From A Great Height

Player Rating6.11/8

"#95 overall, #1 for 2017"
based on 126 ratings since 05/21/2017
played 1,942 times (finished 97)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length7/8

"It keeps going and going"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

You can't remember when the world first started shaking, but then one day everything started crashing down. It's not a case of fixing it, or even surviving the aftermath. You can only rebuild and start again.

This is my entry for the March 2017 Chaos Contest.

 

Endings

There are 18 endings in total. A few of them may be very similar to each other. Bear in mind also that some endings cannot achieved without saving a particular character (or not saving them).

 

Features

- The objective of this game is to survive the effects of the chaos on the world around you and reach a location of appropriate stability which will bring you contentment. There is an exploration aspect to this. You will not learn everything about the world around you in just one playthrough.

- Most of the "chaos" taking place in the game world is not immediately visible to the protagonist (aside from some special endings), but it is primarily responsible for the effects on the surrounding environment and therefore remains the central theme.

- I started writing this 7 days before the deadline, so it isn't quite as long and detailed as I wanted it to be. Examples of this are the fleshing out of particular character backgrounds, implementing multiple foreign languages, cultures, technologies and fantasy races. Some aspects are deliberately left up to the reader's imagination.

- Many characters will appear to speak to you in a foreign, cryptic language (referred to as "Common Tongue" by themselves). Readers may or may not recognise this to be a form of substitution cipher which is easily decipherable if you know how, but it is not essential to know what they are saying.

EDIT: I'm so glad someone decided to poke the mutant with a stick and uncover another previously unseen scenario. It wasn't until later that I realised the majority of people would probably never ever see that part of the story.

Player Comments

This story was excellent progress from your initial work, and a worthy story in its own right. You've crafted a world interesting in its breadth and depth, and during the course of the story I was happy to encounter a variety of different peoples and places. There's a good deal of variety in the content, and paths I didn't expect to be fairly lengthy turned out to be substantial, to my delight.

That said, you have issues with path dependency. In atleast three cases, you reach the same ending from different circumstances, and for some reason that does not change the text. If you saved the Mother, flew on, and then went to live in Majeruk the content should have nodded to your interaction with her. Likewise if you ascended to the nameless island vs being dropped off there by the cannibal, the reaction of the protagonist should have been different. Another instance where this happened was on the lone island, if you've met the ladies of the lake, you should have reflected that into the 'No' ending. Furthermore, knowing the ladies were probably up to no good, why did the protagonist not warn future travelers who reached the island (it was mentioned that more travelers came in the path where you became a mermaid)?

A small issue is of conversation ending dialogue - games like the Witcher 3 highlight what story threads will end the conversation (in orange), and ones that won't (in white). When I reached the 'what do you want to know' part, I first wanted to know the fate of the islands, which unfortunately locked off the remaining content. How about putting conversation paths that lock others off in [brackets] so the player knows to ask other questions first?

I take issue with the flight, flight vs flight choice, because on the outset I assume she's being frantic to make you say flight, and the number of times it's being said shouldn't matter (or atleast you wouldn't know it matters), and after realizing that it's inadequate, I would expect the protagonist would have tried to dive after and save the mother. Further, I thought flight, flight was testing my comprehension (repetition vs comprehension), so I'm not too happy with that path. The cipher content itself was clever, and I enjoyed deciphering the text - it made the language seem suitably alien yet comprehensible through effort. Choosing to substitute only a few letters was a smart call.

As far as endings go, I was satisfied with the variety of situations, but not satisfied by how the story pretty much offers no explanation for what's going on. Just why did the mother save you? Was she a rebel? Was she bored? It's never expanded upon, and surprisingly the protagonist never thinks about it.

The fuzzlebunny conversation was funny, just thought I'd point that out. One logical error though - for a girl who hadn't left the island, how did she know that that boy's turning purple was indicative of sexual attraction? There was no precedence of that knowledge in the story as far as I could find.

There were a few grammatical errors in the story, and the opening line was not particularly impressive (Bll hflmsmfn bn thf blfrt! should have been pn thf blfrt!, your stomach rumbles fro(m)).

In all, this was a really good game, but I recommend you work on path dependency and adding more opportunities to understand why the world was working the way it was, the protagonist pretty much just goes into a shell in every ending in which they're alive. I look forward to reading more of your work!
-- StrykerL on 5/5/2017 2:12:57 AM with a score of 0
awesome
-- danny on 6/20/2017 10:46:16 AM with a score of 0
Very good
-- Jay on 6/17/2017 5:56:33 PM with a score of 0
Awesome!
-- Dan on 6/17/2017 6:42:45 AM with a score of 0
Great game, tough decisions. Beautiful imagery a truly unique and amazing experience
-- Jimmy Neutron on 6/16/2017 1:01:10 PM with a score of 0
yes
-- BaconPistols on 6/14/2017 11:35:48 PM with a score of 0
I really like the whole idea of this story. The floating islands reminded me of The Edge Chronicles (maybe you've read them and took influence?), and I just happen to like this kind of setting. I thought the main character was well portrayed even with the limited dialogue she had. The whole apathetic approach she had towards all of the abuse from literally everyone except other Nameless sort of spoke of a freedom that the others (that government... I can't remember the name!) didn't have. I guess that's what you were going for and I thought it was well written. I personally thought the Nameless society sounded pretty idyllic!

The biggest flaw for me was the wording of certain sentences. I felt that a lot of it was gratuitously written, possibly to bulk out the length for the contest, and it kind of felt a little forced at times. Even if it was a few hundred words shorter, I think it would have flowed a lot better if certain words were taken out. A few examples:
"The mutant snarls at you intelligibly as you approach it. With a body composition like that..." I also thought 'intelligibly' was a strange word choice here.
"...they do not exhibit any aggressive tendencies towards you..."
"In this endeavour, you marginally succeed by accident."
Despite that, I only found maybe 3 or 4 mistakes among 40000 words, which you wrote in an impressively short amount of time. One of the only mistakes I found was "Jt’s dbngfrpvs pp hfrf". If I remember my Common tongue right (it's been a while; I'm a bit rusty), I think you meant "Jt’s dbngfrpvs pvt hfrf", but it's more of an accomplishment than anything to have so few errors!
Oh, and one more small thing: The Captain asks what island you come from despite telling you herself that your people don't name islands, then seems annoyed to find out from you... exactly what she said 10 mins ago. Maybe that was just her apparent racism shining through though! All in all, a game to be proud of, and deservedly highly rated!
6/8
-- AzBaz on 6/13/2017 1:11:10 PM with a score of 0
Nice writing. I'd like it to be a bit longer, but given that it was written for a contest and that I suspect I have gotten myself into one of the early endgames, I don't think that's something to criticize much.
-- ayy lmao on 6/10/2017 7:42:13 PM with a score of 0
I like this a lot grate story.
-- thestoryman22 on 6/10/2017 1:46:44 AM with a score of 0
Loved the story.
-- Lisa on 6/6/2017 10:34:31 PM with a score of 0
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