Forums » The Parlor Room » Read Thread

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

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
No, this isn't about productivity. You should go look at Mystic's review contest or maybe one of Ninja's 17 games for that.

Guided by whatever ancient RNG the site is installed with, what we're doing here is wandering down the dusty backstreets of CYStia, visiting the storygames that never see the light of day.

No, this isn't about reading. I know better than to ask anyone to do that.

It might be interesting to do some window shopping though. Press the Random Storygame button, then take a long look at whatever game you get and share your thoughts with us. The title, description, any other info available on the story page. Does it make you want to play it? What do you imagine the content to be?

Go ahead and click the game and look at the first page too if you're some kind of tryhard, but as many times as it's been said that presentation is important, I think it'd be interesting to tap into people's thought processes on just what does and doesn't work.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
I'll go ahead and start us off here. The game that Random picked for me was A Graveyard Smash by @BenCrucifix Well first of all of course, I see that title and music plays in my head. I see it's from a prompt contest and so assume it's likely to be rushed, but the contests have also been producing some surprisingly good work for years.
After the unfortunate death of his parents, Harry finds himself struggling to move on. This is aggravated when his father's ghost begins haunting him.
This is very to the point. I'd call it a pretty efficient and practical description. It explains the premise and gives you an inkling of the conflict, and does it in a straightforward and concise manner. Nothing fancy but it accomplishes exactly what it needs. Afterwards is some meandering which seem like self consciousness on the part of the author, telling you the tone of the story and excusing its quality. That part's unnecessary but it doesn't go on too long, and for some it might help make them feel a rapport due to being directly addressed in a conversational way. BenCrucifix I do vaguely recall as someone who's been around a long time, but with a very quiet and sporadic presence. Although when I see the prompt was "a graveyard tryst" and the title tells me that someone is getting smashed in a graveyard, while the only characters referenced are the protagonist and his doesn't decrease my interest, but the eyebrow raise might not be what the author intended. The length of about 15k words exactly tells me it's not too long but not too short. It will be fairly quick read, but assuming anything like reasonable page layout it should have enough room for a decent amount of choices and branching. All in all I'd say this story looks pretty clickable, and the rating of a lower mid 5/8 indicates the quality about exactly what I was expecting. It does have a commendation, but by Thara whose standards I don't trust. So, nothing to get too excited over, probably a little rushed, but overall passable with an interesting premise. If I were not terminally laze I would probably click this, read it, mostly enjoy it, maybe even write a review and then run a marathon and volunteer at an animal shelter. The possibilities in this theoretical scenario really are endless.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

I liked that game a lot, rated it a 7. The story is simple, but I enjoyed the writing style a lot (and had just worked my way through several sub-par contest entries). I'd recommend it if you're feeling up to that marathon.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

My first pull is: The Lonely King by Ferany

This is the author's only notable interaction with site. It was published in 2019, and is a fairly short read at only 7k words.  There is no description or detail beyond a fairly nice graphic.  It does have three commended reviews from Cricket, Gower and Shadowdrake27.  While I don't know Shadowdrake27, both Cricket and Gower are consistent and reliable reviewers.

The consensus appears to be that the story overall is well written, with some very interesting turns of phrase, but overly linear.  The opening of the story starts in media res, coming out of a drunken stupor with stolen goods in your pockets and a stranger immediately asking for help.  Initial characterization is lacking and the order that scene details are presented is unusual.  

Little about the story itself would draw me in, especially with no entry blurb.  The reviews might get me to open it, and there is just enough of a hook in the first page that, knowing it is only 7k words total, I might give it a quick read through once.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
I got How well do you know your British-English? and it is literally less than 250 words and sucks ass but it's rated over 3. The OP of this thread is actually about 70% of this storygames' length.

What am I supposed to do in this thread? I didnt read the OP or this game I just rolled and linked.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
I don't want to tax you with too many words, did you try clicking the video in the OP in case there's a visual tutorial in there?

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
I rerolled for 5 floors which is over double the length of the british english quiz.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
The storygame I got is Overthrown: The Makings of a God.
It has a reasonably detailed description.

