Dreamtruder

a Fantasy by Mystic_Warrior

Commended by mizal on 7/15/2020 4:12:10 PM

Player Rating6.23/8

"#160 overall, #6 for 2020"
based on 57 ratings since 07/08/2020
played 1,533 times (finished 56)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length7/8

"It keeps going and going"

Maturity Level3/8

"must be at least this tall to play"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 10. If this were a movie, it would probably be between G and PG.

"The delicate balance between the dream world and the real world is disrupted. You intruded and messed up the dream of an innocent. By talking about this with an Unknowing, the possibility of the dreamstage being unveiled is now greater than ever. The Jury has made a decision - we have no choice but to send you to The Jungle..."

Dreamtruder

 

 

Life was hard, balancing work and relaxation. Then the nightmares came, and all I ever wanted was to be free of them. Yet, I never accounted for this - finding out the truth about the dream world, exploring the vast plane of the imagination...only to be whisked away to the longest nightmare ever. 

Think a jungle's bad? Try a fictional jungle, where literally anything can happen, and the most creative minds have conspired to give you a hard time.

 

 

 

Note: This game was created for Mizal's 'Welcome to the Jungle' contest. There are several epilogues, and while the main one is the normal Dreamtruder path, others include Dream director, Dreamcaster, Dreamediator, and Dreamhero. Fancy a challenge? Try completing the Jungle challenge without picking up any dreampowers - it's possible, but requires a bit of thinking and planning ahead. Also, for some items, click the 'use' button as a link would not be provided (if this is the case, it would be specified in the object description)

Since this would be my first published storygame, I am still relatively new to this. Feel free to message me or spam the comments if you encounter any issues, have any suggestions for improvement, or just have something you want to say.

Enjoy!

Player Comments

DREAMTRUDER: 93%

SHOULD I READ THIS?
Yes, absolutely. The story is largely linear, but this in no way detracts from the enjoyment as the puzzles and narrative are both engaging and well-constructed.
Preview: You accidentally intrude on a stranger’s dream, and now must complete a series of trials to keep your right to dream, otherwise you will lose the ability to dream. At the same time, you deal with a dangerous situation with a friend in the real world, and delve deeper into what this dreamworld really is.

=SPOILERS BELOW=

RATINGS:

Basic Plot & Coherence: 5/5
The plot is logical, and one event follows another. The author did an excellent job gradually increasing the stakes and the tension. I only read through one of the three plotlines (the Rick one), but I found that both the dream and real life sequences were entertaining and complimented each other. Each successive trial brought something new, but consistent, to the narrative. The various subplots and mini-plots for each trial were well tied in. The only part I didn’t understand was why the main character is so afraid of his inner evil. He doesn’t show any inclination towards evil action (until the final choice you can make in the “e” stage), and although he experiences temptation from his evil self, he doesn’t ever seem realistlcally likely to give in to it. Still, that subplot was also very well done, and foreshadowed well the aforementioned “e” stage ending. Excellent plot.

Characters & Development: 5/5
Every character, even the ones that only had a scene or two, seemed well rounded and developed. None of them seemed flat or two-dimensional. The main character had a consistent personality, which is tougher to do in an interactive format, but was done very well. Rosaline’s personality was equally well-developed, and I found it believeable that the two characters could get along as well as they did, particularly while cooperating in a difficult situation. Rick was also well-developed. Admittedly, having a twin is a pretty common plot twist, but it was pulled off very well. The subplot with rick maintained both humor and tension, the character dynamics between rick and the main character were done well. Importantly, the characters and their attitudes changed realisically over time as the relationship developed.

Grammar: 4/5
There were mistakes in places, but nothing too horrible.
Mastery of Language: 2/3
The language was excellently used and contributed well to the overall tone and feel of the story.

Mechanics & Coding: 5/5
Excellently coded. The story maintains the constant “jungle” plotline, while weaving in details for three seperate subplots. Each of the challanges was cleverly built, and logically solved. I was especially impressed by how you worked the puzzles.
There was only one glitch I noticed, if you take the correct underwater path at a certain time in the “u” stage, you still end up failing the challenge.

Branching: 1/1 (usually 3)
I’m giving this a 1/1 not because the branching is very good (it’s a very linear story), but because there is a surprisingly large and well-done amount of branching for such a linear story. You have the choice of multiple subplots, numerous endings, and numerous places to stop off along the way. The story is honest about its linearity, and works well within those bounds.

Player Options/Fair choice: 2/3
Generally pretty good. You’re given a lot of freedom in how to solve the various puzzles, although there are a few places where the player doesn’t have much choice about things.
Nothing to complain about for “fair choice”. Consequences are adequately foreshadowed, and there are no “gotcha!” moments that the player doesn’t deserve.

Nitpicks: I think the underwater puzzle in the “u” section has a glitch that makes you fail even if you take the correct path.

Endings: The best endings (in my opinion) are the two you can get by completing the “jungle”. Of the other endings, the dark path ending was foreshadowed well with the evil subplot, though it’s a little unclear what exactly the main character is doing. Each of the endings you can take along the way by taking a job in the dream world are well fleshed out and present a complete picture. Even the “you fail” endings seemed to give a complete picture of what happened to the main character after the events of the story.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
I played this through using the Rick subplot, so I can’t accurately represent the other two. For me, the most challenging stage was the “l” stage (especially the patience part), I repeatedly made horrible choices and failed here. Overall, I really enjoyed the game. This was one of the few interactive fiction games during which I never felt bored or wanted to quit.

