Player Comments on Magno
Stories set in ancient history tend to get my attention since I like the time period. This one about Alexander was no exception. I’ve read about Alexander’s life before so I think this story did a decent job of portraying his early years. The writing was fine in general.
About the only problem might be the “confinement” of choice, but that’s always a struggle when you’re trying to a CYOA based in real history, especially when focused on a specific person. Stick too close and it becomes too linear, stray too far and you might as well be writing alternate history.
Still, I think you managed to do a good job at balancing history and choice as much as you could with this sort of theme and the paths/endings that strayed a bit from the real history were still entertaining.
I guess the only other issue might be a slight disappointment that this is only focused on Alexander’s early life. Originally when I remember you first making this story, I thought you were going to have a whole sprawling epic about his life from beginning to end. Though I suppose there just wasn’t enough time to cover all that within the contest limits.
Hopefully you can make sequels in the future to continue the tale of Alexander’s life.
on 6/23/2018 3:33:24 PM with a score of 0
Magno really stood out as one of the higher quality stories in a contest already filled with some very impressive entries, and it's featured spot is well deserved.
I'm not hugely knowledgeable about Alexander the Great, but most of the commonly known stuff about him is more about the conquests than the origin story, so this was a nice change of pace. I really enjoyed all the glimpses into his early life, and the writing itself is very well done and keeps everything flowing along. POV changes can be hard to pull off in this medium and the transition from Phillip, to the vision of the birth, to Alexander himself early on all worked out surprisingly well without seeming choppy at all.
Alexander himself...I have to say that things such as 'unnaturally talented in everything he does because chosen by the gods' and how blatantly manipulative he was at times weren't the most endearing character traits for a child, but given what an obvious fan of the historical figure the author is I'll take it as a good thing he was given flaws here.
There were a smattering of punctuation errors and typos, mostly involving dialogue tags and apostrophes, but not enough to distract from the story. (I'll send a list over PMs in case a post-comp cleanup is planned).
I assume the deadline was a factor there, and I know there were other things Ebon wanted to do as well such as focusing more on the time spent with Aristotle. A bit more branching might have been welcome too, but easier said than done when writing historical fiction I realize.
Although this story covers a lot of ground over Alexander's early years (and an impressive amount considering there was only a month to write it) the only notable flaw I saw with the plot was how meandering it was. It jumps around quite a bit and I felt like the obvious central conflict and what more of the choices might have focused on should have been the relationship with his parents and the events leading to the assassination. Phillip goes from being a viewpoint character in the beginning to a respectable if distant father figure to suddenly, a disgraceful, violent drunk whose own wife and son want him dead. (Olympias herself got a surprisingly sympathetic treatment by the story considering the thing she's most well known for is burning Cleopatra Eurydice and her daughter alive pretty soon after these events.)
Ebon, since this is now sitting in a pretty prominent front page slot, have you considered upping the 'edutainment' value by offering a summary of Alexander's career in the epilogue of the canon path, maybe even with a couple of maps, etc? (Also curious whether you've read Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault, which is another fictionalized take on Alexander, written in the 70s I believe and where I've gotten most of vaguely remembered info on him from up until now...)
Anyhow, all in all a great story and a worthy addition to the Edutainment section. 2018 is getting off to a great start with all these contest stories, and I hope this isn't the last we see from you this year.
on 1/17/2018 7:44:34 PM with a score of 0
Well, finally got around to playing this on my run through the competition. I can't honestly say I know a great deal about Alexander the Great. He's certainly an interested character to focus on. The writing was certainly very impressive, a far step above most of the other contest entries. It was certainly one of the best stories to come out of this whole thing, and certainly a cool story.
There were a few flaws with it, though, as with everything. It was annoyingly difficult when I didn't think it needed to be, at least for me, as I felt like in order to avoid being killed by the Theban King, I had to slog through a few things that I didn't really see as all that important to the life of the a huge king, and the actual severity of such simple choices didn't really make sense. Like, I'll never be a great King if I don't try to convince my babysitter I shouldn't go to class? Hell, even just doing history and philosophy in that class means you don't become a Great King. I don't know, this part was pretty frustrating, and funnily enough, I actually didn't think any of these choices really should've mattered compared to other choices, even though choices mattering is a huge thing with CYOAs.
Another thing was, I'm not exactly sure why we focused on this point of Alexander's life. Like, for someone who did so much amazing shit in his life, we focused on perhaps the most boring part of it. Most of the story is just doing pretty mundane things. Like, the choices of note are wondering if you should talk to your babysitter about doing class, answering two questions in class and then picking what to do for a day. It feels we focused on a lot of pretty boring stuff that didn't really matter. The only important things was the taming of the horse, and the battle at the end, but besides that, it was a lot of stuff that didn't seem to matter. Like, there wasn't really a coherent plot going on until towards the end. It felt more like the beginning of an epic rather than a full story. Which, I mean, I suppose it was just the beginning of an epic, but I don't know why we focused on the beginning of a story rather than the main bit, seeing as pretty much everything covered here could've been glossed over in a few pages or just skipped entirely.
So yeah, good game, only a few flaws, a bit boring at parts, but definitely an impressive thing to put out in such a short amount of time. It'll be tough work trying to beat you in the contest, so at least I'll have a fair bit of competition in this thing. Seeing as your quality stands by itself, I feel there's not much more that needs to be said, other than best of luck with the contest.
on 1/10/2018 10:25:18 PM with a score of 0
I was really looking forward to getting to the fun parts of Alexander's history, and the writing really made me think that that part was forthcoming. I ran into a hitch when I went as an ambassador to speak on behalf of Phillip and died no matter which choice I made. I backed up to the beginning of the story and re-chose a few times to see if I could find some combination of backstory that would allow me to progress but I didn't seem to be able to. This story has a lot of potential, and as it was made for a contest it might be worth revisiting to flesh out further.
on 10/17/2018 3:36:00 PM with a score of 0
on 10/7/2018 4:10:12 PM with a score of 0
-- iqbal on 4/25/2018 11:02:46 AM with a score of 0
Wow just wow
on 3/21/2018 10:37:55 AM with a score of 0
-- travis on 3/7/2018 4:41:22 PM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed playing this game! It was quite interesting and very accurate in the historical sense (though somewhat modernized). I enjoyed that there was no need for any walkthroughs, as the only guide needed would be a history book. ;)
However, I am very sad to acknowledge the abrupt ending, as Alexander the Great was known for his conquests, and perhaps even referencing such achievements in the epilogue would have been more desirable (though I haven't played through any of the paths, so I wouldn't know if that was the case). Also, I know this was made for a contest, so I am not blaming the author here, as I must reiterate and emphasize that: you sir/ma'am, have created a wonderful piece
I encourage you to continue writing, my friend.
-- just a friend on 2/21/2018 10:05:15 AM with a score of 0
I'm a bit confused as to whether or not I've finished the story. Where does it end? It seems to have been cut rather short, no matter what choices I make. Assuming I must have seen it all, it was a good story that was fairly interesting.
on 2/19/2018 9:43:54 PM with a score of 0
Quite short for a featured story.
on 2/14/2018 3:53:16 PM with a score of 0
Like I said kick-ass game. Great Plot, Great Grammar, Great Length. Everything is awesome. Father's such a prick. 8/8
on 1/8/2018 2:48:20 PM with a score of 0