"Live as Gaius, a demigod sired by none other than the Lord of the Gods himself, Zeus, in an attempt to right some wrongs. You live in ancient Greece where monsters, Gods, and other unworldly beings walk the Earth alongside mortals.
A group of refugees are escaping from their hometown of Cione. They told of a giant so terrifying that even Gods fear it. As a hero who aims to make a name for himself, what would you do?
Discover and live a story unlike anything you've witnessed before."

Then the author goes on about talking about how it is his first story, and how it's not a game, and he says that it only has one ending, and I lost all interest there.
He also said the story is for hardcore readers only and to be prepared to read a lot; so I checked the wordcount, and there are 9,866 words. That is way too many, man. It doesn't matter if Deb gave him a good review. I can't read all that.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

I got Ground Zero by EndMaster.

EndMaster's name if probably familiar to most of you--even if you haven't read his other games such as "Geek" and "Trash", you're probably familiar with his reviews of classic IF games such as Steve Jackson's "Sorcery" series.

The tagline "If you see a bright light duck and cover" makes me think this game might have some post-apocalyptic themes to it, possibly involving a nuclear war. The description does confirm that the game starts with a nuclear strike, but doesn't go into detail about how it proceeds from there.

The rest of the description focuses more on the mechanics of the game. It looks like a cave of time game, with 4 endings. The author warns that it can end up being quite long, with the player living a full lifetime. That certainly sounds intriguing, large-scale games are tough to pull off, but can be quite epic.

The game is commended, but it was commended by the author himself. Ordinarily that would make me suspicious, but the game is rated 6.9 out of 8, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Anyways, it's 139,983 words long and some tryhard already wrote a 2000 word review so I won't bother reading it. You all definitely should, though.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
First roll gets me Quinn by ICaughtACat.

Summary (click)
  • Published: October 16th, 2014 (Age: 8 years 11 months 12 days)
  • Category: Modern
  • Rated: 3.47/8 (73/77 member ratings)
  • Length: 2/8, 4589 words
  • Difficulty 2/8 | Maturity 5/8


This is a storygame for my friend Quinn.

By the way, you'll have 10 food bars. For now, I'm not displaying them, but every page, you lose a food bar. If you go too low, you'll be rushed to the hospital and lose, so make sure to eat what's in your inventory!

Also, if you haven't used storygames before (Quinn), make sure to click the food on the page where you get it. Otherwise it won't go into your inventory.

SUMMARY: You're just a normal boy, hanging around school, when something odd happens. Or... If you choose a different path, life continues as normal. Which way shall you go? Will you go up to the hooded figure? Or will you stay safe? No matter what, you will realize that your life has been anything but normal. You just haven't noticed anything.



First stop is the description. For this story, it is quite clear on its contents and what to expect. Main takeaways: Made for a friend, Item based stat tracking, school life. The robust number of ratings tells me that even coming from the 2014 era, the story wasn't regarded too highly.

Nothing in particular makes me want to read this, besides the low ratings and wordcount, I'm not too big on items and stat tracking. The few comments present are also spoke about the abrupt endings and lacking descriptions, further dissuading me from playing.

Overall, not tempting. However, I do appreciate the gesture of making a game for a friend.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

Sounds fun, I've always enjoyed judging a book by its cover.

First impressions:

It has a rather generic title, possibly written by one of those wannabe edgelord kids. The description is off-putting. You know it's going to be a bad game when the author apologizes for mistakes and hides behind the excuse of writing something for the first time. Seriously, "Its a piece of junk"? At least use proper grammar! (Or 'grammer', as the author puts it)

Not capitalizing "i"? Telling us "sometimes this story would not make sense'? Forgetting the quotation mark when saying "Dont expect much from me"? You're 14, for goodness sake! I'm sure my five year old cousin could do a better job. And it's not like he's a genius: he believes we can make candy appear using "magic". (Or maybe he's only playing along to get candy from us, and is actually super smart, but anyway, that's besides the point).

Also, the audacity to assume we're all 14 year old kids smh.

We're only given one short line of actual description: "This is a story about a sad boy named Drex with supernatural happenings around him." Surprisingly enough, it's the only sentence so far without a grammatical error!

Other stats

I'm surprised the rating isn't lower. If I'm still feeling antagonistic later, I may even click through the story later to see if it should be unpublished. The "walk in the park" part might not be accurate - I have a feeling it'll be difficult to even decipher what you're reading upon clicking the play button. The maturity description checks out given the author's age. And the tag...well, it made me laugh. It has to be satire, surely?

