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Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
(Original contest thread) So Endmaster just hosted one of the most wildly successful contests in CYS history. (And then basically won it, but being a gentleman he won't rub that in everyone's faces. Much. Probably.) For all our sakes I have collected them here in one convenient place, because the fact there were 17 entries has created a small dilemma where the early birds are dangerously close to being shoved off the New Stories list entirely. I know everyone is busy with school and work, but there are some impressive efforts in here, and a simple way of showing appreciation and giving back to the community is to leave comments or at least rate them when you have the time. (And remember that constructive criticism, even of the bluntest kind is always welcome in addition to any praise. Authors are not afraid of honesty around these parts.) Due to the broadness of the theme the stories range across all genres, so there should be something for everyone. In the order they were entered, with lots of pushing and shoving to get through the door in the last two hours before the deadline for the majority:
Capture the Flag A family friendly storygame by Gryphon, ~27,000 words When Alexsis starts trying to steal your favorite seat in the school cafeteria, things get serious. The pair of you decide to resolve this dispute in combat: a game of capture the flag. Can you beat your nemesis in a game of capture the flag, and reclaim what is rightfully yours? This story is a short cave-of-time style game with seven possible victory endings. Happy flag-hunting!
Gunslinger A grimdark fantasy storygame by ninjapitka, ~25,000 words Solitary is the life of those who carry iron and deal in lead. Their trail is littered with the fallen, both friend and foe alike. A man seeks rest, his body exhausted from the journey, his mind never finding stillness. Evil grows in the western frontier, a place of adventure and danger. And where those things exist, so too does the gunslinger.
Ruins of Anzar A puzzle / games storygame by Gryphon, ~13,000 words When a thunderbird attacks you while you search for the missing Professor Keirz, you crash-land on a plateau near the legendary ruins of a ruined Anzaran city. You must make use of the resources around you to repair your damaged flyer, find your missing friend, and unlock the secrets of the ancient Anzaran temple. An open-map item-based puzzle game with one good victory ending, and one great victory ending. Good luck exploring the ancient Anzaran plateau!
Uneasy Lies the Head A family friendly storygame by Camelon, ~9,000 words You are Altam, merely an 8th-tier potter. Your house is small but sturdy, and your work at the wheel and kiln moderately interesting. There's no need to regret this - at least you are not a 9th-tier factory worker or a 10th-tier sewage monitor. But the simple life of a plebeian worker is far from the high tech comfort and glamour of the central tiers. One fateful day, the national lottery selects you as an Official of the House of Regulation. You are transported to the capitol city and the grand palace of Aria to begin your new life as a politician. But even if you adjust to power, can you keep it?
Little mage's potion shop (and the curious adventures surrounding it) A grimdark fantasy storygame by Darius_Conwright, ~86,000 words Running a Potion Shop Has Never Been This Exciting! The country of Riverrock had just discovered a brand new continent called Foundland. Settlers and hopeful souls flock to the promised land. One of them is the young mage Lise and her accomplished teacher. They set up a potion shop, build a house and decorated half of it. All things were fine and dandy till her teacher decided to fuck off and go on his own adventure. Now she has to run it on her own.
The Capi's Band & the Missing Instruments A family friendly storygame by poison_mara and Zake, ~13,500 words A stand-alone sequel to: Elvis At The Beauty Contest. Join Miz, Matt, and Mandy as Madame Coon recounts the tale of the Capi's band and their missing instruments!
Tales of the Solar Schism A sci-fi storygame by Randy_Lahey and TerranImperium, ~8,500 words Long ago, the Sol Commonwealth that united all humankind under one banner split apart, and only chaos reigned across the star system. Ideological differences over the implementation genetic enhancements tore it apart: those arguing for the limitless implementation of this technology to push humanity into a New Era were opposed by many others who objected on ethical grounds. it would be creating a caste system with a stratified elite and destroy the Republic. After the Fall, two factions coalesced around these ideological cores, who now wage an unending war for control of the solar system. You are the firstborn offspring of the Patriarch of House Harridan, and have fled your comfortable residence the Solarian Aristocracy under the cover of night, to stake out a new life in the Second Solar Commonwealth. As an enhanced human, you feel like a fish out of water. Will you manage to fit in, tear down the Solarian Aristocracy and find your true purpose?
Quicksand A sci-fi storygame by poison_mara, ~14,000 words (No description but I think she said this one is about a vampire escaping a room or something?)
