Marooned on Giri Minor

a Sci-Fi Adventure by Bill_Ingersoll

Commended by mizal on 5/1/2019 7:57:00 PM

Player Rating5.89/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 20 ratings since 06/01/2019
played 67 times (finished 7)

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 Orion Chronicles Part I:

Marooned on Giri Minor

You are a young recruit in the Astral Navy, serving aboard a minor transport vessel making routine personnel transport runs to Star Base Ishtria. When a malfunction requires the captain to drop the ship out of hyperspace, you find yourself in orbit above Giri Minor--a deserted world with a dark history and circled by uncharted asteroid clouds.

This is a story told in the classical "gamebook" format. This means that it is more narrative-driven and less of a game, and roughly the same length as many printed books in this genre.

Important Stats:

- 19 endings, including 4 "preferred" endings, and 1 epilogue

- 1 abandoned colony

- 1 alien with ambiguous motivations

- 16 passengers aboard the transport ship, 4 crew members, but only ??? survivors

- Thousands of sand-dwelling creatures with mind-altering properties

Can you survive Giri Minor?

(c) 2019 Bill Ingersoll

Player Comments

While on account of my own personal feelings towards the genre of this story it took me a while to get past the first few pages of story, I sure am glad I did and can now add another story to my short list of space science fiction adventures that I liked.

The layout of the story is meant to be like a book. There is even a title page with a pretty picture on it. The font choice was something I thought really made the difference between successfully imitating a book and having screwy formatting. In some places, the story might seem linear because of all the choiceless clicking necessary to get through it, but Marooned on Giri Minor is less linear than most stories on this site.
I believe there was just one place that had re-branching, excluding the epilogues. The different paths had wider variety than I expected, and that in itself really makes a difference. After all, this is Choose Your Story, not Choose Your Outfit.
The epilogue is mostly the same with some tweaking each time it comes up. This makes sense because of the planned second part, and everything leading up to them is always different. So I did not mind that. The epilogue seemed like it could be a final ending as well, rather than being just a cliffhanger and hook for Part II. I will read Part II when it comes out because I WANT to, not because I was left unsatisfied with Part I.
The non-epilogue endings were pretty fun, and I preferred some of them to the epilogue endings too. However, I think the ending in which the commander is eaten alive but you survive ended a bit prematurely. Everyone else was alive and doing fine, and it was not as if the commanders death meant an automatic death sentence—especially since that one trader supposedly passes through. I also question why you survived the beetle attack by being unconscious and unmoving but those in stasis did not. It was the same situation when it came to that, as far as I know.

I did not really get into the story until I reached the part with the psychoactive beetles (this was still my first playthrough), but at that point, it really had my attention. The psychoactive beetles are really cool and definitely my favorite creatures on Giri Minor.
On the subject of animals, I preferred when animals and plants were described in either purely alien words or purely English. I can easily picture a beetle crab thing, but wondering what an alien-language-word walrus is supposed to be just leads to more questions in my mind that sort of pull me out of the story a bit as I think about walrus screeches instead of the story.

I would have liked the ship to be referred to by a name rather than a bunch of numbers and letters. Even if it is just a small vehicle, that is easier for me to pay attention to and seems more realistic to have it have some sort of name like the Orion does.

There was something about the scene where Ibanz was out yelling while under the influence of beetles that I really liked. A lot of that was because I could see people having the same reactions to a similar incident in real life as they did in Giri Minor.
The description of the world and characters, I like. There was no need for a ton of physical description of the characters, and there was just enough description of the planet that I got a clear picture of what it look like in my mind without having endless paragraphs of that bogging the story down. Had Ingersoll not mentioned the general lack of physical character description to me beforehand, I would never even have noticed that. So any more would have been unnecessary.
The technology as well did not suffer the excessive detail devoted to it that too often happens in this sort of story. After all, if I know more about how your fake tech works than I do things that I use every day in real life, you have too much description.
I do have one issue with the technology though. Who the hell thought piloting a ship through body movement was a good idea? The pilot can’t even eat a sandwich while driving without it ending in disaster that way.

