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Questions about a storygame? Thoughts on Eternal? Any other IF you're playing out there?

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/8/2023 12:20:30 AM

Welcome to the first (un)official CYS review competition!

You have one week to read a storygame and write the best review you can. Easy enough, right? Winners will be chosen by the author and/or impartial judges of their choice. And yes, that means if you're the only one who joins, then your one line review of "sucks, is bad" will automatically win by default. 

Potential Rewards:
 

  • Winner: 50 points
  • First runner-up: 30 points
  • Second runner-up: 20 points

(Note: if any of the mods are reading this, feel free to let me know if these point rewards are too high/ low, as I'll probably make this a weekly thing). 

Participants will also get commendations! Provided, of course, the review has some modicum of effort put in. And for the high achievers among you, aim for those 3 featured review spots!

Storygame of the Week:

Safe (by Ninjapitka): https://chooseyourstory.com/story/safe

Deadline:

You have until the end of next Monday. To join, post your review of Safe as a reply to this thread. Good luck!

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by Mystic_Warrior on 9/25/2023 7:24:06 PM
Eh, here goes nothing.

Right, here I go again. The way that you set the tone of the story had me hooked. I was immediely smashed in the face by the dark and suspenseful tone. I like getting my face smashed in that way. Also the atmosphere was well described and I could see myself with the characters. On note on the characters though, was that I believe you could have given more descriptions on how they look. Either that or I missed it. Still, given that you produced this under a time contraint, it was well written and deserved the win. Well, I'm done talking. The moral? Read the damn story already!

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 9/25/2023 1:55:00 PM
Your writing is masterful as always, Ninja. The storygame itself is dense with content and choices, and it kept me entertained until the very end. I couldn't help but be curious in all of the possible outcomes and decisions that are so neatly and wonderfully placed in this story. I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of this story. I'm tempted to say that you have outdone yourself, but your writing is always consistent in just how good it is. Thanks for yet another wonderful read, I eagerly anticipate the next storygame that you may create. Be it some inspired sequel to this storygame, or something completely different altogether. At this point I think that it is safe to say that it is only right for me to look toward to your next piece. The level of care and attention to detail that you place into each of your stories is always a treat to read and enjoy. Thank you once again, for writing this wonderful and enthralling story.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

This is one of the best reviews I've ever read on this site.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 9/25/2023 7:58:34 PM
Your review is masterful as always, Mizal. The review itself is dense with content and choices, and it kept me entertained until the very end. I couldn't help but be curious in all of the possible outcomes and decisions that are so neatly and wonderfully placed in this review. I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of this review. I'm tempted to say that you have outdone yourself, but your reviewing is always consistent in just how good it is. Thanks for yet another wonderful review, I eagerly anticipate the next review that you may create. Be it some inspired sequel to this review, or something completely different altogether. At this point I think that it is safe to say that it is only right for me to look toward to your next review. The level of care and attention to detail that you place into each of your reviews is always a treat to read and enjoy. Thank you once again, for writing this wonderful and enthralling review.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

This is one of the best reviews of a review that I've ever read on this site.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by TharaApples on 9/25/2023 10:10:50 PM
Your review of the review of my review is masterful as always, Thara. The review of the review of my review itself is dense with content and choices, and it kept me entertained until the very end. I couldn't help but be curious in all of the possible outcomes and decisions that are so neatly and wonderfully placed in this review of the review of my review. I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of this review of the review of my review. I'm tempted to say that you have outdone yourself, but your reviewing of reviews is always consistent in just how good it is. Thanks for yet another wonderfully reviewed review, I eagerly anticipate the next review of a review of a review that you may create. Be it some inspired sequel to this review, or something completely different altogether. At this point I think that it is safe to say that it is only right for me to look toward to the next time you review a review. The level of care and attention to detail that you place into each of your review reviews is always a treat to read and enjoy. Thank you once again, for writing this wonderful and enthralling review. In short, review: it no longer feels like a real word.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
The mod-goddess has spoken.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

This is one of the best reviews of a review of a review that I've ever read on this site.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by Mystic_Warrior on 9/25/2023 7:24:14 PM

Y'all look, I actually did something! Should I have been doing schoolwork? Yes. Can I always do that later? Yep.
 

