don't usually have options represented by picture icons, except objects sometimes if the writer deliberately makes an inventory pack or something.
100 - on the transition, it needs a comma after "otherwise"
Also, the phrase "you feel like being in a church" could be less ambiguous as, "it feels like you are in a church."
31 - comma after "long." Comma after "preserved." " if only the wheel on the water stream was still there" reads a bit strangely, so "but for it missing the wheel on the water stream" might be clearer. The next sentence isn't wrong, but it is a little clunky, so rephrasing to, "while walking away, you step on a couple of pebble-sized Styrofoam pieces" might flow better. [Styrofoam is a trademarked brandname. Foamed polyestrene was invented in 1954. I don't think most kids would think of it as something especially recent or modern.]
112 - This sentence needs a bit of work to function: " The cramped up space, maybe once used as a closet, it's empty like the rest of the building, except for a stone pile in a corner." Maybe, "The cramped space might have once been used as a closet. It's empty, like the rest of the building, except for a stone pile in the corner."
To make the " You are about to exit the room when you're struck by an intuition." have more impact, shorten it to, "An idea hits you."
Comma needed after "aside."
Comma after "nook" and "wall."
The sentence about grandma's house is ambiguous. Is the implication that it reminds you of a specific object at her house, or that wicker is a common material around her house? If a single item, describe it, like "a little box in her craftroom" or something like that.
Comma after "open it" and "and" and "unbelievably" - but I'd recommend a different sentence. It isn't unbelievable to see exactly what you are expecting to find.
Colon after "colors."
Comma after "together."
Typo on transition: "Whow" should be "Show."
106: comma after "warehouse," "here," "dejected," and "campsite." "At the campsite" might work better as "toward the campsite."
108: Comma after "map." Comma after "long," before "metal."
Comma after, "desk."
"boots and throws" could more clearly be "boots, then throws"
Typo - "bear" should be "beard."
Commas after "kelps" and "too."
Typo - "they and up" should be "they end up."
Some more meta choices here, including a very clunky "if you wrote in your notebook that someone might recognize an item you hold, and you haven't visited..." I'm not sure if there is an easy way to do this, but hopefully some of these could be done automatically with checking inventory or the page numbers in the notes.
27 - Comma after "camping," although "campsite" would make more sense. You often call his cabin a "housing" as well, which isn't a typical term in English. The diologe is back to those odd <<>> marks as well, even though it has been typical quotes in other places. "Laying" should be "lying." Comma needed after "around." "Manteinance" should be "maintenance." Comma after "perform." Comma after "rate."
Comma after attitude. The end of this sentence doesn't make functional sense ("and, incredibly enough, also a tad of irony" - he meant a tad of irony?)
"informations" should be "information."
" sucpects list," should be "suspect list" - although, technically, it's never outright been mentioned that he is a suspect. "explanations" should just be "explanation."
Comma after "believe us."
Apparently joseki is making the IF/CYOA rounds and posted on COG too. From what I can tell most of them are bitching about the title.
Yes that seems to be kind of an issue for some users over there. What do you guys think about it? Did the title was a letdown for any of you?
It has a quite nostalgic feeling, so the target audience might be broader than that, but I agree it's a not a very known reference and that might raise an eyebrow.
I think it's funny, but it might not be best for younger audiences. And you don't have to be fancy - even something like the Camp name or "The Mystery of the Hand" would work.
Oh my, reading the COG thread. @joseki, if you do change the name, don't just use the same title with "proper grammar." It loses the humor. Sure, changing the title is worth considering, but go with a differentvone entirely rather than a nerfed one if you must.
I like the title, and a significant amount of users should get it and find it funny. More than that, people who "get it" are more likely to be your target audience than cyoa story readers in general.
For people who don't get it, if they let that literally stop them from reading the story, then they probably are the type to nitpick everything in the story as well.
Thank you, I'll pass by when I have some spare time!