The Weekly Review - Edition 5
Published every Friday, Editor: Will11, Special Thanks: Briar_Rose
Another hectic week, as the school holidays approach it looks like this site’s going to get a lot more busy! This week brings another great edition of the Review with more reviews, an interview with the happily crazy Briar_Rose and new tips, puzzles, jokes etc. Be sure to check out derpbacon and wolfmist’s Amazing CYS Times which comes out tomorrow and in a shameless piece of self-advertising I’d recommend you check out my newest story Hunting the Ripper, a newly-featured Puzzle/Mystery.
Reviews Recommending Riveting Reads
Note: your story-game must have received a player rating of at least 4 for inclusion here.
Hunting the Ripper (A Puzzle/Mystery by Will11)
Alright, I’m a little bias here so I’ll just say if you want to be a “real-life “detective hunting for a serial killer in a maze of clues, conflicting eyewitnesses and increasingly brutal murders this is the one for you. If you want to read a five-minute story about animals that talk then this is probably not for you.
Alone With a Presence (A Horror by KarmicJustice)
A well-written and challenging horror story with a good use of items.
Since The Dawn of CYOA Time (2001):
Dead Man Walking (Zombie Survival) (A Horror by BerkaZerka)
BerkaZerka is one of the most technologically accomplished writers on this site and his Dungeon Stompage and Kill Aman‘s Moustache stories reflect this. In contrast Dead Man Walking is more text-based and BZ has taken the time to create a seamless and impressively realistic post-apocalyptic world. Apparently this story contains over 2000 pages, an amount which requires an incredible love of writing. Most new story games are 40 pages or less so this story is a good example that if you care enough to put time and effort into your stories you can produce real masterpieces.
Interviewing Interesting Individuals
Q: Why do you write choose your own stories?
A: I write choose your own stories primarily because I've always loved writing fiction and I've also put a few basic computer games together in the past, so this combines two of my favorite hobbies. Also I love that with interactive fiction there's so many different kinds of games you can make. It's not like back when all the choose your own stories were books set out in the style of; "If you want to go to the happy valley of dreams, go to page 2, If you want to go to the haunted forest of pain and death, go to page 3." You can make your games into pretty much anything you want.
Q: What is your preferred writing method and style?
A: As I said before one of the things I like most about writing interactive fiction is that you can make your games in any style you want and I think that shows with the games I have. So far I've made a game based mainly around adding and subtracting from scores and variables, a straight up "answer the question correctly to proceed" game, an inventory based game and a quiz. I really don't have a particular style I favor, it all depends on what kind of story I'm writing.
Q: Any plans for future stories?
A: Well right now I'm still working on the full version of Price of Freedom which is taking way longer than I ever expected. I've also started work on a Film Noir style murder mystery game which I hope to get back to at some point.
Q: Who are your favorite authors and/or story games on this site?
A: I'm definitely an Endmaster groupie and I'm also a huge fan of BerkaZerka and Sethaniel. I'd say Eternal is probably my favorite game that I've read on the site so far, but some of my other include; Dungeon Stompage, Dead Man Walking, Snow, Necromancer and Death Song, Avery M: Dead Man's Journal, Through Time and A Game of Life and Death... And of course, Kill Aman's Mustache. ^_^
Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: Cats don't live in dens in the forest... Other than that, I'd say to always make sure to flesh out your characters. To me, a story with a very basic plot and really interesting characters is preferable to a story with a really creative, intelligent plot but characters that are paper thin and only exist to move the story along.
Q: How about some final thoughts?
A: ... Where's the cake? I was told there would be cake >.<
Thank You Briar_Rose
What NOT to do when publishing a story game.
1) Don’t automatically rate it 8/8 and then write a comment saying “Good work me”. It won’t make readers appreciate your story anymore and will actually make them enjoy being critical and negative about your story. It is like sticking a “kick me and don‘t stop till I cry” note to your butt.
2) Pick the right genre. In most cases it’s easy to see what genre a story falls into but I’ll admit sometimes it’s tricky, say you’ve written a vampire love story it could be either Horror or Love depending on what element you, the author, was particularly going for. As the Mods have stated ceaselessly unless a story is set in a school it does not belong in the school genre, even if it is a school project. Quizzes are everything else, not puzzle/mysteries and anything inspired by the works of Saint Erin Hunter (all five of them) is a fan-fic.
3) Don’t describe anyone who says anything negative of your story as a “hater”. We can’t all be related to you so we’re not all going to tell you that your story is mind-blowingly great, even if it doesn’t include capitalization or punctuation. Unless you’ve somehow managed to get people on this site to actively hate you (which if you have might be an indication you‘re not “a people‘s person“) we’re going to judge what you’ve written rather than you. The exception is if you have a track record of consistently writing awful story games, barring divine intervention or the discovery of grammar it’s safe to say you’re next story isn’t going to be winning any Pulitzers.
