Player Comments on The Book of Vanishing Tales

What a beautiful, witty story. Your prompt had caught my eye from the moment I saw it, and you pulled it off! This setting has a lot of depth, and you shared just enough to give every location the flavor it needed to provoke me towards emotion. Fiction has a difficult time gripping my interest, much less make me feel.

Your story used variables and intend to form a core inside the structure of the story,which just adds to the quality of objectively great writing. You wove some words into grammatically correct sentences that added some more spice to the experience. While there were.several.typos,.It was nothing egregious.

I mentioned the effects your story had on my day earlier in this review. I will go into specifics now. The eye-catching descriptions might go over my head at some points, but looking back now I see the beautiful images you had cast into my thoughts. Not all of it was necessarily beautiful in the traditional sense, but rather little trinkets that are just nice to have, like the change of clothes we get in the city.

The characters were nicely done and I did not expect all the various different endings. My favorote, beyond becoming the muse of comedy, is A Child of Sandrella. Seriously, what a glorious ending with much potential.

Glory to the One God.
-- 3iguy on 1/7/2020 1:42:01 PM with a score of 5
This story is wonderful. It just fits right. I got lost in it and was so enraptured that when it ended the first time I wasn't sure I wanted to go back and find new endings (my first ending was the lovers one).
When I went back to find others, however, they were different but equally fitting and well done.
Not only did you create a good story, you created a great world beyond the scope of the prompt. The blood religion was interesting and you could uncover bits and pieces of it. The mages were fascinating and it was cool to uncover their story and role with the muses initial downfall and potential downfall in the future. The variance in the branches made it interesting to play again such as the different stories that the protagonist tells, the different relationships that are formed, and the different parts of the world that are uncovered.
I also appreciated that you took the time and effort to explain the mechanics of how the muses in your world work. They give but, when weak, also take. This was not only shown in the end through dialogue but through the outright statements about the Sandman, and in some ways through the stories the protagonist tells about when they were still alive.
There was also good foreshadowing given in different paths, such as the story about the egg and later finding the giant egg in the real world to prompt the reader it is important (though I wish the reader could be rewarded for paying attention by being given options to choose or not choose the egg). Also it was hinted several times that the protagonist was more important than just a simple storyteller which left me wondering throughout what his abilities were and how he would use them at the end.
The premise itself is great and while the endings usually come across as beginnings of something bigger, they are complete as well.
There were very few grammatical errors which is frankly astounding considering how much content you managed to produce in such a short amount of time.
All in all I loved this. This is the type of story I would show my friends to get them more interested in branching path stories.
-- bilbo on 1/6/2020 7:57:11 PM with a score of 10
It’s a very interesting story. The first page tells it all. It’s all about an old storyteller, looking to honour his past. The writing reflects that. It takes its time, looks with a quiet languidity to the world and finds the right words to describe it.
And that’s where this story shines. The world is lively, every location a place of wonder. There are devious slavers, cursed cathedrals, red desserts and shady taverns. The author fills each of these locations with a distinct feeling, making them all memorable.
The story itself follows a heavily bottlenecked schematic. It fits. This is a journey. The choices are not in the destination, but in which way to go. I had my fun looking for different ways, playing as a miser one time and as a spoiled man the other.
Every review needs its nitpicks. The endings, although varied and I think based on variables set during the journey, feel far more rushed than the rest of the story. The writing jumped up in pace, eager to wrap everything up as soon as possible. After enjoying the journey so much, the singular pages left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Oh, and obviously there are some spelling mistakes found, but that’s only reasonable in a story so large with a nearing deadline.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s all the more impressive considering it’s written and thought out in a mere month and based on Bucky’s prompt. You were only handed your setting, object and character.
-- enterpride on 1/5/2020 8:34:35 AM with a score of 5
A beautiful story. I actualy feel connected to all of the characters, including the old man, you portray him quite well. The work also shows in your many different stories. maybe you should become a storyteller yourself. :D
-- striker on 1/23/2020 2:05:31 PM with a score of 13
What a beautiful adventure!

I love the care that has gone into each of the stories, and the ending I received felt hard earned after a long and engaging journey. Looking at the other reviews it seems as though the different paths led to completely different play-through experiences, which I appreciate.

I would have liked to interact more with the items (I couldn't find much use for them in my play-through, so perhaps some in-game guidance might have helped). Also, I found it a little jarring to finish a beautiful story with the silver count at the bottom, but I assume adding it to the inventory might not have been an option.

All in all, I had a great time. If you're unsure about this game, give it a try and I promise you'll be hooked by the first page. Thank you for creating this, Camelon!
-- LL on 1/19/2020 9:05:29 PM with a score of 10
Seems like my original route got some of the more depressing endings, where my only options were to sacrifice myself or run away, so that's a bit of a downer.

But it was still a incredibly well crafted story, so well done.
-- Killa_Robot on 1/7/2020 10:49:44 PM with a score of 9
This was a fantastic entry, Camelon. I got the "Forever Love" ending, the first time I got to the Grove. And I'll have to spend some more time reading through the others. Creating this in the contest time frame is astounding.

Other than some typos and spelling errors, the one thing that stuck out to me was that I could be short on gold and still be able to rent horses to get to the caravan. I believe I had 65 before I paid the 50 gold bribe, then I spent a trifle for the ferry and food, but the horse rental would have been another 20. I'm not sure how much I would technically need the way it's set up, but having 85 gold before that segment also left me with 0.
-- Bucky on 1/5/2020 1:41:46 PM with a score of 5
This was a chilling and sad love story, and a story a journey towards death, forgiveness, and the approach of winter.

Most of the story was about a journey (I noticed it was a little analogous to Lord of the Rings--I guess a bit of an homage), with exciting action scenes and a few narrow escapes.

The obvious stand-out scene was the (attempted) robbery on the cruise ship, and the magical duel. Fire, lightning, shards of ice--this author has a talent for describing battle and awesome elemental duels. I *loved* Zigmund Raff. Great villain. ("No, I don't think you shall go quite so soon. Not until I take...your flesh.") Killing him was the best part.

Other great bits: the scene in the witch grove, the quiet tea ceremony, the tender love scene in the pit with the archaeological stuff. A few cool "Tomb Raider" scenes as well.

I thought one thing that needed work was time spent with the minor characters. It's cool that Mai was the Wind Goddess, but you could have prepared more for that with some preparation--one more scene with her would be cool.

I liked how all the stats worked. You had to scramble for money in this game, selling your books, your cloak, your information, your organs (!--gross scene, btw) to get passage.

Obviously I can't not mention all of the inset stories. They were like little storygames themselves. Obvious riffs on some of the classic games here--I noticed a Price of Freedom one, an Escape the School one, and even a Natalie one (thanks!) but they were all pretty disguised. I also noticed Endmaster lurking on the ship at the start--I assume that's who the cloaked figure was.

A few typo catches: after the mining disaster, you had "Syphillis"--should be "syphilis" and in the same scene you kept calling the main character's muse wife his "daughter"--unless there's some subtext I missed, that's a mistake!

Awesome story, also there were about three broken links leading to crashes in the Cathedral section and two dead links in the lifeboat.
-- Gower on 1/4/2020 8:58:24 PM with a score of 7
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