The Cottage

Player Rating4.31/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 29 ratings since 05/31/2018
played 209 times (finished 35)

Story Difficulty1/8

"no possible way to lose"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level4/8

"need to be accompanied by an adult"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG.

Synopsis:

Left to fend for themselves, two children brave a dark forest, and the evil it hides.

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Quick Notes:

This storygame is short, and it's kind of a kid's story. It's actually part of an idea I've been rolling around about a collection of fairy tales/spooky tales, a sort of anthology. It's my take on the classic Brother's Grimm tale, and it's not complicated, nor is it replete with a myriad of parallel plot lines. There are three endings (four if you count dying), but do not expect vastly different outcomes: it basically comes down to who ends up dying by the end.

It's also possible to completely avoid the main plot section (The Cottage), although I wouldn't recommend that path, as the story is short enough as it is. I'm not sure if this falls under fantasy or horror, but I think I'll go with horror, even if it isn't particularly scary. It's a bit macabre in places, but ultimately it is a children's story.

Visually speaking, I'd advise playing with images on, otherwise you might have to highlight text in order to read it in some cases. Also, you might want to scroll the text so it isn't directly on top of the moon on a few pages. A mild annoyance, I'm sorry, but I couldn't implement the full scripting I wanted to in order to handle that problem.

Lastly, admittedly this was put together quickly from a base idea jotted down earlier, due to the nuclear attack on the website over the past month, which put me too far behind to finish the entry I wanted to for Killa Robot's "Feels" competition. It is what it is: just a short take on a classic tale. Not a lot of feels, but a little bit of pseudo-early modern English ;).

Player Comments

I get that you wanted to put the bit in about the potential issues with the text colors. However, if you know that much ahead of time that people are going to have problems with the text colors, you probably shouldn’t have published it. I get that you were up against a deadline here, but still. And the same goes for the bit at the end – if your story is so bad that you have to apologize for it, why are you even publishing it? Again, I get the contest part, but I see these initial pages as back covers of books and when I read about how bad the story is, I just don’t even want to start reading. Ah well, on to the story!

For me the colors and images work. I know some don’t like them, but I think they can help set the mood a little bit. So I’m a six-year old girl? Okay. I was a little lost on the first page. I’m going out to play hide and seek – but I have a basket of food? Personally, I’ve never had food with me when I played that game, but hey, maybe this culture plays it differently. But then I get led out the door and atop a giant hill. Now in the hide-and-seek games I’ve played on top of a hill is the worst place you can possibly hide! Everyone can see you there! But I don’t know, maybe the six-year-old girl with the food basket hasn’t played hide and seek before and doesn’t know that.

Now I followed the path back towards home. I realize that in your intro you said that I shouldn’t. But I honestly couldn’t think of any possible reason a lost six-year-old girl would head further into the forest. I guess if you really didn’t want me to go that way, you shouldn’t have given me the option. Overall the descriptions and writing in the story was nice. Of course, reading back through, there didn’t really seem to be much of any options, either. There appeared to be the one major choice, and that was it. But again, it was good writing, I enjoyed reading the story, and hope that you will indeed create and write more here. Thank you for sharing the story with the site.
-- Ogre11 on 6/4/2018 4:55:59 PM with a score of 0
I enjoyed this story quite a bit.

The first couple of pages and the last couple seemed to have white font in which I had to highlight to read, which was a pain, but I'm not sure if this was a mistake on your end or if it was my computer being stupid, so I won't hold it against you.

The story, based off of the description, had me believed it was a kids centered story. It took a chilling dark turn. I like the way you took the old story and did it in a kind of Brother's Grimm kind of way. It was enjoyable most of the way through.

The only real gripe I have about this is the extreme depression running through this story. I get that it's a theme, but damn was this story straight depression through and through. There's not really anything to break up the constant crying of your main character, but maybe I missed a choice to have a happy ending. I got the betrayal ending, so that was obviously very dark.

Also, it was quite short, and the characters weren't really developed. Not much dialogue either, so it did feel a bit shallow but overall the theme and story kept me happy throughout it. Good job, man.

6/8
-- RoyalGhost_007 on 5/31/2018 9:08:25 PM with a score of 0
This was pretty good, although I will say I didn't go to the cottage as instructed and instead found the way home. The story was still touching enough. I'll have to read through the main part of the story.
What I can see so far is that the spelling and grammar are alright, except you could use paragraph breaks to separate the dialogue from the description paragraphs.
Although I could see you using faminem (famine) to describe what was going on, it felt kind of weird using the Dutch words for mother and father at random points in the story. You could have just stuck to all of the english versions and it would have been fine.
*Spoilers*
It seemed as though, at first you were steadily building up to the children having a vague idea of their parents planning on abandoning them in the forest, so the other children could survive. But then you kind of vomited all of the information out onto the page in a way that makes it hard to believe the children would willingly follow them out to the forest if they knew they were going to be left for dead.
You could have written in the parents finding a more subtle way to do this. Also I am a bit confused, was it a famine that was killing them or a sickness. It kind of seems like they talk about famine, which seems understandable. But at the ending I got the deaths were attributed to some kind of illness. Which if it was an illness I don't see why killing two of their children would even do anything for them. No one gets sick from starving to death, you just whittle away gradually.
Unless I'm missing something I would say it is a major plot hole.
I would also like to say that you should have spent more time working on your story (plot, grammar/paragraph breaks for dialogue) than trying to make the story look pretty. As you should probably know, looks and aesthetics don't do much for something everyone is reading. You could get away with it with a movie or some shit, but this is a reading site. While the background looked cool, it didn't factor into anything except gradually fading from my attention.
Any ways, this story has even greater potential, as it is already pretty good. Remember, plot, grammar, and description are always better than aesthetics.
Good story and keep up the work.
-- corgi213 on 5/31/2018 6:53:26 PM with a score of 0
The pictured background was nice. Very good story with way too little choices. Can you make some more?
-- Quorrah on 9/15/2018 5:53:29 PM with a score of 0
Pretty good, and I had no issues with the background images or other formatting. The only quirk is that the wealthy wagon man somehow passes through the same place whether we went straight home or stayed at.the cottage for several days.
-- Victim on 9/14/2018 3:59:18 PM with a score of 0
A little too short for me but that's not to say it wasn't a good read. The story is great, but it'd be nice to add a few more options to advance the story. Kudos on the background I've never seen anything like that on this site before.
-- John316 on 9/14/2018 3:21:55 PM with a score of 0
This story I judged for a children's story. I experienced both the "Happy" and "It's not your fault" endings, and I say, it's a good children's story. I believe it's more Fantasy. The fact that you have to highlight text to read in most pages could work in a puzzle story. It reminded me of Hansel and Gredel or something like that - with a cannibalistic "with" and a house made of "gingerbread." Overall, it was fairly good. 5/8
-- EatTheCake on 8/2/2018 6:32:39 AM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed reading your story. You did an excellent job with detail and made the story your own.
-- Faervel on 7/4/2018 2:48:23 PM with a score of 0
Intense. Not for you if you're looking for a game, but if you want to read a story that will make you feel, this is for you.
-- Anactaka on 6/22/2018 12:09:37 AM with a score of 0
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