A Treatise on Heartly Manners

a Love & Dating by enterpride

Commended by mizal on 1/5/2020 2:50:27 PM

Player Rating5.92/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 23 ratings since 01/03/2020
played 409 times (finished 26)

Story Difficulty3/8

"trek through the forest"

Play Length6/8

"It'll be a while, better grab a SnickersĀ®"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.

A contest entry for Bucky's year's end contest: choose your own prompt II.
Play as Lord Robert, the baron of Rivellon, at the lowest point of his life. He's cheated on by his wife, betrayed by his liege and filled to the brim with a turmoil of conflicting emotions.
How does his life end? 

Player Comments

The story felt contained, despite the amount of words added here. It could have used another minor branch or two to remedy this problem, but I understand that the author might not of had time to do that.

On top of that, the characters seemed sort of bland outside of Garreth. I had no attachment to anyone besides the MC, him, and Isa. The Isa attachment was artificial and forced anyway. Despite this, I preceded the intense love path.

The good thing about this game is the writing quality itself. It was easy to follow and I didn't stumble upon shotty syntax or anything. 5/8
-- 3iguy on 1/8/2020 10:12:35 AM with a score of 0
While I enjoyed this and it's well written, it feels like the main issue (your wife) is resolved too early, and the varying paths afterward are more extended epilogues than a continuation of the story.
-- Killa_Robot on 1/6/2020 9:02:08 PM with a score of 0
spoilers
I almost missed the route with the party-planning!

This game was fantastic. The variety contained within it, the amount of endings, the sides you take, and the depth of the character were all well put together.
There was non of the forced nature that a lot of the the stories written for contest usually have. It felt fluid and organized.
The epilogues felt a little out of place.
The parts of it about the romance contained all the emotion of romantic tension. The parts with political intrigue felt like there were stakes.
Also, I have a weakness for stories where if you play it one way a person is an ally, if you play another they're an enemy do Elaria was a wonderful character to me.
-- bilbo on 1/5/2020 10:20:43 PM with a score of 0
You set a fantastic tone with the story, and I think that really helped the story shine. This story has a very different feel to it than most of the stories on the site. I think it really stands out in the Romance category.

The player protagonist was an excellent character, and you did a great job drawing on his inner torment.

Unlike some of the others, I actually did not find this story to be too linear. Though, I can understand the gripes since we had to click through a couple pages before being given a choice. Anyway, I thought there were a suitable number of choices and plenty of varied and interesting endings.

Moreover, this story was an impressive feat for a contest that last approximately six weeks. I think the formula for success that is easiest to pull off involves a bottleneck type approach to the story. With a bottleneck, you have one clear set goalpost to frame the rest of the story.

But you focused on a branching tree, which requires at least two primary pathways that lead to different places. And I think that requires a lot more time in the planning process.

The one true weak point, in my opinion, was Isa. She could have used a little more dimension to her. I gave this a 7/8, but if she had a little more flesh to her, this could have received a rare 8/8 from me.
-- Bucky on 1/5/2020 3:43:40 PM with a score of 0
First off, congrats on finishing your contest entry!

This was an enjoyable and entertaining story game. The writing style was amazing - I can tell you have a way with words. The story drew me in from the beginning to the end; your imaginative writing weaved with powerful metaphors makes this an excellent read. Moreover, I can vividly imagine the torment Robert goes through because you describe it so beautifully. Which is why I sympathise with him so strongly.

My favourite character beside Robert is Garreth, his old mentor. He is the voice of reason, the guy who tries his best to guide Robert through his suffering and making sure he doesn't make the same mistakes he made in his youth. I enjoy reading his different responses on Robert's decisions, whether it is disapproval or not. His pearls of wisdoms and sharp observations are really fun to read ("I sense the thread of fate surrounding you both. Nothing shy of madness or death could break that bond.") I'm not a huge fan of Isabella though - I just feel she's one dimensional, only expressing either guilt or anger. Though I do understand her role in this story. Anyway, I like the characters of Elaria and Myrs, even though their appearances were very limited (Elaria only appear in one route). My only wish regarding this is to flesh out their characters a bit more.

Even though I adored the writing, I do spot some grammar or spelling mistakes here and there. In some of these pages, particularly when you take the revenge route, there's a unfinished sentence or word at the beginning. Just minor ones, though I let you know.

I like the choices too - it's basically either Robert succumbed to his anger, or learn to forgive his wife. I do feel like the story is a tad bit linear though, but that's understandable since you have to write this story in a month in order to meet the deadline, and so the branching outs are impressive in a such a short amount of time.

Overall, I had fun exploring through this story. It's well written and the characters are great, there are only minor issues. Well done!
-- Pirate on 1/5/2020 3:17:30 PM with a score of 0
There is sadness poetry in the whole story, that goes really well with the whole prompt. The characters are very well depicted and the choices have a sense for the time setting. The worst is its linearity, but it's understandable due to the deadline. I would like a more aggressive response in the protagonist but that is personal taste.
-- poison_mara on 1/5/2020 7:05:32 AM with a score of 0
I love the language of this tale. It takes it's time; it's poetic - especially in the early pages. For example, this gem from the first page:

"This land molded you into the man you were supposed to be. Its stark streams taught you caution; its rolling hills forced you to become more perceptive; the people infected you with their stoicism."

The setting, the land around, the events the character faces - they all function on a metaphorical level with the man himself. The subtle touches worked better than the heavy-handed ones. I preferred the calm reflections on blades of grass to the in-your-face comparison of the magical bear.

His emotional journey is also well done, with, for the most part, believable twists and turns. Sometimes they are almost too literary and jump to far at the expense of a consistent personality, but he's grieving and pained, so it works.

Isa was a bit less successful - for the most part I found her annoying and flat, and not just because she cheated. It was like she was an arch-type, just there to fill the role.

On the downside, the storygame is very linear. It was pages before a choice came, even when the man was making significant in-game decisions. He went through a couple stages of grief before the first choice was even made. One time during the bear fight, a branch quickly reconnected back, making it more of a side-trip for some history rather than a choice with agency. That could be done in a game with more branching, but in a fairly linear game like this it felt kind of meaningless. And, sometimes, where it seemed there should have been an important choice (such as to reconcile with your wife, or not, the game chose for me with something quite over the top.

Overall, it read a bit more like part of a novel than a game. But it was a novel I liked, with good character dynamics between the two main men, and great description that made the land seem like a character in its own right.
-- Camelon on 1/3/2020 11:06:27 PM with a score of 0
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