The Weekly Review - Edition 4
Published every Friday, Editor: Will11, Special Thanks: JJJ-thebanisher
This week has seen some really good and some eye-gougingly awful story-games appear but Achilles stands out as a particularly great and well-written story game. This week the Review brings you an interview with top author JJJ-the banisher, a review of another great EndMaster story Necromancer and the usual slew of tips, puzzles and jokes. Great work those who solved last week’s puzzles, as a little bonus the names of these clever puzzle-solvers will now be posted every week in the Solutions Section.
Reviews Recommending Riveting Reads
Note: your story-game must have received a player rating of at least 4 for inclusion here.
Achilles (A Sci-Fi Adventure by Chase223 and Steve24833)
A welcome reminder that not all the authors that join this site are alphabetically challenged these two authors have put an incredible amount of work into creating a vast universe where your choices really do have a massive effect on the fate of the inhabitants of that universe. Seriously recommended reading.
Z-Day Survival Quiz (A Everything Else quiz by _Zomby_)
Actually a pretty good quiz to see if you have what it takes to beat the apocalypse. Turns out I don’t J
A Day in The Life of a Slice of Bread (A Everything Else story by sleepy)
Surprisingly funny little story definitely told from an original viewpoint.
Since The Dawn of CYOA Time (2001):
Necromancer (a Fantasy Adventure by EndMaster)
EndMaster’s style of writing is very distinctive with it’s dark themes, text-based drama and powerfully-drawn characters. High-quality throughout if you want to spend an hour or two reading an excellent story for free just try one of EndMaster’s stories, this in particular is one of the best: a world of dark magic, exciting adventures and strange new lands. If you want to be a good author it is a good idea to read as many good stories as you can and on this site there are few better stories you could start with than this one.
Interviewing Interesting Individuals
Q: Why do you write choose your own stories?
A: Considering the fact that I haven't written any interactive fiction since 2009 (at the latest because OMS was republished), I don't really think that it's necessarily appropriate to say that I write CYOAs. I used to write them because I got so very engrossed in my stories. University sort of corrupted me in that I had to write so many formal reports and essays that writing in my spare time wasn't really appealing. Now I'm writing campaigns for in-person RPGs but maybe I'll get back to writing interactive fiction in the near future.
Q: What is your preferred writing method and style?
A: I tend to run with inspiration. Once I'm inspired to write something, it tends to happen quickly and it falls into place really well. I make up for planning with a really strong imagination and it tends to carry me through plot arcs. I need to focus more on productive branching, though.
Q: Any plans for future stories?
Q: Who are your favorite authors and/or story games on this site?
A. Endmaster - Ground Zero has to be my favorite storygame. I think that there are a number of highly overrated storygames on the site, such as the Homo Perfectus series and OMS, but Ground Zero is one of the very few exceptionally well balanced storygames. Endmaster tends to really nail that middle ground between character development / plot, and strong arcing. No other author is really able to convey the idea that many plot arcs all have equal pay-outs emotionally.
Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: 99% of authors could improve mechanistically. It doesn't matter how great your ideas are if you can't write competently. Please focus on your spelling and grammar.
Q: How about some final thoughts?
How to write a good WC Fan Fic:
1) Be prepared for a lot of criticism, even if your story-game is halfway decent in quality. The reason for this is because you’re plagiarizing a well-known series which already shows a lack of imagination and for that reason it tends to attract authors who for some reason or another don’t seem to use English the way the rest of us do. If you don’t want to be tarred with the WC-fan-bad-author brush you need to make an effort to stand out by giving us a well-written story.
2) Give your characters personalities as well as names. Each action needs a motivation and doubtless there are rivalries, love interests, friends, role models and hangers-on in your character’s life. Tell us about them and have them do interesting things like they do in the series. Your readers will like that.
3) Use a story beyond the born-train-fight-leader dies-you become leader saga. Maybe your Warrior Cat has a quest? Maybe he is a diplomat sent to make peace with a rival clan but is cruelly betrayed and forced to escape across many miles of hostile territory? Maybe there is a mysterious sickness decimating his Clan, his cubs are ill, and he needs to find a mysterious plant only spoken of in cat legend said to grow in the wild Swamps of Unimaginable Horror? Maybe he needs to win the heart of his true love by proving his ability as a leader when a drought forces his clan to migrate and seek new lands?