Shostakovich A historical storygame by betaband, ~4,000 words A dramatized story about soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich for the Manifest Destiny Contest.
A Hunted and Haunted Halloween A mystery / thriller storygame by Mystic_Warrior, ~175,000 words "Welcome to the experiment. A man is dead, and you have to find his killer. There will be a list of rules in your room once this briefing is over, but all you really need to know is this: There are five of you, but only one can solve the mystery. You will be given five days. Each night, one of you will die - no more, no less. Ready? Even if you're not, it doesn't matter. You're in my world now."
The Razing of Nipthm A sci-fi storygame by Nightwatch, ~14,000 words You live a small farming life on Nipthm, a planet of scrublands and grasslands. Trouble heads your way, and it's bringing a mortal danger you can't avoid. United Space doesn't bother trying to protect the outer worlds. You're on your own.
Encaged A mystery / thriller storygame by TrueParanormal, ~16,000 You grew up here. All you've ever known is sitting in your little box of metal. Daddy takes care of you. He says the world is dangerous, that there are monsters looking to take you away. He protects you. At least, that's what he tells you. You know better... (Mind the maturity warnings on this one, folks!)
Cannibal Apocalypse A sci-fi storygame by enterpride, ~4,000 words Pretty sure this isn't meant for the family-friendly category.
WARCHIMP A sci-fi storygame by hetero_malk, ~4000 words An indirect sequel to CYBERMONKEY. If you're curious about this world, I highly recommend you read that one first. HIGH OCTANE ALL CAPS MONKEY MADNESS -- what the description would probably have said had Malk been thinking that way in the last fifteen minutes before the deadline.
The Martian Rebellion A sci-fi storygame by Soy_No_More, ~7,000 words The following is a depiction of true events which took place between July and September, 2262, verified as fact by the Luna-Mars United Archival Project.
Propheteering A grimdark fantasy storygame by WizzyCat, ~15,500 words Play as Urga, the founder of the prestigious Church of Desires, an infamous underground religion that specializes in darkness, debauchery, destruction, and most importantly, delivering coinage to Urga (although try not to tell that last bit to the followers, it wasn't in the pamphlet for a good reason). However, Urga's time of frolicking in the deepest recesses of society is now over, as one of his many, many, oh so many enemies has sent warriors after him, Urga's no fighter, but to what lengths will he go to survive? Up to you.
Journey Through the Snow A family friendly storygame by Reader555, 5,555 words (That number had to be intentional!) You and your younger sister are orphans living in Snowy Village on the Winter Continent. A village where disobeying the leader is the worst thing you can do. You do some hard jobs for a living (such as cleaning the skins and furs of hunted animals, collecting lake ice to heat into water, and other jobs) despite your young age. The village like many other villages is protected with a barrier from severe storms and wild animals by the 5 barrier stones. However, one day one stone breaks during a fight. The village leader puts the blame upon your younger sister. Now, do you dare?
Oh, and of course, the long awaited:
The Pure, the Vile and the Deadly A grimdark fantasy storygame by EndMaster, ~152,000 words Three ladies. Three legends. Additional notes: This story is a fully self contained one and can easily be read on its own, however it also acts as a connection to Rogues, Eternal and Necromancer. As with any of my writings, the story comes before the game. However there is an epilogue for each "winning" ending.
And while not in the contest, since it's a significant work that got absolutely buried by all these entries, published at a time when everyone was laser focused on their own writing, try making a little time for:
Blackbirds A fantasy storygame by ninjapitka, ~109,000 words Citizens! The High King requires the patriotic swing of your sword! Enlist today! Benefits include free passage to the New World, unparalleled brotherhood, and a sense of purpose! Talk to a recruiter today! Alteran, a superpower nation unlike the world has ever witnessed. Proper, rule-following, like a civilized nation should be. Magda, a territory threatening to rival Alteran in both might and colonization of the New World. Supreme Leader Fargrave (spit), ever a constant presence at the High King's heel. Harri'ar, natives of the New World, standing a full head taller than the average civilized man. Mere beasts in a human-shaped body. The old ways are dying; the new are upon us.
You guys have REALLY been outdoing yourselves lately. Even the smallest stories have contributed seeing how the main purpose of all this was to fatten up some of the more neglected categories for our readers. Anyway, Thara and Gryphon are already ahead of the pack on reading everything it seems, but plenty of featured comment slots are still ripe for the taking, y'all get to it. (And share this link around if you know people chad enough to appreciate some good reading material.)

