Player Comments on Best Seller: Episode 1 "You're Hired"
The story opened with an unusual scene before shifting to a seemingly normal setting, only to pull a sudden twist that left me confused and curious. Its screenplay-like format only added to the appeal as it seemed like a film was unfolding before my eyes, but I had the ability to direct its path. In addition, the characters’ personalities strongly rang through the story. The dialogue felt realistic and gripping—it was very well-written and strengthened my interest. However, as much potential as this game contains, I felt that it appeared rough and incomplete because of several reasons: the lack of details in the descriptions, grammar, and the confusing perspective.
As I mentioned before, the story’s screenplay format intrigued me. I liked that it encouraged me to form the environment and scenes in my head. The dialogue was very well-written and pushed the story forward. However, I felt that I had to rely too much on my imagination. The descriptions seemed too simple and lacked emotion, as though the writer only laid out bare bones without adding meat to them. Although I understand that screenplays may have simple descriptions, they can still contain details that communicate the emotion and appearance of characters and their settings. While reading, I felt that more detailed descriptions could help enhance the gameplay.
For instance, at one point, Henry is in Jacob’s office, sitting on “a rather casual-looking couch. Henry is sitting professionally waiting to hear what request Jacob might have. Jacob, however is aggresively looking for something.” That’s a good way to set the scene, but I felt that it could have been fleshed out. For example, what does the couch look like? Why would it be considered casual? Henry is sitting professionally—what does that look like? Does he have his hands folded in his lap? Is he stopping himself from automatically crossing his legs? As for Jacob, rather than calling his actions aggressive, perhaps there could be a description showing how they’re aggressive (ex: “Jacob yanks open the drawers of his desk, rummaging through them. After a few seconds, he scowls and slams them shut, the metal screeching in the silence. He flies over to his shelf and . . . etc.”).
Another example: You wrote, “Sometime later, the manager from before arrives with a young suited man with black hair, some stubble and a nice smile.” If I were to add more details, it might look something like: A few hours drag by. Shoppers trickle in and out of the mall. Henry is rearranging the few remaining products at his table when quick, loud footsteps echo through the silence. He glances up to see his manager strolling over with a young man in a dark suit. The man runs a hand through his dark hair, a large, pearly smile plastered to his face.
And this here is Henry Farrier, our newest salesman.
(He saunters over to the nearly empty table, scratching the stubble on his cheek. After a moment, he releases a long, low whistle.) Etc., continue dialogue.
Another example is when Jacob leads Henry down a dark hallway and into a (great) shocking scene. It’s a suspenseful moment, and I felt that it could have been enhanced with more details to add more unease, building up to that moment of horror. For example, maybe Henry can hear the soft chatter and footsteps of shoppers while he’s in Jacob’s office. But as they start walking down that hallway, all signs of life begin to disappear. The longer they walk down that hallway, the darker and quieter it becomes. It starts to smell strange. In front of him, Jacob’s back seems to grow darker and taller.
Henry feels uncomfortable—that’s evident in his “Um . . . okay?” when Jacob mentions the Josepovic family. But how can that be further described so the reader feels his unease? Does he start to fidget and play with his buttons, stuff his hands in his pockets, laugh nervously, etc.? What does Jacob look like to him? Does Jacob’s nice smile start to become strained, his teeth looking sharper?
Another reason why I have mixed feelings about this story is the grammar. Although the sentences were understandable and contained few spelling mistakes, they were missing punctuation and spaces in between some words, giving the impression that this story still needed to undergo more heavy editing. It was difficult to read.
In addition, it was difficult to understand whether I was experiencing the story from Henry’s perspective or as an onlooker who made choices for Henry. I felt that the narrator also made the game more confusing to read. For example, during the scene when Jacob offered weed to Henry, the narrator left a warning about making choices that might corrupt Henry, speaking as if I was an onlooker. But once I selected a choice, the narrator suddenly addressed me as if I was Henry.
Overall, I mostly enjoyed the game. It contained an interesting story that was enhanced by its unique format and excellent, realistic dialogue. Although it was short, it offered a cast of interesting, well-written characters and smooth transitions between scenes. However, I felt that the experience could be enhanced if the story included more detail and emotion in its descriptions, better grammar, and less of a confusing perspective. I wish you all the best and hope that you continue to work on this game, so next time, a more complete episode can be released. I just hope that the episodes will be longer in the future.
on 4/4/2019 10:56:21 AM with a score of 0
Its really short and there are not many paths that i have found
on 10/21/2019 5:36:10 PM with a score of 0
Now, the plot has a ring to it in the end but damn that first part was pretty hard. Not bad though...
Anyway dude, At that one part where it says "Nah, I'm straight edge." When I answer worthless, i get brought to the same page. Fix it, thanks.
on 4/26/2019 9:12:57 AM with a score of 0
I tried everything. It's very short, and every correct path leads to the same thing. I just don't get it.
on 4/17/2019 5:58:46 PM with a score of 0
This unexpectedly struck my funny bone in a good way.
The Burning Man seems to be of some weird pivotal point throughout the story. An homage to the SCP perhaps? I probably will never know.
The writing is, well, riddled with small errors in technicality. The setting, the dialogue scheme you used, and the conversations themselves are pretty trashy. Kind of like something one would expect out of a ratty high school production written by a more-exposed-to-books-and-films 15-year old.
I don't want to assume this was indeed your intention, but it comes off weirdly effective. Almost like the whole shebang is a clever satire portrayal of modern lower corporate society mixed with conspiracy theory. Many won't see it this way, but I do, and that's why I enjoy it.
I hope this does get finished, so as a sort of up front payment, I'll issue you this 5/8. Good hunting.
on 4/13/2019 9:20:14 PM with a score of 0
I was surprised this hadn't received more comments even if these part one thingies don't tend to be received well. I think the screenplay style of writing might be offputting for some?
It's a bit unusual but once I got used to it I enjoyed what there was of the actual story, even the narrator asides. It all felt a bit surreal, which helped make the behavior of the CEO with his sudden willingness to confide in and trust some random kiosk salesman easier to accept.
The major problem with this though is that it ends before it begins. Doing a story in parts is rarely a good idea and really only makes sense when you're telling a longer story with actual arcs that can be broken up more naturally. This one is just a tiny fragment that ends the moment the first bit of conflict is introduced. I'd like to read the entire thing but the author isn't doing themselves any favors breaking it up like this, more than anything it looks like they got bored with writing and decided to shove the first thousand words out the door.
on 3/29/2019 10:50:16 PM with a score of 0
Now I know how it feels to be played like one of the poor customers...by reading this unfinished story. At least I didn't have to pay a cent to read and I get point for rating so thanks for the free point I suppose. There is a glitch where if I choose "Worthless" when Jacob asked about his product it just reset the page.
on 3/29/2019 6:10:00 AM with a score of 0