Overall: I loved this story! I loved the tone, the metaphors, the allusions, the narrator! Of course there are always the occasional grammar mistakes that sneak past even the most seasoned authors (of which I am not one), but overall this “review” is mostly me fangirling over your writing, despite never having read one of your stories previous to this.

Now let’s get into my rating categories I came up with for the sole purpose of writing this review. I may also use them in future reviews, assuming I write any.

Characters: The narrator is just about my favorite person ever- maybe I’m just in an especially great mood. I love the sarcasm, the dry tone, all of it. Especially how he starts out by being comforting and calm and very quickly progresses into being threatening, then goes back to being harmless but still not… “safe.”
In other words, good job. 
Hans was also well characterized, with a distinct personality and way of speech.
This is about the part where I decided I’m not reviewing every character, because there’s actually a lot of them. None of them stood out as badly done or overly stereotypical, so kudos.
8/8

SPAG: Yeah, I saw some errors, and about two of them are mentioned below, because I stopped being so petty after the first ten pages or so. However, they’re really just really just nitpicking on my part and overall you did well.
5/8

Plot: Yeah, “dark fairytales” isn’t exactly uncommon, but this story still managed to be unique. It is interesting, for sure. Not a dull moment, almost.
7/8

Branching: Based on my few read throughs, there were more than two very defined paths (much more than two, lookie there. Exactly nine, it appears. No, I did not read and will not read all of them, but I appreciate that they are there), and a lot of shorter endings scattered about. Nothing too extensive, but still very impressive.
However, it takes a while for any real branching to occur. In the first five or so pages, there may be multiple links, but choosing the “wrong” one just leads to the narrator telling you that’s not how it happened and continuing with the story as planned. It’s not really a problem, though, the illusion of choice actually sort of helps set the tone.
6/8

Bonuses:
Tone! I loved how the tone changed to fit the story. The sentences and wording always made the current energy of the scene very clear. It’s masterful, amazing, glorious. I may mention this quite often in my comments below. +0.25

Humor! We all know I’m a sucker for a good laugh, and if you don’t, then… well, I mean, that’s fine. I haven’t exactly been around here for eternity (or very long at all), and I can understand people around here not knowing me.
Still, all it would take is a peek through my profile, or reading my short story game. Or like, one of my posts.
It’s not that difficult, y’all.
Anyway, +0.25, because this humor is masterfully done and delightfully dry.

The ratings (plus the tone bonus) average out to exactly 7/8, which is convenient. I totally didn’t arrange the bonus points to add up to a whole number on purpose, no.

Now for my favorite part!
**obligatory spoiler warning**
**also a warning that the words below are mostly ramblings and just little things I noticed, and I definitely repeat myself and/or sound like a lunatic at times**

I like the “relaxed” and slow tone of the beginning. It really flows well and the narrating voice in my mind was speaking calmly and softly.
I also like how it goes from that calm and happy “safe” feel to immediately creepy and unnerving, in one page. 
Ooh, the link finishes the sentence. Snazzy, I may steal that idea.
The tone and sentence flow in this is spectacular. Brilliant.
No idea why “Sprechen” is capitalized on the “and the music, loud” page. I know German grammar is different, but I’m almost sure that’s just a typo.
 Also after “asked” there’s a question mark instead of a period.
I love that it’s “Sehr gut choice” instead of saying choice in German. Also “very good choice” is awkward in the first place. It makes for good characterization.
I’m loving the sarcastic, smartass, dry narrator. Absolutely fantastic.

> There it was again, Hans speaking like a foreigner fresh off the boat. For all I knew, he was just off the boat the way he spoke.

