Player Comments on Visions of a Life.

Ah, a brief tale of the environmental post-Apocalyptic survival from Down Under.

So yes, this was an curious little diversion -- perhaps an interesting premise for a storygame, but otherwise light on substance. The protag is 65 and running for his life through the barren wastelands near Sydney; his primary offence is the fact that he has outlived his usefulness to society. One reference to the current Australian PM tells me this is set in a future everyone here might live to see. There is no escaping the commentary that current human activities are directly leading to this hopeless vision of the future.

Beyond that, though, this is just the bare bones of a story -- a scenario, but not an arc. I'm told repeatedly that the protag is 65, but the character is described only with a teenager's awareness of the aging process ("...your ankles are arthritis ridden from the sports your parents subjected you to play when you were a child"). This is not Paul McCartney imagining his future life renting a cottage and doting on his grandkids (try this link if you have no clue what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCTunqv1Xt4), but the ramblings of a person whose sole complaints in life are pollution and team sports.

This is especially disappointing for a story entitled "Visions of a Life."

I will further note the lack of a description, and the fact that nearly all of the branches lead to the same two outcomes: fail to survive, and rue all the things that led you to this moment; or get captured by the authorities, and rue all the things that led you to this moment. If there is a better outcome, I lost interest and didn't find it.

So, despite the competent spelling and grammar, I would invite the author to try again and come up with more scenarios and a wider array of outcomes -- as well as a more developed POV character, whose life we're supposed to be envisioning.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 8/25/2019 8:44:06 AM with a score of 0
Not going to lie, this was extremely difficult to read through and maintain focus though. In the gambit of writing a story you have to balance the well-written and described prose with an intriguing premise and varied sentence and paragraph structure. This story has the former in spades, it is well narrated. Where it loses me is the second half.

There is something to be said for keeping a lot of your story under wraps, but this felt like reading a disembodied final couple pages of an adventurer's journal. Even a sprinkle of context could've gone a long way to make me feel like I was a character, and not a 5-minute interlude on Planet Earth.

This would have fared much better as a short story, with the additional paths being used to further intrigue the reader rather than to lead to the same sorts of deaths we'd been encountering. But, I mean, it's definitely technically sound, so you've got that going for you.
-- TheChef on 9/11/2019 6:16:47 AM with a score of 0
This author needs to work on creating more interesting, varied paragraph structure instead of big blocks of text. Introducing dialogue more freely, shorter sentences mixed in with the lengthy exposition bits. But more importantly, a better sense of character more quickly--we need to care about the protagonist, and the lack of meaning in the choice structure makes it difficult to be invested in the choices I am making.

It played much more like an outline of a narrative than a detailed, rich world that I was exploring, and I never felt grounded, with little time spent on world building or characterization.
-- Gower on 8/27/2019 8:58:08 AM with a score of 0
I tried several of the versions and of course their is an inevitability and that is the case in life as well as this game. Which I suppose was the intended message. The design of the game supported its narrative arc. The player was always given a choice albeit not necessarily ever more than a choice between momentary, fleeting relief and something more grim. It had elements of Classic Science Fiction such as the Twilight Zone which I really liked. The text was clear and direct and there were some really beautiful sentences such as "Your skin painted with bruises". Gosh dead at 65. Life is so short. It left me feeling resigned and it brought home to me the mortality that is common to all living things.
-- Gary Carsley on 8/25/2019 5:34:20 AM with a score of 0
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