Marooned on Giri Minor is definitely worth a read for any science fiction lovers on the site and some who are not.

P.S. I think you should know that I misread FabBot as FapBot nearly every time. That may be something to think about in the future.

-- Cricket on 6/13/2019 1:36:10 AM with a score of 0
30,000 words tells me you're committed, and I like that. Though I did find quite a few endings, the number of endings you have and the amount of brnaching shows this word count was put to good use in making a proper, non-linear CYOA. That doesn't sound like much but so many people seem to jump into writing a storygame without realising how much effort and how time-consuming the exponential format is. 30,000 is a good length for this story, though some of the pages could have been fleshed out a little more.

In terms of content: this was a great story that I could tell from the first page would be better than about 70% of the content on this site off the bat. Indeed, it was engaging, set in an interesting and nicely developed setting, and delivered a plot that was intriguing enough to get me to go back and find other endings. I find that if a storygame isn't drawing me to find a 'good' ending when I encounter a bad one, it's not worth reading. I found 4 or 5 of the endings and they had nice variety.

Personally, I'm not a great fan of exposition on the first page, or first few pages in this case, explaining the story background or setting. I like stories that jump right in and explore aspects of the world throughout. However, I also recognise it may be important in a CYOA especially as the reader may miss a page explaining something you want explained. Still, I like a little mystery, but each to their own.

"...and he has a habit of changing a conversation by singing a few lyrics from one of his favorite songs." Surely a Bowie reference upcoming?
"Some days you get the sun, others it's just the moon/ If life's not spent having fun, it's over too soon." Nope, just made up songs, oh well

Onto what I think could have been improved:

It's a minor gripe and I'm sure you've written this on Word or something originally, but putting the actual choice instead or 'if you want to do X, turn to page...' would make things a little more imersive.

Also, as has been mentioned before, there are quite a few unnecessary breaks in between pages with no choices. From hearing what others have said, most people only like one or two pages of linearity in between choice pages. The linear pages aren't even filled with text, so I'd say putting some together and having some 500-1000 word pages is fine.

In terms of writing and grammar, this story is definitely above average for the site. I only found two spelling mistakes ('belogings' on page 28 and 'arived' on 109 if you wanted to know). The writing was engaging and to the point and the characters' dialogues were ceftainly believable. Description in some parts is excellent.

I think the characterisation and development of the playable character was a little bland and times and could have done with a little more attention. If I had to be extra critical, I would also say some of the other characters didn't seem to quite fit the initial descriptions they were given from the perspective of the player. For example, Hatuso doesn't seem to be quite as reserved as described in my opinion. All in all the characters are well written and, most importantly, believable.

Of course you are clearly an experienced writer so I look forward to any further installments on the series, especially as good sci-fi is few and far between on the site. With more content like this, I'm sure you could produce multiple featured stories.

-- AzBaz on 5/22/2019 9:31:32 AM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed this, the site needs more quality sci-fi and it's rare to come across such a well written and polished story from a newer member. (Although obviously the author is not at all new to writing in general.)

Even the description itself is really well done and catches the attention with teasing the content a little. The fact that it's gotten so few ratings and reviews is unusual, but I think the issue lies with the number of pages there are between choices putting people off. I know a big part of what you were doing was going for the aesthetic of the old CYOA books, and the structure you used is pretty faithful to that, but just so you know the norm on the site is not to go more than three pages without a choice, even if it's a minor one that doesn't effect the overall plot. Your pages are also not especially long (particularly in the intro section) and the six there could've been combined into three without issue.