This strikes me as redundant. Or is “was” meant to be emphasized? (Gosh, there had to be a less confusing way for me to write that sentence.) It’d be easier for me to tell if it was, for instance, italicized.
Also, that second sentence is weirdly worded and doesn’t really follow the basic rules of grammar, not that I’m really any kind of authority on that.


>The question caused much lachen from Hans. That’s the German word for laugh, at least according to Google.

You’re correct! Points for admitting you know as much German as the fool and are bs-ing your way through this. Of course, “caused much laugh” makes little sense, but luckily it means “laughter” as well.
There are a plethora of splendid one-liners here. I applaud you and your mastery of the dry-toned comedy gold.
I love the comparison of traveling to falling asleep. It’s very creative, and makes sense as well. 
I love how the narrator constantly refers to himself as the fool when he does something stupid, especially since I’m the one making those stupid decisions the majority of the time.
Ooh, the fairytales are real in this “Nirvana” world! I mean I could’ve gotten that from the whole “Entry for MHD’s Fantastical Fairytales Contest” thing in the story description, but who reads those? I like how the fairytales are all dark instead of happy- I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of these types of stories.
I love the parenthetical phrases that break the fourth wall. They’re done tastefully in my opinion- that is, they’re not overdone and keep their humor.
I don’t really think there’s a lot left to mention, unless I continue being pedantic about grammar and spelling and punctuation and such (yes, the irony of my grammatically flawed sentence talking about your grammar was intentional). Continuing with these comments would result in me constantly saying “Ahh! The wit! The humor!" over and over again, so how about I don’t do that.
Good story. Good job.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Darnnit, I got no chance against these. Curse my single celled brain.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Well, mizal's was a joke, so really all you gotta compete against is mine. That's not so bad, yeah? ;p

And hey, if no one else replies, then you automatically get at least 20 points! Go you

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Calling other contestants genuine heartfelt comments a joke?

I should dock you 20 points.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

shaking in my boots

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5 months ago

Done.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Fair enough.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Done again.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Thanks.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

You have the same points that you had since this interaction started.

No need for thanks. 

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Yeah, I just need everone to fall alseep when they see the link.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

For all you know, I could have started this review competition because I had a 5,000 words review of Safe and wanted an excuse to give myself 50 points :)

Edit: Just kidding, of course. Did you seriously think I'll do something like that? Now that I'm a productivity mini-mod, I can just award myself points whenever I want.

But in the spirit of promoting productivity and such affairs, I would procrastinate more generously allow the rest of you to compete amongst yourselves.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
That is so kind of you. There is nothing that warms my heart like competing with strangers online. This is what being a gamer is.

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
sucks, is bad



Did I win?

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
what

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Enthusiasm seems to be dying down, so I'll raise the stakes: the winner gets to choose the next storygame of the week! At the very least, you'll likely get one or two new reviews on a storygame of your choice, along with a Mystic review™.

Also, third place is currently between three joke reviews so you might as well write a bare minimum review and claim your 20 points!

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

Also FnaFuck is dead(verified). I'm assuming this makes him automatically disqualified?

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago

I hope so :p

The CYS Review Competition!

5 months ago
Commended by Mystic_Warrior on 10/6/2023 11:20:55 AM

Well might as well I'm sitting in bio with nothing to do, I love how you used the names of fairy tails and story plot of some to make up the crime and names of the characters, it's ingenious. I did have fun with this though, it had good spelling, plot, and character development. The story kept you reading and it was rarely dull. I wish I'd been able to bag Hans though. The twist at the end was unexpected and left me gaping. On to more specifics, the main character was a down to Earth guy and the start was rather normal. I loved how it went from drinking with a silly German man to suddenly you are in a different magic world and must find a missing girl. 6/8 story and I'm 100% just writing this because no one else is I need these points man.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/3/2023 2:38:41 PM

 

INTRODUCTION.

I wish I’d seen this contest a week before and not on the afternoon of the deadline, but here’s my review. 


 

MY SUMMARY AND REVIEW.