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Oh right and then there's this poor kid who dropped a story right in the middle of all this, 325boy could use a few ratings too if you still have room for any after all of that: Bomb Mission.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
This makes me want to write.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Can't wait to see the final results!

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I mean, we all know who is gonna win here but I am excited to see where I fall underneath that

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Endmaster pretty consistently picks stories you might not expect. Every judge has different qualities they weigh most heavily in a story for these, and he basically goes by personal entertainment value.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Remembering now that the last time End ran a contest, Northwind had some huge game he clearly thought was going to win.

End said he had trouble getting into it and found it boring, so Northwind took it down and basically vanished after that. F.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Reading is hard.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I was too focused on writing the unmajor part of the story and spent too much time thinking that I did not notice my word count. It's completely unintentional, a pure coincidence!

What's the highest word count done for a storygame here on the site?

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
BerkaZerka's Dead Man Walking is over a million words and still has the heavyweight title.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

Nice! That's an extremely big amount of words.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I appreciate that little shout out, but i don’t really think I'm ahead of the pack on anything. I think i properly rated and read like five entries at the moment. I didn't even leave a comment on Ninja's which i should in all honesty. However his stories are like novelistic and actually require you read them carefully. It's hard to bullshit or half-ass a comment out of any of his titles. He deserves better than that, unfortunately. I'll probably have to actually mention specifc events, characters, and settings. 

Scary. 

My macbook tends to run slow because I like to have 500 tabs open while I', doing assignments, so I tend to do all of my actual reading offline. When I want to leave a rating or a review, I sign in on my laptop for that. When I was admin I probably would have accidentally broke something trying to be on CYS while on an Iphone, so I developed the habit of only being signed in on my laptop. 

Wait, what was my point again? 

Oh, I'm definitely going to read and try to leave at least leave some review for everything. I know everyone cries when they pour their hearts and souls into their writing and nobody bothers to leave even one acknowledgement through even a meager comment. Even Ford making *MONKEY NOISES* becomes something appreciated.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
As of the time I made this thread you and Gryphon were the most visible readers, looks like you've got competition now though.

That sounds like an annoying way to have to do reviews. Although I avoided doing any admin things on my phone for a long time too though, until I had to give in and do everything on my phone.

I can at least log out of the site, I'm far more worried I'm going to accidentally nuke the Discord someday when I doze off with my finger on the screen.

I'm not sure what my point was either, but Ninja definitely writes too much and should be stopped. I honestly can't remember if I've ever even reviewed one of his games, it seems pointless when I know he'll just publish another one soon.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I used to think Flutter wrote too much, but maybe it's better not to review anyone's games after all. I fear my last comment I left on his story-game that ended up being unpublished, and said comment ended up being featured may have ended up killing him. I have denied this site more potential story-games, surely. 

Please say something.

@fluttershypegasus

Oh, I compared Ninja to flutter. 

Hmmm, this is getting slightly off-topic, at least to me. Just a bit. This is a sign that I should be getting back to reading everyone's wonderful contributions to this site. 

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
I thought the PM I replied with when he wanted to know why his Harry Potter game got taken down might have made him leave, but I just truthfully said I didn't pay much attention to the fanfic section. Perhaps it was a combination of things.