Now as for the story itself, as I said it was *really* well done. The first few pages do a nice job giving a sense of the setting and even little things like slipping in a description of the ship using the toy were nice touches. I did think though that it could use a bit of physical description or otherwise more of a way to distinguish important characters though, because there are a lot of names and ranks without any other details attached to keep straight. (Taking a bit more time to establish them would also make it have more impact when things start to happen...I liked Captain Siggo and he was also the only loss I came across that had any emotional weight, just from that short time getting to know him and giving him personality quirks like the singing.)

The first time through, I did a really bad job keeping everyone alive, and I appreciated that it wasn't because I'd done anything particularly dumb so much as it was a cause of being on an alien planet and not understanding how things worked there yet or what the dangers were. The next time I got practically a perfect ending (and I'm looking forward to the TO BE CONTINUED part of the adventure...) although there were a couple of things lacking in consistency; namely it seemed like the survival or success of others didn't necessarily depend very much on my characters' actual actions. In both the paths I originally got, I obviously had no way of influencing the pair sent to look for the colony and yet their fates could change dramatically and alter the whole plot.

I feel like I'm just nitpicking now though because there isn't much of the usual stuff to criticize, this was an enjoyable story all the way through with some passages of really excellent writing. Everything about the crash landing in particular stood out, it was tense and felt realistic. I like too that there's just enough clever sci-fi stuff going on to be engaging without overwhelming with technobabble or feeling like there are any magic solutions to anything.

Really looking forward to the sequel(s).

-- mizal on 5/8/2019 4:33:05 AM with a score of 0
This was really very fun, and being a fan of Sci-fi, I enjoyed the experience. The setting and plot was extremely interesting, the characters felt fleshed out and the environmental descriptions were awesome! I literally felt I was floating in outer deep space, when I was reading the space-walk descriptions.

I like how the endings had reason and logic to them, and that the author did not follow the pet peeve of every CYOA reader, i.e. end the story instantly at the very first choice of the story. Even if you make the wrong choice, the story provides good reasoning for why you died.

At times though, seemingly mundane choices let to unpredictable deaths. Maybe if you provided more choices so as to avoid such a scenario? For
example, when you choose the option to approach that alien-thing(I don’t remember the name) with your plasma gun held at the ready, you could’ve provided a choice to scream, “Don’t shoot!” to your soldier friends; or when you go after that unlucky guy who goes mad due to stings from the desert crabs, you could provide an option to retreat back deeming the rescue attempt dangerous , but then you could’ve written a scene where as you try to run away, you’re bitten and go insane. Even though you’re saved from Giri minor, you end up in a mental asylum and are observed and experimented upon by scientists hoping to make an antidote for
future residents aiming to terraform and colonise Giri minor. In that way, providing a sense of accomplishment even though you didn’t survive.

I just personally feel that there’s a lot of lost potential here, and these little choices always help to further add immersion to a story.

As for the realism part, I know it’s Sci-fi; but I’m one of those hardcore hard science fiction fans and science nerds, who always cringe and scorn on the cliché unexplained futuristic technologies that soft Sci-fi uses. The hyperspace technology here, just seems unrealistic. I’m not saying that you should not use it, but maybe if you provided somewhat of a vague description of how the futuristic technology in the story works to make them more believable, and thus increase reader immersion, I would’ve really appreciated it. On the other hand, I’m just nitpicking here, and this could be considered as a fantasy Sci-fi hybrid of sorts; so take this point with a pinch of salt.

In all, this was very enjoyable and the minute I read the first page, I knew I was in for a wonderfully and skilfully worked treat; and I wasn’t disappointed. 7/8! Can’t wait for the sequel!