“Safe” whisked me away into a fairytale-inspired Nirvana, where below its sparkling exterior lurked dark secrets and missing girls. Though its initial rambling and drowsy atmosphere risked alienating the reader, it was intermixed with enough threat and unusualness that it retained attention. Interestingly, the story revolved around a nameless narrator who referred to himself as a fool and told the player his story, setting the player’s role as a listener. Peppered with colorful language and a bone-weary, cynical tone, the narrator boasted a compelling voice that often overpowered the story. 

Deeper into the story, “Safe” remained consistent in its gloomy tone and atmosphere, reminding me of noir settings in which washed-up detectives search for answers among whiskey glasses and dangerous cases. Vivid details and strong metaphors painted lively yet dark scenes, examples being Hans “single-handedly fighting World War III with the beer keg” and “needing subtitles” as his accent emerged while drinking. Even better were the characters whose strong personalities made them leap off the pages, an example being the gun-toting, foul-mouthed Gretel and her gentler but tough brother Hans. The excellent dialogue quickly got to the point and revealed more of the characters’ traits that felt like a natural discovery as opposed to being told.

As for the story itself, it contained interesting events that were often diverted or dragged out by the narrator’s rambling, making it difficult to follow. It was slow to begin, sped up, and then quickly ended. It mostly remained linear with few choices, giving a sense that the narrator controlled the path, although Hans’s storyline gave a little more interactivity. However, if the player made the “wrong” choice, it led to an ending that somewhat felt natural and satisfactory compared to the abrupt endings in Red’s storyline.

Overall, “Safe” was an interesting read with an unusual take on the fairytale characters. Combined with slow pacing and frequent interjections from the narrator, it felt difficult to get into, but the twisted, creative metaphors felt like a burst of flavor amidst the depressing atmosphere. Though I don’t regret taking the time to read it, I felt several aspects could’ve possibly been adjusted to enhance the story and its comprehension.


 

POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS.

First, perhaps the narrator’s rambling could have been reduced for better pacing. Although his thoughts and metaphors gave him a strong voice, they also detracted from the story for two reasons.

The first is he interrupted the story too frequently. For instance, the beginning felt like it dragged and took too long to establish the setting. The reason is whenever the narrator introduced a new story element, he sometimes spent another paragraph or more on his musings. For example, after he stated the story began in a bar, the paragraph about protection left me impatient, and I felt it could have just been: “It starts as many good stories do: in a bar. Two characters emerge, the stranger and the fool. Guess which I am?”

Another example is when the narrator asked the reader if they knew what question the German man asked, only to ramble some more. By then, with the frequent interruptions, the story felt too slow and had not yet even reached the action. Perhaps it could have simply been something like (to add suspense without spoiling the details):

Answer: “I don’t know.”

Narrator: Neither did I at the time. I didn’t know how much it’d change my life. But he spoke of his home. The place I call Nirvana.

And soon, I’d see it. 

You too.

For the other answer (“more on your broken heart”), since the narrator would later speak of fate and why Hans chose him, I felt the paragraph was redundant. 

The second reason for a reduction in the narrator’s commentary is that it often felt unclear or unrelated. With such a mysterious, dreamlike setting, it only added more confusion (ex: Apparently a universal sign. I know, I know, maybe a bit insensitive for California, where there are countless teams on the field, and the rules of scoring are just as obscure).

An example is the bar scene in which the narrator met the German, but the immersion felt diluted by the frequent commentary in parentheses, some of which was difficult to understand and/or didn’t add anything (ex: If ESL folks regress when buzzed/tipsy/drunk/etc., I do the same with improper speech. The Gs become non-essential: What are you looking at? Nothin to see here.). Because the scene was already painted with gorgeous, colorful metaphors, the commentary felt like an overload and kept taking me out. It was like speaking on the phone, only for someone next to me to continuously interrupt my conversation.   

Perhaps instead, it may look something like:

At the end of the bar, I hunched over a Bream on the rocks - it was cheap whiskey. Binging on a budget. Over the dingy speakers, Kurt Cobain screamed about Teen Spirit. A heavy fog of smoke wafted through the air, so thick that I already knew my lungs were blackening (alternative: “so thick I already felt the cancer growing in my lungs”).