ABOVE ALL: Please be original. If you can write a good story that makes readers respond on an emotional level we might even forget it’s about Warrior Cats rip-off. One way to do this is to spend at least a week or two on your story.
Puzzle of the Week
This week’s two of the puzzles come from the aptly-named brain-teasers.com while the third is recycled from last week as nobody apparently could solve it (I’ll leave a puzzle up for three weeks and if no one solves it I’ll give the solution). Puzzle 1 is ridiculously easy, Puzzle 2 a little more tricky requiring some lateral thought and for readers to put any thoughts they might have apart “women drivers” aside.
1: A plane crashed and, unfortunately, every single person died. However, there were two survivors. How can this be possible (Note there were no animals on board)?
2: A girl who had just received her drivers license quickly left the drivers licence station. She was so excited, but a bit nervous as she left. Within just about 2 minutes she was already going the wrong way, down a one way street! A big truck almost ran into her but swerved at the last second to avoid crashing. However, she was not breaking the law. How can this be?
3: Yesterday, circus owner P.U. Burnem gathered his clowns, and told them he was going to fire every one of them after that night's performance. Last night, Burnem's electrocuted body was found underneath a bumper car.
The following facts have been determined; can you find the killer?
1. All male clowns with rubber noses wear red wigs.
2. None of the juggling clowns wear both a red wig and a rubber nose.
3. All happy clowns without rubber noses are part of the "tiny car" act.
4. None of the sad clowns without rubber noses wear red wigs.
5. All of the men who are sad clowns wear rubber noses.
6. None of the happy clowns who can't juggle wear red wigs.
7. All clowns with rubber noses who can't juggle are in the "tiny car" act.
The coroner was able to put the time of death at 8:17, which was during the clowns' "tiny car" act. Therefore, nobody involved in that act could possibly be the killer.
The list of suspects has been narrowed to the following four clowns. Which one of them bumped off the circus owner?
1. Alberto, who can juggle
2. Babs, who wears a red wig
3. Crazy Chester, who has a rubber nose, Red Wig, Can’t juggle, Sad
4. Doris, who is a happy clown
Last Week’s Puzzle Solution
Successfully Solved by the Clever Delta44, Cynical and TacocaT
1: Of course the “how many people are going to St Ives” puzzle is a wordplay to get you to focus on the Maths rather than the facts. As you were going to St Ives you met this man with all his kits, cats, sacks and wives, nothing ever said he was going to St Ives.
2: Of course this is a twist on the doctor “I can’t operate that is my son” car accident puzzle. The banker and the fire-fighter are the child’s parents.
3: As nobody came up with the solution to this puzzle, which is actually rather tricky, I’m leaving it up again for this week.
Because I was born in the 90’s I love Homer Simpson. Here are some of his best lines:
Children are our future. Unless we stop them now.
English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England.
Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: you.
My wife's not some doobie to be passed around! I took a vow on our wedding day to bogart her for life.
Roads are just a suggestion Marge, just like pants.
Is the poop deck really what I think it is?
Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is like another nail.
Marge, it's uter-us not uter-you.
I think I've figured this balloon thing out, Marge. It can go up and down, but not side to side or back in time.
Kids are great. You can teach them to hate what you hate and, with the Internet and all, they practically raise themselves.
PLEASE READ AGAIN NEXT FRIDAY FOR MORE REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, TIPS, PUZZLES AND JOKES!
Cool, you did an interview with JJJ this time.
Another nice edition, Will.
Riddle 1) Well, there was a couple. Oh la la.
Riddle 2) She was going the wrong way to her destination, and the truck was going the wrong way on the street.
Riddle 3) Alberto
Loved the Homer Simpson one-liners :P those're great!
1) The survivors were married
Riddle 2) She was never in a vehicle and was running down the center of the street the wrong way towards the truck. Pedestrians get the right away after all right?
Edit: Also thanks for the mention of my quiz!
Great work Will, thanks for writing this.
I had the same answers as TacocaT for 1 and 2 (it's all about that sneaky wording and comma placement...) but I'm still stumped about the clowns. Feels like I should make a chart of something to keep track of them all. :P
Also feeling like that bit you wrote about WC ought to be included with that article that just went up. Even though I don't really get the impression that Warrior Cats fans spend a lot of time reading through help articles OR the forums so it may be a lost cause...
1) A couple!
2) She was on foot.
Thanks for writing this up. Excellent work.
I love how 3J names his own story as overrated. It's cool how not-cocky he is. ^_^