-- ShoujoAddict on 6/8/2019 9:39:03 AM with a score of 0
After finishing this story, the first thing I want to acknowledge is how well written it was. I know that Bill_Ingersoll is a published writer already, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complement his writing. I noticed almost zero grammar mistakes, and the game really reminded me of the 80s choose your own adventure books (which I was obsessed with when I was younger). The only grammar mistake that really caught my eye was the sentence “One of the two people you found unconscious in the passenger cabin has since awaken”. I believe it should be “has since awoken” instead of awaken. Although it is generally frowned upon to have only 1 link per page, this story harnessed it very well. Personally, I enjoy the “story” over the “game”, so this is never a problem for me. The story was easy to follow, with interesting lore and characters. Your writing really helped to draw me into the characters’ situation, to feel as if I was actually there, experiencing Giri Minor for myself. Another thing I really enjoyed was the mystery you ingrained into the planet and its ecosystems. This led to new discoveries being more surprising, especially the SPOILER insects at the beginning. Now for some criticism. I did feel that the story was short, and a few more choices could have been provided along the way. There also wasn’t a super satisfying ending to the “to be continued” route, just kind of a ship appearing and asking if the planet had been colonized yet. I’m curious to see where the sequel leads, now that everyone will be off of Giri Minor and back onto whatever home planet they are from. All in all, this was a really good story from a new site member, and I can’t wait to see what directions the sequels head in.
-- C6H8O6 on 5/21/2019 8:11:53 PM with a score of 0
I love how it is structured - story, interface, and all - as a classic choose your adventure book. It was, in every sense of the word, delightful.
-- Ficsean_Chef on 5/7/2019 5:35:21 PM with a score of 0
Must say that I really do enjoy the way that this storygame was structured and worded like an actual CYOA book. It gives it a sort of unique tone from some of the other stories on this site.

Bravo and kudos to you, mister writer person.
-- TharaApples on 5/4/2019 7:07:28 PM with a score of 0
The author sets the scene really well. Right away, I’m brought into the sci-fi universe the author created. I was especially glad that it didn’t get too weird as sci-fi can do. Popular elements of the category are drawn upon which paved the way for my imagination. The style definitely reads more like a novel (i.e. page numbers) and I enjoyed the change of pace from a normal storygame. From what I remember of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books, they were written the same way. Remember those? They had the warning “do not read this book in order” on the first page. Oh boy, even the choice links are the same as those dusty ol’ books. It’s so similar, I Binged the story title to see if it was plagiarized. Bing didn’t find anything. Can someone Google it for me?

The grammar and pacing were exactly how I like it. Unnoticeable. Those elements tend to stick out like a black man in China if done poorly. If done well, you don’t really notice. At least I don’t. What I’m trying to say, is the grammar and story flows in a fine manner. It did seem rather bland at times. There were several times where the story didn’t progress all that much after clicking a few links. Part of that is due to the short amount of text per page.

Some general thoughts about the storygame:

- I thought it was a good idea to make the main character not accustomed to space travel. The readers aren’t either, so it was nice to experience the wonder of Hyperspeed along with the MC.

- The character and places were aptly named. It was like the author used a Star Wars Name Generator for them. It added to the feel of the world.

- Although I like having the text per page about the same amount, I felt like more could be on one page. When there are a few paragraphs on several pages with no alternate links, it might be best to combine them to one page.

This storygame is definitely a higher quality than a lot of the stories I’ve seen published. I enjoyed the novel aspect of the format, especially the universal length of each page. Great world-building and grammar, although the story gets dry during some points. In summary, worth reading if you have the time.
-- ninjapitka on 5/1/2019 11:34:05 AM with a score of 0
This was quite enjoyable, but I couldn’t help but think about the movie Pitch Black throughout the entire story. Crash landing onto a planet? Sure. The captain dies, cargo hold is intact, and there is an abandoned settlement? Then when we try to get to said settlement we are attacked by hostile creatures that are repulsed by light? We then escape using a small ship that we found at the settlement? Way too similar for me, but maybe I just picked the right sequence on my first try and got the Riddick ending.

I did like the beginning though, it was eerie, and got me a little scared, although I did read this late at night.
-- Austinc on 4/30/2019 10:44:53 PM with a score of 0
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