I was waiting for my ice to melt when a man plopped down next to me, the bar stool groaning beneath his weight. Big son of a bitch. Broad shoulders. Blond hair shaved close, nearly bald.

He ordered a pilsner.

Another example is the conversation about Hans’s origins, and I felt the paragraph “drink enough booze, and it’ll . . .” and the anecdote about the homeless man (though interesting) felt unrelated and interrupted the pacing.

Another suggestion is to perhaps condense the metaphors and details. Because they fill much of the story, too many long ones can feel overwhelming or like a digression. For example, when the narrator first introduced his role in the story as the fool, perhaps his metaphors could have been reduced for readability and quicker establishment (because it’s still an interruption from the story). It may look something like:

No, but that’s nice of you to think. I am the fool. Have been since my first breath and every subsequent one.

Oh, to be the stranger, a mysterious figure cloaked in black, perhaps sitting at the corner of the bar or tavern. A man with an unshaved, dusting beard, yet still maintained to the degree of civility. Yes, make me that hero. He’s Strider in Lord of the Rings, the Gunslinger in The Dark Tower.

But I’m the fool. And unlike in the fantasy tales, the fool is not a hero in reality. He doesn’t rescue princesses to marry, nor win battles or conquer evil rulers to - hey, surprise, surprise - be the long-lost heir of the rightful king.

No, he trips over his own feet. Drinks spoiled milk. Forgets to pay rent. And when he looks within the mirror, he sees not his reflection - but a disappointed version of himself, hands on his hips, head shaking at the lost cause. I’d trade places if I could. Lock myself in that glass rectangle and let my reflection take responsibility. See how he likes it.

Chances are, he’d end up in the same place as I am now. Drunk. Alone in the bar.

Here, the lights were low, and the music loud.  

Another example is when the narrator encountered Catalina. Though the metaphors were creative and vivid, their constant usage and the narrator’s “quirky” comments reduced their impact. Instead, maybe try spacing them out, so it feels more unique when it occurs like a burst of flavor. Perhaps it could instead be something like:

I stepped inside. It was empty, weirdly so, like the architect accidentally added an extra zero to his measurements. I felt like a kid wearing his dad’s boots, two sizes too big. And speaking of which, a shiny pair faced me, brilliant black like the back of a fat beetle. Slowly, I looked up into the face of a tan woman, her vivid red lips pursed in a smirk.

“Catalina?”

“Who’s askin’?”

A heavy Spanish accent mixed with her voice, the tone cocky, like an outdoor cat who hadn’t lost a single life. 

“I’m a friend of Hans,” I said. “I need a place to rest a while.”

Her sharp eyes peered at me, gleaming in the low lights. “Hansel, that sonofabitch,” she purred. 

“How many nights will this get me?” I took the pouch of gold and conservatively pulled a quarter of its contents.

Catalina raised a groomed eyebrow. Reluctantly, I pulled out another quarter.

Furthermore, the narrator constantly referred back to Nirvana and his role as “the fool”, which grew redundant.

In addition, perhaps consider a deeper focus on important story events and improving pacing. The story contained interesting elements: the narrator stepping into Nirvana and either being faced with a missing girl case or a spunky reporter escaping her death, depending on the player’s choices. Hans’s storyline felt stronger as each character had a distinctive, important role to play, and the player was presented with more choices. I particularly enjoyed the encounter with Cinderella and found her endearing.

However, Red’s storyline felt muddled with drawn out scenes of the narrator drinking or sleeping, and pages were often dedicated to unrelated thoughts. The limited choices nudged the player into a more linear storyline, and the endings felt confusing, such as the narrator turning on Red. It felt like at some point, the story’s threads started to unravel and split into different directions, sometimes not going anywhere.