First page (because I'm a tryhard)

Let's see...infodump, bad grammar, telling not showing, tense switches, failed attempts at edginess (called it!). There's probably more I didn't catch at a glance. I would say that, as with a lot of new writers, this idea is creative and could result in something better, but the execution leaves much to be desired. 

But a quick look at the author's profile shows he probably won't be coming back anytime soon. 

So, will I read the rest of it? Lol no. And it's not like this thread was about reading anyway, I shouldn't have expected anyone to do that in my other thread. 

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

This is sounds very much like an "edgier" (by making the protagonist younger) retelling of the plot of the video game "The Darkness". Wiki summary

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

My second pull was Celestial Lies: Chapter One by joshdragon

Last published on 8/15/2011, 4.65 overall rating, 10746 words.

The opening blurb of this storygame is over 500 words long.  I feel I have to agree with the top reviews that that much info would probably be better served to come in the story itself.  Especially since the most common complaint about the work in the comments is that it is too focused on the fights and not enough on the story itself.  On the plus side, not only do most comments applaud the author's writing style but this is a series that actually has more than one entry.  

Reading over the long blurb does not really entice me to read the story as the summary it presents does not read as a world I can really buy into.  The first page has a decent hook and a good level of detail, quickly setting up your immediate antagonist and giving a decent feel of place and stakes right at the outset, despite my issues with the world description from the blurb.  Based on some of the reviews, it appears that the overall story is quite linear, with only one path that doesn't end with dying in combat.

This story is an interesting artifact from 12 years ago, but other than the novelty of reading one so old there isn't much about that would draw most readers in to start the game, but if they do the first page is good enough to likely get at least a couple click-throughs.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago


My random generated story was "Ghost House".  Although it only comes in at about 3300 words, it carries a 5 score on maturity, which sounds promising.

While the title  and maturity might make some people think, "Cool, a story about a house full of ghosts." Reading the description reverses any positive thoughts I would have about this story going in.  The title looks to be the best thing about the story. 

The first line of the description states, "A man is Trapped inside his own home, Will he ever Escape? You play the man.You are the demon, then you become a zombie." - This sounds stupid.

So, then I clicked in the story and looked at the first page.  The first page said it was the beginning, and then did not start the story but explained about using the go back button.  I dont think there is any hope for this story at this point, and wish only for a quick death and a point for my time.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago

My next pull is: Christmas. by Sir_Lancegalawain

Last published on 12/30/2006, 3.80 overall rate, 2761 words

Right off the bat, the first thing that jumps out of the game description is the broken image link.  This seems to link back to likely a story that Sir_Lancegalawain wrote on, which appears to be the author's preferred site.  The intro cautions readers that while this is in a quiz format, it is intended as more of a biblical education device.   The opening page is an additional explanation of the author's faith in the New James Bible and how to tell if a question is a direct quotation from the bible or not.  This information could have easily been included on the intro page to let a reader get right to the meat of the thing.

Because of the subject matter, I personally wouldn't have much interest in reading further, although there is certainly an audience for that. The age of the story and the broken image link on the intro both also play against it.  If one was on the review quest to close out the edutainment category, or devoutly religious, I could see them pushing thorough it but there doesn't seem to be much of a draw otherwise.

First Glance: Fear the RNG

6 months ago
Hit the random button out of boredom today, and got taken to TCat's Prophetess.

I've already read and rated this one before so this isn't exactly a "first" impression, but I'll give my thoughts on the presentation nevertheless.


Fan Fiction
Published 10/31/22, 5.48/8.00, 23 ratings, 10464 words

"Miriam, sister to Moses, Prophetess.

An entry for EndMaster's Myth and Religion contest."


Interesting to note that this was written in roughly a week. TCat joined the site in 10/6/22 (happy belated site birthday), announced her participation in the Myth and Religion contest, and published the story exactly 7 days later. So productive, I'm jealous.

Not much description to work with, as is the case with most of TCat's stories, but you get the idea that it's going to be something biblical. The two featured comments all speak highly of the story, especially praising plot and characterization.
Not much else remains here, the rating suggests that it's a decent story especially for a single week of writing, and it is. I recommend giving it a read through if you have time.