CONCLUSION: 25/27 = 92.59%
A truly excellent work.
-- Gryphon on 4/16/2021 12:57:59 PM with a score of 0
This is a great concept aimed in an interesting direction. While we have minimal control of the direction of the story, players are given several approaches and valid ways to engage with challenges. The satisfaction of navigating and resolving encounters with player agency is obvious. I enjoyed some segments of the jungle. There were flaws. The diving portion of “U” was the most apparent. The first choice is coded incorrectly. The correct choice, according to the rules as written, is the middle passage because of rule 3, as rules 1 and 2 do not apply. Instead of going to the right of the Diver, the game requires you to follow the diver. That damaged my trust in the puzzles to come.

Still the Jungle was the clear centerpiece of the story and was reasonably entertaining. The distractions from it in the “Real World” were, for me, unwelcome. Characters were defined such that they were distinct from one another, which is more difficult for writers to do than one would expect. Even so, the characters do not seem to act in proportion to their environments. At the end of “Understanding” we are given this line, “The portal opened and our lives were destroyed.”

Slow down, you’ve known each other for a day. Your lives are not destroyed.

Descriptive language is employed intermittently and readers will likely enjoy some colorful passages. While the writer is somewhat inventive in word choice, language fluency is not a strength. As the story progressed, passages, especially when read aloud, became increasingly awkward and often unclear. Dialogue was the real victim here, as conversations rarely approximated an exchange between two native speakers, except in very short instances.

Here is a sample, "You're seem to happy to be true. Did you get asked out by the girl of your dreams or something? You look like you swallowed a rainbow of smiles."

Now, really imagine saying this out loud to someone…

All said, practice approaches perfection and the writer put forward a lot of hard work; it's noticeable and it’s admirable. Thank you for putting your work out here.
-- ugilick on 3/21/2021 9:58:47 PM with a score of 0
Loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it, absolutely LOVED IT! That game is easily one of the best I've played in ages. Definitely understand why Miz had to take your game out of the contest. You completely obliterated the competition!

Now for the mean bit. The game is very clearly rushed. It's completely littered with spelling and grammar mistakes and needs a good two or three proofread to get rid of them all. Also, while the first couple of stages of the jungle are fantastic and the last couple of stages are an emotional rollercoaster, a lot of the middle stages felt kind of bland and I was disappointed by how little I actually used my dreampowers after the first couple of rounds (but then I guessed you were rushed for time by the competition's deadline, so I'll give you a pass for that.)

Now for the good stuff. Fully fleshed out and interesting characters, great puzzles to solve, some incredibly beautiful scenery and experiences as well as some very moving emotional scenes. To top it off, the plot was absolutely gorgeous! A game set in a dream world is just super, super imaginative and I really think you did a great job of exploring all the weird and wonderful things you can do with such a unique setting.

Got to say that the actual ending of the game was kind of disappointingly anticlimactic, but to be honest, I'm not even sure if I got the real ending. It didn't say "Epilogue" like some of the others. Going to have to play through the game again and see if there's a "true ending" I'm missing out on.

In the end, I rated this an 8/8. While there are a lot of flaws with the game that made me feel I should've rated it a 7, in the end I decided to rate the game based on how much I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it a LOT. ^_^
-- Avery_Moore on 7/8/2020 3:39:38 PM with a score of 0
great story and fun idea. I cant wait to do more.
-- Seth R Cross on 3/25/2021 2:49:36 PM with a score of 0
I really think this is one of the best games on the entire site.

I'd play a whole game just about being a dream director even without all the rest of it.
-- Starborn on 3/7/2021 3:29:01 PM with a score of 0
Your story here was really fun and I like the direction you went. Your sense of adventure and ideas were great. A few points of criticism: The characters were underdeveloped. Their actions seemed almost arbitrary at times. You also may want to have a bit more proofreading. Additionally, the real world just seemed too much of a placeholder. Pretty impressive that this was your first story.
-- Yandeleon on 10/21/2020 9:35:07 AM with a score of 0
SPOILER ALERT!

For those who cannot seem to get the clean water source at the first stage of the Jungle, do this (read backwards to prevent accidental spoilers):

Teg eht pmaws retaw dna esu ti no eht erifpmac.
-- Mystic_Warrior on 7/14/2020 2:51:29 AM with a score of 0
I really liked the game and would really like to learn more about the dream world in future story games, but will someone please tell me how to get a water source that doesn't kill you, I've really tried, and I can't figure it out.
-- Future1 on 7/12/2020 8:44:00 PM with a score of 0
I've created an account to say that I love the concept of this story. However, there are parts where it is frustrating to go through: namely in the RETURN links. For instance, during the first level of the Jungle, I decided to take the blue and purple berries but left the swamp water behind, deciding that it was dangerous. When Dramer woke up after trapping the lion, I could trigger the dialogue to 'eat the blue berries.' I got the speech from the official telling you about the berries, and asking you to drink water. But the only link from there was 'Return to the Jungle.' Naturally, I went to search for water that he could drink. When I did so, I only had four options:

- Light up the campfire

- Create a weapon

- Give in and sleep

- I'm ready to wake up

Lighting up the campfire is a dead-end that forces you to return to the sleep-inducing tree. Creating a weapon is useless since I have the stick and the net. Give in and sleep is a clear failure. The only option remaining was 'I'm ready to wake up' which triggers the dialogue with the berries again. I ended up in an inescapable loop.
To break the loop, try to add options where you can go back and explore the swamp and the cave with webs.It's very difficult to have to keep reversing every choice just to see what was missed. 

As far as the length, I found the beginning a bit short, but I liked the fact that the story began with action rather than a long dragging segment. The idea of a dream-jungle and dreamcourt were quite funny. I only wish that the gameplay was more streamlined with back-links.
-- throaway23 on 7/8/2020 11:04:54 AM with a score of 0
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