One way to improve the focus is to remove distracting or unnecessary scenes. For instance, if the player chose to part ways with Hans, they’d encounter Red’s storyline. To maintain attention and pacing, a method may be to summarize the hotel scene/walk and remove the anecdote about Jill, instead jumping faster to the bar scene which is the action. Catalina and Jack never reappear again anyway, and the player never returns to the hotel.


 

CONCLUSION.

Overall, I felt that minimizing the narrator's rambling, reducing the metaphors and details, and establishing a more distinct storyline would benefit the story. Other than that, “Safe” contained many strengths as mentioned before, reflecting the author’s unique skill with words and creativity. Though the story could’ve been clearer at times, it still painted a beautiful yet depressing picture of a man who could never be the hero. With strong descriptions, it invited the reader to view life through the narrator’s twisted, dirty lens. And in the end, though he sought to escape his failures and disappointments through Nirvana, his problems still trailed after him, and he only traded one twisted world for another.

 

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Dammit Summer, I wanted to win.

(also, you're amazing)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

My little to no effort review. :(((((  Aw mannnnnnnn

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

So many chins

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

You mean not enough. If your despair is great enough that you melt into a slug-like form, put more effort into multiplying your chins.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Still pretty sure me and Ford are in the top three

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Ford's was truly insightful. Your's was over complicated.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Can't tell if "Your's" was intentionally typed that way or what

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I have my moments of retardation..... Yeah I'll take the shame on this one.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I did probably have too many words. That's why Ford is likely #1 and I'm in second.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I second this.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I nearly didn't join after seeing your review. It was too intimidating. Those three words delivered a mortal blow to my psyche. Though I braved through it, I doubt I'll ever fully recover.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I think you have a good chance. Once I submitted, I took a look at yours, and I liked how you covered a variety of categories. Your template was a neat idea that kept your thoughts tidy. I particularly enjoyed your enthusiasm and your insights on the German language. They were perceptive and interesting.

(Also no, you're amazing.)

 

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Just curious, are you Asian?

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I'm curious as to how you guessed and why you're asking. Yes, I’m Chinese American and have lived in the States for my whole life.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I KNEW IT. I'm just surprised @Darius_Conwright hasn't arrived to post a five page essay with illustrations so that you and him and Peng can slug it out while overseen by Mystic, who is doing calculus in the background because this is her daily 15 minute downtime to relax. (She'll feel guilty about being so lazy later on.)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Anyway, your reviews are great, they just remind me a lot of Mystic's comments lol. It's Fresh who appears to be the one outlier here as far as the people putting in effort...

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Thank you for your encouragement. I’ve only seen a handful of Mystic’s reviews, but I admired how in-depth she went. I could learn a lot from her about writing critiques.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I should automatically win because they have an unfair advantage

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I don't think I'll be able to "slug it out" against any of the others :P

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I'm sure you would also type more and have special formatting if you weren't hiding in the bathroom for thirty seconds at a time to illegally entertain yourself on a writing site while not being doctor yet. And if Darius shows up at least you know you could still kick his ass IRL.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I may never surpass Darius in writing or twink-drawing, but at least I’ll be able to escape up a flight of stairs if he gets too close.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

If you summon Darius from the pits and he arrives, I’ll claw my way up the walls to escape.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
That's a perfectly understandable reaction to sudden proximity to the Dutch.

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4 months ago

Deutschland and I go way back. So far back that I've forgotten a sad amount of its grammar and finer points. (Important distinction: Deutsch is NOT Dutch)

The enthusiasm comes from being 16 years old. Everything is exciting to me- I've only slightly begun to lose my zest for life.

I plan on using that template for all future reviews, so thank you.

(maybe we can both be amazing)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Ahh, youth. As a 48329429101321309$$$$@!??-year-old mortal, I can only long for such days.

Thanks for making that distinction lol. I’m on less than 2 hours of sleep, so I initially panicked and thought Hans had been Dutch the entire time and I’d misread the storygame.

I look forward to seeing more of your reviews then. I’m sure people would be very happy to get one from you.