4) Listen to feedback. There are lots of very talented authors on this site giving you advice for free. Even someone who points out typos and broken links in your story is trying to help you. Thank them. In my case gifts of chocolate and financial rewards would be acceptable.
5) DO NOT PUBLISH SOMETHING AS PART 1 OR CHAPTER 1. If you can’t be bothered to finish a story game (which is shameful considering an average short story of 30 pages or so could be written in a day) calling it “chapter 1” won’t solve your problem. If you’re feeling sufficiently motivated you might just manage a chapter 2 but you won’t get much further than that. You are basically giving us your introduction or idea for a full story and asking us for our opinion. My opinion is that you should finish it.
(Sequels are an exception. If you have written a complete story game of 50 pages or more with a clear ending then feel free to write a sequel or even several. The Homo Perfectus series is a good example of what I mean here).
Consider asking yourself why are you writing? For points? For friends? For yourself? To improve as a writer? Because there was nothing good on TV? Because if you don’t write for too long you feel like you’re going crazy? The better you understand WHY you do something the faster you’ll improve.
Puzzles of the Week
This week’s puzzles come from Riddle.com and are fairly straight-forward: the first is a logic puzzle, the second is a Maths puzzle and the third is a general knowledge/anagram puzzle. Everyone who manages to solve these will earn a mention next week, good luck puzzlers!
1: Polly Perkins was after a talking parrot, so she went to the local pet shop in the hope of securing such a find. She was in luck. The shop assistant assured her that the parrot would learn and repeat any word or phrase it heard. Polly was delighted. However, a week later, the parrot still hadn't spoken a word. Polly returned to the shop to complain, however, it appeared that the assistant was accurate in what he had said, and refused a refund. Why didn't the parrot talk?
2: Daniel, my son, is exactly one fifth of my age. In 21 years time, I will be exactly twice his age. My wife is exactly seven times older than my daughter, Jessica. In 8 years time, my wife will be three times older then Jessica. How old are Daniel and Jessica now?
3: Below are seven clues to seven words. When arranged in the correct order, each word is an anagram of the previous word with a letter removed.
1: Headache Tablet
2: Twisted ankle
3: Capital of France
4: coarse file
7: Single Article
Last Week’s Puzzle Solutions
Successfully Solved by the Clever… TacocaT, betaband, _Zomby_ and Malkalack.
1: As many of you noticed this is clever wordplay: “every single person on that flight died. The only 2 people on the flight who were in a relationship survived so that’s nice. The unloved didn’t.
2: The girl is described as “going” the wrong way down a one way street. Happily she was on foot, this is a case where you infer that her getting her driver’s licence must have meant she was in a car. She wasn’t, she’s just not a very good pedestrian.
3: Through a series of convoluted and confusing deductions I won’t share with you here essentially Alberto is the murderer. Well done to TacocaT who managed to solve all the puzzles!
Why do people love cats? They are lazy, spiteful and expect you to do everything for them. They may also be trying to kill you. Here are signs that your cat may have a sinister agenda:
Seems mighty chummy with the dog all of a sudden.
He actually *does* have your tongue.
You find a stash of "Feline of Fortune" magazines behind the couch.
Cyanide paw-prints all over the house.
You wake up to find a bird's head in your bed.
As the wind blows over the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas, you get a faint whiff of catnip.
Droppings in litter box spell out "REDRUM."
Catch him with a new mohawk looking in the mirror saying, "Mew looking at me? Mew looking at me?" Takes attentive notes every time "Itchy and Scratchy" are on.
You find blueprints for a Rube Goldberg device that starts with a mouse chased into a hole and ends with flaming oil dumped on your bed.
Has taken a sudden interest in the wood chipper.
Instead of dead birds, leaves cartons of Marlboros on your doorstep.
Ball of yarn playfully tied into a hangman's noose.
You find a piece of paper labeled "MY WIL" which says "LEEV AWL 2 KAT."
Now sharpens it’s claws on your car's brake lines.
1) The parrot was deaf; it couldn't hear any words, so it couldn't repeat them.
2) I'll do this later...hopefully.
1: Headache Tablet. Aspirin
2: Twisted ankle. sprain.
3: Capital of France. paris.
6: equally, as
7: Single Article. a
Good work TacocaT and I love that quote Briar :D I wish they had more comedy as funny and original as the Pythons
I'll tell you what's wrong with the parrot... He's dead, that's what's wrong with it! I know a dead parrot when I see one and I'm looking at one right now. The plumage doesn't enter into it, he's stone dead! He's bleeding demised! He's not pining, he's passed on. This parrot is not more! He has ceased to be! He has expired and gone to meet his maker! He's stiff! Bereft of life! He rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he'd be pushing up the daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig, he's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible! This is an ex-parrot!!!
That or Polly is either deaf or mute.