Zake, The Novelist

Member Since

7/28/2015

Last Activity

7/28/2021 1:48 AM

EXP Points

1,230

Post Count

506

Storygame Count

0

Duel Stats

0 wins / 1 loss

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Architect

Commendations

65

'ello! I am Zake. Welcome to my profile.
Writing is fun, hard, and interesting.
Feel free to message me.

Some sites that may be worth a look:

Contribution to the War Effort

Games Rated: 205/205
Games Reviewed: 0
Listings Created: 0

BONUS

  • The End Encroaches

Rate all of Endmaster's games. (Games now only found in the forbidden tome).

  • Elven Pride

Rate all of Mizal's games (that are on the IFDB).

  • Nay to thy Naysayers

Pass judgement on all of Endmaster's (current 80) reviews. So far all helpful. Existence terminated.

  • Criteria's Final Row

Rate all of Gower's games.

  • Hammer's Shadow

Rate all of BerkaZerka's games.

  • Seek Wisdom

Pass judgement on all of Mizal's (current 18) reviews. So far all helpful. Existence terminated.

  • Acceptable Effort

Rated everything (for now).

The war is winding down, but eyes shall linger.

Last Updated 11/03/2021 (DD/MM/YYYY)

Trophies Earned

Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points For providing the community with many helpful posts when it comes to the aspects of writing. Said posts are acknowledged and appreciated.

Storygames

The Capybara's Band and the Missing Instruments
unpublished , coauthor

Recent Posts

How to Write A CYOA Story? on 7/24/2021 10:29:52 AM

As Wizzy mentioned, just look into learning the editor scripting.

You can have something like:

The %%COLOUR%=%1%red%%%%COLOUR%=%2%blue%% flag fluttered in the wind.

It could be more checks, you can use greater than less than, you can have sentences, you can have multiple on-page scripts on one page (but you can't combine different variables, so either combine them before you use it, or just keep in mind it needs to be spaced out).

Another example:

%%STABBED%=%0%The merchant looked out at the armies from the hill.%%STABBED%=%1%The merchant was bleeding on the ground.%% %%FIRE%=%0%The moon in the azure sky watched it all.%%%%FIRE%=%1%The sky was red; the moon blocked by smoke.%%

Notice the space between the %% at the end and start of a 'script' when it changes the variable it is checking.

Read the help articles and consider messing around in a test story. Then you can ask questions.

The simple stuff like using variables to track choices and then using scripting to display text (or choices) based on variables is relatively simple, but it can be a bit confusing at the start. From experience, my explanations don't tend to be the most beginner friendly.

You can also add in scripting for redirecting to a different page (which can be useful). Depends on how you structure stuff tho, as sometimes you can just have two links with different visibility.

Anyway, that'd be something like:

IF %KEY = 1 THEN $DEST := @P10

If the variable KEY is equal to 1, then the DESTINATION (denoted with $) is set to Page 10.

Alternatively, keep doing the tedious method, since it'll bloat your word count, heh.


End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest on 7/21/2021 3:44:08 AM
Hmm, competition! (LOCKED and welcome to the contest).

End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest on 7/20/2021 5:38:29 AM
Some of my rich insights into co-authoring might be missing, but I can't be bothered to check the validity (which I have no reason to doubt, it'd be a lot of effort to be misleading and all). I didn't resist, so it wasn't being voluntold, but it I will say it felt like it. (I like the approach where you finish the story before declaring intent to enter).

End Master's Manifest Destiny Contest on 7/20/2021 4:00:53 AM
Whelp. Hopping to win now so that I know my 'first story' will be good. edit - tho using the word my is misleading, but it won't be Mara's first story.

A Late Greeting on 7/18/2021 10:19:25 PM
Welcome! Regarding the first question, just imagine reading the story to your nephew while his parents are there. Will you regret doing it? Maybe the story isn't family friendly, heh. I think the general gist of it is that you should avoid anything sex related, and violence can't be gruesome. However, I'm sure family friendly shows have used innuendos before, and violence in children cartoons isn't unheard of either. Just think about your audience. If you write it and are still unsure, you can put the storygame on sneak preview and ask for feedback in the Writing Workshop. Someone should be able to tell you if it isn't Family Friendly. Regarding the second question, contests are pretty frequent, but there has been an attempt at not flooding the site with them (so there might be a small break). Sometimes other writing activities pop up instead too, like a writing jam, so keep an eye out for that too.

Death of an Angel on 6/22/2021 3:41:40 AM
Clearly the demon took this into account and...let's not go into details. I guess it could be cleared up with a throwaway line, something short like: 'The DNA evidence supported the demon's story.' edit - I was too slow with my response!

Death of an Angel on 6/21/2021 11:30:56 PM

I wouldn't say that ending is terrible (except from Sandra's perspective, heh).


Setting & Plot

If priests known religion is real, they could help Sandra out. Alternatively, Sandra can summon another fallen angel to prove it (if only she'd asked Billy how he met Ereiel!), unless there are more requirements than the blood of an innocent and a crude circle.

Demons can either manifest writing or perfectly copy handwriting, and if he manifested the journal, there'll be no receipt for it. More importantly, Sandra was pretty beat up, how did the examiners consolidate that with the journal? Did the demon clean up before leaving? I know murders can get investigated pretty thoroughly, but I'm sure it depends on circumstances.

With hell being literal alongside other mythologies, it does make me wonder if it is a belief or geography based thing. Pa certainly failed to exemplify Christian values, but that'd hardly be a mark against realism.