(I’m tempted to demand that there can only be one. But I don’t want to get my butt whooped by a teen, so I suppose the title can be shared.)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Deutsch is German for "German"
Deutschland is Germany.
I think it'd make more sense if everyone called places by the same name. Germany calls America "Amerika" but that's because the letter "c" has anxiety and can't go places alone

I'm also looking forward to seeing more reviews from myself. I do love having my username both red AND bolded, and am close to the Warden commendation leaderboard (albeit that's not much of an accomplishment).
I'm working on one for mizal's story, but we'll see if it ever comes to fruition.

(that's right, you better be scared :p)

 

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Warden lol

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4 months ago

fight me

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4 months ago
If you wish! I challenge you to a duel in the thunderd-

Aw...

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4 months ago
I don't think the others did anything of note in there after breaking into the place, might as well go for it.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I accept

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I knew what Deutsch was, but Deutschland threw me off and made me question my knowledge. Thanks for the lesson!

I like the look of “Amerika” better. It sounds tougher.

Huh. I wasn’t aware non-moderator usernames could change colors. Guess that shows how much I pay attention. And an accomplishment is an accomplishment (even if you’re a Warden lol). You got this.

 

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/3/2023 2:38:51 PM
I came back from dinner for finalizations only to see Sparrow's giant review right there, oh well.

I really liked Safe, I kind of sat back and let the story/narrator take me whereever, whether it be rambling or vivid scenery. Kind of cared more about the atmosphere than anything.

I gave it a review:

I was ushered under the shadowy lights of a bar, drink in hand, peering through a thin veil of smoke at the dark figure of the narrator.

I have nothing but praise for Safe. There's a certain life to each and every character that the reader encounters, characterized effortlessly not through looks and flowery descriptions, but witty dialogue and action. The narrator, of course, the most prominent of them all.

It's hard to put in words, but I absolutely adore the narration and its dry, self-depreciating humor. It flows seamlessly from wit to action, from metaphor to rough talk. As I read on, the narrator gained more and more of a unique voice in my head, bringing him, and the rest of the characters, to life.

Let's talk plot. I'm tempted to compare the pacing to a dance (the ballroom scene?): measured, steady, yet swaying with the music that is a drink and a smoke. Not a moment of boredom, of course, in Nirvana, every moment is savored and dreamlike. There's adequate moments of suspence given its investigative nature, and plenty of action to back it up.

--spoilers--

There's a shift in the characters (including "you") and their fates with each drink. The story is never really consistent with other choices you make. By no means is that a criticism, in fact, I think the general shiftiness of the plot contributes to Nirvana's atmosphere. Last point I would like to bring up is, well, you. From a stranger reading Tommy's last notes to the narrator's son, your identity changes but the theme doesn't: a balance between two worlds, one fairytale and another real life.

I'll spare the talk on SPAG and the technical stuff. Grammar is excellent, branching is solid, and there's no obstructing errors in writing. It's a Ninja story. 8/8.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Time to officially conclude this contest. 

Well done to the 5 people who wrote actual reviews, even if one of you got banned! And a slightly lesser congrats to the 3 people who submitted not-so-serious comments, which led to reviews of not just the storygame, but of other reviews too! Truly a strange phenomena.

Overall, I'll say it was a small success, considering how this thread managed to motivate some people to perform the ever-so-challenging act of reviewing. There were some really good ones here too. 

The commendations have already been given out, and for the sake of fairness and transparency and all that, I'd let @Ninjapitka announce the winners of this contest! He already sent me the rankings, so you shouldn't be kept in suspense for too long. Your point prizes will mysteriously appear in your CYS bank account after that :)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Thanks for hosting the competition. A few months ago, I wondered if a review contest would ever occur, so this was neat to see. It was a creative way to change things up a little around here.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 10/8/2023 12:20:18 AM
Blah, blah, blah, thanks for the reviews, blah, blah, blah. You know how these things go.