....you know what, I'm too exhausted right now to speculate any more extensively about what's going on in the mind of a brony.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Take your time. I'd rather you sit back and enjoy the story rather than having it feel like homework. Of course comments/reviews are always welcomed, but even more so when it's the story driving you rather than comms, points, or Mizal swinging a Texas-sized stick. Short stories tend to get a lot of attention early on. Not sure how memorable they become though. Malk and Chris are outliers in that regard. Anyway, I have 2-3 projects writing projects lined up that aren't storygames, so you have time to catch up. Probably won't publish another this year.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
>Probably won't publish another this year.

Great, now we hurt Ninja's feelings too....

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

Thanks for assembling this list!

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I just read through your Ruins of Anzar game. Pretty cool! It's been a while since I've done an inventory puzzler, and your setting was nice.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks a ton for leaving such a detailed review!  This will be a big help when I go back to edit.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Thanks for that review, it reminded me the bird existed. Now I think I can tackle the bit I was stuck on.

And if I forget to mention it in any follow up comment, just wanted to mention to @Gryphon I really really liked the touch of having the location names change once you know what's in those directions. Just makes navigating a while lot easier for one thing and gives a better mental image of where all these places are in relation to each other.

Since Camelon mentioned the map, I'll just bring up that I thought it was bugged at first too, since for the longest time it only listed one location. (I did eventually figure it out, but I'd long gotten out of the habit of checking the map at all by the time I reached the other side of the river.)

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

It's really gratifying to hear that changing the locations names actually mattered, because that was a huge pain to code and I wasn't sure anyone would actually notice.  I'm glad it actually makes a difference.

That's good to know about the map.  When I go back to edit, I'll probably make the description much more clear, and add a few locations that you can switch between immediately so that the player has a chance to get used to it before new locations open up.

And thanks a ton for the really detailed comment!  In addition to what you've already messaged me about, this will be a big help for the editing.

If like you mentioned in the review you're unable to get the steel for the flint and steel, here's a hint with all the numbers replaced with letters via a = 1, b = 2 (I coded it so you don't have to use the hint if you don't want to): 21-19-5 11-14-9-6-5 20-15 16-18-25 19-20-5-5-12 15-21-20 15-6 20-18-5-5 1-20 19-20-15-14-5 20-1-2-12-5 

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Amusingly, the most reviewed story on the site today is an edutainment thing from 2015 on the Black Plague that was unpublished some time ago for low ratings. Whole class of 7th graders hitting it hard right now.

Every time this happens I feel like surely someone here could crank out something more readable and equally educational for those poor kids over the course of an afternoon.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

Alright, going to start reading these (unfortunately).

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

So as for fattening up categories, there was a fairly wide variety. Scifi was unsurprisingly the most, with family friendly and grimdark being the next two favored in genre.

6 Scifi

4 Family

3 Grimdark

2 Mystery

1 Historical

1 Puzzle

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
I'm surprised Ruins of Anzar didn't end up in Puzzles.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

It did. Unless this is a joke that flew over my head.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Oh, nevermind, I must've been looking at the other game. Thought they were both in Family Friendly. This is Gryphon's fault for being an overachiever. Who the hell writes two games and enters them both more than two hours before the deadline, seriously.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

A true CYStian

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
Nonsense, true CYStians don't even start until the last six hours.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

Alright I "read" all of them. (Hence why the games haven't been updated, but I'll get back to that soon)

I'll make some thread at some point announcing everything.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

Great work on reading through all of the entries, End. The results should be interesting.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago
How do you get those red line?

I want to read everything but I'm so busy with school and it's hard to do anything fun online at home, so it may be awhile. Thanks for making this as it will be easier now once I do get to it.

Manifest Destiny Reader's Guide

2 months ago

To get the red lines I think you press (")/the big quote apostrophe. If you hover the mouse on it, it will say (Block Quote). You see that on the top of your text box when "Rich Text Editor" is on.