Ending

I'll let Mizal cover the big picture, and I'll say that there is no obligation to have a 'good' ending, and 'bad' endings can work.

The issue is that 'bad' endings often end up being edgy (and here I use edgy to mean shocking but devoid of meaning). You certainly have shocking elements here, but are they devoid of meaning? Given the demon's speech, there was at least an attempt at meaning, which I appreciate.

Pivoting to a 'bad' ending might mean you don't set it up sufficiently in the earlier parts tho.

Anyway, while the demon could've been lying, given this is the ending, it does seem him talking about 'the universe [having] certain rules' was exposition & the story moral.

Redemption for past failure being impossible seems like an odd moral to me, considering the role of redemption in Christianity (but being a universal rule stops me from questioning this as a world-building issue). I suppose the contrast is neat tho (but it doesn't feel explored).

However, while the moral itself doesn't sit right with me due to how absolute it is, if we ignore my personal disagreement with it, the real issue is that it renders the prior story a bit moot.

The cycle of abuse is not perpetuated because it shaped/traumatised Billy and his relationships for life, it is perpetuated because Billy summoned a Fallen Angel who allowed his Pa to meet a demon (by killing him), who then abused Sandra. If one considers oblivion better than eternal torture, Pa got the good ending by having his soul eaten. This ends up contradicting being 'marked for all eternity' due to failure, since Pa failed at both being a good Pa and at being a monster (he failed to break Billy), so he should've also been stuck in some 'cycle'. I feel this undermines the moral.

The Angel mentioned in the titles is also reduced to a plot point, Billy could've found a gun manifested by Norse Fairies and shot Pa, I don't think the ending would've been different. Maybe I just need to reread the earlier parts to see how they fit together (not like I'm the best at spotting thematic through lines anyway).

Setting up the ultimate inevitably of failure early could help it all read more like a classic Greek tragedy, which certainly didn't have 'good' endings.

The part at the end with the therapist lamenting that demons aren't real seems to point at Sandra's situation being tragic, but it rings hollow because demons are real in the setting. If it is commentary on the woes of irl humanity, it falls flat for me since I'm still focused on how a fictional demon ruined the life of a fictional protagonist. It might be a bit too short to offer deep insight, but maybe it had a better effect on others?

Anyway, the actual execution does still seem good to me, since the scenes are strong, so as I said at the start, it isn't a terrible ending. The tone shift into very dark maybe feels a little sudden, but I don't think it is inappropriate given the circumstances (i.e. literal demon). It isn't exactly out of left field either, considering Billy's past.

Maybe it just feels like it could've been better? Maybe I feel it cheapens the previous instalments? I'm not sure. Maybe I was just invested in the characters and am sad to see the story end like this.


Conclusion

The pessimistic moral seems like a departure from the previous instalments, perhaps it needed stronger foundations to feel more concrete, but as it is, it ends up feeling like the real moral is 'shit happens' (which is rarely satisfying/cathartic). However, the ending is only terrible for five of the characters, and is itself alright.

So, while it is not what I was expecting, it still ends the story strongly (even if I still question that moral).

Looking forward to whatever future writing endeavours you undertake, as I'm sure they'll also be engaging.


P.S. Like an absolute idiot, I ended up losing my initial write-up, so forgive me if some of those frustrations ended up coming through in my tone, lol. I liked my first version of the 'setting & plot' better. Anyway, good work finishing this, it wasn't a small project. Feel free to question any of my points here, it is easier to do when the work is finished (since no new information will be revealed), so if I misunderstood anything it is easy to correct me.


Tense situation with an Angel on 6/19/2021 7:44:36 AM

I still like the pacing! The scenes here are strong, and the shift from 'reconciliation' to Pa's entrance is neat. Good cliff-hanger too.

Regarding the setting, it's cool to see it expanded, what with the dad coming back (those obsidian-black eyes aren't natural) and knowing how to banish a fallen angel, along with fallen angels having that weakness.

Looking forward to the conclusion (or at least the conclusion to this occurrence)! Billy certainly seems to be in a bad situation, so it'll be interesting to see what he does.


Hello on 6/4/2021 10:20:08 PM
'ello!

Wake Word: An Algorithmic Nightmare on 5/29/2021 10:54:50 PM
Fixing the scrolling might be good, since it does seem the bottom of the T&Cs has some...non-standard information. Anyway, when I said the morning routine is 'part of the start', that was because I had assumed there'd be more things that happen at work (like a gauntlet style CYOA)! But hey, wanting to read more is generally a positive. I'd say the ideas could be explored more, but what is there is still good, so can't really complain. Prompting the reader to think is perfectly valid too. Also, being able to read it all is another thing that is generally considered a positive (as opposed to something where reading everything would be a hassle). And speaking of a hassle...I am wondering if unlocking all the endings and then clicking A->M would do anything (or spelling out something? Can't spell out Abra tho). I certainly imagine there is a possibility. Yet while such 'do everything' secrets can be neat, they are also often tedious. Having to restart fully (albeit while being able to skip the training) does mean unlocking all endings takes longer. Being able to use the go back button would speed up the process, but I imagine this is a limitation of the system (pretty sure implementing a 'get all endings' ending in a storygame would also run into this issue where you can't use the go back button to sift through paths faster). Anyway, chances are good there is nothing hidden like this, but if anyone does do all the endings, let me know if anything happens!