So SummerSparrow wins first. And it's not due to the text block (which is politely formatted for easy reading, probably unlike Safe and its parenthetical detours, kinda like this one). The winning factor? The review shows thought and depth. It's not just a summary of what they like and disliked. I'm given good feedback to stick in the toolbox for the next story's construction. The inclusion of re-written segments of Safe was a tasty surprise too.

Beside SummerSparrow on the podium, we have fresh_out_the_oven with silver, and PerforatedPenguin with bronze. I like Fresh's focused review style using the site's 8 point system towards self-made categories. It feels real. Like the overall rating isn't just a number pulled from a hat (or butt). Peng writes more of a top level (if not flattering) review style, which can often seem like a stray cloud on a foggy day, but was refreshing among the microscopic reviews of Summer and Fresh.

May the powers that be grant you with pointless points. Thank you once again, for writing these wonderful and enthralling reviews.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Ninja, thanks for taking the time to judge our reviews, as well as for your kind words. I’m honored and am happy you liked the feedback. Yes, I’m sorry for the text block . . . but blame my eagerness to dissect your beautiful writing (and that I didn’t have time to condense). 

I already praised Fresh’s well-organized template, so I’d also like to point out how dreamy and pretty Peng’s review was. I felt his romantic, moody descriptions matched the story’s atmosphere well. Comparing the pacing to a dance was a neat detail. You hear that, @PerforatedPenguin ? What a great writer!

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Haha, thanks. I subconsiously get all caught up in the writing style of whatever I'm reading, so by the time I was finished with Safe I was in the mood for writing just like Ninja did.

I should thank Ninja as well for judging! Your story was great.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I guess I'll commend Mystic for making this thread, even though she is prefectly capable of commending herself. Lazy.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Thanks, Mizal! Commending myself feels too much like misusing my power.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
Glad to see this thread encouraging detailed reviews, but I just want to remind folks that no one should HAVE to feel like they need to produce on that level or take that amount of time and planning just to comment on a story. I've seen like 30 comments made in the last couple days, mostly one line by drive by readers, but this is the best evidence many authors will get that people are still reading.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Congratulations to SummerSparrow for the well-deserved win! Well done to Fresh and Peng for second and third place! I would also like to thank everyone who submitted a review for this mini-competition.

Kudos to Ninja for reading and judging these reviews! Even though the competition is over, I still encourage everyone to check out his storygame; it won a contest.

Quick question: If we make this a somewhat regular thing, how likely are you all to join? I'm not sure if I should continue hosting review competitions or keep this as a one-off event to save the limited productivity of CYS members for other things, e.g. Thunderdome duels or storygame contests. Also, there's the issue of it encouraging super long reviews when it might be more effective to host something which promotes writing a lot of reviews for many different stories. But let me know what you think :)

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
On behalf of Ford, we feel slightly cheated.

On the other hand, if this were an actual regular thing: once every 3 months, or once some regular time, that might be interesting.

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

Thank you so much, Mystic!

Having a semi-regular event would be awesome. Perhaps it could serve as a platform for hidden gems/recent stories with few comments. Also, analyzing writing is a great skill to hone as it helps people articulate what works in writing, what doesn't, and why. So it's productive!

I see the value in more reviews, but personally, I prefer your current format and having reviews shine on one writer. For a "most reviews" contest, I’m concerned about their quality and how they’d be fairly judged. For instance, say someone submitted 10 okay reviews, but someone wrote 5 reviews of greater quality. 

To go a similar route, maybe instead of reviewing one story, the host could promote a couple and allow the contestants to choose. Or each contestant could submit a review of any story, provided it reaches a minimum word count or matches the competition’s chosen genre. But the latter may be messier and require judges to read more. Just some ideas I’m spitballing. 
 

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I'd do it

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago

I'd be up for it. I meant to do it this time around, but I waited until the last day and then was surprised by my mom with a "fun activity that will also look good when you apply for college".

The CYS Review Competition!

4 months ago
I hate that all the kids here are being raised by maniacally obsessed control freaks. And you're not even Asian.